TOO BAD YOU MISUNDERSTOOD I ONLY PROMISED TO DISCUSS IT WITH MY
Note: much the same article ran in the Boston Globe, p.2. on June 2.
After hearing rumors that Mark Twain was seriously ill and desperately in debt in London, James Gordon Bennett, Jr. (1841-1918) of the NY Herald (who was in Paris) announced sponsorship of a subscription fun for Sam’s relief. Bennett and Andrew Carnegie started the fund with $1,000 each; after this day the paper regularly printed names of donors and their contributions [MTHHR 283n1]. See June 16.
In London Bram Stoker inscribed a copy of his new book, Dracula, to “Mark Twain / from / Bram Stoker / 1 June 1897” [Gribben 668; NB 41 TS 33].
June 2 Wednesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote two notes to James R. Clemens, asking the good doctor cousin to meet him at the box office of the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand the next evening, June 3 at eight or five after to see
William H. Gillette’s play, Secret Service. If James couldn’t go, would he name another day?
[MTP]. Note: evidently James agreed; see Sam’s June 3 reply. It was Gillette’s first performance in England and it was a great success; the critics praised it.
Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister, “ready to come up & dissipate, either with you alone or with a few added, you to choose them and I to help enjoy their society. Next Sunday—or if you prefer, make it the Sunday after & send me my orders” [MTP]. Note: MacAlister was a member of the Savage Club, and sometime after June 14 responded by taking Sam there; the club voted Mark Twain an honorary lifetime member.
Sam also wrote to Frank Fuller in N.Y.C. Only the envelope, marked “Private” survives [MTP].
Sam also wrote a note of thanks to Allen Upward (1863-1926), British poet, lawyer, politician and teacher. He committed suicide after learning that George Bernard Shaw won the nobel prize. “Those are very pleasant words to me, and although you have not required an answer, I think it was most kind of you to take the trouble to say them, and so I cannot deny myself the gratification of thanking you—which I do, cordially. / Sincerely yours…” [Some Personalities (1921) by Allen Upward, p. 238]. Note: Upward prefaced this letter by writing he’d just met Mark Twain in his publisher’s office and had been too shy to tell him of his admiration. It would seem Upward then wrote to Sam, a letter not extant, complimenting him, and here is Sam’s reply.
At 7:15 p.m. Sam sent a telegram from the Sloane Square post office to Frank Marshall White, London correspondent for the New York Journal :
WIFE I DECIDED AGAINST IT LAST NIGHT [MTP: also NB 41 TS 29].
The New York Journal then ran “Mark Twain Amused,” p. 1, an interview about him being in good health and quoted him about the erroneous rumor of him living in poverty and near death in London [MTCI
316-18]. Note: see June 1 for excerpt.
The NY Times, p. 7, ran “Mark Twain’s Health Good” datelined London, June 1. This was an expanded version of earlier articles that referred to Sam’s health. Plans to leave London at the end of June and spend the summer in Austria were mentioned, and that Twain’s book was finished, with his publisher (Bliss) on route at that time to “fetch the manuscript.”
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.