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Old 01-15-2014, 01:13 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Twain, Mark: More Tramps Abroad / Following The Equator (Illustr). v1. 15 Jan 2014

MORE TRAMPS ABROAD (FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR)

by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)

First published in 1897.
The text of this book is in the public domain world-wide, because the author died more than 100 years ago. The illustrations and introductory material are in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less.

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.”

Twain was practically bankrupt in 1894. His publishing house (Charles L. Webster & Co.) failed. Heavy investments in a “revolutionary” typesetting machine failed to come to fruition. In an attempt to extricate himself from debt of $100,000 (equivalent of about $2.5 million in 2010) he undertook a lecture tour of the British Empire in 1895. His route included Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. As he concluded the financially successful tour, about to settle down in England to write the book describing his journey, he and his wife received word of the death of their oldest daughter Susy, at age twenty-four.

In this, his fifth and final travel book, the author criticizes racism, imperialism and missionary zeal in observations woven into the narrative with classic Twain wit. In keeping with that wit, and Twain's love of a tall tale, he included a number of fictional stories; for example, the story of how the famed colonial financier Cecil Rhodes made his first fortune by finding a newspaper in the belly of a shark, and the story of how a man named Ed Jackson made good in life out of a fake letter of introduction to Cornelius Vanderbilt.

—The above adapted/expanded from Wikipedia.

This book, while well-furnished with wit and entertainment, lacks the rollicking high humor of his earlier travelogues. Twain’s personal grief, and disappointment in mankind's general behavior, result in a darker tone. One of the Pudd’nhead maxims (used for each chapter head) says: “Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead”; this sentiment is frequently evidenced in his later writings.

Read Following the Equator and share in the author’s delight in the exotic oriental ambiance of Ceylon, his keen interest in the splendors and squalors of India, his dismay at the maltreatment of transported convicts and the extermination of aboriginal peoples in the Pacific region. Twain’s bitterly ironic and fatalistic descriptions of the latter events are heart-breaking. Altogether, a very satisfying book.


Two excerpts (a tiny taste test, and a longer swig to wet your whistle)

Spoiler:
... And there were little villages, with neat stations well placarded with showy advertisements – mainly of almost too self-righteous brands of “sheep-dip.” If that is the name – and I think it is. It is a stuff like tar, and is dabbed on to places where the shearer clips a piece out of the sheep. It bars out the flies, and has healing properties, and a nip to it which makes the sheep skip like the cattle on a thousand hills. It is not good to eat. That is, it is not good to eat except when mixed with railroad coffee. It improves railroad coffee. Without it, railroad coffee is too vague. But with it, it is quite assertive and enthusiastic. By itself, railroad coffee is too passive; but sheep-dip makes it wake up and get down to business. I wonder where they get railroad coffee.


Spoiler:
September 8, Sunday. – We are moving so nearly south that we cross only about two meridians of longitude a day. This morning we were in longitude 178 degrees west from Greenwich, and 57 degrees west from San Francisco. Tomorrow we shall be close to the center of the globe – the 180th degree of west longitude and 180th degree of east longitude.

And then we must drop out a day – lose a day out of our lives, a day never to be found again. We shall all die one day earlier than from the beginning of time we were foreordained to die. We shall be a day behind-hand all through eternity. We shall always be saying to the other angels, “Fine day today,” and they will be always retorting, “But it isn’t today, it’s tomorrow.” We shall be in a state of confusion all the time and shall never know what true happiness is.

Next Day. – Sure enough, it has happened. Yesterday it was September 8, Sunday; today, per the bulletin-board at the head of the companionway, it is September 10, Tuesday. There is something uncanny about it. And uncomfortable. In fact, nearly unthinkable, and wholly unrealizable, when one comes to consider it. While we were crossing the 180th meridian it was Sunday in the stern of the ship where my family were, and Tuesday in the bow where I was. They were there eating the half of a fresh apple on the 8th, and I was at the same time eating the other half of it on the 10th – and I could notice how stale it was, already. The family were the same age that they were when I had left them five minutes before, but I was a day older now than I was then. The day they were living in stretched behind them half way round the globe, across the Pacific Ocean and America and Europe; the day I was living in stretched in front of me around the other half to meet it. They were stupendous days for bulk and stretch; apparently much larger days than we had ever been in before. All previous days had been but shrunk-up little things by comparison. The difference in temperature between the two days was very marked, their day being hotter than mine because it was closer to the equator.

Along about the moment that we were crossing the Great Meridian a child was born in the steerage, and now there is no way to tell which day it was born on. The nurse thinks it was Sunday, the surgeon thinks it was Tuesday. The child will never know its own birthday. It will always be choosing first one and then the other, and will never be able to make up its mind permanently. This will breed vacillation and uncertainty in its opinions about religion, and politics, and business, and sweethearts, and everything, and will undermine its principles, and rot them away, and make the poor thing characterless, and its success in life impossible. Every one in the ship says so. And this is not all – in fact, not the worst. For there is an enormously rich brewer in the ship who said as much as ten days ago, that if the child was born on his birthday he would give it ten thousand dollars to start its little life with. His birthday was Monday, the 9th of September.

If the ships all moved in the one direction – westward, I mean – the world would suffer a prodigious loss – in the matter of valuable time, through the dumping overboard on the Great Meridian of such multitudes of days by ships’ crews and passengers. But fortunately the ships do not all sail west, half of them sail east. So there is no real loss. These latter pick up all the discarded days and add them to the world’s stock again; and about as good as new, too; for of course the salt water preserves them.

----------

Editorial notes ---

This MobileRead edition is based on the British first edition of More Tramps Abroad, which was more faithful to the author's manuscript, and contains a number of passages (approximately 10,000 words) that were omitted from the American edition. Several passages (ca. 2200 words) from the American first edition have been added. Included are all 188 illustrations from the American first edition; about one-fourth of these are photographs. The Editor’s Appendix presents all the Pudd’nhead Wilson maxims from The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894), More Tramps Abroad, and Following the Equator.

American spelling and punctuation are used. Text errors were corrected; punctuation, diacritics, and italics formatted; some spelling and punctuation modernized. Scene breaks added. Cross-linked chapter end-notes to source paragraphs; cross-linked chapter titles to html table of contents. Illustrations manually cleaned and resized. Original cover design.

“Drop-caps” version illustrations are in a higher resolution, resulting in larger file-size. Both versions have illustrations centered, with no text-wrap.

Please report any errors that you find, it would be a kindness.

==================================
Many thanks to (in alphabetical order) AlexBell, DaleDe, derangedhermit, GMcG, Jellby, mrmikel, RbnJrg, SBT, and Tex2002ans for their patient guidance and inspiration about image-processing.
==================================

This book is one I read many, many years ago, and I had forgotten almost all of it. So I got to enjoy reading a “new” Twain title. I hope you enjoy it too.
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please 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; 01-15-2014 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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Thanks so much for another Twain beauty!!
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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Another nice Twain book, many thanks GrannyGrump.

As a New Zealander I am looking forward to reading Chapter XXVII, after which I shall, at last, know where I am .
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:47 AM   #4
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@doubleshuffle, thanks for downloading, I hope you like it! (Gilded Age next)

@AnotherCat --
Quote:
...after which I shall, at last, know where I am


Thank you for downloading. Enjoy the read, and keep a hanky close to hand.
(I won't tell if you sniffle just a bit.)
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