Eve's Diary, Complete eBook: Page2

Mark Twain (2004)


  He came running, and stopped and gazed, and said not a word for manyminutes. Then he asked what it was. Ah, it was too bad that he shouldask such a direct question. I had to answer it, of course, and I did.I said it was fire. If it annoyed him that I should know and he mustask; that was not my fault; I had no desire to annoy him. After a pausehe asked:

  "How did it come?"

  Another direct question, and it also had to have a direct answer.

  "I made it."

  The fire was traveling farther and farther off. He went to the edge ofthe burned place and stood looking down, and said:

  "What are these?"

  "Fire-coals."

  He picked up one to examine it, but changed his mind and put it downagain. Then he went away. NOTHING interests him.

  But I was interested. There were ashes, gray and soft and delicate andpretty--I knew what they were at once. And the embers; I knew theembers, too. I found my apples, and raked them out, and was glad; for Iam very young and my appetite is active. But I was disappointed; theywere all burst open and spoiled. Spoiled apparently; but it was not so;they were better than raw ones. Fire is beautiful; some day it will beuseful, I think.

  FRIDAY.--I saw him again, for a moment, last Monday at nightfall, butonly for a moment. I was hoping he would praise me for trying toimprove the estate, for I had meant well and had worked hard. But he wasnot pleased, and turned away and left me. He was also displeased onanother account: I tried once more to persuade him to stop going overthe Falls. That was because the fire had revealed to me a new passion--quite new, and distinctly different from love, grief, and those otherswhich I had already discovered--FEAR. And it is horrible!--I wish I hadnever discovered it; it gives me dark moments, it spoils my happiness,it makes me shiver and tremble and shudder. But I could not persuadehim, for he has not discovered fear yet, and so he could not understandme.

  EXTRACT FROM ADAM'S DIARY

  Perhaps I ought to remember that she is very young, a mere girl and makeallowances. She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world is toher a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can't speak for delightwhen she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it and smell itand talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it. And she iscolor-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage, blue sky;the pearl of the dawn, the purple shadows on the mountains, the goldenislands floating in crimson seas at sunset, the pallid moon sailingthrough the shredded cloud-rack, the star-jewels glittering in thewastes of space--none of them is of any practical value, so far as I cansee, but because they have color and majesty, that is enough for her,and she loses her mind over them. If she could quiet down and keep stilla couple minutes at a time, it would be a reposeful spectacle. In thatcase I think I could enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, forI am coming to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature--lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful; and oncewhen she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder, withher young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes, watching theflight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she was beautiful.

  MONDAY NOON.--If there is anything on the planet that she is notinterested in it is not in my list. There are animals that I amindifferent 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 newone is welcome.

  When the mighty brontosaurus came striding into camp, she regarded it asan acquisition, I considered it a calamity; that is a good sample of thelack of harmony that prevails in our views of things. She wanted todomesticate it, I wanted to make it a present of the homestead and moveout. She believed it could be tamed by kind treatment and would be agood pet; I said a pet twenty-one feet high and eighty-four feet longwould be no proper thing to have about the place, because, even with thebest intentions and without meaning any harm, it could sit down on thehouse and mash it, for any one could see by the look of its eye that itwas absent-minded.

  Still, her heart was set upon having that monster, and she couldn't giveit up. She thought we could start a dairy with it, and wanted me tohelp 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 lookat the scenery. Thirty or forty feet of its tail was lying on theground, like a fallen tree, and she thought she could climb it, but shewas mistaken; when she got to the steep place it was too slick and downshe came, and would have hurt herself but for me.

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

  Tuesday--Wednesday--Thursday--and today: all without seeing him. It isa long time to be alone; still, it is better to be alone than unwelcome.

  FRIDAY--I HAD to have company--I was made for it, I think--so I madefriends with the animals. They are just charming, and they have thekindest disposition and the politest ways; they never look sour, theynever let you feel that you are intruding, they smile at you and wagtheir tail, if they've got one, and they are always ready for a romp oran excursion or anything you want to propose. I think they are perfectgentlemen. All these days we have had such good times, and it hasn'tbeen lonesome for me, ever.

  Lonesome! No, I should say not. Why, there's always a swarm of themaround--sometimes as much as four or five acres--you can't count them;and when you stand on a rock in the midst and look out over the furryexpanse it is so mottled and splashed and gay with color and friskingsheen and sun-flash, and so rippled with stripes, that you might thinkit was a lake, only you know it isn't; and there's storms of sociablebirds, and hurricanes of whirring wings; and when the sun strikes allthat feathery commotion, you have a blazing up of all the colors you canthink of, enough to put your eyes out.

  We have made long excursions, and I have seen a great deal of the world;almost all of it, I think; and so I am the first traveler, and the onlyone. When we are on the march, it is an imposing sight--there's nothinglike it anywhere. For comfort I ride a tiger or a leopard, because itis soft and has a round back that fits me, and because they are suchpretty animals; but for long distance or for scenery I ride theelephant. He hoists me up with his trunk, but I can get off myself;when we are ready to camp, he sits and I slide down the back way.

  The birds and animals are all friendly to each other, and there are nodisputes about anything. They all talk, and they all talk to me, but itmust be a foreign language, for I cannot make out a word they say; yetthey often understand me when I talk back, particularly the dog and theelephant. It makes me ashamed. It shows that they are brighter than Iam, for I want to be the principal Experiment myself--and I intend tobe, too.

  I have learned a number of things, and am educated, now, but I wasn't atfirst. I was ignorant at first. At first it used to vex me because,with all my watching, I was never smart enough to be around when thewater was running uphill; but now I do not mind it. I have experimentedand experimented until now I know it never does run uphill, except inthe dark. I know it does in the dark, because the pool never goes dry,which it would, of course, if the water didn't come back in the night.It is best to prove things by actual experiment; then you KNOW; whereasif you depend on guessing and supposing and conjecturing, you never geteducated.

  Some things you CAN'T find out; but you will never know you can't byguessing and supposing: no, you have to be patient and go onexperimenting until you f
ind out that you can't find out. And it isdelightful to have it that way, it makes the world so interesting. Ifthere wasn't anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying tofind out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to findout and finding out, and I don't know but more so. The secret of thewater was a treasure until I GOT it; then the excitement all went away,and I recognized a sense of loss.

  By experiment I know that wood swims, and dry leaves, and feathers, andplenty of other things; therefore by all that cumulative evidence youknow that a rock will swim; but you have to put up with simply knowingit, for there isn't any way to prove it--up to now. But I shall find away--then THAT excitement will go. Such things make me sad; because byand by when I have found out everything there won't be any moreexcitements, and I do love excitements so! The other night I couldn'tsleep for thinking about it.

  At first I couldn't make out what I was made for, but now I think it wasto search out the secrets of this wonderful world and be happy and thankthe Giver of it all for devising it. I think there are many things tolearn yet--I hope so; and by economizing and not hurrying too fast Ithink they will last weeks and weeks. I hope so. When you cast up afeather it sails away on the air and goes out of sight; then you throwup a clod and it doesn't. It comes down, every time. I have tried it andtried it, and it is always so. I wonder why it is? Of course itDOESN'T come down, but why should it SEEM to? I suppose it is an opticalillusion. I mean, one of them is. I don't know which one. It may bethe feather, it may be the clod; I can't prove which it is, I can onlydemonstrate that one or the other is a fake, and let a person take hischoice.

  By watching, I know that the stars are not going to last. I have seensome of the best ones melt and run down the sky. Since one can melt,they can all melt; since they can all melt, they can all melt the samenight. That sorrow will come--I know it. I mean to sit up every nightand look at them as long as I can keep awake; and I will impress thosesparkling fields on my memory, so that by and by when they are takenaway I can by my fancy restore those lovely myriads to the black sky andmake them sparkle again, and double them by the blur of my tears.

  After the Fall

  When I look back, the Garden is a dream to me. It was beautiful,surpassingly beautiful, enchantingly beautiful; and now it is lost, andI shall not see it any more.

  The Garden is lost, but I have found HIM, and am content. He loves me aswell as he can; I love him with all the strength of my passionatenature, and this, I think, is proper to my youth and sex. If I askmyself why I love him, I find I do not know, and do not really much careto know; so I suppose that this kind of love is not a product ofreasoning and statistics, like one's love for other reptiles andanimals. I think that this must be so. I love certain birds because oftheir song; but I do not love Adam on account of his singing--no, it isnot that; the more he sings the more I do not get reconciled to it. YetI ask him to sing, because I wish to learn to like everything he isinterested in. I am sure I can learn, because at first I could not standit, but now I can. It sours the milk, but it doesn't matter; I can getused to that kind of milk.

  It is not on account of his brightness that I love him--no, it is notthat. He is not to blame for his brightness, such as it is, for he didnot make it himself; he is as God make him, and that is sufficient.There was a wise purpose in it, THAT I know. In time it will develop,though I think it will not be sudden; and besides, there is no hurry; heis well enough just as he is.

  It is not on account of his gracious and considerate ways and hisdelicacy that I love him. No, he has lacks in this regard, but he iswell enough just so, and is improving.

  It is not on account of his industry that I love him--no, it is notthat. I think he has it in him, and I do not know why he conceals itfrom me. It is my only pain. Otherwise he is frank and open with me,now. I am sure he keeps nothing from me but this. It grieves me that heshould have a secret from me, and sometimes it spoils my sleep, thinkingof it, but I will put it out of my mind; it shall not trouble myhappiness, which is otherwise full to overflowing.

  It is not on account of his education that I love him--no, it is notthat. He is self-educated, and does really know a multitude of things,but they are not so.

  It is not on account of his chivalry that I love him--no, it is notthat. He told on me, but I do not blame him; it is a peculiarity of sex,I think, and he did not make his sex. Of course I would not have toldon him, I would have perished first; but that is a peculiarity of sex,too, and I do not take credit for it, for I did not make my sex.

  Then why is it that I love him? MERELY BECAUSE HE IS MASCULINE, Ithink.

  At bottom he is good, and I love him for that, but I could love himwithout it. If he should beat me and abuse me, I should go on lovinghim. I know it. It is a matter of sex, I think.

  He is strong and handsome, and I love him for that, and I admire him andam proud of him, but I could love him without those qualities. If hewere plain, I should love him; if he were a wreck, I should love him;and I would work for him, and slave over him, and pray for him, andwatch by his bedside until I died.

  Yes, I think I love him merely because he is MINE and is MASCULINE.There is no other reason, I suppose. And so I think it is as I firstsaid: that this kind of love is not a product of reasonings andstatistics. It just COMES--none knows whence--and cannot explainitself. And doesn't need to.

  It is what I think. But I am only a girl, the first that has examinedthis matter, and it may turn out that in my ignorance and inexperience Ihave not got it right.

  Forty Years Later

  It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this lifetogether--a longing which shall never perish from the earth, but shallhave place in the heart of every wife that loves, until the end of time;and it shall be called by my name.

  But if one of us must go first, it is my prayer that it shall be I; forhe is strong, I am weak, I am not so necessary to him as he is to me--life without him would not be life; how could I endure it? This prayeris also immortal, and will not cease from being offered up while my racecontinues. I am the first wife; and in the last wife I shall berepeated.

  At Eve's Grave

  ADAM: Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden.

 
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