A More Respectable Address – Dinner With the Kaiser – Resorts and more Resorts
Flying Trip to Chicago – A World of Night-&-Day Railroading
Letters for McClure’s Syndicate – Hobnobbing in Europe
American Claimant – Viva Villa Viviani!
Books published by Charles L. Webster & Co. in 1892
Bacheller, Irving, The Master of Silence: A Romance
Beard, Daniel C., Moonlight and Six Feet of Romance
Benton, Joel, The Truth About “Protection”
Bigelow, Poultney, The German Emperor and His Eastern Neighbors
Bigelow, Poultney, Paddles and Politics Down the Danube
Campbell-Copeland, Thomas, Cleveland and Stevenson: Their Lives and Record — the Democratic Campaign Book for 1892
Campbell-Copeland, Thomas, Harrison and Reid: Their Lives and Records — the Republican Campaign Book for 1892
Cavazza, Elisabeth, Don Finimondone: Calabrian Sketches
Columbus, Christopher, Writings of Christopher Columbus, Descriptive of the Discovery of the New World
Crim, Matt, In Beaver Cove and Elsewhere
Dahlgren, Madeline Vinton, Chim: His Washington Winter
Filippini, Alexander, One Hundred Ways of Cooking Eggs
Filippini, Alexander, One Hundred Ways of Cooking Fish
Ford, Paul Leicester, Writings of Christopher Columbus
Garner, R. L., The Speech of Monkeys, in Two Parts
George, Henry, A Perplexed Philosopher: Being an Examination of Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Various Utterances on the Land Question
Illustrated Catalogue of Charles L. Webster and Co.’s Publications
Johnston, Richard Malcolm, Georgia Stories
Johnston, Richard Malcolm, Mr. Billy Downs and his Likes
Miller, Annie Jenness, Physical Beauty. How to Obtain and How to Preserve It
Moffett, Samuel Erasmus, The Tariff; What it is and What it Does.
Pullen, Elisabeth Cavazza, Don Finimondone: Calabrian Sketches
Repplier, Agnes, Essays in Miniature
Scollard, Clinton, Under Summer Skies
Sharp, William, Flower o’ the Vine: Romantic Ballads and Sospiri de Roma
Springer, William McKendree, Tariff Reform, the Paramount Issue. Speeches and Writings on the Questions Involved in the Presidential Contest of 1892.
Tolstoy, Leo, Life is Worth Living, and Other Stories
Twain, Mark, The American Claimant
Twain, Mark, Merry Tales
Whitman, Walt, Selected Poems
Whitman, Walt, Autobiographia, or, the Story of a Life
1892 – Possibly during this year Sam wrote to Miss Sanborn from the Players Club. Sam was “already booked for a feed this evening,” so sent his regrets [MTP].
Powers writes of the Clemenses’ new status at the Hotel Royal:
“In Berlin in 1892, ensconced at the luxury Hotel Royal, the Clemenses decided they could afford a new German tutor for Livy, a governess for Jean, and piano lessons at the estimable Mrs. Willard’s school for Clara, who attracted a circle of aspiring young musical artists. Susy remained withdrawn, passive. It soon became clear that Mark Twain was a revered author in the great city: the bookstores featured his translated books, and he was recognized on the street (though some people mistook him for a famous historian named Theodor Mommsen)” [MT A Life 542]. Note: to save money the family ate in the dining hall rather than in their rooms, which attracted oglers much to the fascination of Clara and Susy.
Budd writes, “the Scrap Book would last as his most profitable business venture during his lifetime; the patent was worth updating as late as 1892” [Our MT 63].
Sometime during the year Willard Fiske left a scrap note for Sam that he was “enjoying a stalwart assault of gout,” and left regards to Mrs. Clemens. On the left side of the note in a large hand, Sam wrote, “Clara to be consulted about this SLC” [MTP].
Annie Vredinburgh wrote from Searsville, San Mateo County, Calif. to Sam, following up on a letter she sent ten years before about dramatizing TS, something Sam had concluded could not be done [MTP].
John Mackay sent a short and nearly illegible note to thank Sam for his “very kind attention” and hoping that Sam might “drop in” if he was down [MTP].
The John R. Whitley Testimonial Fund of London solicted funds with a form letter and subscription slip [MTP].
Eva I. Farrell wrote for an autograph, one Monday during 1892 [MTP].
W.N. Bishop of the Modern Crusader Publishiing Co., Toledo, Ohio wrote a rather strange letter to Sam about “Beans” — not knowing “Beans,” speaking well of “Beans,” etc. and of Sam’s possible influence with “Republican magnates in your section.” Bishop noted that eight years before Sam was “gleefully a Mugwump,” as was Bishop, who now was trying to do penance [MTP]. Note: Very strange indeed.
January – From Jan. to June, Library and Studio ran Part II of Will M. Clemens’ “Life of Mark Twain.” (Part I ran from July to Dec., 1891) [The Twainian, Nov. 1940 p.4].
Mary Mason Fairbanks’ article, “The Cruise of the Quaker City. With Chance Recollections of Mark Twain,” ran in this month’s issue of the Chautauquan, XIV, p.429-32. From Tenney: “The trip was more successful than MT represented; she appreciates his account and speaks warmly but judiciously of MT and his works. Quotes a lengthy ‘extract from a letter written by him to a young friend on the occasion of her debut’ on the change from childhood and the building of a mature life, and quoting from Thomas Fuller, whose pithy, ‘pemmican sentences’ he admires. Lengthy excerpt reprinted in Review of Reviews (London), V (January), 43” [Tenney 20].
Fatout conjectures Sam gave a Berlin reading this month at Gewerberhaus [MT Speaking 660].
January 1 Friday – In Berlin, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Jackson gave a dinner by for the Clemenses, Murat Halstead, and Miss Halstead [NY Times, Jan 3, 1982, p.3 “Court Calls in Berlin”]. Note: this may be Jenny Halstead. The Halsteads were on the Holsatia with the Clemens family on Apr. 11, 1878 during their voyage to England. Murat Halstead was the owner of the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette. See also Jan. 4, 1885 entry, when Sam stayed with the Halsteads during the “Twins of Genius” tour.
Franz Bächler wrote from Berlin expressing gratitude for all Sam had done for him. “I was very sorry, indeed, the other day for not seeing you, but I suppose Mrs. Crane has had the goodness to tell you all about my troubles.” Franz did not ask for money, but any sort of work for someone fluent in German [MTP].
January 2 Saturday – The Illustrated London News ran a first segment of “At the Shrine of St. Wagner.” Follow up segments ran on Jan. 9, and 30, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
The American Claimant was serialized in various newspapers from Jan. 2 through Mar. 30, 1892. The first book edition would be published in early April [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword p.30, Oxford ed. 1996].
Minnie L. Wakeman-Curtis, “a little Yankee girl in the South,” wrote begging for Sam’s autograph.
W.W. Newell, Jr. wrote from Madison, N.Y. with questions after reading Sam’s article on “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
January 3 Sunday – Another of Sam’s letters from Europe ran in McClure’s Syndicated newspapers, including the Boston Daily Globe, p.17 “MARK TWAIN IN JAIL,” datelined “At large in Europe,” Dec. 23.
Mrs. K.B. Barlow, superintendent at the Industrial Home School in Georgetown, D.C. wrote to Sam with her own experiences after reading the “Mental Telegraphy” article [MTP].
January 4 Monday – Sam and Livy left the girls with Sue Crane at the Hotel Royal and traveled to Ilsenburg, Germany in the Hartz Mountains [Jan. 9 to Trumbull]. Sam’s notebook calls the trip “ostensibly four but really seven hours from Berlin.”
Stayed 8 days in the house of Pastor Othmann. He & his wife lovely people. The stoves in our parlor & bedroom not satisfactory. I caught a heavy cough.
The entire society of the village consisted of the old Fürstin von Reuss, her daughter the Princess, & the Pastor & his wife— four people. We made it 6.
The doctor & his wife were not in society; he was a baker’s son & climbed to his doctorship by native gifts & hard work [NB 31 TS 20].
E.P. King wrote on Providence Health Dept. Letterhead to Sam, offering a “Dramatis Personae” and an excerpt of a scene from a play, presumably one he wrote. No explanation was given [MTP].
Mary P. Merchant wrote to Sam, of memories when he was a young man in San Francisco.
Reading an “Innocent Abroad”, “Playing Courier” in Sunday Examiner and seeing the unmistakeable resemblance in the caricature, to a boyish face that once sat opposite me at the Occidental Hotel…[MTP] Note: Mary asked for a photograph and an answering letter.
William W. Phelps wrote from Cairo, Egypt sending Sam and family good wishes, having received Sam’s dispatch, which woke him “before the cry of the donkey-boy” [MTP].
January 5 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook on their second night in Ilsenburg:
The second evening the Fürst von Stolberg-Wernigerode & his son came over on an annual visit to his sister the old Fürstin. He is a very handsome man, & the proudest unroyal prince in Germany & the richest. He brought several carriage-loads of young princesses with him. Our party of 6 (which included the doctor & his wife) were the only people there below the rank of prince. Livy & I shook hands with the Fürst & passed on, & I missed seeing the awful thing that followed: the doctor’s wife put out her hand & the Fürst let on that he didn’t see it. Poor thing, instead of taking warning, she raised her hand higher, imagining he hadn’t seen it. He ignored it. It was tragic. She had a cry that night.
We came away at midnight, after a good supper & a pleasant & sociable time. I made the usual number of blunders in matters of etiquette [NB 31 TS 20-1].
Helen L. Conn wrote from Brooklyn to Sam asking for an autograph [MTP].
January 6 Wednesday – In Ilsenburg, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He enclosed a $100 check to be endorsed over to Mr. Halsey on Wall Street, an investment for Livy.
Mrs. Clemens & I are staying here for a few days in the Hartz Mountains. We return Jan. 12 to Berlin. Address me hereafter / Hotel Royal Berlin.
I lecture in Berlin Jan. 13 — may possibly return here, but my address will remain as above.
Happy New Year! [MTLTP 301].
Note: Paine writes the Clemenses “week of change” at Ilsenburg was “pleasant…and they would have remained longer but for the Berlin lecture engagement” [MTB 935]. On Jan. 9, however, Sam wrote to Annie E. Trumbull that they were returning the next day, Jan.10 to Berlin.
January 7 Thursday – The Clemenses rested at Ilsenburg in the Hartz Mountains, enjoying fresh air. In those days it was thought that a change of air or location in itself was healthful.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (not extant). See Jan. 25 for Sam’s response, labeled as an answer to Halls’ of this date.
January 8 Friday – The Clemenses rested at Ilsenburg in the Hartz Mountains. Sam’s Europe letter, “Playing Courier,” ran in the N.Y. Sun and possibly other McClure Syndicate newspapers.
January 9 Saturday – The Clemenses rested at Ilsenburg in the Hartz Mountains, where Sam wrote to Annie E. Trumbull. Part of the letter is in German. This part isn’t:
Mrs. Clemens & I have been taking a rest for the past week in this little village, in the parsonage, & last night the pastor & his wife introduced these games. I hasten to Theilen them mit you….We return to Berlin to-morrow to look at the fambly (they are at the Hotel Royal with Mrs. Crane,) but I think we’ll come back here [MTP].
Frank E. Bliss for American Publishing Co. wrote to Sam enclosing a check of $667.74 for all royalties and profits “in full to January 1st, 1892” [MTP].
Also published in The Illustrated News of the World, a second segment of “The Tramp Abroad Again” (New York issue), This is a serial segment using another name for AC. The periodical ran segments on Nov. 28, 1891 and Jan. 9, 16, 1892. The McClure Syndicate had the serial rights for AC prior to its publication by Webster & Co. in book form. This same issue also included a second segment of “At the Shrine of St. Wagner.” Other segments ran on Jan. 2 and 30. [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
January 10 Sunday – Sam and Livy returned to Berlin, where Sam would give a reading on Jan. 13 [Jan. 9 to Trumbull; MTB 935].
Joseph T. Goodman’s article, “Artemis Ward,” ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. Joe described Ward’s famous visit to Virginia City, including the Christmas eve walk on rooftops by Ward and Sam [Tenney 20].
Jane R. Harrison wrote from Baltimore asking Sam for ideas for a lecture she was to give for the Woman’s College there on the subject, “Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), the Great American Humorist.” Harrison enclosed a Jan 6, 1892 clipping from the Baltimore Sun on a lecture she gave on Ibsen [MTP].
Alex Fedotoff, a Russian residing in Oldham, England, wrote for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
January 11 Monday – In Ilsenburg, Sam’s notebook:
The night before we came away the old Fürstin & the Princess came over to supper & spent the evening. They are lovely people & good English scholars. The Fürstin is a poet, too. I spun yarns & she translated them to the company [NB 31 TS 21]. Note: Fürsten von Reuss.
Edgar W. (Bill) Nye, always the joker, typed a note to Sam:
I was very much interested in your article on “Mental Telegraphy” in one of the December magazines. So much so that I immediately wrote you, requesting the loan of $10.00, and then laid the letter aside, thinking that the subtle influences spoken of in your article, might communicate to you the fact that I was “hard up.” / Up to this date, I have received no letter or remittance. Will you kindly advise me if your wires are down? [MTP]. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Read!” perhaps implying he should include it in a reading [MTP].
January 12 Tuesday – The Clemenses left Ilsenburg for Berlin [NB 31 TS 21]. At the Hotel Royal, Sam wrote to an unidentified man who’d asked for a picture of Sam, and wondered what the name of his new book would be. If the man wanted an electrotype of an engraving of Sam, he might write Webster & Co. for one made from the LAL; if a photograph, the company could get one from Sarony, as Sam had none with him. The American Claimant would be published both in the US and in England, slightly before. Sam informed the man that the story would appear serially in The Idler in London [MTP]. Note: the man probably was local, based on Sam’s answers.
Sam also responded to Frederic W.H. Myers in Cambridge, England. Myers’ letter is not extant. Sam described a type of sleep that happens as absent-mindedness —
…sleep’s as good a name for it as another. I have several times been asleep at a steamboat’s wheel, for a few moments at a time without suspecting it — discovered it by the distance traveled.
We shall be in Europe two or three years, I suppose, & in the course of time we shall reach England — when I shall remember what you have been so kind as to suggest [MTP]. Note. Sam described Myers’ letter as being “delayed by a roundabout trip, with the Atlantic in it as an incident,” suggesting Myers addressed his letter to the U.S.
January 13 Wednesday – Sam gave a reading for the benefit of the Berlin American Church at the YMCA Hall, Berlin, Germany [Fatout 660; NY Times Jan.3, 1892, p.3 “Court Calls in Berlin”]. Note: It’s not known what Sam read.
Paine writes, “As it was, they found Berlin very cold and the lecture-room crowded and hot. When the lecture was over they stopped at General Maximillian Von Versen’s for a ball, arriving home about two in the morning” (Jan. 14) [MTB 935]. (Editorial emphasis.) Sam wrote in his notebook that he went to bed and stayed there “three weeks with congestion of lungs & influenza” [NB 31 TS 21].
William Leaman wrote from Lancaster, Penn. commenting on Sam’s Dec. 1891 Harper’s article, with Sam’s account of a narrow escape from having seen a vision while wide awake. Leaman offered his own experience related in George Henry Lewes’ Physiology of Common Life, and closed by sympathizing with Sam’s attempts to be taken seriously: “Fame as a humorist has its price” [MTP].
The Clover Club of Philadelphia sent Sam a reminder card and invitation for their tenth annual dinner on Jan. 21, 1892 [MTP].
Robert Thorne for Trinity College Alumni wrote a note to Sam and enclosed an invitation to the New York Association of the Alumni of Trinity College dinner at Delmonico’s on Feb. 2 [MTP].
January 14 Thursday – Berlin, Germany. Paine writes that “Clemens awoke with a heavy cold and lung congestion. He remained in bed, a very sick man indeed, for the better part of a month” [MTB 935]. Note: Sam would spend 38 days in bed [Feb. 22 to E.A. Reynolds Ball].
Henry C. Bunner wrote from Nutley, N. J. to Sam with a rather tongue-in-cheek letter relating to “Mental Telegraphy,” and proposing a “test” of the theory whereby he put a gentleman’s name in a sealed envelope and sent it to Brander Matthews — since the man had been recurringly on Bunner’s mind, Sam should know the man’s identity and disclose it to Matthews who would then verify it [MTP].
January last half – Paine writes, “During his convalescent days, Clemens had plenty of time to reflect and to look out of the window. His notebook preserves some of his reflections. In one place he says:”
The Emperor passes in a modest open carriage. Next that happy 12-year-old butcher-boy, all in white apron and turban, standing up & so proud!
How fast they drive — nothing like it but in London. And the horses seem to be of very fine breed, though I am not an expert in horses & do not speak with assurance. I can always tell which is the front end of a horse, but beyond that my art is not above the ordinary.
The “Court Gazette” of a German paper can be covered with a playing-card. In an English paper the movements of titled people take up about three times that room. In the papers of Republican France from six to sixteen times as much. There, if a Duke’s dog should catch cold in the head they would stop the press to announce it and cry about it. In Germany they respect titles, in England they revere them, in France they adore them. That is, the French newspapers do.
Been taken for Mommsen twice. We have the same hair, but on examination it was found the brains were different [MTB 938-9 from NB 31 TS 27]. Note: Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903), eminent German historian and archeologist.
January 15 Friday – Delancey W. Teske wrote from Providence, R.I. for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
January 16 Saturday – In Berlin, Sam was in bed suffering from pneumonia.
Also published in The Illustrated News of the World, a third segment of “The Tramp Abroad Again” (New York issue), This is a serial segment using another name for AC. The periodical ran segments on Nov. 28, 1891 and Jan. 9, 16, 1892. 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].
January 17 Sunday – In Berlin, Sam was in bed suffering from pneumonia. Paine writes,
“It was unpleasant enough at first, though he rather enjoyed the convalescent period. He could sit up in bed and read and receive occasional callers. Fischer [Henry W. Fisher] brought him Memoirs of the Margravine of Bayreuth, always a favorite. The Emperor sent Frau von Versen [née Alice B. Clemens (1850-1912); Sam’s third cousin] with an invitation for him to attend the consecration of some flags in the palace. When she returned, conveying thanks and excuses, his Majesty commanded her to prepare a dinner at her home for Mark Twain and himself and a few special guests, the date to be arranged when Clemens’s physicians should pronounce him well enough to attend” [MTB 936].
Notes: (Editorial emphasis.) Henry W. Fisher (sometimes seen as Fischer), foreign correspondent for many different newspapers; Sam had known him casually since at least 1879 at the Grant celebration for the Army of Tennessee in Chicago.See also Gribben, p. 771. The Memoirs in question had been translated by William Dean Howells in his 1860s stay in Venice.
January 18 Monday – William H. Dana wrote from Warren, Ohio asking Sam where he might look for an unnamed book by Thomas Fuller Sam had referred to in a letter to a “young lady entering society” he’d seen in an unspecified journal [MTP].
Lotos Club sent Sam a form letter soliciting funds for a $100,000 second mortgage bond [MTP].
Scott H. Palmer wrote from Glenburn, Penn. to interest Sam in an “invention consisting in an appliance for automatic signaling on railways” [MTP].
January 19 Tuesday – Townsend Rushmore wrote from Plainfield, N.J. to Sam, having been reminded of a passage in IA of the “voice of the turtle that was heard in the land,” by a new edition of Ben Hur, p. 473 Vol. 2 [MTP].
Mary E. Bartlett wrote from Cheyenne about her “Mental Telegraphy” experience in Wyoming [MTP].
January 20 Wednesday – Sam was in bed with pneumonia. During this week he wrote and revised his sixth and last letter for McClure’s Syndicate, “The German Chicago.” Paine calls this “a finely descriptive article on Berlin, and German customs and institutions generally” [MTB 936]. An excerpt:
In one respect the million and a half of Berlin’s population are like a family: the head of this large family knows the names of its several members, and where the said members are located, and when and where they were born, and what they do for a living, and what their religious brand is. Whoever comes to Berlin must furnish these particulars to the police immediately; moreover, if he knows how long he is going to stay, he must say so. If he takes a house he will be taxed on the rent and taxed also on his income. He will not be asked what his income is, and so he may save some lies for home consumption. The police will estimate his income from the house rent he pays, and tax him on that basis.
Duties on imported articles are collected with inflexible fidelity, be the sum large or little; but the methods are gentle, prompt, and full of the spirit of accommodation. The postman attends to the whole matter for you, in cases where the article comes by mail, and you have no trouble and suffer no inconvenience. The other day a friend of mine was informed that there was a package in the post-office for him, containing a lady’s silk belt with gold clasp, and a gold chain to hang a bunch of keys on. In his first agitation he was going to try to bribe the postman to chalk it through, but acted upon his sober second thought and allowed the matter to take its proper and regular course. In a little while the postman brought the package and made these several collections: duty on the silk belt, 7½ cents; duty on the gold chain, 10 cents; charge for fetching the package, 5 cents. These devastating imposts are exacted for the protection of German home industries.
The calm, quiet, courteous, cussed persistence of the police is the most admirable thing I have encountered on this side. They undertook to persuade me to send and get a passport for a Swiss maid whom we had brought with us, and at the end of six weeks of patient, tranquil, angelic daily effort they succeeded. I was not intending to give them trouble, but I was lazy and I thought they would get tired. Meanwhile they probably thought I would be the one. It turned out just so.
One is not allowed to build unstable, unsafe, or unsightly houses in Berlin; the result is this comely and conspicuously stately city, with its security from conflagrations and breakdowns. It is built of architectural Gibraltars. The building commissioners inspect while the building is going up. It has been found that this is better than to wait till it falls down. These people are full of whims.
One is not allowed to cram poor folk into cramped and dirty tenement houses. Each individual must have just so many cubic feet of room-space, and sanitary inspections are systematic and frequent.
Everything is orderly. The fire brigade march in rank, curiously uniformed, and so grave is their demeanor that they look like a Salvation Army under conviction of sin. People tell me that when a fire alarm is sounded, the firemen assemble calmly, answer to their names when the roll is called, then proceed to the fire. There they are ranked up, military fashion, and told off in detachments by the chief, who parcels out to the detachments the several parts of the work which they are to undertake in putting out that fire. This is all done with low-voiced propriety, and strangers think these people are working a funeral. As a rule, the fire is confined to a single floor in these great masses of bricks and masonry, and consequently there is little or no interest attaching to a fire here for the rest of the occupants of the house.
There is abundance of newspapers in Berlin, and there was also a newsboy, but he died. At intervals of half a mile on the thoroughfares there are booths, and it is at these that you buy your papers. There are plenty of theaters, but they do not advertise in a loud way. There are no big posters of any kind, and the display of vast type and of pictures of actors and performance framed on a big scale and done in rainbow colors is a thing unknown. If the big show bills existed there would be no place to exhibit them; for there are no poster fences, and one would not be allowed to disfigure dead walls with them. Unsightly things are forbidden here; Berlin is a rest to the eye [“German Chicago” in Neider, Complete Essays 89-91].
January 21 Thursday – Livy wrote for Sam to Frederick J. Hall:
Your letter of Jan. 7th has just reached us [not extant]…Like all your letters it was a great comfort to me….I am anxious that Mr. C. should take that sixteen thousand that he will have from his story and letters and invest it elsewhere because it surely is very bad to have all ones eggs in one basket….Therefore he intends to invest $16,000 through Mr. Halsey.
Mr. Clemens has been ill in bed with a very bad cough now for a week, he is better and is going to sit up for a little while today. I write therefore for him. …
Trusting you will pardon the many erasures in this work as Mr. C. talks to me while I write [MTLTP 301-3].
January 22 Friday
January 23 Saturday – Livy wrote for Sam to Frederick J. Hall (not extant) [Jan. 25 to Hall].
January 24 Sunday – Sam’s notebook from Berlin:
When I had been in bed 11 days, Frau von Versen came Jan. 24, & brought a note inviting me on the part of the Emperor to come to the palace at 11.30 a.m. & witness the consecration of some flags. I wrote my thanks & regrets. Frau von V. came again that day or the next & said the Emperor had commanded her to prepare dinner for him & me in her house — the date of the dinner to be the day that I shd be well enough [NB 31 TS 21].
The Boston Daily Globe, p.20 “MARK TWAIN’S BIRTHPLACE,” was a brief feature article mentioning Sam’s first companions in Hannibal: Benton Coontz, John RoBards, and Barney Farthing. The first two were still citizens of Hannibal, and the latter, “though having spent a large portion of his life in the West and mingled with Mark in his Virginia City career, is a resident of Paris [Mo.]” A crude drawing of Sam’s Florida, Mo. birthplace was included.
January 25 Monday – In Berlin, Sam began a letter to Frederick J. Hall, which he added a PS to on Jan. 27. He answered Halls’ Jan. 7 and Jan. 12 letters (neither extant), and added to Livy’s letter of Jan. 23. Sam wrote a laundry list of items for Hall’s consideration and execution. Sam noted first that the “enclosure” referred to in Hall’s Jan. 7 was not there, but he assumed it was the one about Poultney Bigelow and the Kaiser enclosed in Hall’s Jan. 12. Second, Sam thought the “December showing” was “great,” and that the “contrast between LAL receipts for last 9 & months & corresponding 9 in ’90” was “startlingly satisfactory.”
He also noted the letter of credit was there. Yes, Hall might use Sam’s “Century war article,” together with the sketch “Luck,” the “Mental Telegraphy article,” his “Letter to Queen Victoria,” “Meisterschafft,” and his “Article about an old medical Dictionary” from Harper’s “about 2 years ago.” (Note: Hall was putting together a collection known as Merry Tales, which included most of these pieces; it would issue in April 1892.)
Sam would cable his “approval of every proposition” in Hall’s letters of Jan. 7. He was “more than satisfied with the 17,000 sales of HF, which he felt was “good” for “an old book.” He agreed with Hall not to issue CY and P&P and HF at cheaper issues than one dollar, “for a good while to come — if ever.” He asked that his proposed book, “Recent European Glimpses” be suppressed till he got “time to add a lot of chapters to it,” which he meant to do the following summer.
I shall not feel blue again. I am permanently the other way, now.
As to my MSS there — you have ciphered it out right …P.S. You will issue the “Claimant” as a $1 book, won’t you? [MTLTP 303-4].
Sam also wrote to Thomas M. Williams, who had already shown some successes in marketing LAL, as evidence by Sam’s remarks to Hall in this day’s letter.
I am sincerely glad that we have secured your masterly management & energy for the LAL for ten years. The signs have been showing up clearer & clearer month after month that L.A.L., as you had said, contained a fortune; & I am satisfied that you are the man to extract it.
Sam expressed gladness that he and Fred Hall had lost the bet — “That sort of misfortune comes all too soon.” [MTP]. Note: Sam had been skeptical of LAL since it was Charles Webster’s pet project. See also Dec. 16, 1891 entry.
Lillian L. Johnson wrote from Waltham, Mass. asking what was Sam’s favorite flower, for an article she was to write about favorite flowers of prominent people [MTP].
January 26 Tuesday
January 27 Wednesday – At the Hotel Royal in Berlin Sam finished his Jan. 25 letter to Frederick J. Hall, with a lengthy PS. He enclosed a “dated check” for $2,000 and “some undated ones for $1,000 each.” He directed Hall to put these amounts with the Wall Street agent Halsey to be invested in Livy’s name, and to do likewise with any copyright or interest payments Webster & Co. might pay him. When Halsey delivered the securities they were to go into “a box in a Safety Deposit Vault,” with Hall keeping the key himself, with a list of the securities for reference. Interestingly, Sam wanted “no mention of them to go to Hartford.”
I have been nearly 2 weeks in bed, now, and am tired of it. SLC [MTP].
Note: claims by Hamersley or other Paige typesetter debts in Hartford may explain Sam’s desire to keep these amounts confidential to Hall, and to put any earnings in securities issued in Livy’s name. When the firm would go bankrupt in 1894, Livy would be the largest creditor. Hall was undoubtedly trying to dredge up any older articles that might be used singly or combined in publishing efforts. This was a time when every dollar mattered.
Sam also wrote to Chatto & Windus, thanking them for the copies requested of P&P. Sam was still in bed “with congestion of the lungs,” but was “mending.”
He directed his English publisher to “make no preparations” to issue his six Europe letters in a book form as he wanted to add to them, “next summer or fall,” and make “a book, not a pamphlet.” Sam only liked three of the five published so far, and not all of the three. “It is a poor average,” he concluded [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Berlin: “Illuminations birth-day night (Jan. 27) were largely electrical” [NB 31 TS 26].
Charles H. Denison wrote from N.Y. to Sam — another reaction to the “Mental Telegraphy” article. Denison offered the idea that the ideas occur “at the same instant in both brains” [MTP].
January 28 Thursday
January 29 Friday
January 30 Saturday – The Illustrated London News ran a third and last segment of “At the Shrine of St. Wagner.” Prior segments ran on Jan. 2, and 9, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
J.T. McDonald wrote from N.Y. to Sam, responding to his article on Mental Telegraphy in December’s issue of Harper’s [MTP].
January 31 Sunday – Sam’s fame is reflected in a squib in the N.Y. Times, which announced he’d been “confined to his bed for a week…suffering with a bad cold,” but was “now recovering” [p.2 dateline Jan. 30, included in “Education in Germany”].
February – The American Claimant was published serially in The Idler Magazine (London) from Feb.1892 through Jan. 1893.
London’s Idler Magazine ran “A Conglomerate Interview with Mark Twain,” by Luke Sharp [The Twainian, Nov. 1940 p.4]. From Tenney:
Contains “Good Stories of Mark Twain in London” by Bruce Hatton; an account of his smoking; an excerpt from the interview Kipling published…and MT’s recollections of Kipling; a reference to a passage in MT’s “Mental Telegraphy” as foundation for his The American Claimant (beginning as a serial in this issue of Idler); and a reprinting of the poem to MT on his fiftieth birthday, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. There is also an extract from an interview in which MT expressed his admiration for Thomas Bailey Aldrich. The article is illustrated by eight snapshots of MT taken on board the French liner, La Gascogne as it neared Havre, and the issue has a sketch of MT as frontspiece .
Sam’s notebook for Feb.:
The trial of editor, artist & pressman (?) of Klatteradatch for calling the Holy Coat of Treves a Humbug came off the other day. They were acquitted because they didn’t make fun of holy Church’s “real relics!” As if there were any — or ever had been. It was drawing it fine [NB 31 TS 25].
February 1 Monday
February 2 Tuesday – At the Hotel Royal in Berlin and still down in bed, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, again about The American Claimant, which was to be issued as a one-dollar book as soon as the serialized version was completed. He directed Hall to get someone “competent & conscientious” to prepare the copy and read proofs, confessing he wouldn’t be able to do that “for some time to come.” He also directed Hall to coordinate the effort with Chatto for English publication.
Twenty-second anniversary of my wedding day; been in bed 3 weeks, now, with a mixture of influenza and congestion of the lungs, — mainly the latter, only a touch of the former [MTLTP 305].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam of a humorous incident regarding a houseguest:
Dear Mark: Dear Boy: / Old Dr. Hamlin the missionary was lately here passing a day and a night with us — to our great pleasure; for no man I know, but you, equals him as a raconteur. In the morning, after breakfast he spied Flagg’s portrait of you which hangs in our parlor over the book-case, and looked at it long, close to, then further off; with his spectacles, then without them. Finally he turned to me and said, “Twichell, that is an excellent likeness of you. It is lifelike; and reproduces one of your characteristic expressions perfectly.” [MTP]. Note: Joe related several other local matters in this 15 half-pages letter, and passed on that Sam’s Europe letters “have been fine, every one of them,” and that the Bayreuth Festival letter was the “best thing you (or anybody) ever wrote, in my opinion” [MTP].
The Lotos Club sent Sam a printed invitation with two tickets to a lecture by E.J. Glave, one of Mr. Stanley’s Pioneer Officers, entitled, “Six Years in the Wilds of Africa” and “The Pioneer Packhorse in Central Alaska” on Feb. 6, 1892 at 9 p.m. [MTP].
T.W. McCreary for Ashtabula Disaster Fund sent Sam a printed flyer on the Dec. 29, 1876 railroad disaster, whereby the Knights of Pythias sought to raise funds for a monument [MTP].
February 3 Wednesday
February 4 Thursday
February 5 Friday – At the Hotel Royal in Berlin and still down in bed, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. The doctor had ordered Sam to leave for the south of France as soon as he was able. Sam put his new address at the top of the letter, his Paris banker. He’d received a sample Mark Twain’s Memory Builder from Hall, and pointed out the flaws in the boards.
It will not be well to send any of these boards out — they will come back to you, sure.
I am expecting to be allowed to sit up a little while to-day. We shall see, when the doctor comes.
I am ordered to a warm climate as soon as I can travel. Hence my address is changed back to the Paris banker as above. Yrs sincerely / SLC [MTLTP 306].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam reporting he deposited Livy’s money with Halsey, but had deposited a $1,281 royalty check and a McClure payment in the Mount Morris Bank in Sam’s personal account, making Sam’s balance $6,781.99 [MTLTP 303n2]. Sam wrote on the envelope, “$6,000 to my personal credit in Mt. Morris, Feb ’92. Is it still there?” [MTP].
Arthur Cassot for Manhattan Press Clipping Bureau wrote offering Sam the benefits of their service and a card of rates, application for subscription. [MTP].
The Students of the University of New Brunswick, Canada sent a invitation to “a Converserione and Promenade Concert” for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. [MTP].
February 6 Saturday – Andrew F. Brady wrote from Blackwater, Mo. that he was reading AC running in the St. Louis Republican. The character of Nat Brady led Andrew to surmise that Sam had Andrew’s father in mind, James N. Brady, who died in July of 1889. “Can it be?” [MTP].
February 7 Sunday – The N.Y. Sun, The Boston Daily Globe and other McClure Syndicate newspapers ran Sam’s Europe letter, “Marienbad — A Health Factory” (The Globe titled it “MARK TWAIN’S GOUT”. The Illustrated London News reprinted segments with the title “An Austrian Health-Factory” on Feb. 20, Mar. 5, and Mar. 12, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
February 8 Monday – Harry Edwards Fund sent Sam a printed circular soliciting funds to raise $15,000 for the purchase of Harry’s “magnificent Entomological Collection.” Dr. William C. Prime was quoted. [MTP]. Note: a unique way of “bugging” Mark Twain.
February 9 Tuesday – C.E. Raymond for J. Walter Thompson Magazine and Newspaper Advertising wrote to Sam about his “Telegraphy” article, noting that the July 1891 Harper’s — a serial story by W.D. Howells (“An Imperative Duty”) — and the Oct. 1891 Century article — Matt Crim’s, “Was it an Exceptional Case” — were very similar in plot. Had Sam noticed? [MTP].
February 10 Wednesday – Mrs. M.J. Kimball wrote from Sunbury, Ohio to Sam after reading his “Telegraphy” article with her own examples and a request to help her get her stories published [MTP].
February 11 Thursday – Sam’s notebook in Berlin:
Feb. 11. Court ball night (& on other such functions at the palace) the footmen up by the drivers wear a placard on their hats — showing that carriage contains invitees — otherwise it couldn’t turn in to its place with the rest but would be switched off [NB 31 TS 25].
February 12 Friday – At the Hotel Royal in Berlin and still down in bed, Sam wrote to Augustin Daly, who had written (not extant) seeking to dramatize The American Claimant. Sam wrote he would have cabled his agreement but was unable to. He related the story of the play by that name which A.P. Burbank tried to produce, attempts which Sam said cost him money.
I have written Burbank [not extant] (Lotos Club) asking him to give up his interest in the old play, to me, so that I can negociate with you. I think he will do that; he has had liberal time on it & has not accomplished anything.
You couldn’t use the old play yourself in dramatizing the new story — they differ too widely.
Sam added that he’d asked Burbank to coordinate with Hall, who would write Daly the result. He also gave him his Paris address and wrote he would go south “say Feb. 28 — not earlier,” and to cable the Hotel Royal till then [MTP]. Note: The Clemenses would leave on Feb. 29 [Feb. 26 to McClure].
Sam then wrote to Frederick J. Hall about Daly wanting the stage rights to AC, and explaining the history with A.P. Burbank, who might relinquish his claims. If so, Sam wanted Hall to “conduct the business with Daly; or have Whitford or some other lawyer do it under your supervision” if he preferred. Sam complained of rheumatism in his right foot [MTLTP 306-7].
February 13 Saturday
February 14 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Professor Helmholtz called” [NB 31 TS 26].
Paine quotes Sam’s record of this day that Professor Rudolf Virchow visited, “but unfortunately leaves no further memorandum of that visit.” Did Paine confuse Helmholtz with Virchow? Or, did both men stop by? Paine also notes that Sam was “quite recovered” by this time, and quotes his final entry:
30 sick abed — full of interest — read the debates & get excited over them, though don’t versteh. By reading, keep in a state of excited ignorance: ike a blind man in a house afire — flounder around, immensely but unintelligently interested, don’t know how I got in & can’t find the way out, but I’m having a booming time all to myself.
Don’t know what a Schulgesetzentwurf is, but I keep as excited over it & as worried about it as if it was my own child. I simply live on the Sch-E; it is my daily bread. I wouldn’t have the question settled for anything in the world. Especially now that I’ve lost the öffentliche Militärgericht circus. I read all the debates on that question with a never-failing interest, but all at once they sprung a vote on me a couple of days ago & did something by a vote of 100 to 143, but I couldn’t find out what it was [MTB 393; B 31 TS 29]. (Notebook TS followed; Paine’s changes ignored)
February 15 Monday
February 16 Tuesday – Dr. Richard Hodgson (1855-1905) of the American Society for Psychical Research wrote to Sam asking for corroborative testimonies and supporting documentation for Sam’s Dec. 1891 article, “Mental Telegraphy” in Harper’s [“An Incident by ‘Mark Twain’ Verified,” by Walter F. Prince, Journal of the Am. Soc. For Psychical Research, Vol. XV Jan. 1921]. Printed circulars were enclosed. Note: William Wright (Dan De Quille) and Charles T. Parsloe (“Mr. O”) were noted in Sam’s article.
February 17 Wednesday – Clara H. Backus wrote from Wallaston, Mass. It is a rambling, non-sensical letter; Sam wrote on the envelope, “Crazy” [MTP].
February 18 Thursday – Helen M. Reynolds wrote from Wilkesbarre, Penn. to Sam after reading his “Telegraphy” article. Helen pointed out “something similar in Dr. Holmes’ book, “Over the Teacups,” and asked if Sam had seen it [MTP]. Note: it seems everyone and his brother wanted to share similar “mental” oddities with Sam, or had an opinion on the matter. No other Twain essay seems to have stimulated this amount of response.
February 19 Friday – In Berlin for the first time in 37 days Sam went out of the Hotel Royal for a half hour [Feb. 20 to Whitmore].
February 20 Saturday – In Berlin at General Maximillian von Versen’s, Sam had dinner with Emperor William II. A few days before, Sam entered in his notebook:
In that day the Imperial lion & the democratic lamb shall sit down together & a little General shall feed them [NB 31 TS 27].
Dined at Gen. (lately Lt. Gen.) von Versen’s. Sat at the right hand of the Emperor. His brother, Prince Heinrich, sat opposite; Prince Radolin (Chamberlain) further along. 14 at table; mainly great military & naval people. Two of my friends besides the von Versens were there — Rottenburg and Rudolph Lindau, both of the foreign office.
After dinner 6 or 8 officers came in, & all hands adjourned to the big room out of the smoking room & held a “smoking parliament” after the style of the ancient Potsdam one till midnight, when the Emperor shook hands and left [NB 31 TS 31].
Paine notes that Sam’s further description of the evening made fourteen years later may have included some “embroidery.” For that story see MTB p.941-3. See also Gribben p.727.
At the Hotel Royal, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford. This is an obvious response to a letter, but is not extant.
Oh yes, Br, pay the charities.
You say no more about the old secretary from the West. I suppose you have corresponded with my brother about it.
I was out of the house yesterday ½ an hour for the first time in 37 days.
Sam added that if Livy was well enough they’d leave for the Riviera for health reasons in about a week to stay “several months.” He asked if the American Publishing Co. had paid up royalties on his old books, and if so how much pay? He also asked for “a half dozen U.S. Bank checks” [MTP].
The Illustrated London News ran a first segment of “An Austrian Health-Factory.” Follow up segments ran on Mar. 5, and Mar. 12, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin]. Note: this was a reprint of the article, “Marienbad — A Health Factory,” which ran in the N.Y. Sun and other McClure Syndicate newspapers on Feb. 7.
February 21 Sunday
February 22 Monday – At the Hotel Royal in Berlin, Sam wrote to E.A. Reynolds Ball, an English travel writer. Sam belatedly thanked Ball for sending a book (probably Mediterranean Winter Resorts 1888):
I am just out of bed after a 38-days’ illness, and am ordered to the Riviera for restoration. Meantime your book has arrived, and furnishes me just the information I needed…” [MTP from paraphrase of Christie’s East, Sept. 27, 1995 item 7]. Note: Sam likely had sought information on healthful places to settle for the next two or three years.
February 23 Tuesday – M.R. Jewell typed a four-page letter to Sam with more experiences of “Mental Telegraphy”. As with several other of these responses, Sam wrote “Psychology” on the envelope [MTP].
February 24 Wednesday – Edward J. Shriver sent a form letter soliciting Sam’s signature on a petition for the Single Tax [MTP].
February 25 Thursday
February 26 Friday – In Berlin at the Hotel Royal Sam wrote to Samuel S. McClure. Webster & Co. had forwarded McClure’s cable from London asking for a “letter at once,” which Sam took to be one a syndicate letter. His illness kept him from correcting or dictating it further, but he felt it “pretty plainly written,” and promised to mail it the next day.
By the doctor’s orders I leave Monday [Feb. 29] for the Riviera to get back my strength. Shall arrive there in 3 or 4 days. Meantime my address will be “Care Drexell Harjes & Co Paris.” I’m going to have a long holiday from writing now. / You’ll find the letter in the usual big blue envelop. Truly Yours, SL Clemens [MTP].
Day before yesterday [Feb. 24] the Emperor made a speech (as Markgraf of Brandenburg) to the little Brandenburg parliament assembled here at a banquet in the palace. Complained sharply of the “Nörgler” (grumblers) who are dissatisfied with the government, & suggested that if they don’t like the way things are they’d better “shake the German sand out of their slippers & leave.”
The speech made a great stir. That & the odious (proposed) Schulgesetz & the lack of bread & work resulted in a mob gathering in front of the palace yesterday, (of people out of work.) They uttered revolutionary cries. Bakers’ bread was distributed to them, but they threw it away.
At Jean’s school this morning the children were forbidden to speak of the matter, but said they’d tell her out of school.
Crowds of the proletariat drift up & down the Holy Land to-day. But the Emperor rode out as usual, & after him I saw the whole force of royal carriages following — apparently all the royal women & all the children have turned out to show that they are not afraid [NB 31 TS 31-2].
February 27 Saturday – After attending a dinner at midnight on Feb. 26, Sam wrote in his notebook:
Dinner at Coleman’s, Secretary of legation. Rottenburg, Vermouth, (German Commissioner of Chicago Fair,) one of the Foreign Secretaries of State, the von Versens, Col. Swayne — & others. At the Emperor’s dinner black cravats were ordered. To-night I went in a black cravat — & everybody else wore white. Just my luck [NB 31 TS 32].
February 28 Sunday
February 29 Monday – Sam and Livy left the children to their studies in Berlin for the sunnier climes of the French Riviera and a three week rest to regain their health. According to Sam’s Feb. 26 to McClure, they took “3 or 4 days” to arrive, or by Mar. 3 or 4. The distance is nearly a thousand miles from Berlin to the Riviera, so they undoubtedly rested one or two nights along the way [Feb. 26 to McClure; Mar. 21 to Moffett]
March – Brander Matthews’ article, “American Fiction Again,” ran in Cosmopolitan, p.636-40. From Tenney:
“…praises the depiction of Southern attitudes toward slavery, and the family feuds and mob violence. E.W. Kemble’s illustrations are executed ‘with the same fidelity and care’ he gave to an edition of UNCLE TOM’S CABIN. Robert Louis Stevenson called HF the strongest book in English of its decade, and Matthews praises the structure, the style, and the author’s success in suppressing himself and seeing everything through Huck’s eyes” [Tenney, supplement in Am. Lit. Realism, Autumn 1977 p.330].
March 1 Tuesday – Sam and Livy were in transit to Menton, France.
March 2 Wednesday – Sam and Livy were in transit to Menton, France.
Robert McClure, brother of Samuel S. McClure, wrote to Sam at his Paris address from his London office. Sam would forward this letter to Hall on Mar. 8.
Dear Mr. Clemens: —
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 26th ult., also manuscript of the fifth article which I am having type-written and forwarded to New York.
I suspect that Webster & Co’s cable was inspired by my brother, to whom I wrote some time ago begging him to send me more copy immediately, in order that the publication of the letters in “The Illustrated London News” might not be interrupted.
I am exceedingly sorry to hear that you have been ill, and I trust that your visit to the Riviera will completely restore you to health and strength. / Yours faithfully… [MTP].
Note: the appearance of Sam’s Europe letters in this London newspaper is explained by this letter — Samuel McClure’s brother ran the England office for S.S. McClure’s. Sam wrote on the bottom of the letter for Hall to preserve it as proof that he’d completed the contract with McClure.
H.C. Stone wrote from Kansas City, Mo. to Sam, enclosing “a literary composition that was intended to be humorous,” called “An Open Letter To Mark Twain.” Stone jumped out of bed to write it, and did not ask for help or consideration about it [MTP]. Note: the piece is rambling, abstract and not notable.
March 3 Thursday – On this day or the next the Clemens family arrived in Menton, France, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France on the border of Italy. Menton has the nickname, “the pearl of France.” The Mediterranean town boasts a warm micro-climate, with lemon, tangerine and orange groves. Rodney writes this as a five-day trip, but gives Mar. 1 as the departure date rather than Feb. 29 .
March 4 Friday – The Clemenses arrived in the resort town of Menton, France [Livy to Trumbull Mar 5].
March 5 Saturday – The Illustrated London News ran a second segment of “An Austrian Health-Factory.” Other segments ran on Feb. 20, and Mar. 12, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
In Menton, Sam wrote to Dr. Edward K. Root of Hartford. The first paragraph is in German and mentions Annie Trumbull, then he wrote:
But I am out of German. It left me (the remaining ragged fragments of it) when I crossed the frontier a day or two ago.
Talk of you is frequent with us — of you & of our other special friends. Which reminds me lately when we were discussing one of our minor officials in Berlin, who is a good fellow, but lacking in fineness of fibre, Mrs. Clemens said: “What a pity it is our government don’t send over people who are in all ways and always gentlemen — like Dr. Root and Mr. Welch.” I thought the same.
We are here but not solidly anchored. So we keep the old address: Care Drexel Harjes & Co. Paris. We left the children with their aunt in Berlin. I am well again. Sincerely yours, with our warm regards [MTP].
Livy wrote to Clara Clemens at the Hotel Royal, Berlin. She complained about the cold and the tin boxes filled with hot water placed under the feet on the train from Milan — boxes that didn’t stay warm.
Last night after we reached here papa sent a dispatch to Mr. Phelps at Nice, “Just arrived. Came all the way on snow shoes.” This morning we got up and found a dispatch waiting for us saying that Mr. Phelps would come to breakfast with us. So at twelve o’clock he arrived and we had a jolly time with him until half past two. …
While we were at breakfast Joseph [Verey] came in bringing an immense and gorgeous boquet with a card. I was astounded. Who could know of our being here. Well who do you think? Miss Hawdon! Evidently she saw us arrive on the train, so I am rather afraid that I shall be bothered with her [MTP].
T.W. McCreary for Ashtabula Disaster Fund sent another printed circular soliciting funds [MTP].
The Open Court Publishing Co. of Chicago sent a dun notice and a bill for $7.59 to Sam for subscriptions for the period of Nov. 1, 1887 to July 10, 1891 [MTP].
March 6 Sunday – “The Cradle of Liberty” ran as “Mark Twain in the Cradle of Liberty” in the Chicago Tribune, and other McClure Syndicate newspapers. It was reprinted on Mar. 13 in the N.Y. Sun, and with changes included in What is Man? And Other Essays (1917) [Budd, Collected 2: 1000]. A Shorter version ran in the Boston Daily Globe, p.17 under the title, “GAVE A MOUNTAIN A JOB.”
March 7 Monday – In Menton, France, Livy wrote to Alice H. Day. Willis writes of her letter:
Livy felt pangs of separation with the twinges of her bad heart. To Alice Day she wrote of her fears of being ill abroad. “I say to Mr. Clemens sometimes ‘think of the horror of dying over here among these new people.’ I want to be with my own people or my own old friends when I go out of this world” .
March 8 Tuesday – In Menton, France Sam wrote to Elisabeth N. Fairchild (Mrs. Charles S. Fairchild) in Boston, late neighbors of the Howellses. Mrs. Fairchild had written (not extant) to Sam in Berlin, to introduce him to a Mr. Gebbord. Her letter obviously contained word of William Dean Howells and his depression:
Your letter overtook us here, & we shall not be in Berlin again until next fall or winter; but we shall hope that Mr. Gebbord will come & see us then.
Oh, I know! I know! But there is no help; nothing will ever cheer Howells up again; his heart is buried in Winnie’s grave. Aldrich will always grow younger till he dies, no doubt; & we know that Dr. Holmes will.
Sam’s PS noted that his paper was soiled, but no problem, he had an envelop to match [MTP].
Sam also wrote two letters to Frederick J. Hall, the first advising that he and Livy would “remain here 2 or 3 weeks.” Sam accepted that the “trade sees no promise in the Game” (Mark Twain’s Memory Builder) and regretted putting his name to it. His advice: “put it away until some indefinite time in the far future.” Sam wanted Hall to focus on more important matters. He mentioned he’d cabled and agreed with Hall’s “purposes concerning the ‘Claimant’ book.” He liked Hall’s January statement and was glad Hall was done with W.E. Dibble, the hiring of whom was Charles Webster’s last official act for Webster & Co. (see Feb. 25, 1887 entry) [MTLTP 307].
In the second letter to Hall, Sam enclosed the Mar. 2 letter from Robert McClure, brother of Samuel S. McClure (see entry). Sam asked Hall to “preserve” McClure’s letter as “proof” that he’d “completed the McClure contract.” Sam clarified that McClure’s letter referred to his Europe letter number six concerning Berlin, not number five [MTP].
Sam and Livy wrote to Annie Trumbull, who had sent a newspaper column, “The Club Corner.” Sam was glad she was “fixed” with “a newspaper just to edit after” her “own fashion,” and that she was “doing it first rate.” Sam commented on a couple of other matters, which Annie had obviously mentioned in her last letter (not extant).
I’m going to try the game — Observation — & see what I can do at it. Just nothing, I suppose. What I notice I don’t remember, & I seldom notice anything anyway.
I dropped Dr. Root a line [Mar. 5] to congratulate him. But I ought rather to drop a line to the Club to congratulate them.
Dear me, but we are having a secluded good time here, Livy & I all by ourselves — just us two & the ocean, which is booming at our door. We shall rest & lazy around & read & smoke here 3 or 4 weeks. / With very much love — [Note: Dr. Edward K. Root was a Hartford physician who often treated the Clemenses].
Livy also wrote of their time in Menton, and her antipathy to English tourists:
As Mr. Clemens wrote we are having a delightfully quiet time here. We went out today to look on at the Battle of Flowers. Many of the carriages were perfectly beautiful in their tasteful arrangement.
This hotel is filled with English people. Such plainness, such countrified dressing such gauche gates I have never before in my life seen. I hope next time to be in a hotel with fewer English. Even if we do not know any of the people it will be more gratifying to ones aesthetic sense [MTP].
Note: To celebrate Menton’s roots in citrus fruit cultivation, the town hosts her Fête des Citrons (lemon festival) once per year, a carnival called “The Battle of Flowers.”
March 9 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook in Mentone, France:
Mentone, Mch. 9. Letter from Alfred Arnold proposing to dramatize Sellers [AC] for Crane, I to have “half of the revenue from the play;” no contract for its production to be made without my sanction of terms, &c; I to approve play or it not to be produced. Says he dramatized “Dr. Rameau” & has had experience.
Answered that if my other offer comes to nothing, shall be glad to take the matter with him again.
His address is 679 Madison ave [NB 31 TS 32] Note: Georges Ohnet’s Dr. Rameau (1889).
March 10 Thursday
March 11 Friday – Barrow, Wade, Guthrie & Co. Accountants sent Sam an annual statement of their audit of Webster & Co.’s books, “showing the result of the two departments to be a net profit of $16,743.28 of which the Captial Account of Mr. S.L. Clemens has been credited with two-thirds thereof viz: $11,162.19, and the Special Account of Mr. F. J. Hall with one-third viz: $5,581.09” [MTP].
March 12 Saturday – The Illustrated London News ran a third and last segment of “An Austrian Health-Factory.” Other segments ran on Feb. 20 and Mar. 5, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
Back in Hartford “The Twentieth Century Club” was formed with Charles Hopkins Clark, editor of the Hartford Courant, as president. The “call” went out to 45 “gentlemen residents” of Hartford [http://1892club.org/history-page.htm].
March 13 Sunday – Sam’s Europe letter, “The Cradle of Liberty” was reprinted in the New York Sun and perhaps other McClure syndicated newspapers [Willson’s list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
March 14 Monday
March 15 Tuesday
March 16 Wednesday
March 17 Thursday
March 18 Friday – In Menton, France, Sam responded to Dr. Richard Hodgson’s Feb. 16 letter (see entry), and Livy added a line:
Your favor of Feb. 16 has been forwarded to me, and in answer I am sorry to be obliged to say that I possess none of the evidences which you mention.
My article was written before the day of Psychical Societies; at a time when people did not even consider such experiences as mine worth remembering, let alone recording and subjecting to examination. It is now (or will be, 6 or 7 weeks hence) fourteen years since the first part of my article was written, and the Wright incident was already a year or so old at the time. Documents do not stay with me over such lapses of time as that. / Truly yours, S.L. Clemens
I think Wm. H. Wright is still on the staff of the “Enterprise.” Virginia, Nev.
[Livy:] I am the other person concerned in the Durham incident, and it occurred just as stated by my husband in his article.
[“An Incident by ‘Mark Twain’ Verified,” by Walter F. Prince, Journal of the Am. Soc. For Psychical Research, Vol. XV Jan. 1921].
March 19 Saturday – Susy Clemens’ twentieth birthday.
Once again Sam was away from one of his daughters on a birthday, this time Susy. Sam and Livy were enjoying a sunny respite in Menton, France.
Frederick J. Hall wrote a Feb. statement of affairs: notes of $25,000 with $16,000 used would need to be renewed, and Hall enclosed them asking Sam to endorse and return; sales for the month gave a net profit of “about $3,000,” which Hall wrote did not include the sales of The Idler, which were out on news stands and no present accounting could be made [MTP].
March 20 Sunday
March 21 Monday – In Menton, France Sam wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, whose letter (not extant) had found him.
Your letter has come, & finds me with a cold in the head which makes me want to swear, & rheumatic threatenings which make me afraid to. These are the first rheumatic suggestions which I have had since last Christmas (to amount to much), & I reckon they are due to your Christian Science. …
Livy & I are here alone — to get some healing weather. We left all the others at school in Berlin. We have been here 3 weeks. The courier [Joseph Verey] will take us to Pisa next Wednesday [Mar. 23] & then we shall go to Rome while he goes to Berlin & fetches the tribe.
Sam added that Susy had reached age 20 on Mar. 19, that he was “getting strong again” and that Livy was “doing pretty well,” but still complained that he could not write without disabling his shoulder [MTP].
In the evening Livy took a fall which Sam wrote about on Mar. 22 to daughter Susy.
March 22 Tuesday – In Menton, France Sam wrote to daughter Clara at the Royal Hotel in Berlin, passing on instructions from Livy as to packing their trunks. His letter is obviously a response to Clara’s letter (not extant). Sam mentions “Yaas” always wearing a beard — Susy’s nickname (Paine calls “rather disrespectful”) for Minister William Phelps. Paine writes, “a term conferred because of his pronounciation of that affirmative” [MTB 934]. Sam mentioned that Phelps wore a beard when he was in Menton. Sam also told of seeing royalty in Menton:
The other day if I had been six feet further to the left of the Prince of Wales’s landau would have run over me. If I had been noticing, instead of not noticing, I could have had a good look at the whole fambly, but as it was I saw only him & Georgy. He went to Mr. Hanbury’s this afternoon — where I was going, but was kept home by a very profane cold in the head….Likely he was disappointed. …
We had a very funny letter from Uncle Jo Twichell, & Mamma sent it to Mr. Phelps to read. …
We leave here early in the morning Thursday. Joseph [Verey] will switch off at Pisa & go for you folks. He has never uttered a scolding word to anybody, this time, but has made himself pleasant & welcome with all servants. He is doing his very best to please, & you must all help him succeed [MTP].
Note: Victoria and Albert’s son, the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, was also a regular visitor to Cannes. A decade before, Queen Victoria stayed in Menton, the largest British Colony in the Riviera. Arthur W. White writes that Sam dined with Edward VII at Bad Nauheim, but the “meeting was not a success because Twain insisted on being the center of attention” (no date given) [“Edward VII” MT Encyc. 245].
Sam and Livy also wrote to their oldest daughter, Susy Clemens. Sam wrote:
Susie dear — I have been delighted to note your easy facility with your pen & proud to note also your literary superiorities of one kind & another — clearness of statement, directness, felicity of expression, photographic ability in setting forth an incident — style — good style — no barnacles on it in the way of retarding, unnecessary words (the shipman scrapes off the barnacles when he wants his racer to go her best gait & straight to the buoy.) You should write a letter every day, long or short — & so ought I, but I don’t.
Sam also told of being unable to go to Nice, their last chance to do so; of Livy’s fall the evening before making her sore and stiff, but “working it off trunk-packing.”
Joseph is gone to Nice to educate himself in Kodacking — & to get the pictures mounted which Mamma thinks she took here; but I noticed she didn’t take the plug out, as a rule. When she did, she took nine pictures on top of each other — composites.
Livy wrote sideways in the margin: “He is a scandalous man, bless him isn’t he?” [MTP].
George T. Bromley for the Bohemian Club of San Francisco wrote asking Sam to contribute a paper for their Apr. 16 gathering, the subject being “Life / Its Sunshine and its Shadows” [MTP].
March 23 Wednesday
March 24 Thursday – Sam and Livy left Menton for Pisa, Italy with Joseph Verey, their courier. The plan was for Verey to leave them at Pisa and return to Berlin to guide the rest of the party to Rome. The entire trip from Menton to Rome was about 400 miles. Sam and Livy may have stayed in Pisa a day, but arrived in Rome on Mar. 27 [Mar. 27 to Chatto].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam
Yours of the 8th and 9th received. We make note of what you say about “Six Months in the Ranks” for cheap series and have written Murray for a copy. / I enclose herewith two copies of last instalment of “American Claimant”.
Hall also reported that the firm had paid “all those charges” from Mr. Halsey. McClure was paying very slowly and was good for it but “a good deal behindhand.” $2,000 was promised this week with the balance now due next week, with $5,500 being in arrears. The rest of the letter is given to the subject of buying out W.E. Dibble, bank notes, and the LAL. On the envelope Sam wrote in pencil: “I approve discounts. He will communicate with Daly at once. Wait, now, till we learn Daly’s mind.” In pen: “This doubles the bank burden” [MTP].
March 25 Friday – Sam and Livy were in Pisa, Italy. Sam’s notebook lists the Eden Hotel:
Pisa, Mch. 25 & ‘6. Echo in Baptistery is the noblest & sweetest & richest & most resonant & long-sustained musical strain in the world. It is nearest like a chord of flutes, perhaps, or one of those orchestral combinations in Wagner with silver horns in it — but nothing can do more than merely approach it remotely, no combination of voices or instruments can reproduce or adequately imitate it — for there is no building but this one where the strain would not have a noticeable flatness about it as compared with this noble roundness & fullness. / Pisa. / Transparent cab horses. / Fur-collared & cuffed overcoats. / Pisa. / …Bright green umbrellas [NB 31 TS 33].
O.A. Jenison of Robert Smith & Co., state printers and binders in Lansing Mich., wrote to Sam, unable to “procure” a copy of IA, asking where he might find one [MTP].
March 26 Saturday – Sam and Livy were in transit from Pisa to Rome, Italy.
March 27 Sunday – In Rome Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus.
We have just arrived here & shall remain two or three weeks. …
I received the two copies of the magazine in Berlin & got lots of entertainment out of them. I ought to have thanked you long ago, but I was attending to the influenza & couldn’t.
Sam advised them he would need another Wirt fountain pen in time, “one that is as limber as a quill” so they might capture one for him. “This stiff one brings back my rheumatism every time I put in a full day’s work with it” [MTP].
The N.Y. Times included Mark Twain, first in a list of literary contributors, Author’s Club for the purpose of making 250 copies of a specialty book available in the fall [Mar. 27, 1892, p.19 “Club News and Gossip”].
Note: No hotels are given for Sam or Livy’s letters from Rome, although Susy Clemens’ letters gives the Hotel Molaro. This may have been the family’s sole hotel.
March 28 Monday – In Rome, Sam cabled Henry C. Robinson, his old Hartford attorney and billiards friend.
Accept the offer provided one half of Paige & Hammersley’s interests in the company be added to it. Otherwise decline [MTP; also in NB 31 TS 34].
Note: Sam often spelled Hamersley’s name with two “m”s. The “offer” is clarified by Sam’s May 22, 1892 to Whitmore, which names “Mallory’s proposition,” an offer which was off and evidently on again, for Marshall Mallory to buy out Sam’s rights in the Paige typesetter for $250,000. See entries, April, end 1891; June 15 & 17, 1891; July 18, 1891.
Henry C. Robinson cabled Sam. A handwritten TS advised to “accept Mallory’s proposition for royalties & leave half interest … for settlement with Paige.” Sam wrote on the sheet, 4 o’clock p.m, Monday Mar 28th 92” [MTP; also NB 31 TS 34].
Two copies of Merry Tales were deposited with the Copyright Office on this day. The first edition was published early in April, 1892 [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.15, Oxford ed. 1996]. The N.Y. Times announced it on Apr. 4, 1892 (see entry); see also Jan. 25, 1892 entry.
In the 1996 Oxford edition, from the “Afterword” by Forrest G. Robinson:
“The publication of Merry Tales may be viewed as a minor episode in the much larger drama of Mark Twain’s financial collapse. By 1892, as Paige’s temperamental machine drew him ever deeper into debt, Twain looked to his publishing company, which was also failing, for a timely boost. On the initiative of his partner, Fred Hall, who took charge of the business when Twain fled to Europe in 1891, Webster and Company issued the Fiction, Fact, and Fancy series of trade books (seventy-five cents in cloth bindings, twenty-five cents in paper) designed to sell quickly and in large quantities to a popular audience hungry for inexpensive entertainment….But even at bargain rates the collection sold poorly, and thus contributed in a small way to the eventual undoing of its author” .
Note: Messent and others point out that Hall chose the name Merry Tales, one which Sam asked Harper’s to change when the book was reprinted in 1897, calling the collection “the mess” [Short Works, 117]. See Dec. 5, 1896 to Harper for Sam’s request.
March 29 Tuesday – In Rome, Sam cabled a one-liner to Henry C. Robinson’s Mar. 28 cable:
No, it is the only hold I have on P[aige] [MTP; also NB 31 TS 34].
Hotel Molaro. Capole Casi.
Did you ever see a chicken floundering frantically around in the back yard with its head off? Well it is the only exact imitation in the world of the waltz as the German dances it. Fifty chickens floundering around in furious confusion with their heads off — that is the very image of a German ball room at the time that the ladies & gentlemen believe themselves to be waltzing [NB 31 TS 34-5].
The New York Times, p.3 Mar. 30, 1892, dateline Mar. 29, “PAIGE TYPE-SETTING MACHINES” mistakenly reported that Sam had sold out his interest.
MR. PAIGE MOVES HIS WORKS FROM
HARTFORD TO CHICAGO.
HARTFORD, March 29. — The Paige type-setting machine has been removed to Chicago, the designs and models being now on the way to that city. In two weeks the last vestiges of this enterprise, which has been one of special mechanical interest here during the past fourteen years, will disappear from the city.
Mark Twain, who was extensively interested in the patents financially, sold out last year before leaving for Europe, and James W. Paige, the inventor, is now in control of the project. During the past two years Mr. Paige has been perfecting his invention, but has not yet secured the final patents in this country and in Europe.
These patents will be issued simultaneously in the United States and Europe. The models were forwarded to Chicago in a ten-ton safe, every precaution being taken to prevent loss or disclosure. The work of manufacturing the machines will be commenced this season, the company in charge being backed by a capital of $6,000,000.
Employment will be given to 500 hands in prosecuting this work. Mr. Paige says he has orders for 4,000 machines, the cost of each one being $20,000. He will take with him the skilled employees who have been engaged here on the work.
Pamelia C. Draper wrote to Sam (encl. in Draper to Whitmore, Apr. 11) soliciting funds for the Baptists of Frankford, Mo. to build a church [MTP].
Beatrice Roberts wrote to Sam, attaching a small clipping of a “curious coincidence” in response to his “Telegraphy” article [MTP].
March 30 Wednesday
March 31 Thursday – In Rome, Italy on this day or the next Sam put a memo in his notebook: “Get Roba di Roma,” which referred to William Wetmore Story’s two-volume Roba di Roma (1863) [Gribben 669; NB 31, TS 35].
April – In Rome, sometime during the month, Livy wrote an undated letter on Sam’s behalf to Daniel Willard Fiske (1831-1904), librarian and professor at Cornell, who was in Rome at the time. After the 1881 death of his wife, Jennie McGraw, Fiske spent a great deal of time in Italy collecting manuscripts. He bequeathed a large collection to Cornell, known now as the Fiske Collection. He was instrumental in organizing the first American Chess Congress in 1857 and edited Chess Monthly with champion Paul Morphy from 1857-61.
I am going to venture to tell you how very unhappy Mr Clemens has been about his unfortunate speech to you yesterday.
I write because it is always so hard to say such a thing face to face.
Livy quoted Sam as saying that his words to the professor had been intended as “complimentary” yet were “certainly put into the most awkward language that could be invented.” The end of her letter shows that Joseph Verey had brought the rest of the family from Berlin, and that the next day’s plans were made:
However I could not let it rest so, and if you had heard him talking to my sister and my daughter last night at dinner you would have seen how entirely he had taken in every minute detail that you gave him.
We are looking forward with great pleasure to our excursion with you tomorrow [MTP].
Sam’s notebook memo, “Monday even, Marriage of Figaro” was entered sometime this month in Rome — a reminder to see Mozart’s opera? [Gribben 490; NB 31, TS 37]. Gribben also writes, “Clemens reminded himself late in April 1892 to ‘cable Vedder’ and then to ‘send Vedder’s book home’ from Florence (NB 31, TS pp.38, 39). Henry Clay Vedder’s American Writers of To-day would contain essays on Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Henry James, and sixteen other major and minor literary figures. Possibly Clemens was cooperating with a request by Vedder for information” . Sam’s notebook also mentions Poultney Bigelow, whose book, The German Emperor and His Eastern Neighbors was published by Webster & Co. (1892) [Gribben 70; NB 31 TS 38]. Note: Vedder (1853-1935), historian, seminary professor, editor and theologian.
The American Claimant was first published in book form early this month, after being serialized in various newspapers from Jan. 2 through Mar. 30 [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, Oxford ed. 1996].
April 1 Friday – In Rome, Sam sent a cable to Henry C. Robinson:
Keep me posted by cable [MTP; also NB 31 TS 35].
Note: their communication during this period had to do with the Paige typesetter, and its move to Chicago, and Sam’s rights.
W.H. Sisser wrote from St. Joseph, Mo. to Sam, advising under separate cover a gift of Vistas of Hawaii which he hoped would be a reminder of “funnier days”; he noted Kileaua was “in great activity at the present-time” and signed himself an “admirer” [MTP].
April 2 Saturday – From the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, p.13, “Brief Mention of New Books”:
Mark Twain’s humor isn’t always of a delicate sort, but one forgives that fault for the laughs with which every page of his work is sprinkled. It is the intention of the publishers to bring out in this series all the popular little classics in the French, Spanish and Italian as well as the English language [Budd, Contemporary 323].
A.P. Marston for Columbia Typographical Union in Washington, D.C. wrote seeking a piece for The Composing Stick, a newspaper for the May 2 fair, which the President was to attend [MTP].
April 3 Sunday – A shorter reprint of Sam’s Europe letter, “German Chicago” ran in the Boston Daily Globe, p.23 under the title, “CITY WITHOUT NEWSBOYS.” See Oct. 13, 1891.
April 4 Monday – In Rome, Sam wrote two letters to Frederick J. Hall, relating the entire history of the aborted play Colonel Sellers as a Scientist (The American Claimant), including A.P. Burbank’s efforts, Howells and his loss of money and a past proposal of Alfred Arnold to dramatize the story for “Crane the comedian” (William H. Crane (1845-1928) actor/comedian). Sam was willing to split the profits if Burbank put on the show at his expense, or relinquish rights for ten per cent of what Sam could sell it to for. (Augustin Daly had sought rights.)
I wrote Arnold I would treat with him if nothing came of an already existing offer. He answered a few days ago showing that his offer to me still awaited my consent [MTP]. Notes: neither letter extant.
In the second letter Sam wrote:
Your explanation of the expert’s report makes a gratifying showing for ’91. I think your trade on the ‘HANDBOOK OF U.S.’ promises well, and I am glad you got that chance….And I am very glad of the trade with Dibble. It will be advantageous in more than one way, I think. What you say of Stedman’s original offer to Dibble hardens me against ever raising Stedman’s royalty. His royalty shall stay where it is….We shall be in Rome all through April, I think. February seems to have been a mighty good month for you. I was agreeably surprised at the $3,000 profit. Go on and prosper! We all send our warmest regrds. Truly Yours, S.L. Clemens [MTP from New York Book & Art Auction catalog, No. 75 Item 136-a].
The N.Y. Times, Apr. 4, 1892 p.3 “Books Received” announced the first edition of Merry Tales:
MERRY TALES. By Mark Twain. Fiction, Fact, and Fancy Series. Edited by Arthur Stedman. New York: Charles L. Webster & Co. 75 cents.
April 5 Tuesday – In Rome Sam sent a cable to Henry C. Robinson:
Do they offer no modification of the proposition? [MTP; also NB 31 TS 36].
Sam’s notebook : “Ezekiel’s Studio — 4 p.m. Tuesday” [NB 31 TS 37]. Note: placement in the NB suggests this day or Apr. 12.
Ben W. Austin wrote from Oak Cliff, Texas to Sam, asking for the autographs of John Raymond and Charles S. Webster [MTP].
April 6 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook : “Harriet Hosmer’s Studio — 4 p.m. Wednesday” [NB 31 TS 36]. Note: placement in the NB suggests this day or Apr. 13 Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (1830-1908).
April 7 Thursday – Horace Rutherford wrote from Trenton, Ky. He enclosed under another cover, a “genuine Kentucky Meerschaum. It has been in training for two or three weeks, and I trust it is ancient enough for you. I saw an article several weeks ago,by Luke Sharp in the Louisville Times in which it stated that you were very fond of smoking an old Kentucky cob pipe, and as you could not stand a new pipe, you hired some old tough to flavor it for you, etc.” [MTP].
April 8 Friday – At the Grand Hotel Sud Tirol In Trient, Austria en route to Florence, Italy, Susy Clemens wrote her “beloved,” Louise Brownell. Joseph Verey and Susan Crane escorted the Clemens girls. The letter was postmarked Apr. 16, but this is the date assigned by the MTP.
…The day’s journey from Berlin to Munich was dreary and very tiring. We suffered much from the cold and as we were dressed for warm weather felt foolish and sort of lost. The day in Munich it rained too and was most unpleasant but yesterday was absolutely heavenly….We are staying here today for the rest and move on to Florence tomorrow….This afternoon we go for a drive and are all hoping we shall find some flowers on the way. We must say good by here tonight as we leave at six in the morning. Between times I am finishing Laurence Oliphant. …
I hope there will be a letter from you at Rome when I get there [Cotton 101130-34].
Note: Laurence Oliphant (1829-1888) was a British author and mystic, who wrote several novels, best known for his 1870, Piccadilly. Several of Mrs. Margaret Oliphant’s books are listed in Gribben, p 515-6, though none of Laurence’s. This letter shows that the Clemens girls traveled through Munich, Trient, and Florence, before reaching their parents in Rome.
Georges Ducquois for Art et Critique wrote from Paris, France completely in French, translated here by Holger Kersten:
Under the title Animals and Authors I have undertaken to write a kind of History of Animals in Literature [literally: “Literary Animals”] by examining the role which these “inferior brothers” play (1) in the home (2) in the works of our literary writers.
Ducquois wrote he’d received responses to the question, “Do animals have the power of thought?” from “our best novelists and poets (Zola, de Goncourt, Daudet, Cladel, Mendés, Huysmans, Sully-Prudhomme, Coppée, etc)” and asked Sam to send his “opinion and…personal thoughts” [MTP].
Eastman Photographic Material Co. of Paris billed Sam from Nice 75 Francs for development and prints [MTP].
Sara Provost wrote from Springfield, Mass. to Sam — a begging letter [MTP].
Charles D. Thompson for Outlook Club of Montclair, N.J. a group of about 500 ladies and gentlemen, solicited Sam to read at their May 29 meeting [MTP].
April 9 Saturday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam of the need for Webster & Co. to close ranks:
…that after next year, instead of making it our policy, as we have heretofore, to push forward and enlarge the firm in all directions, it would be wiser to commence at that time to concentrate; to bend our efforts…in keeping what we have, doing it with less expense, and making it more profitable [MTLTP 300].
April 10 Sunday – From the San Francisco Chronicle, p.9, “Literature”:
Merry Tales is a little volume of old stories and sketches by Mark Twain, published in a new form. The volume includes among others that terribly tedious sketch called “Meisterschaft,” which the author may have thought funny, but which no one else ever did. If Mark Twain wants to “turn the barrel” he should exercise better judgment in making his selections for republication [Budd, Contemporary 323].
April 11 Monday
April 12 Tuesday
April 13 Wednesday – The Hartford Courant divined that some of the stories in Merry Tales were reprints, p.6, “Mark Twain”:
There are seven of these funny stories, not all here presented for the first time….a very various assortment of tales, some funny and one or two not so droll (as the Fort Trumbull story of New London). But they are all more or less enjoyable, and some are particularly humorous [Budd, Contemporary 324].
April 14 Thursday
April 15 Friday – A.L. Bancroft for Bancroft & Co., Pianos and Subscription books of San Francisco, wrote asking what Sam thought of “the ten-block system of numbering country houses,” or the “Contra Costa Plan” for numbering country houses (clippings encl. Jan. 10, 1891 and others from Contra Costa Gazette) [MTP].
April 16 Saturday
April 17 Sunday
April 18 Monday –In Rome Sam sent a cable to Henry C. Robinson:
See letter March 28. Trade must include fair share of that interest [MTP; Also NB 31 TS 37].
Captain Lewis McDonald Smith sent an engraved invitation to Mr. & Mrs. Clemens for the marriage of his daughter, Dora Edgerton to Mr. Harris Parker on this date, at the Second Congregational, Hartford [MTP]. On this same day a wedding of Rev. & Mrs. Edwin Pond Parker’s daughter, Lily Pond to Mr. Morris Penrose, also at the same church; an announcement had been sent to “Misses Clemens” [MTP].
April 19 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook reveals a likely telegram, not extant, to Henry C. Robinson:
Apl. 19, wrote Robinson I would take ¼ million & 1/6 of Paige’s interest, but would prefer ¼ [NB 31 TS 37].
April 20 Wednesday – In Rome Sam sent a cable to Webster & Co.:
Close with Arnold if you like [MTP; also NB 31 TS 37].
Note: this relates to Alfred Arnold’s desire to acquire dramatization rights for AC. See Apr. 4 entry. Evidently, negotiations had concluded favorably.
Susy wrote to Louise Brownell on or about this day:
We rather expect to leave here for Florence Friday. Mamma has been ill again for a few days and Rome is too exciting for her by far. Yesterday we made an expedition to Frascati with the Vedders and rode to [?] on donkeys….A few days back we went to Miss Hosmer’s studio and saw her last statue, “The Mermaid’s Cradle,” which is still in the soft grey clay [Cotton 101143-4; MTP]. Note: The family did not leave for Florence until Apr. 29.
April 21 Thursday – At the Hotel Molaro in Rome, Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell.
I have never seen a place so busy as Rome. We are only to be here three weeks longer and of course are crowding our time very full. The ancient parts of the city are just as tremendous as I had imagined them but the modern city is dissapointing. The Italians are not one bit as I expected. There is no brilliancy and intellectual vivacity in their faces, but only beastliness and dirt. It is too bad with their wonderful dark coloring it seems as if they might be so much more. … The other day we spent the morning at Mr. Vedder’s studio. It seemed the richest place I was ever in! There was so much spirituality and intellect in the pictures. So much suggestiveness beside all the beauty of color and drawing. The rooms seemed full of eternal things. He explained the ideas and titles of the pictures so we could get right into the heart and soul of them all. …
Aunt Sue and I go to Naples for a few days tomorrow [Cotton 101135-7]. Note: the letter was postmarked with this date.
April 22 Friday
April 23 Saturday – Alice Von Versen (nee Alice B. Clemens) wrote to Sam advising that an invitation had arrived for “Breakfast at the Castle as the Empress was so anxious to meet you!” She advised she’d answered that the Clemenses had left Berlin weeks before [MTP].
April 24 Sunday – In Rome Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. Sam was “glad to see that the business” had “gone to rushing again,” and also that McClure’s list was “so nearly squared up.” Sam signed and returned the five notes for $3,000 each to the Mount Morris Bank. This additional loan was necessary to pay off W.E. Dibble and immediately issue 3,000 sets of LAL. See MTLTP 308n3 for full account.
Sam also liked Hall’s plans and “project outlined” for future profits and payment of debts. Sam was still plagued by his aches.
I do not expect to be able to write any literature this year. The moment I take up a pen my rheumatism returns [MTLTP 310].
April 25 Monday – In Rome Sam wrote to Joe Twichell, having received his letter (not extant). Sam wrote of an “adventure which was vouchsafed to two Englishmen in the Campagna yesterday.”
Two young Englishmen — one of them a friend of mine — were away out there yesterday, with a pleasant guide of the region who is a simple-hearted & very devout Roman Catholic. At one point the guide stopped, & said they were now approaching a spot where two especially ferocious dogs were accustomed to herd sheep; that it would be well to go cautiously & be prepared to retreat if they saw the dogs. So then they started on, but presently came suddenly upon the dogs. The immense brutes came straight for them, with death in their eyes. The guide said in a voice of horror, “Turn your backs, but for God’s sake don’t stir — I will pray — I will pray the Virgin to do us a miracle & save us; she will hear me, oh, my God she surely will.” And straightway he began to pray. The Englishmen stood quaking with fright, & wholly without faith in the man’s prayer. But all at once the furious snarling of the dogs ceased — at three steps distant — & there was dead silence. After a moment my friend, who could no longer endure the awful suspense, turned — & there was the miracle, sure enough: the gentleman dog had mounted the lady dog & both had forgotten their solemn duty in the ecstasy of a higher interest!
The strangers were saved, & they retired from that place with thankful hearts. The guide was in a frenzy of pious gratitude & exultation, & praised & glorified the Virgin without stint; & finally wound up with “But you — you are Protestants; she would not have done it for you; she did it for me — only me — praised be she forever more! & I will hang a picture of it in the church & it shall be another proof that her loving care is still with her children who humbly believe & adore.”
By the time the dogs got unattached the men were five miles from there [MTP].
Monday, call at Palazzo Borghese at 12.45 & go with Miss Page on that visit.
Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. sit for Miss Meadows, Via di Grecci 15.
Monday eve, Marriage of Figaro [NB 31 TS 37].
Fanny G. Howard wrote from Medford, Mass. to Sam; another reaction to and personal examples of the concepts from Sam’s article on “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
Charles Marseilles, who signed himself “Journalist” wrote from Exeter, N.H. asking Sam where he might buy “the very choicest” Mark Twain Scrap book to send abroad to a “Royal personage” [MTP].
April 26 Tuesday
April 27 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook in Rome: “Dine with sculptor Greenough 243 Via Nationale, Wednesday, Apl. 27 — 7.30 p.m.” [NB 31 TS 37].
April 28 Thursday – May Cline wrote from Harmony, N.J. questioning Sam’s evidence for “Mental Telegraphy” [MTP].
Agnes V. Kelley wrote from N.Y. for permission to write an essay on Sam’s life, accompanied by his picture, for use with her upcoming book, “Sons of the Bright Brigade,” which was planned as a sequel to her nearly-finished “Daughters of the Bright Brigade.” Agnes asked for a few biographical facts [MTP].
April 29 Friday – At the Hotel Molaro in Rome, Susy Clemens wrote again to Louise Brownell.
Aunt Sue and I got back from Naples last night. We had a great deal of rain and accomplished only Pompei and Sorrento having to give up Capri and Amalfi. The blue of the Mediterraneon was much more than we had dreamed; but the squalor the sordidness of the Italian life along it’s shores is so revolting, that it left half the impression. I never saw such bad disgusting faces as the Italians have or such a perfectly uniform degradation as in all their ways of doing and living. It’s truly horrible. I don’t see how Italy can ever have any very great charm while the people are what they are. I keep contrasting them with the Germans, the clean, honest, kindly, dignified, self respecting Germans! [Cotton 101139]. Note: postmarked this date.
Susy’s letter of ca. Apr. 20 to Louise Brownell was postmarked Apr.29.
The Clemens party left Rome and arrived in Florence, Italy for a two-week stay. Sam’s notebook: “Saturday, Apl. 30 came from Rome to Florence yesterday [Apr. 29]” [NB 31 TS 39A].
April 30 Saturday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Saturday, Apl. 30 came from Rome to Florence yesterday. This is the Hotel Grande Bretagne & Arno — called the best in Florence. It is a vast confusion of halls & sleeping-holes; — a huge congeries of rats’ nests furnished with rubbish probably bought at pauper-auctions. The cook is the best in Florence, no doubt. He is first class; the rest of the hotel is fortieth class. / Later. Sir George Bowen says the cookery is bad now — May 10 [NB 31 TS 39A]. Note: the May 10 line added here for clarity; Sam lists Sir George F. Bowen’s London address [TS 42].
The notebook also lists Sam’s many objections to the Hotel Grande Bretagne:
“No matches /…goblets…/ extra blankets; / Stench of frying fat, & thick kitchen smoke coming up through floor & filling the room; / Bells seldom answered; / Mrs. Crane’s bed not changed after waiting 1 ½ hours. / Carpet-beating in the court & wagon-racket & barking dogs in early morning. / Everything on the cheapest & shabbiest scale, except the bills. / People always yelling downt the lift-well trying to attract attention. / Long vistas of crooked halls with elevations & depressions in them. / Everywhere the dirt of antiquity; everywhere gigantic fleas that threaten your life. / And the frescoes — oh, my God! Every detail of the house is exquisitely cheap & shabby. / In the parlors they peddle cheap copies of the old masters. / This hotel has nothing to recommend it but its reputation. No — its cook [NB 31 TS 39-40].
May 1 Sunday
May 2 Monday
May 2 Monday, after † – From Florence, Sam wrote two notes to Miss Page, the first thanking her for her “seasick remedy” which he felt the family would benefit from since he was never seasick, and announcing he would be at Mrs. Carolyn S. Fahnstock’s “with a sample of the family.” The second note informs Miss Page that Livy had already made an engagement for the family for the following day. Sam suggested a later day. “Would 4 p.m. Monday do? — or 3.30?” [MTP]. Note: Since the following day wasn’t a Monday, these notes could not have been written May 1. Thus the MTP label is changed to after May 2. Mrs. Fahnstock and Miss Page were residents of Florence (see Nov. 8 entry).
May 2 to May 15 Sunday – Rodney writes of Sam and Livy’s enjoyment outside the hotel:
“Both Mark Twain and Olivia were enchanted by the ambience of Florence and the beauty of the Arno Valley and the surrounding Tuscan hills. So much so that before they left they made arrangements to rent, for the following winter, the Villa Viviani near Settignano just outside the city. Their short stay in Florence had been a pleasant round of luncheons and teas as the guests of Marchesa Spinola and Lady Edward Fitzmaurice and introductions to various titled Britishers. The interlude gave Mark Twain a warm feeling that he never experienced in Rome or Paris or other large European cities” . (Editorial emphasis.)
May 3 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Madonna, child & child St. John. Three children, for the Madonna is a physically developed woman 9 years old. St. John is wretchedly drawn. The whole picture is poor. With Raphael’s name removed it would be dear at $1.50. / The Wrestlers are wonderful. / They try to tell when a picture or other work was made by the character of the workmanship — forgetting that there are good & bad workmen in all ages.
Breakfast Tuesday 12.30 with the Marquise or send word if Mrs. C. has engagement.
Prof Fiske used to edit a chess journal, & in Icelandic games he used to translate the terms into English; but there was one embarrassing term which he always left untranslated to the great annoyance of his readers: this was the —– Gambit. Or ——- starting Gambit [NB 31 TS 41].
Frank L. Ferguson for Chadron Academy in Chadron, Nebr. wrote to Sam soliciting aid; postmarked from Boston by American College and Education Society [MTP].
May 4 Wednesday – Ceyton Saxe sent a form letter soliciting Sam’s comment on the use of tobacco for an article Saxe was preparing for “several American newspapers” [MTP].
May 5 Thursday – At the Hotel Grande Bretagne & Arno in Florence, Italy Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore advising that “Three good-size boxes will leave Rome for Hartford about this time,” and to “pay the duties” on them, “which will be small, for the contents cost less than $150.” Sam gave instructions as to what to unpack and where to store the items, including glassware, and to ship the rest to Elmira for Susan Crane.
We are reasonably well, here, though I could have less rheumatism & not object [MTP].
May 6 Friday – Sitting in an art museum at Uffizi Palace in Florence, Italy Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow. Sam’s letter is an obvious response to Bigelow’s (not extant) question about seeing Kaiser William II.
Did I “have a chat” with him? Yes, and heard others chat with him, also. He was in great form. I will tell you about it when I see you; it is too long a story for a letter.
I have sat me down in this holy of holies of the Old Masters to write a private lecture upon their performance, and am now waiting for a group of Baedecker-armed [travel guide-armed] English tourists to vacate the front of a picture which I am inserting in my lecture. I call this a private lecture for the reason that I know pretty well that Mrs. Clemens won’t let me print it. I write for my own malignant satisfaction — and to read to the ungodly [MTP].
Theodore A. Bingham wrote from Berlin thanking Sam for his “kind letter — & much more for your kind help & promptness” (Sam wrote on the letter: “From Capt. Bingham, U.S.Military attaché, Berlin”). Bingham described seeing the crown prince, age 10, in Potsdam, marching in review [MTP].
May 7 Saturday – The Boston Literary World, under “Fiction” reviewed Merry Tales:
Merry Tales, by Mark Twain, is a small volume which gathers seven short stories within the space of one hundred and sixty pages, and will excite the reader to a number of hearty laughs. Of course there are bare places, where the soil is sandy and the vegetation sparse, but if one likes this sort of humor, this is just the sort he will like. We would not recommend the “Invalids’ Story” to any one who has recently felt the presence of death. Mr. Clemens is nothing if not irreverent of the most sacred things in human life [Budd, Contemporary 324].
Daniel Webster Church, an attorney in Greenfield, Iowa wrote to Sam:
When my former book “The Records of a Journey” was published I sent you a copy of it. And although it probably did not attract your attention I have concluded to try again, and hence send you the succeeding volume “The Enigma of Life” [Gribben 143]. Note: Gribben lists Church as “an attorney in Greenfield, Iowa.” The Records of a Journey. A Prologue (1888).
May 8 Sunday – Sam’s notebook entry in Florence: “May 8, 9, 10. These days Joseph [Verey] has been about as idle & hard to find as ever, though the seat at the door is comfortable” [NB 31 TS 41-2].
[entered on May 9]: The Villa Ross where we took tea yesterday [May 8] is superb — house, grounds & all — & has a noble view out over distant Florence & the hill-ranges. In this houe Boccacio wrote the Decameron. Close by is the house in which Michelangelo was born. Sir John Hawksworth battered part of the house down with his cannon in one of those old forgotten wars.
Three years ago Mrs. Ross (daughter of Lady Duff Gordon,) bought the house from a woman who was born in it, & all of whose ancestors had also been born in it since the year 1342.
Went to Mrs. Ross’s with Prof. Willard Fisk[e], whose villa is the one which Walter Savage Landor lived in so many years [NB 32 TS 8].
May 9 Monday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (letter not extant) [May 22 to Hall].
May 9. ’92 Luncheon to-day with Lady Fitzmaurice & her mother. Present, Sir James Lachalte
(can’t spell the name,) the Comtessa
—- (name gone from me), the young Lord Granville & a charming Miss Granville — not related.
Talk was general. … [NB 32 TS 6].
In Rome two weeks ago, Young Corbett told me of his adventure in the Campagna with his friend Martin when two terrific dogs came for them & their peasant guide put up a prayer to the Virgin & she vouchsafed a miracle wh saved them — certainly the most peculiar miracle ever heard of — but it won’t bear print [NB 31 TS 41]. Note: See Apr. 25 to Twichell for this full “dog” story.
May 10 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
May 10. Luncheon at Marchesa [Spinola]. Present, Admiral Page (80 & blind, a lovely old gentleman), Mrs. Page, Miss Page, Mr. Gilbert (an ass), the Marchesa, Mrs. Clemens & Sir George Bowen. This last has made a great name for himself as an able executive by thirty years service as governor in Australia, Hong Kong, the Mauritius, &c & has now been in retirement in London some years.
I wish I could tie him & Vedder & Trumbull together & let them talk each other to death. When Bowen’s tongue is not clacking its loved music into his ear he sits flabby & interestless. He does not listen when other people have the floor. As for interrupting, he would interrupt God. He crowds down other people, gets himself going, then pours out personal vanities along with a string of anecdotes so old that they stink [NB 32 TS 9]. Sir George F. Bowen (1821-1899).
W.M. English, manufacturer of doors & blinds in Buffalo, N.Y. wrote soliciting investment in the Security Storage and Loan Co. A prospectus had been sent under separate cover [MTP].
Fred D. Mussey for National Capitol Press Club in Washington, D.C. sent an invitation to Sam to attend “entertainment on the evening of May 28th” [MTP].
May 11 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook of May 12 relates a luncheon of this day:
Yesterday Mrs. C. & I lunched at the Villa Ross. I forgot to deliver the invitations to Susy & Clara, so they were not there & the table was not full. Had a fine time — Mr. & Mrs. Ross & their niece are lovely people. Fiske & the Arab were there.
Mrs. Ross took us over to a villa in the neighborhood, & we shall try to rent it [NB 32 TS 10].
May 12 Thursday – Sam’s notebooks in Florence (he used two this day):
May 12 ’92 — 10 a.m. Several companies of soldiers came marching along & passed with its spirited music on down the Lung’arno, & this most strange fact was again observable: that not a boy, not a youth, not anybody trotted at the head or tail of the procession, & nobody on the sidewalk stopped to look. How different from Berlin or any other city in the world! What is the explanation of it? [NB 32 TS 10].
Ask Mr. Ross how to pay Orsi, who has hired the Villa for us from Sept. 1 at 3,000 francs a year (furnished) with a two-year privilege (of re-renting.)
Will Mrs. Ross please keep that man-servant where we can get him Sept. 1? What wages? Shall we hire him now?
And if your cook can be on the lookout for a cook for us.
Mrs. Orsi (widow) came with Orsi the agent this morning to close the contract for Villa.
What is the name of Villa?
Villa del Viviani, / Settignano, Firenze [NB 31 TS 42]. Note: Leopoldo Orsi.
May 13 Friday – Putnam Phalanx sent Sam a printed circular and form to enlist in their June 17 observance together with the Amoskeag Veterans of N.H. and the Worcester Continentals of Mass in a joint observance in Worcester [MTP].
May 14 Saturday – Based on a two-week stay in Florence, the Clemens family by now would have traveled on to Venice, Italy where letters from May 17 to May 25 exist. Also, a letter from Susy to Louise Brownell, not postmarked until May 29, by which time the family had continued on, reveals the family had been in Florence “since Saturday,” which has to be this day. Sam’s unpublished notebook clears up the mystery:
Arrived at Venice Saturday midnight, May 14. Staid at the Brittannia — did not like it — moved to the Hotel Danieli next morning [May 15] [NB 31 TS 43].
May 15 Sunday – In Venice, the Clemens family moved from the Hotel Brittania to the Hotel Danieli [NB 31 TS 43].
The Chicago Tribune printed an interview with “colorless” Orion Clemens. Budd calls this “an oblique sign” of Sam’s “eminence” [Our MT 121].
May 16 Monday – Sam’s notebook in Venice:
Monday, May 16, took Antonio the gondolier at 7 francs a day.
Smoking party Monday 8.30 to 12 p.m. at Horatio Brown’s, 559 Zattere (Ca. Torresella) [NB 31 TS 46].
† – Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell of the trip and the first few days in Venice, which she called “this strangest of strange places,” and that they’d arrived Saturday (estimated here as May 14).
We got into Venice by moonlight between eleven and twelve at night [Sat. May 14]. Last night [May 15] we were all up late on the Grand Canal hearing the serenade. Tonight’s program is the same — all day the military music and the serenadors have kept passing up and down….Clara will go back to Berlin and Moskowski in the Fall and this will keep us separated all winter [Cotton 101147-8].
May 17 Tuesday – In Venice, Italy Sam wrote to Augustin Daly, enclosing a play he’d had read to him in Rome, written by Julian Corbett. It sounded good to Sam but he admitted knowing nothing about how it would play. If Daly liked it he might write to Corbett at the village of Thames Ditton, Surrey, England. Otherwise, Frederick J. Hall would ship it back to Corbett [MTP]. Note: Sir Julian Safford Corbett (1854-1923) would write several history tomes, including the official British naval history at the beginning of WWI.
Sam’s notebook in Venice:
Tuesday evening, at Mrs. Bronson’s. Price (forget his name), & the young Countess Moncenigo, descended from 8 Doges [NB 31 TS 46]. Note: Mrs. Arthur Bronson [TS 60].
Mrs. Henry J. Ross wrote to Sam that she’d hired a man-servant for the Clemenses at 45 francs per month plus food, lodging and wine. She also had wood for them and also a charwoman [NB 31 TS 48]. Note: letter not extant.
Paine writes, “William Gedney Bunce, the Hartford artist, was in Venice, and Sarah Orne Jewett and other home friends” [MTB 946]. (Editorial emphasis.) See Mar. 22 entry.
May 18 Wednesday – Angelo Heilprin for Academy of Natural Sciences wrote from Phila. to Sam soliciting funds for the relief of Lt. Peary, “wintering in the Arctic north” [MTP]. Note: Robert E. Peary would claim to be the first to reach the North Pole in 1909.
May 19 Thursday – Tillotson & Son wrote to Sam [Reference card only at MTP].
May 20 Friday – In Venice, Italy Livy wrote to Grace King concerning the family’s change in plans for the next winter:
We have given up Paris and have taken a villa in Florence for next winter. Mr Clemens had a great dread of Paris and even a suburb did not attract him. We found the singing advantages would probably be good for Susy and so decided rather suddenly to take up a villa a little way out of town [Rodney 144].
Charles E. Flandrau for St. Paul Roller Mill Co. wrote to Sam concerning the liquidation of the company’s assets [MTP].
May 21 Saturday – Sam’s notebook in Venice, dated May 22:
Tried to make the Johnsons, Browns, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mrs. James T. Fields, Mr. Washington understand (with Clara’s help) the old puzzle of Whitmore taking me around the loop in his buggy. Of course they all laughed at my stupidity at first, but this is just a “$100-bill & pair of boots” puzzle before they get done with it.
I am the cross. I insisted that in order that I might arrive back on the side of the buggy next to the house, we must drive to the left around the circle; W. said that to drive around either side would have that result. He was right.
This brought up the boy & boat at Geneva where Jean pulled a pair of oars & Mrs. C. said it eased the boy of half his work; whereas if the boy had to work his hardest, a hundred Jeans could not diminish his expense of strength; it would help him if speed were the object, but in this case he was working by the hour & speed was not an object.
We drank a red cherry syrup & water in big glasses & told dreams & ghost stories till midnight — then by vote adjourned to to-night [May 22].
Then visited the 2 lamps which have burned for ages on the end of the Church to commemorate the wrongful execution of the baker’s apprentice [NB 31 TS 47-8].
May 22 Sunday – In Venice Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall having received his May 9 letter (not extant), which Sam wrote, “sounds very good.” Sam wanted Mr. Halsey of Wall Street to invest the funds using “his own best judgment”; Sam didn’t want to “meddle.” He cited Susan Crane’s agreement on the matter, which suggests she knew and respected Halsey. Sam also forecasted his return on business matters:
I shall run over home about middle of June & start back to Europe toward end of July. Maybe you can come with me [MTLTP 311].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, agreeing to have the Hartford greenhouse repaired, and ordering him to get John O’Neil’s estimate of coal needed for the next winter (John and Ellen O’Neil acted as caretakers of the Hartford house). John was selling flowers grown in the greenhouse and doing well — Sam noted, “He seems to have a pretty good market for flowers.”
I shall run over home about the middle of June for a brief stay while Mrs. Clemens takes a course at a German bath. If Mallory’s proposition is still alive I will do something with it if I can on the basis suggested by cable & letter to Henry Robinson, but if that is not possible I shall keep the [Paige typsetter] royalties [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Venice:
Sunday, May 22/92 — “White line of stones” wh begins in the great Piazza San Marco & conducts you all over Venice & brings you back. When lost cut around till you find the white line, then follow it to St. Mark.
No such thing [NB 31 TS 47].
Another friend of Sam’s ran into him in Venice during this short stay, Robert Underwood Johnson, who later wrote in Remembered Yesterdays of the meeting, and of others with Sam:
In 1892, when Mrs. Johnson and I were in Venice, we had a delightful meeting with Mark in front of one of the restaurants in the Piazza of his patron saint. With us at the table were Mrs. James T. Fields and Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, who were old friends of Mr. Clemens. The great humorist did most of the talking, the others only putting in a few words now and then by way of keeping him going. At this time he was deeply interested in occult things, dreams, second-sight, etc., and I remember that he told us a remarkable story of a trip down the Mississippi River, when he was working as a pilot, including a circumstantial dream which he had, foreshadowing his brother’s death, and how, when he reached his home, the details of the dream were found to be exact. He told it with deep feeling and I felt that we had seen him in one of his very best moods.
He then went on to tell us the history of the little lamp that then burned on the outside of the angle of St. Mark’s, at the entrance of the Doge’s Palace, recounting in a graphic way how a murder had been committed near by early in the morning and how a baker’s boy, who was crossing the Piazzetta at the time, had been arrested and convicted for it, and how, many years afterward, when the murderer had confessed, those who had been responsible for the execution of the boy, by way of penance, had placed this lantern near the spot and had provided a fund to keep it perpetually aflame. This was just the sort of historical picturesqueness that took hold of Mark Twain. Of all men-of-letters he was most conspicuously the man-of-the-world.
During this visit he gave an evening of readings from Browning to a few friends at Danieli’s Hotel, and it struck me that his presentation of the poems, particularly of “Andrea del Sarto”, was remarkable as a sympathetic interpretation of the poet [320-1]. Note: The account of the wrongful execution of the baker’s apprentice would place this gathering at the night after the first gathering and Sam’s subsequent visit to the two lamps on the church. See May 21 account from Sam’s notebook. [Also: Gribben 355; NB 31, TS 47].
According to Susy’s May 16 letter to Louise Brownell, the family was “all up late on the Grand Canal hearing the serenade.”
May 23 Monday
May 24 Tuesday – Charles D. Taylor wrote from Kingston, R.I. to Sam: “Although a stranger to you, I venture to enclose to you a farce I have written entitled “Ye Old Militia Muster.” Taylor thought Sam might handle the subject with humorous treatment better [MTP].
M.E. Waring for Atlantic Lyceum Bureau in Baltimore wrote to Sam seeking his lecture for one night in a winter series course of lectures for the benefit of “a prominent church” [MTP].
May 25 Wednesday – Before leaving Venice, Sam wrote to Mrs. Katherine C. Bronson.
Dear Mrs. Bronson:
You are wonderfully good — too good for here below. I thank you ever so much for those books, — which I shall treasure for your sake as well as their own — & I was hoping to see you & say all this with my mouth, & add the good-byes of Mrs. Clemens & me; & I took my daughters along, too, to exhibit them to you; but you were out philandering around & we missed you [MTP].
Also before leaving Venice, Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell, though the letter wasn’t postmarked until May 29, by which time the family had continued on to Lake Como.
We have been in this strangest of strange places since Saturday…[Cotton 101147].
The Clemens party left Venice and endured three days of relentlessly slow rail travel to the western shore of Lake Como and another health resort, Cadenabbia, Italy, another favorite haunt of the British. For this reason an Anglican Church, the very first one on Italian soil, was built and consecrated in 1891.
May 26 Thursday – The Clemens party was in transit to Lake Como and Cadenabbia.
May 27 Friday – The Clemens party arrived in Cadenabbia, where they would relax for a week. Sam’s notebook:
May 27. Cadenabbia, Lake of Como, Hotel Brittannia, 1st floor — all front rooms, looking across to Bellagio & the snow-clad peaks. Everything 90 fr. per day [NB 31 TS 49].
May 28 Saturday – The Clemens party was in Cadenabbia. Sam’s notebook:
May 28. Saturday. Took Salvitora & his boat at 8 fr. per day.
Asti is mighty dainty & good — when you call it good. But no man can tell it from champagne cider [NB 31 TS 49].
Rev. John Davis of Hannibal wrote to Sam sending a critique of one of his sermons by another pastor — one which he counted as humorous. He noted he’d had a bit of correspondence with Sam “a few years ago about the Loisettiean system of “Memory.” Davis added: “Your old house is still quietly keeping watch over the rolling river…” Davis mentioned those who passed away this year — Dr. Hampton, Mr. Jauser?, Judge Nelson and Benton Coontz. Also, John L. RoBards lived directly opposite Davis and he saw him daily, “and oftener. He is very hale and as courteous as of yore” [MTP].
May 29 Sunday – In Cadenabbia, Italy Sam wrote to (Daniel) Willard Fiske, wealthy Cornell professor who was traveling around Italy collecting manuscripts (see Apr. 1892 listing). As Paine writes, it was through Fiske that the were directed to the Villa Viviani, which they rented for the next winter. The Villa was on a hill east of Florence, near Settignano [MTB 945].
Sam wrote of the arrangements with Fiske through a Mr. T. Childs. He asked Fiske, probably still in Rome, if he would sign the contract for him.
Orsi talked as if he would be around in an hour or so with a detailed contract for our mutual consideration, & as if the little paper I signed was a thing of no particular consequence — which was indeed the case (as I understood the translation.) But it is no matter: the villa is the main thing, though we did want to be relieved of the heavy labor & bother of hunting up furniture for it.
Mrs Clemens thinks you may be abroad in the far North when we come; therefore she wants to get the address of that cockney-speaking coachman — also the address of some other reliable livery stable, for use in case we can’t hire him. …
We have a pang every time we think of the work (& not agreeable work, either) which we have been piling onto your shoulders, & we do hope you will put every bit you can of it onto Mr. Childs’s [MTP]. Note: Leopoldo Orsi.
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man thanking him for his compliments and stating that his sympathies were with the man for wishing to preserve his native language in American homes. Sam relished the idea of American freedoms and made this observation:
There are countries where it is a punishable crime for the alien subject to use the speech that was born to him, but in America we do not care what tongue a man talks; for we know that the sentiment back of the words will be American, everytime — & deep & strong, too. Mark Twain [MTP].
Josephine Gillespie wrote from Detroit “to beg for” Sam’s autograph [MTP].
May 30 Monday – Edward L. Starck, city surveyor in N.Y. wrote to Sam with the recommendation of Prof. W. James of Harvard, seeking $500 to publish his MS of a “philosophical nature” [MTP].
May 31 Tuesday – Daniel Willard Fiske wrote (not extant) to Sam concerning the arrangement of the Villa Viviani for the next winter, the livery addresses Livy had requested, and an offer of future help from Signor William Sordi, Fiske’s secretary [June 12 to Fiske].
June 1 Wednesday – In a letter to Grace King, Livy wrote that they were leaving Lake Como for Bad Nauheim, and that “Susy, Jean and I expect to start from there [Bourboule] aout the 22nd of this month” [MTP].
June 2 Thursday – Sam’s notebook in transit from Cadenabbia to Lucerne.
June 2, Thursday. Left Cadenabbia by a tangled route, for Lucerne: First, 15 minutes of omnibus to the mountain railway; then 30 or 40 minutes of that; then 70 or 8 minutes of little vile steamboat on Lake Lugarno (all of it superb scenery); then up a ladder road a[t] Lugarno — a wait of 1 hour there; then express to Lucerne. The whole a 9-hour journey — all first-class, no second — 8 of us 35 fr. each, & God knows what the 8 trunks (380 kilos) will cost; it has cost 70 fr. from the start to Lugarno [NB 31 TS 49-50].
June 3 Friday – The Clemens family rested in Lucerne, Switzerland [NB 31 TS 50].
June 4 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:
June 4. Stayed 2 days at “The Balances” (Waage) Lucerne, & left there at 6.50 this morning for Frankfort (9-hour journey). An excellent hotel. / Changed at Basel, but in the same station — no trouble. / Get French money changed. / Verify Berlin train. / Get steamship tickets. / Telegraph Hotel Bellevue, Nauheim. / Buy trunk for Jean / 2 Cook tickets to Berlin & one to return. / Ask about a train from Berlin arriving in time to catch a Nauheim train [NB 31 TS 50].
The Clemenses proceeded on to Frankfurt, Germany, where they took rooms at the Schwan Hotel [NB 31 TS 50].
June 5 Sunday – The Clemenses rested in Frankfurt, Germany at the Schwan Hotel [NB 31 TS 50].
Harriet Williams Strong (Mrs. Charles L. Strong) left her card for Sam with a note referring to an enclosed book: “The other day I was specially reminded of your seeing ‘The Story of Your Life & Work’ — I bought the book. The same day was published. The enclosed: Which may interest you for a moment, and remind you that your old friends still remain for you!” [MTP].
June 6 Monday – Sam’s notebook from Frankfurt, Germany:
Frankfurt a.m. June 6. / At Schwan hotel 2 days [NB 31 TS 50]. Note: Sam also listed tips he gave to the room-waiter, Portier, Chambermaid, “Boots (each)”, Elevator boy of 2 marks each except 1 mark for the elevator boy, and that “(Couldn’t find restaurant waiter.) / Everybody perfectly satisfied”.
The Clemenses left Frankfurt; Sam listed concerns in his notebook:
Left for Bad Nauheim at 12.37, after missing 1.05 train
(express) through Joseph’s misinformation. / from here, 9 arr at Munich 2 stunden;
Frankfurt, 8 from here Snellzug 2 hour in Frankft — 8 pm Munich. / Ask at
Sommerhof’s for a physician. 12M. & 5 M.[arks] / Also what is his fee? /
Cigars / Inquire about Clara’s ticket. / Shoes. Knife. / Can L. use my letter
of credit? / About my date & train to Bremen / Tobacco. / No.
43. Night of 8th. Berlin to B Nauheim [NB
31 TS 51-2].
June 7 Tuesday
June 8 Wednesday – Clara Clemens’ eighteenth birthday.
June 9 Thursday
June 10 Friday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany Sam wrote to his daughter Clara in care of Frau Koch, 151 Kurfürstenstreet in Berlin, where she was studying piano.
Clara dear, we have moved, & we like our new quarters ever so much better than the old ones. Mrs. Hague & family are next to us on the same floor. They will stay till July 18. It would have been horribly lonesome for Mamma at that other place & I on the sea. This house is close to the bath & is almost in the shadow of the trees of the beautiful park. It’s a mighty profitable change.
Sam joyously announced two doctors’ opinion about Livy’s case — that it was “curable, & easily curable.”
Bad Nauheim is a town in the Wetteraukreis district of Hesse state of Germany. The town is located approximately 22 miles north of Frankfurt, on the east edge of the Taunus mountain range. It is a resort noted for its salt springs, used to treat heart and nervous disorders. It was one more resort stop during this period in search of better health.
M.E. Waring for Atlantic Lyceum Bureau wrote again, this time to “business manager for Mr. Saml. L. Clemens” [MTP]. See May 24 entry.
June 11 Saturday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall of his departure on June 14 for New York. Livy and Jean and a French maid would stay at the resort at Bad Nauheim, with accommodations at the Villa Augusta Victoria. Susy and Sue Crane would travel around Switzerland. Clara would continue to study piano in Berlin.
If you can meet me when the ship arrives, you can help me to get away from the reporters; and maybe you can take me to your own or some other lodgings where they can’t find me.
But if the hour is too early or too late for you, I shall obscure myself somewhere till I can come to the office [MTP; June 28 to Orion].
Paine writes of Sam’s need to return to the U.S., a trip which he’d contemplated for several weeks:
“Clemens felt that his presence in America was demanded by two things. Hall’s reports continued, as ever, optimistic; but the semi-annual statements were less encouraging. The Library of Literature and some of the other books were selling well enough; but the continuous increase of capital required by a business conducted on the installment plan had steadily added to the firm’s liabilities, while the prospect of a general tightening in the money-market made the outlook not a particular happy one. Clemens thought he might be able to dispose of the Library or an interest in it, or even of his share of the business itself, to some one with means sufficient to put it on an easier financial footing. The uncertainties of trade and the burden of increased debt had become a nightmare which interfered with his sleep. It seemed hard enough to earn a living with a crippled arm, without this heavy business care.
“The second interest requiring attention was that other old one — the machine. Clemens had left the matter in Paige’s hands, and Paige, with persuasive eloquence, had interested Chicago capital to a point where a company had been formed to manufacture the type-setter in that city. Paige reported that he had got several million dollars subscribed for the construction of a factory, and that he had been placed on a salary as a sort of general ‘consulting omniscient’ at five thousand dollars a month” [MTB 946-7].
June 12 Sunday – At the Villa Augusta Victoria in Bad Nauheim, Germany, Sam wrote a goodbye letter to daughter Clara in Berlin, enclosing a picture of three small puppies and the following spoof:
I have spent a night of terry & was not able to sleep a wink; for by accident the enclosed little picture fell under my eye just as I was going to bed, & all the night long these three ferocious dogs seemed to be glaring at me & just ready to spring upon me & tear me to rags & ribbons. I wouldn’t spend another night with them for a kingdom; so I send them to you; but do be careful & don’t look at them just before bedtime [MTP].
Sam also wrote a letter of appreciation to Daniel Willard Fiske, whose May 31 letter had just arrived.
When you “chronicle the signing of the contract” I shall be on the sea or in America (I start to-morrow from here to Bremen, whence I sail Tuesday in the “Havel”), but Mrs. Clemens will still be here [Bad Nauheim]; she will take these baths till the middle of July. However she might change her mind — so our permanent address is best: “Care Drexel Harjes & Co., Paris.” I return in 6 weeks [MTP]. Note: Sam was in the United States from June 22 to July 5, only two weeks [MTLTP 311n1].
The Boston Daily Globe, p.24, “GIRLS WHO PLAY BALL,” which explored the subject, “Athletics for Women at Our Modern Institutions of Learning,” mentioned a past visit of Mark Twain to the gymnasium at Bryn Mawr College:
Why Girls in Bryn Mawr Gymnasium Knelt to Mark Twain
Black Turkish trousers with the divided skirt effect, blouse waists with sailor knots of varied hue at the throat, black stockings and heelless oxford ties complete the gymnasium costume. A pretty girl in this oriental garb is very fetching.
Much diffidence is manifested in donning the trousers at first, and the unexpected appearance of Mark Twain in the gymnasium at Bryn Mawr, when a class was in exercise, brought every girl instantaneously on her knees!
June 13 Monday – Sam left Bad Nauheim alone and traveled to Bremen, Germany, where he would take passage the following day for New York [June 12 to Fiske]. He took a room ath the Hotel de l’Europe in Bremen [NB 31 TS 53].
Sam’s notebook: “Arrived here at 5.23 June 13 — left Nauheim 9.05 a.m.” [NB 31 TS 53].
T. Childs of Florence, Italy wrote of Sam’s contract for the Villa Viviani rental, signed by the Marchese Viviani and Prof. Fiske. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Childs contract signed.” [MTP].
June 14 Tuesday – In Bremen, Germany at 7:45 a.m., Sam wrote a goodbye note to daughter Jean, back in Bad Nauheim with her mother.
I am up & shaved & got my clean shirt on & feel mighty fine, & am going down to show off before I put on the rest of my clothes.
Perhaps mama & Mrs. Hague can persuade the Hauswirth to do right; but if he don’t you go down & kill his dog.
I wish you would invite the Consul-General and his ladies down to take one of those slim dinners with mama, then he would complain to the Government.
Sam sent his love to Momma and Jean and cautioned Jean to be “thoughtful & care-taking & considerate of each other,” which would make everyone happy, including himself [MTP].
Sam left Bremen for New York in the steamer Havel.
June 15 Wednesday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel. His two surviving letters from the trip praised the luxury of the liner and revealed he spent a lot of time on literary work [June 19 to unidentified “captain”; and to an unidentified “doctor”]. However, Sam did write Livy two letters sent from Southampton, England on the way, as referred to in her letter June 18 in Bad Nauheim. See entry.
June 16 Thursday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel.
June 17 Friday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel.
June 18 Saturday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel. Livy wrote from Bad Nauheim:
Youth Darling: Your two letters mailed at Southhampton reached me safely and were I assure you very welcome. I had last night a kind of horror in the night — lest something would happen to you. But as a rule I feel very contented and happy about everything. It seems to me that except for our delightful stay on the Riviera I have never in my life had so restful and quiet a time. The books have come from Chatto & Windus. I am enjoying now the Venice and the Hagues are reading the other. In fact in the evenings we read aloud in them [The Twainian Jan-Feb 1977 p.3].
June 19 Sunday – En route to New York City on the Havel, Sam wrote to an unidentified “captain” on North German Lloyd letterhead, giving us a clue into his activities during the voyage:
My Dear Captain:
You cannot imagine what a charming ship it is, nor how much satisfaction one can get out of a stateroom like this. I have enjoyed every hour of these six days [five days to be exact, so far], & have done a good deal more literary work than I should have done on shore. It is a great pity you didn’t come along & help me fill up these berths….
I am expecting to start back July 16 in the Kaiser Wilhelm II, & then we must have another orgy at the Schmitz [MTP]. Note: though unidentified, the gentleman was most likely in Germany. Sam would actually leave the US earlier, on July 5.
Sam also wrote another glowing letter on North German Lloyd letterhead about the Havel to an unidentified “doctor” in Bremen:
My Dear Doctor:
When you make a sea voyage, make it in “the Havel.” This is the delightfulest ship I was ever in. One can write in her as comfortably as he can at home. I have entertained myself first rate with witing an article about this & other vessels which I have voyaged in, & if I were going to write a book I think I would try to get my family’s leave to take a room in the Havel & ferry back & forth till the book was finished. I will give that idea to some bachelor author. He will find it worth his while to try it.
I expect to start back in the Kaiser William II the 16th of July, & shall hope to see you in Bremen & thank you for the many kindnesses & courtesies you showed me. / Sincerely Yours/ SL Clemens [Guide Through North and Central America with the Compliments of the North-German Lloyd Bremen].
Note: Sam sailed from N.Y. on July 5 on the SS Lahn. Paine has him working on the article “About All Kinds of Ships” during that trip, but this letter shows he at least began it here, on the Havel. The article itself does not mention the Lahn, and has a second section about Noah’s Ark. Paine likely did not have access to this letter.
June 20 Monday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel.
June 21 Tuesday – Sam was en route to New York City on the Havel. Meanwhile, back in Bad Nauheim, at the Villa August Victoria, Livy wrote to Daniel Willard Fiske, thanking him that “the matter is entirely settled and that we are really to be residents of Florence.”
I suppose Mr. Clemens will reach America by tomorrow. I hope to hear by that time of his safe arrival.
How strange it seems that we have really taken a Villa in Florence and we are all so glad.
I hope you will return soon after the 1st of Sept. / Believe me gratefully yours / Olivia L. Clemens [MTP]. Note: Fiske would also be living in Florence, close enough for “just a pleasant walk for Mr. Clemens,” she wrote. Fiske had offered the services of his secretary, William Sordi, as a translator.
June 22 Wednesday – Sam arrived in New York City [MTLTP 311n1]. Sometime during his two stops in New York, either now or the first few days of July, Sam met with Mary Mapes Dodge, editor of St. Nicholas, a magazine for children. She offered Sam $5,000 for the serial rights to a 50,000 word story for boys. Sam wrote back and declined the offer (he was formulating Tom Sawyer Abroad), but he didn’t feel the amount was enough [Aug. 10 to Hall].
James B. Pond wrote from Jersey City to Sam, addressing it to Hartford. “Welcome back to this country — the great & only E. Pluribus Unum. I hope you are fully restored to health, & that you want a new life on the road….If you feel like it I am ready.” Pond then told of several who had lost money lecturing in California — Cable, and [Henry Guy] Carleton among them. Max O’Rell made $13,000; Matthew Arnold was “a great success”; Kennan, J. Hopkinson Smith, and Nelson Page were “all in the lead” [MTP].
June 23 Thursday – Sam spent the day with Frederick J. Hall looking over Webster & Co. Sam had written to Hall back on June 11, asking for help to keep away from reporters. The less publicity about his arrival the better. Evidently these efforts were not successful, for the Brooklyn Eagle, Jun. 23, 1892, p.4 under “Personal Mention” included, “Mark Twain has returned from Europe.” The New York Times ran a paragraph of passengers on p.8, “Arrived on the Havel,” which led off with,
Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) was a passenger on the North German Lloyd steamship Havel, which arrived yesterday from Bremen.
In Bad Nauheim, Livy wrote to Sam in care of her brother in Elmira, though the letter would not reach there until July 7 after Sam had sailed for Europe:
I am going, Youth Darling, to send you a letter care of Charley thinking it may reach you there. I have just sent off a letter of Jean’s to New York.
How I hope that things will go prosperously and well for you. I hope when this reaches you that you will have had a satisfactory time with Paige. Wouldn’t it be glorious if you arranged things in such a way that you could come back feeling at rest about it all. If you should get anything especially good I hope you will telegraph me.
The wind is at last blowing and I hope that will drive away the clouds and we shall get better weather. This morning I had to go to my bath in a hard rain. And yesterday Jean and I were detained at the Dr’s by a heavy thunderstorm. Jean’s toe has been so troublesome that I thought it was better for the Dr. to take a look at it. He was very nice with her & told us just what to do for it, and evidently felt that it was wise that we went to him. I like him so very much that I can not but feel glad that you took the matter into your hands and changed doctors.
Jean is the dearest, sweetest little girl in the world. We do have most delightful times together.
I can not but fear that something will happen either before we go to the villa or during our time there because I look forward to the life there with such enthusiastic anticipation. It is bad to look forward to a thing so it may all go badly …..
I do wonder if Joe & Harmony are on this side. Do write me about them as soon as you can. I dreamed last night that they were here. I had a nice letter from Prof. Fiske. He had a letter from Prof. Lounsbury saying when we should sail but saying nothing about the Twichells. With deepest love, …[The Twainian, Nov.-Dec. 1977 p1].
June 24 Friday – Sam took the train to Hartford. His letter of June 28 to Orion says he spent “Friday & Saturday in Hartford on business” [MTP].
June 25 Saturday – Sam spent the day in Hartford on business, and likely left for Elmira, a nine or ten hour train ride, sometime during the day, since he was there the following day, June 26.
June 26 Sunday – Sam was in Elmira principally to meet with those who had purchased Paige royalties (See June 27 to Livy below). He mentioned them in his letter to Livy the following day. Also in that letter he wrote that he’d seen Katy Leary this evening, “& had a long talk. She is well & hearty & sent many messages to the family” [June 27 to Livy].
June 27 Monday – In Elmira Sam wrote on North German Lloyd letter head to Livy.
Sweetheart, I am still here, but shall be taking the train for Chicago very soon, now, for it is already 2 p.m.
I have been very busy ever since I got up at 7.15 this morning. (By the way, Ida [Langdon] paid me the compliment of asking me for that cow’s head picture I once drew & gave to mother. I was glad to consent.) ….This morning I called on Mr. Arnot with Charley [Langdon] — he was very pleasant. I called on Clara Stanchfield [née Spaulding] & spent an hour; Mrs. Corey came in. They sent messages to all of you. I called at Slee’s & saw all the family & got their messages, then went back & caught John Stanchfield in & had a pleasant visit with him. [MTP; editorial emphasis].
Sam also wrote about having a tooth pulled by his Elmira dentist, Dr. Frank B. Darby. As his letter suggests, he took an afternoon train headed for Chicago. The trip west likely took all night and part of the next day.
June 28 Tuesday – Sam arrived in Chicago and wrote his brother Orion Clemens three hours after his arrival.
I reached New York last Wednesday & spent Friday & Saturday in Hartford on business, & then slipped out here on another matter of business. I hope to get away undiscovered, but I have been recognized in the hotel office — am not sure. I have been in town three hours & am ready to leave for Hartford & New York again & sail for Germany this day week [July 5]. My passage is taken in the Lahn. I wanted to telegraph you to meet me here, but was afraid the dispatch might give me away. Chicago was expunged from my itinerary as soon as I arrived from the other side, but I had to put it in again suddenly & without time to write you. [Note: Sam was sleuthing to discover just what Paige was up to, which added urgency to his remaining undiscovered; On Aug. 13 he wrote to Augustin Daly that he’d spent the 28th in Chicago “under a fictitious name, & left the 29th”].
Sam also sent good news that his “tribe” was all “pretty well,” and that the doctors had said “positively” that Livy did not have heart disease, but only needed rest from “weakness of the heart-muscles,” which he thought was worth the travel to learn.
I shall have a world of night-&-day railroading to do in the next few days, but I am strong & well & entirely equal to it [MTP].
Paine writes of Sam’s quick trip to the Windy City:
“Clemens, who had been negotiating again with the Mallorys for the disposal of his machine royalties, thought it proper to find out just what was going on. He remained in America less than two weeks, during which he made a flying trip to Chicago and found that Paige’s company really had a factory started, and proposed to manufacture fifty machines. It was not easy to find out the exact status of this new company, but Clemens at least was hopeful enough of its prospects to call off the negotiations with the Mallorys which had promised considerable cash in hand. He had been able to accomplish nothing material in the publishing situation, but his heart-to-heart talk with Hall for some reason had seemed comforting. The business had been expanding; they would now ‘concentrate’” [MTB 946]. Note: according to his July 1 to Mallory, Sam did not meet with Paige during this Chicago stop.
June 29 Wednesday – Sam left Chicago by train for New York and Hartford [Aug. 13 to Daly].
Sam’s notebook, likely written on the train.
Lake Shore & Mich Southern & N.Y. Central. To-day a man timed the train & said we were making 65 miles an hour. The porter says we sometimes make 70, & that over a distance of 400 miles we average 62. Over there, the fastest train goes from Frankfort to Nauheim in 40 minutes (25 miles). — 37½ miles an hour [NB 31 TS 55]. Note: Also included are several pages of lists, some items checked off, relating to manuscripts, business, items for publication, Paige and the typesetter, and finances.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Hall sent a printed invitation their daughter’s wedding, June 29 at 3 p.m. in Middleton, Conn. for Mr. & Mrs. Clemens [MTP].
June 30 Thursday – Sam was in transit by train to New York and Hartford.
July – Sam’s notebook included a memo of The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages, by François Gouin, translated by Howard Swan and Victor Bétis, London (1892) [Gribben 269; NB 32 TS 12].
Also in the notebook: “After July 1, ’92, my royalties are to be sent to me by check, a few hundred dollars per month” [NB 31 TS 58].
J. Stuart’s article, “Mark Twain,” ran in Literary Opinion [The Twainian, Dec. 1940].
July or August – Sometime during their stay in Bad Nauheim, Germany, Sam met Oscar Wilde. Clara Clemens recorded the event, but alas, characteristically, she did not give us dates, only the place.
Excitement was caused one day, however, by the arrival of an English guest at the hotel, a gentleman who was of most pronounced appearance. In the dining-room his table was not far from ours, and we enjoyed watching him in conversation with two other gentlemen. He was remarkably dressed and highly vivacious in manner and speech. It was not difficult to recognize Oscar Wilde. He and Father became aware of each other at almost the same moment and rose to exchange greetings, although as far as I know they had never met before. I cannot remember that Father effected an acquaintance between the rest of his family and Oscar Wilde, but we were grateful that we had eyes with which to stare. We used them well, missing nothing from the gentleman’s carnation as large as a baby sunflower, to the colored shoes on his feet.
If only that dinner had had more courses. We started on the dessert we had seen him smile only twice, but he smiled so well!…Oscar Wilde had a memorable smile… [MFMT 113-4].
Note: Susy Clemens had also noted in a letter to Louise Brownell of seeing Wilde in Bayreuth, probably when Sam was traveling. See 1891 August, late entry.
Interesting here is Katy Leary’s instinctive reaction to her fellow-native Irishman is an interesting juxtaposition here (London, 1897):
And then Oscar Wilde, he lived right there behind us. He was the one they put in jail [two years of hard labor for “gross indecency”]. He was a very bad man, Oscar Wilde was, so bad you couldn’t talk about what he done….He always used to wear a sunflower in his buttonhole and dressed in velvet clothes and had long hair [Lawton 158].
July 1 Friday – In Hartford Sam wrote on the Law Offices stationery of Henry C. Robinson to Marshall Mallory.
I concluded I would not visit Paige. I am about to sail tomorrow for Germany & when I get there I will cable Mr. Robinson whether to take up the matter of the option again or not, upon the terms proposed last March …. M.H. Mallory / Why not take half — / Mrs. C. would consent to that. [MTP].
Sam also wrote from the Glenham Hotel in New York City to Franklin G. Whitmore asking the hypothetical — if Mallory bought the option when would he pay Arnot and the others who’d purchased royalties? He guessed that they would pay them nothing unless the option was made a sale, and if it did not happen they would get the royalties back. Sam specified that on some of the royalties nothing should be paid in any case: Orion Clemens, Sue Crane, and Clara Spaulding Stanchfield. (These were gifts.)
I shall stay here, now, till the ship sails next Tuesday [July 5] afternoon [MTP]. Note: this suggests Sam had been to Hartford prior to writing this letter.
Will Montgomery Clemens published what was the first long biography of Samuel L. Clemens. From Railton’s website (see also Tenney 20):
“As far as I know, Will and Samuel Clemens were not related, though they did become acquaintances. The 200-page biography Will Clemens wrote and published himself may have been the earliest full-length study of MT. It was published 1 July 1892 as ‘No. 1’ in a paperback series called ‘The Pacific Library,’ price 25¢, and did well enough to be republished in 1894 by a publisher in Chicago. Throughout the book Clemens relies mainly on other writers’ previously published work. In the excerpt below he borrows the unflattering and anti-nostalgic description of Hannibal by William Dean Howells, who himself grew up in a non-slave-holding small town, to characterize the world of MT’s childhood.” Note: Railton then quotes from Chapter 1 of the biography, which may be found at:
In November, The Overland Monthly ran a brief review of Will M. Clemens’ work:
Interesting only as an entertaining compilation of quotations and humorous anecdotes from the great humorist’s works, bearing on many phases of his adventurous life. The connecting paragraphs are loose, and of little or no literary merit. The author has not attempted to write from a critical or analytical standpoint, and thus the book is chiefly valuable as a memorandum of facts [Tenney, supplement in American Literary Realism Autumn 1978, p.166].
July 2 Saturday † – At the Glenham Hotel in New York, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. Though the letter is given July 1 by MTP, it is labeled by Sam “Saturday” and Sam advises he was going to Elmira “to-morrow (Sunday) but shall be back here Monday evening.” Thus it is labeled July 2. Also, Sam may have sent a letter to Hall while in N.Y. due to an office closure for the weekend. He did not make the trip.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.
If Mrs. Clemens should consent to sell Mallory that 3 years’ option on all the royalties at his March terms, I will cable thus:
“Webster co. New York. Sell.”
If she refuses I’ll write; for she might relent & then I could beat the letter with cablegram as above [MTP].
July 3 Sunday – For some reason Sam did not go to Elmira, his intention probably to finish acquiring typesetter royalties there.
Gribben quotes Sam’s NB 31, TS 57-8, that Sam spent the afternoon and evening of July 3, 1892 “absorbed in” Sir James Barrie’s The Little Minister (London, 1891) in his bed at the Union League Club in New York City . Note: Below is the full notebook entry written July 4 which shows Sam did not make the quick trip to Elmira:
July 4, ’92. Union League Club, noon. I breakfasted here yesterday [July 3] about 10. Sat around till 2 pm, should say. Loafed down to Glenham hotel & in my room enjoyed the prodigious downpour of rain awhile; then went to bed (3 or 4 p.m.) & was soon absorbed in “The Little Minister,” with shutters closed & gas lit. Hours & hours afterward — no idea how many, for no clocks were in hearing, but my instinct & diminished street noises assured me it was about 2 a.m. — I suddenly thought, “my watch has run down, of course!” & I leaped out of bed, got the thing from my vest on a wall-hook & put it to my ear. Yes, it was silent. Opened it, took a careless glance — apparently 11.30 p.m. — “been stopped more than 2 hours” I said; — listened — no tick hearable; wound it up, closed it; after a moment unclosed it & listened to make sure it had started up again; it hadn’t; shook it, listened, shook it again, then it started up & I put it back in the vest pocket & returned to bed. I finished my book as quickly as possible — say in half an hour — then rushed myself to sleep, to capture what was left of the night (morning.) When I woke I felt well rested up. Rose & looked at my watch — 6 a.m. — “true time is about 8.30,” I said, & ordered breakfast & the paper brought to my room. Ate the breakfast, read the “World” through, wrote a letter or two, began “A Window in Thrums.” By & by, dressed & went up Fifth Ave — noticed the clock in fron of Fifth Ave Hotel — took out my watch to set it. By George, it & the clock were precisely together! — 10.14. What was it that called me out of bed the very instant that my watch had run down & stopped the night before?
This is the very counterpart of Mr. Child’s adventure with his watch in Florence [NB 31 TS 57-8].
July 4 Monday – Sam was in New York. See July 3 for some activities this day.
Gribben quotes Sam’s NB 31, TS 58, that Sam spent the night in New York: “Clemens rose at the Union League Club in New York City, breakfasted, read the newspaper, ‘wrote a letter or two,’ and ‘began” A Window in Thrums (1889) also by Sir James Barrie, author of Peter Pan . Note: the letters he wrote are not extant. Sam read the N.Y. World.
July 5 Tuesday – In the afternoon, Sam sailed again for Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn. Just before boarding he received a note from Sarah A. Trumbull (see July 18). The trip over took eight days; the return trip would, at that rate, reach the destination about July 13 or 14.
Sometime during the trip Sam wrote in his notebook:1 “Symod’s [sic] Life of Cellini. Nimmo” [Gribben 134]. Note: John Addington Symonds’ The Life of Benvenuto Cellini, Newly Translated into English, two volumes (1888).
July 6 Wednesday – Sam was en route to Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn. Paine writes:
“He returned on the Lahn and he must have been in better health and spirits, for it is said he kept the ship very merry during the passage. He told many extravagantly amusing yarns; so many that a court was convened to try him on the charge of “inordinate and unscientific lying” [MTB 947] See July 12.
July 7 Thursday – Sam was en route to Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn. While at sea Paine claims Sam wrote the 8,000 word sketch, “About All Kinds of Ships.” Paine refers to this article as “All Sorts and Conditions of Ships” [MTB 947-8]. It was first published in The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other Stories (1893) [Budd, Collected 2: 1001]. See June 19 letter to unidentified doctor which shows he worked on the article during the trip to the US on the S.S. Havel. Sam may have revised or added to the article during this voyage.
Livy’s letter of June 23 from Bad Nauheim to Sam reached Elmira in the morning, and was noted so by C.J. Langdon [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.1].
July 8 Friday – Sam was en route to Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn.
July 9 Saturday – Sam was en route to Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn.
July 10 Sunday – Sam was en route to Bremen, Germany on the S.S. Lahn. Sam’s notebook:
Sunday, July 10, S.S. Lahn — very heavy seas, & a ship that wallows around like a barrel, but does not pitch. … / Pumped the Atlantic through the ship 16 times on the passage. … / There is hourly inspection & report, all night, in these ships. / No Sunday service ever. But band music 7 am / People wear nice street clothes on shipboard, now. / Steamer chairs rented by a Co. / Ice cream carried from N.Y. / Ice cream & strawber at sea /…/ Write Mr. Hall to give Burbank 10 p.c. till $2500 [NB 32 TS 10-11].
July 12 Tuesday – In the S.S. Lahn, at sea en route to Bremen, Sam gave a reading. In a mock trial, Mark Twain was accused and convicted of “inordinate and unscientific lying.” Paine writes,
“Many witnesses testified, and his own testimony was so unconvincing that the jury convicted him without leaving the bench. He was sentenced to read aloud from his own works for a considerable period every day until the steamer should reach port. It is said that he faithfully carried out this part of the program, and that the proceeds from the trial and the various readings amounted to something more than six hundred dollars, which was turned over to the Seamen’s Fund” [MTB 947-8].
The Washington Post, Nov. 13, 1892 p.12 ran, “TWAIN IN DURANCE VILE / Ludicrous Trials of a Humorist in the Middle of the Ocean. / IS GUILTY OF MENDACITY”:
It was in the month of July last that Mark Twain was put into irons and brought before an admiralty court upon serious charges. The story of that experience in the life of the famous humorist has just been brought back to the country by some of those who witnessed the trial and who saw Mark Twain in chains, and nothing he has ever written contains more humorous suggestions than does this story.
Among Mark Twain’s fellow passengers upon the steamship Lahn were ex Judge Dittenhoefer, Sydney Webster, of Boston, an eminent lawyer; James T. Wallach, a prominent merchant of this city, and a party of twelve Yale students, among them being the famous football champion of Yale, Mr. McClung.
Mark Twain had made merry with the passengers. He told some of the most extraordinary stories, which, while they had the appearance of having occurred to him at the moment, he insisted were veritable chronicles, and, as incredulity prevailed among the passengers, it was at last publicly declared that Mark Twain was “in his capacity as a story teller an inordinate and scientific liar,” says the New York Advertiser. The humorist resented these accusations, insisting that if in any of his published narrations there appeared to be anything which justified such accusations, he had written it in moments of irresponsibility or insanity, and he declared that he was willing to stand trial upon these charges.
Capt. Dampfer, who has the power of an autocrat upon his ship, authorized a court of admiralty to be organized, of which Mr. Dittenhoefer was appointed judge. Mr. Wallace was chosen by the court counsel for prosecution, and Mark Twain selected the eminent lawyer, Mr. Webster, counsel for the defense. The Yale students were impaneled as jurors, and Mr. McClung was made foreman.
Note: Thomas Lee “Bum” McClung (1870-1914), later served as the 22nd Treasurer of the US under Taft.
Sam autographed a caligraphied, “Admiralty Court Document” on North German Lloyd Steamship Co. letterhead that read:
“Admiralty Court – This verifies that the bearer has made a contribution to the Seaman’s Fund in satisfaction of the decree of the Court which tried Mark Twain this day for inordinate and unscientific Lying and found him guilty. Dittenhoefer, Judge / Wales Hicks [?] Sheriff. [two lines illegible] Steamer Lahn at Sea July 12, 1892” [www.liveauctioneers.com/item/3786601; sale June 30, 2007 — See image of the decree]. Note: several scholars have mistakenly reported this as July 14 which is the date given by the Nov. 13, 1892 Washington Post article months later. Interestingly, only brief mention was made of the mock trial in Sam’s notebook: “The trial at Sea was well done — so was the part of the two sailors” [NB 32 TS 16].
July 13 Wednesday – Sam was still at sea on the S.S. Lahn.
July 14 Thursday – On or about this day the SS. Lahn reached Bremen. Shortly, Sam continued on to Bad Nauheim to rejoin Livy. No evidence was found that he stopped along the way. His notebooks are not clear on the point, but have several pages criticizing German bookstores, a lack of newsstands, inefficient postal systems, and cheaply manufactured books that sell for $2 and that fall “to pieces when you open” them [NB 32 TS 13-15].
July 15 Friday
July 16 Saturday
July 17 Sunday
July 18 Monday – In Bad Nauheim (which, according to Clara in My Father Mark Twain, p.113 Sam called “Bath No-Harm”) Sam wrote to Sarah A. Trumbull (Mrs. James Hammond Trumbull), mother of Annie E. Trumbull.
I wish to thank you for your most kind note. It reached me just as I was starting for the ship [on July 5], & so my acknowledgment was delayed until now. But you didn’t need to explain — I knew I should have been admitted if you had known it was I; but I am grateful, all the same, that you were sorry I failed to get in [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull regretting that he was unable to see her before leaving for Europe. His note to her clarifies that Annie was the object of his visit and that somehow he was told that he could not see Annie. Perhaps she was napping.
It was too bad! If I had foreseen that I was not going to have an opportunity to call again, I would have marched into the house in spite of the prohibition; I excused you from seeing me only because I supposed I was going to have a chance to run in the next day. Many is the time I have regretted, since, that I didn’t make sure of you while I had the opportunity. I will not run that sort of risk again…I also failed to see Dr. Root & Archie Welch. I came away pretty thoroughly disgusted with my flying visit [MTP].
July 19 Tuesday
July 20 Wednesday
July 21 Thursday
July 22 Friday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, having just received his letter of July 5 (not extant) — the very day Sam sailed. Hall had added a time limit on the option with Augustin Daly for the dramatization rights for The American Claimant. Sam approved. He also advised to give Burbank ten per cent of the profits until $2,500 was reached, as payment for his rights to the play.
Sam also wrote that he was enclosing (but did not) the “Ship” article, some 8,000 words. This was the article, “About All Kinds of Ships,” which was included in 1893 in £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other New Stories. He preferred to sell it to Samuel McClure for $1,000, though Harper’s would pay $80 or $100 per magazine page, or about $800 to $950 per article. Sam added that he would leave out the bit about Noah’s ark if they wanted to [MTLTP 311-2]. Note: Budd writes “About All Kinds of Ships” was first published in the collection [Collected 2: 1001]. From the article:
It would not be possible for Noah to do in our day what he was permitted to do in his own…The inspector would come and examine the Ark, and make all sorts of objections.
July 23 Saturday
July 24 Sunday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany at the Kaiserhof Hotel, Sam began a letter to Frederick J. Hall that he finished on July 27.
I have not sent that “Ship” article yet — been revising it; but I will mail it within the next six days — and will register it. Please look out for it about August 12th to 15th.
Part of this delay was because I have written three-fourths of another article & thought I might finish it and send it, too; but I see that it is going to string itself out to two articles, so I will not wait.
Sam also expressed a wish that he’d seen Samuel S. McClure and negotiated for a definite amount of pay per thousand words, or he’d have to go to magazines where he could get a definite figure. Sam wanted Hall bring up the issue with McClure [MTLTP 312-3].
July 25 Monday – Moses S. Beach died in Peekskill, N.Y. N.Y. Times obituary, July 27, p.4 reported:
Moses S. Beach, who for thirty years past, or ever since its organization, has been the Treasurer of the Working Woman’s Protective Union, which has headquarters at 19 Clinton Place, died Monday night at his home in Peekskill. Mr. Beach was stricken with paralysis about a year ago and has been an invalid since. He was seventy years old at the time of his death. Mr. Beach was one of the sons of Moses Y. Beach, who was proprietor of the New-York Sun almost from its start to the time of his death in 1868. Another son is Alfred E. Beach, one of the proprietors of the Scientific American. Mr. Beach leaves a family of sons and daughters.
T. Ernest Allen for American Psychical Society wrote to Sam enclosing a prospectus for the Society and asking if he was “willing they should reprint a part of the whole of your article in Harper’s upon ‘Mental Telegraphy’”? [MTP].
July 26 Tuesday – Jean Clemens’ twelfth birthday.
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam of publishing matters [MTP].
W.H. Langhorne wrote to Sam, the letter going first to America and then returning to Bad Nauheim. Langhorne inquired of any connection based upon his surname in order to trace his Virginia ancestor [MTP]. Note: Sam replied the name was from a friend of the family.
July 27 Wednesday – Sam finished his July 24 to Hall by adding a PS for this date: He would mail the “Ship” article within three days. He asked Hall to send Livy the “name & numbers of the investments” that Mr. Halsey had lately added, and closed by announcing another letter about Bad Nauheim (possibly “Down the Rhone”) was finished with about six or seven thousand words; he noted it was the same length as the six Europe syndicate letters he’d done last winter [MTLTP 313].
July 28 Thursday
July 29 Friday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany at the Kaiserhof Hotel, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus:
Yesterday I began a book. Please send me one ream of this paper [MTP]. Note: Pudd’nhead Wilson was conceived in Bad Nauheim. This may be the first mention of it. More likely, this was Tom Sawyer Abroad — see Aug. 5 entry.
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam [MTP cites C&W’s Letterbook, Vol. 26, p.219].
July 30 Saturday
July 31 Sunday
August – Sam sent his double autograph to an unidentified person:
Yes indeed & with great pleasure / Sincerely Yours / Mark Twain / ~ / Known to the police & these tax-people as / SL Clemens / ~ / Bad-Nauheim, Aug./92.
Sometime between Aug. 1 and 17, Sam answered W.H. Langhorne’s July 26 inquiry as to a possible family relationship based on Sam’s middle name.
I was named Langhorne from a valued friend of my father, but he was not a relative, but a comrade of my father’s youth in Virginia [MTP]. Note: this would run in the London Times on May 5, 1910.
Sue Crane returned home to Elmira sometime prior to Aug. 7, when Sam wrote Charles Langdon of the effects of the parting on Livy. In a letter dated only “August/92,” Susy Clemens mentioned to Louise Brownell, “Aunt Susy has left us to sail home….” She also wrote of a side trip and another guest:
Clara and I have been in Frankfurt visiting friends. While there I saw the Walküri for the first time. I thought the relations between Brünhilde and Sieglinde particularly lovely, and the opera is superb. The Rheingold I didn’t appreciate I am sorry to say.
Except for this little break life goes on with us as regularly as clock work. The events of the day are the arrival of the Homburg coach, and the garden concert in the afternoons. I find that after all I have grown fond of this little place tho’ it is as quiet as the grave. …
A friend of Aunt Susy’s is here and I walk with her every day. She is fine in many ways supports her parents and has educated her sister who is an invalid and looks at life in a morbid hopeless distorted way….In the afternoon we take our books and sewing out to the terrace and listen to the music till dinner time and in the evenings Papa reads us his M.S. [Cotton 101151-3].
Note: from context and Susy’s use of present tense, this friend of Sue Crane’s appears to have stayed on after Sue returned home.
August 1 Monday
August 2 Tuesday
August 3 Wednesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he’d been unable to get the August report off, due to a smaller staff and vacations. Hall had received SLC’s letter of July 22; shortly thereafter had received a draft of the contract with Daly to dramatize (CY?), but that he wouldn’t be able to bring the play out this year; so Hall signed “subject to S.L. Clemens’ approval.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Daly will dramatize in ‘93” [MTP].
August 4 Thursday
August 5 Friday – Sam’s notebook entry: “Began ‘Huck Finn in Africa’ August 5, 1892” [NB 32 TS 18]. This was to be called Tom Sawyer Abroad and would run serialized in St. Nicholas from Nov. 1893 to Apr. 1894, prior to Webster & Co. publishing it in book form. See Apr. 16, 1894.
At the Kaiserhof Hotel in Bad Nauheim, Germany, Sam wrote his thanks to Chatto & Windus for sending a letter of credit as payment of his royalties. He also disclosed a bit of traveling the past few days, without specifics, and announced he’d begun the book he’d mentioned when asking for paper.
I have been roving, a few days, but am back again & have begun the book which I was projecting when I wrote & asked for paper [July 29]; & also I find your letter & the Baron’s. I do not know how to praise your stewardship as highly as it deserves….I hold him [Baron Tauchnitz] in the highest respect & esteem. I am particularly glad to remain in his hands; it pleases me better than anything else could have done [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William Walter Phelps, the American Minister to Germany. Sam wanted Phelps and family to visit them at Bad Nauheim rather than the Clemenses traveling to Wiesbaden, where Sam had heard Phelps was going next.
Break the orders & come. I & the children will be good to you both — yes, & we will even let Mrs. Clemens enjoy a chance at you notwithstanding the doctor here has condemned her for a year to absolute seclusion from human society. And I tell you these sprudel baths are just darlings. I am taking them, not for physical deterioration but for moral decay. They take right hold. Ordinarily a single course removes the enamel from the conscience, but it has been thought best for me to double up [MTP].
August 6 Saturday
August 7 Sunday – At the Kaiserhof Hotel in Bad Nauheim, Sam wrote to his brother-in-law, Charles J. Langdon, who had telegrammed him while in New York, a message which was forwarded by mail to Bad Nauheim.
We had to save you & Livy the trip to Brussels, there was no other way. It is a sharp disappointment, & she finds it very hard to give up the pleasure of seeing you & Jervis; but the doctor is strenuous against both things — the journey & the pleasurable excitement of seeing you. And yet, she would break through these commands & go; but I’ve seen the effects of the parting with Sue, & that has entirely decided me. It has set her back weeks. …
We set out to oppose her going to Florence, & after giving her infinite trouble & worry & distress, found we had nothing to offer in the place of Florence that was even half-way rational; but are done, now, & have taken a back seat — that is, the children have; I am humbler, & have gone up in the gallery with the niggers. She will try Florence thirty days, & then if she wants to try the Polar Circle there is not going to be any opposition [MTP] Note: Interesting that Sam would use the “gallery” euphemism when writing to members of the Langdon family. The Langdons were traveling in Europe.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, giving his return address as Drexel Harjes & Co. in Paris. He addressed the owners of the Paige typesetter royalties, and refused to pay for the return of Karl Gerhardt’s royalty. He argued that Whitmore should make the case of a “3-year option, not outright sale” to Mr. Arnot, Clara Stanchfield, or Charles Langdon — “& get them to accept our proposition — also, Charley Clark. Yes, & Samuel E. Moffett, too (care ‘Examiner,’ San Francisco.)” Sam pointed out that Sue Crane, Orion Clemens and Pamela Moffett paid nothing so they would return their royalties without pay. He advised they would leave for Florence “about a month hence” [MTP].
August 8 Monday
August 9 Tuesday – In Bad Nauheim Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
…But if he should want it I think a good idea to trade with him, for his magazine is obscure & I don’t want to appear in print in the full glare of the big magazines too often…Of course Walker can take this Romance if he wants it…if he takes Puddnhead, he can’t take this too [MTP].
Note: John Brisben Walker was at this time Howell’s co-worker and editor on the Cosmopolitan.
Sam also wrote to Janet D. Ross (Mrs. William Ross), an English neighbor in Florence. He thanked her for all her “kindnesses.” After some references to quarantine trouble “on the frontier” Sam wrote:
We are packing and shall go to Frankfort Saturday, and begin telegraphing the officials on the Swiss and Italian frontiers through their Frankfort consuls. If we find we can pass without detention we shall start either next Monday or Tuesday [Aug. 15 or 16] [MTP]. Note: Susy’s Aug. 18 Frankfort letter to Louise Brownell confirms the family made such a trip.
August 10 Wednesday – In Bad Nauheim Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
I have dropped that novel I wrote you about, because I saw a more effective way of using the main episode — to wit: by telling it through the lips of Huck Finn. So I have started Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (still 15 years old) & their friend the freed slave Jim around the world in a stray balloon, with Huck as narrator…. I have written 12,000 words of this narrative….so I shall go along & make a book of from 50,000 to 100,000 words.
It is a story for boys, of course, & I think will interest any boy between 8 years & 80.
Sam wrote of the offer made by Mary Mapes Dodge for such a book when he was recently in New York (See July 22). He proposed the title to be “New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (this became Tom Sawyer Abroad). Sam asked Hall to shop the book idea to Henry Alden of Harper’s, Samuel S. McClure, and to write Howells [MTLTP 313-5].
August 11 Thursday – Yola Zurelli wrote from San Francisco to Sam, sending a MS for his comment — the left side of the letter has been water damaged to the point of illegibility [MTP].
August 12 Friday – At the Hotel Kaiserhof in Bad Nauheim (which Sam called “Bath No Harm”), Sam answered a letter (not extant) from Laurence Hutton, who was planning some traveling.
But what are your plans before you go to Egypt & Japan & those other neighboring places? You better come & give me a call here. The doctor will not let you see Mrs. Clemens, but there’s the rest of us & you can have all of us that you want. Come — won’t you? I have been writing with all my might on a book latterly, but if you’ll come I’ll give myself a holiday [MTP].
John Horan wrote from Rathkeal, Ireland to Sam, noting an extract from HF and one from P&P both about the way a woman threads a needle versus a man; Horan was a “humble admirer” who wanted to know “what is exactly to be understood from the extracts”? [MTP].
August 13 Saturday – At the Hotel Kaiserhof in Bad Nauheim, Sam answered a letter (not extant) from Augustin Daly.
I have your letter of June 28, from Chicago. It followed me here — no, beat me here a day or two, for I was in Chicago myself when you wrote it — spent the 28th there under a fictitious name, & left the 29th.
I shall be here another month, yet, then go to Florence to stay a year; so as you are to be in London the 25th we shan’t meet, I suppose. However, you bang away & dramatize the book your way, & that will be my way. Mr. Hall has already written you accepting your offer for me [MTP]. Note: The play was The American Claimant.
August 14 Sunday
August 15 Monday – On this day or the next, the family took a trip to Frankfort On the Main, Germany, a short seventeen miles to the south from Bad Nauheim [Aug 9 to Ross].
August 16 Tuesday – The Clemens family was in Frankfort on the Main, Germany. Sam later wrote about meeting old friends here:
The Phelpses came to Frankfort & we had some great times — dinner at his hotel & the [Frank] Masons, supper at our inn — Livy not in it. She was merely allowed a glimpse, no more. Of course, Phelps said she was merely pretending to be ill; was never looking so well & fine [MTP, Sept 18 to Crane]
Ssecretary of Patriots’ League’s Prof. Edward A. Spring sent Sam a flyer of beliefs of the League, and an enrollment slip. At the top Spring wrote, “If you think our government of the people, by the people, & for the people is worth preserving, join us or suggest a better way than the proposed distribution of wealth.” The League proposed a “limited inheritance law,” thought to be a cure-all [MTP].
August 17 Wednesday – The Clemens family was in Frankfort on the Main, Germany.
August 18 Thursday – An envelope only survives from Susy Clemens’ letter to Louise Brownell, in Frankfort on the Main, Germany, which proves the family did make the Aug. 15 or 16 trip there as Sam’s Aug. 9 to Ross speculated [MTP].
August 19 Friday – The Twichells arrived in Bad Nauheim for a visit [Aug. 23 to Orion].
August 20 Saturday – Sam and Joe Twichell went to Homburg, which Sam called “the great pleasure resort,” and dined with Chauncey Depew and other unspecified friends. Sam’s notebook:
Aug. 20. ’92. Dined with Chauncey Depew. Present, Rev. Joe Twichell, Earl & Countess Cork. Earl & Countess Allington[,] Sir Charles Hall, & the Misses Tournuse of New York [NB 32 TS 19].
Sam and Joe Twichell spent the night in Homburg.
August 21 Sunday – Sam’s notebook in Homburg:
Aug. 21. Up at 7.30 & walked with the rest of the people. Sir Edward Malet, English Ambassador to Germany, came up & renewed our last winter’s acquaintance, in his charming way, then went off to see if the Prince of Wales might want to know me; brought him, & he was one of the heartiest & pleasantest Englishmen I have ever seen, absolutely un-English in his quickness in detecting carefully concealed humor, & he was a wholly unembarrassing man & swept away stiffness & restraint with admirable art [NB 32 TS 19-20].
Sam wrote to Orion about meeting the Prince of Wales:
..in the morning I went walking in the promenade & met the British Ambassador to the Court of Berlin, & he introduced me to the Prince of Wales, & I found him a most unusually comfortable & unembarrassing Englishman to talk with — quick to see the obscurest point, & equipped with a laugh which is spontaneous & catching [MTP; Aug. 23 to Orion]. Note: Victoria and Albert’s son, the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.
Joe Twichell also wrote an account of the meeting:
The meeting between the Prince and Mark was a most cordial one on both sides, and presently the Prince took Mark Twain’s arm and the two marched up and down, talking earnestly together, the Price solid, erect, and soldier-like; Clemens weaving along in his curious, swinging gait, in full tide of talk, and brandishing a sun umbrella of the most scandalous description [Paine, Boy’s Life of MT 267].
Sam and Joe Twichell returned to Bad Nauheim later this day [Aug. 22 to Depew].
August 22 Monday – In Bad Nauheim, Germany Sam wrote to Chauncey Depew, thanking him for the good time in Homburg.
I hold myself under obligations to you for many & varied & valuable kindnesses in Hamburg, the sum of them aggregating twenty-four hours of enjoyment memorably free from sin, & also as memorably free from dull spots. Joe [Twichell] hates dull spots, & I can’t stand sin; so both of our appetites got the right whet…
Sam expressed regret that they weren’t able to deliver the thanks themselves the next day, but were “prevented by a mixture of church & R.R. time-table.” This translates to the pair returning to Bad Nauheim on Sunday, Aug. 21.
August 23 Tuesday – In Bad Nauheim Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens and headed the letter “Private,” then explained it was so “because no newspaper man or other gossip must get hold of it.”
Livy is getting along pretty well, & the doctor thinks another summer here will cure her.
The Twichells have been here four days & we have had good times with them. Joe & I ran over to Hamburg, the great pleasure resort, Saturday, to dine with some friends…
Sam then told of his time with the Prince of Wales, brother of Princess Louise in Ottowa. He’d also been invited to a “near friend” of the Prince to dine on Aug. 25,
& there could be a good time, but the brass band will smash the talk & spoil everything.
The family expected to move to Florence in “ten or twelve days hence,” depending on cooler weather. Sam also wrote he was to take,
Clara to Berlin for the winter — music, mainly, with German & French added. Thus far, Jean is our glib French scholar [MTP].
Sam also wrote a brief letter of introduction to Charles C. Eyre for his friend Laurence Hutton, who wished to live in Florence for a month. Eyre worked for the Florence firm of Lemon & Co., which provided services for tourists and expatriates.
Sam then wrote to Laurence Hutton, enclosing the note to Charles C.Eyre.
The hotel New York is the best one in Florence — anyway, it’s just the most comfortable & satisfactory house, in every way, to be found in those regions. …
We have some acquaintance with two other first-class hotels there, but as I have arranged to have both of them burned down next week, no Irish need apply, you see — nor Scotch.
Ah, now I’ve struck it. I will inthrojooce you to Charles C. Eyre … & he will know about hotels & pensions & everything — & he & his wife are lovable [MTP].
Sam also wrote a long letter to Frederick J. Hall, numbering three items of his concern. He’d received Hall’s Aug. 12 letter (not extant). He discussed the securities purchased in Livy’s name by Mr. Halsey; monies left over from McClure’s Syndicate payments for his Europe letters, and his $3,700 royalty payment. He ended with questions about his value vs. Charles Dudley Warner’s and the following:
…have signed the Daly contracts & will register & mail them to you. You have made a contract which needs no emendations at my hands.
If this blazing weather continues, we shall not go to Florence 2 weeks hence. But it is impossible — it can’t continue. Mrs. Clemens is hoping that by spring we shall be used to housekeeping in Florence, & that you can then run over & take a month’s rest with us & have a refreshing time, & I am hoping the same [MTLTP 315-17]. Note: Augustin Daly had contracted to dramatize AC.
Sam added a PS to this letter concerning a discovery in Venice:
My friend Capt. Frank Mason, U.S. Consul General at Frankfurt a/M. found in Venice, last spring, the only authentic portrait of Columbus in existence, and quietly bought it, but by a cable-mistake it was as quietly sold for a song to a rich Chicago gentleman, and poor Mason gets not a penny for a picture which will soon be worth some hundreds of thousands of dollars — I mean, when the well-kept secret bursts out, through the “Century” Oct. 1.
Sam continued that Mason did own copyright on all engraved reproductions of the portrait, and that if Mason could not make a contract for the printing of a half-million facsimiles, he would contact Hall [MTLTP 317] (editorial emphasis).
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man and provided his autograph with a note about the “spirit of the weather,” meaning, hot [MTP].
Sir Charles Hall sent a telegram to Sam asking him to dine Thursday at the Kursval Hotel at 7:15 to meet the Prince of Wales. Sam wrote on the bottom, “Telegram from Sir Charles Hall, M.P., Aug. 23/92. A college mate & close friend of the Prince. (Invitation not declined. SLC.)” [MTP].
August 24 Wednesday – T. Childs wrote to Sam that he’d receivd the letter from Mrs. Carolyn S. Fahnstock and now had the cheque for 1500 from Frankfurt for the rent of the Villa Viviani [MTP].
August 25 Thursday – Sam’s notebook revealed he returned to Homburg:
Aug. 25. Came to Homburg per 12.20 tr.[ain] — distance, about 30 or 40 min. / Dined at the Kiersaal with Sir Charles Hall, to meet the Prince of Wales. 7 present. Sat at the Prince’s left. Depew at his right. Col Clark (aide) Mr. Atkins, M.P., J.L. Toole, the Comedian. All arrived & sat down on the minute named — 7.15. Much talk, many yarns, everything sociable, pleasant, no formality. Two hours delightfully spent [NB 32 TS 22].
Sam also wrote of the dinner on Sept. 2 to Orion:
…the dinner with the Prince of Wales, which was very informal, unconstrained, & enjoyable. Seven persons present, all men, men of character, ability & position, men good to know [MTP].
August 26 Friday – Henry C. Robinson wrote to Sam that Paige had secured the promise of three million dollars capital by Chicago investors, allowing enough time to have at least one machine on display at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This three-page double-spaced typed letter discloses much of what Robinson found out about Paige (his new salary $5,000 a month), the Webster Mfg. Co. (“has a good name in Chicago”); and the capitalization behind the firm [MTHHR 12; MTP].
An unidentified person wrote to Sam (envelope only survives and it is covered with US and German stamps and postmarks, writings, etc.) [MTP].
August 26 Friday ca. – Sometime soon after the Aug. 25 dinner with the Prince of Wales and Chauncey Depew, Sam wrote a PS, probably of his Aug. 22 letter, musing about the symbolism of the meeting. He also included this paragraph in his Sept. 2 letter to Orion.
P.S. Well, sir, the thought comes sizzing & coruscating into my mind that we represented the lion & the unicorn, the usual supporters of British royalty. A fine thought, & not ill expressed, as it seems to me. But I find I cannot tell, for sure, which was the lion & which was the unicorn. It has seemed likely to me that I was the unicorn, because I take only one horn. At a time, I mean, at a time. But all is uncertainty, the question is involved in difficulties. Will you think this out sometime in an idle moment between strikes? [MTP] Note: Depew was a railroad executive and faced strikes during this period.
August 27 Saturday – In Bad Nauheim Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. Sam noted the failure of Marshall H. Mallory to come through with his offer to buy Sam’s interest in the typesetter. He was “already content with the situation” and would keep the royalties and wait. Sam mentioned receipt of Whitmore’s and Brer R’s letters (Henry C. Robinson).
I’m going on with my book, now — & another one after it is finished — so I don’t expect to think of the machine-business again before I fold my pen & rise from my desk next spring.
The cholera scare grows, daily, & so we shan’t leave here or send Clara to Berlin until its over [MTP].
August 28 Sunday – Chauncey M. Depew wrote from London asking Sam’s autograph for Lady Ann, Chandos-Pole, a friend. Depew misspelled “Clements” on the letter and envelope [MTP].
August 29 Monday
August 30 Tuesday – In Bad Nauheim Sam responded to Chauncey Depew’s Aug. 28 note.
If you ain’t gone yet, I hope this word may catch you, for its mission is to wish you good luck, a happy voyage & a torpid conscience [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Lady Ann, Chandos-Pole, probably in London (See Depew’s request for Sam’s autograph, Aug. 28:
Mr. Depew says “Write! And I obey, holding it a privilege. And although the result is only a sample of penmanship and a wish, both are my very best: for I couldn’t write any better than this to save me…[MTP].
August 31 Wednesday
September 1 Thursday – Players Club wrote to Sam that a panel had been marked with his name in the grill room, but as yet Sam had not filled the space with a mug. Sam must forward a mug marked with his name or surrender the space. The notice was forwarded to Florence. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Notified about the beer-mug at the Players.” [MTP].
September 2 Friday – In Bad Nauheim Sam wrote to his brother Orion.
Tear up the letter I wrote [not extant] about the salve, it might go astray & get into print some day.
We are in check-mate here. In no apparent danger, but we dasn’t move in any direction. We can’t take Clara to Berlin, for there have been two or three cholera deaths there, & there may be more; our road to Italy is blocked by quarantines, & if it wasn’t we shouldn’t start yet, for we should not want to be in Florence if the cholera is going to enter there — & it may, at any moment. So we are now under the double expense, indefinitely — the house & servants in Florence & our keep here in the hotel [MTP]. Note: Sam enclosed the PS to Depew about the Aug. 25 dinner party with the Prince of Wales.
September 3 Saturday
September 4 Sunday – In Bad Nauheim Sam began a letter to Frederick J. Hall that he finished the next day. Sam discussed page rates by Harper’s and compared his pay to Charles Dudley Warner’s. He counted his work as worth double Warner’s, and expected Hall to use that idea in negotiating rates. By this letter he’d settled on the title of Tom Sawyer Abroad, and had finished “Part I — In the Great Sahara”, about 40,000 words. He also announced another book in the works:
My family (tough people to please), like it first-rate, but they say it is for boys & girls. They won’t allow it to go into a grown-folks’ magazine. Don’t forget that detail.
By & by I shall have to offer (for grown-folks’ magazine,) a novel. Title —
Those Extraordinary Twins.
It is the howling farce I told you I had begun a while back. I laid it aside to ferment while I wrote “Tom Sawyer Abroad,” but I took it up again on a little different plan lately, and it is swimming along satisfactorily now. I have written about 20,000 words on it, but I can’t form any idea of how big a book it is going to make yet. If I keep up my like it will be a book that will sell mighty well, I am sure of that. I think all sorts of folks will read it. It is clear out of the common order — it is a fresh idea — I don’t think it resembles anything in literature. I believe there’s a “boom” in it.
Sam suggested Hall see Mary Mapes Dodge again, of St. Nicholas, if Harper’s passed on the Tom Sawyer book; he suggested Howells might want the “Twins” book at $150 or $200 per 1,000 words [MTP].
September 5 Monday – In Bad Nauheim Sam added a PS to his Sept. 4 letter to Hall. He advised that the cholera quarantine would not stop the shipment of his Tom Sawyer MS, or so the Consul General had advised. He asked Hall to cable him “Sawyer received” c/o Drexel Harjes & Co. in Paris once the MS arrived. He added that Warner was making more than $200 a page on his current position writing the “Editor’s Study,” in Harper’s, Howells’ old post. If they wouldn’t pay him $200 a page, Sam wanted to ask them what “the difference consists of between the commercial (not literary) value of Warner’s stuff and mine?” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, obviously answering a note (not extant).
Verily ‘tis well indeed to say Pack up & come! — but, when folk are in the throes of settling down to village-housekeeping in a foreign land & a foreign tongue, it is a thing not easy [MTP].
Note: the letter is headed, “Villa Viviani Settignano (Florence),” probably because Sam felt by the time Hutton answered the family would be on its way.
September 6 Tuesday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam. Though the letter is not extant, from Sam’s Sept. 23 reply, some of the substance of Hall’s letter is known. He sent notes, likely from the Mt. Morris Bank for Sam to sign. These were part of the added debt needed to keep Webster & Co. afloat, and to pay for much of the publication costs on a raft of books that Hall chose to publish during the year. Hall offered a plan to send Sam “several hundred dollars a month,” and made a suggestion about Sam’s counter offer of $6,000 to St. Nicholas magazine for serializing Tom Sawyer Abroad [Sept. 23 to Hall].
Note: Sam would see Corbett fight an exhibition in Madison Square Garden and verbally spar with him after the fight (see Jan. 27, 1894).
September 7 Wednesday
September 8 Thursday
September 9 Friday – In a letter postmarked this day but probably written a day or more before, Susy Clemens wrote from Cassino, Italy to Louise Brownell, disclosing recent family activities:
We are back from another visit to Frankfurt and this has been a quiet peaceful day. Clara has just been playing thro’ her repertoire and I have lain on the bed alternately reading and looking out the window from which we have a most lovely view. In Frankfurt we went to see Seigfried. I particularly like the inscription on the front of the opera house — “Dem Wahren Gaten Schoenen.” The cholera still rages. It is truly horrible! How many people have suffered. We stay here till it has abated or spread. We can’t venture to go to Italy till it is decidedly on the wane. If it approaches this region of the country we shall start for Switzerland [Cotton 101157-8].
Note: Susy did not usually date her letters, and in some cases they were mailed as long as two weeks after she wrote. The open period of Sept. 6 to 8 is the likely period for the family trip (probably less Livy) to Frankfurt. In his Sept. 10 to Whitmore, Sam announced the family was leaving on Sept. 11 for Frankfurt and Florence.
September 10 Saturday – In their last day at Bad Nauheim, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about the Paige royalties. He closed with:
We are breaking camp & leaving for Frankfort today, & expect to leave there for Florence next Tuesday. Our villa is equipped & the servants are in it — all except coachman & horses. With love to all of you [MTP].
Robert Graham for Church Temperance Society sent Sam a form letter soliciting funds [MTP].
September 11 Sunday – The Clemens family was in Frankfurt, Germany. They would be there until Thursday, Sept. 15, due to Livy’s worsening condition [Sept. 17 to Whitmore; Sept. 18 to Crane].
September 12 Monday – The Clemens family was in Frankfurt, Germany. Several doctors attended to Livy. Sam’s Sept. 18 to Crane related doctor visits:
The first doctor (recommended by [Dr] Bode), said it was nothing but a cold & would pass away soon. He had to go a journey & recommended another doctor, & sent him to us, but I had heard of a better one, so I sent a note desiring him to stay at home. Our new doctor said there was nothing serious — just a cold — traveling would do no harm [MTP, Sept. 18 to Crane].
On Sept. 25 in Florence, Susy wrote Louise Brownell about the family’s forced stay in Frankfurt:
We were delayed on our way here some time in Frankfurt by a strange and sudden illness of Mamma’s. While there Mr. Phelps came on for a day or two with his daughter. We had one most delightful little dinner with him and Captain [Frank] Mason — the American Consul General who is a lovely, lovely man. Mr. Phelps was entirely irresistible and moderately merciful and he made a little speech which was the very perfection of wit and grace and charm. I liked Miss Phelps immensely. She seems strong and fine and sincere and has such honest gray eyes. They left for Berlin the day before we started for Florence [Cotton 101164-5].
Note: The Clemenses left Frankfurt on Sept. 15; the Phelpses would then have left on Sept. 14; this leaves Sept. 11 or 12 for the dinner Susy wrote of.
Henry Stivers for Iowa Columbian Commission wrote to Sam asking if RI wasn’t in fact begun in Iowa, and wishing to claim Sam as an Iowan author for the exhibition at the Chicago World’s Fair [MTP].
September 13 Tuesday – The Clemens family was in Frankfurt, Germany, where Sam wrote in his notebook:
Frankfurt a/m. Sept. 13/92. Shall mail to-morrow 27 type-written pages of “Tom Sawyer Abroad” — 16,000 words. (113 pages; MS; The whole 280 MS pages make about 40,000 words.) [NB 32 TS 23].
September 14 Wednesday – The Clemens family was in Frankfurt, Germany.
September 15 Thursday – The Clemens family left Frankfurt, headed for Lucerne, Switzerland, a trip of some 207 miles [NB 32 TS 24; Sept. 17 to Whitmore]. Sam related that Livy’s condition forced them to stop for the night in Basel:
… headaches & the swelling scorned the medicines, & we started Thursday & made Basel — a terrific trip over a corduroy road. Livy had to start again next day [Sept. 16] because she couldn’t stand the food & beds [Sept. 18 to Crane].
September 16 Friday – Sam’s notebook shows the record of travel:
Left Frankfurt Sep. 15. / Stayed over-night at Basel. / Left Basel at 2.10 p.m. Sept. 16, reached Lurcerne 5.15 [NB 32 TS 24].
Sam told of the rest of the trip to Lucerne, Switzerland, where they stayed at the Hotel Des Balances [Sept. 17 to Whitmore]:
Hard trip, because it was one of those trains that gets tired every seven minutes & stops to rest three quarters of an hour. It took us 3 ½ hours to get here, instead of the regulation 2.20. We reached here Friday evening & will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) morning [MTP, Sept. 18 to Crane]. Note: Sam’s date or day of the week was off here, because Sept. 19 was a Monday.
September 17 Saturday – At the Hotel Des Balances Au Lac in Lucerne, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. Relating an old claim against Pratt & Whitney over a disputed $1,740 bill, Sam felt the time was right to “put in that claim” now that the Chicago enterprise under Paige had new investors. Sam added a paragraph on family plans:
We are this far on our way to Florence. We are two days out from Frankfort, now; & after a rest of two or three days here, we shall make another start if Mrs. Clemens is fit to travel. She is tortured with headaches which never cease, therefore railroading comes mighty hard. With love to all, — [MTP].
Sam wrote of Lake Lucerne on the following day:
The children are all right. They paddle around a little, & drive — so do we all. Lucerne seems to be pretty full of tourists. The Fluelen boat went out crowded yesterday morning [Sept. 17] [MTP, Sept. 18 to Crane].
September 18 Sunday – At the Hotel Des Balances in Lucerne, Switzerland Sam wrote to Susan L. Crane. Sam thanked her for a pen she sent, and teased her for going “off without filling my traveling inkstand,” which she’d given him. He told of progress made on Tom Sawyer Abroad and his “Twins” book (which became PW and also the Twins story). He also wrote of their travel woes with Livy’s condition:
We remained in Nauheim a little too long. If we had left there four or five days earlier we should have made Florence in 3 days; but by the time we got started Livy had got smitten with what we feared might be erysipelas — greatly swollen neck & face, & unceasing headaches. We lay idle in Frankfort 4 days doctoring. …
We reached here Friday evening & will leave to-morrow (Tuesday) [Monday] morning. The rest has made the headaches better. We shall pull through to Milan to-morrow if possible. Next day we shall start at 10 a.m., & try to make Bologna, 5 hours. Next day (Thursday) Florence, D.V. Next year we will walk; for these excursions have got to be made over again. When we get to Florence one of us will take Clara back to Berlin in case the Hamburg epidemic is still diminishing. The new governess will get that job, as like as not. …
Dr. Bode has kept up a volley of inquiring telegrams ever since Livy left Nauheim. I wish we had him along. His mere presence would give confidence & be curative. We shouldn’t swell so much nor have so many headaches [MTP].
Note: Kaplan writes of Livy’s new ailment,
“More likely it was the onset of acute hyperthyroid heart disease. Throughout the rest of her life she was subject to attacks of shortness of breath, complained of the heat and of overexcitement, and was terrified, when her attacks were severe, that she was choking to death” .
Sam also wrote a short note to Frederick J. Hall, advising he’d sent 16,000 words of Tom Sawyer Abroad to him with the rest of part I, about 25,000 words to be mailed from Frankfurt “by & by when it has been copied.” The family was on the way to Florence, and would “get there some time or other” [MTP].
September 19 Monday – The Clemenses were at the Hotel Des Balances in Lucerne.
B. Mendenhall wrote to Sam, after having received no recommendation on a book he’d written sent some 17 months before, Married the Wrong Man. “Please give me a boost,” he wrote, as he was “crippled and can’t do much but write” [MTP].
September 20 Tuesday – Sam had outlined a travel schedule for the family in his Sept. 18 to Sue Crane, Which followed their travels as related in his Sept. 30 to Sue Crane. The family left Lucerne and traveled to Milan, Italy.
Then we started, doubtful if we could go beyond Lugano. However, it was a good train & Livy felt better & we resolved to push on to the frontier — for we were mighty anxious to know what our fate was to be there. Good luck — I had a letter from the Italian Consul General at Frankfort, & it glided us over the border unexamined & undelayed. So we shoved along for Milan an hour & a half further, & arrived there about half-past 5 p.m., 8 hours out from Lucerne. We had to stay & rest in Milan two nights…[MTP].
Sam’s notebook gives the times of departure and arrival:
Stayed [in Lucerne] till Tuesday 20th, left at 9.20 a.m. passed the frontier at Chiasso, trunks unopened at 3.55 reached Milan at 5.23 [NB 32 TS 24].
John Russell Young sent Sam clippings from the Sept. 17, 1892 Philadelphia Evening Star about Daniel Dougherty, whose name Sam wrote on the envelope. No letter from Young is in the file [MTP].
September 21 Wednesday – According to Sam’s Sept. 30 to Sue Crane, the family fell behind their earlier schedule outlined in his Sept. 18 to Sue, and were forced to spend two nights in Milan. This was the second day and night. It could have only been on this second evening that Sam spoke before the Literary Congress in Milan. As reported in the New York Times, October 16, 1892, p.20. William Henry Bishop, reported:
NICE, Sept. 26. — I have just left the International Literary and Artistic Congress of Milan. It concluded its proceedings on Saturday, the 24th inst., after a week of sessions full of value and interest, varied with pleasant excursions and other social gaieties, under the auspices of the Italian Authors’ Society and the City of Milan. The King of Italy, who had accepted an honorary Presidency on some former occasion…is a journalist as well….and it was he who interpreted the remarks of Mark Twain to the audience.
The official language of the convention was French;… Mark Twain, arriving by opportune accident en route with his family for, made the only one in English.
September 22 Thursday – The Clemens family left Milan at 11:45 a.m. and traveled five hours to Bologna, Italy. According to Sam’s Sept. 24 to Phelps the family completed the schedule as outlined in his Sept. 18 to Sue Crane — The family left Bologna and arrived in Florence, Italy. In his Sept. 30 to Sue, Sam wrote:
We had to stay & rest at Milan two nights; then we made a break for — well, Bologna any how, & Florence if things went promisingly. At Bologna Livy felt well enough to try the final 3-hour dash, & we made it — arriving in Florence at something over seven hours out from Milan. From Nauheim to Florence 12 days — & I was the courier! The longest conducted trip since Moses went out of business.
Sam’s unpublished notebook shows a slightly different schedule:
Stayed two days: left Thursday 22d at 11.45 a.m. reached Florence 6.45 [NB 32 TS 24].
They likely spent the next two days at the Hotel New York, moving into the Villa Viviani on Sept. 25 [Sept. 24 to Phelps]. Once in Florence they sent for Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin, but he was out of town. See Sept. 29 entry [Sept. 30 to Crane].
September 23 Friday – In Florence, Italy Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, responding to his Sept. 6 letter (not extant; see entry). Sam enclosed notes with which to borrow funds from Mt. Morris Bank, discussed Hall’s plan to send monthly payments if “several hundred dollars” to him, and offered thoughts about how to proceed on the typesetter issues, as well as a short discussion of the family situation:
I wish you would continue your talks with Mr. Knevols [sic Knevals] & get out of him all that he knows about the Webster type-setting contract in Chicago. It may be that he has seen the contract for the building of those machines & can give you exact details. I have lately learned something about it — enough to make me cable Robinson to stop the sale of my royalties to Mallory. I intend to keep them. We have just arrived here from Bad-Neuheim — left there about two weeks ago, but had to make sort stops and long rests, because Mrs. Clemens had headaches which continued night and day & kept her in constant torture. Keep in touch with Knevols if you can for the next 12 months. It is very important. Yours. SLC [MTP from City Book Auction catalogs, Apr. 24, 1948 item 104]. Note: the Knevals brothers — Caleb B., Lambert, and S.W. — See Dec. 7, 1893 entry; also MTHHR 12.
September 24 Saturday – In Florence Sam wrote to William W. Phelps relating their “longest trip on record,” and asking for his assistance in securing some of their personal effects which had gone astray. He gave the name of Dietrich as one of the names of the shipping company, and their last address in Berlin, though he knew they’d moved, and then related their problem:
Well, they’ve shipped all our stuff here, with one important omission. That is to say, they have failed to send us a big rough box filled with valuable books, & have inadequately made up the deficit by sending us some unknown wanderer’s bundle of alpenstocks. Now I know that it isn’t the Embassy’s business to interest itself in such matters; still, if you will just this once depart from usage & precedent & send a gunboat around there, — or preferably one of your clerks — & ask them to hunt up the box of books, I will return the alpenstocks, & be forever obliged to you besides — for there’s manuscript in that box which I don’t want to have to write over again; also Susy’s diary & other sacred things. Of course I am doing what I can in the matter, but I have a wholesome idea of the value of high official solicitude in Germany when you want a thing done — hence I bother you.
Sam also wrote of Clara going to Berlin. He wanted to make her “wait a little” due to the cholera epidemic there [MTP].
September 25 Sunday – The Clemenses moved into the Villa Viviani, five miles outside of Florence, Italy [Sept. 24 to Phelps].
Susy began a letter “on our first Sunday in Florence” to Louise Brownell, and finished it on Sept. 26 (though the letter was not postmarked until Oct. 13.) She related the delay the family experienced in Frankfurt (see Sept. 12 entry), and continued:
Clara stays with us until the cholera abates in Berlin. She watches the reports anxiously and hates to be lingering away from that indispensable Mr. Moritz Moskowski!
We crossed the frontier easily without fumigation or much examination. Today we all go up to the Villa to take our first meal and tomorrow we hope to move in. …
…We have an addition to our family — a very pleasant Mademoiselle Lanson [Lançon] who is to talk French with us and help Mamma with the housekeeping. We had never seen her till we arrived the other night and found her awaiting us. And we have never ventured to take an outsider into the family before! It is a relief to find her kind and cultivated instead of vulgar and disagreeable as she might have been. I am to study history and French with her and Italian outside [Cotton 101165].
Papa came home yesterday with his hair shaved tight to his head. You cannot imagine what a sight he is! His poor afflicted family wish he would decline all invitations and withdraw to live the life of a hermit till it grows out again [Cotton 101168].
Note: Sam had an irritated scalp which caused the extreme act. It would provide biographers like Kaplan with grist for symbolism: “He was bothered most of all by a real and symbolic divestment of identity and power, and he went into seclusion, which he welcomed” . This sort of thing won Kaplan the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. Happily, no Samson references were made.
September 26 Monday – Susy Clemens finished her Sept. 25 letter to Louise Brownell (see Sept. 25).
In his notebook Sam made a memorandum to “order Galignani & l’Italy” (Galignani’s Messenger, a daily English-language publication from Paris) [Gribben 250; NB 32, TS 26].
This was in a long list of items to get and do, including:
Ton of writing paper. / Envelops. / 2 copying books. / 1 letter press. / Gloves. Cravats. / See U.S. Consul / Write to Lemon & Co. / Telegraph / 2 bottles Scotch whiskey. / Notify Paris bankers & Webster & Co. / Hair cut / Mrs. Gibson, Fahnstock d’Italy / 6 Pears’ soap. / Get prescription filled. / Get 100f — silver & copper. / Get 2 Italian dictionaries. / …Go first to A. Lev via del Giglio 11, & order 6 pillows for tonight. / Get some clothes racs ( at Le ‘s) / Yaller Italian grammar. / 3 waste-paper baskets 41 v Cavour. / Get Clara’s dic / Get 6 mos’ permission /Ask about coachman’s pourboire. / Other servants ditto. / As at bank about M 2,71160 / Call at Pension Chapman / Order Galignani & l’Italy. / Where is the best place to get linen? — & where get pillow cases made? / Our bread & butter not very good. Where get them? /Tell her you want to call on her, or her on you. / How should one to? Give one or two servants money? — or pay them by check once a week? / What are the wages? Pasquale —- 60 / Angeo —— 50 / gigia —— 30 / Pension Clarke 12A piazza d’Azeglio / 8 fr. a day per person, baths & lights extra [NB 32 TS 25-7]. Note: Since the haircut is judged to have been Sept. 25, some of these items may have been written over two days.
Randolph A. Robinson wrote on Union Club, N.Y. letterhead to Sam. Robinson played on his brief meeting with Sam at “the Round Table Club” to ask for an autograph for an English friend. [MTP].
September 27 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Sept. 27. Hired landau & 2 horses & coachman of Picci at 480 francs (lire) a month for 8 months, which covers everything (wages, board, feed, &c), except the coachman’s bed & pourboire [gratuity]. Either party can annul the agreement by giving 15 days’ notice to the other [NB 32 TS 27].
This is the earliest date MTP has established for a note Sam sent to Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin (1850-1910), a renowned heart specialist in Florence. Baldwin, called a “gifted healer,” treated a generation of Americans who traveled through Italy, including Henry James and wife, William Dean Howells, and Edith Wharton. Sam requested a prescription of laudanum for Livy [MTP].
Note: this request is labeled by MTP as late as June 13, 1893. Sam would have need of the good doctor in later years. He may have known the young doctor in Connecticut, where he practiced from 1881 for a few years, though no record of contact was found.
Sam also sent a note of acceptance for some engagement for himself only to Mrs. Baldwin; Livy was not well enough to attend [MTP].
Mrs. Wilder Smith sent a wedding invitation to the Clemenses for her daughter, Edith Wilder to Mr. Charles T. Welles, to take place on this day in Hartford [MTP].
September 28 Wednesday – At the Villa Viviani in Florence, Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton at the Hotel Royal Danichi in Venice. Sam added the note to the envelope, “To be kept till the cuss comes.” He recommended a pension (similar to today’s hostel) to Hutton, should he not wish a hotel.
Eight francs a day per person, baths & lights & that sort of thing extra. Most highly recommended.
The Clarke sisters, English ladies long resident in Florence, were well off but an investing relative busted them. They went into the pension business for a livelihood — they also teach Italian. They have succeeded [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Sept. 28. Paid up all the accounts of Angelo and Pasquale for house expenses to Sept. 23, except their and Gigia’s wages. Divided 25 fr. among them for putting the Villa in order — 10 each to the men, 5 to G [NB 32 TS 27].
Miss Katie Tolle wrote asking Sam if she was kin; her late grandmother, then Emily Crews, had spoken often of Sam. If Sam knew what the relation was, could he write? [MTP]. Note: no listing for Crews was found in genealogies searched.
September 29 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote a short notes to Frederick J. Hall. The first note:
Yours of the 19th containing M 2.086.5 received. Good — I needed it. Setting up housekeeping calls for rafts of inexpensive odds & ends that bulk-up a considerable expense before one gets through.
You sent out an enormous cargo of volumes in August [MTP].
Sam also sent a note to Franklin G. Whitmore, and noted they had not received the Hartford Courant for “several weeks. Please see what the matter is.” Likewise his subscription to The Nation had stopped and he wished it to “start up again.”
We have been located only a few days & are not wholly unpacked yet. However it is beginning to assume homelikeness [MTP].
Doctor William Wilberforce Baldwin returned to Florence and called upon Livy. Sam wrote he “read the law to Livy & she has entered upon a stern & exacting course of life” [Sept. 30 to Crane].
Sam’s notebook in Florence: “Sept. 29 — 610” [NB 32 TS 27].
September 30 Friday – Florence, Italy: the date of an engagement Sam accepted on Sept. 25 to Mr. Loring’s. At the Villa Viviani, Sam wrote a long letter to Sue Crane. Livy was unable to write, Sam disclosed.
We have been in the house several days, & certainly it is a beautiful place, — particularly at this moment, when the skies are a deep leaden color, the domes of Florence dim in the drizzling rain, & occasional perpendicular coils of lightening quivering intensely in the black sky about Galileo’s Tower. It is a charming panorama, & the most conspicuous country houses in it, & the most conspicuous towers & domes down in the city look to-day just as they looked when Boccacio & Dante used to contemplate them from his hillock five & six hundred years ago.
The Mademoiselle is a great help to Livy in the housekeeping, & is a cheery & cheerful presence in the house. The butler is equipped with a little French, & it is this fact that enables the house to go — but it won’t go well until the family get some sort of facility with the Italian tongue, for the book, the woman-of-all-work & the coachman understand only that. It is a stubborn & devilish language to learn, & I doubt if Livy & I ever get to where we can do more than cuss in it. But Jean & the others will master it. Livy’s German-Nauheim girl is the worst off of anybody, as there is not market for her tongue at all among the help.
Sam related an event of Susy setting some curtains on fire with her candle, but wrote there wasn’t “any conceivable way to burn this house down.” He praised Mrs. Ross, who “laid in our wood, wine & servants…scoured from cellar to roof,” and “beguiled the Marchese into putting a big porcelain stove in the vast central hall,” which he estimated to be 40 feet square and 40 feet high.
It belittles everything that is put into it. Clara’s piano is scarcely a noticeable object. The five divans scattered about the walls measure a length of 47 feet altogether, but they hardly attract attention….The children have been playing opera & general theatricals in it this evening.
Sam wrote that five languages were “in use in the house (including sign-language — hardest working of them all),” — still, it was a lot of work being understood. Cholera scares in Germany still held Clara back from traveling to Berlin for piano study. Sam acknowledged “Poor Susie” who was going to be lonesome when Clara left.
Clara is very impatient to get to Berlin, & I think she may soon be gratified. No cholera news is good news, I reckon, & we don’t get any — partly because we seldom see any papers. Mademoiselle Lançon is going to take her there; & she is worth six of me as courier — or in any other capacity, for that matter. Still, I beat Moses — I don’t propose to overlook that [MTP]. Note: “Far Away Moses,” the famous Turkish guide during the QC cruise — see May 12, 1886 entry.
What we lack is a cat. If we only had Germannia! That was the most satisfactory all-around cat I have seen yet. Totally ungermanic in the raciness of his character & in the sparkle of his mind & the spontaneity of his movements. We shall not look upon his like again [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Florence: “[Sept.] “ 30 — 310” [NB 32 TS 27]. Note: ditto marks for month.
October – In Florence at the Villa Viviani, Sam noted Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1871) [Gribben 693; NB 32, TS 33].
Scott Rankin’s article, “People I Have Never Met: Mark Twain,” ran in the London Idler. Included was a cartoon of Sam in sailor’s garb on the bridge of a ship with a life-ring reading “Quaker City” [Tenney 20].
Douglas Sladen’s article, “New York as Literary Centre,” ran in the English Illustrated Magazine, p.136-44. Tenney: “Brief and superficial description of MT as seen by the (N.Y.?) World; portrait” .
October 1 Saturday – B.A. Atkinson & Co., Boston, wrote to Sam offering to sell “the most novel and magnificent Railroad Palace Car which has ever been placed before the public” [MTP].
October 2 Sunday – Sam’s notebook in Florence: “Oct.
2, agreed to give the coachman his meals — sum reduced to
L450 per m.”
[NB 32 TS 27].
October 3 Monday
October 4 Tuesday
October 5 Wednesday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He’d received Hall’s August statement and was pleased with the “good showing” of “cheap P & P & Huck Finn & Claimant.” He wanted to know how many cheap HF’s had been sold to date, and warned Hall to watch out for American Publishing Co., should they issue their own cheap copies of his book. He’d write Whitmore also to be on the lookout. He would stop any such issue. The move had interrupted Sam’s progress on PW.
Some day I hope to get to work on the Extraordinary Twins again, but I can’t guess how much of a book it will make….We are getting slowly settled here — very slowly. I think it will be as expensive as living in hotels — besides the extra cost of getting started [MTP].
The N.Y. Times, Oct. 5, 1892 p.10 “WORK OF THE COURTS” reveals more legal problems for Sam and Webster & Co.
— Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) is one of the defendants in a suit bought in the Supreme Court by Hubbard Brothers of Philadelphia, publishers, to recover $25,000 damages for alleged false and defamatory statements made in a circular by the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co., publishers, of which Mr. Clemens is a member. Each firm published a life of Gen. W.T. Sherman. That of Hubbard Brothers had an introduction by Gen. O.O. Howard, the main portion of the book being written by William Fletcher Johnson. Gen. Howard was described as a joint author. Webster & Co. published the Memoirs of Gen. Sherman, by himself, with an appendix by James G. Blaine. In the circular over which the suit has arisen, the latter firm of publishers warned their agents and the public that the Philadelphia firm was making misleading statements to the effect that Gen. Howard was writing a life of Sherman to be published by them, and an extract from a letter from Gen. Howard was given in which he appeared to brand the statements made by Hubbard Brothers as erroneous. Hubbard Brothers have a letter from Gen. Howard saying that it was unfair to pick a single sentence out of his letter. Judge Patterson of the Supreme Court yesterday appointed a commission to take testimony in Chicago and other cities in the suit.
Coincidentally, just below this item in the Times is another case being brought against (Daniel) Willard Fiske, Sam’s Florence neighbor. One wonders if they compared notes.
October 6 Thursday – Clara Clemens was off to Berlin, where she would study piano. In Florence, at 10 p.m., Sam wrote to her upon returning to the Villa Viviani;
Dear, dear Ben —
I have just arrived back, thoroughly disgusted with myself & my whole performance. If I had depended on Cook’s man instead of going for the portiere, things at the station would have gone smoothly, for he plainly had privileges there which the portiere did not possess…so you must forgive me — that is, forgive my nature, for there is where the fault is. …
Mamma & Susy have been crying, & they keep saying “Poor little Benny!” I do hope you got a good car. With a world of love, Papa [MTP]. Note: In his Sept. 30 to Crane, Sam disclosed that Mademoiselle Lançon was to accompany Clara.
Samuel S. Sanford wrote from Pen Argyl, Penn. to Sam about his benefit production for the Semi-Centennial of Minstrely, on Feb. 16, 1893 [MTP]. Note: on Oct. 15 Sanford sent a postcard to F.G. Whitmore reminding if Sam “wants to get on board, we will hold the ship until we hear from him” [MTP].
October 7 Friday – According to Susy’s letter to Louise Brownell, written about one week after the move to the Villa Viviani, or ca. Oct. 1 (but postmarked Oct. 14), this was the day Grace King and sister Nan King arrived.
Clara expects to go to Berlin on Thursday of next week and Grace King and her sister come on Friday to spend a month with us. We are looking forward to this visit [Cotton 101171].
Since May, Livy had written at least monthly to Grace King (May 20, ca. June 1, July 1, Aug.. 30, Sept. 5.) In one of her letters she invited Grace and her sister Nan, who were in London about to travel in Europe, to stay with the Clemens family during the month of October. After a trip to Paris the sisters traveled to Switzerland and followed much the same path to Florence as the Clemens party had, through Milan and Bologna. Robert Bush writes of their arrival in Florence, an arrival that Susy’s above letter establishes as this day:
“Mr. Clemens was punctually waiting at the station for them, ready to take them to Villa Viviani, the house he had leased on the road to Settignano. Warmly welcomed by Olivia and her daughters Susy and Jean, the King sisters settled down for a month’s stay….
“The Clemenses and the Kings took their tea in the shade of olive trees, from which they viewed the warm October countryside. On one such occasion Mark Twain smoked his pipe and commented on the gold of the late sun: ‘It cannot be compared to the sun on the Mississippi River.’ For all the beauty of the view of Florence before them the remark prompted reminiscences of Captain Horace Bixby and their various trips on river steamers. On such an afternoon Mark Twain confessed to them his fear of hell. When someone discounted the possibility of hell, observing that ‘Nobody believes in hell any longer!’ he said, ‘I don’t believe in it, but I’m afraid of it. It makes me afraid to die.’ He recollected his Presbyterian mother’s teachings that were still with him and said, ‘When I wake up at night I think of hell, and I am sure about going there.’ His idolizing wife then asked, ‘Why, Youth, who then can be saved?’” [134-5]. Note: Bush puts their departure for Paris as “before mid-November” . Given Grace’s Nov. 14 letter to Charles Warner from Paris, which Bush cites, it’s likely they left during the last week in October or the first week in November. An exact one-month visit would have ended on Nov. 7.
Bush also writes of “morning excursions into Florence,” including laying flowers at the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) in the English cemetery.
“Although they visited the usual museums, Grace King felt an antipathy for the city itself as Mark Twain did. The fascination that Florence held for artists in the past and for the English and American colony there was quite lost on her, but she responded with deep emotion to the surrounding landscape. She took great satisfaction in visiting various friends of the Clemenses whose villas were scattered about the countryside” [135-6]. Note: On Oct. 21 Sam wrote daughter Clara of the Kings’ leaving and how they would be missed. See entry.
October 8 Saturday – The Illustrated News of the World (New York issue) ran a first segment of “The German Chicago.” Follow up segments ran on Oct. 15 and Nov. 5 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
October 9 Sunday
October 10 Monday
October 11 Tuesday – In Florence, Sam mailed a MS to C.L. Webster & Co. [MTP]. Note: This was probably the second part of Tom Sawyer Abroad.
October 12 Wednesday
October 13 Thursday – At the Villa Viviani in Florence, Sam wrote to Henry M. Alden of Harper’s.
I am going to send you an article entitled “A Curious Book” if I can finish it to my satisfaction; & if you like it & don’t like my price, won’t you make one yourself, so that I can see how far my arguments fail of being sound?
Sam added a PS and a PPS, then another PS about how Alden might accept, by coordinating with Fred Hall or directly; then Sam thought he might send “The £1,000,000 Bank Note” story — then reconsidered that it wasn’t “fair to shove both of them” at him, that he’d “distribute the burden and send the minor one to the Century” [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Chatto & Windus asking them to send him the bibliography at the end of the Joan of Arc article in the Encyclopedia Britannica [MTP].
Lastly, Sam wrote a letter to Frederick J. Hall with a list of works for a new book, which was to become The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other Stories. He noted these stories totaled 70,000 words, the same total as in HF. He advised that he’d sent the 8,000 article “A Curious Book” to Harper’s and “The £1,000,000 Bank Note” to the Century. His list:
1. Preface — (if I concluded to write one.)
2. “A Curious Book” is the article I am sending to Harper.
3. “The Enemy Conquered” is the curious book unabridged — as you will see.
4. The Californian’s Tale.
5. Meistershcaft [Sam bracketed #4 and #5 and wrote “herewith enclosed”
6. About Ships — that’s the Ship article you’ve already got. I don’t care to publish it in any magazine or newspaper.
7. Playing Courier — (enclosed[)]
8. German Chicago —
9. £1,000,000 Bank Note. Well, I will send this to Harper, too. If they don’t want it, we’ll put it in the book without previous publication.
Sam’s PS re-wrote the list and deleted the preface [MTLTP 322-3]. Note: Sam expressed no qualms about recycling some pieces. Further, this is most of the material that would appear in £1,000,000 Bank Note — six of the nine pieces. Messent notes that his listing of “Meisterschaft,” which had just appeared in Merry Tales “indicates that perhaps Twain had not yet seen Merry Tales and was unaware of its final selection of material” [Short Works, 116].
October 14 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote a short, three-paragraph note to Clara Clemens in Berlin, directing her to ask William Phelps if she should need help having her trunks delivered. In another letter to A.S. Hogue (Vice-consul) this date, Sam disclosed that two trunks with clothes were lost, though he felt they “must be in Berlin.” He also reported the family’s health to Clara:
Mamma is looking first rate tonight — just as fine & young & handsome as she looked in Nauheim before those swellings came.
Madlle [Lançon] is not well, this evening — has an indigestion. Jean, too, is ailing — stomach ache. All the rest are well — & all love you, including / Papa [MTP].
Also in his letter to Mr. Hogue, Sam disclosed that he’d received the rest of the Tom Sawyer Abroad MS and also the “closing pages of the Twins” (PW). Sam had read and didn’t care for the Century article about the newly found Columbus portrait, which cast doubt on its authenticity. He closed by telling of Clara’s lost trunks [MTP]. On the Columbus matter, see his PS of Aug. 23 to Hall.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about the disputed $1,744 bill to Pratt & Whitney. If there was a claim for refunding this amount, wouldn’t Sam be the recipient? Sam related all that surrounded that bill, which he’d refused to pay until Henry C. Robinson advised him to pay it. He closed with,
Tell Brer Robinson I’ve been having a picture taken for him. There’s only one copy, so he must preserve it [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Oct. 14. The “Curious Book” article makes 8,000 words, possibly 9. Something more than 10 Maga. Pages [NB 32 TS 31].
October 15 Saturday – The Illustrated News of the World (New York issue) ran a second segment of “The German Chicago.” Other segments ran on Oct. 8 and Nov. 5, 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
Tom F. McBeath for Bartow Graded Public School, Bartow, Fla. wrote to Sam asking for some “good inexpensive book, with your name on the fly leaf” for the school’s library. McBeath wrote on the side of the facsimile form letter a short note that he had “the honor of being a very distant relation” [MTP].
October 16 Sunday
October 17 Monday – Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam with “the pleasure of enclosing you a verbatim extract of the note in the last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica on the literature of ‘Joan of Arc’, which we trust will suit your purposes” [MTP].
October 18 Tuesday
October 19 Wednesday – From Florence Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder of Century, enclosing “The £1,000,000 Bank Note” story.
Well, you see, what little I have written lately was kind of forced into the Syndicates because they seduce a person by the large wage they pay, which is double & treble what the magazines grant to the laborer in the literary field. Naturally I prefer to be in the magazines, but you see how it is.
Sam didn’t see why Gilder wouldn’t like the tale, and he said so, calling it “noble & elegant.” But if he didn’t want to buy it would he send it to Webster & Co. He commented on the coming US presidential election:
I am hoping Mr. & Mrs. Cleveland will be elected, & I am also expecting it. I have been trying to get some Republican to pair with me, but find them all too sagacious to pair with a person in Europe. I thought maybe our old colored servant George might do me the favor but found that he & his immediate colored political following had gone over to the Cleveland side themselves [MTP]. Note: Cleveland was the Democrat candidate.
Sam’s notebook from Florence:
Oct. 19. Sent L 1,000,000 Note to Century — between 9 & 10,000 words. / Sent “A Curious Story[”] to Harper 8,500 words. / Sent Californian’s Story &c to Webster & Co. [NB 32 TS 32].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam (letter not extant), but from the text of Sam’s Oct. 31 response, some of the content is given. Hall sent financial news and some news about the Chicago developments with the Paige typesetter [Oct 31 to Hall].
October 20 Thursday – Miss Fannie Arnold a teacher at Soule College, Murfreesboro, Tenn., wrote to Sam, having been assigned the subject “Mark Twain” for a gathering of the Charles Egbert Craddock Club. Could Sam suggest an idea for her presentation? How did he come by his literary name? [MTP].
Mrs. James McCall sent Sam a wedding announcement for this date in NewYork for her daughter Fannie to Dr. Dillon Brown [MTP].
October 21 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote to Orion Clemens. Only the envelope survives [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Clara Clemens at Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s school in Berlin.
Dear old Ben, here is a letter from your Uncle Larry [Laurence Hutton, the “Uncle” honorary], wrote all in beautiful Italian, which the same came yesterday. We are all doing well, & I think my hair is becoming perceptible to the eye but is still devilish to the touch. [He had shaved his head some time before due to a scalp ailment.]
Il cane is our prized friend, now, & intrudes & sits by Mamma’s bedside & begs to help with her breakfast, & does it with such an eloquent eye & such persuasive grunts & cantings of the head & lickings of the chops that he gains his point. I give him the remains of my beefsteak, too, & of Susy’s eggs. But il ghatto remains a straniero; we can’t get our hands on him.
We have lovely times with the Kings [Grace and sister Nan], & do greatly wish we could persuade them to stay all winter. It will be pretty lonesome when they go. All of this tribe are down town, now, gallerying & one thing or another… [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, who was traveling in Europe and was expected in Florence. After two short paragraphs in Italian, he wrote:
Give old Bunce the best love of all this family — it is the way he is regarded by us.
Portate your cob pipes along — I’ve got genuine cherry stems for them.
Until you come — & after — our peace abide with you, & our kind regards there to unto both [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Chatto & Windus:
Winter is begun here, now, I suppose. It blew part of the hair off the dog yesterday & got the rest this morning [MTP].
October 22 Saturday – At the Villa Viviani in Florence Sam wrote to Sue Crane of their satisfaction with the place and the setting.
We are getting wonted. The open fires have driven away the cold & the doubt, & now a cheery spirit pervades the place. Livy & the Kings [Grace and Nan] & Mademoiselle having been taking their tea a number of times, lately, on the open terrace with the city & the hills & the sunset for company. I stop work, a few minutes, as a rule, when the sun gets down to the hilltops west of Florence, & join the tea-group to wonder & exclaim. There is always some new miracle in the view, a new & exquisite variation in the show, a variation which occurs every 15 minutes between dawn and night. Once, early this morning, a multitude of white villas not before perceived, revealed themselves on the far hills; then we recognized that all those great hills are snowed thick with them, clear to the summit [MTP]. Note: Livy added their address at the top.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. He answered a solicitation from “that Englishman who sends a lot of fac simile rubbish”; authorized payment for the Charles Noel Flagg portrait (see Dec. 16, 1890 before) to be framed; and waxed eloquent about the weather.
The weather is magnificent, the ever-changing aspects of Florence & the hills a continuous intoxication to the eye. The variety of it is bewildering — yes, & unbelievable. I have never seen anything that remotely approached it. I am content to stay up here. The others go to town daily to visit the galleries, but I believe I have not been down since about the first of the month, except once in the night of the 8th to ship Clara to Berlin [MTP]. Note: Sam misdated his send-off to Clara. See Oct. 6.
October 23 Sunday
October 24 Monday
October 25 Tuesday – Mrs. John C. Pelton wrote from San Francisco in behalf of her husband, Prof. Pelton, asking Sam’s assistance and sending poetry. A recommendation bearing the names of the Governor of California, H.H. Markham, and other dignitaries, accompanied the letter. The flyer notes two books, My Book, and Sunbeams and Shadows [MTP].
October 26 Wednesday
October 27 Thursday – Paine includes a “memorandum” of Sam’s with this date:
The first month is finished. We are wonted now. This carefree life at a Florentine villa is an ideal existence. The weather is divine, the outside aspects lovely, the days and nights tranquil and reposeful, the seclusion from the world and its worries as satisfactory as a dream. Late in the afternoons friends come out from the city & drink tea in the open air & tell what is happening in the world; & when the great sun sinks down upon Florence & the daily miracle begins they hold their breath & look. It is not a time for talk [MTB 957].
October 28 Friday
October 29 Saturday
October 30 Sunday – In Florence, Sam sent a postscript to Laurence Hutton, consisting of a six-line verse, headed, “Respectfully Dedicated to the Author of the ‘Rhyme of the Guileless Gondolier’” [MTP].
Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell:
I am getting more expert at warding off loneliness. When the Kings go I shall be almost entirely alone because Mamma is on her sofa resting much of the time and Papa at work I am going to be prepared. I shall have two new companions ready, a shale gray kitten and the gardener’s baby which I shall borrow occasionally and carry up here to spend the afternoon with me.
Today has been a lovely Sunday. We had a rare sermon this morning — a hopeful vigorous stirring sermon which will stay with us long….
Mademoiselle L. [Lançon] has turned out contrary to our expectations, very aggressive and trying to live with. It is hard for me not to lose my temper with her. But so far our relations are ostensibly cordial.
After her signature, “O.S.C.” she added:
Oh what are your relations with my cousin Julia Langdon? I am eaten up with curiosity to know. She leads me to believe you are bosom friends. How is this? [Cotton 101174-7].
Note: Though undated and postmarked Nov. 7, it is judged to be written this day. The King sisters left about this week and Susy’s reference puts it in the future; plus, most of these letters are postmarked sometime after they were written, which begs the question, why? Perhaps Susy held them for some purpose, since there was mail delivery daily at the Villa. Given the gushing, amorous text of many of these letters (mostly ignored here in favor of historical items), did she try to hide their frequency from her parents?
October 31 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frank E. Bliss of the American Publishing Co., his old publisher.
I hear you are issuing a $1 edition of Tom Sawyer. I believe I have a 10 per cent royalty on that book. If so, go ahead; but I cannot consent to let your firm reduce the retail price of any other of my books without first making special contracts with me.
Sam wrote that he’d always felt the royalties on the other books were unfair, that he’d agreed through “unjust means” and that he’d been sufficiently damaged by them already [MTLTP 325].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, responding to his Oct. 19 letter (not extant).
Your news isn’t entirely cheerful, but we will look for better next time.
If you have my 6 contracts with the American Publishing Co., please send them to Mr. Whitmore. If you haven’t them, and if Whitford hasn’t them, then they are in Fredonia, among the stuff which Webster carried off.
The rest of Sawyer Abroad went to you some time ago. If Mrs. Dodge wants it, let her have it. It falls nearly 10,000 words short of what she wanted for $5,000; but if she isn’t willing to pay $5,000, let her pay $4,000.[MTLTP 323-4].
Sam added that though the piece was finished and he’d tried to leave the “improprieties all out; if I didn’t Mrs. Dodge can scissor them out.”
Note: It hadn’t been that long that Sam wanted $6,000, and was willing to forego Dodge’s St. Nicholas magazine for children. Then he allowed Dodge to edit the piece, which then ran serialized in the magazine Nov. 1893 to Apr. 1894. Dodge cut out all references to religion, sweating, death, and added or rephrased items, angering Sam, who was quoted as saying, “God Almighty Himself has no right to put words in my mouth that I never used.” The Webster & Co. edition and the Chatto & Windus editions restored the excised portions.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about American Publishing Co., disclosing his letter to Hall about the matter.
I once offered to let the elder Bliss issue cheap editions at 10 per cent., but he dissuaded me, saying they would damage the sale of the others; but his son goes ahead without asking any questions [MTP].
November 1 Tuesday – Mrs. William S. Karr sent Mr. & Mrs. Clemens a wedding invitation for her daughter Helen to Mr. Lucius Chester Ryce, on this date in Hartford [MTP]. Note: Geer’s 1886 Hartford City Directory lists “Karr William S. professor Hartford Theological Seminary.”
November 1–15 Tuesday – Sometime during this two weeks in Florence, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, repeating that Tom Sawyer Abroad was ready to be submitted to the St. Nicholas and giving Mary Mapes Dodge permission to “alter it to suit her market,” and offering it for $4,000 since it was 40,000 words, some 10,000 short of what she wanted [MTP]. Note: This is a P.S. and a fragment that survives.
November 2 Wednesday – In Florence Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. The bulk of Sam’s letter expresses dissatisfaction with American Publishing Co. He wished he could get the contracts with them annulled, since he felt a “deliberate violation of the most important feature” of their contracts should allow him to do so. They did not allow Webster & Co. to make a sufficient profit on the books they published, giving only “not ten cents on any book” of his. Couldn’t they go to court and make them prove they gave the same small discount to other customers?
Sam asked him to notify his magazines and newspapers to stop sending through Paris, but direct to Florence. He closed with another request:
Please send me another hunk of Perique tobacco — a hunk about as long as your hand. Do it up substantially (but letting a glimpse of it be visible) & careful, & address it thus, very plainly & clearly:
S.L. Clemens / Villa Viviani, Settignano / Care of the Anglo-American Stores / 41 Via Cabour, / Florence, Italy [MTP].
November 3 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to “Baby Ruth” — one year old Ruth Cleveland (1891-1904).
Dear Miss Cleveland:
If you will read this letter to your father, or ask your mother to do it if you are too busy, I will do something for you someday — anything you command. For I mean to come see you in the White House before the four years are out. I am going to have Congress enlarge it, for you will take up a good deal of room, probably. And I am writing a book for you to practice your gums on — the very thing, for I know, myself, it is a very tough book. I shall bring my arctics, but that is all right — I know what to do with them now….
No Administration could be more credible than your father’s & mother’s last one was — & yet it ain’t agoing to begin with this one, now that you are on deck [MTP].
Note: Cleveland’s election to a second, non-consecutive term evidently appeared a sure thing from Florence less than a week before the Nov. 8 election. Robert Hirst corrected this entry which was listed before as Esther Cleveland, the President’s second child, not born until Sept. 9, 1893.
George Geisel of N.Y. wrote rather early congratulations to Sam for his 57th birthday [MTP].
November 4 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, requesting that “cloth copies of such books of mine as you publish (no others)” be sent to Vice-Consul-General A.S. Hogue in Frankfurt. “He has been having my MS typewritten in his office and refuses pay” [MTP].
November 5 Saturday – In Florence Sam wrote to daughter Clara at Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s school in Berlin of recent events and of a visit this day by Laurence Hutton.
Uncle Larry was up, to-day, but your Aunt Larry was kept at home by illness. He was very lovely, & stayed till 4 & I walked down with him nearly to that bridge-arch which is at this end of the Via della Cenacolo. He says Mr. Booth is doubtless nearing his end — Booth himself thinks so, & speaks of it unregretfully.
Jean had the leanest catkin here for a day or two I have ever seen, & was in a state of utter sadness & despondency. It did not care for food, and nothing could raise its spirits. It ran away this morning…
Susy & the Kings are down at the Opera — Cavalleria. Next Thursday [Nov. 10] they are going down to see its author fetch out his new Opera [MTP]. Note: Sam headed the letter as on “Guy Fawkes’ Day”. Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) was famous for a plot to blow up Parliament.
Sam also wrote to (Daniel) Willard Fiske, hoping he was well and enjoying his long vacation. Sam had been to Fiske’s library “several times, but had the ill luck to call at the wrong hour & therefore failed to find your secretary in.” He finally wrote the secretary and was informed Fiske was ailing and would return about the first of November. Sam thanked Fiske for his help in securing the Villa Viviani and said Livy had made progress in her health and he hoped “she will want to stay another year” [MTP].
The Illustrated News of the World (New York issue) ran a third and last segment of “The German Chicago.” Other segments ran on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 1892 [Willson list, Univ. of Texas at Austin].
November 6 Sunday – In Florence, Susy Clemens wrote Louise Brownell:
Today is one of our very most radiant Italian Sundays. We are all staying quietly at home because Papa must have the carriage and we can’t get into church without it. I shall try to have a long visit with Grace King whose breadth and enthusiasm and high ideals for life and art are such an inspiration [Cotton 101179]. Note: the King sisters were about to end their visit. It is estimated they left the following day. This letter, postmarked Nov. 13 is given this date since Grace King was in Paris on Nov. 14 [Bush 136n32].
Susy also wrote of Clara’s letters and her own loneliness:
Clara still writes the happiest letters from Berlin and I often do wish I were there with her. She had her next lesson with Mozkowski last week, and he unbent a little, and turned a wee bit less reserved and haughty.
I am not one bit resigned to things this morning, and I am heartily tired of books, and sewing all day, of the echoes in this house, and the long long lonely evenings when we read again by way of a change. Oh dear, oh dear, how hard it is to be lonely! And to keep calculating what to do so as to cheat the sense of desolation which is always waiting for the first chance to take possession of one. It is wrong and childish in me to complain. I usually spare you my Pedestal Friend. Please forgive me today [Cotton 101181-2].
November 7 Monday
November 8 Tuesday – In Florence Sam wrote to Miss Page, thanking her for letting him “see those pleasant words.” Miss Page and those mentioned were evidently residents of Florence.
To me, compliments are always welcome; they are welcome to all men, they are welcome to all women; & if there has ever been a god who was indifferent to them, his name has escaped me. Mortals fish for them when they are withheld, & the gods come out frankly & ask for them. You seem to think that your appetite for compliments is an infirmity. Ah, no — it is the divine spark in you.
I hope you & Mrs. Page & the Marchesa Spinola will bring Mr. Strange out some afternoon & take a cup of tea with us [MTP]. Note: Sam also sent “kindest regards” to Captain Page. (Editorial emphasis.)
November 9 Wednesday – Livy came down with an attack of dysentery [Nov. 10 to Clara Clemens].
J.W. Ryckman for Authors & Actors Carnival, N.Y.C. wrote asking Sam to be on the “Committee of prominent citizens” for the carnival, Dec. 19 to 31 [MTP].
November 10 Thursday – In Florence, Sam wrote a short note thanking Chatto & Windus for a copy of Finger Prints which just arrived. He would “devour it” [MTP]. Note: See Gribben, p.251. Francis Galton was the author (1892). Sam would use the new science in his detective tale, Pudd’nhead Wilson. See also June 25, 1895 and Feb. 23, 1897 entries relating to Galton’s book and its contribution.
This is the day Susy Clemens and the King sisters planned to see the new Opera in Florence [Nov. 5 to Clara Clemens].
Sam also wrote to daughter Clara:
I must write for mamma, who has been abed with one of those wasting dysenteric attacks a day or two & is not able to do it herself. I think she is about over it, but of course the weakness remains, & will for some days yet.
Poor Susy, she can’t go to the Mascagni Opening night at the Opera this evening — for two reasons: no places to be had, & the 6-franc boxes are put up to 120 francs. I am thinking of writing an opera myself — just an opening-night 120-franc opera, you know, not one of the staying kind. …
The Kings are going, to-morrow, & we shall miss them desperately. Theirs has been a delightful visit [MTP]
Sam also wrote of a cat he’d named “Michelangelo Buonarotti Botticelli,” though the cat only answered to the name when he wanted to, but he never wanted to.
This is also the earliest day given to a note Sam wrote to one-year-old Ruth Cleveland, oldest daughter of President Grover Cleveland, arguing that Captain Frank Mason, consul-general at Frankfurt not be replaced “just because he is a Republican and a Democrat wants his place.” This is given a date range to Dec. 31, 1892 [MTP].
Sam inscribed a copy of The American Claimant to Grace King: Miss Grace King / is requested to try to get as much out of this book as the undersigned has gotten out of her & her sister’s visit at Villa Viviani — which is requiring the impossible. / The Author. / Villa Viviani, / Settignano / Near Florence, Nov. 10/92 [MTP].
November 11 Friday – The King sisters ended their month-long visit and left for Paris [Nov. 10 to Clara Clemens]. Sam threw himself into finishing PW:
Dec. 20/92. Finished ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ last Wednesday, 14th. Began it 11th or 12th of last month, after the King girls left. Wrote more than 60,000 words between Nov. 12 and Dec. 14. One day, [Dec. 1] wrote 6,000 words in 13 hours. Another day wrote 5,000 in 11 [MTLTP 328-9; NB 32, TS 51].
Note: the idyllic settings always worked best for Sam’s writing focus — just as it had in his octagonal study high above the Chemung River at Quarry Farm, the peaceful world overlooking Florence yielded his most productive output in years.
November 12 Saturday – The N.Y. Times, Nov. 13, 1892 p.2 ran an obituary notice for Dr. A. Reeves Jackson of Chicago, who died this day.
…the original of Mark Twain’s character My Friend the Doctor, in “Innocents Abroad,” died …Dr. Jackson had been ill ten days from the effects of a stroke of apoplexy. He will be interred at Janesville, Wis. [Note: Dr. Jackson was one of Sam’s favorites on the QC excursion.]
November 13 Sunday – In Florence, Sam sent condolences to his Hartford attorney and billiards buddy, Henry C. Robinson, whose mother had just passed away. The Courant had come and Sam mentioned “Dr. Parker’s well-thought & well-said words” [MTP].
November 14 Monday
November 15 Tuesday
November 16 Wednesday – In Florence Sam wrote to daughter Clara at Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s school in Berlin. In the top margin he wrote that Ned Bunce wanted her address. After expressing concern for Clara reporting she’d had a case of the “grippe” (flu; influenza) he wrote he was relieved she was better. Livy was not; she was “very weak & all wasted away.”
The Willards have been very lovely to you, & we are thankful to them. And it was nice of Miss Phelps to remember you. She is a lovely girl & I think ever so much of her. Do give my warm regards to her & my warm love to her father when you see them.
I’m at work on the Twins again. It is half the size of the Prince & Pauper, now, & going right along.
We all send slathers of love to you, Ben dear. / Papa [LLMT 261-2]. Note: Ned Bunce, an old Hartford friend, was traveling in Italy with the Laurence Huttons.
Sam’s notebook in Florence:
They are the most superlative magnificent sunsets ever dreamed of. I don’t believe they have finer ones in hell. Nov. 16/92 / Bill Nye says: “Have a good time while you live, for you will be dead a long while” [NB 32 TS 35].
November 17 Thursday
November 18 Friday
November 19 Saturday
November 20 Sunday – Elihu Root for the New England Society wrote to Sam, asking him to respond to a toast at the 87th annual dinner held Dec. 22 [MTP].
November 21 Monday
November 22 Tuesday
November 23 Wednesday
November 24 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to Henry M. Alden of Harper & Brothers. He had sent what he thought was “the most delicious thing that has been offered to a magazine in 30 years,” and would “never get over the astonishment” of Alden’s rejection, simply because Sam did not write it.
Look here, Alden, you didn’t read it. You saw it was mainly reprint, & jumped to an over-hasty conclusion. But if you had read it — & read it aloud to people, as I have done — then you’d have seen effects such as you have never seen in your life up to now. Ah, if I had only been there! I’d have read it to you, & opened your eyes! [MTP].
Note: Sam offered the short piece by Samuel Watson Royston, The Enemy Conquered; or, Love Triumphant (1845), renamed with the pseudonym of G. Ragsdale McClintock. “ A Cure for the Blues” and “The Curious Book Complete” (as “The Enemy Conquered”) were later published as twinned texts in The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories. “The Curious Book” was a direct reprinting of Royston’s old work with the McClintock pseudonym. See Apr. 22, 1884 entry, Vol. I; also Dec. 26 to Hall.
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, having received Hall’s Nov. 11. Sam related Alden’s rejection of the Royston piece and expressing belief that Gilder wasn’t “such a fool as that. Try him.” He also discussed his other two marketable works:
The price is not very important on a miscellaneous article, but if I publish “Those Extraordinary Twins” serially the price must be high. It is going to be a full-sized novel, and longer than the American Claimant. I have now written 43,000 words on it, and I think there will be as much more.
Yes, if St. Nick pays for Tom Sawyer [Abroad] when they accept it I’m willing that they defer publication till next Fall; because meantime I could write Part II of it, & then, whether they wanted Part II or not, we could add it to the book when we issue [MTLTP 326].
November 25 Friday
November 26 Saturday – A. Bliss wrote from Harrow, England asking for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
November 27 Sunday – Livy’s 47th birthday. Sam wrote her a three-stanza poem titled, “The Earth Invoketh the Sun” [MTP].
November 28 Monday
November 28–December 1 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to George H. Warner.
I have had more than one reminder, this last year, that I am not boss of this family, but have merely a 20 per cent vote in it. If in my letter to you I showed my remote willingness to have the neck of land severed & the river shortened [at the Hartford home], please consider those words recalled & an urgent protest against that sacrilege substituted; for I find that there were four votes in this family dead against it when I wrote my letter. Livy says I did not need to voice her in the matter at all, as you & she understood each other on that point long ago.
Sam concluded that they were unanimous against the cut. Daughter Jean had feared that filling up the low land meant that fill dirt would rise to the “level of the library windows” [MTP].
November 29 Tuesday
November 30 Wednesday – Sam’s 57th Birthday. From his notebook in Florence:
Nov. 30, 1892 — 57 years old. I wish it were either 17 or 97 [NB 32 TS 47].
December – Gribben writes, “In Florence in December 1892 Clemens made a series of notes which seem to indicate that he had purchased an unspecified book by William James (NB 32, TS pp.51, 53).” Gribben lists this under James’ The Principles of Psychology (1890) . Gribben also notes Sam referred to “Milton Sonnet” in his notebook this month [476-7].
December 1 Thursday – Sam worked on several chapters in his new novel, PW, writing 6,000 words in 13 hours of work. Sam considered 2,000 words “an honest day’s work” [Dec. 2 to Whitmore].
December 2 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, giving his “cable address” and addressing a list of items.
Your statement does indeed show up handsomely. It looks as if we’re about out of the woods at last. So mote it be!
Sam also liked a catalogue sent and noted receiving a “very pleasant letter” from Mary Mapes Dodge. He felt $4,000 was enough, he guessed, for Part I of Tom Sawyer Abroad, giving that it only took him “3 weeks to write it.” He also asked about an old article:
Won’t you get for me an article which I published in Harper’s Monthly several years ago about a Curious Old Book? & tear it out & send it to me. Don’t remember the title, but Poole’s Index will furnish it. It was about an ancient Medical Dictionary. I want the paragraph from it for the extravagant novel I am writing — the one about the Extraordinary Twins which I began in Nauheim last August. I’ve written about 60,000 words on it, I guess & 20 or 30,000 more will finish it. I shall soon be done [MTP]
Note: The article was “A Majestic Literary Fossil” (1890); the ancient Medical Dictionary was Robert James’ A Medical Dictionary (1743). On Nov. 24 Sam claimed 43,000 words for PW, so he’d been clipping right along on it. See Dec. 12 for rewrite of “Twins” story into PW.
Sam also agreed with taking $2,000 from Mr. Scott now and another $2,000 in a year. This may have been the embezzler, Frank M. Scott.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, another list of items, including the progress on his scalp:
My hair is showing up again. It is about as long as a door-mat’s, now, & just booming — very thick & tough, & never a hair comes out. But last summer it used to come out by the hatful.
He was making great progress on PW, the family saying yesterday’s chapters were the best he’d done. He thought Frederick Hall was doing “pretty well” with his books, and noted his royalties there for the old books were $4,000 for the last six months, and that he was being paid $500 a month from that.
He was satisfied with Frank Bliss telling Whitmore that he wasn’t going to issue cheap editions of his books, because Sam didn’t think he’d ever told him a lie. He’d received Whitmore’s statement for the year and commented that John O’Neil, his Hartford gardener and caretaker, was making out “handsomely with his flowers,” raised for sale in the greenhouse. He also noted a receipt of a letter from “Brer Robinson” and would write him “before long” [MTP].
Mrs. William S. Karr wrote to Sam and Livy [MTP]. Note: this letter confirmed as missing from the MTP files by Robert Hirst on my last trip there in Feb. 2009. Missing but perhaps not lost, as letters are sometimes misfiled. I found one misfiled from Joe Goodman to SLC which had been “lost” since 1995.
December 3 Saturday
December 4 Sunday
December 5 Monday
December 6 Tuesday – Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Auchingcloss Sprague sent the Clemenses a wedding invitation for her sister, Miss Ottilia Carlotta Muller on this date at Grace Church, Brooklyn [MTP].
December 7 Wednesday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall that the $500 draft for the month was twelve days overdue — he wanted that amount forwarded regularly until the royalty account was exhausted. He ended with a comment on receiving election articles:
Somebody (Willard Fiske, I suppose) — has sent me a file of the N.Y. Eve. Post — my favorite paper — from Nov. 1 to 17th, & the election details & comments are nuts to me — also the delicious pre-election “prophecies” of the chiefs of the late Republican party [MTLTP 327]. Note: the election was held on Nov. 8; Sam was a Cleveland man.
Bacheller & Johnson, N.Y. Syndicate wrote to Sam soliciting “about five hundred words” to be published under the title “True Christmas Stories,” the check (unspecified amount) was enclosed. The letterhead bore three columns of small print for member newspapers across the US [MTP].
December 8 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to Arthur G. Stedman, son of Edmund C. Stedman, employee of Webster & Co. and the general editor of the “Fiction, Fact, and Fancy Series,” which included Merry Tales, and also editor of Walt Whitman’s Autobiography.
Your kind note just received. I haven’t a sketch in stock, nor text of one; but luckily I forgot to ask Mr. Hall to send “The Californian’s Story” to a magazine. Tell him to hand it to you. If he should need anything to supply its place in his book, let him put in the Harper article about an ancient Medical Dictionary…[MTP]. Note: Dec. 12 to Hall reveals the story lent was for Arthur Stedman’s Author Club Book.
Daniel Willard Fiske was a guest at a late dinner party at the Clemenses [Dec. 15 to Hutton].
December 9 Friday
December 10 Saturday – Sam finished drafting Pudd’nhead Wilson [Dec. 12 to Hall]. Note: revisions were to come.
Anthony E. Abel for Burham Industrial Farm, N.Y. sent a form letter soliciting funds [MTP].
William M.F. Round wrote on the bottom of the above form letter (Abel, Dec. 10): I have given my young private secretary, Mr. Abel, my cordial assent to have his scheme for raising money for the Gymnasium building [MTP].
December 11 Sunday – In Florence Sam wrote to Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin about a possible pulpit vacancy in the St. James American Church, which may have been the Clemens’ church of choice in Florence.
I shall see you Friday evening at Loring’s; but meantime slide your eye over the enclosed letters, & if there is a show for the said curate, won’t you conspire with Long & Mr. Childs & see if you two can’t ring him into the vacancy if one really exists, as reported. I am a Mugwump in religion as well as politics — which is to say I want to see the pulpits filled by the fittest men, regardless of creed — & I take this gentleman to be a fit man for the reason that he is backed by Matt Arnot & Tom Beecher, men whose word stands always at par no matter what the fluctuations of the general market may be, in the matter of veracity [MTP]. Note: Matthias Arnot and Thomas K. Beecher of Elmira.
Sam wrote a paragraph after his signature explaining the failed effort to erect a statue to Adam in Elmira, probably in response to a question by Dr. Baldwin.
† Another note, undated and estimated by MTP to be between Sept. 25, 1892 and Mar. 12, 1893, which was Sam’s answer to an invitation by Mr. Loring, is judged to be this day or just after. It follows:
Dear Mr. Loring:
With the greatest pleasure.
Friday evening I shall be there — & on time./ With many thanks [MTP]. †
Daniel Willard Fiske visited the Clemenses [Dec. 15 to Hutton].
December 12 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, having received the November check . He advised of his loaning “The Californian’s Tale” to Arthur G. Stedman, and wrote he’d finished “Those Extraordinary Twins” (PW) some 60 or 80,000 words — he hadn’t yet counted. Still he had to do a bit of revision:
The last third of it suits me to a dot. I begin, to-day, to entirely re-cast and re-write the first two-thirds — new plan, with two minor characters made very prominent, one major character dropped out, & the Twins subordinated to a minor but not insignificant place.
The minor character will now become the chiefest, and I will name the story after him — “Pudd’nhead Wilson”
Sam also wrote he preferred £1,000,000 Bank Note & Other Stories as the title for the new collection, but granted he preferred Hall’s judgment over his own. “I mean this — is not taffy” [MTLTP 328].
Note: Messent argues “It is clear that the various problems pressing in on Twain at this time were affecting all aspects of his self-belief” [Short Works 117]. Though this may be true, it should be remembered that Sam, as is the case with most good writers, seldom was fully objective about his own work or judgment about such matters. Indeed, Sam thought 1,002 Nights to be equal or better than HF; he also sent a sketch, “Fable for Old Boys & Girls” along with “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word As I Heard It” — Howells rejecting the former and praising the latter, while Sam was convinced the rejected story was the better of the two. There were many such instances of this truism about a writer’s blindness in Sam’s life.
December 13 Tuesday – Sam received a letter (not extant) from Laurence Hutton, written by his wife in dictation. They didn’t care much for Rome but enjoyed the company of the Binghams [Dec. 15 to Clara].
December 14 Wednesday – Sam finished revising Pudd’nhead Wilson [Dec. 15 to Clara]. Also:
Dec. 20/92. Finished ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ last Wednesday, 14th. [MTLTP 328-9; NB 32 TS 51].
December, first half – Sometime after moving into the Villa Viviani, the family encountered many old friends traveling in Europe. Among them was Robert Underwood Johnson. Sam also met William James (1842-1910) in Florence. James had been in the city since fall (writing on Mar. 17, 1893 to his brother Henry that he’d been there for six months). William James wrote to his colleague Josiah Royce on Dec. 18 of his first impressions of Sam:
Mark Twain is here for the winter in a villa outside the town, hard at work writing something or other. I have seen him a couple of times — a fine soft-fibered little fellow with the perversest twang and drawl, but very human and good. I should think one might grow very fond of him, and wish he’d come and live in Cambridge [Letters of William James, Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press p.333].
Powers writes, “Sam met the philosopher William James, and managed to keep quiet on the relative merits of his brother’s novels and John Bunyan’s heaven” [MT A Life 543]. Note: Powers does not reveal his sources for the content of their conversations.
By mid-December, Sam had completed “A Cure for the Blues,” to be included in The £1,000,000 Bank-Note., Etc. (1893), had finished “Those Extraordinary Twins,” and was soon to rewrite the first two-thirds of the story, making Pudd’nhead Wilson the main character (and thus changing the title), and had also written “Adam’s Diary,” about 3,800 words [BAMT 3]. See Mar. 13 to Hall.
December 15 Thursday – In Florence at 3 or 4 a.m., Sam couldn’t sleep so wrote to daughter Clara at Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s school in Berlin. He’d finished revising PW the evening before. “Writing never tired me, but the revising has done that.” He also told of receiving a letter from Laurence Hutton (“Uncle Larry”) from Rome. He added a bit of family news:
You will be charmed by Susy’s singing. She has made very great & rapid improvement, & it is a genuine pleasure to hear her.
All the family are fussing over Xmas, of course, & Mamma went down town & shopped herself into bed one day. I’m going down to-morrow to see if I can roust out a Xmas present for her, & I suppose I shall make a botch of it. But I’ve got to try: Susy & Jean won’t do it for me.
Sam closed with a humorous argument he’d had with Mrs. Carolyn S. Fahnstock:
I must think-up a letter to write to Mrs. Fahnestock, with whom I have a quarrel about antiquity of lineage. She tries to claim that the Fahnestock-Mont-Ughi’s is an older family than the Cerretani-Viviani-Clemenses, because the villa they live in is eleven hundred years old — which is nothing to the point. Our family got burnt out at Sodom & Gomorrah and could not collect the insurance, & were never able to build again until 200 years ago, when they built this villa. I can’t bear those upstart modern families, like the Fahnestock-Mont-Ughis.
I love you, love you, dear old Ben, & send you Merry Xmas! / Papa.[Note: Carolyn S. Fahnstock]
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, at this time in Rome. He discussed Hutton’s handwriting, which he said was “as easy as the Angel of Death’s,” Willard Fiske’s last two visits, the family’s health, and sent his regards to the Binghams.
She [Livy] is pretty well — as well as she ever is in the last weeks preceding Xmas. I think Xmas was invented to knock out the health & strength accumulated in the previous 11 months & shorten people’s lives 10 per cent a year — & does its work & accomplishes its mission with fiendish certainty.
Susy is in good health & good spirits, & is becoming a lark, under the training of a capable singing-master. Jean’s got some kind of an eruption on her mouth which [Dr.] Baldwin is wrestling with. Clara is having a handsome good time at school in Berlin, & is well contented. I finished my book a week ago, & if you were only here now, how gladly I would put the revising aside & infest the holy places of Florence with you! [MTP].
Conn. Governor Reception sent a printed invitation to Mr. & Mrs. Clemens for the Inaugural Reception for the Governor on Jan. 4, 1893. [MTP].
Arthur Hornblow for Palmer’s Theatre, N.Y. wrote asking for Sam’s photograph for a planned article, similar to one in the Dec. issue of Cosmopolitan by Hornblow on French journalists [MTP].
December 16 Friday – Sam went Christmas shopping in down town Florence [Dec. 15 to Clara]. He also wrote to Chatto & Windus, asking them to send him a particular atlas, as he wanted it for a Christmas present for “one of the children” [MTP].
This was the night that Sam was planning to be at Mr. Loring’s with Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin. (See Dec. 11 to Baldwin; also undated note to Loring, estimated also to be Dec. 11).
December 17 Saturday – E.J. Carpenter, literary editor for the Boston Daily Advertiser, wrote to Sam, sending him an annual supplement feature; might Sam might “favor” him “with a few lines, which could be printed, concerning it”? [MTP].
December 18 Sunday – In Florence Sam wrote to Arabel Moulton-Barrett, sole surviving sister of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in Jamaica. The Barrett family had long been associated with Jamaica, amassing a fortune from sugar plantations. Arabel evidently had requested a photograph of Sam.
Dear Madam: I am always going to get some of those things taken, & sometimes I even get so far as to do it, but they are soon gone, & then there is another interval of empty intention…I am very sorry [MTP]. Note: Eliz. Browning died in Florence in 1861.
December 19 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to daughter Clara at Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s school in Berlin. He sent Merry Christmas good wishes and sent his love to the Phelpses, the Colemans, the Jacksons and to Mrs. Mary B. Willard and her family.
Jean’s got some kind of a horse-complaint. I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s the Horse-Kiss Hives. It comes out on the mouth, & is not becoming [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to A.M. Barnes he finished on Dec. 23 (see entry) [MTP].
December 20 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:
Dec. 20/92. Finished ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ last Wednesday, 14th. Began it 11th or 12th of last month, after the King girls left. Wrote more than 60,000 words between Nov. 12 and Dec. 14. One day, wrote 6,000 words in 13 hours. Another day wrote 5,000 in 11 [MTLTP 328-9; NB 32, TS 51].
Typothetae of N.Y. sent a printed invitation to Sam for their annual dinner at the Hotel Brunswick at six p.m. on Jan. 17, 1893 [MTP].
December 21 Wednesday
December 22 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to his brother Orion, relating the 26 days it took to finish PW. Livy was “fairly well,” Susy was “progressing well in her singing lessons,” Clara “in her music.” There was snow on the ground with bitter cold weather.
Jean can talk with the Italians; speaks French like a native, and talks German well. She was going to have some young Italian neighbors in Xmas [MTP].
December 23 Friday – In Florence, Sam finished a letter he began on Dec. 19 to A.M. Barnes who sent typed pages of Sam’s MS on request.
It is carefully done, & that is what I particularly want, as I must do my proof-reading on this side of the ocean. I shall have the MS ready before many days [MTP]. Note: no doubt PW.
December 24 Saturday – In Florence, the Clemens family enjoyed Christmas eve. Sam wrote of it to Clara the next day:
Great times here last night. Jean had a tree & it was a very nice one indeed. The servants all came in & smiled; & that & the candles made the place almost uncomfortably bright [Dec. 25 to Clara].
December 25 Sunday – Christmas – In Florence Sam wrote to daughter Clara in Berlin.
I thank you ever so much for the elegant handkerchiefs, although it does give me a little pang of pain every time I think of your taking time to work at them when you were entitled to use that time for holiday, you who are so crowded with work. …
I have some new sleeve-buttons — from the family — beautiful anti-cussers. You can put them in & take them out without change of temper. These are scarabei — that is to say, tumble-bugs — of carnelian, set in gold, & very handsome, with patent anti-blasphemers attaches on the under side [MTP]. Sam PS’d his book was done.
Sam gave daughter Susy the two-volume set of Poems of Lord Byron, Tastefully Selected (no date). He inscribed them: Susy Clemens with the love of her Papa. Florence, Xmas, 1892 [Gribben 121].
Susy’s letter to Louise Brownell, postmarked Dec. 31 also told of Christmas day.
I thought of you all Christmas day and we drank to you at dinner as I wrote you we should. We had a pleasant little Xmas and managed it well entirely escaping homesickness. American friends of Mlle. Lanson’s [Lançon’s] came out to lunch and we consoled each other for being far from home in a strange land. Jean had a tree for the children of the servants. They were charmingly at ease and responsive tho’ we couldn’t speak one word to them, adorable natural irresistible children! [Cotton 101192-3].
December 26 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, advising,
Carey is right — Royston’s name should be changed to some other — also the name of his village — say G. Ragsdale McClintock of Sunflower Hill, S.C. — or something like that [Note: this relates to the old Royston piece “Enemy Conquered.” William Carey was an editor at The Century.]
Sam also suggested that Hall solicit a loan from Andrew Carnegie to publish LAL. He wanted the “Mental Telegraphy” in the £1,000,000 book. He’d received an offer to split the payment for the first part of Tom Sawyer Abroad from Mary Mapes Dodge and had answered her, “all right” [MTLTP 329].
December 27 Tuesday
December 28 Wednesday – In Florence Sam wrote again to Frederick J. Hall, continuing his ideas about selling interest in LAL. He was proposing to sell “enough of” his and Hall’s interest for $200,000 to a friend, who he thought would decline, “as he knows nothing about the book business.” Sam felt that Carnegie might buy at that price and suggested Hall ask him. If he were home there were a couple of schemes he would employ to sell an interest in the company [MTLTP 330]. Note: the friend was possibly Matthew Arnot.
Sam also wrote to Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin in Livy’s behalf.
Mrs. Clemens is constantly awakened in the night by excessive dryness of the mouth & lips. It is accompanied by a bad taste. She is obliged to swallow some water every time she is wakened in this way.
Would the doctor send the prescription to 15 Ogni Santi where they could call for it? [MTP].
December 29 Thursday
December 30 Friday – In Florence Sam was in bed with another bad cold [Jan. 1 to Hall].
December 31 Saturday – In Florence Sam ended the year in bed, still suffering from a bad cold [Jan. 1 to Hall].
Year end – Frederick J. Hall’s “Summary of Royalties” for the last half of 1892 shows that The American Claimant had not sold well, just under $700, as compared to older books, P&P, just over $1,000, and HF nearly $1,500 [MTLTP 333n2].
Powers writes, “by year’s end, the company [Webster & Co.] owed Sam $79,341.79,” up from $74,087.35 when the Clemenses left America [MT A Life 543].