14 choice BITS FROM MARK TWAIN.
It is not well, when writing an autobiography,
to follow your ancestry down too close to your own
time—it is safest to speak only vaguely of youi
great-grandfather, and then skip from there to
yourself, which I now do.
I was born without teeth—and there Richard III.
had the advantage of me ; but I was born without
a humpback likewise—and there I had the advan¬
tage of him. My parents were neither very poor
nor conspicuously honest.
But now a thought occurs to me. My own
history would really seem so tame contrasted with
that of my ancestors that it is simply wisdom to
leave it unwritten until I am hanged. If some
other biographies I have read had stopped with
the ancestry until a like event occurred it would
have been a felicitous thing for the reading public.
How does it strike you ?