SIGHT

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SIGHT. (See Eye, and Optics.) SIGNALS ; certain notices used to communicate intelligence to distant objects. At sea, they are made by firing artillery, displaying flags and pendants, lanterns, or fireworks, as rockets and false fires; and these are combined by multiplication and repetition; by which combination of preconcerted signals, the admiral conveys orders to his fleet, every squadron, every division, and ship,, of which, has its particular signal. Every ship to which a signal is made, immediately answers it by hoisting some particular flag, to show that she has received and understands the order thereby conveyed. All signals at sea may be reduced to three different kinds, viz. those which are made by the sound of particular instruments, as the trumpet, horn, or fife, to which may be added striking the bell, or beating the drum; those which are made by displaying pendants, ensigns, and flags of different colors, or by lowering or altering the position of sails ; and, lastly, those which are executed by rockets of different kinds, by firing cannon or small arms, by artificial fireworks, or by lanterns. All signals, to be effectual, must be simple, and composed in such a manner as to express the same signification, at whatever masthead or yardarm they may be displayed. They should be issued without precipitation, exposed in a conspicuous place, so as to be seen at a distance, and sufficient time should be allowed to observe and obey them. Signals are very numerous and important, and are all communicated in the instructions sent to the commander of every ship of the fleet or squadron, before their pui ting to sea. Few subjects have more seriously engaged the attention of nautical mQn. In the land forces, signals are made by the firing of cannon, or by sound of trumpet. Balloons are sometimes used for. signals. (For the Telegraph, see that article.)