I found that poor old man deserted by his niggers and by his geographers, deserted by all of his kind except the gorillas-- dejected, miserable, famishing, absolutely famishing--but he was eloquent. Just as I found him he had eaten his last elephant, and he said to me: "God knows where I shall get another." He had nothing to wear except his venerable and honorable naval suit, and nothing to eat but his diary.

But I said to him: "It is all right; I have discovered you, and Stanley will be here by the four-o'clock train and will discover you officially, and then we will turn to and have a reg'lar good time." I said: "Cheer up, for Stanley has got corn, ammunition, glass beads, hymn-books, whiskey, and everything which the human heart can desire; he has got all kinds of valuables, including telegraph-poles and a few cart-loads of money. By this time communication has been made with the land of Bibles and civilization, and property will advance." And then we surveyed all that country, from Ujiji, through Unanogo and other places, to Unyanyembe. I mention these names simply for your edification, nothing more--do not expect it--particularly as intelligence to the Royal Geographical Society. And then, having filled up the old man, we were all too full for utterance and departed. We have since then feasted on honors.

Stanley has received a snuff-box and I have received considerable snuff; he has got to write a book and gather in the rest of the credit, and I am going to levy on the copyright and to collect the money. Nothing comes amiss to me--cash or credit; but, seriously, I do feel that Stanley is the chief man and an illustrious one, and I do applaud him with all my heart. Whether he is an American or a Welshman by birth, or one, or both, matters not to me. So far as I am personally concerned, I am simply here to stay a few months, and to see English people and to learn English manners and customs, and to enjoy myself; so the simplest thing I can do is to thank you for the toast you have honored me with and for the remarks you have made, and to wish health and prosperity to the Whitefriars' Club, and to sink down to my accustomed level.



Mr. Clemens introduced Mr. Stanley.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, if any should ask, Why is it that you are here as introducer of the lecturer? I should answer that I happened to be around and was asked to perform this function. I was quite willing to do so, and, as there was no sort of need of an introduction, anyway, it could be necessary only that some person come forward for a moment and do an unnecessary thing, and this is quite in my line. Now, to introduce so illustrious a name as Henry M. Stanley by any detail of what the man has done is clear aside from my purpose; that would be stretching the unnecessary to an unconscionable degree. When I contrast what I have achieved in my measurably brief life with what he has achieved in his possibly briefer one, the effect is to sweep utterly away the ten-story edifice of my own self-appreciation and leave nothing behind but the cellar. When you compare these achievements of his with the achievements of really great men who exist in history, the comparison, I believe, is in his favor. I am not here to disparage Columbus.

No, I won't do that; but when you come to regard the achievements of these two men, Columbus and Stanley, from the standpoint of the difficulties they encountered, the advantage is with Stanley and against Columbus. Now, Columbus started out to discover America. Well, he didn't need to do anything at all but sit in the cabin of his ship and hold his grip and sail straight on, and America would discover itself. Here it was, barring his passage the whole length and breadth of the South American continent, and he couldn't get by it. He'd got to discover it. But Stanley started out to find Doctor Livingstone, who was scattered abroad, as you may say, over the length and breadth of a vast slab of Africa as big as the United States.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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