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Chapter 16

Doctor John was very fond of animals, and particularly of dogs. No one needs to be told this who has read that pathetic and beautiful masterpiece, Rab and His Friends. After his death, his son, Jock, published a brief memorial of him which he distributed privately among the friends; and in it occurs a little episode which illustrates the relationship that existed between Doctor John and the other animals. It is furnished by an Edinburgh lady whom Doctor John used to pick up and carry to school or back in his carriage frequently at a time when she was twelve years old. She said that they were chatting together tranquilly one day, when he suddenly broke off in the midst of a sentence and thrust his head out of the carriage window eagerly--then resumed his place with a disappointed look on his face. The girl said: "Who is it? Some one you know?" He said, "No, a dog I don't know."

The Machine Episode(written in 1890)This episode has now spread itself over more than one-fifth of my life--a considerable stretch of time, as I am now fifty-five years old.Ten or eleven years ago, Dwight Buell, a jeweler, called at our house and was shown up to the billiard room--which was my study; and the game got more study than the other sciences. He wanted me to take some stock in a type-setting machine. He said it was at the Colt arms factory, and was about finished. I took ,000 of the stock. I was always taking little chances like that--and almost always losing by it, too--a thing which I did not greatly mind, because I was always careful to risk only such amounts as I could easily afford to lose. Some time afterward I was invited to go down to the factory and see the machine, I went, promising myself nothing, for I knew all about type-setting by practical experience, and held the settled and solidified opinion that a successful type-setting machine was an impossibility, for the reason that a machine cannot be made to think, and the thing that sets movable type must think or retire defeated. So the performance I witnessed did most thoroughly amaze me. Here was a machine that was really setting type, and doing it with swiftness and accuracy, too. Moreover, it was distributing its case at the same time. The distribution was automatic. The machine fed itself from a galley of dead matter, and without human help or suggestion; for it began its work of its own accord when the type channels needed filling, and stopped of its own accord when they were full enough. The machine was almost a complete compositor; it lacked but one feature--it did not "justify" the lines; this was done by the operator's assistant.I saw the operator set at the rate of 3,000 ems an hour, which, counting distribution, was but little short of four case-men's work.Mr. H---- was there. I had known him long; I thought I knew him well. I had great respect for him and full confidence in him. He said he was already a considerable owner and was now going to take as much more of the stock as he could afford. Wherefore I set down my name for an additional ,000. It is here that the music begins( This was the Farnam machine--so called).Before very long H---- called on me and asked me what I would charge to raise a capital of 0,000 for the manufacture of the machine. I said I would undertake it for 0,000. He said, "Raise 0,000, then, and take 0,000." I agreed. I sent for my partner, Webster. He came up from New York and went back with the project. There was some correspondence. H---- wrote Webster a letter.I will remark here that James W. Paige, the little bright-eyed, alert, smartly dressed inventor of the machine is a most extraordinary compound of business thrift and commercial insanity; of cold calculation and jejune sentimentality; of veracity and falsehood; of fidelity and treachery; of nobility and baseness; of pluck and cowardice; of wasteful liberality and pitiful stinginess; of solid sense and weltering moonshine; of towering genius and trivial ambitions; of merciful bowels and a petrified heart; of colossal vanity and--But there the opposites stop. His vanity stands alone, sky-piercing, as sharp of outline as an Egyptian monolith. It is the only unpleasant feature in him that is not modified, softened, compensated by some converse characteristic. There is another point or two worth mentioning. He can persuade anybody, he can convince nobody. He has a crystal-clear mind as regards the grasping and concreting of an idea which has been lost and smothered under a chaos of baffling legal language; and yet it can always be depended upon to take the simplest half dozen facts and draw from them a conclusion that will astonish the idiots in the asylum. It is because he is a dreamer, a visionary. His imagination runs utterly away with him. He is a poet, a most great and genuine poet, whose sublime creations are written in steel. He is the Shakespeare of mechanical invention. In all the ages he has no peer. Indeed, there is none that even approaches him. Whoever is qualified to fully comprehend his marvelous machine will grant that its place is upon the loftiest summit of human invention, with no kindred between it and the far foothills below.But I must explain these strange contradictions above listed or the man will be misunderstood and wronged. His business thrift is remarkable, and it is also of a peculiar cut. He has worked at his expensive machine for more than twenty years, but always at somebody else's cost. He spent hundreds and thousands of other folks' money, yet always kept his machine and its possible patents in his own possession, unencumbered by an embarrassing lien of any kind--except once, which will be referred to by and by. He could never be beguiled into putting a penny of his own into his work. Once he had a brilliant idea in the way of a wonderfully valuable application of electricity. To test it, he said, would cost but twenty-five dollars. I was paying him a salary of nearly 0 a month and was spending ,200 on the machine, besides. Yet he asked me to risk the twenty-five dollars and take half of the result. I declined, and he dropped the matter. Another time he was sure he was on the track of a splendid thing in electricity. It would cost only a trifle--possibly 0--to try some experiments; I was asked to furnish the money and take half of the result. I furnished money until the sum had grown to about a thousand dollars, and everything was pronounced ready for the grand exposition. The electric current was turned on--the thing declined to go. Two years later the same thing was successfully worked out and patented by a man in the State of New York and was at once sold for a huge sum of money and a royalty reserve besides. The drawings in the electrical journal showing the stages by which that inventor had approached the consummation of his idea, proving his way step by step as he went, were almost the twins of Paige's drawings of two years before. It was almost as if the same hand had drawn both sets. Paige said we had had it, and we should have known it if we had only tried an alternating current after failing with the direct current; said he had felt sure, at the time, that at cost of a hundred dollars he could apply the alternating test and come out triumphant. Then he added, in tones absolutely sodden with self-sacrifice and just barely touched with reproach:"But you had already spent so much money on the thing that I hadn't the heart to ask you to spend any more."If I had asked him why he didn't draw on his own pocket, he would not have understood me. He could not have grasped so strange an idea as that. He would have thought there was something the matter with my mind. I am speaking honestly; he could not have understood it. A cancer of old habit and long experience could as easily understand the suggestion that it board itself awhile.In drawing contracts he is always able to take care of himself; and in every instance he will work into the contracts injuries to the other party and advantages to himself which were never considered or mentioned in the preceding verbal agreement. In one contract he got me to assign to him several hundred thousand dollars' worth of property for a certain valuable consideration--said valuable consideration being the regiving to me of another piece of property which was not his to give, but already belonged to me! I quite understand that I am confessing myself a fool; but that is no matter, the reader would find it out anyway as I go along. H---- was our joint lawyer, and I had every confidence in his wisdom and cleanliness.Once when I was lending money to Paige during a few months, I presently found that he was giving receipts to my representative instead of notes! But that man never lived who could catch Paige so nearly asleep as to palm off on him a piece of paper which apparently satisfied a debt when it ought to acknowledge a loan.I must throw in a parenthesis here or I shall do H---- an injustice. Here and there I have seemed to cast little reflections upon him. Pay no attention to them. I have no feeling about him; I have no harsh words to say about him. He is a great, fat, good-natured, kind-hearted, chicken-livered slave; with no more pride than a tramp, no more sand than a rabbit, no more moral sense than a wax figure, and no more sex than a tapeworm. He sincerely thinks he is honest, he sincerely thinks he is honorable. It is my daily prayer to God that he be permitted to live and die in those superstitions. I gave him a twentieth of my American holding, at Paige's request; I gave him a twentieth of my foreign holding, at his own supplication; I advanced nearly forty thousand dollars in five years to keep these interests sound and valid for him. In return, he drafted every contract which I made with Paige in all that time--clear up to September, 1890--and pronounced them good and fair; and then I signed.Yes, it is as I have said: Paige is an extraordinary compound of business thrift and commercial insanity. Instances of his commercial insanity are simply innumerable. Here are some examples. When I took hold of the machine, February 6, 1886, its faults had been corrected and a setter and a justifier could turn out about 3,500 ems an hour on it, possibly 4,000. There was no machine that could pretend rivalry to it. Business sanity would have said, put it on the market as it was, secure the field, and add improvements later. Paige's business insanity said, add the improvements first and risk losing the field. And that is what he set out to do. To add a justifying mechanism to that machine would take a few months and cost ,000 by his estimate, or ,000 by Pratt and Whitney's. I agreed to add said justifier to that machine. There could be no sense in building a new machine, yet in total violation of the agreement, Paige went immediately to work to build a new machine, although aware, by recent experience, that the cost could not fall below 0,000 and that the time consumed would be years instead of months. Well, when four years had been spent and the new machine was able to exhibit a marvelous capacity, we appointed the 12th of January for Senator Jones of Nevada to come and make an inspection. He was not promised a perfect machine, but a machine which could be perfected. He had agreed to invest one or two hundred thousand dollars in its fortunes, and had also said that if the exhibition was particularly favorable he might take entire charge of the elephant. At the last moment Paige concluded to add an air blast (afterward found to be unnecessary); wherefore, Jones had to be turned back from New York to wait a couple of months and lose his interest in the thing. A year ago Paige made what he regarded as a vast and magnanimous concession, and said I might sell the English patent for ,000,000! A little later a man came along who thought he could bring some Englishmen who would buy that patent, and he was sent off to fetch them. He was gone so long that Paige's confidence began to diminish, and with it his price. He finally got down to what he said was his very last and bottom price for that patent--,000! This was the only time in five years that I ever saw Paige in his right mind. I could furnish other examples of Paige's business insanity--enough of them to fill six or eight volumes, perhaps, but I am not writing his history, I am merely sketching his portrait.* * * * * *I went on footing the bills and got the machine really perfected at last, at a full cost of about 0,000, instead of the original ,000.W. tells me that Paige tried his best to cheat me out of my royalties when making a contract with the Connecticut Company.Also that he tried to cheat out of all share Mr. North (inventor of the justifying mechanism), but that North frightened him with a lawsuit threat and is to get a royalty until the aggregate is ,000,000.Paige and I always meet on effusively affectionate terms, and yet he knows perfectly well that if I had him in a steel trap I would shut out all human succor and watch that trap till he died(1 The machine in the end proved a complete failure, being too complicated, too difficult to keep in order. It cost Mark Twain a total of about 0,000.--A. B. P.)

It seemed to me that this unlettered man was at least a wise one. And I have never voted a straight ticket from that day to this. I have never belonged to any party from that day to this. I have never belonged to any church from that day to this. I have remained absolutely free in those matters. And in this independence I have found a spiritual comfort and a peace of mind quite above price.

Yesterday while I was rummaging in a pile of ancient note-books of mine which I had not seen for years, I came across a reference to that biography. It is quite evident that several times, at breakfast and dinner, in those long-past days, I was posing for the biography. In fact, I clearly remember that I was doing that--and I also remember that Susy detected it. I remember saying a very smart thing, with a good deal of an air, at the breakfast table one morning, and that Susy observed to her mother privately, a little later, that papa was doing that for the biography.

Ralph Keeler(Written about 1898)He was a Californian. I probably knew him in San Francisco in the early days--about 1865--when I was a newspaper reporter, and Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Charles Warren Stoddard and Prentice Mulford were doing young literary work for Mr. Joe Lawrence's weekly periodical, the Golden Era. At any rate, I knew him in Boston a few years later, where he comraded with Howells, Aldrich, Boyle O'Reilly, and James T. Fields, and was greatly liked by them. I say he comraded with them, and that is the proper term, though he would not have given the relationship so familiar a name himself, for he was the modestest young fellow that ever was and looked humbly up to those distinguished men from his lowly obscurity, and was boyishly grateful for the friendly notice they took of him, and frankly grateful for it; and when he got a smile and a nod from Mr. Emerson and Mr. Whittier and Holmes and Lowell and Longfellow, his happiness was the prettiest thing in the world to see. He was not more than twenty-four at this time; the native sweetness of his disposition had not been marred by cares and disappointments; he was buoyant and hopeful, simple-hearted, and full of the most engaging and unexacting little literary ambitions. Whomsoever he met became his friend and--by some natural and unexplained impulse--took him under protection.He probably never had a home or a boyhood. He had wandered to California as a little chap from somewhere or other, and had cheerfully achieved his bread in various humble callings, educating himself as he went along, and having a good and satisfactory time. Among his various industries was clog-dancing in a "nigger" show. When he was about twenty years old he scraped together eighty-five dollars--in greenbacks, worth about half that sum in gold--and on this capital he made the tour of Europe and published an account of his travels in the Atlantic Monthly. When he was about twenty-two he wrote a novel called Gloverson and His Silent Partners; and not only that, but found a publisher for it. But that was not really a surprising thing, in his case, for not even a publisher is hard-hearted enough to be able to say no to some people--and Ralph was one of those people. His gratitude for a favor granted him was so simple and sincere and so eloquent and touching that a publisher would recognize that if there was no money in the book there was still a profit to be had out of it beyond the value of money and above money's reach. There was no money in that book, not a single penny; but Ralph Keeler always spoke of his publisher as other people speak of divinities. The publisher lost two or three hundred dollars on the book, of course, and knew he would lose it when he made the venture, but he got much more than the worth of it back in the author's adoring admiration of him.Ralph had little or nothing to do, and he often went out with me to the small lecture towns in the neighborhood of Boston. These lay within an hour of town, and we usually started at six or thereabouts, and returned to the city in the morning. It took about a month to do these Boston annexes, and that was the easiest and pleasantest month of the four or five which constituted the "lecture season." The "lyceum system" was in full flower in those days, and James Redpath's Bureau in School Street, Boston, had the management of it throughout the Northern States and Canada. Redpath farmed out the lectures in groups of six or eight to the lyceums all over the country at an average of about 0 a night for each lecture. His commission was 10 per cent; each lecture appeared about 110 nights in the season. There were a number of good drawing names in his list: Henry Ward Beecher; Anna Dickinson; John B. Gough; Horace Greeley; Wendell Phillips; Petroleum V. Nasby; Josh Billings; Hayes, the Arctic Explorer; Vincent, the English astronomer; Parsons, Irish orator; Agassiz; et al. He had in his list twenty or thirty men and women of light consequence and limited reputation who wrought for fees ranging from twenty-five dollars to fifty dollars. Their names have perished long ago. Nothing but art could find them a chance on the platform. Redpath furnished that art. All the lyceums wanted the big guns, and wanted them yearningly, longingly, strenuously. Redpath granted their prayers--on this condition: for each house-filler allotted them they must hire several of his house-emptiers. This arrangement permitted the lyceums to get through alive for a few years, but in the end it killed them all and abolished the lecture business.Beecher, Gough, Nasby, and Anna Dickinson were the only lecturers who knew their own value and exacted it. In towns their fee was 0 and 0; in cities, 0. The lyceum always got a profit out of these four (weather permitting), but generally lost it again on the house-emptiers.There were two women who should have been house-emptiers--Olive Logan and Kate Field--but during a season or two they were not. They charged 0, and were recognized house-fillers for certainly two years. After that they were capable emptiers and were presently shelved. Kate Field had made a wide, spasmodic notoriety in 1867 by some letters which she sent from Boston--by telegraph--to the Tribune about Dickens's readings there in the beginning of his triumphant American tour. The letters were a frenzy of praise--praise which approached idolatry--and this was the right and welcome key to strike, for the country was itself in a frenzy of enthusiasm about Dickens. Then the idea of telegraphing a newspaper letter was new and astonishing, and the wonder of it was in every one's mouth. Kate Field became a celebrity at once. By and by she went on the platform; but two or three years had elapsed and her subject--Dickens--had now lost its freshness and its interest. For a while people went to see her, because of her name; but her lecture was poor and her delivery repellently artificial; consequently, when the country's desire to look at her had been appeased, the platform forsook her.She was a good creature, and the acquisition of a perishable and fleeting notoriety was the disaster of her life. To her it was infinitely precious, and she tried hard, in various ways, during more than a quarter of a century, to keep a semblance of life in it, but her efforts were but moderately successful. She died in the Sandwich Islands, regretted by her friends and forgotten of the world.Olive Logan's notoriety grew out of--only the initiated knew what. Apparently it was a manufactured notoriety, not an earned one. She did write and publish little things in newspapers and obscure periodicals, but there was no talent in them, and nothing resembling it. In a century they would not have made her known. Her name was really built up out of newspaper paragraphs set afloat by her husband, who was a small-salaried minor journalist. During a year or two this kind of paragraphing was persistent; one could seldom pick up a newspaper without encountering it.It is said that Olive Logan has taken a cottage at Nahant, and will spend the summer there.Olive Logan has set her face decidedly against the adoption of the short skirt for afternoon wear.The report that Olive Logan will spend the coming winter in Paris is premature. She has not yet made up her mind.Olive Logan was present at Wallack's on Saturday evening, and was outspoken in her approval of the new piece.Olive Logan has so far recovered from her alarming illness that if she continues to improve her physicians will cease from issuing bulletins to-morrow.The result of this daily advertising was very curious. Olive Logan's name was as familiar to the simple public as was that of any celebrity of the time, and people talked with interest about her doings and movements and gravely discussed her opinions. Now and then an ignorant person from the backwoods would proceed to inform himself, and then there were surprises in store for all concerned:"Who is Olive Logan?"The listeners were astonished to find that they couldn't answer the question. It had never occurred to them to inquire into the matter."What has she done?"The listeners were dumb again. They didn't know. They hadn't inquired."Well, then, how does she come to be celebrated?""Oh, it's about something, I don't know what. I never inquired, but I supposed everybody knew."For entertainment I often asked these questions myself, of people who were glibly talking about that celebrity and her doings and sayings. The questioned were surprised to find that they had been taking this fame wholly on trust and had no idea who Olive Logan was or what she had done--if anything.On the strength of this oddly created notoriety Olive Logan went on the platform, and for at least two seasons the United States flocked to the lecture halls to look at her. She was merely a name and some rich and costly clothes, and neither of these properties had any lasting quality, though for a while they were able to command a fee of 0 a night. She dropped out of the memories of men a quarter of a century ago.Ralph Keeler was pleasant company on my lecture flights out of Boston, and we had plenty of good talks and smokes in our rooms after the committee had escorted us to the inn and made their good-night. There was always a committee, and they wore a silk badge of office; they received us at the station and drove us to the lecture hall; they sat in a row of chairs behind me on the stage, minstrel fashion, and in the earliest days their chief used to introduce me to the audience; but these introductions were so grossly flattering that they made me ashamed, and so I began my talk at a heavy disadvantage. It was a stupid custom. There was no occasion for the introduction; the introducer was almost always an ass, and his prepared speech a jumble of vulgar compliments and dreary effort to be funny; therefore after the first season I always introduced myself--using, of course, a burlesque of the time-worn introduction. This change was not popular with committee chairmen. To stand up grandly before a great audience of his townsmen and make his little devilish speech was the joy of his life, and to have that joy taken from him was almost more than he could bear.My introduction of myself was a most efficient "starter" for a while, then it failed. It had to be carefully and painstakingly worded, and very earnestly spoken, in order that all strangers present might be deceived into the supposition that I was only the introducer and not the lecturer; also that the flow of overdone compliments might sicken those strangers; then, when the end was reached and the remark casually dropped that I was the lecturer and had been talking about myself, the effect was very satisfactory. But it was a good card for only a little while, as I have said; for the newspapers printed it, and after that I could not make it go, since the house knew what was coming and retained its emotions.Next I tried an introduction taken from my Californian experiences. It was gravely made by a slouching and awkward big miner in the village of Red Dog. The house, very much against his will, forced him to ascend the platform and introduce me. He stood thinking a moment, then said:"I don't know anything about this man. At least I know only two things; one is, he hasn't been in the penitentiary, and the other is [after a pause, and almost sadly], I don't know why."That worked well for a while, then the newspapers printed it and took the juice out of it, and after that I gave up introductions altogether.Now and then Keeler and I had a mild little adventure, but none which couldn't be forgotten without much of a strain. Once we arrived late at a town and found no committee in waiting and no sleighs on the stand. We struck up a street in the gay moonlight, found a tide of people flowing along, judged it was on its way to the lecture hall--a correct guess--and joined it. At the hall I tried to press in, but was stopped by the ticket-taker."Ticket, please."I bent over and whispered: "It's all right. I am the lecturer."He closed one eye impressively and said, loud enough for all the crowd to hear: "No you don't. Three of you have got in, up to now, but the next lecturer that goes in here to-night pays."Of course we paid; it was the least embarrassing way out of the trouble. The very next morning Keeler had an adventure. About eleven o'clock I was sitting in my room, reading the paper, when he burst into the place all atremble with excitement and said:"Come with me--quick!""What is it? What's happened?""Don't wait to talk. Come with me."We tramped briskly up the main street three or four blocks, neither of us speaking, both of us excited, I in a sort of panic of apprehension and horrid curiosity; then we plunged into a building and down through the middle of it to the farther end. Keeler stopped, put out his hand, and said:"Look!"I looked, but saw nothing except a row of books."What is it, Keeler?"He said, in a kind of joyous ecstasy, "Keep on looking---to the right; farther--farther to the right. There--see it? Gloverson and His Silent Partners!"And there it was, sure enough."This is a library! Understand? Public library. And they've got it!"His eyes, his face, his attitude, his gestures, his whole being spoke his delight, his pride, his happiness. It never occurred to me to laugh; a supreme joy like that moves one the other way. I was stirred almost to the crying point to see so perfect a happiness.He knew all about the book, for he had been cross-examining the librarian. It had been in the library two years and the records showed that it had been taken out three times."And read, too!" said Keeler. "See--the leaves are all cut!"Moreover, the book had been "bought, not given--it's on the record." I think Gloverson was published in San Francisco. Other copies had been sold, no doubt, but this present sale was the only one Keeler was certain of. It seems unbelievable that the sale of an edition of one book could give an author this immeasurable peace and contentment, but I was there and I saw it.Afterward Keeler went out to Ohio and hunted out one of Osawatomie Brown's brothers on his farm and took down in longhand his narrative of his adventures in escaping from Virginia after the tragedy of 1859--the most admirable piece of reporting, I make no doubt, that was ever done by a man destitute of a knowledge of shorthand writing. It was published in the Atlantic Monthly, and I made three attempts to read it, but was frightened off each time before I could finish. The tale was so vivid and so real that I seemed to be living those adventures myself and sharing their intolerable perils, and the torture of it was so sharp that I was never able to follow the story to the end.By and by the Tribune commissioned Keeler to go to Cuba and report the facts of an outrage or an insult of some sort which the Spanish authorities had been perpetrating upon us according to their well-worn habit and custom. He sailed from New York in the steamer and was last seen alive the night before the vessel reached Havana. It was said that he had not made a secret of his mission, but had talked about it freely, in his frank and innocent way. There were some Spanish military men on board. It may be that he was not flung into the sea; still, the belief was general that that was what had happened.

Robinson said, "Do you mean to say that you are not going to vote for him?"

I did not say anything, but I thought a good deal. This was one more evidence that the Century people had no more just idea of the value of the book than as many children might be expected to have. At this present writing (May 25, 1885) we have not advertised General Grant's book in any way; we have not spent a dollar in advertising of any kind; we have not even given notice by circular or otherwise that we are ready to receive applications from book agents; and yet, to-day, we have bona fide orders for 100,000 sets of the book--that is to say, 200,000 single volumes; and these orders are from men who have bonded themselves to take and pay for them, and who have also laid before us the most trustworthy evidence that they are financially able to carry out their contracts. The territory which these men have taken is only about one-fourth of the area of the Northern states. We have also under consideration applications for 50,000 sets more; and although we have confidence in the energy and ability of the men who have made these applications, we have not closed with them because, as yet, we are not sufficiently satisfied as to their financial strength.When it became known that the general's book had fallen into my hands, the New York World and a Boston paper (I think the Herald) came out at once with the news; and in both instances the position was taken that, by some sort of superior underhanded smartness, I had taken an unfair advantage of the confiding simplicity of the Century people and got the book away from them--a book which they had the right to consider their property, inasmuch as the terms of its publication had been mutually agreed upon and the contract covering it was on the point of being signed by General Grant when I put in my meddling appearance.None of the statements of these two papers was correct, but the Boston paper's account was considered to be necessarily correct, for the reason that it was furnished by the sister of Mr. Gilder, editor of the Century, so there was considerable newspaper talk about my improper methods; but nobody seemed to have wit enough to discover that if one gouger had captured the general's book, here was evidence that he had only prevented another gouger from getting it, since the Century's terms were distinctly mentioned in the Boston paper's account as being 10-per-cent royalty. No party observed that, and nobody commented upon it. It was taken for granted all round that General Grant would have signed that 10-per-cent contract without being grossly cheated. It is my settled policy to allow newspapers to make as many misstatements about me or my affairs as they like; therefore I had no mind to contradict either of these newspapers or explain my side of the case in any way. But a reporter came to our house at Hartford (from one of the editors of the Courant) to ask me for my side of the matter for use in the Associated Press dispatches. I dictated a short paragraph in which I said that the statement made in the World, that there was a coolness between the Century Company and General Grant, and that, in consequence of it, the Century would not publish any more articles by General Grant, notwithstanding the fact that they had advertised them far and wide, was not true. I said there was no coolness and no ground for coolness; that the contract for the book had been open for all competitors; that I had put in my application and had asked the general to state its terms to the other applicants in order that he might thereby be enabled to get the best terms possible; that I had got the book, eventually, but by no underhand or unfair method. The statement I made was concise and brief and contained nothing offensive. It was sent over the wires to the Associated Press headquarters in New York, but it was not issued by that concern. It did not appear in print. I inquired why, and was told that, although it was a piece of news of quite universal interest, it was also more or less of an advertisement for the book--a thing I had not thought of before. I was also told that if I had had a friend round about the Associated Press office, I could have had that thing published all over the country for a reasonable bribe. I wondered if that were true. I wondered if so great and important a concern dealt in that sort of thing.


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