“Nearly every one present came prepared for considerable provocation for enjoyable laughter, and from the appearance of their mirthful faces leaving the hall at the conclusion of the lecture but few were disappointed, and it is not too much to say that seldom has so large an audience been so uniformly pleased as the one that listened to Mark Twain’s quaint remarks last evening. The large hall of the Union was filled to its utmost capacity by fully two thousand persons, which fact spoke well for the reputation of the lecturer and his future success. Mark Twain’s style is a quaint one both in manner and method, and through his discourse he managed to keep on the right side of the audience, and frequently convulsed it with hearty laughter.... During a description of the topography of the Sandwich Islands the lecturer surprised his hearers by a graphic and eloquent description of the eruption of the great volcano, which occurred in 1840, and his language was loudly applauded.
“Judging from the success achieved by the lecturer last evening, he should repeat his experiment at an early date.”]
By Invitation of s large number of prominent Californians and
Citizens of New York,
the Sandwich islands,
On Monday Evening, May 6,1867.
For Sale at Chickering and Sons, 852 Broadway, and at the Principal
Doors open at 7 o’clock. The Wisdom will begin to flow at 8.
Mark Twain always felt grateful to the school-teachers for that night. Many years later, when they wanted him to read to them in Steinway Hall, he gladly gave his services without charge.
Nor was the lecture a complete financial failure. In spite of the flood of complementaries, there was a cash return of some three hundred dollars from the sale of tickets—a substantial aid in defraying the expenses which Fuller assumed and insisted on making good on his own account. That was Fuller’s regal way; his return lay in the joy of the game, and in the winning of the larger stake for a friend.
“Mark,” he said, “it is all right. The fortune didn’t come, but it will. The fame has arrived; with this lecture and your book just out you are going to be the most talked-of man in the country. Your letters for the Alta and the Tribune will get the widest reception of any letters of travel ever written.”
THE FIRST BOOK