Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reading in the Sun and Sea at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (New England)
1. Grammar training.
2. Excursion, reading
3. Listening and watching
4. Homework and addition material
1. Grammar training.
Verb To Have
To a learner of English as a foreign language (EFL and ESL), the verb “to have” could cause difficulties. It is, without a doubt, an unusual verb in the sense that it functions in various ways, which can be confusing. However, if the learner can identify the three different ways this verb is used, he or she will find that the formula is rather simple.
(1) To Have as a main verb:
The verb “to have” functions as any other action verb and it implies the meaning of possession.
For example, when one says: “I have a car,” “I have a house,” or “I have a book,” one means that a person possesses a car, a house, or a book.
The forms of the verb “to have” are as simple as any other verb:
** I have- you have – she has – he has (notice that the third party singular takes “S”-has) – we have- they have- it has
** I had – you had- she had- he had- we had- hey had- it had
(Notice that all nouns and pronouns take “had ”in the past tense.)
** I am having- you are having – she is having – he is having - we are having - they are having- it is having
(Notice the use of the verb to be + have + -ing; this is the present progressive tense.
To make the past progressive tense, you just change the verb to be to the past.)
** I have had – you have had - she has had – he has had - we have had- they have had- it has had
(Notice the use of the verb ”to have” twice. Although this may confuse you, you should realize that the first time to have is used as an auxiliary, and the second time is the actual verb meaning to own. Notice that has is used with she/he/it; this is particularly confusing to ESL/EFL students. It will be explained when we discuss the perfect tense.)
(2) To Have as an auxiliary:
The verb “to have ”is also used as an auxiliary to help other verbs create the perfect tense, for example, “I have studied English for five years;” or “I have visited Vietnam.”
This does not pose a problem except when the main verb is the verb to have meaning to own or possess.
For example, “I have had my car for ten years.” Have here is the auxiliary and had is the main verb in the –en form.
Therefore, you ought to remember that the verb to have
functions both as a main verb meaning to own and as an auxiliary verb to help other verbs create the perfect tense.
(3) The use of Have to:
I n addition to the two forms you learned above, there is another use for have in the expression have to; meaning must. This, of course, must be followed by another verb.
For example, “I have to visit my brother tonight.” “She has to see the doctor.” And in the past tense, “We had to write a paragraph.”
Must - Have to
Must and have to both express obligation.
However, they are used differently depending on who imposes the obligation
The speaker thinks it is necessary.
Someone else thinks it is necessary.
  1. I must buy flowers for my mother
(It's her birthday and I decide to do that).
  1. "You must take more exercise"
says the doctor.
(The doctor thinks it is necessary).
  1. I must ask my secretary to book a flight for me.
(It is important for me not to forget.)
  1. "Dogs must be kept on a lead"
(Written on a sign in the park =
a rule which must be respected)
  1. I have to buy flowers for my mother-in-law.
(It is not my decision -
my husband asked me to do it.)
  1. I have to take more exercise.
(doctor's orders!)
  1. I have to call the travel agency.
(My boss asked me to book a flight.)
  1. I have to keep my dog on a lead.
(That's what the sign tells me to do.)
N.B. In the negative form, the meaning changes!
You mustn't tell George
= it's important not to tell George
= don't tell George
You don't have to tell George
= you can tell George if you like,
but it isn't necessary. It's your decision.
Complete the sentences below with the correct word(s) : 'must' or 'have to'.
1. My boss needs this report urgently. I _____________ finish it now.
2. "You _________ arrive on time every morning" said the shopkeeper to the new trainee.
3. Julie __________ go to work on foot. The buses are on strike. .
4. Secretaries ________ answer the phone. That's part of their job.
5. "You ________ do your homework" said the teacher.
6. "We__________ invite our neighbours for dinner one day" said my husband.
7. David ________ leave home at 7..30 a.m. in order to get to the office at 9 a.m.
8. "I _______ hurry or I'll miss my flight!"
9. Employees ___________ attend all personnel meetings - it's written in their contracts.
10. "I ________ call my mother - it's her birthday today."
1. have to 2. must 3. has to 4. have to 5. must 6. must 7. has to 8. must 9. have to 10. must

2. Excursion, reading

Travel to New England … The Historic Heart of America
New England - the birthplace of America - is filled with rich history, cultural attractions, fascinating cities, scenic villages, and outdoor adventures at every turn.
Discover white sand beaches, and lighthouses, brilliant fall foliage, expansive lakes, panoramic mountain views, and dockside resturants with delicious seafood chowder, lobster, and blueberry pie.
In New England, you'll find a wealth of diverse travel experiences within just a few hours drive of Boston's Logan International Airport.
Discover why visitors travel back to New England again and again...
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean,Canada (the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec) and the State of New York.
In one of the earliest English settlements in North America, Pilgrims from England first settled in New England in 1620, to form Plymouth Colony. Ten years later, the Puritans settled north of Plymouth Colony in Boston, thus formingMassachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Over the next 130 years, New England participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their native allies in North America. In the late 18th century, the New England Colonies initiated the resistance to the British Parliament's efforts to impose new taxes without the consent of the colonists. TheBoston Tea Party was a protest that angered Great Britain, which responded with the Coercive Acts, stripping the colonies of self-government. The confrontation led to open warfare in 1775, the expulsion of the British from New England in spring 1776, and the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.
The first movements of American literature, philosophy, and education originated in New England. The region played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery and was the first region of the United States to be transformed by the Industrial Revolution. Today, New England is a major world center of education, high technology, insurance, and medicine. Boston is its cultural, financial, educational, medical and transportation center.
Locally, each state is subdivided into small incorporated municipalities known as New England towns, which are often governed by town meeting. Voters have voted more often for liberal candidates at the state and federal level than those of any other region in the United States.
New England has the only non-geographic regional name recognized by the federal government. It maintains a strong sense of cultural identity set apart from the rest of the country, although the terms of this identity are often contested, paradoxically combining Puritanism with liberalism, agrarian life with industry, and isolation with immigration.
Martha's Vineyard (Wampanoag: Noepe) is an island (including the smaller Chappaquiddick Island) off the south of Cape Cod in New England, known for being an affluent summer colony. The islands both form a part of the Outer Lands region.
Often called just "The Vineyard," the island has a land area of 87.48 square miles (231.75 km²) and is the 58th largest island in the United States, and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States. It is also the largest island not connected to mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States.
It is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the County of Dukes County, which also includes Cuttyhunk and the other Elizabeth Islands, as well as the island of Nomans Land, which is both a US Wildlife preserve, as well as a US Naval practice bombing range which continues to be controversial. It was home to one of the earliest known deaf communities in the United States; consequently, a special sign language, Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL), developed on the island.
The estimated year-round population is 15,000 residents, however the summer population can swell to over 75,000 people. About 56% of the Vineyard’s 14,621 homes are seasonally occupied.[1]
The island is primarily known as a summer colony, and is accessible only by boat and by air. Nevertheless, its year-round population has grown considerably since the 1960s. A study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher.[2]
Nantucket is an island 30 miles (48.3 km) south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and the coterminous Nantucket County, which are consolidated. Part of the town is designated the Nantucket CDP, or census designated place. The region of Surfside on Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts.
Canopache is another name for Nantucket Island. Canopache meaning "place of peace" is Wampanoag Native American name for the island.
Nantucket is a tourist destination and summer colony. The population of the island soars from about 10,000 to 50,000[1] during the summer months, due to tourists and summer residents. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2006, Nantucket had the highest median property value of any Massachusetts zip code.[2]
The Nantucket Historic District, comprising all of Nantucket Island, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 13, 1966. In doing so the National Park Service paid particular note to the settlements of Nantucket and Siasconset. The island features one of the highest concentrations of pre-Civil War structures in the United States. It also has the oldest operating wind mill in the United States (since 1746).
3. Listening and watching

Playing in the Sun and Sea at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

Photo: AP
Colorful signs welcome visitors to Martha's Vineyard, in Oak Bluffs, on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
BARBARA KLEIN: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Barbara Klein. This week on our program, we tell you about two islands in Massachusetts, in the New England area of the northeastern United States. Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are popular places to visit, especially in the warmer months.
Both are known for their sailing and sunsets and fun things to do. Martha's Vineyard is also known for its tall cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The island is about thirteen kilometers off the coast and is less than two hundred sixty square kilometers.
Homes designed like those of earlier times line the streets of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. These are the major towns on Martha's Vineyard.
Houses in the Cottage Park neighborhood of Oak Bluffs, on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
For most of the year, the population of Martha's Vineyard is about fifteen thousand. During the summer, more than one hundred thousand people crowd the island. And we do mean crowd. Look around and you might see some Hollywood stars and other faces of the rich and famous.
Some people arrive by boat, including a ship that carries passengers and cars. Others come by plane. Many visitors return year after year.
Now, we continue our story with Shirley Griffith and Rich Kleinfeldt as your travel guides.
RICH KLEINFELDT: The towns and the quieter country areas of Martha's Vineyard all offer places to stay. Small hotels and homes for visitors on the island may not cost much. Other hotels cost hundreds of dollars per night. Some people save money by preparing their own food. Others eat in the many restaurants on the island.
Hungry visitors like the seafood at several famous eating places like the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven. And they can stop into small stores that sell sweets like ice cream and fudge candy.
During warm weather the Vineyard is a good place for many different activities. People can play golf or catch fish. They can ride in sailboats or motor boats. They can water ski and swim. They can take quiet walks along sandy beaches and among the thick green trees. They can take pictures of birds found around small areas of fresh water or on the old stone walls surrounding many farms.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Many families with children spend their summer holidays in Martha's Vineyard. One of the popular places for families is the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs. It is the oldest continually operated merry-go-round ride in the United States. The colorful wood horses that turn in a circle were created in eighteen seventy-six.
One of the best places for children and adults to swim is the Joseph A. Sylvia state beach. The water there is warmer and calmer than at some of the other Vineyard beaches.
Families also enjoy the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary where they can observe much of the island wildlife. People can walk through more than nine kilometers of fields, trees and wetlands to learn about the plants and animals on the island.
Almost twenty percent of the land on Martha's Vineyard is protected from development. There are other wildlife areas to explore. A flat-topped boat called the On-Time Ferry takes people and cars to a nearby small island, Chappaquiddick.
Chappaquiddick has a white sand beach at the Cape Poge Wildlife Preserve. Many small birds make their homes in the grass on the edge of the sand.
RICH KLEINFELDT: Back on Martha's Vineyard, visitors often take long walks at the foot of the colorful high edges of rock that line the water at Gay Head Cliffs. The white, yellow, red and brown colors of the cliffs deepen as the sun disappears.
People also sit on the beach and on rocks in the fishing village of Menemsha to watch the sunsets. As the sun goes down in the sky it paints yellow, red, and other colors on the clouds. Some people offer a kind of ceremony as they watch the sun disappear into the seas.
Fishing boats rise and fall with the waves. Bells sound to help guide the boats to land as darkness covers the water.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Many people who live all year on the island make their money from the sea. Some of the fishermen and farmers on the island today are related to the Europeans who settled the land centuries ago.
Historians say British mapmaker Bartholomew Gosnold first made a map of the island for the rulers of England in sixteen-oh-two. Gosnold is said to have named the island to honor his baby daughter, Martha.
The Vineyard part of the name came from the many wild grape vines Gosnold found on the island. Later, King Charles of England gave the island to businessman Thomas Mayhew of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The son of Thomas Mayhew established the first European settlement on the island in sixteen forty-two at Edgartown. The Wampanoag Indians taught the settlers to kill whales.
Men in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven earned their money by killing whales until the middle of the nineteenth century. Then, after the Civil War, visitors began to provide most of the islanders' money.
In eighteen thirty-five, the Methodist Church held a group camp meeting in what was to become the town of Oak Bluffs. Some of the campers stayed on and built small homes.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, ships from the American mainland began bringing visitors to the island. Big hotels were built in the town near the edge of the water. Martha's Vineyard was on its way to becoming the visitors' center that it is today.
RICH KLEINFELDT: Many summer visitors also travel to Nantucket, another island in the Atlantic near Massachusetts. They like this island for its beaches, its open land and its trees.
Nantucket is smaller than Martha's Vineyard. It is about fifty kilometers from the Massachusetts coast. Its distance from the mainland causes some Nantucket citizens to say they are true islanders. The only town on Nantucket Island also is called Nantucket.
Artists often paint its waterfront and the small stores along it. But many visitors say the most interesting part of the town is the area of homes. The island is known for its small gray houses with roses growing on them. Signs on some of the houses say they were built as long ago as the seventeenth century.
The public may enter fourteen historic homes now open as museums. Another museum, the Museum of Nantucket History, helps newly arrived mainlanders learn about the land and history of the island.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Humans are not the only visitors to Nantucket. More than three-hundred-fifty kinds of birds visit the island each summer. So people who like to watch birds return year after year.
Nature in general appeals to Nantucket visitors. Many plants and flowers grow wild in open areas of the island. Farmers also grow several kinds of berry fruits. Cranberries are a leading crop. Some people visit Nantucket in the autumn to watch the harvests of the red berries.
Kayakers on Nashaquitsa Pond, in Nashaquitsa, on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
People who visit Nantucket enjoy water sports, walking and bicycle riding. They also catch fish for pleasure. Some Nantucket citizens earn money by fishing. Earning their living from the sea comes naturally to people who live on the island.
At one time, hunting for whales was the main job of people on Nantucket, just as it was on Martha's Vineyard.
RICH KLEINFELDT: England gave Nantucket to Thomas Macy in sixteen fifty-nine. Macy made an agreement with the Wampanoag Indians who lived there. Then he sold most of the land to shareholders. Settlers farmed the land. But farming on Nantucket did not succeed very well because the ground was so full of sand.
In sixteen ninety an expert from the mainland taught sailors to catch small whales from boats very close to the land. Years later, strong winds forced a whaling boat further into the ocean. Sailors on that boat caught a sperm whale. That whale provided highly sought oil. Soon the Nantucket sailors were catching many sperm whales.
That accidental event made Nantucket a whaling center. However, whales in the seas near Nantucket died out over time. Nineteenth century sailors from the island had to travel for years to catch whales.
Luckily, visitors had begun to provide earnings for Nantucket by the eighteen seventies. But it was not until the nineteen sixties that providing for visitors became the major industry on Nantucket.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Visitors today to both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard enjoy almost everything about the islands -- except other visitors. The crowds during the warm season can mean heavy traffic and long lines for services.
Yet, most visitors to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket really enjoy their holidays there. They often say they feel they are escaping from the problems of daily life. And they leave with peaceful memories of watching the red sun disappear into the dark ocean waters around the islands.
BARBARA KLEIN: Our program was written by Jerilyn Watson and read by Shirley Griffith and Rich Kleinfeldt. Transcripts and audio files of our programs are all available online at I'm Barbara Klein. We hope you can join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.
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4. Homework and addition material
Meeting with Mark Twain
New England Literature
New England has always been famous for its poets, writers and authors.
From the Puritan sermons and devotional writings of Increase Mather (1639-1723) and his son Cotton Mather (1663-1728), New England literature has come all the way to the punchy Spencer thrillers of Robert Parker. Along the way, New England has fostered some of America's greatest writers.
In Puritan New England, education was highly valued, for it was through education (meaning theological study) that one came to know God. The region's great colleges and universities—Amherst, Bowdoin, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Tufts, Williams, Yale—were all founded for the training of young men for the ministry. By the late 1800's this theological preoccupation had been abandoned, and New England's colleges became magnets for literati of all beliefs and opinions.
The runaway bestseller of the early 1800's was not a book of sermons, nor a novel, nor even a history of the late war with England; and the book remains a bestseller to this day. It's the American Dictionary of the English Language, by Yale graduate Noah Webster (1758-1843). First published in 1828, Webster's 70,000-word dictionary was bought by hundreds of thousands of Americans every year—and still is.
Among the writers most closely associated with New England is Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). Emerson's beliefs in the mystical unity of nature and the divine, and Thoreau's (see below) championing of the simple life in tune with nature's laws, were radical in 19th-century Concord, Massachusetts. Today such unitarian and ecological beliefs are accepted by many people around the world. Along with other writers, Emerson was a founder of the Transcendental movement, and had more effect on American literature than any other New Englander.
The composite photo above brings together some of New England's greatest literary lights. From left to right: John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Lothrop Motley, Amos Bronson Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Russell Lowell, Louis Agassiz, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), a friend of Emerson's, is best remembered for Walden, or Life in the Woods(1854). This journal of observations and opinions written during his solitary sojourn (1845-47) on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, may be the best-known book on New England. Thoreau was also known for Civil Disobedience, and his accounts of walking trips entitled The Maine Woods and Cape Cod.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), was born in Salem, Massachusetts, attended Bowdoin College in Maine, then pursued a career which produced The Scarlet Letter, Twice-told Tales, and The House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne is thought by many to be the writer who established the truly American short story.
His contemporary, Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), was born in Boston, but pursued his career in Virginia.
Among New England poets, the 1800's belonged to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Born in Portland, Maine, he attended Bowdoin College, taught at Harvard, and lived in a big yellow house on Brattle Street in Cambridge which is now a historic landmark. Several of Longfellow's poems are so much a part of Americana that many forget that he wrote them: "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Song of Hiawatha," "The Village Blacksmith," "Excelsior," and "The Wreck of the Hesperus" are among the better-known ones.
Preceding and during the Civil War, New England writers such as abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) contributed their literary and poetic talents to the struggle to end slavery.
Few Americans realize that Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), better known as Mark Twain, settled in Hartford, Connecticut at the age of 35. Though Missouri-born, Twain wrote his masterpieces Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in Hartford, as well as The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Touring his grand Victorian mansion at Nook Farm is the high point of a visit to Hartford.
The Industrial Revolution brought New Englanders wealth, and daughters of wealthy manufacturers and merchants were able to turn their energies to education and literature rather than household work. In the 1800's, many excellent New England women's colleges produced graduates instilled with a spirit of independence and self-reliance.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) felt compelled to expose the injustice of slavery in her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), which sold an amazing 300,000 copies in one year.
Opposite in temperament to the energetic Ms. Stowe was poet Emily Dickenson (1830-1886), a native of Amherst, Massachusetts, who lived there in near seclusion most of her life. Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime, but the posthumous editing and publishing of nearly 1,000 poems established her reputation. Her influence on American poetry is matched only by that of Robert Frost.
Among New England's other famous female poets is Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts and a graduate of Wellesley College. Though much of her work is unfamilar today, every American knows her patriotic hymn, "America the Beautiful."
Robert Frost (1874-1963) was born in San Francisco, but his family had lived in New England for generations. He moved to New England early in life, attended Dartmouth and Harvard without taking a degree, and later returned to teach poetry at Amherst and Harvard. His many books capture the quintessence of New England living and the Yankee soul.
Title: Running For Governor
Author: Mark Twain
A few months ago I was nominated for Governor of the great state of New York, to run against Mr. John T. Smith and Mr. Blank J. Blank on an independent ticket. I somehow felt that I had one prominent advantage over these gentlemen, and that was--good character. It was easy to see by the newspapers that if ever they had known what it was to bear a good name, that time had gone by. It was plain that in these latter years they had become familiar with all manner of shameful crimes. But at the very moment that I was exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret, there was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort "riling" the deeps of my happiness, and that was--the having to hear my name bandied about in familiar connection with those of such people. I grew more and more disturbed. Finally I wrote my grandmother about it. Her answer came quick and sharp. She said:
You have never done one single thing in all your life to be ashamed of--not one. Look at the newspapers--look at them and comprehend what sort of characters Messrs. Smith and Blank are, and then see if you are willing to lower yourself to their level and enter a public canvass with them.
It was my very thought! I did not sleep a single moment that night. But, after all, I could not recede.
I was fully committed, and must go on with the fight. As I was looking listlessly over the papers at breakfast I came across this paragraph, and I may truly say I never was so confounded before.
PERJURY.--Perhaps, now that Mr. Mark Twain is before the people as a candidate for Governor, he will condescend to explain how he came to be convicted of perjury by thirty-four witnesses in Wakawak, Cochin China, in 1863, the intent of which perjury being to rob a poor native widow and her helpless family of a meager plantain-patch, their only stay and support in their bereavement and desolation. Mr. Twain owes it to himself, as well as to the great people whose suffrages he asks, to clear this matter up. Will he do it?
I thought I should burst with amazement! Such a cruel, heartless charge! I never had seen Cochin China! I never had heard of Wakawak! I didn't know a plantain-patch from a kangaroo! I did not know what to do. I was crazed and helpless. I let the day slip away without doing anything at all. The next morning the same paper had this--nothing more:
SIGNIFICANT.--Mr. Twain, it will be observed, is suggestively silent about the Cochin China perjury.
[Mem.--During the rest of the campaign this paper never referred to me in any other way than as "the infamous perjurer Twain."]
Next came the Gazette, with this:
WANTED TO KNOW.--Will the new candidate for Governor deign to explain to certain of his fellow-citizens (who are suffering to vote for him!) the little circumstance of his cabin-mates in Montana losing small valuables from time to time, until at last, these things having been invariably found on Mr. Twain's person or in his "trunk" (newspaper he rolled his traps in), they felt compelled to give him a friendly admonition for his own good, and so tarred and feathered him, and rode him on a rail; and then advised him to leave a permanent vacuum in the place he usually occupied in the camp. Will he do this?
Could anything be more deliberately malicious than that? For I never was in Montana in my life.
[After this, this journal customarily spoke of me as, "Twain, the Montana Thief."]
I got to picking up papers apprehensively--much as one would lift a desired blanket which he had some idea might have a rattlesnake under it. One day this met my eye:
THE LIE NAILED.--By the sworn affidavits of Michael O'Flanagan, Esq., of the Five Points, and Mr. Snub Rafferty and Mr. Catty Mulligan, of Water Street, it is established that Mr. Mark Twain's vile statement that the lamented grandfather of our noble standard- bearer, Blank J. Blank, was hanged for highway robbery, is a brutal and gratuitous LIE, without a shadow of foundation in fact. It is disheartening to virtuous men to see such shameful means resorted to to achieve political success as the attacking of the dead in their graves, and defiling their honored names with slander. When we think of the anguish this miserable falsehood must cause the innocent relatives and friends of the deceased, we are almost driven to incite an outraged and insulted public to summary and unlawful vengeance upon the traducer. But no! let us leave him to the agony of a lacerated conscience (though if passion should get the better of the public, and in its blind fury they should do the traducer bodily injury, it is but too obvious that no jury could convict and no court punish the perpetrators of the deed).
The ingenious closing sentence had the effect of moving me out of bed with despatch that night, and out at the back door also, while the "outraged and insulted public" surged in the front way, breaking furniture and windows in their righteous indignation as they came, and taking off such property as they could carry when they went. And yet I can lay my hand upon the Book and say that I never slandered Mr. Blank's grandfather. More: I had never even heard of him or mentioned him up to that day and date.
[I will state, in passing, that the journal above quoted from always referred to me afterward as "Twain, the Body-Snatcher."]
The next newspaper article that attracted my attention was the following:
A SWEET CANDIDATE.--Mr. Mark Twain, who was to make such a blighting speech at the mass-meeting of the Independents last night, didn't come to time! A telegram from his physician stated that he had been knocked down by a runaway team, and his leg broken in two places--sufferer lying in great agony, and so forth, and so forth, and a lot more bosh of the same sort. And the Independents tried hard to swallow the wretched subterfuge, and pretend that they did not know what was the real reason of the absence of the abandoned creature whom they denominate their standard-bearer. A certain man was seen to reel into Mr. Twain's hotel last night in a state of beastly intoxication. It is the imperative duty of the Independents to prove that this besotted brute was not Mark Twain himself. We have them at last! This is a case that admits of no shirking. The voice of the people demands in thunder tones, "WHO WAS THAT MAN?"
It was incredible, absolutely incredible, for a moment, that it was really my name that was coupled with this disgraceful suspicion. Three long years had passed over my head since I had tasted ale, beer, wine or liquor or any kind.
[It shows what effect the times were having on me when I say that I saw myself, confidently dubbed "Mr. Delirium Tremens Twain" in the next issue of that journal without a pang--notwithstanding I knew that with monotonous fidelity the paper would go on calling me so to the very end.]
By this time anonymous letters were getting to be an important part of my mail matter. This form was common
How about that old woman you kiked of your premises which was beging. POL. PRY.
And this:
There is things which you Have done which is unbeknowens to anybody
but me. You better trot out a few dots, to yours truly, or you'll hear through the papers from
This is about the idea. I could continue them till the reader was surfeited, if desirable.
Shortly the principal Republican journal "convicted" me of wholesale bribery, and the leading Democratic paper "nailed" an aggravated case of blackmailing to me.
[In this way I acquired two additional names: "Twain the Filthy Corruptionist" and "Twain the Loathsome Embracer."]
By this time there had grown to be such a clamor for an "answer" to all the dreadful charges that were laid to me that the editors and leaders of my party said it would be political ruin for me to remain silent any longer. As if to make their appeal the more imperative, the following appeared in one of the papers the very next day:
BEHOLD THE MAN!--The independent candidate still maintains silence. Because he dare not speak. Every accusation against him has been amply proved, and they have been indorsed and reindorsed by his own eloquent silence, till at this day he stands forever convicted. Look upon your candidate, Independents! Look upon the Infamous Perjurer! the Montana Thief! the Body-Snatcher! Contemplate your incarnate Delirium Tremens! your Filthy Corruptionist! your Loathsome Embracer! Gaze upon him--ponder him well--and then say if you can give your honest votes to a creature who has earned this dismal array of titles by his hideous crimes, and dares not open his mouth in denial of any one of them!
There was no possible way of getting out of it, and so, in deep humiliation, I set about preparing to "answer" a mass of baseless charges and mean and wicked falsehoods. But I never finished the task, for the very next morning a paper came out with a new horror, a fresh malignity, and seriously charged me with burning a lunatic asylum with all its inmates, because it obstructed the view from my house. This threw me into a sort of panic. Then came the charge of poisoning my uncle to get his property, with an imperative demand that the grave should be opened. This drove me to the verge of distraction. On top of this I was accused of employing toothless and incompetent old relatives to prepare the food for the foundling' hospital when I warden. I was wavering--wavering. And at last, as a due and fitting climax to the shameless persecution that party rancor had inflicted upon me, nine little toddling children, of all shades of color and degrees of raggedness, were taught to rush onto the platform at a public meeting, and clasp me around the legs and call me PA!
I gave it up. I hauled down my colors and surrendered. I was not equal to the requirements of a Gubernatorial campaign in the state of New York, and so I sent in my withdrawal from the candidacy, and in bitterness of spirit signed it, "Truly yours, once a decent man, but now
"MARK TWAIN, LP., M.T., B.S., D.T., F.C., and L.E."
[Samuel Clemens] Mark Twain's short story: Running For Governor