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Governor Warfield of Maryland and Mark Twain, May 10, 1907
as pictured in the WASHINGON POST, May 26, 1907.
DIET SHARPENS TWAIN'S WIT
Maryland Fried Chicken and Corn Bread Bring Humor Out.
WON'T STOP EVEN AT PUN.
Trip Through Annapolis Bristles with Sayings Funny and Almost.
Annapolis, Md., May 10.--[Special.]--Mark Twain, who as a guest of Gov. Warfield, is enjoying fried spring chicken, corn bread, and other Maryland delicacies, today visited the naval academy, in company with Mrs. Warfield and a party of friends. While listening to a band concert in the morning Twain turned to one of the party and remarked:
"It has always been my ambition to blow a bass drum, but I've never been able to control my teeth."
At the door of Bancroft hall the party was met by Lieutenant Commander Dayton and Commander Dewey. They came down the steps with swords rattling the caps in hand. Twain shook hands, but did not salute.
"I don't remember the salute," he explained. "I was only two weeks in the confederate army, and quit to save the lives of union soldiers, who were running themselves to death trying to catch me."
Remembers Paul Jones Well.
The party went through the hall to where the body of Paul Jones lies in solemn state, flanked on one side by a painting of the revolution hero by Miss Cecilia Beaux.
"That," said Lieut. Commander Dayton, "is the body of Paul Jones."
"Is it possible?" exclaimed Twain innocently. "I know Miss Beaux, who made the painting, very well, and remember perfectly the day Mr. Jones sat for this picture. I met her later in London, and, on the other side of the table--I was always eating in those days--was Whistler the great painter. I was talking thirteen words to the dozen and Whistler was talking fourteen. Finally I got tired of his interruptions, and, turning to Miss Beaux, I said: 'Who is that noisy person over there?' 'That's funny,' she replied, 'he has just asked me the same thing about you.' "
Mr. Clemens went on the porch and looked southeast at Fort Severn.
"That," he said, "is where I was not drowned the other day. It is the same wetness of water, but the ensemble is not the same. I notice an absence of deep sea monsters and coral reefs."
Guilty of a Pun, Too.
While inspecting the apartment of a middy a woman in the pantry opened a wardrobe disclosing the photograph of a pretty girl.
"A place for everything," she exclaimed delightedly. "Even a place for your sweetheart, in a clothes press."
"Sweethearts should always be in a close press," said Twain, with a cheerful smile that excused the pun.
He was puffing a big cigar and looking at two cannon captured from the French, when a guard warned him there was a rule against smoking.
"Arrested again," exclaimed Twain, but he clung to the smoke behind his back.
"The constituted constabulary will ruin this country yet. Still,"
he added, "that's right, I might set fire to this place, smoking around
such inflammable stuff as stone and cannon."