American Notes By Rudyard Kipling

It was like watching a fool playing with buttons.  But I was
expected to do more than listen or watch - Page 70
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It Was Like Watching A Fool Playing With Buttons.

But I was expected to do more than listen or watch.

He demanded that I should admire; and the utmost that I could say was: - "Are these things so? Then I am very sorry for you."

That made him angry, and he said that insular envy made me unresponsive. So, you see, I could not make him understand.

About four and a half hours after Adam was turned out of the Garden of Eden he felt hungry, and so, bidding Eve take care that her head was not broken by the descending fruit, shinned up a cocoanut-palm. That hurt his legs, cut his breast, and made him breathe heavily, and Eve was tormented with fear lest her lord should miss his footing, and so bring the tragedy of this world to an end ere the curtain had fairly risen. Had I met Adam then, I should have been sorry for him. To-day I find eleven hundred thousand of his sons just as far advanced as their father in the art of getting food, and immeasurably inferior to him in that they think that their palm-trees lead straight to the skies. Consequently, I am sorry in rather more than a million different ways.

In the East bread comes naturally, even to the poorest, by a little scratching or the gift of a friend not quite so poor. In less favored countries one is apt to forget. Then I went to bed.

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