Who Said It?

Magritte - Lovers

Can you guess the source of this passage?

– Do your people always quarrel thus?

– Always.

– Why?

– I do not know. They take their mates for life and are permitted but one and though both men and women have a choice in the selection of their mates they never seem to be satisfied with one another and are always quarreling, usually because neither one nor the other is faithful. Do the men and women quarrel thus in the land from which you come?

– No. They do not. If they did they would be thrown out of the tribe.

– But suppose that they find that they do not like one another?

– Then they do not live together. They separate and if they care to they find other mates.

– That is wicked. We would kill any of our people who did such a thing.

– At least we are all a very happy people, which is more than you can say for yourselves, and, after all, happiness, it seems to me, is everything.

– Perhaps you are right.

The answer.

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4 Responses to Who Said It?

  1. Black Bloke November 22, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    I was going to guess Gulliver of Gulliver’s Travels, in a dialogue with the giant queen.


    Some similar spirit.

  2. Anon73 November 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    Interestingly the copyright apparently only expired in Australia; does that mean project Gutenberg is breaking international law? After all, as far as I’m aware it’s against INL to break one country’s law in that country from another one.

    • Roderick November 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

      Well, it’s the Australian version of Gutenberg, if that matters. Technically no one outside Australia is supposed to look at those pages. I assume only my Australian readers clicked on the link.

      • Brandon November 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

        They didn’t until Al Gore’s lawyers advised them that there was No Controlling Legal Authority that could realistically stop them.

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