Carson, January 28, 1864
HOUSE - SEVENTEENTH DAY
I delivered that message last night, but I didn't talk loud enough - people in the far end of the hall could not hear me. They said "Louder - louder," occasionally, but I thought that was a way they had - a joke, as it were. I had never talked to a crowd before, and knew none of the tactics of the public speaker. I suppose I spoke loud enough for some houses, but not for that District Court room, which is about seventy-five feet from floor to roof, and has no ceiling. I hope the people will deal as mildly with me, however, as I did with the public officers in the annual message. Some folks heard the entire document, though - there is some comfort in that. Hon. Mr. Clagett, Speaker Simmons of the inferior House, Hon. Hal Clayton, Speaker of the Third House, Judge Haydon, Dr. Alban, and others whose opinions are entitled to weight, said they would travel several miles to hear that message again. It affords me a good deal of satisfaction to mention it. It serves to show that if the audience could have heard-me distinctly, they would have appreciated the wisdom thus conferred upon them. They seemed to appreciate what they did hear though, pretty thoroughly. After the first quarter of an hour I ceased to whisper, and became audible. One of these days, when I get time, I will correct, amend and publish the message, in accordance with a resolution of the Third House ordering 300,000 copies in the various languages spoken at the present day.
P.S. - Sandy Baldwin and Theodore Winters heard that message, anyhow, and by thunder they appreciated it, too. They have sent a hundred dollars apiece to San Francisco this morning, to purchase a watch chain for His Excellency Governor Twain. I guess that is a pretty good result for an incipient oratorical slouch like me, isn't it? I don't know that anybody tendered the other Governor a testimonial of any kind. MARK TWAIN.
[reprinted in Mark Twain of the Enterprise, edited by Henry Nash Smith, (Univ. of California Press, 1957), p. 146-7.]
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