| MARK TWAIN|
THE PERSONAL AND LITERARY LIFE OF
SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE
CLARA CLEMENS GABRILOWITSCH
WHO STEADILY UPHELD THE
AUTHOR'S PURPOSE TO WRITE
HISTORY RATHER THAN EULOGY AS
THE STORY OF HER FATHER'S LIFE
Dear William Dean Howells, Joseph Hopkins Twichell, Joseph T. Goodman,
and other old friends of Mark Twain:
I cannot let these volumes go to press without some grateful word to you
who have helped me during the six years and more that have gone to their
First, I want to confess how I have envied you your association with Mark
Twain in those days when you and he "went gipsying, a long time ago."
Next, I want to express my wonder at your willingness to give me so
unstintedly from your precious letters and memories, when it is in the
nature of man to hoard such treasures, for himself and for those who
follow him. And, lastly, I want to tell you that I do not envy you so
much, any more, for in these chapters, one after another, through your
grace, I have gone gipsying with you all. Neither do I wonder now, for I
have come to know that out of your love for him grew that greater
unselfishness (or divine selfishness, as he himself might have termed
it), and that nothing short of the fullest you could do for his memory
would have contented your hearts.
My gratitude is measureless; and it is world-wide, for there is no land
so distant that it does not contain some one who has eagerly contributed
to the story. Only, I seem so poorly able to put my thanks into words.
Albert Bigelow Paine.
Certain happenings as recorded in this work will be found to differ
materially from the same incidents and episodes as set down in the
writings of Mr. Clemens himself. Mark Twain's spirit was built of the
very fabric of truth, so far as moral intent was concerned, but in his
earlier autobiographical writings--and most of his earlier writings were
autobiographical--he made no real pretense to accuracy of time, place, or
circumstance--seeking, as he said, "only to tell a good story"--while in
later years an ever-vivid imagination and a capricious memory made
history difficult, even when, as in his so-called "Autobiography," his
effort was in the direction of fact.
"When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or
not," he once said, quaintly, "but I am getting old, and soon I shall
remember only the latter."
The reader may be assured, where discrepancies occur, that the writer of
this memoir has obtained his data from direct and positive sources:
letters, diaries, accountbooks, or other immediate memoranda; also from
the concurring testimony of eye-witnesses, supported by a unity of
circumstance and conditions, and not from hearsay or vagrant printed