Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,890 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.
than broken by the muffled hoofbeats of the long cavalcade over pavements cushioned with sand, & the low sobbing of gray-headed women who had witnessed the first entrance, forty-four years before, when she & they were young & unaware....  She was so blameless—­the Empress; & so beautiful in mind & heart, in person & spirit; & whether with the crown upon her head, or without it & nameless, a grace to the human race, almost a justification of its creation; would be, indeed, but that the animal that struck her down re-establishes the doubt.

They passed a quiet summer at Kaltenleutgeben.  Clemens wrote some articles, did some translating of German plays, and worked on his “Gospel,” an elaboration of his old essay on contenting one’s soul through selfishness, later to be published as ‘What is Man?’ A. C. Dunham and Rev. Dr. Parker, of Hartford, came to Vienna, and Clemens found them and brought them out to Kaltenleutgeben and read them chapters of his doctrines, which, he said, Mrs. Clemens would not let him print.  Dr. Parker and Dunham returned to Hartford and reported Mark Twain more than ever a philosopher; also that he was the “center of notability and his house a court.”



The Clemens family did not return to the Metropole for the winter, but went to the new Krantz, already mentioned, where they had a handsome and commodious suite looking down on the Neuer Markt and on the beautiful facade of the Capuchin church, with the great cathedral only a step away.  There they passed another brilliant and busy winter.  Never in Europe had they been more comfortably situated; attention had been never more lavishly paid to them.  Their drawing-room was a salon which acquired the name of the “Second Embassy.”  Clemens in his note-book wrote: 

During 8 years now I have filled the position—­with some credit, I trust, of self-appointed ambassador-at-large of the United States of America —­without salary.

Which was a joke; but there was a large grain of truth in it, for Mark Twain, more than any other American in Europe, was regarded as typically representing his nation and received more lavish honors.

It had become the fashion to consult him on every question of public interest, for he was certain to say something worth printing, whether seriously or otherwise.  When the Tsar of Russia proposed the disarmament of the nations William T. Stead, editor of the Review of Reviews, wrote for Mark Twain’s opinion.  He replied: 

Dear Mr. Steady,—­The Tsar is ready to disarm.  I am ready to disarm.  Collect the others; it should not be much of a task now.


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