My lumbago is not the ordinary kind. It is what is called private hotel lumbago.
One gets it from the beds; they are unnecessarily firm. Their main interest
is geological. They are old Silurian superimposed upon old red sandstone and
still contain the print of prehistoric men. The English private hotel was once
the best in the world, and is still the quietest, but its other merits are in
decay. It is lingering along upon its bygone honorable reputation. It has more
affectations than sincerities now. Many elderly English people still cling to
it from inherited habit and arrested development, and rich Americans frequent
it through ignorance and superstition. They find in its austere solemnity and
Sabbath repose a delicate charm which makes up for its high charges and medieval
inconveniences. Pretenders who cannot afford to live in _____ street affect
the lumbago, because it conveys the impression that they live at _____'s.
- quoted in news story about a newly discovered manuscript titled "Mark Twain's Lumbago," The Washington Post, May 22, 1910, p. 10. Possibly written the summer of 1900.
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