Translated from the Original by Mark Twain
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.
(Continued April First) (No Joke Intended)