(see Oct. 14), plus “The altar-cloth of one era is the door-
Sam also wrote to Frank Bliss, directing: “knock out that hideous caricature which faces Chapter 1” [and to] “knock out ALL pictures which contain my wife or daughter.” Bliss had asked for another aphorism for the book
and Sam offered the “Time & tide wait for no man” lines mat of the next” [MTP].
Sam also replied to Francis H. Skrine in London. (Skrine’s incoming not extant.)
This is good luck. I was beginning to be afraid you were not coming—no, that you had come & gone silently away like Longfellow’s Arab. …But it’s all right, now. You’d better come to this hotel. Excellent hotel & plenty of room in it. And you must dine in our apartment, just with the family alone, Nov. 9 at 7.30 [MTP].
November 4 Thursday – Frank Bliss cabled Sam that there was a letter circulating supposedly from Sam that he had made $82,000 and paid all his debts. Bliss’ cable is not extant but referred to Sam’s following cable and letter replies.
At 10:22 a.m. at the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam replied to Bliss’s cable with one of his
own: “LIE WROTE NO SUCH LETTER STILL DEEP IN DEBT / CLEMENS” [MTP].
He then wrote to Bliss that the rumor was not true and speculated what had caused it:
I wrote a letter—a private letter—a short time ago, in which I expressed the belief that I should be out of debt within the next twelvemonth. If you make as much as usual for me out of the book [FE], that belief will crystallize into a fact, & I shall be wholly out of debt. I am encoring you now.
It is out of that moderate letter that the Eighty-Two-Thousand-Dollar mare’s nest has developed. But why do you worry about the various reports? They do not worry me.
Sam added a PS that he thought the NY Herald had stolen Bliss’ canvassing book—“a harm ten thousand times more damaging than if you had allowed me to publish the same Chapters in the Century.” He disclosed that the N.Y. Journal had been ready to pay well for extracts from the book but Sam had always referred them to him, and again since he’d been in Vienna. He thought Bliss should sue the Herald at a “good figure” for damages [MTP]. Note: Bliss had hoped to boost sales by a “charity” angle; that is, those who wished to help Mark Twain get out of debt would buy copies. Bliss’ concern about such rumors is understandable in that light.
At 6 p.m. Sam also wrote to Frank Marshall White, quoting his cable to Bliss, and suggesting it might be worth White’s while to cable the denial to the N.Y. Journal, or perhaps the Associated Press might be interested. Sam was on his way out:
“My pockets are full of ham sandwiches—I am going to attend what is expected to be another all-night sitting of parliament. / Yours Sincerely” [MTP]. Note: Dolmetsch points out that Sam had witnessed at least part of the 33-hour session of the Austrian parliament, which included a 12 hour speech by Dr. Otto Lecher, president of the Brüun Board of Trade .
November 5 Friday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie Clemens.
“I believe I have nothing to report but the love of the family & their tolerable health. Clara has begun her music lessons, Jean her several studies; Livy is busied in her several ways, & I in mine. The weather is good, & we are comfortable & satisfied. / Sam” [MTP].
With her piano lessons under Theodor Leschetizky under way, Sam and Theodor became friends.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.