Mark Twain: Top 5 world travel quotes

Today is the 176th birthday of Mark Twain, the great American writer of not only fiction but also travel stories.

By , Staff writer

3. Bombay, India: 'Satan' for a valet

On his valet at a hotel in Bombay, recorded in “Following the Equator”:

“ …this compact and compressed incarnation of energy and force and promptness and celerity and confidence, this smart, smily, engaging, shiney-eyed little devil, feruled on his upper end by a gleaming firecoal of a fez with a red-hot tassel dangling from it. I said, with deep satisfaction -
 
"You'll suit. What is your name?"
 
He reeled it mellowly off.
 
"Let me see if I can make a selection out of it - for business uses, I mean; we will keep the rest for Sundays. Give it to me in installments."
 
He did it. But there did not seem to be any short ones, except Mousa, which suggested mouse. It was out of character; it was too soft, too quiet, too conservative; it didn't fit his splendid style. I considered, and said -
 
"Mousa is short enough, but I don't quite like it. It seems colorless - inharmonious - inadequate; and I am sensitive to such things. How do you think Satan would do?"
 
"Yes, master. Satan do wair good."
 
It was his way of saying "very good."

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