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You will pardon my referring to these things. Everything in this monster city interests me, and I cannot keep from talking, even at the risk of being instructive. People here seem always to express distances by parables. To a stranger it is just a little confusing to be so parabolic—so to speak. I collar a citizen, and I think I am going to get some valuable information out of him. I ask him how far it is to Birmingham, and he says it is twenty-one shillings and sixpence. Now we know that doesn't help a man who is trying to learn.

I find myself downtown somewhere, and I want to get some sort of idea where I am—being usually lost when alone—and I stop a citizen and say: "How far is it to Charing Cross? I suppose if I were to ask a Londoner how far it is from the sublime to the ridiculous, he would try to express it in coin. But I am trespassing upon your time with these geological statistics and historical reflections.

I will not longer keep you from your orgies. The name of the Savage Club is associated in my mind with the kindly interest and the friendly offices which you lavished upon an old friend of mine who came among you a stranger, and you opened your English hearts to him and gave him welcome and a home—Artemus Ward. Asking that you will join me, I give you his memory.

About Great Speeches by Mark Twain

I thank you for the compliment which has just been tendered me, and to show my appreciation of it I will not afflict you with many words. It is pleasant to celebrate in this peaceful way, upon this old mother soil, the anniversary of an experiment which was born of war with this same land so long ago, and wrought out to a successful issue by the devotion of our ancestors. It has taken nearly a hundred years to bring the English and Americans into kindly and mutually appreciative relations, but I believe it has been accomplished at last.

It was a great step when the two last misunderstandings were settled by arbitration instead of cannon. It is another great step when England adopts our sewing-machines without claiming the invention—as usual. It was another when they imported one of our sleeping-cars the other day. And it warmed my heart more than I can tell, yesterday, when I witnessed the spectacle of an Englishman ordering an American sherry cobbler of his own free will and accord—and not only that but with a great brain and a level head reminding the barkeeper not to forget the strawberries. With a common origin, a common language, a common literature, a common religion, and common drinks, what is longer needful to the cementing of the two nations together in a permanent bond of brotherhood?

This is an age of progress, and ours is a progressive land. A great and glorious land, too—a land which has developed a Washington, a Franklin, a William M. Pomeroy, a recent Congress which has never had its equal in some respects , and a United States Army which conquered sixty Indians in eight months by tiring them out—which is much better than uncivilized slaughter, God knows. We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.

And I may observe that we have an insanity plea that would have saved Cain. I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world.

I refer with effusion to our railway system, which contents to let us live, though it might do the opposite, being our owners. It only destroyed three thousand and seventy lives last year by collisions, and twenty-seven thousand two hundred and sixty by running over heedless and unnecessary people at crossings.

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The companies seriously regretted the killing of these thirty thousand people, and went so far as to pay for some of them—voluntarily, of course, for the meanest of us would not claim that we possess a court treacherous enough to enforce a law against a railway company. But, thank Heaven, the railway companies are generally disposed to do the right and kindly thing without compulsion. I know of an instance which greatly touched me at the time.

After an accident the company sent home the remains of a dear distant old relative of mine in a basket, with the remark, "Please state what figure you hold him at—and return the basket. But I must not stand here and brag all night. However, you won't mind a body bragging a little about his country on the Fourth of July. It is a fair and legitimate time to fly the eagle.

I will say only one more word of brag—and a hopeful one. It is this. We have a form of government which gives each man a fair chance and no favor. With us no individual is born with a right to look down upon his neighbor and hold him in contempt. Let such of us as are not dukes find our consolation in that. And we may find hope for the future in the fact that as unhappy as is the condition of our political morality today, England has risen up out of a far fouler since the days when Charles I ennobled courtesans and all political place was a matter of bargain and sale.

There is hope for us yet. This compilation brings together a generous selection of his best speeches, highlighting his legendary wit and powers of wry observation. Twain was reputed to have possessed a modern stand-up comedian's mastery of timing and delivery and to have understood his medium completely. He preferred to give the impression that he was speaking off the cuff, but he also often handed out advance copies of his speeches to journalists to be sure that they would quote him accurately — and get the jokes right.

Among these speeches are his famous 70th birthday address delivered at a gala event in his honor at New York's Delmonico's Restaurant; his classic address on "Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims," with which he entertained a meeting of Philadelphia's New England Society in ; and the perennial favorite, "Horrors of the German Language," delivered at the Vienna Press Club in Dover Original. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Life on the Mississippi. Mark Twain, A Biography, Vol.

Frederick Anderson. Francis Parsons. Mark Twain's Letters — Volume 3 The Complete Chronicles Of Conan. Robert E. The Complete Novels of F. Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Life As I Find It. A Tramp Abroad. Mark Twain's Letters — Volume 5 William James. Marse Henry: An Autobiography Complete.

Henry Watterson. American Notes Mobi Classics.

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Dover Thrift Editions: Great Speeches by Mark Twain (2013, Paperback)

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Complete Works of Mark Twain Illustrated. Mark Twain: all eight novels. Thomas Watson. Peter Rabbit.

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