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Southampton, July 31.--Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), with his wife and daughter, arrived here today on board the steamer Norman from Table Bay, Cape Colony.
Although he started out on his tour of the world in feeble health, being obliged often to take to his bed between the delivery of lectures, and notwithstanding an attack of illness in India, he looked the picture of health when he landed here. He has gone far and seen much in the Sandwich Islands, Australia, India, and South Africa, but it was especially of affairs in the Transvaal, where his stay was coincident with the excitement over the trial of the "Reform" prisoners, that he was ready to talk.
He expressed himself as feeling charmed with what he had seen of South Africa.
"I consider the Transvaal the country of the future," said Mr. Clemens. "It has a delightful climate and boundless natural wealth. I had presented to me in Johannesburg a little nugget with figures on it, showing the enormous increase in the gold output. The bulk of the trade there is in the hands of the English and Germans, but Americans should be able to command the lion's share of the trade in machinery, the largest portion of the machinery in the Transvaal being American.
"Mr. Hammond (John Hays Hammond), the reform leader convicted of treason, and whose sentence of death was commuted, intends to bring back from the States with him $200,000 worth.
"The majority of the Americans in the Transvaal are engaged in mining and engineering. I think there is a great opening there for a young man acquainted with this branch of mechanics. The American element is comparatively small, but the mass of the Boers make no distinction between Americans and English. Indeed, all foreigners, with the exception of Germans, are referred to as English.
"The excitement over the Jameson raid and the subsequent trial of the reformers has subsided, but all the reformers I met agreed that the cause of political reform has been retarded a decade by the Jameson fiasco."
Mark Twain showed his humorous appreciation of the stolid qualities of the Boer character in touching on their history. He said with his solemn and characteristic drawl:
"The flight of the children of Israel was a holiday excursion compared with the Boer treks. When they finally settled in the Transvaal, like the Mormons, they thought the country was so valueless that no one would ever take the trouble to disturb them. Though there is no doubt that the English preserved them from extinction at the hands of the savages, their hatred of England increased with every interference. The hand of God, as they firmly believe, guided them in the wilderness of their different settlements, and the English persisted in interfering in each instance.
"In my opinion the Uitlander element must overwhelmingly preponderate before they can gain political recognition, and then it can only be by peaceful means."
The traveler expressed himself as favorably impressed with the United States Consular officials, especially Mr. Williams at Johannesburg, "whom," he said, "I count my personal friend."
"I think," he added, "that with the increase of commerce and the development of the country our government will find it important, for the extension of American trade, to increase the Consulates."
Asked regarding his own plans Mr. Clemens replied that he intended to remain
in England no longer than six months, and that he will spend in some quiet place
away from London, where he intends to write a book.