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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 32: 315-326 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 32: 315-326

Page 315

"Your Surveyors were Twins,-" "-were they not, Uncle?"
Something to think about as far as Mason & Dixon as "Twins"; see this LINK Notice the "keep this world in order" part, as well as the "Who are we? Why are we here?" (see page 347).

Page 317

in the design of the Remontoire
In mechanical horology, a remontoire, (from the French remonter, meaning 'to wind') is a small secondary source of power, a weight or spring, which runs the timekeeping mechanism and is itself periodically rewound by the timepiece's main power source, such as a mainspring. In precision clocks and watches it is often used to place the source of power closer to the escapement thereby increasing the accuracy by evening out variations in drive force caused by unevenness of the friction in the geartrain. In spring-driven precision clocks a gravity remontoire is often used to replace the uneven force delivered by the mainspring running down by the more constant force of gravity acting on a weight. In turret clocks it serves to separate the large forces needed to drive the hands from the modest forces needed to drive the escapement which keeps the pendulum swinging. A remontoir should not be confused with a maintaining power spring, which is used only to keep the timepiece going while it is being wound. From WIKI

Prandium gratis non est
There is no such thing as a free lunch

"Power may be borrow'd, as needed, against repayment dates deferrable indefinitely."
The watch runs on some major credit

Page 318

Compound Interest
Compound interest was once regarded as the worst kind of usury, and was severely condemned by Roman law, as well as the common laws of many other countries. Richard Witt's book Arithmeticall Questions, published in 1613, was a landmark in the history of compound interest. It was wholly devoted to the subject (previously called anatocism), whereas previous writers had usually treated compound interest briefly in just one chapter in a mathematical textbook. Witt's book gave tables based on 10% (the then maximum rate of interest allowable on loans) and on other rates for different purposes, such as the valuation of property leases. Witt was a London mathematical practitioner and his book is notable for its clarity of expression, depth of insight and accuracy of calculation, with 124 worked examples. From WIKI

Mechanics, or, The Doctrine of Motion
Link to Emerson's book HERE

Black Head
Black Head is a headland on the south coast of England, to the east of Weymouth in Dorset. It lies on the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage landscape known for its geology. Fossils can be found in the area. From WIKI

Page 319

Conservation of Energy
The law of conservation of energy states that the total amount of energy in a closed system remains constant. A consequence of this law is that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. The only thing that can happen with energy in a closed system is that it can change form, for instance kinetic energy can become thermal energy... Another consequence of this law is that perpetual motion machines can only work perpetually if they deliver no energy to their surroundings (as for instance, the solar system, which can only run so uniformly because the planets do no 'work'). If such machines produce more energy than is put into them, they must lose mass and thus eventually disappear over perpetual time, and are therefore impossible. From WIKI

Principia
The Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy", often Principia or Principia Mathematica for short, is a work in three books by Isaac Newton, first published on 5 July 1687. Newton also published two further editions, the second in 1713, and the third in 1726. The Principia contains the statement of Newton's laws of motion forming the foundation of classical mechanics, as well as his law of universal gravitation and a derivation of Kepler's laws for the motion of the planets (which were first obtained empirically). The Principia is "justly regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science". From WIKI

the Friendly Isles
The world also knows the islands of Tonga as the Friendly Islands because of the friendly reception accorded to Captain Cook on his first visit in 1773. He happened to arrive at the time of the ʻinasi festival, the yearly donation of the first fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga, the islands' paramount chief, and received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, in reality the chiefs had wanted to kill Cook during the gathering, but were unable to agree on a plan. From WIKI

Page 320

Negrito Toko
Pygmyish person, but from Asia, specifically Toko (or Donggang). See WIKI

Page 321

Shagreen
Shagreen is a type of leather or rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin, formerly made from a horse's back or that of an onager (wild ass), and typically dyed green. The word derives from the French chagrin (sorrow) which in turn is borrowed from Turkish sağrı "the back of a horse". The roughness of texture led to the French meaning of displeasure or ill-humor. From WIKI

Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus, 23 May [O.S. 12 May] 1707 – 10 January 1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. From WIKI

R.C.
Local land-surveyor employed "upon the Tangent Enigma" - but what does R.C. stand for? 'Roman Catholic' and 'Robinson Crusoe' seem unlikely. Given the character's temperament, Pynchon is likely making a pun on 'arsey' (from 'arse', the buttocks, forerunner and British equivalent of US 'ass') which Chambers dictionary gives as meaning 'irritable, bad tempered, argumentative'.

Mens Rea
Law term- a criminal intent

Page 322

Tallow-Dip
Candle made from tallow (a by-product of beef-fat rendering)

R.C. is caught in the light... just as the last bit of Gold Chain, suck'd between his Lips like a Chinese Noodle, disappears... "There wasn't Time."
Reference and retelling of the legend of the "Ticking Stone" (where the Dutch fishwoman's chubby baby eats Dixon's chronometer) - You can read it HERE - from "Tales of the Chesapeake" by George Alfred Townsend - link from The Mason & Dixon Line Preservation Partnership.

Also, for what it's worth, brings to mind the crocodile (Tick-Tock) that swallows the clock in Peter Pan, see WIKI.

Page 323

Sir Cloudsley Shovell
Sir Cloudesley Shovell (c. November, 1650 – 22 October or 23 October 1707), English admiral, was baptised at Cockthorpe in Norfolk, in 1650. Rising through the officer ranks he became a popular British hero, whose celebrated naval career was brought to an end in a disastrous shipwreck in the Isles of Scilly... The disastrous wrecking of the fleet in home waters brought great consternation to the nation. Clearly, something better than dead reckoning was needed to navigate in dangerous waters. This led to the Longitude Act in 1714 which offered a large prize for anyone who could find a method of determining longitude accurately at sea. From WIKI

Act of Sequestration
Sequestration is the act of removing, separating or seizing anything from the possession of its owner under process of law for the benefit of creditors or the state. From WIKI

"the Delaware Triangle"... "The Wedge"
The Wedge (or Delaware Wedge) is a small tract of land along the border between Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Well-intentioned efforts to precisely define colonial boundaries inadvertently created this geopolitical anomaly. This was due, primarily, to the shortcomings of contemporary surveying techniques and the resulting geographical vagaries. It is bounded on the north by an eastern extension of the east-west portion of the Mason-Dixon Line, on the west by the north-south portion of the Mason-Dixon line, and on the southeast by the New Castle, Delaware Twelve-Mile Circle. Ownership of this land was in dispute until 1921, when Delaware's ownership was confirmed by Pennsylvania. The crossroads community of McClellandville, Delaware, lies within the area today. From WIKI

Page 324

"Snoring's one thing, R.C... but that Ticking..."
See page 322.

Page 325

Chirurgickal Extraction
Chirurgical is an archaic term for "surgical"

Annotation Index

One:
Latitudes and Departures

1: 5-11, 2: 12-13, 3: 14-29, 4: 30-41, 5: 42-46, 6: 47-57, 7: 58-76, 8: 77-86, 9: 87-93, 10: 94-104, 11: 105-115, 12: 116-124, 13: 125-145, 14: 146-157, 15: 158-166, 16: 167-174, 17: 175-182, 18: 183-189, 19: 190-198, 20: 199-206, 21: 207-214, 22: 215-227, 23: 228-237, 24: 238-245, 25: 245-253


Two:
America

26: 257-265, 27: 266-274, 28: 275-288, 29: 289-295, 30: 296-301, 31: 302-314, 32: 315-326, 33: 327-340, 34: 341-348, 35: 349-361, 36: 362-370, 37: 371-381, 38: 382-390, 39: 391-398, 40: 399-409, 41: 410-421, 42: 422-435, 43: 436-439, 44: 440-447, 45: 448-451, 46: 452-459, 47: 460-465, 48: 466-475, 49: 476-483, 50: 484-490, 51: 491-498, 52: 499-510, 53: 511-524, 54: 525-541, 55: 542-553, 56: 554-561, 57: 562-569, 58: 570-574, 59: 575-584, 60: 585-596, 61: 597-607, 62: 608-617, 63: 618-622, 64: 623-628, 65: 629-632, 66: 633-645, 67: 646-657, 68: 658-664, 69: 665-677, 70: 678-686, 71: 687-693, 72: 694-705, 73: 706-713

Three:
Last Transit

74: 717-732, 75: 733-743, 76: 744-748, 77: 749-757, 78: 758-773

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