Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Mark, Poetry, and Art

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Like other authors, Mark was not indifferent to praise. I think he liked best an essay in a Vienna review which hailed him as "the journalist of belles-lettres who has made the commonplaces literary, even as Emerson rendered the commonplaces philosophic." "A French writer has accused him of denying that there was any poetic feeling in the middle ages," continues the essay, "yet his Joan of Arc is the most wonderfully lyric-dramatic prose I can recall."

"There are lots of people who know me better than I do myself," was Mark's comment on the above, and followed it up with a yarn on life in "old Nevada," when he rode several miles behind a prairie schooner "because of a red petticoat fluttering in the breeze at the tail end."

"That is, I thought it was a petticoat, but when I caught up with the wagon on that spent mud turtle of mine (my gee-gee went by that poetic name) I found it was only a piece of burlap displayed for art's sake."

"Did I curse ART?" demanded Mark, looking around the circle.