A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
from mouth to mouth with a laugh and an affirmative vote; in ten days it had swept the
kingdom, and was become as familiar as the king's name. I was never known by any
other designation afterward, whether in the nation's talk or in grave debate upon matters
of state at the council-board of the sovereign. This title, translated into modern speech,
would be THE BOSS. Elected by the nation. That suited me. And it was a pretty high
title. There were very few THE'S, and I was one of them. If you spoke of the duke, or the
earl, or the bishop, how could anybody tell which one you meant? But if you spoke of
The King or The Queen or The Boss, it was different.
Well, I liked the king, and as king I respected him--respected the office; at least respected
it as much as I was capable of respecting any unearned supremacy; but as MEN I looked
down upon him and his nobles--privately. And he and they liked me, and respected my
office; but as an animal, without birth or sham title, they looked down upon me--and
were not particularly private about it, either. I didn't charge for my opinion about them,
and they didn't charge for their opinion about me: the account was square, the books
balanced, everybody was satisfied.