explainitself. And doesn't need to.
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 find 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
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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