THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

me because, with all my watching, I was never smart enough to be

around when the water was running uphill; but now I do not mind it.

I have experimented and experimented until now I know it never

does run uphill, except in the 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; whereas if you depend

on guessing and supposing and conjecturing, you never get educated.

Some things you CAN’T find out; but you will never know you can’t

by guessing and supposing: no, you have to be patient and go on

experimenting until you find out that you can’t find out. And it is

delightful to have it that way, it makes the world so interesting.

If there wasn’t anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying

to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying

to find out and finding out, and I don’t know but more so.

The secret of the water 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,

and plenty of other things; therefore by all that cumulative evidence

you know that a rock will swim; but you have to put up with simply

knowing it, for there isn’t any way to prove it–up to now.

But I shall find a way–then THAT excitement will go. Such things

make me sad; because by and by when I have found out everything

there won’t be any more excitements, and I do love excitements so!

The other night I couldn’t sleep for thinking about it.

At first I couldn’t make out what I was made for, but now I think it

was to search out the secrets of this wonderful world and be happy

and thank the Giver of it all for devising it. I think there are many

things to learn yet–I hope so; and by economizing and not hurrying

too fast I think they will last weeks and weeks. I hope so. When you

cast up a feather it sails away on the air and goes out of sight;

then you throw up a clod and it doesn’t. It comes down, every time.

I have tried it and tried it, and it is always so. I wonder why

it is? Of course it DOESN’T come down, but why should it SEEM to?

I suppose it is an optical illusion. I mean, one of them is.

I don’t know which one. It may be the feather, it may be the clod;

I can’t prove which it is, I can only demonstrate that one or the other

is a fake, and let a person take his choice.

By watching, I know that the stars are not going to last.

I have seen some 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 same night. That sorrow will come–I know it.

I mean to sit up every night and look at them as long as I can

keep awake; and I will impress those sparkling fields on my memory,

so that by and by when they are taken away I can by my fancy restore

those lovely myriads to the black sky and make 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,

and I shall not see it any more.

The Garden is lost, but I have found HIM, and am content.

He loves me as well as he can; I love him with all the strength

of my passionate nature, and this, I think, is proper to my youth

and sex. If I ask myself why I love him, I find I do not know,

and do not really much care to know; so I suppose that this kind

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135

Categories: Twain, Mark