understanding that the remark shall not be taken at par. WE–
worms of the dust! Oh, no, we are not that. Except in fact;
and we do not deal much in fact when we are contemplating ourselves.
As a race, we do certainly love a lord–let him be Croker, or a duke,
or a prize-fighter, or whatever other personage shall chance to be the
head of our group. Many years ago, I saw a greasy youth in overalls
standing by the HERALD office, with an expectant look in his face.
Soon a large man passed out, and gave him a pat on the shoulder.
That was what the boy was waiting for–the large man’s notice.
The pat made him proud and happy, and the exultation inside of him
shone out through his eyes; and his mates were there to see the pat
and envy it and wish they could have that glory. The boy belonged
down cellar in the press-room, the large man was king of the
upper floors, foreman of the composing-room. The light in the boy’s
face was worship, the foreman was his lord, head of his group.
The pat was an accolade. It was as precious to the boy as it would
have been if he had been an aristocrat’s son and the accolade had
been delivered by his sovereign with a sword. The quintessence
of the honor was all there; there was no difference in values;
in truth there was no difference present except an artificial one–
All the human race loves a lord–that is, loves to look upon
or be noticed by the possessor of Power or Conspicuousness;
and sometimes animals, born to better things and higher ideals,
descend to man’s level in this matter. In the Jardin des Plantes
I have see a cat that was so vain of being the personal friend
of an elephant that I was ashamed of her.
EXTRACTS FROM ADAM’S DIARY
MONDAY.–This new creature with the long hair is a good deal
in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about.
I don’t like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay
with the other animals. . . . Cloudy today, wind in the east;
think we shall have rain. . . . WE? Where did I get that word–
the new creature uses it.
TUESDAY.–Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing
on the estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls–
why, I am sure I do not know. Says it LOOKS like Niagara Falls.
That is not a reason, it is mere waywardness and imbecility.
I get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names
everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest.
And always that same pretext is offered–it LOOKS like the thing.
There is a dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it
one sees at a glance that it “looks like a dodo.” It will have to
keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it
does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than
WEDNESDAY.–Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not
have it to myself in peace. The new creature intruded. When I
tried to put it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with,
and wiped it away with the back of its paws, and made a noise
such as some of the other animals make when they are in distress.
I wish it would not talk; it is always talking. That sounds like a
cheap fling at the poor creature, a slur; but I do not mean it so.
I have never heard the human voice before, and any new and strange
sound intruding itself here upon the solemn hush of these dreaming
solitudes offends my ear and seems a false note. And this new sound
is so close to me; it is right at my shoulder, right at my ear,
first on one side and then on the other, and I am used only to sounds
that are more or less distant from me.
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