Rogers Untangles Sam’s Business Affairs – “I will Swim in Ink!”
Paige Buckles Under – “What an Exile it is!” – Bankruptcy – Joan of Arc at Etretat
Typesetter’s Final Failure – Fever, Gout, Bronchitis – Paris Housekeeping
“I am 59” – “We’ll Never Live There Again”
1894 – Sometime during the year Sam inscribed Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar for 1894 to Bram Stoker: Pudd’nhead Wilson’s compts to Bram Stoker. / per / Mark Twain / ~ [MTP].
“Macfarlane” was written sometime during 1894-5, but not published during Sam’s lifetime. It was included in What is Man? and Other Philosophical Writings, Baender, ed. (1973) [Budd, Collected 2: 1002].
Sam also wrote a short note to an unidentified person:
The no-speech terms you offer would certainly fetch me [MTP: Walpole Galleries catalogs, Jan 7. 1902 Item 131].
Books published by Charles L. Webster & Co. in 1894
Holdsworth, Annie E., Joanna Traill, Spinster
O’Rell, Max, John Bull & Co.: The Great Colonial Branches of the Firm — Canada, Australia,
New Zealand and South Africa
Twain, Mark, Tom Sawyer Abroad
Waugh, Arthur, Alfred Lord Tennyson
Also published this year was The Press Club of Chicago: A History, with Sketches of Other Prominent Press Clubs of the United States, William H. Freeman, editor. According to an article in The Twainian for Mar. 1945, it was on p.9 of the above book that Mark Twain’s role in the 1879 formation of the Chicago Press Club was explained. George Ade’s recollections illuminate The Twainian article [Tenney 22].
Sometime during the year at a Paris reception, Sam “briefly” met Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) later known as “the father of Zionism.” Convinced that Jews would never be assimilated and accepted in Europe, Herzl almost singlehandedly promoted forming the state of Israel and worked to organize the movement. Herzl was a journalist for the Neue Freie Presse in Paris and reported on the Dreyfus case. Sam and Theodor would meet up again in 1898 in Vienna [Dolmestch 129; Oren 284]. Note: efforts to determine the date of the 1894 meeting have come up empty. Sam was back and forth from America to Europe during 1894; he was in Paris during the following periods: Mar. 15 to Apr. 5; May 22 to June 22; Nov. 2 to Dec. 31. Possible events where the meeting might have taken place include: Apr. 5, June 11.
January – Sam’s notebook lists several ideal subjects for his “Back Number” magazine, including Pepys’ Diary, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, Herodotus’ writings, and “John Johnson (Iceland) in old Littell. Susy Crane has it,” referring to “Jon Jonsson’s Saga: The Genuine Autobiography of a Modern Icelander” in Littell’s Living Age, 132; Thomas Moore and William Jerden’s Personal Reminiscences by Moore and Jerden (1875); he also hoped to “buy a set of Howells’s Autobiographies for the Back Number” [Gribben 540, 242, 310, 360, 483, 772; NB 33 TS 46-7]. Also in the notebook for this month: Can anybody furnish me the poem “In the days when we went gypsying, a long time ago?” referring to Edwin Ransford‘s poem; also a note to return Sir Philip Sidney’s book (not specified) to William Mackay Laffan [Gribben 569, 642; NB 33 TS 45 and 44].
The second of seven parts from PW ran in the January issue of Century Magazine. The third installment of Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared in the Jan. 1894 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.
January 1 Monday – In New York Sam wrote to Henry G. Newton, attorney for Charles R. North:
It would not avail for me to go to New Haven, or to re-open negociations here, because I have no larger powers now that I have been equipped with heretofore. But if you would like to see Mr. Rogers I will make the appointment for you, or you can communicate directly with him.
Sam also conveyed they were doing everything they could to “consummate the scheme,” and that recent telegraphs indicated “the Chicago end of it is fast settling [to] a satisfactory basis.”
Sam then sent his Newton letter with a short note to H.H. Rogers. Sam refers to New Haven attorney Henry G. Newton as “Brer Newton,” a term usually reserved for his billiard buddies, which implies Sam may have known him prior to this instance.
At 6 p.m., Sam sent a second letter to Rogers, which shows Henry G. Newton represented Charles R. North who held 125 royalties, which he took in exchange for his work on the justifier for the typesetter.
Dear Mr. Rogers:
I did want to stand out & say “$50,000 of stock & retain 50 royalties, & that is our last & final offer, Mr. Newton” — but I am so troubled about Susy Clemens & so anxious to send the family some inspiring good news that I am losing my strenuosity & coming to accept the better wisdom of your suggestion that he be allowed his 125 royalties if you see that he can’t be silenced for less. …I do suppose I shall land in heaven just about the time that I have learned how to conduct business on earth [MTHHR 32-3].
Note: It was Rogers’ strategy to get as many royalty holders as possible to exchange these priority-payment securities for stock, so as to increase the value of Sam’s remaining royalties.
Joe Twichell wrote from Hartford to Sam at the Players Club, agreeing to his visit on Jan. 10, “and as many more days as you like before or after, or both; and occupy two rooms, or three, or a whole floor — we are that superabundant in vacant space since our young folks began to leave us.” Joe claimed a gift of “some of the best cigars you ever saw in your life, and you will have a royal smoke anyhow while you are with us.” He added a PS that he was now going to write Livy [MTP].
January 2 Tuesday – Sam signed the brief introduction, “A Whisper To The Reader,” to The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins:
Given under my hand this second day of January, 1893, at the Villa Viviani, village of Settignano, three miles back of Florence, on the hills…[Oxford facsimile edition 1996].
James Bennett Gordon for N.Y. Herald sent a note to Sam, advising of the Herald’s Sunday edition with “the best toasts,” for any occasion, and that he was “respectfully requested to contribute a toast, original or otherwise, to this collection. Sam wrote on the envelope, “The Coolest yet” [MTP].
January 3 Wednesday – In New York on the stationery of the Office of Woodlawn Cemetery, 20 E. 23rd Street, where the Knevals brothers (of the Conn. Co.–See Dec. 7, 1893) were directors, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Caleb [Kneval] & [H.S.] Ward & [George] Frink [all of the Conn. Co.] were still here at the Graveyard when I returned, a few minutes ago. They thought $50,000 of stock would be due me when your $100,000 cash comes in; & that the rest would be due when or if the other $50,000 cash was needed & furnished. Also, it was the business of the Paige Company to pay these commissions; that a resolution of that Board would authorize the payment…& finally you would be a member of the Board yourself. They feel sure that no objection would arise from Stone, Webster & the other Chicago members.
Sam owned 470 royalties on the Paige typesetter; he was concerned about giving up more than 150 of his royalties and had hoped to clear $50,000 for himself, but the men he talked to were thinking of dividing his money up among all parties, and to raise it by selling stock at par value [MTHHR 33-4 and notes].
In his Jan. 4 to Livy Sam wrote of this day’s main resolution of the typesetter contract, with the receipt of telegram from Chicago with Paige agreeing to sign.
When the enclosed telegram arrived showing that we had at last got Paige where we wanted him, I went to that conference & when it was over & we had telegraphed Chicago to go ahead & prepare the contracts, Mr. Rogers said, as we walked towards his horse car, “Tomorrow is a blank day — the fight is as good as won — it is time for us both to catch a little rest. I will be in bed & asleep before 8 o’clock & get three extra hours in that way & you’d better do the same.”
And then Sam took rest:
Recognizing, yesterday [Jan. 3] noon, that the campaign was ended, barring today’s assault [by the Conn. Co. interests and/or North’s attorney Henry G. Newton], & that in it I was not likely to take part, I experienced a sudden collapse of interest & a deep drowsiness, an overwhelming desire to stretch out & take a nap. So I went to bed & napped the whole afternoon away; then had some supper brought up. Rice came in & made a long visit, but by 11.30 I was asleep again & didn’t wake till called at 8.30 [Jan. 4 to Livy].
Frederick J. Hall wrote to Sam wishing he would sell some of his Paige royalties to provide a cash fund for Webster & Co., in case the Mt. Morris Bank “should happen to get cranky” or Rogers’ son-in-law, William Evarts Benjamin, would be unable to keep current on payments for the purchase of LAL. Some $23,000 in notes would come due at various times in Jan. Hall added there had been four failures in the book trade already in the month — altogether, “only strike us for about $1,000,” and in a couple of the cases he thought they’d salvage half to three quarters of the debt [MTHHR 22; MTP].
January 4 Thursday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam’s wakeup call came at 8:30 a.m. He was “rested & vigorous,” and “spent the day walking the sidewalk out in front taking the brisk air & keeping watch for messengers.” He wrote all this and much more in another long letter to Livy. He opened with a paragraph referencing, “The Tale of the Dime-Store Maiden” he’d sent on Dec. 17, 1893, obviously asking Livy’s questions as to why he named the girl Benny (he liked the name; incidentally it was a nickname used for daughter Clara, though he didn’t say so). He also wrote a paragraph about the prizefight he’d seen with H.H. Rogers, Dr. Rice and John Dustin Archbold the previous Saturday (Dec. 30). Livy obviously confided in one of her letters (not extant) that she’d tried treatment with electricity. Sam was glad of it though he wanted her to find an operator who was “thoroughly competent.” He’d heard of miraculous cures using electricity. He was also glad that Jean was having dental work and he’d do the same if he had the time. He was way behind in his correspondence, “which consists mainly of declining all conceivable kinds of entertainments.” As the “Belle of New York,” Sam’s celebrity was growing:
Dr. Rice said last night that my welcome to New York has been phenomenal, & that the manifest affection of the people for me was the sort of fame that was worth having; & Mr. Rogers said the other day to Rice or to Archbold that other people’s successes in this world were made over broken hearts or at the cost of other people’s feelings or food, but that my fame had cost no one a pang or a penny. And this morning down stairs some one read a remark in an English magazine that there was a curious fact that had been observed — to-wit, that the most fleetest & evanescent of fames was that of the second-rate humorist, while the most substantial & permanent was that of the first-rate humorist; & said he believed I was a first-rate. All this is pleasant. I can stand considerable petting. Born so, Jean.
Sam went on to say that this day was another waiting day; he was up at 9 and was to wait till sent for. It was a quarter to 2 as he wrote, no news yet from the “final conference,” the “last of the games in the long tournament” for resolution of the new typesetter contract. He closed with a word about not accepting any more dinners where a dinner call was necessary, and was going downstairs to “hunt up a game of billiards.” He was also glad to get a cable from Livy that Susy was improving [LLMT 286-9]
January 5 Friday – The New York Times of Jan. 6, p.9 “Notes of the Courts” reported an old lawsuit against Sam was dropped:
The suit brought by Edward House to prevent Samuel L. Clemens, (“Mark Twain,”) Abby Sage Richardson, and Daniel Frohman from producing “The Prince and the Pauper” without consent of the plaintiff, was dismissed by Justice Bischoff in the Special Term of the Court of Common Pleas yesterday.
Note: See May 7, 1890 and other entries concerning House’s lawsuit.
H.H. Rogers sent Sam a telegram:
Unless you hear from me to the contrary please meet me at Rices at about five oclock [MTHHR 34].
January 6 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote two notes to Frederick J. Hall. In the first:
I think I will go to Elmira tomorrow and distribute some stock to people who are anxious to get it. I expect to get back Monday night. If I don’t & the bank is stubborn, go to Mr. Rogers…
[Note: MTLTP 361n1: “Perhaps to Susan Crane, who had offered MT $5,000 in stocks and bonds the preceding fall”; See LLMT, p.270.]
Sam hoped that Rogers could hold off the Mt. Morris Bank; evidently more notes were soon due. Sam also asked Hall to “Get promptly to work” to put a partnership into place with George Barrow for some new capital for Webster & Co. He felt he would leave for Europe soon. MTLTP 362n3: “This may be the George Barrow who had loaned FJH $15,000.”
In his second note he directed Hall to tell Orion that his monthly check would be reduced to $50 “till the stringency is over” and that he should stop sending $10 to Missouri (to Puss Quarles). He repeated he would leave in the morning for Elmira and return Monday night (Jan. 8).
In the evening Sam attended the Twelfth Night Club’s Annual Feast. The New York Times of Jan. 7, p.2 wrote of the gathering and included Sam among those present:
The Twelfth Night Club celebrated its annual feast with all the rites and ceremonies of ye olden times.
One of the reception rooms at the Berkeley Lyceum was metamorphosed into an inn of a century or more ago. The walls were hung with holly and evergreens, arranged by the fair fingers of the Twelfth Night maids and matrons. …
At the stroke of 12 the President of the club, Mrs. Alice Fischer Harcourt, sounded the gong, the loving cup was passed impressively from one member to another, there were mutual congratulations, and the feast was over.
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam thanking for a $50 check received the day before, and enclosing “some MS. To show you that I am trying to substitute something that will pay for your publishing business….” He also praised the second installments in the Century and in St. Nicholas. One page of the MS survives with the letter, and is a summary of John Marshall Clemens’ struggle, titled “Jesus Bar Abbas” [MTP].
January 7 Sunday – Sam left in the a.m. for Elmira, a nine or ten hour train trip [Jan. 6 to Hall].
January 8 Monday – Sam was in Elmira to give stock to those who had surrendered royalties — besides Sue Crane and Charles Langdon, Matthias Hollenback Arnot held 50 royalties. Sam’s return to New York late this evening would have given him only a few hours on two days for his business.
January 9 Tuesday – Sam was back in New York, and his rooms at The Players Club.
January 10 Wednesday – Sam went to Hartford and took in the play, The Masque of Culture, by the Saturday Morning Club, which he’d established years before. It had been performed previously at Unity Hall, so it’s likely that’s where it came off on this day. Sam had missed two prior invitations to see the play with Annie E. Trumbull in the cast. He described the play, and evaluated roles in a letter to Livy the next day. Sam mentioned Annie, who “looked beautiful, but she was not graceful, & she was ill at ease”; May Shipman, “in divided skirts & a Derby hat”; Milly Cheney, and Josie Barnard.
I wouldn’t have missed seeing the piece for anything.
And I saw all the girls after the piece & had a great time with them, chatting, while Noel Flagg arranged them on the stage to be photographed by flash-light.
During the piece one of their grand successes was when they would occasionally break into a confusion of talking, making a chaotic din.
I sat between Fanny Hesse & Mrs. Cabell, with Mrs. Jonathan Bunce behind me & Charley & Susy Warner & Ned Bunce in front of me; & they were all so persistent in calling my attention to this that & the other big of “business” & in warning me when a good thing was going to be said, & in asking me what I thought of it after it was said, that at last I begged them not to interrupt any more.
Sam added his love and that he was not sick as per the last newspapers trumpeted [Jan. 11 to Livy: MTP]. (Editorial emphasis.)
January 10-12 Friday – Stanford White sent an invitation to Sam for a “little dinner to Henry C. Abbey” on Monday Jan. 15 at half past seven [MTP].
January 11 Thursday – In Hartford at Joe Twichell’s parsonage, Sam wrote to Livy about the previous night’s play given by the Saturday Morning Club (see Jan. 10 entry). Sam may have stayed with the Twichells.
Sam returned to New York on the train with Laurence Hutton and Rudyard Kipling, who had been living near Brattleboro, Vermont since his marriage to Carrie Balestier in Jan. 1892. Sam wrote of the trip in his Jan. 12 letter to Livy:
Livy darling, I came down from Hartford yesterday [Jan. 11] with Kipling, & he & Hutton & I had the small smoking compartment to ourselves & found him at last at his ease & not shy. He was very pleasant company indeed [Jan. 12 to Livy: MTP].
Sam’s notebook about Kipling:
Jan 11. Kipling says he is to be a week with Lockwood Forest 7 E. 10th — Tuesday Jan. 16 5 p.m. Tea. [NB 33 TS 49].
January 12 Friday – In New York on Dr. Rice’s letterhead, Sam wrote to Livy of the trip down from Hartford the previous day, lingering negotiations in the typesetter affair, and Mrs. Cabell’s confidence. Kipling would be in New York for a week and Sam wanted to invite him to dinner, but was afraid there would be business interruptions.
The construction of a contract that will suit Paige’s lawyer (not Paige) turns out to be very difficult. He is embarrassed by earlier advice to Paige, & hates to retire from it & stultify himself. The negociations are being conducted by means of tedious long telegrams & by long talks over the long-distance telephone. We keep the wires loaded.
Mrs. Cabell told me last night that the relations between herself & Annie Trumbull are of the most devoted & tender nature.
Dear me, dinner is ready. So Mrs. Rice says [MTP].
Sam wrote a second, longer letter to Livy, having just received three from her. He assured her that their long separation was “pure necessity,” and the Paige’s signature on the new contract by H.H. Rogers (not yet finalized) meant “our very bread & meat.” There had been a conference with Rogers and others in the morning, and everyone noticed Rogers’ “stock of patience” was “running low.” Sam told of a telegram Rogers sent early in the day, which implied a threat of his withdrawal from the agreement.
He made no threat, but the inference was clear. The others wanted the apparent positiveness of it softened, but I insisted on having it go unmodified, & it did. There is only one way to deal with Paige, & that is to take a stand & keep it. I do hope I can cable you, the 15th, that the contract is signed.
Sam was sorry to hear that Livy and Susy were ill; the Twichells wanted Susy to come and live with them for several months, though “privately,” Sam felt their “table would not nourish Susy.” Frederick Hall had gone to a lecture the previous night by Prof. Powell of the University of Pennsylvania, who said PW “was clearly & powerfully drawn & would live & take his place as one of the great creations of American fiction.”
Isn’t that pleasant — & unexpected! For I have never thought of Puddn’head as a character, but only as a piece of machinery — a button or a crank or a lever, with a useful function to perform in a machine, but with no dignity above that. I think we all so regarded him at home. Well, oddly enough, other people have spoken of him to me much as Prof. Powell has spoken.
Sam enclosed the program from the “Masque” play put on by the Saturday Morning Club on Jan. 10.
I was proud to be the father & sole male member of a Club that could write & play plays like that. The more I think of that evening the more I want to see the play again.
Sam wrote of the rain of invitations that he didn’t accept, and of attending “strictly to business, & to private dinners where there were no speeches.
Tonight, dinner at R.U. Johnson’s [Robert Underwood Johnson] — don’t want to go, but can’t properly decline; Tuesday, 1 p.m., at Mrs. Carroll Beckwith’s — luncheon — she’s playing me as a card, & will have a large company — but she has been treating me very handsomely, & so I’m perfectly willing to spin yarns if her guests want them; Monday 7:30 pm, dinner with Stanford White the architect, up in his quarters in the Tower of Madison Square Garden — Abbey the artist & other artists are to be there. I shall enjoy it. [Note: Fatout lists this reading, MT Speaking 661]. Note: Henry C. Abbey (see Jan. 15, 1894).
Sam’s great success at the Brander Matthews banquet led him to decline all others, keeping what he’d gained. He ended by saying no telegrams yet from Chicago, and he “must start right out to Dana’s,” (Charles A. Dana, ed. NY Sun) to whom he’d declined a dinner invitation for Jan. 10 [LLMT 289-92].
At Robert Underwood Johnson’s Sam had “a good time.”
Although my new high-quarter shoes were mighty uncomfortable. Dr. Rice was at his funniest & best. Mrs. Rice drove home in the brougham, & Rice & I walked the two miles in the crisp & splendid midnight air. I wonder how long Mrs. Rice had to stand at her door in that crisp & splendid air, & how much she enjoyed it, & what sort of language she used to herself — for the doctor forgot to give her the key [Jan.13 to Livy: MTP].
January 12 Friday, after – In New York Sam wrote to daughter Jean.
Oh, great Scott, dear Jean! I believe I never told you about that seed which Mrs. Dodge sent you in a little box. It must be warmed in your hand or under the rays of a lamp — then, if it is still in good condition it will walk quite rapidly across a smooth surface like a sheet of paper. It comes from Mexico & is called the Walking Seed.
Father Sam also wrote about a construction girder falling to Broadway, cutting a wagon in half but not touching the horses. He PS’d that he’d been to Hartford and “seen the good people & the dear home” and assured her that she would “do likewise one of these days” [MTP].
January 13 Saturday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy from Mr. Rogers’ office. He described Rogers’ sending a telegram framed by the Conn. Co. people and followed by his own: “My telegram of yesterday [Jan. 11] states my position accurately. From it I shall not recede.” Paige’s lawyer was pressing a point about stock and royalties, but Rogers issued a final stand, “nothing being required of Paige that was not clearly & absolutely fair, & he must take the offer or leave it.” Sam also told of the “stir & talk” one of his sketches had caused:
You remember the talk the £1,000,000 Bank Note made? Now you never would expect that “Traveling with a Reformer” would make similar stir & talk, but it really has done that. And not only that, but people tell me they are trying those diplomacies & making them succeed. That’s the best part of it. In one case the experimenter didn’t work it right, & it failed. But I corrected his method, & the next chance he got he went through with colors flying. Last night a young lady in the great company at R.U. Johnson’s said I was her benefactor; she had never known, before, how to get her rights, but she knew now ….
Mr. Rogers & I are going up stairs to luncheon, now, & from there to a matinee at the theatre. But I am pretty drowsy. I have to get up at 7.30 to shave & get to these 8.45 conferences, & it makes me feel rusty.
Sam also wrote of Joe Twichell giving him a book of John Winthrop’s love letters, Some Old Puritan Love-letters, John and Margaret Winthrop, 1618-1638 (1893). It is not in Gribben, but Joe’s 1891 history, John Winthrop, First Governor of the Massachusetts Colony is (p.719). Sam would bring the book to Livy.
January 14 Sunday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow, thanking him for the “pat on the back.”
Your letter passed through Mrs. Clemens’s hands several weeks ago on its own way to me, and she naturally thanks you too, since you confirm her own judgment. She is head critic over me and Court of Last Resort, and she made me pull the story to pieces and do it over again before she would allow it to be printed. [PW?]
Sam added that Bigelow should receive the letter right before sailing for New York in February, and gave him his address at the Players.
…and you’ll let me know, when you arrive, so that we can meet-up again and talk of Gmūnden and the prospects. It is possible that I may fly Parisward in the meantime…[MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Frederick J. Hall, reassuring him that a “blunder” was Franklin Whitmore’s, not his, due to Whitmore’s “idiotic disposition to discard” Sam’s “language & substitute his own, which never has any intelligible meaning.” The matter is not specified [MTP].
Sam also inscribed his picture twice to Hall, one dated Jan. 14 and one Jan. 15 — see latter entry.
Sam also wrote to Annie E. Trumbull, praising the play and her performance in it. “I was never so entirely proud & satisfied as I was last Wednesday night” [MTP].
Interestingly, the Boston Daily Globe, p.31, “A Bad Baby” ran an excerpt of the PW serial from the January Century in just one full-length column.
January 15 Monday – In New York a telegram arrived from Chicago (probably from Paige’s attorney Walker); Paige had agreed to terms.
Sam’s notebook: This is a great date in my history — a date which I said on the 5th would see Paige strike his colors. A telegram from Stone says he has done it. Yesterday we were paupers, with but 3 months’ rations of cash left & $160,000 in debt, my wife and I, but this telegram makes us wealthy [MTHHR; NB 33 TS 47-8 (renumbered pages 49-50].
More on the good news from Chicago — there were yet details to be worked out:
“After weeks of conference, word finally came from Chicago that Paige would agree to new terms, if he could get ‘$2,000 down, from Conn. Co., $5,000 down from Webster Mf. Co., $600 a month till a certain dividend is reached,’ and if the new company — the Paige Compositor Manufacturing Company — would assume debts of $8,000 and $70,000 owed, respectively, to the Pratt & Whitney Company and to Newton Case of Hartford (Notebooks 27, TS 43). Paige was willing to exchange his 1,271 royalties and his $210,000 in stock of the old company for 20 per cent of the $5,000,000-aggregate stock in the new, consolidated company. This, Clemens calculated, would make his own 470 royalties worth about $330,000 of the new stock (ibid., p.37). However, he planned ‘to stand out for $500,000 stock, or retention of royalties in the same proportion’ (ibid., p.42)” [MTHHR 15]. Note: until such details were finalized and signatures put to paper, Sam felt he could not return to his family in Paris.
In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to Livy, apologizing for the delay in the typesetter cablegram he’d promised. The snag was caused by Paige’s lawyer, Walker, who was holding out on a point or two, while H.H. Rogers was adamant, and had sent a telegram on this day that he disagreed with Walker; that if the points were not conceded entirely, Rogers would “no longer be connected with the enterprise.” So Sam was forced to wait, and to explain the delay. While writing the letter, Joe Twichell arrived.
Joe has just arrived (11.30). We can’t go to Brooklyn, for Julia is in bed with asthma so I have sent a messenger to fetch [Laurence] Hutton here to luncheon. Joe sends greetings & love to you & the children; & brings a message from Harmony — that she means all she said to me concerning Susy: that she will gladly make her house Susy’s home for as many months as she will stay, & will do her very best to make her happy. (Private. But the food — alas!).
There — good-bye old sweetheart, & good-bye all the darlings — I will chat with Joe, now. / Saml [MTP].
Sam’s 2nd letter Jan. 12 to Livy told of his 7:30 p.m. dinner engagement for this evening with the architect Stanford White, Henry C. Abbey and other artists, in the Tower of Madison Square Garden. Note: Fatout has this as Jan. 19, probably because he did not have access to the Jan. 12 (2nd) to Livy. Sam enclosed an invitation for this Jan. 15 with Henry C. Abbey in his Jan. 27 to 30 to Livy.
Sam also sent Frederick J. Hall a 11 & ½ by 6 ¾ inch sepia photograph of himself, inscribed twice: To F.J. Hall, from his friend, Mark Twain. Jan.14, 1894. It is also inscribed with Jan. 15 and the same verbiage, scarcely discernable against the dark background of Sam’s coat.
After the White dinner, Sam played billiards until 1:15 a.m. then retired to his room [Jan. 16 to Livy].
January 16 Tuesday – In the wee hours, Sam wrote again to Livy, this time good news.
Livy darling, when I came in, an hour ago, & found this letter, it did not move me or produce any quickening of the blood, because I was days & days ago prepared for such news & reasonably confident that it was coming. I at once wrote a telegram to you & dispatched it by messenger, so that it would be delivered to you as soon as you were up in the morning: “Look out for good news.” I played billiards till 1.15 — it is really 2 a.m. now though I have headed this “Midnight” — you see I wanted to preserve the date, Jan. 15, it being the date I had appointed ten days before for “good news.”
I came up to my room & began to undress, & then, suddenly & without warning the realization burst upon me & overwhelmed me: I and mine who were paupers an hour ago, are rich now & our troubles are over! [LLMT 293]. Note: The letter conveyed the fact that Paige had signed the new contract. But Sam’s jubilation was premature. This letter labeled Jan. 15 by MTP.
In New York Sam told stories (“spin yarns”) at Mrs. Carroll Beckwith’s lunch at 1 p.,m. [NB 33 TS 49]., one which Sam forecasted as a “large company” in his Jan. 12 (2nd) letter to Livy. Fatout puts this as Jan. 13 (he probably did not have access to the above Jan. 12 to Livy). Mr. Carroll Beckwith was the artist who did Sam’s portrait at Onteora (see July 1-3, 1890).
January 17 Wednesday
January 18 Thursday – Fatout lists an Author’s Club appearance for Sam in New York City; no subject is specified [MT Speaking 661]. Sam’s notebook gives another engagement at Laurence Hutton’s:
Charming debate last night (Jan. 18) at Hutton’s between Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin & Mrs. Bisland Wetmore on kindergartens. It was delightful. Being requested to close the thing with some remarks, I did so. I think maybe I didn’t divide the verdict exactly between the contestants, for afterward Mrs. Wiggin said, “I want you to let me be plain with you, & say out of my heart that you are just a darling” — whereas the other beautiful creature said, “How dare you offer your hand to me — & how dare you smile like that, after the way you’ve been burlesquing my arguments & Gatling-gunning my statistics!” [NB 33 TS 50-1]. (See Jan. 29 for another Kindergarten Association event.)
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam concerned about the high cost of electros for the illustrations in PW and TSA [MTP].
January 19 Friday – Sam wrote in his Feb. 11 to Livy that he made a notebook entry on this day of:
To-day, Jan. 19, sent cable, to Livy, “Nearing success.” It was plain, yesterday, at the conference, that a very trifling change or two would make the Chicago contract suit Mr. Rogers. But as this would cost several days, with a delay added for consulting the patent lawyers, I thought best not to cable anything more promising [NB 33 TS 50].
(See Jan. 15 for the Stanford White dinner which Fatout mis-reports as this date).
January 20 Saturday
January 21 Sunday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to Mary Mapes Dodge, declining an invitation, and sorry he’d missed her son, James (Jamie) on a recent visit, but his room was “in scandalous disorder” and he wasn’t yet up.
I’m to be in Boston Thursday & Friday — & likewise Saturday, I am afraid. It is just as exasperatingly too bad as it can be — in fact the whole too-badness of it can’t be done justice to without ripping & cussing, & it is Sunday & I dasn’t [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William Henry Venable, responding to his letter (not extant). Yes, Sam liked the poem Venable mentioned, and the others as well. He took the opportunity — “almost the first spare moment I have had in oh, so long! — to thank you for sending me the book.” Note: this book of poetry may have been, The Last Flight (1894). Not in Gribben.
January 22 Monday – In Boston, William H. Rideing (1853-1918), on the editorial staff of Youth’s Companion and North American Review, wrote Sam requesting he submit an essay on “How to Tell a Story” to the Youth’s Companion [MTHHR 19]. Rideing offered $500 for the story [MTP].
Note: The Literary World, Oct. 21, 1893, p.352 in “New York Notes,” ran a paragraph about Rideing, who was born in Liverpool, England and came to the US at age 19; he began his literary career on the N.Y. Tribune, later was connected with the N.Y. Times, Springfield Mass. Republican, and the Boston Journal. Since 1881 he was assoc. editor of The Youth’s Companion, and managing editor of the North American Review form 1887 to 1899:
For several years Mr. Rideing has made frequent trips from Boston to New York in the interest of the North American, and after the first of December he will make frequent trips from New York to Boston in the interest of the Youth’s Companion. Despite his double editorial duties, Mr Rideing writes frequently for the magazines and goes abroad every summer.
January 23 Tuesday – Georgiana Ratcliffe Laffan (Nannie) wrote inviting Sam to a tea with songs for a “chiefly feminine” get together on Thursday, Jan. 25. Sam wrote on one margin for Livy, “I’ll tell you a howling yarn about this if I don’t forget” [MTP]. Note: See MTHL II p.657-8 for Sam’s account to Howells how he mixed up regrets with two invitations.
January 24 Wednesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam ordered a wakeup call for 8 a.m. then “ran out” to H.H. Rogers’ home at 9 a.m. and “talked business until half past 10, arranging a scheme for suppressing the remaining royalties.” Such plans were aimed at increasing the value of Sam’s royalties. Sam then caught the 11 a.m. train for Boston, arriving at 6 p.m. He shaved and dressed by 7 p.m. and went to dinner at Mrs. Annie Fields’ “charming house,” (148 Charles St.) where he stayed until Saturday. Oliver Wendell Holmes, now 84, came to dinner. Sam wrote of the gathering to Livy:
Mrs. Fields said Aldrich begged to come & went away crying because she wouldn’t let him. She allowed only her family (Sarah Orne Jewett & sister) to be present, because much company would overtax Dr. Holmes.
Well, he was just delightful! He did as brilliant & beautiful talking (& listening) as he ever did in his life, I guess. Fields & Jewett [in a “Boston marriage”] said he hadn’t been in such splendid form in years. He had ordered his carriage for 9. The coachman sent in for him at 9; but he said, “Oh, nonsense! — leave glories & grandeurs like these? Tell him to go away & come in an hour!” …
He was prodigiously complimentary about some of my books, & is having Puddnhead read to him. I told him you & I used the Autocrat as a courting book & marked it all through, & that you keep it in the sacred green box with the love letters, & it pleased him [MTP: Jan. 25 to Livy].
Caldwell Hart Colt (“Colly”), heir to the Samuel Colt fortune, died at Punta Gorda, Florida of malignant tonsillitis after an operation. He died intestate and a bachelor. Sam would write his mother, Elizabeth H. Colt, commenting on a memorial book of “Colly” on Feb. 15, 1895. See N.Y. Times, Jan. 23, 1894 p.1 “Victim of Malignant Tonsillitis.” Note: Sam and Livy had attended several Colt functions, including the 21st birthday of Caldwell at Armsmear, the Colt mansion in Hartford on Nov. 24, 1879.
January 25 Thursday – In Boston at Annie Fields’ home, Sam wrote to Livy.
I had to turn out at 9 this morning & go down town & attend to a matter of business which kept me till 2: then I went to the theatre & talked; left there at 4 & been running and busy ever since.
Good-bye, my dear darling, it is 15 minutes to dinner & I’m not dressed yet. I have a reception to-night & will be out very late at that place & at Irving’s theatre where I have a box. I wish you were all here. / Saml..[MTP, not in LLMT].
Note: This may have been at the Boston Museum; the reception is not specified, nor is the performance Sam saw at Irving’s theatre. Sam’s talk at the theatre until 4 p.m. is listed in Fatout as Authors Readings, text not supplied [MT Speaking 661]. A check of the Boston Daily Globe for this period came up empty. Sam’s notebook previewed this reading as for the poor: “Chairman of Women’s Press Association, Mrs. Winslow & Julia Ward Howe are getting it up. It is distinctly conditional. I asked for third place on the program — as usual — for after that, the people begin to die” [NB 33 TS 47].
January 26 Friday – In Boston, Mass. Sam wrote a two-page letter to Jeanne Chalmers of that city.
I tried to read your kind note on the stage, but it looked unmannerly & I gave it up. Since then I have been filling engagements till this moment, that I have arrived in my bedroom very weary. I had to leave the theater about 4 to meet an engagement, therefore I hope you did not go to the box office. I am due in New York by the earliest train tomorrow…[MTP: Batchelder catalogs, No.18, Item 56]. Note: evidently Sam left Boston at 11 a.m. on Jan. 26, not Jan. 27; see letter to Livy on Jan. 27.
Sam wrote of this busy day to Livy the next day (Jan. 27):
…I did errands in Boston till 11 a.m.; reached N.Y. at 5.30 p.m.; left my satchel at the station & walked 17 blocks in the snowstorm to Mr. Rogers’s; arranged for a meeting with Mr. Hall & son-in-law Benjamin to settle their squabbles; received the details of Mr. Rogers’s new arrangement with the C.C. [Conn. Co.] to aid them in corraling the outstanding royalties — then he & I talked over last Wednesday night [Jan. 24]; after dinner we went down stairs & played billiards till 10.30, talking type setter now & then — and prophecying; then walked back the 17 blocks in the storm, got my satchel & caught a car for here. Here I found an accumulation of letters from all sorts of people, but none from you, alas! Went to bed & to sleep [MTP: Jan 27 to 30 to Livy].
Robert Reid the artist also wrote of Mrs. Cowdin’s gathering asking “Don’t make any engagement for to-morrow (Saturday) night. Mrs. Cowdin wants you to come there, she’s written to you. We’ll stay late & ‘tell stories’” [The Twainian, Mar-Apr 1978 p.4; MTP].
Gertrude Cheever Cowdin (Mrs. John E. Cowdin) sent a note of invitation for Sam to come to an “impromptu spree” on Saturday (Jan. 27) about ten thirty. She announced Robert Reid would be there Sam sent this and other invitations to Livy and wrote on the back of this one, “I send these because you need something to read,dearheart [MTP].
January 27 Saturday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam got up at 8 a.m. and answered “an accumulation of letters” and a note from H.H. Rogers. He sent five telegrams; had a “tedious interview” with Charles E. Davis, who told of Rogers’ “bombshell” dropped into the Conn. Co.’s camp on Jan. 25:
[Rogers:] “The Paige contract is now perfected. I have accepted it formally & by signature. My part is done. Now for yours. Clemens & I will allow the lacking 57 royalties to remain on the machine for $50,000 of paid up stock. Go & tell the C.C. so; also that they must have their understandings with the other royalty-holders reduced to written contracts — and right away!”
[Sam:] Consequently, Davis went flying to Washington, Frink to New Haven and Ward to Hartford — the first time these two latter have ever been pulled out of their eternal drowse.
I am to leave now in 15 minutes to sign a contract releasing 150 royalties for $150,000 of paid-up stock.
I guess our ship is mighty near in, now.
4:30 p.m. I have signed that paper. Does the ship seem so very near in? No. The Farnham Co.. in Hartford are hanging back. That inveterate blatherskite Bill Hamersley conspired with the C.C. to gather the Farnham Co’s 150 royalties in for $75,000 of paid-up stock provided his 50 royalties could remain on the machine. He has now resigned his Presidency in that Co. without waiting to get their acceptance in writing. The new President proposes to ignore the agreement & stand out for more stock. This result is going to follow, no doubt: — the poor C.C. [Conn. Co.] will —
— Mr. Rogers’s card; I must go down to the front hall & see him; he is not a member & can’t come up. [MTP] Note: Sam added to the letter on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 9:30, which is where Paine’s copy begins. The sale/exchange of royalties vastly complicated reorganization to a stock company.
To the note from H.H. Rogers, Sam answered:
I’ll be there at 6.30, (un)loaded for bear — in case you are going to have any for dinner. Otherwise, ham will do.
Sam added he was sorry that Rogers’ son-in-law, William Evarts Benjamin, was ill and added “there will be no difficulty about settling the Hall matter.” This may have involved some disagreement about the sale and/or payments of LAL to Benjamin [MTHHR 34].
In his Aug. 19, 1895 to H.H. Rogers, Sam gave this date as the date he signed an agreement with the new Paige Compositor Co. [MTP].
Sam later wrote (on Feb. 12 in the wee hours) of “desperately” working “to dash off the answers” to the “hatful of letters,” that had accumulated while in Boston, so as to make a business engagement, and in so doing, switched two of the letters in the wrong envelopes, sending Mrs. Laffan a letter meant for a missionary, and vice versa.
The first chance I got, I went out to Laffan’s & sure enough she had the missionary woman’s letter & of course the missionary woman had hers. At first I thought I would cry: but upon reflection I didn’t.
Sam’s notebook gives the name of the missionary:
Note to Mrs. Hamilton Marsh, a stranger, who wrote & asked me to come to a meeting and say a few words in behalf of foreign missions & thus raise money to carry the light of the gospel &c &c &c: “Madam: In declining your kind invitation I will be frank with you & say that I have no sympathy with such things & take no interest in them.” / When I got through with my mail the floor was littered with my answers & the envelops for them — superscribed by me. I put Mrs. Marsh’s answer into Mrs. Laffan’s envelop, & Mrs. L’s answer into Mrs M’s envelop — of this blunder I am almost sure. I am waiting for results — with such cheerfulness as I can. I wish Howells had done this; it would seem funny, then. Still there is a neatness & completeness about it that almost reconciles me to it [NB 33 TS 52].
At noon, Sam began a long letter to Livy, telling of the above events of the day, and which he added to on Jan. 28 and Jan. 30 (cited here as both MTLP and MTP). Sam wrote of a new snowfall of six inches, and then detailed his busy Friday, Jan. 26. See entry.
James J. Corbett arrived in New York only two days after beating Charley Mitchell in Jacksonville Florida to defend the title he won in 1892 from John L. Sullivan. The fighter’s party included Dan Creedon, middleweight champion of Australia (he was actually a New Zealander). Creedon had beaten Alexander Greggains in a big middleweight bout in Roby, Indiana on Aug 14, 1893, and engaged afterward in several exhibition matches with Corbett in Florida [NY Times Aug. 15, 1893, p.5 “Creedon the Winner”].
5,000 fans and the Old Guard Band met Corbett at the train station in Jersey City. The band played “Hail to the Chief.” Later that night Corbett and Creedon put on an exhibition for 7,000 at Madison Square Garden. Sam had dinner with H.H. Rogers and wife. Rogers bought a $15 box at the Garden for the boxing exhibition featuring Corbett. Sam, Rogers, Dr. Clarence Rice, and two artists from the Players Club occupied the box, Robert Reid and Simmons (Sam referred to the latter as “fire-escape Simmons, the inveterate talker”). Afterward, Sam met Corbett in his dressing room [NY Times, Jan. 28, 1894 p.3 “Corbett Arrives in Town”]. Sam’s letter to Livy continued the next day, relating the exhibition match and his talk with Corbett:
Livy dear, when we got out to the house last night [Jan. 27], Mrs. Rogers, who is up and around, now, didn’t want to go down stairs to dinner, but Mr. R. persuaded her and we had a very good time indeed. By 8 o’clock we were down again and bought a fifteen-dollar box in the Madison Square Garden (Rogers bought it, not I,) then he went and fetched Dr. Rice while I (went) to the Players and picked up two artists — Reid and Simmons — and thus we filled 5 of the 6 seats. There was a vast multitude of people in the brilliant place. Stanford White came along presently and invited me to go to the World-Champion’s dressing room, which I was very glad to do.
Corbett has a fine face and is modest and diffident, besides being the most perfectly and beautifully constructed human animal in the world. I said:
“You have whipped Mitchell, and maybe you will whip Jackson in June — but you are not done, then. You will have to tackle me.”
He answered, so gravely that one might easily have thought him in earnest:
“No — I am not going to meet you in the ring. It is not fair or right to require it. You might chance to knock me out, by no merit of your own, but by a purely accidental blow; and then my reputation would be gone and you would have a double one. You have got fame enough and you ought not to want to take mine away from me.”
Corbett was for a long time a clerk in the Nevada Bank in San Francisco.
There were lots of little boxing matches, to entertain the crowd: then at last Corbett appeared in the ring and the 8,000 people present went mad with enthusiasm. My two artists went mad about his form. They said they had never seen anything that came reasonably near equaling its perfection except Greek statues, and they didn’t surpass it.
Corbett boxed 3 rounds with the middle-weight Australian champion — oh, beautiful to see! — then the show was over and we struggled out through a perfect wash of humanity [MTLP 2: 603-4]
Afterwards, Sam enjoyed a musical evening at Mrs. Cowdin’s that lasted till dawn:
I had an engagement at a beautiful dwelling close to the Players for 10.30; I was there by 10.45. Thirty cultivated & very musical ladies & gentlemen present — all of them acquaintances & many of them personal friends of mine. That wonderful Hungarian Band was there (they charge $500 for an evening.) Conversation & Band until midnight; then a bite of supper; then the company was compactly grouped before me & I told about Dr. B. E. Martin & the etchings, & followed it with the Scotch-Irish Christening. My, but the Martin is a darling story! Next, the head tenor from the Opera sang half a dozen great songs that set the company wild, yes, mad with delight, that nobly handsome young Damrosch accompanying on the piano.
Just a little pause — then the Band burst out into an explosion of weird & tremendous dance music, a Hungarian celebrity & his wife took the floor — I followed; I couldn’t help it; the others drifted in, one by one, & it was Onteora over again.
By half past 4 I had danced all those people down — & yet was not tired; merely breathless. I was in bed at 5, & asleep in ten minutes. Up at 9 & presently at work on this letter to you. I think I wrote until 2 or half past. Then I walked leisurely out to Mr. Rogers’s (it is called 3 miles but it is short of it) arriving at 3.30, but he was out — to return at 5.30 — (& a person was in, whom I don’t particularly like) — so I didn’t stay, but dropped over & chatted with the Howellses until 6.
First, Howells & I had a chat together. I asked about Mrs. H. He said she was fine, still steadily improving, & nearly back to her old best health [MTLP 2: 605]. Note: Sam’s “&’s” have replaced Paine’s “and’s”. The engagement was most certainly that of Gertrude Cheever Cowdin (Mrs. John E. Cowdin). Also, Robert Reid encouraged Sam to make her event; finally, Sam’s description seems to fit the “impromptu spree” promised by Mrs. Cowdin. See both invitations Jan 26.
Emma T.T. Rapallo (Mrs. Edward S. Rapallo) sent Sam an invitation to dine on Jan. 30 at 7:45 p.m. [MTP].
January 28 Sunday – In New York Sam wrote at 9:30 a.m. to Livy in Paris of the goings on the night before (see Jan. 27 entry). Note: Paine’s volume [MTLP 2:] begins the letter at this 9:30 a.m. addition, but it was added to a letter Sam began at noon on Jan. 27.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
I was to go to his house [Rogers] to dinner, & he called to see if I couldn’t go along with him now — first to Dr. Rice’s for treatment for his throat, & for consultation as to financial condition of the price of Rice’s heart and child of his brain, the great new hospital — Rogers is trustee & financial bulwark.
Sam also wrote that Rogers had managed to convert Charles North’s royalties to stock, leaving only the Farnham Type-setter Manufacturing Co.. of Hartford holding out. If Rogers consented, Sam would write a letter to William Hamersley and the Farnham Co.:
I will strip to his skin that fat fraud, that cask of rancid guts.
Sam then wrote more about the financial machinations and then described the Corbett exhibition match and the time after at the “beautiful dwelling close to the Players” (See Jan. 27 for this portion of the letter).
January 29 Monday – In New York at Sherry’s, Sam attended a reception held by the Kindergarten Association. From the NY Times of Jan. 28, p.13 “The Social World”:
Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin and F. Hopkinson Smith will read manuscript stories at the reception of the New-York Kindergarten Association at Sherry’s Monday evening. Mr. Carl Schurz will preside. There will be musical selections at intervals. Mme. Nordica will also sing. At the close of the entertainment Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Smith will auction off each other’s manuscripts.
On Feb. 12 Sam wrote to Livy about the event.
And did I tell you about the Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin & the sale of manuscripts? You see they had a great gathering at Sherry’s in aid of the kindergartens, & they had music, & then it was announced that Hopkinson Smith & Mrs. Wiggin would read unpublished articles & each sell the other’s MS. at auction.
Upon discovering that Smith had given her a type-written MS to auction, Mrs. Wiggin suppressed her anger and secured the same sum, $85 for his MS as he’d rang up for hers [MTP]. MTHHR p.18 notes that Sam “refereed a debate on kindergartens between the same Kate Douglas Wiggin and Mrs. Bisland Wetmore, not mentioned for this Jan. 29 event.. The date of that debate is given as Jan. 18 in Sam’s notebook: [Gribben 768; NB 33 TS 50-1]. See Jan. 18.
Sam continued the long letter (Jan. 27 to 30) to Livy.
When the anchor is down, then I shall say:
“Farewell — a long farewell — to business! I will never touch it again!”
I will live in literature, I will wallow in it, revel in it, I will swim in ink!
Joan of Arc — — but all this is premature; the anchor is not down yet.
January 30 Tuesday – Sam finished his Jan. 27 to 30 letter to Livy:
To-morrow (Tuesday) I will add a P.S. if I’ve any to add; but whether or no I must mail this to-morrow, for the mail steamer goes next day.
5.30 p.m. Great Scott!, this is Tuesday! I must rush this letter into the mail instantly.
Just been over to blow up the Century people. Evidently they have neglected to send you the lacking $2,000. It’s too late for tomorrow’s mail, but it will start Saturday.
I love you, I love you, I love you, dear Sweetheart, & shall think of you all day Feb. 2d [their anniversary] [MTP].
Sam enclosed four short invitations he’d received (from Emma Rapallo, Nanni Laffan, Gertrude Cowdin, Robert Reid, and Stanford White) adding “I send these because you need something to read, dearheart.”
January 31 Wednesday – Fatout lists a reading for Sam at Mrs. Gertrude Cowdin’s in New York City [MT Speaking 661]. Note: The undated MTP TS of this invitation, however is as follows:
My dear Mr. Clemens
Won’t you come in to a very informal & impromptu spree on Saturday evening about ten thirty. Our friend Mr. Reid is coming & I have warned him not to appear without you.
This was signed by Gertrude “Cowdie,” which may be a misreading of the handwriting. It may be that there were two engagements and that Fatout’s listing is correct.
February ca. – Sam wrote, likely from New York, to decline an invitation to be present for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The school was founded in Feb. 1495 [MTP].
February – Sometime during the month in New York, Sam responded on Players Club stationery to William H. Rideing’s Jan. 23 request for an essay for Youth’s Companion.
I got your telegram to-day & answered it. We are still hunting for that Shelley MS., & if it is found I will send it to you. Otherwise, when I get to Europe (I sail in the New York March 7), I will send to Florence & get the original MS & re-edit it & type-write it & forward to you for inspection.
Sam suggested that in the near future Rideing could use the “Jumping Frog” story in the North American Review. He needed time on “How to Tell a Story” for the Companion, and suggested a name change to “The Etiquette of Story-Telling,” or some such, “so that I shan’t be shoving myself forward as a recognized expert in the art” [MTP].
“Ships that Pass in the Night. Get 2 — send one to Paris” [Gribben 294; NB 33 TS 53]. Note: refers to Beatrice Harraden’s Ships That Pass in the Night (1894). Also in this month or March: “Stanley’s Interpreter’s Account of the Meeting between Stanley and Livingston — get it out of the courant” [NB 33 TS 56].
The third of seven parts from PW ran in the Feb. issue of Century Magazine. The fourth of six installments of Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared in the Feb. 1894 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.
Not everyone was a Mark Twain fan. Martha McCulloch Williams edited Southern Magazine which ran “In Re ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson,” p.99-102. The article described the book PW as “tremendously stupid,” and “malicious and misleading” [Tenney 23]. Note: So much for Southern sensibilities.
February 1 Thursday – At 2:15 p.m. in New York Sam cabled Livy:
A ship visible on the horizon coming down under a cloud of canvas [MTHHR 20]. Note: As he wrote in his notebook, “The great Paige Compositor Scheme consummated” [NB 33 TS 53].
Also, on Players Club stationery, Sam responded to Frank Fuller’s letter (not extant). He wrote that he was in N.Y. “all the time, but desperately busy,” and promised to look in on Fuller soon. An “old lecture” Fuller has asked about, “was not in existence” — Sam had torn it up.
Stanley made a pretty full report of it for the St. Louis Democrat in 1867. Somebody could copy it from the files. Ys Ever / Mark [MTP].
Note: See Mar. 28, 1867 entry: Henry M. Stanley reported on Sam’s “Sandwich Island” lecture given Mar. 26, 1867. It’s unclear why Fuller would want the lecture copy.
Sam also wrote to Elizabeth M. Millet (Mrs. Francis Davis Millet):
I am publicly & ostentatiously giving out that I am going to Chicago Saturday, (this to frustrate Providence), but the fact is I am coming to your house to dinner [MTP].
Sam sent Livy a second cable timed to be received the next morning, on their 24th wedding anniversary:
Wedding-news: Our ship is safe in port. I sail the moment Rogers can spare me [NB 33 TS 53].
February 2 Friday – Sam and Livy’s 24th Wedding Anniversary. Early in the year, possibly at or after Feb. 2, as he and Livy began their 25th year of marriage, Sam wrote in his notebook:
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century [MT NB, ed. Paine p.235].
Livy answered Sam’s cables of Feb. 1 with one of her own: “We rejoice with you & congratulate you on your well-earned success” [NB 33 TS 53].
In New York Sam wrote to daughter Clara, urging her to write him again.
Then I’ll have 2 letters to answer & that’s easier than answering one, you know [MTP].
Sam promised to buy photos of “Coqeulin and Hading” and get them signed for her, as a “bribe…to let me down easy” [MTP]. Note: Benoît Constant Coquelin (1841-1909) French actor also known as Coquelin ainé; Jane Hading (1859-1933) French actress whose real name was Jeanne Alfredine Trefouret. The two toured the US in 1888 and at this time were in N.Y. — Sam wrote to daughter Clara on Feb. 5 about Coquelin being at a Feb. 4 to 5 gathering.
Sam also inscribed a copy of P&P for the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, Mass., founded by H.H. Rogers and named after his deceased daughter who loved books: To the young contingent among those who enjoy the privileges of the Millicent Library, from one who would like to trade years and reputations with them and start all over again. / Mark Twain / New York, Feb. 2, 1894 [MTP].
Orion Clemens wrote to Sam, thanking him effusively for money sent while Sam had so many debt problems. Mollie was thankful for Sam’s goodness to her father as well. “I have been abusing the Standard Oil Company. I did not know it was run by angels. How wonderful that you have found this magnificent man when you were lost.” (Rogers) [MTP].
February 3 Saturday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote a response to Edwina Booth Grossman, whose request (not extant) concerned Sam’s communication with her late father, Edwin Booth (d. 1893).
If I had a line from his honored hand it would be at your command at any moment; but it happened that your father & I corresponded only with the tongue [MTP].
Note: Sam’s memory was faulty — he wrote Edwin Booth on Apr. 7, 1877 [MTLE 2: 38] after going uninvited backstage on Apr. 6; See Nov. 3, 1873 for first entry concerning Booth. The Century Co. was soon to publish: Edwin Booth: Recollections by His Daughter, Edwina Booth (1894). (Sam is mentioned once in the book, in a Nov. 18, 1883 letter from Booth to William Bispham about the luncheon that day at Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s, where Sam, Matthew Arnold, Charles Dudley Warner, and Oliver Wendell Holmes enjoyed a “feast.” See addenda to Vol. I.)
Sam also responded to some sort of invitation (not extant) from Arthur Sherburne Hardy (1847-1930), editor of Cosmopolitan (1893-5), saying it was a “splendid list of story-writers,” but “wouldn’t Howells join?” Sam was “so tuckered out with 5 months of daily & nightly fussing with business,” that he needed a long rest before he’d wade back into “interest in literature or anything else” [MTP; MTHHR 10].
Sam dined with Francis and Elizabeth Millet [Feb. 1 to Millet; NB 33 TS 53].
Orion Clemens wrote another long letter to Sam, this about his feelings at Sam’s impending business failures, and his perspectives on business. He mentioned that Sam Clark, the editor of the Gate City wanted the nomination for Congress [MTP].
February 4 Sunday – Sam had breakfast at noon with Madame Nordica, who gave him a signed picture of herself. He had another engagement to dine at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.
I got away from the breakfast at 2 p.m., went & excused myself from the 3-o’clock dinner, then lunched with Mrs. [Mary Mapes] Dodge in 58th street, returned to the Players & dressed, dined out at 7, & was back at Mrs. Dodge’s at 10 p.m., where we had magic lantern views of a superb sort, & a lot of yarns until an hour after midnight, & got to bed at 2 this morning — a good deal of gain on my recent hours [MTP: Feb. 5 to Clara].
Note: Lillian Norton Nordica (1857-1914), greatest American operatic soprano of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was born in Maine, and made her debut at Brescia in 1879. A 1908 recording of her singing “Mighty Lak’ a Rose” is online on the Wikipedia site under her name.
February 5 Monday – In New York at Rogers’ office, Sam wrote to daughter Clara at the Hotel Brighton in Paris, France:
Dear Benny — I was intending to answer your letter [not extant] to-day, but I am away downtown, & will simply whirl together a sentence or two for good-fellowship. I have bought the photographs of Coquelin & Jane Hading [See Feb. 2] & will ask them to sign them. I shall meet Coquelin to-morrow night, & if Hading is not present I will send her picture to her by somebody.
I am to breakfast with Madame Nordica in a few days, & meantime I hope I get a good picture of her to sign. She was of the breakfast company yesterday [Feb. 4], but the picture of herself which she signed & gave me for you does not do her majestic beauty justice.
I am too busy to attend to the photo-collecting right, because I have to live up to the name which Jamie [James] Dodge has given me — the “belle of New York” — & it just keeps me rushing.
After relating the previous day’s hectic social schedule, he added that he didn’t get tired but slept “as sound as a dead person,” always waking up “fresh & strong — usually at exactly 9.” He also told of a recent breakfast where seven nationalities were represented with all seven languages “going at the same time.” Next to him was a “charming gentleman” who “talked glibly” in all seven languages — Sam wanted to “kill him, for very envy” [MTP]. Note: some secondary sources mistakenly attribute the “belle” title to others; this letter pins it to Dodge.
In his before-Feb. 13 letter to Bram Stoker about his desire to purchase stock in the new typesetting co., Sam wrote, “Work resumed on the machines [typesetter] last Monday, & ten of them will be pushed to completion with all dispatch, without wasting energy on the other forty unfinished ones” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Feb. 5. Drew $150 from the deposit at Players” [NB 33 TS 54].
William Carey of Century Magazine wrote and sent a copy of IA for Sam to sign for a lady friend of Carey’s. Sam wrote at the top of the letter, “Ain’t this a neat & fluent note? It is Carey of the “Century” with a copy of Innocents Abroad” [MTP].
February 6 Tuesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote a note to Francis Wilson, his “fellow-player and neighbor in the next room”:
…greeting and salutation! And therewithal prosperity and peace, and the continuance of our friendship until the end. Amen. / Mark Twain
On Feb. 7 Sam wrote Livy about this nights’ gathering at Robert Reid’s studio:
Last night [Feb. 6] I played billiards with Mr. Rogers until 11, then went to Robert Reid’s studio & had a most delightful time until 4 this morning. No ladies were invited this time, because there was a great ball & they would not have been able to come. Among the people present were —
Richard Harding Davis;
Harrison, the great out-door painter
Wm. H. Chase, the artist;
Bettini, inventor of the new phonograph.
Nikola Tesla, the world-wide illustrious electrician; see article about him in Jan or Feb. Century.
John Drew, actor;
Barnes, a marvelous mimic; my, you should see him!
Smedly [sic] the artist;
Zorn “ “
Zogbaum “ “
Reinhart “ “
Metcalf “ “
Ancona, head tenor at the Opera
Oh, & a great lot of others. Everybody there had done something & was in his way famous.
Sam related that many of the guests provided entertainment: “I told a yarn,” Ancona sang six songs, Barnes did imitations, Harding Davis sang “The Hanging of Johnny Deever,” and Kipling’s “On the Road to Mandalay,” Young Gerritt Smith played some “ravishing dance-music & we all danced about an hour.” Coquelin refused to sign the picture Sam bought to send to daughter Clara, because he wanted to send a better one.
Sam closed the letter by saying he was glad Livy was taking electric therapy and that Susy had gone on a trip [MTP, not in LLMT].
Notes: there is no record of what yarn Sam told. Robert Reid (1862-1929) American impressionist painter and muralist;. Lowell or Lovell Birge Harrison (1854-1929), landscape painter went by Birge Harrison; William H. Chase, artist and teacher, considered an American master; Gianni Bettini (1860-1938) inventor (he recorded the voices of the world’s greatest opera performers, including Enrico Caruso); Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), inventor, physicist, engineer, often called “The Father of Physics,” became a close friend of Sam’s — this may have been their first meeting; John Drew, actor; William Thomas Smedley (1858-1920) artist and illustrator, award-winning watercolorist; Anders Leonard Zorn (1860-1920), Swedish painter, sculptor, printmaker; Rufus Fairchild Zogbaum (1849-1925) illustrator for late 19th century news magazines, also a journalist and author. His works were regularly featured in Harper’s Weekly Magazine. Charles Stanley Reinhart (1844-1896), American painter and illustrator; Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925), American impressionist, instructor, watercolorist; Mario Ancona (1860-1931), Italian baritone opera star. “Young” Gerrit or Gerritt Smith is not identified, nor is the mimic Barnes. (Fatout listed this as ca. February, MT Speaking 661.)
Charles Dudley Warner wrote a short note on a card to Sam: “My Dear Samuel / Not what you have but what you are is important / Yours Sincerely / Chas. Dudley Warner / H artford / Feb. 6. 1894” [MTP].
February 7 Wednesday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy, explaining that he lost a day when sending letters by English steamers, and there was only one French steamer per week from N.Y. Sam told of arranging to sell a big block of his stock in the new type-setter company with J.M. Shoemaker, a representative of the Standard Oil Co. for the Elmira district. Sam had sent for Shoemaker; Rogers couldn’t sell a large block without causing anxiety and being accused of pure speculation, but Sam could. Shoemaker had a satisfactory conference with H.H. Rogers about the fifty cent per share value Sam had placed on the stock.
If I get up a trade with him [Shoemaker] I shall then be in a position to make my next move: I mean to ask Mr. Rogers to let me sell some stock to the other big Standard Oilers — the Rockefellers and Archbold.
Sam listed five matters in his “pretty full” hands: First, terms were being “arranged” for getting him out of Webster & Co. and he’d sign soon. Second, he had also ordered a suit against Daniel Frohman to recover the five or six thousand in royalties (he was glad Edward H. House got no more than this); Third, Frank Mayo wanted to dramatize CY and also PW — he had an appointment to see him at midnight after Mayo’s theatrical work was done. Fourth, some “People with capital and facilities” wanted to publish a magazine under his name. He didn’t want to do any “actual work” on it but wanted the editor under his command. This was a plan of Sam’s for a magazine of reprints to be called The Back Number, and for his nephew Samuel Moffett to help edit; also possibly John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan [MTHHR 19; NB 33 TS 39a]. Lastly and fifth, Sam had a magazine article in his head for Youth’s Companion which would pay well.
Every now & then I am seized with an all-powerful desire to rush off to France. But I have to crowd it down. I have made a sufficiency of business mistakes; this time I mean to make none.
Sam added that if Livy still had the cables he’d sent about the typesetter, to keep them and “We’ll frame them, some day, & hang them in our bedroom.” And would the girls please number their letter pages? Lost pages made for difficult reading [MTP].
Sam’s notebook lists an engagement from 4 to 6 p.m. at Charles A. Dana’s [NB 33 TS 54].
February 8 Thursday – Sam wrote “How to Tell a Story” for Youth’s Companion (which was not published in that magazine until Oct. 3, 1895). At 6 p.m. he went to Richard Harding Davis’ 5 o’clock tea. Davis and “young” Howard Russell shared 5th Avenue bachelor quarters.
Mrs. Stanford White was there to receive & matronize young ladies. A splendid grand creature to look at! Of course I had forgotten her — I should forget Satan — but she immediately told me her name. The daily thing happened — I was greeted by fifty people who knew me, & who hardly ever mentioned their names. I could have killed them!
I had a very pleasant time, nevertheless. Among others, Barnes (that adorable mimic) was there, & I seized the chance to get better acquainted. A mighty nice man. I like Harding Davis, too. …
At 7 I went von dannen to dinner in 1 E 19th street, at Mr. Olin’s. Present, Olin, Millet, Dwight, & another gentleman; Mrs. (wife of that other & cousin to the host) Mrs. Millet, Miss Frelinghuysen, Miss Minturn. (Four times during the evening Millet told me the name of the couple who were related to the host, but I was never able to keep it 5 minutes. I took out Miss Frelinghuysen (whom I knew in Washington when her father was Secretary of State) & say betune her & Mrs. Millet. Miss F. is sterling in character and high & fine in breeding, & she has read everything & knows how to discriminate between best & second-best.
Sam related a slight difference of opinion he had with Mrs. Francis Millet (Elizabeth Merrill Millet) about Thomas Bailey Aldrich (not present) but praised her as “dignified and reposeful, her feverish eagerness to jabber & jabber & jabber was gone” [LLMT 293-6: Feb. 9 to Livy]. Note: in his Feb 11-13 to Livy, Sam disclosed he told the history of “Capt. Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven” at this gathering: “It nearly killed Miss Frelinghuysen the other night, & those other people.”
Orion and Mollie Clemens began a letter to Sam they finished on Feb. 10; Orion thanked him for the $50 check received the day before; he told of meeting with editor Sam Clark of the Keokuck Gate City, and that Clark said of Sam, “He belongs to the whole world.” Orion wrote he’d heard Robert G. Ingersoll on the previous night — a full house at $1 a seat; the audience laughed and clapped with some hisses to Ingersoll’s “religious notions.” [MTP].
February 9 Friday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Livy (this letter may have been written on Feb. 8, but since his stated aim was to write Livy twice a week, this is placed here, as LLMT also assumes.)
Sam explained some misinformation had caused him to miss the French liner to send his letter. He was trying to write less frequently but longer letters, writing twice a week instead of his usual near-daily.
He related a conversation he’d had with John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan: he explained to Walker he’d been unable to come to his office one day because he’d been writing Livy. When he told Walker the size of his letters, Walker responded, “My! This is the last possibility of unwisdom! … stop it & send them to me — I’ll give you fifteen hundred dollars for them!”
Ben & Susy must read “A Study of Indian Music” in the Feb. Century. I think it will interest them….
Oh my darling, I do so long to see you! What an exile it is! I love you dearly, & I kiss you, / Saml.[LLMT 293-6]. Note: the article was written by John Comfort Fillmore [294n17].
Sam told about his activities of the previous day (Feb. 8).
In his Feb. 11 to 13 letter to Livy Sam told about a not-so-enjoyable evening for this day:
But last night — ugh! As I put my hand on the door-bell, I said to myself, “What a fool I was to make this engagement; & what a thundering sight bigger fool I am to keep it!” For I have dined there before. All the men & women had brains & were persons of distinction; but I knew they would talk in couples, & they did. Oh, the buzz of it was maddening. I was so tired when we got through! Gilder was there — the only man in this world who can say more silly & witless & childish things on such an occasion than Charley Warner. But Charley Warner compensates by saying bright & happy things all around amongst his idiotisms, & by rising to dignity & solidity sooner or later & talking upon high planes & capably. There is no compensation for Gilder. God made him for fun. He has brains, you know, (Gilder, I mean,) & can talk, & talk well; but for some reason or other he generally won’t.
When we were grouped face to face in the drawing-room after dinner, it was worse than ever. The only thing the lady who sat by me on the sofa & I could find to talk about was wet-nurses. We clung to that subject with all our anxious souls; knowing well that when it failed us our last hope was gone & we should fall dumb. Well, we talked the wet-nurses plumb dry. Then we sat still, & felt dreary, oh, so dreary & so weary & so desolate. You would be astounded if I should tell you who those people were. I‘d have given my shirt to have Aldrich & Mrs. Millet there. Mrs. M. would have scored one more instance against him [MTP].
Note: Sam’s opinion of Richard Watson Gilder would improve as they became close friends. Sam’s reference to Elizabeth Merrill Millet stems from the evening of Feb. 8; see entry.
† Dated only “Friday” but judged to be this day Sam also wrote to Bram Stoker, who had shown interest in buying stock in the new Paige Compositor Co. at 50 cents per share.
…must go par in six months in my opinion, [so] speak up & tell me how much you want. I judge that this stock will bring fabulous prices.
Sam disclosed that work had resumed on manufacturing the first ten machines last Monday, or Feb. 5 (estimated). Labeled as “before Feb. 13” by MTP; see also Feb. 13 to Stoker.
Philip Schuyler wrote as chairman of the St. Nicholas Society inviting Sam to the old Dutch festival of “Paas” on Monday, Mar. 26. He mentioned that Mr. Depew was president of the group. Also, that he would welcome “the opportunity of renewing my acquaintance [with Sam] which began some time ago one evening at the Century Club.” Sam wrote at the top of the letter, “Very nice letter from the representative of the oldest & loftiest of the old Dutch families” [MTP].
February 10 Saturday – In New York in the evening, Sam wrote “half a dozen aphorisms (in the rough)” [Feb. 11 to Livy].
Orion and Mollie Clemens finished their Feb. 8 letter, Mollie being too ill to add much [MTP].
February 11 Sunday – In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow, responding to his new book, and a “charming invitation.” Sam wrote about his “great big anonymous historical romance,” on which he’d already written 93,000 words, and only a third of the book (Joan of Arc).
I am hoping that I can get away from here about the end of this month and go to my family in Paris. Meantime I will forward your letter to Mrs. Pudd’nhead Wilson Clemens (I think I will call her that, now, because in her last letter she unconsciously dropped an aphorism which I mean to put in Pudd’nhead’s mouth) and let her be considering that charming invitation of yours.
It is my impression that she is due at Tolz, Bavaria the first week in June, to take a 5-week course of the baths. It would be grand if we could then go to you in the Austrian Alps.
Sam closed by relating he’d tried to get the Players Club to remit dues when he was absent in Europe, but “they reminded me, that I was a nonresident member and paid only half-rates anyway” [MTP]. Note: Bigelow’s book, Paddles and Politics Down the Danube (1892) was published by Webster & Co. [Gribben 70].
Sam began a letter to Livy that he finished on Feb. 13.
My Dear Mrs. Pudd’nhead Wilson Clemens:
So you’ve gone into the aphorism-business yourself, it appears! And with distinguished success, too:
“A thing which has been long expected takes the shape of the unexpected when it comes at last.”
That has gone into my note-book, & will go thence into Puddnhead’s mouth.
Sam explained why he’d sent the “Nearing success” cable late, and then laid out his plans to join her, with reasons things were taking so long. He wanted to be able to sell some of his stock in the new company through the Elmira broker, J.M. Shoemaker, and he needed to establish a price. He’d had to wait “many days for Shoemaker — his business wouldn’t let him come. He explained:
And you see it is very necessary for me to make my half of the pool good, & also to clear off Websterco’s bank debt.
Goodness knows I want to sail badly enough, but when I sail I want to be sure that my matters are in such shape here that no cables will be summoning me back from Paris the minute I get there. I want to work when I get to Paris, & an uneasy mind is not good machinery to work with.
Here Sam put a break in the letter, as if to return to it later. He then wrote about the rates he could demand from magazines.
Howells said in a magazine article some weeks ago that there were only two or three people in America who could command $100 a page in a magazine & that I was one of them. (I am quoting from hearsay, I didn’t read it myself.) Well, I was offered $250 a page by a newspaper-syndicate yesterday. It didn’t cost me a pang to decline it. I’d druther write for the magazines at half the rate. The Cosmopolitan pays me $140 a page. It was Warner who told me of Howells’s remark. He rather doubted if anybody got as much as $100 a page; & then with characteristic inquisitiveness asked me flatly what I did get. I told him I got that much & sometimes a little more. Do you know what he’ll do now? He’ll strike for a hundred (“& a little more”) himself. It’s all right. Authors are too much given to (commercially) undervaluing their wares [ MTP]. Note: Sam finished the letter on Feb. 11 and Feb. 13.
At midnight Sam continued the letter, into the next day, Feb. 12. He wrote of having a dinner with the Charles A. Dana family, Dana editor of the N.Y. Sun.
Family dinner, because they have lost a relative lately & have shut up shop — society speaking — for the required term. Mrs. Dana & the eldest daughter (Mrs. Draper, young-looking mother of grown-up doctors of medicine) are delightful; & so is Mr. Dana. We had a shouting good time. I gave the history of Capt. Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven. It is a raging pity that that book has never been printed. And yet if it were printed it would spoil it as a dinner-table yarn. I should be sorry for that, for it is the surest card at a dinner table that ever was. It never fails — it can’t fail. It nearly killed Miss Frelinghuysen the other night, & those other people. And Miss F. is a pillar of the Episcopal Church. …Why I remember, now, that I told it to John Addington Symonds in his quarters one rainy night in Venice. An Englishman, you know — yet he laughed like a fiend. He said it was a crime to keep it out of print.
February 12 Monday – In New York Sam continued his Feb. 11 to Livy, which he finished on Feb. 13. He told of the Jan. 29 reception by the Kindergarten Association. See that entry for part of Sam’s letter.
Sam also responded on Players Club stationery to a request by James B. Pond (not extant): “the gods are against it,” he wrote; he’d sail for Europe three weeks from this day, or Monday, March 5 [MTP].
Feb. 12/94. Gave the originals of my Pool agreements with Mr. Rogers to Mr. Daniel Whitford, of Alexander & Green, 120 Broadway to be kept in the safe [NB 33 TS 55-6].
At noon a “furious snowstorm” began that raged into the night [Feb. 13 to Livy].
Sam dined at the Rogers home and played billiards with H.H. after dinner; no call came from J.M. Shoemaker (see Feb. 13 entry) so they played until 11 p.m. [to Livy, after 1 a.m. Feb. 13].
Stanford White wrote a one page invitation to Sam for “this coming Saturday evening a little dinner at the Players’ to Charley Hoyt (the writer of those American Classics — “A Hole in the Ground,” “A Brass Monkey,” “Trip to Chinatown,” etc. etc.). “Buffalo Bill is the only other celebrity besides yourself who will be present.” Sam wrote on the letter, “That signature is — guess! It is Stanford White” [MTP]. Note: Charles Hale Hoyt (1860-1900); see Gribben 337 for background on Hoyt.
February 13 Tuesday – At 1 a.m. in New York, Sam finished the multi-part letter to Livy he began on Feb. 11. The broker from Elmira with whom Sam wanted to sell stock in the new Paige company, J.M. Shoemaker, was thought to be blocked by a snowstorm which began at noon on Feb. 12. H.H. Rogers had invited Sam to dinner (on Feb. 12) and offered to keep posted by telephone on Shoemaker’s arrival at the Players Club, and also to be on hand should there be problems in the trade.
I never saw such a man. He is not strong, & has no business taking all this trouble for me. They are lovely — all the family.
Mrs. Rogers [Annie Palmer Gifford Rogers] has built a costly town hall for the Courts & the post office in their native village of Fairhaven, Mass., & it is to be delivered to the town & dedicated with big ceremonies on the 22d of Feb. Coming up the Elevated, Mr. Rogers asked me if I would go up with them and be present & make a few remarks; & he was as shy & diffident about it as if he were asking me to commit suicide; but said Mrs. Rogers was afraid it was asking too much of me & was sure she never could get up the courage to do it; so she had entreated him to do it for her. Think of that! Why, if they should ask me to swim the Atlantic I would at least try.
We shall be there a day or two & stay at their country house.
Sam told of getting his mind off of worry for Susy, who had been ill:
I was glad to play billiards after dinner to-night [Feb. 12]…because it partly made me forget my distress about Susy. You see, your letter telling me that her English trip had done her no good. Oh, if I were only there! I would not allow her to touch food until she was wolfish for it; & she shouldn’t have any regular hours for eating, but eat only when hungry; then she would eat beef juice in quantities, & like it. What a hateful & thoroughly idiotic system it is — regular meals! The idea was the invention of a donkey. No — a donkey knows better.
Sam wanted to “rush over” and take Susy to Hartford to board with Lilly Warner and get her mind cure from the “same person who cured” Lilly Foote (their ex-governess).
I suppose I must go to bed, since you require it, you dear creature, though it is a couple of hours too early, yet. I weigh 154 pounds, now, which is 4 pounds above my normal weight, & 2 pounds more than I have ever weighed before. The first time I was weighed on the scales in Mr. Rogers’s house I weighed 150. That was about two months ago.
Sam hoped to be able to sail by month’s end. He noted the blizzard and hoped J.M. Shoemaker hadn’t been caught in it. Then he closed by saying he’d left $1,000 with Webster & Co. to convert to a draft and send to her immediately [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Bram Stoker who was acting agent for Henry Irving. Both men invested in the new Paige Compositor Co. Sam noted that the stock was ready but the 30-days’ public notice required by Illinois law wasn’t up yet [MTP]. See also MTHHR 40n1&2.
February 14 Wednesday – J.M. Shoemaker arrived in New York. Sam wrote of a meeting between himself, H.H. Rogers and Shoemaker on this day:
Livy darling, we have had several talks with Shoemaker. Yesterday [Feb. 14] Mr. Rogers talked with him; for whenever Mr. Rogers finds that I am wool-gathering & imperiling my matters he drops his own affairs & takes hold. My idea is for Shoemaker to sell as big a block of the stock as he can at 45 cents — say $200,000 of stock for $91,500 — & for this service I to sell him stock for himself at 25 cents. He thought it would be an immense help if Mr. Rogers would write him a letter saying some strong things about the machine [Paige typesetter] & the Company’s prospects, but Mr. Rogers is very cautious & conservative, & loath to have people put money into a thing on his recommendation. However, S. said he believed Mr. R. would discomfort himself a good deal if I was to be the person benefited; so he asked him & got the letter. It is strong (for Mr. Rogers) & dignified & simple & honest & straight-forward, like Mr. Rogers [Feb. 15 to Livy]. Note: the three men met again the following day.
In Paris, Olivia Clemens wrote to H.H. Rogers, sending the letter first to Sam to deliver. On Feb. 27 Sam referred to this letter as “just right” and promised to write Rogers and enclose hers in his “to be handed to him after I have sailed [Mar. 7]. That will spare him embarrassment.” Portions of Livy’s letter to Rogers:
My dear Mr. Rogers: / I am going to venture to send you a little note in order that I may quote to you a paragraph in one of Mr Clemens’ last letters.
I have had the good fortune to be Mr Clemens wife for a goodly number of years, therefore I know him pretty thoroughly.
One of his peculiarities is that he does not say a thing when he thinks it and ought to say it.
And she quoted Sam’s letter about Rogers’ name being “music in my ear”:
For six months Mr Clemens letters have been full of affectionate admiration of you, and I have given you a little sample of what his letters have contained.
Hoping the day is not far distant when I shall be able to know you personally [MTHHR 39].
Sam inscribed a copy of P&P to Marjorie Gwinn (Singer): With the affectionate homage of / Mark Twain / to / Marjorie Gwinn / Feb. 14, 1894 [photocopy sent by Thomas A. Tenney, with attached letter stating Gwinn to be a Hartford neighbor].
February 15 Thursday – At 11:30 p.m. at the New York Players Club, Sam wrote another long letter to Livy. Near the end he outlined the day’s activities:
It has been a mighty busy day. I had myself called at 9. At 10 I was down at Mr. Rogers’s office.
Samuel Clemens, H.H. Rogers, and J.M. Shoemaker met again to plan the sale of stock in the new Illinois company, the Paige Compositor Co.
To-day we three arranged the details & arranged everything satisfactorily, & a week hence S. will have settled his home affairs for an absence, & will start on his tour.
At noon I was off on errands. Ordered a Prince Albert coat to wear at the Fairhaven dedication — at 26th & 6th ave; then walked down to 23d & Broadway & bought a hat; then to 17th & Broadway & bought some shirts & white cravats; then took the cable car to 40th street & got my hair cut; then to the Players to meet an engagement with one of the editors of the North American Review — lunch. Sold him one article for $500; half-promised him another for $500; also said I would send him the Shelley critique to look at, but would not abridge it — (as he had suggested.) Was back at Mr. Rogers’s office by 3.30. Finished the arrangement before referred to, with Shoemaker & was back up town by 5.25 & sent you the cablegram hoping it would get to you immediately (10.25 Paris time) — that is arrive at your bedtime. [Note: the editor Sam had corresponded with was William H. Rideing. The cablegram to Livy is not extant, but is also noted in NB 33 TS 56]
Then answered a note or two & walked out to Mr. Rogers’s house through the slush — 40 blocks — arriving in time for dinner. I was back here at the Players at 11.30 & have been writing you ever since — for I shan’t get any chance to write to-morrow, I judge, & to-morrow this letter must be mailed, to catch Saturday’s steamer. It is now 2.15 a.m. [Feb. 16] When I rang up a boy a minute ago & said, “Have me called at 8.30 this morning,” he said “There ain’t many hours between this & that, Mr. Clemens.”
As to the cable, Sam wrote prior to this segment that after conferring with Rogers “it would be safe” for him to leave on Mar. 7 on the steamer New York. After Rogers’ assistant, Miss Katharine I. Harrison ( – 1935), ordered a berth for his passage, Sam cabled Livy that he would reach Southampton on Mar. 14 and Paris on Mar. 15.
Land, but it made my pulses leap, to think I was going to see you again! I wish it were earlier, for Susy’s sake, dear Susy; for I want to get her out of Paris right away. We will talk about that when I come.
Dias gives a snapshot of Miss Harrison:
“Clemens had much praise for the indomitable Katherine [sic Katharine] I. Harrison, Rogers’ able secretary, as familiar a figure at 26 Broadway as Rogers himself. An intelligent, no-nonsense woman, given to wearing long black skirts and white shirtwaists of the day, and usually sporting a pair of pince-nez, she was known in Wall Street circles as ‘The Sphinx.’ This appellation undoubtedly derived from the fact that she was supposedly privy to the innermost secrets of Rogers’ vast commercial enterprises but was as silent and inscrutable as the Egyptian statuary with whom she was compared.
“Clemens had much respect for her abilities as a writer of clear and succinct communications. To Rogers, her services were invaluable. Aside from being entrusted with his large correspondence, she also supervised the comings and goings of visitors to Rogers’ office, selected gifts for family birthdays, and, in general, made good copy for the journalists of the day. In a man’s world, she thought and acted with male directness and what the male chauvinists of the day probably regarded as masculine expertise” [Odd Couple 51-2]. Note: She was also called “The Oracle.”
In the evening, Sam discussed Webster & Co.’s “disastrous condition” with Rogers, the first time he’d done so:
I did hate to burden his good heart and over-worked head with it, but he took hold with avidity & said it was no burden to work for his friends, but a pleasure. We discussed it from several standpoints, & found it a sufficiently difficult problem to solve; but he thinks that after he has slept upon it & thought it over he will know what to suggest.
Sam praised Rogers as “not common clay, but fine — fine & delicate.” He was never afraid of wounding him, and:
His effect upon me is the opposite of Emma Sayles’s: the sight of her brought all that was vicious in me to the surface; but the sight of him is peace. [Note: Emma Sayles may have been the female Sam accused of ruining his Christmas in a letter Dec. 27, 1893 to daughter Susy.]
Sam related how desperate things were in September when he arrived, how he “flew to Hartford” but his friends “were not moved, not strongly interested” in his financial plight.
It was from Mr. Rogers, a stranger, that I got the money [$8,000] & was by it saved. And then — while still a stranger — he set himself the task of saving my financial life without putting upon me (in his native delicacy) any sense that I was the recipient of a charity, a benevolence — & he has accomplished that task; accomplished it at cost of three months of wearing & difficult labor. He gave that time to me — time which could not be bought by any man at a hundred thousand dollars a month — no, nor for three times the money.
Sam disclosed his weight was now 155 ½ and supposed he was “becoming obese,” though he claimed to be “in great form, anyway” [MTP].
February 16 Friday – Sam’s notebook in N.Y.:
Feb. 16. An ostensible gentleman sat at table in the grill room this morning & struggled with the excrement in his head, trying to cough it out, bark it out, snort it out, snuffle it out, hawk it out, till I was so sick that I was obliged to ask him if he wouldn’t please go to the privy & finish [NB 33 TS 56].
February 17 Saturday – In New York Sam responded to a note of invitation from Helena de Kay Gilder (Mrs. Richard Watson Gilder). He’d not answered sooner because he anticipated seeing her the previous night, and was “at work nearly all night the night before [Feb. 15] on a gigantic letter to Mrs. Clemens.” Evidently, the event he was invited to was past, as he ended wishing he might have “better luck next time” [MTP].
Sam agreed to the urgings of William Carey, editor of Century Magazine, to read with James Whitcomb Riley on Feb. 26 and 27 for $250 per night. This was announced in the NY Times the next day (Feb. 18) and Sam wrote of finally yielding to Carey in his Feb. 20 to Livy, on condition that Riley leave all of the humorous material to him “& restrict himself to the serious.”
Fatout lists Sam giving a dinner speech at the Charles Hoyt Dinner, New York. Charles Hale Hoyt “was a playwright and manager had been dramatic critic, sports editor, and columnist on Boston Post (1878-83), then became lessee of the Garrick and Madison Square Theatres. He wrote a number of popular farces, of which the most successful was A Trip to Chinatown (1891)” [MT Speaking 662].
February 18 Sunday – The New York Times, p.2 “City and Vicinity” announced that “Mark Twain” and James Whitcomb Riley would give readings in Madison Square Garden on the evenings of Feb. 26 and 27.
In the evening in New York on Players Club stationery, Sam answered an invitation to breakfast (not extant) from Frank Fuller. Yes, he changed his program each time he gave it but didn’t know whether James Whitcomb Riley did or not; he hadn’t seen Riley.
Land, I wish we could go & breakfast with you, but I can’t get time, these piping days. I hope to get in & see you very soon. / Ys. Ever / Mark [MTP].
Henry H. Rogers’ summer home in Fairhaven, Mass. burned to a complete loss. Rogers would soon raze the remains and rebuild [MTHHR 45n4].
February 19 Monday – In Paris, Livy cabled Sam that daughter Susy was better [Feb. 20 to Livy]. Frederick J. Hall located the lost MS, “In Defense of Harriet Shelley,” [Feb. 20 to Livy] which Paine calls “one of the very best of his essays” [MTLP 590]. See also MTB 988. Note: North American Review would publish the essay in July 1894.
Sam “resolved” not to make an impromptu speech at the Fairhaven, Mass. dedication ceremony, “but would write one & get it the right length, & memorize it” [Feb. 20 to Livy].
February 20 Tuesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Livy. The first part of the letter is lost. What remains opens with notes about a conference with Rogers:
He is fast coming to the opinion that I had better assume the debts & close up the concern [Webster & Co.] & turn over my own books to the Century Co on the best terms I can get. They want my books badly, but don’t value any of the others.
Evidently Livy had shared a letter from her longtime friend Alice Day; Sam called it “eloquent,” and railed against the absence of “mind cure” doctors in France for Susy. “She must come here,” he wrote. Although he sailed on Mar. 7 he foresaw the need to return after a short stay in France.
I expect to leave Websterco in such a condition that I shall have to return after a pretty short interval. However, we shall see. If Shoemaker could have gone to work earlier it would have helped to show me what I had best do.
There are two things sure. 1. That there is better electrical treatment [for Livy] to be had in New York than in any city in Europe.
2. That Dr Farrar is worth six of any dentist in Paris. And I’ve been assured that one does not need to go out of New York now for his singing & piano masters. Europe is a good deal of a humbug, I guess [MTP]. Note: Dr. John Nutting Farrar.
Sam added he’d been “so driven Saturday, Sunday, yesterday & today” (Feb. 17 to Feb 20) that he’d had no chance to write her. The Shelley article had been found, and he “finally yielded” to William Carey’s “urgings” (Ed. Century) and agreed to read with James Whitcomb Riley on Feb. 26 and 27 at $250 a night. Since this was announced in the N.Y. Times on Feb. 18, Sam must have agreed to this no later than the day before, or Feb. 17, as long as Riley would leave the humorous to him, “& restrict himself to the serious.”
And so, ever since I have been memorizing stuff for those readings — memorizing it along the street, going from one business appointment to another; memorizing it in horse-cars & the elevated; in momentary intervals at dinner parties & other social life; & in bed. I am all right, now — and ready.
Sam ended with astonishment of the day’s pressures:
The letters, the messages, the notes, the persecutions of one sort & another began while I was trying to take my coffee in bed, & I never got a rest from them till noon. It is 5 now, & still I am not dressed. But I have written the speech. I will copy it, now (after mailing this letter — which I will do immediately) & then try to get the rough draft into the same mail [MTP].
In the evening Sam talked over Webster & Co.’s problems with H.H. Rogers and Fred Hall until nearly 11 p.m., when Rogers had to take the train to his hometown of Fairhaven, Mass. to prepare for the town hall dedication on Feb. 22. After Rogers left, Sam worked on his remarks for the reading with James Whitcomb Riley on Feb. 26 and 27, then wrote and sent “three absolutely necessary business letters,” then memorized his speech for the dedication and retired at 3 a.m. [From Feb. 23 to Livy].
February 21 Wednesday – In New York at the Players Club Sam’s wakeup call came at 8 a.m. He’d packed his valise before going to bed so had nothing to do except have coffee and shave. He went to the station and met Mrs. Annie Rogers with her sister and brother-in-law the Grinnells.
We reached Fairhaven at 5 in the afternoon & Mr. Rogers met the carriages. He looked a little tired, & I felt a little that way too. His country house here had just burned down after it had been painstakingly put in beautiful order for us guests, & he had been seeing to it that this house was hurried into shape for us — this in addition to his other work.
Mrs. Rogers came straight to this house, fagged by the journey, but Mr. R. & I stopped on the way & I superintended while he did a lot of things at the beautiful Millicent Library & Mrs. Rogers’s new town hall. We were here in time for dinner; ate it, then went straight back to the town-hall & sat there till pretty late passing judgment upon parlor-, kitchen-, cottage-, prison-, & Normandy street-scene stage-settings, together with some very beautiful landscapes, an oceanscape, & a handsome drop-curtain representing the 2 pillars & the Grand Square in Venice.
But we got through finally, & by 1 o’clock [a.m.] I was in bed, after going through my speech three times & satisfying myself that I still remembered portions of it [From Feb. 23 to Livy].
February 22 Thursday – In Fairhaven Mass., Sam was up at 9 a.m. had breakfast, and “superintended a while” in the setup for the dedication ceremony. He then rested until noon while H.H. Rogers worked to complete the preparations.
At 1 o’clock he [Rogers] went to his mother’s house (she is in her 84th year, & took her to the hall ahead of the crowd; the family left here for the hall at 1.30, & Mr. Rogers & I walked down at near 2. The place was crammed, of course.
After the Governor, Frederic T. Greenhalge (1842-1896), arrived at 3:15 p.m. the ceremony took place, lasting about two hours, with Sam giving his remarks at the close. The auditorium sat 800 and was filled. Besides Sam, speakers included the Governor, Congressman William Wallace Crapo, Fairhaven selectmen John I. Bryant and James L. Gillingham, and the ministers Dorrall Lee and H.L. Buzzell of the Congregational and Unitarian churches respectively. Dias writes:
“Immediately after the dedication ceremony, Twain crossed over to the other side of Center Street to pay his first visit to the Millicent Library. Entering the Library proper, he viewed, in the North wall, the handsome stained-glass window which depicts the youthful Millicent as the Muse of Poetry” [MT Letters to Rogers Family 73].
After the ceremony the Governor held a reception. After the reception a smaller group, including H.H. Rogers, the Governor, the speaker of the Mass. Senate and House, John L. Bates (1859-1946), Charles P. Clark (1836-1901), president (1887-1899) of Consolidated Road (N.Y., New Haven & Hartford R.R. Co.) gathered in a railroad drawing-room car and a dining car, where toasts were made.
I came forward into sight & was just going to begin with the Governor, who is as bald as Theodore Crane, raised a laugh by bowing in a courtly way & saying —
“But before you begin, Mr. Clemens, I shall have to ask you to take off your wig.”
I said — “All right, I will, when you put yours on.”
Which bowled his Excellency out & turned the laugh the other way. Clark whispered to Rogers —
“The Governor forgot that the wise man doesn’t monkey with the buzz-saw.’
Then the train pulled out & we drove home, arriving in time for dinner.
After dinner they returned to the hall where a “band from Boston” played for dancing. Sam left the hall “about 11 or midnight…sat up & talked a half hour in the parlor here, then broke up & went to bed” [From Feb. 23 to Livy; part of this letter is in LLMT 296].
The Boston Daily Globe, Feb. 23, 1894, p.5 “Fairhaven’s Day” ran a long article covering the dedication which names a few additional dignitaries present, and which quoted Sam’s speech:
NEW BEDFORD, Feb 22 — Fairhaven dedicated the elegant town hall given by Mrs Henry H. Rogers today, and the occasion was made noteworthy by the presence of Gov. Greenhalge, with Gen. Dalton and staff; Mayor Matthews of Boston, Pres. Butler of the senate, Speaker Meyer of the house, Dist Atty. Knowlton, Mark Twain, Pres. Clark of the N Y, N H & H railroad, Samuel Winslow of the republican state committee, Pres. Sanford of the Boston board of aldermen and many other distinguished guests.
Sam’s dedication speech, “Advice” is published in MT Speaking, p.271-3 and is slightly longer than the Globe reported.
Sam wrote a letter of thanks to the Officers of the Millicent Library, calling it the “ideal library” [MTP].
February 23 Friday – At mid-day in Fairhaven, Mass., Sam wrote to Livy, relating the events of the past two days there (see Feb 21-22). Sam would skip a mid-day dinner choosing to eat in the evening. He wanted to save himself for another dance, expected to dance all night, and wished she was there. He related a conversation he had yesterday during a walk with Rogers, who offered to give him a vacant lot in Fairhaven if he’d build a home on it. Sam agreed, “as soon as the machine makes me able.” He closed writing about the work in front of him before he sailed on Mar. 7.
I reckon I can’t get through with it, but I’m going to sail, just the same. Mr. Rogers & I will tackle the Webster business Monday — he will tell me exactly what to say to the Century people & how to say it, & then I will go back to him & report what progress I have made — if any. They want my books badly; so he believes I can crowd them into giving me something for the rest. He wants me to be absolutely clear of business & stay clear.
I’m going to snatch one little nap, now, & then rout Mr. Rogers out, & have a walk [MTP].
Sam went to bed at 3 a.m., read until 5, and then rose at 8:30 a.m. [Feb. 25 to Livy].
February 24 Saturday – In Fairhaven, Mass. Sam woke at 8:30 a.m. and breakfasted. Afterward he and H.H. Rogers went down to the Millicent Library.
…it was bitter cold — thermometer 5° below zero. He asked me if I would do him a favor. I said he couldn’t mention anything I wouldn’t attempt. The favor he wanted was that I should write a letter to put under the engraving of me which is to be hung up in the room dedicated to authors, & which is to be the first one hung there.
We all drove from the house at 3 p.m. — 9 altogether, for some of the guests left by the morning trains — & we got away for New York by the 3.40 train from New Bedford. We waited at Providence an hour for the express, & took dinner on board. By 9 oclock I was dead sleepy, but it soon passed off. We reached New York a little after 11, & I thought of going to the annual round-up of the University Club, for I had a speech in my mind which I very wanted to make; but as I wanted to write the letter Mr. Rogers had asked for, & must also prepare for Monday night’s public reading, I thought it would be best for me to go to bed — so I drove straight to the Players, & went to bed. Then came a telephone message to say that Depew & Choate & the others were on hand but the pow-wow would be held back until I should arrive. If I had my clothes on I would have gone, & gladly — but I hadn’t; so I sent my sorrow & regret. I was asleep by 1, & didn’t wake again till 10…[Feb. 25 to Livy].
February 25 Sunday – At 10:30 p.m. in New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote another long bi-weekly letter to Livy, which he added to on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. He’d had dinner with Mary Mason Fairbanks, her daughter Alice (Mrs. William H. Gaylord) and Alice’s daughter, who were in the city for a few days. Sam remarked on Mary’s “age & infirmity,” having to be supported when she walks. She was 39 on the Quaker City and now was 66. Sam also added a paragraph of concern for their daughter Susy, who was possibly anorexic. He related the events of the previous day, Feb. 24, and then filled in this day’s activities:
…& didn’t wake again till 10 this morning; was still sleepy, & resumed; but the next time I woke up — at 1.30 this afternoon — I was refreshed clear through to my marrow. So I wrote the letter [for Rogers] & copied it; then prepared my readings, & my day’s work was done.
I shaved & dressed & went to see Mother Fairbanks; then out to Mr. Rogers’s, arriving before 9. I gave him the [dedication] letter, which he said was beautiful; then talked an hour with the family & four of Fairhaven guests, & returned here [Players]; for 13 letters have come since I went away, & they must be answered to-night. I must be up at 7.30 to meet Mr. Rogers & Mr. Hall at 9 on the Websterco affairs. Mr Rogers said to-night that he had thought of some little additions & possible improvements of the plan. I knew he would. His mind takes no holidays.
Sam then discussed his hope for selling stock through J.M. Shoemaker, or perhaps some in Paris or London.
So, you see, we are rich people who haven’t any ready cash. ….here money is unspeakably tight. All I want to be sure of is, that we can be comfortable for another six months; then the new machine will be out & will make things easy for us [MTP].
Sam also wrote on Players Club stationery to his sister, Pamela Moffett. “By the power & pluck and genius of a better man” (H.H. Rogers) the typesetter, Sam claimed, “is on its feet, and permanently.” Insensitive to Pamela’s affection for her late son-in-law, Sam blasted the Webster & Co., that he claimed “was insanely managed from the day it got the Grant book till now,” which also showed little respect for Fred Hall’s efforts. Sam claimed Webster & Co. owned him $110,000 and Livy about $60,000, and the banks and printers $83,000, with only assets doubtfully worth $60,000.
But I am going to get out at whatever loss. Webster
— however, the blatherskite is dead, let him
rot in peace.
I sail for France nine days hence, whether I get my matters arranged or not; for I have left Livy to fight her way long enough among strangers, in indifferent health & with a sick daughter on her hands. Susy’s health — but she hasn’t any; it has all wasted away.
Give Annie my love and very best wishes [MTP].
February 26 Monday – At 12:30 a.m. Sam added a line or two to his Feb. 25 to Livy, that all his letters were written and he was going to bed At 2 p.m. he added another line or two that he’d received her letter and one from daughter Jean “about her dog. It came very near making me cry” [MTP].
On this night and the next, Feb. 27, Mark Twain, James Whitcomb Riley and Douglass Sherley, gave a reading in Madison Square Garden Concert Hall, New York. Sam earned $250 per night and he read, “Jumping Frog,” “Company of Mean Men,” and “Oudinot” [Fatout, Lecture Circuit 235; New York Times, February 27, 1894]. Note: though this was only a two-night affair, Sam must have realized the sort of prices he could command, far more than the 50 to 100 dollars he earned on the old circuits. He had already expressed the possibility of a world tour to Livy in his letter of Sept. 28, 1893. ‡ – See addenda.
February 27 Tuesday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to James B. Pond, who evidently read about Sam’s appearances with James Whitcomb Riley at Madison Square Garden and asked if he’d like to make ten appearances for him.
Oh, I’m just doing this to give Riley an advertisement. I sail for France eight days hence, & I’ve got to go; otherwise I would do the 10 nights for you [MTP].
Sam also finished his Feb. 25 and 26 letter to Livy, referring to her Feb. 14 letter to H.H. Rogers (also sent to Sam) as “just right” — he’d enclose it in a note and arrange for Rogers to receive it after he sailed on Mar. 7 so as to “spare him embarrassment.” Sam wrote of Rogers’ insistence on helping to meet with the Century or the Cosmopolitan in a sale of Webster & Co. assets, and thus of making an appointment for them for the day after tomorrow, Mar. 1. Sam ended the long letter with a realization that time was slipping away from him:
Great Scott! I am due at his house [Rogers] in 20 minutes — to dine & then go down with some of the family to my public reading [MTP].
After dining at the Rogers’ home, Sam went with some members of the Rogers family to Madison Square Garden Concert Hall, where Mark Twain, James Whitcomb Riley and Douglass Sherley (1857-1917), known as “The Kentucky Story Teller,” gave their second night’s reading [MTP; Fatout, Lecture Circuit 235;]. Note: Riley and Sherley had been on a lecture tour ending here in N.Y.
The New York Times, February 27, 1894 p.4:
Mark Twain’s Old Stories.
The motive that prompts men and women to attend an entertainment in which Mark Twain figures as a star attraction is not to be misconstrued. They want to be amused. Their minds are made up for an evening of laughter. Having set themselves in that purpose, nothing can turn them from it — not even Mark Twain. Last night’s audience at the concert hall of the Madison Square Garden turned out to look, hear, and laugh. It executed that intention thoroughly, while Mark Twain loitered through several of his back numbers. He prefaced his story of “The Jumping Frog” by saying that it was twenty-nine years old, while “Oudinot,” his second number, was aged but twenty-seven years. The audience listened to him with as close attention and was convulsed with determined merriment as completely as if the frog’s handicap of five pounds of shot snugly stuffed into its interior, and the story of a man who led a blast skyward for half an hour, and was docked wages for time lost, had come off the humorist’s reel for the first time. He responded to demands for more with his Washington’s Birthday speech at Farmingham and the stammering story.
[Note: Fatout reports on this two-night affair in MT on the Lecture Circuit, p.235; MTHHR, 128n2 uses Fatout to conclude Sam “had not been well received” — Sam himself wrote to Rogers Feb. 3, 1895 calling these appearances “unspeakable botches.”
Frederick J. Hall dictated a typed letter to Sam:
I have been thinking very carefully over the Cosmopolitan proposition. Of course Walker’s offer was put in a general way and there would be details to settle. But I am certain that his offer is a very good one and, I believe, the best solution of the present difficulty.
Hall asked if Sam could arrange a meeting for him with H.H. Rogers, and noted that while he did not “for a moment pretend” to equate his business judgment with Rogers’, he did have a detailed knowledge of the book business, which Rogers lacked [MTP].
T.G. Sawkins wrote suggesting Sam write a book about Australia, since “there was no likelihood of enticing” him to visit, and that a book about a country one had never visited might be a novelty! [MTP].
February 28 Wednesday
March – The fourth of seven parts from PW ran in the January issue of Century Magazine. The fifth of six installments of Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared in the Mar. 1894 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.
March 1 Thursday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy at the Hotel Brighton in Paris, France.
A man said to-day “Puddnhead Wilson is making a big stir. They say, all around, that it’s away up — the best work you’ve ever done except the Prince & Pauper. Don’t you think so yourself?”
I could have said, “No, sir — it don’t even begin with Joan of Arc” — but I didn’t . Land, if I could only get to work at that book once more, how I would revel in the great campaign of the Loire — the matchless, the stupendous campaign of the Loire!
Sam also wrote of “no end of compliments” about his article, “Traveling with a Reformer,” that people were trying the “system” expounded in the sketch and it worked.
He repeatedly had tried to reassure Livy about his health, due to some newspaper reports of his earlier illness.
Livy dear, don’t you be troubled a bit about my health; I am in splendid condition. Don’t lie awake on my account, sweetheart, I take good care of myself. I wear gum shoes in wet weather, & a chamois skin vest next to my hide when I put on a swallow-tail. … Joe Twichell sent you a cablegram endorsing my sound health. I judged you would believe him if you didn’t believe me.
Sam also disclosed that “Nothing is going to be accomplished in that royalty-business tomorrow,” as Henry G. Newton, Charles R. North’s New Haven attorney couldn’t come to New York due to court duties. He closed with a humorous anecdote about a man on the elevated train the other day, who told Sam he looked enough like Mark Twain to sit for his portrait [MTP].
Sam also responded on Players Club stationery to an unidentified man’s invitation. He wrote he was unable to accept since he would sail for Europe, three days before the date advanced [MTP].
In the evening Sam was “helping the Kinsmen entertain” Henry Irving. Sam’s help went on till 4 a.m. the next morning, Mar. 2. Sam wrote that Mrs. Annie Rogers was “dangerously ill last night. I was out there till midnight — then the consulting physicians said the danger was past. Tonight she was getting along first rate [Mar.2 to Livy]. Note: Abbie Gifford Rogers did not have long to live.
March 2 Friday – In New York Sam wrote two letters to Livy. The first was “away after midnight,” and noted a 2:15 a.m. time in the margin. In the second at 3:40 p.m. he related the events of the day so far:
Dear sweetheart, I was up at 8 & down at my office at 9, & Hall, Rogers & I put in a quarter of an hour talking & arranging for Mr. R.’s afternoon campaign with the Century people. Then I walked up town half a mile & bought 3 Yaeger shirts & a camels hair rug for shipboard. Then I carried some Puddnhead proofs to the Century. Then I answered some letters in my room. Next I set to memorizing the Bluejay for my Saturday reading. Then Frank Bliss arrived, 1 p.m., from Hartford in answer to my telegram [not extant] & we talked an hour over the Century proposition to issue my books in a uniform set of 14 or 15 volumes. Then he went away to think it over, & I went on with my memorizing, which I have now successfully finished. And now I must go & find Frank Mayo & sign contract for the Pudd’nhead Wilson drama. In the meantime I have added an appointment to to-morrow’s list — to let the electrician Tesla do my photograph again for the Century.
I’ll go out to Mr. R’s tonight & see what he has done [LLMT 296-7].
Sam noted that this was to be his last letter to Livy — “after this I’ll come & talk” [MTP].
At midnight Sam wrote a note of apology to Nikola Tesla, that he’d be unable to “come down to-morrow afternoon” Sam was sorry, as evidently he’d agreed to the meeting before [MTP]. Note: This is sometimes mistakenly dated Mar. 9. (Sam sailed on Mar. 7.)
March 3 Saturday – In his first Mar. 2 letter to Livy, Sam outlined this day as “full.”
Appointment on the Webster business at 9; meet Frank Bliss at 10; later, make some steamer arrangements; probably meet Bliss & Century people about 2:30; fuss over that photo from 4 to 6; read from 8.10 to 9; meet Bram Stoker here at 10.30; supper at Mr. Cowdin’s, with music & doubtless dancing, until 1 a.m.; then be fetched by a carriage & attend the annual round-up of the Aldine Club (Story-Tellers’ Night), & help the able story-tellers spin yarns & make speeches indefinitely.
Sam noted above that he would read from 8:10 p.m. to 9 p.m. but did not identify the function. Earlier in the letter he wrote that he was “memorizing the Bluejay for my Saturday reading.” ‡ – See addenda.
Sam also wrote a short note to Bram Stoker, Henry Irving’s agent and a customer for stock in the new Paige Compositor Co.
Can you look in at the Players toward midnight to-morrow night? (Sunday). Or earlier if you prefer & will let me know. I will then furnish orders on the President of the Paige Compositor Company for the stock for you & Mr. Irving [MTP].
Henry H. Rogers wrote a financial letter to Sam, “To avoid all misunderstanding in regard to the ‘initial memorandum’ between us regarding two pools relating to the business of the Paige Compositor Co. I conclude to write you a letter, acceptance of which by you shall serve as a contract between us.” Rogers then spelled out dollar amounts and shares for George N. Stone, S.W. Knevals, George A. Frink, Caleb B. Knevals, Towner K. Webster, H.S. Ward, and T.F. Rowland [MTHHR 35-7]. See details.
A lengthy excerpt from Mark Twain’s address on Feb. 22 at the Fairhaven, Mass dedication ran in Outlook, p. 431 [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 330-1].
March 4 Sunday – In New York after 1 a.m., Sam was at the Aldine Club for Story Tellers’ Night. He may have told the “Bluejay” yarn again, as mentioned in his Mar. 2 letter. Sam had a very late night, arriving at this function after 1 a.m.
At the Players Club Sam wrote several letters. The first was to H.H. Rogers, asking him to deliver 20 shares of the Paige Compositor stock to Bram Stoker. The stock was to be paid for in 10% installments and delivered upon receipt of $1,000 [MTHHR 40].
Sam wrote a second letter to H.H. Rogers, enclosing Livy’s Feb. 14 (see entry) to Rogers. Sam wrote it arrived “six or seven days ago, & gave me a pleasant surprise.”
I am not able to put into words how grateful I am to you. In truth there are no words that could do that. You have saved me & my family from ruin and humiliation. You have been to me the best friend that ever a man had, & yet you have never by any word made me feel the weight of this deep obligation. And Lord, how welcome is the sight of your face to me! S.L.C. [MTHHR 38]. Note: Sam arranged to have Rogers receive this letter after he had sailed to save Rogers from embarrassment.
Sam also wrote a short note to Nikola Tesla, that if possible he’d be there by 4 p.m. though he was “dreadfully pushed for time,” and Tesla shouldn’t depend on him [MTP]. See Mar. 2.
Sam also wrote to Walter Williams, who had sent an invitation (not extant). Sam couldn’t oblige in July, for if he was in America then it would be on business and his time would be fully occupied. Sam observed, “I seem to have written this letter to you before.” [MTP] Note: Sam was correct, Williams had sent an invitation to speak at the University of Missouri (see Apr. 10, 1889). Williams was founder of the journalism school there.
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam (MTP lists as enclosed in Rogers Mar. 8) [MTP]. Note: no such letter was found with the Mar. 8 from Rogers.
March 5 Monday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote a short note to H.H. Rogers, that Bram Stoker had paid the first installment of $100 on 20 shares of the new Paige Compositor Co.; he’d forgot to receipt Stoker; Also Henry Irving had paid his $500 in full and was receipted [MTP].
Sam inscribed a copy of The American Claimant to an unidentified person: With the best regards of Mark Twain, March 5, 1894 [MTP: Parke-Bernet Galleries catalogs May 18, 1971 Item 175].
March 6 Tuesday – In New York Sam gave power of attorney to H.H. Rogers to act on his behalf during Sam’s absence in Europe, including assigning all of Sam’s property — including typesetter rights and copyright on his books — to Livy. This was done on Mar. 9. Sam also signed two copies of a contract between himself and the Paige Compositor Co. [MTHHR 43n1]. Sam then sent the signed contracts to Urban H. Broughton, letter not extant but referred to in Broughton’s Mar. 8 letter.
In New York Sam sent a note to Frank Fuller he headed “Private”:
I sail tomorrow but shall be back the middle of April, because I was not satisfied with the arrangement I made and am going to tackle the thing again after a short rest. I hope you and I can join teams yet if you can raise part or all of the capital necessary.
Sam added a PS that he’d asked William Evarts Benjamin (purchaser of LAL) to talk with him in Sam’s interest. Note: This regarding a “scheme” to publish Mark Twain’s Uniform Edition. See Mar. 8. Significantly, Sam already had plans to return shortly even before reaching his family.
Sam was up until 2 a.m. waiting for Bainbridge Colby, H.H. Rogers’ attorney (mentioned in his Mar. 8 to Rogers; unidentified), but he did not come.
March 7 Wednesday – Sam sailed on the SS New York for Southampton and Le Havre [MTHHR 23].
March 8 Thursday – At sea on the SS New York, Sam wrote to Henry H. Rogers, outlining a “scheme”
whereby William Evarts Benjamin, Frank Bliss, and himself would “join teams on the Uniform Edition” with a third profits to each, Benjamin to furnish the capital, Bliss to do the work. There would be an initial outlay of three or four hundred dollars for the “dummy” book for canvassers (another subscription approach) and when 1,000 subscriptions had been sold, the type could be set and the plates made, costing about $3,600. Then the books would only be printed as fast as demand warranted, “thus avoiding all risk of loss.” Sam added that Mr. Benjamin would thus be free of all the labors of publication unless he chose to be the “General Agency for New York.”
Sam then wrote of other matters, and of his “exodus”:
I sat up until 2 in the morning waiting for Mr. Colby but he did not arrive. It was very kind of Mrs. Duff & Harry the Energetic to come down with me & take the cheerlessness out of my exodus, but it was a pity Mr. Colby made them wait so long. I was a good deal troubled about it, but they said it wasn’t any worse than being in a house full of doctors without the privileges of the floor & the vote.
Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin are on board, so I am provided with pleasant company.
By this time Mrs. Rogers is in her chair again, I am perfectly sure, & I am very glad of it, too [MTHHR 40-2].
Notes: Bainbridge Colby was a lawyer with the N.Y. firm of Stern & Rushmore; he handled legal matters for H.H. Rogers and Sam before he was appointed assignee in the bankruptcy of Webster & Co. on Apr. 18, 1894. Cara (Clara) Rogers Duff, H.H.’s widowed daughter; Harry Rogers, H.H.’s son, was “Harry the Energetic.” The Benjamins on board were not Mr. & Mrs. William Evarts Benjamin but probably related. Abbie Gifford Rogers (Mrs. Henry H. Rogers) had been invalided for several years.
Urban H. Broughton, Chicago attorney and H.H. Rogers’ future son-in-law (he would marry the widow Duff) wrote Sam:
I am in receipt of your esteemed favor of 6th inst, enclosing two copies of agreement between yourself and the Paige Compositor Mfg. Co. I will execute and return the same to Mr. Rogers [MTHHR 43n1].
Henry H. Rogers also wrote to Sam. Bainbridge Colby had been in and said there was a misunderstanding about meeting Sam at the steamer. Since the papers were all prepared no “embarrassment was occasioned by” Sam’s leaving, which means it was no problem.
Mr. Hall has been in to-day and I have gone over his papers and concluded to advise him to accept an offer which he had for the first story and basement of his building [to sublet] at $2500 per year. This reduces the C.L. Webster obligations to $900 a year, plus certain expenses for heating….Mr. Hall reports somewhat favorably in regard to business. He expects to hear from the Mt. Morris Bank people in regard to renewals to-morrow. The U.S. Bank have renewed for three months.
Rogers also wrote that Colby would write Sam concerning the transfer of royalties to Livy and send papers for execution. Colby had communicated with Broughton in Chicago and Rogers expected to receive the stock certificates in the next two days. Rogers assured Sam that Livy was “fully protected by reason of my action today,” — his execution of power of attorney to transfer assets to her name [MTHHR 42-3]. Note: also mentioned along with the Mt. Morris Bank was Thomas Russell, printer and bookbinder, a major creditor of Webster & Co. He would sue Sam in July 1895 for monies owed.
March 9 Friday – In New York, Henry H. Rogers using the power-of-attorney Sam gave him on Mar. 6, assigned all of Sam’s property, including typesetter rights and copyright on his books, to Livy [MTHHR 43n1]. Note: this was a necessary preparatory and crucial step in saving the copyrights before Webster & Co. declared bankruptcy in April, and suggests the bankruptcy was planned by this day.
March 10 Saturday – While en route Sam “made scores of notations on the pages” of Sarah Grand’s (Frances Elizabeth MacFall’s) novel, The Heavenly Twins. Gribben: “Much of his marginalia is quoted in A1911. A note on page 345, dated 9 or 10 March (Clemens is uncertain which day it is) explains why he has so much time to devote to reading and annotating the novel: he has been at sea several days in heavy rain (‘How it does pour!’) and ‘there is not a soul on deck,’ the purser informs him” [Gribben 270].
March 11 Sunday – At sea on the SS New York, Sam wrote to William H. Rideing on the editorial staff of Youth’s Companion and North American Review.
I have written, revised, reduced and finished that five hundred dollar article. “How to Tell a Story.” …I wanted to show you the first nine chapters of a new Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer story which I began to write a couple of months ago [MTP: paraphrase Freeman & Co. catalogs, May 20, 1932 Item 93]. Note: the new story referred to was Tom Sawyer, Detective. See Nov. 8, 1893].
March 12 Monday – Sam was at sea on the SS New York.
March 13 Tuesday – Sam was at sea on the SS New York. Henry H. Rogers wrote to him with business details, saying he had “nothing of special interest to report.” Frederick J. Hall called on Rogers this day and reported progress in Webster & Co. affairs, and would write Sam. Rogers enclosed a letter from Charles Ethan Davis (engineer and assistant to Paige) who was angling for 5 or 6 percent in the Paige pool #1; Rogers felt they should let him have about 3 or 4 percent, “because Stone as Trustee, is carrying for him $25,000 of the stock.”
They now have on their payrolls 55 men the average of whose wages are $2.58 per day.
I have a very interesting letter from Mr. [Urban H.] Broughton concerning the affairs of the [Paige Compositor] Co. He expresses himself very positively at last in regard to the machine. He says he has given it careful study, and can see nothing to prevent it from being a mechanical success, and thinks so well of it, that he would like to avail himself of our offer and allow him to take a share. This I consider one of the best endorsements we have had, because he is a pains-taking fellow, and is going to invest his own money, without being carried in any way by me [MTHHR 44].
Note: Sam was not the only wise man to be pulled in by the Paige typesetter, as this letter shows. Still, in a PS, Rogers urged caution:
Now from what I have said in regard to [Urban H.] Broughton’s judgment of the machine, do not allow yourself to get too enthusiastic. Still if faithful and persistent endeavor will accomplish anything, I am sure the Paige Compositor will have an opportunity of speaking for itself at a later time. If it speaks correctly, that is all we desire . See notes on this and page 46.
March 14 Wednesday – The S.S. New York reached Southampton, England.
March 15 Thursday – Sam reached Paris, France and Livy. They had been separated longer than any other previous time in their lives [LLMT 297].
March 16 Friday – F. Gerstel, a dentist in Austria, wrote in German to Sam, who wrote on the envelope,
Begging letter. This tramp sent me a hatful of ancient, worn, & smutty testimonials, recommendations to people’s charity. He not only paid double postage on the cargo, but paid also to have it registered. He must be rich [MTP].
March 17 Saturday – In the New York Times this date, p.2, “The Social World,” it seems the NYC branch of the Vassar Students’ Aid Society were selling the signatures of Mark Twain, Mary Mapes Dodge, Charles Dudley Warner, William Dean Howells, Brander Matthews, Kate Douglas Wiggin and others. An annual event, the sale began Friday, Mar. 16 and continued this day into the evening.
March 18 Sunday
March 19 Monday – Susy Clemens’ 22nd birthday.
In Paris, at the Hotel Brighton, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, responding to his Mar. 8 letter (he would not yet have received the Mar. 13 letter). Rogers needn’t answer Livy’s Feb. 14 letter, as his response to Sam was answer enough. Sam explained about Franklin G. Whitmore — that he’d paid Hartford bills for him “for the past 8 or 10 years, and is familiar with my small affairs there.” He suggested the simplest way to handle such matters as Whitmore brought to Rogers was to transfer small amounts to the U.S. Bank in Hartford and allow Whitmore to pay bills there by check, never more than $2,000. Whitmore could also receive royalties from the American Publishing Co. there when due. Also, Sam agreed that Fred Hall was best advised to take the $2,500 sublet agreement, rather than waste money waiting for a better offer. Sam also responded to a generous offer of more financial help from Rogers:
I have your kind order on Messrs. Bedford to allow me to draw on you for $1,000, and I thank you very much; but Mrs. Clemens is better off than I supposed, and we shall not need to draw.
If we can get Clara and Jean satisfactorily housed here, Mrs. Clemens and Susy and I will sail for home together in the New York, April 7. I shall come then, anyway [MTHHR 46-7].
Sam also wrote to Bainbridge Colby, letter not extant but referenced in Colby’s Mar. 29 to Sam [MTP].
March 20 Tuesday – In New York H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam that “everything seems to be going smoothly in Chicago,” and that on the Webster & Co., situation he was “sure that we settled upon the wise and proper course.” He’d received Sam’s cable (not extant) and was waiting for Sam’s letter regarding the Uniform Edition possibilities with William Evarts Benjamin and Frank Bliss. Henry Irving’s stock had been delivered. Rogers two daughters, Mrs. Cara (sometimes seen as Clara) Leland Rogers Duff and Mary (May, sometimes seen as Mai) Rogers were to sail for Europe on Mar. 28; May had been nearly asphyxiated by accident and was doing what many folks did in those days — changing location for “improved air.” Rogers would cable Sam because his daughters wanted to visit the Clemens family if possible [MTHHR 47-8].
March 21 Wednesday
March 22 Thursday – At the Hotel Brighton in Paris Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
I’ve had a tough time persuading Mrs. Clemens to stay here and allow me to go back. She consents to let me go; but it is on condition that I remain in America only 3 weeks and take ship for France again May 7. She wants to go home with me, but the physician will not hear of it — says she would lose all she has gained — and she is gaining pretty satisfactorily. Susy is a deal better, and has acquired a valuable appetite.
Sam also wrote that he had “begged off” on several interviews, for the N.Y. World as well as from two London and two Paris newspapers, and that if Rogers saw any interviews they would be unauthorized.
I’ve got some things to say, but not in interviews [MTHHR 48-9]. Note: interestingly, see Mar. 27 article in the Brooklyn Eagle.
March 23 Friday
March 24 Saturday – Sam received the document (which transferred Sam’s Paige royalties to Livy) from Bainbridge Colby, H.H. Rogers’ attorney, with the law firm of Stern & Rushmore, but too late to go to the consulate to sign it and get it notarized [Mar. 26 to Rogers].
March 25 Sunday
March 26 Monday – At the Hotel Brighton in Paris Sam wrote to Mary Hallock Foote, giving her an unqualified recommendation as a drawing teacher, even though he could not testify to her ability in that matter, he could testify that she “speak the truth, every time,” so that, “whatever you SAY you are competent to do,” he was sure she could do [MTP: Hartford Courant Aug. 14, 1968].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers:
In answer to yours of March 13. Yes, 4% of Pool #1 — or even 3% — will answer for [Charles] Davis I should think.
Evidently the work on the machine is booming along. That and Mr. Broughton’s enlarged confidence makes me feel pretty comfortable. I am impatient to get over there and stir Shoemaker up. It was time he was booming, too. [Shoemaker was evidently unsuccessful in selling Sam’s stock.]
Sam had received the document from Bainbridge Colby with the law firm of Stern & Rushmore on Saturday, too late to get it signed and notarized at the consulate. He’d returned this morning but “the whole town is shut up, on account of Easter Monday.
— we are right in the centre of a bunch of holy holidays, when everything is sinful except going to the horse-races. Heaven is going to be full of Frenchmen, I reckon — so I shall try to fetch up at the other place.
In a PS, he mentioned plans to “try England” for selling his Paige stock, should J.M. Shoemaker fail to “get there.” He had written Henry M. Stanley and Sir Francis de Winton, Governor of the Duke of York’s household, and planned to dine with them on the night before he sailed, Apr. 6, putting out “some feelers, in a general way,” so me might later follow up [MTHHR 49-50].
March 27 Tuesday – The Brooklyn Eagle carried an article, p.8 with a London byline, that included a paragraph on Mark Twain in Paris:
The correspondent at Paris of the Daily Notes notes the scarcity of American visitors in that city during Eastertide. The correspondent adds that Mr. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) is daily seen on the Avenue des Champs-Elysses. Mr. Clemens says that he has several books on hand. Mr. and Mrs. Poultney Bigelow are also in Paris en route from Algeria to London.
March 28 Wednesday
March 29 Thursday – Bainbridge Colby for Stern & Rushmore Attys. wrote acknowledging receipt of Sam’s Mar. 19 letter, and that he’d been expecting the original assignment document “of your various property interests to your wife,” and if it did not come soon, he would cable a reminder [MTP].
Sir Francis DeWinton wrote from London to Sam, glad that he could come and that Henry M. Stanley would “also turn up….We will dine at 7.15 at the United Service Club in Pall Mall, at the bottom of Waterloo Place. It is a most respectable establishment made of up Old sailors & soldiers. Then after dinner we’ll smoke and chat or we’ll go to Toole’s Theatre as he wants to give us a bow.” The dinner was set for Apr. 6.
Joe Twichell began a fifteen-page (half size) letter to Sam, that he finished on Apr. 5. Joe was pleased that Sam had “an angle of vision on” Walter Phelps. Joe had always liked Phelps; had known him for 33 years. “Isn’t he a lad of fluid speech though?” Joe also wrote of attending a New Haven Yale-Harvard debate where he made a speech, and of Chauncey Depew presiding. Joe didn’t like making speeches, waiting his turn, etc. He confided that “the old Naval Surgeon is dead.” [MTP]. Note: in his Feb. 2, 1892 letter to Sam, Joe referred to Dr. Martin as “the old Naval Surgeon.”
March 30 Friday – At the Brighton Hotel in Paris France Sam wrote to Henry H. Rogers. A cablegram had not yet come about the arrival of Rogers’ daughters, Mrs. Cara Rogers Duff and May Rogers. Jean Clemens had suffered a scalding accident on her leg. Sam had his ticket to sail on Apr. 7, again on the SS New York. Sam also wrote he had seen George Franklin Southard and James G. Macgowan, partner and manager respectively in Bedford et Compagnie, a company which acted on behalf of Standard Oil Co. with a refinery at Rouen. If “social duties” gave him a chance, Sam would go there again.
Livy had received Rogers’ letter, and:
…was mightily pleased. She wants to go home for the summer but the doctor forbids. She is improving decidedly now under the electrical treatment [MTHHR 51].
March 31 Saturday – In Paris Sam wrote a brief note to Frederick J. Hall, asking him to gather an unbound P&P for Lord Dufferin, the British Ambassador. Dufferin wished to bind the book himself. Hall was to remind Sam when he came, so he could write on the fly-leap and tell him how to direct the package [MTP]. Note: Lord Dufferin was Frederick Temple Blackwood (1826-1902), diplomat and author.
Critic ran an unsigned article, “Mark Twain as Plagiarist” on p. 221. This is a much-abridged version of Twain’s “Private History of the ‘Jumping Frog’ Story” from the Apr. North American Review [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Spring, 1982) 6].
April – Sam’s article, “Private History of the ‘Jumping Frog’ Story” ran in the North American Review. In the article Sam addressed the issues of plagiarism and “a lady from Finland” (Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg) [Moyne 377n21]. See entry Dec. 27, 1888. Sam also criticized Madame Blanc’s translation of the tale into French, ( she would take offense). See Apr. 30 to King.
In French the story is too confused, and chaotic, and unreposeful, and ungrammatical, and insane; consequently it could only cause grief and sickness — it could not kill. A glance at my retranslation will show the reader that this must be true [Budd, Collected 2: 157].
The fifth of seven parts from PW ran in the January issue of Century Magazine. The last of six installments of Tom Sawyer Abroad appeared in the Mar. 1894 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.
April, before Apr. 7 – In Paris, Sam inscribed a copy of The American Claimant to an unidentified person: Truly Yours, Mark Twain, Apl. ’94 [MTP]. Note: Sam left Paris for London on Apr. 7.
April 1 Sunday – The McClure Syndicate ran an “interview” with Sam made on Mar. 6, the night before he sailed on Mar. 7. Scharnhorst, Interviews 138-43 contains the complete text, which was called “Mark Twain Gone Abroad” in the St. Louis Republic, p.28; “Mark Twain and the Reporter,” Buffalo Express, p.9.; “Mark Twain Interviewed” in the Boston Daily Globe; and most accurately, “HE IS A PERFECT LIAR” in the Chicago Daily Tribune, p.38. It was also reprinted later in other newspapers. The reporter is not identified, and this “interview” was probably Sam’s April Fools’ joke, givien such a long gap between the supposed questioning and the printing, the date of publication, and the many biblical specific places (“Almonddiblathaim, Oboth, and other near points”), all of which point to a spoof.
April 2 Monday
April 3 Tuesday
April 4 Wednesday
April 5 Thursday – Sam gave a reading at the British Embassy in Paris in behalf of a school for destitute English and American children, with tickets at $4, an amount that Sam “trembled” from [Mar. 30 to Rogers; Apr. 12 to Orion; NY Times article below]. Note: this has sometimes been reported in error as Apr. 7, perhaps due to a mis-dating in an Apr. 22 article. The New York Times reported on this reading:
Mark Twain Reads in Paris.
PARIS, April 5. — Lord Dufferin, British Ambassador, presided at an entertainment given this evening at the British Embassy for the benefit of British and American schools in Paris. Mark Twain read selections from his writings, and was applauded enthusiastically. Many members of the Anglo-American colony were present. The entertainment was successful both financially and socially.
According to the NY Times Apr. 22, p.21 “Entertaining Paris Gossip,” Sam read “Playing Courier,” and the “Interview.” The report said “He could hardly speak amidst the uproar and continued laughter.”
Joe Twichell finished his Mar. 29 letter to Sam, joyful that his daughter “little Harmony” went to church by her own choice for the first time in “nearly a year and a half.” Joe wrote of being visited by one of the mechanics for the Paige typesetter, Parker, who was moving to Chicago for the operations there, and of Parker’s eloquence and faith in the machine, which Parker saw as a “living object of pride and affection.” Joe said that Sam’s letter from Mentone was “right cheerful reading, for it bore signes of the passing of our eclipse.” Joe hoped that he could go abroad for a time, “somewhere out of reach of the octopus tentacles of Duty,” but it wasn’t yet settled. He added a note about a baby’s funeral service he’d given, and how the father, “scarcely out of his teens…but all his heart was in that little casket…” [MTP].
April 6 Friday – Sam left Paris for Southampton via London [Mar. 30 to Rogers]. In his Mar. 26 to H.H. Rogers, Sam wrote his plans were to dine with Henry M. Stanley and Sir Francis de Winton, Governor of the Duke of York’s household, on the night before he sailed, Apr. 6. In this dinner, Sam wanted to “put out feelers” in a general way about selling his Paige Compositor stock.
April 7 Saturday – Sam was on the S.S. New York as it sailed from Southampton, England [MTHHR 23].
April 8 Sunday – Sam was en route to New York on the S.S. New York.
April 9 Monday – Sam was en route to New York on the S.S. New York. In the Brooklyn Eagle, p.9, “The Anti-Spoils League,” Sam’s name was listed along with many others, reading like a Who’s Who in New York. The Civil Service Reform League started this new group, the Anti-Spoils League, whose aim was “to form a single popular organization, working into every state…toward the abolishment of the spoils system under the national, state and local governments.” Carl Schurz was elected president.
April 10 Tuesday – Sam was en route to New York on the S.S. New York.
Meanwhile, Livy wrote to Sam from Paris:
My own darling: Three days since you sailed away from us. I have been so desperately sorry that I did not get a dispatch or something to you, but I love you just as tenderly as if I had. …
Yesterday L’ Ambassador d’ Angleterri and the Marcheoness of Dufferin (sp) and Eva sent up their cards. Still another one owed to you, for I suppose if I had not been your wife they would not have called on me. Yesterday afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Lockwood called. He invited Susy and Clara to go with him and his wife to varnishing day at the salon. I was so glad for I was afraid they were going to have no opportunity to go. People are very kind.
Mr. Lockwood said that the day you called there he was scared stiff. He could not say one word, etc., etc. Clara asked why he felt so and he replied, “Oh just the having such a man in my studio.” I remarked that when he knew you better he would not feel so, for you were a mighty nice fellow. He said “if you will allow me to say so I have loved Mr. Clemens a long time” [The Twainian May-June 1978 p.2].
April 11 Wednesday – Sam was en route to New York on the S.S. New York.
April 12 Thursday – En route to New York on the S.S. New York, Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens, reporting on each family member in Paris. He asked them to forward the letter to Pamela Moffett as he was “a poor hand to write letters.”
I shall arrive day after to-morrow doubtless, & shall expect to sail in this ship again three weeks later, May 7. I left all the family well in Paris. Livy has a good doctor & is making progress. Susy picked some strength & cheerfulness in a fortnight’s quiet life in a French family in Tours — where I wish she could stay, for she can’t sleep in Paris; Jean is shut up in the house for a week with a badly scalded leg, poor rat; Clara is well & strong & hammering away at her music, but is going to desert Livy & live in a French family for better practice in the language.
Sam enjoyed the three week stay, and told of being frightened by the $4 tickets sold for his reading to a full house at the British embassy [MTP]. See Apr. 5.
Sam also wrote a short note to Joe Twichell that he was on his way back alone and hoped Joe would be able to come down to N.Y. because he’d agreed with Livy to return to Paris on May 7 [MTP].
Sam also wrote a similar short note to Charles Dudley and Susan Warner, updating them on family members [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore, that he expected to arrive Saturday morning, Apr. 14, but had to return to Paris on May 7. He wasn’t sure he could get his old room at the Players Club back [MTP].
April 13 Friday – En route to New York on the S.S. New York at 7:30 p.m., Sam wrote to Livy:
We expect to be in New York about 10 tomorrow morning, Livy darling. I am waiting to be called to read — & the sea is increasing all the time. I am afraid I shall be alone — as was the case going over, except that Stead made some remarks. The sea was so rough that the music had to be given up. I think this sea is as rough as that one was.
Sam told of “A new thing” aboard the ship, called the “Pig Book,” a big album of blank pages where one was required to close the eyes and draw a pig, then sign the work. Sam then drew a pig on the letter and noted that he’d forgotten to put in the eye.
Some of the pigs in the book are strange looking creatures, & don’t always resemble pigs [MTP].
April 14 Saturday – The N.Y. Times noted that the steamship New York’s arrival was a “fast winter run of 6 days, 21 hours, and 51 minutes.” Sam’s arrival was noted [Apr. 15, p.9 “Arrivals from Europe”].
At 5 p.m. in New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Livy that he’d arrived at 10 a.m. and found his old room ready for him at 10:30 a.m.
I was at Brander Matthews’s at 11, and delivered the box of keys & saw him & his wife & told him what I could of his mother & sister. He said the selling of Roxy down the river is very strong, & the strongest piece of writing I have ever done. [Roxy of PW]
By half past 11 I was at Dr. Rice’s. Mrs. Rice says the electric treatment has made her a whole woman again. …
I took a mid-day dinner there, then went out to Mr. Rogers’s. Mrs. Rogers was sitting up — in the library — but she only got up yesterday; has been ill in bed twice, lately. She hopes Mrs. Duff & Miss May will leave the Chatham & go to the Brighton…Mrs. Rogers hopes Susy will come home with Mrs. Duff, but I said you would be too uneasy with an ocean between you & Susy. I was there an hour….Mr. Rogers is in Fairhaven, but will be back on Monday.
Then I stepped around & spent a good while with Howells, & saw Pilla, who is very pretty. I told them how you all admired John [Mead Howells] and considered him a dear.
Sam wished Livy was at the Players with him; his room looked out on big trees and was “profoundly quiet” [MTP].
Sam “ran across” Poultney Bigelow twice. Bigelow had been in Paris, and he had just sent up a copy of Truth for April 5 with the article “Notes from Paris” by a Mrs. Crawford [Apr. 15 to Livy].
In the evening a N.Y. Sun reporter managed a short interview, which ran the next day on page five:
Mr. S.L. Clemens, known to more people as Mark Twain, got back from Europe yesterday [Apr. 14] on the steamship New York, and is now at the Players Club. He said to a Sun reporter last night:
“I went abroad to see how my family were getting along, and not for the benefit of my own health, as has been reported. My wife has not been well for some time, and she is now under the care of a physician in Paris. I wanted to see for myself just how she was, and that’s the reason I went. I found her to be very much improved, and that’s why I didn’t stay longer. I’ve been gone only three weeks, so you see I didn’t have much of a visit. But the trip was a glorious one. The voyage back, particularly, was delightful. I hear you’d had a great storm here, but at sea we had nothing of it. The New York encountered no bad weather, and only on one day a rough sea, which seemed more like the wash from another steamer than anything else. I shall return to Paris again in just three weeks, to take my family to Aix-les-Bains. Baths are part of the treatment prescribed for my wife.” [Scharnhorst 143].
April 15 Sunday – In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote to Livy at the Hotel Brighton in Paris. He’d been out to dine with the Laffan’s; the Dana’s had sailed for Europe; and he called at the Millet’s in the afternoon: “he was out & she had gone to England a few days ago.” Sam gave Livy the name of a French doctor, Léon Brachet, recommended by Edmund Routledge — Sam said she should put the doctor’s name in her address-book. Sam told of running into Poultney Bigelow twice the day before and once this day [MTP]. Note: Brachet was the author of Aix-Les-Bains (In Savoy) (1891).
The New York Sun p.5 ran “Mark Twain in Town,” see Apr.14 entry [Scharnhorst, Interviews 143].
April 16 Monday – In New York Sam wrote with optimism to Livy:
Well, dearheart, Mr. Rogers feels so much encouraged about Websterco’s probable ability to pull through alive, that he suggested, without me saying anything, that we hold on & try to work out, paying a hundred cents on the dollar & finally closing the concern out without any strain upon its name. Mr. Rogers has been at Websterco’s several times & kept close watch upon its affairs, & has kept it out of financial trouble by the strength of his name — and with his money, too, the other day where two or three thousand dollars were immediately necessary.
Sam also reported that he was going to talk to John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan “about beginning the serialization” of Joan of Arc in the fall. Though Sam preferred the Century, Rogers warned it was “having rough sledding, & isn’t safe.”
Sam also announced that Tom Sawyer Abroad by Huck Finn issued this day in New York and London, which surprised him because he thought it wasn’t to issue until fall [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.24, Oxford ed. 1996].
Note: it was the last publication issued for the bankrupt Webster & Co. It is interesting that just two days before filing bankruptcy, both Rogers and Sam felt the company could weather through. The reasons why, according to Sam’s Apr. 20 to Livy, had to do with the “rigorous attitude” of the Mt. Morris Bank, a principal creditor. See Hall’s quote in the NY Times article of Apr. 19 below.
April 17 Tuesday – The New York Times, p.6 ran an article from the Minneapolis Times:
The Frog Two Thousand Years Old.
A college professor recently asked Mark Twain, “How old do you suppose your jumping frog story is?”
“I know exactly,” replied Mark. “It is fifty-five years old.”
“You are mistaken,” remarked the professor. “It is more than 2,000 years old. It is a Greek story.”
Mark naturally denied that it was a Greek story; it was a California story, and a Calaveras County yarn at that. But the professor merely polished his glasses. He brought Mark the books, and showed him his jumping frog story in very choice Greek with a fringe of Hellenic roots around the margin.
Now the interesting question is, Did the frog episode occur in Angel’s Camp in the Spring of ’49? Mark is perfectly sure that it did. The professor is equally sure that its duplicate happened in Beotia a couple of thousand years ago.
Nobody will presume to say that Twain read this story in a Greek book as far back as ’65, when he retold it, for at that time he knew no Greek. It is only necessary to reflect on the sameness of human history to arrive at the correct conclusion that the story originated in Greece B.C. just as it originated in America A.D. Human nature accounts for it in both instances. The story is only an effort of one man to insure the success of a wager against another. The Greeks were just as apt to try for a cinch as anybody else. The use of the frog is the only coincidence in the story. The rest of it is just as Greek as it is Yankee and as Yankee as it is Greek. [Note: In the Apr. 1894 North American Review article, “Private History of the ‘Jumping Frog’ Story,” the professor is identified as Prof. Van Dyke of Princeton. See Budd, Collected 2: 152].
April 18 Wednesday – Two copies of Tom Sawyer Abroad by Huck Finn were deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office on this day, the same day that Charles L. Webster and Co. declared bankruptcy [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.24, Oxford ed. 1996].
Henry E. Barrett, clerk for Tioga County, N.Y. Surrogate’s Court wrote to Sam, thanking him for the “many pleasant hours” the books of Mark Twain had given him from his youth on [MTP].
April 19 Thursday – From the New York Times, p.9
MARK TWAIN’S COMPANY IN TROUBLE.
— — —
Publishing Firm of Charles L. Webster & Co. Financially Embarrassed.
Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) and Frederick J. Hall, composing the book publishing firm of Charles L. Webster & co. of 67 Fifth Avenue, filed an assignment without preference, to Bainbridge Colby of 40 Wall Street, in the County Clerk’s office late yesterday afternoon. The deed was signed by Mr. Clemens in this city, and stated that his residence is in Hartford, Conn. and Mr. Hall’s at Far Rockaway, L.I. It is said that the firm’s certain resources are from $150,000 to $200,000 above its debts.
Mr. Hall said yesterday: “The assignment was very sudden and unexpected. We had expected to get money from certain sources, which we had counted upon to meet certain maturing obligations, but we were very much disappointed in not obtaining this money, and consequently could not meet the obligations referred to; and we thought the best course for all concerned was to make an assignment.” [See SLC to Hall June 1, 1894].
In New York at 7 a.m., Sam wrote to Livy:
Dear old sweetheart, I leave in an hour for Hartford on business — returning this afternoon. Mr. Rogers is perfectly satisfied that our course was right — absolutely right, & wise. Cheer up — the best is yet to come [LLMT 299]. Note: Sam undoubtedly had cabled Livy the bad news on Apr. 18, but the cable is lost.
In his Apr. 22 to Livy Sam told of taking a long walk with Joe Twichell, and being cheered up by him and also by Susy Warner. Charles Dudley Warner had gone “to Bermuda to keep from getting mixed up in the awful Pollard-Breckinridge scandal.” Warner had “been alone with her here & there & yonder,” and didn’t want the Breckinridge lawyers to haul him into court (see Apr. 22 entry) [MTP: Apr. 22 to Livy].
James B. Pond wrote a letter of encouragement to Sam about his business troubles, and how if anyone was equipped to come back, Sam was. Pond sent his “deepest sympathy” [MTP].
April 20 Friday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy about his day-trip to Hartford, and about the assignment and Fred Hall:
Well dear heart, I read everything the newspapers had to say about it yesterday on my way to Hartford, & discovered not one unkind or unpleasant or fault-finding remark. As I hadn’t done anything to be ashamed of, I wasn’t ashamed; so I didn’t avoid anybody, but talked to everybody I knew on the train. The same, coming back. All my friends say I was wisely advised, & did right. I think your desires made Mr. Rogers think, for a while, that he wanted the assignment prevented — but I haven’t a doubt that that was merely a momentary weakness on his part; the moment he saw the rigorous attitude of the Mt. Morris Bank his sanity returned to him & we precipitated the assignment. I feel an immense sense of relief today; & so does Hall, though when he signed the assignment he could hardly keep from crying, & I half thought he would go off & drown himself.
Sam had more unkind things to say about Hall, who he said “prattles like a child.” He also hoped Livy was getting acquainted with the two Rogers girls, Mrs. Cara Rogers Duff and Miss May Rogers, who were in Paris [LLMT 299-300]. Note: making an assignment was akin to today’s chapter 11 protection, giving a firm time to reorganize and restructure debts.
Sam enclosed a letter from Mollie Clemens dated Apr. 15, upon which he wrote:
Dearheart, Molly sends this through me because she doesn’t know your address. My passage is taken for May 9. I spend the 17th in London on business. Saml [The Twainian 37.3 (May-June 1978: 3].
Many wrote or cabled concerns and luck for Mark Twain after seeing the newspaper notices. Sam wrote a line of thanks to James B. Pond, and a short letter of thanks to Henry C. Robinson:
None of the creditors has shown any but a friendly spirit. Several of them called yesterday to sympathize, & said nothing about the money owing to them.
I have lost 84 pounds in the last 48 hours.*
With my love to all the family, / Ys Ever/ Mark / * Not meat, but moral fat.
April 21 Saturday – The London Chronicle, p.3 “The New Mark Twain” gave Tom Sawyer Abroad a mixed review:
Is this a new Mark Twain, or is it the old? Is it the man who gave us the Innocents and Smiley, or a worn humourist harping upon an ancient string? The man in the street has asked the question since he heard that there was to be a sequel to Tom Sawyer, who has cooled his heels for “more than a luster” in St. Louis. …There are dull pages and irritating comic platitudes enough, it must be admitted; whole chapters provocative of sleep, ancient humours, gilded and coated, but showing their rags beneath the finery — yet there are other pages which scintillate with wit, quaint conceits worthy of the old Mark Twain, and a general glamour of wildness which captivates and redeems. It is not a great book, it is very far from representative at its best that peculiar deductive humour which, as Mr. Howells bears witness, is the marrow of the author’s creations. But there are the happiest things possible in it, and they are abundant enough to condone the tedium and the strain which the most generous of the uncritical must admit [Budd, Contemporary 343].
April 22 Sunday – In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote to Livy. There was hope the company could resume business since the creditors initially seemed friendly. Sam blamed Fred Hall’s “stupid & extravagant mismanagement” as well as J.M. Shoemaker’s “fooling around so long” for the assignment. Still, he took the bright side of things, as he was usually disposed to do. He wanted to revoke Shoemaker’s privilege to sell his Paige Compositor Co. stock if not effected within 30 days. Friends were trying to prop him up:
Now & then a good & dear Joe Twichell or Susy Warner condoles me & says, “Cheer up — don’t be downhearted,” and some other friend says, “I am glad & surprised to see how cheerful you are & how bravely you stand it” — & none of them suspects what a burden has been lifted from me & how blithe I am inside. Except when I think of you, dearheart — then I am not blithe; for I seem to see you grieving & ashamed, & dreading to look people in the face. For in the thick of the fight there is a cheer, but you are far away & cannot hear the drums nor see the wheeling squadrons. You only seem to see rout, retreat, and dishonored colors dragging in the dirt — whereas none of these things exist. There is temporary defeat, but no dishonor — & we will march again. Charley Warner said to-day, “Sho, Livy isn’t worrying. So long as she’s got you & the children she doesn’t care what happens. She knows it isn’t her affair.” Which didn’t convince me.
Sam also told of his trip to Hartford, his long walk with Twichell and of Charles Dudley Warner going to Bermuda to avoid testifying in a scandal case, the Pollard-Breckinridge breach of promise suit for $50,000 damages, brought by Miss Madeline Pollard against Col. William C.P. Breckinridge, the Kentucky Congressman. She was awarded $15,000, overcoming defense suggestions that she was a prostitute. Warner had spent some time with Miss Pollard and did not want to be called to testify [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks who had read about Sam’s business failure:
Oh, I expect to pull through — I am not losing any sleep. I think the creditors will let us resume business; in which case they will get their money. The strongest & wisest friends in the world are at my back, & I make no move until they have decided what it shall be.
Sam added he’d like to run to Boston for a visit but he was “very busy here with this episode,” and would sail for Europe in a few days. He noted that he’d seen her son, Charles Fairbanks the other night, “& report him in good health & grand bulk” [MTMF 273-4].
The Boston Daily Globe ran a long article by George Alfred Townsend (“Gath”), p.24. Townsend commented on Sam’s business failure and quoted him. Townsend was a famous Civil War journalist for the N.Y. Herald, N.Y. World, and later a ghostwriter for the N.Y. Times. He was also a prolific poet and novelist who rubbed elbows with Sam in his early Washington days. (See Feb. 7, 1871 and also 1880 year entries, Vol. I.)
I see Mark Twain has failed. The effect upon my mind was like a composition of Artemus Ward’s, which I saw Artemus composing. He was sitting near me in the De Soto, a restaurant in New York, and he began to laugh to himself.
I crossed over to get part of the laugh. Said he: “Georgey, I have been making one of my papers. I think them out when I sit alone. Here is the idea of a prosperous man, like my showman, who is the delegate of my wit. He reflects how much better luck he has had than others. He would like to stop with lamenting their misfortunes. But he can’t help ending up with an enumeration of his own progress. Suppose him to reflect like this: ‘Where are the friends of my youth? Some are dead and some are married. Some sprout in daisies where they lie, some are in jail. Several are divorced. O where are the friends of my youth? I keep a pig this year.’”
Not a horse nor a cow, but the sublime advance of a pig.
So when I read of Mark Twain’s failure, like Walter Scott’s, Ballantyne’s and Constables’ in one, I feel like saying:
“Alas! Friend of my youth, I keep a pig this year.”
The writer of humor appears for a certain time to have it all his way. He lectures, writes, gets illustrated, joins the magazine coterie, and lives among the magicians like light-waisted Ariel in the family of Prospero.
But the people get tired of his strain.
The moment humor loses its surprise, the fall from the sublime to the ridiculous, it becomes serious.
In the year 1867, I think it was, I boarded with Mark Twain on Indiana av, Washington city. It was down between the capitol and the city hall hills, in the stinking vale of the Tiber.
We had at our table, Sam W. Clemens [sic], Jerome B. Stillson, one Ramsdell, a press writer; old Riley, a committee clerk and writer, too, and I was a stranded man of family at 26, with a babe and a nurse.
Where are the friends of my youth?
[Note: It seems Gath was as wrong about Sam being a washed-up “humorist” as he was about Sam’s middle initial. On Nov. 21 1867 Sam took the night train from N.Y. to Washington to take the job with Senator William M. Stewart. He also stayed in a rooming house with Stewart, so evidently Townsend also roomed there.]
April 23 Monday – In New York, Sam wrote Orion Clemens about the assignment of Webster & Co.
I am glad they [Mt. Morris Bank] forced me, & so is Mr. Rogers; but poor Livy — it will nearly kill her, I reckon. However, I prepared her as well as I could before I came away. I told her we were getting into better & stronger shape every day, & that if the bank tried to force me I would protect the creditors by assigning. I was already suspecting that Mr. Rogers’s checks might have been just such an effect; & that the bank might say to itself, ‘He is protected by a multimillionaire — go to we will crowd him.’ Mr. Rogers is a bad man to crowd.
Unless this business interferes (which I am not expecting), I shall sail May 9th.
Sam also wrote that the new machine would be finished in June, and that Rogers had no doubts the “machine’s great future is secure” [MTP]. Note: this letter was quoted in Pamela Moffett’s May 6 to her son, Samuel. Sam’s original is not extant.
William Shakespeare was born on Apr. 23, 1564 and died on the April 23, 1616. The Players Club held a Shakespeare Day celebration for ladies, which Sam wrote on Apr. 25 to Livy drew some 900 to 1500 ladies.
April 24 Tuesday
April 25 Wednesday – In New York on Players Club letterhead, Sam wrote to Livy, still putting a happy face on the business failure:
Well, sweetheart I am more & more grateful that the failure happened, & that it happened just when it did. I can’t think of a date earlier or later that would have been more fortunate. Earlier we couldn’t have had the Grant cheap edition far enough advanced to make a good showing; now the showing is so promising that the creditors hardly refuse to let us resume, I think. It seems much the wisest course to let us resume — but I am indifferent as to which they do. I could not have been indifferent earlier. I am out of the mess, now, & am no longer harassed for money to pour down that hole. Hall is glad we assigned — a heavy responsibility is lifted from his timid soul & incapable shoulders.
Sam also said the newspaper talk lasted only two days; that he was invited to “plenty of dinners & things,” but declined as his stay in N.Y. was to be short and he wanted to use his time in more productive ways. He praised the Rice’s and said he was to dine there and go to the theater the next night. After his signature Sam added that he was glad Livy had met the Rogers’ girls, May and Mrs. Cara Rogers Duff; that he’d received her letter about the Ambassador’s call, as well as daughter Jean’s letter about Maria (not further identified, perhaps a friend or a servant) [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William H. Rideing, editor of Youth’s Companion. He’d finished an article for the magazine but did not have it typewritten, since he was now “out of that business.” Sam noted he had the article insured for $500. When Rideing sent the check Sam wanted it made out to Rogers’ secretary, Miss Katharine I. Harrison. He was to sail May 9 and asked to see proofs, if convenient, before he left [MTP].
April 26 Thursday – Sam dined with Dr. and Mrs. Clarence Rice, then went to the theater [Apr. 25 to Livy]. Meanwhile, in Paris, Livy wrote to Sam:
On Sunday I saw by the paper that on Monday there would be a representation of “Carmen” at greatly reduced rates. I thought that was a good time for Susy and me to go [Gribben 72].
Livy received four letters from Sam and wrote to him that daughter Jean got out of bed for the first time in ten days. The Rogers sisters had visited but were too busy shopping and dressmaking to come often. She asked Sam to bring her a French book, Livre de Lecture et de Conversation, by Prof. C. Fontame, and published by D.C. Heath & Co., N.Y. (not in Gribben).
Tomorrow they are coming to dinner & going to “Faust” with us, that is Miss Rogers is coming and Mrs. Duff will if her cold is well; she has had quite a bad one.
I am very anxious to get your next letter in order to know what occurred between the time of your writing that Mr. Rogers thought it was better for Webster & Co. to pull through & your cable saying they had suspended or assigned.
How lovely and good and generous of Mr. Rogers was to come to the rescue of W. & Co when you were away.
Mr. Fitzgerald & lady Edmond are in the hotel now, they came up to see us last evening and Susy and I went down this evening to see them. Mr. Fitzgerald is just as incoherent as ever but she is very lovely; how I do wish I could remember some of her things to quote them, they are too funny for anything. She asked me how my Continental friend was (meaning Miss. Van Etten). When I told her she was dead, she said instantly & in a soothing manner, “O yes, yes, yes, yes, yes” as if fearing that I would feel badly about it. …
On Sunday I saw by the paper that on Monday there would be a representation of “Carmen” at greatly reduced rates. I thought that was a good time for Susy and me to go. It would be Clara’s first night in the French family & it would be a good thing to go away on that night and get diversion. Clara took dinner with us that night and was going to stay with Jean, until it was time for her (Jean) to go to sleep, before she started for her French family [The Twainian May-June 1978 p.4].
April 27 Friday – In Paris, Livy finished her Apr. 26 letter to Sam. She mentioned Parisian Points of View by Ludovic Halévy, translated by Edith Virginia Brander Matthews:
I have read the book that Edith Matthews translated. I find it extremely charming. The stories are bright and delightful and the translating is perfect; you could not believe that it was a translation if it so easy flowing [Gribben 285]. Note: the full letter may be found in the May-June 1978 Twainian.
William H. Rideing for Youth’s Companion wrote to Sam enclosing a $500 check for “How To Tell A Story,” which he hoped to publish some time in 1895. Rideing did not want to publish a story of Sam’s where “a minister was held up to ridicule,” since the Companion’s readers were “religious people,” and asked if Sam might substitute another story [MTP].
April 28 Saturday
April 29 Sunday
April 30 Monday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to Grace King about Madame Blanc taking offense at his article, “Private History of the ‘Jumping Frog’ Story” in April’s North American Review. See April entry.
Oh, it isn’t a bit of use. I have not offended; it is Mme B.’s French obtuseness which is to blame. She owes herself an apology. …
You see, the whole trouble lies in the French character. It hasn’t a shred of humor in it, consequently there is no depth to it; its compass, regulator, balance-wheel, is lacking. When you have hurt a Frenchman, you have hurt a child; you can’t reason with him, you can only kiss him & pet him & flatter him.
If I ever run across Mme. B. I mean to tell her I was not intending to offend her. I don’t imagine it will do any good; but I couldn’t say any more & make it sound sincere.
Sam also wrote he was to sail in nine days and join the family in Paris, then leave “right away” for Aix-les-Bains, where Livy would seek relief for gout in the fingers; her other ailments were getting better [MTP].
May – The sixth of seven parts from PW ran in the January issue of Century Magazine.
May 1 Tuesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Frank E. Bliss in Hartford, asking him to come down “next Monday” (May 7) to possibly enter into an agreement for publishing PW “by subscription & do some planning & talking about the Uniform Edition” [MTP]. Note: William Evarts Benjamin was involved in a proposed Uniform Edition.
Sam made a quick trip to Elmira, probably on this day. He was back in New York by May 3 in the afternoon for a meeting with the Mt. Morris Bank [May 4 to Livy]. Note: Since the train trip was eight to nine hours each way, he would have had a short stay in Elmira.
May 2 Wednesday – Sam was in Elmira at least part of the day and returned to New York in time for a business meeting the following day. He had,
…a glimpse of the folks, including the Stanchfields. Sue [Crane] reminded me of the lace & I sent it to her as soon as I got back. I had a sort of notion to run up to Hartford for an hour, but I don’t get the chance. [May 4 to Livy]. Note: Clara Spaulding married John Stanchfield.
William H. Rideing for Youth’s Companion wrote a short note to Sam, asking if “Perhaps he would like to have the enclosed” (unidentified), and that he hoped the $500 check had reached him [MTP].
May 3 Thursday – In the afternoon in New York, Sam and his attorneys met with President William H. Payne of the Mt. Morris Bank and his attorney, Daniel Whitford, who had also been attorney for Webster & Co.
I was instructed to be quiet & composed at the conference; be courteous & polite; parry all attempts to get me excited or angry; make no admissions; answer no arguments; & let Paine [Payne] & Whitford go away empty at last. Hard conditions; but the lawyers said I carried them out, in letter & spirit. Only one attempt was made to bully me & anger me — that was Whitford’s — & it fell so effectless & flat that he was ashamed of it himself [May 4 to Livy].
May 4 Friday – In New York Sam wrote to Livy about his quick trip to Elmira (May 1-2), and the conference with Mt. Morris Bank’s Payne and attorney, Daniel Whitford (May 3). Sam said they owed the bank $29,500 but felt “a good half of it is bogus paper.”
I don’t know what the outcome is going to be — but I am indifferent. It will be best for all of us if the concern is allowed to go on under a trusteeship — otherwise nobody is seriously hurt but the bank. If the bank forces an auction of the effects, the result will be some little money to each creditor, & in time you & I can pay the rest — excluding the bank. I shall be a very old person before I pay the bank any more than half of their claim unless it can be clearly shown that I owe more.
The bank wanted Sam to give them rights to PW — but these were Livy’s, as were all his copyrights, thanks to H.H. Rogers, and there was no way she would do so without compensation. Sam related how “confoundedly difficult” it was for him to refer to these as “Mrs. Clemens’s books,” “Mrs. Clemens’s copyrights,” etc.
I love you, dear old sweetheart, & shall soon see you now, I guess. This is my last letter, I guess. / Saml [LLMT 300-302].
May 5 Saturday
May 6 Sunday
May 7 Monday – In his May 8 to Rogers, Sam wrote of this evening:
I invited myself out to dinner last night [May 7], & I’ve got the brooch & a letter for Mrs. Duff. I invited Rice to come out & play billiards, & no doubt he would have come if he hasn’t said he would. However, I took it out of Harry [Rogers’ son] & we didn’t need the doctor [MTP].
A draft of an agreement in Sam’s hand with John Brusnahan, print foreman for the New York Herald, to sell stock in the new Paige Compositor Co., survives with this date:
May 7,/94 / Agreement entered into with John Brusnahan. He to sell $100,000 or less, of Mrs. C.’s stock at 50, and pay into Miss Harrison’s hands 45, taking the remaining 5 as commission. Payments to be in installments — 10 per cent down, and 10 per cent a month till the whole is paid — the stock to be then delivered. He to have also, as further commission, one share of paid-up stock for every 10 shares (ten) sold through him and paid for. This agreement to terminate June 15, 1894 [MTHHR 61n1].
May 8 Tuesday – In New York at noon Sam wrote to Henry H. Rogers, who was on a trip to W. Virginia. Sam headed the letter with Rogers’ office address:
Enjoy your trip; be perfectly tranquil concerning this office. Miss Harrison & I are running its affairs in the most admirable way. I am going up, presently, to eat your luncheon for you, for you need to keep well nourished when on a long trip, & I don’t think much of the West Virginian cuisine.
Sam added an excerpt from Livy’s letter about the “tremendous debt of gratitude” owed Rogers. He stated that she wouldn’t allow any more “furloughs, but she must let me come & be on hand when the public test begins” for the Chicago Herald. Sam’s plans were to take Livy to Aix-les-Bains for a “6-weeks course,” then “deposit her for a sea-bath course somewhere within easy reach of Paris,” and return to the US after the beginning of July [MTHHR 52].
In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote to Mollie Clemens, thanking her for her letter which arrived that day (not extant), while he was at a reception for Dr. Clarence Rice’s new Post Graduate College.
I packed my gripsacks & sent them to the ship before I went out to dinner; & now I follow myself — the first time I ever started on a sea-voyage in evening dress. Perhaps nobody has done it before — so it is high time somebody did it.
Sam also wrote a short note to William C. Edgar (1856-1932), editor, journalist and author, at this time manager of the Minneapolis Northwestern Miller. Edgar organized a movement in 1891 to give a shipload of flour for the relief of Russian peasants. Evidently, Edgar had solicited an article.
I have in my mind a small yarn wherein a western flouring mill figures rather picturesquely, & if I can put it on paper in a way to satisfy me you can have it for five hundred dollars if you like.
Sam directed Edgar to notify Katharine I. Harrison if he was interested and she would write him [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Frederick J. Hall asking him to speak to Mr. Rogers about an unspecified project. Sam wrote he did not have the authority now to speak, but Rogers did. Sam announced he was going to “Europe for a short time,” and hoped things would be in “better trim” before he returned.
Good-bye. I wish you all possible good fortune [MTP].
Sam also wrote his sister Pamela Moffett a short note:
I write a line in great haste, as I have been out to dinner & must now pack my gripsack & get aboard the steamer before midnight.
I am sending those advertisements to Livy by mail, as I have to attend a dinner in London & lose a day. I hope she will try them on Susy [MTP]
Eben Alexander (1851-1910), US Minister to Greece, wrote Sam, the letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s June 18 reply [MTP].
Sam boarded the S.S. New York before midnight.
May 9 Wednesday – Sam sailed again for Southampton, England in the S.S. New York [Brooklyn Eagle, p.4 “Personal Mention”; MTHHR 24]. Sometime during the voyage, which ended on May 16, Sam wrote a thank you note to an unidentified person:
Thank you cordially for your superb performance. / Sincerely Yours / Mark Twain / At Sea, May/94 [MTP].
May 10 Thursday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris.
The New York Times, p.9 ran an update on the Webster & Co. assignment:
CHARLES L. WEBSTER & CO.’S AFFAIRS.
— — —
The Liabilities Placed at About $80,000 —
“Mark Twain” Sails for Europe.
Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) senior partner of the publishing house of Charles L. Webster & Co., sailed for Europe yesterday on the steamship New-York. Before his departure Mr. Clemens held an extended conference with Bainbridge Colby, the assignee of the company, Later, Mr. Colby made the following statement:
The liabilities of the firm will not exceed $80,000. The largest claim against the company is one for $25,000. There is no truth whatever in the report that Mrs. U.S. Grant has a large sum of money due her on the Grant “Memoirs.” Her claim will not exceed a few hundred dollars. I am convinced there is only one way to realize on the assets of the Webster Company, and that is to sell them in the usual course of business. I still have hopes that some plan may be perfected which will make it possible to sell the stock which is on hand without resorting to such a costly alternative as an assignee’s sale.
Mr. Clemens feels keenly the condition in which his affairs are involved, and whatever the result of the plan which he has adopted for the working up of the assets and the continuation of contracts, I do not think he will consider himself relieved of the moral obligation to repay his creditors.
Mr. Colby said Mr. Clemens sailed for Europe to be absent indefinitely. He has a number of important engagements abroad, but will return at once should there be any need here for his presence.
Mr. Brown from Drexel Harjes & Co. wrote from London to Sam, advising that his letter of credit No. 11530 for £985 had expired and that he should return it canceled; they would be happy to make the unused portion available in a new letter of credit [MTP].
May 11 Friday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris. In his May 16 to Livy he wrote:
It seems an age since I left New York; & yet I have been at work a large part of the time, & work obliterates time more effectively than anything except sleep [MTP].
His piece, “Macfarlane” was written sometime during 1894, possibly during this voyage; in the same letter he wrote he was working on a review of James Fenimore Cooper, which would have been “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” first published in the North American Review for July 1895. In his May 16 letter to Rogers he said he’d worked on the Cooper piece “all through the trip” but did not finish, and thought it would make three articles. “Fenimore Cooper’s Further Literary Offenses” was left incomplete and not published during Sam’s life; it was first published by DeVoto in the 1946 New England Quarterly [Budd, Collected 2: 1002].
May 12 Saturday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris and spent a “large part of the time” writing “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” and possibly other pieces.
May 13 Sunday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris and spent a “large part of the time” writing “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” and possibly other pieces.
May 14 Monday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris and spent a “large part of the time” writing “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” and possibly other pieces. A large meteor shower was visible in France.
May 15 Tuesday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris and spent a “large part of the time” writing “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” and possibly other pieces.
May 16 Wednesday – Sam was en route on the S.S. New York for Southampton, London and Paris. He wrote to Livy.
Livy darling, I shall reach London this evening, no doubt; & then I shall seem very close to you & those others. It makes me joyful; & pretty impatient, too. The voyage makes a long, long interval, & conspicuously blank one, on account of the absence of letters from you. …
Phillip Bright is on board, sunburnt & skinned, from a voyage around the world. He sits by me at table, & is ever so nice. Willie Winter sits at my other side. I have known him a quarter of a century. He is 57, & knew Kate Field when she was 16 & he 18. [Note: William Winter, dramatic critic of the N.Y. Tribune; Philip Bright has not been further identified]
Sam also related that H.H. Rogers called him back into his office the last time he saw him and said privately, “If you get short, draw on me.” Sam noted Rogers made no limit and also relayed a message that Mrs. Annie Rogers gave him, that H.H. would be “very lonely” once Sam left. He added that he was “writing a review of Fenimore Cooper’s Deerslayer — the most idiotic book I ever saw.” He was eager to get back to see her and the family [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Henry H. Rogers, thanking him for offering a draw on him if he ran short of funds. Sam observed that Rogers was “just about arriving home,” from his ten-day trip to W. Virginia with John Dustin Archbold, who Sam playfully called the coffee-cooler’s bottle-holder (a reference to the Negro boxer Frank Craig prize-fight they’d attended together — see Dec. 30, 1893). Sam complained of lumbago. He also relayed that he’d told Frank Bliss to stay in touch with William Evarts Benjamin on the Uniform Edition of his works; and that Livy would be agreeable to Bliss publishing PW by subscription on the basis of “half of the profits above cost of manufacture,” the same sort of deal he’d made with Frank’s father, Elisha Bliss, on TA. Sam told of his writing work done on the voyage:
I have been at work on a magazine article all through this trip, but I didn’t get it finished. That is because it will make three articles. The first is nearly done & the notes are made for the other two & the articles themselves blocked out in my head [MTHHR 53-4]. Note: Sam conceived “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” as the beginning of a series to be called “Studies in Literary Criticism.”
The S.S. New York reached Southampton in the evening and Sam traveled to London. On July 4, he mentioned in a letter to Chatto & Windus that he left a letter on this date for Cara Rogers Duff at Brown’s Hotel on Dover Street in London.
May 17 Thursday – In London Mark Twain gave the speech of the evening at a dinner by Poultney Bigelow for the officers of the US cruiser Chicago. The N.Y. Times, p.5 “Her Troops” reported the dinner and Sam’s speech but did not report its content.
Dr. Halstead Boyland wrote to Sam, inviting him and Livy for dinner on May 26 [MTP].
May 18 Friday – Sam spent two days in London. Mary Anderson’s agent offered him £2,000 to lecture ten nights in London, but he declined because the season was over in three weeks and there’d be no time to advertise. He promised to consider a fall or winter engagement including a few two-night stands in other cities. He tried to locate Rogers’ daughters at the Brown Hotel, Mrs. Cara Rogers Duff and May Rogers, in order to deliver a letter sent them by Mrs. Rogers and a brooch belonging to May. The people at Brown’s Hotel expected the Rogers sisters, but they had gone on to Switzerland, as Sam discovered when arriving in Paris the next day [May 22 to Rogers].
May 19 Saturday – Sam left London and traveled to Paris, where he joined his family at the Hotel Brighton.
Saturday Review (London) LXXVII, p.535-6 printed a brief summary of Tom Sawyer Abroad, with a few critical remarks, calling the humor “genuine and characteristic, but it is thin.” The Review condemned the ending: “anything more flat and unprofitable or more shabby to the reader was never devised” [Tenney 22].
May 20 Sunday – Sam and Livy examined a cottage in Etretat, France and rented it for the summer [May 22 to Rogers].
May 21 Monday – Abbie Gifford Rogers, wife of H.H. Rogers, died. Sam wrote of her last days on July 17 to Livy. He would get the news on May 31. Dias writes,
“On May 21, 1894, Rogers’ wife, Abbie, died after undergoing surgery in New York. She had for days been suffering intolerable pain (from an unsuspected tumor). Consequently, she submitted gladly to the operation. After the surgery, however, she began to sink and never rallied” [MT Letters to Rogers Family 14].
May 22 Tuesday – In Paris at the Hotel Brighton Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. He told about trying to chase down Rogers’ two daughters, Mrs. Duff and Miss May, who had gone to Switzerland. He wrote about his two-day stopover in London and his offer from Mary Anderson’s agent to speak ten nights for two thousand pounds. Then he related the family’s plans and his forecasted return:
Mrs. Clemens goes to Aix-les-Bains 5 weeks hence — which gives me a handsome big writing interval. Then she comes to Etretat, on the coast near Havre for August, Sept, & part of October. We examined a cottage there day before yesterday and secured it. I shall be indispensable there, because the cottage stands by itself in a big garden & the family would be afraid without somebody to chew up burglars & other intruders. So I think the madam will have to leave for Aix as early as the 20th June, so that I can go to America as soon as she is settled there & get back to Aix in time to take her to Etretat in the first week in August. There is a cottage adjoining the [Brighton] hotel, but the madam would not have it because it was too expensive. It would have required no policing, & I would have made her take it, but the doctor said no, she must not be close to the water [MTHHR 55-6].
May 23 Wednesday
May 24 Thursday – Frederick Blackwood (1st Marquis of Dufferin) wrote to Sam at the Hotel Brighton:
My dear Mr. Clemens / How very kind of you to have remembered my request. I am indeed most grateful especially for the charming autograph inscription which the book contains. Very shortly we are having a garden party, and I hope you will still be in Paris when it takes place.” Sam wrote on the envelope, “Lord Dufferin” [MTP].
May 25 Friday – In Paris Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, wondering if the two Rogers girls had gone home, because there was no sign of them and they were not at the Hotel Victoria in London. He repeated that he would take the family to Aix-les-Bains toward the end of June, then sail back from Southampton. If by chance the newest Paige typesetter was completed, would Rogers please cable him in care of Drexel, Paris. Sam wondered if it wouldn’t be a “good scheme” to pay Paige a year’s salary in advance:
He is not half improvident enough these days. Confound him I am afraid he is trying to reform [MTHHR 56-7].
May 26 Saturday – The Athenaeum, No. 3474 p.676 printed a brief review of Tom Sawyer Abroad. Tenney quotes: “A dull book, and ‘a grievous disappointment to admirers of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and of his friend Huckleberry Finn…it is a pity that [MT] should squander himself on such a book as this’” .
May 27 Sunday
May 28 Monday
May 29 Tuesday
May 30 Wednesday – In Paris, Sam wrote a short note to Robert Underwood Johnson:
My dear Johnson: I reminded Dr. Boyland the other day to forward his MS. to you (about the Commune I think it is) and he said he would. It is the MS. I spoke to you about. Yours in a hell of a hurry. S.L. Clemens [MTP: Am. Art Catalog, Feb. 17, 1926, Item 97]. Note: Dr. Halstead Boyland; “the other day” may have been in London or since in Paris.
May 31 Thursday – In Paris Sam wrote to Henry H. Rogers, minutes after hearing from his secretary, Katharine I. Harrison, of the death of Abbie Gifford Rogers (Mrs. Rogers).
I cannot realize that she is gone, & that there will be a void in the house when I come again. She was so young; & in all ways so lovely. She was not even entering age yet. It seems impossible; & yet for all my grief I must believe it. When I think of yours, words fail; they cannot measure your loss. And they have no power to lessen your sense of it, or bring you any comfort. I can offer sympathy out of the bottom of my heart, and I do; but I know no healing words, & indeed there are none. If there were, I would find them. I will let myself hope, & dream, that you will come abroad with me & find some help in rest & change. It may be that you cannot see your way to it, but I will hope.
I am glad I have her picture, & that it is by her own consent that I have it [MTHHR 57-8].
The New York Times ran a squib on p.6, “Circumstantial Evidence.”
Mark Twain in The Century
Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say she did it with her teeth.
June – The final serial segment of Pudd’nhead Wilson ran in the Century, and was called “resplendent as ever in faultless typography and unsurpassed engravings” by the N.Y. Times, June 2, p.3 “New Publications”. Sam was anxious to get the book published.
Sam inscribed a photograph of himself to Mrs. Hapgood: To Mrs. Hapgood / With the kindest regards of / S.L. Clemens. / June 1894 [MTP].
The 1947 Nov-Dec. issue of The Twainian, reprints a Jan. 14, 1909 letter from Frederick J. Hall to biographer Paine about the “closing incidents in the failure of Charles L. Webster & Company.” In this letter, Hall referred to a letter to him from Sam in June of 1894:
In his letter to me written from Paris in June, 1894, you have probably noticed he states he did not know that these obligations existed. As all notes, both for discount and renewal, were endorsed by him; as statements were rendered him, and as the company’s financial condition was a constant topic of conversation and correspondence, this mental attitude can only be explained by Mr. Clemens’ ignorance of commercial matters and extreme impatience of business details.
Hall further blamed the typesetter and the Panic of 1893 for the company’s failure. The letter he refers to may be that of June 1, or may not be extant.
Bookman (London) VI p.89-90 reviewed Tom Sawyer Abroad.
Tom was a promising boy in the old days. He is mostly conceited and sententious now. He says a shrewd thing or two, but all his adventures with balloons, and lions, and tigers, and dervishes, and the incongruity of American new humour meeting African barbarism and strangeness, hardly do more than provoke a wearied smile [Tenney 22].
June 1 Friday – In Paris, France Sam wrote to Frederick J. Hall.
Mrs. Clemens & I have read your letter & are sincerely sorry for your hard situation. I wish I could make it better; I certainly would if I could. But the whole business being now in the hands of the creditors, I have no authority & can do nothing.
If the assignment was a put-up job I knew nothing of it, & never in the least suspected it.
But I believed that we were in very great peril from the bank, unless we could raise $3,000 right away — I knew from your own report of the president’s attitude. There was no time. Neither you nor Frank Whitmore had the custom of warning me about notes beforehand. In the present instance the bank’s ultimatum was not furnished me until the very day that the first of the two notes fell due. There was no choice but to assign. …
There are many things to write, but I will not attempt it, for time crowds me every day & all day. I shall see you early in July — then we can talk it [MTP].
Meanwhile, In New York, H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, thanking him for the cablegram of condolence on the death of his wife, Abbie Gifford Rogers. After relating how each family member was holding up, Rogers replied to one of Sam’s letters about Webster & Co. matters.
I note that you are at work on some magazine articles. I think if you are to carry out the suggestion of reviewing all the novelists, that you will thoroughly advertise yourself to say the least. [This relates to Sam’s “Cooper’s Offenses” article]. Mr. Colby was obliged to follow me to Fairhaven in order to make proper transfers of the copy-rights to Mrs. Clemens, it being necessary to go into detail and specify each of the books. Colby is arranging for a meeting of the creditors within a day or two. I will attend. As yet the proposition for Mrs. Clemens to assign the copyright and waive royalties on your books for a year, on condition that you will be released has not been accepted. I think Colby now inclines to the opinion that if the creditors receive a proposition from you to agree to pay a certain percentage on liabilities and give to the assignee the power to sell off the stock and conduct business for a year with privilege of copy-right and the waiving of royalties, that it will be accepted, and on the whole the best way out of the matter. However, that need not disturb you for the present. I will attend the meeting and try to catch the temper. Business is so terribly depressed that it seems almost impossible to do anything in the way of selling books. Mr. Benjamin [William Evarts Benjamin, Rogers’ son-in-law]. complains very much about his business and tells me that the entire trade is prostrated.
Rogers continued that though Sam and Livy were willing to have Frank Bliss publish PW by subscription, he hesitated to approve, thinking it would be a poor sale with business conditions as they were. But he would discuss it further with Benjamin. Rogers promised to write after the meeting with the creditors (according to Harrison’s letter of this date, the meeting was not held) [MTHHR 59-60].
Rogers’ secretary, Katharine I. Harrison also wrote to Sam:
I received your letter to-day [not extant] in regard to the extension of time to Mr. Brusnahan. He has been to see me two or three times, and although he is working hard to sell the stock, he finds it pretty hard work, as the majority of those printers are such poor fellows, and in some cases they are not to be depended upon. He asked me if he might make an arrangement with Mr. Chas. B Knevals [Caleb B. Knevals] to help him sell the stock, and give him part of the commission.
John Brusnahan was the printing foreman for the New York Herald; he agreed to sell Livy’s stock in the new Paige company. (See May 7, 1894 for a TS of a draft of this arrangement.) Harrison thought the matter over and figured it didn’t matter who sold the stock so she gave her permission and hoped it met with Sam’s approval. No sales had yet been reported, however. She related that Knevals, a broker, was anxious to sell a great deal of the stock. She also intended to suggest to Brusnahan that he contact other union foremen in “two or three other cities” to sell the stock. She mentioned Rogers’ letter of this date and promised to let Sam know when she learned anything about the typesetter. Five shares of the stock would be sent to Orion the first of next week. This task had been delayed by Rogers’ absence. She added a PS after her signature:
P.S. Since dictating the foregoing I have had a call from Messrs. Colby and Rushmore. They have modified their opinions and are now hopeful that if we give the creditors the use of the copyright and waive royalties for a year, that it will be accepted. I am waiting in my office, subject to [a] call from them this afternoon they having hoped to get a meeting with Payne, Barrow and Whitford. If anything important transpires, I will add a few lines before closing.
Mr. Rogers wishes me to add that the meeting was not held after all [MTHHR 61-2].
Note: William H. Payne, president of Mt. Morris Bank; George Barrow represented the Barrow family, to which Webster & Co. owed $15,416.90; Daniel Whitford, who had been attorney for both the Mt. Morris Bank and Webster & Co., now a definite conflict of interest. He was suspected of taking advantage of previous knowledge about the Webster & Co. while now representing the bank, the second highest creditor.
June 2 Saturday – H.H. Rogers wrote again to Sam, relating a minor dust-up with James W. Paige over signing patents. Paige had delayed signing, arguing he was not quite prepared to take out foreign patents.
After careful consideration of the matter, it was decided that Mr. [Urban] Broughton should see Mr. Paige immediately on his return and politely but firmly tell him to immediately sign the patents or the factory would close, and to say as coming from me, that I trusted that our relations, which had been so pleasantly inaugurated, were not to be marred by any prejudicial conduct on his part.
Rogers wasn’t sure how Paige would react, but he signed, and Rogers judged that Urban Broughton “can manage him successfully.” The rest of Rogers’ letter was about his daughters, plus a funny thought he shared with Sam that reflects how close the two men had become:
If you are ever startled by housebreakers in your cottage, I am sure your appearance, as I have once or twice seen you in the night, would be quite enough to drive them away, if they did not drop dead on the spot. I might suggest that you put your spectacles on the tip of your nose to add effect [MTHHR 63-4].
June 3 Sunday
June 4 Monday
June 5 Tuesday – Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam that they’d been unable to secure a copy of Lownsbury’s Life of James Fenimore Cooper, but they would send for one “from the other side without delay” and hoped he would call on them when in London [MTP].
June 6 Wednesday – John J. Read wrote from Paris thanking Sam for being able to look at life through the eyes of Mark Twain. “What a pity it is that you cannot teach Professor Fiske to play. It requires genius, however, to play well, and the knowledge of Sanskrit or any other outlandish tongue is worse than useless” [MTP].
June 7 Thursday
June 8 Friday – Clara Clemens’ 20th birthday.
June 9 Saturday
June 10 Sunday
June 11 Monday – In Paris, France, Sam made a “short address” at the Countess de Kessler’s Musicale. Livy was in the audience. The gala was reported later by the N.Y. Times, June 28, 1894 p.2, “The Social World.”
— Countess de Kessler’s Musicale. — The Countess de Kessler, who is prominent as a hostess with the smart sets of this city and Paris, gave one of the most brilliant entertainments of the season on June 11 at her handsome hotel on the Boulevard Montmorency, Paris. … A short address was made by “Mark Twain.” Among the many representatives of the fashionable world present were the Prince Galitzine, the Marquis Lambertye, the Countess Ducas, the Countess de Trobriand, the Marquis and Marquise Eskins, The Countess Bouterline, the Count and Countess de Lesmaisons, the Countess de Miranda, Mrs. Clemens, M. and Mme. Auffmordt, the Misses Lusk, Mr. and Mrs. Bridgeman, Mr. and Mrs. Lundell, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell Clarke. Mrs. Harbeck, the Baron de Wecker, Mme. Gauthier, Mme. Lagrange, Mrs. Houston, the Count and Countess de Bernis, M. and Mme. Alphand, the Marquis de Maleysie, Mrs. and Miss Boyland, the Countess de Toqueville, Lady Beaumont; the Countess de Furstenburg, and the Count and Countess de Rose.
The New York Times, p.6 “In Memory of George William Curtis” ran a list of several hundred well known individuals as well as a committee for building a memorial to Curtis. S.L. Clemens was near the top of the list. George William Curtis (1824-1892) was an American writer, journalist, and public speaker. Gribben lists two books by Curtis .
June 12 Tuesday
June 13 Wednesday
June 14 Thursday
June 15 Friday
June 16 Saturday – In Paris, Sam responded to H.H. Rogers letter, writing about the Clemens family’s changed plans.
The dismal work of trunk-packing has begun; we leave here next Friday, 21st for La Bourboule, down in the center of France, 12 hours from Paris. This is ordered on Susy’s account, & cuts Mrs. Clemens out from going to Aix-les-Bains. The family will go from Bourboule to Etretat on the coast near Havre the first week in August & stay until early in October, living in a cottage a little back from the seashore. I sail in the [steamer] New York June 30 & shall expect to arrive at the Players at noon July 6th. If Harry [Rogers’ 14 year-old son] has any billiard-opportunities open in those days, he will find his uncle Sammy mighty glad to take a chance & mighty glad, too, to have him umpire the game, if he won’t go further & set up the balls.
Sam also wrote he would give May Rogers’ brooch to James G. Macgowan, who had her address. He wrote of a mix-up in a dinner engagement with the Bodleys “some days ago,”;he’d missed it entirely, though he did get to a breakfast invite with them. He told of all the red tape over the past two days to buy a family ticket to La Bourboule and return. Lastly he reacted to the news Rogers must have sent that Paige had finally signed the contract:
I am glad Paige has signed. I wish it was his death-warrant. Well, maybe it is. His European patents ought to furnish him money enough to spree himself into Perdition on, if he makes a trade [MTHHR 65-6].
Sam also wrote to William A. Wilson, declining an invitation due to “preparation to break up & leave.” Sam had to do “many of the errands & all of the cursing for this tribe.”
But we want to see you & Mrs. Wilson; we must have a glimpse of you, sure. Won’t you come & drink a cup of tea Monday afternoon toward 5? Do [MTP]
Note: Wilson is identified in Sam’s letter (Oct. 4-18, 1896 from London to his English publishers, Chatto & Windus), as “an old Scotch friend & present neighbor of mine.”
June 17 Sunday – William Walter Phelps, the ex-Minister to Germany and close friend of the Clemens family, died in Teaneck, N.J. only one year after returning to the US to take a judgeship. His funeral procession was lined with hundreds of people; the trees he had planted himself lined the path. At the time of his death, Phelps owned half of what is presently Teaneck.
In Paris, Sam wrote a short note to Chatto & Windus asking them to send their annual cheque payable to Livy, in care of Drexel Harjes & Co., Bankers, Paris [MTP].
The Washington Post, p.14 ran a long feature article by Edward Marshall on Mark Twain, “American’s Funny Man,” which included engravings of Mark Twain in 1862 and a current profile, along with a page of Mark Twain’s manuscript. The subtitles of the article are: “An Attempt at an Interview with Mark Twain,” and “His Advice to Humorists,” and “There Are Only Thirty-five Jokes in Existence,” etc. In part:
He Believes in the Anecdote.
He considers the anecdote about as high a kind of humor as exists. The students of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania made him an honorary member of the class of ’94. In accepting it he said that he really did not deserve the honor as his education had neglected him, but that now it had been thrust upon him his ambition had been fired and he wanted to be not only a member of a Bryn Mawr class, but a member of the Bryn Mawr faculty. “I should like to be,” said he “a professor of anecdote. It’s a very useful art. I’ll give you a lesson. One kind of anecdote contains only words. You talk till you’re tired and then ring in a laugh — if you’re lucky. I’ll illustrate this plan by an anecdote of a Scotch-Irish christening. In this Scotch-Irish village a baby had been born and a large number of friends had collected to see it christened. The minister, thinking this a good opportunity to display his oratorical powers, took the baby in his hands, saying:
“ ‘He is a little fellow, yes, a little fellow, and as I look into your faces I see an expression of scorn that suggests that you despise him. But if you had the soul of a poet and the gift of prophecy you would not despise him. You would look far into the future and see what it might be. Consider how small the acorn is from which grows the mighty oak. So this little child may be a great poet and write tragedies or a great statesman or perhaps a future warrior wading in blood up to his neck; he may be — er — what is his name?’
“His name?” asked the mother, who had been carried away by the preacher’s eloquence. ‘Oh, Mary Ann, sir.’” [Note: Reprinted in American Literary Realism, Vol. 40, No. 3, Spring 2008, p 273-7]
June 18 Monday – In Paris Sam responded to a note from Eben Alexander, US Minister to Greece, writing that his “kind favor of May 8th” (not extant) had just arrived.
I am very glad of the compliment of being translated into Greek, notwithstanding the lack of international copyright, & I am much obliged to you for trying to convey the result to my hands [MTP].
Note: Alexander was also a scholar and professor of ancient languages and the Univ. of North Carolina. As Ambassador to Greece in 1896, he was instrumental in reviving the Olympic Games and in organizing a US Olympic team. Alexander may have translated a portion of Sam’s work into Greek, and sent it it to Sam.
Sam took daughters Susy and Clara to a ball; they were out until 2:30 the morning of June 19 [June 19 to Hutton].
June 19 Tuesday – In Paris, Sam wrote “only a line to say howdy” to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton). Sam hoped they wouldn’t have left for Onteora, N.Y. before he arrived in New York July 6th. He told of the family’s plans; they were to leave day after tomorrow (June 21) for La Bourboule, where Sam would spend a week with them. Sam would then leave for N.Y. and the rest of the family would stay through July, then go to Etretat on the coast near Havre, where they’d rented a cottage, complete with furniture and servants “for a lump sum.” Livy and Susy were improving in health, and he’d been to a ball until 2:30 a.m. the night before with Susy and Clara. He didn’t like balls, but they did [MTP].
June 20 Wednesday – Livy attended a French wedding where Clara was a bridesmaid [June 21 to Orion].
June 21 Thursday – Though this is the day Sam had planned to move the family to La Bourboule, France. Things were delayed somewhat, and they did not leave Paris until Saturday, June 23. In Paris Sam wrote to his brother Orion, agreeing that “Ed is right” about an amount he’d offered of $45 per share of the new Paige Compositor Co. No doubt Orion had written of Ed Brownell selling out after the Chicago test, probably to take advantage of its success. He’d written about Brownell before.
That would be wise for a man who was too poor to hold the stock — but unwise for Ed. This is the best stock in the United States, & should not be lightly fooled away. I can always tell him when to sell.
Sam added that they wouldn’t leave for LaBourboule until June 23, but gave no reason for the two day delay, though there had been several social gatherings Livy and his girls had attended. He wrote of Livy attending a dinner party this evening, and would host another tomorrow (June 22). She had given several lately, he wrote, and attended a French wedding on June 20 where Clara was a bridesmaid. Sam raved about the electric treatment Livy had received and the “marvelous improvement” she’d made, though the gout (in her fingers) would have to wait for treatment. He closed with his sailing date (June 30) and his intention to “remain 3 or 6 weeks” in the US [MTP].
June 22 Friday – Alfred P. Burbank died in New York of consumption after an illness of about five years. In 1887 Burbank produced Sam’s The American Claimant at the Lyceum Theatre and played the leading role. His most recent work was two tours with Edgar “Bill” Nye, which he cut short on the Pacific coast due to ill health. Several members of the Lotos Club would serve as pallbearers [NY Times June 23, 1894, p.4].
Livy hosted a dinner party on the family’s last night in Paris [June 21 to Orion].
June 23 Saturday – The Clemens family left Paris and “traveled all day & it was hot” and arrived at La Bourboule, France. On June 25 Sam wrote to Susan Crane about the trip and the fatigue resulting from two-weeks’ trunk-packing.
We are jammed into little bits of rooms, & we haven’t any parlor. We are a little more cramped than ever before, I believe. Still we are in the best hotel & must do our possible to enjoy it. [Note: this was the Grand Hotel Des Iles Britanniques].
June 24 Sunday – The President of the Third French Republic, Sadi Carnot (1837-1894) was stabbed by an Italian anarchist, Sante Geronimo Caserio, and died shortly after midnight, June 25. Ironically, Carnot had just implied in a banquet speech that he would not seek reelection. Sam noted the assassination in his June 25 letter to Rogers, as well as one to an unidentified person, so undoubtedly the news quickly reached La Bourboule where the Clemens family was staying.
June 25 Monday – In La Bourboule-les-Bains, France Sam wrote to Susan Crane:
Sue, dear, this is a hurried line, just to say howdy & tell you the family news — hurried, for it must try to catch the steamer of day after to-morrow, & in France the mails — well, I don’t know what the system is — the shackly arrangement which the French regard as a postal “system” — I only know it is not swift & not certain — I think it travels by jackass & that the jackass is drunk.
Sam related their arrival on Saturday, June 23 after a hot, all-day trip from Paris. He called the place “this little gut in the hills” and explained they were there for the baths and water for Susy. Livy would be rested in about ten days and she would then write her sister. He also wrote about the small quarters (see in June 23 entry) [MTP].
Sam also wrote on Grand Hotel Des Iles Britanniques letterhead to Dr. Good, likely a Paris physician who evidently had given a letter of introduction to a doctor in La Bourboule.
We are located as above, & the quarters are good — everything considered — better than one has a right to expect in a small town like this, remotely situated. We find the scenery beautiful & the air delicious to breathe.
Sam reported that Livy and Susy were resting from the trip but that today they would “send the note of introduction to the doctor & begin business.” Sam ended with “kindest regards” to the doctor and to Miss Good, whom he was “engaged in a flirtation” with [MTP].
Sam also wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett:
Mr. Hall’s letter, written and signed by you, has arrived. I will answer him by & by, but not now. At present I will say some things to you which must be kept private until my time comes. I don’t know who the small creditor is, whom I am protecting by the assignment. I am protecting a large one — Livy — to whom the firm owes twice-&-a-third as much money as it owes the next largest creditor, who is Whitford’s bank [Mt. Morris]. This $71,000 is owed honestly, & two-thirds of it ante-dates the bank debt.
Sam then identified the LAL and its loss at $54,000 as what “destroyed the firm.” He accused Fred Hall of sending two sets of notes for him to sign, each for $15,000, and representing them as the same loan. He also accused Hall of giving him a statement a year before showing debt of $150,000 when the actual amount was $196,000. He also accused Hall of lying about amounts he had drawn from the firm, and manipulating Sam into giving him the $14,000 from Livy’s investments.
O, yes, I have had advisers. Chiefest of them were Webster, Whitford and Hall.
Continue business — with Hall to manage? I reckon not. / Lovingly / Sam [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Henry H. Rogers. Since he’d not seen a cablegram, Sam assumed that the plan to continue Webster & Co. a year was not approved by the Mt. Morris Bank — “confound that stupid concern!” Sam admired Rogers’ “good reserve-stock of patience.”
He judged from Urban H. Broughton’s estimates that the typesetter would be completed in Chicago by the time he returned. Also, he praised their French location for fresh and cool air, and the “table-fare.”
…the rooms are unspeakably small, & the family are doing their best to believe they can survive the month. I am sorry to have to leave them before they get wonted, but I must. One can’t come down in the lift without sending a servant to the main floor & securing a special order from the landlord. Exquisitely European!
Sam had received news of the June 24 assassination of the French President, and remarked “We live in strange times” [MTHHR 66-7].
Sam also wrote a paragraph on the assassination to an unidentified person:
It seems strange to me that the statesmen and lawmakers of the world do not recognize…that new deterrents will have to be invented to meet the emergency. This ought to be easy to do, if, as I believe, the…mania has its origin in a vulgar vanity; for vanity cannot stand humiliation and ridicule. The man who will kill a chief magistrate for glory’s sake will think twice before he will do it for humiliation’s sake. He would not do it with genuine alacrity if he knew he would have to spend the rest of his life on exhibition in the Place de la Concorde clad in the short skirts and pink tights of a ballet girl, with a parasol in his hand and the passers-by privileged to pelt him with over-due eggs. The stocks were a valuable institution; their value lay in the fact that they inflicted humiliation. Something of this sort could be revived with profit, I think. The inflated anarchist seeking a gaudy martyrdom, with pictures of himself in the papers, would hardly apply there, I think [MTP: TS: Caroline Harnsberger, Everyone’s Mark Twain 33-4]
June, after 25th – Sam wrote the essay, “A Scrap of Curious History” in La Bourboule-les-Bains, France after the learning of the assassination of French president Sadi Carnot on June 24. The piece was published Oct. 1914 in Harper’s Magazine. It began:
Marion City, on the Mississippi River, in the State of Missouri — a village; time, 1845. La Bourboule-les-Bains, France — a village; time, the end of June, 1894. I was in the one village in that early time; I am in the other now. These times and places are sufficiently wide apart, yet today I have the strange sense of being thrust back into that Missourian village and of reliving certain stirring days that I lived there so long ago. [Note: may be found in Neider’s The Complete Essays of Mark Twain p.517].
June 26 Tuesday
June 27 Wednesday – Frenchmen were rioting throughout the country, angry over the assassination of President Sadi Carnot on June 24. Sam wrote of a crisis situation at the Grand Hotel in La Bourboule, which had several Italians in their employ.
When we were about to go to bed we heard a good deal of noise about a hundred yards away — shoutings of a great crowd. These continued — burst after burst of shouts — louder & louder — & at last the shouts became furious howlings. We have Italian waiters in the house, & I became uneasy, but I tried to make the family believe it was only a mob of drunken merry-makers. However that assertion soon lost force. The noise approached, & took the form of the Marseilleise. Then stones began to fly. They rattled against our windows, & considerably frightened the family. We put out the lights, & no more stones struck our windows, but a lady in another room went too near her open window & got knocked down by a stone. Then the rioters gathered in front of the hotel & demanded the Italians, proposing to hammer them; but the landlord refused to give them up, & sent them to the upper story for safety. There were but two policemen. These argued with the mob, but were not listened to. Toward mid-night the mob came around under our windows again & began to smash windows on the floor below & there was also a crash of smashing woodwork. It looked serious, then. I was afraid they would fire the house. But they didn’t. They kept everybody up to the small hours with their threats & howlings & cries of “A bas les Italiens!” — then at last they went away saying the Italians must leave next day or the hotel must take the consequences [June 29 to Rogers].
June 28 Thursday – Susy Clemens went to bed with a fever of 102; she’d had some fever before this day. This was Sam’s departure day, but the rioters and Susy’s condition forced a postponement:
I was to leave at 10.30 in the morning to catch the steamer, but I of course decided to remain. I didn’t wake until 9, & then I had no time to consider much. Jean came in & said some soldiers & eleven policemen had arrived from Montluçon & there wouldn’t be any more trouble. So at 10.30 I started in the diligence for Laqueille, the RR station; but on the way I had time to think. It goes without saying that I turned back. The President’s funeral is not until Sunday. There can be no assurance of quiet in France until some days after that. Susy is too sick to travel. We must stay here for the present. / The soldiers & the eleven policemen stayed in the hotel last night [June 28] & there was no demonstration.
Sam telegraphed the American Steamship Line and asked for a postponement on the Paris [June 29 to Rogers].
June 29 Friday – In La Bourboule, France Sam cabled H.H. Rogers: “Unavoidably Detained,” then wrote him a long letter explaining the delay (see June 27 and 28 for events leading up to the cable and letter). He added to the letter on June 30. The soldiers were gone from the hotel and most of the policemen. Sam wrote about walking to the Hotel de Ville and seeing the ringleaders of the riot, “well-dressed, good looking fellows” about to say goodbye to their “well-dressed peasant families.” The men were to walk 32 miles away, “a sort of banishment,” thought to be brought about by prosecution by the hotel landlord. Sam worried that further trouble would brew from resentment of the landlord.
Sam asked Rogers about putting PW “into the hands of some publisher without waiting longer on the creditors,” and suggested Frank Bliss or “some other subscription house.” He cautioned that it would take “pretty brisk work to get it ready for the fall trade, if it is published by ‘the trade’”. A subscription house could begin taking sales by Oct. 1 and issue by Dec. 1. “An excitement out in the square” interrupted the letter, Sam going to see what it was [MTHHR 67-70].
June 30 Saturday – In La Bourboule, France Sam completed the June 29 letter to H.H. Rogers. News had come about the steamer New York having a collision at sea and needing some repairs, and Sam noted it would be unable to sail today. Susy still had the fever in the morning and the only doctor in town said she had no fever, even though Sam took it and found it 102 degrees.
Mrs. Clemens administers medicines of her own, now, & I throw the doctor’s out of the window. His are for constipation; he gives nothing for fever, contending there isn’t any.
There was no more trouble from mobs but he reported rioting “all over France” which he thought would continue until a week after tomorrow’s funeral. He was glad Rogers’ daughter, Mrs. Duff, got home safe [MTP].
July – The North American Review published the essay, “In Defense of Harriet Shelley” in July–Sept.
Henry M. Alden for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam, setting forth a proposed contract for serialization of JA, and the book rights [MTP].
Charles F. Johnson, professor at Trinity College, wrote praising and agreeing with Sam’s article on Harriet Shelley. Johnson mentioned seeing Warner the other day, and Dunham, whom he said “had several brand-new theories with him, all of a … ingenious nature.” Johnson hoped to see Sam and Livy in Hartford soon. [MTP].
July 1 Sunday
July 2 Monday – At the Grand Hotel in La Bourboule, France, Sam wrote a short note of request to Chatto & Windus. He announced he would sail the next Saturday July 7 from Southampton on the Paris. As there was no bank there and no way to use a letter of credit, he asked them to send their royalty cheque directly to Livy. If not possible would they please telegraph the hotel, and Sam would stop in Paris “long enough to fix things at the bank” [MTP].
July 3 Tuesday
July 4 Wednesday – At the Grand Hotel in La Bourboule, France Sam wrote one of his famous aphorisms to Miss Bronson (not identified):
Endeavor to so live that when you come to die even the undertaker will be sorry [MTP].
Sam also wrote a note of thanks to Chatto & Windus, after receiving their telegram. He announced he was sailing from Southampton in the Paris on July 7 by way of Havre. He also asked if they might retrieve a letter he’d left at Brown’s Hotel on Dover Street for Cara Rogers Duff and send it to him at The Players Club in New York [MTP].
Sam also wrote to daughter Clara, who had gone to live in Canton of Uri, Switzerland, in what the family thought was a private house but was actually a hotel. The plan had been for her to spend time with a French family to improve her language skills. From context, Clara left the family prior to the assassination and subsequent rioting in LaBourboule. Sam and Livy still exercised parental control over even their older daughters, who understandably felt liberated when they lived apart from them.
Clara dear, yours was a fluent & delightful letter, & we are all glad you are so happy. Continue to be happy, but beware! for we are a little troubled about your isolated situation. We had not contemplated that shape of the matter, & naturally are disturbed at it. We had thought only of a peasant’s home for you — a private house, not a public hotel. Why, even in America a public hotel would be rather objectionable. Mamma prefers that if you are not perfectly private on that balcony & not under fire of curious eyes, you had better take all your meals in your room. I think you had better take this suggestion as a requirement — & so keep on the safe side & out of range of foreign criticism & remark.
Sam softened his “requirement” by relating Livy’s “perfect sympathy” with Clara’s “joyful spirits…& happy sense of emancipation.” He wrote that Susy was “up & around again, though pale & not blithe.” He had been delayed in La Bourboule due to the riot there and was glad he chose to stay. He would start again the next day (July 5) and sail from Southampton Saturday noon July 7. He asked to be remembered to Mr. & Mrs. Wilson [MTP].
Abel W. Fairbanks, husband to Mary Mason Fairbanks, died in Boston, Mass. [MTLMF 274].
July 5 Thursday – Sam left the family at La Bourboule and traveled to Paris [July 4 to Clara]. He described his trip as “sweltering” in a July 6 to Livy, but he arrived “totally unfatigued.”
July 6 Friday – At 11 a.m. in the Paris office of Morse, the US Consul-General, Sam wrote to Livy:
Well, I’ve been flying around, Livy darling, & now I am through & ready to leave for Southampton. I had myself called at 7.30 & my coffee ordered for 8.15. Meantime I took a grand bain & went back to bed (in our old room, No. 27.) Rose had made the bath horribly hot, as usual. …
I took my coffee, shaved & then walked to the American line office where they sold me a ticket clear through from Paris (1st class) by Havre to Southampton for five dollars — which is better than going by London at a round cost of about $20. There’s a big new Havre vessel with twin screws, & she has big upper-deck state-rooms. She doesn’t belong to the American line, & they have no authority; but they said that if I would find two more people to occupy a cabin for me (it holds 6), they would secure it for us sans extra charge. I have found one man (Morse the Consul) and he has found the other one. So we are well fixed.
Sam also deposited $100 to the Drexel Harjes bank for Livy in her name for Clara. He hadn’t yet received a telegram from her as to the receipt and amount of Chatto & Windus’ check, but advised her she could draw on H.H. Rogers through Mr. Southard of Bedford et Compagnie Co. She needn’t “be afraid” and said Rogers had funds belonging to her. His trip to Paris was “sweltering” but he was not a bit tired. He ended the letter with a few mentions of the cordial portiere, Mr. & Mrs. Bastianello, who ran the hotel; Mrs. Hapgood had gone to Bourges two days before; and seeing Baker at the bank, whose wife was worse [MTP].
July 7 Saturday – At noon in Southampton, England, Sam sailed for New York aboard the S.S. Paris [LLMT 302].
July 8 Sunday – En route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris, Sam would write on July 13 to Livy that he had worked daily but “accomplished nothing; what I have written is not satisfactory & must be thrown away.” Some of his time was not for naught, however:
Part of my work was not lost, for I have revised Joan of Arc & made some good corrections & reductions. Also I have discovered that the introduction is incomplete. I will complete it on shore [LLMT 302].
July 9 Monday – Sam was en route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris and spent time “most pleasantly” writing, including revisions to the Joan of Arc MS.
July 10 Tuesday – Sam was en route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris.
July 11 Wednesday – Sam was en route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris.
July 12 Thursday – Sam was en route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris. In France, Livy wrote Sam a letter of concern (not extant) to which he responded on July 23.
July 13 Friday – En route from Southampton to New York on the S.S. Paris, Sam wrote to Livy:
Livy darling, we shall arrive early to-morrow — Saturday. It has been an astonishing voyage, as regards weather: warm, brilliant, smooth — the sea is a millpond, all the way over.
Sam wrote of his writing efforts on board (see July 8 and 9) and of the 200 first class cabin passengers he called “very pleasant people & considerably above the quality of folks who travel by German ships.” He’d met a Mrs. Hammond who’d met Clara at Sybil Sanderson’s, and whose husband was employed by the British government to oversee all the mining in South Africa. Sam was impressed enough with his salary and benefits, totaling $100,000 a year, to share these with Livy. He’d also seen Mrs. P.T. Barnum who had been an invalid for eight years but was cured in five months by the London doctor Playfair. “She thinks Susy ought to go to him.” He also mentioned the Consul-General; Sam found him “very pleasant company.” Mrs. Horowitz, her daughter and her daughter’s fiancée were on board. Also Mrs. Smith, “the one who met me on the street in Paris” was on board.
Sam wondered if Livy was still in La Bourboule, calling it a “weary and doleful place” for her. He loved her dearly and always would [LLMT 302-3]. Note: Sam would see Mrs. John Hays Hammond again in late May, 1896 in Praetoria, S. Africa during his world tour. He would visit her husband, then in jail for his part in the Jameson raid .
July 14 Saturday – The American Line steamship S.S. Paris arrived in New York. The N.Y. Times of the following day noted the arrival of Mark Twain [July 15, 1894 p.16 “Well-known Passengers from Europe”] Frank D. Hill the U.S. Consul at Montevideo was also listed, but not Consul Morse who Sam named in his July 6 to Livy.
E.K. Chambers wrote a brief review in Academy (London) XLVI p.27 of Tom Sawyer Abroad. The book was not offensive, as was CY, but unfortunately was not very funny: “it is more decent to parody Jules Verne than Sir Thomas Malory, and Mark Twain may therefore be said to have returned in his latest flight of humor to the limits of legitimate burlesque” [Tenney 22].
Rees writes of Sam’s relationships with Charles and Lucius Fairchild, and of the former’s investment in the Paige typesetter. Charles was for a time the Boston neighbor of the Howellses:
“Ultimately Twain’s relationship with Charles was more lasting than that with Lucius. Charles Fairchild was associated with Twain in the Paige typesetting machine debacle, and lost a considerable amount of money to Paige, but not nearly as much as Twain did. In a notebook entry for July 13, 1894, Twain recorded:”
Paige said he never intended to sign the Fairchild contract; he was only playing Fairchild. He meant to scoop some money out of him and he did. That is not his exact expression,…He said he got several thousand dollars out of Fairchild .
July 15 Sunday – The N.Y. Times, July 16, 1894 p.8 in a column dated July 15, which included several misc. articles announced that Sam was Henry H. Rogers’ guest at the Oriental Hotel today. No enlightenment was given with the announcement.
July 16 Monday – In New York Sam wrote on Players Club stationery to Mary Mason Fairbanks in Newton, Mass. He was sorry for her “great loss” of her husband, Abel Fairbanks (1817-1894), who died in Boston on July 4 [MTLMF 274]. After a few comforting words, Sam wrote :
I left Livy making a little progress, but looking ill & thin. It is wonderful, what that frail body of hers can do. But it isn’t the body, it is the spirit back of it, our course — a spirit which hasn’t its match in this world, I think, for fortitude & endurance — grit. Susy’s health is very poor, but we think it is improving. Clara & Jean are thoroughly well.
I am here for a week or two on business, then I return to France & the family [MTP; MTMF 274-5].
July 17 Tuesday – In New York Sam wrote on Players Club stationery to Livy. He’d deposited money, he thought $100, with Drexel Harjes in Paris to cover money that daughter Clara mislaid. The balance of the letter related the Rogers family’s grief over the loss of Abbie Gifford Rogers (Mrs. H.H. Rogers). The tumor they removed was as big as a man’s fist; the young mother had made a few arrangements, writing a cablegram to her daughter Cara Rogers Duff, that the operation had been successful; she’d also paid some bills. She never rallied after the surgery.
Mr. Rogers says his hardest time is when he gets up every morning — for, coming out of sleep he is expecting to see her, & then comes the daily shock & the new realization. Let us be spared this my darling. May we die together. / Saml [LLMT 304].
July 18 Wednesday
July 19 Thursday – H.H. Rogers telegraphed Sam from Washington to ask him to go down to Manhattan Beach with the Rogers family. Sam went down in the afternoon, sleepy and “played out” from the heat that he had to “sit silent” while Cara Rogers Duff and friends talked. After dinner they all went out to watch fireworks.
…and certainly all the fireworks I have ever seen in Europe were trivial & commonplace compared to these. I didn’t know they could do such flaming & gorgeous miracles outside of perdition [July 20 to Livy].
Note: Sam spent evenings for a time at the Oriental with the Rogers family — see July 23 to Robinson.
July 20 Friday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote to Livy, relating the events of the previous day, July 19 (see entry). Plans to go to Fairhaven with the Rogers family had to wait till H.H. Rogers returned from Washington. The weather was reasonably comfortable. He succeeded in reading daughter Clara’s “Sanskrit letter.”
It is a first-rate letter, a felicitous letter, & I am mighty proud of Clara. Proud of grit, too & her energy. Those are great & valuable qualities — & how they do pay the possessor! / It almost makes me cry to think that Susy & Jean are not with her. It is such a pity. Susy could do one hour’s climbing a day for a while; then 2 hours; then three; & inside of 30 days her health would be perfect.
In the margin of the first page Sam wrote that he would send Clara’s letter to Sue Crane, and tell her not to forget to return it [MTP].
In the evening Sam went to the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach to be with the Rogers family, sans Henry [Jan. 23 to Robinson].
Edward “Ned” Bunce wrote to Sam, the letter not extant but mentioned in the July 23 to Livy.
Henry M. Alden for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam
My Dear Clemens,–I have read the manuscript you left with me. From the first it put me under a spell, and held me there to the end. It seems to me a masterpiece in this field of writing. I feel sure of one thing, however, if it is to be published in serial form, the story should be completed [MTP].
July 21 Saturday – In the evening Sam went to the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach to be with the Rogers family, sans Henry, who was still in Washington on business [Jan. 23 to Robinson].
July 22 Sunday – Sam was again at the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach, New York, staying with the Rogers family. On July 23 he wrote Henry C. Robinson that he’d spent the “8 or 9 days that I’ve been in America” at the Oriental in the evenings, and the Players in the daytime. The Oriental had a band but it did not play on Sunday, so Cara Rogers Duff asked Sam if he wouldn’t take the place of the band’s entertainment and give a private reading for about 20 of their personal friends. Sam ran uptown at 4 p.m. to get his manuscript of “Rev. Samuel Jones’s Reception in Heaven,” which LLMT calls “a variant upon the theme which also inspired ‘Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.’” It was never published and marked “forbidden by Mrs. S.L.C.” . Sam returned at 8 p.m. Fatout lists this impromptu little reading and writes about the subject of Sam’s talk:
“Samuel Porter Jones (1847-1906) was an American temperance advocate. A Georgia lawyer who drank too much, he converted to Methodism (1872), and became a famous exhorter of the damnation-and-brimstone variety. He denounced profanity as well as liquor, often so heatedly that his own language became spectacularly profane. See H. L. Mencken, “Hell and Its Outskirts,” New Yorker (October 23, 1948)” [MT Speaking 662].
In his wee-hours letter of July 23 to Livy, Sam recalled the evening:
I read Rev. Sam Jones’s Reception in Heaven, & we had a gay time over it. Then shandy-gaff for the gentlemen & buttermilk & seltzer-lemonades for the ladies; then a literary chat & smoke with the landlord till midnight; then to my room [July 23 to Livy].
July 23 Monday – In New York, Sam wrote Livy two letters — one in the wee hours past midnight from the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach, and the other during the afternoon, ending at 1:15 p.m. at the Players Club.
In the latter, Sam went to great lengths to convince and reassure Livy that he had taken an honorable road in his business assignment and possibly, in putting his assets in her name. He noted her concerns in her July 12letter (not extant) and understood her position, but he pointed out his first concern was to protect her and the children. That being done he meant to “take the fullest possible care of those others,” or the creditors.
They are all acting handsomely — even the bank. Everything is agreed upon except your royalty for Pudd’nhead. I mean to see to it that if they strenuously object to 20 per cent, they shall have the book for less. That detail arranged I am free from legal persecution for one year. In that time I hope to make them perfectly safe, & ourselves also. Mr. Rogers is still detained in Washington. He expects to get back tonight. Then I hope the papers can be signed to-morrow. I think nothing is wanting but his signature. …
Mind you, dearheart, nobody can charge me with dishonorable conduct; I have not been guilty of any; I shall not be guilty of any until I desert my family to take care of those others. Whenever I do that, it will be time for people to call me names; up to that time they can’t call me names. Those creditors forced me to make an assignment — goodness knows I didn’t want to do it. They must stand part of the hardship of their own act. They did me a very great kindness, & I am grateful to them for it & shall try & see that they lose no penny by it.
Sam felt that Livy’s late father, Jervis Langdon, would have done the same. Sam promised never to “do a single dishonorable thing,” and wasn’t going to wrong anyone, but if ever he should, he wouldn’t start with her. As soon as Rogers signed he was going to go to work to sell stock in the Paige Compositor Co. Dr. Clarence C. Rice’s brother was to be his agent. Sam would see him Wednesday morning, July 25. Sam ended the letter announcing that he was going to “rush over now & get a glimpse of Mrs. Rice, who will pass through at 1.15 pm. — which is now” [LLMT 305-7].
Sam also wrote to Edward “Ned” Bunce, the letter not extant but mentioned in his letter to Robinson below.
Sam also wrote to Henry C. Robinson.
I have been answering a letter of Ned Bunce’s that came the 20th, & in it I have told him (& you) what the family are doing over yonder & how they are feeling — so I’ll have that matter, & answer your other questions.
I have been with friends at the Oriental Hotel, Manhattan Beach, nights, the 8 or 9 days that I’ve been in America; & daytimes at the Players & down-town on business. I have a room at the Players.
Sam added he’d be in the country a month longer or possibly half that long and that the family was “dying of homesickness.” If he got the chance he’d come to Hartford to see him [MTP]. Note: The letter shows that both Robinson and Ned Bunce had written, but neither letter is extant. It also shows how he had been dividing his time, giving company to the Rogers family during their period of loss.
July 24 Tuesday – Bainbridge Colby invited Sam to dine at his club in the evening. Present was the senior member of Colby’s law firm, Simon H. Stern (1847-1906), of Stern & Rushmore, as well as two or three other attorneys. Charles E. Rushmore (1857-1931), the other partner, had the distinction of having Mt. Rushmore named after him based on work he did as a young lawyer for mining interests in the Black Hills of South Dakota [NY Times, Oct. 31, 1931 p.17 “C.E. Rushmore Dies”].
We had a good time till 11. I went in evening dress. I didn’t suppose it was necessary — & it wasn’t — but I did it to be on the safe side. And I was. Nobody else was dressed [July 25 to Livy].
Note: This meeting may have been at the Waldorf, for in Sam’s July 25 to Livy he mentioned seeing her brother “for a few minutes at the Waldorf.”
July 25 Wednesday – In the morning Sam talked with Dr. Clarence C. Rice’s brother, and came to the conclusion he wasn’t the man for the job of selling Sam’s stock in the new Paige Compositor Co. Later in the day Sam added in a letter to Livy that “Mr. Rogers doesn’t think much of Rice’s brother” either. Sam opened the letter with:
Dear sweetheart, to-morrow Jean will be 14! My land, how time flies! Give the child my deep strong love — I am bankrupt & haven’t any other present. But we are rich, although we haven’t any money, & by & by we will make up to the children all the lacking presents.
Sam was desperate to sell a big block of stock in the new company to raise cash, but H.H. Rogers now advised to wait till the machine had been at work in the Chicago Herald office for a month, which would make such a sale easier. Sam thought he’d only “try to sell only a few small dabs, now, enough for us to live on, & defer further effort until after the ‘test’”.
Sam had seen Livy’s brother, Charles Langdon a few minutes the night before at the Waldorf.
He had been having one of his periodical surgical operations performed & would not be feeling at his best for a couple of days yet. (Don’t give this away — don’t let him know that I have written this) — he may have told me confidentially. He said that if father had had such surgeons as we have now, he would still be alive. He forgot that cancer of the stomach is not a surgical matter, but I didn’t remind him. Mentally & morally Charley was in happy condition.
Sam had a few more details to attend to regarding Webster & Co., but he felt they were nothing difficult.
I begin to feel the strain letting up — letting up a great deal, in fact. I begin to feel pretty confident that the Webster creditors are safe in our hands & will not lose a penny.
Sam based his feelings on the machine, once again the typesetter was his hope; he thought he’d be able to sail Saturday, Aug. 4 [MTP].
Sam gave a public reading which he’d supposed to have been a private reading, at the Oriental Hotel, Manhattan Beach, New York City. He read his piece, “Playing Courier.”
The other night’s reading at the Oriental Hotel was private, & last night’s [July 25] was to have been private too; but there was a request that it be public & of course I was content. Had a very satisfactory time indeed. (“Playing Courier.”)
Charley [Langdon] & Gen. Magee were down there to dinner, but I only arrived from town just as they were leaving. Charles had notified me by a note to the Players, but I didn’t get it or I would have gone down to the Beach earlier. Both of them were in fine spirits & looking well [July 26, 2nd to Livy]. Note: General George J. Magee (1840-1897), coal and RR magnate.
July 26 Thursday – Jean Clemens’ fourteenth birthday.
In New York at the Players Club Sam wrote to Livy.
I could kick myself for my heedlessness in trying to tell you yesterday when to look for me; for my letter hadn’t been gone half an hour when I remembered that Mr. Rogers & I will almost certainly have to go to Chicago.
The test of the newest Paige typesetter was to be held for a month at the Chicago Herald, and several things needed to be determined — for one, the royalty to be charged per 1,000 ems. Sam related the private-turned-public reading the night before (July 25) at the Oriental Hotel, and of seeing Charles Langdon there with General George J. Magee. He added a PS:
My! But I got lots & lots of nice compliments upon the Shelley article. Even from hardened politicians, like the Secretary of the Navy [MTP].
Note: Hillary Abner Herbert (1834-1919), ex-Confederate, was then Cleveland’s Sec. of the Navy (1893-1897). He’d been a Congressman from Alabama from 1877-1893. Sam’s reason for citing Herbert is not clear.
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton:
It’s Jean’s birth-day — 14 years old, think of that. No children left — I am submerged with women.
I expected to get a chance to run up to Onteora [N.Y.] but it looks now as if I must go to Chicago — in which case the chance is lost, as I return to Europe as soon as I can get away.
Sam also wrote of talking with Fitch’s people about lecturing 25 to 40 nights in England and Scotland in the fall — that he’d left the matter undecided. (This was probably not Thomas Fitch, of Nevada fame.)
Plans? I haven’t any. I don’t make ‘em. It’s Mrs. C. that runs that part of the firm.
Sam sent his affections to Mrs. Hutton and directed that the strength of them not be modified [MTP].
Later, from H.H. Rogers’ office, Sam wrote a second letter to Livy, “extravagantly cheerful”:
Good-morning & I wish you well, my darling! I am very cheerful, & can’t help it; & I hope you & the rest of you are also very cheerful & can’t help it.
I like my lawyers very much. Mr. Stern [Simon H. Stern of Stern & Rushmore] says our case will not be handled as he would handle the case of an ordinary bankrupt, but that my world-wide reputation will be considered all the time, & no move made which can open to any man’s criticism as a departure from the highest standard of honor….
Sam confirmed they would pay 100 cents on the dollar operating in the “wisest and best way” to get it done. Also good news — he’d had an offer for Joan of Arc from Harper’s that was “pretty nearly satisfactory,” and that Rogers leaned toward him accepting, though Sam thought the Century Co. might give more. Sam ended with the fact that he was leaving with the Rogers family for Fairhaven, Mass. [LLMT 307].
July 27 Friday – In his July 29 to Livy, Sam related that he’d gone to Fairhaven with members of the Rogers family on this day, returning the next, July 28.
Your prohibition concerning the sail boat arrived this morning — too late [July 29]. I had a fine brisk voyage with Harry [Rogers], who was dressed from head to heel in coarse white sail-cloth. It is a daisy of a boat, & we had a spanking good time. It is blistering hot here [in N.Y.] but it was cool & pleasant in the country there [July 29 to Livy]. Note: Harry Rogers was nicknamed “Harry the Storage Battery” for his unbounding energy.
July 28 Saturday – In the evening Sam returned from Fairhaven, Mass. to New York.
July 29 Sunday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote to Livy, telling about the Fairhaven trip, sailing with Harry Rogers, H.H.’s teen-age son, and of hiding $25 in change then forgetting where he put it. He’d “ransacked this room thoroughly,” but found “no trace of it.” Sam expected to be delayed in N.Y. by Webster & Co. business but the lawyers estimated they’d be done with him in about ten days.
I expect to run up to Hartford this week for a day or two. Don’t you think we can all come home to America when the Etretat season is finished — at least for a while?
Sam also noted he’d answered Poultney Bigelow immediately, and that Mrs. Lilly wrote to say Mrs. Gay was about to sail and wanted to know where Livy would be about September — he’d answered for her [MTP].
July 30 Monday – To avoid the New York City summer heat, Sam spent part of the evening “in a bath tub full of lovely water” [July 31 to Livy].
The New York Times, July 31, 1894 p.12 “Business Troubles” included this paragraph:
— An extension of thirty days, in which to file inventories and schedules, was granted yesterday [July 30] by Judge Bookstaver of the Court of Common Pleas to Bainbridge Colby, assignee of Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) and Frederick J. Hall, comprising the book-publishing firm of Charles L. Webster & Co.
July 31 Tuesday – In New York City Sam wrote to Livy that he was going to Hartford for a day or two; that the trip to Chicago being delayed, that Urban H. Broughton proposed to come east after Aug. 12 and that H.H. Rogers was “about half worn out with work & the heat & the trouble of his great loss.” It was a delay that could not be helped, he wrote. Plus, Rogers’ secretary, Katharine I. Harrison, was still sick, so that H.H. had to “work double tides & it wears on him like everything.” On the literary front Sam was also marking time:
Livy dear, I am going to run up to Hartford this afternoon for a day or two. …
I went to Harpers this forenoon to decline their offer (Joan), but Alden has gone away on his vacation. They want me to talk with Harry Harper first; he is out of town; I will see him when I return from Hartford. Their offer was $5,000 for this first part of Joan (in case I carried the work no further before next April.) That would be only $75 per 1,000 words. I told them frankly that I thought it a rather slim price; so they urged me to appoint day & place & Harry Harper would come & see me & discuss the matter; but I couldn’t make an appointment, but said I would call on him when I got a chance.
Sam also complained of the heat and hoped Livy was “all comfortable housed & happy on the hillside at Etretat by this time” [MTP].
Sam left for Hartford and a two-day stay with the Whitmores [Aug. 3 to Livy].
Meanwhile, at the Hotel Brighton in Paris, France, Livy wrote to Sam. Livy, Susy and Jean had arrived in Paris this day from Fontainbleau, hating to “leave that lovely spot.” After expressing a wish that Sam might be able to come soon, and suggesting he might leave some of the work there in the hands of George Warner, she wrote her concerns about putting the interests of the creditors ahead of their own. This letter reflects that Livy was anything but a compliant doormat for Sam’s business endeavors:
You say that Mr Rogers wanted to ask the creditors 25 cents [percent royalty] and that you felt that .20 was enough for Puddin’head Wilson. In that case if I were over there I should probably ask them .10 or .15[.] What we want is to have those creditors get all their money out of Webster & Co. and surely we want to aid them all that is possible. Oh my darling we want those debts paid and we want to treat them all not only honestly but we want to help them in every possible way. It is money honestly owed and I cannot quite understand the tone which both you & Mr Rogers seem to take — in fact I cannot understand it at all. You say Mr Rogers has said some caustic and telling things to the creditors. (I do not know what your wording was) I should think it was the creditors place to say caustic things to us.
My darling I cannot have any thing done in my name that I should not approve. I feel we owe those creditors not only the money but our most sincere apologies that we are not able to pay their bills when they fall due. When these bills are all paid, as they of course will be, I do not want the creditors to feel that we have in any way acted sharply or unjustly or ungenerously with them. I want them to realize & know, that we had their own interest at heart, more, much more than we had our own. You know my darling, now is the time for you to add to or mar the good name that you have made. Do not for one moment [let] your sense of our need of money get advantage of your sense of justice & generosity. Dear sweet darling heart! You will not throw this aside thinking that I do not understand will you? You will always consider at every proposition whether it is one that I would approve will you not?
Livy added she was proud of his “Defense of Harriet Shelley” article, and liked Charles Dudley Warner’s The Golden House. She added they would start for Etretat the next day (Aug.1), and offered a poem from the Critic, “Light” by Francis W. Bourdillon, first published in 1878.
August – Part two of Sam’s “In Defense of Harriet Shelley” ran in the North American Review.
Sometime during the month Sam wrote Frank Bliss about a lost letter. He asked Bliss to let Peter (probably an assistant) go to the New York office & get a copy of it for him.
I had it in my hand with my steamer ticket when I came aboard the ship — I am nearly dead-sure of it; but I have hunted everywhere & cannot find it.
In a week the machine will be in the [Chicago] Herald office! Hope it will anyway.
I am not about to seek France, without a courier or other help save providence–& so there’s going to be a lost child. Sincerely yours, S.L. Clemens.
On the other side of the letter Sam wrote:
I put in some solid hours on those APHORISMS before I left, trying to work them into shape to suit me, but it was a failure. I had to give it up, only two or three were satisfactory [MTP] . Note: from the context this letter seems to have been written en route to France.
William Livingstone Alden’s article, “The Book Hunter” ran in Idler magazine VI p.213-24. Tenney writes: “Contains a brief review of PW (pp.222-23) as primarily a novel, containing ‘a carefully painted picture of life in a Mississippi town in the days of slavery,’ although the twins ‘are as little like Italians as they are like Apaches.’ The extracts from ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Almanac’ leave the reader wanting more. Reprinted in Anderson [Frederick, MT, Critical Heritage], pp.182-83” . Note: Alden (1837-1908) was an American writer and diplomat, whose articles often appeared in Harper’s Magazine.
August 1 Wednesday – Sam was in Hartford visiting old friends and staying with the Whitmores (See Aug. 3 to Livy.)
August 2 Thursday – Sam was in Hartford visiting old friends and staying with the Whitmores. He mentioned seeing Susy Warner on this day in his Aug. 3 to daughter Clara. Susy Warner “praised Mrs. Wilson’s character & her abilities as teacher & composer.” Clara was staying with Mrs. Wilson in Canton of Uri, Switzerland, and planned to teach there with her after the family returned to America.
Sam returned to New York in the evening, and described an incident the next day to Franklin G. Whitmore:
Yesterday evening [Aug. 2], ten minutes after we left you we met the City of Richmond above the drawbridge; I was in the pilot house & I saw Ruth waving her hat at people she supposed to be you & her mother, from the hurricane deck abaft the port paddle-box. I wasn’t able to get her attention [MTP].
August 3 Friday – The North American Review published the essay, “In Defense of Harriet Shelley” in July–Sept.
In New York at the Players Club Sam answered a letter (not extant) from daughter Clara.
You dear old Black Spider! how glad I was to get your letter an hour or two ago. I was able to read it, too — which is a marvel.
Bless your dear heart. I am in the most thorough sympathy with your scheme, & proud of you for inventing it. I want you to go right ahead with it. Between us we will lay such a siege to mama that she will be obliged to yield. [Note: Sam had criticized Clara’s handwriting, perhaps likening it to a “black spider” on the page.]
Clara’s plans were to remain with the Wilsons in Switzerland and be a teacher when the family returned to America [Aug. 3 to Livy]. Sam planned to bring the rest of the family home in October and had a “project” to board them at George Warner’s.
Sam also wrote a letter he headed “26 B’way” which was H.H. Rogers’ office.
“But do not come until it is right to do so.”
That sentence gave me a splendid uplift! All days I am tortured by a conscience which howls & tugs & pulls & upbraids & reproaches — an infernal conscience which is twins — the one twin pulling one of my arms & saying “Come — sail!” — the other one tugging at the other arm & saying “Stay where you are & settle your business matters!” And I hardly know which one of these devils causes me the most trouble.
However, I’ve got to stay here a while longer — the assignee told me so an hour ago. He thinks he is getting the Webster affairs into promising shape & getting the creditors into a gentler frame of mind than ever. He wants me to be on hand to applaud concessions (proposed to be made to the creditors by you) & Mr. Rogers will be on hand to see that no unwise ones are granted. I said “I’m your man. Whatever grace the creditors want to ask of Mrs. Clemens I will forward with all my influence.”
Sam confessed he had Clara’s letter before him as yet unopened — he felt guilty for criticizing her “undecipherable handwriting & then found afterwards that I could read it very well.” Before he finished the letter to Livy, he opened and read Clara’s letter, then complimented it as “tip-top letter-writing,” and directed,
She is to be left with the Wilsons & be a teacher while we come home. I have said it. I am Boss.
Sam related news from his two-day stay in Hartford — the Whitmore’s second son making them proud; Tom Perkins a “grand success” and vice-president of a big electrical firm; Jack Bunce his partner. Mrs. Bunce was in poor health and Sam could not see her, but Ned Bunce and the Henry Robinsons sent their love. He missed Twichell by a day but saw Charles Dudley Warner and Susy Warner half an hour before they left town. He’d seen Lilly Warner for fifteen minutes. She related that Mrs. Cabell “was gone to return no more…”; Lilly Foote (their old governess) was “stronger & saner than ever she was in her life before,” and “an eloquent enthusiast upon mind-cure & upon its apostle Miss Davis,” who had a “great practice now.”
Afterwards when Mrs. Whitmore said it would be an immense help to George & Lilly Warner if our family would come over & board & lodge in that house, I asked her to tell Lilly Warner not to dispose of her rooms without first warning you, for I meant to bring the family home in October if your doctor would spare you a while.
And that is what I want to do. It seems plain that I can’t sell stock now without great difficulty — & so I must not try; it would be bad policy. …
I wasn’t able to write to you from Hartford, dear, but I am making up, now. And maybe I am making up for to-morrow & next day, too, for now I am going to shut myself up naked by my bath-tub at the Players & write an article for Gilder for the October Century [MTP].
Sam also wrote a letter of thanks to Franklin G. Whitmore for his hospitality during Sam’s stay in Hartford. He’d had “a most lovely time” at the Whitmore home and was grateful. He added that Livy thought the Harper’s Monthly subscription had run out and she wanted it continued.
It’s blazing hot, but I am going to shut myself in my room for a couple of days & try to write an article for the October Century. / Love to all of you; & to Robinsons & Bunce.
Sam then went to J. Henry Harper’s residence to retrieve his Joan of Arc MS. He found Harry Harper there and left a calling card to J. Henry before leaving with Harry to their home on the Long Island shore.
NAME Mark Twain (born Clemens)
RESIDENCE Hartford, Conn.
ARRIVED Aug. 3, 1894.
LEFT Aug. 5
GOING TO take a drink.
EVENTS · ADVENTURES · REMARKS
It is human beings that make climate. — (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar) [MTP].
Sam stayed at the Harper’s home for two days, and wrote of it on Aug. 5 to Livy:
It is a charming family, & I am to let them know when you come, so that they can know you. They are very fond of the Huttons. They have several children; among them a daughter 18 or 20 years old & a son about to enter Harvard. I have work to do or I would have staid a day or two longer [MTP: Aug. 5 to Livy].
August 4 Saturday – Sam stayed with the Harry Harper family on the Long Island shore.
Harry Harper is open & honest & frank; & was not afraid to tell me (after I said I couldn’t quite afford to let the book [JA] go at the terms offered,) that he was charmed with the book & that Alden would be deeply disappointed if it was allowed to slip out of his hands.
I said if the terms were plenty liberal enough if we succeeded in keeping the authorship secret; but that if the secret got out & my name had to go to it, I thought 25 or 30 per cent ought to be added to the price (Puddn’head Wilson terms.) So we settled on that, without any trouble. He wants me to write some articles [MTP: Aug. 5 to Livy].
August 5 Sunday – A few minutes after returning from Long Island, Sam wrote to Livy about going after his JA MS on Friday afternoon and leaving with Harry Harper for a two-day visit. No letter from her awaited him. Sam explained that he needed to be accessible to H.H. Rogers, for Urban H. Broughton was expected this night and he hoped to get through with the business of settling on a typesetter royalty per thousand ems and other decisions in time for him to sail on Aug. 11.
August 6 Monday – Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam agreeing to amend the contract for JA with the increased royalty from the time they used his real name as author [MTP].
August 7 Tuesday – In New York on Players Club stationery, Sam wrote a paragraph to his brother Orion in Keokuk, Iowa, asking his forgiveness for losing his temper.
…I was infernally provoked to reflect that I had written 200 letters trying to settle that picayune trade & then hadn’t accomplished it.
Sam couldn’t write “for low pay,” not with “family expenses $1,700 for a month, scrimp & economise as we may” [MTP]. Note: the “picayune trade” may have been an attempt to sell a small amount of stock in the new Paige Compositor Co., to a contact of Orion’s.
Sam also wrote a note of thanks to Henry Gilsey (1845-1908), son of Peter Gilsey, founder of the Gilsey House in New York, and Players Club member. Gilsey’s gift of a billiard cue was appreciated:
I am very proud of that cue, & very fond of you for giving it to me. I did not know you had done it, till three or four days ago; & since then I have been looking out for you to thank you…[MTP].
August 8 Wednesday – In New York at the Players Club, Sam wrote a letter to daughter Susy in Etretat, France. This morning he’d gone to see a palmreader, a young man, 26-years-old, named Cheiro (1866-1936), one of the most colorful and famous occult figures of his day. He was a clairvoyant who used palmistry, astrology, and Chaldean numerology, to predict world events, some of which were frighteningly accurate. His real name was William John Warner; he also used the name Count Louis Hamon (or Count Leigh de Hamong), and claimed noble ancestry, which may have been false. He was Irish, as is the blarney stone. The name Cheiro comes from the word cheiromancy, meaning palmistry. Cheiro read the palms of many celebrities.
He examined my hand, took a print of it for his book, then told me some things about my character — a few of them I will try to remember for you. He said he would do some of my history, next time, if I liked, but that the history of a known man counted for little — anybody could build it.
Sam listed nine things the palm-reader said about his character, Sam mostly in agreement. He enclosed a print of a girl’s hand and a baby’s hand, 24 hours after birth. Sam noted that every line in the baby’s hand was already there. He expressed no skepticism about palm-reading [MTP]. See also Sam’s to Livy Aug. 9 for more about Cheiro.
Note: Cheiro kept a visitor’s book for his customers to write their observations in. Sam wrote in Cheiro’s visitor’s book:
Cheiro has exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy. I ought not to confess this accuracy, still I am moved to do so. – Mark Twain [http://www.free-numerology.org/cheiro.php].
Sam was again spending his evenings, at the urgings of H.H. Rogers, at the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach with members of the Rogers family. He wrote of this evening on Aug. 9 to Livy:
Yesterday evening [Aug. 8] Mrs. Duff [Cara Rogers Duff] had another of those attacks & had to leave the table. Her sister [May Rogers] sat up all night with her & was considerably alarmed. She keeps her bed to-day [MTP: Aug. 9 to Livy].
August 9 Thursday – In New York at H.H. Rogers’ office, Sam wrote to Livy an hour before a scheduled meeting with the lawyers and the assignee in the Webster & Co. bankruptcy case.
My, how it drags, drags, drags, & won’t resolve itself! Mr. R. says that if the creditors & the assignee can’t come to an agreement this time we must talk to them in plain terms. I am heartily willing, & ready. We have tried our level best to meet all hands half way & more than half way; & now we are tired.
Sam had been “grinding away at those old Cooper articles” (“Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses”) as he was “far satisfied with them.” He’d cut them down to a single article, about five magazine pages instead of thirteen and felt it was ready for publication. He’d also “worked up the refuse matter” he’d “dug out from Puddnhead, & put it together in a way which greatly pleased the Century & they very much want it.” The Century Co. offered $1,500 and he was considering and would answer them the next day. His best news was about sailing:
Mr. Rogers thinks I can sail Wednesday, Aug. 22, & I am counting the minutes! I think he thinks I am lonely in New York; makes me go down to Manhattan Beach every night. He is as good as a mother to me.
Sam would actually sail a week earlier, on Aug. 15. He added more about Cheiro, the clairvoyant:
I want to test Cheiro on some one who is a stranger to him. Mr. Rogers is going to try him. I like to hear the cuss talk. He is gone away for a few days; then we will visit him. He says an abnormally long forefinger indicates ability to command. Consider the variety of hands! I notice them in the cars, & they do differ extraordinarily. Mr. Rogers’s forefinger & middle finger are exactly the same length, & his little finger is very short. If I had hands like some in Cheiro’s collection I wouldn’t take them out of my pockets they are so manifestly brutal [MTP]. See Aug. 8 to Susy.
Sam also declined an invitation to lecture from an unidentified man. In any case he’d have to talk to James B. Pond first, “for that is an old understanding” [MTP].
August 10 Friday
August 11 Saturday – Sam wrote a letter of recommendation for Mrs. Mary B. Willard to G.W. Knowlton, of Knowlton Brothers, Watertown, N.Y., who considered sending a “young lady,” perhaps a daughter or relative, to Willard’s school for American girls in Berlin, Germany, where Clara Clemens had studied. Sam provided Willard’s address.
She will be well cared for, well taught, & will have the comradeship of excellent girls of her own nationality [MTP].
August 12 Sunday
August 13 Monday
August 14 Tuesday
August 15 Wednesday – Sam sailed for Southampton, England on the Paris [N.Y. Times, Aug. 15, 1894 p.7 “Departures for Europe”]. The New York newspapers reported on Sam’s departure, including the Times and the Sun. The Times, not always the friendliest paper to Mark Twain, included the story within one about Mayor Thomas F. Gilroy sailing for Europe. Comparing adjectives and treatment of the two articles reveals a subtle but definite contrast.
His party [the Mayor’s] was followed over the gangplank by a solemn-visaged, grizzly-mustached individual, who is known to his fellow-passengers as Samuel L. Clemens, and to a wider circle as Mark Twain. A deckhand stationed at the gangplank eyed Mark with suspicion, and, blocking the way, demanded to know if he was a passenger. The innocent who was going abroad looked dismally at his questioner and said he didn’t know. Then he carefully deposited a pictorial carpetbag on the gangplank and drew forth a passenger list, which he consulted with much deliberation. He found his name inscribed thereon, and announced with an air of triumph that he was a passenger. Then he gathered up his belongings and resumed his funereal march, while the astonished deckhand made anxious inquiries as to who the melancholy person was [NY Times, Aug. 16, 1894 p.9 “Mayor Gilroy Sails For Europe”].
MARK TWAIN AND THE DECKHAND
A Little Dialogue on the Gangplank —
(New York Sun)
Probably the most inconspicuous passenger on the American line steamship Paris, which sailed yesterday morning for Southampton, was a languid man with fluffy gray hair, who looked as if he had made a mistake in taking passage in the cabin. He carried an old umbrella in one hand and a crush hat done up in a newspaper in the other. A few persons recognized him as Samuel L. Clemens. He apparently was traveling as Mark Twain, professional humorist. He was somewhat late; in fact, if he had been a few minutes later, he might have had to walk to Europe or take the next steamship. Somebody suggested to him that the Paris was ready to sail. He answered with his familiar drawl:
“Well, if the boat’s ready to go I guess I am. I am going over to see my wife and family at Etretat, where they are supporting a couple of doctors. You see, over there when a doctor gets hold of a good patient he keeps him. They generally take you to a small place and keep you there. They pass you along to a friend in another place, and they keep you moving like the Wandering Jew. My wife has been doing this for three years.
“I don’t dare to have even a headache after I land on the other side. But I guess I’ll bring her back when I come in October.
“This is my tenth voyage in the past three years. I’m getting real fond of sailing now. After the first five or six days I rather enjoy the trip.” [Sam was playing with the reporter here as the trip seldom took longer at this time than five or six days — the Times article pointed out the jest, though it did not include all of Sam’s remarks; the Sun did not point out the jest but included more of his remarks.] [Reprinted in the Hartford Courant Aug. 17, 1894 p.3; see also Scharnhorst 144].
Note: Also on board was Joseph R. Hawley, or General Hawley, a man Sam greatly respected. Undoubtedly they spent time together on the voyage. Sam found a “noble supply of books” in his stateroom, compliments of J. Henry Harper [Sept. 11 to Harper].
August 16 Thursday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. An article published Sept. 9, 1894, p.5 and datelined August 22, described the voyage and the weather:
On one day only rain interfered with deck amusements and promenading, a dense fog enshrouded us off the banks and at subsequent short periods further eastward. …Aside from this disagreeable feature, we have had an exceptionally smooth voyage, the glassy surface of the ocean disturbed alone by swells from our huge steamship.
Cloudless skies have favored us, on some days followed by sunsets of remarkable brilliancy and moonlight nights. During the day sportive porpoises and stray sharks attracted attention, ships distinguished in the distance producing unusual interest.
Note: the first day at sea the Paris made 402 miles from Sandy Hook, N.J. (to midnight). The ship carried a total of 1,293 passengers [Ibid.]
August 17 Friday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. The second day at sea the Paris made 423 miles distance [Ibid.]
August 18 Saturday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. The third day at sea the Paris made 429 miles distance [Ibid.]
August 19 Sunday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. The fourth day at sea the Paris made 430 miles distance. In the evening, Rev. A.J.F. Behrends gave a brief sermon in the grand saloon [Ibid.]. Sam may have attended.
August 20 Monday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. The fifth day at sea the Paris made 455 miles distance [Ibid.]. The Brooklyn Eagle article (Sept. 9, 1894 p.5 “A Mid-Ocean Letter”) wrote up a charity concert event that included a reading by Sam:
Last Monday [Aug. 20] night a concert was held for the benefit of the Seaman’s Orphanage, Southampton, and the Blue Anchor society, Staten Island. It is only a few years ago that the entire receipts from similar entertainments were devoted entirely to foreign charities and this custom is still observed on some of the Atlantic liners. Inasmuch as fully three-fourths of steamer travelers are Americans it is no more than just that the seamen of charity organizations of our own country should require at least an equal share of the contributions….Thomas F. Gilroy, the mayor of New York, was called upon to introduce General J. R. Hawley as chairman, alluding to him as one who had served his country with distinction and honor, both on the field and in the senate. Miss Cecilia Crotty of Brooklyn opened the concert with a piano solo, Mr. S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain), following in two humorous readings, “The German Lesson” and “The Fish Woman….The sum realized from the concert amounted to $150.”
August 21 Tuesday – Sam was en route aboard the American Line S.S. Paris for Southampton. The sixth day at sea the Paris made 447 miles distance [Ibid.]
…an entertainment was given in the second cabin, consisting of songs, recitations, an illusion act and minstrel performance, realizing about $25 for the benefit of a steward, who met with an accident on Sunday last [Aug. 19]. Eighty dollars in addition was raised for him among the first cabin passengers [Ibid.]
Note: the article does not specify Sam as being present for this performance, but given his love for minstrel shows, it is likely he took it in.
August 22 Wednesday – At 4 p.m., the S.S. Paris docked at Southampton. The seventh day at sea the Paris made 441 miles distance, within 67 miles to Southampton [Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 9, 1894 p.5 “A Mid-Ocean Letter”].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter not extant, but mentioned in Sam’s Sept. 2 to Rogers.
August 23 Thursday † – Sam reached Etretat, France on the Normandy coast by this day, reuniting with his family [Sept. 2-3 to Rogers].
Mrs. James French-King’s article, “Character Reading of Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain),” ran in Freedom, a weekly Boston paper, p.3. This was a journal devoted to “Mental Science” [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1980) 172].
August 24 Friday – Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam (the letter is not extant but is mentioned in Sam’s Sept. 9 to Rogers) that they’d sent a typed copy of JA, express paid. Sam still had not received the MS itself by Sept. 9.
Rogers signed a contract for Livy with Frank Bliss for the publication of PW by the American Publishing Co. [MTHHR 71-2].
August 25 Saturday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers:
I find the Madam ever so much better in health and strength; but disappointed, for she hoped you and Mrs. Duff would come and let her take care of you as she proposed; but I told her I didn’t get the letter, which was true. But I don’t see how she would take care of anybody in this little Chalet des Abris, which is such an incredibly small coop that the family can’t find room to sleep without hanging their legs out of the windows.
Still, Sam thought the air “superb and soothing and wholesome,” and welcomed the remoteness as “just the place to write in.” He asked if Rogers could “assign to yourself the privileges and powers of proxy for Mrs. Clemens by virtue of your power of attorney?” Sam didn’t want Livy to have to make a “fatiguing journey” to Havre to find a US consul if they were to initiate the proxy there.
He was not yet aware that Rogers had signed a contract for Livy on Aug. 24 with Frank Bliss for the publication of PW by the American Publishing Co. [MTHHR 71-2].
Sam also worked on a magazine article on Aug. 25 and 26, which he did not finish. On Sept. 2 he wrote to Rogers that “It must be re-written on a different plan & from a different stand-point some day by & by.” The article is not identified [Sept. 2 to Rogers].
August 26 Sunday – In Etretat, France Sam worked this day and the next on an unspecified magazine article, which he did not finish.
August 27 Monday – Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam about delays in receiving a duplicate set of illustrations to use in PW [MTP].
August 28 Tuesday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, concerned about the mix-up in the publication date for PW. Publication had to be coordinated between England and the US to ensure copyright.
Oh, my God, this is a state of things! Mr. Hall, & the Assignee [Bainbridge Colby] & everybody else knew, away back yonder the last of April, & you ought of course to have been told that at the time.
In America they can’t issue before the middle of OCTOBER. I knew that when I sailed from there two weeks ago.
I am writing to the assignee of CLW & Co. to hurry up those illustrations & sent them to you.
Sam added that when he last left the US a contract was being prepared for PW with the American Publishing Co. (it was signed on Aug. 24); it was to be sold by subscription, which would delay the publication until mid-October or early November. Sam wished that Chatto had written directly to the Assignee (Colby) instead of “the lazy lousy firm of CL Webster,” and so provided Bainbridge Colby’s address at the firm of Stern & Rushmore, 40 Wall St. NYC [MTP].
August 29 Wednesday
August 30 Thursday
August 31 Friday
September – The North American Review published the final segment of Sam’s essay, “In Defense of Harriet Shelley” (July–Sept.).
Sometime during the month in Etretat, France, Sam wrote to Joseph E. Hinds and/or Samuel Sothey Hinds (1875-1948), probably brothers, born in Brooklyn. Joseph was vice president of U.S. Printing Co. in Brooklyn. Samuel became a millionaire lawyer who went broke in the Wall Street crash of 1929, then turned to playing bit parts in movies, and ultimately acted in 214 films, including It’s a Wonderful Life. In films he played the distinguished man of wealth he’d been before the crash. Evidently, one or both of the brothers had solicited a word of wisdom from Sam:
Friend Hinds —
If I may, I will suggest this sentiment from the philosophy of Pudd’nhead Wilson:
Let us endeavor to so live, that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry [MTP; MTPO].
September 1 Saturday – At the Chalet des Abris in Etretat, France, Sam wrote to Charles W. Dayton, New York Postmaster about a notification of a registered letter sent from Austria.
I am all in a tremor & a sweat to get that registered letter from Austria, for I feel almost certain it is the Emperor resigning in my favor. Do shove it right along…[MTP].
Sam also wrote a humorous response marked “private” to a Mr. Morse (not further identified, but may be Morse, the US Consul-General) who evidently requested a letter of recommendation for a certain preacher’s brother.
I fly to you! Regardez the enclosed letter, & work into your understanding these details, to wit:
1. I know the writer but slightly;
2. I don’t know his brother at all;
3. I didn’t know he had a brother;
4. Am dam sorry he’s got a brother;
5. I don’t know our Consul at Havre;
6. I don’t know the Compagnie transatlantique personally.
Do you comprehend, now, that I am in an embarrassing situation? My daughter Clara knows the writer of the letter (Rev. Monsieur de Coppet, Protestant minister) first-rate — boarded & lodged in his family many months, & would vouch for him, but she doesn’t know his brother — hence this very richly complicated embarrassment.
Now then, it is but a little thing that is asked — let us tackle it.
My idea is this: I know you, you know the Consul, nobody knows anybody else, nor needs to. I vouch to you through Clara Clemens four our reverend father Dr. de Coppet; you vouch to the Consul through Clara Clemens & me for our reverend father Dr. de Coppet; the Consul vouches through you & Clara Clemens & me to the Compagnie Transatlantique for our reverend father Dr. de Coppet — & our reverend father vouches for his brother all by himself to the said Company.
How does that strike you? Isn’t that neat? Isn’t it diplomatic? Isn’t it a daisy? By this system a person could recommend Satan & get out without responsibility [MTP]
Joe Twichell, now in Venice, wrote a five-page letter to Sam.
Your glowing letter concerning Dr. Killgren, with its following P.S. overtook us last week at the Hague. They shall be private, as you direct, except in the case of Judy and her sick husband (whom we understand you to except.) … / I have had many thoughts of you lately….on our way from Amsterdam to Milan by the St. Gothard Tunnel route, passing through the Swiss magnificences below Lucerne, I seemed ever and anon to see you and me winging along those glorious Alpine roads, staring at the new unfoldings of splendor that every town brought into view — talking, talking, endlessly talking the days through,–days forever memorable to me. That was twenty one years ago! Think of it! We were youngsters, then, Mark; and how keen our relish of everything was! …
We shall bide here till the middle of next week, then maybe hark back to Switzerland and hang around there till it is time to go to England to take ship on the 23rd inst. Perhaps though we shall quit the continent a few — very few days earlier in order to pay a visit — as we have been urgently invited to do — to the Hawleys at Mrs. H’s ancestral place in Essex. We have, of course, since your letter gave the date of your return to London, quite given up the thought of seeing you; and count ourselves fortunate that we had that little sight of Clara [MTP].
September 2 Sunday – In Etretat, France (“In bed — noon”) Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he finished Sept. 3.
The facts are distorted in that “Sun” squib. (When you see it in the Sun it ain’t so.) [See Aug. 15 for Sun article, which is possibly the one Sam referred to.]
Here it’s more than 2 weeks & [Bainbridge] Colby hasn’t told me yet how he came out with Bliss. I shall cable him tomorrow evening. B’gosh he builds a fire under me & then says “Don’t worry.” I’ve got to worry. There isn’t a moment to be lost (on Puddnhead), but weeks are being lost.
You write on the 22d, which shows that you have signed no contracts with Bliss, I judge, or you would mention it.
Puddnhead had some value; but if no contract is signed for it before Sept 15 it won’t be worth as much as a last year’s almanac [MTHHR 72-3]. See Sept. 3 for the rest of the letter.
September 3 Monday – Sam finished his Sept. 2 letter to H.H. Rogers.
Monday morning, Joan. I hadn’t any trouble there. That is a book which writes itself, a tale which tells itself; I merely have to hold the pen.
Sam had written ten or eleven thousand more words for six days of work so far in Etretat, and planned it as a two-volume work:
I would like to finish Book II before we leave for Paris a month hence; but I can’t tell. The artist has been here to discuss illustrations. His views and sympathies are right.
Sam conveyed that Livy’s health was “so very very much improved” that she planned on house-keeping in Paris “for economy’s sake.” He ended with regards for Rogers’ daughter, Cara Rogers Duff and “the Sand-Blast” another nickname for Rogers’ young son, Harry Rogers [MTHHR 72-3 & notes]. Note: Frank Vincent Du Mond did the illustrations for JA.
September 4 Tuesday – In Etretat, France Sam added 1,500 words to his JA manuscript [Sept. 9 to Rogers].
September 5 Wednesday – In Etretat, France Sam added another 4,500 words to his JA manuscript, for an aggregate of 6,000 words for the two days [Sept. 9 to Rogers].
September 6 Thursday – In Etretat, France, Sam felt burned out after his two-day output for JA. He wrote on Sept. 9 to Rogers, “My head hasn’t been worth a cent since.”
September 7 Friday
September 8 Saturday
September 9 Sunday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers that he’d overdone it.
I drove the quill too hard, and I broke down — in my head. It has now been three days since I laid up. …However, there’s compensation; for in those two days [Sept. 4 and 5] I reached and passed — successfully — a point which I was solicitous about before I ever began the book: viz., the battle of Patay. Because that would naturally be the next to the last chapter of a work consisting of either two books or one. …
I shall resume work to-day; and hereafter I will not go at such an intemperate rate. My head is pretty cob-webby yet.
Sam wrote that Livy had made up her mind to take an apartment in Paris and keep house for the winter. “It will be economy, and we shall have a home.” He also hoped that he should hear soon about the typesetter beginning its test at the Chicago Herald, and wished he could be there. He also told of being so “uneasy” about PW being published that he’d cabled Bainbridge Colby, and was now satisfied to wait and see how Frank Bliss would succeed. Sam cussed the French postal system after failing to receive a typed MS of the first segment of JA from Harpers and Brothers, which had been sent express paid on Aug. 24 [MTHHR 73-4]. Note: the MS arrived on Sept. 11.
September 10 Monday
September 11 Tuesday – In Etretat, France Sam began a letter to J. Henry Harper which he finished Sept. 12.
The MS [JA] arrived to-day [See Sept. 9 to Rogers], & I am sending word to Mr. Du Mond.
Will you make an order in writing & attach it to my MS., & sign it & back it with your whole authority, requiring the compositor & proof-reader to follow my copy EXACTLY, in every minute detail of punctuation, grammar, construction and (in the case of proper names) spelling). Please do it. I have revised that MS fully five times, & no proofreader is competent to teach me, after one look, how a thing ought to be which I have weighed & studied & examined five times.
I am thus urgent because I know that the Century proof-reader is insane on the subject of his duties, & it makes me afraid of all the guild.
Sam was glad to have the MS because he’d written a 1,200 word segment, which included a three-stanza song, that he wanted to put in one of the early chapters, and now didn’t have to guess where it might go. He also thanked Harper for the books he’d put in his stateroom on the voyage over [MTP].
September 12 Wednesday – In Etretat, France Sam finished his Sept. 11 to J. Henry Harper. He wrote but a few lines about inserts to the MS and of missing later segments that he suggested the French custom house might have taken:
…still, they wouldn’t want literature that isn’t indecent, would they? [MTP].
Bainbridge Colby, the assignee of Webster & Co., cabled Sam:
Important you see Chatto personally at once arrange postponement of publication until his date with Bliss. Note: this relates to PW being published by his former publisher, Frank Bliss, of the American Publishing Co. [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Bainbridge Colby “& intimated that any serious delay in fixing a date-for-issue…could much inconvenience” his English publisher, Chatto & Windus, and make the US publication “nearly worthless” should Chatto publish first (letter not extant but contents discussed in Sept. 12 to Chatto & Windus).
Sam then wrote to Chatto & Windus, his English publisher, with news that a deal had been struck with Bliss for PW and that he’d warned Colby that a delay would hurt Chatto.
Won’t you put yourself in communication with Colby or Bliss & get things straightened out?
My impression has been that Bliss wanted to publish on some date between Oct. 15 & Nov. 15 [MTP].
September 13 Thursday
September 14 Friday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote to his old friend William Dean Howells upon learning of the Aug. 28 death of Howells’ father, William Cooper Howells (1807-1894).
I have heard of your bereavement, & am aware through talks with John [Mead Howells] how heavy a stroke it was for you. It was a happy thing you went home; you would have reproached yourself else. Sympathy is for the living; & sincerely you have mine. Envy is for the dead [MTP].
Sam also sent a letter of his thoughts and progress to H.H. Rogers. After asking about Rogers’ struggle to prevent another company from providing gas service to Brooklyn, a Standard Oil territory, Sam remarked on an offer made by George Barrow of Skaneateles, N.Y. (a Webster & Co. creditor owed $15,420), to buy some of the assets of Webster & Co. for $9,000 — “Mr. Hall’s poor old literary ash-pile” was worth more than Sam thought believable. He also was concerned about Livy’s stock and commission due Rogers of some 750 shares. He then addressed the upcoming Chicago Herald test for the newly constructed Paige typesetter. James Wilmot Scott (1849-1895), founder and publisher of the Herald, planned to issue a supplement for the paper printed entirely by the machine.
Necessarily you are right about postponing Scott’s “Supplement” till the end of the test. But I am hoping that the test will go through to your satisfaction, so that Scott can whack out his supplement then and with a full head of steam. We have always kept the machine out of print before, but that was because it wasn’t ready for business, and therefore no use to waste a fragrance that could come good another time. …
Yesterday I found a letter which I wrote you and mislaid, I don’t know when — all ready for the mail. To-day I find some more letters — 2 — for people on the other side — I don’t know when I wrote them. I wish I had a nurse — any kind, wet or dry. Understand, I’m not alarmed; I have not lost my mind, but only my sense. And I don’t really care for that; it was never around when I wanted it.
I am shoving my work along — not swiftly, but persistently, steadily, surely; and not losing a day that can be saved. I have now written 224 pages, which is say, 25,000 words [MTHHR 74-5].
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam: Upon receipt of your letter we cabled to Mr. Bainbridge Colby…the following: “Will not publish Puddnhead until you give date, cable when expect illustrations.” We therefore shall hold our edition back until we both can simultane, as a matter of fact we are still waiting the arrival of the illustrations, but we can issue without them if necessary” [MTP].
September 15 Saturday
September 16 Sunday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote a note to Bainbridge Colby authorizing H.H. Rogers to endorse checks for the first $500 from American Publishing Co. to Colby’s law firm of Stern & Rushmore [MTP].
Sam then wrote H.H. Rogers referring to the note sent Colby and if it wouldn’t do he would have Livy repeat the note. Sam also wrote of his writing woes:
…I feel pretty dull & heavy these last few days: wrote only 500 words yesterday — 100 to be torn up; & failed to turn out a full crop the day before, I believe — that is, I had to tear up 800 words of it. But these things are of no consequence — just so the book is done right it is small matter how long it takes. And it is pretty sure to be done at my level best; for the Madam & Susy are prompt & frank about squelching inferiorities. They would not hesitate to tell you you are right in “expecting great things” from the work I am now doing. They may be proud of it myself.
Sam thought the family would be housekeeping in Paris by mid-October and hoped that Rogers and family might be able to “run over” [MTHHR 76].
September 17 Monday
September 18 Tuesday – The formal filings were made of assets and liabilities of the Charles L. Webster & Co. See Sept. 19 Times article.
September 19 Wednesday – The New York Times reported on the “Business Troubles” of Webster & Co., p.11.
— The schedules of Charles L. Webster & Co., book publishers at 67 Fifth Avenue, in which firm Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) and Frederick J. Hall are the partners, were filed yesterday [Sept. 18]. They show liabilities of $94,191, nominal assets of $122,657, actual assets of $69,164, less $15,000 hypothecated to the United States National Bank, and net actual assets of $54,164. There are more than 200 creditors scattered all over the United States. Among the creditors are: Mount Morris Bank, $29,500; United States National Bank, $15,000; George Barrow, Skaneateles, N.Y., $15,420; S.D. Warren & Co., Boston, $6,332; Jenkins & McCowan, $5,363; Thomas Russell & Son, $4,623. There is due for royalties: Estate of U.S. Grant, $2,216; Col. F.D. Grant $727; estate of Gen. P.H. Sheridan, St. Paul, Minn., $374; Mrs. E.B. Custer, London $1,825.
September 20 Thursday
September 21 Friday
September 22 Saturday
September 23 Sunday
September 24 Monday – At midnight in Etretat, France Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. He’d made slow progress on JA over the past 27 days, though he’d lost about ten days “through head-fatigue and consequent incapacity.” He was nearing the end of Book II, and contemplated Book III, the last, would be difficult requiring a lot of time and painstaking work.
There isn’t anything to write, but to-morrow is mail-day, & I have been to bed & can’t get sleepy because I am all nerves & over-wrought & spiritually raw to the touch. And when it is mail-day & there isn’t anything to write, one would best get up & have a smoke & write it. It is thundering & lightening & raining, & it irritates me; & when it stops, that irritates me; & there is a clock downstairs which splits one’s ears when it strikes, & it takes four minutes to strike twelve, & then it rumbles its bowels & starts in & strikes it all over again — the most maddening devil of a clock that was ever devised. I would God I could afford it, I would build a fire in it. I have damaged my intellect trying to imagine why a man should want to invent a repeating clock, & how another man could be found to lust after it & buy it. The man who can guess these riddles is far on the way to guess why the human race was invented — which is another riddle which tires me.
After all that, Sam admitted that the place in Etretat was “a kind of paradise…beautiful, and still, & infinitely restful” [MTHHR 77-8].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter now lost, but referred to in Sam’s Oct. 7 to Rogers.
September 25 Tuesday
September 26 Wednesday – Sam was working on his JA manuscript and wrote H.H. Rogers on Sept. 30 that he’d reached a point in the work on Sept. 26 that he’d been anxious about and “struggled for.”
Lloyd S. Bryce editor of the North American Review, wrote to Sam, the letter is not extant, but is mentioned in Oct. 13 to Bryce. Note: Bryce was US Representative from New York (1887-1889). He was called “General” after becoming the Paymaster General of N.Y. in 1886. He never served in the military. Bryce was a close friend of Allen Thorndike Rice, prior editor of the North American Review. Rice left the magazine to Bryce in his will; Bryce was owner and editor from (1889-1896) See Oct. 13 entry for Sam’s reply.
September 27 Thursday
September 28 Friday
September 29 Saturday – An agreement of this date gave Frank Mayo sole rights to dramatize PW in the U.S., England and Canada. Sam was guaranteed 20% of the net profits [MTHHR 139n2]. Note: The play would open in Hartford on Apr. 8, 1895.
September 30 Sunday – In Etretat, France Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
As your letter hasn’t come, I judge that there wasn’t any news in the locker. There isn’t any at this end, either. Four days ago I got to the point I was struggling for and anxious about, and now that bridge is behind me and all right. It foots up 40,000 words since I arrived. Since then we have had visitors — relatives. I got through exactly in time for them. In front of me now is a long course of study and not much production — on the book.
Sam added that Livy was busy packing trunks for the move to Paris, and he was translating Paul Bourget’s “Outre Mer” articles which he wished “to abuse in a magazine.” Sam thought they would leave for Paris the next day, then corrected himself to Monday, which, either humorously or strangely was the next day. Note: the relatives are not specified but may have been Langdon relatives. Sam’s article, “What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us,” would be published in the North American Review, Jan. 1895. It was based on Borget’s articles which ran in the N.Y. Herald and in Le Figaro, the latter beginning on Sept. 26, 1894. Cummings calls the article “a lucid and penetrating discussion of realism without using the term” [MT Encyc. 725].
Note: Interestingly, William Dean Howells had been a disciple of realism since the 1870s. Both he and Sam had read Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) who was a major force in shaping literature toward realism and naturalism, but Sam never used the term for his own writing, which was nevertheless influenced by the movement.
October – Borderland magazine (London) I, p.558-60, ran an unsigned article, “Test Readings of Mark Twain’s Hands,” about the blind readings of Sam’s right hand by “Miss Ross,” “J.E.,” “Lucis,” and “E.L.C.” The article announced hope that in their next edition they might publish Sam’s “opinion upon the accuracy or otherwise with which strangers have hit off his distinguishing characteristics” [Tenney 22]. Tenney notes that Sam’s comments appeared in the Jan. 1895 issue, along with clear photographs of the front and back of his right hand. See also Sam’s letter and reactions on Nov. 30, 1894.
October 1 Monday – The Clemens family left Etretat bound for Paris, but after four hours travel, they stopped at the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, due to Susy’s fever and congestion of the right lung [Oct. 5 to Rogers].
October 2 Tuesday – H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter not extant, but mentioned in Sam’s Oct. 13 to Rogers. Rogers included samples of the Paige typesetter’s work in the Chicago Herald.
October 3 Wednesday
October 4 Thursday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam discarded his first attempt at the Paul Bourget article and began a new one at noon, which he worked on till 2:10 a.m. [Oct. 5 to Rogers].
October 5 Friday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
We are stalled here, tight and fast. We left Etretat last Monday. Susy was not well; so we came four hours and stopped over here to let her have a rest. It turned out to be congestion of the right lung. Temperature during three days, 104, 103, then 101. Necessarily we were a good deal alarmed, but she is ever so much better now. We shall be captives here indefinitely, of course.
Sam then wrote that his JA bibliography was shipped ahead to Paris, but he didn’t need it — there wasn’t much about her in Rouen, not even a definite spot where she was burned at the stake. He was working on the Bourget articles, which he wasn’t sure Livy would let him publish:
To put in my odd time I am writing some articles about Paul Bourget and his Outre-Mer — laughing at them and at some of our oracular owls who find them “important.” What the hell makes them important, I should like to know! [MTHHR 80].
October 6 Saturday
October 7 Sunday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote a humorous letter to H.H. Rogers. It seems Sam had to make a quick trip to the bathroom at 2 a.m., and got lost in the dark, unable to tell which floor he was even on. He drew a layout of the hotel with a staircase zigzagging up the middle.
Yours of the 24th Sept. has arrived, filled with pleasantness and peace. I would God I were in my room in the new house in Fairhaven, so’st I could have one good solid night’s sleep. …at 2 this morning I had a W.C. call and jumped up, in the dark, and ran in my night-shirt and without a candle — for I believed I knew my way….Would you think a person could get lost in such a place? I assure you it is possible; for a person of talent. We are on the second floor from the ground. There’s a W.C. on the floor above us and one on the floor below us. Halls pitch dark. I groped my way and found the upper W.C. Starting to return, I went up stairs instead of down, and went to what I supposed was my room, but I could not make out the number in the dark and was afraid to enter it. Then I remembered that I — no, my mind lost confidence and began to wander. I was no longer sure of what floor I was on, and the minute I realized that, the rest of my mind went. One cannot stand still in the dark hall at 2 in the morning, lost, and be content. One must move, and go on moving, even at the risk of getting worse lost. I groped up and down a couple of those flights, over and over again, cursing to myself. And every time I thought I heard some body coming, I shrank together like one of those toy balloons when it collapses. You see, I could not grope to the top floor and start fresh and count down to my own, for it was all occupied by young ladies, and a dangerous place to get caught in, clothes as I was clothed, and not in my right mind. I could not grope down to the ground floor and count up, for there was a ball down there. A ball, and young ladies likely to be starting up to bed about this time. X X X. And so they did. I saw the glow of their distant candle, I felt the chill of their distant cackle. I did not know whether I was on a W.C. floor or not, but I had to take a risk. I groped to the door that ought to be it — right where you turn down the stairs; and it was it. I entered it grateful, and stood in its dark shelter with a beating heart and thought how happy I should be to live there always, in that humble cot, and go out no more among life’s troubles and dangers. Several of the young ladies applied for admission, but I was not receiving, Thursdays being my day. I meant to freeze out the ball, if it took a week. And I did. When the drone and burr of its music had ceased for twenty minutes and the house was solidly dead and dark, I groped down to the ground floor, then turned and counted my way up home all right.
Then straightway my temper went up to 180 in the shade and I began to put it into form. Presently and admiring voice said —
“When you are through with your prayers, I would like to ask where you have been, all night.”
It was Mrs. Clemens; waiting in the dark; waiting for a reposeful atmosphere and tranquillizing speech; for Susy’s tossings and semi-deliriums had fagged her out, in a watch-weary state, and she had come to my room to rest her nerves a bit.
I told about my adventures, and that took her out of her troubles for the present. Then I fired up on my lamp and read until 6 this morning; thus adding one more to the string of wakeful nights which I have passed in this town [MTHHR 81-2].
Sam added some thoughts about the typesetter and a copy of the Chicago Herald which had just arrived, a column made by the typesetter which he wrote was “healing for sore eyes,” and which affected him “like Columbus sighting land.” Susy was still having coughing fits but the doctor seemed “cheerful” about her condition. Sam liked being in Rouen because no one called, save the Consul and Vice Consul; while in Paris many would call with good intentions but would add to the burdens they faced. Sam added after his signature that he hoped to be at the Rogers’ new country house housewarming in Fairhaven [MTHHR 81-4].
Sam also wrote a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford. He wrote it had been “many months since either a Harper or a Century had arrived.” Sam advised him of their need to stop at Rouen on their way to Paris [MTP].
October 8 Monday
October 9 Tuesday
October 10 Wednesday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to Charles H. Webb about the failure of Webster & Co. The letter is obviously a response to an inquiry (not extant) by Webb. Sam included an etched portrait of himself made by Wall (not further identified) and signed by the artist.
“Betsy & I are out” — that is, the Publishing Co. & I are. Did you write Frank Bliss himself? He would respond, I think… [MTP: Am. Art Assoc-Anderson Galleries catalogs, May 9, 1934 Item 128].
October 11 Thursday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to Morse, the US Consul-General:
I thank you very much indeed for the papers, until I can pay you the principal.
Sam reported that Susy’s fever was gone and her congested lung healing; that they should be able to travel in a few days to Paris [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, about the balance of a $500 legal fee paid to Bainbridge Colby for drawing up a contract with Frank Bliss for publication of PW. Sam was upset because he did not hear for over a month that the contract had been signed on Aug. 24. Sam also told of Livy’s exhaustion at nursing Susy, and confessed the doctor ordered them to stay in Rouen two or even three more weeks. He gave news of his recent literary efforts:
I wrote 3 malicious chapters about M. Paul Bourget and his idiotic “Outre Mer” which satisfied Mrs. Clemens but they did not quite suit me; so I have begun over again and started on a new basis — and a better one, I think. I expect to work portions of the rejected MS in, but if I don’t succeed I shan’t burn it; I’ll send it to you, for there are things in it that you will enjoy — that I can swear to. Yrs sincerely [MTHHR 84-5].
Franklin G. Whitmore wrote to Sam, one page swearing to Olivia Clemens as her agent, that all property and furniture belonged to her. Sam did “not own a dollar taxable property in Hartford” [MTP].
October 12 Friday
October 13 Saturday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to Frank Bliss after receiving his telegram. Bliss was getting ready to publish PW by subscription. Sam didn’t want a dedication in the book, claiming he’d “discarded the custom,” but pointed out the introduction, which was the opening paragraphs of the “Twins.” He answered questions about PW’s calendar and then advised that the family was “stalled” in Rouen for another two or three weeks [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Lloyd S. Bryce, owner and editor of the North American Review (see Sept. 26 entry for information on Bryce). After disclosing that the family was stalled in Rouen waiting for the doctor to release Susy, Sam wrote of an article he was working on:
I am writing an article contrasting our contributions to modern civilization with France’s. I see that Paul Bourget remarks that these strange Americans “take pell-mell the best & the worst of OUR civilization.” I like that! France hasn’t any to speak of, except what she got at second-hand. Perhaps you may like the article. Paul’s book is wretchedly small game, & not much short of idiotic; but I kind of love small game [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, after receiving his letter of Oct. 2 (not extant).
…I can hardly keep from sending a Hurrah by cable. I would certainly do it if I wasn’t so superstitious. The Germans say that every time you hurrah you attract the attention of the Devil. That ain’t my trouble. I don’t want to attract the attention of Providence. I always get along best when I am left alone. …
Sam felt the Paige situation was progressing nicely:
All the words are charming — from Scott, Webster, Davis — & it is astonishing, the way Paige took his molasses. I think he will march to your diplomatic music right along. The Heralds have come, & certainly the machine’s work is as neat as neat can be.
[Note: James Wilmot Scott of the Chicago Herald, Towner K. Webster of T.K. Webster Mfg., Charles E. Davis, engineer and Paige’s assistant, who had worked on the machine since Hartford].
Sam also reported interesting the North American Review with his Bourget articles [MTHHR 85-6].
October 14 Sunday
October 15 Monday – The Dreyfus Affair began when Alfred Dreyfus was arrested for spying;. See Dec. 22 entry. Dolmetsch writes, “References to the Dreyfus affair permeate almost everything Mark Twain wrote in Vienna” (1897-1898) .
October 16 Tuesday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam telegraphed Alice H. Day, long time friend of Livy’s: “Wish you all bon voyage / Clemens” [MTP].
October 17 Wednesday
October 18 Thursday
October 19 Friday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers about Watson Gill’s proposition to publish all of Webster & Co.’s old books. Gill was a bookstore owner who previously purchased remainders of LOM. (See Apr. 23, 1887; Jan. 16, 1889; Nov. 30, 1889 for previous dealings with Gill.) Gill’s offer was half-profits or a royalty. Sam thought it “a good chance to squelch the old Gill-contract which ties up ‘Old Times on the Mississippi’.” He advised that he’d sent Gill’s letter to Bainbridge Colby with some suggestions, as well as writing Gill that “whatever arrangement you and Sterne [sic] & Rushmore approve of will be satisfactory….” (Colby was an attorney with Stern & Rushmore.) Sam was upbeat about the work being turned out by the Paige typesetter on the Chicago Herald, and compared it favorably with that of the Mergenthaler Linotype machine. Sam was somewhat bored:
I wish I had Harry [Rogers] here. There is absolutely nothing to do, and I have so little skill in doing it [MTHHR 86-7].
October 20 Saturday
October 21 Sunday
October 22 Monday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to Orion Clemens, the letter not extant but mentioned in a Nov. 12 from Orion to Samuel Moffett. Orion paraphrased Sam’s letter that Susy was just beginning to walk a little about the room [MTP].
October 23 Tuesday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote twice to Franklin G. Whitmore, the first a congratulatory note to Hattie Whitmore upon her marriage, which included some news on Susy’s and Livy’s health, and the second a one-liner stating that “In each & all of these details” Whitmore was correct, which is probably a response to Whitmore’s Oct. 11 [MTP].
October 24 Wednesday
October 25 Thursday
October 26 Friday
October 27 Saturday
October 28 Sunday – At the Hotel d’Angleterre in Rouen, France, Sam wrote to Orion Clemens. The letter is lost but is mentioned in a Nov. 12 from Orion to Samuel Moffett. Orion relayed the news that Susy was all right again and they would leave the next day for Paris [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, upbeat about the typesetter’s progress at the Chicago Herald tests:
It seems to me that things couldn’t well be going better at Chicago than they are. There’s no other machine that can set type 8 hours with only 17 minutes’ stoppage through cussedness. The others do rather more stopping than working. By and by our machines will be perfect; then they won’t stop at all.
Sam also was glad that Rogers missed him, for it was mutual, and he expressed that the planning and furnishing of Rogers’ new house in Fairhaven would provide him relief from the grief of missing his late wife. He too had been through a difficult month:
This has been a hard month on our household here, and I shall be very glad of a change. Neither Susy nor her mother are strong yet, but they are strong enough for the 2-hour trip to Paris, and we go to-morrow. [Note: Sam was delayed by doctors orders for two more days, leaving on Oct. 31].
Sam sent regards, expressed that Rogers was a “special partner” and expressed relief that Bainbridge Colby might be able to pay something to his creditors. He closed with mention of an article sent to William Mackay Laffan of the N.Y. Sun:
To-day I mailed some chaff to Laffan — about 6 columns of the Sun, I should think — chaffing Bourget [MTHHR 88-9].
Edward Booth Loughran inscribed his book, ‘Neath Austral Skies. Poems to Sam: presented to Clemens by the author, Melbourne, 28 October 1894 [Gribben 424].
October 29 Monday – Though the family had planned to travel on to Paris, the doctor in Rouen advised a two-day delay. At the Hotel d’Angleterre, Sam wrote to Frank Bliss, asking him to send copies of PW when published to H.H. Rogers and Miss Katharine I. Harrison at 26 Broadway in N.Y.
We expect the doctor to let us leave for Paris day after tomorrow but it is a little uncertain [MTP].
October 30 Tuesday
October 31 Wednesday – The Clemens family left Rouen for the two-hour trip to Paris. Sam wrote of the move in his Nov. 2 to Rogers:
The doctor delayed us 2 days at Rouen after we were packed & ready. We could not make out what amount of risk there was; so at the end of 2 days we concluded to take it without knowing; so I secured a compartment by paying 2 extra fares, & we bundled Susy up & came through all right. It happened to be the mildest & sunniest day of the whole season, & it did Susy good instead of harm. We have our old rooms in the hotel & are very comfortable. Mrs. Clemens started out at once to look at flats which had been hunted up by friends & agents; overdid herself & had to lie up a day or two in consequence [Nov. 2 to Rogers].
Upon arrival, Sam found a report of the first sixteen days’ test of the Paige typesetter in the Chicago Herald, which he commented on in his letter to Rogers.
Israel Zangwill reviewed Tom Sawyer Abroad in the London Pall Mall Gazette, IV p.524-5. The review is “chiefly descriptive. ‘There are not so many good things” as in TS and HF, ‘but there are not a few memorable passages’” [Tenney 23].
November 1 Thursday
November 2 Friday – From the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. He described the move from Rouen (see Oct. 31) and gave the rest of the letter to a discussion of the typesetter; he’d received the Chicago report on the machine’s progress upon arriving in Paris. The report evidently showed some shortcomings, for Sam wrote:
It seems a pity they didn’t put the old machine in, instead of the new one, for it was in good & sound condition, I think.
Sam ended with a note that he “was going out flatting, now,” (apartment hunting) [MTHHR 89-90].
November 3 Saturday
November 4 Sunday
November 5 Monday
November 6 Tuesday – From the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers about their rental house at 169 Rue de l’Unversité:
It isn’t a flat, but a whole house. We get it, furnished, for $250 a month. It belongs to a friend [“the artist Pomroy” – MTB 989] who has to go south for 6 months. He pays $300. It has 4 bedrooms. When you come we’ll sleep two of the girls together, and that will vacate a room for you. Take a vacation and come; it will rest you up, and you will be glad you took a holiday. We are growing old, and must not put off the holidays.
Note: Frederick William Pomroy (1856-1924) was a British sculptor of architectural and monumental creations. He was one of the so-called “New Sculptors” listed by Edmund Gosse in 1894, artists whose style turned toward naturalism. His work won him a traveling scholarship to Paris and Italy. Pomroy no doubt sublet the house to the Clemens family.
Sam added they were still at the Hotel Brighton but would move into the house in a week (Nov 13- see note), and that Livy was busy “digging for servants now.” Daughter Jean would have to travel five miles to school and change horsecars twice, and Susy was “just about well again.” Sam expected they’d save $200 a month living there over hotels, and was impatient to get to work again. After his signature he added he was glad that Mrs. Rice (probably Dr. Rice’s wife) was coming for a visit [MTHHR 91]. Note: A case of gout forced a delay leaving the hotel for the rental house until Nov. 16.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, advising that since they’d only received half of the magazines subscribed for, it would be cheaper to pick them up in Paris individually, and not to renew subscriptions. He added a newsworthy note:
Dr. Enders & his wife are in the hotel Brighton. They are charming people. We are still in the hotel, but we move to the above address for the winter a week hence. Mrs. Clemens is sampling servants & getting ready [MTP].
November 7 Wednesday – In the morning, from the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, mostly about the Paige typesetter and its competitor the Mergenthaler Linotype machine. Reports up to now from Chicago had been encouraging, but the machine would soon start to break repeatedly. Sam related how long the Mergenthaler had been around, breaking down and continuing on:
When a bastard cripple like the Mergenthaler can fight its way up through ridicule & hostility during seven years to prosperity & a goodly share of respect, there’s no occasion for the Paige Compositor to have any doubts about the future.
Sam ended the letter with a paragraph headed “afternoon”:
Mrs. Clemens was in here a moment ago & asks to have her love & the children’s sent to Mrs. Duff, & I would like to add mine, & extend it to all of you. I suppose you will have to remain in New York for the winter, but I see how lonesome it is & must continue to be. I am glad to be in your minds there, & I wish I could be there in person. The Prince of Activity [Harry Rogers, son] is going to be useful, now, in that billiard room, until his game goes so far ahead of yours as to take the fun out of the contest. It won’t take long, I am afraid, because the rascal is so young — & youth is so exasperatingly capable. I will turn out, now, & go & see the people the new servants refer to. Sincerely Yours [MTHHR 92-3].
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam that the illustration blocks had arrived and they were “quite ready to publish the book [PW] on Nov. 15th, but in deference to Mr. Colby’s imperative cable, we shall not issue the book until December 1st…” [MTP].
November 8 Thursday
November 9 Friday – Sam was down with the “grippe” at the Brighton Hotel in Paris, “not the slightest use to Mrs. Clemens,” who was “raiding around everywhere for servants…” [Nov. 11 to Rogers].
November 10 Saturday – Sam was down with the “grippe” at the Brighton Hotel in Paris. Sam referred to this night’s treatment in his Nov. 11 to Rogers:
…my back and breast had been painted 4 times with iodine; it was doubtful if either could stand another application, but we chanced it and painted my breast. There was an uncertainty for about 3 minutes, then there was no uncertainty any more. Well, sir, I had to turn over and have a fire built on my back or I should have died.
November 11 Sunday – Down with the “grippe” at the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, wondering if he was in Chicago checking on the typesetter at the Herald. Clemens expected to move to the rental house the next day (delayed until Nov. 16).
I haven’t smoked for three days; that is because of the bronchial cough; but I am to re-begin to-morrow morning, and I will see what can be accomplished between that and night.
Sam noted the overwhelming Republican victory of Nov. 6 for Governor of New York and Mayor of New York City, and also referred to Robert Augustus Cheesebrough’s victory for Congress from New York. Cheesebrough (1837-1938) was a poet and inventor who patented Vaseline in 1870, lived to be 101, and claimed to have eaten a spoonful of the stuff every day. No doubt he slid into his coffin.
I reckon even Cheeseborough’s [sic] poetry failed to kill him, for it appears that anything and everything that was Republican was safe for a ride into camp on the avalanche. To my mind, Republican government is mighty bad government, but there seems to be plenty of evidence that democratic government is worse.
Sam also wrote he’d received the Chicago Herald newspapers, and saw that “the machine is doing neat work.” He thanked Rogers “in advance for the Riley poems,” probably James Whitcomb Riley’s Poems Here at Home (1893), which evidently were on the way.
November 12 Monday – At the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam expected to move to the rental house at noon this day, but was laid low by another ailment:
Just as I was about to move over to 169 rue de l’Universite, I got knocked flat on my back with gout. It was in my starboard ankle-bone. It took very little while to disable me. I supposed it was some new kind of super-devilish rheumatism, & imagined it would stop hurting presently. But it didn’t. It made me so tired that I went to sleep at midnight slept till 3 [Nov. 15 to Rogers].
November 13 Tuesday – At the Brighton Hotel in Paris, the doctor came to examine Sam the day after his gout attack, which would have been this day:
This is one of the oldest pains known to medical science, and is perhaps the most competent. When we got the doctor at last, he said it was only the gout, and an attack of no importance. He seemed to regard it as a pleasure trip. He gave me a hypodermic and appeared to think the business was done — which it wasn’t. At the end of ten minutes another. It didn’t phaze that pain a bit. So he began to respect it himself, I think. After half an hour he gave me another, and that made me very comfortable [Nov. 15 to Rogers].
November 14 Wednesday – At the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam’s cough improved [Nov. 15 to Rogers].
November 15 Thursday – In the morning at the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers of being laid up since Nov. 12 with the gout and of the doctor’s treatments on Nov. 13. He expected to go to the new house this day.
I can bear my foot on the floor this morning. However, I am not kept back by the gout; the gout is of no consequence; the doctor says so himself; neither is hell, to a person who doesn’t live there; but my cough was of consequence; in the doctor’s opinion; but the bronchial end of it passed away yesterday, and only the laryngeal end remains; and so he will say, this morning, that we can leave this hotel today, I think: and I shall be glad.
P.S. No, he says to-morrow, Nov. 16. Meantime the letters are come; you are gone West, and Miss Harrison has sent me Mr. Broughton’s detailed account of the machine’s misconduct. Great guns, what is the matter with it! [MTHHR 95-6].
Note: After some promising production for a month, the newest Paige typesetter began to break down repeatedly. Rogers had gone to Chicago to investigate. The end would soon come.
November 16 Friday – At the Brighton Hotel in Paris, Sam wrote three paragraphs to Franklin G. Whitmore, the first about attending to the rugs in the Hartford house; the second to advise when he needed money for the household expenses there to apply to Rogers’ legal firm of Stern & Rushmore because the money from the American Publishing Co. (PW ) went to them; the third was a brief progress report on the rental house he would go to in one hour.
I am on my back the past 5 days with a formidable attack of gout in my off hind leg-ankle joint. In an hour from now I am to get up & be carted in a close carriage to the above address — our quarters for the winter. It is not a flat, but a small house by itself, & it seems a comfortable & homelike place. Home like, for the reason that an American furnished it; consequently it is not a museum of infernal colors, tasteless, “decorations” & odious furniture [MTP].
Sam was then bundled up and carted to the family’s rental house, the artists’ studio home at 169 rue de l’Université; he went straight to bed. Paine gives us Sam’s description of the house:
It was a lovely house; large, rambling, quaint, charmingly furnished and decorated, built upon no particular plan, delightfully uncertain and full of surprises. You were always getting lost in it, and finding nooks and corners which you did not know were there and whose presence you had not suspected before. It was built by a rich French artist, and he had also furnished it and decorated it himself. The studio was coziness itself. With us it served as a drawing-room, sitting-room, living-room, dancing-room — we used it for everything. We couldn’t get enough of it. It is odd that it should have been so cozy, for it was 40 feet long, 40 feet high, and 30 feet wide, with a vast fireplace on each side, in the middle, and a musicians’ gallery at one end [MTB 989-90].
November 17 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam stayed in bed to recover from his bronchitis and gout.
November 18 Sunday
November 19 Monday
November 20 Tuesday – In the evening, at 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam suffered another attack of gout in his other ankle [Nov. 21 to Rogers].
November 21 Wednesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, dictating the letter to daughter Clara, who added a “d” to Rogers’ name. Sam related the hard attack of the gout he’d had for a couple of weeks, which kept them at the hotel longer than they’d planned. He’d stayed in bed at the new house since. It seems that all of the Clemens girls inherited their mother’s spelling ability, something Sam teased Livy about during their courting days.
I heard from you last on the second of this month; you were then just starting for Chicago. In two or three days now the test will be over, and I am putting in these dull hours of pain and cussedness with interesting anxieties and wonderments regarding the result of it.
Sam reported that the family was charmed with the house and he would be too if he could ever see it; it was “infinitely more comfortable than the hotel,” but he feared it wouldn’t be cheaper living. He ended with a line that he found dictating “awkward and difficult,” so he sent his love [MTHHR 97].
The Brooklyn Eagle, p.6 ran a large display ad for the Youth’s Companion which listed “How to Tell a Story” by Mark Twain, as well as articles by William Dean Howells, Rudyard Kipling, J.M. Barrie and others.
November 22 Thursday
November 23 Friday
November 24 Saturday
November 25 Sunday
November 26 Monday
November 27 Tuesday – Livy’s 49th birthday.
November 28 Wednesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. He was out of bed finally, not sure how long he’d been there:
…the fog is thick, the daylight is black, & I feel defeated & in a state of surrender to fate.
He noted the last report on the typesetter was that it was “getting into shape at last,” but in hindsight he should have insisted on Scott starting the test only after “a perfect machine” could be put on exhibition. Sam felt he was missing out on helping in Chicago:
If I could be of any use to you I wish I were there. But Providence has arranged these last two months, & not to my satisfaction. Susy tied me in Rouen a month. We hardly got away from there before I fell into the doctor’s hands & am there yet. I might be able to go to work by day after tomorrow, possibly, but it will be best for the work that I wait till I get your next letter, for I shall not be sleeping well meantime.
By the time this reaches you I ought to be in my usual health; & then if I can be of any service, cable me & I will take the next steamer.
This house is very comfortable, & the expense really promises to be noticeably lighter than the hotel, notwithstanding we could buy some things cheaper than the manservant if the custom would allow us the privilege of trying [MTHHR 98-9].
Sam also wrote a short two-paragraphs to his niece, Annie Moffett Webster that he’d “signed the document,” not specified further. His three-week bout of gout had delayed him taking care of this detail. The family found the house “very comfortable,” and they would stay the winter [MTP].
The earliest copies of The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins were published by the American Publishing Co. [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, Oxford ed. 1996].
November 29 Thursday – Thanksgiving – In Paris Sam wrote to Henry C. Robinson, having received the wedding cards from his daughter’s wedding. Sam was sorry they wouldn’t be there and sent his congratulations. He related being “knocked down with gout in both ankles,” and though he was “up & about the house, now,” he was “not to go out for a week or two yet.”
Mrs. Clemens’s health is remarkably good & everybody remarks upon how well she looks. Susy is well again, & fatting up.
I‘ll bet you are having a pretty good turkey this evening. When you see Ned Bunce will you give him my love? [MTP].
H.H. Rogers’ letter arrived at 8 a.m. It was written after his return to N.Y. from Chicago, to investigate the problems reported on the Paige typesetter. This letter evidently brought the final bad news on the machine. Sam began his response and finished his letter on Nov. 30.
…I had a bit of a shiver & says to myself, “Clemens, stand by for a cyclone! for if Mr. Rogers finds it wise & best to remove his supports from under that machine, your fine ten-year-old dream will blow away like a mist & you will land in the poor-house sure.”
Then, just before the Thanksgiving dinner this evening arrived a letter from home announcing that Mrs. Clemens’s only brother is in alarming state of health.
It seems to me, take it all around, that President hasn’t chosen a Thanksgiving date with much judgment this time [MTHHR 99-100].
The Clemens family had only one unspecified guest for Thanksgiving dinner, and after the guest left had a long conversation until midnight about what must be done now that the typesetter had failed its final test [Nov. 30 to Rogers].
November 30 Friday – Sam’s 59th Birthday.
Two copies of PW were deposited with the US Copyright Office [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Afterword materials p.28, 1996 Oxford ed.]
At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam finished his Nov. 29 letter to Rogers, and told of the conversation he’d had with Livy the night before. They felt John Brusnahan of the N.Y. Herald “must have his money returned to him; also that Bram Stoker must be stopped from paying any more installments.” They’d stay in the house till the lease expired on May 1 next, then move to Elmira and Quarry Farm where they might live “very cheap.” Livy’s electrical treatments would be completed by then, and at the familiar farm he could finish JA and prepare his books for a Uniform Edition. After their talk, Sam and Livy:
…slept the sleep of the damned — which is always sound — and woke up refreshed this morning. The mother and the three children spent two francs on birthday presents for me, and we have begun life on a new and not altogether unpromising basis.
Also we decided that it was best that I was here and not there; for if I were there I might try to persuade you to go against your better judgment, whereas after all that you have done for us that would be ungrateful, and ingratitude is a crime — and the meanest one there is.
Sam related that William Mackay Laffan sold Sam’s article, “What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us” to the North American Review, where it would run in Jan. 1895. The Review also had asked him to write a sympathetic article about Joan of Arc, but Sam wasn’t sure he’d accept [MTHHR 100-1].
Sam also wrote two short paragraphs to Lloyd S. Bryce, editor of the North American Review, expressing gratitude that Bryce had his Bourget article; he wished he could write one on Joan of Arc but begged off due to time lost for illness. It would take all winter to catch up to his work, he explained, so he wouldn’t be able to do any extra [MTP]. Note: It’s not clear whether Bryce knew Sam was working on JA.
Sam also wrote to William T. Stead, editor of the London Pall Mall Gazette, and also Review of Reviews (see Mar. 17, 1890 entry for more on Stead). The letter is a review of four palm-readers who had analyzed the prints of Sam’s hands without knowing whose they were. It’s not clear when this took place. Sam summarized the accuracies of the readers:
Each of the four hand-readers scores one or two hits of particular excellence, because they go so far in among my carefully concealed privacies; & one of these special hits is made by two of the readers & hinted at by a third. If this is guessing, it is guessing which my nearest friends could not do. E.L.C. makes one disastrous hit which not even my mother could have made; but it is a true hit, nevertheless. Am I going to point out these things? Not if I can get excused [MTP]. Note: See Aug. 8, 1894 entry where Sam had his hand read by the great Cheiro. Also see October entry for reference to Borderland article on palmistry.
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter not extant, but mentioned in Sam’s Dec. 9 to Rogers.
December 1 Saturday
December 2 Sunday
December 3 Monday – Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Samoa.
December 4 Tuesday
December 5 Wednesday – The London Morning Post in “Literary Notes” p.6:
Having provided a grievous disappointment in Tom Sawyer Abroad, Mark Twain has produced, in Pudd’nhead Wilson, a book which must add considerably to its author’s reputation. Even the most devoted lover of Mark Twain’s writings could not have anticipated that he would produce a work of such strength and such serious interest as this [Budd, Contemporary Reviews 359].
The Glasgow Herald p.10:
Pudd’nhead Wilson is not exactly a nice story, but it is certainly fresh enough and exciting enough, and contains plenty of strong and original situations .
December 6 Thursday
December 7 Friday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, confessing his mood prevented him from working on JA:
I haven’t any news to write, except that the days are wasting away and leaving me behind. Behind and hard aground. Not with gout, for that seems to be gone; but there isn’t any life in me because I am not allowed to go out and get air and exercise except in heavenly weather, and that is a slim show for me, for they import all their weather from the other place, to avoid the duties. I do not wish to put any of my present spirit into my book, therefore I leave the book strictly alone.
Sam still expected a final word on the Paige typesetter, which suggests Rogers’ last letter was not a final conclusion, but a probable one. He asked Rogers to cable him with the verdict. Sam ended with a request about Rogers’ daughter Miss May, who was evidently studying in France. “Does she like the French?” he asked [MTHHR 102].
December 8 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, the Clemenses had a dinner party. Sam “sat up till midnight without observable fatigue.” He wrote of the event but did not list guests in his Dec. 9 to Rogers.
December 9 Sunday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, responding to his Nov. 30 letter.
Yours of Nov. 30 has just arrived. I shall welcome the Kipling poem. There were good things in Riley’s book, but you have noticed, of course, that there’s considerable padding in it, too.
Sam discussed Watson Gill’s request to re-publish books from the now-defunct Webster & Co. (see Oct. 19 entry), and advised, “Gill is an excellent man to handle books, and is prompt pay,” but he also conveyed Livy’s hesitation to put the books in Gill’s “hands in any way that could hamper or defeat the Uniform Edition planned, and that they wanted to gain the release of the Mississippi articles from Gill, which he felt $700 could do. He added family matters, and a change of mind about the rental house:
I am feeling in better shape yesterday and to-day….If this family were in a hotel, now, or in a flat, I would take the next ship for New York, for I see you believe that would be well. But here we are, in this private little house, with two stories, eight staircases, no end of cells and passages, and little or no room. It was built by an idiot, I think. There is but one bedroom on our floor. All other bedrooms are far away, and one couldn’t make anybody hear if one were in trouble. We have French servants whom we know little or nothing about. The man-servant is sometimes impudent — in manner, not words — and I guess he’ll have to go, before long, though he is alert and capable, and another stranger admitted.
Sam noted Rogers’ opinion that the Chicago Herald would not give a final favorable opinion of the Paige typesetter, and listed what-ifs should Rogers give a final decision to withdraw from the Paige Compositor Co. After his signature Sam noted that “a Boston house” was advertising a new edition of IA and wondered if that copyright was “imperfect” [MTHHR 103-5]. Note: the Boston house was The Joseph Knight Co., advertising a two-volume edition, “fully illustrated with thirty photogravure illustrations” [n4].
Sam also wrote to Frank Bliss, enclosing a printed advertisement about the above edition by The Joseph Knight Co.
What does this mean? Was our copyright non-completed? Or has it run out?
Sam wondered if Elisha Bliss, Frank’s late father had failed to register two copies with the Library of Congress [MTP].
Sam also wrote, Livy dictating, a short note to Watson Gill, answering his letter (enclosed) to H.H. Rogers. Gill had inquired as to the terms he might get from Mrs. Clemens for the right to re-publish Sam’s books by the now-defunct Webster & Co. Sam answered that Bainbridge Colby, attorney with Stern & Rushmore, had all the details in a letter Sam had sent “some time ago”; he asked Gill to confer with Colby [MTP].
December 10 Monday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to Henry M. Alden of Harper & Brothers asking to see his proofs of JA, after discovering he’d made “two or three mistakes.”
One is important: I have charged her assassination upon the “Holy Roman Church” — too broad a statement, & not true. It was an ecclesiastical political court, carefully packed in the English interest, & sitting within walls which had flown the English flag for three centuries. It was a lynch-court with a definite function to perform & no way to get around it.
If proofs could not be sent, he might be able to make the corrections by letter. He’d been in bed a month and was just now getting around the house. After his signature, he wrote, “P.S. Sho! I can make that correction now. Thus:” and enclosed a sheet which is lost [MTP].
Sam’s gout disappeared “all of a sudden” about this day [Dec. 16 to Rogers].
December 11 Tuesday – Not allowed to go out except on dry days, which were absent for the next week, Sam worked again on JA, Book III. On this day he wrote 1,300 words [Dec. 16 to Rogers].
December 12 Wednesday – Sam wrote 2,600 words on JA, Book III [Dec. 16 to Rogers].
December 13 Thursday – Sam wrote 2,100 words on JA, Book III [Dec. 16 to Rogers]. A review of PW by the London Chronicle, p.3:
There is in this volume a good deal of Mark Twain at his best, and not a little of Mark Twain at his worst. The story is one of the strangest compounds of strength and artificiality we have read for many a day. Pathos and bathos, humour and twaddle, are thrown together in a way that is nothing less than amazing [Budd, Contemporary Reviews 360].
December 14 Friday – Sam wrote 2,000 words on JA, Book III [Dec. 16 to Rogers].
December 15 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to his English publisher, Andrew Chatto, asking to see him on business the “very first time” he came to Paris. Sam asked for three copies of his books right away for daughter Jean, who wanted to give them for Christmas presents. Sam also noted that “a couple of years ago…you charged me full retail rates for my own books, & it didn’t seem a bit right.” If he would “modify reasonably,” then consider the three books an order. In the margin Sam listed CY and P&P [MTP].
Sam wrote 2,000 words on JA, Book III [Dec. 16 to Rogers].
December 16 Sunday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers, which he finished on Dec. 17, having “started the mill again 6 days ago,” on his JA manuscript, Book III. He’d written a total of 11,800 words, including “this Sabbath evening” of 2,000 words. He saw that Book III would be as long as Book I and twice as long as Book II, which he’d written in Etretat, and that the entire work would be two full volumes in the proposed Uniform Edition.
The gout seems to be entirely gone, & I am as well & strong as I ever was. The profound weakness disappeared all of a sudden a week ago. I could return some visits, now, & lose some time; but fortunately I haven’t any clothes. But they will be on hand in a week & then the interruptions will begin. But they will not be serious. I’m not going to make any serious plunge into social life until way up yonder when the book is done.
When the afternoon tea people come in at 4 and 5 I only say howdy and go back to work. They excuse the laborer [MTHHR 106].
December 17 Monday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam finished his Dec. 16 to Rogers.
Yours containing Cole’s and Paige’s letters to Brusnahan came to my bed just before I got up. By George, that wolf does seem to be approaching my door again! I wish he would apply somewhere where he hasn’t worn out his welcome. [Note: Charles J. Cole, Hartford Atty.].
Sam’s hindsight told him that it might have been best to use the old machine for a test “under Broughton’s eye for two months” before trying it at the Chicago Herald. He wished Paige and the others would give Rogers full control of the patents so they might be traded to the Mergenthaler Co. for stock, but realized that only Paige was in a position to do so. Sam speculated on coming back:
If I have to cross the sea I am in good shape for it now, because it would not interrupt my work entirely, at all. I am on my course, now; it is clearly charted, I know my road. I could go on with my work — on shipboard; in your office; in my lodgings; in fact anywhere. While it would of course be very hard on Mrs. Clemens to spare me, she would manage to do it, if necessary.
Sam hated the thought that all their work might only succeed in making Paige a fortune, but he had to bury himself in “the mists of the Middle Ages” and finish his book. He wished Rogers a Merry Christmas, and added after his signature some concern for John Brusnahan, who would not afford to lose his entire fortune in the machine [MTHHR 106-7].
December 18 Tuesday
December 19 Wednesday
December 20 Thursday
December 21 Friday – In Paris, Sam sent a cablegram to H.H. Rogers:
Can you delay final action one month / Clemens [MTHHR 108].
Note: Sam explained his cable in his Dec. 22 to Rogers. Likely Rogers had cabled (not extant) that the Paige typesetter was judged a final failure at the Chicago Herald.
H.H. Rogers also wrote to Sam, the letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s Jan. 2, 1895 to Rogers.
December 22 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, shocked by the final failure of the typesetter:
I seemed to be entirely expecting your letter [not extant, but probably explaining the failure of the machine] and also prepared and resigned; but Lord, it shows how little we know ourselves and how easily we can deceive ourselves. It hit me like a thunderclap. It knocked every rag of sense out of my head, and I went flying here and there and yonder, not knowing what I was doing, and only one clearly-defined thought standing up visible and substantial out of the crazy storm-drift — that my dream of ten years was in desperate peril, and out of 60,000 or 70,000 projects for its rescue came flocking through my skull, not one would hold still long enough for me to examine it and size it up. Have you ever been like that? Not so much so, I reckon.
Sam had slept six hours and his “pond had clarified,” and he found “the sediment of my 70,000 projects” to be of the character he then listed. Most of the rest of his letter contains specifics of the machine, of using a different kind of type, even of consulting Thomas A. Edison about it, and of strategies to gain some interest in the Mergenthaler Co. But it was too late for that.
Don’t say I’m wild. For really I’m sane again this morning.
Note from MTHHR 111,n2: “The number of parenthetical phrases, phrases written in margins, parentheses within parentheses, and shifts in direction, as well as the pleading tone of much of this letter, all testify to Clemens’s extreme agitation while writing it.”
Sam asked Rogers to cable him if he thought he could “be of the least use.” He could work on JA on board ship without losing time. He ended with a word about a meeting planned by the Paige Compositor Co.:
If the meeting SHOULD decide to quit business Jan. 4, I’d like to have [Bram] Stoker stopped from paying in any more money, if Miss Harrison don’t mind that disagreeable job. And I’ll have to write them, too, of course.
Meantime I want Harry to save some of the next soup for his Uncle Sammy, who would do as much for him. / With love and kisses, / SL Clemens [MTHHR 108-11].
Sam put the rest of the day until 7 p.m. writing “a long chapter” of his book; “then went to a masked ball blacked up as Uncle Remus, taking Clara along; & we had a good time” [Dec. 27 to Rogers].
French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason. The conviction caused a European controversy known as the Dreyfus Affair, one in which Sam would take great interest.
December 23 Sunday
December 24 Monday
December 25 Tuesday – Christmas – Sam inscribed a copy of PW to Mary B. Willard, the Berlin school teacher for Clara: To Mrs. Mary B. Willard / Merry Christmas / & best wishes from / Mark Twain / Paris, 1894 [MTP].
December 26 Wednesday – Frank M. Scott, president of The Century Co. wrote to Sam, having received a letter from a Mr. F. Fauveau of Paris, asking permission to translate and publish The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other New Stories in French. Scott asked Sam to communicate with Fauveau on the matter. See Jan. 7, 1895 letter to Chatto, forwarding the letter and chore to them, since such permission was under their authority [MTP].
December 27 Thursday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. Evidently another letter had arrived from Rogers (not extant) for Sam answered:
Notwithstanding your heart is “old & hard,” you make a body choke up, I know you “mean every word you say,” & I do take it “in the same spirit in which you tender it.” I shall keep your regard while we two live — that I know; for I shall always remember what you have done for me, and that will insure me against ever doing anything that could forfeit it or impair it. I am 59 years old; yet I never had a friend before who put out a hand and tried to pull me ashore when he found me in deep waters.
Sam jumped at Rogers’ offer to write his “business brothers,” who had invested in the machine at his urgings: Bram Stoker, Henry Irving, and Dr. Clarence Rice. He offered advice and suggestions on each, and with respect to John Brusnahan, swore he “was not going to die until I have got him squared entirely up,” even if it meant doing a public reading for him. Sam talked about coming to Fairhaven and occupying the teen Harry Rogers’ room.
Pretty soon the house will be Kodakable — and when you Kodak it, I would like to have one.
We shall try to find a tenant for our Hartford house; not an easy matter, for it costs heavily to live in. We can never live in it again; though it would break the family’s hearts if they could believe it.
Nothing daunts Mrs. Clemens or makes the world look black to her — which is the reason I haven’t drowned myself. / SL Clemens /
P.S. I am almost robustly well again. Laffan is going to put in the improved “McMillan.”
P.S. Don’t you think I would be just the man to advertise to the world the unrivaled value of the Mergenthaler if I had a handsome interest in it? I would so much like to write about the Paige.
Note: Many accounts cite the death of Susy in 1896 as the reason for the Clemens family never living in the Farmington Ave. house again; interesting that Sam was convinced here, through the failure of the typesetter, that such would be the case. William Mackay Laffan planned to use the McMillan typesetter, a competitor of the Paige and the Mergenthaler, in the New York Sun office.
Sam then wrote to Bram Stoker in Chelsea, England relating the bad news regarding the typesetter. He enclosed a check for $100 which Stoker had paid and asked if he’d tell Henry Irving that he’d get his $500 back, “a dab at a time,” if necessary.
I’m not feeling as fine as I was when I saw you there in your home. Please remember me kindly to Mrs. Stoker. I gave up that London lecture-project entirely. Had to — there’s never been a chance since to find the time [MTP].
Andrew Chatto wrote to Sam that he was “despatching to you today a parcel of books (carriage paid) and hope that the selection I have made from our catalogue may prove a congenial one to your taste…” [MTP].
December 28 Friday
December 29 Saturday
December 30 Sunday – The New York Times, p.2 in a display ad for the North American Review, listed January’s issue, headed by Mark Twain’s, “What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us.”
This is a witty and trenchant rejoinder, in the famous humorist’s best style, to the Frenchman’s criticisms of Americans and American institutions now appearing in “Outre Mer.”
December 31 Monday
December, late – Sam heard a story summarized by the American wife of the Danish Ambassador to the US, the story from The Minister of Veilby, an 1829 novel by Steen Steensen Blicher. In his footnote at the beginning of Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896) Sam wrote that he took “the incidents of this story…from an old-time Swedish criminal trial,” adding some important details. But it was not a Swedish trial but a Danish one [Gribben 74; Gerber, MT Encyc. 741]. Note: One possibility for Sam hearing this story is Dec. 22, when Sam went to a masked ball. Following Gerber’s sources, Essays Offered to Herbert Putnam, etc. (1921) gives the following:
There is but one American lady who married a northern diplomat at a time when she could possibly have known Mr. Clemens, or at least could have known him personally. The lady is Anna Lillie Greenough, who, as Mrs. Moulton, married Johan Henrik Hegermann-Lindecrone (1838-1918), Ambassador from Denmark to the United States from 1872 to 1880 . (Editorial emphasis.)