Darwinian struggle for survival between our multiple selves determines who we are and our fate….everything is ultimately motivated by the struggle for survival and pleasure; and man’s dominant
characteristic is selfishness, both at large and on the genetic level. Consequently, it would follow that Mark Twain was not to blame for the Webster & Company bankruptcy, the Paige debacle, the family exile, or Susy’s death. These were, like Jean’s epilepsy, things to curse and blame on a nonexistent God, forces beyond any individual’s control or responsibility, referred to as “God” out of habit and convenience. Most of what he would write thereafter would reflect, in one variation or another, this deterministic view [567-8].
An unidentified person wrote from Vienna to “Monsieur & Madame Clemens” at the Hotel Krantz. Only the envelope survives [MTP].
December 6 Tuesday
December 7 Wednesday – E. Potter-Frissell’s article, “Americans in Vienna: Mark Twain,” ran in the Musical Courier. Tenney gives source as The Twainian (Feb. 1943), p.6 .
December 8 Thursday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added to on Dec. 11, 12 and 13.
“It is 12 days since I handled a pen. It seems to be an attack of fatigue, & I tried to rest it off, but that was a failure, so I think it is a touch of malaria or piety or something like that & will go off of itself if let alone. I am letting it alone by lying around in my study reading & smoking all day…” [MTHHR 380].
Mary Mason Fairbanks (1828-1898) died in Providence, R.I. after a stroke of apoplexy. She had been living there with her daughter Mollie and husband [Wecter, Mark Twain to Mrs. Fairbanks 278]. Note: for some reason, the Clemenses would not write condolences to Fairbanks’ family until July 31, 1899 in Sanna, Sweden.
December 9 Friday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote one sentence on a postcard to James M. Tuohy:
“No, that isn’t any matter” [MTP].
December 10 Saturday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to an Frank Bliss.
I must give you my side of the McClure matter. You were dead opposed to having any part of the book [FE] into print before publication-day. I was of your mind—it could do no possible good, & would do very serious harm (to a subscription book) without the slightest doubt in the world. Your McClure publication cost you & me ten times the McClure check.
That is one item. Another: You bound me not to sell an advance sheet. We were partners: therefore you bound yourself, as well.
Another: You should have consulted me—I was entitled to a voice. I always sent people to you when they applied to me—of course expecting you to say no, & it promptly.
And finally: You sold to McClure at half price. That would not have happened if you had told me you had changed your mind & wanted to make an advance-publication.
Sam thought it good that Brander Matthews was willing to do the “critical Preface” to the Uniform Edition. His three- page introduction was just short enough that Matthews’ would “not be over-bulked” by his. He also liked the etchings Bliss had sent, and noted Frank Warner making a few photos made to look like etchings of their Hartford house. He finished with:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.