20 July 1895
THE COMING OF TWAIN
Something About the Famous Humorist Who is to Lecture Here Tuesday.
There can be little doubt, judging from the advance sales of tickets at the Metropolitan opera house, that the distinguished American literateur and man of fun, Mark Twain, will be greeted next Tuesday evening by a large and select audience. It has been a number of years since he has been seen on the lecture platform, and though his pen has not been idle meantime, there are a goodly number of Minneapolitans who are anxious to again meet the genial humorist.
There are few men whose experiences have been wider and more varied than those that have fallen to the lot of Mark Twain. First a printer working at his case; then a pilot on one of the before-the-war Mississippi steamers; next a miner, roughing it in Nevada -- a millionaire for the ephemeral space of 10 days, as he himself tells us, owing to a lucky find which was lost through negligence; then a reporter, doing drudgery uncomplainingly, but steadily developing that literary ability that has made him famous; again, an author, lecturer, traveler, the head of a large publishing house -- surely there is enough in all these to make material for many volumes more than he has written.
The great reading public long ago set the seal of their approval on his work. There is a freshness and a wholesomeness about his writing that marks the man of genius. Far-fetched effects are disdained by him; his fun is as limpid as the mountain streams of which he loves to write, as invigorating as the breezes among the mountain pines, and as clean and pure as the sunlight. Few men have written whose humor has so many sides, such breadth of reach. Sentences and phrases that seem at first only made for the heartiest laughter, yield, at closer view, a wisdom that is good for the soul. He is a wonderful story-teller. As a reader and speaker he is outside of and beyond all conventional rules. Coming from his own lips, his lines convey new and charming significance. Laughter invariably greets his first period, and attends him to the end, and ceases with a sense in his hearers of having been captivated by no mere harlequinade of speech or manner, but by a genuine and graceful wit, as good to remember as it was to hear.
The program to be given at the Metropolitan is made up of some of the choicest bits that he has done. Among them are "My First Theft," "The Jumping Frog," "Character of the Blue Jay," "A Fancy Dress Incident," "Bit Off More than He Could Chew," "Tom Sawyer's Crusade," and "My Last Theft." Mark is now on a globe-trotting tour that will embrace the principal cities of the Northwest, closing at Vancouver, where he will sail for Honolulu, at which place he will speak while the steamer waits. Thence he will go to Australia, and through the Orient, closing in London in June. This will doubtless be the last opportunity to see Mark Twain for some time.