SATURDAY.--I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday.
That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was
a day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I
should remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen,
and that I was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful now,
and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it.
It will be best to start right and not let the record get confused,
for some instinct tells me that these details are going to be
important to the historian some day. For I feel like an experiment,
I feel exactly like an experiment; it would be impossible for a person
to feel more like an experiment than I do, and so I am coming to feel
convinced that that is what I AM--an experiment; just an experiment,
and nothing more.
Then if I am an experiment, am I the whole of it? No, I think not;
I think the rest of it is part of it. I am the main part of it,
but I think the rest of it has its share in the matter. Is my
position assured, or do I have to watch it and take care of it?
The latter, perhaps. Some instinct tells me that eternal vigilance
is the price of supremacy. [That is a good phrase, I think, for one
Everything looks better today than it did yesterday. In the rush of
finishing up yesterday, the mountains were left in a ragged condition,
and some of the plains were so cluttered with rubbish and remnants
that the aspects were quite distressing. Noble and beautiful works
of art should not be subjected to haste; and this majestic new world
is indeed a most noble and beautiful work. And certainly marvelously
near to being perfect, notwithstanding the shortness of the time.
There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others,
but that can be remedied presently, no doubt. The moon got
loose last night, and slid down and fell out of the scheme--
a very great loss; it breaks my heart to think of it. There isn't
another thing among the ornaments and decorations that is comparable
to it for beauty and finish. It should have been fastened better.
If we can only get it back again--
But of course there is no telling where it went to. And besides,
whoever gets it will hide it; I know it because I would do it myself.
I believe I can be honest in all other matters, but I already
begin to realize that the core and center of my nature is love
of the beautiful, a passion for the beautiful, and that it would
not be safe to trust me with a moon that belonged to another person
and that person didn't know I had it. I could give up a moon that I
found in the daytime, because I should be afraid some one was looking;
but if I found it in the dark, I am sure I should find some kind
of an excuse for not saying anything about it. For I do love moons,
they are so pretty and so romantic. I wish we had five or six;
I would never go to bed; I should never get tired lying on the moss-bank
and looking up at them.
Stars are good, too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair.
But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far
off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed,
last night, I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach,
which astonished me; then I tried clods till I was all tired out,
but I never got one. It was because I am left-handed and cannot
throw good. Even when I aimed at the one I wasn't after I
couldn't hit the other one, though I did make some close shots,
for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into the midst of
the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them,
and if I could have held out a little longer maybe I could have
So I cried a little, which was natural, I suppose, for one of my age,
and after I was rested I got a basket and started for a place on the
extreme rim of the circle, where the stars were close to the ground
and I could get them with my hands, which would be better, anyway,
because I could gather them tenderly then, and not break them.
But it was farther than I thought, and at last I had go give it up;
I was so tired I couldn't drag my feet another step; and besides,
they were sore and hurt me very much.
I couldn't get back home; it was too far and turning cold;
but I found some tigers and nestled in among them and was most
adorably comfortable, and their breath was sweet and pleasant,
because they live on strawberries. I had never seen a tiger before,
but I knew them in a minute by the stripes. If I could have one
of those skins, it would make a lovely gown.
Today I am getting better ideas about distances. I was so eager
to get hold of every pretty thing that I giddily grabbed for it,
sometimes when it was too far off, and sometimes when it was but
six inches away but seemed a foot--alas, with thorns between!
I learned a lesson; also I made an axiom, all out of my own head--
my very first one; THE SCRATCHED EXPERIMENT SHUNS THE THORN.
I think it is a very good one for one so young.
I followed the other Experiment around, yesterday afternoon,
at a distance, to see what it might be for, if I could. But I was
not able to make out. I think it is a man. I had never seen a man,
but it looked like one, and I feel sure that that is what it is.
I realize that I feel more curiosity about it than about any
of the other reptiles. If it is a reptile, and I suppose it is;
for it has frowzy hair and blue eyes, and looks like a reptile.
It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot; when it stands, it spreads
itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is a reptile, though it may
I was afraid of it at first, and started to run every time it
turned around, for I thought it was going to chase me; but by
and by I found it was only trying to get away, so after that I
was not timid any more, but tracked it along, several hours,
about twenty yards behind, which made it nervous and unhappy.
At last it was a good deal worried, and climbed a tree. I waited
a good while, then gave it up and went home.
Today the same thing over. I've got it up the tree again.
SUNDAY.--It is up there yet. Resting, apparently. But that is
a subterfuge: Sunday isn't the day of rest; Saturday is appointed
for that. It looks to me like a creature that is more interested
in resting than it anything else. It would tire me to rest so much.
It tires me just to sit around and watch the tree. I do wonder
what it is for; I never see it do anything.
They returned the moon last night, and I was SO happy! I think
it is very honest of them. It slid down and fell off again,
but I was not distressed; there is no need to worry when one has
that kind of neighbors; they will fetch it back. I wish I could
do something to show my appreciation. I would like to send them
some stars, for we have more than we can use. I mean I, not we,
for I can see that the reptile cares nothing for such things.
It has low tastes, and is not kind. When I went there yesterday
evening in the gloaming it had crept down and was trying to catch
the little speckled fishes that play in the pool, and I had
to clod it to make it go up the tree again and let them alone.
I wonder if THAT is what it is for? Hasn't it any heart?
Hasn't it any compassion for those little creature? Can it be
that it was designed and manufactured for such ungentle work?
It has the look of it. One of the clods took it back of the ear,
and it used language. It gave me a thrill, for it was the first time I
had ever heard speech, except my own. I did not understand the words,
but they seemed expressive.
When I found it could talk I felt a new interest in it, for I
love to talk; I talk, all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am
very interesting, but if I had another to talk to I could be twice
as interesting, and would never stop, if desired.
If this reptile is a man, it isn't an IT, is it? That wouldn't
be grammatical, would it? I think it would be HE. I think so.
In that case one would parse it thus: nominative, HE; dative, HIM;
possessive, HIS'N. Well, I will consider it a man and call it he
until it turns out to be something else. This will be handier
than having so many uncertainties.
NEXT WEEK SUNDAY.--All the week I tagged around after him and tried
to get acquainted. I had to do the talking, because he was shy,
but I didn't mind it. He seemed pleased to have me around, and I
used the sociable "we" a good deal, because it seemed to flatter him
to be included.
WEDNESDAY.--We are getting along very well indeed, now, and getting
better and better acquainted. He does not try to avoid me any more,
which is a good sign, and shows that he likes to have me with him.
That pleases me, and I study to be useful to him in every way I can,
so as to increase his regard. During the last day or two I
have taken all the work of naming things off his hands, and this
has been a great relief to him, for he has no gift in that line,
and is evidently very grateful. He can't think of a rational name
to save him, but I do not let him see that I am aware of his defect.
Whenever a new creature comes along I name it before he has time
to expose himself by an awkward silence. In this way I have
saved him many embarrassments. I have no defect like this.
The minute I set eyes on an animal I know what it is. I don't
have to reflect a moment; the right name comes out instantly,
just as if it were an inspiration, as no doubt it is, for I am
sure it wasn't in me half a minute before. I seem to know just
by the shape of the creature and the way it acts what animal
When the dodo came along he thought it was a wildcat--I saw it
in his eye. But I saved him. And I was careful not to do it
in a way that could hurt his pride. I just spoke up in a quite
natural way of pleasing surprise, and not as if I was dreaming
of conveying information, and said, "Well, I do declare, if there
isn't the dodo!" I explained--without seeming to be explaining--
how I know it for a dodo, and although I thought maybe he was
a little piqued that I knew the creature when he didn't, it was
quite evident that he admired me. That was very agreeable, and I
thought of it more than once with gratification before I slept.
How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have
THURSDAY.--my first sorrow. Yesterday he avoided me and seemed
to wish I would not talk to him. I could not believe it,
and thought there was some mistake, for I loved to be with him,
and loved to hear him talk, and so how could it be that he could
feel unkind toward me when I had not done anything? But at last it
seemed true, so I went away and sat lonely in the place where I first
saw him the morning that we were made and I did not know what he
was and was indifferent about him; but now it was a mournful place,
and every little think spoke of him, and my heart was very sore.
I did not know why very clearly, for it was a new feeling; I had
not experienced it before, and it was all a mystery, and I could
not make it out.
But when night came I could not bear the lonesomeness, and went
to the new shelter which he has built, to ask him what I had done
that was wrong and how I could mend it and get back his kindness again;
but he put me out in the rain, and it was my first sorrow.
SUNDAY.--It is pleasant again, now, and I am happy; but those were
heavy days; I do not think of them when I can help it.
I tried to get him some of those apples, but I cannot learn to
throw straight. I failed, but I think the good intention pleased him.
They are forbidden, and he says I shall come to harm; but so I
come to harm through pleasing him, why shall I care for that harm?
MONDAY.--This morning I told him my name, hoping it would interest him.
But he did not care for it. It is strange. If he should tell me
his name, I would care. I think it would be pleasanter in my ears
than any other sound.
He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright,
and is sensitive about it and wishes to conceal it. It is
such a pity that he should feel so, for brightness is nothing;
it is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him
understand that a loving good heart is riches, and riches enough,
and that without it intellect is poverty.
Although he talks so little, he has quite a considerable
vocabulary. This morning he used a surprisingly good word.
He evidently recognized, himself, that it was a good one, for he
worked in in twice afterward, casually. It was good casual art,
still it showed that he possesses a certain quality of perception.
Without a doubt that seed can be made to grow, if cultivated.
Where did he get that word? I do not think I have ever used it.
No, he took no interest in my name. I tried to hide my disappointment,
but I suppose I did not succeed. I went away and sat on the
moss-bank with my feet in the water. It is where I go when I hunger
for companionship, some one to look at, some one to talk to.
It is not enough--that lovely white body painted there in the pool--
but it is something, and something is better than utter loneliness.
It talks when I talk; it is sad when I am sad; it comforts me with
its sympathy; it says, "Do not be downhearted, you poor friendless girl;
I will be your friend." It IS a good friend to me, and my only one;
it is my sister.
That first time that she forsook me! ah, I shall never forget that--
never, never. My heart was lead in my body! I said, "She was all
I had, and now she is gone!" In my despair I said, "Break, my heart;
I cannot bear my life any more!" and hid my face in my hands,
and there was no solace for me. And when I took them away,
after a little, there she was again, white and shining and beautiful,
and I sprang into her arms!
That was perfect happiness; I had known happiness before, but it was
not like this, which was ecstasy. I never doubted her afterward.
Sometimes she stayed away--maybe an hour, maybe almost the
whole day, but I waited and did not doubt; I said, "She is busy,
or she is gone on a journey, but she will come." And it was so:
she always did. At night she would not come if it was dark, for she
was a timid little thing; but if there was a moon she would come.
I am not afraid of the dark, but she is younger than I am; she was
born after I was. Many and many are the visits I have paid her;
she is my comfort and my refuge when my life is hard--and it is
TUESDAY.--All the morning I was at work improving the estate;
and I purposely kept away from him in the hope that he would get
lonely and come. But he did not.
At noon I stopped for the day and took my recreation by flitting all
about with the bees and the butterflies and reveling in the flowers,
those beautiful creatures that catch the smile of God out of the
sky and preserve it! I gathered them, and made them into wreaths
and garlands and clothed myself in them while I ate my luncheon--
apples, of course; then I sat in the shade and wished and waited.
But he did not come.
But no matter. Nothing would have come of it, for he does not
care for flowers. He called them rubbish, and cannot tell one
from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that. He does
not care for me, he does not care for flowers, he does not care
for the painted sky at eventide--is there anything he does care for,
except building shacks to coop himself up in from the good clean rain,
and thumping the melons, and sampling the grapes, and fingering
the fruit on the trees, to see how those properties are coming along?
I laid a dry stick on the ground and tried to bore a hole in it
with another one, in order to carry out a scheme that I had,
and soon I got an awful fright. A thin, transparent bluish film
rose out of the hole, and I dropped everything and ran! I thought
it was a spirit, and I WAS so frightened! But I looked back, and it
was not coming; so I leaned against a rock and rested and panted,
and let my limps go on trembling until they got steady again;
then I crept warily back, alert, watching, and ready to fly if there
was occasion; and when I was come near, I parted the branches
of a rose-bush and peeped through--wishing the man was about,
I was looking so cunning and pretty--but the sprite was gone.
I went there, and there was a pinch of delicate pink dust in the hole.
I put my finger in, to feel it, and said OUCH! and took it
out again. It was a cruel pain. I put my finger in my mouth;
and by standing first on one foot and then the other, and grunting,
I presently eased my misery; then I was full of interest, and began
I was curious to know what the pink dust was. Suddenly the name of it
occurred to me, though I had never heard of it before. It was FIRE!
I was as certain of it as a person could be of anything in the world.
So without hesitation I named it that--fire.
I had created something that didn't exist before; I had added
a new thing to the world's uncountable properties; I realized this,
and was proud of my achievement, and was going to run and find him
and tell him about it, thinking to raise myself in his esteem--
but I reflected, and did not do it. No--he would not care for it.
He would ask what it was good for, and what could I answer? for if it
was not GOOD for something, but only beautiful, merely beautiful--
So I sighed, and did not go. For it wasn't good for anything;
it could not build a shack, it could not improve melons, it could
not hurry a fruit crop; it was useless, it was a foolishness
and a vanity; he would despise it and say cutting words.
But to me it was not despicable; I said, "Oh, you fire, I love you,
you dainty pink creature, for you are BEAUTIFUL--and that is enough!"
and was going to gather it to my breast. But refrained.
Then I made another maxim out of my head, though it was so nearly
like the first one that I was afraid it was only a plagiarism:
"THE BURNT EXPERIMENT SHUNS THE FIRE."
I wrought again; and when I had made a good deal of fire-dust I emptied
it into a handful of dry brown grass, intending to carry it home
and keep it always and play with it; but the wind struck it and it
sprayed up and spat out at me fiercely, and I dropped it and ran.
When I looked back the blue spirit was towering up and stretching
and rolling away like a cloud, and instantly I thought of the name
of it--SMOKE!--though, upon my word, I had never heard of smoke before.
Soon brilliant yellow and red flares shot up through the smoke,
and I named them in an instant--FLAMES--and I was right, too,
though these were the very first flames that had ever been
in the world. They climbed the trees, then flashed splendidly
in and out of the vast and increasing volume of tumbling smoke,
and I had to clap my hands and laugh and dance in my rapture,
it was so new and strange and so wonderful and so beautiful!
He came running, and stopped and gazed, and said not a word for
many minutes. Then he asked what it was. Ah, it was too bad that he
should ask 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 must ask; that was not my fault; I had no desire to annoy him.
After a pause he 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
of the burned place and stood looking down, and said:
"What are these?"
He picked up one to examine it, but changed his mind and put it
down again. Then he went away. NOTHING interests him.
But I was interested. There were ashes, gray and soft and delicate
and pretty--I knew what they were at once. And the embers;
I knew the embers, too. I found my apples, and raked them out,
and was glad; for I am very young and my appetite is active.
But I was disappointed; they were 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 be useful, I think.
FRIDAY.--I saw him again, for a moment, last Monday at nightfall,
but only for a moment. I was hoping he would praise me for trying
to improve the estate, for I had meant well and had worked hard.
But he was not pleased, and turned away and left me. He was also
displeased on another account: I tried once more to persuade him
to stop going over the Falls. That was because the fire had revealed
to me a new passion--quite new, and distinctly different from love,
grief, and those others which I had already discovered--FEAR. And it
is horrible!--I wish I had never discovered it; it gives me dark moments,
it spoils my happiness, it makes me shiver and tremble and shudder.
But I could not persuade him, for he has not discovered fear yet,
and so he could not understand me.
Extract from Adam's Diary
Perhaps I ought to remember that she is very young, a mere girl and
make allowances. She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world
is to her a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can't speak for
delight when she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it
and smell it and talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it.
And she is color-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage,
blue sky; the pearl of the dawn, the purple shadows on the mountains,
the golden islands floating in crimson seas at sunset, the pallid moon
sailing through the shredded cloud-rack, the star-jewels glittering
in the wastes of space--none of them is of any practical value,
so far as I can see, 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 still a couple minutes at a time,
it would be a reposeful spectacle. In that case I think I could
enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, for I am coming
to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature--
lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful; and once
when she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder,
with her young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes,
watching the flight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she
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 eighty-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.
FRIDAY.--Tuesday--Wednesday--Thursday--and today: all without
seeing him. It is a long time to be alone; still, it is better
to be alone than unwelcome.
I HAD to have company--I was made for it, I think--so I made
friends with the animals. They are just charming, and they have
the kindest disposition and the politest ways; they never look sour,
they never let you feel that you are intruding, they smile at you
and wag their tail, if they've got one, and they are always ready
for a romp or an excursion or anything you want to propose.
I think they are perfect gentlemen. All these days we have had such
good times, and it hasn't been lonesome for me, ever. Lonesome! No,
I should say not. Why, there's always a swarm of them around--
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
furry expanse it is so mottled and splashed and gay with color
and frisking sheen and sun-flash, and so rippled with stripes,
that you might think it was a lake, only you know it isn't;
and there's storms of sociable birds, and hurricanes of whirring wings;
and when the sun strikes all that feathery commotion, you have a blazing
up of all the colors you can think 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 only one. When we are on the march, it is an imposing sight--
there's nothing like it anywhere. For comfort I ride a tiger
or a leopard, because it is soft and has a round back that fits me,
and because they are such pretty animals; but for long distance
or for scenery I ride the elephant. 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 no disputes about anything. They all talk, and they all talk
to me, but it must be a foreign language, for I cannot make out
a word they say; yet they often understand me when I talk back,
particularly the dog and the elephant. It makes me ashamed.
It shows that they are brighter than I am, for I want to be the
principal Experiment myself--and I intend to be, too.
I have learned a number of things, and am educated, now, but I
wasn't at first. 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 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
of love is not a product of reasoning and statistics, like one's
love for other reptiles and animals. I think that this must be so.
I love certain birds because of their song; but I do not love Adam
on account of his singing--no, it is not that; the more he sings
the more I do not get reconciled to it. Yet I ask him to sing,
because I wish to learn to like everything he is interested in.
I am sure I can learn, because at first I could not stand it,
but now I can. It sours the milk, but it doesn't matter; I can get
used to that kind of milk.
It is not on account of his brightness that I love him--no, it is
not that. He is not to blame for his brightness, such as it is,
for he did not 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; he is well enough just as he is.
It is not on account of his gracious and considerate ways and
his delicacy that I love him. No, he has lacks in this regard,
but he is well enough just so, and is improving.
It is not on account of his industry that I love him--no, it is
not that. I think he has it in him, and I do not know why he
conceals it from 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 he should have a secret from me, and sometimes it
spoils my sleep, thinking of it, but I will put it out of my mind;
it shall not trouble my happiness, which is otherwise full
It is not on account of his education that I love him--no, it is
not that. 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 not that.
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
told on 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
Then why is it that I love him? MERELY BECAUSE HE IS MASCULINE,
At bottom he is good, and I love him for that, but I could love
him without it. If he should beat me and abuse me, I should go
on loving him. 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
and am proud of him, but I could love him without those qualities.
He he were 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, and watch 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
first said: that this kind of love is not a product of reasonings
and statistics. It just COMES--none knows whence--and cannot
explain itself. And doesn't need to.
It is what I think. But I am only a girl, the first that has
examined this matter, and it may turn out that in my ignorance
and inexperience I have not got it right.
Forty Years Later
It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this
life together--a longing which shall never perish from the earth,
but shall have 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;
for he is strong, I am weak, I am not so necessary to him as he is
to me--life without him would not be life; now could I endure it?
This prayer is also immortal, and will not cease from being offered up
while my race continues. I am the first wife; and in the last wife I
shall be repeated.