Discovery! : Mark Twain covets the supreme sensation of being a trailblazer.

From ‘Innocents Abroad’ by Mark Twain (1835-1910).

On a visit to Rome, American novelist Mark Twain reflects (tongue-in-cheek) that everything in that ancient city has been seen before by someone. How much better, he suggests, to be an idle Roman, for then all the undiscovered secrets of the New World would be yours to find!

WHAT is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery!

To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere.

To give birth to an idea — to discover a great thought — an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plow had gone over before.

To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find the way to make the lightnings carry your messages. To be the first — that is the idea.

To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else — these are the things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial.

From ‘Innocents Abroad’ by Mark Twain (1835-1910).

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