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 defects of the accepted translations; and in the latter case, if exceptions be taken to his judgment, he straightway opens up the quarries of his exhaustless knowledge, and builds a very Chinese wall of evidence around his position.  Every learned man who enters Ruloff’s presence leaves it amazed and confounded by his prodigious capabilities and attainments.  One scholar said he did not believe that in matters of subtle analysis, vast knowledge in his peculiar field of research, comprehensive grasp of subject, and serene kingship over its limitless and bewildering details, any land or any era of modern times had given birth to Ruloff’s intellectual equal.  What miracles this murderer might have wrought, and what luster he might have shed upon his country, if he had not put a forfeit upon his life so foolishly!  But what if the law could be satisfied, and the gifted criminal still be saved.  If a life be offered up on the gallows to atone for the murder Ruloff did, will that suffice?  If so, give me the proofs, for in all earnestness and truth I aver that in such a case I will instantly bring forward a man who, in the interests of learning and science, will take Ruloff’s crime upon himself, and submit to be hanged in Ruloff’s place.  I can, and will do this thing; and I propose this matter, and make this offer in good faith.  You know me, and know my address. 
                     Samuel Langhorne
                                   April 29, 1871.

APPENDIX L

About London
address at A dinner given by the savage club, London, September 28, 1872

(See Chapter lxxxvii)

Reported by Moncure D. Conway in the Cincinnati Commercial

It affords me sincere pleasure to meet this distinguished club, a club which has extended its hospitalities and its cordial welcome to so many of my countrymen.  I hope [and here the speaker’s voice became low and fluttering] you will excuse these clothes.  I am going to the theater; that will explain these clothes.  I have other clothes than these.  Judging human nature by what I have seen of it, I suppose that the customary thing for a stranger to do when he stands here is to make a pun on the name of this club, under the impression, of course, that he is the first man that that idea has occurred to.  It is a credit to our human nature, not a blemish upon it; for it shows that underlying all our depravity (and God knows and you know we are depraved enough) and all our sophistication, and untarnished by them, there is a sweet germ of innocence and simplicity still.  When a stranger says to me, with a glow of inspiration in his eye, some gentle, innocuous little thing about “Twain and one flesh” and all that sort of thing, I don’t try to crush that man into the earth—­no.  I feel like saying, “Let me take you by the hand, sir; let me embrace you;

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