A Mighty Poor Financial Head – Villa Viviani Idyll – Wasted Trip Across the Atlantic
Panic in the Markets – So Dismally Blue! – Pudd’nhead Wilson
Wandering Again – Back Across the Atlantic with Clara – No Money to Borrow
Henry Huttleson Rogers to the Rescue – The Belle of New York
Books published by Charles L. Webster & Co. in 1893
Bangs, John Kendrick, Topellton’s Client, or, A Spirit in Exile
Brooks, Henry S., A Catastrophe in Bohemia, and Other Stories
Carman, Bliss, Low Tide on Grand Pré: A Book of Lyrics
Crim, Matt, Elizabeth, Christian Scientist
Filippini, Alexander, One Hundred Desserts
Fraipont, Gustave B., The Art of Sketching
George, Henry, The Condition of Labor; an Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII
George, Henry, Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depression
and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: the Remedy
George, Henry, Property In Land
George, Henry, Social Problems
George, Henry, The Land Question: What It Involves and How Alone It Can Be Settled
Isaacs, Abram Samuel, Stories from the Rabbis
Scollard, Clinton, On Sunny Shores
Twain, Mark, The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other New Stories
January – Sam’s story, “The £1,000,000 Bank-Note” ran in the Century Magazine. Early in the month Sam noted that both PW and “Adam’s Diary” had gone to the typist [BAMT 3; NB 32 TS 53; Budd, Collected 2: 1000]. Note: the story was included in the book by the same name in 1893.
“Concerning Tobacco” was written sometime around 1893, not to be published until 1917 in What is Man? and Other Essays [Budd, Collected 2: 1001].
Ella Sterling (Cummins) Mighels wrote The Story of the Files: A Review of California Writers and Literature. Tenney notes: “Derived chiefly from RI and other MT works, and the Will Clemens biography, and generally superficial….There are chapters on the Californian, Sacramento Union, and other periodicals for which MT wrote” .
January 1 Sunday – In Florence, Italy Sam wrote a longish letter to Frederick J. Hall, mostly about money — whether to draw from his letter of credit, foregoing his $500 per month draw from Webster & Co., and also where more funds might be had for the company. Sam promised to write Whitmore to send Hall the $1,000 from the Century, along with the half-payment from Mary Mapes Dodge for Tom Sawyer Abroad, $2,000. Sam was trying to keep the company afloat and support the family solely from the work of his pen. He also wrote that his “friend” (probably Matthew Arnot) had declined buying a quarter interest in LAL, whose installment sales were loading the company down with debt.
I’ve a mighty poor financial head, and I may be all wrong — but tell me if I am wrong in supposing that in lending my own firm money at 6 per cent I pay 4 of it myself and so really get only 2 per cent? Now don’t laugh if that is stupid.
Of course my friend declined to buy a quarter interest in the L.A.L. for $200,000. I judged he would. I hoped he would offer $100,000 but he didn’t. If the cholera breaks out in America a few months hence, we can’t borrow or sell; but if it doesn’t we must try hard to raise $100,000. I wish we could do it before there is a cholera scare.
I have been in bed two or three days with a cold, but I got up an hour ago, and I believe I am all right again. …
You must have done magnificently with the business, and we must raise the money somehow, to enable you to reap the reward of all that labor [MTLTP 331].
January 2 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton, who was in Egypt, “jackassing around in that summer land & viewing the Pyramids & things.” Sam reported finishing the book (probably PW) but that revising it “nearly killed” him — “Revising books is a mistake.”
I see the Umbria is reported pawing her way gradually homeward & likely to arrive in the course of time. So Harper is all right, no doubt.
Fiske probably went along to Palermo, for such were his instincts — that is, he thought he might possibly go there.
Sam also told of a 2,000 franc bank error against his Paris account and a fatal illness of “one of the brothers Maquay” at the same time. “There is something awful about these mysterious things.” He ended that they were all about the same as when Hutton had left them, except the weather was “infinitely fairer” [MTP].
Sam also wrote “the only long letter” he had “written in 7 years” to William Walter Phelps, who was headed to Algiers. Sam encouraged him to stop on the way, then waxed philosophical about the creation of the earth:
I wish I could see the Berlin friends again. The world is not made on a good plan. If the water & the deserts had been left out, & the rest of it closer together, the journeys would be endurable. One can see that God never intended to travel, or things would not be arranged as they are now. Take the universe as a whole, & it is a very clever conception & quite competently carried out, but I don’t think much of this globe as a work of art. It would have been better to take more time to it & do it right, it seems to me, than to rush it through, helter-skelter, in 6 days, just for reputation. There is a heap more rocks than there is any use for, & instead of being set off to one side out of the way, they are piled up right up everywhere that a person has to go, & consequently expensive & disagreeable tunnels are necessary. They make bars & boundaries; they separate peoples; this makes differences of language & customs; these cause war.
Sam continued working this line against too much sand, the equator, and the wastefulness of too much ocean.
If there were a few troughs a hundred miles wide & 50 feet deep, connecting the principal seaports of the world, the rest of the water could be thrown overboard with profit to everybody. They use that kind of canals in Mars — I judge Mars was made since this world — the canals point to experience acquired elsewhere. …
However, I am not finding fault with the way the world is made — no, I have more prudence that that — I
But I might as well save ink & stop where I am, for Mrs. Clemens will not let this letter go, anyway. We have never been able to agree about this world — a matter which has caused many warlike scenes in the family. At bottom she probably has no better opinion of the globe than I have, but she has large judgment, & will not allow the thing to be discussed in a house with no lightning rod on it [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to Franklin G. Whitmore that he added a PS to on Jan. 3. He advised about the two checks he wanted sent to Hall (see Jan. 1 entry) . Sam also wrote about being up after suffering several days in bed with a cold, and that “Mrs. Clemens is fairly well & the rest of us first rate” [MTP].
January 3 Tuesday – Sam added a PS to his Jan. 2 to Whitmore.
Is Mr. Arnot’s receipt for $50,000 worth of royalties still in the Safety Deposit, or in the course of the Mallory negociations did it get back into his hands? SLC
Merry-next-Christmas & Happy-last-New years to you!
It is a wonderful day — Florence is a ghost — looks a ghost — this is the first time she has put on snow. And, as always, it is merely to show herself off [MTP].
January 4 Wednesday
January 5 Thursday
January 6 Friday
January 7 Saturday
January 8 Sunday
January 9 Monday – In Florence, Sam answered a “very charming letter” (not extant) from daughter Clara. He wanted to forward her letter to Ned Bunce, as he was sure he would enjoy it.
I would write you a letter, dear, but I am in a cold room & must hurry this & get it ready for the postman — I’ve got a pain under my shoulder blade which raises my temper pretty high, for I never can see any taste or propriety in such things. I do not say this sort of thing out loud, of course; because I’m afraid to, but by myself or in the dark I let my opinions come out pretty warm.
Sam added after his signature that he was enclosing 280 marks “to pay those music & milk bills with,” and that they wanted her “to keep up that milk.” He told of having “12 pups in a basket, & the mother dog is bigger than forty of them,” and asked her to remember them to “all the kin at 36 Mauerstrasse” where a ball would soon be held. He remembered the last one a year before and wished he could be there.
I know all about dancing, now — learned it out of a book [MTP].
January 10 Tuesday
January 11 Wednesday
January 12 Thursday
January 13 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote to William Webster Ellsworth (1855-1936), at this time secretary of the Century Co., (later president from 1913-1916) complimenting him on the layout and advertising for “The £1,000,000 Bank-Note,” which ran in the January issue of Century Magazine. Ellsworth was from an old Connecticut political family; his father, by the same name, was once governor. He was a great-grandson of Noah Webster, and a member of the Players Club and the Century Club. In 1878 Ellsworth married Helen Smith, the young woman who played opposite Sam’s Peter Spuyk back in 1876 in “Loan of a Lover.” Sam also listed Ellsworth as a possible investor in the Kaolatype engraving process in July 1880 [MTNJ 2:358n5].
My Dear Ellsworth:
It is the most variegated & extraordinary explosion of advertising I have encountered in my lifetime…. Please give my love to all the Century & St. Nicholas friends [MTP].
January 14 Saturday – In Florence Sam wrote to Julia Newell Jackson, widow of Dr. A. Reeves Jackson, of the Quaker City excursion.
[Dr. Jackson’s death] cuts short an intimate and most valued friendship of a quarter of a century, and removes from my narrowing circle one whom I sincerely loved, and whose place none can fill as he filled it [MTP].
January 15 Sunday – The New York Times, p.8 ran news Sam would have surely heard about.
THE “ENTERPRISE” TO SUSPEND.
D.O. MILLS SAYS IT DOES NOT PAY
TO KEEP IT GOING.
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14. — One of the signs that the bottom has really dropped out of the great Comstock Lode is the telegraphic order from D.O. Mills, now in New-York, to suspend publication next Sunday of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, the oldest newspaper in Nevada, which for twenty-five years has been controlled by the bonanza millionaires and the Bank of California. It was the organ of these people. …
The suspension of the Enterprise proves that the insiders, who know what the diamond drill has reached, have no hope of rich strikes. The Enterprise had the honor of serving as a kindergarten for most of the noted California writers. With the exception of Bret Harte, all have served on this Nevada paper. Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, and Dan De Quille were reporters in the bonanza days, and some of Mark Twain’s best stories first saw the light in the Enterprise.
January, mid – Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell after receiving her letter written on Christmas day. Susy’s letter is postmarked, January, 1893. She writes of the “lovely weather now in January” and “the other day we had the merest sprinkling of snow” which brought transportation by horses to a halt. Being used to New England winters, Susy thought this “utterly ridiculous!” With her “creative” spelling:
Tonight Mlle. [Lançon] and I are going to hear the great Salvini but in a comedie a thing which I cannot regret enough having never seen him before. I wanted my first impression of him to be in a tragedie of course.
Lina and I have grown suddenly intimate during the past weeks and some of her reserve has disappeared. …
America looks further and further away recedes and recedes till I am ready to scream. If the cholera comes in the spring as it undoubtedly will that will keep us over here longer than ever on account of certain results to the publishing business. Then Clara wants to live and die abroad, and is urging Mamma to let her prepare for the concert stage, — a most allarming and convulsing attitude for her to take, and finally Mamma’s health is not sufficiently improved to make it possible for her to go back. So when — when — when? And meantime, most discouraging of all, we are getting accustomed to European life and growing to dread the change of going home with all our longing to return. Papa and Clara seem quite weaned [Cotton 101196-9].
Note: English girl Lina Duff Gordon (1874-1964) was Susy’s daily companion, going into Florence almost daily, and attending balls and parties together [A. Hoffman 380]. The Clemens’ neighbor, Janet D. Ross, was the daughter of Lucie, Lady Duff Gordon (1821-1869) of Letters of Egypt and Letters from the Cape fame. Lina was Lady Gordon’s granddaughter; she became a travel writer in her own right, with several books on Italy.
January 16 Monday
January 17 Tuesday
January 18 Wednesday – At the Villa Viviani, Settignano, near Florence, Sam wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who had moved to Boston to be with her daughter. Sam tells of the family:
We are glad you are all back nearer to us, & shall hope to have visits in our house when we get back — which will be by & by, we don’t know when, yet; it may take Clara another year to finish her musical studies in Berlin. She has made great progress & wants to continue. She is in Mrs. Willard’s school of American girls & is having a marvelously good time.
Which I’m afraid Susy isn’t, for she is with us away out here on the hills overlooking Florence….Susy goes to the theatre & the opera, & that helps to ease the dullness of eternal study. …
Jean is a big girl, now, though still a child — 12½. She is a colt for play & out-door activities, and a fanatic for indoor study. When she talks German it is a German talking — manner & all; when she talks French she is French — gestures, shrugs & all, & she is entirely at home in both tongues. She is getting a good start in Italian & will make it her property presently.
The news on Livy was much the same as always — she wasn’t completely healthy, though Sam felt she was making progress.
He confided to “Mother” Fairbanks, the only person he’d told about the book “written for love” that he was in the middle of Joan of Arc. He noted that Livy’s and Susy’s opinion of the book so far would win her approbation [MTMF 268-70]. Note: this last item suggests he began the actual drafting of the book sometime in late 1892, though he’d collected materials for it for at least a decade.
January 19 Thursday
January 20 Friday
January 21 Saturday – At the Villa Viviani in Florence, Sam wrote to eighteeen-year-old daughter Clara in Berlin. She had written (not extant) about dining with 40 officers and no other females; he was chagrined.
Clara dear, your letter brought strong delight in your pleasure, but at the same time a deep sense of regret. From the outspoken frankness with which you tell about excluding yourself with forty officers, one is compelled to believe that you did not know any better — if that is much of a palliation. The average intelligent American girl who had never crossed the ocean would know better than to do that in America. It would be an offense against propriety there — then what name shall it be called by when done in Berlin? — I mean, of course, by an American girl, for what European girl would dream of doing it?….Did it occur to you that there was but one course for you to pursue — leave that room the moment you found yourself the only representative of your sex in it?
Sam continued to lecture Clara about proprieties, asking her about other balls and operas and concerts she might go to, and especially to watch herself at Miss Marian Phelps’s ball.
We love you, and are proud of your talents, and we want you to be a lady, — a lady above reproach — a lady always, modest and never loud, never hoydenish — a lady recognizable as such at a glance, everywhere, indoors and out. If you have any friends who are short of this pattern you cannot afford their society — for one’s intimacies either refine or corrupt — this is commonplace. …be conspicuous for not being conspicuous; let no canon of perfect breeding suffer by you [MTP].
January 22 Sunday – The San Francisco Examiner published “Daggett’s Recollections,” a description of Mark Twain’s appearance on his first arrival in Virginia City (before Sam used the pen name). [Tenney 21; Fatout, MT in Va City p.7-8]. In the same paper, Arthur McEwen wrote “In the Heroic Days, which described the imaginative reporting of Mark Twain and Dan De Quille, “who often did the better work.” The article quotes Mark Twain’s complaint that “to write a burlesque so wild that its pretended facts will not be accepted in perfect good faith by somebody, is very nearly an impossible thing to do” [Tenney 21; Fatout, MT in Va City p.17-8].
January 23 Monday – Sam mailed his endorsed notes for Mount Morris Bank loans [Jan. 24 to Hall].
Mary B. Willard wrote to Sam in response to his Jan. 21 chewing-out letter of daughter Clara:
I fear you will grow weary of my frequent letters, but Clara has just been with me, and in considerable trouble, owing to her fear that you are thinking her less careful than she ought to be in her social life — In regard to the particular occasion of your anxiety [being the lone female at a social function], I think there certainly was good reason to which that…her invitation include a chaperone…as it was for so large and so official an assembly…. She never goes out unattended, to any place of amusement, or on any trivial errand…. I hope I have been able to relieve you of natural anxiety…” [MTP].
January 24 Tuesday – In Florence, Italy Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
I sent the notes yesterday.
A friend of ours who is intimate with Alden says he was aggravated because he did not get the £1000000 Story; so I stopped my work a day or two ago to see if I could write something that would meet his views. However I’ll not send the article now yet awhile.
Sam suggested he publish PW through the American Publishing Co. (and also wrote this in his notebook NB 32 TS 56), though Livy feared it might damage Webster & Co. to go through another publisher.
If the A.P. Co. still have their subscription machinery I should like to try, for there is no money for a book of mine (or anybody else’s for that matter) in the “trade.”
It may be that I have spoiled my subscription chances by issuing cheap books, but if that is not the case, I would like to pocket $30,000 again on a book as I used to do. And I don’t a bit like “serial” publishing.
If you think favorably of my idea, I will come over in March or April and examine into the thing with a view to issuing the book next December [MTLTP 322-3]. Note: see Mar. 10 for Hall’s reply.
January 25 Wednesday
January 26 Thursday
January 27 Friday
January 28 Saturday – In Florence, Sam wrote a short note to Andrew Carnegie, and enclosed it in a letter to Frederick J. Hall:
Won’t you let me introduce to you my partner, Mr. F.J. Hall — & won’t you let him submit a project of mine to you & see what you think of it? [MTP]. Note: likely the desire to unload LAL.
I want to throw out a suggestion and see what you think of it. We have a good start, and solid ground under us; we have a valuable reputation; our business-organization is practical, sound and well devised; our publications are of a respect-worthy character and a money-breeding species. Now then I think that the association with us of some one of great name and with capital would give our business a prodigious impetus — that phrase is not too strong.
Note: Sam no doubt knew he was vastly overstating his case, though the need for capital was pressing. Sam wanted Hall to put the case for purchase of an interest in the company before Carnegie — at least he might gain some useful suggestions, if not an interest to purchase [MTLTP 334].
Sam wrote a second letter to Hall, discussing how best to approach Carnegie, then telling Hall to use “your own method; any you prefer.” He reported progress of 1,800 MS pages on PW “since the 5th of last August.” He enclosed a letter from a stranger seeking Sam’s help for “opera privileges” — why should he help? The man might just go sell such privileges to adapt one of Sam’s books into an opera.
Suppose you tell this man he can have a year’s permission for a tenth of his royalty…This man wants my help. It’s out of the question — I am too busy [MTLTP 335-6]. Note: notes in this source: “it is apparent that someone wanted MT’s assistance in adapting one of his books” [n4].
January 29 Sunday – In the evening, Sam dined with William James. James wrote the next day (Jan. 30) to Francis Boott:
Mark Twain dined with us last night, in company with the good Villari and the charming Mrs. Villari; but there was no chance then to ask him to sing Nora McCarty. He’s a dear man, and there’ll be a chance yet. He is in a delightful villa at Settignano, and says he has written more in the past four months than he could have done in two years at Hartford [Letters of William James, 342]. Note: The Villari’s are not mentioned in any of Sam’s extant letters, but may be Pasquale (1827-1917) and Linda White Villari (1836-1915), who acted as her husband’s translator for his studies of Girolamo Savonarola and Niccolo Machiavelli. She was also an author, having Here and there in Italy and over the Border published this year. Pasquale was appointed professor of history at Pisa.
Nora McCarty, a humorous Irish song, words by F.A. Fahy, 1865. Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote a poem by this title as well.
January 30 Monday
January 31 Tuesday
January, after – A calling card of Mr. Thomas Marion Williams is assigned to this time period. Sam wrote on the card, “He’s a fool. Webster could always select a fool” [MTP]. Note: Williams was the man excited about and engaged in marketing the LAL series.
February 1 Wednesday – Sam joined with 64 other Americans residing in Florence, signing a petition to President Grover Cleveland attesting to “the character & efficient services of” James Verner Long as American consul. 25 letters were included with the petition in support of Long [MTP: TS Richard Wolffers Auctions catalog, June, 19 1992 Item 738].
February 2 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens, marking the letter “PRIVATE”. Sam describes a cure for chilblains (inflammation of the small blood vessels in the skin in response to cold), amounting to nothing more than saturating the area with kerosene at bedtime.
Mine were the worst chilblains that ever were. I had suffered with them every winter for 22 years when I tried the kerosene oil in 1862. Three saturations cured them until 1864 when they returned, & succumbed to a couple of saturations. They returned in a mild form in ’69 & I finished them with one application. They have never come back again.
Sam recommended that they bottle kerosene under a label of “CLARK’S SWIFT DEATH TO CHILBLAINS” adding a perfume and altering the color. It might be sold at 1,000 per cent profit, he wrote [MTP]. Note: evidently Orion and/or Mollie had written (not extant) and complained of chilblains. Sam’s double “Private” label for what was, in effect, selling the idea of a questionable home remedy, is understandable. Curiously, Sam gave no other family news.
Sam also wrote a note to Daniel Willard Fiske. He’d heard from the doctor that Fiske had been ill, and he wished him better health, and not to burden himself with answering [MTP]. Note: The Clemens’ usual doctor was William Wilberforce Baldwin.
February 3 Friday – In Florence Sam wrote a long letter to Frederick J. Hall touching on several subjects, all financial or literary. He asked Hall to carry his letter down to Frank Bowman of D. Slote & Co. and ask, probably about income from the scrapbooks. He announced he was “writing a companion to the Prince and Pauper which” was “half done and will make up 200,000 words,” (JA) and that if it was “gotten up in handsome style maybe the L.A.L canvassers would take it and run it with that book.” He didn’t want it going to a magazine.
Also, he was having several short pieces typewritten and would send them soon for magazines — he liked Century and Harper’s but didn’t object to Cosmopolitan “if they pay good rates.” Was it superstition to stick to one magazine? He sorted out the monthly $500 payments to him from Webster & Co., pointing out that December’s $1,000 was for making up a missing Nov. payment, not to be deducted from January’s. And for the big fish, he wrote:
Do your best with Carnegie, and don’t wait to consider any of my intermediate suggestions or talks about our raising half of the $200,000 ourselves. I mean, wait for nothing. To make my suggestion available I should have to go over and see Arnot, and I don’t want to until I know I can mention Carnegie’s name to him as going in with us.
Sam also announced that PW was typewritten and stood at 82,500 words, some 12,000 more than HF. He closed by telling Hall to “Get posted and keep posted about the machine” and suggesting that George Warner had friends in Chicago who might be able to furnish information on the Paige goings on — Warner was a “lovely man” whom Hall should know. Except, Sam didn’t want Warner to know he sought the information, though it might be difficult to keep it quiet [MTLTP 336-8]. Note: Livy did object to the “aggressively advertised” Cosmopolitan [MTHL 652n5].
February 4 Saturday
February 5 Sunday – In Florence in the evening, Sam wrote to daughter Clara:
It is lonesome, Ben, dear, and I turn to you for company. Susy has gone down town to a ball at the Countess de Something-or-other’s with Mademoiselle [Lançon]; and Jean and Mamma are gone to bed.
There’s nothing to think about, nothing to talk about, nothing to write about — so there is nothing for you and me to do but look at each other across Germany and the intervening lands and be silently sociable.
Mamma has the toothache pretty much all the time and suffers greatly. The dentist has filled one of her teeth without entirely killing the nerve. He ought to be killed himself.
Sam also told of quarreling servants, of Susy leaving her slippers in the carriage, and of a “new French book out about that ancestor of General von Versen’s who drove the carriage when Louis XVI escaped to Varennes.” Sam was hoping to get the book. Sam ended with,
There, 4 pages and nothing in it! Still, the blanks are filled, and I don’t feel so lonesome now.
Take care of yourself, Benny. Give my best regards to Mrs. Willard.
With heaps of love, / Papa [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, having received a check for £102.8.4. Sam thanked him and expressed a wish not to draw on their letter of credit except when obliged.
I shall cable you tomorrow to leave out Ambulinia, Preface and all. If the man who wrote the Preface wrote the story too, then it’s a sell, and we can’t risk printing it. But who, then, wrote the “Oration” delivered in that Southern village? — for it is as idiotic as Ambulinia [MTLTP 339].
Note: Ambulinia Valeer and Elfonzo were the two lovers in Royston’s The Enemy Conquered; or, Love Triumphant. Calling the piece “Ambulinia” simply saved ink. The twin pieces of this work, prefaced, “The Curious Book Complete,” preceded by Sam’s parody of it (“A Cure for the Blues”) were published in The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories (1893).
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, who the Clemens children called “Uncle Larry.” Sam’s letters to Hutton were usually playful. This one’s no exception. It opened with a heading of “Feb. 6 thinkitis — bleeveitis — damsureitis /93,” under which Livy wrote in pencil, “I am perfectly shocked / O.L.C.”
All right, go on with your good times while you are young & frivolous — there’s another state of things coming. But still you do beguile us, and I shall not be surprised if we try the Nile next winter ourselves. Mrs. Clemens is full of the idea.
We are going along at the same dog-trot, with a sunny & beautiful winter for it. I’ve never enjoyed being alive more than I enjoy it now. Susy goes to balls & dances 3 hours into the Sabbath; Jean is flourishing & satisfied, Mrs. Clemens spends most of her days in the dental chair, Clara is happy in Berlin — now what more can people ask? [MTP].
Sam also wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett after hearing from Orion that she had been ill several weeks.
Nobody seems to have good health but me, & I hadn’t last year. …It is a marvelously beautiful winter–& quiet & restful out here in the country. Livy is not very well or strong, & here lately the dentist is trying to kill her. He seems to have furnished her a permanent toothache.
I have written a ton of manuscript in the last few months. I very seldom lose a day, but to-day I was tired & took a holiday — the first time I have felt fatigue for a long time [MTP].
February 6 Monday – The N.Y. Times, p.3 under “Literary Notes” ran this squib:
— A volume of short stories by Mark Twain, to be published in March by Charles L. Webster & Co. will contain his “£1,000,000 Bank Note,” besides several other tales which have never yet appeared in book form.
February 7 Tuesday
February 8 Wednesday
February 9 Thursday
February 10 Friday
February 11 Saturday – Annie Neumann Hofer wrote to Sam asking if she could translate “The £1,000,000 Bank-Note” story into German, and possibly his next collection as well. She had contacted T. Fisher Unwin, editor of the Century Magazine in London, and was referred to Sam. She wrote that the German Kürschner Magazine was interested; she offered to split royalties 50% with Sam.
This is a very business-like letter, but I am by no means a business woman. I am on the contrary only an artist and have always been a sincere admirer of your writings. / Will you oblige me by an answer as soon as possible? [MTP].
Athenaeum No. 3407 p.184 briefly reviewed The American Claimant, calling it “Only rather amusing” [Tenney 21].
February 12 Sunday – In Florence, Sam wrote a short note, probably to T. Fisher Unwin, editor of the Century Magazine in London, who’d been contacted by Mrs. Annie Neumann Hofer (see Feb. 11).
It is too bad that they bother you with these things, but I suppose they don’t know where to find me. And when they find me it doesn’t help much, because I send them to Chatto [MTP].
February 13 Monday – Sam sent Annie Neumann Hofer’s Feb. 11 letter to Chatto & Windus early in the week (Feb. 13-15) and asked them to please answer her. It was his custom to forward all such requests to his appropriate publisher.
On or about this day Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore not to “send social invitiations…across the water,” as his response wouldn’t be in a few days, as was the proper course, but a month old, and would “require a page or two of writing to explain our dilatoriness” [MTP].
February 14 Tuesday – In Florence Sam wrote to Miss Marian Phelps, daughter of William Phelps.
The purpose of this Valentine is to wish you well, & thank you cordially for your kindnesses to our Clara, & also to hope that you are happy & will remain so. …
The reason I am not writing with a pen is because I haven’t got one where I can put my hands on it. Also because Valentines are not written with pens, but always with a pencil. It is ancient custom, & amounts to law.
Sam also hoped that Marian’s father had accepted the judgeship offered by the governor of New Jersey. He enclosed an article from the Nation about the offer, and mentioned that the Hartford Courant reported Phelps had accepted [MTP]. Note: Phelps had suffered from the climate in Germany and at this time he was vacationing in Spain, Morocco, Tunis, Algiers, and Italy. He would return to the U.S. and be sworn in as a judge in June. See June 17, 1894.
Filed with the US Patent Office: patent # 547,861 to James W. Paige and Charles R. North: Automatic Type-Justifying Machine [MTHHR 64n1].
February 15 Wednesday
February 16 Thursday
February 17 Friday
February 18 Saturday
February 19 Sunday
February 20 Monday – In Florence, Sam wrote to Katherine C. Bronson (1834-1901), wealthy New Yorker, and a central figure in Venetian society; also related to Thomas DeKay Winans. In 1879-80 she hosted such luminaries as Henry James, James McNeill Whistler, Robert Browning, and John Singer Sargent. She also had an intimate friendship with Robert Browning after the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Mrs. Clemens sends her best bow & thanks with mine for your steadfast kindness in regard to the glass. I shall drop Moses of the Tower a line & propose as you suggest.
I shall drop Mr. Forbes a line, too, & ask him to waive rank & call on me as soon as I get a chance I will pay back in kind. …
Mrs. Clemens’s health is not improving, I am sorry to say, but the rest of us are without ailments.
With my best regards to you & to Miss Bronson [MTP].
Note: Katherine Bronson’s daughter, Edith, was later Countess Rucellai. On Mar. 12 Sam wrote daughter Clara, “Mamma has secured her set of old Venetian table-glass & is very glad:” — no doubt the glass referred to here, Moses of the Tower being a dealer in Venice.
February 21 Tuesday – Frank Bliss of American Publishing Co. wrote to Sam proposing a cheaper edition of his Sketches New and Old, paying him a ten per cent royalty on it. [MTP; Mar.8 to Bliss].
February, mid and last week – Susy Clemens finished a letter during “the last days of February” to Louise Brownell. It was a long letter, probably written over a two week period from mid-month. In part:
Florence has been gay lately. Lina and I have been to two balls within the last three weeks which is gay for me. The last one was the social event of the season — the ball of Princess Corsini given in the picture gallery of the Corsini palace which is open in this way but once a year….I was glad to go principally because I knew it would be very Italian and characteristic and so interesting that the Italian dancing is frightful….the young duke of Aosta was there and Herbert Bismarck. The great dance was our American waltz which they call over here, the “Boston.” ….We didn’t stop dancing till six o’clock in the morning!
The other thing which I am pretty sure I didn’t write you about was our meeting Salvini. Lina and papa and I met him out at dinner shortly before the ball. He impressed me with his personality infinitely more than any one I have ever met….Papa couldn’t talk to him for he doesn’t speak French but committed two or three nice little phrases to say to him which he evidently forgot the moment Salvini appeared for an introduction. They made each other ellaborate and enthusiastic compliments each in his own tongue which the other didn’t understand. It was such a funny meeting! and cunning too for they made up for the lack of a common language by giving one another affectionate little pats and embraces. Well I am fated never to get this letter off. I began about a week ago and have been interrupted twice.
This letter is growing to be everlasting. Do you know it seems past belief but spring is actually at our doors now in these last days of February! We have been taking our tea out on the terrace again….Jean and I walk in the early mornings and gather the first wild violets [Cotton 101206-12].
February 22 Wednesday – Edgar W. (Bill) Nye wrote on Occidental Hotel, S.F. stationery to Sam, “very sorry that I missed you yesterday.” Nye compared his trip to that of the Donner Party; thanked Clemens for his kindness and the S.F. press for their courtesy “both 3 years ago and on this visit. What I have done to deserve it — I am quite unable to understand” [MTP].
February 23 Thursday – Some historians see the bankruptcy on Feb. 23, 1893 of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad as the beginning of the Panic of 1893. Others point to a severe contraction on the N.Y. Stock Exchange which began on May 4. During the panic over 15,000 American businesses went under, some 500 banks failed, and by winter some eighteen percent of the work force was out of work. Kaplan writes, “One after another — the Erie in July, the Northern Pacific in August — the great railroads, more than seventy of them, were failing” . It was the worst depression in the history of the country. The Panic would greatly affect Webster & Co. and Sam’s efforts, and bring a final death knell to the Paige typesetter. Kaplan, “Clemens’ publishing house, an unsound enterprise even in the most favoring business circumstances, had borrowed heavily and was clearly headed for ruin” . It all began on this day with the failure of the Philly & Reading.
February 24 Friday – In Florence, Sam inscribed his photograph to Hartford resident, Mrs. Drayton Hillyer: To Mrs. Drayton Hillyer / with the affectionate regards of / The Original./ S.L. Clemens / Florence / Feb. 24/93 [MTP]. Note: The N.Y. Times, Nov. 5, 1894, p.3 listed the Hillyers as arriving from Europe, so evidently they passed through Florence at this time. Sam wrote to Clara on Mar. 12 that “the Hillyers are gone — their visits were a refreshment & an exhilaration to all of us,” implying they stayed somewhere in town and visited more than once during this period.
February 25 Saturday – Two copies of The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other New Stories were deposited with the US Copyright Office. In 1897 the content of this book was collected in The American Claimant and Other Stories and Sketches, as part of Harper and Bros. “Uniform Edition” [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.18, Oxford ed. 1996].
In Florence, Sam responded to Frederick J. Hall (letter not extant) and added a PS on Feb. 27. Sam had figured out the “puzzle” of the letter of credit. He advised that he’d sent the PW manuscript, and expected “to be along soon.” He tentatively planned to leave Mar. 22, sailing from Genoa on the steamer Kaiser Wilhelm II. The monthly $500 check should be sent just the same, as Livy would need it.
Say nothing to anyone about my coming. I don’t wish to get into the papers. / I wanted to start earlier but can’t manage it [MTLTP 340].
Sam also wrote to Frank Mason U.S. Consul General at Frankfurt, thanking him for his “good letter” (not extant). He was more firm about his steamer berth date than he’d been to Hall, and said he was “starting 3 months earlier than I meant to.”
I shall inquire after that letter I sent to Mr. Cleveland.
Clara’s homesick, & I think she’ll come here before long [MTP].
Note: Sam wrote President Grover Cleveland, Nov. 10, 1892 on Mason’s behalf; see entry.
February 26 Sunday
February 27 Monday – Sam finished his Feb. 25 to Hall by adding a PS:
Carry your negotiations with Carnegie right along — don’t wait for me — I hope to find them completed when I arrive the 2d or 3d of April / SLC [MTP].
February 28 Tuesday
March 1 Wednesday – On or about this day Clara Clemens played the lead role in a play at Mrs. Willard’s school for girls in Berlin [Mar. 4 Eagle article — see entry].
March 1-20 Monday – Sometime during this period Sam sent one of his early aphorisms to Constance Lloyd Wilde (Mrs. Oscar Wilde 1858-1898):
Habit is habit; & is not to be flung out of the window by any man, but must be coaxed down stairs a step at a time. / Mark Twain / ~ / Florence, March 1893 [MTP].
March 2 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote a two-sentence note to Frederick J. Hall. They’d received the check for £102.5.0 the night before and “were very short.” Sam repeated his hope that Hall would “have Carnegie convinced & converted by the time” he “arrived 30 days hence” [MTP].
He also answered a letter (not extant) from Franklin G. Whitmore. Sam did not know or recollect meeting one Horace J. Smith. He also remarked on William Hamersley being elected to some position. He agreed the Hartford house should be painted, and directed that the same amount of coal be laid in for John and Ellen O’Neil, who were caretaking the place. He ended with a note that he would sail from Genoa on Mar. 22 and labeled it “Private”[MTP].
March 3 Friday – Andrew Chatto inscribed a copy of John O’Hagan’s Joan of Arc (1893) to Sam: Laid at the feet of / Mark Twain / by Andrew Chatto / Mar 3 ’93 [Gribben 514].
March 4 Saturday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Settignano, March 4, ’93, 9.30 p.m. Mr. Cleveland has been President, now, two or three hours, no doubt [NB 33 TS 1].
The Brooklyn Eagle, p.4 Mar. 5, 1893, ran a list of German news items under “The German Army Bill” with this dateline, Berlin. At the end of the article these tidbits appeared:
Miss Phelps, daughter of the American minister, assisted by other members of the minister’s family, has given a dinner at the Phelps’ residence to forty-eight Americans. A dance followed the banquet.
Miss Rose Cleveland, President’s [sic] Cleveland’s sister, left Berlin today for Weimar.
Miss Willard gave a private theatrical entertainment a few nights ago. Mark Twain’s daughter took the leading part in the play presented. [Note: “a few nights ago” puts Clara’s play ca. Mar. 1.]
March 5 Sunday – Susy Clemens’ letter to Louise Brownell written from Frenzensbad, Italy, was postmarked this day and is all melodramatic over-the-top mush. No family events or activities are mentioned [Cotton 101201].
March 6 Monday – In Florence Sam sent thanks to Chatto & Windus for a Joan of Arc sketch sent — one he knew of but had not seen. He also advised his English publisher of his sailing plans [MTP].
† Telegram from Laffan. He is at Hotel Cosmopolitan, Nice. I came near sending answer to New York — supposed of course it was a cable [NB 33 TS 2]. Note: This entry between Mar. 4 and Mar. 7 entries, estimated this day.
March 7 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook in Florence: “The dream again — no noticeable difference in the details” [NB 33 TS 2].
March 8 Wednesday – In Florence Sam answered Frank Bliss’ Feb. 21 proposal, agreeing to a cheaper edition of Sketches New and Old for a ten per cent royalty. He released Bliss “from the requirements of the 50,000-clause appended to the original contract.” He advised that he’d also cabled his agreement, then hit Bliss with a matter that had been a burr under his saddle:
Frank, why don’t you bill books to my firm on better terms? You discriminate against me on my own books. Don’t you sell to all trade houses? And do you make them buy at these prohibitory prices? [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, advising him to “Make a memorandum” of establishing an “emergency account” and of “everything we need to talk about & have it ready — then we shan’t overlook anything.” Sam also wanted Hall to take a room at the Glenham Hotel, so he’d be able to spend “two or three evenings undisturbed” with Sam discussing company affairs. Though four or five years in the future, Sam looked forward to the need to renew copyrights on his old books, Sketches, New and Old being the first to expire. Sam planned for a productive trip:
I shall hope your friend will have good and exact news about the machine when I arrive, so that I can go to Mr. Arnot with a clear case for his eye [MTLTP 341].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore advising him to pay his Players Club dues regularly. He wanted to maintain his membership, though he wrote he “would quit those other N.Y. clubs if I could do it with decency.” He also enclosed the new American Publishing Co. contract for the safety deposit vault.
I wish my firm had all of my books instead of only half of them, then my royalties would support me without other help — but those ancient fool contracts are in the way for good & all! I sail in a couple of weeks [MTP].
March 9 Thursday
March 10 Friday – Frederick J. Hall answered Sam’s Jan. 24 letter with a four-page, single-spaced typed response, which, among other things, asked about selling PW as a subscription book, published through American Publishing Co.
There is a good and profitable sale in the trade for any of your books that strike the public fancy. There is no sale at present by subscription for any book that you could write….all the books they [Am. Pub. Co.] sell now are sold through the trade and it is the trade sales of your books that keep them alive, and their subscription sales amount to nothing at all. … I wrote you some time ago about getting an “emergency account.” This will certainly be necessary before long as it is very embarrassing to run on as small a margin as we are now. [MTLTP 333n2, 341n1]. Sam wrote on the letter, “See below [indicating a lined sentence that AC had not sold well] Is that how we happened to increase to $30,000 instead of stopping at the agreed $15,000?” On the envelope, Sam wrote, “How the spreading of the Bank debt probably occurred.”
Note: Hall also included a detailed account of the monthly $500 checks and the drafts made against Sam’s Letter of Credit [n2]. By this time, the subscription method, with book salesmen working in rural areas, was moribund; likewise the large profit margin available to Webster & Co. Only FE (1897) would be sold by subscriptions in the days ahead.
March 11 Saturday – Sam’s notebook in Florence was a list of things to do/get:
March 11. / Fund-butter. / Shaving things. / Writing paper & envelops. / Tobacco & cigars. / Ship-cap. / MSS. / Cash. / Furnish cable-address. / Get Joan Arc trial in Hartford. / flask [NB 33 TS 2].
March 12 Sunday – In Florence Sam wrote to daughter Clara. Summer had arrived, “The sun is gratefully hot.” The Hillyers had left Florence, and “Uncle Larry” (Laurence Hutton), would soon arrive, though after Sam sailed on Mar. 22. Many other guests came through Florence:
“Yas” [William Walter Phelps] is coming, too. He arrived in Rome a few days ago, I judge. He will spend a week there with the Binghams, then come to Florence; so I shall see him before I go.
Mrs. Cabell has sent Susy a copy of her miniature book, “A Summer on Horseback” is the title I think. It is dedicated to Susy Warner, & Charley Warner writes the introduction.
Sir Henry Layard and Lady Layard are here for a few days with the Ross’s. Susy & I dined with them a night or two ago. Very pleasant indeed, but no talk about Ninevah — which was a disappointment to me.
Laffan and his wife are coming — will probably arrive to-day.
Mamma & Susy & Jean are going to Venice for a spell, when I leave, & Mademoiselle [Lancon] will make a trip to Rome.
Mamma has secured her set of old Venetian table-glass & is very glad.
Betchen is to be lost to Mamma I am afraid; & the whole house, even to the horses, grieve about it. The old mother is sick & wants her… [MTP].
Note: Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) was a British archaeologist, cuneiformist, art historian, draughtsman, collector, author and diplomatist, best known as the excavator of Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian city on the Tigris river south of Ninevah. Sam had a longtime interest in archeology. Bettchen (Betty) was a German servant the family hired in Bad Nauheim. Sam was off a bit on Isa Carrington Cabell’s book title — Seen From the Saddle (1893). Not in Gribben.
March 12-18 Saturday –Sometime during this week Susy Clemens wrote to Louise Brownell; the letter was received (postmarked) Apr. 3 at Bryn Mawr.
Papa sails next Wednesday, the 22nd, and we leave for the beautiful melancholy Venice. Much as I can admire the beauty of Venice I am dreadfully ill at ease and out of my element there. I shall be glad when we get back. Things have been going on about as usual here. …It is still teas, teas, teas for ever and ever. All Florence social live consists of teas, — a curious tiny way of entertaining! The chief objection is I think that you never can have the elegance of a conversation at a tea that you may at a dinner. Talk will stay small and choppy.
I have been asked to join a debating club of which Vernon Lee is President and have declined the privilege from pure abject cowardice. I am going to call on her soon and will write you how she impresses me [Cotton 101214-7].
March 13 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall, enclosing two articles for magazines.
The Story contains 3,800 to 4,000 words [Possibly, “Is He Living, or Is He Dead?”]
The “Diary” contains 3,800 words. [“Adam’s Diary”]
Each would make about 4 pages of the Century.
The Diary is a gem, if I do say it myself…
Sam felt they should sell for $600 each, and if Cosmopolitan didn’t want them, Hall was to send them to the Century without naming a price,
& if their check isn’t large enough I will call & abuse them when I come. I signed and mailed the notes yesterday [MTLTP 342 & notes].
Note: notes signed, no doubt more debt to the Mount Morris Bank. “Is He Living or Is He Dead?” was first published in Cosmopolitan for Sept. 1893, and was inspired by Sam’s friendship with the artist, Francis Davis Millet, who would go down with the Titanic in 1912. In 1900 it was collected in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays, and in 1903 in My Debut as a Literary Person, with Other Essays and Stories [Budd, Collected 2: 1001].
Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Monday 13th. / Driving down to Prince Corsini’s Monday night — incident. The Nelsons there. Appointment made for dinner — no date — but any before I sail. / Sir Henry Layard & Lady Layard — at Mr. Ross’s. / The King’s birthday — large crowds in streets. / Calls to make / Laffan & wife arrived. Also Prof. Fiske [NB 33 TS 2-3].
March 14 Tuesday – Frederick J. Hall responded to Sam’s Mar. 8 letter that the “emergency fund” he’d suggested should hold $30,000 “in the bank entirely separate from our regular accounts….Whenever we ran a little ahead we could put money back into this fund and use it as a sinking fund to pay off our indebtedness to you and to the Mount Morris Bank. Sam wrote on the envelope, “No more expense this summer & fall (’93)” [MTLTP 341n1;MTP].
March 15 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
Wednesday. To Duomo, Piazza della Signorini, Palazzo Vecchio, Ufizzi & Pitti with Laffans.
Thursday. Laffan left for London last night [Mar. 15], Mrs. Laffan drove out & dined with us [NB 33 TS 3].
March 16 Thursday – In Florence Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton, who was to arrive in the city shortly after Sam left for New York. Hutton had been in Egypt.
I hope you are having a good time & that it is not exasperated by correspondence with the business-department of the Players, the rudest-mannered gang that ever got translated out of the sty they were probably born & reared in [Note: Whitmore had failed to pay Sam’s Players Club dues, and evidently San had received a nasty reminder, or, at least one he thought nasty].
William Mackay Laffan and wife had arrived in town:
Laffan & his wife arrived at the New York [Hotel] a day or two ago, but William was called back to London last night. Mrs. Laffan will wait in Florence for him. She is coming out to see us this afternoon. I wish you two were here as well — we’d go Old Mastering tomorrow. I am very very sorry I shan’t be here when you come. I sail from Genoa next Tuesday for a brief business-trip home [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore about his Players Club dues. “It was the only club,” he wrote, “I took any interest in or cared to belong to.” Sam asked that fifty blank machine-royalties be sent by registered mail to Webster & Co. to be kept until he got there [MTP].
Sam’s notebook in Florence.
Thursday. … / Prof. Fiske called — went to his
villa with him. Excellency Wm Walter Phelps will arrive Saturday night [Mar. 18] &
dine with us Sunday & Monday [Mar. 19-20]. / La Contessina Riccardi. / Countess — Fiske gave
the name, it is gone again — he must go there with me / Calls to make: Friday.
Macaulay &c / Saturday — Riccardi / Sunday. —
The Colonel. / Wyndham. / Count Riccardi (leave note) …/ Mr. Loring. /(Explain why did not come
Wednesday [NB 33 TS 3]. Note: Lined out items reflect completed tasks.
March 17 Friday
March 18 Saturday – Sam’s notebook in Florence:
To dine Saturday Eve at Poggio Gherardo to meet Sir William Mackby & Lady Mackby, Chief Judge. Ask if he knows Douglas Straight, who is back from India lately, retired and knighted [NB 33 TS 4].
March 19 Sunday – Susy Clemens’ 21st birthday. In her late March letter to Louise Brownell, Susy wrote:
Mr. Phelps was with us on the 19th my birthday, twenty first, and he tried to tease me past bearing but I didn’t mind. He is very charming but so naïve! A naïve ambassador. He has accepted the judgeship [Cotton 101219]. Note: see Feb. 14, 1893 entry on Phelps.
Sam wrote to Susan Crane about Susy’s birthday, a “fact which will be drifting through” her mind at the breakfast table, “& there will be pictures drifting with the facts, — & ghosts.”
I dreamed I was born, & grew up, & was a pilot on the Mississippi, & a miner & journalist in Nevada, & a pilgrim in the Quaker City, & had a wife & children & went to live in a Villa out of Florence — & this dream goes on & on & on, & sometimes seems so real that I almost believe it is real. I wonder if it is? But there is no way to tell; for if one applied tests, they would be part of the dream, too, & so would simply aid the deceit. I wish I knew whether it is a dream or real [MTP]. Note: Sam became intrigued with the idea that all reality was merely a dream, an idea which would be expressed in his later writings.
Sam added that “Mr. Phelps and Mrs. Laffan dined and spent the evening, & we had a high time.” Note: William Walter Phelps, and Georgiana Ratcliffe Laffan.
The San Francisco Examiner ran article by Dan DeQuille (William Wright), “Salad Days of Mark Twain” [Tenney 21: Fatout, MT in Va City 166].
March 20 Monday – In Florence Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder of the Century, asking if he knew the head of the Agricultural Dept. in Washington. Would he write and ask for a hand full of seed-corn, two or three of the best kinds and send them to Livy? They were for Janet D. Ross, their Florence neighbor [MTP].
Sam also wrote the same request to Franklin G. Whitmore, except he named his caretaker, John O’Neil as the supplier of seed-corn. Sam said he’d see Whitmore “in a few days.”
He then wrote a note to the neighbor, Janet D. Ross.
I shall go over & pay my dinner-call the moment I get back from America. This seems unprompt; but I have a trained conscience, & I quiet it by telling it I am on my road to pay it now, merely going by the way of New York and Chicago for the sake of variety, & because it is much more creditable to go 8,000 miles to pay a dinner-call than it is to go a mere matter of 600 yards. Auf wiedersehen [MTP].
March 21 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook on his departure from Florence:
Mch. 21. Drove to station with Livy, Susy & Jean. / Wm Walter Phelps arrived presently. He & I went to Genoa by the 11.35 train, arriving at 6.25 [NB 33 TS 4].
Sam and Phelps traveled 166 miles to Genoa, where Sam spent the night in a hotel [Mar 22 to Jean Clemens].
In Genoa, Sam wrote more than one letter (not extant) to Livy, which she refers to to receiving on Apr. 1 in her Apr. 2 letter. See Apr. 2.
March 22 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Sailed in the Kaiser Wilhelm II at 11 a.m.” [NB 33 TS 4].
After boarding and departure, Sam began a letter to daughter Jean on the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II that he finished on Mar. 23:
We have just left Genoa (it is noon), & the city & the blue mountains & the villas & the blue sea & the brilliant sunshine & the flitting sails make beautiful pictures. The passengers began to crowd aboard before I was up, this morning. The vessel is full. Lady Oppenheim & her daughter are aboard, making a trip to Gibraltar & then through Spain. They inquired very particularly after mamma & the family. There are several other people on board whom I have met before; among others the consul; he called on me a the New York hotel [in Florence] a year ago….
In the Lodge of Sorrow up stairs — the fine big salon where the sea-sick women congregate — there is a darling picture of a baby sitting in the grass in a meadow, with only half a shirt on, & a rabbit as big as himself sitting straight up in front of him, with its ears standing up like lances — & the rabbit has never seen a baby before & the baby has never seen a rabbit before, & both are surprised & the child is scared [MTP].
March 23 Thursday – Sam finished his Mar. 22 letter to daughter Jean:
In this ship they call you to meals with a bugle. When it is wandering about the far distance of the vessel it sounds quaint & sweet —
“O sweet & far from cliff & scar,
The horns of elfland faintly blowing.”
Sam drew a table chart with as many names of the sixteen who dined together as he could remember, and told Jean to tell Mamma “it is Mrs. W.H. Bishop.” He included, the young Mr. and Mrs. Wellborn, cousins of Laurence Hutton — “lovely people”, Mrs. Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and two Miss Smiths, Consul Brown and Mrs. Brown, Noyes Sr., young Noyes and Miss Noyes [MTP].
March 24 Friday – En route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York, Sam wrote to daughter Susy, relating an anecdote told by the nephew of Longfellow about Professor Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard and his introduction of his lifelong friend, William Hunt.
“One day, many years ago, I had come — back from — Italy, & I sat with — William Hunt talking — & I had in my — pocket — a little silver — box — a beautiful creation of — old Italian art — & I was impatient to know — if he would like it — for I had brought it — for him — & I took it out — & gave it to him — & watched his face — with eager solitude — for the light I hoped would break there — & I said — ‘Do you like it?’ Ah, his eye flamed! — & he said — ‘Do I like it? Norton — — it is a God damned ultimate of art!’ Gentlemen — here stands — before you — the brother — of that most noble genius — and he — too — is a God damned ultimate of art!”
“The house came down with a storm — Norton’s tears were already flowing, & as he turned to lead Hunt forward, Hunt leaned his head against a pillar & burst out crying.”
There, Susy dear, that is the very loveliest anecdote I have ever heard in my life, & one of the most touching — for I can see Norton, & hear his voice grow unsteady & finally break down at the end. It is as if the sweet & reverent Sieur de Jainville were telling this reminiscence of his idol the sacred Saint Louis of France [MTP]. Note: Sam addressed the letter to Susy at the Hotel Royal Danieli, Venice. William Pitt Preble Longfellow (1836-1913) was one of the “art-chief’s of the Exhibition” associated with the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
March 25 Saturday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. The ship likely was at Gibraltar by this time.
March 26 Sunday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook on board: Sunny & beautiful. No sea. [NB 33 TS 4].
Meanwhile, in Florence, Livy wrote to Sam:
Youth my darling: How I should like to be out at sea with you today. It is here absolute perfection, a little cooler than yesterday which was about like July.
Mrs. Laffan came up to luncheon yesterday and we took her down. Mr. Laffan had just arrived at the hotel when we reached there. Now I shall take no more care about her. I have asked them to come up any time when it might suit them. I have this morning paid the carriage bill for the month. The children have gone to church, this afternoon they go to Mrs. Fahnestocks. So we move along.
Dr. Baldwin told me yesterday that Mrs. Fahnestock liked so much the picture of you that she was going to have one struck off for herself. I don’t know about letting people buy yoru picture in that way.
The gaiety casued by the arrival of the Queen, if there is any, does not reach us.
Susy went yesterday in to a little tea at Mr. Macauleys. Tomorrow she has a few young girls at luncheon at wich time Jean & I will take our luncheon in my bed-room.
My own darling, how I do love you and long to see you but we are doing well. Be sure & go to see in Hartford, the Baldwins, Trumbulls, Bunces, Beechers, Lanhams and of course all the friends in the neighborhood. I wish you could call at the Porters & Chamberlains. Ask Annie Trumbull if she had two letters from me. Give my love to all the friends. I hope you will find Harmony better…[The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.2].
March 27 Monday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook:
Monday, 27. Up at 2.30 a.m. Passed AZORES 3.30 P.M. / D.O. Wills / Navy Cut / Bristol & London (in yeast. powder cans) [NB 33 TS 4].
Susy Clemens’ letter of late March to Louise Brownell relates her breaking Florence tradition:
On Monday I gave a little lunch quite a social earthquake here as it’s such a departure from the usual tea and actually social life consists here as in college absolutely of teas. Isn’t it curious? [Cotton 101218]. Note: Willis puts this tea as a week after Sam’s departure, so this date is likely .
March 28 Tuesday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook:
Tuesday, Mch 28. The usual brilliant sunshine, the usual soft summer weather. Sea polished & nearly flat — almost a dead calm. We have never had a sea that disturbed the dishes on the table to speak of [NB 33 TS 4-5].
March 29 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook on board the Kaiser Wilhelm II:
Wednes. 29. Nice ball on deck, with colored electric lights. I opened it with Capt. Störmer — waltz, with overcoat. Danced the Virginia reel, with Longfellow for a partner [NB 33 TS 5].
Note: Sam was referring to a nephew of Longfellow, name not given, but likely William Pitt Preble Longfellow. He’d mentioned the man in his Mar. 24 to Susy (not shown in excerpt chosen): “On the hurricane deck a minute ago, Longfellow (nephew of the poet), said…” [MTP]. See also MFMT 98 for a recollection of Clara’s about this night.
Livy, Susy and Jean left for a two-week stay in Venice. On Mar. 24 Sam wrote them at the Hotel Royal Danieli, Venice. Susy wrote to Louise Brownell on the day they left:
We are getting ready to start for Venice at two o’clock. It is the most perfect Italian day….I cannot like travel for novelty and change. I have to learn to care for each place….We shall arrive in Venice tonight and our pet gondolier Antonio is to meet us a the station [Cotton 101218-9]. Note: this date is calculated from Susy’s next letter to Brownell, postmarked Apr. 6: “…just as we were leaving Florence on Wednesday last” .
In a letter postmarked Apr. 6 and written sometime between Mar. 30 and Apr. 5, Susy described their arrival on this evening:
Venice doesn’t seem as melancholy as it did. We arrived by moonlight and Antonio brought us up the Grand Canal through what seemed to be a dream. The old palaces looked more strange and ethereal and unearthly than ever. The city seemed dead and the silence was wonderful; no one stirring and few lights, only an occasionally passing gondola.
This first impression of Venice is so unlike anything else in the world! The next morning one is a little disappointed [Cotton 101222-3].
The N.Y. Times, p.8, “Telegraph Operators’ Entertainment”:
The New-York Telegraph Operators’ Dramatic and Literary Association, which was organized recently, will give its initial entertainment and reception at the New Central Opera House, East Sixty-seventh Street, Friday evening, April 14. The comedy-drama, “Tom Sawyer,” as adapted from Mark Twain’s book of that name by Martin J. Dixon, will be presented with extra specialties by Tom Ballantyne, Master Dunn, musical wonder: Kitty Stephenson, songs; George O’Brien, Irish eccentricities.
The hall will be elaborately decorated and a special souvenir will be presented to the ladies. Prof. Bayne’s Sixty-ninth Regiment Band will furnish the music. Tickets are on sale at all the telegraph offices. [Note: This appears to be an unauthorized adaptation of Sam’s work.]
March 30 Thursday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook: “Smooth till midnight, then rough.” Sam also noted costs of music, stewards, smoking, and boots (polished) [NB 33 TS 5].
March 31 Friday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook:
Good Friday, 31st. Exceedingly rough — a deal of rain. A very steady ship, but of course this sort of a sea makes her roll heavily — as it would any ship [NB 33 TS 5].
April 1 Saturday– Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. Sam’s notebook:
Apl. 1. A wild wind & a wild sea yesterday afternoon. Several falls, but nobody hurt. Went to bed at 8 & slept till 8. Still a heavy sea this morning [NB 33 TS 5].
April 2 Sunday – Sam was en route on the Kaiser Wilhelm II to New York. The Brooklyn Eagle ran a squib for Sam’s new book:
The £1,000,000 Bank Note — by Mark Twain, just published, at $1.00, one vol., cloth; store price, 65c.
Meanwhile, in Venice, Italy, Livy wrote to Sam:
Youth Darling how I wish that you were here with us this morning. It is absolutely glorious. Oh Venice is a charmer! I love it so, and yet it is often very melancholy.
We have Antonio and we are extremely well cared for here in the hotel, so everything is as pleasant as possible. I am reading Mr. Howells “Venetian Life” and delighting in it. It is a most charming book. I should think he would so often long to get back here. I hope you will see them while you are in New York.
I have been to see my glass of course and it is very beautiful. ..
We rec’d your letters from Genoa yesterday and extremely happy were we to get them. …
…I must stop now and get ready to go in the gondola with Jean. With Deepest Love, Yours Always, Livy. Be sure & see Mrs. Taft and give her my love [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.2-3]. Note: the letter was postmarked rec’d in N.Y. on Apr. 13; by then Sam had left N.Y. for Chicago.
April 3 Monday – Sam landed in New York at 6 p.m. [NB 33 TS 5] and took a room at the Glenham Hotel [MTHL 2: 651n1].
April 4 Tuesday – At 10:15 p.m. at the Glenham Hotel in N.Y., Sam wrote to Livy. He’d spent the evening with Howells and Hall [MTHL 2: 651n1; NB 33 TS 5].
Livy darling, Howells has this moment gone — has been here an hour or so. I am going to lunch at his house tomorrow. As he was leaving he said Charles Warren Stoddard was out there last night & told this story — which Mrs. Howells thought of doubtful propriety:
A little girl was telling another little girl how the Virgin showed her through the cathedral.
“Oh, no,” said the other, “You mean the verger; a virgin is a lady who has had a baby before she was married.”
The Howells doubled himself up & laughed till his face was purple. He is really the same Howells now that we used to know….
I told him confidentially about Joan of Arc, & he wants it published anonymously in Harper’s.
Sam also related calling on Mary Mapes Dodge during the day. Dodge telegraphed her son “Jamie” (James M. Dodge) and his wife to return from Philadelphia to dine the next evening [Apr. 5] with Sam and Rudyard Kipling [MTP]. Note: See July 5, 1890 for notes on James Dodge.
Sam’s two calling cards with notes for this day to William Dean Howells survive:
Dear Howells: Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge wants you and Mrs. Howells or Pilla to drop in tomorrow evening at 8 or 8.30 — I’m to be there — also Rudyard. / I am very sorry to learn that Mrs. Howells is not well — I leave my kindest regards for her. / Yrs Ever / Mark
April 5 Wednesday – Sam lunched with William Dean Howells; They also met at 8 or 8:30 p.m. at the home of Mary Mapes Dodge for dinner. Also in the company, Rudyard Kipling and wife, and Mary Mapes Dodge, Mary’s son James M. Dodge and wife, and William Fayal Clarke (now editor of St. Nicholas Magazine) [Apr. 4 to Livy, Howells; MTHL 2: 652nn1; MTB 964; NB 33 TS 5].
At the Glenham Hotel, Sam wrote a short note accepting a dinner invitation for the following night .
I am coming to that dinner to-morrow evening — many thanks. To me it has the look of a conspiracy, & I have always hankered for a chance to conspire against something or somebody [MTP].
Sam described the company for this dinner in a letter Apr. 7 to Livy:
I dined with the Kiplings night before last [Apr. 5] — with Kipling himself, his wife, her sister and her mother. Certainly that is a pair of most striking and remarkable girls to look at, with a most indescribable sort of beauty. They fasten one’s eyes like a magnet — or a baby — or a woodfire in the twilighted room….They are manifestly fine people.
[Describing Mrs. Dodge’s home]…spacious and beautiful apartment in 58th Street. My, what a homelike home it is! Not one of those cheap and bald and tasteless and hideous and spirit-depressing European ‘homes,’ but an American home — and the Americans are the only race in the whole earth who have great and fine and dainty and perfect taste in the distribution of color and polish and richness and harmony in an interior; and it is just these things that make the divine home, the enchanted home. How poor and shabby and gawky and lubberly and shammy and stupid Europe is, when it comes to living!…Mrs. D. is on the 8th floor and overlooks all Central Park and a far-reaching weep of fallen constellations — that is acres of interlacing webs of gaslights and electrics.
I have been out all day mapping out an adventurous summer for Huck and Tom and Jim. As a result I have two closely written pages of notes, enough for the whole book. There will be two mysterious murders in the first chapter. The book will be devoted to finding out who committed them. Tomorrow I shall go right at it. Be jolly, be cheerful, Dear heart!
April 6 Thursday – At Richard Watson Gilder’s office, on Century Magazine letterhead, Sam wrote to Walter Q. Gresham, Secretary of State in Cleveland’s cabinet, repeating his support for Frank Mason as Consul General at Frankfurt, Germany.
Through me, Mr. Cleveland knows all about Mason but Mr. Gilder of the Century thinks it will be best for me to bother you a little about him, too — & so I do it, & you will pardon me for I am not trying to do the United States a harm but a service [MTP].
Sam also wrote a letter, again on Century letterhead, to the US Secretary of Agriculture, J. Sterling Morton (1832-1902), asking for “a few choice breeds of seed-corn.” As an afterthought he wrote,
A handful of choice (Southern) water-melon seeds would pleasantly add to that lady’s [Janet D. Ross, his Florence neighbor] employments & give my table a corresponding lift [MTP].
Back at the Hotel Glenham, Sam responded to a request (not extant) for an article from Irving S. Underhill (1866-1937), son of Sam’s old Buffalo friend, Charles M. Underhill. Since he was only to be in the country “a few days” and all his time was taken, Sam wrote that he could not write an article, but as to the old article Underhill spoke of, he was “welcome to use any part of it, or all of it.” Sam also sent regards to Underhill’s parents, and thanked his father for his note [MTP].
Note: The article is not identified. Charles M. Underhill was a partner and “Western Manager” in the J. Langdon Co., [MTNJ 3: 568n270]. “Adam’s Diary” was turned down by the Century as well as Cosmopolitan, but the latter magazine took “Is He Living or Is He Dead?” (which ran in the Sept. issue) Irving Underhill was preparing The Niagara Book, a volume which he hoped to promote Niagara Falls with, catching some of the crowds traveling to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in the spring and summer of 1893. Right after this letter Sam agreed to revise the piece and sell it to Underhill for $1,000 [BAMT 5]. See Apr. 14. Underhill would later publish a few of Sam’s late works, and evidently had solicited an article for an unidentified magazine. MTL 5: 138n1.
In the evening Sam gave a dinner speech at the Carnegie Dinner, New York City [Apr. 5 to Carnegie; Fatout, MT Speaking 660]. From Sam’s notebook:
Thursday, 6th. Dined with Andrew Carnegie, Professor Goldwin Smith, John Cameron, Mr. Glenn. Creation of League for absorbing Canada into our Union.The paper read & discussed. Carnegie also wants to add Great Britain & Ireland [MTB 964; NB 33 TS 5-6].
Henry Clay Vedder wrote an article for the New York Examiner, for which he was currently editor. The article was part of a series of “Living American Writers.” Tenney writes: “A conventional view, noting MT’s serious purpose, and integrity, praising his historical novels, and, still more, those about the Mississippi Valley. Unfortunately, MT is insufficiently understood and appreciated, especially in England.” See also Vedder’s American Writers of To-Day (1894) . Note: The Examiner was a New York Baptist newspaper; Vedder editor from 1876-1894.
April 7 Friday – Sam’s notebook in N.Y.:
Wrote Charley [Langdon] to ask Mr. A. to pay his note, beginning May 1 & paying $5,000 a month for 9 months. / $5,000 a month for 10 months, beginning 10 months hence. Told him to merely make the offer but by no means to insist / Apl. 7 — Dined with Rudyard Kipling & family. Chas. Warren Stoddard there [NB 33 TS 6].
At the Hotel Glenham in New York, Sam wrote a short note to Andrew Carnegie. He thanked him for the hospitality of the night before, and would come for lunch the next day (Apr. 8) since he was leaving town (for Chicago) the first of the week.
Notwithstanding all that conspiring last night I slept the dreamless sleep of the average assassin the night before he is hanged. There is no soporific like crime [MTP].
Sam also wrote a longish letter to Livy. He described a “curious society” of ladies of “the best society” that went about chloroforming abandoned cats. He also told a story about Dr. Clarence Rice’s boy, who was afraid of a bear coming to eat him. When asked where the bear might come from in the middle of the city, the boy “answered, still half crying: ‘He — he — well, he would come from where he was!’”
Sam also told of a yachting race, where the American yacht beat the English, with red and white flags designating the English and American crafts flying “from the lofty tower of the Madison Square Garden.” Sam gave the progression of the race from 2:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. He also described the dinner with the Kiplings two nights before (see Apr. 5) [MTP]. Note: Livy was in Venice at the time Sam wrote this letter, planning to return to Florence on Apr. 12.
Sam also wrote to Susan Crane, apologizing for not yet coming to Elmira, with Livy thinking he would have by now. Sam would be “tied” in New York until Tuesday morning (Apr. 11) at which time he would either leave for Chicago or Hartford. If he went to Chicago he’d stop in Elmira on his return for a visit. He also made reference to a “misfortune,” which included Charles Langdon, and would have affected his business and Livy’s interest. The reference has proven obscure:
Poor Livy thinks I am sending her enough good news to take the sting out of the financial part of the Neilson misfortune for her; otherwise I don’t know how I could have ventured to tell her about that awful thing. Still, nothing can save her from a woeful time, of course — she will brood & be miserable about Charley Neilson has pursued him like a devil — in his place I should have given up and died before this.
Sam wished his “tribe” could stay at Quarry Farm in June, but it could not be — they would “go to Munich & see the expert about that time, & without doubt he will require Livy to stop in his ‘cure’ a spell” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, advising him of his delay in coming to Hartford, and that he wouldn’t leave without a visit.
Glimpsed Batterson through a hotel window last night, feeding. It brought Hartford very near [MTP].
Note: James G. Batterson, founder and president of the Travelers Ins. Co. of Hartford and president of the New England Granite Works.
Sam attended a dinner with the Kiplings and Charles W. Stoddard [Gribben 667; NB 33 TS 6].
April 8 Saturday – In New York, Sam lunched at Andrew Carnegie’s [Apr. 7 to Carnegie; NB 33 TS 6]. Kaplan writes, that Carnegie “tried to interest him in a scheme for absorbing Great Britain, Ireland, and Canada into an American commonwealth” . In the evening, “dined at restaurant with Dr. Clarence C. Rice & Dr. Bangs” [NB 33 TS 6].
April 9 Sunday – Sam’s notebook in N.Y.: “Sunday 9th Dined with Mrs. Ratcliffe” [NB 33 TS 6].
In Venice, Livy wrote to Sam. Jean suffered from a cold with a bad cough, and could not adventure in the gondolas. They expected to return to the Villa Viviani in Florence on Wednesday, Apr. 12. A bundle of newspapers from various places had come for Sam, and Livy was upset by the contents of some:
When I opened the bundle there was a paper folded and marked in such a way that it could not escape me. The items that were marked made me sick, sick. They were slurs at you. I mention the fact because I want to know if there was any reason for their being made. Two or three of them were with regard to Mr. Daggett and his work on Hawaii, saying that Daggett had written a delightful charming book on Hawaii but that he had never rec’d anything for it, that although the first edition was all sold, by a curious course of figuring you represented that the book was in debt to you and you would not get out another edition. That now that there was so much interest in Hawaiian matters the book would be of great interest, but that you would neither sell the plates nor get out another edition, that you ware a good hater, a bitter, jealous man, etc. It makes me so desperately unhappy I could lie down and cry my eyes out when there is any word said against you. Another remark was that you parsimony is growing more pronounced as you grow old. I write this for two reasons, first if Mr. Daggett has never rec’d any returns for the book and therefore some reason to feel that he has not been justly treated, do write him a letter, one of your good letters such as only you can write and tell him how and why it is. If he wants to get out a new edition can not you do that or sell him the plates or whatever there is that he wants. Second, Do be careful in your dealings with people with the magazines and all that you do not drive too close a trade with them. Be generous, my darling, even if we are as poor as church mice. Don’t let anyone have the chance to say that you look too carefully after your own interest [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.3]. Note: See Hall to SLC on the Daggett matter Nov. 22, 1890.
April 10 Monday – Sam’s notebook in N.Y.
Monday noon, Apl. 10. /At the Paige Compositor “(Connecticut Co.,” 18th & Broadway till 2.30 / Fifty machines well along in building. One will be finished July 1. / Present capacity of factory, 1 machine a day. / Factory to be built when location decided upon, 5 machines a day. / Considering proposition of $15,000,000 Land Co — 1 hour from Chicago. They offer to give the Conn. Co. $2,000,000 of their bonds, all the land they need & $5,000,000 cash if they will build the factory on their land. This proposition is in writing [NB 33 TS 6].
In the evening Sam dined at Delmonico’s with John Brisben Walker and Arthur S. Hardy. He wrote of it the next day (Apr. 11) to Howells:
I had a good time last night….I believe I had never met Walker before; I conceived a strong liking for him [Apr. 11 to Howells; MTP].
Note: Walker was at this time Howell’s co-worker and editor on the Cosmopolitan; Hardy was a regular contributor to the magazine, and an engineer and diplomat [MTHL 2: 652n3,4].
April 11 Tuesday – Sam was still somewhat delayed in New York, but wrote William Dean Howells from the Hotel Glenham that he was leaving for Chicago at 10 a.m. the next morning (Apr. 12), to be gone “some days, possibly a week” and would look in on him when he returned.
What a pity! By the postmark your note [not extant] was due here as early as 9 this morning, but when I left the hotel at noon it had not then arrived. I find it now at 5 p.m., just as I am getting ready to meet a dinner engagement. Nothing occurs to me to say, except Damnation! & that seems so inadequate. I am infernally disappointed [MTHL 2: 651].
Agriculture Secretary J. Sterling Morton replied to Sam’s request that the “seed corn is forwarded at once,” and,
The water-melon seeds are also sent, and will no doubt produce fruit calculated to inspire larceny among all the youthful lazzaroni who may long for lusciousness [MTP].
April 12 Wednesday – Sam and Frederick J. Hall left New York at 10 a.m. bound for Chicago to check on developments for the Paige typesetter [Apr. 11 to Howells].
John Brisben Walker (1847-1931), since 1889 owner of Cosmopolitan, wrote to Sam with an offer:
I can think of no feature likely to attract so wide a circle of readers as a series of humorous articles from the pen of “Mark Twain.” Would you do me the favor to prepare twelve articles of from 2,500 to 3,500 words each, to follow in regular succession if convenient…the honorarium for the twelve articles to be five thousand dollars [MTLTP 352n1; MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the envelope: “12 articles of 2,500 to 3,500 words for $5,000? No.” Sam did not counter this offer until July 18.
April 13 Thursday – Sam and Frederick J. Hall arrived in Chicago sometime in the early afternoon. They took adjoining rooms in the Great Northern Hotel [Apr. 14 to Underhill]. In a letter to Susan Crane, Apr. 23, he claimed to have been sick since this day. Kaplan writes that Sam spent,
“Eleven days sick in bed with a bad cold at the Great Northern Hotel, smoking against his doctor’s orders, reading Mrs. Gaskell’s Cranford, and receiving a stream of visitors, including Eugene Field. Orion came up from Keokuk to see Sam and the machine, and to look for work. Paige, overflowing with confidence and good will, came to apologize for all past bitterness and misunderstanding and promised Clemens half the money forthcoming from the Chicago backers” [318-9]. See Apr. 18. (Editorial emphasis.)
Sam’s illness prevented him from visiting World’s Columbian Exposition during this April Chicago stay. He needed an eleven-day recovery given doctor’s orders to stay in bed. Further, in his article “Traveling With a Reformer,” which first ran in the Dec. 1893 Cosmopolitan, he wrote, “I was ill in bed eleven days in Chicago and got no glimpse of the Fair, for I was obliged to return east as soon as I was able to travel.” His letters from the last part of the stay document his inability to do much more than walk around the room until Apr. 21 and 22. Sam left Chicago with Hall on Apr. 24. On his next visit to Chicago, Sam did see the “White City” in the Exposition on Dec. 23, 1893. See entry.
April 13 Thursday ca. (date unclear) – Charles Calvin Ziegler wrote from St. Louis to Sam, responding to his Feb. 12 letter, enclosing a copy of an article concerning burglaries there. The photocopy of the typed letter is so blurred as to be mostly indecipherable, but it’s likely Sam had inquired about the thefts after reading Orion’s accounts of them [MTP].
April 14 Friday – At the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, Sam wrote his Florence neighbor, Janet D. Ross, letting her know he’d asked agriculture Secretary J. Sterling Morton for some watermelon seeds, “and told him I had a key to your garden and that you kept no dog I was afraid of.” Sam enclosed Morton’s favorable response of Apr. 11, which he would have received in N.Y.
Sam also wrote to Charles M. Underhill, that he would send in the morning, a typescript of the revised piece, “Adam’s Diary” to his son, Irving S. Underhill, to be published in Niagara Book. Irving could send the check payable to C.J. Langdon, and Sam would be along on a visit in a few days. Sam addressed the envelope, playing with the Post Office:
For Mr. C.M. Underhill, who is in the coal business in one of those streets there, & is very respectably connected, both by marriage & general descent, & is a tall man & old but without any gray hair & used to be handsome, / BUFFALO, / N.Y.
From / Mark Twain / P.S. A little bald on top of his head [MTP].
See June 3 entry for publishing details of Niagara Book.
Sam also wrote a short note to Charles Calvin Ziegler (1854-1930), poet whose native language was Pennsylvania Dutch:
Thank you for the sermon from the Republic. I shall reform, now, & write no more books like that one [MTP].
Note: the reference to the Republic is obscure. Ziegler graduated magna cum laude in 1884 from Harvard, and in 1891 published a volume of poems with a Leipzig publisher in 1891, Drauss un Deheem.
April 15 Saturday – In Chicago Sam was abed with a bad cold — see Apr. 13 entry. With Sam laid up, exploration of the Paige typesetter manufacturing fell to Frederick J. Hall, who undoubtedly reported back to Sam that the machine was again disassembled.
At 6:30 p.m. Sam wrote to Joseph Medill, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, on pictorial Great Northern Hotel stationery:
My Dear Mr. Medill —
Won’t you please tell my
brother partner the
bearer, the address of a good physician & don’t tell anybody I am ill [Twainucopia
Note: penciled on the verso “Dr. Billings” not in Sam’s hand. Dr. Frank Billings (1854-1932) was a well known figure in American medicine. He is best remembered for the pioneer work he performed in bringing about the standardization of medical education in the U.S.
The Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, p.8 ran “Colony of Mermaids: Mark Twain to Exhibit a Lot of Fish-tailed Girls.”
The next time that Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) comes to Chicago desiring to conceal his identity and to escape the representatives of the press he had better consult a Cook County geography. Yesterday morning [Apr. 14] he registered at the Great Northern from East Chicago. The name S.L. Clemens was at once recognized as that of the famous humorist, but “East Chicago” seemed to discredit the supposition that it was the great and only Mark. North, West, and South Chicago were accounted for, but it was figured that East Chicago must be somewhere out in the lake. Cards were sent to the mysterious inhabitant of “East Chicago Out in the Lake,” and it was suggested that if the person were not really Mark Twain he might at least, from the situation of his homesite, throw some light upon the nature and habits of the sea serpent that has been flapping its tail so much out in that direction. The cards were always returned with the statement that either the gentleman was not in or did not desire to meet anyone. It was toward evening when one of the clerks said: “There is the man who registered as S.L. Clemens.” The man had gotten himself mixed up with a crowd of Javanese, Arabs, and Hottentots who were inspecting the lobby and galleries of the big hotel. Mr. Clemens’ complexion is dark anyhow. He had been out in the cold and his coat collar was turned up to his ears, and his hat, which did not look unlike a fez dyed black, was pushed down over his bushy head and eyes. People in the lobby gazing at the peculiar-looking foreigners supposed that Mark was one of them, and in fact one of these dark-visaged gentlemen themselves seemed to think that if he were not one of them he was some other kind of foreigner, and jostled him about and talked to him in a most familiar kind of way.
When Mr. Clemens reached the desk he remembered that he was going to sail immediately for Europe, where he would be taken for an American and not an imported freak. He acknowledged then, in his drawling tone, that he was Mark Twain.
“Why did you register from East Chicago?”
“I wanted to escape the press,” he answered, “as I did not want to receive callers and correspondents that would ensue. I am on strictly private business, and expect to sail in a few days for Europe, where I have left my family.”
In explanation of the location of East Chicago he divulged the alleged object of his visit. He had known that every kind of curiosity, foreign and domestic, human and animal, had been brought to Chicago, so on his way across the ocean he had picked up a colony of young mermaids, who he thought could stand fresh water. These he domiciled in the submarine villa of “East Chicago.” Special boats, he said, will be run by the syndicate he represents out to the spot in the lake over the village of the mermaids every evening after warm weather begins. These sirens will float to the top with their aeolan harps and make music that will float away on the gentle zephyrs of the lake. Passes will only be given to press representatives and managers of the theaters and the other combinations on Midway Plaisance [an entertainment strip of 80 acres at the Columbian Exposition]. [Scharnhorst, Interviews 137-8].
April 16 Sunday – In Chicago Sam was abed with a bad cold — see Apr. 13 entry.
In Florence, Livy wrote to him:
You did not tell me anything about sending an article or articles to the Cosmopolitan. Why did you do that? I should greatly prefer appearing in the Century or Harpers. What made you do it?…
My dear darling child you must not blame yourself as you do. I love you to death, and I would rather have you for mine than all the other husbands in the world and you take as good care of me as any one could do [LLMT 263-4].
Note: The first segment shows Livy kept an active hand in Sam’s literary endeavors.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote to Sam:
Dear Mark Twain: / There are, or there seem to be, certain storms ahead in my affairs to which I wish to refer with elaborate discretion. It is possible however that you may hear before many days from a gentleman signing himself Charles Baxter and hailing from Edinburgh. He is my friend and agent at home; and if he does address you I ask as a particular favor to give his proposals far more consideration than they deserve.
The truth is that (like yourself) I think I begin to be weary of publishers. I am accordingly trying to reorganize the whole terms of my business; and if this fail, Mr. Baxter has my instructions to apply to no one else than Mark Twain. I do not know whether you ever consent to handle such works as mine. I don’t sit up to be General Grant or the author of Huckleberry Finn.
Stevenson reported his health “vastly improved,” and recalled the day they spent together in Wash. Square. If his affairs could be put straight, Sam would not hear from Baxter [MTP].
April 17 Monday – In Chicago Sam was abed with a bad cold — see Apr. 13 entry.
April 18 Tuesday – Still ailing in Chicago, Sam wrote to Livy, back at the Villa Viviani in Florence:
The doctor is done with me but requires Mr. Hall to keep me in bed a day longer, & maybe two. I do not mind it, for the reading & smoking is (are) pleasant — but! Yesterday the calling was like a levee. No respite, no rest. To-day we are wiser.
Eugene Field brought me “Cranford” — I never could read it before; but this time I blasted my determined way through the obstructing granite, slate & clay walls, not giving up till I reached the vein — since then I have been taking out pay ore right along.
I love you all, every one — Susy, Ben, Jean — & mamma at the head of the procession & also at the foot of it [LLMT 264].
Note: Eugene Field (1850-1895), well known poet and columnist for the Chicago Record, brought Sam a copy of Mrs. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell’s (1810-1865) Cranford (?). See Gribben 253. Note: Field was also from Missouri with a newspaper background. On his last visit to St. Louis in 1902 Sam would unveil a marker at Field’s birthplace.
Joe Twichell wrote to Livy that he and Harmony had returned home from Europe on Apr. 16, and since his wife had suffered from pneumonia, stricken on New Years’ Eve, but had “pretty much recovered.” He apologized profusely for not writing sooner. He offered that the question, “When are the Clemenses coming home?” was “a question raised hereabouts…” He asked that they send any of the girls “to pass two or three or four months with us, we have plenty of room for them” [MTP].
April 19 Wednesday – Sam was abed with a bad cold — see Apr. 13 entry.
April 20 Thursday – Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, enclosing a letter from their sister Pamela, hoping that Sam would go to see her; “She will feel much hurt if you do not”; she hadn’t received her royalty from Whitmore. Orion had failed to secure employment with the Keokuk Gate City or the St. Louis Republic as a correspondent to the Chicago fair [MTP].
James W. Paige visited Sam in his sick bed. Sam wrote of the meeting in his Apr. 23 notebook entry.
April 21 Friday – At the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, Sam ventured out of bed for the first time since becoming ill with a bad cold upon arriving on Apr. 13.
April 22 Saturday – In Chicago Sam was able to walk “about the room” during Apr. 21 and 22 [Apr. 24 to Orion].
April 23 Sunday – Sam’s notebook in Chicago:
Note — Apl 23rd 1893 / Great Northern Hotel, Chicago / Paige called three days ago [Apr. 20]. He called again tonight. I asked him if his conscience troubled him any about the way he had treated me. He said he could almost forgive me for that word. He said it broke his heart when I left him and the machine to fight along the best way they could &c &c. I tried to bring him to book and finally he said that he was considering a contract offered by his land company, and had carried it back today modified in this way: Instead of accepting one half of their capital stock of Fifteen millions, he had ammended the contract aski[ng] for one half a million doll[ars] cash and no stock. They will accept or reject this proposition tomorrow.
They may accept and offer him less. Whatever they offer he will take in cash and send me one half of it. When his European patent affairs are settled, he is going to put me in for a handsome royalty on every European machine. We parted immensely good friends. He made very large promises of an indefinite kind, but they were so cloudy and formless that I was not able to make out what or how much they meant. …
Chas. E. Davis was here two or three nights ago. He says he still holds the paper which Paige dictated to him one day to quiet me, in which he says that no matter what happened he and I would always share and share alike in the results of the machine, or words to that effect. Paige shed even more tears than usual. What a talker he is. He could persuade a fish to come out and take a walk with him. When he is present I always believe him — I cannot help it. He is a most daring and majestic liar [NB 33 TS 8-10].
At the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, Sam wrote to Susan Crane, explaining his illness and delay. He expected to leave the next day for New York.
It is my plan to spend two or three days in Hartford, a day or two in New York, & reach Elmira next Monday or Tuesday & have two or three days with you before I sail, May 6th [MTP].
Meanwhile, back in Florence, Livy wrote to Sam, responding to his optimistic notes about future income from the Paige typesetter, perhaps from Paige’s promises of payments from the Chicago backers.
Youth darling: Your letters rec’d this morning made me just about wild with pleasurable excitement. It does not seem credible that we are really again to have money to spend.
I rec’d this morning the check for nine hundred dollars from Mr. Hall. I have not needed to use the last check of 100 X 500 dollars [sic] that he sent me. Of course it was made out to you so if I had desired to use it I could not have done so very well, but I have not needed it. I have still nearly 1500 dollars with Charley [Langdon]. Well I tell you I think I will jump around and spend money just for fun, and give a little away if we really get some [LLMT 265].
April 24 Monday – At 3:15 p.m. in Chicago, Sam responded to Orion’s Apr. 20 letter. He told of being able to walk about the room for parts of the past two days, and the doctor deciding he was well enough to travel. Sam and Fred Hall would leave “a couple of hours hence for New York by the Limited.” He’d heard from the family and passed on the news.
I have a letter [this was her Venice letter Apr. 9] from Livy in Venice — Jean had become an expert gondolier but was knocked out by a cold & was confined to the house the last 3 days in bitterness of spirit as her gondoliering days are over for this year.
Don’t lose or sell that $1 royalty. From all I can see, it ought to begin to pay more than $50 a month after this time next year [MTP]. Note: This last reflected Sam’s hopes that Paige and the Chicago backers would ultimately manufacture the typesetter.
Meanwhile, at the Villa Viviani in Florence, Livy wrote “just about crazy with delight” since receiving encouraging letters from Sam yesterday. In a bittersweet moment, Livy expresses a prophetic anxiety:
It seems almost incredible that we are soon to be out of our financial difficulties. I do hope now that we shall all live for a few years to enjoy it. Sometimes I feel as if just as the money begins to come in freely we shall some of us be taken out of this world. I really was too excited yesterday to write you [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.4].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore; he was preparing to board a train in one hour with Frederick J. Hall.
The [T.K.] Webster Co & their attorney want to get some kind of a halter around Paige’s neck if they can, & they want to know what sort of a case I could make out against him; — not that any suit or even mention of a suit is to be thought of now, or until many months gone by. They wanted to see my Paige contracts.
Sam asked that Whitmore have the contracts typed and sent to Mr. Towner K. Webster, President Webster Mfg. Co. 195 Canal St. Chicago (unrelated to Charles L. Webster & Co.) Sam expected to be at the Murray Hill Hotel in New York about 8 p.m. the following evening, or some 27 ½ hours [MTP].
Sam and Hall left Chicago for the long train ride to New York. Sam’s notebook:
Was in Chicago from Apl. 13 to Apl. 24 & saw not a vestige of the World’s Fair — sick abed all the 11 days [NB 33 TS 11].
April 25 Tuesday – Sam spent the day on the train and arrived in New York in the evening, taking a room at the Murray Hill Hotel [Apr. 24 to Whitmore].
April 26 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Werra, Sat. Apl. 26, 10. a.m.” [NB 33 TS 7].
At the Murray Hill Hotel in New York, Sam, in a rather crabby mood, wrote to Orion Clemens:
All I wanted Whitmore to do, was to get consent of the royalty holders. What in hell and damnation he wanted with the royalties themselves is more than I can guess. He has your own fatal fault: he never can obey an order as he gets it: — he must always add something to it….I have telegraphed Whitmore to come down here and explain this incredibly idiotic piece of business to me….
I have gone to bed again — now don’t write me any letters of any kind; I don’t want to hear anybody or see anybody till I get smoothed out. I’ve a mind to stay right in New York till I sail May 6 — I’m in no condition to travel [MTP]. Note: Whitmore had asked owners of the Paige royalties to send them to him, which involved some risk of loss.
Sam also wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, explaining his inability to visit, even though Orion wrote that he ought to visit her, though he failed to say where she was. Sam concluded she was with her daughter Annie Webster in Fredonia:
I have been very close to the pneumonia for a week in Chicago, & then the doctor kept me in bed 4 days longer before he would let me start east. He told me to do no railroading that I could avoid. Therefore I hardly expect to leave this room before I sail — May 6.
I have exceedingly important business in Elmira & in Hartford, but unless I get into very good condition I shall not go to either place. I had 35 days of pneumonia in Berlin a year ago, & my right lung is still damaged from it.
…I have worn myself out with the exhausting Chicago trips, & it makes me shudder to think of adding one; the trip from Elmira to Fredonia is a terror to a well man, let alone a sick one. I meant to be in Chicago only two days — it was plenty for my business there; losing nine days has crippled all the rest of my business & made my visit to America almost useless [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull in Hartford, saying the last thing Livy did was give him a list of Hartford folks to visit, she being the first on the list. Sam explained his illness, and added:
And meantime tell your Uncle Henry [Henry Clay Trumbull of Phila.] not to come to New York without looking in on me. I expected to dine with him this evening, & came very near telegraphing him so [MTP]. Note: Trumbull (1830-1903) was a noted clergyman and author.
April 27 Thursday – Sam’s notebook in N.Y.:
Apl. 27. To-day is the grand Columbian naval parade here in New York Harbor & Hudson River, & I am still sick & can’t go to see it [NB 33 TS 11].
April 28 Friday – Dr. and Mrs. Clarence C. Rice moved Sam from the Murray Hill Hotel into their home at 81 Irving Place, N.Y. [Apr. 30 to Warner]. Note: MTHHR p.11 gives 123 E. 19th St. as Rice’s address.
In Florence Livy wrote to Sam:
Youth My Own Darling: I am spoiled entirely I have had so many letters from you that now I feel if more than two days passes without my having a letter from you that it is all wrong. I think the steamers aught to bring the mails every day for my especial benefit. …
This morning I rec’d your dispatch saying you expect to sail on the 13th. I am so glad that the time is set…
Your letters about the machine made me wildly excited. My last letter si the one written just after you reached Chicago, you have yet done anything there. I think one letter must have been lost because I had one the 17th & next one the 19th so I think the 18th must have been lost. I assure you I dream & plan these days and spend a good deal of money in my mind. It seems incredible that we should really be likely to have as much money as we want [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.4].
April 29 Saturday
April 30 Sunday – In N.Y. at Dr. Rice’s home, Sam wrote to Annie E. Trumbull, directing her to send a book she wished him to have to Elmira, in care of Charles J. Langdon.
I mean to get out of this bed & strike for that town day after tomorrow, early in the morning. I have been in bed for 17 days, now, & in a little while longer I shall be tired of it. George Warner asked me to come to Hartford & go to bed in his house, & I gratefully & gleefully accepted; but that was because I thought I should be abed only about a day; since then I have lost confidence, & I’m going to folks who have got to bed me & put up with me whether they like it or not; for I don’t believe I am going to be firm on my hind legs for a week yet.
Sam wrote he still expected to visit Hartford since he’d put off his departure for Europe to May 13 [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Susan Warner in Hartford. He’d been moved by Dr. & Mrs. Rice to their home on Apr. 28, and had “prospered ever since.” So much so that he would leave the next day or the day after for Elmira, and then if he got “straightened out all right” he would visit Hartford before May 13 [MTP].
In Florence Livy wrote one last letter to Sam before he would sail:
Youth Darling: I am going to venture one more line in the hope that it may reach you. I want to say that I think in fact I am sure that you need pay no attention to my word about the telegrams. I am sure we shall be very well at that time. It would be terrible for you to lose a train by waiting for me to answer your dispatch [from Genoa] and as we are so far out that would surely be the case. You will not reach here before the 25th. …
…Mr and Mrs. Hutton and Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Longfellow called yesterday.
We now have so many roses that we really do not know what to do with them. Some of them have to lie around on the tables and wilt for we have not vases enough to take care of them.
I feel so uncertain about your getting this that I will not write more. Yours always with deepest love, Livy L.C. April 30th evening [The Twainian Nov-Dec 1977 p.4].
May 1 Monday – Still at Dr. Rice’s home in New York, Sam sent a civil note to his brother, Orion.
I am less nervous now….If the weather is fair in the morning I go to Elmira, & will stay on the hill at Susie Crane’s until I am sound & hearty again. With love to you both / Sam [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, somewhat more definite about going to Elmira. It was rainy so he wouldn’t venture out this day, but was definitely going to leave in the morning. Sam thanked him and his wife for offering their hospitality. He asked him to take care of Dr. Porter’s bill, no doubt the Chicago physician who treated him [MTP].
May 2 Tuesday – In the morning Sam left New York and traveled to Elmira, a nine or ten hour trip. He stayed at Susan Crane’s Quarry Hill home.
May 3 Wednesday – Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam, “glad to hear that you are better & well enough…to travel.” Whitmore mentioned mailing Matthew Arnot’s note to Charles Langdon and lists a $25 bill from Dr. Porter and a Murray Hill Hotel bill for $30.65 [MTP].
May 4 Thursday – The Panic of 1893 got into high (or maybe more appropriately, low) gear with a severe contraction of the New York Stock Exchange May 3 and 4. Financial reverses would worsen, ultimately forcing the downfall of Webster & Co., as well as the Paige typesetter. From the N.Y. Times, p.10, “Financial and Commercial”:
VERY NEARLY A PANIC ON THE
NEW-YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
Wednesday, May 3 — P.M.
The nearest approach to a panic which the Stock Exchange has witnessed since 1884 occurred to-day. The excitement, however, was confined to the industrial group. …
The excitement centred in the industrials was so great that “panic” is the only word to describe it. The morning had been comparatively quiet, but by noon a free selling movement set in. Its full force, however, was not felt until after 2 o’clock, when quotations frequently declined more than a point between sales.
Thursday, May 4 — P.M.
The excitement in Stock Exchange circles was even greater to-day than yesterday. It was made most intense within twenty minutes of the opening by the announcement of the suspension of three Stock Exchange houses, one of them, Henry Allen & Co., being one of the heaviest operators on the Exchange. [Note: by May 15, stock prices reached an all-time low.]
May 5 Friday – At Quarry Farm, Elmira, and still in bed recovering, Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He wanted the note for $3,000 sent in error to Whitmore re-drafted in Livy’s name and sent to Charles J. Langdon, as he kept her power of attorney. Evidently, there had been a good quantity of LAL sales:
If we could corral 27 LAL’s every day — & could afford it — our financial bowels would soon begin to move.
I expect to go to New York next Monday [May 8], (Murray Hill Hotel), to Hartford Tuesday [May 9], back to New York Thursday or Friday [May 11 or 12] (as you shall deem best) and sail Saturday [May 13] [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore on the $3,000 note matter. He wrote he was still in bed due to the “hellish” weather. He wanted to spend the afternoon and night of Tuesday, May 9 with Whitmore, then May 10 and 11 with Ned Bunce.
Tell Bunce I want him to let me make a convenience of him. His house is central — my business in Hartford is to make visits, & from long tarrying in bed my muscles appreciate short distances & dread the fatigue of long ones. I have but two days to do all my visiting in. ….P.S. The Arnot note came [MTP].
May 6 Saturday – In Elimra at Quarry Farm, Sam wrote a short note to Livy:
Livy darling, it’s lovely to get so many letters from you — they keep me in touch with you all the time. I got Susy’s welcome letter [not extant] this morning; I want to read that Louis XVII book, ever so much. / All the family here are bewitchingly lovely and lovable…Jervis…a handsome, manly, clean-hearted lad, & find all through [MTP]. Note: this likely was Louis XVI since the boy who would have been XVII died at age 10.
May 7 Sunday – At Quarry Farm Sam answered Susy’s recent letter, describing familiar places at the farm, including the children’s playhouse, Ellerslie, which had,
…just been furnished with a bran-spang-new shingle-roof at great Expense, & Mrs. Crane says that the owners of Ellerslie are a hard lot in the matter of repairs & taxes.
Sam also described the barn and each horse that Susy and Jean would have been familiar with:
Three stalls, with Billy & Jerry in two of them. A big square parlor with Dandy in it, looking glossy & fine — he walks out to show himself & take a drink, & goes back again. Another big square parlor, with Vix in it, looking like his old self — very spry & handsome, healthy & with perfect wind. He steps out to be patted & stroked & admired — takes a drink & goes back again. He is an aristocratic loafer — has nothing to do, & does nothing. Eats & drinks his fill & puts in all his daytimes scampering in the fields, rolling in the dirt & making himself ready for an elaborate currying & polishing for bed in his parlor at evening.
When I pulled Vix’s bang aside to look at the white star in his forehead & asked him if he had any message for Jean Clemens, he delivered one with his soft eyes which said “Give her my love — the love of Vix.”
At 3 p.m. Sam added a note that the carriage was ready to take him into town.
I go to New York tomorrow & then to Hartford [MTP].
Note: it’s likely Sam conferred with Matthew Arnot on this stop in town. On May 11, Sam wrote Whitmore he’d forgotten “to ask Mr. Arnot whether (in case he took any more royalties) he wanted to give notes or cash,” and this is the likely day of such a conversation.
Sam also wrote a short note to Livy, saying it was “hardly worth while to write” so close to sailing day:
Livy darling, it broke my heart — what you wrote to Sue about immortality. Let us believe in it! I will believe in it with you. It has been the belief of the wise & thoughtful of many countries for three thousand years; let us accept their verdict: we cannot frame one that is more reasonable or probable [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore that if he didn’t get stronger he would have to give up going to Hartford. “I play out too easily,” he confessed [MTP].
May 8 Monday – In Elmira Sam thought he’d “steal a moment” and write to Mary Mason Fairbanks, now in Newton Mass. with her daughter. Sam’s letter reads as a response to Mary’s (not extant) and her news that Edward Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal, had criticized one of Sam’s unpublished pieces, in an article as Sam’s next letter to Hall reflects. Sam marked the letter “Private & Confidential” due to his reference to Edward Bok:
Livy Clemens has read the Diary of Adam and approves it. Edward Bok has not read a line of it, & disapproves it, I suppose. Never mind about Bok: even assassins must live [MTMF 270-1].
Sam then wrote a letter of protest about Bok to Frederick J. Hall:
I suspect that Edward Bok has overreached himself this time, & has been saying something libelous & damaging in connection with Adam’s Diary. Please get his article & keep it till I come (to-morrow.) If I bring a libel suit shall I employ Whitford, or Gen. Sherman’s son — either will do.
After his signature Sam PS’d that Hall might guess he really didn’t want to give Bok the notoriety a lawsuit would bring, but he wanted to talk it over [MTP].
May 9 Tuesday – In the morning Sam took the ten-hour train ride from Elmira back to New York, where he checked into the Murray Hill Hotel. Livy cabled (not extant) asking how his cold was and Sam “answered properly,” which may have been another cable [May 11 to Ida Langdon].
May 10 Wednesday
May 11 Thursday – In New York at the Murray Hill Hotel, Sam wrote to Ida Langdon (Mrs. Charles J. Langdon) on Webster & Co. letterhead. After relating his communications with Livy upon arriving and seeing enough Hartford people at the hotel to call it a “suburb of Hartford,” Sam thanked her:
I sail at 10 Saturday morning, & am all ready, though my shirts ain’t; they are in the wash.
I don’t very greatly miss my visit to Hartford, for I was there last year, but I wouldn’t have missed my visit to Elmira for anything. It was an ideal visit. I learned to know every one of you better; I got closer to you all; got as near to you as I am to my own family, & I carry all of you away in my heart — & the Lord knows how grateful I am for this. I loved you all before, & dearly; but I did not half know any of you except Charley [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, advising him to return the royalties to Pamela Moffett, Susan Crane, and Matthew Arnot [MTP].
May 12 Friday – In New York, Sam was out in the city nearly all day until 9 p.m., including “a little visit” with Charles Dudley Warner. At midnight Sam wrote to William Dean Howells, who had come from his home at 48 West 59th Street to say goodbye.
I am so sorry I missed you….I expected to get up to your house again, but got defeated.
I am very glad to have that book for sea entertainment, & I thank you ever so much for it.
I’ve had a little visit with Warner at last; I was getting afraid I wasn’t going to have a chance to see him at all. I forgot to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed your account of the country printing office, & how true it all was & how intimately recognizable in all its details. But Warner was full of delight over it, & that reminded me, & I am glad, for I wanted to speak of it.
Sam mentioned that besides the unnamed book Howells had given him, Annie Trumbull gave him one as well, probably White Birches (1893). Hall gave him a “choice German book,” and William Mackay Laffan furnished “two bottles of whisky & a box of cigars.” Sam felt he would “go to sea nobly equipped” [MTHL 2: 652-3 & notes]. Note: Howells’ article, “The Country Printer” ran in May 1893 issue of Scribner’s.
Before leaving, Sam withdrew his stock account with Mr. Halsey, some $14,000. This was intended to be Webster & Co.’s “emergency fund,” but by July 8 Sam was complaining that it had been used in short order by Hall to pay agent fees in the sales of LAL [MTLTP 350n2].
Sam also responded to Harriet E. Whitmore who had sent a book for him to deliver to someone in New York (both the book and the recipient are unspecified). Sam agreed to deliver the book and her “good messages,” and wrote he was sailing in the morning. He was sorry he never made it to Hartford, but promised to make it next time [MTP].
May 13 Saturday – At 10 a.m. the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II sailed for Genoa, Italy with Sam on board. Sam’s notebook:
May 13, Saturday. Room 268 Kaiser Wilhelm II. Cast off at 10.15 a.m., discharged pilot at 12.30. Only half a trip of passengers [NB 33 TS 12].
May 14 Sunday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Based on an account of the voyage by H. W. Mead to the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, June 25, 1893 p.6, “Brooklyn People in Lucerne,” there was seasickness the first two days out. Note: no documentation has been found for Sam ever being seasick.
May 15 Monday – The New York Times, p.5 ran an article about a new society, formed in April. Sam was named among the members. The object of the group was “to bring together, socially, the large number of men who have been identified with the development of the West”:
SOCIETY OF WESTERN MEN.
— — — —
It Promises to Flourish and Be Hospitable in This City.
The Western Society of New-York, organized about a month ago, has secured permanent headquarters at 19 West Twenty-fourth Street, and is in such a condition as to justify its projectors in predicting for it a brilliant future. Men who have resided west of the Alleghany [sic] Mountains for five years or more are eligible to membership.
In addition to the large number of successful business men who are among the eligibles in this city, the society claims that in its honorary list, combined with the active list, it will have a “corner” on the humorists of the country. Among the names they mention are Mark Twain, Bill Nye, M. Quad, Bret Harte, James Whitcomb Riley, and Tom Holmes.
May 16 Tuesday – 1,200 miles at sea, en route from New York to Genoa, Italy on the Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam wrote to Annie E. Trumbull, delighted at her book (probably White Birches, just published):
It is a compact, orderly, symmetrical work, it lifts the reader to the dignity of its own high plane & keeps him there, & is singularly free from laziness, unconsequentialities, & irrelevant excursions. Yes, it is compact, compact [MTP].
Based on an account of the voyage by H. W. Mead to the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, June 25, 1893 p.6, “Brooklyn People in Lucerne,” the third day out, “we reached a summer sea, upon which we sailed during the remainder of the voyage.” Later in the article is mention of Mark Twain.
May 17 Wednesday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II.
May 18 Thursday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Sam’s notebook:
May 18. Smoothe seas, bright weather after all the rain & thunder & lightning. / The food is abundant but not inviting, not satisfying. If this ship pays anything at all for its potatoes, oranges, grapes, apples, & pears, it gets cheated. Positively they are not worth picking up in the gutter. The bananas were good — they gave out yesterday. / The broiled chicken is tender & good; the rest of the table is German — which tells the whole story [NB 33 TS 12].
May 19 Friday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Based on an account of the voyage by H. W. Mead to the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, June 25, 1893 p.6, “Brooklyn People in Lucerne,” “On the sixth day we came to and passed the Azores, with two of the islands in sight.” The article relates some of the entertainment on the voyage, including a contribution by Mark Twain:
At the usual concert, given in aid of the Seaman’s society, there was a good show of professional talent, singing by Mme. Nikisch, wife of Arthur Nikisch, lately conductor of the Boston Philharmonic who with his family, is returning to Buda Posth, where he will be connected with the royal opera. Mrs. Hamilton gave a recitation, which was well received, and “Mark Twain” favored us with a characteristic address, or, as he termed it, “a long meter anecdote with a snapper at the end.” And indeed it culminated in a “snap” which convulsed the audience. We have looked in vain for the Innocent Abroad as described by “Mark Twain.” That character seems to have become extinct and in his place we find the man who knows it all; also the man who can order drinks in four languages and a wink. I see that Mr. Clemens was one of the few guests bidden to the marriage of Miss Phelps, daughter of William Walter Phelps, to Dr. von Rottenberg at Berlin.
Note: The text of Sam’s talk was not given. This is one of the many talks, speeches or readings not listed in reference books or on reference websites. There are no doubt dozens left to be discovered.
Frederick J. Hall wrote that “nothing new has occurred since I said good-by to you….The condition of the money market…is something beyond description. You cannot get money even on government bonds.” Hall felt he’d succeeded in interesting Genral Stewart L. Woodford in buying “those royalties” of the Paige typesetter. Hall had sent interest of $361.50 on Livy’s notes to Charles Langdon [MTP].
May 20 Saturday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II.
May 21 Sunday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Sam’s notebook:
Sunday, May 21. Eight days out. Shall reach Gibraltar Tuesday morning & Genoa Thursday night. / Day after day of “considerable” swell, but the ship moves on a level keel, unaffected by it. Apples lie on my table in my room day & night undisturbed. It is a wonderful ship in this regard [NB 33 TS 12].
May 22 Monday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II.
May 23 Tuesday – En route from New York to Genoa, Italy on the Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam wrote a short note to Chatto & Windus, asking them to send a volume of his sketches containing The Jumping Frog to Captain Störmer of the Kaiser Wilhelm II, in care of Leupold Fratelli, Genoa, and charge it to his account [MTP].
Reached Gibraltar Tuesday at dawn. I did not go ashore. We sailed again at 8 o’clock [NB 33 TS 11].
Based on an account of the voyage by H. W. Mead to the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, June 25, 1893 p.6, “Brooklyn People in Lucerne”:
On the tenth day, in the early morning, the anchor was dropped in the harbor of Gibraltar, where we were enabled to pass a short time on shore. Beside the officers and soldiers of the English garrison were to be seen long lines of the neighboring Spanish peasantry bringing to the early markets flowers, fruits and vegetables in great panniers on the backs of diminutive donkeys, which were led by the father of a family, the mother and children often being added to the burden of the small, but indispensable and patient donkey.
May 24 Wednesday – Sam was en route to Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Sam’s notebook:
Wednesday, May 24. Sailing along the Balearic Isles this forenoon. Due at Genoa tomorrow night. A perfectly smooth voyage, but unspeakably tedious. I am older by ten years than I was when I left New York. That fact is, the voyage is too smooth [NB 33 TS 13].
May 25 Thursday– Sam reached Genoa on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. His notebook gives 7 p.m. as the time of arrival [NB 33 TS 13]. Note: He spent the night in Genoa as he did when going to the US.
May 26 Friday – Sam’s notebook from Genoa to Florence:
Left for Florence 12.32 p.m. Friday, first class (about 30 fr.) in a car that goes through ohne Umsteigen [NB 33 TS 13].
Sam did not reach Florence until May 27; his first extant letter from Florence was written on May 29.
May 27 Saturday – Sam reached the Villa Viviani outside of Florence on the road to Settignano [June 9 to Twichell].
May 28 Sunday
May 29 Monday – At the Villa Viviani in Florence, Sam wrote to William Walter Phelps, congratulating him and his daughter, Marian Phelps (four years older than Susy Clemens), on her recent wedding to Dr. Franz von Rottenberg. Marian was a close friend of Clara Clemens in Berlin. He had ordered a copy of P&P for Phelps from America because he judged “the London edition is not comely & not well bound.” Sam concluded his recent trip was not productive:
My trip was merely wasted time. I was sick abed with grip almost the whole time, got no chance to do what I went to do, & had to hurry out of the country to keep from getting nailed to my bed permanently. I’m afraid to go again [MTP].
May 30 Tuesday – In Florence, Sam began a letter to Frederick J. Hall that he finished on June 2.
Dear Mr. Hall, — You were to cable me if you sold any machine royalties — so I judge you have not succeeded.
This has depressed me. I have been looking over the past year’s letters and statements and am depressed still more [MTP]. Note: this salutation and beginning left out of MTLTP, 343.
May 31 Wednesday – Rodney writes of the end of May and the family’s plans:
“It was the end of May and time for another perennial migration. Housekeeping in the comfortable villa had to be abandoned, the burdensome luggage had to be packed and trunks dispatched, a courier engaged, and railway tickets transacted. Berlin was to be their destination, but Mark Twain had the misimpression that their journey would be by way of Paris, where Susy would spend some time training her voice for a possible career in opera. The railway guide provoked her father with its prospect of another long train trip” [149-50].
From Sam’s notebook:
Thursday, May 31. — Gave livery men 2 weeks notice of termination of contract. Lame horse. Call & explain. …
27 ½ hours (to Paris fm Florence) of inconvenience, discomfort & irritation at $40 apiece. Even if nothing were charged it would still be robbery, since it robs one of its serenity, his self-respect, & his bodily comfort. Have heard people speak admiringly of this odious journey [NB 33 TS 16].
June – Bookman magazine (London) IV p.91 briefly reviewed The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories:
There is one good thing in this volume [“The Enemy Conquered; Or, Love Triumphant”], and that apparently is not Mark Twain’s. What of the remainder is passable is Mark Twain’s commentary on the good thing. The rest of the book is disappointing [Tenney 21].
June 1 Thursday – In Florence, Sam wrote a short request to Charles Webster & Co., asking them to send a copy of P&P to Marian Phelps, now Madame von Rottenberg, in care of the American Legation, 16 Kronenstrasse, Berlin, Germany. Sam added it was his wedding present to her [MTP].
June 2 Friday – Sam finished his May 30 to Frederick J. Hall. His $500 monthly draft had not arrived, and it could not now reach them before they left for Germany, but he would draw on Livy’s letter of credit if needed. He acknowledged receipt of $950.
We are skimming along like paupers & a day can embarrass us. …
I am terribly tired of business. I am by nature and disposition unfitted for it & I want to get out of it. I am standing on the Mount Morris volcano with help from the machine a long ways off — & doubtless a long way further off than the Connecticut Co imagine [MTP].
Note: Sam could not have chosen a worse time to sell out, what with the financial exchanges in turmoil and the myriad of bank and company failures with rising unemployment — the Panic of 1893, the worst depression in the history of the country to date. Undoubtedly he’d read the newspapers.
Sam then outlined what he felt his assets were, and a plan to get out of business by selling out to Harper, or Appleton, or Putnam, taking but a little cash and notes at six per cent payable monthly. He added a P.S. that the “new firm could retain my books & reduce them to a 10 percent royalty” [MTP]. See June 16 for Hall’s response.
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that the “Traction Syndicate” was interested in purchasing the stock of the Connecticut Co. And enclosed a short optimistic note from Stewart Woodford (see June 9), that “as soon as the sale of the Connecticut Co. stock is completed and that element of doubt is removed, I should think that Mr Clemens will find the desired market for such of his royalties as he is willing to sell.” Hall continued:
When the Traction Company and the Connecticut Company actually join hands and the stock is transferred…I can place [with Gen. Woodford] the entire amounts of royalties at the price mentioned by you [MTLTP 347n2; MTP]. Note: See June 9 from Hall.
June 3 Saturday – Niagara Book, containing “Extracts from Adam’s Diary” was published by Underhill and Nichols. The book did not sell well, and Sam only received half of the thousand dollars agreed upon, due to Nichols pushing Underhill out of the company (See Oct. 20 to Livy). Sam eventually forgave Underhill the other half, since the book lost some six thousand dollars [BAMT 5]. Note: Underhill would publish some of Sam’s later works. In 1895 Sam would further revise the story, taking out localized references to Niagara Falls. It was collected in My Debut as a Literary Person with Other Essays and Stories (1903) [Budd, Collected 2: 1001]. He again revised it in 1905 for publication along with “Eve’s Diary.”
In Florence, Sam wrote two notes to Frederick J. Hall. Whatever funds Matthew Arnot sent, Sam wanted banked in the Mount Morris Bank until Hall could determine if he could sell Sam out. If Hall had sold any royalties, those funds should be dealt with likewise.
For if you can sell me out I shan’t want to pay any of the Mount Morris Debt, of course [MTP].
In his second short note to Hall, he enclosed a “confidential letter”:
It is to post you — in case Mr. Baxter should call. / We are breaking up, now, & shall leave for Germany in about a week [MTP]. Note: Charles Baxter, friend of Rudyard Kipling. See Apr 16.
June 4 Sunday – In Florence, Livy was ailing again. Sam wrote to Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin, asking him to “come out here tomorrow & let’s talk about Professor Oertel & Mrs. Clemens’ case” [MTP]. Note: The family put Munich and Berlin on their list of stops for medical consultations for Livy. Dr. Baldwin may have recommended doctors there.
June 5 Monday – Dr. William Baldwin was to come and examine Livy [June 4 to Baldwin].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam, hearing from Mollie Dunham about her chance meeting of Sam at the Murray Hill Hotel (Joe thought in April) and that Sam reported himself sick. “Beyond that we had learned nothing whatsoever of your wretched experience while in the country till you had taken your departure.” Had he known he would have tried to see him in N.Y. and stayed as long as needed. Joe enclosed a printed court martial report sent to Sue Crane by a West Point acquaintance against a Pvt. Mark Twain!
It is great good news to hear that you are soon coming home. Your house looks as though it was going out of mourning. I saw the gleam of new paint on the quarter deck as I came by the other day. [MTP].
June 6 Tuesday
June 7 Wednesday
June 8 Thursday – Clara Clemens’ nineteenth birthday.
At the Villa Viviani, Florence, Sam wrote to Joe Twichell. He did not mention Clara’s birthday.
The sea voyage set me up & I reached here May 27 in tolerable condition — nothing left but weakness, cough all gone. I was ill in bed eleven days in Chicago, a week in Elmira & 3 months in New York (seemingly) & accomplished nothing that I went home to do.
The packing to leave is going on, & this house looks like chaos come again. But Livy will resolve it to perfect order with a sure hand — that I know. We leave for Germany five days hence — 3 of us. Susy will probably go to Paris for a while with the Mademoiselle [Lançon].
Sam also wrote that Livy had improved in the nine months of “semi-seclusion.” He congratulated Joe on his new grandchild, and found it hard to imagine Harmony Twichell as an “invalid.” He reported on a visit at the neighbor’s, “Old” Sir Henry Layard [MTP]. Note: Joe had written on June 5, but that letter would not have arrived by the time Sam wrote; this response to another, not extant. Sam wrote to daughter Clara on Mar. 12 about a visit by the Layards; this may refer to that visit or may be one more recent.
June 9 Friday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam indicating that General Stewart L. Woodford (1835-1913), politician and former congressman, was interested in buying $40,000 worth of Sam’s Paige typesetter royalties [MTLTP 347n1]. Note: See June 16, for Woodford’s change of heart. In 1897 Woodford would be appointed minister to Spain less than a year before the Spanish-American war.
June 10 Saturday – At the Villa Viviani, Florence, Sam wrote a short note to Mr. White, a local English or American who had evidently invited Sam and Susy to an engagement for Sunday evening, June 11. Susy had a prior appointment, but Sam wrote he could “find my way alone — & shall” [MTP].
June 11 Sunday – In Florence, in the evening, Sam visited the Whites, somewhere in the area; Susy had some other engagement, not specified [June 10 to White].
June 12 Monday – At the Villa Viviani, Florence, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, asking them to send the next letter of credit to Drexel Harjes & Co. bankers in Paris.
We take wing tomorrow for Bavaria, but do not yet know whereabouts on the continent we shall spend the summer.
I wish to thank you most heartily for the sumptuous Joan of Arc you sent… [MTP].
June 13 Tuesday – At the Villa Viviani, Florence, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore. “We are this moment leaving for Germany.” Sam wanted the Nation and all other papers and magazines routed to Drexel Harjes & Co., Paris [MTP].
Livy’s condition was precarious, and the family decided to delay their departure a day or so; Susy did leave for Paris in the evening, and was seen off at the station by Miss. A. Hall [June 14 to Miss A. Hall].
June 14 Wednesday – At the Villa Viviani, Florence, Sam and Livy wrote to Miss A. Hall, who had seen Susy off at the station the night before. Sam wrote:
Dear Miss Hall: Mrs Clemens was not well, yet was determined to go, but I persuaded her (with an axe), to stop over a day. She is all right, now, (is getting so, rather), & so we shall make the attempt to get as far as Bologna. She was very glad to get your kind note, with its final news about Susy….Mrs. Clemens wants to write you, & has been insisting, but I have not listened to her, for she is better lying still & she does not spell very well anyway.
I must say good bye and my thanks to you myself even if I can’t spell. …Our tickets are bought and our trunks have gone to Munich so we could have undivided minds for a little chat with you.
The other articles for the orphanage go down tomorrow I will send a list of them to Mme Leforestier, so she may know what she should recieve [sic] from the Contadino [MTP].
June 15 Thursday – In Sam’s June 20 to Susan Crane Sam wrote they’d left the Villa on this day; but in his notebook he gave 6 p.m. Friday, June 17, even though Friday was June 16 [NB 33 TS 18].
June 16 Friday – Sam reported on June 20 to Susan Crane that Livy “felt so miserable last Friday morning” and wished she was at Quarry Farm.
Left the Villa Viviani at 6 p.m. Friday. June 17 [Friday was June 16]. Dined & stayed at Dr. Wilberforce Baldwin’s, 1 Via Palestro [NB 33 TS 18].
Frederick J. Hall responded to Sam’s June 2, wanting out of business, with a five-page typed letter.
I hardly know how exactly how to write you. Your plan of retiring from business is feasible but it would be impossible to put into execution now nor could you get the amount from it that you figure on. You have overstated the balance due you.
Hall calculated that the firm owed Sam and Livy $142,321.15, including royalties and past investments. Sam had estimated a value of about $250,000 above indebtedness. Hall wrote that if Sam left the company, so would he. Further, he explained that the panic of 1893 would make it impossible to:
…sell your interest for anything like the amount of money you have invested in it nor could you find a purchaser at that price or any other price just at present [MTLTP 344-5n2; MTP].
Hall wrote that “the one great mistake we have made” was trying to “swing” the LAL [349n1]. As to the possibilities of the Traction Syndicate buying out the Connecticut Co., Hall wrote:
…the Traction Company’s stock had fallen nearly 40% and while there were millions behind them, at present they [the Connecticut Co.] could not close any deal with them [MTLTP 347n2].
June 17 Saturday – Sam’s notebook reveals the Clemenses travel:
Saturday, left at 2.30 p.m., went to Bologna in 3 hours. Stopped over Sunday in Hotel Brun, an old palace with beautiful ceilings & mosaic floors. Fearfully noisy all night. Leaning towers [NB 33 TS 18].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam to clarify one point from his June 16 letter — an attempt to explain the difference between the $66,600.71 loaned the firm by Sam and Livy and the $75,720.44 credit on the ledger account. Sam underlined and made a few terse notes on the letter [MTP].
June 18 Sunday – The Clemens trio stayed in Bologna at the Hotel Brun, resting up for the next leg of their trip to Trient, Austria [NB 33 TS 18].
June 19 Monday– Sam’s notebook reveals the Clemenses next travel leg to Verona and Trient:
Monday, left at 10.30, got to Verona at 3.20. Visited tombs of the Scaligers; window in Monastery where Dante wrote part of the Divine Comedy; quaint & fine old staircase; passed house of the Capulets. At 4.40 very hot, no good hotel — went on to Trient, arriving at 8.05. Hotel Trient — excellent. Took an uninteresting drive [NB 33 TS 18]. Note: Dante is mentioned in the preface of PW.
June 20 Tuesday – In Trient, Austria Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Dear aunt Sue, the flies quitted us at the Italian frontier — and unspeakable relief — but the fleas have taken their place, & business goes on at the old stand. They make life a sorry for Livy & Jean.
We left the villa last Thursday [June 15], & now (Tuesday) we are within two days’ journey of Munich. We shall arrive there before or on Saturday — it will depend on how Livy feels. The heat is oppressive, & she must go moderately. Clara will reach Munich from Berlin a day or two after Commencement, which is 4 days hence (St. John’s Day) [MTP].
He also wrote to Charles J. Langdon, letter not extant but referred to in Langdon’s July 3 [MTP].
June 21 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook reveals the family’s trip from Trient to Innsbruck:.
Wednesday, left [Trient] at 7.20 — church-bells going like mad from 4.30 till 6.30 — came to Innsbruck by Brenner Pass in about 5½ hours, in an observation-car — first class tickets. All glass — that is, 2 sides & one end; 11 sail-cloth uncomfortable chairs — pile of camp-stools in a corner. Very dirty oil-cloth on floor.
A Jew who ate & slept & smoked stinking cigarettes all the way — ate half bushel of sausages (imitation) to let on he wasn’t a Jew. Family of six & a boy who ate all the time [NB 33 TS 18-19].
The Clemens family arrived in Innsbruck and took rooms in the Hotel Tirol — “cookery the best in Europe” [NB 33 TS 19]. This was Sam’s second visit to Austria. The family stayed until June 24 [Dolmetsch, MT Encyc. “Austria (Austria-Hungary)” 49].
June 22 Thursday – The Clemens family rested in Innsbruck, Austria. “Delightful Aufenthalt in a delightful hotel” [NB 33 TS 19]. Note: Aufenthalt (Resting Place), Rellstab’s title for the poem Schubert set in August 1828.
June 23 Friday – The Clemens family rested at the Hotel Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria. Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that “This has been an exceedingly busy and very hard week but the outlook is better.” In this letter and one on July 7, Hall, on the advice of Charles J. Langdon, shut down sales of LAL and laid off all but a skeleton staff. Hall wrote Langdon on July 11 that these moves had reduced office expenses $1,000 a week. [MTLTP 350n1].
June 24 Saturday – Sam’s notebook reveals the trip from Innsbruck to Munich:
Left at noon Saturday 24th & came in 4 hours to Munich through a lovely valley — bordered by lovely mountains & the swift Inn — the very dirtiest 1st class compartment in Europe. / Stopped at the Rheinischehof, a fine & expensive hotel, which is to have its electric light apparatus completed & working “next winter!” Pretty swift elevator, but with the old-fashioned rope propulsion. W.C.’s [water closets] of almost the most ancient pattern others of the newest [NB 33 TS 19].
The Clemens family left Innsbruck, Austria. Sam’s travel plans were to arrive in Munich, Germany by this day. Sam’s June 26 letter to Hall suggests they were delayed somewhat, as it was often Sam’s habit to write during the chaos of departures as well as to write upon arrival.
Mrs. Mary B. Willard’s School for American Girls in Berlin held a commencement [June 20 to Crane]. Note: Sam had planned for Clara to join them in Munich “a day or two” later, but wound up going to Berlin to retrieve her, possibly caused by the Clemens family’s delay in reaching Munich.
June 25 Sunday – The Clemens family traveled some 62 miles and arrived in Munich, Germany.
June 26 Monday – In Munich, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
We have reached here at last, after a much-broken journey — this was rendered necessary by the state of Mrs. Clemens’s health. We came here to consult a specialist. We expect him to call to-day. He will probably send us out of Munich to some mountain town.
Yours of the 2d & 9th have arrived, bringing promising news as to the sale of royalties, which was very pleasant, & less cheery news as to the distressing time you are having financially. We were very very sorry you were in so much trouble, but your cablegram was later than your letters, & we gathered from it that the pressure was about to slack up. We were minded to cable you to send us no more money for a month or two, & we wanted to do that, but our expenses are so heavy that I didn’t quite dare. The $200-check enclosed in your letter came mighty handy.
Sam then discussed debts and sales of royalties and selling out terms. He gave Hall three single words to cable him, indicating developments on the Paige typesetter being finished (FINISHED), the Traction deal consummated (TRACTION), or someone talking of buying him out (CUSTOMER). As for the typesetter, he asked Hall to “drop in on Frink every day & tell me what he says in the way of machine news.”
Your news that Webster [Mfg. Co., Chicago] is likely to run ahead of time on the machines is very acceptable indeed. You know they were expecting to finish 10 by the end of the year & turn out the rest of the first 50 at the rate of 5 or 6 per month after that.
Also, the Conn. Co. were expecting to begin to build their big factory in July. That will not happen in these hard times I suppose — still, I should like to know the prospect [MTLTP 346-7].
Note: George A. Frink was a member of The Connecticut Co., brokers with a New York office.
June 27 Tuesday – The Clemens family rested in Munich, Germany. On this day Sam made a notebook entry:
Article — “The Unfinished Novel.” If it were continued, how sad it would be. Thackeray finishing the Waverly [sic] novels was on track of a truth [Gribben 618; NB 33 TS 20].
June 28 Wednesday – At about 8 a.m Sam left Munich for Berlin to accompany daughter Clara back to Munich. Sam’s notebook reveals the trip:
June 28. Arrived at Berlin at 8.28 p.m about 12 ½ hr. out from Munich — still good daylight. Clara, Mrs. Willard & Secretary Jackson at station. Staid at Jackson’s [NB 33 TS 20].
June 29 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
29th. Breakfast toward 10. Called on Mrs. Rottenberg. [Marian Phelps, recently married] Lunched at Mrs. Willard’s at 2 p.m. Called at the Embassy & saw Coleman, then called on Excellenz von Versen (Mauerstr 36) then left a card on the British Ambassador, then to Jackson’s.
Berlin is a wonderfully fine city, & its government is a model. / The “Victory” statue is wretched only from behind [NB 33 TS 20].
June 30 Friday
July – Sam’s notebook mentioned Thomas Carlyle’s The French Revolution (1856) [Gribben 128; NB 33 TS 22]. Sam also noted “Poem to the Nightingale & Owl (cuc) or Abusive Sketch” [NB 33 TS 23]. Note: This may refer to the medieval (ca. 1200) poem The Owl and the Nightingale.
California Illustrated, p.170-8 ran “Reporting with Mark Twain” Quoted by Fatout [Tenney 21; The Twainian Dec. 1939; Fatout, MT in Va City p.31, 114, 117, 173-4]. See August entry.
July 1 Saturday – Dateline July 1, Berlin: a long article of German news in the Brooklyn Eagle, p.12, “In the Kaiser’s Realm,” mentioned Sam’s presence in the city.
Mr. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) is in this city. He will take his daughter [Clara] to Munich, where his family is staying. He and his daughter are the guests of Secretary Jackson of the American embassy.
Sam returned this same day with daughter Clara [July 3 to Whitmore].
Webster & Co.’s financial statement: In excess of $62,000 in uncollected installment accounts, $197,089.75 in liabilities [MTLTP 349n2].
July 2 Sunday – Back in Munich Sam wrote a short paragraph with one of his famous aphorisms to an unidentified person:
Munich, July 2/93.
Behold, the would-be wise man hath said, “Put not all thine eggs in the one basket” — the which is a manner of saying “Scatter your money & your attention;” but the truly wise man saith “Put all thine eggs in the one basket and — watch the basket” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s source: Andrew Carnegie. See also NB 33 TS 8.
July 3 Monday – In Munich, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He liked Hall’s suggestion to sell off LAL rather than the entire Webster firm. For one thing, Sam understood the firm was in debt, but LAL was not — in fact, the LAL project was owed money.
A proposition to sell that by itself to a big house could be made without embarrassment.
It seems clear to me that it would take $200,000 to pay our debts and put it up to the turning point — the point where it was bringing in more money than it was carrying out. Therefore we would better sell, for we cannot raise that capital.
Sam felt it best to wait till fall to make such a sale, when “business freshens up and times are easier and less scary.”
I am miserably sorry to be adding bothers and torments to the over-supply which you already have in these hideous times, but I feel so troubled, myself, considering the dreary fact that we are getting deeper and deeper in debt and the LAL getting to be a heavier and heavier burden all the time, that I must bestir myself and seek a way of relief.
It did not occur to me that in selling out I would injure you — for that I am not going to do. But to sell LAL will not injure you — it will put you in better shape. Sincerely Yours, [MTLTP 348-9].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, enclosing letters Whitmore had sent, including one from Robert Louis Stevenson written on Apr. 16.
Don’t send me any more letters that relate to the publishing business — even though they come from the Apostles. They are in Mr. Hall’s line & have never been in mine….Robert Louis Stevenson’s letter to me was a confidential one merely in the sense that its contents were not to be revealed by the firm — therefore it ought to have gone to Mr. Hall, too.
Sam reported that Livy (always referred to in letters to others as “Mrs. Clemens”) was improving under the care of a Munich doctor, and that in a week or ten days they would go to a “mountain resort two hours from here,” a place to spend the summer. He also wrote that he’d brought Clara from Berlin the “day before yesterday” and that “Susy will return from Paris in a fortnight” [MTP].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam that he was glad to get the short letter from Trients dated June 20, but sorry to hear Livy was not in better health. Langdon was tired of life’s burdens: “We have in hand now the hardest times & greatest stringency in money that this Country has ever seen, (as the slang goes) 1857 is not in it.” He feared that the Langdon Co. may go out of business; also related Fred Hall’s visit to see him on June 22 to discuss problems of Webster & Co. Langdon thought Hall to be intelligent, and his plan wise, and he told him so [MTP].
July 4 Tuesday
July 4–31 Monday – Sometime during the remainder of July, Sam wrote a short note to Frederick J. Hall suggesting they sell only a third interest in LAL to Scribner’s or Appletons, or even all of it with easy payments of “say $2000 or $3000 a month” [MTP; not in MTLTP].
July 5 Wednesday
July 6 Thursday
July 7 Friday – Frederick J. Hall wrote a five-page typed letter to Sam, enclosing a draft for $250. Hall characterized it as a “rather discouraging letter,” but that most of the negatives had already taken place. He reviewed the critical nature of the financial markets, the absence of credit, the need for a loan from the U.S. Bank to tide them over; the demands of the Mt. Morris Bank; the shut down of production on LAL; his notification to and response from Stedman; his not having drawn a full salary “for some time past; his seeing Mr. Ward who reported the first typesetter would be placed in the N.Y. Herald, though Hall was uncertain of it. Hall enclosed a batch of notes to be renewed for Sam to sign and return. Overall, Hall felt they would “weather the storm.” Hall had cut office staff and expenses to survival levels [MTP].
July 8 Saturday – In Munich, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
Dear Mr. Hall:
I am sincerely glad you are going to sell L.A.L. I am glad you are shutting off the agents, and I hope the fatal book will be out of our hands before it will be time to put them on again. With nothing but our non-existent capital to work with the book has no value for us, rich a prize as it will be to any competent house that gets it.
I hope you are making an effort to sell before you discharge too many agents, for I suppose the agents are a valuable part of the property.
We have been stopping in Munich for awhile, but we shall make a break for some country resort in a few days now. / Sincerely Yours / SLC [www.liveauctioneers.com/item/573209 for original].
Sam then added another equal section with the same date:
I judge your only hope of salvation is in discharging them [sales agents] all at once, since it is their commissions that threaten to swamp us. It is they who have eaten up the $14,000 I left with you in such a brief time, no doubt.
I feel panicky.
He added a PS that he’d not received a monthly report for “many months” [MTLTP 349-50]. Note: LAL was still being sold on subscription, with sales agents paid usually before monies came into Webster & Co., which created a cash-flow problem. When in New York, Sam withdrew the $14,000 from his Wall Street account with Mr. Halsey and left it with Hall. This was to serve as their “emergency fund,” but was needed in the business right away, mostly to pay these agents [350n2].
George Saintsbury of Academy magazine (London) XLIV p.28 briefly reviewed The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories, concluding it was a dull book. “If there is fun in this volume of Mark Twain’s (except a certain faint and overwrought strain of it in the mock romance of ‘The Enemy Conquered’) this reviewer avows himself a conquered enemy” [Tenney 21].
July 9 Sunday – In Munich, Sam wrote on Hotel Du Rhin letterhead to Susan Crane that he added a PS to on July 10. Sam asked her to thank Mr. Halsey for “the way he handled” his “small business,” as he’d not had the chance to thank him in purpose during his stay in New York. He commented on Sue’s letter which related a matter “about Judge Smith & the Gonzales folks,” calling it a “comical world.” Note: The Judge Smith matter was perhaps an episode in Elmira. Halsey was the securities agent Sam had used during their European stay.
He then advised her of their plans:
I think we go to Krankenheil-bei-Tölz, in Bavaria next Thursday or Friday, for the baths there. It is a rather shane place and quite shanely situated. The others don’t like it, but I do, & the specialist don’t allow Livy to go anywhere else — a good man, with a shane mind of his own. Livy is improving; I feel much set up about it (Unberufen.) I think she is going to come along, now. / There’s an irruption of chambermaids — I will vacate & give them the room [MTP].
In the evening Sam and daughter Clara went to the opera Tannhäuser [July 10 PS to Crane].
July 10 Monday – Sam added a PS to his July 9 letter to Susan Crane about going to the opera with daughter Clara the night before:
Certainly nothing in the world is so solemn & impressive, & so divinely beautiful as Tannhäuser. It ought to be used as a religious service [MTP].
July 11 Tuesday
July 12 Wednesday
July 13 Thursday – The Clemens family traveled a short distance to Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany for Livy’s treatments. Sam’s Aug. 5 letter to his English publishers reveals they stayed at the Kurhaus Hotel. His notebook gives the arrival time at 6:25 p.m. [NB 33 TS 23]. On this day Sam wrote a short note to Professor Lawrence B. Evans, asking him to respond to a German student who was trying to “beguile the gullible author out of an autograph” [MTP]. Note: Evans was later history professor at Tufts University, and probably in Berlin at the time, also possibly the instructor of the student in question.
July 14 Friday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam:
I have not cabled you as you requested because none of the things you wished me to cable about have taken place, but I have not forgotten your instructions [MTLTP 352n3]. Note: See June 26 for Sam’s code words he wanted Hall to send for various what-if’s.
Hall also made a suggestion about the possible sale of LAL:
…there is another plan…whereby we would share in the prosperity of the book and at the same time run no risk whatever from any loss arising, that is, if we could get somebody to accept the sole general agency for the book, we merely to manufacture and sell the book to them at a certain discount [MTLTP 353n1].
Note: Hall tried to make such a sale of LAL with Thomas M. Williams, who in 1891 contemplated taking over the book, together with R.S. Peale & Co. of Chicago [n1]. See April 12, 1891 and Jan 25, 1892. LAL would eventually be sold to William Evarts Benjamin, H.H. Rogers’ son-in-law, with a new edition appearing in 1894.
July 15 Saturday
July 16 Sunday
July 17 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Monday July 17, noon — arranged for pension — 6 Marks a day per person; 4 rooms 60 Marks a week” [NB 33 TS 23].
July 18 Tuesday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Charles J. Langdon, asking that Matthew Arnot’s 45 royalties transferred by Arnot to Livy and sent to Franklin G. Whitmore for safe deposit [MTP]. Sam’s notebook:
July 18. Wrote C. J. L. [Charles J. Langdon] to have Arnot’s 45 royalties transferred by Arnot to O.L. Clemens & sent to Whitmore for Safe Deposit [NB 33 TS 23].
Sam also wrote to John Brisben Walker, owner of Cosmopolitan, responding to his Apr. 12 offer. Sam proposed to double words and payment, (from 2,500-3,500 words and from five to ten thousand dollars) for a twelve month serial of “The Innocents Adrift,” his “Down the Rhone” account. Sam advised he had 20,000 words written at this point [MTP]. Note: Sam’s offer would have meant he’d have to write some 40,000 additional words. Sam’s notebook shows an entry of these terms [NB 33 TS 23]
Sam also began a letter to Frederick J. Hall that he would add a PS to on July 22. No reason was given for the delay, an unusual practice for Sam.
Doubtless Mr. Walker [Prof. Lawrence B. Walker] is away on vacation, but please keep a copy of the enclosed in your regular letter-book, and get the original to him as soon as you can.
It is my ingenious scheme to protect the family against the almshouse for one more year — and after that…well, goodness knows! I have never felt so desperate in my life — and good reason, for I haven’t got a penny to my name, and Mrs. Clemens hasn’t enough laid up with Langdon to keep us two months.
Sam was fearful that Daniel Whitford, who represented both Webster & Co. and the Mount Morris Bank, would “withdraw his protection,” meaning his influence with the bank in holding off payment of the debts, and that even his royalties might be seized before the debts were paid. If LAL could be sold it would save both Hall and Sam. He’d received no letters or cablegram about the machine being finished.
We are afraid you are having miserable days and worried nights, and we sincerely wish we could relieve you, but it’s all black with us and we don’t know any helpful thing to say or do [MTLTP 350-2].
July 19 Wednesday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Sam wrote a few lines to Frederick J. Hall, thanking him for a letter which had just come. Evidently the letter contained promissory notes for Sam to sign, for he wrote:
I will not stop to answer it, but hurry the notes off at once — as August is not far away, now [MTP].
Sam Stone Rush wrote to Sam asking the possibility of a story for his magazine (unknown). Rush sent the letter to Hartford and it was forwarded on to Frederick J. Hall at Webster & Co. Hall then notified Clemens [Aug. 9 to Hall; MTP].
July 20 Thursday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Henry C. Robinson in Hartford.
Apparently we can score another for The Club! Once more there’s been people fishing for Bishops there & failed to land the game. Why don’t they let us alone? It is enough to make us all uneasy; there is no telling which of us they will go for next. The family try to soothe me down & make me think there is no danger, but that is easily said — being certain about it is a very different thing.
I am glad you didn’t let Dr. Hart get away. Neither town, College nor Club could have afforded that.
Sam, advised they were in the village of Krankenheil for “a few weeks,” for Livy to take the baths. He wrote that “the highest expert authority in Europe,” proclaimed nothing the matter with Livy that couldn’t be cured [MTP]. Note: the club matters may have to do with the Hartford Club.
July 21 Friday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Sam wrote again to Professor Lawrence B. Evans, asking if he knew of a chaperone he might secure for Susy to go to Franzeusbar (Franzenbad) for three weeks [MTP].
July 22 Saturday – Sam added a PS to his July 18 to Hall after receiving a check for $250. He advised that Langdon would send him Livy’s interest money, “the only rainy-day money we have left, in case of sudden disaster.”
If they do get the machine done and set up in the Herald — which cannot be earlier than the middle of September — I may possibly want three or four royalties sold to live on, but I hope I shan’t have to part with more than 5 [MTLTP 351-2; also NB 33 TS 24]. Note: The typesetter was to be tested at the Chicago Herald.
Sam also sent a short PS to John Brisben Walker, owner of Cosmopolitan.
I spoke too soon — probably have to cramp Rhone into much smaller space [NB 33 TS 23]. See July 18.
July 23 Sunday
July 24 Monday – Frederick J. Hall replied to Sam’s “I feel panicky” letter of July 8:
I have cut the help down in all departments to one-quarter what it was, and the financial troubles that we have been having kept me so occupied that I have not had time nor in fact have I thought of all the reports at all as there were so many other things infinitely more important to attend to [MTLTP 357n1].
Note: Hall also quoted Charles Ethan Davis, shop foreman for the Chicago construction of the typesetter, that “there is less than three weeks work on the machine.”
July 25 Tuesday
July 26 Wednesday – Jean Clemens’ thirteenth birthday. In a letter from Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany to Orion and Mollie Clemens, Sam confided, “Jean has been crying at breakfast. It is her birthday & she is deadly homesick.” Sam also discussed Livy’s diagnosis by “the highest authority in Europe,” which contradicted “two American and three European doctors that she had incurable heart disease.” He confided the family’s plans and Susy’s challenge.
We have been here 2 weeks, & shall go hence in 3 weeks more. Livy & Clara will run down to Munich to-morrow & ship Susy to Franzenbad in Bohemia in charge of a governess — to take the baths there during the remaining 3 weeks that Livy & Clara take them here.
The great voice-trainer in Paris gave Susy 12 lessons — under protest — & then ordered her to bathe 3 weeks at Franzenbad, take the air above the clouds at St. Maurice 3 weeks, then 2 weeks of sea-bathing, meantime eating certain specified hearty food & great abundance of it & never using her voice except to talk with — then return in October & if she was then no longer a bloodless weakling but a person with a body robust & capable of supporting a singing voice, the lessons would be continued, but not otherwise. This teacher being monarch & without rival or competitor, is privileged to command, & must be obeyed. Therefore Susy eats — for the first time in her life. And she has to make those 3 gigantic journeys, too. Two of them the whole tribe will have to make — if the doctor will allow Livy to climb so high as St. Maurice. Besides, Clara & I have got to make a flyer from St. Maurice clear to Berlin & back. Providence is hurrying us this year [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, first about terms to offer on the sale of LAL, and second on the cursed typesetter:
I hope the machine will be finished this month; but it took me four years & cost me $100,000 to finish the other machine after it was apparently entirely complete & setting type like a house-afire.
I wonder what they call “finished.” After it is absolutely perfect it can’t go into a printing-office until it has a months’ wear, running night & day, to get all the bearings smooth, I judge.
Sam then spun a new plan, and said he’d be over “about mid-October” — if the LAL had been sold he wanted to start a magazine, “inexpensive, and of an entirely unique sort,” with Arthur Stedman and his father Edmund Clarence Stedman as editors.
But we cannot undertake it until L A L is out of the way. With our hands free & some capital to spare, we could make it hum [MTLTP 352-4].
Note: evidently Sam was having second thoughts about getting completely out of business, and his suitability for it. The magazine was to be called “The Back Number,” and be comprised of old newspaper articles and journals. Sam also entertained the idea of his nephew, Samuel Moffett being editor [MTLTP 354n2; NB 33, TS 24, 37, 46].
July 27 Thursday
July 28 Friday
July 29 Saturday
July 30 Sunday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to his English publishers, Chatto & Windus. He complained, “that these little German papers are so constipated in the matter of news,” and asked if they would pay for the [London] Daily News for him for six months and send it to his bank, Drexel Harjes, Paris. He told of reworking a story (PW — see July 30 to Hall) started a year before, first with 10,000 words, then with 95,000 words, then another time cut to 81,500 words, and recently reduced to 58,000. He also advised them of the family’s plans:
We shall leave this village (it’s a bath), 15 or 17 days hence & go wandering again, & fetch up in Paris about Oct. 1 for a long stay [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, elated at the improved version of PW. Even Livy pronounced it a success.
When I began this final reconstruction the story contained 81,500 words; now it contains only 58,000. I have knocked out everything that delayed the march of the story — even the description of a Mississippi steamboat. There ain’t any weather in, & there ain’t any scenery — the story is stripped for flight!
It was nearly as long as The American Claimant and had the new aspect of fingerprints as clues. “What is she worth?” Sam needed money and wanted what he market would bear.
Do your best for me, for I do not sleep, these nights, for visions of the poor-house….Everything does look so blue, so dismally blue!
Sam also wrote that “by & by” he would take up the Rhone voyage account again, and “tackle Adam” (“Adam’s Diary”) again,
& do him in a kind of friendly and respectful way that will commend him to the Sunday schools. I’ve been thinking out his first life-days to-day & framing his childish & ignorant impressions & opinions for him. / Will ship Pudd’nhead in a few days. When you get it, cable… P.S. I may run over in October, but it’s only the merest may” [MTLTP 354-6].
July 31 Monday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that “the crisis has come and I hope that we have successfully passed it.” The Mount Morris Bank “met with some very heavy losses through one or two large failures and for that reason had to call in their discounts. They refuse to renew our discounts and even Mr. Whitford’s influence was useless.” Charles J. Langdon “agreed to take up the two notes of $3,000.000 each, due August 6th and August 11th, and also to endorse notes to the extent of $15,000, provided the bank agrees to renew them” [MTLTP 360n1].
August – Sometime during the family stay at Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany (they left Aug. 21) Sam inscribed a copy of £1,000,000 Bank Note & Other Stories to: Mrs. von Hillern:
To / Frau von Hillern — / from one who has read with pleasure & profoundly admires “Geier-Wally” — / Mark Twain / Krankenheil-Tölz / August, 1893.(Now I’ve gone and left the “Die” out! But I was born careless [ two german words not legible] SLC. ~
[Note: Wilhelmine von Hillern’s Geier-Wally: A Tale of the Tyrol (1876). See Gribben 314].
Sam’s notebook carries an entry that he saw Henrik Hertz’s play, King Rene’s Daughter; A Danish Lyrical Drama (translated by Theodore Martin 1880) [Gribben 311; NB 33 TS 25].
The Californian, IV p.403-6 ran “Dan De Quille; Artemus Ward in Nevada.” See Sam’s version, “First Interview with Artemus Ward” in Sketches New and Old [Tenney 21; The Twainian Dec. 1939; Fatout, MT in Va City p.31, 114, 117, 173-4].
Frank R. Stockton wrote “Mark Twain and His Recent Works,” which appeared in Forum magazine, XV, p.673-9 for August. Stockton commented “largely on MT’s humor, praising his ‘courage’ –the audacity of his conceptions and expressions; also praises him as a storyteller, ‘a man of broad sympathies,’ while recognizing that ‘the figure with the tragic mask stalks through much of Mark Twain’s work’” [Tenney 22: Scott: Mark Twain Selected Criticism (1955)].
August 1 Tuesday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow, author and one of his dinner companions in Berlin. Webster and Co. published two of Bigelow’s books in 1892: The German Emperor and His Eastern Neighbors, and Paddles and Politics Down the Danube. Sam responded to an invitation from Bigelow (not extant) but evidently they were more widely separated by geography than he’d previously thought, so he had to decline as he didn’t want to leave Livy alone overnight.
It is a great disappointment when I struck this neighboring town of Gmünd — and right on a lake, too — I made sure it was your town and lake: so I set inquiries agoing, but had no success. Finally I applied to Jackson [Sec. Am. Embassy], and his answer showed me that I was way-off. Gmünden is only about an hour’s drive from here, and I thought we could run back and forth, afternoons, in intervals between work, and have some talks and tramps and canoe-dissipation, and fresh-up for next day’s drudgery — but that dream is up the stump — whither much too many dreams go [MTP].
August 2 Wednesday
August 3 Thursday
August 4 Friday
August 5 Saturday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Sam wrote a short note to Chatto & Windus, his English publisher, asking that a copy of P&P be sent to Kurhotel in Krankenheil-Tölz, and reminding them of a request for a six-month subscription to the London Daily News, which had not arrived as yet [MTP].
Athenaeum magazine No. 3432 p.191 briefly reviewed The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories, faintly praising the title story and “Playing Courier”; “Petition to the Queen of England” is in the fading tradition of Artemus Ward” [Tenney 21].
August 6 Sunday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall. He apologized for asking for monthly reports when Hall was under such pressure — just send two items, the cash liabilities and assets, which would be enough to “perceive the condition of the business at a glance.” Sam expressed appreciation for the “tempest” Hall was going through, though Sam never saw newspapers there.
I have been overwrought and unsettled in mind by apprehensions, and that is a thing that is not helpable when one is in a strange land and sees his resources melt down to a two-months’ supply and can’t see any sure daylight beyond. The bloody machine offered but a doubtful outlook — and will still offer nothing much better for a long time to come; for when Davis’s “three weeks” are up there will be three months’ tinkering to follow I guess. That is unquestionably the boss machine of this world, but it is the toughest one on prophets…[MTLTP 356-7].
The MTP has restored the remainder of the letter since the above was printed. In the restored section, Sam acknowledged receipt of £50 check, and wrote his intention to send PW to Hall the next day, Aug. 7.
It’ll furnish me hash for a while I reckon. I am almost sorry it is finished; it was good entertainment to work at it, & kept my mind away from things.
We leave here in about ten days, but the doctors have changed our plans again. I think we shall be in Bohemia & thereabouts till near the end of September, then go to Paris & take a rest.
Sam also wrote he would not forget the help that Daniel Whitford had afforded in holding off the Mount Morris Bank debts. He added a PS that Livy felt he’d “reproached” Hall, and claimed he didn’t do so, or even “thought of such a thing.” Livy also suggested Hall not send them any money for a month or two and Sam was willing — just to help out. Last, Sam wished that Chatto would send “his little yearly contribution” and mentioned the Daily News subscription which had not yet come [MTP]. Note: without financial news from America, Sam’s worries were that much more heightened.
August 7 Monday – Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam approving the Cosmopolitan deal.
…it is going to be …absolutely impossible for us to send you money with any regularity [MTLTP 352n4].
August 8 Tuesday – Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam advising they’d sent him a copy of P&P
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam, heading the letter “Confidential.”
Yesterday I borrowed $800000 of my friend James Rathbone at three months on my individual note, it was a cheeky thing to do, but I depend upon you (Webster & Co) to pay $600000 and I think I can find the other $200000 by Nov. 10/93 if I do not I may as well throw up the sponge — I sent Mr. Hall $300000 more yesterday [MTP]. Note: Langdon told of receiving a check from Penn. R.R. for $20,800 that N.Y. Banks would not honor, being afraid of all Penn. banks, and so it might as well have been from China.
August 9 Wednesday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
Won’t you have the enclosed brief Romance [“Esquimau Maiden’s Romance”] very very carefully type-written (you carefully correcting it afterward yourself)?
I enclose a non-committal letter for you to type-write and sign and send to Mr. Rush — as a feeler (after speaking to Walker). Rush probably won’t want any literature at that figure. He’ll not answer the letter, I guess. But if he should want it I think it a good idea to trade with him, for his magazine is obscure and I don’t want to appear in print in the full glare of the big magazines too often.
Sam referred to John Brisben Walker for Cosmopolitan, who had taken serialized rights to PW, and so probably wouldn’t also want “Esquimau” — though if he did he could buy it. Mr. Rush and his obscure magazine have proven so obscure the MTP has not been able to identify them. However, Sam’s next letter which may have been enclosed was addressed to Sam S. Rush. Sam also expressed that it had felt like “a long year,” for both Hall and himself: “I never knew the almanac to drag on so” [MTLTP 357-8 & notes]. Note: the “Esquimau” story first ran in Cosmopolitan for Nov. 1893, and later collected in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (1900), and My Debut as a Literary Person, Etc. (1903) [Budd, Collected 2: 1001].
Aug. 9 Sent Esquimaux to Hall — told him to tell (Louisville) his man my price is $150 per 1000 words [NB 33 TS 25]. Note: the Louisville man may have been Sam Stone Rush.
Sam also wrote the letter to Sam S. Rush for Fred Hall to sign, naming the price for his short stories, and expressing Twain’s reluctance to write anything on contract, but when Hall received a story he would let Rush know if he so chose. Rush wrote to Sam on July 19 and his letter had been forwarded to Hall [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Albert Hamann, hoping that some engagement can be met for a “drive 3 hours” with Jean and Livy to bring Albert’s daughter (unnamed) for a visit.
I know that the children will have a happy time here; & if the project can be carried out, the Clemenses, large & small, will be sincerely glad [MTP].
August 10 Thursday
August 11 Friday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Livy wrote to Mary C. Shipman (Mrs. Nathaniel Shipman), and Sam “smuggled” in a paragraph at the end. Livy thanked Mary for a visit from Mary’s children, and had just received a letter from Mary’s older son, Frank Shipman. She thanked her for the letter and regretted they could not have seen more of the children, and remarked how meeting home people abroad did away with “preliminaries.”
So we feel as if we knew your travelers in our little seeing of them in Florence better than we should in much seeing of them in Hartford, and we enjoyed it so very much. Susy often says “well about the pleasantest time in Florence was when the Shipmans and the Hillyers were there.” …
Mr. Clemens and Clara and Jean and I are here, in this very uninviting bathing place for a few weeks, but Susy was so very far from strong that the physician wanted her to have a course of baths at Franzensbad, so she is there with a German lady that we found to take her there for a few weeks in advance of us. We expect to join her there in about ten days. She writes me that she is already much better, that she eats enormously and sleeps well.
We expect to remain about a month on the French coast after Susy has finished her baths at Franzensbad and then go to Paris for the winter. Such are the present plans of the Clemens family.
Sam wrote that his paragraph was “smuggled into Mrs. C’s letter privately”:
Mrs. Clemens (as usual) is disturbed because she has used the same word several times in her letter. She detests tautology — & of course she is right, there — but she persists in the superstition that all repetition is tautology — & that is criminal nonsense. I tell her that in repetitions which are innocent there is virtue often, & never vice. But it goes for nothing — it does not persuade her. And how much she loses by this! The daily uprising & downgoing of the sun is to me a spectacle of perennial wonder & delight — but she — why she can’t endure it, because in her opinion it is only a case of exaggerated & inexcusable tautology [MTP].
August 12 Saturday – Critic magazine XX, p.111 ran “Stockton on Mark Twain,” an unsigned article [Tenney 21].
Sam’s notebook: “Ordered of Neighbor, Aix-l.-B, 1 evening dress; 1 morning, dark-gray; 1 ½ dress coat. Will tell him where to send them” [NB 33 TS 25].
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote from Samoa to Sam that his “troubles seem to have arranged themselves,” so it would “deny him the privilege of joining you” in his need to publish (See Apr. 16) He related that in the current war in Samoa, “the government troops have started a horrid novelty: taking women’s heads” [MTP].
August 13 Sunday
August 14 Monday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Sam wrote William Walter Phelps and entered the fact in his notebook. The letter is not extant:
Aug. 14 Wrote Brer P. shall want him to sit down & talk early-history & let me make notes & ask questions there or in N.Y., I to sail 10 days hence if cholera news does not augment [NB 33 TS 25].
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, beginning a letter he finished on Aug. 16, and responding to Hall’s July 31 “the crisis has come” letter.
I am very glad indeed if you and Mr. Langdon are able to see any daylight ahead. To me none is visible. I strongly advise that every penny that comes in shall be applied to paying off debts. … We can pay a part of the debts owing to outsiders — none to the Clemenses….What I am mainly hoping for is to save my [literary] royalties. If they come into danger I hope you will cable me, so that I can come over and try to save them, for if they go I am a beggar.
I would sail to-day if I had anybody to take charge of my family and help them through the difficult journeys commanded by the doctors. I may be able to sail in ten days hence; I hope so, and expect so.
Sam also wrote that the LAL could never be resurrected, because it would require more borrowing and they could not do that [MTLTP 358-9]. Note: this source shows a second ending, beginning with “Yes, I got the £50 check…” which is judged to belong with Sam’s Aug. 6 letter, which otherwise lacks a signature.
August 15 Tuesday – Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam. The first part of the letter is a record of Sam’s account with the firm; recent sales of all books yielding £734.9.4; an Italian translation of P&P is mentioned, and the firm was on “tip-toe” expecting a new story [MTP].
August 16 Wednesday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany, Sam finished his Aug. 14 to Frederick J. Hall:
Aug. 16. I have thought, and thought, but I don’t seem to arrive at any very definite place. Of course you will not have an instant’s safety until the bank debts are paid….I am coming over, just as soon as I can get the family moved and settled. SLC.
The Puddn’head and Esquimaux Romance belong to Mrs. Clemens, in part [to] pay her for her $14,000 which I took out of Halsey’s hands and lent to the firm. Please sell them, and take notes (if desired) extending over several months, (drawn in her name), so-much payable monthly, and send the notes to Mr. Langdon.
I am grateful to him for trying to save us, but heaven knows I am sorry we had to ask him [MTLTP 360-1].
Sam also wrote a detailed summary of financial figures and questions to Webster & Co.
…the debt seems to have increased itself considerably….If going without sleep would clear my head, I might be able to understand the situation — but it has not had that effect. When I left New York the middle of May, we owed only $144,000, for I had reduced the manufacturers’ debt by paying off $6,000 of it with some of my pen-earned money. There had been no increase of the debt, of course, or it would have been brought up & discussed in our talks. The country was quivering under a growing panicky feeling, which Mr. Arnot said might quiet itself by July 1 but not earlier. By July 1 it was no longer a quiver, it was a storm. Yet in that same six weeks we got $23,000 worth of manufacturing done [MTP].
Aug. 16. Tore up the fragment of history — sounded too much like a romance. Will start fresh next month, & with P.’s [Phelps’] help will do it right.
Aug. 16. Wrote Chatto draw the order in Mrs. C.’s favor. I start in a week for America. / Wrote Charley [Davis] and Hall I am coming [NB 33, TS 26]. Note: letter to Davis not extant.
August 17 Thursday
August 18 Friday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, who had sent money. After praising them he advised of his travel plans.
I sail from Bremen in the “Spree” Aug. 29, & shall expect to be gone some little time; but I take one of the daughters [Clara] along for company.
I mailed the new book [PW] to New York Aug. 9, & shall expect it to appear serially. I hope you will admire it when you come to put a back on it in your London bindery [MTP].
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam; noted in the company’s letterbox Vol. 27 p.562; no text at [MTP].
August 19 Saturday
August 20 Sunday – In Krankenheil-Tölz, Germany Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Sue, dear, we are packing, to leave here tomorrow (Monday), leave Munich Wednesday [Aug 23] morning & arrive at Franzensbad in afternoon.
Clara & I will leave there for Bremen Saturday or Sunday next [Aug. 26 or 27]. We sail Tuesday 29th. We ought to arrive in New York about the 7th September, as the Spree is a good boat.
Sam also advised her that they’d stay at the Murray Hill Hotel and that he would ship Clara “immediately” to Elmira, though he couldn’t go at once; Livy was worried about Clara being in New York due to a cholera scare [MTP].
August 21 Monday – The Clemens family left Krankenheil-Tölz, for Munich [Aug. 20 to Crane]. Sam’s notebook:
We leave Kurhotel, Krankenheil-Tölz, Bavaria, Monday Aug 21, ’93 via Munich for Franzensbad, Bohemia, (Unberufen) after 37 days Aufenthalt [NB 33 TS 29].
August 22 Tuesday – The Clemens family was in Munich, Germany [Aug. 20 to Crane].
August 23 Wednesday – The Clemens family left Munich and arrived in Franzensbad, where Susy had been taking therapy and gorging herself, trying to build herself up to meet her voice instructor’s commands. The family stayed at the Kaiserhaus Hotel in Franzensbad [Aug. 20 to Crane; Aug. 28 to Livy].
August 24 Thursday
August 25 Friday
August 26 Saturday – † Sam and daughter Clara left Franzensbad and traveled by train to Leipzig, taking rooms at the Palmbaum Hotel [Aug. 28 to Livy]. Note: date is calculated.
August 27 Sunday – In Leipzig, Sam wrote to Orion, letter not extant but cited in Orion’s Sept.10 [MTP].
August 28 Monday – In Leipzig, Germany shortly before breakfast and catching a train for Bremen, Sam wrote to Livy, still in Franzensbad with Susy.
I do not feel very cheerful this morning, leaving your homeless & no home selected or possible of selection until the cholera shall have exhibited its plans. It would be a crime to leave some women as you are being left; but with your grit & intelligence & unapproachable good sense you are better off than if you had two or three husbands to help you & confuse you & make your efforts abortive.
I am at late breakfast, (Clara has had hers in her room) — & in a little while we shall leave for the train.
Sam cautioned, when Livy came “this direction” they would examine her baggage at Franzensbad [MTP].
August 29 Tuesday – Sam and daughter Clara sailed from Bremen for New York in the Spree, Captain Meissel [NB 33 TS 30].
August 30 Wednesday – The Spree stopped in Southampton, on the south coast of England for more passengers [Sept. 2 Times article]. Sam’s notebook:
At Southampton 2.30 p.m. Aug 29 [Aug. 30] about 25 hours out from Bremen. / Consul Kelly, General Agent of the N.D.L. / The widow lady & her sons got off here. Ask for her at Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, they will find her for us. / Clothes to come by next ship — probably Wm. II [NB 33 TS 30].
August 31 Thursday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree.
September – Cosmopolitan published Sam’s story, “Is He Living or Is He Dead?”
The Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 4, 1893, p.4, “Cosmopolitan Magazine” reported on the Sept. issue of the magazine:
The September Cosmopolitan boasts modestly of $6,066 paid by it for papers by ex-President Harrison, William D. Howells and Mark Twain. This is about the average money value probably of 8,000 words, the number in the papers taken together, when so furnished by persons sufficiently famous. …
Mark Twain’s story [“Is He Living Or Is He Dead?”], excellently illustrated by Alice Stephens, about Millet living to enjoy a higher price for his pictures created by his supposed death, is certainly worth the money paid. [See Sept.3 entry.]
September 1 Friday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree.
September 2 Saturday – In prior trips alone to New York, Sam made efforts to stay anonymous, mostly without success. He was a celebrity and his returns to the States were usually reported in the newspapers. The New York Times, p.5, “New-York and Round About” carried this notice:
— A cablegram received by the North German Lloyd Steamship Company states that among the cabin passengers on the Spree, sailing from Bremen Aug. 29 and Southampton Aug. 30, are Mr. S.L. Clemens. (Mark Twain.)
September 3 Sunday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree. From the Boston Daily Globe, p.27:
September 4 Monday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree.
Wolkow & Cornelson, a Hamburg, Germany commercial firm sent a post card to Livy that they’d received a package of tooth powder from New York for her — would she accept it? [MTP].
September 5 Tuesday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree.
September 6 Wednesday – Sam and daughter Clara were at sea on the Spree. Sam wrote on Sept. 13 to daughter Jean, about Clara’s last night on board:
She had good times on the ship & wasn’t sick, & learned to play a very creditable game of horse-billiards [deck shuffleboard]. She danced till 11 the last night, but took a long afternoon sleep the next afternoon at the Murray Hill to make up for it [MTP].
An original autographed dinner menu (in German and English) aboard the Spree is listed in the 2006 Twainucopia catalog by Robert Slotta. Vertically along the right side of the menu, Sam wrote, possibly rating the menu as an “A”:
Attest= Mark Twain A=
At Sea, Sept. 6/93.
Note: The menu featured: “Filtered fowl and sweetbread-soup / Ragout in shells / Roastbeef with green peas & carrots / Calf’s head turle style / Roast pouiardes / Preserves & salad / Pudding Metternich style / Ice-cream & pastry / Dessert / Coffee.”
September 7 Thursday – The Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 8, 1893, p.4, “Personal Mention” noted Sam and Clara’s arrival:
Mark Twain and his daughter, Miss Clara L. Clemens, arrived yesterday from Bremen on the Spree.
At the Murray Hill Hotel in New York, Sam wrote to Livy having read her letter waiting for him at Webster & Co. upon his arrival there. He calmed her fears about cholera; wrote that “there is no cholera alarm on this side at all.” He reported that commerce was “still very stringent here,” after talking with Hall, who also felt they would “pull through.” They’d have a “thorough talk to-morrow.” Sam gave a sarcastic line or two about the machine not being finished; told of having to leave his watch for repair and wrote of his literary efforts paying off:
I’ve sold the Esquimaux Girls Romance to the Cosmopolitan, for eight hundred dollars (which I will keep to live on here), & Pudd’nhead Wilson to the Century for six thousand five hundred, which will go to you by & by — first payment after Nov. 1 — for it is even hard for the Century to get money. Story will begin in December number, & be made the “feature.”
Gilder and Johnson [Richard Watson Gilder and Robert Underwood Johnson] are vastly pleased with the story, & they say Roxy is a great & dramatic & well-drawn character.
Sam also raved about the fruit stalls in New York:
I bit into a peach & the juice squirted across the street and drowned a dog.
In the evening Sam dined with Robert Underwood Johnson and Dr. Clarence C. Rice at the Players Club. Paine writes “Clemens took a room at The Players — ‘a cheap room,’ he wrote, ‘at $1.50 per day’” [MTB 969].
Clara went to the theater with cousin Jervis Langdon. Sam would send the pair to Elmira on Saturday, Sept. 9 and wrote his intention to “stay right here until this business cyclone abates” [LLMT 267].
September 8 Friday
September 9 Saturday – Sam sent daughter Clara and cousin Jervis Langdon to Elmira. He had written Livy he’d take board and lodging at the Lotos Club, “for economy’s sake,” but first actually moved into “temporary bachelor quarters with his physician and friend Dr. Clarence C. Rice, on East 19th Street.” (Rice’s family was away; by the end of the month Sam took “a cheap room” at The Players Club) [Sept. 7 to Livy; LLMT 268].
Sam suffered from another head-cold and retired to bed before dark, where he drank a “whole bottle of whisky” [Sept. 10 to Clara].
September 10 Sunday – At Clarence C. Rice’s home, Sam woke up feeling “perfectly well this morning,” after having gone to bed early the night before and drinking a “whole bottle of whisky.” Sam wrote on Rice’s New York Medical School letterhead to daughter Clara in Elmira.
You dear, dear old Ben! I’ve been missing you right along, all the time, notwithstanding you didn’t sit in my room but stuck to your own & wouldn’t be persuaded to give me your nearer society; still, you were close by, & that was company & pleasure to me. …
Dr. Rice & I are having sociable bachelor times, & I am most holily glad to be out of that hotel [Murray Hill].
Sam asked her to drop him a line when she was rested [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, acknowledging receipt the day before of his Aug. 27 letter. “We are very sorry to hear that Clara is not well. We hope your visit to this country will be pleasant and profitable.” Orion wrote of his proposal to Fred Hall to hire him as a collector of the firm’s bills, working for the same amount he now received; he’d been collecting for businesses in Keokuk. He also asked Sam not to keep bad news from him [MTP].
September 11 Monday
September 12 Tuesday – In New York Sam wrote Livy on Sept. 13 about seeing Frank Fuller:
Livy, darling, I was passing by Frank Fuller’s foodery yesterday [Sept. 12]. & was inspired to run in & see him. He was writing. He was writing the enclosed letter, & had just got to the place where I have inserted a star*. So he read it to there, then said he would go on & finish it, as he knew exactly what he had intended to say. He finished it & I brought it away [MTP].
Sam and Dr. Clarence C. Rice attended a matinee performance of Dan’s Tribulations at Harrigan’s Theater, west of Broadway on 35th Street. Sam reported it to Livy:
Dr. Rice & I went to Harrigan’s last night [actually, only a matinee] for an hour. Saw one of his old pieces, where the nigger ball is broken up by the fire — by all odds the funniest scene that was ever put on the stage I think. You & I saw it together once, I guess [Sept. 13 to Livy; NY Times, Sept. 12 p.7].
Sam wrote to daughter Jean on Sept. 13 that he and Dr. Rice spent “an hour at the theatre and two hours looking at people play billiards.” Sam took a train to Hartford, and wrote in that same letter to Jean that Will Gillette was on the train. Sam arrived at 7 p.m. He wrote about the “15 hours of my stay in Hartford” to Livy in his Sept. 13 letter (#04447):
Bunce & Robinson & I talked for an hour in Robinson’s parlor, but arrived at no scheme — except the very simple one of not trying to raise it. Money can not be had, at any rate of interest whatever, or upon any sort of security, or by anybody. Bunce told of a Chicago millionaire who offered a preposterous interest for a loan of $600,000, offering as security $2,400,000 worth of real estate in the centre of Chicago — — & he couldn’t get it. [Note: It may be that Sam’s trip, evidently unplanned, was to take the temperatures of these men to see about securing loans for Webster & Co.]
Sam wrote that he was a guest of the Edward “Ned” Bunce’s but hadn’t seen Mrs. Bunce in his 15 hour stay — “she is not strong enough to see any one” [Sept 13 to Livy].
September 13 Wednesday – Sam wrote two letters to Livy, in care of Drexel Harjes & Co. Bankers, Paris., one at 10 a.m. in Hartford, and another upon returning to New York. He described his contact with Frank Fuller, taking in a play with Dr. Clarence C. Rice, his Hartford visit, and prospects:
[From Hartford at 10 a.m.] Well, when the worst comes to the worst I can go to India & Australia & lecture. I can clear off these debts easily in that way. I don’t feel uncheerful, and you mustn’t, my darling. …I have seen the Robinson family & the Bunces — shall see no one else this time. Love you all [MTP].
[From New York]. Livy darling it is mighty sorrowful work writing daily uncheerful letters to you & yet concealing my reasons for being measurably cheerful & hopeful myself. But my reasons are so uncertain & intangible that they are not worth putting on paper; & they might be only a preparation for disappointment anyway. These are certainly terrific times, & no one can foresee the outcome yet; still, they are improving, everybody concedes that.
Sam also wrote he was grateful that “dear old Jean is out of the doctor’s hands again” [MTP].
Being unable to borrow money in Hartford, Sam wrote from there to Susan Crane (letter not extant) seeking $5,000 [Sept. 17 to Livy].
In New York Sam also wrote to daughter Clara. His cold had prevented him from spending time in her window-open draft room, and his “hot and stuffy” room kept her away, but vowed, “next time we’ll not have any colds.”
You were just as good as you could be, and I haven’t found the least fault with you, except playfully. I’ll give you three or four weeks notice, so that you can have an unhurried Hartford visit. It looks as if we shall be obliged to stay on this side several months. My coming to Elmira looks remote, but I shall get there by and by.…You are better placed than the rest of your family. With lots and lots of love, Papa [MTP].
Sam also wrote to daughter Jean, telling of Clara losing her trunk key at customs, dancing the last night on board till 11 p.m., and taking an afternoon nap at the Murray Hill upon arrival. He told of his trip to Hartford but wrote, “I did not see our house, but I know it is still there because Bunce said so.”
I’ll thank you to kiss Mamma for me, & Susy, & also yourself — which you can use a looking-glass, you know — & say to all three that I love them. Papa [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Laurence Hutton in Onteora, N.Y. advising that daughter Clara was with him but “up yonder making a long visit in Elmira,” and he would “join her presently.”
Give my love to all that good company, including Mrs. Hutton in the front row. And when you desire some mighty satisfying music, get Beckwith to sing “By the humping jumping Jesus” for you [MTP]. Note: Carroll Beckwith, artist.
Sam also wrote a short letter to Franklin G. Whitmore.
Dear Brer:/ I ran up to Hartford, but I didn’t know I was going till I started. I expected to stay three days & see you all, but as I had missed a mighty important appointment by going there I saw that I’d better jump back here & attend to it — which I did.
Sam told of Clara’s planned visit to Hartford and he meant to “go up with here & we shall make a considerable visit,” and of “bachelorizing” with Dr. Rice, as his family was away [MTP].
September 14 Thursday – In New York, a bad cold and cough again plagued Sam, who “fell asleep as soon as” he “touched the bed” [Sept. 15 to Clara]. Sam discussed publishing an interview with William Webster Ellsworth, secretary of Century Co., and would write him the next day [Sept. 15 to Ellsworth].
In his Sept. 17 letter to Livy, he related how hectic the search for funds had been this day:
Mr. Halsey, Mr. Hall & I raced around Wall street Thursday, assailing banks & brokers — couldn’t get anything. When I fell asleep at 8 that evening, ruin seemed inevitable, but I was physically so exhausted that mental misery had no chance, & I was asleep in a moment [MTP].
In Franzensbad, Livy wrote to Sam (letter not extant but specified and responded to on Sept. 26).
September 15 Friday – Sam was up at 7 a.m. and back at the frantic search for a loan with which to save from defaulting on debts due Monday, Sept. 18. From Sam’s Sept. 17 letter to Livy:
By noon all schemes of Hall & Halsey (who worked for us like a beaver) had failed, yet we must live or die on that day. Sue’s letter came, saying she had no money, & no bonds or other securities salable in New York, but that she had exchanged securities with Ida & would send $5,000 worth of negociable bonds if I would telegraph. Mr. Hall said it wouldn’t save us, for it was $8,000 we wanted, not $5,000. Then a messenger came from Dr. Rice to call me back there, & he told me he had ventured to speak to a rich friend [H.H. Rogers] of his who was an admirer of mine about our straits. I was very glad. Mr. Hall was to be at this gentleman’s office away down Broadway at 4 yesterday afternoon, with his statements; & in six minutes we had the check & our worries were over till the 28th. I telegraphed thanking Sue & Ida & saying everything was all right, at present [MTP]
In New York Sam wrote to William Webster Ellsworth of the Century Co., referring to their conversation of the night before and concluding that Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens would interview Mark Twain!
Mr. Clemens has a better opinion of Mr. Twain, than anyone I know of, and this is likely to afford a pleasant and complimentary interview. This has never been tried before, but I think it has large possibilities. I shall put in to-morrow and next day over in Jersey on this interview, and if it goes, and satisfies me, I will soon thereafter finish it. It will be for sale to the highest bidder. I hope that will be McClure, still the highest bidder is the man. / In this mercenary spirit, I sign myself … [MTP].
Late in the evening at Dr. Clarence C. Rice’s home, Sam wrote a few lines to daughter Clara in Elmira. He had a cold and was exhausted, so would she please thank aunt Sue and aunt Ida for him? Then he gave her his good news — the money had finally been raised to meet notes for $8,000 falling due on Monday, Sept. 18 to the Mount Morris Bank, which would no longer take or extend indebtedness to Webster & Co..
The best new acquaintance [H.H. Rogers] I’ve ever seen has helped us over Monday’s bridge. I got acquainted with him on a yacht two years ago [MTP].
Note: this raises an interesting point — when in 1891 did the men meet? There are two possibilities, as Sam was in Hartford or Europe for most of the year, making only two trips to Washington, D.C. where such a meeting might have taken place: Jan. 13 to 15, and Jan 25 to 28, 1891.
Sam had met Henry Huttleston Rogers (1840-1909), and “Monday’s bridge” was the one he’d been trying to raise capital to cross, without any luck. This is the first mention in Sam’s letters of Rogers. Note: H.H. Rogers was called “Hell Hound Rogers” by his critics.
Powers writes that “Clemens and Rogers met on a mid-September evening as Clemens stood with Dr. Rice in the lobby of the Murray Hill Hotel”:
“Rice, acquainted with the Standard Oil man, made the introductions, and the three sat down for drinks. Within minutes the author and the industrial titan had been friends since God knew when. Sam was his witty self, but was delighted to find that Rogers could match him, mot for mot and story for story. Better than that, Rogers disclosed that he‘d been a big fan since catching one of Mark Twain’s ‘Sandwich Islands’ lectures a long time ago.
“As the laughter subsided and the three got up to leave, Rice mentioned to Rogers that Mark Twain’s finances were a little disheveled. Rogers set up a meeting. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, Clemens and Fred Hall arrived at 26 Broadway…”[MT A Life 554]. Note: only Hall went to Rogers office on Sept. 16. Sam was in N.J.
Only Kaplan among major biographers puts the Rogers meeting to this date. Sam’s letter to Clara after the day’s end confirms this date. Kaplan writes Rogers directed Sam to send Fred Hall in the morning “where a check for eight thousand dollars, with the firm’s assets as security, would be forthcoming” . Powers, on the other hand, writes of a 4 p.m. meeting at Rogers’ office with all three men, but Sam was in New Jersey that day.
September 16 Saturday – Sam traveled to Madison, New Jersey and Frank Fuller’s farm, “Chemmiwink,” arriving at 1 p.m. Exhausted from this ordeal to find financial support for Webster & Co., worn down with another cold and bad cough, but knowing that Rogers would provide Fred Hall with the needed $8,000, Sam “went immediately to bed thoroughly tuckered out & drowsy” [Sept 17 to Clara].
In New York at 4 p.m., H.H. Rogers bailed out Webster & Co. with a check for $8,000 to meet the notes to fall due on Monday, Sept. 18. Hall alone went to Rogers’ office for the transaction [citations in Sept. 15 entry]. To many, 53-year-old Rogers was a capitalistic “shark,” a heartless monopolist; while to others he was enormously kind, generous, a patron and contributor, later a benefactor to Helen Keller. To Sam he became an angel and a friend.
Sam wrote to Charles J. Langdon, letter not extant but referred to in Langdon’s Sept. 18 [MTP].
September 17 Sunday – At Frank Fuller’s farm In Madison, N.J. Sam wrote to daughter Clara. He wrote that he’d “woke up at 7 this morning entirely rested, refreshed & brisk.”
It’s a charming great place — wide levels of grass & groves of trees, & plenty of ponies & dogs & cows & carriages, side-saddles so on. Also a bowling alley & a beautiful little theatre….They want you to come & stay a week or so, & I tell them we’ll see, by & by. Good bye, dear. / Papa / I return to N.Y tomorrow [MTP].
Note: Sam undoubtedly made use of the bowling alley, though he made no mention of any games or scores with Fuller. Back in 1875 Sam and Thomas W. Higginson used an old, warped bowling alley while vacationing in Newport, R.I. See Aug. 24, 1875 entry.
Sam also wrote at 7 a.m. to Livy, relating the “billows of hell” that had been rolling over him and the hectic week trying to raise money in Hartford, “without shame” from Sue Crane, and finally in New York, with Rogers making the eleventh-hour rescue. The trial had clarified things for him, as trials often do, at least for his intentions:
When I pack my satchel to leave New York — it may be weeks & it may be months yet, dearest! — my share of Webster & Co will belong to somebody else. I am going to get out of that. I mean to stick to the neighborhood of New York till it is accomplished. If I hadn’t come the concern would have gone under — I do not want to be so necessary to any business again.
Sam wrote that the Fullers “look as they always did….as cordial & breezy as ever, & have no gray hairs.” Sam called their house “in barbarous taste.” He listed everything on their supper table and declared it all from the farm except the sugar and salt. Sam planned to return to Dr. Rice’s in the morning [LLMT 270-1]. Note: Fuller was an old western friend, once acting governor of Utah for a day, a title Sam often used for him.
At Fuller’s Sam met Russell Hinman (1853-1912), who he called “the great authority on physical geography.” In the evening Sam ate radishes and ice cream, and understandably slept “not a wink” [Sept. 19 to Livy].
September 18 Monday – Russell Hinman sent a copy of his book, Eclectic Physical Geography (1888) to Sam for daughter Jean Clemens, with this note:
My dear Sir: —
Mrs. Hannahs tells me you entertain a belief that your daughter would be interested in my little book on Physical Geography. I should not have supposed that a young lady who has doubtless roamed with her father to the very limits of space and to the very steps of the Throne of Grace would be attracted by a mere Synopsis# of a Yarn so strictly mundane.
Still I shall be most happy if you will accept for her use the accompanying copy as a slight token of my appreciation of the many pleasant jaunts I have taken under your guidance and especially of yesterdays delightful personally ## conducted trip to the New Jerusalem! / Very Sincerely Yours, Russell Hinman.
S.L. Clemens Esq
Explanation: #:I gave the company a “synopsis” of a marvelous story of Bob Ingersoll’s.
##. Told them about Rev. Sam. Jone’s entry into Heaven. [MTP]. Note: Sam enclosed Hinman’s note in his Sept. 19 to Livy, with these asterisks and notes.
At Dr. Clarence Rice’s in New York, Sam wrote a note of thanks to Russell Hinman for Jean’s book:
My Dear Mr. Hinman: / I thank you heartily, for myself & for my daughter, & to these acknowledgments I beg you to let me add a book of mine — a book that is full of useful statistics which you will find pretty when you come to embellish & adorn your next edition [MTP].
The New York Times, p.3 “Literary Notes”:
Mark Twain has written for the Century an novel with the title “Pudd’n’head Wilson,” which is a story of a Mississippi steamboat town, and for St. Nicholas a serial entitled “Tom Sawyer Abroad.”
Charles J. Langdon wrote that he’d received Sam’s letter of Saturday (Sept. 16) and had read it to John D. Slee, who would be “very glad to render to you any service in his power.” Slee would be in N.Y. on Sept. 26, open to seeing him Sept. 27 or after Sept. 28. Langdon and wife Ida would leave for N.Y. the next day (Sept. 19) and stay at the Waldorf; they’d be delighted to see him; they’d be there at least a week “Clara is very well I think and enjoying a visit from Susie Twichell” [MTP].
September 19 Tuesday – At Dr. Rice’s in New York, Sam wrote to Livy at 10:30 a.m. after a “full night’s sleep.” He awoke at 8 a.m. and just finished shaving when he wrote, soon to be on his way “to meet a business engagement.”
Yesterday was the crucial day — for the present. We skinned through. We’ve got another reef to cross 5 days hence, & another one 4 days after that. I think we’ll get over — & without the help of any old friend or relative.
Sam also wrote about a Goethe Club which Frank Fuller was “lately made essayist finder, or lecturer-finder.” Fuller offered a plan, which allowed Sam to accept to talk to the club without preparation, a plan involving Will Gillette’s sending a last-minute note of his inability to talk.
This is Fuller’s device for removing my main objection to talking — that I could not prepare a talk and wouldn’t. I said I would not go again to any place where the speech I made could by any possibility be suspected of being otherwise than absolutely impromptu — then a body feels no sense of responsibility & it makes no difference what you talk about or what you say, provided you ain’t dull. Fuller invented his expedient on the instant, & I accepted [MTP].
Note: Sam enclosed Russell Hinman’s Sept. 18 note. The New York Goethe Society was formed in 1875; no record could be found of Sam attending or speaking at the society; Robert Ingersoll spoke to several of their reunions; Fuller hosted at least one gathering of the Goethe Society at his New Jersey summer home (farm) [NY Times, Oct. 19, 1895 p.8].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man his solution for dysentery, which he claimed Livy had used with success.
When it is summer time she eats a slice or two of fresh ripe watermelon, & scores a victory. If it is winter time — then there’s trouble! [MTP].
September 20 Wednesday – At 9:30 a.m., Sam called for Charles and Ida Langdon at the Waldorf Hotel, but after a long search they were not found. Charles was in New York with some sort of ailment where he could not eat, and under the care of Dr. Fuller. After receiving a note later in the day from Ida, Sam returned to the hotel at 5:30 p.m. in his “morning clothes.”
They arrived from driving at that moment, & we had a pleasant half hour together….Dr. Fuller has taken hold of him vigorously, with massage & all sorts of things, & says he can’t budge from his hands for a week [Sept 21, 1st to Livy].
Late at night Sam was “smitten suddenly with shame & remorse” remembering how he refused to stop one time at the Elmira Water Cure as Livy had requested, and how he drove “through the thunder & lightning & rain that night” that frightened her. The guilt and remorse connected him even to Hannibal near-death events:
I have remembered that brutality many a time since, & cursed myself for it. It is at times like these that I also visit with deep & honest curses the memory of those various people who plucked me from the water when I was a lad & drowning [Sept. 21, 1st to Livy].
September 21 Thursday – In New York Sam wrote a short note on Webster & Co. letterhead to daughter Clara in Elmira. The letter is a response to Clara’s (not extant) need for a saddle.
Clara dear, why don’t you write Patrick [McAleer]…& tell him to send you your saddle? If he has taken proper care of it, it is in good condition yet.
Sam also expressed worry that he’d had no letter from Europe in two days — did she get one? Was “Mamma still ailing, or had she recovered?” Sam added a PS: “Letters have come — Mamma is evidently all right again” [MTP].
Sam also wrote two letters to Livy, still in Franzensbad, Germany, the first on letterhead of The Players Club, which related the previous day’s meeting with Charles and Ida Langdon, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Slee at the Waldorf (see Sept. 20):
They speak ever so fondly of Clara; that witch has witched her way into their & other folks’s admiration & affection & is having a good time. Why didn’t you all come with us! I do wish, wish, wish you had. The farm would be such a magnificently effective health resort, such a darling change from unspeakable Europe; then we could go back to the baths in the spring. …
Good-bye, Sweetheart, I must go over to the Century & read some proof (for December) on the story which they continually & everlastingly glorify & shout about [LLMT 271-3].
Note: the first segment of the serialized version of PW ran in the Dec. 1893 issue of Century.
Three or four hours after his first letter to Livy from The Players, Sam wrote her a second letter, this on Webster & Co. letterhead. He related when his “volcano turned itself loose” at the Century office when he discovered his punctuation had been changed in the proofs of December’s PW installment.
…the exhibition was not suited to any Sunday school. [Robert Underwood] Johnson said that the criminal was De Vinne’s peerless imported proof-reader, from Oxford University, & that whatever he did was sacred in De Vinne’s eyes — sacred, final, immutable. I said I didn’t care if he was an Archangel imported from Heaven, he couldn’t puke his ignorant impudence over my punctuation, I wouldn’t allow it for a moment. I said I couldn’t read this proof, I couldn’t sit in the presence of a proof sheet where that blatherskite had left his tracks…
Johnson ordered the proof reset using Sam’s original punctuation for Sam to read the next day (Sept. 22). Sam added that some pictures from Onteora would be sent to her, and that he liked the Century people. He closed with Mrs. Johnson’s wanting to be remembered to Livy; Sam said she “came in, looking plump & young & pretty” [LLMT 273-4]. Note: Katherine McMahon Johnson ( ? -1924) was indeed a stunner, though not “plump” in 1876 when she married Robert. See opposite p.590 in Robert’s autobiography, Remembered Yesterdays.
Sam also responded to a letter (not extant) from his sister, Pamela Moffett and niece, Annie Webster. He wrote on Webster & Co. letterhead.
Yes, I saw the [S.F.] Examiner article, & was greatly pleased with it. …I will ask Mr. Hall for Sam’s [Moffett] book; I shall be very glad to read it.
Clara keeps her trunk at Charley Langdon’s, & thinks she lives with her aunt Sue on the hill; but as nearly as I can make out she is in both places daily, & is having an energetic good time. This I gather at second hand, for she & Susy are like me, they only write when threatened with a club.
Sam added that Livy and Jean were still in Franzensbad, still worried about cholera in New York, though there was no evidence of it. It was Livy who was in cholera country, he wrote [MTP]. Note: Samuel Moffett’s books: The Tariff. What It Is and What It Does (1892), and Suggestions on Government (1894) [Gribben 479]. This reference was likely to an early release of the latter.
September 21 Thursday ca. – Sam wrote a short note to William Carey in the editorial department of the Century, responding to a request for chapter titles for PW installments.
Land, I never was able to invent chapter-titles. I’m too old to learn, now.
Look here! Now they’ve gone to mending my dialect for me — I can’t stand it. Won’t you tell them to follow copy absolutely, in every detail, even if it goes to hell? [MTP].
Sam had developed a violent cough, but Dr. Clarence C. Rice, his host, advised him that if he tried, he could “repress the cough almost entirely.” Sam referred to this consultation in his Sept. 23 letter to Clara:
I find it true. I cough very little, now. But he told me too late to save me — I had already ruptured myself. There is no inflammation & no pain, & he did not tell me to put on a truss; but uncle Charley says I must put one on, & wear it for the rest of my life. He has worn one himself for 20 years [MTP: Sept. 23 to Clara].
September 22 Friday
September 23 Saturday – In New York on Webster & Co. letterhead, Sam wrote to daughter Clara.
Benny dear, whenever anybody in Hartford is ready to receive you, I think you’d better rush there and begin your visiting — for there’s no telling when we are going to leave America; so it will be well to get in your promised visits and make sure of them. I see no early prospect of our leaving for Europe. I am waiting patiently for my matters to run their unavoidable course of development. Don’t come down here by yourself, but come in some lady or gentleman’s charge; & give me notice.
Sam felt Clara wouldn’t enjoy being at “Governor” Fuller’s New Jersey farm longer than a day or so, and if she wished to accept their invitation that he would meet her in Madison, N.J. with Fuller. He cautioned her not to tell Livy about his cough, though disclosed Dr. Rice’s suggestions of Sept. 21, which had helped. Responding to her notice about playing the piano for an Elmira audience, he wished he could have been there. “I am happy in your happiness & success,” he wrote, and would deliver the news to the Charles Langdons who were in New York.
September 24 Sunday
September 25 Monday
September 26 Tuesday – In New York on Webster & Co. letterhead, Sam wrote to daughter Clara.
Benny dear, this is Hulda’s wedding-day. I’ll send a congratulatory cablegram.
Dearheart, I don’t expect to be able to sail before the middle or end of November. I’m in a business fog which every now & then promises to clear, but shuts down next day as thick as ever. So I have come to the conclusion that my release from New York is ‘way off, yet.
I’ll not go to Chicago until the fog disappears. Shan’t go to Elmira or Hartford till the fog disappears.
… Stay at the Farm just as long as you please. Make yourself happy….
George [Griffin] has just come in — now I’ll walk up to the Century office & take him along for company & load myself up with his gossip.
After his signature Sam wrote that he’d not received a letter from Livy for three days and it worried him; “Susy never writes. I wish she would” [MTP].
Later in the day Sam wrote to Livy. He hadn’t sent any news because there wasn’t any — Webster & Co.’s expenses were “not very heavy now,” and the concern was “standing dead still.” Likewise with the typesetter concern in Chicago, which could not raise the money to finish the machine. Everything with both investments was on hold. Sam then related an interesting and funny time with their Negro man-servant, George Griffin:
George called to-day when I was just starting up to the Century office. I took him along & introduced him to the editors of Century & St. Nicholas — which seemed to puzzle them a good deal. I showed him a number of engravings (artists proofs) for “Tom Sawyer Abroad” & asked for his opinion of them — & that puzzled those editors again. Then when the art-director asked me to cross Union Square & take a drink, & I invited George to come along & help, that was another surprise. I knew George would decline, at the bar, which of course he did. I asked him indifferently if he had won any money yesterday, & he said “No, sir, not any yesterday, but I won a hundred last night on the prize fight.” Then I let him go, & went back to the Century & told them all about George — which made them sorry they hadn’t seen more of him.
During the past 3 stringent months George has made more money than he ever made in his life before — lending money to the waiters at the Union League at a hundred per cent a month. Has also lent money to members privately — gentlemen who were wealthy till the panic struck them & now have to borrow of George on their watches & diamonds to pay their Club dues & escape expulsion.
Sam told how Griffin would loan money to waiters at no interest when it came to caring for sick children, and how the Griffins put aside any tips for their four-month-old child’s education. George told him he really had to go to Elmira to see Clara; that he could get a day or two off from his Union League job.
He is about as remarkable a character as I know; I must put him in my next book.
He acknowledged Livy’s Sept. 14 letter (not extant) and reminded “there’s Susy & Jean” who might also write so she wouldn’t have to do so as often [MTP]. Note: the Coney Island prizefight in question was on Dec. 24, the main event between George Dixon and “Solly” Smith, with Dixon the winner. Prizefighting was illegal at that time in New York; Smith was arrested after the beating [N.Y. Times Sept. 26, 1893 p.2 “Dixon Whips ‘Solly’ Smith”].
September 27 Wednesday
September 28 Thursday – In New York on Webster & Co. letterhead, Sam wrote to Livy. Evidently, Livy was in transit to Paris, because Sam sent the letter in care of Drexel Harjes & Co. there, and wrote that he wondered where she was, “at Botzen, I suppose.” He pulled no punches about Webster & Co. or the economic conditions of the country:
I am well, & measurably cheerful; but it is very difficult to be cheerful in my circumstances. This concern, as you know, is in a bad way. I have been trying for three weeks to get rid of all or part of it, & so escape disaster, but thus far we have had no bid that we can accept. By hard work & much trouble I have got extensions on the most pressing debts, & this gives us a little breathing spell & a chance to look around & try further. The times are desperately hard.
The Paige typesetter concern was “at a standstill,” and Sam was grateful he didn’t have to “help run that concern. We will wait & see what happens.” He revealed that a plan was in the back of his mind, if forced to it; a plan that was as much a prophecy:
Sometimes I seem to foresee that I have got to go on the dreadful platform again. If I must, I must — but nothing short of absolute necessity will drive me. If I have to go, I would rather begin with India & Australia, & not reach the American platform till times are better. Do you think you could go with me? I do hope it will not have to be, but often it seems to me that there is going to be no other way out.
Sam blamed his and Hall’s “unspeakable stupidity” in trying to carry the LAL, a project that should have been dumped three years before.
As I have intimated, we have an offer for L.A.L. which we cannot accept. We must look around & see what we can do. …I do love you so, & it does hurt me so to send you such news when you are away off there, lonely among strangers. I love you deep deep down [LLMT 274-5].
Later in the day Sam started another letter to Livy which he finished with a PS on Sept. 30.
I have engaged to try to write an article in a great hurry, for the Cosmopolitan. I will get at it at once.
I do miss you so! Every day the separation becomes harder & harder to bear. Yet I know it must continue a good while yet for things must be straightened out here & something captured out of that type-setter if possible, & these things will take time.
Sam hoped she was happy; he told her not to get sick again, to take good care of herself [LLMT 275-6].
September 29 Friday – In New York, Clarence C. Rice left for Chicago, leaving Sam alone in his “bachelor quarters.” Finding it too lonesome, Sam took a room at The Players Club at 16 Grammercy Park [Sept. 30 to Clara].
On Players Club letterhead, Sam wrote to Francis D. Millet, his old artist friend, responding to an unspecified gift.
I’ll keep it forever, & always thank you. I tried to get to your house this evening, but business caught me & I failed [MTP]. Note: This letter may have been written on a later Friday.
September 30 Saturday – In New York, Sam finished his Sept. 28 letter to Livy. He wrote he’d forgotten to mail his letters of Sept. 28 and 29.
By Jackson a body forgets pretty much everything, these days, except his visions of the poor-house [LLMT 276].
Sam also wrote to daughter Clara, still in Elmira. He had free time till next Tuesday (Oct. 3) and wanted to go to Elmira, but his good clothes had not arrived from Europe. He’d ordered a suit in New York but it wouldn’t be ready until Tuesday or Wednesday.
I had mighty pleasant times here with Uncle Charley & Ida & the Slees. I came near taking up quarters in that beautiful hotel the Waldorf, but I got nervously afraid I should meet too many people. I had a room engaged there, but gave it up & concluded to stay at Dr. Rice’s so as to have his company. However, the minute he left for Chicago I got lonesome; so lonesome that toward bedtime last night I couldn’t stand it; so I moved straight over here to the players Club & took a room. It is in the top of the house & deliciously quiet, & I’ve an electric light right over my pillow. I like it exceedingly.
Sam told Clara if she needed money to ask her aunt Sue and he’d pay her back when he came to Elmira, or send it to her. He confessed being “horribly homesick — not for any place, but for the family” [MTP].
October – Sam’s notebook makes reference to Sanford Fillmore Bennett’s 1868 hymn, “The Sweet By and By” [Gribben 59; NB33 TS 35]. Note: Sam first joked about this hymn in a Dec. 5, 1877 letter to D.F. Appleton.
October 1 Sunday – As evidenced by Oct. 3 letters to Clara and Livy, Sam made a quick round trip to Elmira on Oct. 1 and 2. Each way was nine to ten hours by rail, so his visit there was brief. Evidently he changed his mind about his clothes not being suitable, as expressed to Clara on Sept. 30. Sam’s notebook:
Erie Road. Parlor Car Hebrides, Sunday Oct 1 — left Jersey City 10.15 a.m. / Darkey porter with impudent manners [NB 33 TS 33].
October 2 Monday – Sam was in Elmira for a quick visit with his daughter Clara, Sue Crane and perhaps others. He returned to New York on this day or overnight.
John Brisben Walker for Cosmopolitan wrote a rather strongly worded note to Sam, that the “chief feature of my Christmas edition will be absent if you fail me. Don’t, for heavens sake, unless you wish me the worst sort of luck” [MTP].
October 3 Tuesday – In the morning, Sam was back in New York and wrote to daughter Clara:
Well, dear Ben, that little glimpse of you has done me a power of good. Was I indiscreet in talking as I did about my firm’s condition? I guess not; you will keep still & say nothing. It would hurt if any thing of our embarrassments got into print.
Thus far I haven’t felt any fatigue from my double journey [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Livy, with no news other than his trip to Elmira:
I am back & feel no fatigue from my 550 miles of railroading in two successive days. Land, it did me good to see Clara! [MTP].
Sam also wrote on Players Club letterhead (probably on this day but as late as Oct. 6) to John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan, responding to his Oct. 2 invitation to talk:
Won’t you name the time & place & let me come to you? Any hour will suit me. This is the only place I am acquainted with, & I see you are not a member. Won’t your office do? [MTP].
October 4 Wednesday
October 5 Thursday – In New York, Sam wrote on Webster & Co. letterhead to daughter Clara, responding to her “dear sweet letter” he found upon arrival in New York. Sam sent her an assortment of postage stamps for her to write more. On the reverse side of the letter he wrote:
Charley Warner is insisting that you go there, when you go to Hartford, & make that your headquarters, (with your trunk there), & visiting around among the Twichells and Robinsons from there [MTP].
Sam also wrote a few lines on Players Club letterhead to Livy. If the “giving away of L.A.L.” was made certain, he would cable “Things look better,” or some such. He wrote he was being called away and signed, “goodbye dear old sweetheart” [MTP].
October 6 Friday
October 7 Saturday
October 8 Sunday – The New York Times, p.18 under “Personal” ran this squib:
Although the sons of famous men are apt to be disappointing, the daughters seem not infrequently to seize the mantle of the paternal genius. Miss Mildred Howells is a most skillful story-teller and a clever illustrator, and Miss Clare [sic] Clemens, daughter of Mark Twain, though only twenty years old, has written a play which is highly spoken of. [Note: the play is not specified; this may be confused with a play that Susy wrote.]
John D.F. Slee wrote a quite illegible letter to Sam, which mentioned Fred Hall [MTP].
October 9 Monday – In New York Sam wrote on Players Club letterhead to Joe Twichell, answering Joe’s urging letter (not extant) for him to come up to Hartford for a visit.
I am likely to run up & tie up with you a while before very long, though I can’t guess the day yet, nor indeed guess very near it; but I’ll give you notice beforehand, & then if you ain’t at home I’ll visit around till you come. I want Clara to have a good visit with your girls…I want Clara to be with young people — it is a luxury she can’t have much of, in Europe. …
I am powerful anxious to see you all, & have a lot of talks & several walks, & am not going to be cheated out of these things this trip.
Sam reported that Livy was “getting along well” and “probably in Paris by this time” [MTP].
October 10 Tuesday
October 11 Wednesday
October 12 Thursday
October 13 Friday – Grace King wrote to Livy about how delightful her visit with her sister last year was, and how the Clemenses were on her mind so much. Much of the letter is illegible [MTP].
October 14 Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote on the back of his Villa Viviani calling card, a note for Franklin G. Whitmore:
P.S. Moreover, that Buffalo firm have not paid me in full for “Adam’s Diary” & I am going to sue for the rest SLC [MTP].
Note: This may have been left on a visit to Hartford. Is it a PS to a letter (not extant)? The Buffalo matter was Niagara Book, containing “Extracts from Adam’s Diary” was published by Underhill and Nichols. Sam had received but $500 of the $1,000 promised. See June 3.
October 15 Sunday
October 16 Monday – In New York, Sam wrote on Players Club letterhead to daughter Clara. This is an obvious response to Clara’s letter (not extant), which evidently had sought an answer to why gondolas carried a blade on the bow. Sam searched “two cyclopedias & the Century Dictionary, then examined the Astor Library — but all to no purpose.” Sam supplied an answer from Gilder and Johnson of the Century that the blade was a gauge for clearance, but also had become ornamental. Clara wanted the information to win some candy.
If this won’t win the candy, wait a few days till Charles DeKay returns from Chicago; then I will get the unassailable facts & send them to you.
Meanwhile, I thought I would secure the candy for you, anyway; so I went to Huyler’s, but gave it up. There were fifteen hundred thousand women in there & I could not get near the counter. Besides, I was the only man, & I was afraid of them. However, if you will buy the candy & tell me the sum, I’ll gladly send you the money.
I asked Mr. Hall about the translation of Struwelpeter & he said it is in the hands of one of these publishers of baby-books — just lying there — nothing being done about it. Thanks — now I have an idea — I’ll go to-morrow & see if St. Nicholas don’t want it.
I think Beard’s pictures in “Tom Sawyer Abroad,” in St Nicholas, are mighty good. Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge requires you to let her know, when you come to New York. I said you would.
With my best regards to Miss Willard & love to you & aunt Sue — / Papa.
Sam added a PS that he’d seen a cable in the papers, dated Berlin, that said “the late Gen. Von Versen” was succeeded. “Is it possible he is dead?” Maximillian von Versen died on Oct. 9,. 1893.
October 17 Tuesday – In New York, Sam began a story/letter to Livy that he laid aside forgotten until he moved into new quarters at The Players on Dec. 16, 1893. Sam titled the tale, based on a young girl he’d seen at Dora Keith’s, “TALE OF THE DIME-NOVEL MAIDEN”. Sam finished the tale on Dec. 16 and then put it in a letter to Livy on Dec. 17.
Sam conferred with Henry H. Rogers, who had a plan for the Paige typesetter. (See Oct. 18 to Livy).
Sam gave a dinner speech in Brooklyn at the Oxford Club. The talk included “the watermelon story,” and was reported the next day by the Brooklyn Eagle, October 18, 1893, p.5, “MARK TWAIN THE GUEST:
The Oxford club opened its season of social entertainment last night with a dinner to Mr. Samuel L. Clemens. (Mark Twain.) The diningroom was handsomely decorated. A zither quartet furnished music. Dinner was served at 7 o’clock and was in the best style of the steward, Adam Kiefer. To the right and left of President Berri, as guests of the evening, sat Mr. Samuel L. Clemens, Colonel John A. Cockerill, John Brisbin [sic] Walker of the Cosmopolitan; Murat Halstead, William Cullen Bryant, General A. C. Barnes. There were also present [a long list].
When the coffee and cigar stage arrived Mr. Berri, in introducing the guest, said that before he had met Mr. Clemens he had formed quite an opinion of him, through his contact with young ladies who called on him with portraits of Mark Twain taken in various poses of a more or less thoughtful character. These portraits gave him the idea that if brains were concentrated in any one place they must be in the head of Mark Twain ….He welcomed Mr. Clemens in the name of the club and trusted that the remaining years of his life would be lightened by the pleasure he had afforded others.
Mr Clemens spoke in part as follows:
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, very sincerely for the closing sentence, which was very complimentary. Some men deserve compliments, but the only one that is welcome to a modest man is the one that is undeserved. In writing “Tom Sawyer” I had no idea of laying down rules for the bringing up of small families, but merely to throw out hints as to how they might bring themselves up, and the boys seemed to have caught the idea nicely. It is difficult to talk with out a text, and very trying to a modest man to talk on a compliment to himself. I might appear vain. On that point I would immediately convene this gathering into a lodge of sorrow. I read a story the other day which I shall use as my text. It recited how the governor of this state confessed that he had stolen a dollar back from a boy who had stolen it from him, and that he proceeded to draw a moral from the confession of his own mendacity. There is an old maxim that says “All men are liars.” I forget who wrote it, whether it was King Solomon or little George Washington. But, who ever it was, perhaps he himself was the one he meant when he wrote it. I have a new maxim to suggest: “All men are thieves and liars.” They don’t all remain thieves, but they do remain liars. Some men reform in the first class. Now, in the matter of theft, as between the governor and me — I say it with all modesty — yet I could beat him out in moral conscience. He speaks of how he stole the bill and shows no sign of making restitution. When I was a boy in Missouri the farmers carted their watermelons to market for sale. One day I climbed up on one of the wagons to look at the melons, and wondering in my mind what providence had in store for me and whether it was anything favorable. I would be there, however, and would not lose the benefit. It turned out that providence had me in mind, for the farmer went away and I stole a watermelon. I felt as good as the governor did with his dollar. When I had taken the melon to a place of safety I concluded that it was my duty to see whether the melon was good or whether I had been imposed upon, so I plugged it. It was green. I concluded that one could not eat a melon in that state and that it was wrong and criminal to bring such fruit to market. On due consideration I took it back and delivered it up to that farmer. The governor didn’t do that and that’s where we differ. I had a moral sense of duty. I took the melon back and showed the farmer that it was green and told him that he should not peddle green fruit. He very properly apologized and gave me a ripe one. We parted good friends, with the assurance on my part that he would always have my custom. That was the reward of honesty and where the governor and I differ. I could very readily see the criminality of the farmer in peddling green fruit, and while it was not necessary for me to confess my part and repent, my fine sense of moral right enabled me to effect a compromise. I must ask you all to confess your thefts, what was the date of the last one, its nature and whether you intend to continue in your career.
October 18 Wednesday – In New York on Players Club letterhead, Sam wrote a long letter to Livy. The last two days had been so busy he hadn’t had the time to write. The sale of LAL was finalized and the transfer would be made the following day. Sam called it a “give-away,” yet it removed a great burden from Sam and Webster & Co. [MTP] Paine writes,
“Rogers had suggested to his son-in-law, William Evarts Benjamin also a subscription publisher, that he buy from the Webster company The Library of American Literature for fifty thousand dollars, a sum which provided for the more insistent creditors. There was hope that the worst was over. Clemens did in reality give up walking the floor, and for the time, at least, found happier diversions” [MTB 971]. (Editorial emphasis.)
Note: Benjamin (1859-1940) was a prominent Boston publisher who married Anne Engle Rogers, eldest daughter of H.H. Rogers.
Sam also wrote of a plan of the Cosmopolitan’s Walker and Hardy to go into a partnership with Hall and himself to publish books. In order to get “this scheme into shape” Sam would need weeks more in New York. The rest of the letter dealt with the old tangle of the Paige typesetter, and Sam’s new financial “angel.”
Meantime I have got the best & wisest man in the whole Standard Oil group of multi-millionaires a good deal interested in looking into the type-setter (this is private, don’t mention it.) He has been searching into that thing for three weeks , & yesterday he said to me, “I find the machine to be all you represented it — I have here exhaustive reports from my own experts, & I know every detail of its capacity, its immense value, its construction, cost, history, & all about its inventor’s character. I know that the New York Co & the Chicago Co are both stupid, & that they are unbusinesslike people, destitute of money and in a hopeless boggle.”
Then he told me the scheme he had planned, then said: “If I can arrange with those people on this basis — it will take several weeks to find out — I will see to it that they get the money they need. Then the thing will move right along & your royalties will cease to be waste paper. I will post you the minute my scheme fails or succeeds. In the meantime, you stop walking the floor. Go off to the country & try to be gay. You may have to go to walking again, but don’t begin till I tell you my scheme has failed.” And he added: “Keep me posted always as to where you are — for if I need you & can use you I want to know where to put my hand on you.”
If I should even divulge the fact that the Standard oil is merely talking remotely about going into the type-setter, it would send my royalties up [MTP].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam that he did not “see any room for a hitch now” in the sale of the LAL for $50,000 to William Evarts Benjamin, which would “insure our safety for several months to come” [MTHHR 11;MTP]. Note: The sale provided for payments by Benjamin over time.
October 19 Thursday – The sale of LAL to William Evarts Benjamin, H.H. Roger’s son-in-law, was finalized for $50,000 [Oct. 18 to Livy; MTB 971].
October 20 Friday – At 4:50 p.m. in New York, on Players Club letterhead, Sam wrote to Livy. He mentioned a change in plans about his skeleton novelette idea, and would evaluate his “old translation of Struwelpeter & see if it is worth publishing.” He felt a new color printing invention by Cosmopolitan would be “just the thing” with the story. Charles and Julia Langdon had been in the city “a couple of days,” and had complained that Clara spent all her Elmira time at Miss Katherine Willard’s (daughter of Berlin schoolteacher Mary B. Willard) and Quarry Farm.
Charley seems to have a very warm place in his heart for Clara & it hurt me to see him so wounded. Julie’s feeling, in the matter, did not greatly concern me, for there’s nothing to Julie. She’s really only a bundle of envy & jealousy & transparent generalities. [Note: Julia was Charles’ and Ida’ s daughter].
Sam noted that Underhill’s son (Irving S. Underhill) never paid him the second $500 on his “Adam’s Diary” sketch that ran in the Niagara book, and in fact had been pushed out by “his rich backer,” so Sam notified the backer (Nichols) that he must pay or face a lawsuit. (See June 3, Oct 14 entries). He’d not heard any more about Prof. William D. Cabell going to Richmond. Cabell hosted several gatherings when Sam was in Washington, D.C in 1889. See Feb. 2, 1889. Suggesting a break in the Cabell marriage and Sam’s disdain for Mrs. Isa Carrington Cabell, he wrote:
If there was a breach I’m afraid it is healed — a thing which was to have been expected, I suppose. I reckon she’ll still be there when we go to Hartford — consound it!
Sam was glad that Susy was “better & coming along!” and was “to be substantial enough to take her singing lessons.” He finished with the reassurance that he was getting all of Livy’s letters, though his replies were but “hurried snatches” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Murat Halstead.
That’s the kind of report I like to read. I have sent it to Mrs. Clemens.
I hold myself under weighty obligations to you for that delightful night. A body couldn’t ever have a better time than I had. Please offer my very best compliments to Mr. Berri — a man who knows how to be chairman at a banquet — a most rare gift in this world, as you have found out long before this [Note: Sam referred to the Oxford Club banquet on Oct. 17].
He also passed information on an unnamed job applicant who Halstead might be able to help [MTP].
Clara Clemens arrived in New York from Elmira with Miss Katherine Willard [Oct. 21 to Livy].
October 21 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy, enclosing a letter to him from Clara written Oct. 18 at Quarry Farm. Sam wrote after Clara’s signature:
Saturday. Clara has arrived, dearheart, & I have cabled you that she sails 31st for Bremen with Miss W. [MTP]. Note: Miss Katherine Willard, daughter of Mary B. Willard; Clara called Sam “Buppy” and “Buppins” in her letter. Clara would return to Europe on Oct. 31, after a visit to Hartford with her father.
October 22 Sunday
October 23 Monday
October 24 Tuesday – In New York Sam sent a note to Frederick J. Hall directing him to send $175 to the steamer office for passage and funds for daughter Clara and her teacher’s daughter, Miss Katherine Willard.
I go to Hartford at noon to-morrow, (Wednesday) with my daughter. Please re-mail such letters as may arrive for us up to Saturday noon….Open all telegrams & re-wire them to me. SLC [MTP].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam that he’d received a letter from Clara advising of her arrival in New York. The rest of the letter involves finances, Livy’s account, etc. Sam wrote at the top of the letter “Dear Mr. Hall: Don’t wait for Nov. 5. Send Langdon the money now” [MTP].
October 25 Wednesday – Before leaving for Hartford, Sam enclosed Charles Langdon’s Oct. 24 letter (asking for payment of $1,705.93 for the James Rathbone note and interest payments) to Frederick J. Hall. See Aug. 8 for Langdon borrowing $8,000 from his friend Rathbone to help Webster & Co.
Lotos Club per Frank R. Lawrence wrote to Sam a short note, enclosing a formal, caligraphied invitation to the first club dinner in Sam’s honor, on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m. [MTP].
October 26 Thursday – Sam was in Hartford staying with the Charles Dudley Warners [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 27 Friday – In Hartford Sam responded to letters and a formal invitation from John Elderkin and Frank R. Lawrence about a forthcoming banquet:
I have named two friends of Mr. Lawrence whom I should like to have invited. I hope we’ll have a good time at the dinner, & go home instructed & elevated. But the former is the hardest; let us look particularly to that [MTP]. Note: Lawrence was president of the Lotos Club at this time; Elderkin was secretary; he wrote A Brief History of the Lotos Club (1895) including the dinner honoring Mark Twain.
October 28 Saturday – Sam was in Hartford staying with the Charles Dudley Warners [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 28-31 Tuesday – Sometime during this period Sam wrote a letter from either Hartford or New York to Livy about Isa Carrington Cabell and Susan Warner.
Susy is daft upon that humbug — clean daft. Mrs. C. practices the coarsest tyrannies upon Susy [Warner] at her own table and they are submitted to with an unresenting meekness which makes one’s blood boil. Both Lilly Warner and I were present at these humiliating exhibitions. The woman is unspeakably ignorant and shallow and affected and false — and most transparently so [MTP]
October 29 Sunday – Sam was in Hartford staying with the Charles Dudley Warners [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 30 Monday – Sam returned to New York with daughter Clara [Oct. 27 to Elderkin].
October 31 Tuesday – At 10 a.m. in New York, Sam shipped out daughter Clara on the liner Allee, bound for Europe. Clara was accompanied by Miss Katherine Willard, daughter of Clara’s Berlin schoolmaster. Later Sam wrote to Mary Mapes Dodge that Clara had just left and that if she had missed seeing her altogether, he guessed “the dentist was the reason.” He would be at her place for dinner on Thursday Nov. 2 by himself, unless she notified him otherwise [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Towner K. Webster, of Webster Mfg., Chicago, the company involved in the Paige typesetter there. It was a letter of introduction for Henry H. Rogers, and a request that Webster,
…give him & any whom he may bring with him every opportunity to examine & test the Compositor…for I want Mr. Rogers to know all about the machine.
I do not need to explain to you who Mr. Rogers is, since whoever knows the Standard Oil knows him [MTP].
November – Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared as a serial in the November issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. “The Esquimau Maiden’s Romance” ran in the Cosmopolitan. This sketch was later collected in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (1900), and My Debut as a Literary Person, Etc. (1903) [Budd, Collected 2: 1001].
Sam’s notebook carries a resolve to “speak to Howells” about dramatizing Don Quixote [Gribben 135; NB 33 TS 38]. Note: Sam and Howells saw Henry Irving in Becket on Nov. 16; this entry likely occurred soon after that viewing.
November or December ca. – In New York, Sam sent a note to Frederick J. Hall, referring to his July 26 notebook entry, the substance of a letter he sent Hall that day from Krankenheil, in Bavaria. He wanted to know if the “Defense of Harriet Shelley” MS was still on hand. Sam also directed Hall to buy a dozen of his photographs from Sarony’s, “side-view” to send to Livy at the Hotel Brighton in Paris [MTP: Oct. 1938 Van Nosdall catalog, Item 3].
November 1 Wednesday – Sam inscribed a copy of HF to Francis Wilson: Salutation and Best Wishes to Francis Wilson from Mark Twain. New York, Nov. 1, 1893 [MTP].
The Brooklyn Eagle, along with other newspapers, announced on p.4:
THE NEW NOVEL BY MARK TWAIN
which will begin in the December CENTURY, like several of Mark Twain’s stories, has for its scene a steamboat town on the Mississippi River forty years ago. It is perhaps the most dramatic novel that Mark Twain has ever written. “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” a hard-headed country lawyer furnishes much…
There is this trouble about special
providences, — namely: there is often
a doubt as to which party was intended
to be the beneficiary. In the case of the
Children, the Bears and the Prophet,
the bears got more real satisfaction
out of the episode than the prophet
Did, because they got the children. —
PUDD’NHEAD WILSON’S CALENDAR.
The same newspaper, on p.7 also ran an announcement for a current magazine:
ST. NICHOLAS MAGAZINE.
The November St. Nicholas begins the twenty-first volume, enlarge by consolidation with the Wide Awake and further fortified by Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain. The former begins a series of tales of India with “Rikki Tikki Tavo”….and next comes “Tom Sawyer Abroad,” by Huck Finn, edited by Mark Twain, which takes up Tom Sawyer after Tom got shot in the leg, having just set Darky Jim free. Tom wasn’t satisfied “after all them adventures.” They only “just p’isoned him for more,” and here he is again, working a balloon around the world just to show what he can do.
November 2 Thursday – In New York Sam wrote to daughter Clara. He wanted her to be sure to call “immediately” on the widow Frau Alice von Versen in Berlin; she would need to inquire as the house they were living in had been supplied by the German government. He remarked Clara had been gone 55 hours and was well on her way across the Atlantic. He admonished her to find an escort for the long trip from Berlin to Paris, one who would be satisfactory to Livy, who was worried about the matter. He asked to be remembered “warmly” to Mrs. Mary B. Willard and Miss Katherine Willard, and to the Jacksons.
With lots of love to you, — whom I already sharply miss — / Papa.
Dr. Lobedanz of Mecklengurg, Germany wrote to Sam asking if his school might “publish an extract” of P&P for boys learning German to study. Sam wrote on the back of the letter,
Now, then, my ambition is satisfied. To get into a nation’s schoolbooks is about as high as a person can go. / Those are very pleasant things you’ve been hearing from your landlord and from Miss Whittlesey. They please me as much as they do you [MTP]. Note: According to notes in the MTP file, this last sentence may have been referenced to Franklin Whitmore, or to Webster & Co.
November 3 Friday – In New York Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens that he’d “mapped out a long novel to-day, & will bury myself in it to-morrow….” Note: The story was “Tom Sawyer Detective,” which LLMT p.277 calls “an ingenious but uninspired yarn not published until August and September 1896 in Harper’s Magazine.” Sam also wrote about daughter Clara’s trip.
Clara & I had only four days in Hartford. She is now 80 hours at sea on her way to Germany in the “Allee.” She has escort and company to Berlin, & from there will find escort & company to Paris, where her mother & the rest are. She could have gone by Havre vastly quicker, but hates the French line. I don’t know how she can bear to think of that tremendous journey from Berlin to Paris, but she says she doesn’t mind it. Well she is young; youth minds nothing [MTP].
November 4 Saturday – In New York, Sam gave a reading at the Uncut Leaves Society. See John D. Barry, “New York Letter,” Literary World (Boston), 24; 18 Nov. 1893, p.385. The Hartford Daily Courant, Nov. 11, 1893, p.4 “Society Notes” reported that Sam and Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923), children’s author and educator, were among the readers. Wiggin is best known for The Birds’ Christmas Carol (1887) and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903).
Sam’s text was not specified but is listed in his notebook:
For Nov. 4 — / Si Wheeler’s arrival in Heaven /
Californian’s Tale / Irish Christening. / Katakrinokouphalog. /
Hamilton-Mabie, Spenser [NB 33 TS 36].
Joseph B. Gilder for the Critic wrote to Sam asking for “from 50 to 150 words” of his impression of the Chicago Exposition. Sam wrote on the envelope, “Mendicancy” [MTP].
November 5 Sunday – In New York Sam dined with the William Mackay Laffans [Nov. 6 to Susy]. A declined invitation from Andrew Carnegie to John Elderkin, Secretary of the Lotos Club, names this date and his inability to meet “my friend — everybody’s friend — Mark Twain” on Sunday [MTP: Nov. 3 Carnegie to Elderkin]. Note: this suggests the dinner was a Lotos Club affair.
November 6 Monday – In New York Sam spent the afternoon talking to the actor Joe Jefferson, who dropped into the Players Club to see him. Later in the day Sam wrote to daughter Susy, asking her help in comforting her mother while he was away. With the intercession of Rogers, Sam still hoped for riches from the typesetter.
I will drop a line to the dearest of all the dear Susies to say, bear up mamma’s hands & help her to endure our long separation as patiently as she can, for I absolutely must not budge one step from this place until we are safe from the poorhouse.
That I shall succeed, I have not the slightest doubt — if I don’t go rushing across the ocean again too soon. If I budge too soon, I shall fail.
I believe I could run over to France now, for a couple of weeks, but I am not absolutely sure; therefore I am going to wait until I am sure.
We are millionaires if we hold the royalties 12 months….I have wasted not a moment in America; I am wasting no moments now. I have four irons in the fire & I take vigilant care of all of them.
[Note: the four irons: typesetter, Webster & Co., serialization of Pudd’nhead Wilson, and the “new book,” “Tom Sawyer Detective” LLMT 276n10].
Sam also mentioned a new book (“Tom Sawyer Detective”) that he was writing that made him “jolly.” “I live in it. But when I think of Joan of Arc, how I long to get at that again! I should be fixed just right if I could have both books to work on month-about.” He was also being fed by seemingly everyone in New York:
I dined with the Laffans last night; dine with the Huttons tomorrow night; Dr. Rice’s Wednesday night; with him and Mr. Huntington Thursday night; Lotos banquet in my honor Saturday night; Booth Memorial Services with Mrs. Rice next Monday afternoon & dine with the Huttons and Irving, etc. that night. By then I hope to know if I can cross the water for a fortnight [LLMT 276-7].
Note: In his Nov. 7 letter to Susan Warner, he included her in the “etc.” for the Nov. 13 gathering. See Nov. 14 to Livy for others mentioned.
Sam also wrote a short paragraph on Webster & Co. letterhead to Richard Watson Gilder of the Century, that Gilder had not suggested a price for an invited work. Sam would not “venture to suggest prices any more,” since,
…on the three occasions when I made the attempt the editors were shocked. They gave me to understand that I was degrading my art to a trade [MTP].
November 7 Tuesday – In New York Sam wrote on Players Club letterhead to Susan L. Warner, declining an invitation, probably to visit the Warners in Hartford. The need for him to remain in the country might “close at any unforeseen moment,” and then he would “break for ship without stopping to stuff my shawl-strap.” He wrote he would see her at the Hutton’s the next Monday (Nov. 13), however, and then they could talk [MTP].
An election took place that “swept the Democratic party off its feet.” In his Nov. 10 to Livy he observed that it was “curious to see both great parties in turn turning Mugwump. Yet both abuse the Mugwumps all through the off-months.” See Nov. 10 entry for more.
In the evening Sam dined with the Laurence Hutton family [Nov. 6 to Susy].
November 8 Wednesday – In New York on Webster & Co. letterhead, Sam wrote to Livy. He was glad she’d decided to stay at the Imperial Hotel in Paris as the “landlord knows us and wants us.” He was glad she was sleeping regularly and “stop worrying.” He would send autographs requested by Mrs. Murphy and he would “promptly write Mr. Fisher” for favors done for Livy. He had just received a letter from Susy and was “delighted about her voice,” knowing “its sweetness will return,” but not knowing “whether I want it to be contralto or soprano.” Sam also knew why “Hellion Lançon” called on Livy — “to get a recommend,” which he’d already attended to. After his signature he added a PS:
You don’t owe Charley [Langdon] now — your notes are paid & canceled.
I met Miss French & that dear old Mrs. French on the street the other day. Mrs. French (who is over 80 & blind for 20 years) has had her cataracts removed & now she reads her daughter’s proofs. She remembered Miss French as a slender slip of a girl, & the first thing she said when her sight was restored was, “Why how you’re bloated!” Miss F. is very huge & fleshy, now [MTP]. Note: Alice French (1850-1934); See Gribben 246. French wrote under the pseudonym, “Octave Thanet”; Her novel Expiation (1890), won high praise. Her mother was Francis Wood French.
He also wrote “slowly and cautiously” on Tom Sawyer, Detective [Nov. 10 to Livy]. In the evening Sam dined with Dr. & Mrs. Clarence C. Rice [Nov. 6 to Susy].
Joseph B. Gilder for the Critic wrote a two-sentence note to Sam, that “The price I had in mind was a £1,000,000 Bank Note.” Sam wote on the envelope, “The Mendicant confesses” [MTP].
November 9 Thursday – In New York, Sam continued to work “slowly and cautiously” on Tom Sawyer, Detective [Nov. 10 to Livy].
In the evening Sam dined with Dr. Clarence C. Rice and Mr. Huntington [Nov. 6 to Susy]. Note: Mr. Huntington is not further identified.
November 10 Friday – In New York Sam wrote on Players Club letterhead to Livy. Even with all the interruptions he was “making good progress” on Tom Sawyer, Detective having written 10,000 words.
The last two days I have written very slowly & cautiously, & made my steps sure. It is a delightful work & a delightful subject. The story tells itself.
Sam also related election results from Tuesday, Nov. 7:
The Democratic party had everything their own way & could have remained steadily in power, but they had no sense & haven’t had any for forty years. They had not a single leader in Congress with any ability; their majority in the Senate was made up of cowards, & their President of the Senate was a wax figure. By consequence the country was left in a state of intolerable commercial congestion 3 months while those idiots sat pottering in the Senate. Evidently the whole country has taken the alarm, & is aghast at the idea of leaving itself longer at the mercy of these blockheads & poltroons.
In this state Dave Hill put up a convicted thief for one of the loftiest places in the Judiciary. The people rose with lightnings and thunder & tempest and snowed him under — buried him past resurrection under whole mountain-ranges of ballots. Now you understand why our system of government is the only rational one that was ever invented. When we are not satisfied we can change things
You are most precious to me [LLMT 277-8]. Note: Sam’s abrupt ending suggests an interruption or a lost end to the letter.
Note: The Panic of 1893 caused voters to turn away from the party of Grover Cleveland, the Republicans winning eight out of eleven state elections. The President of the Senate Sam referred to was Adlai E. Stevenson of Chicago, whose grandson didn’t like Ike in 1952 and 1956. David Bennett Hill) (1843-1910) was the Senator from N.Y., who in 1893 nominated Isaac Horton Maynard (1838-1896) for Judge of the Court of Appeals. Maynard had been arraigned for election fraud in Dutchess County; he lost by more than 100,000 votes, and his nomination was reported as “swamping” the Democrats. See NY Times, June 13, 1896 p.1 for details and Maynard’s obituary.
Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who evidently had written from Hartford.
Dear Mother Fairbanks:
Oh, dear no! None of us is in Hartford. Clara & I were there four days visiting, but she has gone back to the rest of the family in Europe…I am remaining here a few days longer amusing myself with writing a book while I wait for a business matter to complete itself.
Livy’s health is improving, & the doctors think they can cure her in another year over there. The children are hard at work on music & the languages, & they are making perfectly satisfactory progress. …
…I expect to make other flying trips hither during the next twelvemonth, & so I shall hope to catch sight of you on one of them.
With the same old affection I am / Sincerely Yours / S L Clemens [MTMF 272-3].
The New York Times, p.8 announced:
Lotos Dinner to Mark Twain
The Lotos Club will give the first dinner in its new house, 558 Fifth Avenue, to Mr. Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) on Saturday evening [Nov.11]. Two hundred members and guests will participate in this tribute to the humorist. The capacities of the new clubhouse will be well tested. Mark Twain is one of the oldest members of the Lotos, but, owing to his residence abroad, his fellow-members have seen very little of him for a number of years. The demand for seats at the dinner in his honor is something unprecedented, and it promises to be a notable one in the history of the club. Among those who have accepted invitations and who are expected to be present and participate in the after-dinner speaking are Seth Low [1830-1916], Richard Watson Gilder, Charles Dudley Warner, Edmund Clarence Stedman, Charles A. Dana, William D. Howells, Gen. Horace Porter [1837-1921], James Brisbin [sic] Walker, and Edward Eggleston. President Frank R. Lawrence will preside. Mr. Clemens expected to return to Europe at an early day, but he postponed his departure in order to accept this compliment from the Lotos Club.
November 11 Saturday – In New York City, The Lotos Club gave a dinner in honor of Mark Twain. Sam’s speech may be found in Fatout, MT Speaking, p.265-7. The New York Times, November 12, 1893 also published a version of the speech. See also MTB 971.
President Frank R. Lawrence (1845-1918) introduced Mark Twain:
“What name is there in literature that can be likened to his? Perhaps some of the distinguished gentlemen about this table can tell us, but I know of none. Himself his only parallel, it seems to me. He is all our own — a ripe and perfect product of the American soil” [MTB 971].
The city newspapers, including Brooklyn Eagle and the N.Y. Times, reported the event, and quoted Sam’s remarks, the latter paper extensively. Sam would later send the Times clippings to Livy and Orion. The recent election was on Sam’s mind:
I was born a Mugwump, and I shall probably die a Mugwump. This election merely proves what I have contended abroad. I have said there that when Europe gets a ruler lodged in her gullet, there is no help for it but a bloody revolution; here we go and get a great big, emetical ballot, and heave it up.
Note: Also in attendance and not mentioned in the Times article of Nov. 10: John Hay, Andrew Carnegie, St. Clair McKelway and “nearly 200 other men well known in social, business, literary, and artistic circles.” The Times article of Nov. 12 claimed Sam made two speeches during the evening. In his second he reported on Americans overseas:
I have been on the Continent two and a half years and I have met many Americans in Europe; they have in almost all cases preserved their Americanism. The American abroad likes to see the flag of his country; he likes to see the Stars and Stripes fluttering proudly in the breeze. In those two and a half years I met only one American lady to be ashamed of. That is a very good record. That woman glorified monarchial institutions and lauded titles of nobility. She kept on until it was plain to me that she had forgotten such a country as the United States and such a flag as our flag. Finally, when I could stand it no longer, I said: “We have at least one merit — we are not as China is.” The lady replied that she would like to know what the difference was. I answered: “China forbids a dissatisfied citizen to leave the country. We don’t.”
The Boston Daily Globe also covered the event, pointing out in “Dinner to Mark Twain,” p.4 that “Only once during the evening was he referred to by his real name.”
November 12 Sunday
November 13 Monday – In New York City in the afternoon, a memorial service was held for the late Edwin Booth, who died on June 7. Sam was in attendance (according to his Nov. 6 to Susy he went with Mrs. Rice). As reported in the N.Y. Times of Nov. 12 and 14, p.3 and 8, “The Booth Memorial” and “In Memory of Edwin Booth”:
Nov. 12: The memorial services in honor of the late Edwin Booth will be held in the Madison Square Garden Concert Hall to-morrow afternoon. The doors will open at 2:45 o’clock, and as no seats will be reserved, holders of tickets will consult their own interests by being on hand promptly. Thirteen hundred cards of invitation have been issued…
Nov. 14: Simple but impressive services in memory of Edwin Booth were held, under the auspices of The Players, in the concert hall of the Madison Square Garden yesterday afternoon.
Only those who had been personally invited by the club were present. They were mainly members of the dramatic profession, and not an actor or actress of note playing in New-York was absent. The moistened eyes of those who listened to the words of Joseph Jefferson and other close personal friends of Mr. Booth testified to the universal and loving esteem in which the tragedian was held by his fellow-players. …
Except upon the stage , there were no emblems of mourning in the hall. The footlights were draped in black, and long black curtains hung from the wings. The rear of the platform was banked high with palms and ferns.
In the centre of the stage, at the rear, on a pedestal which elevated it above the ferns, was a bust of the great tragedian, with a wreath of white flowers at its base.
The New-York Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Walter Domrosch, occupied the stage and furnished the musical part of the services. The selections were appropriately chosen with reference to the music used by Mr. Booth in his plays. The opening piece was the Dead March from “Saul,” which was performed in Mr. Booth’s presentations of “Hamlet.” Tschaikowsky’s fanaisie, “Hamlet,” and Mendelssohn’s nocturne, “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” were played during the services, and at the close Gounod’s slumber music from “Romeo and Juliet.”
Joseph Jefferson, the lifelong friend of Mr. Booth presided….George E. Woodberry read an elegy from The Players on Edwin Booth….Parke Godwin delivered a commemorative address. …Tommaso Salvini, the Italian tragedian, who is on his way home from the World’s Fair, then came forward and paid a glowing tribute, in his native tongue, to the memory of Edwin Booth. He was greeted with a great outburst of applause. …Henry Miller read the translation of Salvini’s address….
Members of Mr. Booth’s family occupied a box. Ellen Terry and several members of the Irving company were in another box.
Among those present were Gen. Horace Porter, the Rev. Theodore C. Williams, Nat C. Goodwin, Elihu Vedder, Richard Watson Gilder, Charles Dudley Warner, A.M. Palmer, E.C. Benedict, R.H. Stoddard, ex-Mayor A.S. Hewitt, Mary Mapes Dodge, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Edmund Clarence Stedman, H.C. Bunner, John D. Crimmins, and Laurence Hutton.
Sam signed an invitation, along with fifteen other Players Club members, to Henry Irving, to “dine, sup, or lunch, or breakfast, with your fellow kinsmen here in New York at any time most convenient to you after your return to town in the coming spring” [MTP].
In the evening Sam dined at Laurence Hutton’s (See Nov. 6). The Charles Dudley Warners, Henry Irving, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Mary Mapes Dodge and possibly others were in attendance. In his Nov. 14 to Livy he related the dinner engagement:
Several instances of Mr. Booth’s fine & generous nature were mentioned, but the prettiest one was told by Hutton at his own dinner table last night [Nov. 13].
The story went that Booth deigned seeing several important personages while resting in his hotel room with Hutton. Finally and “old colored nurse” sent up her card and he allowed her up and offered as many orchestra stalls as she wanted, but she would only take places in the gallery, “Because they won’t let niggers set in the orchestra chairs.” Upon which Booth then gave her stage-box A, which belonged to him, and over which they had no authority.”
Sam thought of Livy at the gathering:
…Aldrich was just as killing as ever at Hutton’s last night. Yes, & lovely; for he is that. Charley Warner was lovely, too, & Susy, & Mrs. Hutton & Mary Mapes Dodge. It was a charming gang, & would have been perfect if you had been there. Every time Aldrich let go his lightning, I saw you in the glare of it; & I knew how you would have enjoyed it. It was a delightful evening, & it didn’t stop its happy pow-wow till nearly midnight. Such evenings are only possible in America [MTP].
November 14 Tuesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Livy.
The Booth Memorial Service a the Madison Square Garden yesterday was impressive & beautiful. All the distinction of New York was massed in that place. I seemed to be personally acquainted with half of the people there. There is no church congregation in Hartford where I would recognize any where near such a huge proportion of the faces. It was like being in a family gathering.
Sam confided that Henry Rogers wanted to see him on Thursday (Nov. 16), and he would “be there, you may be sure.” The rest of the letter dealt with the dinner party of the night before (see Nov. 13 for excerpts) [MTP].
Sam also answered an invitation from William Dean Howells, “presumably…to meet the actors Joseph Jefferson and Sol Smith Russell on the evening of Sunday, 19 November” [MTHL 2: 654n1]. (Editorial emphasis.)
Land, I wish I could! But I dine at Hutton’s next Sunday evening. I am sorry enough to ever miss any moment of Jefferson, for some day I am going to need his influence when he is an archangel….You must remember me to Sol Smith Russell — I have known him long.
Sam added after his signature a directive for Howells to “Put on evening dress for the Theatre Thursday night” (Nov. 16) [MTHL 2: 654].
Sam also wrote his old road manager, James B. Pond, who evidently had invited him to come to Washington. Sam asked Pond to send the same newspapers he’d sent to Livy to Orion in Keokuk. He also explained his situation:
The fact is, my time is so uncertain that I dasn’t make an engagement for Washington or elsewhere just yet. Otherwise I would do it with great pleasure. Ys Ever / Mark [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford, asking him to find and send his “perpetual free ticket to Irving’s theatres.” He drew an oval and wrote the words inscribed on the ticket, asking him to send it to The Players Club. He added he would “try to send those autographs” [MTP]. Note: Sam wanted to use his pass on Thursday, Nov. 16.
November 15 Wednesday – In New York, Sam inscribed a copy of Roughing It to Francis Wilson: To / Francis Wilson / with kind regards of / Mark Twain. / New York, / Nov. 15, ’93 [MTP: G.A. Baker catalog Nov. 6-7, 1940 No. 54].
November 16 Thursday – In New York, Sam and William Dean Howells saw Henry Irving in the title role in Tennyson’s Becket at Abbey’s Theatre [MTHL 2: 654n4].
November 17 Friday – In New York, Sam sent a brief letter of introduction for William Gillette to William Dean Howells.
…his errand is not business, but only to shake hands & say howdy [MTHL 2: 654-5].
Note: In 1915 Howells would recommend Gillette for membership in the American Academy of Arts and letters as “a consummate artist” [655n1].
Henry Irving gave an invitation to Sam behind stage at Abbey’s Theatre:
My dear Clemens
Will you give me the pleasure of dining with me on Sunday week 26th Nov. at Delmonicos at half past seven oclock / Believe me / Yours very sincerely / Henry Irving [LLMT 278]. Note: Sam enclosed this invitation in his Nov. 18 to Livy; Since Sam saw the play on Thursday, Nov. 16, it’s not clear why he was again at the theatre to accept this invitation; possibly he wanted to see the performance a second time, as the family sometimes did.
Andrew Carnegie wrote to Sam that “Mr. Mosley will be so glad to see you for five o’clock tea either Thursday, 17th or Monday 21st” [MTP]. Note: 1893 does not fit these dates/days of week, but does fit 1894 — did Carnegie’s friend plan that far ahead? The note is dated in ink as Nov. 15, 1894 but crossed out and in pencil dated in another hand as ’93 with “dated wrong.” The envelope, which appears to fit, is dated 1893, so we have another quandary.
November 18 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy, enclosing the invitation of Nov. 17 from Henry Irving.
I am desperately disappointed because my photograph is not ready for your birthday. I was going to send it to Susy & have her put it with the other tokens of love & remembrance Nov. 27th. But I see I can’t manage it now. I went there & sat 7 times & got one or two very good negatives. Sarony should have had the pictures here two days ago but he has failed me.
Sam also reassured her that the Century would send her money owed him on Dec. 1 and the rest on Jan. 1.
They feel the hard times like the rest. And bless your life they’re bitter hard times! You have never seen anything to remotely compare with them.
He also expressed regret he could not be with her on her birthday, but hoped she would be “light-hearted & happy,” for she would have all the children around her to bless her [LLMT 278-9].
Sam’s notebook carries a lined-out dinner engagement at John Brisben Walker’s [NB 33 TS 39].
Critic magazine ran “Mark Twain at the Lotos,” an unsigned article [Tenney 21].
November 19 Sunday – Sam and Charles Dudley Warner dined with Henry Irving. Fatout reports this as the Henry Irving-Ellen Terry Dinner, and that possibly Sam gave a speech. If so, the content is unknown [MT Speaking 660]. Sam also mentioned the dinner in his Nov. 20 to Twichell, but did not mention Terry or giving a talk [MTP]. Sam’s notebook gives: “Sunday 19, Hutton’s (Henry Irving & Miss Ellen Terry) [NB 33 TS 38].
November 20 Monday – In New York Sam wrote to Joe Twichell. Sam was happy about some “delicious” happening or gift:
It couldn’t have happened to anybody but you. It has done me lots of good and I think it will be better than medicine for Livy, when she gets it on her birthday the 27th. This adventure and the dyed hair of a year and a half ago — well, they make a sparkling pair!
The reference is obscure (that’s what scholars say when they can’t figure out a document).
Sam also told Joe about the dinner with Henry Irving the night before; that Henry had asked about him and invited him to call at the Plaza Hotel the first time he was in town. Sam also urged Joe to see the play Becket with Irving in the title role.
It’s an ideal picture of what we all imagine the England of seven and a half centuries ago to have been. With lots of love to all of you [Joe had nine children!] [MTP].
Fatout lists a dinner speech for Sam at the St. Andrews Society in New York [MT Speaking 660]. Also, the New York Times, Nov. 21, p.8, “A Gala Night at the Fencers” reported that Sam attended a dinner for The Fencers Club at 37 West 22 Street on the evening of Nov. 20. Note: It’s possible that Sam attended both gatherings. Sam’s notebook carries a lined-out note: “Monday night 20th, 8 PM. Officers of St. Andrew Society, George Austin Morrison. Anser to 691 Fifth Ave, accepting” [NB 33 TS 39].
A GALA NIGHT AT THE FENCERS.
— — —
Brilliant Gathering to See Vauthier and Jacoby Fence.
The Fencers Club held a housewarming last night, and at the same time did honor to the new master at arms, Prof. L. Vauthier of the Cercle d’Escrime de la Madeleine, in Paris. It is the first reception the club has given in the new quarters, 37 West Twenty-second Street, since it took possession last Spring.
The meeting was the most brilliant event which has ever taken place in the annals of fencing in the United States. Never before have masters of the force of MM. Vauthier and Jacoby engaged together. There was much good fencing on the part of amateurs and of other professionals, but the “clou” of the evening was this classic combat. …
Many lights of the literary, artistic, and legal world were present. Mark Twain, Alexander Black, Brisben Walker, James Creelman, represented journalism and letters; Alexander Harrison, Robert Reid, Carroll Beckwith, Willard Metcalf, W. Sergeant Kendall represented the fine arts. The legal profession was there in the person of Mr. Frederic R. Coudert. Of fencing amateurs there were Messrs. Haubold, Blandey, Echeverria, Lawson, Bloodgood, and Eugene Higgins.
Mary Mapes Dodge wrote to Sam regarding the postponed serialization of TSA in St. Nicholas. There are several lines crossed out in the letter, as if written in haste [MTP].
Daniel Willard Fiske in Florence, Italy, wrote to Sam: “Your delightful note was one of the first things to greet me on my arrival here night before last.” He’d been delayed at Lausanne, Turin and Milan in “efforts to get up a creditable attack of heart disease.” Fiske wrote of furnishing his Villa Landor in Florence (enough now to entertain the Clemenses), of his difficulty finding a room in Paris, of his fears that Jews will, “ten years from now…be able to sweep all the Christians from the earth’s surface…by merely strychnizing the coffee all over the world on some pleasant morning” [MTP].
November 21 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook carries a lined-out memo:
Tuesday, 21st, dine with Mr. Archer M. Huntington at Sherry’s 8.00 [NB 33 TS 39].
November 22 Wednesday
November 23 Thursday – The New York Times, p.1, “Americans in Paris” listed Livy, “Mrs. Clemens, wife of ‘Mark Twain’; the Misses Clemens” among those who came to Paris the previous week.
November 24 Friday – Sam’s notebook shows a dinner engagement at Robert Underwood Johnson’s at 7 p.m. 327 Lexington Ave [NB 33 TS 39].
November 25 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote to an unidentified person that the right to his book (unspecified) belonged to Webster & Co. [MTP: Parke-Bernet catalog, Mar. 10, 1938 item 43].
November 26 Sunday – In New York, Sam attended his dinner invitation with Henry Irving at Delmonico’s. Fatout reports this as a dinner speech [MT Speaking 660]. Sam accepted the invitation behind the stage at Abbey’s Theatre on Nov. 17.
Sam inscribed a copy of P&P to Edy (no further name given): To Edy from Mark Twain with his best wishes and kindest regards. New York, Nov. 26, ’93. [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a copy of CY to his old friend and Comstock Lode magnate, John Mackay: To John Mackay / from Mark Twain / ~ / With affectionate remembrances of a friendship which has stood the wear of thirty-one years & is not out of repair yet. / The Players, Nov. 26, 1893 [LLMT 279; MTP].
In his Nov. 28 letter to Livy, Sam quoted his inscription and told of not being able to join Mackay due to his prior engagement with Henry Irving. He wrote that John Russell Young said Mackay was “as pleased as a child” with the book. At midnight, after being called for, Sam joined John Mackay with a dozen guests at the Players Club where a dinner for “two old Californians” was winding down.
…& I helped do the talking (in my usual modest proportion, perhaps) till 1:30; & I did a still better service: I took the restraints off of Mackay & made things easy for him — for the others, a dozen guests, couldn’t well do it, they being new acquaintances. I have always had a warm feeling for him & he has had the same for me. He said I promised to send him a book, & didn’t. So I sent it a couple of days ago [the one inscribed above] [LLMT 279].
November 27 Monday– Livy’s 48th birthday. Strictly speaking, the gathering with John Mackay (above) which lasted until 1:30 a.m., went into this day.
Susan L. Crane wrote a long letter to Livy. She wrote of reading Walt Whitman’s letters written during the war, how “They bring back those stirring times.” She wrote about helping the Industrial School’s 63 children with Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas trees; and of all the local goings on and her heart failing courage at times [MTP].
At noon Sam went to John Mackay’s office; he wrote of it to Livy on Nov. 28:
…he sent for all his Chiefs of departments — 6 — & introduced me in great style & with much swearing. ‘Now Sam, you sit down there & take the pencil & understand that you’re in Paris & Mrs. Clemens will hear what you say in two minutes. Say all you want to — make yourself at home. And whenever you want to send her a message, put it on a piece of paper & send it right over to my house in Fifth Avenue & I’ll attend to it’ [LLMT 280]. Note: Mackay, the silver “baron” from the Comstock Lode.
Fatout lists a dinner speech for Sam at the Manhattan Club, New York City, text not specified [MT Speaking 660]. This seems to be based on Sam’s notebook, plus one of two letters to Livy, both assigned Nov. 28, but the first a fragment without salutation or date. In the second letter, clearly dated Nov. 28, however, Sam wrote:
Dinner last night at Dana’s. Mr. & Mrs. Dana, Dr. & Mrs. Brannan, Laffan & wife, General [James] Wilson (who captured Jeff Davis) & me. Jolly & pleasant. Mrs. Laffan had been hunting for more Paris addresses for you & is to send me one to-day; but I’ll go over there from the Murray Hill talk & tell her you are settled [LLMT 280]. Note: the facts of this letter suggest that the dinner at the Manhattan Club was held on another night.
Sam’s notebook did not mention a speech: “Monday, 27th Walter S. Logan, Manhattan Club, 7 o’clock. Go with Scott [NB 33 TS 39].
Sam gave out his autograph to an unidentified person, perhaps one of the dinner guests: With great pleasure / Truly yours / Mark Twain / 27 Nov 93 [MTP: Swann Galleries Oct. 22, 1987, Item 265].
November 28 Tuesday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy about John Mackay’s letter he thought he’d sent (inviting Sam to talk to her over Mackay’s cable); the gathering of Mackay and a dozen guests Sam joined at the late hour on Nov. 26 into Nov. 27; the book and inscription Sam gave him; going to Mackay’s office at noon the day before (Nov. 27) [LLMT 279-80]. Note: this is the second letter ascribed to Nov. 28 to Livy, the first being a fragment, missing the front of the letter and referring to a dinner given at the Manhattan Club the night before, the same night Sam wrote he dined at the Dana’s. From the fragment:
Last night at the dinner given to me at the Manhattan Club, one of the speakers who has been a special envoy of our government to several courts several years ago, said he had seen three little parcels of books which had made a strong impression on his memory; one was in the private parlor of the President of the Chilean Republic, one was on Bismark’s private writing-desk, & the third was in the boudoir of the Empress of Russia: each of the three parcels contained Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Charles A. Dana, 25 E. 60th 7 o’clock.” [NB 33 TS 40].
November 29 Wednesday – In New York Sam wrote Orion and Mollie Clemens, enclosing the NY Times Nov. 12 article about the Lotos Club dinner, and using one of his famous lined-out words to convey his true feelings, but bowing to self-censorship:
Dear Orion & Molly: I meant to send you this, at the time; I don’t know how I forgot it. Probably for the same reason that I forgot to send any to Livy till it was ancient history.
nothing to report yet. If
Webster were alive I would kill him. Love to
you both [MTP].
November 30 Thursday – Sam’s 58th Birthday. In New York he wrote to William Dean Howells, apologetic about a mix-up having accepted Howells’ and Judge Charles H. Truax’s invitations for the same day.
I am to go to a breakfast at noon next Sunday [Dec. 3], & am disgusted with myself for being so thoughtless as to consent. I am not capable of two appetites in one day.
Sam felt “pretty shabby” about the matter and wrote that he would “run out tomorrow afternoon & have a conference” with Howells about it. This source notes that “The meal was actually not served until three, and Mark Twain had to leave at five, before it was over, in order to get to the Howells apartment on 59th St. in time for dinner” [MTHL 2: 655 & n1 (citing Dec. 4 to Livy)].
December – “Traveling with a Reformer” first ran in the Cosmopolitan. It was later included in How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays (1897), and The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (1900) and My Debut as a Literary Person, etc. (1903) [Budd, Collected 2: 1001]. The second installment of Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared as a serial in the Dec. issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.
PW ran as a seven-part serial in Century Magazine beginning this month to June, 1894, with illustrations by Louis Loeb (1866-1909), a staff artist on the Century. Chatto & Windus used Loeb’s drawings when they published the novel (without “Those Extraordinary Twins”) in England. Railton’s website has an excellent article on the various illustrations used in PW. The book wasn’t issued until Nov. 1894, as Webster & Co. had gone bankrupt in Apr. 1894 and a publishing arrangement had to be made with Sam’s first publisher, American Publishing Co. Frank Bliss hired two unknown artists when the book was published on Nov. 28, 1894.
Sam’s notebook mentioned Emmanuel Poire Carnan d’Ache’s Bric a Brac (n.d.) a book mostly of illustrations, caricatures and cartoons by a Frenchman and comic artist [Gribben 130; NB 33 TS 40]. Also in his notebook a reminder to send Livy a copy of the Dec. Cosmopolitan with the “story by Miss Van Etten” [Gribben 160 and 724; NB 33 TS 42]. See Dec. 15 for more on Miss Van Etten, who was not published in that magazine from May 1893 to Feb. 1894. Likely Sam got his magazines mixed up.
December 1 Friday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote a short note to Charles Willey in Bay Shore, Long Island:
My Dear Sir: / I have great confidence in Huck Finn’s judgment in these matters; therefore I am quite willing that you should use the design [MTP].
Sam visited William Dean Howells in his N.Y. apartment but “had to leave there …because so many people came there was no satisfaction in the visit” [Dec. 2 to Livy].
In the evening Sam dined again with John Mackay and some men from the Pacific coast. He wrote of it to Livy on Dec. 2 (this dinner is sometimes confused with the Nov. 26-7 after-dinner gathering with Mackay and others that Sam wrote lasted till 1:30 a.m.):
Note: This letter is not in LLMT, but may be found in MTLP 2: 597. The MTP TS of this letter includes two paragraphs at the front of the letter Paine chose to omit. Paine often made choices that chagrin later scholars, so his collections must be read with care.
Last night [Dec. 1] at John Mackay’s [The Players] the dinner consisted of soup, raw oysters, corned beef and cabbage, & something like a custard. I ate without fear or stint, & yet have escaped all suggestion of indigestion. The men present were old gray Pacific-coasters whom I knew when I & they were young & not gray. The talk was of the days when we went gipsying a long time ago — thirty years. Indeed it was a talk of the dead. Mainly that. And of how they looked, & the harum-scarum things they did & said. For there were no cares in that life, no aches & pains, & not time enough in the day (& three-fourths of the night) to work off one’s surplus vigor & energy. Of the mid-night highway-robbery-joke played upon me with revolvers at my head on the windswept & desolate Gold Hill Divide, no witness is left but me, the victim. All the friendly robbers are gone. These old fools last night laughed till they cried over the particulars of that old forgotten crime [MTP].
Note: Fatout reports this as the “Mackay Dinner” [MT Speaking 660], but Sam’s account shows it was not a singular event nor was his talk a prepared one, much like the Nov. 26-7 after-dinner talk. Of course Sam often selected from a host of anecdotes based on the audience and event.
The Brooklyn Eagle, p.2 reviewed the Dec. issue of Cosmopolitan, including Sam’s sketch:
Mark Twain lends his detailed and always fresh wit and humor to varying the monotony of travel to the fair [Chicago Exposition which Sam did not attend due to illness], in “Traveling With a Reformer.”
William Dean Howells wrote to Sam about Sunday’s dinner engagement:
Dear Clemens: / I said to Mrs. Howells just now, “I suppose Clemens wouldn’t dream of coming in a dress coat Sunday?” “Well, he might,” she said, and so I write to say, Don’t!
— The mischief seemed to be in it, today. We live whole weeks without a soul coming near, but if you happen to drop in, a regiment follows. Yours Ever [MTHL 2: 656]
Sons & Daughters of the Am. Revolution sent Sam a printed invitation to meet Professor and Mrs. John Fiske, Mrs. Stoughton, and Miss Fiske, Dec. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. Hotel Netherland, N.Y. [MTP].
December 2 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy. He enclosed Howells’ Dec. 1 request that he not wear his dress coat, writing a paragraph on the back:
Livy darling, I shall go in a dress coat just the same. I had to leave there yesterday because so many people came there was no satisfaction in the visit. Several of them called Howells out for extended private interviews. Heretofore there have been many people. But they stayed in the parlor.
Sam then wrote the balance of his letter on other pages:
I’ve been to Alexander’s & got a pair of nice arctics. There has been no snow yet, but the weather threatens to-day for the first time, to get really chilly. The pavements ought to get cold before long, now, & I do a great deal of walking [MTP]. Note: this paragraph omitted from MTLP 2: 597.
Sam also wrote about the previous night’s dinner with John Mackay.
John Mackay has no family here but a pet monkey — a most affectionate & winning little devil. But he makes trouble for the servants, for his is full of curiosity & likes to take everything out of the drawers & examine it minutely; & he puts nothing back. …
I went with Laffan to the Racquet Club the other night & played billiards two hours without starting up my rheumatism. I suppose it was really all taken out of me in Berlin [MTP].
Sam also was concerned about Livy staying at the Hotel Brighton, which she chose to save money [MTP] Willis writes of Livy’s sacrifices:
“To ward off further worry, Livy kept her husband ignorant of all she endured in the cheap Paris hotel — the cold, the bad food, the noise heard through thin walls — as she figured and refigured their income and outgo. She had chosen to live in Paris when so many Americans went home in the financial panic, and the cost of living there dropped. She admitted to Grace King in these “somber days” that she dreaded complaining to the proprietor yet again about the conditions of her lodgings because she felt he was doing all he could.
“‘Poverty is hard!’ she wrote Clara, who suggested it would be cheaper if she stayed in American since her mother insisted she pay board when visiting Aunt Sue in Elmira or friends. Livy said no. Besides, ‘There would be too much expense of longing for you to make it profitable.’ Livy’s preoccupation with funds had extended into her communication with her daughter.
“There would be no opera, theater, new clothes, extra lessons of any kind. Jean was placed in a public school. Livy hoped there would be enough money for Susy’s singing lessons, for she was relieved that Susy, having found a purpose, was happier” . (Editorial emphasis.)
Sam also wrote to William A. Goodheart, letter not extant but referenced in Goodheart’s Dec 17 [MTP].
Once-A-Week magazine (London) ran an unsigned sketch of Mark Twain at a banquet honoring Henry Irving [Tenney 21: The Twainian Apr. 1943, p.6].
December 3 Sunday – Sam started at 11:45 a.m. for a noon “breakfast engagement” at the home of Judge Charles H. Truax, 1992 Madison Ave. He arrived late, but “Nobody was surprised.” The meal was not served until 3 p.m. He had to leave at 5 p.m. in order to make a dinner engagement with William Dean Howells at his apartment, 40 West 59th St., some 110 blocks away, “22 miles in snow & slush!” [MTHL 2: 655n1; Dec. 4 to Livy].
Later in the evening Sam met with Towner K. Webster of Chicago, Charles Davis and Henry H. Rogers at the Murray Hill Hotel. He wrote of the meeting in the first of two letters to Livy the next day (Dec. 4):
Mr. Rogers mapped out a reformed contract & Webster will have it drawn by a lawyer here & submitted to Mr. Rogers for approval. Then he will take it to Chicago & see if he can get Paige to sign. If it shall seem best, Mr. Rogers & I will go out there.
Then Mr. Rogers mapped out a plan for absorbing the royalties which is worth a dozen of the one devised by Webster. A singularly clear-headed man is Mr. Rogers — this appears at every meeting. And no grass grows under his feet. He takes his steps swiftly, yet no stop is bungled or has to be taken over again. If nothing comes of all this work, nobody will be to blame but Paige [LLMT 280-1].
December 4 Monday – In New York Sam wrote two letters to Livy; the second with a paragraph to daughter Jean. In the first letter he opened with reassurance of his love, and apologized should he “bust out into momentary impatiences.” That he had written anything which made her cry caused him pain; he would try his “best not to do so again.” He referred to “that miserable business of Clara’s going to Berlin,” and saw “no other way” but for her to stay with Livy for the time being. He also wrote about two photographs of himself, and Livy’s reaction in three letters he’d just received:
Your eloquent abuse of that infernal hand-bill portrait caught me unawares at breakfast & made me laugh my teeth loose. You see, I’m not capable of understanding why a body should care what sort of a portrait is published of him. I can’t feel any way but indifferent about it. Still, for your sake I must go to Ellsworth [of the Century] & tell him to modify that portrait somehow. …
I have been re-reading your noble blast at my circus picture, & it kills me with laughing, just as before. I must send it to Sue. Don’t you remember that photo? It was taken by Normand Smith under the apple tree at Lilly Warner’s side door.
Sam also reported that “Fiske’s letter is delightful. Land I wish we were spending a week or two with him!” Prof. John Fiske (1842-1901) born Edmund Fisk Green was an American historian and philosopher who wrote several volumes on early American history. See Gribben 232-3.
Sam also expressed concern about Susy and the mixed messages of her health that Livy seemed to send in letter and cable. In the second letter, Sam related the meeting of the day before (Dec. 3) with Rogers, and listed the number of blocks totaling 310 that he’d tried but failed to walk (31 miles). He added a paragraph to Jean:
Dear Jean, I’m ashamed about that St. Nicholas business & am trying to think of ways to atone. I have just been ordering the “Cosmopolitan” to be sent regularly to you & the cost charged to Mr. Walker, the editor. If it fails to reach you let me know. Walker told me to do this. / Papa [LLMT 281].
Sam also wrote to Sue Crane, sending Livy’s “latest blast” at the Century’s advertisements of him.
..every time I read her explosion it nearly kills me with laughing. To her, the libel is so real & so important; whereas to me it is a matter of inconsequence. …Read Livy’s blasphemies five or six times, Sue — with intervals between — they improve in vividness & energy right along.
Thank you, dear, for your good offer, & I wish I could accept it; but this cat has got to stay here & watch this mouse. / Lovingly, / Saml.[MTP].
Sam’s notebook: Murray Hill Hotel, Dec. 4/93 Mr. Rogers, T.K. Webster & Chas. E. Davis. Agreed that my option shall be to demand & receive any time during 3 years, $240,000 cash, or $500,000 stock, or keep my royalties, as I shall elect [NB 33 TS 43].
December 4 Monday ca. – On or about this day Sam wrote Frederick J. Hall to meet him at the Murray Hill Hotel at half past 5 p.m. with all contracts between himself and Hall and Webster beginning in 1885 [MTP: catalog Seven Gables Bookshop]. Note: for this time of day, this could not have referred to the Dec. 3 meeting with Rogers, Davis, Hall and himself.
December 5 Tuesday – In New York, at the Players Club, Sam read Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s An Old Town by the Sea (1893), which commemorated Aldrich’s birthplace of Portsmouth, N.H. Sam finished the book at 3 a.m. the next morning [Gribben 17; Dec. 6 to Aldrich].
December 6 Wednesday – In New York Sam wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich after staying up half the night reading An Old Town by the Sea.
If I had written you last night when I began the book, I should have written breezily and maybe hilariously; but by the time I had finished it, at 3 in the morning, it had worked its spell & Portsmouth was become the town of my boyhood — with all which implies & compels: the bringing back of one’s youth, almost the only time of life worth living over again…[MTP].
Sam also wrote on Players Club stationery to John Elderkin declining an invitation to dine at the Lotos Club with him and Henry Irving.
I would dearly like it, but I am barred. I am the pet of Providence, and therefore subject to much caprice & more mismanagement. Thus I have railroad engagements for the whole of that afternoon & a banquet at night. If I should try to add a supper at 11 & the Mismanagement found it out, advantage would be taken of the situation in some unfair way — indigestion, as like as not [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Bram Stoker, returning tickets; Sam wrote that “a dinner engagement cuts me out” [MTP]. Note: the tickets may be for Abbey’s Theatre and the Lotos Club dinner for Henry Irving on Dec. 16, to which Sam sent a letter of regret.
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull who had invited him to see her in a play, The Masque of Culture, on Dec. 15 at Unity Hall in Hartford. The play was to be performed by the Saturday Morning Club, which the Hartford Courant called, “one of the city’s best-known social and literary organizations” [Dec. 16, 1893, p.4]. Sam answered, “If Providence lets me alone I’ll be there sure.” (But he was laid up then.)
These days I have no end of business engagements, & they fall at all sorts of unexpected hours & ruthlessly bust up all sorts of social contracts. If one of these intrudes, it is master & I must obey, but nothing else shall make me miss seeing you & the play [MTP].
December 7 Thursday – In New York in the afternoon the “several interests” of the typesetter “met face to face for the first time.” Towner K. Webster and his lawyer represented the Chicago interests, “the two Knevals represented the” Connecticut Co., Henry H. Rogers, and Sam, who wrote to Livy of the meeting the next day (Dec. 8):
The amended contract was brought, clean & fresh from the type-writer, & discussed, sentence by sentence, & new & clearer readings devised in various places. It took two hours. Then we adjourned to 4 p.m. of to-day (Dec. 8) [MTP].
Note: The Connecticut Co. was a group of New York brokers, which included H.S. Ward, George A. Frink, and the three Knevals brothers (Caleb B., Lambert, and S.W.). These men had purchased interests in the T.K. Webster Mfg. Co. of Chicago, and planned to manage sales of the machine and stock from their offices in New York [MTHHR 12]. The source notes:
“None of them seems to have had special knowledge of typesetting or machine-shop operations, nor even — Clemens sometimes seems to have thought — of ordinary business practices. He found it amusingly portentous that the Knevals brothers were also agents for the Woodlawn Cemetery — which he consistently called the ‘graveyard’ — in New York” [12-13].
Francis D. Millet wrote a note to Sam, enclosed in Sam’s Dec. 8 to Livy.
As usual I put my foot in it. I didn’t know that Mrs. Millet expected you to dinner as she was having both diners and eveningers. Now I find she does and did — further as I have a telegram which summons me to Chicago and can’t be here myself you’ll have to speak for me as you did at the wedding breakfast. I hope you will manage to come as it is a small dinner (only 8 I think) and I know you will have a good time for they are all jolly people and there will be no formality. If it so happens you can’t come do send Mrs. Millet a wire [MTP]. Note: Sam stood up for Millet’s wedding (See Mar. 11, 1879).
Meanwhile, Sam received a note from Mrs. Millet (Elizabeth M. Millet) inviting him to a dinner Sunday evening (Dec. 10) to meet Henry Irving and Ellen Terry [Dec. 8 to Livy].
December 8 Friday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy, telling about the prior day’s conference with interests of the type-setter, and of a 4 p.m. reconvening later this day, after Henry H. Rogers held a private meeting with him before the meeting.
The object of this [meeting with Rogers] may be to advise me as to how much stock to stand out for, in exchange for my royalties. And also as to how many royalties to refuse to give up. He wants all other royalties absorbed, if it be possible, but not all of mine.
Sam enclosed Frank Millet’s Dec. 7 note about making a mess of a dinner invitation, and told of receiving a dinner invitation from Mrs. Millet for Sunday, Dec. 10.
I did not know what answer to make, because I had an idea that I was engaged to spend that night (as well as Saturday night) out in New Jersey with the Bunners, (editor of “Puck”), & that Frost the artist was to be there and drink punches with me while the Bunners should drink mulled wine. But just then I ran across Millet up stairs in the library & took his judgment…He said I needn’t answer Mrs. Millet’s note; that he would tell her himself when he got home, for she would probably still be awake.
There seems to be signs about this note that she was still awake. I told this pelican it was a dinner invitation, but he was mooning & didn’t take it in, of course. But I will never take his judgment again in a matter of etiquette. However, I am glad he does not feel bad [MTP].
At 3:45 p.m. Sam and Henry H. Rogers met in a preliminary meeting “to agree upon a detail or two belonging to this stage of the campaign” for the type-setter. At 4 p.m. the conference of Dec. 7 reconvened, with Chicago and Connecticut interests. Sam wrote of this meeting in his Dec. 9 to Livy:
It was beautiful to see Mr. Rogers apply his probe & his bung-starter & remorselessly let out the wind & the water from the so-called “assets” of these companies. And he did it so sweetly & courteously — but he stripped away all the rubbish & laid bare the fact that their whole gaudy property consisted of just $276,000 & no more! Then he said, “Now we know where we stand, gentlemen. I am prepared to listen to a proposition from you to furnish capital.” There was a deep, long silence. Then their spokesman proposed a basis of 50 cents on the dollar. Mr. Rogers said, “We will all think, to-night, & come together in the morning — early. Shall we say 9?” That was agreed to, & he & I went away.
Sam then wrote of Rogers’ talk as they walked on the street. He knew exactly what the interest was worth, “to the farthing,” and that was twelve cents on the dollar, which is what he would offer the next morning. Rogers plan was to leave Livy’s 95 royalties (Sam’s in her name) “undisturbed” [MTP: Dec. 9 to Livy].
Sam’s notebook: “Friday Dec. 8, Mrs. S.G.K. Goetchus, 7 p.m. dinner, 52 W. 58th” [NB 33 TS 43].
In New Orleans, Grace King wrote to Sam about her publishing efforts and wishing the Clemenses a good day on Christmas, which she calculated would be about the time they received her letter [MTP].
December 9 Saturday – In New York at 9 a.m. the final meeting of all the interests (without Paige)in the typesetter took place. The group broke for lunch and met again at 3 p.m. Sam wrote to Livy relating the prior day’s meeting and this day’s:
So we met at 9 this morning, & everything came out as Mr. Rogers said it would. He pays 20 when they only hoped for 12 or at the very most 15 — therefore there is rejoicing in their camp, now. Then we broke up, to meet again in four hours, & I went with him away down in the Elevated because he wanted to talk & laugh. He said, “Once when you were out of the room I said ‘Pleas hurry this matter, gentlemen; you understand I am not going into this thing for any rational reason, but I don’t see any other way of getting rid of Clemens. I feel sure I ought not to pay 20, but when a person is harried as I am he loses a good share of his judgment.’”
Sam went with Rogers as far as Rector Street and then he directed Sam to “go right back & catch Ward & nail him in writing to give” Sam stock he was to receive in case he “bunco-steered Mr. Rogers into the scheme.” Sam wrote that Ward wasn’t found and that he couldn’t wait longer as he had another preliminary meeting with Rogers at 2:45 [LLMT 282-3].
Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 25 with three others from her (Dec. 10, 11, 12), after his return from Chicago [Dec.25 to Livy].
In the evening Sam crossed over to New Jersey for a two day visit with the Henry Cuyler Bunner family. Increasingly, whatever Mark Twain did was news. The New York Times reported Sam’s visit on page 1:
“Mark Twain” Visits Editor Bunner.
NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 10. — “Mark Twain” Clemens visited Nutley, N.J., last night [Dec. 9]. He drove in a cab to the house of Editor H.C. Bunner of Puck. The humorists were together only a few hours before rumors were afloat to see the Popashon pig [named “June”] which was described recently [Nov.27] in The New-York Times.
December 10 Sunday – Sam returned to New York and wrote from the Players Club to the Secretary of the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, Mass. This was Henry H. Rogers’ boyhood town to which he later gave many gifts, including the Fairhaven High School, the Town Hall, a Masonic Hall, Cushman Park, and Millicent Library, named for his deceased daughter who had a love of books. At age 20 Rogers left the town to seek his fortune in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. MTHHR notes that this letter “does provide early evidence of his appreciation for Rogers’s generosity in involving himself in Clemens’s tangled business affairs” .
I have allowed myself the privilege of sending two or three of my books to the Library. They are not instructive, but I feel sure you will like the bindings [MTP]. Note: In the next few months Sam sent the library inscribed copies of HF and P&P [MTHHR 27n1].
The New York Times, p.21 “Memories of the Revolution” announced a list of dignitaries, including Samuel L. Clemens, “Mark Twain” who would be at the Dec. 16 annual banquet by the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, with a preceding reception for Prof. John Fiske at the Hotel New Netherland. Sam would be ill and unable to attend. He noted in his Dec. 4 to Livy his admiration for Fiske.
Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 25 with three others from her (Dec. 9, 11, 12), after his return from Chicago [Dec.25 to Livy]. Note: She also wrote to her sister, referred to in Crane’s Dec. 25.
December 11 Monday – In New York Sam came down with a bad cold, and called in Dr. Clarence Rice to administer. He kept an appointment (unspecified) at noon [Dec. 14 to Trumbull]. Evidently, he did not go with Rice to a play as proposed in his notebook [NB 33 TS 43].
Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 25 with three others from her (Dec. 9, 10, 12), after his return from Chicago [Dec.25 to Livy].
December 12 Tuesday – Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 25 with three others from her (Dec. 9, 10, 11), after his return from Chicago [Dec.25 to Livy].
William A. Goodhart (Law offices of Goodhart & Phillips, N.Y.) wrote to Sam:
Yours of the 2nd inst. to hand, for which please accept my thanks. / I consider that a letter in your handwriting and signed…with your name and your nom de plume is of an inestimable value. / For that reason I again ask you for an “autograph letter” naming one of your works that you consider your masterpiece I can not make a distinction so great the merits of each [MTP].
December 13 Wednesday – In New York on Dr. Clarence Rice’s letterhead, Sam wrote to Clarence C. Buel, asking if he might get “that Thursday talk put off?” due to his bad cough and cold. He was scheduled to give a lecture to the St. George’s Church Men’s Club on “Reminiscences of a Mississippi Pilot” on Dec. 14.
Sam also wrote on Players Club letterhead to Henry H. Rogers:
Dear Doctor Rogers:
I can’t feel sorry you had to postpone Chicago, for I think a little delay will be good medicine for Paige. Next week will be better for me, too, because I brought home a cold two sizes too large for me from New Jersey; & as you were not handy I had to call in Rice — & you can imagine the rest.
Sam also told about having no voice for his engagement the following night [MTHHR 27]. Note: On Dec. 19 Rogers would send powders for Sam’s cold. Sam did not speak to the Workingmen’s Society [Dec. 2 to Livy 2nd].
December 14 Thursday – In New York and still laid up, Sam wrote to Clarence C. Buel:
I am still in bed, & waiting for Dr. Rice to come & withdraw his prohibition.
I have been obliged to eat — couldn’t wait any longer, because I had a long fit of coughing which had to be stopped somehow or other. So don’t keep a place for me at table.
He also confided that he was waiting for Dr. Rice to allow him to talk [MTP]. Note: evidently Sam had accepted a dinner invitation from Buel after the talk at St. George’s Church.
Sam also wrote a letter of apology to Annie E. Trumbull. He was “laid up again” and unable to attend her play, The Masque of Culture, to be given Dec. 15 at Unity Hall in Hartford. He wanted it kept a secret “lest it get into print & Mrs. Clemens find it out.” He was “not abed, but do not go out of the house,” and had kept no appointments since Monday noon (Dec. 11), canceling all engagements for Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 16-17).
I have an engagement to talk to an audience of working men just around the corner here, this evening, & I would like to go there & explain why I cannot talk, but it is doubtful if I shall be allowed to. I have been hoping my cold would modify enough to let me get to Hartford, & so I have waited to see; but there is a stubborn & malignant cough attached which refuses to modify.
I am ashamed; I apologize; yet persist in remaining / Affectionately Yours / S.L. Clemens [MTP].
December 15 Friday – The N.Y. Times, p.1 reported Sam failed to meet his Dec. 14 speaking engagement at St. George’s Church because “his medical adviser forbade it.”
In New York, Sam wrote two letters to Livy, the second headed “PS.” In the first letter he was relieved that daughter Clara had “arrived at last and brought a breeze of life & cheer to you exiles.” He cautioned her to not mention Rogers “by word or pen” because if Paige found out he would “get so extravagant in his demands that it would be impossible to deal with him.” This suggests Paige knew nothing of the several recent meetings between the Chicago and Connecticut interests in the typesetter. A newspaper correspondent in Paris, Miss Van Etten had contacted Livy (evidently recommended by Howells), and Sam wrote that he “commanded” Howells to tell him about her (See Dec. 15 to Howells).
Also Livy had evidently expressed a desire to come home, to which he replied:
I am puzzled, puzzled, puzzled! You see, you mustn’t come home! Not a step, not a budge, until Paige is heard from. That will be within 10 days, if those people know how to work him. If he refuses to sign, I must stay & invent some way to make him sign. It won’t take long. …
It is an unspeakable pity that you should be without any one to go about with the girls, & it troubles me, & grieves me & makes me curse & swear; but you see, dearheart, I’ve got to stick right where I am till I find out whether we are rich or whether the poorest person we are acquainted with in anybody’s kitchen is better off than we are. I stand on the land-end of a spring-board, with the family clustered on the other end; if I take away my foot —
Sam reminded her of the progress he and Henry H. Rogers were making [MTP].
In his second letter, a long PS, Sam denied the newspaper reports that he was sick, other than a cold which he dismissed, blaming not speaking to the Workingmen’s Society on the weather:
Everybody had a cold until I took one. I was the last. The whole State is supplied, now. Mine does not trouble me, nor interfere with my hearty eating, nor with my billiards. The weather being atrocious, I have staid indoors & played all day [LLMT 283-4]. Note: Sam likely feared that Livy might see the page one NY Times notice of this day, “’Mark Twain’” Too Ill to Lecture.”
Sam also wrote to William Dean Howells, asking him to “tell all about Miss Van Etten, newspaper correspondent” who had contacted Livy in Paris. Sam quoted Livy as saying, “I want you to find out if she is nice. She seemed to me much modester & more agreeable than most newspaper women. She came to see me on behalf of some Frenchman who wanted to translate something of yours, so I gave her Chatto & Windus’s address. NOW BE SURE & ASK ABOUT HER & WRITE ME. I think I would rather have Mr. Howell’s opinion than the others.”
Being translated, those heavy underscorings mean, “You are not to be trusted two minutes — attend to it at once.” (Sam and Howells often feigned being so henpecked with each other.)
Sam also noted Livy had had a “charming visit” from Howell’s son, John Howells, who was studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris [MTHL 2: 656-7].
December 16 Saturday – In New York Sam moved to a better room at the Players Club. He completed the “Tale of the Dime-Novel Maiden,” which he began in a letter to Livy on Oct 17. In his Dec. 17 to Livy he wrote of moving into his new quarters on this evening and running across the tale which he’d misplaced.
Another gathering at the Lotos Club for Henry Irving took place in the evening. The N.Y. Times, p.5 of Dec. 17 reported the affair, and listed Mark Twain among those sending letters of regret. His cold and the change of rooms probably prevented his attending.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam concerned about a Dec. 11 report in the St. Louis Republic that Sam was “confined” to his room with the grippe. “We are frightened by these repeated attacks. I am afraid you are worrying and working beyond your strength. Your genius flames brilliantly in the Century, the Cosmopolitan and the St. Nicholas. Your name is on all tongues.” [MTP].
Livy wrote to Sam. He received her letter (not extant) on Dec. 30 with two others from her, postmarked Dec. 18 and 19 [Dec. 30 to Livy].
December 17 Sunday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy, enclosing the “Tale of the Dime-Novel Maiden,” and describing his new digs, and the difficulty of waiting:
My new room is large & nicely carpeted & be-rugged. It has a couple of pieces of elegant furniture in it, & two handsome mirrors, together with a round centre-table, and open fireplace, 6 electric light, 7 gas burners, 24 pictures on the walls, 7 easy-chairs & a sofa; also a large bath room with gas & electrics in it. I hope to be able to do some work in it — at least during the three or four days I must wait before Mr. Rogers is ready to go to Chicago. It costs $3 a day, & my food costs about 80 cents when I eat in the house — which is not often the case, excepting breakfast.
Waiting is hard to bear. Yes, I must get to work or my spirits will go down. Many a time I think of Joan of Arc. You are living close to where she was wounded in the siege: & a few miles away is Compaigne, where she rode forth on her last charge & found the gates treacherously closed against her when she was overmatched & driven back. I will go to Compaigne when I come. If I but had the manuscript here! — but I haven’t.
Sam closed with love and advice that Livy “find that Christian Scientist for Susy” [MTP].
Meanwhile, in Paris, France, Livy wrote to Sam:
Your dispatch reached me last night and greatly rejoiced my heart because it does look as if perhaps you were going to be able to come here some day. Thank you so much for sending it. It also seems as if perhaps you were beginning to see your way through financially. How is Webster & Co. situated now? Are they working out of debt?
You should have been here today to see Clara imitate you telling them stories and eating at the same time, it was just as funny as it could be. She bit a piece of bread exactly as you bite it. She said “I don’t know what it is but Papa always seems to be having a quarrel with his piece of bread to make it let go.”
The doctor had visited and examined Susy; she was thought to be “not sufficiently develloped [sic]” needing gymnastics and massage to develop her chest. Livy liked the doctor [LLMT 284-5].
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull, passing on the praise of Charles Dudley Warner for her play, The Masque of Culture, performed at Unity Hall in Hartford on Dec. 15. Sam urged her to perform it again. He confessed duplicity in reporting perfect health to Livy, “to prepare her to disbelieve the newspaper reports.” He was out of doors this day for the first time since “last Thursday” (Dec. 14) [MTP].
December 18 Monday – In New York Sam dined with the Laurence Hutton family and wrote of it on Dec. 19 to Livy:
I dined with the Huttons yesterday [Dec. 18] evening — family dinner, no dress — & we had a delightful time till 11 o’clock. Mr. Hutton thinks Pudd’nhead opens up in great & fine style. The fact is I get a great many compliments on that story & the promise it holds out to the reader [MTP].
Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 30 with two others from her, postmarked Dec. 16 and 19 [Dec. 30 to Livy].
December 19 Tuesday – In New York, Sam went to the Standard Oil office at noon to arrange the Chicago trip they’d planned. While waiting he met Wayne MacVeagh, now Minister to Italy, and father to Margaretta, friend of Susy’s. When told they hadn’t heard from Susy, Sam filled him in. Rogers had sent MacVeigh down to “find candy & cigars & things for” Sam, who was “irascible & impatient…& likely to get violent if …kept waiting.” Or so Sam wrote to Livy.
MacVeigh is very yellow & thin & little, & has a bald circle the size of a Boston cracker on the crown of his head, but he is wonderfully spry & lively.
Mr. R & I arranged to leave for Chicago Thursday morning [Dec. 21]; then went up to the ninth floor & took luncheon with fifty others. There was another table in the next room that seated twelve or fifteen. Evidently there are people at these tables all the time from noon till as late as 4. There must be a good many employès in that Oil Co.
Sam also wrote about dining with the Laurence Huttons the evening before (Dec. 18) and of Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916), fiction writer, journalist, whom Sam had “come to like very much,” offering the idea of an author signing a random page of MS to be framed and sent to a library or university. Sam thought Jean could make such a collection. Sam PS’d that Mrs. Bunner made the silhouette (probably of him, enclosed) [MTP].
Note: Davis was later one of the most popular writers of his time. With dashing good looks he was thought to be the model for illustrator Charles Dana Gibson’s Gibson Man, the male equivalent of his famous Gibson Girl. Sinclair Lewis referred to him in Dodsworth as the example of an exciting, adventure-seeking legitimate hero. Davis would also become a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt and helped to establish the legend surrounding the Rough Riders.
Livy wrote to Sam. He received the letter (not extant) on Dec. 30 with two others from her, postmarked Dec. 16 and 18 [Dec. 30 to Livy].
Henry H. Rogers wrote on a mourning bordered page, headed 26 East 57th Street, to Sam sending him homeopathic powders for his cold, and advised if he’d “observe faithfully the rules laid down,” he’d soon be “a better man.”
Wayne MacVeagh came in after you left–but he no longer looked like the Coffee-Cooler; having taken on a fine Italian bake, at the hands of the President, and looked like a scorched gunny-bag. How graceful he sits. He must have practiced at a harem.
Rogers also noted he’d “hit the P.R.R. for passes” [Penn. R.R.] and would know the next day; he advised Sam to take “heavier shoes. You’ll need them in Chicago” [MTHHR 28;MTP]. Note: Wayne MacVeagh was President Cleveland’s Ambassador to Italy (1893-1897); “Coffee-Cooler” was the Negro boxer Frank Craig; the Penn. R.R. gave the pair president Frank Thompson’s private car. See n.1-3 and MTB 982.
Sam’s notebook: “Dec. 19/93. Depos $650 and Reichmarks 250” [NB 33 TS 44].
December 20 Wednesday – In New York Sam arrived home (Players Club) at 3 a.m. from unspecified engagements. Some powders were waiting for him for his cold, sent by Henry H. Rogers. He stayed awake for an hour and took them, got a few hours sleep and wrote Rogers his thanks at 9 a.m.
I got the shoes on my way home from your office, & when you see them you will be paralyzed with admiration [MTP].
In the evening Sam attended a dinner for Brander Matthews and gave a speech, the last on the program, after Charles Dudley Warner, Brander Matthews, Clarence Stedman, William Dean Howells, and President Seth Low of Columbia College. Fatout publishes this speech as ca. December [MT Speaking, 269-270], based on MFMT, calling it “…an example of ostensible good spirits unaffected by financial worries,” and observing that Sam “was surprised when his ingenious remarks were highly commended, for he thought they did not amount to much.” Late after the event Sam sent the speech to Livy with a letter, written at 2 a.m. on Dec. 21. The following is taken from the TS of Sam’s Dec. 20 and 21 letter to Livy:
You have spoken of him well & lovingly & heartily, & given him the praises which he has earned & which are his right. But you have overlooked what I think is the most notable achievement of his career — namely, that he has reconciled us to the sound of his somber & awful name — Bran-der Math-thews! his blighting and scathing name — Bran-der Math-thews! his lurid & desolating name — BRAN-der MATH-thews! B-r-r-rander Math-thews! Makes you think of an imprisoned god of the Underworld muttering imprecations & maledictions. B-r-rander Math-thews! It is full of rumblings & thunderings & rebellions & blasphemies — B-r-rander Math-thews! The first time you hear it you shrivel up & shudder; & you say to yourself that a person has no business using that kind of language when children are present. B-r-r-rander Math-thews! It is a searching & soul-riving sound, & makes the most abandoned resolve to lead a better life. And on the other hand when the veteran profane swearer finds all his ammunition damp & ineffectual from long exposure, how fresh & welcome is the dynamite in that name — B-r-r-RANder M-m-ATHthews! You can curse a man’s head off with that name if you know how & where to put the emphases.
To have overcome by the persuasive graces, sincerities & felicities of his literature the disaster of a name like that & reconciled men to the sound of it, is a fine & high achievement; & this the owner of it has done. To have gone further & made it a dear & welcome sound, & changed its discords to music, is a still finer & higher achievement; & this he has also done. And so, let him have full credit. When he got his name it was only good to curse with; now it is good to conjure with.
On Players Club stationery, Sam sent a note to H.H. Rogers:
All right — I shall be at your office at 1 pm tomorrow, with those shoes. I can let you use them part of the time on the way back. Sincerely / SL Clemens [MTP; Cyril Clemens’ copy from Tenney]. Note: this is labeled Dec. 21 ca. in the MTP file, but since they left on Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. it fits Dec. 20.
December 21 Thursday – In New York, Sam finished the letter to Livy at 2 a.m.
That is the speech. I wrote it 3 days ago, & tried to memorize it, but was not able to do it, brief as it is — only 275 words — two minutes & a half. Charley Warner presided, & asked me to take the last place in the list of speakers, — the place of honor — saying that the others would be diffident about speaking after me. I agreed — for the sake of the compliment — but with many misgivings, for I was intending of course to make an impromptu speech.
The speech was a great success, with Howells, Bram Stoker, and Richard Watson Gilder coming up right afterward and heaping praise upon Sam.
And Matthews said “They all say they will never hear my name again without associating it with profanity.”
Now isn’t it odd! It is the unexpected that happens. That I should make the only speech that roused prodigious enthusiasm was the farthest from my expectations — I never dreamed it. But it shows what training can do. My platform training came to the front & was invaluable. That is whatever you say, say it with conviction, not in a cowardly way. I can’t tell you how gratified I was with this result. It is 2.20 a.m. & I go to bed. But I love you, dearheart. Saml [MTP].
At 2 p.m. Sam left with Henry H. Rogers on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s vice president’s private car. The trip took 25 hours.
It was mighty nice & comfortable. In its parlor it had two sofas, which could become beds at night. It had four comfortable-cushioned can arm-chairs. It had a very nice bedroom with a wide bed in it; which I said I would take because I believed I was a little wider than Mr. Rogers — which turned out to be true; so I took it. It had a darling back porch — railed, roofed & roomy; & there we sat, most of the time & viewed the scenery & talked, for the weather was May weather, & the soft dream-pictures of hill & river & mountain & sky were clear & away beyond anything I have ever seen for exquisiteness & daintiness.
….We sat up chatting till midnight, going & coming; seldom read a line, day or night, though we were well fixed with magazines, etc; then I finished off with a hot Scotch & went to bed & slept till 9.30 a.m. [Dec. 25 to Livy].
December 22 Friday – Sam and Rogers continued on to Chicago, eating breakfast in their parlor car after 9:30 a.m.
The colored waiter knew his business, & the colored cook was a finished artist. Breakfasts: coffee with real cream; beefsteaks, sausage, bacon, chops, eggs in various ways, potatoes in various — yes, & quite wonderful baked potatoes, & hot as fire. Dinners — all manner of things, including canvas-back duck, apollinaris, claret champagne, etc.
Then a couple of hours before entering Chicago he [Rogers] said:
“Now we will review, & see if we exactly understand what we will do & will not do — that is to say, we will clarify our minds, & make them up finally. Because in important negociations a body has got to change his mind; & how can he do that if he hasn’t got it made up, & doesn’t know what it is?” [Dec. 25 to Livy].
Based on Sam’s stated travel times, the two men would have arrived in Chicago about 3 p.m., eastern time. They would spend 24 hours in the city to complete their business.
Arrangements were made for an 8 p.m. meeting with all parties:
We telegraphed [George N.] Stone (counsel for Webster) [Towner K. Webster] to be at the Auditorium in the evening, & at 8 he arrived with Charley Davis [Charles E. Davis] & Mr. Dewey, (Vice President of one of the banks, & Webster’s right-hand man.) They said Paige’s Lawyer, Mr. Walker, would receive us at his dwelling at any hour before midnight. Mr. Rogers told them our plan, & they were visibly dismayed. They said Mr. Walker was the ablest lawyer in the West, a fine & upright gentleman; thoroughly despised his client, but would protect him sternly against one or two of the proposed chief requirements. Mr. Rogers was not disturbed. He said we would wait & see.
Henry H. Rogers was to do the talking. The men drove to Walker’s house, “sat grimly down & endured the unavoidable perfunctory light skirmishing about the weather…” etc.
Mr. Rogers began in a low voice & very deferentially, & gradually unfolded & laid bare our list of requirements. Toward the last it was visibly difficult for Mr. Walker to hold still. When at last it was his turn he said in his measured & passionless way, but with impatience visibly oozing out of the seams of his clothes —
“I may as well be frank with you gentlemen: Mr. Paige will never concede one of these things. Here is a proposed Company of $5,000,000. Mr. Paige has consented to be reduced to a fifth interest. That seems to me to be concession enough, I cannot & must not advise him to consent to these restrictions.”
After more discussion Sam asked what would be the situation should Paige, having a million in stock, sell $100,000 of the company stock and then the company fell insolvent — would the whole patent revert to Paige, or only nine-tenths of it? Rogers then withdrew “requirement No. 2,” and later told Sam his question was a “splendid shot” that “knocked away no end of troublesome rubbish.” Sam later wrote Livy that Rogers “gradually broke down Mr. Walker’s objections, one after the other till there was nothing left but his idea that in fairness Paige was not getting enough.” Rogers then listed the existing royalties which stood as mortgages on the typesetter. Mr. Walker had been unaware of how many there were. (Royalties were rights of payment for each machine sold, and in superior position to mere stock.)
Sam’s group got back to the hotel (unspecified) about midnight [details from Sam’s long Dec. 25 letter to Livy].
December 23 Saturday –In Chicago Sam and H.H. Rogers had a wake-up call at 7:45 a.m. The plan was for Rogers to confer with Mr. Walker and the others, while Sam would make a quick trip to the Columbian Exposition’s “White City,” the area at the Court of Honor so-called because the buildings were made of a white stucco, which, in comparison to the tenements of Chicago, seemed illuminated. It also boasted extensive street lights, which made the boulevards and buildings walkable at night.
[Rogers] left for the conference at 9.30 & Charley Davis & I left for the White City at the same time. I was to be back at 2 to deliver final orders as to our car when the colored waiter should arrive at that hour to get them. If there was no message for me from Mr. Rogers, I was to tell the waiter to have our car attached to the Limited, leaving at 5 p.m. — otherwise, attach it to the night express, leaving at 10 p.m. Davis & I examined the White City in detail, on foot, & got back at 2, dog-tired. No message from Mr. Rogers; so I told the waiter we would leave at 5.
The absence of a message meant what was to be expected — Paige was holding out & wouldn’t sign.
H.H. Rogers soon returned and had lunch with Sam, preparing for a final meeting with George N. Stone and Dewey (Towner K. Webster’s attorney and banker) at 3 p.m. Sam did not go with the men for the 3 p.m. meeting; Rogers later reported to Sam that upon arrival he heard a heated discussion between Paige and his attorney Walker, who tried to show his client that this was the best offer he’d get. The meeting clarified some matters and left things with bankrupt Paige to decide. It was now a waiting game. Sam summarized:
That ended the Chicago campaign. There was nothing overlooked or left undone that could have been done, except the raising of Paige’s stipend to his fancy figure of $3,000 a month — & we were all opposed to that. The waiting game has been my pet notion from the beginning. I want it played till it breaks Paige’s heart. As I reason: You [Livy] can afford to wait 3 months; Webster Mf. Co. can afford to wait 6 months; C.C.[Conn. Co.] have got to wait, whether they can afford it or not — their break & life depend upon it; Mr Rogers can wait indefinitely. As far as I can see, Paige is the only one who can’t wait; to him, Time is slow with lead; every day, now, adds to his gray hairs, & spoils his sleep. I am full of pity & compassion for him, & it is sincere. If he were drowning I would throw him an anvil [Dec. 25 to Livy].
The two men left Chicago at 5 p.m. for a 30-hour return trip.
December 24 Sunday – Returning from Chicago, Sam and H.H. Rogers “insisted on leaving the car at Philadelphia so that our waiter & cook (to whom Mr. R gave $10 apiece), could have their Christmas-eve at home.” Rogers’ carriage was waiting for the men at Jersey City. Sam was “deposited” at the Players Club “close upon midnight” [Dec. 25 to Livy].
Sam found four letters from Livy waiting for him: Dec. 9, 10, 11, 12, and a letter each from daughters Jean and Clara [Dec. 25 to Livy].
This squib led off a misc. article in the Brooklyn Eagle, Dec. 24, 1893 p.6:
Mark Twain has contributed so much to the merriment of the American public that it is a pity to perceive a touch of pessimism in his latter day utterances. “Whoever,” he says, “has lived long enough to find out what life is knows how deep a debt a gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.” Yet Adam couldn’t help it. It was Eve’s fault.
December 25 Monday – Christmas – In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote Livy a full account of the “Chicago campaign,” offered to “make up for the 3 letterless days.” See entries from Dec. 22 to 24.
Sam also wrote to Elsie L. Leslie:
Hel-lo! — is it you, Elsie? I wish you lived in this State; I would go straight & see you. But 103d street! If I had only known it — for I was right there in the neighborhood yesterday — out there by Chicago. Lord, I hate travel, & do hate to get lost, too — but the minute I get hands on your uncle Gillette I will require him to take me to 103d street [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull, in Hartford, whose play, The Masque of Culture, he’d missed twice:
Dern that language, it’s so hard to spell I’ll bet I fetch up there this time, anyway. I’m not going to accept any invitation for Jan. 10 — that particular Sunday I’m going to keep open for your play — & if I am in this country & not dead, I’ll be occupying that reserved seat when the curtain goes up [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a copy of HF to “Young People” of Millicent Library, in Fairhaven, Mass.
Greetings and salutation to the young people who are blessed with the privileges of the Millicent Library, from a friend of theirs who was young himself once. / Mark Twain / ~ / New York, Xmas, 1893. [MTP]. Note: this library founded by a gift of Mrs. H.H. Rogers.
Sam went to William Mackay Laffan’s for Christmas dinner. It was spoiled by the arrival of:
…the one woman in the world whose every single detail, from her trivial head to her invisible heels, is hateful to me and maddening — & I was appointed to take her out to dinner!
Her dress was as usual one of her devlish inspirations — she lives solely for clothes. It being exactly a week since her brother died & four days since he was buried, she was in mourning, ostensibly. [Sam drew a woman’s shoulders and dress on the left side of the page] Shiny new black satin — bunch of great pink roses on port breast; a cob-webby transparent Oriental rag flung carelessly athwart her back; her waist away up close under her breasts — & she from there down a churn. Picturesque? Certainly; but if she belonged to me I would drown her, all the same. Lord, I loathe that woman so! She is an idiot — an absolute idiot — & does not know it. She is sham, sham, sham — not a genuine fibre in her anywhere — a manifest & transparent humbug — & her husband, the sincerest man that walks, doesn’t seem aware of it. It is a most extraordinary combination; he fine in heart, fine in mind, fine in every conceivable way, sincere, genuine, & lovable beyond all men save only Joe Jefferson — & tied to this vacant hellion, this clothes-rack, this twaddling, blethering, driveling blatherskite! [Dec. 27 to Susy]. Note: Sam could love and hate with passion; the vituperation reminds of his reaction to Lilian Aldrich, and would fit his regard for Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Certainly it is Mrs. Aldrich whom Laura Skandera-Trombley identifies at this dinner, but she gives no direct evidence .
Susan L. Crane wrote a long letter to Livy about the Clemens girls, and Christmas festivities at Quarry Farm [MTP].
December 26 Tuesday
December 27 Wednesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to daughter Susy. He wished she could be with him at Dr. Rice’s gathering the following night. He also told of how happy his speech had made Brander Matthews, quoting him as saying the delivery was “masterly!” Also, he told about his ruined Christmas dinner due to a lady he detested (See. Dec. 25 entry). Sam finished the letter after a six-hour interval, at midnight.
In the interim Sam went to dinner at Laurence Hutton’s home.
No outsider there but me. A most pleasant time. A Mr. Kip, of Buffalo, came in later — fine man. But at dinner I was still full of that detested woman [Christmas at the Laffan’s] and turned myself loose on her, covering up her identity very artfully, as I thought. Finally Mrs. Hutton said, “I want to shake hands with you; she is my pet detestation, too” — & she named her. But men haven’t any intuitions; Hutton had guessed wide of the mark.
[Note: the female in question may have been Emma Sayles, who Sam wrote about on Feb. 15 to Livy: “the sight of her brought all that was vicious in me to the surface.” Or, as Laura Skandera-Trombley conjectures, [p.164] was Lillian Aldrich; either female caused Sam extreme irritation]
Sam also told of seeing Wayne MacVeagh, who was now Minister to Italy. He then related the whirl that his life in New York had become, a whirl which caused the title, “Belle of New York,” which is attributed to Jamie (James) Dodge, son of Mary Mapes Dodge (See MTB 972):
Dear me, how full my days are! I don’t get a chance to do anything. I go to bed at 3 in the morning & get up at 8, 10, & 11; but I am never tired, & am always brisk. I wish I could give you some of my superabundant health, dear child. Every few days the papers say I am very ill; then come letters & telegrams of sympathy from people I could whip with one hand tied behind me. Mr. Rogers said yesterday, “I am entirely broken down with the Chicago trip; I can’t get rested, in bed or out of it. But you look fresh & fine; what’s your secret? I said — & it was the truth — “I am fresh & fine. I play billiards till 3 in the morning, & have got more health & vigor than I know what to do with. My secret is — ” — “but I’ll tell you that when we get the right news from Chicago” [MTP].
Sam then wrote that he would write Jean now. And so, the letter to Jean is dated Dec. 28, “After midnight.”
December 28 Thursday – In New York Sam wrote daughter Jean.
Dear Blatherskite: I am glad you are having good times at your school, but I kind of wish they had none but French girls in it.
I have sent you 6 Paragon writing-pads. Also a little box containing a curious seed — or part of a nut. Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge had it & said I wanted it for you — & took it. It comes from Mexico. Its peculiarity is, that if you put it in strong sunshine or under a lamp that throws a great deal of heat…it will begin to walk when it feels the heat.
Sam related a story that “uncle” Laurence Hutton told at dinner (Dec. 27) about the wisdom of street-car horses in New York (Jean had great affinity with horses.).
Good-night, dear old Jean, I love you. Take good care of your mother, who is the dearest person in this world; & by & by you will find out that she has certain qualities of the head & heart that make her the superior of any other woman of these days [MTP].
Dec. 28 11 a m — [George] Frink brought the great news — Paige is ready to sign! He wants $2,000 down, from Conn. Co., $5,000 down from Webster Mf. Co., $600 a month till a certain dividend is reached, & the new Co. must assume the P. & W. [Pratt & Whitney] $8,000 & the Newton Case $70,000 [NB 33 TS 45].
At 3.30 p.m. Sam began a letter to Livy which he finished in the wee hours Dec. 29: He enclosed a typewritten letter, Dec. 28, from H.H. Rogers: dispatches from Towner K. Webster’s attorney, Mr. George N. Stone had been received and Rogers wanted to “consult with the Connecticut people,” so asked Sam to arrange an appointment with the Knevals brothers (of the Conn. Co.) at 23rd St. at 4 p.m. and “be present yourself at that time.” Rogers wrote his, “present judgment is to refuse a proposition and wait a little” [MTHHR 29].
I hain’t got no time to write you to-day, dear old Sweetheart. Busy trying to get our ship into port [MTP].
Sam went to the 4 p.m. meeting with Rogers and the Knevals brothers. At 6 p.m. Sam added to his letter to Livy:
We held the talk & then telegraphed that Paige must come to our terms — we would yield nothing [MTP].
In the evening Sam dined at the home of Dr. Clarence Rice. [Dec. 27 to Susy]. Sam wrote of the gathering to Livy in the wee hours of Dec. 29:
Dinner party at Dr. Rice’s; Mr. & Mrs. Rogers & ten other nice people, including me. At 10 p.m. sixty people came, & were seated in camp chairs in the library, & I stood by the fire-place & read The Californian’s Tale & then talked an hour, & had a roaring good time. …(see Dec. 29 for end.) Note: This reading is not in Fatout’s MT Speaking.
December 29 Friday – At 1:30 a.m., Sam finished his Dec. 28 to Livy
2 in the morning, now, & I better go to bed. I love you my darling & think you are the dearest woman in this world. / Saml [MTP].
Later in the day Sam was able to write Livy a longer letter. He’d had two business calls while putting on his shirt. When he got downstairs for coffee, George Warner was waiting for him to tell him about Dr. Whipple, “mind curist,” and take Sam to see him.
We went — 328 Madison ave. He could tell me of no mind-curist in Europe; said they would be jailed promptly if they attempted to practice in France.
Sam’s notebook offers more on the “Mind-curist”:
Dec. 29, 12, noon. Went to Dr. Whipple, 328 Mad. ave. for mind cure — cold & cough of long standing — little or no relief from medicines. He sat with his face to the wall & I walked the floor for ½ an hour. (Midnight.) Don’t know if he is the reason, but I haven’t coughed since [NB 33 TS 45-6].
Sam then went to the office of the Connecticut Co. and read them a letter about the latest developments from Chicago and the typesetter. Sam warned them about “intimating” that he and H.H. Rogers would “yield any inch or half an inch” in their position.
Sam also wrote he’d seen Mr. Potter in the horse-car.
He is just as majestic & handsome & young-looking as ever — but spoke of taking his grandson to the opera the other night. He asked with warm interest after you & the children. [Note: this may have been Edward T. Potter, the architect of the Clemens Hartford house.]
Sam also wrote of meeting a “society young lady of 30 at dinner last night [at the Rice’s] who claimed mind-cure lessons had cured her from the effects of drafts” [LLMT 285-6].
Sam wrote a short letter to H.H. Rogers, enclosing a letter from Chicago that Caleb B. Knevals asked him to read to Rogers, then to pass it on to “the other Knevals at 32 Nassau” (Lambert and S.W. Knevals).
I have just left Mr. Frink feeling rather depressed on account of that $75,000 commission.
Newton will probably arrive from New Haven an hour from now.
The Farnham Co. of Hartford have apparently agreed to do whatever Hammersley advises [MTHHR 30-1].
Note: George A. Frink was one of the brokers involved in the Conn. Co. Sam was to receive $75,000 in stock as commission for “inducing” Rogers to invest $150,000. As it turned out, he invested only $78,062.69 before the machine’s failure, so Sam’s commission was less [n1]. The source identifies Newton as an attorney for Charles R. North, the inventor of the justifier for the Paige typesetter who had evidently taken a securities interest in the machine in exchange for part of his labor. Sam’s Mar. 1 to Livy identifies him as a New Haven attorney. The 1894 New Haven City Directory shows only one attorney named Newton, that is Henry G. Newton (1843-1914) with Newton & Wells on Chapel Street. Newton would be personal counsel for William Jennings Bryan in the famous 1904 Philo Bennett will case.
Sam told of his movements after meeting Henry G. Newton:
The moment Mr. Newton was out of sight around the corner I ran to Fourth avenue & boarded the first car & reached Mr. Rogers’ house in 57th Street at 6 o’clock, to report in detail my interview with Newton & my earlier interview with the Vice President of the Conn. Co., (the one wherein I was obliged to make him squirm a little). Advising Newton to go to Mr. Rogers within 24 hours & for me to get in ahead & warn him that Newton was coming & prepare him to back me up at all points with an unyielding front.
But he & Mrs. Rogers were just starting out to a dinner party, so we made an appointment for 10.30 this morning [Dec. 30]. I remained, & dined & spent the evening with the children: Harry, nice boy, 14 yesterday; Mrs. Duff, 22 or 23, pretty & intelligent — has been a widow 4 months; & May, 19, school-girl, also pretty and intelligent. They all have their father’s sincerity & charm & winning ways [Dec. 30 to Livy].
Note: Newton represented Charles R. North, the inventor of the justifier for the Paige typesetter who held royalties on the machine. Cara Rogers Duff (Mrs. Bradford F. Duff, later Mrs. Urban H. Broughton; sometimes seen as “Clara”); Henry Huttleston Rogers, Jr. (1879-1935) was “Harry” a young man Sam grew quite fond of.
Charles Ethan Davis telegraphed Sam:
Stone has just submitted Paige proposition to Knevals. Difference is too small to let matter hang fire push matters there in order to hold Paige [MTP].
December 30 Saturday – In New York at 1.p.m. Sam wrote a short note to H.H. Rogers, asking if Henry G. Newton accepted (for his client Charles R. North) wouldn’t it be “judicious” to get it in writing? Sam emphasized this was only a suggestion to Rogers, who undoubtedly was much wiser in business, “from one accustomed to teach his grandmother how to suck eggs” [MTHHR 31].
Sam also wrote another very long letter to Livy, relating all the events of Dec. 29 and this day.
In New York Sam was up at 9 a.m. Frederick J. Hall called before Sam was finished with his coffee. As Hall left, H.H. Rogers arrived.
I gave him a full account of the two interviews — at which he was amused, of course — & then he found that a wise idea which he had suggested last night was one which had already occurred to me at a late moment & been used on the Vice President of the C.C. [Conn. Co.] — which made him remark that great commercial intellects were pretty sure to break out in kindred inspirations.
He wasn’t going to be at his office this afternoon, so I undertook to find out where Newton was stopping & send him to 57th Street. Also to fetch Rice to the Manhattan Club at 5.45, where Standard Oil’s Archbold is to give us a dinner & take us to the Coffee-Cooler’s prize-fight at the Athletic Club.
[Notes: John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916), executive with Standard Oil, and one of the nation’s earliest oil refiners. He was also president of the board of trustees for Syracuse University from 1893 until his death, and was the center of a scandal involving a contribution to the Republican party and the 1904 campaign of Teddy Roosevelt.]
The N.Y. Times, Dec. 31, 1893, p.8 “Boxing for Athletes” reported the packed New York Athletic Club for three professional matches, including:
The last bout of ten rounds between the New-York Athletic Club’s favorite, Frank Craig, the “Harlem Coffee Cooler,” and “Joe” Ellingsworth, at 158 pounds, was so one-sided that it was utterly devoid of interest. Ellingsworth, once a light-weight champion, is now in the sere and yellow leaf of boxerdom, a “back number.” He had neither the strength to stop nor the agility to avoid his young and vigorous opponent, who worked his long, powerful arms alternately as piston rods and flails. The end for Mr. Ellingsworth came toward the finish of Round No. 6, when a love tap on the “point” from the negro’s glove sent him “down and out.”]
Sam then wrote about changing appointments with the mind-curer (Dr. Whipple) with George Warner. Sam’s noon appointment was thus changed to 12:30 p.m. He then went back to the Conn. Co. and to find Henry G. Newton; then to Dr. Rice’s to tell about the Manhattan Club time, then to Dr. Whipple’s:
…arriving on time, & took half an hour’s treatment. He sits silent in the corner with his face to the wall, & I walk the floor & smoke….I tried the mind-cure out of curiosity. That was yesterday. I have coughed only two or three times since. Maybe it was the mind-cure, maybe it was the powders [Rogers provided].
Sam then wrote about a mind-cure miracle on Mrs. Edward Perkins’ son, who was now playing football for Yale; also that Elinor Howells was taking mind-cure, which was to be of strictest secrecy from Mrs. Mead (Mrs. Larkin G. Mead; Mary J. Mead, Elinor’s sister-in-law).
Sam continued with the day’s developments on Paige:
Urgent telegrams daily from Chicago to the C.C. saying do accept Paige’s terms — don’t let him get away from us — he is bound to lose patience presently. We have answered — “Mr. Paige must accept our terms.”
This morning the same sort of telegram — with this warning: “If you don’t hurry, Paige will get tired waiting.” C.C. very very anxious. “What shall we answer, Mr. Rogers?” Mr. R. said pleasantly but gravely: “Say, at this end we are already tired waiting.”
That card was well played. It shed a new light on the situation; also caused a shock. We have been reserving it. It is interesting to play games with a partner who knows how to play & what to play & when to play it.
Sam sent some new Pudd’nhead Wilson calendars published by the Century Co. after Sam “turned the atmosphere purple” over changes made to his “language in two of the maxims.” He wrote of a humorous joke “complaint” given by members of the New York Stock Exchange against the President (or Vice President) of the Exchange, whose name was Wilson — that he’d been “partially concealing himself behind a fictitious name — Pudd’nhead — that he was “damaging the very business he” was “elected to foster.”
Sam added at 4:20 p.m. that he’d just received three of Livy’s letters, postmarked Dec. 16, 18, and 19. He was concerned about Susy’s health; it made him anxious to close up the Chicago efforts. He would go first thing Monday morning about the $3,500 the Century Co. hadn’t sent her. He would “attend to the Modern Language book,” and “write Joe about the experimental letter.” In the margin Sam wrote that Mrs. Rice was “so set up by the success of her evening that she is difficult to live with now.” He added the bit about teaching his grandmother how to suck eggs that he’d penned to H.H. Rogers [MTP; not in LLMT].
George N. Stone telegraphed to Sam: “Final proposition wired to Mr Rogers today see telegram to him immediately” [MTP].
At the Manhattan Club, Sam dined with Dr. Clarence Rice and John Dustin Archbold; after dinner they attended prize fights at the New York Athletic Club [Dec. 30 to Livy].
December 31 Sunday – On Players Club letterhead Sam wrote a short note thanking Curtis Bell.
I am very glad to foster & increase our kind of crime, & so I do the thing which you suggest [MTP].
Sam also wrote responding to a request for a photograph from Mr. Moskovitz. He thanked the man for his kind letter but hadn’t a photo “on the place.” They were probably with his family in Paris [MTP]. Note: this may have been Moritz Moskowski, Clara’s piano teacher in Berlin.
Sam also responded to a request from a Mr. Parker for an autograph, with one of his famous aphorisms:
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example [MTP].