When we were seated at table, I discovered that I was between Mark Twain and Whistler. They had not yet seen each other. I was for some time a sufficient barrier, but finally Whistler leaned forward and said:
“That man looks like Mark Twain!”
And Mr. Clemens answered at once:
“Are you Whistler?”
And they were off. The sparring was wonderful. There was no separating them, and we listened to their talk far into the night [184-5].
Notes: Reminiscences some decades later are often suspect. Actually, Twain and Whistler had been at the same dinner in 1879, though Clemens wrote “but he did not attract me” [MTB 646]. Also an anecdote of a meeting when Sam lived at 23 Tedworth Square is often told (Weintraub puts it at the winter of 1896-7, p. 430; see entry in 1897 Winter); if true it would also predate this event. The attractive Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942), realist painter in the style of John Singer Sargent, was one of the most successful portrait artists of her day; at this time her work was in high demand. Beaux was a close friend of Richard Watson Gilder, who helped promote her career. Dorothea Gilder, Richard’s daughter, was also a close friend of Beaux, who often stayed and painted at Four Brooks Farm in Tyringham, Mass. Dorothea Gilder’s papers, including correspondence with Beaux who traveled to London with Dorothea’s parents at the time, are online at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art site. See July 20, 1904 for another possible meeting between Clemens and Beaux.
June 2 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Prof. J. Mark Baldwin of Princeton coming with J.L. Adams 11 a.m. Writes books on psychology. Oxford, now, on this industry. / Burford Bridge Hotel Dorking. / Andrew Lang? See July 1, for his address” [NB 43 TS 14].
In London, James Mark Baldwin (1861- 1934) visited Sam with Sir John Adams [ibid.]. Baldwin was an American philosopher and psychologist, founder of the Dept. of Psychology at Princeton who made important contributions to early psychology, psychiatry, and to the theory of evolution. He authored several books, including the one he brought as a gift to Sam.
Gribben writes, “Either then or shortly thereafter Baldwin presented Clemens with The Story of the Mind, first published in 1898” . Sam would write Baldwin on June 5, 6, and 7; and would visit Oxford on
Carte R. D’Oyly wrote an invitation to Sam on Strand Theatre letterhead for a dinner on Saturday, June 9, 8:15 p.m. at the Savoy Hotel, given to honor Sir Henry Irving back to England after his successful American tour [MTP]. Note: Sam would attend; D’Oyly presided.
June 3 Sunday – Whitsuntide (Pentecost) in London. Sam’s notebook: “1 Hamilton Place, Piccaly / Boating on the Thames. Herring. / Train 11. Paddington. / to Taplow—11 am arriving at 11.38. Fly waiting—the man will have white ribbon on his whip. / Dinner / Burford Bridge Hotel Dorking” [NB 43 TS 14].
Adele Chapin (Mrs. Robert Chapin) recalls Mark Twain coming by two days after their dinner where he met the artist James Abbott McNeil Whistler:
Mr. Clemens wandered in, saying:
“I thought you and Mr. Chapin were the only two people I know with sense enough to be at home on a holiday!”
A place was set for him and he rambled on:
“I haven’t had any peace of mind since I met Whistler. That man gave me such a thirst, I shall never have any peace until I find him again. I have been wandering around looking for him ever since, and I shan’t have any peace until I see him again.”
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.