Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume II, Part 2: 1886-1900 eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume II, Part 2.

Szczepanik is not a Paige.  He is a gentleman; his backer, Mr. Kleinburg, is a gentleman, too, yet is not a Clemens—­that is to say, he is not an ass.

Clemens did not always consult his financial adviser, Rogers, any more than he always consulted his spiritual adviser, Twichell, or his literary adviser, Howells, when he intended to commit heresies in their respective provinces.  Somewhat later an opportunity came along to buy an interest in a preparation of skimmed milk, an invalid food by which the human race was going to be healed of most of its ills.  When Clemens heard that Virchow had recommended this new restorative, the name of which was plasmon, he promptly provided MacAlister with five thousand pounds to invest in a company then organizing in London.  It should be added that this particular investment was not an entire loss, for it paid very good dividends for several years.  We shall hear of it again.

For the most part Clemens was content to let Henry Rogers do his financiering, and as the market was low with an upward incline, Rogers put the various accumulations into this thing and that, and presently had some fifty thousand dollars to Mark Twain’s credit, a very comfortable balance for a man who had been twice that amount in debt only a few years before.  It has been asserted most strenuously, by those in a position to know least about the matter, that Henry Rogers lent, and even gave, Mark Twain large sums, and pointed out opportunities whereby he could make heavily by speculation.  No one of these statements is true.  Mr. Rogers neither lent nor gave Mark Twain money for investment, and he never allowed him to speculate when he could prevent it.  He invested for him wisely, but he never bought for him a share of stock that he did not have the money in hand to pay for in full-money belonging to and earned by Clemens himself.  What he did give to Mark Twain was his priceless counsel and time—­gifts more precious than any mere sum of money—­boons that Mark Twain could accept without humiliation.  He did accept them and was unceasingly grateful.—­[Mark Twain never lost an opportunity for showing his gratitude to Henry Rogers.  The reader is referred to Appendix T, at the end of the last volume, for a brief tribute which Clemens prepared in 1902.  Mr. Rogers would not consent to its publication.]



Clemens, no longer worried about finances and full of ideas and prospects, was writing now at a great rate, mingling with all sorts of social events, lecturing for charities, and always in the lime-light.

I have abundant peace of mind again—­no sense of burden.  Work is become a pleasure—­it is not labor any longer.

He was the lion of the Austrian capital, and it was natural that he should revel in his new freedom and in the universal tribute.  Mrs. Clemens wrote that they were besieged with callers of every description: 

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Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume II, Part 2: 1886-1900 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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