A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE TOURNAMENT

T HEY were always having grand tournaments there at Camelot; and very stirring and picturesque and ridiculous human bull-fights they were, too, but just a little wearisome to the practical mind. However, I was generally on hand--for two reasons: a man must not hold himself aloof from the things which his friends and his community have at heart if he would be liked--especially as a statesman; and both as business man and statesman I wanted to study the tournament and see if I couldn't invent an improvement on it. That reminds me to remark, in passing, that the very first official thing I did, in my administration--and it was on the very first day of it, too--was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn't travel any way but sideways or backways.

Things ran along, a tournament nearly every week; and now and then the boys used to want me to take a hand--I mean Sir Launcelot and the rest --but I said I would by and by: no hurry yet, and too much government machinery to oil up and set to rights and start a-going.

We had one tournament which was continued

-68-

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