Vol 3 Section 0313

1899                                                                            263

William Dean Howells wrote to Sam, addressing him as “My dear Clemens”:

If I were merely a selfish man, I should answer your letters instantly, and get more, for I have no such pleasure as your letters give me, but I am lazy as well as selfish, and I would rather put off a joy than hurry to have it. Now I’m writing rather promptly because I want your advice, and of course it’s about a thing already done. I have agreed with Pond to be personally conducted by him on a tour of 25 or 30 lectures in the Northwest between October 7th and Dec. 20; for two thirds of the profits. I find that I can lecture—I have made 900 Smith College girls hear—and a paper that I’ve given 10 or 15 times on Novel writing* has never failed to please, unless my audiences flattered me. What do you think?….Naturally, I don’t want to pull up at

62 and start out on a scamper to Winnipeg and back; but it will be a relief from writing, and I must boil the pot somehow. Again, am I a fool to do this thing? ….

* Hamlin Garland says it is the best lecture he ever heard. He has not heard you.

Howells conveyed the rumor that the Clemenses would settle in Princeton, N.J.., where the Huttons lived. He pointed out though it was “a pretty place with pretty people in it,” it was a “college town, and it isn’t New York.” He conveyed the news that Charles Dudley Warner had been very ill. He’d read reports of Sam meeting Emperor Franz Josef I, and recalled seeing him when they were “boys together at Venice” [MTHL 2: 700-2].

June 12 MondayMark Twain gave a dinner speech at the Authors Club, London. The New York Times, June 13, p.7 covered the June 12 event:

Mark Twain Speaks of Kipling

LONDON, June 12.—The Authors’ Club gave a dinner this evening to Mark Twain and Sir Spencer Walpole, Secretary to the Post Office. Mr. Clemens, in replying to a toast to his health, referred to the outburst of American sympathy during the recent illness of Rudyard Kipling and expressed the hope that the illness might at least serve to bring America and England closer in the bonds of friendship and respect.

Sam’s speech to the club was more fully covered in a June 24, 1899 article by the Times, p. BR 414:

Fatout writes, followed by Sam’s remarks:

As critics have noted, Mark Twain’s attitude toward England swung back and forth between opposing views. Generally he was a hearty Anglophile. Then, when displeased by the turn of political events or when ruffled by somebody like Matthew Arnold, he became for a time just as hearty an Anglophobe. In the speech below he is in a friendly mood, preaching the doctrine of good will between the two countries.

It does not embarrass me to hear my books praised so much. It only pleases and delights me. I have not gone beyond the age when embarrassment is possible, but I have reached the age when I know how to conceal it. It is such a satisfaction to me to hear Sir Walter Besant, who is much more capable than I to judge of my work, deliver a judgment which is such a contentment to my spirit. …


I believe you keep a lawyer. I have always kept a lawyer, too, though I have never made anything out of him. It is service to an author to have a lawyer. There is something so disagreeable in having a personal contact with a publisher. So it is better to work through a lawyer—and lose your case. …

Last February, when Rudyard Kipling was ill in America, the sympathy which was poured out to him was genuine and sincere, and I believe that which cost Kipling so much will bring England and America closer together. I have been proud and pleased to see this growing affection and respect between the two countries. …I will now confess that I have been engaged for the past eight days in compiling a publication. I have brought it here to lay at your feet. I do not ask your indulgence in presenting it, but for your applause.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.