March 19 Sunday
March 20 Monday
March 21 Tuesday
March 22 Wednesday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam replied to Poultney Bigelow and his invitation to get together (not extant).
Of course I should like it ever so much—it goes without saying—but if I see England by the middle of September that is the earliest I can hope for.
We are leaving for Budapest tomorrow for a week, to lecture and attend a banquet; then return and peg away at work without any more holidays till midsummer, when it is our idea to loaf along home slowly to America by way of Sweden, Norway and St. Petersburg, and by sea across to England and then take ship for New York.
Sam then related the watermelon cure for dysentery:
I tried to get Gen. von Versen to persuade the Kaiser to protect the summer camps of his armies with water melon patches, but he said the things wouldn’t ripen in Germany.
We are all pretty well, except for influenza, and we send love to you and Mrs. Bigelow and the children
Sam also responded to a cable (not extant) from James M. Tuohy of the NY World asking for a copy of a speech for the paper.
You may not need it, still I send it. It is the concluding sentences of a speech which I am expecting to make at the banquet in Budapest tomorrow night—after speaking to the special subject of the Evening, which is the celebration of the jubilee of the Emancipation of the Hungarian press. A hint of politics will not be improper, as the Government (Liberal) will be present, also many Liberal members of Parliament [MTP]. Note: Sam did not give the speech he sent to Tuohy, confiding it to William Dean Howells in a letter written Apr. 2 to 13 [MTHL 2: 690].
March 23 Thursday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Annette Hullah.
You think I am very slow about thanking you for sending me that delightful book, & you are perfectly right— (probably for the first time this year.) But you must remember that in spirit I have been thanking you all this time. Yes, & very heartily, too. You must let that fact modify the crime a little. It is a great book, & lights up India like Kipling’s masterpiece. Poor Kipling—I am so sorry for the bitter time he is having, but glad he has been spared to a world which he has made a hundred thousand times richer than it was when he entered it [MTP]. Note: Rudyard Kipling had suffered from inflammation of the lungs and the loss of a daughter. See Mar. 7 entry.
The Clemens family traveled 180 miles to Budapest, Hungary, where Sam was to give “some remarks” this evening and a reading on Mar. 25 [Mar. 22 to Bigelow; Dolmetsch 51].
…what prompted the Hungarian journalists to invite Mark Twain and what moved him to accept, apparently without honorarium, one may only conjecture. Perhaps the attention he continued almost daily to receive in the Viennese press had as much as anything to do with the invitation, and his unflagging appetite for self-promotion plus curiosity about “the Paris of the Danube” were sufficient motives for his acceptance. …
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.