“Half of the history is true, the other half is not—& but little of it is pleasant reading. According to the mainly-false 4th chapter, my wife & I were mere vulgar swine—& moreover that chapter is attributed to me! I never wrote a line of it” [MTP].
February 28 Tuesday – Sam delivered the main after -dinner speech at a farewell banquet for Ambassador and Mrs. Charlemagne Tower at the Hotel Bristol. The dinner was sponsored by the American Colony in Vienna. Dolmetsch writes of Sam’s speech:
Mark Twain…spared no superlatives, calling Tower “the best ambassador the American nation has ever sent forth,” and particularizing: “Mr. Tower did not arrive here in political sunshine. The close relationship between Spain and Austria and the clouds of war then gathering made his mission in Austria especially delicate, the most delicate in these times, demanding unusual and special qualities of mind and character. The success he has had gives evidence that, as the old saying goes, ‘he was the right man in the right place’” [155-6
February, end – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote Richard W. Gilder that he could take the Hornet article, name the price himself, and send the check to Franklin G. Whitmore [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “End of Feb. Wrote Gilder to take Hornet if he chose, & name price himself & send check to Whitmore, who has $300 left” [NB 40 TS 54].
March – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Poultney Bigelow that he was sending a five-year supply of granules that Livy took for dysentery when watermelon wasn’t in season.
“I wouldn’t ask a physician any questions, for they know a great deal less about dysentery than a cow does…Discharge the physician and give them a trial” [MTP].
Sam wrote a maxim to an unidentified person: “Be good & you will be lonesome. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Viennna, March, 1899” [MTP].
Sam’s essay, “Diplomatic Pay and Clothes,” first appeared in Forum, Mar. issue. It was collected in My Debut as a Literary Person, with Other Essays and Stories (1903) and The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906) [Budd Collected 2: 1004].
An oil portrait of Mark Twain was done this month by Antal Z. Izer [MTP]. Note: Izer was not further
Insert: “The American Humorist”: Life Magazine Mar. 2, 1899 p. 173.
March 1 Wednesday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam
began a letter to John Kendrick Bangs that he added to on Mar.
11 and finished on Mar. 12. At this time Bangs was “Editor of the Departments of Humor” for Harper’s three publications.
I am very much obliged to Mr. Harper for putting me on the “Literature” list— indeed, very much obliged. Of course Besant’s book will greatly interest me, & I am watching for it to arrive. If [MTP]. Note: Sam was interrupted at this point, left the sentence unfinished; did not continue until Mar. 11.
March 2 Thursday – Sam inscribed his photograph to Countess Lutzow:
“It is best to do everything to-morrow, because it saves so much time to-day. / Truly
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.