Fetching 'Em in Grass Valley

The Grass Valley (California) Daily Union
1868: 19 April

MARK TWAIN.--Next Tuesday evening Mark Twain lectures at Hamilton Hall. This is the only trip he will make through this State, on account of his early departure for Japan. His lecture in San Francisco last week was the most successful one ever delivered in the State, and so many were turned away from the door that he was obliged the next night to repeat his effort. Seats should be secured early.

The Grass Valley (California) Daily Union
1868: 21 April

MARK TWAIN.--A lecture to-night by this unrivaled humorist traveler, is announced, and judging by appearances and the talk and hear on the streets, the house will be crowded. At Nevada, last night, Mark had a brilliant audience, and every one in attendance was more than pleased. The Sacramento Union in noticing the lecture at that city says among other things: "He began by correcting a misstatement of the subject of the lecture as published in the papers. He said he did not intend to speak much about the Holy Land, but mostly about the voyage of the Quaker City and the company aboard of her. This part of the discourse was characterized throughout by the speaker's peculiar humor and wit; for Clemens is a wit as well as a humorist, much superior to Artemus Ward. A remarkable peculiarity of his style is the angularity of his contrasts, sharp turns from the ridiculous to the sublime, and comparisons which bring astonishment and laughter in touching distance. His use of adjectives is something marvelous, especially in piling up invective. The listener fears at first that the sentence is going to be weakened or lost in the confusion of polysyllables, but to his amazement out plumps the exact fitting substantive at last which requires the force of every expletive used. The same thing is observable in his writing. No modern letter writer has so well succeeded in the use of long sentences or their proper relief by the right sort of proceeding and succeeding short ones. The first five minutes of the lecture sounded extremely frivolous, and reminded us of Artemus Ward's 'Babes in the Wood.' The next fifteen minutes brought the speaker and his audience to a mutually good understanding, and was something more than mere humor. The last hour was a decidedly rich treat and at times held the crowd with the deepest attention, eliciting applause."