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The New York Times, October 27, 1880



HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 26. - An audience of nearly 2,500 people assembled in the Opera house tonight to hear addresses by Charles Dudley Warner, the Hon. Henry C. Robinson, and Mark Twain. The latter made a characteristic speech. He spoke as follows:

"Friends say to me, 'What do you mean by this? You swore off from lecturing, years ago.' Well, that is true; I did reform; and I reformed permanently, too. But this ain't a lecture; it is only a speech - nothing but a mere old cut-and-dried impromptu speech - and there's a great moral difference between a lecture and a speech, I can tell you, for when you deliver a lecture you get good pay, but when you make a speech you don't get a cent. You don't get anything at all from your own party, and you don't get anything out of the opposition but a noble, good supply of infamous episodes in your own private life which you hadn't heard of before - a scorching lot of facts about your private rascalities and scoundrelisms which is brand-new to you, and good enough stuff for by and by, when you get ready to write your autobiography, but of no immediate use to you, further than to show you what you could have become if you had attended strictly to business. I have never made but one political speech before this. That was years ago. I made a logical, closely-reasoned, compact, powerful argument against a discriminating and iniquitous tax which was about to be imposed by the opposition. I may say I made a most thoughtful, symmetrical and admirable argument; but a Michigan newspaper editor answered it, refuted it, utterly demolished it, by saying I was in the constant habit of horsewhipping my great grandmother. I should not have minded it so much - well, I don't know that I should have minded it at all - a little thing like that - if he had said I did it for her good, but when he said I merely did it for exercise, I felt that such a statement as that was almost sure to cast a shadow over my character. However, I don't mind these things particularly. It is the only intelligent and patriotic way of conducting a campaign. I don't mind what the opposition say of me, so long as they don't tell the truth about me; but when they descend to telling the truth about me, I consider that that is taking an unfair advantage. Why should we be bitter against each other - such of us, of both parties, as are not ashamed of being Americans?

"But perhaps I have said enough by way of preface. I am going to vote the Republican ticket, myself, from old habit, but what I am here for is to try to persuade you to vote the Democratic ticket, because if you throw the government of this country into the hands of the Republicans they will unquestionably kill that Wood tariff project. But if you throw this government into the hands of the Democrats, the Wood tariff project will become the law of the land and every one of us will reap his share of the enormous benefits resulting from it. There will be nothing sectional about it. Its whole some generosities are as all-embracing as the broad and general atmosphere. The North, the South, the East, the West, will all have their portion of those benefactions. Consider the South's share, for instance. With a tariffs "for revenue only," and no tariff for "protection," she will not be obliged to carry on a trade with us of the North and pay Northern prices. No! She can buy of England, duty free, at far cheaper rates. The price of her cotton will remain as before, but the cost of producing will be vastly diminished, and the profit vastly increased. Wealth will pour in on her in such a deluge that she will not know what to do with the money. In time she will be able to buy and sell the North. Will the South cast a solid vote for the Wood tariff bill? I am glad to believe yes; to know that the South will stand by our Senator Eaton to a man, in this great and good cause."

The speaker then showed, in a facetious way, what benefits the North would derive from free trade. The chief benefit would be in getting rid of factor smoke. He showed the saving in washing bills and profanity, and in the enforced idleness which would be produced. Capable men could be hired for 50 cents a day. Houses could be built cheaper, and real estate would be the same price on the ground that it was in a cart. There would be a long holiday season and the streets of the North would be adorned with soft, rich carpets of grass. "The odious law which today deprives us of the improving, elevating, humanizing society of the tramp will be swept from the statute book by the tramp himself; for we shall all be tramps, then, and can outvote anything that can be devised to hamper us, and give the opposition long odds, too." He reviewed the course of England during the war, but said that we should now forgive them all, and let them come in here to restore their prostrated industries by voting the Democratic ticket, "which is all English, English, of Connecticut, and English, of Indiana, and English over the water." He closed with what he called a fable, showing a company of sparrows well settled on one side of a lake with cuckoos on the opposite side. The latter wanted to get over and lay eggs into the sparrows' nests, but protective eagles stopped them. At last a majority of the sparrows thought that restriction should be removed. Getting rid of the eagles, the others birds came in, but the experiment was disastrous, and the sparrows resolved to let well enough alone thereafter.

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