From "Advice to Youth, About 1882" by Mark Twain

1     Being told I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make. They said it should be something suitable to youth-something didactic, instructive, or something in the nature of good advice. Very well. I have a few things in my mind which I have often longed to say for the instruction of the young; for it is in one's tender early years that such things will best take root and be most enduring and most valuable. First, then. I will say to you my young friends-and I say it beseechingly, urgingly-
2     Always obey your parents, when they are present. This is the best policy in the long run, because if you don't, they will make you. Most parents think they know better than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.
3     Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any, also to strangers, and sometimes to others. If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. That will be sufficient. If you shall find that he had not intended any offense, come out frankly and confess yourself in the wrong when you struck him; acknowledge it like a man and say you didn't mean to. Yes, always avoid violence; in this age of charity and kindliness, the time has gone by for such things. Leave dynamite to the low and unrefined.
4     Go to bed early, get up early- this is wise. Some authorities say get up with the sun; some say get up with one thing, others with another. But a lark is really the best thing to get up with. It gives you a splendid reputation with everybody to know that you get up with the lark; and if you get the right kind of lark, and work at him right, you can easily train him to get up at half past nine, every time- it's no trick at all.
5     Now as to the matter of lying. You want to be very careful about lying; otherwise you are nearly sure to get caught. Once caught, you can never again be in the eyes to the good and the pure, what you were before. Many a young person has injured himself permanently through a single clumsy and ill finished lie, the result of carelessness born of incomplete training. Some authorities hold that the young out not to lie at all. That of course, is putting it rather stronger than necessary; still while I cannot go quite so far as that, I do maintain , and I believe I am right, that the young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance, and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable. Patience, diligence, painstaking attention to detail- these are requirements; these in time, will make the student perfect; upon these only, may he rely as the sure foundation for future eminence…
6     A final word: begin your practice of this gracious and beautiful art early-begin now. If I had begun earlier, I could have learned how…
7     But I have said enough. I hope you will treasure up the instructions which I have given you, and make them a guide to you feet and a light to your understanding. Build your character thoughtfully and painstakingly upon these precepts and by and by, when you have got it built, you will be surprised and gratified to see how nicely and sharply it resembles everybody else's.

didactic, beseech, temperate, eminent, precept, gratified, painstaking, eminence, misanthropic
  1. Mark Twain says that he wants to give his advice to youth especially because...a) they listen better than older people. b) they need it more than older people. c) "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." d) None of the above.
  2. When should you obey your parents? a) Always. b) When they make you. c) Before they punish you. d) When they're around.
  3. He says...a) Your parents know more than you. b) Your parents are dumb. c) You make better decisions than your parents most of the time. d) You only think you know more than your parents.
  4. He implies that hitting with a brick a person who offends you is...a) more effective than explosives. b) less effective than explosives. c) somehow more sophisticated than explosives. d) the wrong thing to do.
  5. Getting up with the lark, he says...a) is easy and improves your reputation. b) means you have to get up early. c) is hard. d) not as good as getting up at dawn.
  6. Why, according to Twain, did he not learn to lie? a) He didn't practice enough. b) No one ever taught him. c) He was punished for it. d) He didn't start early enough.
  7. Whom should you always be respectful to? a) Parents. b) People who are better than you. c) No one. d) Strangers. e) All of the above. f) b and d.
  8. What is his advice about lying? a) Don't lie. b) Practice until you're good at it. c) Lie only about unimportant things. d) It's important to lie sometimes.
  9. Twain calls lying...a) an art. b) profitable. c) a building block of greatness. d) an accomplishment. e) All of the above. f) a and b. g) None of the above.
  10. Twain says that if we follow his advice, we will turn out like everybody else. One of his points is...a) we are already good people. b) most people are not honest. c) many people have followed his advice. d) that it proves his advice is good.
  11. This essay is another example of Mark Twain showing his ___________ side.
  12. In the 5th paragraph, Twain implies that most __________ people are liars.
  13. Twain say that if you pay _________ attention to the details, you can be a good liar.
  14. Twain __________(es) us to listen to his advice.
  15. Mark Twain says he was asked to be ___________in his speech.
  16. One of the __________(s) of this class is, "Do your homework."
  17. He was tired of the cold, and moved to a more _______ climate.
  18. I was very __________ that he took my advice and things turned out fine.
  19. The pope is addressed as "Your _________."
  20. Twain's advice about lying is, "Be _________" (until you practice a lot).
didactic, beseech, temperate, eminent, precept, gratified, painstaking, eminence, misanthropic