Sam also raved about the restful, charming place they had and told of the family’s activities of the prior day (see entry) [MTP]. Sam’s notebook:
July 31, Sunday. A smooth lake & a most quiet & peaceful day. Domestic picture. Grandmother, mother, & two little daughters sitting by the lake in front of their pretty villa. Grandma teaching one of the little girls her Bible lesson, the mother teaching the other one to fish.
The German underclothing with the unpronounceable name. Before washing, the undershirt is big enough for the cow; after washing, the rich man who has crowded through the needle’s eye on his way to heaven tries to wedge himself through that shirt & gets stuck [NB 42 TS 23].
Saturday Review included an anonymous review of TS,D p.125. “In this miscellaneous collection, ‘What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us’ and ‘A Little Note to Paul Bourget’ ‘constitute the smartest, the wittiest and keenest piece of literary fencing we have me for a considerable time. The tales are only mildly interesting and still more mildly humorous [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 169].
August – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus [MTP].
The August issue of Review of Reviews included a piece by William Thomas Stead, “Character Sketch: Mark Twain,” p. 122-33. Tenney: “Unsigned; attributed to Stead…Praises MT’s works, and describes the man in part on the basis of meetings with him at which MT spoke of his books, Mississippi River water, clothing, bicycling, the type-setting machine, and the effect on employment of introducing new industrial processes. Includes several photographs of MT, including one ‘taken in 1890 by Peter Mapes Dodge’ (Apparently at Onteora, New York—T.A.T.) Also appeared in Review of Reviews, Australian ed., in September…” [27; MTCI 320-29].
August 1 Sunday – Since 1891 the Swiss celebrated this as their National Day (of Independence) owing to a reference in the 1291 Charter for “early August.” Parades, bonfires, and baking marked the day.
The Swiss seem to be at bottom good-hearted, & they are courteous though they exhibit no artificial polish; they are grave, not to say austere of countenance, independent a trifle repellant in their manner, they have no vivacity, & if they know how to smile—if they are furnished with machinery to smile with—they keep that secret to themselves. These remarks fit all the Swiss I have met excepting about a dozen [NB 42 TS 34].
Dial included an anonymous review of How To Tell a Story, and Other Essays, p.75. “A miscellany of uneven quality. ‘In Defense of Harriet Shelly’ ‘holds the right ground,’ ‘The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper’ ‘says some very sensible things,’ and ‘Traveling with a Reformer’ is a good thing, and a service to the American people’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 169].
August 2 Monday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam took advantage of a library to obtain new reading
material. Sam’s notebook:
“Aug. 2. Monday. Left 5 fr at the circulating library; 3 are a deposit, the 2 pay for 2 books a week. I took a couple of Trollope’s—2 vol. each” [NB 42 TS 23].
In York Harbor, Maine, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.
My dear Clemens: Unless I start a letter to you as if you were in the next township, I shall never answer your last. The thought of distance still paralyzes us old people to whom it used to be a fact. I know this will find you in Austria before I can well turn round, but I must make believe you are in Kennebunkport before I can begin
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.