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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
January ii, iqoo.
ANSWER to a
v ceived this
Dear' Mrs. if —
I am fore\-er your
debtor for reminding
me .... curious
passage in my life.
During the first year
>r two after it hap
pened. I could not
i>ear to think of it.
My pain and shame
ivere so intense, and
my sense of having
l»een an imi>ecile so
and confirmed, that
I drove the episode
entirely from ray
mind. ' And so all
or weary-nine years i have lived in the conviction that
toy performance i that time was coarse, vulgar, and des
titute of humor Hut your suggestion that you and your
family found huni <r in, it twenty-eight years ago moved
me to look mt ;• tin matter. So I commissioned a Boston
typewriter to .; lye among the Boston papers of that by
gone time arid send me a copy of it.
It Cisc this m< — :n:g. and if there is any vulgarity about
:t lam cot able to discover it If it isn't innocently and
r.diciiouih- fanny, I am no iudge. I •*•;!! see t" it that
voo get a copy.
Address of Samuel L. Clemens ("Mark Tuain" ;
? r ?m a Rep ■*: ■ the Dinner Given by tiie Publish--'
of ihe Atlantic Monthly in Honor of ihe
Seventieth Anniversary of the
I'-r'r. of John Greenleaf Whittier. at ihe Hotel Bruns
: ■»;. December 17. 1577,
::■ Published in the
n Evening Transcript,
December 18. 1877
MXM X ' HAIR . . — This is an occasion peculiarly meet
for the digging tsp of pleasant reminiscences concem
sg liter..--. : I -■•..re I will drop lightly into history
aiyself, Stai ere on the shore of the "Atlantic, and
coatee:.:..::: ..• -■ n of its largest literary billows. I
San remmded of a thing which happened to me thirtit-n
gQg »g had iu-st succeeded in stirring up a little
• ■. : ;;.. m y ;•. whose spume flakes
Wk ? :--.••■ .■. i :;«;!%•" California wards. I started
■* : " :- ■ - -:• '.'>■- :.'.:zti the southern mines of Cali
-p^na. I was callow and conceited, and I resolved to try
'•'■''. v~-"u;v ~-"u;- ■ . norn df guerre .
'■ I very ■ pporfunity. I knocked at a miners
-'fflt-iv log cs - • • ■ . ; hut <.f the Sierras ju.-.t at
: nowing at the time. A jaded, melan-
r .■ barefooted, opened the door to me
j*ya ■• .• norn df guerre, he looked more de
:^.tec •.- .- - |: ( . 1^ j, K . , ni — pretty reluctantly. I
tao^jrht — aad after the customary bacon and beans, black
«j"ee and hot whisky, I took a pipe. This sorrowful man
=^<i not said !in • v. r ■:- up to this time. Now he spoke
;-?asd said, ia the voi. <- <>f <mc who is secretly suffering,
' -ou're the foiathi I'm going to move!"
fourth what?!; said I.
*n«? f-j-jr.!: ;:tr»-ry man that has' been here in twerity
wm-hoars. I:: eoing to move."
10'- . • -. - ■■ -," .;.,,< j % Who were the others?
.."Mr. L- .-•.".•:: w. Mr Emerson, and Mr. Ohver Wendell
asfcaes-^oMifound the i-.t 1 "
. »wtis<i:::; believe I Wa> interested, i supphcated. —
Haee ho; wfcj. ties did the rest.— and finally the melan
'~*u i ij rar:vr •>-"-iii- Said he:
. P*«y came i;t.-re ju>t at <iark yesterday evening, an.l
L«* tbeci in of cxiurse. Said they were going to the
l «*n;ae They were a rough lot: but thats nothing. —
tver,-i>.-i%- looks rough that travels afoot. Mr. Emerson
■W i ieedy littk bit of a chap, red headed. Mr. Holmes
■» as fat a- a balloon; h<- weighed as much as three
aaacrtd. and had double chins all the way down to his
««aach. Mr. Longfellow was built like a prize fighter.
nahead was cupped and bristly, like as if he had a wig
j^^of jjajj | jr ,i s j,es. His n<jse LiV straight down his
rs"*r s"*5 "*- like i fir.g-.-r with the end joint tilted up They had
•"kf 1 dr:nk:li S. I could st^- that. And wlxat queer talk
•aty naodJ Mr. Holmes inspected this cabin, then h<? t'«jk
n=< - 01 the buttonhole, and says he:
'"Through the deep caves of thought
I hear a voic<- that sings.
Build thee more stately mansions,
0 my soul!'
- -Says I, "I can't afford it, Mr. Holmes, and moreover
*flon t want to.' Blamed if I liked it pretty well, either,
~°B&£ from a stranger, that way! However. I started
~8&t But rr.y bacon and b<-ans. when Mr. Kmerson came
f^Q looked or. awhile, and then he takes me aside by the
■ottonhole and c. .
'fjivc- me agates for my meat;
Give me tantharids to eat:
I'rum air and ocean bring m<- foods.
From all tones and altitudes."
/'">■- -, 'Mr. Emerson, if you'll excux- me, tln> ain't
2?*t«A.* You see it sort of riled me — 1 warn't used to
21^*21! <J ' '^^'O' swells. But 1 went on a-swatint; over
"" • •• - ■ -^- .: Grwteo WIRi«toUe»T -.
The Famous Speech at the Whittier Dinner
my work, and next comes Mr Longtellow, an«i button
holes me, and interrupts me. Says he.
" 'Honor be to Mudjekeewis!
You shall hear how Pau-Puk^Keewis — '
"But I broke in. and says I- 'Beg your pardon. Mr.
Longfellow, if you'll be so kind as to hold your yawp for
about five minutes and let me get this grub ready, you'll
do me proud ' WelL sir, after they'd filled up I set out
the jug. Mr Holmes looks at it, and then he fires up all
of a sudden and yells."
"'Flash out a stream of blood red wine!
For 1 would drink to other days.'
"By George! I was getting kind of worked up. I
.... it. I was getting kind of worked up I turns
to Mr. Holmes, and says I. ' Looky here, my fat friend,
I'm a-running this shanty, and if the court knows herself,
you'll take -whisky .... you'll go dry!' Them's the
very words I said to him. Now I don't want to suss such
famous littery people; but you see they kind of forced
me There am't nothing onfeasonable 'bout me; I don t
mind a passel of guests a-treadin' on my tail three or four
times: but when it comes to standing on it it's different.
'And if the court knows herself.' I says, 'you'll whisky
straight or you'll go dry!" Well, between drinks they d
swell: around the cabin' and strike attitudes and spout;
and pretty soon they got out a greasy old deck and went
to playing euchre at ten cents a corner— on trust. I began
to notice some pretty suspicious things. '•'■' Emerson
dealt, looked at his hand, shook his head. says. —
'"I am the doubter and the doubt* —
and ca'mly bunched the hands and went to shuffling for
a new layout Says he:
"'They reckon ill who leave me out;
They know not well the subtle ways 1 keep
I pass and deal again!'
Hane'd if he didn't go ahead and do it. too! Oh, he was
a cool one! Well, in about a minute things were running
pretty tight: but all of a sudden I see by Mr. Emerson s
eve he judged he had 'em. He had already corraled two
tricks, and each of the others one- So now he kind of
lifts a little in his chair and says, —
"•I tire of globes and aces!
Too long the game is played. —
—and down he fetched a right bower. Mr- Longfellow
smiles as sweet as pie and says, —
■ • ■ ■
nto their I ■ • .
■ . !ir t tinu .
wriiATih, aid to Mrs II istrae. I did s
durii _ two from the deep humiha
■ ■ ..'. But at last, in 1888, in Venice
my wife and I cai ■ Mr and Mrs A I'
Concord, Massachusetts md a friendship began
then of 1 • which nothing but death terminates
The C 's were ver>' bright people, and in every wa\
charming and companionable. We were together a
month Mr two in Venice and several months in Rome
after* I one day that lamented break of
mine was mentioned And when I was on the point
of lathering those people for bringing it to my mind
when I had gotten the memoryoi I Iched,
: ■ eived with joy th:<* tj svere indignant
about the way that my performance had been re
:in Boston They poured oul pinion
most in-rlv and frankly aboul the
pie who were preseni at that perforn
they had taken in regard I " ■
• was that I had
i imaginati i
■ well, Lha I that fact fo
■ ■ ; in d had roughly miserable ai
I ■ ■ ; ■nth'
I .-• ■;-: .■; ;; Whenever I 1 tofit I won
:;■ >\\ I ever 0 >uld have ; ■ to lo so
unhol) thii Veil. 1 bur
they did not p ave to thinl
the unhap] | ■ ' ■
: my mind I I die, and 1
Until Mrs. He
• c I had th that mal
iat the thii nny 1
righi At ai
I VAGUELY remei
i ■ . . ■ iple
I ■ ■
M Etnersoi pernai
I enignant face: Dr
>hip ev< i
.ward the light fii
whether he «
• he would
I be more ■ >r less tno
therpeo] [ can see 1
i >. ■ Willie
■■ • -
high post ni h
!k- was much younger thei
is now, and he showed I
a!w: ; i""*
Winter at abai
. r i
: banquet when Willie V
not also pi ■ ! wiit-n- he
did noi read a charming poem writ
[ l<- di I
.iw\ it w:t.> Up to -!.
, , happs . > hoicel) phi ad
i> good I
anprepare I ' i[l 'l
N( i\V ! ; hai point ends i
•ut that n<'t -
able elebration of Mr Whittier's
tl birthda) becaus
■ ■ and follow< d win
. ith what I have no-d
;upposed would be tin- gem of the
evening, the ■ ■
quoted from I
had until i i 1 the da \ ■■
and had perfectly memorized it and
I stood up th<-r..- at my genial and
happ> an ease, and
. . • ! v
Willum Winter in '*"
W D ll»»cll> in IH7 7