Mark Twain's Burlesque Autobiography eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 18 pages of information about Mark Twain's Burlesque Autobiography.
harness.  During all those long years he gave such satisfaction that he never was through with one contract a week till government gave him another.  He was a perfect pet.  And he was always a favorite with his fellow-artists, and was a conspicuous member of their benevolent secret society, called the Chain Gang.  He always wore his hair short, had a preference for striped clothes, and died lamented by the government.  He was a sore loss to his country.  For he was so regular.

Some years later we have the illustrious John Morgan Twain.  He came over to this country with Columbus in 1492, as a passenger.  He appears to have been of a crusty, uncomfortable disposition.  He complained of the food all the way over, and was always threatening to go ashore unless there was a change.  He wanted fresh shad.  Hardly a day passed over his head that he did not go idling about the ship with his nose in the air, sneering about the commander, and saying he did not believe Columbus knew where he was going to or had ever been there before.  The memorable cry of “Land ho!” thrilled every heart in the ship but his.  He gazed a while through a piece of smoked glass at the penciled line lying on the distant water, and then said:  “Land be hanged,—­it’s a raft!”

When this questionable passenger came on board the ship, he brought nothing with him but an old newspaper containing a handkerchief marked “B.  G.,” one cotton sock marked “L.  W. C.” one woollen one marked “D.  F.” and a night-shirt marked “O.  M. R.”  And yet during the voyage he worried more about his “trunk,” and gave himself more airs about it, than all the rest of the passengers put together.

If the ship was “down by the head,” and would got steer, he would go and move his “trunk” farther aft, and then watch the effect.  If the ship was “by the stern,” he would suggest to Columbus to detail some men to “shift that baggage.”  In storms he had to be gagged, because his wailings about his “trunk” made it impossible for the men to hear the orders.  The man does not appear to have been openly charged with any gravely unbecoming thing, but it is noted in the ship’s log as a “curious circumstance” that albeit he brought his baggage on board the ship in a newspaper, he took it ashore in four trunks, a queensware crate, and a couple of champagne baskets.  But when he came back insinuating in an insolent, swaggering way, that some of his things were missing, and was going to search the other passengers’ baggage, it was too much, and they threw him overboard.  They watched long and wonderingly for him to come up, but not even a bubble rose on the quietly ebbing tide.  But while every one was most absorbed in gazing over the side, and the interest was momentarily increasing, it was observed with consternation that the vessel was adrift and the anchor cable hanging limp from the bow.  Then in the ship’s dimmed and ancient log we find this quaint note: 

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Mark Twain's Burlesque Autobiography from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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