OPEN LETTER TO MARK TWAIN.
HONOLULU, Dec. 14, 1866
AFFLUENT MARK: - I write you in sorrow and tribulation. Since you left here, everything has gone wrong. The "season" wasn't worth shucks to ship chandlers, grog-shops or drug-stores. The only class of people who made money out of it were newspaper men, music-teachers and portrait-painters. Capt. Coffin didn't make his salt, notwithstanding he had had all his harness-casks repaired. Whitney's sales have been unprecedented. He disposed of three cases of "Josephus," Nap's "Life of Caesar," "Ecce Homo," and three cotton-gins; and Mr. Damon has cleared his shelves of all the latest sensation novels. By the way, the latter gentleman is getting anxious about his "Jarvis." He and Mr. W. had a dispute about the ownership of the volume. How it came out I am not informed; but the latter's hair has got mighty thin all of a sudden. (What's the use of their quarrelling about it? You and I know neither of them will ever see it again.)
Mark, your friends here are delighted at your pecuniary success in lecturing. They think you will not only help to establish the reputation of the Islands abroad, but that you will help them out of their pilikia when you arrive here on the first China steamer. (Some of them are unkind enough to hint that you are giving the Islands fits, and that's the reason why you won't have the lecture published. Is it so?) Bring plenty of rhino with you when you come; you have no idea how many admirers you have here. Wear stout buckskin gloves, for the pressure of hands will be immense. The natives of this Island form a very even community, generally speaking. If you arrive here "flush," every one of them is anxious to shake you by the hand; and if you arrive "broke" they are sure to shake you, anyhow. By this you will see how uniform is the native temperament.
Speaking of temperament reminds me that our friend Bucephalus Brown has, as usual, slipped up again. Some two months since, he started a temperance society, and elected himself President, Treasurer, and all the members. Its motto was, "The greatest good to the greatest bummers," and great things were expected from it. The society flourished for a while, but I regret to say, that where it should have found its truest friend it found its most unrelenting foe. You know, Mark, that Brown always got along swimmingly, both hygienically and pecuniarily, when he took his regular "tangleleg" like a man. Impecuniosity was unknown to that confiding 'art. Your Montgomery street friends can vouch for this from the number of I. O. U.'s they have signed over to B. B. but he backslided, and as I said above, organized himself into a grand Temperance Union for the Propagation of Cold Water Habits. From that day Brown has been going down. He preached cold water and villified corn-juice - he denounced the 'appy and 'ilarious mood, and sang paeans to the Honolulu Water Works; Don Miguel Harvi (from Limerick) was his aversion, Colonel Pendergast (from Hilo) was his ne plus ultra. Now mark the sequel. Just as he thought he was getting adversity where "the har is short," cold water threw him higher than a Chinese kite. Either he was to heavy on cold water and it rebelled, or tamarind syrup with a stick in it became jealous of its competitor and fiendishly made it the dupe to compass Brown's destruction. A few nights ago the water-tap overflowed in his 'umble but gorgeously equipped hattie, and as the landlord had taken the marvellous precaution to have holes bored in the floor, just above a large invoice of most unsaleable and costly (privately, they were just out of season) articles ever imported from Injiar, his fellow-tenants' embroidered silk overcoats and Ristori crinolines got soaked. When he was called upon to examine the goods, he discovered just what he said he had anticipated, videlicet; that the water had travelled all around the store and hugged the only good on hand for which there was no market. You will appreciate poor Brown's feelings, Mark, when I privately tell you that he has a big disgust on against water - that water and he don't mix - that he is hydro-phobic. Mark, avoid it. If you must spend your money, spend it on something less liable to leak through floors than cold water. I would also advise you, whenever you rent an upper story, to see that the first floor is occupied by a lager bier merchant or a charity school. Remember Brown!
Mark, I see you are raking up the Disease and Accident Insurance Companies. As you and Smith the Insurance man seem to understand each other, use your influence with him in Brown's favor. He thinks of returning to the Coast and making another pile; but as you know he always had an irresistible desire to establish a daily newspaper at the Farallones. I fear he may invest his next fortune in that enterprise. If you could only get Smith to add to his list of articles insured the item of "hydro-scatteries," I will get Brown to remember you in his last will and testament. Ever of thee,
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