Mark Twain quote about his father's surprising maturation (antedating attrib circa 1915) (req paper verification)

Ken Hirsch kenhirsch at FTML.NET
Fri Jan 8 22:07:18 UTC 2010

I was just working on this last night! Is this just a coincidence or is
there some reason that escapes me? I've been working on the Mark Twain
wikiquote page on and off for a couple of weeks, but I can't remember what
started me on it.

I found a genuine 1923 reference and massaged snippet-view enough to get
The Alphi Phi quarterly, Volumes 35-36, 1923
p. 193

The Record of Sigma Alpha Epsilon gives some healthy advice from a medical
alumnus "in four ...

[can't read this part ...]

The first dose contains, among other ingredients, the following:

  Mark Twain said that when he was about fourteen years of age his
  father was so darned ignorant that he hated to have the old man
  around; when he was eighteen he consulted his father on a few of
  the minor details, but decided the major ones for himself;
  when he was twenty-two he fairly marveled how much his father had
  learned in the last few years.

Which translated means that Necessity ...


I also found out yesterday that the quote "Be careful about reading health
books. You may die of a misprint." is definitely not from Twain.

It was first published in a German book in 1841, credited to a doctor who
died in 1803. The book was quite popular in the 19th Century, in print for
decades. But now if I search for the phrase in German, I find German web
sites attributing it to Mark Twain.

My notes here:

May I add that my expertise in German consists of knowing how to use
Babelfish and Google. Not knowing whether either or both of "freiwilligen"
and "sreiwilligen" are words adds to my difficulty of deciphering
19th-century Fraktur typeface texts. Ad

Are people on ADS-L interested in this kind of thing? I come across an
interesting find once a month or so. I could post it here. Now that I think
about it, though, I could use my user page on wikiquote to post interesting
finds. I haven't found a use for it before.

The American Dialect Society -

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