THE NEW YORK PRESS CLUB DINNER
Too Long; Didn't Read AT THE ANNUAL DINNER, NOVEMBER 13, 1900
Col. William L. Brown, the former editor of the Daily News, as
president of the club, introduced Mr. Clemens as the principal
ornament of American literature.
I must say that I have already begun to regret that I left my gun at home. I’ve said so many times when a chairman has distressed me with just such compliments that the next time such a thing occurs I will certainly use a gun on that chairman. It is my privilege to compliment him in return. You behold before you a very, very old man. A cursory glance at him would deceive the most penetrating. His features seem to reveal a person dead to all honorable instincts—they seem to bear the traces of all the known crimes, instead of the marks of a life spent for the most part, and now altogether, in the Sunday-school of a life that may well stand as an example to all generations that have risen or will riz—I mean to say, will rise. His private character is altogether suggestive of virtues which to all appearances he has not. If you examine his past history you will find it as deceptive as his features, because it is marked all over with waywardness and misdemeanor—mere effects of a great spirit upon a weak body—mere accidents of a great career. In his heart he cherishes every virtue on the list of virtues, and he practises them all—secretly—always secretly. You all know him so well that there is no need for him to be introduced here. Gentlemen, Colonel Brown.