He says, "It does Dr. Leibniz an injustice to call him a mere metaphysician. This challenge produces momentary silence, followed by tremendous excitement and gaiety. The Don smiles thinly and squares off. The offer to sit down in front of a crock of beer and edify these wags is dangerously tempting. But the Charlestown waterfront is drawing near, the slaves already shortening their strokes; Minerva is fairly straining at her hawsers in eagerness to catch the tide, and he.
He'd rather get this done discreetly. But that is hopeless now that Ben has unmasked him. More important is to get it done quickly. Besides, Enoch has lost his temper. He draws a folded and sealed Letter from his breast pocket and, for lack of a better term, brandishes it. The Letter is borrowed, scrutinized—one side is inscribed "Dok-tor Waterhouse—Newtowne— Massachusetts "—and flipped over. Monocles are quarried from velvet-lined pockets for the Examination of the Seal: a lump of red wax the size of Ben's fist.
Lips move and strange mutterings occur as parched throats attempt German. All of the Professors seem to realize it at once. They jump back as if the letter were a specimen of white phosphorus that had suddenly burst into flame. The Don is left holding it. He extends it towards Enoch the Red with a certain desperate pleading look. Enoch punishes him by being slow to accept the burden.
Their colleagues are muttering to them words like "Hanover" and "Ansbach. A man removes his hat and bows to Enoch. Then another. They have not even set foot in Charlestown before the dons'have begun to make a commotion. Porters and would-be passengers stare quizzically at the approaching ferry as they are assailed with shouts of "Make way! The ferry's become a floating stage packed with bad actors. Enoch wonders whether any of these men really supposes that word of their diligence will actually make its way back to court in Hanover , and be heard by their future Queen.
It is ghoulish—they are behaving as if Queen Anne were already dead and buried, and the Hanovers on the throne. In retrospect, it's obvious that in such a small town, Daniel would have noticed a lad like Ben, or Ben would have been drawn to Daniel, or both. Ben needn't be asked twice. He's up like a spider. Enoch follows as soon as dignity and inertia will allow. They share the saddle, Ben on Enoch's lap with his legs thrust back and wedged between Enoch's.
The horse has, overall, taken a dim view of the Ferry and the Faculty, and bangs across the plank as soon as it has been thrown down. They're pursued through the streets of Charlestown by some of the more nimble Doctors. But Charlestown doesn't have that many streets and so the chase is brief.
Then they break out into the mephitic bog on its western flank. It puts Enoch strongly in mind of another swampy, dirty, miasma-ridden burg full of savants: Cambridge , England. When we were on the ferry, I spied him going thither with a pail. Two years younger than I. Of Sir Isaac's, no—and therein lies a tale too long to tell now. But you and I shall hurry it to its final act to-day, Ben. Ben shrugs. But close to the river. More than a mile. Perhaps less than two. The horse is disinclined to enter the coppice, so Ben tumbles off and goes in there afoot to flush out little Godfrey.
Enoch finds a place to ford the creek that runs through it, and works his way round to the other side of the little wood to find Ben engaged in an apple-fight with a smaller, paler lad. Enoch dismounts and brokers a peace, then hurries the boys on by offering them a ride on the horse. Enoch walks ahead, leading it; but soon enough the horse divines that they are bound for a timber building in the distance.
For it is the only building, and a faint path leads to it. Thenceforth Enoch need only walk alongside, and feed him the odd apple. Which is part of England. In Grantham lived an apothecary, name of Clarke, an indefatigable pesterer. He'd been doing it for years—ever since sending letters had become possible again. Enoch wonders whether Daniel has been so indiscreet as to regale his son with decapitation yarns.
Clarke had been pestering you for years, then you 'must have gone to Grantham in the middle of the s," Ben says. Ben is correct. I couldn't have been so rash as to make the attempt before, let us say, ; for, regicide notwithstanding, the Civil War did not really wind up for another couple of years. Cromwell smashed the Royalists for the umpteenth and final time at Worcester.
Charles the Second ran off to Paris with as many of his noble supporters as had not been slain yet. Come to think of it, I saw him, and them, at Paris. What do you phant'sy would be a good way to make that journey? Huygens in the Hague. But I did not sail from any Dutch port. The Dutch are ever so much better at sailing than the French!
But other than that —? The answer is: the Navigation Act. And a sea-war against the Dutch. So you see, Ben, journeying via Paris might have been roundabout, but it was infinitely safer. Besides, people in Paris had been pestering me, too, and they had more money than Mr. So Mr. Clarke had to get in line, as they say in New York. Very close to the mark. But this was in the days before the Royal Society, indeed before Natural Philosophy as we know it. Oh, there were a few—Francis Bacon, Galileo, Descartes— who'd seen the light, and had done all that they could to get everyone else to attend to it.
But in those days, most of the chaps who were curious about how the world worked were captivated by a rather different approach called Alchemy. But this is Rather a lot has changed. In the aera I am speaking of, it was Alchemy, or nothing. I knew a lot of Alchemists. I peddled them the stuff they needed. Some of those English cavaliers had dabbled in the Art. It was the gentlemanly thing to do. Even the King-in-Exile had a laboratory. After Cromwell had beaten them like kettledrums and sent them packing to France , they found themselves with nothing to pass the years except—" and here, if he'd been telling the story to adults, Enoch would've listed a few of the ways they had spent their time.
They spent rather a lot of time on Alchemy. Who am I to dispute such matters with your father? Louis the Fourteenth. His formal coronation was in They anointed him with angel-balm, a thousand years old. I am drawing closer to answering the question of when. But that was not my whole reason. Really it was that something was happening.
Huygens—a brilliant youth, of a great family in the Hague —was at work on a pendulum-clock there that was astonishing. Of course, pendulums were an old idea—but he did something simple and beautiful that fixed them so that they would actually tell time! I saw a prototype, ticking away there in that magnificent house, where the afternoon light streamed in off the Plein—that's a sort of square hard by the palace of the Dutch Court.
Then down to Paris , where Comstock and Anglesey were toiling away on— you're correct—stupid nonsense. They truly wanted to learn.
But they wanted the brilliance of a Huygens, the audacity to invent a whole new discipline. Alchemy was the only way they knew of. So I'd no difficulty lightening my load, and stuffing my purse, in London. Then I nipped up to Oxford , meaning only to pay a call on John Wilkins and pick up some copies of Cryptonomicon. When I arrived, he was steeling himself to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Natural Philosophy. By the time I got there, they'd run out of space and moved to an apothecary's shop—a less flammable environment. It was that apothecary, come to think of it, who exhorted me to make the journey north and pay a call on Mr.
Clarke in Grantham. By the time I reached Oxford , that pendulum-clock I'd seen on the table of Huygens's house in the Hague had been perfected, and set into motion. The first clock worthy of the name. Galileo had timed his experiments by counting his pulse or listening to musicians; but after Huygens we used clocks, which—according to some—told absolute time, fixed and invariant. God's time. Huygens published a book about it later; but the clock first began to tick, and the Time of Natural Philosophy began, in the year of Our Lord—". For between true science and erroneous doctrines, ignorance is in the middle.
In every kingdom, empire, principality, archbishopric, duchy, and electorate Enoch had ever visited, the penalty for transmuting base metals into gold—or trying to—or, in some places, even thinking about it—was death. This did not worry him especially. It was only one of a thousand excuses that rulers kept handy to kill inconvenient persons, and to carry it off in a way that made them look good. For example, if you were in Frankfurt-on-Main , where the Archbishop-Elector von Schonborn and his minister and sidekick Boyneburg were both avid practitioners of the Art, you were probably safe.
Cromwell's England was another matter. Since the Puritans had killed the king and taken the place over, Enoch didn't go around that Commonwealth as they styled it now in a pointy hat with stars and moons. Not that Enoch the Red had ever been that kind of alchemist anyway. The old stars-and-moons act was a good way to farm the unduly trusting. But the need to raise money in the first place seemed to call into question one's own ability to turn lead.
Enoch had made himself something of an expert on longevity. It was only a couple of decades since a Dr. John Lambe had been killed by the mobile in the streets of London. Lambe was a self-styled sorcerer with high connections at Court. The Mobb had convinced themselves that Lambe had conjured up a recent thunderstorm and tornado that had scraped the dirt from graves of some chaps who had perished in the last round of Plague.
Not wishing to end up in Lambe's position, Enoch had tried to develop the knack of edging around people's perceptions like one of those dreams that does not set itself firmly in memory, and is flushed into oblivion by the first thoughts and sensations of the day. He'd stayed a week or two in Wilkins's chambers, and attended meetings of the Experimental Philosophical Clubb. This had been. Enoch in England , The savants of Leipzig , Paris , and Amsterdam had begun to think of it as a rock in the high Atlantic , overrun by heavily armed preachers.
Gazing out Wilkins's windows, studying the northbound traffic, Enoch had been surprised by the number of private traders: adventuresome merchants, taking advantage of the cessation of the Civil War to travel into the country and deal with farmers in the country, buying their produce for less than what it would bring in a city market.
They mostly had a Puritan look about them, and Enoch did not especially want to ride in their company. So he'd waited for a full moon and a cloudless night and ridden up to Grantham in the night, arriving before daybreak. The front of Clarke's house was tidy, which told Enoch that Mrs. Clarke was still alive. He led his horse round into the stable-yard. Scattered about were cracked mortars and crucibles, stained yellow and vermilion and silver. A columnar furnace, smoke-stained, reigned over coal-piles. It was littered with rinds of hardened dross raked off the tops of crucibles—the fceces of certain alchemical processes, mingled on this ground with the softer excrement of horses and geese.
Clarke backed out his side-door embracing a brimming chamber-pot. The apothecary startled, and upon recognizing Enoch he nearly dropped the pot, then caught it, then wished he had dropped it, since these evolutions had set up a complex and dangerous sloshing that must be countervailed by gliding about in a bent-knee gait, melting foot-shaped holes in the frost on the grass, and, as a last resort, tilting the pot when whitecaps were observed.
The roosters of Grantham, Lincolnshire , who had slept through Enoch's arrival, came awake and began to celebrate Clarke's performance. The sun had been rolling along the horizon for hours, like a fat waterfowl making its takeoff run. Well before full daylight, Enoch was inside the apothecary's shop, brewing up a potion from boiled water and an exotic Eastern herb.
I'll require a strainer. Don't look so condemned. I've done it for months with no effect. The Mahrattas drink it to the exclusion. That's different, then. I know a Dutch merchant who has several tons of it sitting in a warehouse in Amsterdam Clarke chuckled.
This tay is inoffensive enough, but I don't think Englishmen will ever take to anything so outlandish. He set them up on the deal tables and counters of the apothecary shop, saying a few words about each one. Clarke stood to one side with his fingers laced together, partly for warmth, and partly just to contain himself from lunging toward the goods. Years had gone by, a Civil War had been prosecuted, and a King's head had rolled in Charing Cross since Clarke had touched some of these items. He imagined that the Continental adepts had been penetrating the innermost secrets of God's creation the entire time.
But Enoch knew that the alchemists of Europe were men just like Clarke—hoping, and dreading, that Enoch would return with the news that some English savant, working in isolation, had found the trick of refining, from the base, dark, cold, essentially foecal matter of which the World was made, the Philosophick Mercury— the pure living essence of God's power and presence in the world—the key to the transmutation of metals, the attainment of immortal life and perfect wisdom. Enoch was less a merchant than a messenger.
The sulfur and antimony he brought as favors. He accepted money in order to pay for his expenses. The important cargo was in his mind. He and Clarke talked for hours. Sleepy thumping, footfalls, and piping voices sounded from the attic. The staircase boomed and groaned like a ship in a squall. A maid lit a fire and cooked porridge. Clarke roused herself and served it to children—too many of them.
Clarke said, "They're not ours. We have room upstairs, and my wife is fond of children. The young boarders dispatched their porridge and mobbed the exit. Enoch drifted over to a window: a lattice of hand-sized, diamond-shaped panes, each pane greenish, warped, and bubbled. Each pane was a prism, so the sun showered the room with rainbows.
The children showed as pink mottles, sliding and leaping from one pane to another, sometimes breaking up and recombin-ing like beads of mercury on a tabletop. But this was simply an exaggeration of how children normally looked to Enoch.
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One of them, slight and fair-haired, stopped squarely before the window and turned to peer through it. He must have had more acute senses than the others, because he knew that Mr. Clarke had a visitor this morning. Perhaps he'd heard the low murmur of their conversation, or detected an unfamiliar whinny from the stable. Perhaps he was an insomniac who had been studying Enoch through a chink in the wall as Enoch had strolled around the stable-yard before dawn. The boy cupped his hands around his face to block out peripheral sunlight.
It seemed that those hands were splashed with colors. From one of them dangled some kind of little project, a toy or weapon made of string. Then another boy called to him and he spun about, too eagerly, and darted away like a sparrow. His horse had had only a few hours to feed and doze.
Enoch had borrowed it from Wilkins with the implicit promise to treat it kindly, and so rather than mounting into the saddle he led it by the. He caught sight of the boarders soon enough. They had found stones that needed kicking, dogs that needed fellowship, and a few late apples, still dangling from tree-branches. Enoch lingered in the long shadow of a stone wall and watched the apple project. Some planning had gone into it—a whispered conference between bunks last night. It was too slender to bear his weight, but he phant'sied he could bend it low enough to bring it within the tallest boy's jumping-range.
The little fair-haired boy adored the tall boy's fruitless jumping. But he was working on his own project, the same one Enoch had glimpsed through the window: a stone on the end of a string. Not an easy thing to make. He whirled the stone around and flung it upwards. It whipped around the end of the tree-branch. By pulling it down he was able to bring the apple within easy reach. The tall boy stood aside grudgingly, but the fair boy kept both hands on that string, and insisted that the tall one have it as a present.
Enoch almost groaned aloud when he saw the infatuation on the little boy's face. The tall boy's face was less pleasant to look at. He hungered for the apple but suspected a trick. Finally he lashed out and snatched it. Finding the prize in his hand, he looked searchingly at the fair boy, trying to understand his motives, and became unsettled and sullen. He took a bite of the apple as the other watched with almost physical satisfaction. The boy who'd shinnied out onto the tree-limb had come down, and now managed to tease the string off the branch.
He examined the way it was tied to the stone and decided that suspicion was the safest course. But the fair-haired boy had eyes only for his beloved. Then the tall boy spat onto the ground, and tossed the rest of the apple over a fence into a yard where a couple of pigs fought over it. Now it became unbearable for a while, and made Enoch wish he had never followed them. The two stupid boys dogged the other one down the road, wide eyes traveling up and down his body, seeing him now for the first time—seeing a little of what Enoch saw.
Enoch heard snatches of their taunts—"What's on your hands? What'd you say? For what? Pretty pictures? For furniture? I haven't seen any furniture. Oh, doll furniture!? Being a sooty empiric, what was important to Enoch was not. Enoch in England , 5. He went to the apple tree to have a look at the boy's handiwork. The boy had imprisoned the stone in a twine net: two sets of helices, one climbing clockwise, the other anti-clockwise, intersecting each other in a pattern of diamonds, just like the lead net that held Clarke's window together. Enoch didn't suppose that this was a coincidence.
The work was irregular at the start, but by the time he'd completed the first row of knots the boy had learned to take into account the length of twine spent in making the knots themselves, and by the time he reached the end, it was as regular as the precession of the zodiac.
Enoch then walked briskly to the school and arrived in time to watch the inevitable fight. The fair boy was red-eyed and had porridge-vomit on his chin—it was safe to assume he'd been punched in the stomach. Another schoolboy—there was one in every school—seemed to have appointed himself master of ceremonies, and was goading them to action, paying most attention to the smaller boy, the injured party and presumed loser-to-be of the fight. To the surprise and delight of the community of young scholars, the smaller boy stepped forward and raised his fists.
Enoch approved, so far. Some pugnacity in the lad would be useful. Talent was not rare; the ability to survive having it was. Then combat was joined. Not many punches were thrown. The small boy did something clever, down around the tall boy's knees, that knocked him back on his arse.
Almost immediately the little boy's knee was in the other's groin, then in the pit of his stomach, and then on his throat. And then, suddenly, the tall boy was struggling to get up—but only because the fair-haired boy was trying to rip both of his ears off. Like a farmer dragging an ox by his nosering, the smaller boy led the bigger one over to the nearest stone wall, which happened to be that of Grantham's huge, ancient church, and then began to rub his prisoner's face against it as though trying to erase it from the skull.
Until this point the other boys had been jubilant. Even Enoch had found the early stages of the victory stirring in a way. But as this torture went on, the boys' faces went slack. Many of them turned and ran away. The fair-haired boy had flown into a state of something like ecstasy—groping and flailing like a man nearing erotic climax, his body an insufficient vehicle for his passions, a dead weight impeding the flowering of the spirit.
Finally an adult man— Clarke's brother? He was so angry that he did not utter a word, or try to separate the boys, but simply began to cut air with the cane, like a blind man fending off a bear, as he got close. Soon enough he maneuvered within range of the fair boy and planted his feet and bent to his work, the cane producing memorable whorling noises cut off by pungent whacks. A few brown-nosers now considered it safe to approach. Two of them dragged the fair boy off of his victim, who contracted into a fetal position at the base of the church wall, hands open like the covers of a book to enfold his wrecked face.
The schoolmaster adjusted his azimuth as the target moved, like a telescope tracking a comet, but none of his blows seemed to have been actually felt by the fair boy yet—he wore a look of steadfast, righteous triumph, much like Enoch supposed Cromwell must have shown as he beheld the butchering of the Irish at Drogheda. The boy was dragged inside for higher punishments. Enoch rode back to Clarke's apothecary shop, reining in a silly urge to gallop through the town like a Cavalier.
Clarke was sipping tay and gnawing biscuits, already several pages into a new alchemical treatise, moving crumb-spattered lips as he solved the Latin. Clarke elected to play innocent. Enoch crossed the room-and found the stairs. He didn't really care about the name anyway. It would just be another English name. The upstairs was all one odd-shaped room with low adze-marked rafters and rough plaster walls that had once been whitewashed. Enoch hadn't visited many children's rooms, but to him it seemed like a den of thieves hastily abandoned and stumbled upon by a plodding constable, filled with evidence of many peculiar, ingenious, frequently unwise plots and machinations suddenly cut short.
He stopped in the doorway and steadied himself. Like a good empiric, he had to see all and alter nothing. The walls were marked with what his eyes first took to be the grooves left behind by a careless plasterer's trowel, but as his pupils dilated, he understood that Mr. Clarke's boarders had been drawing on the walls, apparently with bits of charcoal fetched out of the grate. It was plain to see which pictures had been drawn by whom. Most were caricatures learned by rote from slightly older children. Others—generally closer to the floor—were maps of insight, manifestoes of intelligence, always precise, sometimes beautiful.
Enoch had been right in supposing that the boy had excellent senses. Things that others did not see at all, or chose not. Enoch in England ,. There were four tiny beds. The litter of toys on the floor was generally boyish, but over by one bed there was a tendency toward ribbons and frills.
Clarke had mentioned one of the boarders was a girl. There was a dollhouse and a clan of rag dolls in diverse phases of ontogeny. Here there'd been a meeting of interests. There was doll furniture ingeniously made by the same regular mind and clever hands that had woven the net round the stone.
The boy had made stalks of grass into rattan tables, and willow twigs into rocking-chairs. He had tried to draw sketches of the other boys while they were sleeping—the only time they could be relied on to hold still and not behave abominably. He did not yet have the skill to make a regular portrait, but from time to time the Muse would take hold of his hand, and in a fortunate sweep of the arm he'd capture something beautiful in the curve of a jawbone or an eyelash.
There were broken and dismantled parts of machines that Enoch did not understand. Later, though, perusing the notebook where the boy had been copying out recipes, Enoch found sketches of the hearts of rats and birds that the boy had apparently dissected. Then the little machines made sense. For what was the heart but the model for the perpetual motion machine? And what was the perpetual motion machine but Man's attempt to make a thing that would do what the heart did? To harness the heart's occult power and bend it to use.
The apothecary had joined him in the room. Clarke looked nervous. His mother knows my wife. I had seen the boy. I made a recommendation to the mother. She is steady. Intermittently decent.
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He could be the one, Enoch. Oh, he will be a great empiricist. He will, perhaps, be the one to accomplish some great thing we have never imagined. How was he to explain it without making Clarke out to be a fool, and himself a swindler? Clarke pursed his lips and waited for something a little more specific.
Something is happening now—the mercury is rising in the ground, like water climbing up the bore of a well. Enoch couldn't get Oxford out of his mind—Hooke and Wren and Boyle, all exchanging thoughts so quickly that flames practically leaped between them. He decided to try another tack. Father died recently, leaving him nothing except a vast library. The boy began reading those books. Only six years old. The boy's teachers prevailed on the mother to lock the child out of the library. I got wind of it. Talked to the mother, and secured a promise from her that little Gottfried would be allowed free run of the books.
He taught himself Latin and Greek in the space of a year. Clarke shrugged. Perhaps little Gottfried is the one. But in pinning our hopes on the Philosophick Mercury we have decided in advance what it is that we seek to discover, and that is never right. Enoch tried yet another tack: "I have in my saddlebags a copy of Principia Philosophica, the last thing Descartes wrote before he died.
Dedicated to young Elizabeth, the Winter Queen's daughter Clarke was straining to look receptive, like a dutiful university student still intoxicated from last night's recreations at the tavern. Enoch remembered the stone on the string, and decided to aim for something more concrete. By connecting it to the internal workings of a clock, he has wrought a perfectly regular time-piece. Its ticks divide infinity, as calipers step out leagues on a map.
With these two—clock and calipers—we can measure both extent and duration. And this, combined with the new method of analysis of Descartes, gives us a way to describe Creation and perhaps to predict the future. He is neither astrologer nor alchemist. He is something new. More like him will follow. Wilkins, down in Oxford , is trying to bring them together. Their achievements may exceed those of alchemists.
But beyond that do not steer him at all—let him pursue his own conclusions. The conversation might not have gone precisely this way. Enoch had the same way with his memories as a ship's master with his rigging—a compulsion to tighten what was slack, mend what was frayed, caulk what leaked, and stow, or throw overboard, what was to no purpose.
So the conversation with Clarke might have wandered into quite a few more blind alleys than he remembered. A great deal of time was probably spent on politeness. Certainly it took up most of that short autumn day. Because Enoch didn't ride out of Grantham until late. He passed by the school one more time on his way down towards Cambridge. All the boys had gone home by that hour save one, who'd been made to stay behind and, as punishment, scrub and scrape his own name off the various windowsills and chair-backs where he'd inscribed it.
The sun, already low at mid-afternoon, was streaming into the open windows. Enoch drew up along the northwest side of the school so that anyone who looked back at him would see only a long hooded shadow, and watched the boy work for a while. The sun was crimson in the boy's face,. Far from being reluctant, he seemed enthusiastic about the job of erasing all traces of himself from the school—as if the tumbledown place was unworthy to bear his mark. One windowsill after another came under him and was wiped clean of the name I. Newtowne, Massachusetts Bay Colony. How are these Colonies of the English increas'd and improv'd, even to such a Degree, that some have suggested, tho' not for Want of Ignorance, a Danger of their revolting from the English Government, and setting up an Independency of Power for themselves.
It is true, the Notion is absurd, and without Foundation, but serves to confirm what I have said above of the real Encrease of those Colonies, and of the flourishing Condition of the Commerce carried on there. Sometimes it seems as if everyone's immigrating to America— sailing-ships on the North Atlantic as thick as watermen's boats on the Thames, more or less wearing ruts in the sea-lanes—and so, in an idle way, Enoch supposes that his appearance on the threshold of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Institute of Technologickal Arts will come as no surprise at all to its founder.
But Daniel Waterhouse. For a moment Enoch's afraid that some sort of apoplectic climax is in progress, and that Dr. Waterhouse's final contribution to the Royal Society, after nearly a lifetime of service, will be a traumatically deranged cardiac muscle, pickled in spirits of wine in a crystal jug. The Doctor spends the first minute of their interview frozen halfway between sitting and standing, with his mouth open and his left hand on his breastbone.
This might be the beginnings of a courteous bow, or a hasty maneuver to conceal, beneath his coat, a shirt so work-stained as to cast aspersions on his young wife's diligence. Or perhaps it's a philosophick enquiry, viz. Enoch takes advantage of the lull to make other observations and try to judge empirically whether Daniel's as unsound as the faculty of Harvard College would have him believe.
From the Doctors' jibes on the ferry-ride, Enoch had expected nothing but cranks and gears. And indeed Waterhouse does have a mechanic's shop in a corner of the—how will Enoch characterize this structure to the Royal Society? But anyway, most of it is given over not to the hard ware of gears, but to softer matters: cards.
They are stacked in slender columns that would totter in the breeze from a moth's wings if the columns had not been jammed together into banks, stairways, and terraces, the whole formation built on a layer of loose tiles on the dirt floor to Enoch guesses prevent the card-stacks from wicking up the copious ground-water.
Edging farther into the room and peering round a bulwark of card-stacks, Enoch finds a writing-desk stocked with blank cards. Ragged gray quills project from inkpots, bent and broken ones Crosshatch the floor, bits of down and fluff and cartilage and other bird-wreckage form a dandruffy layer on everything. On pretext of cleaning up his mess, Enoch begins to pick the spilled cards off the floor.
Each is marked at the top with a rather large number, always odd, and beneath it a long row of ones and zeroes, which since the last digit is always 1, indicating an odd number he takes to be nothing other then the selfsame number expressed in the binary notation lately perfected by Leibniz. Underneath the number, then, is a word or short phrase, a different one on each card. As he picks them up and re-stacks them he sees: Noah's Ark; Treaties terminating wars; Membranophones e. Don't you think you should organize them? Waterhouse reminds him.
Pardon the interruption. Less hale persons are forever sending me off on errands. This is the polite part of the conversation, which is not likely to last much longer. If he had returned the compliment, Daniel would have scoffed, because no one would say he's well preserved in the sense that Enoch is. He looks as old as he ought to. But he's wiry, with clear, sky-blue eyes, no tremors in his jaw or his hands, no hesitation in his speech once he's over the shock of seeing Enoch or, perhaps, anyone in his Institute.
Daniel Waterhouse is almost completely bald, with a fringe of white hair clamping the back of his head like wind-hammered snow on a tree-trunk. He makes no apologies for being uncovered and does not reach for a wig—indeed, appears not to own one. His eyes are large, wide and staring in a way that probably does nothing to improve his reputation. Those orbs flank a hawkish nose that nearly conceals the slot-like mouth of a miser biting down on a suspect coin.
His ears are elongated and have grown a radiant fringe of lanugo. The imbalance between his organs of input and output seems to say that he sees and knows more than he'll say. The eyes stare back, knowing and calm. That is heroic—when a simple exchange of letters is so much less fraught with seasickness, pirates, scurvy, mass drownings—".
Someone dreadfully important must've written it. Can't say how impressed I am. What does Princess Caroline want of me? Must be something appalling, or else she wouldn't've sent you to chivvy me along. Waterhouse is embarrassed at having been so startled earlier and is making up for it with peevishness. But it's fine, because it seems to Enoch that the thirty-year-old Waterhouse hidden inside the old man is now pressing outward against the loose mask of skin, like a marble sculpture informing its burlap wrappings.
Let's find a tavern and—". What does she want of me? Waterhouse shrinks—the inner thirty-year-old recedes, and. What other use is there for a broken-down old computational monadologist? I've seen you in some unenviable spots. But in all that time, I don't believe I've ever heard you whine, until just then.
Daniel considers this carefully, then actually laughs. I was going to establish what, to Harvard, would've been what Gresham's College was to Oxford. Imagined I'd find a student body, or at least a protege. Someone who could help me build the Logic Mill. Hasn't worked out that way. All of the mechanically talented sorts are dreaming of steam-engines. What's wrong with water-wheels? Plenty of rivers here. Look, there's a little one right between your feet!
When I was a student, a prism was a wonder. Went to Sturbridge Fair with Isaac to buy them—little miracles wrapped in velvet. Played with 'em for months. Or eighthed, or sixteenthed. I can already see it happening to young Ben out there, and soon it'll happen to my own boy. Euclidean or Cartesian? Newtonian or Leibnizian calculus? Or should I go the empirical route? Will it be dissecting animals then, or classifying weeds, or making strange matters in crucibles? Rolling balls down inclined planes? Sporting with electricity and magnets? His plan was to use balls running down troughs to represent the binary digits, and pass them through mechanical gates to perform the logical operations.
Ingenious, but not very practical. I'm using pushrods. I ask again: could your lack of popularity here be related to that all Englishmen believe that Leibniz is a villain—a plagiarist? Are you being devious? The anonymous reviews, planted, like sapper's mines, in the journals of the savants? Sudden unmaskings of hitherto unnamed 'leading mathematicians' forced to own, or deny, opinions they have long disseminated in private correspondence?
Great minds who, in any other era, would be making discoveries of Copernican significance, reduced to acting as cat's-paws and hired leg-breakers for the two principals? New and deservedly obscure journals suddenly elevated to the first rank of learned discourse, simply because some lackey has caused his latest stiletto-thrust to be printed in its back pages?
Challenge problems flying back and forth across the Channel, each one fiendishly devised to prove that Leibniz's calculus is the original, and Newton's but a shoddy counterfeit, or vice versa? Reputations tossed about on points of swords—". Enoch can't help looking at it, too.
Business Travel in Salem: Workbar & The Merchant Partnership
Who through intricate and tedious lacework of marryings, couplings, dyings, religious conversions, wars, revolutions, miscarriages, decapitations, congenital feeblemindedness, excommunications, et cetera among Europe's elite— most notably, the deaths of all seventeen of Queen Anne's children—became first in line to the Throne of England and Scotland, or Great Britain as we're supposed to call it now.
Sophie may get to be Queen of England yet, at least for a short while. It is most awkward. But his daughter-in-law the Princess—author of this letter—in time likely to become Queen of England herself—is a friend of Leibniz. And yet an admirer of Newton. She wants a reconciliation.
Which are still runny with the guts of the previous several peace-makers. Ben and Godfrey are sent back to Boston on the ferry. Daniel scorns the nearest tavern—some sort of long-running dispute with the proprietor—so they find the highway and ride northwest for a couple of miles, drawing off to one side from time to time to let drovers bring their small herds of Boston-bound cattle through.
They arrive at what used to be the capital of Massachusetts, before the city fathers of Boston out-maneuvered it. Several roads lunge out of the wilderness and collide with one another. Yeomen and drovers and backwoodsmen churn it up into a vortex of mud and manure. Next to it is a College. Newtowne is, in other words, paradise for tavern-keepers, and the square as they style it is lined with public houses.
Waterhouse enters a tavern but immediately backs out of it. Looking into the place over his companion's shoulder, Enoch glimpses a white-wigged Judge on a massive chair at the head of the tap-room, a jury empaneled on plank benches, a grimy rogue being interrogated. That judge is no more drunk than any magistrate of the Old Bailey. Daniel chooses another tavern. They walk through its brick-red. A couple of leather fire-buckets dangle by the entrance, in accordance with safety regulations, and a bootjack hangs on the wall so that the innkeeper can take his guests' footwear hostage at night.
The proprietor is bastioned in a little wooden fort in the corner, bottles on shelves behind him, a preposterous firearm, at least six feet long, leaning in the angle of the walls. He's busy sorting his customers' mail. Enoch cannot believe the size of the planks that make up the floor. They creak and pop like ice on a frozen lake as people move around. Waterhouse leads him to a table. It consists of a single slab of wood sawn from the heart of a tree that must have been at least three feet in diameter.
He measures it against the length of his arm. I am shocked. In consequence of which, Gomer Bolstrood, and his fellow Barkers, have built their colonies in remote places, where the trees are very large—". I wonder what old Knott would think. If my name were Bolstrood, I'd be happy to live anywhere that was beyond the reach of Tories and Archbishops.
Daniel Waterhouse rises and goes over to the fireplace, plucks a couple of loggerheads from their hooks, and thrusts them angrily into the coals. Then he goes to the corner and speaks with the tavern-keeper, who cracks two eggs into two mugs and then begins throwing in rum and bitters and molasses. It is sticky and complicated—as is the entire situation here that Enoch's gotten himself into. There's a similar room on the other side of the wall, reserved for the ladies.
Spinning wheels whirr, cards chafe against wool. Someone begins tuning up a bowed instrument. Not the old-fashioned viol, but judging from its sound a violin. Hard to believe, considering where he is. But then the musician begins to play—and instead of a Baroque minuet, it is a weird keening sort of melody—an Irish tune, unless he's mistaken. It's like using watered silk to make grain sacks—the Londoners would laugh until tears ran down their faces.
Enoch goes and peers through the doorway. Indeed, a girl with carrot-colored hair is playing a violin, entertaining some other women who are spinning and sewing, and the women and the music are as Irish as the day is long. Enoch goes back to the table, shaking his head. Daniel Water-house slides a hot loggerhead into each mug, warming and thickening the drinks. Enoch sits down, takes a sip of the stuff, and decides he likes it. Even the music is beginning to grow on him.
He cannot look in any direction without seeing eyeballs just in the act of glancing away from them. Some of the other patrons actually run down the road to other taverns to advertise their presence here, as if Root and Waterhouse were a public entertainment. Dons and students saunter in nonchalantly, as if it's normal to stand up in mid-pint and move along to a different establishment.
Daniel ignores this, too busy glaring at the other customers. He reckoned it would occur in the year —Number of the Beast and all that. I was, therefore, produced in —as always, Drake's timing was carefully thought out. When I came of age, I would be a man of the cloth, with the full university education, well versed in many dead classical languages, so that I could stand on the Cliffs of Dover and personally welcome Jesus Christ back to England in fluent Aramaic. Sometimes I look about myself—" he waves his arm at the tavern "—and see the way it turned out, and wonder whether my father could possibly have been any more.
The music. The furniture. It's all contrary to expectations. We rode straight from that spectacle to Cambridge. Since executions are customarily held at daybreak, you see, an industrious Puritan can view one and yet get in a full day's hard traveling and working before evening prayers. It was done with a knife. Drake wasn't shaken at all by the sight of Brother Hugh's intestines.
It only made him that much more determined to get me into Cambridge. We went there and called upon Wilkins at Trinity College. Wadham College? Cromwell's sister. But of course that was undone by the Restoration. So he only served in that post for a few months—it's no wonder you've forgotten it. Drake took you up to Cambridge—? I was fourteen. Father went off and left us alone, secure in the knowledge that this man—Cromwell's Brother-in-Law, for God's sake!
It was a decade or two since Wilkins had written his great Cryptonomicon. In the course of that project, he had, of course, gathered tomes on occult writing from all over the world, compiling all that had been known, since the time of the Ancients, about the writing of secrets. The publication of that book had brought him fame among those who study such things.
Copies were known to have circulated as far as Peking, Lima, Isfahan, Shahjahanabad. Consequently more books yet had been sent to him, from Portuguese crypto-Kabbalists, Arabic savants skulking through the ruins and ashes of Alexandria, Parsees who secretly worship at the altar of Zoroaster, Armenian merchants who must communicate all across the world, in a kind of net-work of information, through subtle signs and symbols hidden in the margins and the ostensible text of letters so cleverly that a competitor, intercepting the message, could examine it and find nothing but trivial chatter—yet a fellow-Armenian could extract the vital data as easy as you or I would read a hand-bill in the street.
Secret code-systems of Mandarins, too, who because of their Chinese writing cannot use cyphers as we do, but must hide messages in the position of characters on the sheet, and other means so devious that whole lifetimes must have gone into thinking of them. All of these things had come to him because of the fame of the Cryptonomicon, and to appreciate my position, you must understand that I'd been raised, by Drake and Knott and the others, to believe that every word and character of these books was Satanic.
That, if I were. Wilkins was reading some proofs of Boyle's The Skeptical Chemist— you should read it sometime,-Enoch, by the way—" "I'm familiar with its contents. Fortunately no serious damage was done. It wasn't a serious fire, but it accomplished what Wilkins wanted it to: wrecked the mask of etiquette that Drake had set over me, and set my tongue a-run. I must have looked as if I'd gazed upon the face of God. Wilkins let slip that, if it was an actual education I was looking for, there was this thing down in London called Gresham's College where he and a few of his old Oxford cronies were teaching Natural Philosophy directly, without years and years of tedious Classical nincompoopery as prerequisite.
Even had I practiced to be clever, I'd have had second thoughts doing it in that room So I simply told Wilkins the truth: I had no interest in religion at least as a profession, and wanted only to be a natural philosopher like Boyle or Huygens. But of course Wilkins had already discerned this. And so you see, Enoch, I am well accustomed to others devising hare-brained plans for how I am to live. And so the pair began planning for their sailing adventure, thinking at first that it would be a long way off.
Despite many friends and family members thinking they were crazy, Kelly and Kelly Girl set out in search of the perfect boat to sail around the world in. She had a thick hull—sturdy and heavy. The couple lived aboard for two years in Seattle while they readied her for the sea and saved up for their big adventure.
In , at 35 years old, Kelly and Kelly Girl finally set sail, heading down the west coast of the United States to Mexico. They stopped in 30 countries spending anywhere from a week to six months in any given location. After all the traveling was done there were two aspects of the journey that stood out to Kelly Girl.
Like most sailors the Waterhouses frequently rely on their DIY skills. Kelly often hires himself out to other cruisers to fix problems on their boats for extra cash. Other cruisers know we have it and always want to borrow it! On one fateful passage, the Ultrafeed even saved the day. While cruising through the Gulf of Aden, the couple had to make an emergency spinnaker repair. They immediately pulled their spinnaker down and set to work on repairs.
Kelly Girl was thankful that they were able to do the fix themselves.