Apparently, Sam had long been an artist at ornamental blasphemy and cursing before the incident with Livy. There are many stories from his days as a reporter in Virginia City of the compositors and other newspaper staff deliberately hiding his lamp shade just to hear him swear. -----Original Message----- From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kevin. Mac Donnell Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:55 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Twain's temper tantrums Yes, Livy did confront him about his temper, and once when he nicked himself shaving (I think) he began cursing, unaware that she was standing in the bedroom just outside the bathroom door. When he came out she repeated back to him everything he'd said in an effort to show him how awful he sounded. This did not work as she intended. Twain was hugely amused because, as he said, she got the words right, but completely muffed the inflection, making the point that good cursing should be left in the hands of an expert like himself.