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Mark Twain's Speeches by Mark Twain - Free at Loyal Books

Although many of these speeches are funny, some of them are about people or events I am unaware of. In those cases, I guess you just had to be there. Not impressive at all. Neither humorous enough not insightful enough. Would be better if the full text of speeches were here.

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About Mark Twain. Mark Twain. Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain , was an American author and humorist. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain , was an American author and humorist. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper.

Learning from speech

After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.

He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. However, he lacked financial acumen. Well, he came and he made his collection in four days. As to variety, why, he confessed that he got hundreds of kinds of weather that he had never heard of before. And as to quantity well, after he had picked out and discarded all that was blemished in any way, he not only had weather enough, but weather to spare; weather to hire out; weather to sell; to deposit; weather to invest; weather to give to the poor.

The people of New England are by nature patient and forbearing, but there are some things which they will not stand. And so the first thing they know the opportunity to inquire how they feel has permanently gone by. Old Probabilities has a mighty reputation for accurate prophecy, and thoroughly well deserves it. See him sail along in the joy and pride of his power till he gets to New England, and then see his tail drop. Well, he mulls over it, and by and-by he gets out something about like this: Probably northeast to southwest winds, varying to the southward and westward and eastward, and points between, high and low barometer swapping around from place to place; probable areas of rain, snow, hail, and drought, succeeded or preceded by earthquakes, with thunder and lightning.

Then he jots down his postscript from his wandering mind, to cover accidents. There is only one thing certain about it: you are certain there is going to be plenty of it—a perfect grand review; but you never can tell which end of the procession is going to move first.

You fix up for the drought; you leave your umbrella in the house and sally out, and two to one you get drowned. You make up your mind that the earthquake is due; you stand from under, and take hold of something to steady yourself, and the first thing you know you get struck by lightning. And the thunder. Now as to the size of the weather in New England—lengthways, I mean. It is utterly disproportioned to the size of that little country. Half the time, when it is packed as full as it can stick, you will see that New England weather sticking out beyond the edges and projecting around hundreds and hundreds of miles over the neighboring States.

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You can see cracks all about where she has strained herself trying to do it. I could speak volumes about the inhuman perversity of the New England weather, but I will give but a single specimen. I like to hear rain on a tin roof. So I covered part of my roof with tin, with an eye to that luxury. Well, sir, do you think it ever rains on that tin? No, sir; skips it every time. Mind, in this speech I have been trying merely to do honor to the New England weather—no language could do it justice.

But, after all, there is at least one or two things about that weather or, if you please, effects produced by it which we residents would not like to part with. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold—the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence.

One cannot make the words too strong. I like that. We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground.

If you will stop and think a minute—if you will go back fifty or one hundred years to your early married life and recontemplate your first baby—you will remember that he amounted to a good deal, and even something over. You soldiers all know that when that little fellow arrived at family headquarters you had to hand in your resignation. He took entire command. You became his lackey, his mere body-servant, and you had to stand around too. He was not a commander who made allowances for time, distance, weather, or anything else.

You had to execute his order whether it was possible or not.

by Mark Twain

And there was only one form of marching in his manual of tactics, and that was the double-quick. You could face the death-storm at Donelson and Vicksburg, and give back blow for blow; but when he clawed your whiskers, and pulled your hair, and twisted your nose, you had to take it. When the thunders of war were sounding in your ears you set your faces toward the batteries, and advanced with steady tread; but when he turned on the terrors of his war whoop you advanced in the other direction, and mighty glad of the chance, too.

When he called for soothing-syrup, did you venture to throw out any side-remarks about certain services being unbecoming an officer and a gentleman? You got up and got it. When he ordered his pap bottle and it was not warm, did you talk back? Not you. You went to work and warmed it. You even descended so far in your menial office as to take a suck at that warm, insipid stuff yourself, to see if it was right—three parts water to one of milk, a touch of sugar to modify the colic, and a drop of peppermint to kill those immortal hiccoughs.

Mark Twain's "Our Fellow Savages" Humorous Speech in 1866

I can taste that stuff yet. And how many things you learned as you went along! Sentimental young folks still take stock in that beautiful old saying that when the baby smiles in his sleep, it is because the angels are whispering to him. Very pretty, but too thin—simply wind on the stomach, my friends. What a spectacle for an Army of the Tennessee!


And what an affliction for the neighbors, too; for it is not everybody within a mile around that likes military music at three in the morning. And, when you had been keeping this sort of thing up two or three hours, and your little velvet head intimated that nothing suited him like exercise and noise, what did you do?

You simply went on until you dropped in the last ditch. Why, one baby is just a house and a front yard full by itself. One baby can furnish more business than you and your whole Interior Department can attend to. He is enterprising, irrepressible, brimful of lawless activities. Sufficient unto the day is one baby.

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  8. Twins amount to a permanent riot. Yes, it was high time for a toast-master to recognize the importance of the babies. Think what is in store for the present crop! Fifty years from now we shall all be dead, I trust, and then this flag, if it still survive and let us hope it may , will be floating over a Republic numbering ,, souls, according to the settled laws of our increase.

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    Our present schooner of State will have grown into a political leviathan—a Great Eastern. The cradled babies of to-day will be on deck. Let them be well trained, for we are going to leave a big contract on their hands. Among the three or four million cradles now rocking in the land are some which this nation would preserve for ages as sacred things, if we could know which ones they are.