The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 461 pages of information about The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories.
complete and a fine success; but I think that this result could have been achieved with fewer materials.  I believe the mash was necessary to the conversion of the stomach-ache into the boots, but I think one could develop the blind staggers out of the literature by itself; also, that blind staggers produced in this way would be of a better quality and more lasting than any produced by the artificial processes of a horse-doctor.

For of all the strange, and frantic, and incomprehensible, and uninterpretable books which the imagination of man has created, surely this one is the prize sample.  It is written with a limitless confidence and complacency, and with a dash and stir and earnestness which often compel the effects of eloquence, even when the words do not seem to have any traceable meaning.  There are plenty of people who imagine they understand the book; I know this, for I have talked with them; but in all cases they were people who also imagined that there were no such things as pain, sickness, and death, and no realities in the world; nothing actually existent but Mind.  It seems to me to modify the value of their testimony.  When these people talk about Christian Science they do as Mrs. Fuller did; they do not use their own language, but the book’s; they pour out the book’s showy incoherences, and leave you to find out later that they were not originating, but merely quoting; they seem to know the volume by heart, and to revere it as they would a Bible—­another Bible, perhaps I ought to say.  Plainly the book was written under the mental desolations of the Third Degree, and I feel sure that none but the membership of that Degree can discover meanings in it.  When you read it you seem to be listening to a lively and aggressive and oracular speech delivered in an unknown tongue, a speech whose spirit you get but not the particulars; or, to change the figure, you seem to be listening to a vigorous instrument which is making a noise it thinks is a tune, but which to persons not members of the band is only the martial tooting of a trombone, and merely stirs the soul through the noise but does not convey a meaning.

The book’s serenities of self-satisfaction do almost seem to smack of a heavenly origin—­they have no blood-kin in the earth.  It is more than human to be so placidly certain about things, and so finely superior, and so airily content with one’s performance.  Without ever presenting anything which may rightfully be called by the strong name of Evidence, and sometimes without even mentioning a reason for a deduction at all, it thunders out the startling words, ‘I have Proved’ so and so!  It takes the Pope and all the great guns of his church in battery assembled to authoritatively settle and establish the meaning of a sole and single unclarified passage of Scripture, and this at vast cost of time and study and reflection, but the author of this work is superior to all that:  she finds the whole Bible in an unclarified condition, and at

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The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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