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Digit. (Alone.) That fellow is certainly a negative quantity. He is minus common sense.
If this Mr. Morrell is the man I take him to be, he cannot but patronize my talents. Should he not, I don't know how I shall obtain a new coat.
I have worn this ever since I began to write my theory of sines and co-tangents; and my elbows have so often formed right angles with the surface of my table, that a new coat is very necessary. But here comes Mr. Morrell.
(Enter SESQUIPEDALIA.) Sir, (bowing low,) I am your most mathematical servant. I a sorry, sir, to give you this trouble; but an affair of consequence -(pulling the rags over his elbows)—an affair of consequence, as your servant informed you
Sesquipedalia. Servus non est mihi, Domine; that is, I have no servant, sir. I presume you have erred in your calculation; and
Digit. No, sir. The calculations I am about to present you are founded on the most correct theorems of Euclid. You may examine them, if you please. They are contained in this smals manuscript. (Producing a folio.)
Sesq. Sir, you have bestowed a degree of interruption upor my observations. I was about, or, according to the Latins, futurus sum, to give you a little information concerning the luminary who appears to have deceived your vision. My name, sir, is Tullius Maro Titus Crispus Sesquipedalia ; by profession a linguist and philosopher. The most abstruse points in physics or metaphysics are to me as transparent as ether. I have come to this house for the purpose of obtaining the patronage of a gentleraan who befriends all the literati. Now, sir, perhaps I · have induced conviction in mente tua, that is, in your mind, that your calculation was erroneous.
Digit. Yes, sir; as to your person, I was mistaken; but my calculations, I maintain, are correct, to the tenth part of a circulating decimal.
Sesq. But what is the subject of your manuscript? Have you discussed the infinite divisibility of matter?
Digit. No, sir; we cannot reckon infinity; and I have nothing to do with subjects that cannot be reckoned.
Sesq. Why, I can reckon about it. I reckon it is divisible ad infinitum. But perhaps your work is upon the materiality of light; and, if so, which side of the question do you espouse? Digit. Ob, sir, I think it quite immaterial.
Sesq. What ! 'light immaterial! Do you say light is immaterial ?
Digit. No; I say it is quite immaterial which side of the
question I espouse. I have nothing to do with it. And, besides, I am a bachelor, and do not mean to espouse any thing at present.
Sesq. Do you write upon the attraction of cohesion? You know matter has the properties of attraction and repulsion ?
Digit. I care nothing about matter, so I can find enough for mathematical demonstration.
Sesq. I cannot conceive what you have written upon, then. Oh, it must be the centripetal and centrifugal motions.
Digit. (Peevishly.) No, no! I wish Mr. Morrell would come. Sir, I have no motions but such as I can make with my pencil upon my slate, thus. (Figuring upon his hand.) Six, minus four, plus two, equal eight, minus six, plus two. There! those are my notions.
Sesq. Oh, I perceive you grovel in the depths of Arithmetic! I suppose you never soared into the regions of philosophy! You never thought of the vacuum which has so long filled the heads of philosophers !
Digit. Vacuum! (Putting his hand to his forehead.) Let me think.
Sesq. Ha! What! have you got it sub manu, that is, under your hand ? Ha, ha, ha! Digit. Eh! under
hand? What do you mean, sir ?—that my head is a vacuum ? Would you insult me, sir ?-insult Archimedes Digit? Why, sir, I'll cipher you into infinite divisi. bility. I'll set you on an inverted cone, and give you a centri petal and centrifugal motion out of the window, sir! I'll tear you up by the roots, and scatter your solid contents to the winds, sir !
Sesq. Da veniam, that is, pardon me : it was merely a lapsus linguæ, that is
Digit. Well, sir, I am not fond of lapsus linguæs, at all, sir. However, if you did not mean to offend, I accept your apology. I wish Mr. Morrell would come.
Sesq. But, sir, is your work upon mathematics?
Digit. Yes, sir. In this manuscript I have endeavored to elucidate the squaring of the circle.
Sesq. But, sir, a square circle is a contradiction in terms. You cannot make one.
Digit. I perceive you are a novice in this sublime science. The object is to find a square which shall be equal to a given circle; which I have done by a rule drawn from the radii of the circle, and the diagonal of the square. And, by my rule, the area of the square will equal the area of the circle.
Sesq. Your terms are to me incomprehensible. Diagonal is derived from the Greek. Dia and gonia, that is, “through the
corner.” But I don't see what it has to do with a circle; for, if I understand aright, a circle, like a sphere, has no corners.
Digit. You appear to be very ignorant of the science of numbers. Your life must be very insipidly spent in poring over philosophy and the dead languages. You never tasted, as I have, the pleasure arising from the investigation of an abstruse problem, or the discovery of a new rule in quadratic equations.
Sesq. Pob! poh! (Turns round in disgust and hits Digit pith his cane.)
Digit. Oh, you villain !
Digit. And so do I wish, sir, that that cane was raised to the fourth power, and laid over your head as many times as there are units in a thousand. Oh! Oh!
Sesq. Did my cane come in contact with—I must confess, bir
Enter TRILL. But here is Mr. Morrell. Salve Domine! Sir, your most obedient.
Trill. Which of you, gentlemen, is Mr. Morrell ?
Trill. No, sir; I am a teacher of music. Flute, harp, viol, violin, violoncello, organ, or any thing of the kind; any instrument you can mention. I have just been displaying my powers at a concert, and come recommended to the patronage of Mr. Morrell.
Sesq. For the same purpose are that gentleman and myself here.
Digit. (Stil rubbing his shin.) Oh! Oh!
Trill. Nas the gentleman the gout? I have heard of its being cured by music. Shall I sing you a tune ? Hem! hem! Fa!
Digit. No, no! I want none of your tunes. I'd make that philosopher sing, though, and dance too, if he hadn't made a vulgar fraction of my leg.
Šesg. In veritate, that is, in truth, it happened forte, that is, by chance.
Trill. (Talking to himself.) If B be flat, mi is in E.
Digit. Ay, sir, this is only an integral part of your conduct ever since you came into this house. You have continued to multiply your insults in the abstract ratio of a geometrical progression, and at last have proceeded to violence. The dignity of Archimedes Digit never experienced such a reduction descending before.
Trill. (To himself.) Twice fa, sol, la, and then comes mi again.
Digit. If Mr. Morrell does not admit me soon, I'll leave the house, while my head is on my shoulders.
Trill. Gentlemen, you neither keep time nor chord. But, if you can sing, we will carry a trio before we go.
Sesq. Can you sing an ode of Horace or Anacreon ? I should like to hear one of them.
Digit. I had rather hear you sing a demonstration of the fortyseventh proposition, first book.
Trill. I never heard of those performers, sir : where did they belong?
Sesq. They did belong to Italy and Greece.
Trill. Ah! Italy. There are our best masters, such as Morelli and Fuselli. Can you favor me with some of their compositions?
Sesq. Oh, yes; if you have a taste that way, I can furnish you with them, and with Virgil, Sallust, Cicero, Cæsar, and Quintilian; and I have an old Greek lexicon which I can spare.
Trill. Ad libitum, my dear sir, they will make a handsome addition to my musical library.
Digit. But, sir, what pretensions have you to the patronage of Mr. Morrell ? I don't believe you can square the circle Sesq. Nor
prove the infinite divisibility of matter. Trill. Pretensions, sir! I have gained a victory over the great Tantamarrarra, the new opera-singer, who pretended to vie with me. 'Twas in the symphony of Handel's Oratorio of Saul, where, you know, every thing depends upon the tempo giusto, and where the primo should proceed in smorzando, and the secondo, agitato. But he was on the third ledger-line, I was an octave below, when, with a sudden appoggiatura, I rose to D in alt, and conquered him.
Enter DRONE. Drone. My master says how he will wait on you, gentlemen. Digit. What is your name, sir ? Drone. Drone, at your service.
Digit. No, no; you need not drone at my service. A very applicable name, however.
Sesq. Drone ? That is derived from the Greek Draon, that is, flying or moving swiftly.
Trill. He seems to move in andante measure; that is, to the tune of Old Hundred.
Drone. Very likely, gentlemen.
Sesq. Right. You shall be the antecedent, I the subsequent, and Mr. Trill the consequent.
Trill. Right. I was always a man of consequence,-Fa, sol, la, fa, sol, &c. (Singing as he goes out.)
BY J. W. MILLER.
JAMES WILLIAM MILLER, an American writer, was born in 1802, ani died in 1829. Mr. N. P. Willis describes him as having been “a man of exceeding sensitiveness, and great delicacy, both of native disposition and culture."
1. THE pleasant rain! the pleasant rain !
By fits it plashing falls
How sweet its warning calls !
High slopes, and verdant meads;
Bow down their grateful heads.
And drooping shrubs, look gay;
Hies on its endless way!
Put on their robes of cheer;
And know the rain is near.
I drink its cooler breath;
And roses' fragrant death;
The beds where violets die,
I feel it wandering by.
Hath torn the lowering cloud;
Out bursts the thunder loud!
On the hush'd and trembling earth,
Where a poet's soul had birth.