Mark Twain's Speeches


1906

by Mark Twain
PREFACE.
FROM THE PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION OF
"MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES."

If I were to sell the reader a barrel of molasses, and he, instead of
sweetening his substantial dinner with the same at judicious intervals,
should eat the entire barrel at one sitting, and then abuse me for making
him sick, I would say that he deserved to be made sick for not knowing any
better how to utilize the blessings this world affords. And if I sell to
the reader this volume of nonsense, and he, instead of seasoning his graver
reading with a chapter of it now and then, when his mind demands such
relaxation, unwisely overdoses himself with several chapters ...

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THE AUTHOR.
THE STORY OF A SPEECH.

An address delivered in 1877, and a review of it twenty-nine years later.
The original speech was delivered at a dinner given by the publishers of
The Atlantic Monthly in honor of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of
John Greenleaf Whittier, at the Hotel Brunswick, Boston, December 17, 1877.

THIS is an occasion peculiarly meet for the digging up of pleasant
reminiscences concerning literary folk; therefore I will drop lightly into
history myself. Standing here on the shore of the Atlantic and
contemplating certain of its largest literary billows, I am reminded of a
thing which happened to me thirteen years ago, when I had just succeeded in
stirring up a little Nevadian literary puddle myself, whose spume-flakes
were beginning to blow thinly Californiaward. I started an inspection tramp
through the southern mines of California. I was callow and conceited, and I
resolved to try ...

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weighed as much as three hundred, and had double chins all the way down
to his stomach. Mr. Longfellow was built like a prize-fighter. His head was
cropped and bristly, like as if he had a wig made of hair-brushes. His nose
lay straight down his face, like a finger with the end joint tilted up.
They had been drinking, I could see that. And what queer talk they used! Mr.
Holmes inspected this cabin, then he took me by the buttonhole, and says
he:

"'Through the deep caves of thought
I hear a voice that sings,
Build thee more stately mansions,
O my soul!'

"Says I, 'I can't afford it, Mr. Holmes, and moreover I don't want to.'
Blamed if I ...

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"Mark Twain's Speeches." Essayworld.com. December 19, 2006. Accessed March 27, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Mark-Twains-Speeches/57375.
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Added: 12/19/2006 08:55:43 PM
Category: Book Reports
Words: 21929
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