The Troy (New York) Daily Press

1872: February 2

"Roughing it" by Mark Twain.--Rand's Hall was "jammed" last night to hear, for the first time in Troy, Mr. Clemens, alias "Mark Twain." The seats were all filled, the aisles were crowded, standing room in the back of the hall was all taken, and, besides the usual number of seats of the platform, several extras were added, notwithstanding which, many stood up on the stage and many went home because they couldn't sit or stand anywhere in the hall. To the majority of the audience Mark Twain was known only by reputation. But not one went away disappointed. To give a report of the lecture that would appear half as witty or interesting as the lecture itself, would be impossible, as much of Twain's success as a lecturer is due to the way he has of "putting things." His words were somewhat drawled out and his sentences were divided by long pauses. About eight o'clock the lecturer, in company with President Fursman and Secretary Cole, walked upon the stage. Mr. Clemens immediately took a position in front of the audience, the desk having been removed, and began. Said he: "Ladies and gentlemen--The next lecture--to be delivered before this Association--will not be a lecture at all. It will be a reading by Mr. Vandenhoff of New York. I can highly recommend this gentleman to you as an excellent reader.--I never--heard--him. He reads large print very plainly. This evening, ladies, you will be addressed by Mr. Clemens--otherwise known as Mark Twain,--a gentleman noted for his great learning, his historical accuracy, and his veneration for the truth,--which is only equalled by his moral principles. I refer, of course, in these vague, general terms to myself." Speaking of the subject of his lecture, he said: "I don't know, ladies and gentlemen, what lecture I am advertised to deliver to-night--I have not inquired. I have delivered several lectures this Winter--and can deliver them all to you this evening if you wish it, but if I had my choice I should deliver the one entitled "Roughing It."

In a similar strain the lecturer continued for over an hour keeping his audience constantly convulsed with laughter, while he gave a description of what he had learned about Nevada during his three years' residence in that section.

With all this nonsense there was combined no little sense which he advised his hearers at the close to pick out and keep. We trust in future that Mark Twain will be regularly on the Y. M. A. course.