He also alluded to my name, of which I am rather fond.
A little girl wrote me from New Zealand in a letter I received yesterday, stating that her father said my proper name was not Mark Twain but Samuel Clemens, but that she knew better, because Clemens was the name of the man who sold the patent medicine, and his name was not Mark. She was sure it was Mark Twain, because Mark is in the Bible and Twain is in the Bible.
I was very glad to get that expression of confidence in my origin, and as I now know my name to be a scriptural one, I am not without hopes of making it worthy.
ADDRESS AT THE ROYAL LITERARY FUND BANQUET, LONDON, MAY 4, 1900
Anthony Hope introduced Mr. Clemens to make the response to the toast "Literature."
MR. HOPE has been able to deal adequately with this toast without assistance from me. Still, I was born generous. If he had advanced any theories that needed refutation or correction I would have attended to them, and if he had made any statements stronger than those which he is in the habit of making I would have dealt with them.
In fact, I was surprised at the mildness of his statements. I could not have made such statements if I had preferred to, because to exaggerate is the only way I can approximate to the truth. You cannot have a theory without principles. Principles is another name for prejudices. I have no prejudices in politics, religion, literature, or anything else.
I am now on my way to my own country to run for the presidency because there are not yet enough candidates in the field, and those who have entered are too much hampered by their own principles, which are prejudices.
I propose to go there to purify the political atmosphere. I am in favor of everything everybody is in favor of. What you should do is to satisfy the whole nation, not half of it, for then you would only be half a President.
There could not be a broader platform than mine. I am in favor of anything and everything--of temperance and intemperance, morality and qualified immorality, gold standard and free silver.
I have tried all sorts of things, and that is why I want to by the great position of ruler of a country. I have been in turn reporter, editor, publisher, author, lawyer, burglar. I have worked my way up, and wish to continue to do so.
I read to-day in a magazine article that Christendom issued last year fifty-five thousand new books. Consider what that means! Fifty-five thousand new books meant fifty-four thousand new authors. We are going to have them all on our hands to take care of sooner or later. Therefore, double your, subscriptions to the literary fund!
DISAPPEARANCE OF LITERATURE
ADDRESS AT THE DINNER OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY CLUB, AT SHERRY'S, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 20, 1900
Mr. Clemens spoke to the toast "The Disappearance of Literature." Doctor Gould presided, and in introducing Mr. Clemens said that he (the speaker), when in Germany, had to do a lot of apologizing for a certain literary man who was taking what the Germans thought undue liberties with their language.
It wasn't necessary for your chairman to apologize for me in Germany. It wasn't necessary at all. Instead of that he ought to have impressed upon those poor benighted Teutons the service I rendered them. Their language had needed untangling for a good many years. Nobody else seemed to want to take the job, and so I took it, and I flatter myself that I made a pretty good job of it. The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.