Vol 3 Section 0083

1897                                                                              43

I am afraid to venture to the Savage; there could be too many people there for a recluse. I think it will be better to wait till we can have a quiet & reposeful smoke together. I would have been to see you and inquire personally after your health before this, but I took a contract to do some work, & it has kept me thoroughly busy ever since—that & my American publisher together. He is here, & absorbs all my spare moments with business talks & plans, & yet is of no use to me in my revising, which goes steadily, tediously & endlessly on


Note: despite Sam’s claims of being “finished” with FE, the latest being declarations on June 3 to Fuller (on top of May 18 to Rogers and Livy), he was still revising here. On June 16, however, he gave half the MS that had been typed to Frank Bliss, and would send the other half when typed.

The New York Herald, section 4, p.1, ran “Mark Twain Smiling through His Tears,” another article about him not dying—at least, not faster than anyone else [MTCI 318-20].

The Brooklyn Eagle, p.6, asked, “Isn’t it a little sad that Mark Twain’s birthplace was pulled down in Missouri the other day without a word of protest from anyone?” See June 9 Courant article.

June 14 Monday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to William Carey, of Century Magazine.

Oh, bless your heart, that’s been attended to long ago. It was merely a reference, but I was glad I happened to mention it in time for you to get in the protest.

Love to Riley; it was good to hear the voice of him again. Tell him to prepare for the next world while he still has his faculties about him: I mean, tell him to get into debt; then if he goes to hell he will like the change


Note: William Carey (1857-1901), an assistant editor, was “a very clever young man who died in his early forties—more than clever; Mark Twain called him the wittiest man he ever knew…He had charge of the proofs, sending them back and forth between author and printer, and seeing that the forms of The Century went to press on the proper date” [MTNJ 3: 495n43: William Webster Ellsworth, A Golden Age of Authors (1919)]. Robert Underwood Johnson called Carey “a waggish Irish wit,” and gave several examples of it, including a prank played on Richard Watson Gilder [ Remembered Yesterdays 94]. On Oct. 18, 1901 in New Haven, Conn., Carey would die suddenly of heart failure in his 44th year [NY Tribune Oct. 21,1901, p.9]. Carey once convinced Sam to give a reading with James Whitcomb Riley that Sam always felt was a gigantic failure. See Feb. 20, 1894.

June 14 afterIn London, sometime after Sam wrote he was “afraid to venture to the Savage,” MacAlister took him there. The club voted him an honorary lifetime member. Paine writes,

His book finished, Clemens went out rather more freely, and one evening allowed MacAlister to take him around to the Savage Club. There happened to be a majority of the club committee present, and on motion Mark Twain was elected an honorary life member. There were but three others on whom this distinction had been conferred—Stanley, Nansen, and the Prince of Wales. When they told Mark Twain this he said:

“Well, it must make the Prince feel mighty fine” [MTB 1041 and n1, citing Sam’s NB].

June, midSometime before June 19, the Hearst Newspaper Syndicate asked Sam to write several dispatches covering Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration. The initial dispatch was datelined London, June 19. See entry. Likely the agent of the request was the London correspondent of the NY Journal (Hearst’s second newspaper after the S.F. Examiner had been acquired in 1895) Frank Marshall White, though no communication on this issue has been found.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.