A CLASSIC THAT SURVIVES
THE OTHER DAY our cousin Sam rushed into my room flourishing a handsome volume containing an English translation of Galileo Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, and with his usual brusqueness began: "Now look here, answer me outright, is this an accurate translation or not?"
"Well," I said, "I never set up as a great Italian scholar, but so far as I can tell it is substantially accurate. Why are you so excited about it?"
"Because," he answered, "you have for years been bullying me about Galileo and about his Dialogues being one of the greatest works of the human mind, and now that I have the book in English I don't want you to wriggle out by throwing the blame on the translators."
"Go ahead and relieve your mind," I said. "Never mind the translators. Have you read the book through?"
"No--but enough of it to indict you for inducing me under false pretenses to part with my hard-earned money and waste my time in addition. Look here! This book pretends to be a series of dialogues, but the speakers are mere puppets. There is as much dramatic interest in it as in a catechism on Euclid."
"Not quite," I said; "but for the peace of the family I grant it."
"Well, then, as to the substance? Does it contain anything____________________