Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 16

By Mark Twain

Chapter 16

Morgan Le Fay

  • As the pair approaches the castle, they see another knight riding down to meet them.
  • The Yankee reads the herald's tabard—it's advertising soap—and resolves to send out multiple knights with a similar tabard, thus slowly educating the populace about cleanliness (while undermining the Church's authority in the process). Dirt is evil, but apparently religious too—who knew?
  • The knight claims that they are approaching the castle of Arthur's sister, Morgan Le Fay, and her husband King Uriens.
  • The knight further bemoans his failure at getting anyone to use soap, and the Yankee reassures him by suggesting that they add another phrase to the slogan: "patronized by the elect."
  • The Yankee and Sandy reach the castle walls and are admitted—the Yankee doesn't expect things to go well, given Morgan's reputation as an evil sorceress.
  • They speak to the king and queen, and while they do so, a page delivering a golden salve to Morgan slips and brushes her knee. She responds by stabbing him… oh good.
  • The Yankee nevertheless continues to be charmed by Morgan, until he lets slip a kind word about King Arthur. Morgan immediately orders he and Sandy sent to the dungeons. Guess there's some sibling drama?
  • As they are led off, Sandy announces that the Yankee is "The Boss," which Morgan responds to with a combination of sweetness and fear, while the guards hastily excuse themselves.