I have taken a liking to the abominable place, and every time I get ready to leave I put it off a day or so, from some unaccountable cause. I think I shall get off Tuesday, though.

Edwin Forrest has been playing for the last sixteen days at the Broadway Theater, but I never went to see him till last night. The play was the "Gladiator." I did not like parts of it much, but other portions were really splendid. In the latter part of the last act, where the "Gladiator" (Forrest) dies at his brother's feet (in all the fierce pleasure of gratified revenge), the man's whole soul seems absorbed in the part he is playing; and it is really startling to see him. I am sorry I did not see him play "Damon and Pythias"-- the former character being the greatest. He appears in Philadelphia on Monday night.

I have not received a letter from home lately, but got a "Journal" the other day, in which I see the office has been sold . . . .

If my letters do not come often, you need not bother yourself about me; for if you have a brother nearly eighteen years of age who is not able to take care of himself a few miles from home, such a brother is not worth one's thoughts; and if I don't manage to take care of No. 1, be assured you will never know it. I am not afraid, however; I shall ask favors of no one and endeavor to be (and shall be) as "independent as a wood-sawyer's clerk.". . .

Passage to Albany (160 miles) on the finest steamers that ply the Hudson is now 25 cents--cheap enough, but is generally cheaper than that in the summer.

"I have been fooling myself with the idea that I was going to leave New York" is distinctly a Mark Twain phrase. He might have said that fifty years later.

He did go to Philadelphia presently and found work "subbing" on a daily paper,'The Inquirer.' He was a fairly swift compositor. He could set ten thousand ems a day, and he received pay according to the amount of work done. Days or evenings when there was no vacant place for him to fill he visited historic sites, the art-galleries, and the libraries. He was still acquiring education, you see. Sometimes at night when he returned to his boardinghouse his room-mate, an Englishman named Sumner, grilled a herring, and this was regarded as a feast. He tried his hand at writing in Philadelphia, though this time without success. For some reason he did not again attempt to get into the Post, but offered his contributions to the Philadelphia 'Ledger'--mainly poetry of an obituary kind. Perhaps it was burlesque; he never confessed that, but it seems unlikely that any other obituary poetry would have failed of print.

"My efforts were not received with approval," was all he ever said of it afterward.

There were two or three characters in the 'Inquirer' office whom he did not forget. One of these was an old compositor who had "held a case" in that office for many years. His name was Frog, and sometimes when he went away the "office devils" would hang a line over his case, with a hook on it baited with a piece of red flannel. They never got tired of this joke, and Frog was always able to get as mad over it as he had been in the beginning. Another old fellow there furnished amusement. He owned a house in the distant part of the city and had an abnormal fear of fire. Now and then, when everything was quiet except the clicking of the types, some one would step to the window and say with a concerned air:

"Doesn't that smoke--[or that light, if it was evening]--seem to be in the northwestern part of the city?" or "There go the fire-bells again!" and away the old man would tramp up to the roof to investigate. It was not the most considerate sport, and it is to be feared that Sam Clemens had his share in it.

He found that he liked Philadelphia. He could save a little money there, for one thing, and now and then sent something to his mother--small amounts, but welcome and gratifying, no doubt.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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