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Category: Classic

The American Claimant

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Title: The American Claimant
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

EXPLANATORY

The Colonel Mulberry Sellers here re-introduced to the public is the same person who appeared as Eschol Sellers in the first edition of the tale entitled "The Gilded Age," years ago, and as Beriah Sellers in the subsequent editions of the same ebook, and finally as Mulberry Sellers in the drama played afterward by John T. Raymond.

The name was changed from Eschol to Beriah to accommodate an Eschol Sellers who rose up out of the vasty deeps of uncharted space and preferred his request--backed by threat of a libel suit--then went his way appeased, and came no more. In the play Beriah had to be dropped to satisfy another member of the race, and Mulberry was substituted in the hope that the objectors would be tired by that time and let it pass unchallenged. So far it has occupied the field in peace; therefore we chance it again, feeling reasonably safe, this time, under shelter of the statute of limitations.

MARK TWAIN.
Hartford, 1891.

THE WEATHER IN THIS EBOOK.

No weather will be found in this ebook. This is an attempt to pull a ebook through without weather. It being the first attempt of the kind in fictitious literature, it may prove a failure, but it seemed worth the while of some dare-devil person to try it, and the author was in just the mood.

Many a reader who wanted to see a tale through was not able to do it because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an author's progress like having

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The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

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Title: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

CHAPTER 1

Pudd'nhead Wins His Name

Tell the truth or trump--but get the trick.

Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

The scene of this chronicle is the town of Dawson's Landing, on the Missouri side of the Mississippi, half a day's journey, per steamboat, below St. Louis.

In 1830 it was a snug collection of modest one- and two- story frame dwellings, whose whitewashed exteriors were almost concealed from sight by climbing tangles of rose vines, honeysuckles, and morning glories. Each of these pretty homes had a garden in front fenced with white palings and opulently stocked with hollyhocks, marigolds, touch-me-nots, prince's-feathers, and other old-fashioned flowers; while on the windowsills of the houses stood wooden boxes containing moss rose plants and terra-cotta pots in which grew a breed of geranium whose spread of intensely red blossoms accented the prevailing pink tint of the rose-clad house-front like an explosion of flame. When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there-- in sunny weather--stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then that house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat--and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat-- may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?

All along

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Goldsmiths Friend Abroad Again

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Title: Goldsmiths Friend Abroad Again
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

NOTE.--No experience is set down in the following letters which had to be invented. Fancy is not needed to give variety to the history of a Chinaman's sojourn in America. Plain fact is amply sufficient.

LETTER I

SHANGHAI, 18-.
DEAR CHING-FOO: It is all settled, and I am to leave my oppressed and overburdened native land and cross the sea to that noble realm where all are free and all equal, and none reviled or abused--America! America, whose precious privilege it is to call herself the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We and all that are about us here look over the waves longingly, contrasting the privations of this our birthplace with the opulent comfort of that happy refuge. We know how America has welcomed the Germans and the Frenchmen and the stricken and sorrowing Irish, and we know how she has given them bread and work, and liberty, and how grateful they are. And we know that America stands ready to welcome all other oppressed peoples and offer her abundance to all that come, without asking what their nationality is, or their creed or color.
And, without being told it, we know that the, foreign sufferers she has rescued from oppression and starvation are the most eager of her children to welcome us, because, having suffered themselves, they know what suffering is, and having been generously succored, they long to be generous to other unfortunates and thus show that magnanimity is not wasted upon them.
AH SONG

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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Title: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

PREFACE

THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it is only pretended that inasmuch as they existed in the English and other civilizations of far later times, it is safe to consider that it is no libel upon the sixth century to suppose them to have been in practice in that day also. One is quite justified in inferring that whatever one of these laws or customs was lacking in that remote time, its place was competently filled by a worse one.

The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right of kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult. That the executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty character and extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable; that none but the Deity could select that head unerringly, was also manifest and indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that selection, then, was likewise manifest and indisputable; consequently, that He does make it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction. I mean, until the author of this book encountered the Pompadour, and Lady Castlemaine, and some other executive heads of that kind; these were found so difficult to work into the scheme, that it was judged better to take the other tack in this book (which must be issued this fall), and then go into training and

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Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven

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Title: Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

[NOTE.--I translated a portion of this diary some years ago, and a friend of mine printed a few copies in an incomplete form, but the public never got them. Since then I have deciphered some more of Adam's hieroglyphics, and think he has now become sufficiently important as a public character to justify this publication.--M. T.]

Monday

This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way.
It is always hanging around and following me about. I don't like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals. Cloudy to-day, wind in the east; think we shall have rain. ... Where did I get that word? ... I remember now-- the new creature uses it.

Tuesday

Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls--why, I am sure I do not know. Says it looks like Niagara Falls. That is not a reason; it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that same pretext is offered--it looks like the thing. There is the dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it "looks like a dodo." It will have to keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.

Wednesday ebook

Built me a shelter against the

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On the Decay of the Art of Lying

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Title: On the Decay of the Art of Lying
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

Observe, I do not mean to suggest that the _custom_ of lying has suffered any decay or interruption--no, for the Lie, as a Virtue, A Principle, is eternal; the Lie, as a recreation, a solace, a refuge in time of need, the fourth Grace, the tenth Muse, man's best and surest friend, is immortal, and cannot perish from the earth while this club remains. My complaint simply concerns the decay of the _art_ of lying. No high-minded man, no man of right feeling, can contemplate the lumbering and slovenly lying of the present day without grieving to see a noble art so prostituted. In this veteran presence I naturally enter upon this theme with diffidence; it is like an old maid trying to teach nursery matters to the mothers in Israel. It would not become to me to criticise you, gentlemen--who are nearly all my elders--and my superiors, in this thing--if I should here and there _seem_ to do it, I trust it will in most cases be more in a spirit of admiration than fault-finding; indeed if this finest of the fine arts had everywhere received the attention, the encouragement, and conscientious practice and development which this club has devoted to it, I should not need to utter this lament, or shred a single tear.
I do not say this to flatter: I say it in a spirit of just and appreciative recognition. [It had been my intention, at this point, to mention names and to give illustrative specimens, but indications observable about me admonished me to beware of the particulars and

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Much Ado About Nothing

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Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Author: William Shakespeare
Description:

Act 1

"scene" 1

Scene 1

[Before LEONATO'S house.]

[Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a Messenger]

LEONATO

I discover in this letter that Don Peter of Arragon
comes this night to Messina.

Messenger

He is very near by this: he was not three leagues off
when I left him.

LEONATO

How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?

Messenger

But few of any sort, and none of name.

LEONATO

A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings
home full numbers. I find here that Don Peter hath
bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio.

Messenger

Much deserved on his part and equally remembered by
Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the
promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb,
the feats of a lion: he hath indeed better
bettered expectation than you must expect of me to
tell you how.

LEONATO

He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much
glad of it.

Messenger

I have already delivered him letters, and there
appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could
not show itself modest enough without a badge of
bitterness.

LEONATO

Did he break out into tears?

Messenger

In great measure.

LEONATO

A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces
truer than those that are so washed.

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WHAT IS MAN? AND OTHER ESSAYS OF MARK TWAIN

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Title: WHAT IS MAN? AND OTHER ESSAYS OF MARK TWAIN
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

CONTENTS:

What Is Man?
The Death of Jean
The Turning-Point of My Life
How to Make History Dates Stick
The Memorable Assassination
A Scrap of Curious History
Switzerland, the Cradle of Liberty
At the Shrine of St. Wagner
William Dean Howells
English as She is Taught
A Simplified Alphabet
As Concerns Interpreting the Deity
Concerning Tobacco
Taming the Bicycle
Is Shakespeare Dead?

WHAT IS MAN?

I

a. Man the Machine. b. Personal Merit

[The Old Man and the Young Man had been conversing. The Old Man had asserted that the human being is merely a machine, and nothing more. The Young Man objected, and asked him to go into particulars and furnish his reasons for his position.]

Old Man. What are the materials of which a steam-engine is made?

Young Man. Iron, steel, brass, white-metal, and so on.

O.M. Where are these found?

Y.M. In the rocks.

O.M. In a pure state?

Y.M. No--in ores.

O.M. Are the metals suddenly deposited in the ores?

Y.M. No--it is the patient work of countless ages.

O.M. You could make the engine out of the rocks themselves?

Y.M. Yes, a brittle one and not valuable.

O.M. You would not require much, of such an engine as that?

Y.M. No--substantially nothing.

O.M. To make a fine and capable engine, how would you proceed?

Y.M. Drive tunnels

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Innocents Abroad

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Title: Innocents Abroad
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

Preface

THIS ebook is a record of a pleasure trip. If it were a record of a solemn scientific expedition, it would have about it that gravity, that profundity, and that impressive incomprehensibility which are so proper to works of that kind, and withal so attractive. Yet notwithstanding it is only a record of a pic-nic, it has a purpose, which is to suggest to the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in those countries before him. I make small pretense of showing anyone how he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea -- other ebooks do that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is no need.

I offer no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-writing that may be charged against me -- for I think I have seen with impartial eyes, and I am sure I have written at least honestly, whether wisely or not.

In this volume I have used portions of letters which I wrote for the Daily Alta California, of San Francisco, the proprietors of that journal having waived their rights and given me the necessary permission. I have also inserted portions of several letters written for the New York Tribune and the New York Herald.

THE AUTHOR.
SAN FRANCISCO.

CHAPTER I.

FOR months the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land was chatted about in the newspapers everywhere in America and

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All's Well That Ends Well

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Title: All's Well That Ends Well
Author: William Shakespeare
Description:

Act 1

"scene" 1

Scene 1

[Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.]

[Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of Rousillon, HELENA, and LAFEU, all in
black]

COUNTESS

In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

BERTRAM

And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death
anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to
whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.

LAFEU

You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you,
sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times
good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose
worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather
than lack it where there is such abundance.

COUNTESS

What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

LAFEU

He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
practises he hath persecuted time with hope, and
finds no other advantage in the process but only the
losing of hope by time.

COUNTESS

This young gentlewoman had a father, -- O, that
'had'! how sad a passage 'tis! -- whose skill was
almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
far, would have made nature immortal, and death
should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king's disease.

LAFEU

How called you the man you speak of, madam?

COUNTESS

He was

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