Lightning

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Joshua King Ingalls

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LIGHTNING.

Lightning is subject to the same laws as electricity, for which it is but another name. No shock of it ever takes place, except to restore an equilibrium which has by some means been disturbed. Consequently no object or individual is in danger from it, unless in a line with the points where the opposite electricities meet. The chain must be connected, or there will be no shock. The most exposed points serve with the moistened atmosphere, as conductors to the fluid. The atmosphere is relinquished for the vegetable, as for instance, a tree, unless the distance to the moist earth, or to another cloud in the opposite state, is much less in a direct line. The vegetable is relinquished for the animal, and the animal for the metal. It is only through ignorance or inattention, that persons are ever struck by lightning, except when overtaken in very exposed situations. While the feet are on the damp ground, trees should not be approached very nearly, though they are a protection at a little distance. In the house there is almost perfect safety, unless in immediate contact with some conductor. It is to be regretted that in reports of deaths from this cause, it is so seldom stated in what position and relation to surrounding objects, the person stood ; for waB this done, many who know nothing of the laws which govern electricity, might avoid danger, and be saved from depressing fear.

J. K. I.