What about … #26

What intelligent being, what being capable of responding emotionally to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely peasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on Earth and transported toward that first stop on celestial journeys? What thoughtful soul look at brilliant Jupiter with its four attendant satellites, or splendid Saturn encircled by its mysterious ring, or a double star glowing scarlet and sapphire in the infinity of night, and not be filled with a sense of wonder? Yes, indeed, if humankind – from humble farmers in the fields and toilong workers in the cities to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached th pinnacle of fame or fortune, even the most frivolous of society of women – if they knew what profound inner pleasure awaits those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole of europe, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace.

Camille Flammarion, 1880

French astromomer