CPC Report; An unabashedly liberal perspective

30 November 2011- Mark Twain's Birthday


A Letter to the Secretary of Treasury

Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, OCTOBER 15, 1902.

Sir,--Prices for the customary kinds of winter fuel having reached
an altitude which puts them out of the reach of literary persons in
straitened circumstances, I desire to place with you the following order:

Forty-five tons best old dry government bonds, suitable for furnace,
gold 7 per cents., 1864, preferred.

Twelve tons early greenbacks, range size, suitable for cooking.

Eight barrels seasoned 25 and 50 cent postal currency, vintage of 1866,
eligible for kindlings.

Please deliver with all convenient despatch at my house in Riverdale
at lowest rates for spot cash, and send bill to

Your obliged servant,

Mark Twain, Who will be very grateful, and will vote right.

Advice to Little Girls

Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for
every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted
to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

If you have nothing but a rag-doll stuffed with sawdust, while one
of your more fortunate little playmates has a costly China one,
you should treat her with a show of kindness nevertheless.
And you ought not to attempt to make a forcible swap with her unless
your conscience would justify you in it, and you know you are able
to do it.

You ought never to take your little brother's "chewing-gum" away
from him by main force; it is better to rope him in with the promise
of the first two dollars and a half you find floating down the
river on a grindstone. In the artless simplicity natural to this
time of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction.
In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction has lured
the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster.

If at any time you find it necessary to correct your brother,
do not correct him with mud--never, on any account, throw mud at him,
because it will spoil his clothes. It is better to scald him a little,
for then you obtain desirable results. You secure his immediate
attention to the lessons you are inculcating, and at the same time
your hot water will have a tendency to move impurities from his person,
and possibly the skin, in spots.

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply
that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate
that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly
in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment.

You should ever bear in mind that it is to your kind parents that you
are indebted for your food, and for the privilege of staying home
from school when you let on that you are sick. Therefore you ought
to respect their little prejudices, and humor their little whims,
and put up with their little foibles until they get to crowding you
too much.

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged.
You ought never to "sass" old people unless they "sass" you first.



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