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"Robert H. HIRST" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 4 Apr 2022 08:54:35 -0700
text/plain (61 lines)
I thought Scott Holmes might be interested in a draft note to the bird in
the Marseilles zoo, draft that is for the edition of Innocents we hope to
publish in the next year or so:

2.23 <100.35> the great Zoölogical Gardens] The Jardin Zoologique was
situated behind the Palais de Longchamp in northeast Marseilles, “a branch
of the Jardin d’Acclimatation at Paris,” a Parisian zoo founded in 1860
(Baedeker 1891b, 437). Because Dr. Jackson mentioned their visiting some
nine “principal places and objects of interest” but did not mention the
zoo, some scholars have concluded that the visit—and thus the “Pilgrim”
bird (clearly a stork), the dromedary, the monkey (really a baboon), the
“hippopotamus from the Nile,” and the “colossal elephant” with its feline
friend— were entirely a fiction. “Never did their path come within a mile
of Marseilles’ small zoo” (elsewhere dismissed by the same scholar as the
city’s “dinky little zoo”). The skeptics trace the places Jackson does
mention on a contemporary map and conclude that that “confirms the point:
the ‘boys’ had too little time available in their one day in Marseilles to
visit the remote Zoo” (Regan and Dickinson 1995, 3) [bib34371]. But the
Jardin Zoologique was hardly “remote”: it was less than a mile away from
their hotel, an easy carriage ride, and visiting it might have preceded (or
followed) their other “objects of interest,” even though Jackson does not
mention it. Other passengers easily made the trip. On 5 July Emily
Severance recorded that, along with her husband Solon and Mary Mason
Fairbanks, she visited the Zoological Gardens, describing them as having
“extensive grounds beautifully laid out. . . . The trees are large, the
gardens fine, undulating, rock work with water playing over it, cages of
singing birds of all kinds, wild and domestic land and aquatic, animals of
every sort.” Passenger William James visited it as well, noting that he had
seen ostriches, monkeys, a baboon, an elephant, as well as a “white stork
with pink legs.” Mark Twain’s ingenious embroidery of that stork does not
make the passage into that rarity in *Innocents*, a pure fiction. Added in
revision (the zoo isn’t mentioned in the extant newspaper letters), it is
rather an especially good example of his finding meaning in what he did see
(Jackson 1867d [bib10723]; Regan 1982, 248–49 [bib35383]; Regan and
Dickinson 1995, 3 [bib34371]; Scharnhorst 2018, 468 [bib35787]; Baedeker
1914, 526–35 with two maps [35790]; Severance 1938, 55–56 [bib00191]; James
1867a, entry for 5 July [bib34536]).

On Mon, Apr 4, 2022 at 12:33 AM Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> While searching for information on Ain Fijeh aka Figia, or The Fountain
> of Balaam's Ass, I was reading Robert Regan's article /The Reprobate
> Elect in The Innocents Abroad /and found the notion that the Pilgrims
> did not actually have an aversion to traveling on the sabbath.  Looking
> at the schedule of The Long Trip, it seems they had no problem traveling
> on the subsequent Sundays - 9/22 and 9/29.  They just wanted to get to
> Damascus.
> On further reading this article I find that Sam, Dan and the Doctor did
> not visit the zoo in Marseilles and that the "gray-bodied, dark-winged,
> bald-headed, and preposterously uncomely bird"  came from a "fabulous
> bestiary."
> Sabbaths have a long history with Mark Twain, particularly his
> relationship with GW Cable.  I had long held the Twain's writing on long
> ride to Figia on a par with Huck's moral dilemma.  Both are fictions yet
> both represent truths.  But then that preposterous bird was just a
> device to prepare the reader for future descriptions of the Pilgrims. So
> it goes ....