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Mark Twain ()
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Mark Twain

 

(1835-1910)

 

(Pseudonym of Samual langhorn Clemens)

 

Early life

 

Susy, Mark Twains daughter began the biography of her father when she

was fourteen years old. She begins in this way:

 

We are a very happy family. We consists of papa, Mama, Jean, Clara and

me

 

Its a Papa I am wrihting about.

 

Papa has beautiful gray hair, not any too thick or any too long, but

just right, kind blue eyes and a small moustache. In short he is an

extraordinary fine-looking man. He is a very funny one. He does tell

perfectly delightful stories. Clara and I used to sit on each arm of

his chair and listen while he told us stories.

 

And that, in 1885, was the family of Mark Twain, whose real name was

Samual langhorn Clemens.

 

Sam was born in a very small town called Florida in Missouri. The

village contained a hundred people and Sam increased the population by

1 per cent.

 

Most of the houses were of logs. Beyond and beyond, shining in the sun,

the Mississippi roled to the distant sea.

 

The beside this river, Samual Clemens grew into his boyhood. He saw

negrous chained like animals for transportation to richer slave markets

to the South. Sams father owned slaves. For a girl of fifteen he paid

twelwe dollars; for a woman of twenty-five he paid twenty-five

dollars; for a strong negro woman of forty he paid forty dollars. All

the negroes of his own age were good friends of Sam. The young boy has

always remember these sad things. Better things he remembered also. He

remembered below the village woods a heavenly place where he played

with the boys.

 

When he was four Sams familly moved to Hannibal. Their in 1849 his

father died. Before the funeral Sam promised to his mother to be a

better boy, to go to work, and care for her.

 

His first job

 

Sam soon had to live school and take a part time job as delivery and

errand boy for Hannibals newspaper; serving at times as grocers clerk,

blacksmiths helper and booksellers assistant.

 

Always hungry, poor Sam filched onions and potatoes from the cellar,

cooking them over the printing-office stove.

 

Sam decided he had had enough of such an unhappy life and went to work,

as a skilled printer of fifteen, for his brother Orion who managed a

newspaper in Hannibal.

 

Here Sam began his career writing humorous scetches, published in a

comic weekly.

 

One night Sam was reading the diary of an Amazon explorer. He read about

painted Indians shoting their poisoned arrows at tigers, of coloured

parrots and agile monkeys dancing in the high trees. Sam was enchanted.

He made up his mind to go to the head-waters of the Amazon and collect

coco from coco bushes and make a fortune.

 

Here is what Sam learned about the coco leaves: The leaf of this plant

is to the Indian of Peru what tobacco is to our laboring classes is to

the South.

 

From the night on the Amazon fever burnt in Sam. But poor Sam was

penniless

 

One winter day Sam was walking down the street. A strong wind was

blowing. Suddenly a small paper whirling on the pavement caught his eye.

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