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Mark Twain's Letters — Volume 6 (1907-1910)   By: (1835-1911)

Book cover

First Page:

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. I took it to the watchmaker to be regulated. He asked me if I had ever had it repaired. I said no, it had never needed any repairing... Continue reading book >>


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