Vol 3 Section 0175

1898                                                                            131

Sam was kept another hour by those who wished to meet him [Dolmetsch 136- 8]. Note: Princess Pauline Metternich was a patron of the arts and especially promoted the music of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Sam noted this lecture in another notebook [NB 40 TS 8].

February 2 WednesdaySam’s notebook: Wednesday, Feb. 2. Our wedding anniversary—28 years married. The first sorrow came in the first year—the death of Livy’s father. Our Susy died August 18, 1896—the cloud is permanent, now” [NB 40 TS 8]. Note: Sam omitted the death of his son, Langdon, from this list.

February 3 Thursday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to the Louisville Courier-Journal, thanking them for publishing a “biographette” of his mother. He made two corrections to the article, that his mother lived to her 88th year, and that his “father’s name was John Marshall Clemens, named after the great Virginian” and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the man whose funeral cracked the liberty bell [MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain Letters, p. 657-60].

Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell. Sam related an adventure he wished kept private, a humorous one at that; lecturing for a Vienna charity “the other night” he and Livy met “a princess who is aunt to the heir apparent of the imperial throne…just the kind of princess that adorns a fairy tale & makes it the prettiest tale there is.” He did not name her but was referring to Princess Metternich whose charity hospital he lectured for on Feb. 1 at the Bosendorfer Saal (theatre) . The correct etiquette after such an event or meeting was to go to the royal’s palace and put one’s name in the visitor’s book.

So at noon to-day Livy & I drove to the Archducal palace, & got by the sentries all right, & asked the grandly-uniformed porter for the book & said we wished to write our names in it. And he called a servant in livery & was sending us up stairs; & said her Royal Highness was out but would soon be in. Of course Livy said “No—no—we only want the book;” but he was firm, & said, “You are Americans?”


“Then you are expected, please go up stairs.”

“But indeed we are not expected—please let us have the book & — ”

“Her Royal Highness will be back in a very little while—she commanded me to tell you so—& you must wait.”

Well, the soldiers were there close by—there was no use trying to resist—so we followed the servant up; but when he tried to beguile us into a drawing-room, Livy drew the line; she wouldn’t go in. And she wouldn’t stay up there either. She said the princess might come in at any moment & catch us, & it would be too infernally ridiculous for anything. So we went down stairs again—to my unspeakable regret. For it was too darling a comedy to spoil. I was hoping & praying the princess would come, & catch us up there & that those other Americans who were expected would arrive, & be taken for impostors by the portier, & shot by the sentinels—& then it would all go into the papers, & be cabled all over the world, & make an immense stir & be perfectly lovely. And by that time the princess would discover that we were not the right ones, & the Minister of War would be ordered out, & the garrison, & they would come for us, & there would be another prodigious time, & that would get cabled too, &—well, Joe, I was in a state of perfect bliss. But happily, oh, so happily, that big portier wouldn’t let us out—he was sorry, but they must obey orders—we must go back up stairs & wait. Poor Livy—I couldn’t help but enjoy her distress. She said we were in a fix, & how were we going to explain, if the princess should arrive before the rightful Americans came? We went up stairs again— laid off our wraps, & were conducted through one drawing room & into another, & left alone there & the door closed upon us.

Livy was in a state of mind! She said it was too theatrically ridiculous; & that I would never be able to keep my mouth shut; that I would be sure to let it out & it would get into the papers—& she tried to make me promise—“Promise what?” I said—“to be quiet about this? Indeed I won’t—it’s the best thing that ever happened; I’ll tell it, & add to it; & I wish Joe & Howells were here to make it perfect; I can’t make all the rightful blunders myself—it takes all three of us to do justice to an opportunity like this. I would just like to see Howells get down to his work & explain, & life, & work his futile & inventionless subterfuges when that

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