Winona Daily Republican; Jan 27, 1885

1885: January 27

Innocents Abroad. Mark Twain and Geo. W. Cable.

  The large audience assembled to hear Mark Twain and Geo. W. Cable last evening were not kept waiting. The curtain was up at Philharmonic Hall when the people entered. The stage was set with a drawing-room scene, a table covered with a red spread and a plain chair. It was about ten minutes after 8 o'clock when Mr. Cable came upon the stage attired in a faultless evening suit. He is slightly built, with a forehead high and prominent, a beard and heavy mustache and a piercing eye that rivets attention. His selections opened with the scene between Narcisse and John and Mary Richling, in his own work, Dr. Sevier, (which he pronounces Severe.) It was a fine bit of dialect recitation, and at once placed him in good favor with the house. Then Mark Twain came on with a sort of side-long awkward stride, amusing in itself. He is not as tall as his picture would lead one to expect. His heavy head of hair plentifully streaked with gray adds to the marked personal characteristics of the man. His speech was slow and measured with a peculiar drawl that imparted an added effect to his recitations. He has an easy way of supporting his right elbow with his left hand that gives a natural and easy force to his gestures. His opening selection was a laughable sketch entitled "King Sollermann," from his forthcoming book entitled "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," which was heartily applauded. Mr. Cable followed in another highly enjoyable selection from Dr. Sevier, and then Twain gave the "Tragic Tale of the Fishwife," preceded by a side-splitting description of his struggles in learning German and the interminable difficulties he encountered in the adjectives and nouns. In answer to a recall Mr. Clemens gave his famous description of "Buck Fanshawe's Funeral," which kept the house in a continual strain of laughter. Mr. Cable gave two other selections from Dr. Sevier, his closing number being "Mary's Night Ride." It was given with remarkable dramatic fervor and resulted in an enthusiastic recall. He merely bowed his acknowledgements. Mark Twain's last two numbers were "A Trying Situation," a roaring reminiscence from Innocents Abroad, and A Ghost Story, which closed the evening. He bowed himself off the stage amid the laughter and applause of the house. It was a very satisfactory evening throughout.