Joined: Jan. 2006
|the pocketwatch on the moor alerts no one at its two correct moments. |
Knowing BWE, there's probably a deeper meaning that I'm missing, but actually the broken watch does "alert" observers as to its two correct moments (we're hearkening back to Paley, so we're talking an old-fashioned analog watch with numbers up to twelve and hands): whatever time the poor watch broke at, and is displayed in "frozen" form on its face for all to see, will be the "correct" time at that self-same displayed time both morning and evening (p.m. and a.m., unless the watch stopped right at twelve, in which case, noon and midnight).
Of course, you'd only know when those times came around if you had another, unbroken chronometer. Which maybe is what BWE meant...? Hmmm.
Anyway, it's those two times which would then be the best of times (because the watch is then, transitorily, correct) and the worst of times (because the watch is still broken, and serves no practical purpose as a chronometer, though it might still make an excellent paperweight, keepsake, reflecting device, or pellet for a slingshot...
In short, even poorly-adapted items, viewed from one context, may be pre- or -ex-apted (or even well-adapted, as for example the watch crystal might be for use as a pince-nez...) for some other context.