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The New York Times, December 12, 1906

[This article has been edited to include only the portions related to Mark Twain's letter.]

At a Dinner in His Honor the Editor Raps Roosevelt.
He Says the Constitution Was Framed to Shut Off Arbitrary Powers--
Home State "God's Country."

Col. Henry Watterson, who is soon to sail for Europe, had a farewell last night from "The Kentuckians," who gave him a dinner in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria, cheered him repeatedly, praised him unstintingly, and listened to a speech by him in which he said that the Constitution of the United States was the organic law of the land in the light of which the events of the times must be read. He quoted, as his view, the opinion of Justice Harlan of the Supreme Court that the Constitution was drawn for the purpose of making arbitrary power impossible.

The ballroom was filled with upward of 200 Kentuckians, and in the boxes above the diners were many Southern women. The decorations were composed only of American flags. John G. Carlisle presided, and Col. Watterson sat on his right. ...

Mark Twain Writes.

Before introducing Col. Watterson, Mr. Carlisle read this letter from Mark Twain:

I am sorrier than I can convey in words that I shall have to be absent when the Kentuckians foregather to do honor to my agelong friend and kinsman, Henry Watterson, but such is the case. My sixteen years of annual bronchial attacks have consolidated in accordance with present-day policy and become a permanent trust, carrying on business all the year around without vacations. Therefore my physician has forbidden me to attend public gatherings at night this Winter. This with the idea of saving what health is left to me.

May Watterson long keep his superfluity of it, since it comes of his being about the best man in the country at the present time, and, as far as I think, the only one without sin.


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