Vol 3 Section 0137

1897                                                                              93

Charles A. Dana, longtime editor of the N.Y. Sun, died at Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y. He was 78. The Nov. 1897 issue of McClure’s Magazine ran a complimentary bio on Dana.

October 19 TuesdayIn the afternoon, Dr. Max Burckhardt, general manager of the relatively new Burgtheater gave Sam a private tour of the house. Sam looked the place over from top to bottom. (See Oct. entry for news article relating this). The special effects capabilities of the theater were the most advanced in Europe. Sam studied portraits of the “legendary tragedienne Charlotte Wolter, recently dead and of the celebrated Adolf von Sonnenthal, whose acting he was often to admire in the months ahead.” After his tour Sam pronounced it the most beautiful theater in the world and “worth the trouble of a trip to Vienna” [Dolmetsch 113].

The New York Times p. 24 article of Nov. 14, 1897 “Austria in the Balance,” datelined Vienna, Oct. 31 highlighted political affairs in Austria-Hungary and Sam’s reception in Vienna, including an undated incident in Sam’s tour of the Burgtheater, not mentioned in Dolmetsch.

Mark Twain is meeting with the greatest respect in Vienna. The utmost attention is being paid him by the press, the “Jewish press,” of course, as the big Vienna dailies are called. The anti-Semitic papers have hardly taken any notice of his visit, which, however, as a matter of fact, has created quite a sensation. His movements are chronicled at length, and he is besieged by interviewers. …

The other day when he was inspecting the new Imperial Court Theatre orders were given to light up the whole of the magnificent building for the benefit of the visitor. He went all over it from the roof to the machinery under the stage, and said the splendor of the whole far surpassed his boldest expectations. To surprise the guest from over the seas, the inspector of machinery improvised a sea storm with thunder and lightning.

In order to take another look at the auditorium, lighted as bright as day, Mark Twain bent down over the front of the imperial box, in which he happened to be at the moment. Suddenly a loud cry of “Back!” unpleasantly disturbed his contemplation. A photographer was just seizing the favorable moment to take the inside of the building, and well nigh succeeded in sending down to posterity a picture showing the illustrious representative of democratic America in the Emperor of Austria’s box. Mark Twain, being asked by the gentlemen taking him over the theatre whether he had written anything for the stage, rejoined: “I made a play, but it would not play.”

October 20 Wednesday

October 21 Thursday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote a rather tongue-in-cheek to his cousin James Ross Clemens.

We were very glad to hear from you. When we set up housekeeping at Weggis on Lake Lucerne, I bore in mind the fact that you & your father were going to look in on us, & I made thoughtful preparation. I hired a rowboat by the month, & got all ready to have you row it & I steer it & your father superintend; & I judged that we were going to have a pretty good time. But you went back on your contract, & it turned out that I had to row the boat myself. The next time I make arrangements for you to have a good time, I hope you will be more considerate & see to it that I do not bring suffering & disappointment upon myself by consequence


In his Oct. 23 to Twichell, Sam briefly mentioned his “handing a cabman over to the police day before yesterday [Oct. 21] with the proper formalities, & promised to appear in court when the case comes up.” The cabby’s offense was not specified [MTP].

Josef Wichner wrote from Austria to Sam (only the envelope survives) [MTP].

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