Some Words From Mark Twain
- ..."But, Mary, you know how we have been trained all our lives long, like
the whole village, till it is absolutely second nature to us to stop not a
single moment to think when there's an honest thing to be done--"
"Oh, I know it, I know it--it's been one everlasting training and training
and training in honesty--honesty shielded, from the very cradle, against
every possible temptation, and so it's ARTIFICIAL honesty, and weak as water
when temptation comes, as we have seen this night. God knows I never had
shade nor shadow of a doubt of my petrified and indestructible honesty until
now--and now, under the very first big and real temptation, I---Edward, it
is my belief that this town's honesty is as rotten as mine is; as rotten as
yours. It is a mean town, a hard, stingy town, and hasn't a virtue in the
world but this honesty it is so celebrated for and so conceited about; and
so help me, I do believe that if ever the day comes that its honesty falls
under great temptation, its grand reputation will go to ruin like a house of
cards. There, now, I've made confession, and I feel better; I am a humbug,
and I've been one all my life, without knowing it. Let no man call me
honest again--I will not have it." ...
"The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg"
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