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THE MEETING OF BOSEPHUS AND HORATIO   "Oh, 'twas down in the woods of the Arkansaw,And the night was cloudy and the wind was raw,   And he didn't have a bed and he didn't have a bite,And if he hadn't fiddled he'd a travelled all night." BOSEPHUS paused in his mad flight to listen. Surely this was someone playing the violin, and the tune was familiar. He listened more intently. "But he came to a cabin and an old gray man,And says... more...

THE FAMILY OF JOHN CLEMENS A long time ago, back in the early years of another century, a family named Clemens moved from eastern Tennessee to eastern Missouri—from a small, unheard-of place called Pall Mall, on Wolf River, to an equally small and unknown place called Florida, on a tiny river named the Salt. That was a far journey, in those days, for railway trains in 1835 had not reached the South and West, and John Clemens and his... more...

THE FIRST DINNER This is the story of a year, beginning on New Year's eve. In the main it is the story of four—two artists and two writers—and of a paper which these four started. Three of them—the artists and one of the writers—toiled and dwelt together in rooms near Union Square, and earned a good deal of money sometimes, when matters went well. The fourth—the other writer—did something in an editorial way,... more...

INTRODUCTION. While engaged in writing the story of Evelin Delorme it was my good fortune to make the acquaintance of Dr. Herbert L. Flint, the well-known hypnotist briefly referred to in chapter three. The science of Hypnotism being a theme of absorbing interest to me, I eagerly availed myself of the opportunity thus offered for exhaustive investigation of the subject, and was accorded frequent and prolonged interviews with Dr. Flint. During... more...

THE BOOK, AND THE DREAM It was a long time ago—far back in another century—that my father brought home from the village, one evening, a brand-new book. There were not so many books in those days, and this was a fine big one, with black and gilt covers, and such a lot of pictures! I was at an age to claim things. I said the book was my book, and, later, petitioned my father to establish that claim. (I remember we were climbing... more...


Chapter One It was during the holiday week that Eddie proposed the matter. That is Eddie's way. No date, for him, is too far ahead to begin to plan anything that has vari-colored flies in it, and tents, and the prospect of the campfire smell. The very mention of these things will make his hair bristle up (rather straight, still hair it is and silvered over with premature wisdom) and put a new glare into his spectacles (rather wide, round... more...

The First Home in the Metropolis. We had never lived in New York. This fact will develop anyway, as I proceed, but somehow it seems fairer to everybody to state it in the first sentence and have it over with. Still, we had heard of flats in a vague way, and as we drew near the Metropolis the Little Woman bought papers of the train boy and began to read advertisements under the head of "Flats and Apartments to Let." I remember that we wondered... more...

MARK TWAIN A BIOGRAPHY I ANCESTORS On page 492 of the old volume of Suetonius, which Mark Twain read until his very last day, there is a reference to one Flavius Clemens, a man of wide repute "for his want of energy," and in a marginal note he has written: "I guess this is where our line starts." It was like him to write that. It spoke in his whimsical fashion the attitude of humility, the ready acknowledgment of shortcoming, which was his... more...

THE LECTURER It was not easy to take up the daily struggle again, but it was necessary.—[Clemens once declared he had been so blue at this period that one morning he put a loaded pistol to his head, but found he lacked courage to pull the trigger.]—Out of the ruck of possibilities (his brain always thronged with plans) he constructed three or four resolves. The chief of these was the trip around the world; but that lay months ahead,... more...

MARK TWAIN AT FORTY In conversation with John Hay, Hay said to Clemens: "A man reaches the zenith at forty, the top of the hill. From that time forward he begins to descend. If you have any great undertaking ahead, begin it now. You will never be so capable again." Of course this was only a theory of Hay's, a rule where rules do not apply, where in the end the problem resolves itself into a question of individualities. John Hay did as great... more...