Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 26 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"Because Mary Jane 'll be in mourning from this out; and first you know the nigger that does up the rooms will get an order to box these duds up and put 'em away; and do you reckon a nigger can run across money and not borrow some of it?" (26.97)
Here, the duke is basically saying that all black men are thieves—which, of course, is exactly what the duke is. Ah, hypocrisy. But it's really no worse than the rest of the antebellum South, which welcomes in white strangers and… locks up black strangers.
That night they had a big supper, and all them men and women was there, and I stood behind the king and the duke's chairs and waited on them, and the niggers waited on the rest. Mary Jane she set at the head of the table, with Susan alongside of her, and said how bad the biscuits was, and how mean the preserves was, and how ornery and tough the fried chickens was—and all that kind of rot, the way women always do for to force out compliments; and the people all knowed everything was tiptop, and said so—said "How DO you get biscuits to brown so nice?" and "Where, for the land's sake, DID you get these amaz'n pickles?" and all that kind of humbug talky-talk, just the way people always does at a supper, you know. (26.3)
Huck is our little social observer here, and he knows what's up. There's a whole set of rules governing dinner: the hosts have to talk smack about their food, and the guests have to rave about how awesome it is. Admit it: you do this too.