Submitted by scott on Tue, 02/07/2023 - 11:14

November 29 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Montreal to Livy.

I have …inspected a lot of Catholic churches, French markets, shop windows, &c. But for the shame of it, the indignity to my pride, I would like to be a priest’s slave, & glide in with my basket or my bundle, & duck my head & crook my knee at a painted image, & glide out again with my immortal part refreshed & strengthened for my day’s burdens. But—I am not a priest’s slave, & so it hurts me, hurts me all through, to recognize, by these exhibitions, what poor animals we are, what children, how easily fooled, beguiled, & by what cheap & trivial devices, by what thin & paltry lies [MTNJ 2: 411].

Sam then remarked about the Jesuit missionaries in Canada:

Talk about self-abnegation! Heroism! Fidelity to a cause! It was sublime, it was stupendous. Why what these men did & suffered, in trying to rescue the insulting & atrocious savages from the doom of hell, makes one adore & glorify human nature as exemplified by those priests—yes & despise it at the very same time. In endurance & performance they were gods; in credulity, & in obedience to their ecclesiastical chiefs, they were swine [LLMT 206].

Sam’s library contained a copy of Parkman’s The Jesuits in North American in the Seventeenth Century (1880). Sam annotated on page 256: “What manner of men were these?”

Horace Russell wrote to urge Clemens to reconsider his decline of the dinner for the New England Society [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Judge Russell Superior Court NY”

Link to Epoch, Episode and Chapter

Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.