Now the truth is that whenever you have copied a picture and its inscription once from my sample and two or three times from memory the details will stay with you and be hard to forget. After that, if you like, you may make merely the whale's HEAD and WATER-SPOUT for the Conqueror till you end his reign, each time SAYING the inscription in place of writing it; and in the case of William II. make the HARPOON alone, and say over the inscription each time you do it. You see, it will take nearly twice as long to do the first set as it will to do the second, and that will give you a marked sense of the difference in length of the two reigns.

Next do Henry I. on thirty-five squares of RED paper. (Fig. 5.)

That is a hen, and suggests Henry by furnishing the first syllable. When you have repeated the hen and the inscription until you are perfectly sure of them, draw merely the hen's head the rest of the thirty-five times, saying over the inscription each time. Thus: (Fig. 6).

You begin to understand how how this procession is going to look when it is on the wall. First there will be the Conqueror's twenty-one whales and water-spouts, the twenty-one white squares joined to one another and making a white stripe three and one- half feet long; the thirteen blue squares of William II. will be joined to that--a blue stripe two feet, two inches long, followed by Henry's red stripe five feet, ten inches long, and so on. The colored divisions will smartly show to the eye the difference in the length of the reigns and impress the proportions on the memory and the understanding. (Fig. 7.)

Stephen of Blois comes next. He requires nineteen two-inch squares of YELLOW paper. (Fig. 8.)

That is a steer. The sound suggests the beginning of Stephen's name. I choose it for that reason. I can make a better steer than that when I am not excited. But this one will do. It is a good-enough steer for history. The tail is defective, but it only wants straightening out.

Next comes Henry II. Give him thirty-five squares of RED paper. These hens must face west, like the former ones. (Fig. 9.)

This hen differs from the other one. He is on his way to inquire what has been happening in Canterbury.

How we arrive at Richard I., called Richard of the Lion- heart because he was a brave fighter and was never so contented as when he was leading crusades in Palestine and neglecting his affairs at home. Give him ten squares of WHITE paper. (Fig. 10).

That is a lion. His office is to remind you of the lion- hearted Richard. There is something the matter with his legs, but I do not quite know what it is, they do not seem right. I think the hind ones are the most unsatisfactory; the front ones are well enough, though it would be better if they were rights and lefts.

Next comes King John, and he was a poor circumstance. He was called Lackland. He gave his realm to the Pope. Let him have seventeen squares of YELLOW paper. (Fig. 11.)

That creature is a jamboree. It looks like a trademark, but that is only an accident and not intentional. It is prehistoric and extinct. It used to roam the earth in the Old Silurian times, and lay eggs and catch fish and climb trees and live on fossils; for it was of a mixed breed, which was the fashion then. It was very fierce, and the Old Silurians were afraid of it, but this is a tame one. Physically it has no representative now, but its mind has been transmitted. First I drew it sitting down, but have turned it the other way now because I think it looks more attractive and spirited when one end of it is galloping. I love to think that in this attitude it gives us a pleasant idea of John coming all in a happy excitement to see what the barons have been arranging for him at Runnymede, while the other one gives us an idea of him sitting down to wring his hands and grieve over it.

We now come to Henry III.; RED squares again, of course-- fifty-six of them. We must make all the Henrys the same color; it will make their long reigns show up handsomely on the wall. Among all the eight Henrys there were but two short ones.

What is Man? and Other Essays of Mark Twain Page 53

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