Vol 3 Section 0195

1898                                                                            151

Livy gave a private dinner for her brother Charles J. Langdon and nephew, 23-year-old Jervis Langdon II.. Livy invited Eduard Pötzl, the popular Viennese humorist, and Maestro Leschetizky, who was encouraged to bring two students. He brought Ossip Gabrilowitsch (1878-1936), and Mark Hambourg. Clara Clemens invited her latest beau, George Cole. Clara recalled the evening (but not the date) when she met Ossip, her future husband, and also the discussion of the Spanish war, which formally began on Apr. 25.

In the early spring, when friendships mellowed and sociability increased, we induced the Polish professor of the piano [Leschetisky] to dine with us, on condition that we include two of his other pupils who had just arrived in Vienna for a few days; Russian pianists they were, Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Mark Hambourg. We looked forward to a difficult evening and I found myself dipping into the German dictionary in preparation.

Our parlor was large and served also as dining-room. We tried in vain to improve the looks of the monstrous white stove which Father called the mausoleum. But we cheered up the place with flowers, and spent time improving our own appearance. Mother looked lovely in a Dreycoll gown and Father wore his favorite white suit.

Our guests made their entrance with so much Russian and Polish ardor, that we almost forgot to do our part as hosts. A vivacious chatter in German left my parents on the edge of the conversation until suddenly my father overheard a question about our Spanish war, launched by Leschetizky. From that moment he was oblivious to differences of nationality and language; he dashed into English and created a vivid picture of our policy in the Philippines. Leschetizky had hinted that we meant to steal the Islands, but was convinced of the contrary by Father’s impassioned denial. Later in the evening the Maestro remarked to me: “Your father could have been an actor. I understood what he said, though I do not know his language. And what a head! What eyes! Unique.”

…If Gabrilowitsch spoke, one listened. If he laughed, one laughed too. But I instinctively resisted his charm, his magnetism, as one shrinks from excess of anything. He complained later that I had repeatedly turned from his attentions to shed mine on Mark Hambourg, and that altogether my black hair, black dress adorned with one red rose, created an ominous shadow, and that even my readiness to laugh deepened that shadow, because I laughed at his serious remarks [My Husband Gabrilowitsch 1-3]. Note: Dolmetsch puts the dinner party to this date (p. 147). Ossip was nearly four years younger than Clara. They would marry eleven years later, Oct. 6, 1909. George Cole was the son of Calif. Senator Cornelius Cole and a medical student in Vienna. It is notable that Clara did not mention him in this account. See Sam & Livy’s reply to Cornelius on May 17 about George Cole. See also Harnsberger’s account of the dinner and guests, p. 177-8.

April 16 SaturdayLiterary Digest “ran a brief anonymous item noting the unanimous praise by the British press for MT’s paying off the last of the Webster and Company debts” [Tenney 28]

April 17 Sunday

April 18 Monday

April 19 Tuesday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Mr. Dagobert Wlaschim, the letter not extant but referred to and quoted in the following notebook entry for this day:

Apl. 19, ’98. Concerning my portrait on post-cards I have to-day written to Mr. Dagobert Wlaschim the following—a definite promise, yet on which binds me to nothing more than the withholding of authorization— a promise easy to keep:

“If you do the work well I will authorize no other in this Empire. Please send me a sample” [NB 40 TS 19]. Note: Sam used postcards after this with his portrait and facsimile of signature.

George Parsons Lathrop (1851- 1898), poet and novelist, died in New York. See entries Vol. I & II. Sam would support his widow’s charity for poor cancer patients in 1901. See Oct. 19, 1901 to Rose Hawthorne Lathrop.

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