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To the Above Old People
by [?]

SANNA, SWEDEN, September 15th.

Private.–If you don’t know what Riggs’s Disease of the Teeth is, the dentist will tell you. I’ve had it–and it is more than interesting.



Fearing that there might be some mistake, we submitted a proof of this article to the (American) gentlemen named in it, and asked them to correct any errors of detail that might have crept in among the facts. They reply with some asperity that errors cannot creep in among facts where there are no facts for them to creep in among; and that none are discoverable in this article, but only baseless aberrations of a disordered mind. They have no recollection of any such night in Boston, nor elsewhere; and in their opinion there was never any such night. They have met Mr. Twain, but have had the prudence not to intrust any privacies to him–particularly under oath; and they think they now see that this prudence was justified, since he has been untrustworthy enough to even betray privacies which had no existence. Further, they think it a strange thing that Mr. Twain, who was never invited to meddle with anybody’s boyhood dreams but his own, has been so gratuitously anxious to see that other people’s are placed before the world that he has quite lost his head in his zeal and forgotten to make any mention of his own at all. Provided we insert this explanation, they are willing to let his article pass; otherwise they must require its suppression in the interest of truth.

P.S.–These replies having left us in some perplexity, and also in some fear lest they distress Mr. Twain if published without his privity, we judged it but fair to submit them to him and give him an opportunity to defend himself. But he does not seem to be troubled, or even aware that he is in a delicate situation. He merely says: ‘Do not worry about those former young people. They can write good literature, but when it comes to speaking the truth, they have not had my training.–MARK TWAIN.’ The last sentence seems obscure, and liable to an unfortunate construction. It plainly needs refashioning, but we cannot take the responsibility of doing it.–EDITOR.