Vol 1 Section 0036

Aftermath of Disgrace – Orion Apes Jules Verne – Bliss Contract for Europe Travel Book Quick Jaunts to Fredonia & Elmira – Family Sails for Europe

Frankfort, Hamburg to Heidelberg – Mannheim Operas – Speech at Heidelberg University Twichell Joined in Baden Baden – Excursions by Foot, Boat, Rail, and Cart – The Alps Twichell Departs – Italy – Munich for the Winter


January The last of a four-part, 15,000 word article on Sam and Joe Twichell’s trip to Bermuda, ran in the Atlantic Monthly: “Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion” [Wells 22].

January 1 Tuesday – Livy’s visitor book was signed by Carrie L. Brown, Frank T. Brown, and Ella F. Brown [MTP].

Moncure Conway wrote to wish Sam a happy new year and to say:

Your note came today & here I am. Chatto & I have consulted & bargained; and he proposes to bring out your new all-inclusive book, so soon as our two shilling Tom Sawyer (just out) is a little out ot the way. On each copy of the “Random Notes of an Idle Excursion”—which we both think would be the best label,—you will get 4d per copy. That is the biggest available royalty (about 17 per cent of two shillings) which can be got in a cheap book [MTP]. See Oct. 1877 entry for publication of this by Chatto. Also see “Random Thoughts…etc.”

January 2 Wednesday Sam and Livy went to the Hartford Opera House with Lilly Warner to see Howells play, A Counterfeit Presentment. Charles Dudley Warner’s unsigned review of the play in the Hartford Courant was positive, comparing Howells’ writing with Goldoni’s “pure comedy of unexaggerated real life” [MTHL 2: 217n2].

January 4 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells that his play, A Counterfeit Presentment, was “enchanting. I laughed & cried all the way through it” [MTLE 3: 1]. The play ended in Boston. Howells wrote more than 30 works for the theater and this was his best, though only moderately successful.

Eustace Conway (son of Moncure Conway) wrote from Hamlet House Hammersmith, West London to Sam concerning Chatto offering the “Random Notes” as a book for 4d. “Mr. Chatto also writes that ‘there is some danger of an unauthorized edition of the Mississippi Pilot being brought out in this country as that book has already been reprinted in Canada against Mark twain’s wish’ ” [MTP]. Note: in 1858 Moncure Daniel Conway married Ellen Davis Dana, and had three sons and a daughter.

January 6 Sunday In Cambridge, Mass., Howells wrote to thank Sam for his Jan. 4 letter praising the play. Howells was discouraged by the play’s draw in New England and didn’t suppose it paid expenses in Worcester, Providence, Springfield or Hartford; and he didn’t blame Lawrence Barrett for withdrawing. Howells supplied some feedback from the Brahmins to whom Sam had written apologies for Whittier’s birthday debacle:

“—I was with Mr. Longfellow the morning he got your letter. He spoke of it as ‘most pathetic,’ and said everyone seemed to care more for that affair than he did. I know you had the right sort of answer from him” [MTHL 2: 217].

Longfellow answered Sam’s letter:

I am a little troubled, that you should be so much troubled about a matter of such slight importance. The newspapers have made all the mischief…/ I do not believe that anybody was much hurt. Certainly I was not, and Holmes tells me that he was not…./ It was a very pleasant dinner, and I think Whittier enjoyed it very much [MTP].

January 7 Monday – The New York Sun, on page 2, ran a spurious interview titled, “Mark Twain’s Enterprise / The Celebrated Humorist Takes Editorial Charge of the Hartford COURANT.” This was a false report that Sam had become editor of the Courant based on the fact of the telephone line connected to his home from the newspaper’s offices (See Jan. 24 entry to Daggett.) [Budd, “Interviews” 1].

Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam about George H. Selkirk and the money he owed Twain. John D. Slee tried to get a note securing the loan but Selkirk only promised to contact Sam about the matter. Was stock in the Buffalo Express worthless? Charles asked [MTP].

January 10 ThursdayPhineas T. Barnum wrote from Bridgeport to Sam: “This is a begging letter! Awful!! … Now my dear boy I come to you for a character!” he hoped it was not in vain [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered Jany 13th/78”. Phineas wanted Sam to create a character useable for Barnum’s shows. Sam’s reply is not extant, but evidently he declined; see Barnum’s Jan. 14 follow up.

George P. Lathrop wrote from Cambridge, Mass. to reply to the card from Sam’s “secretary” asking who wrote the “Open Letters from N.Y. in Jan’y Atlantic.” He’d retired from the magazine but referred Sam to Howells for the answer [MTP].

January 11 Friday – The New York Times reported on:



Mark Twain’s “Colonel Sellers” was played at the Park Theatre, last night [Jan. 11], for the one thousandth time, with John T. Raymond as the inimitable speculator in imaginary town-lots and eye-water. The theatre was crowded in every part with an audience whose hearty bursts of laughter were almost as entertaining as the vagaries of the ex-Colonel in the Confederate Army, who goes in for the old flag and an appropriation….The 12 jurors who play such important parts in the trial of Laura Hawkins, which constitutes the last act of “Colonel Sellers,” Were supported admirably last evening by “Uncle” Daniel Bixby, Henry Mason, Louis Hargous, Dudley Waring, C. Murray, J. Keene, Chandos Fulton, Charles Shaw, M. Hendrick, G.P. Hiltman, James Stearn, and C.H. Chapin [Jan. 12, 1878 p.5].

Joseph R. Hawley wrote a short note to advise the Monday Evening Club would meet at his home on Monday eve. Jan 14 at 7.30 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Gen. J.R. Hawley onto graft.”

Sol Teverbaugh sent a form begging letter asking for some writing from Twain [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Curiosity”

January 12 Saturday Sam wrote from Elmira to Kate V. Austin of Richmond, Indiana, who was trying to verify a rumor that Sam would gain ownership of another newspaper. Sam wrote that this rumor was “not only untrue but absolutely & permanently impossible” [MTLE 3: 2]. Note: it’s uncertain why Sam was in Elmira at this time.

Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam with a breakdown on amounts due him for Scrap Book sales, totaling $1,071.57 [MTP].

January 13 SundaySam wrote to Phineas T. Barnum, answering Barnum’s request that Sam create a character for his use. Sam’s letter is not extant but referred to in Barnum’s Jan. 14 reply.

January 14 MondayPhineas T. Barnum wrote a scrawled letter to Sam, “All right …It’s only a matter of taste anyhow—& I am content” [MTP]. Note: see Barnum’s request, Jan. 10.

January 16 Wednesday – The Hartford Society of Decorative Arts, in which Livy was active, opened the doors to their new art school in the Cheney Building (See June, 1877 entry, and Elizabeth Normen’s article on the web at http://www.hogriver.org/issues/v01n04/art_school.htm)

January 17 ThursdayGeorge H. Selkirk wrote to Sam:

Friend Mark. / I am now in hope of commencing soon to pay on my indebtedness to you. I have been unfortunate in my newspaper experience, and part of what I have already paid you I had to borrow from my father. I am now giving all my attention to the job printing business, which opens and promises well. Let me pay on your claim against me as I can at the coal office here… [MTP].

January 18 FridayEdward Lauterbach (1844-1923) NY attorney telegrammed asking Clemens to lecture for a private club in NY for $150 on Saturday evening Jan. 26. He followed it up with a letter the following day [MTP]. Note: evidently Sam telegraphed an answer, judging from Lauterbach’s reply on Jan. 19; on Jan. 26 Sam spoke at Geselischaft Harmonic in NYC.

January 19 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Heber Clark (Max Adeler or John Quill, 1847-1915), a humorous journalist who had evidently asked if Sam was a millionaire.

“My Dear Clark—The only true millionaire in the Clemens family is just dead—which brings forth the following from Sherrard Clemens, who was a conspicuous Member of Congress from Virginia in the opening of the war, because he was a Unionist…” [MTLE 3: 3]. Note: Sherrard Clemens was not fictional, but probably unrelated.

Edward Lauterbach wrote to Sam. “I am delighted at the receipt of your telegram informing me that you will accede to the request embodied in my telegram to you.” The club members were of German birth. [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered Jan 20” Note: on Jan. 26 Sam spoke at Geselischaft Harmonic in NYC.

January 20 SundayJoseph G. Hickman (b. 1838) wrote from Florida, Mo. to Sam.

Mr Saml Clemens—

      At the solicitation of my two little girls I send you a picture of your birthplace cut by them from my county map. They say they are certain you will send them, each one a nice Chromo & also a photograph of yourself, in return. I knew you when you were a boy & remember hunting with you at your uncle’s John A. Quarles’—The old man is, as I suppose you have probably heard, dead,—has been dead about a year. He failed in business & lived for many years in a state of poverty. None of his family ever did very much in business, Ben & Polk are still living Jim is dead. Tabitha or Pap [“Puss”] youngest daughter is living—

      Florida boasts greatly of being your birth-place & there has been of late quite a little discussion in the Co papers as to what part had that honor. Your letter to Mr Holliday of St Louis of course settled the question—It was published in the papers.

      Florida jogs along after the same old style & sits like Rome on her hills,—always the same. The picture of your old house is true to nature & it is to this day the same as you see in the picture to the minutest particular. It is now occupied by the village shoe maker—there is no telling what other great man may go forth from beneath its eaves—The man in the street is intended to represent you off on your pilgrimage after style of your speech at meeting in honor of poet Whittier. The little girls say don’t forget those pretty Chromos for they will wait with patience to hear from you. I live at & own the mill owned by Boyle Goodwin on the north fork of Salt River. / Yours truly / Joseph G. Hickman.

 [MTP]. Note: Sam was only 4 when the Clemens family left Florida, so if he had memories of the place they were not many. He often rec’d notes from people claiming to have known him as a boy. His uncle John Quarles (1802-1876) had a farm near Florida where Clemens spent many summers in his boyhood; Tabitha “Puss” Quarles was a close playmate and received Sam’s financial help for many years. See also July 24, 1881 to Hickman. Mr. Holliday is unidentified.

January 21 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to Chatto & Windus, his English publishers, with corrections for Punch Brothers, Punch! And Other Sketches; that the article would be in the March issue of Atlantic, released Feb. 15 [MTLE 3: 4].

Sam also wrote Moncure Conway about the several articles he’d instructed Atlantic to send to Chatto for publication in England. He informed Conway that he was writing to Routledge & Sons giving Conway the “sole power over there to make book contracts” [MTLE 3: 5]. Note: Sam was lining up his ducks before leaving for Europe.

John Wentworth Sanborn (1848-1922), Methodist Episcopal minister, Indian culture expert, wrote from Gowanda, NY.


Mark Twain, / Dear Sir;

      I got hold of a Circular which advertised your Scrap Book, and by it I was enveigled into sending for one; It arrived today. I’ve used it. I am a plain minister of the gospel, and I wish to say, I never swore any more in my life than I have today. I am as fond of fun as you are, but when it comes to be so serious a matter—this Scrap Book affair—I must pause. Certainly your Scrap Book with nothing but gummed lines is a very funny book—probably the funniest book you ever made, but, my dear Twain, why didn’t you tell folks not to moisten your gummed lines with their fingers. I got stuck to those gummed lines.—I cant help emphasizing gummed—I have about three hundred sympathizing parishioners, counting men, women and babies, and they’ve all been in—every one of them, with lots of their neighbors, to get me away from your awful Scrap Book; but I am stuck fast. For fruitlessly endeavoring to get loose from your gummed lines.

      Already your Scrap Book is advertised all over this town and my greatest fear is that somebody else will get fast!

      Why did n’t you tell people how to handle the dangerous thing? I’ve an engagement to lecture to-morrow night, and, unless I break loose, I shall have to carry this product of your wicked brain to the very platform. If I must, I must, but be assured I shall flutter this horrid leech of a Scrap Book in the face and eyes of my audience, and say, “This, my friends, is Mark Twain’s Patent Scrap Book.” / Yours, etc. [MTP]. Note: see Twain’s reply on Jan. 24. See insert of Scrapbook. Sanborn would write at least five more letters to Sam through 1882.

January 23 WednesdayFrank E. Bliss sent a statement wth a balance due Sam of $844 [MTP].

January 24 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Frank Bliss, sending his compliments that he’d done “exceedingly well. Looks like a decided improvement in business…” [MTLE 3: 6]. Since Sam usually wrote to Frank for accounts of royalties, evidently Sam had received reports and checks that showed an improvement of book sales.

Sam also wrote to an old friend, Rollin M. Daggett (1831-1901) of the Virginia City Enterprise. Daggett is the “Mr. D” in Ch. 51 of Roughing It. He also founded the Golden Era in San Francisco in 1852. From 1879 to 1881 he would represent Nevada in Congress. Daggett wrote a Jan. 15th editorial about Sam becoming an editor of the Hartford Courant, “In the Harness Again,” a story which the New York Sun had printed that Sam said was “foundationless.” Sam thanked Daggett for his compliments, and said the rumor had probably started because he had a telephone line connected from his Farmington Avenue home to the Courant office a mile and a half away [MTLE 3: 7]. Note: Sam must have received copies of the Enterprise to keep up with his old stomping grounds.

Sam also replied to the Jan. 21 from John Wentworth Sanborn, who was “stuck” on Sam’s scrapbook.

‘Sh! Don’t say a word—let the others get “stuck.” I’ll tell you privately, to use a wet rag or brush—but let us leave the others to get into trouble with their fingers. Then they will abuse the Scrap Book everywhere, & straightway everybody will buy one to give to his enemy, & that will make a great sale for the inventor, who will go to Europe & have a good time [MTLE 3: 9].

Orion Clemens wrote to Sam: “My Dear Brother: — / The two years I asked for have expired, and I am satisfied that I am an idiot. I was an idiot to leave Hartford. I am told you are editor in chief of the Courant. Can’t you try me again?” the long letter contains several anecdotes [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Jan. 24/78 Orion’s Story”

Julius G. Rathbun wrote from Buffalo to invite Sam to buy some old wine vintages that his gentleman friend was unloading [MTP].

January 25 FridayO.S. Chamberlain wrote from NYC to ask Sam to lecture [MTP].

January 26 Saturday – Sam gave a speech at the Geselischaft Harmonic in New York City. The text is not available [Schmidt]. Note: see Jan. 18 & 19 from Edward Lauterbach.

The New York Sun ran a comic piece correcting its Jan. 7 article. The new piece was titled, “Not Quite an Editor / The Story of Mark Twain’s Connection with the HARTFORD COURANT[Budd, “Interviews” 1].

January 27 Sunday Sam returned this day or the next from New York to Hartford [MTLE 3: 10].

Henry Watterson wrote from Davenport, Ia., having “just laid down ‘Tom Sawyer,’ and can not resist the pressure. It is immense!” He also asked for Twain’s autograph [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Watterson, editor Louisville Courier Journal / Autograph”.

January 28 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to Orion, that he was “just back from New York tired to death” but cleared up the “joke” about being connected with the Hartford Courant [MTLE 3: 10].

Charles M. Pulham wrote as chairman of the entertainment committee for the NY Press Club. He hoped Sam would help them out again on Feb. 25th [MTP].

James Redpath wrote from NYC to Sam, enclosing two tickets (still in fille) for Robert Ingersoll’s lecture on this night. Evidently Sam did not use the tickets on such short notice [MTP].

January 30 WednesdayT.C. Marsh, cigar merchant, Cambridge, Ohio, wrote to ask if he might use Twain’s picture cut in his advertisements. He enclosed two small flyers on green paper done for the “Nasby” Cigar, showing his intent [MTP].

January 31 ThursdayC.A. Patterson wrote from Vernon Junction, Ohio to beg for a job as his wife was dying. He was currently working as a telegraph operator [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env.,“Curiosity”


About this day Clemens wrote to Daniel Slote, inclosing MS. for publication. The note, if any, is not extant, but the MS. is referred to by Slote’s Feb. 1 reply.


FebruaryIn Hartford Sam wrote to an unidentified “friend in Detroit denying the charge that he is lazy. Instead of being lazy, he says, he has no less than four books under way, with the title of each nicely written out in a plain hand and the first chapters headed off” [MTPO: “Recent Changes,” Jan. 20, 2009: Washington Post, Feb. 26, 1878].

Sam signed an identification card that was either some sort of template, or for some sort of whimsy [Live auctioneers, Sept. 28, 2004, lot 0162]. See insert.


February 1 FridayDan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam. “Yours containing manuscripts &c received. / Woodman is away to day, but will be on hand to morrow, when I will confer with him relative to publishing— / Did you conclude the terms on which you desire we should publish as you say nothing about them in yours just at hand—” [MTP].


February 2 SaturdayDan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote again to Sam.


Dear Sam, / Have procured numbers of Atlantic Monthly for new Sketches of Bermuda and only await two proof copies of March number to complete volume suggested—

      Send me at once Two copies of St Patrick’s Dinner speech, or one for printer. One extra copy of each—Rogers Paper & Literary Nightmare…

      I don’t wish to raise a religious question in your family, but would like to publish in the new book, your article on ‘Joseph’ published in London by Routledge’s and entirely new to American Readers, which I know would be highly appreciated by everybody in America.

      My idea in the new book would be to make it without profit to either of us at the low price of Ten Cents per book in paper Covers with plenty of advertising pages for the Scrap Book.

      We can sell a Million of books at (over) that price, and should the Amer Publishing Co ever let go their grip we can get ‘good and even’ on your future writings…[MTP].

February 3 SundayClemens replied to Dan’s Slote’s request for terms on publishing some of his sketches. Letter not extant but referred to in Slote’s Feb. 4 reply.

February 4 MondayDan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam having rec’d his “kind favor.” (est Feb. 3 not extant) “We shall get at work on the Sketches at once on the terms agreed…” so asked for article copies [MTP].

February 4 and 5 TuesdayJane Clemens wrote to Sam and Livy

“My dear children / All gone to church that is all that belong up stairs. Livy I have got on my new dress.” And on Feb. 5 a small slip of paper: “Dear Sam I thank you very much indeed for the money, but I don’t thank you for your letter as I received none. [over] Are Livy & the children all dead, or are you dead. I received not a word. Not well enough to write more. / Mother” [MTP].

February 5 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Mary Mason Fairbanks after receiving her letter. Evidently the New York Sun’s article about Sam being “connected” with the Hartford Courant had reached as far as Cleveland, because Sam had to explain again that the “article was manufactured out of whole cloth.” The rumor stemmed from the telephone connection between the Courant and the Clemens home. Sam also had to answer Mary’s questions about the Whittier birthday dinner debacle, and by now Sam had moved away from a shamed, humble-pie perspective.

But nobody has ever convinced me that that speech was not a good one—for me; above my average, considerably. I could as easily have substituted the names of Shakespeare, Beaumont & Ben Jonson, (since the absurd situation was where the humor lay,) & all these critics would have discovered the merit of it, then. But my purpose was clean, my conscience clear, & I saw no need of it. Why anybody should think three poets insulted because three fantastic tramps choose to personate them & use their language, passes my comprehension. Nast says it is very much the best speech & the most humorous situation I have contrived [MTLE 3: 11].

Sam related his failed attempts to convince Thomas Nast to collaborate on a lecture tour. He discussed his current writing projects: “a historical tale, of 300 years ago, simply for the love of it,” (Prince and the Pauper) that the Young Girls Club, Livy and Susan Warner were “very much fascinated with”; a “novel of the present day—about half finished,” and two other books started, “but am not going to continue them until summer.” Sam also related the success of the Scrap-Book through Dan Slote.

“It seems funny that an invention which cost me five-minutes thought, in a railway car one day, should in this little while be paying me an income as large as any salary I ever received on a newspaper. My royalty on each book is very trifling—so the sales are already very great” [MTLE 3: 13]

Dan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam, more details on the planned Sketches book [MTP].

 Orion Clemens wrote to Sam thanking for $42 sent in 3 drafts. “I have an itching palm to pitch into religion, because hell is raging in our pulpits, Keokuk having caught the epsoatic inaugurated by Beecher, but forbear, on your suggestion, and I am on bill to deliver something at the Red Ribbon Club, but I forbear again.” He noted that Bloodgood H. Cutter, of “poet lariat” fame had been in Keokuk last weekend [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Preserve” and “Orion’s Gorilla Story”

February 6 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford per an unknown secretary to Andrew Chatto, letting him know that a “…member of our scrap-book firm (Mr. Wilde) is about to establish himself permanently in London…to attend personally to the proper scrap booking of the eastern hemisphere” [MTLE 3: 14].

February 7 ThursdayCharles J. Langdon wrote to Sam on behalf of Towner, a writer he knew. “I am greatly obliged to you for your letter of Feby 5th / It contains valuable information & I shall at once proceed to offer poor Towner some advice…” [MTP].

February 7 and 8 FridayOrion Clemens wrote to Sam, Orion stories & clipping enclosed from the Keokuk Constitution, which claimed Twain trained a dog named Jo Cook. The article continued the misinformation that Sam was now editor of the Courant, due to the news that the newspaper office was connected to Sam’s house by telephone [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Preserve” and “Orion story”

February 10 Sunday Sam wrote a burlesque “Certificate” from Hartford to Slote, Woodman and Co., stating that after using his “Self-Pasting Scrap Book,” all his rheumatism had disappeared [MTLE 3: 15].

February 14 Thursday, afterJohn P. Jones send his published speech, “Coinage of Silver Dollars” to Sam, no letter [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Speeches. ‘78”

February 16 Saturday – Sam’s short story, “The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton,” ran on the front page of the Hartford Courant [Courant.com]. It also ran in the March edition of Atlantic Monthly [Wells, 22].

February 17 Sunday Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens. After admitting “My conscience blisters me for not writing you,” Sam wrote of the burdens causing him to seek solace out of the country:

Life has come to be a very serious matter with me. I have a badgered, harassed feeling, a good part of the time. It comes mainly of business responsibilities & annoyances, & the persecution of kindly letters from well-meaning strangers—to whom I must be rudely silent or else put in the biggest half of my time bothering over answers. There are other things, also, that help to consume my time & defeat my projects. Well, the consequence is, I cannot write a book at home. This cuts my income down. Therefore, I have about made up my mind to take my tribe & fly to some little corner of Europe & budge no more until I shall have completed one of the half dozen books that lie begun, up stairs. Please say nothing about this at present. We propose to sail the 10th April. I shall go to Fredonia to see you, but it will not be well for Livy to make that trip…[MTLE 3: 16].

Joe Twichell walked in, so Sam ended the letter to his mother.

Frank M. Pixley (1825-1895) wrote from San Francisco asking for a writing contribution for The Argonaut (founded by Pixley and Frank Somers in Apr. 1877) [MTP]. In a PS to his Feb. 26 to Howells, Sam wrote, Have written Frank Pixley that I would speak to you when I see you, & if you were willing to simultane with the Argonaut, all right I would write him so; if you were unwilling I would indicate it by not writing. I didn’t tell him you wouldn’t, because I’m not authorized to speak for you—but told him to write you himself if he preferred. He is a good fellow, but Dam the Argonaut.” Note: Sam’s to Pixley is not extant., written likely on Feb. 26 or the day before.

February 20 WednesdaySayles, Dick & Fitzgerald’s Publishing House, NYC wrote to ask Sam’s permission to “insert a sketch called ‘Membranous Croup’ in our next issue of ‘Dick’s Recitations.” They listed those articles of Twain’s that had already been published in their periodical, mostly through the Atlantic Monthly [MTP].

February 21 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Orion in Keokuk, who had sent “random snatches” of a story he was writing. Sam judged the story to be “poaching upon [Jules] Verne’s peculiar preserve,” something Sam found distasteful and unwise. The story was about a descent into the middle of the earth. “Why don’t you find Verne himself down there?” Sam asked, thinking it a good idea to “let the reader discover that” the gorilla “is Verne in disguise.” “I think the world has suffered so much from that French idiot that they could enjoy seeing him burlesqued—but I doubt if they want to see him imitated” [MTLE 3: 17].

February 23 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to his mother, Jane Clemens about Orion’s “wandering, motiveless imitation of the rampaging French lunatic, Jules Verne.” Sam’s letter revealed some anxiety over Orion embarrassing the “family name,” meaning the name of Mark Twain, which he’d spent a lifetime building. It wasn’t decent to imitate an entire book, he wrote. At the end of the letter, Sam added: “…we expect to sail 11th April; in which case I shall expect to see you in Fredonia a week or so before that—I don’t know just what date” [MTLE 3: 19].

February 24 Sunday In Cambridge, Mass., Howells wrote to Sam.

“I must see you somehow, before you go. I’m in dreadfully low spirits about it….I was afraid your silence meant something wicked” [MTHL 1: 218].

Sam wrote from Hartford to Frank W. Cheney (1832-1909) successful Hartford businessman from a long-time Hartford family. Wesley Hart, who had served a six-month sentence for burglary in 1873 at Wethersfield State Prison, some five miles from Sam’s Farmington Avenue home, sent Sam a model ship delivered at night by two men, saying it was a present.

I couldn’t hurl the man’s present at his head, neither could I accept it from a prisoner. I wrote & said I would sell the ship for him if he would set a price; or buy it myself at $50. He said send the $50 to his aged father at Middletown, which I did…/ I have never seen Wesley Hart; but from what I have heard he must be a criminal whose crimes are modified, softened, almost neutralized, by his native chuckle-headedness. He entered Mrs. Henry Perkins’s house, once, to rob it, collected the silver together, then lay down on a sofa to take a nap, & didn’t wake up any more till Mrs. Perkins called him to breakfast [MTLE 3: 20].

February 25 Monday – Sam gave a speech at the New York Press Club. The text is not available [Schmidt].

Dan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam. He’d been down with a cold but was better and had called at the Hamburg line office to secure passage on the Holsatia—the costs made him “unusually short” and wondered if Sam might help [MTP].

February 26 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to William Dean and Elinor Howells. Sam wanted to see his good friend before leaving for Europe. He asked if they could “run down here before March 25—any time…” Sam told of plans to leave for Elmira Mar. 25, and to sail for Hamburg Apr. 11. He added a PS with news that Bayard Taylor and family would also be on the Holsatia [MTLE 3: 21-2].

Sam also wrote notes for Livy to Annie Franklin and Mary C. Shipman, sending her hopes that the ladies would be able to make the Mar. 4 Monday Evening Club. These notes may have been written anytime from Feb. 26 to Mar. 2 [MTLE 3: 23-4]. Other similar notes may have been written.

February 26 and 27 WednesdayOrion Clemens wrote to Sam about his story writing. “I have written a hundred and sixty pages, and the number may run up to 200.” He was cutting out some and hoped to send it soon. “I shall strike out where I am anticipated by Jules Verne” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Preserve” and “Orion’s Apostasy”

February 27 WednesdayFrank Fuller wrote to Sam on Woodruff Iron Works to Fuller Feb. 27 :

Read this now! I would not send it, only old man Woodruff will be here, & if I can’t help him, he’ll weep, & I can’t stand it. Old Bowers has succeeded, in killng off the Syndicate, I think, & has now disappeared himself. He borrowed & borrowed from them, pending a decision, & disgusted them all. I only lately found out the cause of their lack of interest [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered / Preserve”; H.C. Bowers was an inventor of a still and a different sort of steam engine, both invested in by Clemens after Fuller’s promotions.

February 28 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Bayard Taylor, who had recently been appointed as the new U.S. minister to Germany. Sam had learned that they would be shipmates on the Holsatia. Sam told him not to: “change your mind & leave us poor German-ignorant people to cross the ocean with nobody to talk to” [MTLE 3: 25].

March Sam’s short story, “The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton,” ran in the Atlantic Monthly [Wells, 22]. It also ran on the front page of the Hartford Courant on Feb. 16 [Courant.com]

Most of the month was occupied with packing, making quick visits to the Langdons and the Cranes in Elmira and to Sam’s mother, and sister in Fredonia. Livy began making lists of purchases commissioned by family and friends. She wrote measurements of the Hartford house with ideas for furniture and frou frou to bring back. Her memoranda book was set up as a ledger, with totals on each page [MTNJ 2: 42-3].

Sam’s notebook: “The First German Principia /—A First German Course” referred to A First German Course (1856) which was part of a series “on the plan of Dr. William Smith’s ‘Principia Latina’” –one of the books Sam used to study German [MTNJ 2: 54n22].

March 1 FridaySayles, Dick & Fitzgerald’s Publishing House wrote to Sam, agreeing to take his “Speech on Women” out of the book in which it appeared. They thanked him for his conditional permission to use “Membranous Croup” [MTP].

March 2 Saturday – In Cambridge, Mass., Howells sent Sam a postcard asking if “Saturday of next week” would “do for that projected visit?” [MTHL 1: 221].

Bayard Taylor wrote on a small note card: “Hearty thanks for your kind congratulations! I mean to go by the Holsatia, if the Govt will allow me that much time at home. The Captain is an old friend of mine and would be unhappy if I did not sail with him. I saw your name in the book, which is another inducement. But I daren’t positively engage passage until after the Senate has acted. Always…” [MTP].

March 3 Sunday – In Cambridge, Mass., Howells sent Sam a note revising his Mar. 2 suggestion.

“Mrs. Howells starts to New York on Wednesday [Mar. 6], and I propose to go with her as far as Hartford, where if convenient we will both stop off till one o’clock the next day. We shall leave Boston on the 3 p.m. train….Don’t bother to meet us at the station. We know the way” [MTHL 1: 222].

March 4 MondayDan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote . “I send you today more signatures of new Book, all that our printer had completed thus far. / Our Mr Wilde leaves on the 23rd of this month & if that little affair takes place it will occur say two or three nights previous—Can you come & what notice do you need?” He suggested a second volume of Sketches [MTP].

March 5 TuesdayDan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam.

Postal received—The dummy sent you yesterday of Punch as printed on paper to be used in the Edition of the thickness sent say 144 pages…Its bound to be popular & of extensive sale. / Think well of the proposition made yesterday of publishing your best incidents of each of your books—It will sell most extensively & prove the best advertisement for Bliss (whose canvassing days are played out)—together for our Scrap Book [MTP]. Note: Sam must have answered Slote’s Mar. 4 here, though it is not extant.

A.E. Ford wrote from Brooklyn on Irish World notepaper to ask for a letter of Sam’s “sentiments” about the Irish [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Curiosity / Preserve / Don’t answer it.”

Frank Fuller wrote to Sam. “Woodruff now writes that the iron in that monster is worth $175. & this would leave, he says, $592.17 due him. Since the death of French, such beating of the bush as I have been able to do, has not scared up another bird. / I shall keep on till my luck changes” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “Answered with check for $592.17 on Bissell / This closes up that business for all / Preserve.” The inventor H.C. Bowers had used equipment and materials at the Woodruff Iron Works while building a different sort of steam engine.  

March 6 Wednesday – The Howellses arrived in Hartford as planned earlier in the week (see Mar. 3 entry) and spent the night [MTHL 1: 221-2n1].

Dan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam that he was sending the “last signatures & completion of new book, then I don’t wish to annoy you about reading proofs…Have printed our first edition 5000 copies only” [MTP].

Sam wrote to Dan Slote, letter not extant but referred to in Slote’s of Mar. 8.

March 7 ThursdayElinor Howells left the Clemenses and continued on alone to New York to visit relatives in New Jersey; William Dean Howells continued his visit, most likely returning home to Cambridge by Mar. 12 or thereabouts, as Sam then left for New York [MTHL 1: 222n1].

March 8 Friday Sam secretly signed a contract for the new travel book with Frank Bliss, son of Elisha. Sam had been somewhat dissatisfied with Elisha Bliss and the American Publishing Co. since Orion reported misgivings. Frank wanted to break away from his father and start his own company. The new contract was Sam’s way of increasing his control over publication [MTJ&N 2: 42]. (See Nov. 1879 entry.)

Dan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam: “Yours of the 6th inst answered this a.m./ I send to day by mail the first complete copy that has been issued. It is simply beautiful…” [MTP]. Note: Sams of 6th not extant.

March 9 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who had written again asking why Sam would go to Germany.

Because the only chance I get here to work is the 3 months we spend at the farm [Quarry farm] in the summer….I want to find a German village where nobody knows my name or speaks any English, & shut myself up in a closet 2 miles from the hotel, & work every day without interruption until I shall have satisfied my consuming desire in that direction [MTLE 3: 14].

Bill and receipt, Hamburg-American Packet Co. $227.80 for passage for four adults, two children from N.Y. to Hamburg [MTP].

Dan Slote for Slote, Woodman & Co. wrote to Sam: “Enclosed please find receipt of passage engaged for 4 adults & two children, on the Holsatia of April 11/78…Rooms marked are accompanying plan, No 19 & 20 are the ones engaged…” [MTP].

March 11 Monday – Before this date Sam earned a half-interest after expenses for the Colonel Sellers play. A contract of this date reduced his share to twenty percent [MTPO Notes with Oct. 27, 1876 to Raymond].


March 12 TuesdayCommittee for Bayard Taylor farewell dinner sent an engraved invitation for Apr. 4 [MTP]. Note: Included: Elliot C. Cowdin (1819-1880), Charles Watrous, Algernon S. Sullivan, George Haven Putnam (1844-1930), and Edmund C. Stedman (1833-1908). A program & menu, too large for the env.was likely returned by Clemens.


An unidentified Hartford resident sent Clemens a poem bemoaning the Clemens family’s departure to Europe for a long sojourn [MTP].

March 12 to 15 Friday Sam spent two days in New York during this time [MTLE 3: 28].

March 13 Wednesday – An entry in Sam’s notebook placed this as the possible date he met with George Lester at the Rossmore Hotel in New York about recovering $23,000 he’d invested in the failed Hartford Accident Insurance Co.. Lester and Sam had been directors, and Senator John P. Jones president of the company. John D. Slee of the Langdon Coal Co. arranged a meeting with Jones, acting as Sam’s agent (see Mar. 26 entry). Sam noted that Lester “made promises” [MTNJ 2: 54].

March 15 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to Howells. He sent a piece for the Atlantic and also simultane-sheets to go to the Canadian Monthly and to Chatto & Windus. He doubted he would go to the Taylor banquet (though he did go) as he would be in Elmira. Sam said he wanted to see Howells before he sailed, but couldn’t travel to Boston and leave Livy alone to lose “another nights rest,” after being away two days in New York. It’s likely the two decided to attend the Bayard Taylor Banquet on Apr. 4 to say goodbye, yet Howells was also at the dock when they left (see Apr. 11 entry). The Farmington house goods had been packed up and Sam wrote that the:

“drawing & pink rooms have a melancholy look, to-day—uncarpeted & wholly stripped & empty. This work of desolation is to go right on, day after day” [MTLE 3: 28].

March 16 Saturday – In Cambridge, Mass., Howells wrote to Sam, answering his Mar. 15 letter and submission:

“The new thing you send me is perfectly delicious. It went right home every time. What a fancy you have got! And what sense!….It’s sickening to have you going away” [MTHL 1: 224].

Howells wasn’t certain he would attend the Bayard Taylor banquet on Apr. 4, though he did go. Note: Sam’s submission was “About Magnanimous-Incident Literature.”

Sam wrote from Hartford, accepting the invitation of George Haven Putnam to attend the Bayard Taylor Banquet on Apr. 4 [MTLE 3: 29].

Sam also wrote to John T. Raymond, per Charles Perkins, naming Perkins as his agent to receive the twenty per cent proceeds from the continuing Gilded Age play [MTLE 3: 30].

March 17 and 18 MondayOrion Clemens wrote to Sam.

I feel lonesome and disappointed. I have had a longing to get back to Hartford, and be with you. In yesterday evening’s paper I see that you and family are going to Germany to be gone two years, starting 11th April. I could not sleep. So I got up at 2 o’clock this morning, and finished my story. I will not take time to read it over. I feel that I have suffered the hell I have for forty or more years, in consequence of the infernal doctrine of government by fear. I have been trained a coward, and I mean to put out the fires of hell, and this is the gist of the Kingdom of Sir John Franklin [MTP].

March 19 TuesdaySusy Clemens’ sixth birthday was noted in Sam’s notebook [MTNJ 2: 54].

Sam’s notebook: “Lester writes (from Washington) one of the regular Jones-Lester non-committal half-promising for the 26th” [MTNJ 2: 55]. (See Mar. 13 & 26 entries.)

Sam’s Mar. 20 notebook entry for Mar. 19:

Twichell, at the farewell [George L.] Pentecost meeting yesterday [Mar. 19] urged people to keep on going to church—we can’t give you such preaching, “but you come nevertheless & take what God can give you through us (the local preachers), remembering that ½ a loaf is better than no bread. You know that the ravens brought food to Elijah, & when he got it it was as nutritious as if it had been brought by a finer bird” [MTNJ 2: 55]

March 20 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles Warren Stoddard of the empty Farmington Avenue house. Sam thought the family would be gone “two or three years.” Although Livy had written a loose itinerary, Sam purposely wanted to escape and not plan too much after that except to get some writing done. “We are packing trunks to-day,” Sam wrote [MTLE 3: 31].

Sam’s notebook entry included revision notes for “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven[MTNJ 2: 55].

March 23 Saturday Sam had received Orion’s manuscript, and responded from Hartford with mild scolding about learning the trade (“God requires that he learn it by slow & painful processes”) and a sort of line-by-line critique. Sam was upset that Orion had imitated Jules Verne, and not burlesqued him [MTLE 3: 32-5]. One interesting point—Sam offered that he hated what had now become conventional language:

“Next came 100 people who looked like they had just been, &c”

      That wretched Missourianism occurs in every chapter. You mean, “as IF”.

Sam also wrote to Howells about Houghton transferring Canadian copyright to himself or someone he knew. Sam mentioned Orion’s manuscript and the “manifest apprentice hand!” He wanted to thank Howells for helping him become a better writer, something he felt he’d never mentioned [MTLE 3: 36].

J.D. Slee for Langdon & Co. wrote to Sam (letter & telegram from John P. Jones enclosed, arranging to meet Slee in NYC) [MTP].

March 25 Monday Still in Hartford, Sam and Livy wrote a note of thanks to the young ladies of the Saturday Morning Club for sending flowers to wish them a bon voyage [MTLE 3: 37].

March 26 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford, again to George Haven Putnam, organizer for the Bayard Taylor farewell banquet. Sam agreed to “talk four or five minutes, or rise in my place & excuse myself…” Sam argued he got more gratitude for an excuse than a speech, which he preferred over applause [MTLE 3: 38].

John Slee, in behalf of Clemens, met with Senator Jones in New York about the $23,000 from the failed insurance investment. Jones made full restitution to Sam at that meeting, which Sam may have attended [MTNJ 2: 54-5n23]. Note: If he did go to the meeting, it was a quick, one-day, round trip, because Sam wrote letters from Hartford on Mar. 26 and 27.

March 27 Wednesday – The Clemens family and their nurse, Rosa, left Hartford for New York, where they spent the night and all of the next day [MTLE 3: 34]. From Twichell’s journal:

“Our friends Mr & Mrs Mark Twain depart to-day to go to Europe, expecting to be about a year at least. The Lord prosper them. The last time I called on them Mark invited me to visit them in Germany next summer for two or three months at his expense. I mean to go” [Yale, copy at MTP].

March 28 Thursday – The Clemens family spent the day in New York City [Susan Crane to Paine, June 14, 1911, The Twainian, Nov.-Dec.1956 p4].

March 29 Friday Sam and Livy, the children and their nurse, Rosa, left New York and took the ten-hour train trip to Elmira, arriving at Mrs. Langdon’s [MTLE 3: 34; Susan Crane to Paine, June 14, 1911, The Twainian, Nov.-Dec.1956 p4].

Clemens began a letter to Denis McCarthy, which he finished Apr. 7. Sam had received a letter from Denis in Virginia City about putting up $190 for the Nevada Bank to keep some stock speculation. Sam wrote: “Not any more speculations for this financial mud-turtle” [MTLE 3: 39].

March 29April 4 Thursday Sometime between these days Sam made a quick trip to Fredonia to see his mother and family. He also briefly visited David Gray and wife in Buffalo [MTLE 3: 44]. He wrote David Gray on Apr. 10 that he’d had a:

“…perfectly enchanting time at your house [and a] delightful visit in Fredonia, & a horrid night-trip to New York” [MTLE 3: 44; Susan Crane to Paine, June 14, 1911, The Twainian, Nov.-Dec.1956 p4].

April 4 Thursday – Sam went to New York and checked into the St. James Hotel. He was to give a dinner speech at the Bayard Taylor Farewell Dinner in New York City, but “…was so jaded & worn…that I found I could not remember 3 sentences of the speech I had memorized, & therefore got up & said so & excused myself from speaking” [MTLE 3: 43].

The dinner was to honor Taylor shortly before he sailed for Europe as the United States minister to Germany. William Cullen Bryant presided over a party of 200 gentlemen. Other speakers were Howells, Charles Dudley Warner, Mayor Smith Ely Jr. (1825-1911), Edwards Pierrepont (1817-1892) and W.W. Phelps (1839-1894) [Fatout, MT Speaking 116-18]. Taylor also sailed on the Holsatia with the Clemens family [MTLE 3: 25].

April 5 Friday – Sam wrote a note at noon from New York to Frank Fuller, who was staying at the Sturtevant House. The note was not postmarked, so was likely delivered by courier. In an unidentified business matter, Sam wrote to give “him (unidentified) any interest that will fetch him.” He wrote that he’d been to the Sturtevant House to call on Mrs. Fuller, but had to rush off to meet an appointment, which hinged on one with Howells. Then he intended to meet Fuller and catch an evening train back to Elmira, but evidently did not finish his business because he was still in NY the next day [MTLE 3: 41].

April 6 Saturday – Sam left New York for Elmira [MTLE 3: 39].

April 7 Sunday – Sam arrived in Elmira at 3 AM [MTLE 3: 43]. Later that day he finished the Mar. 29 letter to Denis McCarthy; Sam wrote he’d been in NY the day before, where he’d heard the “common talk in Virginia [City] that I had persuaded Dan [De Quille] to adopt a plan in the writing of his book which I knew would kill it!” Sam responded that once such a claim might have upset him, but since he knew it wasn’t so and Dan wouldn’t say such a thing, it didn’t upset him; all he’d advised was to cut down a bit of the opening history [MTLE 3: 39-40].

He also wrote to his mother, Jane Clemens, and sister, Pamela Moffett, relating that he’d told Livy about his visit to the family in Fredonia [MTLE 3: 42-3].

April 10 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to David Gray, his old friend and editor from Buffalo. Sam thanked Gray for the visit to his house. The Clemens family would sail at 2 PM the next day.

Sam also wrote a goodbye note to Joe Twichell. Joe had agreed to let Sam pay his way to Germany after the family had been there some time, and Sam promised to write from Germany and advise him when to come [MTLE 3: 45].

In responding to a query by Harper & Brothers sent Jan. 29, 1905, Sam gives this date as the one he read proofs of his sketch, “About Magnanimous-Incident Literature,” which ran in the May 1878 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. His recollection 27 years after the fact may have been off a day, since the Clemens party stayed that night at the Gilsey House in New York and sailed for Germany the next day, April 11. Still, Sam may have gone on board the night prior to sailing in order to be alone while reading the proofs [MTP]. Note: See Budd, Collected I for the sketch.

The Clemens family and entourage left Elmira. They arrived in New York late in the evening, in order to sail the next day, and stayed the night at the Gilsey House [MTLE 3: 41; Powers, MT A Life 415-6]. Charles Langdon left for New York a few hours later [Susan Crane to Paine, June 14, 1911, The Twainian, Nov.-Dec.1956 p4].

April 11 Thursday – Before sailing, Sam wrote from New York to Moncure Conway, sending a letter of introduction for his nephew, Samuel Moffett, who would also travel to England. From the New York Times of Apr. 12:


The first name on the passenger list of the Holsatia, that sailed yesterday, was “Hon. Bayard Taylor, United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary;” then followed Mrs. Bayard Taylor and Miss Lillian Taylor, Mrs. Murat Halstead, Miss Jenny Halstead, Master Robert Halstead, Mr. Samuel L. Clemens and family. [Note: Murat Halstead (1829-1908).]

At 2 PM on a dismal day with frequent downpours, William Dean Howells saw the Clemens family off from New York, bound for Europe on the steamship Holsatia commanded by Captain C.L. Brandt. The Times article also mentioned Dan Slote was in the send-off party. It was a two-week voyage. Susy, six, and Clara, going on four, were accompanied by their German nursemaid, Rosa Hay. Also along was George, who would handle baggage and valet duties. Clara Spaulding, who went with the family five years before was also in the group, which occupied two staterooms. Also, a young lady, probably Miss Sophia J. Olivier, was traveling to Hamburg; Livy reluctantly agreed to take charge of her [MTLE 3:43; MTNJ 2: 110n127]. Although Sam had told friends he might be gone between two and three years, they would return in just over sixteen months [Kaplan 212]. The Clemens family had staterooms #19 and 20 [Slote to Clemens Mar. 8].

April 12 Friday – The New York Times, on page 8, ran an interview titled, “The Start for Germany,” where Sam said his new travel book would not imitate Innocents Abroad [Scharnhorst, Interviews 14-16].

April 13 Saturday – Bill & receipt from Arnold, Constable & Co., New York of $113.70 for various clothing items [MTP]. (Likely purchases made on Apr. 11.)

April 14 Sunday – From Sam’s notebook:

3d day out, Bayard Taylors’ colored man, being constipated, applied to the ship’s doctor for relief, who sent him 6 large rhubarb pills, to be taken one every 4 hours; the pills came by a German steward, who delivered the directions in German, the darkey not understanding a word of it. Result: the darkey took all the pills at once & appeared no more on deck for 6 days [MTNJ 2: 68].

April 17 Wednesday From Sam’s en route letter of Apr. 20 to his mother-in-law, Olivia Lewis Langdon:

“On the 17th we had heavy seas, then easy ones, then rough again; then brilliant skies, with thick driving storms of rain, hail, sleet & snow—sunshine again, followed by more snow, hail, rain & sleet—& so on, all day long; we sighted an ice-berg in the morning & a water-spout in the afternoon” [MTLE 3: 47-8].

April 20 Saturday Sam wrote a letter, en route on the SS Holsatia from New York to Hamburg, to Olivia Lewis Langdon. He wrote the letter on a ship’s menu.

It has been all kinds of a voyage—calm, smooth seas, then rough seas, then middling—& so on…To-day a lurch of the ship threw a passenger against an iron railing & they think he has a rib broken. The girls are worn out with the rolling & tumbling of the ship, & starved out too, since they eat nothing. But they’ll be all right, 2 days hence, when we reach Plymouth. The children get along splendidly, though the Bay swears at the weather sometimes [MTLE 3: 48].

April 22 Monday – From Sam’s notebook:

“It breaks out hearts, this sunny magnificent morning, to sail along the lovely shores of England & can’t go ashore. Inviting” [MTNJ 2: 68].

Sam reflected on “Lying story-books which make boys fall in love with the sea.” He referred to more realistic stories, such as Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast (1840). Sam wrote:

“…that a common sailor’s life is often a hell; & that there are probably more brutes in command of little ships than in any other occupation in life” [MTNJ 2: 69].

April 24 Wednesday The Holsatia stopped at Cherbourg and/or Le Havre, France. The American-Hamburg line went through Havre and normally took twelve days from New York to Havre, then an additional day from Havre to Hamburg, a deep-water port in Germany. However, Sam’s notebook mentions passengers getting off at Cherbourg [MTNJ 2: 69].

April 25 Thursday The Clemens family arrived at Hamburg and took rooms at the Crown Prince Hotel [MTLE 1: vii; MTNJ 2: 46, 71].

April 25 to 30 Tuesday Sam insisted that the family rest in Hamburg a week [Rodney 98]. They stayed five days [MTNJ 2: 46]. Livy wrote her mother on Apr. 26 that Hamburg “was the finest city I was ever in” [Rodney 79], which suggests she was well enough to do some sight seeing. Some sights Sam registered in his notebook:

Church St. Nicholai, very beautiful open-work stone spire (said to be next to the highest in the world) set upon a huge brick edifice. One account says this spire is the highest in the world. Well, no matter, the Church can claim one pre-eminence, I think, which cannot safely (successfully) be disputed—that inside it is the dismalest, barrenest, ugliest barn that exists in the boundless universe of God. Grumbler.

Haven’t seen or been accosted by a beggar. Haven’t seen a tramp—what luxury this is!

Watched a man on spire of St. Petri 400 ft above ground to see him fall, as he was handling a heavy rope & wind blowing—but was disappointed.

Got lost yesterday, wandered many miles & returned by water through the Alster.

View of Alsterbassin from front window.

The hackman lifted his hat when we left.—A perfectly astounding & gratifying piece of politeness [MTNJ 2: 71-2].

Note: Sam assigned certain statements in his notebook to “G” or “Gr” for “Grumbler,” a preparing of character for “Harris” (Twichell) in A Tramp Abroad. He had signed Grumbler in 1853 articles for his brother’s paper, the Hannibal Daily Journal.

April 25 to May 1, 1878 Hamburg, Germany.  Sam and daughter Susy were walking on the street and met Miss Marie Corelli (born Mary Mackay; 1855-1924; see insert). On Apr. 6, 1897 Sam replied to an invitation by John Y. MacAlister to some gathering with Corelli. Sam replied, “…it would move me too deeply to see Miss Corelli. When I saw her last it was on the street in Hamburg, & Susy was walking with me.” [MTP].


Note: The family was only in Hamburg one known time–these five days in 1878, though Sam and Joe Twichell were there for two days Aug. 20 to 21, 1892; and Sam went again (alone?) on Aug. 25 and 26 to meet the Prince of Wales (see entries Vol. 2). Corelli, British novelist, would luncheon with Sam in 1907. She would become the best-selling UK female novelist of the early 20th century, though critics ripped her books.


Dilemmas are often noted when using Sam’s Autobiographical dictations recalling events of many years prior. Sam’s dictation of Aug. 16, 1907 suggests 1892 as the first meeting with Corelli.


“I met Marie Corelli at a small dinner party in Germany fifteen years ago [ ca. 1892], and took a dislike to her at once, a dislike which expanded and hardened with each successive dinner course until when we parted at last, the original mere dislike had grown into a very strong aversion” [MTFWE 73]


Note: the dilemma here is that no other time spent in Hamburg (Homburg) was found besides these 3 periods, though it’s possible there were other visits there in 1892 while the Clemens family was staying at Bad Nauheim. In the 1878 period, Susy was only six; Corelli 23, and had not yet switched her career from music to writing (her first book, A Romance of Two Worlds (1886). The Clemens family was in Berlin in 1891-2, and it’s possible that they made a short visit to Homburg, a few hours away by train, though there is no record of such a trip—and, that Sam and Susy met Corelli on the street there in 1892. More research on Corelli’s whereabouts in 1878 and 1892 may prove to settle this question.

May Sam’s short story, “About Magnanimous-Incident Literature” ran in the Atlantic Monthly [Wells, 22]. During this month, Sam pinned a clipping from a James Payn essay, “An Adventure in a Forest; or, Dickens’s Maypole Inn,” to his Notebook 14. “Payn describes his futile search for Epping Forest and the famous Maypole Inn of Barnaby Rudge[Gribben 536]

An entry following one dated May 25 in Sam’s notebook decries the censorship of his age:

“By far the very funniest things that ever happened or were ever said, are unprintable (in our day). A great pity. It was not so in the freer age of Boccacio & Rableais” [MTNJ 2: 87].

May 1 Wednesday From Hamburg, the Clemens family traveled south by rail to Hanover and Göttingen. They took an excursion to Wilhelmshöhe [MTNJ 2: 46]. MTNJ says they “stopped briefly” at these places [73n65]. From Sam’s notebook:

“Woman at Napoleon’s prison-palace at Wilhelmshöhe–Heinrich said ‘If she look at you, if she say something, if she do anything, she all time look like a cat which is unwell’” [MTNJ 2: 74].

May 2 Thursday The Clemens family traveled by rail through the Harz Mountains, to Cassel (Kassel) [MTLE 3: 49-50]. They took rooms at the Hotel du Nord in Cassel [MTNJ 2: 73]. From Sam’s notebook: 


Who is buried here?


Then why the monument?

It is not a monument. It is a stove.

We had reverently removed our hats. We now put them on again.


In Europe they use safety matches & then entrust candles to drunken men, children, idiots, &c., & yet suffer little from fires, apparently. The idea of an open light in one of our houses makes us shudder.


The hatefulest thing in the world is a cuckoo clock [73-4].


May 3 Friday The Clemens family traveled to Frankfort where they rested a day or so [MTNJ 2: 46]. “The prettiest effect is a cloud-ceiling in fresco in our parlor at Frankfort” [74].

May 4 Saturday Sam wrote from Frankfort on the Main, Germany to Howells. Sam felt a relaxing sense of escape, described as only he might:

“Ah, I have such a deep, grateful, unutterable sense of being ‘out of it all.’ I think I foretaste some of the advantage of being dead. Some of the joy of it. I don’t read any newspapers or care for them.”

Sam was complimentary about Bayard Taylor (“a really lovable man” who had been on the Holsatia). He wrote that they were traveling from Hamburg to Heidelberg (a distance of about 359 miles) only four hours a day and taking six days to do it because Livy had “picked up a dreadful cold & sore throat on board ship.” They would be in Heidelberg the next day. Sam gave a “permanent address” care of bankers there. He was impressed with the “clean clothes…good faces, tranquil contentment…prosperity…genuine freedom…superb government!” of the Germans. Sam later wrote of Frankfort:

We made a short halt at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and found it an interesting city. I would have liked to visit the birthplace of Gutenburg, but it could not be done, as no memorandum of the site of the house has been kept. So we spent an hour in the Goethe mansion instead. The city permits this house to belong to private parties, instead of gracing and dignifying herself with the honor of possessing and protecting it [A Tramp Abroad, Ch. 1].

Goethe’s house—the courier had the effrontery to propose we visit birthplace of Rothschild. My dear sir, 2 or 300 years ago, they’d have skinned this Jew in old Frankfort, instead of paying homage to his birthplace—but it is an advance—we have quit loathing Jews & gone to worshipping their money.—Come, let us exhibit the birthplaces of Vanderbilt & Stewart to admiring foreigners [MTNJ 2: 75].

Sam and Livy had directed their nursemaid to only speak German to Susy and Clara; Susy wished “Rosa was made in English” [MTLE 3: 49-50].

Sam inscribed: “S. L. Clemens, Frankfort-a-M. / May 4, 1878.” – on the flyleaf of Johann Philipp Benkard’s Geschichte der Deutschen Kaiser und Konige (1869) [Gribben 59].

May 5 or May 6 Monday The Clemens family arrived in Heidelberg, Germany and stayed at the beautiful Schloss Hotel, which overlooked the old castle with its forest setting, the flowing Neckar River, and the distant valley of the Rhine [MTLE 3: 50]. Rodney notes that the hotel’s “family-style accommodations suited the needs of the party. Their situation so delighted Mark Twain that he expended three pages of detailed descriptions of the hotel and its environs in A Tramp Abroad [98].

Note: Sam’s May 4 letter to Howells stated they would go to Heidelberg “the next day” (May 5), as Rodney also cites [98]; [MTNJ 2: 46] gives the arrival as May 6. They may have arrived late on the night of May 5.

May 6 MondayLivy wrote on May 7:

Yesterday Rosa was in the castle grounds with the children, two ladies one English the other German sitting on a seat spoke to them, after a little asked their name, where they were from etc., etc. then she said “Clemens, why could that be Mark Twain?”—Rosa told them that it was, then the lady said to Susy, “I wish you would tell your papa that I have enjoyed his books very much”—No one in the hotel knows who Mr. Clemens is—we are having as quiet a life as we could possibly desire—The ladies asked the children if they could not sing some English songs, so they sang “Grandfather’s Clock,” “I have a Savior,” “Ring the Bells of Heaven” and Rosa said she saw tears in one of the ladies eyes…[Salsbury 77].

Bill paid for 184.25 marks to Rechnung, a Frankfurt merchant [MTP].

May 7 Tuesday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg, Germany to Bayard Taylor. Sam wrote in German [MTLE 3: 51].

From Livy’s pen:

“As I write Mr. Clemens is writing Mr. Howells—Rosa is talking German as fast as she can to the children—She is very faithful in the matter talks no English to them and Susy is picking up a great deal of German—I shall try next week to get them a teacher” [Salsbury 77]. Note: The letter from Sam to Howells that Livy referred to is most likely lost.

May 7 to May 23 Thursday – Rodney calls this period “two weeks of sheer indolence” [98]. Livy made their suite more comfortable and set a routine. Sam noticed everything and jotted in his notebook.

May 8 WednesdayEdmond About (1828-1885), French novelist and journalist wrote from Paris in French [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the margin., “Autograph of Edmond About. Preserve it.”

May 11 SaturdayBayard Taylor wrote from Berlin, Germany to Sam.

I have succeeded, by the aid of 4 Dictionaries, in deciphering your letter. The personal description, however, is not quite correct, and I doubt whether you are able to do it properly yourself. I recognize neither the gleaming eyes nor the bomb-proof moral character. I find that there is a certain official routine to be followed, and I can’t get outside of it. I inclose you the circular which is always sent by the Legation, in answer to applications for passports. The nearest Consul, in your case, is in Mannheim…His name is E.C. Smith, and he will attend to the whole business for you—especially the fees! [MTP].

May 17 Friday – Sam’s notebook about the traditional dueling (“How I Escaped Being Killed in a Duel”) of Heidelberg college students:

One knows a college bred man by his scars.

This morning 8 couples fought—2 spectators fainted. One student had a piece of his scalp taken. The others faces so gashed up & floor all covered with blood. They only wear protecting spectacles [MTNJ 2: 82] (See chapter 7 of A Tramp Abroad.)

May 21 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:

“At breakfast we saw the fields & villages or landslides (whichever they were) on the great sides of the Haard Mts, 35 or 40 miles away—the first time these mountains have shown anything but dark blue distance…Pink sunset through haze—black cloud with fringe circling over end of ridge at that town” [MTNJ 2: 84].

From Livy’s May 26 letter, referring to this day:

The children went on Tuesday of this week to the fair in the town, there were booths built each side of the street and everything sold in them, then there were places where they had little carriages and wooden horses on a large round platform, and the children got in these carriages or on these horses and then the entire platform went round and round, the children enjoyed it immensely….They brought home a rabbit that cost. 25 cts. that was their most expensive purchase. The rabbit was Clara’s—Susy had a horse…the children are so happy and we are all so happy [Salsbury 79].

May 22 Wednesday – Sam read and commented on an incident in the Frankfurter Journal of this morning. He practiced entering observations in German [MTNJ 2: 84-5].

May 23 Thursday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg to Joe Twichell, enclosing a note to George P. Bissell & Co., Hartford to pay Joseph H. Twichell three hundred dollars and charge it to Sam’s account [MTLE 3: 52].

May 24 Friday – Sam, Livy and Clara Spaulding went to the opera (King Lear) at nearby Mannheim, some 30 minutes by rail [MTNJ 2: 46, 85n82]. Rodney concludes that Sam “reluctantly” accompanied the ladies, bearing a dislike for opera that stemmed “from his earliest exposure in America” [99]. From Sam’s notebook:

May 24—Theatre, Mannheim —Lear—performance began at 6

Sharp. Never understood a word—Gr grumbling—by & by terrific

& perfectly natural peal of thunder & vivid lightning. Gr—

“Thank heaven it thunders in English, anyway.”

At home—Sat 3 hours & never understood a word but the

Thunder & lightning.” [MTNJ 2: 85]

May 25 Saturday – From Sam’s notebook:

How we miss our big wood fires, these raw cold days in the end of May. In all this region I suppose they’ve nothing but their close stoves, which warm gradually up & then stink & swelter for hours. It is the same vile atmosphere which a furnace has which has no cold-air box & so heats & reheats the same air [MTNJ 2: 86].

The thunder generally preceded the lightning last night at theatre, which was wrong [88].

The Grand Duchess of Baden passed through to-day—streets & bahnhoff decked with bunting & cannon fired. She is the Emperor’s daughter & was in the carriage with him last week when that communist fired on him [88].

May 26 Sunday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg to Howells. He loved the setting, the view of the Neckar River, the old castle and the Rhine Valley. He also enjoyed the glass-enclosed porches, which extended from the bedrooms, where he could read, rest and smoke. He sent compliments on Charley Warner’s latest Atlantic article. Sam had been resting and waiting for “the call” to write, which came a week before.

…my note-book comes out more & more frequently every day…3 days ago I concluded to move my manuscripts over to my den. Now the call is loud & decided, at last. So, tomorrow I shall begin regular, steady work, & stick to it till middle of July or 1st August, when I look for Twichell; we will then walk about Germany 2 or 3 weeks & then I’ll go to work again—(perhaps in Munich) [MTLE 3: 54-5].

Bought 2 cigars & 4 boxes fancy matches—gave 48 cent piece and got 42 ½ cents change. Shant import any more cheap cigars into Germany for economy’s sake [MTNJ 2: 89].

Prof. Ihne, Mrs. Ihne & daughter called—a very pleasant call, indeed [89].

From Livy’s pen:

Clara [Spaulding] sits by me writing her Mother and Mr. Clemens sits the other side of the table reading Mr. Warner’s Adirondack Sketch, he is perfectly convulsed with laughter—This evening Clara and I will read it—Tomorrow Mr. Clemens goes to work he has been making notes ever since we left home, so he has a good deal of material to work from….I have secured a young lady to be with them, the children—three hours a day. She begins tomorrow morning—She has taught in an English School….I liked her appearance very much indeed [Salsbury 78].

May 27 Monday – Sam wandered through the Heidelberg Castle grounds, then to his den and began work [MTNJ 2: 89].

May 28 Tuesday – Sam described another “curious sunset” in his notebook, and the Lohengrin opera program at Mannheim. “Opera is not a fashion, but a passion & it isn’t dependent upon the swells, but upon every body.” Sam remarked on getting the Frankfort daily the day it was printed, but the Heidelberg paper the day after [MTNJ 2: 91].

Bought a couple of gorgeously dressed ancient horrors in Castle museum, to start a portrait gallery of my ancestors with. Paid a dollar & a quarter for the male portrait & $2.50 for the lady. The gentleman a most self-satisfied smirk—but if he had known he would be sold to a base untitled republican 100 yrs later for a dollar & a half, would it have taken some of the tuck out of that smirk [MTNJ 2: 92].

May 30 Thursday – Sam again accompanied Livy and Clara Spaulding to Mannheim for an opera, this time Lohengrin [MTNJ 2: 46; 92]. From Sam’s notebook:

May 30— Mannheim—Went to a shivaree—(this is John) polite name, Opera.

In midst of it John who had not moved or spoken from the beginning, but looked the picture of patient suffering, was asked how he was getting along. He said in a tremulous voice that he had not had such a good time since he had his teeth fixed.

I have attended Operas whenever I could not help it, for fourteen years, now, & I am sure I know of no agony comparable to the listening to an unfamiliar Opera…what long, arid, heart-breaking & head-aching between-times expanses of that sort of intense but incoherent noise which so reminds me of the time the orphan asylum burned down [ 93].

June Sam wrote “The Lost Ear-ring,” which was not published in his lifetime [Fables of Man 145-148]. Note: source notes: “The tale begins with the date 6 June 1878, and the verso of manuscript page 13 bears the heading ‘Schloss Hotel Heidelberg, June 5’…The title was supplied at the time Bernard DeVoto was the Editor of the Mark Twain Papers.”

On board the Holsatia in Apr. 1878, Bayard Taylor introduced Sam to the popular German song, “Die Lorelei,” which Sam had never heard. This month he copied its lyrics into his notebook in both German and English [MTNJ 2: 100]. It became one of Sam’s favorites.

Also in his notebook, “English swore (Misses Berry?) up to end of last century,” referring to Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography, which carried an anecdote on page 278 about “feminine oaths of a hundred years ago,” by Mary and Agnes Berry [Gribben 454].

June 1 SaturdayFrancis D. Millet wrote from Paris to Sam. “What good fortune that you are over here. I certainly appreciate your suggestion that I meet you in Germany—it will be no trifle that deters me from coming where you are if it be agreeable to you all. I want to see you all very much for I feel as if you owned a part of me.” He was hard at work on a book [MTP]. Note in file: “Note SLC’s reference to this letter in ‘Mental Telegraphy’ (Harper’s, Dec. 1891).”

June 2 Sunday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel, Heidelberg to Moncure Conway. Sam had misgivings about giving his 17-year-old nephew, Samuel Moffett, a letter of introduction to the Conways, which he had done while visiting Fredonia. Sam asked them not to let the Moffett boy inconvenience them and suggested they simply give him a card of admission to the British Museum. Sam had seen some things in his nephew, no doubt, which caused him to feel the young man needed to “paddle his own canoe” while traveling abroad [MTLE 3: 56].


Sam also wrote to David Gray, describing again their hotel view and balconies. Sam had hired a den at the “not exhorbitant sum of $5 a month, on the opposite side of the Neckar, in an upper story of a dwelling-house.” He needed to write away from the demands and clatter of family. He intended to learn German but saw now that it would interrupt his writing too much. Sam walked daily at 4 PM through the town and castle grounds. He told Gray of writing a book about Germany, “in the sort of narrative form which I used in Innocents, Roughing It & Bermuda stuff.” The book would be A Tramp Abroad. Sam also injected a jab at Bret Harte, after reading an article in a German paper that Harte would have a consulate with $3,000 a year. “I suppose the government’s idea is to get up a contrast with Bayard Taylor, who is a gentleman” [MTLE 3: 57-8]. Harte became the commercial agent of the U.S. at Crefeld, near Düsseldorf, Germany [Duckett 163].


Sam also wrote to Susan Crane about the family; Livy added a few lines:

Dear Susie—Livy is not pretty well this afternoon, so I thought I would write you in her place—represent her, in a lame & inefficient manner. We have a governess, now; a very capable, diligent & pleasing girl of about 21. She is German, but has taught in a school in England for a year & a half. She comes every day from 9 till 12—wages $15 a month. She interests the children in all sorts of work & play, & they have fallen in love with her. She speaks nothing but German to them. She also requires German answers—which she dictates & which they forget as soon as uttered. Susie is honestly trying to learn, & uses a number of German words, but Bay detests the language, & will have but little to [do] with it. I thrashed the Bay today, for tramping on the grass in a gentleman’s grounds. But I only had my trouble for my pains; she was thinking about something else & did not know when I was through.

Livy feels mighty conscience-stricken for having bundled poor Catherine Beecher out of her house so unceremoniously—but doubtless she has plenty of company in that feeling, now.

Clara Spaulding is working herself to death with her German—never loses an instant while she is awake—or asleep, either, for that matter—dreams of enormous serpents, who poke their heads up under her arms, & glare upon her with red-hot eyes & inquire about the Genitive Case & the declensions of the Definite Article. Livy is bully-ragging herself about as hard; pesters over her grammar & her Reader & her Dictionary all day—then in the evening these two students stretch themselves out on sofas & sigh & say, “O there’s no use—we never can learn it in the world!” Then Livy takes a sentence to go to bed on: goes gaping and stretching to her pillow, murmuring, “Ich bin Ihnen sehr Verbunden—Ich bin Ihnen sehr Verbunden—Ich bin Ihnen sehr Verbunden— I wonder if I can get that packed away so it will stay till morning”—& about an hour after midnight she wakes me up & says, “I do so hate to disturb you, but is it Ich Ben Johnson sehr befinden?”

As for me, I’ve shook the language & gone to work. I cannot afford to throw away time, now that I am old, over such an outrageous & impossible grammar. I said I would study two weeks, & I did. If I had said I would study four, I might have broken my word. I scorn that grammar; & it gratifies me to know that the few sentences I am obliged to utter daily, in the course of trade, always break all the laws of the German grammar at a sweep. To be able to read easily & translate shall be sufficient for me.

There are three great handsome dogs here, & a litter of puppies. The mother-dog is very cross, but the father-dog isn’t. I said there was nothing strange about this difference of disposition, as the dogs were not kin to each other. But Bay spoke up and said, “O yes they are, papa—the Mother-dog is the father-dog’s brother.”

Lately Livy has whipped Bay with the heavy stem of one of my pipes. The other day she had occasion to discipline Susie—had her weapon ready. Poor Susie observed it, & said with simple pathos that she wished we had brought the paper cutter from home, “because she was better acquainted with it.”

Good bye, Susie dear—we all send a world of love to you, & our dear old Mother—& each & all of you.




Sue dear I feel all the time apprehensive about you and Mother I do hope you will keep well until we return.

I pine to send you some of the wild flowers there are such quantities & such varieties. I will send in this one piece of grass & one wild flower—they are both so lovely—

I love you all—

    Your Livy

[MTP]. Note: “Bay” was Clara’s nickname.


In his notebook, Sam wrote an entry about the Emperor being fired upon by a socialist. He added:


“60,000 communists drilling in Cin. Chic. & St. Louis” [MTNJ 2: 94].


In Boston, Howells wrote to Sam (see June 27 entry).


June 3 Monday Sam wrote a one-liner from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg to Andrew Chatto, asking him to send a copy of Innocents Abroad and Roughing It [MTLE 3: 59].


June 4 Tuesday Sam moved his den to “the very pinnacle of the Kaiserstuhl 1400 or 1500 feet up in the air above the Schloss Hotel, & 1700 above the Rhine Valley—which it overlooks” [MTLE 3: 64]. (See entry of June 16; letter to Warner).


From Sam’s notebook: “Rented & paid for a room for a month at the pretty little Wirtschaft under the Königstuhl” [MTNJ 2: 94].


Bayard Taylor wrote to Sam, having just rec’d his letter. “I take it for granted that you are still at the Schloss-Hotel, enjoying the Aussicht. I have your Ersuch wegen dem Pass noch nicht durch den Manheimer Consul empfangen…” [MTP]. Note: Google translation: “Not yet received beseech because of the pass through the Consul Manheimer.”


June 5 and 6, 1878 additionFables of Man, p.144 gives this for “The Lost Ear-ring”: “The tale begins with the date 6 June 1878, and the verso of manuscript page 13 bears the heading ‘Schloss Hotel Heidelberg, June 5’”.


June 8 Saturday Clara Clemens and family celebrated her fourth birthday. The family custom was to give both girls presents on either’s birthday. They received dolls, books, cups, and flowers. In the afternoon they rode donkeys up a hill and enjoyed a picnic of bread, butter, and strawberries [Willis 119; Salsbury 79].


Sam received an invitation to the Author’s Congress, Victor Hugo (1802-1885) presiding. The invite had been sent to America and the Congress met on June 11. Sam elected not to go. He noted the invitation was signed by Edmond About, French novelist and journalist [MTNJ 2: 97]. (See June 10 entry.)


Twichell replied to Sam’s May 23 dispatch to fund his trip.


Do you realize, Mark, what a symposium it is to be?…Nothing replentishes me as travel does. Most of all I am to have my fill, or a big feed anyway, of your company—and under such circumstances! To walk with you, and talk with you, and sleep with you, and say my prayers with you, and see things with you, for weeks together,—why it’s my dream of luxury [MTNJ 2: 113].

June 9 Sunday – Sam wrote in his notebook that there was a big crowd at dinner for Whitsunday, or the seventh week after Easter. Since arriving in Germany, Sam gathered material to make fun of the German language. He wrote “Fruendschaftsbezeigungen—24 [letters]” in his notebook, then some examples of how little sense gender made when applied to some words [MTNJ 2: 97].

“Shipped from Heidelberg June 9, Case M.C. 346 gross 204 pounds, containing 1 table and carved works” [291].

Lucy A. Perkins wrote from Hartford to thank Sam for his letter and photos of Heidelberg Castle [MTP].

June 10 Monday Sam wrote from the Königsstuhl in Heidelberg (near his rented den) to Bayard Taylor. His letter revealed his new daily routine: He only ate and slept at the hotel; in the mornings he walked to the…

“…second story of a little Wirthschaft which stands at the base of the Tower on the summit of the Königsstuhl. I walk up there every morning at 10, write until 3, talk the most hopeless & unimprovable German with the family until 5, then tramp down to the Hotel for the night” [MTLE 3: 60].

Sam also wrote regrets to the Paris Literary Convention (Congress), which had invited him to attend, in conjunction with the 1878 Exposition Universelle. French writer Victor Hugo led the Congress for the Protection of Literary Property, which led to the eventual formulation of international copright laws. (Hugo would suffer a mild stroke this month.) Sam expressed to Gray that if he went it would take a fortnight there and another fortnight to “get settled down into the harness again” [MTLE 3: 60]. Sam put in his notebook that the Emperor was ready to leave his bed again after being shot [MTNJ 2: 97].

“Stadtverordnetenversammlung.—27 [letters] tape-worm” [MTNJ 2: 98].

June 11 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:

30 or 40 little school girls at the Wirthschaft to-day when I left, all drinking beer at the tables in the open air. What an atrocious sight to the total abstinent eye!

I think that only God can read a German newspaper.

The chief German characteristic seems to be kindness, good will to men.

The best English characteristic is its plucky & persistent & individual standing up for its rights.

France seems to interest herself mainly in high art & seduction.

June 14 Friday – Sam wrote in his notebook the price of a “suit of clothes—$18—cheaper than stealing.” He wondered if half the country was near-sighted, or did they wear glasses for style? [MJNJ 2: 102].

June 16 Sunday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg to Frank Bliss. Sam noted progress on the new book, hoping to be about half finished with the draft by the middle of July, 250 or 300 pages. He would send the manuscript:

“…as soon as our touring around will permit, & let you issue it in the winter or hold it till Spring, as shall seem best” [MTLE 3: 62].

Sam also wrote to Charles Dudley Warner, with Livy adding a line about Sam’s joke, ribbing her for mistaking “wonderful” in German for “windowshade.” Sam expressed frustration with the German language,  but all he needed to use it for was to tell the little boys “who infest my way that I do not wish to buy any flowers today…since all the rest of the German nation speak English.”

Sam wrote about moving to a new den:

I have the only room in the little Wirthshaft there not lived in by the family. I start to climb the mountain every morning about 10 or a little after; I loaf along its steep sides, cogitating & smoking; rest occasionally & peer out through ragged windows in the dense foliage upon the fair world far below; then trudge further, to another resting-place, with an attentive ear to the pleasant woodland sounds, the manifold music of the birds—& finally I reach my den about noon, feeling pretty gorgeous & at peace with the world. I treat myself to a blast of the summit-breeze & a five minutes’ contemplation of the great Rhine-plain’s slumbering sea of mottled tints & shades, & then shut myself up tight & fast in my noiseless den & go to work. About 4 p.m. I take beer & listen to the family’s domestic news, or get one of the young girls to pilot me through some conjugations & declensions, or hold the book while I curse the Dative Case—then, about 5 or 5.15 I go loafing down the mountain again, find Livy & Clara in the Castle park, & listen to the band in the shadow of the ruin [MTLE 3: 64].

While Clemens wrote, Livy, Clara Spaulding, the girls, and their caretakers explored the castle on the grounds of the hotel. Similar to Quarry Farm summers, they picked flowers and played with the pets and farm animals—donkeys, goats, pigs, and chickens…Livy was pleased their money bought more in Europe. She recorded with pride that their rent and meals were a little less than $250 a month [Willis 118].

Text Box: June 18, 1878
End of Federal Enforcement in the South (Posse Comitatus)



June 20 Thursday – From Sam’s notebook:

“Shipped from Frankfort June 20, case marked B & C, containing crockery” [MTNJ 2: 291].

June 22 Saturday – From Sam’s notebook:

Man hanging to boat in Neckar—people rescued him.

From a German paper:

“What constitutes official disgrace in America?”

Ans—God knows.


There is only one thing which is worse than H[eidelberg] coffee: that is H cream.

Superstitions lasting from old mythology

Must not climb a tree on St John’s Day (22d June?)—nor go on the water 8 days before up to 8 days after. [MTNJ 2: 103]

June 26 WednesdayLivy was “startled” to discover passages in Sam’s notebook where Captain Wakeman would visit “various heavens.” Duckett writes:

“this may have been the earliest appearance of a protagonist cast down from his high estate which Bernard De Voto traced as it developed from a dream sequence and reappeared obsessively….in the determinism of ‘What is Man?’ privately published in 1904” [179].

June 27 Thursday Sam had received Howells June 2 reply to his May 4 Frankfort letter, in which Howells wrote: “Tell me about Capt. Wakeman in Heaven, and all your other enterprises”  [MTHL 1: 233]. Howells’ letter included news about Hay, Osgood, Waring, and Aldrich, briefly mentioning those traveling overseas. He included one sentence about Bret Harte gaining “a consular appointment somewhere in Germany,” and it set Sam off, calling Harte every name in the book and asking where in Germany Harte would be. “…to send this nasty creature to puke upon the American name in a foreign land is too much.” Sam felt his letter to President Rutherford B. Hayes had been ignored and he admitted he felt “personally snubbed” [MTLE 3: 66] Sam’s best news was saved till last—Livy’s income from the coal business had recovered; Sam wrote “we’ve quit feeling poor!” [MTLE 3: 67].

June 28 Friday Sam wrote from Heidelberg to William Seaver, one of the old New York journalism bunch Sam met in 1872.

Dear Old Seaver: / There be humorists in Germany. With infinite difficulty I have translated the following from a Mannheim paper:

      A thirsty man called for beer. Just as the foaming mug was placed before him, some one sent in for him. The place was crowded. Could he trust his beer there? A bright idea flashes through his brain. He writes on a card, “I have expectorated in this beer”—fastens the card to the mug & retires with triumph in his eye to see what is wanted. He returns presently & finds his card reversed & this written on it: “Ich auch,” (I also!”) [MTLE 3: 69].

June 29 Saturday – In Sam’s notebook:

“We usually spend from 5 to 7 pm in the grounds, knitting, embroidering, smoking, & hearing the music. Pretty warm now” [MTNJ 2: 104].

July 1 Monday Sam wrote from the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg to his mother, Jane Clemens, and sister, Pamela Moffett, after receiving their letter with news of Samuel Moffett’s departure for Europe. Sam wrote of cheap prices for rent, a suit of clothes and language instruction. He confided that he’d need “a couple of centuries” to learn “this bloody language.” Sam also wrote that Livy had to use Susy to give the chambermaid a proper order in German. Also, Clara Clemens had a high fever [MTLE 3: 70].

July 2 Tuesday – From Sam’s notebook:

“Heard Prof. Fisher at University, on Leibnitz—plenty names & dates, from birth 1646 to death, 1717” [MTNJ 2: 105]. Note: Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher, who wrote so widely in journals and articles in several languages that no one has dared to publish a complete works.

On or shortly before this day, Frank Harris, a student in Heidelberg came to the hotel and invited Sam to speak to the Anglo-American Club on the Fourth of July. Harris was accompanied by a brother of Sir Charles Waldstein, probably Martin Waldstein [MTNJ 2: 112].

July 4 Thursday – Sam gave a short talk at the Anglo-American Club of Students, Heidelberg using both German and English.

Gentlemen: Since I arrived, a month ago, in this old wonderland, this vast garden of Germany, my English tongue has so often proved a useless piece of baggage to me, and so troublesome to carry around, in a country where they haven’t the checking system for luggage, that I finally set to work and learned the German language Also! Es freut mich dass dies so ist…[Fatout, MT Speaking 120]


Note: During a meeting with Frank Harris, Sam spouted violent criticism of Bret Harte; Harris was offended and vowed never to see or talk to Sam again [Fatout, Circuit 199].  

Text Box: July 8, 1878 
Adolph Sutro completed his tunnel
begun on October 19, 1865



July 8 Monday – Mr. Jewel wrote to Sam: “for exchange cows / 45 dollars” [MTP]. (No first name given, nor is any context.)

July 9 Tuesday – Mack in Nevada, a history of the state on Adolph H. Sutro’s completion of the tunnel, which took nearly thirteen years:

“A few years later [after the initial drilling] he obtained $2,100,000 from subscriptions in the United States and in Europe. The work on the tunnel was then pushed with all possible speed. In 1878 Sutro’s dream was nearing realization—the men working in the tunnel could hear the miners at work with their drills in the Savage mine, the shaft nearest the tunnel. Finally, on July 8, 1878, a round of powder broke the last remaining wall between the tunnel and the shaft. Sutro himself was there when the last shot was fired. He was the first to crawl through the opening. It was said the rush of air from the shaft into the tunnel was so great that it sucked Sutro through the hole with such a terrific force that he was hurled to the other side of the shaft. He was picked up bruised, bleeding, and almost unconscious. Although he was almost overcome with excitement and with the extreme heat of the tunnel he was able to shout for joy. The main tunnel measured 20,480 feet in length and cost $2,096,556.41, exclusive of the expenses incurred by Sutro in the carrying out of his plan” [448-9]. Note: In 1871 Sam sought information from Sutro, a friend of John Henry Riley’s, about mining conditions for Roughing It.

July 10 Wednesday – One line noted Sam’s excursion to the nearby historic city of Worms on this day [MTNJ 2: 108]. It’s unknown if Sam went alone or with others.

July 13 Saturday Sam wrote from Heidelberg to Frank Bliss. Sam had received Frank’s letter in “the usual time, 14 days.” Evidently Frank had asked for Sam’s power of attorney, as he was ready to break away from his father’s publishing company to start his own business. Sam answered that even if he sent the documents that day, Frank wouldn’t have them until July 27, which was “ten days too late,” for whatever Frank had in mind. Sam confessed he was making “fair progress, but of course it isn’t great progress” on the new book. He was at about 45 or 50,000 words, or about a quarter of what was needed. He would work on intermediate chapters when “we are settled down for the fall & winter in Munich” [MTLE 3: 71].

Sam’s notebook: “51 Americans arrived & made less noise than 10 Germans” [MTNJ 2: 108].

July, mid to end – During the last week in Heidelberg, Sam was in bed with attacks of rheumatism. Livy wrote her brother, Charles Langdon on July 21 about the treatment:

“He had perfectly terrible pain in his foot and leg—the ankle was very much swollen & the cords & veins all distended—We sent for the Dr. & he put on a plaster of paris bandage that made in a few minutes a boot as hard as stone, in a few hours the pain was better” [MTNJ 2: 109n124].

July 17 WednesdayJoe Twichell left for Europe to join the Clemens family. From Joe’s journal:

Sailed from New York by the Cunard S.S. Abyssinia, with my dear friend Rev. Dr. Parker for a companion. Met Mark Twain and his family at Baden-Baden Germany, with whom I spent six weeks in Germany and Switzerland most happily. M.T. and I made a number of pedestrian excursions and enjoyed a world of pleasure together [Yale, copy at MTP].

One of the editors of the Hartford Courant sent Twichell clippings before he embarked. Joe noted the different stances that various newspapers took about Sam paying Joe’s way. The New York Mail merely announced that “‘Mark’ will foot the bills.” The New York Sun printed this rather snide piece:

Mark Twain has sent for his pastor, the Rev. Mr. Twichell of Hartford, to join him in a tour through Switzerland and Germany at Mark’s expense, and this pastor, the Rev. Mr.Twichell, will go. This is the reward held out to the rising generation of American humorists—the successful comic man will not only be able to afford a pastor, but to take him around Europe, and hang the expense. The pastor must, however, be careful that his humorous friend does not use him as material for some new ”Innocents Abroad,” because it might then turn out that the trip was at the pastor’s expense after all [In Twichell’s notebook, undated, Yale]

July 22 Monday – Sam’s notebook:

“Day before leaving Heidl. Where is that, this & the other thing? It is packed—& so we live without a convenience” [2: 109].

July 23 Tuesday Sam wrote from Heidelberg to Chatto & Windus, publishers, about money matters. He also requested a copy of Ouida’s Friendship, bound in full dark blue morocco [MTLE 3: 72].

The Clemens family traveled by rail to Baden Baden, Germany, staying in the Hotel de France [MTNJ 2: 47, 109n123]. Sam remembered the hotel as a “plain, simple, unpretending, good hotel” in chapter 21 of A Tramp Abroad. The medicinal baths in Baden Baden were probably an inducement for the move.

Sam’s notebook:

“Only 18. M.[arks] for large parlor & 2 large chambers on 1st floor, Hotel de France

Music at 7 AM & from 4 PM till late toward about 10 or 11. Very fine” [MTNJ 2: 118].


July 24 Wednesday – The Clemens party started out on a three-day carriage trip through the Black Forest. They stayed at inns along the route. From Sam’s notebook:


“Stopped at Forbach at noon—trout under a grape arbor, & 3 Germans eating in general room.

The village assembled to see a tinker mend a tin boiler.

School where they sang—something like our singing geography—one monotonous tune of ½ doz. notes.”


Note: “The Clemens party followed the scenic carriage route, from Baden-Baden to Allerheiligen via Forbach, Schönmünzach and Ottenhöfen, described by Baedeker”…etc. [MTNJ 2: 116n4].

July 25 Thursday – The second day of the carriage trip over country that Sam and Joe would tramp in early August. Eclectic entries from Sam’s notebook:

Hotel with nobody visible—one (very nice) room-girl for 3 floors—

& an awful bell to call folks to supper.

I wish I could hear myself talk German.

Superb view from Teufelstein, Luisaruhe & Englekanzel.

C[lara] when down & visited the waterfalls.

Beautiful bright green grass everywhere.

Lovely valley & quaint thatched houses in Thal befor[e] Seeberg or some such name.

Drenching rain all down the Schlectes Weg which approaches Alln. Bright holly bushes.

Sometimes the cows occupy the first floor, sometimes the family

Saw a cow’s rump projecting from what should have been the drawing room.

If they had Schwarzwald bread, the feeding the 5,000 was hardly a miracle [MTNJ 2: 117-8].

July 26 or July 27 Saturday –The Clemens party returned by rail to the Hotel de France in Baden Baden [MTNJ 2: 116n3]. Sometime during their stay in Baden Baden, Rosina Hay saved Clara Clemens, age four, from crawling outside the balusters of a hotel corridor six-stories up [MTNJ 2: 367]. Note: See Harnsberger p.31.

July 28 Sunday – Sam went to the “English Church” and sat behind the Empress of Germany. From his notebook:

She contributed 20 marks & snapped her smelling bottle a good deal & curtsied at the name of the Savior instead of merely inclining the head, as others did….Church not crowded—the Empress does not “draw” well for an Em[press.] [MTNJ 2: 119].

Sat from 8 till 10…hearing the music & watching the crowds drift by. Pretty girls & beautiful women hardly exist in Germany, but many have beautiful forms [121].

July 29 Monday – From Sam’s notebook:

Lot of loud Americans at breakfast this morning—loud talking & coarse laughter. Talking at everybody else.

Took a nasty glass of hot mineral water at 7 AM, with teaspoon of Carlsbad salt dissolvd in it.

Never knew before what Eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.

The fact that we have but 1200 soldiers to meet 6,000 Indians is well utilized here to discourage immigration to America. The common people think the Indians are in New Jersey.

Nothing can stop the Irish from coming, alas!

July 30 Tuesday Sam wrote to Mr. Tyler (a merchant) about a “sorry old table” from the Heidelberg College prison he hoped to purchase. Sam had been unable to attend to the errand. He wrote that he expected to be at Lang’s Hotel on Aug. 6 with “a jolly preacher [Twichell] who will arrive here day after tomorrow” [MTLE 3: 73].

August 1 Thursday Joe Twichell arrived in Baden Baden, Germany [MTNJ 2: 113]. Joe was prepared to spend six weeks hiking with Sam. On or about this day Sam wrote to Charles Dudley Warner. Sam had heard that his subsidy of Twichell’s trip was in the newspapers, and it upset him.


I bullyrag Joe into coming over here, —perfectly aware that nineteen-twentieths of the pecuniary profit & advantage are on my side, to say nothing of the social advantage, —& by jings, one would imagine, from the newspapers that Joe is the party receiving a favor. I could live a whole year in Europe out of the clean cash I have made out of Joe Twichell [MTLE 3: 74].


August 2 Friday – Sam and Joe took a short excursion (6 miles) to the popular Altes Schloss (Favorita Schloss), a conspicuous ruin on the summit of a hill outside town. Sam’s notebook holds an entry paraphrasing a guide book, that:


“…no tourist should fail to climb the mountain & enjoy the view. Hired boy to climb the Mt & examine (or enjoy?) the view. He felt well repaid for all his trouble.”


Later in the day they walked back through the woods to Baden Baden. Sam noted that “G P R James’s ‘Heidelberg’ is rot,” referring to George Payne Rainsford James(1799-1860) 1846 melodramatic novel about 17th Century Heidelberg [MTNJ 2: 47, 126].


August 4 Sunday – Sam and Joe took another one-day excursion from Baden Baden to Ebersteinburg to Nuehaus to Gernsbach, where they drank beer. Sam sent a telegram to Livy at the Hotel de France [MTNJ 2: 129]. The pair returned to Baden Baden in the evening.


August 5 Monday Sam and Joe left by rail for a week-long tramp. Sam wrote at 8:30 PM from Allerheiligen, Germany to Livy in Heidelberg. Sam wrote of almost being left at Baden Baden that morning, having waited on the wrong side of the train tracks. After having their day “mapped out” by a schoolmaster named Scheiding, the rest of the day was full:

We took a post carriage from Achern to Otterhöfen for 7 marks—stopped at the “Pflug” to drink beer…It was intensely Black-foresty…/ We walked the carriage road till we came to that place where one sees the footpath on the other side of a ravine, then we crossed over & took that. For a good while we were in a dense forest & judged we were lost, but met 2 native women who said we were all right. We fooled along & got here at 6 P.M—ate supper, then followed down the ravine to the foot of the falls, then struck into a blind path to see where it would go, & just about dark we fetched up at the Devil’s Pulpit (where you & I were,) on top of the hills. Then home. And now to bed, pretty sleepy & requiring no whisky. Joe sends his love & I send a thousand times as much, my darling [MTLE 3: 75].

Bill paid to the Hotel de France for room #’s 1, 2 and 3 for Aug. 1 to 5, totaling 75.90 and 322.30 marks [MTP].


August 6 Tuesday – Clemens and Twichell walked from Allerheiligen to Oppenau, Germany, ten miles [MTNJ 2: 47, 129]. They then took a train from Oppenau to Heidelberg “through clouds of dust” [129].


August 7 Wednesday Sam wrote from Lang’s Hotel in Heidelberg to Livy. He’d received her note and thanked her.


“We have had a long & most enjoyable day in a carriage up to Hirschhorn & back with Smith” [MTLE 3: 76].


(Edward Meigs Smith) is the full name given in the Aug. 20 letter to Frank Bliss.) The travelers spent the day in Heidelberg, with Sam noting a church there with a partition—one side Catholic, the other Protestant [MTNJ 2: 130].


Theodore W. Crane for Langdon & Co. wrote to Sam on Charles E. Perkins to Crane Aug. 4 letter: “Will you advise Mr Perkins what your wishes are—nothing new—all well except Andrew’s Mother who is very sick. Yours…”  [MTP]. Note: Perkins did not want to “take the responsibility of acting” for Clemens in the matter of Slote & Co. owing.


August 8 Thursday – Joe and Sam took the train up the river valley to Wimpfen. They started out on foot, and took a peasant’s cart seven more miles to Heilbronn [Rodney 103]. They browsed around the town and admired the old buildings. They ordered red wine at the Hotel zum Falkan but got something different. They discovered the label was wet and had just been applied. Sam wrote in his notebook “2000 labels sent to one American firm so they can furnish any wine desired.” He also noted an unusual ornate clock on Heilbronn’s Rathhaus, built in 1550, which he later put in Chapter 12 of A Tramp Abroad [MTNJ 2: 130]. Sam didn’t sleep well, as he:


…heard the ¼ hours struck & the sweet trumpet blow, from 10.15 to 4.30. Got up in night to get my feather bed & barked my brow on an ornament of the tall stove. I could not do it justice, so said absolutely nothing.


The hotel about 300 years old is a comparatively modern building—but some of the stenches were quite old—they were antiques, I should say [131].


August 9 Friday Twichell and Sam took a boat from Heilbronn for a trip down the Neckar River, stopping for beer and chicken at Jagtfeldt, then continuing toward Hirschhorn in a new and smaller boat [MTNJ 2: 132].


Powers: “Sam maintained his near-preternatural gift for spotting undraped females while traveling: ‘dozen naked little girls bathing’ just below Jagtfeldt, and, a little later on a ‘[s]lender naked girl’ who ‘snatched a leafy bow of a bush across her front & then stood satisfied gazing out upon us as we floated by—a very pretty picture’” [419-20].


Sam’s notebook:


“Hasshersheim (?) town where we tarried & took beer & H [Twichell] went swimming above where 25 girls were & was warned away. Below this town on right bank, 200 ft up on top of the steep bank, castle of Hornberg, high old vine clad walls enclosing trees, & one peaked tall tower 75 ft high” [2: 132-3].


Sam, Joe, Edward Meigs Smith and “young Smith” spent the night at the Hotel Zum Naturalisten in Hirschorn. The Smith boy slept on the floor under a stuffed “great gray cat with staring, intelligent glass eyes.” The boy couldn’t sleep until he got up and turned the cat’s head away [MTNJ 2: 136n50].


August 10 Saturday – In the morning the men explored Dilsburg Castle [Rodney 103]. Sam and Joe started back to Baden Baden by train. They took a swift raft ride of the lower river to Heidelberg, plowing the raft into a bridge [103]. “Blazing hot in train.” They stopped at Friedrich. From Sam’s notebook:


“Took a bath at Friedrich. In Evening to bed early, with the new home magazines [July Harper’s, and Atlantic] which I had saved all day & wouldn’t cut a leaf. Twichell the ass, writes & goes to the music. I lie & smoke & am wise” [MTNJ 2: 134].


In Heidelberg, Sam purchased George Eliot’s (1819-1880) Ramola (1863) [Gribben 218].


An unsigned article titled, “Mark Twain at Home” ran in Leisure Hour. It was a brief description of an interview with Mark Twain, noting “the excellency of his literary taste” and calls him “a constitutional humorist,” in his perspective on any topic [Tenney 8].


August 11 Sunday – Sam and Twichell returned to Baden Baden. Livy, the children and the rest of the Clemens party had already gone on to Lucerne, Switzerland [Rodney 103]. From Sam’s notebook:


Been reading Romola yesterday afternoon, last night, & this morning; at last I came upon the only passage which has thus far hit me with force—Tito compromising with his conscience & resolving to do, not a bad thing, but not the best thing.


Feeling religious this morning I sent a scout to church. He saw the Empress & heard a poor sermon.


Sunday Night, 11th. Huge crowd out to-night to hear the band play the Fremersberg. I suppose it is very low grade music—I know it must be low grade music—because it so delighted me….I have never heard enough classic music to be able to enjoy it; & the simple truth is, I detest it. Not mildly, but with all my heart [MTNJ 2: 138].


Sam used notebook entries from this date discussing “high and low grade” music and art in Ch. 24 of TA.


“What a red rag is to a bull, Turner’s “Slave Ship” is to me…A Boston critic said the “Slave Ship” reminded him of a cat having a fit in a platter of tomatoes” [MTNJ 2: 139].


Sam’s notebook: “When they play Martha, the liars applaud all along—but when The Last Rose of Summer drops in, they forget & the applause is something tremendous” [MTNJ 2: 140].


August 12 Monday The men left Baden Baden by rail and arrived at Lucerne, Switzerland where they joined Livy, the children and the rest of the party who had been there a few days [MTNJ 2: 47].

August 13 to 14 Wednesday – Sam and Twichell rested and visited with Livy, Clara, and the children.

August 15 Thursday – The entire Clemens party took a two-day excursion to the Rigi-Kulm. They spent the night in a hotel on the Rigi to watch the sunset and sunrise.

In a letter of Aug. 20, Sam described the ascent and descent to his mother:

Twichell & I took a stroll of a couple of days in the Black Forest, & another up the Neckar to Heilbron, & another to the summit of Rigi, where the rheumatism captured me once more & we had to come down with the others by rail. It was a good deal like coming down a ladder by rail. I did not like it [MTLE 3: 78]. (See Aug 20 entry.)

In a Aug. 18 letter to her mother, Livy described the excursion:

Thursday about two o’clock we started on our trip to the top of the Rigi, we went for nearly an hour in a boat then took an open car in which we were pushed by a steam engine up the mountain.…Mr. Clemens and Mr. Twichell walked up….When we reached the top the rain was pouring and the wind blowing a perfect gale….We went to our rooms took a glass of wine, lay down and I had a nap before the gentlemen came….

After the gentlemen had gotten on dry clothes (Mr. Clemens lay in bed while his pants were dried) we had our supper—The hotel is a beautiful one way up there on the top of the mountains…after supper we tried to get warm at the stove but there were too many people…so after a little while we went to our room. Mr. Clemens got in bed to get warm, we brought all the candles into one room, so that we might have a little cheerful look to things—Mr. Twichell wrote, Mr. Clemens read, Clara sewed. I held a book and pretended to read but most of the time talked to Clara….

The wind blew very very hard all night, about four in the morning the trumpet blew for us all to get up and see the sun rise. Such a spectacle as it is to see the people get up and come out frozen to death to watch for the sun [Salsbury 82].

August 16 Friday – The Clemens party completed their two-day excursion and returned to Lucerne.

August 17 Saturday – While Sam rested, smoked and wrote letters in Lucerne, Joe Twichell went solo on a three-day trip in the Alps, to St. Gottard Pass [MTNJ 2: 140n55].

August 19 Monday – From Sam’s notebook: “The Yale cub who asked so many idiotic questions on the lake steamer” [MTNJ 2: 140]. Sam thought Lucerne “a charming place” but didn’t care for the “horde” of tourists that flocked there in the summer. Rodney concludes that, to Sam, “the antiquity of the Swiss city was more impressive than that of Heidelberg, its local color and natural beauty more appealing” [104].

August 20 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Lucerne to Frank Bliss about Twichell inspiring him for a “better plan” for the book. Sam wouldn’t go to work “in earnest until…Munich in November.” The plan and title of the book were a secret, Sam wrote. He’d had rheumatism for two months, but had gotten the better of it. For a few months mail could be sent in care of Edward Meigs Smith, Lang’s Hotel, Heidelberg [MTLE 3: 77].

Sam also wrote his mother, and sister about travels with Joe (see Aug. 10 entry). The “tribe” was well, but they had all been sick at one time or another since leaving home. He also wrote that Livy and Clara Spaulding had:

…gone excursioning around the lake in a steamboat, to-day, with the Courier, & Twichell is away on a 3-days trip in the neighboring Alps by himself. I begged off from these dissipations; I had a good many letters to write [MTLE 3: 78].

…came into Switzerland a week or ten days ago…I loathe all travel except on foot—& rheumatism has barred that to a considerable extent. [MTLE 3: 78].

Sam also wrote to Frank Fuller, asking him to attend the creditors’ meeting for the failure of Slote, Woodman & Co, if Sam’s attorney, Charles Perkins wanted it. Only three days before the failure Sam loaned Slote $5,000 [MTNJ 2: 392n119]. Still, Sam had no hard feelings or negative judgments at this time about Dan Slote, because he wrote that Slote wanted to take the scrapbook “& run it by himself. I should prefer that.” Sam also revealed that the family had been there a couple of weeks but would leave the next day “for a wide flight” and expected to “winter in Munich” [MTLE 3: 79].

August 21 Wednesday – Sam hired a carriage and the group continued on to Interlaken, Switzerland. From Sam’s notebook: “Left in 4-horse ambulance. Proprietor gave children box” [MTNJ 2: 141].

Rodney observes it was a “rugged journey” with “primitive roads past mountain chalets, through enticing villages, up and over the Brünig Pass, and down to Lake Brienz and Interlacken at the foot of the High Alps.” The sixty mile trip took ten hours [105]. (Emphasis added.) They took rooms at the Jungfrau Hotel [MTNJ 2: 141].

August 22 Thursday – From Sam’s notebook:

At Jungfrau Hotel, Interlaken—Superb view of the Jungfrau.

Confounded crow woke us all up at daylight.

Set your umbrellas up on these polished wood floors, down it goes. Step suddenly on them, down you go. The lowest snow on the Jf seems but little above the valley level [drawing inserted] [MTNJ 2: 141].


Young woman after table d’hote tackled an old rattle trap piano with such vigor & absence of expression with Battle of Prague & favorites of same age that she soon cleaned out the great reading room—but I staid, at first to watch the grimaces & unconscious squirms of people when she fetched a particularly lacerating chord—& afterwards I staid because the exquisitely bad is as satisfying to the soul as the exquisitely good—only the mediocre is unendurable. The pun is like mediocre music, neither wit nor humor—& yet now & then one sees a pun which comes so near being wit that it is funny [142].


Sam and Joe prepared for a hike over to the Matterhorn. Livy, the children and servants would meet them in Geneva, some nine days later [Rodney 106].

August 23 Friday Sam and Twichell said goodbye to the family and left Interlaken. They ate lunch at an inn in the village of Frutigen [Rodney 106], then reached Kandersteg, Switzerland about sundown, where Sam wrote Livy about his walks with Joe and the custom of bowing to German families, though he had a backache [MTLE 3: 80]. Livy, the children and servants continued on to Geneva  [Rodney 106]. The trip for the men would start with a five-day tour. From Sam’s notebook: “Drove in rain around Lake Thun[er] to Kandersteg.” The two stayed in a Kandersteg inn [MTNJ 2: 143; Rodney 106].

August 24 Saturday From Sam’s notebook:

“…up, shaved breakfasted, before 8—everybody gone but us…visited Gasternthal—gushing waterspout from rock. Sun shining on green ice & blazing snow…Chased a chunk down stream” [MTNJ 2: 143]. (See this source for Twichell’s description of Sam boyishly and joyously chasing a stick downstream.)

The pair set off with an old guide and climbed on foot up through the pass, coming down a precipitous trail to the village of Leuk (a short distance from Leukerbad) [Rodney 106]. In his notebook Sam put the time at 3:30, a hike of seven hours. It was a “raw and rainy night”; Sam missed “our library fire” [2: 144].

The pair rested from their hike in Leuk, then drove a buggy a few miles to Leukerbad. There they observed the strange but civil display of bathing customs at Leukerbad: bathers sat in baths up to their necks, dressed in full flannel outfits, and bathed for hours. Each bather used a small floating table to read or take coffee. Others were permitted to watch the bathers [MTNJ 2: 144n64].

Sam wrote from Leukerbad, Switzerland to Livy, that he and Joe had “a most noble day,” hiking and climbing seven hours. Coming down the last two hours on a “path as steep as a ladder…taxed” the knees. Sam observed that at each altitude level, the weather was like going back a month into the past season. Joe lost his hat over a precipice but found an opera glass [MTLE 3: 107; MTNJ 2: 145].

Bill paid for 750 (marks?) to C.H.H. Schuh, Interlaken merchant of art, for carved picture scene of Shakespeare’s Storm and a black carved table [MTP].

August 25 Sunday From Sam’s notebook:

…visted the King of the World’s palace [a natural cliff formation] & drew its outline, seated on a grassy bench (a precipice) 2 or 300 ft high,) with 2 or 3 trees projecting above its edge.

Gigantic French Countess—did wish I might venture to ask her for her dimensions. The fatlings bathe 3 hours in AM & 2 in PM [MTNJ 2: 145-6].

In the evening, Sam sent Livy a “safety-match box full of flowers” from Leukerbad [MTLE 3: 82].

August 26 Monday Sam and Joe took a train to Locchi-Suste (Visp). They met John Dawson and wife, an English family going their way. From Visp the two hiked “6 hours through mud & rain” the ten miles to St. Nicklaus, Switzerland [MTNJ 2: 148]. Rodney: “Ensconsed in a new hotel, they changed into dry clothes and revived with a good dinner” [107].

Sam wrote from St. Nicklaus to Livy. He included a line drawing of “the great mountain profile,” and mentioned they’d made “some nice English friends, [unnamed, but may have been the Rev. Robert Eden (1804-1886) mentioned in the inscription dated Sept. 14; or the John Dawson family] and shall see them at Zermat tomorrow.”

“Livy darling, we came through a-whooping, to-day, 6 hours tramp up steep hills & down steep hills, in mud & water shoe-deep, & in a steady pouring rain which never moderated a moment. I was as chipper & fresh as a lark all the way & arrived without the slightest sense of fatigue” [MTLE 3: 82].

Sam did not dump his dismal opinions about the area on Livy, but fully noted the “alleys run liquid dung,” the villages, “the shackliest & vilest we have seen anywhere,” and the roads and bridges that “must have made themselves” [MTNJ 2: 148-9].

August 27 Tuesday – Sam wrote in his notebook that the hotel was a pleasant contrast to the villages and roads. But it was close to a village church which messed with their sleep:

St. Nicklaus Aug. 27—Awakened at 4:30 by the clang & jangle of a church bell wh rang 15 min. Went to sleep no more. At 7 it rang again 15.

It is an ugly little whitewashed church with a queer tin dome like a turnip growing with its root in the air.

Damn all ch bells! At 7.25 they rang again!

Still that ringing goes on. I wish to God that church wd would burn down.

At 8 the bell rang again. Let us hope there is a hell.

Left St. Nicholas at 9.15, 27th.

Sam and Joe tramped twelve miles up the gorge to Zermatt. It was a nine hour hike with changing views of the Matterhorn and inspiring scenery pulling them on [Rodney 108]. From Sam’s notebook:

“About half way to Zermat we saw on top of a near mountain a perpendicular wall of ice (pale green) & were forced to reflect that if Strasburg Cathedral, stood at its base, a man on top of the wall could reach out & hang his hat on top of the spire—& he could look down on St Pauls or St Peters or Capitol of W[ashington]” [MTNJ 2: 150].

They “reached Zermatt at 3 PM and did not feel like trying the 3 hours to Riffle” that night [MTNJ 2: 161]. They checked into a comfortable hotel at the base of the Matterhorn, uplifted by making their goal.

August 28 Wednesday – Sam and Joe walked six hours from Zermatt to Riffle and took rooms in a hotel there. Sam noted that

“The guide-book calls it 7 miles…but we found by the Pedometer it was only 800 yards. So in everything but distances the G.B. [guidebook] is to be depended on. It took us 6 hours to go the 800 yds, though” [MTNJ 2: 165].

Sam’s entries concerning Joe’s pedometer humorously show distances from it were widely inaccurate. His notebook for this date also contain references to get Rev. A.G. Girdlestone’s and Edward Whymper’s books on the Alps and Matterhorn climbing. (See Apr. 25, 1879 entry.) Note: Edward Whymper (1840-1911).

August 29 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:

“…we climbed up on the end of Gorner glacier which is joined in its course by 10 glaciers. The Visp issues from it” [MTNJ 2: 167].

Sam and Joe spent time observing the Matterhorn, the Riffleberg, the Gorner Grat and the adjacent mountains. They walked back to Zermatt either late this day or on the morning of the next day.

August 30 Friday – The two tramps “left Zermatt about 10 A.M in a wagon & a shower, for St. Nicholas”  [MTNJ 2: 167].

After a time they reached St. Nicklaus, where they lunched, then continued on foot ten miles to Visp, where they spent the night [Rodney 108].

August 31 Saturday – Sam and Twichell took the train at 10:51 AM to Breveret (Bouveret), accompanied by the Dawsons (see Aug. 26 entry). At Breveret they took a boat to Ouchy on Lake Geneva, arriving at 5 PM to the waiting family, staying at the Hotel Beau Rivage [MTNJ 2: 169; Rodney 108]. Sam noted that a band played in front of the hotel in the evenings, as at Lucerne [170].

September – Sam’s notebook referred to Thomas Woodbine Hinchliff’s Summer Months Among the Alps (1857) [Gribben 314] Ch 34 of TA has a long extract from Hinchliff’s story of the Monte Rosa climb.

September 1 Sunday – In the morning Sam went to the:

“English church… At 5 PM Rev. Mr. [Robert] Eden called & in the evening our friends the Dawsons took coffee with us in our room in the Hotel Beau Rivage. A pleasant evening” [MTNJ 2: 169].

September 2 Monday – Sam’s notebook: –

“To Chillon—humbug—no chamois—hired Bonneval for his role. Enterprise of the canton in building a castle around the living rock to fit Byron’s poem. This dungeon is much cleaner & pleasanter than Visp or any of those places” [MTNJ 2: 169].

September 14 Wednesday Sam, in Ouchy, Switzerland, inscribed a blank notebook to Robert Eden: “To Rev. Robert Eden with the kindest remembrances of the author (i.e., inventor) of this book…This is my latest & most innocent work” [MTLE 3: 83].

September 4 Wednesday – From Sam’s notebook at the Beau Rivage Hotel, Ouchy:

Furious at breakfast…have read French 25 years & now could not say “breakfast” —could think of nothing but aujourdhui—then demain!—then—& so on, tearing my hair (figuratively) and raging inwardly while outwardly calm—one idiot french word after another while waiter stood bewildered.

There were indications wh[ich] showed that this egg was an antique [MTNJ 2: 170].

Sam and Joe set off on their last Alpine tramp. Bound for Chamonix, France, they took the train to Martigny, Switzerland, where they arrived at 9 PM and took rooms at the Hotel Clerc [MTNJ 2: 153-4, 170].

September 4? and 8 Sunday Sam and Livy were now together in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Hotel de l’Ecu de Genève. They wrote a joint letter to Jane Clemens. Livy had just received a letter from Jane, with an enclosed letter from Orion and Mollie Clemens. Livy began the letter when Sam was “off on a walking trip…for nearly a week.” Evidently, Orion had written of another scheme to teach English in Europe or German in Keokuk, it’s unclear which. Livy outlined the obstacles, since Orion did not know German.

On Sept. 8 Sam returned from a “long walking tramp to Mont Blanc,” and finished the letter, agreeing with Livy that at age 53 it would be “simply an impossibility” for Orion to learn German well enough to teach it.

I seemed to have walked the rheumatism out of myself at last, but it was a slow remedy. Twichell & I started from Martigny at 8 AM & reached Chamouny at 6 P.M.—a frightfully hot day. There was an abundance of snow within pistol shot sometimes, but it did not cool the air any. Next day we walked again about 10 hours. We never got tired but the heat roasted us. / We remain here a few days longer, then go to Venice [MTLE 3: 85].

September 5 Thursday The two “tramps” left Martigny on foot at 8 AM, bound for Chamonix, nineteen uphill miles in the hot sun. They skirted the Tête Noir Mountain. Sam noted the beauty of Argientiere as they approached [MTNJ 2: 171, 173]. They dined at Argientiere and hired a wagon for the last six miles into Chamonix [Rodney 109; MTNJ 2: 172]. In his notebook, Sam wrote:

Driver very drunk but a good driver—went like the wind—said in French he was the King of drivers. The other chap, very drunk too (both good-natured) called himself the Captain of Mont Blanc—had made more ascents than any man–48 & his brother 37. He spoke German. Driver invited a nurse & baby in as we approached Chamounix [MTNJ 2: 172].

The men took rooms at the Hotel d’Angleterre. Sam went to the post office and telegraphed Rev. Eden to see if Sam left his letter of credit at the bank. When he left it was dark and Sam included description of the beautiful moon-set scenes in his notebook.

Sam, in Chamonix, France, inscribed a copy of Punch Brothers Punch to Robert Eden [MTLE 3: 86].

September 6 Friday – Sam and Joe took the one-day excursion recommended by the Baedecker travel guide, and climbed the Montanvert. From there they “crossed the Mer de Glace & ascended the confounded moraine.” Sam noted that the most delicious water he had in Europe was from the glacier [MTNJ 2: 185]. Sam’s smooth shoes made him uncomfortable on the ice and had a touch of acrophobia 70 feet above the glacier. It was an easy descent except for one trouble spot, the Mauvais Pas [154]. By evening the men returned to their hotel. Sam “Looked at Jupiter & his moons thro’ telescope” [175].

September 7 Saturday – Sam and Joe returned by rail to Geneva, where the family waited [MTNJ 2: 154]

September 8 Sunday Joe Twichell left Switzerland to return home. Sam saw him off at the station [MTLE 3: 85, 89]. He arranged for Joe to pick up expense money for the trip home, writing from Geneva, Switzerland to Chatto & Windus, asking them to pay ten pounds to Joseph H. Twichell. Sam wrote: “I am compelled to trouble you because the hotel has no English money & the banks are not open here on Sunday” [MTLE 3: 87].

Sam also wrote to Bayard Taylor, asking him to forward Slote’s letter. Sam said the family was “booked for Munich Nov. 10 (for the winter)” [MTLE 3: 88].

September 9 Monday Sam and Livy wrote from Geneva to Joe Twichell, thanking him for his visit, bemoaning the fact that “the pleasant tramping & talking” were “at an end.” It had been a “rich holiday” for Sam; the Clemens even missed having Joe knock on their door to wake them in the mornings [MTLE 3: 89]. The letter may have beaten Joe home to Hartford. Sam wrote in his notebook that he purchased a “wonderful music box” from a “Pleasant gentleman—An Englishman,” Mr. George Baker [MTNJ 2: 176].

September 10 Tuesday – Sam wanted to show Livy some of the best scenery of his latest excursion with Joe. His notebook: “Started to Chamonix with 2 horse-wagon, 9.30 [AM]” [MTNJ 2: 177]. They may have stopped in Chambéry, France. “As soon as you strike French territory out of Geneva you find the road strewn with crosses & beggars” [177].

September 11 Wednesday – Sam and Livy spent a day in Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc, a recent goal of Sam and Joe’s tramps.

September 12 Thursday Sam’s notebook: “Saw 3 people far up on the forhead of M B [Mont Blanc] through the glass waved hdkf [handkerchief]” [MTNJ 2: 179]. “Started back to Geneva at 9” [180]. Sam and Livy returned to Geneva. Sam wrote on Sept. 13 that it was nine hours each way [MTLE 3: 90].

September 13 Friday Sam wrote from Geneva, Switzerland to Olivia Lewis Langdon. This is a delightful letter to Sam’s mother-in-law, with notes about the children. Sam wrote about Clara Spaulding watching the children while he and Livy traveled to Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The children “entertained” Clara, he wrote,

…sometimes with philosophical remarks & sometimes with questions which only the Almighty could answer. Susie said, “Aunt Clara, if the horses should run away & mamma be killed, would you be my mamma?” “Yes, for a little while, Susie, till we got to Elmira—but you wouldn’t want your mamma to be killed by the horses, of course?”——“Well,—I wouldn’t want her to go in that WAY, but I would like to have you for my mamma.”

Susie persecuted Clara with questions as to how God could build all these people out of dust “and make them stick together.”

You must understand that Susie’s thinkings run nearly altogether on the heavenly & the supernatural; but Bay’s mind is essentially worldly. Bay says she does not want to go to heaven—prefers Hartford [MTLE 3: 90-1].

Joe Twichell, en route home, wrote to Sam with a heavy heart, thinking of leaving him at Geneva. He related a pretty girl sitting across from him on the train, who told him “it was not allowed to smoke here.” He wrote, “In an instant she was transformed into a hag” [MTP].

September 14 Saturday – Sam was awakened at 3 AM by a braying jackass in front of the hotel. The party left Geneva for Italy, stopping at Chambéry, France for a break. More from his notebook:

One dreads going into Italy because of its reputation.

What small & frivolous countries there are over here.

Italy the home of art & swindling; home of religion & moral rottenness…

We were four hours going from Geneva to Chambery, & had infinite difficulty to get seats with 1er class tickets.–

Changed cars once, were herded like cattle through a douain & had a long wait & as much trouble as ever to secure seats.

On arrival I felt like the man whose oxen ran away over a stumpy road—if I ever have to go to h— I want to go by the Chambery railway, I’ll be so glad to get there [MTNJ 2: 182-3].

September 15 Sunday – Sam’s notebook:

Chambery, the quaintest old town of of Heilbron.

The soldiers’ uniforms are not soiled, but are awkward, clumsy & ugly.

Some of these quaint streets, buildings, doors, windows & stairways seem to have wandered out of old engravings of towns in the middle ages.

There seem to be rather more soldiers than citizens here.

There is a great deal of hallooing & racket at night.

We staid a day or two in Chambery & Turin, a week in Milan, several days at Bellagio on the lake of Como, three weeks in Venice…[MTLE 3: 101].

Livy and Clara Spaulding complained of the poor accommodations and food in Chambéry; they spent a good part of the day looking for food to satisfy their yearnings for home cooking [MTNJ 2: 156].

September 16 Monday – The Clemens family left Chambéry for Turin by the fast express train, which Sam noted “makes 4 miles an hour—the other trains make only 3 1/4 . By 11 we were out of sight of Chambery.” Three hours from Turin, the train barely won a race with a team of oxen, Sam wrote [MTNJ 2: 185]. It took eight more hours to arrive in Turin, at about 7 PM. They took rooms in the Hotel d’Europe, which Sam noted had “wonderful rooms” [186]. They went to supper and drank Barolo wine.

Settled into their rooms, Sam took a stroll down through an arcade a half-mile, noticing everything. There were more books for sale in Turin than he’d seen anywhere in Europe; the city was beautiful with “vast squares enclosed with Yellowstone huge blocks of palaces”; an open-air concert drew people to a “yard full of chairs & tables where people drank & smoked”; “pretty shops all around”; “Punchinello show—watched it—.” Sam thought Turin was the “very livest town we have seen since Hamburg” even if it was “but a copy (inferior) of Milan [MTNJ 2: 87].

September 17 Tuesday – The family spent the day in Turin, shopping and enjoying the sights [MTLE 3: 101].

September 18 Wednesday – The family left Turin at 9:15 AM and arrived at Milan at 1:30 PM [MTNJ 2: 188]. Sam’s notebook is full of things they saw in Milan, and observations on a host of items and situations. Some favorites:

I think the arcade system is borrowed from Turin.

Saw a starchy suit of clothes marked $9—doorway full of dummies dressed—stepped in to order one like the $9—nothing inside! The old man hauled in the dummy, stripped him & I ordered the clothes sent to the hotel.

Omnibuses have a sign “Completo” when they are full.—I wish we had such laws.

Saw 6 Italians go into a furious quarrel, with terrific gesticulations. Turned back my sleeves & prepared to cord up the dead. By & by they embraced & all was over.

The same old door frame of the Cathedral still fascinates me…It must be very bad art.

Saw a vast pyramid of furniture on two almost invisible wheels—went around to hunt for the moving impulse & found a donkey the size of a rabbit—the driver was riding [MTNJ 2: 189-90].

September 19 Thursday – The Clemens party spent the day looking around Milan. They would spend five days in the city.

September 20 Friday – Sam (and probably the ladies) went to see Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” in the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. “If there is anything worse than the original, it is the 15 or 20 copies in oil & water” [MTNJ 2: 190]. They also visited the “great picture gallery” (Brera).

“There are artists in Arkansas to-day who would not have had to paint signs for a living if they had had the luck to live in the time of the old masters” [191].

September 21 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:

The Italians all seem to go to work before daylight—& all in couples, singing tenor & bass or alto duet—all got strong voices & many good ones—don’t sing simple airs but starchy opera stuff—they wake you up and keep you awake.

The Milan clocks are not useful. This morning one struck 2, another 3, another 1, another 2, two others 3—all this occupied 10 minutes—so I got up & looked at my watch—correct time 4.15. 15 minutes later, the procession of striking began again.

September 24 Tuesday – The Clemens party left Milan and traveled north to Bellagio on Lake Como [MTNJ 2: 156]. They stayed at the Grand Bretagne Hotel. Sam’s notebook:

“Rainy, sour, cold, dreary. Removed a screen in our room & discovered a regular fire-place—for wood. Right away we had the first wood fire we had seen since we left our own house. This made the day cheery” [2: 193].

Also noted was praise for Karl Baedeker’s (1801-1859) Italy, Handbook for Travellers: “curious & useful details” about Lake Como [2: 193]

Sam enjoyed some valipolicella wine; he observed blind musicians at Bellagio with a little Russian girl passing the plate [2: 194-5].

September 25 Wednesday – The Clemens party left Bellagio at 10 AM. They met G.K. Mayer and wife [MTNJ 2: 159n6] who helped them take the lake boat down to Lecco, Italy, where they boarded the train. They suffered another ten-hour trip and arrived at Venice at 7:30 PM. [Rodney 112; MTNJ 2: 194]. The family had looked forward to Venice as a “relaxing interlude in their long journey.” Livy’s itinerary called for a three-week stay [Rodney 112].

Joe Twichell arrived home from England on Cunard’s S.S. Bothnia. From his journal for the period July 17 to Sept. 25:

“M.T. treated me with the utmost liberality and friendliness in every respect. I came back refreshed in body mind and spirit and ready for work” [Yale, copy at MTP].

September 26 Thursday – Sam’s notebook this day in Venice.

These Italian thieves have charged me $8 duty on $4 worth (100) of cigars & $1 worth of tobacco–

I must stop smoking, for no right Christian can smoke an Italian cigar. Only the wrappers are grown—the insides are of stubs collected on the pavements by the younger sons of the nobility—stubs from Switzerland—bad enough.

The charming singing of the men at night in Venice.

The bronze man on the clock tower once killed a workman with his hammer. It is said he was tried—& acquitted because he did it without premeditation. Not so—he had been getting ready an hour [MTNJ 2: 195-6].

September 27 Friday Sam wrote from Venice, Italy to William Dean Howells. Since his tirade letter about Bret Harte, Sam had not heard from Howells, who had recommended to President Hayes that Harte be given a chance. Wisely, Howells had not told Sam of his recommendation or answered Sam’s venom, and Sam had noticed.

“Have I offended you in some way? The Lord knows it is my disposition, my infirmaty, to do such things; but if I have done it in your case…I am sorry. / I wish you were Consul here, for we want to stay a year, & would do so in that case—but as it is, I suppose we shall only stay 3 or 4 weeks” [MTLE 3: 92].

In July, 1878 the Howells family had moved into “Redtop,” their new Belmont (Mass.) house, so this may partly explain the dearth of letters. Their new house was designed by Elinor Howells’ brother, William Rutherford Mead [MTNJ 2: 359n9].

September 29 SundayLivy wrote from Venice to her mother about the city:

“It is so fascinating, so thoroughly charming—I sit now before a window that opens on to a little piazza; where I can look right on to the Grand Canal…We have the morning sun in our rooms and the weather for three days has been perfect” [MTNJ 2: 157].

The pace of acquisition increased considerably here with purchases of furniture, dishes, glass, and brassware for the Clemens home. In addition to visits with Livy to well-known commercial establishments like Besarel and Salviati, Sam frequented old shops, rummaging through ‘many small rooms crowded with images, armor, pots, lanterns, &c,” motley storehouses which seemed the hallmark of Venice [MTNJ 2: 157].

Livy wrote to her mother, with Clara Clemens adding about riding in a “Gondoler”:

…Mr. [Gedney] Bunce, a cousin of Mr. Ned Bunce, an artist called and he staid until after eleven…

I love Grandmamma very much and I like to see her— Clara Langdon Lews O’Day Bocketer Placklick Lewis Bay Clemens—that is really my name [Salsbury 85].

Gustavo Sarfatti wrote to Sam (enclosed in Sarfatti Oct. 30). “I duly received yr. Esteemed letter of the 18th inst. Mr. [illegible word] case being ready I forwarded it to [illegible word] by the S.S. Cemerana (?)” 2 copies of a shipping receipt dated 22 Oct 1878 enclosed for 5 cases of furniture [MTP].

September 30 MondayWilliam Gedney Bunce (1840-1916) visited again. From Livy’s pen:

“…calls again last night [Monday] until nearly eleven” [Salsbury 85].

October – A notation in Sam’s notebook listed The Bible for Young People, translated by Wicksteed in six volumes [MTNJ 2: 209]. Evidently this was a reminder to send these books to Orion upon returning home, as Orion was writing a biblical refutation. Orion had recently been excommunicated from the First Westminster Presbyterian Church of Keokuk [209n95].

Sam read William Wetmore Story’s (1819-1895) 2 volume Roba di Roma (1863) and entered in his notebook:

“Roba di Roma. Rome seems to be a great fair of shams, humbugs & frauds….Read the chapter ‘Christmas’ [actually titled “Holidays”]& think of this Bambino rot existing in 19th century” [Gribben 667].

Sam also noted “Benvenuto Cellini (what an interesting autobiography is his!” referring to The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, adding to “send to Chatto” for the book, “It will last as long as his beautiful Perseus” [MTNJ 2: 234].

Sam inscribed a copy of Adelbert Chamisso’s The Shadowless Man; or, The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl: “S.L. Clemens, Venice, Oct. 1878.” (Also signed: “Olivia L. Clemens”) [Gribben 138].

October 1 Tuesday – In his letter of Nov. 20 to Twichell, Sam wrote that he had “discharged George [Burk] at Venice—the worthless idiot—& have developed into a pretty fair sort of courier myself since then” [MTLE 3: 101]. Sam fired Burk on Oct. 1 [MTNJ 2: 197] Note: George Burk had been the portier at the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg when Sam hired him. Sam gave Burk 100 franks extra and let him go.

Also, Sam’s notebook recorded purchases of furniture, including the carved bedstead with cherubs which appeared in later photographs of Sam. He paid 1,000 francs for the bed ($200).

Livy wrote of being harassed by visitors: “…out tonight and calls until after eleven—three appointments for tomorrow—we are worse pushed than [in] Hartford” [Salsbury 85].

October 4 Friday – Sam’s notebook:

Great Council Chamber, Ducal Palace. Immediately at right of the door as you enter, in the big picture over the book shelves, is a fisherman in the foreground in a green dress holding one basket of fish against his body & resting another basket of fish on a woman’s head. This Fisherman has but one leg—but that is not the singularity, but the fact that it is the port leg, attached to the starboard side of his body [MTNJ 2: 199-200]. Note: Sam evaluated several other paintings in like manner.

October 8 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “Began with Dittura [Agostino] Oct 8 by the day at 5 f a day & 50c pour-boir—we have to have him day & evening both” [MTNJ 2: 205] Agostino was the second gondolier employed by the Clemens family [205n89].

George Burk wrote from Venice, Italy asking for additional severance pay of 175 francs and sending his address [MTP; MTNJ 2: 208].

October 9 Wednesday Sam wrote from Venice, Italy to J. Langdon & Co. Only the envelope survives [MTLE 3: 93].

Sam included descriptions of a “swell big gondola” and a funeral procession in his notebook [MTNJ 2: 204].

October 10 Thursday – From Sam’s notebook:

Today received an impudent letter from George Burk asking for 175 francs more—but it furnishes me with his address, which I want.

Afternoon—3 of the very worst & most dismal solo singers in the world have been on the masonry platform ½ hour apart—never heard anything worse in the opera [MTNJ 2: 208].

October 12 SaturdayD. & C. Mac Iver wrote from Liverpool to advise “by the request of Mr. George C. Wild we write to say that we shall be glad to receive any articles, personal effects or otherwise & store & ship them as you may instruct us” [MTP].

October 13 Sunday – From Sam’s notebook:

Took Dittura & Graham’s gondolier & started for the mainland at a point (Fusina) 2 hours away. A steady, heavy rain. Had the casa on & the windows closed. Lit my best cigar, put on my slippers, propped my feet on the little starboard bench which brought them within a foot of the ½ glass door—wonderfully snug & cosy. Looked out on the ruffled & rainy seas a while after I was beyond the shipping & fairly away from Venice—then recognizing that I could never be so cosy again, got out Marryatt’s Pacha of Many Tales & read.

But the seas grew very rough.

Made the trip in 34 minutes, having a strong wind on our beam & the tide with us—went mainly sideways. Arrived at 10.45

Tide changed & I started back at 12.30 in a driving storm of rain & a strong head wind & heavy sea.

Arrived home at 2.30—went in 34 minutes—returned in 2 hours [MTNJ 2: 209-10].

Note: the reference is to Frederick Marryat’s (1792-1848) The Pacha of Many Tales (1847) [Gribben 452].

Sam then wrote a list of grievances about Burk as a courier, and a list of songs he was considering for the music box he’d purchased in Geneva [211-12].

From Livy’s pen to her mother:

We find altogether too much social life in Venice for our comfort….We have had a most delightful week going about among the pictures, and some of them have been such a great delight to us that we shall leave them with real regret. This week too I have done a good deal of shopping…several most beautiful pieces of wood carving…a carved chest that I have bought for our hall…shipped to Liverpool…Then we found a most wonderful old carved bedstead that was a great beauty—that we got for our room [Salsbury 86].

October 14 Monday Sam wrote from Venice, Italy to Chatto & Windus, asking them to send copies of Innocents Abroad and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to William Mayer, care of G.K. Mayer, Vienna Austria [MTLE 3: 94]. Following the establishment of a Linotype factory in 1890 in England, the publisher William Mayer and his son Jacques traveled to Germany in 1894 to find business partners there.

In his notebook Sam wrote a glowing testimonial for Dittura Agostino, his gondolier [2: 220]. Sam discovered “Venetian oysters the size of beans—half dollar a dozen—tasted 4 dozen” [220].

October 15 Tuesday – The Clemenses visited Padre Giacomo Issaverdenz, a friend of Howells, on the island of San Lazzaro, two miles southeast of Venice. At the Armenian monastery the Padre gave them preserved rose-leaves to eat, showed them photographs and talked about the Howellses [MTHL 1: 241].

Sam’s notebook:

“Very magnificent sunset & lamp effects (Piazza) coming from San Lazzaro… Dittura—Boom! (finger to temple.) –Morte—Signor Bismark—to-day–(laying head in palm of hand)” [MTNJ 2: 222-3]. (See Oct. 16 entry for explanation.)

October 16 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:

For two days we have been doubting Dittura’s reliability as a news gatherer—but to-night I heard a news-man crying a paper—understood “Count Bismark” & bought a copy—spelled out the fact that 2 days ago, Carlo Conti di Bismark, a citizen of Venice, committed suicide by shooting himself through the head with a revolver. So D.[ittura] was 2 days ahead of the newspaper [MTNJ 2: 223].

Stabilimento Salviati, Venice, sent a statement for items purchased/shipped [MTP].


October 17 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:

Belli Arti—It is not possible that anybody could take more solid comfort in martydom that St. Sebastian did….The Old Master’s horses always rear after the fashion of the kangaroo….500 Last Suppers—they all have new table cloths with the fold wrinkles sharply defined.

The fig leaf & private members of statues are handled so much that they are black & polished while the rest of the figure is white & unpolished. Which sex does this handling?

Left for Florence. Good by, Dittura Agostino! [MTNJ 2: 223-5].

In Venice, the Clemens family had increasingly been pressed by visitors who discovered Mark Twain was in the city. After three weeks of this, they left Venice for Florence, a ten hour train ride [Rodney 114]. They stayed at the Hotel de New York [MTNJ 2: 229].


October 21 MondayLivy wrote from Florence to her mother:

This evening Mr & Mrs Chamberlain were in for an hour & we sat about a wood fire & chatted—then Mr Clemens read to us—then to bed—where I am now—Florence is much more restful than Venice, because we have no social demands—and one ought to know no one when they are visiting picture galleries—The Chamberlains are a perfect delight, they never tax us in the least they are helpful to us and are bright beyond expression [MTNJ 2: 226n19].

Mr. & Mrs. Augustus P. Chamberlaine were friends of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Clemens met them in Venice [220n10]


October 22 TuesdayJoe Twichell wrote to Sam.

I have been thinking of you all the morning. This is one of those golden, perfect autumn days when ones desire to off somewhere among trees, mounts to a passion… Now, Mark, let’s make a vow, that when we are once more together we will use these heavenly days as they were meant to be used and as we shall wish we had when we come to look back on life [MTP]. Note: there is much more and more depth to this letter, but space here does not allow it all.


October 23 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:

In Santa Croce to-day a well dressed young woman followed us, begging for centimes.

An old frowsy woman watched where I laid my cigar, then approached us with it as Chamberlain & I came out & said she rescued it from some boys (who had found it in the dark!) & wantd 5 cents for her trouble. She followed us into the street & finally cursed us & called down sudden death upon us [MTNJ 2: 229].


October 25 FridaySam wrote to Valentine Besarel, letter not extant but mentioned in Besarel’s Oct. 27.

October 27 Sunday – Sam’s notebook:

Uffizzi Gallery, Sunday (free day,)

What a shamed look people have who go along with a guide—they nod annoyedly at every statement he makes, & they scarcely look at the object he points at; often not at all; neither look they to one side or the other, or at anybody; they seem to have but one desire: to get through with this painful trial & go free again [MTNJ 2: 234].

 Valentine Besarel wrote from his sculptor studio in Venice to answer Sam’s of Oct. 25. He was sorry but could not make changes to the table ordered as it was advanced in work. Though unable to do lions on the table as massive as ordered, he was certain the work would be satisfactory [MTP].


October 28 Monday – The Clemens family left Florence for Rome. The trip took 8 hours and they arrived at 4:30 PM [MTNJ 2: 235]. The party stayed at the Hotel d’Allemania. Sam noted the cost of the rooms, three coffees, one beefsteak and three “table d’hotes” (communal table, full-course meal) totaling 48.25 francs, paid at 5 PM [281].


October 29 Tuesday – In his notebook, Sam concluded that the “Immaculate Conception has ceased to be a wearying & worrisome question.” What the Ecumenical Council should “decide once & forever” was, “who was it that struck Billy Patterson?” (From Wm. Porter’s collection, The Big Bear of Arkansas and Other Sketches) [MTNJ 2: 235]. More from Sam’s notebook:

It is the more ridiculous spectacle to see a Virgin or a copper Aristotle stuck on top of every stately monument of the grand old “pagan” days of Rome.

Bought about a peck of wonderfully big & luscious grapes for 2.50 f. (50 cents)

Visited the Church of St. Peter’s & the Pantheon. Bay & the mottled cat & little gray [Clara played with a cat] [236].

October 30 Wednesday – Sam visited the Sistine Chapel, commenting on work by Raphael. He counted 25 courtyards in the Vatican. He noted the Tom of the Virgin and wrote “How she would draw in N.Y.” [MTNJ 2: 237].

Gustavo Sarfatti wrote to Sam (Sept. 29 from Sarfatti enclosed) [MTP].


October 31 Thursday – Sam received letters from Will Sage and Joe Twichell about payments required and red tape needed to get the “two boxes of Clocks” through customs. He made a note to do a chapter in his book about “this most scoundrelly & infernal custom house system” [MTNJ 2: 237].

Sam’s notebook:

Castellini to-day showed us a bracelet took a man 16 months to engrave. allowed us to walk off with jewelry worth 1500 f & never even asked our names or hotel—insisted on our taking it home & examining it at our leisure—Said “To-morrow is a festa—no shops open—bring it back Saturday—no hurry.”

Italians & Swiss seem to trust to the honesty strangers readily. We have noticed this very often.

[Augusto Castellani was a renowned Roman goldsmith and dealer in antiquities.]

Evening—Wood fire in Mr. Chamberlain’s room—C[hamberlaine] sketched, Mrs. C darned, Livy & Clara [Spaulding] crotched, & I read Julius Caesar aloud [238-9].

November – In Sam’s notebook there’s an entry “Little Pedlington” which refers to John Poole’s 1839 book, Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians. Gribben quotes E. Cobham Brewer, calling this “an imaginary place, the village of quackery and can’t, egotism and humbug, affectation and flatter” [553].

Sam noted “Turganieff’s Visions” and “Visions, a Phantasy, by Tourganieff—in the Galaxy” in his notebook [MTNJ 2: 244, 247].

Sam also wrote the title and author of Samuel Butler’s Life and Habit (1877), a rebuttal of Darwin’s Theory [Gribben 120].

Another notebook entry in Munich: “the old masters never dreamed of women as beautiful as those of Kaulbach,” referring to Wilhelm von Kaulbach’s (1805-1874) Female Characters of Goethe (1868) [363].

Sam made a reminder to “Return ‘Silverland,’” referring to George Alfred Lawrence’s (1827-1876) Silverland, which he may have borrowed, Gribben thinks from Mr. & Mrs. August Chamberlaine [398].


November 1 Friday – Sam’s notebook:

“Great festa-day—shops all closed. Attended High Mass in a chapel of St. Peters. Heaps of people of all ages sexes & professions kissing (& scrubbing) St Peter Jupiter’s toe. He looks like a black negro & has short crisp hair” [MTNJ 2: 239].


November 3 Sunday Sam wrote from Rome, Italy to Joe Twichell. After discussing the matter of a clock Sam had purchased, sending it home through Will Sage, which caused all sorts of red tape, Sam sent compliments on Joe’s letters.

How I do admire a man who can sit down & whale away with a pen just the same as if it was fishing—or something else as full of pleasure & as void of labor…if I can make a book out of the matter gathered in your company over here, the book is safe; but I don’t think I have gathered any matter before or since your visit worth writing up. I do wish you were in Rome to do my sight-seeing for me. Rome interests me as much as East Hartford could & no more. That is, the Rome which the average tourist feels an interest in; but there are other things there which stir me enough to make life worth the living. Livy & Clara [Spaulding] are having a royal time worshipping the old Masters, & I as good a time gritting my ineffectual teeth over them [MTLE 3: 95].  

Sam also wrote to an unidentified person, regarding a certificate needed for a clock he wished to ship home. He enclosed Will Sage’s letter to Twichell for reference and asked that the needed document be forwarded care of Fraülein Caroline Dahlweiner (1818-1897), No. 1A, Carlstrasse, Munich, where he would be about Nov. 20 [MTLE 3: 96]. Sam’s notebook for this day is full of commentary on various artwork.

Went to Barberini Palace to-day & saw my pet detestation, Beatrice Cenci, by Guido.

In good art, a correct complexion is the color of a lobster, or of a bleached tripe or of a chimney sweep—there are no intermediates or modifications [MTNJ 2: 240-1].

November 5 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:


“…spent all day in Vedder’s lofty studio & the evening with him & another artist spinning yarns & drinking beer in a quiet saloon. Big row in the street but no bloodshed.”


 Elihu Vedder was an American artist who kept a studio in Rome. Sam visited the studio several times [MTNJ 2: 242]. (See Nov. 9 entry.)


November 6 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:

“Visited the Catacombs. One mummy (shapeless) & one slender young girl’s long hair & decaying bones—both in stone coffins & both between 15 & 1600 years old.”

Notes suggest Sam was reading Alexander Gilchrist’s Life of William Blake (1863) [MTNJ 2: 243-4]. He also reminded himself to “See death of Alexander VI in vol. 3 of History of Popes. 1st chap Appen” [244]. The section one in the appendix of volume three told the story of a cardinal escaping murder, who then poisoned the man who tried to murder him [Gribben 569].

Olivia Lewis Langdon finished a letter to Sam which she began Oct. 15 [MTP].


November 7 ThursdayU.S. Consulate sent Venetian Bills of Lading for things purchased [MTP].


November 8 Friday – Sam viewed the painting “Bambino” at Ara Coeli.

It is always safe to say a thing was mentioned by Pliny. He was the father of reporters—he mentioned everything.

Suit of clothes in Heidelberg, $18; in Milan (slop-shop) $9; in Rome (fancy tailor, $25 & $38—both very fine—the latter half dress. At home, $65 to 90 [MTNJ 2: 246].


November 9 Saturday“Cooks agent gone off junketing—for a few days—can’t get any tickets” [MTNJ 2: 245].


In a letter dated Nov. 10, Livy wrote to her mother:

We have enjoyed Rome immensely & wish so very much that we were going to spend three months here.

Yesterday morning [Nov 9] we went to Mr. Vedder’s studio, he certainly has immense genius, he had such a large amount of pictures and such an infinate variety of subjects—we did enjoy the morning so very much—I felt as if I could spend two thousand dollars there if I had it to spend.

Livy’s reaction to Rome contrasted with Sam’s note to Twichell on Nov. 3 that it interested him about as much as East Hartford. Before leaving Rome (probably this day) Sam and Livy bought Vedder’s “Head of Medusa” for $250 [245n60]. See insert.

November 10 Sunday Livy wrote from Rome to her mother (see Nov. 9 entry).


November 11Monday The Clemens family left Rome at 10:50 AM, and returned to Florence, Italy at 6:50 PM, where they spent the night at the Hotel de New York [MTLE 3: 97; MTNJ 2: 248]. They were headed north to spend the winter in Munich, a 600 mile trip with 36 hours on slow trains, and four overnight hotel stops to make the journey more bearable for Livy [Rodney 115]. Sam’s notebook:


“… saw splendid torchlight processions crossing the 2 Arno bridges to see the King, at the Pitti palace.

Saw the [Edward M.] Smiths & Launt Thompson.” [MTNJ 2: 248n68]. Notes: Edward Meigs Smith was the U.S. consul at Mannheim, vacationing in Italy. The Clemenses had met the Smiths during their stay at Heidelberg. Launt Thompson was an American sculptor residing in Florence. He had called on the Clemenses there in October


November 12 Tuesday – The Clemens family stayed a day and another night in Florence [MTLE 3: 97].

November 13 Wednesday – The Clemens family left Florence at 10:45 AM and reached Bologna, Italy at 4:15 PM [MTLE 3: 97; MTNJ 2: 249]. Sam made a notebook entry that he stopped here to see Guiseppe Mezzofanti (d.1849), “because he knew 111 languages, but he was dead” [MTNJ 2: 266].


November 14 Thursday The Clemens family left Bologna at noon and traveled until 10:30 PM to reach Trent in the Austrian Tyrol, by way of “Modena, Mantua, & Verona.” Sam was acting as the courier for the group and thought himself “a shining success…so far” [MTNJ 2: 249; MTLE 3: 97].

November 15 Friday The Clemens family was up at 6 AM and traveled all day. After twelve hours they arrived in Munich, Germany. At 7 PM they arrived, in “drizzle & fog at the domicil which had been engaged for us ten months before” [MTLE 3: 94].

November 17 Sunday – Sam wrote from Munich, Germany to Howells, giving him the itinerary of the trip from Rome. At first they did not much like the place:

Munich did seem the horriblest place, the most desolate place, the most unendurable place!—& the rooms were so small, the conveniences so meager, & the porcelain stoves so grim, ghastly, dismal, intolerable! So Livy & Clara sat down forlorn, & cried, & I retired to a private place to pray. By & by we all retired to our narrow German beds; & when Livy & I finished talking across the room, it was all decided we would rest 24 hours, then pay whatever damages were required, & straightway fly to the south of France. But you see, that was simply fatigue. Next morning the tribe fell in love with the rooms, with the weather, with Munich, & head over heels in love with Fraülein Dahlweiner.

Sam also wrote about a friend of Howells coming by to visit, and of Sam reading one of Howells’ stories aloud to the children [MTLE 3: 97-100].

November 19 Tuesday – Sam “took a workroom at 45 Nymphenstrasse—Frau Kraze.” He made a purchase on the “Tobacco shop on corner under Hotel Bellevue, opp. Karls Thor” and noted amounts spent [MTNJ 2: 283].


November 20 Wednesday – In Munich, Sam wrote letters to Joe Twichell and Susan Warner. Sam had lost his Switzerland notebook and wrote that if it remained lost he wouldn’t try to write the volume of travels he’d planned. He’d rented another work room a mile from their quarters and would “tackle some other subject.” He had nothing but great things to say about the Fraülein and her “very best cookery.” They had tried and failed to see the Boyesens, who had been in Munich for ten days and were leaving. He asked Susie Warner’s help in choosing ten tunes for a music box he had ordered. He’d chosen four: The Lorelei, the Miserère from Trovatore, the Wedding March from Lohengrin, & the Russian National Anthem, but was stuck for any others.  

Sam also wrote to an unidentified person in Geneva, sending thirteen francs on the matter of “trying to get those clocks into the United States without the loss of life.” Sam had forgotten the name of the clock merchant and requested that the person furnish the required paperwork, evidently for customs [MTLE 3: 93].

From Livy’s pen:

The children have gone out with Rosa and their governess to try on their little dark dresses. Susy’s is to be dark brown and Clara’s dark blue trimmed with red….I like the way that the children’s teacher begins and I hope she will prove to be just what we desire—they have begun their reading lessons this morning. I hope by Spring they will read German as well as they speak it [Salsbury 90].

November 27 Wednesday Livy’s 33rd birthday.

November 30 Saturday Sam’s 43rd birthday. Sam told a story or gave a speech (often there was very little difference) at the American Artists Club in Munich. Just what Sam said has been lost. Sam’s notebook:

Farewell blow-out…to Toby Rosenthal who sails for California. Horstmann, (consul,) read a mighty bright speech, with new & exceedingly funny feature of dropping frequently into rhyming doggerel—every line rhyming with tall & every stanza ending with “Toby Rosenthal.” I mean to borrow & use that happy idea someday [MTNJ 2: 250].

In his Sept. 5, 1906 A.D., Sam puts the following episode to this date:

      November 30, 1878. Clara four years old, Susy six. This morning when Clara discovered that this is my birthday, she was greatly troubled because she had provided no gift for me, and repeated her sorrow several times. Finally she went musing to the nursery and presently returned with her newest and dearest treasure, a large toy horse, and said “You shall have this horse for your birthday, papa.”

      I accepted it with many thanks. After an hour she was racing up and down the room with the horse, when Susy said,

      “Why Clara, you gave that horse to papa, and now you’ve tooken it again.”

      Clara. “I never give it to him for always; I give it to him for his birthday” [AMT 2: 225].

December – Sam inscribed in a copy of Joseph Norman Lockyer’s (1836-1920) Elementary Lessons in Astronomy (1877): “S.L. Clemens, Munich, Dec. 1878[Gribben 415].

December 1 Sunday – Sam wrote from Munich to his mother, and sister Pamela:

I broke the back of life yesterday & started down-hill toward old age. This fact has not produced any effect upon me that I can detect.


I suppose we are located here for the winter. I have a pleasant work-room a mile from here where I do my writing. The walk to & from that place gives me what exercise I need, & all I take…Livy & Miss Spaulding are studying drawing & German, & the children have a German day-governess [MTLE 3: 103].


Sam and Livy wrote to Susan Crane. Livy wrote about being in a room with six Germans who couldn’t speak a word of English and her being at the end of the three sentences she knew in German, then having to tell Clara what she wanted to say. Sam had activities, too, he wrote:

One of them consists in lying abed, mornings, until I am shoveled out. After breakfast I lie slippered & comfortable on the sofa, with a pipe, & read the meager telegrams in the German paper & the general news in Galignani’s Messenger; & about 11 o’clock bundle up in furs & tramp a mile to my den, which is in the 3d story of a dwelling. The pleasant old German Frau, comes in & builds a fire & talks admiringly about the weather,—no matter how villainous it may be,—because the Creator made it. I find my rubbish of the yesterday all cleaned away, & everything in apple-pie order. The Frau gives me a good roasting, occasionally, & occasionally she freezes me,—but in all cases she means well [MTLE 3: 130].

December 2 Monday – Sam wrote from Munich to Olivia Lewis Langdon, thanking her for a birthday gift (a “covered Krug of beaten brass”). Sam wrote about the many noises that began at 5 AM and were added to by 7, and how many of the things they disliked upon arrival had now been fixed, cleaned, attended to.

The fact is, there was but one thing we took solid & healing comfort in, & that was our gentle young colored girl who waits on our table. But alas, day before yesterday she fell in the cistern & the color all came off. / We require her to fall in every day, now [MTLE 3: 106].


December 8 SundayLivy, Susy and Sam wrote from Munich to Olivia Lewis Langdon. Most of the letter is from Livy to her mother, whom she’d only received one letter from since they left home. Livy wrote of sore throats and ear aches, Clara Spaulding and Christmas gifts. What her mother had sent was too much, Livy wrote (several times during the trip her mother sent money). Sam wrote about Santa Claus and the girls “Susie thinks her teacher is so pretty because ‘her face is so becoming to her.’” [MTLE 3: 108-111].


December 14 Saturday – Sam wrote from Munich to Bayard Taylor. Sam had heard in Italy a few weeks back that Taylor was ill, but then saw it contradicted in a newspaper. This day he read that the contradiction was in error. Sam ended by saying they would try to “run over to Berlin in the spring.” [MTLE 3: 112]. Bayard Taylor, the “father of American travel literature,” died five days after Sam wrote him, on Dec. 19, 1878. It is not known if Taylor ever saw Sam’s letter.


December 18 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:

“On some of the large ocean steamers the old-fashioned settees have been replaced by revolving arm chairs—Harper’s Weekly gravely makes this preposterous statement. Who could stay in one in a storm?” [MTNJ 2: 252].


December 20 Friday – Sam’s notebook:

“To-day, by telegraph in the papers, comes the sad news of Bayard Taylor’s death yesterday afternoon in Berlin, from Dropsy. I wrote him 3 or 4 days ago congratulating him on his recovery. He was a very lovable man” [MTNJ 2: 254].


December 21 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:

“Munich, Dec 21—On scores of street corners, in the snow, are groves of Xmas trees for sale—and the toy & other shops are crowded and driving a tremendous trade” [MTNJ 2: 255].


December 23 MondayJoe Twichell wrote to Sam; not found at MTP though catalogued as UCLC 32703.


December 25 WednesdayChristmas –­ Sam’s notebook:

Christmas in Germany.

In the week, a prodigious audience of parents & children in the big theatre. A curtain hung across middle of stage from right to left. In front, a lady with a lot of eager children around her on stools. She asks what familiar story from folk lore she shall read. They clap their eager hands & name a story. She reads, they applaud, or laugh or are grieved—all well drilled & natural—& as she finishes the curtain slowly rises & displays in tableau an exquisite picture from the story. The children in the audience get so carried away that they applaud, shout, cry & make comments aloud [MTNJ 2: 255].


December 26? Thursday – Sam wrote from Munich to Olivia Lewis Langdon, thanking her for “the magnificent ‘Faust’” [book] she sent for Christmas. “Livy gave me a noble great copy of ‘Reinicke Fuchs,’ nearly as big as the Faust, & containing the original Kaulbach illustrations.” Sam also thanked Susan Crane for her gift [MTLE 3: 113].

December 28 Saturday Baron Tauchnitz wrote from Leipzig.

My dear Sir, / Some time ago I had the pleasure of publishing your work “Tom Sawyer” and I shall be glad to add to my Series another of your books. / Will you be kind enough therefore to send me at your earliest convenience a copy of one or two of your books which you think most popular, that I may print my edition from them [MTP].

December 31 TuesdayClemens gave a reading which included “The Invalid’s Story,” to the American Artists Club, Munich Germany [MTPO].