GEN. PORTER HONORED AT LOTOS CLUB DINNER
Distinguished Speakers Compliment Ambassador to France.
An Evening of Epigram Under Gay Decorations - Gen. Brooke Defends Soldiers in the Philippines.
Gen. Horace Porter, Ambassador to France, was the guest of honor at a dinner given by the Lotos Club last night. Among those who assembled to do him honor were Frank R. Lawrence, President of the club and toastmaster; Major Gen. John R. Brooke, Mark Twain, George H. Daniels, Charles a. Moore, Read Admiral Barker, and many other prominent citizens. The clubhouse was elaborately decorated with evergreens and flags from the entrance to the rear of the first floor dining hall.
Mr. Lawrence announced at the start that there were to be no formal speeches, partly because the guest probably had forgotten the intricacies of the English language by reason of his long absence abroad. Gen. Porter, the toastmaster said, had been the right man to send as Ambassador to a nation of cavaliers, being a great soldier himself, and to a people of orators, being among the greatest masters of epigram in America. There was a rising toast in the General's honor, and then all sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."
Gen. Porter said he was glad to see a gavel in use again. He had once presided at a Fourth of July banquet in Paris and had been forced to use an empty wine bottle to call the audience to order.
"Even the President of the Chamber of Deputies does not use a gavel," he said. "When he can't keep the members quiet with his bell, he goes out and gets a bigger one. The gavel is unknown in France."
In France, said the General, the people were never able to understand Americans. They thought we ought to have our children, if we had any, paying dividends at the age of two. They could not comprehend the many things America had done - for instance, the deciding on yellow metal for the white races and the winking at white metal for the yellow races. Nor had they come to realize that America had been the origin of Mark Twain's works, Chicago pork and other products of the pen.
After the Ambassador had finished talking Mr. Lawrence introduced Gen. Brooke as "the General commanding the army - in the division in which we live."
"Our army in the Philippines has been attacked," said Gen. Brooke, "and from that attack it has come out without a blemish to its blades or a stain on its flag. And it has been fighting with those than whom no baser enemy can be found on this earth. I have seen women and children butchered on the frontiers, brave soldiers and frontiersmen burned to a crisp by our own Indians, but we have not plenty of evidence that this is not the worst the soldiers in the Philippines have had to suffer.
"And yet, have you heard any complaint from them? Any unsoldierly word? Not one! They need no defense, but can one refrain from defending them when they have been thus unjustly attacked?"
Admiral Barker talked next, taking the navy as his subject, and drawing a comparison between the present and the time when people thought that our new fighting ships were built for ornaments.
Mark Twain was introduced by the toastmaster as one who had promised "to say something if anybody else said anything that would remind him of something." He began b announcing that the toastmaster had told the truth, "not because he was practiced in it, but for variety. He himself, he said, had been always a symbol of truth, although nobody had discovered it. He had been glad to hear from Mr. Lawrence that the night was the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, but he would look up the date when he got home, as he was sure no one in the room knew whether the toastmaster was telling the truth or not.
"I have more admiration for Gen. Porter," continued Mr. Clemens, "than I have for the Tax Assessors of Tarrytown. And they are great. They multiply what you have by seven and then tax. They would tax him on his general appearance if he came there. They even tax me on my chicken coop. If I don't have a chance to vote next time for Theodore Roosevelt, I hope to vote for Porter."
William H. McElroy, John S. Wise, and George H. Daniels were the other speakers, and the dinner ended not far on the right side of midnight.
The menu discussed during the evening was as follows: Little Neck clams, Schloss Vollradse, Strained Gumbo, Quenellies de Volaille au Supreme, Kingfish Paute Meuraire, Cucumbers, Sweetbreads a la Rochambeau, Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial, Punch Lalla Rookh, Squab sur Canape, Chateau d'Arsac, Asparagus Vinaigrette, Strawberry Mousse, Petits Fours, Gorgonzola cheese, Apollianris, Cafe.
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