Twain and the Image of History

Twain and the Image of History

Twain and the Image of History

Twain and the Image of History

Excerpt

John [Briggs] said, "Can you point out the place where Bear Creek used to be before the railroad came?"

I said "Yes, it ran yonder."
Twain, " Sixty-Seventh Birthday Speech "

The other world beyond this, which was longed for by the devout before Columbus' time, was found in the new; and the deep-sea-lead that first struck these soundings, brought up the soil of Earth's Paradise. Not a Paradise then, or now; but to be made so, at God's good pleasure, and in the fullness and mellowness of time. The seed is sown, and the harvest must come.
Melville, Redburn

All human affairs are subject to organic disorder.
Melville, Israel Potter

In his preface to The Heidenmauer James Fenimore Cooper tells of a trip he had taken the year before through the Harz Mountains of central Germany. At one point, a series of ruins dating from pre-Roman, Roman, and medieval times cause him to stop and climb a neighboring mountain (the Teufelstein) from which he can view them better. Under the stimulus of such a setting, a vision of the course of human history passes before his mind's eye: the "furious superstition and debased ignorance" of the bar-

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