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The Gilded Age - Preface Post by :ptrferdinand Category :Long Stories Author :Mark Twain Date :June 2011 Read :847

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The Gilded Age - Preface



A Tale of Today

by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner




This book was not written for private circulation among friends; it was
not written to cheer and instruct a diseased relative of the author's;
it was not thrown off during intervals of wearing labor to amuse an idle
hour. It was not written for any of these reasons, and therefore it is
submitted without the usual apologies.

It will be seen that it deals with an entirely ideal state of society;
and the chief embarrassment of the writers in this realm of the
imagination has been the want of illustrative examples. In a State where
there is no fever of speculation, no inflamed desire for sudden wealth,
where the poor are all simple-minded and contented, and the rich are all
honest and generous, where society is in a condition of primitive purity
and politics is the occupation of only the capable and the patriotic,
there are necessarily no materials for such a history as we have
constructed out of an ideal commonwealth.

No apology is needed for following the learned custom of placing
attractive scraps of literature at the heads of our chapters. It has
been truly observed by Wagner that such headings, with their vague
suggestions of the matter which is to follow them, pleasantly inflame the
reader's interest without wholly satisfying his curiosity, and we will
hope that it may be found to be so in the present case.

Our quotations are set in a vast number of tongues; this is done for the
reason that very few foreign nations among whom the book will circulate
can read in any language but their own; whereas we do not write for a
particular class or sect or nation, but to take in the whole world.

We do not object to criticism; and we do not expect that the critic will
read the book before writing a notice of it: We do not even expect the
reviewer of the book will say that he has not read it. No, we have no
anticipations of anything unusual in this age of criticism. But if the
Jupiter, Who passes his opinion on the novel, ever happens to peruse it
in some weary moment of his subsequent life, we hope that he will not be
the victim of a remorse bitter but too late.

One word more. This is--what it pretends to be a joint production, in
the conception of the story, the exposition of the characters, and in its
literal composition. There is scarcely a chapter that does not bear the
marks of the two writers of the book.

S. L. C.
C. D. W.

(The following chapters were written by Mark Twain:
1-11, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32-34, 36, 37, 42, 43, 45, 51-53, 57, 59-62;
and portions of 35, 49, and 56. See Twain's letter to Dr. John Brown
Feb. 28, 1874 D.W.)

Content of Preface (Mark Twain/C. D. Warner's novel: The Gilded Age)

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The Gilded Age - Chapter I The Gilded Age - Chapter I

The Gilded Age - Chapter I
CHAPTER IJune 18--. Squire Hawkins sat upon the pyramid of large blocks, calledthe "stile," in front of his house, contemplating the morning.The locality was Obedstown, East Tennessee. You would not know thatObedstown stood on the top of a mountain, for there was nothing about thelandscape to indicate it--but it did: a mountain that stretched abroadover whole counties, and rose very gradually. The district was calledthe "Knobs of East Tennessee," and had a reputation like Nazareth, as faras turning out any good thing was concerned.The Squire's house was a double log cabin, in a state of decay; two orthree

Tom Sawyer Abroad - Chapter 13. Going For Tom's Pipe Tom Sawyer Abroad - Chapter 13. Going For Tom's Pipe

Tom Sawyer Abroad - Chapter 13. Going For Tom's Pipe
Chapter XIII. Going For Tom's Pipe BY AND BY we left Jim to float around up there in the neighborhood of the pyramids, and we clumb down to the hole where you go into the tunnel, and went in with some Arabs and candles, and away in there in the middle of the pyramid we found a room and a big stone box in it where they used to keep that king, just as the man in the Sunday-school said; but he was gone, now; somebody had got him. But I didn't take no interest in the place, because there could