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Territorial Enterprise, May 24, 1864


We published a rumor, the other day, that the moneys collected at the Carson Fancy Dress Ball were to be diverted from the Sanitary Fund and sent forward to aid a "miscegenation" or some other sort of Society in the East. We also stated that the rumor was a hoax. And it was - we were perfectly right. However, four ladies are offended. We cannot quarrel with ladies - the very thought of such a thing is repulsive; neither can we consent to offend them even unwittingly - without being sorry for the misfortune, and seeking their forgiveness, which is a kindness we hope they will not refuse. We intended no harm, as they would understand easily enough if they knew the history of this offense of ours, but we must suppress that history, since it would rather be amusing than otherwise, and the amusement would be at our expense. We have no love for that kind of amusement - and the same trait be longs to human nature generally. One lady complained that we should at least have answered the note they sent us. It is true. There is small excuse for our neglect of a common politeness like that, yet we venture to apologize for it, and will still hope for pardon, just the same. We have noticed one thing in this whole business - and also in many an instance which has gone before it - and that is, that we resemble the majority of our species in the respect that we are very apt to get entirely in the wrong, even when there is no seeming necessity for it; but to offset this vice, we claim one of the virtues of our species, which is that we are ready to repair such wrongs when we discover them.

[reprinted in Mark Twain of the Enterprise, (Univ. of California Press, 1957), pp. 197-98.]

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