Introduction The Earth


a parable (April 4, 1847)

1. On a high tower in a city of that time, a duke had a magnificent clock erected. Since the tower was octagonal, he had a dial made on each of the eight faces that naturally fell between the eight corners, so that everyone could notice and see the hours from all possible points and see for themselves at what time of day it was, minute and second.

2. In addition to the most precise division of time from the hour to the second, the clock also showed the monthly date, the position of the moon and also the position of the other planets, as well as the daily duration of light from the rising to the setting of the sun, and in addition also the four seasons - but of course, all these special astronomical data on separate astronomical dials attached under the main clock dial.

3. In addition to all this clock showed on it's dials, it also had an excellent hour and quarter striking mechanism and a very pure chime mechanism - and for all this extremely complicated artificial mechanism, only one single driving weight; in short, this clock was looking in vain for it's equal anywhere in the whole educated world!

4. But there is nothing wrong with that, nor with the fact that it performed such diverse services so extremely correctly; but that all these very different operations were set into the most appropriate motion by only one and the same driving weight - that was the real miracle of this clock.

5. When a stranger came to this city, he first noticed the clock, and he asked the first person, how many mainsprings and weights this clock had. When he was told: "Only one!", he was completely dumbfounded and incredulous and said: "That is impossible! So many and so different operations and only one driving force? No, no, that's not possible, it's impossible!"

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