Sunday, July 30, 2006
"You didn't want to come. The average man don't like trouble and danger. You don't like trouble and danger. But if only half a man -- like Buck Harkness, there -- shouts 'Lynch him! lynch him!' you're afraid to back down -- afraid you'll be found out to be what you are -- cowards -- and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man's coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you're going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness. Now the thing for you to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching's going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they'll bring their masks, and fetch a man along. Now leave -- and take your half-a-man with you" -- tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this. end quote.
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.