I think it is best to put up with information the way you get it; and seem
satisfied with it, and surprised at it, and grateful for it, and say, "My
word!" and never let on. It was a wide space; I could tell you how wide,
in chains and perches and furlongs and things, but that would not help you any.
Those things sound well, but they are shadowy and indefinite, like troy weight
and avoirdupois; nobody knows what they mean. When you buy a pound of a drug
and the man asks you which you want, troy or avoirdupois, it is best to say
"Yes," and shift the subject.
- Following the Equator
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