the city of London a certain scholar that is learned in astrology
other strange arts.
Some few days gone he did bring unto me a piece of
wood that had three feet in length, one foot in breadth and one foot in
depth, and did desire that it be carved and made into the pillar that
do now behold.
Also did he promise certain payment for every cubic inch
of wood cut away by the carving thereof.
I did at first weigh the block, and found it truly to
pounds, whereas the pillar doth now weigh but twenty pounds.
Of a truth
have therefore cut away one cubic foot (which is to say one-third) of
three cubic feet of the block; but this scholar withal doth hold that
payment may not thus be fairly made by weight, since the heart of the
block may be heavier, or perchance may be more light, than the
then may I with ease satisfy the scholar as to the quantity of wood
that hath been cut away?"
at first sight looks a difficult
but it is so absurdly simple that the method employed by the carpenter
should be known to everybody to-day, for it is a very useful little