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The Young Men’s Christian Association asked Mr. Clemens to deliver a lay sermon at the Majestic Theatre, New York, March 4, 1906. More than five thousand young men tried to get into the theatre, and in a short time traffic was practically stopped in the adjacent streets. The police reserves had to be called out to thin the crowd. Doctor Fagnani had said something before about the police episode, and Mr. Clemens took it up. I have been listening to what was said here, and there is in it a lesson of citizenship. You created the police, and you are responsible for them. One must pause, therefore, before criticising them too harshly. They are citizens, just as we are. A little of citizenship ought to be taught at the mother’s knee and in the nursery. Citizenship is what makes a republic; monarchies can get along without it. What keeps a republic on its legs is good citizenship. Organization is necessary in all things. It is even necessary in reform. I was an organization myself once—for twelve hours. I was in Chicago a few years ago about to depart for New York. There were with me Mr. Osgood, a publisher, and a stenographer. I picked out a state-room on a train, the principal feature of which was that it contained the privilege of smoking. The train had started but a short time when the conductor came in and said that there had been a mistake made, and asked that we vacate the apartment. I refused, but when I went out on the platform Osgood and the stenographer agreed to accept a section. They were too modest. Now, I am not modest. I was born modest, but it didn’t last. I asserted myself; insisted upon my rights, and finally the Pullman Conductor and the train conductor capitulated, and I was left in possession.
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Mark Twain

American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.

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