TICKETS FIFTY GENTS. For Sale at Chickering and Sons, 852 Broadway, and at the Principal Hotel
Doors open at 7 o'clock. The Wisdom will begin to flow at 8.
Mark Twain always felt grateful to the school-teachers for that night. Many years later, when they wanted him to read to them in Steinway Hall, he gladly gave his services without charge.
Nor was the lecture a complete financial failure. In spite of the flood of complementaries, there was a cash return of some three hundred dollars from the sale of tickets--a substantial aid in defraying the expenses which Fuller assumed and insisted on making good on his own account. That was Fuller's regal way; his return lay in the joy of the game, and in the winning of the larger stake for a friend.
"Mark," he said, "it is all right. The fortune didn't come, but it will. The fame has arrived; with this lecture and your book just out you are going to be the most talked-of man in the country. Your letters for the Alta and the Tribune will get the widest reception of any letters of travel ever written."
THE FIRST BOOK
With the shadow of the Cooper Institute so happily dispelled, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and his following of Other Sketches, became a matter of more interest. The book was a neat blue- and-gold volume printed by John A. Gray & Green, the old firm for which the boy, Sam Clemens, had set type thirteen years before. The title-page bore Webb's name as publisher, with the American News Company as selling agents. It further stated that the book was edited by "John Paul," that is to say by Webb himself. The dedication was in keeping with the general irresponsible character of the venture. It was as follows:
TO JOHN SMITH WHOM I HAVE KNOWN IN DIVERS AND SUNDRY PLACES ABOUT THE WORLD, AND WHOSE MANY AND MANIFOLD VIRTUES DID ALWAYS COMMAND MY ESTEEM, I DEDICATE THIS BOOK
It is said that the man to whom a volume is dedicated always buys a copy. If this prove true in the present instance, a princely affluence is about to burst upon THE AUTHOR.
The "advertisement" stated that the author had "scaled the heights of popularity at a single jump, and won for himself the sobriquet of the 'Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope'; furthermore, that he was known to fame as the 'Moralist of the Main,'" and that as such he would be likely to go down to posterity, adding that it was in his secondary character, as humorist, rather than in his primal one of moralist, that the volume aimed to present him.--[The advertisement complete, with extracts from the book, may be found under Appendix E, at the end of last volume.]
Every little while, during the forty years or more that have elapsed since then, some one has come forward announcing Mark Twain to be as much a philosopher as a humorist, as if this were a new discovery. But it was a discovery chiefly to the person making the announcement. Every one who ever knew Mark Twain at any period of his life made the same discovery. Every one who ever took the trouble to familiarize himself with his work made it. Those who did not make it have known his work only by hearsay and quotation, or they have read it very casually, or have been very dull. It would be much more of a discovery to find a book in which he has not been serious--a philosopher, a moralist, and a poet. Even in the Jumping Frog sketches, selected particularly for their inconsequence, the under-vein of reflection and purpose is not lacking. The answer to Moral Statistician--[In "Answers to Correspondents," included now in Sketches New and Old. An extract from it, and from "A Strange Dream," will be found in Appendix E.]--is fairly alive with human wisdom and righteous wrath.