Lately I’ve been reading Boswell’s Samuel Johnson and Thackeray’s The History of Samuel Titmarsh and the Great Hoggarty Diamond. This profound bit is from Thackeray:
On the table, however, was the little box from the jeweller’s; and when I took it out, —my how the diamond did twinkle and glitter by the light of our one candle!
“I’m sure it would light up the room of itself,” says Gus. “I’ve read they do in – in history.”
It was in the history of Cogia Hassan Alhabbal, in the “Arabian Nights,” as I knew very well. But we put the candle out, nevertheless, to try.
“Well, I declare to goodness it does illuminate the old place!” says Gus; but the fact was, that there was a gas-lamp opposite our window, and I believe that was the reason why we could see pretty well.