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May 30, 2007

Wherever she was, there was Eden

Meryl Yourish posts a passage from Mark Twains' "Extracts from Adam's & Eve's Diaries" (via Instapundit). I have some vaguely clever observations to make about Creationism but after reading the last line of Eve's Diary I have decided they will keep. Seem to have got something stuck in my eye.

MONDAY NOON.–If there is anything on the planet that she is not interested in it is not in my list. There are animals that I am indifferent to, but it is not so with her. She has no discrimination, she takes to all of them, she thinks they are all treasures, every new one is welcome.

When the mighty brontosaurus came striding into camp, she regarded it as an acquisition, I considered it a calamity; that is a good sample of the lack of harmony that prevails in our views of things. She wanted to domesticate it, I wanted to make it a present of the homestead and move out. She believed it could be tamed by kind treatment and would be a good pet; I said a pet twenty-one feet high and eight-four feet long would be no proper thing to have about the place, because, even with the best intentions and without meaning any harm, it could sit down on the house and mash it, for any one could see by the look of its eye that it was absent-minded.

Still, her heart was set upon having that monster, and she couldn't give it up. She thought we could start a dairy with it, and wanted me to help milk it; but I wouldn't; it was too risky. The sex wasn't right, and we hadn't any ladder anyway. Then she wanted to ride it, and look at the scenery. Thirty or forty feet of its tail was lying on the ground, like a fallen tree, and she thought she could climb it, but she was mistaken; when she got to the steep place it was too slick and down she came, and would have hurt herself but for me.

Was she satisfied now? No. Nothing ever satisfies her but demonstration; untested theories are not in her line, and she won't have them. It is the right spirit, I concede it; it attracts me; I feel the influence of it; if I were with her more I think I should take it up myself. Well, she had one theory remaining about this colossus: she thought that if we could tame it and make him friendly we could stand in the river and use him for a bridge. It turned out that he was already plenty tame enough–at least as far as she was concerned– so she tried her theory, but it failed: every time she got him properly placed in the river and went ashore to cross over him, he came out and followed her around like a pet mountain. Like the other animals. They all do that.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 30, 2007 07:03 AM


Yeah, that's one of my all-time favorite Mark Twain lines.

The Diary of Adam and Eve happens to be one of my favorite of his short stories, too.

For sheer humor, though, the McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm or How I Edited An Agricultural Paper cannot be beat.

Posted by: Meryl Yourish [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2007 04:53 PM