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February 24th 1597

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Total eclipse of the 'sonne'

The Merk Setterday. “Betwixt nyne and ten houris befoir noon a maist fearful and cospicuous ecclipse of the sonne began, quilk continuit the space of tua houris; for the body of the moone enterit on that of the sonne. Till the going off the samyn the haill face of the sonne semite to be coverit so that non could sie to reid on a buik. The starris appeirit in the firmament and the sea, land, air and trees so still, strickin deid as it war that upon their astonishment the faintness of heartis of men and women, foulis and beistis were prostrat to the ground.

I knew out of ephemerides and almanak the day and hour of it, as was also, by the natural philosophie, the causes. But yet when it com to the extremitie of darknes and I myself lossit all the sonne, I was struckin with such feir and astonishment that I had no refuge but to prostrat in my kneis and commend myself to God and to cry for mercie.” 

James Melville speaking of the total eclipse of 1597.

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