Page:Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884).djvu/19
The most common form for the construction of a house is five-sided or pentagonal, as in the annexed figure. The two Northern sides
the sole possessor of the truths of Space and of the theory of the introduction of Light from the world of Three Dimensions as if I were the maddest of the mad! But a truce to these painful digressions: let me return to our houses.
Square and triangular houses are not allowed, and for this reason. The angles of a Square (and still more those of an equilateral Triangle) being much more pointed than those of a Pentagon, and the lines of inanimate objects (such as houses) being dimmer than the lines of Men and Women, it follows that there is no little danger lest the points of a square or triangular house residence might do serious injury to an inconsiderate or perhaps absent-minded traveller suddenly running against them: and therefore, as early as the eleventh century of our era, triangular houses were universally forbidden by Law, the only exceptions being fortifications, powder-magazines, barracks, and other state buildings, which it is not desirable that the general public should approach without circumspection.
At this period, square houses were still everywhere permitted, though discouraged by a special tax. But, about three centuries afterwards, the Law decided that in all towns containing a population above ten thousand, the angle of a Pentagon was the smallest house-angle that could be