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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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E. A. Poe, The source of all motion

From The power of words

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

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      AGATHOS. Let me endeavor, my Oinos, to lead you, step by step, to the conception I intend. You are well aware that, as no thought can perish, so no act is without infinite result. We moved our hands, for example, when we were dwellers on the earth, and, in so doing, gave vibration to the atmosphere which engirdled it. This vibration was indefinitely extended, till it gave impulse to every particle of the earth's air, which thenceforward, and for ever, was actuated by the one movement of the hand. This fact the mathematicians of our globe well knew. They made the special effects, indeed, wrought in the fluid by special impulses, the subject of exact calculation- so that it became easy to determine in what precise period an impulse of given extent would engirdle the orb, and impress (for ever) every atom of the atmosphere circumambient. Retrograding, they found no difficulty, from a given effect, under given conditions, in determining the value of the original impulse. Now the mathematicians who saw that the results of any given impulse were absolutely endless- and who saw that a portion of these results were accurately traceable through the agency of algebraic analysis- who saw, too, the facility of the retrogradation- these men saw, at the same time, that this species of analysis itself, had within itself a capacity for indefinite progress- that there were no bounds conceivable to its advancement and applicability, except within the intellect of him who advanced or applied it. But at this point our mathematicians paused.

OINOS. And why, Agathos, should they have proceeded?

AGATHOS. Because there were some considerations of deep interest beyond. It was deducible from what they knew, that to a being of infinite understanding- one to whom the perfection of the algebraic analysis lay unfolded- there could be no difficulty in tracing every impulse given the air- and the ether through the air- to the remotest consequences at any even infinitely remote epoch of time. It is indeed demonstrable that every such impulse given the air, must, in the end, impress every individual thing that exists within the universe;- and the being of infinite understanding- the being whom we have imagined- might trace the remote undulations of the impulse- trace them upward and onward in their influences upon all particles of an matter- upward and onward for ever in their modifications of old forms- or, in other words, in their creation of new- until he found them reflected- unimpressive at last- back from the throne of the Godhead. And not only could such a thing do this, but at any epoch, should a given result be afforded him- should one of these numberless comets, for example, be presented to his inspection- he could have no difficulty in determining, by the analytic retrogradation, to what original impulse it was due. This power of retrogradation in its absolute fulness and perfection- this faculty of referring at all epochs, all effects to all causes- is of course the prerogative of the Deity alone- but in every variety of degree, short of the absolute perfection, is the power itself exercised by the whole host of the Angelic intelligences.

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   Cf. Gennadius Scholarius, Words are the fathers of all Good.

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