Submitted by Scott Holmes on Sat, 12/14/2019 - 14:44

"Mr. Clements [sic] opened his budget of fun with “King Sollermunn,” the sketch printed in the January Century. Next he gave his queer experiences with the German noun, illustrating with the “Tragic Tale of a Fishwife.” This brought an encore to which he responded with the sketch of the stammering man who “cured himself” by whistling. His third number was “A Trying Situation” somewhat improved from a sketch in his “Innocents Abroad.” Again there was a recall, and he related the story of how the old salt shook hands with the governor. The evening closed with the story of the ghost with the golden arm."

"Mr. Clement's [sic] manner is inimitable as it is indescribable. He comes upon the stage as though looking for a pin on a floor covered with eggs. He disappears with a canter and if he had not said a word, there would still be something to laugh at. His gestures have a studied awkwardness and every movement has a purpose. Speech falls from his lips as though against his will. Commonly the right elbow is supported by the left hand, and when his arms fall to his side, volumes could not say more. In respect to his part of the programme, there was no best or worst; nothing was better than something else. He is funnier to see and hear than to read, and to that, nothing can be added."

Sam wrote from St. Paul, Minn. to Charles Erskine Scott Wood, his old West Point friend, who evidently had asked Sam why he never poked fun at Jews. I have never felt a disposition to satirize the Jews. I have no reason to offer for I think it is a matter of feeling not a conscious intellectual impulse. Hang it, what I am trying to say is, that I have never had the disposition....But the intellectual origin of the disposition lies mainly in two facts, I think; (and they long ago deeply impressed me) that I have never seen a Jew begging his bread; and have never seen one procuring it by Manual labor. The one fact must mean that the Jews take care of their unfortunates with a fidelity known to no other race; and the other fact must mean that the Jews are the only race with whom brains are a universal heritage (by contrast consider the Irish race.) We do not satirize people we singularly respect—one would do it but indifferently well, and be ashamed of it when it was done. Twenty years ago I knew Adolph Sutro well (of Sutro Tunnel)—a fine, manly beautiful character; and I have always found something of Sutro is a sufficient equipment for an average man. No, I never knew Ben Holiday—I only knew of him [MTP]. Note: See also Feb. 5 from Morris W. Fechheimer.

Railroad:  Milwaukee and Prarie du Chien


Pribek, Thomas. 1985. “Mark Twain In Person, 1885: Reading In Wisconsin”. Wisconsin Academy Of Sciences, Arts And Letters 73: 7.