They spend freely the ten cents that is not saved without a struggle. It comes out of the candy money, and the money that goes for chewing-gum and other necessaries of life. They make the sacrifice freely. This is the only school which they are sorry to leave.

POETS AS POLICEMEN

Mr. Clemens was one of the speakers at the Lotos Club dinner to Governor Odell, March 24, 1900. The police problem was referred to at length.

Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers, and put in a squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love. I would be very glad to serve as commissioner, not because I think I am especially qualified, but because I am too tired to work and would like to take a rest.

Howells would go well as my deputy. He is tired too, and needs a rest badly.

I would start in at once to elevate, purify, and depopulate the red-light district. I would assign the most soulful poets to that district, all heavily armed with their poems. Take Chauncey Depew as a sample. I would station them on the corners after they had rounded up all the depraved people of the district so they could not escape, and then have them read from their poems to the poor unfortunates. The plan would be very effective in causing an emigration of the depraved element.

PUDD'NHEAD WILSON DRAMATIZED

When Mr. Clemens arrived from Europe in 1895 one of the first things he did was to see the dramatization of Pudd'nhead Wilson. The audience becoming aware of the fact that Mr. Clemens was in the house called upon him for a speech.

Never in my life have I been able to make a speech without preparation, and I assure you that this position in which I find myself is one totally unexpected.

I have been hemmed in all day by William Dean Howells and other frivolous persons, and I have been talking about everything in the world except that of which speeches are constructed. Then, too, seven days on the water is not conducive to speech-making. I will only say that I congratulate Mr. Mayhew; he has certainly made a delightful play out of my rubbish. His is a charming gift. Confidentially I have always had an idea that I was well equipped to write plays, but I have never encountered a manager who has agreed with me.

DALY THEATRE

ADDRESS AT A DINNER AFTER THE ONE HUNDREDTH PERFORMANCE OF "THE TAMING OF THE SHREW."

Mr. Clemens made the following speech, which he incorporated afterward in Following the Equator.

I am glad to be here. This is the hardest theatre in New York to get into, even at the front door. I never, got in without hard work. I am glad we have got so far in at last. Two or three years ago I had an appointment to meet Mr. Daly on the stage of this theatre at eight o'clock in the evening. Well, I got on a train at Hartford to come to New York and keep the appointment. All I had to do was to come to the back door of the theatre on Sixth Avenue. I did not believe that; I did not believe it could be on Sixth Avenue, but that is what Daly's note said--come to that door, walk right in, and keep the appointment. It looked very easy. It looked easy enough, but I had not much confidence in the Sixth Avenue door.

Well, I was kind of bored on the train, and I bought some newspapers--New Haven newspapers--and there was not much news in them, so I read the advertisements. There was one advertisement of a bench-show. I had heard of bench-shows, and I often wondered what there was about them to interest people. I had seen bench-shows--lectured to bench-shows, in fact--but I didn't want to advertise them or to brag about them. Well, I read on a little, and learned that a bench-show was not a bench-show --but dogs, not benches at all--only dogs. I began to be interested, and as there was nothing else to do I read every bit of the advertisement, and learned that the biggest thing in this show was a St. Bernard dog that weighed one hundred and forty-five pounds.

Mark Twain's Speeches Page 25

Mark Twain

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