Uniform Edition Planned – Bourget Is Small Fish – Silver Wedding on the Cheap
Another Crossing & More Waiting – Pudd’nhead on Stage
“Awake out of a Hellish Dream” – The Family Returns to America
Carbuncles & Creditors – The World Tour Begins – Down Under
“I Shall Be 60 — No Thanks For It”
1895 – The MTP lists this year and unknown place for a line from Sam in the palmreader Cheiro’s Memoirs. See Aug. 8, 1894 for Sam’s meeting of Cheiro. This sentiment was likely written shortly after that meeting, possibly in Cheiro’s guest log book, not in 1895.
Sometime during the year Sam wrote to an unidentified person about why he didn’t prefer writing short stories:
In my experience it costs less work to write a big book or a wagon load of criticism than it does to write that most difficult and bothersome thing — a short story. One can’t charge for the work, but only for the result; hence I don’t lean to the short story…[MTP: Bangs & Co. catalogs, Oct. 16, 1902 Item 96].
Sometime during the year (before July 14 when the world tour began) Sam signed a typed letter (which may have been a form letter) to D.E. Blake, Esq. Of Central City, Colo.
It may not interest you, but my publishers think they can make money issuing a uniform edition of my works. I have authorized them to do so — at their expense.
If you wish to secure a collection of “Books that have helped me” you may let them know — at your expense. [Tenney from copy at Honnold Library, Claremont, Calif.; year identified from the stamp as a Type III perf.12 for that issue, either 1894 or 5; since agreement for a Uniform Edition had not occurred by 1894, this note is put to 1895].
John Elderkin’s A Brief History of the Lotos Club was published; it included the 1893 dinner honoring Mark Twain (p.112-18) [Tenney 24].
Brander Matthew’s Books and Play-Books: Essays on Literature and the Drama included a chapter “Of Mark Twain’s Best Story,” on the truth and vitality of HF. On p. 160-1 he recalled Robert Louis Stevenson’s “hearty praise of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and his cordial belief that it was a great book, riper in art and ethically richer than the Tom Sawyer of which it is the sequel” [Tenney 24].
January – Borderland (London) ran “Character Reading by Palmistry and Otherwise: The Story of the Tell-Tale Hands of Mark Twain,” p.60-4. The article, previewed in the Oct. 1894 issue of the magazine, contained poorly reproduced photographs of the front and rear of Sam’s left hand, and Sam’s letter to the editor commenting on the accuracy of the palm readings done in the Oct. issue [Tenney 23].
Also, on the basis of a handwriting sample, the article describes Mark Twain as “inconstant and illogical, insincere, and has absolutely no depth of feeling; apt to be self-indulgent, “is probably popular and talks and writes well, but “is not quite straightforward” [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1978) 168].
Bookman (London) published a brief and descriptive review of PW: “Mark Twain’s use of the fingerprint device is ingenious, and by the long confusion of the children the end is prevented from being a very cheerful one” [Tenney 24].
“What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us” ran in the Jan. issue of the North American Review. It was collected in How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays (1897) [Budd, Collected 2: 1002].
January 1 Tuesday
January 2 Wednesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Yours of Dec. 21 [not extant] has arrived, containing the circular to stockholders and I guess the Co will really quit — there doesn’t seem to be any other wise course.
There’s one thing which makes it difficult for me to soberly realize that my ten-year dream is actually dissolved; and that is, that it reverses my horoscope. The proverb says, “Born luck, always lucky,” and I am very superstitious. As a small boy I was notoriously lucky. It was usual for one or two of our lads (per annum) to get drowned in the Mississippi or in Bear Creek, but I was pulled out in a 2/3 drowned condition 9 times before I learned to swim, and was considered to be a cat in disguise. When the “Pennsylvania” blew up and the telegraph reported my brother as fatally injured (with 60 others) but made no mention of me, my uncle said to my mother “it means that Sam was somewhere else, after being on that boat a year and a half — he was born lucky.” Yes, I was somewhere else. I am so superstitious that I have always been afraid to have business-dealings with certain relatives and friends of mine because they were unlucky people. All my life I have stumbled upon lucky chances of large size, and whenever they were wasted it was because of my own stupidity and carelessness. And so I have felt entirely certain that that machine would turn up trumps eventually. It disappointed me lots of times, but I couldn’t shake off the confidence of a life time in my luck.
Sam added he had an idea for a new book, probably Tom Sawyer, Detective, that had kept him up all night, beginning it and completing it in his mind. He would start in on it “the minute” he finished JA [MTHHR 115-6].
A variety of books from Chatto & Windus arrived [Jan. 3 to Chatto].
January 3 Thursday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus. Sam thanked Andrew Chatto for books received the day before. He singled out Walter Besant’s London. A New Edition (1894) as keeping him “pleasantly awake the whole night,” and losing him his “days’ work to-day.” Sam asked Chatto to “make a searching examination” and report “to half a penny what the paper, binding & printing costs of two of these books,” PW and William Clark Russell’s Round the Galley Fire (1893). Sam wanted to use one of those styles in his Uniform Edition, which he was going to “take personal supervision of the contracts” of.
P.S. Something I forgot. Our doctor says that the Wade & Butcher razor — made in England & for sale everywhere in London — is the only perfect razor. Won’t you buy one for me & send it. I haven’t a good razor to my name [MTP]. Note: Wade & Butcher of Sheffield, England made razors from ca. 1845 to at least 1919. They were very popular; and remain highly collectible.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers about his plans for the Uniform Edition of his works. He disclosed he’d written Chatto asking for help and information on costs.
All night I have been thinking out the details of my Uniform Edition, and this afternoon and evening I have completed it and set it down on paper.
I want the canvass to begin just a year from now. If I don’t kill my reputation meanwhile, I think it will set me up financially and enable the family to live in their house again. When I come, I shall want to show it to you and talk it over with you.
Sam felt he’d lost time; he regretted not closing Webster & Co. years ago and giving the Uniform Edition to Frank Bliss and the American Publishing Co. He’d hoped too that Bainbridge Colby would have worked out a trade with Watson Gill that would release Gill’s interest in “Old Times on the Mississippi” so he might include it in the Uniform, but he hadn’t heard from Colby. Sam also confessed losing sleep “these many nights past,” but being cheered by prospects of the Uniform Edition [MTHHR 116-7].
January 4 Friday
January 5 Saturday – French officer Alfred Dreyfus was stripped of his army rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Sam would take an active interest in the Dreyfus Affair in Vienna in 1897-8.
January 6 Sunday
January 7 Monday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, enclosing a Dec. 26 letter from Frank Hall Scott (1848-1912), president of The Century Co. The letter inquired about a Mr. F. Fauveau translating The £1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other New Stories to French. Sam responded:
All authorities of this sort in your hands, thank goodness!
Whether Chatto approved or disapproved, would he please write Mr. Fauveau [MTP]. See Dec. 26, 1894.
Frank Bliss of the American Publishing Co. wrote to Sam that “he would presently send check to New York of something more than $1,000 on the old copyrights.” Bliss’ letter is not extant but is mentioned in Sam’s Feb. 8 to Rogers [MTHHR 128-130 & n1].
January 8 Tuesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers about being frustrated by Franklin Whitmore not sending monthly itemized accounts as requested, and not saying a word “until his exchequer has run dry.” He’d just received Whitmore’s letter through Bainbridge Colby, with an accounting covering nine months of Hartford expenses. Sam noted he’d just written Whitmore and advised him that the current royalty check from the American Publishing Co. on his old books would have to last several months. Would Rogers turn that check over to Whitmore? The Hartford house was a continuing concern, to the point where he’d lost a day’s work over it:
We have offered to rent our house to a friend. I guess he will not take it, for he won’t like the expense of living in it. But we shall try again. Apparently it costs $200 a month to support it untenanted, even without counting the taxes. Part of the money spent by Whitmore in the reported 9 months went to my brother — $50 a month; $40 a month to Whitmore; $70 a month to the gardener and his wife. Insurance $300 a year, I think.
I have proposed to Whitmore to reduce himself to $20 a month. If we can rent, or sell, or burn the house, it will rid us of the other wages and the taxes.
Sam expected to finish JA by the middle of February and the revisions by Mar. 1, though he wasn’t certain and might add a large appendix, which would delay things. When the MS was ready for the printers he would “carry it over and make arrangements” for its publication [MTHHR 115-6].
Sam’s letter to Franklin G. Whitmore announced he was “going to cut expenses down to the bone” in order to pay the Webster & Co. creditors: he wanted repairs to the house limited to $15 a month, “even if the roof falls in.” Orion would have to continue getting $50 a month again as he had nothing else to live on, “that can’t be helped.” He asked Whitmore to continue on at $20 a month.
You have suspended those pensions indefinitely, haven’t you? — Mrs. Whats-her-name, down in Alabama, & the Women’s Home Work. I’ll never start another one.
Another check is now due from Am. Pub. Co on my old books. It should pay the Hartford expenses several months.
to rent that house,
or sell it or burn it. [MTP].
The Bachellor & Johnson Syndicate wrote to Sam offering $1,000 for a short story of 5,000 words or more [Jan. 21 to Rogers]. Note: Addison Irving Bacheller started the first American newspaper syndicate. For some reason the spelling of the company’s name was “Bachellor”.
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, letter not extant but mentioned in Jan. 21 to Rogers.
January 9 Wednesday – The New York Times, rarely complimentary to Mark Twain, ran an editorial, p.4. with no title:
In the current number of the North American Review Mark Twain, with a humor somewhat shallow as well as savage, says that M. Paul Bourget came over here, and, after a brief inspection of our tricks and our ways, conducted much after the manner in which naturalists study new bugs, proceeded to explain us. Of course M. Bourget did no such thing; the whole tenor of his book proves the bug simile to be a peculiarly unjust one. What he undertook to tell, and did, was the impression that America and Americans made upon a Frenchman. That he saw certain things other than they are, and thought the saw certain things that are not at all, simply adds to the book’s value and should not be cause for either anger or irritation. M. Bourget is rather more interesting when he is wrong than when he is right, for it is then that he best helps us understand — France. And, really, for a good-tempered and therefore intelligent American, France, not America, is the subject of “Outre Mer.” M. Bourget knows France very thoroughly, he worthily represents the best part of its literature, its learning, and its life, and upon all of these his comment, whether oblique or direct, should be treated with at least ordinary courtesy. [See also excerpt from Sam’s Bourget article Jan. 20, 1895].
Andrew Chatto wrote to Sam with, “much pleasure in enclosing you full particulars of the cost of manufacture of the two books you ask about “Clark Russell’s Round the Galley Fire”, and your Puddnhead Wilson. … I have written to Mr. Fauveau of Paris asking him on your behalf the very modest acknowledgment of £20 for permission to translate the Million Pound Note” [MTP].
January 10 Thursday
January 11 Friday
January 12 Saturday
January 13 Sunday
January 14 Monday
January 15 Tuesday – H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, letter not extant but mentioned in Jan. 29 to Rogers.
January 16 Wednesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam responded to Irving Bacheller of Bachellor & Johnson Syndicate, also known as The New York Press Syndicate.
I shall be too busy for the next two or three months to undertake that most difficult & bothersome thing, a short story…. In my experience it costs less work to write a big book…than it does to write a little story.
Sam did take “a day’s holiday from Joan and began a story in the afternoon and finished it at 11.10 p.m. — 6,200 words.” He and Livy decided however that “it was not in the bull’s eye,” and did not mail it. Sam could not make a definite commitment to Bacheller [MTP; Jan. 21 to Rogers].
January 17 Thursday – H.H. Rogers also wrote to Sam, letter not extant but mentioned in Feb. 8 to Rogers; disclosed a $200 check received in New York from Frank Bliss.
January 18 Friday – Livy wrote to Annie Trumbull, a fragment of which survives:
“…of the fact that I was greatly embarrassed by her manner and at my wit’s ends as to how to meet it. I rather liked the woman. / I want very much to know how you are this winter” [MTP].
January 19 Saturday – The Athenaeum, No. 3508 p.83-4 briefly reviewed PW: “The story in itself Is not much credit to Mark Twain’s skill as a novelist,” and few of the characters are striking, but “If the preface (with its tasteless humor) be skipped, the book well repays reading just for the really excellent picture of Roxana” [Tenney 24].
Tiffany & Co., Paris billed Livy 134 francs for: Dec. 22: Silver watch 65 fr.; Silver brooch 32 fr; Jan. 2: repair scarabee sleeve buttons 4 fr.; Engraving silver watch 5 fr. ; Altering gold chatelaine [?] into brooch 15 fr; Jan 3: Cleaning & examining enamel watch 13 fr. [MTP].
January 20 Sunday – The New York Times, p.3, ran a short excerpt from Sam’s N.A.R. article about Bourget:
M. Bourget, as teacher, would simply be France teaching America. It seemed to me that the outlook was dark; almost Egyptian, in fact. What would the new teacher, representing France, teach us? Railroading? No. France knows nothing valuable about railroading. Steamshipping? No. France has no superiorities over us in that matter. Steamboating? No. French steamboating is still of Fulton’s date — 1809. Postal service? No. France is a back number there. Telegraphy? No, we taught her that ourselves. Journalism? No. Magazining? No, that is our own specialty. Government? No; liberty, equality, fraternity, nobility, democracy, adultery — the system is too variegated for our climate. Religion? No, not variegated enough for our climate. Morals? No, we cannot rob the poor to enrich ourselves. Novel writing? No. M. Bourget and the others know only one plan, and when that is expurgated there is nothing left of the book. — Mark Twain in The North American Review.
January 21 Monday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Yours of the 8th is received.
That is the very thing. If you will write that sort of a letter to [Bram] Stoker, I’ll be very glad, and will keep diligently aloof myself.
Meantime the thing for me to do is to begin to teach myself to endure a way of life which I was familiar with during the first half of my life but whose sordidness and hatefulness and humiliation long ago faded out of my memory and feeling. With the help of my wife this will not be very difficult, I think. I think, indeed, that she and I could adjust ourselves to the new conditions quite easily if we were alone, — in fact I know it — but the reflection that they are going to be hard on the children (and incomprehensible by them) will string out the probation of course. The first step has been taken: we have written to Hartford and offered our house for rent. With that idle and expensive institution off our hands we think we can pull along somehow — not in America, perhaps, but in Paris or Vienna.
Of the rags left of Mrs. Clemens’s Elmira interests she may count upon $3,000 a year for herself and $1,000 for the children. Then there is about $1,500 a year from the Hartford books and $2,000 from the London publisher — total, $7,500. To that I must add $5,000 a year by work, and that will keep the tribe alive.
Sam felt he should not overexpose his name by too many magazine articles and wrote of being offered $1,000 for a short story by the Bachellor & Johnson Syndicate of N.Y., then writing a 6,200 word story overnight and not liking the results. He ruled out N.Y. as a place for them to live since “Mrs. Clemens is not strong enough to walk the distances that lie between the horse-car lines.” They didn’t wish to live anywhere else in the U.S., “certainly not in Hartford, in the circumstances.” Their plans were to return to the US and Quarry Farm in May, where he might work on the Uniform Edition of his works, hoping to issue them the following January, preceded by JA in December of 1895.
Sam also suggested a “conspiracy against the gullibility of the world,” with a contest prize of $1,000 for people to supply a missing word in the following paragraph:
Man is like a ______: welcomed and courted when he is young and rich; courteously but earnestly avoided when he is old and stale. Address XXX, Herald office until Feb. 28.
The plan involved the hint of a swindle about the contest and purposely having Clarence Rice or H.H. Rogers arrested! [MTHHR 119-21].
Arthur Waugh wrote to Sam on letterhead, 21 Bedford Street, London. thanking for Sam’s “kind and courteous letter”. Waugh asked if Mr. Bacheller might have “a provisional promise of a story within, say, six or nine months. I know he is very anxious to secure work from your pen” [MTP].
January 22 Tuesday
January 23 Wednesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to John D. Adams of the Century Co. enclosing a “few alterations” to a JA excerpt and asking for proofs of the rest of the parts; he hadn’t thought it necessary but admitted that was a mistake and was glad that Henry M. Alden “had that inspiration” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Bachellor & Johnson Syndicate, explaining his failure to write a short story for their recent $1,000 offer. Instead he offered a longer story, the 27 or 28,000 word Tom Sawyer, Detective — as Told by Huck Finn, written this month.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers about writing a story for the Batchellor Syndicate, and then offering them Tom Sawyer, Detective. He thought that John Brisben Walker of the Cosmopolitan might want it if Irving Batchelor turned it down, and if both offers were insufficient he’d pass it by the Century Co. or Harper’s.
I’ll have it all type-written here & corrected for the press; then I will ship it to you & ask Miss Harrison to hive it in the safe, till I hear from Bacheller (& also Walker of the Cosmopolitan). … Do you think Harry would read the story when it comes & pledge himself to a favorable verdict? Usual terms for billiard-marking.
I hope our Chicago machine shop will prosper. It won’t take much of a dividend from it to piece out this family’s income sufficiently to disappoint the wolf [MTHHR 122-3].
Note: Harry Rogers was H.H.’s fifteen year old son. The Chicago failure of the Paige typesetter left Rogers and Clemens involved in a machine shop there (as reflected in Sam’s May 26, 1895 to Orion, the shop was involved in making typewriters). Sam also noted that W.D. Howells currently had his story, A Parting and a Meeting, running serially in Cosmopolitan from Dec. 1894 to Feb. 1895.
January 24 Thursday
January 25 Friday
January 26 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam received H.H. Rogers’ Jan. 15 letter. He would respond on Jan. 29.
January 27 Sunday – The New York Times, p.27, “Mark Twain’s New Volume” praised the illustrations in the book version of Pudd’nhead Wilson, and the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins, published on Nov. 28, 1894. The Century installments were illustrated by Louis Loeb. Frank Bliss hired two little-known illustrators for the book, F.M. Senior and C.H. Warren, who came up with 432 drawings to be used in the margins [1996 Oxford ed. “Reading the Illustrations, etc.” by Beverly R. David & Ray Sapirstein]. Note: Senior and Warren were also part of a team that would illustrate Following the Equator.
The New York Sun, sec. 3, p.4 ran “Mark Twain in Paris,” a longish interview [Scharnhorst, Interviews 145-8]. Subjects covered were the Pomroy house the Clemenses rented at 169 rue de l’Université in Paris (misspelled as “Pomeroy” which leads Scharnhorst to conclude the reference is “a joke at the expense of Marcus (Brick) Pomeroy (1833-96), a popular journalist and real estate promoter.” See listings under “Pomroy”. In the interview the unnamed reporter remarked, “Perhaps we lose the quality of the French humor as completely as they lose the quality of yours,” to which Sam answered “Oh, unquestionably.”
“As for humor, well,” wheeling round suddenly, “I don’t think any nation that has a sense of humor would go around sniveling over that great Russian bear the way France has been doing. If they could see themselves — but it is like a drunkard. Everybody knows that if a man who gets drunk could once see himself when he is drunk he’d never do it again.
“The French are simply drunk; that’s all. …You wouldn’t find America playing the ridiculous part that France has in this Russian craze, and it is for such reasons that I think Americans have a better sense of humor than Frenchmen.”
January 28 Monday
January 29 Tuesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Your felicitous and delightful letter of the 15th [not extant] arrived three days ago and brought great pleasure into the house. I note what you say about helping me with your heart and head and pocket in the matter of the uniform edition; and I shall surely call on the first two gratefully; and if I find I can’t pull through without invading the third, why then I’ll attack that if the edition promises to justify such conduct.
My scheme is modester than it was. It contemplates a cloth set of 12 volumes (90 to 100,000 words each; small octavo; 300 pages each, small pica:) for $12. No pictures. Single volumes $1.50. And suppress the old editions.
The sets to be sold by subscription: $4 down, and two installments of $4 each. Cash down in full for high-priced-binding sets.
Writing of his planned visit to Rogers’ new house, he advised not to put Harry on the roof — he could sleep under Sam’s bed. Dr. Clarence Rice and Rogers were trustees in the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital, Rice also a founder. Sam expressed the hope that Rice would be chosen president of the Hospital. Sam and Livy were also concerned that John Brusnahan would recover money lost on the typesetter and advised Rogers to allow Brusnahan “as many months to decide in” to their Chicago enterprise as he wished. Sam also reported progress on JA.
At 6 minutes past 7, yesterday evening, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
With the long strain gone, I am in sort of physical collapse to-day, but it will be gone to-morrow. I judged that this end of the book would be hard work, and it turned out so. I have never done any work before that cost so much thinking and weighing and measuring and planning and cramming, or so much cautious and painstaking execution. For I wanted the whole Rouen trial in, if it could be got in such a way that the reader’s interest would not flag…
Possibly the book may not sell, but that is nothing — it was written for love.
Sam felt he couldn’t give the martyrdom segment to Harper’s as it was not separable, “it is part of the living body.” He planned to add a few chapters to finish this week and then revision would take a week or ten days. He also advised that the family planned to go to Quarry Farm and spend the winter in their Hartford house if they could afford it. He stressed this last to be private.
Mrs. C. has made acres of figures, and has decided that without horses and coachman we can live there the winter on Paris rates — $1,000 a month. Her calculations have always come out right, I believe, and so she is right about this, I guess.
A friend wants our house from March 1 till Sept. 1 — and that comes very handy. I am quite willing somebody else shall pay our taxes for us a while [MTHHR 123-5].
Note: Sam’s Feb. 3 to Rogers revealed the renters to be John C. Day, Alice Hooker Day and family.
January 30 Wednesday
January 31 Thursday
February – As early as Feb. 3 in a letter to Rogers, Sam was planning and discussing a world tour. The plans evolved over the spring and were not finalized until late May, with J.B. Pond acting as manager for the North American leg and Robert Sparrow Smythe of Melbourne handling the down-under leg. After the death of Susy, Clara Clemens recalled her father saying to her mother:
The hellish struggle it was to settle on making that lecture trip around the world? How we fought the idea, the horrible idea, the heart-torturing idea. I, almost an old man, with ill health, carbuncles, bronchitis and rheumatism…with patience worn to rags, I was to pack my bag and be jolted around the devil’s universe for what? To pay debts that were not even of my making. And you were worried at the thought of facing such hardships of travel, and SHE [Susy] was unhappy to be left alone. But once the idea of that infernal trip struck us we couldn’t shake it [MFMT 179]. Note: this sentiment is drenched in guilt and remorse, and contrasts sharply with the enthusiasm and planning made between Jan. and May, 1895.
February 1 Friday – Andrew Chatto sent Sam the London address of Max O’Rell (Paul Blouët) and advised that even though Max was in America, letters sent would be forwarded. Chatto acknowledged receipt of the American edition of PW and was sorry he did not have time to include the Twins story in their edition, but hoped to use it “before long” [MTP].
February 2 Saturday – Sam & Livy’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam gave Livy a new five-franc piece that she would frame, which symbolized their reduced financial condition. “Nobody else put up anything, all the family but me being poor” [Feb. 3 to Rogers]. Sam dedicated a copy of JA to Livy:
1870 TO MY WIFE 1895
OLIVIA LANGDON CLEMENS
Is tendered on our wedding anniversary in grateful
Recognition of her twenty-five years of valued
Service as my literary adviser and editor.
February 3 Sunday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, announcing that the day before was their silver wedding anniversary. “About the end of January” Sam had written to Henry M. Stanley asking for the name of Stanley’s lecture agent (Robert Sparrow Smythe) in Melbourne [Feb. 12 to Rogers] about a possible world tour.
I expect to sail in the New York the 23d of this present month. To consult with you first and then arrange a contract to issue Joan next December and follow it with the Uniform Edition.
Also to consult with you about another project, which is — (take a breath and stand by for a surge) — to go around the world on a lecture trip.
This is not for money, but to get Mrs. Clemens and myself away from the phantoms and out of the heavy nervous strain for a few months. By the urgent help of the doctor I have got her more than half persuaded — provided Susy or Clara will go with us. Also, it will be a rest for you and Mrs. Duff and Harry. You all need just such a trip. I suppose I can hire myself out to Mrs. Clemens as a platform-reader and thus escape trouble from my creditors. I must ask Colby about that. For my scheme is, to start west in September, read twice in Kansas City, four times in Chicago, four times in San Francisco, two or three times around about there, and sail for Australia about Oct. 1. Read 60 times in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania; once in Columbo, Ceylon; 4 times in Bombay; maybe read also in Calcutta or around there somewhere; then go on to the gold and diamond mines of South Africa and put in 20 or 25 readings there; then to Great Britain and read in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, and so on, 20 or 30 times; then home and read a few times in Boston, New York, Phila, Baltimore, Washington and Richmond.
Sam disclosed he’d discussed such a tour with Henry M. Stanley. He felt he would do better financially should he go alone but that would “worsen Mrs. Clemens, not improve her.” He relished being a “novelty” in Australia and South Africa, “the only Yank that ever appeared there or in India on the platform.” He felt it would take all summer to train himself for the platform and gave as a reason “those unspeakable botches” he’d made at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 26 and 27, 1894 with James Whitcomb Riley. “I was a fool to go on that platform — but I had to have money.”
Whitmore reports a balance of $67.40 in bank at Hartford. He never gives a body sufficient notice ahead. I must try and replace him with another idiot when I come.
If I go on that trip I may possibly get a book of travel out of it; and books of travel are good sellers in the subscription trade.
If we go, it is our project to get the Elmira relatives to board two of our girls for us while we are away. That is, half of the time; and Twichell in Hartford the other half. He has offered, more than once, heretofore. What that kind of change of scene I think the girls would have a very good time and not miss us severely. Miss their mother, I mean. Girls don’t miss their fathers as much as they ought to.
After his signature Sam added an alternate idea for the tour to begin in reverse, with England, Scotland, Ireland first, then South Africa, etc. [MTHHR 126-8]. Note: Franklin G. Whitmore was another of the “victims” of Sam’s ire once a working relationship wore thin. This was true of Charles Webster, Daniel Whitford, Charles Perkins, Elisha Bliss and others.
February 4 Monday
February 5 Tuesday
February 6 Wednesday
February 7 Thursday – In Paris Sam booked passage on the S.S. New York for Feb. 23 as planned, with a return for Mar. 27. He also engaged passage for the entire family in the same ship for May 18. In the evening Sam completed revisions on JA [Feb. 8 to Rogers]. Note: the family left on May 11, unsure for some time which date they could make.
February 8 Friday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he finished on Feb. 9.
Yours of Jan 17 has just arrived, in which you mention $200 check received from American Pub. Co. …I think this $200 must be part of the $1,500 which he was to pay for “Those Extraordinary Twins.”
The thing has happened which was bound to happen. Bliss got hold of Pudd’nhead so late that he lost the holiday trade; consequently achieved no sale.
News has just come that the interest on Mrs. Clemens’s Buffalo mortgage has defaulted. So that is $1,500 withdrawn from her bread and butter. Da-a-m — nation! Isn’t there ever going to come a turn!
Mr. Macgowen [James G. Macgowan] shipped that Tom Sawyer to you yesterday for me, and got it registered. I enclose the P.O. receipt.
Sam also announced he’d secured passage on the steamer New York the day before. Sam had also talked with William H. Libby, a friend of James G. Macgowan and learned that the sail from San Francisco and England by way of Australia was “delightful” and only $600 for one first-class ticket. Sam encouraged Rogers to go with them on the world tour — “This is our last chance to go around the world. If we don’t do it now we never shall” [MTHHR 128-31].
February 8 Friday ca. – About this day Franklin G. Whitmore sent an application of a possible tenant for the Clemens’ Hartford house. Not extant but mentioned in Henry C. Robinson’s Feb. 15 to John C. Day.
February 9 Saturday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam finished his Feb. 8 letter to H.H. Rogers adding a PS. He confided that the idea of “dumping two of our girls” on Sue Crane was one Livy didn’t want anyone to know, since she needed to talk to Sue first. Since Sue and Dr. Rice were great friends, Sam and Livy were concerned Rice might mention the idea to her before Livy had the chance to broach it.
She [Sue Crane] and Rice are great friends. Rice breeds some kind of an animal in her nose — an octopus, I think — and then charges her for letting on to take it out. He is the most ingenious cuss!
I finished revising and completing Joan yesterday evening, and shall take the MS along when I sail the 23d. Will you warn Harry that his uncle Sammy is coming over to see about that wall paper? Sincerely yours [MTHHR 129-130].
Sam also responded in a short paragraph to a Mr. Morgan (whose letter is not extant) offering,
I had a brother & a sister born in Jamestown, but I was reserved for Missouri. [MTP].
Note: Morgan may have been soliciting biographical information. It’s not clear which siblings Sam was referring to. Pamela Ann Clemens was born in Jamestown, Tenn., Sept. 13, 1827, as well as Margaret L. Clemens, b. May 31, 1830 died when Sam was nearly four. But Orion Clemens was born on July 17, 1825 in Gainesboro, Tenn. A brother who died before Sam was born, Pleasant Hannibal Clemens b. ca. 1828 or 9 in Jamestown. Wecter writes, “Jamestown, literally nothing but a cluster of sandy springs along an old Indian trace, had just been chosen as site for the seat of Fentress County, then being organized in these early months of 1827” .
Sam also wrote to Mary Mason Fairbanks and responded from memory to a recent letter he’d mislaid.
…I know your main question was the condition of the family. Livy is better & stronger now than she has been for several years; Susy is in pretty good shape, but not robust — she’s never that; the rest of us are robust.
Sam reported he’d finished his book at 7 p.m. the night before, some 170,000 words. It had taken two years, on and off and he’d written two other books in the meantime (PW and TS Detective). He asked her when she’d finish her book (Emma Willard and Her Pupils, or Fifty Years of Troy Female Seminary 1822-1872 ). As for JA, his just-finished book:
Name and subject? Well, I mean to keep those private until I decide whether I will publish it or not.
We can’t have this little house after May 1; & so it may be that the family will go home for the summer — & they may not. An undecided question, as yet [MTMF 276].
Note: Sam had already booked passage for the family to return to the US on May 18 (though would leave on May 11; see Feb. 7 and 8 to Rogers), but he may not have wanted to disclose this. This is the last known letter to Mary from Sam, though a Dec. 28, 1896 from Livy to Mary survives. It’s likely he wrote her from the 1895-6 world tour, though if so, such letters are lost.
Sam also wrote to unidentified persons, “To the Publishers” concerning the Jamestown matter, referred to above in the letter to a Mr. Morgan. In that letter he suggested, “that you precede my letter with your own in the circular — or put mine first if you prefer — & see if anything will result.” Taken together, there was evidently a movement to secure books for some entity in Jamestown, Tenn., and it was mistakenly taken for Sam’s birthplace by some. In this letter Sam even mistakenly puts Jamestown as Orion’s birthplace (it was Gainesboro, Tenn.).
I was always indifferent and careless about where I was going to be born, & left it to others. It might be an argument to state that I had a brother born in Jamestown seventy years ago, if it were true, but it isn’t; I didn’t have him born there, it merely happened; I had nothing to do with it, & cannot claim any of the credit.
Now it may be that there is argument in this: if the publishers gave 7,000 books to an English friend of mine of twenty years’ standing, how can they consistently refuse 7,000 to an American friend of mine of fifty-nine years’ standing?
…With permission, that American friend of mine will sign himself with all respectfulness, Mark Twain [MTP].
February 10 Sunday
February 11 Monday
February 12 Tuesday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
More Mental Telegraphy. About the end of January I wrote and asked Stanley for the name and address of his Australian lecture-agent, and he told me R.S. Smythe, Melbourne. So I wrote Smythe nine days ago — and got a letter from him from Melbourne last night answering my questions! There — how’s that! It is true that his letter left Melbourne Dec. 17 and went to America and then back to Paris — still it was odd that he should take a notion to write me just about the time that I was going to write him. I hadn’t thought of Australia away back there in December…
Sam repeated he would sail “11 days hence,” or on Feb. 23 [MTHHR 130-1]. Partial letter; ending lost.
Sam also wrote to Henry Loomis Nelson, the new editor of Harper’s Weekly.
Oh, but I did intend to write for the Weekly; but I never happened to strike a subject that seemed suitable. I believe I have written only two miscellaneous things since then — a skit at Bourget & a small tale, & neither of those seemed suitable.
Sam disclosed he’d be in New York around Mar. 2 or 3 and then Nelson might “knock out” a subject for him to write on [MTP].
February 13 Wednesday
February 14 Thursday – An autographed theatre program for the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor 17 Rue St., Florentin, Paris, France was auctioned by Brunk Auctions, Asheville, N. Carolina on eBay on Jan. 8, 2006 (Item 6590792883). The program advertised “Fifteen Minutes with Mark Twain.” The content of those minutes was not given, but there were two parts of the program, the first with six performances and the second with seven. Sam was first up on the second part, and signed “Truly Yours Mark Twain” under his listing.
February 15 Friday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to Elizabeth H. Colt, commenting on the 52 page A Memorial to Caldwell Hart Colt: 1858-1894. “Colly” Colt, her son, died on Jan. 21, 1894.
It is not a large book, & not labored but simple; & yet when one has finished it he is conscious that a Man has passed by. Every fine and great quality stands forth strong & clear, & one recognizes that there is an art which is above & beyond conscious art: & that it is Unconscious art doing its work under the inspirations of love & sincerity. …
We grieve with you; it is all that our love can do. Man seems royally gifted until the heart of a friend needs healing, then all his poverty stands exposed. He cannot heal, he can only wish — & wish — & know that his own day is coming, & that then his best friends can do nothing for him but say his own futile words to him again — “We grieve with you” [MTP]
Note: Elizabeth Colt’s son, Caldwell (“Colly”) Hart Colt died a little over a year before, on Jan. 21, 1894 in Florida of tonsillitis after an operation there. Sam was evidently in possession of a memorial-type book about the famous yachtsman. In testate and a bachelor, the bulk of his father’s fortune reverted to Mrs. Colt, now the richest woman in Connecticut. See N.Y. Times Jan. 23, 1894 p.1, “Victim of Malignant Tonsillitis”. A picture of Colt in his yachtsman outfit and dapper muttonchops may be seen on cthistoryonline.org.
In the matter of renting the Clemens’ Hartford house, attorney Henry C. Robinson signed a typed letter on his law offices letterhead to John C. Day. Day had talked to Franklin G. Whitmore who reported he “has had an application for the house from a very desirable tenant, and sent the application to Paris a week ago.” Whitmore was trying to rent the house, barn and furniture for $1,000 for six months. See also Robinson’s follow up for Feb. 26, 1895 [Tenney 1981 copy from Stowe-Day Library, Hartford]. Note: John and Alice (Hooker) Day eventually rented the home. As long time friends of the Clemenses, the comfort level would have been good. Also, the letterhead, besides Henry C. Robinson, lists Lucius F. Robinson and Henry S. Robinson — a family firm.
February 16 Saturday
February 17 Sunday
February 18 Monday
February 19 Tuesday
February 20 Wednesday – Frederick Douglass, American ex-slave and author, friend of the Langdon family, died of a heart attack or stroke in Washington D.C. Sam met Douglass in 1869 while lecturing in Rhode Island, and wrote to Livy that Douglass had “a grand face.” See Dec. 15, 1869 and other entries in Vol. I.
February 21 Thursday
February 22 Friday – At 169 rue de l’Université in Paris, Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, heading the letter, “Birthington’s Washday/95”. Sam supposed that John and Alice Day had taken the Clemens house in Hartford for rent because Sam had received no cable otherwise from Day.
In three hours I leave for Havre & New York.
I am mighty sorry the bicycle business has struck hard luck. What is going to become of things, anyway. / With love to you all [MTP]. Note: Whitmore may have been involved in the bicycle business.
Sam traveled to Havre where he either stayed in a hotel or spent the night aboard the SS New York, preparing to sail the next morning.
February 23 Saturday – The S.S. New York sailed from Havre, France with Sam aboard. The ship stopped in Southampton and sailed for New York. MTHHR, p.132 offers the following exposition of this trip back to the US:
“His errand was twofold: to arrange for the publication of Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, and to consider a plan for a uniform edition of his works. Joan of Arc was not difficult to sell, although Mark Twain insisted it be published anonymously for fear that association with his name would prevent readers from taking the work seriously. It was taken up at once as a serial for Harper’s Magazine. A penalty, in the form of an increase in the author’s royalties, was to be invoked if Mark Twain’s name as mentioned in connection with the serial, and Harper & Brothers also promised to bring it out soon thereafter as a dignified volume. Arrangements for a uniform edition of Mark Twain’s works, however, were to stretch out over several years.”
February 24 Sunday
February 25 Monday
February 26 Tuesday – In Hartford attorney Henry C. Robinson, in the matter of renting the Clemenses Hartford house, wrote a follow up letter to his Feb. 15 to John C. Day, stating that Day, in Robinson’s judgment, wouldn’t want to rent the barn, so that $800 would be sufficient rent for the six-month period in question [Stowe-Day Library; 1981 copy from Tenney].
February 27 Wednesday
February 28 Thursday
March – The North American Review for March carried Max O’Rell’s (Leon Paul Blouët) article, “Mark Twain & Paul Bourget,” an answer to Sam’s criticism of Bourget’s observations of America. O’Rell added a spirited defense of French morality [Tenney 24].
In his 1934 memoirs, I Remember, J. Henry Harper gave this account of Sam’s wish to be anonymous with JA; the meeting, though undated, would have taken place after Sam’s arrival back in the US on March 2, 1895, or just prior to the April beginning of JA as a serial in Harper’s Monthly Magazine:
We arranged with Mr. Clemens for the publication of his Joan of Arc, as a serial in the Magazine. He dropped into the office one day and asked if we had started it. I told him that we were just about to got to press.
“That’s fortunate,” he remarked, “for I want to ask a favor of you; it is not to include my name as the author, in serial form, but to publish it anonymously.” I protested, on the ground that his name was a most valuable asset.
“I know all that,” he agreed, “but I feel that it would be defrauding my public to have my name associated with it in serial form; of course, when it comes to book publication, that will be different.” He went on to say that he felt he had made a grave mistake in not originally taking two noms de plume, one for his humorous writings, and one for his serious work. “As it is now,” he went on, “my audience always looks for a laugh in whatever I publish, and it’s a fact that in England, whenever I am called upon to make an after-dinner speech, the guests are all on the verge of laughter before I begin, afraid lest they might miss a salient bit of humor. I am getting old, and I find I become more and more inclined to write on serious subjects.”
We left his name off the serial, although now, in re-reading the story with his name attached, it seems to me that in so many places it would hardly be possible to overlook his individual and masterly touch. Nevertheless, during its appearance in our Magazine it was attributed to several writers, no one hitting on Mr. Clemens as the author [139-40].
March 1 Friday
March 2 Saturday – The S.S. New York arrived in New York City [NY Times, Mar. 3, 1895 p.14, “Arrivals from Europe”; Mar. 11 to Livy]. Mrs. Cara Rogers Duff met his boat and escorted him to the Rogers’ home at 26 E. 57th Street [2nd Apr. 3 to Rogers].
Literary Digest p.10-11, ran “A Frenchman on Mark Twain and His Criticisms of Bourget,” which was a translated segment of a Le Figaro (Paris) article by M. Labadie-Lagrave; the article compared Bourget and Twain’s approaches to a topic. For Twain, he “begins by choosing a thesis, and he then invents a series of adventures, generally very interesting, which are built up so as to throw into full light a truth that he has previously formulated” [Tenney 23].
March 3 Sunday
March 4 Monday – Lloyd S. Bryce, editor of the North American Review, wrote to Sam, the letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s Mar. 9 to Bryce.
March 5 Tuesday – From H.H. Rogers’ abode at 26 E. 57th in New York, Sam wrote to Frank Fuller.
I am in America for a few days. Part of my errand is to arrange for my new book [JA], which is now finished. Another part of it is to consider a uniform edition of my books.
Can you come down now? If so, the car that passes the Grand Central Station will bring you to the above dwelling house.
Sam asked him to telegraph the day before his arrival [MTP]. Note: It’s not clear where Fuller was, but he’d been mentioned along with William Evarts Benjamin in connection with a Uniform Edition scheme. See Mar. 6, 1894 entry.
March 6 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Mr. Rogers’s, 26 E. 57th. / March 6/95, 10.45 a.m. Bliss” [NB 34 TS 5].
March 7 Thursday
March 8 Friday
March 9 Saturday – From the Rogers’ home on 26 E. 57th in New York, Sam wrote to Lloyd S. Bryce, editor of the North American Review.
I find a basketful of unforwarded letters here this morning; among them yours [not extant] of five days ago. If I had the Cooper article here — but it’s in Paris. I will examine it when I reach there the first week in April, & — probably re-write it. If I get it to suit me I will send it to you.
Oh, dear, I couldn’t undertake an article at ten days’ limit. That’s for O’Rell’s kind — the kind that puke an article & think it’s literature [MTP].
Note: Sam is referring here to Leon Paul Blouët, pen name Max O’Rell, French author and journalist who lectured often in England and even more so in the U.S. between 1890 and 1900. Blouët’s English wife translated his books. Blouët was also in the middle of the Paul Bourget Outre-Mer controversy, accusing Sam of being “unkind, unfair, bitter, hasty,” in using a poor translation of Bourget’s article in a N.Y. newspaper [Gribben 75]. See index for other entries with O’Rell.
Sam also wrote a letter to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton) trying to trump up a good excuse for not attending a party and dance she was hosting on Mar. 16.
I’ve got your good note at last, after long delay. I thank you ever so much, & am sincerely sorry that custom forbids me to go to parties, &c, at present. A bereavement has overtaken me, & during the rest of my sojourn on this side I shall be obliged to limit myself to — well, I haven’t any shirts.
Whoever berove me of those shirts, may he be damned with a special damnation.
I am to be up in Massachusetts the 16th; but if by any chance that engagement should miss fire, I shall remember the dance & will button up & come [MTP].
Sam also wrote to his old Hartford friend, George H. Warner asking him to let him know the first time he was coming to New York. He announced he was returning to France Mar. 27 but would run to Hartford before leaving. After his signature he wrote:
In the daytime I am down town; usually at 26 Broadway — 4th floor, H.H. Rogers [MTP].
March 10 Sunday
March 11 Monday – At H.H. Rogers’ home, 26 E. 57th in New York, Sam wrote to Livy:
Livy darling, I have been here 9 days [arrived Mar. 2], & have received but one letter from you. It came with the address corrected at the Postoffice, & so I gave myself no further uneasiness; but I must make some inquiries, for two letters are due from other folk beside those which you have doubtless written.
…Oh, I hate business — & so these days do drag along most wearily. I miss you; & I often wish we lived out of the world where one might never more hear of business or worry about money. The time does not drag at the [Rogers] house. There it is always cheerful & cordial — but it’s the day, the day — the business-day that frets me.
And it’s the waiting. I am waiting for Bliss to make up his mind & report; & I am waiting for the Century people to cipher out an offer & make it.
Sam was on his way to see the Century people [MTP].
March 12 Tuesday
March 13 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook:
26, East 57th, March 13/95. John Brisben Walker has just offered me $10,000 for 12 articles on my Australian trip. If I make the trip I think I will accept [NB 34 TS 6]. Note: Sam did make the trip but reconsidered and turned down all such offers. On June 18, 1895, he would answer Frank Hall Scott, president of the Century Publishing Co. See entry.
March 14 Thursday
March 15 Friday – Sometime during this week Sam went to Hartford. He may have stayed at the Twichell’s, or the Day’s, who were renting the Clemens house on Farmington Ave. His Mar. 20 to Livy expressed that when he arrived in Hartford, he “did not want to go near the house , & didn’t want to go anywhere or see anybody,” which suggests he didn’t stay at either home initially. As to the length of his stay in Hartford, on Mar. 22 he wrote to Hutton from N.Y.: “after an absence of many days,” suggesting the stay began sometime a week or so earlier, or about this day.
March 16 Saturday
March 17 Sunday
March 18 Monday
March 19 Tuesday – Susy Clemens’ 23rd birthday.
The New York Times, p.3, “Theatrical Gossip” Mar. 20, 1895:
— “Puddin’ Head Wilson.” — The first rehearsal of Frank Mayo’s dramatization of Mark Twain’s “Puddin’ Head Wilson,” which Manager Charles E. Evans is to produced at the Herald Square Theatre soon, was held yesterday [Mar. 19], and rehearsals will now be continued daily until the production is made. The play will have its first performance April 8, in Hartford, Conn., the home of Mark Twain.
March 20 Wednesday – From the Clemens home on Farmington Ave. in Hartford, Sam began a letter to Livy in Paris, which he finished on Mar. 21. He headed the letter “At Home, Hartford, Mch.20/95.”
Livy darling, when I arrived in town I did not want to go near the house, & I didn’t want to go anywhere or see anybody. I said to myself, “If I may be spared it I will never live in Hartford again.”
But as soon as I entered this front door I was seized with a furious desire to have us all in this house again & right away, & never go outside the grounds any more forever — certainly never again to Europe.
Sam praised the decorating, the “perfect taste” of the ground floor, the “richness & beauty” of the house that almost took his breath away.
Katy [Leary] had every rug & picture and ornament & chair exactly where they had always belonged, the place was bewitchingly bright & splendid & homelike & natural, & it seemed as if I had burst awake out of a hellish dream, & had never been away, & that you would come drifting down out of those dainty upper regions with the little children tagging after you.
Your rocking chair (formerly Mother’s) was in its place, & Mrs. Alice [Day] tried to say something about it but broke down [LLMT 312].
March 21 Thursday – In Hartford at Joe Twichell’s, Sam finished his Mar. 20 to Livy:
March 21. (Uncle Joe’s.)
I was to dine there at 6.30, — & did. It was their first day, & their first meal. I was there first, & received them. Then John sent in the roses & your card, which touched Mrs. Alice [Day] to the depths. Good-bye dear sweetheart, good-bye. / Saml [LLMT 312].
P.S. Hartford is resounding with a thundering roar of welcome for you & the children — for I have spread it around that you are coming to America in May. Words cannot describe how worshipfully & enthusiastically you are loved in this town; & the wash of the wave reaches even to me, because I belong to you; it would wash to your dog, if you had a dog.
Sam described avoiding people, but running into Samuel Dunham, who offered a “touching & flooding outpouring of welcome & delight.”
I have made up my mind to one thing: if we go around the world we will move into our house when we get back; & if we don’t go around the world we will move in when the Days’ time is up.
Sam saw France as “poor & empty & offensive” compared to America. He related that the Day’s and the Twichell’s wanted visits, but that he insisted Livy would stay in New York “till that doctor leaves in July. He has got to cure you.”
Good-bye my darling, I shall leave for New York now. This is nearly the last letter I’ll write you — possibly the last — don’t know.
After his signature Sam wrote that Katy Leary was “the same old Katy” — she wouldn’t stay with the Day’s because it would make her homesick for the family [LLMT 313]. Note: Katy had returned to Elmira after being laid off by the family; she may have been in Hartford to provide services at the house.
March 22 Friday – Sam returned to New York and the Rogers’ home at 26 E. 57th, where he wrote a short note to Laurence Hutton.
O, I am unspeakably sorry that I am to miss seeing that dear & marvelous child. I have just returned, after an absence of many days, & am leaving again to-day to be absent till Monday. Give her my love; & the like to Mrs. Hutton [MTP].
March 23 Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote a letter to John Elderkin, secretary of the Lotos Club. The letter was printed in the N.Y. Tribune for Apr. 25, 1895, p.11, along with a notice that “Mark Twain has been elected a life member of the Lotos Club.”
I have been wandering the highways for a week, hence the trouble your welcome letter has had in finding me. Welcome is the right word, for nothing could be welcomer than the compliment it brings me. It is an honor to be a member of the Lotos Club, and this honor I have held and prized for a good two-thirds of a generation; in promoting me to a life membership the directors have augmented this honor and added to it the quality of distinction. There is not a veteran of us all who could be producer of this token of approval and good-fellowship which began when my head was brown and has lasted till it is gray; began when I “came unto a land where it seemed always afternoon,” and continue now when I have reached a land where it is always afternoon — and but little left of that.
I wish I could be with you the night of the [gathering] and say my thanks with my mouth, and help brethren go back in reminiscent pilgrimage the twenty-five milestones and make certain of dead live again — Oh, John Brougham, what a cancy [chance] you made when you went out from us! I shall be on the ocean then; my sailing is imperative and unavoidable. Still, I can be with your spirit and shall be; and at 11 that night, New time, I will drink health and love to you all, hope that you will do the like for me.
March 24 Sunday – In New York, fourteen year old Helen Keller (1880-1968), the first deafblind person who would graduate from college, met Sam and William Dean Howells at Laurence Hutton’s. (Sam’s Nov. 26, 1896 to Emilie Rogers mentions that H.H. Rogers was also present.) Keller wrote to her friend, Mary Mapes Dodge on Mar. 29 (using a new script typewriter, a “Remington”) of the meeting on the previous Sunday (Mar. 24).
Mr. Clemens told us many entertaining stories, & made us laugh till we cried. He told us he was going back to Europe this week to bring his wife & daughter back to America because his daughter, who is a schoolgirl in Paris, had learned so much in three years & a half that if he did not bring her home she would soon know more than he did. I think “Mark Twain” is a very appropriate nom de plume for Mr. Clemens because it has a funny & quaint sound that goes well with his amusing writings, & its nautical significance suggests the deep & beautiful things he has written [LLMT 313-4]. Note: this has been erroneously reported as Mar. 31, 1895, but Sam was aboard the S.S. Paris that day en route.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore asking him to pay a Hartford Courant bill and “stop the paper for the present.” He didn’t realize the subscription had been running. He also mentioned other Hartford details for Whitmore to look after: discuss coal and rent payment with John Day; Patrick McAleer’s gas.
I neglected & forgot everything. I ain’t worth one cent to transact business, it is so wholly out of my line; & I don’t believe I will ever try, again [MTP].
March 25 Monday – Sam traveled to Philadelphia, where he gave a luncheon speech at Cramp’s Shipyard for a dedication ceremony of a new liner. Fatout’s intro to the speech, p.274, MT Speaking:
A luncheon given by the International Navigation Company was intended to celebrate the launching of its liner, the St. Paul. Unfortunately, the ship would not slide into the water. Two hours’ work with sledges and with steam hoses to soften the tallow on the ways failed to budge her. The event had to be postponed, but the Times reported the next day that “Although the launch did not take place the luncheon…was served and congratulatory speeches were made.”
And, from Sam’s speech:
Day after tomorrow I sail for England in a ship of this line, the Paris. It will be my fourteenth crossing in three years and a half. Therefore, my presence here, as you see, is quite natural, quite commercial. I am interested in ships. They interest me more now than hotels do. When a new ship is launched I feel a desire to go and see if she will be good quarters for me to live in, particularly if she belongs to this line, for it is by this line that I have done most of my ferrying.
People wonder why I go so much. Well, I go partly for my health, partly to familiarize myself with the road. I have gone over the same road so many times now that I know all the whales that belong along the route, and latterly it is an embarrassment to me to meet them, for they do not look glad to see me, but annoyed, and they seem to say: “Here is this old derelict again.”
Earlier in life this would have pained me and made me ashamed, but I am older now, and when I am behaving myself, and doing right, I do not care for a whale’s opinion about me. [See 274-5 for the rest of the speech].
March 26 Tuesday – An unidentified person wrote to Sam (envelope only, Keller to Dodge Mar. 29 encl.) [MTP]. Note: this is the letter of Helen Keller’s quoted in Mar. 24 entry, so the sender may have been its recipient, Mary Mapes Dodge.
March 27 Wednesday – In New York at the Rogers home, a few minutes before leaving to board the S.S. Paris, Sam wrote a paragraph to Franklin G. Whitmore after receiving Whitmore’s letter, not extant, date uncertain.
In five minutes I start for the ship; your letter has this moment come & contents noted & welcomed. At first I thought I would drop a note to Mr. Day & tell him to pay the rent to you; but next it occurred to me that I am warned every day to venture no orders concerning Mrs. Clemens’s properties & affairs [MTP].
Note: H.H. Rogers’ attorneys handling Sam’s bankruptcy would have done the warning; since all properties had been assigned to Livy, including real and literary, fraud might have been claimed should Sam be seen to direct those properties.
H.H. Rogers, his daughter Cara Duff, and Miss Hammond accompanied Sam to the dock, where he boarded the S.S. Paris for his return to France [Apr. 3, 2nd to Rogers]. Miss Hammond’s relationship is not given, perhaps a friend of Mrs. Duff’s. Also on board were Mrs. Clarence Rice and her children, and Andrew Carnegie.
The Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, Mar. 28, 1895, p.4, datelined Mar. 27 ran “American Liner Follows in Two Hours and a Half / Prominent Passengers on Board, Including Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie” The correspondent quoted Sam on the S.S. Paris racing across the Atlantic.
“I did not know we are going to have a race until a moment ago, but that knowledge will add interest to the trip for me. I am going back to Europe in order to bring my family back, and I think we will have a speedy trip.”
March 28 Thursday – Sam was en route on the S.S. Paris for Havre, France.
March 29 Friday
March 30 Saturday
March 31 Sunday – Sam was en route on the S.S. Paris for Havre, France.
April – Harper’s Monthly Magazine began publishing serially and anonymously, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, which ran through April 1896 [MTHHR 144n2], publishing it as a book in May 1896 with Mark Twain’s name on the spine and cover but not the title page. See Apr. 15 to Harrison, for Sam’s condition of anonymity and penalty should it be broken. See also Feb. 23 and Mar. entries.
April 1 Monday
April 2 Tuesday – On the S.S. Paris en route to Southampton, Sam wrote to Clarence C. Buel, editor of Century Magazine.
Before I left I put in nearly a whole night trying to write something for the October number; but it was only a doubtful success, so I had to pigeonhole it for a future effort.
Sam wanted Buel to know that he hadn’t forgot his promise and that he’d done his best [MTP]. Note: The MTP reports this as Apr. 2-3; the night Sam spent trying to produce this article is not given.
In his second Apr. 3 to H.H. Rogers, Sam described this evening’s events:
The usual “concert” last night [Apr. 2]. Carnegie in the chair. Something prompted me to risk telling my dream about my trip to heaven and hell with Rev. Sam Jones and the Archbishop of Canterbury — and I did it. It was good fun — but just scandalous. When Mrs. Clemens finds it out there will be a scalp lacking in the Clemens family.
From MTHHR 136n1: In the winter of 1891-2 Clemens had written “A Singular Episode” (DV 329, MTP), an account of a dream in which Mark Twain leaves the world by celestial railroad and surreptitiously exchanges his ticket to Sheol for the sleeping archbishop’s ticket to Heaven. Clemens wrote at the top of the manuscript: “Not published — forbidden by Mrs. Clemens”
Meanwhile, in New York, H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam that he missed his company. The letter is not extant but is mentioned in Sam’s Apr. 14 to Rogers.
April 3 Wednesday – On the S.S. Paris and nearing Southampton, Sam wrote two letters to H.H. Rogers. In the first (all but the first paragraph is lost) he announced they were approaching Southampton. He reported good weather and a smooth sea for the entire trip. His writing would not come, however:
But I have done no work. Every attempt has failed — a struggle every day, & retreat & defeat at night & all.
Sam asked after Cara Duff’s health, hoping she was “entirely well by this time” [MTHHR 136].
At 11 a.m. Sam wrote again to Rogers. He reported that Mrs. Clarence Rice and her children had “been sick part of the time, but on the whole they have had a pleasant voyage,” and felt they would have an easy trip on to Havre in the evening. Sam then related events of the previous evening, Apr. 2 (see entry). He thanked Rogers and his daughter Mrs. Duff for accompanying him to the ship, and also Mrs. Duff for meeting him and accompanying him to the Rogers home when he arrived in New York on this trip.
It was lucky that I named the 4th of April for the dinner in London instead of the 3d, for we are not going to get into Southampton till along in the night.
Tell Harry to be good and he will be happy. I have not tried it, but I know it’s so [MTHHR 135].
Note: Sam often ended letters to Rogers with a humorous note about Harry Rogers, the teen whom he felt much affection for. The order of these two letters is not clear. MTHHR puts this letter first and the partial letter last.
In the evening the S.S. Paris arrived in Southampton, England. Sam then left for London, where he had an engagement for a dinner given by Henry M. Stanley on the following night.
Henry M. Alden of Harper & Brothers sent Sam a contract to publish JA and TS Detective. [MTP]. Note: Sam signed on Apr. 15 with one added provision.
April 4 Thursday – In London, Sam left his calling card with a note for Chatto & Windus, his English publishers. “please pay S. Gardener & Co £13:5.0. & charge to me. / S.L. Clemens / Apl. 4/95” [MTP].
Sam described his dinner with Henry M. Stanley and a crowd of “thirty or forty”:
Stanley is magnificently housed in London, in a grand mansion in the midst of the official world right off Downing street and Whitehall. He had an extraordinary assemblage of brains and fame there to meet me — thirty or forty (both sexes) at dinner, and more than a hundred came in after dinner. Kept it up till after midnight. There were cabinet ministers, ambassadors, admirals, generals, canons, Oxford professors, novelists, playwrights, poets, and a number of people equipped with rank and brains. I told some yarns and made some speeches. I promised to call on all those people next time I come to London, and show them the wife and the daughters. If I were younger and very strong I would dearly love to spend a season in London — provided I had no work on hand; or no work more exacting than lecturing. I think I will lecture there a month or two when I return from Australia.
There were many delightful ladies in that company. One was the wife of His Excellency Admiral Bridge [Sir Cyprian Bridge], Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Station, and she said her husband was able to throw wide all doors to me in that part of the world and would be glad to do it; and would yacht me and my party around, and excursion us in his flag-ship and make us have a great time; and she said she would write him we were coming, and we would find him ready [Apr. 7 to Rogers].
April 5 Friday – The dinner and gathering at Henry M. Stanley’s ran past midnight into this day. Later in the day Sam likely traveled on to Paris and 169 rue de l’Université to reunite with his family.
April 6 Saturday – Sam’s letter of Apr. 7 reveals he was in Paris, when he wrote “Clara and I thought we had discovered exactly the flat” for Mrs. Clarence Rice, “last night” (Apr. 6). Sam also saw Mr. Macgowan and Mr. Southard, according to his Apr. 7 to H.H. Rogers.
Note: George Franklin Southard was a partner, and James G. Macgowan a manager in Bedford et Compagnie, a French partnership legally discrete from Standard Oil but running a refinery at Rouen for it; Rogers would have been acquainted with both men.
April 7 Sunday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Université, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. He was “in a sweat” and spent a page or two wondering how his royalties from Frank Mayo’s dramatization of PW might be calculated. As per the contract, Sam should have had no worries:
“Clemens later realized that he need not have worried: the agreement of 29 September 1894 (CWB) which gave Mayo sole right to produced Pudd’nhead Wilson in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada guaranteed Clemens 20 per cent of the net profits” [MTHHR, p.139n2].
Mrs. Rice and her children were in Paris staying at the Brighton Hotel. The family was trying to find her an apartment. Sam noted, “Mrs. Howland has arrived, and she will be a good planner and helper.” He also mentioned Livy’s,
…present plans — to sail in May; stay one day, or two days in New York; spend June, July and August in Elmira and prepare my lectures; then lecture in San Francisco and thereabouts during September and sail for Australia before the middle of October and open the show there about the middle of November. We don’t take the girls along; it would be too expensive, and they are quite willing to remain behind anyway.
Mrs. C. is feeling so well that she is not going to try the New York doctor till we have gone around the world and robbed it and made the finances a little easier.
Mr. Macgowan is well and happy, and so is Mr. Southard. I saw them yesterday [MTHHR 136-9].
Note: Mrs. Howland was, probably Mrs. Henry E. Howland, wife of Judge Howland of New York. See Apr. 6 for info. on Macgowan and Southard.
Sam also wrote a short letter to Franklin G. Whitmore, conveying Livy’s memory that,
What’s-his-name was going to sell the piano for her if he could — that was all. Nothing was said about his buying it & applying the purchase-money on a new piano [MTP].
Note: several bills exist in MTP’s financials for Hartford’s Wm. Wander & Son, pianos & tuning. Sam addressed Wander’s non-payment again on May 30, 1895 to Whitmore.
April 8 Monday – Frank Mayo inscribed a publisher’s copy of PW: “Yours truly, Frank Mayo. First representation of Pudd’nhead Wilson. Hartford, Conn., April 8th, 1895”. The occasion was the Hartford opening of the dramatization of PW at Proctor’s Opera House. At some later time Sam wrote under Mayo’s inscription: “The above signature is genuine & is that of a genuine man, too. Truly yours, Mark Twain” [MTP; Fatout, MT Speaking 276]. Note: see Sept. 29, 1894 for the contract between Mayo and Sam.
April 9 Tuesday – In Paris, France Sam wrote to his nephew Samuel E. Moffett after receiving Samuel’s book, Suggestions on Government (1894). Moffett was still on the San Francisco Examiner staff.
I found the book furiously stimulating, infernally stimulating, exciting, exasperating. It is calm itself, calm as a snow-plow; but it roots a ragged & excruciating road through one’s feelings, one’s prides and patriotic vanities. …As a final result I find myself agreeing with Ambrose Bierce that there is no good government at all & none possible. Since with our opportunity we have failed to secure good government, the fault must be in the human race. Once more we are forced to admit that it was a mistake & a misfortune that Noah & his gang were not drowned.
Sam also announced their plans to sail in three or four weeks and spend the summer in Elmira. In the fall he hoped to read or lecture in San Francisco a few times [MTP]. Note: Just when Moffett sent a copy of his book is not clear; in a Sept. 21, 1893 letter to his sister, Sam had said he’d be glad to read Samuel’s book and would ask Fred Hall to get it. Moffett previously authored The Tariff. What It Is and What It Does (1892).
Sam also wrote a short note to H.H. Rogers, with Livy signing an authorization for Rogers to pay himself $270, “borrowed by my husband & charge to my account.” Sam added a line after this that he’d invented the form which appeared on the other page, “but Mrs. Clemens thinks she could have phrased it better herself” [MTHHR 140]. Note: the “other page” is the authorization, written in Sam’s hand but signed by Livy.
April 10 Wednesday – Joe Twichell wrote to Sam sending an address of a N.Y. boarding house (Mrs. Rufus McHard, 61 West 17th St.) advising Sam to apply some time in advance at $25 per week. Joe referred to a “longish letter” he’d sent Livy, but he didn’t want her to answer it, just to know he’d mailed it. Joe offered cheer:
“Pudd’nhead Wilson,” appears to have been successfully launched. We sent a delegation to see it (I couldn’t go) and it was reported delightful. “Joan of Arc” seems also to have struck the public attention favorably. I notice that you are already guessed as the writer of it.
May be, old fellow, your best days as author are yet ahead of you. Why shouldn’t they be, with your fruit ripening on the bough?
Anyhow, with whatever temporary pebble in your shoe, you are still one of the most fortunate of men. Do think of that. Occupy yourself with that side of the case. A.C. Dunham said “Tell ‘em (the Clemenses) to come home and give themselves a chance to see how we all love ‘em.” So say I. Yours never more affectionately / Joe [MTP].
April 11 Thursday
April 12 Friday
April 13 Saturday
April 14 Sunday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Yours of the 2d [not extant] has come, and it is a very genuine pleasure to me to know that I am missed. I had such a good homelike time there that I missed the house and everybody in it and found it lonesome in the ship and hard to reconcile myself to the change.
Sam wanted Rogers and his daughter Mrs. Duff to go with him on his world tour. At this point he thought they would leave daughter Clara behind, “for the experts seem to have decided that she is a musical genious” and he didn’t want her to lose the time from her studies. He expected to sail May 11, rest up in New York at the Everett House on the weekend of May 18-19. and leave for Elmira at 9 a.m. Monday morning, May 20. He chose not to stay with Charles Langdon and family at the Waldorf to avoid appearances of “splurging”. He expressed some frustration and questions regarding his planned Uniform Edition, calling Frank Bliss “an ass,” and mentioned Frederick A. Stokes and Harper who were both eager to publish the volumes. He suggested Harper’s might “issue the same books in a high priced and uniform” set, while Stokes’ editions could be cheaper. Sam wasn’t feeling sharp:
I am tired to death all the time, and my head is tired and clogged, too, and the mill refuses to go. It comes of depression of spirits, I think, caused by the impending horror of the platform [MTHHR 140-1].
April 15 Monday – Sam signed the agreement with Harper & Brothers sent by Henry M.Alden on Apr. 3 to publish JA and TS,Detective. At the foot of the third page Sam wrote,
If at any time during the serial publication of Joan of Arc my nom de plume should be appended to it as author, I am to receive, after that, $15 per 1000 words additional, thence to the end. This is the only omission I notice in the above [contract] S.L. Clemens, Paris Apl. 15/95 [MTP].
Sam then sent the letter and contract to Katharine I. Harrison, assistant to H.H. Rogers; he wrote on the margin of the first sheet,
Dear Miss Harrison: Won’t you please put this in the safe? S.L.C. [MTP].
Frank Mayo’s production of Pudd’nhead Wilson opened in New York at the Herald Square Theatre, after a successful week in Hartford [Fatout, MT Speaking 276].
April 16 Tuesday
April 17 Wednesday
April 18 Thursday
April 19 Friday
April 20 Saturday – The New York Times, p.3 “Literary Notes,” ran the following, which shows how quickly Sam’s style was recognized by readers of PW in serial form in Harper’s Monthly:
— Following the report from Hartford, printed recently in The New-York Times, concerning Mark Twain as the author of the Joan of Arc romance in Harper’s Monthly, The Bookman for April has this to say: “We may be in error, but after a careful comparison of the first installment with other work of a similar character, we think it a safe guess to ascribe the present production to Mark Twain.”
April 21 Sunday
April 22 Monday
April 23 Tuesday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper, about the planned Uniform Edition of his works, about a 3,000 word short, “Mental Telegraphy Again,” he was sending to Henry Loomis Nelson for Harper’s Weekly, and about a contract he was about to sign:
To-day I shall sign a contract which has just arrived from Melbourne, for a six to nine months’ reading tour next fall & winter in the Sandwich Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, Madras, Calcutta, Bombay & other Indian cities, then South Africa & the Mauritius. After which I shall probably read in England a spell, then talk across America to Pacific coast & then back again through the Southern States.
And then die, I reckon. I & the family expect to reach the Everett House about three weeks hence — noon, May 18, & go thence to Elmira, NY, two days later. I would like to have (at Elmira) the M.S. or a type-written copy of Book III of “Joan of Arc” as soon as I arrive there, so that I can reduce it for the magazine. / Sincerely Yours [MTP].
Note: of interest is the evolution of plans for the world tour; several times Sam had mentioned San Francisco on the outward leg; here he planned an American leg at the end of the tour with return through the South. Initially May 18 had been booked, but was moved up one week to May 11.
April 24 Wednesday
April 25 Thursday – At 4 a.m. in Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow:
Thank you ever so much for the honorary membership and the other charming hospitalities which you offer, and I wish to goodness I could take advantage of them; but we are in the midst of the hell of breaking up housekeeping and packing and planning for America — and at this unholy hour in the morning neither my wife nor I has had a wink of sleep: been planning and thinking, thinking and planning, ever since we went to bed. We couldn’t find a drop of whisky or brandy in the house, so we have got up — she to go to work, and I to wait for breakfast. (There will be whisky and brandy on the premises tonight.)
Clemens’ heart was broken over the “fortune…so shrunken” of Bigelow’s. “Lord, we know what that is!” Sam related that he’d lost “more than $200,000” on the typesetter and the losses from Webster & Co., which they “had innocently & stupidly invested there.”
So I have got to turn out in my lazy old age and go in the platform again. I have received a satisfactory invitation to come and lecture in India, Australia and South Africa and after consulting with (H.M.) Stanley have decided to accept, and shall cable Melbourne to that effect today. Mrs. Clemens, Clara & I will sail from the Pacific coast the middle of August. I expect to get through by next March & reach London early in April; then — if the thing looks favorable I will gabble around over Great Britain awhile; then gabble in America.
We all leave Southampton for America May 11 (Steamer New York) or at latest May 18 (steamer Paris.) We shall do our level best to make the first date, but it will keep us humping & not a moment to spare.
Cheer up, people! As long as you are not in debt you’re in luck. May the literary work prosper handsomely. If we were free to go canal-boating we would be with you — then I could write the book that is rankling in me [MTP]. Note: Clara was back in the world tour now; the family did make the May 11 departure date; the book “rankling” in Sam is not specified.
April 26 Friday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote two paragraphs to Francis de Winton a friend of the Marquis of Lorne who later was appointed by King Leopold to take Henry M. Stanley’s place in the Congo. He was a recognized authority of central Africa. Sam announced his world tour that he’d signed an agreement for the day before (Apr. 25), and mentioned Stanley and other friends who’d given him letters of introduction for the tour. Did de Winton know anyone “down in that underworld?” He mentioned that de Winton knew one anyway, his brother, but feared he was “on the China Station & out of my reach” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote “Hotel Brighton” as a return address, anticipating the end of the lease of their house at the end of April.
April 27 Saturday
April 28 Sunday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, announcing that the arrangements for the down under, India and South Africa tour had been made. He was still concerned about creditors hounding him if he lectured in the U.S. — if he could get away with it he would sail from Vancouver, B.C. Aug. 16 without succumbing to them. On the matter of his Uniform Edition:
I hope we can arrange with Harpers or Stokes or [Watson] Gill for issuing the books, and that the arrangement can be made and completed as soon as I arrive; if it should take three days, maybe I could reduce Book III of Joan for the magazine in that time, and do have both of those things out of the way. Then I could begin preparing my readings as soon as I reached Elmira. I am already making a few selections now while I’ve got a new touch of the gout.
Livy was exhausted from trunk-packing and he wrote he “would rather see the stuff burned, next time.” They would go to the Hotel Brighton the next day (Apr. 29)
April 29 Monday – In Paris at 169 rue de l’Universite, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. All the trunks and family had left Sam behind in the empty house:
I have been hidden an hour or two, reading proof of Joan, and now I think I am a lost child. I can’t find anybody on the place. The baggage has all disappeared, including the family. I reckon that in the hurry and bustle of moving to the hotel [Brighton] they forgot me. But it is no matter. It is peacefuller now than I have known it for days and days and days.
The letter he’d received from Rogers this morning “suits. Now you’re shouting,” he wrote at the suggestion that the Rogers family might accompany them on the world tour. He’d been reading the proofs and discovered “a couple of tip-top platform readings” — if his authorship wasn’t known by then, he’d reveal it. He was relieved to find out that the Frank Mayo contract did indeed guarantee him 20% of the net profits, and was happy that Rogers liked the play. His gout was now gone, cured with electricity, he claimed.
All the trunks are going over as luggage; then I’ve got to find somebody on the dock who will agree to ship 6 of them to the Hartford Customhouse. If it is difficult I will dump them into the river. It is very careless of Mrs. Clemens to trust trunks and things to me [MTHHR 143-4].
April 30 Tuesday
May – In Paris before May 12, Sam inscribed a copy of P&P to F.S. Reynolds: To / Mr. F.S. Reynolds / with the compliments of / The Author. / Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economise it. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Paris, May/95 [MTP].
May 1 Wednesday – At the Hotel Brighton, Paris, France Sam wrote to Miss Goodridge, declining an invitation for Livy and him to dine on May 3. He pled being “gout-smitten once more, not able to put my foot to the floor all this day,” and he doubted what his condition would be by then. Another engagement also entered into his decision:
I have to go to see Mr. Mapes’s play to-morrow night if I possibly can; & if I do I shall be in pain & in crippled shape next day, I suppose & unfit for dining & cheerfulness [MTP]. Note: Miss Goodridge’s identity was not determined.
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, who evidently had sent him press notices on Frank Mayo’s performances of PW. Pond would manage the North American leg of Sam’s world tour.
Thanks for the press notices; they are very splendid. Frank Mayo has done a very great thing for both of us; for he has proved himself a gifted dramatist as well as a gifted actor, & has enabled me to add another new character to American drama. I hope he will have grand success.
Sam then announced he’d contracted with Robert Sparrow Smythe of Melbourne to manage the tour there, and also shared the shift in his thinking about lecturing in America prior to sailing for Australia:
I’ve a notion to read a few times in America before I sail for Australia. I’m going to think it over & make up my mind. We expect to reach the Everett House before noon May 17.
I am offered a press-banquet send-off in London for May 10, but am so crowded with things to do that I was obliged to decline. Haven’t a single hour to spare. / Yrs Ever / Mark [MTP].
Note: this information no doubt led Pond to offer services as Sam’s manager as far as Vancouver, B.C.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers about a good review he’d received from Mary Mapes Dodge for the PW play. He was going to send it to Frank Mayo but wanted Rogers to see it, and ask if Rogers would send it on to Mayo. Sam often remarked that the opinion of friends was more valuable than that of critics. He mentioned the offer of a London send-off and his decline, owing to the “superintending & obstructing while Mrs. C. does the work” of getting ready to travel. Sam felt the publicity from the send off would be “wasted & the public interested in some newer thing long before we got started from the Pacific coast” [MTHHR 145]. Note: In his notebook about this time Sam wrote about a gentleman just back from India who,
…told Mary Mapes Dodge those people claim to know all about America till you corner and sift them with questions; then it turns out that they know just 3 things about it and no more: “George Washington, Mark Twain, and the Chicago Fair.” What’s the gratefullest compliment ever paid me? Why the above [MTHHR 145n1; NB 35 TS 12].
May 2 Thursday – In Paris, the Clemenses may have attended a play in the evening, the “Mr Mapes’s play” referred to in his May 1 to Miss Goodridge. Several other letters in this period do not reveal the answer. Mr. Mapes may have been related to Mary Mapes Dodge.
At the Hotel Brighton, Sam also wrote to Poultney Bigelow, who evidently upon learning of the failure of Webster & Co., had sent a check for a thousand dollars. Sam couldn’t keep it:
My! I wish I could! But I must not think of it. I am in the midst of another siege of gout with a clear necessity in front of me traveling on a handbarrow to the station when we leave for Southampton on the 10th.
I never saw a man so full of generous impulses as you are. I wish you owned the mint; then everybody would get the benefit of it. I do not know how to thank you enough.
Sam expressed hope they might feed each other in April or May of next year (1896) in London, and wished Bigelow to “Live long and prosper!” [MTP]. Note: Does that phrase seems familiar? See also Aug. 14 and 15, 1895 to Samuel Moffett, which mentions Bigelow’s generosity and that of Douglas Taylor.
May 3 Friday
May 4 Saturday
May 5 Sunday – In Paris Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus. He’d received “that little book” and thanked them (title not given). He announced they would sail from Vancouver, B.C. on Aug. 16 and begin reading in Sydney or Melbourne in September, then reach India in mid-January, 1896. Livy and daughter Clara would accompany him. He asked if they would have Samuel Gardner & Co., tailors “get those two overcoats & ship them,” to Southampton before it sailed the next Saturday, May 11. He added a PS that his address in the US would be Elmira, NY until July 11 [MTP].
May 6 Monday – Andrew Chatto wrote to Sam that they’d made arrangements with Harper to “take a duplicate set of electros of the illustrations to” JA for the English edition, and would make “the best arrangements…for translations and with Tauchnitz for the Continental edition” [MTP].
May 7 Tuesday – In Paris Sam wrote to Andrew Chatto.
I am very glad you have arranged for Joan, and that I am to remain with you and not go wandering among strangers.
He asked if the check could be sent to Livy in Elmira at the end of June. After his signature he added that JA was to have been issued the next January, but since then the plan was to serialize both Book II and a little of Book III, and he thought it would finish in Harper’s Monthly in the April 1896 issue.
May 8 Wednesday
May 9 Thursday
May 10 Friday – In Paris Sam wrote to John D. Adams, editor at The Century Co., having just received the proofs, he guessed for Oct. issue. He suggested one slight change, but found “nothing else but some misplaced commas & periods — of no consequence.” He added after his signature, “We leave to-night for America” [MTP].
The Clemens family, not together in America since 1891, left Paris for Southampton.
May 11 Saturday – In Southampton, England, the Clemens family sailed for New York on the S.S. New York. The voyage would take seven days [MTHHR 134]. Note: Sam later called this the beginning of the world tour.
The Critic, XXVI p.338-9 reviewed PW, which it called “admirable in atmosphere, local color and dialect, a drama in its way, full of powerful situations, thrilling even; but it cannot be called in any sense literature” [Tenney 24].
May 12 Sunday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York. Sam’s notebook on board:
Sunday morning. Six or eight people who came over with me in the Paris the other day. Three or four of them went up to London with our multi-millionaire to be shown his glories. It was a month ago; but to this day these men can think of nothing else, talk of nothing else. They are as happy & stunned & blessed as if they had been to heaven & dined with God [NB 34 TS 9].
May 13 Monday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York.
May 14 Tuesday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York.
May 15 Wednesday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York.
Livy wrote to H.H. Rogers: “Please honor Mr. Clemens’s drafts upon such funds of mine as are in your hands, & greatly oblige” [MTP].
May 16 Thursday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York.
May 17 Friday – The Clemens family was en route on the SS NewYork to New York. After a concert aboard ship, Sam gave two readings for the usual Seaman’s Fund charity. The Brooklyn Eagle, May 18, 1895, p.2. “MARK TWAIN GAVE READINGS” reported:
At the Concert on the American Line Steamer New York.
Among the passengers who arrived on the American line steamer New York at this port this morning [May 18] were the Rev. C. Brett, D.D.; Read Benedict, S.L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Mrs. Clemens and the three Misses Clemens, H.L. Ferguson, assistant naval constructor, U.S.N.; Winthrop Rutherford, M. Stanley Tweedle, Bayard Tuckerman and family, Captain Edward W. Very and Mrs. E.F. Wright. The usual concert was given on board the steamer on Friday evening, May 17, in aid of the American Seaman’s Friend society, etc., at which Mr. Samuel Clemens gave two readings. Quite a handsome sum was realized.
May 18 Saturday – The S.S. New York arrived in New York at 9 a.m. with the Clemens family aboard. [N.Y. Times, May 18, 1895, p.6 “Incoming Steamships. To-day, (Saturday) May 18”; NB 34 TS 9; MTHHR 134]. Note: the latter source says the family “went immediately to Elmira,” but Sam wrote Frank Mayo on May 19 and gave a curtain speech on May 22; his first letter from Elmira was May 24 to J.B. Pond, and other extant letters do not give the exact date of arrival there. However, Paine’s edition of Mark Twain’s Notebook p.256 shows a facsimile page dated with this date, noon, and “Arrived at 9.”
The Chicago Inter Ocean ran an article with this dateline, on the Sunday, May 19 edition, front page:
MARK TWAIN RETURNS
While in Paris He Did Not Meet Paul Bourget.
New York, May 18. — Special Telegram. — Samuel L. Clemens, Mark Twain, was a passenger on the New York, which arrived at the American line pier this morning. He came over with his family and will remain in this city only twenty-four hours before starting for his home in Hartford. Mr. Clemens was found among a mass of trunks, boxes, and baskets trying to identify his property.
“This wasn’t much of a trip,” he said. I have not done any work. I simply went over because my family wanted to come home, and I’ve brought ‘em.”
“Did you meet Paul Bourget in Paris?” was asked.
“I did not,” he replied, with a twinkle in his eye. “He was there, I believe, but we did not meet. We had nothing to say to each other, anyway. When I criticised his ‘Outre Mer’ I did so in print. The only way he could reply was with his pen. It would have been very unwise to have done that, so he hasn’t replied at all.”
“Is it true that you are the author of the personal reminiscences of Joan of Arc?” was asked. Mr. Clemens straightened up and cast a sharp glance at his questioner, and then fixed his eyes on space.
“I should have to carefully consider that question,” he replied. “I always make it a point to claim everything that is without an owner, whether it is tangible property or the mere subtle product of the mind. But I can’t answer that. It wouldn’t be fair.” [Note: not in Scharnhorst].
May 19 Sunday – In New York at H.H. Rogers’ office, Sam wrote to Frank Mayo, asking for three tickets to the PW play. Evidently he’d asked for two prior to this, his first request not extant:
I made a mistake. I wanted to ask for 3 seats for Miss Harrison, instead of 2. If not too late, won’t you mail 3 to her, Care H.H. Rogers, 26 Broadway?
He also advised that Miss Harrison had made six typed copies of his curtain speech, so Mayo wouldn’t have to bother with the task, and Sam would give them to Pond [MTP]. Note: Evidently the copies were to be distributed to the press.
May 20 Monday – The Boston Daily Globe, p.5 ran an unsigned New York interview done with Sam at the Everett House (not in Scharnhorst):
IT PAYS TO KICK.
Mark Twain Says So in All Seriousness.
Believes in Complaining to the Responsible Head.
Cites Discourtesies in Our Every Day Life.
Approves of Reform and Tells How to Get Redress.
“I Suppose We Are Born Timid,” He Says.
NEW YORK, May, 19 — Mark Twain chatted with a Globe reporter at the Everett house today about the possibility of a great reform in American common life. The humorist as a reformer may seem to be out of his role, but Mr. Clemens had put by the mask and spoke earnestly.
In the course of conversation he was asked if in his last trip to France, from which he has just returned, he had noticed an new habit or fad of the people that differed from those at home.
“I don’t recall anything startling just now,” he said. “I am not one of those travelers who seek in a foreign country for something they do not like. So many people, especially in writing about other countries, seem to view them as if from an eminence, and look down upon and decry what they do not like. It makes not the slightest difference to the people of the country; your opinion is of no value to them.
“I do not like to look for something whenever I go among foreign people that we can adopt at home with benefit to ourselves or advantage to America as a nation. In many years I think we are ahead of all, but I believe there may be good points found by careful observation of other people.
“In the last four years I have crossed the Atlantic 15 times. Every time I get back to New York I see things on every hand that I think are better than what I have just been accustomed to. They keep coming up there, there, there again and yonder, but every now and then I see something that isn’t so nice.
“Did it ever occur to you to notice how discourteous we are as a people in our cities? In common life I mean.
“Yesterday I was in one of these great stores where they sell about everything one wants and where there are a thousand clerks. I was waiting for my purchase when a woman walked up to the counter — an American woman all over (he repeated in a gallant tone, and shaking his head in his peculiar manner by way of emphasizing his admiration of her kind while he deprecated the weakness he was about to report).
“There stood the salesgirls behind the counter. With the air of one asking a favor the woman asked if she could see some article of apparel that goes about the waist.
“ ‘What’s y’r size?’ asked the salesgirl, brusquely.
“ ‘I don’t know,’ said the woman, mildly.
“ ‘Here, measure y’rself!’ and the girl snaked a measuring tape from under the counter and handed it to the customer.
“A purchase was made, and then, from the salesgirl, abruptly: ‘Payfe’t now or send it home?’
“ ‘I will pay for it here.’
“ ‘Cash — cash — cash!’ and that was all.
— — —
“Now, isn’t that the case, over and over again? Are we not all that way?
“Doesn’t a man do the same at a hotel? A stranger enters a hotel office. The clerk glances up, sees that it is not one of the regular patrons and goes on with his work. The man registers and asks — asks — if he can have such and such kind of a room. The clerk swings the register around, scratches a number opposite the guest’s name, and yells: ‘Front! Show the gentleman to X, 13.’
“There is the same discourtesy without a word. The man asked a question. The clerk said not a word except to summon a porter. It is not always what is said to us; it’s the way in which it is said, or the manner of the person that really offends us, and this when we have not been offensive in word or manner, but have been polite.
“There is none of us who relish such treatment as the woman received at the big store. Yet we are silent, or if we complain we do not complain in the right place, and so get little redress.
“Abroad people are not likely to be subjected to such treatment, and if they are they complain to the highest in authority and get better attention.
“Until this time I have latterly on my return from across the water up at the Players’ club, and I have always been impressed with the conversation of the men, who are telling each other of some trouble they had had during the day on the street car or elevated railroad lines. It seems to me an odd thing that there should be such difficulties so frequently, and I asked if the sufferers had made complaint. Yes, they had, but I found it was only to some one about the offender, not to the responsible head. That is wrong. If we want courteous treatment we have got to see to it that complains of abusive treatment are made to the proper people.”
“Do you hold, then, that discourtesy is to be reformed by complaint?”
“I do. Twenty-five years ago the general experience in this country was that if you addressed a railroad conductor you got an insolent or a gruff answer. At that time if you wanted to go from here to Hartford or to Boston, for instance, the chances were that you would have to stand up, and if you asked for a seat the conductor would either tell you disagreeable that there was none or he would not answer you at all.
“I have seen those cars with the aisles filled as those of your surface cars, and a request for a seat would be answered by abuse. One man — I ought not to have forgotten his name, but I do not just now recall it — stood for his rights. He demanded a seat, and insisted that one be given to him. They told him bluntly there were none. They matter was carried to the courts, and it was very promptly decided that a railroad company must give a man a seat or pay damages. Now you have not difficulty in getting a seat if you only insist gently but firmly on having one, even if the company has to put on an extra car. And all over the country now the railroad conductors usually answer you civilly.
— — —
Bainbridge Colby wrote H.H. Rogers regarding his efforts to arrive at an agreement with Harper & Brothers for a Uniform Edition:
I have been expecting to hear from you regarding the purchase of the plates of Mr. Clemens’ books. I understand that we had agreed upon the price, and that you were only waiting for a word from Mr. Clemens approving the purchase [MTHHR 155n1]. Note: A contract was drawn on May 23, 1895. See source for more details.
May 21 Tuesday
May 22 Wednesday – In New York Sam gave a curtain Speech for Frank Mayo’s production of Pudd’nhead Wilson at the Herald Square Theatre. The New York Times reported it on May 23. See also Fatout, MT Speaking 276-8, based upon the N.Y. Herald’s May 23 article. The former:
MARK TWAIN IN THE PLAYHOUSE
He Attends the Performance of “Pudd’nHead Wilson,” and Describes the Peculiarities of the Twins.
It was Mark Twain night at the Herald Square Theatre last evening, and Samuel Clemens sat in a box and witnessed the performance of the play which Frank Mayo has made out of his story of “Pudd’nHead Wilson.”
The fact that the humorist was to be present and would probably address the audience was known in advance, and the result was that the auditorium was crowded to its utmost capacity. Mr. Mayo and his company never acted with more spirit, and the performance was one of the best ever given of the play.
After the third act there were loud cries for “Twain!” and the humorist finally arose in his box and bowed to the audience. “Speech! speech!” was shouted on all sides, and Mr. Clemens, responding to the call, made quite a long address. After complimenting Mr. Mayo on his work as a dramatist and an actor, he turned his attention to the “twins,” and minutely analyzed their characters. He said:
“I am gratified to see that Mr. Mayo has been able to manage those difficult twins. I tried, but in my hands they failed. Year before last there was an Italian freak on exhibition in Philadelphia who was an exaggeration of the Siamese Twins. This freak had one body, one pair of legs, two heads, and four arms. I thought he would be useful in a book, so I put him in. And then the trouble began. I called these consolidated twins Angelo and Luigi, and I tried to make them nice and agreeable, but it was not possible. They would not do anything my way, but only their own. They were wholly unmanageable, and not a day went by that they didn’t develop some new kind of devilishness — particularly Luigi.
“Angelo was of a religious turn of mind, and was monotonously honest and honorable and upright, and tediously proper; whereas Luigi had no principles, no morals, no religion — a perfect blatherskite, and an inextricable tangle theologically — infidel, atheist, and agnostic, all mixed together. He was of a malicious disposition, and liked to eat things which disagreed with his brother. They were so strangely organized that what one of them ate or drank had no effect upon himself, but only nourished or damaged the other one. Luigi was hearty and robust, because Angelo ate the best and most wholesome food he could find for him; but Angelo was himself delicate and sickly, because every day Luigi filled him up with mince pies and salt junk, just because he knew he couldn’t digest them.
“Luigi was very dissipated, but it didn’t show on him, but only on his brother. His brother was a strict and conscientious teetotaler, but he was drunk most of the time on account of Luigi’s habits. Angelo was president of the Prohibition Society, but they had to turn him out, because every time he appeared at the head of the procession on parade, he was a scandalous spectacle to look at. On the other hand, Angelo was a trouble to Luigi, the infidel, because he was always changing his religion, trying to find the best one, and he always preferred sects that believed in baptism by immersion, and this was a constant peril and discomfort to Luigi, who couldn’t stand water outside or in; and so every time Angelo got baptized Luigi got drowned and had to be pumped out and resuscitated.
“Luigi was irascible, yet was never willing to stand by the con sequences of his acts. He was always kicking somebody and then laying it on Angelo. And when the kicked person kicked back, Luigi would say, ‘What are you kicking me for? I haven’t done anything to you.’ Then the man would be sorry, and say, ‘Well, I didn’t mean any harm. I thought it was you; but, you see, you people have only one body between you, and I can’t tell which of you I’m kicking. I don’t know how to discriminate. I do not wish to be unfair, and so there is no way for me to do but kick one of you and apologize to the other.’
“They were a troublesome pair in every way. If they did any work for you, they charged for two; but at the boarding house they ate and slept for two and only paid for one. In the trains they wouldn’t pay for two, because they only occupied one seat. The same at the theater. Luigi bought one ticket and deadheaded Angelo in. They couldn’t put Angelo out because they couldn’t put the deadhead out without putting out the twin that had paid, and scooping in a suit for damages.
“Luigi grew steadily more and more wicked, and I saw by and by that the way he was going on he was certain to land in the eternal tropics, and at bottom I was glad of it; but I knew he would necessarily take his righteous brother down there with him, and that would not be fair. I did not object to it, but I didn’t want to be responsible for it. I was in such a hobble that there was only one way out. To save the righteous brother I had to pull the consolidated twins apart and make two separate and distinct twins of them. Well, as soon as I did that, they lost all their energy and took no further interest in life. They were wholly futile and useless in the book, they became mere shadows, and so they remain. Mr. Mayo manages them, but if he had taken a chance at them before I pulled them apart and tamed them, he would have found out early that if he put them in his play they would take full possession and there wouldn’t be any room in it for Pudd’nHead Wilson or anybody else.
“I have taken four days to prepare these statistics, and as far as they go you can depend upon their being strictly true. I have not told all the truth about the twins, but just barely enough of it for business purposes, for my motto is — and Pudd’nHead Wilson can adopt it if he wants to — my motto is, ‘Truth is the most valuable thing we have; let us economize it.’”
Mr. Clemens’s address was received with shouts of laughter and applause.
In response to loud calls Frank Mayo then appeared on the stage. He said that Mr. Clemens had left him nothing to say about the twins, but he desired publicly to thank the management of the theatre for the admirable production they had given the piece, to which much of its popular success was due. Mr. Mayo bowed himself into the wings, followed by an outburst of hearty applause.
May 23 Thursday – This is the probable day that the Clemens family continued on to Elmira. The May 26 to Rogers reveals they did not go directly to Quarry Farm.
Bainbridge Colby finalized the contract with Harper & Brothers for a Uniform Edition of Sam’s works. H.H. Rogers handled many of the details, and the contract bore his signature as Sam’s attorney. The contract was delivered on July 26, 1895 [MTHHR 155n1].
Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam offering a royalty of 15% on the retail price up to 5,000 copies and 20% thereafter, for a proposed Uniform Edition. If Sam provided plates of the work the royalties would be 20 and 25% respectively. Harper’s gave a list of the books thought “not yet under” Sam’s control: PW, IA, TS, GA, RI, TA and “a volume of sketches” [MTP].
May 24 Friday – In Elmira Sam responded to James B. Pond (Pond’s letter not extant), attempting to “strike out something definite and get down to business” on the American leg of the world tour. Sam numbered eight conditions and offers: He would give Pond a fourth of the profits except in San Francisco, where Sam wanted four-fifths. Wherever he talked outside of San Francisco he must talk two nights, “so as to practice two readings & give Mrs. Clemens a rest.” He wanted to read six nights and three matinees all in the same week beginning on a Monday in S.F., where he expected to use three different programs. He wanted the S.F. matinee tickets to be no less than one dollar; the night readings the same but fifty cents extra for reserved. He preferred a hall seating from 1,000 to 1,500, fearing he could not talk in a larger place “with ease & effect.” If the readings were done in a theater he had no objection to various ticket prices for location. And lastly,
8. Am not willing to be sold out in San F. unless at a high figure. We can run our own show there.
Sam wanted a telegram if the terms suited Pond. He also questioned Pond’s courage, perhaps as a negotiating ploy:
I am a little troubled because you clearly seem to have lost some of your sand — & when one’s agent is afraid, it disables the lecturer. You propose 4 readings for me in San F. — a town of half a million people. I filled 3 great houses there 27 years ago when the population was 100,000; and Maguire, proprietor of all the theatres in town lost his temper & called me a fool because I didn’t talk ten nights. I am expected to talk 14 times in Melbourne, another town of half a million; & I mean to talk 10 times there. Now, you see, you would reduce that to 4; & I wouldn’t approve.
Sam then asked Pond to write his nephew, Samuel Moffett, editor of the S.F. Examiner, and ask him to use his influence. Sam also included Joe Goodman, Ambrose Bierce and Arthur McEwen, “to start a gradual & carefully devised boom in the papers — gradual at first, then warming up as we approach.” He wanted it hinted that a Saturday night press banquet and speeches prior to the talks there would be attention getting. After his signature he suggested Pond contact a S.F. “agent of good judgment” and asked, “What was the price of Stanley’s tickets? — in Frisco” [MTP; NB 34 TS 10].
Fatout writes of Sam’s changed or thwarted plans to include San Francisco on the tour:
“For some reason this plan miscarried. Mark Twain offered the curious explanation that San Francisco would be unprofitable because too many people were out of town in midsummer. Possibly he could not find a hall that suited him; perhaps somebody’s less than eager response out there offended him. The upshot was that the itinerary avoided California by taking a northern route across Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, and Washington” [On Lecture Tour 242]. Note: see Sam’s June 11 to Moffett, where he wrote that Pond advised against S.F. anytime before October.
May 25 Saturday – In Elmira Sam wrote a short paragraph to Franklin G. Whitmore in Hartford, asking him to “look out for a package for Mrs. Clemens, & lay it away.” The package for Livy was coming from Paris addressed to Whitmore and contained “a couple of waists….made out of old dresses…& of course are not dutiable” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook reveals a response from Pond to his May 25 telegram: “His reply, by telegraph, May 25. ‘Terms accepted. See letter’” [NB 34 TS 10].
May 26 Sunday – In Elmira Sam wrote to his brother Orion. This letter is not extant but was quoted in a June 17 to Samuel Moffett from Pamela Moffett.
We are all in good health, & Livy looks young & fresh & spry. I have very little time in which to select and prepare my readings, but I will make up by working double tides till I start west. We shall start about mid-summer. We sail for Australia from the Pacific Coast in August. Livy and Clara go with me around the world, but Susie refuses because she hates the sea, & Jean refuses because she can’t spare the time from school.
Sam also included that the “new Co. in Chicago has a capital of $200,000 par (& is worth that),” and had a contract to make 20,000 typewriters. This new company, Regius Manufacturing Co., gave one share for ten of the Paige Compositor Co. shares, and Livy was exchanging her old stock in this ratio.
It is a bitter, bitter come-down; but it is the will of Him who doeth all things as well as He can; but He has never seemed to me to have much gift for business. / All our loves to both of you / Sam [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
It seems plain that I am not going to have time enough to do the work in front of me with thoroughness before starting west. We leave for the hilltop tomorrow [Quarry Farm], & then I shall begin at once & work ten or twelve hours a day — half the time on Joan, Book III, & that other half on my three readings: thus shifting the burden back & forth & resting both shoulders. I have already arranged to being about a week from now & practice the 3 readings privately once & perhaps twice on the convicts at the Reformatory — twice, is my intention: next I am to go to Ithaca & practice them on the Cornell students. This provides for 9 nights (if Joan can spare them to me), & will put me in fairly good shape for the platform.
Most of the rest of the letter has to do with remaining Paige typesetter issues concerning H.S. Ward, the Knevals brothers, Livy’s shares, Urban H. Broughton’s forthcoming report, Bainbridge Colby, and what he saw as Livy’s rights having been threatened by the new company, when Regius Manufacturing Co. took over Paige Compositor Co. (See MTHHR 148n1 for details.)
Another plan for the readings that didn’t come to fruition:
Pond is making out the route, & expects to have it done in a week. I am hoping it will so shape itself as to let us start west from Boston & give us a week in Fairhaven. In which case I should very much like a chance to practice my 3 readings on that village in the new Town Hall — either free or with a trifling admission, the money to go to the [Millicent] Library or some local charity. After that, I ought to be able to go on the road without a book in my hand. Think it could be managed?
After his signature Sam advised Rogers that Harper’s would send $200 for his article, “Mental Telegraphy Again,” which would run in the September issue [MTHHR 146-9].
May 27 Monday – The Clemens family moved from Elmira to Quarry Farm [May 26 to Rogers].
May 28 Tuesday
May 29 Wednesday
May 30 Thursday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to Henry M. Alden of Harper & Brothers:
I am laid up with the gout in one leg and a pretty malignant boil on the other, but I have reduced Book III [JA] to a couple of magazine installments. As I estimate it, the first one will make 7½ Harper pages, and the other one eleven or twelve. I have merely suppressed 12 chapters of the great trial, and inserted a brief explanatory translator’s note in their stead. I put in the whole Abjuration and Martyrdom in detail. The page or two of “Conclusion” can be left out, if you like. You can save some space in that way, and I think it might be well to do it. But you will know. (Will forward you the ms. by hand if I can.) I will pack all the ms. together, but make two packages in one, so that you can see which is the one to go in the magazine. Please preserve the ms. and set up the book from it — for I have carefully corrected it [MTP: Am. Art Assoc. catalogs Nov. 18, 1925 Item 151].
Sam also wrote a few sentences to Frank Bliss, who evidently asked when he might expect another book, perhaps from the world tour travels. Sam thought he’d be too busy on the tour to gather more than enough information for a few magazine articles.
It is a long way off; I may write a book, but at present I am not expecting to do it [MTP]. Note: Sam had already entertained the idea of a book from the tour travels, which would become Following the Equator.
Sam also wrote a short paragraph to Robert Underwood Johnson of The Century.
I am in bed, & must stay there two or three weeks yet — gout in my starboard ancle, a boil as big as a turkey’s egg on my port thigh…Can’t write, these days [MTP].
Sam also wrote responding to Franklin G. Whitmore’s concerns on his behalf (letter not extant). It wasn’t necessary for Sam to write John Day about Whitmore acting as Sam’s agent and collecting the rent on the Farmington Ave. house and other matters relating to it. Day knew Whitmore was Sam’s agent, he wrote. Also, Sam didn’t want to be burdened with lecture applications — send those to J.B. Pond, Everett House in N.Y. He enclosed a note of some sort he wanted shown to William Wander, the piano vendor, and directed Whitmore to “take prompt & decisive measures if he doesn’t pay” (see Apr. 7, 1895 entry). Sam related his gout and “vast boil” problems and confessed he was “in the devil’s own humor,” for he had a lot of work to do and little time to do it in. He also wanted a petition signed for him opposing a “double-tract” of a nearby street to the Farmington house, because if it went through, “we shall want to start in early & hunt up a purchaser for our house” [MTP].
May 31 Friday – The Boston Daily Globe, p.6. ran “MARK TWAIN’S KEEPER,” a good natured spoof about an imaginary interceptor of his invitations.
Isaac Answers His Invitations and Says Mr. Clemens is Sick.
Mark Twain once expressed a desire to attend the annual dinner of the Gridiron club of correspondents in Washington; but when an invitation was sent him, his regrets were received by return mail.
Meeting a member of the club later, he complained that he had been neglected. When informed that an invitation had been sent him and his regrets received, Mr. Clemens scratched his head, as though in perplexity for a moment, and then said: “Those were Isaac’s regrets.”
“Who is Isaac?”
“He’s my keeper. He’s the man my wife hired to prevent me having any more fun.”
Mark then explained that Isaac opened all his letters and invitations, wrote answers, which in the case of invitations always consisted of regrets, and then burned them. When asked what is Isaac’s other name, the humorist replied sadly:
“I don’t know. My wife hired him, and she told me what his name is, but I have forgotten. I call him Isaac, as he is doomed to the fate that nearly befell the favorite son of Abraham. When I get well I intend to cut him up in chunks and burn him on the altar, and I don’t care if the angels holler till they get diphtheria.”
“Doesn’t he ever consult you about the answers to your invitations?”
“Never. He always sends my regrets and says I’m sick, and that’s going to get me into trouble. I told him so the other day. Said I:
“‘Isaac, when I die and go to heaven, St. Peter is likely to take me up some morning and remind me about those polite falsehoods you’re telling in my name, and then I’ll have to look all over Tophet for you to prove an alibi.’”
— Argonaut. [Note: “Isaac” is likely imaginary.]
June – At Quarry Farm, Livy wrote to Chatto & Windus: “Your check for two thousand three hundred and nineteen dollars is safely rec’d. / Thanking you for it — and also for your kind wishes… ” [MTP].
June 1 Saturday – Arthur Reed Kimball’s article, “Hartford’s Literary Corner,” ran in Outlook, p.903-6, including pictures of Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and their homes; also a picture of Richard E. Burton. Kimball noted that Twain was considerably more than a jester [Tenney 24].
June 2 Sunday – At Quarry Farm Sam sent a short note to Franklin G. Whitmore, enclosing an envelope to assist him in finding the package of two “waists” for Livy made from worn out dresses. Sam noted the package would be addressed in the same way [MTP]. Note: Evidently, the package had gone astray.
June 3 Monday – At Quarry Farm, Dr. Theron Augustus Wales lanced Sam’s thigh carbuncle [June 4 to Rogers; MTHHR 165n1 identifies the doctor].
June 4 Tuesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Well, I am a pretty versatile fool, when it comes to contracts, and business and such things. I’ve signed a lot of contracts in my time; and at signing-time I probably knew what the contracts meant — but 6 months later everything had grown dim and I could be certain of only two things, to-wit: 1. I didn’t sign any contract; 2. The contract means the opposite of what it says.
I perceive, now, that I didn’t sell any royalties, but only deposited them temporarily and took stock as security, the royalties to be returned to me at a certain time if certain conditions failed of effect. …after that, the trade took the form of a sale in my mind. …
It’s a valuable lesson — for to-day. Tomorrow it will be gone from me and I’ll have to learn it over again….I shall withhold my signature from the Contract proposed to me by the Century Co. for the 12 articles [revealed in his June 11 to Rogers as for $12,000] [MTHHR 149-50].
(He also turned down an offer from John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan for $10,000 for twelve articles on Australia.)
Sam wrote his boil turned out to be a carbuncle, which “furnished” him “a week of admirable pain.” The carbuncle had been lanced and he’d “squelched three others in their infancy,” and was “discouraging another.” He also had one on the back of his right hand. (Note: carbuncles are staph infections which can spread to other parts of the body; they are normally larger than boils.) He didn’t expect to get out of bed for three or four more days, and bemoaned the time lost. Instead of preparing and familiarizing himself with three readings, one would be the most he might do. At this point he wanted to drastically abbreviate the U.S. leg of the tour:
I must not think of lecturing all the way across to the Pacific; I must go at one bound, to the Pacific, read in 6 northern towns there, stay clear away from Frisco, and sail from Vancouver Aug. 16.
Everything is at a standstill. Pond is sick abed, I am sick abed, we are determining nothing, accomplishing nothing, and the devil is on deck and having everything his own way.
Sam thanked Rogers for thinking of him and of his affairs and for his generosity.
Sam’s business troubles were not yet over, as reflected in this piece in the NY Times, June 4, 1895 p.15 “Business Troubles”:
— An execution has been received by the Sheriff against Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) and Frederick T. Hall [sic] as partners in the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co., for $5,046 in favor of Thomas Russell & Son, for binding books and on notes of the firm. [Note: Sam was served with a subpoena on this matter on June 25; see entry].
June 5 Wednesday
June 6 Thursday
June 7 Friday
June 8 Saturday – Clara Clemens’ 21st birthday.
June 9 Sunday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to James B. Pond, listing many, but not all, of the stops for the American leg of the reading tour. He didn’t think they needed a circular (one was made anyway, see Lorch, p.189) and saw it as an unnecessary expense [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, glad that the William Wander “piano business is settled — & so well settled, too.” He also addressed the water bill paid up and supposed John Day had paid his share.
By some misunderstanding the Days had the impression that they were to pay the rent to us. But in a day or two Mrs. Clemens will rectify that. She is going to write them to pay it to you.
I am still in bed educating my carbuncles & things; but I am expecting to be up & around in ten days or a fortnight. / Ys Ever [MTP].
June 10 Monday
June 11 Tuesday – In Elmira at Quarry Farm, Sam wrote to nephew Samuel Moffett. He’d heard from J.B. Pond that San Francisco was out for the tour:
I am thoroughly disappointed. I wanted to talk half a dozen times in San Francisco, & I expected to have a good time & stay ten days & see everybody I ever knew; but Pond says the town empties itself before the first week in August, & I must not go there earlier than October — which puts my visit off till October of next year, of course. If I could have foreseen that I was not to go to Frisco I would have started around the world the other way, of course, & saved myself one crossing of the Atlantic & one crossing of our continent. I could have saved a world of time & travel.
He added that they would be taking “one of the northern routes,” in hopes the weather would be cooler, since Livy’s “health fails under heat.” Sydney would be the first port in Australia [MTP].
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, arguing that if he had to have a circular the main feature of it should be that he was on his way to Australia and from there around the globe on a reading and talking tour for the next year.
I like the approximated itinery first rate. It is lake, all the way from Cleveland to Duluth. I wouldn’t switch aside to Milwaukie for $200,000.
Look very sharp, Pond, & arrange the railway trips according to Mrs. Clemens’s strength — so far, you seem to be watching out for that.
Sam added that if he must have 30,000 circulars to “tackle Bliss if you want to. He’ll decline, I think.”
He also wanted the casting of “that white-linen full-length Twain,” of Pond’s, probably left over from the Cable tour. He enclosed a list of seven program-talks he would give in one-night stands, and when he talked twice he would use two different programs. Number three was “Selection not yet selected,” which he called “the most important in the list,” for he’d put a new selection in it every night and in that way “build & practice a SECOND program.” The list: “My First Theft,” “The Jumping Frog,” The ex-Slave’s Story,” “Jim Baker & the Blue-jays,” “The Historical Old Ram,” and “My Last Theft” [MTP]. Note: Fatout writes of the expanded variety of Sam’s readings:
In his notebooks are at least one hundred titles of possible readings, most of them from Huckleberry Finn, Roughing It, and The Innocents Abroad, some from A Tramp Abroad, and several from Joan of Arc. On the tour he used about forty selections. The most frequent numbers were the watermelon story, the German language, grandfather’s old ram, the stabbed man, the Nevada duel, the Mexican plug, punch-brothers-punch-with-care, the whistling stammerer, the christening story, the golden arm, encounter with an interviewer, and a poem about the Ornithorhyncus he composed on shipboard. Others, less often read, were about his first meeting with Artemus Ward, Aunty Cord, Baker’s blue jays, acting as courier, the jumping frog, King Sollermun, the incorporated company of mean men, the two raft bullies, Buck Fanshaw’s funeral, and so forth [On Lecture Circuit 242].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Bliss is plucking up quite a spirit. He offers a guaranty of $10,000 on a round-the-world book. It makes me hesitate. I can write the very book for a subscription trade, & do it without difficulty; but those 12 articles for the Century at $12,000 would be horribly difficult.
Sam felt a book that Frank Bliss would sell by subscription might sell 60,000 copies in six months, yielding Sam $30,000 or even $40,000. He was going to write the book regardless and then he could sell parts of it to a magazine, but he wouldn’t make a previous contract with any magazine. Sam was slowly recovering, though the forecast for being out of bed kept shifting. Now it was “a week or ten days.” He felt pressured by the time left before the tour:
I’m away behindhand, of course. I’ve got to work like a slave if I leave here for Cleveland or Duluth July 7 — and that seems to be the program.
After his signature Sam wrote that the first piece on the program was “My First Theft,” which was the “Stolen Watermelon” sketch, one of Rogers’ favorites. He asked if Rogers could send him the speech he gave at the Fairhaven Town Hall dedication on Feb. 22, 1894, a speech that contained the sketch [MTHHR 151-2].
June 12 Wednesday
June 13 Thursday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to John D. Adams of Harper & Brothers The proof he’d received of “Mental Telegraphy Again,” which would run in the Sept. issue, contained no errors. Because he could not read segments of JA before they appeared in Harper’s Monthly, Sam supposed that the chapters XII and XV, which he thought would appear in the August or September issues, might be read in Australia in mid-Sept. He announced he would start west July 6 and read “about a dozen times between here and Vancouver.” Nothing in JA save those chapters could be used in readings since he felt “too much introduction & explanation” would be needed. Significantly, he announced his plans for a major announcement with regard to JA:
But I’ll break the incognito in Sydney in September for the sake of having something to contrast with the broad-farcial Jumping Frog & such.
His health prevented him from coming to New York before the tour. Would Adams ask J. Henry Harper if his affairs with the firm were “all complete & ship-shape, or is there a detailed contract to be examined & signed.” If there was, Sam wanted it, for he was “perishing with idleness” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Chatto & Windus, asking for a copy of In the Himalayas and on the Indian Plains, by Constance Frederica Gordon-Cumming (1886). The book could be sent in care of R.S. Smythe, Melbourne Australia until October. Gribben notes Sam’s copy was signed on the half-title page, S.L. Clemens, Bombay, 1896; the book “contains hundreds of notes, corrections, and markings in Clemens’ hand, according to A1911. One note reads:
We must take the position that burial is stuck to merely in the interest of the undertaker (who has his family cremated to save expense) [Gribben 268].
Sam also wrote his old buddy Frank Fuller, obviously answering Fuller’s letter (not extant) about discussing business. He was unable to do so, still in bed with his carbuncles. He related the two magazine offers he had for twelve articles, and doubted that he would accept either. Although exaggerating the challenge of book writing, he wrote,
My objection is that magazine-writing is mighty difficult work, whereas book-writing isn’t any trouble [MTP].
Note: See Mar. 5, 1895 and Mar. 6, 1894 entries — Sam evidently sought Fuller for raising capital or other business — perhaps related to his Uniform Edition “scheme” with William Evarts Benjamin. In past years Fuller had sold Sam various securities or financial schemes.
Sam also wrote a short letter to James B. Pond on details of the circular Pond was putting together. Sam objected to the “cut” of him, which he felt was “atrocious — and 20 years too young, anyway. Use the Benjamin cut & throw that abortion away.” The circular on p.189 of Lorch seems to have retained this objectionable cut of a younger Sam [MTP]. Note: Pond had possibly ordered the circulars with this cut of Sam, or possibly Livy overrode Sam’s veto.
June 14 Friday
June 15 Saturday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Since writing a P.S. to Miss Harrison a minute ago, your note has come and I am very glad you are back. Also, this mail has just brought a notification from Pond that he has got my first reading postponed a week; therefore we shan’t have to leave for Cleveland till Monday July 15. This ought to give me a chance to run down and see you and the Harpers a moment, about the 10th or 12th, or along there.
Sam felt it best to “remain unfettered” and not sign a contract with any magazine; so he was “inclining to Bliss” (to publish the world travel book, FE) He also felt he could write a subscription travel book “without any effort.” Further,
The Century people actually proposed that I sign a contract to be funny in those 12 articles. That was pure insanity. Why, it makes me shudder every time I think of those articles. I don’t think I could ever write one of them without being under the solemnizing blight of that disgusting recollection.
Sam added a PS that Livy said he was committed to the twelve articles.
Upon examining the documents, she seems to be right. Dam — nation!
P.S. 4.30 p.m. Miss Harrison’s telegram with Dr. Rice’s message just received per telephone. Good! If they don’t send for me again, you’ll come up here, won’t you? — and you’ll telegraph, so you can be met at the station [MTHHR 152-3]. Note: Sam would opt out of the articles.
Charles Battell Loomis’ article “The Author and His Style,” ran in Critic p.446. Unsure of the authorship of JA, Loomis wanted to wait until it was known, but wrote, “clearly…Mark Twain did not, for his style is sui generis.” [Tenney ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 330-1]. Note: See July 20 for “Cocksure Critic”s’ answer to Loomis.
June 16 Sunday
June 17 Monday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to James B. Pond, having received a copy of the circular. He felt it was a good circular, “very good indeed.” He had questions about wanting to do a second reading in St. Paul and Minneapolis. He asked Pond to send a copy of the circular to R.S. Smythe, Melbourne, “& tell him we don’t go to Frisco because nobody there in mid-summer” [MTP].
June 18 Tuesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to Frank Hall Scott, president of the Century Publishing Co.
I am at last able to take my attention from my pains & discomforts for a moment & do some thinking, preparatory to answering your two long-neglected letters [not extant].
I have a thought; & as a result I am convinced that the magazine articles are impracticable. Let us give up the idea.
Sam wrote that he saw Scott’s side of things, but on his side he perceived he “would not be able to meet them” (the demands of the articles). Sam felt he knew the sort of material Scott wanted and had researched that sort of matter for Australia, India and South Africa and found “the field barren for that sort of literature.” He’d been charmed by the company’s $10,000 offer, made in March, but even if the amount were doubled he couldn’t now be tempted. He explained:
To be virile & fresh, the articles would have to be written as three-fourths of the Innocents Abroad was written — intransitu. To do that, & at the same time run the lecture-business & the social business would make a botch of all three. For an old man to write a young book under exhausting pressure of other work & in trying climates — well, it could not be done.
In the beginning I was charmed with the unhampered, uncharted $10,000 offer which was made me last March, but if the sum were doubled it could not tempt me, now that I have done my belated thinking [MTP; MTHHR 153n1]. See Mar. 13 entry.
Note: The latter source changed “&” signs to “and”’s. It is the choice whenever two transcriptions exist, to return to the way Sam wrote his letters, that is, usually to use the & signs.
Also, about this date and before June 19, Sam wrote a note to James B. Pond:
The other two have about concluded to go straight through to Cleveland with us. [Livy & Clara.]
He wanted the electrotype lent by William Evarts Benjamin sent ahead to Australia, but didn’t care “for the others,” showing that Pond sent several pictures of Sam to be used in marketing the tour. They wouldn’t be necessary unless R.S. Smythe wanted more pictures, so he wouldn’t send them [MTP]. Note: This seems to be a fragment, lacking salutation and signature.
Sam’s thigh carbuncle dispelled a core and left “a corresponding raw cavity” in his leg; he felt it would “heal fast, now” [June 19 to Pond].
Livy wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore: “I enclose you the signed paper from the custom office. I am sorry to give you so much trouble about matters. It all comes from the fact that the dress maker did not get the articles finished when she promised to. / I was very glad that Clara could be at Hattie’s wedding; and very sorry that the rest of us could not.” She wrote of Sam being “confined to the sofa yet with his carbuncle.” She didn’t wish to rent their Hartford house save to an “intimate friend.” [MTP].
June 19 Wednesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to John Horne of Glasgow, Scotland.
I find it thoroughly entertaining. Moreover, I thank you very much for the pleasant attention of giving me the front seat.
I once made a valuable collection of autographs myself — without knowing I was doing it.
He then related the 1884 April Fool’s joke made by George W. Cable (see Mar. 31, 1884 Vol. I). “It will be long before I part with those autographs” [MTP]. Note: Horne also wrote Sam on June 29, nearly begging for James Russell Lowell’s autograph.
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, thinking Pond’s suggestion “a good idea” that Livy and daughter Clara follow after Sam and Pond, then meet on the boat at Cleveland. Sam didn’t “seem to like the white-linen” full-length picture of himself that he’d asked for, and Livy didn’t like it either, so he wouldn’t take a cast of it to R.S. Smythe (see June 11 to Pond). Sam’s carbuncle “sloughed out a big hunk of decayed protoplasm like a Baltimore oyster yesterday,” so he felt it would heal fast [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, enclosing a copy of Sam’s June 18 to Frank Hall Scott of the Century.
Will you please keep this copy for me — otherwise I shall say, some day, that I never wrote & don’t remember anything about it. My memory is pretty useless.
Having “never written with chains on” Sam felt he “never could” write the articles Scott wanted. Sam added at the end that he and Livy “are fully expecting to have a Sunday at Fairhaven” [MTHHR 153].
June 20 Thursday
June 21 Friday
June 22 Saturday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote two letters to H.H. Rogers. In the first, an obvious response to one of Rogers, not extant.
I have made some notes, which I enclose. I wish I could come down and talk with you and Colby and the Harpers, but I can’t. I shan’t be able to put my clothes on till — I don’t know when. Carbuncles are extravagantly slow.
My main objection is a the absence of a time-limit.
The subject here is the contract that Bainbridge Colby had made with Harper & Brothers for a Uniform Edition of Sam’s books. Sam didn’t want any money from Rogers, but only wanted to know how much Rogers held for him, in case daughters Susy and Jean might need things. Rogers was to have an eye operation shortly, and Sam related dining in Paris with “the greatest of the French oculists,” who previously had opposed “eye-cutting, but is whacking away at people’s eyes now, with confidence and enthusiasm.”
He questioned that a “Mr. Lawson called?” and didn’t recall him. (Thomas W. Lawson, Boston broker who sold stock for Standard Oil Co.). Also he had a photograph for Urban E. Broughton, but had procrastinated in sending it. He also wished Miss May Rogers to reconsider going on the world tour [MTHHR 154-5].
Sam’s second letter was an obvious afterthought of his first, advising Rogers that Colby thought if Rogers could have “the interview this afternoon it would be a very great help.” This suggests that the “letter” was a telegram, yet the entire text suggests not. (A letter could not go from Elmira to New York City in one day.) Sam then discussed an acceptable royalty of his Uniform Edition for his wife, who owned all the rights. 20 percent “would be a liberal one,” 15 percent “a good one.” To “authors of mere ordinary reputation” 10 percent was “customary,”; 20 percent “has been paid to authors of wide reputation,” and he hadn’t heard of a greater one being paid [MTHHR 155].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man in England that he would “not be able to visit Britain the coming winter” due to his world tour [MTP].
Frank Mayo’s article, “Pudd’nhead Wilson” in Harper’s Weekly, p.594 related meeting Sam Clemens in Virginia City. Later when Mayo produced Davy Crockett on the stage, he based “all that is sweet, wholesome, and lovable — the happy, frank, open nature in the title role,” on Joseph T. Goodman and “all that is quaint and humorous” on Mark Twain. He also briefly told of encountering Sam in N.Y. and arranging to dramatize PW. Several photos were included [Tenney ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 331].
June 23 Sunday
June 24 Monday – The Elmira Advertiser p.5 ran a short interview conducted on June 23 about a famous murder case in Brooklyn: “The Henry Murder: Mark Twain Theorizes on the Bloody Hand Prints Found.” Sam cites the study and book (Finger Prints 1892) of Sir Francis Galton, who introduced the use of fingerprints as a way of identification. Sam had studied Galton’s book and claimed it even changed his manuscript during the writing of PW [Scharnhorst, Interviews 148-50; Gribben 251]. See June 25 to Unidentified.
June 25 Tuesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to George Washington Cable, who had written (not extant) praising the JA installment in Harper’s Monthly.
You make me feel ever so proud & pleased. I wrote the story from love, & one particularly likes to have one’s pets praised.
Yes sir! I liked you in spite of your religion; & I always said to myself that a man that could be good & kindly with that kind of a load on him was entitled to homage — & I paid it. And I have always said, & still maintain, that as a railroad-comrade you were perfect. …We always had good times in the cars, & never minded the length of the trips — & my, but they were sockdolagers for length! [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he finished on June 26, the next day. It is obviously a response to a Rogers letter now lost. He liked the news that Frank Mayo might give him a call. Also, his carbuncle caused no pain but the doctor was coming daily and changing bandages; it would be “all of a week yet” before he could dress. He hoped to get to N.Y. within ten days and help finish up the Harper’s contract then have a day or two at Fairhaven, since he was “in a good deal of a fidget” to see Rogers new house, which was built to replace the one destroyed by fire. He added a PS that a Buffalo mortgage owed to Livy might possibly be paid off in July, and if it should be, would “Rogers point out a good investment for it.” (This may show Sam and Livy had not decided to pay off the some $90,000 debt in full, or at least Sam hadn’t.) He also asked Rogers to advise investments for Charles J. Langdon, Livy’s brother, on “an estate matter,” which may have been the estate of their mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon. Also, Sam confessed having only one reading “about ready” for the platform, and would have to leave the others for the road. He added a second PS the next day [MTHHR 156-7].
Sam also answered a question from an unidentified person asking about the book on fingerprinting he’d used to write PW. Sam answered that his memory was “very bad,” but his “dim impression is that it was called ‘Finger-Prints.’” If the writer wanted the book he might send Sam’s note to his English publisher, Chatto & Windus, 214 Piccadilly , W.
Mr. Chatto sent it to me when I was writing Puddn’head Wilson; & that accident changed the whole plot & plan of my book [MTP].
Note: See Nov. 10, 1892 for Sam’s thanks to Chatto for sending Finger Prints, by Francis Galton (1892); Also Gribben, p.251. Sam added per Livy, on the same day in a separate letter, giving the author’s name, and that it had been misprinted (this morning) in the Advertiser [MTP]. Note: Only the Elmira Advertiser would have been available so quickly to Livy. See June 24 entry.
Livy wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore: “Thank you for your letter in answer to mine this is really only a P.S. to my last letter.” Mrs. Cheney only needed a house for two months and not one so large; the Day’s wanted to keep it till Dec. 1, then Livy wanted John and Ellen O’Neil back in it [MTP].
June 26 Wednesday – At Quarry Farm, Sam was served with a subpoena brought by Thomas Russell & Son, printers and bookbinders, a creditor of Webster & Co. This was published on June 4 in the NY Times (see entry); the debt was $5,046. This was the subject of Sam’s PS finish for his letter to Rogers he began June 25:
P.S. This paper has just been served on me. Is it necessary that I obey it and appear in court in New York July 5? The doctor has just gone from here; he says I’ll be able to travel by that date. / SLC [MTHHR 157 and n3].
Note: from the source: Another subpoena (Now in CWB [Clifton Waller Barrett Library]) ordered Mrs. Clemens to appear on 19 July 1895 before the Honorable M.L. Stover, one of the justices on the Supreme Court of New York. Clemens’s eagerness to settle the matter resulted in an arrangement which was worked out before the case was taken to court.
Sam wrote another letter to H.H. Rogers, exasperated at Colby’s travel and his carbuncle healing “slower than chilled molasses. I’ll go to Cleveland on a stretcher.” A time limit had not been added to the draft of the Harper’s contract and Sam couldn’t go to New York to get it done.
Don’t you think you can arrange a meeting with J. Henry Harper and amend and sign the contract? And won’t you, please?
It should not be difficult. In the present draft he has left himself a limit — he can terminate the contract in 10 years. All right, let me have the same limit; let both sides have the privilege of quitting in 10 years from date.
Isn’t that reasonable? & aren’t our other suggested modifications (heretofore sent you), fair & reasonable?
Sam ended with word that the doctor had arrived [MTHHR 157-8].
June 27 Thursday – Livy wrote to H.H. Rogers: “I have been quite distressed today by the paper that was served on Mr. Clemens and I feel that in some way these Webster & Co. matters must be arranged.” She confided that Sam did not know she was writing him [MTP].
June 28 Friday – Frank Hall Scott for Century Co. wrote with regret that Sam was unable to submit pieces for the magazine and hoped the trip would prove good medicine [MTP].
June 29 Saturday – John Horne an autograph seeker in Glasgow, Scotland wrote to Sam, responding to Sam’s June 19 answer. Horne asked if Sam could and would “bless” him with James Russell Lowell’s autograph, since Sam had mentioned getting all those autographs on April Fools’ Day in 1884 [MTP].
Sam also responded to a letter from H.H. Rogers, evidently suggesting Sam simply go on his tour and ignore the subpoenas, or perhaps simply asking the what-if.
No, indeedy, it won’t answer. It would [be] a bad advertisement for my lecture-trip to have all the papers here and in Australia saying I have dodged the courts and fled the country. I mustn’t do it. If Colby had told me of this danger I wouldn’t have remained in this State.
Sam’s plan was to send a doctor’s certificate of his condition, and get the court date postponed to July 8. Then go to New York on July 4 and meet the creditors July 5 or 6 and propose “a composition” (solution) “in the form of an addition of 10 per cent to what the Webster assets produces.” Sam hoped Rogers would approve of this plan and that Bainbridge Colby could get an immediate assembly of the creditors “if he can ever be got to stir his stumps”. Sam ended with,
You are just as dear and good as you can be, and the madam and I are building high and getting to Fairhaven.
Charley Langdon is waiting to carry this down the hill [MTHHR 159-60].
Sam also wrote one of his famous aphorisms to an unidentified person:
Let us endeavor to so live that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry [MTP].
Frank Bliss wrote to Sam, letter not extant but mentioned in Sam’s July 1 to Bliss [MTP].
June 30 Sunday – In Elmira at Quarry Farm Sam wrote again to H.H. Rogers on the matter of a meeting with his creditors. Charles Langdon had taken Sam’s last letter and was intending to go to New York where he would deliver it to Rogers. (Langdon was taking medical treatments in the City during this period.)
In case Mr. Langdon should be prevented from going down [to NY], Mrs. Clemens and I desire this, to wit: That Mr. Colby call a meeting of the creditors for just as early a day as possible: but before the 8th.
Sam suggested that Bainbridge Colby talk with Thomas Russell and ask if he would agree to the compromise of 10 per cent additional to Webster assets; if he refused then ask him his terms; and “finally silence Russell, even if we have to pay his entire bill.” ($5,046.)
After which I will try to get out of the reach of anybody else’s supplementary proceedings.
The fact is, the assignee can’t assume the above suggested job, I imagine, but maybe there is somebody else that can.
Mrs. C. is dead set against having me keel-hauled and fire-assayed in that court for the benefit of the newspapers; though I myself do not much dread it — hardly at all, in fact.
Sam confessed he’d mixed up the dates for coming to Fairhaven with Livy, but the way the carbuncle was acting he couldn’t travel for four or five days. Sam then added a humorous PS after his signature — one which surely brought a smile to Rogers:
P.S. Look here, don’t you think you’d better let somebody else run the Standard Oil a week or two till you’ve finished up these matters of mine? Why I can keep you busy, you don’t need any outside industries [MTHHR 160-1].
July – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore, Sam forwarded John Horne’s June 29 letter and asked Whitmore to write Horne after July 14th and tell him that Sam had left for Australia. Sam also asked Whitmore to call on John Day if the rent wasn’t paid on the Farmington Ave. house by the 13th. [MTP]. Note: given Horne wrote on June 29 and the Atlantic crossing took about a week, with at least one additional day for the mail to get from NYC to Elmira, Sam’s reply here could not have been sent before July 8 or after July 14.
“Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” first appeared in the North American Review for July 1895. It was later collected in How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays (1897) [Budd, Collected 2: 1002].
The London Quarterly Review p.388 gave a brief and descriptive review of P&P: “The adventures of the two boys in their new worlds keep one amused and interested throughout” [Tenney 23].
July 1 Monday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to Frank Bliss.
Yours of June 29 received [not extant]. I have been considering and shall not close with the offer of $12000, for 12 magazine articles until I have taken plenty of time to make up my mind. I’ve got to go to New York if I possibly can, before July 10, and if I go I will telegraph you and have a talk with you then.
Sam thought he could travel if the doctor consented [MTP].
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond with a list of his “finally-decided-upon” program of talks for the tour; he was concerned that a prior schedule of talks might already be in the hands of future audiences.
Don’t you fail to squelch & suppress that former Program in every single case where possible [MTP].
Note: For past tours Sam often shifted his program content for various reasons. See Fatout’s list given under June 11, for a more accurate compilation of readings given.
Livy wrote to American Publishing Co.: “Until further orders you will make to F.G. Whitmore of Hartford Conn. all statements and payments of moneys on account of royalties and profits arising from the sales of books written by Samuel L. Clemens and now standing in my name” [MTP].
Livy wrote to H.H. Rogers “I feel as if you would get tird of the Elmira postmark. I come however with another proposition — in case Mr Clemens is not able to go to Fairhaven the last of this week could not you and Mrs Duff and Dr Rice come here?” She offered her brother as host [MTP].
Livy wrote to Cara L. Duff (Clara): “If Mr Clemens does not get well enough to go to you the latter part of this month we want you to come here with your father and Dr. Rice. Will you?” [MTP].
July 2 Tuesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote on a series of three stones, a “Contract” with Julia J. Beecher (Mrs. Thomas K. Beecher). Stones 1-3:
If you prove right and I prove wrong
A million years from now,
In language plain and frank and strong
My error I’ll avow
To your dear mocking face.
If I prove right, by God his grace,
Full sorry I shall be,
For in that solitude no trace
There’ll be of you and me
Nor of our vanished race.
A million years, O patient stone,
You’ve waited for this message
Deliver it a million hence!
(Survivor pays expressage.)
Mark Twain [MTP].
Note: The text of this poem, with one line missing, was published in the July 31 N.Y. Tribune and the Aug. 3 issue of Critic, p.79. [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn 1978) 167-8] See a photocopy of the stones on p.198, Jerome & Whisbey. Also, See: Sharlow’s article on Julia Jones Beecher in the MT Encyc. p.65-6; and Mark Woodhouse’s “A Rediscovered Letter and Other Items of Note” [“The Wager Stones”] in Dear Friends (Spring 2006): 6-7. Mark worked in some interesting factoids regarding the stones as per an “R. A. Hall in August of 1895 relating [in a document] the history of the wager stones, a set of three flat stones in the collections of the Mark Twain Archive” [Elmira College], including that:
The stone was picked up by Mrs. Beecher in the Susquehanna river bed near Wyalusing Pa near to the summer cottage of Charles Beecher. The stone is kidney shaped of a slatey formation and a reddish color and singularly was split into three slabs. [Thanks to JoDee Benussi for these sources].
Sam also wrote a short note to James B. Pond reiterating that if Pond would make the engagements, he would fill them. He advised Pond that the Century Co., ten days before, wanted to buy the huge photo of him for its exclusive use [MTP].
Sam also wrote a short note to Clara Spaulding Stanchfield, including the “old original draft” of the poem to Julia J. Beecher [MTP].
July 3 Wednesday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to John D. Adams of Harper & Brothers about the proofs and location of an “ennobling scene” for the forthcoming Book II of JA in the magazine’s serial run. Sam also confided that he was “not out of bed yet.”
July 4 Thursday
July 5 Friday – At Quarry Farm Sam began a short note to Robert Underwood Johnson of Century Magazine, that he finished with a PS the next day, July 6.
I am still in bed with my Pullman carbuncle (41st day), but I’ve ground out some 2,500 words of nonsense (& fact) about the bicycle. I could have strung it out indefinitely — but not with advantage, I think [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers explaining why he was delayed making the trip to Fairhaven, and what with an all-night to Albany, then to Boston, and Cape Cod, and somehow to New Bedford (next to Fairhaven) — it was not so easy on trains from Elmira.
It is a dam shame and a sign of poor progress that at this late day the railroads still follow the old mouldy methods, instead of hanging a brass tag on a person and checking him through, same as they would any other trunk.
Sam had also received news from his brother-in-law, Charles J. Langdon, who had gone to New York in the past few days to confer with Rogers and Bainbridge Colby, the assignee in Webster & Co.’s bankruptcy assignment.
I had come to a dead stand-still, and lost all interest in life and work and lecturing and everything else; but my brother’s account of his visit with you, and Colby’s subsequent letter confirming all he said, made things look plenty well enough, and so I will either get at my lectures again this morning or write an article which the Century wants in a desperate hurry.
It is mighty good and lovely of you to be doing all this work and taking all this trouble for me, but I can tell you one thing — God shall reward you for it. I am going to look after that detail personally.
Sam encouraged Rogers to “come up here as soon as you find you can,” and could explain which railroad to take but felt Rogers “would not have any confidence in” his directions [MTHHR 162-3].
July 6 Saturday – In Elmira at Quarry Farm Sam finished his July 5 note to Robert Underwood Johnson of Century Magazine with a PS that he had no time to revise the bicycle piece as the carriage was starting for town that moment. Johnson would have to send him a proof, and best to send it to Quarry Farm before July 10 [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, announcing that finally, “under bad and uncomfortable conditions” he would go to New York with Livy on Monday, July 8. The time was too short before they must leave for Cleveland; they couldn’t afford another delay. So they would take the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad.
…leaving here at noon and arriving at Everett House 7.30; then return here next day at 1 p.m. This will give me 3 or 4 days to rest-up in, before leaving for Cleveland — and I shall need as many. I will read, here, to the Reformatory convicts Wed and Thurs. nights. Yrs sincerely / SLC [MTP].
Note: this letter was written on the back of a note from Livy to Rogers, authorizing the purchase of the plates of Sam’s books from Webster & Co. “estate” for $100 and to charge it to her account.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore that Livy would send him “a little money to eke out the taxes” on their house. Take the money whenever John Day volunteered to pay the rent, but Sam did not want Whitmore to ever ask him for it again, while he was away. Livy had ordered American Publishing Co. to send Whitmore quarterly statements with checks. James B. Pond would send a list of his engagements and hotels. He also gave his Australian address to R.S. Smythe in Melbourne.
We sail in steamer “ Warrimoo” from Vancouver, Aug. 16 [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frank Fuller, explaining he could not meet with him, that he couldn’t even make the Fairhaven engagement, and was still in bed.
I have found it exceedingly difficult to memorize readings & curse a carbuncle all at the same time for six weeks, & heartily hope we can holler Yes the next time you call for us [MTP].
July 7 Sunday
July 8 Monday – At Quarry Farm Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, again delayed on coming to New York.
A telephone message from town has stopped me just as I was about to put on my clothes for the first time in 44 days. Dr. Wales had just gone, not pleased about the New York journey, and outspokenly discontented because a professional nurse (mighty capable man), was going with me instead of Mrs. Clemens. After all the trouble the tribe of us had been at, to persuade her to remain here! She is not well, and I could not endure the idea of her making that big journey — no good preparation for the long trip Pacfic-ward. My uneasiness about her would have made the journey all the harder for me.
Of course I shall obey all orders from New York; but I was all keyed up and ready for the examination; and now in a day or two I’ll have to do all that keying-up over again, I judge. All right, I’ll manage it.
Sam felt he could have made the journey and had planned it to go straight to bed once reaching the Everett House. He felt he wouldn’t be able to stand on a platform before starting west, and wouldn’t get a chance to practice his reading.
Nothing in this world can save it from being a shabby poor disgusting performance.
I’ve got to stand; I can’t sit and talk to a house — and how in the nation am I going to do it? Land of Goshen, it’s this night week! Pray for me.
Doctor Rogers — look you! I can’t stand to have that N.Y. examination postponed beyond Friday [MTHHR 164-5].
Notes: Theron Augustus Wales, M.D. was the Elmira doctor treating Sam. The “supplementary examination” brought by Thomas Russell, bookbinder for $5,046, was to determine if Sam had hidden assets which could be used to satisfy the judgment. It took place on July 11. The other creditors were being patient.
July 9 Tuesday
July 10 Wednesday – Sam left Elmira without Livy for New York to be examined by attorneys for Thomas Russell the next day. His earlier plans were to stay at the Everett House.
July 11 Thursday – Sam was examined by attorneys. The Boston Daily Globe sensationalized the session, running this article on p.6, July 12, 1895.
“MARK TWAIN” IS RUINED.
Failure of Publishing House in Which He Was a Partner Involved
the Humorist’s Private Fortune.
NEW YORK, July 11 — “Mark Twain,” otherwise Samuel L. Clemens, the humorist, was examined in supplementary proceedings this afternoon at the office of Stern & Rushmore, his lawyers, at 40 Wall st.
The action was taken on account of the failure, some months ago, of the publishing house of Charles L. Webster & Co, in which Mr Clemens was a partner.
Thos. Russell & Sons, printers, have an account against the publishing firm for printing their books. The claim, amounting to a little over $5000, was unsatisfied at the time of the failure.
They have secured an execution against Mr Clemens and Frederick J Hall, another partner in the publishing business, and as this execution was returned unsatisfied by the sheriff, an order was secured for the examination of Messrs Clemens and Hall in supplementary proceedings.
Bainbridge Colby, the assignee of the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co, said that Mr Clemens is a ruined man financially, and that he has been very much depressed over the necessity of submitting to the ordeal of a supplementary examination.
Mr. Colby said that Mr Clemens has, to the best of this ability, devoted himself to the work of seeing the creditors of the late publishing firm satisfied.
A dividend of 20 percent upon all claims was paid to the creditors last April, and all the creditors, with the exception of Russell & Sons, have been satisfied with the efforts of assignee Colby and Mr Clemens to settle the debts of the firm.
The largest debt of the publishing firm was to Mrs Clemens, who at different times advanced $70,000 in money to help along the business. After the failure this was a clear loss, as she made no claim against the firm.
July 12 Friday – Sam gave a reading to 700 boys at the House of Refuge, Randall’s Island, New York as a rehearsal for his tour to kick off in Cleveland on July 15 [Fatout, MT Speaking 662]. Note: The House of Refuge was a reformatory for incorrigible boys.
The New York Times, July 14, 1895 p.2 “Two More House of Refuge Rioters; Held for Seriously Injuring Keeper Parker with Baseball Bats,” reported on a riot at the school on this afternoon. Sam did not mention the riot afterward, but in a July 14 to Rogers he called his talk there a “comical defeat.” The N.Y. Sun of July 18 reported that “the performance took and the boys were in a roar…from the time they found…that it wasn’t against the rules to smile until the speaker sat down” [Fatout, Lecture Circuit 243-4].
According to Sam’s July 14 to Rogers, he was on the train the day before, July 13, meaning he would have spent this night in New York.
Harper & Brothers sent Sam a check (to Rogers) for $6,982, as the balance owing on the serialization of TS Detective and JA [MTHHR 170n3].
July 13 Saturday – Sam left New York on the train for Elmira. In his letter of July 14 to H.H. Rogers, he described seeing Charles E. Rushmore of Stern & Rushmore, attorneys, on the train.
…told him I didn’t want any annoyance at Cleveland;…but he said I could rest easy; said he was sure Wilder [Thomas Russell’s attorney] was now satisfied that I had no concealed property & would leave me alone in Cleveland.
And yet, after all, he was not certain. However, that is neither here nor there. Wilder can play that card, & I will take no risks with that man. Mr. Rushmore thinks he knows Wilder. It is a superstition. Cleveland is a good card, & Wilder is not a sentimentalist. I wish I had listened to [John] Stanchfield here when he wanted to vacate the order of the Court [July 14 to Rogers].
Livy wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore:
You ask about the price of pasture land. I do not understand that the city desire to buy all the land but only a strip that lies on the other side of the bridge. We would rather not sell that neck of our land if it can be avoided…./ I write in a great hurry. We start tomorrow and I find a few things to be done [MTP].
July 14 Sunday – At Quarry Farm, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, declaring he’d “thrown up the Russell sponge,” meaning he was ready to compromise with Thomas Russell, printer, or pay him in full, the $5,046 owed. He reported Livy’s reaction to newspaper reports of his supplementary examination on July 11 at Stern & Rushmore’s office:
I found Mrs. Clemens in the deeps of despair and misery when I arrived, because my name had gotten into the papers in connection with the examination, and because I was not able to say Wilder would not try to attach the gate-money in Cleveland — which would start another newspaper-item afloat, whether he succeeded or failed. She was ill, over the situation, and I at once administered the only medicine that could stop her from getting worse. I said we would immediately compromise with Russell or pay him in full. Maybe I might be able to endure further annoyance, but she has reached her limit and is entitled to a release. So I have formally instructed Sterne & Rushmore to settle or pay in full, and draw on Mr. Langdon for the money. There is probably not enough in your hands for the purpose; so I beg you to invest what you can of it when you get a chance, — all but about $1500, which will be needed by Susy and Jean, for board, etc. [Note: William Wilder was Thomas Russell’s attorney].
Sam then told about seeing Charles E. Rushmore on the train the day before, and though Rushmore thought it unlikely for Wilder to try to attach Sam’s gate at Cleveland, he wasn’t certain. Wilder had previously offered to settle the amount for 75% of what was owing, but that was before and Sam thought he’d probably have to pay in full now. He knew that Wilder and Bainbridge Colby couldn’t come to terms as they were “bitter enemies.” He also related that Livy felt Sam rode Rogers too hard for help. Also, he remarked about what “a comical defeat” his reading at the House of Refuge on Randall’s Island was:
Delivering a grown-folks’ lecture to a sucking-bottle nursery! No, only trying — I didn’t do it — and couldn’t. No man could have done it.
Still a productive reworking came from the reading practice, and Sam felt he might try out the changes on the “Reformatory convicts to-night” [MTHHR 166-7].
In the evening Sam gave a reading he later called “a roaring success” at the Elmira Reformatory.
A few minutes before leaving for town, Sam also wrote to his sister Pamela Moffett.
I have not been able to write. I have been in bed ever since we arrived here May 25th, until four days ago [July 10] when I put on my clothes for the first time in 45 days to go to New York — barely capable of the exertion — to undergo the shame born of the mistake I made in establishing a publishing house. I can’t make any more financial mistakes; I’ve nothing left to make them with. If Webster had paid me my dividend on the Grant book when he paid himself & Mrs. Grant, I should have been spared the humiliations of these days. However I am still clean of dishonesty toward any man, and — but never mind, it would profit nothing to say it.
Livy & Clara have gone down in the valley to take the train toward the Pacific Coast, & I follow in five minutes. We leave Susy & Jean here at the farm. They will join us in London next year.
Note: Livy and Clara left first, but only for the depot, where Sam caught up with them. Sam’s indelible picture of the train pulling out from Elmira with Susy waving tearful good-byes on the platform was the last time they would see her alive [Sept. 24, 1896 to Howells; MTB 1002].
In order for Sam to speak in Cleveland the following night, July 15, he would have had to take a night train from Elmira headed west this night.
July 15, 1895 to July 15, 1896 – World Speaking Tour – Sam’s tour consisted of the northern United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ceylon, Mauritius, and South Africa: about 140 engagements [Fatout, MT Speaking 662]. See Railton’s website at the University of Virginia for more details on the North American portion of the tour including map, letters, and reviews, many of which are quoted here. The North America portion of the world tour was under the management of James B. Pond, who, along with his wife, Martha G. Pond, accompanied the Clemens party as far as the Pacific Coast. The manager for the down-under portion was Robert Sparrow Smythe (usually seen as R.S. Smythe) and his son, Carlyle G. Smythe.
The starting point of this lecturing-trip around the world was Paris, where we had been living a year or two.
We sailed for America, and there made certain preparations. This took but little time. Two members of my family elected to go with me. Also a carbuncle. The dictionary says a carbuncle is a kind of jewel. Humor is out of place in a dictionary [FE 25].
July 15 Monday – The Clemens party arrived in Cleveland, Ohio sometime during the morning and checked into the Stillman House. Pond had collected $300 in advance for the Cleveland appearance and gave Sam $200, for which he receipted Pond on the train; Sam didn’t want Livy to deal directly with the money [July 16 to Rogers]. The World Tour began at the Music Hall on this evening and the next. Sam felt the first night was “another Randall’s Island defeat,” though Fatout writes the Cleveland papers were complimentary [Lecture Circuit 244]. From this same letter, Sam described the chaotic affair of his first night on the tour:
There were a couple of hundred little boys behind me on the stage, on a lofty tier of benches which made them the most conspicuous object in the house. And there was nobody to watch them or keep them quiet. Why, with their scufflings and horse-play and noise, it was just a menagerie. Besides, a concert of amateurs had been smuggled into the program (to precede me,) and their families and friends (say ten per cent of the audience) kept encoring them and they always responded. So it was 20 minutes to 9 before I got on the platform in front of those 2,600 people who had paid a dollar apiece for a chance to go to hell in this fashion.
I got started magnificently, but inside of half an hour the scuffling boys had the audience’s maddened attention & I saw it was a gone case; so I skipped a third of my program and quit. The newspapers are kind, but between you & me it was a defeat. There ain’t going to be any more concerts at my lectures. I care nothing for this defeat, because it was not my fault. My first half hour showed that I had the house, and I could have kept it if I hadn’t been so handicapped.
P.S. I find that there were five hundred boys behind me, two-thirds as many as Randall’s Island, and that they flowed past my back in clattering shoals, some leaving the house, others returning for more skylarking! [July 16 to Rogers].
Note: Fatout mistakenly reports this as July 13 in MT Speaking, but correctly as July 14 in the earlier On the Lecture Circuit. In the latter he describes Sam’s presentation and quotes from the July 23 N.Y Times, p.3, “MARK TWAIN BEGINS HIS TOUR”:
“In the Music Hall a tremendous audience of 2600, cheerfully sweltering in ninety-degree heat, made the evening look like a triumph. He started with a preface about morals. Since the Australians wanted lectures on ‘any kind of morals,’ he said he intended ‘to teach morals to those people. I do not like to have them taught to me, and I do not know of any duller entertainment than that, but I know I can produce…goods that will satisfy those people.’ Stating the principle that, to achieve moral superiority, one should commit all the 462 possible crimes, he remarked:
When you have committed your 462 you are released of every other possibility and have ascended the staircase of faultless creation, and you finally stand with your 462 complete with absolute moral perfection, and I am more than two-thirds up there.
“Proceeding from principle to illustration, he launched into the watermelon story. Another theory, ‘that when you do a thing do it with all your might,’ introduced Baker and the blue jays”:
You never saw a bluejay get stuck for a word. He is a vocabularized geyser….A bluejay hasn’t any more principle than an ex-Congressman….A bluejay is human….He likes especially scandal; he knows when he is an ass as well as you do.
Major James B. Pond’s diary for this date cites a larger crowd and payment made at the hotel:
At the Stillman with “Mark Twain,” his wife, and their daughter Clara. “Mark” looks badly fatigued.
We have very comfortable quarters here. “Mark” went immediately to bed on our arrival. He is nervous and weak.
Reporters from all the morning and evening papers called and interviewed him. It seemed like old times again, and “Mark” enjoyed it.
The young men called at 3 p.m.. and paid me the fee for the lecture, which took place in Music Hall. There were 4,200 people present, at prices ranging from 25 cents to $1. It was nine o’clock before the crowd could get in and “Mark” begin. As he hobbled upon the stage, there was a grand ovation of cheers and applause, which continued for some time. Then he began to speak, and before he could finish a sentence the applause broke out again. So it went on for over an hour on a mid-July night, with the mercury trying to climb out of the top of the thermometer. “Mark Twain” kept that vast throng in convulsions [Eccentricities of Genius 200-1].
H.H. Rogers telegrammed Livy and quoted it in his July 16 to Sam:
I shall do everything to carry out your wishes even though it conflicts with my judgment. In order to make progress, I have talked with your brother [Charles J. Langdon] on the telephone to-day and he is coming here on Wednesday to help us in the matter. Everybody is friendly. I will send newspaper clippings with letter to Sault Ste. Marie. Kindest wishes all around [MTHHR 168]. Note: the meeting had to do with resolution of the Thomas Russell matter.
July 16 Tuesday – In the late morning (“Forenoon”) in Cleveland, Ohio, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, describing the first Cleveland talk the night before (July 15).
Scharnhorst [151-3] lists an interview with Sam in an unidentified Cleveland newspaper for this date (Cleveland Leader?), which was reprinted on Sept. 14, 1895 p.7 in the Melbourne Australian Star. Tenney lists the interview as with the Daily Leader [Tenney 23]. After waxing eloquent about his Virginia City days, his time on the S.F. Call, and how he chose his nom de plume, Sam responded to the question of whether or not he was the author of JA being serialized in Harper’s Monthly Magazine:
He paused for a moment and then drawled out: “That question has been asked me several times, and I have always said that I considered it wise to leave an unclaimed piece of literary property alone until time has shown that nobody is going to claim it. Then it’s safe to acknowledge that you wrote that thing whether you did or not. It is in this way that I have become known and respected as the author of ‘Beautiful Snow’ and ‘Rock Me to Sleep, Mother.’”
Henry H. Rogers wrote to Sam, and quoted the telegram he sent Livy the day before. Rogers had telephoned Charles J. Langdon, who’d agreed to come to N.Y. and meet with Rogers, to help out on the debt of $5,046 owed by Webster & Co. to Thomas Russell. Rogers would let Sam know by telegram when an agreement was reached. He reassured Sam and Livy about all their misgivings:
Don’t worry about troubling me. You are in such a state of mind that you seem to worry about everything. It was not a comical defeat at Randall’s Island. It may have been a mistake to go up there to talk to a lot of hoodlums, nine-tenths of whom perhaps have never seen the inside of a book, but Miss Harrison says, that anybody of sense would have appreciated and enjoyed it. Let us kick over the whole of this miserable Russell business and we will attend to that here. In the meantime, let me say that everybody is in sympathy with you and feels most kindly. Why, Payne of the bank, even criticises Russell’s conduct as absolutely outrageous and poor old Whitford melted to tears over your troubles. They may have been of the crocodile kind, but in my judgment, came from a kindly feeling. The newspapers are agreeable and I send you two or three little clippings. Your examination is like one of New York’s nine days’ wonders, and will be forgotten within the prescribed time….I know to a degree, what it is to be as sensitive as you are and I am heartily sorry for Mrs. Clemens, but I hope that distance will remove all this unpleasantness [MTHHR 168-9].
Rogers added a PS that he’d received a check from Harper for $6,982, which he “safely stowed away” and added to funds he was holding for the Clemenses which now totaled $10,710.22. The check from Harper & Brothers was the balance due on serial rights to TS Detective and JA [170n3]. He also advised that his son-in-law, William Evarts Benjamin, had recommended “Williams, who was formerly with Webster & Co. but now with Benjamin,” to meet with Charles J. Langdon, Bainbridge Colby, and himself the following morning. [Note: This may be Thomas M. Williams mentioned in MTLTP].
In the evening, Sam repeated his program at the Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio. Lorch points out the value of a Cleveland start to Sam’s tour:
“Cleveland was a propitious choice for the premier performance, for there he knew he could count on the enthusiastic support of the influential Cleveland Herald, and of the Solon Severances, old friends of the ‘Quaker City’ days” .
Note: Lorch also points out that Mary Mason Fairbanks had “helped launch him at Cleveland a quarter of a century earlier.” However, Abel Fairbanks, past part-owner of the Herald, was dead; and though several secondary sources mistakenly include “Mother” Fairbanks in the Cleveland inaugural, she no longer lived in Cleveland [MTMF 277]; she was an invalid living with her daughter in New England. Still, Sam and/or J.B. Pond must have felt the city would be enthusiastic; the crowd was far greater than Sam’s earlier guidelines of 1,000 to 1,500 given Pond.
Interestingly, J.B. Pond’s diary does not mention a second lecture for this date:
Ninety degrees in the shade at 7:30 a.m. Good notices of “Mark Twain’s” lecture appear in all the papers. “Mark” spent all day in bed until five o’clock, while I spent the day in writing to all correspondents ahead. If Sault Ste. Marie, the next engagement, turns out as well in proportion as this place, our tour is a success. “Mark” and family were invited out to dinner with some old friends and companions of the Quaker City tour. He returned very nervous and much distressed. We discover a remarkable woman in Mrs. Clemens. There’s a good time in store for us all [Eccentricities of Genius 201]. The “old friends” of the QC tour were no doubt Solon L. and Emily A. Severance.
July 17 Wednesday – A travel day on the World Tour. The Clemens party took the luxurious Great Lakes steamer, North Land (sometimes seen as Northland) through the Upper Michigan peninsula to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sam called it “an ideal summer trip” [NB 35 TS 11].
J.B. Pond’s diary:
Wednesday, July 17th, S.S. Northland.
Our party left Cleveland for Mackinac at seven o’clock. “Mark” is feeling very poorly. He is carrying on a big fight against his bodily disability. All that has been said of this fine ocean ship on the Great Lakes is not exaggerated. Across Lake Erie to Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and the St. Clair River is a most charming trip. “Mark” and Mrs. Clemens are very cheerful to-day. The passengers have discovered who they are, and consequently our party is the centre of attraction. Wherever “Mark” sits or stands on the deck of the steamer, in the smoking room, dining room, or cabin, he is the magnet, and people strain their necks to see him and to catch every word he utters.
On this lake trip occurred an incident of which I have already written. It was the second day out on Lake Huron, and “Mark” was on deck in the morning for the first time. Many people made excuses for speaking to him. One man had stopped off in Cleveland on purpose to hear him. Another, from Washington Territory, who had lived forty years in the West, owned a copy of “Roughing It,” which he and his wife knew by heart. One very gentle, elderly lady wished to thank him for the nice things he has written and said of cats. But the one that interested “Mark” the most was a young man who asked him if he had ever seen or used a shaving stone, handing him one. It was a small, peculiar, fine-grained sandstone, the shape of a miniature grindstone, and about the size of an ordinary watch. He explained that all you had to do was to rub your face with it and the rough beard would disappear, leaving a clean, shaven face.
“Mark” took it, rubbed it on his unshaven cheek, and expressed great wonder at the result. He put it in his vest pocket very unceremoniously, remarking at the same time: “The Madam (he generally speaks of Mrs. Clemens as ‘The Madam’) will have no cause to complain of my never being ready in time for church because it takes so long to shave. I will put this into my vest pocket on Sunday. Then, when I get to church, I’ll pull the thing out and enjoy a quiet shave in my pew during the long prayer” [Eccentricities of Genius 201-2].
Scharnhorst,  cites Denny  who cites the July 18, 1895 p.5 Detroit Journal article about Sam’s stop on July 17 (not a lecture stop) in Detroit, and his opinion of the steamer North Land:
There was one striking figure in the crowd of a score or more persons who stood on the forward deck of the big steamer North Land as she drifted up to the dock at the foot of First st., yesterday at 4 p.m. It was that of a man past the middle age of life, with bushy gray hair that fell well down upon his coat collar, a moustache of the same color, that was inclined to bristle, and a clear, ruddy complexion. …This man was Mark Twain, the humorist, christened Samuel L. Clemens, and father of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. …
Mr. Clemens was full of praise for the North Land, and said there wasn’t much about the vessel to remind him of the days when he used to pilot a steamboat on the Mississippi river. “It is the best I have ever seen,” he said, “in the way of passenger boats. The Fall River steamers are more elaborately decorated, but are more like ocean steamers than the North Land, and not so pleasant and comfortable.”
July 18 Thursday – The Clemens party arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and checked into the Hotel Iroquois. Sam gave his talk at the Soo Opera House. J.B. Pond did not make a diary entry on this stop, nor did Sam mention it in any letters extant. Gaw writes,
“I found only one ad previewing the arrival of Twain in the July 13 edition of the Sault Ste. Marie News and one small paragraph in the same paper of July 20 that characterized the lecture merely as ‘entertaining.’ However, in view of the lack of positive mention by either Twain or Pond, it is reasonable to assume that Twain did not consider this lecture outstanding” [Gaw 24].
For the July 18 interview in the Detroit Journal, see July 17 entry.
July 19 Friday – The Clemens party traveled by steamer the short distance to Mackinaw (Mackinac), Michigan, where he gave a lecture to 400 in the Casino Room of the Grand Hotel. J.B. Pond’s diary describes:
Friday, July 19th, Grand Hotel, Mackinac.
We came by steamer F. S. Faxton, of the Arnold Line. It was an ideal excursion among the islands. Although it was cold, none of our party would leave the deck until the dinner bell rang. “Mark” said: “That sounds like an old-fashioned summons to dinner. It means a good, old-fashioned, unpretentious dinner, too. I’m going to try it.” We all sat down to a table the whole length of the cabin. We naturally fell in with the rush, and all got seats. It was a good dinner, too; the best ever I heard of for 25 cents.
We reached the Grand Hotel at 4:30. I saw one of “Mark’s” lithographs in the hotel office, with “Tickets for Sale Here” written in blue pencil oil the margin. It seemed dull and dead about the lobby, and also in the streets. The hotel manager said the Casino, an adjoining hall, was at our service, free, and the keeper had instructions to seat and to light it. Dinner time came; we all went down together. It was “Mark’s” first appearance in a public dining room since we started. He attracted some attention as he entered and sat down, but nothing especial. After dinner the news-stand man told me he had not sold a ticket, and no one had inquired about the lecture. I waited until eight o’clock and then went to the hall to notify the man that he need not light up as there would be no audience. The janitor and I chatted until about half-past eight, and I was about to leave when a man and woman came to the door and asked for tickets. I was on the point of telling them that there would be no lecture when I saw a number of people, guests of the hotel, coming. I suddenly changed my mind and told them: “Admission $1; pay the money to me and walk right in.” The crowd kept rushing on me, so that I was obliged to ask everybody who could to please have the exact amount ready, as I was unable to change large bills without a good deal of delay. It was after nine o’clock before the rush was over, and I sent a boy for “Mark.” He expressed his pleasant surprise. I asked him to walk to the platform and introduce himself, which he did, and I don’t believe an audience ever had a better time of an hour and a half. “Mark” was simply immense.
I counted my money while the “show” was going on and found I had taken in $398. When about half through, two young men came to the door and wanted to be admitted for one dollar for the two. I said: “No; one dollar each; I cannot take less.” They turned to go; then I called them back and explained that I needed two more dollars to make receipts just $400, and said:
“Now, if you’ll pay a dollar each and complete my pile, you can come in and enjoy the best end of the performance, and when the show is out, I’ll take you down-stairs and blow you off to twice that amount.”
They paid the two dollars, and after the crowd had left, I introduced them to “Mark,” and we all went down to the billiard room, had a good time until twelve o’clock, and “Mark” and I made two delightful acquaintances. This has been one of our best days. “Mark” is gaining [Eccentricities of Genius 202-3].
July 20 Saturday – Sam and J.B. Pond left the ladies at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac and traveled on to Petoskey, Michigan, where Sam gave a lecture in the Grand Opera House. From Pond’s diary:
Saturday, July 20th, Mackinac to Petoskey.
“Mark” is feeling better. He and I left the ladies at the Grand, in Mackinac, and went to Petoskey on the two o’clock boat and train. The smoke, from forest fires on both sides of the track, is so thick as to be almost stifling. There is a good hotel here.
There was a full house, and for the first time in a number of months I had a lecture room so crowded at one dollar a ticket that many could not get standing room and were obliged to go away. The theatre has a seating capacity of five hundred, but over seven hundred and fifty got in. “Mark’s” programme was just right — one hour and twenty minutes long. He stopped at an hour and ten minutes, and cries of “Go on! Go on!” were so earnest that he told one more story. George Kennan was one of the audience. He is going to give a course of lectures at Lake View Assembly, an auxiliary Chautauqua adjoining Petoskey, where about five thousand people assemble every summer. Mr. Hall, the manager, thought that “Mark Twain” would not draw sufficient to warrant engaging him at $250, so I took the risk outside, and won [Eccentricities of Genius 204].
(Editorial emphasis added); Note: In Petoskey, Sam met with Kennan and also with his old friend Hjalmar Boyesen who were giving lectures at the Lake View Assembly, an auxiliary Chatauqua near Petoskey where 5,000 gathered each summer.
Gaw writes of a transformation in Petoskey, a summer vacation spot:
“…Twain was suffering mentally, as well as physically. His disillusionment was so noticeable, that he was described by one observer as resembling a ‘ bushy-headed careless looking, little wizen-faced man…taken along to look after the baggage.’ He was sick, tired, and dejected. Nevertheless, when he departed only a few days later to continue his journey, a dramatic reversal in his disposition had occurred. He had gained a confidence that, coming so early on a trip that was going to take him around the world, must have seemed to him an auspicious omen.”
The Petoskey Daily Resorter ran a July 21 review of the lecture, which yielded an exceptional turnout, and an interview (Gaw, p.25-6; not in Scharnhorst) for this event:
An audience which packed the Grand Opera house from the orchestra railing to the top row of the rear gallery greeted Mark Twain when the curtain rose last night. Every seat was sold and over a hundred chairs were brought in to try to accommodate those who wished to see America’s greatest humorist, and even then many were turned away. It was the largest, the most cultured, and the best audience ever seen in Petoskey, the receipts being $524…he kept the vast audience in a constant ripple of laughter from first to last, and when he suggested stopping he was greeted by cries of “go on, go on,” accompanied by enthusiastic applause.
Sam enjoyed travel on the lakes. His interview in the same paper this day quoted him:
I should think there would be a great deal of pleasure in yachting in the lakes, but when it comes to yachting in the ocean, it is more than I can do to see the fun. To have one’s internals turned every way at once may be pleasure for some people but not for me.
Of course, when a ship is built long enough to overcome common-sized waves, it is all right. When I came across the Atlantic the last time, I placed a lemon in the center of the table in my stateroom on Saturday evening and it didn’t roll off until the following Wednesday afternoon. That, I think, can be called a pleasure trip.
[ALSO in the interview:]
Clemens is in the best sense “one of the boys.” He delights in the society of congenial friends, and is never happier than when he has found someone to smoke his strong cigars and swap jokes and stories with.
One of the pleasant features of his trip to Petoskey was his meeting with Kennan and Boyesen, the two brightest stars in the Bay View ‘galaxy.’ The three gentlemen are warm friends and mutual admirers, and they all greatly enjoyed the brief visit….
It has been said, and it is undoubtedly true, that Mark Twain is the author of the “Reminiscences of Joan of Arc,” now running in a leading magazine [Harper’s]. When the Resorter asked him about this he smiled and answered in his drawling way, “Well, now, a Cleveland reporter made that same inquiry of me the other day, and I told him I never deny the authorship of anything good. I am always willing to adopt any literary orphan that is knocking about looking for a father, but I want to wait until I’m sure that nobody else is going to claim it. I’m willing to admit now that I wrote “Beautiful Snow,” but the returns are not all in yet on “Joan of Arc.” [Note: Gaw notes that through Pond, Sam claimed he’d had words put in his mouth. Still, they sound like Sam’s words. See July 21]
In Mackinaw, Michigan, Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added a PS to on July 22, having received a telegram with good news about the Thomas Russell matter:
Your telegram saying the suit had been silenced was a great an solid relief to us, and at once gave us peace of mind and enabled me to turn my whole attention to my infamous readings. And your letter completed our comfort. At Sault Ste. Marie and here I satisfied the Ponds and Mrs. Clemens and Clara, and they say I satisfied my houses. As to satisfying myself, that is quite another matter. It will be some time before I reach that point — but I shall reach it.
Sam felt he was still not up to speed on “The Jumping Frog” and “The Bluejays” segments, and foresaw that he was going to discard those. The rest of the letter deals with Sam’s finances — he felt he might earn $25,000 to $30,000 for a lecture season in the U.S., and was willing to give the creditors one-third of the profits from such a season if they were willing, or an even larger share if he must. What did Rogers think? Was he right? [MTHHR 172-3].
“Cocksure Critic” answered Charles Battell Loomis’ June 15 Critic article in the same magazine, in “The Style and the Man,” p. 44. “Cocksure” argued that the boys in JA — “the Paladin’ and the rest — were all at school with Tom Sawyer.” He challenged Loomis to guess his identity. Loomis later guessed (incorrectly) Rudyard Kipling [Tenney ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1977) 331].
July 21 Sunday – Sam’s notebook:
July 21 ’95. (Sunday.) The “Islander.” This is merely a ferry-boat — 7 ½ mile course, to Mackinac Island. Yet it is neat, nice, comfortable, convenient — neither of those words can be applied to any channel boat, those damned offal-scows [NB 35 TS 13].
From J.B. Pond’s diary:
“Mark” and I left Petoskey for Mackinac at 5:30 this morning, where we joined the ladies and waited five hours on the dock for S.S. Northwest to take us to Duluth. It was severe on the poor man, but he was heroic and silent all the way. He has not tasted food since the dinner on the Faxton Friday [Eccentricities of Genius 204].
The Petoskey Daily Resorter’s July 21 “interview” angered Sam. He then wrote a note to J.B. Pond.
This is too bad. Here for the first time since I started from the east language is manufactured for me. I have said not a single word about Dr. Hall’s paper. I don’t like being used as a waste pipe for the delivery of another man’s bile [MTP; Gaw 26].
Note: it’s not clear why Sam wanted this in writing, since he was traveling with Pond, unless he directed it to be given to the newspaper in question, or perhaps another paper. Also, there was no repeat performance in Petoskey as shown on the circular (see Lorch p.189).
Sam’s notebook entry of July 22 reveals they boarded the steamer North West this afternoon; he noted that an “automatic electric fog-whistle” in the pilot house ran “by clockwork, which makes its own record on a slip of paper & is better evidence in court than a man’s” [NB 35 TS 13-4].
July 22 Monday – In Duluth, Minn. Sam finished his July 20 to H.H. Rogers by adding a PS:
Had a satisfactory time at Petoskey. Crammed the house and turned away a crowd. We had $548 in the house, which was $300 more than it had ever had in it before. I believe I don’t care to have a talk go better than that one did.
Shall get to Duluth just in time to go on the platform. I shall dress before leaving the boat, then go straight to the train after the lecture [MTHHR 173].
Fatout writes of the lecture which was delayed ship’s difficulties:
“The ship was delayed, and when she reached port well after lecture time, there was a great bustle of scrambling into carriages and galloping to the First Methodist Church. ‘I am glad,’ said Mark Twain as he ambled in an hour late, ‘that my strenuous efforts did succeed in getting me here just in time.’ The crowd laughed, and kept on laughing at the jumping frog, the dead man story, the christening story, and others. The Duluth Commonwealth of the 23rd remarked that ‘The lecturer was especially popular with the women,’ an interesting observation in view of his distrust of a feminine audience. On the disconcerting mop of gray hair, the paper said”:
It…seems to be only in the way and of no use except to stamp its owner as a crank with a peculiar right to something nobody wants. …his most ardent admirers wouldn’t call it becoming.
The Evening Herald said that the hair “makes one believe Twain is trying to rival Paderewski” [Lecture Circuit 245].
The Clemens party took rooms at the Spalding Hotel in Duluth, Minn. This was the end of their lake travels; the remainder to the Pacific Coast would be on the rails.
From J.B. Pond’s diary for this date:
On Lake Superior; S. S. Northwest. I was on deck early and found the smoke all gone. In its place was bright sunshine, but it has been so cold all day that few of the other passengers are on deck. Captain Brown and Purser Pierce are doing all they can to hurry us on, for we are eight hours late.
We landed in Duluth at just 9 p.m. Mr. Briggs, our correspondent, met us at the wharf with a carriage. As our boat neared land Briggs shouted:
“Hello, Major Pond!”
“Is Mark Twain all right?”
“Yes; he is ready to go to the hall; he will be the first passenger off the ship.”
“Good. We have a big audience waiting for him,” said Mr. Briggs.
“We’ll have them convulsed in ten minutes,” said I.
“Mark” was the first passenger to land. Mr. Briggs hurried him to the church, which was packed with twelve hundred and fifty warm friends (100 degrees in the shade) to meet and greet him. It was a big audience. He got through at 10:50 and we were all on board the train for Minneapolis at 11:20.
It was my busy night. The train for Minneapolis was to start at twelve o’clock. The agents in New York who had fitted me out with transportation and promised that everything should be in readiness on our arrival in Duluth, had forgotten us, and no arrangements for sleeper or transfer of baggage had been made. I had all this to attend to, besides looking after the business part of the lecture, which was on sharing terms with a church society. Everything was mixed up, as the door-tender and finance committee were bound to hear the lecture. I could get no statement, but took all the money in sight, and was on board the train as it was starting for Minneapolis [Eccentricities of Genius 205].
July 23 Tuesday – The Clemens party arrived in Minneapolis, Minn. (about 160 miles from Duluth) and checked into the Hotel West.
In the evening Sam gave his lecture at the Metropolitan Opera House. In his letter to Rogers the next day (July 24) Sam thought this night went well, well enough to suit him. Fatout lists a reception and supper speech [MT Speaking 662].
J.B. Pond’s diary recorded:
We are stopping at the West Hotel; a delightful place. Six skilled reporters have spent about two hours with “Mark.” He was lying in bed, and very tired I know, but he was extremely courteous to them and they all enjoyed the interview. The Metropolitan Opera House was filled to the top gallery with a big crowd of well-dressed, intelligent people. It was about as big a night as “Mark” ever had to my knowledge. He introduced a new entertainment, blending pathos with humor with unusual continuity. This was at Mrs. Clemens’s suggestion, She had given me an idea on the start that too much humor tired an audience with laughing. “Mark” took the hint and worked in three or four pathetic stories that made the entertainment perfect. The “show” is a triumph, and “Mark” will never again need a running mate to make him satisfactory to everybody.
The next day the Minneapolis papers were full of good things about the lecture. The Times devoted three columns and a half of fine print to a verbatim report of it. The following evening in St. Paul “Mark” gave the same programme, which was commented on in glowing terms by St. Paul papers [Eccentricities of Genius 206].
“Of his hair, the Minneapolis Progress observed that it ‘has adopted silver as its standard, and … it adds much to the picturesqueness of the wearer.’” [Lecture Circuit 245].
The Minneapolis Penny Press, p.1 “Mark Twain!” interview is reported in Scharnhorst, Interviews [157-9].
…one of those present asked Mr. Clemens if he had ever visited Minneapolis before. He had years before.
“Why,” put in Major Pond, the manager of the lecturing tour, a jolly fellow: “I was in Minneapolis when there were no saloons here.”
“Well, you didn’t stay long,” flashed back Mr. Clemens, and the group laughed at the major’s expense.
“Don’t shoot, Mr. Clemens,” broke in an anxious reporter, “but which of your works is your favorite?”
The figure on the bed closed its eyes a moment in a quizzical manner, then replied.
“Huck Finn. You see,” he replied, “a book is bound to be a favorite that is easy to write, and after it is written you find you have what you want.”
The Minneapolis Journal, p.6 “Not ‘Roughing It’ Now,” interview is also given in Scharnhorst, Interviews [155-7].
The man who is Samuel L. Clemens to his friends and in private life and Mark Twain to the reading public lay in his bed in room 204 at the West hotel this morning and put as pleasant an aspect as he could on the severe ordeal the reporters subjected him to. The great humorist is suffering from a very troublesome carbuncle, which has forced him of late to take a reclining position whenever possible. …
[After a discussion of carbuncles and his 15 crossings of the Atlantic a question was asked about Clara]:
“Is your daughter Clara, who is with you, the one who was recently quoted as saying she had never read your works?” inquired the reporter.
“I didn’t know that such a report had been sent out,” returned Mr. Clemens. “All my daughters ought to be pretty familiar with my works, seeing that they have edited my manuscripts since they were 7 years old. They always sided with me whenever Mrs. Clemens thought that I had used some sentence or word that was a little too strong. But,” he added, with his delightful smile, “we never stood on that because Madame was always in the majority, anyway. For a long time I used to have Mr. Howells edit all my copy. Ah, but isn’t he a charming writer? I believe Howells is the best we have in America today.
[After Pond’s appearance during the interview:]
“The most magnetic man I ever saw,” declared Major Pond in the hall. “I never saw anything like it. Everywhere we go crowds flock to hear him. Why, on the steamer coming up the lakes the passengers sat around him on the decks all day long in one grand laughing party. I don’t believe that there is another man in America that attracts the people as he does.”
The Minneapolis Tribune of July 24 reported on the July 23 lecture:
SMILED WITH TWAIN
AMERICA’S GREATEST HUMORIST HEARD BY A PACKED HOUSE
The Audience Asked to Follow the Speaker Through Various Experiences – Stories Told Reflecting the Humorous and the Pathetic Phases of Numerous Instances – Many Recognize Old Friends as Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, Runaway Jim Are Brought Before Them by Matchless Mimicry – Reception to Clemens at the Commercial Club After the Lecture – The Present Lecture Series Proving Very Successful.
Mark Twain tried an experiment last night. His subject was one of the most brilliant audiences that ever crowded into the Metropolitan and sweltered in the heat of mid-summer. His experiment was upon the arrangement of the stories for their entertainment. The programs distributed were consequently entirely misleading, but the story telling was up to par, and as most of the audience had read Twain it made very little difference.
He started off with that moral lecture on courage, in which he makes the wise observation that every man’s courage has a limit, and then told how his limit was reached when he discovered a dead man in his father’s office at midnight, after one of his truancies. The famous “Jumping Frog,” that proved Twain a humorist and is still regarded as one of his greatest stories, followed. The rambling “Story of the Ram” was particularly humorous and brought out more laughter than any other, but it was not more lifelike than Tom Sawyer’s conversation with Huckleberry Finn and himself on starting a crusade. In this Mr. Twain seemed to point an innocent idea at the socialistic idea of property which half-hidden, half-revealed, formed the basis of his tale.
Then came the “First Theft” of the watermelon, but without doubt the best story, and the one which the audience listened to with hushed attention, was the pathetic struggle with his conscience over his aiding to liberty runaway Darky Jim. Huck Finn and Jim on the raft, both running away from harsh treatment, is one of the prettiest pictures of ante-emancipation life on the Mississippi that has ever been penned. Mark hit the educated conscience theory a pretty hard rap and then, just to show that he could tell a story that was not located in the Mississippi valley or in the far West, he gave the story of the christening. In this Mr. Twain showed himself not only a story writer but a mimic. He copied the Scotch-Irish preacher to perfection, and bowed the large audience out well pleased to have seen and heard America’s greatest humorist.
After the lecture came the reception to Clemens at the Commercial Club. It was fairly well attended, but no doubt hundreds of people would have paid their respects to the veteran fun-maker if it could have been known that no special invitation was expected. Mr. Clemens was accompanied by Maj. and Mrs. Pond, but Mrs. Clemens begged to be excused, as she was tired out with the journey. The affair was simple and informal. Mayor and Mrs. Pratt, President Calderwood, of the Commercial Club, and several other gentlemen presented the callers to the guest of honor and he had his hands full to chat with the many that crowded about to see the humorist as a man.
Mr. Clemens had been in bed all day, and his lecture took nearly all his conserved energy, but he chatted pleasantly and kept everyone at ease with his droll observations. A light refreshment followed the reception in the parlors, and about 11 o’clock Maj. Pond and President Calderwood escorted Mark Twain to his hotel.
Among those at the reception were Mayor and Mrs. Robert Pratt, C.H. Pryor and ladies, Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Preston, Dr. and Mrs. Charles M. Jordan, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Edsten, Mr. and Mrs. J.S. McLain, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. James Pye, Dr. W.E. Leonard, C.R. Cameron, M.D. Shutter, E.W. Herrick, Rev. and Mrs. Dr. Sneed, George Strong, F.V. Brown, W.M. Hopkins, A.B. Choat, W.O. Stout, W.B. Stout, D. Willard, Harry Wheeler, W.C. Corbett, W.H. Randall, Al. Warner and Frederick Clarke.
This is the fifth of the series of lectures to be given by Mr. Clemens in a trip around the world. Maj. Pond says that it has been successful far beyond his highest expectation. He claims to have made money enough to take the party around the world and $1,000 to spare up to this point. Twain will give his readings in St. Paul this evening, thence go to Winnipeg and subsequently to Butte and Helena, Mont.
A dinner is to be given to Mr. Clemens and Maj. Pond at the Minneapolis Club this noon.
The Boston Daily Globe, p.6 ran “AUTHORS AS BUSINESS MEN,” a short philosophical treatment of Sam’s business failure.
A great brain skilled in every line of endeavor is a very rare creation.
Horace Greeley had so little business in his makeup that he did not know his own signature, or how it came there on a note involving $20,000.
Author Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) seems to have been fated with the same lack of business ability, and it has left him financially stranded after years of literary toil.
All the world will sympathize with Mr Clemens, and more especially those who know of the head-aching toil and responsibility involved in literary pursuits.
Every man to his forte. Mr Clemens invested his hard earnings in enterprises of which he knew nothing save by the word of possibly well-meaning projectors, and he has come to grief.
The literary earnings of Mr Clemens if safely banked would have made him independent and even affluent. But few men know when they have enough.
Happily the losses of the author of “The Gilded Age” do not include his yet fertile brain.
July 24 Wednesday – In Minneapolis, Minn., before going to the other Twin City, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, rather upset at the attorneys working his case.
I have Mr. Colby’s letter [not extant] in which he suggests that a settlement with the creditors be arranged as soon as possible — and I heartily agree with that idea, (Privately, he thinks my lack of fighting-stuff makes this course necessary). I like the serenity and complacency of this idiot and his associate-idiot Rushmore. What cheap, cheap material one can make a New York lawyer of. This jack-rabbit has made blunder after blunder, and one worthless prophecy after another, until he got me into a scrape which his youth and obscurity disenable him to appreciate; then he blandly intimates that settlement is the correct course for a client who lacks nerve. …I’ve told him how he can get the $15,000 he thinks he can settle for. He will tell you [MTHHR 173-4].
The Clemens party took rooms in the Hotel Ryan, in St. Paul, Minn. prior to his evening lecture at St. Paul’s People’s Congregational Church. The St. Paul Dispatch, p.3 ran “Talk with Mark Twain,” cited in [Scharnhorst, Interviews 159-60]:
Mark Twain, the American humorist who has charmed and delighted two hemispheres, administered the tonic of laughter to a large audience in Minneapolis last night, and this evening he will do the same by a representative audience of St. Paul people at the People’s Church.
Not that he is feeling humorous. Not a bit of it. His health is not what it once was, and his luck has not been of the best; but even these would be bearable were it not for the carbuncle that insists upon being his compagnon de voyage. A man does not fully realize what trouble is until he has entertained a carbuncle or a boil, and at present Mark is having a good deal of experience. Nevertheless, he is in trim to amuse and he is able to do it as few men can. This will be evident when he appears tonight and drawls out his inimitable yarns about the jumping frog and other things.
“I am now on my way around the world,” he said, “putting a girdle around the earth as it were. After belting this country, I shall sail for the Sandwich Islands, where I shall appear briefly, en route to Australia, the principal cities of which country I shall visit. Tasmania, New Zealand, and Ceylon will be visited in turn and then India, along to Bombay. Then I shall proceed to England, where I shall remain quite awhile. Finally, when my tour is completed, I shall return to my home in Hartford, there to settle down for a rest.”
Mr. Clemens chats in a desultory fashion, steering away from himself. His carbuncle and his health keep him quiet and necessitates as much rest as possible.
His program tonight will be the same as that which has been used by him thus far during the present tour, as he does not intend to change his program until he reaches Australia. The features are all favorites, told in his best style and calculated to keep the most solemn man in an ecstasy of merriment.
The Minneapolis and St. Paul Daily Pioneer Press on July 25 reported of this lecture: “His delivery is not so animated as it used to be, but it lacks none of the former charm on that account” [Fatout, Lecture Circuit 246].
The Minneapolis Times also interviewed Sam on p.4 , quoting his praise of James Whitcomb Riley [Gribben 581].
Sam inscribed a used copy of IA to Will T. Chute: Truly Yours / Mark Twain / July 24/95 [Liveauctioneers.com/item/4632851]. Note: the owner of the book signed with his name and “Minneapolis, Minn. / Paris Sept. Boston Oct. 1889.” Of course, the name in the book may not have been the owner at the time Sam inscribed it.
July 25 Thursday – The Clemens spent the day in St. Paul, Minn.
Having received Sam’s July 20 and 22 letter from Mackinaw, Mich., Henry H. Rogers responded. Yes, he understood what Sam meant about his irritation at “the invasion of” his “ personal liberty.” Rogers knew that all along, however it was past and concluded so Rogers felt “we must let it bury itself and look only to the future.” He’d had some “pleasant correspondence” with Charles J. Langdon about the compromise of the creditors (reportedly at 50%, though later Livy and Sam declared they would pay 100%). Rogers also related the program stories he and Katharine Harrison had read or heard, and told of a recent trip to Fairhaven. He advised he had to pay the attorneys $700; they’d talked about it before Sam left. He wanted this letter to reach Sam in Crookston, Minn. [MTP].
Note: Allingham cites a Manitoba Morning Free Press article of July 25, p.9 which incorrectly states “Mark Twain appears to-night in St. Paul.” (Sam gave only one performance in St. Paul, on July 24.) The article then states he would arrive “in the city [Winnipeg] to-morrow afternoon,” or July 26.
July 26 Friday – Jean Clemens’ fifteenth birthday. (Jean was at Quarry Farm in Elmira.)
The train trip from St. Paul to Winnipeg was about 600 miles. The Clemens party arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba a little after noon [Scharnhorst 163]. They took rooms at the Manitoba Hotel.
Allingham writes of Winnipeg then:
“Twain had played in the heat of summer to reasonably good houses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but as he crossed over the 49th parallel that July day he must have wondered about the continuing success of his enterprise. He was bound for ‘Mud City,’ as Canada’s rapidly-growing, seventh-largest metropolis was affectionately known twenty-two years after its incorporation and some eighteen years before extensive paving programs would compel its detractors to call it ‘Winterpeg’ instead. …Winnipeg and its environs in 1895 had a population of perhaps 37,000” .
Sam gave two evening performances, on July 26 and 27, in Selkirk Hall, Winnipeg [Allingham 3].
Fatout writes of the evening lecture appearances on July 26 and 27 and quotes the newspaper for the latter day:
“Winnipeg, despite the heat, turned out large numbers for two rousing nights. To a [Winnipeg] Free Press reporter he made wryly humorous capital of his carbuncle. On the platform, he said, a good thing to have was an alert expression.”
Perhaps I have that naturally, or perhaps it’s the carbuncle. Yet, although we are at present inseparable, we are hardly friendly, and I shall not be sorry…when we part.
Allingham takes exception to the observation of heat in Winnipeg:
“Although Twain complains in his letters of the sweltering heat his party and audiences had to endure during the central portion of the North American tour, the temperatures in Winnipeg were moderate; for example, on July 26th, the high for the day occurred at 5:00 p.m., 71° F; the reading dropped by four degrees by curtain time that evening. Although the high for that week was 78.6° this was recorded on the Thursday” .
J.B. Pond’s diary:
We have had a most charming ride through North Dakota and southeastern Manitoba. It seems as if everything along the route must have been put in order for our reception The flat, wild prairies (uninhabited in 1883) are now all under cultivation. There are fine farmhouses, barns, and vast fields of wheat — “oceans of wheat,” as “Mark” said, as far as eye can reach in all directions, waving like as the ocean waves, and so flat! Mr. Beecher remarked to his wife when riding through here in 1883: “Mother, you couldn’t flatter this country.”
We had a splendid audience. “Mark” and I were entertained at the famous Manitoba Club after the lecture — a club of the leading men of Winnipeg. We did not stay out very late, as “Mark” feared Mrs. Clemens would not retire until he came, and he was quite anxious for her to rest, as the long night journey in the cars had been very fatiguing. On our arrival at the hotel we heard singing and a sound of revelry in the parlors. A party of young gentlemen of the lecture committee had escorted our ladies home. They were fine singers, and, with Miss Clara Clemens at the piano, a concert was in progress, that we all enjoyed another hour [Eccentricities of Genius 206-7].
Allingham cites a W.E. Sterner article for this day in the Winnipeg Daily Tribune, p.5 “A Brief Interview”, which he writes, “makes reference to Twain’s having visited Winnipeg some time before” .
Also in the article:
Probably the only people who have not read some of Mark Twain’s stories are those who can’t read, and as this class is a very small one in Manitoba, there are but few who are not deeply interested in the personality of the most original mirth-maker since the time of the lamented husband of Mrs. B.J. Ward, Artemus, the “amoozin” showman.
Note: the July 26 interview is not in Scharnhorst’s Interviews, though a July 27 interview by the same paper is (p.160-1); both articles are based on the actual July 26 interview. The July 27 article involved a discussion with Sam about IA. It ends with this interesting paragraph:
In speaking about the spirit of adventure which led people to discover new countries and try new processes, Mr. Clemens suddenly came out with the sentence that the fools in the world were not half appreciated. Going on to explain his meaning, he pointed out that those who put their money into the telegraph, the telephone, and other revolutionizing inventions were always the fools of the age. “Behind every advance you will find your patient and underestimated fool.”
July 27 Saturday – In the evening Sam gave his “No. 2” lecture in Winnipeg, Canada, his second performance there, which ran 35 minutes longer than Sam intended, so after 90 minutes he offered to let the audience go, but cries of “go on” induced him to finish [July 29 to Rogers].
J.B. Pond’s diary shows some extra activities during the day:
Saturday, the 27th, we all put down as the pleasantest day thus far. Several young English gentlemen who have staked fortunes in this northwest in wheat ranches and other enterprises, brought out their tandems and traps and drove the ladies about the country. They saw the largest herd of wild buffalo that now exists, in a large enclosure. They were driven to various interesting suburban sights, of which there are more than one would believe could exist in this far northwest new city. Bouquets and banks of flowers — of such beautiful colors! — were sent in; many ladies called, and all in all it has been an ovation. “Mark,” as is his custom, did not get up until time to go to the lecture hall, but he was happy. Several journalists called, who he told me were the best informed and most scholarly lot of editors he had found anywhere, and I think he was correct. There was another large crowd at the lecture, and another and final reception at the famous Manitoba Club. We were home at twelve, and all so happy! We’re on the road to happiness surely [Eccentricities of Genius 207].
Fatout also lists a luncheon speech and a supper speech at the above Manitoba Club [MT Speaking 662].
Scharnhorst gives “An Interview” in the Winnipeg Nor’wester, p.1 for this date [163-4].
July 28 Sunday – The Clemens party rested a day in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Sam was interviewed by a traveling correspondent, Marie Jousaye, who authored a book of poetry earlier in the year. Her interview appeared in the Toronto Globe on Aug. 10, p.11 “Mark Twain Interviewed,” and may be found in Scharnhorst p.168-171. From Sam’s notebook:
Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 28, Sunday morning. An hour’s talk with a bright girl — part Indian, with French name — correspondent of Toronto Globe. Has been a factory girl. Was president of a “combine” of 500 working girls who appealed to the electric car Co for a Sunday car service; the year before that, the pulpits had pulled in 5,000 majority against it; the 500 girls reduced that to 750 majority, two years ago. The pulpit got the next struggle put off 3 years. It occurs a year hence; then the thing will be carried the other way.
Toronto is 12 miles long, one way, within the city limits; the poor live at one end and work at the other — and not a car on Sunday! These families are as exiled as if the Atlantic flowed between them. But as long as God & the clergy are gratified what of it [?] [NB 35 TS 16].
Note: see Taylor Roberts’ “Mark Twain and Sunday Streetcars: An Interview in Winnipeg.” MTJ 28.2 (1990): 15-20.
Allingham writes of an encounter with a reporter “held in the railway car after the Winnipeg engagement”:
…a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald quotes a conversation with Twain…which suggests that until this trip the American writer had been a total stranger to the region:
“This country of yours out here,” he said, “astonished me beyond all imagination. Never in my life have I seen such fields of grain extending in all directions to the horizon. The country appears to me to be as if were a mighty ocean; my conception of it is the same as that of a man who has never seen the ocean before; he sees nothing but water as far as the eye can reach; here I see nothing but oceans of wheat fields. Why it is simply miraculous” (Grand Forks Herald). [2: citing Winnipeg Daily Tribune, July 30, 1895 p.5; see also in Scharnhorst 164-5];.
Edward Beecher (1803-1895) died. One of nine children of Lyman Beecher and brother of Henry Ward Beecher, Andrews lists Edward as: “preacher, educator, editor, scholar, feminist, believer in the preexistence of souls” . And: “Edward Beecher used Biblical evidence and complicated metaphysics to reject his father’s teaching; he asserted no predisposition to evil hindered man’s evolutionary progress toward utter saintliness” . Note: Sam was well acquainted with the Beecher clan; his neighbor was Edward’s sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Crookston, Minn., July 29. / Left Winnipeg at 1.20 yesterday [July 28] & came down again through that wonderful wheat ocean — by gracious it is bewitching; there is the peace of the ocean about it, & a deep contentment, a heaven-wide sense of ampleness, spaciousness, where pettiness & all small thoughts & tempers must be out of place, not suited to it, & so not intruding. The scattering far-off homesteads, with trees about them were so homelike & remote from the warring world, so reposeful & enticing [NB 35 TS 17].
The Clemens party took rooms at the Crookston Hotel.
July 29 Monday – From J.B. Pond’s diary:
We have been in Crookston, Minn., all day, where we were the first and especially favored guests of this fine new hotel. “Mark Twain’s” name was the first on the register. We are enjoying it. “Mark” is as gay as a lark, but he remained in bed until time to go to the Opera House. This city is wonderfully improved since I was here in 1883 with Mr. Beecher, in 1885 with Clara Louise Kellogg, and in 1887 with Charles Dickens, Jr. The opening of this hotel is a great event. People are filling up the town from all directions to see and hear “Mark,” and taking advantage of the occasion to see the first new hotel (The Crookston) in their city with hot and cold water, electric lights and all modern improvements [Eccentricities of Genius 207-8].
Before his lecture Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, responding to his July 25 letter:
We got your good letter, here, last night and it was very very welcome. I judged we’d have to pay that $700 [for the attorneys] — whereas a brass farthing would have overpaid those people. They ought to have collected that money from Russell; by their ignorance and idiocy they played into his hands from the very day, months and months ago that he brought suit, plumb down to the hour that he got his money. …they were mere children in Wilder’s hands [Thomas Russell’s attorney]. …
I have written Colby to compromise with the creditors at $15,000, but if he is in the way, bundle him out of the way; for whatever he touches he will botch. I stand ready to pay the creditors in full when I can — but I can’t say when it will be.
I’m stealing a moment to scribble this line. I have to steal my odd moments, for I am at work all the time on my lectures, on board the trains and everywhere. I’ve got No. 1 where I am no longer afraid of it or in doubt about it; and now for the past few days I am at work on No. 2. I tried it in Winnipeg Saturday night and found it was 35 minutes too long [MTHHR 176-7].
At the Opera House in Crookston Sam plugged in a new reading from “Adam’s Diary,” which the Aug. 1 Polk County Journal labeled “the drollest of all his writings. This kept the audience in a constant uproar…and put them in excellent humor for ‘The Golden Arm,’ which wound up the entertainment at 10:30” [Fatout, Lecture Circuit 246]. Note: Fatout also points out that the Adam’s diary story was rarely used after this, so it “apparently did not please him.” Or, Livy.
The Crookston Daily Times of July 30 reported on the lecture:
Heard America’s Prince of Humorists and Entertains Last Night.
The opera house, last night, held one of the largest and most appreciative audiences in its history, the occasion being the appearance of the greatest of American humorists, Mark Twain. Mr. Clemens spoke for fully an hour and a half, and the close attention he received must have been very gratifying. Of course there were a few who had gone with the idea of hearing something on the negro minstrel order and these were disappointed. Mr. Clemens’ selections were all taken from his books and while humorous, each contained some deep thoughts, which hidden perhaps at first reveal themselves in later examination, and furnished food for thought.
The sketches from Adam’s Diary, which Mr. Clemens presented for the first time last evening, showed probably more originality than any of the other selections, while his “Watermelon” story was probably the most humorous, and the “Ghost Story” brought out his wonderful ability as a story teller, to the best advantage.
On the whole the entertainment was very enjoyable, and no one who is at all acquainted with Mr. Clemens’ works will regret having heard him.
July 30 Tuesday – Another travel day, interesting as witnessed by Sam’s notebook and Pond’s diary:
July 30. In northern Dakotah; no more wheat; but grass and billowy, rolling, just the Great Plains.
Struck the Missouri at Williston D & followed it several hours to Fort Buford, a large post — 7 p.m. on the border of Montana [NB 35 TS 19].
J.B. Pond’s diary:
We left Crookston at 5:40 A.M.; were up at 4:30, Everybody was cheerful; there was no grumbling. This is our first unseasonable hour for getting up, but it has done us all good. Even Clara enjoyed the unique experience. It revived her memory. She recollected that she had telegraphed to Elmira to have her winter cloak expressed to Crookston. Fortunately the agent was sleeping in the express office, near the station. We disturbed his slumbers to find the great cloak, which was another acquisition to our sixteen pieces of hand baggage. Our train was forty-five minutes late. “Mark” complained and grumbled; he persisted that I had contracted with him to travel and not to wait about railway stations at five o’clock in the mornings for late trains that never arrived. He insisted on travelling, so he got aboard the baggage truck and I travelled him up and down the platform, while Clara made a snap shot as evidence that I was keeping to the letter of my contract.
When we boarded the train, we found five lower berths (which means five sections) ready for us. There was a splendid dining car, with meals a la carte, and excellent cooking. All the afternoon there were the level prairies of North Dakota wheat just turning, the whole country a lovely green; then came the arid plains, the prairie-dog towns, cactus, buffalo grass, jack rabbits, wild life and the Missouri River — dear old friend that had borne both of us on her muddy bosom many a time. It was a great day for both “Mark” and me. The ladies were enthusiastic in proportion as they saw that “Mark” and I were boys again, travelling upon “our native heath” [Eccentricities of Genius 208-9].
Scharnhorst gives the interview, “Mark Twain Talks,” Grand Forks Herald, p.4 for this date (see excerpt quoted in July 28 entry) [Interviews 164-5].
Susy Clemens wrote to her sister Clara, sending it to the Park Hotel to be forwarded to Helena, Mont. And signing it “Porc Pigg!”
Your letters are a perfect delight and the last is joy indeed! It is so vivid and so histrionic! What great adventures you are having! I sometimes wish I were with you with all my heart. Your description of getting to Duluth with straight to my dramatic heart of hearts! Didn’t you relish that evening, and driving to the theater as you did? I can see it all as clearly as if I were with you, you and Mamma laughing at men in the audience and everything else you describe. Oh dear, much of it must be immense. And the photographs Mamma sent are wonderful. My how natural you and Mamma do look in your veils and your traveling hats! I feel as if I must be with you and as if these were pictures of our wanderings in Europe. Well write me more of these heavenly vivid letters full of all your wonderful “experiences” for you are having a fund of them. Aren’t you glad you are making the globular trip? [MTP].
July 31 Wednesday – After a trip of some 700 miles from Crookston, Minn. the Clemens party arrived at Great Falls, Mont. From J.B. Pond’s informative diary:
We arrived at the Park Hotel here at 7:30 A.M. after a good night’s sleep. Interest grows more and more intense as we come nearer to the Rocky Mountains. It brings back fond memories of other days. The two Brothers Gibson, proprietors of the hotel, drove our party out to Giant Spring, three miles distant. It is a giant, too. I never saw a more beautiful or more wonderful spring. A big river fairly boils up out of the ground, of the most beautiful deep peacock green color I ever saw in clear water. The largest copper ore smelters in the world are here. The Great Falls could supply power enough for all the machinery west of Chicago, with some to spare.
“Mark” is improving. For the first time since we started he appeared about the hotel corridors and on the street. He and I walked about the outskirts of the town, and I caught a number of interesting snapshots among the Norwegian shanties. I got a good group including four generations, with eight children, a calf and five cats. “Mark” wanted a photograph of each cat. He caught a pair of kittens in his arms, greatly to the discomfort of their owner, a little girl. He tried to make friends with the child and buy the kittens, but she began to cry and beg that her pets might be liberated. He soon captured her with a pretty story, and she finally consented to let them go. Few know “Mark’s” great love for cats, as well as for every living creature [Eccentricities of Genius 209].
On Aug. 1, the Great Falls Daily Tribune reported the event:
Delighted a Large Audience Last Night at the Opera House.
The inimitable Mark Twain, who has chased away somber thoughts and straightened out the creases in millions of brows by his quaint humor, visited Great Falls for the first time yesterday [July 31]. He was accompanied by his wife and daughter and Maj. Pond, who is so well known as the veteran lecture bureau man. Mrs. Pond also accompanies the party, who are bent on making a trip around the world.
The lecture last night was attended by the best people in the city and thoroughly enjoyed by them. It was largely made up from selections from his works. The quaintness and originality of the man and his manner gave an added charm to the stories. The finale of the lecture was a ghost story, which ended with a surprise to the audience, and illustrated as well perhaps as anything the peculiar humor of the man.
After the lecture Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) and Maj. Pond were the guests of the Electric club, and it is unnecessary to say that they had a jolly good time.
July 31. Drove with the Gibsons to the 49-foot fall & the wonderful fountain, which Lewis & Clark, 1805 found to be blue & retained its blue color for half a mile down the Missouri. / Didn’t visit the Great Falls [NB 35 TS 20].
Fatout lists that Sam gave a supper speech for the Electric Club [MT Speaking 662].
August 1 Thursday – James B. Pond’s diary recorded the day’s travel to Butte, Mont.:
Thursday, August 1st, Great Falls to Butte, Montana. [100+ miles]
We started at 7:35 A.M. All seem tired. The light air and the long drive yesterday told very much on us all.
“Mark” had an off night [July 31 in Great Falls] and was not at his best, which has almost broken his heart. He couldn’t get over it all day. The Gibson Brothers have done much to make our visit delightful, and it has proved very enjoyable indeed. Of course, being proprietors of the hotel, they lose nothing, for I find they charge us five dollars a day each, and the extortions from porters, baggagemen and bellboys surpass anything I know of. The smallest money is two bits (25 cents) here — absurd! [Eccentricities of Genius 209-10].
The Clemens party took rooms at the Butte Hotel. Fatout lists Sam for a supper speech [MT Speaking 663]. The Aug. 2 Butte Miner review of the lecture was reprinted in the Aug. 5 Missoula Evening Republican, p.4 “Mark Twain”:
If anyone attended with the expectation of hearing an hour of flaming eloquence or ponderous logic he was disappointed; if in the audience was one who was misled by the advertisement in expecting a lecture in the ordinary acceptation of the term he listened in vain for the studied arguments and stirring peroration. Those who went for the purpose of seeing and hearing Mark Twain, the droll genius whose quaint humor and native wit have sent refreshing waves of bubbling laughter around the world, were not only satisfied but went away feeling that they had been in the presence of one of the most admirable characters which the struggles and eccentricities of American life have produced
Fatout continues: “After the performance, mining veterans of the Comstock Lode carried him off to a club for champagne and stories till midnight” .
The Anaconda Standard of Aug. 2 also reported on the Butte lecture:
MARK’S ALL RIGHT.
He Can Keep an Audience in an Uproar Without an Effort.
Butte, Aug. 1. — It is doubtful if Maguire’s opera house ever contained a more delighted audience than the one that filled it to-night to listen to Mark Twain. From his first story of the night he spent with a coroner’s subject until he startled the audience out of their seats by the sudden ending of his ghost story, the people laughed until laughing became painful. He spoke for an hour and a half and told the ludicrous story of the jumping frog, the story about Huckleberry Finn when his feeling got the best of his “consciences” while aiding “Jim,” the slave, to escape. Greater was the man who started to tell about an experience his grandfather had with a ram, but just before reaching the thrilling part of his narrative wandered from his subject and never got back to it. The story reminded many people in the audience of a well-known citizen of Butte.
Then came the story about Mr. Twain’s first theft, when he stole a watermelon from a peddler’s wagon, and finding that it was green, how his conscience troubled him, until he returned it to the peddler and made him give him a ripe one in exchange for it. The next narrative was about Tom Sawyer’s crusade, and that was followed with the final number of the programme, the ghost story about the golden arm.
After the lecture many were honored with an introduction to the noted humorist and called on him at the Butte where Mr. Clemens, wife and daughter and Major J. B. Pond and wife are stopping.
The next day (Aug. 2) J.B. Pond entered this in his diary about the lecture and good time afterward:
We enter the Rocky Mountains through a canyon of the Upper Missouri; we have climbed mountains all day, and at Butte are nearly 8,000 feet high. It tells on me, but the others escape. The ladies declare it has been one of the most interesting days of their lives, and “Mark” has taken great interest in everything, but kept from talking. After reaching the hotel, he kept quiet in bed until he went to the hall. He more than made up for last night’s disappointment and was at his best. I escorted Mrs. Clemens and Clara to a box in the theatre, expecting to return immediately to the hotel, but I found myself listening, and sat through the lecture, enjoying every word. It actually seemed as if I had never known him to be quite so good. He was great. The house was full and very responsive.
After the lecture many of his former Nevada friends came forward to greet him. We went to a fine club, where champagne and stories blended until twelve, much to the delight of many gentlemen. “Mark” never drinks champagne. His is hot Scotch, winter and summer, without any sugar, and never before 11 p.m.
August 2 Friday – J.B. Pond’s diary recorded the next trip to, Anaconda, Mont.:
To-day “Mark” and I went from Butte to Anaconda without the ladies [about 30 miles]. We left the hotel at 4:30 by trolley car in order to have plenty of time to reach the train, but we had gone only three blocks when the power gave out and we could not move. It was twelve minutes to five and there was no carriage in sight. We tried to get a grocery wagon, but the mean owner refused to take us a quarter of a mile to the depot for less than ten dollars. I told him to go to — — I saw another grocery wagon near by and told its owner I would pay any price to reach that train. “Mark” and I mounted the seat with him. He laid the lash on his pair of bronchos, and I think quicker time was never made to that depot. We reached the train just as the conductor shouted “All aboard!” and had signalled the engineer. The train was moving as we jumped on. The driver charged me a dollar, but I handed him two.
At Anaconda we found a very fine hotel and several friends very anxiously waiting to meet “Mark.” Elaborate arrangements had been made to lunch him and give him a lively day among his old mountain friends, as he had been expected by the morning train. Fortunately he missed this demonstration and was in good condition for the evening. He was introduced by the mayor of the city in a witty address of welcome. Here was our first small audience, where the local manager came out a trifle the loser.
A little incident connected with our experience here shows “Mark Twain’s” generosity. The local manager was a man who had known “Mark” in the sixties, and was very anxious to secure him for a lecture in Anaconda. He, therefore, contracted to pay the price asked. Anaconda is a small city, whose chief industry is a large smelting furnace. There were not enough people interested in high-class entertainments to make up a paying audience, and the manager was short about sixty dollars. I took what he had, and all he had, giving him a receipt in full. As “Mark” and I were not equal partners, of course the larger share of the loss fell to him. I explained the circumstances when we had our next settlement at the end of the week, hoping for his approval.
“And you took the last cent that poor fellow had! Send him a hundred dollars, and if you can’t afford to stand your share, charge it all to me. I’m not going around robbing poor men who are disappointed in their calculations as to my commercial value. I’m poor, and working to pay debts that I never contracted; but I don’t want to get money in that way.”
I sent the money, and was glad of the privilege of standing my share. The letter of acknowledgment from that man brought out the following expression from “Mark”: “I wish that every hundred dollars I ever invested had produced the same amount of happiness!” [Eccentricities of Genius 210-12].
The Anaconda Standard of Aug. 3 reported on the Aug. 2 lecture:
He Pleases a Large Audience in Evans’ Opera House.
Samuel L. Clemens, known to the world as Mark Twain, stood before an audience composed of some of the best people of Anaconda, in Evans’ opera house last evening. The entertainment was characteristic, it was as original in style as are the writings of the man. It was not a lecture, not exactly readings, the author simply ascended the platform and began to talk as though he were in a parlor, and in the course of a one-sided conversation he told six or seven stories, one after the other, until an hour and a half went by and no one had noticed the time in its flight.
Mark Twain in a dress suit and an immaculate expanse of white shirt front has none of the slouchy appearance that his latest pictures give to him, on the contrary, he is spruce and trim. He has a shaggy bunch of iron-gray hair about his head, and his eyes are set deep under a broad forehead. He speaks with a twang and a drawl that is in keeping with his humor and would be amusing if he were speaking solemnly, but when it is used in telling funny stories it is more than amusing, it produces spontaneous laughter in every audience he has ever tried it on. Anaconda people were no exception, they enjoyed the programme and will long remember the night they saw and heard Mark Twain.
Fatout write of an encounter with an interviewer in Anaconda:
“He disliked interviews, yet he seemed to enjoy talking to reporters, often subsiding into the nearest easy chair as he did so, and he never rebuffed them. Neatly he confounded one inexperienced journalist of Anaconda, who confronted him while he was waiting for a train. Without giving the reporter a chance to open up, Mark Twain began asking questions about Montana and so leading this novice on that by train time the young man discovered that he had been doing all the talking, having got from Mark Twain nothing but questions, a farewell handshake, and a cigar” [Lecture Circuit 248].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Livy concerning the contract for Sam’s Uniform Edition with Harper & Brothers Rogers wanted to make sure that Sam and Livy’s understanding of a clause was the same as his, and asked for a line from her about a slight change suggested by Bainbridge Colby. Livy was to receive a fifteen percent royalty from the retail cover price of the works up to 5,000 copies sold and 20 percent over and above 5,000 sold. Prices were to be based on cloth binding editions. Harper would give a semi-annual statement and pay in cash four months after each statement. For copies sold through subscription canvassers, however, the royalties were to be paid on the actual sale price received for each copy. Harper further agreed to begin work on the series within a month after the signing of the contract [MTHHR 178-9]. Note: Livy answered this letter on Aug. 17 in Vancouver.
August 3 Saturday – The Clemens party (the ladies may have stayed in Butte) traveled some 60 miles to Helena, Mont. and took rooms at the Hotel Helena. Fatout lists a supper speech before the Montana Club [MT Speaking 663]. An incident from that supper from James B. Pond’s diary:
In Helena (August 3d) the people did not care for lectures. They all liked “Mark” and enjoyed meeting him, but there was no public enthusiasm for the man that has made the early history of that mining country romantic and famous all over the world. The Montana Club entertained him grandly after the lecture, and he met many old friends and acquaintances. Some of them had come all the way from Virginia City to see their former comrade of the mining camps. One man, now very rich, came from Virginia City, Nevada, on purpose to see “Mark” and settle an old score. When the glasses were filled, and “Mark’s” health proposed, this man interrupted the proceedings by saying:
“Hold on a minute; before we go further I want to say to you, Sam Clemens, that you did me a d — d dirty trick over there in Silver City, and I’ve come here to have a settlement with you.”
There was a deathly silence for a moment, when “Mark” said in his deliberate drawl:
“Let’s see. That — was — before — I — reformed, wasn’t — it?”
Senator Sanders suggested that inasmuch as the other fellow had never reformed, Clemens and all the others present forgive him and drink together, which all did. Thus “the row was broken up before it commenced” (Buck Fanshaw) — and all was well. “Mark” told stories until after twelve. We walked from the club to the hotel up quite a mountain, the first hard walk he has had. He stands the light air well, and is getting strong.
Fatout quotes the Aug. 5 Helena Daily Herald, which called the house a “culture audience,” which “enjoyed the easy style and unaffected manner of the speaker quite as much as the stories he told.” He also writes about Sam’s endurance:
“Afterward the usual crush of people shook hands, and there was the customary reception, this time at the Montana Club. Mark Twain had stamina. Feeling his age, putting great energy into his readings, and partly disabled by the carbuncle, he yet bore up under a hardy regime both on and off the platform. Besides social events, he faced a steady parade of interviewers. All of them, he said, asked the same questions he had answered”
…so many millions of times already: “First visit? … Where do you go from here? … Have you enjoyed the trip? … Are you going to write a book about the voyage? What will be the character of it?” (tempted to say hydrophobia, seamanship and agriculture.) [Lecture Circuit 248: citing Paine, MT Notebook 248].
The Missoula Montana Evening Republican ran a 4 ½ X 6” picture of Mark Twain with a facsimile of his signature below it and the caption, “At the Bennett Opera House Monday” (Aug. 5) [Copy from Tenney].
August 4 Sunday – James B. Pond’s diary reveals that Livy was again with Sam again on this rest day at the Hotel Helena, in Helena, Montana:
The dry burning sun makes life almost intolerable, so that there has been hardly a soul on the streets all day. “Mark” and I had a good time at the Montana Club last night. He simply beats the world telling stories, but we find some bright lights here. There were present Senator Sanders, Major Maginnis, Hugh McQuade, A. J. Seligman, Judge Knowles, of the United States Supreme Court, who introduced Mr. Beecher in Deer Lodge and Butte in 1883; L. A. Walker, Dr. C. K. Cole, A. J. Steele, and Frank L. Sizer. We have very heavy mails, but are all too tired to open and read letters that are not absolutely necessary to be read.
“Mark” lay around on the floor of his room all day reading and writing in his notebook and smoking. In the gloaming Dr. Cole, with his trotters, drove “Mark” and Mrs. Clemens out to Broadwater, four miles. The heat gave way to a delicious balmy breeze that reinvigorated everybody. How delightful are these summer evenings in the Rocky Mountains! [Railton].
Note: the “heavy mails” Pond spoke of are not extant — only one incoming letter to Sam survives for Aug. 1895 and only two for July. Of interest is Pond’s continual use of quotation marks for “Mark,” which may denote his knowledge and distinction between the man, Samuel L. Clemens, and “Mark Twain,” the stage persona. Wilbur Fiske Sanders (1834-1905) was Senator from Mont. (1890-93).
Among the Helena letters Pond speaks of Sam writing, three survive from this date. The first, to Frank Fuller.
Here’s another application. I directed the former one to Joe Jefferson, President of the Players.
Yes, I will have the newspapers sent to you daily henceforth. It has been blazing weather all along, but I always have good houses, not withstanding, and some times they are crowded — a very handsome compliment.
Sam also was proud of the fact that the crowds were at times local records. The carbuncle was healing, only needing dressing once a day [MTP]. Note: the application was for membership in the Players Club, as the next letter suggests.
Sam also wrote a one-liner to the Players Club Secretary, sponsoring Frank Fuller, merchant of 61 Fifth Ave. in N.Y. for membership [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Owen Wister (1860-1938), American writer of Western fiction, praising his 1892 novel Dragon of Wantley. (Wister was best known for The Virginian, 1902, from which several movies and a TV series were based.) Wantley was a “burlesque” treatment of the “true” story of the Dragon, set in the early thirteenth century. The book was a big hit, with four editions over the next decade.
I have taken the Dragon of Wantley away from my wife & daughter — by violence — & am reading it with a delicate tingling enjoyment which goes searching & soothing & tickling & caressing all through me everywhere like balm of Gilead with a whet of apollinaris in it [MTP]. Note: Apollinaris water.
August 5 Monday – In the morning, the Clemens party traveled by train about 100 miles from Helena to Missoula, Mont. Sam’s notebook:
Left Helena for Missoula. Saw in Butte, Dixon & O’Bannon — 27 & 38 years. Helena, Judge Knowles and Tom Campbell — 28 & 32 years.
Beautiful dwellings, green grass & trees. & the gray brown mountains. In H & B saw relatives — 25 years. Fine valley & scenery [NB 35 TS 22].
The day’s events are also recorded in J.B. Pond’s diary:
Senator Sanders walked with “Mark” to the station in Helena this morning, while I accompanied the ladies in a carriage. Whom should we meet walking the platform of the station but Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher, on her way to visit her son Herbert in Port Townsend. It was a delightful surprise. Senator Sanders at once recognized her, as in 1883 he joined our party and drove from Helena (then the end of the eastern section of the Northern Pacific Railroad) to Missoula, the eastern end of the western division. We then drove in a carriage with four horses, via Butte and Deer Lodge, and it took four days to make the journey. Senator Sanders travelled the same distance in five hours with us to-day in a Pullman car.
At Missoula we all drove in a “bus” to the Florence House, the ladies inside and “Mark” and I outside with the driver. Here we saw the first sign of the decadence of the horse: a man riding a bicycle alongside the bus, leading a horse to a nearby blacksmith shop. At “Mark’s” suggestion I caught a snapshot of that scene. Officers from Fort Missoula, four miles out, had driven in with ambulances and an invitation from Lieutenant-Colonel [Andrew] Burt, commandant, for our entire party to dine at the fort. The ladies accepted. “Mark” went to bed and I looked after the business.
We had a large audience in a small hall, the patrons being mainly officers of the fort and their families. As most of the ladies who marry army officers come from our best Eastern society, it was a gathering of people who appreciated the occasion. After the lecture, the meeting took the form of a social reception, and it was midnight before it broke up. The day has been one of delight to all of us. As we leave at 2:30 P.M. to-morrow, all have accepted an invitation to witness guard-mounting and lunch early at the fort [Eccentricities of Genius 213-14].
“At Missoula, Pond was impressed by much military brass and braid from nearby Fort Missoula. ‘As most of the ladies who marry army officers,’ he said snobbishly, ‘come from our best Eastern society, it was a gathering of people who appreciated the occasion.’ That was ironical praise for an old Comstocker like Mark Twain, who was as western as sagebrush, and some of whose best stories were flavored with sourmash and alkali” [Lecture Circuit 248-9].
The Missoula Montana Evening Republican, p.4 “Local Briefs” announced,
Mark Twain tonight
Mark Twain’s lecture begins at 8:45 sharp.
A few seats are left for this evening’s entertainment. Secure one at once.
Mark Twain and Major Pond and party arrived on No. 1 today and are registered at the Florence.
Koelbel writes of Sam’s time in Missoula:
“…he arrived at Fort Missoula, August 5th. Col. And Mrs. [Andrew] Burt received a telegram at 2 p.m. the afternoon of the 5th informing them that they would be honored by the presence of the author and his family at dinner that night. Dinner was always at 6 p.m. sharp. Needless to say, the news threw the household into a dither. Between the garden and the chicken coop, plenty of food was available. The Burts’ Negro maid also served soup, salad, ice cream and coffee. The food was served on shining silver plates. Roses from the garden helped make the dinner seem like a long-planned-for event. A number of officers and their wives joined the Burts and Twains after dinner for a concert by the Army band. The concert was short, however, because Mr. Twain had to go to Missoula for his lecture at a local theater. On the way back to the fort that evening, Col. Burt told Twain that he was taking him to a place where he wouldn’t have to entertain but he himself would be entertained. Mr. Twain threw up his hands and said, ‘Great heavens! Is there such a place of delight on earth?’As it turned out, Twain was continuously surrounded by officers. Every time he would try to tell a joke, an officer would interrupt saying, ‘eg your pardon, Mr. Clemens, permit me to tell a little incident.’The officer would tell an old army story. After each story Twain would start in on another story of his own, but again he’d be interrupted. Finally he exclaimed, ‘ beg you, give me just one chance.’After the laughter died down, he added in his inimitable drawl, ‘ay, boys, I haven’t had one put over on me as good as that since the old Comstock days!’”65-6].
The Missoula Evening Republican, Aug. 6, 1895 p.4 ran a short notice of Sam’s lecture at the Bennett Opera House:
Mark Twain delighted a fair audience at the Bennett last night [Aug 5] with his droll manner and ever ready wit. No more enjoyable occasion could be imagined than an evening with Mark Twain and it is needless to say that none went away disappointed [Copy from Tenney].
August 6 Tuesday – In the morning in Missoula Mont., Sam watched the troops drill. Koelbel writes,
“While Mr. Twain was watching the troops the following morning [Aug. 6], an amusing incident occurred. When the band in ‘trooping off’ had marched past the guard and was counter marching back to the post, Col. [Andrew] Burt said, ‘Mr. Twain says in one of his books that there were two things he didn’t understand, one is the solar eclipse and the other is the counter marching band.’ Twain replied, ‘You are right, colonel, on both counts. I haven’t solved the band proposition even now, and as for the other count, I was modest before I was born’” .
Another practical joke was played on Sam: J.B. Pond’s diary recorded:
Two ambulances were sent to the hotel for our party and Adjutant-General Ruggles, who is here on a tour of inspection. “Mark” rose early and said he would walk to the fort slowly; he thought it would do him good. General Ruggles and the ladies went in one ambulance (the old four-mule army officers’ ambulance) and the other waited some little time before starting, that I might complete arrangements for all the party to go direct from the fort to the depot. I was the only passenger riding with the driver, and enjoying the memory of like experiences on the plains when in the army. We were about half way to the fort when I discovered a man walking hurriedly toward us quite a distance to the left. I was sure it was “Mark,” and asked the driver to slow up. In a minute I saw him signal us, and I asked the driver to turn and drive toward him. We were on a level plain, and through that clear mountain atmosphere one can see a great distance. We were not long in reaching our man, much to his relief. He had walked out alone and taken the wrong road, and after walking five or six miles on it, discovered his mistake, and was countermarching when he saw our ambulance and ran across lots to meet us. He was tired — too tired to express disgust — and sat quietly inside the ambulance until we drove up to headquarters, where were a number of officers and ladies, besides our party. As “Mark” stepped out, a colored sergeant laid hands on him, saying:
“Are you ‘Mark Twain’?”
“I am,” he replied.
“I have orders to arrest and take you to the guardhouse.”
And the sergeant walked him across the parade ground to the guardhouse, he not uttering a word of protest.
Immediately Lieutenant-Colonel [Andrew] Burt and the ambulance hurried over to relieve the prisoner. Colonel Burt very pleasantly asked “Mark’s” pardon for the practical joke and invited him to ride back to headquarters. “Mark” said:
“Thanks, I prefer freedom, if you don’t mind. I’ll walk. I see you have thorough discipline here,” casting an approving eye toward the sergeant who had him under arrest.
The garrison consisted of seven companies of the Twenty-seventh United States Colored Regiment. There was a military band of thirty pieces. Guard mount was delayed for General Ruggles’ and our inspection. The band played quite a programme, and all declared it one of the finest military bands in America. We witnessed some fine drilling of the soldiers, and learned that for this kind of service the colored soldiers were more subordinate and submissive to rigid drill and discipline than white men, and that there were very few desertions from among them.
The Boston Daily Globe, p.1 ran “Mark Twain Signs a Petition”
NEW YORK, Aug 5 — The total number of petitioners in behalf of Maria Barberi [sic: Barbella] rose to 47,231 today. About 925 blank petitions have been sent out from lawyer Evans’ office, and of these 400 are still to be heard from. One of today’s petitions contained the name of Samuel L. Clemens, “Mark Twain.”
Note: In 1895, Maria Barbella (1868-?), a 22-year-old Italian immigrant who worked in a New York City sweatshop, was convicted of killing her abusive lover, Domenico Cataldo, because he refused to marry her, and thereby she became the first woman sentenced to die in the newly invented electric chair. She was granted an appeal in 1896 however, and found not guilty. She dropped out of sight after 1902. Sam must have signed the petition before leaving on his world tour.
It was during his stay in Missoula that Sam wrote in his notebook of Negro soldiers who weren’t supposed to sing “the Star Spangled Banner, but Burt ordered these to be taught & they can sing it. / The band all colored but leader. Made beautiful music.” Sam had referred to the song as early as GA, chapter 16 (1873) [Gribben 370; NB 35 TS 23].
The Clemens party traveled the 150 or so miles by train from Missoula to Spokane, Wash.
Aug. 6. Arrived at Spokane, Wash., 10 p.m. Full of energy & push. Big fire in ’90. Burt district rebuilt in better style [NB 35 TS 24].
August 7 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook in Spokane, Wash.:
See squaws prowling about back doors & windows begging & foraging — a nuisance once familiar to me [NB 35 TS 25].
From J.B. Pond’s diary:
Attached to our train from Missoula station were two special cars, bearing an excursion party consisting of the new receiver of the Northern Pacific Railroad and his friends, one of whom we were told was the United States Supreme Court Judge who had appointed this receiver. An invitation was sent in to “Mark” to ride in their car, but as it came for him alone and did not include the ladies, he declined.
It was an enjoyable ride to Spokane, where we arrived at 11:30, [a.m.] and put up at the Spokane House, the largest hotel I ever saw. It was a large commercial building, covering an entire block, revamped into a hotel. A whole store was diverted into one bedroom, and nicely furnished, too. Reporters were in waiting to interview the distinguished guest. “Mark” is gaining strength and is enjoying everything, so the interviewers had a good time [Eccentricities of Genius 215].
Fatout writes of the stop in Spokane:
“At Spokane, a small crowd did not half-fill the splendid New Opera House, the Spokesman-Review was cool, and Mark Twain profanely expressed his dissatisfaction” .
The Spokane Spokesman-Review of Aug. 8 reported on the lecture, but except for the small crowd noted, the review was hardly “cool”:
NINETY MINUTES WITH MARK TWAIN
The Audience Thoroughly Enjoyed Their Evening With the Humorist.
So many of the Spokane people are now camping out that the most intelligent and highly appreciative audience which assembled to hear Mark Twain last evening was not so large as it should have been. All present thoroughly enjoyed their 90 minutes with the greatest of American humorists, from their first smile at “a day which was not good — for school” to their nervous start at the “rough” which ended the old negro’s ghost story and the evening’s entertainment.
Samuel L. Clemens, who for nearly a generation has been considered the typical and most successful humorist of America, is of medium height, sleight rather than portly, but his eagle face, in its wavy mane of gray hair, is very striking. His slow drawl and peculiarly dry manner are thoroughly natural to him, and were as markedly his own when he lectured on the Sandwich Islands in the 60’s.
The entertainment consists of the retelling of a number of the most famous stories from his books, with a background of amusing comment.
He told about his first fight; “The Jumping Frog,” his first hit in literature, the maundering ram story from “Roughing It,” Huck Finn’s runaway trip, “An Early Transgression,” in which he depicted his juvenile remorse after stealing a green watermelon, the horrors of the German language, and finally the ghost story of “The Golden Arm.”
Mark Twain’s quaint and original humor delighted his hearers, and the underlying stratum of pathos and serious thought, without which humor becomes verbal horseplay, was as highly appreciated.
Scharnhorst cites the Aug. 7Spokane Spokesman-Review, “Mark Twain Arrives in Spokane,” p.1 [166-8].
Scharnhorst also includes the interview for Aug. 7, “Mark Twain: The Great Humorist Has Arrived in Spokane,” by the Spokane Chronicle, p.1 [165-6]. The article noted Sam’s presence in town and related “a miner from up the country,” asking Sam if he’d in fact written the article about James Fenimore Cooper. “Well,” was the solemn reply, “I got the money for it.”
Again from Pond’s diary:
We found here a magnificent new theatre — the Opera House. It has cost over $200,000 and was never yet a quarter filled. The manager was greatly disappointed at the receipts for the lecture; he had counted on a full house. Where he expected the people to come from I don’t know. The receipts were not much better than in Missoula. “Mark” didn’t enjoy it, and manifested no delicacy in so expressing himself [Eccentricities of Genius 216].
H.H. Rogers telegrammed Sam asking if he might read the unpublished “Californian’s Tale” at the second annual reunion of The High School Association in Fairhaven the next day, Aug. 8.
Sam telegrammed an answer:
Certainly no objection and would like a type written copy of it mailed to Melbourne all well and send love to you all / SL Clemens [MTHHR 179 & n1].
August 8 Thursday – In Spokane, Wash., this was a rest and travel day late for the Clemens party — they would leave at midnight for Tacoma. From J.B. Pond’s diary:
We spent all day, August 8th, in Spokane. The hotel was full. The new receiver and his gay party are also spending the day here, but all leave just before the time set for the lecture.
In the forenoon “Mark” and I walked about this remarkable city, with its asphalt streets, electric lights, nine-story telegraph poles, and commercial blocks that would do credit to any Eastern city. There were buildings ten stories high, with the nine top stories empty, and there were many fine stores with great plate-glass fronts, marked “To Rent.” In the afternoon our entire party drove about the city in an open carriage. Our driver pointed out some beautiful suburban residences and told us who occupied them.
“That house,” he said, as we drove by a palatial establishment, “is where Mr. Brown lives. He is receiver for the Spokane Bank, which failed last year for over $2,000,000. You all know about that big failure, of course. The receiver lives there.”
Pointing out another house, he said: “That man living up in that big house is receiver for the Great Falls Company. It failed for nearly a million. The president and directors of that company are most all in the State prison. And this yere house that we are coming to now is where the receiver of the Washington Gas and Water Company lives,” etc.
“Mark” said to the ladies: “If I had a son to send West, I would educate him for a receiver. It seems to be about the only thriving industry.”
As we have a day here, the ladies have overhauled and repacked their trunks. I think there is no occupation that has the fascination for women when travelling as the unpacking and overhauling of large travelling trunks. They go at it early, miss their luncheon, and are late to dinner, and yet show no signs of fatigue.
There was another incident here. Our ladies dressed their best for dinner, and outshone the receiver’s excursionists, who occupied most of the great dining hall. “Mark” didn’t see it, as he never comes down to dinner. I know I saw it, and enjoyed a feeling of pride. I just felt and knew I was envied by the men at the other tables. Clara Clemens is a beautiful girl. As we passed out of the dining room into the great parlor, she sat down to the Chickering grand piano and began playing a Chopin nocturne. It was in the gloaming, Stealthily guests came in from dinner and sat breathlessly in remote parts of the boundless room listening to a performance that would have done credit to any great pianist. Never have I witnessed a more beautiful sight than this sweet brunette unconsciously holding a large audience of charmed listeners. If it was not one of the supreme moments of her mother’s life, who saw and heard her, then I have guessed wrong. It was an incident forever fixed in my memory.
That night at 11:30 we went aboard the sleeper on the Great Northern Road. Everything was in readiness for us.
The next day [Aug.8] was one full of interest as we rode over the Rockies on the zigzag road, travelling over thirty miles to make seven. “Mark” rode on the engine, greatly to the delight of the engineer.
We transferred at Seattle to the little “Greyhound of Puget Sound” — The Flyer — said to be the fastest steamer in the world. “Mark” sat on the deck of The Flyer watching the baggage-smashers removing our trunks from the baggage car to the truck which was to convey them to The Flyer, and exclaimed: “Oh, how I do wish one of those trunks were filled with dynamite and that all the baggage-destroyers on earth were gathered about it, and I just far enough off to see them hurled into Kingdom Come!”
We arrived in Tacoma at five o’clock, and have sumptuous apartments at The Tacoma, a grand caravansery built by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. The “receiver” is an old friend of mine, formerly a contractor on the Northern Pacific Railroad. I also found another old friend in C. H. Prescott — one of the prosperous. He is local “receiver” of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the highest distinction a man can attain out here. This is another overgrown metropolis. We can’t see it, nor anything else, owing to the dense smoke everywhere.
Here in Tacoma the ladies are to remain and rest, while “Mark” and I take in Portland and Olympia [Eccentricities of Genius 216-18].
August 9 Friday – In Tacoma, Wash. Sam was shaved by the same barber (not named) who shaved him “19 years ago in Wash.[ington, D.C.]” [NB 35 TS 26].
At 12:30 p.m. due to smoky conditions, the R.M.S. Warrimoo of the Canadian Pacific’s White Empress line ran aground at the mouth of the Juan de Fuca Straits. The ship was inbound for Vancouver from Australia, and was in Victoria’s Esquimalt drydock until Aug. 20, delaying the scheduled Aug. 16 sailing until Aug. 23. Sam would spend more time in Vancouver and even lecture in Victoria, a stop not on the original schedule [Allingham, “MT in Vancouver” 2].
From J.B. Pond’s diary:
At Tacoma early this morning Mr. S. E. Moffett, of the San Francisco Examiner, appeared. He is “Mark’s” nephew and resembles his uncle very much. On his arrival “Mark” took occasion to blaspheme for a few minutes, that his relative might realize that men are not all alike. He cursed the journey, the fatigues and annoyances, winding up by acknowledging that if everything had been made and arranged by the Almighty for the occasion, it could not have been better or more comfortable, but he “was not travelling for pleasure,” etc.
He and I reached Portland on time, 8:22, and found the Marquam Grand packed with a waiting audience and the sign “Standing Room Only” out. The lecture was a grand success. After it “Mark’s” friend, Colonel Wood, formerly of the United States army, gave a supper at the Portland Club, where about two dozen of the leading men were entertained for two hours with “Mark’s” story-telling. They will remember that evening as long as they live. There is surely but one “Mark Twain” [Eccentricities of Genius 218].
Lucius “Lute” Pease (1869-1963), cartoonist and reporter for the Portland Oregonian, Aug. 10, 1895 reported on the lecture:
MARK TWAIN AT THE MARQUAM.
Last night a brilliant audience was assembled at the Marquam Grand to hear Samuel L. Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, one of the most noted humorists of the day. Those who had been anxiously awaiting this event were in no way disappointed. In addition to the keen, subtle wit which permeates his writings, his delivery is a most fitting accompaniment. His droll, quiet manner, his peculiar pronunciation, his inimitable drawl, all tend to give the audience the time to see the point which everything he says unquestionably has. His personal appearance, as also his facial expression are of material value to him, and taken altogether, he carried the house by storm, to judge from the applause which greeted every sally.
With more solidity and depth than most of that class of writers, Mark Twain keeps coming to the front instead of sinking into oblivion, and the name is as familiar to the rising generation as it was when he first made his appearance in the literary world. To have accomplished this, there must have been more to his work than simply humor. This humor must have been true to life rather than an exaggeration to provoke mirth. In many cases, it is a question whether his mirth is not rather pathos, and the two are so delightfully blended that it is not hard to conceive why Mark Twain stands where he does today.
The house was one ripple of laughter from the beginning to the end, the only regrettable feature being that Portland only has this one opportunity to hear him. After the fall of the curtain and the house was thinning out, the applause was sufficient to call him before the curtain, and a request was called out from the audience to give the “Stammerer’s Tale,” which he did most graciously.
The audience last night was very fashionable, as well as extremely large. Every seat in both the dress circle and balcony was occupied, with numbers standing, and the gallery was well filled. The lecture consisted of the following original selections from Twain’s writings: “My First Theft,” “The Jumping Frog,” “Character of the Blue Jay,” “A Fancy Dress Incident,” “Bit Off More Than He Could Chew,” “Tom Sawyer’s Crusade,” “Fighting a Duel in Nevada,” and “A Ghost Story.” The entertainment consumed an hour and a half, and at its close the lecturer took occasion to thank his hearers for such a cordial reception on a summer evening, and expressed his sincere gratification that his meeting with the public of Portland was of such a substantial and pleasing character.
Note: the Grand Marquam Theater, built in 1890, was on the north side of Morrison St. between what were then Sixth and Seventh (now Broadway), across from the Hotel Portland.– Oregon Geographic Names by McArthur (1952).
Sam and Pond took rooms at the Hotel Portland, an imposing old hotel that this editor recalls from his boyhood, and now the location of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland.
Sam also made a supper speech at the Arlington Club in Portland [Fatout, MT Speaking 663]. Note: this may have been the “Portland Club” reported by Pond.
August 10 Saturday – In the morning Sam and J.B. Pond left Portland to rejoin the ladies at the Olympia Hotel in Olympia, Wash.
The Sunday Oregonian of Aug. 11 reported on Sam’s leaving — he’d made quite a hit in the city:
MARK TWAIN TALKS
THE FAMOUS STORY-TELLER DISCUSSES CHARACTERS.
Says That No Author Creates, but Merely Copies
How to Write a Guide Book.
“Mark Twain” and his manager, Major Pond, left Portland yesterday morning [Aug.10] for the Sound, where he will join Mrs. Clemens and his daughter at Tacoma. After lecturing there, and at Olympia, Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver, B.C, he will sail from Vancouver, August 16, with the whole party, for Honolulu.
As was contemplated, Mr. Clemens’ tour around the world will take at least a year, and very likely longer. He will be in the hands of his Australian agent some nine months, lecturing in the leading cities of Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, after which he will visit the British Isles, where he will doubtless remain a considerable time.
At the Portland [Hotel], yesterday morning, Mark Twain stood surrounded by a medley of handbags, waiting for a carriage to the train. A blue nautical cap confined a part of his big mane of hair, but it bulged out at the sides and behind, a grizzly wilderness. With that bushy growth tumbling over his big head, the bushy mustache and the bushy brows streaming to the right and left, a face rugged as if chiseled by nature’s hand from a block of granite, Mark Twain is certainly about as striking and picturesque a character as ever looked out of the pages of any of his own books. And, when to his anything but commonplace appearance is added the originality of his manner, its absolute carelessness, its lazy, cynical good humor, he becomes one of the most interesting men in the world to meet, even if one had never heard of him.
Dozens of people came up to reach over the array of handbags and shake hands with Mark Twain. Most of them claimed to have met him before, and his face wore a rather puzzled look sometimes as he was reminded of various places and occasions where he had met them in days gone by. The genial, courteous gentleman, Major J.B. Pond, was busy with introductions and other matters, but the carriage didn’t come, so Mark and the Major bundled into the ‘bus, handbags in hand, and were off.
“Portland seems to be a pretty nice town,” drawled the author of “Tom Sawyer,” as the ‘bus rolled down Sixth Street, “and this is a pretty nice, smooth street. Now Portland ought to lay itself out a little and macadamize all its streets just like this. Then it ought to own all the bicycles and rent ‘em out and so pay for the streets. Pretty good scheme, eh? I suppose people would complain about the monopoly, but then we have the monopolies always with us. Now, in European cities, you know, the government runs a whole lot of things, and, it strikes me, runs ‘em pretty well. Here folks seem to be alarmed about governmental monopolies. But I don’t see why. Here cities give away for nothing franchises for car lines, electric plants and things like that. Their generosity is often astounding. The American people take the yoke of private monopoly with philosophical indifference, and I don’t see why they should mind a little government monopoly.”
“What about that book of travels you are going to write on this trip, Mr. Clemens? Will it be something like the ‘Innocents Abroad,’ or the others?”
“Well, it won’t describe the same places, by any means. It will be a lazy man’s book. If any man picks it up expecting to find full data, historical, topographical, and so forth, he will be disappointed. A lazy man, you know, don’t rush around with his note book as soon as he lands on a foreign shore. He simply drifts about, and if anything gets in his way of sufficient interest to make an impression on him, it goes into his book. General Sherman told me that when he made his trip abroad, he found just about what he needed in my old books to guide him to what interested him most. He said it was too much bother to wade through the conventional guide book, which mentioned everything, so he dropped them by the wayside. That’s just what makes traveling tiresome, I think — that ever-present anxiety to take in everything, whether you can enjoy it and digest it or not — that fear that you won’t get your money’s worth if you leave anything mentioned in the guide book behind. What’s the use of making a business of traveling when you are out for pleasure? While I am not going to write a guide book, yet if I can help people to enjoy the same journey, why, I shall think it something of a success.”
Mr. Clemens, during this time, had sauntered through the depot and on into the smoking compartment of the Olympia car, where he settled himself comfortably in a corner.
“There must be some reason,” said he, “why a fine town like Portland has not long since built a new depot. What is the reason?”
It was explained to him that the completion of a fine new station had been delayed through two of the roads interested in its construction having gone into receiverships.
“Well, I haven’t had an opportunity to see much of Portland, because, through the diabolical machinations of Major Pond, over there, I am compelled to leave it after but a glimpse. I may never see Portland again, but I liked that glimpse.” Some one asked him about the story that was published in one of the San Francisco papers not long since, about an old-time Mission-street bartender named Tom Sawyer. This individual had asserted that he had met Mark Twain in ‘Frisco many years ago with a jolly party and that all went out together and got still jollier, and that Mark had slapped Sawyer on the back with the remark: “I am writing a book about just such a boy as you must have been, and I am going to name him after you.”
“That story lacks a good deal in the way of facts,” said Mr. Clemens. “One doesn’t choose a name that way. I have always found it rather difficult to choose just the name that suited my ear. ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’ were both real characters, but ‘Tom Sawyer’ was not the real name of the former, nor the name of any person that I ever knew, so far as I can remember, but the name was an ordinary one — just the sort that seemed to fit the boy, some way, by its sound, and so I used it. No, one doesn’t name his characters haphazard. Finn was the real name of the other boy, but I tacked on the ‘Huckleberry.’ You see, there was something about the name ‘Finn’ that suited, and ‘Huck Finn’ was all that was needed to somehow describe another kind of boy that ‘Tom Sawyer,’ a boy of lower extraction or degree. Now, ‘Arthur Van de Vanter Montague’ would have sounded ridiculous, applied to characters like either ‘Tom Sawyer’ or ‘Huck Finn.’”
“Both of those books will always be a well of joy to innumerable boys, Mr. Clemens.”
“Well,” said Twain, with a smile, “I rather enjoyed writing them. The characters were no creations of my own. I simply sketched them from life. I knew both those boys so well that it was easy to write what they did and said. I’ve a sort of fondness for ‘em anyway.
“I don’t believe an author, good, bad, or indifferent, ever lived who created a character. It was always drawn from his recollection of some one he had known. Sometimes, like a composite photograph, an author’s presentation of a character may possibly be from the blending of more than two or more real characters in his recollection. But, even when he is making no attempt to draw his character from life, when he is striving to create something different, even then, however ideal his drawing, he is yet unconsciously drawing from memory. It is like a star so far away that the eye cannot discover it through the most powerful telescope, yet if a camera is placed in proper position under that telescope and left for a few hours, a photograph of the star will be the result.
[At this point, Sam had to board the train. Pease later recalled that Sam wanted to get that figure into the interview, and so he finished it for him, the following “quote” being Pease’s words, not Sam’s; Allingham 14]
So it’s the same way with the mind; a character one has known some time in life may have become so deeply buried within the recollection that the lens of the first effort will not bring it to view. But by continued application the author will find, when he is done, that he has etched a likeness of some one he has known before.
“In attempting to represent some character which he cannot recall, which he draws from what he thinks is his imagination, an author may often fall into the error of copying in part a character already drawn by another, a character which impressed itself upon his memory from some book. So he has but made a picture of a picture with all his pains. We mortals can’t create, we can only copy. Some copies are good and some are bad.” [Pease’s “freehand” words to finish Sam’s quotes are in italics, and are not Sam’s].
Just then the train started and Mark Twain said good-bye to Portland. A lot of people are sorry he did not remain to lecture another night. [Railton; may also be found in Scharnhorst 172-5, but without designated Pease text “freehanded” in] Note: see Aug. 21 entry for Sam’s response.
J.B. Pond’s diary recorded the trip from Portland, Ore. and arrival in Olympia, Wash.
Smoke, smoke, smoke! It was not easy to tear ourselves away from Portland so early. The Oregonian contains one of the best notices that “Mark” has had. He is pleased with it, and is very jolly to-day.
We left for Olympia at eleven o’clock, via Northern Pacific Railroad. Somehow “Mark” seems to grow greater from day to day. Each time it seemed as though his entertainment had reached perfection, but last night surpassed all. A gentleman on the train, a physician from Portland, said that no man ever left a better impression on a Portland audience; that “Mark Twain,” was the theme on the streets and in all business places. A young reporter for The Oregonian met “Mark,” as he was boarding the train for Olympia, and had probably five minutes’ talk with him. He wrote a two-column interview which “Mark” declared was the most accurate and the best that had ever been reported of him.
On the train a bevy of young ladies ventured to introduce themselves to him, and he entertained them all the way to Olympia, where a delegation of leading citizens met us, headed by John Miller Murphy, editor of the oldest paper in Washington. They met us outside the city, in order that we might enjoy a ride on a new trolley car through the town. As “Mark” stepped from the train, Mr. Miller said:
“Mr. Twain, as chairman of the reception committee, allow me to welcome you to the capital of the youngest and most picturesque State in the Union. I am sorry the smoke is so dense that you cannot see our mountains and our forests, which are now on fire.”
“Mark” said: “I regret to see — I mean to learn (I can’t see, of course, for the smoke) that your magnificent forests are being destroyed by fire. As for the smoke, I do not so much mind. I am accustomed to that. I am a perpetual smoker myself” [Eccentricities of Genius 218-19]. (Ed. emphasis.)
In the evening Sam gave a lecture which Fatout writes about,
“Portland, Oregon, made up for several indifferent performances by an overflow audience, but Olympia gave him a poor reception. When the local Washington Standard deplored this lack of enthusiasm, one of those indignant letter-writers retorted that such scant attention was deserved” [Lecture Circuit 249].
Sam’s lecture in Olympia was only briefly covered by The Olympian on Aug. 12:
Mark Twain entertained a fair sized audience at the theater Saturday night. His recitations and stories were greatly enjoyed and applauded. He left for Tacoma yesterday [Aug. 11], via the Olympia & Tumwater, Port Townsend Southern and Northern Pacific.
Sam called the lecture a “Nice little theatre, half full of the right kind of people” [NB 35 TS 28].
Marie Jousaye’s July 28 interview in Winnipeg ran in the Toronto Globe p.11, as “Mark Twain Interviewed” [Scharnhorst, Interviews 168-71].
August 11 Sunday – In Tacoma, Washington, another rest day for the Clemens party. These were on Sundays or strategically placed to give Livy time to recover from traveling. Whenever it was possible, Sam and J.B. Pond would travel fairly short distances without the ladies for a lecture in another town. This allowed the ladies to limit their travel fatigue.
See the Aug. 11 Oregonian interview in the Aug. 10 entry. The Tacoma Union, p.6 ran an interview, “Mark Twain and Major Pond” [Scharnhorst, Interviews 175-8]. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an interview, “The Same Old Twain” on p.7 [178-81].
August 12 Monday – The Clemens party moved from Olympia to nearby Tacoma, Wash., and took rooms at the Tacoma Hotel. J.B. Pond’s diary for this date:
I had trouble in settling at the Opera House; the manager is a scamp. I expected trouble, and I had it.
The Tacoma Press Club gave “Mark” a reception in their rooms after the lecture, which proved to be a very bright affair. “Mark” is finding out that he has found his friends by the loss of his fortune. People are constantly meeting him on the street, at halls, and in hotels, and telling him of the happiness he has brought them — old and young alike. He seems as fresh to the rising generation as he is dear to older friends. Here we met Lieutenant-Commander Wadhams, who is executive officer of the Mohican, now in Seattle harbor. He has invited us all on board the man-of-war to dine to-morrow, and we have all accepted [Eccentricities of Genius 219-20].
The Tacoma Daily News of Aug. 13 reported on this night’s lecture:
MARK TWAIN AT THE TACOMA THEATRE.
Mark had a crowded house last night [Aug. 12]. Tacoma’s very best people were out in force to listen to him, and they were ready to laugh upon the slightest provocation. That is, the most of them were. There were some very intelligent people in the audience who were unable to swing into line with Mark’s peculiar kind of humor and they looked tired, too tired even to smile. But he tickled the risibilities of all the rest, and they enjoyed themselves thoroughly and paid no attention to the folks who were too opaque to appreciate the fun. His evening in Tacoma was a big success.
A reception was given by Mrs. George Turner. An article titled “Mark Twain’s Story” by Bernice E. Newell was published in the Los Angeles Times, October 1895 which reported:
Mark Twain visited Tacoma recently, taking in the “City of Destiny” on his way to Australia. While here he and Mrs. Clemens and their daughter Claire [sic] were entertained by their old-time friends Mrs. Judge Turner and Mrs. Frank Allyn, the wife and daughter of the late George Turner, Chief Justice of Nevada during the great mining days, who made his first overland trip in a stage coach with Mr. Clemens, then a young man of 26. Before a small company, invited in informally to meet them, Mr. Clemens consented to tell a story…
Bernice Newell’s article reprints Twain’s story about the unrecognized acquaintance whom Twain mistook for a lightning rod salesman when he visited his home in Hartford. Twain gave similar versions of the story in a speech known as “Morals and Memory.”
Sam gave a press club supper speech in Tacoma. The Tacoma Morning Union Aug. 13, 1895, quoted a fragment of Mark Twain’s speech:
As a rule a chairman at a banquet is an ass, but your chairman is not an ass. His plan is the best I have ever encountered. It gives the irresponsibles an opportunity to be heard before the guest of the evening is called upon. As a rule the man who is the guest of honor is introduced as the first speaker, and the more he is lauded, the more difficult it is for him to speak. Every compliment ties his tongue.
Note: See MTJ (Fall, 1992) p.24 “Mark Twain Speaking: Three New Documents” by Tanner & Scharnhorst relating Sam’s private story told in Tacoma, which was published in the Nov. 10, 1895 San Francisco Examiner.
August 13 Tuesday – The Clemens party traveled to Seattle, Wash., where they took rooms in The Rainier Hotel. From James B. Pond’s diary:
“Mark” had a great audience in Seattle the next evening [Aug. 13]. The sign “Standing Room Only” was out again. He was hoarse, but the hoarseness seemed to augment the volume of his voice. After the lecture he met many of his friends and admirers at the Rainier Club. Surely he is finding out that his misfortunes are his blessings. He has been the means of more real pleasure to his readers and hearers than he ever could have imagined had not this opportunity presented itself [Eccentricities of Genius 220].
The Seattle Times, Aug. 14 gave a somewhat sour review of Sam’s lecture there:
If Mark Twain is the representative American humorist American humor is rather a sorry product. That he is funny no one can deny; that his exaggerations are grotesque is also true; but that his wit is brilliant or his humor suggestive cannot be truly claimed. His fun leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. It is like machine work. Take his story of the theft of the watermelon. There is hardly an incident in every day life that could not be made amusing if told as he told that story. The fun of that story consisted in the way it was told, not in the story itself. That is, it depended upon the tricks of the comedian, not upon the wit or humor underlying the thought. His sketch of Huck Finn and Nigger Jim was very different. Here the basal idea was the struggle between “a good heart and a half-educated conscience,” and it was admirably brought out. The sketch of the night spent in his father’s office with the corpse was neither funny nor gruesome. It would have been intolerable if it were not for a few cute expressions, such as: “I took the sash out of the window with me. I did not really want the sash,” and so on. Deprived of these it was simply a good story, badly told. Mr. Clement’s [sic] studied awkwardness of manner helps what he says wonderfully, and his peculiar tone of voice is a potent adjunct to his fun. The audience was greatly amused, but it is also true that they were somewhat disappointed. Mark Twain can tell a story very much better than most men; he can see the droll aspect of things as few others can; but he has little creative genius. His published works show that.
The negativity shown in the Times article stands in sharp contrast to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s comments of the same day:
A CONTINUOUS LAUGH
Mark Twain Again Proves His Greatness as a Humorist.
FLOWING STREAM OF DROLLERY
There is but one Mark Twain. He is not classic, and he is just as far from being conventional; but people like him and listen to him all the more because he is himself. Last night at the Seattle theater a crowded audience heard him for an hour and a half with unwearying enjoyment as he gave one of those strange medleys of humor and philosophy which have so much the sound of a great literary improvisation. To tell the story of such a lecture is like trying to narrate a laugh. Those who heard it enjoyed it, and those who did not cannot conceive of it.
The string on which the great humorist strung the many anecdotes and jests that made up the body of the evening’s entertainment was a pretended moral lecture, which he said he had in mind to work out at his leisure. Thus he would tell some droll story and draw therefrom some far-fetched moral, which found its chief pith and merit in being far-fetched. The following will serve as a poor sample of a dozen of its kind:
“When I was a boy my father lived in a little Missouri village on the banks of the Mississippi river. The place was so small that it was necessary for one man to hold several such offices as coroner, mayor, postmaster, in order to maintain the dignity of each. My father was the incumbent. He had a small office built wherein his numerous functions were discharged. It was not often that he got to act as coroner, but now and then the community furnished a corpse. In the office was a sofa, which was to me a very useful article of furniture. We boys were told not to go fishing. For that reason we went. On returning from one of these excursions, I did not care to go at once into the home circle. I preferred letting the home atmosphere cool down till next morning. Accordingly I would creep into that office and use that sofa as a bed.
“One day there had been a fight in the village while I was out fishing. One man had killed another with a bowie knife. The corpse had been stripped to the waist and laid out on the floor of the little office ready for the inquest next morning. Late at night I came in, ignorant of what had occurred. I crept to the sofa was just sinking into the deep, sweet sleep which is the reward of honest toil when a strange feeling came over me as I thought I saw some uncanny object on the floor. I first resolved to feel it, but concluded I would wait. Just beyond it were some squares of moonlight on the floor and I decided to wait till the moonlight crept along to where the thing lay. Only those who have waited for the moon at midnight know how slow it is. At last there lay a pallid human hand in the ghostly light. I tried to turn over and count a thousand till the moon should reveal what I knew now was there, but I got no further than seventy-five. After what seemed an interminable time, the white, muscular arm, then the rigid, set face, then the body with the knife wound on the left side came into view. I went away from there. I do not mean to imply that I left hurriedly. I simply went. I went through the window. I took the sash along with me. I did not have any special use for the sash, but under the circumstances it was easier to take it than it was to leave it.
“Now, in planning my great lecture on morals, I mean to introduce this story to illustrate the principle that early in life a young man should certainly gauge his limitations. He should know just exactly how brave he is, how far he can rely on his own courage before he is compelled to begin to use his discretion.”
In similar vein the lecturer gave the story of the bucking horse from his “Roughing It,” which he said he proposed to use in his great lecture “to show that we should be careful how we make the acquaintance of strangers.” Then he shot off at a merry tangent to say that Mount Rainier had been pursuing this policy toward him during his first visit. To illustrate the moral that conclusions must not be drawn hastily, the gave the story of the preacher’s long baptismal harangue over what he supposed to be a boy baby, till the name of Mary Ann was announced. In much the same tone followed the story of the grandfather and the ram, and of Jim and Huckleberry Finn when these two worthies were running away, and of “My first theft.”
Leaving this hypothetical lecture on morals, Mr. Clemens was proceeding to give the substance of his famous essay on the German language, when a rough voice from the gallery cried out: “Haf you been to Heidelberg?” “Yes,” retorted the lecturer, with ready wit; “I studied German there and I learned many other things there also, among them how to drink beer.” The questioner subsided.
As a conclusion, Mr. Clemens gave his famous ghost story. It was the strongest piece given by him, or rather, he gave it most strongly, and when the unexpected denouement was reached there was many a sudden jump among those who had been betrayed into breathless expectancy through the weird magic of the well-told dialect story.
As a mark of honor Mr. Clemens was called before the curtain, and in response he gave “The Stammerer” in mirth-provoking style.
Among those who occupied boxes were the members of the Torbert Concert company, who appear at the Seattle theater on Saturday night. Major Pond speaks in the highest terms of this company, Miss Torbert being, in fact, a protégé of his, his first appearance with her dating from her membership in Beecher’s church.
August 14 Wednesday – In New Whatcom, Wash., Sam’s notebook:
Aug. 14. Left the ladies there with Sam. Moffett, & Pond & I came on to / New Whatcom. Such a fearful hoarseness I could scarcely talk. We stopped at a fine hotel in Fairhaven, & went over in the trolley. Reception — the line stood, I moved along it.
These 2 towns are in effect one — & it makes a large one. But they are melancholy, for the boom is passed, & they have slumped. They have a trade by sea with the Orient for their fine lumber, & they will come up again….
In some of the towns, besides the public gambling, they used to have big whore-signs, “Dolly,” “Mattie,” &c, & the whs sitting under them. The signs remain, but not the women [NB 35 TS 24].
J.B. Pond’s diary reports Sam’s bronchial problems were returning:
Wednesday, August 14th, Seattle to Whatcom.
“Mark’s” cold is getting worse (the first cold he ever had). He worried and fretted all day; two swearing fits under his breath, with a short interval between them, they lasted from our arrival in town until he went to sleep after midnight. It was with great difficulty that he got through the lecture. The crowd, which kept stringing in at long intervals until half-past nine, made him so nervous that he left the stage for a time. I thought he was ill, and rushed back of the scenes, only to meet him in a white rage. He looked daggers at me, and remarked:
“You’ll never play a trick like this on me again. Look at that audience. It isn’t half in yet.”
I explained that many of the people came from long distances, and that the cars ran only every half hour, the entire country on fire causing delays, and that was why the last installment came so late. He cooled down and went at it again. He captured the crowd. He had a good time and an encore, and was obliged to give an additional story. [Eccentricities of Genius 220]. Note: Sam later wrote to Rogers that he’d “had great difficulty in pumping out any voice at all” in Whatcom – Aug. 17 to Rogers.
The New Whatcom Reveille reviewed Sam’s lecture on Aug. 16, noting Sam’s cold and severe manner and the large audience [Tenney 24].
In New Whatcom, Sam wrote a letter intended for publication to his nephew, Samuel E. Moffett, editor of the San Francisco Examiner. The letter was an attempt to explain why he was “going lecturing around the world.” Sam explained how he’d put up the capital for Webster & Co., and how after it became indebted how he and Livy had tried their best to save it from collapse. “By the advice of friends” (principally H.H. Rogers, though unnamed here) he turned over all his copyrights to the wife, since she was the major creditor; that every creditor save one was against her putting up the Hartford house, and that one (Thomas Russell, again unnamed here) had “made a neat little fortune out of Webster & Co., but that didn’t signify” and over $5,000 that creditor “persecuted me with the law.” Sam added that he’d earned a lot of money the year before and left it all in New York to pay for about half the debts. Now, after his lecture tour across the country, he wrote,
I find I have twenty-five friends in America where I thought I had only one. Look at that house in Cleveland, in the dead middle of July, with the mercury trying to crawl out of the top of the thermometer. That multitude has repeated itself in ever big town clear across to the Pacific. Did those unknown friends troop to my houses in this perditionary weather to hear me talk? No; they came to shake hands and let me know that they were on deck and all was well. I shall be out of debt a long way sooner than I was supposing a month ago…
I shall be sixty years old in November. A month ago it grieved me to be under this load of debt at my time of life, but that feeling is all gone now. Such a burden is a benefaction, a prize in the lottery of life, when it lifts a curtain and shows you a continental spread of personal friends where you had supposed you had merely a good sprinkling of folks friendly to your books but not particularly concerned about their author. … The other day in Montana a stranger sent me this word: “You can draw on me for five dollars a day until you are out of debt.”
When our firm broke, Poultney Bigelow mailed me his check for a thousand dollars, and didn’t want to take it back again; Douglas Taylor, printer, New York, said “Draw on me for a thousand dollars; and if you think you can’t find a hundred men to do the like, make me a bet, and you will see.” One-dollar bills came in letters from here & there and yonder — from strangers — and I had to send them back [MTP].
J.B. Pond quoted the last two paragraphs of this letter in his diary:
Before sailing “Mark Twain” wrote a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Examiner, from which I quote:
“Now that I reflect, perhaps it is a little immodest in me to talk about my paying my debts, when by my own confession I am blandly getting ready to unload them on the whole English-speaking world. I didn’t think of that — well, no matter, so long as they are paid.
“Lecturing is gymnastics, chest-expander, medicine, mind healer, blues destroyer, all in one. I am twice as well as I was when I started out. I have gained nine pounds in twenty eight days, and expect to weigh six hundred before January. I haven’t had a blue day in all the twenty-eight. My wife and daughter are accumulating health and strength and flesh nearly as fast as I am. When we reach home two years hence, we think we can exhibit as freaks.” Mark Twain. Vancouver, B.C., August 15, 1895 [Eccentricities of Genius 225].
August 15 Thursday – The Clemens party of five traveled to, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and took rooms at the Hotel Vancouver. They learned that their ship, the Warrimoo, which was to have sailed Aug. 16, had been delayed by running aground on Aug. 9. Sam faced a week with no engagements after this of Aug. 15 in the Vancouver Opera House. Pond thus scheduled an extra lecture in Victoria, B.C. From Pond’s diary:
Thursday, August 15th, Vancouver, B.C. — The Vancouver.
“Mark’s” throat is in a very bad condition. It was a great effort to make himself heard. He is a thoroughbred — a great man, with wonderful will power, or he would have succumbed. We had a fine audience, a crowded house, very English, and I think “Mark” liked it. Everything here is English and Canadian. There is a rumor afloat that the country about us is beautiful, but we can’t see it, for there is smoke, smoke everywhere, and no relief. My eyes are sore from it. We are told that the Warrimoo will not sail until Wednesday, so I have arranged for the Victoria lecture Tuesday [Eccentricities of Genius 221].
Note: Livy to Rogers of Aug. 17 claims the lecture in Victoria was initially planned for the evening of Aug. 17, but the doctor did not allow it, so that it was then postponed again to Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Sam also cabled H.H. Rogers: “Steamer does not sail until the twentieth” [MTP]. Note: the Warrimoo did not leave until Aug. 23. Paine writes that Sam “had five thousand dollars to forward to Rogers to place against his debt account by the time he reached the Coast, a fine return for a month’s travel in that deadly season” [MTB 1004]. Fatout quotes Sam’s notebook with a total slightly over $5,300, which he calculates is “over $200 a performance, a better return than he had averaged on previous tours” [Lecture Circuit 252].
H.H. Rogers also cabled Sam about Livy sending authorization for the Harper’s contract. This cable is not extant but mentioned in Livy’s Aug. 17 to Rogers as being received upon reaching Vancouver.
August 16 Friday – In Vancouver, Canada, Sam wrote a paragraph to Rudyard Kipling:
Dear Kipling. — It is reported that you are about to visit India. This has moved me to journey to that far country in order that I may unload from my conscience a debt long due to you. Years ago  you came from India to Elmira to visit me, as you said at the time. It has always been my purpose to return that visit and that great compliment some day. I shall arrive next January and you must be ready. I shall come riding my Ayah with his tusks adorned with silver bells and ribbons and escorted by a troop of native howdahs richly clad and mounted upon a herd of wild bungalows; and you must be on hand with a few bottles of ghee, for I shall be thirsty [MTP].
J.B. Pond wrote in his diary:
Friday, August 16th, Vancouver.
Our tour across the continent is virtually finished, and I feel the reaction. “Othello’s occupation gone.” This morning “Mark” had a doctor, who says he is not seriously ill. Mrs. Clemens is curing him. The more I see of this lady the greater and more wonderful she appears to be. There are few women who could manage and absolutely rule such a nature as “Mark’s.” She knows the gentle and smooth way over every obstruction he meets, and makes everything lovely. This has indeed been the most delightful tour I have ever made with any party, and I wish to record it as one of the most enjoyable of all my managerial experiences. I hardly ever expect another. “Mark” has written in a presentation copy of “Roughing It”:
“Here ends one of the smoothest and pleasantest trips across the continent that any group of five has ever made.”
“Mark” is better this evening, so we shall surely have a good lecture in Victoria [Eccentricities of Genius 221].
August 17 Saturday – In Vancouver, Canada, J.B. Pond wrote in his diary:
Saturday, August 17th, Vancouver.
We are all waiting for the news as to when the Warrimoo will be off the dry dock and ready to sail. “Mark” is getting better. I have booked Victoria for Tuesday, the 20th.
“Mark” has lain in bed all day, as usual, spending much time writing. Reporters have been anxious to meet and interview him, and I urged it, He finally said: “If they’ll excuse my bed, show them up.”
A quartet of bright young English journalists came up. They all had a good time, and made much of the last interview with “Mark Twain” in America, as it was. “Mark” was in excellent spirits. His throat is better [Eccentricities of Genius 221-2].
In this article in the San Francisco Examiner, Aug.17, 1895, Sam revealed publicly for the first time his stated goal — to pay the creditors of Webster & Co. 100 cents on the dollar.
Mark Twain to Pay All
On His Way Around the World Now to Raise the Money
Sam L. Clemens (Mark Twain), who is about to leave for Australia, in an interview concerning the purpose of his long trip said:
“I am idle until lecture-time. Write, and I will dictate and sign. My run across the continent, covering the first 4,000 miles of this lecturing tour around the world, has revealed to me so many friends of whose existence I was unconscious before, and so much kindly and generous sympathy with me in my financial mishaps, that I feel that it will not be obtrusive self-assertion, but an act of simple justice to that loyal friendship, as well as to my own reputation, to make a public statement of the purpose which I have held from the beginning, and which is now in the process of execution.
“It has been reported that I sacrificed for the benefit of creditors the property of the publishing firm whose financial backer I was, and that I am now lecturing for my own benefit. This is an error. I intend the lectures as well as the property for the creditors.
“The law recognizes no mortgage on a man’s brain, and the merchant who has given up all he has may take advantage of the rules of insolvency and start again for himself. But I am not a business man, and honor is a harder master than the law. It cannot compromise for less than one hundred cents on the dollar, and its debts never outlaw.
“I had a two-thirds interest in the publishing firm, whose capital I furnished, and if the firm had prospered I should have expected to collect two-thirds of the profits. As it is I expect to pay all the debts. My partner has no resources, and I don’t look for assistance from him. By far the largest single creditor of this firm is my wife, whose contributions in cash from her private means have nearly equaled the claims of all others combined. In satisfaction of this great claim she has taken nothing, except to avail herself of the opportunity of retaining control of the copyrights of my books, which, for many easily understood reasons of which financial ones are the least we do not desire to see in the hands of strangers.
“On the contrary, she has helped and intends to help me to satisfy the obligations due to the rest.
“The present situation is that the wreckage of the firm, together with what money I can scrape together, with my wife’s aid, will enable me to pay the other creditors about 50 per cent of their claims. It is my intention to ask them to accept that as a legal discharge and trust to my honor to pay the other 50 per cent as fast as I can earn it. From my reception thus far on my lecturing tour I am confident that if I live I can pay off the last debt within four years, after which, at the age of sixty-four, I can make a fresh and unencumbered start in life.
“I do not enjoy the hard travel and broken rest inseparable from lecturing, and if it had not been for the imperious moral necessity of paying these debts, which I never contracted but which were accumulated on the faith of my name by those who had a presumptive right to use it, I should never have taken to the road at my time of life. I could have supported myself comfortably by writing, but writing is too slow for the demands that I have to meet; therefore I have begun to lecture my way around the world. I am going to Australia, India and South Africa, and next year I hope to make a tour of the great cities of the United States.
“In my preliminary run through the smaller cities on the northern route I have found a reception the cordiality of which has touched my heart and made me feel how small a thing money is in comparison with friendship.
“I meant, when I began, to give my creditors all the benefit of this, but I begin to feel that I am gaining something from it too, and that my dividends, if not available for banking purposes, may be even more satisfactory than theirs.
[Note: this article was widely re-printed in other newspapers, including the N.Y Times of Aug. 17, p.8.]
Sam also wrote a note of introduction for his nephew, Samuel Moffett, chief editorial writer of the San Francisco Examiner. The letter was addressed to: Richard Watson Gilder, Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence C. Buel, William Carey, Mary Mapes Dodge, and William F. Clarke (the last two names written in the left and right margins, respectively, as if an afterthought).
Good-bye; we sail westward three days hence. Billiards when I get back, Carey [MTP].
Sam also wrote a similar note of introduction for his nephew to William Dean Howells, and asked him to introduce Moffett to the Editor of the Atlantic [MTHL 2: 660]. Note: Moffett came to Tacoma Aug. 9 to see his uncle Sam before he sailed and to ask for letters of introduction back east, as he was being transferred to Hearst’s New York Journal [n1].
Sam also wrote a letter to Samuel Moffett, saying he couldn’t recall the name of the Editor of the Atlantic (Horace E. Scudder), but that Howells would “fix it for” him, and gave him Howells’ NYC address.
The United press agent here took your interview of me & promised to telegraph it unabridged [MTP].
Sam also wrote to J. Henry Harper, asking him to put his name on JA now, since he felt everything he’d wanted to “accomplish by withholding it has been accomplished,” and that he was going to be revealing it in his lectures in Australia. He wanted to keep his name in front of the public while he was gone. After his signature he added a PS: “Won’t you please save my MS books & articles & keep them for Mrs. Clemens?” [MTP]. Note: see Aug. 21 to Harper for more on this issue.
Livy also wrote a letter to H.H. Rogers that Sam added a line to at the end. She’d been unable to write ordering the Harper’s contract, but thanked Rogers for the telegram received upon their arrival in Vancouver. She was thankful they had not sailed as planned on Aug. 16, since Sam had taken a head cold and she felt it unsafe for him to travel. She related that a lecture engagement was made in Victoria for Aug. 17, but with doctor’s advice that lecture was postponed until Tuesday, Aug. 20, so the plan was to travel to Victoria on the morning of Aug. 20 and then sail to Australia from there on Aug. 21. Sam inserted that a time limit on the Harper’s contract “is only reasonable. It runs in my head that the contract is silent in that regard” [MTHHR 183-4]. Note: The contract with Harper & Brothers was signed by Rogers (for Livy) on May 23, and delivered on July 26. Repairs to the Warrimoo after it ran aground delayed the departure till Aug. 23.
Livy then wrote the formality — a one-sentence approval to H.H. Rogers:
I very readily agree to the changes which Messrs Harper & Brothers desire made in their contract with me, as per your letter of recent date [MTHHR 184n1].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, about the planned travel book (Following the Equator):
I wish you’d get acquainted with J. Henry Harper and make sure that he is going to be perfectly willing that I shall publish my volume of travel through Bliss or a Chicago subscription house for the first three or four years before adding it to the Harper books [Uniform Edition; Ed. emphasis].
Sam explained why he wanted the book (to become Following the Equator) to be a subscription book for a time — he wanted the $10,000 advance from Frank Bliss, and thought he might clear $40,000 from the effort in the first six months, only by subscription. He also felt the subject matter of the countries he would travel to was particularly suitable for the subscription (non-urban) audience who was “wholly ignorant of the countries,” not something that was true about Harper’s trade (urban/bookstore) audience.
Sam also announced he’d made the goal of 100% payoff to his creditors public. He’d been hoarse for “several days” and related having a difficult time lecturing in New Whatcom.
Henry M. Alden for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam advising it “impolitic” to announce authorship of JA before the serial publication concluded. TSD would be announced as his in the 1896 magazine. Alden also wrote, “We will be pleased to have from you such suggestions as you can give us as to illustrations for Dr. Twichell’s paper” [MTP]. Copy from The House of Harper p.576-7 (1912) Harper & Bros. N.Y.
August 18 Sunday – A rest day in Vancouver, B.C. for the Clemens party.
August 19 Monday – From J.B. Pond’s diary:
Monday, August 19th. We are at Vancouver still, and the smoke is as firmly fixed as we are in the town. It is bad. “Mark” has not been very cheerful to-day. He doesn’t get his voice back. He and I took a walk about the streets, and he seemed discouraged, I think on account of Mrs. Clemens’s dread of the long voyage, and because of the unfavorable stories we have heard of the Warrimoo. We leave Vancouver, and hosts of new friends, for Victoria, B.C., and then we part. That will not be easy, for we are all very happy. It makes my heart ache to see “Mark” so downhearted after such continued success as he has had [Eccentricities of Genius 222].
In Vancouver, B.C. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, worked up over the actions of the new Paige Co. and wanting to institute a lawsuit:
It was always my strong impression that the Paige Mf. Co. had no shadow of right to throw my royalties back on my hands and seize my stock whether I liked it or not.
I have been carefully reading clause Third of the paper signed by me Jan. 27, 1894 (a copy of which you sent me some time ago) and I now seem to see that I was right.
Sam suggested John Stanchfield (who married Clara Spaulding) of Elmira to bring the lawsuit if Rogers agreed. Sam enclosed a letter to Stanchfield for Rogers to send if he agreed. $15,000 was involved. He pointed out that the suit would have to be brought in Livy’s name and asked if it could be brought right away. Then he turned to the family’s preparations and the limited visibility due to forest fires:
We (Mrs. C. and Clara) are busy packing. The trunks will go on board the ship in the morning. The vessel has been on a reef and is now about to come out of the repairer’s hands. She was not greatly damaged. The smoke is so dense all over this upper coast that you can’t see a cathedral at 800 yards. It makes navigation risky even in daytime — and at night very difficult and dangerous [MTHHR 185-6].
Sam’s enclosed to Stanchfield survives, and narrates the agreement he signed on Jan. 27, 1894 with the new Paige Compositor Co. and how it detailed the value of his 150 pre-existing “royalties” on the machine. Sam quotes the clause in question, and wrote:
And I proposed to put the matter in your hands & bring suit, if my reading of clause Third is correct. Won’t you consult with Mr. Rogers & get his powerful help? The stock was in Mrs. Clemens’s name, & as Mr. Rogers has a full power of attorney for her, he can act for her just as if she were present [MTP].
August 20 Tuesday – In Vancouver, B.C. before boarding the ship to Victoria, Sam and Livy each wrote a paragraph to Franklin G. Whitmore.
It may be that a full length portrait of Clara will arrive at our Hartford house addressed to you. It will come from the artist, John W. Alexander.
Livy thanked Whitmore for a statement sent of Hartford finances. She disclosed that Sam had been in bed “for a day or two with a cold” but was better [MTP].
Note: John W. Alexander (1856-1915), American artist associated with Art Nouveau style, and illustrator for Harper’s Weekly from 1873-6. He moved to Paris in 1889 and worked with the Symbolists as well as doing portraits of literary greats like Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. During this year he was commissioned by the Library of Congress to paint 48 mural panels at the Carnegie Institute. He died before completing the work.
Sam fought with a stubborn captain, ironically on a ship named the Charmer. J.B. Pond’s diary:
On August 20th the boat for Victoria arrived half an hour late. We all hurried to get on board, only to be told by the captain that he had one hundred and eighty tons of freight to discharge, and that it would be four o’clock before we left. This lost our Victoria engagement, which I was obliged to postpone by telegraph. “Mark” was not in condition to relish this news, and as he stood on the wharf after the ladies had gone aboard he took occasion to tell the captain, in very plain and unpious language, his opinion of a passenger-carrying company that, for a few dollars extra, would violate their contract and obligations to the public. They were a lot of — — somethings, and deserved the penitentiary. The captain listened without response, but got very red in the face. It seems the ladies had overheard the loud talk. Soon after “Mark” joined them he came to me and asked if I wouldn’t see that captain and apologize for his unmanly abuse, and see if any possible restitution could be made. I did so, and the captain and “Mark” became quite friends.
We left Vancouver on The Charmer at six o’clock, arriving in Victoria a little after midnight [Eccentricities of Genius 222].
Livy wrote to Samuel Moffett: “I send you three pictures that Maj. Pond took. You will recognize that two of them are on the Mohican and one of them on the Flyer” [MTP].
The Vancouver Daily News-Advertiser p.5 ran an interview, “Mark Twain Talks” [Scharnhorst, Interviews 187-9].
August 21 Wednesday – The Clemens party arrived in Victoria, B.C. shortly after midnight and took rooms at the Driard Hotel. From J.B. Pond’s diary:
Wednesday, August 21st, Victoria, B.C. — The Driad [sic: Driard].
“Mark” has been in bed all day; he doesn’t seem to get strength. He smokes constantly, and I fear too much also; still, he may stand it. Physicians say it will eventually kill him.
We had a good audience. Lord and Lady Aberdeen, who were in a box, came back on the stage after the lecture and said many very nice things of the entertainment, offering to write to friends in Australia about it. “Mark’s” voice began strong, but showed fatigue toward the last. His audience, which was one of the most appreciative he ever had, was in great sympathy with him as they realized the effort he was obliged to make, owing to his hoarseness.
A telegram from Mr. George McL. Brown says the Warrimoo will sail at six o’clock to-morrow evening. This is the last appearance of “Mark Twain” in America for more than a year I know, and I much fear the very last, for it doesn’t seem possible that his physical strength can hold out. After the lecture to-night he expected to visit a club with Mr. Campbell, who did not come around. He and I, therefore, went out for a walk. He was tired and feeble, but did not want to go back to the hotel. He was nervous and weak, and disappointed, for he had expected to meet and entertain a lot of gentlemen. He and I are alike in one respect — we don’t relish disappointment [Eccentricities of Genius 223].
Sam also wrote to J. Henry Harper:
My wife is a little troubled by my wanting my nom de plume put to Joan of Arc so soon. She thinks it might go counter to your plans & that you ought to be left free & unhampered in the matter. / All right — so be it. [Note: Paine asserts that the authorship of JA “had been pretty generally guessed by the second or third issue” MTB 1006].
Sam also wrote that the Warrimoo should have sailed five days before but thought it would sail the next day, Aug. 22 [MTP].
Sam telegraphed a one-liner to Lucius C. “Lute” Pease, reporter for the Portland Oregonian, referring to the “freehanded” insertion which finished Sam’s point in the Aug. 11 interview.
Good enough. You said it better than I could have said it myself.
Allingham enlightens us about this note:
“Far from objecting to Pease’s ‘freehand approach’ to interviewing, Twain was sufficiently interested in how Pease would render his [Sam’s] words that he purchased a copy of the Sunday Oregonian in Victoria and then sent the telegram on August 21st to compliment the reporter” [More of MT 14].
In the evening in Victoria, B.C. Sam gave the lecture that had been postponed for the previous night. He also may have given a supper speech at a press club dinner [Fatout, MT Speaking 663]. J.B. Pond does not mention this event in his diary, and suggests Sam was stood up.
Allingham’s “More of Mark Twain in Victoria, British Columbia,” p.13 gives Victoria’s newspaper reactions to Sam’s delayed lecture:
“Both the Times and his opposite number at the Daily Colonist describe the evening lecture of the 21st as ‘A Treat Delight a Large Audience’ (Times, Aug. 22: 4) and engendered ‘General Enjoyment’ (Colonist, August 22: 8). ‘His Excellency the Governor-General and the Countess of Aberdeen and their family honored the affair with their presence (Times 4), occupying the Royal box, suitably dressed with flags and flowers, [with] the elite of Victoria…present’” (Colonist 8)
J.B. Pond’s diary:
We had a good audience. Lord and Lady Aberdeen, who were in a box, came back on the stage after the lecture and said many nice things of the entertainment, offering to write to friends in Australia about it. “Mark’s” voice began strong but showed fatigue toward the last. His audience, which was one of the most appreciative he ever had, was in great sympathy with him as they realized the effort he was obliged to make, owing to his hoarseness. [Eccentricities of Genius 223].
From Sam’s notebook of Aug. 22 about this performance:
Lectured last night [Aug. 21] — house full. The Governor-General and Lady Aberdeen and their little son in Highland costume, present. Several bars of “God Save the Queen” played when they entered, the audience standing. They came at 8:45, 15 minutes late. I wish they would always be present, for it isn’t permissible to begin till they come; and by that time the late comers are all in.
Was conducted to their box when I was done, by the Aide de Camp. It was in every way pleasant.
A kitten walked across the stage behind me…The audience laughed in the wrong place. I did not know why till after the reading [Paine, MT Notebook 248-9].
See Allingham’s “More of Mark Twain in Victoria,” etc., p.14 for the Lady Aberdeen’s unflattering reaction to Sam.
This lecture ended the North American segment of Sam’s world tour. According to Milton Meltzer in Mark Twain Himself: A Pictorial Biography (1960), “In 38 days Mark had given 24 lectures in 22 cities” [Allingham 15].
The second half of the world tour was under the management of Robert Sparrow Smythe and his son Carlyle Greenwood Smythe, of Melbourne, Australia.
August 22 Thursday – The Clemens party was still in Victoria, B.C. From J.B. Pond’s diary:
We are in Victoria yet. The blessed “tie that binds” seems to be drawing tighter and tighter as the time for our final separation approaches. We shall never be happier in any combination, and Mrs. Clemens is the great magnet. What a noble woman she is! It is “Mark Twain’s” wife who makes his works so great. She edits everything and brings purity, dignity, and sweetness to his writings. In “Joan of Arc” I see Mrs. Clemens as much as “Mark Twain” [Eccentricities of Genius 223].
Before sailing from Victoria, Sam inscribed two copies of Roughing It to James B. Pond: Here ends one of the smoothest and pleasantest trips across the continent that any group of five has ever made [Eccentricities of Genius, 220]. Also: In memory of the pleasant platform-campaign of July & August, 1895 / Victoria, B.C., Aug. 22/95 [MTP].
Sam also inscribed a photograph of himself: to my old friend Pond — / Sincerely his’n / Mark Twain. / Victoria B.C. Aug. 22/95 [MTP].
Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers:
It is midnight, & we sail at 8 to-morrow morning. Big house & a good time last night. No more talking to do for a week; then — possibly — a talk in Honolulu.
Sam also had a new carbuncle but he didn’t feel it was a “strong threat” and had “laid in materials for a war upon it” [MTP, not in MTHHR].
August 23 Friday – In Victoria, J. B. Pond’s diary on the day of departure:
“Mark” and I were out all day getting books, cigars, and tobacco. He bought three thousand Manilla cheroots, thinking that with four pounds of Durham smoking tobacco he could make the three thousand cheroots last four weeks. If perpetual smoking ever kills a man, I don’t see how “Mark Twain” can expect to escape. He and Mrs. Clemens, an old friend of “Mark’s” and his wife, now living near here, went for a drive, and were out most of the day. This is remarkable for him. I never knew him to do such a thing before [Eccentricities of Genius 223-4].
Allingham suggests that the shop where Sam likely bought his cigars for the voyage was Edward Arthur Morris’s on the west side of Government Street, directly across from the Driard Hotel [“More of MT in Victoria,” etc. 15-16].
Major Pond and wife lunched with the Clemenses aboard the 3,300 ton R.M.S. Warrimoo [MTB 1007]. Again from Pond’s diary for this day:
The Warrimoo arrived about one o’clock. We all went on board and lunched together for the last time. Mrs. Clemens is disappointed in the ship. The whole thing looks discouraging, and our hearts are almost broken with sympathy for her. She tells me she is going to brave it through, for she must do it. It is for her children. Our party got out on the deck of the Warrimoo, and Mr. W. G. Chase, a passenger, took a snapshot of our quintette. Then wife and I went ashore, and the old ship started across the Pacific Ocean with three of our most beloved friends on board. We waved to one another as long as they kept in sight [Eccentricities of Genius 224-5]. (End J.B. Pond’s diary entries.)
Note: the photograph referred to above, and dozens others may be found in Overland with Mark Twain: James B. Pond’s Photographs and Journal of the North American Lecture Tour of 1895 (1992) eds., Karanovich and Gribben.
In FE Sam wrote of sailing away from Victoria:
We moved westward about mid-afternoon over a rippled and sparkling summer sea; an enticing sea, a clean and cool sea, and apparently a welcome sea to all on board; it certainly was to me, after the distressful dustings and smokings and swelterings of the past weeks. The voyage would furnish a three-weeks holiday, with hardly a break in it. We had the whole Pacific Ocean in front of us, with nothing to do but do nothing and be comfortable. The city of Victoria was twinkling dim in the deep heart of her smoke-cloud, and getting ready to vanish…[25-6].
August 24 Saturday – Sam, Livy and daughter Clara were en route to Honolulu on the Warrimoo, captain R.E. Arundel. Sam wrote of the ship and captain in the first chapter of FE:
Ours was a reasonably comfortable ship, with the customary sea-going fare — plenty of good food furnished by the Deity and cooked by the devil. The discipline observable on board was perhaps as good as it is anywhere in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The ship was not very well arranged for tropical service; but that is nothing, for this is the rule for ships which ply in the tropics. She had an over-supply of cock-roaches, but this is also the rule with ships doing business in the summer seas…
Our young captain was a very handsome man, tall and perfectly formed, the very figure to show up a smart uniform’s finest effects. He was a man of the best intentions, and was polite and courteous even to courtliness….He had no vices. He did not smoke or chew tobacco or take snuff; he did not swear, or use slang, or rude, or coarse, or indelicate language, or make puns, or tell anecdotes, or laugh intemperately, or raise his voice….After dinner he and his officers joined the ladies and gentlemen in the ladies’ saloon, and shared in the singing and piano playing, and helped turn the music. He had a sweet and sympathetic tenor voice, and used it with taste and effect. After the music he played whist there, always with the same partner and opponents, until the ladies’ bedtime [26-7].
Zmijewski writes of the excitement in Hawaii, where it was assumed Sam would make the lecture at Independence Park on this day, advertised as early as Aug. 17:
“Hawaii prepared for Mark Twain’s visit with enough editorial fanfare to touch the heart and incite the rebellious instincts of any visiting celebrity. L.J. Levey, a local business man, acted as manager for the Twain lecture at Independence Park Pavilion and tickets were selling fast for the 24 August event” .
Zmijewski also reports the delay in the Warrimoo’s arrival and the consternation it caused:
“Plans had been made and tickets had been sold, yet two uncertainties threatened to disrupt the spectacle. On 23 August, the Warrimoo had not arrived ….the unpredictable state of the cholera outbreak held the key as to whether or not the Warrimoo would be permitted to dock….Hawaii waited; still the Warrimoo did not appear. In those days there was no shipboard radio, so once a vessel left port its progress was a mystery unless another ship happened to cross its path and the two shared news and mail. Where was the Warrimoo? and where was Twain? Had the Warrimoo decided to avoid Hawaii altogether after somehow hearing about the cholera epidemic?” .
Once news arrived that the ship had not left until Aug. 23, new plans were made for the event.
The San Francisco Examiner, p.6 ran “Twain’s Programme,” a more extended statement of Sam’s remarks sent to his nephew, Samuel Moffett, who worked on the newspaper [Scharnhorst, Interviews 190-2].
August 25 Sunday – In his Aug. 30 to H.H. Rogers, Sam wrote it had “been an uneventful voyage”:
The weather has been divine. For the past three days the sea with the sun on it has counterfeited the intense & luminous blue of the Mediterranean. We have done nothing but play hearts & read & smoke [MTP].
August 26 Monday – The Clemens party were en route on the R.M.S. Warrimoo to Honolulu.
August 27 Tuesday – The Clemens party were en route on the R.M.S. Warrimoo to Honolulu. From FE Ch. II:
About four days out from Victoria we plunged into hot weather, and all the male passengers put on white linen clothes .
August 28 Wednesday –The Clemens party were en route on the R.M.S. Warrimoo to Honolulu. Only two letters from Sam are extant from the voyage to Honolulu. The first is to Jack Harrington (identity not established but NB 35 TS 37 gives his age as 13), this day.
We are going to celebrate your birth-day to-night; and out of affection for you & for your father we shall do the occasion all the credit we can, & make all the noise the captain will allow.
You are a naturalist, & I am gradually grinding out a poem for such of the tribe as are interested in the fauna of Australia — & of course you are one of that number. So I privately & confidentially furnish you a copy of this great work as far as I’ve gone with it. I haven’t yet worked the moa in, nor the emu nor the dodo, but I am after them.
Sam then added a four-stanza poem [MTP].
August 29 Thursday – From FE, Ch. II:
One or two days later [after four days out] we crossed the 25th parallel of north latitude, and then, by order, the officers of the ship laid away their blue uniforms and came out in white linen ones. All the ladies were in white by this time. The prevalence of snowy costumes gave the promenade deck an invitingly cool and cheerful and picnicky aspect .
August 30 Friday – At sea on the Warrimoo Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers:
In a couple of hours after dark we shall be in Honolulu — too late to lecture, & I am not sorry. We sail at 11 in the morning — too early to lecture. I got mighty tired platforming before we left America, & shall be glad to remain quiet till we reach Australia [MTP, not in MTHHR].
In the evening the Warrimoo arrived and anchored off Honolulu, some six days late for the planned Aug. 24 lecture at Independence Park [Zmijewski 25].
Livy began a letter to daughter Susy she finished Aug. 31:
We have land in sight and I suppose in three or four house we shall have landed. I do not quite know what we are going to do, whether Papa will read or not, whether we go to a private home or to a hotel, but all in good time we shall know [MTP].
August 31 Saturday – Livy finished her Aug 30 letter to daughter Susy.
Well we have had an exciting time since I wrote the first part of this letter. Honolulu lights were in sight and we were just looking for our pilot to take us into port, when a little boat with nine or ten people in drew up along side. Everyone supposed it was the pilot. When some one from the little boat said “We cannot board you — there is sickness on the island, we want to speak with the Captain.” …There was cholera in Honolulu! There had been five deaths that day. This was terrible news [MTP].
“Anxious for the pleasure of going ashore, Twain awaited the morning as he was unaware of the official government proclamation published in the papers that same day, which had completely closed Honolulu harbor to the outside world. With the morning came the news and the disappointment. …
“Since Captain Arundel refused to expose his crew and passengers to the hazard of spreading or contracting cholera, the Captain allowed the twenty-two people who wanted to disembark at Honolulu to leave the ship, but insisted that the Warrimoo ‘would not carry any freight, mail or passengers to Sydney.’ Though the auspices of Armstrong Smith, one of the passengers to disembark at Honolulu, Twain sent greetings and expressed regret that he could not land” .
This fascinating article also documents the limited contact Sam had with shore during the unloading of cargo, mail and passengers. He shook the hand of Captain Gregory, in charge of the Waialeale, which pulled alongside the Warrimoo and helped with the transfer. Clara Clemens is reported to have snapped a photo of Captain Rice, and of a tug helping with the transfer. Also,
“At least one more instance of contact with Twain has been documented in the local papers, and that was with Clarence Crabbe, a customs officer. Mr. Crabbe, spoke to Mr. Twain, whom he recognized reclining on a deck chair: ‘Would you like to go ashore, Mr. Clemens?’ This was an awful question to tease Clemens with because there was no way such permission could be granted without quarantine at Sydney, and other, perhaps, more deadly consequences. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, Clemens’ reply to the fantastic draw of paradise within his reach disregarded the two variables over which he had no control: the cholera and his bankruptcy. ‘I would give a thousand dollars to go ashore and not have to return again’” .
In the evening, Sam wrote of a beautiful sunset in FE Ch. III, p.60. From this account, it’s clear the Warrimoo did not leave until the next day, Sept. 1. Shillingsburg writes, “No shore leave was allowed, and Twain’s performance was canceled at a widely reported loss of $600” [At Home 21].
September – “Mental Telegraphy Again” first ran in Harper’s Magazine. McCullough traces the evolution of both “Mental Telegraphy” articles in the Mark Twain Encyclopedia, p.510. Review of Reviews (London) ran “Mark Twain’s Serious Stories,” p.231, which briefly summarized the “Mental Telegraphy” article in Harper’s [Tenney 23].
September 1 Sunday – At sea from Honolulu on the R.M.S. Warrimoo en route to Fiji and Australia. Sam’s notebook reveals they were “lying at anchor till midnight” [NB 35 TS 41].
September 2 Monday – Sept. 2. Flocks of flying fish — slim, shapely, graceful, and intensely white. With the sun on them they look like a flight of silver fruit-knives. They are able to fly a hundred yards [FE Ch. IV p.65].
September 3 Tuesday – Sept. 3. In 9° 50’ north latitude, at breakfast. Approaching the equator on a long slant. Those of us who have never seen the equator are a good deal excited. I think I would rather see it than any other thing in the world. We entered the “doldrums” last night — variable winds, bursts of rain, intervals of calm, with chopping seas and a wobbly and drunken motion to the ship — a condition of things findable in other regions sometimes, but present in the doldrums always. The globe-girdling belt called the doldrums is 20 degrees wide, and the thread called the equator lies along the middle of it [FE Ch. IV p.65].
Sam’s notebook entry of this date:
“Under the Southern Cross.” Get this mess of self-complacent twaddle [Gribben 43; NB 35 TS 41].. Note: Maturin Murray Ballou’s Under the Southern Cross; or, Travels in Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Samoa, and Other Pacific Islands (1888).
September 4 Wednesday – On the R.M.S. Warrimoo. Sept. 4. Total eclipse of the moon last night. At 7.30 it began to go off. A total — or about that — it was like a rich rosy cloud with a tumbled surface framed in the circle and projecting from it — a bulge of strawberry-ice, so to speak. At half-eclipse the moon was like a gilded acorn in its cup [FE Ch. IV p.65].
The N.Y. World, p.8 ran “Twain Very Ill,” an interview datelined Vancouver, B.C, Aug. 28 [Scharnhorst, Interviews 192-6].
September 5 Thursday – Sept. 5. Closing in on the equator this noon. A sailor explained to a young girl that the ship’s speed is poor because we are climbing up the bulge toward the center of the globe; but that when we should once get over, at the equator, and start down-hill, we should fly. …
Afternoon. Crossed the equator. In the distance it looked like a blue ribbon stretched across the ocean. Several passengers kodak’d it. We had no fool ceremonies, no fantastics, no horseplay [FE Ch. IV p.65-6].
Note: Paine gives the equator crossing as Sept. 6 MTB 1009; Sam’s notebook entry of Sept. 6: “Crossed the equator at 4 p.m. yesterday. Clara kodaked it” [NB 35 TS 43].
Sam then wrote of games of deck shuffleboard, which he called “horse-billiards.”
Livy wrote to Susan Crane:
This afternoon about four we shall cross the equator. … Mr. Clemens seems entirely well again of his cold. I do trust that he is not going to be subject to those colds. He is pretty cheerful — in fact he appears entirely cheerful — but underneath he has a steady, unceasing feeling that he is never going to be able to pay his debts. I do not feel so…. [MTP].
September 6 Friday – On the R.M.S. Warrimoo, Sam’s notebook records scores from a “First Championship” of deck shuffleboard, with daughter Clara’s 109 score the winner [NB 35 TS 45].
September 7 Saturday – On the R.M.S. Warrimoo, Sam’s notebook records scores from a “Sept. 7” of deck shuffleboard, this time with Sam winning’s score of 111. “There were others. The winners being reduced to 2 — Thomas & me, we played it off & he won” [NB 35 TS 45].
The week before Twain was to arrive in Sydney Harbour, [R.S.] Smythe unleashed a barrage of publicity about the visit, setting the pattern for the entire Australasian tour. Pictures adorned any available post or flat surface; advertisements appeared in classified sections; and news releases along with portraits were supplied to obliging editors [At Home 23].
September 8 Sunday – Sam’s notebook on the R.M.S. Warrimoo:
Sept. 8. To-day’s Sunday & tomorrow’s Tuesday. It is said that Monday is dropt out because the sailors don’t like to lose their Sunday holiday — as if they couldn’t have it just as well as an ostensible Sunday as on a real one [NB 35 TS 46]
Sept. 8. — Sunday. We are moving so nearly south that we cross only about two meridians of longitude a day. This morning we were in longitude 178 west from Greenwich, and 57 degrees west from San Francisco. Tomorrow we shall be close to the center of the globe — the 180th degree of west longitude and 180th degree of east longitude.
And then we must drop out a day — lose a day out of our lives, a day never to be found again. We shall all die one day earlier than from the beginning of time we were foreordained to die. We shall be a day behind all through eternity. We shall always be saying to the other angels, “Fine day to-day,” and they will always be retorting, “But it isn’t to-day, it’s to-morrow.” We shall be in a state of confusion all the time and shall never know what true happiness is [FE Ch. IV p.74-5].
September 9 Monday – FE Ch. IV p.75 denotes this day skipped for crossing the international date line.
Yesterday afternoon [Sept. 9] we passed two islands of the Horne Group — Alofa & Fortuna. On the large one are two rival native kings. There is no harbor, & the islands are not hogged by any European power. All the natives are Catholics — several French missionaries [NB 35 TS 48].
September 10 Tuesday – Next Day. Sure enough, it has happened. Yesterday it was September 8, Sunday; to-day it is September 10, Tuesday. There is something uncanny about it. And uncomfortable. In fact, nearly unthinkable, and wholly unrealizable, when one comes to consider it [FE Ch. IV p.75].
September 11 Wednesday – Sept. 11. We are moving steadily southward — getting further and further down under the projecting paunch of the globe. Yesterday evening we saw the Big Dipper and the north star sink below the horizon and disappear from our world. No, not “we,” but they. They saw it — somebody saw it — and told me about it. …My interest was all in the Southern Cross. I had never seen that….We saw the Cross to-night, and it is not large. Not large but strikingly bright.
For a day or two we have been plowing among an invisible vast wilderness of islands….We are moving among the Fijis now — 224 islands and islets in the group….Yesterday we passed close to an island or so, and recognized the published Fiji characteristics: a broad belt of clean white coral sand around the island; back of it a graceful fringe of leaning palms, with native huts nestling cosily among the shrubbery at their bases; back of these a stretch of level land clothed in tropic vegetation; back of that, rugged and picturesque mountains. …In the afternoon we sighted Suva, the capital of the group, and threaded our way into the secluded little harbor…Row-boats began to flock from the shore; their crews were the first natives we had seen. These men carried no overplus of clothing, and this was wise, for the weather was hot. …
Everybody went ashore to look around, and spy out the land, and have that luxury of luxuries to sea-voyagers — a land-dinner. …After dinner I found in the billiard-room a resident whom I had known somewhere else in the world, and presently made some new friends and drove with them out into the country to visit his Excellency the head of the State… / We sailed again, refreshed [FE Ch. V p.78; Ch VII, p.91-5, 100].
Note: In his Sept. 13 to Rogers, Sam wrote:
Found a letter in Fiji from my agent [R.S. Smythe] notifying me I was advertised to lecture in Sydney Sept.8 — five days ago. I can’t do it [MTP].
Sam’s notebook entry about Louis Becke quoted by Gribben: “Mark Twain was at first uncertain about [Louis] Becke’s name. Reaching the Fiji islands in September 1895, Twain resolved to ‘quote from X’s (Beake?) two books about island life’ (NB 35 TS 48). Soon thereafter he reminded himself to ‘read Philip Beake’s delightful stories ‘Palm — forget the name’” (NB 35, TS 49) . See Sept. 18 and Sept. 24 entries.
September 12 Thursday
September 13 Friday – At sea on the Warrimoo, Sam’s notebook:
The true albatross has arrived. Has a white body & is bigger, but otherwise flies, skims one wing-tip over the water, is just like the late brown one. Gets into the water quicker, though. The brown one settles into it gingerly as he might into a sitz-bath which he was afraid was too hot. / We wear heavy clothes & sleep under blankets these last 2 days. The white linen has all disappeared. / Read Philip Beake’s [sic] delightful stories “Palm — forget the name. /Longitude to-day, Sept. 13. 165 East. So we are counting from the other direction now. Lat. 27 S [NB 35 TS 49]. Note: Louis Becke’s 1895 By Reef and Palm [Gribben 54].
Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added to on Sept. 14 and 15. The voyage had been blessed with a “rich abundance of sunshine and moonlight.” Sam noted the wearing of white linen, and the big audience disappointed at Honolulu. He wrote of the “half a day in Fiji,” calling it “a lovely island & splendid stalwart natives, a fine race, both sexes.” He also noted losing a day crossing the international dateline.
Mrs. Clemens & Clara have enjoyed the voyage; & perhaps Clara would not object if we had to take it over again. Amusements — reading, shuffleboard & cards [MTHHR 187].
September 14 Saturday – At sea on the Warrimoo, Sam added to his Sept. 13 a letter to H.H. Rogers, that he would finish Sept. 15: “Shuffleboarding is rather violent exercise for me,” and related that he won the best two of three games with another tournament winner, and was dubbed “Champion of the South Seas” [MTHHR 187: See NB 35 TS 49].
W. Vernon of the Travellers Club in London wrote (from Paris) a rather convoluted letter to Sam, sending personal examples of “mental telegraphy,” as well as a “line of introduction from Mr. Bret Harte,” which read:
My dear Clemens, / I think Mr. Vernon quite explains himself, but I may add that he is very much interested in your specialties and just as smart as in his suggestions [MTP].
September 15 Sunday – At sea on the Warrimoo, Sam finished his Sept. 13-14 letter to H.H. Rogers:
Atlantic seas on to-day — the first we have had. And yet not really rough. Satchels keep their places and do not go browsing around….Clara “fetched away” from the piano stool while playing the hymns at divine service.
Though James B. Pond was three years younger, Sam called him “superannuated,” without “any sand or any intelligence or judgment,” and wondered who he would get should he lecture “through America next year” [MTHHR 188].
FE Ch. IX p.110: Sept. 15 — Night. Close to Australia now. Sydney 50 miles distant. [Sam then described seeing the flash of porpoises in the dark sea]. The porpoise is the kitten of the sea; he never has a serious thought, he cares for nothing but fun and play. But I think I never saw him at his winsomest until that night. It was near a center of civilization, and he could have been drinking.
The Warrimoo anchored in the Sydney harbor, Watson’s Bay at 11 p.m. The Clemens party spent the night on board. Shillingsburg lists an interview conducted this evening by Herbert Low from the “little Post Office launch’ hired by Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Argus, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sept. 16, p.5 “Arrival of Mark Twain” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 6] Asked of his first impressions of Australia Sam answered, “I don’t know. I’m ready to adopt any that seem handy. I don’t believe in going outside accepted views.” In this first interview Sam created some controversy, with remarks about Max O’Rell (Paul Blouët), Bret Harte and others [At Home 24].
NOTE on sources: Miriam Shillingsburg’s excellent (1988) Mark Twain in Australiasia: At Home Abroad, together with MTJ (Fall, 1995) “Down Under Day By Day with Mark Twain” are the primary sources for this segment of the world tour. There is no better exposition of newspaper reviews or daily log. For items not individually cited, the reader should reference her works. I have retained Shillingsburg’s “probable” events or mentions, and given emphasis to time, place, event and substance — working in all known, available letters to and from Samuel Clemens from other sources. From this point on, the deluge of newspaper reviews, articles and interviews on Mark Twain precludes complete citation or excerpting here. See also Scharnhorst for many interviews.
September 16 Monday – Sydney was then a city of about 380,000. In Sydney Harbor, after breakfast aboard the Warrimoo and with a reporter for the Sydney Evening News, the Clemens party disembarked and arrived at the Circular Quay, Sydney Harbor, at about 7 a.m. [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 6]. Paine writes they “landed in a pouring rain the breaking up of a fierce drought. Clemens announced that he had brought Australia good-fortune, and should expect something in return” [MTB 1009]. (For Sam’s comments on the Max O’Rell controversy, including a duel challenged, see Shillingsburg’s At Home, etc. p.26-7).
At 11 a.m. Sam shared cocktails at the bar in the Australia Hotel with two friends, possibly R.S. Smythe and his son, Carlyle G. Smythe, and Herbert Low. The party then went on a sightseeing tour around Town Hall, the Domain, Mrs. MacQuarie’s Chair, and the Circular Quay with Herbert Low, other acquaintances, and a reporter from the Sydney Daily Telegraph. At 3 p.m. back at the Australia Hotel, Sam gave an interview to Herbert Low and others: unnamed reporters for the Melbourne Argus and Sydney Morning Herald, and the Sydney Daily Telegraph (widely reprinted) which were all published Sept. 17. On this day, the Australian Star, p.5 ran a notice this day of the Warrimoo docking; and the Daily Telegraph, p.4 ran a promotional sketch [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 6].
Around noon Sam invited the Sydney Daily Telegraph reporter to go with him to be photographed at Falk’s Studio, owned by H. Walter Barnett. Shillingsburg writes that while at the studio Sam made “remarks on protectionism that would provoke an angry diatribe the next afternoon [Sept. 17] from a rival paper, the Australian Star.”
I don’t profess to be learned in matters of this kind…but my instinct teaches me that protection is wrong. Surely it is wrong that on the Pacific slope they should be compelled to bring their iron from the east when they might get it landed at a much lower price direct from foreign ships at their own door [At Home 29 ]. Note: the remarks landed Sam in the hot water of local politics. See source, p.29.
Clara and Livy were then sent for and also sat for photographs. Sam liked the outcome, judging the pictures as “a long way beyond any photographs he ever had made before.” Also, Sam may have attended Joseph of Canaan, an Australian pageant, performed at Her Majesty’s. Sam was also met at Cooper’s Wharf by “genteel cadgers” requesting a loan, as reported in The Sydney Worker Apr. 2, 1908, p.11.
The Clemens family took rooms at the Australia Hotel, Castlereagh St., Sydney [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 6].
September 17 Tuesday – In Sydney, Australia, Sam gave an interview, possibly fabricated, with “Asmodeus” of Sunday Truth. The Australian Star, p.4 ran an editorial against Sam’s free trade opinions. In the afternoon, Livy and Clara joined a crowd of the Society of Artists at a private showing of Ethel A. Stephens’ work at her studio. Sam may have spent the evening in the smoking room of the Australia Hotel, swapping tales and discussing a Mark Twain impersonator from Melbourne [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 6-7].
September 18 Wednesday – In Sydney, Australia, Sam gave an interview at 2 p.m. with Louis Becke whose book By Reef and Palm (1895) was a gift (See Sept. 11 entry). Another interviewer waited. Becke inscribed the title page of his book for Sam: To S.L. Clemens / from Louis Becke / Sydney Sept. 1895 [Gribben 54]. See Sept. 24 to Becke. Shillingsburg writes “The young man, who had discovered a few days ago that Twain had read the book he had once written, was probably Australian writer Louis Becke, not formally affiliated with any newspaper at that time. In other newspapers Twain repeatedly praised Becke’s volume By Reef and Palm…[At Home 38].
Sam, Livy and Clara, as guests of Admiral Cyprian Bridge, attended a tea aboard the H.M.S. Orlando. They met Lt. Gov. Madden’s party from Melbourne and Miss Carter, Captain Fisher and others.
In the evening Sam dined at the Athenæum Club, with 100 members and guests, including Irish politician Michael Davitt, Edmund Barton, QC (to become first prime minister of Austr.), Justice William Windeyer, Atty.. Gen. J.H. Want, QC. Sam responded to the toast of “Our Guest” in an “extremely felicitous speech”; exchanged toasts with Windeyer, Barton and with the “Great Hi Ham,” Sir Henry Parkes. Parks presented Sam with a copy of Sonnets and Other Verse while at the Club. Parkes was 80 years old, and “His biography sounds enough like Twain’s to leave little wonder the two found instant companionship” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 7; At Home 38-9].
About the best humorous speeches I have yet heard were a couple that were made in Australia at club suppers — one of them by an Englishman, the other by an Australian [FE ch. XI, 131]. Note: Shillingsburg suggests, “Most likely the Australian was J.L. Dow…” .
In St. Louis, Elizabeth R. Webber Lampton, 75-year-old widow of James J. Lampton (inspiration for Col. Sellers) followed him in death, bronchitis the cause [Lampton, MTJ (Fall 1989) p37].
September 19 Thursday – In Sydney, Australia, Sam gave the first of some 30 performances down-under at Protestant Hall on Castlereagh St. The lecture was titled, “Mark Twain at Home” (No.1). The hall “easily seating 2000,” the “best hall in Sydney”. Tickets sold from 1-5 shillings. Fatout writes of Sam’s Sydney engagements:
“In Sydney nine days, he spoke four times to audiences resplendent in full dress and patent leather shoes, the social aspect enhanced by advertising performances as ‘Mark Twain At Home.’ People came in from points distant over a hundred miles. Two faithful listeners everywhere were Livy and Clara, who acted as scouts reporting on the varying effects of readings, and of pauses in the stories of the golden arm and grandfather’s old ram” [Lecture Circuit 253].
Several newspapers reviewed the performance, including: the Australian Star, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Evening News, Argus — all on Sept. 20, and the Melbourne Punch on Sept. 26.
Shillingsburg adds this: “May have been the day on which Twain went fishing at Bondi and heard several shark stories, the germ of the story of Cecil Rhodes (FE, ch 13); claimed to have caught a fish himself” [“Down Under” 7]. She also writes that “Clara sent a note for Twain to Ethel [Sybil] Turner thanking her for her book Seven Little Australians” (see Sam’s Sept. 24 to Turner) . The Australian Star, the same newspaper which had editorialized angrily about Sam’s stance on protectionism reported on Sept. 20:
…such an ovation, such an outburst of uncontrollable enthusiasm as but rarely comes within the experience of the average man. The man’s work and the feeling of it was evidently in the hearts of his audience, who not only cheered but waved hats and handkerchiefs as he stepped out from behind the Stars and Stripes [Shillingsburg, At Home 41-2].
September 20 Friday – In Sydney, Australia, the Clemens family went sightseeing around the city, and lunched with H. Pateson, manager of the New South Wales Fresh Food and Ice Co. on Harbor St., with several other ladies and gentlemen. In Ch. 11 of FE Sam commented on the market; refrigeration used there was only about twelve years old at the time, and made it possible for meat to be shipped to England. Sam gave an interview to a Sunday Times reporter, which was published on Sept. 22 as, “A Chat With Mark Twain.”
In the evening the Clemens family attended the social season’s second ball at the Government House for 600 guests. Livy wore a “white figured silk” gown; Clara a “buttercup satin, with cream lace” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 8]. “The occasion marked the social debut of Sir Frederick and Lady Darley’s youngest daughter Sylvia and five other young ladies.” The newspapers reported a gathering of 600 [Shillingsburg, At Home 50]. (Editorial emphasis.)
September 21 Saturday – In Sydney, Australia, Sam gave the second performance of “Mark Twain at Home” No. 2 at a filled Protestant Hall on Castlereagh St. Shillingsburg estimates Sam grossed about £300 from each Protestant Hall performance [At Home 52].
Reviews published on Sept. 23: Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian Star, and the Sydney Evening News. Louis Becke’s int., “A Talk About His Books,” ran in the Evening News, p.3 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 8].
Livy and Clara attended the Australian Jockey Club’s annual spring derby at Randwick with Miss Carter and Vice-Regal party of Victoria (Maddens). Clara recorded that the family also attended polo matches [MFMT 144]. Shillingsburg notes they may have seen a horse named “Mark Twain” place third in the steeplechase [At Home 51].
September 21-24 Tuesday – Shillingsburg notes: “Family lunched with Sir Henry Parkes probably sometime between Sept. 21-24…Twain is supposed to have ‘spent many pleasant hours during his too-short stay’ fishing with J.F. Archibald at his Cronulla cottage” [“Down Under” 8]. (Editorial emphasis.)
September 22 Sunday – In Sydney, Australia, several interviews were published:
“A Chat With Mark Twain” in the Sunday Times; “Our Telephone,” also in Sunday Times (possibly a fabrication), and “Our American Cousin,” Sunday Truth. The Sunday Times also reviewed “Mark Twain at Home” lecture [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 9].
September 23 Monday – In Sydney, Australia the Clemens family were again guests of Admiral Cyprian A. Bridge and the officers of the H.M.S. Orlando. Livy and Clara stayed on the ship for the six o’clock dance with the band of the H.M.S. Oriana. They met the wife and daughters of Lt. Gov. Darley, Lt. Gov. Madden’s wife and daughter of Victoria Province; Mr. & Mrs. S. McCulloch and others. It was windy but without rain.
Sam left the Orlando to lecture. He gave the third performance of “Mark Twain at Home” (No. 3) at Protestant Hall, on Castlereagh St., advertised “With an Entirely New Programme.” Shillingsburg writes that the No. 3 program:
“…became the favorite on Twain’s tour throughout Australasia. An overcrowded house of sweltering listeners heart a ‘sort of continuation of the [lecture] preceding it’…Laying his spectacles, his watch, and a book on the table — apparently a new flourish — Twain began what would become known as the ‘Morals Lecture,’ with some off-handed comments about how the events of boyhood ‘crop up later on in the form of maxims to guide his future life’….This introduced the stolen green watermelon story followed by Adam’s diary in Eden, which Twain read from his book. Jim, Huck, and Tom contemplating a crusade to the Holy Land, ‘The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,’ which was ‘funnier still,’ and the blue jay story followed, and the reviewers from the morning papers — no doubt meeting a deadline — gave rather detailed reports of these” [At Home 44-5].
Reviews published on Sept. 24: Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian Star, and the Sydney Evening News. This performance introduced the “Australian Poem”; the program is listed in Sam’s NB 35 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 9].
September 24 Tuesday – In Sydney, Australia Sam wrote a paragraph of thanks to journalist and author Louis Becke for his inscribed gift copy of By Reef and Palm. Sam declared that the book “stands the test of a third reading, whereas few are the books that can do that” [MTP]. Shillingsburg writes that the columnist “Asmodeus” from the Truth, claimed to have “strolled around to interview the man” on this day [At Home 37].
Sam also wrote a letter of thanks to Ethel Sybil Turner, saying he was going to enjoy her book, Seven Little Australians (1984) [MTP; Gribben 719]. Note: Turner, then 22, would become a prolific writer of children’s books.
In the evening Sam gave the fourth performance of the “first program” (No. 1) “Mark Twain at Home” at a filled Protestant Hall, on Castlereagh St. This performance was attended by a “fashionable company” from Government House, “immediately in front of the platform,” including the Lt. Gov. and Lady Darley.
Reviews published Sept. 25: Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian Star, and the Sydney Evening News [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 9-10].
The Morning Herald of Sept 24 reported:
He doesn’t travel over the same ground; in fact, he doesn’t travel over any ground. He mounts a balloon and throws out anecdotes, story, incident, scraps of dialogue, short readings from his books, and spontaneous (at any rate they seem spontaneous) observation [Shillingsburg, At Home 47].
September 25 Wednesday – In Sydney, Australia the Clemens family spent the day packing for a trip to Melbourne. Sam was trying to “stave off an attack by a new carbuncle on his calf” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 10; At Home 52].
At 11 a.m. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers obviously responding to a letter (not extant). Sam was happy Rogers enjoyed his reunion at the Fairhaven High School, where he read Sam’s “Californian’s Tale.” Sam wrote of a new carbuncle “half way between my left knee and ancle, right astride a big tendon.” He was in bed while Livy and the maid packed trunks.
We have had a darling time here for a week — and really I am almost in love with the platform again.
Mrs. Clemens has sent you the newspapers; so I’ve nothing to write about. Well, that isn’t so; I’ve got lots to write about, but I’ve never had a moment’s time that was honestly and positivey mine since I arrived. I don’t know what would become of me but for Mrs. Clemens and Clara; they slave away answering letters for me half the day and night and paying not only their own calls but as many of mine as can be brought within their jurisdiction. I work at my lectures all I can, trying to get them to a point that will suit me [MTHHR 188-9].
Shillingsburg writes on Livy’s roles as censor and assistant to Mark Twain during this leg of the tour:
“Mrs. Clemens not only saw to the everyday needs of her family, but she also took over as much of Twain’s work as she could. After the faux pas over Bret Harte she seems even to have ‘interrupted’ interviews before her husband said something that might offend the public whose good will they had come to cultivate. Besides scolding him about the ‘great mistake you made,’ in voicing his opinion about Harte, it was reported that when he was asked about Max O’Rell, she ‘divined what he was going to say, smothered the word by placing a delicate hand over his mouth, at the same time telling the writer to be sure not to put that in’” [At Home 51].
The Clemens family left the Australia Hotel at 4:30 p.m. with R.S. Smythe and took the evening train, the Sydney Express, which they would discover was a misnomer [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 10]. Shillingsburg writes, “Twain later described the train as ‘American’ because it had ‘a most rational sleeping car; … clean, and fine, and new…But our baggage was weighed and extra weight charged for. That was continental. Continental and troublesome’” [At Home 53]. Note: Shillingsburg quotes from the Chatto & Windus version of FE, or, More Tramps Abroad p.91; the page numbers are not the same for these first editions.
September 26 Thursday – At 5 a.m. in Albury, Australia, the Clemens party switched trains to a different track gauge train for the remainder of the trip to Melbourne. On a “bitterly cold night,” Livy had an attack of rheumatism. Another stop was made near Seymour for breakfast, where “Aubrey,” a Melbourne journalist, (probably Herbert Low) joined the party, bringing a copy of Punch, and conversing with Livy and Clara; He also interviewed Sam on the train.
The Clemens party arrived at the Spencer Street Station in Melbourne at about 2 p.m., and was met by 200 people, including members of the Institute of Journalists, which included vice president S.V. Winter, owner of the Melbourne Herald; John Lamont Dow, editor of the Leader, agricultural weekly owned Melbourne’s Age; the American consul Daniel W. Maratta; and Robinson Hoare. Melbourne was the largest city in Australia in 1895, with nearly a half-million residents. It was also a city with sprawl. It featured “high-rise” buildings as tall as twelve stories, with high-speed elevators. It had four daily newspapers and over twenty weeklies or monthlies [Shillingsburg, At Home 61].
They took rooms at the Menzies Hotel on Latrobe Street, where Sam was interviewed in bed by a Melbourne Age reporter (see interview in Scharnhorst p.232). Sam’s carbuncle had flared up due to fitful sleep on the train. Sam smoked and rested up for his Sept. 27 lecture; he read For the Term of His Natural Life [ibid].
Interviews published on Sept. 26: Melbourne Evening News: “Mark Twain. In the Sydney Express. Met by ‘Aubrey’ of the ‘News,’”; Melbourne Herald Standard: “Tramp in Melbourne…The Laughing Jackass. Wouldn’t Laugh at him!” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 10]
September 27 Friday – In Melbourne Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” No.1 lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Bourke St. Livy and Clara were in the audience. The lecture was attended by Edward FitzGibbon, Hon. James Service, Sir James Patterson (all former premiers); Hon. C.J., Mrs. and Misses Ham; Mr., Mrs., Miss Aitkin. Sam’s program was listed in his NB 35. The lecture was reviewed by Age, Evening News, Argus, The Leader, Melbourne Herald — all on Sept. 28; the Weekly Times, and the Australasian, both on Oct. 5.
Interviews published on Sept. 27: Melbourne Evening News: “Aubrey’ Going to ‘Seymour’ of Him,”; the Age: “Mark Twain: Arrival in Melbourne”; Herald Standard: “Tramp in Melbourne … Things in General” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 11].
September 28 Saturday – Sam gave his second Melbourne performance of “Mark Twain At Home” No.1 lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Bourke St. After the lecture Sam attended the Yorick Club supper at Cathedral Hotel with 85 members — from the medical, legal, journalism, academia, military, public service, and dramatic arts professions were there. Sam met Harry Foster, Minister of Mines. Toasts were given by E.G. FitzGibbon, Mr. Deakin, Theodore Fink, Judge Molesworth, Prof. Kernot; and music by Mr. Kaye. Sam made a long speech, joking about his carbuncle; reported verbatim in the Oct. 5 Australasian. The event itself was reported in Age on this date and in Argus on Sept. 30.
Reviews of the lecture published Sept. 30: Age; Argus; Melbourne Evening News; and Melbourne Herald; On Oct. 3 by Melbourne Punch [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 11].
September 29 Sunday – The Clemens party rested at the Menzies Hotel in Melbourne.
September 30 Monday – Sam gave a Melbourne performance of “Mark Twain At Home” (No.2) lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Bourke St. Harry Foster sat on stage due to an overflow crowd. Sam included his “Australian Poem.”
Reviews of the lecture published on Oct. 1: Age; Argus; Melbourne Evening News; and Melbourne Herald; On Oct. 5 by Advocate [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 11-12].
This may have been the day that Sam, Livy and Clara had photographs made by Falk Photographers. On Oct. 3 he wrote to H. Walter Barnett of the Melbourne Co. objecting to the display of Livy and Clara’s photograph. See entry.
Louis Becke wrote to Sam from Pfahlert’s Hotel in Sydney, Australia:
Many thanks for your kind and encouraging letter. I need not tellyou how I will value it, and also how very much I appreciate the kindly words you have said about my future
I am sending you another little book in a few days, and Fisher Unwin of London will also send you a collaborated novel of mine called “A First Fleet Family” which he writes me is issuing about 28th of this month… I feel quite sure that you have forgiven me that interview; however like one of Captain Marryat’s characters says in “Midshipman Easy” “it was such a little one” [MTP].
October – Sam’s notebook:
Punch (Melbourne) & Bulletin (Sydney) good papers. Good & bright cartoons in both [Gribben 462; NB 34 TS 14].
D.F. Hannigan wrote “Mark Twain as a Critic” in the Free Review p.39-43, in response to Sam’s “The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper” in the July North American Review. Hannigan conceded that “Mark Twain possesses a gift which Cooper lacked” [Tenney 24].
October 1 Tuesday – On a rainy night Sam gave a Melbourne performance of “Mark Twain At Home” (No.2) lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Bourke St., a repeat of Monday’s event.
Reviews published on Oct. 2: Age; Melbourne Evening News [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 12].
October 2 Wednesday – Sam gave a Melbourne performance of “Mark Twain At Home” lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Bourke Street. Sam opened the lecture by praising Australian writer Marcus Clarke. Sam’s notebook: “It was a sweater! And all because of an idiotic advertisement mixing the two lectures.” This was the No. 2 program with some added pieces. Note: Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke (1846-1881), author of For the Term of His Natural Life (1893). Gribben writes:
Clara Clemens recalled attending a play based on Clarke’s novel in Melbourne; she and her parents found it “gruesome” but “did not…regret” having seen it (MFMT p.145). Clemens’ own notes reveal that they saw the performance in Sydney: “Even when the chain-gang were humorous they were still a most pathetic sight…That old convict life…[was] invented in hell & carried out by Xtian devils” (NB 36 [December 1895] TS 5). .
Reviews published on Oct. 3: Age; Melbourne Evening News [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 12].
October 3 Thursday – Near Melbourne, Clara Clemens played two piano solos at a tea given by Mrs. S. McCulloch at Toorak. Livy attended. Sam wrote to H. Walter Barrett of Falk’s Photography, asking him to remove photographs of Livy and Clara from his window [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 12].
She [Livy] is not used to publicity, & cannot get reconciled to it. / I will snatch this opportunity to thank you for those pictures of me which you sent. They are much the best ones I have ever had [MTP].
Sam’s notebook records £437.13.6 sent to T.A. Dibbs, Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney to forward to H.H. Rogers to pay debts [NB 35 TS 56].
“How to Tell a Story” ran in Youth’s Companion (Sam wrote this piece on Feb. 8, 1894) [LLMT 294n18; Budd, Collected 2: 1003].
October 4 Friday – The Clemens party was still at the Menzies Hotel in Melbourne. Sam’s carbuncle problem caused the cancellation of a performance planned for Bendigo’s Masonic Hall. Dr. N.T. Fitzgerald froze, lanced, injected opium, and prescribed plasters for Sam’s carbuncle, which Livy dutifully applied for several weeks. Sam stayed out of the public eye and recovered enough to travel by Oct. 11 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 12; At Home 72].
October 5 Saturday – In Melbourne Sam evidently dined with the John H. Wagner’s, including daughter Sue McCulloch. Sam commented on the table décor and also noted another £259.9.6 from R.S. Smythe [NB 35 TS 56].
Reviews published: Yorick Club speech published “exclusively” in the Australasian; also in Ballarat Courier. A compendium review of Melbourne’s season ran in the Australasian; short review by “Tapley” in The Advocate a Catholic paper; The Leader reprinted a Sept. 28 review from Age [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 12].
October 6 Sunday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel, Sam wrote to Miss Buckley:
I am so disappointed. I was fully expecting to be there & have my share of the good times, this afternoon, but I am obliged to lose that pleasure. I have spent the last few days in bed trying to check a very persistent carbuncle — with no success…
[Note: Sam hoped to call on Miss Buckley before leaving Melbourne]. [MTP; Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13 provides the correct date].
October 7 Monday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel, Sam was still abed. A scheduled performance in Geelong’s Exhibition Theatre was postponed tentatively until Oct. 17, due to Sam’s health. This was done by use of handbills and a telegram from Dr. N.T. Fitzgerald printed in the Evening Star. R.S. Smythe had been in Geelong since Oct. 4 making arrangements [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13].
Livy wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore: envelope only survives [MTP].
Livy sent Mollie Clemens (though envelope is to Orion) a photograph inscribed (later in Orion’s hand?), “Residence of Ferdinand Meyer / Chestnut St. St. Louis Mo. / This house was opposite our house. / I could see it when I could not see our own” [MTP]. The envelope is postmarked Melbourne, Oct. 7; and bears, “Received in Keokuk / November 18, 1895”
October 8 Tuesday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel, Sam was still laid up. Another cancellation had to be made, this time at Horsham for the Oct. 10 performance. On Oct. 11 it was announced that it was rescheduled for Oct. 17 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13].
October 9 Wednesday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel, Sam’s recorded comments on Sunday laws, horse racing, Australian settlement, the Melbourne Cup Race, and his confinement due to his carbuncle [NB 35]. FE would contain entries about Australian horse-racing and Sabbath-keeping. Dr. N.T. Fitzgerald’s telegram on Sam’s health was published in Adelaide [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13].
October 10 Thursday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel Sam was visited by Justice William Windeyer (of Sydney), who explained the Dean poisoning case (see At Home p.77-8). Other visitors included: Edmund Barton who later gave Sam a file about the case (see notebook entry below); John H. Wagner Jr., R.S. Smythe and son Carlyle G. Smythe; Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Sue McCulloch, and other ladies [NB 35]. Sam caught up with his journal writing and reading. His notebook suggests he was able to be a dinner guest at the Wagner’s [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13].
Sam’s notebook entry:
Mr. Edmund Barton called. He is going to get me a full file of the [Melbourne] Age containing the Dean case [Gribben 462; NB 35 TS 58].
October 11 Friday – Sam was finally well enough to travel, this time a seventeen-hour train ride to Adelaide. Before he left Melbourne at 4:30 p.m. he was given a farewell luncheon at the Government House, hosted by Lt. Gov. Samuel J. Way with Rev. W.H. Fitchett, Justice William Windeyer, Rev. John Watsford, parliamentarians. Jokes and cartoons appeared on this event in the Adelaide Advertiser for Oct. 12.
Dr. N.T. Fitzgerald left the train at his “mighty estate” outside Melbourne. During the overnight train ride Sam made notes about the vegetation and flat plains [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 13].
October 12 Saturday – The Clemens party was expected in Adelaide, Australia, but left the train at Aldgate, some 20 miles southeast of the city at 10:30 a.m. local time. They traveled twelve miles through the hilly countryside to Adelaide in an open carriage with C.A. Murphy, the American consul. In Adelaide, the Clemens party was welcomed by local gentlemen at the South Australian Club Hotel, and took rooms there. Livy and Clara received flower baskets from two little daughters of Murphy. Clara discussed horses and bicycles with a reporter from the South Australian Register, who, with another reporter from the Advertiser, interviewed Sam reclining on a sofa at the Club Hotel. The reporters, impressed with his drawl, called it “a constant protest against the hurry and worry of the nineteenth century,” and judged it as more pronounced in private than on the platform [Shillingsburg, At Home 75].
Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 1) performance at the Theatre Royal, with 40 people and a bouquet of flowers sitting on the stage with him, including Lt. Gov. Samuel J. Way. Ticket prices were 5, 3, and 2 shillings. After the lecture there was a social gathering late into the night “amongst friends with whom wit was rampant.” Shillingsburg writes: “This probably was at Fletcher’s Hotel, where the lights went out.” She also suggests this was when Sam received Christ, Christians, and Christianity from Edward Planta Nesbit (see Oct. 13 to Nesbit), and that he “probably visited with Windeyer again, possibly at his hotel” . Reviews published on Oct. 14: Advertiser, South Australian Register [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 14].
October 13 Sunday – In Adelaide at the S. Australian Club Hotel, Sam wrote to Edward Planta Nesbit, Adelaide writer, thanking him for the book received, probably the night before.
I am grateful for the book & also for the pleasant words which you have written on the fly-leaf.
Sam added he knew Livy would take the book first to read but added a PS that since he had to go to bed for hours he was “allowed to have the book, & am reading it with keen enjoyment” [MTP].
October 14 Monday – In the afternoon in Adelaide, Sam was welcomed by about 20 city officials at the Mayor’s Parlor: Premier C.C. Kingston, R.S. Smythe, American Consul C.A. Murphy, Chief Secretary J.H. Gordon, Mr. Handyside, Alderman Tomkinson, Mayor C. Tucker, Councilor Johnson, and others. Sam responded to a toast by Mayor Tucker, complimenting Adelaide, its beautiful buildings and excellent drainage — reported by the S. Australian Register, Oct. 15.
In the evening Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 2) program at the Theatre Royal, again with Lt. Gov. Samuel J. Way in attendance, and again a full house.
Reviews published Oct. 15: South Australian Register; Evening Journal, Advertiser [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 14].
October 15 Tuesday – In Adelaide Sam lunched with the Ministry, perhaps the guest of acting-governor Samuel J. Way, the civic authorities, and the Adelaide Club, or, entertained by “Government House, the Municipality, Press and Parliament, Bench and Bar,” as reported by Geelong Advertiser, Oct. 24 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 15].
In the evening Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 1) program to a capacity crowd at the Theatre Royal, ticket prices were 5, 3, and 2 shillings.
Reviews published Oct. 16: Advertiser, Telegraph, and on Oct. 19: Chronicle [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 15].
October 16 Wednesday – In Adelaide Sam wrote to James Sadler (1860-1935), thanking him for the book, Lyrics and Rhymes: Some Annals of Adelaide, etc. (1890) and the “most pleasant hour that we spent together.” Sam was glad to have the book, and wrote that Livy “has completed the volume by pasting the poem ‘To Mark Twain’ in it” [MTP].
Sam gave a matinee performance of “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 2) to a capacity crowd at the Theatre Royal, all tickets were “second class,” in other words, cheaper. Livy and Clara did not attend due to a carriage ride with Lt. Gov. Samuel J. Way which made them late.
R.S. Smythe sailed at 1:15 p.m. aboard the Cuzco to Melbourne to arrange matinee for Oct. 26. The Clemens party left Adelaide on the train at 4:30 p.m. headed for Horsham, where they would arrive at 2:30 a.m. the next day. A large crowd bid them farewell at the station, including Gov. Way, Minister Jenkins, Consul C.A. Murphy and other “leading citizens.”
Reviews published Oct. 17: Express and Telegraph [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 15].
October 17 Thursday – The Clemens party arrived in Horsham, Australia at 2:30 a.m. They were met by Herbert Cooke, secretary of Mechanics’ Institute, and a companion, possibly Mr. Eddie, president of that organization. The Clemenses took rooms at Lucas’ White Hart Hotel.
About noon the Clemenses took an open carriage ride of eight miles with T.K. Dow and others to Longerenong Agricultural College, to share tea with 40 students. Livy and Clara received flowers and candy at the school, and they watched the sophomores shear a dozen sheep. In FE, Ch. XXIII p.224-6, Sam wrote of the drive out to the college, the temperature 92 degrees yet he felt no heat, “the air was fine and pure and exhilarating.” Sam goes on to describe the 40 pupils as mostly “young men mainly from the cities — novices” of “good stuff…above the agricultural average of intelligence.”
Horsham was the smallest town Sam spoke in during his Australasian tour (about 3,000 population) but when he gave his “At Home With Mark Twain” lecture at the Mechanics’ Institute (ticket prices 3s, 2s), the house was “crammed.” Livy called Horsham the most enthusiastic audience yet, and visited with townspeople after the performance. After the lecture Sam was toasted over wine by T.K. Dow and about a dozen townsfolk. He “responded in a sympathetic, appreciative and highly characteristic speech.” Sam was in good health for the first time in weeks, though his Geelong appearance of Oct. 17 was again postponed until Oct. 28.
Reviews published Oct. 18: Horsham Times, Wimmera Star; Oct. 25 West Wimmera Mail [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 15-6].
October 18 Friday – The Clemenses breakfasted in Horsham, Australia, with Sam commenting on weak coffee and poor accommodations [NB 34 TS 17]. They left Horsham around 11:30 a.m. by train, arriving in Stawell (40 miles from Horsham; population 5,300) about 3 p.m., thirty minutes late. Mayor Councilor H. Menzies and other councilors, met the Clemenses. Livy and Clara were taken immediately to their rooms at the Commercial Hotel, where they probably dined. Sam was welcomed at Town Hall by Harry Foster minister of mines for the colony, parliamentarian Burton, and private citizens of Stawell. Sam had met Foster at least twice in Melbourne. Toasts were made and Sam responded “with much feeling” that he “thought he had been coming to a nation of strangers, but found himself a nation of comrades” [Shillingsburg, At Home 96].
In the afternoon Clara took a walk and tried to rescue a prostrated sheep by ending its life with ether, but when the owner came along he laughed and put the sheep upright, showing her it only needed to be helped up [MFMT 146-8].
People came from up to 150 miles to hear Mark Twain. In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in the Stawell Town Hall. Welcome toasts were given at the Town Hall and Sam responded, complimenting “a nation of comrades.”
Reviews published Oct. 19: Stawell News and Pleasant Creek Chronicle; Oct. 21 Stawell Times and Wimmera Advertiser [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 16].
October 19 Saturday – Sam hated the town tours he was forced to take everywhere. In Stawell, Australia he took another tour, but this one over countryside with Mayor Menzies and Harry Foster, to Great Western Vineyards, some eight miles from Stawell. Mr. and Mrs. Hans Irvine owned the winery. His notebook entry claims he met the richest woman in Australia in Stawell [NB 34 TS 17].
Stawell is in the gold-mining country. In the bank-safe was half a peck of surface-gold — gold dust, grain gold; rich; pure in fact, and pleasant to sift through one’s fingers; and it would be pleasanter if it would stick. And there were a couple of gold bricks, very heavy to handle, and worth $7,500 a piece. They were from a very valuable quartz mine; a lady owns two-thirds of it; she has an income of $75,000 a month from it, and is able to keep house.
The Stawell region is not productive of gold only; it has great vineyards, and produces exceptionally fine wines. One of these vineyards — the Great Western, owned by Mr. Irving — is regarded as a model. Its product has reputation abroad. It yields a choice champagne and a fine claret…the champagne is kept in a maze of passages under ground, cut in the rock….In those vaults I saw 120,000 bottles of champagne [FE Ch. XXIII 227-8].
The Clemenses left Stawell on the afternoon train and arrived in Ballarat (40,000 population) at 7 p.m., where the Ballarat Pioneers of California and Pioneers of Ballarat had planned a welcome the day before. After the welcome the family took rooms at Craig’s Hotel in Ballarat. Sam received a telegram from Carlyle G. Smythe that he was bringing a “portmanteau of letters for Mrs. Clemens,” their first news from home since they left North America in mid-August [Shillingsburg: “Down Under” 17; At Home 99].
October 20 Sunday – In Ballarat, Australia, Sam gave two interviews, one with J.W. Graham and the other possibly with Mr. Nivens. Sam stretched out on a hotel couch smoking both cigar and pipe, and complimented Australians as “more American than English.” The Ballarat Courier interview, “Interview with Mark Twain” Oct. 21 may be found in Scharnhorst, 240. The Ballarat Star interview, “A Chat with ‘Mark Twain,’ Impressions of Australia, also Oct. 21 is not in Scharnhorst. Were there two interviews or one this day?
Carlyle G. Smythe arrived with news that his father R.S. Smythe was in quarantine aboard the Cuzco in Sydney; thus Carlyle became the Clemenses tour guide a bit earlier than planned [Shillingsburg: “Down Under” 17; At Home 99]. From Sam’s notebook on the quarantine:
Oct. 20. Smythe Sr. is quarantined on the Cuzco — because of one case of smallpox! — a man who didn’t have it bad, & has now had it 20 days. The ship was not molested at Adelaide & another port, but Melb quarantines her. It is very curious to see enlightened communities quarantining for small pox in this day. It may be that N.Y. does it, but I don’t believe it [NB 34 TS 18].
Livy wrote to daughter Susy: “Last evening we rec’d our first letters from you all….It is Sunday evening and Clara and I are sitting just now in her room in rather a dim gas light. Papa has a reporter with him. This is the second one that he has had today.” Livy related the good time at Horsham, writing “Tuesday” instead of the correct “Thursday” [MTP].
Gavin J. Reilly wrote to Sam from Creswill Australia, seeing himself not as a stranger but “in common with every Australian, look upon you as an old friend.” Reilly enclosed “a few cards” [not extant] including one, the Chief Secretary of Victoria, Mr. A.J. Peacock, and likening the gold fields and old pioneers in Australia to Sam’s Nevada days. Reilly told of a journalist gathering this night in Ballarat to “hear the music of [Sam’s] voice and to carry back remembrances of the idol of America” [MTP].
October 21 Monday – In Ballarat, Australia Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 1) lecture at Mechanics’ Institute. — Reviews published Oct. 22: Ballarat Courier, Ballarat Evening Echo, Ballarat Star [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 17]. Shillingsburg writes, “Of all the country towns, perhaps Ballarat felt most kinship with Twain, and he with it.” She goes on to explain the boomtown beginnings of the gold mining town and parallels these with the rough and tumble nature of the California, Nevada, and the Mississippi Valley of Sam’s young manhood [At Home 100-1].
October 22 Tuesday – In Ballarat, Australia Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 2) lecture at Mechanics’ Institute, and included the Australian Poem. — Reviews published Oct. 23: Ballarat Courier, Ballarat Star.
An announcement was published in Geelong that Twain would lecture on Oct. 28 despite R.S. Smythe’s quarantined condition. “Until last week there were two places on this globe which Mr. Smythe had not visited — quarantine and the North Pole — both considered unsuitable for lecturers. Now there is only one” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 18]. (Does this sound like Sam?)
October 23 Wednesday – From FE: Got up at 6, left at 7.30; soon reached Castlemaine, one of the rich gold-fields of the early days; waited several hours for a train; left at 3.40 and reached Bendigo in an hour. For comrade, a Catholic priest [Father Henry W. Cleary (NB 34 TS 21 misspells as “Creary”) ], who was better than I was, but didn’t seem to know it — a man full of graces of the heart, the mind, and the spirit; a lovable man. He will rise. He will be a bishop some day. Later an Arch-bishop. Later a Cardinal. Finally an Archangel, I hope [Ch. XXV 241].
Shillingsburg lists several hours wait at Castlemaine, with arrival in Bendigo at 4:40 p.m. the same as Sam’s account. In Bendigo the Clemens party took rooms just across from the post office, no hotel name given. Sam gave his “At Home With Mark Twain” (No. 1) at the Royal Princess Theatre, which was not filled. Reviews published Oct. 24: Advertiser, Independent [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 18].
October 24 Thursday – In the morning in Bendigo, the Clemens party toured the area of Lone Tree Hill with local newspaper publisher John Gregory Edwards and his wife in a Victoria carriage. In the afternoon Sam took part in a ceremony with the Mayor and city fathers, and received a keepsake booklet by Frank Fearn, a punster, poet, and artist who was “possessed of considerable literary ability.” Shillingsburg conjectures that Fearn was “Quite possibly…“Mr. Blank” in FE, ch. XXV (See Shillingsburg’s other MTJ article, “The Influential Mr. Blank, of Bendigo,” (Fall, 1993) p.28-30.)
Sam gave his “At Home With Mark Twain” at reduced prices in the Royal Princess Theatre. Reviews published Oct. 24-5: Advertiser, Independent [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 18].
Sam’s notebook in Bendigo:
Oct. 24, Bendigo. It is a fatal thing to let an idiot go through a country first & set its customs. Originally an idiot went through here & decided that in country hotels there shd be no slop jars, & that the clothes should be placed so high as to make a step-ladder necessary.
Just as in America some idiot decided that the mirrors should be so low as to require every middle-sized man to stoop.
Here find the man who was the M T Club in Ireland [NB 34 TS 21]. Note: Charles Casey; see May 15, 1876 in Vol. I.
Sam’s humorous 1887 letter, “A Petition to the Queen of England” ran in the Ballarat Courier, p.4.
October 25 Friday – The Clemens party left Bendigo at 5 a.m. and arrived in Maryborough in the afternoon. In ch. XXXI of FE Sam relates talking to a man he thought to be a minister who warned him about the bad hotel in Maryborough, and warned him with some swearing included. Upon arrival he asked the man’s friend if the man was in the ministry — “No — studying for it,” came the reply. They were met at the railroad station and driven to Town Hall for an official welcome in the Mayor’s parlor by Mayor F.J. Field and townspeople. The welcome included music. In responding to the toast Sam told the story of the bell clock at Bendigo. A “Splendid photograph” of the reception party was taken in front of Town Hall by Charlie Farr, and displayed within an hour.
In the evening Sam gave his “Mark Twain At Home” (No. 1) lecture at the Maryborough Town Hall. A review of the lecture was published on Oct. 28 in the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser. After the lecture Sam called at Farr’s photography studio to congratulate him “on the excellent result” of the photograph, saying if he had the time he would have given a special sitting.
October 26 Saturday – The Clemens party left Maryborough at 5 a.m. and took the train through Castlemaine to Melbourne and the Spencer Street Station. They likely took rooms again at the Menzies Hotel on Latrobe Street. Sam gave a 3 p.m. matinee performance of “Mark Twain At Home” in Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne. The Melbourne Evening News ran a review of the lecture this same day.
Later Sam slipped in unannounced to take in the first part of a recital by Mark Hambourg at Town Hall. The audience cheered until Sam took a bow. In the evening Sam was made a life honorary member of the Institute of Journalists at Smoke-Night in the Cathedral Hotel on Swanston St. Compliments were given by W.P. Lambie; welcome extended by John Lamont Dow of the Age; Clara Clemens was toasted by Ephraim Zox. Parsons writes,
“The smoke began to rise shortly after eight. When Mark Twain, always one for a well-timed entrance, arrived at nine, ‘he was received with the utmost cordiality, all rising and cheering him vociferously’” …. J.L. Dow tended sheep and crops for £80 or £90 a year until he read Twain’s ‘How I Edited an Agricultural Paper.’ This turned him into an agricultural reporter….
“Because he always liked a previous speaker to give him a handy text, Twain conceded that his introducer was highly endowed. “I am glad to perceive at last after waiting these many many weary years, which I supposed had been wasted, that in one instance at least my labor has not been in vain. I recognise that in lifting Mr. Dow out of the sheep run — (laughter) — I have conferred a benefit upon the human race — (laughter) — and also upon the sheep. (Loud laughter.)” [“Mark Twain in Melbourne” MTJ (Spring 1984) p.40].
Sam stayed late visiting with friends, probably including Herbert Low, and looking for a sausage vendor on the street. “A band of pressmen took him home…the tail end of the night was prolonged into the next morning” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 19].
October 27 Sunday – John H. Wagner called for the Clemenses at their hotel. They were taken to the Wagner home, a “superb house” with a most beautiful view in Malvern, a suburb of Melbourne, where they spent 24 hours [OLC to Susan Crane Nov. 24, 1895].
October 28 Monday – At the home of John H. Wagner in Malvern Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper:
The Clemens family are snatching a visit at this palatial home in the suburbs of the city, & greatly enjoying it. The head of it is a Canadian of 40 years residence here, his wife is old Puritan Yankee stock, born & reared in Stonington, Conn. Fine large family of children & grandchildren. This above son (John H. [Wagner],) has written & published some things, & is preparing an illustrated article on Samoa for the Century. He has been in N.Y. several times, at the Players. I offered to give him a line of introduction to you, & he was glad to have it.
Sam agreed not to “remove the seal of secrecy from” JA, since Harper’s judgment was to wait. He added a PS at 8 p.m., from Geelong, further asking Harper to introduce Wagner to Laurence Hutton [MTP].
Sam also wrote to a Mr. Richardson, thanking him for “the honor which you lately intended me,” but which he was not able to accept [MTP: Geelong News of the Week, Nov. 2, 1895].
Livy and Clara remained in Melbourne while Sam commuted to Geelong by train for his “Mark Twain At Home” lecture in Exhibition Theatre. Reviews published Oct. 29: Geelong Times; Geelong Evening Star; Oct. 30: Evening News [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 20].
Sam spent the night in Geelong, returning the next day. Livy and Clara were guests of Lt. Gov. Darley’s “large and brilliant assemblage” at a concert in Town Hall, Melbourne.
October 29 Tuesday – Livy and Clara remained in Melbourne. Sam commuted from Geelong to Prahran by train, where he gave his “At Home” lecture in the 1,000 seat Town Hall to a “vast audience,” which “filled the building in every part.” He included his Australian poem (which was received with bursts of laughter) and “Punch Brothers” — a somewhat different program than Oct. 26’s matinee performance. The Prahan Telegraph reviewed the lecture on Nov. 2. After the lecture Sam probably returned to the Menzies Hotel in Melbourne [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 20].
October 30 Wednesday – In Melbourne at the Menzies Hotel, the Clemens ladies were busy packing for the voyage to New Zealand. Frederick W. Haddon wrote to Sam inviting him to write an article. This letter is not extant, but is mentioned and responded to on Nov. 14 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 20].
October 31 Thursday – In Melbourne, Sam attended the wool-sales for half an hour with John H. Wagner. Sam said, “wool brokers are just like stockbrokers” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 20].
Sam’s notebook recorded the visit:
Oct. 31. Melbourne. Went to the wool exchange with John H. Wagner. Selling the “clip” in lots — at 6 & a farthing. When a man has the clip of 100,000 sheep to sell (6 pounds of wool to the sheep) the difference of a farthing makes a big difference — 600,000 farthings.
Bidders like barking dogs — Babel — racket — gesticulation — nobody calm but the President. Everybody yelps, yaps, barks, at once, & the Prest decides which barked first — no appeal [NB 34 TS 24].
When Sam attempted to pay Dr. N.T. Fitzgerald for his services while in Australia, the good doctor refused payment and was “insulted” — Sam wrote, “Why will the physician put upon the patient these humiliations?” [NB 34 TS 24].
The Clemens party boarded the Union Co.’s 2,598-ton ship Mararoa, to sail down the eastern coast of Tasmania to Hobart, then to New Zealand. Journalist Malcom Ross was on board and gave Sam several books on Tasmanian aboriginal history. Other passengers included Irish nationalist Michael Davitt, and Sam’s agent Carlyle G. Smythe [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 20].
November – The Peterson Magazine, V p.1159-64 ran Ellen A. Vinton’s article, “Who Are Our American Humorists?”: “The most popular of all our humorists, Mark Twain…has acquired both education and literary culture, and has shown himself capable of success in a wider field of literature than the one he has chosen to fill” [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1979) 184].
The Chatauquan, XXII p.160-4 ran Stuart P. Sherman’s article, “American Humorists.” Mark Twain as “the greatest of American humorists, popularly so-called….he is in a degree higher than the rest something more than a funmaker.” No mere clown, punster, or preposterous speller, “he is only an interpreter of life and men, not as Holmes, through culture, for that has been denied him, but through experience. He tells light things formally, and formal things lightly, and these make up his method. At his best we always find something sound at bottom that lasts beyond the moment” [Tenney, ALR supplement to the Reference Guide (Autumn, 1980) 173].
November 1 Friday – The Clemens party was en route on the Mararoa from Melbourne to a brief stop in Hobart, Tasmania [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 21].
Nov. 1 — noon. A lovely day, a brilliant sun. Warm in the sun, cold in the shade — an icy little breeze right out of the South. Passing between Tasmania & neighboring islands — islands whence the poor exiled Tasmanian savages used to gaze at their beloved land & cry; & die of heart-break.
How glad I am that all these native races are dead & gone, or nearly so. The work was mercifully swift & horrible in portions of Australia. (See Paving the Way.)
Poor piano — of course — there never was a good one in any ship. It is a pity to have any. Str. “Mararva” [Mararoa] U. SS. Co.
Electric extinguished at 1 last night. Stingy.
Michael Davitt on board.
Suppose an accident at night & no electric light. / There is no candle, you are not allowed to carry matches [NB 34 TS 24] Note: Simpson Newland’s 1893 book, Paving the Way: A Romance of the Australian Brush [Gribben 501].
November 2 Saturday – At 5:30 a.m. the Mararoa arrived in Hobart, Tasmania. R.S. Smythe had initially planned for lectures in Launceston and Hobart, but Sam’s carbuncle attacks had resulted in a shorter schedule. All that was allowed for was a morning shore leave. A little after 7 a.m. the young Mr. Dobson arrived at the ship and invited Clemenses to breakfast in Hobart with his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Dobson, a former Premier. The young Dobson was “a great friend of” John and Alice Day, who were currently renting the Clemens’ Hartford house. After breakfast Sam rode around Hobart with the elder Dobsons while Clara and Livy went with young Dobson and neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Walker. Livy’s group drove part way up Mount Wellington, then had wine and cake at the Walkers.
Shillingsburg writes of Sam’s adventure with the elder Dobsons:
…Twain rode around Hobart … hoping to “to get a glimpse of any convicts that might still remain on the island.” He went to the Refuge for the Indigent which housed 223 convicts, “a crowd, there, of the oldest people I have ever seen,” Twain wrote in More Tramps Abroad (p.1960 [Chatto & Windus’ name for FE]. After Mrs. Dobson gave him a “leg-iron (broken) found in the bush — ages of rust on it,” the horrors of the convict system seemed to come alive for Twain and, for the remainder of his voyage to New Zealand, he made notes about convicts and the evils of transportation [Shillingsburg, At Home 125].
Sam also visited Alexander Morton (1854-1907) from New Orleans and the curator of Hobart’s museum. Morton displayed aboriginal artifacts and samples of native fauna, including the Tasmanian devil. Back on board the ship, Sam gave interviews with the Mercury and the Tasmanian News, the former published on Nov. 4 and the latter this same day [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 21]. Sam’s NB 34 contains comments on natural history, museum items and information about Hobart as a convict colony.
Sam’s notebook entry:
The spirit of the old brutalities remains in England, where they still punish poaching heavier than brutal wife-beating. (Insert from “Pillory.”) [Gribben 716; NB 34 TS 25].
Michael Davitt, Irish nationalist who was on board with Sam, recalled this day in his 1898 travel book:
“As the Mararoa glided down the enchanting lake-like Derwent, with all its lovely panorama of natural beauty inviting a longer stay at ‘Sullivan’s Cove,’ Storm Bay and Tasman’s Peninsula recalled the convict days of Port Arthur, and Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life came up for discussion. Mark had read that truly great book, and had visited the asylum at Hobart that very morning, when there are a few score human remnants of the old convict period still living….Mark Twain grew indignant at the thought of doctors having looked on and sanctioned the savage punishments which could leave such evidence of their force and ferocity after so many years on the bent backs of the human wrecks at the asylum in Hobart.
“Unlike some celebrities, Mark Twain is not parsimonius with his talent. He entertained us in the smoke-room of the Mararoa with some capital anecdotes, which, however, cannot be done justice to in the retelling” [Life and Progress in Australasia 338]. Note: Davitt would continue on to New Zealand with Sam.
November 3 Sunday – A cold south wind blew on the Tasman sea, and Sam stayed in bed on board the Mararoa en route to New Zealand. He gathered some information by visiting the smoking lounge, and made entries in his notebook about Victorian railroads, convicts, aboriginals, rabbits, and other details that struck his fancy and imagination. Clara recalled him singing and playing the piano on this voyage. Other passengers were the Irish nationalist Michael Davitt, journalist Malcom Ross, and Carlyle G. Smythe, Sam’s agent and guide [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 21].
On board the Mararoa, Livy wrote to her sister Sue Crane that she and Clara would not disembark until Dunedin. She also described the social events of Sydney and Melbourne. “People are good and kind to us everywhere, and we get a most lively interest in them, and dislike leaving them.” Sam’s carbuncle was “almost well” [MTP].
November 4 Monday – The Clemens party was onboard the Union Co.’s Mararoa en route to New Zealand. Sam’s notebook mentions Malcom Ross, who on Nov. 14 published an interview based on conversations onboard (Otago Daily Times Nov. 6, p.4). Sam made more notebook entries about convicts, Australian pronunciation, New Zealand history and scenery.
November 5 Tuesday – Early in the morning, the Mararoa arrived at Bluff, South Island, New Zealand, the country’s southernmost port. Livy and Clara stayed aboard. Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe took a train to Invercargill (pop.10,000). Sam made notes on the “rabbit plague” in N.Z. and on the scenery. Shillingsburg notes that NZ advertisements began on Oct. 31 but until Nov. 4 they did not list date or place for the lectures, suggesting the details were not completed until the last minute.
Sam gave his “At Home” lecture at the Theatre Royal in Invercargill to an overflow crowd, with many turned away. “The audience, after giving him a hearty reception, began to laugh when he started, and so they continued from then till the finish, with a few intervals of rest and relief, mercifully introducted” [At Home 130]. It was reviewed by the Southland Times on Nov. 6 and by the weekly Otago Witness on Nov. 7, which noted “one of the largest audiences that ever paid for admission to any entertainment in Invercargill”:
[Twain] has two or three characteristic poses when on the platform, but the most peculiar one is his habit of nursing his elbow and anxiously pressing his cheek with his hand as if suffering the agonies of an 80-horse power, stump jumping toothache when on the point of slipping out some particularly excruciating absurdity. From the time of his stepping out before the footlights to his leaving, says a contemporary, the lecturer is never guilty of even the ghost of a smile — he is as solemn all the time as a wart on an undertaker’s horse [Shillingsburg, At Home 130-1].
Sam spent the night in Invercargill,
November 6 Wednesday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left Invercargill headed for Dunedin. On the train Sam was given news of the Melbourne Cup (Nov. 5) where “everybody bet on the wrong horse — a new horse [Auraria] won.” Aboard the train Sam’s notes later were incorporated into his travel book:
lovely summer morning; brilliant sky. A few miles out from Invercargill passed through vast level green expanses snowed over with sheep. Fine to see. The green, deep and very vivid sometimes; at other times less so, but delicate and lovely. A passenger reminds me that I am in “the England of the Far South” [FE ch. XXX 286-7].
At 8 p.m. Sam gave the “At Home” lecture in City Hall, Dunedin, with members of the Presbyterian and Anglican Synods present. Ticket prices were 3, 2 and 1s. Interviews published: “A Chat with Mark Twain” by Malcom Ross, Otago Daily Times; Reviews on Oct. 7: Otago Daily Times; Dunedin Evening Star [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 22].
Sam’s notebook entry on his concept of natural law, as Gribben notes, “appears to have been influenced by Darwin’s Origin of Species:
There is nothing kindly, nothing beneficent, nothing friendly in Nature toward any creature, except by capricious fits & starts; that Nature’s attitude toward all life is profoundly vicious, treacherous & malignant [Gribben 176-7; NB 34 TS 31].
Also in his notebook for the day:
Very valuable books given me by Malcom Ross — among them Old New Zealand [Gribben 449; NB 34 TS 32]. Note: the book by Frederick Edward Maning, pseudonym “A Pakeha Maori.”
November 7 Thursday – Sam wrote in FE and in his notebook of Dunedin and events there:
The town justifies Michael Davitt’s praises. The people are Scotch. They stopped here on their way from home to heaven — thinking they had arrived. The population is stated at 40,000, by Malcom Ross, journalist; stated by an M.P. at 60,000. A journalist cannot lie.
To the residence of Dr. Hockin. He has a fine collection of books relating to New Zealand; and his house is a museum of Maori art and antiquities [FE ch. XXX 287].
Nov. 7. Australasia with its specialties of piety & horse-racing, would be heaven for George [Griffin]. (Tell about him.)
Livy, Clara & I went to Dr. Hockin’s house, saw his wife & young daughter & him. Noble collection of books relating to N.Z. Gave me his translation of Tasman’s diary. He gave us a piece of Kava root, lignified caterpillar with 4-inch-long stem growing out of back of its neck — another of Nature’s infernal inventions for the infliction of needless suffering [NB 34 TS 30-1].
Note: Dr. Thomas M. Hocken gave Sam his translation of Abel Janszoon Tasman’s (1603-1659) diary; Shillingsburg’s “Down Under, etc.” says that Sam was greatly impressed with pictures of the Maori tattoos.
At the City Hall in Dunedin Sam gave another performance of his “At Home” program, modified. Appearing on stage out of breath, he explained that he had gotten lost while sightseeing and had been wandering around for three-quarters of an hour. He introduced a new story to the program, his 1880 story, “Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning.” After this lecture Sam often included the sketch [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 22]. He called the lecture “big house, good time” [NB 34 TS 30].
November 8 Friday – In Dunedin, N.Z., it was a rainy, windy day and Sam noted, “This is the beginning of N Z summer, I was told” [NB 34 TS 33]. Livy and Clara went to a tea at a “charming place” possibly meeting two young girls named Whyte and Tait. This may have been a luncheon party given by Mrs. Royse at Leith House. (In his Nov. 9 notebook entry, Sam calls them “Marion White & Miss Tait — Scotch descent” [NB 34 TS 33].
In the evening at the Dunedin City Hall Sam gave another performance of his third (No.3) “At Home” program, According to Shillingsburg and Sam’s NB 35, the readings included the decadence of picturesque lying, the adventures of the continental courier, the Auntie Cord story, the cure for stammering, the punch brothers jingle, mean men, and the blue jay story.
Reviews published: Nov. 9: Evening Star; Nov. 14: Otago Witness; Nov.16: New Zealand Graphic [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 22; At Home 137-8].
Sam also drew a humorous drawing of an animal and signed, Mark Twain (Educated Artist) Nov. 8/95 [MTP].
November 9 Saturday – In the morning in Dunedin the Clemens party visited an art gallery with William Matthew Hodgkins, attorney who had opened the annual exhibition of the Society of Artists the evening before. In his notebook he mentions one particular painting: “Dickens’ son-in-law’s lovely picture of a girl blowing at a flower” [NB 34 TS 33]. Sam wrote in FE of the exhibition:
Fine. Think of a town like this having two such collections as this, and a Society of Artists. It is so all over Australasia. If it were a monarchy one might understand it. I mean an absolute monarchy, where it isn’t necessary to vote money, but take it. Then art flourishes. But these colonies are republics — republics with a wide suffrage; voters of both sexes, this one of New Zealand. In republics, neither the government nor the rich private citizen is much given to propagating art. All over Australasia pictures by famous European artists are bought for the public galleries by the State and by societies of citizens. Living citizens — not dead ones. They rob themselves to give, not their heirs. [XXX p.289]. Note: On p.236 of FE Clemens included a picture of a Ballarat statue.
Later in the morning the Clemens party left Dunedin to Timaru (pop.11,000; halfway to Christchurch), perhaps stopping for tea at the Oamaru station; Livy and Clara continued on to Christchurch, N.Z.
Sam took rooms at the Grosvenor Hotel in Timaru, P. O’Meeghan, proprietor. In the evening he gave his No.1 program of “At Home. An appreciative editorial of his prior performances ran in the Otago Daily Times; reviews of the Timaru lecture ran in the Timaru Herald, Nov. 11; and in the Triad edited by C.N. Baeyertz (Dunedin) on Nov. 25. Baeyertz blasted his countrymen for not fully appreciating the brilliance of Mark Twain.
November 10 Sunday – In Timaru Sam was driven around the town and down to the beach, where he viewed the Elginshire, shipwrecked on May 9, 1892. He wrote, “big flowering mills; wonderful opaline clouds…a pretty town & cosy pretty homes all around it. Plenty of greenery & flowers…broom & gorse.” About the botanical gardens he wrote, “Why haven’t we have these?” [Shillingsburg, At Home; NB 34 TS 37]
Afterward he rested and read in bed at the hotel, then wrote in his notebook complaining of New Zealand’s “blue laws.” Livy and Clara were in Christchurch, N.Z. probably at Coker’s Hotel on Manchester St [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 23].
Sam wrote to his nephew, Samuel Moffett, claiming they were having a “darling time” and that “it didn’t seem to be in a foreign land, we seem to be home.” He wrote about a possible lecture tour in America for the following year, and discussed talking in San Francisco, where Adolph Sutro and other “old friends” would help. He mentioned New York, Chicago, and “maybe even” New Orleans as possibilities. He noted getting his third lecture program together only three days before, and a lady who “broke the record” coming over 200 miles to hear him. On his prepared letter for publication he wrote about paying off his creditors 100 cents on the dollar:
It was too bad that both your article & mine got into print. The fault was in the Examiner office, I suppose. Mine had gone there with a caution on the envelop that it was to be kept till you came. Then later I telegraphed you (or wrote, I don’t remember which), to suppress it. I wrote mine to take the place of yours because at first I thought yours too grave, although your aunt Livy contended that it was exactly right to a word. Later I saw that it was so, & then I took the above measures to suppress mine. An infernal pity they failed. / My love to Mary. Good-bye [MTP].
Sam also wrote a long letter to H.H. Rogers, filling him in on his lectures since Sydney, then forecasting a possible tour back in America the next year. Sam didn’t know who would manage such a leg, but he was sure it wouldn’t be Pond:
From the beginning it was my intention to begin in October of next year & lecture all over America, north & south; but I don’t know any agent but Pond, & he is such an idiot & such an incompetent–& particularly such a business-coward — that I cannot make up my mind to put myself in his hands. He has no idea of proportions. He lectured me twice in the little town of Winnipeg, & yet believes it would not be safe to attempt more than 2 appearances in Frisco, Chicago or New York.
Sam asked Rogers if he knew of a competent man. He also asked if Rogers’ son-in-law, William Evarts Benjamin, had received “any definite offer from that Chicago house” for his current travel book (FE) [MTP, not in MTHHR].
Sam’s notebook: A reminder to himself to get The Percy Anecdotes, etc.: “Get Percy Anecdotes” for Black Hole of Calcutta [Gribben 541; NB 34 TS 37]. Note: he made a similar entry on Nov. 30.
Timaru, Sunday, Nov. 10. The old fool notion that a ship in collision has an advantage, going full speed, over the ship going half speed! Lying abed reading Sala’s brilliant & breezy “Under the Sun” [Gribben 601; NB 34 TS 34]. Note: George Augustus Sala’ s Under the Sun: Essays Mainly Written in Hot Countries (1872).
November 11 Monday – Sam backtracked from Timaru to Oamaru by train, arriving in the early afternoon, and was driven around Claremont by a local, W. Evans. He got a look at the steamer Flora, in which he would sail from Christchurch to Wellington a week later.
In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in the Theatre Royal to the most “sparsely peopled” audience of his tour. During the lecture some dogs got into a fight. Prices had been reduced to “popular holiday basis of 1s, 2, 3s.” Sam claimed they were still celebrating the Prince of Wales’ birthday.
Reviews published Nov. 12: North Otago Times; Oamaru Mail [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 23; At Home 142].
November 12 Tuesday – Four miles outside of Oamaru, Sam lunched with John F. Miles, probably on his sheep ranch. Afterward Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe traveled the 150 miles to Christchurch, N.Z., “the city of the plains.” He was met by President of the Savage Club and Savages; and by Joseph J. Kinsey and family, and Mr. A.J. Peacock. He reunited with Livy and Clara at the fashionable Coker’s Hotel. He was interviewed at the hotel by a “special reporter” from Lyttelton Times; and Press (Christchurch), which were both published Nov. 13.
Clara Clemens wrote to her cousin Samuel Moffett that she was reading Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life.
J.C. McLauchlan wrote asking to borrow $25 from Sam, who wrote on the envelope, “Begging letter” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook entry for the date contains an old nursery rhyme verse:
When the south wind doth blow, / Then we shall have snow; And what will the robin then do, poor thing [Gribben 511; NB 34 TS 39].
November 13 Wednesday – In Christchurch, N.Z, at the Theatre Royal, the audience sang “For he’s a jolly good fellow” while waiting for Sam to come on stage. He arrived to cheers, stomps, and loud applause for several minutes. After the enthusiasm subsided he gave his No. 1 program of “At Home.”
It so happened that two new interviews were published by the rival Christchurch papers the day of the lecture — Lyttelton Times and The Press. In The Press interview, when asked of his impressions of Australasia, Sam’s answer reflected caution and understanding in light of his recent criticism of Paul Bourget’s too-cursory impressions of America in Outre Mer:
I am too close now to give any opinion. By and bye, when I get further off — when I get a perspective so to speak of the colonies, — then I can form some idea of the country [Shillingsburg, At Home 145].
Reviews of the lecture also ran on Nov. 14 in both papers.
November 14 Thursday – In Christchurch’s Theatre Royal, Sam gave his No. 2 program of “At Home,” which contained his “Morals Sermon” with the watermelon story, the Jumping Frog, the Nevada duel, and Huck, Tom and Jim discussing the Crusades. His second talk was well received. After the intermission he told the Mrs. McWilliams lightning story “with a good deal of graphic force” [Shillingsburg, At Home 148]. Reviews published Nov. 15: Lyttelton Times; The Press; Star [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 24].
Sam responded to an Oct. 30 letter from Frederick W. Haddon, editor of the Melbourne Argus, and explained that R.S. Smythe had misunderstood him — he did not think he could write any magazine articles about his trip, but if he changed his mind he felt he owned it first to the Century people, since they’d done him “a great favor by releasing” him from his “contract to write 12 articles.”
November 15 Friday – In Christchurch, N.Z. this may have been the day Sam visited the Canterbury Museum:
In the museum we saw many curious and interesting things; among others a fine native house of the olden time…and the totem-posts were there, ancestor above ancestor, with tongues protruded and hands clasped comfortably over bellies containing other people’s ancestors — grotesque and ugly devils, every one, but lovingly carved, and ably; and the stuffed natives were present…looking as natural as life….
And we also saw a complete skeleton of the giant Moa [extinct 400 years]. It stood ten feet high, and must have been a sight to look at when it was a living bird. It was a kicker, like the ostrich; in fight it did not use its beak, but its foot. It must have been a convincing kind of kick. If a person had his back to the bird and did not see who it was that did it, he would think he had been kicked by a wind-mill [FE ch. XXXII 297-8].
Sam gave his “At Home” performance at Theatre Royal. Reviews published Nov. 16: Lyttelton Times; The Press; Star; Nov. 21: Canterbury Times [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 24].
After the performance Sam attended a dinner and roast by 50 members of Christchurch Savage Club at the Provincial Council Chamber. The group was formed two years before to foster “the singer, the story-teller, the scribe and the player on cunning instruments.” Toasts were made to the Queen, to the U.S. and the American people, and to Mark Twain, “who for thirty years had kept the world laughing,” and to Livy. Sam was elected the first honorary member of the club and given the club emblem. He was welcomed with the war cry of the club “Ake ake kia kaha” — three times. Sam gave several speeches, one of which was published Nov. 16 in the Lyttelton Times (see below); The Press; Star. The papers listed the following as guests and hosts: Dr. Jenning (presiding), Justice Denniston, Mr. Freeman (chef), Hart, Exall, Woodhouse, A.E.G. Rhodes, E.W. Roper, Gibbs, Newman, Willis, Merton (pianist), G.P. Williams, and Carlyle G. Smythe. In her Nov. 24 to Sue Crane, Livy wrote that she’d received gifts of “bon-bons, flowers, pamphlets, photographs, etc. etc.” in Christchurch [At Home 149].
Similar clippings from the Nov. 23, 1895 Evening Post and the Nov. 16, 1895 Lyttelton Times recorded some of Sam’s speech to the Savages:
We have had a good time these last few days, and I have felt what a good time Christchurch must be having too. You have never had such opportunities for enlightenment before. You have had the circus. (Laughter.) That was spectacular. You have had Mr. Haskett Smith — imagination — and you have had my well beloved friend and shipmate, Michael Davitt — philosophy — and then you have had me — cold fact. (Loud laughter.) We are all fading away one by one. Haskett Smith has gone, Michael Davitt has gone, and I leave tomorrow, and you have nothing left but the circus. Be grateful for the opportunity you have — hang on to that circus. I observe in this region a spirit of which I do greatly approve. That is the spirit which is leading us gradually and surely along to prohibition. I do not see any signs of it here. (Laughter.) It is coming, and let us welcome it. I can tell you one thing, that is if you get it you will find it will put you into the most difficult straits. In our country several years ago there was a man came into a prohibited town, and unlike you savages here, they said to him, “You can’t get a drink anywhere except at the apothecary’s.” So he went to the apothecary, who said, “You can’t get a drink here without a prescription from the physician,” but the man said, “I am perishing. I haven’t time to get a prescription.” The apothecary replied, “Well, I haven’t power to give you a drink except for snake bite.” The man said, “Where’s the snake?” (Laughter), So the apothecary gave him the snake’s address, and he went off. Soon after, however, he came back and said, “For goodness sake give me a drink. That snake is engaged for six months ahead”
Sam inscribed a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: TO MISS MAY KINSEY: Age is disreputable, and a thing to be contemned — humanly speaking; but when an author observes the signs of it in a book of his own in another person’s possession, he recognizes that in that case age is a most pleasant and respectable thing — November 15, 1895 [MTP] Note: May Kinsey was the daughter of Joseph Kinsey (see Nov. 12 entry).
November 16 Saturday – In Christchurch, N.Z., Sam lunched with the Canterbury Club. Joseph Kinsey and daughter May went with the Clemens party to Lyttelton, 12 miles on the train. The Clemenses carried 35 gifts including Maori artifacts. Kinsey also gave Sam a stuffed platypus (ornithorhyncus). Kinsey took photographs in Christchurch and would send them to the Clemenses in Wellington. At midnight they sailed in the Union Company’s Flora for Wellington. The ship was crowded due to “Anniversary Day” in Canterbury. Sam called it “the foulest I was ever in,” which included a lot of decrepit or spartan vessels [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 25; At Home 150-1].
The Flora is about the equivalent of a cattle-scow…The passengers bore with meekness the cheat which had been put upon them, and made no complaint….The first officer told me that the Flora was privileged to carry 125 passengers. She must have had all of 200 on board…If the Flora had gone down that night, half the people on board would have been wholly without means of escape….I had a cattle-stall in the main stable….The place was as dark as the soul of the Union Company, and smelt like a kennel [FE ch XXXII 301-2].
Sam inscribed a copy of P&P to Dorothy Fisher: To Dorothy Fisher in pleasant remembrance of hours spent in her father’s house — / from / Mark Twain / Nov. 16/95 [MTP].
November 17 Sunday – At about 5 p.m. in Wellington, N.Z. the Clemens party changed to a smaller ship, the Union Co.’s Mahinapua, captained by W.J. Newton [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 25]. It sailed at 8 p.m. From FE:
A good many of us got ashore at the first way-port to seek another ship. After a wait of three hours we got good rooms in the Mahinapua, a wee little bridal-parlor of a boat — only 205 tons burthen; clean and comfortable; good service; good beds; good table, and no crowding. The seas danced about her like a duck, but she was safe and capable [ch XXXII 303].
November 18 Monday – At about 4:30 a.m. the Mahinapua was grounded for a half hour on a sandbar in French Pass. From FE:
Next morning early she went through the French Pass — a narrow gateway of rock, between bold headlands — so narrow, in fact, that it seemed no wider than a street. The current tore through there like a mill-race, and the boat darted through like a telegram. The passage was made in half a minute; then we were in a wide place where noble vast eddies swept grandly round and round in shoal water, and I wondered what they would do with the little boat. They did as they pleased with her. They picked her up and flung her around like nothing and landed her gently on the solid, smooth bottom of sand — so gently, indeed, that we barely felt her touch it, barely felt her quiver when she came to a standstill. The water was as clear as glass, the sand on the bottom was vividly distinct, and the fishes seemed to be swimming about in nothing. Fishing lines were brought out, but before we could bait the hooks the boat was off and away again [ch. XXXII 303-4].
The boat docked at Nelson, and the Clemenses took rooms for the day only at Masonic Hotel. They spent
…most of the day there, visiting acquaintances and driving with them about the garden — the whole region is a garden, excepting the scene of the “Maungatapu Murders,” of thirty years ago….That dark episode is the one large event in the history of Nelson. The fame of it traveled far [ch XXXIII 305].
Note: Shillingsburg lists the acquaintances as Edward Brown, cab driver, who drove them into the countryside in the afternoon; she also cites Gribben, p.429 for Sam acquiring a copy of David Mitchell Luckie’s The Maungatapu Mountain Murders, but only one other book is given by Gribben [“Down Under” 25].
The Clemens party re-boarded the Mahinapua early in the afternoon, avoiding a crowd for the 8 p.m. sailing. Shillingsburg calls the crowd “well-wishers.” The Nelson Evening Mail on Nov. 18 published a few brief comments by Mark Twain, probably an interview by A.A. Grace (not in Scharnhorst). The Clemenses spent the night aboard the Mahinapua en route to New Plymouth [“Down Under” 25].
November 19 Tuesday – The Clemens party arrived in New Plymouth, N.Z. where they stayed “all day” sailing again on the Mahinapua at 10 p.m. for Auckland. On board ship they met Archbishop Redmond and a priest. No record is given for the group’s activities in New Plymouth.
November 20 Wednesday – The Mahinapua sailed through the Taranaki Bight on the west coast of North Island. Passengers were unable to see Mt. Egmont due to heavy mist. The ship arrived in Auckland around 6 p.m. and the Clemens party took rooms at the Star Hotel on Albert St., Auckland’s “leading hotel.” Sam met an Englishman, “a fine large Briton a little frosted with age,” who had fought in the West during the American Civil War and was now working at the hotel as a porter. An interview was conducted by a reporter with the New Zealand Herald on scenery, impressions, and linguistic “Americanisms,” while Sam paced the floor. Other reporters were possibly present; the interview in the Herald ran on Nov. 21 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 25; At Home 154-5].
Sam’s notebook: contains the title of Olive Schreiner’s best-selling book, The Story of an African Farm [Gribben 608; NB 34 TS 40]. See also June 28, 1896 entry. Parsons gives Schreiner credit for greatly influencing Sam’s view of the S. African Boers [“Traveler in S.A.” 32]. Other books noted on this date, George McCall Theal’s South Africa: The Cape Colony, Natal, Orange Free State, South African Republic, and All Other Territories South of the Zambesi (1894) [Gribben 699: TS 34 NB 40]; Alfred Russel Wallace’s Australasia (1878) [Gribben 733] (see also Nov. 1896 entry).
November 21 Thursday – In Auckland once again, Sam went sightseeing with unnamed friends and liked what he saw:
There are charming drives all about, and by courtesy of friends we had opportunity to enjoy them. From the grassy crater-summit of Mount Eden one’s eye ranges over a grand sweep and variety of scenery — forests clothed in luxuriant foliage, rolling green fields, conflagrations of flowers, receding and dimming stretches of green plain, broken by lofty and symmetrical old craters — then the blue bays twinkling and sparkling away into the dreamy distances were the mountains loom spiritual in their veils of haze [FE ch. XXXIII 308].
Interviews published Nov. 21: New Zealand Mail; New Zealand Herald.
Livy wrote to Joseph Kinsey: “It seems a long time since we left you & Miss Kinsey on the platform in Lyttleton that dark rainy night, now nearly a week ago. We went from our pleasant quiet chat in the railway carriage into a perfect pandemonium.” She related the crowded conditions of the ship, with “every corner …turned into a sleeping room,” and having to share with two strange women [MTP].
In the evening at Auckland’s City Hall Sam gave his “At Home” performance to a full house of 1,100, which had entered at 6 p.m. Sam mixed his programs for this performance. Reviews published Nov. 22: New Zealand Graphic; Auckland Star; Nov. 30: N.Z. Observer and Free Lance.
David Mitchell Luckie inscribed a gift copy of his book, The Raid of the Russian Cruiser “Kaskowiski”, etc. to Sam with this date: To Samuel L. Clemens — / Better Known as “Mark Twain” — / with respectful compliments / From D.M. Luckie / 21.11.95 [Gribben 429].
November 22 Friday – In Auckland the Clemens family went to the Public Library with the librarian and town clerk. In the afternoon they took a drive with W. Douglas, President of the Journalists’ Institute, to “the grassy crater-summit of Mount Eden.” In the evening Sam gave his (No.2) “morals” lecture “At Home” to another 1,100 at Auckland City Hall. On this occasion he included the Australian poem but left out the “Golden Arm” tale. Reviews published Nov. 23: New Zealand Herald (also a humorous commentary); Auckland Star [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 26].
Shillingsburg points out that the Auckland visit was more leisurely than many stops since they had not planned for a Saturday lecture. The family took several drives around the area. They had planned to go to the Hot Lakes but when they discovered that the train took ten and a half hours to go to Rotorua, they abandoned the idea [At Home, 158].
November 23 Saturday – In Auckland, N.Z.: Sam’s notebook: to Kauri Gum establishment of Ameri firm of Arnold, Cheney & Co — large exporters to Amer [NB 34 TS 40].
In FE Sam related the process of mining petrified gum and making varnish from it, based closely on what Dr. J.L. Campbell had told him. Livy’s Nov. 24 to Sue Crane reveals they lunched this day at an estate called Bishopcourt, then went to a large garden between a lake and the harbor in the afternoon. Afterward, Colonel Burton entertained them for tea on his porch, which overlooked the Auckland harbor. Sam was still plagued by carbuncles [Shillingsburg, At Home 159].
On Star Hotel, Auckland letterhead, Sam wrote to Sarah G. Kinsey (Mrs. Joseph Kinsey, mother of May), thanking her for “the comfortable times spent” in her “hospitable house” in Christchurch. They were “plodding along comfortably & enjoying New Zealand thoroughly,” with their only complaint “that floating pig-sty” the Flora. Sam wished to be remembered to Mr. A.J. Peacock and Miss McCrae [MTP].
November 24 Sunday – In Auckland, Livy wrote to her sister, Sue Crane:
Saturday we [lunched] at Bishopscourt, which is the bishop’s palace here…the bishop was interesting, but I found his wife still more so.
Mr. Clemens does not seem to have as much strength as I could wish to see him have. Yesterday he seemed to feel better, to have more spring, but today he is threatened with another carbuncle. Naturally that makes him feel very much discouraged. However, I still have faith to believe that with Dr Fitzgerald’s remedies I shall be able to get it checked. Dr Fitzgerald did do wonders for the other one [MTP].
The Boston Daily Globe, p.18, “Mark Twain’s Twins,” previewed Frank Mayo’s dramatization of PW to start this coming week at the Tremont Theater in Boston. The article quotes Sam saying he was glad Mayo “took those twins in…and it pleases me to see that you have made a pair of pretty decent fellows out of them.” This article echoes Sam’s N.Y. curtain speech of May 22 for the play.
November 25 Monday – At the Star Hotel in Auckland, Sam stayed in bed to rest up for his evening performance, his last in Auckand. He’d been plagued by more carbuncles, as he related in a letter to Dr. R.H. Bakewell, a prominent New Zealand scientist, so he was taking it easy,
…in order to placate a new carbuncle which has just started business in my arm-pit….I have already used a part of your plan [to fight fatigue on stage] from my first appearance in Australasia — the 10 minute interval. That interval has been of astonishing value to me. I shall always employ it [Christie’s Lot 99 Sale 7590 June 4, 2008; see online].
Note: Christie’s online does not show the entire letter but notes that Sam intended that evening and from then on to take tea or coffee on the platform. This letter was misdated, either by Christie’s (more likely) or Sam (less so) as October 25, which was not a Monday, nor was Twain in Auckland until Nov. 20, 1895.
Sam’s performance of “At Home” (No. 1 program) was moved from City Hall to the Opera House at somewhat reduced prices, which ensured a larger audience and a full house. Sam included by request the continental courier routine from IA. C.N. Baeyertz’s review of Sam’s Nov. 9 performance in Timaru ran in The Triad. The New Zealand Herald ran a review of this evening’s performance on Nov. 26 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 27; At Home 160].
November 26 Tuesday – The Clemens party sailed from Auckland at 3 p.m. on the Union Co.’s Rotomahana. Shillingsburg: “They had arrived at Auckland’s western port near Onehunga, crossed through the city and departed from the northeastern shore on their way to Gisborne and Napier on the east coast” [At Home 161]. Sam wrote:
Vast and beautiful harbor. Land all about for hours. Tangariwa, the mountain that “has the same shape from every point of view.” That is the common belief in Auckland. And so it has — from every point of view except thirteen…. Perfect summer weather. Large school of whales in the distance [FE ch. XXXIII 311].
The Boston Daily Globe, p.4 “Drama and Music,” ran a favorable review of Frank Mayo’s dramatization of Pudd’nhead Wilson at Boston’s Tremont Theater.
November 27 Wednesday – Livy’s 50th birthday. Sam’s notebook on the event:
Nov. 27. Livy’s birthday. I claimed that her birthday has either passed or is to come; that it is the 27th as the 27th exists in America, not here where we have flung out a day & closed up the vacancy [NB 34 TS 42].
The family celebrated Livy’s birthday aboard the Rotomahana, which arrived in Hawke’s Bay a mile from Gisborne, and, some 20 hours from Auckland, three hours ahead of schedule. Sam described the ship as “roomy, comfortable, well-ordered, and satisfactory” [FE ch XXXIV 315]. Due to high seas the ship could not dock. Sam watched as the Greenwood Theatrical Co. and four prisoners, disembarked in a basket over the rough seas into the small steam launch Snark for transport to shore. As a result of the rough seas and the harrowing nature of deboarding, the lecture in Gisborne was cancelled.
Sam gave an interview aboard the ship with W. Good of the Poverty Bay Herald saying that the ship could not dock and he did not “fancy coming ashore in the Snark.” The interview, with almost no quotations, ran on Nov. 28 [Shillingsburg, At Home 162; “Down Under” 27].
B. McCarter wrote asking if he might send some stories to Sam for his comment, or if he was “trespassing” on Sam’s time, to “dismiss the matter entirely” [MTP].
November 28 Thursday – Early in the morning the Rotomahana reached Napier (pop. 9,000), a stop scheduled for two of Sam’s lectures. Sam noted a new pier, and “beautiful green bluffs” below the town, and “A handsome beach of prodigious length” [NB 34 TS 43]. They took rooms at Frank Moeller’s Masonic Hotel overlooking the sea. Sam didn’t care for three cages of canaries that decorated the long porch. He wrote in his notebook:
Canary birds are the passion of Australasia, apparently. There were three cages on this long portico. Got them removed. To me, a ca[na]ry’s “music” is but the equivalent of scratching a nail on a window-pane. I wonder what sort of disease it is that enables a person to enjoy the canary [NB 34 TS 43].
Sam was suffering again from carbuncles and fatigue, and Drs. de Lisle and Bernau checked him out before his performance, advising him to “spare his audience by sparing himself,” but Sam went on stage anyway, giving his No. 1 program of “At Home” at the Theatre Royal, to an enthusiastic audience. Sam called it a “lovely time with the audience” [NB 34 TS 43]. The Hawke’s Bay Herald ran a review on Nov. 29 [Shillingsburg, At Home 163; “Down Under” 27].
November 29 Friday – Sam’s second lecture in Napier was canceled due to a fourth carbuncle threatening. His doctor called on him again at the hotel “and told him about some drunkards reclaimed by the Salvation Army, and a ‘citizen’ told him that the colonists, rather than having their teeth filled, merely pulled them out and substituted false ones.” Stuck in bed, Sam read railroad timetables and Indian histories [Shillingsburg, At Home 165; “Down Under” 27-8].
Sam also wrote a letter to his old friend Joe Twichell, having just received his letter of “two months & five days ago” (about Sept. 24). Joe was writing an article about Mark Twain. Sam called his latest carbuncle “No. 3. Not a serious one this time.”
I lectured last night without great inconvenience, but the doctors thought best to forbid to-night’s lecture….Livy is become a first-rate surgeon, now; she has been dressing carbuncles once & twice a day almost without a holiday ever since the 25th of last May.
Livy thinks she would rather you wouldn’t use the first incident you mention — the courting-incident.
That is the only objection offered. Bang away with a perfectly free hand as regards to everything else.
Yes, I like the idea of the Flagg portrait. And I also vastly like a photo which was made in Sydney lately — I ordered one to be sent to Harper. Best one that was ever made of me. …
We are all glad it is you who are to write the article, it delights us all through.
I think it was a good stroke of luck that knocked me on my back here at Napier, instead of in some hotel in the centre of a noisy city. Here we have the smooth & placidly-complaining sea at our door, with nothing between us & it but 20 yards of shingle — & hardly a suggestion of life in that space to mar it or make a noise. Away down here fifty-five degrees south of the equator this sea seems to murmur in an unfamiliar tongue — a tongue bred among the ice-fields of the Antarctic — a murmur with a note of melancholy in it proper to the vast unvisited solitudes it has come from. …
Day before yesterday was Livy’s birthday (underworld time), & to-morrow will be mine. I shall be 60 — no thanks for it [MTP].
November 30 Saturday – Sam’s 60th Birthday.
In Napier, N.Z. on Frank Moeller’s Masonic Hotel letterhead, Sam responded to a letter (not extant) from J.B. Pond asking if he’d be interested in 50 lectures in England the next year.
No; fifty lectures in England would not be worth my while.
I think the madam & Clara have had a very pleasant time of it since we shoved out from that Victorian pier that day. And I’ve had an exceedingly good time, barring the carbuncles. One couldn’t have more delightful audiences; & the journeys, both water & land, have been full of interest.
The fact is, the matter of lecturing, either in America or England, has been resolutely banished from my mind for the present.
Sam added that his book (FE) was his “next thing to be thought of & planned for.” Sam made no mention of his objections to Pond’s past management, his lack of “sand” or his judgment about “priorities” which he had complained to others about [MTP].
He also wrote his sister, Pamela Moffett, about being laid up “a few days with another carbuncle,” but he hoped to perform again on Dec. 2. He gave a general report of the family’s travels, and claimed “Livy & Clara enjoy themselves first rate” [MTP: Jan. 18, 1896 letter from Pamela to Samuel Moffett].
A short, unfavorable review of Sam’s Auckland performances ran in the NZ Observer and Free Lance. The article called Mark Twain “scarcely more entertaining than a speaker at an average Sunday school bun scuffle” [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 28].
Sam made a second notebook entry to get The Percy Anecdotes for information on the Black Hole [Gribben 541; NB 34 TS 44]. See also Nov. 10.
Sam also wrote on Frank Moeller’s Masonic Hotel letterhead to Henry M. Whitney (1824-1904), Hawaii’s first postmaster and past owner of the Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser :
Dear Mr. Whitney: — Your long-delayed letter has reached me today, and I was very glad to hear from you, and know that you are still hale and hearty — which I am not; it exasperates me to have to say. I was perishing to get ashore at Honolulu, and talk to you all, and see your enchanted land again, and be welcomed and stirred up. But it was not to be, and I shall regret it a thousand years; for of course I shan’t get another chance to see the islands again. At least, I am afraid I shan’t, life is so uncertain now-a-days.
I have had a very delightful time in Australia and New Zealand, notwithstanding my poor health.
Do please remember me most cordially to any of my old-time friends that still survive the thirty years interval since I was with them in Honolulu.
I thank you ever so much for your beautiful “Tourist Guide Through Hawaii, which arrived by recent mail [“Letter from Mark Twain,” reprinted in Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser , Jan 6, 1896, p.6].
December – In New Zealand Sam entered in his notebook:
At great intervals they have much snow & very hard winters in the Middle Island; Lady Barker tells of one [Gribben 47; NB 36 TS 3]. Note: Mary Anne Barker’s (Lady Broome) Station Life in New Zealand (1870).
Have begun Children of the Abbey. It begins with this “impromptu” from the sentimental heroine: “Hail, sweet asylum of my infancy! Content and innocence reside beneath your humble roof, & charity unboastful of the good it renders. Here unmolested may I wait, till the rude storm of sorrow is overblown, & my father’s arms are again expanded to receive me.” Has the earmarks of preparation [Gribben 585; NB 36 TS 3, quoted in MTB 1016]. Note: this refers to Mrs. Regina Maria Roche’s The Children of the Abbey. A Tale. (1797).
December 1 Sunday – In Napier, N.Z. at Frank Moeller’s Masonic Hotel, Sam rested his carbuncles. Shillingburg gathers from the following Dec. 1 notebook entry that Sam may have been treated by a Dr. John Brown [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 28].
Dr. John Brown—“Somebody you are acquainted with?” “No, dog, I’m not acquainted with” [NB 34 TS 45] Note: more likely Sam recalled his late friend the Scot Dr. John Brown.
Sam wrote to William Evarts Benjamin through H.H. Rogers offering to sell 5 years’ use of his new book, which would become Following the Equator, for $40,000, but not less [MTP].
Sam’s notebook entry noted it was “hot — & plenty flies”; also the title, “Ranke’s History of the Popes,” referring to Leopold von Ranke’s The History of the Popes, Their Church and State, etc. (1876) [NB 34 TS 45; Gribben 569; MTNJ 2: 244].
December 2 Monday – The Clemens party left Napier for Palmerston North (pop.12,000). FE:
Left Napier in the Ballarat Fly [N.Z. express train] — the one that goes twice a week. From Napier to Hastings, twelve miles; time, fifty-five minutes — not so far short of thirteen miles an hour….A perfect summer day; cool breeze, brilliant sky, rich vegetation. Two or three times during the afternoon we saw wonderfully dense and beautiful forests, tumultuously piled skyward on the broken highlands — not the customary roof-like slant of a hillside, where the trees are all the same height. The noblest of these trees were of the Kauri breed, we were told — the timber that is now furnishing the wood-paving for Europe….Tree ferns everywhere — a stem fifteen feet high…a lovely forest ornament. … A romantic gorge, with a brook flowing in its bottom, approaching Palmerston North.
Waitukurau. Twenty minutes for luncheon. With me sat my wife and daughter, and my manager, Mr. Carlyle Smythe.
At Waitukurau Sam later related what he felt was another example of “mental telegraphy” — the transferring of an idea from his mind to Livy’s [ch XXXIV 315-7]. The Clemens party took rooms at the Club Hotel in Palmerston North. Livy began a letter to Susy describing the sheep country they had traversed, that she finished Dec. 5.
Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in Palmerston North. Shillingsburg writes that “the newspapers of this period have been destroyed by fire; therefore, it now seems impossible to discover what stories he told or how his audience reacted to them” [At Home 166-7]. Sam’s notebook gives us some flavor of the Club Hotel, where no smoking was allowed in the rooms:
Club Hotel. Memorable hotel. Stunning Queen-of-Sheba style of barmaid always answered the bell & then got up on her dignity & said lighting fires, brushing clothes, boots, &c., was the chambermaid’s business. Would she please tell the chambermaid? (No answer. Exit.) “Why do you answer the bell?” Sign up, saying landlord not hold himself responsible for baggage. No keys to the doors. Drunken loafers making noise down stairs. Said he had keys but didn’t know they was going to be wanted, & it would take a long time to sort them out; hadn’t any labels or numbers on them. Elderly & not very handsome woman said she’d a given up her room if she’d know people was so particular — She wasn’t afraid to sleep without a key. Got a key at last — midnight.
Early in the morning baby began — pleasantly — didn’t mind baby — then the piano tin kettle, played by either the cat or a partially untrained artist — certainly the most extraordinary music — straight average of 3 right notes to 4 wrong ones, but played with eager zeal & gladness — old, old tunes of 40 ys ago, such as I heard at Timaru — & considering it was the cat — for it must have been the cat — it was really marvelous performance. It convinces me that a cat is more intelligent than people believe, & can be taught any crime.
Rooms astonishingly small — partitions astonishingly thin — parlor the size & shape of a grand piano. Very funny hotel. Landlord shows ladies through with his hat on. Fat, red, ignorant, made of pretty coarse clay, possibly mud.
“Anything the matter with your head — or is it custom to keep it covered?” [NB 34 TS 45-6].
December 3 Tuesday – Sam called the four-hour train ride to Wanganui (pop. 14,000) “a pleasant trip.” Sam wrote of the area:
Much horseback riding, in and around this town; many comely girls in cool and pretty summer gowns; much Salvation Army; lots of Maoris; the faces and bodies of some of the old ones very tastefully frescoed. Maori Council House over the river — large, strong, carpeted from end to end with matting, and decorated with elaborate wood carvings, artistically executed. The Maoris were very polite [FE ch XXXV 318].
Sam performed the No. 1 program of “At Home” in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Wanganui. The hall “was packed, many having to stand.” The audience was “convulsed…with laughter for nearly two hours” Reviews published: Dec. 4: Wanganui Chronicle; Wanganui Herald; Dec. 7: Yeoman [Shillingsburg, At Home 168; “Down Under” 28].
December 4 Wednesday – In Wanganui, Sam wrote of a crazed intruder, who burst into his rooms and warned that the Jesuits were going to poison him in his food, or kill him on the stage that night.
This lunatic has no delicacy. But he was not uninteresting. He told me a lot of things. He said he had “saved so many lecturers in twenty years, that they put him in the asylum.” I think he has less refinement than any lunatic I have met [FE Ch XXXV 320-1].
The Clemens family visited a Maori native village. In the evening Sam gave his No. 2 program for “At Home” in Wanganui’s Odd Fellows’ Hall. The Wanganui Chronicle ran a review on Dec. 5.
December 5 Thursday – Sam and Carlyle Smythe left the ladies in Wanganui at 8 a.m. for lecture engagements in Hawera (pop. 2,000) and New Plymouth (pop. 3,800). Sam gave his “At Home” lecture in Hawera’s Drill Hall to a standing room only crowd. The Hawera Star ran a review on Dec. 5 and 6 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 28; At Home 171].
Livy finished her Dec. 2 letter to Susy:
…here we are at another town! Papa read here two nights and now he is off to another one. Tonight he reads at Hawera and tomorrow night at New Plymouth. Clara nad I staid here as it is quite a pretty place and the hotel is comfortable — for a New Zealand hotel, not for a New York one — and the traveling would be rather trying [MTP].
December 6 Friday – Sam traveled from Hawera to New Plymouth, some 48 miles in four hours, “12 m per hour” riding through the garden region. “From Stratford to N.P. it was difficult to stay in your seat, so tremendously rough was the road” [NB 34 TS 48]. He’d been advertised for two weeks by The Budget to speak in Alexandra Hall, which held a thousand people. The hall was packed and included some Maoris: Shillingsburg quotes newspapers and writes,
“Seldom has the Alexandra Hall been so packed,” and seldom “perhaps has the audience so thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.” He met “such a welcome as is usually accorded only to old favorites….to the general public…, but there was a strong admixture of curiosity” to see Twain. He used the excerpts which were so welcomed in the Victorian country towns — his Mississippi River childhood, Huck and Jim, and the German language lesson. These stories and his “droll witticisms kept the audience in a perpetual state of half-subdued laughter, disturbed now and then by a spontaneous and uncontrollable outburst as a particularly fetching point found its way home” [At Home 172].
After the lecture Sam was entertained at the men’s social club, the Taranaki Club. The Taranaki Herald reviewed the lecture on Dec. 7. In his notebook he commented on the ride through the “garden” country, with butter and creamery factories:
They ought to put the milk in the train — that would churn it. This was my only unpleasant experience [of a N.Z. train] [NB 34 TS 48].
December 7 Saturday – Sam and Carlyle Smythe traveled from New Plymouth back to Wanganui, a ten-hour trip by train. They stopped at Hawera an hour and a half where they ate lunch at the hotel. Advertisements advised people in Wellington that Sam’s performance had been changed from Monday to Tuesday, Dec. 10. In Wanganui (due to Smythe missing the fine lines of print in the RR schedule), Sam was reunited with Livy and Clara [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 29; NB 34 TS 41-2].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, but the letter did not reach him until Feb. 7, 1896 in Calcutta. It is not extant but is referred to in Sam’s Feb. 8, 1896 to Rogers, and Sam’s response then reveals at least some of the content.
December 8 Sunday – In Wanganui, a small earthquake took place, a usual occurrence for this area. Since no trains ran in Australia or N.Z., Sundays were usually one of rest, or sightseeing. Sam wrote of this day in FE:
A couple of curious war-monuments here at Wanganui. One is in honor of white men “who fell in defence of law and order against fanaticism and barbarism.”…Patriotism is Patriotism. Calling it Fanaticism cannot degrade it; nothing can degrade it. Even though it be a political mistake, and a thousand times a political mistake, that does not affect it; it is honorable — always honorable, always noble — and privileged to hold its head up and look the nations in the face. It is right to praise these brave white men who fell in the Maori war — they deserve it; but the presence of that word detracts from the dignity of their cause and their deeds, and makes them appear to have spilt their blood in a conflict with ignoble men, men not worthy of that costly sacrifice. But the men were worthy. It was no shame to them. They fought for their homes, they fought for their country…the Maori patriots [ch XXXV 321-2].
Shillingsburg lists a riverboat excursion in Wanganui with a woman whose lap-dogs Sam called “slimy muddy half-caste pugs.” It was during this excursion that Sam visited the monument to the dead from the Maori wars he wrote of (above) [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 29].
December 9 Monday – The Clemens party left Wanganui at 1 p.m. bound for Wellington (pop. 37,000) some 100 miles to the south; the train took nine hours, arriving at 10 p.m., too late to make his lecture appearance. Seats sold for this night were made valid for the next evening, Dec. 10, and Tuesday’s scheduled performance moved to Wednesday. Shillingsburg writes Sam had misread the express train schedule, missing the fine print that the express only ran on Tuesdays and Fridays. The party took rooms at Moeller’s Occidental Hotel in Wellington — their last stop in New Zealand. After a late supper a reporter, “R.A.L.,” of the New Zealand Mail interviewed Sam, who called him a reporter “with the urbanity of a journalist and the courtesy of the world.” It was published on Dec. 12 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 29; At Home 172-80].
December 10 Tuesday – In Wellington, N.Z. a reporter from the Evening Post called on Sam at Moeller’s Occidental Hotel. Sam related the nine-hour train trip from Wanganui, the “continual stoppages at little stations, where apparently nothing was done” and the jolting ride.
Livy was reported as saying that she hoped they would,
…find some nice quiet spot in Africa where crocodiles and irritating insects of the genus homo would not be too numerous, and where the customs of the country would allow interviewers and autograph hunters to be shot on sight, and there, under the gentle protection of the family Maxim gun, composition might go on undisturbed [Shillingsburg, At Home 177]. Note: this sounds more like Sam than Livy.
During the day Sam visited David Boyle (1833-1915) also known as Lord Glasgow, Governor of New Zealand (1892-7). In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” lecture at the Wellington Opera House, tickets from four to one shilling each. Reviews published: Dec. 11 Evening Post; New Zealand Times; Dec. 12: “Scrutator” New Zealand Mail; Dec. 14: New Zealand Times Supplement. After the lecture Sam was entertained at supper by the Wellington Club [Shillingsburg “Down Under” 29; NB 34 TS 51].
Regius Manufacturing Co., Chicago, having liquidated all assets, sent Orion Clemens $14 [MTP]. Note: this was the Chicago machine shop left over from the Paige typsetter involved in the manufacture of typewriters.
December 11 Wednesday – In Wellington N.Z. Sam gave his “At Home” performance at the Opera House. Lord David and Countess Glasgow and party, the Governor of N.Z. were in the audience.
Reviews published: Dec. 11: New Zealand Times; Dec. 12 and Dec. 19: New Zealand Mail.
After the performance Sam went to a supper and celebration by the Wellington Club “given by 1 Mr. Carroll (half-caste) Minister for Maori Affairs” at the Club Hotel. Sam called this the “Modesty Club,” using a label from his past. The event ran until 1:30 a.m. the next morning. The group of nine consisted of six Maoris, an editor, Carlyle G. Smythe, and Mark Twain. Sam learned some Maori words and learned he should have addressed the Governor at his lecture, as per custom [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 30; At Home, 178; NB 34 TS 52].
December 12 Thursday – The last full day in Wellington, and N.Z., Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe took a short train ride to the suburb of Hutt, where they enjoyed the gardens of Mrs. Ross, played billiards, and in the evening went to a concert. Livy and Clara likely went along. New Zealand Mail ran R.A.L.’s interview about the “Street Called Straight” from the Christchurch Savage Club [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 30; At Home 178].
Sam wrote on Moeller’s Occidental Hotel stationery to Joseph J. Kinsey of Christchurch, thanking him for books and photographs which arrived this day. He disclosed they were sailing the next day for Sydney and they’d always remember “with pleasure the good times you gave us in Christchurch…” Sam wished he lived closer to New Zealand so they might meet again some day, but hoped when the Kinsey’s visited America they might return the favor [MTP].
On the same stationery, Sam wrote a short letter to H.H. Rogers, obviously responding to a letter now lost.
I imagine that if I should give those creditors my notes — but we will not discuss that. It makes me hot every time I think of it.
Sam added a short paragraph that they’d had “a most delightful 6-week lecture campaign in New Zealand” and that they would sail in one hour for Australia [MTP not in MTHHR].
December 13 Friday – At 3:15 p.m. the Clemens party (including Carlyle G. Smythe) left Wellington, N.Z. on the Union Co.’s Mararoa. “Summer seas and a good ship — life has nothing better” [FE ch. XXXVI 324]. On board was the “damdest menagerie of mannerless children I have ever gone to sea with” [NB 36 TS 2] who raised Sam’s ire — in his notebook he hoped for a heavy storm. Also on board was the manager of the Greenwood Theatrical Co. which had been hauled off the ship on a basket at Gisborne. He expressed that it was hardly worthwhile financially for his troupe to tour N.Z., but they did so for the appreciative audiences. Livy conversed with a carver of Maori gods aboard ship [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 30; At Home 179-80].
Livy wrote to Joseph J. Kinsey: “(O dear me! How I hate writing on this hotel paper but all the other is packed.)” Livy wrote of the arrival of the books and photographs and “what a delightful time” they had in the Kinsey’s “other house….I write in great haste as we are about starting for the steamer” [MTP].
December 14 Saturday – The Clemens party was en route to Sydney in the Mararoa in the Tasman sea. Personal appreciation by writer of “Echoes of the Week,” ran in the New Zealand Times Supplement [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 30].
December 15 Sunday – The Clemens party was en route to Sydney in the Mararoa in the Tasman sea. Shillingsburg writes:
“The trip across the Tasman Sea from Wellington to Sydney was so pleasant that Twain said only poetry was appropriate. He read Mrs. Julia A. Moore’s The Sentimental Song Book, which, along with Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘deathless story’ The Vicar of Wakefield, he always carried with him….In fact he read both of these and a work by Jane Austen, which he called ‘thoroughly artificial.’ …While the Clemenses were still at sea, the Sydney newspapers again began heralding his arrival” [At Home 181; Gribben 32]. (Editorial emphasis.)
December 16 Monday – The Clemens party was en route to Sydney in the Mararoa in the Tasman sea.
From FE: Monday. Three days of paradise. Warm and sunny and smooth; the sea a luminous Mediterranean blue….One lolls in a chair all day under the deck-awnings, and reads and smokes, in a measureless content. One does not read prose at such a time, but poetry. I have been reading the poems of Julia A. Moore, again, and I find in them the same grace and melody that attracted me when they were first published, twenty years ago, and have held me in happy bonds ever since. “The Sentimental Song Book” has long been out of print, and has been forgotten by the world in general, but not by me. …Indeed, it has the same deep charm for me that the Vicar of Wakefield has, and I find in it the same subtle touch — the touch that makes an intentionally humorous episode pathetic and intentionally pathetic one funny….I have read her book [Moore] through twice to-day, with the purpose of determining which of her pieces has most merit, and I am persuaded that for wide grasp and sustained power, “William Upson” may claim first place…[ch. XXXVI 324].
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, – brilliant sunny weather warm…/ We have some immense albatross sailing about the ship. /To-day (Monday) everybody on deck. No seasick, Weather bright & perfect, sea a Mediterranean blue [NB 36 TS 3].
December 17 Tuesday – The Mararoa reached Sydney Harbor at 9 a.m. Sam’s notebook records that the weather had turned cool [NB 36 TS 3]. Immediately after his arrival Sam was interviewed by Herbert Low about his impressions of New Zealand. The interview ran on Dec. 18 in the Sydney Morning Herald. Low may not have been the only journalist pestering Sam for his impressions of N.Z.
Shillingsburg quotes Sam’s notebook (no # or TS page no. given):
The interviewer is pathetically persistent in trying to worm out of you your “impressions” of N.Z & her people & audiences, & “which city did I like best, there; & which audience; & are the audiences there as quick & bright as in Austral; & which do I think the most remarkable city, Syd or Melb; & which newspapers do I consider the best; but don’t I think them all remarkable [”] — & a dozen other questions of the same guilelessly idiotic sort, which only another idiot would answer [At Home 184].
The Clemens family took rooms at the Australia Hotel on Castlereagh St., and probably attended the dramatization of Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney. Sam felt the play could not bring out the depth of the convict system as well as the book had done; Clara called the play “gruesome” .
December 18 Wednesday – In a Dec. 20 letter to Sue Crane, Livy wrote that she made two social calls on families in Sydney, only to discover that everyone was just about to leave for Europe or England. Sam likely visited the Sydney Botanical Garden, and may have gone fishing at Bondi, where he heard several stories of sharks. His notebook entry gives several anecdotes about watches, money, and even prayer books that people found in sharks. Sam felt these were “doubtful.” Sam claimed to have caught one on the line:
Caught one myself, but he thought he caught me — & as he was doing most of the pulling I conceded the argument & let go [Shillingsburg, At Home 185; “Down Under” 31].
December 19 Thursday – Sam and Carlyle G. Smythe left Sydney on a train at 11:25 a.m. for Scone, a country town some 125 miles northwest and the farthest north the tour reached in the Australian leg, arriving at 7:15 p.m. Sam noted the war scare between England and America [NB 36 TS 1, 6]. Livy and Clara remained in Sydney, and may have gone to the National Park with Justice Sir William Windeyer. On the train in a first-class car, Sam observed an “imitation dude”:
Fellow of 30 with four valises; a slim creature, with teeth which made his mouth look like a neglected churchyard. He had solidified hair — solidified with pomatum; it was all one shell. He smoked the most extraordinary cigarettes — made of some kind of manure, apparently. These and his hair made him smell like the very nation. …
When the “imitation dude” left the train at a small town, he was replaced by a bishop and two clergymen. Sam then wrote of the scenery.
There was other scenery in the trip. That of the Hawksbury river, in the National Park region, fine — extraordinarily fine, with spacious views of stream and lake imposingly framed in woody hills….Further along, green flats, thinly covered with gum forests, with here and there the huts and cabins of small farmers engaged in raising children. Still further along, arid stretches, lifeless and melancholy. Then Newcastle, a rushing town, capital of the rich coal regions. Approaching Scone, wide farming and grazing level….Blazing hot all day [FE ch. XXXVI 326-7].
Gionni Di Gravio, archivist at the University of Newcastle writes of Sam’s possible stop in Newcastle:
It was hot…. Upon arrival he went to visit the dentist. The site of the Wells dentist that saw to Twain’s tooth was on the corner of Bolton and Scott Streets, Newcastle. … After the extraction of the tooth, Twain departed Newcastle for Scone arriving there in the afternoon. After being officially greeted and welcomed by the Mayor (Dr Scott) and Messr, J.A.K. Shaw and E.J. Sherwood, Vice President and Secretary to the School of Arts Twain retired to the Willow Tree Hotel for a rest. The Scone Advocate reported that he said ‘he was very tired and really looked it.’ At the evening lecture at the School of Arts, it was reported that people from Muswellbrook, Murrurundi, Aberdeen, Wingen and the Scone district all came to hear him. And after a humorous delivery of anecdotes and observations the highlight of the night was the recitation of his new Australian poem. The Scone Advocate provides the only evidence for the debut of this poem, entitled “A Sweltering Day in Australia”. He departed for Sydney the following morning [“Why Mark Twain Lost a Tooth in Newcastle – A Mythological Explanation” sent by Ron Hohenhaus of the Australian Mark Twain Society]. (Editorial emphasis.)
Sam wrote the dentist, William Henry Wells (see Note), a thank you note, which was not uncovered until the late 1970s in a private collection of dentristy books. From the text, the note is this day or the next, though it bears in another hand in pencil: “To Mr. Wells / Thursday / December 19th / 1895”:
Sir / I congratulate you on your ministrations. I now depart on my journey in greater comfort than upon my arrival. / I thank you. / Mark Twain [Di Gravio].
Note: It’s possible, as Hohenhaus suggests in his email Nov. 28, 2008, that Sam had the tooth extracted before leaving Sydney, pointing out that a Norman Wells, dentist, had an office only two blocks from Castlereagh Street and the Australia Hotel, where Mark was staying. Further, while a quick stop or train change in Newcastle was possible, a tooth “ministration” there or on the train would likely have been reported by the papers. Further, Robert Hirst of the MTP concludes the handwriting of the note is not Sam’s, nor does it appear to be Smythe’s, though it may have been dictated to someone else.
Sam performed his “At Home” lecture in Scone. Sam and Smythe stayed the night in Scone. Sam made notes about the threat of war between the US and Britain over Guiana. [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 31; At Home 186-7].
December 20 Friday – Sam and Smythe left Scone, Australia by train at 11:25 a.m. While on the train Sam kept notes of town names, possibly for use in a poem he included in FE.
Back to Sydney. Blazing hot again. From the newspaper, and from the map, I have made a collection of curious names of Australasian towns, with the idea of making a poem out of them [see three columns of names and a poem, “A Sweltering Day in Australia,” p.328-9]….It may be best to build the poem now, and make the weather help…Those are good words for poetry. Among the best I have ever seen. There are 81 in the list. I did not need them all, but I have knocked down 66 of them; which is a good bag, it seems to me, for a person not in the business. Perhaps a poet laureate could do better, but a poet laureate gets wages, and that is different. When I write poetry I do not get any wages; often I lose money by it. The best word in that list, and the most musical and gurgly, is Woolloomoolloo. It is a place near Sydney, and is a favorite pleasure-resort. It has eight O’s in it [FE ch XXXVI 327-30].
Sam arrived in Sydney at 7:15 p.m. and was a bit late for his “At Home” performance at the School of Arts on Pitt Street. He used his adventures in the December heat as an introduction and claimed to have changed clothes on the train. He used the McWilliams lightning story he first told at Dunedin, but left out the Australian poem. He made a few closing remarks on the war scare, hoping that “we shall soon cease to be annoyed by all this unpleasant, unprofitable and unbrotherly war talk.” Supposedly a man came 3,000 miles from the Gulf of Carpentaria to hear him. Sam reunited with Livy and Clara at the Australia Hotel.
Reviews published: Dec. 21: Sydney Daily Telegraph; Sydney Morning Herald; Dec. 28: Bulletin. Interview published this day, Herbert Low’s in Sydney Daily Telegraph [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 31; At Home 187-8].
Livy began a letter to Susan Crane that she finished Dec. 22, 23 and Dec. 26: “it is just the season when every one is getting away from the city. We went this afternoon to make two calls, and found both families just on the [illegible word] of leaving town and both of them for a long period” [MTP].
December 21 Saturday – In Sydney in the evening Sam repeated his “At Home” lecture from the previous night, except he used his remarks on the war scare as an introduction, and also included the Australian poem. Shillingsburg, in quoting local newspapers, writes: On Saturday night, “the hall was packed, and the great humorist met with a splendid reception,” and at times “the whole audience was convulsed.”
Reviews published: Dec. 23: Sydney Daily Telegraph; Sydney Morning Herald; Dec. 28: Bulletin. [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 32; At Home 188].
A folio of New South Wales Photographs was inscribed: S.L. Clemens Esq. / With Kindest remembrances / Presented by the New South Wales Government / 21 Dec ’95 / G.H. Reid [Gribben 502].
December 22 Sunday – In Sydney the Clemens family visited the Hawkesbury River National Park with H.S. Chipman, who later gave Sam an illustrated book on Australia. A sightseeing boat usually left the Market St. Wharf for Hawkesbury. Sam was contacted by a member of the Bulletin staff, possibly J.F. Archibald. In Livy’s Dec. 20 to Sue Crane, she added a PS that William Windeyer called. Sam wrote extensively in his notebook and was preparing to wire more funds to H.H. Rogers [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 32].
Livy continued her Dec. 20 letter to Susy:
Sunday morning / I was here interrupted by a knock on our parlor door. By good fortune I had not yet got into a wrapper, and Sir William Windeyer entered. He is one of the [judges] here, and has an interesting story, which I will tell you sometime. We are just off by invitation to the National Park…& there is about five minutes before we start [MTP].
Sir Joseph Hector Carruthers inscribed a copy of Andrew Barton Paterson’s The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses (1895) for Sam: From Mr. Carruthers to S.L. Clemens in memory of Dec. 22, most pleasantly spent at Port Hackin[g] Bay, Sydney, N.S.W., Dec/23/95 [Gribben 536].
Note: Paterson was best know for his poem, “Waltzing Matilda” which was set to music and became Australia’s national anthem. Carruthers would later serve as Premier of New South Wales (1904-7). As the inscription suggests, Sam spent some time with Carruthers on this day.
December 23 Monday – In Sydney Sam sent £200 to H.H. Rogers through Dibb’s Bank. At noon Sam
wrote a short note to Cyprian A. Bridge:
We sail in an hour: I have been so rushed that I got no chance to acknowledge the honor of your visit till a quarter of an hour ago…I am sorry I missed you…[MTP].
At 1 p.m. the Clemens party (including Carlyle G. Smythe) sailed on the P&O liner Oceana for Ceylon.
Sam’s notebook includes an entry about twenty “male & female cranks — rivals of the Salvationists — in
no uniform but waterproofs (it was raining) sang hymns on the dock,” begging for money. From FE:
A Lascar crew mans this ship — the first I have seen. White cotton petticoat and pants; barefoot; red shawl for belt; straw cap, brimless, on head, with red scarf wound around it; complexion a rich dark brown; short straight black hair; whiskers fine and silky; lustrous and intensely black. Mild, good faces; willing and obedient people; capable, too; but are said to go into hopeless panics when there is danger. They are from Bombay and the coast thereabouts….Left some of the trunks in Sydney, to be shipped to South Africa by a vessel advertised to sail three months hence. The proverb says: “Separate not yourself from your baggage.” …This Oceana is a stately big ship, luxuriously appointed. She has spacious promenade decks. Large rooms; a surpassingly comfortable ship. The officers’ library is well selected; a ship’s library is usually not that….For meals, the bugle call, man-of-war fashion; a pleasant change from the terrible gong….Three big cats — very friendly loafers; they wander all over the ship; the white one follows the chief steward around like a dog [ch. XXXVII 331].
The Clemens family enjoyed dinner at the chief engineer’s table aboard the Oceana [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 32; At Home 189].
December 24 Tuesday – The Clemens party was en route to Melbourne on the P&O Co.’s Oceana. Shillingsburg writes Sam “Evidently working on the Australian poem in his notebook, adding verses first recorded in Melbourne in Dec. 26 performance” [“Down Under” 32].
While en route Sam wrote three letters of introduction for Justice Sir William C. Windeyer to Laurence Hutton, Henry C. Robinson, and Chauncey Depew (the first two survive). He then enclosed these letters to Windeyer.
I enclose a note or two of introduction — couldn’t get a chance to write them before I left Sydney.
Chauncey Depew is a distinguished lawyer & after-dinner speaker, & President of the Vanderbilt railway systems.
Laurence Hutton is on the staff of Harper’s Monthly & knows all the literary folk.
Henry C. Robinson of Hartford is counsel for the great Consolidated & a director of that road — knows everybody.
Sam mentioned the “delightful society” of Hartford and listed several distinguished residents. He wished that his family could go with the Windeyers to Hartford [MTP].
Frank W. Sprague wrote to Sam about his JA article in Harper’s Magazine. Sprague noted Sam “did not give an illustration of her birthplace,” and told of his visit there [MTP].
December 25 Wednesday – Christmas – The Oceana arrived in Melbourne in the morning. The Clemens party was driven to the Malvern home of John H. Wagner, whom they’d spent many hours with in October. They had an afternoon tea with the Wagners and visited at Lloyds’ large home at Stoningham. Christmas dinner was enjoyed at Highgate-on-the-Hill with the R.S. Smythe family. They stayed overnight with the Wagners [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 32; At Home 189].
December 26 Thursday – On Boxing Day in Melbourne, the Clemenses enjoyed Johnny cakes and buckwheat cakes at the John Wagner’s. Sam played billiards “a good part of the day” [NB 36 TS 13] with young Jack Wagner (John H. Jr.) and Mrs. Sue McCulloch, his sister. Livy and Clara enjoyed tea with Mrs. Sue McCulloch, perhaps as guests elsewhere. In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) in the Athenaeum Hall in Melbourne. He included an expanded version of his Australian poem.
Sam was interviewed about his views on the “anglo-American situation” in Guiana. Shillingsburg writes and quotes local newspapers:
He claimed to know little on the subject of politics but he did foreshadow remarks he would make publicly a few days later in Adelaide: “He declares unmistakable that the United States people are anxious to avoid war with any nation but particularly with England; and at the same time he declines to believe that the action of the President was in any way an election move”….Still, he thought President Cleveland “probably takes a strained view of the Monroe doctrine” [At Home 191].
Reviews published Dec. 27: Evening News; Dec. 28: Age [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 33].
The Clemenses likely stayed overnight at the John Wagner’s again.
December 27 Friday – In Malvern, a suburb of Melbourne, Sam spent all day playing billiards with the Wagners [NB 36 TS 13]. In the evening Sam gave his “At Home” (No. 2) lecture at Athenaeum Hall in Melbourne. Age reviewed the lecture on Dec. 28 [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 33].
December 28 Saturday – The Clemens party left Melbourne aboard the P&O Co.’s 3,175 ton Oceana, captained by Commander E. Stewart, bound for India. A “very heavy sea all night” probably caused some concern. Sam left behind him many good memories and friends; financially he had done well, with most halls being filled to the brim and enthusiastic [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 33, At Home 191-2; NB 36 TS 13].
December 29 Sunday – On a moonlit night the Clemens party was en route to Adelaide on P&O Co.’s Oceana. Sam’s notebook: “Dec. 29. Arr. At Adelaide early in the morning” [NB 36 TS 13].
December 30 Monday – In Adelaide, Australia Sam wrote to his nephew, Samuel E. Moffett.
This is just a note to welcome Francis to the fight. It may be a long one, it may be a short one, but there is only one result possible — defeat. But don’t tell him that; let him find out for himself. Then he will think it is a discovery. …I shall have to drop him a line & give him a sharp note of warning, & tell him that if I do take him for agent I shan’t need him in San Francisco.
Sam sent his love and noted they’d be in Ceylon in two days [MTP].
Early in the morning the Oceana anchored in Largs Bay, South Australia. The Clemens party arrived in Adelaide in time for Commemoration Day (59 years before the province of South Australia was proclaimed). The weather was perfect; 50,000 people came in on special trains to Glenelg, some seven miles from Adelaide and the site of the proclamation and celebration. Sam got there just in time for the festivities. Shillingsburg writes,
An exhibition of historical relics and an autograph book for the names and dates of arrival of senior members of the colony were on public display. Twain, by special request, signed the book. In the afternoon there were swimming contests for various ages, boat races for all classes of crafts, greased pole climbing, and other mirth-provoking activities. …After dark “a thousand lights twinkling like stars” along the beach and the ‘flash [of] the electric searchlight’ thrilled the spectators [At Home 193].
At one o’clock a ceremony at Town Hall welcomed Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Governor of S. Austr.; and Lady Victoria Buxton. Afterward, Glenelg’s mayor, G.K. Soward and about 200 guests gathered. Toasts by Sir Richard Baker were given. Sam, an unexpected guest, spoke against the rumors of war between England and America. His speech was reported verbatim in the South Australian Register, Dec. 31 [Fatout, MT Speaking 305-7].
An article titled “Australians Ridicule War; References to the Venezuelan Question at a Banquet in Adelaide” in the Washington Post, Dec. 31, 1895, p.11 stated:
A banquet was held at Adelaide to celebrate Foundation Day, and many patriotic speeches were made. Hon. James Henry Young, the Minister of Works of New South Wales, who is American born, ridiculed the idea of war. Mark Twain was also present and echoed the statement that talk of war between blood relations was absurd.
Later in the Mayor’s Parlor with Town Council members, Mark Twain was toasted and he made a humorous answer. Livy and Clara evidently did not go to the Mayor’s Luncheon; most often these were male-only affairs. Sam declined overnight housing at the Government House, but secured an unnamed hotel or residence in Adelaide [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 33-4].
December 31 Tuesday – In Adelaide, Australia Sam lunched with Lt. Gov. Dr. Samuel J. Way, then called at Government House and left his card, but was unable to see the Gov. General. The Clemens family went sightseeing at the Adelaide Zoological Gardens. Sam saw a Laughing Jackass (bird) that laughed and a dingo.
In the Zoological Gardens of Adelaide I saw the only laughing jackass that ever showed any disposition to be courteous to me. The one opened his head wide and laughed like a demon, or like a maniac who was consumed with humorous scorn over a cheap and degraded pun. It was a very human laugh. If he had been out of sight I could have believed that the laughter came from a man.
…In that garden I also saw the wild Australian dog — the dingo. He was a beautiful creature — shapely, graceful, a little wolfish in some of his aspects, but with a most friendly eye and sociable disposition.
[FE ch. XIX 184-5].
The Advertiser ran a news item about Sam’s Dec. 30 speech at the Mayor’s luncheon. The Clemenses stayed overnight in Adelaide [Shillingsburg, “Down Under” 34].