The Rochester Morning Herald

1884: December 8

[Transcribed from Pond's broadside poster.]

The very unique and happy entertainment afforded by Mark Twain and Mr. Cable in their joint recitations deserves the warmest praise the press can give it. The former's manner and speech on the platform, which are clearly unaffected, admirably supplement the humor of his thought and language. His style is evidently an expression of himself. The gravity of his features while reciting his side-splitting productions, is equal to the apparent sincerity and frankness with which he guyed that interviewer, and even occasionally draws his audience into a trap and then inwardly laughs at them. The most of his hearers Saturday afternoon and evening endured all in the way of laughter to which it was safe for Mr. Clemens to expose them. But they will be ready to take a second dose whenever he can conveniently visit us again.

Whoever has read Mr. Cable's "Grandissimes" and his "Dr. Sevier" was prepared to find in their author a man of talent and culture. But we confess our own surprise over his remarkable powers as an elocutionist. He has the delicate form, the small hands and feet, the keen, intellectual features that excite remark from a stranger in first seeing General Mahone, of Virginia. His voice, though pitched on a high key, is sweet, musical, and flexible, and in his recitiations he is equally happy in portraying the humorous and the pathetic features of his works. His Creole songs are, to those who have never heard them, a revelation of a new and delicious charm in music. In gentle, genial humor nothing could well have been happier than his representation of the courting scene between Ristofalo and the delightful Irish widow in his Dr. Sevier, but for dramatic fire, his rendering of the passage describing the encounter of Mrs. Richling and her friend, the scout, with the Confederate pickets, and the subsequent ride for life could not well be surpassed.

It is rare that authors are endowed as these gentlemen are, with the power of interpreting their own creations to public gatherings. We have no doubt that they enjoy it as much as their hearers do, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that the entertainment, in all its features, is solely due to their own genius.