SHARP COMMENTS BY TWAIN.
Written on His Copy of Green's History of the English People.
Mark Twain's copy of "A Short History of the English People," by J. R. Green, which sold for $16 at Anderson's the past week, shows that the humorist carefully read the first chapter of the work, as he made notations pointing out grammatical errors, mixed metaphors, and obscure or involved statements. His comments are amusing.
On page 55 Green says: "The great fabric of the Roman law indeed never took root in England," and Twain asks "Does a fabric ever take root?" Further down on the same page Green says: "The King, however, recovered from his wound to march on the West Saxons," and Twain's comment is "Did he recover from his wound merely for the purpose of marching upon the West Saxons?"
On page 56 Green says that the same King "slew and subdued all who had conspired against him," and Twain adds, "He made corpses of the conspirators, and then subdued the corpses." There are many other similar notes throughout this chapter.
In a copy of Samuel Clarke's "Mirror, or Looking Glass, Both for Saints and Sinners," London, 1671, which brought $10, there are various passages marked by Mr. Clemens and notes in his handwriting. On page 82 he applies the epithet "atrocious scoundrel" to St. Saturus, who is reported as saying that he was resolved to forsake his wife, children, home, etc. for the love of Christ. On page 276, where Laelius Socinus is said to have been of the opinion that a person may be saved without knowledge of the Scriptures, Twain's comment is "Sensible again."
On page 462 Fulgentius is spoken of as powerful in prayer, and thus able to keep his own city in safety, when all the rest of the province was in captivity to the Moors, Twain says: "They ought to have hired him to travel around."
On the same page it is stated that fervent and frequent prayer was instrumental in restoring a prominent man to health. Twain remarks: "It failed in Gen. Garfield's case." In J. T. Bent's "A Freak of Freedom; or, The Republic of San Marino," the author says:
"A small hamlet belonging to the republic has grown up around a well, where the saint used to baptize his converts, springing from underneath a cliff," and Twain queries: "Did the converts spring, or was it the saint?"