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"mark Twain" At The White House

"mark Twain" At The White House image
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lo the Uctober Galaxy Mark Twain thus rccounts his experionces in attending a Whito House reception : Our long line kept drifting nloo, and by and by we oame in sight of the President and Mrs. örant. They were standing up shaking handa and tradiner Ules with our procession. I grew somewhat at home little by little. and then I began to Icol satified and contented I was gettn# to be perfectly alive with interest by tbe time it camo my turn to talk with the President I took him by the band and looked him in the eye, and snid : "Well, I reckon I see you at last, General. I have said as mueh as a thousand times, out in Nevada, that if ever I went home to the St.ites I would jiist have the private eatisfaction of going and saying to you by word of mouth that ƒ thought you was considerable of a soldier, anyway. Now, you kuow, out there we " I türned round and said to the fellow behind me : "Now, look here, my good friend, bow the natioti do you suppose I can talk with any oort of satisfaction, with you crowding rae tbis way ? 1 ain surprised at your manners. " He was a modest looking creature. - He í-aid : "But you pee the whole procesión is ftopped, and they're crowding upon me." I said : "Some people have got more cheek. Jupt suggest to tbe partios beliind you to have sodio respect for the place tíiey aro in and not try to shove in oa a private conversation. What tho General and me are talking about aia't of tbe leiiet hiterest to them." Then I rcsumed with the President: '4,VVel!, well, well. Now this is fine. Tliis is what I cali something likt. Gay ? Well, I sho'ild say so And so this is what you cali a Presidential reception. I'm free tocay that it just lays over ■uiythiug that evcrsaw out ir. thesatffl irnah, I have been to Governor Nye's [ndian roceptions at Honey Lake and arson City, many and many a time ie thal's Senator Nye now - you know )ini, of course. I never saw a. man in all my hfe that Jim Nye didn't know- md uüt ouly that, but he could tell him where he knew him, acd all about him 'araily included, even if it was 40 years igo. Most remarkablo man, Jim Nye, - remarkablo. He can tell a lie with bat purity of accent, a-id that grace of uttcrance, and that convinoÍDg enioion " 8 I turned again, and said : "My friend, your conduct surprises me. I have come 3,000 miles to have a yord with the President of tho United States upon subjects with which you are not evea remotely connected, and by he living gce-wbihikins I can't proceed with any sort oi satiefaclion on account of your cussed crowding. Will you ust please to g: a little slow now, and not attract so much attention by your trange conduct ? If you bad any eyes you could see how the bystaoders are taring." He said : "But I tell you sir, tj the people beïind. They are just growling and surgng and shoving, and 1 wish I was iu Jt;rieho, I do." I said : "I wish you was, myself. You might earn somc delicacy of feeling iu that ancient eeat of civilization, maybe. - Drat if you don't need it." And then I resumed witb the Pres dent : "Yes, eir, I've been at recoptions before, plenty of themold Nye's Injun receptions. But tbey warn't as staicby as this by considerable. No great long strings of higli fliers liko these galoots icre, you know, but old high-flavored Waohocs and Pi-Utes, each one as powerful as a rag fnctory on fire. Phew 1 Tb 086 were haicyon days. Yes, indeed, General, and madam, many and mauy's the time, out in tbe wilds of Nevada, I've been " "Pcrhaps you bad botter discontinue your remarks till another time, eir, ns the crowd behind you aregrowing Bomowhat impatient," the President said. "Do you hear that that ?" I Baid to the fellow behind me. "I suppose you will tjbethat hint anyhow. I tell you ho is milder than would be. If I was President, 1 would ■tfaltz you people out at the back door if you caine crowding a gentleman this way, that was holding a private conversation with." And then I resumed with the President: "I think that hint of yours will start them. 1 never saw people act 80. Ir, is really about all I can do to hold my ground with that mob ehoviDg up behind But don't you worry nn my account, Gcueral - dou't give yourself any oneasioeu abuut me - I can s and it as long as they can. Tve been througli this kind of mili before. Why, os I was just saying to you, many and many a time, out in tbe wilds of Nevada, I bave beou at Gov. Nye's Indian receptions - and bot ween you and me that old man wns a good deal of a Governor takc liini all round. "I don't know what for a Senator he makes, though I think you'll adinit that him and Bill Stcwart and Torn Fitch tako a bigger average of brains into that Capítol up yonder, by a hundied and fif'y fold, than any otber State in America, accordiiig to population. Now thnt is so. Tho6e three men reprnsent only twenty or twonty-five thousiód people- blcssyou, the least littlc bit of a trilüii ward iu the city of New York casts tw votes to Nevada's one - and jet thos three, men liaven't their superiors i Congrega for straight-out siinon pur braius and ability. And if you oouk just have been at one of old Nye's In jun recoptions and seen those savages - not high-fliers likc ihese, you know, bu frowsy old buminers with nothing in the worM on, in the sumnier timo, but an old battered plug bat and a pair of spec tacles - I teil you it was a swell aSfair, was ono of Governor Nye's early-day rcceptioDB. Many and manj's the time I have been to thein, aiid seen him stand up and beam nnd smlle on bis children, as he callad them in bis motherly way - beam on them by the hour out of his splendid eyes, aod fascínate thom wlth I)U bandsome face, and comfort them wilh his persuasivo tongue - seen hiin stand up lluro and teil them anecdoles aud lies, and quoto Watt's liymns to them, untíl be just took tJlo wr spirit all out of them - and grim chiefs that oamo two hundred miles to tax the whitcs for whole wagon-loads of ets and thitigs or niake etenial war f they didn't gel tbem, lio lina sent away bewildered with li is inspired tnondaoity j and perfeotly satisfied and enriched with an oíd hoop-skirl or two, a lot of Patent Office reporta, aud a few sides of eonderantd army bacon tbat tbey would have to ehuin up to a tree when they caniped, or the skippers would walk off with thetn." "I teil you be is a rattling talker. - Talk! li'a no name fur it. He - well, he's bom. cl to launch straight into close quarters and a beap of trpuble hereafter of couree - we all know that - but jou can rest eatisfied tbat he will take off bis bat and put out his hand and introduce himself to the King ui Darkness perfectly easy and comfortable, aud let on tbat be has seen him somewliere before ; and he will remind him of partie9 he used to kuow and things that's slip ped out of his mcmory - and be'll teil him a tbousand things tbat be can't help taking an interest in, and every now and tben he will just gently mix in an anecdote that will fetoh biin if there's any laugb in him - be will, indeed - and Jim Nye will chip in and help crossqueetioD tbc candidatos, and he will just hang around, and hang around, aud bang around, gotting moie and more sociable all the time, and doing this, tbat and the other tbing in the hardiest soit of way, till he has made himaelf perftctly indispensable - and then, the veiy tirst tbinrr you know " I wbeeled and said : "Jly friend, your conduct grieves me to the heart. A dozen times at leaat your nneecmly crowding bas seriously interfered with the conversation I ain bolding with ths President, and if the thing occurH again I sball take my hut aud leave the premiei." "I wisli to the mi&ohief you would ! Where did you come from anyway, ihat you've got the unutterable cheek to spread yourself here, and keep 1,500 people standing waitine half an hour to shako bands with tiie President ?" An officer toucbed me ou the shoulder and said : "Movealong,please; you're annoyiog ;lie President beyond all patience. .You iavo blocked the procession, and the eoplo bchind you are gettiug furions. - Jome, move along, please." llather than havo trouble, I moved along. So I had no time to do more than look back over my shoulder and ay : "Yes, eir, and the first thing they would know, Jim Nye would havo that place, and the salary doubled ! I do reckon he is the handiest creature about making tho most of bis chances that ever found an all-sufficient substituto for mother's milk in politics and sin. Now that is the kind of a man old Nye is - and in less than two montbs he would talk every But I can't mako you jear the rest, General, Nvithout bollering too loud."


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