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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
627   Samuel L. Clemens  $300 $330 $363 3 You must login to place a bid.

#627 - Samuel L. Clemens

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Mark Twain’s riddle: “I answer respectfully when respectfully addressed, but offensively when offensively addressed”
Description  

Intriguing unsigned handwritten manuscript in pencil by Clemens, one page, 5.5 x 5.25, no date. Clemens jots down and edits a riddle. In full: “I never speak except when spoken to: I answer respectfully when respectfully addressed, but offensively when offensively addressed; I forget a thing as soon as I hear it; yet I can always recal [sic] it & repeat it as soon as I am always ready to talk, yet indifferant [sic] to conversation, & take no interest in any subject. I could talk when I was not ten seconds old, & the moment I cease to be able to talk I shall die. Echo (or telephone).” He has also crossed out a few lines. In fine condition, with a rough top edge and slight brushing to pencil. This was originally sold in the 1911 Anderson auction of Clemens’s library, lot 73, loosely inserted in a copy of a facsimile edition of William Caxton’s 1489 printing of The Statutes of Henry VII. As with many new innovations and inventions, Clemens was quite interested in the telephone—he had one installed in his Nook Farm home as soon as they were available, and he made the device a critical part of his 1878 burlesque story ‘The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton.’ A thought-provoking piece by the witty American writer. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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