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Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
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Thumbnail of Mark Twain (source)
Mark Twain
(30 Nov 1835 - 21 Apr 1910)

American writer and humorist , the pen-name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. His witty remarks have endured in popularity.

Mark Twain Caricature - Life magazine - 22 Mar 1883

VOL. I.          MARCH 22, 1883          NO. 12.

Mark Twain

A Biographette from Life magazine (22 Mar 1883)

Mark Twain Caricature - Life magazine - 22 Mar 1883

This renowned archaeologist, poet, and astronomer is a lineal descendant of the celebrated Twain who were made one flesh. He was born  on Plymouth Rock, 1st April, 1728, on a remarkably cold morning, and the administratix of the camphor and red-flannel department afterward stated that he was the most remarkable baby that she had even seen. At the early age of seven, Mark—for so he was cruelly christened—was already addicted to science, and his discovery, made one year later, that a spring clothes-pin artistically applied to the continuation of a cat would create in that somnolent animal a desire for vigorous foreign travel, is still used by the aborigines of Connecticut and Massachusetts. When he was nineteen Mark went through college. He entered the front door, turpentined the rector's favourite cat, and graduated the same evening over the fence. He then started for California, Milwaukee, and other remote confines of the earth, and began those remarkable series of truthful anecdotes for which is now so justly famed. As an archaeologist, however, he has won most renown, and his collection of Pompeiian, Sanscrit, Egyptian, and early Greek jokes, now in possession of Osgood and Co, of Boston, is considered the most complete in the world. Some envious critics have claimed that most of these were painfullycarved by Mark himself, and the balance composed of heterogeneous and unrelated parts, but their seems to be no reasonable doubt that they are all genuine antiques.

Personally, Mr Twain is a remarkable well preserved man. He is short, florid, and very corpulent, laughs incessantly, and is a rapid and brilliant speaker. His essay on "Draw Poker in American Politics" is considered to be a masterly treatise on political economy, while his poem, entitled “The Frog Bowed Down by Weight Shot,” will hold its place as one of the most pathetic in the language.


[Note: James R. Osgood and Co. of Boston was a book publishing company. In 1882, the company published Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and The Stolen White Elephant. In the same year, Osgood traveled with Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) on his riverboat trip collecting material for Life on the Mississippi, which Osgood published the following year. The company failed in 1885.]

From the magazine Life (22 Mar 1883), 1, No. 12, 142. This was Mark Twain's earliest appearance in the magazine. The article was one of a series called “Biographettes.”

See also:

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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by Ian Ellis
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