TWAIN EULOGIZES QUEEN VICTORIA
Humorist Speaks at Victoria Day Dinner of British Schools and Universities Club.
"HAD NO PEER IN HER TIME"Mentioning War Only to Scoff at Idea, He Tells of Affection Between Countries.
Old "boys" from many famous English universities and schools, including Oxford and Cambridge and Eton and Harrow, met at Delmonico's last night to celebrate Victoria Day, under the auspices of the British Schools and Universities Club. Victoria, or Empire Day, as it is more generally known throughout the British colonies, was founded on the late Queen's birthday, the 24th of May. Falling this year on a Sunday, the annual dinner of the club had perforce to be held one date late.
The chief guest of honor last night was Samuel L. Clemens, who as Mark Twain is loved throughout the British Empire as much as he is in his native land. Mark Twain is an Oxford Doctor of Literature, this degree having been conferred on him by the university during his visit last year.
Dr. W. E. Lambert, President of the Club, was toastmaster and read a cable from King Edward sent through Lord Knollys, conveying a message of good will to the club. Seated at the guest table with him were Mr. Clemens, W. Courteney Bennet, C. I. E., British Consul General at New York; J. E. Grote Higgins, the Rev. A. H. Judge, past President of the club; the Rev. D. Parker Morgan, D. D.; Dr. John MacPhee, President of the Canadian Society; Robert P. Porter, Reginald Walsh, and J. D. Petersen, Secretary.
Mr. Clemens responded to the toast, "Queen Victoria - An American Tribute." He prefaced his remarks by reciting one or two of his humorous experiences, including an imaginary interview which he though he overhead between Livingstone and Stanley, when the latter found Livingston in Central South Africa. Livingstone wanted to know the news of the world for the five years he had been in Africa, and Mark Twain overhead Stanley tell how the rulers of most of the countries had been changed, finally concluding, "and Horace Greeley has changed his political faith."
"As a woman the Queen was all that the most exacting standards could require. As a far-reaching and effective and beneficent moral force she had no peer in her time among either monarchs or commoners. As a monarch she was without reproach in her great office. One may not venture, perhaps, to say so sweeping a thing as this in cold blood about any monarch that preceded her, either upon her own throne or upon any other. It is a colossal eulogy, but it is justified.
"What she did for us in America in our time of storm and stress we shall not forget, and whenever we call it to mind we shall always remember the wise and righteous mind that guided her in it and sustained and supported her - Prince Albert's. We need not talk any idle talk here tonight about either possible or impossible war between the two countries; there will be no war while we remain sane and the son of Victoria sits upon the throne."
Consul General Bennett, alluding to me feeling between England and America, said:
"I will stake my reputation that there never can be serious trouble between the two countries. They are marching along the same line, and the same object in view, and they are marching now as they will in the future, as one great nation."
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