[This article is edited to include only Twain's participation.]
AMBASSADOR REID THE PILGRIM'S GUEST
Tells Them Talk of War with Japan is Silly and That England Wouldn't Aid Her.
CHEER KING AND PRESIDENT
Ex-ambassador Choate Presides In President Duncan's Absence - Mark Twain Speaks.
The Pilgrims of the United States obtained much information last night. They learned from Mark Twain that it was taking from the coins the motto, "In God We Trust" that caused the recent financial panic; they learned from Joseph H. Choate what a poor embassy this country has in London, and they learned from Whitelaw Reid, the present Ambassador to England and the guest of honor, how very remote the possibility of war with Japan is, and how still more remote is the possibility of England's supporting Japan in such a contingency.
In every respect the dinner was a typical Pilgrim dinner; a "hands-across-the-sea affair," with a joint toast to the President and the King, and more people singing "God Save the King" than "The Star Spangled Banner," because the words are easier to remember. The dinner was held in Delmonico's big dining hall, and the decorations consisted of English and American flags interwined about the walls. The musical selections were not only Anglo-American, but also very reminiscent, the diners joining, at one point, in singing the chorus of "Annie Rooney."
President Duncan Ill
Unfortunately the President of the Pilgrims' Society, William Butler Duncan, was unable to be present owing to illness. Instead Mr. Choate was toastmaster, and sat next to the guest of honor, Mr. Reid. Others at the guest table were J. P. Morgan, Levi P. Morton, Gen. Theodore Bingham, Ogden Mills, Col. Hugh L. Scott, Lieut. Col. B. R. James, Alton B. Parker, Rear Admiral Caspar Goodrich, Seth Low, Samuel L. Clemens, Bishop Potter, Esme Howard of the British Embassy at Washington, the Right Rev. William Lawrence, Andrew Carnegie, Major Gen. Frederick Grant, Courtenay Walter Bennet, British Consul at New York; J. Edward Simmons; St. Clair KcKelway, and Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke. There were altogether about 300 guests.
The first toast Mr. Choate proposed was that to the President and the King, and it met with warm applause. After this the National anthems of America and England were sung with vigor. There were three cheers for the President and three more for the King, led by George T. Wilson, who followed the football rules and asked the diners: "Are you ready?" before starting the cheering. The toastmaster told a story of an American who visited the embassy in London "just to see if my ambassador is in his place," and said he felt sure that none of the diners had come just to see Mr. Reid, but rather to pay respect to him.
The speaker struck a serious note at the end of his speech by stating that it was a great pity that in the vestibule of the embassy there was no picture of Benjamin Franklin, "the first great American diplomatist." This was a matter, he said, that should receive serious attention. He then introduced Mr. Reid, who was greeted with three rousing cheers.
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