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Title: Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2: 1907-1910
Author: Paine, Albert Bigelow, 1861-1937
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By Albert Bigelow Paine

VOLUME III, Part 2: 1907-1910



Clemens made a brief trip to Bermuda during the winter, taking Twichell
along; their first return to the island since the trip when they had
promised to come back so soon-nearly thirty years before. They had been
comparatively young men then. They were old now, but they found the
green island as fresh and full of bloom as ever. They did not find their
old landlady; they could not even remember her name at first, and then
Twichell recalled that it was the same as an author of certain
schoolbooks in his youth, and Clemens promptly said, "Kirkham's Grammar."
Kirkham was truly the name, and they went to find her; but she was dead,
and the daughter, who had been a young girl in that earlier time, reigned
in her stead and entertained the successors of her mother's guests. They
walked and drove about the island, and it was like taking up again a
long-discontinued book and reading another chapter of the same tale. It
gave Mark Twain a fresh interest in Bermuda, one which he did not allow
to fade again.

Later in the year (March, 1907) I also made a journey; it having been
agreed that I should take a trip to the Mississippi and to the Pacific
coast to see those old friends of Mark Twain's who were so rapidly
passing away. John Briggs was still alive, and other Hannibal
schoolmates; also Joe Goodman and Steve Gillis, and a few more of the
early pioneers--all eminently worth seeing in the matter of such work as
I had in hand. The billiard games would be interrupted; but whatever
reluctance to the plan there may have been on that account was put aside
in view of prospective benefits. Clemens, in fact, seemed to derive joy
from the thought that he was commissioning a kind of personal emissary to
his old comrades, and provided me with a letter of credentials.

It was a long, successful trip that I made, and it was undertaken none
too soon. John Briggs, a gentle-hearted man, was already entering the
valley of the shadow as he talked to me by his fire one memorable
afternoon, and reviewed the pranks of those days along the river and in
the cave and on Holliday's Hill. I think it was six weeks later that he
died; and there were others of that scattering procession who did not
reach the end of the year. Joe Goodman, still full of vigor (in 1912),
journeyed with me to the green and dreamy solitudes of Jackass Hill to
see Steve and Jim Gillis, and that was an unforgetable Sunday when Steve
Gillis, an invalid, but with the fire still in his eyes and speech, sat
up on his couch in his little cabin in that Arcadian stillness and told
old tales and adventures. When I left he said:

"Tell Sam I'm going to die pretty soon, but that I love him; that I've
loved him all my life, and I'll love him till I die. This is the last
word I'll ever send to him." Jim Gillis, down in Sonora, was already
lying at the point of death, and so for him the visit was too late,
though he was able to receive a message from his ancient mining partner,
and to send back a parting word.

I returned by way of New Orleans and the Mississippi River, for I wished
to follow that abandoned water highway, and to visit its presiding
genius, Horace Bixby,--[He died August 2, 1912, at the age of 86]--still
alive and in service as pilot of the government snagboat, his
headquarters at St. Louis.

Coming up the river on one of the old passenger steam boats that still
exist, I noticed in a paper which came aboard that Mark Twain was to
receive from Oxford University the literary doctor's degree. There had
been no hint of this when I came away, and it seemed rather too sudden
and too good to be true. That the little barefoot lad that had played
along the river-banks at Hannibal, and received such meager advantages in
the way of schooling--whose highest ambition had been to pilot such a
craft as this one--was about to be crowned by the world's greatest
institution of learning, to receive the highest recognition for
achievement in the world of letters, was a thing which would not be
likely to happen outside of a fairy tale.

Returning to New York, I ran out to Tuxedo, where he had taken a home for
the summer (for it was already May), and walking along the shaded paths
of that beautiful suburban park, he told me what he knew of the Oxford

Moberly Bell, of the London Times, had been over in April, and soon after
his return to England there had come word of the proposed honor. Clemens
privately and openly (to Bell) attributed it largely to his influence. He
wrote to him:

    DEAR MR. BELL,--Your hand is in it & you have my best thanks.
    Although I wouldn't cross an ocean again for the price of the ship
    that carried me I am glad to do it for an Oxford degree. I shall
    plan to sail for England a shade before the middle of June, so that
    I can have a few days in London before the 26th.

A day or two later, when the time for sailing had been arranged, he
overtook his letter with a cable:

    I perceive your hand in it. You have my best thanks. Sail on
    Minneapolis June 8th. Due in Southampton ten days later.

Clemens said that his first word of the matter had been a newspaper
cablegram, and that he had been doubtful concerning it until a cablegram
to himself had confirmed it.

"I never expected to cross the water again," he said; "but I would be
willing to journey to Mars for that Oxford degree."

He put the matter aside then, and fell to talking of Jim Gillis and the
others I had visited, dwelling especially on Gillis's astonishing faculty
for improvising romances, recalling how he had stood with his back to the
fire weaving his endless, grotesque yarns, with no other guide than his
fancy. It was a long, happy walk we had, though rather a sad one in its
memories; and he seemed that day, in a sense, to close the gate of those
early scenes behind him, for he seldom referred to them afterward.

He was back at 21 Fifth Avenue presently, arranging for his voyage.
Meantime, cable invitations of every sort were pouring in, from this and
that society and dignitary; invitations to dinners and ceremonials, and
what not, and it was clear enough that his English sojourn was to be a
busy one. He had hoped to avoid this, and began by declining all but two
invitations--a dinner-party given by Ambassador Whitelaw Reid and a
luncheon proposed by the "Pilgrims." But it became clear that this would
not do. England was not going to confer its greatest collegiate honor
without being permitted to pay its wider and more popular tribute.

Clemens engaged a special secretary for the trip--Mr. Ralph W. Ashcroft,
a young Englishman familiar with London life. They sailed on the 8th of
June, by a curious coincidence exactly forty years from the day he had
sailed on the Quaker City to win his great fame. I went with him to the
ship. His first elation had passed by this time, and he seemed a little
sad, remembering, I think, the wife who would have enjoyed this honor
with him but could not share it now.



Mark Twain's trip across the Atlantic would seem to have been a pleasant
one. The Minneapolis is a fine, big ship, and there was plenty of
company. Prof. Archibald Henderson, Bernard Shaw's biographer, was
aboard;--[Professor Henderson has since then published a volume on Mark
Twain-an interesting commentary on his writings--mainly from the
sociological point of view.]--also President Patton, of the Princeton
Theological Seminary; a well-known cartoonist, Richards, and some very
attractive young people--school-girls in particular, such as all through
his life had appealed to Mark Twain. Indeed, in his later life they made
a stronger appeal than ever. The years had robbed him of his own little
flock, and always he was trying to replace them. Once he said:

"During those years after my wife's death I was washing about on a
forlorn sea of banquets and speech-making in high and holy causes, and
these things furnished me intellectual cheer, and entertainment; but they
got at my heart for an evening only, then left it dry and dusty. I had
reached the grandfather stage of life without grandchildren, so I began
to adopt some."

He adopted several on that journey to England and on the return voyage,
and he kept on adopting others during the rest of his life. These
companionships became one of the happiest aspects of his final days, as
we shall see by and by.

There were entertainments on the ship, one of them given for the benefit
of the Seamen's Orphanage. One of his adopted granddaughters--"Charley"
he called her--played a violin solo and Clemens made a speech. Later his
autographs were sold at auction. Dr. Patton was auctioneer, and one
autographed postal card brought twenty-five dollars, which is perhaps the
record price for a single Mark Twain signature. He wore his white suit
on this occasion, and in the course of his speech referred to it. He
told first of the many defects in his behavior, and how members of his
household had always tried to keep him straight. The children, he said,
had fallen into the habit of calling it "dusting papa off." Then he went

    When my daughter came to see me off last Saturday at the boat she
    slipped a note in my hand and said, "Read it when you get aboard the
    ship." I didn't think of it again until day before yesterday, and
    it was a "dusting off." And if I carry out all the instructions
    that I got there I shall be more celebrated in England for my
    behavior than for anything else. I got instructions how to act on
    every occasion. She underscored "Now, don't you wear white clothes
    on ship or on shore until you get back," and I intended to obey. I
    have been used to obeying my family all my life, but I wore the
    white clothes to-night because the trunk that has the dark clothes
    in it is in the cellar. I am not apologizing for the white clothes;
    I am only apologizing to my daughter for not obeying her.

He received a great welcome when the ship arrived at Tilbury. A throng
of rapid-fire reporters and photographers immediately surrounded him, and
when he left the ship the stevedores gave him a round of cheers. It was
the beginning of that almost unheard-of demonstration of affection and
honor which never for a moment ceased, but augmented from day to day
during the four weeks of his English sojourn.

In a dictation following his return, Mark Twain said:

    Who began it? The very people of all people in the world whom I
    would have chosen: a hundred men of my own class--grimy sons of
    labor, the real builders of empires and civilizations, the
    stevedores! They stood in a body on the dock and charged their
    masculine lungs, and gave me a welcome which went to the marrow of

J. Y. W. MacAlister was at the St. Pancras railway station to meet him,
and among others on the platform was Bernard Shaw, who had come down to
meet Professor Henderson. Clemens and Shaw were presented, and met
eagerly, for each greatly admired the other. A throng gathered. Mark
Twain was extricated at last, and hurried away to his apartments at
Brown's Hotel, "a placid, subdued, homelike, old-fashioned English inn,"
he called it, "well known to me years ago, a blessed retreat of a sort
now rare in England, and becoming rarer every year."

But Brown's was not placid and subdued during his stay. The London
newspapers declared that Mark Twain's arrival had turned Brown's not only
into a royal court, but a post-office--that the procession of visitors
and the bundles of mail fully warranted this statement. It was, in fact,
an experience which surpassed in general magnitude and magnificence
anything he had hitherto known. His former London visits, beginning with
that of 1872, had been distinguished by high attentions, but all of them
combined could not equal this. When England decides to get up an
ovation, her people are not to be outdone even by the lavish Americans.
An assistant secretary had to be engaged immediately, and it sometimes
required from sixteen to twenty hours a day for two skilled and busy men
to receive callers and reduce the pile of correspondence.

A pile of invitations had already accumulated, and others flowed in. Lady
Stanley, widow of Henry M. Stanley, wrote:

    You know I want to see you and join right hand to right hand. I
    must see your dear face again . . . . You will have no peace,
    rest, or leisure during your stay in London, and you will end by
    hating human beings. Let me come before you feel that way.

Mary Cholmondeley, the author of Red Pottage, niece of that lovable
Reginald Cholmondeley, and herself an old friend, sent greetings and
urgent invitations. Archdeacon Wilberforce wrote:

    I have just been preaching about your indictment of that scoundrel
    king of the Belgians and telling my people to buy the book. I am
    only a humble item among the very many who offer you a cordial
    welcome in England, but we long to see you again, and I should like
    to change hats with you again. Do you remember?

The Athenaeum, the Garrick, and a dozen other London clubs had
anticipated his arrival with cards of honorary membership for the period
of his stay. Every leading photographer had put in a claim for sittings.
It was such a reception as Charles Dickens had received in America in
1842, and again in 1867. A London paper likened it to Voltaire's return
to Paris in 1778, when France went mad over him. There is simply no
limit to English affection and, hospitality once aroused. Clemens wrote:

    Surely such weeks as this must be very rare in this world: I had
    seen nothing like them before; I shall see nothing approaching them

Sir Thomas Lipton and Bram Stoker, old friends, were among the first to
present themselves, and there was no break in the line of callers.

Clemens's resolutions for secluding himself were swept away. On the very
next morning following his arrival he breakfasted with J. Henniker
Heaton, father of International Penny Postage, at the Bath Club, just
across Dover Street from Brown's. He lunched at the Ritz with Marjorie
Bowen and Miss Bisland. In the afternoon he sat for photographs at
Barnett's, and made one or two calls. He could no more resist these
things than a debutante in her first season.

He was breakfasting again with Heaton next morning; lunching with "Toby,
M.P.," and Mrs. Lucy; and having tea with Lady Stanley in the afternoon,
and being elaborately dined next day at Dorchester House by Ambassador
and Mrs. Reid. These were all old and tried friends. He was not a
stranger among them, he said; he was at home. Alfred Austin, Conan
Doyle, Anthony Hope, Alma Tadema, E. A. Abbey, Edmund Goss, George
Smalley, Sir Norman Lockyer, Henry W. Lucy, Sidney Brooks, and Bram
Stoker were among those at Dorchester House--all old comrades, as were
many of the other guests.

"I knew fully half of those present," he said afterward.

Mark Twain's bursting upon London society naturally was made the most of
by the London papers, and all his movements were tabulated and
elaborated, and when there was any opportunity for humor in the situation
it was not left unimproved. The celebrated Ascot racing-cup was stolen
just at the time of his arrival, and the papers suggestively mingled
their head-lines, "Mark Twain Arrives: Ascot Cup Stolen," and kept the
joke going in one form or another. Certain state jewels and other
regalia also disappeared during his stay, and the news of these
burglaries was reported in suspicious juxtaposition with the news of Mark
Twain's doings.

English reporters adopted American habits for the occasion, and invented
or embellished when the demand for a new sensation was urgent. Once,
when following the custom of the place, he descended the hotel elevator
in a perfectly proper and heavy brown bath robe, and stepped across
narrow Dover Street to the Bath Club, the papers flamed next day with the
story that Mark Twain had wandered about the lobby of Brown's and
promenaded Dover Street in a sky-blue bath robe attracting wide

Clara Clemens, across the ocean, was naturally a trifle disturbed by such
reports, and cabled this delicate "dusting off":

"Much worried. Remember proprieties."

To which he answered:

"They all pattern after me," a reply to the last degree characteristic.

It was on the fourth day after his arrival, June 22d, that he attended
the King's garden-party at Windsor Castle. There were eighty-five
hundred guests at the King's party, and if we may judge from the London
newspapers, Mark Twain was quite as much a figure in that great throng as
any member of the royal family. His presentation to the King and the
Queen is set down as an especially notable incident, and their
conversation is quite fully given. Clemens himself reported:

    His Majesty was very courteous. In the course of the conversation
    I reminded him of an episode of fifteen years ago, when I had the
    honor to walk a mile with him when he was taking the waters at
    Homburg, in Germany. I said that I had often told about that
    episode, and that whenever I was the historian I made good history
    of it and it was worth listening to, but that it had found its way
    into print once or twice in unauthentic ways and was badly damaged
    thereby. I said I should like to go on repeating this history, but
    that I should be quite fair and reasonably honest, and while I
    should probably never tell it twice in the same way I should at
    least never allow it to deteriorate in my hands. His Majesty
    intimated his willingness that I should continue to disseminate that
    piece of history; and he added a compliment, saying that he knew
    good and sound history would not suffer at my hands, and that if
    this good and sound history needed any improvement beyond the facts
    he would trust me to furnish that improvement.

    I think it is not an exaggeration to say that the Queen looked as
    young and beautiful as she did thirty-five years ago when I saw her
    first. I did not say this to her, because I learned long ago never
    to say the obvious thing, but leave the obvious thing to commonplace
    and inexperienced people to say. That she still looked to me as
    young and beautiful as she did thirty-five years ago is good
    evidence that ten thousand people have already noticed this and have
    mentioned it to her. I could have said it and spoken the truth, but
    I was too wise for that. I kept the remark unuttered and saved her
    Majesty the vexation of hearing it the ten-thousand-and-oneth time.

    All that report about my proposal to buy Windsor Castle and its
    grounds was a false rumor. I started it myself.

    One newspaper said I patted his Majesty on the shoulder--an
    impertinence of which I was not guilty; I was reared in the most
    exclusive circles of Missouri and I know how to behave. The King
    rested his hand upon my arm a moment or two while we were chatting,
    but he did it of his own accord. The newspaper which said I talked
    with her Majesty with my hat on spoke the truth, but my reasons for
    doing it were good and sufficient--in fact unassailable. Rain was
    threatening, the temperature had cooled, and the Queen said, "Please
    put your hat on, Mr. Clemens." I begged her pardon and excused
    myself from doing it. After a moment or two she said, "Mr. Clemens,
    put your hat on"--with a slight emphasis on the word "on" "I can't
    allow you to catch cold here." When a beautiful queen commands it
    is a pleasure to obey, and this time I obeyed--but I had already
    disobeyed once, which is more than a subject would have felt
    justified in doing; and so it is true, as charged; I did talk with
    the Queen of England with my hat on, but it wasn't fair in the
    newspaper man to charge it upon me as an impoliteness, since there
    were reasons for it which he could not know of.

Nearly all the members of the British royal family were there, and there
were foreign visitors which included the King of Siam and a party of
India princes in their gorgeous court costumes, which Clemens admired
openly and said he would like to wear himself.

The English papers spoke of it as one of the largest and most
distinguished parties ever given at Windsor. Clemens attended it in
company with Mr. and Mrs. J. Henniker Heaton, and when it was over Sir
Thomas Lipton joined them and motored with them back to Brown's.

He was at Archdeacon Wilberforce's next day, where a curious circumstance
developed. When he arrived Wilberforce said to him, in an undertone:

"Come into my library. I have something to show you."

In the library Clemens was presented to a Mr. Pole, a plain-looking man,
suggesting in dress and appearance the English tradesman. Wilberforce

"Mr. Pole, show to Mr. Clemens what you have brought here."

Mr. Pole unrolled a long strip of white linen and brought to view at last
a curious, saucer-looking vessel of silver, very ancient in appearance,
and cunningly overlaid with green glass. The archdeacon took it and
handed it to Clemens as some precious jewel. Clemens said:

"What is it?"

Wilberforce impressively answered:

"It is the Holy Grail."

Clemens naturally started with surprise.

"You may well start," said Wilberforce; "but it's the truth. That is the
Holy Grail."

Then he gave this explanation: Mr. Pole, a grain merchant of Bristol, had
developed some sort of clairvoyant power, or at all events he had dreamed
several times with great vividness the location of the true Grail.
Another dreamer, a Dr. Goodchild, of Bath, was mixed up in the matter,
and between them this peculiar vessel, which was not a cup, or a goblet,
or any of the traditional things, had been discovered. Mr. Pole seemed a
man of integrity, and it was clear that the churchman believed the
discovery to be genuine and authentic. Of course there could be no
positive proof. It was a thing that must be taken on trust. That the
vessel itself was wholly different from anything that the generations had
conceived, and was apparently of very ancient make, was opposed to the
natural suggestion of fraud.

Clemens, to whom the whole idea of the Holy Grail was simply a poetic
legend and myth, had the feeling that he had suddenly been transmigrated,
like his own Connecticut Yankee, back into the Arthurian days; but he
made no question, suggested no doubt. Whatever it was, it was to them
the materialization of a symbol of faith which ranked only second to the
cross itself, and he handled it reverently and felt the honor of having
been one of the first permitted to see the relic. In a subsequent
dictation he said:

    I am glad I have lived to see that half-hour--that astonishing half-
    hour. In its way it stands alone in my life's experience. In the
    belief of two persons present this was the very vessel which was
    brought by night and secretly delivered to Nicodemus, nearly
    nineteen centuries ago, after the Creator of the universe had
    delivered up His life on the cross for the redemption of the human
    race; the very cup which the stainless Sir Galahad had sought with
    knightly devotion in far fields of peril and adventure in Arthur's
    time, fourteen hundred years ago; the same cup which princely
    knights of other bygone ages had laid down their lives in long and
    patient efforts to find, and had passed from life disappointed--and
    here it was at last, dug up by a grain-broker at no cost of blood or
    travel, and apparently no purity required of him above the average
    purity of the twentieth-century dealer in cereal futures; not even a
    stately name required--no Sir Galahad, no Sir Bors de Ganis, no Sir
    Lancelot of the Lake--nothing but a mere Mr. Pole.--[From the New
    York Sun somewhat later: "Mr. Pole communicated the discovery to a
    dignitary of the Church of England, who summoned a number of eminent
    persons, including psychologists, to see and discuss it. Forty
    attended, including some peers with ecclesiastical interests,
    Ambassador Whitelaw Reid, Professor Crookas, and ministers of
    various religious bodies, including the Rev. R. J. Campbell. They
    heard Mr. Pole's story with deep attention, but he could not prove
    the genuineness of the relic."]

Clemens saw Mr. and Mrs. Rogers at Claridge's Hotel that evening; lunched
with his old friends Sir Norman and Lady Lockyer next day; took tea with
T. P. O'Connor at the House of Commons, and on the day following, which
was June a 5th, he was the guest of honor at one of the most elaborate
occasions of his visit--a luncheon given by the Pilgrims at the Savoy
Hotel. It would be impossible to set down here a report of the doings,
or even a list of the guests, of that gathering. The Pilgrims is a club
with branches on both sides of the ocean, and Mark Twain, on either side,
was a favorite associate. At this luncheon the picture on the bill of
fare represented him as a robed pilgrim, with a great pen for his staff,
turning his back on the Mississippi River and being led along his
literary way by a huge jumping frog, to which he is attached by a string.
On a guest-card was printed:

    Pilot of many Pilgrims since the shout
    "Mark Twain!"--that serves you for a deathless sign
    --On Mississippi's waterway rang out
    Over the plummet's line--
    Still where the countless ripples laugh above
    The blue of halcyon seas long may you keep
    Your course unbroken, buoyed upon a love
    Ten thousand fathoms deep!

                       --O. S. [OWEN SEAMAN].

Augustine Birrell made the speech of introduction, closing with this

    Mark Twain is a man whom Englishmen and Americans do well to honor.
    He is a true consolidator of nations. His delightful humor is of
    the kind which dissipates and destroys national prejudices. His
    truth and his honor--his love of truth and his love of honor
    --overflow all boundaries. He has made the world better by his
    presence, and we rejoice to see him here. Long may he live to reap
    a plentiful harvest of hearty honest human affection.

The toast was drunk standing. Then Clemens rose and made a speech which
delighted all England. In his introduction Mr. Birrell had happened to
say, "How I came here I will not ask!" Clemens remembered this, and
looking down into Mr. Birrell's wine-glass, which was apparently unused,
he said:

"Mr. Birrell doesn't know how he got here. But he will be able to get
away all right--he has not drunk anything since he came."

He told stories about Howells and Twichell, and how Darwin had gone to
sleep reading his books, and then he came down to personal things and
company, and told them how, on the day of his arrival, he had been
shocked to read on a great placard, "Mark Twain Arrives: Ascot Cup

    No doubt many a person was misled by those sentences joined together
    in that unkind way. I have no doubt my character has suffered from
    it. I suppose I ought to defend my character, but how can I defend
    it? I can say here and now that anybody can see by my face that I
    am sincere--that I speak the truth, and that I have never seen that
    Cup. I have not got the Cup, I did not have a chance to get it. I
    have always had a good character in that way. I have hardly ever
    stolen anything, and if I did steal anything I had discretion enough
    to know about the value of it first. I do not steal things that are
    likely to get myself into trouble. I do not think any of us do
    that. I know we all take things--that is to be expected; but really
    I have never taken anything, certainly in England, that amounts to
    any great thing. I do confess that when I was here seven years ago
    I stole a hat--but that did not amount to anything. It was not a
    good hat it was only a clergyman's hat, anyway. I was at a
    luncheon-party and Archdeacon Wilberforce was there also. I dare say
    he is archdeacon now--he was a canon then--and he was serving in the
    Westminster Battery, if that is the proper term. I do not know, as
    you mix military and ecclesiastical things together so much.

He recounted the incident of the exchanged hats; then he spoke of graver
things. He closed:

    I cannot always be cheerful, and I cannot always be chaffing. I
    must sometimes lay the cap and bells aside and recognize that I am
    of the human race. I have my cares and griefs, and I therefore
    noticed what Mr. Birrell said--I was so glad to hear him say it
    --something that was in the nature of these verses here at the top
    of the program:

           He lit our life with shafts of sun
           And vanquished pain.
           Thus two great nations stand as one
           In honoring Twain.

I am very glad to have those verses. I am very glad and very grateful
for what Mr. Birrell said in that connection. I have received since I
have been here, in this one week, hundreds of letters from all conditions
of people in England, men, women, and children, and there is compliment,
praise, and, above all, and better than all, there is in them a note of

Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection--that is the last and
final and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character
or achievement, and I am very grateful to have that reward. All these
letters make me feel that here in England, as in America, when I stand
under the English or the American flag I am not a stranger, I am not an
alien, but at home.



He left, immediately following the Pilgrim luncheon, with Hon. Robert P.
Porter, of the London Times, for Oxford, to remain his guest there during
the various ceremonies. The encenia--the ceremony of conferring the
degrees--occurred at the Sheldonian Theater the following morning, June
26, 1907.

It was a memorable affair. Among those who were to receive degrees that
morning besides Samuel Clemens were: Prince Arthur of Connaught; Prime
Minister Campbell-Bannerman; Whitelaw Reid; Rudyard Kipling; Sidney Lee;
Sidney Colvin; Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland; Sir Norman
Lockyer; Auguste Rodin, the sculptor; Saint-Saens, and Gen. William
Booth, of the Salvation Army-something more than thirty, in all, of the
world's distinguished citizens.

The candidates assembled at Magdalen College, and led by Lord Curzon, the
Chancellor, and clad in their academic plumage, filed in radiant
procession to the Sheldonian Theater, a group of men such as the world
seldom sees collected together. The London Standard said of it:
    So brilliant and so interesting was the list of those who had been
    selected by Oxford University on Convocation to receive degrees,
    'honoris causa', in this first year of Lord Curzon's chancellorship,
    that it is small wonder that the Sheldonian Theater was besieged
    today at an early hour.

    Shortly after 11 o'clock the organ started playing the strains of
    "God Save the King," and at once a great volume of sound arose as
    the anthem was taken up by the undergraduates and the rest of the
    assemblage. Every one stood up as, headed by the mace of office,
    the procession slowly filed into the theater, under the leadership
    of Lord Curzon, in all the glory of his robes of office, the long
    black gown heavily embroidered with gold, the gold-tasseled mortar-
    board, and the medals on his breast forming an admirable setting,
    thoroughly in keeping with the dignity and bearing of the late
    Viceroy of India. Following him came the members of Convocation, a
    goodly number consisting of doctors of divinity, whose robes of
    scarlet and black enhanced the brilliance of the scene. Robes of
    salmon and scarlet-which proclaim the wearer to be a doctor of civil
    law--were also seen in numbers, while here and there was a gown of
    gray and scarlet, emblematic of the doctorate of science or of

The encenia is an impressive occasion; but it is not a silent one. There
is a splendid dignity about it; but there goes with it all a sort of
Greek chorus of hilarity, the time-honored prerogative of the Oxford
undergraduate, who insists on having his joke and his merriment at the
expense of those honored guests. The degrees of doctor of law were
conferred first. Prince Arthur was treated with proper dignity by the
gallery; but when Whitelaw Reid stepped forth a voice shouted, "Where's
your Star-spangled Banner?" and when England's Prime
Minister-Campbell-Bannerman--came forward some one shouted, "What about
the House of Lords?" and so they kept it up, cheering and chaffing, until
General Booth was introduced as the "Passionate advocate of the dregs of
the people, leader of the submerged tenth," and "general of the Salvation
Army," when the place broke into a perfect storm of applause, a storm
that a few minutes later became, according to the Daily News, "a
veritable cyclone," for Mark Twain, clad in his robe of scarlet and gray,
had been summoned forward to receive the highest academic honors which
the world has to give. The undergraduates went wild then. There was
such a mingling of yells and calls and questions, such as, "Have you
brought the jumping Frog with you?" "Where is the Ascot Cup?" "Where are
the rest of the Innocents?" that it seemed as if it would not be possible
to present him at all; but, finally, Chancellor Curzon addressed him (in
Latin), "Most amiable and charming sir, you shake the sides of the whole
world with your merriment," and the great degree was conferred. If only
Tom Sawyer could have seen him then! If only Olivia Clemens could have
sat among those who gave him welcome! But life is not like that. There
is always an incompleteness somewhere, and the shadow across the path.

Rudyard Kipling followed--another supreme favorite, who was hailed with
the chorus, "For he's a jolly good fellow," and then came Saint-Satins.
The prize poems and essays followed, and then the procession of newly
created doctors left the theater with Lord Curzon at their head. So it
was all over-that for which, as he said, he would have made the journey
to Mars. The world had nothing more to give him now except that which he
had already long possessed-its honor and its love.

The newly made doctors were to be the guests of Lord Curzon at All Souls
College for luncheon. As they left the theater (according to Sidney

    The people in the streets singled out Mark Twain, formed a vast and
    cheering body-guard around him and escorted him to the college
    gates. But before and after the lunch it was Mark Twain again whom
    everybody seemed most of all to want to meet. The Maharajah of
    Bikanir, for instance, finding himself seated at lunch next to Mrs.
    Riggs (Kate Douglas Wiggin), and hearing that she knew Mark Twain,
    asked her to present him a ceremony duly performed later on the
    quadrangle. At the garden-party given the same afternoon in the
    beautiful grounds of St. John's, where the indefatigable Mark put
    in an appearance, it was just the same--every one pressed forward
    for an exchange of greetings and a hand-shake. On the following
    day, when the Oxford pageant took place, it was even more so. "Mark
    Twain's Pageant," it was called by one of the papers.--[There was a
    dinner that evening at one of the colleges where, through mistaken
    information, Clemens wore black evening dress when he should have
    worn his scarlet gown. "When I arrived," he said, "the place was
    just a conflagration--a kind of human prairie-fire. I looked as out
    of place as a Presbyterian in hell."]

Clemens remained the guest of Robert Porter, whose house was besieged
with those desiring a glimpse of their new doctor of letters. If he went
on the streets he was instantly recognized by some newsboy or cabman or
butcher-boy, and the word ran along like a cry of fire, while the crowds

At a luncheon which the Porters gave him the proprietor of the catering
establishment garbed himself as a waiter in order to have the distinction
of serving Mark Twain, and declared it to have been the greatest moment
of his life. This gentleman--for he was no less than that--was a man
well-read, and his tribute was not inspired by mere snobbery. Clemens,
learning of the situation, later withdrew from the drawing-room for a
talk with him.

"I found," he said, "that he knew about ten or fifteen times as much
about my books as I knew about them myself."

Mark Twain viewed the Oxford pageant from a box with Rudyard Kipling and
Lord Curzon, and as they sat there some one passed up a folded slip of
paper, on the outside of which was written, "Not true." Opening it, they

       East is East and West is West,
       And never the Twain shall meet,

         --a quotation from Kipling.

They saw the panorama of history file by, a wonderful spectacle which
made Oxford a veritable dream of the Middle Ages. The lanes and streets
and meadows were thronged with such costumes as Oxford had seen in its
long history. History was realized in a manner which no one could
appreciate more fully than Mark Twain.

"I was particularly anxious to see this pageant," he said, "so that I
could get ideas for my funeral procession, which I am planning on a large

He was not disappointed; it was a realization to him of all the gorgeous
spectacles that his soul had dreamed from youth up.

He easily recognized the great characters of history as they passed by,
and he was recognized by them in turn; for they waved to him and bowed
and sometimes called his name, and when he went down out of his box, by
and by, Henry VIII. shook hands with him, a monarch he had always
detested, though he was full of friendship for him now; and Charles I.
took off his broad, velvet-plumed hat when they met, and Henry II. and
Rosamond and Queen Elizabeth all saluted him--ghosts of the dead



We may not detail all the story of that English visit; even the path of
glory leads to monotony at last. We may only mention a few more of the
great honors paid to our unofficial ambassador to the world: among them a
dinner given to members of the Savage Club by the Lord Mayor of London at
the Mansion House, also a dinner given by the American Society at the
Hotel Cecil in honor of the Fourth of July. Clemens was the guest of
honor, and responded to the toast given by Ambassador Reid, "The Day we
Celebrate." He made an amusing and not altogether unserious reference to
the American habit of exploding enthusiasm in dangerous fireworks.

To English colonists he gave credit for having established American
independence, and closed:

    We have, however, one Fourth of July which is absolutely our own,
    and that is the memorable proclamation issued forty years ago by
    that great American to whom Sir Mortimer Durand paid that just and
    beautiful tribute--Abraham Lincoln: a proclamation which not only
    set the black slave free, but set his white owner free also. The
    owner was set free from that burden and offense, that sad condition
    of things where he was in so many instances a master and owner of
    slaves when he did not want to be. That proclamation set them all
    free. But even in this matter England led the way, for she had set
    her slaves free thirty years before, and we but followed her
    example. We always follow her example, whether it is good or bad.
    And it was an English judge, a century ago, that issued that other
    great proclamation, and established that great principle, that when
    a slave, let him belong to whom he may, and let him come whence he
    may, sets his foot upon English soil his fetters, by that act, fall
    away and he is a free man before the world!

    It is true, then, that all our Fourths of July, and we have five of
    them, England gave to us, except that one that I have mentioned--the
    Emancipation Proclamation; and let us not forget that we owe this
    debt to her. Let us be able to say to old England, this great-
    hearted, venerable old mother of the race, you gave us our Fourths
    of July, that we love and that we honor and revere; you gave us the
    Declaration of Independence, which is the charter of our rights;
    you, the venerable Mother of Liberties, the Champion and Protector
    of Anglo-Saxon Freedom--you gave us these things, and we do most
    honestly thank you for them.

It was at this dinner that he characteristically confessed, at last, to
having stolen the Ascot Cup.

He lunched one day with Bernard Shaw, and the two discussed the
philosophies in which they were mutually interested. Shaw regarded
Clemens as a sociologist before all else, and gave it out with great
frankness that America had produced just two great geniuses--Edgar Allan
Poe and Mark Twain. Later Shaw wrote him a note, in which he said:

I am persuaded that the future historian of America will find your works
as indispensable to him as a French historian finds the political tracts
of Voltaire. I tell you so because I am the author of a play in which a
priest says, "Telling the truth's the funniest joke in the world," a
piece of wisdom which you helped to teach me.

Clemens saw a great deal of Moberly Bell. The two lunched and dined
privately together when there was opportunity, and often met at the
public gatherings.

The bare memorandum of the week following July Fourth will convey
something of Mark Twain's London activities:

    Friday, July 5. Dined with Lord and Lady Portsmouth.

    Saturday, July 6. Breakfasted at Lord Avebury's. Lord Kelvin, Sir
    Charles Lyell, and Sir Archibald Geikie were there. Sat 22 times
    for photos, 16 at Histed's. Savage Club dinner in the evening.
    White suit. Ascot Cup.

    Sunday, July 7. Called on Lady Langattock and others. Lunched with
    Sir Norman Lockyer.

    Monday, July 8. Lunched with Plasmon directors at Bath Club. Dined
    privately at C. F. Moberly Bell's.

    Tuesday, July 9. Lunched at the House with Sir Benjamin Stone.
    Balfour and Komura were the other guests of honor. Punch dinner in
    the evening. Joy Agnew and the cartoon.

    Wednesday, July 10. Went to Liverpool with Tay Pay. Attended
    banquet in the Town Hall in the evening.

    Thursday, July 11. Returned to London with Tay Pay. Calls in the

The Savage Club would inevitably want to entertain him on its own
account, and their dinner of July 6th was a handsome, affair. He felt at
home with the Savages, and put on white for the only time publicly in
England. He made them one of his reminiscent speeches, recalling his
association with them on his first visit to London, thirty-seven years
before. Then he said:

    That is a long time ago, and as I had come into a very strange land,
    and was with friends, as I could see, that has always remained in my
    mind as a peculiarly blessed evening, since it brought me into
    contact with men of my own kind and my own feelings. I am glad to
    be here, and to see you all, because it is very likely that I shall
    not see you again. I have been received, as you know, in the most
    delightfully generous way in England ever since I came here. It
    keeps me choked up all the time. Everybody is so generous, and they
    do seem to give you such a hearty welcome. Nobody in the world can
    appreciate it higher than I do.

The club gave him a surprise in the course of the evening. A note was
sent to him accompanied by a parcel, which, when opened, proved to
contain a gilded plaster replica of the Ascot Gold Cup. The note said:

    Dere Mark, i return the Cup. You couldn't keep your mouth shut
    about it. 'Tis 2 pretty 2 melt, as you want me 2; nest time I work
    a pinch ile have a pard who don't make after-dinner speeches.

There was a postcript which said: "I changed the acorn atop for another
nut with my knife." The acorn was, in fact, replaced by a well-modeled
head of Mark Twain.

So, after all, the Ascot Cup would be one of the trophies which he would
bear home with him across the Atlantic.

Probably the most valued of his London honors was the dinner given to him
by the staff of Punch. Punch had already saluted him with a front-page
cartoon by Bernard Partridge, a picture in which the presiding genius of
that paper, Mr. Punch himself, presents him with a glass of the
patronymic beverage with the words, "Sir, I honor myself by drinking your
health. Long life to you--and happiness--and perpetual youth!"

Mr. Agnew, chief editor; Linley Sambourne, Francis Burnand, Henry Lucy,
and others of the staff welcomed him at the Punch offices at 10 Bouverie
Street, in the historic Punch dining-room where Thackeray had sat, and
Douglas Jerrold, and so many of the great departed. Mark Twain was the
first foreign visitor to be so honored--in fifty years the first stranger
to sit at the sacred board--a mighty distinction. In the course of the
dinner they gave him a pretty surprise, when little joy Agnew presented
him with the original drawing of Partridge's cartoon.

Nothing could have appealed to him more, and the Punch dinner, with its
associations and that dainty presentation, remained apart in his memory
from all other feastings.

Clemens had intended to return early in July, but so much was happening
that he postponed his sailing until the 13th. Before leaving America, he
had declined a dinner offered by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Repeatedly urged to let Liverpool share in his visit, he had reconsidered
now, and on the day following the Punch dinner, on July 10th, they
carried him, with T. P. O'Connor (Tay Pay) in the Prince of Wales's
special coach to Liverpool, to be guest of honor at the reception and
banquet which Lord Mayor Japp tendered him at the Town Hall. Clemens was
too tired to be present while the courses were being served, but arrived
rested and fresh to respond to his toast. Perhaps because it was his
farewell speech in England, he made that night the most effective address
of his four weeks' visit--one of the most effective of his whole career:
He began by some light reference to the Ascot Cup and the Dublin Jewels
and the State Regalia, and other disappearances that had been laid to his
charge, to amuse his hearers, and spoke at greater length than usual, and
with even greater variety. Then laying all levity aside, he told them,
like the Queen of Sheba, all that was in his heart.

    . . . Home is dear to us all, and now I am departing to my own
    home beyond the ocean. Oxford has conferred upon me the highest
    honor that has ever fallen to my share of this life's prizes. It is
    the very one I would have chosen, as outranking all and any others,
    the one more precious to me than any and all others within the gift
    of man or state. During my four weeks' sojourn in England I have
    had another lofty honor, a continuous honor, an honor which has
    flowed serenely along, without halt or obstruction, through all
    these twenty-six days, a most moving and pulse-stirring honor--the
    heartfelt grip of the hand, and the welcome that does not descend
    from the pale-gray matter of the brain, but rushes up with the red
    blood from the heart. It makes me proud and sometimes it makes me
    humble, too. Many and many a year ago I gathered an incident from
    Dana's Two Years Before the Mast. It was like this: There was a
    presumptuous little self-important skipper in a coasting sloop
    engaged in the dried-apple and kitchen-furniture trade, and he was
    always hailing every ship that came in sight. He did it just to
    hear himself talk and to air his small grandeur. One day a majestic
    Indiaman came plowing by with course on course of canvas towering
    into the sky, her decks and yards swarming with sailors, her hull
    burdened to the Plimsoll line with a rich freightage of precious
    spices, lading the breezes with gracious and mysterious odors of the
    Orient. It was a noble spectacle, a sublime spectacle! Of course
    the little skipper popped into the shrouds and squeaked out a hail,
    "Ship ahoy! What ship is that? And whence and whither?" In a deep
    and thunderous bass the answer came back through the speaking-
    trumpet, "The Begum, of Bengal--142 days out from Canton--homeward
    bound! What ship is that?" Well, it just crushed that poor little
    creature's vanity flat, and he squeaked back most humbly, "Only the
    Mary Ann, fourteen hours out from Boston, bound for Kittery Point
    --with nothing to speak of!" Oh, what an eloquent word that "only,"
    to express the depths of his humbleness! That is just my case.
    During just one hour in the twenty-four--not more--I pause and
    reflect in the stillness of the night with the echoes of your
    English welcome still lingering in my ears, and then I am humble.
    Then I am properly meek, and for that little while I am only the
    Mary Ann, fourteen hours out, cargoed with vegetables and tinware;
    but during all the other twenty-three hours my vain self-complacency
    rides high on the white crests of your approval, and then I am a
    stately Indiaman, plowing the great seas under a cloud of canvas and
    laden with the kindest words that have ever been vouchsafed to any
    wandering alien in this world, I think; then my twenty-six fortunate
    days on this old mother soil seem to be multiplied by six, and I am
    the Begum, of Bengal, 142 days out from Canton--homeward bound!

He returned to London, and with one of his young acquaintances, an
American--he called her Francesca--paid many calls. It took the
dreariness out of that social function to perform it in that way. With a
list of the calls they were to make they drove forth each day to cancel
the social debt. They paid calls in every walk of life. His young
companion was privileged to see the inside of London homes of almost
every class, for he showed no partiality; he went to the homes of the
poor and the rich alike. One day they visited the home of an old
bookkeeper whom he had known in 1872 as a clerk in a large establishment,
earning a salary of perhaps a pound a week, who now had risen mightily,
for he had become head bookkeeper in that establishment on a salary of
six pounds a week, and thought it great prosperity and fortune for his
old age.

He sailed on July 13th for home, besought to the last moment by a crowd
of autograph-seekers and reporters and photographers, and a multitude who
only wished to see him and to shout and wave good-by. He was sailing
away from them for the last time. They hoped he would make a speech, but
that would not have been possible. To the reporters he gave a farewell
message: "It has been the most enjoyable holiday I have ever had, and I
am sorry the end of it has come. I have met a hundred, old friends, and
I have made a hundred new ones. It is a good kind of riches to have;
there is none better, I think." And the London Tribune declared that
"the ship that bore him away had difficulty in getting clear, so thickly
was the water strewn with the bay-leaves of his triumph. For Mark Twain
has triumphed, and in his all-too-brief stay of a month has done more for
the cause of the world's peace than will be accomplished by the Hague
Conference. He has made the world laugh again."

His ship was the Minnetonka, and there were some little folks aboard to
be adopted as grandchildren. On July 5th, in a fog, the Minnetonka
collided with the bark Sterling, and narrowly escaped sinking her. On
the whole, however, the homeward way was clear, and the vessel reached
New York nearly a day in advance of their schedule. Some ceremonies of
welcome had been prepared for him; but they were upset by the early
arrival, so that when he descended the gang-plank to his native soil only
a few who had received special information were there to greet him. But
perhaps he did not notice it. He seldom took account of the absence of
such things. By early afternoon, however, the papers rang with the
announcement that Mark Twain was home again.

It is a sorrow to me that I was not at the dock to welcome him. I had
been visiting in Elmira, and timed my return for the evening of the a 2d,
to be on hand the following morning, when the ship was due. When I saw
the announcement that he had already arrived I called a greeting over the
telephone, and was told to come down and play billiards. I confess I
went with a certain degree of awe, for one could not but be overwhelmed
with the echoes of the great splendor he had so recently achieved, and I
prepared to sit a good way off in silence, and hear something of the tale
of this returning conqueror; but when I arrived he was already in the
billiard-room knocking the balls about--his coat off, for it was a hot
night. As I entered he said:

"Get your cue. I have been inventing a new game." And I think there
were scarcely ten words exchanged before we were at it. The pageant was
over; the curtain was rung down. Business was resumed at the old stand.



He returned to Tuxedo and took up his dictations, and mingled freely with
the social life; but the contrast between his recent London experience
and his semi-retirement must have been very great. When I visited him
now and then, he seemed to me lonely--not especially for companionship,
but rather for the life that lay behind him--the great career which in a
sense now had been completed since he had touched its highest point.
There was no billiard-table at Tuxedo, and he spoke expectantly of
getting back to town and the games there, also of the new home which was
then building in Redding, and which would have a billiard-room where we
could assemble daily--my own habitation being not far away. Various
diversions were planned for Redding; among them was discussed a possible
school of philosophy, such as Hawthorne and Emerson and Alcott had
established at Concord.

He spoke quite freely of his English experiences, but usually of the more
amusing phases. He almost never referred to the honors that had been
paid to him, yet he must have thought of them sometimes, and cherished
them, for it had been the greatest national tribute ever paid to a
private citizen; he must have known that in his heart. He spoke
amusingly of his visit to Marie Corelli, in Stratford, and of the Holy
Grail incident, ending the latter by questioning--in words at least--all
psychic manifestations. I said to him:

"But remember your own dream, Mr. Clemens, which presaged the death of
your brother."

He answered: "I ask nobody to believe that it ever happened. To me it is
true; but it has no logical right to be true, and I do not expect belief
in it." Which I thought a peculiar point of view, but on the whole

He was invited to be a special guest at the Jamestown Exposition on
Fulton Day, in September, and Mr. Rogers lent him his yacht in which to
make the trip. It was a break in the summer's monotonies, and the
Jamestown honors must have reminded him of those in London. When he
entered the auditorium where the services were to be held there was a
demonstration which lasted more than five minutes. Every person in the
hall rose and cheered, waving handkerchiefs and umbrellas. He made them
a brief, amusing talk on Fulton and other matters, then introduced
Admiral Harrington, who delivered a masterly address and was followed by
Martin W. Littleton, the real orator of the day. Littleton acquitted
himself so notably that Mark Twain conceived for him a deep admiration,
and the two men quickly became friends. They saw each other often during
the remainder of the Jamestown stay, and Clemens, learning that Littleton
lived just across Ninth Street from him in New York, invited him to come
over when he had an evening to spare and join the billiard games.

So it happened, somewhat later, when every one was back in town, Mr. and
Mrs. Littleton frequently came over for billiards, and the games became
three-handed with an audience--very pleasant games played in that way.
Clemens sometimes set himself up as umpire, and became critic and gave
advice, while Littleton and I played. He had a favorite shot that he
frequently used himself and was always wanting us to try, which was to
drive the ball to the cushion at the beginning of the shot.

He played it with a good deal of success, and achieved unexpected results
with it. He was even inspired to write a poem on the subject.

              "CUSHION FIRST"

       When all your days are dark with doubt,
       And dying hope is at its worst;
       When all life's balls are scattered wide,
       With not a shot in sight, to left or right,
       Don't give it up;
       Advance your cue and shut your eyes,
       And take the cushion first.

The Harry Thaw trial was in progress just then, and Littleton was Thaw's
chief attorney. It was most interesting to hear from him direct the
day's proceedings and his views of the situation and of Thaw.

Littleton and billiards recall a curious thing which happened one
afternoon. I had been absent the evening before, and Littleton had been
over. It was after luncheon now, and Clemens and I began preparing for
the customary games. We were playing then a game with four balls, two
white and two red. I began by placing the red balls on the table, and
then went around looking in the pockets for the two white cue-balls. When
I had made the round of the table I had found but one white ball. I
thought I must have overlooked the other, and made the round again. Then
I said:

"There is one white ball missing."

Clemens, to satisfy himself, also made the round of the pockets, and

"It was here last night." He felt in the pockets of the little
white-silk coat which he usually wore, thinking that he might
unconsciously have placed it there at the end of the last game, but his
coat pockets were empty.

He said: "I'll bet Littleton carried that ball home with him."

Then I suggested that near the end of the game it might have jumped off
the table, and I looked carefully under the furniture and in the various
corners, but without success. There was another set of balls, and out of
it I selected a white one for our play, and the game began. It went
along in the usual way, the balls constantly falling into the pockets,
and as constantly being replaced on the table. This had continued for
perhaps half an hour, there being no pocket that had not been frequently
occupied and emptied during that time; but then it happened that Clemens
reached into the middle pocket, and taking out a white ball laid it in
place, whereupon we made the discovery that three white balls lay upon
the table. The one just taken from the pocket was the missing ball. We
looked at each other, both at first too astonished to say anything at
all. No one had been in the room since we began to play, and at no time
during the play had there been more than two white balls in evidence,
though the pockets had been emptied at the end of each shot. The pocket
from which the missing ball had been taken had been filled and emptied
again and again. Then Clemens said:

"We must be dreaming."

We stopped the game for a while to discuss it, but we could devise no
material explanation. I suggested the kobold--that mischievous invisible
which is supposed to play pranks by carrying off such things as pencils,
letters, and the like, and suddenly restoring them almost before one's
eyes. Clemens, who, in spite of his material logic, was always a mystic
at heart, said:

"But that, so far as I know, has never happened to more than one person
at a time, and has been explained by a sort of temporary mental
blindness. This thing has happened to two of us, and there can be no
question as to the positive absence of the object."

"How about dematerialization?"

"Yes, if one of us were a medium that might be considered an

He went on to recall that Sir Alfred Russel Wallace had written of such
things, and cited instances which Wallace had recorded. In the end he

"Well, it happened, that's all we can say, and nobody can ever convince
me that it didn't."

We went on playing, and the ball remained solid and substantial ever
after, so far as I know.

I am reminded of two more or less related incidents of this period.
Clemens was, one morning, dictating something about his Christian Union
article concerning Mrs. Clemens's government of children, published in
1885. I had discovered no copy of it among the materials, and he was
wishing very much that he could see one. Somewhat later, as he was
walking down Fifth Avenue, the thought of this article and his desire for
it suddenly entered his mind. Reaching the corner of Forty-second
Street, he stopped a moment to let a jam of vehicles pass. As he did so
a stranger crossed the street, noticed him, and came dodging his way
through the blockade and thrust some clippings into his hand.

"Mr. Clemens," he said, "you don't know me, but here is something you may
wish to have. I have been saving them for more than twenty years, and
this morning it occurred to me to send them to you. I was going to mail
them from my office, but now I will give them to you," and with a word or
two he disappeared. The clippings were from the Christian Union of 1885,
and were the much-desired article. Clemens regarded it as a remarkable
case of mental telegraphy.

"Or, if it wasn't that," he said, "it was a most remarkable coincidence."

The other circumstance has been thought amusing. I had gone to Redding
for a few days, and while there, one afternoon about five o'clock, fell
over a coal-scuttle and scarified myself a good deal between the ankle
and the knee. I mention the hour because it seems important. Next
morning I received a note, prompted by Mr. Clemens, in which he said:

Tell Paine I am sorry he fell and skinned his shin at five o'clock
yesterday afternoon.

I was naturally astonished, and immediately wrote:

I did fall and skin my shin at five o'clock yesterday afternoon, but how
did you find it out?

I followed the letter in person next day, and learned that at the same
hour on the same afternoon Clemens himself had fallen up the front steps
and, as he said, peeled off from his "starboard shin a ribbon of skin
three inches long." The disaster was still uppermost in his mind at the
time of writing, and the suggestion of my own mishap had flashed out for
no particular reason.

Clemens was always having his fortune told, in one way or another, being
superstitious, as he readily confessed, though at times professing little
faith in these prognostics. Once when a clairvoyant, of whom he had
never even heard, and whom he had reason to believe was ignorant of his
family history, told him more about it than he knew himself, besides
reading a list of names from a piece of paper which Clemens had concealed
in his vest pocket he came home deeply impressed. The clairvoyant added
that he would probably live to a great age and die in a foreign land--a
prophecy which did not comfort him.



Mark Twain was deeply interested during the autumn of 1907 in the
Children's Theater of the Jewish Educational Alliance, on the lower East
Side--a most worthy institution which ought to have survived. A Miss
Alice M. Herts, who developed and directed it, gave her strength and
health to build up an institution through which the interest of the
children could be diverted from less fortunate amusements. She had
interested a great body of Jewish children in the plays of Shakespeare,
and of more modern dramatists, and these they had performed from time to
time with great success. The admission fee to the performance was ten
cents, and the theater was always crowded with other children--certainly
a better diversion for them than the amusements of the street, though of
course, as a business enterprise, the theater could not pay. It required
patrons. Miss Herts obtained permission to play "The Prince and the
Pauper," and Mark Twain agreed to become a sort of chief patron in using
his influence to bring together an audience who might be willing to
assist financially in this worthy work.

"The Prince and the Pauper" evening turned out a distinguished affair. On
the night of November 19, 1907, the hall of the Educational Alliance was
crowded with such an audience as perhaps never before assembled on the
East Side; the finance and the fashion of New York were there. It was a
gala night for the little East Side performers. Behind the curtain they
whispered to each other that they were to play before queens. The
performance they gave was an astonishing one. So fully did they enter
into the spirit of Tom Canty's rise to royalty that they seemed
absolutely to forget that they were lowly-born children of the Ghetto.
They had become little princesses and lords and maids-in-waiting, and
they moved through their pretty tinsel parts as if all their ornaments
were gems and their raiment cloth of gold. There was no hesitation, no
awkwardness of speech or gesture, and they rose really to sublime heights
in the barn scene where the little Prince is in the hands of the mob.
Never in the history of the stage has there been assembled a mob more
wonderful than that. These children knew mobs! A mob to them was a
daily sight, and their reproduction of it was a thing to startle you with
its realism. Never was it absurd; never was there a single note of
artificiality in it. It was Hogarthian in its bigness.

Both Mark Twain and Miss Herts made brief addresses, and the audience
shouted approval of their words. It seems a pity that such a project as
that must fail, and I do not know why it happened. Wealthy men and women
manifested an interest; but there was some hitch somewhere, and the
Children's Theater exists to-day only as history.--[In a letter to a Mrs.
Amelia Dunne Hookway, who had conducted some children's plays at the
Howland School, Chicago, Mark Twain once wrote: "If I were going to begin
life over again I would have a children's theater and watch it, and work
for it, and see it grow and blossom and bear its rich moral and
intellectual fruitage; and I should get more pleasure and a saner and
healthier profit out of my vocation than I should ever be able to get out
of any other, constituted as I am. Yes, you are easily the most
fortunate of women, I think."]

It was at a dinner at The Players--a small, private dinner given by Mr.
George C. Riggs-that I saw Edward L. Burlingame and Mark Twain for the
only time together. They had often met during the forty-two years that
had passed since their long-ago Sandwich Island friendship; but only
incidentally, for Mr. Burlingame cared not much for great public
occasions, and as editor of Scribner's Magazine he had been somewhat out
of the line of Mark Twain's literary doings.

Howells was there, and Gen. Stewart L. Woodford, and David Bispham, John
Finley, Evan Shipman, Nicholas Biddle, and David Munro. Clemens told
that night, for the first time, the story of General Miles and the
three-dollar dog, inventing it, I believe, as he went along, though for
the moment it certainly did sound like history. He told it often after
that, and it has been included in his book of speeches.

Later, in the cab, he said:

"That was a mighty good dinner. Riggs knows how to do that sort of
thing. I enjoyed it ever so much. Now we'll go home and play

We began about eleven o'clock, and played until after midnight. I
happened to be too strong for him, and he swore amazingly. He vowed that
it was not a gentleman's game at all, that Riggs's wine had demoralized
the play. But at the end, when we were putting up the cues, he said:

"Well, those were good games. There is nothing like billiards after

We did not play billiards on his birthday that year. He went to the
theater in the afternoon; and it happened that, with Jesse Lynch
Williams, I attended the same performance--the "Toy-Maker of Nuremberg"
--written by Austin Strong. It proved to be a charming play, and I could
see that Clemens was enjoying it. He sat in a box next to the stage, and
the actors clearly were doing their very prettiest for his benefit.

When later I mentioned having seen him at the play, he spoke freely of
his pleasure in it.

"It is a fine, delicate piece of work," he said. "I wish I could do such
things as that."

"I believe you are too literary for play-writing."

"Yes, no doubt. There was never any question with the managers about my
plays. They always said they wouldn't act. Howells has come pretty near
to something once or twice. I judge the trouble is that the literary man
is thinking of the style and quality of the thing, while the playwright
thinks only of how it will play. One is thinking of how it will sound,
the other of how it will look."

"I suppose," I said, "the literary man should have a collaborator with a
genius for stage mechanism. John Luther Long's exquisite plays would
hardly have been successful without David Belasco to stage them. Belasco
cannot write a play himself, but in the matter of acting construction his
genius is supreme."

"Yes, so it is; it was Belasco who made it possible to play 'The Prince
and the Pauper'--a collection of literary garbage before he got hold of

Clemens attended few public functions now. He was beset with
invitations, but he declined most of them. He told the dog story one
night to the Pleiades Club, assembled at the Brevoort; but that was only
a step away, and we went in after the dining was ended and came away
before the exercises were concluded.

He also spoke at a banquet given to Andrew Carnegie--Saint Andrew, as he
called him--by the Engineers Club, and had his usual fun at the chief
guest's expense.

    I have been chief guest at a good many banquets myself, and I know
    what brother Andrew is feeling like now. He has been receiving
    compliments and nothing but compliments, but he knows that there is
    another side to him that needs censure.

    I am going to vary the complimentary monotony. While we have all
    been listening to the complimentary talk Mr. Carnegie's face has
    scintillated with fictitious innocence. You'd think he never
    committed a crime in his life. But he has.

    Look at his pestiferous simplified spelling. Imagine the calamity
    on two sides of the ocean when he foisted his simplified spelling on
    the whole human race. We've got it all now so that nobody could
    spell . . . .

    If Mr. Carnegie had left spelling alone we wouldn't have had any
    spots on the sun, or any San Francisco quake, or any business

    There, I trust he feels better now and that he has enjoyed my abuse
    more than he did his compliments. And now that I think I have him
    smoothed down and feeling comfortable I just want to say one thing
    more--that his simplified spelling is all right enough, but, like
    chastity, you can carry it too far.

As he was about to go, Carnegie called his attention to the beautiful
souvenir bronze and gold-plated goblets that stood at each guest's plate.
Carnegie said:

"The club had those especially made at Tiffany's for this occasion. They
cost ten dollars apiece."

Clemens sand: "Is that so? Well, I only meant to take my own; but if
that's the case I'll load my cab with them."

We made an attempt to reform on the matter of billiards. The continued
strain of late hours was doing neither of us any particular good. More
than once I journeyed into the country on one errand and another, mainly
for rest; but a card saying that he was lonely and upset, for lack of his
evening games, quickly brought me back again. It was my wish only to
serve him; it was a privilege and an honor to give him happiness.

Billiards, however, was not his only recreation just then. He walked out
a good deal, and especially of a pleasant Sunday morning he liked the
stroll up Fifth Avenue. Sometimes we went as high as Carnegie's, on
Ninety-second Street, and rode home on top of the electric stage--always
one of Mark Twain's favorite diversions.

From that high seat he liked to look down on the panorama of the streets,
and in that free, open air he could smoke without interference. Oftener,
however, we turned at Fifty-ninth Street, walking both ways.

When it was pleasant we sometimes sat on a bench in Central Park; and
once he must have left a handkerchief there, for a few days later one of
his handkerchiefs came to him accompanied by a note. Its finder, a Mr.
Lockwood, received a reward, for Mark Twain wrote him:

    There is more rejoicing in this house over that one handkerchief
    that was lost and is found again than over the ninety and nine that
    never went to the wash at all. Heaven will reward you, I know it

On Sunday mornings the return walk would be timed for about the hour that
the churches would be dismissed. On the first Sunday morning we had
started a little early, and I thoughtlessly suggested, when we reached
Fifty-ninth Street, that if we returned at once we would avoid the
throng. He said, quietly:

"I like the throng."

So we rested in the Plaza Hotel until the appointed hour. Men and women
noticed him, and came over to shake his hand. The gigantic man in
uniform; in charge of the carriages at the door, came in for a word. He
had opened carriages for Mr. Clemens at the Twenty-third Street station,
and now wanted to claim that honor. I think he received the most cordial
welcome of any one who came. I am sure he did. It was Mark Twain's way
to warm to the man of the lower social rank. He was never too busy,
never too preoccupied, to grasp the hand of such a man; to listen to his
story, and to say just the words that would make that man happy
remembering them.

We left the Plaza Hotel and presently were amid the throng of outpouring
congregations. Of course he was the object on which every passing eye
turned; the presence to which every hat was lifted. I realized that this
open and eagerly paid homage of the multitude was still dear to him, not
in any small and petty way, but as the tribute of a nation, the
expression of that affection which in his London and Liverpool speeches
he had declared to be the last and final and most precious reward that
any man can win, whether by character or achievement. It was his final
harvest, and he had the courage to claim it--the aftermath of all his
years of honorable labor and noble living.



If the reader has any curiosity as to some of the less usual letters
which a man of wide public note may inspire, perhaps he will find a
certain interest in a few selected from the thousands which yearly came
to Mark Twain.

For one thing, he was constantly receiving prescriptions and remedies
whenever the papers reported one of his bronchial or rheumatic attacks.
It is hardly necessary to quote examples of these, but only a form of his
occasional reply, which was likely to be in this wise:

    DEAR SIR [or MADAM],--I try every remedy sent to me. I am now on
    No. 87. Yours is 2,653. I am looking forward to its beneficial

Of course a large number of the nostrums and palliatives offered were
preparations made by the wildest and longest-haired medical cranks. One
of these sent an advertisement of a certain Elixir of Life, which was
guaranteed to cure everything--to "wash and cleanse the human molecules,
and so restore youth and preserve life everlasting."

Anonymous letters are not usually popular or to be encouraged, but Mark
Twain had an especial weakness for compliments that came in that way.
They were not mercenary compliments. The writer had nothing to gain. Two
such letters follow--both written in England just at the time of his


    DEAR SIR,--Please accept a poor widow's good-by and kindest wishes.
    I have had some of your books sent to me; have enjoyed them very
    much--only wish I could afford to buy some.

    I should very much like to have seen you. I have many photos of you
    which I have cut from several papers which I read. I have one where
    you are writing in bed, which I cut from the Daily News. Like
    myself, you believe in lots of sleep and rest. I am 70 and I find I
    need plenty. Please forgive the liberty I have taken in writing to
    you. If I can't come to your funeral may we meet beyond the river.

    May God guard you, is the wish of a lonely old widow.
                  Yours sincerely,

The other letter also tells its own story:

    DEAR, KIND MARK TWAIN,--For years I have wanted to write and thank
    you for the comfort you were to me once, only I never quite knew
    where you were, and besides I did not want to bother you; but to-day
    I was told by some one who saw you going into the lift at the Savoy
    that you looked sad and I thought it might cheer you a little tiny
    bit to hear how you kept a poor lonely girl from ruining her eyes
    with crying every night for long months.

    Ten years ago I had to leave home and earn my living as a governess
    and Fate sent me to spend a winter with a very dull old country
    family in the depths of Staffordshire. According to the genial
    English custom, after my five charges had gone to bed, I took my
    evening meal alone in the school-room, where "Henry Tudor had supped
    the night before Bosworth," and there I had to stay without a soul
    to speak to till I went to bed. At first I used to cry every night,
    but a friend sent me a copy of your Huckleberry Finn and I never
    cried any more. I kept him handy under the copy-books and maps, and
    when Henry Tudor commenced to stretch out his chilly hands toward me
    I grabbed my dear Huck and he never once failed me; I opened him at
    random and in two minutes I was in another world. That's why I am
    so grateful to you and so fond of you, and I thought you might like
    to know; for it is yourself that has the kind heart, as is easily
    seen from the way you wrote about the poor old nigger. I am a
    stenographer now and live at home, but I shall never forget how you
    helped me. God bless you and spare you long to those you are dear

A letter which came to him soon after his return from England contained a
clipping which reported the good work done by Christian missionaries in
the Congo, especially among natives afflicted by the terrible sleeping
sickness. The letter itself consisted merely of a line, which said:

    Won't you give your friends, the missionaries, a good mark for this?

The writer's name was signed, and Mark Twain answered:

    In China the missionaries are not wanted, & so they ought to be
    decent & go away. But I have not heard that in the Congo the
    missionary servants of God are unwelcome to the native.

    Evidently those missionaries axe pitying, compassionate, kind. How
    it would improve God to take a lesson from them! He invented &
    distributed the germ of that awful disease among those helpless,
    poor savages, & now He sits with His elbows on the balusters & looks
    down & enjoys this wanton crime. Confidently, & between you & me
    --well, never mind, I might get struck by lightning if I said it.

    Those are good and kindly men, those missionaries, but they are a
    measureless satire upon their Master.

To which the writer answered:

    O wicked Mr. Clemens! I have to ask Saint Joan of Arc to pray for
    you; then one of these days, when we all stand before the Golden
    Gates and we no longer "see through a glass darkly and know only in
    part," there will be a struggle at the heavenly portals between Joan
    of Arc and St. Peter, but your blessed Joan will conquer and she'll
    lead Mr. Clemens through the gates of pearl and apologize and plead
    for him.

Of the letters that irritated him, perhaps the following is as fair a
sample as any, and it has additional interest in its sequel.

    DEAR SIR,--I have written a book--naturally--which fact, however,
    since I am not your enemy, need give you no occasion to rejoice.
    Nor need you grieve, though I am sending you a copy. If I knew of
    any way of compelling you to read it I would do so, but unless the
    first few pages have that effect I can do nothing. Try the first
    few pages. I have done a great deal more than that with your books,
    so perhaps you owe me some thing--say ten pages. If after that
    attempt you put it aside I shall be sorry--for you.

    I am afraid that the above looks flippant--but think of the
    twitterings of the soul of him who brings in his hand an unbidden
    book, written by himself. To such a one much is due in the way of
    indulgence. Will you remember that? Have you forgotten early
    twitterings of your own?

In a memorandum made on this letter Mark Twain wrote:

    Another one of those peculiarly depressing letters--a letter cast in
    artificially humorous form, whilst no art could make the subject
    humorous--to me.

Commenting further, he said:

    As I have remarked before about one thousand times the coat of arms
    of the human race ought to consist of a man with an ax on his
    shoulder proceeding toward a grindstone, or it ought to represent
    the several members of the human race holding out the hat to one
    another; for we are all beggars, each in his own way. One beggar is
    too proud to beg for pennies, but will beg for an introduction into
    society; another does not care for society, but he wants a
    postmastership; another will inveigle a lawyer into conversation and
    then sponge on him for free advice. The man who wouldn't do any of
    these things will beg for the Presidency. Each admires his own
    dignity and greatly guards it, but in his opinion the others haven't

    Mendicancy is a matter of taste and temperament, no doubt, but no
    human being is without some form of it. I know my own form, you
    know yours. Let us conceal them from view and abuse the others.
    There is no man so poor but what at intervals some man comes to him
    with an ax to grind. By and by the ax's aspect becomes familiar to
    the proprietor of the grindstone. He perceives that it is the same
    old ax. If you are a governor you know that the stranger wants an
    office. The first time he arrives you are deceived; he pours out
    such noble praises of you and your political record that you are
    moved to tears; there's a lump in your throat and you are thankful
    that you have lived for this happiness. Then the stranger discloses
    his ax, and you are ashamed of yourself and your race. Six
    repetitions will cure you. After that you interrupt the compliments
    and say, "Yes, yes, that's all right; never mind about that. What
    is it you want?"

    But you and I are in the business ourselves. Every now and then we
    carry our ax to somebody and ask a whet. I don't carry mine to
    strangers--I draw the line there; perhaps that is your way. This is
    bound to set us up on a high and holy pinnacle and make us look down
    in cold rebuke on persons who carry their axes to strangers.

    I do not know how to answer that stranger's letter. I wish he had
    spared me. Never mind about him--I am thinking about myself. I
    wish he had spared me. The book has not arrived yet; but no matter,
    I am prejudiced against it.

It was a few days later that he added:

    I wrote to that man. I fell back upon the old Overworked, polite
    lie, and thanked him for his book and said I was promising myself
    the pleasure of reading it. Of course that set me free; I was not
    obliged to read it now at all, and, being free, my prejudice was
    gone, and as soon as the book came I opened it to see what it was
    like. I was not able to put it down until I had finished. It was
    an embarrassing thing to have to write to that man and confess that
    fact, but I had to do it. That first letter was merely a lie. Do
    you think I wrote the second one to give that man pleasure? Well, I
    did, but it was second-hand pleasure. I wrote it first to give
    myself comfort, to make myself forget the original lie.

Mark Twain's interest was once aroused by the following:

    DEAR SIR,--I have had more or less of your works on my shelves for
    years, and believe I have practically a complete set now. This is
    nothing unusual, of course, but I presume it will seem to you
    unusual for any one to keep books constantly in sight which the
    owner regrets ever having read.

    Every time my glance rests on the books I do regret having read
    them, and do not hesitate to tell you so to your face, and care not
    who may know my feelings. You, who must be kept busy attending to
    your correspondence, will probably pay little or no attention to
    this small fraction of it, yet my reasons, I believe, are sound and
    are probably shared by more people than you are aware of.

    Probably you will not read far enough through this to see who has
    signed it, but if you do, and care to know why I wish I had left
    your work unread, I will tell you as briefly as possible if you will
    ask me.
                            GEORGE B. LAUDER.

Clemens did not answer the letter, but put it in his pocket, perhaps
intending to do so, and a few days later, in Boston, when a reporter
called, he happened to remember it. The reporter asked permission to
print the queer document, and it appeared in his Mark Twain interview
next morning. A few days later the writer of it sent a second letter,
this time explaining:

    MY DEAR SIR,--I saw in to-day's paper a copy of the letter which I
    wrote you October 26th.

    I have read and re-read your works until I can almost recall some of
    them word for word. My familiarity with them is a constant source
    of pleasure which I would not have missed, and therefore the regret
    which I have expressed is more than offset by thankfulness.

    Believe me, the regret which I feel for having read your works is
    entirely due to the unalterable fact that I can never again have the
    pleasure of reading them for the first time.

                  Your sincere admirer,
                            GEORGE B. LADDER.

Mark Twain promptly replied this time:
    DEAR SIR, You fooled me completely; I didn't divine what the letter
    was concealing, neither did the newspaper men, so you are a very
    competent deceiver.
                     Truly yours,
                                S. L. CLEMENS.

It was about the end of 1907 that the new St. Louis Harbor boat, was
completed. The editor of the St. Louis Republic reported that it has
been christened "Mark Twain," and asked for a word of comment. Clemens
sent this line:

    May my namesake follow in my righteous footsteps, then neither of us
    will need any fire insurance.



Howells, in his book, refers to the Human Race Luncheon Club, which
Clemens once organized for the particular purpose of damning the species
in concert. It was to consist, beside Clemens himself, of Howells,
Colonel Harvey, and Peter Dunne; but it somehow never happened that even
this small membership could be assembled while the idea was still fresh,
and therefore potent.

Out of it, however, grew a number of those private social gatherings
which Clemens so dearly loved--small luncheons and dinners given at his
own table. The first of these came along toward the end of 1907, when
Howells was planning to spend the winter in Italy.

"Howells is going away," he said, "and I should like to give him a
stag-party. We'll enlarge the Human Race Club for the occasion."

So Howells, Colonel Harvey, Martin Littleton, Augustus Thomas, Robert
Porter, and Paderewski were invited. Paderewski was unable to come, and
seven in all assembled.

Howells was first to arrive.

"Here comes Howells," Clemens said. "Old Howells a thousand years old."

But Howells didn't look it. His face was full of good-nature and
apparent health, and he was by no means venerable, either in speech or
action. Thomas, Porter, Littleton, and Harvey drifted in. Cocktails
were served and luncheon was announced.

Claude, the butler, had prepared the table with fine artistry--its center
a mass of roses. There was to be no woman in the neighborhood--Clemens
announced this fact as a sort of warrant for general freedom of

Thomas's play, "The Witching Hour," was then at the height of its great
acceptance, and the talk naturally began there. Thomas told something of
the difficulty which he found in being able to convince a manager that it
would succeed, and declared it to be his own favorite work. I believe
there was no dissenting opinion as to its artistic value, or concerning
its purpose and psychology, though these had been the stumbling-blocks
from a managerial point of view.

When the subject was concluded, and there had come a lull, Colonel
Harvey, who was seated at Clemens's left, said:

"Uncle Mark"--he often called him that--"Major Leigh handed me a report
of the year's sales just as I was leaving. It shows your royalty returns
this year to be very close to fifty thousand dollars. I don't believe
there is another such return from old books on record."

This was said in an undertone, to Clemens only, but was overheard by one
or two of those who sat nearest. Clemens was not unwilling to repeat it
for the benefit of all, and did so. Howells said:

"A statement like that arouses my basest passions. The books are no
good; it's just the advertising they get."

Clemens said: "Yes, my contract compels the publisher to advertise. It
costs them two hundred dollars every time they leave the advertisement
out of the magazines."

"And three hundred every time we put it in," said Harvey. "We often
debate whether it is more profitable to put in the advertisement or to
leave it out."

The talk switched back to plays and acting. Thomas recalled an incident
of Beerbohm Tree's performance of "Hamlet." W. S. Gilbert, of
light-opera celebrity, was present at a performance, and when the play
ended Mrs. Tree hurried over to him and said:

"Oh, Mr. Gilbert, what did you think of Mr. Tree's rendition of Hamlet?"
"Remarkable," said Gilbert. "Funny without being vulgar."

It was with such idle tales and talk-play that the afternoon passed. Not
much of it all is left to me, but I remember Howells saying, "Did it ever
occur to you that the newspapers abolished hell? Well, they did--it was
never done by the church. There was a consensus of newspaper opinion
that the old hell with its lake of fire and brimstone was an antiquated
institution; in fact a dead letter." And again, "I was coming down
Broadway last night, and I stopped to look at one of the street-venders
selling those little toy fighting roosters. It was a bleak, desolate
evening; nobody was buying anything, and as he pulled the string and kept
those little roosters dancing and fighting his remarks grew more and more
cheerless and sardonic.

"'Japanese game chickens,' he said; 'pretty toys, amuse the children with
their antics. Child of three can operate it. Take them home for
Christmas. Chicken-fight at your own fireside.' I tried to catch his eye
to show him that I understood his desolation and sorrow, but it was no
use. He went on dancing his toy chickens, and saying, over and over,
'Chicken-fight at your own fireside.'"

The luncheon over, we wandered back into the drawing-room, and presently
all left but Colonel Harvey. Clemens and the Colonel went up to the
billiard-room and engaged in a game of cushion caroms, at twenty-five
cents a game. I was umpire and stakeholder, and it was a most
interesting occupation, for the series was close and a very cheerful one.
It ended the day much to Mark Twain's satisfaction, for he was oftenest
winner. That evening he said:

"We will repeat that luncheon; we ought to repeat it once a month.
Howells will be gone, but we must have the others. We cannot have a
thing like that too often."

There was, in fact, a second stag-luncheon very soon after, at which
George Riggs was present and that rare Irish musician, Denis O'Sullivan.
It was another choice afternoon, with a mystical quality which came of
the music made by O'Sullivan on some Hindu reeds-pipes of Pan. But we
shall have more of O'Sullivan presently--all too little, for his days
were few and fleeting.

Howells could not get away just yet. Colonel Harvey, who, like James
Osgood, would not fail to find excuse for entertainment, chartered two
drawing-room cars, and with Mrs. Harvey took a party of fifty-five or
sixty congenial men and women to Lakewood for a good-by luncheon to
Howells. It was a day borrowed from June, warm and beautiful.

The trip down was a sort of reception. Most of the guests were
acquainted, but many of them did not often meet. There was constant
visiting back and forth the full length of the two coaches. Denis
O'Sullivan was among the guests. He looked in the bloom of health, and
he had his pipes and played his mystic airs; then he brought out the
tin-whistle of Ireland, and blew such rollicking melodies as capering
fairies invented a long time ago. This was on the train going down.

There was a brief program following the light-hearted feasting--an
informal program fitting to that sunny day. It opened with some
recitations by Miss Kitty Cheatham; then Colonel Harvey introduced
Howells, with mention of his coming journey. As a rule, Howells does not
enjoy speaking. He is willing to read an address on occasion, but he has
owned that the prospect of talking without his notes terrifies him. This
time, however, there was no reluctance, though he had prepared no speech.
He was among friends. He looked even happy when he got on his feet, and
he spoke like a happy man. He talked about Mark Twain. It was all
delicate, delicious chaffing which showed Howells at his very best--all
too short for his listeners.

Clemens, replying, returned the chaff, and rambled amusingly among his
fancies, closing with a few beautiful words of "Godspeed and safe return"
to his old comrade and friend.

Then once more came Denis and his pipes. No one will ever forget his
part of the program. The little samples we had heard on the train were
expanded and multiplied and elaborated in a way that fairly swept his
listeners out of themselves into that land where perhaps Denis himself
wanders playing now; for a month later, strong and lusty and beautiful as
he seemed that day, he suddenly vanished from among us and his reeds were
silent. It never occurred to us then that Denis could die; and as he
finished each melody and song there was a shout for a repetition, and I
think we could have sat there and let the days and years slip away
unheeded, for time is banished by music like that, and one wonders if it
might not even divert death.

It was dark when we crossed the river homeward; the myriad lights from
heaven-climbing windows made an enchanted city in the sky. The evening,
like the day, was warm, and some of the party left the ferry-cabin to
lean over and watch the magic spectacle, the like of which is not to be
found elsewhere on the earth.



During the forty years or so that had elapsed since the publication of
the "Gates Ajar" and the perpetration of Mark Twain's intended burlesque,
built on Captain Ned Wakeman's dream, the Christian religion in its more
orthodox aspects had undergone some large modifications. It was no
longer regarded as dangerous to speak lightly of hell, or even to suggest
that the golden streets and jeweled architecture of the sky might be
regarded as symbols of hope rather than exhibits of actual bullion and
lapidary construction. Clemens re-read his extravaganza, Captain
Stormfields Visit to Heaven, gave it a modernizing touch here and there,
and handed it to his publishers, who must have agreed that it was no
longer dangerous, for it was promptly accepted and appeared in the
December and January numbers (1907-8) of Harper's Magazine, and was also
issued as a small book. If there were any readers who still found it
blasphemous, or even irreverent, they did not say so; the letters that
came--and they were a good many--expressed enjoyment and approval, also
(some of them) a good deal of satisfaction that Mark Twain "had returned
to his earlier form."

The publication of this story recalled to Clemens's mind another heresy
somewhat similar which he had written during the winter of 1891 and 1892
in Berlin. This was a dream of his own, in which he had set out on a
train with the evangelist Sam Jones and the Archbishop of Canterbury for
the other world. He had noticed that his ticket was to a different
destination than the Archbishop's, and so, when the prelate nodded and
finally went to sleep, he changed the tickets in their hats with
disturbing results. Clemens thought a good deal of this fancy when he
wrote it, and when Mrs. Clemens had refused to allow it to be printed he
had laboriously translated it into German, with some idea of publishing
it surreptitiously; but his conscience had been too much for him. He had
confessed, and even the German version had been suppressed.

Clemens often allowed his fancy to play with the idea of the orthodox
heaven, its curiosities of architecture, and its employments of
continuous prayer, psalm-singing, and harpistry.

"What a childish notion it was," he said, "and how curious that only a
little while ago human beings were so willing to accept such fragile
evidences about a place of so much importance. If we should find
somewhere to-day an ancient book containing an account of a beautiful and
blooming tropical Paradise secreted in the center of eternal icebergs--an
account written by men who did not even claim to have seen it themselves
--no geographical society on earth would take any stock in that book, yet
that account would be quite as authentic as any we have of heaven. If
God has such a place prepared for us, and really wanted us to know it, He
could have found some better way than a book so liable to alterations and
misinterpretation. God has had no trouble to prove to man the laws of
the constellations and the construction of the world, and such things as
that, none of which agree with His so-called book. As to a hereafter, we
have not the slightest evidence that there is any--no evidence that
appeals to logic and reason. I have never seen what to me seemed an atom
of proof that there is a future life."

Then, after a long pause, he added:

"And yet--I am strongly inclined to expect one."



It was on January 11, 1908, that Mark Twain was given his last great
banquet by the Lotos Club. The club was about to move again, into
splendid new quarters, and it wished to entertain him once more in its
old rooms.

He wore white, and amid the throng of black-clad men was like a white
moth among a horde of beetles. The room fairly swarmed with them, and
they seemed likely to overwhelm him.

President Lawrence was toast-master of the evening, and he ended his
customary address by introducing Robert Porter, who had been Mark Twain's
host at Oxford. Porter told something of the great Oxford week, and
ended by introducing Mark Twain. It had been expected that Clemens would
tell of his London experiences. Instead of doing this, he said he had
started a new kind of collection, a collection of compliments. He had
picked up a number of valuable ones abroad and some at home. He read
selections from them, and kept the company going with cheers and
merriment until just before the close of his speech. Then he repeated,
in his most impressive manner, that stately conclusion of his Liverpool
speech, and the room became still and the eyes of his hearers grew dim.
It may have been even more moving than when originally given, for now the
closing words, "homeward bound," had only the deeper meaning.

Dr. John MacArthur followed with a speech that was as good a sermon as
any he ever delivered, and closed it by saying:

"I do not want men to prepare for heaven, but to prepare to remain on
earth, and it is such men as Mark Twain who make other men not fit to
die, but fit to live."

Andrew Carnegie also spoke, and Colonel Harvey, and as the speaking ended
Robert Porter stepped up behind Clemens and threw over his shoulders the
scarlet Oxford robe which had been surreptitiously brought, and placed
the mortar-board cap upon his head, while the diners vociferated their
approval. Clemens was quite calm.

"I like this," he said, when the noise had subsided. "I like its
splendid color. I would dress that way all the time, if I dared."

In the cab going home I mentioned the success of his speech, how well it
had been received.

"Yes," he said; "but then I have the advantage of knowing now that I am
likely to be favorably received, whatever I say. I know that my
audiences are warm and responseful. It is an immense advantage to feel
that. There are cold places in almost every speech, and if your audience
notices them and becomes cool, you get a chill yourself in those zones,
and it is hard to warm up again. Perhaps there haven't been so many
lately; but I have been acquainted with them more than once." And then I
could not help remembering that deadly Whittier birthday speech of more
than thirty years before--that bleak, arctic experience from beginning to

"We have just time for four games," he said, as we reached the
billiard-room; but there was no sign of stopping when the four games were
over. We were winning alternately, and neither noted the time. I was
leaving by an early train, and was willing to play all night. The
milk-wagons were rattling outside when he said:

"Well, perhaps we'd better quit now. It seems pretty early, though." I
looked at my watch. It was quarter to four, and we said good night.



Edmund Clarence Stedman died suddenly at his desk, January 18, 1908, and
Clemens, in response to telegrams, sent this message:

I do not wish to talk about it. He was a valued friend from days that
date back thirty-five years. His loss stuns me and unfits me to speak.

He recalled the New England dinners which he used to attend, and where he
had often met Stedman.

"Those were great affairs," he said. "They began early, and they ended
early. I used to go down from Hartford with the feeling that it wasn't
an all-night supper, and that it was going to be an enjoyable time.
Choate and Depew and Stedman were in their prime then--we were all young
men together. Their speeches were always worth listening to. Stedman
was a prominent figure there. There don't seem to be any such men now
--or any such occasions."

Stedman was one of the last of the old literary group. Aldrich had died
the year before. Howells and Clemens were the lingering "last leaves."

Clemens gave some further luncheon entertainments to his friends, and
added the feature of "doe" luncheons--pretty affairs where, with Clara
Clemens as hostess, were entertained a group of brilliant women, such as
Mrs. Kate Douglas Riggs, Geraldine Farrax, Mrs. Robert Collier, Mrs.
Frank Doubleday, and others. I cannot report those luncheons, for I was
not present, and the drift of the proceedings came to me later in too
fragmentary a form to be used as history; but I gathered from Clemens
himself that he had done all of the talking, and I think they must have
been very pleasant afternoons. Among the acknowledgments that followed
one of these affairs is this characteristic word-play from Mrs. Riggs:

    N. B.--A lady who is invited to and attends a doe luncheon is, of
    course, a doe. The question is, if she attends two doe luncheons in
    succession is she a doe-doe? If so is she extinct and can never
    attend a third?

Luncheons and billiards, however, failed to give sufficient brightness to
the dull winter days, or to insure him against an impending bronchial
attack, and toward the end of January he sailed away to Bermuda, where
skies were bluer and roadsides gay with bloom. His sojourn was brief
this time, but long enough to cure him, he said, and he came back full of
happiness. He had been driving about over the island with a newly
adopted granddaughter, little Margaret Blackmer, whom he had met one
morning in the hotel dining-room. A part of his dictated story will
convey here this pretty experience.

    My first day in Bermuda paid a dividend--in fact a double dividend:
    it broke the back of my cold and it added a jewel to my collection.
    As I entered the breakfast-room the first object I saw in that
    spacious and far-reaching place was a little girl seated solitary at
    a table for two. I bent down over her and patted her cheek and

    "I don't seem to remember your name; what is it?"

    By the sparkle in her brown eyes it amused her. She said:

    "Why, you've never known it, Mr. Clemens, because you've never seen
    me before."

    "Why, that is true, now that I come to think; it certainly is true,
    and it must be one of the reasons why I have forgotten your name.
    But I remember it now perfectly--it's Mary."

    She was amused again; amused beyond smiling; amused to a chuckle,
    and she said:

    "Oh no, it isn't; it's Margaret."

    I feigned to be ashamed of my mistake and said:

    "Ah, well, I couldn't have made that mistake a few years ago; but I
    am old, and one of age's earliest infirmities is a damaged memory;
    but I am clearer now--clearer-headed--it all comes back to me just
    as if it were yesterday. It's Margaret Holcomb."

    She was surprised into a laugh this time, the rippling laugh that a
    happy brook makes when it breaks out of the shade into the sunshine,
    and she said:

    "Oh, you are wrong again; you don't get anything right. It isn't
    Holcomb, it's Blackmer."

    I was ashamed again, and confessed it; then:

    "How old are you, dear?"

    "Twelve; New-Year's. Twelve and a month."

    We were close comrades-inseparables, in fact-for eight days. Every
    day we made pedestrian excursions--called them that anyway, and
    honestly they were intended for that, and that is what they would
    have been but for the persistent intrusion of a gray and grave and
    rough-coated donkey by the name of Maud. Maud was four feet long;
    she was mounted on four slender little stilts, and had ears that
    doubled her altitude when she stood them up straight. Her tender
    was a little bit of a cart with seat room for two in it, and you
    could fall out of it without knowing it, it was so close to the
    ground. This battery was in command of a nice, grave, dignified,
    gentlefaced little black boy whose age was about twelve, and whose
    name, for some reason or other, was Reginald. Reginald and Maud--I
    shall not easily forget those names, nor the combination they stood
    for. The trips going and coming were five or six miles, and it
    generally took us three hours to make it. This was because Maud set
    the pace. Whenever she detected an ascending grade she respected
    it; she stopped and said with her ears:

    "This is getting unsatisfactory. We will camp here."

    The whole idea of these excursions was that Margaret and I should
    employ them for the gathering of strength, by walking, yet we were
    oftener in the cart than out of it. She drove and I superintended.
    In the course of the first excursions I found a beautiful little
    shell on the beach at Spanish Point; its hinge was old and dry, and
    the two halves came apart in my hand. I gave one of them to
    Margaret and said:

    "Now dear, sometime or other in the future I shall run across you
    somewhere, and it may turn out that it is not you at all, but will
    be some girl that only resembles you. I shall be saying to myself
    'I know that this is a Margaret by the look of her, but I don't know
    for sure whether this is my Margaret or somebody else's'; but, no
    matter, I can soon find out, for I shall take my half shell out of
    my pocket and say, 'I think you are my Margaret, but I am not
    certain; if you are my Margaret you can produce the other half of
    this shell.'"

    Next morning when I entered the breakfast-room and saw the child I
    approached and scanned her searchingly all over, then said, sadly:

    "No, I am mistaken; it looks like my Margaret,--but it isn't, and I
    am so sorry. I shall go away and cry now."

    Her eyes danced triumphantly, and she cried out:

    "No, you don't have to. There!" and she fetched out the identifying

    I was beside myself with gratitude and joyful surprise, and revealed
    it from every pore. The child could not have enjoyed this thrilling
    little drama more if we had been playing it on the stage. Many
    times afterward she played the chief part herself, pretending to be
    in doubt as to my identity and challenging me to produce my half of
    the shell. She was always hoping to catch me without it, but I
    always defeated that game--wherefore she came to recognize at last
    that I was not only old, but very smart.

Sometimes, when they were not walking or driving, they sat on the
veranda, and he prepared history-lessons for little Margaret by making
grotesque figures on cards with numerous legs and arms and other
fantastic symbols end features to fix the length of some king's reign.
For William the Conqueror, for instance, who reigned twenty-one years, he
drew a figure of eleven legs and ten arms. It was the proper method of
impressing facts upon the mind of a child. It carried him back to those
days at Elmira when he had arranged for his own little girls the game of
kings. A Miss Wallace, a friend of Margaret's, and usually one of the
pedestrian party, has written a dainty book of those Bermudian days.
--[Mark Twain and the Happy Islands, by Elizabeth Wallace.]

Miss Wallace says:

    Margaret felt for him the deep affection that children have for an
    older person who understands them and treats them with respect. Mr.
    Clemens never talked down to her, but considered her opinions with a
    sweet dignity.

There were some pretty sequels to the shell incident. After Mark Twain
had returned to New York, and Margaret was there, she called one day with
her mother, and sent up her card. He sent back word, saying:

    "I seem to remember the name; but if this is really the person whom
    I think it is she can identify herself by a certain shell I once
    gave her, of which I have the other half. If the two halves fit, I
    shall know that this is the same little Margaret that I remember."

The message went down, and the other half of the shell was promptly sent
up. Mark Twain had the two half-shells incised firmly in gold, and one
of these he wore on his watch-fob, and sent the other to Margaret.

He afterward corresponded with Margaret, and once wrote her:

    I'm already making mistakes. When I was in New York, six weeks ago,
    I was on a corner of Fifth Avenue and I saw a small girl--not a big
    one--start across from the opposite corner, and I exclaimed to
    myself joyfully, "That is certainly my Margaret!" so I rushed to
    meet her. But as she came nearer I began to doubt, and said to
    myself, "It's a Margaret--that is plain enough--but I'm afraid it is
    somebody else's." So when I was passing her I held my shell so she
    couldn't help but see it. Dear, she only glanced at it and passed
    on! I wondered if she could have overlooked it. It seemed best to
    find out; so I turned and followed and caught up with her, and said,
    deferentially; "Dear Miss, I already know your first name by the
    look of you, but would you mind telling me your other one?" She was
    vexed and said pretty sharply, "It's Douglas, if you're so anxious
    to know. I know your name by your looks, and I'd advise you to shut
    yourself up with your pen and ink and write some more rubbish. I am
    surprised that they allow you to run' at large. You are likely to
    get run over by a baby-carriage any time. Run along now and don't
    let the cows bite you."

    What an idea! There aren't any cows in Fifth Avenue. But I didn't
    smile; I didn't let on to perceive how uncultured she was. She was
    from the country, of course, and didn't know what a comical blunder.
    she was making.

Mr. Rogers's health was very poor that winter, and Clemens urged him to
try Bermuda, and offered to go back with him; so they sailed away to the
summer island, and though Margaret was gone, there was other entertaining
company--other granddaughters to be adopted, and new friends and old
friends, and diversions of many sorts. Mr. Rogers's son-in-law, William
Evarts Benjamin, came down and joined the little group. It was one of
Mark Twain's real holidays. Mr. Rogers's health improved rapidly, and
Mark Twain was in fine trim. To Mrs. Rogers, at the end of the first
week, he wrote:

    DEAR MRS. ROGERS, He is getting along splendidly! This was the very
    place for him. He enjoys himself & is as quarrelsome as a cat.

    But he will get a backset if Benjamin goes home. Benjamin is the
    brightest man in these regions, & the best company. Bright? He is
    much more than that, he is brilliant. He keeps the crowd intensely

    With love & all good wishes.
                            S. L. C.

Mark Twain and Henry Rogers were much together and much observed. They
were often referred to as "the King" and "the Rajah," and it was always a
question whether it was "the King" who took care of "the Rajah," or vice
versa. There was generally a group to gather around them, and Clemens
was sure of an attentive audience, whether he wanted to air his
philosophies, his views of the human race, or to read aloud from the
verses of Kipling.

"I am not fond of all poetry," he would say; "but there's something in
Kipling that appeals to me. I guess he's just about my level."

Miss Wallace recalls certain Kipling readings in his room, when his
friends gathered to listen.

    On those Kipling evenings the 'mise-en-scene' was a striking one.
    The bare hotel room, the pine woodwork and pine furniture, loose
    windows which rattled in the sea-wind. Once in a while a gust of
    asthmatic music from the spiritless orchestra downstairs came up the
    hallway. Yellow, unprotected gas-lights burned uncertainly, and
    Mark Twain in the midst of this lay on his bed (there was no couch)
    still in his white serge suit, with the light from the jet shining
    down on the crown of his silver hair, making it gleam and glisten
    like frosted threads.

In one hand he held his book, in the other he had his pipe, which he used
principally to gesture with in the most dramatic passages.

Margaret's small successors became the earliest members of the Angel Fish
Club, which Clemens concluded to organize after a visit to the
spectacular Bermuda aquarium. The pretty angel-fish suggested youth and
feminine beauty to him, and his adopted granddaughters became angel-fish
to him from that time forward. He bought little enamel angel-fish pins,
and carried a number of them with him most of the time, so that he could
create membership on short notice. It was just another of the harmless
and happy diversions of his gentler side. He was always fond of youth
and freshness. He regarded the decrepitude of old age as an unnecessary
part of life. Often he said:

"If I had been helping the Almighty when, He created man, I would have
had Him begin at the other end, and start human beings with old age. How
much better it would have been to start old and have all the bitterness
and blindness of age in the beginning! One would not mind then if he
were looking forward to a joyful youth. Think of the joyous prospect of
growing young instead of old! Think of looking forward to eighteen
instead of eighty! Yes, the Almighty made a poor job of it. I wish He
had invited my assistance."

To one of the angel fish he wrote, just after his return:

    I miss you, dear. I miss Bermuda, too, but not so much as I miss
    you; for you were rare, and occasional and select, and Ltd.; whereas
    Bermuda's charms and, graciousnesses were free and common and
    unrestricted--like the rain, you know, which falls upon the just and
    the unjust alike; a thing which would not happen if I were
    superintending the rain's affairs. No, I would rain softly and
    sweetly upon the just, but whenever I caught a sample of the unjust
    outdoors I would drown him.



    [As I am beginning this chapter, April 16, 1912, the news comes of
    the loss, on her first trip, of the great White Star Line steamer
    Titanic, with the destruction of many passengers, among whom are
    Frank D. Millet, William T. Stead, Isadore Straus, John Jacob Astor,
    and other distinguished men. They died as heroes, remaining with
    the ship in order that the women and children might be saved.

    It was the kind of death Frank Millet would have wished to die.
    He was always a soldier--a knight. He has appeared from time to
    time in these pages, for he was a dear friend of the Clemens
    household. One of America's foremost painters; at the time of his
    death he was head of the American Academy of Arts in Rome.]

Mark Twain made a number of addresses during the spring of 1908. He spoke
at the Cartoonists' dinner, very soon after his return from Bermuda; he
spoke at the Booksellers' banquet, expressing his debt of obligation to
those who had published and sold his books; he delivered a fine address
at the dinner given by the British Schools and University Club at
Delmonico's, May 25th, in honor of Queen Victoria's birthday. In that
speech he paid high tribute to the Queen for her attitude toward America,
during the crisis of the Civil Wax, and to her royal consort, Prince

    What she did for us in America in our time of storm and stress we
    shall not forget, and whenever we call it to mind we shall always
    gratefully remember the wise and righteous mind that guided her in
    it and sustained and supported her--Prince Albert's. We need not
    talk any idle talk here to-night about either possible or impossible
    war between two countries; there will be no war while we remain sane
    and the son of Victoria and Albert sits upon the throne. In
    conclusion, I believe I may justly claim to utter the voice of my
    country in saying that we hold him in deep honor, and also in
    cordially wishing him a long life and a happy reign.

But perhaps his most impressive appearance was at the dedication of the
great City College (May 14, 1908), where President John Finley, who had
been struggling along with insufficient room, was to have space at last
for his freer and fuller educational undertakings. A great number of
honored scholars, statesmen, and diplomats assembled on the college
campus, a spacious open court surrounded by stately college architecture
of medieval design. These distinguished guests were clad in their
academic robes, and the procession could not have been widely different
from that one at Oxford of a year before. But there was something rather
fearsome about it, too. A kind of scaffolding had been reared in the
center of the campus for the ceremonies; and when those grave men in
their robes of state stood grouped upon it the picture was strikingly
suggestive of one of George Cruikshank's drawings of an execution scene
at the Tower of London. Many of the robes were black--these would be the
priests--and the few scarlet ones would be the cardinals who might have
assembled for some royal martyrdom. There was a bright May sunlight over
it all, one of those still, cool brightnesses which served to heighten
the weird effect. I am sure that others felt it besides myself, for
everybody seemed wordless and awed, even at times when there was no
occasion for silence. There was something of another age about the whole
setting, to say the least.

We left the place in a motor-car, a crowd of boys following after. As
Clemens got in they gathered around the car and gave the college yell,
ending with "Twain! Twain! Twain!" and added three cheers for Tom
Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. They called for a speech, but
he only said a few words in apology for not granting their request. He
made a speech to them that night at the Waldorf--where he proposed for
the City College a chair of citizenship, an idea which met with hearty

In the same address he referred to the "God Trust" motto on the coins,
and spoke approvingly of the President's order for its removal.

    We do not trust in God, in the important matters of life, and not
    even a minister of the Gospel will take any coin for a cent more
    than its accepted value because of that motto. If cholera should
    ever reach these shores we should probably pray to be delivered from
    the plague, but we would put our main trust in the Board of Health.

Next morning, commenting on the report of this speech, he said:

"If only the reporters would not try to improve on what I say. They seem
to miss the fact that the very art of saying a thing effectively is in
its delicacy, and as they can't reproduce the manner and intonation in
type they make it emphatic and clumsy in trying to convey it to the

I pleaded that the reporters were often young men, eager, and unmellowed
in their sense of literary art.

"Yes," he agreed, "they are so afraid their readers won't see my good
points that they set up red flags to mark them and beat a gong. They
mean well, but I wish they wouldn't do it."

He referred to the portion of his speech concerning the motto on the
coins. He had freely expressed similar sentiments on other public
occasions, and he had received a letter criticizing him for saying that
we do not really trust in God in any financial matter.

"I wanted to answer it," he said; "but I destroyed it. It didn't seem
worth noticing."

I asked how the motto had originated.

"About 1853 some idiot in Congress wanted to announce to the world that
this was a religious nation, and proposed putting it there, and no other
Congressman had courage enough to oppose it, of course. It took courage
in those days to do a thing like that; but I think the same thing would
happen to-day."

"Still the country has become broader. It took a brave man before the
Civil War to confess he had read the 'Age of Reason'."

"So it did, and yet that seems a mild book now. I read it first when I
was a cub pilot, read it with fear and hesitation, but marveling at its
fearlessness and wonderful power. I read it again a year or two ago, for
some reason, and was amazed to see how tame it had become. It seemed
that Paine was apologizing everywhere for hurting the feelings of the

He drifted, naturally, into a discussion of the Knickerbocker Trust
Company's suspension, which had tied up some fifty-five thousand dollars
of his capital, and wondered how many were trusting in God for the return
of these imperiled sums. Clemens himself, at this time, did not expect
to come out whole from that disaster. He had said very little when the
news came, though it meant that his immediate fortunes were locked up,
and it came near stopping the building activities at Redding. It was
only the smaller things of life that irritated him. He often met large
calamities with a serenity which almost resembled indifference. In the
Knickerbocker situation he even found humor as time passed, and wrote a
number of gay letters, some of which found their way into print.

It should be added that in the end there was no loss to any of the
Knickerbocker depositors.



The building of the new home at Redding had been going steadily forward
for something more than a year. John Mead Howells had made the plans; W.
W. Sunderland and his son Philip, of Danbury, Connecticut, were the
builders, and in the absence of Miss Clemens, then on a concert tour,
Mark Twain's secretary, Miss I. V. Lyon, had superintended the

"Innocence at Home," as the place was originally named, was to be ready
for its occupant in June, with every detail in place, as he desired. He
had never visited Redding; he had scarcely even glanced at the plans or
discussed any of the decorations of the new home. He had required only
that there should be one great living-room for the orchestrelle, and
another big room for the billiard-table, with plenty of accommodations
for guests. He had required that the billiard-room be red, for something
in his nature answered to the warm luxury of that color, particularly in
moments of diversion. Besides, his other billiard-rooms had been red,
and such association may not be lightly disregarded. His one other
requirement was that the place should be complete.

"I don't want to see it," he said, "until the cat is purring on the

Howells says:

"He had grown so weary of change, and so indifferent to it, that he was
without interest."

But it was rather, I think, that he was afraid of losing interest by
becoming wearied with details which were likely to exasperate him; also,
he wanted the dramatic surprise of walking into a home that had been
conjured into existence as with a word.

It was expected that the move would be made early in the month; but there
were delays, and it was not until the 18th of June that he took

The plan, at this time, was only to use the Redding place as a summer
residence, and the Fifth Avenue house was not dismantled. A few days
before the 18th the servants, with one exception, were taken up to the
new house, Clemens and myself remaining in the loneliness of No. 21,
attending to the letters in the morning and playing billiards the rest of
the time, waiting for the appointed day and train. It was really a
pleasant three days. He invented a new game, and we were riotous and
laughed as loudly as we pleased. I think he talked very little of the
new home which he was so soon to see. It was referred to no oftener than
once or twice a day, and then I believe only in connection with certain
of the billiard-room arrangements. I have wondered since what picture of
it he could have had in his mind, for he had never seen a photograph. He
had a general idea that it was built upon a hill, and that its
architecture was of the Italian villa order. I confess I had moments of
anxiety, for I had selected the land for him, and had been more or less
accessory otherwise. I did not really worry, for I knew how beautiful
and peaceful it all was; also something of his taste and needs.

It had been a dry spring, and country roads were dusty, so that those who
were responsible had been praying for rain, to be followed by a pleasant
day for his arrival. Both petitions were granted; June 18th would fall
on Thursday, and Monday night there came a good, thorough, and refreshing
shower that washed the vegetation clean and laid the dust. The morning
of the 18th was bright and sunny and cool. Clemens was up and shaved by
six o'clock in order to be in time, though the train did not leave until
four in the afternoon--an express newly timed to stop at Redding--its
first trip scheduled for the day of Mark Twain's arrival.

We were still playing billiards when word was brought up that the cab was
waiting. My daughter, Louise, whose school on Long Island had closed
that day, was with us. Clemens wore his white flannels and a Panama hat,
and at the station a group quickly collected, reporters and others, to
interview him and speed him to his new home. He was cordial and
talkative, and quite evidently full of pleasant anticipation. A reporter
or two and a special photographer came along, to be present at his

The new, quick train, the green, flying landscape, with glimpses of the
Sound and white sails, the hillsides and clear streams becoming rapidly
steeper and dearer as we turned northward: all seemed to gratify him, and
when he spoke at all it was approvingly. The hour and a half required to
cover the sixty miles of distance seemed very short. As the train slowed
down for the Redding station, he said:

"We'll leave this box of candy"--he had bought a large box on the way
--"those colored porters sometimes like candy, and we can get some more."

He drew out a great handful of silver.

"Give them something--give everybody liberally that does any service."

There was a sort of open-air reception in waiting. Redding had
recognized the occasion as historic. A varied assemblage of vehicles
festooned with flowers had gathered to offer a gallant country welcome.

It was now a little before six o'clock of that long June day, still and
dreamlike; and to the people assembled there may have been something
which was not quite reality in the scene. There was a tendency to be
very still. They nodded, waved their hands to him, smiled, and looked
their fill; but a spell lay upon them, and they did not cheer. It would
have been a pity if they had done so. A noise, and the illusion would
have been shattered.

His carriage led away on the three-mile drive to the house on the
hilltop, and the floral turnout fell in behind. No first impression of a
fair land could have come at a sweeter time. Hillsides were green,
fields were white with daisies, dog-wood and laurel shone among the
trees. And over all was the blue sky, and everywhere the fragrance of

He was very quiet as we drove along. Once with gentle humor, looking
over a white daisy field, he said:

"That is buckwheat. I always recognize buckwheat when I see it. I wish
I knew as much about other things as I know about buckwheat. It seems to
be very plentiful here; it even grows by the roadside." And a little
later: "This is the kind of a road I like; a good country road through
the woods."

The water was flowing over the mill-dam where the road crosses the
Saugatuck, and he expressed approval of that clear, picturesque little
river, one of those charming Connecticut streams. A little farther on a
brook cascaded down the hillside, and he compared it with some of the
tiny streams of Switzerland, I believe the Giessbach. The lane that led
to the new home opened just above, and as he entered the leafy way he
said, "This is just the kind of a lane I like," thus completing his
acceptance of everything but the house and the location.

The last of the procession had dropped away at the entrance of the lane,
and he was alone with those who had most anxiety for his verdict. They
had not long to wait. As the carriage ascended higher to the open view
he looked away, across the Saugatuck Valley to the nestling village and
church-spire and farm-houses, and to the distant hills, and declared the
land to be a good land and beautiful--a spot to satisfy one's soul. Then
came the house--simple and severe in its architecture--an Italian villa,
such as he had known in Florence, adapted now to American climate and
needs. The scars of building had not all healed yet, but close to the
house waved green grass and blooming flowers that might have been there
always. Neither did the house itself look new. The soft, gray stucco
had taken on a tone that melted into the sky and foliage of its
background. At the entrance his domestic staff waited to greet him, and
then he stepped across the threshold into the wide hall and stood in his
own home for the first time in seventeen years. It was an anxious
moment, and no one spoke immediately. But presently his eye had taken in
the satisfying harmony of the place and followed on through the wide
doors that led to the dining-room--on through the open French windows to
an enchanting vista of tree-tops and distant farmside and blue hills. He
said, very gently:

"How beautiful it all is? I did not think it could be as beautiful as

He was taken through the rooms; the great living-room at one end of the
hall--a room on the walls of which there was no picture, but only
color-harmony--and at the other end of the hall, the splendid, glowing
billiard-room, where hung all the pictures in which he took delight. Then
to the floor above, with its spacious apartments and a continuation of
color--welcome and concord, the windows open to the pleasant evening
hills. When he had seen it all--the natural Italian garden below the
terraces; the loggia, whose arches framed landscape vistas and formed a
rare picture-gallery; when he had completed the round and stood in the
billiard-room--his especial domain--once more he said, as a final

"It is a perfect house--perfect, so far as I can see, in every detail. It
might have been here always."

He was at home there from that moment--absolutely, marvelously at home,
for he fitted the setting perfectly, and there was not a hitch or flaw in
his adaptation. To see him over the billiard-table, five minutes later,
one could easily fancy that Mark Twain, as well as the house, had "been
there always." Only the presence of his daughters was needed now to
complete his satisfaction in everything.

There were guests that first evening--a small home dinner-party--and so
perfect were the appointments and service, that one not knowing would
scarcely have imagined it to be the first dinner served in that lovely
room. A little later; at the foot of the garden of bay and cedar,
neighbors, inspired by Dan Beard, who had recently located near by, set
off some fireworks. Clemens stepped out on the terrace and saw rockets
climbing through the summer sky to announce his arrival.

"I wonder why they all go to so much trouble for me," he said, softly. "I
never go to any trouble for anybody"--a statement which all who heard it,
and all his multitude of readers in every land, stood ready to deny.

That first evening closed with billiards--boisterous, triumphant
billiards--and when with midnight the day ended and the cues were set in
the rack, there was none to say that Mark Twain's first day in his new
home had not been a happy one.



I went up next afternoon, for I knew how he dreaded loneliness. We
played billiards for a time, then set out for a walk, following the long
drive to the leafy lane that led to my own property. Presently he said:

"In one way I am sorry I did not see this place sooner. I never want to
leave it again. If I had known it was so beautiful I should have vacated
the house in town and moved up here permanently."

I suggested that he could still do so, if he chose, and he entered
immediately into the idea. By and by we turned down a deserted road,
grassy and beautiful, that ran along his land. At one side was a slope
facing the west, and dotted with the slender, cypress-like cedars of New
England. He had asked if that were part of his land, and on being told
it was he said:

"I would like Howells to have a house there. We must try to give that to

At the foot of the hill we came to a brook and followed it into a meadow.
I told him that I had often caught fine trout there, and that soon I
would bring in some for breakfast. He answered:

"Yes, I should like that. I don't care to catch them any more myself. I
like them very hot."

We passed through some woods and came out near my own ancient little
house. He noticed it and said:

"The man who built that had some memory of Greece in his mind when he put
on that little porch with those columns."

My second daughter, Frances, was coming from a distant school on the
evening train, and the carriage was starting just then to bring her. I
suggested that perhaps he would find it pleasant to make the drive.

"Yes," he agreed, "I should enjoy that."

So I took the reins, and he picked up little Joy, who came running out
just then, and climbed into the back seat. It was another beautiful
evening, and he was in a talkative humor. Joy pointed out a small turtle
in the road, and he said:

"That is a wild turtle. Do you think you could teach it arithmetic?"

Joy was uncertain.

"Well," he went on, "you ought to get an arithmetic--a little ten-cent
arithmetic--and teach that turtle."

We passed some swampy woods, rather dim and junglelike.

"Those," he said, "are elephant woods."

But Joy answered:

"They are fairy woods. The fairies are there, but you can't see them
because they wear magic cloaks."

He said: "I wish I had one of those magic cloaks, sometimes. I had one
once, but it is worn out now."

Joy looked at him reverently, as one who had once been the owner of a
piece of fairyland.

It was a sweet drive to and from the village. There are none too many
such evenings in a lifetime. Colonel Harvey's little daughter, Dorothy,
came up a day or two later, and with my daughter Louise spent the first
week with him in the new home. They were created "Angel-Fishes"--the
first in the new aquarium; that is to say, the billiard-room, where he
followed out the idea by hanging a row of colored prints of Bermuda
fishes in a sort of frieze around the walls. Each visiting member was
required to select one as her particular patron fish and he wrote her
name upon it. It was his delight to gather his juvenile guests in this
room and teach them the science of billiard angles; but it was so
difficult to resist taking the cue and making plays himself that he was
required to stand on a little platform and give instruction just out of
reach. His snowy flannels and gleaming white hair, against those rich
red walls, with those small, summer-clad players, made a pretty picture.

The place did not retain its original name. He declared that it would
always be "Innocence at Home" to the angel-fish visitors, but that the
title didn't remain continuously appropriate. The money which he had
derived from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven had been used to build
the loggia wing, and he considered the name of "Stormfield" as a
substitute. When, presently, the summer storms gathered on that
rock-bound, open hill, with its wide reaches of vine and shrub-wild,
fierce storms that bent the birch and cedar, and strained at the bay and
huckleberry, with lightning and turbulent wind and thunder, followed by
the charging rain--the name seemed to become peculiarly appropriate.
Standing with his head bared to the tumult, his white hair tossing in the
blast, and looking out upon the wide splendor of the spectacle, he
rechristened the place, and "Stormfield" it became and remained.

The last day of Mark Twain's first week in Redding, June 25th, was
saddened by the news of the death of Grover Cleveland at his home in
Princeton, New Jersey. Clemens had always been an ardent Cleveland
admirer, and to Mrs. Cleveland now he sent this word of condolence--

    Your husband was a man I knew and loved and honored for twenty-five
    years. I mourn with you.

And once during the evening he said:

"He was one of our two or three real Presidents. There is none to take
his place."



At the end of June came the dedication at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, of
the Thomas Bailey Aldrich Memorial Museum, which the poet's wife had
established there in the old Aldrich homestead. It was hot weather. We
were obliged to take a rather poor train from South Norwalk, and Clemens
was silent and gloomy most of the way to Boston. Once there, however,
lodged in a cool and comfortable hotel, matters improved. He had brought
along for reading the old copy of Sir Thomas Malory's Arthur Tales, and
after dinner he took off his clothes and climbed into bed and sat up and
read aloud from those stately legends, with comments that I wish I could
remember now, only stopping at last when overpowered with sleep.

We went on a special train to Portsmouth next morning through the summer
heat, and assembled, with those who were to speak, in the back portion of
the opera-house, behind the scenes: Clemens was genial and good-natured
with all the discomfort of it; and he liked to fancy, with Howells, who
had come over from Kittery Point, how Aldrich must be amused at the whole
circumstance if he could see them punishing themselves to do honor to his
memory. Richard Watson Gilder was there, and Hamilton Mabie; also
Governor Floyd of New Hampshire; Colonel Higginson, Robert Bridges, and
other distinguished men. We got to the more open atmosphere of the stage
presently, and the exercises began. Clemens was last on the program.

The others had all said handsome, serious things, and Clemens himself had
mentally prepared something of the sort; but when his turn came, and he
rose to speak, a sudden reaction must have set in, for he delivered an
address that certainly would have delighted Aldrich living, and must have
delighted him dead, if he could hear it. It was full of the most
charming humor, delicate, refreshing, and spontaneous. The audience,
that had been maintaining a proper gravity throughout, showed its
appreciation in ripples of merriment that grew presently into genuine
waves of laughter. He spoke out his regret for having worn black
clothes. It was a mistake, he said, to consider this a solemn time
--Aldrich would not have wished it to be so considered. He had been a
man who loved humor and brightness and wit, and had helped to make life
merry and delightful. Certainly, if he could know, he would not wish
this dedication of his own home to be a lugubrious, smileless occasion.
Outside, when the services were ended, the venerable juvenile writer, J.
T. Trowbridge, came up to Clemens with extended hand. Clemens said:
"Trowbridge, are you still alive? You must be a thousand years old. Why,
I listened to your stories while I was being rocked in the cradle."
Trowbridge said:

"Mark, there's some mistake. My earliest infant smile was wakened with
one of your jokes."

They stood side by side against a fence in the blazing sun and were
photographed--an interesting picture.

We returned to Boston that evening. Clemens did not wish to hurry in the
summer heat, and we remained another day quietly sight-seeing, and
driving around and around Commonwealth Avenue in a victoria in the cool
of the evening. Once, remembering Aldrich, he said:

"I was just planning Tom Sawyer when he was beginning the 'Story of a Bad
Boy'. When I heard that he was writing that I thought of giving up mine,
but Aldrich insisted that it would be a foolish thing to do. He thought
my Missouri boy could not by any chance conflict with his boy of New
England, and of course he was right."

He spoke of how great literary minds usually came along in company. He

"Now and then, on the stream of time, small gobs of that thing which we
call genius drift down, and a few of these lodge at some particular
point, and others collect about them and make a sort of intellectual
island--a towhead, as they say on the river--such an accumulation of
intellect we call a group, or school, and name it.

"Thirty years ago there was the Cambridge group. Now there's been still
another, which included Aldrich and Howells and Stedman and Cable. It
will soon be gone. I suppose they will have to name it by and by."

He pointed out houses here and there of people he had known and visited
in other days. The driver was very anxious to go farther, to other and
more distinguished sights. Clemens mildly but firmly refused any
variation of the program, and so we kept on driving around and around the
shaded loop of Beacon Street until dusk fell and the lights began to
twinkle among the trees.



Clemens' next absence from Redding came on August 1, 1908, when the
sudden and shocking news was received of the drowning of his nephew,
Samuel E. Moffett, in the surf of the Jersey shore. Moffett was his
nearest male relative, and a man of fine intellect and talents. He was
superior in those qualities which men love--he was large-minded and
large-hearted, and of noble ideals. With much of the same sense of humor
which had made his uncle's fame, he had what was really an abnormal
faculty of acquiring and retaining encyclopedic data. Once as a child he
had visited Hartford when Clemens was laboring over his history game. The
boy was much interested, and asked permission to help. His uncle
willingly consented, and referred him to the library for his facts. But
he did not need to consult the books; he already had English history
stored away, and knew where to find every detail of it. At the time of
his death Moffett held an important editorial position on Collier's

Clemens was fond and proud of his nephew. Returning from the funeral, he
was much depressed, and a day or two later became really ill. He was in
bed for a few days, resting, he said, after the intense heat of the
journey. Then he was about again and proposed billiards as a diversion.
We were all alone one very still, warm August afternoon playing, when he
suddenly said:

"I feel a little dizzy; I will sit down a moment."

I brought him a glass of water and he seemed to recover, but when he rose
and started to play I thought he had a dazed look. He said:

"I have lost my memory. I don't know which is my ball. I don't know
what game we are playing."

But immediately this condition passed, and we thought little of it,
considering it merely a phase of biliousness due to his recent journey. I
have been told since, by eminent practitioners, that it was the first
indication of a more serious malady.

He became apparently quite himself again and showed his usual vigor-light
of step and movement, able to skip up and down stairs as heretofore. In
a letter to Mrs. Crane, August 12th, he spoke of recent happenings:

    DEAR AUNT SUE,--It was a most moving, a most heartbreaking sight,
    the spectacle of that stunned & crushed & inconsolable family. I
    came back here in bad shape, & had a bilious collapse, but I am all
    right again, though the doctor from New York has given peremptory
    orders that I am not to stir from here before frost. O fortunate
    Sam Moffett! fortunate Livy Clemens! doubly fortunate Susy! Those
    swords go through & through my heart, but there is never a moment
    that I am not glad, for the sake of the dead, that they have

    How Livy would love this place! How her very soul would steep
    itself thankfully in this peace, this tranquillity, this deep
    stillness, this dreamy expanse of woodsy hill & valley! You must
    come, Aunt Sue, & stay with us a real good visit. Since June 26 we
    have had 21 guests, & they have all liked it and said they would
    come again.

To Howells, on the same day, he wrote:

    Won't you & Mrs. Howells & Mildred come & give us as many days as
    you can spare & examine John's triumph? It is the most satisfactory
    house I am acquainted with, & the most satisfactorily situated . .
    . . I have dismissed my stenographer, & have entered upon a
    holiday whose other end is the cemetery.



Clemens had fully decided, by this time, to live the year round in the
retirement at Stormfield, and the house at 21 Fifth Avenue was being
dismantled. He had also, as he said, given up his dictations for the
time, at least, after continuing them, with more or less regularity, for
a period of two and a half years, during which he had piled up about half
a million words of comment and reminiscence. His general idea had been
to add portions of this matter to his earlier books as the copyrights
expired, to give them new life and interest, and he felt that he had
plenty now for any such purpose.

He gave his time mainly to his guests, his billiards, and his reading,
though of course he could not keep from writing on this subject and that
as the fancy moved him, and a drawer in one of his dressers began to
accumulate fresh though usually fragmentary manuscripts. . . He read the
daily paper, but he no longer took the keen, restless interest in public
affairs. New York politics did not concern him any more, and national
politics not much. When the Evening Post wrote him concerning the
advisability of renominating Governor Hughes he replied:

    If you had asked me two months ago my answer would have been prompt
    & loud & strong: yes, I want Governor Hughes renominated. But it is
    too late, & my mouth is closed. I have become a citizen & taxpayer
    of Connecticut, & could not now, without impertinence, meddle in
    matters which are none of my business. I could not do it with
    impertinence without trespassing on the monopoly of another.

Howells speaks of Mark Twain's "absolute content" with his new home, and
these are the proper words' to express it. He was like a storm-beaten
ship that had drifted at last into a serene South Sea haven.

The days began and ended in tranquillity. There were no special morning
regulations: One could have his breakfast at any time and at almost any
place. He could have it in bed if he liked, or in the loggia or
livingroom, or billiard-room. He might even have it in the diningroom,
or on the terrace, just outside. Guests--there were usually guests
--might suit their convenience in this matter--also as to the forenoons.
The afternoon brought games--that is, billiards, provided the guest knew
billiards, otherwise hearts. Those two games were his safety-valves, and
while there were no printed requirements relating to them the unwritten
code of Stormfield provided that guests, of whatever age or previous
faith, should engage in one or both of these diversions.

Clemens, who usually spent his forenoon in bed with his reading and his
letters, came to the green table of skill and chance eager for the onset;
if the fates were kindly, he approved of them openly. If not--well, the
fates were old enough to know better, and, as heretofore, had to take the
consequences. Sometimes, when the weather was fine and there were no
games (this was likely to be on Sunday afternoons), there were drives
among the hills and along the Saugatuck through the Bedding Glen.

The cat was always "purring on the hearth" at Stormfield--several cats
--for Mark Twain's fondness for this clean, intelligent domestic animal
remained, to the end, one of his happiest characteristics. There were
never too many cats at Stormfield, and the "hearth" included the entire
house, even the billiard-table. When, as was likely to happen at any
time during the game, the kittens Sinbad, or Danbury, or Billiards would
decide to hop up and play with the balls, or sit in the pockets and grab
at them as they went by, the game simply added this element of chance,
and the uninvited player was not disturbed. The cats really owned
Stormfield; any one could tell that from their deportment. Mark Twain
held the title deeds; but it was Danbury and Sinbad and the others that
possessed the premises. They occupied any portion of the house or its
furnishings at will, and they never failed to attract attention. Mark
Twain might be preoccupied and indifferent to the comings and goings of
other members of the household; but no matter what he was doing, let
Danbury appear in the offing and he was observed and greeted with due
deference, and complimented and made comfortable. Clemens would arise
from the table and carry certain choice food out on the terrace to
Tammany, and be satisfied with almost no acknowledgment by way of
appreciation. One could not imagine any home of Mark Twain where the
cats were not supreme. In the evening, as at 21 Fifth Avenue, there was
music--the stately measures of the orchestrelle--while Mark Twain smoked
and mingled unusual speculation with long, long backward dreams.

It was three months from the day of arrival in Redding that some guests
came to Stormfield without invitation--two burglars, who were carrying
off some bundles of silver when they were discovered. Claude, the
butler, fired a pistol after them to hasten their departure, and Clemens,
wakened by the shots, thought the family was opening champagne and went
to sleep again.

It was far in the night; but neighbor H. A. Lounsbury and Deputy-Sheriff
Banks were notified, and by morning the thieves were captured, though
only after a pretty desperate encounter, during which the officer
received a bullet-wound. Lounsbury and a Stormfield guest had tracked
them in the dark with a lantern to Bethel, a distance of some seven
miles. The thieves, also their pursuers, had boarded the train there.
Sheriff Banks was waiting at the West Redding station when the train came
down, and there the capture was made. It was a remarkably prompt and
shrewd piece of work. Clemens gave credit for its success chiefly to
Lounsbury, whose talents in many fields always impressed him. The
thieves were taken to the Redding Town Hall for a preliminary healing.
Subsequently they received severe sentences.

Clemens tacked this notice on his front door:


                   TO THE NEXT BURGLAR

    There is nothing but plated ware in this house now and henceforth.

    You will find it in that brass thing in the dining-room over in the
    corner by the basket of kittens.

    If you want the basket put the kittens in the brass thing. Do not
    make a noise--it disturbs the family.

    You will find rubbers in the front hall by that thing which has the
    umbrellas in it, chiffonnier, I think they call it, or pergola, or
    something like that.

    Please close the door when you go away!

                  Very truly yours,
                                S. L. CLEMENS.



Now came the tranquil days of the Connecticut autumn. The change of the
landscape colors was a constant delight to Mark Twain. There were
several large windows in his room, and he called them his
picture-gallery. The window-panes were small, and each formed a separate
picture of its own that was changing almost hourly. The red tones that
began to run through the foliage; the red berry bushes; the fading grass,
and the little touches of sparkling frost that came every now and then at
early morning; the background of distant blue hills and changing
skies-these things gave his gallery a multitude of variation that no
art-museums could furnish. He loved it all, and he loved to walk out in
it, pacing up and down the terrace, or the long path that led to the
pergola at the foot of a natural garden. If a friend came, he was
willing to walk much farther; and we often descended the hill in one
direction or another, though usually going toward the "gorge," a romantic
spot where a clear brook found its way through a deep and rather
dangerous-looking chasm. Once he was persuaded to descend into this
fairy-like place, for it was well worth exploring; but his footing was no
longer sure and he did not go far.

He liked better to sit on the grass-grown, rocky arch above and look down
into it, and let his talk follow his mood. He liked to contemplate the
geology of his surroundings, the record of the ageless periods of
construction required to build the world. The marvels of science always
appealed to him. He reveled in the thought of the almost limitless
stretches of time, the millions upon millions of years that had been
required for this stratum and that--he liked to amaze himself with the
sounding figures. I remember him expressing a wish to see the Grand
Canon of Arizona, where, on perpendicular walls six thousand feet high,
the long story of geological creation is written. I had stopped there
during my Western trip of the previous year, and I told him something of
its wonders. I urged him to see them for himself, offering to go with
him. He said:

"I should enjoy that; but the railroad journey is so far and I should
have no peace. The papers would get hold of it, and I would have to make
speeches and be interviewed, and I never want to do any of those things

I suggested that the railroads would probably be glad to place a private
car at his service, so that he might travel in comfort; but he shook his

"That would only make me more conspicuous."

"How about a disguise?"

"Yes," he said, "I might put on a red wig and false whiskers and change
my name, but I couldn't disguise my drawling speech and they'd find me

It was amusing, but it was rather sad, too. His fame had deprived him of
valued privileges.

He talked of many things during these little excursions. Once he told
how he had successively advised his nephew, Moffett, in the matter of
obtaining a desirable position. Moffett had wanted to become a reporter.
Clemens devised a characteristic scheme. He said:

"I will get you a place on any newspaper you may select if you promise
faithfully to follow out my instructions."

The applicant agreed, eagerly enough. Clemens said:

"Go to the newspaper of your choice. Say that you are idle and want
work, that you are pining for work--longing for it, and that you ask no
wages, and will support yourself. All that you ask is work. That you
will do anything, sweep, fill the inkstands, mucilage-bottles, run
errands, and be generally useful. You must never ask for wages. You
must wait until the offer of wages comes to you. You must work just as
faithfully and just as eagerly as if you were being paid for it. Then
see what happens."

The scheme had worked perfectly. Young Moffett had followed his
instructions to the letter. By and by he attracted attention. He was
employed in a variety of ways that earned him the gratitude and the
confidence of the office. In obedience to further instructions, he began
to make short, brief, unadorned notices of small news matters that came
under his eye and laid them on the city editor's desk. No pay was asked;
none was expected. Occasionally one of the items was used. Then, of
course, it happened, as it must sooner or later at a busy time, that he
was given a small news assignment. There was no trouble about his
progress after that. He had won the confidence of the management and
shown that he was not afraid to work.

The plan had been variously tried since, Clemens said, and he could not
remember any case in which it had failed. The idea may have grown out of
his own pilot apprenticeship on the river, when cub pilots not only
received no salary, but paid for the privilege of learning.

Clemens discussed public matters less often than formerly, but they were
not altogether out of his mind. He thought our republic was in a fair
way to become a monarchy--that the signs were already evident. He
referred to the letter which he had written so long ago in Boston, with
its amusing fancy of the Archbishop of Dublin and his Grace of Ponkapog,
and declared that, after all, it contained something of prophecy.--[See
chap. xcvii; also Appendix M.]--He would not live to see the actual
monarchy, he said, but it was coming.

"I'm not expecting it in my time nor in my children's time, though it may
be sooner than we think. There are two special reasons for it and one
condition. The first reason is, that it is in the nature of man to want
a definite something to love, honor, reverently look up to and obey; a
God and King, for example. The second reason is, that while little
republics have lasted long, protected by their poverty and
insignificance, great ones have not. And the condition is, vast power
and wealth, which breed commercial and political corruptions, and incite
public favorites to dangerous ambitions."

He repeated what I had heard him say before, that in one sense we already
had a monarchy; that is to say, a ruling public and political aristocracy
which could create a Presidential succession. He did not say these
things bitterly now, but reflectively and rather indifferently.

He was inclined to speak unhopefully of the international plans for
universal peace, which were being agitated rather persistently.

"The gospel of peace," he said, "is always making a deal of noise, always
rejoicing in its progress but always neglecting to furnish statistics.
There are no peaceful nations now. All Christendom is a soldier-camp.
The poor have been taxed in some nations to the starvation point to
support the giant armaments which Christian governments have built up,
each to protect itself from the rest of the Christian brotherhood, and
incidentally to snatch any scrap of real estate left exposed by a weaker
owner. King Leopold II. of Belgium, the most intensely Christian
monarch, except Alexander VI., that has escaped hell thus far, has stolen
an entire kingdom in Africa, and in fourteen years of Christian endeavor
there has reduced the population from thirty millions to fifteen by
murder and mutilation and overwork, confiscating the labor of the
helpless natives, and giving them nothing in return but salvation and a
home in heaven, furnished at the last moment by the Christian priest.

"Within the last generation each Christian power has turned the bulk of
its attention to finding out newer and still newer and more and more
effective ways of killing Christians, and, incidentally, a pagan now and
then; and the surest way to get rich quickly in Christ's earthly kingdom
is to invent a kind of gun that can kill more Christians at one shot than
any other existing kind. All the Christian nations are at it. The more
advanced they are, the bigger and more destructive engines of war they

Once, speaking of battles great and small, and how important even a small
battle must seem to a soldier who had fought in no other, he said:

"To him it is a mighty achievement, an achievement with a big A, when to
a wax-worn veteran it would be a mere incident. For instance, to the
soldier of one battle, San Juan Hill was an Achievement with an A as big
as the Pyramids of Cheops; whereas, if Napoleon had fought it, he would
have set it down on his cuff at the time to keep from forgetting it had
happened. But that is all natural and human enough. We are all like

The curiosities and absurdities of religious superstitions never failed
to furnish him with themes more or less amusing. I remember one Sunday,
when he walked down to have luncheon at my house, he sat under the shade
and fell to talking of Herod's slaughter of the innocents, which he said
could not have happened.

"Tacitus makes no mention of it," he said, "and he would hardly have
overlooked a sweeping order like that, issued by a petty ruler like
Herod. Just consider a little king of a corner of the Roman Empire
ordering the slaughter of the first-born of a lot of Roman subjects. Why,
the Emperor would have reached out that long arm of his and dismissed
Herod. That tradition is probably about as authentic as those connected
with a number of old bridges in Europe which are said to have been built
by Satan. The inhabitants used to go to Satan to build bridges for them,
promising him the soul of the first one that crossed the bridge; then,
when Satan had the bridge done, they would send over a rooster or a
jackass--a cheap jackass; that was for Satan, and of course they could
fool him that way every time. Satan must have been pretty simple, even
according to the New Testament, or he wouldn't have led Christ up on a
high mountain and offered him the world if he would fall down and worship
him. That was a manifestly absurd proposition, because Christ, as the
Son of God, already owned the world; and, besides, what Satan showed him
was only a few rocky acres of Palestine. It is just as if some one
should try to buy Rockefeller, the owner of all the Standard Oil Company,
with a gallon of kerosene."

He often spoke of the unseen forces of creation, the immutable laws that
hold the planet in exact course and bring the years and the seasons
always exactly on schedule time. "The Great Law" was a phrase often on
his lips. The exquisite foliage, the cloud shapes, the varieties of
color everywhere: these were for him outward manifestations of the Great
Law, whose principle I understood to be unity--exact relations throughout
all nature; and in this I failed to find any suggestion of pessimism, but
only of justice. Once he wrote on a card for preservation:

    From everlasting to everlasting, this is the law: the sum of wrong &
    misery shall always keep exact step with the sum of human

    No "civilization," no "advance," has ever modified these proportions
    by even the shadow of a shade, nor ever can, while our race endures.



The procession of guests at Stormfield continued pretty steadily. Clemens
kept a book in which visitors set down their names and the dates of
arrival and departure, and when they failed to attend to these matters he
diligently did it himself after they were gone.

Members of the Harper Company came up with their wives; "angel-fish" swam
in and out of the aquarium; Bermuda friends came to see the new home;
Robert Collier, the publisher, and his wife--"Mrs. Sally," as Clemens
liked to call her--paid their visits; Lord Northcliffe, who was visiting
America, came with Colonel Harvey, and was so impressed with the
architecture of Stormfield that he adopted its plans for a country-place
he was about to build in Newfoundland. Helen Keller, with Mr. and Mrs.
Macy, came up for a week-end visit. Mrs. Crane came over from Elmira;
and, behold! one day came the long-ago sweetheart of his childhood,
little Laura Hawkins--Laura Frazer now, widowed and in the seventies,
with a granddaughter already a young lady quite grown up.

That Mark Twain was not wearying of the new conditions we may gather from
a letter written to Mrs. Rogers in October:

    I've grown young in these months of dissipation here. And I have
    left off drinking--it isn't necessary now. Society & theology are
    sufficient for me.

To Helen Allen, a Bermuda "Angel-Fish," he wrote:

    We have good times here in this soundless solitude on the hilltop.
    The moment I saw the house I was glad I built it, & now I am gladder
    & gladder all the time. I was not dreaming of living here except in
    the summer-time--that was before I saw this region & the house, you
    see--but that is all changed now; I shall stay here winter & summer
    both & not go back to New York at all. My child, it's as tranquil &
    contenting as Bermuda. You will be very welcome here, dear.

He interested himself in the affairs and in the people of Redding. Not
long after his arrival he had gathered in all the inhabitants of the
country-side, neighbors of every quality, for closer acquaintance, and
threw open to them for inspection every part of the new house. He
appointed Mrs. Lounsbury, whose acquaintance was very wide; a sort of
committee on reception, and stood at the entrance with her to welcome
each visitor in person.

It was a sort of gala day, and the rooms and the grounds were filled with
the visitors. In the dining-room there were generous refreshments.
Again, not long afterward, he issued a special invitation to all of
those-architects, builders, and workmen who had taken any part, however
great or small, in the building of his home. Mr. and Mrs. Littleton were
visiting Stormfield at this time, and both Clemens and Littleton spoke to
these assembled guests from the terrace, and made them feel that their
efforts had been worth while.

Presently the idea developed to establish something that would be of
benefit to his neighbors, especially to those who did not have access to
much reading-matter. He had been for years flooded with books by authors
and publishers, and there was a heavy surplus at his home in the city.
When these began to arrive he had a large number of volumes set aside as
the nucleus of a public library. An unused chapel not far away--it could
be seen from one of his windows--was obtained for the purpose; officers
were elected; a librarian was appointed, and so the Mark Twain Library of
Redding was duly established. Clemens himself was elected its first
president, with the resident physician, Dr. Ernest H. Smith,
vice-president, and another resident, William E. Grumman, librarian. On
the afternoon of its opening the president made a brief address. He

    I am here to speak a few instructive words to my fellow-farmers.
    I suppose you are all farmers: I am going to put in a crop next
    year, when I have been here long enough and know how. I couldn't
    make a turnip stay on a tree now after I had grown it. I like to
    talk. It would take more than the Redding air to make me keep
    still, and I like to instruct people. It's noble to be good, and
    it's nobler to teach others to be good, and less trouble. I am glad
    to help this library. We get our morals from books. I didn't get
    mine from books, but I know that morals do come from books
    --theoretically at least. Mr. Beard or Mr. Adams will give some
    land, and by and by we are going to have a building of our own.

This statement was news to both Mr. Beard and Mr. Adams and an
inspiration of the moment; but Mr. Theodore Adams, who owned a most
desirable site, did in fact promptly resolve to donate it for library
purposes. Clemens continued:

    I am going to help build that library with contributions from my
    visitors. Every male guest who comes to my house will have to
    contribute a dollar or go away without his baggage.

    --[A characteristic notice to guests requiring them to contribute a
    dollar to the Library Building Fund was later placed on the
    billiard-room mantel at Stormfield with good results.]--If those
    burglars that broke into my house recently had done that they would
    have been happier now, or if they'd have broken into this library
    they would have read a few books and led a better life. Now they
    are in jail, and if they keep on they will go to Congress. When a
    person starts downhill you can never tell where he's going to stop.
    I am sorry for those burglars. They got nothing that they wanted
    and scared away most of my servants. Now we are putting in a
    burglar-alarm instead of a dog. Some advised the dog, but it costs
    even more to entertain a dog than a burglar. I am having the ground
    electrified, so that for a mile around any one who puts his foot
    across the line sets off an alarm that will be heard in Europe. Now
    I will introduce the real president to you, a man whom you know
    already--Dr. Smith.

So a new and important benefit was conferred upon the community, and
there was a feeling that Redding, besides having a literary colony, was
to be literary in fact.

It might have been mentioned earlier that Redding already had literary
associations when Mark Twain arrived. As far back as Revolutionary days
Joel Barlow, a poet of distinction, and once Minister to France, had been
a resident of Redding, and there were still Barlow descendants in the

William Edgar Grumman, the librarian, had written the story of Redding's
share in the Revolutionary War--no small share, for Gen. Israel Putnam's
army had been quartered there during at least one long, trying winter.
Charles Burr Todd, of one of the oldest Redding families, himself--still
a resident, was also the author of a Redding history.

Of literary folk not native to Redding, Dora Reed Goodale and her sister
Elaine, the wife of Dr. Charles A. Eastman, had, long been residents of
Redding Center; Jeanette L. Gilder and Ida M. Tarbell had summer homes on
Redding Ridge; Dan Beard, as already mentioned, owned a place near the
banks of the Saugatuck, while Kate V. St. Maur, also two of Nathaniel
Hawthorne's granddaughters had recently located adjoining the Stormfield
lands. By which it will be seen that Redding was in no way unsuitable as
a home for Mark Twain.



Mark Twain was the receiver of two notable presents that year. The first
of these, a mantel from Hawaii, presented to him by the Hawaiian
Promotion Committee, was set in place in the billiard-room on the morning
of his seventy-third birthday. This committee had written, proposing to
build for his new home either a mantel or a chair, as he might prefer,
the same to be carved from the native woods. Clemens decided on a
billiard-room mantel, and John Howells forwarded the proper measurements.
So, in due time, the mantel arrived, a beautiful piece of work and in
fine condition, with the Hawaiian word, "Aloha," one of the sweetest
forms of greeting in any tongue, carved as its central ornament.

To the donors of the gift Clemens wrote:

    The beautiful mantel was put in its place an hour ago, & its
    friendly "Aloha" was the first uttered greeting received on my 73d
    birthday. It is rich in color, rich in quality, & rich in
    decoration; therefore it exactly harmonized with the taste for such
    things which was born in me & which I have seldom been able to
    indulge to my content. It will be a great pleasure to me, daily
    renewed, to have under my eye this lovely reminder of the loveliest
    fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean, & I beg to thank
    the committee for providing me that pleasure.

To F. N. Otremba, who had carved the mantel, he sent this word:

    I am grateful to you for the valued compliment to me in the labor of
    heart and hand and brain which you have put upon it. It is worthy
    of the choicest place in the house and it has it.

It was the second beautiful mantel in Stormfield--the Hartford library
mantel, removed when that house was sold, having been installed in the
Stormfield living-room.

Altogether the seventy-third birthday was a pleasant one. Clemens, in
the morning, drove down to see the library lot which Mr. Theodore Adams
had presented, and the rest of the day there were fine, close billiard
games, during which he was in the gentlest and happiest moods. He
recalled the games of two years before, and as we stopped playing I said:

"I hope a year from now we shall be here, still playing the great game."

And he answered, as then:

"Yes, it is a great game--the best game on earth." And he held out his
hand and thanked me for coming, as he never failed to do when we parted,
though it always hurt me a little, for the debt was so largely mine.

Mark Twain's second present came at Christmas-time. About ten days
earlier, a letter came from Robert J. Collier, saying that he had bought
a baby elephant which he intended to present to Mark Twain as a Christmas
gift. He added that it would be sent as soon as he could get a car for
it, and the loan of a keeper from Barnum & Bailey's headquarters at

The news created a disturbance in Stormfield. One could not refuse,
discourteously and abruptly, a costly present like that; but it seemed a
disaster to accept it. An elephant would require a roomy and warm place,
also a variety of attention which Stormfield was not prepared to supply.
The telephone was set going and certain timid excuses were offered by the
secretary. There was no good place to put an elephant in Stormfield, but
Mr. Collier said, quite confidently:

"Oh, put him in the garage."

"But there's no heat in the garage."

"Well, put him in the loggia, then. That's closed in, isn't it, for the
winter? Plenty of sunlight--just the place for a young elephant."

"But we play cards in the loggia. We use it for a sort of sun-parlor."

"But that wouldn't matter. He's a kindly, playful little thing. He'll
be just like a kitten. I'll send the man up to look over the place and
tell you just how to take care of him, and I'll send up several bales of
hay in advance. It isn't a large elephant, you know: just a little one
--a regular plaything."

There was nothing further to be done; only to wait and dread until the
Christmas present's arrival.

A few days before Christmas ten bales of hay arrived and several bushels
of carrots. This store of provender aroused no enthusiasm at Stormfield.
It would seem there was no escape now.

On Christmas morning Mr. Lounsbury telephoned up that there was a man at
the station who said he was an elephant-trainer from Barnum & Bailey's,
sent by Mr. Collier to look at the elephant's quarters and get him
settled when he should arrive. Orders were given to bring the man over.
The day of doom was at hand.

But Lounsbury's detective instinct came once more into play. He had seen
a good many elephant-trainers at Bridgeport, and he thought this one had
a doubtful look.

"Where is the elephant?" he asked, as they drove along.

"He will arrive at noon."

"Where are you going to put him?"

"In the loggia."

"How big is he?"

"About the size of a cow."

"How long have you been with Barnum and Bailey?"

"Six years."

"Then you must know some friends of mine" (naming two that had no
existence until that moment).

"Oh yes, indeed. I know them well."

Lounsbury didn't say any more just then, but he had a feeling that
perhaps the dread at Stormfield had grown unnecessarily large. Something
told him that this man seemed rather more like a butler, or a valet, than
an elephant-trainer. They drove to Stormfield, and the trainer looked
over the place. It would do perfectly, he said. He gave a few
instructions as to the care of this new household feature, and was driven
back to the station to bring it.

Lounsbury came back by and by, bringing the elephant but not the trainer.
It didn't need a trainer. It was a beautiful specimen, with soft, smooth
coat and handsome trappings, perfectly quiet, well-behaved and small
--suited to the loggia, as Collier had said--for it was only two feet
long and beautifully made of cloth and cotton--one of the forest toy
elephants ever seen anywhere.

It was a good joke, such as Mark Twain loved--a carefully prepared,
harmless bit of foolery. He wrote Robert Collier, threatening him with
all sorts of revenge, declaring that the elephant was devastating

"To send an elephant in a trance, under pretense that it was dead or
stuffed!" he said. "The animal came to life, as you knew it would, and
began to observe Christmas, and we now have no furniture left and no
servants and no visitors, no friends, no photographs, no burglars
--nothing but the elephant. Be kind, be merciful, be generous; take him
away and send us what is left of the earthquake."

Collier wrote that he thought it unkind of him to look a gift-elephant in
the trunk. And with such chaffing and gaiety the year came to an end.



When the bad weather came there was not much company at Stormfield, and I
went up regularly each afternoon, for it was lonely on that bleak hill,
and after his forenoon of reading or writing he craved diversion. My own
home was a little more than a half mile away, and I enjoyed the walk,
whatever the weather. I usually managed to arrive about three o'clock.
He would watch from his high windows until he saw me raise the hilltop,
and he would be at the door when I arrived, so that there might be no
delay in getting at the games. Or, if it happened that he wished to show
me something in his room, I would hear his rich voice sounding down the
stair. Once, when I arrived, I heard him calling, and going up I found
him highly pleased with the arrangement of two pictures on a chair,
placed so that the glasses of them reflected the sunlight on the ceiling.
He said:

"They seem to catch the reflection of the sky and the winter colors.
Sometimes the hues are wonderfully iridescent."

He pointed to a bunch of wild red berries on the mantel with the sun on

"How beautifully they light up!" he said; "some of them in the sunlight,
some still in the shadow."

He walked to the window and stood looking out on the somber fields.

"The lights and colors are always changing there," he said. "I never
tire of it."

To see him then so full of the interest and delight of the moment, one
might easily believe he had never known tragedy and shipwreck. More than
any one I ever knew, he lived in the present. Most of us are either
dreaming of the past or anticipating the future--forever beating the
dirge of yesterday or the tattoo of to-morrow. Mark Twain's step was
timed to the march of the moment. There were days when he recalled the
past and grieved over it, and when he speculated concerning the future;
but his greater interest was always of the now, and of the particular
locality where he found it. The thing which caught his fancy, however
slight or however important, possessed him fully for the time, even if
never afterward.

He was especially interested that winter in the Shakespeare-Bacon
problem. He had long been unable to believe that the actor-manager from
Stratford had written those great plays, and now a book just published,
'The Shakespeare Problem Restated', by George Greenwood, and another one
in press, 'Some Characteristic Signatures of Francis Bacon', by William
Stone Booth, had added the last touch of conviction that Francis Bacon,
and Bacon only, had written the Shakespeare dramas. I was ardently
opposed to this idea. The romance of the boy, Will Shakespeare, who had
come up to London and began, by holding horses outside of the theater,
and ended by winning the proudest place in the world of letters, was
something I did not wish to let perish. I produced all the stock
testimony--Ben Jonson's sonnet, the internal evidence of the plays
themselves, the actors who had published them--but he refused to accept
any of it. He declared that there was not a single proof to show that
Shakespeare had written one of them.

"Is there any evidence that he didn't?" I asked.

"There's evidence that he couldn't," he said. "It required a man with
the fullest legal equipment to have written them. When you have read
Greenwood's book you will see how untenable is any argument for
Shakespeare's authorship."

I was willing to concede something, and offered a compromise.

"Perhaps," I said, "Shakespeare was the Belasoo of that day--the
managerial genius, unable to write plays himself, but with the supreme
gift of making effective drama from the plays of others. In that case it
is not unlikely that the plays would be known as Shakespeare's. Even in
this day John Luther Long's 'Madam Butterfly' is sometimes called
Belasco's play; though it is doubtful if Belasco ever wrote a line of

He considered this view, but not very favorably. The Booth book was at
this time a secret, and he had not told me anything concerning it; but he
had it in his mind when he said, with an air of the greatest conviction:

"I know that Shakespeare did not write those plays, and I have reason to
believe he did not touch the text in any way."

"How can you be so positive?" I asked.

He replied:

"I have private knowledge from a source that cannot be questioned."

I now suspected that he was joking, and asked if he had been consulting a
spiritual medium; but he was clearly in earnest.

"It is the great discovery of the age," he said, quite seriously. "The
world will soon ring with it. I wish I could tell you about it, but I
have passed my word. You will not have long to wait."

I was going to sail for the Mediterranean in February, and I asked if it
would be likely that I would know this great secret before I sailed. He
thought not; but he said that more than likely the startling news would
be given to the world while I was on the water, and it might come to me
on the ship by wireless. I confess I was amazed and intensely curious by
this time. I conjectured the discovery of some document--some Bacon or
Shakespeare private paper which dispelled all the mystery of the
authorship. I hinted that he might write me a letter which I could open
on the ship; but he was firm in his refusal. He had passed his word, he
repeated, and the news might not be given out as soon as that; but he
assured me more than once that wherever I might be, in whatever remote
locality, it would come by cable, and the world would quake with it. I
was tempted to give up my trip, to be with him at Stormfield at the time
of the upheaval.

Naturally the Shakespeare theme was uppermost during the remaining days
that we were together. He had engaged another stenographer, and was now
dictating, forenoons, his own views on the subject--views coordinated
with those of Mr. Greenwood, whom he liberally quoted, but embellished
and decorated in his own gay manner. These were chapters for his
autobiography, he said, and I think he had then no intention of making a
book of them. I could not quite see why he should take all this
argumentary trouble if he had, as he said, positive evidence that Bacon,
and not Shakespeare, had written the plays. I thought the whole matter
very curious.

The Shakespeare interest had diverging by-paths. One evening, when we
were alone at dinner, he said:

"There is only one other illustrious man in history about whom there is
so little known," and he added, "Jesus Christ."

He reviewed the statements of the Gospels concerning Christ, though he
declared them to be mainly traditional and of no value. I agreed that
they contained confusing statements, and inflicted more or less with
justice and reason; but I said I thought there was truth in them, too.

"Why do you think so?" he asked.

"Because they contain matters that are self-evident--things eternally and
essentially just."

"Then you make your own Bible?"

"Yes, from those materials combined with human reason."

"Then it does not matter where the truth, as you call it, comes from?"

I admitted that the source did not matter; that truth from Shakespeare,
Epictetus, or Aristotle was quite as valuable as from the Scriptures. We
were on common ground now. He mentioned Marcus Aurelius, the Stoics, and
their blameless lives. I, still pursuing the thought of Jesus, asked:

"Do you not think it strange that in that day when Christ came, admitting
that there was a Christ, such a character could have come at all--in the
time of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, when all was ceremony and

"I remember," he said, "the Sadducees didn't believe in hell. He brought
them one."

"Nor the resurrection. He brought them that, also."

He did not admit that there had been a Christ with the character and
mission related by the Gospels.

"It is all a myth," he said. "There have been Saviours in every age of
the world. It is all just a fairy tale, like the idea of Santa Claus."

"But," I argued, "even the spirit of Christmas is real when it is
genuine. Suppose that we admit there was no physical Saviour--that it is
only an idea--a spiritual embodiment which humanity has made for itself
and is willing to improve upon as its own spirituality improves, wouldn't
that make it worthy?"

"But then the fairy story of the atonement dissolves, and with it
crumbles the very foundations of any established church. You can create
your own Testament, your own Scripture, and your own Christ, but you've
got to give up your atonement."

"As related to the crucifixion, yes, and good riddance to it; but the
death of the old order and the growth of spirituality comes to a sort of
atonement, doesn't it?"

He said:

"A conclusion like that has about as much to do with the Gospels and
Christianity as Shakespeare had to do with Bacon's plays. You are
preaching a doctrine that would have sent a man to the stake a few
centuries ago. I have preached that in my own Gospel."

I remembered then, and realized that, by my own clumsy ladder, I had
merely mounted from dogma, and superstition to his platform of training
the ideals to a higher contentment of soul.



I set out on my long journey with much reluctance. However, a series of
guests with various diversions had been planned, and it seemed a good
time to go. Clemens gave me letters of introduction, and bade me
Godspeed. It would be near the end of April before I should see him

Now and then on the ship, and in the course of my travels, I remembered
the great news I was to hear concerning Shakespeare. In Cairo, at
Shepheard's, I looked eagerly through English newspapers, expecting any
moment to come upon great head-lines; but I was always disappointed. Even
on the return voyage there was no one I could find who had heard any
particular Shakespeare news.

Arriving in New York, I found that Clemens himself had published his
Shakespeare dictations in a little volume of his own, entitled, 'Is
Shakespeare Dead?' The title certainly suggested spiritistic matters,
and I got a volume at Harpers', and read it going up on the train, hoping
to find somewhere in it a solution of the great mystery. But it was only
matter I had already known; the secret was still unrevealed.

At Redding I lost not much time in getting up to Stormfield. There had
been changes in my absence. Clara Clemens had returned from her travels,
and Jean, whose health seemed improved, was coming home to be her
father's secretary. He was greatly pleased with these things, and
declared he was going to have a home once more with his children about

He was quite alone that day, and we walked up and down the great
living-room for an hour, perhaps, while he discussed his new plans. For
one thing, he had incorporated his pen-name, Mark Twain, in order that
the protection of his copyrights and the conduct of his literary business
in general should not require his personal attention. He seemed to find
a relief in this, as he always did in dismissing any kind of
responsibility. When we went in for billiards I spoke of his book, which
I had read on the way up, and of the great Shakespearian secret which was
to astonish the world. Then he told me that the matter had been delayed,
but that he was no longer required to suppress it; that the revelation
was in the form of a book--a book which revealed conclusively to any one
who would take the trouble to follow the directions that the acrostic
name of Francis Bacon in a great variety of forms ran through many
--probably through all of the so-called Shakespeare plays. He said it
was far and away beyond anything of the kind ever published; that
Ignatius Donnelly and others had merely glimpsed the truth, but that the
author of this book, William Stone Booth, had demonstrated, beyond any
doubt or question, that the Bacon signatures were there. The book would
be issued in a few days, he said. He had seen a set of proofs of it, and
while it had not been published in the best way to clearly demonstrate
its great revelation, it must settle the matter with every reasoning
mind. He confessed that his faculties had been more or less defeated in,
attempting to follow the ciphers, and he complained bitterly that the
evidence had not been set forth so that he who merely skims a book might
grasp it.

He had failed on the acrostics at first; but more recently he had
understood the rule, and had been able to work out several Bacon
signatures. He complimented me by saying that he felt sure that when the
book came I would have no trouble with it.

Without going further with this matter, I may say here that the book
arrived presently, and between us we did work out a considerable number
of the claimed acrostics by following the rules laid down. It was
certainly an interesting if not wholly convincing occupation, and it
would be a difficult task for any one to prove that the ciphers are not
there. Just why this pretentious volume created so little agitation it
would be hard to say. Certainly it did not cause any great upheaval in
the literary world, and the name of William Shakespeare still continues
to be printed on the title-page of those marvelous dramas so long
associated with his name.

Mark Twain's own book on the subject--'Is Shakespeare Dead?'--found a
wide acceptance, and probably convinced as many readers. It contained no
new arguments; but it gave a convincing touch to the old ones, and it was
certainly readable.--[Mark Twain had the fullest conviction as to the
Bacon authorship of the Shakespeare plays. One evening, with Mr. Edward
Loomis, we attended a fine performance of "Romeo and Juliet" given by
Sothern and Marlowe. At the close of one splendid scene he said, quite
earnestly, "That is about the best play that Lord Bacon ever wrote."]

Among the visitors who had come to Stormfield was Howells. Clemens had
called a meeting of the Human Race Club, but only Howells was able to
attend. We will let him tell of his visit:

    We got on very well without the absentees, after finding them in the
    wrong, as usual, and the visit was like those I used to have with
    him so many years before in Hartford, but there was not the old
    ferment of subjects. Many things had been discussed and put away
    for good, but we had our old fondness for nature and for each other,
    who were so differently parts of it. He showed his absolute content
    with his house, and that was the greater pleasure for me because it
    was my son who designed it. The architect had been so fortunate as
    to be able to plan it where a natural avenue of savins, the close-
    knit, slender, cypress-like cedars of New England, led away from the
    rear of the villa to the little level of a pergola, meant some day
    to be wreathed and roofed with vines. But in the early spring days
    all the landscape was in the beautiful nakedness of the Northern
    winter. It opened in the surpassing loveliness of wooded and
    meadowed uplands, under skies that were the first days blue, and the
    last gray over a rainy and then a snowy floor. We walked up and
    down, up and down, between the villa terrace and the pergola, and
    talked with the melancholy amusement, the sad tolerance of age for
    the sort of men and things that used to excite us or enrage us; now
    we were far past turbulence or anger. Once we took a walk together
    across the yellow pastures to a chasmal creek on his grounds, where
    the ice still knit the clayey banks together like crystal mosses;
    and the stream far down clashed through and over the stones and the
    shards of ice. Clemens pointed out the scenery he had bought to
    give himself elbowroom, and showed me the lot he was going to have
    me build on. The next day we came again with the geologist he had
    asked up to Stormfield to analyze its rocks. Truly he loved the
    place . . . .

    My visit at Stormfield came to an end with tender relucting on his
    part and on mine. Every morning before I dressed I heard him
    sounding my name through the house for the fun of it and I know for
    the fondness, and if I looked out of my door there he was in his
    long nightgown swaying up and down the corridor, and wagging his
    great white head like a boy that leaves his bed and comes out in the
    hope of frolic with some one. The last morning a soft sugar-snow
    had fallen and was falling, and I drove through it down to the
    station in the carriage which had been given him by his wife's
    father when they were first married, and had been kept all those
    intervening years in honorable retirement for this final use.--[This
    carriage--a finely built coup--had been presented to Mrs. Crane when
    the Hartford house was closed. When Stormfield was built she
    returned it to its original owner.]--Its springs had not grown
    yielding with time, it had rather the stiffness and severity of age;
    but for him it must have swung low like the sweet chariot of the
    negro "spiritual" which I heard him sing with such fervor when those
    wonderful hymns of the slaves began to make their way northward.

Howells's visit resulted in a new inspiration. Clemens started to write
him one night when he could not sleep, and had been reading the volume of
letters of James Russell Lowell. Then, next morning, he was seized with
the notion of writing a series of letters to such friends as Howells,
Twichell, and Rogers--letters not to be mailed, but to be laid away for
some future public. He wrote two of these immediately--to Howells and to
Twichell. The Howells letter (or letters, for it was really double) is
both pathetic and amusing. The first part ran:
                         3 in the morning, April 17, 1909.

    My pen has gone dry and the ink is out of reach. Howells, did you
    write me day-before-day-before yesterday or did I dream it? In my
    mind's eye I most vividly see your hand-write on a square blue
    envelope in the mail-pile. I have hunted the house over, but there
    is no such letter. Was it an illusion?

    I am reading Lowell's letters & smoking. I woke an hour ago & am
    reading to keep from wasting the time. On page 305, Vol. I, I have
    just margined a note:

    "Young friend! I like that! You ought to see him now."

    It seemed startlingly strange to hear a person call you young. It
    was a brick out of a blue sky, & knocked me groggy for a moment. Ah
    me, the pathos of it is that we were young then. And he--why, so
    was he, but he didn't know it. He didn't even know it 9 years
    later, when we saw him approaching and you warned me, saying:

    "Don't say anything about age--he has just turned 50 & thinks he is
    old, & broods over it."

    Well, Clara did sing! And you wrote her a dear letter.

    Time to go to sleep.

                     Yours ever,

The second letter, begun at 10 A.M., outlines the plan by which he is to
write on the subject uppermost in his mind without restraint, knowing
that the letter is not to be mailed.

    . . .The scheme furnishes a definite target for each letter, & you
    can choose the target that's going to be the most sympathetic for
    what you are hungering & thirsting to say at that particular moment.
    And you can talk with a quite unallowable frankness & freedom
    because you are not going to send the letter. When you are on fire
    with theology you'll not write it to Rogers, who wouldn't be an
    inspiration; you'll write it to Twichell, because it will make him
    writhe and squirm & break the furniture. When you are on fire with
    a good thing that's indecent you won't waste it on Twichell; you'll
    save it for Howells, who will love it. As he will never see it you
    can make it really indecenter than he could stand; & so no harm is
    done, yet a vast advantage is gained.

The letter was not finished, and the scheme perished there. The Twichell
letter concerned missionaries, and added nothing to what he had already
said on the subject.

He wrote no letter to Mr. Rogers--perhaps never wrote to him again.



Clemens, a little before my return, had been on a trip to Norfolk,
Virginia, to attend the opening ceremonies of the Virginia Railway. He
had made a speech on that occasion, in which he had paid a public tribute
to Henry Rogers, and told something of his personal obligation to the

He began by telling what Mr. Rogers had done for Helen Keller, whom he
called "the most marvelous person of her sex that has existed on this
earth since Joan of Arc." Then he said:

    That is not all Mr. Rogers has done, but you never see that side of
    his character because it is never protruding; but he lends a helping
    hand daily out of that generous heart of his. You never hear of it.
    He is supposed to be a moon which has one side dark and the other
    bright. But the other side, though you don't see it, is not dark;
    it is bright, and its rays penetrate, and others do see it who are
    not God.
    I would take this opportunity to tell something that I have never
    been allowed to tell by Mr. Rogers, either by my mouth or in print,
    and if I don't look at him I can tell it now.

    In 1894, when the publishing company of Charles L. Webster, of which
    I was financial agent, failed, it left me heavily in debt. If you
    will remember what commerce was at that time you will recall that
    you could not sell anything, and could not buy anything, and I was
    on my back; my books were not worth anything at all, and I could not
    give away my copyrights. Mr. Rogers had long-enough vision ahead to
    say, "Your books have supported you before, and after the panic is
    over they will support you again," and that was a correct
    proposition. He saved my copyrights, and saved me from financial
    ruin. He it was who arranged with my creditors to allow me to roam
    the face of the earth and persecute the nations thereof with
    lectures, promising at the end of four years I would pay dollar for
    dollar. That arrangement was made, otherwise I would now be living
    out-of-doors under an umbrella, and a borrowed one at that.

    You see his white mustache and his hair trying to get white (he is
    always trying to look like me--I don't blame him for that). These
    are only emblematic of his character, and that is all. I say,
    without exception, hair and all, he is the whitest man I have ever

This had been early in April. Something more than a month later Clemens
was making a business trip to New York to see Mr. Rogers. I was
telephoned early to go up and look over some matters with him before he
started. I do not remember why I was not to go along that day, for I
usually made such trips with him. I think it was planned that Miss
Clemens, who was in the city, was to meet him at the Grand Central
Station. At all events, she did meet him there, with the news that
during the night Mr. Rogers had suddenly died. This was May 20, 1909.
The news had already come to the house, and I had lost no time in
preparations to follow by the next train. I joined him at the Grosvenor
Hotel, on Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street. He was upset and deeply
troubled by the loss of his stanch adviser and friend. He had a helpless
look, and he said his friends were dying away from him and leaving him

"And how I hate to do anything," he added, "that requires the least
modicum of intelligence!"

We remained at the Grosvenor for Mr. Rogers's funeral. Clemens served as
one of the pall-bearers, but he did not feel equal to the trip to
Fairhaven. He wanted to be very quiet, he said. He could not undertake
to travel that distance among those whom he knew so well, and with whom
he must of necessity join in conversation; so we remained in the hotel
apartment, reading and saying very little until bedtime. Once he asked
me to write a letter to Jean: "Say, 'Your father says every little while,
"How glad I am that Jean is at home again!"' for that is true and I think
of it all the time."

But by and by, after a long period of silence, he said:

"Mr. Rogers is under the ground now."

And so passed out of earthly affairs the man who had contributed so
largely to the comfort of Mark Twain's old age. He was a man of fine
sensibilities and generous impulses; withal a keen sense of humor.

One Christmas, when he presented Mark Twain with a watch and a
match-case, he wrote:

    MY DEAR CLEMENS,--For many years your friends have been complaining
    of your use of tobacco, both as to quantity and quality. Complaints
    are now coming in of your use of time. Most of your friends think
    that you are using your supply somewhat lavishly, but the chief
    complaint is in regard to the quality.

    I have been appealed to in the mean time, and have concluded that it
    is impossible to get the right kind of time from a blacking-box.

    Therefore, I take the liberty of sending you herewith a machine that
    will furnish only the best. Please use it with the kind wishes of
                     Yours truly,
                                H. H. ROGERS.

    P. S.--Complaint has also been made in regard to the furrows you
    make in your trousers in scratching matches. You will find a furrow
    on the bottom of the article inclosed. Please use it. Compliments
    of the season to the family.

He was a man too busy to write many letters, but when he did write (to
Clemens at least) they were always playful and unhurried. One reading
them would not find it easy to believe that the writer was a man on whose
shoulders lay the burdens of stupendous finance-burdens so heavy that at
last he was crushed beneath their weight.



One of the pleasant things that came to Mark Twain that year was the
passage of a copyright bill, which added to the royalty period an
extension of fourteen years. Champ Clark had been largely instrumental
in the success of this measure, and had been fighting for it steadily
since Mark Twain's visit to Washington in 1906. Following that visit,
Clark wrote:

    . . . It [the original bill] would never pass because the bill
    had literature and music all mixed together. Being a Missourian of
    course it would give me great pleasure to be of service to you.
    What I want to say is this: you have prepared a simple bill relating
    only to the copyright of books; send it to me and I will try to have
    it passed.

Clemens replied that he might have something more to say on the copyright
question by and by--that he had in hand a dialogue--[Similar to the "Open
Letter to the Register of Copyrights," North American Review, January,
1905.]--which would instruct Congress, but this he did not complete.
Meantime a simple bill was proposed and early in 1909 it became a law. In
June Clark wrote:

    Stormfield, Redding, Conn.

    MY DEAR DOCTOR,--I am gradually becoming myself again, after a
    period of exhaustion that almost approximated prostration. After a
    long lecture tour last summer I went immediately into a hard
    campaign; as soon as the election was over, and I had recovered my
    disposition, I came here and went into those tariff hearings, which
    began shortly after breakfast each day, and sometimes lasted until
    midnight. Listening patiently and meekly, withal, to the lying of
    tariff barons for many days and nights was followed by the work of
    the long session; that was followed by a hot campaign to take Uncle
    Joe's rules away from him; on the heels of that "Campaign that
    Failed" came the tariff fight in the House. I am now getting time
    to breathe regularly and I am writing to ask you if the copyright
    law is acceptable to you. If it is not acceptable to you I want to
    ask you to write and tell me how it should be changed and I will
    give my best endeavors to the work. I believe that your ideas and
    wishes in the matter constitute the best guide we have as to what
    should be done in the case.
              Your friend,
                            CHAMP CLARK.

To this Clemens replied:

                     STORMFIELD, REDDING, CONN, June 5, 1909.

    DEAR CHAMP CLARK,--Is the new copyright law acceptable to me?
    Emphatically yes! Clark, it is the only sane & clearly defined &
    just & righteous copyright law that has ever existed in the United
    States. Whosoever will compare it with its predecessors will have
    no trouble in arriving at that decision.

    The bill which was before the committee two years ago when I was
    down there was the most stupefying jumble of conflicting &
    apparently irreconcilable interests that was ever seen; and we all
    said "the case is hopeless, absolutely hopeless--out of this chaos
    nothing can be built." But we were in error; out of that chaotic
    mass this excellent bill has been constructed, the warring interests
    have been reconciled, and the result is as comely and substantial a
    legislative edifice as lifts its domes and towers and protective
    lightning-rods out of the statute book I think. When I think of
    that other bill, which even the Deity couldn't understand, and of
    this one, which even I can understand, I take off my hat to the man
    or men who devised this one. Was it R. U. Johnson? Was it the
    Authors' League? Was it both together? I don't know, but I take
    off my hat, anyway. Johnson has written a valuable article about
    the new law--I inclose it.

    At last--at last and for the first time in copyright history--we are
    ahead of England! Ahead of her in two ways: by length of time and
    by fairness to all interests concerned. Does this sound like
    shouting? Then I must modify it: all we possessed of copyright
    justice before the 4th of last March we owed to England's
                     Truly yours,
                                S. L. CLEMENS.

Clemens had prepared what was the final word an the subject of copyright
just before this bill was passed--a petition for a law which he believed
would regulate the whole matter. It was a generous, even if a somewhat
Utopian, plan, eminently characteristic of its author. The new
fourteen-year extension, with the prospect of more, made this or any
other compromise seem inadvisable.--[The reader may consider this last
copyright document by Mark Twain under Appendix N, at the end of this



Clemens had promised to go to Baltimore for the graduation of "Francesca"
of his London visit in 1907--and to make a short address to her class.

It was the eighth of June when we set out on this journey,--[The reader
may remember that it was the 8th of June, 1867, that Mark Twain sailed
for the Holy Land. It was the 8th of June, 1907, that he sailed for
England to take his Oxford degree. This 8th of June, 1909, was at least
slightly connected with both events, for he was keeping an engagement
made with Francesca in London, and my notes show that he discussed, on
the way to the station, some incidents of his Holy Land trip and his
attitude at that time toward Christian traditions. As he rarely
mentioned the Quaker City trip, the coincidence seems rather curious. It
is most unlikely that Clemens himself in any way associated the two
dates.]--but the day was rather bleak and there was a chilly rain.
Clemens had a number of errands to do in New York, and we drove from one
place to another, attending to them. Finally, in the afternoon, the rain
ceased, and while I was arranging some matters for him he concluded to
take a ride on the top of a Fifth Avenue stage. It was fine and pleasant
when he started, but the weather thickened again and when he returned he
complained that he had felt a little chilly. He seemed in fine
condition, however, next morning and was in good spirits all the way to
Baltimore. Chauncey Depew was on the train and they met in the
dining-car--the last time, I think, they ever saw each other. He was
tired when we reached the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore and did not wish
to see the newspaper men. It happened that the reporters had a special
purpose in coming just at this time, for it had suddenly developed that
in his Shakespeare book, through an oversight, due to haste in
publication, full credit had not been given to Mr. Greenwood for the long
extracts quoted from his work. The sensational head-lines in a morning
paper, "Is Mark Twain a Plagiarist?" had naturally prompted the newspaper
men to see what he would have to say on the subject. It was a simple
matter, easily explained, and Clemens himself was less disturbed about it
than anybody. He felt no sense of guilt, he said; and the fact that he
had been stealing and caught at it would give Mr. Greenwood's book far
more advertising than if he had given him the full credit which he had
intended. He found a good deal of amusement in the situation, his only
worry being that Clara and Jean would see the paper and be troubled.

He had taken off his clothes and was lying down, reading. After a little
he got up and began walking up and down the room. Presently he stopped
and, facing me, placed his hand upon his breast. He said:

"I think I must have caught a little cold yesterday on that Fifth Avenue
stage. I have a curious pain in my breast."

I suggested that he lie down again and I would fill his hot-water bag.
The pain passed away presently, and he seemed to be dozing. I stepped
into the next room and busied myself with some writing. By and by I
heard him stirring again and went in where he was. He was walking up and
down and began talking of some recent ethnological discoveries
--something relating to prehistoric man.

"What a fine boy that prehistoric man must have been," he said--"the
very first one! Think of the gaudy style of him, how he must have lorded
it over those other creatures, walking on his hind legs, waving his arms,
practising and getting ready for the pulpit."

The fancy amused him, but presently he paused in his walk and again put
his hand on his breast, saying:

"That pain has come back. It's a curious, sickening, deadly kind of
pain. I never had anything just like it."

It seemed to me that his face had become rather gray. I said:

"Where is it, exactly, Mr. Clemens?"

He laid his hand in the center of his breast and said:

"It is here, and it is very peculiar indeed."

Remotely in my mind occurred the thought that he had located his heart,
and the "peculiar deadly pain" he had mentioned seemed ominous. I
suggested, however, that it was probably some rheumatic touch, and this
opinion seemed warranted when, a few moments later, the hot water had
again relieved it. This time the pain had apparently gone to stay, for
it did not return while we were in Baltimore. It was the first positive
manifestation of the angina which eventually would take him from us.

The weather was pleasant in Baltimore, and his visit to St. Timothy's
School and his address there were the kind of diversions that meant most
to him. The flock of girls, all in their pretty commencement dresses,
assembled and rejoicing at his playfully given advice: not to smoke--to
excess; not to drink--to excess; not to marry--to excess; he standing
there in a garb as white as their own--it made a rare picture--a sweet
memory--and it was the last time he ever gave advice from the platform to
any one.

Edward S. Martin also spoke to the school, and then there was a great
feasting in the big assembly-hall.

It was on the lawn that a reporter approached him with the news of the
death of Edward Everett Hale--another of the old group. Clemens said
thoughtfully, after a moment:

"I had the greatest respect and esteem for Edward Everett Hale, the
greatest admiration for his work. I am as grieved to hear of his death
as I can ever be to hear of the death of any friend, though my grief is
always tempered with the satisfaction of knowing that for the one that
goes, the hard, bitter struggle of life is ended."

We were leaving the Belvedere next morning, and when the subject of
breakfast came up for discussion he said:

"That was the most delicious Baltimore fried chicken we had yesterday
morning. I think we'll just repeat that order. It reminds me of John
Quarles's farm."

We had been having our meals served in the rooms, but we had breakfast
that morning down in the diningroom, and "Francesca" and her mother were

As he stood on the railway platform waiting for the train, he told me how
once, fifty-five years before, as a boy of eighteen, he had changed cars
there for Washington and had barely caught his train--the crowd yelling
at him as he ran.

We remained overnight in New York, and that evening, at the Grosvenor, he
read aloud a poem of his own which I had not seen before. He had brought
it along with some intention of reading it at St. Timothy's, he said,
but had not found the occasion suitable.

"I wrote it a long time ago in Paris. I'd been reading aloud to Mrs.
Clemens and Susy--in '93, I think--about Lord Clive and Warren Hastings,
from Macaulay--how great they were and how far they fell. Then I took an
imaginary case--that of some old demented man mumbling of his former
state. I described him, and repeated some of his mumblings. Susy and
Mrs. Clemens said, 'Write it'--so I did, by and by, and this is it. I
call it 'The Derelict.'"

He read in his effective manner that fine poem, the opening stanza of
which follows:

           You sneer, you ships that pass me by,
           Your snow-pure canvas towering proud!
           You traders base!--why, once such fry
           Paid reverence, when like a cloud
           Storm-swept I drove along,
           My Admiral at post, his pennon blue
           Faint in the wilderness of sky, my long
           Yards bristling with my gallant crew,
           My ports flung wide, my guns displayed,
           My tall spars hid in bellying sail!
           --You struck your topsails then, and made
           Obeisance--now your manners fail.

He had employed rhyme with more facility than was usual for him, and the
figure and phrasing were full of vigor.

"It is strong and fine," I said, when he had finished.

"Yes," he assented. "It seems so as I read it now. It is so long since
I have seen it that it is like reading another man's work. I should call
it good, I believe."

He put the manuscript in his bag and walked up and down the floor

"There is no figure for the human being like the ship," he said; "no such
figure for the storm-beaten human drift as the derelict--such men as
Clive and Hastings could only be imagined as derelicts adrift, helpless,
tossed by every wind and tide."

We returned to Redding next day. On the train going home he fell to
talking of books and authors, mainly of the things he had never been able
to read.

"When I take up one of Jane Austen's books," he said, "such as Pride and
Prejudice, I feel like a barkeeper entering the kingdom of heaven. I
know, what his sensation would be and his private comments. He would not
find the place to his taste, and he would probably say so."

He recalled again how Stepniak had come to Hartford, and how humiliated
Mrs. Clemens had been to confess that her husband was not familiar with
the writings of Thackeray and others.

"I don't know anything about anything," he said, mournfully, "and never
did. My brother used to try to get me to read Dickens, long ago. I
couldn't do it--I was ashamed; but I couldn't do it. Yes, I have read
The Tale of Two Cities, and could do it again. I have read it a good
many times; but I never could stand Meredith and most of the other

By and by he handed me the Saturday Times Review, saying:

"Here is a fine poem, a great poem, I think. I can stand that."

It was "The Palatine (in the 'Dark Ages')," by Willa Sibert Cather,
reprinted from McClure's. The reader will understand better than I can
express why these lofty opening stanzas appealed to Mark Twain:

                      THE PALATINE

              "Have you been with the King to Rome,
              Brother, big brother?"
              "I've been there and I've come home,
              Back to your play, little brother."

              "Oh, how high is Caesar's house,
              Brother, big brother?"
              "Goats about the doorways browse;
              Night-hawks nest in the burnt roof-tree,
              Home of the wild bird and home of the bee.
              A thousand chambers of marble lie
              Wide to the sun and the wind and the sky.
              Poppies we find amongst our wheat
              Grow on Caesar's banquet seat.
              Cattle crop and neatherds drowse
              On the floors of Caesar's house."

              "But what has become of Caesar's gold,
              Brother, big brother?"
              "The times are bad and the world is old
              --Who knows the where of the Caesar's gold?
              Night comes black on the Caesar's hill;
              The wells are deep and the tales are ill.
              Fireflies gleam in the damp and mold,
              All that is left of the Caesar's gold.
              Back to your play, little brother."

Farther along in our journey he handed me the paper again, pointing to
these lines of Kipling:

           How is it not good for the Christian's health
           To hurry the Aryan brown,
           For the Christian riles and the Aryan smiles,
           And he weareth the Christian down;
           And the end of the fight is a tombstone white
           And the name of the late deceased:
           And the epitaph drear: "A fool lies here
           Who tried to hustle the East."

"I could stand any amount of that," he said, and presently: "Life is too
long and too short. Too long for the weariness of it; too short for the
work to be done. At the very most, the average mind can only master a
few languages and a little history."

I said: "Still, we need not worry. If death ends all it does not matter;
and if life is eternal there will be time enough."

"Yes," he assented, rather grimly, "that optimism of yours is always
ready to turn hell's back yard into a playground."

I said that, old as I was, I had taken up the study of French, and
mentioned Bayard Taylor's having begun Greek at fifty, expecting to need
it in heaven.

Clemens said, reflectively: "Yes--but you see that was Greek."



I was at Stormfield pretty constantly during the rest of that year. At
first I went up only for the day; but later, when his health did not
improve, and when he expressed a wish for companionship evenings, I
remained most of the nights as well. Our rooms were separated only by a
bath-room; and as neither of us was much given to sleep, there was likely
to be talk or reading aloud at almost any hour when both were awake. In
the very early morning I would usually slip in, softly, sometimes to find
him propped up against his pillows sound asleep, his glasses on, the
reading-lamp blazing away as it usually did, day or night; but as often
as not he was awake, and would have some new plan or idea of which he was
eager to be delivered, and there was always interest, and nearly always
amusement in it, even if it happened to be three in the morning or

Sometimes, when he thought it time for me to be stirring, he would call
softly, but loudly enough for me to hear if awake; and I would go in, and
we would settle again problems of life and death and science, or, rather,
he would settle them while I dropped in a remark here and there, merely
to hold the matter a little longer in solution.

The pains in his breast came back, and with a good deal of frequency as
the summer advanced; also, they became more severe. Dr. Edward Quintard
came up from New York, and did not hesitate to say that the trouble
proceeded chiefly from the heart, and counseled diminished smoking, with
less active exercise, advising particularly against Clemens's lifetime
habit of lightly skipping up and down stairs.

There was no prohibition as to billiards, however, or leisurely walking,
and we played pretty steadily through those peaceful summer days, and
often took a walk down into the meadows or perhaps in the other
direction, when it was not too warm or windy. Once we went as far as the
river, and I showed him a part of his land he had not seen before--a
beautiful cedar hillside, remote and secluded, a place of enchantment. On
the way I pointed out a little corner of land which earlier he had given
me to straighten our division line. I told him I was going to build a
study on it, and call it "Markland." He thought it an admirable
building-site, and I think he was pleased with the name. Later he said:

"If you had a place for that extra billiard-table of mine [the Rogers
table, which had been left in New York] I would turn it over to you."

I replied that I could adapt the size of my proposed study to fit a
billiard-table, and he said:

"Now that will be very good. Then, when I want exercise, I can walk down
and play billiards with you, and when you want exercise you can walk up
and play billiards with me. You must build that study."

So it was we planned, and by and by Mr. Lounsbury had undertaken the

During the walks Clemens rested a good deal. There were the New England
hills to climb, and then he found that he tired easily, and that
weariness sometimes brought on the pain. As I remember now, I think how
bravely he bore it. It must have been a deadly, sickening, numbing pain,
for I have seen it crumple him, and his face become colorless while his
hand dug at his breast; but he never complained, he never bewailed, and
at billiards he would persist in going on and playing in his turn, even
while he was bowed with the anguish of the attack.

We had found that a glass of very hot water relieved it, and we kept
always a thermos bottle or two filled and ready. At the first hint from
him I would pour out a glass and another, and sometimes the relief came
quickly; but there were times, and alas! they came oftener, when that
deadly gripping did not soon release him. Yet there would come a week or
a fortnight when he was apparently perfectly well, and at such times we
dismissed the thought of any heart malady, and attributed the whole
trouble to acute indigestion, from which he had always suffered more or

We were alone together most of the time. He did not appear to care for
company that summer. Clara Clemens had a concert tour in prospect, and
her father, eager for her success, encouraged her to devote a large part
of her time to study. For Jean, who was in love with every form of
outdoor and animal life, he had established headquarters in a vacant
farm-house on one corner of the estate, where she had collected some
stock and poultry, and was over-flowingly happy. Ossip Gabrilowitsch was
a guest in the house a good portion of the summer, but had been invalided
through severe surgical operations, and for a long time rarely appeared,
even at meal-times. So it came about that there could hardly have been a
closer daily companionship than was ours during this the last year of
Mark Twain's life. For me, of course, nothing can ever be like it again
in this world. One is not likely to associate twice with a being from
another star.



In the notes I made of this period I caught a little drift of personality
and utterance, and I do not know better how to preserve these things than
to give them here as nearly as may be in the sequence and in the forth in
which they were set down.

One of the first of these entries occurs in June, when Clemens was
rereading with great interest and relish Andrew D. White's Science and
Theology, which he called a lovely book.--['A History of the Warfare of
Science with Theology in Christendom'.]
    June 21. A peaceful afternoon, and we walked farther than usual,
    resting at last in the shade of a tree in the lane that leads to
    Jean's farm-house. I picked a dandelion-ball, with some remark
    about its being one of the evidences of the intelligent principle in
    nature--the seeds winged for a wider distribution.

    "Yes," he said, "those are the great evidences; no one who reasons
    can doubt them."

    And presently he added:

    "That is a most amusing book of White's. When you read it you see
    how those old theologians never reasoned at all. White tells of an
    old bishop who figured out that God created the world in an instant
    on a certain day in October exactly so many years before Christ, and
    proved it. And I knew a preacher myself once who declared that the
    fossils in the rocks proved nothing as to the age of the world. He
    said that God could create the rocks with those fossils in them for
    ornaments if He wanted to. Why, it takes twenty years to build a
    little island in the Mississippi River, and that man actually
    believed that God created the whole world and all that's in it in
    six days. White tells of another bishop who gave two new reasons
    for thunder; one being that God wanted to show the world His power,
    and another that He wished to frighten sinners to repent. Now
    consider the proportions of that conception, even in the pettiest
    way you can think of it. Consider the idea of God thinking of all
    that. Consider the President of the United States wanting to
    impress the flies and fleas and mosquitoes, getting up on the dome
    of the Capitol and beating a bass-drum and setting off red fire."

He followed the theme a little further, then we made our way slowly back
up the long hill, he holding to my arm, and resting here and there, but
arriving at the house seemingly fresh and ready for billiards.

    June 23. I came up this morning with a basket of strawberries. He
    was walking up and down, looking like an ancient Roman. He said:

    "Consider the case of Elsie Sigel--[Granddaughter of Gen. Franz
    Sigel. She was mysteriously murdered while engaged in settlement
    work among the Chinese.]--what a ghastly ending to any life!"

    Then turning upon me fiercely, he continued:

    "Anybody that knows anything knows that there was not a single life
    that was ever lived that was worth living. Not a single child ever
    begotten that the begetting of it was not a crime. Suppose a
    community of people to be living on the slope of a volcano, directly
    under the crater and in the path of lava-flow; that volcano has been
    breaking out right along for ages and is certain to break out again.
    They do not know when it will break out, but they know it will do
    it--that much can be counted on. Suppose those people go to a
    community in a far neighborhood and say, 'We'd like to change places
    with you. Come take our homes and let us have yours.' Those people
    would say, 'Never mind, we are not interested in your country. We
    know what has happened there, and what will happen again.' We don't
    care to live under the blow that is likely to fall at any moment;
    and yet every time we bring a child into the world we are bringing
    it to a country, to a community gathered under the crater of a
    volcano, knowing that sooner or later death will come, and that
    before death there will be catastrophes infinitely worse. Formerly
    it was much worse than now, for before the ministers abolished hell
    a man knew, when he was begetting a child, that he was begetting a
    soul that had only one chance in a hundred of escaping the eternal
    fires of damnation. He knew that in all probability that child
    would be brought to damnation--one of the ninety-nine black sheep.
    But since hell has been abolished death has become more welcome.
    I wrote a fairy story once. It was published somewhere. I don't
    remember just what it was now, but the substance of it was that a
    fairy gave a man the customary wishes. I was interested in seeing
    what he would take. First he chose wealth and went away with it,
    but it did not bring him happiness. Then he came back for the
    second selection, and chose fame, and that did not bring happiness
    either. Finally he went to the fairy and chose death, and the fairy
    said, in substance, 'If you hadn't been a fool you'd have chosen
    that in the first place.'

    "The papers called me a pessimist for writing that story.
    Pessimist--the man who isn't a pessimist is a d---d fool."

But this was one of his savage humors, stirred by tragic circumstance.
Under date of July 5th I find this happier entry:

    We have invented a new game, three-ball carom billiards, each player
    continuing until he has made five, counting the number of his shots
    as in golf, the one who finishes in the fewer shots wins. It is a
    game we play with almost exactly equal skill, and he is highly
    pleased with it. He said this afternoon:

    "I have never enjoyed billiards as I do now. I look forward to it
    every afternoon as my reward at the end of a good day's work."--[His
    work at this time was an article on Marjorie Fleming, the "wonder
    child," whose quaint writings and brief little life had been
    published to the world by Dr. John Brown. Clemens always adored the
    thought of Marjorie, and in this article one can see that she ranked
    almost next to Joan of Arc in his affections.]

We went out in the loggia by and by and Clemens read aloud from a book
which Professor Zubelin left here a few days ago--'The Religion of a
Democrat'. Something in it must have suggested to Clemens his favorite
science, for presently he said:

    "I have been reading an old astronomy; it speaks of the perfect line
    of curvature of the earth in spite of mountains and abysses, and I
    have imagined a man three hundred thousand miles high picking up a
    ball like the earth and looking at it and holding it in his hand.
    It would be about like a billiard-ball to him, and he would turn it
    over in his hand and rub it with his thumb, and where he rubbed over
    the mountain ranges he might say, 'There seems to be some slight
    roughness here, but I can't detect it with my eye; it seems
    perfectly smooth to look at.' The Himalayas to him, the highest
    peak, would be one-sixty-thousandth of his height, or about the one-
    thousandth part of an inch as compared with the average man."

I spoke of having somewhere read of some very tiny satellites, one as
small, perhaps, as six miles in diameter, yet a genuine world.

"Could a man live on a world so small as that?" I asked.

    "Oh yes," he said. "The gravitation that holds it together would
    hold him on, and he would always seem upright, the same as here.
    His horizon would be smaller, but even if he were six feet tall he
    would only have one foot for each mile of that world's diameter, so
    you see he would be little enough, even for a world that he could
    walk around in half a day."

He talked astronomy a great deal--marvel astronomy. He had no real
knowledge of the subject, and I had none of any kind, which made its
ungraspable facts all the more thrilling. He was always thrown into a
sort of ecstasy by the unthinkable distances of space--the supreme drama
of the universe. The fact that Alpha Centauri was twenty-five trillions
of miles away--two hundred and fifty thousand times the distance of our
own remote sun, and that our solar system was traveling, as a whole,
toward the bright star Vega, in the constellation of Lyra, at the rate of
forty-four miles a second, yet would be thousands upon thousands of years
reaching its destination, fairly enraptured him.

The astronomical light-year--that is to say, the distance which light
travels in a year--was one of the things which he loved to contemplate;
but he declared that no two authorities ever figured it alike, and that
he was going to figure it for himself. I came in one morning, to find
that he had covered several sheets of paper with almost interminable rows
of ciphers, and with a result, to him at least, entirely satisfactory. I
am quite certain that he was prouder of those figures and their enormous
aggregate than if he had just completed an immortal tale; and when he
added that the nearest fixed star--Alpha Centauri--was between four and
five light-years distant from the earth, and that there was no possible
way to think that distance in miles or even any calculable fraction of
it, his glasses shone and his hair was roached up as with the stimulation
of these stupendous facts.

By and by he said:

"I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year,
and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment
of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said,
no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in
together, they must go out together.' Oh! I am looking forward to
that." And a little later he added:

"I've got some kind of a heart disease, and Quintard won't tell me
whether it is the kind that carries a man off in an instant or keeps him
lingering along and suffering for twenty years or so. I was in hopes
that Quintard would tell me that I was likely to drop dead any minute;
but he didn't. He only told me that my blood-pressure was too strong. He
didn't give me any schedule; but I expect to go with Halley's comet."

I seem to have omitted making any entries for a few days; but among his
notes I find this entry, which seems to refer to some discussion of a
favorite philosophy, and has a special interest of its own:

    July 14, 1909. Yesterday's dispute resumed, I still maintaining
    that, whereas we can think, we generally don't do it. Don't do it,
    & don't have to do it: we are automatic machines which act
    unconsciously. From morning till sleeping-time, all day long. All
    day long our machinery is doing things from habit & instinct, &
    without requiring any help or attention from our poor little 7-by-9
    thinking apparatus. This reminded me of something: thirty years
    ago, in Hartford, the billiard-room was my study, & I wrote my
    letters there the first thing every morning. My table lay two
    points off the starboard bow of the billiard-table, & the door of
    exit and entrance bore northeast&-by-east-half-east from that
    position, consequently you could see the door across the length of
    the billiard-table, but you couldn't see the floor by the said
    table. I found I was always forgetting to ask intruders to carry my
    letters down-stairs for the mail, so I concluded to lay them on the
    floor by the door; then the intruder would have to walk over them, &
    that would indicate to him what they were there for. Did it? No,
    it didn't. He was a machine, & had habits. Habits take precedence
    of thought.

    Now consider this: a stamped & addressed letter lying on the floor
    --lying aggressively & conspicuously on the floor--is an unusual
    spectacle; so unusual a spectacle that you would think an intruder
    couldn't see it there without immediately divining that it was not
    there by accident, but had been deliberately placed there & for a
    definite purpose. Very well--it may surprise you to learn that that
    most simple & most natural & obvious thought would never occur to
    any intruder on this planet, whether he be fool, half-fool, or the
    most brilliant of thinkers. For he is always an automatic machine &
    has habits, & his habits will act before his thinking apparatus can
    get a chance to exert its powers. My scheme failed because every
    human being has the habit of picking up any apparently misplaced
    thing & placing it where it won't be stepped on.

    My first intruder was George. He went and came without saying
    anything. Presently I found the letters neatly piled up on the
    billiard-table. I was astonished. I put them on the floor again.
    The next intruder piled them on the billiard-table without a word.
    I was profoundly moved, profoundly interested. So I set the trap
    again. Also again, & again, & yet again--all day long. I caught
    every member of the family, & every servant; also I caught the three
    finest intellects in the town. In every instance old, time-worn
    automatic habit got in its work so promptly that the thinking
    apparatus never got a chance.

I do not remember this particular discussion, but I do distinctly recall
being one of those whose intelligence was not sufficient to prevent my
picking up the letter he had thrown on the floor in front of his bed, and
being properly classified for doing it.

Clemens no longer kept note-books, as in an earlier time, but set down
innumerable memoranda-comments, stray reminders, and the like--on small
pads, and bunches of these tiny sheets accumulated on his table and about
his room. I gathered up many of them then and afterward, and a few of
these characteristic bits may be offered here.


It is at our mother's knee that we acquire our noblest & truest & highest
ideals, but there is seldom any money in them.


He is all-good. He made man for hell or hell for man, one or the other
--take your choice. He made it hard to get into heaven and easy to get
into hell. He commended man to multiply & replenish-what? Hell.


& will be resumed when clothes are no more. [The latter part of this
aphorism is erased and underneath it he adds:]

                      MODESTY DIED

when clothes were born.

                      MODESTY DIED
when false modesty was born.


A historian who would convey the truth has got to lie. Often he must
enlarge the truth by diameters, otherwise his reader would not be able to
see it.


are not the important thing--nor enlightenment--nor civilization. A man
can do absolutely well without them, but he can't do without something to
eat. The supremest thing is the needs of the body, not of the mind &


There is conscious suggestion & there is unconscious suggestion--both
come from outside--whence all ideas come.


I think I could wipe out a dishonor by crippling the other man, but I
don't see how I could do it by letting him cripple me.

I have no feeling of animosity toward people who do not believe as I do;
I merely do not respect 'em. In some serious matters (relig.) I would
have them burnt.

I am old now and once was a sinner. I often think of it with a kind of
soft regret. I trust my days are numbered. I would not have that detail

She was always a girl, she was always young because her heart was young;
& I was young because she lived in my heart & preserved its youth from

He often busied himself working out more extensively some of the ideas
that came to him--moral ideas, he called them. One fancy which he
followed in several forms (some of them not within the privilege of
print) was that of an inquisitive little girl, Bessie, who pursues her
mother with difficult questionings.--[Under Appendix w, at the end of
this volume, the reader will find one of the "Bessie" dialogues.]--He
read these aloud as he finished them, and it is certain that they lacked
neither logic nor humor.

Sometimes he went to a big drawer in his dresser, where he kept his
finished manuscripts, and took them out and looked over them, and read
parts of them aloud, and talked of the plans he had had for them, and how
one idea after another had been followed for a time and had failed to
satisfy him in the end.

Two fiction schemes that had always possessed him he had been unable to
bring to any conclusion. Both of these have been mentioned in former
chapters; one being the notion of a long period of dream-existence during
a brief moment of sleep, and the other being the story of a mysterious
visitant from another realm. He had experimented with each of these
ideas in no less than three forms, and there was fine writing and
dramatic narrative in all; but his literary architecture had somehow
fallen short of his conception. "The Mysterious Stranger" in one of its
forms I thought might be satisfactorily concluded, and he admitted that
he could probably end it without much labor. He discussed something of
his plans, and later I found the notes for its conclusion. But I suppose
he was beyond the place where he could take up those old threads, though
he contemplated, fondly enough, the possibility, and recalled how he had
read at least one form of the dream tale to Howells, who had urged him to
complete it.



August 5, 1909. This morning I noticed on a chair a copy of Flaubert's
Salammbo which I recently lent him. I asked if he liked it.

"No," he said, "I didn't like any of it."

"But you read it?"

"Yes, I read every line of it."

"You admitted its literary art?"

"Well, it's like this: If I should go to the Chicago stockyards and they
should kill a beef and cut it up and the blood should splash all over
everything, and then they should take me to another pen and kill another
beef and the blood should splash over everything again, and so on to pen
after pen, I should care for it about as much as I do for that book."

"But those were bloody days, and you care very much for that period in

"Yes, that is so. But when I read Tacitus and know that I am reading
history I can accept it as such and supply the imaginary details and
enjoy it, but this thing is such a continuous procession of blood and
slaughter and stench it worries me. It has great art--I can see that.
That scene of the crucified lions and the death canon and the tent scene
are marvelous, but I wouldn't read that book again without a salary."

August 16. He is reading Suetonius, which he already knows by heart--so
full of the cruelties and licentiousness of imperial Rome.

This afternoon he began talking about Claudius.

"They called Claudius a lunatic," he said, "but just see what nice
fancies he had. He would go to the arena between times and have captives
and wild beasts brought out and turned in together for his special
enjoyment. Sometimes when there were no captives on hand he would say,
'Well, never mind; bring out a carpenter.' Carpentering around the arena
wasn't a popular job in those days. He went visiting once to a province
and thought it would be pleasant to see how they disposed of criminals
and captives in their crude, old-fashioned way, but there was no
executioner on hand. No matter; the Emperor of Rome was in no hurry--he
would wait. So he sat down and stayed there until an executioner came."

I said, "How do you account for the changed attitude toward these things?
We are filled with pity to-day at the thought of torture and suffering."

"Ah! but that is because we have drifted that way and exercised the
quality of compassion. Relax a muscle and it soon loses its vigor; relax
that quality and in two generations--in one generation--we should be
gloating over the spectacle of blood and torture just the same. Why, I
read somewhere a letter written just before the Lisbon catastrophe in
1755 about a scene on the public square of Lisbon: A lot of stakes with
the fagots piled for burning and heretics chained for burning. The
square was crowded with men and women and children, and when those fires
were lighted, and the heretics began to shriek and writhe, those men and
women and children laughed so they were fairly beside themselves with the
enjoyment of the scene. The Greeks don't seem to have done these things.
I suppose that indicates earlier advancement in compassion."

Colonel Harvey and Mr. Duneka came up to spend the night. Mr. Clemens
had one of his seizures during the evening. They come oftener and last
longer. One last night continued for an hour and a half. I slept there.

September 7. To-day news of the North Pole discovered by Peary. Five
days ago the same discovery was reported by Cook. Clemens's comment:
"It's the greatest joke of the ages." But a moment later he referred to
the stupendous fact of Arcturus being fifty thousand times as big as the

September 21. This morning he told me, with great glee, the dream he had
had just before wakening. He said:

    "I was in an automobile going slowly, with 'a little girl beside me,
    and some uniformed person walking along by us. I said, 'I'll get
    out and walk, too'; but the officer replied, 'This is only one of
    the smallest of our fleet.'

    "Then I noticed that the automobile had no front, and there were two
    cannons mounted where the front should be. I noticed, too, that we
    were traveling very low, almost down on the ground. Presently we
    got to the bottom of a hill and started up another, and I found
    myself walking ahead of the 'mobile. I turned around to look for
    the little girl, and instead of her I found a kitten capering beside
    me, and when we reached the top of the hill we were looking out over
    a most barren and desolate waste of sand-heaps without a speck of
    vegetation anywhere, and the kitten said, 'This view beggars all
    admiration.' Then all at once we were in a great group of people
    and I undertook to repeat to them the kitten's remark, but when I
    tried to do it the words were so touching that I broke down and
    cried, and all the group cried, too, over the kitten's moving

    The joy with which he told this absurd sleep fancy made it supremely
    ridiculous and we laughed until tears really came.

One morning he said: "I was awake a good deal in the night, and I tried
to think of interesting things. I got to working out geological periods,
trying to think of some way to comprehend them, and then astronomical
periods. Of course it's impossible, but I thought of a plan that seemed
to mean something to me. I remembered that Neptune is two billion eight
hundred million miles away. That, of course, is incomprehensible, but
then there is the nearest fixed star with its twenty-five trillion miles
--twenty-five trillion--or nearly a thousand times as far, and then I
took this book and counted the lines on a page and I found that there was
an average of thirty-two lines to the page and two hundred and forty
pages, and I figured out that, counting the distance to Neptune as one
line, there were still not enough lines in the book by nearly two
thousand to reach the nearest fixed star, and somehow that gave me a sort
of dim idea of the vastness of the distance and kind of a journey into

Later I figured out another method of comprehending a little of that
great distance by estimating the existence of the human race at thirty
thousand years (Lord Kelvin's figures) and the average generation to have
been thirty-three years with a world population of 1,500,000,000 souls. I
assumed the nearest fixed star to be the first station in Paradise and
the first soul to have started thirty thousand years ago. Traveling at
the rate of about thirty miles a second, it would just now be arriving in
Alpha Centauri with all the rest of that buried multitude stringing out
behind at an average distance of twenty miles apart.

Few things gave him more pleasure than the contemplation of such figures
as these. We made occasional business trips to New York, and during one
of them visited the Museum of Natural History to look at the brontosaur
and the meteorites and the astronomical model in the entrance hall. To
him these were the most fascinating things in the world. He contemplated
the meteorites and the brontosaur, and lost himself in strange and
marvelous imaginings concerning the far reaches of time and space whence
they had come down to us.

Mark Twain lived curiously apart from the actualities of life. Dwelling
mainly among his philosophies and speculations, he observed vaguely, or
minutely, what went on about him; but in either case the fact took a
place, not in the actual world, but in a world within his consciousness,
or subconsciousness, a place where facts were likely to assume new and
altogether different relations from those they had borne in the physical
occurrence. It not infrequently happened, therefore, when he recounted
some incident, even the most recent, that history took on fresh and
startling forms. More than once I have known him to relate an occurrence
of the day before with a reality of circumstance that carried absolute
conviction, when the details themselves were precisely reversed. If his
attention were called to the discrepancy, his face would take on a blank
look, as of one suddenly aroused from dreamland, to be followed by an
almost childish interest in your revelation and ready acknowledgment of
his mistake. I do not think such mistakes humiliated him; but they often
surprised and, I think, amused him.

Insubstantial and deceptive as was this inner world of his, to him it
must have been much more real than the world of flitting physical shapes
about him. He would fix you keenly with his attention, but you realized,
at last, that he was placing you and seeing you not as a part of the
material landscape, but as an item of his own inner world--a world in
which philosophies and morals stood upright--a very good world indeed,
but certainly a topsy-turvy world when viewed with the eye of mere
literal scrutiny. And this was, mainly, of course, because the routine
of life did not appeal to him. Even members of his household did not
always stir his consciousness.

He knew they were there; he could call them by name; he relied upon them;
but his knowledge of them always suggested the knowledge that Mount
Everest might have of the forests and caves and boulders upon its slopes,
useful, perhaps, but hardly necessary to the giant's existence, and in no
important matter a part of its greater life.



In a letter which Clemens wrote to Miss Wallace at this time, he tells of
a concert given at Stormfield on September 21st for the benefit of the
new Redding Library. Gabrilowitsch had so far recovered that he was up
and about and able to play. David Bispham, the great barytone, always
genial and generous, agreed to take part, and Clara Clemens, already
accustomed to public singing, was to join in the program. The letter to
Miss Wallace supplies the rest of the history.

    We had a grand time here yesterday. Concert in aid of the little


              Gabrilowitsch, pianist.
              David Bispham, vocalist.
              Clara Clemens, ditto.
              Mark Twain, introduces of team.

    Detachments and squads and groups and singles came from everywhere
    --Danbury, New Haven, Norwalk, Redding, Redding Ridge, Ridgefield,
    and even from New York: some in 60-h.p. motor-cars, some in
    buggies and carriages, and a swarm of farmer-young-folk on foot
    from miles around--525 altogether.

    If we hadn't stopped the sale of tickets a day and a half before the
    performance we should have been swamped. We jammed 160 into the
    library (not quite all had seats), we filled the loggia, the dining-
    room, the hall, clear into the billiard-room, the stairs, and the
    brick-paved square outside the dining-room door.

    The artists were received with a great welcome, and it woke them up,
    and I tell you they performed to the Queen's taste! The program was
    an hour and three-quarters long and the encores added a half-hour to
    it. The enthusiasm of the house was hair-lifting. They all stayed
    an hour after the close to shake hands and congratulate.

    We had no dollar seats except in the library, but we accumulated
    $372 for the Building Fund. We had tea at half past six for a
    dozen--the Hawthornes, Jeannette Gilder, and her niece, etc.; and
    after 8-o'clock dinner we had a private concert and a ball in the
    bare-stripped library until 10; nobody present but the team and Mr.
    and Mrs. Paine and Jean and her dog. And me. Bispham did "Danny
    Deever" and the "Erlkonig" in his majestic, great organ-tones and
    artillery, and Gabrilowitsch played the accompaniments as they were
    never played before, I do suppose.

There is not much to add to that account. Clemens, introducing the
performers, was the gay feature of the occasion. He spoke of the great
reputation of Bispham and Gabrilowitsch; then he said:

"My daughter is not as famous as these gentlemen, but she is ever so much

The music of the evening that followed, with Gabrilowitsch at the piano
and David Bispham to sing, was something not likely ever to be repeated.
Bispham sang the "Erlkonig" and "Killiecrankie" and the "Grenadiers" and
several other songs. He spoke of having sung Wagner's arrangement of the
"Grenadiers" at the composer's home following his death, and how none of
the family had heard it before.

There followed dancing, and Jean Clemens, fine and handsome, apparently
full of life and health, danced down that great living-room as care-free
as if there was no shadow upon her life. And the evening was
distinguished in another way, for before it ended Clara Clemens had
promised Ossip Gabrilowitsch to become his wife.



The wedding of Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Clara Clemens was not delayed.
Gabrilowitsch had signed for a concert tour in Europe, and unless the
marriage took place forthwith it must be postponed many months. It
followed, therefore, fifteen days after the engagement. They were busy
days. Clemens, enormously excited and pleased over the prospect of the
first wedding in his family, personally attended to the selection of
those who were to have announcement-cards, employing a stenographer to
make the list.

October 6th was a perfect wedding-day. It was one of those quiet, lovely
fall days when the whole world seems at peace. Claude, the butler, with
his usual skill in such matters, had decorated the great living-room with
gay autumn foliage and flowers, brought in mainly from the woods and
fields. They blended perfectly with the warm tones of the walls and
furnishings, and I do not remember ever having seen a more beautiful
room. Only relatives and a few of the nearest friends were invited to
the ceremony. The Twichells came over a day ahead, for Twichell, who had
assisted in the marriage rites between Samuel Clemens and Olivia Langdon,
was to perform that ceremony for their daughter now. A fellow-student of
the bride and groom when they had been pupils of Leschetizky, in Vienna
--Miss Ethel Newcomb--was at the piano and played softly the Wedding
March from "Taunhauser." Jean Clemens was the only bridesmaid, and she
was stately and classically beautiful, with a proud dignity in her
office. Jervis Langdon, the bride's cousin and childhood playmate, acted
as best man, and Clemens, of course, gave the bride away. By request he
wore his scarlet Oxford gown over his snowy flannels, and was splendid
beyond words. I do not write of the appearance of the bride and groom,
for brides and grooms are always handsome and always happy, and certainly
these were no exception. It was all so soon over, the feasting ended,
and the principals whirling away into the future. I have a picture in my
mind of them seated together in the automobile, with Richard Watson
Gilder standing on the step for a last good-by, and before them a wide
expanse of autumn foliage and distant hills. I remember Gilder's voice
saying, when the car was on the turn, and they were waving back to us:

          "Over the hills and far away,
           Beyond the utmost purple rim,
           Beyond the night, beyond the day,
           Through all the world she followed him."

The matter of the wedding had been kept from the newspapers until the eve
of the wedding, when the Associated Press had been notified. A
representative was there; but Clemens had characteristically interviewed
himself on the subject, and it was only necessary to hand the reporter a
typewritten copy. Replying to the question (put to himself), "Are you
pleased with the marriage?" he answered:

    Yes, fully as much as any marriage could please me or any other
    father. There are two or three solemn things in life and a happy
    marriage is one of them, for the terrors of life are all to come.
    I am glad of this marriage, and Mrs. Clemens would be glad, for she
    always had a warm affection for Gabrilowitsch.

There was another wedding at Stormfield on the following afternoon--an
imitation wedding. Little Joy came up with me, and wished she could
stand in just the spot where she had seen the bride stand, and she
expressed a wish that she could get married like that. Clemens said:

"Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it."

Then he happened to remember a ridiculous boy-doll--a white-haired
creature with red coat and green trousers, a souvenir imitation of
himself from one of the Rogerses' Christmas trees. He knew where it was,
and he got it out. Then he said:

"Now, Joy, we will have another wedding. This is Mr. Colonel Williams,
and you are to become his wedded wife."

So Joy stood up very gravely and Clemens performed the ceremony, and I
gave the bride away, and Joy to him became Mrs. Colonel Williams
thereafter, and entered happily into her new estate.



A harvest of letters followed the wedding: a general congratulatory
expression, mingled with admiration, affection, and good-will. In his
interview Clemens had referred to the pain in his breast; and many begged
him to deny that there was anything serious the matter with him, urging
him to try this relief or that, pathetically eager for his continued life
and health. They cited the comfort he had brought to world-weary
humanity and his unfailing stand for human justice as reasons why he
should live. Such letters could not fail to cheer him.

A letter of this period, from John Bigelow, gave him a pleasure of its
own. Clemens had written Bigelow, apropos of some adverse expression on
the tariff:

    Thank you for any hard word you can say about the tariff. I guess
    the government that robs its own people earns the future it is
    preparing for itself.

Bigelow was just then declining an invitation to the annual dinner of the
Chamber of Commerce. In sending his regrets he said:

    The sentiment I would propose if I dared to be present would be the
    words of Mark Twain, the statesman:

    "The government that robs its own people earns the future it is
    preparing for itself."

Now to Clemens himself he wrote:

    Rochefoucault never said a cleverer thing, nor Dr. Franklin a wiser
    one . . . . Be careful, or the Demos will be running you for
    President when you are not on your guard.

    Yours more than ever,
                     JOHN BIGELOW.

Among the tributes that came, was a sermon by the Rev. Fred Window Adams,
of Schenectady, New York, with Mark Twain as its subject. Mr. Adams
chose for his text, "Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is
profitable for the ministry," and he placed the two Marks, St. Mark and
Mark Twain, side by side as ministers to humanity, and characterized him
as "a fearless knight of righteousness." A few weeks later Mr. Adams
himself came to Stormfield, and, like all open-minded ministers of the
Gospel, he found that he could get on very well indeed with Mark Twain.

In spite of the good-will and the good wishes Clemens's malady did not
improve. As the days grew chillier he found that he must remain closer
indoors. The cold air seemed to bring on the pains, and they were
gradually becoming more severe; then, too, he did not follow the doctor's
orders in the matter of smoking, nor altogether as to exercise.

To Miss Wallace he wrote:

I can't walk, I can't drive, I'm not down-stairs much, and I don't see
company, but I drink barrels of water to keep the pain quiet; I read, and
read, and read, and smoke, and smoke, and smoke all the time (as
formerly), and it's a contented and comfortable life.

But this was not altogether accurate as to details. He did come
down-stairs many times daily, and he persisted in billiards regardless of
the paroxysms. We found, too, that the seizures were induced by mental
agitation. One night he read aloud to Jean and myself the first chapter
of an article, "The Turning-Point in My Life," which he was preparing for
Harper's Bazar. He had begun it with one of his impossible burlesque
fancies, and he felt our attitude of disappointment even before any word
had been said. Suddenly he rose, and laying his hand on his breast said,
"I must lie down," and started toward the stair. I supported him to his
room and hurriedly poured out the hot water. He drank it and dropped
back on the bed.

"Don't speak to me," he said; "don't make me talk."

Jean came in, and we sat there several moments in silence. I think we
both wondered if this might not be the end; but presently he spoke of his
own accord, declaring he was better, and ready for billiards.

We played for at least an hour afterward, and he seemed no worse for the
attack. It is a curious malady--that angina; even the doctors are
acquainted with its manifestations, rather than its cause. Clemens's
general habits of body and mind were probably not such as to delay its
progress; furthermore, there had befallen him that year one of those
misfortunes which his confiding nature peculiarly invited--a betrayal of
trust by those in whom it had been boundlessly placed--and it seems
likely that the resulting humiliation aggravated his complaint. The
writing of a detailed history of this episode afforded him occupation and
a certain amusement, but probably did not contribute to his health. One
day he sent for his attorney, Mr. Charles T. Lark, and made some final
revisions in his will.--[Mark Twain's estate, later appraised at
something more than $600,000 was left in the hands of trustees for his
daughters. The trustees were Edward E. Loomis, Jervis Langdon, and
Zoheth S. Freeman. The direction of his literary affairs was left to his
daughter Clara and the writer of this history.]

To see him you would never have suspected that he was ill. He was in
good flesh, and his movement was as airy and his eye as bright and his
face as full of bloom as at any time during the period I had known him;
also, he was as light-hearted and full of ideas and plans, and he was
even gentler--having grown mellow with age and retirement, like good

And of course he would find amusement in his condition. He said:

"I have always pretended to be sick to escape visitors; now, for the
first time, I have got a genuine excuse. It makes me feel so honest."

And once, when Jean reported a caller in the livingroom, he said:

"Jean, I can't see her. Tell her I am likely to drop dead any minute and
it would be most embarrassing."

But he did see her, for it was a poet--Angela Morgan--and he read her
poem, "God's Man," aloud with great feeling, and later he sold it for her
to Collier's Weekly.

He still had violent rages now and then, remembering some of the most
notable of his mistakes; and once, after denouncing himself, rather
inclusively, as an idiot, he said:

"I wish to God the lightning would strike me; but I've wished that fifty
thousand times and never got anything out of it yet. I have missed
several good chances. Mrs. Clemens was afraid of lightning, and would
never let me bare my head to the storm."

The element of humor was never lacking, and the rages became less violent
and less frequent.

I was at Stormfield steadily now, and there was a regular routine of
afternoon sessions of billiards or reading, in which we were generally
alone; for Jean, occupied with her farming and her secretary labors,
seldom appeared except at meal-times. Occasionally she joined in the
billiard games; but it was difficult learning and her interest was not
great. She would have made a fine player, for she had a natural talent
for games, as she had for languages, and she could have mastered the
science of angles as she had mastered tennis and French and German and
Italian. She had naturally a fine intellect, with many of her father's
characteristics, and a tender heart that made every dumb creature her

Katie Leary, who had been Jean's nurse, once told how, as a little child,
Jean had not been particularly interested in a picture of the Lisbon
earthquake, where the people were being swallowed up; but on looking at
the next page, which showed a number of animals being overwhelmed, she
had said:

"Poor things!"

Katie said:

"Why, you didn't say that about the people!"

But Jean answered:

"Oh, they could speak."

One night at the dinner-table her father was saying how difficult it must
be for a man who had led a busy life to give up the habit of work.

"That is why the Rogerses kill themselves," he said. "They would rather
kill themselves in the old treadmill than stop and try to kill time. They
have forgotten how to rest. They know nothing but to keep on till they

I told of something I had read not long before. It was about an aged
lion that had broken loose from his cage at Coney Island. He had not
offered to hurt any one; but after wandering about a little, rather
aimlessly, he had come to a picket-fence, and a moment later began pacing
up and down in front of it, just the length of his cage. They had come
and led him back to his prison without trouble, and he had rushed eagerly
into it. I noticed that Jean was listening anxiously, and when I
finished she said:

"Is that a true story?"

She had forgotten altogether the point in illustration. She was
concerned only with the poor old beast that had found no joy in his

Among the letters that Clemens wrote just then was one to Miss Wallace,
in which he described the glory of the fall colors as seen from his

    The autumn splendors passed you by? What a pity! I wish you had
    been here. It was beyond words! It was heaven & hell & sunset &
    rainbows & the aurora all fused into one divine harmony, & you
    couldn't look at it and keep the tears back.

    Such a singing together, & such a whispering together, & such a
    snuggling together of cozy, soft colors, & such kissing & caressing,
    & such pretty blushing when the sun breaks out & catches those
    dainty weeds at it--you remember that weed-garden of mine?--& then
    --then the far hills sleeping in a dim blue trance--oh, hearing
    about it is nothing, you should be here to see it!

In the same letter he refers to some work that he was writing for his own
satisfaction--'Letters from the Earth'; said letters supposed to have
been written by an immortal visitant and addressed to other immortals in
some remote sphere.

    I'll read passages to you. This book will never be published
    --in fact it couldn't be, because it would be felony . . . Paine
    enjoys it, but Paine is going to be damned one of these days, I

I very well remember his writing those 'Letters from the Earth'. He read
them to me from time to time as he wrote them, and they were fairly
overflowing with humor and philosophy and satire concerning the human
race. The immortal visitor pointed out, one after another, the
absurdities of mankind, his ridiculous conception of heaven, and his
special conceit in believing that he was the Creator's pet--the
particular form of life for which all the universe was created. Clemens
allowed his exuberant fancy free rein, being under no restrictions as to
the possibility of print or public offense. He enjoyed them himself,
too, as he read them aloud, and we laughed ourselves weak over his bold

One admissible extract will carry something of the flavor of these
chapters. It is where the celestial correspondent describes man's

    His heaven is like himself: strange, interesting, astonishing,
    grotesque. I give you my word it has not a single feature in it
    that he actually values. It consists--utterly and entirely--of
    diversions which he cares next to nothing about here in the earth,
    yet he is quite sure he will like in heaven. Isn't it curious?
    Isn't it interesting? You must not think I am exaggerating, for it
    is not so. I will give you the details.

    Most, men do not sing, most men cannot sing, most men will not stay
    where others are singing if it be continued more than two hours.
    Note that.

    Only about two men in a hundred can play upon a musical instrument,
    and not four in a hundred have any wish to learn how. Set that

    Many men pray, not many of them like to do it. A few pray long, the
    others make a short-cut.

    More men go to church than want to.

    To forty-nine men in fifty the Sabbath day is a dreary, dreary bore.

    Further, all sane people detest noise.

    All people, sane or insane, like to have variety in their lives.
    Monotony quickly wearies them.

    Now then, you have the facts. You know what men don't enjoy. Well,
    they have invented a heaven, out of their own heads, all by
    themselves; guess what it is like? In fifteen hundred years you
    couldn't do it. They have left out the very things they care for
    most their dearest pleasures--and replaced them with prayer!

    In man's heaven everybody sings. There are no exceptions. The man
    who did not sing on earth sings there; the man who could not sing on
    earth sings there. Thus universal singing is not casual, not
    occasional, not relieved by intervals of quiet; it goes on all day
    long and every day during a stretch of twelve hours. And everybody
    stays where on earth the place would be empty in two hours. The
    singing is of hymns alone. Nay, it is one hymn alone. The words
    are always the same in number--they are only about a dozen--there is
    no rhyme--there is no poetry. "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna unto the
    highest!" and a few such phrases constitute the whole service.

    Meantime, every person is playing on a harp! Consider the deafening
    hurricane of sound. Consider, further, it is a praise service--a
    service of compliment, flattery, adulation. Do you ask who it is
    that is willing to endure this strange compliment, this insane
    compliment, and who not only endures it but likes it, enjoys it,
    requires it, commands it? Hold your breath: It is God! This race's
    God I mean--their own pet invention.

Most of the ideas presented in this his last commentary on human
absurdities were new only as to phrasing. He had exhausted the topic
long ago, in one way or another; but it was one of the themes in which he
never lost interest. Many subjects became stale to him at last; but the
curious invention called man remained a novelty to him to the end.

From my note-book:

    October 25. I am constantly amazed at his knowledge of history--all
    history--religious, political, military. He seems to have read
    everything in the world concerning Rome, France, and England

    Last night we stopped playing billiards while he reviewed, in the
    most vivid and picturesque phrasing, the reasons of Rome's decline.
    Such a presentation would have enthralled any audience--I could not
    help feeling a great pity that he had not devoted some of his public
    effort to work of that sort. No one could have equaled him at it.
    He concluded with some comments on the possibility of America
    following Rome's example, though he thought the vote of the people
    would always, or at least for a long period, prevent imperialism.

    November 1. To-day he has been absorbed in his old interest in
    shorthand. "It is the only rational alphabet," he declared. "All
    this spelling reform is nonsense. What we need is alphabet reform,
    and shorthand is the thing. Take the letter M, for instance; it is
    made with one stroke in shorthand, while in longhand it requires at
    least three. The word Mephistopheles can be written in shorthand
    with one-sixth the number of strokes that is required in longhand.
    I tell you shorthand should be adopted as the alphabet."

    I said: "There is this objection: the characters are so slightly
    different that each writer soon forms a system of his own and it is
    seldom that two can read each other's notes."

    "You are talking of stenographic reporting," he said, rather warmly.
    "Nothing of the kind is true in the case of the regular alphabet.
    It is perfectly clear and legible."

    "Would you have it in the schools, then?"

    "Yes, it should be taught in the schools, not for stenographic
    purposes, but only for use in writing to save time."

    He was very much in earnest, and said he had undertaken an article
    on the subject.

    November 3. He said he could not sleep last night, for thinking
    what a fool he had been in his various investments.

    "I have always been the victim of somebody," he said, "and always an
    idiot myself, doing things that even a child would not do. Never
    asking anybody's advice--never taking it when it was offered. I
    can't see how anybody could do the things I have done and have kept
    right on doing."
    I could see that the thought agitated him, and I suggested that we
    go to his room and read, which we did, and had a riotous time over
    the most recent chapters of the 'Letters from the Earth', and some
    notes he had made for future chapters on infant damnation and other
    distinctive features of orthodox creeds. He told an anecdote of an
    old minister who declared that Presbyterianism without infant
    damnation would be like the dog on the train that couldn't be
    identified because it had lost its tag.

    Somewhat on the defensive I said, "But we must admit that the so-
    called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive."

    He answered, "Yes, but in spite of their religion, not because of
    it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the
    day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetics in
    child-birth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical
    curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and
    geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition.
    The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five
    hundred years before the Christian religion was born.

    "I have been reading Gibbon's celebrated Fifteenth Chapter," he said
    later, "and I don't see what Christians found against it. It is so
    mild--so gentle in its sarcasm." He added that he had been reading
    also a little book of brief biographies and had found in it the
    saying of Darwin's father, "Unitarianism is a featherbed to catch
    falling Christians."

    "I was glad to find and identify that saying," he said; "it is so

    He finished the evening by reading a chapter from Carlyle's French
    Revolution--a fine pyrotechnic passage--the gathering at Versailles.
    I said that Carlyle somehow reminded me of a fervid stump-speaker
    who pounded his fists and went at his audience fiercely, determined
    to convince them.

    "Yes," he said, "but he is the best one that ever lived."

    November 10. This morning early he heard me stirring and called. I
    went in and found him propped up with a book, as usual. He said:

    "I seldom read Christmas stories, but this is very beautiful. It
    has made me cry. I want you to read it." (It was Booth
    Tarkington's 'Beasley's Christmas Party'.) "Tarkington has the true
    touch," he said; "his work always satisfies me." Another book he
    has been reading with great enjoyment is James Branch Cabell's
    Chivalry. He cannot say enough of the subtle poetic art with which
    Cabell has flung the light of romance about dark and sordid chapters
    of history.



Perhaps here one may speak of Mark Twain's reading in general. On the
table by him, and on his bed, and in the billiard-room shelves he kept
the books he read most. They were not many--not more than a dozen--but
they were manifestly of familiar and frequent usage. All, or nearly all,
had annotations--spontaneously uttered marginal notes, title prefatories,
or concluding comments. They were the books he had read again and again,
and it was seldom that he had not had something to say with each fresh

There were the three big volumes by Saint-Simon--'The Memoirs'--which he
once told me he had read no less than twenty times. On the fly-leaf of
the first volume he wrote--

This, & Casanova & Pepys, set in parallel columns, could afford a good
coup d'oeil of French & English high life of that epoch.

All through those finely printed volumes are his commentaries, sometimes
no more than a word, sometimes a filled, closely written margin. He
found little to admire in the human nature of Saint-Simon's period
--little to approve in Saint-Simon himself beyond his unrestrained
frankness, which he admired without stint, and in one paragraph where the
details of that early period are set down with startling fidelity he
wrote: "Oh, incomparable Saint-Simon!"

Saint-Simon is always frank, and Mark Twain was equally so. Where the
former tells one of the unspeakable compulsions of Louis XIV., the latter
has commented:

We have to grant that God made this royal hog; we may also be permitted
to believe that it was a crime to do so.

And on another page:

In her memories of this period the Duchesse de St. Clair makes this
striking remark: "Sometimes one could tell a gentleman, but it was only
by his manner of using his fork."

His comments on the orthodox religion of Saint-Simon's period are not
marked by gentleness. Of the author's reference to the Edict of Nantes,
which he says depopulated half of the realm, ruined its commerce, and
"authorized torments and punishments by which so many innocent people of
both sexes were killed by thousands," Clemens writes:

So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the
Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is."
Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed
for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to
add that new law to its code.

In the place where Saint-Simon describes the death of Monseigneur, son of
the king, and the court hypocrites are wailing their extravagantly
pretended sorrow, Clemens wrote:

It is all so true, all so human. God made these animals. He must have
noticed this scene; I wish I knew how it struck Him.

There were not many notes in the Suetonius, nor in the Carlyle
Revolution, though these were among the volumes he read oftenest. Perhaps
they expressed for him too completely and too richly their subject-matter
to require anything at his hand. Here and there are marked passages and
occasional cross-references to related history and circumstance.

There was not much room for comment on the narrow margins of the old copy
of Pepys, which he had read steadily since the early seventies; but here
and there a few crisp words, and the underscoring and marked passages are
plentiful enough to convey his devotion to that quaint record which,
perhaps next to Suetonius, was the book he read and quoted most.

Francis Parkman's Canadian Histories he had read periodically, especially
the story of the Old Regime and of the Jesuits in North America. As late
as January, 1908, he wrote on the title-page of the Old Regime:

Very interesting. It tells how people religiously and otherwise insane
came over from France and colonized Canada.

He was not always complimentary to those who undertook to Christianize
the Indians; but he did not fail to write his admiration of their
courage--their very willingness to endure privation and even the fiendish
savage tortures for the sake of their faith. "What manner of men are
these?" he wrote, apropos of the account of Bressani, who had undergone
the most devilish inflictions which savage ingenuity could devise, and
yet returned maimed and disfigured the following spring to "dare again
the knives and fiery brand of the Iroquois." Clemens was likely to be on
the side of the Indians, but hardly in their barbarism. In one place he

    That men should be willing to leave their happy homes and endure
    what the missionaries endured in order to teach these Indians the
    road to hell would be rational, understandable, but why they should
    want to teach them a way to heaven is a thing which the mind somehow
    cannot grasp.

Other histories, mainly English and French, showed how he had read them
--read and digested every word and line. There were two volumes of
Lecky, much worn; Andrew D. White's 'Science and Theology'--a chief
interest for at least one summer--and among the collection a well-worn
copy of 'Modern English Literature--Its Blemishes and Defects', by Henry
H. Breen. On the title-page of this book Clemens had written:

    HARTFORD, 1876. Use with care, for it is a scarce book. England
    had to be ransacked in order to get it--or the bookseller speaketh

He once wrote a paper for the Saturday Morning Club, using for his text
examples of slipshod English which Breen had noted.

Clemens had a passion for biography, and especially for autobiography,
diaries, letters, and such intimate human history. Greville's 'Journal
of the Reigns of George IV. and William IV.' he had read much and
annotated freely. Greville, while he admired Byron's talents, abhorred
the poet's personality, and in one place condemns him as a vicious person
and a debauchee. He adds:

Then he despises pretenders and charlatans of all sorts, while he is
himself a pretender, as all men are who assume a character which does not
belong to them and affect to be something which they are all the time
conscious they are not in reality.

Clemens wrote on the margin:

    But, dear sir, you are forgetting that what a man sees in the human
    race is merely himself in the deep and honest privacy of his own
    heart. Byron despised the race because he despised himself. I feel
    as Byron did, and for the same reason. Do you admire the race (&
    consequently yourself)?

A little further along--where Greville laments that Byron can take no
profit to himself from the sinful characters he depicts so faithfully,
Clemens commented:

    If Byron--if any man--draws 50 characters, they are all himself--50
    shades, 50 moods, of his own character. And when the man draws them
    well why do they stir my admiration? Because they are me--I
    recognize myself.

A volume of Plutarch was among the biographies that showed usage, and the
Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself. Two Years Before the Mast he
loved, and never tired of. The more recent Memoirs of Andrew D. White
and Moncure D. Conway both, I remember, gave him enjoyment, as did the
Letters of Lowell. A volume of the Letters of Madame de Sevigne had some
annotated margins which were not complimentary to the translator, or for
that matter to Sevigne herself, whom he once designates as a "nauseating"
person, many of whose letters had been uselessly translated, as well as
poorly arranged for reading. But he would read any volume of letters or
personal memoirs; none were too poor that had the throb of life in them,
however slight.

Of such sort were the books that Mark Twain had loved best, and such were
a few of his words concerning them. Some of them belong to his earlier
reading, and among these is Darwin's 'Descent of Man', a book whose
influence was always present, though I believe he did not read it any
more in later years. In the days I knew him he read steadily not much
besides Suetonius and Pepys and Carlyle. These and his simple
astronomies and geologies and the Morte Arthure and the poems of Kipling
were seldom far from his hand.



It was the middle of November, 1909, when Clemens decided to take another
Bermuda vacation, and it was the 19th that we sailed. I went to New York
a day ahead and arranged matters, and on the evening of the 18th received
the news that Richard Watson Gilder had suddenly died.

Next morning there was other news. Clemens's old friend, William M.
Laffan, of the Sun, had died while undergoing a surgical operation. I
met Clemens at the train. He had already heard about Gilder; but he had
not yet learned of Laffan's death. He said:

"That's just it. Gilder and Laffan get all the good things that come
along and I never get anything."

Then, suddenly remembering, he added:

"How curious it is! I have been thinking of Laffan coming down on the
train, and mentally writing a letter to him on this Stetson-Eddy affair."

I asked when he had begun thinking of Laffan.

He said: "Within the hour."

It was within the hour that I had received the news, and naturally in my
mind had carried it instantly to him. Perhaps there was something
telepathic in it.

He was not at all ill going down to Bermuda, which was a fortunate thing,
for the water was rough and I was quite disqualified. We did not even
discuss astronomy, though there was what seemed most important news--the
reported discovery of a new planet.

But there was plenty of talk on the subject as soon as we got settled in
the Hamilton Hotel. It was windy and rainy out-of-doors, and we looked
out on the drenched semi-tropical foliage with a great bamboo swaying and
bending in the foreground, while he speculated on the vast distance that
the new planet must lie from our sun, to which it was still a satellite.
The report had said that it was probably four hundred billions of miles
distant, and that on this far frontier of the solar system the sun could
not appear to it larger than the blaze of a tallow candle. To us it was
wholly incredible how, in that dim remoteness, it could still hold true
to the central force and follow at a snail-pace, yet with unvarying
exactitude, its stupendous orbit. Clemens said that heretofore Neptune,
the planetary outpost of our system, had been called the tortoise of the
skies, but that comparatively it was rapid in its motion, and had become
a near neighbor. He was a good deal excited at first, having somehow the
impression that this new planet traveled out beyond the nearest fixed
star; but then he remembered that the distance to that first solar
neighbor was estimated in trillions, not billions, and that our little
system, even with its new additions, was a child's handbreadth on the
plane of the sky. He had brought along a small book called The Pith of
Astronomy--a fascinating little volume--and he read from it about the
great tempest of fire in the sun, where the waves of flame roll up two
thousand miles high, though the sun itself is such a tiny star in the
deeps of the universe.

If I dwell unwarrantably on this phase of Mark Twain's character, it is
because it was always so fascinating to me, and the contemplation of the
drama of the skies always meant so much to him, and somehow always seemed
akin to him in its proportions. He had been born under a flaming star, a
wanderer of the skies. He was himself, to me, always a comet rushing
through space, from mystery to mystery, regardless of sun and systems. It
is not likely to rain long in Bermuda, and when the sun comes back it
brings summer, whatever the season. Within a day after our arrival we
were driving about those coral roads along the beaches, and by that
marvelously variegated water. We went often to the south shore,
especially to Devonshire Bay, where the reefs and the sea coloring seem
more beautiful than elsewhere. Usually, when we reached the bay, we got
out to walk along the indurated shore, stopping here and there to look
out over the jeweled water liquid turquoise, emerald lapis-lazuli, jade,
the imperial garment of the Lord.

At first we went alone with only the colored driver, Clifford Trott,
whose name Clemens could not recollect, though he was always attempting
resemblances with ludicrous results. A little later Helen Allen, an
early angel-fish member already mentioned, was with us and directed the
drives, for she had been born on the island and knew every attractive
locality, though, for that matter, it would be hard to find there a place
that was not attractive.

Clemens, in fact, remained not many days regularly at the hotel. He kept
a room and his wardrobe there; but he paid a visit to Bay House--the
lovely and quiet home of Helen's parents--and prolonged it from day to
day, and from week to week, because it was a quiet and peaceful place
with affectionate attention and limitless welcome. Clifford Trott had
orders to come with the carriage each afternoon, and we drove down to Bay
House for Mark Twain and his playmate, and then went wandering at will
among the labyrinth of blossom-bordered, perfectly kept roadways of a
dainty paradise, that never, I believe, becomes quite a reality even to
those who know it best.

Clemens had an occasional paroxysm during these weeks, but they were not
likely to be severe or protracted; and I have no doubt the peace of his
surroundings, the remoteness from disturbing events, as well as the balmy
temperature, all contributed to his improved condition.

He talked pretty continuously during these drives, and he by no means
restricted his subjects to juvenile matters. He discussed history and
his favorite sciences and philosophies, and I am sure that his drift was
rarely beyond the understanding of his young companion, for it was Mark
Twain's gift to phrase his thought so that it commanded not only the
respect of age, but the comprehension and the interest of youth. I
remember that once he talked, during an afternoon's drive, on the French
Revolution and the ridiculous episode of Anacharsis Cloots, "orator and
advocate of the human race," collecting the vast populace of France to
swear allegiance to a king even then doomed to the block. The very name
of Cloots suggested humor, and nothing could have been more delightful
and graphic than the whole episode as he related it. Helen asked if he
thought such a thing as that could ever happen in America.

"No," he said, "the American sense of humor would have laughed it out of
court in a week; and the Frenchman dreads ridicule, too, though he never
seems to realize how ridiculous he is--the most ridiculous creature in
the world."

On the morning of his seventy-fourth birthday he was looking wonderfully
well after a night of sound sleep, his face full of color and freshness,
his eyes bright and keen and full of good-humor. I presented him with a
pair of cuff-buttons silver-enameled with the Bermuda lily, and I thought
he seemed pleased with them.

It was rather gloomy outside, so we remained indoors by the fire and
played cards, game after game of hearts, at which he excelled, and he was
usually kept happy by winning. There were no visitors, and after dinner
Helen asked him to read some of her favorite episodes from Tom Sawyer, so
he read the whitewashing scene, Peter and the Pain-killer, and such
chapters until tea-time. Then there was a birthday cake, and afterward
cigars and talk and a quiet fireside evening.

Once, in the course of his talk, he forgot a word and denounced his poor

"I'll forget the Lord's middle name some time," he declared, "right in
the midst of a storm, when I need all the help I can get."

Later he said:

"Nobody dreamed, seventy-four years ago to-day, that I would be in
Bermuda now." And I thought he meant a good deal more than the words

It was during this Bermuda visit that Mark Twain added the finishing
paragraph to his article, "The Turning-Point in My Life," which, at
Howells's suggestion, he had been preparing for Harper's Bazar. It was a
characteristic touch, and, as the last summary of his philosophy of human
life, may be repeated here.

    Necessarily the scene of the real turning-point of my life (and of
    yours) was the Garden of Eden. It was there that the first link was
    forged of the chain that was ultimately to lead to the emptying of
    me into the literary guild. Adam's temperament was the first
    command the Deity ever issued to a human being on this planet. And
    it was the only command Adam would never be able to disobey. It
    said, "Be weak, be water, be characterless, be cheaply persuadable."
    The later command, to let the fruit alone, was certain to be
    disobeyed. Not by Adam himself, but by his temperament--which he
    did not create and had no authority over. For the temperament is
    the man; the thing tricked out with clothes and named Man is merely
    its Shadow, nothing more. The law of the tiger's temperament is,
    Thou shaft kill; the law of the sheep's temperament is, Thou shalt
    not kill. To issue later commands requiring the tiger to let the
    fat stranger alone, and requiring the sheep to imbrue its hands in
    the blood of the lion is not worth while, for those commands can't
    be obeyed. They would invite to violations of the law of
    temperament, which is supreme, and takes precedence of all other
    authorities. I cannot help feeling disappointed in Adam and Eve.
    That is, in their temperaments. Not in them, poor helpless young
    creatures--afflicted with temperaments made out of butter, which
    butter was commanded to get into contact with fire and be melted.
    What I cannot help wishing is, that Adam and Eve had been postponed,
    and Martin Luther and Joan of Arc put in their place--that splendid
    pair equipped with temperaments not made of butter, but of asbestos.
    By neither sugary persuasions nor by hell-fire could Satan have
    beguiled them to eat the apple.

    There would have been results! Indeed yes. The apple would be
    intact to-day; there would be no human race; there would be no you;
    there would be no me. And the old, old creation-dawn scheme of
    ultimately launching me into the literary guild would have been



He decided to go home for the holidays, and how fortunate it seems now
that he did so! We sailed for America on the 18th of December, arriving
the 21st. Jean was at the wharf to meet us, blue and shivering with the
cold, for it was wretchedly bleak there, and I had the feeling that she
should not have come.

She went directly, I think, to Stormfield, he following a day or two
later. On the 23d I was lunching with Jean alone. She was full of
interest in her Christmas preparations. She had a handsome tree set up
in the loggia, and the packages were piled about it, with new ones
constantly arriving. With her farm management, her housekeeping, her
secretary work, and her Christmas preparations, it seemed to me that she
had her hands overfull. Such a mental pressure could not be good for
her. I suggested that for a time at least I might assume a part of her

I was to remain at my own home that night, and I think it was as I left
Stormfield that I passed jean on the stair. She said, cheerfully, that
she felt a little tired and was going up to lie down, so that she would
be fresh for the evening. I did not go back, and I never saw her alive

I was at breakfast next morning when word was brought in that one of the
men from Stormfield was outside and wished to see me immediately. When I
went out he said: "Miss Jean is dead. They have just found her in her
bath-room. Mr. Clemens sent me to bring you."

It was as incomprehensible as such things always are. I could not
realize at all that Jean, so full of plans and industries and action less
than a day before, had passed into that voiceless mystery which we call

Harry Iles drove me rapidly up the hill. As I entered Clemens's room he
looked at me helplessly and said:

"Well, I suppose you have heard of this final disaster."

He was not violent or broken down with grief. He had come to that place
where, whatever the shock or the ill-turn of fortune, he could accept it,
and even in that first moment of loss he realized that, for Jean at
least, the fortune was not ill. Her malady had never been cured, and it
had been one of his deepest dreads that he would leave her behind him. It
was believed, at first; that Jean had drowned, and Dr. Smith tried
methods of resuscitation; but then he found that it was simply a case of
heart cessation caused by the cold shock of her bath.

The Gabrilowitsches were by this time in Europe, and Clemens cabled them
not to come. Later in the day he asked me if we would be willing to
close our home for the winter and come to Stormfield. He said that he
should probably go back to Bermuda before long; but that he wished to
keep the house open so that it would be there for him to come to at any
time that he might need it.

We came, of course, for there was no thought among any of his friends but
for his comfort and peace of mind. Jervis Langdon was summoned from
Elmira, for Jean would lie there with the others.

In the loggia stood the half-trimmed Christmas tree, and all about lay
the packages of gifts, and in Jean's room, on the chairs and upon her
desk, were piled other packages. Nobody had been forgotten. For her
father she had bought a handsome globe; he had always wanted one. Once
when I went into his room he said:

"I have been looking in at Jean and envying her. I have never greatly
envied any one but the dead. I always envy the dead."

He told me how the night before they had dined together alone; how he had
urged her to turn over a part of her work to me; how she had clung to
every duty as if now, after all the years, she was determined to make up
for lost time.

While they were at dinner a telephone inquiry had come concerning his
health, for the papers had reported him as returning from Bermuda in a
critical condition. He had written this playful answer:

    New York.

    I hear the newspapers say I am dying. The charge is not true. I
    would not do such a thing at my time of life. I am behaving as good
    as I can.

    Merry Christmas to everybody!     MARK TWAIN.

Jean telephoned it for him to the press. It had been the last secretary
service she had ever rendered.

She had kissed his hand, he said, when they parted, for she had a severe
cold and would not wish to impart it to him; then happily she had said
good night, and he had not seen her again. The reciting of this was good
to him, for it brought the comfort of tears.

Later, when I went in again, he was writing:

"I am setting it down," he said--"everything. It is a relief to me to
write it. It furnishes me an excuse for thinking."

He continued writing most of the day, and at intervals during the next
day, and the next.

It was on Christmas Day that they went with Jean on her last journey.
Katie Leary, her baby nurse, had dressed her in the dainty gown which she
had worn for Clara's wedding, and they had pinned on it a pretty buckle
which her father had brought her from Bermuda, and which she had not
seen. No Greek statue was ever more classically beautiful than she was,
lying there in the great living-room, which in its brief history had seen
so much of the round of life.

They were to start with jean at about six o'clock, and a little before
that time Clemens (he was unable to make the journey) asked me what had
been her favorite music. I said that she seemed always to care most for
the Schubert Impromptu.--[Op. 142, No. 2.]--Then he said:

"Play it when they get ready to leave with her, and add the Intermezzo
for Susy and the Largo for Mrs. Clemens. When I hear the music I shall
know that they are starting. Tell them to set lanterns at the door, so I
can look down and see them go."

So I sat at the organ and began playing as they lifted and bore her away.
A soft, heavy snow was falling, and the gloom of those shortest days was
closing in. There was not the least wind or noise, the whole world was
muffled. The lanterns at the door threw their light out on the thickly
falling flakes. I remained at the organ; but the little group at the
door saw him come to the window above--the light on his white hair as he
stood mournfully gazing down, watching Jean going away from him for the
last time. I played steadily on as he had instructed, the Impromptu, the
Intermezzo from "Cavalleria," and Handel's Largo. When I had finished I
went up and found him.

"Poor little Jean," he said; "but for her it is so good to go."

In his own story of it he wrote:

    From my windows I saw the hearse and the carriages wind along the
    road and gradually grow vague and spectral in the falling snow, and
    presently disappear. Jean was gone out of my life, and would not
    come back any more. The cousin she had played with when they were
    babies together--he and her beloved old Katie--Were conducting her
    to her distant childhood home, where she will lie by her mother's
    side once more, in the company of Susy and Langdon.

He did not come down to dinner, and when I went up afterward I found him
curiously agitated. He said:

"For one who does not believe in spirits I have had a most peculiar
experience. I went into the bath-room just now and closed the door. You
know how warm it always is in there, and there are no draughts. All at
once I felt a cold current of air about me. I thought the door must be
open; but it was closed. I said, 'Jean, is this you trying to let me
know you have found the others?' Then the cold air was gone."

I saw that the incident had made a very great impression upon him; but I
don't remember that he ever mentioned it afterward.

Next day the storm had turned into a fearful blizzard; the whole hilltop
was a raging, driving mass of white. He wrote most of the day, but
stopped now and then to read some of the telegrams or letters of
condolence which came flooding in. Sometimes he walked over to the
window to look out on the furious tempest. Once, during the afternoon,
he said:

"Jean always so loved to see a storm like this, and just now at Elmira
they are burying her."

Later he read aloud some lines by Alfred Austin, which Mrs. Crane had
sent him lines which he had remembered in the sorrow for Susy:

       When last came sorrow, around barn and byre
       Wind-careen snow, the year's white sepulchre, lay.
       "Come in," I said, "and warm you by the fire";
       And there she sits and never goes away.

It was that evening that he came into the room where Mrs. Paine and I sat
by the fire, bringing his manuscript.

"I have finished my story of Jean's death," he said. "It is the end of
my autobiography. I shall never write any more. I can't judge it myself
at all. One of you read it aloud to the other, and let me know what you
think of it. If it is worthy, perhaps some day it may be published."

It was, in fact, one of the most exquisite and tender pieces of writing
in the language. He had ended his literary labors with that perfect
thing which so marvelously speaks the loftiness and tenderness of his
soul. It was thoroughly in keeping with his entire career that he
should, with this rare dramatic touch, bring it to a close. A paragraph
which he omitted may be printed now:

    December 27. Did I know jean's value? No, I only thought I did.
    I knew a ten-thousandth fraction of it, that was all. It is always
    so, with us, it has always been so. We are like the poor ignorant
    private soldier-dead, now, four hundred years--who picked up the
    great Sancy diamond on the field of the lost battle and sold it for
    a franc. Later he knew what he had done.

    Shall I ever be cheerful again, happy again? Yes. And soon. For
    I know my temperament. And I know that the temperament is master of
    the man, and that he is its fettered and helpless slave and must in
    all things do as it commands. A man's temperament is born in him,
    and no circumstances can ever change it.

    My temperament has never allowed my spirits to remain depressed long
    at a time.

    That was a feature of Jean's temperament, too. She inherited it
    from me. I think she got the rest of it from her mother.

Jean Clemens had two natural endowments: the gift of justice and a
genuine passion for all nature. In a little paper found in her desk she
had written:

    I know a few people who love the country as I do, but not many.
    Most of my acquaintances are enthusiastic over the spring and summer
    months, but very few care much for it the year round. A few people
    are interested in the spring foliage and the development of the wild
    flowers--nearly all enjoy the autumn colors--while comparatively few
    pay much attention to the coming and going of the birds, the changes
    in their plumage and songs, the apparent springing into life on some
    warm April day of the chipmunks and woodchucks, the skurrying of
    baby rabbits, and again in the fall the equally sudden disappearance
    of some of the animals and the growing shyness of others. To me it
    is all as fascinating as a book--more so, since I have never lost
    interest in it.

It is simple and frank, like Thoreau. Perhaps, had she exercised it,
there was a third gift--the gift of written thought.

Clemens remained at Stormfield ten days after Jean was gone. The weather
was fiercely cold, the landscape desolate, the house full of tragedy. He
kept pretty closely to his room, where he had me bring the heaps of
letters, a few of which he answered personally; for the others he
prepared a simple card of acknowledgment. He was for the most part in
gentle mood during these days, though he would break out now and then,
and rage at the hardness of a fate that had laid an unearned burden of
illness on Jean and shadowed her life.

They were days not wholly without humor--none of his days could be
altogether without that, though it was likely to be of a melancholy sort.

Many of the letters offered orthodox comfort, saying, in effect: "God
does not willingly punish us."

When he had read a number of these he said:

"Well, why does He do it then? We don't invite it. Why does He give
Himself the trouble?"

I suggested that it was a sentiment that probably gave comfort to the
writer of it.

"So it does," he said, "and I am glad of it--glad of anything that gives
comfort to anybody."

He spoke of the larger God--the God of the great unvarying laws, and by
and by dropped off to sleep, quite peacefully, and indeed peace came more
and more to him each day with the thought that Jean and Susy and their
mother could not be troubled any more. To Mrs. Gabrilowitsch he wrote:

                     REDDING, CONN, December 29, 1909.

    O, Clara, Clara dear, I am so glad she is out of it & safe--safe!

    I am not melancholy; I shall never be melancholy again, I think.

    You see, I was in such distress when I came to realize that you were
    gone far away & no one stood between her & danger but me--& I could
    die at any moment, & then--oh then what would become of her! For
    she was wilful, you know, & would not have been governable.

    You can't imagine what a darling she was that last two or three
    days; & how fine, & good, & sweet, & noble--& joyful, thank Heaven!
    --& how intellectually brilliant. I had never been acquainted with
    Jean before. I recognized that.

    But I mustn't try to write about her--I can't. I have already
    poured my heart out with the pen, recording that last day or two.
    I will send you that--& you must let no one but Ossip read it.

    Good-by. I love you so! And Ossip.



I don't think he attempted any further writing for print. His mind was
busy with ideas, but he was willing to talk, rather than to write, rather
even than to play billiards, it seemed, although we had a few quiet
games--the last we should ever play together. Evenings he asked for
music, preferring the Scotch airs, such as "Bonnie Doon" and "The
Campbells are Coming." I remember that once, after playing the latter
for him, he told, with great feeling, how the Highlanders, led by Gen.
Colin Campbell, had charged at Lucknow, inspired by that stirring air.
When he had retired I usually sat with him, and he drifted into
literature, or theology, or science, or history--the story of the
universe and man.

One evening he spoke of those who had written but one immortal thing and
stopped there. He mentioned "Ben Bolt."

"I met that man once," he said. "In my childhood I sang 'Sweet Alice,
Ben Bolt,' and in my old age, fifteen years ago, I met the man who wrote
it. His name was Brown.--[Thomas Dunn English. Mr. Clemens apparently
remembered only the name satirically conferred upon him by Edgar Allan
Poe, "Thomas Dunn Brown."]--He was aged, forgotten, a mere memory. I
remember how it thrilled me to realize that this was the very author of
'Sweet Alice, Ben Bolt.' He was just an accident. He had a vision and
echoed it. A good many persons do that--the thing they do is to put in
compact form the thing which we have all vaguely felt. 'Twenty Years
Ago' is just like it 'I have wandered through the village, Tom, and sat
beneath the tree'--and Holmes's 'Last Leaf' is another: the memory of the
hallowed past, and the gravestones of those we love. It is all so
beautiful--the past is always beautiful."

He quoted, with great feeling and effect:

           The massy marbles rest
           On the lips that we have pressed
           In their bloom,
           And the names we love to hear
           Have been carved for many a year
           On the tomb.

He continued in this strain for an hour or more. He spoke of humor, and
thought it must be one of the chief attributes of God. He cited plants
and animals that were distinctly humorous in form and in their
characteristics. These he declared were God's jokes.

"Why," he said, "humor is mankind's greatest blessing."

"Your own case is an example," I answered. "Without it, whatever your
reputation as a philosopher, you could never have had the wide-spread
affection that is shown by the writers of that great heap of letters."

"Yes," he said, gently, "they have liked to be amused."

I tucked him in for the night, promising to send him to Bermuda, with
Claude to take care of him, if he felt he could undertake the journey in
two days more.

He was able, and he was eager to go, for he longed for that sunny island,
and for the quiet peace of the Allen home. His niece, Mrs. Loomis, came
up to spend the last evening in Stormfield, a happy evening full of quiet
talk, and next morning, in the old closed carriage that had been his
wedding-gift, he was driven to the railway station. This was on January
4, 1910.

He was to sail next day, and that night, at Mr. Loomis's, Howells came
in, and for an hour or two they reviewed some of the questions they had
so long ago settled, or left forever unsettled, and laid away. I
remember that at dinner Clemens spoke of his old Hartford butler, George,
and how he had once brought George to New York and introduced him at the
various publishing houses as his friend, with curious and sometimes
rather embarrassing results.

The talk drifted to sociology and to the labor-unions, which Clemens
defended as being the only means by which the workman could obtain
recognition of his rights.

Howells in his book mentions this evening, which he says "was made
memorable to me by the kind, clear, judicial sense with which he
explained and justified the labor-unions as the sole present help of the
weak against the strong."

They discussed dreams, and then in a little while Howells rose to go. I
went also, and as we walked to his near-by apartment he spoke of Mark
Twain's supremacy. He said:

"I turn to his books for cheer when I am down-hearted. There was never
anybody like him; there never will be."

Clemens sailed next morning. They did not meet again.



Stormfield was solemn and empty without Mark Twain; but he wrote by every
steamer, at first with his own hand, and during the last week by the hand
of one of his enlisted secretaries--some member of the Allen family
usually Helen. His letters were full of brightness and pleasantry
--always concerned more or less with business matters, though he was no
longer disturbed by them, for Bermuda was too peaceful and too far away,
and, besides, he had faith in the Mark Twain Company's ability to look
after his affairs. I cannot do better, I believe, than to offer some
portions of these letters here.

He reached Bermuda on the 7th of January, 1910, and on the 12th he wrote:

    Again I am living the ideal life. There is nothing to mar it but
    the bloody-minded bandit Arthur,--[A small playmate of Helen's of
    whom Clemens pretended to be fiercely jealous. Once he wrote a
    memorandum to Helen: "Let Arthur read this book. There is a page in
    it that is poisoned."]--who still fetches and carries Helen.
    Presently he will be found drowned. Claude comes to Bay House twice
    a day to see if I need any service. He is invaluable. There was a
    military lecture last night at the Officers' Mess Prospect; as the
    lecturer honored me with a special urgent invitation, and said he
    wanted to lecture to me particularly, I naturally took Helen and her
    mother into the private carriage and went.

    As soon as we landed at the door with the crowd the Governor came to
    me& was very cordial. I "met up" with that charming Colonel Chapman
    [we had known him on the previous visit] and other officers of the
    regiment & had a good time.

A few days later he wrote:

    Thanks for your letter & for its contenting news of the situation in
    that foreign & far-off & vaguely remembered country where you &
    Loomis & Lark and other beloved friends are.

    I had a letter from Clara this morning. She is solicitous & wants
    me well & watchfully taken care of. My, my, she ought to see Helen
    & her parents & Claude administer that trust. Also she says, "I
    hope to hear from you or Mr. Paine very soon."

    I am writing her & I know you will respond to your part of her
    prayer. She is pretty desolate now after Jean's emancipation--the
    only kindness that God ever did that poor, unoffending child in all
    her hard life.

    Send Clara a copy of Howells's gorgeous letter.

The "gorgeous letter" mentioned was an appreciation of his recent Bazar
article, "The Turning-Point in My Life," and here follows:

    January 18, 1910.

    DEAR CLEMENS,--While your wonderful words are warm in my mind yet I
    want to tell you what you know already: that you never wrote
    anything greater, finer, than that turning-point paper of yours.

    I shall feel it honor enough if they put on my tombstone "He was
    born in the same century and general section of Middle Western
    country with Dr. S. L. Clemens, Oxon., and had his degree three
    years before him through a mistake of the University."

    I hope you are worse. You will never be riper for a purely
    intellectual life, and it is a pity to have you lagging along with a
    worn-out material body on top of your soul.

                  Yours ever,
                            W. D. HOWELLS.

On the margin of this letter Clemens had written:

    I reckon this spontaneous outburst from the first critic of the day
    is good to keep, ain't it, Paine?

January 24th he wrote again of his contentment:

    Life continues here the same as usual. There isn't a fault in it
    --good times, good home, tranquil contentment all day & every day
    without a break. I know familiarly several very satisfactory people
    & meet them frequently: Mr. Hamilton, the Sloanes, Mr. & Mrs. Fells,
    Miss Waterman, & so on. I shouldn't know how to go about bettering
    my situation.

On February 5th he wrote that the climate and condition of his health
might require him to stay in Bermuda pretty continuously, but that he
wished Stormfield kept open so that he might come to it at any time. And
he added:

    Yesterday Mr. Allen took us on an excursion in Mr. Hamilton's big
    motor-boat. Present: Mrs. Allen, Mr. & Mrs. & Miss Sloane, Helen,
    Mildred Howells, Claude, & me. Several hours' swift skimming over
    ravishing blue seas, a brilliant sun; also a couple of hours of
    picnicking & lazying under the cedars in a secluded place.

    The Orotava is arriving with 260 passengers--I shall get letters by
    her, no doubt.

    P. S.--Please send me the Standard Unabridged that is on the table in
    my bedroom. I have no dictionary here.

There is no mention in any of these letters of his trouble; but he was
having occasional spasms of pain, though in that soft climate they would
seem to have come with less frequency, and there was so little to disturb
him, and much that contributed to his peace. Among the callers at the
Bay House to see him was Woodrow Wilson, and the two put in some pleasant
hours at miniature golf, "putting" on the Allen lawn. Of course a
catastrophe would come along now and then--such things could not always
be guarded against. In a letter toward the end of February he wrote:
    It is 2.30 in the morning & I am writing because I can't sleep.
    I can't sleep because a professional pianist is coming to-morrow
    afternoon to play for me. My God! I wouldn't allow Paderewski or
    Gabrilowitsch to do that. I would rather have a leg amputated.
    I knew he was coming, but I never dreamed it was to play for me.
    When I heard the horrible news 4 hours ago, be d---d if I didn't
    come near screaming. I meant to slip out and be absent, but now I
    can't. Don't pray for me. The thing is just as d---d bad as it can
    be already.

Clemens's love for music did not include the piano, except for very
gentle melodies, and he probably did not anticipate these from a
professional player. He did not report the sequel of the matter; but it
is likely that his imagination had discounted its tortures. Sometimes
his letters were pure nonsense. Once he sent a sheet, on one side of
which was written:

                            BAY HOUSE,
                            March s, 1910.
       Received of S. L. C.
       Two Dollars and Forty Cents
       in return for my promise to believe everything he says
                            HELEN S. ALLEN.

and on the reverse:

                       FOR SALE

    The proprietor of the hereinbefore mentioned Promise desires to part
    with it on account of ill health and obliged to go away somewheres
    so as to let it recipricate, and will take any reasonable amount for
    it above 2 percent of its face because experienced parties think it
    will not keep but only a little while in this kind of weather & is a
    kind of proppity that don't give a cuss for cold storage nohow.

Clearly, however serious Mark Twain regarded his physical condition, he
did not allow it to make him gloomy. He wrote that matters were going
everywhere to his satisfaction; that Clara was happy; that his household
and business affairs no longer troubled him; that his personal
surroundings were of the pleasantest sort. Sometimes he wrote of what he
was reading, and once spoke particularly of Prof. William Lyon Phelps's
Literary Essays, which he said he had been unable to lay down until he
had finished the book.--[To Phelps himself he wrote: "I thank you ever so
much for the book, which I find charming--so charming, indeed, that I
read it through in a single night, & did not regret the lost night's
sleep. I am glad if I deserve what you have said about me; & even if I
don't I am proud & well contented, since you think I deserve it."]

So his days seemed full of comfort. But in March I noticed that he
generally dictated his letters, and once when he sent some small
photographs I thought he looked thinner and older. Still he kept up his
merriment. In one letter he said:

    While the matter is in my mind I will remark that if you ever send
    me another letter which is not paged at the top I will write you
    with my own hand, so that I may use with utter freedom & without
    embarrassment the kind of words which alone can describe such a
    criminal, to wit, - - - -; you will have to put into words those
    dashes because propriety will not allow me to do it myself in my
    secretary's hearing. You are forgiven, but don't let it occur

He had still made no mention of his illness; but on the 25th of March he
wrote something of his plans for coming home. He had engaged passage on
the Bermudian for April 23d, he said; and he added:

    But don't tell anybody. I don't want it known. I may have to go
    sooner if the pain in my breast does not mend its ways pretty
    considerable. I don't want to die here, for this is an unkind place
    for a person in that condition. I should have to lie in the
    undertaker's cellar until the ship would remove me & it is dark down
    there & unpleasant.

    The Colliers will meet me on the pier, & I may stay with them a week
    or two before going home. It all depends on the breast pain. I
    don't want to die there. I am growing more and more particular
    about the place.

But in the same letter he spoke of plans for the summer, suggesting that
we must look into the magic-lantern possibilities, so that library
entertainments could be given at Stormfield. I confess that this letter,
in spite of its light tone, made me uneasy, and I was tempted to sail for
Bermuda to bring him home. Three days later he wrote again:

    I have been having a most uncomfortable time for the past four days
    with that breast pain, which turns out to be an affection of the
    heart, just as I originally suspected. The news from New York is to
    the effect that non-bronchial weather has arrived there at last;
    therefore, if I can get my breast trouble in traveling condition I
    may sail for home a week or two earlier than has been proposed.

The same mail that brought this brought a letter from Mr. Allen, who
frankly stated that matters had become very serious indeed. Mr. Clemens
had had some dangerous attacks, and the physicians considered his
condition critical.

These letters arrived April 1st. I went to New York at once and sailed
next morning. Before sailing I consulted with Dr. Quintard, who provided
me with some opiates and instructed me in the use of the hypodermic
needle. He also joined me in a cablegram to the Gabrilowitsches, then in
Italy, advising them to sail without delay.



I sent no word to Bermuda that I was coming, and when on the second
morning I arrived at Hamilton, I stepped quickly ashore from the tender
and hurried to Bay House. The doors were all open, as they usually are
in that summer island, and no one was visible. I was familiar with the
place, and, without knocking, I went through to the room occupied by Mark
Twain. As I entered I saw that he was alone, sitting in a large chair,
clad in the familiar dressing-gown.

Bay House stands upon the water, and the morning light, reflected in at
the window, had an unusual quality. He was not yet shaven, and he seemed
unnaturally pale and gray; certainly he was much thinner. I was too
startled, for the moment, to say anything. When he turned and saw me he
seemed a little dazed.

"Why," he said, holding out his hand, "you didn't tell us you were

"No," I said, "it is rather sudden. I didn't quite like the sound of
your last letters."

"But those were not serious," he protested. "You shouldn't have come on
my account."

I said then that I had come on my own account; that I had felt the need
of recreation, and had decided to run down and come home with him.

"That's--very--good," he said, in his slow, gentle fashion. "Now I'm
glad to see you."

His breakfast came in and he ate with an appetite.

When he had been shaved and freshly propped tip in his pillows it seemed
to me, after all, that I must have been mistaken in thinking him so
changed. Certainly he was thinner, but his color was fine, his eyes were
bright; he had no appearance of a man whose life was believed to be in
danger. He told me then of the fierce attacks he had gone through, how
the pains had torn at him, and how it had been necessary for him to have
hypodermic injections, which he amusingly termed "hypnotic injunctions"
and "subcutaneous applications," and he had his humor out of it, as of
course he must have, even though Death should stand there in person.

From Mr. and Mrs. Allen and from the physician I learned how slender had
been his chances and how uncertain were the days ahead. Mr. Allen had
already engaged passage on the Oceana for the 12th, and the one purpose
now was to get him physically in condition for the trip.

How devoted those kind friends had been to him! They had devised every
imaginable thing for his comfort. Mr. Allen had rigged an electric bell
which connected with his own room, so that he could be aroused instantly
at any hour of the night. Clemens had refused to have a nurse, for it
was only during the period of his extreme suffering that he needed any
one, and he did not wish to have a nurse always around. When the pains
were gone he was as bright and cheerful, and, seemingly, as well as ever.

On the afternoon of my arrival we drove out, as formerly, and he
discussed some of the old subjects in quite the old way. He had been
rereading Macaulay, he said, and spoke at considerable length of the
hypocrisy and intrigue of the English court under James II. He spoke,
too, of the Redding Library. I had sold for him that portion of the land
where Jean's farm-house had stood, and it was in his mind to use the
money for some sort of a memorial to Jean. I had written, suggesting
that perhaps he would like to put up a small library building, as the
Adams lot faced the corner where Jean had passed every day when she rode
to the station for the mail. He had been thinking this over, he said,
and wished the idea carried out. He asked me to write at once to his
lawyer, Mr. Lark, and have a paper prepared appointing trustees for a
memorial library fund.

The pain did not trouble him that afternoon, nor during several
succeeding days. He was gay and quite himself, and he often went out on
the lawn; but we did not drive out again. For the most part, he sat
propped up in his bed, reading or smoking, or talking in the old way; and
as I looked at him he seemed so full of vigor and the joy of life that I
could not convince myself that he would not outlive us all. I found that
he had been really very much alive during those three months--too much
for his own good, sometimes--for he had not been careful of his hours or
his diet, and had suffered in consequence.

He had not been writing, though he had scribbled some playful valentines
and he had amused himself one day by preparing a chapter of advice--for
me it appeared--which, after reading it aloud to the Allens and receiving
their approval, he declared he intended to have printed for my benefit.
As it would seem to have been the last bit of continued writing he ever
did, and because it is characteristic and amusing, a few paragraphs may
be admitted. The "advice" is concerning deportment on reaching the Gate
which St. Peter is supposed to guard--

    Upon arrival do not speak to St. Peter until spoken to. It is not
    your place to begin.

    Do not begin any remark with "Say."

    When applying for a ticket avoid trying to make conversation. If
    you must talk let the weather alone. St. Peter cares not a damn for
    the weather. And don't ask him what time the 4.30 train goes; there
    aren't any trains in heaven, except through trains, and the less
    information you get about them the better for you.

    You can ask him for his autograph--there is no harm in that--but be
    careful and don't remark that it is one of the penalties of
    greatness. He has heard that before.

    Don't try to kodak him. Hell is full of people who have made that

    Leave your dog outside. Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit
    you would stay out and the dog would go in.

    You will be wanting to slip down at night and smuggle water to those
    poor little chaps (the infant damned), but don't you try it. You
    would be caught, and nobody in heaven would respect you after that.

    Explain to Helen why I don't come. If you can.

There were several pages of this counsel. One paragraph was written in
shorthand. I meant to ask him to translate it; but there were many other
things to think of, and I did not remember.

I spent most of each day with him, merely sitting by the bed and reading
while he himself read or dozed. His nights were wakeful--he found it
easier to sleep by day--and he liked to think that some one was there. He
became interested in Hardy's Jude, and spoke of it with high approval,
urging me to read it. He dwelt a good deal on the morals of it, or
rather on the lack of them. He followed the tale to the end, finishing
it the afternoon before we sailed. It was his last continuous reading. I
noticed, when he slept, that his breathing was difficult, and I could see
from day to day that he did not improve; but each evening he would be gay
and lively, and he liked the entire family to gather around, while he
became really hilarious over the various happenings of the day. It was
only a few days before we sailed that the very severe attacks returned.
The night of the 8th was a hard one. The doctors were summoned, and it
was only after repeated injections of morphine that the pain had been
eased. When I returned in the early morning he was sitting in his chair
trying to sing, after his old morning habit. He took my hand and said:

"Well, I had a picturesque night. Every pain I had was on exhibition."

He looked out the window at the sunlight on the bay and green dotted
islands. "'Sparkling and bright in the liquid light,'" he quoted.
"That's Hoffman. Anything left of Hoffman?"

"No," I said.

"I must watch for the Bermudian and see if she salutes," he said,
presently. "The captain knows I am here sick, and he blows two short
whistles just as they come up behind that little island. Those are for

He said he could breathe easier if he could lean forward, and I placed a
card-table in front of him. His breakfast came in, and a little later he
became quite gay. He drifted to Macaulay again, and spoke of King
James's plot to assassinate William II., and how the clergy had brought
themselves to see that there was no difference between killing a king in
battle and by assassination. He had taken his seat by the window to
watch for the Bermudian. She came down the bay presently, her bright red
stacks towering vividly above the green island. It was a brilliant
morning, the sky and the water a marvelous blue. He watched her
anxiously and without speaking. Suddenly there were two white puffs of
steam, and two short, hoarse notes went up from her.

"Those are for me," he said, his face full of contentment. "Captain
Fraser does not forget me."

There followed another bad night. My room was only a little distance
away, and Claude came for me. I do not think any of us thought he would
survive it; but he slept at last, or at least dozed. In the morning he

"That breast pain stands watch all night and the short breath all day. I
am losing enough sleep to supply a worn-out army. I want a jugful of
that hypnotic injunction every night and every morning."

We began to fear now that he would not be able to sail on the 12th; but
by great good-fortune he had wonderfully improved by the 12th, so much so
that I began to believe, if once he could be in Stormfield, where the air
was more vigorous, he might easily survive the summer. The humid
atmosphere of the season increased the difficulty of his breathing.

That evening he was unusually merry. Mr. and Mrs. Allen and Helen and
myself went in to wish him good night. He was loath to let us leave, but
was reminded that he would sail in the morning, and that the doctor had
insisted that he must be quiet and lie still in bed and rest. He was
never one to be very obedient. A little later Mrs. Allen and I, in the
sitting-room, heard some one walking softly outside on the veranda. We
went out there, and he was marching up and down in his dressing-gown as
unconcerned as if he were not an invalid at all. He hadn't felt sleepy,
he said, and thought a little exercise would do him good. Perhaps it
did, for he slept soundly that night--a great blessing.

Mr. Allen had chartered a special tug to come to Bay House landing in the
morning and take him to the ship. He was carried in a little hand-chair
to the tug, and all the way out he seemed light-spirited, anything but an
invalid: The sailors carried him again in the chair to his state-room,
and he bade those dear Bermuda friends good-by, and we sailed away.

As long as I remember anything I shall remember the forty-eight hours of
that homeward voyage. It was a brief two days as time is measured; but
as time is lived it has taken its place among those unmeasured periods by
the side of which even years do not count.

At first he seemed quite his natural self, and asked for a catalogue of
the ship's library, and selected some memoirs of the Countess of Cardigan
for his reading. He asked also for the second volume of Carlyle's French
Revolution, which he had with him. But we ran immediately into the more
humid, more oppressive air of the Gulf Stream, and his breathing became
at first difficult, then next to impossible. There were two large
port-holes, which I opened; but presently he suggested that it would be
better outside. It was only a step to the main-deck, and no passengers
were there. I had a steamer-chair brought, and with Claude supported him
to it and bundled him with rugs; but it had grown damp and chilly, and
his breathing did not improve. It seemed to me that the end might come
at any moment, and this thought was in his mind, too, for once in the
effort for breath he managed to say:

"I am going--I shall be gone in a moment."

Breath came; but I realized then that even his cabin was better than
this. I steadied him back to his berth and shut out most of that deadly
dampness. He asked for the "hypnotic 'injunction" (for his humor never
left him), and though it was not yet the hour prescribed I could not deny
it. It was impossible for him to lie down, even to recline, without
great distress. The opiate made him drowsy, and he longed for the relief
of sleep; but when it seemed about to possess him the struggle for air
would bring him upright.

During the more comfortable moments he spoke quite in the old way, and
time and again made an effort to read, and reached for his pipe or a
cigar which lay in the little berth hammock at his side. I held the
match, and he would take a puff or two with satisfaction. Then the peace
of it would bring drowsiness, and while I supported him there would come
a few moments, perhaps, of precious sleep. Only a few moments, for the
devil of suffocation was always lying in wait to bring him back for fresh
tortures. Over and over again this was repeated, varied by him being
steadied on his feet or sitting on the couch opposite the berth. In
spite of his suffering, two dominant characteristics remained--the sense
of humor, and tender consideration for another.

Once when the ship rolled and his hat fell from the hook, and made the
circuit of the cabin floor, he said:

"The ship is passing the hat."

Again he said:

"I am sorry for you, Paine, but I can't help it--I can't hurry this dying
business. Can't you give me enough of the hypnotic injunction to put an
end to me?"

He thought if I could arrange the pillows so he could sit straight up it
would not be necessary to support him, and then I could sit on the couch
and read while he tried to doze. He wanted me to read Jude, he said, so
we could talk about it. I got all the pillows I could and built them up
around him, and sat down with the book, and this seemed to give him
contentment. He would doze off a little and then come up with a start,
his piercing, agate eyes searching me out to see if I was still there.
Over and over--twenty times in an hour--this was repeated. When I could
deny him no longer I administered the opiate, but it never completely
possessed him or gave him entire relief.

As I looked at him there, so reduced in his estate, I could not but
remember all the labor of his years, and all the splendid honor which the
world had paid to him. Something of this may have entered his mind, too,
for once, when I offered him some of the milder remedies which we had
brought, he said:

"After forty years of public effort I have become just a target for

The program of change from berth to the floor, from floor to the couch,
from the couch back to the berth among the pillows, was repeated again
and again, he always thinking of the trouble he might be making, rarely
uttering any complaint; but once he said:

"I never guessed that I was not going to outlive John Bigelow." And

"This is such a mysterious disease. If we only had a bill of particulars
we'd have something to swear at."

Time and again he picked up Carlyle or the Cardigan Memoirs, and read, or
seemed to read, a few lines; but then the drowsiness would come and the
book would fall. Time and again he attempted to smoke, or in his drowse
simulated the motion of placing a cigar to his lips and puffing in the
old way.

Two dreams beset him in his momentary slumber--one of a play in which the
title-role of the general manager was always unfilled. He spoke of this
now and then when it had passed, and it seemed to amuse him. The other
was a discomfort: a college assembly was attempting to confer upon him
some degree which he did not want. Once, half roused, he looked at me
searchingly and asked:

"Isn't there something I can resign and be out of all this? They keep
trying to confer that degree upon me and I don't want it." Then
realizing, he said: "I am like a bird in a cage: always expecting to get
out, and always beaten back by the wires." And, somewhat later: "Oh, it
is such a mystery, and it takes so long."

Toward the evening of the first day, when it grew dark outside, he asked:

"How long have we been on this voyage?"

I answered that this was the end of the first day.

"How many more are there?" he asked.

"Only one, and two nights."

"We'll never make it," he said. "It's an eternity."

"But we must on Clara's account," I told him, and I estimated that Clara
would be more than half-way across the ocean by now.

"It is a losing race," he said; "no ship can outsail death."

It has been written--I do not know with what proof--that certain great
dissenters have recanted with the approach of death--have become weak,
and afraid to ignore old traditions in the face of the great mystery. I
wish to write here that Mark Twain, as he neared the end, showed never a
single tremor of fear or even of reluctance. I have dwelt upon these
hours when suffering was upon him, and death the imminent shadow, in
order to show that at the end he was as he had always been, neither more
nor less, and never less than brave.

Once, during a moment when he was comfortable and quite himself, he said,

"When I seem to be dying I don't want to be stimulated back to life. I
want to be made comfortable to go."

There was not a vestige of hesitation; there was no grasping at straws,
no suggestion of dread.

Somehow those two days and nights went by. Once, when he was partially
relieved by the opiate, I slept, while Claude watched; and again, in the
fading end of the last night, when we had passed at length into the cold,
bracing northern air, and breath had come back to him, and with it sleep.

Relatives, physicians, and news-gatherers were at the dock to welcome
him. He was awake, and the northern air had brightened him, though it
was the chill, I suppose, that brought on the pains in his breast, which,
fortunately, he had escaped during the voyage. It was not a prolonged
attack, and it was, blessedly, the last one.

An invalid-carriage had been provided, and a compartment secured on the
afternoon express to Redding--the same train that had taken him there two
years before. Dr. Robert H. Halsey and Dr. Edward Quintard attended him,
and he made the journey really in cheerful comfort, for he could breathe
now, and in the relief came back old interests. Half reclining on the
couch, he looked through the afternoon papers. It happened curiously
that Charles Harvey Genung, who, something more than four years earlier,
had been so largely responsible for my association with Mark Twain, was
on the same train, in the same coach, bound for his country-place at New

Lounsbury was waiting with the carriage, and on that still, sweet April
evening we drove him to Stormfield much as we had driven him two years
before. Now and then he mentioned the apparent backwardness of the
season, for only a few of the trees were beginning to show their green.
As we drove into the lane that led to the Stormfield entrance, he said:

"Can we see where you have built your billiard-room?"

The gable showed above the trees, and I pointed it out to him.

"It looks quite imposing," he said.

I think it was the last outside interest he ever showed in anything. He
had been carried from the ship and from the train, but when we drew up to
Stormfield, where Mrs. Paine, with Katie Leary and others of the
household, was waiting to greet him, he stepped from the carriage alone
with something of his old lightness, and with all his old courtliness,
and offered each one his hand. Then, in the canvas chair which we had
brought, Claude and I carried him up-stairs to his room and delivered him
to the physicians, and to the comforts and blessed air of home. This was
Thursday evening, April 14, 1910.



There would be two days more before Ossip and Clara Gabrilowitsch could
arrive. Clemens remained fairly bright and comfortable during this
interval, though he clearly was not improving. The physicians denied him
the morphine, now, as he no longer suffered acutely. But he craved it,
and once, when I went in, he said, rather mournfully:

"They won't give me the subcutaneous any more."

It was Sunday morning when Clara came. He was cheerful and able to talk
quite freely. He did not dwell upon his condition, I think, but spoke
rather of his plans for the summer. At all events, he did not then
suggest that he counted the end so near; but a day later it became
evident to all that his stay was very brief. His breathing was becoming
heavier, though it seemed not to give him much discomfort. His
articulation also became affected. I think the last continuous talking
he did was to Dr. Halsey on the evening of April 17th--the day of Clara's
arrival. A mild opiate had been administered, and he said he wished to
talk himself to sleep. He recalled one of his old subjects, Dual
Personality, and discussed various instances that flitted through his
mind--Jekyll and Hyde phases in literature and fact. He became drowsier
as he talked. He said at last:

"This is a peculiar kind of disease. It does not invite you to read; it
does not invite you to be read to; it does not invite you to talk, nor to
enjoy any of the usual sick-room methods of treatment. What kind of a
disease is that? Some kinds of sicknesses have pleasant features about
them. You can read and smoke and have only to lie still."

And a little later he added:

"It is singular, very singular, the laws of mentality--vacuity. I put
out my hand to reach a book or newspaper which I have been reading most
glibly, and it isn't there, not a suggestion of it."

He coughed violently, and afterward commented:

"If one gets to meddling with a cough it very soon gets the upper hand
and is meddling with you. That is my opinion--of seventy-four years'

The news of his condition, everywhere published, brought great heaps of
letters, but he could not see them. A few messages were reported to him.
At intervals he read a little. Suetonius and Carlyle lay on the bed
beside him, and he would pick them up as the spirit moved him and read a
paragraph or a page. Sometimes, when I saw him thus-the high color still
in his face, and the clear light in his eyes--I said: "It is not reality.
He is not going to die." On Tuesday, the 19th, he asked me to tell Clara
to come and sing to him. It was a heavy requirement, but she somehow
found strength to sing some of the Scotch airs which he loved, and he
seemed soothed and comforted. When she came away he bade her good-by,
saying that he might not see her again.

But he lingered through the next day and the next. His mind was
wandering a little on Wednesday, and his speech became less and less
articulate; but there were intervals when he was quite clear, quite
vigorous, and he apparently suffered little. We did not know it, then,
but the mysterious messenger of his birth-year, so long anticipated by
him, appeared that night in the sky.--[The perihelion of Halley's Comet
for 1835 was November 16th; for 1910 it was April 20th.]

On Thursday morning, the 21st, his mind was generally clear, and it was
said by the nurses that he read a little from one of the volumes on his
bed, from the Suetonius, or from one of the volumes of Carlyle. Early in
the forenoon he sent word by Clara that he wished to see me, and when I
came in he spoke of two unfinished manuscripts which he wished me to
"throw away," as he briefly expressed it, for he had not many words left
now. I assured him that I would take care of them, and he pressed my
hand. It was his last word to me.

Once or twice that morning he tried to write some request which he could
not put into intelligible words.

And once he spoke to Gabrilowitsch, who, he said, could understand him
better than the others. Most of the time he dozed.

Somewhat after midday, when Clara was by him, he roused up and took her
hand, and seemed to speak with less effort.

"Good-by," he said, and Dr. Quintard, who was standing near, thought he
added: "If we meet"--but the words were very faint. He looked at her for
a little while, without speaking, then he sank into a doze, and from it
passed into a deeper slumber, and did not heed us any more.

Through that peaceful spring afternoon the life-wave ebbed lower and
lower. It was about half past six, and the sun lay just on the horizon
when Dr. Quintard noticed that the breathing, which had gradually become
more subdued, broke a little. There was no suggestion of any struggle.
The noble head turned a little to one side, there was a fluttering sigh,
and the breath that had been unceasing through seventy-four tumultuous
years had stopped forever.

He had entered into the estate envied so long. In his own words--the
words of one of his latest memoranda:

"He had arrived at the dignity of death--the only earthly dignity that is
not artificial--the only safe one. The others are traps that can beguile
to humiliation.

"Death--the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose
peace and whose refuge are for all--the soiled and the pure--the rich and
the poor--the loved and the unloved."



It is not often that a whole world mourns. Nations have often mourned a
hero--and races--but perhaps never before had the entire world really
united in tender sorrow for the death of any man.

In one of his aphorisms he wrote: "Let us endeavor so to live that when
we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." And it was thus that
Mark Twain himself had lived.

No man had ever so reached the heart of the world, and one may not even
attempt to explain just why. Let us only say that it was because he was
so limitlessly human that every other human heart, in whatever sphere or
circumstance, responded to his touch. From every remote corner of the
globe the cables of condolence swept in; every printed sheet in
Christendom was filled with lavish tribute; pulpits forgot his heresies
and paid him honor. No king ever died that received so rich a homage as
his. To quote or to individualize would be to cheapen this vast

We took him to New York to the Brick Church, and Dr. Henry van Dyke spoke
only a few simple words, and Joseph Twichell came from Hartford and
delivered brokenly a prayer from a heart wrung with double grief, for
Harmony, his wife, was nearing the journey's end, and a telegram that
summoned him to her death-bed came before the services ended.

Mark Twain, dressed in the white he loved so well, lay there with the
nobility of death upon him, while a multitude of those who loved him
passed by and looked at his face for the last time. The flowers, of
which so many had been sent, were banked around him; but on the casket
itself lay a single laurel wreath which Dan Beard and his wife had woven
from the laurel which grows on Stormfield hill. He was never more
beautiful than as he lay there, and it was an impressive scene to see
those thousands file by, regard him for a moment gravely, thoughtfully,
and pass on. All sorts were there, rich and poor; some crossed
themselves, some saluted, some paused a little to take a closer look; but
no one offered even to pick a flower. Howells came, and in his book he

    I looked a moment at the face I knew so well; and it was patient
    with the patience I had so often seen in it: something of a puzzle,
    a great silent dignity, an assent to what must be from the depths of
    a nature whose tragical seriousness broke in the laughter which the
    unwise took for the whole of him.

That night we went with him to Elmira, and next day--a somber day of
rain--he lay in those stately parlors that had seen his wedding-day, and
where Susy had lain, and Mrs. Clemens, and Jean, while Dr. Eastman spoke
the words of peace which separate us from our mortal dead. Then in the
quiet, steady rain of that Sunday afternoon we laid him beside those
others, where he sleeps well, though some have wished that, like De Soto,
he might have been laid to rest in the bed of that great river which must
always be associated with his name.



There is such a finality about death; however interesting it may be as an
experience, one cannot discuss it afterward with one's friends. I have
thought it a great pity that Mark Twain could not discuss, with Howells
say, or with Twichell, the sensations and the particulars of the change,
supposing there be a recognizable change, in that transition of which we
have speculated so much, with such slender returns. No one ever debated
the undiscovered country more than he. In his whimsical, semi-serious
fashion he had considered all the possibilities of the future state
--orthodox and otherwise--and had drawn picturesquely original
conclusions. He had sent Captain Stormfield in a dream to report the
aspects of the early Christian heaven. He had examined the scientific
aspects of the more subtle philosophies. He had considered spiritualism,
transmigration, the various esoteric doctrines, and in the end he had
logically made up his mind that death concludes all, while with that less
logical hunger which survives in every human heart he had never ceased to
expect an existence beyond the grave. His disbelief and his pessimism
were identical in their structure. They were of his mind; never of his

Once a woman said to him:

"Mr. Clemens, you are not a pessimist, you only think you are." And she
might have added, with equal force and truth:

"You are not a disbeliever in immortality; you only think you are."

Nothing could have conveyed more truly his attitude toward life and
death. His belief in God, the Creator, was absolute; but it was a God
far removed from the Creator of his early teaching. Every man builds his
God according to his own capacities. Mark Twain's God was of colossal
proportions--so vast, indeed, that the constellated stars were but
molecules in His veins--a God as big as space itself.

Mark Twain had many moods, and he did not always approve of his own God;
but when he altered his conception, it was likely to be in the direction
of enlargement--a further removal from the human conception, and the
problem of what we call our lives.

In 1906 he wrote:--[See also 1870, chap. lxxviii; 1899, chap. ccv; and
various talks, 1906-07, etc.]
    Let us now consider the real God, the genuine God, the great God,
    the sublime and supreme God, the authentic Creator of the real
    universe, whose remotenesses are visited by comets only comets unto
    which incredible distant Neptune is merely an out post, a Sandy Hook
    to homeward-bound specters of the deeps of space that have not
    glimpsed it before for generations--a universe not made with hands
    and suited to an astronomical nursery, but spread abroad through the
    illimitable reaches of space by the flat of the real God just
    mentioned, by comparison with whom the gods whose myriads infest the
    feeble imaginations of men are as a swarm of gnats scattered and
    lost in the infinitudes of the empty sky.

At an earlier period-the date is not exactly fixable, but the stationery
used and the handwriting suggest the early eighties--he set down a few
concisely written pages of conclusions--conclusions from which he did not
deviate materially in after years. The document follows:

    I believe in God the Almighty.

    I do not believe He has ever sent a message to man by anybody, or
    delivered one to him by word of mouth, or made Himself visible to
    mortal eyes at any time in any place.

    I believe that the Old and New Testaments were imagined and written
    by man, and that no line in them was authorized by God, much less
    inspired by Him.

    I think the goodness, the justice, and the mercy of God are
    manifested in His works: I perceive that they are manifested toward
    me in this life; the logical conclusion is that they will be
    manifested toward me in the life to come, if there should be one.

    I do not believe in special providences. I believe that the
    universe is governed by strict and immutable laws: If one man's
    family is swept away by a pestilence and another man's spared it is
    only the law working: God is not interfering in that small matter,
    either against the one man or in favor of the other.

    I cannot see how eternal punishment hereafter could accomplish any
    good end, therefore I am not able to believe in it. To chasten a
    man in order to perfect him might be reasonable enough; to
    annihilate him when he shall have proved himself incapable of
    reaching perfection might be reasonable enough; but to roast him
    forever for the mere satisfaction of seeing him roast would not be
    reasonable--even the atrocious God imagined by the Jews would tire
    of the spectacle eventually.

    There may be a hereafter and there may not be. I am wholly
    indifferent about it. If I am appointed to live again I feel sure
    it will be for some more sane and useful purpose than to flounder
    about for ages in a lake of fire and brimstone for having violated a
    confusion of ill-defined and contradictory rules said (but not
    evidenced) to be of divine institution. If annihilation is to
    follow death I shall not be aware of the annihilation, and therefore
    shall not care a straw about it.

    I believe that the world's moral laws are the outcome of the world's
    experience. It needed no God to come down out of heaven to tell men
    that murder and theft and the other immoralities were bad, both for
    the individual who commits them and for society which suffers from

    If I break all these moral laws I cannot see how I injure God by it,
    for He is beyond the reach of injury from me--I could as easily
    injure a planet by throwing mud at it. It seems to me that my
    misconduct could only injure me and other men. I cannot benefit God
    by obeying these moral laws--I could as easily benefit the planet by
    withholding my mud. (Let these sentences be read in the light of
    the fact that I believe I have received moral laws only from man
    --none whatever from God.) Consequently I do not see why I should be
    either punished or rewarded hereafter for the deeds I do here.

If the tragedies of life shook his faith in the goodness and justice and
the mercy of God as manifested toward himself, he at any rate never
questioned that the wider scheme of the universe was attuned to the
immutable law which contemplates nothing less than absolute harmony. I
never knew him to refer to this particular document; but he never
destroyed it and never amended it, nor is it likely that he would have
done either had it been presented to him for consideration even during
the last year of his life.

He was never intentionally dogmatic. In a memorandum on a fly-leaf of
Moncure D. Conway's Sacred Anthology he wrote:


The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly
teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
                     MARK TWAIN, 19th Cent. A.D.

And in another note:

I would not interfere with any one's religion, either to strengthen it or
to weaken it. I am not able to believe one's religion can affect his
hereafter one way or the other, no matter what that religion maybe. But
it may easily be a great comfort to him in this life hence it is a
valuable possession to him.

Mark Twain's religion was a faith too wide for doctrines--a benevolence
too limitless for creeds. From the beginning he strove against
oppression, sham, and evil in every form. He despised meanness; he
resented with every drop of blood in him anything that savored of
persecution or a curtailment of human liberties. It was a religion
identified with his daily life and his work. He lived as he wrote, and
he wrote as he believed. His favorite weapon was humor--good-humor--with
logic behind it. A sort of glorified truth it was truth wearing a smile
of gentleness, hence all the more quickly heeded.

"He will be remembered with the great humorists of all time," says
Howells, "with Cervantes, with Swift, or with any others worthy of his
company; none of them was his equal in humanity."

Mark Twain understood the needs of men because he was himself supremely
human. In one of his dictations he said:

I have found that there is no ingredient of the race which I do not
possess in either a small or a large way. When it is small, as compared
with the same ingredient in somebody else, there is still enough of it
for all the purposes of examination.

With his strength he had inherited the weaknesses of our kind. With him,
as with another, a myriad of dreams and schemes and purposes daily
flitted by. With him, as with another, the spirit of desire led him
often to a high mountain-top, and was not rudely put aside, but
lingeringly--and often invited to return. With him, as with another, a
crowd of jealousies and resentments, and wishes for the ill of others,
daily went seething and scorching along the highways of the soul. With
him, as with another, regret, remorse, and shame stood at the bedside
during long watches of the night; and in the end, with him, the better
thing triumphed--forgiveness and generosity and justice--in a word,
Humanity. Certain of his aphorisms and memoranda each in itself
constitutes an epitome of Mark Twain's creed. His paraphrase, "When in
doubt tell the truth," is one of these, and he embodied his whole
attitude toward Infinity when in one of his stray pencilings he wrote:

Why, even poor little ungodlike man holds himself responsible for the
welfare of his child to the extent of his ability. It is all that we
require of God.



Every life is a drama--a play in all its particulars; comedy, farce,
tragedy--all the elements are there. To examine in detail any life,
however conspicuous or obscure, is to become amazed not only at the
inevitable sequence of events, but at the interlinking of details, often
far removed, into a marvelously intricate pattern which no art can hope
to reproduce, and can only feebly imitate.

The biographer may reconstruct an episode, present a picture, or reflect
a mood by which the reader is enabled to feel something of the glow of
personality and know, perhaps, a little of the substance of the past. In
so far as the historian can accomplish this his work is a success. At
best his labor will be pathetically incomplete, for whatever its detail
and its resemblance to life, these will record mainly but an outward
expression, behind which was the mighty sweep and tumult of unwritten
thought, the overwhelming proportion of any life, which no other human
soul can ever really know.

Mark Twain's appearance on the stage of the world was a succession of
dramatic moments. He was always exactly in the setting. Whatever he
did, or whatever came to him, was timed for the instant of greatest
effect. At the end he was more widely observed and loved and honored
than ever before, and at the right moment and in the right manner he

How little one may tell of such a life as his! He traveled always such a
broad and brilliant highway, with plumes flying and crowds following
after. Such a whirling panorama of life, and death, and change! I have
written so much, and yet I have put so much aside--and often the best
things, it seemed afterward, perhaps because each in its way was best and
the variety infinite. One may only strive to be faithful--and I would
have made it better if I could.




(See Chapter xxvi)

                         KEOKUK, Iowa, October 3, 1858.

MISS WOOD,--My mother having sent me your kind letter, with a request
that myself and wife should write to you, I hasten to do so.

In my memory I can go away back to Henry's infancy; I see his large, blue
eyes intently regarding my father when he rebuked him for his credulity
in giving full faith to the boyish idea of planting his marbles,
expecting a crop therefrom; then comes back the recollection of the time
when, standing we three alone by our father's grave, I told them always
to remember that brothers should be kind to each other; afterward I see
Henry returning from school with his books for the last time. He must go
into my printing-office. He learned rapidly. A word of encouragement or
a word of discouragement told upon his organization electrically. I
could see the effects in his day's work. Sometimes I would say, "Henry!"
He would stand full front with his eyes upon mine--all attention. If I
commanded him to do something, without a word he was off instantly,
probably in a run. If a cat was to be drowned or shot Sam (though
unwilling yet firm) was selected for the work. If a stray kitten was to
be fed and taken care of Henry was expected to attend to it, and he would
faithfully do so. So they grew up, and many was the grave lecture
commenced by ma, to the effect that Sam was misleading and spoiling
Henry. But the lectures were never concluded, for Sam would reply with a
witticism, or dry, unexpected humor, that would drive the lecture clean
out of my mother's mind, and change it to a laugh. Those were happier
days. My mother was as lively as any girl of sixteen. She is not so
now. And sister Pamela I have described in describing Henry; for she was
his counterpart. The blow falls crushingly on her. But the boys grew
up--Sam a rugged, brave, quick-tempered, generous-hearted fellow, Henry
quiet, observing, thoughtful, leaning on Sam for protection; Sam and I
too leaning on him for knowledge picked up from conversation or books,
for Henry seemed never to forget anything, and devoted much of his
leisure hours to reading.

Henry is gone! His death was horrible! How I could have sat by him,
hung over him, watched day and night every change of expression, and
ministered to every want in my power that I could discover. This was
denied to me, but Sam, whose organization is such as to feel the utmost
extreme of every feeling, was there. Both his capacity of enjoyment and
his capacity of suffering are greater than mine; and knowing how it would
have affected me to see so sad a scene, I can somewhat appreciate Sam's
sufferings. In this time of great trouble, when my two brothers, whose
heartstrings have always been a part of my own, were suffering the utmost
stretch of mortal endurance, you were there, like a good angel, to aid
and console, and I bless and thank you for it with my whole heart. I
thank all who helped them then; I thank them for the flowers they sent to
Henry, for the tears that fell for their sufferings, and when he died,
and all of them for all the kind attentions they bestowed upon the poor
boys. We thank the physicians, and we shall always gratefully remember
the kindness of the gentleman who at so much expense to himself enabled
us to deposit Henry's remains by our father.

With many kind wishes for your future welfare, I remain your earnest
                                ORION CLEMENS.



(See Chapter xxvii)

The item which served as a text for the "Sergeant Fathom" communication
was as follows:

                            VICKSBURG, May 4, 1859.

My opinion for the benefit of the citizens of New Orleans: The water is
higher this far up than it has been since 1815. My opinion is that the
water will be four feet deep in Canal Street before the first of next
June. Mrs. Turner's plantation at the head of Big Black Island is all
under water, and it has not been since 1815.
                            I. SELLERS.--[Captain Sellers, as
                            in this case, sometimes signed
                            his own name to his


Our friend Sergeant Fathom, one of the oldest cub pilots on the river,
and now on the Railroad Line steamer Trombone, sends us a rather bad
account concerning the state of the river. Sergeant Fathom is a "cub" of
much experience, and although we are loath to coincide in his view of the
matter, we give his note a place in our columns, only hoping that his
prophecy will not be verified in this instance. While introducing the
Sergeant, "we consider it but simple justice (we quote from a friend of
his) to remark that he is distinguished for being, in pilot phrase,
'close,' as well as superhumanly 'safe.'" It is a well-known fact that
he has made fourteen hundred and fifty trips in the New Orleans and St.
Louis trade without causing serious damage to a steamboat. This
astonishing success is attributed to the fact that he seldom runs his
boat after early candle-light. It is related of the Sergeant that upon
one occasion he actually ran the chute of Glasscock's Island,
down-stream, in the night, and at a time, too, when the river was
scarcely more than bank full. His method of accomplishing this feat
proves what we have just said of his "safeness"--he sounded the chute
first, and then built a fire at the head of the island to run by. As to
the Sergeant's "closeness," we have heard it whispered that he once went
up to the right of the "Old Hen,"--[Glasscock's Island and the "Old Hen"
were phenomenally safe places.]--but this is probably a pardonable little
exaggeration, prompted by the love and admiration in which he is held by
various ancient dames of his acquaintance (for albeit the Sergeant may
have already numbered the allotted years of man, still his form is erect,
his step is firm, his hair retains its sable hue, and, more than all, he
hath a winning way about him, an air of docility and sweetness, if you
will, and a smoothness of speech, together with an exhaustless fund of
funny sayings; and, lastly, an overflowing stream, without beginning, or
middle, or end, of astonishing reminiscences of the ancient Mississippi,
which, taken together, form a 'tout ensemble' which is sufficient excuse
for the tender epithet which is, by common consent, applied to him by all
those ancient dames aforesaid, of "che-arming creature!"). As the
Sergeant has been longer on the river, and is better acquainted with it
than any other "cub" extant, his remarks are entitled to far more
consideration, and are always read with the deepest interest by high and
low, rich and poor, from "Kiho" to Kamschatka, for let it be known that
his fame extends to the uttermost parts of the earth:


R.R. Steamer Trombone, VICKSBURG, May 8, 1859.

The river from New Orleans up to Natchez is higher than it has been since
the niggers were executed (which was in the fall of 1813) and my opinion
is that if the rise continues at this rate the water will be on the roof
of the St. Charles Hotel before the middle of January. The point at
Cairo, which has not even been moistened by the river since 1813, is now
entirely under water.

However, Mr. Editor, the inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley should not
act precipitately and sell their plantations at a sacrifice on account of
this prophecy of mine, for I shall proceed to convince them of a great
fact in regard to this matter, viz.: that the tendency of the Mississippi
is to rise less and less high every year (with an occasional variation of
the rule), that such has been the case for many centuries, and eventually
that it will cease to rise at all. Therefore, I would hint to the
planters, as we say in an innocent little parlor game commonly called
"draw," that if they can only "stand the rise" this time they may enjoy
the comfortable assurance that the old river's banks will never hold a
"full" again during their natural lives.

In the summer of 1763 I came down the river on the old first Jubilee. She
was new then, however; a singular sort of a single-engine boat, with a
Chinese captain and a Choctaw crew, forecastle on her stern, wheels in
the center, and the jackstaff "nowhere," for I steered her with a
window-shutter, and when we wanted to land we sent a line ashore and
"rounded her to" with a yoke of oxen.

Well, sir, we wooded off the top of the big bluff above Selmathe only dry
land visible--and waited there three weeks, swapping knives and playing
"seven up" with the Indians, waiting for the river to fall. Finally, it
fell about a hundred feet, and we went on. One day we rounded to, and I
got in a horse-trough, which my partner borrowed from the Indians up
there at Selma while they were at prayers, and went down to sound around
No. 8, and while I was gone my partner got aground on the hills at
Hickman. After three days' labor we finally succeeded in sparring her
off with a capstan bar, and went on to Memphis. By the time we got there
the river had subsided to such an extent that we were able to land where
the Gayoso House now stands. We finished loading at Memphis, and loaded
part of the stone for the present St. Louis Court House (which was then
in process of erection), to be taken up on our return trip.

You can form some conception, by these memoranda, of how high the water
was in 1763. In 1775 it did not rise so high by thirty feet; in 1790 it
missed the original mark at least sixty-five feet; in 1797, one hundred
and fifty feet; and in 1806, nearly two hundred and fifty feet. These
were "high-water" years. The "high waters" since then have been so
insignificant that I have scarcely taken the trouble to notice them.
Thus, you will perceive that the planters need not feel uneasy. The
river may make an occasional spasmodic effort at a flood, but the time is
approaching when it will cease to rise altogether.

In conclusion, sir, I will condescend to hint at the foundation of these
arguments: When me and De Soto discovered the Mississippi I could stand
at Bolivar Landing (several miles above "Roaring Waters Bar") and pitch a
biscuit to the main shore on the other side, and in low water we waded
across at Donaldsonville. The gradual widening and deepening of the
river is the whole secret of the matter.

                     Yours, etc.
                            SERGEANT FATHOM.




    A Victim to Jeremy Diddling Trustees--He Cuts his Throat from Ear to
    Ear, Scalps his Wife, and Dashes Out the Brains of Six Helpless

From Abram Curry, who arrived here yesterday afternoon from Carson, we
learn the following particulars concerning a bloody massacre which was
committed in Ormsby County night before last. It seems that during the
past six months a man named P. Hopkins, or Philip Hopkins, has been
residing with his family in the old log-house just at the edge of the
great pine forest which lies between Empire City and Dutch Nick's. The
family consisted of nine children--five girls and four boys--the oldest
of the group, Mary, being nineteen years old, and the youngest, Tommy,
about a year and a half. Twice in the past two months Mrs. Hopkins,
while visiting Carson, expressed fears concerning the sanity of her
husband, remarking that of late he had been subject to fits of violence,
and that during the prevalence of one of these he had threatened to take
her life. It was Mrs. Hopkins's misfortune to be given to exaggeration,
however, and but little attention was given to what she said.

About 10 o'clock on Monday evening Hopkins dashed into Carson on
horseback, with his throat cut from ear to ear, and bearing in his hand a
reeking scalp, from which the warm, smoking blood was still dripping, and
fell in a dying condition in front of the Magnolia saloon. Hopkins
expired, in the course of five minutes, without speaking. The long, red
hair of the scalp he bore marked it as that of Mrs. Hopkins. A number of
citizens, headed by Sheriff Gasherie, mounted at once and rode down to
Hopkins's house, where a ghastly scene met their eyes. The scalpless
corpse of Mrs. Hopkins lay across the threshold, with her head split open
and her right hand almost severed from the wrist. Near her lay the ax
with which the murderous deed had been committed. In one of the bedrooms
six of the children were found, one in bed and the others scattered about
the floor. They were all dead. Their brains had evidently been dashed
out with a club, and every mark about them seemed to have been made with
a blunt instrument. The children must have struggled hard for their
lives, as articles of clothing and broken furniture were strewn about the
room in the utmost confusion. Julia and Emma, aged respectively fourteen
and seventeen, were found in the kitchen, bruised and insensible, but it
is thought their recovery is possible. The eldest girl, Mary, must have
sought refuge, in her terror, in the garret, as her body was found there
frightfully mutilated, and the knife with which her wounds had been
inflicted still sticking in her side. The two girls Julia and Emma, who
had recovered sufficiently to be able to talk yesterday morning, declare
that their father knocked them down with a billet of wood and stamped on
them. They think they were the first attacked. They further state that
Hopkins had shown evidence of derangement all day, but had exhibited no
violence. He flew into a passion and attempted to murder them because
they advised him to go to bed and compose his mind.

Curry says Hopkins was about forty-two years of age, and a native of
western Pennsylvania; he was always affable and polite, and until very
recently no one had ever heard of his ill-treating his family. He had
been a heavy owner in the best mines of Virginia and Gold Hill, but when
the San Francisco papers exposed our game of cooking dividends in order
to bolster up our stocks he grew afraid and sold out, and invested an
immense amount in the Spring Valley Water Company, of San Francisco. He
was advised to do this by a relative of his, one of the editors of the
San Francisco Bulletin, who had suffered pecuniarily by the
dividend-cooking system as applied to the Daney Mining Company recently.
Hopkins had not long ceased to own in the various claims on the Comstock
lead, however, when several dividends were cooked on his newly acquired
property, their water totally dried up, and Spring Valley stock went down
to nothing. It is presumed that this misfortune drove him mad, and
resulted in his killing himself and the greater portion of his family.
The newspapers of San Francisco permitted this water company to go on
borrowing money and cooking dividends, under cover of which the cunning
financiers crept out of the tottering concern, leaving the crash to come
upon poor and unsuspecting stockholders, without offering to expose the
villainy at work. We hope the fearful massacre detailed above may prove
the saddest result of their silence.



Alfred Doten's son gives the following account of a reporting trip made
by his father and Mark Twain, when the two were on Comstock papers:

My father and Mark Twain were once detailed to go over to Como and write
up some new mines that had been discovered over there. My father was on
the Gold Hill News. He and Mark had not met before, but became promptly
acquainted, and were soon calling each other by their first names.

They went to a little hotel at Carson, agreeing to do their work there
together next morning. When morning came they set out, and suddenly on a
corner Mark stopped and turned to my father, saying:

"By gracious, Alf! Isn't that a brewery?"

"It is, Mark. Let's go in."

They did so, and remained there all day, swapping yarns, sipping beer,
and lunching, going back to the hotel that night.

The next morning precisely the same thing occurred. When they were on
the same corner, Mark stopped as if he had never been there before, and

"Good gracious, Alf! Isn't that a brewery?"

"It is, Mark. Let's go in."

So again they went in, and again stayed all day.

This happened again the next morning, and the next. Then my father
became uneasy. A letter had come from Gold Hill, asking him where his
report of the mines was. They agreed that next morning they would really
begin the story; that they would climb to the top of a hill that
overlooked the mines, and write it from there.

But the next morning, as before, Mark was surprised to discover the
brewery, and once more they went in. A few moments later, however, a man
who knew all about the mines--a mining engineer connected with them--came
in. He was a godsend. My father set down a valuable, informing story,
while Mark got a lot of entertaining mining yarns out of him.

Next day Virginia City and Gold Hill were gaining information from my
father's article, and entertainment from Mark's story of the mines.



(See Chapter liv)

After a full elucidation of the sugar industry of the Sandwich Islands,
its profits and possibilities, he said:

I have dwelt upon this subject to show you that these islands have a
genuine importance to America--an importance which is not generally
appreciated by our citizens. They pay revenues into the United States
Treasury now amounting to over a half a million a year.

I do not know what the sugar yield of the world is now, but ten years
ago, according to the Patent Office reports, it was 800,000 hogsheads.
The Sandwich Islands, properly cultivated by go-ahead Americans, are
capable of providing one-third as much themselves. With the Pacific
Railroad built, the great China Mail Line of steamers touching at
Honolulu--we could stock the islands with Americans and supply a third of
the civilized world with sugar--and with the silkiest, longest-stapled
cotton this side of the Sea Islands, and the very best quality of
rice.... The property has got to fall to some heir, and why not the
United States?


They are very fond of funerals. Big funerals are their main weakness.
Fine grave clothes, fine funeral appointments, and a long procession are
things they take a generous delight in. They are fond of their chief and
their king; they reverence them with a genuine reverence and love them
with a warm affection, and often look forward to the happiness they will
experience in burying them. They will beg, borrow, or steal money
enough, and flock from all the islands, to be present at a royal funeral
on Oahu. Years ago a Kanaka and his wife were condemned to be hanged for
murder. They received the sentence with manifest satisfaction because it
gave an opening for a funeral, you know. All they care for is a funeral.
It makes but little difference to them whose it is; they would as soon
attend their own funeral as anybody else's. This couple were people of
consequence, and had landed estates. They sold every foot of ground they
had and laid it out in fine clothes to be hung in. And the woman
appeared on the scaffold in a white satin dress and slippers and fathoms
of gaudy ribbon, and the man was arrayed in a gorgeous vest, blue
claw-hammer coat and brass buttons, and white kid gloves. As the noose
was adjusted around his neck, he blew his nose with a grand theatrical
flourish, so as to show his embroidered white handkerchief. I never,
never knew of a couple who enjoyed hanging more than they did.


It is a solemn pleasure to stand upon the summit of the extinct crater of
Haleakala, ten thousand feet above the sea, and gaze down into its awful
crater, 27 miles in circumference and ago feet deep, and to picture to
yourself the seething world of fire that once swept up out of the
tremendous abyss ages ago.

The prodigious funnel is dead and silent now, and even has bushes growing
far down in its bottom, where the deep-sea line could hardly have reached
in the old times, when the place was filled with liquid lava. These
bushes look like parlor shrubs from the summit where you stand, and the
file of visitors moving through them on their mules is diminished to a
detachment of mice almost; and to them you, standing so high up against
the sun, ten thousand feet above their heads, look no larger than a

This in the morning; but at three or four in the afternoon a thousand
little patches of white clouds, like handfuls of wool, come drifting
noiselessly, one after another, into the crater, like a procession of
shrouded phantoms, and circle round and round the vast sides, and settle
gradually down and mingle together until the colossal basin is filled to
the brim with snowy fog and all its seared and desolate wonders are
hidden from sight.

And then you may turn your back to the crater and look far away upon the
broad valley below, with its sugar-houses glinting like white specks in
the distance, and the great sugar-fields diminished to green veils amid
the lighter-tinted verdure around them, and abroad upon the limitless
ocean. But I should not say you look down; you look up at these things.

You are ten thousand feet above them, but yet you seem to stand in a
basin, with the green islands here and there, and the valleys and the
wide ocean, and the remote snow-peak of Mauna Loa, all raised up before
and above you, and pictured out like a brightly tinted map hung at the
ceiling of a room.

You look up at everything; nothing is below you. It has a singular and
startling effect to see a miniature world thus seemingly hung in mid-air.

But soon the white clouds come trooping along in ghostly squadrons and
mingle together in heavy masses a quarter of a mile below you and shut
out everything-completely hide the sea and all the earth save the
pinnacle you stand on. As far as the eye can reach, it finds nothing to
rest upon but a boundless plain of clouds tumbled into all manner of
fantastic shapes-a billowy ocean of wool aflame with the gold and purple
and crimson splendors of the setting sun! And so firm does this grand
cloud pavement look that you can hardly persuade yourself that you could
not walk upon it; that if you stepped upon it you would plunge headlong
and astonish your friends at dinner ten thousand feet below.

Standing on that peak, with all the world shut out by that vast plain of
clouds, a feeling of loneliness comes over a man which suggests to his
mind the last man at the flood, perched high upon the last rock, with
nothing visible on any side but a mournful waste of waters, and the ark
departing dimly through the distant mists and leaving him to storm and
night and solitude and death!



"The inimitable Mark Twain, delivered himself last night of his first
lecture on the Sandwich Islands, or anything else.

"Some time before the hour appointed to open his head the Academy of
Music (on Pine Street) was densely crowded with one of the most
fashionable audiences it was ever my privilege to witness during my long
residence in this city. The Elite of the town were there, and so was the
Governor of the State, occupying one of the boxes, whose rotund face was
suffused with a halo of mirth during the whole entertainment. The
audience promptly notified Mark by the usual sign--stamping--that the
auspicious hour had arrived, and presently the lecturer came sidling and
swinging out from the left of the stage. His very manner produced a
generally vociferous laugh from the assemblage. He opened with an
apology, by saying that he had partly succeeded in obtaining a band, but
at the last moment the party engaged backed out. He explained that he
had hired a man to play the trombone, but he, on learning that he was the
only person engaged, came at the last moment and informed him that he
could not play. This placed Mark in a bad predicament, and wishing to
know his reasons for deserting him at that critical moment, he replied,
'That he wasn't going to make a fool of himself by sitting up there on
the stage and blowing his horn all by himself.' After the applause
subsided, he assumed a very grave countenance and commenced his remarks
proper with the following well-known sentence: 'When, in the course of
human events,' etc. He lectured fully an hour and a quarter, and his
humorous sayings were interspersed with geographical, agricultural, and
statistical remarks, sometimes branching off and reaching beyond,
soaring, in the very choicest language, up to the very pinnacle of
descriptive power."



(See Chapters lviii and lix)



"Mark Twain" is too well known to the public to require a formal
introduction at my hands. By his story of the Frog he scaled the heights
of popularity at a single jump and won for himself the 'sobriquet' of The
Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope. He is also known to fame as The
Moralist of the Main; and it is not unlikely that as such he will go down
to posterity. It is in his secondary character, as humorist, however,
rather than in the primal one of moralist, that I aim to present him in
the present volume. And here a ready explanation will be found for the
somewhat fragmentary character of many of these sketches; for it was
necessary to snatch threads of humor wherever they could be found--very
often detaching them from serious articles and moral essays with which
they were woven and entangled. Originally written for newspaper
publication, many of the articles referred to events of the day, the
interest of which has now passed away, and contained local allusions,
which the general reader would fail to understand; in such cases excision
became imperative. Further than this, remark or comment is unnecessary.
Mark Twain never resorts to tricks of spelling nor rhetorical buffoonery
for the purpose of provoking a laugh; the vein of his humor runs too rich
and deep to make surface gliding necessary. But there are few who can
resist the quaint similes, keen satire, and hard, good sense which form
the staple of his writing.
                                J. P.



"MORAL STATISTICIAN"--I don't want any of your statistics. I took your
whole batch and lit my pipe with it. I hate your kind of people. You
are always ciphering out how much a man's health is injured, and how much
his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he
wastes in the course of ninety-two years' indulgence in the fatal
practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking
coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of
wine at dinner, etc., etc., etc. . . .

Of course you can save money by denying yourself all these vicious little
enjoyments for fifty years; but then what can you do with it? What use
can you put it to? Money can't save your infinitesimal soul. All the
use that money can be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this
life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and enjoyment, where is
the use in accumulating cash? It won't do for you to say that you can
use it to better purpose in furnishing good table, and in charities, and
in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people
who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you
stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and
hungry. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor
wretch, seeing you in a good-humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you;
and in church you are always down on your knees, with your eyes buried in
the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you never give
the revenue-officers a true statement of your income. Now you all know
all these things yourself, don't you? Very well, then, what is the use
of your stringing out your miserable lives to a clean and withered old
age? What is the use of your saving money that is so utterly worthless
to you? In a word, why don't you go off somewhere and die, and not be
always trying to seduce people into becoming as "ornery" and unlovable as
you are yourselves, by your ceaseless and villainous "moral statistics"?
Now, I don't approve of dissipation, and I don't indulge in it, either;
but I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming
petty vices whatever, and so I don't want to hear from you any more. I
think you are the very same man who read me a long lecture last week
about the degrading vice of smoking cigars and then came back, in my
absence, with your vile, reprehensible fire-proof gloves on, and carried
off my beautiful parlor-stove.



(Example of Mark Twain's Early Descriptive Writing)

. . . In due time I stood, with my companion, on the wall of the vast
caldron which the natives, ages ago, named 'Hale mau mau'--the abyss
wherein they were wont to throw the remains of their chiefs, to the end
that vulgar feet might never tread above them. We stood there, at dead
of night, a mile above the level of the sea, and looked down a thousand
feet upon a boiling, surging, roaring ocean of fire!--shaded our eyes
from the blinding glare, and gazed far away over the crimson waves with a
vague notion that a supernatural fleet, manned by demons and freighted
with the damned, might presently sail up out of the remote distance;
started when tremendous thunder-bursts shook the earth, and followed with
fascinated eyes the grand jets of molten lava that sprang high up toward
the zenith and exploded in a world of fiery spray that lit up the somber
heavens with an infernal splendor.

"What is your little bonfire of Vesuvius to this?"

My ejaculation roused my companion from his reverie, and we fell into a
conversation appropriate to the occasion and the surroundings. We came
at last to speak of the ancient custom of casting the bodies of dead
chieftains into this fearful caldron; and my comrade, who is of the blood
royal, mentioned that the founder of his race, old King Kamehameha the
First--that invincible old pagan Alexander--had found other sepulture
than the burning depths of the 'Hale mau mau'. I grew interested at
once; I knew that the mystery of what became of the corpse of the warrior
king hail never been fathomed; I was aware that there was a legend
connected with this matter; and I felt as if there could be no more
fitting time to listen to it than the present. The descendant of the
Kamehamehas said:

The dead king was brought in royal state down the long, winding road that
descends from the rim of the crater to the scorched and chasm-riven plain
that lies between the 'Hale mau mau' and those beetling walls yonder in
the distance. The guards were set and the troops of mourners began the
weird wail for the departed. In the middle of the night came a sound of
innumerable voices in the air and the rush of invisible wings; the
funeral torches wavered, burned blue, and went out. The mourners and
watchers fell to the ground paralyzed by fright, and many minutes elapsed
before any one dared to move or speak; for they believed that the phantom
messengers of the dread Goddess of Fire had been in their midst. When at
last a torch was lighted the bier was vacant--the dead monarch had been
spirited away!




In yesterday's Herald we published a most amusing letter from the pen of
that most amusing American genius, Mark Twain, giving an account of that
most amusing of all modern pilgrimages--the pilgrimage of the 'Quaker
City'. It has been amusing all through, this Quaker City affair. It
might have become more serious than amusing if the ship had been sold at
Jaffa, Alexandria, or Yalta, in the Black Sea, as it appears might have
happened. In such a case the passengers would have been more effectually
sold than the ship. The descendants of the Puritan pilgrims have,
naturally enough, some of them, an affection for ships; but if all that
is said about this religious cruise be true they have also a singularly
sharp eye to business. It was scarcely wise on the part of the pilgrims,
although it was well for the public, that so strange a genius as Mark
Twain should have found admission into the sacred circle. We are not
aware whether Mr. Twain intends giving us a book on this pilgrimage, but
we do know that a book written from his own peculiar standpoint, giving
an account of the characters and events on board ship and of the scenes
which the pilgrims witnessed, would command an almost unprecedented sale.
There are varieties of genius peculiar to America. Of one of these
varieties Mark Twain is a striking specimen. For the development of his
peculiar genius he has never had a more fitting opportunity. Besides,
there are some things which he knows, and which the world ought to know,
about this last edition of the Mayflower.



(See Chapter lxiii)


The Washington Correspondents Club held its anniversary on Saturday
night. Mr. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, responded to the toast,
"Woman, the pride of the professions and the jewel of ours." He said:

Mr. President,--I do not know why I should have been singled out to
receive the greatest distinction of the evening--for so the office of
replying to the toast to woman has been regarded in every age.
[Applause.] I do not know why I have received this distinction, unless it
be that I am a trifle less homely than the other members of the club.
But, be this as it may, Mr. President, I am proud of the position, and
you could not have chosen any one who would have accepted it more gladly,
or labored with a heartier good--will to do the subject justice, than I.
Because, Sir, I love the sex. [Laughter.] I love all the women, sir,
irrespective of age or color. [Laughter.]

Human intelligence cannot estimate what we owe to woman, sir. She sews
on our buttons [laughter]; she mends our clothes [laughter]; she ropes us
in at the church fairs; she confides in us; she tells us whatever she can
find out about the private affairs of the neighbors; she gives good
advice, and plenty of it; she gives us a piece of her mind sometimes
--and sometimes all of it; she soothes our aching brows; she bears our
children. (Ours as a general thing.)--[this last sentence appears in
Twain's published speeches and may have been added later. D.W.]

In all relations of life, sir, it is but just and a graceful tribute to
woman to say of her that she is a brick. [Great laughter.]

Wheresoever you place woman, sir--in whatsoever position or estate--she
is an ornament to that place she occupies, and a treasure to the world.
[Here Mr. Twain paused, looked inquiringly at his hearers, and remarked
that the applause should come in at this point. It came in. Mr. Twain
resumed his eulogy.] Look at the noble names of history! Look at
Cleopatra! Look at Desdemona! Look at Florence Nightingale! Look at
Joan of Arc! Look at Lucretia Borgia! [Disapprobation expressed.
"Well," said Mr. Twain, scratching his head, doubtfully, "suppose we let
Lucretia slide."] Look at Joyce Heth! Look at Mother Eve! I repeat,
sir, look at the illustrious names of history! Look at the Widow
Machree! Look at Lucy Stone! Look at Elizabeth Cady Stanton! Look at
George Francis Train! [Great laughter.] And, sir, I say with bowed head
and deepest veneration, look at the mother of Washington! She raised a
boy that could not lie--could not lie. [Applause.] But he never had any
chance. It might have been different with him if he had belonged to a
newspaper correspondents' club. [Laughter, groans, hisses, cries of "put
him out." Mark looked around placidly upon his excited audience, and

I repeat, sir, that in whatsoever position you place a woman she is an
ornament to society and a treasure to the world. As a sweetheart she has
few equals and no superior [laughter]; as a cousin she is convenient; as
a wealthy grandmother with an incurable distemper she is precious; as a
wet nurse she has no equal among men! [Laughter.]

What, sir, would the people of this earth be without woman? They would
be scarce, sir. (Mighty scarce.)--[another line added later in the
published 'Speeches'. D.W.] Then let us cherish her, let us protect her,
let us give her our support, our encouragement, our sympathy--ourselves,
if we get a chance. [Laughter.]

But, jesting aside, Mr. President, woman is lovable, gracious, kind of
heart, beautiful; worthy of all respect, of all esteem, of all deference.
Not any here will refuse to drink her health right cordially, for each
and every one of us has personally known, loved, and honored the very
best one of them all--his own mother! [Applause.]



(See Chapter lxvi)



MR. MARK TWAIN--DEAR SIR,--Hearing that you are about to sail for New
York in the P. M. S. S. Company's steamer of the 6th July, to publish a
book, and learning with the deepest concern that you propose to read a
chapter or two of that book in public before you go, we take this method
of expressing our cordial desire that you will not. We beg and implore
you do not. There is a limit to human endurance.

We are your personal friends. We have your welfare at heart. We desire
to see you prosper. And it is upon these accounts, and upon these only,
that we urge you to desist from the new atrocity you contemplate. Yours

    60 names including: Bret Harte, Maj.-Gen. Ord, Maj.-Gen. Halleck,
    The Orphan Asylum, and various Benevolent Societies, Citizens on
    Foot and Horseback, and 1500 in the Steerage.

                         SAN FRANCISCO, June 30th

TO THE 1,500 AND OTHERS,--It seems to me that your course is entirely
unprecedented. Heretofore, when lecturers, singers, actors, and other
frauds have said they were about to leave town, you have always been the
very first people to come out in a card beseeching them to hold on for
just one night more, and inflict just one more performance on the public,
but as soon as I want to take a farewell benefit you come after me, with
a card signed by the whole community and the board of aldermen, praying
me not to do it. But it isn't of any use. You cannot move me from my
fell purpose. I will torment the people if I want to. I have a better
right to do it than these strange lecturers and orators that come here
from abroad. It only costs the public a dollar apiece, and if they can't
stand it what do they stay here for? Am I to go away and let them have
peace and quiet for a year and a half, and then come back and only
lecture them twice? What do you take me for?

No, gentlemen, ask of me anything else and I will do it cheerfully; but
do not ask me not to afflict the people. I wish to tell them all I know
about VENICE. I wish to tell them about the City of the Sea--that most
venerable, most brilliant, and proudest Republic the world has ever seen.
I wish to hint at what it achieved in twelve hundred years, and what it
lost in two hundred. I wish to furnish a deal of pleasant information,
somewhat highly spiced, but still palatable, digestible, and eminently
fitted for the intellectual stomach. My last lecture was not as fine as
I thought it was, but I have submitted this discourse to several able
critics, and they have pronounced it good. Now, therefore, why should I
withhold it?

Let me talk only just this once, and I will sail positively on the 6th of
July, and stay away until I return from China--two years.
                         Yours truly, MARK TWAIN.


MR. MARK TWAIN,--Learning with profound regret that you have concluded to
postpone your departure until the 6th July, and learning also, with
unspeakable grief, that you propose to read from your forthcoming book,
or lecture again before you go, at the New Mercantile Library, we hasten
to beg of you that you will not do it. Curb this spirit of lawless
violence, and emigrate at once. Have the vessel's bill for your passage
sent to us. We will pay it.

                         Your friends,
                            Pacific Board of Brokers [and
                            other financial and social

                         SAN FRANCISCO, June 30th.

MR. MARK TWAIN--DEAR SIR,--Will you start now, without any unnecessary
                         Yours truly,
                            Proprietors of the Alta,
                            Bulletin, Times, Call, Examiner
                            [and other San Francisco

                         SAN FRANCISCO, June 30th.

MR. MARK TWAIN--DEAR SIR,--Do not delay your departure. You can come
back and lecture another time. In the language of the worldly--you can
"cut and come again."
                         Your friends,
                            THE CLERGY.

                         SAN FRANCISCO, June 30th.

MR. MARK TWAIN--DEAR SIR,--You had better go.
                            THE CHIEF OF POLICE.


GENTLEMEN,--Restrain your emotions; you observe that they cannot avail.

                  NEW MERCANTILE LIBRARY
                      Bush Street

               Thursday Evening, July 2, 1868
                    One Night Only

                   FAREWELL LECTURE
                      MARK TWAIN
                The Oldest of the Republics
                   PAST AND PRESENT

            Box-Office open Wednesday and Thursday
             No extra charge for reserved seats

       ADMISSION . . . . . . . . . . . ONE DOLLAR
       Doors open at 7      Orgies to commence at 8 P. M.

    The public displays and ceremonies projected to give fitting eclat
    to this occasion have been unavoidably delayed until the 4th. The
    lecture will be delivered certainly on the 2d, and the event will be
    celebrated two days afterward by a discharge of artillery on the
    4th, a procession of citizens, the reading of the Declaration of
    Independence, and by a gorgeous display of fireworks from Russian
    Hill in the evening, which I have ordered at my sole expense, the
    cost amounting to eighty thousand dollars.

                      Bush Street
               Thursday Evening, July 2, 1868



(See Chapter lxxiv)

There was a religious turmoil in Elmira in 1869; a disturbance among the
ministers, due to the success of Thomas K. Beecher in a series of
meetings he was conducting in the Opera House. Mr. Beecher's teachings
had never been very orthodox or doctrinal, but up to this time they had
been seemingly unobjectionable to his brother clergymen, who fraternized
with him and joined with him in the Monday meetings of the Ministerial
Union of Elmira, when each Monday a sermon was read by one of the
members. The situation presently changed. Mr. Beecher was preaching his
doubtful theology to large and nightly increasing audiences, and it was
time to check the exodus. The Ministerial Union of Elmira not only
declined to recognize and abet the Opera House gatherings, but they
requested him to withdraw from their Monday meetings, on the ground that
his teachings were pernicious. Mr. Beecher said nothing of the matter,
and it was not made public until a notice of it appeared in a religious
paper. Naturally such a course did not meet with the approval of the
Langdon family, and awoke the scorn of a man who so detested bigotry in
any form as Mark Twain. He was a stranger in the place, and not
justified to speak over his own signature, but he wrote an article and
read it to members of the Langdon family and to Dr. and Mrs. Taylor,
their intimate friends, who were spending an evening in the Langdon home.
It was universally approved, and the next morning appeared in the Elmira
Advertiser, over the signature of "S'cat." It created a stir, of course.

The article follows:


"The Ministerial Union of Elmira, N. Y., at a recent meeting passed
resolutions disapproving the teachings of Rev. T. K. Beecher, declining
to co-operate with him in his Sunday evening services at the Opera House,
and requesting him to withdraw from their Monday morning meeting. This
has resulted in his withdrawal, and thus the pastors are relieved from
further responsibility as to his action."--N. Y. Evangelist.

Poor Beecher! All this time he could do whatever he pleased that was
wrong, and then be perfectly serene and comfortable over it, because the
Ministerial Union of Elmira was responsible to God for it. He could lie
if he wanted to, and those ministers had to answer for it; he could
promote discord in the church of Christ, and those parties had to make it
right with the Deity as best they could; he could teach false doctrines
to empty opera houses, and those sorrowing lambs of the Ministerial Union
had to get out their sackcloth and ashes and stand responsible for it. He
had such a comfortable thing of it! But he went too far. In an evil
hour he slaughtered the simple geese that laid the golden egg of
responsibility for him, and now they will uncover their customary
complacency, and lift up their customary cackle in his behalf no more.
And so, at last, he finds himself in the novel position of being
responsible to God for his acts, instead of to the Ministerial Union of
Elmira. To say that this is appalling is to state it with a degree of
mildness which amounts to insipidity.

We cannot justly estimate this calamity, without first reviewing certain
facts that conspired to bring it about. Mr. Beecher was and is in the
habit of preaching to a full congregation in the Independent
Congregational Church, in this city. The meeting-house was not large
enough to accommodate all the people who desired admittance. Mr. Beecher
regularly attended the meetings of the Ministerial Union of Elmira every
Monday morning, and they received him into their fellowship, and never
objected to the doctrines which he taught in his church. So, in an
unfortunate moment, he conceived the strange idea that they would connive
at the teaching of the same doctrines in the same way in a larger house.
Therefore he secured the Opera House and proceeded to preach there every
Sunday evening to assemblages comprising from a thousand to fifteen
hundred persons. He felt warranted in this course by a passage of
Scripture which says, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel
unto every creature." Opera-houses were not ruled out specifically in
this passage, and so he considered it proper to regard opera-houses as a
part of "all the world." He looked upon the people who assembled there
as coming under the head of "every creature." These ideas were as absurd
as they were farfetched, but still they were the honest ebullitions of a
diseased mind. His great mistake was in supposing that when he had the
Saviour's indorsement of his conduct he had all that was necessary. He
overlooked the fact that there might possibly be a conflict of opinion
between the Saviour and the Ministerial Union of Elmira. And there was.
Wherefore, blind and foolish Mr. Beecher went to his destruction. The
Ministerial Union withdrew their approbation, and left him dangling in
the air, with no other support than the countenance and approval of the
gospel of Christ.

Mr. Beecher invited his brother ministers to join forces with him and
help him conduct the Opera House meetings. They declined with great
unanimity. In this they were wrong. Since they did not approve of those
meetings, it was a duty they owed to their consciences and their God to
contrive their discontinuance. They knew this. They felt it. Yet they
turned coldly away and refused to help at those meetings, when they well
knew that their help, earnestly and persistently given, was able to kill
any great religious enterprise that ever was conceived of.

The ministers refused, and the calamitous meetings at the Opera House
continued; and not only continued, but grew in interest and importance,
and sapped of their congregations churches where the Gospel was preached
with that sweet monotonous tranquillity and that impenetrable profundity
which stir up such consternation in the strongholds of sin. It is a pity
to have to record here that one clergyman refused to preach at the Opera
House at Mr. Beecher's request, even when that incendiary was sick and
disabled; and if that man's conscience justifies him in that refusal I do
not. Under the plea of charity for a sick brother he could have preached
to that Opera House multitude a sermon that would have done incalculable
damage to the Opera House experiment. And he need not have been
particular about the sermon he chose, either. He could have relied on
any he had in his barrel.

The Opera House meetings went on; other congregations were thin, and grew
thinner, but the Opera House assemblages were vast. Every Sunday night,
in spite of sense and reason, multitudes passed by the churches where
they might have been saved, and marched deliberately to the Opera House
to be damned. The community talked, talked, talked. Everybody discussed
the fact that the Ministerial Union disapproved of the Opera House
meetings; also the fact that they disapproved of the teachings put forth
there. And everybody wondered how the Ministerial Union could tell
whether to approve or disapprove of those teachings, seeing that those
clergymen had never attended an Opera House meeting, and therefore didn't
know what was taught there. Everybody wondered over that curious
question, and they had to take it out in wondering.

Mr. Beecher asked the Ministerial Union to state their objections to the
Opera House matter. They could not--at least they did not. He said to
them that if they would come squarely out and tell him that they desired
the discontinuance of those meetings he would discontinue them. They
declined to do that. Why should they have declined? They had no right
to decline, and no excuse to decline, if they honestly believed that
those meetings interfered in the slightest degree with the best interests
of religion. (That is a proposition which the profoundest head among
them cannot get around.)

But the Opera House meetings went on. That was the mischief of it. And
so, one Monday morning, when Mr. B. appeared at the usual Ministers'
meeting, his brother clergymen desired him to come there no more. He
asked why. They gave no reason. They simply declined to have his
company longer. Mr. B. said he could not accept of this execution
without a trial, and since he loved them and had nothing against them he
must insist upon meeting with them in the future just the same as ever.
And so, after that, they met in secret, and thus got rid of this man's
importunate affection.

The Ministerial Union had ruled out Beecher--a point gained. He would
get up an excitement about it in public. But that was a miscalculation.
He never mentioned it. They waited and waited for the grand crash, but
it never came. After all their labor-pains, their ministerial mountain
had brought forth only a mouse--and a still-born one at that. Beecher
had not told on them; Beecher malignantly persisted in not telling on
them. The opportunity was slipping away. Alas, for the humiliation of
it, they had to come out and tell it themselves! And after all, their
bombshell did not hurt anybody when they did explode it. They had ceased
to be responsible to God for Beecher, and yet nobody seemed paralyzed
about it. Somehow, it was not even of sufficient importance, apparently,
to get into the papers, though even the poor little facts that Smith has
bought a trotting team and Alderman Jones's child has the measles are
chronicled there with avidity. Something must be done. As the
Ministerial Union had told about their desolating action, when nobody
else considered it of enough importance to tell, they would also publish
it, now that the reporters failed to see anything in it important enough
to print. And so they startled the entire religious world no doubt by
solemnly printing in the Evangelist the paragraph which heads this
article. They have got their excommunication-bull started at last. It
is going along quite lively now, and making considerable stir, let us
hope. They even know it in Podunk, wherever that may be. It excited a
two-line paragraph there. Happy, happy world, that knows at last that a
little congress of congregationless clergymen of whom it had never heard
before have crushed a famous Beecher, and reduced his audiences from
fifteen hundred down to fourteen hundred and seventy-five at one fell
blow! Happy, happy world, that knows at last that these obscure
innocents are no longer responsible for the blemishless teachings, the
power, the pathos, the logic, and the other and manifold intellectual
pyrotechnics that seduce, but to damn, the Opera House assemblages every
Sunday night in Elmira! And miserable, O thrice miserable Beecher! For
the Ministerial Union of Elmira will never, no, never more be responsible
to God for his shortcomings. (Excuse these tears.)

(For the protection of a man who is uniformly charged with all the
newspaper deviltry that sees the light in Elmira journals, I take this
opportunity of stating, under oath, duly subscribed before a magistrate,
that Mr. Beecher did not write this article. And further still, that he
did not inspire it. And further still, the Ministerial Union of Elmira
did not write it. And finally, the Ministerial Union did not ask me to
write it. No, I have taken up this cudgel in defense of the Ministerial
Union of Elmira solely from a love of justice. Without solicitation, I
have constituted myself the champion of the Ministerial Union of Elmira,
and it shall be a labor of love with me to conduct their side of a
quarrel in print for them whenever they desire me to do it; or if they
are busy, and have not the time to ask me, I will cheerfully do it
anyhow. In closing this I must remark that if any question the right of
the clergymen of Elmira to turn Mr. Beecher out of the Ministerial Union,
to such I answer that Mr. Beecher recreated that institution after it had
been dead for many years, and invited those gentlemen to come into it,
which they did, and so of course they have a right to turn him out if
they want to. The difference between Beecher and the man who put an
adder in his bosom is, that Beecher put in more adders than he did, and
consequently had a proportionately livelier time of it when they got
warmed up.)



(See Chapter lxxvii)

What a ludicrous satire it was upon Christian charity!--even upon the
vague, theoretical idea of it which doubtless this small saint mouths
from his own pulpit every Sunday. Contemplate this freak of nature, and
think what a Cardiff giant of self-righteousness is crowded into his
pigmy skin. If we probe, and dissect; and lay open this diseased, this
cancerous piety of his, we are forced to the conviction that it is the
production of an impression on his part that his guild do about all the
good that is done on the earth, and hence are better than common clay
--hence are competent to say to such as George Holland, "You are
unworthy; you are a play-actor, and consequently a sinner; I cannot take
the responsibility of recommending you to the mercy of Heaven." It must
have had its origin in that impression, else he would have thought, "We
are all instruments for the carrying out of God's purposes; it is not for
me to pass judgment upon your appointed share of the work, or to praise
or to revile it; I have divine authority for it that we are all sinners,
and therefore it is not for me to discriminate and say we will supplicate
for this sinner, for he was a merchant prince or a banker, but we will
beseech no forgiveness for this other one, for he was a play-actor."

It surely requires the furthest possible reach of self-righteousness to
enable a man to lift his scornful nose in the air and turn his back upon
so poor and pitiable a thing as a dead stranger come to beg the last
kindness that humanity can do in its behalf. This creature has violated
the letter of the Gospel, and judged George Holland--not George Holland,
either, but his profession through him. Then it is, in a measure, fair
that we judge this creature's guild through him. In effect he has said,
"We are the salt of the earth; we do all the good work that is done; to
learn how to be good and do good men must come to us; actors and such are
obstacles to moral progress." Pray look at the thing reasonably a
moment, laying aside all biases of education and custom. If a common
public impression is fair evidence of a thing then this minister's
legitimate, recognized, and acceptable business is to tell people calmly,
coldly, and in stiff, written sentences, from the pulpit, to go and do
right, be just, be merciful, be charitable. And his congregation forget
it all between church and home. But for fifty years it was George
Holland's business on the stage to make his audience go and do right, and
be just, merciful, and charitable--because by his living, breathing,
feeling pictures he showed them what it was to do these things, and how
to do them, and how instant and ample was the reward! Is it not a
singular teacher of men, this reverend gentleman who is so poorly
informed himself as to put the whole stage under ban, and say, "I do not
think it teaches moral lessons"? Where was ever a sermon preached that
could make filial ingratitude so hateful to men as the sinful play of
"King Lear"? Or where was there ever a sermon that could so convince men
of the wrong and the cruelty of harboring a pampered and unanalyzed
jealousy as the sinful play of "Othello"? And where are there ten
preachers who can stand in the pulpit preaching heroism, unselfish
devotion, and lofty patriotism, and hold their own against any one of
five hundred William Tells that can be raised upon five hundred stages in
the land at a day's notice? It is almost fair and just to aver (although
it is profanity) that nine-tenths of all the kindness and forbearance and
Christian charity and generosity in the hearts of the American people
today got there by being filtered down from their fountain-head, the
gospel of Christ, through dramas and tragedies and comedies on the stage,
and through the despised novel and the Christmas story, and through the
thousand and one lessons, suggestions, and narratives of generous deeds
that stir the pulses, and exalt and augment the nobility of the nation
day by day from the teeming columns of ten thousand newspapers, and not
from the drowsy pulpit.

All that is great and good in our particular civilization came straight
from the hand of Jesus Christ, and many creatures, and of divers sorts,
were doubtless appointed to disseminate it; and let us believe that this
seed and the result are the main thing, and not the cut of the sower's
garment; and that whosoever, in his way and according to his opportunity,
sows the one and produces the other, has done high service and worthy.
And further, let us try with all our strength to believe that whenever
old simple-hearted George Holland sowed this seed, and reared his crop of
broader charities and better impulses in men's hearts, it was just as
acceptable before the Throne as if the seed had been scattered in vapid
platitudes from the pulpit of the ineffable Sabine himself.

Am I saying that the pulpit does not do its share toward disseminating
the marrow, the meat of the gospel of Christ? (For we are not talking of
ceremonies and wire-drawn creeds now, but the living heart and soul of
what is pretty often only a specter.)

No, I am not saying that. The pulpit teaches assemblages of people twice
a week nearly two hours altogether--and does what it can in that time.
The theater teaches large audiences seven times a week--28 or 30 hours
altogether--and the novels and newspapers plead, and argue, and
illustrate, stir, move, thrill, thunder, urge, persuade, and supplicate,
at the feet of millions and millions of people every single day, and all
day long and far into the night; and so these vast agencies till
nine-tenths of the vineyard, and the pulpit tills the other tenth. Yet
now and then some complacent blind idiot says, "You unanointed are coarse
clay and useless; you are not as we, the regenerators of the world; go,
bury yourselves elsewhere, for we cannot take the responsibility of
recommending idlers and sinners to the yearning mercy of Heaven." How
does a soul like that stay in a carcass without getting mixed with the
secretions and sweated out through the pores? Think of this insect
condemning the whole theatrical service as a disseminator of bad morals
because it has Black Crooks in it; forgetting that if that were
sufficient ground people would condemn the pulpit because it had Crooks
and Kallochs and Sabines in it!

No, I am not trying to rob the pulpit of any atom of its full share and
credit in the work of disseminating the meat and marrow of the gospel of
Christ; but I am trying to get a moment's hearing for worthy agencies in
the same work, that with overwrought modesty seldom or never claim a
recognition of their great services. I am aware that the pulpit does its
excellent one-tenth (and credits itself with it now and then, though most
of the time a press of business causes it to forget it); I am aware that
in its honest and well-meaning way it bores the people with uninflammable
truisms about doing good; bores them with correct compositions on
charity; bores them, chloroforms them, stupefies them with argumentative
mercy without a flaw in the grammar or an emotion which the minister
could put in in the right place if he turned his back and took his finger
off the manuscript. And in doing these things the pulpit is doing its
duty, and let us believe that it is likewise doing its best, and doing it
in the most harmless and respectable way. And so I have said, and shall
keep on saying, let us give the pulpit its full share of credit in
elevating and ennobling the people; but when a pulpit takes to itself
authority to pass judgment upon the work and worth of just as legitimate
an instrument of God as itself, who spent a long life preaching from the
stage the selfsame gospel without the alteration of a single sentiment or
a single axiom of right, it is fair and just that somebody who believes
that actors were made for a high and good purpose, and that they
accomplish the object of their creation and accomplish it well, should
protest. And having protested, it is also fair and just--being driven to
it, as it were--to whisper to the Sabine pattern of clergyman, under the
breath, a simple, instructive truth, and say, "Ministers are not the only
servants of God upon earth, nor his most efficient ones, either, by a
very, very long distance!" Sensible ministers already know this, and it
may do the other kind good to find it out.

But to cease teaching and go back to the beginning again, was it not
pitiable--that spectacle? Honored and honorable old George Holland,
whose theatrical ministry had for fifty years softened hard hearts, bred
generosity in cold ones, kindled emotion in dead ones, uplifted base
ones, broadened bigoted ones, and made many and many a stricken one glad
and filled it brimful of gratitude, figuratively spit upon in his
unoffending coffin by this crawling, slimy, sanctimonious, self-righteous



(See Chapter lxxxii)

To EDITOR of 'Tribune'.

SIR,--I believe in capital punishment. I believe that when a murder has
been done it should be answered for with blood. I have all my life been
taught to feel this way, and the fetters of education are strong. The
fact that the death--law is rendered almost inoperative by its very
severity does not alter my belief in its righteousness. The fact that in
England the proportion of executions to condemnations is one to sixteen,
and in this country only one to twenty-two, and in France only one to
thirty-eight, does not shake my steadfast confidence in the propriety of
retaining the death-penalty. It is better to hang one murderer in
sixteen, twenty-two, thirty-eight than not to hang any at all.

Feeling as I do, I am not sorry that Ruloff is to be hanged, but I am
sincerely sorry that he himself has made it necessary that his vast
capabilities for usefulness should be lost to the world. In this, mine
and the public's is a common regret. For it is plain that in the person
of Ruloff one of the most marvelous of intellects that any age has
produced is about to be sacrificed, and that, too, while half the mystery
of its strange powers is yet a secret. Here is a man who has never
entered the doors of a college or a university, and yet by the sheer
might of his innate gifts has made himself such a colossus in abstruse
learning that the ablest of our scholars are but pigmies in his presence.
By the evidence of Professor Mather, Mr. Surbridge, Mr. Richmond, and
other men qualified to testify, this man is as familiar with the broad
domain of philology as common men are with the passing events of the day.
His memory has such a limitless grasp that he is able to quote sentence
after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, chapter after chapter, from a
gnarled and knotty ancient literature that ordinary scholars are capable
of achieving little more than a bowing acquaintance with. But his memory
is the least of his great endowments. By the testimony of the gentlemen
above referred to he is able to critically analyze the works of the old
masters of literature, and while pointing out the beauties of the
originals with a pure and discriminating taste is as quick to detect the
defects of the accepted translations; and in the latter case, if
exceptions be taken to his judgment, he straightway opens up the quarries
of his exhaustless knowledge, and builds a very Chinese wall of evidence
around his position. Every learned man who enters Ruloff's presence
leaves it amazed and confounded by his prodigious capabilities and
attainments. One scholar said he did not believe that in matters of
subtle analysis, vast knowledge in his peculiar field of research,
comprehensive grasp of subject, and serene kingship over its limitless
and bewildering details, any land or any era of modern times had given
birth to Ruloff's intellectual equal. What miracles this murderer might
have wrought, and what luster he might have shed upon his country, if he
had not put a forfeit upon his life so foolishly! But what if the law
could be satisfied, and the gifted criminal still be saved. If a life be
offered up on the gallows to atone for the murder Ruloff did, will that
suffice? If so, give me the proofs, for in all earnestness and truth I
aver that in such a case I will instantly bring forward a man who, in the
interests of learning and science, will take Ruloff's crime upon himself,
and submit to be hanged in Ruloff's place. I can, and will do this
thing; and I propose this matter, and make this offer in good faith. You
know me, and know my address.
                     SAMUEL LANGHORNE.
                                   April 29, 1871.




(See Chapter lxxxvii)

Reported by Moncure D. Conway in the Cincinnati Commercial

It affords me sincere pleasure to meet this distinguished club, a club
which has extended its hospitalities and its cordial welcome to so many
of my countrymen. I hope [and here the speaker's voice became low and
fluttering] you will excuse these clothes. I am going to the theater;
that will explain these clothes. I have other clothes than these.
Judging human nature by what I have seen of it, I suppose that the
customary thing for a stranger to do when he stands here is to make a pun
on the name of this club, under the impression, of course, that he is the
first man that that idea has occurred to. It is a credit to our human
nature, not a blemish upon it; for it shows that underlying all our
depravity (and God knows and you know we are depraved enough) and all our
sophistication, and untarnished by them, there is a sweet germ of
innocence and simplicity still. When a stranger says to me, with a glow
of inspiration in his eye, some gentle, innocuous little thing about
"Twain and one flesh" and all that sort of thing, I don't try to crush
that man into the earth--no. I feel like saying, "Let me take you by the
hand, sir; let me embrace you; I have not heard that pun for weeks." We
will deal in palpable puns. We will call parties named King "your
Majesty" and we will say to the Smiths that we think we have heard that
name before somewhere. Such is human nature. We cannot alter this. It
is God that made us so for some good and wise purpose. Let us not
repine. But though I may seem strange, may seem eccentric, I mean to
refrain from punning upon the name of this club, though I could make a
very good one if I had time to think about it--a week.

I cannot express to you what entire enjoyment I find in this first visit
to this prodigious metropolis of yours. Its wonders seem to me to be
limitless. I go about as in a dream--as in a realm of enchantment--where
many things are rare and beautiful, and all things are strange and
marvelous. Hour after hour I stand--I stand spellbound, as it were-and
gaze upon the statuary in Leicester Square. [Leicester Square being a
horrible chaos, with the relic of an equestrian statue in the center, the
king being headless and limbless, and the horse in little better
condition.] I visit the mortuary effigies of noble old Henry VIII., and
Judge Jeffreys, and the preserved gorilla, and try to make up my mind
which of my ancestors I admire the most. I go to that matchless Hyde
Park and drive all around it, and then I start to enter it at the Marble
Arch--and am induced to "change my mind." [Cabs are not permitted in
Hyde Park--nothing less aristocratic than a private carriage.] It is a
great benefaction--is Hyde Park. There, in his hansom cab, the invalid
can go--the poor, sad child of misfortune--and insert his nose between
the railings, and breathe the pure, health-giving air of the country and
of heaven. And if he is a swell invalid who isn't obliged to depend upon
parks for his country air he can drive inside--if he owns his vehicle. I
drive round and round Hyde Park and the more I see of the edges of it the
more grateful I am that the margin is extensive.

And I have been to the Zoological Gardens. What a wonderful place that
is! I have never seen such a curious and interesting variety of
wild-animals in any garden before--except Mabille. I never believed
before there were so many different kinds of animals in the world as you
can find there--and I don't believe it yet. I have been to the British
Museum. I would advise you to drop in there some time when you have
nothing to do for--five minutes--if you have never been there. It seems
to me the noblest monument this nation has, yet erected to her greatness.
I say to her, our greatness--as a nation. True, she has built other
monuments, and stately ones, as well; but these she has uplifted in honor
of two or three colossal demigods who have stalked across the world's
stage, destroying tyrants and delivering nations, and whose prodigies
will still live in the memories of men ages after their monuments shall
have crumbled to dust--I refer to the Wellington and Nelson monuments,
and--the Albert memorial. [Sarcasm. The Albert memorial is the finest
monument in the world, and celebrates the existence of as commonplace a
person as good luck ever lifted out of obscurity.]

The Library at the British Museum I find particularly astounding. I have
read there hours together, and hardly made an impression on it. I revere
that library. It is the author's friend. I don't care how mean a book
is, it always takes one copy. [A copy of every book printed in Great
Britain must by law be sent to the British Museum, a law much complained
of by publishers.] And then every day that author goes there to gaze at
that book, and is encouraged to go on in the good work. And what a
touching sight it is of a Saturday afternoon to see the poor, careworn
clergymen gathered together in that vast reading-room cabbaging sermons
for Sunday! You will pardon my referring to these things. Everything in
this monster city interests me, and I cannot keep from talking, even at
the risk of being instructive. People here seem always to express
distances by parables. To a stranger it is just a little confusing to be
so parabolic--so to speak. I collar a citizen, and I think I am going to
get some valuable information out of him. I ask him how far it is to
Birmingham, and he says it is twenty-one shillings and sixpence. Now we
know that doesn't help a man who is trying to learn. I find myself
down-town somewhere, and I want to get some sort of idea where I
am--being usually lost when alone--and I stop a citizen and say, "How far
is it to Charing Cross?" "Shilling fare in a cab," and off he goes. I
suppose if I were to ask a Londoner how far it is from the sublime to the
ridiculous he would try to express it in a coin. But I am trespassing
upon your time with these geological statistics and historical
reflections. I will not longer keep you from your orgies. 'Tis a real
pleasure for me to be here, and I thank you for it. The name of the
Savage Club is associated in my mind with the kindly interest and the
friendly offices which you lavished upon an old friend of mine who came
among you a stranger, and you opened your English hearts to him and gave
him a welcome and a home--Artemus Ward. Asking that you will join me, I
give you his Memory.



(See Chapter xcvii)

                            BOSTON, November 16, 1935.

DEAR LIVY,--You observe I still call this beloved old place by the name
it had when I was young. Limerick! It is enough to make a body sick.

The gentlemen-in-waiting stare to see me sit here telegraphing this
letter to you, and no doubt they are smiling in their sleeves. But let
them! The slow old fashions are good enough for me, thank God, and I
will none other. When I see one of these modern fools sit absorbed,
holding the end of a telegraph wire in his hand, and reflect that a
thousand miles away there is another fool hitched to the other end of it,
it makes me frantic with rage; and then I am more implacably fixed and
resolved than ever to continue taking twenty minutes to telegraph you
what I might communicate in ten seconds by the new way if I would so
debase myself. And when I see a whole silent, solemn drawing-room full
of idiots sitting with their hands on each other's foreheads "communing"
I tug the white hairs from my head and curse till my asthma brings me the
blessed relief of suffocation. In our old day such a gathering talked
pure drivel and "rot," mostly, but better that, a thousand times, than
these dreary conversational funerals that oppress our spirits in this mad

It is sixty years since I was here before. I walked hither then with my
precious old friend. It seems incredible now that we did it in two days,
but such is my recollection. I no longer mention that we walked back in
a single day, it makes me so furious to see doubt in the face of the
hearer. Men were men in those old times. Think of one of the puerile
organisms in this effeminate age attempting such a feat.

My air-ship was delayed by a collision with a fellow from China loaded
with the usual cargo of jabbering, copper-colored missionaries, and so I
was nearly an hour on my journey. But by the goodness of God thirteen of
the missionaries were crippled and several killed, so I was content to
lose the time. I love to lose time anyway because it brings soothing
reminiscences of the creeping railroad days of old, now lost to us

Our game was neatly played, and successfully. None expected us, of
course. You should have seen the guards at the ducal palace stare when I
said, "Announce his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin and the Right
Honorable the Earl of Hartford." Arrived within, we were all eyes to see
the Duke of Cambridge and his Duchess, wondering if we might remember
their faces and they ours. In a moment they came tottering in; he, bent
and withered and bald; she, blooming with wholesome old age. He peered
through his glasses a moment, then screeched in a reedy voice, "Come to
my arms! Away with titles--I'll know ye by no names but Twain and
Twichell!" Then fell he on our necks and jammed his trumpet in his ear,
the which we filled with shoutings to this effect: "God bless you, old
Howells, what is left of you!"

We talked late that night--none of your silent idiot "communings" for us
--of the olden time. We rolled a stream of ancient anecdotes over our
tongues and drank till the Lord Archbishop grew so mellow in the mellow
past that Dublin ceased to be Dublin to him, and resumed its sweeter,
forgotten name of New York. In truth he almost got back into his ancient
religion, too, good Jesuit as he has always been since O'Mulligan the
First established that faith in the empire.

And we canvassed everybody. Bailey Aldrich, Marquis of Ponkapog, came
in, got nobly drunk, and told us all about how poor Osgood lost his
earldom and was hanged for conspiring against the second Emperor; but he
didn't mention how near he himself came to being hanged, too, for
engaging in the same enterprise. He was as chaffy as he was sixty years
ago, too, and swore the Archbishop and I never walked to Boston; but
there was never a day that Ponkapog wouldn't lie, so be it by the grace
of God he got the opportunity.

The Lord High Admiral came in, a hale gentleman close upon seventy and
bronzed by the suns and storms of many climes and scarred by the wounds
got in many battles, and I told him how I had seen him sit in a
high-chair and eat fruit and cakes and answer to the name of Johnny. His
granddaughter (the eldest) is but lately married to the youngest of the
Grand Dukes, and so who knows but a day may come when the blood of the
Howellses may reign in the land? I must not forget to say, while I think
of it, that your new false teeth are done, my dear, and your wig. Keep
your head well bundled with a shawl till the latter comes, and so cheat
your persecuting neuralgias and rheumatisms. Would you believe it?--the
Duchess of Cambridge is deafer than you--deafer than her husband. They
call her to breakfast with a salvo of artillery; and usually when it
thunders she looks up expectantly and says, "Come in." But she has
become subdued and gentle with age and never destroys the furniture now,
except when uncommonly vexed. God knows, my dear, it would be a happy
thing if you and old Lady Harmony would imitate this spirit. But indeed
the older you grow the less secure becomes the furniture. When I throw
chairs through the window I have sufficient reason to back it. But you
--you are but a creature of passion.

The monument to the author of 'Gloverson and His Silent Partners' is
finished.--[Ralph Keeler. See chap. lxxxiii.]--It is the stateliest and
the costliest ever erected to the memory of any man. This noble classic
has now been translated into all the languages of the earth and is adored
by all nations and known to all creatures. Yet I have conversed as
familiarly with the author of it as I do with my own great-grandchildren.

I wish you could see old Cambridge and Ponkapog. I love them as dearly
as ever, but privately, my dear, they are not much improvement on idiots.
It is melancholy to hear them jabber over the same pointless anecdotes
three and four times of an evening, forgetting that they had jabbered
them over three or four times the evening before. Ponkapog still writes
poetry, but the old-time fire has mostly gone out of it. Perhaps his
best effort of late years is this:

           O soul, soul, soul of mine!
           Soul, soul, soul of throe!
           Thy soul, my soul, two souls entwine,
           And sing thy lauds in crystal wine!

This he goes about repeating to everybody, daily and nightly, insomuch
that he is become a sore affliction to all that know him.

But I must desist. There are draughts here everywhere and my gout is
something frightful. My left foot hath resemblance to a snuff-bladder.
God be with you.

These to Lady Hartford, in the earldom of Hartford, in the upper portion
of the city of Dublin.





Concerning Copyright (1875) (See Chapter cii)


We, your petitioners, do respectfully represent as follows, viz.: That
justice, plain and simple, is a thing which right-feeling men stand ready
at all times to accord to brothers and strangers alike. All such men
will concede that it is but plain, simple justice that American authors
should be protected by copyright in Europe; also, that European authors
should be protected by copyright here.

Both divisions of this proposition being true, it behooves our government
to concern itself with that division of it which comes peculiarly within
its province--viz., the latter moiety--and to grant to foreign authors
with all convenient despatch a full and effective copyright in America
without marring the grace of the act by stopping to inquire whether a
similar justice will be done our own authors by foreign governments. If
it were even known that those governments would not extend this justice
to us it would still not justify us in withholding this manifest right
from their authors. If a thing is right it ought to be done--the thing
called "expediency" or "policy" has no concern with such a matter. And
we desire to repeat, with all respect, that it is not a grace or a
privilege we ask for our foreign brethren, but a right--a right received
from God, and only denied them by man. We hold no ownership in these
authors, and when we take their work from them, as at present, without
their consent, it is robbery. The fact that the handiwork of our own
authors is seized in the same way in foreign lands neither excuses nor
mitigates our sin.

With your permission we will say here, over our signatures, and earnestly
and sincerely, that we very greatly desire that you shall grant a full
copyright to foreign authors (the copyright fee for the entry in the
office of the Congressional Librarian to be the same as we pay
ourselves), and we also as greatly desire that this grant shall be made
without a single hampering stipulation that American authors shall
receive in turn an advantage of any kind from foreign governments.

Since no author who was applied to hesitated for a moment to append his
signature to this petition we are satisfied that if time had permitted we
could have procured the signature of every writer in the United States,
great and small, obscure or famous. As it is, the list comprises the
names of about all our writers whose works have at present a European
market, and who are therefore chiefly concerned in this matter.

No objection to our proposition can come from any reputable publisher
among us--or does come from such a quarter, as the appended signatures of
our greatest publishing firms will attest. A European copyright here
would be a manifest advantage to them. As the matter stands now the
moment they have thoroughly advertised a desirable foreign book, and thus
at great expense aroused public interest in it, some small-spirited
speculator (who has lain still in his kennel and spent nothing) rushes
the same book on the market and robs the respectable publisher of half
the gains.

Then, since neither our authors nor the decent among our publishing firms
will object to granting an American copyright to foreign authors and
artists, who can there be to object? Surely nobody whose protest is
entitled to any weight.

Trusting in the righteousness of our cause we, your petitioners, will
ever pray, etc.
                     With great respect,
                                Your Ob't Serv'ts.


DEAR SIR,--We believe that you will recognize the justice and the
righteousness of the thing we desire to accomplish through the
accompanying petition. And we believe that you will be willing that our
country shall be the first in the world to grant to all authors alike the
free exercise of their manifest right to do as they please with the fruit
of their own labor without inquiring what flag they live under. If the
sentiments of the petition meet your views, will you do us the favor to
sign it and forward it by post at your earliest convenience to our
      -------------------Secretary of the Committee.


Communications supposed to have been written by the Tsar of Russia and
the Sultan of Turkey to Mark Twain on the subject of International
Copyright, about 1890.

                            ST. PETERSBURG, February.

COL. MARK TWAIN, Washington.

Your cablegram received. It should have been transmitted through my
minister, but let that pass. I am opposed to international copyright. At
present American literature is harmless here because we doctor it in such
a way as to make it approve the various beneficent devices which we use
to keep our people favorable to fetters as jewelry and pleased with
Siberia as a summer resort. But your bill would spoil this. We should
be obliged to let you say your say in your own way. 'Voila'! my empire
would be a republic in five years and I should be sampling Siberia

If you should run across Mr. Kennan--[George Kennan, who had graphically
pictured the fearful conditions of Siberian exile.]--please ask him to
come over and give some readings. I will take good care of him.

                                ALEXANDER III.


                            CONSTANTINOPLE, February.

DR. MARK TWAIN, Washington.

Great Scott, no! By the beard of the Prophet, no! How can you ask such
a thing of me? I am a man of family. I cannot take chances, like other
people. I cannot let a literature come in here which teaches that a
man's wife is as good as the man himself. Such a doctrine cannot do any
particular harm, of course, where the man has only one wife, for then it
is a dead-level between them, and there is no humiliating inequality, and
no resulting disorder; but you take an extremely married person, like me,
and go to teaching that his wife is 964 times as good as he is, and
what's hell to that harem, dear friend? I never saw such a fool as you.
Do not mind that expression; I already regret it, and would replace it
with a softer one if I could do it without debauching the truth. I
beseech you, do not pass that bill. Roberts College is quite all the
American product we can stand just now. On top of that, do you want to
send us a flood of freedom-shrieking literature which we can't edit the
poison out of, but must let it go among our people just as it is? My
friend, we should be a republic inside of ten years.

                                       ABDUL II.




(Prepared early in 1909 at the suggestion of Mr. Champ Clack but not
offered. A bill adding fourteen years to the copyright period was passed
about this time.)

The Policy of Congress:--Nineteen or twenty years ago James Russell
Lowell, George Haven Putnam, and the under signed appeared before the
Senate Committee on Patents in the interest of Copyright. Up to that
time, as explained by Senator Platt, of Connecticut, the policy of
Congress had been to limit the life of a copyright by a term of years,
with one definite end in view, and only one--to wit, that after an author
had been permitted to enjoy for a reasonable length of time the income
from literary property created by his hand and brain the property should
then be transferred "to the public" as a free gift. That is still the
policy of Congress to-day.

The Purpose in View:--The purpose in view was clear: to so reduce the
price of the book as to bring it within the reach of all purses, and
spread it among the millions who had not been able to buy it while it was
still under the protection of copyright.

The Purpose Defeated:--This purpose has always been defeated. That is to
say, that while the death of a copyright has sometimes reduced the price
of a book by a half for a while, and in some cases by even more, it has
never reduced it vastly, nor accomplished any reduction that was
permanent and secure.

The Reason:--The reason is simple: Congress has never made a reduction
compulsory. Congress was convinced that the removal of the author's
royalty and the book's consequent (or at least probable) dispersal among
several competing publishers would make the book cheap by force of the
competition. It was an error. It has not turned out so. The reason is,
a publisher cannot find profit in an exceedingly cheap edition if he must
divide the market with competitors.

Proposed Remedy:--The natural remedy would seem to be, amended law
requiring the issue of cheap editions.

Copyright Extension:--I think the remedy could be accomplished in the
following way, without injury to author or publisher, and with extreme
advantage to the public: by an amendment to the existing law providing as
follows--to wit: that at any time between the beginning of a book's
forty-first year and the ending of its forty-second the owner of the
copyright may extend its life thirty years by issuing and placing on sale
an edition of the book at one-tenth the price of the cheapest edition
hitherto issued at any time during the ten immediately preceding years.
This extension to lapse and become null and void if at any time during
the thirty years he shall fail during the space of three consecutive
months to furnish the ten per cent. book upon demand of any person or
persons desiring to buy it.

The Result:--The result would be that no American classic enjoying the
thirty-year extension would ever be out of the reach of any American
purse, let its uncompulsory price be what it might. He would get a
two-dollar book for 20 cents, and he could get none but copyright-expired
classics at any such rate.

The Final Result:--At the end of the thirty-year extension the copyright
would again die, and the price would again advance. This by a natural
law, the excessively cheap edition no longer carrying with it an
advantage to any publisher.

Reconstruction of The Present Law Not Necessary:--A clause of the
suggested amendment could read about as follows, and would obviate the
necessity of taking the present law to pieces and building it over again:

    All books and all articles enjoying forty-two years copyright-life
    under the present law shall be admitted to the privilege of the
    thirty-year extension upon complying with the condition requiring
    the producing and placing upon permanent sale of one grade or form
    of said book or article at a price of 90 per cent. below the
    cheapest rate at which said book or article had been placed upon the
    market at any time during the immediately preceding ten years.


If the suggested amendment shall meet with the favor of the present
Congress and become law--and I hope it will--I shall have personal
experience of its effects very soon. Next year, in fact, in the person
of my first book, 'The Innocents Abroad'. For its forty-two-year
copyright-life will then cease and its thirty-year extension begin--and
with the latter the permanent low-rate edition. At present the highest
price of the book is eight dollars, and its lowest price three dollars
per copy. Thus the permanent low rate will be thirty cents per copy. A
sweeping reduction like this is what Congress from the beginning has
desired to achieve, but has not been able to accomplish because no
inducement was offered to publishers to run the risk.

              Respectfully submitted,

                                S. L. CLEMENS.

(A full and interesting elucidation of Mark Twain's views on Copyright
may be found in an article entitled "Concerning Copyright," published in
the North American Review for January, 1905.)


(See Chapter cxiv)

    Address of Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) from a report of the
    dinner given by the publishers of the Atlantic Monthly in honor of
    the Seventieth Anniversary of the Birth of John Greenleaf Whittier,
    at the Hotel Brunswick, Boston, December 17, 1877, as published in
    the Boston Evening Transcript, December 18, 1877.

MR. CHAIRMAN, This is an occasion peculiarly meet for the digging up of
pleasant reminiscences concerning literary folk, therefore I will drop
lightly into history myself. Standing here on the shore of the Atlantic,
and contemplating certain of its largest literary billows, I am reminded
of a thing which happened to me thirteen years ago, when I had just
succeeded in stirring up a little Nevadian literary puddle myself, whose
spume-flakes were beginning to blow thinly California-ward. I started an
inspection tramp through the southern mines of California. I was callow
and conceited, and I resolved to try the virtue of my 'nom de guerre'. I
very soon had an opportunity. I knocked at a miner's lonely log cabin in
the foothills of the Sierras just at nightfall. It was snowing at the
time. A jaded, melancholy man of fifty, barefooted, opened the door to
me. When he heard my 'nom de guerre' he looked more dejected than
before. He let me in-pretty reluctantly, I thought--and after the
customary bacon and beans, black coffee and hot whisky, I took a pipe.
This sorrowful man had not said three words up to this time. Now he
spoke up and said, in the voice of one who is secretly suffering, "You're
the fourth--I'm going to move." "The fourth what?" said I. "The fourth
littery man that has been here in twenty-four hours--I'm going to move."
"You don't tell me!" said I; "who were the others?" "Mr. Longfellow. Mr.
Emerson, and Mr. Oliver Wendell Holmes--consound the lot!"

You can easily believe I was interested. I supplicated--three hot
whiskies did the rest--and finally the melancholy miner began. Said he:

"They came here just at dark yesterday evening, and I let them in, of
course. Said they were going to the Yosemite. They were a rough lot,
but that's nothing; everybody looks rough that travels afoot. Mr. Emerson
was a seedy little bit of a chap, red-headed. Mr. Holmes was as fat as a
balloon; he weighed as much as three hundered, and had double chins all
the way down to his stomach. Mr. Longfellow was built like a
prize-fighter. His head was cropped and bristly, like as if he had a wig
made of hair-brushes. His nose lay straight down in his face, like a
finger with the end joint tilted up. They had been drinking, I could see
that. And what queer talk they used! Mr. Holmes inspected this cabin,
then he took me by the buttonhole and says he:

     "'Through the deep caves of thought
       I hear a voice that sings,

       "Build thee more stately mansions,
       O my soul!"'

"Says I, 'I can't afford it, Mr. Holmes, and moreover I don't want to.'
Blamed if I liked it pretty well, either, coming from a stranger that
way. However, I started to get out my bacon and beans when Mr. Emerson
came and looked on awhile, and then he takes me aside by the buttonhole
and says:

     "'Give me agates for my meat;
       Give me cantharids to eat;
       From air and ocean bring me foods,
       From all zones and altitudes.'

"Says I, 'Mr. Emerson, if you'll excuse me, this ain't no hotel.' You
see, it sort of riled me--I warn't used to the ways of Jittery swells.
But I went on a-sweating over my work, and next comes Mr. Longfellow and
buttonholes me and interrupts me. Says he:

     "'Honor be to Mudjekeewis!
       You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Keewis--'

"But I broke in, and says I, 'Beg your pardon, Mr. Longfellow, if you'll
be so kind as to hold your yawp for about five minutes and let me get
this grub ready, you'll do me proud.' Well, sir, after they'd filled up
I set out the jug. Mr. Holmes looks at it and then he fires up all of a
sudden and yells:

     "'Flash out a stream of blood-red wine!
       For I would drink to other days.'

"By George, I was getting kind of worked up. I don't deny it, I was
getting kind of worked up. I turns to Mr. Holmes and says I, 'Looky
here, my fat friend, I'm a-running this shanty, and if the court knows
herself you'll take whisky straight or you'll go dry.' Them's the very
words I said to him. Now I don't want to sass such famous Littery
people, but you see they kind of forced me. There ain't nothing
onreasonable 'bout me. I don't mind a passel of guests a-treadin' on my
tail three or four times, but when it comes to standing on it it's
different, 'and if the court knows herself,' I says, 'you'll take whisky
straight or you'll go dry.' Well, between drinks they'd swell around the
cabin and strike attitudes and spout; and pretty soon they got out a
greasy old deck and went to playing euchre at ten cents a corner--on
trust. I began to notice some pretty suspicious things. Mr. Emerson
dealt, looked at his hand, shook his head, says:

     "'I am the doubter and the doubt--'

and calmly bunched the hands and went to shuffling for a new lay-out.
Says he:

     "'They reckon ill who leave me out;
       They know not well the subtle ways I keep.
       I pass and deal again!'

Hang'd if he didn't go ahead and do it, too! Oh, he was a cool one!
Well, in about a minute things were running pretty tight, but all of a
sudden I see by Mr. Emerson's eye he judged he had 'em. He had already
corralled two tricks and each of the others one. So now he kind of lifts
a little in his chair and says,

     "'I tire of globes and aces!
       Too long the game is played!'

and down he fetched a right bower. Mr. Longfellow smiles as sweet as pie
and says,

     "'Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
       For the lesson thou hast taught,'

and blamed if he didn't down with another right bower! Emerson claps his
hand on his bowie, Longfellow claps his on his revolver, and I went under
a bunk. There was going to be trouble; but that monstrous Holmes rose
up, wobbling his double chins, and says he, 'Order, gentlemen; the first
man that draws I'll lay down on him and smother him!' All quiet on the
Potomac, you bet!

"They were pretty how-come-you-so by now, and they begun to blow. Emerson
says, 'The noblest thing I ever wrote was "Barbara Frietchie."' Says
Longfellow, 'It don't begin with my "Bigelow Papers."' Says Holmes, 'My
"Thanatopsis" lays over 'em both.' They mighty near ended in a fight.
Then they wished they had some more company, and Mr. Emerson pointed to
me and says:

     "'Is yonder squalid peasant all
       That this proud nursery could breed?'

He was a-whetting his bowie on his boot--so I let it pass. Well, sir,
next they took it into their heads that they would like some music; so
they made me stand up and sing, 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' till I
dropped--at thirteen minutes past four this morning. That's what I've
been through, my friend. When I woke at seven they were leaving, thank
goodness, and Mr. Longfellow had my only boots on and his'n under his
arm. Says I, 'Hold on there, Evangeline, what are you going to do with
them?' He says, 'Going to make tracks with 'em, because--

     "'Lives of great men all remind us
       We can make our lives sublime;
       And, departing, leave behind us
       Footprints on the sands of time.'

"As I said, Mr. Twain, you are the fourth in twenty-four hours and I'm
going to move; I ain't suited to a Littery atmosphere."

I said to the miner, "Why, my dear sir, these were not the gracious
singers to whom we and the world pay loving reverence and homage; these
were impostors."

The miner investigated me with a calm eye for a while; then said he, "Ah!
impostors, were they? Are you?"

I did not pursue the subject, and since then I have not traveled on my
'nom de guerre' enough to hurt. Such was the reminiscence I was moved to
contribute, Mr. Chairman. In my enthusiasm I may have exaggerated the
details a little, but you will easily forgive me that fault, since I
believe it is the first time I have ever deflected from perpendicular
fact on an occasion like this.



(See Chapter cxxxiv)


WHEREAS, A number of citizens of the city of Elmira in the State of New
York having covenanted among themselves to erect in that city a monument
in memory of Adam, the father of mankind, being moved thereto by a
sentiment of love and duty, and these having appointed the undersigned to
communicate with your honorable body, we beg leave to lay before you the
following facts and append to the same our humble petition.

1. As far as is known no monument has ever been raised in any part of
the world to commemorate the services rendered to our race by this great
man, whilst many men of far less note and worship have been rendered
immortal by means of stately and indestructible memorials.

2. The common father of mankind has been suffered to lie in entire
neglect, although even the Father of our Country has now, and has had for
many years, a monument in course of construction.

3. No right-feeling human being can desire to see this neglect
continued, but all just men, even to the farthest regions of the globe,
should and will rejoice to know that he to whom we owe existence is about
to have reverent and fitting recognition of his works at the hands of the
people of Elmira. His labors were not in behalf of one locality, but for
the extension of humanity at large and the blessings which go therewith;
hence all races and all colors and all religions are interested in seeing
that his name and fame shall be placed beyond the reach of the blight of
oblivion by a permanent and suitable monument.

4. It will be to the imperishable credit of the United States if this
monument shall be set up within her borders; moreover, it will be a
peculiar grace to the beneficiary if this testimonial of affection and
gratitude shall be the gift of the youngest of the nations that have
sprung from his loins after 6,000 years of unappreciation on the part of
its elders.

5. The idea of this sacred enterprise having originated in the city of
Elmira, she will be always grateful if the general government shall
encourage her in the good work by securing to her a certain advantage
through the exercise of its great authority.

Therefore, Your petitioners beg that your honorable body will be pleased
to issue a decree restricting to Elmira the right to build a monument to
Adam and inflicting a heavy penalty upon any other community within the
United States that shall propose or attempt to erect a monument or other
memorial to the said Adam, and to this end we will ever pray.

NAMES: (100 signatures)



(Written in 1886. Delivered at an Army and Navy Club dinner in New York

Lately a great and honored author, Matthew Arnold, has been finding fault
with General Grant's English. That would be fair enough, maybe, if the
examples of imperfect English averaged more instances to the page in
General Grant's book than they do in Arnold's criticism on the book--but
they do not. It would be fair enough, maybe, if such instances were
commoner in General Grant's book than they are in the works of the
average standard author--but they are not. In fact, General Grant's
derelictions in the matter of grammar and construction are not more
frequent than such derelictions in the works of a majority of the
professional authors of our time, and of all previous times--authors as
exclusively and painstakingly trained to the literary trade as was
General Grant to the trade of war. This is not a random statement: it is
a fact, and easily demonstrable. I have a book at home called Modern
English Literature: Its Blemishes and Defects, by Henry H. Breen, a
countryman of Mr. Arnold. In it I find examples of bad grammar and
slovenly English from the pens of Sydney Smith, Sheridan, Hallam,
Whately, Carlyle, Disraeli, Allison, Junius, Blair, Macaulay,
Shakespeare, Milton, Gibbon, Southey, Lamb, Landor, Smollett, Walpole,
Walker (of the dictionary), Christopher North, Kirk White, Benjamin
Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and Mr. Lindley Murray (who made the

In Mr. Arnold's criticism on General Grant's book we find two grammatical
crimes and more than several examples of very crude and slovenly English,
enough of them to entitle him to a lofty place in the illustrious list of
delinquents just named.

The following passage all by itself ought to elect him:
    "Meade suggested to Grant that he might wish to have immediately
    under him Sherman, who had been serving with Grant in the West. He
    begged him not to hesitate if he thought it for the good of the
    service. Grant assured him that he had not thought of moving him,
    and in his memoirs, after relating what had passed, he adds, etc."

To read that passage a couple of times would make a man dizzy; to read it
four times would make him drunk.

Mr. Breen makes this discriminating remark: "To suppose that because a
man is a poet or a historian he must be correct in his grammar is to
suppose that an architect must be a joiner, or a physician a compounder
of medicine."

People may hunt out what microscopic motes they please, but, after all,
the fact remains, and cannot be dislodged, that General Grant's book is a
great and, in its peculiar department, a unique and unapproachable
literary masterpiece. In their line there is no higher literature than
those modest, simple memoirs. Their style is at least flawless and no
man could improve upon it, and great books are weighed and measured by
their style and matter, and not by the trimmings and shadings of their

There is that about the sun which makes us forget his spots, and when we
think of General Grant our pulses quicken and his grammar vanishes; we
only remember that this is the simple soldier who, all untaught of the
silken phrase-makers, linked words together with an art surpassing the
art of the schools and put into them a something which will still bring
to American ears, as long as America shall last, the roll of his vanished
drums and the tread of his marching hosts. What do we care for grammar
when we think of those thunderous phrases, "Unconditional and immediate
surrender," "I propose to move immediately upon your works," "I propose
to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." Mr. Arnold would
doubtless claim that that last phrase is not strictly grammatical, and
yet it did certainly wake up this nation as a hundred million tons of
A-number-one fourth-proof, hard-boiled, hide-bound grammar from another
mouth could not have done. And finally we have that gentler phrase, that
one which shows you another true side of the man, shows you that in his
soldier heart there was room for other than gory war mottoes and in his
tongue the gift to fitly phrase them: "Let us have peace."




(See Chapter clxiii)

. . . I have referred to the fact that when a man retires from his
political party he is a traitor--that he is so pronounced in plain
language. That is bold; so bold as to deceive many into the fancy that
it is true. Desertion, treason--these are the terms applied. Their
military form reveals the thought in the man's mind who uses them: to him
a political party is an army. Well, is it? Are the two things
identical? Do they even resemble each other? Necessarily a political
party is not an army of conscripts, for they are in the ranks by
compulsion. Then it must be a regular army or an army of volunteers. Is
it a regular army? No, for these enlist for a specified and
well-understood term, and can retire without reproach when the term is
up. Is it an army of volunteers who have enlisted for the war, and may
righteously be shot if they leave before the war is finished? No, it is
not even an army in that sense. Those fine military terms are
high-sounding, empty lies, and are no more rationally applicable to a
political party than they would be to an oyster-bed. The volunteer
soldier comes to the recruiting office and strips himself and proves that
he is so many feet high, and has sufficiently good teeth, and no fingers
gone, and is sufficiently sound in body generally; he is accepted; but
not until he has sworn a deep oath or made other solemn form of promise
to march under, that flag until that war is done or his term of
enlistment completed. What is the process when a voter joins a party?
Must he prove that he is sound in any way, mind or body? Must he prove
that he knows anything--is capable of anything--whatever? Does he take
an oath or make a promise of any sort?--or doesn't he leave himself
entirely free? If he were informed by the political boss that if he
join, it must be forever; that he must be that party's chattel and wear
its brass collar the rest of his days--would not that insult him? It
goes without saying. He would say some rude, unprintable thing, and turn
his back on that preposterous organization. But the political boss puts
no conditions upon him at all; and this volunteer makes no promises,
enlists for no stated term. He has in no sense become a part of an army;
he is in no way restrained of his freedom. Yet he will presently find
that his bosses and his newspapers have assumed just the reverse of that:
that they have blandly arrogated to themselves an ironclad military
authority over him; and within twelve months, if he is an average man, he
will have surrendered his liberty, and will actually be silly enough to
believe that he cannot leave that party, for any cause whatever, without
being a shameful traitor, a deserter, a legitimately dishonored man.

There you have the just measure of that freedom of conscience, freedom of
opinion, freedom of speech and action which we hear so much inflated
foolishness about as being the precious possession of the republic.
Whereas, in truth, the surest way for a man to make of himself a target
for almost universal scorn, obloquy, slander, and insult is to stop
twaddling about these priceless independencies and attempt to exercise
one of them. If he is a preacher half his congregation will clamor for
his expulsion--and will expel him, except they find it will injure real
estate in the neighborhood; if he is a doctor his own dead will turn
against him.

I repeat that the new party-member who supposed himself independent will
presently find that the party have somehow got a mortgage on his soul,
and that within a year he will recognize the mortgage, deliver up his
liberty, and actually believe he cannot retire from that party from any
motive howsoever high and right in his own eyes without shame and

Is it possible for human wickedness to invent a doctrine more infernal
and poisonous than this? Is there imaginable a baser servitude than it
imposes? What slave is so degraded as the slave that is proud that he is
a slave? What is the essential difference between a lifelong democrat
and any other kind of lifelong slave? Is it less humiliating to dance to
the lash of one master than another?

This infamous doctrine of allegiance to party plays directly into the
hands of politicians of the baser sort--and doubtless for that it was
borrowed--or stolen--from the monarchial system. It enables them to
foist upon the country officials whom no self-respecting man would vote
for if he could but come to understand that loyalty to himself is his
first and highest duty, not loyalty to any party name.

Shall you say the best good of the country demands allegiance to party?
Shall you also say that it demands that a man kick his truth and his
conscience into the gutter and become a mouthing lunatic besides? Oh no,
you say; it does not demand that. But what if it produce that in spite
of you? There is no obligation upon a man to do things which he ought
not to do when drunk, but most men will do them just the same; and so we
hear no arguments about obligations in the matter--we only hear men
warned to avoid the habit of drinking; get rid of the thing that can
betray men into such things.

This is a funny business all around. The same men who enthusiastically
preach loyal consistency to church and party are always ready and willing
and anxious to persuade a Chinaman or an Indian or a Kanaka to desert his
church or a fellow-American to desert his party. The man who deserts to
them is all that is high and pure and beautiful--apparently; the man who
deserts from them is all that is foul and despicable. This is
Consistency--with a capital C.

With the daintiest and self-complacentest sarcasm the lifelong loyalist
scoffs at the Independent--or as he calls him, with cutting irony, the
Mugwump; makes himself too killingly funny for anything in this world
about him. But--the Mugwump can stand it, for there is a great history
at his back; stretching down the centuries, and he comes of a mighty
ancestry. He knows that in the whole history of the race of men no
single great and high and beneficent thing was ever done for the souls
and bodies, the hearts and the brains of the children of this world, but
a Mugwump started it and Mugwumps carried it to victory: And their names
are the stateliest in history: Washington, Garrison, Galileo, Luther,
Christ. Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a
human soul in this world-end never will.



(See Chapter clxxii)

My object has been to group together some of the most odious laws which
have had vogue in the Christian countries within the past eight or ten
centuries, and illustrate them by the incidents of a story.

There was never a time when America applied the death-penalty to more
than fourteen crimes. But England, within the memory of men still
living, had in her list of crimes 223 which were punishable by death! And
yet from the beginning of our existence down to a time within the memory
of babes England has distressed herself piteously over the ungentleness
of our Connecticut Blue Laws. Those Blue Laws should have been spared
English criticism for two reasons:

1. They were so insipidly mild, by contrast with the bloody and
atrocious laws of England of the same period, as to seem characterless
and colorless when one brings them into that awful presence.

2. The Blue Laws never had any existence. They were the fancy-work of
an English clergyman; they were never a part of any statute-book. And
yet they could have been made to serve a useful and merciful purpose; if
they had been injected into the English law the dilution would have given
to the whole a less lurid aspect; or, to figure the effect in another
way, they would have been coca mixed into vitriol.

I have drawn no laws and no illustrations from the twin civilizations of
hell and Russia. To have entered into that atmosphere would have
defeated my purpose, which was to show a great and genuine progress in
Christendom in these few later generations toward mercifulness--a wide
and general relaxing of the grip of the law. Russia had to be left out
because exile to Siberia remains, and in that single punishment is
gathered together and concentrated all the bitter inventions of all the
black ages for the infliction of suffering upon human beings. Exile for
life from one's hearthstone and one's idols--this is rack, thumb-screw,
the water-drop, fagot and stake, tearing asunder by horses, flaying
alive--all these in one; and not compact into hours, but drawn out into
years, each year a century, and the whole a mortal immortality of torture
and despair. While exile to Siberia remains one will be obliged to admit
that there is one country in Christendom where the punishments of all the
ages are still preserved and still inflicted, that there is one country
in Christendom where no advance has been made toward modifying the
medieval penalties for offenses against society and the State.



(See Chapter cc and earlier)

April 25, 1902. I owe more to Henry Rogers than to any other man whom I
have known. He was born in Fairhaven, Connecticut, in 1839, and is my
junior by four years. He was graduated from the high school there in
1853, when he was fourteen years old, and from that time forward he
earned his own living, beginning at first as the bottom subordinate in
the village store with hard-work privileges and a low salary. When he
was twenty-four he went out to the newly discovered petroleum fields in
Pennsylvania and got work; then returned home, with enough money to pay
passage, married a schoolmate, and took her to the oil regions. He
prospered, and by and by established the Standard Oil Trust with Mr.
Rockefeller and others, and is still one of its managers and directors.

In 1893 we fell together by accident one evening in the Murray Hill
Hotel, and our friendship began on the spot and at once. Ever since then
he has added my business affairs to his own and carried them through, and
I have had no further trouble with them. Obstructions and perplexities
which would have driven me mad were simplicities to his master mind and
furnished him no difficulties. He released me from my entanglements with
Paige and stopped that expensive outgo; when Charles L. Webster & Company
failed he saved my copyrights for Mrs. Clemens when she would have
sacrificed them to the creditors although they were in no way entitled to
them; he offered to lend me money wherewith to save the life of that
worthless firm; when I started lecturing around the world to make the
money to pay off the Webster debts he spent more than a year trying to
reconcile the differences between Harper & Brothers and the American
Publishing Company and patch up a working-contract between them and
succeeded where any other man would have failed; as fast as I earned
money and sent it to him he banked it at interest and held onto it,
refusing to pay any creditor until he could pay all of the 96 alike; when
I had earned enough to pay dollar for dollar he swept off the
indebtedness and sent me the whole batch of complimentary letters which
the creditors wrote in return; when I had earned $28,500 more, $18,500 of
which was in his hands, I wrote him from Vienna to put the latter into
Federal Steel and leave it there; he obeyed to the extent of $17,500, but
sold it in two months at $25,000 profit, and said it would go ten points
higher, but that it was his custom to "give the other man a chance" (and
that was a true word--there was never a truer one spoken). That was at
the end of '99 and beginning of 1900; and from that day to this he has
continued to break up my bad schemes and put better ones in their place,
to my great advantage. I do things which ought to try man's patience,
but they never seem to try his; he always finds a colorable excuse for
what I have done. His soul was born superhumanly sweet, and I do not
think anything can sour it. I have not known his equal among men for
lovable qualities. But for his cool head and wise guidance I should
never have come out of the Webster difficulties on top; it was his good
steering that enabled me to work out my salvation and pay a hundred cents
on the dollar--the most valuable service any man ever did me.

His character is full of fine graces, but the finest is this: that he can
load you down with crushing obligations and then so conduct himself that
you never feel their weight. If he would only require something in
return--but that is not in his nature; it would not occur to him. With
the Harpers and the American Company at war those copyrights were worth
but little; he engineered a peace and made them valuable. He invests
$100,000 for me here, and in a few months returns a profit of $31,000. I
invest (in London and here) $66,000 and must wait considerably for
results (in case there shall be any). I tell him about it and he finds
no fault, utters not a sarcasm. He was born serene, patient,
all-enduring, where a friend is concerned, and nothing can extinguish
that great quality in him. Such a man is entitled to the high gift of
humor: he has it at its very best. He is not only the best friend I have
ever had, but is the best man I have known.

                     S. L. CLEMENS.




(See Chapter ccxxiii)

(A bereft and demented mother speaks)

. . . O, I can see my darling yet: the little form In slip of flimsy
stuff all creamy white, Pink-belted waist with ample bows, Blue shoes
scarce bigger than the house-cat's ears--Capering in delight and choked
with glee.

It was a summer afternoon; the hill Rose green above me and about, and in
the vale below The distant village slept, and all the world Was steeped
in dreams. Upon me lay this peace, And I forgot my sorrow in its spell.
And now My little maid passed by, and she Was deep in thought upon a
solemn thing: A disobedience, and my reproof. Upon my face She must not
look until the day was done; For she was doing penance . . . She? O,
it was I! What mother knows not that? And so she passed, I worshiping
and longing . . . It was not wrong? You do not think me wrong? I did
it for the best. Indeed I meant it so.

She flits before me now: The peach-bloom of her gauzy crepe, The plaited
tails of hair, The ribbons floating from the summer hat, The grieving
face, dropp'd head absorbed with care. O, dainty little form! I see it
move, receding slow along the path, By hovering butterflies besieged; I
see it reach The breezy top clear-cut against the sky, . . . Then pass
beyond and sink from sight-forever!

Within, was light and cheer; without, A blustering winter's right. There
was a play; It was her own; for she had wrought it out Unhelped, from her
own head-and she But turned sixteen! A pretty play, All graced with
cunning fantasies, And happy songs, and peopled all with fays, And sylvan
gods and goddesses, And shepherds, too, that piped and danced, And wore
the guileless hours away In care-free romps and games.

Her girlhood mates played in the piece, And she as well: a goddess, she,
--And looked it, as it seemed to me.

'Twas fairyland restored-so beautiful it was And innocent. It made us
cry, we elder ones, To live our lost youth o'er again With these its
happy heirs.

Slowly, at last, the curtain fell. Before us, there, she stood, all
wreathed and draped In roses pearled with dew-so sweet, so glad, So
radiant!--and flung us kisses through the storm Of praise that crowned
her triumph . . . . O, Across the mists of time I see her yet, My
Goddess of the Flowers!

. . . The curtain hid her . . . . Do you comprehend? Till time
shall end! Out of my life she vanished while I looked!

. . . Ten years are flown. O, I have watched so long, So long. But
she will come no more. No, she will come no more.

It seems so strange . . . so strange . . . Struck down unwarned! In
the unbought grace, of youth laid low--In the glory of her fresh young
bloom laid low--In the morning of her life cut down! And I not by! Not
by When the shadows fell, the night of death closed down The sun that lit
my life went out. Not by to answer When the latest whisper passed the
lips That were so dear to me--my name! Far from my post! the world's
whole breadth away. O, sinking in the waves of death she cried to me For
mother-help, and got for answer Silence!

We that are old--we comprehend; even we That are not mad: whose grown-up
scions still abide; Their tale complete: Their earlier selves we glimpse
at intervals Far in the dimming past; We see the little forms as once
they were, And whilst we ache to take them to our hearts, The vision
fades. We know them lost to us--Forever lost; we cannot have them back;
We miss them as we miss the dead, We mourn them as we mourn the dead.




(See Chapter ccxxxv)

Our world (the tramp) is as large and grand and awe-compelling to us
microscopic creatures as is man's world to man. Our tramp is
mountainous, there are vast oceans in him, and lakes that are sea-like
for size, there are many rivers (veins and arteries) which are fifteen
miles across, and of a length so stupendous as to make the Mississippi
and the Amazon trifling little Rhode Island brooks by comparison. As for
our minor rivers, they are multitudinous, and the dutiable commerce of
disease which they carry is rich beyond the dreams of the American

Take a man like Sir Oliver Lodge, and what secret of Nature can be hidden
from him? He says: "A billion, that is a million millions,[?? Trillion
D.W.] of atoms is truly an immense number, but the resulting aggregate is
still excessively minute. A portion of substance consisting, of a
billion atoms is only barely visible with the highest power of a
microscope; and a speck or granule, in order to be visible to the naked
eye, like a grain of lycopodium-dust, must be a million times bigger

The human eye could see it then--that dainty little speck. But with my
microbe-eye I could see every individual of the whirling billions of
atoms that compose the speck. Nothing is ever at rest--wood, iron,
water, everything is alive, everything is raging, whirling, whizzing, day
and night and night and day, nothing is dead, there is no such thing as
death, everything is full of bristling life, tremendous life, even the
bones of the crusader that perished before Jerusalem eight centuries ago.
There are no vegetables, all things are animal; each electron is an
animal, each molecule is a collection of animals, and each has an
appointed duty to perform and a soul to be saved. Heaven was not made
for man alone, and oblivion and neglect reserved for the rest of His
creatures. He gave them life, He gave them humble services to perform,
they have performed them, and they will not be forgotten, they will have
their reward. Man-always vain, windy, conceited-thinks he will be in the
majority there. He will be disappointed. Let him humble himself. But
for the despised microbe and the persecuted bacillus, who needed a home
and nourishment, he would not have been created. He has a mission,
therefore a reason for existing: let him do the service he was made for,
and keep quiet.

Three weeks ago I was a man myself, and thought and felt as men think and
feel; I have lived 3,000 years since then [microbic time], and I see the
foolishness of it now. We live to learn, and fortunate are we when we
are wise enough to profit by it.

In matters pertaining to microscopy we necessarily have an advantage here
over the scientist of the earth, because, as I have just been indicating,
we see with our naked eyes minutenesses which no man-made microscope can
detect, and are therefore able to register as facts many things which
exist for him as theories only. Indeed, we know as facts several things
which he has not yet divined even by theory. For example, he does not
suspect that there is no life but animal life, and that all atoms are
individual animals endowed each with a certain degree of consciousness,
great or small, each with likes and dislikes, predilections and
aversions--that, in a word, each has a character, a character of its own.
Yet such is the case. Some of the molecules of a stone have an aversion
for some of those of a vegetable or any other creature and will not
associate with them--and would not be allowed to, if they tried. Nothing
is more particular about society than a molecule. And so there are no
end of castes; in this matter India is not a circumstance.

"Tell me, Franklin [a microbe of great learning], is the ocean an
individual, an animal, a creature?"


"Then water--any water-is an individual?"


"Suppose you remove a drop of it? Is what is left an individual?"

"Yes, and so is the drop."

"Suppose you divide the drop?"

"Then you have two individuals."

"Suppose you separate the hydrogen and the oxygen?"

"Again you have two individuals. But you haven't water any more."

"Of course. Certainly. Well, suppose you combine them again, but in a
new way: make the proportions equal--one part oxygen to one of hydrogen?"

"But you know you can't. They won't combine on equal terms."

I was ashamed to have made that blunder. I was embarrassed; to cover it
I started to say we used to combine them like that where I came from, but
thought better of it, and stood pat.

"Now then," I said, "it amounts to this: water is an individual, an
animal, and is alive; remove the hydrogen and it is an animal and is
alive; the remaining oxygen is also an individual, an animal, and is
alive. Recapitulation: the two individuals combined constitute a third
individual--and yet each continues to be an individual."

I glanced at Franklin, but . . . upon reflection, held my peace. I
could have pointed out to him that here was mute Nature explaining the
sublime mystery of the Trinity so luminously--that even the commonest
understanding could comprehend it, whereas many a trained master of words
had labored to do it with speech and failed. But he would not have known
what I was talking about. After a moment I resumed:

"Listen--and see if I have understood you rightly, to wit: All the atoms
that constitute each oxygen molecule are separate individuals, and each
is a living animal; all the atoms that constitute each hydrogen molecule
are separate individuals, and each one is a living animal; each drop of
water consists of millions of living animals, the drop itself is an
individual, a living animal, and the wide ocean is another. Is that it?"

"Yes, that is correct."

"By George, it beats the band!"

He liked the expression, and set it down in his tablets.

"Franklin, we've got it down fine. And to think--there are other animals
that are still smaller than a hydrogen atom, and yet it is so small that
it takes five thousand of them to make a molecule--a molecule so minute
that it could get into a microbe's eye and he wouldn't know it was

"Yes, the wee creatures that inhabit the bodies of us germs and feed upon
us, and rot us with disease: Ah, what could they have been created for?
They give us pain, they make our lives miserable, they murder us--and
where is the use of it all, where the wisdom? Ah, friend Bkshp [microbic
orthography], we live in a strange and unaccountable world; our birth is
a mystery, our little life is a mystery, a trouble, we pass and are seen
no more; all is mystery, mystery, mystery; we know not whence we came,
nor why; we know not whither we go, nor why we go. We only know we were
not made in vain, we only know we were made for a wise purpose, and that
all is well! We shall not be cast aside in contumely and unblest after
all we have suffered. Let us be patient, let us not repine, let us
trust. The humblest of us is cared for--oh, believe it!--and this
fleeting stay is not the end!"

You notice that? He did not suspect that he, also, was engaged in
gnawing, torturing, defiling, rotting, and murdering a fellow-creature
--he and all the swarming billions of his race. None of them suspects
it. That is significant. It is suggestive--irresistibly suggestive
--insistently suggestive. It hints at the possibility that the
procession of known and listed devourers and persecutors is not complete.
It suggests the possibility, and substantially the certainty, that man is
himself a microbe, and his globe a blood-corpuscle drifting with its
shining brethren of the Milky Way down a vein of the Master and Maker of
all things, whose body, mayhap--glimpsed part-wise from the earth by
night, and receding and lost to view in the measureless remotenesses of
space--is what men name the Universe.

Yes, that was all old to me, but to find that our little old familiar
microbes were themselves loaded up with microbes that fed them, enriched
them, and persistently and faithfully preserved them and their poor old
tramp-planet from destruction--oh, that was new, and too delicious!

I wanted to see them! I was in a fever to see them! I had lenses to
two-million power, but of course the field was no bigger than a person's
finger-nail, and so it wasn't possible to compass a considerable
spectacle or a landscape with them; whereas what I had been craving was a
thirty-foot field, which would represent a spread of several miles of
country and show up things in a way to make them worth looking at. The
boys and I had often tried to contrive this improvement, but had failed.

I mentioned the matter to the Duke and it made him smile. He said it was
a quite simple thing-he had it at home. I was eager to bargain for the
secret, but he said it was a trifle and not worth bargaining for. He

"Hasn't it occurred to you that all you have to do is to bend an X-ray to
an angle-value of 8.4 and refract it with a parabolism, and there you

Upon my word, I had never thought of that simple thing! You could have
knocked me down with a feather.

We rigged a microscope for an exhibition at once and put a drop of my
blood under it, which got mashed flat when the lens got shut down upon
it. The result was beyond my dreams. The field stretched miles away,
green and undulating, threaded with streams and roads, and bordered all
down the mellowing distances with picturesque hills. And there was a
great white city of tents; and everywhere were parks of artillery and
divisions of cavalry and infantry waiting. We had hit a lucky moment,
evidently there was going to be a march-past or some thing like that. At
the front where the chief banner flew there was a large and showy tent,
with showy guards on duty, and about it were some other tents of a swell

The warriors--particularly the officers--were lovely to look at, they
were so trim-built and so graceful and so handsomely uniformed. They
were quite distinct, vividly distinct, for it was a fine day, and they
were so immensely magnified that they looked to be fully a finger-nail
high.--[My own expression, and a quite happy one. I said to the Duke:
"Your Grace, they're just about finger-milers!" "How do you mean,
m'lord?" "This. You notice the stately General standing there with his
hand resting upon the muzzle of a cannon? Well, if you could stick your
little finger down against the ground alongside of him his plumes would
just reach up to where your nail joins the flesh." The Duke said
"finger-milers was good"--good and exact; and he afterward used it several
times himself.]--Everywhere you could see officers moving smartly about,
and they looked gay, but the common soldiers looked sad. Many
wife-swinks ["Swinks," an atomic race] and daughter-swinks and
sweetheart-swinks were about--crying, mainly. It seemed to indicate that
this was a case of war, not a summer-camp for exercise, and that the poor
labor-swinks were being torn from their planet-saving industries to go
and distribute civilization and other forms of suffering among the feeble
benighted somewhere; else why should the swinkesses cry?

The cavalry was very fine--shiny black horses, shapely and spirited; and
presently when a flash of light struck a lifted bugle (delivering a
command which we couldn't hear) and a division came tearing down on a
gallop it was a stirring and gallant sight, until the dust rose an inch
--the Duke thought more--and swallowed it up in a rolling and tumbling
long gray cloud, with bright weapons glinting and sparkling in it.

Before long the real business of the occasion began. A battalion of
priests arrived carrying sacred pictures. That settled it: this was war;
these far-stretching masses of troops were bound for the front. Their
little monarch came out now, the sweetest little thing that ever
travestied the human shape I think, and he lifted up his hands and
blessed the passing armies, and they looked as grateful as they could,
and made signs of humble and real reverence as they drifted by the holy

It was beautiful--the whole thing; and wonderful, too, when those serried
masses swung into line and went marching down the valley under the long
array of fluttering flags.

Evidently they were going somewhere to fight for their king, which was
the little manny that blessed them; and to preserve him and his brethren
that occupied the other swell tents; to civilize and grasp a valuable
little unwatched country for them somewhere. But the little fellow and
his brethren didn't fall in--that was a noticeable particular. They
didn't fight; they stayed at home, where it was safe, and waited for the

Very well, then-what ought we to do? Had we no moral duty to perform?
Ought we to allow this war to begin? Was it not our duty to stop it, in
the name of right and righteousness? Was it not our duty to administer a
rebuke to this selfish and heartless Family?

The Duke was struck by that, and greatly moved. He felt as I did about
it, and was ready to do whatever was right, and thought we ought to pour
boiling water on the Family and extinguish it, which we did.

It extinguished the armies, too, which was not intended. We both
regretted this, but the Duke said that these people were nothing to us,
and deserved extinction anyway for being so poor-spirited as to serve
such a Family. He was loyally doing the like himself, and so was I, but
I don't think we thought of that. And it wasn't just the same, anyway,
because we were sooflaskies, and they were only swinks.

Franklin realizes that no atom is destructible; that it has always
existed and will exist forever; but he thinks all atoms will go out of
this world some day and continue their life in a happier one. Old
Tolliver thinks no atom's life will ever end, but he also thinks
Blitzowski is the only world it will ever see, and that at no time in its
eternity will it be either worse off or better off than it is now and
always has been. Of course he thinks the planet Blitzowski is itself
eternal and indestructible--at any rate he says he thinks that. It could
make me sad, only I know better. D. T. will fetch Blitzy yet one of
these days.

But these are alien thoughts, human thoughts, and they falsely indicate
that I do not want this tramp to go on living. What would become of me
if he should disintegrate? My molecules would scatter all around and
take up new quarters in hundreds of plants and animals; each would carry
its special feelings along with it, each would be content in its new
estate, but where should I be? I should not have a rag of a feeling
left, after my disintegration--with his--was complete. Nothing to think
with, nothing to grieve or rejoice with, nothing to hope or despair with.
There would be no more me. I should be musing and thinking and dreaming
somewhere else--in some distant animal maybe--perhaps a cat--by proxy of
my oxygen I should be raging and fuming in some other creatures--a rat,
perhaps; I should be smiling and hoping in still another child of Nature
--heir to my hydrogen--a weed, or a cabbage, or something; my carbonic
acid (ambition) would be dreaming dreams in some lowly wood-violet that
was longing for a showy career; thus my details would be doing as much
feeling as ever, but I should not be aware of it, it would all be going
on for the benefit of those others, and I not in it at all. I should be
gradually wasting away, atom by atom, molecule by molecule, as the years
went on, and at last I should be all distributed, and nothing left of
what had once been Me. It is curious, and not without impressiveness: I
should still be alive, intensely alive, but so scattered that I would not
know it. I should not be dead--no, one cannot call it that--but I should
be the next thing to it. And to think what centuries and ages and aeons
would drift over me before the disintegration was finished, the last bone
turned to gas and blown away! I wish I knew what it is going to feel
like, to lie helpless such a weary, weary time, and see my faculties
decay and depart, one by one, like lights which burn low, and flicker and
perish, until the ever-deepening gloom and darkness which--oh, away, away
with these horrors, and let me think of something wholesome!

My tramp is only 85; there is good hope that he will live ten years
longer--500,000 of my microbe years. So may it be.

Oh, dear, we are all so wise! Each of us knows it all, and knows he
knows it all--the rest, to a man, are fools and deluded. One man knows
there is a hell, the next one knows there isn't; one man knows high
tariff is right, the next man knows it isn't; one man knows monarchy is
best, the next one knows it isn't; one age knows there are witches, the
next one knows there aren't; one sect knows its religion is the only true
one, there are sixty-four thousand five hundred million sects that know
it isn't so. There is not a mind present among this multitude of
verdict-deliverers that is the superior of the minds that persuade and
represent the rest of the divisions of the multitude. Yet this sarcastic
fact does not humble the arrogance nor diminish the know-it-all bulk of a
single verdict-maker of the lot by so much as a shade. Mind is plainly
an ass, but it will be many ages before it finds it out, no doubt. Why
do we respect the opinions of any man or any microbe that ever lived? I
swear I don't know. Why do I respect my own? Well--that is different.



(See Chapter cclxxxii)

[It is dull, and I need wholesome excitements and distractions; so I will
go lightly excursioning along the primrose path of theology.]

Little Bessie was nearly three years old. She was a good child, and not
shallow, not frivolous, but meditative and thoughtful, and much given to
thinking out the reasons of things and trying to make them harmonize with
results. One day she said:

"Mama, why is there so much pain and sorrow and suffering? What is it
all for?"

It was an easy question, and mama had no difficulty in answering it:

"It is for our good, my child. In His wisdom and mercy the Lord sends us
these afflictions to discipline us and make us better."

"Is it He that sends them?"


"Does He send all of them, mama?"

"Yes, dear, all of them. None of them comes by accident; He alone sends
them, and always out of love for us, and to make us better."

"Isn't it strange?"

"Strange? Why, no, I have never thought of it in that way. I have not
heard any one call it strange before. It has always seemed natural and
right to me, and wise and most kindly and merciful."

"Who first thought of it like that, mama? Was it you?"

"Oh no, child, I was taught it."

"Who taught you so, mama?"

"Why, really, I don't know--I can't remember. My mother, I suppose; or
the preacher. But it's a thing that everybody knows."

"Well, anyway, it does seem strange. Did He give Billy Norris the


"What for?"

"Why, to discipline him and make him good."

"But he died, mama, and so it couldn't make him good."

"Well, then, I suppose it was for some other reason. We know it was a
good reason, whatever it was."

"What do you think it was, mama?"

"Oh, you ask so many questions! I think it was to discipline his

"Well, then, it wasn't fair, mama. Why should his life be taken away for
their sake, when he wasn't doing anything?"

"Oh, I don't know! I only know it was for a good and wise and merciful

"What reason, mama?"

"I think--I think-well, it was a judgment; it was to punish them for some
sin they had committed."

"But he was the one that was punished, mama. Was that right?"

"Certainly, certainly. He does nothing that isn't right and wise and
merciful. You can't understand these things now, dear, but when you are
grown up you will understand them, and then you will see that they are
just and wise."

After a pause:

"Did He make the roof fall in on the stranger that was trying to save the
crippled old woman from the fire, mama?"

"Yes, my child. Wait! Don't ask me why, because I don't know. I only
know it was to discipline some one, or be a judgment upon somebody, or to
show His power."

"That drunken man that stuck a pitchfork into Mrs. Welch's baby when--"

"Never mind about it, you needn't go into particulars; it was to
discipline the child--that much is certain, anyway."

"Mama, Mr. Burgess said in his sermon that billions of little creatures
are sent into us to give us cholera, and typhoid, and lockjaw, and more
than a thousand other sicknesses and--mama, does He send them?"

"Oh, certainly, child, certainly. Of course."

"What for?"

"Oh, to discipline us! Haven't I told you so, over and over again?"

"It's awful cruel, mama! And silly! and if I----"

"Hush, oh, hush! Do you want to bring the lightning?"

"You know the lightning did come last week, mama, and struck the new
church, and burnt it down. Was it to discipline the church?"

(Wearily.) "Oh, I suppose so."

"But it killed a hog that wasn't doing anything. Was it to discipline
the hog, mama?"

"Dear child, don't you want to run out and play a while? If you would
like to----"

"Mama, only think! Mr. Hollister says there isn't a bird, or fish, or
reptile, or any other animal that hasn't got an enemy that Providence has
sent to bite it and chase it and pester it and kill it and suck its blood
and discipline it and make it good and religious. Is that true, mother
--because if it is true why did Mr. Hollister laugh at it?"

"That Hollister is a scandalous person, and I don't want you to listen to
anything he says."

"Why, mama, he is very interesting, and I think he tries to be good. He
says the wasps catch spiders and cram them down into their nests in the
ground--alive, mama!--and there they live and suffer days and days and
days, and the hungry little wasps chewing their legs and gnawing into
their bellies all the time, to make them good and religious and praise
God for His infinite mercies. I think Mr. Hollister is just lovely, and
ever so kind; for when I asked him if he would treat a spider like that
he said he hoped to be damned if he would; and then he----Dear mama, have
you fainted! I will run and bring help! Now this comes of staying in
town this hot weather."

                      APPENDIX X


            PUBLISHED AND OTHERWISE--FROM 1851-1910

Note 1.--This is not a detailed bibliography, but merely a general list
of Mark Twain's literary undertakings, in the order of performance,
showing when, and usually where, the work was done, when and where first
published, etc. An excellent Mark Twain bibliography has been compiled
by Mr. Merle Johnson, to whom acknowledgments are due for important

Note 2.--Only a few of the more important speeches are noted. Volumes
that are merely collections of tales or articles are not noted.

Note 3.--Titles are shortened to those most commonly in use, as "Huck
Finn" or "Huck" for "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Names of periodicals are abbreviated.

The initials U. E. stand for the "Uniform Edition" of Mark Twain's

The chapter number or numbers in the line with the date refers to the
place in this work where the items are mentioned.

              (See Chapter xviii of this work.)

Edited the Hannibal Journal during the absence of the owner and editor,
Orion Clemens.
Wrote local items for the Hannibal Journal.
Burlesque of a rival editor in the Hannibal Journal.
Wrote two sketches for The Sat. Eve. Post (Philadelphia).
To MARY IN H-l. Hannibal Journal.

                   (See Chapter xviii.)

JIM WOLFE AND THE FIRE--Hannibal Journal.
Burlesque of a rival editor in the Hannibal Journal.

                   (See Chapter xix.)

Wrote obituary poems--not published.
Wrote first letters home.

                (See Chapters xx and xxi.)

First after-dinner speech; delivered at a printers' banquet in Keokuk,
Letters from Cincinnati, November 16, 1856, signed "Snodgrass"
--Saturday Post (Keokuk).

                   (See Chapter xxi.)

Letters from Cincinnati, March 16, 1857, signed "Snodgrass"--Saturday
Post (Keokuk).


Anonymous contributions to the New Orleans Crescent and probably to St.
Louis papers.

            (See Chapter xxvii; also Appendix B.)

Burlesque of Capt. Isaiah Sellers--True Delta (New Orleans), May 8 or 9.

               (See Chapters xxxiii to xxxv.)

Letters home, published in The Gate City (Keokuk).

               (See Chapters xxxv to xxxviii.)

Letters and sketches, signed "Josh," for the Territorial Enterprise
(Virginia City, Nevada).
Local news reporter for the Enterprise from August.

         (See Chapters xli to xliii; also Appendix C.)

Reported the Nevada Legislature for the Enterprise.
First used the name "Mark Twain," February 2.
CURING A COLD--Enterprise. U. E.
Many other Enterprise sketches.

              (See. Chapters xliv to xlvii.)

Reported the Nevada Legislature for the Enterprise.
Speech as "Governor of the Third House."
Letters to New York Sunday Mercury.
Local reporter on the San Francisco Call.
Articles and sketches for the Golden Era.
Articles and sketches for the Californian.
Daily letters from San Francisco to the Enterprise.
(Several of the Era and Californian sketches appear in SKETCHES NEW AND
OLD. U. E.)

           (See Chapters xlix to li; also Appendix E.)

Notes for the Jumping Frog story; Angel's Camp, February.
Sketches etc., for the Golden Era and Californian.
Daily letter to the Enterprise.
THE JUMPING FROG (San Francisco) Saturday Press. New York,
November 18. U. E.

           (See Chapters lii to lv; also Appendix D.)

Daily letter to the Enterprise.
Sandwich Island letters to the Sacramento Union.
Lecture on the Sandwich Islands, San Francisco, October 2.
FORTY-THREE DAYS IN AN OPEN BOAT--Harper's Magazine, December (error in
signature made it Mark Swain).

     (See Chapters lvii to lxv; also Appendices E, F, and G.)

Letters to Alta California from New York.
JIM WOLFE AND THE CATS--N. Y. Sunday Mercury.
THE JUMPING FROG--book, published by Charles Henry Webb, May 1. U. E.
Lectured at Cooper Union, May, '66.
Letters to Alta California and New York Tribune from the Quaker City
--Holy Land excursion.
Letter to New York Herald on the return from the Holy Land.
After-dinner speech on "Women" (Washington).
Began arrangement for the publication of THE INNOCENTS ABROAD.

       (See Chapters lxvi to lxix; also Appendices H and I.)

Newspaper letters, etc., from Washington, for New York Citizen, Tribune,
Herald, and other papers and periodicals.
Preparing Quaker City letters (in Washington and San Francisco) for book
published Harper's Magazine, December, 1907-January, 1908 (also book,
Lectured in California and Nevada on the "Holy Land," July 2.
S'CAT! Anonymous article on T. K. Beecher (Elmira), published in local
Lecture-tour, season 1868-69.

               (See Chapters lxx to lxxni.)

THE INNOCENTS ABROAD--book (Am. Pub. Co.), July 20. U. E.
Bought one-third ownership in the Buffalo Express.
Contributed editorials, sketches, etc., to the Express.
Contributed sketches to Packard's Monthly, Wood's Magazine, etc.
Lecture-tour, season 1869-70.

         (See Chapters lxxiv to lxxx; also Appendix J.)

Contributed various matter to Buffalo Express.
Contributed various matter under general head of "MEMORANDA" to Galaxy
Magazine, May to April, '71.
ROUGHING IT begun in September (Buffalo).
SHEM'S DIARY (Buffalo) (unfinished).
GOD, ANCIENT AND MODERN (unpublished).

        (See Chapters lxxxi and lxxxii; also Appendix K.)

MEMORANDA continued in Galaxy to April.
Express in 1870. Later included in SKETCHES.]--booklet (Sheldon & Co.).
U. E.
ROUGHING IT finished (Quarry Farm).
Ruloff letter--Tribune.
Wrote several sketches and lectures (Quarry Farm).
Western play (unfinished).
Lecture-tour, season 1871-72.

        (See Chapters lxxxiii to lxxxvii; also Appendix L.)

ROUGHING IT--book (Am. Pub. Co.), February. U. E.
THE MARK TWAIN SCRAP-BOOK invented (Saybrook, Connecticut).
TOM SAWYER begun as a play (Saybrook, Connecticut).
A few unimportant sketches published in "Practical jokes," etc.
Began a book on England (London).

              (See Chapters lxxxviii to xcii.)

Letters on the Sandwich Islands-Tribune, January 3 and 6.
THE GILDED AGE (with C. D. Warner)--book (Am. Pub. Co), December. U. E.
THE LICENSE OF THE PRESS--paper for The Monday Evening Club.
Lectured in London, October 18 and season 1873-74.

        (See Chapters xciii to xcviii; also Appendix M.)

TOM SAWYER continued (in the new study at Quarry Farm).
A TRUE STORY (Quarry Farm)-Atlantic, November. U. E.
FABLES (Quarry Farm). U. E.
COLONEL SELLERS--play (Quarry Farm) performed by John T. Raymond.
UNDERTAKER'S LOVE-STORY (Quarry Farm) (unpublished).
OLD TIMES ON THE MISSISSIPPI (Hartford) Atlantic, January to July, 1875.
Monarchy letter to Mrs. Clemens, dated 1935 (Boston).

           (See Chapters c to civ; also Appendix N.)

UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE--paper for The Monday Evening Club.
SKETCHES NEW AND OLD--book (Am. Pub. Co.), July. U. E.
TOM SAWYER concluded (Hartford).
THE CURIOUS REP. OF GONDOUR--Atlantic, October (unsigned).
PUNCH, CONDUCTOR, PUNCH--Atlantic, February, 1876. U. E.
THE SECOND ADVENT (unfinished).
Petition for International Copyright.
                (See Chapters cvi to cx.)

Performed in THE LOAN OF THE LOVER as Peter Spuyk (Hartford).
CARNIVAL OF CRIME--paper for The Monday Evening Club--Atlantic, June.
U. E.
HUCK FINN begun (Quarry Farm).
CANVASSER'S STORY (Quarry Farm)--Atlantic, December. U. E.
"1601" (Quarry Farm), privately printed. [And not edited by Livy. D.W.]
AH SIN (with Bret Harte)--play, (Hartford).
TOM SAWYER--book (Am. Pub. Co.), December. U. E.
Speech on "The Weather," New England Society, December 22.

         (See Chapters cxii to cxv; also Appendix O.)

IDLE EXCURSION (Quarry Farm)--Atlantic, October, November, December.
U. E.
SIMON WHEELER, DETECTIVE--play (Quarry Farm) (not produced).
PRINCE AND PAUPER begun (Quarry Farm).
Whittier birthday speech (Boston), December.

               (See Chapters cxvii to cxx.)

MAGNANIMOUS INCIDENT (Hartford)--Atlantic, May. U. E.
A TRAMP ABROAD (Heidelberg and Munich).
MENTAL TELEGRAPHY--Harper's Magazine, December, 1891. U. E.
GAMBETTA DUEL--Atlantic, February, 1879 (included in TRAMP). U. E.
REV. IN PITCAIRN--Atlantic, March, 1879. U. E.
STOLEN WHITE ELEPHANT--book (Osgood & Co.), 1882. U. E.
(The three items last named were all originally a part of the TRAMP

(See Chapters cxxi to cxxiv; also Chapter cxxxiv and Appendix P.)

A TRAMP ABROAD continued (Paris, Elmira, and Hartford).
Adam monument scheme (Elmira).
Speech on "The Babies" (Grant dinner, Chicago), November.
Speech on "Plagiarism" (Holmes breakfast, Boston), December.

               (See Chapters cxxv to cxxxii.)

PRINCE AND PAUPER concluded (Hartford and Elmira).
HUCK FINN continued (Quarry Farm, Elmira).
A CAT STORY (Quarry Farm) (unpublished).
A TRAMP ABROAD--book (Am. Pub. Co.), March 13. U. E.
EDWARD MILLS AND GEO. BENTON (Hartford)--Atlantic, August. U. E.
MRS. McWILLIAMS AND THE LIGHTNING (Hartford)--Atlantic, September. U. E.

              (See Chapters cxxxiv to cxxxvii.)

A CURIOUS EXPERIENCE--Century, November. U. E.
A BIOGRAPHY OF ----- (unfinished).
PRINCE AND PAUPER--book (Osgood R; CO.), December.

               (See Chapters cxl and cxli.)

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI (Elmira and Hartford).

              (See Chapters cxlii to cxlviii.)

LIFE ON THE Mississippi--book (Osgood R CO.), May. U. E.
WHAT Is HAPPINESS?--paper for The Monday Evening Club.
Introduction to Portuguese conversation book (Hartford).
HUCK FINN concluded (Quarry Farm).
HISTORY GAME (Quarry Farm).
AMERICAN CLAIMANT (with W. D. Howells)--play (Hartford), produced by
A. P. Burbank.
Dramatized TOM SAWYER and PRINCE AND PAUPER (not produced).

               (See Chapters cxlix to cliii.)

Embarked in publishing with Charles L. Webster.
THE CARSON FOOTPRINTS--the San Franciscan.
HUCK FINN--book (Charles L. Webster & Co.), December. U. E.
Platform-readings with George W. Cable, season '84-'85.

               (See Chapters cliv to clvii.)

Contracted for General Grant's Memoirs.
A CAMPAIGN THAT FAILED--Century, December. U. E.
THE UNIVERSAL TINKER--Century, December (open letter signed X. Y. Z.
Letter on the government of children--Christian Union.)
KIDITCHIN (children's poem).

         (See Chapters clix to clxi; also Appendix Q.)

Introduced Henry M. Stanley (Boston).
CONNECTICUT YANKEE begun (Hartford).
ENGLISH AS SHE IS TAUGHT--Century, April, 1887.
LUCK--Harper's, August, 1891.
GENERAL GRANT AND MATTHEW ARNOLD--Army and Navy dinner speech.

         (See Chapters clxii to clxiv; also Appendix R.)

MEISTERSCHAFT--play (Hartford)-Century, January, 1888. U. E.
KNIGHTS OF LABOR--essay (not published).
To THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND--Harper's Magazine, December. U. E.
CONSISTENCY--paper for The Monday Evening Club.

               (See Chapters clxv to clxviii.)

Introductory for "Unsent Letters" (unpublished).
Master of Arts degree from Yale.
Yale Alumni address (unpublished).
Copyright controversy with Brander Matthews--Princeton Review.
Replies to Matthew Arnold's American criticisms (unpublished).
YANKEE continued (Elmira and Hartford).
Introduction of Nye and Riley (Boston).

        (See Chapters clxix to clxxiii; also Appendix S.)

A MAJESTIC LITERARY FOSSIL Harper's Magazine, February, 1890. U. E.
Introduction to YANKEE (not used).
LETTER To ELSIE LESLIE--St Nicholas, February, 1890.
CONNECTICUT YANKEE--book (Webster & Co.), December. U. E.

              (See Chapters clxxii to clxxiv.)

Letter to Andrew Lang about English Criticism.
(No important literary matters this year. Mark Twain engaged
promoting the Paige typesetting-machine.)

              (See Chapters clxxv to clxxvii.)

AMERICAN CLAIMANT (Hartford) syndicated; also book (Webster & Co.), May,
1892. U. E.
European letters to New York Sun.
DOWN THE RHONE (unfinished).
KORNERSTRASSE (unpublished).

              (See Chapters clxxx to clxxxii.)

ALL KINDS OF SHIPS (at sea). U. E.
Tom SAWYER ABROAD (Nauheim)--St. Nicholas, November, '93, to April, '94.
U. E.
PUDD'NHEAD WILSON (Nauheim and Florence)--Century, December, '93, to
June, '94 U. E.
$100,000 BANK-NOTE (Florence)--Century, January, '93. U. E.

            (See Chapters clxxxiii to clxxxvii.)

JOAN OF ARC begun (at Villa Viviani, Florence) and completed up to the
raising of the Siege of Orleans.
CALIFORNIAN'S TALE (Florence) Liber Scriptorum, also Harper's.
ADAM'S DIARY (Florence)--Niagara Book, also Harper's.
ESQUIMAU MAIDEN'S ROMANCE--Cosmopolitan, November. U. E.
IS HE LIVING OR IS HE DEAD?--Cosmopolitan, September. U. E.
TRAVELING WITH A REFORMER--Cosmopolitan, December. U. E.
IN DEFENSE OF HARRIET SHELLEY (Florence)--N. A.--Rev., July, '94. U. E.
FENIMORE COOPER'S LITERARY OFFENSES--[This may not have been written
until early in 1894.]--(Players, New York)--N. A. Rev., July,'95 U. E.

              (See Chapters clxxxviii to cxc.)

JOAN OF ARC continued (Etretat and Paris).
WHAT PAUL BOURGET THINKS OF US (Etretat)--N. A. Rev., January, '95 U. E.
TOM SAWYER ABROAD--book (Webster & Co.), April. U. E.
PUDD'NHEAD WILSON--book (Am. Pub. Co.), November. U. E.
The failure of Charles L. Webster & Co., April 18.
THE DERELICT--poem (Paris) (unpublished).

              (See Chapters clxxxix and cxcii.)

JOAN OF ARC finished (Paris), January 28, Harper's Magazine, April to
MENTAL TELEGRAPHY AGAIN--Harper's, September. U. E.
Poem to Mrs. Beecher (Elmira) (not published). U. E.
Lecture-tour around the world, begun at Elmira, July 14, ended July 31.

               (See Chapters cxci to cxciv.)

JOAN OF ARC--book (Harpers) May. U. E.
TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE, and other stories-book (Harpers), November.
FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR begun (23 Tedworth Square, London).

               (See Chapters cxcvii to cxcix.)

FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR--book (Am. Pub. Co.), November.
QUEEN'S JUBILEE (London), newspaper syndicate; book privately printed.
WHICH WAS WHICH? (London and Switzerland) (unfinished).
TOM AND HUCK (Switzerland) (unfinished).

HELLFIRE HOTCHKISS (Switzerland) (unfinished).
IN MEMORIAM--poem (Switzerland)-Harper's Magazine. U. E.
Concordia Club speech (Vienna).
STIRRING TIMES IN AUSTRIA (Vienna)--Harper's Magazine, March, 1898. U. E.

         (See Chapters cc to cciii; also Appendix T.)

AT THE APPETITE CURE (Vienna)--Cosmopolitan, August. U. E.
FROM THE LONDON TIMES, 1904 (Vienna)--Century, November. U. E.
ABOUT PLAY-ACTING (Vienna)--Forum, October. U. E.
CONCERNING THE JEWS (Vienna)--Harper's Magazine, September, '99. U. E.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND MRS. EDDY (Vienna)--Cosmopolitan, October. U. E.
THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED HADLEYBURG (Vienna)--Harper's Magazine, December,
'99 U. E.
Autobiographical chapters (Vienna); some of them used in the N. A. Rev.,
WHAT IS MAN? (Kaltenleutgeben)--book (privately printed), August, 1906.
ASSASSINATION OF AN EMPRESS (Kaltenleutgeben) (unpublished).
Translations of German plays (unproduced).

               (See Chapters cciv to ccviii.)

DIPLOMATIC PAY AND CLOTHES (Vienna)--Forum, March. U. E.
MY LITERARY DEBUT (Vienna)--Century, December. U. E.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE (Vienna)--N. A. Rev., December, 1902, January and
February, 1903.
Translated German plays (Vienna) (unproduced).
Collaborated with Siegmund Schlesinger on plays (Vienna) (unfinished).
Planned a postal-check scheme (Vienna).
Articles about the Kellgren treatment (Sanna, Sweden) (unpublished).
ST. JOAN OF ARC (London)--Harper's Magazine, December, 1904. U. E.
MY FIRST LIE, AND How I GOT OUT OF IT (London)--New York World. U. E.

Articles on South African War (London) (unpublished)
Uniform Edition of Mark Twain's works (Am. Pub. Co.).

               (See Chapters ccix to ccxii.)

TWO LITTLE TALES (London)--Century, November, 1901. U. E.
Spoke on "Copyright" before the House of Lords.
Delivered many speeches in London and New York.

              (See Chapters ccxiii to ccxviii.)

TO THE PERSON SITTING IN DARKNESS (14 West Tenth Street, New York)
--N. A. Rev., February.
TO MY MISSIONARY CRITICS (14 West Tenth Street, New York)--N. A. Rev.,
DOUBLE-BARREL DETECTIVE STORY (Saranac Lake, "The Lair") Harper's
Magazine, January and February, 1902.
Lincoln Birthday Speech, February 11.
Many other speeches.
PLAN FOR CASTING VOTE PARTY (Riverdale) (unpublished).
THE STUPENDOUS PROCESSION (Riverdale) (unpublished).
Received degree of Doctor of Letters from Yale.

        (See Chapters ccxix to ccxxiv; also Appendix U.)

DOES THE RACE OF MAN LOVE A LORD? (Riverdale)--N. A. Rev., April. U. E.
FIVE BOONS of LIFE (Riverdale)--Harper's Weekly, July 5. U. E.
WHY NOT ABOLISH IT? (Riverdale)--Harper's Weekly, July 5.
DEFENSE OF GENERAL FUNSTON (Riverdale)--N. A. Rev., May.
IF I COULD BE THERE (Riverdale unpublished).
Wrote various articles, unfinished or unpublished.
Received degree of LL.D. from the University of Missouri, June.

THE BELATED PASSPORT (York Harbor)--Harper's Weekly, December 6. U. E.
WAS IT HEAVEN? OR HELL? (York Harbor)--Harper's Magazine, December. U. E.
Poem (Riverdale and York Harbor) (unpublished)
Sixty-seventh Birthday speech (New York), November 27.

               (See Chapters ccxxv to ccxxx.)

MRS. EDDY IN ERROR (Riverdale)--N. A. Rev., April.
INSTRUCTIONS IN ART (Riverdale)-Metropolitan, April and May.
EDDYPUS, and other C. S. articles (unfinished).
A DOG'S TALE (Elmira)--Harper's Magazine, December. U. E.
ITALIAN WITHOUT A MASTER (Florence)--Harper's Weekly, January 21, 1904.
U. E.
ITALIAN WITH GRAMMAR (Florence)--Harper's Magazine, August, U. E.
THE $30,000 BEQUEST (Florence)--Harper's Weekly, December 10, 1904. U. E.

              (See Chapters ccxxx to ccxxxiv.)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Florence)--portions published, N. A. Rev. and Harper's
CONCERNING COPYRIGHT (Tyringham, Massachusetts)--N. A. Rev., January,
TSARS SOLILOQUY (21 Fifth Avenue, New York)--N. A. Rev., March, 1905.
ADAM'S DIARY--book (Harpers), April.

       (See Chapters ccxxxiv to ccxxxvii; also Appendix V.)

LEOPOLD'S SOLILOQUY (21 Fifth Avenue, New York)--pamphlet, P. R. Warren
THE WAR PRAYER (21 Fifth Avenue, New York) (unpublished).
EVE'S DIARY (Dublin, New Hampshire)--Harper's Magazine, December.
3,000 YEARS AMONG THE MICROBES (unfinished).
INTERPRETING THE DEITY (Dublin New Hampshire) (unpublished).
A HORSE'S TALE (Dublin, New Hampshire)-Harper's Magazine,
August and September, 1906.
Seventieth Birthday speech.
W. D. HOWELLS (21 Fifth Avenue, New York)-Harper's Magazine, July, 1906.

               (See Chapters ccxxxix to ccli.)

Autobiography dictation (21 Fifth Avenue, New York; and Dublin, New
Hampshire)--selections published, N. A. Rev., 1906 and 1907.
Many speeches.
Farewell lecture, Carnegie Hall, April 19.
WHAT IS MAN?--book (privately printed).
Copyright speech (Washington), December.

              (See Chapters cclvi to cclxiii.)

Autobiography dictations (27 Fifth Avenue, New York; and Tuxedo).
Degree of Doctor of Literature conferred by Oxford, June 26.
Made many London speeches.
Begum of Bengal speech (Liverpool).
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE--book (Harpers), February. U. E.

               (See Chapters cclxiv to cclxx.)

Autobiography dictations (21 Fifth Avenue, New York; and Redding,
Lotos Club and other speeches.
Aldrich memorial speech.

    (See Chapters cclxxvi to cclxxxix; also Appendices N and W.)

IS SHAKESPEARE DEAD?--book (Harpers), April.
A FABLE--Harper's Magazine December.
Copyright documents (unpublished).
Address to St. Timothy School.
MARJORIE FLEMING (Stormfield)--Harper's Bazar, December.
THE TURNING-POINT OF MY LIFE (Stormfield)--Harper's Bazar, February, 1910
BESSIE DIALOGUE (unpublished).
THE DEATH OF JEAN--Harper's, December, 1910.

                  (See Chapter ccxcii.)

ADVICE TO PAINE (not published).

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