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Title: Mark Twain's Speeches
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INTRODUCTION

These speeches will address themselves to the minds and hearts of those who see them, but not with the effect they had with those who heard them; Clemens himself would have said, not with half the effect. I have noted elsewhere how he always held that the actor doubled the value of the author's words; and he was a great actor as well as a great author.
He was a most consummate actor, with this difference from other actors, that he was the first to know the thoughts and invent the fancies to which his voice and action gave the color of life. Representation is the art of other actors; his art was creative as well as representative; it was nothing at second hand.

I never heard Clemens speak when I thought he quite failed; some burst or spurt redeemed him when he seemed flagging short of the goal, and, whoever else was in the running, he came in ahead. His near-failures were the error of a rare trust to the spontaneity in which other speakers confide, or are believed to confide, when they are on their feet. He knew that from the beginning of oratory the orator's spontaneity was for the silence and solitude of the closet where he mused his words to an imagined audience; that this was the use of orators from Demosthenes and Cicero up and down. He studied every word and syllable, and memorized them by a system of mnemonics peculiar to himself, consisting of an arbitrary arrangement of things on a table--knives, forks, salt-cellars; inkstands, pens, boxes, or whatever was at hand--which stood for points and clauses and climaxes, and were at once indelible diction and constant suggestion. He studied every tone and every gesture, and he forecast the result with the real audience from its result with that imagined audience. Therefore, it was beautiful to see him and to hear him; he rejoiced in the pleasure he gave and the blows of surprise which he dealt; and because he had his end in mind, he knew when to stop.

I have been talking of his method and manner; the matter the reader has here before him; and it is good matter, glad, honest, kind, just.

W. D. HOWELLS.

PREFACE

FROM THE PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION OF "MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES"

If I were to sell the reader a barrel of molasses, and he, instead of sweetening his substantial dinner with the same at judicious intervals, should eat the entire barrel at one sitting, and then abuse me for making him sick, I would say that he deserved to be made sick for not knowing any better how to utilize the blessings this world affords. And if I sell to the reader this volume of nonsense, and he, instead of seasoning his graver reading with a chapter of it now and then, when his mind demands such relaxation, unwisely overdoses himself with several chapters of it at a single sitting, he will deserve to be nauseated, and he will have nobody to blame but himself if he is. There is no more sin in publishing an entire volume of nonsense than there is in keeping a candy-store with no hardware in it. It lies wholly with the customer whether he will injure himself by means of either, or will derive from them the benefits which they will afford him if he uses their possibilities judiciously.
Respectfully submitted,
THE AUTHOR.

THE STORY OF A SPEECH

An address delivered in 1877, and a review of it twenty-nine
years later. The original speech was delivered at a dinner
given by the publishers of The Atlantic Monthly in honor of the
seventieth anniversary o f the birth of John Greenleaf
Whittier, at the Hotel Brunswick, Boston, December 17, 1877.

This is an occasion peculiarly meet for the digging up of pleasant reminiscences concerning literary folk; therefore I will drop lightly into history myself. Standing here on the shore of the Atlantic and contemplating certain of its largest literary billows, I am reminded of a thing which happened to me thirteen years ago, when I had just succeeded in stirring up a little Nevadian literary puddle myself, whose spume-flakes were beginning to blow thinly Californiaward. I started an inspection tramp through the southern mines of California. I was callow and conceited, and I resolved to try the virtue of my 'nom de guerre'.

I very soon had an opportunity. I knocked at a miner's lonely log cabin in the foot-hills of the Sierras just at nightfall. It was snowing at the time. A jaded, melancholy man of fifty, barefooted, opened the door to me. When he heard my 'nom de guerre' he looked more dejected than before. He let me in--pretty reluctantly, I thought--and after the customary bacon and beans, black coffee and hot whiskey, I took a pipe.
This sorrowful man had not said three words up to this time. Now he spoke up and said, in the voice of one who is secretly suffering, "You're the fourth--I'm going to move." "The fourth what?" said I. "The fourth littery man that has been here in twenty-four hours--I'm going to move."
"You don't tell me!" said I; "who were the others?" "Mr. Longfellow, Mr. Emerson, and Mr. Oliver Wendell Holmes--consound the lot!"

You can, easily believe I was interested. I supplicated--three hot whiskeys did the rest--and finally the melancholy miner began. Said he:

"They came here just at dark yesterday evening, and I let them in of course. Said they were going to the Yosemite. They were a rough lot, but that's nothing; everybody looks rough that travels afoot.
Mr. Emerson was a seedy little bit of a chap, red-headed. Mr. Holmes was as fat as a balloon; he weighed as much as three hundred, and had double chins all the way down to his stomach. Mr. Longfellow was built like a prizefighter. His head was cropped and bristly, like as if he had a wig made of hair-brushes. His nose lay straight down, his face, like a finger with the end joint tilted up. They had been drinking, I could see that. And what queer talk they used! Mr. Holmes inspected this cabin, then he took me by the buttonhole, and says he:

 

"'Through the deep caves of thought
I hear a voice that sings,
Build thee more stately mansions,
O my soul!'

"Says I, 'I can't afford it, Mr. Holmes, and moreover I don't want to.' Blamed if I liked it pretty well, either, coming from a stranger, that way. However, I started to get out my bacon and beans, when Mr. Emerson came and looked on awhile, and then he takes me aside by the buttonhole and says:

"'Give me agates for my meat;
Give me cantharids to eat;
From air and ocean bring me foods,
From all zones and altitudes.'

"Says I, 'Mr. Emerson, if you'll excuse me, this ain't no hotel.' You see it sort of riled me--I warn't used to the ways of littery swells.
But I went on a-sweating over my work, and next comes Mr. Longfellow and buttonholes me, and interrupts me. Says he:

"'Honor be to Mudjekeewis!
You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Keewis--'

"But I broke in, and says I, 'Beg your pardon, Mr. Longfellow, if you'll be so kind as to hold your yawp for about five minutes and let me get this grub ready, you'll do me proud.' Well, sir, after they'd filled up I set out the jug. Mr. Holmes looks at it, and then he fires up all of a sudden and yells:

"Flash out a stream of blood-red wine!
For I would drink to other days.'

"By George, I was getting kind of worked up. I don't deny it, I was getting kind of worked up. I turns to Mr. Holmes, and says I, 'Looky here, my fat friend, I'm a-running this shanty, and if the court knows herself, you'll take whiskey straight or you'll go dry.' Them's the very words I said to him. Now I don't want to sass such famous littery people, but you see they kind of forced me. There ain't nothing onreasonable 'bout me; I don't mind a passel of guests a-treadin' on my tail three or four times, but when it comes to standing on it it's different, 'and if the court knows herself,' I says, 'you'll take whiskey straight or you'll go dry.' Well, between drinks they'd swell around the cabin and strike attitudes and spout; and pretty soon they got out a greasy old deck and went to playing euchre at ten cents a corner--on trust. I began to notice some pretty suspicious things. Mr. Emerson dealt, looked at his hand, shook his head, says:

"'I am the doubter and the doubt--'

and ca'mly bunched the hands and went to shuffling for a new layout.
Says he:

"'They reckon ill who leave me out;
They know not well the subtle ways I keep.
I pass and deal again!'

CONTENTS:

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. PREFACE
  3. THE STORY OF A SPEECH
  4. PLYMOUTH ROCK AND THE PILGRIMS
  5. COMPLIMENTS AND DEGREES
  6. EBOOKS, AUTHORS, AND HATS
  7. DEDICATION SPEECH
  8. DIE SCHRECKEN DER DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE.
  9. THE HORRORS OF THE GERMAN LANGUAGE
  10. GERMAN FOR THE HUNGARIANS
  11. A NEW GERMAN WORD
  12. UNCONSCIOUS PLAGIARISM
  13. THE WEATHER
  14. THE BABIES
  15. OUR CHILDREN AND GREAT DISCOVERIES
  16. EDUCATING THEATRE-GOERS
  17. THE EDUCATIONAL THEATRE
  18. POETS AS POLICEMEN
  19. PUDD'NHEAD WILSON DRAMATIZED
  20. DALY THEATRE
  21. THE DRESS OF CIVILIZED WOMAN
  22. DRESS REFORM AND COPYRIGHT
  23. COLLEGE GIRLS
  24. GIRLS
  25. THE LADIES
  26. WOMAN'S PRESS CLUB
  27. VOTES FOR WOMEN
  28. WOMAN-AN OPINION
  29. ADVICE TO GIRLS
  30. TAXES AND MORALS
  31. TAMMANY AND CROKER
  32. MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION
  33. MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
  34. CHINA AND THE PHILIPPINES
  35. THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL MORALS
  36. LAYMAN'S SERMON
  37. UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT SOCIETY
  38. PUBLIC EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
  39. EDUCATION AND CITIZENSHIP
  40. COURAGE
  41. THE DINNER TO MR. CHOATE
  42. ON STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE
  43. HENRY M. STANLEY
  44. DINNER TO MR. JEROME
  45. HENRY IRVING
  46. DINNER TO HAMILTON W. MABIE
  47. INTRODUCING NYE AND RILEY
  48. DINNER TO WHITELAW REID
  49. ROGERS AND RAILROADS
  50. THE OLD-FASHIONED PRINTER
  51. SOCIETY OF AMERICAN AUTHORS
  52. READING-ROOM OPENING
  53. LITERATURE
  54. DISAPPEARANCE OF LITERATURE
  55. THE NEW YORK PRESS CLUB DINNER
  56. THE ALPHABET AND SIMPLIFIED SPELLING
  57. SPELLING AND PICTURES
  58. EBOOKS AND BURGLARS
  59. AUTHORS' CLUB
  60. BOOKSELLERS
  61. "MARK TWAIN's FIRST APPEARANCE"
  62. MORALS AND MEMORY
  63. QUEEN VICTORIA
  64. JOAN OF ARC
  65. ACCIDENT INSURANCE--ETC.
  66. OSTEOPATHY
  67. WATER-SUPPLY
  68. MISTAKEN IDENTITY
  69. CATS AND CANDY
  70. OBITUARY POETRY
  71. CIGARS AND TOBACCO
  72. BILLIARDS
  73. THE UNION RIGHT OR WRONG?
  74. AN IDEAL FRENCH ADDRESS
  75. STATISTICS
  76. GALVESTON ORPHAN BAZAAR
  77. SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE
  78. CHARITY AND ACTORS
  79. RUSSIAN REPUBLIC
  80. RUSSIAN SUFFERERS
  81. WATTERSON AND TWAIN AS REBELS
  82. ROBERT FULTON FUND
  83. FULTON DAY, JAMESTOWN
  84. LOTOS CLUB DINNER IN HONOR OF MARK TWAIN
  85. COPYRIGHT
  86. IN AID OF THE BLIND
  87. DR. MARK TWAIN, FARMEOPATH
  88. MISSOURI UNIVERSITY SPEECH
  89. BUSINESS
  90. CARNEGIE THE BENEFACTOR
  91. ON POETRY, VERACITY, AND SUICIDE
  92. WELCOME HOME
  93. AN UNDELIVERED SPEECH
  94. SIXTY-SEVENTH BIRTHDAY
  95. TO THE WHITEFRIARS
  96. THE ASCOT GOLD CUP
  97. THE SAVAGE CLUB DINNER
  98. GENERAL MILES AND THE DOG
  99. WHEN IN DOUBT, TELL THE TRUTH
  100. THE DAY WE CELEBRATE
  101. INDEPENDENCE DAY
  102. AMERICANS AND THE ENGLISH
  103. ABOUT LONDON
  104. PRINCETON
  105. THE ST. LOUIS HARBOR-BOAT "MARK TWAIN"
  106. SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY

 

Mark Twain's Speeches

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