6 CHOICE BITS FROM MARK TV^^AIN.
that our long line has ever since borne the maternal
name (except when one of them now and then took
a playful refuge in an alias to avert foolishness)
instead of Higgins, is a mystery which none of us
has ever felt much desire to stir. It is a kind of
vague pretty romance, and we leave it alone. All
the old families do that way.
Arthur Twain was a man of considerable note—
a solicitor on the highway in William Rufus's time.
At about the age of thirty he went to one of those
fine old English places of resort called Newgate,
to see about something, and never returned again.
While there he died suddenly.
Augustus Twain seems to have made something
of a stir about the year 1160. He was as full of
fun as he could be, and used to take his old sabre
and sharpen it up, and get in a convenient place on
a dark night, and stick it through people as they
went by, to see them jump. He was a born humorist.
But he got to going too far with it; and the first
time he was found stripping one of these parties
the authorities removed one end of him, and put
it up on a nice high place on Temple Bar, where it
could contemplate the people and have a good time.
He never liked any situation so much or stuck to
it so long.
Then for the next two hundred years the family
tree shows a succession of soldiers—noble high-