Atthe dedication of the college
of the city of new York,
may 16, 1908
Clemens wore his gown as Doctor of Laws, Oxford University.
Ambassador Bryce and Mr. Choate had made the formal addresses.
How difficult, indeed, is the higher education. Mr. Choate needs a little of it. He is not only short as a statistician of New York, but he is off, far off, in his mathematics. The four thousand citizens of Greater New York, indeed!
But I don’t think it was wise or judicious on the part of Mr. Choate to show this higher education he has obtained. He sat in the lap of that great education (I was there at the time), and see the result—the lamentable result. Maybe if he had had a sandwich here to sustain him the result would not have been so serious.
For seventy-two years I have been striving to acquire that higher education which stands for modesty and diffidence, and it doesn’t work.
And then look at Ambassador Bryce, who referred to his alma mater, Oxford. He might just as well have included me. Well, I am a later production.
If I am the latest graduate, I really and sincerely hope I am not the final flower of its seven centuries; I hope it may go on for seven ages longer.
DIE SCHRECKEN DER DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE [THE HORRORS OF THE GERMAN LANGUAGE]
Addressto the Vienna press club,
November 21, 1897,
delivered in German [Here in literal translation]
It has me deeply touched, my gentlemen, here so hospitably received to be. From colleagues out of my own profession, in this from my own home so far distant land. My heart is full of gratitude, but my poverty of German words forces me to greater economy of expression. Excuse you, my gentlemen, that I read off, what I you say will. [But he didn’t read].
The German language speak I not good, but have numerous connoisseurs me assured that I her write like an angel. Maybe—maybe—I know not. Have till now no acquaintance with the angels had. That comes later—when it the dear God please—it has no hurry.
Since long, my gentlemen, have I the passionate longing nursed a speech on German to hold, but one has me not permitted. Men, who no feeling for the art had, laid me ever hindrance in the way and made naught my desire —sometimes by excuses, often by force. Always said these men to me: “Keep you still, your Highness! Silence! For God’s sake seek another way and means yourself obnoxious to make.”