Mark Twain's Speeches

By Mark Twain

Page 0

...MARK TWAIN'S SPEECHES


by Mark Twain







CONTENTS



INTRODUCTION

PREFACE

THE STORY OF A SPEECH

PLYMOUTH ROCK...

Page 1

...the first to know the thoughts and invent the fancies to
which his voice and action...

Page 2

...publishing an entire volume of nonsense than there is in keeping a
candy-store with no hardware...

Page 3

...Mr. Emerson, and Mr. Oliver Wendell Holmes—consound the
lot!"

You can easily believe I was interested. I...

Page 4

...I, 'Beg your pardon, Mr. Longfellow, if you'll
be so kind as to hold your yawp...

Page 5

...globes and aces!
Too long the...

Page 6

...whom we and the world pay loving reverence and homage; these
were impostors."

The miner investigated me...

Page 7

...across Mr. and Mrs. A. P. C., of Concord,
Massachusetts, and a friendship began then of...

Page 8

...would call still, but what would be more or less motion
to other people). I can...

Page 9

...give it up and sit down, I was too new to public speaking, and so...

Page 10

...was up facing those awful deities—facing those
other people, those strangers—facing human beings for the first...

Page 11

...arrived
this morning, from Boston. I have read it twice, and unless I am an
idiot, it...

Page 12

... even, in cheerful, hopeful, helpful literature he is of...

Page 13

...landing of the Pilgrims that we are
celebrating, but the Pilgrims themselves. So we have struck...

Page 14

...with vision unobstructed by disguising
swallow-tails and white cravats, the spectacle which the true New
England Society...

Page 15

...by your
progenitors was an ancestor of mine—for I am of a mixed breed, an
infinitely shaded...

Page 16

...soul-blistering saturnalia, cease from
varnishing the rusty reputations of your long-vanished ancestors—the
super-high-moral old iron-clads of Cape...

Page 17

...manage to digest them. I think I have lost so much by
not making a collection...

Page 18

...photograph of
me. After gazing at it steadily for a time, she said:

"We've got a John...

Page 19

...prettiest incident of the dinner, the
delight of all that wonderful table. When she was about...

Page 20

...have been to us. They
...

Page 21

... and his morality is all the better...

Page 22

...yonder. And so I thank them out of my heart. I desire to thank
the Pilgrims...

Page 23

...my mind as to whether I should regard
that as a compliment or not. I do...

Page 24

...stolen." No doubt many a
person was misled by those sentences joined together in that unkind...

Page 25

...was pleasant that all the way
home, whenever he met anybody his gravities, his solemnities, his...

Page 26

...She was twenty
four years of age and in the bloom of young womanhood, and we...

Page 27

...had made the formal addresses.

How difficult, indeed, is the higher education. Mr. Choate needs a
little...

Page 28

...sorrowed deeply, but could me
the permission not grant on account of a law which from...

Page 29

...and to me your valuable help grant. Mr.
Potzl has the public believed make would that...

Page 30

...now, and, full of admiration for each other, full of
confidence in each other, full of...

Page 31

...fourteen-syllable German words is still
incomplete. But I have just added to that collection a jewel—a...

Page 32

...for a man—and
admirers had often told me I had nearly a basketful—though they were
rather reserved...

Page 33

... ...

Page 34

...These are generally casual
visitors, who bring their notions of spring from somewhere else, and
cannot, of...

Page 35

...of the
weather in New England—lengthways, I mean. It is utterly disproportioned
to the size of that...

Page 36

...they comfort
us in our sorrows,...

Page 37

...still take stock in that beautiful old saying
that when the baby smiles in his sleep,...

Page 38

...if we could know which ones they are. In one of these cradles
the unconscious Farragut...

Page 39

...and a-puttin' in his time flirting with Pocahontas—oh! Captain
John Smith, that was the man's name—and...

Page 40

...by practically trained professionals.

I was especially interested in the scene which we have just had,...

Page 41

...make would be a theatre here and a theatre there. It
would make of you a...

Page 42

...am only fit to be honorary
president. It is not to be expected that I should...

Page 43

... When Mr. Clemens arrived from Europe in 1895 one of the first
...

Page 44

...on the train, and I bought some newspapers—New
Haven newspapers—and there was not much news in...

Page 45

...If yez want to see Mr. Daly, yez 'll have to be after going to
the...

Page 46

...Her linen is from Belfast, her robe is
from Paris, her lace is from Venice, or...

Page 47

...talk to the members, man by man, in
...

Page 48

...effect upon him. Light-colored clothing
is more pleasing to the eye and enlivens the spirit. Now,...

Page 49

...suspect him.

Why, when I got up on the second story of that Pennsylvania ferry-boat
coming down...

Page 50

...University Club, New York, welcomed Mr. Clemens as their guest,
...

Page 51

...Here, too, is a sample of a boy's composition on girls,
which, I must say, I...

Page 52

...sweetest of all poets
says:



...

Page 53

...Who can join in the heartless libel that says
woman is extravagant in dress when he...

Page 54

... in Carnegie Hall. Mr. Clemens was the guest of honor.

If I were asked...

Page 55

... that he expressed his opinion of women; perhaps...

Page 56

...on you.

Referring to woman's sphere in life, I'll say that woman is always
right. For twenty-five...

Page 57

...general thing. In all relations of life, sir, it is but a just and
graceful tribute...

Page 58

...St. Timothy's School, at
Catonsville, Maryland,...

Page 59

...the eighty millions, let his creed or
destitution of creed be what it may, is indisputably...

Page 60

...and said: "This is the
last feather. I am not going to run this town all...

Page 61

...was deeply immersed in his work, his wife came in, much
moved and profoundly distressed, and...

Page 62

...the mighty
affairs of the British Empire in India to suit his own notions.

At his mercy...

Page 63

...dying. He had
only two minutes to live, so he sent for a clergyman and asked...

Page 64

...here to tell you just how to do it. I've been a statesman without
salary for...

Page 65

...much about that. Principles aren't of much
account anyway, except at election-time. After that you hang...

Page 66

... their faults by cheerful well-doing instead of making them sour
...

Page 67

...waste any time fooling around; it attends
strictly to business."

That New-Yorkers have the cleanest, quickest, and...

Page 68

...and wish they
could establish a government like it in heaven. You got it by a...

Page 69

... and Mrs. Clemens, July 8, 1899.

It...

Page 70

...bear here which shows the difference between
theoretical morals and practical morals. Theoretical morals are the...

Page 71

...who has
stolen a green watermelon? What would George Washington do, the father
of his country, the...

Page 72

... called out to thin the crowd. Doctor Fagnani had said
...

Page 73

...the young. There were a lot of incidents in my career to help
me along—sometimes they...

Page 74

...Now, after being here and hearing Mrs. Hewitt
and Mrs. Thomas, it seems to me I...

Page 75

...swimmer. So we went
down to the beach. I went along to see that the thing...

Page 76

...Exposition, have been sent to
Russia, and this was a compliment from that Government—which is very
surprising...

Page 77

...stock.






EDUCATION AND CITIZENSHIP



On the evening...

Page 78

...she was—did they put their trust in God? The girl was
afflicted with the leprosy, a...

Page 79

...a beefsteak dinner, given by artists, caricaturists, and
...

Page 80

...gentle Hebrew, in the process of skinning the client. The main
part in that business is...

Page 81

...credit. I hunted for that man in Africa
all over seventy-five or one hundred parishes, thousands...

Page 82

...the simplest thing
I can do is to thank you for the toast you have honored...

Page 83

...is his indestructible
Americanism—an Americanism which he is proud of. And in this day and
time, when...

Page 84

...There may be some
way, but I have not found it out. But now I am...

Page 85

...would happen. A person
who has suffered disappointment for many years loses confidence, and I
thought I...

Page 86

... articles I have sent to The Outlook,...

Page 87

...care about it; he must
be better than the principles which he puts in print. And...

Page 88

... when they recognized him there was a tremendous demonstration.

I am very glad...

Page 89

...to this day: they must travel together, hoe, and plant, and
plough, and reap, and sell...

Page 90

...motto was removed. Sure enough, the
prosperities of the whole nation went down in a heap...

Page 91

...the
Tribune. I went there once in that old building, and I looked all around
and I...

Page 92

...Great Beyond,
and the question is...

Page 93

...that yet. I
like to hear my old friend complimented, but I don't like to hear...

Page 94

...That is the kind of person I am. I knew she would be uneasy
about him....

Page 95

...planet at twenty-nine
years of age. She is the most marvellous person of her sex that...

Page 96

...Clemens responded to the toast "The Compositor."

The chairman's historical reminiscences of Gutenberg have caused me...

Page 97

...a half long, leaded long
primer, and sign them "Junius," or "Veritas," or "Vox Populi," or...

Page 98

...drunk on, and he
was satisfied. But it may be, as I have said, that I...

Page 99

...monument of all the virtues, but it is
nothing of the sort. I am living two...

Page 100

...the leading citizens who took the plates around
for collection. I complained to the governor of...

Page 101

...you would only be half a
President.

There could not be a broader platform than mine. I...

Page 102

...between these two limits they just
shovel in German. I maintain that there is no necessity...

Page 103

...of great men like college presidents on all such
subjects as that.

I went out to Cambridge...

Page 104

...generations that have risen or
will riz—I mean to say, will rise. His private character is...

Page 105

...him there are all sorts of things worthy of
our condemnation.

Just look at Mr. Carnegie's face....

Page 106

...system
of accents, giving to each vowel its own soul and value, so every shade
of that...

Page 107

...voices; no one can reach so many races, so many hearts and
intellects, as you—except Rudyard...

Page 108

...seven-cent slave under a boiler-iron
contract. One day there came a note from the editor requiring...

Page 109

...please; count
the words."

He counted and said it was twenty-four. I asked him to count the
letters....

Page 110

...stop to spell the words for you, but you can take the letter
presently and comfort...

Page 111

...it is kept in its
present condition to satisfy one million people who like to have...

Page 112

...them seated here on the floor, poring by the light of their
dark-lanterns over some of...

Page 113

...of the present day may be traced to. I,
for instance, read the Walpole Letters when...

Page 114

...but for your applause.

Here it is: "Since England and America may be joined together in
Kipling,...

Page 115

...you succeeded? Yes, you have—and more.
For in four years, with a year still to spare,...

Page 116

...stage-fright
then for the first and last time. I was only seasick once, too. It
was on...

Page 117

...by the
Barnard Union. One...

Page 118

...forgotten in seventy years—when I
meditate upon the caprices of my memory.

There's a bird out in...

Page 119

...mother got to be eighty-five years old her memory failed
her. She forgot little threads that...

Page 120

...said to myself: "I will do that. I will take that green watermelon
back where I...

Page 121

...because he was justice
of the peace he was coroner; and since he was coroner he...

Page 122

...great fortitude.

The moonlight revealed to me a marble-white human hand. Well, maybe I
wasn't embarrassed! But...

Page 123

...to move on.

We moved—the girl on one arm and the boots under the other.

We walked...

Page 124

...But I stopped him. I
said, "We've got that, too." He seemed pitifully amazed, but I...

Page 125

... yards and attributed the shot to Mark twain. The duel did not
...

Page 126

...and stress we shall
not forget, and whenever we call it to mind we shall always...

Page 127

...is impossible. I cannot
comprehend any such thing as that.

You must have a creature like that...

Page 128

...very
good artist—Williams—who had never taken a lesson in drawing. Everything
he did was original. The publisher...

Page 129

...the prodigious speed that that line of stages made—and it
was good speed—one hundred and twenty-five...

Page 130

...a desert country where you
never see anything but cattle now and then, and now and...

Page 131

...their hereafter. I am glad to
assist in welcoming our guest—first, because he is an Englishman,...

Page 132

...say the same far the rest of the speakers.

(The speaker was a director of the...

Page 133

...he couldn't have it, just
as he would have wanted osteopathy if he couldn't have it.

Whose...

Page 134

... Mr. Clemens visited Albany on February 27 and 28, 1901. The
...

Page 135

...crowds of people there, and they were
swarming into the long sleeper train and packing it...

Page 136

...I have a big coach candle
fixed up just at the head of my bed, so...

Page 137

...one might have been of the opposite sex—were
assembled on the chimney in the middle of...

Page 138

...offence than that no indictment can be
found against me. I did not write that poetry—at...

Page 139

...word,
I will guarantee him a regular market for a fair amount of his cigars."

We found...

Page 140

...was to get it.

Presently, a few steps up the almost deserted street, I stumbled on
Boggs,...

Page 141

...acceded
to when people furnished buggies, for we were as fond of pleasure
excursions as other people.

The...

Page 142

...June, no 15th August, no 31st
May—that but for him, France, the pure, the grand, the...

Page 143

... ...

Page 144

...Clemens had tried to be funny
...

Page 145

...with a text, and I am here without
a text. I have no text except what...

Page 146

...seen a portrait of
him, and any friend of mine will tell you that when I...

Page 147

...knocked against the side of a house, and stood there stunned
for a moment.

I thought it...

Page 148

...and
many a year. When you have been weary and downcast he has lifted your
heart out...

Page 149

...endure it, but will seek to cast it off.
If we keep our hearts in this...

Page 150

...I was going to make a speech—I supposed I was, but I am not. It
is...

Page 151

..."I will show you that there is emotion even
in that unpromising place. I will just...

Page 152

...that is the
fellowship of your fellow-man. And at last he gave it up, and at...

Page 153

...touch the button and the light flashes up out
of the darkness. You mention the name...

Page 154

...EVENING OF APRIL 19, 1906

Mr....

Page 155

...were sheltered and
happy two days...

Page 156

...offered you three places. Take your choice. They're all at
the same price."

"How old are you?"...

Page 157

...would have been killed. Why didn't the
Irishman fall on a dog which was next to...

Page 158

... and louder, until Mr. Clemens held out his hand for silence.
...

Page 159

...great
American events.

To-day I have been requested, or I have requested myself, not to confine
myself to...

Page 160

...and were associated
together a great deal in a friendly way in the time of Pocahontas.
That...

Page 161

... The place where last we met about the table has vanished, and
...

Page 162

... actually dead. He has held us spellbound upon the plain at...

Page 163

...will get up and explain, and if I cannot do that, I'll
deny it happened.



...

Page 164

... The new Copyright Bill
contemplated...

Page 165

...I am trying to use more polite language.

The laws of England and America do take...

Page 166

...to calm him down. I should reason with him. I should say to
him, "Leave it...

Page 167

...could see
some resentment in his manner, and he said the idea was illogical, for
the reason...

Page 168

...his house weaving,
weaving, weaving around. He watched his chance, and by and by when the
steps...

Page 169

...over. He had to
say something about it, and he said: "The Essex band done the...

Page 170

...it is always night, and when they have to sit with
folded hands and with nothing...

Page 171

...thousand dollars is
to split it into parts and contribute, say a hundred dollars a year,
or...

Page 172

...town they have not altered a house nor built one in 1500 years.
We went to...

Page 173

...that chair I might find the
next one. Well, I did. And I found another and...

Page 174

...pedometer on my leg. Twichell and
I were in a pedometer match. Twichell had longer legs...

Page 175

...anything at the hands of a
burglar. They have invaded my house time and time again....

Page 176

...naturally
consulted my farmacopia, and at once decided to become a farmeopath.

Then I got circulating about,...

Page 177

... stepped forward, put his hand to his hair, and apparently
...

Page 178

...it was green. It was the greenest melon in
the Mississippi Valley. Then I began to...

Page 179

...He wants you to work a great deal.
Diligence is a good thing, but taking things...

Page 180

...chickens, and
I believe it will be cheaper to send eggs...

Page 181

...1909, Mr. Clemens appeared in a white suit from
...

Page 182

...poet when
I was a reporter. His name was Butter.

One day he came to me and...

Page 183

...years old. I have been familiar with
veracity twice as long as he.

And the story about...

Page 184

...for my own benefit.

"This is an error. I intend the lectures, as well as the...

Page 185

...I judge, by a remark which
he made up-stairs awhile ago, that he had found a...

Page 186

...are well worth
remembering, too. Now, we have fought a righteous war since I have gone,
and...

Page 187

...know him; and
if you give him rope enough—I mean if—oh yes, he will justify that
compliment;...

Page 188

...him glad to be alive; and
now I come back from my exile young again, fresh...

Page 189

...if
she will be good quarters for me to live in, particularly if she
belongs to this...

Page 190

...the
Atlantic ebbed and flowed through one end of her, during her long agony,
to sink the...

Page 191

...winter's engagements of every kind,
for good and sufficient reasons, and am making no new engagements...

Page 192

...have known Mr. Secretary Hay—John Hay, as the nation
and the rest of his friends love...

Page 193

...alongside of me asleep, and he
had his ticket in his hat. He was the remains...

Page 194

...this world, and published it in the North American
Review. He did me the justice to...

Page 195

...them left; the rest
were in their graves; and we went up there on the summit...

Page 196

...vocations is the right word; he has in all
those vocations acquitted himself with high credit...

Page 197

...for me
spiritually and financially if I had stayed under his wing.

I have tried to do...

Page 198

...is. I have made a thousand
vows.

There is no pleasure comparable to making a vow in...

Page 199

...day to this I do not know any
history but Sala's.

I do not know anything so...

Page 200

...in December. Every year those people used
to meet at a great banquet in New York,...

Page 201

...him celebrated. He had even seen the polar bear climb the pole.

He had made one...

Page 202

...word which
you can carry home and relate to your children and the old people who
are...

Page 203

...When at last the hat came round I dropped in ten cents—and
took out twenty-five.

I came...

Page 204

...read to him in his last hours made those hours easier
for him and more comfortable,...

Page 205

...you will excuse me, I never use slang
to an interviewer or anybody else. That distresses...

Page 206

...clothes on since I crossed the ocean until now.

In these three or four weeks I...

Page 207

...were watched. I am so glad to be here
to-night. I am so glad to renew...

Page 208

...to make a speech when you have listened to compliments
from the powers in authority. A...

Page 209

...at one time for, but that Scot and I did
occasionally want it. The Scot sent...

Page 210

...I did say,
"When you are in doubt," but when I am in doubt myself I...

Page 211

...handed
him my card, and then the young man said Mr. Putnam was busy and I
couldn't...

Page 212

...Yes, he touched me this time, because he
cried—cried! He was moved to tears to see...

Page 213

...is a compliment to both of us. His hat fitted me exactly; my hat
fitted him...

Page 214

...why I should
have that crime thrown up to me on all occasions. The tears that...

Page 215

...to go home on the
13th of this month, but I look upon that in a...

Page 216

...of them—yes, uncles to burn,
uncles to spare. This poor uncle, full of patriotism, opened his...

Page 217

...English, too. It is not
American. Those were English colonists, subjects of King George III.,
Englishmen at...

Page 218

...and that we honor and revere, you gave us
the Declaration of Independence, which is the...

Page 219

...have some
legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world.

I refer with effusion to...

Page 220

...did not seem to exhilarate the guests much, all further oratory
...

Page 221

...there is a sweet germ
of innocence and simplicity still. When a stranger says to me,...

Page 222

...have been to the Zoological Gardens. What a wonderful place that
is! I never have seen...

Page 223

...some sort of idea
where I am—being usually lost when alone—and I stop a citizen and...

Page 224

... "Mark twain, quarter five and one-half-six feet!" replied the
...

Page 225

... all rise and drink to Mark Twain.]

Well,...

Page 226

...was my cradle-song; and this is my swan-song, I suppose. I am used
to swan-songs; I...

Page 227

...another main thing—I have been
persistently strict in sticking to the things which didn't agree with...

Page 228

...my bonds.

To-day it is all of sixty years since I began to smoke the limit....

Page 229

...a perfectly colossal stock of morals; and you can't get
them on a margin; you have...

Page 230

...are a
time-expired man, to use Kipling's military phrase: You have served your
term, well or less...