In 1907 a young girl whom Mr. Clemens met on the steamer Minnehaha called him "grandpa," and he called her his granddaughter. She was attending St. Timothy's School, at Catonsville, Maryland, and Mr. Clemens promised her to see her graduate. He accordingly made the journey from New York on June 10, 1909, and delivered a short address.
I don't know what to tell you girls to do. Mr. Martin has told you everything you ought to do, and now I must give you some don'ts.
There are three things which come to my mind which I consider excellent advice:
- First, girls, don't smoke–that is, don't smoke to excess. I am seventy- three and a half years old, and have been smoking seventy-three of them. But I never smoke to excess–that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.
- Second, don't drink–that is, don't drink to excess.
- Third, don't marry–I mean, to excess.
Honesty is the best policy. That is an old proverb; but you don't want ever to forget it in your journey through life.
From MARK TWAIN'S SPEECHES