Chapters from My Autobiography

By Mark Twain

Page 0

...NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW

No. DXCVIII.

SEPTEMBER 7, 1906


CHAPTERS FROM MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY.--I.[1]

BY MARK TWAIN.


...

Page 1

...system which is a complete and purposed jumble--a course which
begins nowhere, follows no specified route,...

Page 2

...by ancestral proxy. My instincts have persuaded me, too.
Whenever we have a strong and persistent...

Page 3

...rude
and ancient engraving. It was a picture of the court that tried Charles
I. There was...

Page 4

...side of some drummers when
they wouldn't have paid any attention to mere smooth words and
arguments....

Page 5

...sisters Pamela and Margaret,
and my brother Benjamin were born in Jamestown. There may have been
others,...

Page 6

...by and by.

Many persons regarded "Colonel Sellers" as a fiction, an invention, an
extravagant impossibility, and...

Page 7

...and fitting name for our Sellers, since it was odd and
quaint and all that. I...

Page 8

...listen. There is a
man in there who is interesting."

I went back and asked Lampton what...

Page 9

... ...

Page 10

...paper, was the most joyous feature of the obsequies, and
was at once copied in the...

Page 11

...apology, and I told him so, and said it was a
long-delayed revenge but was sweeter...

Page 12

...of it. They had examined the book, and the majority of
them were of the opinion...

Page 13

...of the village. I was too young for this society, and was
too bashful to mingle...

Page 14

...I never suspected
that I was making a spectacle of myself to any one but Sandy....

Page 15

...thousand, for I suspected all girls'
eyes of being the ones I so dreaded. During several...

Page 16

...smoked herrings?"

It seemed a strange question at such a hallowed time as this. And so
inconsequential,...

Page 17

...added--

"Aldrich has never had his peer for prompt and pithy and witty and
humorous sayings. None...

Page 18

...You
never see his name mentioned in print, not even in advertisement; these
things are of no...

Page 19

... ...

Page 20

...Grant's sold at
something short of eighteen dollars. I can't rise to General Grant's
lofty place in...

Page 21

... ...

Page 22

...form of
worship, and in that form it was returned--returned by relatives,
friends and the servants of...

Page 23

...driven all
over that city in order that one sleighful of those people could have
time to...

Page 24

...reached Southampton the message was there. It said
the recovery would be long, but certain. This...

Page 25

...that night, Clara and her mother completed
their circuit of the globe, and drew up at...

Page 26

...that dear
imagined presence.

About two o'clock she composed herself as if for sleep, and never moved
again....

Page 27

...dead; longing for release is in their place. It comes at last--the
only unpoisoned gift earth...

Page 28

...since
the race of man has lived, and longed, and hoped, and feared, and
doubted.

To go back...

Page 29

...her character was the stronger and healthier for its
presence. It enabled her to be good...

Page 30

...a struggle, and much and deep thinking and weighing--but
she came out where any one who...

Page 31

...shade of Burns would think--was a
quite good philosophical defence.

"Well, mamma, you know I didn't see...

Page 32

...a deprivation upon its owner. She also knew that her mother
could not be persuaded to...

Page 33

... ...

Page 34

...to change any line or word in Susy's sketch of me,
but will introduce passages from...

Page 35

...merit than demerit in it, because I already knew that
that was the condition of the...

Page 36

...let it go. It is the will of God that we must have critics, and
missionaries,...

Page 37

...our Washington correspondent:
"Mark Twain, the delicate humorist, was present: quite...

Page 38

...home, the bookshelves
joined the mantelpiece--in fact there were shelves on both sides of the
mantelpiece. On...

Page 39

...to rest himself he stays up all night and plays billiards, it seems
...

Page 40

...comes up here every day
and pathetically tries to make me understand the points of the...

Page 41

...I didn't want to see him any more for a week.

I went up-stairs in a...

Page 42

...the gas, looked
at the annunciator, and turned off the alarm--so far as the door
indicated was...

Page 43

...such
things. If he knows the house he knows that that is all that he can...

Page 44

...conceived the idea that I could not stand her society.

That word "Youth," as the reader...

Page 45

...other day, "I am a mugwump and a mugwump is pure from
...

Page 46

...to a finish without verbal
helps. Now this time I was unprotected, but did not suspect...

Page 47

...it
seemed a blessed refuge for me now. The bed was this one, wherein I am
lying...

Page 48

...into convulsions, and
went on laughing until we were physically exhausted and spiritually
reconciled.

The children were present...

Page 49

...and he sees his mother oh and then what followed! How
...

Page 50

...work. I often joined my
supplications to the children's for mercy, and strung the argument out
and...

Page 51

...hind leg--but it is of no use for me to try to
recollect history. I never...

Page 52

...a
tonic. I was valuable to her. I never thought of it before, but now I
see...

Page 53

...I could fetch out my news. But it was an error of
calculation. When she got...

Page 54

...the cat the "Pain-Killer"; I realize it now. I
would not repeat it in these days....

Page 55

...her test: she made me tell her what the
text was. That was a simple matter,...

Page 56

...which was
ice and which was water. In the pauses we waited; started again whenever
there was...

Page 57

...he went on the Mississippi as
a pilot. Just before he...

Page 58

...coming up with a great bunch of roses in his hand. He
...

Page 59

... ...

Page 60

...he was as talkative as his old self. He received
Susy...

Page 61

... not have been fit for his place if he had not...

Page 62

...Susy
never had an interest or an occupation which she was not glad to put
aside for...

Page 63

...was on the "Tribune" staff.
He explained his trouble in these words, substantially:

"When I was passing...

Page 64

...'Liebes Geshchenk on die mamma.' [I am sure I didn't say
...

Page 65

...and I had a nice long time to
discuss and laugh...

Page 66

...to see. Evidently we were not
expected. Papa told her who...

Page 67

...the stage I remember the people behind me
exclaimed "Oh how...

Page 68

...I hope they value his society. I
think I can get along without it, in either...

Page 69

...but he was well wrapped about with furs and, in
the hands of a careful person,...

Page 70

... Charles Dilke, Mr. Charles Reade, Mr. William Black, Lord Houghton,
...

Page 71

...(_To be Continued._)

FOOTNOTE:

[5] I was his publisher. I was putting his "Personal Memoirs" to press
at...

Page 72

...asked her to sign her name below those words.

She said: "He didn't? He didn't what?"

"Oh,"...

Page 73

...own country,
but he represented all the other countries in Christendom and did their
work, and did...

Page 74

...all that I have just been saying about mugwump principles
and the limitations which they put...

Page 75

...office, and I saw Mr.
Cleveland for the first time. We three stood chatting together. I...

Page 76

... a man's favor the verdict is against him. It is sand, and history
...

Page 77

...very best behavior there in
Chicago. He said: "We shall be the guests of a clergyman,...

Page 78

...editor for a little while was Tom Fitch, called
the "silver-tongued orator of Wisconsin"--that was where...

Page 79

...prisoner without saying a single
word. I saw Bob Howland do that, once--a slender, good-natured, amiable,
gentle,...

Page 80

...But I was not hunting for it.
Goodman went off to San Francisco for a week's...

Page 81

...They lost heart. But I was cheerful; I felt better and better
all the time. They...

Page 82

...fence-rail up against
the middle of it, to represent Mr. Laird. But the rail was no...

Page 83

...any terms whatever.

Well, my life was saved--saved by that accident. I don't know what the
bird...

Page 84

...contained business. When Cutler found
that Steve was my second he cooled down; he became calm...

Page 85

...upon
to furnish the same sum whenever and wherever they can be produced, so
long as human...

Page 86

... "We are urging forward in a development of business and social life
...

Page 87

...the price, but we are ready to take him anyway,
whether he be ripe or rotten,...

Page 88

...was 1850.
As to that I am not sure, but I know the month--it was May;...

Page 89

...getting boiled to death in my own bile.

On the fourth night temptation came, and I...

Page 90

...asked, "What do you see?" and left him to
invent a vision for himself, Hicks was...

Page 91

...impressively--

"That you may know how really remarkable this is, and how wonderfully
developed a subject we...

Page 92

...professor could turn my arm to iron and make it
insensible to pain. Whereas it was...

Page 93

...enough to be on his feet
and sit around in the parlor and talk, the conversation...

Page 94

...at first, it might look
as if you had come loaded with it). The vision developed,...

Page 95

...of a deed of great and real splendor
has just my experience; I know that he...

Page 96

...that I was under a
delusion and did not know what I was talking about. Arguments!...

Page 97

... ...

Page 98

...a
distinguished lawyer. He patiently allowed Orion to bring to him each
new project; he discussed it...

Page 99

...occasion to put any
sense or any vestige of mentality of any kind into these miracles;
anything...

Page 100

...into bed and snuggled up against somebody. He was a little
surprised, but not much--for he...

Page 101

...hand and the dressing-gown was all
the clothing he had on--except an expression of unwelcome which...

Page 102

...admirable creature; he had no principles, and was
delightful company. At first we three apprentices had...

Page 103

...spoon, whereas the sugar on it was nothing but a layer. This
all seems perfectly true...

Page 104

...he was proprietor of that newspaper,
except for ink and printing-paper. The paper was a dead...

Page 105

...and nights. When I reached St. Louis I was exhausted. I
went to bed on board...

Page 106

...daylight watches. When I got to New Orleans I
inquired about ships leaving for Para and...

Page 107

...I paying the
fares, which were pretty heavy, and carrying with me what money I had
been...

Page 108

...not able to score. They made
several efforts, but the Governor defeated these efforts without any
trouble...

Page 109

...trust each other, nor anybody
else, they could trust him. He easily held the belt for...

Page 110

...to a close, the mystery
of why he had ever consented to leave the great State...

Page 111

...to the other side for a time. On nomination day he suddenly
changed from a friendly...

Page 112

...paid for it. Then it
began to eat up the margin, and when at last I...

Page 113

...New York
gentleman should pay all the expenses and fight all the lawsuits, in
case any should...

Page 114

...see that you have no backbone; that they can deal with
you as they would deal...

Page 115

...succeeding quarter of a century, but so far
as my knowledge goes he was only a...

Page 116

...people's money had to be taken care of, but where no salary was
paid. He was...

Page 117

...of, but I have not
gotten one of them to consent to go on paper yet....

Page 118

...of a sort quite unusual to my Western
ignorance and inexperience--a charm of manner, intonation, apparently
native...

Page 119

...the summit and
were westward bound down-hill, with me two years ahead of him and
neither of...

Page 120

...during forty years, and forsook
us at last. It put our energies to sleep and made...

Page 121

...week old. It was remarkable
in me to remember a thing like that, which occurred when...

Page 122

...John's. The
house was a double log one, with a spacious floor (roofed in) connecting
it with...

Page 123

...They pay this price for health. And health is all they get
for it. How strange...

Page 124

...the negroes were friends of ours, and with those of our own age we
were in...

Page 125

...a cheery
spirit, innocent and gentle, and the noisiest creature that ever was,
perhaps. All day long...

Page 126

...the other smoking his
corn-cob pipe; the slick and carpetless oak floor faintly mirroring the
dancing flame-tongues...

Page 127

...extent, and was a
tangled wilderness of narrow and lofty clefts and passages. It was an
easy...

Page 128

...could hold a whole dose. Castor-oil was the principal beverage.
The dose was half a dipperful,...

Page 129

...the patient.

Dr. Meredith removed to Hannibal, by and by, and was our family
physician there, and...

Page 130

...of rain-washed foliage, the
rattling clatter of drops when the wind shook the trees, the far-off
hammering...

Page 131

...cleaves its way to the other end; I
can see its halves fall apart and display...

Page 132

...for it was always the last story of the
evening, and there was nothing between it...

Page 133

...weight break down the branches. They
were clubbed to death with sticks; guns were not necessary,...

Page 134

...I saw how brave she was and
turning to mamma said...

Page 135

...was young, and the young jump to conclusions without reflection.

Necessarily, I did myself the honor...

Page 136

...a vacation--quite against all
etiquette; the shock of it would paralyze the Chancellery; stem
etiquette and usage...

Page 137

...the Emperor
went his rounds of the groups; and added that if his Majesty talked four
minutes...

Page 138

...meet at my front door--an indignant face, a
resentful face, the face of the _portier_. The...

Page 139

...them! I have found it out! By God, I did not know it
before, and I...

Page 140

...and done it well; but I was guest
now, and consequently I felt less at home....

Page 141

...form, five years
hence, when I am dead: five years according to my calculation,
twenty-seven years according...

Page 142

...with the
etiquette observable at other royal tables. I would say, "Invite me
again, your Majesty, and...

Page 143

...it back and thought no more about it. Next morning
when he got up his head...

Page 144

...it was the beginning of a prosperity for
that church which has never diminished in all...

Page 145

...three. They have been good
company for about five months now, and are still kittens--at least...

Page 146

...are not above the grade of human
beings, for I know by certain signs that they...

Page 147

...because
Ashes started it.

I would like to dress in a loose and flowing costume made all...

Page 148

...is not an uncalculated remark. When I passed the seventieth
mile-stone, ten months ago, I instantly...

Page 149

...with his pen, and he easily stands at the head of all
the satirists of this...

Page 150

...play billiards tolerably well--only
tolerably well--but not any better than I could. He and I were...

Page 151

...and hearty and cheery and
self-satisfied young fellows who are brimful of confidence, and who
plunge with...

Page 152

...that he would fail again;
not an expensive one, but a cheap native one, of the...

Page 153

...added stormily, "it's double or quits
again, and I'll win out free of debt or owe...

Page 154

...and dig it out of its blue-clay matrix.
My mother knew that art. When I was...

Page 155

...his complexion was a clear black, and
very handsome, but now it had modified to old...

Page 156

...I suppose.

It was only a quarter to eleven when they began to distribute pretexts.
At ten...

Page 157

...Then in the early days of May, 1858, came a tragic
trip--the last trip of that...

Page 158

...head of the stairs and said good-by
_again_. As I remember it she was moved to...

Page 159

...are competent--they'll attend to it. But you
rush for the hurricane-deck, and astern to one of...

Page 160

...mistake--they
had no way of measuring the eighth of a grain of morphine, so they
guessed at...

Page 161

...it was born.
Mark, I diligently and prayerfully examined that tale with this result:
that I found...

Page 162

...of the opium. When
I went up-stairs, there stood the two chairs--placed to receive the
coffin--just as...

Page 163

...Quarry Farm.

Ordinary cats have some partiality for living flies, but none for dead
ones; but Susy...

Page 164

... shone on then they took very beautiful opaline colors. Papa would
...

Page 165

...front
way; I had other ways, and practised them all; but no matter which way
was chosen...

Page 166

...but no matter, mine was a trained Presbyterian
conscience, and knew but the one duty--to hunt...

Page 167

...warned the man that if he stayed where he was while
she counted ten it would...

Page 168

...and not in
the interest of those poor people who had been extinguished for my sake,
but...

Page 169

...grouped
themselves in its shade, with their saucers of liquid and piping-hot
candy disposed about them on...

Page 170

...himself carefully up,
measured his distance deliberately, then made a frantic grab at the
nearest cat--and missed....

Page 171

...I had no domestic household, and no
official household except George Dolby, lecture-agent, and Charles
Warren Stoddard,...

Page 172

...remittances had failed to arrive from
home; he had no money, he was out of employment,...

Page 173

...arm and thanked
me, and said that nothing could have been more timely than that money,
and...

Page 174

... ...

Page 175

...a child have a whipping
and pick up the handkerchief too....

Page 176

...behavior. She never humored
herself by striking or punishing us because...

Page 177

...she was
suffering so intensely with sorrow and compassion for the little
prisoner that she was not...

Page 178

... published, I think, and expressed himself more fully than he would
...

Page 179

...bed? then a scuffle ensued for we told her
it was...

Page 180

...one for her book; surely there has been no
kindlier biographer than this one. Yet to...

Page 181

...months ago I commented upon a chapter
of Susy's Biography wherein she very elaborately discussed an...

Page 182

... from them. Papa said Mr. Barette never had acted so well...

Page 183

... could be no harm in it, and there might be great good. If...

Page 184

... gotten a separate pack of cards, and is playing alone, with...

Page 185

...funny adventures related in
"Tom Sawyer" and in "Huckleberry Finn," _himself_...

Page 186

...reutter that daring opinion and print it. Right or wrong,
it was a brave position for...

Page 187

...many other funny ones, all of which I dont remember. Mr. Grant
...

Page 188

...Warner and I have a plan.

"Well" mamma said "what now,...

Page 189

...up to the study to work, and sometimes
Clara and I...

Page 190

...use the
suggested spellings in their private correspondence.

By this, one perceives that the beginning was sufficiently...

Page 191

...30, 1906._]


Jean and Papa were walking out past the barn...

Page 192

...witnesses; no, too frequently there was a tragedy connected with it,
and then there were tears...

Page 193

...it--with great spirit--for the elevation of the household.
The children admired it to the limit, and...

Page 194

...book I find evidence that
she was just like that before she was quite four years...

Page 195

...a little child. Suddenly--not gradually--she began to lie; not
furtively, but frankly, openly, and on a...

Page 196

...characters. Susy's indicated the presence of mentality--
thought--and they were generally marked by gravity. She was...

Page 197

...in Germany. The nurse, Rosa, was
not allowed to speak to...

Page 198

... MARK TWAIN.

...

Page 199

...received a letter from the Rev. Dr. Rising, who had been rector of the
Episcopal church...

Page 200

...that I had
committed it until I was confronted with the awful evidence. I have lost
his...

Page 201

...myself about the best
known honest man on the Pacific Coast. Thomas McGuire, proprietor of
several theatres,...

Page 202

...let me use the letters.
That is just what they did; Mr. Mac--something--I have forgotten the
rest...

Page 203

...labor with the pen and gotten
along without the letters altogether. I was very young in...

Page 204

...and urgent to have my society. This
flattered me, for I perceived no trap, and I...

Page 205

...time, and nothing can save the ten
from going down."

It was true. The boys made the...

Page 206

...by
studied and discreditable artifice, into bragging and boasting about his
poor game in the presence of...

Page 207

...be, would repeat his
first guess if it won, and would go on repeating it if...

Page 208

...he was ready to
give up work altogether, die, or do...

Page 209

...I wish I could reproduce her in the mirror of
my mind, but I can't do...

Page 210

...I have received an
average of a dozen letters a year from strangers who remember me,...

Page 211

...It
only broke out now and then, with considerable intervals between. Once
he tried to reform Injun...

Page 212

...Episcopal church in his town, and had been for many
years the competent superintendent of all...

Page 213

...earthquakes and all sorts of disasters in the air
threatening, and you get cold and clammy;...

Page 214

...and, so far as I remember, the passion of envy had no place
in our hearts,...

Page 215

...us the date, and
we must look her up. We wanted to see her, anyway, because...

Page 216

...a fiction. I remembered the
circumstance very well. We had bidden the young girl good-by and...

Page 217

...mutilated corpses to the
grave: in the aggregate 800,000 cripples and 100,000 dead, drenched in
blood!

...

Page 218

...the first night, with six
hundred ex-soldiers present. The gentleman who sat next me was Mr....

Page 219

...talk.
Susy has exposed this in her Biography of me.

Dean Sage was a delightful man, yet...

Page 220

...and tossed and writhed all
night upon a shuck mattress that was full of attentive and...

Page 221

...you were gentlemen yourselves,
whereas in my opinion hell's full of--"

Sage broke in--

"Not another word of...

Page 222

...well started; so my hope was
never fulfilled. The following is the unfinished chapter:


[Sidenote: (1898.)]

...

Page 223

... they carefully provide _for_ it, usually. Commonly the combat must
...

Page 224

...on in the immediate
neighborhood at the time, and in this...

Page 225

...result satisfactory to either party; then with sabres,
and the major...

Page 226

...my list, but I find in
each and all of them...

Page 227

... we know how we are all made. Laws ought to be based upon...

Page 228

...been ordained for
her--happiness, or endless misery. Presently she heard the...

Page 229

...which Colonel Henry was wounded in
the elbow, and the duel...

Page 230

...cheap feeding-place--the "Miners' Restaurant."
It was a place where one could get good food on the...

Page 231

...and I was
delirious for three days; then I come to myself and at once inquired
for...

Page 232

...our crew?"

"Yes, sir, I was."

"I reckon you may be right. You do certainly know a...

Page 233

...as I do."

...

Page 234

...he was twelve years old
he crossed the plains with his father amidst the rush of...

Page 235

...in the early days when I
was nine years old, and he had also a slave...

Page 236

...not want to be pestered by children.

And there was Mary Lacy. She was a schoolmate....

Page 237

...pasteboard blue tickets, each with a
verse from the Testament printed on it, and you could...

Page 238

...He was an
elderly pupil; he was perhaps twenty-two or twenty-three years old. Then
came the Mexican...

Page 239

...in Virginia City. He brought it. An open
barouche was provided, also a brass band. The...

Page 240

...mother was greatly troubled. She worried
over Pamela and Henry and me, and took constant and...

Page 241

...she delivered me into my mother's hands along with her
opinion of that kind of a...

Page 242

...some length, the massed audience in the
theatre. Here for a little time we moved about...

Page 243

...ago, when I lay dying, the centre of
attraction, with one eye piously closed upon the...

Page 244

...face with Henry VIII, a
person whom I had been implacably disliking for sixty years; but...

Page 245

...ever gotten acquainted with; and with
Roger Bacon; and with Queen Elizabeth, who talked five minutes...

Page 246

...time, or
earlier; and those ancestors were not more primitive than were this
posterity of theirs. The...

Page 247

...quarter of a century since I have seen Uncle Remus. He
visited us in our home...

Page 248

...gradually grew in frequency, but no muscle outside of the
face lost any of its rigidity,...

Page 249

...afraid. He was one of Ossawatomie
Brown's right-hand men in the bleeding Kansas days; he was...

Page 250

...quarter of a century of my life has been pretty constantly and
faithfully devoted to the...

Page 251

...to compel the admiration of the spectators. Very well, the
bad outfit is nothing behind the...

Page 252

...art that was more wonderful than shots which I had
seen Texas Tom make on the...

Page 253

...it was half-way home and went
thundering down alongside of it the rest of the way...

Page 254

...militarily erect and straight, and he was
hermetically sealed up in the uniform of that ignorant...

Page 255

...came back, and said,

"What is the prize for the ten-strike?"

We had to confess that we...

Page 256

... not able to discover it. If it isn't innocently and ridiculously
...

Page 257

..._nom de guerre._
I very soon had an opportunity. I knocked...

Page 258

...Mr.
Holmes inspected this cabin, then he took me by the...

Page 259

... 'Looky here, my fat friend, I'm a-running this shanty, and if the
...

Page 260

... "'Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson...

Page 261

...said, Mr. Twain, you are the fourth in twenty-four hours--and
I'm...

Page 262

...I thought of
it I wondered how I ever could have been inspired to do so...

Page 263

...the evening--the gay oration above quoted from the
Boston paper. I had written it all out...

Page 264

...had
good intentions, but the words froze before they could get out. It was
an atmosphere that...

Page 265

...himself to Bishop and me and supported us out of
the room. It was very kind--he...

Page 266

...Oh, the fault must have been with _me_, it is not in
the speech at all.

[_Dictated...

Page 267

...obscure and poor, and all scattered far away among the
back settlements. It was a proud...

Page 268

...concern; and said in a simple, confident, and
unquestioning way, "the Lord will provide." I saw...

Page 269

...about ten minutes a gentle-faced middle-aged gentleman came along,
and began to look around here and...

Page 270

...me? It is the most extraordinary spirit of
accommodation I have ever heard of--the idea of...

Page 271

... MARK TWAIN....