and told me that there was lots of money in it. He persuaded me to invest $15,000, and I lived up to my beliefs by engaging a man to develop it. To make a long story short, I sunk $40,000 in it.
“Then I took up the publication of a book. I called in a publisher and said to him: ‘ I want you to publish this book along lines which I shall lay down. I am the employer, and you are the employee. I am going to show them some new kinks in the publishing business. And I want you to draw on me for money as you go along,’ Which he did. He drew on me for $56,000. Then I asked him to take the book and call it off. But he refused to do that.
“My next venture was with a machine for doing something or other. I knew less about that than I did about the invention. But I sunk $170,000 in the business, and I can’t for the life of me recollect what it was the machine was to do.
“I was still undismayed. You see, one of the strong points about my business life was that I never gave up. I undertook to publish Gen. Grant’s book, and made $140,000 in six months—and lost it all in the next six months. My axiom is—to succeed in business, avoid my example.
“Mr. Cannon says that there are three cardinal rules of business success. They are diligence, honesty, and truthfulness. Well, diligence is all right. Let it go as a theory. Honesty is the best policy—when there is the most money in it. But truthfulness is one of the most dangerous—why, this man is misleading you.”
The New York Daily Tribune, p.5 ran an article about Sam’s latest contribution in April’s issue of the
North American Review:
MARK TWAIN’S “APOLOGY.”
HE HAS NO AVERSION TO CALLING IT
THAT, BUT IT DOES NOT APOLOGIZE
“The North American Review” for April is out with Mark Twain’s “apology” to the Rev. Dr. Ament and other missionaries in China. That is, one may call it an apology if he be careless about the actual meaning of words. The humorist wishes it distinctly understood that he has no prejudice against apologies and then he proceeds to review the controversy started by the article “To the Person Sitting in Darkness,” which appeared in the February number of “The Review.” He quotes, among other things, a dispatch from George Lynch, the well known correspondent, in which mention was made of the Rev. Messrs. Tewksbury and Ament holding sales of looted goods. Sir Robert Hart is referred to as having declared that “even some missionaries took a leading part in ‘spoiling the Egyptians’.”
Mark Twain’s first article was based largely on a cable dispatch which represented the Rev. Dr. Ament as collecting thirteen times the amount of the indemnity. Subsequently a correction was made stating that this should have read one-third…
E.C. Martin wrote from Washington, D.C. to Sam, pasting a clipping quoting Mark Twain. He wasn’t sure Twain ever said it, “very likely you never did”:
Mark Twain said sadly not long ago: “The funniest thing in the world is the truth. Tell the plain truth and the people will always laugh at it. If I get up at a dinner and refer to a man as an insincere galoot—I mean a man who is present at the dinner—he as well as every one else will laugh” [MTP].
Unknown “missionary” wrote from Shanghai, China to Sam (only the envelope survives) [MTP].
Unknown “students” wrote a postcard from N.Y.C. “You ought to go to Philippines and take Aguinaldo’s place. You deserve more punishment than he: you are a more intelligent but more culpable rebel and Coward. The Students” [MTP]. Note: this is the second abusive postcard, scrawled in pencil, apparaently from the same person(s).
The Academy ran an anonymous column, “The Literary Week,” p. 276. Tenney: “Briefly notes and quotes, MT’s ‘Extracts from Adam’s Diary’ in the April Harper’s, and his letter just printed in the American Literary Era, proposing a
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.