THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

the trouble to call at this office we sill show them the original

article in the SATURDAY REVIEW of October 8th, which, on comparison,

will be found to be identical with the one published in THE GALAXY.

The best thing for Mark to do will be to admit that he was sold,

and say no more about it.

The above is from the Cincinnati ENQUIRER, and is a falsehood.

Come to the proof. If the ENQUIRER people, through any agent,

will produce at THE GALAXY office a London SATURDAY REVIEW

of October 8th, containing an “article which, on comparison,

will be found to be identical with the one published in THE GALAXY,

I will pay to that agent five hundred dollars cash. Moreover, if at

any specified time I fail to produce at the same place a copy

of the London SATURDAY REVIEW of October 8th, containing a lengthy

criticism upon the INNOCENTS ABROAD, entirely different, in every

paragraph and sentence, from the one I published in THE GALAXY,

I will pay to the ENQUIRER agent another five hundred dollars cash.

I offer Sheldon & Co., publishers, 500 Broadway, New York,

as my “backers.” Any one in New York, authorized by the ENQUIRER,

will receive prompt attention. It is an easy and profitable way

for the ENQUIRER people to prove that they have not uttered a pitiful,

deliberate falsehood in the above paragraphs. Will they swallow

that falsehood ignominiously, or will they send an agent to THE

GALAXY office. I think the Cincinnati ENQUIRER must be edited

by children.



Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, OCTOBER 15, 1902.


Sir,–Prices for the customary kinds of winter fuel having reached

an altitude which puts them out of the reach of literary persons in

straitened circumstances, I desire to place with you the following order:

Forty-five tons best old dry government bonds, suitable for furnace,

gold 7 per cents., 1864, preferred.

Twelve tons early greenbacks, range size, suitable for cooking.

Eight barrels seasoned 25 and 50 cent postal currency, vintage of 1866,

eligible for kindlings.

Please deliver with all convenient despatch at my house in Riverdale

at lowest rates for spot cash, and send bill to

Your obliged servant,

Mark Twain, Who will be very grateful, and will vote right.




Sir,–I am approaching seventy; it is in sight; it is only three

years away. Necessarily, I must go soon. It is but matter-of-course

wisdom, then, that I should begin to set my worldly house in

order now, so that it may be done calmly and with thoroughness,

in place of waiting until the last day, when, as we have often seen,

the attempt to set both houses in order at the same time has been

marred by the necessity for haste and by the confusion and waste

of time arising from the inability of the notary and the ecclesiastic

to work together harmoniously, taking turn about and giving each

other friendly assistance–not perhaps in fielding, which could

hardly be expected, but at least in the minor offices of keeping

game and umpiring; by consequence of which conflict of interests

and absence of harmonious action a draw has frequently resulted

where this ill-fortune could not have happened if the houses had been

set in order one at a time and hurry avoided by beginning in season,

and giving to each the amount of time fairly and justly proper to it.

In setting my earthly house in order I find it of moment that I

should attend in person to one or two matters which men in my

position have long had the habit of leaving wholly to others,

with consequences often most regrettable. I wish to speak of only

one of these matters at this time: Obituaries. Of necessity,

an Obituary is a thing which cannot be so judiciously edited by any hand

as by that of the subject of it. In such a work it is not the Facts

that are of chief importance, but the light which the obituarist

shall throw upon them, the meaning which he shall dress them in,

the conclusions which he shall draw from them, and the judgments

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Categories: Twain, Mark