Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Mark "No Gentleman"


Mark didn't resort to profanity when he wanted to lambaste man or measure. I once heard him say to Mrs. Clemens: "I will write him that 'his mind is all caked up, that as an idiot he is simply immeasurable.'

"And I will call him a snug person full of pedantic proclivities; and further, 'a long-eared animal' (and striking an attitude)—'a mule hostler with his pate full of axle grease.'

"All right," said gentle Mrs. Livy, "do so by all means, but take care not to send the letter."

"Livy, dear, let me get it off my chest," pleaded Mark, "for 'Hotel Normandie, Paris,' would be just the place to date such an epistle from. Don't you remember the 'Madame's screech' to the effect that 'one must expect neither tact nor delicacy from Mark Twain?'"

The "Madame" referred to was Madam Blanc, the critic of one of the chief French reviews, already mentioned.

"The vagabond and adventurer, who from crown to sole remained a gentleman" (I forget from which magazine this is quoted) fairly reveled "in the French Madame's abomination of his lowly self."