Vol 3 Section 0088

48                                                                           1897

As our star reporter [Twain] was not particularly robust, and we could not afford to take any chances on his becoming lost or incapacitated, I had appointed a member of our staff, Dr. Graham Dewey, as his escort and body-guard, and he brought him safely from Chelsea by the underground road and through the Embankment Gardens into the rear entrance of the Hotel Cecil. Dewey had the seat next to his charge on the Cecil stand, accommodating two or three hundred, which—the hotel being filled by guests from the various parts of the British Empire—was occupied by representatives of many nations, most of whom knew our famous humorist by reputation and recognized him from portraits they had seen in distant lands, and it was all that his companion could to prevent his being mobbed. In fact, Dewey declared that Mark Twain attracted more attention in his immediate vicinity than did the procession itself [Rodney 208: The Outlook, Vol. 96 (Dec. 24, 1910), p.964-6].

Sam wrote the event in his dispatch:

I got to my seat in the Strand just in time—five minutes past ten—for a glance around before the show began. The houses opposite, as far as the eye could reach in both directions, suggested boxes in a theater snugly packed. The gentleman next to me [Dewey] likened the groups to beds of flowers, and said he had never seen such a massed and multitudinous array of bright colors and fine clothes.

These displays rose up and up, story by story, all balconies and windows being packed, and also the battlements stretching along the roofs. The sidewalks were filled with standing people, but were not uncomfortably crowded. They were fenced from the roadway by red-coated soldiers, a double stripe of vivid color which extended throughout the six miles which the procession would traverse.

Five minutes later the head of the column came into view and was presently filing by, led by Captain Ames, the tallest man in the British army. And then the cheering began. It took me but a little while to determine that this procession could not be described. There was going to be too much of it, and too much variety in it, so I gave up the idea. It was to be a spectacle for the kodak, not the pen.


The Queen Empress was come. She was received with great enthusiasm. It was realizable that she was the procession herself; that all the rest of it was mere embroidery; that in her the public saw the British Empire itself. She was a symbol, an allegory of England’s grandeur and the might of the British name [Neider’s Complete Essays 197-9]. Note: Whitelaw Reid represented the US in the procession; Captain Oswald Henry Ames stood 6 ft 8 & 3/4 .

Sam telegraphed Percy Spalding of Chatto & Windus: FOR GOODNESS SAKE SEND ME MY MAIL CLEMENS”


On the first page of NB 42 (old #32b), Sam wrote a few story ideas involving Theodor Leschetizky, which F. Kaplan refers to as “Pupil of Leschetizky”. Kaplan refers to and introduces the proposed sketch:

At a concert in November 1896, she [Clara Clemens] got or had confirmed the idea that her musical destiny depended on becoming the pupil of the Viennese piano teacher, Theodor Leschetizky. His name had become enough of a household mantra by June 1897 for Twain to write a comic sketch in which a first-person narrator describes himself as a “pupil of Leschetizky” [546].

Sam’s notebook entry:

That’s it. (Music. Pupil of Letchitizky [sic]. It’s in the family. I can play myself. Let me see—what is that great thing—that grand concerto of Bach, no not Bach, Mendellsohn—no, Wagner—the Wedding March in Saul— re do re mi do la sol—(put in a false note here) beautiful thing—sublime—but I am out of practice. I was a pupil of L’s grandfather—1825—same year that I first met Napoleon—met him on the battle-field. When you meet people, you, well, you can’t meet a man if you are going in the same direction. It was on the battle field. He—well, one of us was going into battle, & the other was, I think the other, was going out back to see what time it was—I don’t remember which one it was, but that isn’t any matter—just a detail, you know. A great man N —— a wonderful man, & had a passion for music. (Play). Oh, he had a most delicate & sensitive enjoyment of music & yet the fact of –I have known him to swoom when I played that [NB 42 TS 1].

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