Sam’s notebook on about this day: “Will Gillette is lying very ill at his hotel—no one is allowed to see him.
He has made fame & is prosperous. That is the kind that death likes to set free” [NB 41 TS 44].
John Y. MacAlister came to the Clemens’ apartment late, but evidently did not receive an answer to his knock at the door as Sam did not hear him from his study, though he was in his study waiting for MacAlister until midnight [Livy to MacAlister July 8].
July 8 Thursday – At the Hans Crescent Hotel In London, where the family took rooms after giving up the Tedworth Square house, Livy wrote for Sam to John Y. MacAlister at 20 Hanover Square, London.
I write for Mr Clemens who is very much driven this morning. He was very sorry that you came in vain yesterday evening….
Our plans are now a little upset and we are not quite sure that we shall get away from London before next week. We may go early Saturday morning. Mr Clemens will be at home this evening if you could come in for a smoke [MTP].
Note: the reason for the extended delay of the family’s departure is not clear; this letter does not suggest that Livy’s health was still in question, and it is likely that nitpicks with Chatto/Bliss on FE proofs may have been the cause, issues that continued after the family’s arrival in Weggis.
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, at Liverpool, what is obviously a reply to a note, not extant.
No, it isn’t important. It looks now as if we may be in London some days yet. We have taken rooms at the Hans Crescent Hotel.
It is just out of Sloane street [MTP]. Note: this suggests Pond inquiring about a prior deadline to continue negotiations with Sam about lecturing in the US in the fall.
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell.
Susy Crane & Julie Langdon have just arrived from home, & you will not doubt that we were glad to see them. We shan’t see much of them, though, till we get launched for Switzerland (Lucerne) day after to-morrow; for this present day, & this night, & all day to-morrow & to-morrow night are absolutely “full up” as the ‘bus conductors say—oh, a whole world of things to do, & not enough time.
Sam added that he didn’t have time to write the letter so enclosed one from a stranger that had just come, which he’d been answering—because it was “in the line” of what Joe was saying in his last letter, how Sam had “reason…to be proud & thankful for” his “cloud of witnesses, my affectionate invisible friends.”
“Such letters come every few days, & they make me want to turn out & go lecturing through these isles”
Note: Sam does not mention Ernst Köppe, who accompanied Sue Crane and Julie Langdon. He would refer to him as “Sue’s Butler” in his July 31 to Twichell. Powers calls Köppe “Mrs. Crane’s caretaker,” and “a former Berlin waiter” [MT A Life 585]. A. Hoffman writes of Susy’s upset with Köppe in September, 1895:
In addition to her discontent with her own life, she [Susy] had found disturbing the relationship between her Aunt Sue and Ernest Köppe, a waiter from the family’s Berlin hotel, who had followed Sue Crane from Europe eighteen months before. As a servant, Ernest [Hoffman’s spelling varies from Powers’ “Ernst”] took great liberties, reading the paper in the living room, eating with the family, and keeping Sue Crane company late in her room. Susy wrote Clara, “My rage almost gave me the apoplexy. But I never say or look, or breathe anything and am discretion’s very self” [411: 13 Sep 1895 Susy to Clara].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.