<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letter from Mark Twain to the Editor of The Daily Graphic - Apr. 17, 1873
Mark Twain Letters

Letter from Mark Twain to the Editor of The Daily Graphic
HARTFORD, Apr. 17, 1873.

ED. GRAPHIC,—Your note is received. If the following two lines which I have cut from it are your natural handwriting, then I understand you to ask me "for a farewell letter in the name of the American people." Bless you, the joy of the American people is just a little premature; I haven't gone yet. And what is more, I am not going to stay, when I do go.

Yes, it is true. I am only going to remain beyond the sea, six months, that is all. I love stir and excitement; and so the moment the spring birds begin to sing, and the lagging weariness of summer to threaten, I grow restless, I get the fidgets; I want to pack off somewhere where there's something going on. But you know how that is—you must have felt that way. This very day I saw the signs in the air of the coming dullness, and I said to myself, "How glad I am that I have already chartered a steamship!" There was absolutely nothing in the morning papers. You can see for yourself what the telegraphic headings were:


A Father Killed by His Son

A Bloody Fight in Kentucky

A Court House Fired, and
Negroes Therein Shot
while Escaping

A Louisiana Massacre

An Eight-year-old murderer
Two to Three Hundred Men Roasted Alive!

A Town in a State of General Riot

A Lively Skirmish in Indiana
(and thirty other similar headings.)

The items under those headings all bear date yesterday, Apl. 16 (refer to your own paper)—and I give you my word of honor that that string of commonplace stuff was everything there was in the telegraphic columns that a body could call news. Well, said I to myself this is getting pretty dull; this is getting pretty dry; there don't appear to be anything going on anywhere; has this progressive nation gone to sleep? Have I got to stand another month of this torpidity before I can begin to browse among the lively capitals of Europe?

But never mind-things may revive while I am away. During the last two months my next-door neighbor, Chas. Dudley Warner, has dropped his "Back-Log Studies," and he and I have written a bulky novel in partnership. He has worked up the fiction and I have hurled in the facts. I consider it one of the most astonishing novels that ever was written. Night after night I sit up reading it over and over again and crying. It will be published early in the Fall, with plenty of pictures. Do you consider this an advertisement?—and if so, do you charge for such things when a man is your friend?

Yours truly,

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