How to Tell a Story and Other Essays

Excerpt from How to Tell a Story and Other Essays, by Mark Twain:

The teller is innocent and happy and pleased with himself, and has to
stop every little while to hold himself in and keep from laughing
outright; and does hold in, but his body quakes in a jelly-like way with
interior chuckles; and at the end of the ten minutes the audience have
laughed until they are exhausted, and the tears are running down their

The simplicity and innocence and sincerity and unconsciousness of the old
farmer are perfectly simulated, and the result is a performance which is
thoroughly charming and delicious.  This is art and fine and beautiful,
and only a master can compass it; but a machine could tell the other

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