1987: A Mark Twain Anecdote

Mark Twain. HJN, drawing.

Mark Twain. HJN, drawing.

[In a letter to my mother I cite the following quotation from “God’s Fool,” the biography of Twain that I was reading. ]

I do seem to have a whole lot of interest in a lot of arts and things. The bill [a change to copyright law in 1906] is full of those that I have nothing to do with. But that is in line with my generous, liberal nature. I can’t help it. I feel toward those same people [the legislators] the same sort of charity of the man who arrived home at 2 o’clock in the morning from the club. He was feeling perfect satisfaction with life — was happy, was comfortable. There was his house weaving and weaving and weaving around. So he watched his chance, and by and by when the steps got in his neighborhood he made a jump and he climbed up on the portico. The house went on weaving. He watched his door, and when it came around his way again he climbed through it. He got to the stairs, went up on all fours. The house was so unsteady he could hardly make his way, but at last he got up and put his foot down on the top step, but his toe hitched on that step, and of course he crumpled all down and rolled all the way down the stairs and fetched up at the bottom with his arm around the newel post, and he said, “God pity a poor sailor out at sea on a night like this.”

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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2 Responses to 1987: A Mark Twain Anecdote

  1. Eric Wayne says:

    I’ve been that drunk a couple times. My favorite part is when the character waits for the door to circle around again so he can go through it. Of course the ending is also wonderful, when he imagines it’s even worse at sea! Twain is riotous. I remember reading Huck Finn in my 20’s and cracking up throughout.

    • JMN says:

      Agreed, I think few surpass Twain for wit. One of my all-time favorite quips of his: “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” It’s blue-ribbon snide! 🙂

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