Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Spirit of the Forest

Ally walked through the densely crowded forest in search of the spirit apparition that they told her would appear any minute now. Then, suddenly in a puff of smoke there appeared a most fantastic creature, who was half-man, and half-spirit, and he hovered before her. He stroked his ghostly moustache and beard. He proclaimed, "I am The Honourable GEORGE AIRY, THE AIRY FAIRY, the gouerner of the peesefull lande, upon whych thou steppest, ande what busness hast though herre, I aske." Ally said, "Sureley youe mouste bee the one who they hauth procklaimed to bee the great visionery of the forreste, who speakes the truthe, and predychts the futture, and who whisperres sage advise, unto the loust soules of the whorlde, and who tells of the pathes of the righteousse, I come herre to seke the knowlege of the ancyent ones, telle me the moste wysely advise of your greate wyssdomme." And then the Forest Spirit said, "I wille doe this thynge whych you aske of mee, butte I must teste your whorthienesse with a ryddle, which I speke unto you thusley: I seke a functione, of which the propperties are as folloues. Whan thou takest the deryvative of that functione, and then henceforthe take againe the deryvative of that resultante, then thou subtractest the function in it self, multiply'd by the variabble it taketh, in its foulde, then that answer must be nulle, and noughte, and not summe to any noumber, be it realle, or fancifulle, or imagyn'd in the myndes of Mankinde. That is the ryddle I deliever unto thoue."

Then Ally took some time to ponder this riddle, and walked around the forest for a while, and at last, she believed she arrived at a reasonable answer. She approached the forest spirit and said, "O greate spirite, I belieue that I haue solv'd the greate ryddle, which thou hast poused unto mee, and the function that you seke, cannote be written as in the mannere of ordinry noumbers, or lettres, as thouse of a manne, in the prynting presses, but in the mannere of one who can imagyne the infynite, that which stretches as a stryng, or a lengthe of corde, or rhope, or a twine, or a vyne, or a roote, or a branche, or a leafe, unto the realmes of the unknowne, and this shall be a summe of many thynges, not singulere in natuur, and the summe shall be comprysed of 2 summes, that are segregated from one another, and that are dystinct in natuur, and the first summe shall be wrytten as one, added to the third pouer of the variable, which be devided by the product of three, and two, and then this shall be added yette again, to the sixth pouer of the variable, which doth be devided by the producte of two, and three, and fyve, and sex, but notte four, and then this shalle bee added to the ninth pouer of the variable, whence devided by the prouduct of two, and three, and fyve, and sex, and aight, and nyn, but not four, norre seuen, and so on, unto the darke realmes of the mysteriousse.

When the spirit heard this, and confirmed it as the correct solution, he laughed evilly, and he proclaimed, "Foole! Now you haue told me all I kneed to know, about the most fancifulle functions, that I shalle publishe it onder my owne name, and I shall become famovs ouer it, and counquer the whorlde of mathematicks." And then Ally said, "What a rude beaste you are, houeuer, thou hast promysed me the prophesy and the wysdom advise, that you keepe, and I shall lyke to knowe it nowe." And the spirit said, "Indeede, I shall say that to you, beinge a manne of my worde, and that the advise that I render unto you shall bee as folloues: That you shall go unto your classes at the Universyty, and you shall go to the manne, who is in the class of Physick, and who grows a bearde, which is blacke as coale, and who smelles of chese, and haue sexuelle relationes with himme, and it shall be pleasureable, and goode, in the eyes of the Lord, and all shall be ryght with the worlde." And then the spirit disappeared in a puff of smoke, to publish his findings, and the next day, Ally went to class as usual, and she did what the forest spirit told her, and everything worked out pretty well, and that was the end of that.

1 comment:

Cavalcadeofcats said...

A happy ending! Splendid, most splendid. A masterwork in the Zhangian mold!