Mark Twain, a Biography Volume I

Mark Twain, a Biography Volume I

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Excerpt: ...thing in "Paradise Lost"-the Arch-Fiend's terrible energy! What was the greatest feature in Napoleon's character? His unconquerable energy! Sum all the gifts that man is endowed with, and we give our greatest share of admiration to his energy. And to-day, if I were a heathen, I would rear a statue to Energy, and fall down and worship it! I want a man to-I want you to-take up a line of action, and follow it out, in spite of the very devil. Orion and his wife had returned to Keokuk by this time, waiting for something in the way of a business opportunity. His pilot brother, wrote him more than once letters of encouragement and council. Here and there he refers to the tragedy of Henry's death, and the shadow it has cast upon his life; but he was young, he was successful, his spirits were naturally exuberant. In the exhilaration of youth and health and success he finds vent at times in that natural human outlet, self-approval. He not only exhibits this weakness, but confesses it with characteristic freedom. Putting all things together, I begin to think I am rather lucky than otherwise-a notion which I was slow to take up. The other night I was about to "round to" for a storm, but concluded that I could find a smoother bank somewhere. I landed five miles below. The storm came, passed away and did not injure us. Coming up, day before yesterday, I looked at the spot I first chose, and half the trees on the bank were torn to shreds. We couldn't have lived 5 minutes in such a tornado. And I am also lucky in having a berth, while all the other young pilots are idle. This is the luckiest circumstance that ever befell me. Not on account of the wages-for that is a secondary consideration-but from the fact that the City of Memphis is the largest boat in the trade, and the hardest to pilot, and consequently I can get a reputation on her, which is a thing I never could accomplish on a transient boat. I can "bank" in the neighborhood of $100...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 84 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 168g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236704304
  • 9781236704306