London November - December 1716
Caroline of Anspach (Princess of Wales), on hearing of the death of her onetime tutor, Leibniz, falls into a troubled sleep. She dreams that she is back in the library in Hanover. In the library, the shades of Leibniz and Electoress Sophia are joined in animated conversation with other dead philosophers...
DANTE (explaining the polysemous readings of a text)
LIEBNIZ & SOPHIA Introduce Caroline to the philosophers.
BOYLE (asks for news of Newton)
LIEBNIZ & BOYLE (argument)
CAROLINE defends both Newton and Liebniz, attempting again a reconcilliation
SOPHIA suggests a test. Liebniz and Boyle should set a problem for Caroline to solve. If she succeeds, Liebniz and Boyle will agree limit their discussions to religion and politics? Also, Sophia will consider Caroline her worthy successor.
BOYLE choses the subject of alchemy.
LIEBNIZ choses the test to be in the form of Dante's polysemous readings.
"Man is nobler for his knowledge|
than for the gold and goods he possesses,
even though these be gained with great good will."
(Ramón Llull, The Hundred Names of God.)
There are, however, a few legends. A wealthy man once asked Euclid to tutor
him in geometry. In the first lesson, Euclid explained that a point hath no
dimension, a line hath only length, two lines intersect at a point, parallel
lines never meet, and a few other elementary definitions and propositions.
When the lesson was finished, the man asked, "Okay, I think I understand all
that. But what can I do with it? How can I make a profit with it?" Euclid
turned to his slave and said, "Give the man a few pennies, because he insists on
profiting from knowledge." |
(From Elmer Elevator's Discount Prep)
Dante's many-senses. Polysemous
"The philosopher's stone allows one to tranform base metal into gold and turn water into the elixir of eternal life"
"Sparkles this stone, as it was wont?" SHAK, Cori. (SOED) (The virtue, honour of a lady?)