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Mark Twain on Polygamy

Discussion in 'Latter-day Saints DIR' started by jonny, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    I love Mark Twain - he is one of my favorite authors and I really have always thought of him as a clever author. In his book Roughin' It, he tours the west, and of course, makes a stop in Salt Lake City. This is the book where he makes the famous quote about the Book of Mormon being "chloroform in print" and went on to say that if Joseph Smith wrote the book it was a miracle, or at least "keeping awake while he did it" was a miracle. :)

    My favorite part was his comment on Ether after it says that it didn't contain everything. "It seems a pity he did not finish, for after all his dreary former chapters of commonplace, he stopped just as he was in danger of becoming interesting."

    Anyway, it isn't the Book of Mormon quotes that I love in this book - it is the polygamy quotes.

    "Our stay in Salt Lake City amounted to only two days, and therefore we had no time to make the customary inquisition into the workings of polygamy and get up the usual statistics and deductions preparatory to calling the attention of the nation at large once more to the matter. I had the will to do it. With the gushing self-sufficiency of youth I was feverish to plunge headlong and achieve a great reform here - until I saw the Mormon women. Then I was touched. My heart was wiser than my head. It warmed toward these poor, ungainly, and pathetically "homely" creatures, and as I turned to hide the generous moisture in my eyes, I said, "No - the man that married one of them has done an act of Christian charity which entitles him to the kindly applause of mankind, not their harsh censure - and the man that married sixty of them has done a deed of open-handed generosity so sublime that the nations should stand uncovered in his presence and worship in silence."

    :biglaugh: :biglaugh:
     
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  2. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    That's awesome! I love mark twain.
     
  3. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    I, too, love Twain, but sometimes, in an attempt to be humorous, he ventures well past our current standards of "political correctness."
    In Twain's day standards of taste and propriety were different. Ethnic and religious humor was much more accepted.
     
  4. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Aaah, the good ol' days, back when people were "allowed" to be funny, and everybody else could recognize a joke when they saw one.
     
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