Mark Twain and his Mother
Mark Twain was blessed with a number of wonderful women in his life including his mother. In his speech Morals and Memories, he recalls her with affection and humor. More information and detail available in What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’
Enjoy the following and Happy Mother’s Day.
Now, I recall that when I was a boy I was a good boy—I was a very good boy. Why, I was the best boy in my school. I was the best boy in that little Mississippi town where I lived. The population was only about twenty million. You may not believe it, but I was the best boy in that State—and in the United States, for that matter.
But I don’t know why I never heard any one say that but myself. I always recognized it. But even those nearest and dearest to me couldn’t seem to see it. My mother, especially, seemed to think there was something wrong with that esti-mate. And she never got over that prejudice.
Now, when my mother got to be eighty-five years old her memory failed her. She forgot little threads that hold life’s patches of meaning together. She was living out West then, and I went on to visit her.
I hadn’t seen my mother in a year or so. And when I got there she knew my face; knew I was married; knew I had a family, and that I was living with them. But she couldn’t, for the life of her, tell my name or who I was. So I told her I was her boy.
“But you don’t live with me,” she said.
“No,” said I, “I’m living in Rochester.”
“What are you doing there?”
“Going to school.”
“And how do you stand?” said my mother.
“I’m the best boy in that school,” I answered.
“Well,” said my mother, with a return of her old fire, “I’d like to know what the other boys are like.”