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13 January, 2012
Mark Twain, A Biography Vol III, Part 2: 1907 - 1910|
Appendix F: The Innocents Abroad
by Paine, Albert Bigelow
|(See Chapter lx)
NEW YORK "HERALD" EDITORIAL ON THE RETURN OF THE "QUAKER CITY"
PILGRIMAGE, NOVEMBER 19, 1867
In yesterday's Herald we published a most amusing letter from the pen of
that most amusing American genius, Mark Twain, giving an account of that
most amusing of all modern pilgrimages--the pilgrimage of the 'Quaker
City'. It has been amusing all through, this Quaker City affair. It
might have become more serious than amusing if the ship had been sold at
Jaffa, Alexandria, or Yalta, in the Black Sea, as it appears might have
happened. In such a case the passengers would have been more effectually
sold than the ship. The descendants of the Puritan pilgrims have,
naturally enough, some of them, an affection for ships; but if all that
is said about this religious cruise be true they have also a singularly
sharp eye to business. It was scarcely wise on the part of the pilgrims,
although it was well for the public, that so strange a genius as Mark
Twain should have found admission into the sacred circle. We are not
aware whether Mr. Twain intends giving us a book on this pilgrimage, but
we do know that a book written from his own peculiar standpoint, giving
an account of the characters and events on board ship and of the scenes
which the pilgrims witnessed, would command an almost unprecedented sale.
There are varieties of genius peculiar to America. Of one of these
varieties Mark Twain is a striking specimen. For the development of his
peculiar genius he has never had a more fitting opportunity. Besides,
there are some things which he knows, and which the world ought to know,
about this last edition of the Mayflower.