“because this village hasn’t at present an
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton after enjoying Hutton’s A Boy I Knew and Four Dogs (1898).
The book has arrived & I am very grateful to you for the dedications—both of them. I read 36 pages last night before I was ordered to bed, & it was good reading & I enjoyed it. There was a passage which made me laugh, & laugh again, & keep on breaking out. It was my semi-annual laugh. … (See the book-incident, p.21) There has long been a superstition in this family that profanity damages any story into which it is injected—a superstition which I have fought against as well as I could, but never with success. I will knock it galley-west from this out [MTP]. Note: the passage on page 21 is about a boy who expects to receive toy soldiers from his Scotch grandfather and instead is given a bible. See Gribben p. 342. This letter was also quoted in M.E. Wood’s book, Laurence and Eleanor Hutton / Their Books of Association (1905) p.66-7.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers about the status of research on the “design -invention,” Szczepanik’s Raster machine, and the peat- wool machine. It had proven “slow and difficult work to get the necessary statistics” on the former; Sam included a sample of unbleached peat-wool cloth. Without accurate figures on either Sam had decided to put off a trip to London to promote either invention. “I can’t go unprepared,” he wrote. Also, Sam discussed Frank Bliss’ letter sent to him by Katharine I. Harrison (likely the Apr. 20 Bliss to Rogers) and asked, “Is it sound?—or a fairy tale?” Should he come over to “argue the case with the Harpers?” Sam thought Bliss’ plans “looks very grand” and was “waiting with large curiosity to hear what” Rogers thought of it. He closed with plans to move to the country for the summer and gave his new address: Kaltenleutgeben, near Vienna, at the Villa “Paulhof” [MTHHR 345-6 & n1; see source for full text of Apr. 20 Bliss to Rogers]. Note: the family made the move to Kaltenleutgeben on May 20.
May 14 Saturday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote a long letter to Lawrence B. Evans, who had written (not extant) explaining a review. Sam thought Evans was defending England against him, though he couldn’t imagine why, giving several reasons he did not dislike the country [MTP: Varleriani]. Note: full text not available. Evans had been a professor in Berlin during the family’s 1893 stay there. He was later chairman of the history dept. at Tufts University. The work being reviewed is unspecified.
Sam also wrote to Rudolf Lindau, assigning only the 14th date. The MTP puts this letter as between May 14 and Sept. 14, 1898. Research into Lindau’s movements may pinpoint the exact date; Sam recorded his visit on July 15 (NB 40 TS 26), which may answer here. Sam laid out plans for Lindau’s travel to Kaltenleutgeben (where they would arrive on May 20): He should leave the Sudbohm Station at 2:30 or 3 p.m, travel 50 minutes with a change of cars at Liesing. He asked Lindau to telegraph him of the time his train would leave Vienna and Sam would meet him at Kaltenleutgeben’s station. They would take a walk in the woods and then take Jaüsa (tea?) with the family at the Anstalt; at 7:30 he would take supper with them at their house and later he would have to return to Vienna
unoccupied bed that any but a protected cruiser might venture to sleep in” [MTP].
The New York Times, May 29, 1898, p. 19, “Inventions in Vienna,” signed by Dr. Johannes Horowitz and datelined May 14, included a passage on Jan Szczepanik’s new loom invention, which mentioned Mark Twain.
At the Jubilee Exhibition, now open here in Vienna, for the present only two gobelins woven by Szczpanik’s new loom will be shown. One of them contains Mark Twain’s portrait. For some time the great humorist has been giving the well-known Polish painter Henryk Rauchinger almost daily sittings for a portrait for the gobelin. The other day I visited the studio, and found the portrait nearly finished. It will be the best picture of Mark Twain ever painted [Note: Gobelin: made at or resembling a tapestry made at the Gobelins factory in Paris].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.