The (Fort Wayne) Daily Gazette

1885: February 6

A Large Audience of Our Best People Greets
the Celebrated Humorist and Novelist
at the Academy Last Evening.

  Last evening Mr. Samuel L. Clemens the humorous writer, known all over the world as "Mark Twain," and Mr. George W. Cable, the novelist and magazine writer, appeared at the Academy of Music in a novel entertainment. A large audience, including the literary people of the city and some not at all literary, greeted them. Messrs. Clemens and Cable give readings and recitations from their own works. They make little pretensions, we believe, in elocutionary ability and the desire to see the men rather than to hear them has been perhaps the cause of their very great success throughout the country. Mr. Cable is well known lately from his novels depicting life in the south and his magazine articles which are veritable word-paintings.

  The first appearance on the rostrum was that of Cable who is a man about forty years of age, with an intellectual and sharply cut face, the lineaments of which are much concealed by a heavy dark beard. He is of a very nervous temperament, we should judge, as he couldn't keep still on the platform. Mr. Cable gave readings from his novel of "Dr. Sevier," which we must say was rather tiresome. He is a marvelous writer, but it not cut out for dialect recitations, even through they be from his own works. Later he sang in a pleasant tenor voice, several Creole African songs, one a bayou boating song, the other a love ditty, as rendered by the negroes years ago. The melody is wierd but pleasing, and the words are a mixture of the Congo dialect and a French patois. He then sang the words and music of a Congo dance, as performed by the Louisiana singers before the war.

  When Mark Twain shambled upon the stage and posed awkwardly, his long limbs shifting about and one hand in his pocket, there was a storm of applause. Mark is forty-nine years of age and his hair and moustache is tinged with gray. He gave several selections from his latest work, "Huckleberry Finn," which were most amusing, and scraps from his other writings. Twain drawls out his words in an irresistably comic manner and his audience were kept in a roar from his exit to his entrance. His rendering of the "Tale of a Fishwife" and "A Trying Situation" was very funny.

  Altogether the entertainment is unique and delightful and gave great satisfaction.

The (Fort Wayne) Daily Sentinel

1885: February 6

Cable and Clemens.

  There was quite an assembly of literary people at the Academy last night to listen to the recitations of George W. Cable, the novelist, and S. L. Clemens, the author and wit. Mr. Cable opened the exercises with a humorous character sketch from his latest work, "Dr. Sevier." Mr. Clemens followed with one of his characteristic recitations, and soon the assembly was in the best of humor. Thus alternated the gentlemen and the interest and fun grew to the last when "Mark Twain" closed with his ghost story. Mr. Cable's subject was new to people not acquainted with southern characters. "Mark Twain" is a riddle. He never laughs, but his graveyard voice is handled in artistic style, and no person knows how to mingle the sublime and ridiculous better than he does. "Mark Twain" never received much of an education, but is a great character in his way.