Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|
Edited by Sculley Bradley, Richmond Croom Beatty, E. Hudson Long, and Thomas Cooley
|Chapter I||When you got to the table you couldnt go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warnt really anything the matter with them.|
|Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad, then, but I didnt mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warnt particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldnt say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldnt see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldnt try for it.|
But how can we do it if we dont know what it is?
Why blame it all, weve got to do it. Dont I tell you its in the books? Do you want to go doing different from whats in the books, and get things all muddled up?
|Chapter IV||I had been to school most all the time, and could spell, and read, and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I dont reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I dont take no stock in mathematics, anyway.|
|Chapter VI||Every time he got money he got drunk; and every time he got drunk he raised Cain around town; and every time he raised Cain he got jailed. He was just suitedthis kind of thing was right in his line.|
After supper pap took the jug, and said he had enough whisky there for two drunks and one delirium tremens. That was always his word.
|Chapter VIII||[...] if I trod on a stick and broke it, it made me feel like a person had cut one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the short half, too.|
|Jim said bees wouldnt sting idiots; but I didnt believe that, because I had tried them lots of times myself, and they wouldnt sting me.|
|Chapter XII||[...] sometimes I lifted a chicken that warnt roosting comfortable, and took him along. Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you dont want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed aint ever forgot. I never see Pap when he didnt want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway.|
De spute warnt bout a half a chile, de spute was bout a whole chile; en de man dat think he kin settle a spute bout a whole chile wid a half a chile, doan know enough to come in outn de rain. Doan talk to me bout Sollermun, Huck, I knows him by de back.
But I tell you you dont get the point.
Blame de pint! I reckn I knows what I knows. En mine you, de real pint is down furderits down deeper. It lays in de way Sollermun was raised. You take a man dats got ony one er two chillen; is dat man gwyne to be waseful o chillen? No, he aint; he cant ford it.
|Chapter XVI||The Raftsmens Passage|
Whoo-oop! Im the old original iron-jawed, brass-mounted, copper-bellied corpse-maker from the wilds of Arkansaw! Look at me! Im the man they call Sudden Death and General Desolation! Sired by a hurricane, damd by an earthquake, half-brother to the cholera, nearly related to the smallpox on my mothers side! Look at me! I take nineteen alligators and a barl of whisky for breakfast when Im in robust health, and a bushel of rattlesnakes and a dead body when Im ailing. I split the everlasting rocks with my glance, and I squench the thunder when I speak! Whoo-oop! Stand back and give me room according to my strength! Bloods my natural drink, and the wails of the dying is music to my ear. Cast your eye on me, gentlemen! and lay low and hold your breath, for Im bout to turn myself loose!
|The man they called Ed said the muddy Mississippi water was wholesomer to drink than the clear water of the Ohio; he said if you let a pint of this yaller Mississippi water settle, you would have about a half to three-quarters of an inch of mud in the bottom, according to the stage of the river, and then it warnt no better than Ohio waterwhat you wanted to do was to keep it stirred upand when the river was low, keep mud on hand to put in and thicken the water up the way it ought to be.|
Oh, come, now, Eddy, says Jimmy, show up; you must a kept part of that barl to prove the thing by. Show us the bung-holedoand well all believe you.
Say, boys, says Bill, less divide it up. Thars thirteen of us. I can swaller a thirteenth of the yarn, if you can worry down the rest.
They went off, and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warnt no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that dont get started right when hes little, aint got no showwhen the pinch comes there aint nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so he gets beat. Then I thought a minute, and says to myself, hold on,spose youd a done right and give Jim up; would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, Id feel badId feel just the same way I do now. Well, then, says I, whats the use you learning to do right, when its troublesome to do right and aint no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? I was stuck. I couldnt answer that. So I reckoned I wouldnt bother no more about it, but after this always do whichever come handiest at the time.
|Chapter XVII||It was beautiful to hear that clock tick; and sometimes when one of these peddlers had been along and scoured her up and got her in good shape, she would start in and strike a hundred and fifty before she got tuckered out.|
|Chapter XVIII||[...] there warnt anybody at the church, except maybe a hog or two, for there warnt any lock on the door, and hogs likes a puncheon floor in summer-time because its cool. If you notice, most folks dont go to church only when theyve got to; but a hog is different.|
|Chapter XIX||If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way.|
Hamlets soliloquy, you know; the most celebrated thing in Shakespeare. Ah, its sublime, sublime! Always fetches the house. I havent got it in the bookIve only got one volumebut I reckon I can piece it out from memory. [...]
[...] This is the speechI learned it, easy enough, while he was learning it to the king:
To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great natures second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Theres the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressors wrong, the proud mans contumely,
The laws delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i the adage,
Is sicklied oer with care,
And all the clouds that lowered oer our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not they ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnerygo!
|Chapter XXVI||Haint we got all the fools in town on our side? and aint that a big enough majority in any town?|
|Chapter XXVIII||I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place, is taking considerable many resks, though I aint had no experience, and cant say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet heres a case where Im blest if it dont look to me like the truth is better, and actuly safer, than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, its so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it.|
Pray for me! I reckoned if she knowed me shed take a job that was more nearer her size. But I bet she done it, just the sameshe was just that kind.
First they done a lecture on temperance; but they didnt make enough for them both to get drunk on.
I was a trembling, because Id got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:
All right, then, Ill go to helland tore it up.
It was awful thoughts, and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head; and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warnt. And for a starter, I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.
|Chapter XXXII||And I explained all about how we blowed out a cylinder-head at the mouth of White River and it took us three days to fix it. Which was all right, and worked first rate; because they didnt know but what it would take three days to fix it. If Id a called it a bolt-head it would a done just as well.|
I know what youll say. Youll say its dirty low-down business; but what if it is?Im low down; and Im agoing to steal him, and I want you to keep mum and not let on. Will you?
His eye lit up, and he says:
Ill help you steal him!
Well, I let go all holts then, like I was shot. It was the most astonishing speech I ever heardand Im bound to say Tom Sawyer fell, considerable, in my estimation.
|But thats always the way; it dont make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a persons conscience aint got no sense, and just goes for him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didnt know no more than a persons conscience does, I would pison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of a persons insides, and yet aint no good, nohow.|
|Chapter XXXV||Anyhow, theres one thingtheres more honor in getting him out through a lot of difficulties and dangers, where there warnt one of them furnished to you by the people who it was their duty to furnish them, and you had to contrive them all out of your own head.|
If she warnt standing right there, just inside the door, looking as sweet and contented as an angel half-full of pie, I wish I may never!
text checked (see note) Feb 2005