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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 03 | volume I | June-July, 1998



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 03June-July, 1998

The Experiment of Naum Manivilov

p. 1
Venko Andonovski

That night the bed would not receive Isaac for rest. It rejected him from under the covers, and the next moment the great scientist stood barefoot in his night shirt holding a half-full oil lamp in his hand. He searched for something in the pocket of his neatly folded clothes by the bed and then, murmuring, started for the lab in the basement of the cold castle.
    He was trembling with cold; however, his intention was to test an intuition that would not let him rest at ease. He could imagine the envious, flushed face of General Moren, crying: “Impossible! Black magic! A devilish device! The devil itself!” The light of the lamp descended with him, dancing with the shadows on the stone walls and stairs; then Isaac, still murmuring to himself, stopped before a wooden door with a heavy padlock and rummaged in the pocket of his night shirt for the keys. He unlocked the door and entered, slamming it behind him as if fearing that the miracle would fly out, like a bird, taking with it the wager to the pompous physicist, a toady with the rank of a general.
    The next morning, the air in Isaac Newton’s guest room was suffocating. The guests, nobles and lovers of science and the arts, created a din in the parlour while dipping snuff. They talked vividly in small groups, eagerly anticipating what was to be revealed – the latest discovery of the great Isaac. At any moment they expected the appearance of their host from behind the curtain that divided the hallway from the parlor.
    And surely, soon a servant came to announce the genius, who appeared, followed by two assistants. He entered with dignity and ease, wearing a well-groomed wig and a festive costume, beaming. In one of his hands he held a long glass tube closed with a metal lid on one end. He proceeded to the middle of the room, laid carefully the glass tube in the outstretched hands of one of his assistants, and ceremoniously clapped his hands several times in the air. The din ceased.
    “Gentlemen,” he said. “We are gathered here to witness the fact that the stone and the bird are not at all different as is commonly assumed. Some time ago, General Moren and I were discussing poetry wherein a stone can become a bird and a bird a stone. We wagered that this fact can

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