The Evanston (Illinois) Index

1885: January 24


A large and well-pleased audience listened with interest to George W. Cable last Monday night, and roared with laughter at every appearance of Mark Twain. Mr. Cable's selections were all from "Dr. Sevier," and while the character sketches were interesting, they were in one sense disappointing. Mr. Cable is associated in the general mind with his Creole sketches and dialect, which have given him such widespread fame, but, with the exception of Narcisse in the first number, he introduced neither Creole characters nor descriptions. He made one pleasing deviation from the program in substituting songs picked up when he was a boy, in the New Orleans market place, for one of the numbers. He has a good voice, and sang the odd and weird airs with spirit and expression. If he had brought out Narcisse once more and omitted "Mary's Night Ride," it would have been still more acceptable, as the grace and power of his descriptive writing loses some of its charm when vocally hurled at an audience.

Mr. Clemens, or "Mark Twain," was at his best, and kept the audience convulsed from the time he commenced with "King Sollermun," to the loss of the golden arm. His quiet, drawling manner and perfectly immovable face lend an additional zest to the ludicrous things he says. He does not at any time stick to his text, but if the audience is appreciative, as this one was, he touches up the things that seem to take best. It was hard to determine which provoked the most laughter, the struggle with German grammar, "Huck Finn," "A Trying Situation," or "Who's Got My Golden Arm." In the latter, the painfully intense hush caused by the speaker's dropping his voice almost to a whisper, was broken by his shouting "You have," so loud as to bring the audience to their feet, and before he could reseat themselves he had bowed "good night" and left the stage. Both gentlemen were frequently recalled and gracefully responded.