by Mark Twain

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INNOCENTS ABROAD Volume V by Mark Twain


When I last made a memorandum, we were at Ephesus. We are in Syria, now,
encamped in the mountains of Lebanon. The interregnum has been long,
both as to time and distance. We brought not a relic from Ephesus!
After gathering up fragments of sculptured marbles and breaking ornaments
from the interior work of the Mosques; and after bringing them at a cost
of infinite trouble and fatigue, five miles on muleback to the railway
depot, a government officer compelled all who had such things to
disgorge! He had an order from Constantinople to look out for our party,
and see that we carried nothing off. It was a wise, a just, and a
well-deserved rebuke, but it created a sensation. I never resist a
temptation to plunder a stranger's premises without feeling insufferably
vain about it. This time I felt proud beyond expression. I was serene
in the midst of the scoldings that were heaped upon the Ottoman
government for its affront offered to a pleasuring party of entirely
respectable gentlemen and ladies I said, "We that have free souls, it
touches us not." The shoe not only pinched our party, but it pinched
hard; a principal sufferer discovered that the imperial order was
inclosed in an envelop bearing the seal of the British Embassy at
Constantinople, and therefore must have been inspired by the
representative of the Queen. This was bad--very bad. Coming solely
from the Ottomans, it might have signified only Ottoman hatred of
Christians, and a vulgar ignorance as to genteel methods of expressing
it; but coming from the Christianized, educated, politic British
legation, it simply intimated that we were a sort of gentlemen and
ladies who would bear watching! So the party regarded it, and were
incensed accordingly. The truth doubtless was, that the same
precautions would have been taken against any travelers, because the
English Company who have acquired the right to excavate Ephesus, and
have paid a great sum for that right, need to be protected, and deserve
to be. They can not afford to run the risk of having their hospitality
abused by travelers, especially since travelers are such notorious
scorners of honest behavior.

We sailed from Smyrna, in the wildest spirit of expectancy, for the chief
feature, the grand goal of the expedition, was near at hand--we were
approaching the Holy Land! Such a burrowing into the hold for trunks
that had lain buried for weeks, yes for months; such a hurrying to and
fro above decks and below; such a riotous system of packing and
unpacking; such a littering up of the cabins with shirts and skirts, and
indescribable and unclassable odds and ends; such a making up of bundles,
and setting apart of umbrellas, green spectacles and thick veils; such a
critical inspection of saddles and bridles that had never yet touched
horses; such a cleaning and loading of revolvers and examining of
bowie-knives; such a half-soling of the seats of pantaloons with
serviceable buckskin; then such a poring over ancient maps; such a
reading up of Bibles and Palestine travels; such a marking out of
routes; such exasperating efforts to divide up the company into little
bands of congenial spirits who might make the long and arduous Journey
without quarreling; and morning, noon and night, such mass-meetings in
the cabins, such speech-making, such sage suggesting, such worrying and
quarreling, and such a general raising of the very mischief, was never
seen in the ship before!

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012773456
Publisher: SAP
Publication date: 07/23/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 84 KB

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist noted for the novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which has been called "The Great American Novel") and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among many other books. Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and he spent time as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before finding fame as a writer.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

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