Obituary for “Mark Twain”
Worthy of his portrait, a place
on his monument, as well as a place
among his “perennial-consolation heirlooms”:
“Got up; washed; went to bed.”
The subject’s own words (see
Innocents Abroad). Can’t go back on
your own words, Mark Twain. There’s nothing “to strike out”;
nothing “to replace.” What more could be said of any one?
of the fullness of meaning! The possibilities
life, its achievements—physical, intellectual, spiritual. Got up
to the top!—the climax of human aspiration on earth!
whit clean; purified—body, soul, thoughts,
“Went to bed”—Work
all done—to rest, to sleep. The culmination
the day well spent!
God looks after the awakening.
Mrs. S. A. Oren-Haynes.
Mark Twain was the only man
who ever lived, so far as we know, whose
lies were so innocent, and withal so helpful, as to make them worth
more than a whole lot of fossilized priests’ eternal truths.
D. H. Kenner.
YACHTING AND THEOLOGY
Clemens made fewer speeches during the Riverdale period. He was as frequently demanded, but he had a better excuse for refusing, especially the evening functions. He attended a good many luncheons with friendly spirits like Howells, Matthews, James L. Ford, and Hamlin Garland. At the end of February he came down to the Mayor’s dinner given to Prince Henry of Prussia, but he did not speak. Clemens used to say afterward that he had not been asked to speak, and that it was probably because of his supposed breach of etiquette at the Kaiser’s dinner in Berlin; but the fact that Prince Henry sought him out, and was most cordially and humanly attentive during a considerable portion of the evening, is against the supposition.
Clemens attended a Yale alumni dinner that winter and incidentally visited Twichell in Hartford. The old question of moral responsibility came up and Twichell lent his visitor a copy of Jonathan Edwards’s ‘Freedom of the Will’ for train perusal. Clemens found it absorbing. Later he wrote Twichell his views.
Dear Joe,—(After compliments.)—[Meaning “What a good time you gave me; what a happiness it was to be under your roof again,” etc. See opening sentence of all translations of letters passing between Lord Roberts and Indian princes and rulers.]—From Bridgeport to New York, thence to home, & continuously until near midnight I wallowed & reeked with Jonathan in his insane debauch; rose immensely refreshed & fine at ten this morning, but with a strange & haunting sense of having been on a three days’ tear with a drunken lunatic. It is years since I have known these sensations. All through the