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Alex Effgen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Feb 2010 14:30:39 -0500
text/plain (42 lines)
I love controversy. Especially when it comes from printed material,
like email or "Arkansas journalism," where inflection is absent and
one cannot know where the truth ends and the speculation begins.

To throw another substance on this fire (vinegar? gasoline?) I quote
Twain on the topic of class, not race (Chapter 30 of CT Yankee, for
those of you with Hymn Books):

      He [King Arthur] broke in upon me to say he was in trouble, and
it was his conscience that was troubling him:
      "These young men have got free, they say--but how? It is not
likely that their lord hath set them free."
      "Oh, no, I make no doubt they escaped."
      "That is my trouble; I have a fear that this is so, and your
suspicion doth confirm it, you having the same fear."
      "I should not call it by that name though. I do suspect that
they escaped, but if they did, I am not sorry, certainly."
      "I am not sorry, I think--but--"
      "What is it? What is there for one to be troubled about?"
      "If they did escape, then are we bound in duty to lay hands upon
them and deliver them again to their lord; for it is not seemly that
one of his quality should suffer a so insolent and high-handed
outrage from persons of their base degree."
      There is was again. He could see only one side of it. He was
born so, educated so, his veins were full of ancestral blood that was
rotten with this sort of unconscious brutality, brought down by
inheritance from a long procession of hearts that had each done its
share toward poisoning the stream. To imprison these men without
proof, and starve their kindred, was no harm, for they were merely
peasants and subject to the will and pleasure of their lord, no
matter what fearful form it might take; but for these men to break
out of unjust captivity was insult and outrage, and a thing not to be
countenanced by any conscientious person who knew his duty to his
sacred caste.

It's a shame they never made a Hank Morgan Cabbage Patch.
Mr. Alex B. Effgen, M.A.
Boston University