# dialog

• Represents conversation

• Uses `dt` and `dd` elements for speaker and spoken text respectively

``````<dialog>
<dt>Simplicius </dt>
<dd>According to the straight line AF,
and not according to the curve, such being already excluded
for such a use.</dd>

<dt>Sagredo </dt>
<dd>But I should take neither of them,
seeing that the straight line AF runs obliquely. I should
draw a line perpendicular to CD, for this would seem to me
to be the shortest, as well as being unique among the
infinite number of longer and unequal ones which may be
drawn from the point A to every other point of the opposite
line CD. </dd>

<dt>Salviati </dt>
<dd><p> Your choice and the reason you
adduce for it seem to me most excellent. So now we have it
that the first dimension is determined by a straight line;
the second (namely, breadth) by another straight line, and
not only straight, but at right angles to that which
determines the length. Thus we have defined the two
dimensions of a surface; that is, length and breadth. </p>

<p> But suppose you had to determine a height -- for
example, how high this platform is from the pavement down
below there. Seeing that from any point in the platform we
may draw infinite lines, curved or straight, and all of
different lengths, to the infinite points of the pavement
below, which of all these lines would you make use of? </p>
</dd>

<dt>Sagredo </dt>
<dd>I would fasten a string to the
platform and, by hanging a plummet from it, would let it
freely stretch till it reached very near to the pavement;
the length of such a string being the straightest and
shortest of all the lines that could possibly be drawn from
the same point to the pavement, I should say that it was the
true height in this case.</dd>

<dt>Salviati</dt>
<dd>Very good. And if, from the point on
the pavement indicated by this hanging string (taking the
pavement to be level and not inclined), you should produce
two other straight lines, one for the length and the other
for the breadth of the surface of the pavement, what angles
would they make with the thread?</dd>

<dt>Sagredo </dt>
<dd>They would surely meet at right
angles, since the string faIls perpendicularly and the
pavement is quite flat and level.</dd>
</dialog>

``````
• Translated by Stillman Drake

• Annotated and Condensed by S. E. Sciortino