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Address at the Farewell Banquet given to Mr. Choate, by the Lord
Mayor at the Mansion House May 5th, 1905.
Y Lord Mayor, Mr. Balfour, my Lords and
Gentlemen,- Certainly this is the crowning hour of my life. At any rate, it is positively my last farewell benefit upon the English stage. To be received and fêted by the Lord Mayor of London, who holds the most unique and picturesque office in the kingdom, who bears upon his breast the badge which his predecessors in direct succession have worn for more than seven hundred years, the Chief Magistrate of this wonderful City, the centre of the world's commerce and the seat of the British Empire; to have my health proposed and my obituary pronounced by the Prime Minister, who bears upon his ample shoulders all of this great globe which the British drum-beat encircles, supported as he is too by such a number of possible Prime Ministers of the future, all ready and willing in the fulness of time, with consummate self-sacrifice, to relieve him of this great portion of his duty; to see present also so many members of that august but occult body, the Cabinet, who labor in secret, but to-night for my sake have come out into the full glare of the bright electric light; to be honored by the presence of the Foreign Secretary with whom I have had such delightful intercourse, Lord Lansdowne, from whom no secrets are hid; and then to find that so many of the famous men of England of all professions, parties, and opinions have come here to-night as my friends I could look almost every man in this company in the face and claim him almost as an old friend I do not dare trust myself to speak at all about it. I can only thank the Lord Mayor for his magnificent hospitality, and you, all my fellowguests here, for your inspiring presence. I am sure that you will indulge me, before I say the fatal word “Farewell,” in a few words in response to what has been so eloquently said to you by the Prime Minister. Altogether too much credit has been attributed to me for the happy, the delightful relations that now exist between our two countries. If I have contributed in the least degree to maintain and preserve what I found already existing, the last six years will be the proudest of my life.
But, gentlemen, the real credit of this happy state of things belongs not to me or to any Ambassador, but it belongs to the two men who are responsible, and have now for some years been responsible, for the conduct of our relations, no longer foreign relations — I mean Lord Lans
I downe and Mr. Hay. The diplomatist who should try to pick a quarrel with Lord Lansdowne would be a curious crank indeed; because he would have Eo pick it all himself; Lord Lansdowne would be