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[For Americans living in Germany it was customary to gather in Leipsic for the 4th of July celebration. Twain, living in Austria at the time was unable to attend but sent the following letter.]

The New York Times, July 24, 1898

Mark Twain Writes a Letter on Anglo-American Unity.

Kaltenleutgeben, Near Vienna , June 28, 1898.

Brainard Warner, Jr., Esq., United States Consul, Leipsic:

Dear Sir: I have waited to see if I could defeat my obstructions and come to Leipsic, but have failed. I cannot venture away from my desk lest I fail to finish work in hand and soon due. It costs me a pang to lose this Fourth in solitude when the fortunate may get on their feet and about. Ordinarily I should not care, but I care this time, for this is not an ordinary Fourth. On the contrary, it is a memorable one - the most memorable which the flag has known in thirty-three years - and there have been but two before it which may claim to rank with it as happy epoch posts in the history of the Republic - 1865 and 1776. This one marks the burial of the estrangement which has existed so long and so perniciously between England and America, a welcome condition of things, which, if wisely nursed and made permanent, can be of inestimable value to both nations and incidentally to the world.

In reverence for liberty, in humanitarian and civilizing impulses, and in other great things of the heart and spirit the two nations are kindred as well as in blood, and friendly relations between them mean the forward march of the human race. That old animosity is buried. Let us hope it will stay buried, and also hope that for centuries to come this august funeral will still continue to be celebrated at our Fourth, and that meantime any man who tries to dig up that corpse will promptly be put in condition to take its place. Truly yours,


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