Excerpt from Days of My Years
I have overlived the assigned limit of human probation. Often, during the last decade, I have been asked: Why do you not write an autobiog raphy? Substantially, my usual reply has been: Why should 1? Neither scholar, philosopher, nor moral reformer, what claim have I upon the world's attention? I have never founded a college, en dowed a hospital, invented a volapuk, patented a ﬂying-machine, discovered an asteroid, evolved a new theology, explored a savage continent, cham pioned a railroad strike, thrown a dynamite bomb, vindicated my honor in a duel, nor gone over Niag ara in a barrel. What could I write of myself, that others would care to read? Thrice already have I undertaken something of that sort, and committed the misfortune to the ﬂames. So late in life, Shall I repeat my folly, and bury the abortion in my grave? The man who writes an autobiography must have done something worth reading of; why should I write an autobiography?
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