The Dayton (Ohio) Daily Journal|
1884: December 29
MARK TWAIN AND GEO. CABLE.--From the Boston Daily Evening Traveller, Friday, November 14, 1884: "The names of Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) and George W. Cable were of sufficient drawing power to bring together the largest kind of a company. The occasion was the simple announcement that Messrs. Clemens and Cable would give readings of their own works. And they did; and it was the funniest night that had been passed by a majority of the audience for a long time. The two entertaining gentlemen kept their auditors in an uproar pretty much all the while; it was either laughter or applause well-nigh continuously, sufficient silence being given only for the passage of the words."
Twain and Cable will appear on the Star Course at the Grand Opera House Tuesday evening.
The Dayton Daily Journal
MARK TWAIN AND GEORGE W. CABLE--GRAND OPERA HOUSE.--It is probably a debatable question whether or not it is well for a lecturer to be preceded by a reputation for humor. People may go to hear, expecting to be convulsed with every sentence, and at the close of the performance, finding every vest button in place, think they have been disappointed. Upon the other hand, it is a comfort to the lecturer to know that his audience is on the lookout for his good things, and none of them are likely to escape a manifest approval. Laughter comes easy to an audience of Twain's, and having once started to laugh people are kept in a titter for the remainder of the evening. His fun is of the "dry" variety, not appreciated by the lover of the broad jokes and antics of the circus or minstrel show. In appearance he resembles the Nast caricatures of Whitelaw Reid, tall, gaunt, with long neck, heavy moustache and lots of hair. He wears a dress suit, but it is awfully wrinkled, and Mark looks as uneasy in it as a young man from the country. While speaking he holds up his right arm with his left hand, fingering his chin with his right hand in a nonchalant manner. He drawls his words, keeps a sober face, with rather an anxious, earnest look, and tumbles along into his story in a hesitating sort of way, very well imitating the characters supposed to be in conversation, and fetching a laugh about four times a minute. The best thing was his selection from his unpublished book--Huckleberry Finn, a companion to Tom Sawyer. He is droll and no mistake, but his trot off the stage every time seems affected. Mr. Cable is a new man to Dayton and the North, but very entertaining. He was known to be an elegant writer of fiction, but his talents as a declaimer were somewhat of a surprise. He gets off the Irish brogue well, likewise the peculiar Creole lingo, singing a song or two in illustration of the Creole music and dialect. He is slightly built, quite as ungraceful in his clothes as Twain, and wears whiskers and a moustache, long and twisted into strings, has an attractive, musical voice and pleasant manner. His selections were entirely from Dr. Sevier. "Mary's Night Ride" was his final piece, and was spoken with thrilling effect.
The audience was very large, and apparently highly pleased.
The Dayton (Ohio) Democrat
The second entertainment of the Star Course was given last night before a full house. The entertainment consisted of readings by Mark Twain and Geo. W. Cable from their own works. The entertainment in itself was good, the reading, with one exception, being very funny and well rendered. But what the mass of people went for was to see the two gentlemen themselves. The readings from any one else would not, perhaps, have been so entertaining, but Twain in his intensely humorous way of acting and talking, and Cable with his Irish brogue and mimicry were very much relished. Mark Twain's readings were all humorous, his story of the reporter interviewing him being greeted with roars of laughter and applause. Mr. Cable rendered several parts of his works, entitled "Dr. Sevier." They were chiefly in an Irish brogue which Mr. Cable imitates almost to perfection. Mr. Cable's last reading, entitled "Mary's Night Ride," was a thrilling tale of a woman's ride for life through the Confederate lines during the war. The piece was rendered in a highly dramatic manner and took the house by storm.