Mark Twain.

Speeches at the Lotos Club online

. (page 1 of 26)
Online LibraryMark TwainSpeeches at the Lotos Club → online text (page 1 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Pi?%



CORNELL

UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY




THIS BOOK IS ONE OF
A COLLECTION MADE BY

BENNO LOEWY

1854-1919

AND BEQUEATHED TO
CORNELL UNIVERSITY




Cornell University
Library



The original of this book is in
the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924101205874



Of this book there have been printed from
type in the month of March, nineteen
hundred and one, nine hundred copies
on specially made paper and one hundred
copies on Van Gelder hand-made paper.



Frank R. Lawrence




tttx Minuets



feecl)esattl[)e



2.oto0 Club ^



^Irtangeti tp



goj)n€ltierfein ^ Cf)csterg),



Corti ^ HorattoJE.jFraser




jBteVD iorfe : 5^rt\)atel^ ^^rinteti



^nno Bomint ^ mcmi



SPEECHES AT THE
LOTOS CLUB



ARRANGED BY

JOHN ELDERKIN
CHESTER S. LORD HORATIO N. ERASER




NEW YORK

PRIVATELY PRINTED

MCMI



Copyright, 1901, by
The Lotos Club



CONTENTS

PAGE

Inteoduction xix

Chablbs Kingslet ...;... 1

At the dioner in Ms honor, February 15, 1872

James Anthony Feoude 5

At the dinner in his honor, Octoher 12, 1872

WiLKiE Collins 7

At the dinner in his honor, September 27, 1873

LoED Houghton (Richard Monokton Milnes) . 9

At the dinner in his honor, November 21, 1875

Bayaed Taylor 13

At the dinner to Lord Houghton, November 21, 1875

Edmund Yates 16

At the dinner in his honor, March 8, 1877

John Gilbeet 19

At the dinner in his honor, November 30, 1878

"William Winter 22

At the dinner to John Gilbert, November 30, 1878

William S. Gilbert 26

At the dinner to William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, Novem-
ber 9, 1879

Horace Porter 29

At the dinner to Charles G. Leland, February 1, 1880
ix



X CONTENTS

PAOE

Whitblaw Rbid, President of the Club ... 33

At tlie decennial dinner, Mareli 28, 1880

William M. Evarts 36

At the decennial dinner, March 28, 1880

Alexander E. Macdonald 40

At the decennial dinner, March 28, 1880

Whitblaw Rbid 45

At the reception to Thomas Hughes, October 30, 1880

Thomas Hughes 48

At the reception in his honor, October 30, 1880

Ulysses S. Grant 50

At the dinner in his honor, November 20, 1880

Whitblaw Eeid 52

At the dinner in his honor, December 3, 1881

Horace Porter 56

At the dinner to Whitelaw Reid, December 3, 1881

Oliver Wendell Holmes 61

At an informal reunion, April 14, 1883

William M. Evarts 65

At the dinner in his honor, February 21, 1885

Hbnrt M. Stanley 68

At the dinner in his honor, November 27, 1886

Whitblaw Eeid 77

At the dinner in his honor, April 27, 1889

Sir Edwin Arnold 81

At the dinner in his honor, October 31, 1891

Abram S. Hewitt 90

At the dinner to Whitelaw Reid, upon his retirement from office
as Minister to Prance, April 30, 1892

William H. MoElrot 94

At the dinner to Whitelaw Reid, April 30, 1892



CONTENTS xi

PAGE

Abram S. Hewitt 96

At the dinner to the Mayor of the City, WiUiaia L. Strong, Jan-
uary 12, 1895

ROBEET G. Ingbbsoll 99

At the dinner to Anton SeidI, Fehruary 2, 1895

William Henry White 108

At the dinner to Anton Seidl, February 2, 1895

Almon Goodwin Ill

At the dinner to Anton Seidl, February 2, 1895

Frank R. Lawrence, President of the Club . . 114

Upon its twenty -fifth anniversary, March 30, 1895

Joseph C. Hendbix 119

At the twenty-fifth anniversary dinner, March 30, 1895

Sir Henry Irving 122

At the dinner in his honor, November 16, 1895

William Henry White 124

At the dinner to Sir Henry Irving, November 16, 1895

Parke Godwin 127

At the dinner to Jean and Edouard de Reszke, December 21, 1895

Charles A. Dana 130

At the dinner in his honor, January 16, 1896

Horace Porter 132

At the dinner to Charles A. Dana, January 16, 1896

Charles A. Dana 136

In reply to Horace Porter, January 16, 1896

Elihu Eoot 137

At the dinner to Charles A. Dana, January 16, 1896

Chauncey M. Depew 140

At the dinner in his honor, February 22, 1896

Seth Low 152

At the dinner to Chauncey M. Depew, February 22, 1896



xii CONTENTS

RoswELL P. Flower 156

At the dinner to Chauncey M. Depew, February 22, 1896

Joseph Jefferson 158

At the dinner in his honor, April 4, 1896

Parke Godwin 163

At the dinner to Joseph Jefferson, April 4, 1896

Henry van Dyke 170

At the dinner to Joseph JefEerson, April 4, 1896

John A. Taylor 173

At the dinner to Joseph Jefferson, April 4, 1896

SmEON Ford 176

At the dinner to Joseph Jefferson, April 4, 1896

Joseph Jefferson 180

At the dinner in his honor, April 4, 1896 (Closing Speech)

John Watson (Ian Maclaren) 182

At the dinner in his honor, Decemher 5, 1896

William Winter 190

At the dinner to John Watson, Decemher 6, 1896

Horace Porter 200

At the dinner in his honor, January 9, 1897

Henry van Dyke 205

At the dinner to Horace Porter, January 9, 1897

Charles Emory Smith 209

At the dinner to Horace Porter, January 9, 1897

Stewart L. Woodford 213

At the dinner to Horace Porter, January 9, 1897

William: Winter 215

At the dinner in his honor, April 24, 1897

Anthony Hope Hawkins (Anthony Hope) . . 226

At the dinner in his honor, October 23, 1897



CONTENTS xiii

PAGE

W. BOURKB COCKEAN 229

At the dinner to Anthony Hope Hawkins, October 23, 1897

John S. Wise 239

At the dinner to Anthony Hope Hawkins, October 23, 1897

Elihu Root 242

At the dinner to Anthony Hope Hawkins, October 23, 1897

Charles H. Van Bbtjnt 245

At the dinner in his honor, December i, 1897

Joseph H. Choate 247

At the dinner to Presiding Justice Tan Brunt, December 4, 1897

Morgan J. O'Brien 253

At the dinner to Presiding Justice Van Brunt, December 4, 3897

Frank R. Lawrence 255

At the dinner to Lord HersoheU, November 5, 1898

Lord Herschell 258

At the dinner in his honor, November 5, 1898

W. BOURKE COCKRAN 264

At the dinner to Lord Herschell, November 5, 1898

Seth Low 274

At the dinner to Lord Herschell, November 5, 1898

Frank R. Lawrence 279

At the dinner to Rear-Admiral Schley, November 26, 1898

WiNPiELD Scott Schley 284

At the dinner in his honor, November 26, 1898

Henry C. Potter 294

At the dinner to Rear-Admiral Schley, November 26, 1898

Wallace F. Randolph 297

At the dinner to Rear-Admiral Schley, November 26, 1898

Robert G. Ingersoll 302

At the dinner to Rear-Admiral Schley, November 26, 1898



xiv CONTENTS

PAGE

Whitelaw Ebid 309

At tlie diimer in Ms honor, February 11, 1899

St. Clair McKelwat 315

At the dinner to Whitelaw Eeid, February 11, 1899

CHATnsrcBY M. Depbw 320

At the dinner in his honor, March 11, 1899

Theodore Roosevelt 328

At the dinner to Chauncey M. Depew, March 11, 1899

GrBOE&B H. Daniels 333

At the dinner to Chauncey M. Depew, March 11, 1899

Sir Henry Irving 335

At the dinner in his honor, October 28, 1899

David H. Greer 338

At the dinner to Sir Henry Irving, October 28, 1899

Charles William Stubbs 341

At the dinner to Sir Henry Irving, October 28, 1899

Edward C. James 346

At the dinner to Sir Henry Irving, October 28, 1899

Andrew Carnegie 351

At the dinner in his honor, January 27, 1900

Robert S. MacArthue 357

At the dinner to Andrew Carnegie, January 27, 1900

WiLLLAM H. MoElroy 363

At the dinner to Andrew Carnegie, January 27, 1900

Walter S. Logan 366

At the dinner to Andrew Carnegie, January 27, 1900

Frank R. Lawrence 369

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 11, 1893

Frank R. Lawrence 371

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 10, 1900



CONTENTS XV

PAGE

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) .... 374

At the dinner in his honor, November 10, 1900

Thomas B. Eeed 380

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 10, 1900

Chauncby M. Depew 385

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 10, 1900

William Dean Howells 394

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 10, 1900

St. Claie McKelwat 397

At the dinner to Samuel L. Clemens, November 10, 1900

Wu Ting Fang 402

At the dinner in his honor, December 15, 1900

Wayne MoVbagh 408

At the dinner to Wu Ting Pang, December 15, 1900

Peank R. Lawrence 413

At the Yuletido dinner, January 5, 1901



LIST OF PLATES



Feank R. Laweencb Frontispiece

WmTELAW Reid Facing page 34



Horace Portee . . .
Chester S. Lord . . .
"William Henry White
Chauncey M. Depew . .
Joseph Jefferson . . .
W. Bourke Cockran
Charles H. Van Brunt
MoEGAN J. O'Brien . .
Robert G-. Ingersoll .
Andrew Carnegie . .
Group



Seated <m So/a (left to right):

Thomas B. Redd
Fbank R. Lawkence
Samuel L.Clbmeks (Mark Twain)
Chauncet M. Depew

Seated (extreme left):
Isaac N. Seligman



Seated (extreine right):
Thomas Bailey Aldbich



58
80
108
140
180
230
244
252
302
352
374



standing (left to right):

John Kendeice Bangs
MoNOUEE D. Conway
William Dean Howblls
a. f. southeeland
St. Clair MoKblway
William Henry White
John Eldeekin
William T. Evans
William Wallace Walker
David B. Sickels
George H. Daniels
Horatio N. Feaser



INTEODUOTION

SINCE its organization in 1870 the Lotos Club has
been known and distinguished by the practice of
hospitality. The small parlors of its first house, No. 2
Irving Place, were the scene of frequent gatherings
for the reception and entertainment of men of distinc-
tion. These gatherings, whether they took the form
of reception or dinner, were enlivened by music, song,
and speech-making. There were many actors, artists,
journalists, and public men among the habitual atten-
dants of the club who took an active part in its affairs,
and the entertainments grew in importance until the
finest music and the best after-dinner speaking were
often to be heard there. Men of letters were the guests
especially sought out to honor, although visiting artists
and musicians were frequently entertained. The Lotos
has done a gracious and important service in greeting
eminent foreigners and bringing them in contact with
prominent Americans and those of congenial tastes.

The club owes to its literary and artistic member-
ship much of its freedom from artificial distinctions.
The primary questions in regard to the guest of honor
have been, "What has he done ? What can he do ? As
was said by Wayne McVeagh at one of the late din-
ners in the present house, "In this club nobody stands
upon anything except that on which Disraeli stood



XX INTRODUCTION

with pride when he stood for Parliament— on his
head." Nothing extraneous avails one who rises to
speak at the Lotos table; he must then show himself
to be capable of original thought and feeling, or he is
a lost man. Not that the members are unduly critical
or exacting, but that a wholesome, manly, personal con-
tribution of something apposite to the occasion is im-
perative.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the formation of
the Lotos it was deemed appropriate to issue a small
volume containing a brief history of the club, with
short selections from the after-dinner speeches. That
publication, which gave mere fragments of the feast of
good things, has proved so popular as to excite a desire
for a larger book, in which the best speeches should be
given, with only such unimportant excisions as the lapse
of time and the requirements of a volume for perma-
nent record rendered necessary.

In the choice of speeches for this volume the editors
have by no means exhausted the supply. Long pe-
riods in the life of the club have been passed over with-
out a contribution. This is in a measure due to the
fact that it was not until 1895 that systematic steno-
graphic reports were made of the speaking at the din-
ners. Only such fragmentary reports of the earlier
speeches as appeared in the daily newspapers and were
preserved in scrap-books were available for the pur-
pose of this compilation. While much has been omitted
that might well have found a place, it was thought
better to give preference, in making up the principal
part of the volume, to authoritative reports of what
was actually said.



INTRODUCTION xxi

In choosing its presidents the Lotos Club has been
remarkably conservative. Whitelaw Reid filled the
place for fourteen years, and Frank R. Lawrence, who
succeeded him, has served continuously for twelve
years, and is about to enter on a thirteenth term ; thus
these two presiding officers are identified with nearly
all its public functions ; indeed with aU that are men-
tioned in this book.

In the preparation of the speeches for the press,
some of them have been submitted to the authors for
correction, but in many cases this was not feasible.
It seemed advisable to print all of them as nearly as
possible exactly as they had been delivered, so as to
preserve the freedom and spontaneity of the original
utterance.

An after-dinner speech is not to be judged by the
canons which are applied to elaborate orations; it is
rather to be regarded as the play of intellect and imagi-
nation under the influence of good-fellowship and keen
appreciation. While not altogether unpremeditated in
substance, it is often in form and allusion, in what is
most characteristic and telling, the offspring and im-
provisation of the moment of delivery. All recipes
for after-dinner speech-making, even the excellent one
imputed to James Russell Lowell by Dean Stubbs when
Sir Henry Irving was a guest, are merely crutches, of
little use to halting speakers. This view of the subject
has governed in the selection and editing of matter for
the present book.

If the prosperity of a jest resides as much in the ear
of the listener as in the tongue of the maker of it, then
surely the speakers at the Lotos dinners have been



xxii INTRODUCTION

favored with a highly responsive body of co-laborers.
The club has furnished an educated, and indeed a pro-
fessional, audience. The membership from the begin-
ning has been largely of journalists, artists, authors, ac-
tors, physicians, lawyers, and business men of the most
intellectual and vigorous type, composing an audience
of successful men in the various callings of professional
and commercial life; an audience which has embraced
young, middle-aged, and old men, although the pro-
portion of the last is possibly greater now than in the
earlier years of the club 's existence. How much of the
splendid success of the banquets at the Lotos, and of
the inexhaustible gaiety which has characterized them,
is due to this trained, sympathetic, and brilliant audi-
ence, and how much to the orators, this reproduction
in a printed book of the speeches which seemed so good
when delivered will now disclose.



SPEECHES AT THE
LOTOS CLUB



"To you, my hearers, fortunate children of the Lotos
flower, within the twenty-six years of your club life
has fallen the golden opportunity of personal com-
munion with some of the foremost men, whether of
action or of thought, who have arisen to guide and
illumine the age : Froude, who so royally depicted
the pageantry and pathos of the Past ; Grant, who
so superbly led the warrior legions of the Present ;
Charles Kingsley, with his deep and touching voice
of humanity ; Wilkie Collins, with his magic wand
of mystery and his weird note of romance ; Oliver
Wendell Holmes, the modern Theocritus, the most
comforting of philosophers ; Mark Twain, true and
tender heart, and first humorist of the age ; and
Henry Irving, noble gentleman and prince of
actors. Those bright names, and many more, will
rise in your glad remembrance ; and I know you will
agree that, in every case, when the generous mind
pays its homage to the worth of a great man, the im-
pulse is not that of adulation,but that of gratitude.''
William Winter, at the dinner to Ian Maclaren, Dec. 6, 1896.



CHAELES KING-SLEY

AT THE DINNER IN HIS HONOR, FEBRUARY 15, 1872

I AM not accustomed to such kind words. Kind deeds
I am accustomed to in every part of the world.
Wherever I go I find plenty of Mnd people— I believe
the world is full of kind souls if one will be a little
kind one's self, and therefore take the small trouble
of finding them out. But, really, such kind words and
kind deeds as I have met with from Americans at home
and since I have been here I did not expect. One
thing I may say as a simple rejoinder to the too Mnd
speech that has just been made— that, whatever your
president has done me the honor to say in regard to
a certain book called "Alton Locke," I have never
regretted and I have never altered, except in one case,
which does not refer to any one here, a single word in
that book. That book was written out of my heart's
heart, and I go by that book whether I stand or fall.
It was the youngest and ugliest egg that I ever laid,
yet I am fondest of it.

As for cooperation, I bide my time about that. I
have not in vain read in old times books that are called
heretical, and would by some be called so now— poor,
half-mad, half-inspired Fourier and others of the old
social school. Fourier is dear to me to-day. I am, in the
true and highest sense of the word a socialist, and I

1 1



2 SPEECHES AT THE LOTOS CLUB

have always been ; not that I learned it from Fourier,
but from a man far older and wiser than Fourier—
my master, Plato. I read Plato in the public schools
when I was a lad, and Plato's republic has been the
lodestar and the guiding genius of my political and
social thought ; and I hope it will remain so until I die.
And, therefore, neither upon the question of coopera-
tion nor the questions started in "Alton Locke" do
I regret a single word I have written, nor shall I with-
draw a single word. It may be, as one grows older,
one gets more and more the painful consciousness of the
difference between what ought to be done and what can
be done; and sits down rather more quietly when one
gets on the wrong side of fifty, and lets others start
up and do for us the things which we cannot do for
ourselves. But it is the highest pleasure that a man who
has turned down the long hill at last— and to his own
exceeding comfort — can have, to believe that younger
spirits will rise up after him and catch the lamp
of truth, as in the old lamp-bearing race of Greece,
out of his hand before the flame expires and carry it
on to the goal with swifter and more even feet. And
so I trust that whatever has been said and thought— not
by me, for I do not pretend to have thought out much,
but only by a native glibness of tongue and a deter-
mination of words to the mouth, to have put into some-
what more intelligible language the thoughts of vnser
and better men than myself— whatever has been said
and thought by the great men of whom I have learned,
I hope that younger men than myself will do me the
kindness and honor of snatching that lamp out of my
hands and passing it on to others. Then, whether



CHARLES KINGSLEY 3

they leave me in darkness and in the background makes
very little difference to me, provided the lamp of
truth, which is the lamp of freedom, and the lamp of
wisdom, and the lamp of happiness, is kept alive and
brightly burning.

And why is the lamp of truth the lamp of free-
dom, of wisdom, of happiness 1 Because it is the lamp
of obedience to facts. It is the spirit which takes facts
as they are, however painful to prejudice, however pain-
ful to pride, however painful to selfishness ; the spirit
which takes the facts of humanity, the facts of society,
the facts of science, the facts of nature, the facts of
spirit, as they are, faces them like men, recognizes when
they are— as they often are, alas !— unconquerable, and
submits to them manfully, but, whenever it sees a chance
of conquering, conquers like a man. The spirit that ac-
cepts facts, that is the spirit of truth and happiness;
and as long as men will carry on the lamp we will show
them facts, without allowing them to fear facts, with-
out seeing them under I know not what glamour of
prejudice and blue-lights and fireworks of divers sorts,
which, if a man walk through them, neither burn nor
help him. If he will go through the fireworks and get
into the clear light outside, and look at the facts him-
self, then that man is carrjdng on that sacred lamp
which, when it has passed from my generation, will pass
into the hands of you younger men, and then to men
still younger than you, so long as you swear to be true,
not merely to your country, not merely to your con-
sciences, not merely to your creed, but swear to be true
to that which involves conscience, creed, country, and
altogether, as old Lord Bacon said, true to ' ' Dei vocem



4 SPEECHES AT THE LOTOS CLUB

revelatam in rebus"— to the voice of God revealed in
facts.

I wish, that every one here knew me as well as I
know myself. If I have other such receptions as this
in America I shall get out of it as soon as possible,
for fear you should find me out. I am very easily
found out. They say there is a great deal of the fool
in every man, and I never have known a man in my
life that had more of it than I. I have learned in
fifty- five years' experience never to go into a room
without saying to myself, "You may be the most fool-
ish and may be the worst man in this room; therefore
treat all you meet in it with precautionary respect."
I have lived long enough to feel like the old post-
horse, very thankful when the end comes. But in the
meantime, gentlemen, joking apart, one thing I have
to say; you have paid me a very delicate compli-
ment, and one that has gone home to my heart, this
evening, in coupling my name with the two men vsdth
whom I have grown up, and with whom, through thick
and thin, wind and storm, I have lived and loved, and
the two men whom I love best on earth now — Anthony
Froude and Thomas Hughes.



JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE

AT THE DDSTNEE IN HIS HONOR, OCTOBER 12, 1872

I NEED not say that I thank you most heartily for
the kind reception which you give me this evening.
It adds one more to the many kind acts of hospitality
which I have received in the short time I have been in
this country, and I must say, after the kind words
which your president has said to me, that when you do
things of this kind you know how to do them in an
exceedingly gracious manner. I need not at all go
into subjects which the president has so generously
touched relating to my experience. I suppose I have
experienced as much of the asperities of literary life
as falls to the lot of most people, and I feel rather
proud to say that I have survived them up to the pres-
ent time. Here I am, and here I hope to be for a short
time to come. As to the reception here this evening,
I should like to thank you, not only for myself, but in
the name of our common profession. I myself was the
editor of a London magazine and upon the daily press,
and therefore deem myself one of the members of the
great profession which has so much to do in the prog-
ress of mankind. I am very glad to say that there is
a sort of freemasonry among journalists, and I recog-
nize and feel myself here among friends and brothers.
1* 5



6 SPEECHES AT THE LOTOS CLUB

That it may be my good fortime, if any of you should
ever come to London, to entertain you is certainly my
hope, and it will be my task, and the same I may say
of every member of the profession to which I belong in
London. "We are always proud to feel that Americans
are our companions and brothers in arms.



WILKIE COLLINS

AT THE DINNER IN HIS HONOR, SEPTEMBER 27, 1873

MANY years ago— more years than I now quite
like to reckon— I was visiting Sorrento, in the
Bay of Naples, with my father, mother, and brothers,
as a boy of thirteen. At that time of my life I was
an insatiable reader of that order of books for which
heavy people have invented the name of light litera-
ture. In due course of time I exhausted the modest
resources of the library which we had brought to
Naples, and found myself faced with the necessity of
borrowing from the resources of our fellow-travelers,
summer residents of Sorrento like ourselves. Among
them was a certain countryman of yours, very tall,
very lean, very silent, and very melancholy. In what
circumstances the melancholy of this gentleman took
its rise I am not able to tell you. The ladies thought
it was a disappointment in love. The men attributed
it to a cause infinitely more serious than that— I mean
indigestion. "Whether he suffered in heart or whether
he suffered in stomach, I took, I remember, a boy's
unreasonable fancy to him, passing over dozens of other
people apparently far more acceptable than he was.
I ventured to look up to the tall American— it was a
long way to look up— and said in a trembling voice,
"Can you lend me a book to read?" He looked down



Online LibraryMark TwainSpeeches at the Lotos Club → online text (page 1 of 26)