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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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GIBRALTAR APES

Gibraltar ape

So the theory is that the channel between Gibraltar and Africa was once dry land, and that the low, neutral neck between Gibraltar and the Spanish hills behind it was once ocean, and of course that these African animals, being over at Gibraltar (after rock, perhaps, there is plenty there), got closed out when the great change occurred. The hills in Africa, across the channel, are full of apes, and there are now, and always have been apes on the rock of Gibraltar -- but not elsewhere in Spain! The subject is an interesting one. Of course those apes could travel around in Spain if they wanted to, and no doubt they do want to; and so, how sweet it is of them, and how self-denying, to stick to that dull rock, through thick and thin, just to back up a scientific theory. Commend me to a Gibraltar ape for pure unmitigated unselfishness and fidelity to Christian principle.
- The Innocents Abroad - the text in red first appeared in the 1872 Routledge edition.

(I am indebted to Sergey Novysh of Belarus for bringing this text from the 1879 Tauchnitz edition to my attention.)


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