would be nice to make a trip to visit my brothersand sisters
STRANGER. (TO HIMSELF.) What must I do? Stay; one more argument suggests itself to me. When you see a Straight Line -- your wife, for example -- how many Dimensions do you attribute to her?
I. Your Lordship would treat me as if I were one of the vulgar who, being ignorant of Mathematics, suppose that a Woman is really a Straight Line, and only of One Dimension. No, no, my Lord; we Squares are better advised, and are as well aware as your Lordship that a Woman, though popularly called a Straight Line, is, really and scientifically, a very thin Parallelogram, possessing Two Dimensions, like the rest of us, viz., length and breadth (or thickness).
STRANGER. But the very fact that a Line is visible implies that it possesses yet another Dimension.
I. My Lord, I have just acknowledged that a Woman is broad as well as long. We see her length, we infer her breadth; which, though very slight, is capable of measurement.
STRANGER. You do not understand me. I mean that when you see a Woman, you ought -- besides inferring her breadth -- to see her length, and to SEE what we call her HEIGHT; although that last Dimension is infinitesimal in your country. If a Line were mere length without "height", it would cease to occupy Space and would become invisible. Surely you must recognize this?
I. I must indeed confess that I do not in the least understand your Lordship. When we in Flatland see a Line, we see length and BRIGHTNESS. If the brightness disappears, the Line is extinguished, and, as you say, ceases to occupy Space. But am I to suppose that your Lordship gives to brightness the title of a Dimension, and that what we call "bright" you call "high"?
STRANGER. No, indeed. By "height" I mean a Dimension like your length: only, with you, "height" is not so easily perceptible, being extremely small.
I. My Lord, your assertion is easily put to the test. You say I have a Third Dimension, which you call "height". Now, Dimension implies direction and measurement. Do but measure my "height", or merely indicate to me the direction in which my "height" extends, and I will become your convert. Otherwise, your Lordship's own understanding must hold me excused.
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