Summary: The Heavens on Earth: ch.04.Aubin.
ECLIPSE POLITICS IN FRANCE AND THAILAND, 1868
Everywhere in the East Indies it is believed that the
when the Sun and the Moon eclipse one another, it is
because some dragon, with very dark claws,
stretches towards both stars wishing to grasp them.
On those occasions you can see rivers covered with
the heads of Indians in water up to their necks, a
most devout position well adapted to defend
themselves against the dragon.
-- Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1686).1
On croit les Asiatiques plus naïfs qu'ils ne le sont.
-- Prosper Mérimée.2
On 18 August 1868, that is on Tuesday, the first day of the waxing moon in the tenth month
of the year of the Dragon, year 2,411 of the Buddha Era, an unusual crowd gathered on the
Fontenelle, Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (1686), second soir. My translation.