RECEPTION TO MARK TWAIN.
Humorist Entertained at the New York Press Club.
Three speeches were made by Mark Twain at the reception that the New York Press Club tendered him last night. Among the other speakers were Joseph I. C . Clarke, the playwright; John W. Keller, Commissioner of Charities, and Col. Abraham Gruber.
To attend the reception there gathered together such a crowd as the newspaper men had never had in their clubrooms before. After Mr. Clemens had been introduced by the President of the club, Col. William L. Brown, in terms of warmest eulogy, he arose and said:
"Gentlemen: Your Chairman has presented me with compliments. I have often said that I felt like using a gun on anybody who treated me that way, but as I haven't the gun, I'll just give the Chairman a dose of his own medicine. I ask you to look at him, (pointing at Col. Brown.) You behold an old, old man. His features would deceive you.
"Apparently, he is a person hardened to everything, a man dead to all honest impulses, one who has committed all kinds of unimaginable crimes. And yet these features belie themselves. Instead of leading a life of wickedness, he began in a Sunday school, and will end there. This man really has all the known virtues, but he practices them secretly. Gentlemen, you know him too well for me to further prolong this introduction.
The speaker paused abruptly at this point and took his seat, which the audience, in an uproar of laughter, looked at Col. Brown to see if he would successfully turn aside the joke on him. The Colonel did very well, simply saying that he had not known before that his friend, Mark Twain, was such a good judge of human nature. Then he introduced as the next speaker Joseph I. C. Clarke, the playwright.
When Mr. Clarke had concluded the guest of honor arose again and said: "I get up this time without invitation - in order to defend myself."
(Col. Brown - "You need it, you need it.")
"Yes," continued the speaker; "and there are others, older than I, that need it more. What I was going to say was this: I don't mind slanders. The facts are what I object to. I don't want any of my true history getting abroad. I appeal to you journalists to keep it from the public.
In saying good night, Mr. Clemens said: "I shall have to leave you. I am old. [Cries of 'No, no.'] I have reformed. [No, no.] I am respectable now. I wasn't once upon a time. Now I must protect my good name. Before I go, however, I want to say one thing.
"There was a man here tonight that said that he had never read any of my books. That hurts me. And he seemed to be intelligent, too. But he was not. Mr. Keller is the intelligent man. He said he had read all of my books. He fairly oozes intelligence.
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