“All our best and noblest impulses and inspirations come from them,” said he.
When Mark Twain’s time came he said:
“At just this time I am remarkably comforted by an invitation to meet a body of clergymen like this. It’s only in Brooklyn that I am appreciated. But what’s the use of lugging that in about our wives? Don’t you think that’s a little extravagant? Mrs. Clemens was too tired to come, and I’m glad she was. I don’t want her to hear things like that. Why don’t you people, so far as your calling will allow, try to tell the truth? To be sure, you sometimes get out of practice, but one saying one thing and one another, you produce confusion in the minds of people about religious matters. The Rev. Dr. ___oh, I won’t mention his name, has just called me low born and ill bred. I don’t mind that so much. Shakespeare was low born, too; and there was Adam—I believe he was born out in the woods. But I’m glad the doctor didn’t say it about Adam. When such a thing is said about the head of the family it hurts. Anyhow, I think I would prefer to be low born—in a Republic— like the rest. If I had been born on the other side, why, then I would have liked to be born a Duke, as I suppose Rev. Dr. ___ I won’t mention his name—would have been, if he had been born there.”
It was Rev. Dr. Wayland Spaulding, president of the Congregational Clerical Union, who on Monday last, called Mark Twain low born and ill bred.
April 28 Sunday
April 29 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “University Club 8. Mabie—finished his work on Shakespeare—is made Trumbull Lecturer of Johns Hopkins Berkeley Theatre, 21 W. 44th near 5th ave. Graham Bell, Box B” [NB 44 TS 9]. Note: Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916) had finished his Shakespeare book (William Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, and Man (1902), and had assumed the Trumbull leadership at Johns Hopkins [Gribben 433].
Sam spoke at a dinner to honor Hamilton Wright Mabie, who had been recently appointed to the Percy Trumbull lectureship at Johns Hopkins University. The dinner was held at the University Club and there were 125 friends of Mabie’s in attendance. The New York Times ran a brief report of the dinner on Apr. 30, p.9 and a longer one including speeches on May 4, p.BR8. The following from this latter report has been cut to exclude all but Mark Twain’s speech:
A Distinguished Company Honor Him with a Dinner at the University Club.
A few weeks ago a committee composed of W. D. Howells, Andrew Carnegie, Marshall H. Mallory, Henry Van Dyke, Francis Lynde Stetson, and Henry Loomis Nelson was formed, representing friends of Hamilton W. Mabie, who desired to give a dinner to Mr. Mabie at the University Club. The special object was “to testify in an appropriate manner their appreciation of his service and success in literature,” of which the most recent incidents had been the publication of his work on Shakespeare and his appointment to the Trumbull lectureship at Johns Hopkins University.
Last Monday evening [Apr. 29] a company, in response to this invitation, assembled in the large private dining room of the club, to the number of more than a hundred. It has rarely happened among literary gatherings in New York during many hears that an assemblage so distinguished in the higher walks of life—in literature, in the law, in the ministry, in medicine, in finance, in the book trade, and in editorial work—has been brought together.
THE SPEECH OF MARK TWAIN.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: This man knows now how it feels to be the chief guest, and if he has enjoyed it he is the first man I have ever seen in that position that did enjoy it. And I know by side remarks which he made to me before his ordeal came upon him, that he was feeling as some of the rest of us have felt under the same circumstances. He was afraid that he would not do himself justice; but he did—to my surprise. It is a most serious thing to be a chief guest on an occasion like this, and it is admirable, it is fine. It is a great
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.