Quotes about Fireworks

In childhood the daylight always fails too soon — except when there are going to be fireworks; and then the sun dawdles intolerably on the threshold like a tedious guest. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s

The “Ætna Volcano” was worth the price — that Vesuvius was plumb-full of red balls and green balls and blue balls and crimson stars and fizzlegigs and whole torrents of tiny crackers and chase-me-quicks, and when you about thought he was never going to stop he shot up a silver spray and a gold spray and very considerable burst. ~Lloyd Osbourne, “ffrenches First,” 1902 [a little altered –tg]

The evening might have been ordered with the fireworks; it was cold, still, and starry, with a commendable absence of moon. And when the first rocket went up Mrs. Miniver felt the customary pricking in her throat and knew that once again the enchantment was going to work. Some things — conjurers, ventriloquists, pantomimes — she enjoyed vicariously, by watching the children’s enjoyment; but fireworks had for her a direct and magical appeal. Their attraction was more complex than that of any other form of art. They had pattern and sequence, colour and sound, brilliance and mobility; they had suspense, surprise, and a faint hint of danger; above all, they had the supreme quality of transience, which puts the keenest edge on beauty and makes it touch some spring in the heart which more enduring excellences cannot reach. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s

It is a queer custom, this setting-off of fireworks, but it is observed in many countries; among others, in England on the Fifth of November, in China on New Year’s Day, and in South America on all suitable and unsuitable occasions. ~William H. Rideing, “Fire-Crackers and the Fourth of July,” 1874

There was one bursting now, a delicate constellation of many-coloured stars which drifted down and lingered in the still air…. The final rocket went up, a really large one, a piece of reckless extravagance. Its sibilant uprush was impressive, dragonlike; it soared twice as high as any they had had before; and the moment it had burst, Mrs. Miniver remembered. “Brightness falls from the air” — that was it! The sparks from the rocket came pouring down the sky in a slow golden cascade, vanishing one by one into a lake of darkness.
      Beauty is but a flower
      Which wrinkles will devour;
      Brightness falls from the air;
      Queens have died young and fair;
      Dust hath closed Helen’s eye —
It was quite irrelevant, really, a lament by Nashe in time of pestilence, nothing to do with fireworks at all. But she knew that it was just what she had needed to round off the scene for her and to make its memory enduring. Words were the only net to catch a mood, the only sure weapon against oblivion. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s