Voices of Earlier English: Mark Twain on Party Unity

An attempted impersonation of what Mark Twain's reading voice may have sounded like. Notable features of northern area of Missouri along the Mississippi river in the 19th century include the merry—Murray merger, an early tendency to push cardinal /æ/ even farther front, some distinctive vowel reduction processes, and some variable rhoticity.

I met a certain other clergyman on the corner the day after the nomination. He was very uncompromising. He said: "I know Blaine to the core; I have known him from boyhood up; and I know him to be utterly unprincipled and unscrupulous. Within six weeks after that, this clergyman was at a Republican mass meeting in the Opera House, and I think he presided. At any rate, he made a speech. If you did not know that the character depicted in it meant Mr. Blaine, you would suppose it meant — well, there isn't anybody down here on the earth that you can use as a comparison. It is praise, praise, praise; laudation, laudation, laudation; glorification, glorification, canonization. Conceive of the general crash and upheaval and ripping and tearing and readjustment of things that must have been going on in that man's moral and mental chaos for six weeks! What is any combination of inflammatory rheumatism and St. Vitus's dance to this? When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party ? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?
— From "Consistency", read at the Hartford Monday Evening Club on 5 December 1887.

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