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How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – “MYSTICAL” – to get ’em evocating!
SOURCE: Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
“When I got back to the monastery, I found a thing of interest going on. The abbot and his monks were assembled in the great hall, observing with childish wonder and faith the performances of a new magician, a fresh arrival. His dress was the extreme of the fantastic; as showy and foolish as the sort of thing an Indian medicine-man wears. He was mowing, and mumbling, and gesticulating, and drawing MYSTICAL figures in the air and on the floor,. … ” READ more at bottom of this blog.
“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain
Mark Twain, long recognized as a wonderful author and humorist was possibly THE most successful professional speaker ever. He enthralled audiences from Berlin to Boston, from Montana to Melbourne with storytelling full of humor, pathos and humanity. He was regarded by many as an exceptional impromptu speaker, except he wasn’t! Twain worked diligently at his craft, researching, writing, rewriting and memorizing his material.
In this book, I showcase the words of Twain and his contemporaries via a unique MARK TWAIN acronym to highlight what Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speaking. The nine lessons provide a memorable and implementable framework for great speech making and presentation.
The MARK TWAIN acronym spells:
Relate to audience
Know your objective
Titter and humor
Wait (the Pause)
Narration and Stagecraft
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
When I got back to the monastery, I found a thing of interest going on. The abbot and his monks were assembled in the great hall, observing with childish wonder and faith the performances of a new magician, a fresh arrival. His dress was the extreme of the fantastic; as showy and foolish as the sort of thing an Indian medicine-man wears. He was mowing, and mumbling, and gesticulating, and drawing MYSTICAL figures in the air and on the floor,—the regular thing, you know. He was a celebrity from Asia—so he said, and that was enough. That sort of evidence was as good as gold, and passed current everywhere.
How easy and cheap it was to be a great magician on this fellow’s terms. His specialty was to tell you what any individual on the face of the globe was doing at the moment; and what he had done at any time in the past, and what he would do at any time in the future. He asked if any would like to know what the Emperor of the East was doing now? The sparkling eyes and the delighted rubbing of hands made eloquent answer—this reverend crowd would like to know what that monarch was at, just as this moment. The fraud went through some more mummery, and then made grave announcement:
“The high and mighty Emperor of the East doth at this moment put money in the palm of a holy begging friar—one, two, three pieces, and they be all of silver.”
A buzz of admiring exclamations broke out, all around:
“It is marvelous!” “Wonderful!” “What study, what labor, to have acquired a so amazing power as this!”
Would they like to know what the Supreme Lord of Inde was doing? Yes. He told them what the Supreme Lord of Inde was doing. Then he told them what the Sultan of Egypt was at; also what the King of the Remote Seas was about. And so on and so on; and with each new marvel the astonishment at his accuracy rose higher and higher. They thought he must surely strike an uncertain place some time; but no, he never had to hesitate, he always knew, and always with unerring precision. I saw that if this thing went on I should lose my supremacy, this fellow would capture my following, I should be left out in the cold. I must put a cog in his wheel, and do it right away, too. I said:
“If I might ask, I should very greatly like to know what a certain person is doing.”