CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (''Mark Twain,'' 1835-1910). Autograph letter signed (''Mark''), to J. B. Pond, Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, 17 June . 2 pages, 8vo.
CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain," 1835-1910). Autograph letter signed ("Mark"), to J. B. Pond, Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, 17 June . 2 pages, 8vo.
"OLD AS I AM I WANT TO GO TO THE WAR MYSELF...IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE DANGER..."
A fine Twain letter to the American lecture tour impresario, reflecting on the Spanish-American War in Cuba: "My it's a long jump from the time you played solitaire with your cannon! Yes, I should think you would be wanting to go soldiering again. Old as I am, I want to go to the war myself. And I should do it, too, if it were not for the danger. To-day we ought to get great news from Cuba. I am watching for the Vienna evening paper. This is a good war, & with a dignified cause to fight for--a thing not to be said of the average war." Twain and his family were living in Vienna while his daughter Clara pursued a musical career. Twain's initial enthusiasm for this "good war"--with the U.S. helping the Cubans throw off Spanish imperial control--turned to sour disapproval when he saw the American entering the ranks of imperial powers themselves by gobbling up Puerto Rico and the Philippines. By the time he returned to America in 1900, he denounced the war, and American imperialism, to the throng of reporters who greeted him at the dock. (See also lot 175.)