Vol 2 Section 0013
Jones Backed Out – Abed with Rheumatism – “I’ve Shook the Machine”
American Claimant – Author for 20 years & an Ass for 55
Goodbye Nook Farm, Hello Europe – Bum Arm & Baths – Afloat on the Rhine
Cult of Wagner – 7 Körnerstrasse – Mommsen & Mt. Blanc
Books published by Charles L. Webster & Co. in 1891.
Bliss, Edgar Janes, The Peril of Oliver Sargent
Byers, S. H. M., The Happy Isles and Other Poems
Clemens, Samuel L. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (a one dollar cloth edition; in the fall)
Crim, Matt, Adventures of a Fair Rebel
Dahlgren, Madeline Vinton, Memoirs of John A. Dahlgren, Rear-Admiral United States Navy
Ireland, Mrs. Alexander, Life of Jane Welsh Carlyle
Lucas, Daniel Bedinger and James Fairfax McLaughlin, Fisher Ames, Henry Clay, etc.,
Schmidt, William, The Flowing Bowl; When and What to Drink
Scott, Henry W., Distinguished American Lawyers, with Their Struggles and Triumphs in the
Sims, George Robert, Tinkletop’s Crime
Sixtus, A Review of Professor Briggs’s Inaugural Address
Sixtus, Progressive Protestantism
Tolstoy, Leo, Ivan the Fool; or, The Old Devil and the Three Small Devils, also A Lost Opportunity, and Polikshka [short stories]
Ward, Herbert, My Life with Stanley’s Rear Guard
1891 – At the beginning of the year Sam’s capital investment in Webster & Co. was $78,087.35. Even though he wished to collect royalties ($9,071.17) and interest ($377.05) and his 2/3 profits for the prior year ($11,162.19), these were left in the company to continue operation [MTNJ 3: 624n190].
Sometime during the year, Sam wrote a letter of instruction to Will Whitmore, one of Franklin’s sons who was an apprentice on the Paige typesetter (Fred the other son). Sam wanted double-hyphens for a dash; chastised him for sometimes ignoring his italics, and instructed him in that timeless error which eternally dulls the minds of composition teachers:
IT’s is IT IS abbreviated. Whenever it is not that, it wants no apostrophe. [MTP].
An undated, unfinished MS of 32 pages, “Letters from a Dog to Another Dog Explaining & Accounting for Man,” was written early in 1891:
“All things considered,” the canine author muses, “a Man is as good as a Dog….Give the Man freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of action, & he is a Dog; take them from a Dog & he is a Man” [MTNJ 3: 600n94].
Mark Twain found himself used as an example in a high school textbook, probably for the first time, when Julian Hawthorne and Leonard Lemon published American Literature: An Elementary Text-Book for Use in High Schools and Academies. “He has keen eyes and describes both scene and character vividly. ‘Whether in jest or in earnest, is always and instinctively an artist; it is a necessity of his nature to perfect his work.’” [Tenney 19].
Landon D. Melville’s Eli Perkins: Thirty Years of Wit and Reminiscences of Witty, Wise and Eloquent Men was published. The book quoted Sam as liking HF best of all his books “because it has the truest dialect” (p.760); Landon proclaims Mark Twain as “both a humorist and a wit” (p.81) [Tenney 19].
Henry A. Beers’ Initial Studies in American Letters was published. The book’s material on Mark Twain was essentially the same as the 1887 edition; Beers still grouped Twain with Artemus Ward and other popular humorists of the age (p.188-9), though conceding that “his humor has a more satirical side than Ward’s, sometimes passing into downright denunciation. He delights particularly in ridiculing sentimental humbug and moralizing cant” [Tenney 19].
On Sept. 15, 1893 Sam would write daughter Clara,
The best new acquaintance I’ve ever seen has helped us over Monday’s bridge. I got acquainted with him on a yacht two years ago [MTP].
Note: Sam’s reference was to H.H. Rogers, which raises an interesting point — when and where in 1891 did the men first meet on a yacht? There are two possibilities, as Sam was in Hartford or Europe for most of the year, making only two trips to Washington, D.C. where such a meeting might have taken place: Jan. 13 to 15, or, Jan. 25 to 28, 1891. That is, if Sam’s sometimes faulty memory was correct in 1893 that it was in fact two years before.
John C. Pelton of San Francisco wrote sometime in 1891 or 1892 asking for Sam’s autographs and a “few lines” in what he himself called “a begging letter” [MTP]. See Oct. 25, 1892 for a letter from Mrs. P.
Also during 1891, the American Academy of Political and Social Science sent Sam their circular report for 1890. A card must have also been enclosed, for Sam wrote on the envelope, “Card filled out, within” [MTP].
George Henderson, secretary for the American Society for the Extension of University Teaching send notice that Sam had been elected a member [MTP].
January – Sam inscribed a copy of The Stolen White Elephant to an unidentified person: A lie well stuck to becomes History. Mark Twain. Jan. ’91 [MTP: Assoc-Anderson Galleries catalog, Dec. 5, 1934 item72].
In an anonymous article, “American Fiction” in the Edinburgh Review, p.31-65 Mark Twain is mentioned in a list of humorists with the observation that “the humorous drama with a single character in different situations is one which American humourists have made peculiarly their own”; the critic’s own preference is for Lowell [Tenney 19].
Webster & Co. sent a “Books sent out during December, 1890” report, with a total of 8,395 books including 1,760 CY [MTP]. Note: the MTP catalogued this as an incoming letter for Dec. 1890.
January 1 Thursday
January 2 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote through Franklin G. Whitmore to the Secretary of the Clover Club of Philadelphia, declining their invitation for Jan. 15 to attend the ninth anniversary dinner. He pled previous engagements [MTP].
James W. Paige wrote to Sam of more problems on the typesetter:
The cast iron lever which owing to the poor quality of the iron broke the other day, and the cast iron part accidentally broken by Mr. Parker, have both been replaced by new, substantial and durable steel parts, and the machine has run since this time without bruising, breaking or damaging a type of any sort and gives promise of working continuously without delays of any kind. / This is the best New Year greeting that I can send you / Sincerely Yours [Kaplan 305; verified, slightly corrected at MTP].
J.D. Pyatt for Workingmen’s Free Library Committee of Lancaster, Penn. wrote (encl. in Webster & Co.’s Jan 9) to Sam of the success of “begging” for 1,000 books and begged a few from him [MTP]. Note: Sam directed two sets of his books to be donated, as shown by the Jan. 9 from Webster & Co.
January 3 Saturday – Sam dictated a letter to Franklin G. Whitmore to send to James W. Paige. Noted was receipt from Franklin’s son Will, a statement of expenses for the month of December.
He desires Mr. Boaz that he is not now making any further advances for the Type machine. …he is endeavoring to have your objections to the form of contract which he submitted to you last week, as he is very anxious to show the machine to Mr Jones [Senator John P. Jones] at the earliest possible opportunity [MTP] Note: signed by Whitmore as agent for S.L. Clemens.
Frederick J. Hall wrote one sentence acknowledging Sam’s endorsed notes received [MTP].
James W. Paige wrote to Sam with an accounting of Dec. 1890 expenses for the typesetter, a copy sent to Whitmore. Paige noted the machine “performed work on the 24th of December, 1890, for the first-time, in a manner satisfactory to me,” and thus was ready for a private showing. On the envelope Sam wrote, “Dec/90 Within, the $500 lent to Paige personally a month ago does not appear” [MTP].
January 4 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to James W. Paige, glad that the “machine is again at work.” Sam wrote he was “leaving for a few days,” and hoped by the time he returned Paige would have sold “a large stock of royalties to the Farnham people” [MTP]. Note: William Hamersley was initially involved in the typesetter company early in the 1880s, when it was then called the Farnham machine, still with Paige as inventor [MTB 904]. A dispute arose in July 1890 between Hamersley and Sam over funding of the Paige. See July 11, 1890 entry and MTNJ 3: 599n91 for particulars.
January 5 Monday – Mary L. Craig wrote from Dubois, Penn. to Sam asking permission to write a sketch of Jane Lampton Clemens for an unspecified newspaper. Craig had been employed by Orion to care for Ma for eight months of 1890, “became very much attached to her,” and wrote down several of her “sayings.” Of course, she added, she would only tell the pleasant things she remembered [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam clarifying the Mt. Morris Bank debt in regards to LAL production. He noted too that they’d paid the Little & Co. judgment. Hall had to fire one man in the “instalment department” who had stolen “several hundred dollars”; bonding would reimburse [MTP].
January 6 Tuesday – James W. Paige wrote from Hartford to Sam:
Your letter of the 4th inst. receivecd. – In reply I must again remind you that I have repeatedly told you that I could not sell or assist you to sell any of the royalties now held by you for the type setting machine until you shall have been authorized, by letter from Mr. Jones… [MTP].
January 7 Wednesday – Charles W. Joundham sent a photograph of Sam he wished autographed and returned [MTP].
Mrs. M.E. Keyes wrote to Sam in need of $500 — another begging letter [MTP].
January 8 Thursday – In Hartford Sam responded to an invitation (not extant) by Thomas L. Gulick.
…It could bring peace to this family who have heard me sigh for the Islands every year for twenty years, yet have never heard me sigh to return to any other place I had seen before. But I know we can never go — although I shall never entirely give up the intention [MTP]. Note: tragically, Sam would be at anchor off the Sandwich Islands in 1895, but quarantine would prevent his disembarking.
Sam also signed a one-liner written by Franklin G. Whitmore to an unidentified man, thanking for the New Years’ greeting and the comic calendar [MTP].
January 9 Friday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing a Dec. 1 report, which he thought “remarkable” considering “no new books had been published that have had any great sale” [MTP].
Webster & Co. wrote to Sam that his request for two sets of his books to be sent to J.D. Pyatt would be filled today (Pyatt Jan 2 encl) [MTP]. Note: See Jan. 2.
Hume Nisbet wrote from London to Sam sending two books if Sam would pay duties on them. (encl. in Hall’s Jan. 21 and with a press notice of Ashes: A Tale of Two Spheres, by Hume Nisbet) [MTP].
January 10 Saturday – Frank E. Bliss wrote a short note enclosing check for $433.04 for “all royalties and profits due on sales of your books to date. Please acknowledge” [MTP].
Gardiner Greene Hubbard wrote from Washington, D.C. to Sam (Hudson to Hubbard Jan 6 encl). Hudson was President of the American Bell Telephone Co. Gardiner wrote, “I hope we shall receive your intercession, that the inventor of the telephone may be taken out of purgatory and be sent on his journey towards heaven” [MTP]. Note: Hudson’s letter pleads that Sam’s Hartford house “is in a place exceedingly difficult of access — a neighborhood which objects to having poles in its streets — and so it has been necessary to reach him by a rather roundabout way, exposing him all the more to the mischievous effects of the electric light currents….”
Pratt & Whitney per R.F. Blodgett sent Sam statements and a dun notice for bills of $1,744. 20 from April last, and one for $6,562.69 for Dec. 1 which had not been paid [MTP].
January 11 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Annie Eliot Trumbull, daughter of Hartford historian and philologist, J. Hammond Trumbull. The Trumbulls were family friends. Evidently books had been found in the Clemens home belonging to Annie.
Forgive us — partially forgive Frances, & accept my cordialist thanks for Field’s book; it was very good of you to give it to me. I read the Cyclopeedy aloud & the Frau & I greatly enjoyed it; also “Stony Lonesome,” which is in more than one respect a remarkable performance for a lad; it is really Kipplingish in its straightforward, unembroidered style & its familiar handling of the technical colloquialisms of the railway. He must have served a term on the rails [MTP].
The N.Y. Times, Jan. 21, p.1 reported, “A SERMON HEARD 450 MILES AWAY,” in the Clemens home in Hartford:
Elmira, NY. Jan. 11. — The Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, at the Park Church this morning, preached a sermon on the life of the late Mrs. Olivia Langdon, mother of Mrs. Samuel L. Clemens of Hartford, Conn. It was impossible for Mr. And Mrs. Clemens to be present, but their house in Hartford was connected with the church here by a long-distance telephone, the receiver being placed on the pulpit and hidden in a bank of flowers. The line went by Syracuse, Albany, and Springfield to Hartford, a distance of 450 miles, and worked very successfully, the entire service being very plainly heard in Mr. Clemens’s residence in Hartford.
Hartford physician W.A.M. Wainwright wrote to Sam. “I was out of town yesterday, so did not get your note until this morning. From what I know of Mrs. Keyes, I think she is a perfectly reliable and trustworthy person” [MTP]. Note: evidently, the woman had a plan to open a boarding house.
January 12 Monday – Sam left for New York, Jersey City, and Washington — altogether a fourteen hour trip. “Railing toward Washington” in the afternoon, Sam wrote a short note posted from Washington D.C. to Charles N. Flagg, “Up in the Cheney Building Tower.” Sam wrote that Richard Watson Gilder of Century magazine read the more important submissions himself instead of using assistant editors, and that Flagg’s “Talks with my Uncle George” was about to be read [MTP]. See Dec. 16, 1890 ca entry.
In the evening Sam arrived in Washington and checked into the Arlington Hotel. The purpose of his trip was to confer with Senator John P. Jones on the Paige typesetter [Jan 13 to Livy].
January 13 Tuesday – In Washington Sam wrote to Livy. Senator Jones would be done with the Silver Bill responsibilities after the next evening (Jan. 14). Sam had an appointment to see him at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15. A man named Blackburn “broke his collar bone again this morning,” the same man who had suffered broken bones in a runaway horse affair “3 or 4 months ago in Louisville.” He’d seen an old Elmira friend by the name of Brooks who “served a term” with Livy at the Elmira Water Cure. Sam felt “wretched” from the long trip and was going to take a nap. He liked his reading material:
I’ve got a charming book for you to read — “The Crimes of Sylvester Bonnard” [MTP]. Note: Crime of Sylvester Bonnard (1881), by Anatole France (Francois Anatole Thibault 1844-1924)
January 14 Wednesday – In Washington, Sam wrote again to Livy just before 10 p.m. With no appointments until Thursday, Sam “avoided encountering people by clinging as a rule to” his room and reading. He read four acts of Cymbeline, and noted there were only two characters in the play. He ate “another vast meal” and sent information on an Italian dish for Alice, their cook. He expressed being homesick and missed even Susy, though he hadn’t had her around, lately. After his signature and a hope that when he carried this letter down to post he’d find one from Livy — Sam thanked her that he did find one waiting [MTP]. Note: Cymbeline is a Shakespeare play based on an early Celtic British king.
Kate Foote of Hartford wrote an invitation of some sort (not extant) to Sam in Washington, which he answered on Jan. 16. MTNJ 3: 624n186 identifies Miss Foote as a “‘bedridden permanent invalid’ — probably a relative of Mrs. George H. Warner’s.”
Sam’s notebook: Washington, Jan.14/91. Paige says Hamersley says he is given more than he is entitled to, in the contract, in proportion to mine. And he will give one of the two twentieths to me, under certain conditions [MTNJ 3: 599].
Note 91 from this source: “Hamersley nonetheless offered to surrender a portion of his interest ‘for the sake of success’ if Clemens retracted his letter of July 11. There is no record of an apology from Clemens, and Hamersley retained his full interest in the typesetter.”
Lou G. Stephens wrote from Centerville, Iowa announcing herself as “sister of your old friend Dan De Quille.” She offered some of her history in a rather piteous way; perhaps a begging letter [MTP].
January 15 Thursday – In Washington Sam met at 11 a.m. with Senator John P. Jones, though the silver legislation was not yet completed by the Senate. Kaplan writes, “Jones gave him a grudging few minutes, told him he was too busy with Senate affairs, and rushed him out.” Sam’s follow up letter of Jan. 20 does not reflect an offense of any sort over this meeting, and addresses concerns or suggestions Jones must have made concerning the Paige typesetter. Kaplan further presents Sam as “sick with worry,” and that his letters to Jones “grew more and more shrill and desperate in their claims,” yet gives no evidence of these judgments .
January 15-February 15 Sunday – In Hartford sometime during this period Sam wrote a letter which seems to be written for publication to the Telephone Co.
This marvelous experience convinces me that the time is coming, & very soon, when the telephone will be a perfect instrument; when proximity will no longer be a hindrance to its performance; when, in fact, one will hear a man who is in the next block just as easily & comfortably as he would if that man were in San Francisco…But enthusiasm is carrying me away. I must calm myself. A word more: in the circumstances, it seems a fair & indeed imperative return-courtesy that arrangements lately made by me in a moment of irritation, regarding the future of the inventor of the telephone, should now be modified: therefore please say to him he can have my place, I can get another [MTP].
January 16 Friday – Sam took the train for Hartford shortly after 2:30 p.m., the time noted on his letter to Kate Foote in response to her invitation of Jan. 14 (not extant). “…recent deaths in our family circle forbid me to assist at any public function for the winter” [MTP]. Note: Olivia Lewis Langdon passed away on Nov. 28, 1890.
J.D. Pyatt for Workingmen’s Free Library Committee wrote a letter of thanks to Sam for the two sets of his books sent earlier in the month [MTP]. See Jan. 2 & 9 entries.
The Hartford Courant of Jan. 15, p.8, “City Briefs” reported that Charles Noel Flagg’s portrait of Sam, “which Mr. Clemens regards as far the best likeness of himself that has ever been made,” would be on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this day at Flagg’s studio in the Cheney building.
January 17 Saturday – Sam may have spent Friday night in New York or traveled straight through to Hartford. If the former then he was in New York this day.
P.M. Barker for S. Alberta District, Calgary, Canada wrote to Sam, relating a story heard on a tour at Prince Albert [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote requesting Sam sign the new, cheaper lease that the landlord requested be in two separate names of the firm. Hall thought the $5,000 lease for four lofts to be “a bargain.” Collections naturally fell off in January; the bank account was low but that due to paying off the $1,500 judgment to Little & Co. [MTP].
January 18 Sunday
January 19 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Charles J. Roseboult of the N.Y. Sun. directing him not to wait for him, because he’d “been away for ten days & must go again.” He was out of “that after-dinner field for the season anyway.” Evidently Roseboult had sent Sam a list of questions (not extant), to which he wrote:
…only one answer is possible — a YES to the entire batch so strong that you have no type in the Sun office able to make it emphatic enough [MTP].
January 20 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote a long letter on the Paige typesetter to Senator John P. Jones, answering his questions and concerns, laying out the size of the market for rental machines at “12 cents per 1000 ems.” Sam calculated the American business worth $35,000,000; the European $20,000,000. He also tried to build on a suggestion of Jones’:
You spoke of having people of moderate means subscribe for the stock. Which suggests this idea to me: If you & Mr. Carnegie & one other — possibly Mackay? — should organize yourselves into a company, & held the list with good-sized subscriptions, I think the Typothetae of the United States could be depended upon to put up $500,000 among them….
We are offering hundred-dollar bills at a penny apiece, & it would seem to be good politics for a couple of men to sell out their mines & mills & take the entire lot, instead of letting everybody in [MTP].
January 21 Wednesday – The N.Y. Times, p.1 reported, “A SERMON HEARD 450 MILES AWAY,” over telephone lines to the Clemens home in Hartford. The article was datelined Elmira, Jan. 11. See that entry for the article.
Frederick J. Hall wrote a short note to Sam of the letter and notice from Hume Nisbet (Jan. 9 encl.), and they’d received notice from the post office that books were waiting; they’d forward them [MTP]. Note: See Jan 9.
January 22 Thursday – S. New England Tel. Co per W.H. Babcock notified Sam with a form letter of interruption of service due to icy weather. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Rebate for telephone” [MTP].
January 23 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote again to Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, announcing he was “coming down to show” him how the whole typesetter stock affair might be successful without Jones having to do any personal soliciting, “either by voice or pen.”
Of course I meant to wait until the silver question was out of the way, but according to the papers that is to be kept alive by the enemy till the end of the session [MTP].
Sam also responded for Livy to a letter from Georgina Sullivan Jones, whose request for information about Bryn Mawr had arrived on Jan. 22. Livy’s eyes,
…would not endure a light strong enough to write by…her intellects are deranged, on account of getting ready for a guest she is afraid of. So I am to be the official reporter & am waiting till she shall arrive back from the kitchen & dictate the Bryn Mawr matters to me.
Sam did not finish the letter, but his contribution was enclosed in Livy’s Jan. 25 to Jones [MTP].
William C. Pepper, agent for Webster & Co., wrote from Buffalo to Sam responding to an ad in an unspecified source. Sam wrote on the envelope “Answer to [illegible word]/ Buffalo” [MTP].
January 24 Saturday – Sam left again for Washington likely on this day, he’d announced the day before in his letter to Senator Jones. On Jan. 25 Livy began her letter to Georgina Sullivan Jones, “Mr. Clemens has gone out of town for a few days.”
Howard P. Taylor wrote from N.Y. to Sam about his efforts to dramatize CY; if Sam consented he would try to obtain a “prominent star comedian to produce it.” He’d read the play to John B. Curtis who was “quite enthused over it, but wanted to rename it “Sam’l of Posen at King Arthur’s Court” and change Hank Morgan’s character to a modern American Jew. Even so Curtis was willing to spend $15,000-$20,000 on producing the play [MTP].
January 25 Sunday – Sam was in Washington, seeking to confer with Senator John P. Jones on the Paige typesetter.
James Redpath wrote from N.Y. asking Sam if there were any services he could perform for him, as he was out of production with Belford Co. Publishers [MTP].
January 26 Monday – † Sam was in Washington, seeking to confer with Senator John P. Jones on the Paige typesetter.
The Farnham Type-setter Manufacturing Co. sent a printed circular detailing the developments of the Paige Compositor. Directors listed: William Hamersley, W.L. Matson, H.P. Stearns, James Nichols, Leander Hall, Wm. H. Lockwood, and Samuel E. Elmore. A note on the second page advises: “This circular is not issued for publication, and the receiver of it is requested to keep it private” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a short note to Sam enclosing reports for the “past two or three weeks”; also a voting slip for Herbert Ward’s book, My Life With Stanley’s Rear Guard which Hall had discussed with Sam earlier. “We publish the book to-day and already secured 1800 orders for it. It took a thousand to pay for getting it out” [MTP].
Charles Noel Flagg, artist, wrote to Sam having received back his MS, “Talks with my Uncle George,” rejected by Gilder. He told of repeatedly losing to a friend at billiards, who then said “Go paint — that’s the only thing you know,” which he agreed with; perhaps he shouldn’t try to write [MTP]. See Sam’s response Jan. 31.
John McComb wrote to Sam on San Quentin State Prison letterhead, that the newly elected governor of California, Gov. Markham was replacing his position with a friend and he would soon be out of work. McComb was involved in a plan to reorganize the Alta California. He had also lost money on a life insurance policy with Charter Oak Ins., Hartford. He wondered if Sam might help, as he needed the funds to complete his reorganization. He also thanked Sam for “the very kind reception accorded to my son when he had the pleasure of meeting you in New York, last June.” Sam wrote on the envelope for Whitmore, “Brer, please get this information. This is an old friend of mine. SLC’ [MTP]. Note: See Vol. I entries about McComb (1829-1896) who played a pivotal role in Sam’s 1867 Holy Land expedition.
January 27 Tuesday – † Sam was in Washington, seeking to confer with Senator John P. Jones on the Paige typesetter.
Orion Clemens wrote thanking Sam for the $200 check which came the day before [MTP].
William Fowler wrote from Edinburgh to Sam about the death of Jim Park, a friend “who was so deeply bitten by Mark Twain.” Fowler called Twain “Jim Park’s good angel” [MTP].
January 28 Wednesday – † Sam probably returned to Hartford by this day, as the trip was often a long one and his Jan. 29 telegraph to Howard P. Taylor would have been during daytime hours.
Julius G. Rathbun wrote to Sam wishing a “1/4 hours confab” with him sometime in the next few days [MTP]. Note: Rathbun owned the Hartford apothecaries.
January 29 Thursday – In Hartford Sam telegraphed Howard P. Taylor, once compositor on the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and now an accomplished playwright, who wished to dramatize CY.
Been away. I like the idea but submit the terms to me before you close. SL Clemens / Jany 29th 1891 [MTP].
Sam inscribed a cabinet photograph of himself standing on the cabin porch at Onteora to Mrs. Gertrude Tennant, Henry M. Stanley’s mother-in-law (Stanly married six months before, and Mrs. Tennant accompanied them on the tour, “somewhat to the amusement of the American press.” Stanley was currently on a US lecture tour (See Feb. 3 SLC to Hall).
With kindest regards to Mrs. Tennant from Mark Twain, Hartford Jan. 29 ’91 [Christie’s, Lot 136 Sale 6623 Sept. 24, 2002; avail. online].
January 30 Friday – James Whitcomb Riley wrote to Sam enclosing his poem, “Honest Old Sam Hungerford.” Gribben writes:
“Riley sent this poem to Clemens from Pittsburg…; it is a ‘dialect’ piece about ‘the prince of honest men,’ someone who ‘never earnt a dollar, ner he didn’t give a dam!’ Riley wrote that he wanted to hear Clemens recite the short poem ‘in some deep, reposeful state of satirical exasperation’” . Note: see Feb. 2 for Sam’s thanks.
Howard P. Taylor wrote from N.Y. to Sam, “glad you consented to the change. It only remains for Curtis to come to business. He is playing this week somewhere in Pennsylvania.” Taylor would try to “get the best terms possible,” and “Of course…would submit terms to you before closing in any case. That is part of our agreement” [MTP].
January 31 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote a one-liner to Charles Noel Flagg, also in Hartford. Flagg the artist had also written “Talks with my Uncle George,” sent to Richard Watson Gilder of the Century, who had rejected it.
Dear Mr. Flagg: Gilder’s a jackass. Get it nicely type-written, & we’ll ship it to Harper [MTP].
Eugene Davis wrote to Sam from the U.S. Senate. Davis was sorry Sam was “troubled with sciatica.” If Sam meant for him to telegraph him in Hartford when Senator John P. Jones went to N.Y, then it would give him “great pleasure to do so.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Takes 5 days to answer. / SLC” [MTP].
February – Thomas Bailey Aldrich inscribed his book, The Sisters’ Tragedy, with Other Poems, Lyrical and Dramatic (1891), to Sam: S.L. Clemens, from / his young / friend, / T.B. Aldrich / Feb. 1891 [Gribben 17]. Note: Sam wrote his thanks on Feb. 21, suggesting the book was given sometime after mid-month.
Gribben writes, “Beset by financial difficulties, Clemens fell back on a favorite book in February 1891, planning for his publishing house to issue Robinson Crusoe in twenty-five-cent installments (NB 30, TS 23)” .
Webster & Co. sent Sam a ledger page report, “Books sent out during January, 1891” broken down by title and binding, all books totaling 6,420 [MTP]. Note: the MTP catalogued as an incoming letter for Jan. 1891.
February 1 Sunday
February 2 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to James Whitcomb Riley in Indianapolis, thanking him for the “darling” poem (“Erasmus Wilson” collected in Neighborly Poems 1891) sent on Jan. 30. Sam claimed Riley was “the only man alive” who could read his poems “exactly right.”
In the fine ‘Ras Wilson poem you’ve flung in some more of those things which make my mouth water for an elder time, & a big toe with a rag around it. One time or another you’ve got them all in, I believe — except, perhaps, p’simmons & p’cons; & maybe red haws. We hadn’t p’cons in Missouri — had to cross over to the Illinois bottoms.
This is my tenth day in bed with rheumatism. There is less recreation about it that you would think [MTP; see also Gribben 579]. Note: Sam’s rheumatism, which affected him sporadically through this period, made writing difficult.
Frederick J. Hall wrote of receipt of “a pleasant letter from Mr. [Thomas] Donaldson this morning asking me to come to Philadelphia some Sunday and talk the matter over with him.” Thomas Donaldson was an expert on Indian life and culture; Sam and Hall were contemplating publishing a cheap trade book about Indians. Hall added he’d been “unable to get track of Mr. [Isaac] Bromley,” the journalist, who was working for the Union Pacific Railroad [MTNJ 3: 601n95].
February 3 Tuesday – On or about this day Livy left with Mrs. Beach to visit Susy Clemens, who came from Bryn Mawr to stay with them at the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia. A week later Sam was writing Howells about never separating himself from Livy again “in this foolish fashion” [Feb. 10 to Howells].
In Hartford Sam responded to Hall’s Feb. 2, calling his plan to pursue Henry M. Stanley for a book, “an excellent idea.”
You will find Major J.B. Pond at the Everett House, & he will give you a list of Stanley’s dates & engagements. If Stanley is too far away, you can write him [MTLTP 266]. Note: Pond was Stanley’s American tour manager.
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton:
Accept my very strongest thanks for the book [unspecified] — which could not have come more timely, shut up as I am this rainy morning [MTP].
February 4 Wednesday
February 5 Thursday
February 6 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Livy at the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia. Livy was traveling with Mrs. Beach and visiting Susy Clemens at Bryn Mawr. A. Hoffman writes she went to help with the production of Iolanthe, a play in which Susy played the role of Phyllis. Students discovered Susy had a fine soprano voice; this was probably the beginning of Susy’s singing ambitions [366-7; Neider, Papa 12]. He also claims Livy “felt uneasy about Susy’s relationship with Louise Brownell.” Only the envelope survives from this letter, but Sam would write again on Feb. 7. The next item suggests he went to New York after writing Livy.
N.Y. Times article of Feb. 1, 1891 p.8 shows Sam was to be at the Ohio Society of New York’s banquet at Delmonico’s. It was an event Sam missed, however. The Ohio Society of New York sent a formal invitation to a dinner at Delmonico’s for Feb. 6, 1891. Sam wrote at the top “Please return the usual form and declination, Brer / SLC” [MTP].
February 7 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote again to Livy in Philadelphia. She evidently had written suggesting he come to spend Tuesday night (Feb. 10) with her in New York so they might both return to Hartford the next day. He wrote of the two daughters at home, of the weather, and his rheumatism:
Jean has gone to dancing school in great trouble, without her ticket, & half fearing non-admission. She would not allow me to write a note. But Ben [Clara] says she won’t have any trouble.
At last the sun is trying to shine; but if I couldn’t make a better fist at it I would join another system. However, I am not rheumaticked anywhere but in the shoulder, now, so I don’t seriously mind the weather [MTP].
Sam also wrote to John Russell Young in New York, accepting their request to visit Hartford.
Look in on me when you come — I’m abed with rheumatism these last two weeks [MTP].
Saturday night, 10 o’clock / Feb. 7. ’91. Wrote a note to Paige saying I had seen & talked with Batterson but had not seemed to convince him that the proposed plan was the best & safest. Had done my best to sow fruitful seed with him, aware that this was to be my last appearance upon any stage in the character of negociator & promoter of commercial enterprises — & made an appointment with him for Sunday night with Paige.
(This was quite plain notice, that, having earned my 9/20 interest & paid for it many times over (as often heretofore confessed by Paige), I now hold myself as released from all or any further effort on behalf of the machine. I told him to-day that this was going to be my last negotiation, & then I was done; that I should not renew the insurance or pay out any more money.) [MTNJ 3: 601-2].
Sam also sent a note (not extant but referred to in Paige’s Feb. 9 to SLC) to James W. Paige.
February 8 Sunday – In the evening Sam worked on the first chapter of his new book, The American Claimant [Feb. 10 to Howells].
February 9 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote a simple and short reminder of the option given to Senator John P. Jones on Aug. 13, 1890, and of its expiration four days hence, or Feb. 13. First he wrote a “copy in substance” in his notebook [MTNJ 3: 602].
Therefore, won’t you please send me a note or telegram to tell me what I may count on? [MTP].
Sam continued to work on chapter one of The American Claimant [Feb. 10 to Howells]. Note: This was a narrative revision of the same general situation that Howells and Sam had spent so much effort on to no avail. The novel would appear in serial form in several of the McClure Syndicate newspapers from Feb. 1892 to Jan. 1983, and issued in book form in 1892.
Frederick J. Hall wrote that he was:
…just in receipt of a very pleasant letter from Mr. Stanley, in which he says he would like very much to take advantage of our offer but that he is precluded …by a clause in his contract which says — “In Darkest Africa” shall not be superceded or paralleled by any other publication from me [MTP].
James W. Paige wrote that he had “seen Mr. Batterson as you requested in your note of the 7th inst., and was no more successful than you were.” Paige regretted Sam’s avowal not to make any more efforts to negotiate, and used direct language to remind him that his “right to purchase the assignment as set forth in our agreement of August 13th, 1890 expires absolutely Feb. 13th, 1891, but I think that Mr. Jones should be reminded of this in consideration of the misunderstanding you have had with him” [MTP].
Editor of Surrogate Magazine, N.Y. wrote asking Sam to contribute on “Experiences in Having a Will Made” [MTP].
February 10 Tuesday – In New York, James Redpath died after being hit by a streetcar. The NY Times for Feb 11, 1891 p.8 reported the tragedy:
JAMES REDPATH DEAD
THE FATAL TERMINATION OF THE ACCIDENT WHICH BEFELL HIM
Mr. James Redpath died yesterday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Luke’s Hospital from the effects of injuries received last Thursday afternoon, when…he was run over by a Madison Avenue horse car.
Immediately after the accident Mr. Redpath was taken to the Chambers Street Hospital, and it is now the judgment of Mrs. Redpath and her two daughters and of friends that the doctors who had charge of him…failed to realize how seriously he had been hurt. Death came from blood poisoning…
It is probable that if Mr. Redpath had had proper care immediately after his injuries he would be alive to-day…. James Redpath’s life was one of tireless activity in public affairs.
In Hartford Sam wrote to his longtime friend and advisor, William Dean Howells. Webb Hayes, the son of President Hayes had recommended to Captain John G. Bourke that Bourke’s account of his Indian campaigns under General George Crook would be best published by Webster & Co. Sam thanked Howells for sending this letter (not extant). Scribner’s eventually published the book, On the Border with Crook, in 1891. Sam also approved of the Howellses visiting during March.
Now you are shouting. Be sure & come; tell Mrs. Howells she will never regret it. As for you, I will plug into you at short range the first chapter of my new book [The American Claimant]. I limit myself to that one because it is written — I did it night before last & yesterday.
Mrs. Clemens has been in Philadelphia a week at the Continental Hotel with Susy (who, to my private regret is beginning to love Bryn Mawr) & I’ve had to stay here alone. But this is the last time this brace of old fools, indispensables-to-each-other, are going to separate themselves in this foolish fashion [MTHL 2: 635].
Sam also wrote a short note to James W. Paige, advising that he’d reminded Senator Jones of the expiring date of his option, asking him to write or wire. Sam wrote there was no answer yet [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing “two copies each of the Profit & Loss Account for 1890 and the Balance Sheet audited by the experts.” One set was for Sam, the other to be signed and returned. Also, Andrew Carnegie had ordered 20 sets of LAL, half-morocco, “to present to various libraries” [MTP].
February 11 Wednesday – Sam’s one “watched basket” fell apart when Senator John P. Jones sent a telegram. He also wrote a letter on Senate letterhead:
I have received your note of 9th and telegraphed you today that within the time named it is impossible to accomplish anything, and that even with time, so far as my investigations have gone, the difficulties seemed almost insurmountable…I shall be glad to do anything I can to help you…there cannot be a doubt as to the future of the machine [MTNJ 3: 602n96].
Note: Jones also wrote he’d discussed the typesetter with several senators and found that Senator J. Donald Cameron and ex-Secretary of the Navy William Whitney were major investors in the Mergenthaler Linotype.
Fred Hall’s letter of the Feb. 12 puts Sam in the Webster office this day to look things over.
February 12 Thursday – In Hartford Sam undoubtedly let loose some of his anger over the typesetter in a letter to the Hartford Gas Company. This letter suggests Livy was not yet home.
Some day you will move me almost to the verge of irritation by your chuckle-headed Goddamned fashion of shutting your Goddamned gas off without giving any notice to your Goddamned parishioners. Several times you have come within an ace of smothering half of this household in their beds & blowing up the other half by this idiotic, not to say criminal, custom of yours. And it has happened again to-day. Haven’t you a telephone? [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote that he’d “arranged for advertising the Sherman book in Saturday’s and Sunday’s New York papers and in the principal papers in Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and Chicago.” He hoped for “a boom” on sales. He also wrote about a proposed book with Captain John G. Bourke, whom, evidently, W.D. Howells had sent or recommended. Hall also wrote: “You had hardly left the office yesterday when Mr. James R. Osgood came in to see me. He is on this side now for a short time.” Osgood wanted to do business in England, but Sam was committed to Chatto & Windus [MTP].
February 13 Friday – The deadline for Senator John P. Jones to exercise his option to form a stock company for the production of the Paige typesetter. The letter Jones promised in his Feb. 11 telegram arrived. Kaplan writes,
“…his letter added to this flat refusal only a transparent contradiction: he and other prudent men of substance felt that conditions in the money market were not at the moment favorable for such a venture; moreover, he said, a number of these same men of substance already had large investments in Mergenthaler’s Linotype” .
Upon receipt of Jones’ letter, Sam responded:
My Dear Senator Jones:
If you had given me half an hour of your time instead of two minutes, I would have shown you two ways, by either of which you would have been totally relieved of work until work should take the aspect of play; & by one of which financial risk would be disposed of, since none of you would have to put up a cent until I could lay before you orders from first-class concerns for twenty-four hundred thousand dollars’ worth of machines (200 machines) — at which time you could all draw out from the scheme if you preferred, as it could then take care of itself. Can those Mergenthaler friends show orders for a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of machines?
Sam complained he’d spent $40,000 more than he’d dared because he’d valued Jones’ word and if Jones truly meant he’d do whatever he could to help, then why not “take $75,000 worth of royalties for $50,000 & pay it in installments of $1,000 a month, or take $50,000 worth for $25,000 & pay cash down.”
Frederick J. Hall wrote that he’d received Sam’s two letters, one about using too much postage. Hall enclosed an ad proof would appear in newspapers of principal eastern cities. The rest of the letter was given to matters of extra pennies on postage. The proof lists Gen. Sherman’s book at $5 per set cloth, $7 Leather, Library Style, and $8.50 Half Turkey Morocco. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Postage was right after all” [MTP].
Sam also wrote two notes to Frederick J. Hall, concerned about tying up too many copies of a religious cyclopedia and an Indian book.
My apprehension comes from old and sore experience. We printed and bound 50,000 Mississippi’s, and the orders stopped at 32,000. Webster gave the rest away — as he strenuously wanted to do with the 40,000 extra Grant sheets that he printed [MTLTP 267]. Note: Sam also advised him to “Wait till you hear from Miles” and that he’d written to Howells.
February 14 Saturday – General William Tecumseh Sherman died in Boston. The NY Times, Feb. 15, 1891, p.2 reported:
A NATION MOURNS HIS LOSS.
TRIBUTES OF RESPECT AND LOVE FROM OTHER CITIES.
BOSTON, Feb. 14. — The news of Gen. Sherman’s death was generally announced to the citizens by the tolling of the fire alarm bells. The flags on State, municipal, and Federal buildings were placed at half mast. Mayor Matthews has called a special meeting of the City Government for Monday, the 16th, to take formal action upon the death of Gen. Sherman.
In Hartford Sam wrote a short note to Frederick J. Hall that he’d been wrong about calculating postage and the “mailing clerk” was right [MTP]. He also wrote (Not extant, See Feb. 18) to J.E. Kingsley & Co., Phila. inquiring about a package of shoes that Livy had ordered from Wannamaker’s dept. store [MTP].
Andrew Lang’s article, “The Art of Mark Twain,” ran in the Illustrated London News, XCVIII, p.222. Lang gives a defense of Mark Twain as a serious writer besides being a gifted humorist: “I have abstained from reading his work on an American at the Court of King Arthur, because here Mark Twain is not, and cannot be, at the proper point of view. He has not the knowledge which would enable him to be a sound critic of the Middle Ages…[but in TS and HF he reveals himself as] “one among the greatest contemporary makers of fiction [and HF is] a masterpiece.” This piece was reprinted in The Critic (London) on Mar. 7 as “Mr. Lang on the Art of Mark Twain” [Tenney 20].
“Lang’s defense did not succeed in removing the stigma which had helped to cause British sales of all Clemens’ books to fall off by two-thirds of their usual volume, for they remained at that level for some three years longer. Not only had the new novel failed to ‘pry up the English nation to a little higher level of manhood,’ but it had succeeded in reducing the author’s income at a time when he badly needed all the money he could get his hands on” [John Bull 164].
The N.Y. Times, of Feb. 13 p.8 ran “GOOD BOOKS FOR THE POOR,” which discussed the St. Valentines Night Bazaar of Feb.14 sponsored by the Aguilar Free Library Society, to be addressed by Carl Schurz and Brander Matthews. Note below Sam’s contributions to both “The “Authors’ Valentine” and “The Author’s Volumes,” with covers designed and painted by Dora Wheeler. Sam’s middle initial was often reported incorrectly, this time as “J.”
Two novel features of the bazaar will be “The Authors’ Valentine” and “The Authors’ Volumes.” The former consists of manuscript verses by the following authors, signed and written for the occasion, bound in a satin cover painted and designed by Dora Wheeler: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Walt Whitman, George William Curtis, Edward Eggleston, William Dean Howells, Margaret Deland, Elizabeth Phelps Ward, Edward Bellamy, Richard W. Gilder, Mary Mapes Dodge, Frank Dempster Sherman, Donald G. Mitchell, (Ik Marvel😉 Samuel J. Clemens, [sic] (Mark Twain;) Alice French, (Octave Thanet😉 Julia Ward Howe, Agnes Repplier, Brander Matthews, John Burroughs, Helen Grey Cone, Mary E. Wilkins, Grace Denio Litchfield, Helen Campbell, Edmund Clarence Stedman, Sarah Orne Jewett, Hjalmar H. Boyesen, George W. Cable, and Mrs. Burton Harrison.
The Authors’ Volumes were collected by Mr. Oscar S. Straus, and each one has a manuscript letter from the author inserted. The books are as follows: “Put Yourself in His Place,” by Charles Reade; “Transatlantic Sketches,” by Henry James; “Woman’s Reason,” by W.D. Howells; “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” by Bret Harte; “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes; “The [Stolen] White Elephant,” by Mark Twain; “The Colonel’s Daughter,” by Charles King; “Louisiana,” by Frances Hodgson Burnett; “Marjorie Daw,” by Thomas Bailey Aldrich; “Prue and I,” by George William Curtis; “Little Journey in the World,” by Charles Dudley Warner; “Songs in the Sierras,” by Joaquin Miller; “Tent Life in Siberia,” by George Kennan, and “Grandison Mather,” by Sidney Luska. [Note: What would these special volumes be worth today?]
Sam also autographed an aphorism to an unidentified person: A lie well stuck to becomes / History. / Mark Twain. / P.S / A sublime & immortal Fact / is always better than a Valentine. /M.T [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
Your favor received. I hardly know what to suggest for you to write to General Miles; you would know very much better what to say than I would. It might be well to refer to the fact that I had already written him, enclosing a letter from Colonel Sheridan, suggesting that he put into book form some of his Western experiences,to be published by us….
Hall also heard from Captain Bourke that he’d promised to give first choice of his book (to be called “Crook of the Pacificator”) to Charles Scribner [MTP].
J.K. Hayward wrote from Harriman, Tenn. on East Tennessee Land Co. Letterhead asking for a letter from Sam to read at a bi-monthly literary meeting. Sam wrote on the envelope, “No answer” [MTP].
February 15 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall enclosing a note (not extant) from Grace King about publishing a book from a widow.
MTLTP notes suggests “probably A History of Louisiana by King and John R. Ficklen.” However, Sam’s letter to Grace King two days after this to Hall (Feb. 17) names the biography of Charles Gayarré, who Bush notes that Sam mistakenly thought was dead . See Feb. 17 entry for details of Gayarré.
Well, say something which I can send to Miss Grace. I’m not particular what [MTLTP 269].
February 16 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote through Franklin G. Whitmore to Frederick J. Hall asking him “to come to Hartford as soon as convenient…He wishes to talk with you in relation to his ‘Historical Game’ and it’s [sic] publication.” Note: with the bursting of the “Jones bubble” dashing hopes for large scale financing of the typesetter, Sam turned to every possible asset, literary and miscellaneous, to raise money. The game, which would become Mark Twain’s Memory Builder had been formulated in 1883. See July 1883 entry and others.
Barrow, Wade, Guthrie & Co. Accountants of N.Y. sent audit for Webster & Co. for 1890, showing a net profit of $7,029.57, with Sam being credited for two-thirds and Hall one-third. Overall debt, however had increased from $13,301.39 on Dec. 31, 1889 to $36,308.38 on Dec. 31, 1890 [MTP
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “Your favors received. I will reply separately to Miss King’s letter.” Hall explained about the $7,000 debit item on the “Religious Encyclopedia,” which, evidently, Sam had several questions about. He also referred to “the Indian book,” his idea being to issue a cheap (50c) trade book [MTP].
Mae Harris Anson wrote from N.Y. to Sam asking for “a few facts from your own experience” in order to get her start in journalism. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer — perhaps it needs no answer”[MTP].
Players Club per Henry J. Magonigle sent a form letter notice that dues had not been paid for three months; that membership would be canceled if not paid within one month. Sam wrote on the envelope to Whitmore, “Brer, Has this bill ever come before? DO NOT PAY IT SLC” [MTP].
February 17 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall of a “very pleasant visit” by an unspecified man. He also enclosed a paper which, if Hall liked it for publication, to make a copy of it and mail the original to Grace King. Sam expressed some urgency as to developing the memory game, feeling it would provide some needed income:
Come quickly, & discuss my historical game. It is the important feature now [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Grace King, who had asked (letter not extant) if Webster & Co. would consider publishing the biography of Charles Gayarré (1804-1895), the Louisiana historian, former US Senator (1835) and her close friend.
Dear Miss Grace:
You see my partner says the straightforward thing in the business-like way. That is, let Mr. Gayarré’s friends gather the stipulated subscribers & the money, without commission, & we will undertake to manufacture and deliver — dividing the profit, over & above all legitimate costs (cost of any kind which would not have been entailed upon us but for the book) between the widow & our firm in the proportion of ½ to each.
As I am going to send this through Mr. Hall for his approval or emendation, I shall withhold those eruptions of affection always sure to happen in a letter to you from Mrs. Clemens or me. She has been ill but is better. Sincerely yours / S.L. Clemens [Bush 45; citing ALS in the possession of Mr. John M. Coxe]. Note: Bush footnotes that Sam mistakenly thought Gayerre was dead, but he lived until 1895.
Andrew H.H. Dawson wrote a rather pompous note to Sam “after him” as an “undiscovered friend” to dine on Feb. 28 at 18 West 25th at the HQ of a Southern Society where about 180 would attend if they knew Sam was coming. A photo of Dawson was enclosed. Sam wrote on the envelope, “I have answered this bugger SLC” [MTP].
February 18 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook lists an invitation to lecture at Central Music Hall, Chicago for $1,000 from Edmund W. Ballentine [MTNJ 3: 603]. Note: No record exists of Sam agreeing to such a lecture, nor is a date for a proposed appearance shown.
J.E. Kingsley & Co., Phila. responded to Sam’s Feb. 14 inquiry, confirming a package of shoes from Wanamaker’s were delivered to 128 for Mrs. Clemens on Feb. 9th, “consequently Mrs. Clemens must be mistaken about the shoes being received after she left on the 11th” [MTP].
W.H. Houston wrote from Peabody, Mass. to Sam, inclined to make a “justifying machine,” and if Sam was “troubled by any definite mechanical difficulty [with the Paige justifier] it is not unlikely that I could help you.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, tell him I do not know of any difficulty in the justifier.” A copy of Whitmore’s response to Houston is in the file [MTP].
February 19 Thursday – General William Tecumseh Sherman’s funeral followed by a military procession took place in New York City. His body was then taken to St. Louis, where a second funeral was held on Feb. 21 at a Catholic church. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.
Andrew H.H. Dawson wrote again to Sam expressing his “sincere and profound sympathy, under the bereavement that has smitten you,” (about the lost shoes). The rest of the letter is worse than hot air; Sam wrote sarcasm on the envelope, “No answer, but preserve this extraordinary document” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam. “I mailed your letter to Miss Grace King, together with the one that I wrote you.” He also wrote of a Captain H.M. Mallison (or Mattison) who had called claiming a letter of introduction from Sam which he did not produce. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, tell him I’ve never heard of any such person” [MTP].
February 20 Friday – In Hartford Sam was immersed in work. On this day he began again what would become The American Claimant (in his Feb. 10 to Howells Sam disclosed he’d begun on Feb. 8, so he may have started over on this day.) He would write the book in only 71 days, finishing on May 2. He also was hard at work resurrecting the game that would become Mark Twain’s Memory Builder.
Sam’s notebook: Feb. 20. It is more than 2 weeks since I have seen Paige or the machine. Am deep in work — the Date & Fact Game, Col. Sellers, &c [3: 603].
Wrote Chapter I of Col. Mulberry Sellers Feb. 20, 1891 .
James E. Rhoads, president of Bryn Mawr College, wrote to Sam that “it would be highly gratifying to our students, and to the faculty…if we could persuade you to give a lecture before the college upon a topic to be chosen by yourself” [MTP].
February 21 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote a short note of thanks to Thomas Bailey Aldrich for sending an inscribed book of his poems, The Sisters’ Tragedy, with Other Poems, Lyrical and Dramatic (1891) [MTP]. See Feb. entry.
February 22 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall about the mock-up of Mark Twain’s Memory Builder and his new book that would become The American Claimant:
When you get the dummy finished, steal a few hours from work & bring it up yourself & we will make some plans concerning the new Col. Sellers book which I am writing [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Joe Goodman about Senator John P. Jones:
Think of this penny-worshipping humbug & shuffler coming the lofty silent-contempt dodge with you & me! Why it is really a very good sagebrush imitation of the Deity. Hasn’t answered my letter.
Sam noted, “how, all the time, Mrs. Goodman scoffed at us (with a fatally true instinct) for believing in this fraud’s promises.” [MTP].
February 23 Monday – Mary Mapes Dodge invited Sam and Livy to dinner at her New York City home. Since Livy was ill and in bed, the invitation was likely declined [MTNJ 3: 603n100; Feb 24 to Howells].
Arthur Duffuer in Furtwangen, Black Forest, Germany wrote a short note to Sam — in German, writing he would be “fortunate to own a few lines written by your hand” [MTP]. Note: Thanks to Holger Kersten for the translation.
Henry C. Robinson wrote to Sam: “This note just came in. I suspect C.H.C.” (Charles H. Clark) The note: “The Farmers.” IN WAR THEY / STOOD / AND FIRED THE SHOT HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD / IN PEACE THEY / STAND / AND FIRE THE COWTIRD ‘ROUND THE LAND. [MTP].
February 24 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to William Dean Howells. Livy had been “sick abed for near two weeks” (which would put her return from Philadelphia at about Feb. 12). Sam looked forward to a visit by the Howellses in March. Sam then asked if his new novel stirred an interest in Howells: “Colonel Mulberry Sellers, American Claimant of the Great Earldom of Rossmore in the Peerage of Great Britain,” which would become, simply, The American Claimant [MTHL 2: 636-7].
Sam’s notebook: Wrote Chapter IV of Col. Mulberry Sellers Feb. 24, 1891 . Note: Sam’s prior entry noted that Ch. I had been written on Feb. 20.
February 25 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about having a mock-up of the memory game made:
I have just found a man who is the one we want to make up a dummy…I will hurry him along as fast as possible. As soon as it is completed I shall come up with it as you suggest…[MTP].
Sam also wrote to his brother, Orion Clemens, that he’d “shook the machine”:
..when the pig-headed lunatic, its inventor dies, it will instantly be capitalized & make the Clemens children rich.
But I am done; & have gone to work to rebuild my wasted fortunes. The task I have set myself is to earn $75,000 in three months from Feb. 13, & collect the money a year from now. I shall succeed, there is no doubt of that.
Sam also told of his new book (AC); of waking up at night “laughing at its ridiculous situations” [MTP].
James E. Rhoads, President of Bryn Mawr College, wrote to set Mar. 23 for Sam’s reading before the students [MTP]. Note: Sam jumped at the chance to see daughter Susy and accepted (not extant); There is an entry in his notebook, however, naming Rhoads, the time and place, 4 p.m. [MTNJ 3: 603].
February 26 Thursday – Frederick J. Hall sent a note for renewal for Sam to endorse. He also wrote of the Sherman book; that they didn’t own the plates nor the copyrights and that he’d told the Shermans that “if we went into the expense of getting out a large cheap edition, as they want, we would have to have them advance the money for it…” [MTP]. Note: At the bottom Hall wrote: “Later. P.S. The Shermans have given us a check for $3500.00 on account of expense of cheap edition.”
John C. Kinney wrote from Hartford on Army and Navy Club stationery to Sam: “I can guess that your dispatch is from Milton Bassett of New Britain (formerly of my old Reg’t) –odd stick, who is said to have gone crazy” [MTP].
February 27 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall displaying an urgency caused by his distressed financial state. He wrote of the pending Sherman book:
What is the very quickest you can issue it? Its market is best for the next 30 days, I think; then nearly as good for 30 more; then comes the fading quickly out.
I have written 10,000 words on a book whose canvass is to begin September 1, and issue Dec. 10 with 75,000 orders — and not a single one short of that [MTLTP 269]. Note: Sherman died on Feb. 14; his family wanted a $1.50 edition with information from Blaine added.
February 28 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote to William Dean Howells asking a favor. Sam was interested in using a phonograph to dictate his new book, The American Claimant.
Won’t you drop in at the Boylston Building (New England Phonograph Co) & talk into the phonograph in an ordinary conversation-voice & see if another person (who didn’t hear you do it) can take the words from the thing without difficulty & repeat them to you…. My right arm is nearly disabled by rheumatism, but I am bound to write this book (& sell 100,000 copies of it — no, I mean a million — next fall.) I feel sure I can dictate the book into a phonograph if I don’t have to yell. I write 2,000 words a day; I think I can dictate twice as many.
But mind, if this is going to be too much trouble to you, — go ahead & do it, all the same. Ys ever [MTHL 2: 637-8]. Livy added a PS “protest” to say “it is a shameful to use a friend so.” Note: Howells answer came Mar. 3.
Frederick J. Hall wrote about getting out the Sherman book. Hall was glad Sam was writing a new book and had a plan he wanted to discuss for its sale that “we think will have the seventy-five thousand orders by the time we issue it….” [MTP].
Dunham Wheeler for Players Club (Dora Wheeler’s son) sent a handwritten note inviting Sam to lunch on Mar. 7. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, ask him to give my love to the boys — am not able to be there” [MTP].
Morris White, a student at the Lexington, Miss. Normal School wrote to Sam asking for help with a speech he had to make on the life of Mark Twain [MTP].
The Hartford Courant ran a short humorous squib about Mark Twain on p.2 under “Bric-A-Brac”:
We read that at the Murray Hill Hotel the other day a porter vented his opinion in this wise concerning a gentleman not unknown in Hartford: “There goes the solemnest and dismalist gent as ever stopped at this ‘ouse. I don’t b’lieve he ever knowed what it was to larf.” The reference was to Samuel L. Clemens.
March – † Sometime during the month an unidentified person wrote asking where Mark Twain got his material from for his books. The following has been taken from Paine, corrections to the original TS in the MTP have been added or made, including the phrase “& superficially” attributed to Bret Harte’s knowledge of mines, which Paine removed to sanitize Twain’s persona. This piece affords a remarkable view into Sam’s taking stock right after the dreams of monumental wealth were dashed. It is given in full, though the first page, and the identity of the correspondent, is lost.
Your surmise is correct, sharply & exactly so — that I confine myself to life with which I am familiar when pretending to portray life. But I confined myself to the boy-life out on the Mississippi because that had a peculiar charm for me, & not because I was not familiar with other phases of life. I was a soldier two weeks once in the beginning of the war, & was hunted like a rat the whole time. Familiar? My splendid Kipling himself hasn’t a more burnt-in, hard-baked, & unforgetable familiarity with that death-on-the-pale-horse-with-hell-following-after, which is a raw soldier’s first fortnight in the field — & which, without any doubt, is the most tremendous fortnight & the vividest he is ever going to see.
Yes, & I have shoveled silver tailings in a quartz-mill a couple of weeks, & acquired the last possibilities of culture in that direction. And I’ve done “pocket-mining” during three months in the one little patch of ground in the whole globe where Nature conceals gold in pockets — or did before we robbed all of those pockets & exhausted, obliterated, annihilated the most curious freak Nature ever indulged in. There are not thirty men left alive who, being told there was a pocket hidden on the broad slope of a mountain, would know how to go & find it, or have even the faintest idea of how to set about it; but I am one of the possible 20 or 30 who possess the secret, & I could go & put my hand on that hidden treasure with a most deadly precision.
And I’ve been a prospector, & know pay rock from poor when I find it — just with a touch of the tongue. And I’ve been a silver miner & know how to dig & shovel & drill & put in a blast. And so I know the mines & the miners interiorly as well as Bret Harte knows them exteriorly & superficially.
And I was a newspaper reporter four years in cities, & so saw the inside of many things; & was reporter in a legislature two sessions & the same in Congress one session, & thus learned to know personally three sample bodies of the smallest minds & the selfishest souls & the cowardliest hearts that God makes.
And I was some years a Mississippi pilot, & familiarly knew all the different kinds of steamboatmen — a race apart, & not like other folk.
And I was for some years a traveling “jour” printer, & wandered from city to city — & so I know that sect familiarly.
And I was a lecturer on the public platform a number of seasons & was a responder to toasts at all the different kinds of banquets — & so I know a great many secrets about audiences — secrets not to be got out of books, but only acquirable by experience.
And I watched over one dear project of mine for years, spent a fortune on it, & failed to make it go — & the history of that would make a large book in which a million men would see themselves as in a mirror; & they would testify & say, Verily, this is not imagination; this fellow has been there — & after would they cast dust upon their heads, cursing & blaspheming.
And I am a publisher, & did pay to one author’s widow (General Grant’s) the largest copyright checks this world has seen — aggregating more than £80,000 in the first year.
And I have been an author for 20 years & an ass for 55.
Now then: as the most valuable capital or culture or education usable in the building of novels is personal experience I ought to be well equipped for that trade. I surely have the equipment, a wide culture; & all of it real, none of it artificial, for I don’t know anything about books. And yet I can’t go away from the boyhood periods & write novels, because capital is not sufficient by itself & I lack the other essential: interest in handling the men & experiences of later times. Yes, & there was another consideration: the boyhood field isn’t much or effectively occupied, there’s plenty of room: but the other field is crowded, & most competently, too [MTB 915-6 & the MTP version].
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore that in January they’d paid the Telephone Co. “about $10 too much — the service has been wretched.” Sam wanted to discontinue the service when they left for the summer [MTP].
Webster & Co. sent a ledger page report, “Books sent out during February, 1891” totaling 11,986 [MTP]. Note: the MTP catalogued as an incoming letter for Feb.1891.
March 1 Sunday – James D. Phelan, president of the Bohemian Club, San Francisco sent Sam a souvenir program of their “Xmas Truth.” Since Sam was an honorary member, Phelan announced Sam was welcome at the “forthcoming festival” on Apr. 1, 1892 to celebrate the club’s 20th anniv. [MTP].
March 2 Monday – William Hamersley sent Sam a printed postcard announcing a meeting of the stockholders of The Farnham Type-setter Manufacturing Co. at the office of James W.Paige at 12 o’clock M., March 6, 1891. The stated purpose of the meeting was to examine the plans for the manufacture of the Paige Compositor [MTP]. Note: At midnight!
Charles A. Willard wrote from Muncie, Ind. to Sam with a question about LM: how was it that the Mississippi River draws its water from the Delaware? Willard confessed being a stranger to Sam, but Mark Twain was as “familiar in my household as is the name of my 9 year old girl” [MTP]. On the envelope Sam wrote, “Tell him Parkman’s LaSalle will explain the mystery.”
March 3 Tuesday – In Boston William Dean Howells typed a letter on a Hammond machine to Sam:
I talked your letter into a fonograf in my usual tone, at my usual gait of speech. Then the fonograf man talked his answer in at his wonted swing and swell. Then we took the cylinder to a type-writer in the next room, and she put the hooks into her ears, and wrote the whole out. I send you the result. There is a mistake of one word. I think that if you have the cheek to dictate the story into the fonograf, all the rest is perfectly easy [MTHL 2: 638-9].
New England Phonograph Co. per August N. Sampson responded to Sam’s questions about renting a Phonograph — it would be leased at $40 per year, payable first quarter $15, second and third $10 and the last $5. Sam wrote underneath the typed letter, “400 cylinders required for 175000 words / Cylinders wroth $2.00 a dozen — say about $75 for the 400” [MTP].
Bissell & Co. sent notice of a credit to Sam’s account $1,792.07 from Chatto & Windus [MTP].
March 4 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote a short note to Sam enclosing a debt-note “to cover the one just taken up.” Hall reported a rush on the Sherman book and a good outlook for sales of it; he also expected a mockup of Sam’s memory game this day [MTP].
March 5 Thursday –Sam wrote to Howard Lockwood to discontinue his subscription to The American Bookmaker, letter not extant but referred to in Lockwood’s Mar. 6 response. He also placed an order with the New England Phonograph Co., also not extant but referred to in Sampson’s Mar. 6 response [MTP].
March 6 Friday – Howard Lockwood of Lockwood & Co. wrote to Sam, having received his Mar. 5 letter to discontinue subscription to The American Bookmaker. He offered an additional incentive in the form of the American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking, which they were about to issue quarterly.
August N. Sampson for New England Phonograph wrote to Sam confirming his order of Mar. 5, of a phonograph and five dozen blank cylinders; they would forward without delay [MTP].
Eldred Jungerich wrote from Nice, France to thank Sam for the signature offered “on behalf of the A.C.” Since he initially wrote Jungerich had received signatures from Jules Simon, Moltke, and Alexander Dumas; Gladstone had declined. He added he had a goldfinch named after Mark Twain [MTP].
March 7 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote a letter to G.& C. Merriam & Co., praising the dictionary, which he called “the most awe-inspiring of all books.” He thanked the company [MTP].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified woman:
I am very slow, but correspondingly sure. The books are sent to you, & with pleasure [MTP].
March 8 Sunday – In Hartford Sam responded to Miss Clement’s question about his surname:
Yes, my name was formerly spelt as yours is, & there is but little doubt that all the Clements & Clemenses in America sprang from a common source & are kin….If you will look at one of the ordinary fac similies of the signatures of the judges who condemned Charles I, you will find one Geoffry Clement in the list. A son of his married a Spanish lady (I don’t know why — but his father had once been English Ambassador to Spain,) & came over & settled in Virginia. It is from this pair that I am descended [MTP].
Howard P. Taylor wrote to Sam unsure if other parties were competing for the dramatization of CY; could he extend the time period for authorization of the play? [MTP].
Elizabeth H. Abell wrote from Dunkirk, N.Y. asking for “something new” for her monthly subject of Mark Twain for the Women’s Literary Club. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, you might send her the printed slip & say the last book is the Yankee SLC” [MTP].
March 9 Monday – In Hartford Franklin G. Whitmore answered Howard P. Taylor’s Mar. 8 letter for Sam, who responded he had “said nothing to any body or considered any offers from any body in relation to the dramatization of the ‘Yankee’.” How long of an extension did Taylor want? [MTP].
Lucy G. Burt wrote from Adams, Mass. to Sam, asking where she might find “the piece, ‘How I Got Rid of a Troublsome Conscience’”. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, I think it’s in White Elephant under head of ‘The Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut’ SLC ” [MTP].
August N. Sampson for New England Phonograph wrote to Sam that they wanted to ship the ordered phonograph the night of Mar. 10; also that their agent, Mr. T.H. Macdonald, would come up to Hartford from Bridgeport to set up the machine and instruct on its use [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to advise he’d sent “by express to-day a dummy of the [memory] game.” Hall understood that Sam wanted the title of the game to be “Mark Twain’s Fact and Date Game.” He was also surprised that they were getting as many applications for the upcoming Sherman book as they’d received for the Sheridan book, but there were complications with James G. Blaine’s additions to the book [MTP].
March 10 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote a short letter to the Chattanooga Republican, which ran in the Mar. 15 edition of that paper:
My Dear Sir — The original of Col. Mulberry Sellers was never in Tennessee. He was a man whom I knew familiarly during several years in Missouri, and some of the most extravagant performances attributed to him in the book were not inventions but facts of his life — the stove with a candle in it, the raw turnip dinner, etc. I did not burlesque him — he shouldn’t have done it himself.
I did not give him the name “Eschol,” but another name. Warner wanted it changed to Eschol and I consented, not forseeing any harm. Yours truly, S.L. Clemens [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, having evaluated the dummy mock-up of Mark Twain’s Memory Builder game. He liked it and thought cork might be preferable if not too expensive. He also addressed Hall’s “vexations” about the proposed Sherman book — Hall had advertised James G. Blaine would contribute to the updated Sherman book, but Blaine’s work on the appendix was delayed [MTLTP 270].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (Spaulding’s Feb. 6 to Hall enclosed) that he was enclosing a letter from Percy Spaulding, a junior parter of Chatto & Windus, regarding Kneipp’s Water-Cure and would advise when they would get the original. Also enclosed (not in the file) was the report for Feb. “It shows up very well, although a large portion of it owing to a deal on a lot of seal Sheridan that we had on hand which we sold to Watson Gill at a low price but at a profitable price” [MTP].
March 11 Wednesday – William Dean Howells and wife Elinor were visiting the Clemenses when T.H. Macdonald arrived from the New England Phonograph Co. with the phonograph Sam had ordered. Macdonald set it up for him [MTNJ 3: 607&n118]. Note: The exact length of their stay is not clear, but in his Mar. 15 Howells wrote it was “too short for the things I wanted to say,” suggesting it was probably not longer than one night.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that “if convenient” he wished to come to Hartford Saturday morning to “talk over…a number of matters.” Hall touched on the implications of the International Copyright Bill, a possible cheap edition of HF, how to handle Sam’s new book, the lease, and the Sherman book [MTP].
March 12 Thursday – In Hartford Sam responded to Hall’s Mar. 11 note confirming that he’d look for him Saturday (Mar. 14) and suggested he stay the night, returning to N.Y. at “7.10 Sunday evening.” Sam believed that in “short interviews we overlook lots of things that ought to be discussed.” By this time some trains ran on Sunday [MTP].
Wallace Peck wrote from N.Y. inquiring just where in Sam’s works or clippings was the “comical conceit” idea that withholding the first meal from a baby might avert its habit of eating [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he’d received his letter and would come to Hartford on Saturday morning. After a brief mention of the Sherman family and James G. Blaine’s letter, Hall wrote at the bottom, “P.S. A big jobber Butler Bros representative was just in here & says he can sell thousands of a 1.00 edition of Huck Finn. He would probably be willing to order five thousand lots” [MTP].
March 13 Friday – Anna H. Bumstead wrote from Boston to Sam reminding him of his yearly contribution for the Ware children. On the envelope Sam wrote, “$25” [MTP].
March 14 Saturday – Frederick J. Hall came to Hartford to discuss business; he spent the night at the Clemens home. Among other things he and Sam discussed the idea of issuing a cheap edition of Mark Twain books for trade publication, beginning with HF [MTNJ 3: 607&n117].
Ernst Von Hesse Wartegg wrote from N.Y. to Sam, thanking him for quoting a passage from one of his books in LM, “This quotation refers to a Chapter on ‘Yellow Jack’ in my Mississippi ‘fahrless’ [?] published 1881 at Liepzig.” He enclosed a circular on his latest book, Thousand and One Days in the Occident, and asked for Sam’s photograph [MTP].
March 15 Sunday – In Boston, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam:
I sent you the play [The American Claimant] on Friday, and today I have mailed you the little book of Swedenborg’s which I spoke of [Heaven and Hell]. I think you’ll find it very amusing. Some things are entirely grotesque, but there are gleams of probability, too. We had, as we always do at your house, a handsome time, but too short for the things I wanted to say. I hope you have made up your sleep since we left, and that the fonograf is behaving [MTHL 2: 639]. Note: Emanuel Swedenborg’s 1858 book is listed in Gribben 678.
March 16 Monday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about “A Mr. Bruce, an author [who] comes to us introduced by a letter from Colonel Higginson. He has a scheme for writing a Life of Cleveland.” Hall was doubtful the book would pay, though if Cleveland were nominated Hall thought there would be a “demand for a good life of him”; if not, there wouldn’t be [MTP].
James B. Pond wrote to Sam that he was giving a dinner Apr. 11 at the Lotos Club for Henry M. Stanley before Stanley left for Europe. “You are most respectfully invited, and expected,” and could he please respond to Thomas W. Knox at the Club. Pond reported that Stanley was “now a great lecturer” and “drawing big houses” [MTP]. Note: Pond was managing Stanley for this period.
March 17 Tuesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam concerning how to raise money to pay off Webster & Co.’s bank debts to the Mount Morris Bank. Hall raised $15,000 from personal friends, including the George Barrow family [MTNJ 3: 610n128]. Note: the Barrow debt would prove troublesome during receivership.
Homer Lee of Homer Lee Bank Note Co. wrote inviting Sam’s “delightful presence at the Banquet of the Colonial Cub, Delmonicos’ April 4th at the celebration of the laying of the corner stone on Historical ground.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Decline it, Brer” [MTP].
Christian B. Tauchnitz Jr. wrote from Leipzig concerned about “a rival enterprise …started against our Continental Series” [MTP].
March 18 Wednesday – James W. Paige wrote to Sam asking for money and enclosing a bill (not extant) from Pratt & Whitney, asking him “to pay in accordance with your agreement” [MTP]. Note: Sam would pay no more, however. See his Mar. 19 response.
August N. Sampson for New England Phonograph wrote to Sam acknowledging receipt of his telegram (not extant); they would ship this day by Adams Express, six dozen blank cylinders [MTP]. Sam sent a check for amounts owed, referred to in Sampson’s Mar. 19 letter.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing two leases for him to sign and witness; Also sent “a couple of copies of the Water-Cure by Sebastian Kneipp” [MTP].
March 19 Thursday – Susy Clemens’ nineteenth birthday.
In Hartford Sam responded to Paige’s Mar. 18.
Yours is at hand — you will remember that when you declined to sign a contract which expressed the real ownership of the invention I advised you that I could lend you no more money — I know of no reason for doing so now…I herewith return your bill to P&W. [Note: the machine had been moved from Pratt & Whitney some time before, so the bill suggests more labor or parts made.]
Sam also added that he would not oppose Paige’s attempts to raise money elsewhere; that he’d advised attorney Henry C. Robinson of the matter, and if Paige wanted to know Sam’s “position more explicitly” he might call on Robinson [MTP].
Miss Sara Bowden wrote from West Roxbury, Mass. asking if Sam had been “at a dinner given by a Club in New York City, sometime between Jan. 21 & Jan. 25 — 1890, (inclusive) on which occasion Mr. French made a speech?” [MTP]. Note: Sara does not give the reason for her question; On Jan. 23, 1890 W.D. Howells was at a Union League Club dinner in N.Y but Sam was in Hartford.
Anna H. Bumstead wrote to Sam, thanking for the $25 check sent for the Ware children [MTP].
August N. Sampson for New England Phonograph wrote to Sam acknowledging receipt of his “18th instant enclosing check for bills of June 10th, and extras for $41.20.” Six doz. Blank cylinders were sent out Mar. 19 and Samson hoped they arrived safely [MTP].
March 20 Friday – Annie B. Jennings wrote to Sam inviting him to take part in an Authors’ Readings for the benefit of the YWCA of New York. Also appearing were Hjalmar Boyesen, Robert Underwood Johnson, Frank R. Stockton, Will Carleton, and John Kendrick Bangs [MTNJ 3: 611n133]. Note: the readings took place on Apr. 22.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam of “A financial problem” caused by selling LAL on installments — collection problems and receivables now in excess of $30,000. They might have to sink more money in the set or abandon it. Hall argued,
The bulk of sewing-machines, pianos, typewriters, and even furniture, is sold now on the instalment plan, and I need not name to you the fortunes that have been made out of books by selling in this way, such as Appleton’s Cyclopedia, Cyclopedia Britannica, Gebbie & Barry’s Art books. Our book is just as good as any of these and there is no reason why our success should not be just as great — the question merely is of raising the capital to put into it [MTP].
March 21 Saturday – Sam had planned to give a reading at Simsbury, Conn. on this day [MTNJ 3: 603n102]. See also a train time for Simsbury .
March 22 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Annie B. Jennings accepting provisionally her invitation to read for the New York YWCA. His conditions were that the date be Apr. 23, that he be third on the reading list if there were four or five readers, no later than fourth if there were more than five. See Apr. 22 entry when Sam gave the reading.
In no case can I be the reader who closed the performance; and in no case shall I arrive too late from Hartford. If these conditions are not too exacting you may set me down for one brief reading, recitation, like, or burst of statistics, which ever you think will do the most good [MTP].
March 23 Monday – Sam’s notebook carries his travel schedule to and from Bryn Mawr, where he appeared on this afternoon:
Lev N.Y. at 11, arr 1.20 / SHAVE / Leave Phil. 8.20, arr. 10.40 [3: 611].
From Fatout, MT Speaking 659-60 we learn that Sam read at Susy’s school Bryn Mawr College, Bryn, Penn. (his prior notebook entry lists 4 p.m. for the reading). Included was “Christening,” “True Story,” “Tar Baby,” “Whistling,” “Golden Arm”, this according to the Philadelphia Record, as reprinted in the Grass Valley, California Daily Tidings, Apr. 21, 1891, Mark Twain said:
I have been elected an honorary member of the class of ‘94. I feel deeply grateful to my fellow classmates for the compliment they have done me, the more so because I feel I have never deserved such treatment. I will reveal a secret to you. I have an ambition: that I may go up and up on the ladder of education until at last I may be a professor of Bryn Mawr College. I would be a professor of telling anecdotes. This art is not a very high one, but it is a very useful one. One class of anecdotes is that which contains only words. You begin almost as you please and talk and talk until your allotted time and close when you get ready. I will illustrate this by a story of an Irish and Scotch christening…
[Note: Sam told the christening story and others This item was also reprinted in the Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1891, p.6].
Sam had promised Susy he wouldn’t tell the “Golden Arm” story, but forgot and told it. Susy rushed out in tears. (See Salsbury p.287-8; Kaplan 310.) A. Hoffman writes  that Sam’s trip to Bryn Mawr was “primarily to confirm what Livy had told him of what she had seen of Susy and her lover Louise [Brownell]” Note: One can only surmise that Susy felt the piece too raw for her sophisticated classmates. Powers agrees, seeing Susy’s “dread of how déclassé it would surely seem” [MT A Life 537]. Kaplan, winner of both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, ascribes a more imaginative and speculative motivation to Susy: “She hated the story not only because it terrified her but also because there were implicit parallels that were bound to set up some disturbing subliminal vibrations. An anxious and sensitive child like Susy could easily believe that her adored and invalid mother was dying every time she fell ill; there was something unpleasant in this story of her father’s about a dead wife” .
Clemens did not like to read or lecture on a travel day. He may have done so in this case or may have left Hartford Mar. 22, Sunday night.
Frederick Fitzgerald wrote from Hartford announcing he would call on Sam Friday (Mar. 27) morning about eleven o’clock if it was convenient [MTP]. Note: the purpose not stated; he appears to have been Gen. Hawley’s secretary. See Apr. 7.
Blakely Hall for Truth wrote to Sam; he had recently purchased the magazine and “turned it into a weekly review.” He solicited work from Mark Twain and offered to “make it worth your while” [MTP].
March 24 Tuesday – † In Hartford Sam forwarded to Andrew Chatto a letter from an unidentified publisher written in Leipzig, Germany on Mar. 17. Sam wrote on the top margin of the first page of the letter, “My Dear Chatto: I have referred him to you” [MTP]. Note: this may have been Ernst Wartegg. See Mar. 14.
Thomas E. Sherman, son of the late Gen. Sherman, wrote to Sam as administrator or his father’s estate to consult on the “unfortunate dilemma” caused by “Mr. [James G.] Blaine’s – dilatoriness.” Thomas sought Sam’s judgment. On the envelope, Sam wrote, “Son of General Sherman. Preserve” [MTP].
March 25 Wednesday – A. Hoffman writes:
“Immediately after his return from Bryn Mawr, Sam agreed with Livy to close the house indefinitely and leave for Europe at the beginning of June. They had several good reasons for their planned hiatus. Both Livy’s overall health and Sam’s rheumatism would benefit from a prolonged exposure to some health spas. Running the Hartford house cost more money than they had and more attention than Livy could continue to give it, and in any case the charm of the Nook Farm community had faded. Clara had outgrown her New York music teacher and would benefit from a fresh instructor abroad, while Jean would acquire languages more easily in Europe. Sam and Livy decided that Susy would also accompany them, despite the obvious joy she was experiencing at college. Livy wrote a friend that she couldn’t bear to have an ocean between Susy and herself; she did not mention that this trip also would put an ocean between Susy and Louise Brownell” . Note: The Clemenses had planned to go to Europe before Susy entered Bryn Mawr, but settled on the Catskills due to financial pressures from the typesetter[
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam suggesting that Webster & Co. raise $45,000 immediately. Hall had gained promises for $15,000 of that amount and asked Sam to raise the balance [MTNJ 3: 615n150].
Frederick E. Church wrote from Hudson, N.Y. to Sam that during his “charming visit at your house Mrs. Clemens and I had a little talk about coffee and I have the impression that she expressed the desire to secure more of that Central American sort.” Church wrote that Mr. Spies had three bags and he would try to get one for Livy. On the envelope Sam wrote, “Preserve / F.E. Church, artist” [MTP].
Annie B. Jennings for the N.Y. YWCA wrote to Sam pleased to hear that he would read for them Apr. 23, but the cards had been mailed already announcing Apr. 22 [MTP].
Sarah C. Parrott wrote from Litchfield Co., Conn. to Sam soliciting him to read at a church benefit for their “poor little church” [MTP].
March 26 Thursday – Thomas E. Sherman wrote to Sam of a changed situation since his last letter. Fred Hall had not even seen James G. Blaine, “that is he accomplished nothing. He now tells me that other cheap lives of father are actually in the market selling since the 25th.” Thomas felt they might have to put their book on the market at once with Carl Schurtz & Abram & Hewitt to replace Blaine — their tributes are unsolicited & at hand” [MTP].
March 27 Friday – In Hartford Sam responded to Frederick E. Church’s Mar. 25 offer to send more of the coffee the Clemenses had enjoyed in visits (Mexican Colima coffee). (See Nov. 10, 1888 entry.) The Clemenses remarked on the coffee during their visit at “Olana,” Church’s estate in Hudson, N.Y.
We use this coffee on our own table only, & as we are away a considerable part of every year it lasts well. It is a long way the best coffee I have ever tasted [MTP].
March 28 Saturday
March 29 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto, enclosing a letter from Bram Stoker. Stoker had just become a director of a new company, Heinemann and Bolectier, Ltd., which was formed to publish books in English for Europe. Sam forwarded Stoker’s letter with this note:
Do you know my friend Bram Stoker, [Henry] Irving’s manager?
I have received the enclosed from him, & have written him that you have charge of my continental business, with plenary powers, & that any arrangement he may make with you will be satisfactory to me [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Bram Stoker, asking if he knew Chatto.
Years & years ago I gave into his hands, without restriction, all my continental business, & he has always conducted it to my satisfaction. Any arrangement which you may make with him will be entirely satisfactory to me. Shall I write him, or will you look in on him? [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall asking how many subscriptions of Library of American Literature did a “first-class canvasser capture in a month? I’ve got an advertising scheme.” He added opinion after his signature about “Father Sherman…and his brother’s generous letter to our firm,” should be “held in reserve until somebody complains of Blaine’s absence from the book, then publish it immediately.” Sam didn’t feel they needed James G. Blaine in any issue [MTLTP 271]. Note: The book involved was the reissue by Webster & Co., at the urging of Sherman’s family, a “fourth edition, revised, corrected, and complete” with the text of Sherman’s second edition, a new chapter prepared under the auspices of the Sherman family bringing the general’s life from his retirement to his death and funeral, and an appreciation by politician Blaine (a distant Sherman relative).
Ann Williams wrote from Galveston, Texas asking Sam if she insured her life, would he be willing to buy the policy? Sam wrote on the envelope, “I think perhaps this better not be answered” [MTP].
March 30 Monday – E. Clendemis wrote from Phila. to Sam praising P&P and asking him to write more like it. The letter is obviously from a child [MTP].
Mrs. E.A. Reeves wrote from Rochester, Penn. to Sam. The lady was chosen to present a sketch about Twain “to The Literary and Scientific Society of our city” and asked for “a few words in your own hand writing.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Unanswered letters” [MTP].
Charles E. Flandrau for St. Paul Roller Mill Co. wrote to Sam sending a 2% dividend [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he’d finally received the Blaine material and he felt it “really fine” and would “help the sale of the book.” Hall had received Sam’s letter and enclosed reports (clipping encl. — poem of Sherman’s March, unspecified newspaper) [MTP].
March 31 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam responded to James B. Pond, his old lecture manager, who was now promoting a lecture tour for Henry M. Stanley. Sam couldn’t come to the Apr. 11 dinner of Pond’s for Henry M. Stanley, due to the arrival of “special guests” on that date [MTP].
April – With Livy, Susy Clemens left Bryn Mawr for good and returned home. Powers claims she was “underweight and overwrought” [MT A Life 537]. Note: Charles Langdon’s Apr. 2 to Sam mention’s Livy’s “thin and worn” condition, which suggests he saw her in N.Y. on Apr. 1 or 2. Significantly, Langdon made no such evaluation of Susy.
Sometime during the month Sam answered a now lost letter by Joe Goodman, reasurring him that “Diplomacy couldn’t have saved” the effort with Senator Jones or the future of the Paige typesetter.
I was running an immense risk, but it was justified by Jones’s promises — promises made to me not merely once but every time I talked with him. When February arrived, I saw signs which were mighty plain reading. Signs which meant that Paige was hoping & praying that Jones would go back on me — which would leave Paige boss, & me robbed & out in the cold. If I ever get my nine-twentieths interest, it will be by lawsuit — which will be instituted in the indefinite future, when the time comes [MTP]. Note: Clearly, Sam had no stomach for more legal battles at this time.
Sam also told of work on a book, “Not with a great deal of spirit, but with enough.” He also thought it “dreadful” to think of Joe in ill health:
I can’t realize it; you are always to me the same that you were in those days when matchless health and glowing spirits & delight in life were commonplaces with us. Lord save us all from old age and broken health & a hope-tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms [MTP].
Webster & Co. sent a ledger page to Sam headed “Books sent out during March, 1891” totaling 7,585. A note at the bottom states the numbers were books actually shipped and did not include the single volume on Sherman which would appear in April [MTP].
April 1 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote a long letter and a short letter to Sam. The shortie was enclosed with a proof set of the Mark Twain’s Memory Builder game for his approval. The long letter dealt with Watson Gill feeling “pretty sore” about the fact that Webster & Co. was now doing business that used to be sent to Gill, who would threaten to appeal to Sam on each dispute. The current argument was over 70 or 80 of the Sheridan books sent to Gill that were damanged after lying on the dock at Stoningham, Conn. waiting in the rain for transport to Boston. Gill charged they were damaged before shipment, and demanded Webster & Co. fix them. Hall wrote Gill’s assertion was “simply nonsense.” Hall apologized for bringing the issue before Sam [MTP].
William D. Kelly of the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. wrote asking if Sam still held certain bonds. A letter in the file from F.G. Whitmore to Kelly answered these had been returned to Charles Langdon on Jan. 3, 1885 and July 11, 1889 [MTP].
April 2 Thursday – Charles J. Langdon telegraphed from the Gilsey House in N.Y. for Sam to send “any and all bonds you may have of the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp.” He then wrote to Sam:
Since I telegraphed you this morning I have had a delightful call [visit] from Livy and Susy, and to them explained about the Clearfield bonds; that is to say, I am advised from Elmira that they were sent to Mr. Olmsted, with mine, at Harrisburg, and that we have a receipt for them.
I am very sorry to see Livy looking so thin and worn [MTP].
James B. Pond wrote from Atlanta, Ga. to Sam, enclosing Henry M. Stanley’s lecture route, which included 115 stops from Nov. 11, 1890 to Apr. 4, 1891 as far west as Oakland, Calif. Pond wrote that Mr. Knox had not received word from Sam that he’d be at the dinner on Apr. 11, and urged, “You must be there unless you haved something against Mr. Stanley, and would like to break his heart” [MTP].
April 3 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Blakely Hall, the editor of the magazine Truth. Established in 1881, Truth began as a small weekly covering New York City life. 1891 brought additional financial backers and Hall, who was already a well-known editor. He made over the magazine as a glossy, lavishly illustrated magazine of humor, fiction, reviews, poetry, and cartoons. Truth became famous for including three lithographs in each issue, but most notably for increasingly daring pictures of actresses and women in bathing suits. Hall must have solicited an article from Sam, whose answer may have reflected antipathy toward the magazine as well as his pressing need for income. He did have an article in mind, one some thirteen years old:
My great trouble is, that I can’t find any publication rich enough to buy my miscellaneous matter. You see, as I write only one such article a year, I’m obliged to charge the same as if it took me the whole year to write it….It is 9,000 words, & possibly more, & can’t be split in two; so I don’t suppose you could afford the necessary space for it; but anyway I’m glad to have struck a new candidate, a new harbor where I can drop my anchor & rest over a mail….But wait — by & by I shall be writing a shorter article [MTP]. Note: the long article Sam may have been shopping was “Mental Telegraphy,” which was published in Harper’s for Dec. 1891.
In Boston William Dean Howells wrote to Sam enclosing a letter from Charles Wolcott Balestier, friend of Henry James and brother-in-law of Rudyard Kipling. Howells vouched for Balestier, who had partnered up with Heinemann of London. The pair hoped to publish American works in Europe in direct competition with Tauchnitz, who had stopped adding Howells’ books to his series. Howells also asked if Sam had received “the little Swedenborg book” and the play. Elinor Howells was ill and staying at Auburndale [MTHL 2: 640].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He liked the looks of Mark Twain’s Memory Builder game and thought, “it will score a success.” He found one small error and questioned whether the patent notice must also bear the day of the month [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote for Sam to William D. Kelly of the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. referring to the two dates that bonds and stock were returned (Jan. 3, 1888 and July 11, 1889); there were no more bonds to return [MTP].
Frank Bliss of the American Publishing Co. wrote to Sam. Bliss had been notified of Webster & Co.’s plans to publish a one-dollar edition of HF. Bliss thought such a cheap edition was a “mistake,” which would injure their sales of Sam’s other books (HF was the first book issued by Webster & Co.) [MTNJ 3: 613n142]. See Hall’s Apr. 8.
Walter H. Page for Forum wrote offering to read “Mental Telegraphy.” Sam decided the next day to send the piece to Harper’s, who paid $500 for it and published in their Dec. 1891 issue. Sam’s notebook for this period reveals a plan not followed: to include the piece as an appendix to The American Claimant [MTNJ 3: 617].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam enclosing a canceled note just renewed. Orders for Sherman were “coming in nicely.” Was Sam coming to the Authors’ International Copyright Dinner? He enclosed a notice and would secure a ticket if so ordered. Just short of $6,000 in collections on LAL were made during March [MTP].
Annie B. Jennings wrote to Sam enclosing tickets for the Apr. 22 N.Y. YWCA readings, compliments of the committee. On the envelope Sam wrote, “Thank her” [MTP].
April 4 Saturday – In Hartford Sam responded to Howells’ Apr. 3:
I’m ashamed. It happened in this way. I was purposing to acknowledge the receipt of the play & the little book per phonograph, so that you could see that that instrument is good enough for mere letter-writing; then I meant to add the fact that you can’t write literature with it, because it hasn’t any ideas & it hasn’t any gift for elaboration, or smartness of talk, or vigor of action, or felicity of expression, but is just matter-of-fact, compressive, unornamental, & as grave & unsmiling as the devil. I filled four dozen cylinders in two sittings, then found I could have said about as much with the pen & said it a deal better. Then I resigned. I believe it could teach one to dictate literature to a phonographer — & some time I will experiment in that line [MTP].
Note: Sam also wrote a long passage about being loyal to Andrew Chatto, who had treated him well for a decade. Howells had encouraged Sam to listen to Charles Wolcott Balestier for his European publishing. He PS’d that he’d sent “Mental Telegraphy” to Harper’s, calling it “that ancient article.” They would publish it in December.
Sam also responded to Frederick J. Hall’s Apr. 3 Sam enjoyed the news items of Hall’s letter; he wasn’t certain if he’d attend “the copyright dinner.” Would Hall remind him “again when the day approaches,” though he’d decide on the date itself, so not to order him a ticket in advance. He also made reference to an old flame — who was Sam’s sweetheart in 1854 who later married a Montgomery?
If Mr. Williams can find advantage to L.A.L. [Library of American Literature] in chancing the enclosed Montgomery, whose mother was my sweetheart thirty-seven years ago, all right — but eschew sentiment: business is business [MTP]. Note: Sam would write Thomas M. Williams on Jan. 25, 1892, about his successes in marketing LAL.
April 5 Sunday – Robert W. Carl sent a note and a clipping from this day’s New York Recorder, which he called, “a comparatively new journal.” The article was titled, “MARK TWAIN’S REVENGE,” the story from Sen. William M. Stewart’s perspective of why Sam’s RI featured an unflattering illustration of the Senator. Jones claimed the picture was published due to his threat to “flog” Sam in Washington, D.C. in 1867 for returning late to his rooming house — after midnight Sam “would sit up until nearly morning, reading, smoking, whistling and singing,” which caused anxiety for the landlady [MTP].
April 6 Monday – The N.Y. Times, p.4 “The Academy’s Exhibition” described the 66th exhibition of the National Academy of Design, which included “a half length of ‘Mark Twain’ by Charles Noel Flagg.”
Arthur Jule Goodman, artist, wrote a short note on Heublein Hotel, Hartford stationery to Sam that he’d forgotten his “waterproof wrapper portfolio” — would Sam send it C.O.D? He added, “What a delightful afternoon we had at your house. I shall always remember it, & so will Mrs. Goodman.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Address 142 W. 16th” [MTP]. Note: the afternoon referred to was probably Apr. 5, Sunday.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, “favor received and contents carefully noted.” After enclosing a debt-note renewal, Hall told of a young lady, Miss Hosford, who’d been given an agency for sales of the Grant book and done well with it; while engaged she had borrowed $200 from the embezzler, Frank Scott, and now insisted on making payments on that amount, since the money must have been stolen [MTP].
April 7 Tuesday – Frederick Fitzgerald wrote to Sam that “General Hawley would be in town off and on for five or six days” and was presently at the City Hotel [MTP]. Note: evidently Fitzgerald worked for Hawley, whom Sam wanted to see.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that Chatto & Windus offered them a book, The Life of Jane Welsh Carlyle by Mrs. Alexander Ireland, who, it was said, had “exclusive information.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Might try sheets — a trifling quantity — but I don’t think anything of the Carlyle book. SLC” [MTP].
April 8 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam’s about Frank Bliss’s Apr. 4 letter which objected to the issuance of a cheap edition of HF:
[Bliss’ letter is] the strongest argument possible in favor of the cheap edition….They know if we get out cheap editions of our book that it will make a demand for a cheap edition of the books that they publish, and I think it will force them into making some arrangement with us whereby we can get out a uniform edition of your books [MTNJ 3: 613n142].
Joseph R. Hawley wrote he was unable to come for dinner as he had to leave for Washington [MTP].
Caroline B. Le Row wrote from Brooklyn hoping Sam “very much indeed” would join the American Society of Authors. She enclosed a N.Y. Tribune clipping, which named Rev. Dr. Ingersoll, chairman, and Le Row as secretary. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Authors’ Society — a screaming stupid lot” [MTP].
April 9 Thursday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall asking him to:
…ransack your safe for my old contracts with American Publishing Co. and if you can’t find them require them of Webster, who has without doubt carted them off in obedience to his native disposition to smouch all unwatched property. I think the contracts may enable me to forbid those people to issue cheap editions without my privity and consent…We will issue cheap editions — especially if they do not approve [MTLTP 271-2].
William Armitage wrote from Bryn Mawr College to Sam, enclosing a bill of lading for “your things. I was told not to ship them until you came on in April else they would have been sent before.” Armitage asked reimbursement of $2.15 costs [MTP].
April 10 Friday – Sam had received a phonograph from the New England Phonograph Co., but it came with a repaired seal to a battery. Franklin G. Whitmore wrote for Sam that the battery had been shipped back for replacement [MTP].
Andrew Chatto wrote from London to Sam, thanking him for letters from Baron Tauchnitz and Bram Stoker, which he thought would “materially strengthen our position in making arrangements for a continental edtion of your next new book,” which Chatto hoped “soon to hear from you particulars…upon which we may ‘spread’ ourselves” [MTP].
April 11 Saturday – Howells sent a brief letter of introduction for Sergei M. Stepnyak (Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski). “I am sure you and he will not fail to be great friends” [MTHL 2: 643]. The source notes identify Kravchinski as a “Russian Nihilist and exile,” who wrote under the pseudonym Stepnyak (Often spelled Stepniak). In Nov. 1888, Howells had issued a positive review of Stepnyak’s The Russian Peasant. Stepnyak lectured on Siberian exiles, Tolstoi, and the need for revolution in Russia [n1].
Frederick J. Hall gained Mrs. Grant’s consent to “our taking the Grant sheets we have on hand, binding two volumes into one and selling it for $2.00” [MTNJ 3: 612n139]. Note: this was not done until 1894. Hall also touched on assorted matters in this one page typed letter. Mr. Rosenquest and Hall recalled sending all the old Am. Pub.Co.contracts they had in their possession (Sam must have asked for them again); Hall was promised a loan of $15,000 for two years by May 1; he agreed with Sam that they did not need the Mrs. Carlyle book, nor any other English book at this time, since they’d published one English book, Herbert Ward’s and had a set of plates for George R. Simm’s last book — these were enough to “experiment with.” He also reported that the $2 edition of the Sherman book “apparently interfered very little with the two volume edition as both are selling quite well” [MTP]. See 1891 books published by Webster & Co.
C.L. Stillman for Langdon & Co. sent Sam a draft for $5 interest and a memorandum of bond calculations for the Clearfield bonds [MTP].
April 12 Sunday – Sergei M. Stepnyak (Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski), a Russian revolutionary, wrote to Sam from the Alvorton Hotel in Boston, including a brief letter of introduction (Apr. 11) from William Dean Howells. Stepnyak asked if he might call on Sam when he passed through Hartford in a few days [MTHL 2: 643n1].
April 13 Monday – Arthur Crabtree wrote from New Britain, Conn. inviting Sam and Livy to an “exhibition of fancy dancing” on Apr. 28. Sam wrote on the envelope, “No answer, I think” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about a book Sam had not yet voted for, Tinkletop’s Crime by George R. Sims, which they’d purchased American rights for. Another book by a Boston man, Colonel Bliss was inspired by R.L. Stevenson’s Jekyl and Hyde — Edward Everett Hale “spoke very highly of the book…higher than Stevenson’s…” [MTP].
Henry Willis Mitchell wrote from New Britain to Sam asking assistance for a “young man” to publish a book, Pellets of Fun, by Hank Long. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Decline it, Brer SLC” [MTP].
April 14 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, stressing that the news he was giving was to be kept to himself.
…we are going to Europe in June, for an indefinite stay. We shall sell the horses & shut up the house. We wish to provide a place for our coachman [Patrick McAleer] who has been with us 21 years, & is sober, active, diligent, & unusually bright & capable [MTP].
Note: Sam thought Patrick might be able to learn the job in the packing room of Webster & Co., though there was a “colored man” whom Hall had mentioned he might hire.
Raymond Blathwayt wrote to Sam on Century stationery. Blathwayt was writing a series of interviews for the London Pall Mall Gazette and wished a conversation with Sam [MTP].
Joel Benton wrote in a very shaky hand from New York to Sam, asking for “a brief letter” he might use in the writing of the life of P.T. Barnum [MTP].
April 15 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam sent a note to Joe Twichell:
Dear Joe —
Stepniak is spending the evening with us — an interesting man. Come over, won’t you [MTP]. Note: Sam’s spelling for the pen name of Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski.
T. Fisher Unwin, London publisher, wrote to Sam. “As publisher of the English edition of the little book: ‘English as She is Taught,’ I thought you might be interested in reading a companion one on ‘Baboo English’. Please accept it with my compliments.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, please thank him & will sign SLC” [MTP].
Note: given their hosting of Kravchinski, and of the inscription Sam wrote on a copy of HF to Kravchinksy, Livy would have waited till the next day to leave for Bryn Mawr. Paine writes of his visit and of Livy’s embarrassment, quoting Sam’s later recollections:
He [Clemens] told of Mrs. Clemens’s embarrassment and when Stepniak had visited them and talked books, and asked her what her husband thought of Balzac, Thackeray, and the others. She had been obliged to say that he had not read them.
“How interesting!” said Stepniak. But it wasn’t interesting to Mrs. Clemens. It was torture” [MTB 1350].
April 16 Thursday – According to Sam’s Apr. 23 to Kravchinsky, Livy left this day for Bryn Mawr College to retrieve Susy since the family was leaving for Europe in early June. She may have traveled with a servant or with Mrs. Beach, as before. See entry.
In Hartford Sam wrote a short note of introduction for Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski to Richard Watson Gilder of the Century [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a copy of HF to Kravchinski:
Dear Mr. Stepniak —
Last night, after breaking up for the night, Mrs. Clemens said, —
“He said there were five perfect novels in the world, & now that I run them over in my mind, there are only four — he certainly didn’t name the fifth.”
I said —
“He couldn’t, my dear, with delicacy, while I was present.”
I beg to lay No. 5 at your feet — / Sincerely Yours / SL Clemens [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a typed one-page letter to Sam, “favor received and contents noted.” Hall noted the law required that “no many shall be given charge of an engine unless he has a certificate …as an engineer….” This related to operating the building’s boilers. Hall had already hired a “colored man positively” to “the position.” Evidently Sam had someone in mind. Also, Senator Ingalls sought an advance to travel in Europe for five or six months, then to return and write a book; Hall felt he should go at his own expense — what did Sam think? Hall again mentioned the securing of a $15,000 loan to “take up your last three notes” [MTP]. Note: Kansas Senator John James Ingalls (1833-1900).
April 17 Friday
April 18 Saturday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Livy at the Radnor House, Bryn Mawr College, Penn.
Livy darling, Your welcome letter came, & I have talked to Jean & forbidden her to see Bessie to-day.
I am just home from the dancing-class, where I spent an hour & a half. It was very enjoyable. Jean danced well.
The Bryn Mawr packer left all of Susie’s things in the desk when he packed it. You can divine the result.
Sam added he was “pretty well battered up” from bicycling. His next letter revealed he did this with daughter Jean in the evenings, but hadn’t yet tamed the bicycle [MTP].
James B. Pond wrote to Sam that the Apr. 11 Stanley dinner was one he would have enjoyed — “DePew, Gilder & Stanley too declared it the best of the season. / How about say 50 readings next season?” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Can’t go next season” [MTP].
April 19 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote again to Livy at the Radnor House, Bryn Mawr College, Penn.
Well, sweetheart, I hope you & Susy are satisfied with yourselves, going away & leaving people this way. I don’t think much of it.
Still, I will write you a line — just a line to say all are well. I am vaguely conscious that young girls by twos & threes flit in & out, & sit around & chat & laugh, & sometimes I am conscious of Clara’s voice & catch the remark “G’won, Weeja!”
Sam had learned “a new way to fall off” the bicycle, which he thought was “the cussedest thing to tame,” doubly difficult from the “old high wheel.” After his signature he PS’d that he’d just received her note and thought it “mighty shabby” the class or the college hadn’t taken “any pains” about her stay. Ned Bunce had just arrived [LLMT 259].
April 20 Monday – In Bryn Mawr, Penn., Susy Clemens wrote to her roommate and best friend, Louise Sheffield Brownell, now in New York City attending to a sick mother.
It breaks my heart to find you are in trouble and gone. I feel that I ought not to intrude upon you, but you are so constantly in my thoughts that I must send you my deep, deep love and sympathy. I do hope that you will find your mother better. I write in Mama’s room and she wishes to send her loving sympathy. I wish I could help you. Always lovingly yours, Olivia / I do love you so [Cotton 1; TS of original at Hamilton College].
[Note: Susy used her real first name, Olivia, while in college; this letter shows that Livy and Susy were still at the college, probably finishing up duties there].
Allen B. Rowland sent Sam an approx. 22×17 poster on “Dr. Willford Hall’s Health-Pamphlet. A marvelous Triumph Over Disease/ WITHOUT MEDICINE” [MTP].
April 21 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote again to Livy at the Radnor House, Bryn Mawr College, Penn. Evidently Livy had written that Sue Crane was coming to visit. He complained that it was “getting pretty homesicky here” [MTP].
April 22 Wednesday – Sam read the story of “A Scotch-Irish Christening” at the Authors’ Reading, New York City, for the YWCA, as invited and agreed to on Mar. 22 to Annie B. Jennings.
The New York Tribune of Apr. 23 reported that the Reading was attended by a “large and sympathetic audience….Mr. Clemens told the story of ‘A Scotch-Irish Christening’ with such effect that he was forced to tell another story to satisfy his hearers” [MTNJ 3: 612n133].
John C. Kinney, a major in a local “Foot Guard,” and editor of the Hartford Courant, died after a short illness. He was well known and respected, having lived in the city for the past nineteen years.
April 23 Thursday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Sergei M. Stepnyak (Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinski), who had recently visited the Clemens home and sent a copy of his book, Underground Russia (1883). He divulged Livy and Susy’s timetable as well as their family “secret”:
The words you wrote in the front of the book delight me as praises delight a boy! The boy doesn’t stop to think whether they are deserved or not, & neither do I — & why should I? Praises are not a debt paid, they are a gift made…. I have read Underground Russia through with profound & painful interest. What sublime men & women! …Mrs. Clemens & Susy have been gone from here several years now — no, I mean 8 days; they are down yonder in Pennsylvania at Bryn Mawr College, & will return three days hence. It is the greatest pity in the world that we cannot shout to you Come now! & bring Mrs. Stepniak & the lad whom I would so like to see. But to our most sincere regret we are full of guests for the next fortnight, & then (this is private — a secret) we begin to dismantle the house & make farewell visits to relatives preparatory to a sea-flight the first week in June, & hermit life in a French village for one or two years [MTP].
Sam also wrote a letter of condolence to Sara Thomson Kinney (Mrs. John C. Kinney) on the death of her husband:
My Dear Mrs. Kinney:–I beg the privilege of offering my deepest sympathy in this time of your bereavement. We all loved him, and you have with you for fellow-mourners all the great host who knew him. There are those crying this morning who are unused to tears. Sincerely yours, S.L. Clemens [Hartford Courant Apr. 27, 1891 p.1 “Major Kinney’s Funeral”].
J.K. Hayward wrote to Sam after receiving no reply to a former request for information he might use for their literary society. Was Sam was born in Tennessee or Florida, Mo.? Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, please explain that I am overburdened & send him the printed slip” [MTP]. See Feb. 14 entry.
April 24 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Edward W. Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal.
If you will remind me again the 4th of June I shall then be at liberty to tell you where I am going to spend the summer, but I can’t tell you any earlier [MTP]. Note: Bok’s interview ran on May 16, 1891 in the Boston Journal Supplement; see entry.
April 25 Saturday – Howard P. Taylor wrote Sam proposing terms for the dramatization of CY [MTP].
In New York, Edward W. Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal visited Webster & Co., and Fred Hall to inquire into securing the serial rights to The American Claimant. The interview persuaded Hall that a serial release in a periodical would not injure the sale of a trade book as much as he’d feared. Hall arranged for Bok to travel to Hartford to “learn something of the character of the book,” prior to making a firm offer. Hall then wrote to Sam of the meeting and his conclusions [MTNJ 3: 619n167].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam just after Edward W. Bok left. Bok wanted a new book by Sam for serialization in his newspaper syndicate. He was headed to Boston and wanted to be telegraphed if he might stop in Hartford to see Sam on his return, which would be either Thursday or Friday. Hall’s letter was positive on the opportunity. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer Let us telegraph I will see him” [MTP].
April 26 Sunday – In Fredonia, N.Y., Charles Luther Webster died at 3 a.m. He was only 39 years old. In Hartford Sam wrote condolences to his niece, Annie Moffett Webster.
There are no words that can bring solace at such a time; the most that one can do is to offer one’s strong sympathy, & this we do out of our hearts. Charley was a great sufferer, & to him death is peace, & a grateful release from intolerable pain….Your aunt Livy is invalided, & I am debarred from travel by rheumatism. Otherwise we should go to you at once….I have telegraphed Orion to go, & he will be there without doubt [MTP].
Sam’s above letter mentions a telegram to Orion, asking him to represent the family and attend Webster’s funeral. The telegram is not extant. The N.Y. Times, Apr. 27, 1891 p.5 reported Webster’s death at “his beautiful residence, Interstrassen, in Fredonia.” The article noted that his parent, wife and three children survived him.
According to Sam’s Apr. 23 to Kravchinksi, Livy and Susy were to arrive back home on this day. Since this was a Sunday, a day Livy did not like to travel on, they may have arrived the following day, Apr. 27.
April 27 Monday – Sam wrote through Franklin G. Whitmore to Matthias Hollenback Arnot, Elmira financier and neighbor of the Langdons, asking for return of royalties sold on the Paige typesetter. He offered to reimburse Arnot for the $5,000 with interest at six percent. Sam was “in contemplation the sale of my entire ownership in the royalties.” He added that he’d explained the situation “a little more fully” to Susan Crane, and if Arnot wished to call on her she might fill him in [MTP].
Whitmore also telegraphed (for Sam) to Howard P. Taylor, approving of “the terms proposed” in Taylor’s letter of Apr. 25 for dramatization of CY [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam: “Your telegram received. I have sent word to Bok.” Also, Hall enclosed two sets of notes for two renewals of the $25,000, each for four months. Hall was leaving on the six o’clock train to attend the funeral of Charles Webster, who would be buried Tuesday (Apr. 28); Hall would return that night [MTP].
John Horne, “living under the shadow of Robbie Burns’ cottage” in Scotland, wrote seeking Sam’s autograph [MTP].
April 28 Tuesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to William Smith to “annul all our guest-engagements,” due to sickness in the family, “one member…in the doctor’s hands & no better” [MTP].
April 29 Wednesday – Henry Alden for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam that he had not fixed a price on his MS “Mental Telegraphy” — how much compensation did Sam expect? Alden liked it, “of course” but didn’t feel it had the value that a humorous story from Mark Twain would have [MTP].
Edward W. Bok wrote from Boston to Sam that he’d received Hall’s telegram and would call on Sam on Friday at about ten a.m. and stay at the Allyn House in Hartford. If Sam preferred he could call on Thursday evening at about eight [MTP].
John Henton Carter wrote to Sam asking if a book he’d sent (Thomas Rutherton) last summer was received — what was Sam’s opinion? Sam wrote on the envelope, “Didn’t get it — couldn’t have spared time to read it anyhow SLC” [MTP].
Howard P. Taylor wrote to Sam that he’d received his telegram “early yesterday and called upon Randall & Dickson and accepted their offer of 5%” (CY play). Taylor enclosed a copy of the agreement and asked if it was acceptable. The plan of R&D was to start at Philadelphia at the opera House in late May or early June to test the play before coming to N.Y. Bok was impressed with their energy [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote from Fredonia to Sam (Orion misdated Apr. 30; postmarked Apr. 29), “distressed” that Sam was experiencing writing in pain; Ma had suffered with rheumatism also. He related that Hall and Whitford arrived in time (for the graveside) yesterday and would return this afternoon. Charles Webster died at 3 a.m. Sunday and his parents were taking it hard; Orion was Annie Webster’s escort for the services and was going to the cemetery with her today [MTP].
April 30 Thursday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Orion Clemens. Text lost.
Mollie Clemens wrote to Sam and Livy, in the aftermath of Sam’s refusal to go to Charles Webster’s funeral in Fredonia.
Won’t you write a line to tell us how sick or “unable to travel,” you are. The telegram made us very uneasy, but at the same time we hoped you were not very sick; but did not want to go on account of your feelings. He was Annies husband, no matter what he was to any one else; and she will suffer the sorrows women have to have in losing a husband and be left with the responsibility of a family. …
…To me there is a sense of relief in Charlie’s death, for it has been a fix thought in my mind that he was not really sound minded. His giving the hired girl a $500 check for a Christmas gift, and Annie permitting his taking the same girl on one of his trips to Washing[ton] or Philadelphia, or both, being away some days and nights [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam: Mollie had notified him of receipt of a check from Webster & Co. for $110; she sent $10 to Puss. Orion planned to stay in Fredonia until Monday, maybe longer. He would instruct Mollie to get the typesetter royalty from the bank, endorse it, and return it to Sam [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, having just returned from the Webster funeral in Fredonia. After a few remarks about the cause of death (“inflammation of the bowels”) Hall told of a box of company papers that he felt Annie Webster should send to N.Y. Also, Hall had telegraphed Edward Bok before he left Monday. He also sent a petition to have the N.Y. Metropolitan Museum of Art open Sundays [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote for Sam to Howard P. Taylor replying to Taylor’s Apr. 29 letter with “agreement enclosed therewith between Randall & Dickson & yourself appears to be all right, and that he approves….” Whitmore asked that a copy of the executed contract be sent [MTP].
On this day or the next Edward W. Bok came to Hartford and conferred with Sam on obtaining serial rights to The American Claimant for the Ladies Home Journal. Bok left Hartford to confer the next day a second time with Frederick J. Hall on the financial details [MTNJ 3: 619n167]. Note: Bok also ran an interview in the Boston Journal Supplement on May 16, 1891; see entry.
April, end – Marshall H. Mallory agreed to organize a company for the manufacture of Paige typesetters, and to then buy out Sam’s interest in the machine for $250,000 [MTNJ 3: 621n172]. Note: Mallory was the publisher of the Churchman and an old target of Sam’s (see vol. I entries). See June 15, 17 entries.
May – Sam inscribed a photograph of himself to Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinsky [MTP]. In his notebook he inserted a literary notion: “Remember Bayard Taylor in the Holsatia” [NB 30, TS 36]. Note: see entries for Taylor and the Holsatia in Vol. I.
Sometime during the month from Hartford, Sam sent a one-liner to “J.H.” not further identified.
By the test of double-postage he shall be tried! [MTP].
Webster & Co. sent another ledger page “Books sent out during April, 1891” totaling 20,945 [MTP].
May 1 Friday – Henry M. Alden for Harper & Brothers sent Sam $500 for the “Mental Telegraphy” article, which was published in the December issue of Harper’s. Sam had allowed Alden to set the price for the article [MTNJ 3: 620n168].
Katherine Jones for Elmira College Alumnae Assoc. sent Sam an invitation to lunch at Clark’s in N.Y.C. May 9. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, decline it” [MTP].
May 2 Saturday – In Hartford Franklin G. Whitmore wrote for Sam to Henry S. Alden, responding to his May 1 letter. Sam desired Whitmore to say that Frederick J. Hall handled such matters, and Alden’s letter was forwarded to him [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: May 2. Finished the book which I began to write on Feb. 20. 71 days [3: 621]. Note: The American Claimant. (Editorial emphasis.)
Sam also sent two telegrams (both collect) to Frederick J. Hall, one to Far Rockaway, N.Y., and the other to the offices of Webster & Co.,
Bok wants to see you to-night. We must be free to sell any English periodicals, Illustrated London News included. English rights must be left wholly unembarrassed. That market is worth as much as this one [MTP]. See May 4 entry.
Note: Edward W. Bok offered $4,000 for serialization of The American Claimant, a price Sam thought too low [MTNJ 3: 619n167].
Frederick J. Hall wrote Sam about Bok’s offer, which included a promise “to have the story illustrated by Kemble or Frost and to sell us electrotypes at one-third the regular cost. So we save at least a thousand or twelve hundred dollars in this way on the illustrating and at the same time get good illustrations” [MTNJ 3: 625n192]. Note: the savings would accrue when Webster & Co. published the book, using the illustrations provided by the Ladies Home Journal. A.B. Frost artist.
† Estimated date of overnight visit for William Milligan Sloane and wife. Sloane was professor of history at Princeton. Sloane wrote on May 5 to thank Sam for the hospitality. During the visit, Sloane told a story that was summarized in Sam’s notebook and which became the basis for Sam’s “A Double-Barrelled Detective Story,” written in 1901 and published in 1902 in Harper’s magazine:
Sloane’s story of the man defeated in a duel who became reconciled to his antagonists married his daughter, took her a few miles away; stripped her to the waist, cowhided her nearly to death & deserted her on a country road at night. She crawled home to her father’s house & finally recovered. The husband was not heard of again, but a son was born to him, grew up, hunted his father over the world (giving him notice that he was on his track to kill him) & in the fourth year of the chase caught him in the desert of Sahara & killed him [MTNJ 3: 626&n195].
May 3 Sunday – The Clemenses hosted William Milligan Sloane and wife on an overnight stay. †
Sam T. Kinney wrote on mourning-bordered pages thanking Sam for sympathy extended [MTP].
May 4 Monday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall about possible buyers for The American Claimant, which Sam had drafted in a very short time at a 70-75,000-word length.
I don’t think very much of [Edward W.] Bok’s offer. He has engaged a short story of Mr. Howells at $5,000 & Howells has sold the use of a long story to the N.Y. Sun for $10,000.
Sam suggested Hall contact John Cockerill, editor of the N.Y. World to try to sell the story for $10,000. Sam would contact William Mackay Laffan of the N.Y. Sun. He referred to the fact that the World had bought some of Bret Harte’s stories [MTLTP 273]. Note: Sam’s need for quick cash led him to try to syndicate the book before Webster & Co. might canvass and publish it, if they wished.
Sam also wrote to Andrew Lang in London, thanking him for the “beautiful book,” and that he was “proud to be among the specials & have a numbered copy.” Lang’s 1890 work, only 150 copies printed, Old Friends: Essays in Epistolary Parody is likely the book Sam refers to here (see Gribben 395).
It seems odd enough to see mention of Tom & Huck away up there among the high company of the aristocracy of fiction [MTP].
Albert H. Dowell wrote to Sam stuck in Hartford “without a friend or a dollar” asking for help to get back to N.Y. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Send it to Col. Green’s Charity, Brer” [MTP].
May 5 Tuesday – William Milligan Sloane, professor of history at Princeton University, wrote his thanks to the Clemenses for his recent visit. Though the actual dates are not known or mentioned it was often a habit to have guests stay the weekend, or May 2-3 [MTNJ 3: 622n179].
May 6 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about the Memory-Builder game:
I have talked with one or two toy stores. They are willing to take any reasonable quantity we want to send them on sale, but they will not buy very many of them to start with; they say they want to see how the public will take it up [MTNJ 3: 612n137]. Note: The public was not wild about the game and Sam would eventually regret connecting his name to it (Mar. 8, 1892 to Hall).
May 7 Thursday – Charles W. Stoddard wrote to Sam asking him to grant an interview to his English friend (unspecified) [MTHL 2: 646n5].
Orion Clemens, back in Keokuk, wrote to Sam of a new invention for a door hanging; of Puss Quarles’ thanks for support; of Pamela writing that some newspaper reported Sam and Joe Goodman combined had lost $140,000 on the typesetter; and that Hall and Whitford in Fredonia thought the Clemenses were going to Europe; Orion has suffered some paralysis in his right hand; “Annie and her folks are well. Her father-in-law is losing his mind.” [MTP].
May 8 Friday – E. Sparhawk wrote on Mutual Life Ins letterhead hoping he was not “presumptuous in asking you to loan me one hundred fifty dollars.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Can’t do it. No answer.” [MTP].
May 9 Saturday – Samuel Clemens drew up a will on this date. Livy would prepare hers in early June. Neither document is extant [MTNJ 3: 622].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam sending an enclosed assignment to be signed for the Clearfield stock “which was to be given up to secure the new bonds” [MTP].
May 10 Sunday
May 11 Monday – In Hartford Sam submitted an article to Henry M. Alden, editor of Harper & Brothers in N.Y.
See if this will do to fill a narrow corner in the holiday number. It was told to Rev. Jo. Twichell here, years ago, by the English clergyman who figures in it…. [MTP]. Note: the article in question was likely “Luck,” which Harper’s Monthly published in August.
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man, probably a newspaper or magazine reporter or editor seeking an interview or opinion:
I don’t really think I have anything to say that would be worth printing, but if you want to chance it, all right, I’ll do what I can. …inasmuch as I am in the rush & turmoil of preparation for a long absense in Europe, I have no command of my days, but must run hither & thither on all sorts of business summonses.
If the gentleman wanted to take a chance Sam would be in Hartford, but would not be able to set an appointment, what with all the chaos [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about statements sent or to be sent; he’d called on Colonel John Cockerill (of the N.Y.World) last Friday but he was out. A P.S. revealed he failed to see him again this day [MTP].
Thomas F. Shields, the conductor Sam had seen to was fired, wrote to Sam asking for help in finding a new position [MTP]. See Nov. 8, 1890.
The Brooklyn Eagle, p.6 ran a short article announcing more trouble for Sam and Webster & Co:
MARK TWAIN SUED FOR LIBEL
A suit for $25,000 for libel has been begun by Hubbard Bros., a publishing house of Philadelphia, against Samuel C. Clemens [sic] (“Mark Twain”) and Frederick Hall, composing the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co. of New York. The suit had its origin in a statement published by the defendants in regard to the authorship of the life of General W.T. Sherman. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants published a statement to the effect that General O.O. Howard had had no hand in the compilation of the life of General Sherman, the work being done by the plaintiff firm.
May 12 Tuesday – Cyrus Curtis, publisher of Ladies Home Journal, increased the offer for the serialization of The American Claimant from $4,000 to $6,000. Sam accepted (on May 13) but problems would develop in coordinating the English and American installments [MTNJ 3: 625n192].
Henry M. Alden for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam a note enclosing a $100 check for the piece “Luck,” which Alden wrote would make two pages in the magazine [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam of an offer made by Cyrus H. Curtis of the Ladies Home Journal (Curtis was the owner; Bok the editor) for serializing Sam’s upcoming book. Curtis offered $6,000 and Hall told him he didn’t think Sam would accept it but would “lay the offer before you and give him an answer as soon as possible” [MTP].
Note: No checks extant from Dec. 22, 1887 to this date (#’s 3952-5256).
May 13 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam wrote two letters to Frederick J. Hall about an offer to serialize The American Claimant.
All right, accept Mr. Curtis’s offer of $6,000. I’d rather have that than $8,000 from those other papers. You want to have in writing the date that we can issue the book; and how long we may canvass before issuing and before they have finished the serial publication (6 weeks?) — so that we can publish by subscription in case we should wish to [MTLTP 274]. Note: Cyrus H.K. Curtis, publisher of the Ladies Home Journal; Edward W. Bok was editor. Within a short time problems arose in coordinating English with American installments so as to properly protect relative copyrights. See May 20 to Hall.
In Sam’s second letter to Hall, he advised him not to start “that monthly check” to their gardener, John O’Neil, “till July 1, instead of June 1.” He also admonished, “Don’t let Curtis syndicate the story” [MTLTP 275]. Note: John and Ellen O’Neil would be caretakers of the Hartford house during the Clemenses stay in Europe [MTNJ 3: 624n187].
Sam also sent Charles J. Langdon a check for $3,000 to be deposited to Livy’s credit. This was money Sam wanted to draw on while in Europe [MTNJ 3: 624n188; May 16 CJL to SLC]. On what appears to be a separate matter, he also wrote a short note that he’d pay the “other $1000 of the $10000 paid” to him [MTP]. Note: this letter appears to be a fragment.
Sam also wrote James W. Paige, the letter not extant but referred to in Paige’s May 16 to Sam [MTP].
May 14 Thursday
Dr. M.J. Black
Messrs. Allyn & Blanchard & Co
May 15 Friday – John J. Corning, “Commercial Paper 96 Broadway” wrote to Sam offering 150 shares of Goodyear Shoe Machinery stock at $65, Sam wrote on the envelope, “Answer him, Brer” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote a brief note to Sam, “favor received,” and made a note not to pay O’Neill until July 1. He also noted what Sam said about syndicating the story, and hadn’t heard from Bok regarding an appointment but thought he’d hear during the day [MTP].
May 16 Saturday – The Boston Journal Supplement, p.1 published an interview of Sam by Edward W. Bok, “Literary Leaves: ‘Mark Twain’ to Live Abroad for Two Years.”
New York, May 15 — In about three weeks Mark Twain will sail for the other side, not to return to American for two years. The humorist’s family will go with him, and, after a month or two of travel, they will seek some secluded and remote French village, where the following two years will be spent. “The children,” said the humorist to me a few days ago, “will have their tutors; Mrs. Clemens will enjoy the luxury of a complete rest from housekeeping and kindred evils, while I want nothing but my pipe and my pen. I have no special literary plans in mind, but shall probably do a little something. No, no, I shall not take the ‘Innocents Abroad’ again; that would mean too much travel, and I can’t do what I did years ago. We are going to live in quiet fashion, somewhere away from everybody, where no one knows us, and enjoy each other’s company.” Passage was engaged some time ago on the French Line by the party under fictitious names, and perhaps the captain of the French steamer sailing from this port on June 6 will learn, from this paragraph, for the first time of the genial company which will be among his passengers [Scharnhorst, Interviews 130].
Note: this was reprinted in the Washington Post, May 31, 1891, p.14 “Lazy Mark Twain” and credit given to the New York Commercial Advertiser. A long paragraph was added about his home life. No credit was given to Bok or the Boston Journal Supplement.
William Hamersley wrote to Sam that he “could no longer delay the collection of my personal loan to you, due the first of last July. Please send me your check for $2500…or sign and return the enclosed sixty-day note for the amount. One or the other I really must have” [MTP].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam: “On my return I find your letter of May 13th enclosing check for $3000 which I have deposited, to Livy’s credit, in my general account with the Chemung Canal Bank.” Langdon reported his wife Ida to be in bed, “very much reduced in strength,” but not critical [MTP].
James W. Paige wrote to Sam that his letter of May 13 just received; he’d forward it to Mr. Mallory as Sam requested [MTP].
J. Jay Watson, director of the Watson Musical Conservatory in N.Y.C. wrote to Sam, asking what was wrong with the American Publishing Co. — they might republish the book, Successful Folks, “making lots of money with it. Can’t you stir them up with a long pole?” Watson referred himself to John L. Knight, Supt. Of the N.Y. Herald [MTP].
May 17 Sunday – H.G. Rector wrote from N.Y. to Sam — a begging letter for a sick daughter [MTP].
May 18 Monday – Likely the day referred to by Sam in his May 20 to Frederick J. Hall, on which Samuel S. McClure (1857-1949), sent by William Mackay Laffan, came to Hartford to make an offer for Sam’s letters from Europe. McClure also sought The American Claimant for his European syndicate. Sam told McClure he was agreeable but to see Hall for the details [May 20 to Hall].
May 19 Tuesday –William Dean Howells wrote from Boston after reading in the newspapers that Sam was going to Europe. Sam had kept the plans private, telling only family and Frederick J. Hall.
I hope this is not ill health or ill luck that is taking you, but I am so worried about where to place myself here for the summer, that I almost wish I was sick or sorry enough to go to Europe, too.
I have been worrying away on my story [The Quality of Mercy] till it seems the most fool and futile thing ever attempted. Really I feel sometimes like simply running away from it. [Edward W.] Bok told me some weeks ago that you had finished your story, and sold him the serial rights. I’ve wondered how you managed to fight clear of my part in the plot, if you followed the lines of the play at all [MTHL 2: 643-4]. Note: before Sam signed the contract with Curtis and Bok, a better offer would come along. See this source note 3.
In Hartford Sam wrote to William Hamersley. Sam was in debt to Hamersley and enclosed a note that would extend the due date by fifteen days,
…to make it more convenient” for him. “If not also convenient for you, please return & substitute the 60-day form [MTP].
William Bispham for Players Club wrote to Sam acknowledging receipt of $10 [MTP].
Julius Chambers for N.Y. World wrote to Sam offering to “run up to Hartford and have a little chat with you about books and the art of writing them to form one of the series of a score or more to appear in The World…”
Martin J. Dixon for Klenk & Co., N.Y. wrote asking Sam whether there had been any agreement with one William E. Burton for him to use the title “Tom Sawyer” for a play based upon the book. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Brer, refer him to Danl Whitford of Alexander & Green 120 Broadway” [MTP].
A. Knoflach wrote from N.Y. to Sam asking if he might print a lecture of his which included the “Tale of the Fishwife” from Appendix D of TA. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Tell him haven’t any objection, Brer SLC” [MTP].
Mssrs. M.A. Welch
Mr. Michael Egan
Saloman & DeLeeuw
May 20 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam responded to William Dean Howells’ May 19.
DEAR HOWELLS, — For her health’s sake Mrs. Clemens must try baths somewhere, & this it is that has determined us to go to Europe. The water required seems to be provided at a little obscure & little-visited nook up in the hills back of the Rhine somewhere & you get to it by Rhine traffic-boat & country stage-coach. Come, get “sick or sorry enough” & join us. We shall be a little while at that bath, & the rest of the summer at Annecy (this confidential to you) in Haute Savoie, 22 miles from Geneva. Spend the winters in Berlin. I don’t know how long we shall be in Europe — I have a vote, but I don’t cast it. I’m going to do whatever the others desire, with leave to change their mind, without prejudice, whenever they want to. Travel has no longer, any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to see except heaven & hell, & I have only a vague curiosity as concerns one of those.
I found I couldn’t use the play — I had departed too far from its lines when I came to look at it. I thought I might get a great deal of dialogue out of it, but I got only 15 loosely written pages — they saved me half a day’s work. It was the cursing phonograph. There was abundance of good dialogue, but it couldn’t befitted into the new conditions of the story.
Oh, look here — I did to-day what I have several times in past years thought of doing: answered an interviewing proposition from a rich newspaper with the reminder that they had not stated the terms; that my time was all occupied with writing, at good pay, & that as talking was harder work I should not care to venture it unless I knew the pay was going to be proportionately higher. I wish I had thought of this the other day when Charley Stoddard turned a pleasant Englishman loose on me & I couldn’t think of any rational excuse. Ys Ever MARK [MTHL 2: 645-6].
Sam also responded to Julius Chambers’ May 19 proposition for Sam to speak for pay. Since he felt giving a talk was harder work than writing, and he was making “good pay” writing, he wanted him “to know that the pay was proportionately higher before venturing it.” Chambers was the editor of the N.Y. World [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall about The American Claimant rights. He was hesitant to sign away his rights in England. Cyrus Curtis, publisher of the Ladies Home Journal, thought the American copyright would be compromised by a prior weekly serialization in England, which Sam felt was “hardly valid.” Sam related his visit “a day or two before” with Samuel S. McClure, who’d offered him $300 “per Century page” for a few European letters to syndicate. Sam wrote this was “three times as much as Curtis is offering for this story [The American Claimant].”
Mc[Clure] wanted to call on you (he is acquainted with you), & get the Sellers story for his European syndicate, & I told him to go & do it & arrange terms with you. This is better than bothering Chatto — and fully as profitable….In case I’ve got to come down after you’ve talked with Mc or Laffan, telegraph me. I am ever so much obliged to you for the trouble & travel you have put in for me on this matter [MTLTP 275-6]. Note: MTHL 2: 644n3 points out that the proposed letters, of 5,000 to 6,000 words each, would be worth $1,000 each.
May 21 Thursday – In New York, Frederick J. Hall met with Samuel S. McClure who offered $12,000 to serialize The American Claimant in both the U.S. and abroad. The final contract gave McClure world serial rights with publication to begin Jan. 1, 1892. The story would run three months; Sam would retain copyright and could then publish as early as Mar. 15, 1892 [MTNJ 3: 625n192].
Mollie Clemens wrote to Sam: “Can’t Orion do something for you. He loves you all, and is more than ready to help you. You could have patients with him — you have to have with every body else” [MTP].
Bissell & Co. wrote to Sam offering to store valuables during Sam’s European visit [MTP].
Julius Chambers for N.Y. World followed up his May 19 to Sam: “You are ‘dead right.’ The World will pay you $100 for a 2500 word article describing your impressions of Greater New York….Is this a go? — for a starter The interview we’ll discuss later” [MTP].
Clara B. Griswold wrote from Seymour (Conn.?) asking to include Sam’s name for a Union quilt. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Tell them yes, Brer” [MTP].
Samuel W. Ruckus sent Sam a form letter asking for a photograph for The Wasp, of San Francisco [MTP].
May 22 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote a follow-up note to Julius Chambers of the N.Y. World. “Upon reflection” Sam felt he had “so little time left” (in the country) that he could not “sell any of it at all.” He felt there might be “more leisure” in “some future year” [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, needing to see him on several issues, rather than write a long letter. Samuel S. McClure had been in the day before and offered $12,000 for the new book to syndicate on both sides of the Atlantic; for both sides he might be able to raise it to $15,000. Hall told of Bok’s agreement and of the understanding it was subject to Sam’s approval — if Sam wanted to give the whole thing to McClure, Hall would do so [MTP].
May 23 Saturday – Godfrey Egremont wrote to Mark Twain asking “why in German the sun is feminine — die Sonne — and the moon masculine — der Mond?” When he asked Germans they told him that Mark Twain knew “all about it” and wrote of it in a “valuable appendix –numbered II, I fancy, to a well-known ethnographical work by one of their most famous authors entitled ‘Der Landstreicher Verriest’” [MTP].
Harry Lamb wrote asking for a poem from Sam, who wrote on the envelope, “I don’t know what to say” [MTP].
Frank McClintock wrote from Grand Junction, Colo. interested in the typesetter. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Refer him to Paige, Brer / SLC” [MTP].
Mr. Jerry Donaghue
Mr. Franz Milcke
Mssrs. Ward W. Jacobs & Co.
May 24 Sunday – Mary Kimball wrote to Sam asking for an autograph [MTP].
May 25 Monday – Sylvanus Lord of London sent Sam a rather strange and cryptic postcard, addressed only to “Mark Twain / America” stamped with a “deficiency of address supplied by NYPO” — Dear Sir — / If this reaches you you must acknowledge by return of post and you will hear of something to your advantage. / Yours faithfully” [MTP].
Horace L. Traubel for the Contemporary Club, Phila. wrote to Sam that a few of them were dining with Walt Whitman on the 31st and asked Sam to send “salutations” [MTP].
Mrs. Jessie Pinney Baldwin
Whisne Porteus & Co
Mr. S.F. Stadelman
May 25-June 4 Thursday – Sometime during this period Sam wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore, asking him to see Will Collins, who wanted to buy the Clemens family pew for the remaining ten months [MTP]. Sam noted that the money had been promised to a “bedridden permanent invalid,” — probably a relative of Mrs. George H. Warner’s [MTNJ 3: 624n186].
May 26 Tuesday – Theodore Wilkins wrote from Pomona, Calif. to ask Sam to return a MS sent, as they were in error that he was connected with a publisher! [MTP].
Mr. Horace Traubel
May 27 Wednesday – Mary Mason Fairbanks had heard of the Clemens family’s departure to Europe and wrote from Omaha asking for news and addresses:
Do give me a parting wave of the hand as you sail out of the bay — (a word of adieu before you sail) — and may I not hope that some one of the Clemenses abroad will bottle up a leaf from their foreign journal and commit it to the sea? — perhaps the current will carry it into the Missouri river and wash it up on the shores of Omaha [MTMF 266]. Note: The Fairbanks had moved to Omaha with the loss of their ownership in the Cleveland newspaper.
May 28 Thursday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he caught the train with time to spare and that Sam’s manuscripts are already being typewritten and would be done by mid-next week.
I have written Bok returning the contract and saying that you did not desire to make any arrangement whatever that would in any way interfere with your doing what you wished with your story on the other side. I have also written McClure asking him to make a definite offer for syndicating the story in the newspapers. Bok, as you will remember, also has a newspaper syndicate and I think it would be only fair to allow him to bid on the story against McClure [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam that they didn’t need more money. If they needed to borrow it would be only small amounts. “The agent for Ma’s property at Corry says a woman may buy it for $500 in the fall. If you approve, your signature to a deed may be wanted, unless you leave a power of attorney.” Mollie suggested they might use the money to fix Ma’s grave. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Sell, & use the money as you please. Whitmore will sign for me SLC” [MTP].
Mssrs Bryant & Oudrak?
May 29 Friday – In Hartford Franklin G. Whitmore took down a letter to Mary Mason Fairbanks for Sam, who suffered greatly from a rheumatic right arm.
Dear Mother Fairbanks.
I have not had the use of my right arm for some time, and so I have been obliged to do the little writing necessary to be done through the medium of dictation! — a vehicle so awkward for me and so irritating that I not only curse and swear all the time I am dictating, but am impatient and dissatisfied because God has given me only one tongue to curse and swear with. I could give employment to a hundred and fifty if I had them, these days.
Sam then announced the letter was “a word of goodbye” for himself and the family. Here wrote they’d go to Europe “until we shall get tired.” Sam thought he’d reach that point in 30 days, Jean in 60, Clara in 90, Susie in 100, “and Livy in six months” [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore also responded for Sam to Samuel W. Buckus’ May 21 request for a photograph. A photograph of Sam was enclosed [MTP].
C.H. Cornwell wrote from Danielsonville, Conn. to Sam, responding with questions to Sam’s Courant ad selling a pair of carriage horses — Whitmore answered the man (copy in the file) [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam, who quoted from Hall’s letter in his notebook, and added that he “telegraphed Hall to accept these terms for me”:
In re your letters from the other side. For all letters containing not less than 3,500 words, McClure is to pay you $1,000 per letter. If they contain more than 3,500 words, so much the better. If the letters contain less than 3,500 words he is to pay you at the rate of $300 per thousand words [MTNJ 3: 632; MTP].
Benjamin Walter wrote from N.Y. asking if he might get permission to take a Tom Sawyer play “out on the road” — Whitmore declined for Sam [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: May 29/91, 1.30 p.m. tried to send a telegram through telephone & couldn’t. They charge you for the use of this deaf & dumb thing [3: 632].
Plimpton Manufacturing Co.
Conn. Trust & Safe Deposit
G.W. Fuller & Son
Hunting & Hammond
Miss Fanny Johnson
May 30 Saturday – In the evening Sam and Livy went to a poetry reading featuring Annie E. Trumbull. Sam wrote a letter of compliment on her performance the day after [MTP].
Joseph N. Verey wrote from London on United States Exchange letterhead to Sam. Verey wrote a pleasant, friendly letter and offered his guide services — his pay was now 150 pounds per month, board free at hotels [MTP].
Hawley & Goodrich
Dr. Theron A. Wales
J.J. Poole & Co.
May 31 Sunday – In Hartford Sam wrote to Annie E. Trumbull about the previous evening’s event:
It certainly was the perfectest evening I have seen in many a day. You struck twelve in your speech over the back of the chair. I heard Mrs. Clemens say to Susy last night, “I never see Annie Trumbull but she makes me wish I had brains too” [MTP].
The N.Y. World ran an interview, “Mark Twain on Humor,” by Raymond Blathwait (1855-1936), p.6.
It was on one of the most charming days of this month that I passed through the gates of Mr. Samuel L. Clemens’s garden, just off Farmington avenue, in Hartford, and walked up a broad carriage drive to his pretty veranda-circled house. Introduced to the presence of the genial and gifted humorist, I found him knocking about the balls upon an old-fashioned billiard table. As I entered, he at once stepped forward and gave me his hand and a very hearty welcome.
“And how is my dear old friend Charles Warren Stoddard, who has written to me about you? How does he like his curiously secluded life among the priests of the Catholic College at Washington?” he asked in his slow peculiar drawl. “Come and sit down and have a cigar. I myself smoke all the time.”
I sat down in a comfortable armchair, lit the cigar he gave me, and it was a very good one, for, as he said, “I always buy my cigars in America, a special brand. I want to take some to Europe with me, for I never can buy a cigar fit to smoke in England, nor, indeed, anywhere in Europe, and there I am going to live for the next two or three years to educate my little girls.
“Yes, it is a great break up, but I do not see how I can avoid it. However, I am reconciled to it now. You see we are in great confusion, as we are more than half packed up. You have just come to catch me, and I am very glad to have a chat with you. You shall lead and direct the conversation. That, you know, is the interviewer’s business. He must bear the lion’s share, or, at all events, his very full half. A good interviewer has in him the makings of a perfect novelist.”
I said: “Very well then, Mr. Twain, I should much like you to give me your opinion as to the comparative merits of American and English humor.”
The great humorist ran his hands through his mass of fast graying hair, eyed me quizzingly, and then slowly drawled: “That is a question I am particularly and specially unqualified to answer. I might go out into the road there,” pointing as he spoke to the pretty, sun-flecked, shadow-stricken pathway, a glimpse of which I gained through the open window, “and with a brickbat I would knock down three or four men in an hour who would know more than I about humor and its merits and its varieties. I have only a limited appreciation of humor. I haven’t nearly as catholic and comprehensive an idea of humor as you have, for instance.” I demurred loudly to this: “Oh, Mr. Twain, and you who wrote the dialogue in Huck Finn between Huck and the runaway Negro about kings and queens.”
“Exactly,” replied Mr. Twain, as he got up out of his seat and began to pace the room, up and down, while he vigorously puffed away at his cigar, which he almost immediately replaced with his pipe [Scharnhorst, Interviews 130-1; see more there].
A.D. Settle for McCollister Bros. Publishers, Gordon, Texas wrote to Sam, calling him “cousin” — he wanted to hear from Sam and also “receive matter” for publication. Sam wrote “Unanswered letters” on the envelope [MTP].
June – Prior to leaving for Europe, Sam gave Frederick J. Hall a story titled, “The Californian’s Tale,” which was put in Webster & Co.’s safe. This was a story of a man who deludes himself that his wife is merely away, when she was captured by Indians some nineteen years before. Sam would send another MS of the story in Oct. 1892, postdated, “Florence, Jan. ‘93”, so that it would seem to be new work. Before Hall could include it in a collection, Sam sent the story to Arthur G. Stedman, who included it in The First Book of the Authors Club; Liber Scriptorum (1893). It was also reprinted in the Mar. 1902 Harper’s [MTNJ 3: 628n201]. Note: Benson writes, “The germs of ‘The Californian’s Tale,’ and many other stories and sketches of later years, were found” during the winter of 1864-5 in Tuolomne country at Angel’s Camp . Wilson writes, “DeVoto reports that Mark Twain had been deeply impressed by the aging miners he encountered in the saloons there, ‘a dwindling race’ of ‘melancholy men who had failed to find gold and could not bear to go home’ and ‘who declined through eccentricity to madness’” .
Edward A. Spring for Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom wrote to Sam, sending him copies of the Society’s printed documents [MTP]. See June 13 entry.
June 1 Monday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam having received his telegram. He’d heard nothing from Bok and feared he might be “sore” about the contract withdrawal. Hall proposed to go to Phila. to see Bok and get an offer out of him, which would legally cancel the prior offer. Hall would try to come to Hartford Wednesday or Thursday. The “biggest month” yet on sales of LAL had resulted in “being put very rapidly into the soup” since the sales were paid for in instalments [MTP].
Ejiro Miromiya wrote to Sam from N.Y. He used to live with Edward H. House but wished now to “disassociate with Mr. House” [MTP].
Miss Harriet Deane
June 2 Tuesday – The N.Y. World May 31, 1891 interview, “Mark Twain on Humor,” was reprinted in the semi-weekly edition, page six.
Open Court Magazine sent Sam several news clippings; no letter or explanation is in the file [MTP]. This was a Chicago weekly “devoted to the work of conciliating religion with science” [MTNJ 3: 635n224].
June 3 Wednesday – In Hartford Sam wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, who’d written she was going to Fredonia to comfort her daughter, Annie Webster, recently widowed. Sam told of their travel plans, a “French village” not yet decided on, and “all of next winter, no doubt,” in Berlin.
We are working & packing night & day, now — part of the trunks & two of the children go to New York to-morrow & the rest of us follow Friday. We sail at 5 a.m. Saturday in La Gascoigne for Havre, & shall remain 3 days in Paris making plans. Love to all, In haste / Sam [MTP].
Sam’s notebook entry reveals the agreement with McClure’s Syndicate for the letters from Europe was changed on this date to specify 5,000 to 6,000 words each [MTNJ 3: 632].
Sam’s notebook contains the text of a telegram (not extant), which may have been sent for Livy to Dr. Rachel Brooks Gleason of the Elmira water cure fame:
Telegram, June 3/91, 9.30 a.m. Mrs. O.B. Gleason, Elmira. If you & Zippie feel that the voyage is a risk to Sue [Crane], I beg that you will persuade her to give it up. Olivia L. Clemens [MTNJ 3: 634]. Note: “Zippie” Rachel Brooks Gleason was formerly Livy’s personal physician. Sue would accompany the family to Europe.
Joseph N. Verey (Very) sent Sam testimonials with a brief note of regards [MTP].
Mr. Richard Coombs
Western Union Telegraph Co.
Mr. Andrew Alexander
Hartford Electric Light
Mssrs. C.L. Palmer
Lincoln, Seyms & Co.
Mssrs. Wm. B. Smith & Son
Mssrs. Hills & Co
Aitken, Son & Co
Mr. W.B. Lloyd
W.W. Jacobs & Co.
June 4 Thursday – Two of the Clemens girls, probably Susy and Clara, went to New York in advance of the family. They likely were accompanied by Katy Leary. Sue Crane would meet the family there as well [June 3 to Moffett].
Sam inscribed a copy of P&P to Anna Körner: To: Anna Körner / from / The Author / Hartford, June 4, 1891 [MTP].
Commercial Cable Company
Miss M.A. Welch
Mr. H.E. Patten
June 5 Friday – Sam, Livy, and Jean left Hartford for New York, where they met their other daughters and Sue Crane. The party stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel [June 3 to Moffett; MTNJ 3: 634n222].
June 6 Saturday – At 5 a.m. the Clemenses sailed from New York for France on the Gascoigne [June 3 to Moffett]. The family would not return for more than eight years and would never again live in Hartford. Powers writes that Webster & Co. owed Sam $74,087.35 for his cumulative investments in the company at the time the family left [MT A Life 543].
End checks for period
June 7 Sunday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry:
7th. Glassy sea — no wind — everybody on deck — overcoats not needed….Delicious breakfasts, 12.30. Lie abed till 10.30: they bring you a cup of coffee & a biscuit about 8.30 if you want it — & you do [3: 639].
Mrs. Helen Bancroft, “daughter of an old steamboat pilot” wrote from New Orleans to Sam, enclosing a MS and asking Sam to comment as to its fitness for publication [MTP].
June 8 Monday – Clara Clemens’ seventeenth birthday.
At sea, Sam’s notebook entry:
Certainly the sunniest & most beautiful day the Atlantic ever saw. But little sea — though what there is would be seriously felt on a smaller vessel. This one has no motion.
The phosphorescent waves at night are very intense on the black surface….Open fire place & big mantelepiece in great salon — imitation, not real; but a cosy & perfect counterfeit.
The haggard perplexity in the face of the All-Knowing is admirably brought out.
The perfect cleanliness of the rest of the ship is realized to you when you happen suddenly upon the violent contrast afforded by the smoking-cabin of the ler class, whose oil-cloth carpet has apparently never been washed or swept, & is littered with the burnt matches of a bygone generation.
The Lodge of Sorrow or the Towers of Silence — divans all around a great square occupied by silent folk in the squalmish stage. A piano in there — hated by the above [3: 641].
Note: in his July 21, 1891 letter to Gilder, Sam wrote, “We had good times with that young Boston clergyman on board ship.” The man is not further identified.
Robert Underwood Johnson for Century Magazine wrote to Sam proposing “a series of papers, or portion of a book, by you on your trip abroad, humorous, of course, and perhaps answering to the title “Mark Twain Abroad”, though we do not stickle on this point.” No price was offered, but solicited [MTP].
C. McC. Reeve on State of Minnesota World’s Fair Commission letterhead wrote to Sam that he was “such an admirer of” IA that he quoted “a number of passages” in his book (enclosed) How We Went and What We Saw, which he hoped would amuse [MTP].
June 9 Tuesday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry:
June 9. Brilliant sun, but good deal of sea. Breakfast table rather deserted. It is a good, easy-riding sea-boat. … Blow whistle for noon — can’t hear the bell far…. Seen the whole length of the gangway, people at dinner are diminished to children
A sour deck steward who makes all calls upon him a reluctant & uncomfortable thing [3: 642].
June 10 Wednesday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry:
June 10. Rough sea. Il est defense d’apporter du petit et du vin blanc a la chambre*
Mrs. Franklin advised to get immediately the habits of smoking, drinking, coffee, chewing, snuffing & swearing — then leave them all off for a week & be cured. She had no habits to change when she got sick — therefore was in a helpless & perilous situation [3: 642]. * (It is forbidden to take rolls and white wine to the rooms.)
June 11 Thursday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry:
June 11. The loneliness of a ship at 4 a.m. Saw just one person for an instant flit through the gray of yesterday’s dawn. Very rough — winds singing — first wet deck. Electrics seemed to burn dim. Smoking sty stunk unenduringly. …Susy: “Their gesticulations are so out of proportion to what they are saying.”
Smooth sea again.
Jean, positively comfortable.
Clara, compara[tively comfortable]
Susy, superlatively un[comfortable].
Know a new voyager because he don’t re-set his watch [3: 643].
Sam received $2,500 from the McClure Syndicate as first installment on serialization of The American Claimant, though it had been agreed he was to receive $10,000 upon delivery of the MS and the balance when the story had been half published [MTNJ 3: 632n215].
Henry Romeike, N.Y. solicited Sam with a form letter to clip notices for him [MTP].
June 12 Friday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry: June 12. Very Smoothe sea. Dr. Martin & the Etchings [3: 643].
In Hartford Franklin G. Whitmore acknowledged the $2,500 check from McClure’s to Frederick J. Hall. Whitmore had searched Sam’s house for pages 184-5 of Sam’s The American Claimant MS but had been unable to find them [MTP].
June 13 Saturday – At sea, Sam’s notebook entry: Saturday, 13. Concert [3: 643].
The N.Y. Times, p.8 ran a short article “Friends of Russian Freedom” listing Sam among those who signed a founding document “setting forth its purposes and inviting co-operation.”
Frank W. Cheney for the Boston Monday Evening Club wrote to Sam inviting him to dine on June 18 at his home [MTP]. Note: the Clemenses were in Paris by that date.
June 14 Sunday – The Clemens family, accompanied by Susan Crane and Katy Leary, arrived in Le Havre, France and took rooms in the Hotel Frascati on the beach in Le Havre, outside of town [MTNJ 3: 622]. Note: the eight-day crossing was considerably shorter than prior trips.
June 15 Monday – The family’s plan was to travel to Paris and make a three-day stay there before continuing on to some “French village.” It’s likely they spent one night at Le Havre and left for Paris on this day, given that Sam wrote June 17 from Paris to Frederick J. Hall that they were leaving the city the next day. In Paris they stayed at the Grand Hotel Terminus [June 17 to Hall].
This was the day Sam expected Marshall H. Mallory to make the first payment of $5,000 for purchase of his rights in the Paige typesetter [MTNJ 3: 632n216]. See June 17 entry.
June 16 Tuesday – The Clemens party of seven was in Paris at the Grand Hotel Terminus making plans for the next leg of their sojourn.
June 17 Wednesday – In Paris, France Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
A cablegram informs me that my type-setter sale has fallen through [to Mallory Brothers]. Therefore you will now have to modify your instalment system to meet the emergency of a constipated purse; for if you should need to borrow any more money I would not know how or where to raise it.
Sam also notified Hall that they would leave Paris the next day, June 18 [MTLTP 277]. Note: evidently the family did not leave Paris on June 18 for he wrote Richard Watson Gilder from there on June 19.
June 18 Thursday – The Clemens party of seven was still in Paris at the Grand Hotel Terminus.
June 19 Friday – In Paris, France Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder:
Mrs. Coover will send you a type-written story. It is her daughter’s work…I said my judgment would not be valuable, but that…I would write you…[MTP from Swann Galleries catalog, Jan. 28, 1993].
June 20 Saturday – The Clemens party left Paris on or about this day for Geneva, Switzerland. Powers puts their stay in Paris as four days [MT A Life 539]. In his July 10 to Robert Underwood Johnson, Sam wrote,
Just as we were leaving Paris we had a glimpse & a handshake of your wife — & it was a very pleasant way to wind up what had been a very pleasant week [MTP]. Note: the Mrs. was Katharine McMahon Johnson (1856-1924).
In Geneva, Sam and Livy installed Susy and Clara in a boarding school. “They were to study French with a family there while Papa, Mamma, and Aunt Sue took the waters,” first in Annecy, then in Aix-les-Bains, France [A. Hoffman 371-2]. Letters later sent to the girls address them to Mme. Ducroix at 16 rue de la Tour, Geneva [MTP].
June 21 Sunday – The Clemens party without Susy and Clara migrated south to Annecy trying the baths there. The original plans were to spend the rest of the summer in Annecy, some 22 miles from Geneva, at the Haute Savoie [May 20 to Howells].
June 22 Monday – The Clemens party was in Annecy trying the baths there.
June 23 Tuesday – The Clemens party was in Annecy trying the baths there.
June 24 Wednesday – The Clemens party was in Annecy trying the baths there.
John Cowden wrote a very long (and rather dry, rambling, hard to read) letter from Pittsfield, Ill. to Sam about the history of the Mississippi area and experiences there [MTP].
June 25 Thursday – The Clemens party was in Annecy trying the baths there.
June 26 Friday – The Clemens party was in Annecy trying the baths there. Rodney writes that the Clemens party went to Annecy, “not far over the French border” and stayed a week at a spa there, “convinced that the baths were not restorative” . Note: the chronology for this week based on Rodney.
June 27 Saturday – On or about this day, the Clemens party without Susy and Clara continued on to Aix-les-Bains, France, across the Swiss border and a bath since Roman days, where Sam wrote Susy and Clara on June 28. Baedecker’s 1887 travel guide lists the distance as 55&1/2 miles, a 3&1/2 hour trip by train.
June 28 Sunday – Of this period Paine writes, “The Clemens party went to Geneva, then rested for a time at the baths of Aix” [MTB 921]. Kaplan writes, “Clemens and Livy…looking for relief for the rheumatism that now crippled both of them, visited the fashionable watering places, Aix-les-Bains and then Marienbad.” No letters from Sam are extant until June 28. Powers writes, “…they sank into the pungent sulfuric baths every day for five weeks” [MT A Life 539].
In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Susy and Clara Clemens, boarding in Geneva.
Dear Children —
I love you both, & when I shall have finished learning to write with my left hand, I will communicate with you more frequently [LLMT 260; MTP]. Note: Sam added a paragraph in French.
June 29 Monday – In Aix-les-Bains, France Sam wrote again to Susy and Clara Clemens in Geneva. The girls had written.
Mamma is a great deal more comfortable this p.m. & I am pretty well satisfied with the way the doctor has got the best of the disease. (Ouch!) Notice to stop using my right hand. Your letters are well done & delightful [MTP]. Note: Livy’s heart condition would not have been helped by the baths, though rest from travel may have helped.
June 30 Tuesday – Mrs. B.H. Campbell wrote from Wichita, Kansas to Sam passing on a “good story about yourself” she came across in “one of your local papers” [MTP].
July – In the July-December issue of Library and Studio Part I of “Life of Mark Twain” was published. (Part II would run in the Jan. to June, 1892 issue.) Will M. Clemens’ report is in The Twainian for Nov. 1940, Tenney citing, p.19. The Twainian bears only the citation of this article with no synopsis.
A copy of Walter Scott’s The Abbot (1860 ed.) inscribed: Jean Clemens Aix les Bains July,. 1891 [Gribben 614].
July 1 Wednesday – In Aix-les-Bains, Sam had a conversation with the doctor about the rash that was tormenting nearly everyone but Sam. See July 3 entry.
July 2 Thursday
July 3 Friday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote again to daughters Susy and Clara in Geneva, with Jean Clemens penning the letter (due to Sam’s rheumatism) and adding a PS asking for them to soak off and save the French stamps for her that came on their letters. Sam wrote of a conversation he’d had with the doctor on Wednesday (July 1) about a rash that everyone had but Sam himself.
I told him “I believed all the family but me were in this condition, but that I hadn’t acquired any suggestion of the distemper. I COULD have told him that the family had been attributing it to bugs and fleas, & that I had been defending the accused on the ground of their non-existance, I basing my position on the fact that mamma spends a part of each day and night in my bed and the rest of it in her own, yet never leaves me a creature behind as a memento. …
Dear hearts if you find gore, that is evidence, if you find a corpse it is proof [MTP].
Ms. C.H. Sandberg wrote from Stockholm, Sweden to Sam, “about to give out an autobiographical work of the humourists of America.” She would be grateful if he would send her “some lines” [MTP].
July 4 Saturday – Joe Twichell sent a printed circular he’d received from E.B. Dillingham, Chaplain at the Hartford County Jail seeking “suitable books” or funds. Joe wrote on the bottom, “Here’s a gem ‘of purest [illegible word] serene — as you see. I send it to you for a Forth of July present. With love and greeting to all, Yer aff. – Joe.” On the envelope Sam wrote, “Use this in newspaper letter” [MTP].
July 5 Sunday
July 6 Monday
July 7 Tuesday
July 8 Wednesday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto, requesting Kipling’s last book, Mine Own People [MTP from Am. Art Assoc. catalog, item 353].
Augustus Jacobson for the Society of Tennessee Army, Palmer House, Chicago wrote to Sam inviting him to the unveiling of the Grant statue in Lincoln Park during the reunion Oct. 7 and 8 [MTP].
July 9 Thursday – W.F. Johnson wrote to Sam soliciting aid for the Brooklyn Howard Colored Orphan Asylum [MTP].
July 10 Friday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. Sam added vertically to the top margin of the letter that he would “be present at eight or ten Wagner operas at” Bayreuth, Germany from July 31 to Aug. 12. Sam wanted Hall to see Robert Underwood Johnson or Richard Watson Gilder of Century Magazine to see if they’d pay $1,000 as Samuel S. McClure was doing, for six more letters “and so fill up the twelvemonth.” Sam thought it best to see McClure first and let him make an offer for six more letters. Sam had larger game in mind:
It is my intention to write a book, & take a year or two to collect the material and do the writing.
I haven’t sent McClure anything yet, my right arm being still disabled with rheumatism; but it is improving, these last few days, & I hope to begin pretty soon….Shall be in France again all September — & October — the family will; I may take a courier and a Kodak and go traveling.
November and the winter — Berlin, the family. I may be there, but also I may travel. There are a few summer-places, and also a few winter ones that I want to write about [MTLTP 278-9].
Sam also wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson of the Century.
Hail & howdy!
I am too much of a cripple to write again — I’ve already written a letter to-day, the first time I could use my arm since I left home — but that letter was to Mr. Hall & answers yours. He will see you.
My! I could write reams & volumes I’m so hungry to get hold of a pen, & the place & the air are so inspiring; but my arm won’t let me [MTP].
July 11 Saturday – The Illustrated American ran a full-page portrait of Mark Twain, printed in sepia ink from halftone of a crayon sketch by Arthur Jule Goodman [The Twainian 2.8 (Nov.1940) p.4].
A.W. McArthur wrote from N.Y. to Sam asking to use his portrait in a literary game [MTP].
July 12 Sunday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus having just received their check and note. He returned the check and asked them to place it in credit with Brown Shipley & Co., London, to draw upon as he wished or to gain a letter of credit from them. He referred to the “new continental company which has secured Kipling, Howells & others,” and said that he’d advised the company the matter was in Chatto’s hands, whose “powers were unhampered.” Chatto had also sent books (some requested).
I thank you ever so much for the books, shall be glad to have them, as we came away rather constipated for reading matter. / I hope to get to writing pretty soon, now. My arm is improving [MTP].
July 13 Monday
July 14 Tuesday – John Habberton for N.Y. Herald sent Sam a clipping from the July 11, 1891 Publishers’ Weekly p.43 that read: “MARK TWAIN, it is reported, intends starting a humourous journal in London.” Was it true? Either way, he’d “gladly print” Sam’s response in the Herald [MTP].
July 15 Wednesday
July 16 Thursday
July 17 Friday
July 18 Saturday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto, responding to a letter (not extant). No, Sam said, he wanted a letter of credit from Brown Shipley & Co. for the amount of Chatto’s check, as there was “nothing so convenient & so handy” as one of their “ordinary circular letters of credit.”
It is most kind of you — your offer about books — & if you’ll send me your catalogue of books that are not fiction, I shall eagerly make a selection. In my present (or approaching) labors, I can make use of almost any facts that fall in my way — history, travel, biography, statistics — nothing in the domain of fact will come amiss — but I can weave in fiction enough of my own, you see. Sincerely Yours [MTP].
Sam also wrote a laundry list of items and concerns to Franklin G. Whitmore, his business agent in Hartford. He asked Whitford to “drop a line to each & all of my royalty-victims,” advising them that the sale of his Paige interests (to Marshall H. Mallory) had fallen through. He had not heard anything further from Mallory. Whitmore had ordered repairs to the Hartford house roof and furnace, and Sam noted they came out cheaper than he’d expected. Sam enclosed Chatto’s statement and advised he’d been sent the money. Please contact the American Publishing Co. if they failed “to pay up. Due July 1.” The family had had a smooth voyage. He ended with,
Glad to see by the papers that the courts didn’t hang Brer Robinson & the other directors; My arm hurts, now [MTP].
July 19 Sunday – In Aix-les-Bains, all was not soaking in the baths and suffering from rheumatism. Paine writes of Sam’s time here and his excursions:
“I’ve got back the use of my arm the last few days, and I am going away now,” he says, and concludes by describing the beautiful drives and scenery about Aix — the pleasures to be found paddling on little Lake Bourget and the happy excursions to Annecy.
At the end of an hour you come to Annecy and rattle through its old crooked lanes, built solidly up with curious old houses that are a dream of the Middle Ages, and presently you come to the main object of your trip — Lake Annecy. It is a revelation. It is a miracle. It brings the tears to a body’s eyes. It is so enchanting. That is to say, it affects you just as all other things that you instantly recognize as perfect affect you — perfect music, perfect eloquence, perfect art, perfect joy, perfect grief.
He was getting back into his old descriptive swing, but his dislike for travel was against him, and he found writing the letters hard [MTB 921-2].
The Wagner Opera festival opened in Bayreuth [Brooklyn Eagle, July 19, 1891 p.7]. This paper reported in a dispatch from London, “Bayreuth is overflowing with visitors, fully 50 per cent of them being Americans.” The Clemens party would arrive there on July 31 [July 10 to Hall]. The festival was held each year in the town of Wagner’s birth. Performances were given in a theater designed by Wagner in 1872, the Festspielhaus, with excellent acoustics. The most unique feature of the Festspielhaus was its unusual orchestra pit, recessed under the stage and covered by a hood, being completely invisible to the audience. The theater was often described as gloomy. Sam would write, “You seem to sit with the dead in the gloom of a tomb.”
July 20 Monday
July 21 Tuesday – In Aix-les-Bains Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder. Though describing his arm as “still badly crippled with rheumatism” he had to write to introduce,
…this bright & charming young Finnish baroness, & suggest that you drop her a line in case you would like some Finland life sympathetically done, in the magazine. She visited the Warners in Hartford two or three years ago & left a most pleasant impression with us all [MTP]
Note: Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg. See June 10, 1888 entry. The Baroness may have met again with the Clemenses in Aix-les-Bains.
Sam also wrote to Horace E. Scudder (1838-1902) for eight years editor of Atlantic Monthly who had bid for a story:
It is very complimentary of you to make me the offer, but I don’t suppose I shall attempt a story while abroad, but merely fill some contracts for letters.
Since he planned to “move around a good deal for the next twelve months,” Sam felt it wasn’t conducive to writing fiction steadily [MTP].
Sarah B. Tunnicliff wrote from Macomb, Ill. inviting Sam to address the Philalethean Society of Vassar College the first Friday in December [MTP].
July 22 Wednesday – Edward Dexter wrote from San Diego, Calif. eager to produce a cheap edition of CY [MTP].
July 23 Thursday
July 24 Friday – U.S. Census per Robert P. Porter sent Sam a printed Census questionnaire [MTP].
July 25 Saturday – In Aix-les-Bains, France Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto, thanking him for his list of novels but Sam knew not to read novels when preparing to write fiction. He asked for a list of Chatto’s didactic books. Sam also thanked him for the letter of credit which had arrived, and for the trouble Chatto took to secure it. The McClure Syndicate, purchasers of the serial rights for The American Claimant, had received an offer from a German company for a translated edition there. If Chatto approved, could he please drop Fred Hall a line to say so? Sam included the family’s new address in Bayreuth, Germany, designating it good till Aug. 9.
July 26 Sunday – Jean Clemens’ eleventh birthday.
In the last letter extant from Aix-les-Bains, France, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall requesting duplicates of statements sent to him as well as to Whitmore. Things were looking up a bit, as Sam remarked on the last statement he received:
The business does indeed look very very handsome & most promising. It has just about doubled during the year. …I have begun to write a little, but shall probably have to stop again, my hand is so bad. We all send you warm regards [MTLTP 280].
Note: Sam wrote his first letter for McClure from Aix-les-Bains — if not completed there at least begun. This letter, titled “Paradise of Rheumatics,” or “Mark Twain at Aix-les-Bains” was published on Nov. 8 in the Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Dispatch [Camfield citing Budd’s Europe and Elsewhere]. Since the six Europe letters were syndicated by McClure, they appeared in several newspapers. Several sources make the mistake of reporting that Sam wrote them for a particular newspaper, or even the Illustrated London News (which printed five of them). These sources lists the N.Y. Sun for the same Nov. 8 date, but mistakenly say that Sam sold the six letters for the Sun, or the Illustrated London News instead of for McClure’s Syndicate, who resold them to these and other newspapers . Note: Samuel McClure’s brother, Robert McClure, worked for the London paper, so reports of non-payment may have been false or a family affair.
July 27 Monday † – On this day or the day after, the family left for Bayreuth, Germany and the Wagner festival, which got underway on July 19. Rodney calls this “a long, three-day journey to Bayreuth in eastern Germany” . Paine writes:
The Clemens party went to Geneva, then rested for a time at the baths of Aix; from Aix to Bayreuth to attend the Wagner festival, and from Bayreuth to Marienbad for further additions of health. Clemens began writing his newspaper letters at Aix, the first of which consists of observations at that “paradise of rheumatics.” This letter is really a careful and faithful description of Aix-les-Bains, with no particular drift of humor in it. He tells how in his own case the baths at first developed plenty of pain, but that the subsequent ones removed almost all of it [MTB 921].
July 28 Tuesday – Frank Evans wrote from Laurens, S.C. to Sam, having saved “ridiculous answers” that “Negroes frequently give…to questions asked” Frank thought Sam might want these to do an article similar to “English As She Is Taught” [MTP].
‡ See Addenda for letter to McClure.
July 29 Wednesday – The Clemens party was traveling to Bayreuth, Germany [Rodney 135].
July 30 Thursday – The Clemens party was traveling to Bayreuth, Germany [Rodney 135].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam having received his monthly check. Orion wrote a longish letter about himself and Mollie and things with Sam and the family. This letter also includes drawings of church windows in Keokuk and a discussion of local tobacco, etc. [MTP].
July 31 Friday – The date Sam gave Frederick J. Hall (July 10) when he’d be at Bayreuth for the Wagner festival. Sam actually arrived the next day, Aug. 1 [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”]. The Clemens party was in transit this day.
Powers writes that Livy had reserved seats for nineteen performances of Wagner’s works! [MT A Life 539]. Powers gives no citations, nor could exact dates be found for Sam and Livy’s appearances there. However, the festival began on July 19, a full twelve days before they arrived. Kaplan offers that the tickets had been “bought months in advance” . A. Hoffman writes,
“Under the direction of Richard Wagner’s widow, the festival had become a magnet for the world’s greatest musicians and opera aficionados, so much so that the Clemenses needed to buy their tickets for the event a year in advance. The festival thrilled the family, particularly Susy and Clara, but Sam loved spirituals and could only generate a periodic and mild interest in opera. The mechanics of dining in Bayreuth interested Sam much more, and he happily left the opera before the end in order to secure a good table for his party” . Hoffman adds that Susy and Clara had rejoined the family from Geneva, probably when Aix-les-Bains was left behind.
Note: whether the Clemenses secured tickets months or years in advance, reviews of newspaper articles about the festival reveal the scope of demand, which caused a dispute over ticket distribution between Wagner’s widow, represented by the festival board of administration and the Wagner society. From the Brooklyn Eagle, Aug. 15, 1891 p.4:
The demand for tickets for the Bayreuth festivals is simply enormous and those who wish to witness the works of Wagner performed in the composer’s own home find it difficult and costly to obtain the coveted cards of admission.
Even the Hartford Courant, on June 29, p.1, reported the famous festival, though they erred in the day of the week it began:
At Bayreuth the rehearsals for the Wagner festivals are now being pushed forward very actively. The actual performances will begin on Monday, July 19 [Sunday], and will be on the usual monster scale which is so pleasing to the devotees of the music of the future. Thus no fewer than 141 singers will be employed, and there will be in addition sixty-four ballet girls and dancers. The orchestra, which is naturally the exceedingly important factor in the presentation of these music dramas, contains thirty-two violins, twelve violas, twelve violincellos, eight bassos, five flutes, five obos, five clarinets, five flageolettes, two trumpets and cornets, four harps and two drums.
August – Harper’s Monthly ran Sam’s sketch, “Luck” [Wilson 189]. Sam wrote the story in 1886 [MTB 842] after hearing it from Joe Twichell. Sam thought the story was “too improbable for literature” and so had put it aside until forced by the financial swamp of the typesetter to comb his materials for saleable material. The sketch would be reprinted in Merry Tales (1892).
Review of Reviews (London) ran an unsigned piece, “The Luck of Arthur Scoresby: One of Mark Twain’s Stories,” p.153. The article summarizes and extensively quotes Sam’s story, “Luck,” from the August Harper’s [Tenney 19].
August 1 Saturday – The Clemens party arrived in Bayreuth, Germany (Bavaria) on what Sam wrote was “about mid-afternoon of a rainy Saturday” [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”]. During their stay in Bayreuth, Sam wrote “At the Shrine of St. Wagner,” the second letter to the McClure Syndicate. You can find this letter in Neider’s Complete Essays of Mark Twain (2000).
Paine calls it “one of the best descriptions of that great musical festival that has been put into words. He paid full tribute to the performance, also to Wagner devotion, confessing its genuineness” [MTB 922].
Sam described those who waited too long to secure seats and lodgings, adding, “We were of the wise, and had secured lodgings and opera seats months in advance”:
If you are living in New York or San Francisco or Chicago or anywhere else in America, and you conclude, by the middle of May, that you would like to attend the Bayreuth opera two months and a half later, you must use the cable and get about it immediately or you will get no seats, and you must cable for lodgings, too. Then if you are lucky you will get seats in the last row and lodgings in the fringe of the town. If you stop to write you will get nothing. There were plenty of people in Nuremberg when we passed through who had come on pilgrimage without first securing seats and lodgings. They had found neither in Bayreuth; they had walked Bayreuth streets a while in sorrow, then had gone to Nuremberg and found neither beds nor standing room, and had walked those quaint streets all night, waiting for the hotels to open and empty their guests into trains, and so make room for these, their defeated brethren and sisters in the faith. They had endured from thirty to forty hours’ railroading on the continent of Europe — with all which that implies of worry, fatigue, and financial impoverishment — and all they had got and all they were to get for it was handiness and accuracy in kicking themselves, acquired by practice in the back streets of the two towns when other people were in bed; for back they must go over that unspeakable journey with their pious mission unfulfilled. These humiliated outcasts had the frowsy and unbrushed and apologetic look of wet cats, and their eyes were glazed with drowsiness, their bodies were adroop from crown to sole, and all kind-hearted people refrained from asking them if they had been to Bayreuth and failed to connect, as knowing they would lie [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
Livy inscribed a book of photographs bound in red buckram to Katy Leary: For / Katy Leary /August first 1891 / In memory of days spent in Nuremberg [Gribben 511]. Note: see Oct. 5 for Katy’s leaving. This gift may have been in anticipation of her returning to Elmira.
August 2 Sunday – Sam wrote of attending “Parsifal,” an opera he noted that “Madame Wagner does not permit its representation anywhere but in Beyreuth.”
Next day, which was Sunday, we left for the opera-house — that is to say, the Wagner temple — a little after the middle of the afternoon. The great building stands all by itself, grand and lonely, on a high ground outside the town. We were warned that if we arrived after four o’clock we should be obliged to pay two dollars and a half extra by way of fine. We saved that; and it may be remarked here that this is the only opportunity that Europe offers of saving money. There was a big crowd in the grounds about the building, and the ladies’ dresses took the sun with fine effect. I do not mean to intimate that the ladies were in full dress, for that was not so. The dresses were pretty, but neither sex was in evening dress [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
After describing the theater and “something strangely impressive in the fancy” which suggested the dead composer was “conscious in his grave” of the goings on, Sam remarked on the music and singing of “Parsifal”:
The entire overture, long as it was, was played to a dark house with the curtain down. It was exquisite; it was delicious. But straightway thereafter, or course, came the singing, and it does seem to me that nothing can make a Wagner opera absolutely perfect and satisfactory to the untutored but to leave out the vocal parts. I wish I could see a Wagner opera done in pantomime once. Then one would have the lovely orchestration unvexed to listen to and bathe his spirit in, and the bewildering beautiful scenery to intoxicate his eyes with, and the dumb acting couldn’t mar these pleasures, because there isn’t often anything in the Wagner opera that one would call by such a violent name as acting; as a rule all you would see would be a couple of silent people, one of them standing still, the other catching flies. Of course I do not really mean that he would be catching flies; I only mean that the usual operatic gestures which consist in reaching first one hand out into the air and then the other might suggest the sport I speak of if the operator attended strictly to business and uttered no sound.
This present opera was “Parsifal.” Madame Wagner does not permit its representation anywhere but in Bayreuth. The first act of the three occupied two hours, and I enjoyed that in spite of the singing.
Some of Sam’s observations are reminiscent of Innocents Abroad:
In “Parsifal” there is a hermit named Gurnemanz who stands on the stage in one spot and practices by the hour, while first one and then another character of the cast endures what he can of it and then retires to die.
The opera was concluded at ten in the evening or a little later. When we reached home we had been gone more than seven hours. Seven hours at five dollars a ticket is almost too much for the money….
Of course I came home wondering why people should come from all corners of America to hear these operas, when we have lately had a season or two of them in New York with these same singers in the several parts, and possibly this same orchestra. I resolved to think that out at all hazards [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
August 3 Monday – In Bayreuth, Germany Sam wrote on Aug. 4 of his experiences of this day:
TUESDAY. — Yesterday [Aug. 3] they played the only operatic favorite I have ever had — an opera which has always driven me mad with ignorant delight whenever I have heard it — “Tannhauser.” I heard it first when I was a youth; I heard it last in the last German season in New York. I was busy yesterday and I did not intend to go, knowing I should have another “Tannhauser” opportunity in a few days; but after five o’clock I found myself free and walked out to the opera-house and arrived about the beginning of the second act. My opera ticket admitted me to the grounds in front, past the policeman and the chain, and I thought I would take a rest on a bench for an hour and two and wait for the third act.
In a moment or so the first bugles blew, and the multitude began to crumble apart and melt into the theater. I will explain that this bugle-call is one of the pretty features here. You see, the theater is empty, and hundreds of the audience are a good way off in the feeding-house; the first bugle-call is blown about a quarter of an hour before time for the curtain to rise. This company of buglers, in uniform, march out with military step and send out over the landscape a few bars of the theme of the approaching act, piercing the distances with the gracious notes; then they march to the other entrance and repeat. Presently they do this over again. Yesterday only about two hundred people were still left in front of the house when the second call was blown; in another half-minute they would have been in the house, but then a thing happened which delayed them — the only solitary thing in this world which could be relied on with certainty to accomplish it, I suppose — an imperial princess appeared in the balcony above them. They stopped dead in their tracks and began to gaze in a stupor of gratitude and satisfaction. The lady presently saw that she must disappear or the doors would be closed upon these worshipers, so she returned to her box. This daughter-in-law of an emperor was pretty; she had a kind face; she was without airs; she is known to be full of common human sympathies. There are many kinds of princesses, but this kind is the most harmful of all, for wherever they go they reconcile people to monarchy and set back the clock of progress. The valuable princes, the desirable princes, are the czars and their sort. By their mere dumb presence in the world they cover with derision every argument that can be invented in favor of royalty by the most ingenious casuist. In his time the husband of this princess was valuable. He led a degraded life, he ended it with his own hand in circumstances and surroundings of a hideous sort, and was buried like a god.
In the opera-house there is a long loft back of the audience, a kind of open gallery, in which princes are displayed. It is sacred to them; it is the holy of holies. As soon as the filling of the house is about complete the standing multitude turn and fix their eyes upon the princely layout and gaze mutely and longingly and adoringly and regretfully like sinners looking into heaven. They become rapt, unconscious, steeped in worship. There is no spectacle anywhere that is more pathetic than this. It is worth crossing many oceans to see. It is somehow not the same gaze that people rivet upon a Victor Hugo, or Niagara, or the bones of the mastodon, or the guillotine of the Revolution, or the great pyramid, or distant Vesuvius smoking in the sky, or any man long celebrated to you by his genius and achievements, or thing long celebrated to you by the praises of books and pictures — no, that gaze is only the gaze of intense curiosity, interest, wonder, engaged in drinking delicious deep draughts that taste good all the way down and appease and satisfy the thirst of a lifetime. Satisfy it — that is the word. Hugo and the mastodon will still have a degree of intense interest thereafter when encountered, but never anything approaching the ecstasy of that first view. The interest of a prince is different. It may be envy, it may be worship, doubtless it is a mixture of both — and it does not satisfy its thirst with one view, or even noticeably diminish it. Perhaps the essence of the thing is the value which men attach to a valuable something which has come by luck and not been earned. A dollar picked up in the road is more satisfaction to you than the ninety-and-nine which you had to work for, and money won at faro or in stocks snuggles into your heart in the same way. A prince picks up grandeur, power, and a permanent holiday and gratis support by a pure accident, the accident of birth, and he stands always before the grieved eye of poverty and obscurity a monumental representative of luck. And then — supremest value of all-his is the only high fortune on the earth which is secure. The commercial millionaire may become a beggar; the illustrious statesman can make a vital mistake and be dropped and forgotten; the illustrious general can lose a decisive battle and with it the consideration of men; but once a prince always a prince — that is to say, an imitation god, and neither hard fortune nor an infamous character nor an addled brain nor the speech of an ass can undeify him. By common consent of all the nations and all the ages the most valuable thing in this world is the homage of men, whether deserved or undeserved. It follows without doubt or question, then, that the most desirable position possible is that of a prince. And I think it also follows that the so-called usurpations with which history is littered are the most excusable misdemeanors which men have committed. To usurp a usurpation — that is all it amounts to, isn’t it? [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
August 4 Tuesday – In Bayreuth, no performances were given; it was a rehearsal day. Sam took the opportunity to add to his article, “At the Shrine of St. Wagner,” warning visitors for the next year of the dining situation there.
To such as are intending to come here in the Wagner season next year I wish to say, bring your dinner-pail with you. If you do, you will never cease to be thankful. If you do not, you will find it a hard fight to save yourself from famishing in Bayreuth. Bayreuth is merely a large village, and has no very large hotels or eating-houses. The principal inns are the Golden Anchor and the Sun. At either of these places you can get an excellent meal — no, I mean you can go there and see other people get it. There is no charge for this. The town is littered with restaurants, but they are small and bad, and they are overdriven with custom. You must secure a table hours beforehand, and often when you arrive you will find somebody occupying it. We have had this experience. We have had a daily scramble for life; and when I say we, I include shoals of people. I have the impression that the only people who do not have to scramble are the veterans — the disciples who have been here before and know the ropes. I think they arrive about a week before the first opera, and engage all the tables for the season. My tribe had tried all kinds of places — some outside of the town, a mile or two — and have captured only nibblings and odds and ends, never in any instance a complete and satisfying meal. Digestible? No, the reverse. These odds and ends are going to serve as souvenirs of Bayreuth, and in that regard their value is not to be overestimated. Photographs fade, bric-a-brac gets lost, busts of Wagner get broken, but once you absorb a Bayreuth-restaurant meal it is your possession and your property until the time comes to embalm the rest of you. Some of these pilgrims here become, in effect, cabinets; cabinets of souvenirs of Bayreuth. It is believed among scientists that you could examine the crop of a dead Bayreuth pilgrim anywhere in the earth and tell where he came from. But I like this ballast. I think a “Hermitage” scrap-up at eight in the evening, when all the famine-breeders have been there and laid in their mementoes and gone, is the quietest thing you can lay on your keelson except gravel [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
August 5 Wednesday – In Bayreuth, Sam wrote on Aug. 6 of this day’s performance of “Tristan and Isolde”:
Yesterday [Aug. 5] the opera was “Tristan and Isolde.” I have seen all sorts of audiences — at theaters, operas, concerts, lectures, sermons, funerals — but none which was twin to the Wagner audience of Bayreuth for fixed and reverential attention. Absolute attention and petrified retention to the end of an act of the attitude assumed at the beginning of it. You detect no movement in the solid mass of heads and shoulders. You seem to sit with the dead in the gloom of a tomb. You know that they are being stirred to their profoundest depths; that there are times when they want to rise and wave handkerchiefs and shout their approbation, and times when tears are running down their faces, and it would be a relief to free their pent emotions in sobs or screams; yet you hear not one utterance till the curtain swings together and the closing strains have slowly faded out and died; then the dead rise with one impulse and shake the building with their applause. Every seat is full in the first act; there is not a vacant one in the last. If a man would be conspicuous, let him come here and retire from the house in the midst of an act. It would make him celebrated.
This audience reminds me of nothing I have ever seen and of nothing I have read about except the city in the Arabian tale where all the inhabitants have been turned to brass and the traveler finds them after centuries mute, motionless, and still retaining the attitudes which they last knew in life. Here the Wagner audience dress as they please, and sit in the dark and worship in silence. At the Metropolitan in New York they sit in a glare, and wear their showiest harness; they hum airs, they squeak fans, they titter, and they gabble all the time. In some of the boxes the conversation and laughter are so loud as to divide the attention of the house with the stage. In large measure the Metropolitan is a show-case for rich fashionables who are not trained in Wagnerian music and have no reverence for it, but who like to promote art and show their clothes.
Can that be an agreeable atmosphere to persons in whom this music produces a sort of divine ecstasy and to whom its creator is a very deity, his stage a temple, the works of his brain and hands consecrated things, and the partaking of them with eye and ear a sacred solemnity? Manifestly, no. Then, perhaps the temporary expatriation, the tedious traversing of seas and continents, the pilgrimage to Bayreuth stands explained. These devotees would worship in an atmosphere of devotion. It is only here that they can find it without fleck or blemish or any worldly pollution. In this remote village there are no sights to see, there is no newspaper to intrude the worries of the distant world, there is nothing going on, it is always Sunday. The pilgrim wends to his temple out of town, sits out his moving service, returns to his bed with his heart and soul and his body exhausted by long hours of tremendous emotion, and he is in no fit condition to do anything but to lie torpid and slowly gather back life and strength for the next service. This opera of “Tristan and Isolde” last night broke the hearts of all witnesses who were of the faith, and I know of some who have heard of many who could not sleep after it, but cried the night away. I feel strongly out of place here. Sometimes I feel like the sane person in a community of the mad; sometimes I feel like the one blind man where all others see; the one groping savage in the college of the learned, and always, during service, I feel like a heretic in heaven.
But by no means do I ever overlook or minify the fact that this is one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I have never seen anything like this before. I have never seen anything so great and fine and real as this devotion [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
William H. Hoogs wrote from Port Huron, Mich. to Sam. Hoogs last saw Sam at the S.F. Platt’s Hall lectures and was once a partner in the firm of Hoogs & Carpenter. He mentioned Tom Fitch, George Gibson, “old” Pete Hopkins. He ended with “I ask you in memory of brighter days in the past to assist me,” though he does not say how, or that is, how much [MTP].
August 6 Thursday – In Bayreuth, another performance of “Parsifal” was given. Sam elected not to go, but said the “others” of his party did. He wrote of the setup of the festival:
THURSDAY. — They keep two teams of singers in stock for the chief roles, and one of these is composed of the most renowned artists in the world, with Materna and Alvary in the lead. I suppose a double team is necessary; doubtless a single team would die of exhaustion in a week, for all the plays last from four in the afternoon till ten at night. Nearly all the labor falls upon the half-dozen head singers, and apparently they are required to furnish all the noise they can for the money. If they feel a soft, whispery, mysterious feeling they are required to open out and let the public know it. Operas are given only on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with three days of ostensible rest per week, and two teams to do the four operas; but the ostensible rest is devoted largely to rehearsing. It is said that the off days are devoted to rehearsing from some time in the morning till ten at night. Are there two orchestras also? It is quite likely, since there are one hundred and ten names in the orchestra list [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”].
Sam also wrote of his day’s activities:
FRIDAY. — Yesterday’s [Aug 6] opera was “Parsifal” again. The others went and they show marked advance in appreciation; but I went hunting for relics and reminders of the Margravine Wilhelmina, she of the imperishable “Memoirs.” I am properly grateful to her for her (unconscious) satire upon monarchy and nobility, and therefore nothing which her hand touched or her eye looked upon is indifferent to me. I am her pilgrim; the rest of this multitude here are Wagner’s [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”]. Note: See Jan. 17, 1892 and Gribben p. 771-2 for more on these memoirs.
August 7 Friday – Sam wrote from Bayreuth, Germany to Frederick J. Hall concerning details of McClure’s publication of The American Claimant, which would begin in January. Sam wanted confirmation that the second installment payment would be made at that time, and that the serial would finish in March, 1892. If the McClure Syndicate elected to publish the book in a London monthly wouldn’t that force Sam to wait longer than sixteen weeks for his money, thereby forcing a delay of Webster & Co. publishing it as a book? Sam was glad that Hall was paying off the Mt. Morris Bank debt and connection — which is what the money was recently sent for [MTLTP 281]. Note: The London monthly was The Idler. Unfortunately, Sam made no mention of schedule or family activities.
August 8 Saturday
August 9 Sunday
August 10 Monday – A man signing himself “An Old Frontiersman” wrote from Rosebud, S.D. having just read Sam’s sketch “Luck” in Harper’s. Few writers had given him such pleasure [MTP].
August 11 Tuesday – The Clemens party left Bayreuth for Marienbad, Bohemia (Germany). Sam wrote of his last attendances at the Wagner festival operas:
TUESDAY. — I have seen my last two operas; my season is ended, and we cross over into Bohemia this afternoon. I was supposing that my musical regeneration was accomplished and perfected, because I enjoyed both of these operas, singing and all, and, moreover, one of them was “Parsifal,” but the experts have disenchanted me. They say:
“Singing! That wasn’t singing; that was the wailing, screeching of third-rate obscurities, palmed off on us in the interest of economy.”
Well, I ought to have recognized the sign — the old, sure sign that has never failed me in matters of art. Whenever I enjoy anything in art it means that it is mighty poor. The private knowledge of this fact has saved me from going to pieces with enthusiasm in front of many and many a chromo. However, my base instinct does bring me profit sometimes; I was the only man out of thirty-two hundred who got his money back on those two operas [“At the Shrine of St. Wagner”]. Notes: the only Wagner opera performed that Sam did not mention was “Die Miestersinger,” listed in the NY Times, Dec. 31, 1891, “Foreign Dramatic News.”
“At the Shrine of St. Wagner” ran in McClure’s syndicated newspapers on Dec. 6, 1891, which included the N.Y. Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, and others.
The Boston Globe on Dec. 7, 1891 ran a short paragraph on p.10 under “Editorial Points”:
Mark Twain heard “Parsifal” at the home of Wagnerian opera and came away disappointed at finding no trace of Annie Rooney in any of the classic arias. There’s nothing touches an “innocent abroad” like sounds from home.
August 12 Wednesday – The last day of the Bayreuth, Germany Wagner festival. Sam was in Marienbad, Germany a few days later, writing from there on Aug. 15. For a humorous account of the trip from Aix-les-Bains to Bayreuth, read Sam’s third letter to McClure’s Syndicate, “Playing the Courier,” which first appeared in the Illustrated London News on Dec. 19 and 26, 1891. Sam later revised the piece and included it in the 1893 collection, The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other New Stories.
James Russell Lowell died in Cambridge, Mass. Lowell was one of the Boston “brahmins” and the first editor of the Atlantic Monthly.
August 13 Thursday
August 14 Friday
August, last half – Sometime during this period, likely in Marienbad, Germany, Susy Clemens wrote an undated letter to Louise Brownell, complaining,
We are still living a perfectly quiet eventless life. We have not met a soul. I blame myself for being lonely and uninterested, for I fear it is an indication of a lack of resources within myself. We can’t touch the piano till four o’clock on account of the invalids in the house and this leaves us books and walks and we can’t get any good books here….
Oscar Wild[e] was over here the other day in a suit of soft brown with a pale pink flowered vest, a blue necktie and some strange picturesque white flower in his button hole [Cotton 101107-8]. Note: such a complaint would not have been made about Bayreuth and the festival there, nor would Wilde have likely arrived at the more remote Ouchy.
August 15 Saturday – In Marienbad, Germany Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto, responding to questions Chatto formed from a newspaper article.
Yes, the newspaper items stated the idea of the novel correctly. Title, “The American Claimant.” Chief character, Colonel Mulberry Sellers….Yes indeed, we shan’t go home without a run over to England first. That will be a year hence [MTP].
Sam also sent a telegram to Clarence C. Buel of the Century Co.; Buel had offered payment for more letters from Europe (not extant):
Obliged to decline [MTP].
August 16 Sunday – In Marienbad, Germany Sam wrote to Clarence C. Buel of the Century Co., explaining his cable of the previous day.
When I undertook to write 6 newspaper letters it seemed a trifling contract; but I have now been away from home 2½ months, & to-day only 3 of the letters are written & none of them mailed. I soaked my rheumatic arm 5 weeks at Aix-les-Bains, but never could use a pen at all until the fifth week, & then only an hour or so at a time. The pain all left me; but after a fortnight it returned & I am trying these baths.
Sam wrote that he was disabled to the point that he could not contract any more writing [MTP]. Note: Sam’s third letter he called, “Marienbad — a Health factory,” (or “An Austrian Health Factory”) much like the first two. Since he’d only been in Marienbad a few days, either he wrote it in a few long sessions or he began it in Bayreuth. He would mail the first three letters on Aug. 24. Powers calls this letter “slightly lame” and writes, “The Illustrated London News eventually got hold of them [the six letters] and printed all but one for free” [MT A Life 539]. Note: Robert McClure, brother of Samuel S. McClure, managed a London office for the Syndicate, which explains the appearance of Sam’s Europe letters in the Illustrated London News. As such, the paper was included in the Syndicate, and they did not “smouch” the letters for free, though it’s not clear if McClure’s agreement with Sam allowed him to publish in England. See Mar. 2, 1892 for Robert McClure’s letter to Sam.
This place is the village of Marienbad, Bohemia. It seems no very great distance from Annecy, in Haute-Savoie, to this place — you make it in less than thirty hours by these continental express trains — but the changes in the scenery are great; they are quite out of proportion to the distance covered.
A couple of hours from Bayreuth you cross into Bohemia, and before long you reach this Marienbad, and recognize another sharp change, the change from the long ago to to-day; that is to say from the very old to the spick and span new; from an architecture totally without shapeliness or ornament to an architecture attractively equipped with both; from universal dismalness as to color to universal brightness and beauty as to tint; from a town which seems made up of prisons to a town which is made up of gracious and graceful mansions proper to the light of heart and crimeless. It is like jumping out of Jerusalem into Chicago.
In Bavaria everybody is in uniform, and you wonder where the private citizens are, but here in Bohemia the uniforms are very rare. Occasionally one catches a glimpse of an Austrian officer, but it is only occasionally. Uniforms are so scarce that we seem to be in a republic. Almost the only striking figure is the Polish Jew. He is very frequent. He is tall and of grave countenance and wears a coat that reaches to his ankle bones, and he has a little wee curl or two in front of each ear. He has a prosperous look, and seems to be as much respected as anybody [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
August 17 Monday – In Marienbad after a few days Sam took part in the baths.
The crowds that drift along the promenade at music time twice a day are fashionably dressed after the Parisian pattern, and they look a good deal alike, but they speak a lot of languages which you have not encountered before, and no ignorant person can spell their names, and they can’t pronounce them themselves.
Marienbad — Mary’s Bath. The Mary is the Virgin. She is the patroness of these curative springs. They try to cure everything — gout, rheumatism, leanness, fatness, dyspepsia, and all the rest. The whole thing is the property of a convent, and has been for six or seven hundred years. However, there was never a boom here until a quarter of a century ago.
If a person has the gout, this is what they do with him: they have him out at 5.30 in the morning, and give him an egg and let him look at a cup of tea. At 6 he must be at his particular spring, with his tumbler hanging at his belt — and he will have plenty of company there. At the first note of the orchestra he must lift his tumbler and begin to sip his dreadful water with the rest. He must sip slowly and be a long time at it. Then he must tramp about the hills for an hour or so, and get all the exercise and fresh air possible. Then he takes his tub or wallows in his mud, if mud baths are his sort. By noon he has a fine appetite, and the rules allow him to turn himself loose and satisfy it, so long as he is careful and eats only such things as he doesn’t want. He puts in the afternoon walking the hills and filling up with fresh air. At night he is allowed to take three ounces of any kind of food he doesn’t like and drink one glass of any kind of liquor that he has a prejudice against; he may also smoke one pipe if he isn’t used to it. At 9:30 sharp he must be in bed and his candle out. Repeat the whole thing the next day. I don’t see any advantage in this over having the gout.
In the case of most diseases that is about what one is required to undergo, and if you have any pleasant habit that you value, they want that. They want that the first thing. They make you drop everything that gives an interest to life. Their idea is to reverse your whole system of existence and make a regenerating revolution. If you are a Republican, they make you talk free trade. If you are a Democrat they make you talk protection; if you are a Prohibitionist, you have got to go to bed drunk every night till you get well. They spare nothing, they spare nobody. Reform, reform, that is the whole song. If a person is an orator, they gag him; if he likes to read, they won’t let him; if he wants to sing, they make him whistle. They say they can cure any ailment, and they do seem to do it; but why should a patient come all the way here? Why shouldn’t he do these things at home and save the money? No disease would stay with a person who treated it like that [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
Joe Twichell wrote from Hamilton, Bermuda to Sam, enclosing a clipping of a sailing mishap, whereby Dean Sage, Jr. and his son, David C. Twichell, capsized, with “nothing worse than a good wetting resulted.” Joe was reminded constantly of his time in Bermuda with Sam [MTP].
August 18 Tuesday – In Marienbad:
I didn’t come here to take baths, I only came to look around. But first one person, then another began to throw out hints, and pretty soon I was a good deal concerned about myself. One of these goutees here said I had a gouty look about the eye; next a person who has catarrh of the intestines asked me if I didn’t notice a dim sort of stomach ache when I sneezed. I hadn’t before, but I did seem to notice it then. A man that’s here for heart disease said he wouldn’t come downstairs so fast if he had my build and aspect. A person with an old gold complexion said a man died here in the mud bath last week that had a petrified liver — good deal such a looking man as I am, and the same initials, and so on, and so on.
Of course, there was nothing to be uneasy about, and I wasn’t what you may call really uneasy; but I was not feeling very well — that is, not brisk — and I went to bed. I suppose that that was not a good idea, because then they had me. I started in at the upper end of the mill and went through. I am said to be all right now, and free from disease, but this does not surprise me. What I have been through in these two weeks would free a person of pretty much everything in him that wasn’t nailed there — any loose thing, any unattached fragment of bone, or meat or morals, or disease or propensities or accomplishments, or what not. And I don’t say but that I feel well enough, I feel better than I would if I was dead, I reckon. And, besides, they say I am going to build up now and come right along and be all right. I am not saying anything, but I wish I had enough of my diseases back to make me aware of myself, and enough of my habits to make it worth while to live. To have nothing the matter with you and no habits is pretty tame, pretty colorless. It is just the way a saint feels, I reckon; it is at least the way he looks. I never could stand a saint. That reminds me that you see very few priests around here, and yet, as I have already said, this whole big enterprise is owned and managed by a convent. The few priests one does see here are dressed like human beings, and so there may be more of them than I imagine. Fifteen priests dressed like these could not attract as much of your attention as would one priest at Aix-les-Bains. You cannot pull your eye loose from the French priest as long as he is in sight, his dress is so fascinatingly ugly [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
William O. McDowell for Pan-Republican Congress sent flyers and a form letter soliciting Sam to help organize the Human Freedom League, in a meeting at Independence Hall, Phila. Oct. 12-13 [MTP].
August 19 Wednesday – In Marienbad:
This is about the coldest place I ever saw, and the wettest, too. This August seems like an English November to me. Rain? Why, it seems to like to rain here. It seems to rain every time there is a chance. You are strictly required to be out airing and exercising whenever the sun is shining, so I hate to see the sun shining because I hate air and exercise — duty air and duty exercise taken for medicine. It seems ungenuine, out of season, degraded to sordid utilities, a subtle spiritual something gone from it which one can’t describe in words, but — don’t you understand? With that gone what is left but canned air, canned exercise, and you don’t want it.
When the sun does shine for a few moments or a few hours these people swarm out and flock through the streets and over the hills and through the pine woods, and make the most of the chance, and I have flocked out, too, on some of these occasions, but as a rule I stay in and try to get warm.
And what is there for means, besides heavy clothing and rugs, and the polished white tomb that stands lofty and heartless in the corner and thinks it is a stove? Of all the creations of human insanity this thing is the most forbidding. Whether it is heating the room or isn’t, the impression is the same — cold indifference. You can’t tell which it is doing without going and putting your hand on it. They burn little handfuls of kindlings in it, no substantial wood, and no coal.
The fire bums out every fifteen minutes, and there is no way to tell when this has happened. On these dismal days, with the rain steadily falling, it is no better company than a corpse. A roaring hickory fire, with the cordial flames leaping up the chimney — but I must not think of such things, they make a person homesick. This is a most strange place to come to get rid of disease [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
August 20 Thursday – In Marienbad:
I went up to the Aussichtthurm the other day. This is a tower which stands on the summit of a steep hemlock mountain here; a tower which there isn’t the least use for, because the view is as good at the base of it as it is at the top of it. But Germanic people are just mad for views — they never get enough of a view — if, they owned Mount Blanc, they would build a tower on top of it.
The roads up that mountain through that hemlock forest are hard packed and smooth, and the grades are easy and comfortable. They are for walkers, not for carriages. You move through deep silence and twilight, and you seem to be in a million-columned temple; whether you look up the hill or down it you catch glimpses of distant figures flitting without sound, appearing and disappearing in the dim distances, among the stems of the trees, and it is all very spectral, and solemn and impressive. Now and then the gloom is accented and sized up to your comprehension in a striking way; a ray of sunshine finds its way down through and suddenly calls your attention, for where it falls, far up the hillslope in the brown duskiness, it lays a stripe that has a glare like lightning. The utter stillness of the forest depths, the soundless hush, the total absence of stir or motion of any kind in leaf or branch, are things which we have no experience of at home, and consequently no name for in our language. At home there would be the plaint of insects and the twittering of birds and vagrant breezes would quiver the foliage. Here it is the stillness of death. This is what the Germans are forever talking about, dreaming about, and despairingly trying to catch and imprison in a poem, or a picture, or a song — they adored Waldeinsamkeit, loneliness of the woods. But how catch it? It has not a body; it is a spirit. We don’t talk about it in America, or dream of it, or sing about it, because we haven’t it. Certainly there is something wonderfully alluring about it, beguiling, dreamy, unworldly. Where the gloom is softest and richest, and the peace and stillness deepest, far up on the side of that hemlock mountain, a spot where Goethe used to sit and dream, is marked by a granite obelisk, and on its side is carved this famous poem, which is the master’s idea of Waldeinsamkeit:
Ueber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, In allen Wipfeln spurest du Kaum einen Hauch: Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde, Warte nur — Balde Ruhest du auch [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
August 21 Friday – In Marienbad:
It is raining again now. However, it was doing that before. I have been over to the establishment and had a tub bath with two kinds of pine juice in it. These fill the room with a pungent and most pleasant perfume; they also turn the water to a color of ink and cover it with a snowy suds, two or three inches deep. The bath is cool — about 75° or 80° F., and there is a cooler shower bath after it. While waiting in the reception room all by myself two men came in and began to talk. Politics, literature, religion? No, their ailments. There is no other subject here, apparently. Wherever two or three of these people are gathered together, there you have it, every time. The first that can get his mouth open contributes his disease and the condition of it, and the others follow with theirs. The two men just referred to were acquaintances, and they followed the custom. One of them was built like a gasometer and is here to reduce his girth; the other was built like a derrick and is here to fat up, as they express it, at this resort. They were well satisfied with the progress they were making. The gasometer had lost a quarter of a ton in ten days, and showed the record on his belt with pride, and he walked briskly across the room, smiling in a vast and luminous way, like a harvest moon, and said he couldn’t have done that when he arrived here. He buttoned his coat around his equator and showed how loose it was. It was pretty to see his happiness, it was so childlike and honest. He set his feet together and leaned out over his person and proved that he could see them. He said he hadn’t seen them from that point before for fifteen years. He had a hand like a boxing glove. And on one of his fingers he had just found a diamond ring which he had missed eleven years ago.
The minute the derrick got a chance he broke in and began to tell how he was piling on blubber right along-three-quarters of an ounce every four days; and he was still piping away when I was sent for. I left the fat man standing there panting and blowing, and swelling and collapsing like a balloon, his next speech all ready and urgent for delivery [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
August 22 Saturday – In Marienbad:
The patients are always at that sort of thing, trying to talk one another to death. The fat ones and the lean ones are nearly the worse at it, but not quite; the dyspeptics are the worst. They are at it all day and all night, and all along. They have more symptoms than all the others put together and so there is more variety of experience, more change of condition, more adventure, and consequently more play for the imagination, more scope for lying, and in every way a bigger field to talk. Go where you will, hide where you may, you cannot escape that word liver; you overhear it constantly — in the street, in the shop, in the theater, in the music grounds. Wherever you see two or a dozen people of ordinary bulk talking together, you know they are talking about their livers. When you first arrive here your new acquaintances seem sad and hard to talk to, but pretty soon you get the lay of the land and the hand of things, and after that you haven’t any more trouble. You look into the dreary dull eye and softly say:
“Well, how’s your liver?”
You will see that dim eye flash up with a grateful flame, and you will see that jaw begin to work, and you will recognize that nothing is required of you from this out but to listen as long as you remain conscious. After a few days you will begin to notice that out of these people’s talk a gospel is framing itself and next you will find yourself believing it. It is this — that a man is not what his rearing, his schooling, his beliefs, his principles make him, he is what his liver makes him; that with a healthy liver he will have the clear-seeing eye, the honest heart, the sincere mind, the loving spirit, the loyal soul, the truth and trust and faith that are based as Gibraltar is based, and that with an unhealthy liver he must and will have the opposite of all these, he will see nothing as it really is, he cannot trust anybody, or believe in anything, his moral foundations are gone from under him. Now, isn’t that interesting? I think it is.
Two days ago, perceiving that there was something unusual the matter with me, I went around from doctor to doctor, but without avail; they said they had never seen this kind of symptoms before — at least not all of them. They had seen some of them, but differently arranged. It was a new disease, as far as they could see. Apparently it was scrofulous, be a new kind. That was as much as they felt able to say. Then the made a stethescopic examination and decided that if anything would dislodge it a mud bath was the thing. It was a very ingenious idea. I took the mud bath, and it did dislodge it [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”].
J.S. Kingsley of the Dept. Biology, Univ. of Nebr. forwarded Sam a pirated copy of TA and made an appeal to “set my mind at rest regarding the errancy, or inerrancy — as the theologians put it — of these additions” [MTP].
August 23 Sunday – In Marienbad:
One of the most curious things in these countries is the street manners of the men and women. In meeting you they come straight on without swerving a hair’s breadth from the direct line and wholly ignoring your right to any part of the road. At the last moment you must yield up your share of it and step aside, or there will be a collision. I noticed this strange barbarism first in Geneva twelve years ago.
In Aix-les-Bains, where sidewalks are scarce and everybody walks in the streets, there is plenty of room, but that is no matter; you are always escaping collisions by mere quarter inches. A man or woman who is headed in such a way as to cross your course presently without a collision will actually alter his direction shade by shade and compel a collision unless at the last instant you jump out of the way. Those folks are not dressed as ladies and gentlemen. And they do not seem to be consciously crowding you out of the road; they seem to be innocently and stupidly unaware that they are doing it. But not so in Geneva. There this class, especially the men, crowd out men, women, and girls of all rank and raiment consciously and intentionally — crowd them off the sidewalk and into the gutter.
There was nothing of this sort in Bayreuth. But here — well, here the thing is astonishing. Collisions are unavoidable unless you do all the yielding yourself. Another odd thing — here this savagery is confined to the folk who wear the fine clothes; the others are courteous and considerate. A big burly Comanche, with all the signs about him of wealth and education, will tranquilly force young ladies to step off into the gutter to avoid being run down by him. It is a mistake that there is no bath that will cure people’s manners. But drowning would help [“Marienbad — A Health Factory”]. Note: the complete letter may be found in Neider’s Complete Essays, p. 99-109.
In Marienbad, Livy wrote to Grace King, who was about to take her first trip to Europe with her sister Annie (Nan) [MTP; Bush 115]. Rodney quotes:
We are having a very pleasant stay here…These lands over here are desperately interesting and charming, yet I must confess to much of homesickness .
August 24 Monday – In Marienbad, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
I am mailing you to-day in separate envelopes, 3 letters for McClure. He may publish them in any order he prefers.
Sam asked Hall to bank the payment for the letters, but not in Mt. Morris Bank, for some “trifle of interest” as he should “not want it for some months.” He advised that the six letters would be all he’d write from Europe; he’d turned down the Century’s offer by cable. He also wrote that he had a fourth letter finished, but not yet revised, or as he put it, “trim & fix & edit,” which took longer than to draft. He suggested when all six letters were done that Hall might make plates of them for a 25 cent book of 25,000 to 40,000 words — it might be a experiment that would work and include Andrew Chatto, his English publisher.
Sam also thanked Hall for statements and letters sent about the affairs of Webster & Co. Everything was made clear by them. Sam hoped Hall would soon “be clear” of the $16,000 remaining debt to the Mt. Morris Bank.
Good-bye — my arm has given out again. I get your letters, none of them miscarry, but I have to use all my strength on the McClure work. With all our kindest regards [MTLTP 282-3].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, assuring that he’d received Whitmore’s letters but was saving “all my muscle for my literary drudges.” Sam approved of the $60 spent on painting and caulking the Hartford house, and advised on payments of the Paige royalties. “My arm is crippled yet & I do considerable cussing over it” [MTP]. Note: no more letters from Sam are extant until Sept. 13.
While in Marienbad, Sam “saw a great deal of our great American savant” Dr. Charles Waldstein (1856-1927).
He is at the head of the American school in Greece, archaeologists, who found what seems to be Aristotle’s grave last year; he is also connected with Cambridge University, England, & is there most of the time. He has known personally every European famous in science & art & literature for the last 20 years, & writes sometimes for Harper, Century & the English Quarterlies. He is full of valuable meat…[Sept 15 to Hall]. Note: Waldstein was later Sir Charles Walston; he headed the American School of Classical Studies in Athens from 1889-1895. Just which days Sam was in his company is not known. Waldstein recommended doctors Gerhard and Leyden of Berlin for Livy [NB 31 TS 1].
The Charles Dudley Warners were also vacationing at Marienbad. Susy Clemens wrote of seeing them there in her letter to Louise Brownell a week or so after the family’s arrival in Berlin on Oct. 8-9:
The other Warners will pass by soon on their way to America. When they were in Marienbad she was perceptibly aged and seemed to be sort of combating the consciousness of it with smiles and vivacity that weren’t as spontaneous as once. It’s sad in a fascinating life-loving woman, this disagreement between body and soul [Cotton 101122-3].
Sue Crane particularly loved the pine forests surrounding Marienbad [Susy to Brownell Oct. 2].
August 25 Tuesday
August 26 Wednesday
August 27 Thursday – Erasmus Wilson for Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette wrote to Sam attaching a small clipping which reported Mark Twain consumes over 3,000 cigars in a year and could not work well without continuous smoking. Wilson had been cured of the habit by one Mr. Keeley and recommended Sam get the remedies directly. “Maybe you don’t want to quit. If so this does not count” [MTP].
August 28 Friday
August 29 Saturday
August 30 Sunday
August 31 Monday – The Clemens family returned to Nuremburg. Sam’s notebook referred to it as “the City of Exquisite Glimpses” [NB 31 TS 1; also MTB 923].
August, late – During the latter part of the Marienbad stay Livy, Susy and Sue Crane went north to Berlin to secure winter housing for the family. Paine gives this trip as October, yet analysis of early October does not allow for even a two day trip. The family would arrive in Berlin on Oct. 8 or 9. Dolmetsch reports this “brief house-hunting excursion” as “while the Clemenses were in Marienbad,” which is more likely [“Berlin” 70]. Paine writes:
Mrs. Clemens and Mrs. Crane, after some previous correspondence with an agent, went up to that city [Berlin] to engage an apartment. The elevator had not reached the European apartment in those days, and it was necessary, on Mrs. Clemens’s account, to have a ground floor. The sisters searched a good while without success, and at last reached Körnerstrasse, a short, secluded street, highly recommended by the agent . Note: Sam’s second Sept. 20 to Livy reveals Mr. Heller and Mr. C. Prächtel as the rental agents of the Körnerstrasse property. In his notebook Sam called the place “The Rag-picker’s Paradise” [NB 31 TS 16].
In her 1930 memoir, My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens writes of a clash with her father over a handsome young officer whom she’d met at a local ball. The exact dates are not given, but the description puts it during the Marienbad stay.
During the latter part of our stay in that charming town, Mother went to Berlin to look for rooms and took my elder sister with her. Father, Jean, and our good maid Katie, were left behind. It so happened that an invitation came to attend a large military ball.…Father seemed to forget that I had never been permitted to go to a ball, and did not even possess a ball-dress….Out of the hotel I ran, with Katie…she persuaded me to take a most insignificant-looking pink frock, so slightly décolleté that I blushed with shame. At last the great day came, and long before the proper hour I persuaded my father to start for the ball.
We arrived shamefully early. But Father did not seem to mind this. He led me to the seats by the wall from which we could watch the guests as they made their entrance. What a dazzling occasion! Such uniforms defied description, and the bearing of these gentlemen in their gaudy coverings — ah, me!
Father seemed to be having a good a time as I — at the beginning of the evening. But, as he did not dance, his interest faded before mine did. After I had whirled about for a couple of hours he took me home. Very promptly after breakfast the next morning a visitor was announced. It was one of the officers who had danced with me several times at the ball….He had come to pay his respects. To me! …after a few moments I excused myself and ran to Katie.
Sam came and made the young man uncomfortable but at lunch time the young man appeared seating next to their table; and again at dinner time. Clara had been caught “exchanging glances” with the handsome soldier. Livy was not there to advise either Clara or Sam.
What could he do? He decided to proceed radically. I was to be locked up and Katie was to bring me my meals.
At first I thought it was a joke. Some kind of joke. Surely I could not be incarcerated like a damsel of the Middle Ages. Yet that was just what happened. Fortunately, Katie was also romantically inclined, so she not only brought me my meals, but messages from my friend. Somehow she managed to find him in the lobby of the hotel and he sent urgent requests that I should go to my window and exchange glances with him. Of course this helped, but still the imprisonment grew tiresome….When at last Mother arrived she found a lackadaisical daughter in one room and a fiercely irritated Father in another. She brought us together and listened to our vibrating stories. Father’s was a bit exaggerated, but so impressive that I expected Mother to pour our words of indignant condemnation, when to my amazement, she burst with peals of laughter….That was the most victorious moment of my life [MFMT 90-93].
Note: this account reveals that Livy and Sue Crane returned to Marienbad after house-hunting in Berlin. Some accounts imply that they waited in Berlin for the rest of the party. This is clearly in error, since their stay at Heidelberg and Ouchy is well-documented.
August, end – Paine writes,
“They returned to Germany at the end of August, to Nuremberg, which he notes as the ‘city of exquisite glimpses,’ and to Heidelberg, where they had their old apartment of thirteen years before, Room 40 at the Schloss Hotel, with its wonderful prospect of wood and hill, and the haze-haunted valley of the Rhine. They remained less than a week in that beautiful place, and then were off for Switzerland, Lucerne, Brienz, Interlaken, finally resting at the Hotel Beau Rivage, Ouchy, Lausanne, on beautiful Lake Leman” [MTB 923]. (Editorial emphasis.)
Note: Rodney writes they stayed “only two days” in Heidelberg .
September – Sam’s notebook memo, “Henry James’s Summer trip through Provence,” referred to Henry James’ A Little Tour in France (1885) [NB 31, TS 5; also Gribben 350]. Another memo for this month: “Sepet. Jeanne d’Arc gr. in — 8° M. 20 fr” referred to Marius Sepet’s Jeanne d’Arc (1887) [Gribben 621; NB 31, TS 6].
A copy of Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein (1871 ed.) inscribed: Jean Clemens/Ouchy/Sept. 1891 [Gribben 614].
September 1 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:
On Sept. 1 all the flags in Nurnburg were flying—the Germans persist in considering Sedan a German victory instead of the most priceless victory that ever France gained in the world [NB 31 TS 3].
September 2 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:
Sept 2. Came to Heidelberg. 47 car-changes in 7 hours hot day, too, & crowded cars
Went up to Königstuhl & recognized old “gelogen”—the two girls seemed to recognize me (gave me hopes) but didn’t; 2 red-headed children I attributed to the younger (fat) one. I was a skittish young thing of 42 in those days.
We have our old room now, No 40.
Albert is gone—he was a brute & hammered the servants.
We carried away Burke (porter) & he got drunk first night.
Europe has lived a life of hypocrisy for ages; it is so in-grained in flesh & blood that sincere speech is impossible to these people when speaking of hereditary power. God Save the King is uttered millions of times a day in Europe, & issues nearly always from just the mouth, neither higher nor lower [NB 31 TS 2].
September 3 Thursday – Sam wrote of this week’s travels once he’d arrived in Interlaken, on Sept. 10:
Last week I was beating around the Lake of Four Cantons, and I saw Rütli and Altorf. Rütli is a remote little patch of a meadow, but I do not know how any piece of ground could be holier or better worth crossing oceans and continents to see, since it was there that the great trinity of Switzerland joined hands six centuries ago and swore the oath which set their enslaved and insulted country forever free; and Altorf is also honorable ground and worshipful, since it was there that William, surnamed Tell (which interpreted means “The foolish talker,” that is to say, the too daring talker), refused to bow to Gessler’s hat. Of late years the prying student of history has been delighting himself beyond measure over a wonderful find which he has made — to wit, that Tell did not shoot the apple from his son’s head. To hear the students jubilate, one would suppose that the question of whether Tell shot the apple or didn’t was an important matter; whereas it ranks in importance exactly with the question of whether Washington chopped down the cherry tree or didn’t. The deeds of Washington, the patriot, are the essential thing; the cherry tree incident is of no consequence. To prove that Tell did shoot the apple from his son’s head would merely prove that he had better nerve than most men and was as skilful with a bow as a million others who preceded and followed him, but not one whit more so. But Tell was more and better than a mere marksman, more and better than a mere cool head; he was a type; he stands for Swiss patriotism; in his person was represented a whole people; his spirit was their spirit — the spirit which would bow to none but God, the spirit which said this in words and confirmed it with deeds. There have always been Tells in Switzerland — people who would not bow. There was a sufficiency of them at Rütli; there were plenty of them at Murten; plenty at Grandson; there are plenty to-day. And the first of them all — the very first, earliest banner-bearer of human freedom in this world — was not a man, but a woman — Stauffacher’s wife. There she looms dim and great, through the haze of the centuries, delivering into her husband’s ear that gospel of revolt which was to bear fruit in the conspiracy of Rütli and the birth of the first free government the world had ever seen [“Switzerland — The Cradle of Liberty” from Neider, Complete Essays 110-19]. (Editorial emphasis
September 4 Friday – Sam’s notebook: Sept. 4. Heidelberg. Drove in a storm over Philosphen Weg. Sept. 4 French Republic came of age [NB 31 TS 3]. Note: Philosphenweg = Philosopher’s path in Heidelberg.
Frank H. Green for State Normal School, West Chester, Penn. wrote to Sam enclosing photographs of dramatic presentations at the school of some of Mark Twain’s works [MTP].
September 5 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: Sept. 5. Left for Lucerne 8.50 a.m. [NB 31 TS 3].
Albert L. Wilson wrote from Cherryvale, Kans. to announce that on Feb. 18 his wife and he named their only boy “Mark Twain,” and enclosed a photo [MTP].
September 6 Sunday
September 7 Monday
September 8 Tuesday – From Sept. 1 to 10 the Clemens party spent part of the time traveling through Nuremburg, and part of the time at Heidelberg at their old apartment in the Schloss Hotel. Willis writes, “They stayed a few days in Heidelberg for Livy to show Katy the town she had long admired as a picture hanging on Livy’s wall. Years ago in Hartford, Livy had told Katy, ‘I hope before I die, that I shall be able to take you right up there on that mountain so you’ll see it too, just as I have’” [192; Lawton180].
Katy Leary in her reminiscences dictated:
“So we went and they took me up to the Castle and then we stopped at that wonderful Schloss Hotel, and the first thing Mr. Clemens did he took me out to the front of the hotel (‘twas build way up on a hill, you know). ‘Because,’ he says, ‘Katy, I want to show you a string of diamonds — the most beautiful string of diamonds on the whole world,’ he says. And so he took me out there to the open, and looking down there was rows and rows of these pretty little gas lights — all down that hill — two rows of them — glittering and sparkling and flashing in the night. And, oh! it did look just like a string of diamonds. It was a great sight, and Mr. Clemens he loved that” [Lawton 180].
After their brief stay (Rodney says two days ; Sam’s notebooks say arrival Sept. 2,. departure Sept. 5) at the Schloss, they continued on to Lucerne, Brienz, and Interlaken, where Sam wrote on Sept. 10 [MTB 923].
September 9 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:
Wed. Sep. 9. Left Lucerne by boat, 9.45 a.m. Left Alpnach in two carriages at 10.45. Lunched at the Lion d’Or, at 1. p.m.; passed through Brienz mid-afternoon; glimpsed a small white peak of the Jungfrau at 6.10; at 6.30 the vast pile was in full view & from then till 7.10 it was richly tinted with pink, the other mountains very dark, nearly black. Meantime, reached Victoria Hotel, Interlaken 6.30 [NB 31 TS 4].
September 10 Thursday – In Interlaken, Sam wrote the fifth letter for McClure’s Syndicate, “Switzerland — The Cradle of Liberty.”
THURSDAY, Sept. 10. — From this Victoria Hotel one looks straight across a flat of trifling width to a lofty mountain barrier, which has a gateway in it shaped like an inverted pyramid. Beyond this gateway arises the vast bulk of the Jungfrau, a spotless mass of gleaming snow, into the sky. The gateway, in the dark-colored barrier, makes a strong frame for the great picture. The somber frame and the glowing snow-pile are startlingly contrasted. It is this frame which concentrates and emphasizes the glory of the Jungfrau and makes it the most engaging and beguiling and fascinating spectacle that exists on the earth. There are many mountains of snow that are as lofty as the Jungfrau and as nobly proportioned, but they lack the fame. They stand at large; they are intruded upon and elbowed by neighboring domes and summits, and their grandeur is diminished and fails of effect [“Switzerland — The Cradle of Liberty” from Neider, Complete Essays 110-19]. (Editorial emphasis.)
September 11 Friday – Sam’s notebook (31 TS 5) reveals a side trip to Grindelwald, possibly on this day:
3 hours afoot. 2 ½ zu Pferd, from the Hotel de l’Ours to the Gletcher, looks 300 yards. (Grindelwald). Shrines all the way — what you want is cussing places. Re-name them…Want milk, but dasn’t have it — would be too conspicuous not to drink wine. The wine increases my rheumatism, too…48 fr[ancs] for food for 6 persons at the Bear Tavern, Grindelwald . A swindle… [Also in part in Rodney 136].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about the Frohman-House mess, still unresolved. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Is the P&P royalty still in the hands of House’s lawyers?” [MTP].
September 12 Saturday – Sometime during his stay in Interlaken, Sam “stumbled on the whole lovely Dawson family one evening” [Oct. 1 to Twichell]. During the 1878 tramp with Joe, they had met John Dawson and wife on the train from Leukerbad, Switzerland to Locchi-Suste (Visp). See Aug. 26, 1878 entry.
September 13 Sunday – In Interlaken, Switzerland Sam wrote to Francis Dalzell Finlay, his longtime friend in Belfast, Ireland.
We leave tomorrow for Berne & later for Geneva. For a day or two. Beyond that the WILL OF GOD has not been signified to his servants. Therefore we must wait for a sign for we are personally conducted. All the family are with me.
Sam revealed his plans were to “wander” and spend the winter in Berlin, “for musical & other tutors” for the girls. He forecasted they would go back home in “two or three years hence by way of England.” Sam gave his Berlin address as Mendellsohn, Bankers [MTP].
September 14 Monday – The Clemens party left Interlaken and traveled back to Geneva, reaching there in the evening [Sept. 15 to Hall].
Joe Cone of East Cambrige, Mass. wrote a bad poem and thought it worth Sam’s autograph [MTP].
September 15 Tuesday – In Geneva, Switzerland Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, complaining, “For the first time our mails have failed & gone utterly to the devil.” Upon arrival the night before Sam did find Hall’s letter of two weeks prior, however (not extant). Sam told of spending time with Dr. Charles Waldstein while in Marienbad (see Aug. 24 entry), and thought McClure might want Waldstein to write for the syndicate — would Hall find out and let Sam know? He also reported he’d finished the fourth letter for McClure and was half done with the fifth letter, though his arm threatened “to quit work for good.” Sam was concerned about whether the $12,000 back royalties he’d sold on the Paige typesetter needed payment of interest, and if so could it be paid half-yearly or altered to that. As to Hall’s reports,
The state of the business rejoices me, & I hope you will lose your bet & charge two-thirds of the cost to me [MTLTP 283].
Sam then wrote to Dr. Charles Waldstein that he had “proceeded in the matter [of Waldstein writing for McClure’s Syndicate] through my partner in New York, who is discreet.” Sam referred to the matter as Waldstein’s idea. He thanked Waldstein’s brother and laid “homage at the feet of your mother” [MTP].
September 16 Wednesday † – Sam decided to take a solo excursion. He hired his old courier Joseph Verey (Very) and sent him ahead to Lake Bourget to engaged a boat and pilot for a ten day trip down the river Rhone. Paine writes,
“For five dollars Joseph bought a safe, flat-bottom craft; also he engaged the owner as pilot. A few days later — September 19 — Clemens followed” [MTB 924].
September 17 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Arrived at Ouchy Thursday, Sept. 17—noon” [NB 31 TS 5]. The Clemens party took rooms at the Grand Hotel Beau Rivage, Ouchy, Lausanne on Lake Leman [MTB 924].
September 18 Friday – The Clemens family rested at Ouchy, Lausanne on Lake Leman. Sam’s notebook reveals he bought “27 cigars for a cent. It is the quality which has rotted your heart, not the number—which is not excess” [NB 31 TS 6].
September 19 Saturday –After installing the family in Ouchy, Sam left at 2 p.m. with Joseph Verey in the purchased boat (see Sept. 16) and the first night stopped on an island in Lake Bourget, where they slept in the old castle of Châtillon in a room where Pope Celestin IV was born at the end of the eighth century [MTB 924; NB 31 TS 5-6; Aix-Les-Bains,etc.114 by Dr. Léon Brachet (1884) ]. A letter arrived from Charles Dudley Warner just as Sam was leaving Ouchy [Sept 22 to Warner].
Sam also wrote an account of the trip he called “part diary and part comment,” titled, “Down the Rhône,” which was first published in 1923 in Europe and Elsewhere. The account begins on this day:
Our point of departure was to be the Castle of Châtillon on Lake Bourget, not very far from Aix-les-Bains. I went down from Geneva by rail on a Saturday afternoon, and reached the station nearestthe castle during the evening. I found the courier waiting for me. He had been down in the lake region several days, hunting for a boat, engaging the boatman, etc. [Neider, Complete Essays 594].
September 20 Sunday – In Lake Bourget, Switzerland Sam wrote in his “part diary and part comment” log:
In the morning I looked out of my window and saw the tops of trees below me, thick and beautiful foliage, and below the trees was the bright blue water of the lake shining in the sun. The window seemed to be about two hundred feet above the water, An airy and inspiring situation, indeed. A pope was born in that room a couple of centuries ago. I forget his name. …
Breakfast was served in the open air on a precipice in a little arbor sheltered by vines, with glimpses through the tree tops of the blue water far below, and with also a wide prospect of mountain scenery. The coffee was the best I ever drank in Europe.
Presently there was a bugle blast from somewhere about the battlements — a fine Middle Age effect — and after a moment it was answered from the further shore of the lake, and we saw a boat put out from that shore. It was ours. We were soon on board and away [Neider, Complete Essays 595-6].
And then he wrote two notes to Livy, written on the boat:
Sunday, 11 a.m. On the lake Bourget — just started. The castle of Chatillon high overhead showing above the trees. It was a wonderfully still place to sleep in. Beside us there was nobody in it but a woman, a boy and a dog. A Pope was born in the room I slept in. No, he became a Pope later.
The lake is smooth as glass — a brilliant sun is shining.
Our boat is comfortable and shady with its awning.
11.20 We have crossed the lake and are entering the canal. Shall presently be in the Rhone.
NOON. Nearly down to the Rhone. Passing the village of Chanaz.
3.15 p. m. Sunday. We have been in the Rhone 3 hours. It is unimaginably still & reposeful and cool & soft & breezy. No rowing or work of any kind to do — we merely float with the current — we glide noiseless & swift — as fast as a London cab-horse rips along — 8 miles an hour — the swiftest current I’ve ever boated in. We have the entire river to ourselves — nowhere a boat of any kind.
Note: Sam added details, questions and concerns about the rental in Berlin for the winter [MTB 924; MTP].
From “Down the Rhone” (originally titled “Innocents Adrift”):
…presently Chanaz came in sight and the canal bore us along its front — along its street, for it had only one. We stepped ashore. There was a roll of distant drums, and soon a company or two of French infantry came marching by. All the citizens were out, and every male took off his hat politely as the soldiers moved past him, and this salute was always returned by the officers….We got some hot fried fish in Chanaz and took them aboard and cleared out. With grapes and claret and bread they made a satisfactory luncheon. We paddled a hundred yards, turned a rock corner, and here was the furious gray current of the Rhone just a-whistling by! We crept into it from the narrow canal, and laid in the oars. The floating was begun. One needs no oar-help in a current like that. The shore seemed to fairly spin past. …
The river where we entered it was about a hundred yards wide, and very deep. The water was at medium stage. The Rhone is not a very long river — six hundred miles — but it carries a bigger mass of water to the sea than any other French stream.
For the first few miles we had lonely shores — hardly ever a house. On the left bank we had high precipices and domed hills; right bank low and wooded.
At 1.25 p.m. we passed the slumberous village of Massigneux de Rive on the right and the ditto village of Huissier on the left (in Savoie). We had to take all names by sound from the Admiral; he said nobody could spell them. …
2.10 p.m. — It is delightfully cool, breezy, shady (under the canopy), and still. Much smoking and lazy reflecting. …There was such a rush, and boom, and life, and confusion, and activity in Geneva yesterday — how remote all that seems now, how wholly vanished away and gone out of the world!
2.15. — Village of Yenne. Iron suspension bridge. On the heights back of the town a chapel with a tower like a thimble, and a very tall white Virgin standing on it.
2.25. — Precipices on both sides now. River narrow — sixty yards.
2.30. — Immense precipice on the right bank, with groups of buildings (Pierre Chatel) planted on the very edge of it. In its near neighborhood a massive and picturesque fortification. …
2.45. — Below that second bridge. On top of the bluffs more fortifications. Low banks on both sides here.
2.50. — Now both sets of fortifications show up, look huge and formidable, and are finely grouped. Through the glass they seem deserted and falling to ruin. Out of date, perhaps.
At midafternoon we passed a steep and lofty bluff — right bank — which was crowned with the moldering ruins of a castle overgrown with trees. A relic of the Roman times, the Admiral said. …
The dreamy repose, the infinite peace of these tranquil shores, this Sabbath stillness, this noiseless motion, this strange absence of the sense of sin, and the stranger absence of the desire to commit it — this was the perfectest day the year had brought!
4.20. — Bronze statue of the Virgin on a sterile hill slope.
4.45. — Ruined Roman tower on a bluff. Belongs to the no-name series.
5. — Some more Roman ruins in the distance.
At 6 o’clock we rounded to. We stepped ashore in a woodsy and lonely place and walked a short mile through a country lane to the sizable and rather modern-looking village of St.-Genix. [Geuix]. Part of the way we followed another pleasure party — six or eight little children riding aloft on a mountain of fragrant hay. This is the earliest form of the human pleasure excursion, and for utter joy and perfect contentment it stands alone in a man’s threescore years and ten; all that come after it have flaws, but this has none.
We put up at the Hotel Labully, in the little square where the church stands. Satisfactory dinner. [Neider, Complete Essays 598-600].
Note: Arthur L. Scott’s article, “The Innocents Adrift Edited by Mark Twain’s Official Biographer,” PMLA, Vol. 78, No.3, (June, 1963), p.230-7 covers in depth how Paine butchered this piece, which was initially to be a full-length book. Paine changed the title to “Down the Rhone” and the castrated version was published in Europe and Elsewhere, 1923.
Sam’s letter of Sept. 21 to Livy reveals his later activities from his first day’s river travel, but gives an hour earlier on stepping ashore:
We went ashore at 5 p.m. yesterday, dear heart, and walked a short mile to St. Geuix, a big village, and took quarters at the principal inn; had a good dinner and afterwards a long walk out of town on the banks of the Guiers till 7.30.
Went to bed at 8.30 and continued to make notes and read books and newspapers till midnight [MTLP 2: 550]. (Editorial emphasis.)
September 21 Monday – Near the village of Port-de-Groslee, France at 4:15 p.m., Sam wrote again to Livy, declaring as was his usual habit while away from her, to write daily.
Slept until 8, breakfasted in bed, and lay till noon, because there had been a very heavy rain in the night and the day was still dark and lowering. But at noon the sun broke through and in 15 minutes we were tramping toward the river. Got afloat at 1 p.m. but at 2.40 we had to rush suddenly ashore and take refuge in the above village [Port-de-Groslee] Just as we got ourselves and traps safely housed in the inn, the rain let go and came down in great style. We lost an hour and a half there, but we are off again, now, with bright sunshine.
I wrote you yesterday my darling, and shall expect to write you every
Good-day, and love to all of you / SAML. [MTLP 2: 550]. Note: “Down the Rhone” offers a more detailed coverage of this day’s events. The inn is named as the Hotel des Voyageurs. Sam describes:
The public room was full of voyageurs and tobacco smoke. The voyageurs may have been river folk in the old times when the inn was build, but this present crowd was made up of teamsters. They sat at bare tables, under their feet was the bare floor, about them were the four bare walls — a dreary place at any time, a heartbreaking place now in the dark of the downpour. However, it is manifestly not dreary to the teamsters. They were sipping red wine and smoking; they all talked at once, and with great energy and spirit, and every now and then they gave their thighs a sounding slap and burst into a general horse laugh. The courier said that this was in response to rude wit and coarse anecdotes.
4.10 p.m. — Left Port de Groslee.
4.50 p.m. — Chateau of the Count Cassiloa — or something like that — the Admiral’s pronunciation is elusive. Courier guesses the spelling at “Quintionat.” I don’t quite see the resemblance. …
5.30. — Lovely sunsest. Mottled clouds richly painted by sinking sun, and fleecy shreds of clouds drifting along the fronts of neighboring blue mountains. Harrow in a field. Apparently harrow, but was distant and could not tell; could have been a horse.
5.35. — Very large gray broken-arched and unusually picturesque ruin crowning a hilltop on right. Name unknown. This is a liberal mile above village of Briord (my spelling — the Admiral’s pronunciation), on same side. Passed the village swiftly, and left it behind. The villagers came out and made fun of our strange tub. The dogs chased us and were more noisy than necessary.
6 p.m. — Another suspension bridge — this is the sixth one. They have ceased to interest…. Presently landed on left bank and shored the boat for the night. Hotel du Rhone Moine. Isolated. Situated right on the bank. Sort of a village — villagette, to be exact — a little back. Hotel is two stories high and not pretentious — family dwelling and cow stable all under one roof.
[Neider, Complete Essays 603-6].
September 22 Tuesday – On the Rhone River below Villebois at Noon, Sam wrote again to Livy:
Good morning, sweetheart. Night caught us yesterday where we had to take quarters in a peasant’s house which was occupied by the family & a lot of cows & calves — also several rabbits. — [His word for fleas.] — The latter had a ball, & I was the ball-room; but they were very friendly & didn’t bite.
The peasants were mighty kind & hearty, & flew around & did their best to make us comfortable. This morning I breakfasted on the shore in the open air with two sociable dogs & a cat. Clean cloth, napkin & table furniture, white sugar, a vast hunk of excellent butter, good bread, first class coffee with pure milk, fried fish just caught. Wonderful that so much cleanliness should come out of such a phenomenally dirty house.
An hour ago we saw the Falls of the Rhone, a prodigiously rough & dangerous looking place; shipped a little water but came to no harm. It was one of the most beautiful pieces of piloting & boat-management I ever saw. Our admiral knew his business.
We have had to run ashore for shelter every time it has rained heretofore, but Joseph has been putting in his odd time making a water-proof sun-bonnet for the boat, & now we sail along dry although we had many heavy showers this morning. [Paine left out the next sentence]
I’m on the stern seat under shelter & out of sight.
With a word of love to you all & particularly you,
SAML [MTLP 2: 551; MTP].
Note: Sam’s “&”s have been restored; Paine usually replaced them with “and”s.
Meanwhile, in Ouchy, Livy wrote to Sam, sending the letter to Lyon, France:
Youth darling: I received this morning a note from Fuller & in which they copied a note from Mr Pr[ächtel] acknowledging the rec’t of the 1000. So I think we are all safe and that our not hearing from him is simply some slip. Now I shall have the trunks sent directly to him. I am sure I am safe to do so. Sue & Susy have gone to Geneva today & I did not go for the reasons I was too lazy and then we thought it was not quite right for Sue and I to go together and leave the children here alone. Clara & Jean have gone for a walk. It is windy and cool, a pleasant time for walking. I enjoy very much having the care of the children. It is pleasant to be without a maid for a little while [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.1]. The money acknowledged was for their housing in Berlin.
Sam’s log discloses that he got out of the boat and walked until the “Admiral” guided the boat through a canal to the left of the Falls:
I did not see how our flimsy ark could live through such a place. If we were wrecked, swimming could not save us; the packed multitude of tall humps of water meant a bristling chaos of big rocks underneath, and the first rock we hit would break our bones. If I had been fortified with ignorance I might have wanted to stay in the boat and see the fun; but I have had much professional familiarity with water, and I doubted if there was going to be any fun there. So I said I would get out and walk, and I did. I need not tell anybody at home; I could leave out the Falls of the Rhone; they are not on the map, anyhow. …
Noon. — A mile of perpendicular precipices — very handsome. …
This is the prettiest piece of river we have found. …
1.p.m. — Chateau de la Salette. This is the port of the Grotte de la Balme, “one of the seven wonders of Dauphiny.” It is across a plain in the face of a bluff a mile from the river. A grotto is out of the common order, and I should have liked to see this one, but the rains have made the mud very deep and it did not seem well to venture so long a trip through it.
2.15 p.m. — St.-Etienne. On a distant ridge inland a tall openwork structure commandingly situated, with a statue of the Virgin standing on it.
Immense empty freight barges being towed upstream by teams of two and four big horses — not on the bank, but under it; not on the land, but always in the water — sometimes breast deep — and around the big flat bars.
We reached a not very promising-looking village about four o’clock, and concluded to land; munching fruit and filling the hood with pipe smoke had grown monotonous. We could not have the hood furled, because the floods of rain fell unceasingly. The tavern was on the river bank, as is the custom. It was dull there, and melancholy — nothing to do but look out of the window into the drenching rain and shiver; one could do that, for it was bleak and cold and windy, and there was no fire [Neider, Complete Essays 614-16].
Afloat on the Rhone, Sam also wrote to Charles Dudley Warner telling of his excursion down the river on a “flat bottomed scow with a water-proof hood” and raining “about half the time.”
Shall reach Lyons about noon to-morrow & float along down again next day. I expect to make the mouth by the 3d of October & then rush back to Ouchy-Lusanne & take the family immediately to Berlin. I left them all well last Saturday & most comfortably quartered in the Beau Rivage at Ouchy on the ground floor with the garden & boats handy. Jean learned to pull a pair of oars in first-rate style in about 15 minutes — the quickest education on record.
Thank goodness I can once more write with my rheumatic arm, but that is all. I can’t dress myself, & the arm is painful & just next to useless. Your letter arrived just as I was leaving Ouchy. Bon voyajj! To you — as these dam people yell to us along the shore. They take us for a circus — or maybe patients who have skipped out of an asylum [MTP].
The N.Y. Times, p.5, “Harper’s Weekly. Published to-morrow” reported that “a front page portrait of Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) after a painting,” would be in the magazine.
September 23 Wednesday – Sam did reach Lyon, France and found several letters from Livy, which he answered after sending a telegram (not extant) to let her know he’d arrived. Livy had secured accommodations in Berlin for their winter stay. Daughter Jean had avoided “maiming or death” when Livy managed to lift a wardrobe which fell on her. The next place where Sam might receive letters was:
Write to Avignon, sweetheart. I don’t know how to furnish any other address at present — you see this weather threatens to break up my trip if it continues.
Your letters were unspeakably welcome, & there were two more than I thought you would write — thanks for them all [MTP].
The end of “Down the Rhone” comes here:
Wednesday. — After breakfast, got under way. Still storming as hard as ever. The whole land looks defeated and discouraged. And very lonely; here and there a woman in the fields. They merely accent the loneliness [Neider, Complete Essays 616].
Caroline Earnest wrote from Wingdon, Virginia to Sam asking permission to use an extract from Ch. 25 of TA. Her book, Readings and Recitations No. 15 would be published by Edgar S. Werner, N.Y. (1891) ed. by Caroline Earnest Dickenson [MTP]. Note: Whitmore answered on Sept. 29 that though Mark Twain was in Europe, he felt sure he would approve.
September 24 Thursday – On the Rhone River below Vienne, Sam began a letter to Livy, which he finished on Sept. 25.
I salute you, my darling. Your telegram saying you had had a letter from the original Prachtel himself, reached me in Lyons last night & was very pleasant news indeed, for it meant a great let-up of your worry.
I was up & shaved before 8 this morning, but we got delayed & didn’t sail from Lyons till 10.30 — an hour & a half lost. And we’ve lost another hour — two of them, I guess — since, by an error. We came in sight of Vienne at 2 o’clock, several miles ahead, on a hill, & I proposed to walk down there & let the boat go down there ahead of us. So Joseph & I got out there & struck through a willow swamp there along a dim path, & by & by came out on the steep bank of a slough or inlet or something, & we followed that bank forever & ever trying to get around the head of that slough. Finally I noticed a twig standing up in the water, & by George it had a distinct & even vigorous quiver to it! I don’t know when I have felt so much like a donkey. On an island! I wanted to drown somebody, but I hadn’t anybody I could spare. However, after another long tramp we found a lonely native, & he had a scow & soon we were on the main land — yes, & a blamed sight further from Vienne than we were when we started.
Notes — I make millions of them; & so I get no time to write to you. If you’ve got a pad there, please send it poste-restante to Avignon. I may not need it but I fear I shall.
I’m straining to reach St. Pierre de Boef, but it’s going to be a close fit, I reckon [MTLP 2: 552; MTP].
Note: They did reach the town late and took rooms in an inn, as Sam’s PS shows the next day. Mr. Prächtel was the rental agent of the Körnerstrasse apartment the family wished to lease for their winter stay in Berlin.
September 25 Friday – In St. Pierre de Boef, France, Sam added a PS to his previous day’s letter to Livy (not in Paine’s letters):
P.S. 5 a.m. Next Day (in bed). I hear the villagers beginning to stir in the streets.
Cover the Child! cover the che-ild! lay on! lay on! you’ll make it! YOU’ll make it — and we — did make it![**] The gloaming was deep & rich when we struck St. Pierre de Boef, & it was good dark before we were done climbing crooked alleys & reached the inn. Did you say you wished you were along, sweetheart? Don’t think of it! A sailor’s life is not for you; a life of hardy adventure with rabbits [fleas], & indigestibles, & unimaginable dirt, is not the life for you, my dear. Drop the idea. But it’s the life for me. And for Joseph & the Admiral.
Note: ** [the “child” lines allude to George W. Cable’s famous piece which Sam grew sick of hearing, “Mary Richling’s Night Ride” given repeatedly during the 1884-5 “Twins of Genius” tour].
Sam also praised the work and guidance of Joseph Verey. “Joseph is perfect,” Sam wrote [MTP].
Sam’s party took again to the river at 9 a.m. At 3 p.m. that afternoon, afloat on the Rhone, Sam wrote again to Livy:
Livy darling, we sailed from St. Pierre de Boef six hours ago, & are now approaching Tournon, where we shall not stop, but go on & make Valence, a City Of 25,000 people. It’s too delicious, floating with the swift current under the awning these superb sunshiny days in deep peace & quietness. Some of these curious old historical towns strongly persuade me, but it is so lovely afloat that I don’t stop, but view them from the outside & sail on. We get abundance of grapes and peaches for next to nothing [MTLP 2: 552]. Note: Paine ended here, substituting the prior day’s PS into this letter; his edits are replaced]. My, but that inn was suffocating with garlic where we stayed last night! I had to hold my nose as I went up stairs, or I believe I should have fainted.
Little bit of a room, rude board floor unswept, 2 chairs, unpainted white pine table — voila the furniture! Had a good firm bed, solid as a rock, & you could have brained an ox with the bolster.
These six hours have been entirely delightful. I want to do all the rivers of Europe in an open boat in summer weather.
I love you, love you, love you, my sweetheart. / Saml [MTP].
Meanwhile, Livy wrote Sam from Ouchy, sending it to Avignon, France:
Youth Darling: I wanted to write you a long letter, but now it must be a note. We have all been stirred again this morning to our very depths on the William matter. There has been a letter from William to Jean. It was a very pathetic manly letter, of course not intending to be pathetic but all the more so for that reason. Sue had a hard cry and everything is just about as horrible as it can be. I have written another long letter to Charley on the subject and sent it to London. Something must be done, we cannot go on this way. Sue’s trip is entirely spoiled by this affair. We are getting on nicely and everything is extremely pleasant here. We have the same boatman every day. Several days it has been too rough to go out, but this morning we went and Clara learned to row. She learned as quick or quicker than Jean. We have always the pleasant faced boatman also named Emile, that let the boy take his boat that day. He has learned our Jean and does extremely well for us. The proprietor of the hotel asked after you this morning and said he was afraid the weather had been too bad for you to get much good out of the Rhone. I shall try to write you this evening.
We all love you and shall be truly glad to see your blessed face again. I rec’d your letter from Lyons. With Deepest Love, Livy [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.1]. Note: the “William matter” that Livy wrote to her brother about may have been a relative or friend of Sue Crane’s along on the trip. No further mention is made of the problem in Livy’s subsequent letters.
September 26 Saturday – The activities of the day are best described in the letter Sam wrote to Livy at nightfall, at the Hotel Bertrand in La Voult, France:
Land, Livy darling, but I am tired! I got up at 7.30 in Valence & drove ½ hour to the foot of a mountain, climbed it on foot (very steep,) & spent an hour or more in wandering among the acres of ruins of a seldom-visited castle nine or ten hundred years old, perched on that lofty pinnacle & overlooking a vast landscape of plain & river. Returned to the city & spent a long time examining two most curious & ornate dwellings of the Middle Ages; then, at 1.15 set sail, but the Mistral (the storm-wind of the Midi — the Midi is “the south”) struck us & kept us back; at 4 we had made but 18 kilometres & I was tuckered out & sleepy; so we landed at this village, & ever since I have been prowling through its maze of steep & narrow alleys — mere stone stairways 6 feet wide which turn & turn & never arrive at any place…we also prowled through the huge ancient castle that rises out of & above the village & dominates it; & so at last I am in my room & shan’t wait for pitch-dark to come, but shall get immediately to bed & to sleep [LLMT 260-1].
In Ouchy, Livy wrote a letter to Sam and began a second letter which she finished the next day, Sept. 27. The first letter:
Youth Darling: A good letter from you this bright beautiful morning. I am rejoiced that you find Joseph such a comfort and I thought you would find it so. He likes to be a leader and you liketo be led so that is entirely satisfactory. Then he is really devoted to youand that makes it easy for him. I am glad he does not allow you to neglect being rubbed. I believe it will be of great value to you. You do not tell me how your arm is. How is it? I think I should not have enjoyed that long walk so it is better that I am here rather than there. Susy learned to row last night, not that she tried to learn but that she did learn. She thought she whould be awkward the first time and I thought that she probably would be but she was not. She got hold of it almost immediately and did extremely well. We received a dispatch yesterday that Charley had arrived safely at South Hampton. He telegraphs that he is much improved by the voyage.
Your would-be courier is evidently in a constant state of drunkenness. Whether there is anything else the matter with him I do not know but I doubt it. He talked to Clara the other day thinking she was a lady that he knew in California….
…Jean is busy reading “Annie of Geierstein,” she says it is much more interesting that Scott’s books. Now we are going for our morning row, so I must say goodbye for this time
In her second letter this evening, Livy expressed depression, wishing she could see Sam. The children were dancing and she felt it was difficult to get them to rest with something going on every night in the hotel. She wrote of a visit in the morning from Miss Handon while she was with Dr. Normand Smith, “who had brought his children to see our children for two or three hours…” [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.2]. Note: Livy added to this letter the next day.
J. Carroll Beckwith’s portrait of Sam (made at Onteora in the Catskills during the Clemenses stay there in the summer of 1890) ran in Harper’s Weekly, XXXV p.734 as a woodcut frontspiece, the article covering Beckwith’s life and paintings [Tenney 19].
September 27 Sunday – On the Rhone River below Bourg St. Andéol, Sam wrote on Sept. 28 of this day’s trip and of Bourg St.Andeol:
Livy darling, I didn’t write yesterday [Sept. 27]. We left La Voulte in a driving storm of cold rain — couldn’t write in it — & at 1 p.m., when we were not thinking of stopping, we saw a picturesque & mighty ruin on a high hill back of a village, & I was seized with a desire to explore it; so we landed at once & set out with rubbers & umbrella, sending the boat ahead to St. Andéol, & we spent 3 hours clambering about those cloudy heights among those worn & vast & idiotic ruins of a castle built by two crusaders 650 years ago. The work of these asses was full of interest, & we had a good time inspecting, examining & scrutinizing it. All the hills on both sides of the Rhone have peaks & precipices, & each has its gray & wasted pile of mouldy walls & broken towers. The Romans displaced the Gauls, the Visigoths displaced the Romans, the Saracens displaced the Visigoths, the Christians displaced the Saracens, & it was these pious animals who built these strange lairs & cut each other’s throats in the name & for the glory of God, & robbed & burned & slew in peace & war; & the pauper & the slave built churches, & the credit of it went to the Bishop who racked the money out of them. These are pathetic shores, & they make one despise the human race.
We came down in an hour by rail, but I couldn’t get your telegram till this morning, for it was Sunday & they had shut up the post office to go to the circus. I went, too. It was all one family — parents & 5 children — performing in the open air to 200 of these enchanted villagers, who contributed coppers when called on. It was a most gay & strange & pathetic show [MTLP 2: 553-4].
In Ouchy, Livy finished a letter to Sam she began the day before, Sept. 26:
Good morning darling: We have got a rainy morning and it makes me wonder if you will not think about giving up your trip and returning to us. It seems as if we had chosen the very worst time for you to take this trip. We love you, love you.A letter from Charley this morning from London saying he had rec’d all our letters, yours too [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.2].
September 28 Monday – In Bourg St. Andéol, the rest of Sam’s letter to Livy concerning this day:
I got up at 7 this morning [Sept 28] to see the poor devils cook their poor breakfast & pack up their sordid fineries.
This is a 9 k-m. current & the wind is with us; we shall make Avignon before 4 o’clock. I saw watermelons & pomegranates for sale at St. Andéol.
With a power of love, Sweetheart, SAML.
Sam’s party left the village and continued down the Rhone to Avignon, in the south of France. In the evening Sam wrote again to Livy from the Hotel D’Europe.
Monday, 6 p.m., Sept. 28.
Well, Livy darling, I have been having a perfect feast of letters for an hour, & I thank you & dear Clara with all my heart. It’s like hearing from home after a long absence.
It is early to be in bed, but I’m always abed before 9, on this voyage; & up at 7 or a trifle later, every morning. If I ever take such a trip again, I will have myself called at the first tinge of dawn & get to sea as soon after as possible. The early dawn on the water — nothing can be finer, as I know by old Mississippi experience. I did so long for you & Sue yesterday morning — the most superb sunrise! — the most marvelous sunrise! & I saw it all — from the very faintest suspicion of the coming dawn all the way through to the final explosion of glory. But it had interest private to itself & not to be found elsewhere in the world; for between me & it, in the far distant-eastward, was a silhouetted mountainrange in which I had discovered, the previous afternoon, a most noble face upturned to the sky, & mighty form out stretched, which I had named Napoleon Dreaming of Universal Empire — & now, this prodigious face, soft, rich, blue, spirituelle, asleep, tranquil, reposeful, lay against that giant conflagration of ruddy & golden splendors all rayed like a wheel with the upstreaming & far-reaching lances of the sun. It made one want to cry for delight, it was so supreme in its unimaginable
majesty & beauty.
We had a curious experience today. A little after I had sealed & directed my letter to you, in which I said we should make Avignon before 4, we got lost. We ceased to encounter any village or ruin mentioned in our “particularizes” & detailed Guide of the Rhone — went drifting along by the hour in a wholly unknown land & on an uncharted river! Confound it, we stopped talking & did nothing but stand up in the boat & search the horizons with the glass & wonder what in the devil had happened. And at last, away yonder at 5 o’clock when some east towers & fortresses hove in sight we couldn’t recognize them for Avignon — yet we knew by the broken bridge that it was Avignon.
Then we saw what the trouble was — at some time or other we had drifted down the wrong side of an island & followed a sluggish branch of the Rhone not frequented in modern times. We lost an hour & a half by it & missed one of the most picturesque & gigantic & history-sodden masses of castellated medieval ruin that Europe can show.
It was dark by the time we had wandered through the town & got the letters & found the hotel — so I went to bed.
We shall leave here at noon tomorrow & float down to Arles, arriving about dark, & there bid good bye to the boat, the river-trip finished. Between Arles & Nimes (& Avignon again,) we shall be till Saturday morning — then rail it through on that day to Ouchy, reaching the hotel at 11 at night if the train isn’t late.
Next day (Sunday) if you like, go to Basel, & Monday to Berlin. But I shall be at your disposal, to do exactly as you desire & prefer.
With no end of love to all of you & twice as much to you, sweetheart, SAML.
I believe my arm is a trifle better than it was when I started [MTLP 2: 554-6 w/punctuation restored from MTP copy].
After a long illness, Herman Melville died at his home in New York City. He was 72. His New York Times obituary called him “Henry Melville.” He was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.
September 29 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook shows he arrived in Arles on this day [NB 31 TS 7]. On his last day on the Rhone river, Sam wrote at 11: 20 a.m. to his daughter Clara Clemens, answering her letter. He may have also written his other daughters, though such letters are not extant.
DEAR OLD BEN —
The vast stone masses & huge towers of the ancient papal palace of Avignon are projected above an intervening wooded island a mile up the river behind me — for we are already on our way to Arles. It is a perfectly still morning, with a brilliant sun, & very hot — outside; but I am under cover of the linen hood, & it is cool & shady in here.
Please tell mamma I got her very last letter this morning, & I perceive by it that I do not need to arrive at Ouchy before Saturday midnight. I am glad, because I couldn’t do the railroading I am proposing to do during the next two or three days & get there earlier. I could put in the time till Sunday midnight, but shall not venture it without telegraphic instructions from her to Nimes day after tomorrow, Oct. 1, care Hotel Manivet.
The only adventures we have is in drifting into rough seas now & then. They are not dangerous, but they go thro’ all the motions of it. Yesterday when we shot the Bridge of the Holy Spirit it was probably in charge of some inexperienced deputy spirit for the day, for we were allowed to go through the wrong arch, which brought us into a tourbillon below which tried to make this old scow stand on its head. Of course I lost my temper & blew it off in a way to be heard above the roar of the tossing waters. I lost it because the admiral had taken that arch in deference to my opinion that it was the best one, while his own judgment told him to take the one nearest the other side of the river. I could have poisoned him I was so mad to think I had hired such a turnip. A boatman in command should obey nobody’s orders but his own, & yield to nobody’s suggestions.
It was very sweet of you to write me, dear, & I thank you ever so much. With greatest love & kisses, / Papa [MTLP 2: 556-7].
September 30 Wednesday – At Arles, France Sam wrote a short note to Livy.
To Mrs. Clemens, in Ouchy, Switzerland:
ARLES, Sept. 30, noon.
Livy darling, I haint got no time to write to-day, because I am sight-seeing industriously & imagining my chapter.
Bade good-bye to the river trip & gave away the boat yesterday evening. We had ten great days in her.
We reached here after dark. We were due about 4.30, counting by distance, but we couldn’t calculate on such a lifeless current as we found.
I love you, sweetheart. / SAML [MTLP 557-8].
Meanwhile, in Ouchy, Lausanne, Livy wrote to Sam:
My darling: Your letter [written Sept. 28] rec’d this morning was delightful. I should so like to have seen your great Napoleon faced mountain. What a beautiful trip you hae had, your letters give most delightful pictures of it. …
I shall be ready to start toward Berlin on Monday [Oct. 5], but I think it is a little too far a journey to go through from Basle to B. in one day, however that we can see. Now Sue is very anxious to go over the Brunig again. Sue says she would rather do that and fix it in her mind than to see anything new. Sue would take Susy and Joseph with her. But of course she is in a state of mind about taking Joseph away from us [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.3].
October – Sometime during the month, probably after the Clemenses were settled in Berlin, Sam inscribed a photograph of himself to Charles Warren Stoddard: C.W.S. / from his oldest and wisest friend / Mark Twain / Oct 1891 [MTP].
Sam’s notebook entry during this month shows he at least knew of Emily Dickinson. He quoted Thomas W. Higginson’s description of her father’s house in Amherst, Mass:
one of those large, square, brick mansions so familiar in our older New England towns, surrounded by trees and blossoming shrubs.
Sam also noted Alexandre Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask [Gribben 206; NB 31, TS 8].
October 1 Thursday – In Nimes, France at the Hotel Manivet, Sam wrote to Joe Twichell. Paine muses:
“It had been a long time since Clemens had written to his old friend Twichell, but the Rhone trip must have reminded him of those days thirteen years earlier, when, comparatively young men, he and Twichell were tramping through the Black Forest and scaling Gemmi Pass. He sent Twichell a reminder of that happy time” [MTLP 2: 558; Sept 29 to Clara Clemens].
I have been ten days floating down the Rhone on a raft, from Lake Bourget, & a most curious & darling kind of a trip it has been. You ought to have been along — I could have made room for you easily — & you would have found that a pedestrian tour in Europe doesn’t begin with a raft-voyage for hilarity & mild adventure, & intimate contact with the unvisited native of the back settlements, & extinction from the world & newspapers, & a conscience in a state of coma, & lazy comfort, & solid happiness. In fact there’s nothing that’s so lovely.
But it’s all over. I gave the raft away yesterday at Arles, & am loafing along back by short stages on the rail to Ouchy-Lausanne where the tribe are staying [Paine stops here: MTLP 2: 558] at the Beau Rivage & are well & prosperous.
However, that isn’t what I started out to say. But this is: I stumbled on the whole lovely Dawson family one evening two or three weeks ago at Interlaken, & they were brim full of questions about you & Julia. I told them everything I knew, & made up the balance. Now wasn’t it nice to run across them in that pleasant, unexpected way — & right in Switzerland, too — just the same as before.
Love to you all — / Mark. [MTP]
Sam also wrote a brief note to Livy:
Good morning dearheart! I am up and dressed only just in time to catch my Pont du Gard train — & while Joseph orders a cab I snatch the opportunity to say Good-morning, & au revoir! — Unto Whom I love! Sam.
October 2 Friday – Sam and Joseph Verey left Arles for Avignon, France [2nd letter to Livy, Sept.28; NB 31 TS 7].
In Ouchy-Lausanne, Susy wrote to Louise Brownell:
At last a lovely letter from you dear, dear Louise! I have waited with sillie impatience hoping for one every mail as if you could reach me from the ocean easily.
As you see we are still unsettled, but expect to be in Berlin by next week. We have been here about two weeks having a little boating on the blue blue lakes. Papa has gone down the Rhone in an open boat enjoying a realy wonderful trip. Aunt Sue and I start ahead of the rest tomorrow and are going to drive over the Brunig once more to try if we can print the picture indellibly on our minds. Aunt Sue counts the possessions so made everlasting to her, over and over again, and rejoices. She still speaks of “her” pine forests at Marienbad and says that the woods here are not so fine. …
Clara is practicing away, cold with fear of playing to Moskowski on trial. I shall be surprised if she does much but break down when the time comes [Cotton 101109-14].
October 3 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:
Avignon. Oct. 3.—leaving, 11 am. Papal palace. This old factory—for that is what it looks like, with its gray walls (that have a plastered look) & its straight lines & sharp corners & four or 5 chimney-like projections—absence of ornament, & utter & unapproachable ugliness.
Palace—why that is a word which suggests & promises elegance, ornament, beauty costly decoration, rich furniture not a stable, a factory [NB 31 TS 8].
Sam and Joseph Verey traveled by rail back to Ouchy-Lausanne, Switzerland, arriving, if Sam’s plans were accurate, about 11 a.m. Sam then reunited with the family at the Grand Hotel Beau Rivage [2nd letter to Livy, Sept.28; Sept 29 to Clara Clemens].
October 4 Sunday – Sam may have returned after midnight (Oct. 3-4). His notebook simply gives Oct. 4 as “Go to Ouchy” [NB 31 TS 7]. Rodney gives this as his date of return to Ouchy and says the family was packed and ready to travel . In his Sept. 28 letter to Livy, Sam had suggested they go to Basel, Switzerland the day after his arrival, some 125 miles, and then on to Berlin on Monday, Oct. 5. The city of Basel borders Germany and on the way to Berlin.
Sam did write on this day from Ouchy-Lausanne to an unidentified man that he was not well, and would be “well burdened with desk-work during” his stay in Europe. “therefore if it was a positive promise I must throw myself on your indulgence & beg you to release me from it” [MTP]. Note: Sam may have rested after arriving late the night before.
Sam’s notebook: To Mr. Hall, Oct 4, Lausanne:
Please tell me the terms of our contract with the Shermans, & exactly what we have made or lost. Was the $3,500 a loan, & has it been repaid? [MTLTP 285n2; NB 31 TS 1].
Note: the money was paid by the Sherman family for reprinting the Memoirs in a cheap edition. Sam was disturbed about the nature of the payment — did they have to reimburse? Hall’s reply is not extant but on Oct. 27 Sam wrote again, satisfied with whatever arrangement had been made.
October 5 Monday – The planned day to leave Ouchy-Laussane for Berlin. According to Rodney, the family made this long trip in two days, stopping at Basel, Switzerland  and then Frankfurt, where Sam telegraphed Chatto & Windus on Oct. 7.
Katy Leary was sent back to Elmira in order to save money. She wrote of the parting:
“Well, after Switzerland, the family went to Berlin for the winter, and I came back to America — the first time I ever left them. They didn’t want me to come home but I felt they could get along without me and it would save money. Mrs. Clemens thought maybe the girls were getting so big they could pack for themselves, and as they didn’t have much money then, I thought they could get along without me. They were going to live in one place all winter and I told Mrs. Clemens I’d come back any time they wanted me. Mrs. Clemens thought it would be a good thing if the girls took care of themselves — get used to packing twenty-five trunks!…
“So I went home to America, and they went to Berlin. I went back to Elmira and begun to work as I used to before I went to Hartford. I began sewing again by the day for Mrs. Fassett” [Lawton 123].
October 6 Tuesday – A travel day for the Clemens party on their way to Berlin. Sam’s notebook:
Strassburg, Oct. 6.—Arles is very well, perhaps; but this is the place for pretty girls, apparently [NB 31 TS 8].
Susy Clemens and her Aunt Sue Crane went apart from the rest of the family to the Hotels Schweizerhof & Luzernhof at Lucerne, Switzerland. Susy wrote to Louise Brownell:
I have been thinking of you all day. You are so dear, so precious, so everything lovely….Aunt Sue and I have had a lovely day. It is the last glimpse of green for months I suppose….We join the others at Frankfurt tomorrow evening [Cotton 101117-21].
Joseph C. Westley wrote from British Guiana asking for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
October 7 Wednesday – Stopping at Frankfurt on the Main (Frankfurt) the Clemens party may have spent the night at the Hotel Continental. Sam telegraphed Chatto & Windus from the hotel, sending his new address for the next six months in Berlin, 7 Körnerstrasse, and asking them to send him a copy of “The Table,” a cookbook just issued by Webster & Co. “Don’t divulge my address, please” [MTP]. Note: Rodney writes Sam arranged an overnight rest stop at Strassburg where he quotes Sam’s notebook:
So many little conveniences not to be had here: Fountain pens, good type-writing machines, rubber shoes [Rodney 139; NB 31 TS 9].
October 8 Thursday – Another travel day for the Clemens party, making the last leg from Frankfurt to Berlin, some 340 miles, by train. Joseph Verey may have accompanied the family on to Berlin. No letter from Berlin prior to Oct. 9 is extant.
October 9 Friday – In their winter quarters at 7 Körnerstrasse, Berlin, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, enclosing a picture of the Wirt fountain pen he’d lost, and asking them to send him another, or to forward his note on to Webster & Co. if they couldn’t find one. Sam claimed he was “helpless” without it [MTP].
Soon the family would discover the neighborhood was less than desirable. Paine writes that people were shocked and questioned why they would want to stay in that part of the city. He also writes that Körnerstrasse “was not disreputable, but it certainly was not elegant.” He describes “rag wearhouses across the street and women who leaned out the windows to gossip” [MTB 929-30]. Clara Clemens added that these leaning women were “half-clad” [MFMT 95]. A Twain scholar who shall remain unnamed offered that it was a red-light district (though he did not reveal how he knew!) Paine writes “they stuck it out till the end of December” [MTB 931] and that Sam wrote a humorous newspaper letter on the subject of Körnerstrasse that “the family prevailed upon him not to print” . In the letter Sam was renting the place and touring with the agent’s assistant:
He was greatly moved when they came to the street and said, softly and lovingly:
“Ah, Körner Street, Körner Street, why did I not think of you before! A place fit for the gods, dear sir. Quiet? — notice how still it is; and remember this is noonday — noonday. It is but one block long, you see, just a sweet, dear little nest hid away here in the heart of the great metropolis, its presence and its sacred quiet unsuspected by the restless crowds that swarm along the stately thoroughfares yonder at its two extremities. And — “
“This building is handsome, but I don’t think much of the others. They look pretty commonplace, compared with the rest of Berlin.”
“Dear! dear! have you noticed that? It is just an affectation of the nobility. What they want — “
“The nobility? Do they live in — “
“In this street? That is good! very good, indeed! I wish the Duke of Sassafras-Hagenstein could hear you say that. When the Duke first moved in here he — “
“Does he live in this street?”
“Him! Well, I should say so! Do you see the big, plain house over there with the placard in the third floor window? That’s his house.”
“The placard that says ‘Furnished rooms to let’? Does he keep boarders?”
“What an idea! Him! With a rent-roll of twelve hundred thousand marks a year? Oh, positively this is too good.”
“Well, what does he have that sign up for?”
The assistant took me by the buttonhole & said, with a merry light beaming in his eye: “Why, my dear sir, a person would know you are new to Berlin just by your innocent questions. Our aristocracy, our old, real, genuine aristocracy, are full of the quaintest eccentricities, eccentricities inherited for centuries, eccentricities which they are prouder of than they are of their titles, and that sign-board there is one of them. They all hang them out. And it’s regulated by an unwritten law. A baron is entitled to hang out two, a count five, a duke fifteen — “
“Then they are all dukes over on that side, I sup — “
“Every one of them. Now the old Duke of Backofenhofenschwartz not the present Duke, but the last but one, he — “
“Does he live over the sausage-shop in the cellar?”
“No, the one farther along, where the eighteenth yellow cat is chewing the door-mat — “
“But all the yellow cats are chewing the door-mats.”
“Yes, but I mean the eighteenth one. Count. No, never mind; there’s a lot more come. I’ll get you another mark. Let me see — -” [MTB 930-1].
October 10 Saturday – The Club, “A Journal of Club Live for Men and Women” wrote that they’d be “pleased to have a signed article for the November issue of “THE CLUB” and sent a copy [MTP].
October 11 Sunday – The Boston Globe ran “MARK TWAIN — A PEN PICTURE,” an interesting sketch and discussion of Sam’s success.
America’s Richest and Most Famous Author at Home and on the Platform.
Wild and peculiar is Mark Twain.
He has a big head stuck on by a long neck to a pair of round shoulders. He goes on to the lecture platform as if he were half asleep, and he looks as if nature, in putting him together, had, somehow, got the joints mixed.
He has a big face, a nose large enough to represent any kind of genius, and eyes large, black and sleepy. He has a thick, bushy mane of hair which is now iron gray, and a bushy mustache which overhangs his characteristic mouth. As he stands on the stage he reminds one much of a mammoth interrogation point, and as he drawls out his words with scarcely a gesture, his voice makes one think of a little buzzsaw slowly grinding inside a corpse. He never laughs while telling a joke, and when the audience roars he merely strokes his chin or pulls his mustache.
October 12 Monday – In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote to Rudolf Lindau (1829-1910) of the Foreign Office, answering his invitation (not extant), probably to dine. The only evening Sam had free in the week was Wednesday, but he was entirely free the next week [MTP]. Note: Lindau had studied philology and was also a novelist and short story writer. He was also on the staff of the Revue des Deux Mondes for many years. Lindau’s younger brother was Paul Lindau (1839-1919), German dramatist and novelist.
Joseph Hatton’s dramatization of P&P opened at the Strand Theatre in London; Sam wrote of his hope for its success on Oct. 16 to Chatto. See review Oct. 17 in Athenaeum (London). ‡ Addenda.
Frances C. Sparhawk for Committee on Indian Libraries wrote from Newton Centre, Mass. asking for Sam’s signature to be sold for the benefit of his association [MTP].
October 13 Tuesday – The N.Y. Times reported on the 70th birthday of Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (1821-1902). Virchow is considered the founder of modern pathology; he was also an eminent German anthropologist and politician; his reputation later stained by his hostility against both the use of antiseptics and the idea that bacteria caused disease. Sam attended one day’s celebration, perhaps Virchow’s 70th celebration, though it was one long continuous celebration for Berliners who included the 70th birthday celebration of Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) an eminent German physicist. The N.Y. Times Nov. 29, 1891 p.17 “German Talk of the Time”:
Osnabruck, Oct. 28. — The seventieth anniversary of the birthday of Rudolph Virchow was the occasion of such a show of hands as has rarely, if ever, been seen for such a man in Germany. It was not the pompous celebration of the jubilee of one of the members of a royal family…but the profound homage of an entire nation to the prominent citizen, the fearless statesman, and the illustrious professor. …
The centre of attraction was the “Fest-Commers” at Knoll’s Theatre on the evening of the 13th. The festive hall was splendidly decorated and illuminated. Flowers, garlands, the flags of all nations, the statuette of Virchow himself in a bower of laurel and palm trees were tastefully distributed. The galleries were reserved for the ladies, who appeared almost without exception in light dresses, occupying every seat at the long tables which were set on the main floor.
And here is Sam’s version of events from his sixth Europe letter for McClure’s Syndicate, entitled, “German Chicago”:
But perhaps the final and closing demonstration was peculiarly grateful to them. This was a commers given in their honor the other night by 1,000 students. It was held in a huge hall, very long and very lofty, which had five galleries, far above everybody’s head, which were crowded with ladies — 400 or 500, I judged. It was beautifully decorated with clustered flags and various ornamental devices, and was brilliantly lighted. On the spacious floor of this place were ranged, in files, innumerable tables, seating twenty-four persons each, extending from one end of the great hall clear to the other, and with narrow aisles between the files. In the center on one side was a high and tastefully decorated platform twenty or thirty feet long, with a long table on it, behind which sat the half-dozen chiefs of the choir of the commers in the rich medieval costumes of as many different college corps. Behind these youths a band of musicians was concealed. On the floor directly in front of this platform were half a dozen tables which were distinguished from the outlying continent of tables by being covered instead of left naked. Of these the central table was reserved for the two heroes of the occasion and twenty particularly eminent professors of the Berlin University, and the other covered tables were for the occupancy of a hundred less distinguished professors.
I was glad to be honored with a place at the table of the two heroes of the occasion, although I was not really learned enough to deserve it. Indeed, there was a pleasant strangeness in being in such company; to be thus associated with twenty-three men who forget more every day than I ever knew. Yet there was nothing embarrassing about it, because loaded men and empty ones look about alike. I knew that to that multitude there I was a professor. It required but little art to catch the ways and attitude of those men and imitate them, and I had no difficulty in looking as much like a professor as anybody there.
We arrived early; so early that only Professors Virchow and Helmholtz and a dozen guests of the special tables were ahead of us, and 300 or 400 students. But people were arriving in floods now, and within fifteen minutes all but the special tables were occupied, and the great house was crammed, the aisles included. It was said that there were 4,000 men present. It was a most animated scene, there is no doubt about that; it was a stupendous beehive. At each end of each table stood a corps student in the uniform of his corps. These quaint costumes are of brilliant colored silks and velvets, with sometimes a high plumed hat, sometimes a broad Scotch cap, with a great plume wound about it, sometimes — oftenest — a little shallow silk cap on the tip of the crown, like an inverted saucer; sometimes the pantaloons are snow-white, sometimes of other colors; the boots in all cases come up well above the knee; and in all cases also white gauntlets are worn; the sword is a rapier with a bowl-shaped guard for the hand, painted in several colors. Each corps has a uniform of its own, and all are of rich material, brilliant in color, and exceedingly picturesque; for they are survivals of the vanished costumes of the Middle Ages, and they reproduce for us the time when men were beautiful to look at. The student who stood guard at our end of the table was of grave countenance and great frame and grace of form, and he was doubtless an accurate reproduction, clothes and all, of some ancestor of his of two or three centuries ago — a reproduction as far as the outside, the animal man, goes, I mean.
As I say, the place was now crowded. The nearest aisle was packed with students standing up, and they made a fence which shut off the rest of the house from view. As far down this fence as you could see all these wholesome young faces were turned in one direction, all these intent and worshiping eyes were centered upon one spot — the place where Virchow and Helmholtz sat. The boys seemed lost to everything, unconscious of their own existence; they devoured these two intellectual giants with their eyes, they feasted upon them, and the worship that was in their hearts shone in their faces. It seemed to me that I would rather be flooded with a glory like that — instinct with sincerity, innocent of self-seeking — than win a hundred battles and break a million hearts.
There was a big mug of beer in front of each of us, and more to come when wanted. There was also a quarto pamphlet containing the words of the songs to be sung. After the names of the officers of the feast were these words in large type:
“Wahrend des Kommerses herrscht allgemeiner Burgfriede.”
I was not able to translate this to my satisfaction, but a professor helped me out. This was his explanation: The students in uniform belong to different college corps; not all students belong to corps; none join the corps except those who enjoy fighting. The corps students fight duels with swords every week, one corps challenging another corps to furnish a certain number of duelists for the occasion, and it is only on this battlefield that students of different corps exchange courtesies. In common life they do not drink with each other or speak. The above line now translates itself: there is truce during the Commers, war is laid aside and fellowship takes its place.
Now the performance began. The concealed band played a piece of martial music; then there was a pause. The students on the platform rose to their feet, the middle one gave a toast to the Emperor, then all the house rose, mugs in hand. At the call “One, two, three!” all glasses were drained and then brought down with a slam on the tables in unison. The result was as good an imitation of thunder as I have ever heard. From now on, during an hour, there was singing, in mighty chorus. During each interval between songs a number of the special guests — the professors — arrived. There seemed to be some signal whereby the students on the platform were made aware that a professor had arrived at the remote door of entrance; for you would see them suddenly rise to their feet, strike an erect military attitude, then draw their swords; the swords of all their brethren standing guard at the innumerable tables would flash from their scabbards and be held aloft — a handsome spectacle. Three clear bugle notes would ring out, then all these swords would come down with a crash, twice repeated, on the tables, and be uplifted and held aloft again; then in the distance you would see the gay uniforms and uplifted swords of a guard of honor clearing the way and conducting the guest down to his place. The songs were stirring, the immense out-pour from young life and young lungs, the crash of swords and the thunder of the beer-mugs gradually worked a body up to what seemed the last possible summit of excitement. It surely seemed to me that I had reached that summit, that I had reached my limit, and that there was no higher lift desirable for me. When apparently the last eminent guest had long ago taken his place, again those three bugle blasts rang out and once more the swords leaped from their scabbards. Who might this late comer be? Nobody was interested to inquire. Still, indolent eyes were turned toward the distant entrance; we saw the silken gleam and the lifted swords of a guard of honor plowing through the remote crowds. Then we saw that end of the house rising to its feet; saw it rise abreast the advancing guard all along, like a wave. This supreme honor had been offered to no one before. Then there was an excited whisper at our table — “Mommsen!” — and the whole house rose. Rose and shouted and stamped and clapped, and banged the beer-mugs. Just simply a storm! Then the little man with his long hair and Emersonian face edged his way past us and took his seat. I could have touched him with my hand — Mommsen! — think of it!
This was one of those immense surprises that can happen only a few times in one’s life. I was not dreaming of him; he was to me only a giant myth, a world-shadowing specter, not a reality. The surprise of it all can be only comparable to a man’s suddenly coming upon Mont Blanc, with its awful form towering into the sky, when he didn’t suspect he was in its neighborhood. I would have walked a great many miles to get a sight of him, and here he was, without trouble or tramp or cost of any kind. Here he was, clothed in a Titanic deceptive modesty which made him look like other men. Here he was, carrying the Roman world and all the Caesars in his hospitable skull, and doing it as easily as that other luminous vault, the skull of the universe, carries the Milky Way and the constellations.
One of the professors said that once upon a time an American young lady was introduced to Mommsen, and found herself badly scared and speechless. She dreaded to see his mouth unclose, for she was expecting him to choose a subject several miles above her comprehension, and didn’t suppose he could get down to the world that other people lived in; but when his remark came, her terrors disappeared.
“Well, how do you do? Have you read Howells’s last book? I think it’s his best.”
The active ceremonies of the evening closed with the speeches of welcome delivered by two students and the replies made by Professors Virchow and Helmholtz [Neider, Complete Essays 95-8]. Note: A somewhat shorter version, complete with engravings of Mommsen and a scene, ran on Apr. 3, 1892 in the Boston Daily Globe, p.23 under the title “CITY WITHOUT NEWSBOYS”. Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903), eminent German historian and archeologist.
October 14 Wednesday
October 14 or 21 or 28 Wednesday – In Berlin, Sam wrote a short note of acceptance to William Walter Phelps (1839-1894), the American Minister to Germany (no relation to Prof. William Lyon Phelps, who as a boy killed five of Sam’s white ducks). He accepted save for Jean, who was too young (11) to come. Sam was acquainted with Phelps, of New Jersey [MTB 933]. Note: Phelps, a Yale graduate and congressman in the 43rd Congress, had been appointed Minister to Germany by President Harrison in 1889. Phelps was an avid art collector; he lost his entire collection when his mansion burned down in 1888. The Clemens family saw a lot of him during their Berlin stay.
We accept with our best thanks. Church first — we shall be there promptly at 11 & as gay as the gayest — thence to breakfast, where we shall behave in a way to surprise & gratify you [MTP].
October 15 Thursday – In the evening Sam received a cable from Frederick J. Hall with the good news that the Sherman book difficulties had been resolved [Oct. 16 to Hall]. (See Mar. 10 & 29 entries.)
October 16 Friday – In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, his English publisher, thanking them for the pen sent, which was too stiff — could they send a more limber one? On Oct. 12 another dramatization of P&P opened, and Sam wished it well:
I hope for Hatton’s sake & his daughter’s & mine — & the public’s — that the play will succeed, & that it will beat the record [MTP]. Note: Joseph Hatton. See Oct. 12.
Sam also wrote to Francis Dalzell Finlay of Belfast, Ireland.
I am still badly crippled with rheumatism, which rafting down the Rhone in bad weather rather worsened, I guess, & the doctor forbids me to use the pen — & so does the unappeasable pain. But I allow myself a line to say Howdy & promise to look in on you next year in the fall [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, answering a cable he’d received the night before, that the problems with Sherman’s book had been resolved. The money was so low that Webster & Co. had “to retire…temporarily from the installment plan,” on paying the Paige royalties. To save money the company was moving to cheaper quarters upstairs, and Sam was gratified. Sam considered a boy’s book for McClure but nothing occurred to him and he’d have to think on it more. He asked Hall to clip two copies of his Europe letters whenever they appeared in print, keeping one and mailing him the other. He closed with, “I must stop — my arm is howling” [MTLTP 284-5]. Note: this was the longest letter he’d written in some time, and in a batch of several letters.
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore. Did he remember to arrange his taxes?
I was glad to get your word about the machine — the first I’ve had since I left. Go & see Paige again, & remember me to him, & give me the machine’s record again. George Standring writes that the Linotype is getting another start in London [MTP]. Note: This letter reveals at least two incomings which are not extant — from Whitmore and from Standring.
October 17 Saturday – A review of “Mr. [Joseph] Hatton’s adaptation” of P&P ran in the London Athenaeum No. 3338, p.525. The periodical praised the dramatization as,
…a passable piece of stage carpentry. Three of its four acts are shapely and interesting, some of its dialogue is excellent, and its scenes of comedy have distinct charm. [The scenes of violence in the third act] are out of keeping with the rest of the piece [Tenney, supplement #3, American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p.183].
October, 17 or 24 Saturday – In Berlin Sam answered another dinner invitation from William Walter Phelps.
Saturday noon. / I shall be there. There, & empty. Empty as a tunnel. But thankful in proportion. Mrs. Clemens will be with me. There is material in you for a Missourian — a Missourian of the first order [MTP].
October 18 Sunday
October 19 Monday – Mamie B. Mordecai wrote from Lutherville, MD for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
October 20 Tuesday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall with questions about the book form of The American Claimant — what was Hall’s plan to publish it? Was he getting the plates ready? Would Chatto have the advance sheets as early as he needed? Sam asked for “all the details” of Hall’s plan as soon as possible — the size, price, and every particular. On the reverse side of the letter Sam outlined a plan for a 50c edition of his six Europe letters, printed in large type for railroad use. Hall should also ask Chatto to market this booklet; as well as The American Claimant with Tauchnitz or the “new house,” which was Charles Wolcott Balestier’s venture [MTLTP 286].
October 21 Wednesday
October 22 Thursday – Jane A. LaCopitt wrote from Shreveport, LA asking for Sam to use his influence with President Harrison or John Wannamaker to secure the Postmastership for her son [MTP].
October 23 Friday
October 24 Saturday – Sam began work on an exhausting three day and night project, translating “the most celebrated child’s book in Europe,” Dr. Heinrich Hoffman’s, Dur Struwwelpeter, or (Slovenly Peter) from German to English [MTLTP 287]. Sam wanted a cheap edition of the book out for the US Christmas market, or an outright sale to McClure. Kaplan writes,
“Fred Hall, by now accustomed to Clemens’ hand-to-mouth planning and impatience with the normal pace of book publishing, said he could manage in neither way, and along with other abandoned manuscripts Mark Twain’s Slovenly Peter went into the trunk, not to be published until 1935” .
October 25 Sunday – Sam spent a good deal of his time working on the translation of Dur Struwwelpeter, or (Slovenly Peter) [Oct. 27 to Hall].
October 26 Monday – Sam continued work on the translation of Dur Struwwelpeter, or (Slovenly Peter) [Oct. 27 to Hall].
October 27 Tuesday – In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
Mighty glad to get the explanation of the Sherman matter. It is perfectly satisfactory. I have worked myself to death the last 3 days & nights translating (& making a neat copy of the translation) the most celebrated child’s book in Europe, & to-day I mail it to you. It should be in your hands Nov. 7, I judge. I want it on the American market Dec. 10 to catch the holidays [MTLTP 287-9]. Note: the rest of the letter covers many details of publishing Slovenly Peter that Sam wanted.
October 28 Wednesday – In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall about the proposed translation of Dur Struwwelpeter, or (Slovenly Peter). Sam couldn’t buy plates or sheets of the book there. Publication of the book was attempted in N.Y. years before but abandoned. Sam was concerned about copyright of the German text. A US German-language edition had been published in St. Louis in 1862, which may account for the absence of any further discussion with Hall [MTLTP 289].
Elizabeth Currier (Mrs. Charles C. Currier) for Nineteenth Century Club wrote from Memphis, Tenn. asking if Sam might deliver a lecture “in Memphis during the coming winter” [MTP].
October 29 Thursday
October 30 Friday – “Lewis the Light” of Phila. sent a fire & brimstone note with clippings under his pseudonym to Orion & Sam at Keokuk. Sam wrote, “Insane crank” on the envelope [MTP].
October 31 Saturday – The Brooklyn Eagle, Nov.1, 1891 (datelined Oct. 31) p.7, “Social Reform in Berlin,” reported on one of Sam’s engagements:
At a grand official dinner this evening by William Walter Phelps, the United States minister to Germany, the features of the menu were different preparations of American corn and bread made of a mixture of corn and rye flour in different proportions. Among those present were Baron and Baroness Von Marchall, Baron von Berlepsch, Herr Miquel, imperial minister of finance; Baron von Rottenburg, Baron and Baroness von Maltzahn, Mr. and Mrs. Poultney Bigelow, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), and Mrs. Clemens, Baron and Baroness von Zedwitz, Sir Edward Malet, the British ambassador and the Misses Duke and Halstead.
Many such dinners and occasions were in store for Sam and Livy during their Berlin stay. Mark Twain was widely acclaimed. Rodney writes:
“Mark Twain’s local celebrity combined with the good auspices of William Phelps…to give the Clemenses entrée to a brilliant social season in Berlin that winter. They mixed with ambassadors, authors, aristocrats, American compatriots, and eminent scientists. The notable anthropologist Rudolf Virchow and physicist Herman Von Helmholtz were two figures whom Mark Twain greatly admired” [140-1].
“Socially, that winter in Berlin was eventful enough. William Walter Phelps, of New Jersey (Clemens had known him in America), was United States minister at the German capital, while at the Emperor’s court there was a cousin, Frau , née Clemens, one of the St. Louis family. She had married a young German officer who had risen to the rank of a full general. Mark Twain and his family were welcome guests at all the diplomatic events — often brilliant levees, gatherings of distinguished men and women from every circle of achievement. Labouchère of Truth was there, De Blowitz of the Times, and authors, ambassadors, and scientists of rank. Clemens became immediately a distinguished figure at these assemblies. His popularity in Germany was openly manifested. At any gathering he was surrounded by a brilliant company, eager to do him honor. He was recognized whenever he appeared on the street, and saluted, though in his notes he says he was sometimes mistaken for the historian Mommsen, whom he resembled in hair and features. His books were displayed for sale everywhere, and a special cheap edition of them was issued at a few cents per copy” [MTB 933].
November – An unsigned article ran in Bookman (London) titled, “To an Old Humorist” with passing references to Mark Twain, who is grouped with Rabelais, Swift, Sterne, Dickens, and Holmes. “If Mark Twain had to be judged by his Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur, he would have but an indifferent reputation with at least half the English-speaking race” [Tenney 19].
Sam’s NB 31, TS 13: “Get Don Juan” referred to Lord Byron’s Don Juan (pub. 1819-24) [Gribben 121]. Note: this is lined out from a list of things to do, get.
Joe Twichell inscribed a copy of his biography, John Winthrop, First Governor of the Massachusetts Colony (1891) to Sam: To Mark Twain, / with the unbounded love / of his ancient (and modern) friend. / Joseph H. Twichell / Hartford. / Nov. 1891 [Gribben 719].
November 1 Sunday – The Boston Daily Globe carried a long feature article, p.23, “SHE WHO IS ‘MRS. TWAIN’,” complete with engravings of the Hartford Clemens house, a portrait of Sam, and two small illustrations from Puck. “Next to His Family, Mark Loves His Pipe.”
November 2 Monday – The Bohemian Club of S.F. sent a printed circular announcing the upcoming issue of the Annals of Bohemia, by the Club historiographer, Mr. Daniel O’Connell. Price $2 [MTP].
November 3 Tuesday
November 4 Wednesday – This Boston Daily Globe ad of this date was typical of the hoopla made over Mark Twain’s letters from Europe.
November 5 Thursday – Albert Ellery Berg for The Stage (N.Y.) “Published Every Saturday” wrote asking what Sam would charge for a 1,000 word story for their Christmas issue; if too busy could he provide “a stick or two with signature”? [MTP].
November 6 Friday
November 7 Saturday – In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. Sam needed two copies of his 1888 Meisterschafft. He also complimented Hall’s management of Webster & Co.
You make a most excellent showing for a three-years’ up-building of a business which was in ruins. I am most anxious to know the result of Mr. Williams’ trip. Much depends on it [MTLTP 290].
Note: Thomas M. Williams was considering undertaking sales of the Library of American Literature and make it the “work of his life.” See Hall’s Dec. 16.
Sam’s notebook: “Saturday, mid-afternoon, 7th. Meter marks 10,100” [NB 31 TS 9].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (not extant) asking questions and making suggestions about a proposed Europe book [Nov. 20 to Hall].
Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell (postmarked Nov. 12 but designated “Saturday A.M.”) Susy mentioned she had seen Wagner’s Lohengrin “the other night for the first time.” Kaplan writes that “the singing in Lohengrin reminded Sam of ‘the time the orphan asylum burned down’” . Note: this opera was not mentioned in connection with the Bayreuth Wagner festival, so a Berlin performance was likely Sam’s first exposure to it.
Charles E. Flandrau, atty. for Flandrau, Squires & Cutcheon, St. Paul, Minn. sent Sam a note and a check for $81.75 as a dividend of 1&1/2% on shares of St. Paul Roller Mill Co. [MTP].
November 8 Sunday – Sam’s first letter from Europe, “The Tramp Abroad Again: I. Paradise of the Rheumatics,” or “Mark Twain at Aix-les-Bains” ran in McClure’s syndicated newspapers, including the N.Y. Sun, Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boston Globe, and others. The piece was reprinted as “The Paradise of the Rheumatics” in Europe and Elsewhere in 1923 [Camfield citing Budd’s Europe and Elsewhere; Rasmussen 336; Budd, Collected 2: 1000].
In Berlin at 7 Körnerstrasse, Sam wrote again to Frederick J. Hall, responding to a letter concerning Nathaniel J. Burton’s widow, who may have asked to purchase the remaining Yale Lectures on Preaching and Other Writings (1888). This book had been a project directly supervised by Sam, and even printed in Hartford instead of N.Y.
All I ever had in my mind was to make some money for Mrs. Burton because I loved her husband so. I myself am perfectly willing to grant this request of hers or any other, but I mustn’t ask you to do it unless you feel entirely willing. Please write her — accepting her proposition, or declining it, or modifying it in any way you like, and I shall be satisfied [MTLTP 291].
The Brooklyn Eagle, Nov. 8, 1891 p.9, “Among the Amateurs” ran a notice of a Jewish club, “The Laurence” producing one of Sam’s works on stage:
The Laurences will have a royal time this winter, for an elaborate preparation has been made…November 18, parlor theatricals, “The Meistershaft,” by Mark Twain, and reception to follow.
November 9 Monday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow (1855-1954), American journalist and author; one of the guests of the “grand official dinner” by William Walter Phelps on Oct. 31.
Thank you for your kindness. When I read your note at breakfast, one of the children said: “At this rate, papa, there presently won’t be any body left for you to get acquainted with but the Deity.”
I could have said: “No — you are out, there. HE has visited me more than once — rheumatically and otherwise.” But there would have been so much truth in that I didn’t say it.
One mustn’t waste the truth; there isn’t an overstock of it in the world [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about Brown & Gross handling their magazines, and that Whitmore could keep or give away one copy of Harper’s, as he didn’t need two. He complained yet of writing being “torture” [MTP]. Note: Sam stayed up to date with US news and literary developments by magazines and newspapers while in Europe.
A.G. Rogers for Commercial House, Bethany, Mo. wrote asking Sam to write a play for his four daughters, ages 21 to 10, who had been studying on the stage with Miss Grace Hezlep [MTP].
November 10 Tuesday – Mrs. Clara E. Rice wrote from Neligh, Nebr. Sending Sam “an ode” he might be able to use; if not return. She named a son “Samuel” after him [MTP].
November 11 Wednesday
November 12 Thursday
November 13 Friday – “The Paradise of the Rheumatics” was reprinted in The Illustrated London News in two parts, the second of which ran on Nov. 28.
November 14 Saturday – George Peter Alexander Healy, at the National Soldiers’ Home in Va. sent Sam a MS, his “first attempt” asking, “Is it good for anything?” [MTP].
November 15 Sunday – Berlin’s National-Zeitung, Sonntags-Beilage, No. 46 ran an interview of Sam by Max Horwitz, titled “Mark Twain in Berlin.” Budd reports,
“SLC praises Berlin and, unlike hasty visitors to the United States, doubts he will write book about Germany; is relieved to find he is not subject to German taxes and grumbles about having his royalties taxed in England” [“Interviews” 6].
November 16 Monday – Ada F. Thayer wrote from Fulton, N.Y. asking if she might include a cutting from a “laughable sketch” in TA, “where Harris meets the American girl at the Hotel in Lucerne” in her collection of “new recitations” she was compiling [MTP].
November 17 Tuesday – George H. Warner wrote to Sam that he’d met a labor organizer named Hotchkiss who commented on CY, saying, “The labor folks have got onto it and they want a cheap edition. Can’t Clemens be induced to print one they could afford to buy” [MTLTP 295n1]. See Dec. 1 to Hall.
James R. Darwin for N.Y. Board of Trade sent Sam a note and “a copy of the little volume published by this Board containing…its action touching the death of the late Secretary of the Treasury, William Windom” [MTP].
November 18 Wednesday – Joe Twichell wrote that he was mailing today “a copy of the poor little baby book of which I have been guilty,” (probably his history of John Winthrop). He suggested if Sam’s daughters ever misbehaved that a good punishment would be to force them to read his book [MTP].
November 19 Thursday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall about the proposed 10¢ pamphlet containing the six Europe letters. As far as using the old “Jumping Frog” story, Sam anticipated a possible conflict with American Publishing Co., advising Hall to “use something else” if he also felt a dispute was probable.
But when I come home I’ll use the Jumping Frog & take care of the dispute, for it is quite necessary that I have a controversy with those people some day [MTLTP 292].
Ellen Louise Chandler Moulton wrote from Putnam, Conn. sending Sam her new address in Boston, and urging him or Livy to call on her in the future [MTP]. See Mar. 29, 1887 for more on Moulton.
November 20 Friday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall (note — Hall’s letter took two weeks to reach Sam, who noted the fact on his letter). Sam approved Hall’s suggestions about a proposed book of Europe travel and observations.
Yours of Nov. 7 just rec’d.
Dear Mr. Hall:
I think I would call the book — / Recent European Glimpses / — by Mark Twain [MTP].
G. Bunsen of Berlin sent a small note card bordered in black. “I asked Erich Schmidte last night. Herr Seidel, he says, is a distinguished engineer. The much-praised iron vaulting of the Anhaultische Bahnhof at Berlin is his work. His age may be about 50. Of late he has devoted himself more to literature….” [MTP]. Note: this seems like a response to Sam’s inquiry.
Louise H. McHenry wrote from Nashville, Tenn., marking the envelope, “Personal.” A “novelty” request, she wrote, asking Sam to send a doll for their their Kindergarten Doll Bazar, flyer enclosed [MTP].
Henry A. Chaney, attorney in Detroit, Mich. wrote to Sam (clipping & TR of Oct. 31 Dean to Chaney encl.) about his experience with “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
November 21 Saturday
November 22 Sunday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus.
That Clemens in the last column of names, was an ancestor of mine, & much thought of by the family because he was the first of us that was hanged.
If Tauchnitz comes to see me on business I shall refer him to you [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, enclosing proofs for two of his Europe letters, “Playing Courier” and “Paradise of the Rheumatics.” He asked Hall to send three copies from the newspapers of “At the Shrine of St. Wagner” so he might send one to Henry Labouchère, editor of the English magazine Truth [MTLTP 293].
The N.Y. Times, p.3 “Russia’s Appeal Refused” ran a squib about copyright in Germany and Sam’s lunch crowd:
Mr. Houghton, the Boston publisher, has been trying to inform Germans about the operation of the American copyright law. He finds them prejudiced. The Germans, he says, cannot appreciate the advantages of enterprise.
“Mark Twain” gave a luncheon for Mrs. Hancock, Minister Phelps and many other notable Americans.
Charles D. Hobart wrote from N.Y. to Sam; another reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam, thanking him for a card “even though it was but a word.” He had made sure that Harper’s would be sent. Last Thursday he met “JW Paige and Steve Rogers riding & stopped them for a moment –to shake hands. JW Paige said that Mr. Gerhardt had been in to his office to sell his royalty to him.” Whitmore passed on Paige’s claim that the typesetter had 15 million in capital support. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Nov. 91 — Paige wants to buy all my royalties” [MTP].
November 23 Monday – In Berlin, Sam dictated a letter to Livy for Franklin G. Whitmore. The letter was finished by Sam on Nov. 28. Sam asked Whitmore to pay a bill when presented for the repair of “the old sofa renovating hair &c,” and to forward wedding invitations and the like. Sam advised Whitmore that many of Whitmore’s “letters must have miscarried,” but still hoped to see them now that their address was settled [MTP].
W.C. (William Craibe) Angus wrote from London to Sam, sending clippings from the Illustrated London News of letters in support of his cause to create an exhibition of the relics of Scottish poet, Robert Burns [MTP]. See Sept. 30, 1889.
November 24 Tuesday
November 25 Wednesday – James Logan wrote on Logan, Swift & Brigham Envelope Co. stationery to Sam, explaining that Sam had “punished” his “pocket book.” After buying his “Kid” (about 10 years old) an International Dictionary, he promised money for any word not in it. In Sam’s “Mental Telegraphy” article, the “Kid” came to the word “phrenophone” which was not in the dictionary [MTP].
William T. Stead of Review of Reviews (London) wrote to Sam noting that he’d read his “Telegraphy” article in Harper’s and wanted to send a complimentary copy of his magazine. “It is calculated I think to boom the Psychical Research Society, and deserves booming” [MTP].
November 26 Thursday – Thanksgiving. In the evening Sam gave a speech for 250 Americans, location not specified.
But when they threw my portrait on a screen it was a sorrowful reminder, for it was from a negative of 15 years ago & hadn’t a gray hair in it [Nov. 27 to Hall]. Note: Likely in Berlin. No mention was made of the subject of Sam’s speech. Not in Fatout.
November 27 Friday – Livy’s 46th birthday.
In Berlin Sam wrote a list of answers to an unidentified man, explaining the meanings of “Ground-pea, goober, pea-nut” (all the same; gooseberries are never called ground peas); “Booger” and “bugbear” (originally “Big bear”); “bee-gum” (a bee-hive made from a hollow tree section and a board); “gallus, galluses” (braces, suspenders, hosen-träger, knitted of yarn); and identifying Harris as one of the editors of the Atlanta Constitution [MTP]. Note: Sam’s mention of hosen-träger suggests this letter was to a German, perhaps a Berliner. All of these terms do not appear in any one of Sam’s major works. “Ground-pea,” “bugbear,” “gallus” do appear in Innocents Abroad.
Frederick J. Hall’s Webster & Co. statement arrived in the morning. Sam responded,
That kind of a statement is valuable….This is the first time since the business began that I have had a report that furnished the kind of information I wanted, & was really enlightening & satisfactory. Keep it up. Don’t let it fall into desuetude.
Everything looks so fine & handsome with the business, now, that I feel a great let-up from depression. The rewards of your long & patient industry are on their way, & their arrival safe in port presently seems assured. By George I shall be glad when the ship comes in!
Sam also notified he was mailing the “Marienbad — A Health Factory” letter on Tuesday (Dec. 1) and the “Jungfrau” letter (“Switzerland: The Cradle of Liberty”) next Friday (Dec. 4). These were the fourth and fifth of six letters from Europe.
I shall write the 6th & last letter by & by when I have studied Berlin sufficiently [MTLTP 293-4].
F.W. Mitchell wrote to Sam on US Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Pensions letterhead — another personal reaction to the “Telegraphy” article in Harper’s [MTP].
November 28 Saturday – In Berlin Sam finished his Nov. 23 letter to Franklin G. Whitmore, explaining he’d been “interrupted for a week.” In the meantime his arm was much better. He asked Whitmore to send a photograph of Mark Twain to H.J. McGivern, Secretary of the M.T.R.&G. Club, in care of the Mark Twain Hotel, Wheeling W.Va. If Whitmore had no photographs of Sam, order a half-dozen from Sarony. Sam sent Thanksgiving greetings [MTP].
The second half of “The Paradise of the Rheumatics” was reprinted in The Illustrated London News, the first part ran on Nov. 13.
Also published in The Illustrated News of the World, “The Tramp Abroad Again” (New York issue), This was a serial segment using another name for AC. The periodical ran two more segments on Jan. 9 and 16. The McClure Syndicate had the serial rights for AC prior to its publication by Webster & Co. in book form [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin, provided by Tenney].
John McConniff wrote from Canada and sent a complimentary copy of Illustrated Montreal [MTP].
November 29 Sunday – David W. Young wrote from New London, Mo. reporting his life afer the war and how poor he’s been since; if he could get “5 or 6 acres of land” — would Sam help? [MTP].
November 30 Monday – Sam’s 56th Birthday.
Livy’s Dec. 1 to George H. Warner describes a visit this day by Mr. & Mrs. du Bois-Raymond:
…his father is one of the great and learned scientists here and her father is Hensel (who wrote the Family Mendelsohn) and her grandfather was Mendelsohn. They were most delightful, both of them are full of interest in everything. She had read Kipling and Harding Davis and knew about what she was talking about: just the kind of woman you would like. I think comparatively few of the German women are so well up in the contemporaneos Eng. and American literature [Dec. 1 to Warner].
J.P. Campbell wrote on First National Bank of Clay Center, Kans. Stationery reporting his experience with “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December – “Mental Telegraphy: A Manuscript with a History” ran in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, p.95-104. This piece was written in 1878 and first published here. McCullough traces the evolution of this article, as well as “Mental Telegraphy Again,” Harper’s, Sept. 1895 in the Mark Twain Encyclopedia, p.510. Sam had noted many instances of what he felt was mental transmission of thoughts, and had initially included them in TA, but later removed those passages as misfitting a humor book. The piece was submitted anonymously in 1881 or 1883 and rejected by the North American Review. It was collected in 1893 in The £1,000,000 Bank Note, Etc. [Budd, Collected 2: 1000].
Review of Reviews (London) IV, p.590 ran “Mark Twain Among the Prophets,” which summarized and extensively quoted Sam’s article on “Mental Telegraphy” in the Dec. Harper’s [Tenney 19].
December 1 Tuesday – In Berlin Sam wrote to George H. Warner. Livy added a letter twice as long as Sam’s.
My arm broke down on me again, yesterday, but I must steal a minute or two with a pen to thank you for the most prized letter [Nov. 17] I have received in years. I shall dictate a letter to my New York firm now & urge the bringing out of that book in cheap paper-cover form. I have long wanted to make the experiment with that book.
I dasn’t write more — it brings back the sharp pains. This is the delightfulest of cities, & all this fambly unite in warmest regards & best wishes to you & yours.
Livy thanked George for his letter and also for one to Susy. She had just returned from a lecture on German literature from a “German lady professor” (unspecified). “Susy thinks Berlin is too gray but I think she likes it better than she did at first” [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Frederick J. Hall, enclosing George Warner’s Nov. 17 letter and remarks from labor organizer Hotchkiss about a cheap edition of CY.
It has long been and still is, my darling desire to see the Yankee issued in paper covers, without pictures (cheap paper) at 25c a copy — size, 16mo or 12mo or along there somewhere….(Privately, there’s a chapter or two in the book which will make it a good Democratic campaign document next year.) It could be sold in batches to Democratic Clubs [MTLTP 294-5].
Note: Sam cited the sale of 300,000 such sales of Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Nationalist Clubs.
Sam also sent an unidentified person his autograph: As well as it can be done with an arm crippled with rheumatism, this is it: Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Dec. 1/91. [MTP].
Bronson C. Howard wrote to Sam inviting him to a supper at the Lotos Club Dec. 15, 11:30 p.m. to meet Mr. Charles Taylor, the “senior American Dramatist” [MTP].
December 2 Wednesday – John L. Guinter sent Sam a newspaper article on “Mental Telegraphy” from the Williamsport, Penn. Republic which introduces Sam’s article and adds other examples [MTP].
December 3 Thursday
December 4 Friday – Mrs. J.B. Newburgh from Las Cruces, N.M. sent Sam a note and a prospectus relating to his “Telegraphy” article [MTP].
December 5 Saturday
December 6 Sunday – Sam’s second letter from Europe, “At the Shrine of St. Wagner,” ran in McClure’s syndicated newspapers on Dec. 6, 1891, including the N.Y. Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, and others.
December 7 Monday – Miss Fannie S. James “a little girl” in Eau St. Claire, Wisc. wrote Sam a delightful letter admiring HF and TS, and even though a girl, she “would like to play with them and get into such scrapes and would be delighted to find twelve thousand dollars.” Would he send autograph? She’d read about Elsie Leslie — “She must be nice. I want to be an author and actress some day” [MTP].
Gertrude M. Denison of Royalton, Vt. wrote Sam a blurb about “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 8 Tuesday
December 9 Wednesday – Rosa E. McQuigg wrote from Ironton, Ohio with her story of “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 10 Thursday † – Sam and Livy attended a dinner at Rudolf Lindau’s, for which Sam wrote thanks on Dec. 11.
December 11 Friday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Rudolf Lindau of the Foreign Office, thanking him for a dinner which was “too delicious & too exquisite in every way for sinful human beings.” The date of the dinner is not specified, though it was social protocol usually observed by the Clemenses to send a thank you note within a day or two of such events. Since the dinner was in Berlin, a good estimate would be Dec. 9 or 10. Sam had been preparing a corn cob pipe for Lindau’s nephew by soaking it in whiskey. He also confided the receipt of a note from William Phelps:
…he has appointed Dec. 18 for my reading in Dresden. I told him I would read if he wouldn’t go with me & keep me from getting lost on the way — so I suppose he is going [MTP].
Ward H. Lamon wrote from Berlin to Sam with his reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
Faye Wheeler wrote from Tacoma, Wash. to Sam with her reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 12 Saturday – Speaker in, “American Professional Humor,” p.705-6 printed a general discussion, ranking Twain with the lower practitioners [Tenney, supplement #3, American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p.183].
US Census per Robert P. Porter sent more census forms and flyer from Dept. of Interior [MTP].
Charles H. Payne wrote from N.Y. to Sam with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 13 Sunday
December 14 Monday – Frank A. Burelle for Bureau of Press Clippings responded to Sam’s order that a quote per month would be less than by the article and he would send it [MTP].
Edward Bush wrote to Sam Pennsylvania State College with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
Harry E. Pratt, Chicago attorney sent his reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” with clipping from the Chicago Inter Ocean [MTP].
Prof. Thornton Osmond at Pennsylvania State College, Dept of Physics sent reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” which he saw as a “burlesque” of the “Psychical Society’s work” (clipping encl.) [MTP].
December 15 Tuesday – Lucy R. Buck wrote from Front Royal, Va. to Sam with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 16 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam about Thomas M. Williams’ desire to undertake sales of LAL:
…the work of his life and he wants to make an agreement that will extend over the next eight or ten years…he thinks there is a fortune for himself and for is in the ‘Library,’ and …he will make the sale of ‘L.A.L.’ the work of his life” [MTLTP 291n1]. See also Sam’s Jan. 25, 1892 to Williams.
Nellie S. Bakeman wrote from Waterville, Maine to Sam with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
James D. Phelan, Bohemian Club, S.F. sent Sam a printed notice of Christmas celebration [MTP].
December 17 Thursday
December 18 Friday – Sam left Berlin with William Phelps and traveled 125 miles south to Dresden
N.Y.Times article Dec 20 p.5, dateline Berlin, Dec 19:
The Hon. William Walter Phelps, the American Minister to Germany, left this city last evening for Cairo on a two months’ leave of absence. To-night [Dec. 19] Mr. Phelps is at Dresden, where he was entertained [on Dec. 18] at a dinner given in his honor by the English and American Club. He was accompanied to Dresden by Mr. Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) who was one of the speakers at the dinner. Mr. Clemens will spend a portion of the Winter at Dresden, where his daughters are studying music.
[Note: Fatout lists this as an “unidentified function” with Sam reading “German,” “Interviewer,” “Blue Jay Yarn,” and “Duel” :MT Speaking 660]. No evidence was found for the Clemens girls studying in Dresden, though they may have made day trips to the city for such purpose.
The N.Y. Times of Aug. 17, 1892, p.6, “A Reformer of German Sat On,” referred to Sam’s lecture in Dresden “a few months ago” as being “On the Horrors of the German Language.”
December 19 Saturday – Sam may have stayed overnight in Dresden or returned late Dec. 18.
“Playing Courier” first ran as “The Tramp Abroad Again: II. Playing Courier” in The Illustrated London News on this day and also Dec. 26 [Budd, Collected 1000].
Author’s Club sent Sam a printed “Confidential” notice that “of those who answered, eighty-eight…positively promise to contribute to the proposed book, and two decline” [MTP]. MTP listed as Dec. 12, postmarked Dec. 23 and printed with this date.
December 20 Sunday – Albert B. Joy sent Sam a printed invitation requesting a visit “on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays in the afternoon / The Studio, Beaumont Road / beside the West Kensington station, North End Road” [MTP].
December 21 Monday – The Boston Daily Globe, p.17 ran this interesting article on Orion Clemens:
MARK TWAIN’S BROTHER
Would be a Good Character for One of the Humorist’s Books.
Mark Twain has a brother living in Keokuk, Ia., who is absent-minded enough for Mark to “put in a book.”
It is related in that town that he drank violet ink for blackberry cordial, and then took an allopathic dose of ammonia instead of his cough medicine; but his latest absent-minded adventure occurred last summer, when he wife had gone to a Sunday-school picnic.
The maid and Mrs. Clemens both being gone for the day, Mrs. Clemens instructed her husband that he would find his lunch nicely prepared in the refrigerator. Upon her return home she inquired of Mr. Clemens as to his bachelorhood and how he had enjoyed his lunch.
“Well,” said Mr. Clemens, “I didn’t think the salad you spoke of was especially good, but I ate it.”
Upon investigation Mrs. Clemens discovered that he had “eaten it,” indeed, that is, the yeast put to raise for the next day’s baking, while the salad proper remained untouched.
December 22 Tuesday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus asking for four P&P’s “nicely bound.” He enclosed the second of six syndicate letters.
I will send the rest myself from month to month as they appear, so that you can set up the little book at your leisure [MTP]. Note: Sam proposed a booklet named, “Recent Glimpses of Europe” made from the six syndicated Europe letters.
Sam also began a lengthy letter to Frederick J. Hall, which he finished Dec. 23. He enclosed one of the Bayreuth letters. Sam made suggestions for the cheap editions of his works. He was disappointed in the $1 edition of HF, which had only sold 7,000 copies. Originally he’d envisioned a 10-cent series, but now suggested a 25-cent series, since CY was already out at that price [MTLTP 295-6].
Sam signed with both autographs and an aphorism to an unidentified person: Berlin, 22 December 1891: “Never put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day after tomorrow just as well” [MTP].
December 23 Wednesday – In Berlin Sam finished the Dec. 22 letter to Hall, all written in a PS and PPS longer than the Dec. 22 segment. Edmund C. Stedman wanted an increase in his royalties from LAL. Sam addressed the issue:
Mrs. Clemens urged that I wait over night and then write something pleasant anent the LAL increase of royalty.
But I find it impossible. By your magnificent management and by my sacrifices of money together with grinding and painful economies on the part of my family his book has been saved from a second defeat. Has he [Stedman] even come forward and said, “You are in deep waters — let me help what I can — stop my royalties and take them as a loan for a while?” …he has contributed nothing but criticism and dissatisfaction so far as I know. …
Don’t allow Stedman to pester you. Tell him you are willing but I am not. And if you wish, you can add that I see no prospect in the immediate future that is likely to change my mind. (Privately, between you and me, I never expect to change it. The man has acted the part of a cold-blooded shark..)
(Tell Bok I have caught him in several lies and in one attempt to swindle, and that I will attend to his case all in good time.) …
But tell Howells and other inquirers that my hopes of writing anything are very slender — I seem to be disabled for life.
Drop McClure a line and tell him the same. I can’t dare to make an engagement now for even a single letter.
I am glad Howells is on a magazine, but sorry he gave up the Study. I shall have to go on a magazine myself if this LAL continues to hold my nose down to the grindstone much longer.
…Now rush me along the Annual Report and let’s see how we feel! [MTLTP 296-8]. Notes: Howells was editor of the Cosmopolitan from Dec. 1891 to June 1892, when he resigned. His last “Editor’s Study” in Harper’s Monthly was in Mar. 1892.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about interest payments to Livy and to him on his royalties. He wanted Livy’s money sent to Charles J. Langdon, and his money was being banked by Hall until further orders. As for news of the Paige typesetter, Sam wrote:
I guess you have struck the right man, now. Pratt doubtless hears about the machine through the men — & he can ask questions for you. How many pensioners are still at Union Place? [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Mrs. James Wood of Dresden, thanking her “over & over again for all those kindnesses,” and begging to be remembered to “Dr. & Mrs. Jenkins.” Sam enclosed two small German newspaper clippings and added a PS: “Can you send me the Arzeiger of the 19th?” [MTP]. Note: This letter of thanks suggests Sam stayed overnight after his Dec. 18 reading in Dresden. “Arzeiger of the 19th” is not clarified.
December 24 Thursday – In Berlin Sam wrote to Rudolf Lindau, enclosing a photograph he said was “pretty old — nearly 8 years — but it is the last that was taken. Now I’ll look for yours” [MTP].
December 25 Friday – Christmas – In Berlin, Sam inscribed a copy of CY to Mary B. Willard: To / Mrs. Willard / with the / Sincere regards of / The Author. / Berlin, Xmas, 1891. [MTP].
December 26 Saturday – In Berlin Sam wrote a “Happy New-Year!” to Frederick J. Hall:
PLEASE RENEW MY LETTER OF CREDIT! / Expires Jan. 7.
The second installment of “Playing Courier” ran as “The Tramp Abroad Again: II. Playing Courier” in The Illustrated London News on this day and also Dec. 19; the piece also ran as “An Innocent Abroad: Playing Courier” in the San Francisco Examiner. In 1893 it was collected in The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other Stories [Budd, Collected 1000]. Note: Budd points out “minor differences among all three versions.”
Dorothea Lummis wrote from N.Y. to Sam with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
J.C. Valentine wrote in a very shaky hand from N. Monroeville, Ohio to Sam with reaction to “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 27 Sunday – The Boston Daily Globe, p.20 “A NEW STORY BY MARK TWAIN.” announced that in next Sunday’s edition would carry the first installment of “The American Claimant.”
A unique feature of this story is that each instalment contains some special feature, so that if you have missed a chapter or two you can still enjoy the quaint humor of Mark Twain in another.
December 28 Monday – Sigourney J. Cowles wrote from Westfield, Mass. to Sam about “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
December 29 Tuesday – Mr. Robert George Brown and Dr. Lucy M. Hall, sent Mrs & Mrs. Clemens an announcement of their marriage in Brooklyn [MTP].
Rudolf Mosse, Berlin attorney, wrote to Sam concerning Mr. C. Prächtel, rental agent of the Körnerstrasse property. “He will bring the matter before his senior partner immediately and will let me know the latter’s decision shortly [MTP]. Note: from a translation in the file of Mosse’s letter in German.
December 30 Wednesday
December 31 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
The family arrived in their quarters at the Hotel Royal 1.30 p.m. Dec. 31.
Left Körnerstr. 7 in the hands of the servants to clean it & put it in order.
Wrote Mr. Mosse [not extant] that I wanted Prachtel to come & take possession of the furniture & see that everything was in proper condition; that some trifles of crockery were broken, also two windows which I would make good; but that Mr. P. must not rent the Wohnung to any one not approved by Rittmeister Killisch.
Sent the street-door key to Herr Killisch by the Portier Fritz & kept the upstairs key [NB 31 TS 19-20].
December, end – According to Paine, the Clemens family “stuck it out” at Körnerstrasse:
“till the end of December — about two months. Then they made such settlement with the agent as they could — that is to say, they paid the rest of their year’s rent — and established themselves in a handsome apartment at the Hotel Royal, Unter den Linden. There was no need to be ashamed of this address, for it was one of the best in Berlin” [MTB 931].
A. Hoffman gives another reason for the move:
“Once word spread through the city that Mark Twain had located in Berlin, cultural leaders invited him to every event, but because they were living in a dismal neighborhood, the Clemenses felt they could not reciprocate the hospitality” .