Aug. 22. Ischl. Take 2.43 train for Hallstadt. One large & one small trunk & 6 handbags to pack. Lay in bed & superintended. Got up at 11—shaving. Leschetitzky called. He told anecdote of the 2 American damen— tested the daughter, piano—entsetzlich! Advised her to learn to sing; 2 yrs later at another city—evening—7 musicians going to take train—the 2 arrived again—wanted daughter tested for voice—he no judge—she tried; entsetzlich! He recommended piano! Tableau. The 7 rolling on the floor. Then the whisky flask—3 marks—tested by 5.
“Where is Siveking?”[sic Sieveking] And Mme. Letstitsky. Not come. By & by she came. He? Oh, he has been arrested!” “What?” “Yes. A priest conveying the Viaticum to the dying, passed. He failed to take off his hat; & was promptly arrested by the police.[”]
Professor, Jean & Clara rushed away to see him in jail [NB 40 TS 31]. Note: Martinus Sieveking (1867-1950), Dutch pianist and classical composer, who had completed an American tour in 1895-6 including a performance at Carnegie Hall. Sam’s spelling of Leschetizky varied with his mood.
August 23 Tuesday – The Clemens party was in Hallstatt, Austria. Sam’s notebook:
Hallstadt, Aug. 23/98. Beautiful lake in a cup of precipices; surface littered with refuse & sewer-contributions; men (but not many—& not tourists) swim in it. Pre-historic remains are found here.
Spangler (gerade aus)—down the Neuen Strasse, said the cigar girl & the tin smith. Took a boy from the second square—2 or 300 yds to a lamp-post. S. worked 35 minutes, his little chubby boy working with a soldring iron by himself. Whole bill for mending my glasses & restoring my sight, 10 Kreuzers [NB 40 TS 31].
August 24 Wednesday
August 25 Thursday
August 26 Friday
August 27 Saturday – The Clemens family left Bad Ischl, Austria and traveled the 174 miles to Vienna, where they arranged housing for the winter with the Krantz Hotel. They then traveled back in Kaltenleutgeben, arriving in the evening [Aug. 28 to Rogers].
The Pall Mall Gazette’s piece by Carlyle G. Smythe ran in the N.Y. Times as “Mark Twain’s Literary Taste,” p. BR567:
Roughly speaking, I may say that Mr. Clemens reads anything in prose that is clean and healthy, yet he has never been able to find a line in Thackeray which interested him. Addison and Goldsmith are thrown away upon him, and Meredith, perhaps not unnaturally, provokes him to laughter. I asked Mr. Clemens one day how he explained this indifference to the acknowledged master craftsmen in his own trade. The explanation candidly given was: “I have no really literary taste and never had.”
Academy (London) ran a brief reply to Smythe’s article, that he belabored the point that Twain was more than a humorist: “Who, it may be asked, doubted it?” [Tenney 28].
August 28 Sunday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, Sam replied to Frank E. Bliss’ Aug. 16 (not extant) statement. Sam pointed out the $1,000 for the FE excerpts given to McClure’s wasn’t on the statement— it would be all right if Bliss sent that amount to Rogers. Sam didn’t have any idea what to put in the suggested introduction to his Uniform Edition, and had never seen an intro that had value. He gave a green light to use “the picture of me & the children, but not the one setting type.” He suggested either William Dean Howells or Brander Matthews to write the biographical sketch needed. Also, he’d given up the idea of running over to America. After his signature he advised in a P.S.:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.