audio book report: The Man who Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain

The introduction commentary on this book noted this book was written late in Twain's life, when he had become more cynical. I don't find it that cynical. In fact, it agrees with the principle that the Apostle James wrote about.
My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. (James 1:2-4 NET)
Now compare this to the introduction to Twain's story.
It was many years ago. Hadleyburg was the most honest and upright town in all the region round about. It had kept that reputation unsmirched during three generations, and was prouder of it than of any other of its possessions. It was so proud of it, and so anxious to insure its perpetuation, that it began to teach the principles of honest dealing to its babies in the cradle, and made the like teachings the staple of their culture thenceforward through all the years devoted to their education. Also, throughout the formative years temptations were kept out of the way of the young people, so that their honesty could have every chance to harden and solidify, and become a part of their very bone.

Of course, the town learns that character that isn't tested is not character at all. The 19 founders of the town are severely tempted by a great haul of loot, supposedly left for an honest person who supposedly helped the benefactor in his time of need. Well all claim themselves to be the helper and all are exposed. In the end, the town learns humility. The entire short story can be read online.

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