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The New York Times, June 23, 1907

Tells Jokes to Edward and Would Buy Windsor Grounds from Alexandra.
Offers to Speak for Bashful Prince Arthur of Connaught - Many Notables at Garden Party.

LONDON, June 22. - Mark Twain was the centre of attraction at the King's garden party at Windsor this afternoon, and besides meeting the King and the royal party, and a handshake with several hundred notables in the course of the afternoon. Upon his return from the garden party he declared that he was not a bit tired, and had thoroughly enjoyed himself.

He was accompanied to Windsor by John Henniker Heaton, the "Father of Imperial Penny Postage," who introduced him to many of the King's guests on his way to the party, including Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Fridtjof Nansen, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, and Ellen Terry. He heartily congratulated Miss Terry on her recent marriage, the two shaking hands enthusiastically.

After tea, which was served on the lawn, Ambassador Reid presented Mark Twain to King Edward and Queen Alexandra, and the King and the humorist spent a quarter of an hour in conversation, the King laughing heartily at Twain's jokes. The Queen also joined in the conversation, and was much amused when Twain jokingly asked if he could buy the Windsor Castle grounds from her Majesty. Then the King called on him to meet the other guests. He introduced Twain to the King of Siam, the Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur of Connaught, and others.

Prince Arthur is to receive a degree at Oxford at the same time as the American humorist, and the Prince remarked that he would collapse if called upon for a speech. Thereupon Twain offered to undertake to speak for him.

Mark Twain wore the regulation frock coat and silk hat at the garden party. Speaking of his reception there, he said:

"His Majesty was very courteous. In the course of the conversation I reminded him of an episode sixteen years ago, when I had the honor to walk a mile with him when he was taking the waters at Homburg. I said I had often told about that episode, and that whenever I was the historian I made good history of it and it was worth listening to, but that it had found its way into print once or twice in unauthentic ways and had been badly damaged there. I added that I should like to go on repeating this history, but that I should be quite fair and reasonably honest, and while I should probably never tell the story twice in the same way, I should at least never allow it to deteriorate at my hands.

"His Majesty intimated his willingness that I should continue to disseminate that piece of history and added a compliment, saying that he knew good and sound history would not suffer at my hands and that if this good and sound history needed any improvements beyond the facts he would trust me to furnish these embellishments.

"I think it is no exaggeration to say that the Queen looks as young and beautiful as she did thirty-five years ago, when I saw her first. I didn't say this to her, because I learned long ago never to say an obvious thing, but to leave an obvious thing to commonplace and inexperienced people to say.

"That she still looks to me as young and beautiful as she looked thirty-five years ago is good evidence that 10,000 people already have noticed this and have mentioned it to here. I could have said it and spoken the truth, but I have been too wise for that. I have kept the remark unuttered, and that has saved her Majesty the vexation of hearing it for the ten thousandth and oneth [sic] time.

"All that report about my proposal to buy Windsor Castle and its grounds is a false rumor - I started it myself."

Mr. Clemens has announced that the will be a passenger on the steamer Minnetonka sailing for New York July 13. This prolongation of his stay abroad has enabled him to accept a few of the hundreds of invitations that are pouring in on him. The staff of Punch invited him to a dinner at the Savoy on July 9, but he intimated his preference to dine in the famous Punch Room at the Punch offices, and the dinner will be given there. Mr. Clemens considers this one of the greatest honors of his visit.


WINDSOR, England, June 22. - More than 7,000 guests assembled n the grounds of Windsor Castle this afternoon to attend the garden party with which King Edward wound up Ascot week. The gathering was representative of society and official life, including members of the royal family, the King of Siam, Prince and Princess Andrew of Greece, the Diplomatic Corps, members of Parliament, Bishops, and Dissenters, a large representation of Americans, many military and naval officers, and a host of notabilities, conspicuous among whom was Mark Twain. Ten special trains brought the London guests, and all the roads leading to Windsor were crowded with motor cars throughout the afternoon.

The royal party had their headquarters in two large marquees, where the visitors thronged to pay their respects. Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, widow of the late President, was among the Americans present.

The bands of the Horse Guards and Grenadier Guards furnished the music. The company was massed on the East Lawn, a splendid stretch of grass, around which are the castle golf links, and made a most impressive scene. Many tons of flowers were used in the decoration of the tents in which refreshments were served.

This was the first royal garden party since the late Queen Victoria's in 1897, which became known as the "Consolation Party." Through a misunderstanding of the attendants some of the prominent Members of Parliament and others were unceremoniously shut out of Buckingham Palace during the Jubilee presentation and were greatly hurt, hence, the Queen gave a garden party.

John Burns attended on that occasion and was denounced for "truckling to royalty." Mr. Burns was on hand early today in morning dress, as commanded in the invitation. William Crooks, labor Member of Parliament for Woolwich, appeared in company with him attired in a sack coat and high hat.

The King of Siam, who was an object of curious interest, wore a frock coat and a high silk hat.

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