Vol 3 Section 0268
VIENNA. Jan. 10.—I see by this morning’s telegraphic news that I am not to be the new ambassador here, after all. This—well, I hardly know what to say. I—well, of course I do not care anything about it; but it is at least a surprise. I have for many months been using my influence at Washington to get this diplomatic see expanded to an Ambassadorship, with the idea, of course, th——But never mind. Let it go. It is of no consequence. I say it calmly; for I am calm. But at the same time——However, the subject has no interest for me, and never had. I never really intended to take the place, any way—I made up my mind to it months and months ago, nearly a year. But now, while I am calm, I would like to say this—that, so long as I shall continue to possess an American’s proper pride in the honor and dignity of his country, I will not take any Ambassadorship in the gift of the flat at a salary short of $75,000 a year. If I shall be charged with wanting to live beyond my country’s means, I cannot help it. A country which cannot afford Ambassador’s wages should be ashamed to have Ambassadors.
Think of a Seventeen-thousand-five-hundred-dollar Ambassador! Particularly for America. Why, it is the most ludicrous spectacle, the most inconsistent and incongruous spectacle, contrivable by even the most diseased imagination. It is a billionaire in a paper collar, a king in a breech-clout, an archangel in a tin halo. And, for pure sham and hypocrisy, the salary is just the match of the Ambassador’s official clothes [Note: Addison Harris of Indianapolis was appointed Charlemagne Tower’s replacement as the new American Ambassador to Austria].
January 11 Wednesday
January 12 Thursday
January 13 Friday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Eva Nansen; Livy added a note to Dr. Fridtjof Nansen. Sam thanked her for the photographs and sentiments and was sorry he and the family were out when the Nansen’s messenger delivered them. Livy added a paragraph to Dr. Nansen:
“Since Mr Clemens wrote his card to Mrs Nansen we have heard through the papers of the death of her mother. Will you kindly extend to her our sincere sympathy. When one loses ones parents I think one of the hideous sensations is the feeling that one is no longer a child to any one” [MTP].
Mrs. Hiester Bucher (Vara Kalbach Bucher)’s diary (published by her great-grandaughter, Mary Christmas) recorded a near meeting with Twain and his attendance at a social gathering: “In the evening we attended the ‘at home’ given by Mrs. Sweet (New York), Miss Bailie and Miss Parr. It was a bright, pleasant affair. We came too late to see Mark Twain” . Note: Miss Virginia Bailie’s “aforementioned acquaintance” with Mark Twain is given as the reason for his attendance. Miss Bailie ran the Bailie’s Home for English Governesses “to train Austrian girls in the English language and English and American customs, etc., so they could take jobs as nannies in Great Britain, the Unites States, and Canada” [26n42].
January 14 Saturday – The New York Times, on Jan. 15, ran on p.7, “Mark Twain Writes for Stead.”
LONDON, Jan 14.—Mr. William T. Stead’s new paper, intended to be the mouthpiece of his disarmament campaign, and entitled War Against War, made its appearance to-day. It is not a very striking production, its chief feature being communications from sympathizers, including some American public men.
Mark Twain has written an article for the paper, opening with characteristic humor. He says: “The Czar is in favor of disarmament, and so am I. There ought to be no difficulty about the rest of the world” [Note: See Jan. 9 entry].
The Academy, p.40 reprinted an anecdote from the NY World about Mark Twain on a Berlin horse-car. Sam paid his fare fifteen times, “because he threw his tickets out the window instead of saving them for the inspector—but he sold a story about the incident for $500” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 186].
January 15 Sunday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.