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|Tom Sawyer Abroad||Mark Twain|
Jim Standing Siege
|Page 6 of 7||
"Shut your head, Jim; you don't know what you're talking about. And Huck don't. Look here, Huck, I'll make it plain to you, so you can understand. You see, it ain't the mere FORM that's got anything to do with their being similar or unsimilar, it's the PRINCIPLE involved; and the principle is the same in both. Don't you see, now?"
I turned it over in my mind, and says:
"Tom, it ain't no use. Principles is all very well, but they don't git around that one big fact, that the thing that a balloon can do ain't no sort of proof of what a horse can do."
"Shucks, Huck, you don't get the idea at all. Now look here a minute -- it's perfectly plain. Don't we fly through the air?"
"Very well. Don't we fly high or fly low, just as we please?"
"Don't we steer whichever way we want to?"
"And don't we land when and where we please?"
"How do we move the balloon and steer it?"
"By touching the buttons."
"NOW I reckon the thing is clear to you at last. In the other case the moving and steering was done by turning a peg. We touch a button, the prince turned a peg. There ain't an atom of difference, you see. I knowed I could git it through your head if I stuck to it long enough."
He felt so happy he begun to whistle. But me and Jim was silent, so he broke off surprised, and says:
"Looky here, Huck Finn, don't you see it YET?"
"Tom Sawyer, I want to ask you some questions."
"Go ahead," he says, and I see Jim chirk up to listen.
"As I understand it, the whole thing is in the buttons and the peg -- the rest ain't of no consequence. A button is one shape, a peg is another shape, but that ain't any matter?"
"No, that ain't any matter, as long as they've both got the same power."
"All right, then. What is the power that's in a candle and in a match?"
"It's the fire."
"It's the same in both, then?"
"Yes, just the same in both."
"All right. Suppose I set fire to a carpenter shop with a match, what will happen to that carpenter shop?"
"She'll burn up."
"And suppose I set fire to this pyramid with a candle -- will she burn up?"
"Of course she won't."
"All right. Now the fire's the same, both times. WHY does the shop burn, and the pyramid don't?"
"Because the pyramid CAN'T burn."
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