The Cleveland Plain Dealer

1895: July 16

His Scheme for the Regeneration of the Human Race.
He Makes a Startling Confession.
He Says That in His Plan of Regeneration He Has Passed Through Two-Thirds of the Crimes of Which the Human Race is Capable -- Preparing for a Tour Around the World.

Samuel M. Clemens, familiarly known as Mark Twain, arrived in Cleveland yesterday afternoon on his lecture tour around the globe. He was accompanied by Mrs. Clemens and their daughter, and by his manager, Major J.B. Pond and wife. Mr. Clemens and his party took rooms at The Stillman, and as Mr. Clemens is suffering from a very painful carbuncle on his leg he spent much of his time in bed. He bore his affliction with surprising heroism, however, and even consented to half a score of interviews in addition, without so much as complaining.

"So far as Joan of Arc is concerned," he said, when asked about the authorship of the memoirs now being published in Harper's Magazine, "I have been asked that question several times. I have always considered it wise, however, to leave an unclaimed piece of literary property alone until time has shown that no one is going to claim it. Then it is safe to acknowledge you wrote that, whether you did or not. It is in this way that I have become recognized and respected as the author of 'Beautiful Snow,' 'Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep' and other literary gems."

When asked how he came to take the nom de plume of Mark Twain he said that that well known equivalent for "two fathoms" on the sounding line had been used as a nom de plume for a few marine notes furnished a New Orleans paper by the oldest captain on the river -- Isaiah Sellers. "When the word came out to Virginia City that Sellers was dead," said he, "I did not think it would be much of a crime to rob that corpse of that nom de plume, and I did so."

Mark Twain, the American humorist, stood before an immense audience in Music hall last evening and demonstrated his latest scheme for the moral regeneration of the human race. The speaker appeared in this city over ten years ago and the decade has wrought great changes in his appearance. His immense shock of hair has turned nearly white, but his humor is just as vigorous and his style as entertaining as ever. Mr. Clemens has been ill for several weeks and his appearance last evening was almost on the eve of his long contemplated tour around the world by way of Australia. His lecture was given for the benefit of the News-boys' home.

Mark Twain's theory for the moral regeneration of the race is sensationally unique. He proposes that man shall be guilty of the entire category of crimes and misdemeanors, thereby gaining impressions of wickedness which he will never forget, and by the experience thus gained he will shun wickedness. The audience became convulsed when the speaker deliberately assured them that he had passed through two-thirds of the crimes of which the human race is capable and that he hoped in a few more years to complete the list and reach the stage of perfect moral manhood. His matter of fact manner in reaching startling conclusions is one of the chief powers of the great humorist.

The effort of Mr. Clemens was preluded by two very pleasing violin solos by Fiora Drescher of New York and a couple of flute solos by Mr. Dewey Haywood of Chicago.

Miss Drescher is a very beautiful woman, with large, dark eyes and dark hair. She plays with a great deal of expression and feeling. Her violin is over a hundred years old and has been owned by Remenyi, Ole Bull and Camilla Urso. Mr. Haywood is the husband of Miss Drescher. They were married three weeks ago today in Chicago. Mr. H.J. Kroessen of this city was accompanist.