from the Boston Daily Advertiser
18 December 1877

If a painter could have caught for his canvas the picture presented when the hosts and guests were all seated, the scene would, as reality, have rivalled the imaginary one of Shakespeare and his friends. At the head of the table sat the chief host, Mr. H.O. Houghton. At his right was the honored guest and centre of loyal, loving interest, Mr. Whittier. Next to him sat the Concord philsopher, and at Mr. Emerson's right was Mr. Longfellow. The trio -- Whittier, Emerson, Longfellow -- gave a reverend, almost holy air to the place, and their gray hairs and expressive, joyful faces formed a beautiful group. On Mr. Houghton's left was Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes; next to him was Mr. William D. Howells, the editor of the magazine, and at the extreme left, Mr. Charles Dudley Warner.

[As part of its report the Daily Advertiser reprinted MT's speech, under the heading "Mark Twain's Remarks," but made no comment on it.]