<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letter from Mark Twain to W. D. Howells - Dec. 3, 1874
Mark Twain Letters

Letter from Mark Twain to W. D. Howells

Dec. 3, 1874.

Mark Twain William Dean Howells

MY DEAR HOWELLS,—Let us change the heading to "Piloting on the Miss in the Old Times"—or to "Steamboating on the M. in Old Times"—or to "Personal Old Times on the Miss."—We could change it for Feb. if now too late for Jan.—I suggest it because the present heading is too pretentious, too broad and general. It seems to command me to deliver a Second Book of Revelation to the world, and cover all the Old Times the Mississippi (dang that word, it is worse than "type" or "Egypt ") ever saw—whereas here I have finished Article No. III and am about to start on No. 4. and yet I have spoken of nothing but of Piloting as a science so far; and I doubt if I ever get beyond that portion of my subject. And I don't care to. Any muggins can write about Old Times on the Miss. of 500 different kinds, but I am the only man alive that can scribble about the piloting of that day—and no man ever has tried to scribble about it yet. Its newness pleases me all the time—and it is about the only new subject I know of. If I were to write fifty articles they would all be about pilots and piloting—therefore let's get the word Piloting into the heading. There's a sort of freshness about that, too.

Ys ever,
MARK.

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