Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 25

By Mark Twain

Chapter 25

A Competitive Examination

  • At the fountain, the king hears a case concerning a girl who has married a penniless man, and whose property is being held by the Church.
  • The king rules in favor of the Church.
  • Arthur has sped up the development of his army, which takes the Yankee by surprise, so he suggests that he deliver a "sharp and searching examination" for every officer. The king agrees.
  • The first candidate is examined. The examination board wants to dismiss him because he's a weaver's son, but Hank the Yank allows him to demonstrate a wide array of knowledge.
  • A second candidate—this one a noble—is examined. He can't read, write, or perform basic arithmetic, but qualifies because he can trace his noble line back four generations. The Yankee's candidate is dismissed.
  • If that's the way it's gonna be, then the Yankee's got a way around it: he suggests creating a King's Own regiment consisting entirely of noble officers… leaving the rest of the army to commoners. The king agrees.
  • The Yankee arranges the regiment to include all kinds of perks—provided those who join renounce their royal grant (a herald and shield).
  • Noble sons can join the regiment automatically… which essentially wipes out the royal grant within two months.