A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
A RIVAL MAGICIAN

M Y influence in the Valley of Holiness was something prodigious now. It seemed worth while to try to turn it to some valuable account. The thought came to me the next morning, and was suggested by my seeing one of my knights who was in the soap line come riding in. According to history, the monks of this place two centuries before had been worldly-minded enough to want to wash. It might be that there was a leaven of this unrighteousness still remaining. So I sounded a Brother

"Wouldn't you like a bath?"

He shuddered at the thought--the thought of the peril of it to the well--but he said with feeling:

"One needs not to ask that of a poor body who has not known that blessed refreshment sith that he was a boy. Would God I might wash me! but it may not be, fair sir, tempt me not; it is forbidden."

And then he sighed in such a sorrowful way that I was resolved he should have at least one layer of his real estate removed, if it sized up my whole influence and bankrupted the pile. So I went to the abbot and asked for a permit for this Brother. He blenched at the idea--I don't mean that you could see him blench, for of course you couldn't see it without you scraped

-219-

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