Vol 3 Section 0131

1897                                                                              87

The Oct. issue of Canadian Magazine included “My Contemporaries in Fiction,” by David Christie Murray, p. 497-98. Tenney: “MT is distinctively American, as Henry James and Mary Wilkins Freeman are not. Although he can be eloquent, ‘the medium he employs is the simplest and plainest American English.’ His creed is ‘manly, and clean, and wholesome.’ MT shows his limitations in CY: ‘Apart from its ethics, the book is a mistake, for a jest which could have been elaborated to tedium in a score of pages is stretched to spread through a bulky volume, and snaps to pieces under that tension’” [27].

October 1 Friday – Dolmetsch connects Laura Rothmann’s note with Bailey Hurst, American Consul in Vienna, who, by Sept. 30 had located a house for the Clemens family—the Villa Silling, in suburban Döbling. This may or may not have been the same house, as Rothmann’s note is not extant and Sam’s reply says nothing of the consul’s efforts or his prior request while in Weggis. Dolmetsch writes that because of Sam’s sudden attack of gout,

…he sent Olivia and Clara out in a fiaker the next day to inspect the villa. Whether, as he wrote Rogers, the offer from the hotel’s manager, eager for the publicity a resident celebrity like Mark Twain might bring, to reduce their rent on a large suite by 40 percent made staying there cheaper than keeping house or, as he told Hurst, his daughters preferred to remain in the city (or both), the family decided to settle in at the Metropole for the next nine months [26].

The evening edition of Neue Freie Presse ran a front-page account of a brief visit with Mark Twain

[Dolmetsch 34].

October 2 Saturday– In Vienna, Austria, Clara Clemens wrote to Chatto & Windus asking them to forward all letters to the Hotel Metropole [MTP].

Sam also replied to Andrew E. Murphy, whose “letter caught us on the rail & got mislaid.” Murphy’s letter is not extant. Only the American Publishing Co. would know about literary rights and be able to “answer propositions” that Murphy had inquired about [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Eduard Pötzl (1851-1915), Viennese dialect humorist and journalist, thanking him for books sent and wishing “there were more of them.”

I have just been reading “Darf ich Raūchen” [May I smoke?]. How sharply it reminds me of an experience of my own; & by this sign I recognize that back of it lies truth, actuality, fact. I did not publish mine, but I have never forgotten it nor ceased to value it. It was three years ago, in Paris, when I had my first attack of gout. The first physician forbade red wine but allowed whisky; the second forbade whisky but allowed red wine; the third—but by your own experience you see how it ended: by consulting six doctors I achieved permission to drink anything I wanted to—except water. The trouble with less thoughtful people is, that they stop with one doctor.

I am down with the gout again; but this time I haven’t any doctor at all. This is the very Past-Mastership of wisdom. / Sincerely Yours…[MTP]. Note: Dolmetsch gives Pötzl as Sam’s closest Viennese friend [37].

From Bancroftania, Vol. 121 Fall 2002:

Among the first to publish an interview with him was Siegmund Schlesinger of the Neues Wiener Tagblatt , on October 2. By then Pötzl must already have introduced himself and given Clemens some of his books, for in the Schlesinger interview Clemens “mentioned his admiration for Pötzl’s ‘gallery of pure Viennese types’ from which he hoped to learn much” (Dolmetsch, 35). That same day, Clemens wrote to Pötzl, thanking him for his books, which may have included Bummelei and Launen, published in 1896 and 1897 [See also Gribben 557.]

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