Moon: I'm trying to collect all the things which have made things turn out the way they have today, to find out if there is a pattern. I'm taking one race at a time --- the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Saxons, Celts, Orientals --- everyone --- tracing them all down from the beginning to now. It's all been done by other historians, you see, it's just research as far as I'm concerned, but I'm organizing it.
Lady: Organizing?
Moon: Into sequences, and categories ... science, wars, law, commerce ...
Lady: But isn't it all mixed up?
Moon: Yes, that's it --- when I've got everything I can put it all down in the form of a big chart, all over a wall, with different races and so on, so you can see where things cross and where they join up, so you can relate all the things to each other, and this great map will be a kind of skeleton key to my book --- like a diagram of everything that counts, so it might be possible to discover the grand design, find out if there is one, or if it's all random --- if there's anything to it.
Lady: (looking at him carefully) Why?
Moon: I just want to know.
Lady: I mean, does it matter?
Moon: Yes. I mean, whether it's all random or inevitable.
Lady: But what difference does it make?
Moon: What?
Lady: Whether it's all random or inevitable.
Moon: (floundering) Well, you want to know that there is something going on besides a lot of accidents.
Lady: But that's all there is going on.
Moon: (rallying) But if it's all random then what's the point?
Lady: What's the point if it's all inevitable?

- from Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon

by Tom Stoppard, 1966


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Last modified:  Friday, March 26, 2004 11:11 AM