THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

to go out hadding on account of this foolish discrimination which lets

one Had go hadding in any kind of indefinite grammatical weather but

restricts the other one to definite and datable meteoric convulsions,

and keeps it pining around and watching the barometer all the time,

and liable to get sick through confinement and lack of exercise,

and all that sort of thing, why–why, the inhumanity of it is enough,

let alone the wanton superfluity and uselessness of any such a loafing

consumptive hospital-bird of a Had taking up room and cumbering

the place for nothing. These finical refinements revolt me;

it is not right, it is not honorable; it is constructive nepotism

to keep in office a Had that is so delicate it can’t come out when

the wind’s in the nor’west–I won’t have this dude on the payroll.

Cancel his exequator; and look here–”

“But you miss the point. It is like this. You see–”

“Never mind explaining, I don’t care anything about it. Six Hads

is enough for me; anybody that needs twelve, let him subscribe;

I don’t want any stock in a Had Trust. Knock out the Prolonged

and Indefinitely Continuous; four-fifths of it is water, anyway.”

“But I beg you, podere! It is often quite indispensable in cases where–”

“Pipe the next squad to the assault!”

But it was not to be; for at that moment the dull boom of the noon gun

floated up out of far-off Florence, followed by the usual softened

jangle of church-bells, Florentine and suburban, that bursts out in

murmurous response; by labor-union law the COLAZIONE [1] must stop;

stop promptly, stop instantly, stop definitely, like the chosen

and best of the breed of Hads.

– – –

1. Colazione is Italian for a collection, a meeting, a seance,

a sitting.–M.T.



Two or three persons having at different times intimated that if I

would write an autobiography they would read it when they got leisure,

I yield at last to this frenzied public demand and herewith tender

my history.

Ours is a noble house, and stretches a long way back into antiquity.

The earliest ancestor the Twains have any record of was a friend of

the family by the name of Higgins. This was in the eleventh century,

when our people were living in Aberdeen, county of Cork, England.

Why it is that our long line has ever since borne the maternal

name (except when one of them now and then took a playful

refuge in an alias to avert foolishness), instead of Higgins,

is a mystery which none of us has ever felt much desire to stir.

It is a kind of vague, pretty romance, and we leave it alone.

All the old families do that way.

Arthour Twain was a man of considerable note–a solicitor on the

highway in William Rufus’s time. At about the age of thirty he went

to one of those fine old English places of resort called Newgate,

to see about something, and never returned again. While there he

died suddenly.

Augustus Twain seems to have made something of a stir about the

year 1160. He was as full of fun as he could be, and used to take his old

saber and sharpen it up, and get in a convenient place on a dark night,

and stick it through people as they went by, to see them jump.

He was a born humorist. But he got to going too far with it;

and the first time he was found stripping one of these parties,

the authorities removed one end of him, and put it up on a nice high

place on Temple Bar, where it could contemplate the people and have

a good time. He never liked any situation so much or stuck to it so long.

Then for the next two hundred years the family tree shows

a succession of soldiers–noble, high-spirited fellows,

who always went into battle singing, right behind the army,

and always went out a-whooping, right ahead of it.

This is a scathing rebuke to old dead Froissart’s poor witticism

that our family tree never had but one limb to it, and that that

one stuck out at right angles, and bore fruit winter and summer.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135

Categories: Twain, Mark