THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

the solemnities that usually attended such divine operations.

There is but one Homer, there is but one Shakespeare, there is but

one McClintock–and his immortal book is before you. Homer could

not have written this book, Shakespeare could not have written it,

I could not have done it myself. There is nothing just like it

in the literature of any country or of any epoch. It stands alone;

it is monumental. It adds G. Ragsdale McClintock’s to the sum of

the republic’s imperishable names.

– – –

1. The name here given is a substitute for the one actually

attached to the pamphlet.

2. Further on it will be seen that he is a country expert

on the fiddle, and has a three-township fame.

3. It is a crowbar.




[The foregoing review of the great work of G. Ragsdale McClintock is

liberally illuminated with sample extracts, but these cannot appease

the appetite. Only the complete book, unabridged, can do that.

Therefore it is here printed.–M.T.]


Sweet girl, thy smiles are full of charms,

Thy voice is sweeter still,

It fills the breast with fond alarms,

Echoed by every rill.

I begin this little work with an eulogy upon woman, who has ever

been distinguished for her perseverance, her constancy, and her

devoted attention to those upon whom she has been pleased to place

her AFFECTIONS. Many have been the themes upon which writers and

public speakers have dwelt with intense and increasing interest.

Among these delightful themes stands that of woman, the balm

to all our sighs and disappointments, and the most pre-eminent

of all other topics. Here the poet and orator have stood and gazed

with wonder and with admiration; they have dwelt upon her innocence,

the ornament of all her virtues. First viewing her external charms,

such as set forth in her form and benevolent countenance, and then passing

to the deep hidden springs of loveliness and disinterested devotion.

In every clime, and in every age, she has been the pride of her NATION.

Her watchfulness is untiring; she who guarded the sepulcher was

the first to approach it, and the last to depart from its awful

yet sublime scene. Even here, in this highly favored land,

we look to her for the security of our institutions, and for our

future greatness as a nation. But, strange as it may appear,

woman’s charms and virtues are but slightly appreciated by thousands.

Those who should raise the standard of female worth, and paint her

value with her virtues, in living colors, upon the banners that are

fanned by the zephyrs of heaven, and hand them down to posterity

as emblematical of a rich inheritance, do not properly estimate them.

Man is not sensible, at all times, of the nature and the emotions

which bear that name; he does not understand, he will not comprehend;

his intelligence has not expanded to that degree of glory which

drinks in the vast revolution of humanity, its end, its mighty

destination, and the causes which operated, and are still operating,

to produce a more elevated station, and the objects which energize

and enliven its consummation. This he is a stranger to;

he is not aware that woman is the recipient of celestial love,

and that man is dependent upon her to perfect his character;

that without her, philosophically and truly speaking, the brightest

of his intelligence is but the coldness of a winter moon,

whose beams can produce no fruit, whose solar light is not its own,

but borrowed from the great dispenser of effulgent beauty.

We have no disposition in the world to flatter the fair sex,

we would raise them above those dastardly principles which only

exist in little souls, contracted hearts, and a distracted brain.

Often does she unfold herself in all her fascinating loveliness,

presenting the most captivating charms; yet we find man frequently

treats such purity of purpose with indifference. Why does he do it?

Why does he baffle that which is inevitably the source of his

better days? Is he so much of a stranger to those excellent qualities

as not to appreciate woman, as not to have respect to her dignity?

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Categories: Twain, Mark