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Tom Sawyer Mark Twain


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    "In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by,
    and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance into
    the Elysian world, of which she has had such bright
    dreams. How fairy-like does everything appear to
    her enchanted vision! Each new scene is more charming
    than the last. But after a while she finds that
    beneath this goodly exterior, all is vanity, the
    flattery which once charmed her soul, now grates
    harshly upon her ear; the ball-room has lost its
    charms; and with wasted health and imbittered heart,
    she turns away with the conviction that earthly
    pleasures cannot satisfy the longings of the soul!"

And so forth and so on. There was a buzz of gratification from time to time during the reading, accompanied by whispered ejaculations of "How sweet!" "How eloquent!" "So true!" etc., and after the thing had closed with a peculiarly afflicting sermon the applause was enthusiastic.

Then arose a slim, melancholy girl, whose face had the "interesting" paleness that comes of pills and indigestion, and read a "poem." Two stanzas of it will do:


"Alabama, good-bye! I love thee well!
    But yet for a while do I leave thee now!
Sad, yes, sad thoughts of thee my heart doth swell,
    And burning recollections throng my brow!
For I have wandered through thy flowery woods;
    Have roamed and read near Tallapoosa's stream;
Have listened to Tallassee's warring floods,
    And wooed on Coosa's side Aurora's beam.

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"Yet shame I not to bear an o'er-full heart,
    Nor blush to turn behind my tearful eyes;
'Tis from no stranger land I now must part,
    'Tis to no strangers left I yield these sighs.
Welcome and home were mine within this State,
    Whose vales I leave -- whose spires fade fast from me
And cold must be mine eyes, and heart, and tete,
    When, dear Alabama! they turn cold on thee!"

There were very few there who knew what "tete" meant, but the poem was very satisfactory, nevertheless.

Next appeared a dark-complexioned, black-eyed, black-haired young lady, who paused an impressive moment, assumed a tragic expression, and began to read in a measured, solemn tone:


    "Dark and tempestuous was night. Around the
    throne on high not a single star quivered; but
    the deep intonations of the heavy thunder
    constantly vibrated upon the ear; whilst the
    terrific lightning revelled in angry mood
    through the cloudy chambers of heaven, seeming
    to scorn the power exerted over its terror by
    the illustrious Franklin! Even the boisterous
    winds unanimously came forth from their mystic
    homes, and blustered about as if to enhance by
    their aid the wildness of the scene.

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Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain

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