May 9 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Dinner, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Trevor Laurence [sic], Treasurer. 6.45” [NB 43 TS 10]. Note: Fatout lists a speech or story for Twain at this event [MT Speaking 666]. Sir James John Trevor Lawrence (1831-1913) English horticulturist and politician, was treasurer for St. Bartholomews from 1892 to 1904.
May 10 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Mrs. Hincks–dinner” [NB 43 TS 10]. Note: in the back of this NB Sam
wrote Mrs. Hinck’s address: “Maitland House Church street Kensington” [TS 33]
At 30 Wellington Court in London, Sam wrote a short note to Poultney Bigelow.
“If the right & proper wording of that blessing shall occur to me I will give it voice—otherwise it will be best to keep still & not spoil the harmonies” [MTP]. Note: Sam would speak at Bigelow’s house opening the following day.
May 11 Friday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, Sam wrote to Adela M. Goodrich-Freer. At the top of the letter he drew a musical staff and notes, suggesting the nature of the invitation he was replying to (not extant).
“Indeed we shall be very glad to drive out there some afternoon—Mrs. Clemens & I—the daughters stick to their tiresome studies & go nowhere. Would Wednesday May 16 or Friday May 18 be convenient for you?” [MTP]. Note: see also Jan. 11.
Sam also wrote to Frederick J. Hall, who evidently was in England. A previous engagement made a meeting with Hall impossible [MTP: Sotheby’s London catalog, 21-22 July 1992, Item 46].
Sam spoke at Poultney Bigelow’s London house opening [Gribben 70: London Daily Express, May 17, 1900 p.2].
Note: Sam’s notebook: “Poultney Bigelow 10 Elm Park Gardens, S.W. 4 to 7” ; also the following lines are recorded in the NB, likely a draft of words he gave at the event:
Custom, ancient & venerable, holds that bridges, temples & the hearthstone shall not be put to their purposed uses until they shall have been solemnly dedicated thereto by one duly appointed to that office. Therefore, I, having been so appointed, do now, by the authority in me vested, formally pronounce this house open, & consecrated to all the gracious functions of an Anglo-Saxon home—chiefest among which are the peaceful commerce of domestic life & the receiving & welcoming of all who may have & hold the happy privilege of entering within the shelter of its hospitable roof [NB 43 TS 10]. Note: strike-outs omitted.
Insert: Bigelow’s signed sketch of Twain (done sometime during 1900, perhaps at this event.)
May 12 Saturday – Christian B. Tauchnitz wrote to Sam about a piracy of TS,D and a lawsuit concerning the piracy; the defendant maintained that the story was 30 years old and came from an American newspaper. Could Sam confirm the first publication of the story? He hoped his letter of Apr. 18 (not extant) from Maxen reached Sam safely [MTP]. ,
May 13 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Chatto—afternoon carriage will call at noon” [NB 43 TS 10].
May 14 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Hottest 14th of May ever recorded in New York—92. Here in London it was wintry” [NB 43 TS 10].
May 15 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “Plasmon Directors meeting 56 Duke st at 11:30” [NB 43 TS 11].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.