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SAMUEL L. CLEMENS.
ARK TWAIN has a world wide reputation as the great American humorist, a reputation which has been steadily growing at home and abroad since the publication of "Innocents Abroad" in 1869, and he is undoubtedly one of the most popular authors in the United States. The story of his life is the record of a career which could have been possible in no other country in the world.
He was born in Florida in 1835, though most of his boyhood was passed at Hanibal, Mo., where he attended the village school until he was thirteen, which was his only opportunity for educational training. At this early age he was apprenticed to a printer and worked at this trade in St. Louis, Cincinnatti, Philadelphia and New York. During his boyhood his great ambition, his one yearning, had been to become one day a pilot on a Mississippi steamboat. He realized this ambition in 1851 and the experiences of this pilot life are told in his "Life on the Mississippi." His pen-name was suggested by the expression used in Mississippi navigation where in sounding a depth of two fathoms, the leadsman calls out, "Mark Twain!"
After serving in 1861 in Nevada as private secretary to his brother who was at this time secretary of the Territory, he became city editor of the Virginia City Enterprise," and here his literary labors began, and the pseudonym now so familiar was first used.
In 1865, he was reporter on the staff of the San Francisco "Morning Call," though his newspaper work was interspersed with unsuccessful attempts at gold digging and a six months' trip to Hawaii.
This was followed by a lecture trip through California and Nevada, which gave unmistakable evidence that he had the "gift" of humor.
His fame, however, was really made by the publication of "Innocents Abroad" (Hartford, 1869), 125,000 copies of which were sold in three years. This book is a brilliant, humorous account of the travels, experiences and opinions of a party of tourists to the Mediterranean, Egypt, Palestine, France and Italy.
His next literary work of note was the publication of "Roughing It" (Hartford, 1872), which shook the sides of readers all over the United States. This contained inimitable sketches of the rough border life and personal experiences in California, Nevada and Utah. In fact all Mark Twain's literary work which bears the stamp of permanent worth and merit is personal and autobiographical. He is never so successful in works that are purely of an imaginative character.
In 1873, in conjunction with Charles Dudley Warner, he produced a story entitled the "Gilded Age" which was dramatized and had a marked success on the stage. His other well-known works are: "Sketches Old and New;" "Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876), a story of boy life in Missouri and one of his best productions, "Punch, Brothers, Punch" (1878); " A Tramp Abroad" (1880), containing some of his most humorous and successful descriptions of personal experiences on a trip through Germany and Switzerland; "The Stolen White Elephant" (1882); "Prince and the Pauper" (1882); "Life on the Mississippi" (1883); " Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1885), a sequel to "Tom Sawyer;" "A Yankee at King Arthur's Court" and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" (1896).
In 1884, he established in New York City the publishing house of C. L. Webster & Co., which issued in the following year the "Memoirs" of U. S. Grant, the profits from which publication to the amount of $350,000 were paid to Mrs. Grant in accordance with an agreement previously signed with General Grant.
By the unfortunate failure of this company in 1895, Mark Twain found himself a poor man and morally, though not legally, responsible for large sums due the creditors. Like Sir Walter Scott, he resolved to wipe out the last dollar of the debt and at once entered upon a lecturing trip around the world, which effort is proving financially a success. He is also at work upon a new book soon to be published. His home is at Hartford, Connecticut, where he has lived in delightful friendship and intercourse with Charles Dudley Warner, Harriet Beecher Stowe and other literary characters of that city. His writings have been translated into German and they have met with large sales both in England and on the continent.
JIM SMILEY'S FROG.
ELL, this yer Smiley had rat-tarriers, and ster was the name of the frog,-and sing out, "Flies, chicken-cocks, and all them kind of things, Dan'l, flies," and quicker'n you could wink he'd till you couldn't rest, and you couldn't fetch spring straight up, and snake a fly off 'n the counter nothing for him to bet on but he'd match you. He there, and flop down on the floor again, as solid as a ketched a frog one day, and took him home, and said gob of mud, and fall to scratching the side of his head he cal'klated to edercate him; and so he never done with his hind foot as indifferent as if he hadn't no idea nothing for three months but set in his back yard and he'd been doing any more'n any frog might do. You learn that frog to jump. And you bet he did learn never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard as he him, too. He'd give him a little punch behind, and was, for all he was so gifted. And when it came to the next minute you'd see that frog whirling in the fair and square jumping on a dead level, he could get air like a doughnut.- --see him turn one summerset, or over more ground at one straddle than any animal of maybe a couple, if he got a good start, and come down his breed you ever see. Jumping on a dead level was flat-footed and all right, like a cat. He got him up his strong suit, you understand; and when it come to so in the matter of catching flies, and kept him in that, Smiley would ante up money on him as long as practice so constant, that he'd nail a fly every time he had a red. Smiley was monstrous proud of his as far as he could see him. Smiley said all a frog frog, and well he might be, for fellers that had travwanted was education, and he could do most any-eled and been everywhere, all said he laid over any thing; and I believe him. Why, I've seen him set frog that ever they see. Dan'l Webster down here on this floor,-Dan'l Web
Well, Smiley kept the beast in a little lattice box,
lay for a bet. camp he was, says:
and he used to fetch him down town sometimes, and him full of quail shot,-filled him pretty near up to One day a feller,—a stranger in the his chin,-and set him on the floor. Smiley he went came across him with his box, and to the swamp, and slopped around in the mud for a long time, and finally he ketched a frog, and fetched him in, and give him to this feller, and says:
"What might it be that you've got in the box?" And Smiley says sorter indifferent like, "It might be a parrot, or it might be a canary, may be, but it ain't, it's only just a frog."
And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and turned it round this way and that, and says, "H'm! so 'tis. Well, what's he good for?"
"Well," Smiley says, easy and careless, "he's good enough for one thing, I should judge-he can outjump any frog in Calaveras County."
The feller took the box again, and took another long particular look, and gave it back to Smiley, and says, very deliberate. "Well, I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog." "May be you don't," Smiley says. May be you understand frogs, and may be you don't understand 'em; may be you've had experience, and may be you an't only a amature, as it were. Anyways, I've got my opinion, and I'll risk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog in Calaveras County.
And the feller studied a minute, and then says, kinder sad like, "Well, I'm only a stranger here, and I ain't got no frog; but if I had a frog, I'd bet you."
And then Smiley says, "That's all right, that's all right if you'll hold my box a minute, I'll go and get you a frog." And so the feller took the box, and put up his forty dollars along with Smiley's and set down to wait. So he set there a good while, thinking and thinking to hisself, and then he got the frog out and prized his mouth open, and took a teaspoon and filled
"Now, if you're ready, set him alongside of Dan'l, with his fore-paws just even with Dan'l, and I'll give the word." Then he says, "One-two-three— jump ;" and him and the feller touched up the frogs from behind, and the new frog hopped off, but Dan'l gave a heave and hysted up his shoulders,-so,-like a Frenchman, but it wasn't no use.-he couldn't budge; he was planted as solid as an anvil, and he couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored out. Smiley was a good deal surprised, and he was disgusted, too, but he didn't have no idea what the matter was, of course.
The feller took the money and started away; and when he was going out at the door, he sorter jerked his thumb over his shoulders,—this way,—at Dan'l, and says again, very deliberate, "Well, I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog."
Smiley he stood scratching his head and looking down at Dan'l a long time, and at last he says, "I do wonder what in the nation that frog throwed off for; I wonder if there an't something the matter with him, he 'pears to look mighty baggy, somehow." And he ketched Dan'l by the nap of the neck, and lifted him up. and says, "Why, blame my cats, if he don't weigh five pound!" and turned him upside down, and he belched out a double handful of shot. And then he see how it was, and he was the maddest man. He set the frog down, and took out after that feller, but he never ketched him.
UNCLE DAN'L'S APPARITION AND PRAYER.
DEEP coughing sound troubled the stillness.veloped itself out of the gloom, and from its tall way toward a wooded cape that jutted into the stream a mile distant. All in an instant a fierce eye of fire shot out from behind the cape and sent a long brilliant pathway quivering athwart the dusky water. The coughing grew louder and louder, the glaring eye grew larger and still larger, glared wilder and still wilder. A huge shape de
duplicate horns dense volumes of smoke, starred and spangled with sparks, poured out and went tumbling away into the farther darkness. Nearer and nearer the thing came, till its long sides began to glow with spots of light which mirrored themselves in the river and attended the monster like a torchlight procession. | "What is it? Oh, what is it, Uncle Dan'l!"
With deep solemnity the answer came: "It's de Almighty! Git down on yo' knees!" It was not necessary to say it twice. They were all kneeling in a moment. And then while the mysterious coughing rose stronger and stronger and the threatening glare reached farther and wider, the negro's voice lifted up its supplications:
"O Lord, we's ben mighty wicked, an' we knows dat we 'zerve to go to de bad place, but good Lord, deah Lord, we ain't ready yit, we ain't ready-let these po' chil'en hab one mo' chance, jes' one mo' chance. Take de old niggah if you's got to hab somebody. Good Lord, good deah Lord, we don't know whah you's a gwine to, we don't know who you's got yo' eye on, but we knows by de way you's a comin,' | we knows by the way you's a tiltin' along in yo' charyot o' fiah dat some po' sinner's a gwine to ketch it. But, good Lord, dese chil'en don' b'long heah, dey's f'm Obedstown whah dey don't know nuffin, an' yo' knows, yo' own sef, dat dey ain't 'sponsible. An' deah Lord, good Lord, it ain't like yo' mercy, it ain't like yo' pity, it ain't like yo' long-sufferin' lovin'-kindness for to take dis kind o' 'vantage o' sich little chil'en as dese is when dey's so many onery grown folks chuck full o' cussedness dat wants roastin' down dah. O Lord, spah de little chil'en, don't tar de little chil'en away f'm dey frens, jes' let 'em off dis once, and take it out'n de ole niggah. HEAH I IS. LORD, HEAH I IS! De ole niggah's ready, Lord, de
coughing diminished by degrees and presently ceased altogether.
"H'wsh! Well, now, dey's some folks says dey ain't no 'ficiency in prah. Dis chile would like to know whah we'd a ben now if it warn't fo' dat prah! Dat's it. Dat's it!"
"Uncle Dan'l, do reckon it was
"Does I reckon? Don't I know it! Whah was yo' eyes? Warn't de Lord jes' a comin' chow! chow! CHOW! an' a goin' on turrible-an' do de Lord carry on dat way 'dout dey's sumfin don't suit him? An' warn't he a lookin' right at dis gang heah, an' warn't he jes' a reachin' fer 'em? An' d'you spec' he gwine to let 'em off 'dout somebody ast him to do it? No indeedy!"
"Do you reckon he saw us, Uncle Dan'l?"
"De law sakes, chile, didn't I see him a lookin' at
"Did you feel scared, Uncle Dan'l?"
"No sah! When a man is 'gaged in prah he ain't 'fraid o' nuffin-dey can't nuffin tech him." "Well, what did you run for?"
"Well, I-I-Mars Clay, when a man is under de influence ob de sperit, he do-no what he's 'boutno sah; dat man do-no what he's 'bout. You might take an' tah de head off'n dat man an' he wouldn't scasely fine it out. Dah's de Hebrew chil'en dat went frough de fiah; dey was burnt considable— ob coase dey was; but dey did'nt know nuffin 'bout it-heal right up agin; if dey'd been gals dey'd missed dey long haah (hair), maybe, but dey wouldn't felt de burn.”
The flaming and churning steamer was right abreast the party, and not twenty steps away. The awful thunder of a mud-valve suddenly burst forth, drowning the prayer, and as suddenly Uncle Dan'l snatched a child under each arm and scoured into the woods with the rest of the pack at his heels. And then. 66
"I dont know but what they were girls. I think they were."
Now, Mars Clay, you knows better'n dat. Someashamed of himself, he halted in the deep darkness times a body can't tell whedder you's a sayin'
headed a cautious reconnoissance in the direction say? 'Sides don't it call 'em de He-brew chil'en? If of the log. Sure enough "the Lord" was just dey was gals wouldn't dey be de she-brew chil'en? turning a point a short distance up the river, and Some people dat kin read don't 'pear to take no nowhile they looked the lights winked out and the tice when dey do read."
From a speech of Mark Twain at the banquet given in honor of Gen. Grant, by the Army of the Tennessee, at the Palmer House, Chicago, Nov. i4, 1879.
for soothing syrup, did you venture to throw out any side remarks about certain services unbecoming an officer and a gentleman? No, you got up and got
If he ordered his bottle, and it wasn't warm, did you talk back? Not you, you went to work and warmed it. You even descended so far in your menial office as to take a suck at that warm, insipid stuff yourself, to see if it was right,—three parts water to one of milk, a touch of sugar to modify the colic, and a drop of peppermint to kill those immortal hiccups. I can taste that stuff yet. And how many things you learned as you went along; sentimental young folks still took stock in that beautiful old saying that when the baby smiles in his sleep, it is because the angels are whispering to him. Very pretty, but too thin,"-simply wind on the stomach, my friends! If the baby proposed to take a walk at his usual hour, 2:30 in the morning, didn't you rise up promptly and remark-with a mental addition which wouldn't improve a Sunday-school book much—that that was the very thing you were about to propose yourself! Oh, you were under good discipline! And as you went fluttering up and down the room in your undress uniform" you not only prattled undignified baby-talk, but even tuned up your martial voices and tried to sing "Rockaby baby in a tree-top," for inWhat a spectacle for an Army of the Ten
I like that. We haven't all had the good fortune it. to be ladies; we haven't all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground, for we have all been babies. It is a shame that for a thousand years the world's banquets have utterly ignored the baby as if he didn't amount to anything! If you gentlemen will stop and think a minute,-if you will go back fifty or a hundred years, to your early married life, and recontemplate your first baby, you will remember that he amounted to a good deal, and even something over. You soldiers all know that when that little fellow arrived at family head-quarters you had to hand in your resignation. He took entire command. You became his lackey, his mere bodyservant, and you had to stand around, too. He was not a commander who made allowances for time, distance, weather, or anything else. You had to execute his order whether it was possible or not. And there was only one form of marching in his manual of tactics, and that was the double-quick. He treated you with every sort of insolence and disrespect, and the bravest of you didn't dare to say a word. You could face the death-storm of Donelson and Vicks- stance. burg, and give back blow for blow; but when he nessee! clawed your whiskers, and pulled your hair, and too, twisted your nose, you had to take it. When the thunders of war were sounding in your ears, you set your faces toward the batteries and advanced with steady tread; but when he turned on the terrors of his war-whoop, you advanced in the other direction— and mighty glad of the chance, too. When he called,
And what an affliction for the neighbors, for it isn't everybody within a mile around that likes military music at three in the morning. And when you had been keeping this sort of thing up two or three hours, and your little velvet-head intimated that nothing suited him like exercise and noise,― Go on!"--what did you do? You simply went on, till you disappeared in the last ditch.