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THE TRAGEDY OF PUDD'NHEAD WILSON
     

THE TRAGEDY OF PUDD'NHEAD WILSON

by Mark Twain
 
A WHISPER TO THE READER

_There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can
be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless.
Observe the ass, for instance: his character is about
perfect, he is the choicest spirit among all the humbler
animals, yet see what ridicule has brought him to. Instead
of

Overview

A WHISPER TO THE READER

_There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can
be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless.
Observe the ass, for instance: his character is about
perfect, he is the choicest spirit among all the humbler
animals, yet see what ridicule has brought him to. Instead
of feeling complimented when we are called an ass, we are
left in doubt._ --Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

A person who is ignorant of legal matters is always liable to make
mistakes when he tries to photograph a court scene with his pen; and so I
was not willing to let the law chapters in this book go to press without
first subjecting them to rigid and exhausting revision and correction by
a trained barrister--if that is what they are called. These chapters are
right, now, in every detail, for they were rewritten under the immediate
eye of William Hicks, who studied law part of a while in southwest
Missouri thirty-five years ago and then came over here to Florence for
his health and is still helping for exercise and board in Macaroni
Vermicelli's horse-feed shed, which is up the back alley as you turn
around the corner out of the Piazza del Duomo just beyond the house where
that stone that Dante used to sit on six hundred years ago is let into
the wall when he let on to be watching them build Giotto's campanile and
yet always got tired looking as Beatrice passed along on her way to get a
chunk of chestnut cake to defend herself with in case of a Ghibelline
outbreak before she got to school, at the same old stand where they sell
the same old cake to this day and it is just as light and good as it was
then, too, and this is not flattery, far from it. He was a little rusty
on his law, but he rubbed up for this book, and those two or three legal
chapters are right and straight, now. He told me so himself.

Given under my hand this second day of January, 1893, at the Villa
Viviani, village of Settignano, three miles back of Florence, on the
hills--the same certainly affording the most charming view to be found
on this planet, and with it the most dreamlike and enchanting sunsets to
be found in any planet or even in any solar system--and given, too, in
the swell room of the house, with the busts of Cerretani senators and
other grandees of this line looking approvingly down upon me, as they
used to look down upon Dante, and mutely asking me to adopt them into my
family, which I do with pleasure, for my remotest ancestors are but
spring chickens compared with these robed and stately antiques, and it
will be a great and satisfying lift for me, that six hundred years will.

Mark Twain.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012427007
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
04/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
140 KB

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

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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