Mark Twain’s Speeches

Here’s a brief passage:

POETS AS POLICEMEN

Mr. Clemens was one of the speakers at the Lotos Club dinner to
Governor Odell, March 24, 1900.  The police problem was
referred to at length.

Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers, and put in a
squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love.  I would
be very glad to serve as commissioner, not because I think I am
especially qualified, but because I am too tired to work and would like
to take a rest.

Howells would go well as my deputy.  He is tired too, and needs a rest
badly.

I would start in at once to elevate, purify, and depopulate the red-light
district.  I would assign the most soulful poets to that district,
all heavily armed with their poems.  Take Chauncey Depew as a sample.
I would station them on the corners after they had rounded up all the
depraved people of the district so they could not escape, and then have
them read from their poems to the poor unfortunates.  The plan would be
very effective in causing an emigration of the depraved element.

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