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Old 03-11-2013, 02:07 AM   #1
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Twain, Mark: Mark Twain's Notebook. v1. 11 Mar 2013

Mark Twain’s NOTEBOOK ~ Journal Entries, 1865 - 1908
by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
Edited by Albert Bigelow Paine (1861 – 1937)
First published 1935

Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Among dozens of titles, some of his works include The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and many more.

The “Notebook” is a compilation of journal entries from many notebooks filled during 43 years of Twain's writing career, with foreword, afterword, and copious commentary by the editor, Albert Bigelow Paine, Twain’s official biographer and literary executor.

These jottings furnish a tantalizing record of Twain’s thoughts and fancies, and glimpses of the joys and sorrows of his life. Here we can observe the beginnings of the creative process – many of the seeds planted in those notebooks sprouted into published essays, travel books, and novels. An abundant supply of delightfully Twainian maxims and philosophical comments are sprinkled throughout.

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Some nibbles:

Spoiler:
Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

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It takes me a long time to lose my temper, but once lost I could not find it with a dog.

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Sir, I think I am lost, but I am not acquainted with the city, and so I cannot really tell. If you will be so kind as to give me an idea of the direction of the Windsor Hotel, God will reward you. Of course I may not be lost, after all; I cannot by any means swear that I am, for there is nothing here to swear by – I mean nothing I could recognize, nothing I ever saw before; but if I could see something which I have seen before, I could tell in a minute by its position whether I am lost or not: that is, I could tell by comparing its position with mine, whether it was lost or whether it was me; and I could then know which of us was lost, and act accordingly: that is to say, if it turned out to be me that was lost, I shouldn’t do anything, at least at the moment, preferring to wait and sue the city; but if it turned out to be it I should of course call assistance; for I hold that a humane man –

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Early in the morning baby began – pleasantly – didn’t mind baby – then the piano, tin kettle, played by either the cat or a partially untrained artist – certainly the most extraordinary music – straight average of three right notes to four wrong ones, but played with eager zeal and gladness – old, old tunes of 40 years ago, such as I heard at Timoru – and considering it was the cat – for it must have been the cat – it was really a marvelous performance. It convinces me that a cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.

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In early times some sufferer had to sit up with a toothache, and he put in the time inventing the German language.

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Some of the German words are so long that they have a perspective. When one casts his glance along down one of these it gradually tapers to a point, like the receding lines of a railway track.

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That kind of so-called housekeeping where they have six Bibles and no corkscrew.

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A few months ago I was told that the Johns Hopkins University had given me a degree. I naturally supposed this constituted me a Member of the Faculty, and so I started in to help what I could there. I told them I believed they were perfectly competent to run a college as far as the higher branches of education are concerned, but what they needed was a little help here and there from a practical commercial man. I said the public is sensitive to little things and they wouldn’t have full confidence in a college that didn’t know how to spell John.

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William Penn achieved the deathless gratitude of the savages by merely dealing in a square way with them – well – kind of a square way, anyhow – more rectangular than the savage was used to at any rate. He bought the whole state of Pennsylvania from them and paid for it like a man – paid $40 worth of glass beads and a couple of second-hand blankets. Bought the whole state for that. Why, you can’t buy its legislature for twice the money now.


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Editorial Notes --
Formatted curly quotes, emdashes, diacritics, italics. Corrected numerous OCR errors, minor punctuation and spelling changes for consistency. Cross-linked chapter end-notes to source paragraphs, cross-linked chapter titles to html table of contents. Embedded decorative font for titling.

The source was a truly hideous OCR scan. I would be most grateful for reports of errors.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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Last edited by GrannyGrump; 03-11-2013 at 02:10 AM.
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