Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2: 1907-1910 eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2.
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.

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Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2: 1907-1910 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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