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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,512 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.

The “Official Commendations,” which accompany the map, are its chief charm.  They are from Grant, Bismarck, Brigham Young, and others, the best one coming from one J. Smith, who says: 

My wife was for years afflicted with freckles, and though everything was done for her relief that could be done, all was in vain.  But, sir, since her first glance at your map they have entirely left her.  She has nothing but convulsions now.

It is said that the “Map of Paris” found its way to Berlin, where the American students in the beer-halls used to pretend to quarrel over it until they attracted the attention of the German soldiers that might be present.  Then they would wander away and leave it on the table and watch results.  The soldiers would pounce upon it and lose their tempers over it; then finally abuse it and revile its author, to the satisfaction of everybody.

The larger number of “Memoranda” sketches have properly found oblivion to-day.  They were all, or nearly all, collected by a Canadian pirate, C. A. Backas, in a volume bearing the title of Memoranda,—­[Also by a harpy named John Camden Hotten (of London), of whom we shall hear again.  Hotten had already pirated The Innocents, and had it on the market before Routledge could bring out the authorized edition.  Routledge later published the “Memoranda” under the title of Sketches, including the contents of the Jumping Frog book.]—­a book long ago suppressed.  Only about twenty of the Galaxy contributions found place in Sketches New and Old, five years later, and some of these might have been spared as literature.  “To Raise Poultry,” “John Chinaman in New York,” and “History Repeats Itself” are valuable only as examples of his work at that period.  The reader may consult them for himself.

LXXVIII

THE PRIMROSE PATH

But we are losing sight of more important things.  From the very beginning Mark Twain’s home meant always more to him than his work.  The life at 472 Delaware Avenue had begun with as fair a promise as any matrimonial journey ever undertaken:  There seemed nothing lacking:  a beautiful home, sufficient income, bright prospects—­these things, with health and love; constitute married happiness.  Mrs. Clemens wrote to her sister, Mrs. Crane, at the end of February:  “Sue, we are two as happy people as you ever saw.  Our days seem to be made up of only bright sunlight, with no shadow in them.”  In the same letter the husband added:  “Livy pines and pines every day for you, and I pine and pine every day for you, and when we both of us are pining at once you would think it was a whole pine forest let loose.”

To Redpath, who was urging lecture engagements for the coming season, he wrote: 

Dear red,—­I am not going to lecture any more forever.  I have got things ciphered down to a fraction now.  I know just about what it will cost to live, and I can make the money without lecturing.  Therefore, old man, count me out.

And still later, in May: 

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