• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Preface
 A word of explanation
 Camelot
 King Arthur's court
 Knights of the table round
 Sir Dinadan the humorist
 An inspiration
 The eclipse
 Merlin's tower
 The boss
 The tournament
 Beginnings of civilization
 The yankee in search of advent...
 Slow torture
 Freemen!
 "Defend thee, lord!
 Sandy's tale
 Morgan Le Fay
 A royal banquet
 In the queen's dungeons
 Knight errantry as a trade
 The ogre's castle
 The pilgrims
 The holy fountain
 Restoration of the fountain
 A rival magician
 A competitive examination
 The first newspaper
 The yankee and the king travel...
 Drilling the king
 The small-pox hut
 The tragedy of the manor-house
 Marco
 Dowley's humiliation
 Sixth century political econom...
 The yankee and the king sold as...
 A pitiful incident
 An encounter in the dark
 An awful predicament
 Sir Launcelot and knights to the...
 The yankee's fight with the...
 Three years later
 The interdict
 War!
 The battle of the sand-belt
 A postscript by Clarence
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine














Title: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080116/00001
 Material Information
Title: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court
Physical Description: 575 4 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
Beard, Daniel Carter, 1850-1941 ( Illustrator )
Charles L. Webster and Company ( Publisher )
Jenkins & McCowan ( Printer )
Publisher: Charles L. Webster & Company
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: Jenkins & McCowan
Publication Date: 1891, c1889
Copyright Date: 1889
 Subjects
Subject: Wit and humor, Juvenile   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Arthurian romances -- Adaptations -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Chivalry -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Knights and knighthood -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Time travel -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Britons -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Eclipses -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Slaves -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Magicians -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fantasy fiction -- 1891   ( gsafd )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1891   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1891
Genre: Fantasy fiction   ( gsafd )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mark Twain.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Illustrations by after Daniel Beard.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080116
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002239001
notis - ALH9525
oclc - 01072802

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Preface
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    A word of explanation
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Camelot
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    King Arthur's court
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Knights of the table round
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Sir Dinadan the humorist
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    An inspiration
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The eclipse
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Merlin's tower
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    The boss
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    The tournament
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    Beginnings of civilization
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    The yankee in search of adventures
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Slow torture
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Freemen!
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    "Defend thee, lord!
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    Sandy's tale
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Morgan Le Fay
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
    A royal banquet
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    In the queen's dungeons
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
    Knight errantry as a trade
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    The ogre's castle
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
    The pilgrims
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
    The holy fountain
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
    Restoration of the fountain
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
    A rival magician
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    A competitive examination
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
    The first newspaper
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
    The yankee and the king travel incognito
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
    Drilling the king
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    The small-pox hut
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
    The tragedy of the manor-house
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
    Marco
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
    Dowley's humiliation
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
    Sixth century political economy
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
    The yankee and the king sold as slaves
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
    A pitiful incident
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
    An encounter in the dark
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
    An awful predicament
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
    Sir Launcelot and knights to the rescue
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
    The yankee's fight with the knights
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
        Page 507
        Page 508
        Page 509
        Page 510
    Three years later
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
        Page 515
        Page 516
        Page 517
        Page 518
        Page 519
        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
    The interdict
        Page 523
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
        Page 527
        Page 528
        Page 529
        Page 530
    War!
        Page 531
        Page 532
        Page 533
        Page 534
        Page 535
        Page 536
        Page 537
        Page 538
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
        Page 542
        Page 543
        Page 544
        Page 545
        Page 546
        Page 547
        Page 548
    The battle of the sand-belt
        Page 549
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Page 553
        Page 554
        Page 555
        Page 556
        Page 557
        Page 558
        Page 559
        Page 560
        Page 561
        Page 562
        Page 563
        Page 564
        Page 565
        Page 566
        Page 567
        Page 568
    A postscript by Clarence
        Page 569
        Page 570
        Page 571
        Page 572
        Page 573
        Page 574
        Page 575
    Advertising
        Page 576
        Page 577
        Page 578
        Page 579
        Page 580
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text

















;dg;- -4

V7*






INN., Ob
Aci-
On

!Z1
A0,
Ar

































I. .i


'1 ~


"I SAW HE MEANT BUSINESS."


1

: p,~"~~


--
z~-~-i i,_-


\\








A CONNECTICUT YANKEE

IN

KING ARTHUR'S COURT.











BY


MARK TWAIN.










NEW YORK:
CHARLES L. WEBSTER & COMPANY,
1891.







































Copyrighted, 1889,
BY S. L. CLEMENS.
(All rights reserved.)


























PRESS OF
JENKINS & MCCOWAN,
224-228 Centre St.



















CONTENTS.




PAGE
PREFACE.............. .. .. ..... ........................................ 15
A WORD OF EXPLANATION.................................................... 17-23

CHAPTER I.

CAMELOT................................................................... 27-30

CHAPTER II.

KING ARTHUR'S COURT........... ........................................ 33-40

CHAPTER III.

KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND ............................................ 43-49

CHAPTER IV.

SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST .............................................. 53-57

CHAPTER V.

AN INSPIRATION............................................................. 61-68

CHAPTER VI.

THE ECLIPSE........................................................... ....................... 71-79

CHAPTER VII.

MERLIN'S TOWER......................................... ............... 83-91

CHAPTER VIII.

THE BOSS ........... .............. ... .. ... ......... ... ....... ........... 95-103

CHAPTER IX.

THE TOURNAMENT........................ ............................. 107-113
v








VI CONTENTS.


CHAPTER X. PAGE
BEGINNINGS OF CIVILIZATION ................................................. 117-123

CHAPTER XI
THE YANKEE IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURES .................................. I27-137

CHAPTER XII.
SLOW TORTURE ........................................................... 141-147

CHAPTER XIII.
FREEMEN!............................................. ............... 151-161

CHAPTER XIV.
"DEFEND THEE, LORD!".............................. ................... .... 165-171

CHAPTER XV.
SANDY'S TALE .................. ........... .................... ....... ...... 175-185

CHAPTER XVI.
MORGAN LE FAY .............. ......................................... ... 189-197

CHAPTER XVII.
A ROYAL BANQUET ................... ................................. 201-212

CHAPTER XVIII.
IN THE QUEEN'S DUNGEONS .................... ........... ................... 215-227

CHAPTER XIX.
KNIGHT ERRANTRY AS A TRADE. ........................................... 231-235

CHAPTER XX.
THE OGRE'S CASTLE........................................ .................. 239-247

CHAPTER XXI.
THE PILGRIMS........... ...... ...... ......................... ............ 251-265

CHAPTER XXII.
THE HOLY FOUNTAIN ................................... .................... 269-282








CONTENTS. .vii



CHAPTER XXIII. PAGE

RESTORATION OF THE FOUNTAIN............................................ 285-295

CHAPTER XXIV.

A RIVAL MAGICIAN................... ........................ .... .......... 299-311

CHAPTER XXV.

A COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION. ............. .............. ................* 315-330

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE FIRST NEWSPAPER .................... ... ............** ..............333-344

CHAPTER XXVII.

THE YANKEE AND THE KING TRAVEL INCOGNITO. .............................. 347-357

CHAPTER XXVIII,

DRILLING THE KING............................................ .............. 361-366

CHAPTER XXIX.

THE SMALL-POX HUT.................................. .............. 369-376

CHAPTER XXX.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE MANOR-HOUSE...................................... 379-391

CHAPTER XXXI.

M ARCO .................. .... .... ........................................... 395-404

CHAPTER XXXII.

DOWLEY'S HUMILIATION...... .............................................. 407-416

CHAPTER XXXIII.

SIXTH CENTURY POLITICAL ECONOMY. ............................. ........ 419-433

CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE YANKEE AND THE KING SOLD AS SLAVES. ............................... 437-451

CHAPTER XXXV.

A PITIFUL INCIDENT............... .......................................... 455-464









Viii CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XXXVI. PAGE

AN ENCOUNTER IN THE DARK ..................................... ..... 467-472

CHAPTER XXXVII.

AN AWFUL PREDICAMENT ....................................... ............ 475-484

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

SIR LAUNCELOT AND KNIGHTS TO THE RESCUE ................................ 487-491

CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE YANKEE'S FIGHT WITH THE KNIGHTS ....................... ........ 495-507

CHAPTER XL.

THREE YEARS LATER........... .. ................. ..***.................* 511-520

CHAPTER XLI.

THE INTERDICT ................. ..... .. ............. .. .... .... ........... 523-528

CHAPTER XLII.

WAR! ................. ........... ............. .............. ** ...* 531-545

CHAPTER XLIII.

THE BATTLE OF THE SAND-BELT......................... ................. 549-565

CHAPTER XLIV.

A POSTSCRIPT BY CLARENCE.............................................. 569-575



















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.




PAGE
"I saw he meant business." (Frontispiece.) ....................................
Initial Letter. (A Word of Explanation.)................. .............. 17
The Stranger's Story.............. ...... ...... ............................. 21
Tail-piece................................ ................................... 23
The Tale of the Lost Land.............. ........... ........................ 25
Initial Letter. (Chapter .). .............................................. ....... 27
" The head of the cavalcade swept forward.". .................................. 29
The Round Table............... ......................................... 31
Initial Letter. (Chapter II.)......................... ..... .. ... ........... 33
"That will do," I said, "I reckon you are a patient."......................... 35
"Go 'long," I said, you ain't more than a paragraph.". ...................... 38
M erlin............................... ......................................... 41
Initial Letter. (Chapter III.).............................. ............. 43
"The flies buzzed and bit unmolested."....................................... 46
" Sir Arthur took it up by the handles."................. ................... 47
"This horrible sky-towering monster."........................................ 51
Initial Letter. (Chapter IV.)................... .......................... 53
The Practical Joker's Joke................................................... 54
" Queen Guenever was as naively interested as the rest."..................... 56
The King............................. ... ....................................... 59
Initial Letter. (Chapter V.).................................................. 61
"Oh, beware! These are awful words!".................... ................... 63
" He was frighted even to the marrow."..................................... 66
Sir Boss.............. ................................. ......... 69
Initial Letter. (Chapter. VI.). ................ ................................. 71
"It was a noble effect.". ...................................................... 74
"Smothered with blessings."........ ............ .......................... 78
One of the People......................................................... 81
Initial Letter. (Chapter VII.)..................... ... .. .................. 83
" There was no soap, no matches, no loolking-glass.". .......................... 84
" The reverent and awe-stricken multitudes.". ................................. 86
" That old tower leaped into the sky in chunks.". ..................... .......... 90
ix









X LIST OF ILLUSTRA TIONS.
PAGE
"That was the Church.".............................. ........... 93 93
Initial Letter. '(Chapter II.).......................... .......... .95
"Why, they were nothing but rabbits!"....................................... 97
" Inherited ideas are a curious thing."................. ... ......... ...... 99
The Earth Belongs to the People.............. .. ........................ 1o
All Men are Born Free and Equal ............................................ 102
Sir Sagramor le Desirous........ ...... ....... ............................. 105
Initial Letter. (Chapter IX.).............. ...... ........ .................. 107
" Sing, dance, carouse every night." .......................................... o8
"Detailed an intelligent priest, and ordered him to report it.".................. o9
Some of the Boys Going a Grailing.......................................... 113
" For I was afraid of the Church."............................................ 115
Initial Letter. (Chapter X.)............. .. ........ ...... .......... ......... ... 117
" The nineteenth century booming under its very nose.". ..................... 119
A W est Pointer.................... .. .. ................................... 121
A Middy from My Naval Academy .................. ..................... 122
Sandy................................. ..... ........... ................... 125
"The boys helped me, or I never could have got in." (Chapter XI.).......... 127
The Three Brothers, as Described by Sandy.................................. 128
"Great Scott, can't you understand a little thing like that?". ................... 131
" And so we started."............. ........... ... ................... ... 136
Ye Iron Dude........................ .. ................................... 139
Initial Letter. (Chapter XII.) ............................. ................ 141
The Journey........................................ .................. 142
Effect of the Sun on the Iron Clothes ....................................... 144
"She continued to fetch and pour until I was well soaked.".................... 146
Audi Alteram.................... .. ................................ 149
Initial Letter. (Chapter XIII.) .......... ................ .. ............... 151
" By a sarcasm of law and phrase they were freemen."....................... 154
" To subtract the nation and leave behind some dregs."...................... 155
Burial of a Freeman................ ....... ....... ............... r56
Two of a Kind .................... ........ ....... ... .... ........... 159
" They thought I was one of those fire-belching dragons."..................... 163
Initial Letter. (Chapter XIV.)............... ....... ....................... 165
Effect of the Pipe on the Freemen ........................................ 166
Effect of the Pipe on Sandy................................................. 167
" Defend thee, Lord! Peril of life is toward!"................................. 168
" They came in a body, they came with a whirr."............................ 169
The Three Maids......................... .. ......... ...................... 173
Initial Letter. (Chapter XV.)............................................. 175
Sir Gawaine and Sir Uwaine...................... ........... .................. 177
" Look out and hold on tight.". .............................................. 179
Marhaus, Son of the King of Ireland, from an Effigy found in the Castle........ 18
" It was the largest castle we had seen."...................................... 185









LIST OF ILL USTRA TIONS. X1
PAGE
Mrs. Le Fay............................... ... .................. 187
Initial Letter. (Chapter XVI.) ............................................... 189
" This would undermine the Church."........................................ 9go
Sir Cote Male Taile ......................................................... 192
" We were challenged by the warders, and after parley admitted.".............. 194
King Uriens.................................................................. 199
Initial Letter. (Chapter XVII.)............................................... 201
" After prayers we had dinner.". ......................................... 202
" Original agony."................... ............ ............. .............. 203
"I caught a picture that will not go from me."............................... 208
"They have a right to their view. I only stand to this."..................... 213
Initial Letter. (Chapter XVIII.)............................................ 215
The Church, the King, the Nobleman, and the Freeman ......................... 218
The Queen's Own ......................................................... 223
"Children of Monarchy by the Grace of God and the Established Church."..... 226
"How old are you, Sandy?" ....... ...................................... 229
Initial Letter. (Chapter XIX.)................................................. 231
" Then Sir Marhaus ran to the duke, and smote him with his spear.".......... 233
" The troublesomest old sow of the lot."..................................... 237
Initial Letter. (Chapter XX.)................................................ 239
Sandy with Royalty................................ ....... ................... 243
"We got the hogs home."................................................ 246
Supreme Head of the Church, and Some Other Heads......................... 249
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXI.)............ ................................ 251
Sandy and The Boss at the Second Table..................................... 253
" It had in it a sample of about all the upper occupations and professions.".... 257
A Band of Slaves ............................... .......................... 260
A Foundling ................................................................ 267
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXII)............................................... 269
" There are ways to persuade him to abandon it.".............................. 273
'At the twelfth repetition they fell apart in chunks."......................... 275
" He unlimbered his tongue and cursed like a bishop."........................ 279
The Spirit of the Church................... ................................. 283
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXIII.).......................... ............... 285
" The Abbot's solemn procession.".......................................... 290
" That fellow on the pillar, standing rigid.".................................... 292
" Bgwjjilligkkk! !"......................................................... 293
"What is it you call it? Chuckleheads."................ ................... 297
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXIV.) ............................................. 299
" Sandy was worn out with nursing.". ................. .................... 302
Overbalanced ................................. ......................... 305
The False Prophet going to Meet the King.................................. 310
"A child's affair for simpleness."................................ ...... .. .. 313
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXV.). .............. ................................ 315









xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PAGE

" Next! ". .................................. .. ....................... 319
"Not a word of it could these catfish make head or tail of.". ................. 322
Decorations of Sixth Century Aristocracy ............................... ...... 326
" Latest eruption, only two cents.". ........................................ 331
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXVI.) ................ ................ .... ...... 333
" Where Launcelot is, she noteth not the going forth of the king."............... 334
" Hast seen Sir Launcelot about?" ......... .... ........................... 337
" It was delicious to see a newspaper again". ......................... ....... 338
Solid Comfort..................... .... ....... .. .. ..... .............. 343
Barber to H. M., the King ....................... ................. ........ 345
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXVII.) .......................... .. .. .......... 347
"Why do you not warn me to cease?".................................... 351
Another Miracle........................ .............. ........ ...... ... ......3 356
The Spirit that Goeth with Burdens that have not Honor ...................... 359
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXVII). ................. ........ ............... 361
" Varlet, serve to me what cheer ye have.". .............................. ...* 362
" Brother to dirt like this?"..................................... ..... ...... 363
" Armor is heavy, yet it is a proud burden, and a man standeth straight in it.".. 365
He was Great Now................ ......................................... 367
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXIX.)...................... .. .................. .... 369
Some Manhood even in a King. .............................................. 373
Under the Curse of Rome.................. ................................ 375
The Tree and the Fruit................................ ...... ..... .............. 377
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXX.) ......................... ................ 379
The Fire................... ... ............... .............................. 382
Pursuit........................... ................... ................ 384
"A tree is known by its fruits."................. .. .............. 389
" To the gentleman he was abject.".......................................... 393
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXI.) .......................................... 395
" Toward the monk the coal-burner was deeply reverent.".................... .. 397
" When a slave passed he couldn't see him.".................................. 400
" Presently we struck an incident."..................... ............... ......403 403
" Walking on air, she was so proud."........................ ...... ... ...405 405
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXII.)........................ ..............:.....- 407
" And were soon as sociable as old acquaintances.".............................. 409
The Feast.......................... ............. ... .... .......... ........ 413
'Rah for Protection .............. ....... ........ .... ... ... .......... .......... 417
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXIII). ....................... ...................... 419
" Starving, eh? Why don't you grow a nose like mine?"................ ...... 421
Evolution........................ ..... ............................... 425
Discrepancy in Noses makes no Difference............................. ........ 429
My Lord, the Earl Grip.................... ......... ............................ 435
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXIV.) ............................................ 437
He was hungry for a fight."........................ .......... ........... 4 440









LIST OF ILLUSTRA TIONS. xill
PAGE
"Yes, sire, that is about it, I am afraid."..................................... 443
The Orator ................ .......... ............... .... ............... 447
We Constituted the Rear of his Procession ................................... 450
He was a Man............................ .... .. ..... ........................ 453
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXV.) ................. ........................... 455
On the Tramp ........... ..... ....... ......................................... 457
Slaves Warming Themselves......... ................. .................... 460
"A sample of one sort of London society.". ........................................ 462
The Slave Driver................... ...................................... 465
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXVL) ......................................... 467
" Merely a great big village."............. ............................... 468
Sandy Rode by on a Mule ............. ........... ...................... 469
The Newsboy.......................................................... 471
Sister, Your Blind is Disarranged ......................................... 473
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXVII.) ......................................... 475
" It lay there all battered to pulp.".................................... ..... 476
Streets of London.......................................................... 479
" He gave me a sudden look that bit right through into my marrow.".......... 481
Launcelot Swept In....................................................... 485
Sir Galahad takes a Header............. .... ............................. 487
Knights Practicing on the Quiet................ ............................. 489
" Who fails shall sup in Hell to-night."....................................... 490
Slim Jim. .............. .................. ............................... 493
Initial Letter. (Chapter XXXIX.) ..................................... ....... 495
" Go it, Slim Jim !"........................................................... 499
" Great Scott, but there was a sensation."..................................... 5l0
Brer Merlin Steals the Lariat ... ......... .............................. 504
Charge of the 500 Knights ............... ............................... 507
A Yard of Snowy Church-warden .................................................... 509
Initial Letter. (Chapter XL.)................................................. 511
Three Years After .................. ..................... .... .............. 512
" So we took a man-of-war.". ............... ............................. 517
Catcher of the Ulster Nine................ .............................. 519
Snuffing the Candle......................... .................................... 521
Initial Letter. (Chapter XLI.) .............................................. 523
Hello-Central! ". ................. ................... ................. .525
Where was my great commerce?".......................... ....... ........... 527
Sir Mordred .............................................................. 529
Initial Letter. (Chapter XLII.).................. .... ... ............... 531
Deciding an Argument ................ ............... ................. 533
The rest of the tale is just war, pure and simple.".......................... 535
Traitor, now is thy death day come.". ..................................... 537
The Church is master now.".............................................. 539
O ne of the 52.............. ....................... .......... ..................... 547








xiv LIST OF ILL USTRA TIONS.

PAGE
Initial Letter. (Chapter XLIII.) ................. .............. ... ...... 549
"I could imagine the baby goo-gooing."............................... .... 550
" The sun struck the sea of armor and set it all aflash."................*...* 555
High Church.................................. ... .. ... ........ .. .. 559
After the Explosion.................... .. ........ ....... 562
The Church puts its Foot in It ..................... ........ ...... .. ..... 565
Transformation ..... .. .... .... ........................................ 567
Initial Letter. (Chapter XLIV.)................. .. ..... ............. .. 569
Tail-piece................... ....................... ......... ......... ..... 57
" Delirium, of course, but so real! ".................... ................. 572
" Hands off! my person is sacred."...................... ...... ........... 573
T he End ...................................................................... 575










PREFACE.



THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are his-
torical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also
historical. It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in
England in the sixth century; no, it is only pretended that inasmuch
as they existed in the English and other civilizations of far later times,
it is safe to consider that it is no libel upon the sixth century to sup-
pose them to have been in practice in that day also. One is quite
justified in inferring that wherever one of these laws or customs was
lacking in that remote time, its place was competently filled by a
worse one.
The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right of
kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult. That the
executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty character and
extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable; that none but
the Deity could select that head unerringly, was also manifest and
indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that selection, then, was
likewise manifest and indisputable ; consequently, that He does make
it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction. I mean, until the author
of this book encountered the Pompadour, and Lady Castlemaine and
some other executive heads of that kind ; these were found so difficult
to work into the scheme, that it was judged better to take the other
tack in this book, (which must be issued this fall,) and then go into
training and settle the question in another book. It is of course a
thing which ought to be settled, and I am not going to have anything
particular to do next winter anyway.
MARK TWAIN.
HARTFORD, July 21, 1889.











A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT



A WORD OF EXPLANATION.

T was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curi-
S' 3 ous stranger whom I am going to talk about. He
attracted me by three things: his candid simplic-
ity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor,
and the restfulness of his company-for he did all
the talking. We fell together, as modest people
will, in the tail of the herd that was being shown
through, and he at once began to say things
which interested me. As he talked along, softly,
pleasantly, flowingly, he seemed to drift away
imperceptibly out of this world and time, and
.' into some remote era and old forgotten country;
and so he gradually wove such a spell about me
that I seemed to move among the spectres and
shadows and dust and mold of a gray antiquity,
holding speech with a relic of it! Exactly as I
would speak of my nearest personal friends or
S enemies, or my most familiar neighbors, he spoke
of Sir Bedivere, Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir Launcelot
of the Lake, Sir Galahad, and all the other great
-- ''--- names of the Table Round-and how old, old,
unspeakably old and faded and dry and musty and ancient he came to
look as he went on! Presently he turned to me and said, just as one
might speak of the weather, or any other common matter-







A WORD OF EXPLANA TION.


You know about transmigration of souls; do you know about
transposition of epochs-and bodies ? "
I said I had not heard of it. He was so little interested-just as
when people speak of the weather-that he did not notice whether I
made him any answer or not. There was half a moment of silence,
immediately interrupted by the droning voice of the salaried cicerone :
Ancient hauberk, date of the sixth century, time of King Arthur
and the Round Table ; said to have belonged to the knight Sir Sagra-
more le Desirous; observe the round hole through the chain-mail in
the left breast; can't be accounted for; supposed to have been done
with a bullet since invention of firearms-perhaps maliciously by
Cromwell's soldiers."
My acquaintance smiled-not a modern smile, but one that must
have gone out of general use many, many centuries ago-and muttered
apparently to himself:
Wit ye well, I saw it done." Then, after a pause, added : I did
it myself."
By the time I had recovered from the electric surprise of this re-
mark, he was gone.
All that evening I sat by my fire at the Warwick Arms, steeped in
a dream of the olden time, while the rain beat upon the windows, and
the wind roared about the eaves and corners. From time to time I
dipped into old Sir Thomas Malory's enchanting book, and fed at its
rich feast of prodigies and adventures, breathed-in the fragrance
of its obsolete names, and dreamed again. Midnight being come
at length, I read another tale, for a night-cap-this which here follows,
to-wit :

HOW SIR LAUNCELOT SLEW TWO GIANTS, AND MADE A CASTLE FREE.
Anon withal came there upon him two great giants, well armed, all save the heads,
with two horrible clubs in their hands. Sir Launcelot put his shield afore him, and put
the stroke away of the one giant, and with his sword he clave his head asunder. When his








A WORD OF EXPLANA TION.


fellow saw that, he ran away as he were wood,* for fear of the horrible strokes, and Sir
Launcelot after him with all his might, and smote him on the shoulder, and clave him to
the middle. Then Sir Launcelot went into the hall, and there came afore him three score
ladies and damsels, and all kneeled unto him, and thanked God and him of their deliver-
ance. For, sir, said they, the most part of us have been here this seven year their
prisoners, and we have worked all manner of silk works for our meat, and we are all great
gentlewomen born, and blessed be the time, knight, that ever thou wert born; for thou
hast done the most worship that ever did knight in the world, that will we bear record, and
we all pray you to tell us your name, that we may tell our friends who delivered us out
of prison. Fair damsels, he said, my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake. And so he
departed from them and betaught them unto God. And then he mounted upon his
horse, and rode into many strange and wild countries, and through many waters and val-
leys, and evil was he lodged. And at the last by fortune him happened against a night
to come to a fair courtelage, and therein he found an old gentlewoman that lodged him
with a good will, and there he had good cheer for him and his horse. And when time
was, his host brought him into a fair garret over the gate to his bed. There Sir Launcelot
unarmed him, and set his harness by him, and went to bed, and anon he fell on sleep. So,
soon after there came one on horseback, and knocked at the gate in great haste. And
when Sir Launcelot heard this he arose up, and looked out at the window, and saw by
the moon-light three knights come riding after that one man, and all three lashed on him
at once with swords, and that one knight turned on them knightly again and defended
him. Truly, said Sir Launcelot, yonder one knight shall I help, for it were shame
for me to see three knights on one, and if he be slain I am partner of his death. And
therewith he took his harness and went out at a window by a sheet down to the four
knights, and then Sir Launcelot said on high, Turn you knights unto me, and leave
your fighting with that knight. And then they all three left Sir Kay, and turned unto
Sir Launcelot, and there began great battle, for they alight all three, and strake many
strokes at Sir Launcelot, and assailed him on every side. Then Sir Kay dressed him for
to have holpen Sir Launcelot. Nay, sir, said he, I will none of your help, there-
fore as ye will have my help let me alone with them. Sir Kay for the pleasure of the
knight suffered him for to do his will, and so stood aside. And then anon within six
strokes Sir Launcelot had stricken them to the earth.
And then they all three cried, Sir knight, we yield us unto you as man of might
matchless. As to that, said Sir Launcelot, I will not take your yielding unto me,
but so that ye yield you unto Sir Kay the seneschal, on that covenant I will save your
lives and else not. Fair knight, said they, that were we loth to do; for as for Sir
Kay we chased him hither, and had overcome him had ye not been; therefore, to yield
us unto him it were no reason. Well, as to that, said Sir Launcelot, advise you
well, for ye may choose whether ye will die or live, for an ye be yielden, it shall be
unto Sir Kay. Fair knight, then they said, in saving our lives we will do as thou
commandest us. Then shall ye, said Sir Launcelot, on Whitsunday next coming
go unto the court of King Arthur, and there shall ye yield you unto Queen Guenever,
and put you all three in her grace and mercy, and say that Sir Kay sent you thither to
Demented.








A WORD OF EXPLANATION.


be her prisoners. On the morn Sir Launcelot arose early, and left Sir Kay sleeping: and
Sir Launcelot took Sir Kay's armour and his shield and armed him, and so he went to
the stable and took his horse, and took his leave of his host, and so he departed. Then
soon after arose Sir Kay and missed Sir Launcelot: and then he espied that he had his
armour and his horse. Now by my faith I know'well that he will grieve some of
the court of King Arthur: for on him knights will be bold, and deem that it is I, and
that will beguile them; and because of his armour and shield I am sure I shall ride in
peace. And then soon after departed Sir Kay, and thanked his host.
As I laid the book down there was a knock at the door, and my
stranger came in. I gave him a pipe and a chair, and made him wel-
come. I also comforted him with a hot Scotch whiskey; gave him
another one; then still another-hoping always for his story. After
a fourth persuader, he drifted into it himself, in a quite simple and
natural way:
THE STRANGER'S HISTORY.
I am an American. I was born and reared in Hartford, in the State
of Connecticut-anyway, just over the river, in the country. So I am a
Yankee of the Yankees-and practical; yes, and nearly barren of senti-
ment, I suppose-or poetry, in other words. My father was a black-
smith, my uncle was a horse doctor, and I was both, along at first. Then
I went over to the great arms factory and learned my real trade; learned
all there was to it; learned to make everything; guns, revolvers,
cannon, boilers, engines, all sorts of labor-saving machinery. Why, I
could make anything a body wanted-anything in the world, it didn't
make any difference what; and if there wasn't any quick new-fangled
way to make a thing, I could invent one-and do it as easy as rolling
off a log. I became head superintendent; had a couple of thousand
men under me.
Well, a man like that is a man that is full of fight-that goes with-
out saying. With a couple of thousand rough men under one, one has
plenty of that sort of amusement. I had, anyway. At last I met my
match, and I got my dose. It was during a misunderstanding con-
ducted with crowbars with a fellow we used to call Hercules. He laid







A WORD OF EXPLANATION.


me out with a crusher alongside
made everything crack, and
every joint in my skull and
its neighbor. Then the world went
ness, and I didn't feel anything
know anything at all--at least for a
When I came to again, I was sitting under
the grass, with a whole beautiful and broad
scape all to myself-nearly. Not entirely;
fellow on a horse, looking down at me-a
of a picture-book. He was in old-time iron
armor from head to heel, with a helmet on
his head the shape of a nail-
keg with slits in it; and he
had a shield, and a sword,
and a prodigious spear; and
his horse had armor on, too, ,
and a steel horn projecting
from his forehead, and gor-
geous red and green silk
trappings that hung down all
around him like a bed-quilt,
nearly to the ground.
"Fair sir, will ye just?"
said this fellow. THE


the head that
seemed to spring
make it overlap
out in dark-
more, and didn't
while.
f P, an oak tree, on
country land-
for there was a
fellow fresh out

( /

I'/ II,


STRANGER'S STORY.







A WORD OF EXPLANATION.


Will I which ?"
"Will ye try a passage of arms for land or lady or for-"
What are you giving me?" I said. Get along back to your cir-
cus, or I'll report you."
Now what does this man do but fall back a couple of hundred
yards and then come rushing at me as hard as he could tear, with his
nail-keg bent down nearly to his horse's neck and his long spear
pointed straight ahead. I saw he meant business, so I was up the tree
when he arrived.
He allowed that I was his property, the captive of his spear. There
was argument on his side-and the bulk of the advantage-so I judged
it best to humor him. We fixed up an agreement whereby I was to go
with him and he was not to hurt me. I came down, and we started
away, I walking by the side of his horse. We marched comfortably
along, through glades and over brooks which I could not remember to
have seen before-which puzzled me and made me wonder-and yet
we did not come to any circus or sign of a circus. So I gave up the
idea of a circus, and concluded he was from an asylum. But we never
came to any asylum-so I was up a stump, as you may say. I asked
him how far we were from Hartford. He said he had never heard of
the place; which I took to be a lie, but allowed it to go at that. At
the end of an hour we saw a far-away town sleeping in a valley by a
winding river; and beyond it on a hill, a vast gray fortress, with tow-
ers and turrets, the first I had ever seen out of a picture.
Bridgeport ?" said I, pointing.
Camelot," said he.



My stranger had been showing signs of sleepiness. He caught him-
self nodding, now, and smiled one of those pathetic, obsolete smiles of
his, and said:







A WORD OF EXPLANA TION.


"I find I can't go on; but come with me, I've got it all written out,
and you can read it if you like."
In his chamber, he said: First, I kept a journal; then by and by,
after years, I took the journal and turned it into a book. How long
ago that was!"
He handed me his manuscript, and pointed out the place where I
should begin:
Begin here-I've already told you what goes before." He was
steeped in drowsiness by this time. As I went out at his door I heard
him murmur sleepily: Give you good den, fair sir."
I sat down by my fire and examined my treasure. The first part
of it-the great bulk of it-was parchment, and yellow with age. I
scanned a leaf particularly and saw that it was a palimpsest. Under
the old dim writing of the Yankee historian appeared traces of a pen-
manship which was older and dimmer still-Latin words and sentences:
fragments from old monkish legends, evidently. I turned to the place
indicated by my stranger and began to read-as follows.

















































.... ...









.........














CHAPTER I.


CAMELOT.

AMELOT-Camelot," said I to myself. "I
don't seem to remember hearing of it be-
fore. Name of the asylum, likely."
It was a soft, reposeful summer land-
scape, as lovely as a dream, and as lone-
some as Sunday. The air was full of the
-i -7 smell of flowers, and the buzzing of in-
S sects, and the twittering of birds, and
s there were no people, no wagons, there
was no stir of life, nothing going on. The
road was mainly a winding path with hoof-
prints in it, and now and then a faint trace
of wheels on either side in the grass-
wheels that apparently had a tire as
broad as one's hand.
S--. Presently a fair slip of a girl, about ten
'- years old, with a cataract of golden hair
streaming down over her shoulders, came along. Around her head
she wore a hoop of flame-red poppies. It was as sweet an outfit as
ever I saw, what there was of it. She walked indolently along, with
a mind at rest, its peace reflected in her innocent face. The circus
man paid no attention to her; didn't even seem to see her. And she
-she was no more startled at his fantastic make-up than if she was
used to his like every day of her life. She was going by as indiffer-
27







CAMEL 7


ently as she might have gone by a couple of cows; but when she
happened to notice me, t/en there was a change! Up went her
hands, and she was turned to stone; her mouth dropped open, her
eyes stared wide and timorously, she was the picture of astonished
curiosity touched with fear. And there she stood gazing, in a sort
of stupefied fascination, till we turned a corner of the wood and
were lost to her view. That she should be startled at me instead
of at the other man, was too many for me; I couldn't make head or
tail of it. And that she should seem to consider me a spectacle, and
totally overlook her own merits in that respect, was another puzzling
thing, and a display of magnanimity, too, that was surprising in one so
young. There was food for thought here. I moved along as one in a
dream.
As we approached the town, signs of life began to appear. At
intervals we passed a wretched cabin, with a thatched roof, and about
it small fields and garden patches in an indifferent state of cultivation.
There were people, too; brawny men, with long, coarse, uncombed
hair that hung down over their faces and made them look like
animals. They and the women, as a rule, wore a coarse tow-linen
robe that came well below the knee, and a rude sort of sandals, and
many wore an iron collar. The small boys and girls were always
naked; but nobody seemed to know it. All of these people stared at
me, talked about me, ran into the huts and fetched out their families
to gape at me; but nobody ever noticed that other fellow, except to
make him humble salutation and get no response for their pains.
In the town were some substantial windowless houses of stone
scattered among a wilderness of thatched cabins; the streets were
mere crooked alleys, and unpaved; troops of dogs and nude children
played in the sun and made life and noise; hogs roamed and rooted
contentedly about, and one of them lay in a reeking wallow in the
middle of the main thoroughfare and suckled her family. Presently







CAMELOT.


there was a distant blare of military music; it came nearer, still
nearer, and soon a noble cavalcade wound into view, glorious with
plumed helmets and flashing mail and flaunting ban-
ners and rich doublets and horse-cloths and gilded
spearheads; and through
the muck and swine, and-
ri l 1 1J r
/ 7. .'I H a ,< ir ''


i naked brats, and joyous dogs, and
S, shabby huts it took its gallant way,
and in its wake we followed. Fol-
lowed through one winding alley and
V then another,-and climbing, always
climbing-till at last we gained the
breezy height where the huge castle
stood. There was an ex-
9% ~change of bugle blasts; then
a parley from the walls,
where men-at-arms, in
hauberk and morion
Searched back and forth


"THE HEAD OF THE CAVALCADE SWEPT FORWARD."
with halberd at shoulder under flapping banners with the rude figure
of a dragon displayed upon them; and then the great gates were flung







30 CAMELOT.

open, the drawbridge was lowered, and the head of the cavalcade
swept forward under the frowning arches; and we, following, soon
found ourselves in a great paved court, with towers and turrets stretch-
ing up into the blue air on all the four sides; and all about us the
dismount was going on, and much greeting and ceremony, and run-
ning to and fro, and a gay display of moving and intermingling colors,
and an altogether pleasant stir and noise and confusion.














CHAPTER II.


KING ARTHUR'S COURT.

HE moment I got a chance I slipped aside privately
Sand touched an ancient common looking man on the
2, shoulder and said, in an insinuating,
confidential way-

I:', ', you belong to the asylum, or are you
Just here on a visit or some-
thing like that "
in t He looked me over stu-
pidly, and said-
S "Marr y, fair sir,
If me seemeth-"
"That will do," I
said; "I reckon you
are a patient."
I moved away,
4 cogitating, and at the
same time keeping an
-eye out for any chance
passenger in his right
mind that might come along and give me some light. I judged I had
found one, presently; so I drew him aside and said in his ear-
"If I could see the head keeper a minute-only just a minute-"
"Prithee do not let me."







KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


Let you what ? "
Hinder me, then, if the word please thee better." Then he went
on to say he was an under-cook and could not stop to gossip, though
he would like it another time; for it would comfort his very liver to
know where I got my clothes. As he started away he pointed and
said yonder was one who was idle enough for my purpose, and was
seeking me besides, no doubt. This was an airy slim boy in shrimp-
colored tights that made him look like a forked carrot; the rest of his
gear was blue silk and dainty laces and ruffles; and he had long yel-
low curls, and wore a plumed pink satin cap tilted complacently over
his ear. By his look, he was good-natured; by his gait, he was satis-
fied with himself. He was pretty enough to frame. He arrived, looked
me over with a smiling and impudent curiosity; said he had come for
me, and informed me that he was a page.
Go 'long," I said; you ain't more than a paragraph."
It was pretty severe, but I was nettled. However, it never phazed
him; he didn't appear to know he was hurt. He began to talk and
laugh, in happy, thoughtless, boyish fashion, as we walked along, and
made himself old friends with me at once; asked me all sorts of ques-
tions about myself and about my clothes, but never waited for an
answer-always chattered straight ahead, as if he didn't know he had
asked a question and wasn't expecting any reply, until at last he hap-
pened to mention that he was born in the beginning of the year 513.
It made the cold chills creep over me I stopped, and said, a little
faintly:
Maybe I didn't hear you just right. Say it again-and say it slow.
What year was it ?"
513."
513 You don't look it Come, my boy, I am a stranger and
friendless: be honest and honorable with me. Are you in your right
mind?"








KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


He said he was.
"Are these other people in their right minds?"
He said they were.
"And this isn't an asylum? I mean, it isn't a place where they
cure crazy people ?"
He said it wasn't.
"Well, then," I said, "either I am a lunatic, or something
just as awful has happened. Now
tell me, honest and true, where
am I?"
IN KING AR-
THUR'S COURT."
I waited a min-
S ute, to let that idea
shudder its way
home, and then
l. said:
i / s"And accord-
( ing to your no-
tions, what year is
Sit now?"
S,, 528-nine-
teenth of June."
-I felt a mourn-
~I IDI P I DT ful sinking at the
^ '- heart, and mutter-
ed: "I shall never see my friends again-never, never again. They
will not be born for more than thirteen hundred years yet."
I seemed to believe the boy, I didn't know why. Something in me
seemed to believe him-my consciousness, as you may say; but my
reason didn't. My reason straightway began to clamor; that was








KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


natural. I didn't know how to go about satisfying it, because I knew
that the testimony of men wouldn't serve-my reason would say they
were lunatics, and throw out their evidence. But all of a sudden I
stumbled on the very thing, just by luck. I knew that the only total
eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century occurred on the
21st of June, A. D. 528, 0. S., and began at 3 minutes after 12 noon. I
also knew that no total eclipse of the sun was due in what to me was
the present year-i. e., 1879. So, if I could keep my anxiety and
curiosity from eating the heart out of me for forty-eight hours, I should
then find out for certain whether this boy was telling me the truth or
not.
Wherefore, being a practical Connecticut man, I now shoved this
whole problem clear out of my mind till its appointed day and hour
should come, in order that I might turn all my attention to the cir-
cumstances of the present moment, and be alert and ready to make
the most out of them that could be made. One thing at a time, is my
motto-and just play that thing for all it is worth, even if it's only two
pair and a jack. I made up my mind to two things; if it was still the
nineteenth century and I was among lunatics and couldn't get away,
I would presently boss that asylum or know the reason why; and if
on the other hand it was really the sixth century, all right, I didn't
want any softer thing: I would boss the whole country inside of three
months; for I judged I would have the start of the best-educated man
in the kingdom by a matter of thirteen hundred years and upwards.
I'm not a man to waste time after my mind's made up and there's
work on hand; so I said to the page--
"Now, Clarence, my boy-if that might happen to be your name-
I'll get you to post me up a little if you don't mind. What is the
name of that apparition that brought me here ?"
My master and thine? That is the good knight and great lord
Sir Kay the Seneschal, foster brother to our liege the king."







KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


"Very good; go on, tell me everything."
He made a long story of it; but the part that had immediate
interest for me was this. He said I was Sir Kay's prisoner, and that
in the due course of custom I would be flung into a dungeon and left
there on scant commons until my friends ransomed me unless I
chanced to rot, first. I saw that the last chance had the best show,
but I didn't waste any bother about that; time was too precious.
The page said, further, that dinner was about ended in the great hall
by this time, and that as soon as the sociability and the heavy drink-
ing should begin, Sir Kay would have me in and exhibit me before
King Arthur and his illustrious knights seated at the Table Round,
and would brag about his exploit in capturing me, and would probably
exaggerate the facts a little, but it wouldn't be good form for me to
correct him, and not over safe, either; and when I was done being
exhibited, then ho for the dungeon; but he, Clarence, would find a
way to come and see me every now and then, and cheer me up, and
help me get word to my friends.
Get word to my friends! I thanked him; I couldn't do less; and
about this time a lackey came to say I was wanted; so Clarence led
me in and took me off to one side and sat down by me.
Well, it was a curious kind of spectacle, and interesting. It was an
immense place, and rather naked-yes, and full of loud contrasts. It
was very, very lofty; so lofty that the banners depending from the
arched beams and girders away up there floated in a sort of twilight;
there was a stone-railed gallery at each end, high up, with musicians
in the one, and women, clothed in stunning colors, in the other. The
floor was of big stone flags laid in black and white squares, rather bat-
tered by age and use, and needing repair. As to ornament, there
wasn't any, strictly speaking; though on the walls hung some huge
tapestries which were probably taxed as works of art; battle-pieces,
they were, with horses shaped like those which children cut out of







KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


paper or create in gingerbread; with men on them in scale armor
whose scales are represented by round holes-so that the man's coat
looks as if it had been done with a biscuit-punch. There was a fire-
place big enough to camp in; and its projecting sides and hood, of


I' l'


( '***',^- --. ,- ''""*-*^

"GO 'LONG," I SAID; "YOU AIN'T MORE THAN A PARAGRAPH."

carved and pillared stone-work, had the look of a cathe-
dral door. Along the walls stood men-at-arms, in breast-
plate and morion, with halberds for their only weapon-
rigid as statues; and that is what they looked like.
In the middle of this groined and vaulted public square was an






KING ARTHUR'S COURT.


oaken table which they called the Table Round. It was as large as a
circus ring; and around it sat a great company of men dressed in such
various and splendid colors that it hurt one's eyes to look at them.
They wore their plumed hats, right along, except that whenever one
addressed himself directly to the king, he lifted his hat a trifle just as
ne was beginning his remark.
Mainly they were drinking-from entire ox horns; but a few were
still munching bread or gnawing beef bones. There was about an
average of two dogs to one man; and these sat in expectant attitudes
till a spent bone was flung to them, and then they went for it by bri-
gades and divisions, with a rush, and there ensued a fight which filled
the prospect with a tumultuous chaos of plunging heads and bodies
and flashing tails, and the storm of howlings and barkings deafened all
speech for the time; but that was no matter, for the dog-fight was
always a bigger interest anyway; the men rose, sometimes, to observe
it the better and bet on it, and the ladies and the musicians stretched
themselves out over their balusters with the same object; and all
broke into delighted ejaculations from time to time. In the end, the
winning dog stretched himself out comfortably with his bone between
his paws, and proceeded to growl over it, and gnaw it, and grease the
floor with it, just as fifty others were already doing; and the rest of
the court resumed their previous industries and entertainments.
As a rule the speech and behavior of these people were gracious
and courtly; and I noticed that they were good and serious listeners
when anybody was telling anything-I mean in a dog-fightless inter-
val. And plainly, too, they were a childlike and innocent lot; tell-
ing lies of the stateliest pattern with a most gentle and winning
naivety, and ready and willing to listen to anybody else's lie, and
believe it, too. It was hard to associate them with anything cruel or
dreadful; and yet they dealt in tales of blood and suffering with a
guileless relish that made me almost forget to shudder.






40 KING ARTHUR'S COURT.

I was not the only prisoner present. There were twenty or more.
Poor devils, many of them were maimed, hacked, carved, in a fright-
ful way; and their hair, their faces, their clothing, were caked with
black and stiffened drenchings of blood. They were.suffering sharp
physical pain, of course; and weariness, and hunger and thirst, no
doubt; and at least none had given them the comfort of a wash, or
even the poor charity of a lotion for their wounds; yet you never
heard them utter a moan or a groan, or saw them show any sign of
restlessness, or any disposition to complain. The thought was forced
upon me: "The rascals-they have served other people so in their
day; it being their otvn turn, now, they were not expecting any better
treatment than this; so their philosophical bearing is not an outcome
of mental training, intellectual fortitude, reasoning; it is mere animal
training; they are white Indians."














CHAPTER III.


KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


Ig AINLY the Round Table talk was
Smonologues-narrative accounts of
S the adventures in which these pris-
Soners were captured and their friends
'-"- i and backers killed and stripped of
their steeds and armor. As a gen-
eral thing-as far as I could make out-these murder-
ous adventures were not forays undertaken to avenge
Injuries, nor to settle old disputes or sudden failings
out; no, as a rule they were simply duels between
strangers-duels between people who had never even
been introduced to each other, and between whom
Y existed no cause of offense whatever. Many a time I
had seen a couple of boys, strangers, meet by chance,
-and say simultaneously, "I can lick you," and go at it
'_ on the spot; but I had always imagined until now,
that that sort of thing belonged to children only, and
was a sign and mark of childhood; but here were these
big boobies sticking to it and taking pride in it clear
up into full age and beyond. Yet there
'9 ?-was something very engaging about these
great simple-hearted creatures, something attractive and lovable.
There did not seem to be brains enough in the entire nursery, so to
speak, to bait a fish-hook with; but you didn't seem to mind that, after







KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


a little, because you soon saw that brains were not needed in a society
like that, and, indeed would have marred it, hindered it, spoiled its
symmetry-perhaps rendered its existence impossible.
There was a fine manliness observable in almost every face; and
in some a certain loftiness and sweetness that rebuked your belittling
criticisms and stilled them. A most noble benignity and purity
reposed in the countenance of him they called Sir Galahad, and like-
wise in the king's also; and there was majesty and greatness in the
giant frame and high bearing of Sir Launcelot of the Lake.
There was presently an incident which centred the general interest
upon this Sir Launcelot. At a sign from a sort of master of ceremo-
nies, six or eight of the prisoners rose and came forward in a body and
knelt on the floor and lifted up their hands toward the ladies' gallery and
begged the grace of a word with the queen. The most conspicuously
situated lady in that massed flower-bed of feminine show and finery in-
clined her head by way of assent, and then the spokesman of the prison-
ers delivered himself and his fellows into her hands for free pardon, ran-
som, captivity or death, as she in her good pleasure might elect; and
this, as he said, he was doing by command of Sir Kay the Seneschal,
whose prisoners they were, he having vanquished them by his single
might and prowess in sturdy conflict in the field.
Suprise and astonishment flashed from face to face all over the
house; the queen's gratified smile faded out at the name of Sir Kay,
and she looked disappointed; and the page whispered in my ear with
an accent and manner expressive of extravagant derision-
Sir Kay, forsooth! Oh, call me pet names, dearest, call me a
marine! In twice a thousand years shall the unholy invention of
man labor at odds to beget the fellow to this majestic lie!"
Every eye was fastened with severe inquiry upon Sir Kay. But he
was equal to the occasion. He got up and played his hand like a
major-and took every trick. He said he would state the case, exactly







KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


according to the facts; he would tell the simple straightforward tale,
without comment of his own; and then," said he, "if ye find glory
and honor due, ye will give it unto him who is the mightiest man of
his hands that ever bare shield or strake with sword in the ranks of
Christian battle-even him that sitteth there!" and he pointed to Sir
Launcelot. Ah, he fetched them; it was a rattling good stroke. Then
he went on and told how Sir Launcelot, seeking adventures, some brief
time gone by, killed seven giants at one sweep of his sword, and set
a hundred and forty-two captive maidens free; and then went further,
still seeking adventures, and found him (Sir Kay) fighting a desperate
fight against nine foreign knights, and straightway took the battle
solely into his own hands, and conquered the nine; and that night Sir
Launcelot rose quietly, and dressed him in Sir Kay's armor and took
Sir Kay's horse and gat him away into distant lands, and vanquished
sixteen knights in one pitched battle and thirty-four in another; and
all these and the former nine he made to swear that about Whitsun-
tide they would ride to Arthur's court and yield them to Queen Guen-
ever's hands as captives of Sir Kay the Seneschal, spoil of his knightly
prowess; and now here were these half dozen, and the rest would be
along as soon as they might be healed of their desperate wounds.
Well, it was touching to see the queen blush and smile, and look
embarrassed and happy, and fling furtive glances at Sir Launcelot that
would have got him shot in Arkansas, to a dead certainty.
Everybody praised the valor and magnanimity of Sir Launcelot;
and as for me, I was perfectly amazed, that one man, all by himself,
should have been able to beat down and capture such battalions
of practiced fighters. I said as much to Clarence; but this mocking
featherhead only said-
An Sir Kay had had time to get another skin of sour wine into
him, ye had seen the accompt doubled."
I looked at the boy in sorrow; and as I looked I saw the cloud of a








KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


deep despondency settle upon his countenance. I followed the direc-
tion of his eye, and saw that a very old and white-bearded man,
clothed in a flowing black gown, had risen and was standing at the
table upon unsteady legs, and feebly swaying his ancient head and
surveying the company with his watery and wandering eye. The
same suffering look that was in the page's face was observable in all























"THE FLIES BUZZED AND BIT UNMOLESTED."

the faces around-the look of dumb creatures who know that they
must endure and make no moan.
Marry, we shall have it again," sighed the boy; "that same old
weary tale that he hath told a thousand times in the same words, and
that he will tell till he dieth, every time he hath gotten his barrel full
and feeleth his exaggeration-mill a-working. Would God I had died
or I saw this day!"







KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


"Who is it?"
"Merlin, the mighty liar and magician, perdition singe him for
the weariness he worketh with his one tale! But that men fear him
for that he hath the storms and the lightning and all the devils that
be in hell at his beck and call, they would have dug his entrails out
these many years ago to get at that tale and squelch it. He telleth
it always in the third person, making a5 =
believe he is too modest to glorify
himself-maledictions light upon him, ? r
misfortune be his dole! ,
Good friend, prithee
call me for evensong."
The boy nestled
himself upon my
shoulder and pretend-
ed to go to sleep. The
old man began his
tale; and presently the ,. .. L
lad was asleep in real- i'! l li _
ity; so also were the
dogs, and the court,
the lackeys, and the
files of men-at-arms. SIR ARTHUR TOOK IT UP BY THE HANDLES."
The droning voice droned on; a soft snoring arose on all sides and
supported it like a deep and subdued accompaniment of wind instru-
ments. Some heads were bowed upon folded arms, some lay back
with open mouths that issued unconscious music; the flies buzzed and
bit, unmolested, the rats swarmed softly out from a hundred holes,'and
pattered about, and made themselves at home everywhere; and one
of them sat up like a squirrel on the king's head and held a bit of
cheese in its hands and nibbled it, and dribbled the crumbs in the







KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


king's face with naive and impudent irreverence. It was a tranquil
scene, and restful to the weary eye and the jaded spirit.
This was the old man's tale. He said:
Right so the king and Merlin departed, and went until an hermit
that was a good man and a great leech. So the hermit searched all
his wounds and gave him good salves; so the king was there three
days, and then were his wounds well amended that he might ride and
go, and so departed. And as they rode, Arthur said, I have no
sword. No force,* said Merlin, hereby is a sword that shall be
yours and I may. So they rode till they came to a lake, the which
was a fair water and broad, and in the midst of the lake Arthur was
ware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that
hand. Lo, said Merlin, yonder is that sword that I spake of.
With that they saw a damsel going upon the lake. What damsel is
that? said Arthur. That is the Lady of the .lake, said Merlin; and
within that lake is a rock, and therein is as fair a place as any on
earth, and richly beseen, and this damsel will come to you anon, and
then speak ye fair to her that she will give you that sword. Anon
withal came the damsel unto Arthur and saluted him, and he her
again. Damsel, said Arthur, what sword is that, that yonder the
arm holdeth above the water? I would it were mine, for I have no
sword. Sir Arthur King, said the damsel, that sword is mine, and
if ye will give me a gift when I ask it you, ye shall have it. By my
faith, said Arthur, I will give you what gift ye will ask.- Well, said
the damsel, go ye into yonder barge and row yourself to the sword,
and take it and the scabbard with you, and I will ask my gift when I
see my time. So Sir Arthur and Merlin alight, and tied their horses
to two trees, and so they went into the ship, and when they came to
the sword that the hand held, Sir Arthur took it up by the handles,
and took it with him. And the arm and the hand went under the
No matter.







KNIGHTS OF THE TABLE ROUND.


water; and so they came unto the land and rode forth. And then Sir
Arthur saw a rich pavilion. What signifieth yonder pavilion? It is
the knight's pavilion, said Merlin, that ye fought with last, Sir Pelli-
nore, but he is out, he is not there; he hath ado with a knight of
yours, that hight Egglame, and they have fought together, but at the
last Egglame fled, and else he had been dead, and he hath chased
him even to Carlion, and we shall meet with him anon in the highway.
That is well said, said Arthur, now have I a sword, now will I wage
battle with him, and be avenged on him. Sir, ye shall not so, said
Merlin, for the knight is weary of fighting and chasing, so that ye
shall have no worship to have ado with him; also, he will not lightly
be matched of one knight living; and therefore it is my counsel, let
him pass, for he shall do you good service in short time, and his sons,
after his days. Also ye shall see that day in short space ye shall be
right glad to give him your sister to wed. When I see him, I will do
as ye advise me, said Arthur. Then Sir Arthur looked on the sword,
and liked it passing well. Whether liketh you better, said Merlin,
the sword or the scabbard? Me liketh better the sword, said
Arthur. Ye are more unwise, said Merlin, for the scabbard is worth
ten of the sword, for while ye have the scabbard upon you ye shall
never lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded; therefore, keep well
the scabbard always with you. So they rode unto Carlion, and by
the way they met with Sir Pellinore; but Merlin had done such a craft
that Pellinore saw not Arthur, and he passed by without any words.
I marvel, said Arthur, that the knight would not speak. Sir, said
Merlin, he saw you not; for and he had seen you ye had not lightly
departed. So they came unto Carlion, whereof his knights were pass-
ing glad. And when they heard of his adventures they marveled that
he would jeopardy his person so alone. But all men of worship said
it was merry to be under such a chieftain that would put his person in
adventure as other poor knights did."


















)V. -,, ` .- .-_


11 U -l "


trJ


*y ,:












CHAPTER IV.


SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST.


T seemed to me that this quaint lie was most
S.simply and beautifully told; but then
-' I had heard it only once, and that
T I-' makes a difference; it was pleasant to
the others when it was fresh, no doubt.
Sir Dinadan the Humorist was the first to awake, and
he soon roused the rest with a practical joke of a suffi-
ciently poor quality. He tied some
metal mugs to a dog's tail and turned
him loose, and he tore around and
/ 1 around the place in a frenzy of fright,
with all the other dogs bellowing after
him and battering and crashing against
everything that came in their way and
making altogether a chaos of confusion
and a most deafening din and turmoil;
at which every man and woman of the
multitude laughed till the tears flowed,
and some fell out of their chairs and
I wallowed on the floor in ecstasy. It
--- was just like so many children. Sir
Dinadan was so proud of his exploit
that he could not keep from telling over and over again, to weariness,
how the immortal idea happened to occur to him; and as is the way
with humorists of his breed, he was still laughing at it after every-
body else had got through. He was so set up that he conclud-







SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST.


ed to make a speech-of course a humorous speech. I think
I never heard so many old played-out jokes strung together
in my life. He was worse than the minstrels, worse than the
clown in the circus. It seemed peculiarly sad to sit here,
thirteen hun- dred years before I was born and listen again
to poor, flat, worm-eaten jokes that had given me the dry
gripes when I was a boy thirteen hundred years afterwards.
It about con- _. vinced me that there isn't any such
thing as a new joke possible. Everybody
laughed at these antiquities-but then they
always do; I had no- ticed that, centuries later. How-
ever, of course the scoffer didn't laugh-I mean the
boy. No, he scoffed; there wasn't any-
thing he wouldn't scoff at. He said the
most of Sir Dinadan's
jokes were rotten and
the rest ...... were petri-
fied. I said "petrified"
was good; as I believed, myself, that the
only right way to classify the majestic
Stages of some of those jokes was by geo-
logic periods. But that neat idea hit the
boy in a' blank
place, for geol-
ogy hadn't
been invented
yet. However,


THE PRACTICAL JOKER'S JOKE.
1 made a note of the remark, and calculated to educate the
commonwealth up to it if I pulled through. It is no use to







SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST.


throw a good thing away merely because the market isn't ripe
yet.
Now Sir Kay arose and began to fire up on his history-mill, with
me for fuel. It was time for me to feel serious, and I did. Sir Kay
told how he had encountered me in a far land of barbarians, who all
wore the same ridiculous garb that I did-a garb that was a work of
enchantment, and intended to make the wearer secure from hurt by
human hands. However, he had nullified the force of the enchant-
ment by prayer, and had killed my thirteen knights in a three-hours'
battle, and taken me prisoner, sparing my life in order that so strange
a curiosity as I was might be exhibited to the wonder and admira-
tion of the king and the court. He spoke of me all the time, in the
blandest way, as "this prodigious giant," and "this horrible sky-
towering monster," and "this tusked and taloned man-devouring
ogre;" and everybody took in all this bosh in the na'ivest way, and
never smiled or seemed to notice that there was any discrepancy
between these watered statistics and me. He said that in trying
to escape from him I sprang into the top of a tree two hundred
cubits high at a single bound, but he dislodged me with a stone
the size of a cow, which all-to brast" the most of my bones, and
then swore me to appear at Arthur's court for sentence. He
ended by condemning me to die at noon on the 21st; and was
so little concerned about it that he stopped to yawn before he named
the date.
I was in a dismal state by this time; indeed, I was hardly enough
in my right mind to keep the run of a dispute that sprung up as to
how I had better be killed, the possibility of the killing being doubted
by some, because of the enchantment in my clothes. And yet it was
nothing but an ordinary suit of fifteen-dollar slop-shops. Still, I was
sane enough to notice this detail, to-wit: many of the terms used in
the most matter-of-fact way by this great assemblage of the first







SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST.


ladies and gentlemen in the land would have
made a Comanche blush. Indelicacy is too mild -
a term to convey the idea. However, I had read
"Tom Jones," and "Roderick Random," and
other books of that kind, and knew that the
highest and first ladies and gentlemen in Eng-
land had remained little or no cleaner
in their talk, and in the morals and 1
conduct which such talk implies, clear
up to a hundred years ago; in fact clear
into our own nineteenth century-in
which century, broadly speaking, the
earliest samples of the real lady and
real gentleman dis-
coverable in English
history-or in Euro-
pean history, for that
matter-may be said
to have made their
appearance. Suppose
Sir Walter, instead of
putting the conversa- (
tions into the mouths
of his characters, had C, -
allowed the charac-
ters to speak for
themselves? We ,
should have had talk
from Rachel and Ivan-
hoe and the soft lady
Rowena which would "QUEEN GUENEVER WAS AS NAIVELY INTERESTED AS THE REST."







SIR DINADAN THE HUMORIST.


embarrass a tramp in our day. However, to the unconsciously indeli-
cate all things are delicate. King Arthur's people were not aware
that they were indecent, and I had presence of mind enough not to
mention it.
They were so troubled about my enchanted clothes that they were
mightily relieved, at last, when old Merlin swept the difficulty away
for them with a common-sense hint. He asked them why they were
so dull-why didn't it occur to them to strip me. In half a minute I
was as naked as a pair of tongs! And dear, dear, to think of it: I
was the only embarrassed person there. Everybody discussed me;
and did it as unconcernedly as if I had been a cabbage. Queen
Guenever was as naively interested as the rest, and said she had
never seen anybody with legs just like mine before. It was the only
compliment I got-if it was a compliment.
Finally I was carried off in one direction, and my perilous clothes
in another. I was shoved into a dark and narrow cell in a dungeon,
with some scant remnants for dinner, some moldy straw for a bed,
and no end of rats for company.













A


S,1/


r//
-~- lii


I,,

:rl
II i
'
d

C,


//


I












CHAPTER V.


AN INSPIRATION.

SWAS so tired that even my fears were
not able to keep me awake long.
:. When I next came to myself, I
seemed to have been asleep a very
S.-. /, long time. My first thought was,
Well, what an astonishing dream
I've had! I reckon I've waked
"' ,\ !-: only just in time to keep from be-
"II 'ing hanged or drowned or burned,
-- |or something. I'll nap
r" 'again till the whistle blows, and
S ,' then I'll go down to the arms fac-
tory and have it out with Hercules."
SBut just then I heard the harsh
I '- music of rusty chains and bolts, a
light flashed in my eyes, and that
; I butterfly, Clarence, stood before
me! I gasped with surprise; my
breath almost got away from me.
"What!" I said, "you here
I yet? Go along with the rest of the
S dream scatter! "
............ But he only laughed, in his
light-hearted way, and fell to making fun of my sorry plight.
"All right," I said resignedly, "let the dream go on; I'm in no
hurry."







AN INSPIRATION.


"Prithee what dream ?"
"What dream? Why, the dream that I am in Arthur's court-a
person who never existed; and that I am talking to you, who are
nothing but a work of the imagination."
"Oh, la, indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-
morrow? Ho-ho-answer me that! "
The shock that went through me was distressing. I now began to
reason that my situation was in the last degree serious, dream or no
dream; for I knew by past experience of the life-like intensity of
dreams, that to be burned to death, even in a dream, would be very
far from being a jest, and was a thing to be avoided, by any means,
fair or foul, that I could contrive. So I said beseechingly:
"Ah, Clarence, good boy, only friend I've got,-for you are my
friend, aren't you ?-don't fail me; help me to devise some way of
escaping from this place "
"Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why, man, the corridors
are in guard and keep of men-at-arms."
"No doubt, no doubt. But how many, Clarence? Not many, I
hope ?"
Full a score. One may not hope to escape." After a pause-
hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons-and weightier."
Other ones ? What are they ?"
"Well, they say-oh, but I aren't, indeed I aren't! "
"Why, poor lad, what is the matter ? Why do you blench? Why
do you tremble so ? "
Oh, in sooth, there is need! I do want to tell you, but-"
Come, come, be brave, be a man-speak out, there's a good lad!"
He hesitated, pulled one way by desire, the other way by fear;
then he stole to the door and peeped out, listening; and finally crept
close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news
in a whisper, and with all the cowering apprehension of one who was








SAN INSPIRE TION. 63

j' venturing upon awful ground and speaking of things whose very men-
tion might be freighted with death.
"Merlin, in his malice, has woven a spell about this dungeon, and
There bides not the man in these kingdoms that would be desperate
enough to essay to cross its lines with you! Now God pity me, I have
told it! Ah, be kind to me.
be merciful to a pool b.-.\ h n .
means thee well; for an i lthisi .
: betray me I am lost! r
I laughed the only I, .
Refreshing laugh I
had had for some
. time; and shouted- .-.
"Merlin has
wrought a spell!
Merlin, forsooth! -
That cheap old "t
humbug,that maun-
dering old ass?
Bosh, pure bosh, the
silliest bosh in th,
world! Why, it does
seem. to me that of all
the childish, idiotic,
chuckle-headed,chick- OH, BEWARE! THESE ARE AWFUL WORDS!
en-livered superstitions that ev-oh, damn Merlin! "
But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished,
and he was like to go out of his mind with fright.
"Oh, beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls
may crumble upon us if you say such things. Oh call them back be-
fore it is too late !"







AN INSPIRA TION.


Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to
thinking. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely
afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was, certainly a supe-
rior man like me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to
take advantage of such a state of things. I went on thinking, and
worked out a plan. Then I said:
"Get up. Pull yourself together; look me in the eye. Do you
know why I laughed? "
"No-but for our blessed Lady's sake, do it no more."
"Well, I'll tell you why I laughed. Because I'm a magician my-
self."
Thou !" The boy recoiled a step, and caught his breath, for the
thing hit him rather sudden; but the aspect which he took on was
very, very respectful. I took quick note of that; it indicated that a
humbug didn't need to have a reputation in this asylum; people stood
ready to take him at his word, without that. I resumed:
I've known Merlin seven hundred years, and he-"
"Seven hun-"
Don't interrupt me. He has died and come alive again thirteen
times, and traveled under a new name every time: Smith, Jones,
Robinson, Jackson, Peters, Haskins, Merlin-a new alias every time
he turns up. I knew him in Egypt three hundred years ago; I knew
him in India five hundred years ago-he is always blethering around
in my way, everywhere I go; he makes me tired. He don't amount to
shucks, as a magician; knows some of the old common tricks, but has
never got beyond the rudiments, and never will. He is well enough
for the provinces -one-night stands and that sort of thing, you
know-but dear me, he oughtn't to set up for an expert-anyway not
where there's a real artist. Now look here, Clarence, I am going to
stand your friend, right along, and in return you must be mine. I
want you to do me a favor. I want you to get word to the king that







AN INSPIRE TION.


I am a magician myself-and the Supreme Grand High-yu-Mucka-
muck and head of the tribe, at that; and I want him to be made
to understand that I am just quietly arranging a little calamity
here that will make the fur fly in these realms if Sir Kay's project
is carried out and any harm comes to me. Will you get that to the
king for me ? "
The poor boy was in such a state that he could hardly answer me.
It was pitiful to see a creature so terrified, so unnerved, so demoralized.
But he promised everything; and on my side he made me promise
over and over again that I would remain his friend, and never turn
against him or cast any enchantments upon him. Then he worked
his way out, staying himself with his hand along the wall, like a sick
person.
Presently this thought occurred to me: how heedless I have been !
When the boy gets calm, he will wonder why a great magician like
me should have begged a boy like him to help me get out of this place;
he will put this and that together, and will see that I am a humbug.
I worried over that heedless blunder for an hour, and called myself
a great many hard names, meantime. But finally it occurred to me
all of a sudden that these animals didn't reason; that they never put
this and that together; that all their talk showed that they didn't
know a discrepancy when they saw it. I was at rest, then.
But as soon as one is at rest, in this world, off he goes on some-
thing else to worry about. It occurred to me that I had made
another blunder: I had sent the boy off to alarm his betters with a
threat-I intending to invent a calamity at my leisure; now the
people who are the readiest and eagerest and willingest to swallow
miracles are the very ones who are the hungriest to see you perform
them; suppose I should be called on for a sample? Suppose I should
be asked to name my calamity ? Yes, I had made a blunder; I ought
to have invented my calamity first. "What shall I do? what can I







AN INiSPIRA TION..


say, to gain a little time?" I was in trouble again; in the deepest
kind of trouble: There's a footstep !-they're coming. If I had
only just a moment to think. . Good, I've got it. I'm all right."
You see, it was the eclipse. It came into my mind, in the nick of
time, how Columbus, or Cortez, or one of those people, played an
eclipse as a saving trump once, on some savages, and I saw my
chance. I could play it myself, now; and it wouldn't be any plagiar-,


" HE WAS FRIGHTED EVEN TO THE MARROW."


ism, either, because I should get it in nearly a thousand years ahead
of those parties.
Clarence came in, subdued, distressed, and said:
I hasted the message to our liege the king, and straightway he
had me to his presence. He was frighted even to the marrow, and was
minded to give order for your instant enlargement, and that you be
clothed in fine raiment and lodged as befitted one so great; but then







AN INSPIRATION.


came Merlin and spoiled all; for he persuaded the king that you are
mad, and know not whereof you speak; and said your threat is but
foolishness and idle vaporing.. They disputed long, but in the end,
Merlin, scoffing, said, 'Wherefore hath he not named his brave
calamity? Verily it is because he cannot.' This thrust did in a most
sudden sort close the king's mouth, and he could offer naught to turn
the argument; and so, reluctant, and full loth to do you the dis-
courtesy, he yet prayeth you to consider his perplexed case, as
noting how the matter stands, and name the calamity-if so be you
have determined the nature of it and the time of its coming. Oh,
prithee delay not; to delay at such a time were to double and treble
the perils that already compass thee about. Oh, be thou wise-name
the calamity!"
I allowed silence to accumulate while I got my impressiveness
together, and then said:
How long have I been shut up in this hole ?"
Ye were shut up when yesterday was well spent. It is 9 of the
morning now."
No! Then I have slept well, sure enough. Nine in the morning
now! And yet it is the very complexion of midnight, to a shade.
This is the 20th, then?"
The 20th-yes."
"And I am to be burned alive to-morrow." The boy shuddered.
"At what hour?"
"At high noon."
"Now then, I will tell you what to say." I paused, and stood
over that cowering lad a whole minute in awful silence; then in a
voice deep, measured, charged with doom, I began, and rose by
dramatically graded stages to my colossal climax, which I delivered
in as sublime and noble a way as ever I did such a thing in my life:
" Go back and tell the king that at that hour I will smother the








68 AN INSPIRATION.

whole world in the dead blackness of midnight; I will blot out the
sun, and he shall never shine again; the fruits of the earth shall rot
for lack of light and warmth, and the peoples of the earth shall famish
and die, to the last man !"
I had to carry the boy out myself, he sunk into such a collapse. I
handed him over to the soldiers, and went back.














/I-


Is















,,l CHAPTER VI.

THE ECLIPSE.

SN the stillness and the darkness, realization
soon began to supplement knowledge. The
mere knowledge of a fact is pale; but when
you come to realize your fact, it takes on color.
It is all the difference between hearing of a
man being stabbed to the heart, and seeing it
done. In the stillness and the darkness, the
knowledge that I was in deadly danger took
to itself deeper and deeper meaning all the
time; a something which was realization
crept inch by inch through my veins and
turned me cold.
But it is a blessed provision of nature
that at times like these, as soon as a
man's mercury has got down to a cer-
tain point there comes a revulsion,
and he rallies. Hope springs up, and
cheerfulness along with it, and then
he is in good shape to do something
for himself, if anything can be done.
When my rally came, it came with
a bound. I said to myself that my
eclipse would be sure to save me, and make me the greatest man in
the kingdom besides; and straightway my mercury went up to the
71







THE ECLIPSE.


top of the tube, and my solicitudes all vanished. I was as happy a
man as there was in the world. I was even impatient for to-morrow
to come, I so wanted to gather-in that great triumph and be the cen-
tre of all the nation's wonder and reverence. Besides, in a business
way it would be the making of me; I knew that.
Meantime there was one thing which had got pushed into the
background of my mind. That was the half-conviction that when the
nature of my proposed calamity should be reported to those supersti-
tious people, it would have such an effect that they would want to
compromise. So, by and by when I heard footsteps coming, that
thought was recalled to me, and I said to myself, "As sure as any-
thing, it's the compromise. Well, if it is good, all right, I will accept;
but if it isn't, I mean to stand my ground and play my hand for all it
is worth."
The door opened, and some men-at-arms appeared. The leader
said-
The stake is ready. Come! "
The stake! The strength went out of me, and I almost fell down.
It is hard to get one's breath at such a time, such lumps come into
one's throat, and such gaspings; but as soon as I could speak, I said:
"But this is a mistake-the execution is to-morrow."
"Order changed; been set forward a day. Haste thee! "
I was lost. There was no help for me. I was dazed, stupefied; I
had no command over myself; I only wandered purposelessly about,
like one out of his mind; so the soldiers took hold of me, and pulled me
along with them, out of the cell and along the maze of underground
corridors, and finally into the fierce glare of daylight and the upper
world. As we stepped into the vast inclosed court of the castle I got
a shock; for the first thing I saw was the stake, standing in the centre,
and near it the piled fagots and a monk. On all four sides of the
cour the seated multitudes rose rank above rank, forming sloping ter-







THE ECLIPSE.


races that were rich with color. The king and the queen sat in their
thrones, the most conspicuous figures there, of course.
To note all this, occupied but a second. The next second Clar-
ence had slipped from some place of concealment and was pouring
news into my ear, his eyes beaming with triumph and gladness. He
said:
"'Tis through me the change was wrought! And main hard have I
worked to do it, too. But when I revealed to them the calamity in store,
and saw how'mighty was the terror it did engender, then saw I also
that this was the time to strike! Wherefore I diligently pretended,
unto this and that and the other one, that your power against the sun
could not reach its full until the morrow; and so if any would
save the sun and the world, you must be slain to-day, whilst your
enchantments are but in the weaving and lack potency. Odsbodi-
kins, it was but a dull lie, a most indifferent invention, but you
should have seen them seize it and swallow it, in the frenzy of their
fright, as it were salvation sent from heaven; and all the while was I
laughing in my sleeve the one moment, to see them so cheaply deceived,
and glorifying God the next, that He was content to let the meanest
of His creatures be His instrument to the saving of thy life. Ah, how
happy has the matter sped! You will not need to do the sun a real
hurt-ah, forget not that, on your soul forget it not! Only make a
little darkness-only the littlest little darkness, mind, and cease with
that. It will be sufficient. They will see that I spoke falsely,-being
ignorant, as they will fancy-and with the falling of the first shadow
of that darkness you shall see them go mad with fear; and they will
set you free and make you great! Go to thy triumph, now! But remem-
ber-ah, good friend, I implore thee remember my supplication, and
do the blessed sun no hurt. For my sake, thy true friend."
I choked out some words through my grief and misery; as much as
to say I would spare the sun; for which the lad's eyes paid me back







THE ECLIPSE.


with such deep and loving gratitude that I had not the heart to tell him
his good-hearted foolishness had ruined me and sent me to my death.
As the soldiers assisted me across the court
the stillness was so profound that if I had been
blindfold I should have sup-








_7



posed I was in a soli-
tude instead of walled
in by four thousand people.
There was not a movement
perceptible in those masses
of humanity; they were as
rigid as stone images, and
as pale; and dread sat upon
7 every countenance. This
hush continu-
ed while I was




"IT WAS A NOBLE EFFECT."

being chained to the stake; it still continued while the fagots were
carefully and tediously piled about my ankles, my knees, my thighs,







THE ECLIPSE.


my body. Then there was a pause, and a deeper hush, if possible,
and a man knelt down at my feet with a blazing torch; the multitude
strained forward, gazing, and parting slightly from their seats with-
out knowing it; the monk raised his hands above my head, and his
eyes toward the blue sky, and began some words in Latin; in this
attitude he droned on and on, a little while, and then stopped. I
waited two or three moments: then looked up; he was standing there
petrified. With a common impulse the multitude rose slowly up and
stared into the sky. I followed their eyes; as sure as guns, there was
my eclipse beginning! The life went boiling through my veins; I was
a new man! The rim of black spread slowly into the sun's disk, my
heart beat higher and higher, and still the assemblage and the priest
stared into the sky, motionless. I knew that this gaze would be
turned upon me, next. When it was, I was ready. I was in one of
the most grand attitudes I ever struck, with my arm stretched up
pointing to the sun. It was a noble effect. You could see the shudder
sweep the mass like a wave. Two shouts rang out, one close upon
the heels of the other:
Apply the torch! "
I forbid it! "
The one was from Merlin, the other from the king. Merlin start--
ed from his place-to apply the torch himself, I judged. I said:
Stay where you are. If any man moves-even the king-before
I give him leave, I will blast him with thunder, I will consume him
with lightning! "
The multitude sank meekly into their seats, and I was just expect-
ng they would. Merlin hesitated a moment or two, and I was on pins
and needles during that little while. Then he sat down, and I took a
good breath; for I knew I was master of the situation now. The king
said:
Be merciful, fair sir, and essay no further in this perilous matter,







THE ECLIPSE.


lest disaster follow. It was reported to us that your powers could not
attain unto their full strength until the morrow; but-
"Your Majesty thinks the report may have been a lie? It was
a lie."
That made an immense effect; up went appealing hands every-
where, and the king was assailed with a storm of supplications that I
might be bought off at any price, and the calamity stayed. The king
was eager to comply. He said:
"Name any terms, reverend sir, even to the halving of my kingdom;
but banish this calamity, spare the sun!
My fortune was made. I would have taken him up in a minute, but
I couldn't stop an eclipse; the thing was out of the question. So I
asked time to consider. The king said-
How long-ah, how long, good sir? Be merciful; look, it grow-
eth darker, moment by moment. Prithee how long?"
Not long. Half an hour-maybe an hour."
There were a thousand pathetic protests, but I couldn't shorten up
any, for I couldn't remember how long a total eclipse lasts. I was in
a puzzled condition, anyway, and wanted to think. Something was
wrong about that eclipse, and the fact was very unsettling. If this
wasn't the one I was after, how was I to tell whether this was the
sixth century, or nothing but a dream? Dear me, if I could only
prove it was the latter! Here was a glad new hope. If the boy was
right about the date, and this was surely the 20th, it wasn't the sixth
century. I reached for the monk's sleeve, in considerable excitement,
and asked him what day of the month it was.
Hang him, he said it was the twenty-first! It made me turn cold
to hear him. I begged him not to make any mistake about it; but
he was sure; he knew it was the 21st. So, that feather-headed boy
had botched things again! The time of the day was right for the
eclipse; I had seen that for myself, in the beginning, by the dial that







THE ECLIPSE.


was near by. Yes, I was in King Arthur's court, and I might as well
make the most out of it I could.
The darkness was steadily growing, the people becoming more
and more distressed. I now said:
I have reflected, Sir King. For a lesson, I will let this darkness
proceed, and spread night in the world; but whether I blot out the
sun for good, or restore it, shall rest with you. These are the terms,
to wit: You shall remain king over all your dominions, and receive
all the glories and honors that belong to the kingship; but you shall
appoint me your perpetual minister and executive, and give me for
my services one per cent of such actual increase of revenue over and
above its present amount as I may succeed in creating for the state.
If I can't live on that, I sha'n't ask anybody to give me a lift. Is it
satisfactory ?"
There was a prodigious roar of applause, and out of the midst of it
the king's voice rose, saying:
Away with his bonds, and set him free! and do him homage,
high and low, rich and poor, for he is become the king's right hand,
is clothed with power and authority, and his seat is upon the highest
step of the throne! Now sweep away this creeping night, and bring
the light and cheer again, that all the world may bless thee."
But I said:
That a common man should be shamed before the world, is noth-
ing; but it were dishonor to the king if any that saw his minister
naked should not also see him delivered from his shame. If I might
ask that my clothes be brought again-"
"They are not meet," the king broke in. "Fetch raiment of
another sort; clothe him like a prince! "
My idea worked. I wanted to keep things as they were till the
eclipse was total, otherwise they would be trying again to get me to
dismiss the darkness, and of course I couldn't do it. Sending for the







THE ECLIPSE.


clothes gained some delay, but not enough. So I had to make
another excuse. I said it would be but natural if the king should
change his mind and repent to some extent of what he had done
under excitement; therefore I would let the darkness grow a while,
and if at the end of a reasonable time the king had kept his mind the
same, the darkness should be dismissed. Neither the king nor any-
body else was satisfied with that arrange-
ment, but I had to stick to my point.
It grew darker and darker and blacker
and blacker, while I struggled with those
awkward sixth-century clothes. It got to
be pitch dark, at last, and the multitude
groaned with horror to feel the cold uncan-













SMOTHERED WITH BLESSINGS."

ny night breezes fan through the place and see the stars come out
and twinkle in the sky. At last the eclipse was total, and I was
very glad of it, but everybody else was in misery; which was quite
natural. I said:
"The king, by his silence, still stands to the terms." Then I
lifted up my hands-stood just so a moment-then I said, with the







THE ECLIPSE. 79

most awful solemnity: "Let the enchantment dissolve and pass
harmless away!"
There was no response, for a moment, in that deep darkness and
that graveyard hush. But when the silver rim of the sun pushed
itself out, a moment or two later, the assemblage broke loose with a
vast shout and came pouring down like a deluge to smother me with
blessings and gratitude; and Clarence was not the last of the wash,
be sure.













































































~RjT
"i--- --
I=-9-~










-~s~=---=-s=





---~

aU*lyT -s.,














CHAPTER VII.


MERLIN'S TOWER.

-- NASMUCH as I was now the second person-
1 l age in the Kingdom, as far as political power
Sand authority were concerned, much was
made of me. My raiment was of silks and
velvets and cloth of gold, and by conse-
quence was very showy, also uncomfortable.
But habit would soon reconcile me to my
clothes; I was aware of that. I was given
S the choicest suite of apartments in the cas-
Stle, after the king's. They were aglow with
"loud-colored silken hangings, but the stone
Floors had nothing but rushes on them for a
'- carpet, and they were misfit rushes at that,
being not all of one breed. As for conven-
iences, properly speaking, there weren't any.
I mean little conveniences; it is the little
i, '""''.'i" conveniences that make the real comfort of
'life. The big oaken chairs, graced with rude
carvings, were well enough, but that was the
stopping-place. There was no soap, no
matches, no looking-glass-except a metal
one, about as powerful as a pail of water. And not a chromo. I
had been used to chromos for years, and I saw now that without my
suspecting it a passion for art had got worked into the fabric of my
83








MERLIN'S TOWER.


being, and was become a part of me. It made me homesick to look
around over this proud and gaudy but heartless barrenness and remem-
ber that in our house in East Hartford, all unpretending as it was, you





d1"1



II .,















*<-- ~ ~ ~ -"'.-"^
,'- ', _












Id-I
T E' I I-



















couldn't go into a room but you would find an insurance-chromo, or at
least a three-color God-Bless-Our-Home over the door; and in the
parlor we had nine. But here, even in my grand room of state, there








MERLIN'S TOWER.


wasn't anything in the nature of a picture except a thing the size of a
bed-quilt, which was either woven or knitted, (it had darned places in
it,) and nothing in it was the right color or the right shape; and as
for proportions, even Raphael himself couldn't have botched them
more formidably, after all his practice on those nightmares they call
his celebrated Hampton Court cartoons." Raphael was a bird. We
had several of his chromos; one was his Miraculous Draught of
Fishes," where he puts in a miracle of his own-puts three men into
a canoe which wouldn't have held a dog without upsetting. I always
admired to study R.'s art, it was so fresh and unconventional.
There wasn't even a bell or a speaking-tube in the castle. I had a
great many servants, and those that were on duty lolled in the ante-
room; and when I wanted one of them I had to go and call for him.
There was no gas, there were no candles; a bronze dish half full of
boarding-house butter with a blazing rag floating in it was the thing
that produced what was regarded as light. A lot of these hung along
the walls and modified the dark, just toned it down enough to make
it dismal. If you went out at night, your servants carried torches.
There were no books, pens, paper, or ink; and no glass in the openings
they believed to be windows. It is a little thing-glass is-until it is
absent, then it becomes a big thing. But perhaps the worst of all was,
that there wasn't any sugar, coffee, tea or tobacco. I saw that I was
just another Robinson Crusoe cast away on an uninhabited island, with
no society but some more or less tame animals, and if I wanted to
make life bearable I must do as he did-invent, contrive, create, reor-
ganize things; set brain and hand to work, and keep them busy.
Well, that was in my line.
One thing troubled me along at first- the immense interest which
people took in me. Apparently the whole nation wanted a look at
me. It soon transpired that the eclipse had scared the British world
almost to death: that while it lasted the whole country, from one end








MERLIN'S TOWER.


to the other, was in a pitiable state of panic, and the churches, her-
mitages, and monkeries overflowed with praying and weeping poor
creatures who thought the end of the world was come. Then had
followed the news that the producer of this awful event was a stranger,
a mighty magician at Arthur's court; that he could have blown out
the sun like a candle, and was just going to do it when his mercy was
purchased, and he then dissolved his enchantments, and was now
recognized and honored as the man who had by his unaided might
saved the globe from destruction and its peo-
ples from extinction. Now if you consider
that everybody believed that, and
Snot only believed it but never even
dreamed of doubting it, you
HI will easily understand that
t4 there was not a person in all
Britain that would not have
S walked fifty miles to
get a sight of me. Of
S course I was all the
talk-all other sub-
S jects were dropped;
even the king be-
"THE REVERENT AND AWE-STRICKEN MULTITUDES." came suddenly a per-
son of minor interest and notoriety. Within twenty-four hours the
delegations began to arrive, and from that time onward for a fortnight
they kept coming. The village was crowded, and all the countryside.
I had to go out a dozen times a day and show myself to these reverent
and awe-stricken multitudes. It came to be a great burden, as to
time and trouble, but of course it was at the same time compensat-
ingly agreeable to be so celebrated and such a centre of homage. It
turned Brer Merlin green with envy and spite, which was a great satis-








MERLIN'S TOWER.


faction to me. But there was one thing I couldn't understand; nobody
had asked for an autograph. I spoke to Clarence about it. By George,
I had to explain to him what it was. Then he said nobody in the
country could read or write but a few dozen priests. Land! think
of that.
There was another thing that troubled me a little. Those multi-
tudes presently began to agitate for another miracle. That was nat-
ural. To be able to carry back to their far homes the boast that they
had seen the man who could command the sun, riding in the
heavens, and be obeyed, would make them great in the eyes of their
neighbors, and envied by them all; but to be able to also say
they had seen him work a miracle themselves-why, people would
come a distance to see them. The pressure got to be pretty strong.
There was going to be an eclipse of the moon, and I knew the date
and hour, but it was too far away. Two years. I would have given
a good deal for license to hurry it up and use it now when there was
a big market for it. It seemed a great pity to have it wasted, so, and
come lagging along at a time when a body wouldn't have any use for
it as like as not. If it had been booked for only a month away, I
could have sold it short; but as matters stood, I couldn't seem to
cipher out any way to make it do me any good, so I gave up trying.
Next, Clarence found that old Merlin was making himself busy on the
sly among those people. He was spreading a report, that I was a
humbug, and that the reason I didn't accommodate the people with a
miracle was because I couldn't. I saw that I must do something. I
presently thought out a plan.
By my authority as executive I threw Merlin into prison-the same
cell I had occupied myself. Then I gave public notice by herald and
trumpet that I should be busy with affairs of state for a fortnight, but
about the end of that time I would take a moment's leisure and blow
up Merlin's stone tower by fires from heaven; in the meantime, whoso








MERLIN'S TOWER.


listened to evil reports about me, let him beware. Furthermore, I
would perform but this one miracle at this time, and no more; if it
failed to satisfy and any murmured, I would turn the murmurers into
horses, and make them useful. Quiet ensued.
I took Clarence into my confidence, to a certain degree, and we
went to work privately. I told him that this was a sort of miracle that
required a trifle of preparation; and that it would be sudden death to
ever talk about these preparations to anybody. That made his mouth
safe enough. Clandestinely we made a few bushels of first-rate blast-
ing-powder, and I superintended my armorers while they constructed
a lightning rod and some wires. This old stone tower was very mas-
sive-and rather ruinous, too, for it was Roman, and four hundred years
old. Yes, and handsome, after a rude fashion, and clothed with ivy
from base to summit, as with a shirt of scale mail. It stood on a lonely
eminence, in good view from the castle, and about half a mile away.
Working by night, we stowed the powder in the tower-dug stones
out, on the inside, and buried the powder in the walls themselves,
which were fifteen feet thick at the base. We put in a peck at a time,
in a dozen places. We could have blown up the Tower of London with
these charges. When the thirteenth night was come we put up our
lightning rod, bedded it in one of the batches of powder, and ran wires
from it to the other batches. Everybody had shunned that locality
from the day of my proclamation, but on the morning of the fourteenth
I thought best to warn the people, through the heralds, to keep clear
away-a quarter of a mile-away. Then added, by command, that at
some time during the twenty-four hours I would consummate the
miracle, but would first give a brief notice; by flags on the castle
towers, if in the day-time, by torch-baskets in the same places if at
night.
Thunder-showers had been tolerably frequent, of late, and I was
not much afraid of a failure; still, I shouldn't have cared for a delay








MERLIN'S TOWER.


of a day or two; I should have explained that I was busy with affairs
of state, yet, and the people must wait.
Of course we had a blazing sunny day-almost the first one without
a cloud for three weeks; things always happen so. I kept secluded,
and watched the weather. Clarence dropped in from time to time and
said the public excitement was growing and growing all the time, and
the whole country filling up with human masses as far as one could
see from the battlements. At last the wind sprang up and a cloud
appeared-in the right quarter, too, and just at nightfall. For a little
while I watched that distant cloud spread and blacken, then I judged
it was time for me to appear. I ordered the torch-baskets to be lit,
and Merlin liberated and sent to me. A quarter of an hour later I
ascended the parapet and there found the king and the court assem-
bled and gazing off in the darkness toward Merlin's tower. Already
the darkness was so heavy that one could not see far; these people,
and the old turrets, being partly in deep shadow and partly in the red
glow from the great torch-baskets overhead, made a good deal of a
picture.
Merlin arrived in a gloomy mood. I said:
You wanted to burn me alive when I had not done you any harm,
and latterly you have been trying to injure my professional reputation.
Therefore I am going to call down fire and blow up your tower, but
it is only fair to give you a chance; now if you think you can break
my enchantments and ward off the fires, step to the bat, it's your
innings."
I can, fair sir, and I will. Doubt it not."
He drew an imaginary circle on the stones of the roof, and burnt a
pinch of powder in it which sent up a small cloud of aromatic smoke,
whereat everybody fell back, and began to cross themselves and get
uncomfortable. Then he began to mutter and make passes in the air
with his hands. He worked himself up slowly and gradually into a








MERLIN'S TOWER.


sort of frenzy, and got to thrashing
around with his arms like the sails
ofa windmill. By this time the
storm had about \ ,, / reached us; the
gusts of wind '. were flaring the
torches and mak- 1/ ing the shadows
swash about, the / first heavy drops
of rain were falling, the world abroad
was black as pitch, the
lightning began to
wink fitfully. Of course
V








my rod would be W
loading itself now. -P
In fact, things were
imminent. So I
said :
"You have had time enough. I
have given you every advantage,
and not interfered. It is plain your
magic is weak. It is only fair that I
begin now." "THAT OLD TOWER LEAPED INTO THE
I made about three passes in the SKY IN CHUNKS."
air, and then there was an awful crash and that old tower leaped
into the sky in chunks, along with a vast volcanic fountain of fire that








MERLIN'S TOWER.


turned night to noonday, and showed a thousand acres of human
beings groveling on the ground in a general collapse of consternation.
Well, it rained mortar and masonry the rest of the week. This was the
report; but probably the facts would have modified it.
It was an effective miracle. The great bothersome temporary
population vanished. There were a good many thousand tracks in the
mud the next morning, but they were all outward bound. If I had
advertised another miracle I couldn't have raised an audience with a
sheriff.
Merlin's stock was flat. The king wanted to stop his wages; he
even wanted to banish him, but I interfered. I said he would be use-
ful to work the weather, and attend to small matters like that, and I
would give him a lift now and then when his poor little parlor-magic
soured on him'. There wasn't a rag of his tower left, but I had the
government rebuild it for him, and advised him to take boarders; but
he was too high-toned for that. And as for being grateful, he never
even said thank-you. He was a rather hard lot, take him how you
might; but then you couldn't fairly expect a man to be sweet that had
been set back so.














EX





ii~I

































L







At













CHAPTER VIII.


BOSS.


0 be vested with enormous author-
ity is a fine thing; but to have
the on-looking world consent to
it is a finer. The tower episode
solidified my power, and made it
impregnable. If any were per-
chance disposed to be jealous and crit-
ical before that, they experienced a
'bsI change of heart, now. There was not
Sany one in the kingdom who would have
considered it good judgment to meddle
with my matters.
I was fast getting adjusted to my situa-
tion and circumstances. For a time, I used
to wake up, mornings, and smile at my
"dream," and listen for the Colt's factory
Whistle; but that sort of thing played itself
out, gradually, and at last I was fully able
to realize that I was actually living
in the sixth century, and in Arthur's
Court, not a lunatic asylum. After
".----. that, I was just as much at home in
that century as I could have been in any other; and as for preference,
I wouldn't have traded it for the twentieth. Look at the opportuni-







THE BOSS.


ties here for a man of knowledge, brains, pluck and enterprise to sail
in and grow up with the country. The grandest field that ever was;
and all my own; not a competitor; not a man who wasn't a baby to
me in acquirements and capacities; whereas, what would I amount to
in the twentieth century? I should be foreman of a factory, that is
about all; and could drag a seine down-street any day and catch a
hundred better men than myself.
What a jump I had made! I couldn't keep from thinking about
it, and contemplating it, just as one does who has struck oil. There
was nothing back of me that could approach it, unless it might be
Joseph's case; and Joseph's only approached it, it didn't equal it,
quite. For it stands to reason that as Joseph's splendid financial in-
genuities advantaged nobody but the king, the general public must
have regarded him with a good deal of disfavor, whereas I had done
my entire public a kindness in sparing the sun, and was popular by
reason of it.
I was no shadow of a king; I was the substance; the king himself
was the shadow. My power was colossal; and it was not a mere
name, as such things have generally been, it was the genuine article.
I stood here, at the very spring and source of the second great period
of the world's history; and could see the trickling stream of that his-
tory gather, and deepen and broaden, and roll its mighty tides down
the far centuries; and I could note the upspringing of adventurers
like myself in the shelter of its long array of thrones: De Montforts,
Gavestons, Mortimers, Villierses; the war-making, campaign-direct-
ing wantons of France, and Charles the Second's sceptre -wielding
drabs; but nowhere in the procession was my full-sized fellow visible.
I was a Unique; and glad to know that that fact could not be dis-
lodged or challenged for thirteen centuries and a half, for sure.
Yes, in power I was equal to the king. At the same time there
was another power that was a trifle stronger than both of us put







THE BOSS.


together. That was the Church. I do not wish to disguise that fact.
I couldn't, if I wanted to. But never mind about that, now; it will
show up, in its proper place, later on. It didn't cause me any trouble
in the beginning-at least any of consequence.
Well, it was a curious country, and full of interest. And the
people! They were the
quaintest and simplest and
trustingest race; why, they
were nothing but rabbits.
It was pitiful for a person
born in a wholesome free
atmosphere to listen to
their humble and hearty
outpourings of loyalty
toward their king and
Church and
nobility; as ,
if they had
any more
occasion to
love and /

--" WHY, THEY WERE NOTHING BUT RABBITS."

honor king and Church and noble
than a slave has to love and honor
the lash, or a dog has to love-and honor the stranger that kicks him!
Why, dear me, any kind of royalty, howsoever modified, any kind of
aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born
and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never
find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells
you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of







THE BOSS.


the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow
of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always fig-
ured as its aristocracies-a company of monarchs and nobles who, as
a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like
their betters, to their own exertions.
The most of King Arthur's British nation were slaves, pure and
simple, and bore that name, and wore the iron collar on their necks;
and the rest were slaves in fact, but without the name; they imagined
themselves men and freemen, and called themselves so. The truth
was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one
only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them,
sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they
might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go
naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might
be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrad-
ing language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride
and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the
thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were
they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.
Inherited ideas are a curious thing, and interesting to observe and
examine. I had mine, the king and his people had theirs. In both
cases they flowed in ruts worn deep by time and habit, and the man
who should have proposed to divert them by reason and argument
would have had a long contract on his hands. For instance, those
people had inherited the idea that all men without title and a long
pedigree, whether they had great natural gifts and acquirements or
hadn't, were creatures of no more consideration than so many animals,
bugs, insects; whereas I had inherited the idea that human daws who
can consent to masquerade in the peacock-shams of inherited digni-
ties and unearned titles, are of no good but to be laughed at. The
way I was looked upon was odd, but it was natural. You know how




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs