Thursday, March 20, 2008
Fit Two, Page 15, Panel 1 … let him that hath understanding count the number of the Snark
"We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days,
(Seven days to the week I allow),
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
We have never beheld till now!
"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks.
We have arrived now at the very omnium of Fit the Second, that critical portion of The Hunting of the Snark in which the author describes in detail the characteristics of the genus Snark. To explicate these crypto-stigmata, the Bellman has resorted to the very respectable Victorian expedient of the illustrated public lecture. His authoritarian nature naturally gravitates towards such methods of imparting knowledge to the working classes; he also favors the use of a magic lantern to illuminate the more difficult concepts of his lecture with the appropriate visual figures. These will become apparent in the following panels.
But we must turn now to a bit of textual analysis which will pique the interest of all Snarkologists. The Bellman’s preamble (which actually commenced in last week’s panel) mentions in passing three numbers. The numbers 7 and 5 appear on lines 54 and 58, which, in addition to his earlier mention of the number 4 on line 50 in the previous stanza, allows us (nay, compels us!) to perform the following simple Clochetic equation :
We now employ the number 42 (whose Snarkian significance needs no further explication to the illuminati who frequent these parts):
As predicted by the Clochetic Rule of Three, the entirety of the Bellman’s introductory remarks concerning the qualities of the Snark has also served as a cryptic verification of the truth value of 42 by multiplying that auspicious number precisely three times — in an infinite and irrational repetition, to boot! QED and bob’s your uncle.
In closing these remarks, I would like to thank Doug Howick and nnyhav, whose neologisms for a group of Snarks were, respectively : indefectability and exultation. I find both suggestions maddeningly perfect and thus, truly Snarkian.