The world of men seems a garden where the most precious growths are blasted by frost, or blown down by storms, or stunted by worms at the root. Twain weathered many disasters, he repaired heavy money losses, and at last he found himself in a fine house at Redding, Connecticut. Olivia was then long dead, great changes were all about him. His daughter Jean died there in the last year of his life. Another daughter, Clara, had married and gone abroad. Twain was alone, save for guests. He played billiards and calculated light-years, and basked in the acclaim that surrounded him. In truth, he had prospered beyond all writing men of his day in America. His old friend Howells was in moderate circumstances, still conducting "The Editor's Study" for Harper's Magazine, still writing novels which neither looked deeply into the misery of life, nor aloft to its grandeur. Tolstoy had Howells's great admiration, but he was not completely won to the unreserved realism of the Russian. No Kreutzer Sonatas for Howells! Rather


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Mark Twain: A Portrait


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