A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHURS COURT PDF
Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT by. MARK TWAIN. ( Samuel L. Clemens). PREFACE. THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Complete by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). Adobe PDF icon. Download this document as myavr.info: File size: MB.
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Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The book was. Download A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court free in PDF & EPUB format. Download Mark Twain.'s A Connecticut Yankee In King. A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. A WORD OF EXPLANATION. It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger.
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, while your enchantments are but in the weaving and lack potency.
Odsbodikins, 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 remember—ah, good friend, I implore thee remember my supplication, and do the blessed sun no hurt.
For my sake, thy true friend. As the soldiers assisted me across the court the stillness was so profound that if I had been blindfold I should have supposed I was in a solitude 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 every countenance.
This hush continued while I was being chained to the stake; it still continued while the fagots were carefully and tediously piled about my ankles, my knees, my thighs, 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 without 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! 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.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Merlin started from his place—to apply the torch himself, I judged. If any man moves—even the king—before I give him leave, I will blast him with thunder, I will consume him with lightnings! Sir Kay tells the story of how he captured Hank, who he describes as a giant protected by 13 knights, wearing magical clothing which prevents injury.
Sir Kay ends his story by sentencing Hank to die at noon on the 21st. Hank is bothered by the "indelicacy" of how these people talk. He is even more troubled when the court decides to solve the problem of his "magical" clothing by stripping him naked. Analysis Based on the book's title, readers could safely assume Hank Morgan would attend at least one courtly banquet.
Twain plays with the reader's expectations, and then subverts them. In Arthurian legend and other epics, courtiers may be beautiful, noble, or cruel, but childlike?
Twain does this for two reasons. First, he is intentionally poking fun at the courtly nobles of history and legend. Twain is no friend to the nobility, as he demonstrated with the Duke and the King in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Second, Twain is laying the groundwork for Hank's eventual plans.
On the morn Sir Launcelot arose early, and left Sir Kay sleeping; and Sir Launcelot took Sir Kay's armor 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 armor and his horse.
Now by my faith I know well that he will 9. 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 welcome. I also comforted him with a hot Scotch whisky; 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:.
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 sentiment, I suppose--or poetry, in other words. My father was a blacksmith, 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 Not entirely. I could make anything a body wanted--anything in the world. I could invent one--and do it as easy as rolling off a log. With a couple of thousand rough men under one. He laid me out with a crusher alongside the head that made everything crack. I was sitting under an oak tree. It was during a misunderstanding conducted with crowbars with a fellow we used to call Hercules.
He was in old-time iron armor from head to heel. When I came to again. I became head superintendent. Then the world went out in darkness. At last I met my match. I had.
I walking by the side of his horse. There was argument on his side--and the bulk of the advantage --so I judged it best to humor him. We marched comfortably along. He allowed that I was his property.
I saw he meant business. I came down. We fixed up an agreement whereby I was to go with him and he was not to hurt me.
So I gave up the idea of a circus. He said he had never heard of the place. I asked him how far we were from Hartford. I kept a journal. How long ago that was! I've got it all written out. But we never came to an asylum--so I was up a stump. My stranger had been showing signs of sleepiness.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
I took the journal and turned it into a book. He caught himself nodding. At the end of an hour we saw a far-away town sleeping in a valley by a winding river. As I went out at his door I heard him murmur sleepily: 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 penmanship which was older and dimmer still--Latin words and sentences: I turned to the place indicated by my stranger and began to read --as follows:.
Name of the asylum, likely. It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as Sunday.
The air was full of the smell of flowers, and the buzzing of insects, and the twittering of birds, and 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. 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 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.
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 sandal, 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 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 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 banners and rich doublets and horse-cloths and gilded spearheads; and through the muck and swine, and naked brats, and joyous dogs, and shabby huts, it took its gallant way, and in its wake we followed.
Followed through one winding alley and then another,--and climbing, always climbing--till at last we gained the breezy height where the huge castle stood. There was an exchange of bugle blasts; then a parley from the walls, where men-at-arms, in hauberk and morion, marched back and forth with halberd at shoulder under flapping banners with the rude figure of a dragon displayed upon them; and then the great gates were flung 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 stretching up into The moment I got a chance I slipped aside privately and touched an ancient common looking man on the shoulder and said, in an insinuating, confidential way:.
Do you belong to the asylum, or are you just on a visit or something like that? I moved away, 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:. 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 yellow 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 satisfied 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. 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 questions 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 happened to mention that he was born in the beginning Say it again--and say it slow.
What year was it? 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? I mean, it isn't a place where they cure crazy people?
I felt a mournful sinking at the heart, and muttered: They will not be born for more than thirteen hundred years yet. I seemed to believe the boy, I didn't know why. My reason straightway began to clamor; that was 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. 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 circumstances 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: 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 upward.
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:. What is the name of that apparition that brought me here? Get word to my friends! I thanked him. Sir Kay the Seneschal. Sir Kay would have me in and exhibit me before King Arthur and his illustrious knights seated at the Table Round.
I couldn't do less. The page said. He said I was Sir Kay's prisoner. It was I saw that the last chance had the best show. It was very. As to ornament. There was a fireplace big enough to camp in. The floor was of big stone flags laid in black and white squares. It was as large as a circus ring. They wore their plumed hats. Along the walls stood men-at-arms.
In the middle of this groined and vaulted public square was an oaken table which they called the Table Round. It was hard to associate them with In the end. Mainly they were drinking--from entire ox horns.
As a rule. There was about an average of two dogs to one man. They were suffering sharp physical pain. Poor devils. There were twenty or more. I was not the only prisoner present. The thought was forced upon me: As a general thing--as far as I could make out--these murderous adventures were not forays undertaken to avenge injuries. Yet there was something very engaging about these great simple-hearted creatures.
There did not seem to be brains enough in the entire nursery. Many a time I had seen a couple of boys. There was presently an incident which centered the general interest upon this Sir Launcelot. Surprise and astonishment flashed from face to face all over the house. At a sign from a sort of master of ceremonies. There was a fine manliness observable in almost every face. A most noble benignity and purity reposed in the countenance of him they called Sir Galahad.
The most conspicuously situated lady in that massed flower-bed of feminine show and finery inclined her head by way of assent. But he was equal to the occasion. He said he would state the case exactly according to the facts. Then he went on and told how Sir Launcelot. He got up and played his hand like a major--and took every trick. In twice a thousand years shall the unholy invention of man labor at odds to beget the fellow to this majestic lie!
I said as much to Clarence. I followed the direction of his eye. The same suffering look that was in the page's face was observable in all the faces around--the look of dumb creatures who know that they must endure and make no moan. Everybody praised the valor and magnanimity of Sir Launcelot.
I was perfectly amazed. The droning voice droned on. He telleth it always in the third person. But that men fear him for that he hath the storms and the lightnings and all the devils that be in hell at his beck and call.
Would God I had died or I saw this day! Some heads were bowed upon folded arms. The old man began his tale. Good friend. Arthur said. That is the Lady of the lake. And as they rode. So they rode till they came to a lake. What damsel is that? He said: It was a tranquil scene. I have no sword. No force. With that they saw a damsel going upon the lake.
So the hermit searched all his wounds and gave him good salves.
No matter. Anon This was the old man's tale. I would it were mine. Sir Arthur King. I will give you what gift ye will ask. Sir Arthur took it up by the handles. That is well said. What signifieth yonder pavilion? It is the knight's pavilion. And the arm and the hand went under the water. Sir Pellinore. So Sir Arthur and Merlin alight. And then Sir Arthur saw a rich pavilion. By my faith. Ye are more unwise. So they came unto Carlion. And when they heard of his adventures they marveled that he would jeopard his person so alone.
When I see him. Also ye shall see that day in short space ye shall be right glad to give him your sister to wed. I marvel. Me liketh better the sword. Then Sir Arthur looked on the sword. I will do as ye advise me. So they rode into Carlion. Whether liketh you better. 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.
He tied some metal mugs to a dog's tail and turned him loose. It was just like so many children. He was so set up that he concluded to make a speech --of course a humorous speech. Sir Dinadan was so proud of his exploit that he could not keep from telling over and over again. It seemed Sir Dinadan the Humorist was the first to awake. He was worse than the minstrels.
I think I never heard so many old played-out jokes strung together in my life. He said the most of Sir Dinadan's jokes were rotten and the rest were petrified. However he had nullified the force of the enchantment by prayer. It is no use to throw a good thing away merely because the market isn't ripe yet. I said "petrified" was good. It about convinced me that there isn't any such thing as a new joke possible. I had noticed that.
Sir Kay told how he had encountered me in a far land of barbarians. But that neat idea hit the boy in a blank place. Everybody laughed at these antiquities --but then they always do. Now Sir Kay arose and began to fire up on his history-mill with me for fuel. I made a note of the remark. It was time for me to feel serious.
I had read "Tom Jones. Indelicacy is too mild a term to convey the idea. And yet it was nothing but an ordinary suit of fifteen-dollar slop-shops. 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.
I was in a dismal state by this time. He spoke of me all the time. He ended by condemning me to die at noon on the 21st. I was sane enough to notice this detail. 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. Finally I was carried off in one direction.
They were so troubled about my enchanted clothes that they were mightily relieved. In half a minute I was as naked as a pair of tongs! And dear. Everybody discussed me. I was the only embarrassed person there. We should have had talk from Rebecca and Ivanhoe and the soft lady Rowena which would embarrass a tramp in our day.
He asked them why they were so dull--why didn't it occur to them to strip me.
It was the only compliment I got--if it was a compliment. King Arthur's people were not aware that they were indecent and I had presence of mind enough not to mention it. Queen Guenever was as naively interested as the rest. Suppose Sir Walter. I was shoved into a dark and narrow cell in a dungeon. I'm in no hurry. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. Go along with the rest of the dream!
I gasped with surprise. When I next came to myself.. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. My first thought was. One may not hope to escape. But how many. I hope? Not many. Ho-ho--answer me that!
I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. So I said beseechingly: I do want to tell you. What are they? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so? I have told it! Now God pity me. Then I said: Do you know why I laughed? I went on thinking. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. Oh call them back before it is too late! That cheap old humbug.
Pull yourself together. These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things.
Because I'm a magician myself. I knew him in India five hundred years ago--he is always blethering around in my way. I took quick note of that. He don't amount to shucks.
I resumed. Merlin--a new alias every time he turns up. He is well enough for the provinces--one-night stands and that sort of thing. He has died and come alive again thirteen times. I'll tell you why I laughed. I am going to stand your friend. I knew him in Egypt three hundred years ago. Now look here. But he promised everything. I worried over that heedless blunder for an hour.
Presently this thought occurred to me: When the boy gets calm. I want you to do me a favor. I want you to get word to the king that I am a magician myself--and the Supreme Grand High-yu-Muck-amuck and head of the tribe. I was at rest. It was pitiful to see a creature so terrified. Will you get that to the king for me?
But finally it occurred to me all of a sudden that these animals didn't reason. Then he worked his way out. Clarence came in. I ought to have invented my calamity first. If I had only just a moment to think.. I'm all right.. It came into my mind in the nick of time. I had made a blunder. 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.. But as soon as one is at rest.
Suppose I should be asked to name my calamity? I could play it myself..
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I've got it. He was frighted even to the marrow. Then I have slept well. They disputed long. It is 9 of the morning now. Nine in the morning Verily it is because he cannot. I began. I handed him over to the soldiers. This is the 20th. I will tell you what to say. I will blot out the sun. And yet it is the very complexion of midnight. The mere knowledge of a fact is pale.
Hope springs up. When my rally came. In the stillness and the darkness. I was even impatient for to-morrow to come. It is all the difference between hearing of a man being stabbed to the heart. But it is a blessed provision of nature that at times like these.
I said to myself that my eclipse would be sure to save me. I was as happy a man as there was in the world. I so wanted to gather in that great triumph and be the center of all the nation's wonder and reverence. That was the half-conviction that when the nature of my proposed calamity should be reported to those superstitious people. I had no command over myself.The talk of these meek people had a strange enough sound in a formerly American ear.
Then had followed the news that the producer of this awful event was a stranger. Anon withal came there upon him two great giants, well armed, all save the heads, with two horrible clubs in their hands. Summary Chapter 3: Knights of the Table Round Hank Morgan admits some of the knights have a noble appearance—he specifically mentions Sir Launcelot—but he dismisses all of them as acting like little kids. I was dazed, stupefied; I had no command over myself, I only wandered purposely 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.
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