December 19, 2006 12:56PM

Kings, Dukes and Earls

Here’s a gem about officialdom from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


I read to Jim about kings and dukes and earls, and how they called each other “your majesty” and “your grace” and “your lordship,” instead of mister. Jim’s eyes bugged out, he was so interested.

“I didn’t know dey was so many of ‘em, he said. “I ain’t heard about none, but old King Solomon, and dem kings in a pack of cards. How much pay do a king get?”

“Why they can have just as much as they want. Everything belongs to them.”

“Ain’t dat gay? And what have dey got to do, Huck?”

“Why nothing! How you do talk. They just lazy around.”

“Is dat so?”

“Of course it is. They just lazy around—except maybe when they go to war.”