Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A cold-blooded killer, Sherburn guns down the vocal but harmless drunkard Boggs for almost no reason at all, all of which Huck witnesses in horror. When a lynch mob sets out to avenge Boggs’ death, Sherburn calmly scorns the mob as being full of cowards and absolutely impotent. He is right: the mob, humiliated, disperses.

Colonel Sherburn Quotes in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn quotes below are all either spoken by Colonel Sherburn or refer to Colonel Sherburn. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published in 1994.
Chapter 22 Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Colonel Sherburn (speaker)
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:
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Colonel Sherburn Character Timeline in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The timeline below shows where the character Colonel Sherburn appears in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Society and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...that Boggs is good-natured and harmless. Boggs begins to shout for a man called Colonel Sherburn, whom he says he will kill. People laugh and talk, that is, until Sherburn steps... (full context)
Society and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Boggs continues to carry on about Sherburn. Townspeople try to shut him up, telling him he only has fifteen minutes till one... (full context)
Chapter 22
Society and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...mob tromps through town, scaring women and children as they go, till they arrive at Sherburn’s home, where they tear down his fence. Sherburn calmly steps out onto the roof above... (full context)