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.
I judge it politic to leave them unspecified at this time.

Very likely it was in this new capacity, as the head of the governing body, that he wrote one morning to Clark advising him as to the misuse of a word in the Courant, though he thought it best to sign the communication with the names of certain learned friends, to give it weight with the public, as he afterward explained.

Sir,—­The word “patricide” in your issue of this morning (telegrams) was an error.  You meant it to describe the slayer of a father; you should have used “parricide” instead.  Patricide merely means the killing of an Irishman—­any Irishman, male or female.

J. Hammond Trumbull
N. J. Burton
J. H. Twichell.



Clemens’ note-books of this time are full of the vexations of his business ventures, figures, suggestions, and a hundred imagined combinations for betterment—­these things intermingled with the usual bits of philosophy and reflections, and amusing reminders.

    Aldrich’s man who painted the fat toads red, and naturalist chasing
    and trying to catch them.

    Man who lost his false teeth over Brooklyn Bridge when he was on his
    way to propose to a widow.

    One believes St. Simon and Benvenuto and partly believes the
    Margravine of Bayreuth.  There are things in the confession of
    Rousseau which one must believe.

    What is biography?  Unadorned romance.  What is romance?  Adorned
    biography.  Adorn it less and it will be better than it is.

If God is what people say there can be none in the universe so unhappy as he; for he sees unceasingly myriads of his creatures suffering unspeakable miseries, and, besides this, foresees all they are going to suffer during the remainder of their lives.  One might well say “as unhappy as God.”

In spite of the financial complexities and the drain of the enterprises already in hand he did not fail to conceive others.  He was deeply interested in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress at the moment, and from photography and scenic effect he presaged a possibility to-day realized in the moving picture.

Dress up some good actors as Apollyon, Greatheart, etc., & the other Bunyan characters, take them to a wild gorge and photograph them—­Valley of the Shadow of Death; to other effective places & photo them along with the scenery; to Paris, in their curious costumes, place them near the Arc de l’Etoile & photo them with the crowd-Vanity Fair; to Cairo, Venice, Jerusalem, & other places (twenty interesting cities) & always make them conspicuous in the curious foreign crowds by their costume.  Take them to Zululand.  It would take two or three years to do the photographing & cost $10,000; but this stereopticon panorama of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress could be exhibited in all countries at the same time & would clear a fortune in a year.  By & by I will do this.

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