Chapter 1

           TheTimeTraveller(forsoitwillbeconvenienttospeakofhim)wasexpoundingareconditemattertous. Hisgreyeyesshoneandtwinkled,andhisusuallypalefacewasflushedandanimated. Thefireburnedbrightly,andthesoftradianceoftheincandescentlightsintheliliesofsilvercaughtthebubblesthatflashedandpassedinourglasses. Ourchairs,beinghispatents,embracedandcaressedusratherthansubmittedtobesatupon,andtherewasthatluxuriousafter-dinneratmospherewhenthoughtroamsgracefullyfreeofthetrammelsofprecision. Andheputittousinthiswaymarkingthepointswithaleanforefingeraswesatandlazilyadmiredhisearnestnessoverthisnewparadox(aswethoughtit:)andhisfecundity. 

           ‘Youmustfollowmecarefully. Ishallhavetocontrovertoneortwoideasthatarealmostuniversallyaccepted. Thegeometry,forinstance,theytaughtyouatschoolisfoundedonamisconception.’ 

           ‘Isnotthatratheralargethingtoexpectustobeginupon? saidFilby,anargumentativepersonwithredhair. 

           ‘Idonotmeantoaskyoutoacceptanythingwithoutreasonablegroundforit. YouwillsoonadmitasmuchasIneedfromyou. Youknowofcoursethatamathematicalline,alineofthicknessnil,hasnorealexistence. Theytaughtyouthat? Neitherhasamathematicalplane. 

           Thesethingsaremereabstractions.’ 

           ‘Thatisallright,’saidthePsychologist. 

           ‘Nor,havingonlylength,breadth,andthickness,canacubehavearealexistence.’ 

           ‘ThereIobject,’saidFilby. ‘Ofcourseasolidbodymayexist. Allrealthings’ 

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