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An Epistle from Mark Twain

San Francisco, Sept. 24th


Queen Emma and suite arrived at noon today in the P. M. S. S. Sacramento, and was received by Mr. Hitchcock, the Hawaiian Consul, and escorted to the Occidental Hotel, where a suite of neatly decorated apartments had been got ready for her. The U. S. Revenue cutter Shubrick went to sea and received the guest with a royal salute of 21 guns, and then escorted her ship to the city; Fort Point saluted again, and the colors of the other fortifications and on board the U. S. war steamer Vanderbilt were dipped as the Sacramento passed. The commander of the fleet in these waters had been instructed to tender the Vanderbilt to Queen Emma to convey her to the Islands when she shall have concluded her visit. the City government worried for days together over a public reception programme, and then, when the time arrived to carry it into execution, failed. But a crowd of gaping American kings besieged the Occidental Hotel and peered anxiously into every carriage that arrived and criticised every woman who emerged from it. Not a lady arrived from the steamer but was taken for Queen Emma, and her personal appearance subjected to remarks - some of them flattering and some otherwise. C. W. Brooks and Jerome Leland, and other gentlemen, are out of pocket and a day's time, in making preparations all day yesterday for a state reception - but at midnight no steamer had been telegraphed, and so they sent their sumptuous carriages and spirited four-horse teams back to the stables and went to bed in sorrow and disappointment.

The Queen was expected at the public tables at dinner tonight, (in the simplicity of the American heart,) and every lady was covertly scrutinized as she entered the dining room - but to no purpose - Her Majesty dined in her rooms, with her suite and the Consul.

She will be serenaded tonight, however, and tomorrow a numerous cortege will march in procession before the hotel and give her three cheers and a tiger, and then, no doubt, the public will be on hand to see her if she shows herself.



I believe I do not know of anything further to write about that will interest you, except that in Sacramento, a few days ago, when I went to report the horse fair of the State Agricultural Society, I found Mr. John Quincy Adam Warren, late of the Islands, and he was well dressed and looked happy. He had on exhibition a hundred thousand varieties of lave and worms, and vegetables, and other valuables which he had collected in Hawaii-nei. I smiled on him, but he wouldn't smile back again. I did not mind it a great deal, though I could not help thinking it was ungrateful in him. I made him famous in California with a paragraph which I need not have written unless I wanted to - and this is the thanks I get for it. He would never have been heard of if I had let him alone - and now he declines to smile. I will never do a man a kindness again.



Charles L. Richards, of Honolulu, sails tomorrow for the Islands with a fast team he purchased here.

The steamer Colorado is undergoing the alterations necessary to fit her for the China Mail Company's service, and will sail about the first of January with about all the cabin passengers she can carry. She will touch at Honolulu, as I now understand. I expect to go out in her, in order to see that everything is done right. commodore Watson is to command her I believe. I am going chiefly, however, to eat the editor of the Commercial Advertiser for saying I do not write the truth about the Hawaiian Islands, and for exposing my highway robbery in carrying off Father Damen's book - History of the Islands. I shall go there might hungry. Mr. Whitney is jealous of me because I speak the truth so naturally, and he can't do it without taking the lock-jaw. But he ought not to be jealous; he ought not to try to ruin me because I am more virtuous than his is; I cannot help it - it is my nature to be reliable, just as it is his to be shaky on matters of fact - we cannot alter these natures - us leopards cannot change our spots. Therefore, why growl? - why go and try to make trouble? If he cannot tell when I am writing seriously and when I am burlesquing - if he sits down solemnly and take one of my palpable burlesques and reads it with a funereal aspect, and swallows it as petrified truth, - how am I going to help it? I cannot give him the keen perception that nature denied him - now can I? Whitney knows that. Whitney knows he has done me many a kindness, and that I do not forget it, and am still grateful - and he knows that if I could scour him up so that he could tell a broad burlesque from a plain statement of fact, I would get up in the night and walk any distance to do it. You know that, Whitney. But I am coming down there might hungry - most uncommonly hungry, Whitney.



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