The Time Machine
Amazon Digital Services LLC - KDP Print US, Dec 8, 2018 - 57 pages
I IntroductionThe Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) wasexpounding a recondite matter to us. His pale grey eyes shone andtwinkled, and his usually pale face was flushed and animated. The fireburnt brightly, and the soft radiance of the incandescent lights in thelilies of silver caught the bubbles that flashed and passed in ourglasses. Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us ratherthan submitted to be sat upon, and there was that luxuriousafter-dinner atmosphere, when thought runs gracefully free of thetrammels of precision. And he put it to us in this way--marking thepoints with a lean forefinger--as we sat and lazily admired hisearnestness over this new paradox (as we thought it) and his fecundity."You must follow me carefully. I shall have to controvert one or twoideas that are almost universally accepted. The geometry, for instance,they taught you at school is founded on a misconception.""Is not that rather a large thing to expect us to begin upon?" saidFilby, an argumentative person with red hair."I do not mean to ask you to accept anything without reasonable groundfor it. You will soon admit as much as I need from you. You know ofcourse that a mathematical line, a line of thickness _nil_, has no realexistence. They taught you that? Neither has a mathematical plane.These things are mere abstractions.""That is all right," said the Psychologist."Nor, having only length, breadth, and thickness, can a cube have areal existence.""There I object," said Filby. "Of course a solid body may exist. Allreal things--""So most people think. But wait a moment. Can an _instantaneous_ cubeexist?""Don't follow you," said Filby."Can a cube that does not last for any time at all, have a realexistence?"Filby became pensive. "Clearly," the Time Traveller proceeded, "anyreal body must have extension in _four_ directions: it must haveLength, Breadth, Thickness, and--Duration. But through a naturalinfirmity of the flesh, which I will explain to you in a moment, weincline to overlook this fact. There are really four dimensions, threewhich we call the three planes of Space, and a fourth, Time. There is,however, a tendency to draw an unreal distinction between the formerthree dimensions and the latter, because it happens that ourconsciousness moves intermittently in one direction along the latterfrom the beginning to the end of our lives.""That," said a very young man, making spasmodic efforts to relight hiscigar over the lamp; "that . . . very clear indeed.""Now, it is very remarkable that this is so extensively overlooked,"continued the Time Traveller, with a slight accession of cheerfulness."Really this is what is meant by the Fourth Dimension, though somepeople who talk about the Fourth Dimension do not know they mean it. Itis only another way of looking at Time. _There is no difference betweenTime and any of the three dimensions of Space except that ourconsciousness moves along it_. But some foolish people have got hold ofthe wrong side of that idea. You have all heard what they have to sayabout this Fourth Dimension?"
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