I walked towards the north-east coast, over against Blefuscu, where, lying down behind a hillock, I took out my small perspective glass
, and viewed the enemy's fleet at anchor, consisting of about fifty men of war, and a great number of transports: I then came back to my house, and gave orders (for which I had a warrant) for a great quantity of the strongest cable and bars of iron.
I had found a perspective glass
or two in one of the seamen's chests, which I saved out of our ship, but I had it not about me; and this was so remote that I could not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it till my eyes were not able to hold to look any longer; whether it was a boat or not I do not know, but as I descended from the hill I could see no more of it, so I gave it over; only I resolved to go no more out without a perspective glass
in my pocket.
About eight o'clock in the morning we discovered the ship's boats by the help of our perspective glasses
, and found there were two of them, both thronged with people, and deep in the water.
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In chapter 4 ("Poetic Offices and the Conceit of the Mirror"), chapter 5 ("Poesy, Progress, and the Perspective Glass
"), chapter 6 ("'Shakes-speare's Sonnets' and the Properties of Glass"), and the coda ("The Material Sign and the Transparency of Language"), the focus shifts almost completely to glass.
In an artistic sense Harriot's drawing was surpassed in paintings nearly 200 years before he pressed his eye to the lens of his 'perspective glass
' or telescope.
"Poesy, Progress, and the Perspective Glass
" considers the persistence of the old technology of the perspective glass--an optical assist to image-makers--alongside the rise of geometric perspective.
His concern, instead, is with the ways characters are represented through language; they are "shifting figures in a frame," and the play's action is the perspective glass
that refracts their image.
[The chapters of this book] have shown the play as a perspective glass
, not just reflecting but refracting Jacobean politics through the lens of an invented British antiquity" (155).
Especially in these issues in which we "dimly peer through our varied perspective glasses
," it behooves us to admit that we do not know or understand with entirety and to hold our positions with humility and grace.