laboratory 3 or 4 stories high, in the centre of Vienna, & has inventions enough in his head to fill it to the roof. He is going to be the European Edison, I suppose [MTP].
Sam’s notebook (Mar. 20) included this description of Szczepanik:
25 years old, black hair, very striking face, mobile & alert, splendid eyes. Three years ago he was a country school teacher out in one of the outlying States of the Empire, & very poor; but Mr. Kleinberg’s business ability has made a market for his genius & brought him money & comfort. He has a fine laboratory now, occupying a large building; & in it, nicely furnished bedroom, parlor, bathroom &c for himself. These two men belong together. They are necessary to each other; both are honorable gentlemen; each appreciates the other’s value. …. Szczepanik is not a Paige, but a gentleman; his backer, Mr. Kleinberg is a gentleman, too, yet is not a Clemens—that is, to say, he is not an Ass [NB 40 TS 15-16, 18].
April 3 Sunday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote an afterthought to his Apr. 2 to Richard Watson Gilder: “P.S. / This should be the heading: / From the London Times of 1904. / The MS was mailed / before I thought of / the change. / S L C” [MTP].
April 4 Monday
April 5 Tuesday
April 6 Wednesday
April 7 Thursday – The front page of the Apr. 8 Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt displayed a drawing engulfing nearly the entire page of firemen rescuing a suicidal countess at the Hotel Metropole. Mark Twain is pictured gawking out one window [Dolmetsch 52].
The Independent anonymously reviewed FE, p. 451. “Mark Twain has never done any better work than in this book. In mere literary craftsmanship he has done nothing as good, and his fun is as keep and mirth- provoking as ever.” He is more serious than in the past, but “the wit is genuine, and so is the wisdom.” This is a superior travel book, and MT “is always fresh, interesting, stimulating.” He is tolerant in the larger way of seeing wrongs and their consequences, “yet disposed more to pity than to punish. In all his wit there is a large kindliness of nature that leaves no rankling sting after its well-aimed shafts….he
will always be sweet-natured enough to be most heartily liked” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Sixth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Spring 1982 p. 8-9].
April 8 Friday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam replied to an invitation (not extant) from Walter Besant. Sam would like to make the event (likely The Society of Authors, of which Besant was the founder), but he would have to write Mr. Thring that his “spring- movements” were “not prophecyable.” (Also active in the Society was G. Herbert Thring (1859-1941). It wasn’t likely he’d be in London in May or June, since Clara’s musical education would interfere. Here are his first recorded words on the Spanish American situation (The battleship Maine exploded on Feb. 15; Spain declared war on Apr. 25):
“The Spanish-American news looks just a bare trifle hopeful, this morning. Well, war or no war—the stir-up has done some good, anyway—reminded the two English-speaking families [America & England] that they are kin. That is worth a good deal” [MTP].
April 9 Saturday
April 10 Sunday – Sam inscribed a copy of FE to James H. Scott: Mr. James H. Scott / with the
compliments & respects of / The Author. / Good friends, good books & a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Vienna, Apl. 10, 1898 [MTP].
April 11 Monday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Eupemia A. Suverkrop, an editor of American Machinist (New York; published continuously since 1877).
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.