may be briefly described as the wish to set down as bluntly and forcibly as possible whatever one has to say, and the refusal to allow any intermediary between one’s self and one’s subject.
Before Mr. Kipling rose glowing in the East, Mark Twain held the field. He was the ideal of masculine writers. There were no half ways with his readers—either they swore by him through thick and thin or unconditionally they cast him aside. Probably no author has been so little read by women, although, on the other hand, there was hardly a boy in the English-speaking world who would not have bartered his soul for Mark Twain’s corncob pipe as a relic. He did just what boys and elemental men like: he came straight to the point; he feared no one, and he esteemed laughter above all the gifts of God.
Thus it was from twenty-five to a dozen years ago. But then, in the early eighties, Mark Twain’s old manner became changed. He abandoned his zest in lawless life and the records of his personal impressions in the serious places of the earth, and he turned to satire and romance. His sorrowing readers had only just perceived the melancholy truth when “Soldiers Three” appeared, in its quiet blue-gray covers, to mark the beginnings of a new sledge-hammer pen and divert their grief. British India won, and to-day Mr. Rudyard Kipling is the ideal masculine writer, and his is the pipe that is coveted by boys and elemental men. He is a finer artist than Mark Twain, his sympathies are wider, his genius is more comprehensive, and yet, when all be said, the fact remains that Mark Twain is his literary progenitor. [Note: on p. 652 the publication also ran an editorial commenting on the mistaken rumor that Sam was ill in London, and on the subscription effort by the NY Herald: Tenney: 26]
Major and Mrs. James B. Pond visited Sam. A photograph of Mark Twain on Univ. of California’s new thisismarktwain.com site is an inscribed photo of Mark Twain which reads: “Mark Twain at his Chelsea home where Maj. & Mrs. Pond visited June 26, 97.—Here is where ‘Mark” is reported to be dying in poverty. He never looked better.” If the date of the visit is correct, then Sam’s note previously dated only “July 1897” preceeded June 26 (see June, before June 26 entry). Note: at least three photos are given this date by the MTP in their photograph binders: one of Mark Twain seated by the fireplace with daughter Clara standing behind him, one with Twain and his beloved cigar, and one without cigar.
June 27 Sunday – Henry Irving wrote to Sam, asking if he “had nothing better to do tomorrow evening it would be a delight if you could look in at the Lyceum” [MTP]. Note: no further evidence was found but no decline was either. Noting Twain’s regard for Irving, the likelihood is he did “look in.”
June 28 Monday – Sam likely stopped in the Lyceum Theatre in London to see Henry Irving [June 27
Sam’s notebook: “will send to Chatto parts 15-16-17-18 & 19 to be mailed home & the same in my MS to be kept for himself” [NB 41 TS 32].
June 29 Tuesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Douglas Garth, either owner or property manager of the family’s rental flat. An extension beyond July 1 had evidently been requested and granted by Garth:
Please find cheque for £5.15.6 for the extra weeks’ house-rent. We are very much obliged for the privilege of the extension. When the man comes about the decorations we shall see that he is not obstructed [MTP]. Note: the family would need more than an extra week, but found lodging in a hotel until their departure for Switzerland on July 13.
June 30 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Dinner, (7.30?) Skrine, Queen Anne’s Mansions Wednesday, 30th” [NB
41 TS 32]. Note: Sam confirmed Skrine dinner, but for July 1, back on June 26; the date was then changed.
From the Brooklyn Eagle, p. 6, an editorial response to Mark Twain refusing charity efforts to pay his indebtedness:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.