September 28 , 2010

Only an Incident


Joppa was the very centre of all things. That was the opening clause in the creed of every well-educated and right-thinking Joppite. Geographically, however, it was not the centre of any thing, being considerably off from the great lines of railway travel, but possessing two little independent branch roads of its own, that connected it with all the world, or rather that connected all the world with it. For though there were larger places than Joppa even in the county in which it condescended to find itself, and though New York, and Philadelphia, and even Boston, were undeniably larger, as its inhabitants reluctantly admitted when hard pressed, yet they were unanimous in agreeing, nevertheless, that the sun rose and set wholly and entirely for the benefit of their one little aristocratic community. Yes; the world was created for Joppa, that the Joppites might live, move, and have their being with as much convenience and as little trouble as possible. Bethany, a considerable town near by, was built to be its shopping emporium; Galilee, a little farther off, to accommodate its art needs; Morocco, a more considerable town still farther off, to be the birthplace of those ancestors who were so unfortunate as to come into the world before there was any Joppa to be born in. Even New York was erected mainly to furnish it with a place of comfortable resort once a year, when it transplanted itself there bodily in a clan, consoling itself for its temporary aberration of body by visiting exclusively and diligently back and forth among its own people, and conforming life in all particulars as far as possible to home rules, still doing when in New York, not as the New Yorkers but as the Joppites did, and never for a moment abandoning its proud position as the one only place in the world worth living in.
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