I had in my first engagement three horses shot under me. The next shots went over my head, the next hit me in the back. Then I retired to meet an engagement.
I thank you, gentlemen, for making even a slight reference to the war profession, in which I distinguished myself, short as my career was [333-4]. Note: the NY Times reported on July 9, p.17 that “Mark Twains speech provoked much laughter.”
Note: In his July 5 to Skrine, Sam mentioned sitting next to General Sir Henry Brackenbury (1837-1914) at this dinner. Brackenbury was a distinguished British Army officer who authored several books. At this time he was Director-General of Ordnance. Note: Joseph Hodges Choate (1832-1917), American diplomat and attorney, US Ambassador to England (1899-1905).
July 5 Wednesday – At the Prince of Wales Hotel in London, England, Sam wrote to an unidentified man (likely a photographer) asking him not to “risk the photos by sending them here,” as he was leaving England for the summer. He directed they be sent to Chatto & Windus and gave their address [MTP].
Note: A photograph taken of SLC on 4 July 1899 by Russell & Sons (also made into a cabinet card as per example recently offered for sale by Bob Slotta, eBay item #180517316533), this photograph taken by Russell & Sons was then published in McClure’s Magazine for October 1899, in Moffett’s “Mark Twain. A Biographical Sketch,” p. 523-9
Sam also wrote to William Manning, thanking him “most heartily” for the book The Year-Boke of the Odd Volumes, etc. inscribed by Manning on July 4. “It will always keep green in my memory that pleasant night [July 1] that I spent with the Odd Volumes” (club) [MTP]. Note: See July 1 and 4 entries.
Sam also wrote to Francis H. Skrine.
It is exceedingly generous of you & Mrs. Skrine to make us such an offer, but we don’t dare! We are a h— alifax of a family, & have ways! Ways that are not curable. Our present idea is, to live at the Queen Anne Mansions when we return in the autumn, & we have already selected a suite there & shall cherish the hope that we can have it when we come [MTP]. Note: he added the date of their return was not certain.
Sam’s notebook: “Wed. [July] 5 Campbell-Bannerman 8.15” [NB 40 TS 57]. Note: Fatout lists this as a dinner speech for Twain. Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908) was an old line British parliamentarian and Liberal party leader. He would become Prime Minister in 1905.
July 6 Thursday – In London, England, Sam wrote to Edmund W. Gosse (1849-1928), English poet, essayist and art critic, about the Clemens family’s travel plans, and the difficulties of a visit anytime soon:
Indeed I should like that ever so much, but I don’t know how to manage it. As I understand it we sail straight from Tilbury to Godalmightyville (if that is the correct translation of Gottenburg [Göteborg]…without stopping on the way. Our destination is Sanna, Rosendale, Sweden, where we are to remain several months & devote ourselves daily to the “movement cure”—the whole four of us. It will not do for me to interrupt my cure, for I am training for the ministry or the bull-ring (according to results when I get through.) If I come out mentally reformed, the former; if physically only, the latter. But couldn’t I stop there on my way back to England in the autumn? … I can’t really find out what I can do until I get to Sanna & inquire into things a little…Very, very glad I met you! With kindest regards… [MTP: Waiting For Godot Books catalogs, 23 January 1995, Item 54]. Note: Gosse at this time was a lecturer of English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge. See Gribben p.269; Sam had purchased Gosse’s biography of Thomas Gray in 1884.
Sam also wrote to Percy Spalding, asking that he send copies of JA and HF to Miss Adela Brooke for him and also to put this item into print: “Mark Twain & family sailed for Sweden yesterday in the steamer Thorsten”
[MTP]. Note: This may be Sam’s misinformation on the date; or he may have predated this note. The earliest date of a letter from Sanna, Sweden is possibly July 10.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.