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leads one to suppose it to be a magnifying lens. Now, it has been said
that the ancients were not aware of this power, and the invention is
given to Galileo by some, to a Dutchman, in 1621,
by others, while a compound microscope is attributed to one
Fontana, in the seventeenth century. But without a
magnifying glass, how did the Greeks and Romans work those fine gems
which the human eye is unable to read without the assistance of a glass?
There is one in the Naples Royal Collection, for example, the legend of
which it is impossible to make out, unless by applying a magnifying power.
The glass in question, with a stone ready cut and polished for engraving,
are now to be see in the Museum of Naples.|
Specimens of colored glass, pressed in beautiful
forms for brooches, rings, beads, and similar ornaments, are numerous.
Of those of Roman production many specimens have been found in England.
Some of these were taken from the Roman barrows. In Wales glass rings
have been round; they were vulgarly called "snake
stones," from the popular notion that they were produced by snakes, but
were in fact rings used by the Druids as a charm with
which to impose upon the superstitious. We find, too, that the specific
gravity of the specimens referred to