March 18, 1898. On the 15th I heard by accident (through a chance remark of Miss Levetus to my wife) that the American patents on Szczepanik’s designing-machine were not yet sold. I sent a note at once to Miss Levetus & asked her to arrange an interview for next night—16th for 9—here in the Hotel Metropole in our rooms [NB 40 TS 13]. Continued under Mar. 16; see also Dolmetsch’s account p. 198-9.
Sam’s note (in part) to Miss Amelia S. Levetus:
I am sorry I didn’t hear that talk about the wonderful invention, for I would like to have the opportunity to raise the capital & introduce it in America. I am acquainted with a lot of enterprising New World millionaires,
I should have as little trouble as anyone in quickly & advantageously placing such a thing. Is it too late? Will you ask me? [MTP: Charles Hamilton catalogs, Nov. 3, 1996, Item 278].
Sam also wrote to James B. Pond, thanking him for congratulations sent for his being out of debt. Sam answered Pond’s questions (Pond’s letter not extant); he was working but if Vienna were less attractive he might work harder; he was not lecturing—he’d intended to do some “in Austria & around about” but getting out of debt canceled the idea.
“Honest people do not go robbing the public on the platform, except when they are in debt (Disseminate the idea—it can do good)” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Louis E. Stein, staff member on the Louisville Anzeiger, from 1849 to 1938 a German language newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky that supported the large German population in the city. Stein had asked for submission on German journalism in the American South from Mark Twain, though his letter is not extant. Sam’s answer is part English, part German—he acknowledged the Louisville paper exchanges with the St. Louis Anzeiger in the 1850s and his “knowledge of the subject begins with that experience.”
“I could not read the paper, still it was profitable to me, for I traded it to our German baker every week for a slab of gingerbread as big as a flagstone” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, to “rejoice” at the improving health of two of Rogers’ daughters, Anne Engle Benjamin (Mrs. William Evarts Benjamin) and Cara Broughton (Mrs. Urban H. Broughton). He was glad Rogers liked his “Stirring Times in Austria” article which ran in the March issue of Harper’s. He was disturbed to learn that George Barrow had been after interest on the debt owed him and explained that Barrow was complicit in fraud with Frederick J. Hall since he must have known of it. This latter claim may be another case of Sam’s blaming others for his business failures.
“I think that both he and Hall belonged in jail. As to Hall I am quite certain. My sympathy with Barrow is dead. I would squeeze him if I had a chance” [MTHHR 325]. Note: the source notes this passage was so lightly deleted by Livy that she intended it to be read [n2].
He also wrote about plays he had translated: Bartel Turaser, written in 1897 by Philipp Langmann, German playwright; and In Purgatory by Ernst Gettke and Alexander Engel; neither was published in either form and neither survives in his papers. Sam closed by asking about Clarence Rice’s daughter Marjory, who had been ill [ibid].
The Chap-Book anonymously reviewed FE, p.371. Tenney: “Viewed as a work of art, this volume is monstrous, and as a book of travel it is impossible….a bundle of haphazard thoughts,’ though ‘Mark Twin being the author, the result is not so
bad as might be expected.’ It is a book to be dipped into, not read through, and heavily padded with factual material that is not new or interesting. ‘Fortunately, the compendium style infests a relatively small part of this book, and the rest is very good to read.’ The illustrations are ‘often bad artistically, but usually amusing. Mark Twain’s photograph recurs so frequently that it
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.