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Forward into the past

Yesterday at a used bookstore in New York, I got a Sixties paperback of Letters from the Earth, a collection of Mark Twain pieces that he was certain could never be published in his lifetime because they were too radical, scandalous, defamatory. That remains to be seen by me, but I opened it just now at utter random and got this: "'Oh, of course!' he scoffed. 'You are a Patriot—you and your sort. And what is a Patriot, pray? It's one who grovels to the Family, and shouts for the Emperor and the Government, be they in the right or in the wrong,—and especially when they are in the wrong; that they call 'standing by the Country.' Patriotism—oh, Laura! That sham, that perversion, that silver-gil

 

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