After Paying His Debts, Mark Asked Carnegie for Help.
Like Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain had his troubles with publishing houses which failed and, like Scott, he emerged from these difficulties depeleted in pocketbook, but wealthy in honor. He had a two thirds intrest in the first of Charles L. Webster & Co., book publishers when it failed.
"I will pay 50 per cent of four claims," he said to the creditors in August 1895, " and will ask that you will trust my honor to pay the other half, as fast as I can earn it. The law recognises no mortgages on a man's brain, but honor is a harder master than the law."
He lectured, and with the profits paid off his debts.
"At the age of 64," he said "I have a fresh and unincumbered start in life."
Mr. Clemens read the announcement of Andrew Carnegie's greatest gift to libraries, and felt impelled to write the laird. This is what he wrote:
My Dear Carnegie: I see by the papers that you are prosperous. I want to get a hymn book; it costs six shillings. If you send me the hymn book, I will bless you, God will bless you, and it will do a great deal of good.
P. S.-Don't send me the hymn book; send me the six shillings.