Page:Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day.djvu/216

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MARK TWAIN.


The name by which the American humorist who wrote 'The Jumping Frog' is known by the readers of his works is a nom de plume. Mr. Samuel L. Clemens has only lately left England, and has promised to come and see us 'Britishers' again before long.

California has developed a literature of its own, and its proudest boast is the possession of Mark Twain. 'The Jumping Frog,' pronounced by the 'Saturday Review' 'an inimitably funny book,' soon made its author famous, and gained for him readers wherever English is spoken. 'The Jumping Frog' is a story of the Californian gold-mines; it is very humorous and very well told. 'Eye-openers,' 'Screamers,' 'A Burlesque Autobiography,' 'The Innocents Abroad,' and 'The New Pilgrim's Progress,' are all of them works of the peculiar humour invented by our American cousins, from the pen of the author of 'The Jumping Frog.'

In the summer of the year '67 a pleasure trip left New York, Mark Twain being one of the excursionists. For 1250 dollars, passengers were to cross the Atlantic, and visit Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Syria. The incidents of travel and impressions of life in foreign parts are detailed by the American humorist in the two last works of the list given above. 'The Innocents Abroad' gives Twain's account of the voyage out;. while 'The New Pilgrim's Progress' recounts the adventures of the voyage home.

The author of these books is possessed of remarkable talent. His works are widely read and very generally popular. Mark Twain is altogether the best living exponent of American humour, and he may be sure of receiving a hearty welcome whenever he revisits the Old Country.