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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.

    July 1, 1904.  I cannot reproduce Livy’s face in my mind’s eye—­I
    was never in my life able to reproduce a face.  It is a curious
    infirmity—­& now at last I realize it is a calamity.

    July 2, 1904.  In these 34 years we have made many voyages together,
    Livy dear—­& now we are making our last; you down below & lonely; I
    above with the crowd & lonely.

    July 3, 1904.  Ship-time, 8 A.M.  In 13 hours & a quarter it will be
    4 weeks since Livy died.

    Thirty-one years ago we made our first voyage together—­& this is
    our last one in company.  Susy was a year old then.  She died at 24
    & had been in her grave 8 years.

    July 10, 1904.  To-night it will be 5 weeks.  But to me it remains
    yesterday—­as it has from the first.  But this funeral march—­how
    sad & long it is!

    Two days more will end the second stage of it.

July 14, 1904 (Elmira).  Funeral private in the house of Livy’s young maidenhood.  Where she stood as a bride 34 years ago there her coffin rested; & over it the same voice that had made her a wife then committed her departed spirit to God now.

It was Joseph Twichell who rendered that last service.  Mr. Beecher was long since dead.  It was a simple, touching utterance, closing with this tender word of farewell: 

Robert Browning, when he was nearing the end of his earthly days, said that death was the thing that we did not believe in.  Nor do we believe in it.  We who journeyed through the bygone years in companionship with the bright spirit now withdrawn are growing old.  The way behind is long; the way before is short.  The end cannot be far off.  But what of that?  Can we not say, each one: 

“So long that power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O’er moor and fen; o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn, their angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!”

And so good-by.  Good-by, dear heart!  Strong, tender, and true. 
Good-by until for us the morning break and these shadows fly away.

Dr. Eastman, who had succeeded Mr. Beecher, closed the service with a prayer, and so the last office we can render in this life for those we love was finished.

Clemens ordered that a simple marker should be placed at the grave, bearing, besides the name, the record of birth and death, followed by the German line: 

‘Gott sei dir gnadig, O meine Wonne’!

CCXXXIII

BEGINNING ANOTHER HOME

There was an extra cottage on the Gilder place at Tyringham, and this they occupied for the rest of that sad summer.  Clemens, in his note-book, has preserved some of its aspects and incidents.

July 24, 1904.  Rain—­rain—­rain.  Cold.  We built a fire in my room.  Then clawed the logs out & threw water, remembering there was a brood of swallows in the chimney.  The tragedy was averted.

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