The Clemens family went to see the Jubilee Singers at the Hotel Löwen, Weggis [Locher 24].
Dolmetsch writes, “On August 12 a black American sextet, Fisk University’s famed Jubilee Singers on a European concert tour, arrived at the nearby Gasthof ‘Zum Löwen’ to give a performance of spirituals that Clemens thought ‘made all other music cheap’” .
From Sam’s Aug. 22 to Joe Twichell:
Three of the 6 were born in slavery, the others were children of slaves. How charming they were—in spirit, manner, language, pronunciation, enunciation, grammar, phrasing, matter, carriage, clothes—in every detail that goes to make the real lady and gentleman, and welcome guest. We went down to the village hotel and bought our ticket and entered the beer-hall, where a crowd of German and Swiss men and women sat grouped at road tables with their beer mugs in front of them—self-contained and unimpressionable looking people, an indifferent audience—and up at the far end of the room sat the Jubilees in a row. The singers got up and stood—the talking and glass jingling went on. Then rose and swelled out above those common earthly sounds one of those rich chords the secret of whose make only the Jubilees possess, and a spell fell upon that house. It was fine to see the faces light up with the pleased wonder and surprise of it. No one was indifferent any more; and when the singers finished, the camp was theirs. It was a triumph. …
One of the Jubilee men is a son of General Joe Johnson, and was educated by him after the war. The party came up to the house and we had a pleasant time [MTP]. Note: the Jubilee Singers came to Sam’s villa the next day, Aug. 13.
Sam wrote to Captain Richard Edgcumbe at the Hotel du Parc in Palais, France:
No, let us hope he is printing the portrait without Elliot & Fay’s consent—I’d like to see that firm spited. I can’t venture away from here, because I am well started on a book & if I went away I should lose my
grip on my work.
If I stick to it every day & waste no time, maybe I can finish it before we leave for Vienna the first week or second in October.
Ah, Mrs. Edgecumbe is prejudiced—this is the darlingest place on the planet. I want to stay here all the rest of my life. If I could, I’d do it. You stayed at the Paradise—of course that spoiled the whole thing [MTP].
The ledger books of Chatto & Windus show the first 5,000 copies of More Tramps Abroad, (FE) were printed, though the official English publication date would not be until Nov. 25 [Welland 238]. See Nov. 10, 25, Dec. 22, Mar. 8, 1898, Oct. 11, 1900, and Aug. 7, 1907 for other print run amounts, totaling 30,000.
August 13 Friday – Sam’s notebook:
“The Jubilee Singers sang at the Lowen last night—diviner, even, than in their early days, 26 years ago. They came up to the house this morning & sang to us. They are as fine people s I am acquainted with in any country” [NB 42 TS 24-5].
In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, advising that Katharine Harrison’s July 30 had arrived with the news that Bliss had paid the $10,000.
Good. Maybe now he [Bliss] will like to save himself the trouble of publishing the de luxe if he can get as much out of it as he was expected to get without that trouble—by turning it over to us for $1800. That was all he expected to make. He ciphered it out in my study, & I’ve still got his figures, somewhere.
I am writing a novel, & am getting along very well with it [the unfinished “Hellfire Hotchkiss”.]
Sam praised Weggis, “half an hour from Lucerne” as the “loveliest in the world.”
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.