The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.

This is unquestionably exaggerated.  In Florence he was so annoyed by beggars that he pretends to have seized and eaten one in a frantic spirit of revenge.  There is, of course, no truth in this.  He gives at full length a theatrical program seventeen or eighteen hundred years old, which he professes to have found in the ruins of the Coliseum, among the dirt and mold and rubbish.  It is a sufficient comment upon this statement to remark that even a cast-iron program would not have lasted so long under such circumstances.  In Greece he plainly betrays both fright and flight upon one occasion, but with frozen effrontery puts the latter in this falsely tamed form:  “We sidled toward the Piraeus.”  “Sidled,” indeed!  He does not hesitate to intimate that at Ephesus, when his mule strayed from the proper course, he got down, took him under his arm, carried him to the road again, pointed him right, remounted, and went to sleep contentedly till it was time to restore the beast to the path once more.  He states that a growing youth among his ship’s passengers was in the constant habit of appeasing his hunger with soap and oakum between meals.  In Palestine he tells of ants that came eleven miles to spend the summer in the desert and brought their provisions with them; yet he shows by his description of the country that the feat was an impossibility.  He mentions, as if it were the most commonplace of matters, that he cut a Moslem in two in broad daylight in Jerusalem, with Godfrey de Bouillon’s sword, and would have shed more blood if he had had A graveyard of his own.  These statements are unworthy a moment’s attention.  Mr. Twain or any other foreigner who did such a thing in Jerusalem would be mobbed, and would infallibly lose his life.  But why go on?  Why repeat more of his audacious and exasperating falsehoods?  Let us close fittingly with this one:  he affirms that “in the mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople I got my feet so stuck up with a complication of gums, slime, and general impurity, that I wore out more than two thousand pair of bootjacks getting my boots off that night, and even then some Christian hide peeled off with them.”  It is monstrous.  Such statements are simply lies—­there is no other name for them.  Will the reader longer marvel at the brutal ignorance that pervades the American nation when we tell him that we are informed upon perfectly good authority that this extravagant compilation of falsehoods, this exhaustless mine of stupendous lies, this innocents abroad, has actually been adopted by the schools and colleges of several of the states as a text-book!

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The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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