If any man doubts my word now, I will kill him. No, I will not kill him; I will win his money. I will bet him twenty to one, and let any New York publisher hold the stakes, that the statements I have above made as to the authorship of the article in question are entirely true. Perhaps I may get wealthy at this, for I am willing to take all the bets that offer; and if a man wants larger odds, I will give him all he requires. But he ought to find out whether I am betting on what is termed “a sure thing” or not before he ventures his money, and he can do that by going to a public library and examining the London Saturday review of October 8th, which contains the real critique.
Bless me, some people thought that I was the “sold” person!
P.S.—I cannot resist the temptation to toss in this most savory thing of all—this easy, graceful, philosophical disquisition, with his happy, chirping confidence. It is from the Cincinnati enquirer:
Nothing is more uncertain than the value of a fine cigar. Nine smokers out of ten would prefer an ordinary domestic article, three for a quarter, to fifty-cent Partaga, if kept in ignorance of the cost of the latter. The flavor of the Partaga is too delicate for palates that have been accustomed to Connecticut seed leaf. So it is with humor. The finer it is in quality, the more danger of its not being recognized at all. Even Mark Twain has been taken in by an English review of his innocents abroad. Mark Twain is by no means a coarse humorist, but the Englishman’s humor is so much finer than his, that he mistakes it for solid earnest, and “lafts most consumedly.”
A man who cannot learn stands in his own light. Hereafter, when I write an article which I know to be good, but which I may have reason to fear will not, in some quarters, be considered to amount to much, coming from an American, I will aver that an Englishman wrote it and that it is copied from a London journal. And then I will occupy a back seat and enjoy the cordial applause.
Mark Twain at last sees that the Saturday REVIEW’S criticism of his innocents abroad was not serious, and he is intensely mortified at the thought of having been so badly sold. He takes the only course left him, and in the last galaxy claims that he wrote the criticism himself, and published it in the galaxy to sell the public. This is ingenious, but unfortunately it is not true. If any of our readers will take the trouble to call at this office we sill show them the original article in the Saturday review of October 8th, which, on comparison, will be found to be identical with the one published in the galaxy. The best thing for Mark to do will be to admit that he was sold, and say no more about it.