Night talk under the starlight

“Nasir rolled over on his back, with my glasses, and began to study the stars, counting aloud first one group and then another; crying out with surprise at discovering little lights not noticed by his unaided eye. Auda set us on to talk of telescopes – of the great ones – and of how man in three hundred years had so far advanced from his first essay that now he built glasses as long as a tent, through which he counted thousands of unknown stars. ‘And the stars – what are they?’ We slipped into talk of suns beyond suns, sizes and distance beyond wit. ‘What will now happen with this knowledge?’ asked Mohammed. ‘We shall set to, and many learned and some clever men together will make glasses as more powerful than ours, as ours than Galileo’s; and yet more hundreds of astronomers will distinguish and reckon yet more thousands of now unseen stars, mapping them, and giving each one its name. When we see them all, there will be no night in heaven.'”

Fragment taken from “Seven Pillars of Wisdom“, T.E. Lawrence