The Orators

13 Dec 1884
Samuel Langhorne Clemens “Mark Twain” and George Washington Cable

Mark Twain Ad

Advertisement appeared Saturday, December 13, 1884 in the Daily Morning Democrat.

Powers’ Opera House.
Wm. H. Powers — Manager.

Saturday Evening, December 13, ’84.
(Mr. S. L. CLEMENS) As a Reader of
his own superb fun: and Mr.
The distinguished Southern novelist presenting
his own matchless scenes. To appear Together.

Mark Twain’s world famous wit. Mr. Cable’s
exquisite humor and pathos. A combination of
genius and versatility that appeals freshly
to the intelligent public.

Prices of admission, including reserved seats,
50¢, 75¢ and $1.00, according to location.
JAS. B. POND, Manager.
Sale of seats begins Thursday morning at Hall’s
Carriages at 10 o’clock.

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” and George Washington Cable 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” and George Washington Cable during the 1884–85 Huck Finn Tour.

The “Mark Twain” — Cable Readings.

The readings by Messrs. Clemens and Cable at Powers’ Opera House last evening proved a very pleasant entertainment. Readings usually are rather tedious affairs, and an audience is sure to get wearied long before the close of the program is reached. In the present instance the time passed away delightfully, and the only regret experienced seemed due to the fact that the “solemnities” of the occasion, as Mark Twain put it, had been brought to a close altogether too soon to suit the pleasure of the very large audience present.

Of course “Mark Twain” is simply himself, and to be appreciated must be heard. Being a humorist by profession, he looks a good deal like an undertaker during a lull in business; his voice is of a low pitch, the expression of his countenance non-committal, his movements not really graceful, his gait just a trifle shambling. He talks in a matter-of-fact way, has a very pleasant smile which lingers with apparent fondness ’neath the cover of a heavy moustache, seems not all distressed by his own jokes, and goes at his work evidently aware of the fact that “business is business,” and must be looked after. Mr. Cable is of a dark complexion, slight in figure, rather high-pitched voice, somewhat given to gesticulating freely while reading, and thoroughly in earnest while at work.

— Grand Rapids Daily Morning Democrat, December 14, 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” during Huck Finn Tour 1884–85.

George Washington Cable 1884

George Washington Cable during The Huck Finn Tour 1884–85.

A special thank you to B. Scott Holmes of Promoting Huck Finn: The Twain-Cable Tour of 1884/85 site for bring attention to Mark Twain and George W. Cable’s visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan and Powers’ Opera House.

photos courtesy Napoleon Sarony cabinet cards by Barbara Schmidt

and thank you Drew Damron of Grand Rapids Public Library, History and Special Collections for finding materials within local Grand Rapids newspapers.

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