Vol 3 Section 0136

92                                                                           1897

Sam also wrote on a card to an unidentified person:

The old proverb said “Time & tide wait for no man.” In our day, steam & the telegraph have turned that arrogant saying around the other way: Man waits not for time nor tide” [MTP]. Note: After his signature Sam wrote, “Please forgive my tardiness. S.L.C.”

October 15 Friday – In Vienna, Austria Sam wrote to Eduard Pötzl that “his wife & daughters desire me to thank you cordially for the kind invitation extended to them, & to express their regret that they will not be able to take advantage of it” [MTP]. Note: this may relate to the Oct. 14 invitation for the girls to see a carnival.

Eduard Pötzl replied to Livy’s Oct. 14: “Next week, I hope to be capable of visiting again.” He recommended “our most famous dentist” Dr. E.M. Thomas who spent his youth in America. “He would like to pay a courtesy call” [MTP].

In the evening Sam took in a meeting of the Vienna City Council (Gemeinderat). Dolmetsch writes:

His presence in the Journalistenloge (press box) created such a stir among councilors, spectators, and his colleagues of the local press that most of the latter made his visit the focus of their reports of the session. It was an unusually raucous meeting even for this notoriously fractious, unwieldy body of 138 members. Mark Twain was asked by reporters to comment on what he had witnessed there, which he did with rather undiplomatic candor [62]. Note: see pages 62-64 for a breakdown of the “players” at the meeting, including the new “immensely popular” Lord Mayor, Dr. Karl Lueger. Sam was becoming educated in the issues that divided Vienna, here principally the size and influence of the Czech element in the population, and the question of Jewish appointments to judgeships. Dolmetsch explains the good Mayor’s influence and the state of Vienna’s improvements:

Under the dynamic, demagogic Dr. Karl Lueger, whose election as mayor was ratified on April 10, 1897, Vienna had embarked on a program of urban social planning that would soon make it a model for cities throughout the world. Gas and electric services and indoor plumbing were being extended beyond the homes of the affluent city dwellers to those of the working-class suburbs, and an efficient public transportation system was being constructed with a street railway (part elevated, part subterranean) girdling the city and intersecting tramway lines radiating out to it from the city’s central and commercial districts. All this construction, Mark Twain complained, made an inconvenient mess. Despite its antiquity, Vienna had an air of freshness and vitality not unlike what Twain had found in October 1891 in Bismark’s bustling new Berlin which he perceptively named the German Chicago [9-10].

October 16 Saturday

October 17 SundayA letter purporting to be from Mark Twain about the Oct. 15 city council session to the editors of the Neue Freie Presse was published in that paper. The letter criticized the noise of the city’s traffic, the many street barricades where pipes were being laid, and observations about the Jewish question. Was this letter from Sam? It included an incident that did not happen, of Sam springing to his feet and shouting, “Long live Lueger! Long live the Jews!” Dolmetsch examines the evidence for and against the letter being from Clemens [64-66].

October 18 MondaySam’s notebook: “Dr. Rudolf Lindau called. He is now 5½ years in the German Embassy at Constantinople. On his way there. With the King of Servia [Serbia] & father apparently, but did not say” [NB 42 TS 44].

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