Following the Equator: A Journey around the World - Vol. 2

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII

True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god.

-- Pudd'nhead Wilson New Calendar.

I T was in Benares that I saw another living god. That makes two. I believe I have seen most of the greater and lesser wonders of the world, but I do not remember that any of them interested me so overwhelmingly as did that pair of gods.

When I try to account for this effect I find no difficulty about it. I find that, as a rule, when a thing is a wonder to us it is not because of what we see in it, but because of what others have seen in it. We get almost all our wonders at second hand. We are eager to see any celebrated thing -- and we never fail of our reward; just the deep privilege of gazing upon an object which has stirred the enthusiasm or evoked the reverence or affection or admiration of multitudes of our race is a thing which we value; we are profoundly glad that we have seen it, we are permanently enriched from having seen it, we would not part with the memory of that experience for a great price. And yet that very spectacle may be the Taj. You cannot keep your enthusiasms down, you cannot keep your emotions within bounds when that soaring bubble of marble breaks upon your view. But these are not your enthusiasms and

-185-

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Following the Equator: A Journey around the World - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Following the Equator 1
  • Chapter II 13
  • Chapter V 48
  • Chapter VI 57
  • Chapter VII 64
  • Chapter IX 84
  • Chapter X 98
  • Chapter XI 112
  • Chapter XII 125
  • Chapter XIII 137
  • Chapter XIV 153
  • Chapter XVI 173
  • Chapter XVII 185
  • Chapter XX 215
  • Chapter XXI 223
  • Chapter XXII 230
  • Chapter XXIV 261
  • Chapter XXV 273
  • Chapter XVII 285
  • Chapter XXVII 297
  • Chapter XXVIII 306
  • Chapter XXIX 318
  • Chapter XXX 327
  • Chapter XXXI 338
  • Chapter XXXII 354
  • Chapter XXXIII 366
  • Conclusion 379
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