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.

“Now, I suppose I offended that young lady by having an opinion of my own, instead of waiting and copying hers.  I never thought.  I suppose she must be as much as twenty-five, and probably the only patriot in the country.”

A critic with a sense of humor asked:  “Please excuse seeming impertinence, but were you ever adjudged insane?  Be honest.  How much money does the devil give you for arraigning Christianity and missionary causes?”

But there were more of the better sort.  Edward S. Martin, in a grateful letter, said:  “How gratifying it is to feel that we have a man among us who understands the rarity of the plain truth, and who delights to utter it, and has the gift of doing so without cant and with not too much seriousness.”

Sir Hiram Maxim wrote:  “I give you my candid opinion that what you have done is of very great value to the civilization of the world.  There is no man living whose words carry greater weight than your own, as no one’s writings are so eagerly sought after by all classes.”

Clemens himself in his note-book set down this aphorism: 

“Do right and you will be conspicuous.”


Summer atThe Lair

In June Clemens took the family to Saranac Lake, to Ampersand.  They occupied a log cabin which he called “The Lair,” on the south shore, near the water’s edge, a remote and beautiful place where, as had happened before, they were so comfortable and satisfied that they hoped to return another summer.  There were swimming and boating and long walks in the woods; the worry and noise of the world were far away.  They gave little enough attention to the mails.  They took only a weekly paper, and were likely to allow it to lie in the postoffice uncalled for.  Clemens, especially, loved the place, and wrote to Twichell: 

I am on the front porch (lower one-main deck) of our little bijou of a dwelling-house.  The lake edge (Lower Saranac) is so nearly under me that I can’t see the shore, but only the water, small-poxed with rain splashes—­for there is a heavy down pour.  It is charmingly like sitting snuggled up on a ship’s deck with the stretching sea all around but very much more satisfactory, for at sea a rainstorm is depressing, while here of course the effect engendered is just a deep sense of comfort & contentment.  The heavy forest shuts us solidly in on three sides—­there are no neighbors.  There are beautiful little tan-colored impudent squirrels about.  They take tea 5 P.M. (not invited) at the table in the woods where Jean does my typewriting, & one of them has been brave enough to sit upon Jean’s knee with his tail curved over his back & munch his food.  They come to dinner 7 P.M. on the front porch (not invited), but Clara drives them away.  It is an occupation which requires some industry & attention to business.  They all have the one
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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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