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The Inventions of the Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs

Book Overview: 

It was before the Idiot's marriage, and in the days when he was nothing more than a plain boarder in Mrs. Smithers-Pedagog's High-class Home for Single Gentlemen, that he put what the School-master termed his "alleged mind" on plans for the amelioration of the condition of the civilized." This humorous story by the editor of Puck magazine describes how the Idiot sets out to improve the lot of civilized man through his inventions - the lot of barbarian man already being well tended to by missionaries and other do-gooders

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ibliomaniac, settling back in his chair in a disgusted, tired sort of way. He had expected some sympathy from the Idiot as a fellow-collector, even though their aims were different. It is always difficult for a man whose ten-thousand-dollar library has brought six hundred dollars in the auction-room to find, even in the ranks of collectors, one who understands his woes and helps him bear the burden thereof by expressions of confidence in his sanity.

"Then you believe in travel, do you?" asked the Doctor.

"I believe there is nothing broadens the mind so much," returned the Idiot.

"But do you believe it will develop a mind where there isn't one?" asked the School-master, unpleasantly. "Or, to put it more favorably, don't you think there would be danger in taking the germ of a mind in a small head and broadening it until it runs the risk of finding itself confined to cramped quarters?"

"That is a question for a physician to answer," said . . . Read More