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.

“Yes, my child.  Wait!  Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know.  I only know it was to discipline some one, or be a judgment upon somebody, or to show His power.”

“That drunken man that stuck a pitchfork into Mrs. Welch’s baby when—­”

“Never mind about it, you needn’t go into particulars; it was to discipline the child—­that much is certain, anyway.”

“Mama, Mr. Burgess said in his sermon that billions of little creatures are sent into us to give us cholera, and typhoid, and lockjaw, and more than a thousand other sicknesses and—­mama, does He send them?”

“Oh, certainly, child, certainly.  Of course.”

“What for?”

“Oh, to discipline us!  Haven’t I told you so, over and over again?”

“It’s awful cruel, mama!  And silly! and if I——­”

“Hush, oh, hush!  Do you want to bring the lightning?”

“You know the lightning did come last week, mama, and struck the new church, and burnt it down.  Was it to discipline the church?”

(Wearily.) “Oh, I suppose so.”

“But it killed a hog that wasn’t doing anything.  Was it to discipline the hog, mama?”

“Dear child, don’t you want to run out and play a while?  If you would like to——­”

“Mama, only think!  Mr. Hollister says there isn’t a bird, or fish, or reptile, or any other animal that hasn’t got an enemy that Providence has sent to bite it and chase it and pester it and kill it and suck its blood and discipline it and make it good and religious.  Is that true, mother —­because if it is true why did Mr. Hollister laugh at it?”

“That Hollister is a scandalous person, and I don’t want you to listen to anything he says.”

“Why, mama, he is very interesting, and I think he tries to be good.  He says the wasps catch spiders and cram them down into their nests in the ground—­alive, mama!—­and there they live and suffer days and days and days, and the hungry little wasps chewing their legs and gnawing into their bellies all the time, to make them good and religious and praise God for His infinite mercies.  I think Mr. Hollister is just lovely, and ever so kind; for when I asked him if he would treat a spider like that he said he hoped to be damned if he would; and then he——­Dear mama, have you fainted!  I will run and bring help!  Now this comes of staying in town this hot weather.”

APPENDIX X

A chronological list of mark Twain’s work

Published and otherwise—­from 1851-1910

Note 1.—­This is not a detailed bibliography, but merely a general list of Mark Twain’s literary undertakings, in the order of performance, showing when, and usually where, the work was done, when and where first published, etc.  An excellent Mark Twain bibliography has been compiled by Mr. Merle Johnson, to whom acknowledgments are due for important items.

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