Vol 3 Section 0145

1897                                                                            101

A. Hoffman writes:

Sam found a peer in Theodor Leschetizky, who was in many ways the reason the Clemenses had come to Vienna. Leschetizky was the city’s foremost piano teacher and the man with whom Clara decided to study. Leschetizky led a piano-study pyramid, with more advanced and impecunious pupils teaching the more numerous beginners, such as Clara. As members of his inner social circle, Leschetizky included Sam and Clara in his weekly salons and in his invitations to the concerts of his most notable students. Leschy, as Sam called him, shared Sam’s conversational excellence and habit of monopolizing the attention of a gathering; this similarity, along with his international repute, attracted Clara to him. Leschy also had a reputation for seducing his female students, having married four of them and divorced three. Sam joined Leschy’s circle in part to guard Clara’s honor. Finding twenty- three-year-old Clara a suitable mate was another goal of the Clemenses’ social whirl. Sam dubbed the flurry of interested men who visited Clara at the Hotel Metropole “Delerium Clemens” [421]. Note: A. Scott ascribes this label to Leschetizky [237].

Sam attended the all-night session of the Austrian Parliament, the Reichsrath, which was reported both in the NY Times on Nov. 6, p.7 and the Hartford Courant, Nov. 6, p.1.

The Neue Freie Presse reported “a lengthy convivial chat” between Mark Twain and Otto Lecher , during which Sam promised to be there “from beginning to end” during Lecher’s next twelve-hour speech

[Dolmetsch 74].

November 6 SaturdayThe N.Y. Times ran “Mark Twain Still in Debt,” p.4 which included the cable Sam had sent to Bliss on Nov. 4. (The Hartford Courant ran essentially the same article on p. 12)

The facts are that Mr. Clemens still owes about $50,000 on account of C.L. Webster & Co., debts which represent about one-half of the original indebtedness of that firm, the half which the author need not pay, but which he says he will pay dollar for dollar. He has great faith in the staying qualities of this new book, “Following the Equator,” and hopes to soon realize enough from its sale to be able to turn over a handsome sum to his creditors. Beyond the business debts, which weigh upon him so heavily, he owes nothing, and with them out of the way would have no cause of worry as to the future.

The Hartford Courant, p. 1 ran “Mark Twain Was There”:

Austrian Reichsrath Reminded Him of a Lynching Bee

London, Nov. 6.—The Vienna correspondent of the “Times” says: “The all-night sitting was the most disorderly ever witnessed in any Parliament. Some of the anti-Semite expressions were of such an improper character as to defy reproduction. M. Verestchagin, the Russian painter, and Mr. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) were in the visitors’ gallery. The former made sketches of various scenes, and said he regarded them as good substitutes for street fighting and the barricades of former days. Mark Twain said it reminded him of an American lynching meeting to punish a horse stealer, adding: ‘I supposed somebody had been hanged, but I was not there long enough to make sure of it.’ He asked Herr Lecker [sic Lecher] to give him notice of his next twelve hours’ speech, and said he would be there and sit it out. Herr Lecker took the observation seriously and replied that he hoped next week to repeat the performance and perhaps to improve upon it.”

Note: Vasily Vasilyevich Verestchagin (1842-1904), famous Russian battle painter; perhaps the first Russian artist to be popular abroad. His didactic and graphic works on war aroused great controversy.

Sam’s notebook: “Sitting to Hegenbarth, these days, for a bust. / Ten young American physicians called, this

evening. Very jolly time” [NB 42 TS 47]. Note: Ernst Hegenbarth (1867-1944) sculpted a bust of Mark Twain.

November 7 Sunday – At the Metropole Hotel, Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to William Blackwood.

Livy wrote the note and Sam signed it.

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