And what else have I seen? A beautiful and far-famed insect -- do not mistake, I mean neither the Emperor, nor the King of Sardinia, but a much finer specimen -- the firefly. Their bright light is evanescent, and alternates with the darkness, as if the swift wheeling of the earth struck fire out of the black atmosphere; as if the winds were being set upon this planetary grindstone, and gave out such momentary sparks from their edges.
-- From LETTER VII (June 8th, 1824), in The Letters of Thomas Lovell Beddoes. Elking Mathews & John Lane, London, 1894.