“Wendell Phillips states that he has a friend who possesses an extraordinary ring “perhaps three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and on it is the naked figure of the god Hercules. By the aid of glasses, you can distinguish the interlacing muscles, and count every separate hair on the eyebrows….Rawlinson brought home a stone about twenty inches long and ten wide, containing an entire treatise on mathematics. It would be perfectly illegible without glasses….
In Dr. Abbott’s Museum, there is a ring of Cheops, to which Bunsen assigns 500 B.C. The signet of the ring is about the size of a quarter of a dollar, and the engraving is invisible without the aid of glasses….At Parma, they will show you a gem once worn on the finger of Michael Angelo, of which the engraving is 2,000 years old, and on which there are the figures of seven women.
You must have the aid of powerful glasses in order to distinguish the forms at all….So the microscope”, adds the learned lecturer, “instead of dating from our time, finds its brothers in the Books of Moses – and these are infant brothers.”
The foregoing facts do not seem to show that the ancients had merely “some knowledge of optics.”
Therefore, totally disagreeing in this particular with Professor Fiske and his criticism of Professor Draper’s Conflict in his Unseen World, the only fault we find with the admirable book of Draper is that, as an historical critic, he sometimes uses his own optical instruments in the wrong place.
While, in order to magnify the atheism of the Pythagorean Bruno, he looks through convex lenses; whenever talking of the knowledge of the ancients, he evidently sees things through concave ones.”
H. P. Blavatsky