We should do the same beneficent job with 2,800 men now that we did with 400,000 then. The allies could take 1,400 of the men, and give Napoleon 1,400 and then whip him.

But instead what do we see? In war-time in Germany, Russia and France, taken together we find about 8 million men equipped for the field. Each man represents 149 Waterloo men, in usefulness and killing capacity. Altogether they constitute about 350 million Waterloo men, and there are not quite that many grown males of the human race now on this planet. Thus we have this insane fact--that whereas those three countries could arm 18,000 men with modern weapons and make them the equals of 3 million men of Napoleon's day, and accomplish with them all necessary war work, they waste their money and their prosperity creating forces of their populations in piling together 349,982,000 extra Waterloo equivalents which they would have no sort of use for if they would only stop drinking and sit down and cipher a little.

Perpetual peace we cannot have on any terms, I suppose; but I hope we can gradually reduce the war strength of Europe till we get it down to where it ought to be--20,000 men, properly armed. Then we can have all the peace that is worth while, and when we want a war anybody can afford it.

VIENNA, January 9. P. S.--In the article I sent the figures are wrong--"350 million" ought to be 450 million; "349,982,000" ought to be 449,982,000, and the remark about the sum being a little more than the present number of males on the planet--that is wrong, of course; it represents really one and a half the existing males.

Now and then one of Mark Twain's old comrades still reached out to him across the years. He always welcomed such letters--they came as from a lost land of romance, recalled always with tenderness. He sent light, chaffing replies, but they were never without an undercurrent of affection.

To Major "Jack" Downing, in Middleport, Ohio:

HOTEL KRANTZ, WEIN, I, NEUER MART 6, Feb. 26, 1899. DEAR MAJOR,--No: it was to Bixby that I was apprenticed. He was to teach me the river for a certain specified sum. I have forgotten what it was, but I paid it. I steered a trip for Bart Bowen, of Keokuk, on the A. T. Lacy, and I was partner with Will Bowen on the A. B. Chambers (one trip), and with Sam Bowen a whole summer on a small Memphis packet.

The newspaper report you sent me is incorrect. Bixby is not 67: he is 97. I am 63 myself, and I couldn't talk plain and had just begun to walk when I apprenticed myself to Bixby who was then passing himself off for 57 and successfully too, for he always looked 60 or 70 years younger than he really was. At that time he was piloting the Mississippi on a Potomac commission granted him by George Washington who was a personal friend of his before the Revolution. He has piloted every important river in America, on that commission, he has also used it as a passport in Russia. I have never revealed these facts before. I notice, too, that you are deceiving the people concerning your age. The printed portrait which you have enclosed is not a portrait of you, but a portrait of me when I was 19. I remember very well when it was common for people to mistake Bixby for your grandson. Is it spreading, I wonder--this disposition of pilots to renew their youth by doubtful methods? Beck Jolly and Joe Bryan--they probably go to Sunday school now--but it will not deceive.

Yes, it is as you say. All of the procession but a fraction has passed. It is time for us all to fall in. Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.

To W. D. Howells, in New York:

HOTEL KRANTZ, WIEN I. NEUER MARKT 6 April 2, '99. DEAR HOWELLS,--I am waiting for the April Harper, which is about due now; waiting, and strongly interested.

Mark Twain
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