On Dublin - Mark Twain

Dublin, NH has been a center for intellectual and artistic endeavor for almost 150 years. This is one in a series of articles exploring this heritage.

From a letter written by Mark Twain on October 9, 1905.

Mark Twain in Dublin NH

Last January, when we were beginning to inquire about a home for this summer, I remembered that Abbot Thayer had said, three years before, that the New Hampshire highlands was a good place. He was right - it was a good place. Any place that is good for an artist in paint is good for an artist in morals and ink.

Paint, literature, science, statesmanship, history, professorship, law, morals - these are all represented here, yet crime is substantially unknown.

The summer houses for these refugees are sprinkled a mile apart among the forest-clad hills, with access to each other by firm smooth country roads which are so embowered in dense foliage that it is always twilight in there and comfortable. The forests are spiderwebbed with these good roads, they go everywhere. But for the help of guideboards, the stranger would not arrive anywhere.

The village - Dublin - is bunched together in its own place but a good telephone service makes it markets handy to all those outliars. I have spelt it that way to be witty. The village executes orders on the Boston plan - promptness and courtesy.

The summer homes are high perched, as a rule, and have contenting outlooks. The house we occupy has one. Monadnock, a soaring double hump, rises into the sky at its left elbow - that is to say, it is close at hand. From the base of the long slant of the mountain the valley spreads away to the circling frame of the hills, and beyond the frame the billowy sweep of remote great ranges rises to view and flows, fold upon fold, wave upon wave, soft and blue and unworldy, to the horizon fifty miles away.

In these October days Monadnock and the valley and its framing hills make an inspiring picture to look at, for they are sumptuously splashed and mottled and betorched from skyline to skyline with the richest dyes the autumn can furnish. And when they lie flaming in the full drench of the midafternoon sun, the sight affects the spectator physically, it stirs his blood like military music. ...

It is claimed that the New Hampshire highlands is exceptionally bracing and stimulating, and a fine aid to hard and continuous work. It is a just claim, I think. I came in May and wrought 35 successive days without a break. It is possible that I could have done it elsewhere. I do not know. I have not had any disposition to try it before.  I think I got the disposition out of the atmosphere this time. I feel quite sure, in fact, that this is where it came from.

Dublin School

Dublin School, Schoolhouse Rd, Dublin, NH, 03444, United States