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The New York Times, June 26, 1907

A Big Cartoon Dedicated to Him and the Staff Will Dine Him.
Notable Luncheon Given, to Which 1,000 Notable Vainly Ask to be Bidden.

Special Cablegram.

Copyright, 1907, by THE NEW YORK TIMES CO.

LONDON, June 25. - Mark Twain will go back to America duly certificated [sic] as a humorist. Punch, which regards Americans generally as lacking in the sense of humor, does not consider Mark Twain deficient in that respect. He is one of their own kind. The Punch people think, and they are kittening to him with their whole hearts. They exhibit their feeling for him in a full page cartoon in today's issue, which is dedicated to him. Mark Twain appears seated at a table, on which stands a big steaming punch bowl. Mr. Punch, who is placed in the foreground, drinks to Mark Twain's health, the toast being:

"Sir, I honor myself by drinking to your health. Long life to you and happiness and perpetual youth."

Mark Twain expects to have a grand time at a dinner which The Punch people will give to him. They asked him which he would rather do, "Go to a hotel and have something decent to eat," or dine at the famous Long Table in Punch's office. He voted unanimously for the Long Table.

London literary folk are rather amused at the announcement that Mark Twain will dine on Saturday at Stratford with Marie Corelli, but I am told that he will find in Miss Corelli one of the his warmest admirers and most appreciative readers.


Notable Luncheon Given and a Tribute Heartily Cheered.

LONDON, June 25. - The finest tribute which Mark Twain has received in England was the Pilgrims' luncheon today. The hosts numbered 150, many of whose names are known on both sides of the Atlantic. Two notable speeches were made, that of Mr. Birrell, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and the reply of Mark Twain.

In the centre of the table was a plaster statue of Mark Twain in Pilgrim's robes, holding a mammoth pen and leading a frog by a string.

There were only two toasts, "King Edward and the President of the United States," and "Our Guest, Mark Twain."

Mr. Birrell, in proposing the latter toast, said that Samuel L. Clemens was known to all good men and women in both hemispheres, and to all boys and girls who are good for anything as Mark Twain. All loved him and were there to tell him so. He wasn't going to say what the world a thousand years hence would think of Twain, but he was speaking for the men and women of today and their children - to say what Twain had been to them.

He remembered in 1867 buying a copy of "The Jumping Frog", in the preface of which Twain was described as "The Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope," and "The Moralist of the Main." But the author had proved to be an influence in dissipating national prejudice and would leave the world richer than he had found it. This tribute brought the company to its fee with loud cheering.

Mr. Clemens, replying, said that Secretary Birrell had touched very lightly upon is position as a moralist. He was glad to be recognized as such, because he had suffered since he had been in England. When he came here, he said, he saw a placard reading "Mark Twain Arrives - The Ascot Cup is Stolen." He had no doubt that his character had suffered thereby. He was quite sincere in his protest, as he never got the cup because he never had a chance to get it.

In a bantering mood he told story after story, until becoming more serious, he referred to the loss of his daughter.

"I have received since arriving hundreds and hundreds of letters from all conditions of people in England," he said in conclusion. "There is compliment and praise in them, but above all, there is the note of affection, and affection is the most precious reward a man can desire, whether for character or achievement. These letters make me feel that in England, as in America, I am not a stranger, not an alien, but at home."

Owen Seaman, editor of Punch, contributed three verses:

Pilot of many pilgrims since the shout, Mark Twain,
That serves you for a deathless sign on Mississippi's waterway
Rang out over the plummet's line.
Still, where the countless ripples laugh above the blue of halcyon seas,
Long may you keep your course unbroken,
Buoyed upon a love ten thousand fathoms deep.

A telegram of congratulation, signed "The Undergraduates of Oxford," was read, as was another from the New York Pilgrims.

The presence of Mr. Birrell and many other Members of Parliament was particularly complimentary, because they were obliged to absent themselves from one of the most important and most interesting debates of the season. Other persons present included notables in official, civil, and artistic life.

The committee in charge of the luncheon was obliged to refuse the applications of nearly a thousand persons of prominence who were anxious to attend.

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