The Impossible Specimenby Will Santino
ABOUT THE ART
"The Impossible Specimen is an Ocular Inebriate. It radiates a stupendous Pestilence that, when seen by Ratt or Catt or Man or Grasshopper, infects the Host with a Disease of Absurdity; symptoms include crying and laughing and asking questions to mirrors, sudden song and revelations, synaesthesia, oscillopsia, the belief that Church Bells have Conversations, Etc., Etc. Thus, it is impossible for the Impossible Specimen to be fully seen. In its short residence (1661-1666) beneathe the City of London, five Natural Philosophers, on commission from the Royal Society, attempted to depict the Impossible Specimen. None finished; three died. The image before you was drawn by August Bellweather, the Earl of Umpteenth. It took four days. Before he died, Bellweather recited his memories backwards, painted himself blue, bowed before the Great Glass Tank, painted himself red, danced a tragic Mazurka and produced at odd intervals a kind of Catamount's wail. He died a sweaty purple. Blindfolded Gonfaloniers, whispering platitudes, carried him away and removed the Canvass to Trinity College, where Maximilian Van Duult and Robert Hooke and the Reverend Wilkins studied the picture and, in order to mourn another dead Artist, ate dandelions soaked in Blessed Wine for by now, as you too may be, Everyone was Infected with the Wonderful Plague."
- Rozologue Bagumphious IIV, Head Toad of the Great Black Swamp, translated by Sir Oooleyipsire, premier Translator of the Toads.