Mark Twain in Hannibal
The relationship between Hannibal and Twain began in November 1839, when Twain’s father, John Clemens, decided to leave the hamlet of Florida, Missouri, and move east about 35 miles to the somewhat larger and more prosperous Hannibal, on the banks of the Mississippi River. Twain marked his fourth birthday about a week after the family settled there. He showed little promise of becoming a long-term resident. However, because his health was so poor that his parents probably feared he would not survive childhood.
During the family’s first few years in Hannibal, Twain was too young to understand fully the changes going on around him. John Clemens, though trained as a lawyer, tried to support his family by running a store and speculating in real estate. When those ventures failed. Clemens was forced to postpone his plans to establish a permanent home for the family.
About 1843, he began concentrating on the practice of law, a decision that brought some stability to the family finances and enabled him to have a house built. Construction began in 1843, and the family moved into the new house the next year. Situated on Hill Street, near the center of town, the modest two-story frame house attracted little attention during the years when the family called it home. The kitchen, dining room and parlor were on the first floor, and three bedrooms, along with a small wardrobe room, were upstairs.
大概到了1843年，他的注意力开始转向法律行业， 这个决定为全家带来了一些经济保障并且使他盖了一栋房子。房子是1843年开始盖的，第二年全家乔迁新居。 这栋两层的简易木板房座落在临近镇中心的希尔街，当时几乎没有人去注意这栋被全家人称作家的房子。厨房、餐厅和起居室在一层，三间卧室和一间小藏衣室在楼上。
About the time the family moved into their new home. Twain’s health improved dramatically. Instead of having to lead a quiet indoor life, he could roam the streets of Hannibal. Climb the surrounding hills, explore the area’s caves and splash about in local swimming holes. He reveled in his newfound freedom, spending nearly all his free time playing outdoors with the other boys in town and soon becoming a leader.
Twain’s carefree days did not last long. His father used their house as collateral for a friend’s loan, and the creditor took possession when the loan failed. A physician who lived diagonally across the street from the family offered to let them live in his home. The Clemens family moved into that house sometime in late 1846. On March 24, 1847， John Clemens died. His wife and their oldest son, Orion, managed to regain possession of the little house on Hill Street, and the family moved back into it that summer. These events dampened but did not extinguish Twain’s cheerful disposition.
For the next six years, Twain, his brother Henry, and his sister Pamela live with their mother in the family home. Twain began taking odd jobs after school to bring in extra cash. Within a year of his father’s death, he quit school and became an apprentice printer, and when his brother Orion bought the Hannibal Journal in 1851，Twain went to work for him as a printer and editorial assistant. The stories he wrote for Orion’s paper, his first publications, taught him that he much preferred writing to typesetting.
以后的6年间，马克·吐温、他的哥哥亨利、妹妹帕梅拉及母亲住在自己的家里。马克·吐温在放学后开始打零工来挣些钱贴补家用。父亲去世一年后，他辍了 学并在印刷厂当起学徒，1851年当他哥哥奥利翁买下 《汉尼堡杂志》时，马克·吐温去那里给他干活，当了 一名印刷工兼编辑助理。他为奥利翁的报纸写故事，这 也是他的处女作，使他明白与排字工作相比，自己更喜 欢写作。
As early as 1870 Twain had experienced with a story about the boyhood adventures of a lad he named Billy Rogers. Two years later, he changed the name to Tom, and began shaping his adventures into a stage play. Then the story began developing in earnest. After its publication, Tom Sawyer quickly became a classic tale of American boyhood. Nine years after Tom Sawyer swept the nation, Huck was given a life of his own, in a book often considered the best ever written about Americans.
早在1870年，马克·吐温便尝试着写故事，讲述一个叫比利·罗格斯的小伙子少年时代的探险经历。两年后，他把主人公的名字改为汤姆，并把他的冒险经历改 写成舞台剧。然后，作者又把它完善成一个故事。发表 后，《汤姆·索亚》迅速成为美国经典的少年故事。《汤姆·索亚》一书风行美国9年之后，哈克成为另一部小说的主人公，而这部小说通常被认为是描写美国人的最佳小说。
Even though “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” are still read and studied around the world, their writer was faced with bitterness more than once.
One might wonder what makes him an American guru in literature when he encountered so many tragedies in his lifetime. Perhaps the best explanation to his success finds its way to one of Mark Twain’s quotes: “By trying we can easily endure adversity.”