Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (Penguin Classics)

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (Penguin Classics)

Stephen Leacock

Language: English

Pages: 140

ISBN: 1539846431

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY WILL FERGUSON

Stephen Leacock was one of the bestselling English-language humorists in the world. Referred to as “The Canadian Mark Twain,” his most famous book was Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, published in 1912.

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, which first appeared as a newspaper serial, chronicles life in the fictional community of Mariposa, modelled on Orillia, Ontario, where Leacock spent many summers. It’s a brilliant satire about small towns, small-town people, and small-town occurrences.

Life in Mariposa is never dull or ordinary. It’s a town full of eccentrics, where boats sent to rescue passengers from a sinking steamer have to be rescued themselves, where the leading citizen is a 280-pound illiterate saloonkeeper, and where a barber who stumbles into a fortune is heralded as a financial wizard.

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But if a feller knows the country and keeps his head level, he can’t lose.” Jefferson had looked at so many prospectuses and so many pictures of mines and pine trees and smelters, that I think he’d forgotten that he’d never been in the country. Anyway, what’s two hundred miles! To an onlooker it certainly didn’t seem so simple. I never knew the meanness, the trickery, of the mining business, the sheer obstinate determination of the bigger capitalists not to make money when they might, till I

Meanwhile, failing the guarantee, he stayed away. The very doctrines were impeached. Some of the congregation began to cast doubts on eternal punishment—doubts so grave as to keep them absent from the Lenten Services of Sorrow. Indeed, Lawyer Macartney took up the whole question of the Athanasian Creed one afternoon with Joe Milligan, the dentist, and hardly left a clause of it intact. All this time, you will understand, Dean Drone kept on with his special services, and leaflets, calls, and

Main Street of Mariposa. If he hadn’t happened to be going up the street and she to be coming down it, the thing wouldn’t have happened. Afterwards they both admitted that it was one of the most peculiar coincidences they ever heard of. Pupkin owned that he had had the strangest feeling that morning as if something were going to happen—a feeling not at all to be classed with the one of which he had once spoken to Miss Lawson, and which was, at the most, a mere anticipation of respect. But, as I

them, but meanwhile it was better to leave him with the idea that his empire was tranquil. So they deliberately couched the address in terms that were just as reassuring as possible and the prince was simply delighted with it. I am certain that he slept pretty soundly after hearing that address. Why, you could see it taking effect even on his aides-de-camp and the people round him, so imagine how the prince must have felt! I think in Mariposa they understand kings perfectly. Every time that a

have a big fight on our hands and we’ve got to get ready for it.” “Is it going to be on the tariff?” asked Tompkins. “Yes, gentlemen, I’m afraid it is. The whole thing is going to turn on the tariff question. I wish it were otherwise. I think it madness, but they’re bent on it, and we got to fight it on that line. Why they can’t fight it merely on the question of graft,” continued the old war horse, rising from his seat and walking up and down, “Heaven only knows. I warned them. I appealed to

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