But, jesting aside, Mr. President, woman is lovable, gracious, kind of heart, beautiful; worthy of all respect, of all esteem, of all deference. Not any here will refuse to drink her health right cordially, for each and every one of us has personally known, loved, and honored the very best one of them all—his own mother! [Applause.]
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR LECTURE OF JULY 2, 1868
(See Chapter lxvi)
the public to mark Twain-correspondence
San Francisco, June 30th.
Mr. Mark Twain—dear sir,—Hearing that you are about to sail for New York in the P. M. S. S. Company’s steamer of the 6th July, to publish a book, and learning with the deepest concern that you propose to read a chapter or two of that book in public before you go, we take this method of expressing our cordial desire that you will not. We beg and implore you do not. There is a limit to human endurance.
We are your personal friends. We have your welfare at heart. We desire to see you prosper. And it is upon these accounts, and upon these only, that we urge you to desist from the new atrocity you contemplate. Yours truly,
60 names including: Bret
Harte, Maj.-Gen. Ord, Maj.-Gen. Halleck,
The Orphan Asylum, and various Benevolent Societies, Citizens on
Foot and Horseback, and 1500 in the Steerage.
San Francisco, June 30th
To the 1,500 and others,—It seems to me that your course is entirely unprecedented. Heretofore, when lecturers, singers, actors, and other frauds have said they were about to leave town, you have always been the very first people to come out in a card beseeching them to hold on for just one night more, and inflict just one more performance on the public, but as soon as I want to take a farewell benefit you come after me, with a card signed by the whole community and the board of aldermen, praying me not to do it. But it isn’t of any use. You cannot move me from my fell purpose. I will torment the people if I want to. I have a better right to do it than these strange lecturers and orators that come here from abroad. It only costs the public a dollar apiece, and if they can’t stand it what do they stay here for? Am I to go away and let them have peace and quiet for a year and a half, and then come back and only lecture them twice? What do you take me for?
No, gentlemen, ask of me anything else and I will do it cheerfully; but do not ask me not to afflict the people. I wish to tell them all I know about Venice. I wish to tell them about the City of the Sea—that most venerable, most brilliant, and proudest Republic the world has ever seen. I wish to hint at what it achieved in twelve hundred years, and what it lost in two hundred. I wish to furnish a deal of pleasant information, somewhat highly spiced, but still palatable, digestible, and eminently fitted for the intellectual stomach. My last lecture was not as fine as I thought it was, but I have submitted this discourse to several able critics, and they have pronounced it good. Now, therefore, why should I withhold it?