Mark Twain
Sketches New and Old

by

Mark Twain

Free Public Domain Books from the
Classic Literature Library

Sketches New and Old Page 01

SKETCHES NEW AND OLD

by Mark Twain

CONTENTS:

PREFACE
MY WATCH
POLITICAL ECONOMY
THE JUMPING FROG
JOURNALISM IN TENNESSEE
THE STORY OF THE BAD LITTLE BOY
THE STORY OF THE GOOD LITTLE BOY
A COUPLE OF POEMS BY TWAIN AND MOORE
NIAGARA
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS
TO RAISE POULTRY
EXPERIENCE OF THE MCWILLIAMSES WITH MEMBRANOUS CROUP
MY FIRST LITERARY VENTURE
HOW THE AUTHOR WAS SOLD IN NEWARK
THE OFFICE BORE
JOHNNY GREER
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF THE GREAT BEEF CONTRACT
THE CASE OF GEORGE FISHER
DISGRACEFUL PERSECUTION OF A BOY
THE JUDGES "SPIRITED WOMAN"
INFORMATION WANTED
SOME LEARNED FABLES, FOR GOOD OLD BOYS AND GIRLS
MY LATE SENATORIAL SECRETARYSHIP
A FASHION ITEM
RILEY-NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT
A FINE OLD MAN
SCIENCE vs. LUCK
THE LATE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
MR. BLOKE'S ITEM
A MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
PETITION CONCERNING COPYRIGHT
AFTER-DINNER SPEECH
LIONIZING MURDERERS
A NEW CRIME
A CURIOUS DREAM
A TRUE STORY
THE SIAMESE TWINS
SPEECH AT THE SCOTTISH BANQUET IN LONDON
A GHOST STORY
THE CAPITOLINE VENUS
SPEECH ON ACCIDENT INSURANCE
JOHN CHINAMAN IN NEW YORK
HOW I EDITED AN AGRICULTURAL PAPER
THE PETRIFIED MAN
MY BLOODY MASSACRE
THE UNDERTAKER'S CHAT
CONCERNING CHAMBERMAIDS
AURELIA'S UNFORTUNATE YOUNG MAN
"AFTER" JENKINS
ABOUT BARBERS
"PARTY CRIES" IN IRELAND
THE FACTS CONCERNING THE RECENT RESIGNATION
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
HONORED AS A CURIOSITY
FIRST INTERVIEW WITH ARTEMUS WARD
CANNIBALISM IN THE CARS
THE KILLING OF JULIUS CAESAR "LOCALIZED"
THE WIDOW'S PROTEST
THE SCRIPTURAL PANORAMIST
CURING A COLD
A CURIOUS PLEASURE EXCURSION
RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR
A MYSTERIOUS VISIT

PREFACE

I have scattered through this volume a mass of matter which has never been in print before (such as "Learned Fables for Good Old Boys and Girls," the "Jumping Frog restored to the English tongue after martyrdom in the French," the "Membranous Croup" sketch, and many others which I need not specify): not doing this in order to make an advertisement of it, but because these things seemed instructive.

HARTFORD, 1875. MARK TWAIN.

SKETCHES NEW AND OLD

MY WATCH--[Written about 1870.]

AN INSTRUCTIVE LITTLE TALE

My beautiful new watch had run eighteen months without losing or gaining, and without breaking any part of its machinery or stopping. I had come to believe it infallible in its judgments about the time of day, and to consider its constitution and its anatomy imperishable. But at last, one night, I let it run down. I grieved about it as if it were a recognized messenger and forerunner of calamity. But by and by I cheered up, set the watch by guess, and commanded my bodings and superstitions to depart. Next day I stepped into the chief jeweler's to set it by the exact time, and the head of the establishment took it out of my hand and proceeded to set it for me. Then he said, "She is four minutes slow-regulator wants pushing up." I tried to stop him--tried to make him understand that the watch kept perfect time. But no; all this human cabbage could see was that the watch was four minutes slow, and the regulator must be pushed up a little; and so, while I danced around him in anguish, and implored him to let the watch alone, he calmly and cruelly did the shameful deed. My watch began to gain. It gained faster and faster day by day. Within the week it sickened to a raging fever, and its pulse went up to a hundred and fifty in the shade. At the end of two months it had left all the timepieces of the town far in the rear, and was a fraction over thirteen days ahead of the almanac. It was away into November enjoying the snow, while the October leaves were still turning. It hurried up house rent, bills payable, and such things, in such a ruinous way that I could not abide it.

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Mark Twain

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Mark Twain
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