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  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 BURLESQUE BIOGRAPHY
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
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
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.
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