one of the characters (a peacock even) describes my counterpart hermit (i lack a gazebo) as:
not one of your village simpletons to frighten the ladies, but a savant among idiots, a sage of lunacy.
from page 47: "the unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is."
from page 47 (& other pages also): "a method whereby all the forms of nature must give up their numerical secrets and draw themselves through number alone."
a piece of actual dialogue, somewhat divorced of context:
1: a coincidence then?
2: what is?
1: (reading) 'he died aged two score & seven'.
a not-really-spoilerish spoiler beneath the cut:
of my counterpart hermit:
h: he died aged two score years & seven, hoary as job and meagre as a cabbage-stalk, the proof of his prediction even yet unyielding to his labours for the restitution of hope through good english algebra.
also among the wonderful lines:
"it's wanting to know that makes us matter."
how nice if that were true.