October 8 Friday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to John Fletcher Hurst, thanking him for his efforts to secure them housing, but daughter Clara “has reached the conclusion that she would rather live near the centre of the city.” Sam added he was “well satisfied” where he was and had “ceased to be restless” [MTP]. Note: John Fletcher Hurst (1834-1903) was father of (Carlton) Bailey Hurst (b.1867) consul-general who had made prior attempts to find housing for the Clemenses. See Oct. 1. See Gribben 342.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers
We have been here nine days and I have spent seven of them in bed—with gout. I am up and around, yesterday and to-day, but the rainy and snowy weather keeps all of us except Mrs. Clemens in the house— colds, coughs and gout-possibilities the reason. …
The mail is made up of letters that are written in the difficult German script. This blocks off all possible idleness and keeps us busy; for it takes us as long to spell out a German letter as it does to answer it. All the gouty people in Austria and Germany write me and tell me what is good for gout, and some of the remedies are good. I mean to try the whole lot the next time I get the disease. They can’t all fail.
So far I’ve seen nothing of Vienna except what is visible from the hotel windows [MTHHR 302].
Sam also wrote his aphorism on economizing valuable truth, in English and German, to an unidentified person [MTP]. Note: a facsimile of the aphorism was published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Neus Wiener Journal.
October 9 Saturday
October 10 Sunday – An interview with Mark Twain ran in a supplement to the Vienna newspaper Fremden-Blatt. Dolmetsch calls the interview “The most significant, certainly most penetrating, of the myriad of interviews and articles appearing about Mark Twain in Viennese newspapers during the early days of his stay.” He also writes that while freedom of the press as Sam knew it back home had never existed in Austria-Hungary, “official censorship was sloppily enforced” . “No fewer than forty-five newspapers, including dailies, weeklies, and semiweeklies, plus a dozen humor magazines and some twenty journals of belles letters and criticism were being published in Vienna…” . At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Ferdinand Gross, editor-in-chief of the Fremden-Blatt.
Dear Sir: / What you have written of me in this morning’s Fremden-Blatt has gratified me more than I can say, because of the friendly & hospitable feeling which pervades it, & because it penetrates to my literary inside with a sure instinct & reveals its secret springs & its carefully veiled system of procedure with a find & happy accuracy, & puts the result on paper with felicitous charity and precision [MTP]. Note: interview not in Scharnhorst. Dolmetsch points out Gross’ popularity as a humor writer, and that his interview may have introduced many of Twain’s works to Austrian readers .
Sam’s notebook yields a meeting with Princess Pauline Metternich, granddaughter of Queen Victoria:
Sunday, Oct. 10. The Princess did me the honor to send & invite me down to her parlor, this afternoon (& added the further honor of saying that if I was not yet strong enough to leave my quarters she would come up
see me. I went down at 4.30 & was received in a way which put me at my ease at once. She came to the door when I was announced, & put out her hand & gave me a hearty grasp & shake, & said, “I am very very glad to meet you & know you, Mr. Clemens—I have read your books & am familiar with them & they have given me great enjoyment” [NB 42 TS 40-1].
Also published this day by Samuel Schlesinger (Sigmund’s cousin) was “Ein Plauderstundchen mit Mark Twain” (A Chat with Mark Twain) in Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt [Dolmetsch 39-40].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.