We got the man we wanted. I suppose they called us the Anti-Doughnut party because they couldn't buy us with their doughnuts. They didn't have enough of them. Most reformers arrive at their price sooner or later, and I suppose we would have had our price; but our opponents weren't offering anything but doughnuts, and those we spurned.
Now it seems to me that an Anti-Doughnut party is just what is wanted in the present emergency. I would have the Anti-Doughnuts felt in every city and hamlet and school district in this State and in the United States. I was an Anti-Doughnut in my boyhood, and I'm an Anti-Doughnut still. The modern designation is Mugwump. There used to be quite a number of us Mugwumps, but I think I'm the only one left. I had a vote this fall, and I began to make some inquiries as to what I had better do with it.
I don't know anything about finance, and I never did, but I know some pretty shrewd financiers, and they told me that Mr. Bryan wasn't safe on any financial question. I said to myself, then, that it wouldn't do for me to vote for Bryan, and I rather thought--I know now--that McKinley wasn't just right on this Philippine question, and so I just didn't vote for anybody. I've got that vote yet, and I've kept it clean, ready to deposit at some other election. It wasn't cast for any wildcat financial theories, and it wasn't cast to support the man who sends our boys as volunteers out into the Philippines to get shot down under a polluted flag.
ADDRESS AT THE ANNUAL DINNER OF THE ST. NICHOLAS SOCIETY, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 6, 1900
Doctor Mackay, in his response to the toast "St. Nicholas," referred to Mr. Clemens, saying:--"Mark Twain is as true a preacher of true righteousness as any bishop, priest, or minister of any church to-day, because he moves men to forget their faults by cheerful well-doing instead of making them sour and morbid by everlastingly bending their attention to the seamy and sober side of life."
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE ST. NICHOLAS SOCIETY,--These are, indeed, prosperous days for me. Night before last, in a speech, the Bishop of the Diocese of New York complimented me for my contribution to theology, and to-night the Reverend Doctor Mackay has elected me to the ministry. I thanked Bishop Potter then for his compliment, and I thank Doctor Mackay now for that promotion. I think that both have discerned in me what I long ago discerned, but what I was afraid the world would never learn to recognize.
In this absence of nine years I find a great improvement in the city of New York. I am glad to speak on that as a toast--"The City of New York." Some say it has improved because I have been away. Others, and I agree with them, say it has improved because I have come back. We must judge of a city, as of a man, by its external appearances and by its inward character. In externals the foreigner coming to these shores is more impressed at first by our sky-scrapers. They are new to him. He has not done anything of the sort since he built the tower of Babel. The foreigner is shocked by them.
In the daylight they are ugly. They are--well, too chimneyfied and too snaggy--like a mouth that needs attention from a dentist; like a cemetery that is all monuments and no gravestones. But at night, seen from the river where they are columns towering against the sky, all sparkling with light, they are fairylike; they are beauty more satisfactory to the soul and more enchanting than anything that man has dreamed of since the Arabian nights. We can't always have the beautiful aspect of things. Let us make the most of our sights that are beautiful and let the others go. When your foreigner makes disagreeable comments on New York by daylight, float him down the river at night.
What has made these sky-scrapers possible is the elevator. The cigar-box which the European calls a "lift" needs but to be compared with our elevators to be appreciated.