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NOTE: Both The New York Times and the New York Sun reported on Twain's appearance at Princeton. Both news reports are included on this page because the report in the Sun contains the more complete text for this speech.

The New York Times, May 10, 1901

Gave Readings from His Works and Said His Lecturing Days Were Over.

PRINCETON, N. J., May 9. -- Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who is staying here as the guest of Lawrence Hutton, tonight gave readings from his own works before the undergraduates in Alexander Hall. Mr. Clemens was given a warm reception when he appeared on the platform.

Mr. Clemens in opening said: "I do not want to be advertised as a lecturer any longer, for I do not intend to stand upon a platform any more in my life, except at the request of the Sheriff or something like that."

Mr. Clemens will attend the Caledonian games, and also the Harvard debates.


New York Sun, May 10, 1901, p. 1

Commit One a Day ad You'll Have Done With Them in a Little Over a Year.

PRINCETON, N. J., May 9 - Mark Twain will spend two days in Princeton at the home of Laurence Hutton, the writer. He arrived here this afternoon and to-night in Alexander Hall he gave a reading before a large audience of Mr. Hutton's friends, composed mostly of university students and professors. Mr. Clemens wished it to be understood that he was not in Alexander Hall to-night as a lecturer. In beginning he said, "I feel exceedingly surreptitious in coming down here without an announcement of any kind. I did not want to see any advertisements around, for the reason that I'm not a lecturer any longer. I reformed long ago, and I break over and commit this sin only just one time this year, and that is moderate, I think, for a person of my disposition. It is not my purpose to lecture any more as long as I live. I never intend to stand upon a platform any more unless by the request of a Sheriff or something like that."

He prefaced his reading by saying that he would begin with a scheme of his own, a scheme for the regeneration of the human race. "You should economize," he said, "every sin you commit and get a value out of it. If you commit a sin sit down and think about it. You must end by making up your mind that you will never commit that sin again. You should go to the next sin and use that in the same way. Now, there are only 368 sins that you can commit, so that if you begin to-morrow and commit all of them you will be out in a little over a year."

His reading on the eccentricities of the German language made the best hit of the evening. He took a dig at the missionaries when telling a story he said: "Delia married William Thompson, a very nice man, a very nice man -- a missionary."

At the conclusion of the reading Mr. Clemens was cheered loudly by the students. He assured them that he would respond "if he had voice enough."

After the reading he was initiated in the Cliosophi Literary Society. He will be present at the Harvard-Princeton debate here to-morrow night.


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