HIS HAT ON BEFORE KING.
Mark Twain Kept Covered, but by the Queen's Order.
Copyright, 1907, by THE NEW YORK TIMES CO.
LONDON, June 23. - "Is it true that you kept your hat on when you met the King yesterday, and slapped him on the back while you were talking and laughing with him?" I asked Mark Twain this afternoon, directing is attention to a paragraph in a London Sunday paper, in which these solecisms were good-naturedly alleged against him.
"I'll tell you just what took place," said Mark Twain. "When I renewed my acquaintance with the Queen I took off my hat and made my lowest bow. 'Put on your hat; put on your hat,' said the Queen, fearing, I supposed, I'd catch cold. But I didn't obey her, and we continued our conversation, I remaining uncovered.
"Presently the Queen told me again to put on my hat, and her tone was such that I couldn't, with gallantry, longer disregard her injunction.
"Almost immediately thereafter I was presented to King Edward, and, remembering the Queen's command, kept my hat on. I didn't feel at liberty to do anything different."
"And did you slap the King on the back?"
"No; of course I didn't. The King put his hand on my arm, and, not to be outdone, even by a sovereign, I went a bit higher and laid my hand on his shoulder. Each of us meant to honor the other in this laying on of hands."
Mark Twain has received a number of letters from English people who don't understand his humor, or, rather, the sorry remains of it that get into their newspapers through the medium of the English reporters. After showing me several letters of this sort he had received, in some of which he is strongly upbraided, Mark Twain smilingly remarked:
"It all comes to this: England is the home of wit; America the home of humor."
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