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.
Ah, they are wonderfully beautiful!  There are such rich moonlights and dusks in the “Challenge” and the “Combat,” and in that long flight of birds across a lake in the subdued flush of sunset (or sunrise, for no man can ever tell t’other from which in a picture, except it has the filmy morning mist breathing itself up from the water), and there is such a grave analytical profundity in the face of the connoisseurs; and such pathos in the picture of a fawn suckling its dead mother on a snowy waste, with only the blood in the footprints to hint that she is not asleep.  And the way that he makes animals’ flesh and blood, insomuch that if the room were darkened ever so little, and a motionless living animal placed beside the painted one, no man could tell which was which.

I interrupted myself here, to drop a line to Shirley Brooks and suggest a cartoon for Punch.  It was this:  in one of the Academy saloons (in a suite where these pictures are) a fine bust of Landseer stands on a pedestal in the center of the room.  I suggested that some of Landseer’s best known animals be represented as having come down out of their frames in the moonlight and grouped themselves about the bust in mourning attitudes.

He sailed January 13 (1874.), on the Paythia, and two weeks later was at home, where all was going well.  The Gilded Age had been issued a day or two before Christmas, and was already in its third edition.  By the end of January 26,000 copies had been sold, a sale that had increased to 40,000 a month later.  The new house was progressing, though it was by no means finished.  Mrs. Clemens was in good health.  Little Susy was full of such American activities as to earn the name of “The Modoc.”  The promise of the year was bright.

XCIII

THE REAL COLONEL SELLERS-GOLDEN DAYS

There are bound to be vexations, flies in the ointment, as we say.  It was Warner who conferred the name of Eschol Sellers on the chief figure of the collaborated novel.  Warner had known it as the name of an obscure person, or perhaps he had only heard of it.  At all events, it seemed a good one for the character and had been adopted.  But behold, the book had been issued but a little while when there rose “out of the vasty deeps” a genuine Eschol Sellers, who was a very respectable person.  He was a stout, prosperous-looking man, gray and about fifty-five years old.  He came into the American Publishing Company offices and asked permission to look at the book.  Mr. Bliss was out at the moment, but presently arrived.  The visitor rose and introduced himself.

“My name is Eschol Sellers,” he said.  “You have used it in one of your publications.  It has brought upon me a lot of ridicule.  My people wish me to sue you for $10,000 damages.”

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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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