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The New York Times, June 17, 1899


Friendly Feeling Between England and America the Keynote of Speeches at the Hotel Cecil, London

LONDON, June 16. - The dinner given by the Whitefriars Club to Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) this evening at the Hotel Cecil was a remarkable tribute to the author, and at the same time to the friendly relations existing between Great Britain and the United States.

Each of the speakers, among who were the Very Rev. S. Reynolds Hole, Dean of Norwich; United States Senator-elect Chauncey M. Depew, and Poultney Bigelow, dwelt upon this theme.

Mr. Bigelow presided, the guest of the evening being on his left and Mrs. Clemens on his right. The company included Max O'Rell, (Paul Blouet,) Robert Barr, the Misses Clemens, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Parker, T. P. O'Connor, Member of Parliament for the Scotland Division of Liverpool; Sarah Grand, Mrs. Frank Leslie, Miss Beatrice Harraden, and about two hundred literary men and women.

Louis Frederic Austin, in proposing Mark Twain's health, said:

"What most appeals to men and women of his own calling, and what will ever cause Mr. Clemens's name to be associated with Sir Walter Scott's in similar circumstances, is his noble courage in misfortune, the high personal honor which accepted the penalty of disaster, and the undaunted toil that now enables him again to lift the colors of victory."

The reply of Mr. Clemens, who was received on rising with prolonged cheers, was in his happiest vein causing much laughter and applause.

Mr. Depew, after a few humorous remarks and an eloquent tribute to Mark Twain, alluded to the change of sentiment in America produced by Great Britain's attitude and action during the Hispano-American war. He said:

"When Capt. Coghlan of the Raleigh returned from Manila he told us about the different attitudes of Admiral von Diederichs and Sir Edward Chichester, and he told us - what we all in our hearts already knew - that the European powers, save England, sympathized with our enemies, and that it was only their knowledge that England would support us morally and actively if necessary which prevent their interference. [Applause.] And it was this knowledge which made it possible for me, when addressing a political gathering of 20,000 people in America the other day, to take the Stars and Stripes in one hand and the Union Jack in the other and not to hear one dissenting voice in that vast audience."

A fitting climax was brought about at this point, when Sir Edward Chichester, who had been prevented by another engagement from coming earlier, entered the room and was greeted with great cheering.

Sir Edward, in a brief response to the reception accorded to him, expressed is admiration for Admiral Dewey and his officers and for the American sailors generally. He said:

"I was very glad to be at Manila, and the visit increased my respect for the American character. After all, blood is thicker than water; but I must not go on, for a friend of mine, Capt. Coghlan, got into trouble through talking the other day." [Laughter and cheers.]

After this Mark Twain and Capt. Chichester shared the honors of the evening, everybody desiring to shake hands with both.

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