A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court HTML version

The Pilgrims
When I did get to bed at last I was unspeakably tired; the stretching out, and the relaxing
of the long-tense muscles, how luxurious, how delicious! but that was as far as I could
get--sleep was out of the question for the present. The ripping and tearing and squealing
of the nobility up and down the halls and corridors was pandemonium come again, and
kept me broad awake. Being awake, my thoughts were busy, of course; and mainly they
busied themselves with Sandy's curious delusion. Here she was, as sane a person as the
kingdom could produce; and yet, from my point of view she was acting like a crazy
woman. My land, the power of training! of influence! of education! It can bring a body
up to believe anything. I had to put myself in Sandy's place to realize that she was not a
lunatic. Yes, and put her in mine, to demonstrate how easy it is to seem a lunatic to a
person who has not been taught as you have been taught. If I had told Sandy I had seen a
wagon, uninfluenced by enchantment, spin along fifty miles an hour; had seen a man,
unequipped with magic powers, get into a basket and soar out of sight among the clouds;
and had listened, without any necromancer's help, to the conversation of a person who
was several hundred miles away, Sandy would not merely have supposed me to be crazy,
she would have thought she knew it. Everybody around her believed in enchantments;
nobody had any doubts; to doubt that a castle could be turned into a sty, and its occupants
into hogs, would have been the same as my doubting among Connecticut people the
actuality of the telephone and its wonders,--and in both cases would be absolute proof of
a diseased mind, an unsettled reason. Yes, Sandy was sane; that must be admitted. If I
also would be sane--to Sandy-- I must keep my superstitions about unenchanted and
unmiraculous locomotives, balloons, and telephones, to myself. Also, I believed that the
world was not flat, and hadn't pillars under it to support it, nor a canopy over it to turn off
a universe of water that occupied all space above; but as I was the only person in the
kingdom afflicted with such impious and criminal opinions, I recognized that it would be
good wisdom to keep quiet about this matter, too, if I did not wish to be suddenly
shunned and forsaken by everybody as a madman.
The next morning Sandy assembled the swine in the dining-room and gave them their
breakfast, waiting upon them personally and manifesting in every way the deep reverence
which the natives of her island, ancient and modern, have always felt for rank, let its
outward casket and the mental and moral contents be what they may. I could have eaten
with the hogs if I had had birth approaching my lofty official rank; but I hadn't, and so
accepted the unavoidable slight and made no complaint. Sandy and I had our breakfast at
the second table. The family were not at home. I said:
"How many are in the family, Sandy, and where do they keep themselves?"
"Which family, good my lord?"