Once upon a time a knight went to consult a
interview had to do with an affair of the heart; but after the man of
magic had foretold the most favourable issues, and concocted a
love-potion that was certain to help his visitor's cause, the
conversation drifted on to occult subjects generally.
"And art thou learned also in the magic of
numbers?" asked the
"Show me but one sample of thy wit in these matters."
The old wizard took five blocks bearing numbers,
them on a
shelf, apparently at random, so that they stood in the order 41096, as
shown in our illustration.
He then took in his hands an 8 and a 3, and
held them together to form the number 83.
"Sir Knight, tell me," said the wizard, "canst
into the other in thy mind?"
"Nay, of a truth," the good knight replied.
should need to
upon the task with pen and scrip."
"Yet mark ye how right easy a thing it is to a man
the lore of
far Araby, who knoweth all the magic that is hid in the philosophy of
The wizard simply placed the 3 next to the 4 on
the shelf, and
the 8 at
the other end. It will be found that this gives the answer quite
Very curious, is it not? How many other
multipliers can you find that will produce the same effect?
just as many blocks as you like on the shelf, bearing any figures you