It now remains that we find the amount of time of descent through the channel. This we shall obtain from the marvelous property of the pendulum, which is that it makes all its vibrations, large or small, in equal times. This requires, once and for all, that two or three or four patient and curious friends, having noted a fixed star that stands against some fixed marker, taking a pendulum of any length, shall go counting its vibrations during the whole time of return of the fixed star to its original point, and this will be the number of vibrations in 24 hours. From the number of these we can find the number of vibrations of any other pendulums, longer or shorter, at will, so that if for example those counted by us in 24 hours were 234,567, then taking another shorter pendulum with which one counts 800 vibrations while another counts 150 of the longer pendulum, we already have, by the golden rule, the number of vibrations for the whole time of 24 hours; and if we want to know the time of descent through the channel, we can easily find not only the minutes, seconds, and sixtieths of seconds, but beyond that as we please. It is true that we can pass a more exact measure by having observed the flow of water through a thin passage, for by collecting this and having weighed what passes in one minute, for example, then by weighing what passes in the time of descent through the channel we can find the most exact measure and quantity of this time, especially by making use of a balance so precise as to weigh one sixtieth of a grain.
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