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The New York Times, March 12, 1901

Tells Normal College Alumnae About His Troubles with the German Language.

Mark Twain amused the Associate Alumnae of the Normal College yesterday afternoon by relating to them the difficulties he had with the German language. Fully 1,500 graduates of the college listened to him, and gave abundant evidence that they appreciated his humor.

In a very formal manner Mr. Clemens was escorted to the platform by Miss Elizabeth Jarrett, M.D., the President of the Associate Alumnae, to whom fell the duty of introducing the humorist. She had begun a little speech complimentary to Mr. Clemens, when he checked her. Gently but firmly he sat her in the chair she had been occupying upon the platform, and when the audience had ceased laughing explained that there was no sense in complimenting a man who really deserved it.

"The President has hardly permitted me to choose whether I will read or speak," Mr. Clemens began. "I have decided to read. I thought I would tell you about the difficulties I experienced while studying the German language. I owe it an old grudge."

Mr. Clemens then read the story in the appendix of his "Tramps Abroad," "The Awful German Language," making a few side remarks here and there. He concluded with the "Tale of the Fishwife and Its Sad Fate," mixing up pronouns and gender as they appear in the story, to the great delight of his hearers.

Miss Jarrett read her annual report, and there were several songs by well-known vocalists.

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