A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court HTML version

Sir Dinadan The Humorist
It seemed to me that this quaint lie was most simply and beautifully told; but then I had
heard it only once, and that makes a difference; it was pleasant to the others when it was
fresh, no doubt.
Sir Dinadan the Humorist was the first to awake, and he soon roused the rest with a
practical joke of a sufficiently poor quality. He tied some metal mugs to a dog's tail and
turned him loose, and he tore around and around the place in a frenzy of fright, with all
the other dogs bellowing after him and battering and crashing against everything that
came in their way and making altogether a chaos of confusion and a most deafening din
and turmoil; at which every man and woman of the multitude laughed till the tears
flowed, and some fell out of their chairs and wallowed on the floor in ecstasy. It was just
like so many children. Sir Dinadan was so proud of his exploit that he could not keep
from telling over and over again, to weariness, how the immortal idea happened to occur
to him; and as is the way with humorists of his breed, he was still laughing at it after
everybody else had got through. He was so set up that he concluded to make a speech-- of
course a humorous speech. I think I never heard so many old played-out jokes strung
together in my life. He was worse than the minstrels, worse than the clown in the circus.
It seemed peculiarly sad to sit here, thirteen hundred years before I was born, and listen
again to poor, flat, worm-eaten jokes that had given me the dry gripes when I was a boy
thirteen hundred years afterwards. It about convinced me that there isn't any such thing as
a new joke possible. Everybody laughed at these antiquities-- but then they always do; I
had noticed that, centuries later. However, of course the scoffer didn't laugh--I mean the
boy. No, he scoffed; there wasn't anything he wouldn't scoff at. He said the most of Sir
Dinadan's jokes were rotten and the rest were petrified. I said "petrified" was good; as I
believed, myself, that the only right way to classify the majestic ages of some of those
jokes was by geologic periods. But that neat idea hit the boy in a blank place, for geology
hadn't been invented yet. However, I made a note of the remark, and calculated to educate
the commonwealth up to it if I pulled through. It is no use to throw a good thing away
merely because the market isn't ripe yet.
Now Sir Kay arose and began to fire up on his history-mill with me for fuel. It was time
for me to feel serious, and I did. Sir Kay told how he had encountered me in a far land of
barbarians, who all wore the same ridiculous garb that I did--a garb that was a work of
enchantment, and intended to make the wearer secure from hurt by human hands.
However he had nullified the force of the enchantment by prayer, and had killed my
thirteen knights in a three hours' battle, and taken me prisoner, sparing my life in order
that so strange a curiosity as I was might be exhibited to the wonder and admiration of
the king and the court. He spoke of me all the time, in the blandest way, as "this
prodigious giant," and "this horrible sky-towering monster," and "this tusked and taloned
man-devouring ogre", and everybody took in all this bosh in the naivest way, and never
smiled or seemed to notice that there was any discrepancy between these watered
statistics and me. He said that in trying to escape from him I sprang into the top of a tree
two hundred cubits high at a single bound, but he dislodged me with a stone the size of a