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Mark Twain
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Tom Sawyer's Days 1835-1853
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Rebellion
 
 

“The Model Boy of my time—we never had but the one—was perfect: perfect in manners, perfect in dress, perfect in conduct, perfect in filial piety, perfect in exterior godliness; but at bottom he was a prig; and as for the contents of his skull, they could have changed place with the contents of a pie and nobody would have been the worse off for it but the pie. This fellow’s reproachlessness was a standing reproach to every lad in the village. He was the admiration of all the mothers, and the detestation of all their sons. I was told what became of him, but as it was a disappointment to me, I will not enter into details. He succeeded in life.”—Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1883

First travel letter published in the Hannibal Journal, September 8, 1853
First travel letter published in
the Hannibal Journal,
September 8, 1853

Clemens as a Printer's Apprentice, around age 14
Clemens as a Printer’s
Apprentice, around age 14

Courtesy of The Mark Twain Project,
Bancroft Library, Berkeley
Boys Swimming
Courtesy of Murphy Library,
University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse

“Always obey your parents. When they are present. This is the best policy in the long run. Because if you don’t, they will make you. Most parents think they know better than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.”—Mark Twain “Advice to Youth” speech, 1882

 
 
He was not the model boy of the village. He knew the model boy, and loathed him. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876  
 
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