Mark Twain was convulsed with grief over his father's death. He was given before this to somnambulism, and now he walked about the house at night, entering his mother's room, and falling to the floor when he was spoken to. He looked at the dead face of his father and torturing remorse smote him. He was thinking of his mad days as leader of the Tom Sawyer gang, of his disobedience to the father now lying still and no longer able to reprove him and guide him. A dead face at times looks like something sealed, in which all the grief and disappointment of life have been turned to crystalline memory and pain. Such a face seems to understand everything, but to be voiceless. All his life Mark Twain was tortured by remorse, by self-accusation that he had failed to do the right thing. Here at twelve years of age his conscience, precociously developed, writhed in agony. His eyes streamed with tears as his mother stood with him by the coffin. She assured him that what was done was done, and that nothing mattered now to


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Mark Twain: A Portrait


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