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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbot

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Seven years have elapsed and I am still a prisoner, and
-- if I except the occasional visits of my brother --
debarred from all companionship save that of my jailers.
My brother is one of the best of Squares, just, sensible,
cheerful, and not without fraternal affection; yet I confess
that my weekly interviews, at least in one respect, cause me
the bitterest pain. He was present when the Sphere manifested himself
in the Council Chamber; he saw the Sphere's changing sections;
he heard the explanation of the phenomena then given to the Circles.
Since that time, scarcely a week has passed during seven whole years,
without his hearing from me a repetition of the part I played
in that manifestation, together with ample descriptions
of all the phenomena in Spaceland, and the arguments for the existence
of Solid things derivable from Analogy. Yet -- I take shame
to be forced to confess it -- my brother has not yet grasped
the nature of the Third Dimension, and frankly avows his disbelief
in the existence of a Sphere.

Hence I am absolutely destitute of converts, and, for aught that
I can see, the millennial Revelation has been made to me for nothing.
Prometheus up in Spaceland was bound for bringing down fire
for mortals, but I -- poor Flatland Prometheus -- lie here in prison
for bringing down nothing to my countrymen. Yet I exist in the hope
that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way
to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race
of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.

That is the hope of my brighter moments. Alas, it is not always so.
Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot
honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen,
oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept,
"Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx.
It is part of the martyrdom which I endure for the cause of the Truth
that there are seasons of mental weakness, when Cubes and Spheres
flit away into the background of scarce-possible existences;
when the Land of Three Dimensions seems almost as visionary
as the Land of One or None; nay, when even this hard wall that bars me
from my freedom, these very tablets on which I am writing,
and all the substantial realities of Flatland itself, appear no better
than the offspring of a diseased imagination, or the baseless fabric
of a dream.

| THE END of |
| ______ |
| / / /| ------ / /| /| / /-. |
| /---- / /__| / / /__| / | / / / |
| / /___ / | / /___ / | / |/ /__.-' |
| |
| The baseless fabric of my vision |
| Melted into air into thin air |
| Such stuff as dreams are made of |

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