The opening paragraph of Charles Dickens' Life and
Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewhit opens with a
humorous paragraph which drily satirizes our
obsessions with family lineages .... noting that
the Chuzzlewhits deserve great respects for, after
all, they trace their lineage to Adam and Eve.
I am nearly 100% sure I once read Twain making a
similar remark .... it was in the context of
giving some truthful information about his parents
ancestors, the Clemens and/or the Lamptons, and he
threw in a boost along these lines (e.g that his
great-great-grandfather was a direct descendant of
Adam, or something along those lines).
So now it's bugging me that I can't recall the
reference, and when I attempt to do
quick-and-dirty Google search, I just get lines
from Twain's Diary of Adam and Eve.
If any Forum members recall the passage, let me know.
Steve Hoffman, Takoma Park MD
p.s. For those who are curious, here's Dickens'
paragraph (prolix but still delightful -- I think
our man Twain would've have stopped after the
As no lady or gentleman, with
any claims to polite breeding,
can possibly sympathize with
the Chuzzlewit Family without
being firstassured of the
extreme antiquity of the race,
it is a great satisfaction to
know that it undoubtedly
descended in a direct line
from Adam and Eve; and was, in
the very earliest times,
closely connected with the
agricultural interest. If it
should ever be urged by
grudging and malicious
persons, that a Chuzzlewit, in
any period of the family
history, displayed an
overweening amount of family
pride, surely the weakness
will be considered not only
pardonable but laudable, when
the immense superiority of the
house to the rest of mankind,
in respect of this its ancient
origin, is taken into account.