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The New York Times, June 11, 1899

His Interview with the Emperor of Austria - Tells Herr Poetzel of His Plan for Universal Peace.

Foreign Correspondence NEW YORK TIMES.

VIENNA, May 30. - Mark Twain has left Vienna after a twenty months' stay, and no other town has ever seen him depart with more regret. He had become well known to everyone. Wherever there was a festivity or something interesting to be seen or heard the famous humorist was to be found. There are few persons here of any importance whose acquaintance he did not make. A farewell audience was quickly granted by his Majesty Francis Joseph. Mr. Clemens had expected to be received on the ordinary audience day, and his surprise was great when he was informed that he would be received in private audience.

Conscious that the Emperor's time is precious, Mark Twain had written out a little German speech which he had learned by heart. But when he was in the imperial presence he was unable to utter a word, having simply forgotten his whole speech! Howcver, the Emperor cordially shook hands with him and began an interesting, conversation. He inquircd about the author's stay here and Mr. Clemens replied he had never felt so comfortable anywhere else, declaring Vienna to be a wonderful and delightful clty, beautiful despite its enormous size, and from which he was carrying away many a fruitful idea that he hoped later on to turn to account. His Majesty referred to the efficiency of the American Army and Navy. After a rather long audience the Emperor dismissed the American most graciously, and the latter declares the audience will always remain one of his pleasantest memories.

To the many people who asked him about the work he had done in Vienna, Mark Twain replied that he had written a book about present-day persons - which, however, was not to be published till a hundred years after his death. He left Vienna with a joke on his lips. Mark Twain's last words to the well-known Viennese humorist, Herr Poetzl, were:

"The New York papers have asked me about my audience, and I have telegraphed the following, which I consider quite nice because it is dignified and does not give any information: It was only a pleasant unconstrained private conversation on matters unconnected with international policy. I was very much wanted to explain my plan, now in the hands of the Secretary in State in Washington. for insuring universal peace, but I feared his Majesty would laugh, or else consider it too radical."

" Now," Mark Twain went on to say, "All the newspapers in America will telegraph to the Secretary of State to know what my plan is, and then they will learn that I have discovered a method of suddenly depriving the air of its vital principle, and thus of killing of the whole human race in four minutes."


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