Vol 3 Section 0401

April 7 Saturday

1900                                                                            351




At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to C.F. Moberly Bell, editor of the London Times:

Although you are going out of town I want this note to catch you & thank you for accommodating the A.P. representative with an early proof. But for that he would have been delayed 5 or 6 hours.


The bill now before the Committee—copyright until 30 years after the author’s death—is, substantially, perpetual copyright, but I hope Parliament won’t find it out. The book that survives that limit will be so rare a thing that it will take its place among the other freaks in the circus side-show & be exhibited at sixpence a sight [MTP]. Note: see Apr. 3, when Sam spoke before the House of Lords.


Sam also inscribed his photograph to William Des Voeux: “To Sir William Des Voeux / with the warm regards of / S.L. Clemens / and the same from / Mark Twain / Apl. 6, 1900” [MTP].


Sam dined with Adolf H. Goerz and then went to see a performance of Felix Phippi’s (1851-1921) play, As’ra at the German Theatre in London [Gribben 543: NB 43 TS 6a; London Times, Apr. 6, 1900].


Sam’s notebook: Dillingham, Savoy, 7.30 / Morda / She Stoops to Conquer” [NB 43 TS 6b].


Note: Charles Bancroft Dillingham, Broadway producer. See July 1, 1897 entry list for more. Struck through the same entry is then made for Apr. 10, denoting a change of plans.


At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to John Brisben Walker.


“But you didn’t enclose the circular. A month ago I put $23,000 into a promising venture, & would have doubled it, if I had felt flush enough. Nevertheless, I want to see the circular” [MTP: Philadelphia Public Ledger; Apr. 24, 1910, p.11]. Note: the “venture” was Plasmon.


Sam also replied to Adolf Goerz , who had asked him to contribute a short piece of writing to the memorial of Gutenburg and the opening of the Gutenburg Museum.


Dear Mr. Goerz:


In asking me to contribute a mite to the memorial to Gutenburg you give me pleasure and do me honor. The world concedes without hesitation or dispute that Gutenberg’s invention is incomparably the mightiest event that has ever happened in profane history. It created a new and wonderful earth, and along with it a new hell. It has added new details, new developments and new marvels to both in every year during five centuries. It found Truth walking, and gave it a pair of wings; it found Falsehood trotting, and gave it two pair. It found Science hiding in corners and hunted; it has given it the freedom of the land, the seas and the skies, and made it the world’s welcome quest. It found the arts and occupations few, it multiplies them every year. It found the inventor shunned and despised, it has made him great and given him the globe for his estate. It found religion a master and an oppression, it has made it man’s friend and benefactor. It found War comparatively cheap but inefficient, it has made it dear but competent. It has set peoples free, and other peoples it has enslaved; it is the father and protector of human liberty, and it has made despotisms possible where they were not possible before. Whatever the world is, to-day, good and bad together, that is what Gutenberg’s invention has made it: for from that source it has all come. But he has our homage; for what he said to the reproaching angel in his dream has come true, and the evil wrought through his mighty invention is immeasurably outbalanced by the good it has brought to the race of men. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain [The Power of the Press website, Sept. 21, 2010; MTPO sources the letter as Velke 1901].


Notes: the website adds: “This original document was the program for Gutenberg-fest at Mainz in 1900. During this festival, Mark Twain wrote a letter celebrating the commemorative opening of the Gutenberg Museum to Adolf Goerz, the museum’s generous benefactor.”


Mac Donnell Books included the following, in a listing offering a 1900 German book for sale, Gutenberg-

Fest Zu Mainz Im J.:


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