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26 June, 2013
Mark Twain, A Biography Vol I, Part 2: 1866 - 1875|
LXXV. As to Destiny
by Paine, Albert Bigelow
|If any reader has followed these chapters thus far, he may have wondered,
even if vaguely, at the seeming fatality of events. Mark Twain had but
to review his own life for justification of his doctrine of inevitability
--an unbroken and immutable sequence of cause and effect from the
beginning. Once he said:
"When the first living atom found itself afloat on the great Laurentian
sea the first act of that first atom led to the second act of that first
atom, and so on down through the succeeding ages of all life, until, if
the steps could be traced, it would be shown that the first act of that
first atom has led inevitably to the act of my standing here in my
dressing-gown at this instant talking to you."
It seemed the clearest presentment ever offered in the matter of
predestined circumstance--predestined from the instant when that primal
atom felt the vital thrill. Mark Twain's early life, however imperfectly
recorded, exemplifies this postulate. If through the years still ahead
of us the course of destiny seems less clearly defined, it is only
because thronging events make the threads less easy to trace. The web
becomes richer, the pattern more intricate and confusing, but the line of
fate neither breaks nor falters, to the end.