The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
by Mark Twain
A WHISPER TO THE READER
There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it
can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless.
Observe the ass, for instance: his character is about perfect,
he is the choicest spirit among all the humbler animals,
yet see what ridicule has brought him to. Instead of feeling
complimented when we are called an ass, we are left in doubt.
--Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar
A person who is ignorant of legal matters is always liable to
make mistakes when he tries to photograph a court scene with his pen;
and so I was not willing to let the law chapters in this book
go to press without first subjecting them to rigid and exhausting
revision and correction by a trained barrister--if that is what