On Thu, 30 Jan 1997, Barbara L. Goodman wrote:

> Dear Friends,
>      I would like to know the prevailing explanation of MT's having used
> a varied and exotic collection of quotations at the beginning of each
> of The Gilded Age.  Barbara L. Goodman
Twain and Warner were parodying the prevailing practice of beginning
chapters with quotations.  They upped the ante, so to speak, in showing
off worthless erudition.
                                Gregg Camfield