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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Mark Twain in Bermuda: Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

Read Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion here (pdf, 22 pages)

"The early twilight of a Sunday evening in Hamilton, Bermuda, is an alluring time. There is just enough of whispering breeze, fragrance of flowers, and sense of repose to raise one's thoughts heavenward; and just enough amateur piano music to keep him, reminded of the other place. There are many venerable pianos in Hamilton, and they all play at twilight. Age enlarges and enriches the powers of some musical instruments--notably those of the violin--but it seems to set a piano's teeth on edge. Most of the music in vogue there is the same that those pianos prattled in their innocent infancy; and there is something very pathetic about it when they go over it now, in their asthmatic second childhood, dropping a note here and there where a tooth is gone".

"The poet Thomas Moore spent several months in Bermuda more than seventy years ago. He was sent out to be registrar of the admiralty. I am not quite clear as to the function of a registrar of the admiralty of Bermuda, but I think it is his duty to keep a record of all the admirals born there. I will inquire into this. There was not much doing in admirals, and Moore got tired and went away. A reverently preserved souvenir of him is still one of the treasures of the islands: I gathered the idea, vaguely, that it was a jug, but was persistently thwarted in the twenty-two efforts I made to visit it. However, it was no matter, for I found out afterward that it was only a chair.

There are several "sights" in the Bermudas, of course, but they are easily avoided. This is a great advantage--one cannot have it in Europe. Bermuda is the right country for a jaded man to "loaf" in. There are no harassments; the deep peace and quiet of the country sink into one's body and bones and give his conscience a rest, and chloroform the legion of invisible small devils that are always trying to whitewash his hair. A good many Americans go there about the first of March and remain until the early spring weeks have finished their villainies at home.

The Bermudians are hoping soon to have telegraphic communication with the world. But even after they shall have acquired this curse it will still be a good country to go to for a vacation, for there are charming little islets scattered about the inclosed sea where one could live secure from interruption. The telegraph-boy would have to come in a boat, and one could easily kill him while he was making his landing.

We had spent four days in Bermuda--three bright ones out of doors and one rainy one in the house, we being disappointed about getting a yacht for a sail; and now our furlough was ended, and we entered into the ship again and sailed homeward".


  1. Jim, Very interesting. You've encouraged me to reacquaint myself with Twain and introduce myself to Bermuda : )

  2. Thank you Linda. There are several books about Mark Twain in Bermuda. Try "Mark Twain in Paradise", by Donald Hoffmann. Do visit the island(s), and write a book inspired by the beautiful landscapes and seascapes! Jim