Cheerful Magnificence

Mark Twain

San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle/November 11, 1865

Our friend, Fitz Smythe of the Alta, goes into raptures over a certain “magnificent funeral car” recently received by “Atkins Massey, the well-known undertaker.” Fitz Smythe fairly “gloats” over this piece of sepulchral gorgeousness, summoning his choicest rhetoric to the task of describing its beauties and perfections. He dwells unctuously on its “elegance of design,” its “beauty of finish,” its “costly material and workmanship,” which he avers, in an esctasy of admiration, quite “excel anything of the kind ever produced in America.” Furthermore, he expresses the opinion that “the term, luxury of grief, may well be applied to this magnificent establishment.” What delightful enthusiasm, considering the subject! It seems as if the fascinated youth really hankered after “the luxury” of being locomoted to Lone Mountain in that “gorgeous establishment.”


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