He recounted the incident of the exchanged hats; then he spoke of graver things. He closed:
I cannot always be cheerful, and I cannot always be chaffing. I must sometimes lay the cap and bells aside and recognize that I am of the human race. I have my cares and griefs, and I therefore noticed what Mr. Birrell said—I was so glad to hear him say it —something that was in the nature of these verses here at the top of the program:
He lit our life with shafts of sun
And vanquished pain.
Thus two great nations stand as one
In honoring Twain.
I am very glad to have those verses. I am very glad and very grateful for what Mr. Birrell said in that connection. I have received since I have been here, in this one week, hundreds of letters from all conditions of people in England, men, women, and children, and there is compliment, praise, and, above all, and better than all, there is in them a note of affection.
Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection—that is the last and final and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement, and I am very grateful to have that reward. All these letters make me feel that here in England, as in America, when I stand under the English or the American flag I am not a, stranger, I am not an alien, but at home.
DOCTOR OF LITERATURE, OXFORD
He left, immediately following the Pilgrim luncheon, with Hon. Robert P. Porter, of the London Times, for Oxford, to remain his guest there during the various ceremonies. The encenia—the ceremony of conferring the degrees—occurred at the Sheldonian Theater the following morning, June 26, 1907.
It was a memorable affair. Among those who were to receive degrees that morning besides Samuel Clemens were: Prince Arthur of Connaught; Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman; Whitelaw Reid; Rudyard Kipling; Sidney Lee; Sidney Colvin; Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland; Sir Norman Lockyer; Auguste Rodin, the sculptor; Saint-Saens, and Gen. William Booth, of the Salvation Army-something more than thirty, in all, of the world’s distinguished citizens.