At the grand national reception of Lafayette, in 1824, Horace Greeley sat on the right and Peter Cooper to the left. The other Tone-imparters of the day are sleeping the sleep of the just now. I was in the audience when Horace Greeley Peter Cooper, and other chief citizens imparted tone to the great meetings in favor of French liberty, in 1848. Then I never saw them any more until here lately; but now that I am living tolerably near the city, I run down every time I see it announced that "Horace Greeley, Peter Cooper, and several other distinguished citizens will occupy seats on the platform;" and next morning, when I read in the first paragraph of the phonographic report that "Horace Greeley, Peter Cooper, and several other distinguished citizens occupied seats on the platform," I say to myself, "Thank God, I was present." Thus I have been enabled to see these substantial old friends of mine sit on the platform and give tone to lectures on anatomy, and lectures on agriculture, and lectures on stirpiculture, and lectures on astronomy, on chemistry, on miscegenation, on "Is Man Descended from the Kangaroo?" on, veterinary matters, on all kinds of religion, and several kinds of politics; and have seen them give tone and grandeur to the Four-legged Girl, the Siamese Twins, the Great Egyptian Sword Swallower, and the Old Original Jacobs. Whenever somebody is to lecture on a subject not of general interest, I know that my venerated Remains of the Old Red Sandstone Period will be on the platform; whenever a lecturer is to appear whom nobody has heard of before, nor will be likely to seek to see, I know that the real benevolence of my old friends will be taken advantage of, and that they will be on the platform (and in the bills) as an advertisement; and whenever any new and obnoxious deviltry in philosophy, morals, or politics is to be sprung upon the people, I know perfectly well that these intrepid old heroes will be on the platform too, in the interest of full and free discussion, and to crush down all narrower and less generous souls with the solid dead weight of their awful respectability. And let us all remember that while these inveterate and imperishable presiders (if you please) appear on the platform every night in the year as regularly as the volunteered piano from Steinway's or Chickering's, and have bolstered up and given tone to a deal of questionable merit and obscure emptiness in their time, they have also diversified this inconsequential service by occasional powerful uplifting and upholding of great progressive ideas which smaller men feared to meddle with or countenance.


[From the Buffalo Express, Saturday, May 14, 1870.]

New YORK, May 10.

The Richardson-McFarland jury had been out one hour and fifty minutes. A breathless silence brooded over court and auditory--a silence and a stillness so absolute, notwithstanding the vast multitude of human beings packed together there, that when some one far away among the throng under the northeast balcony cleared his throat with a smothered little cough it startled everybody uncomfortably, so distinctly did it grate upon the pulseless air. At that imposing moment the bang of a door was heard, then the shuffle of approaching feet, and then a sort of surging and swaying disorder among the heads at the entrance from the jury-room told them that the Twelve were coming. Presently all was silent again, and the foreman of the jury rose and said:

"Your Honor and Gentleman: We, the jury charged with the duty of determining whether the prisoner at the bar, Daniel McFarland, has been guilty of murder, in taking by surprise an unarmed man and shooting him to death, or whether the prisoner is afflicted with a sad but irresponsible insanity which at times can be cheered only by violent entertainment with firearms, do find as follows, namely:

"That the prisoner, Daniel McFarland, is insane as above described. Because:

"1. His great grandfather's stepfather was tainted with insanity, and frequently killed people who were distasteful to him.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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