CHAPTER · SIX

The program now was not to be one of plain living and high thinking, but very comfortable living, even luxurious living, and no thinking at all, except in terms which made people laugh, people who were glad to pay to be cheered and lifted out of their daily monotonies. The absurdity of life may be treated with logic and criticism, with imagination and cosmic faith, or with humor and satire. The last line of the inscription set up at the gate of Theleme is "Gold give us, God forgive us." Twain prayed for both these gifts, but he never said "Do what thou wilt."

Emerson at the age at which Twain had now arrived had left the church saying "the day of formal religion is past," and he was setting forward to emancipate the culture of America. Twain, a Hercules fallen into the toils of Olivia, the Omphale of his career, was saying grace and adjusting himself to the standards of Buffalo and Elmira. Whitman a few years before the date of Twain's marriage took a vow to achieve a "great body, a purged, cleansed, spiri

-83-

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Mark Twain: A Portrait
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Chapter · One 1
  • Chapter · Two 20
  • Chapter · Three 38
  • Chapter · Four 49
  • Chapter · Five 62
  • Chapter · Six 83
  • Chapter · Seven 98
  • Chapter · Eight 119
  • Chapter · Nine 139
  • Chapter · Ten 153
  • Chapter · Eleven 169
  • Chapter · Twelve 190
  • Chapter · Thirteen 208
  • Chapter · Fourteen 221
  • Chapter · Fifteen 239
  • Index 253
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