does not—and this, I think, is greatly to his credit…” [MTP: Parke-Bernet Galleries catalog, Jan. 28, 1958, No. 1802, Item 42].
The Clemens family went in to London and took rooms at Brown’s Hotel on Albemarle Street, to wait until their Oct. 6 sailing date for America [Sept. 19 to MacAlister].
Harrod’s Stores sent Livy a statement covering items purchased on July 11, 18, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, Aug. 7, 24, Sept. 11, 13, 18, 24, 27. The total was £16.13.0 ¼. The items included a gown, tie, tennis balls, coffee, chocolates, soda water, Oak frames, hire of refrigerator, muffins, cake, macaroons, peaches, crackers, spice wafers, pins, toilet paper, bodice, and misc. packing to the Dollis Hill house.
William Whiteley, grocers, billed Sam £7.11.4 & ¼, amounts brought forward from Sept. 28 & 29 for:
mackerel, furbot, peaches, bananas, lemons, rump steak, tea leaves, bread [1900 Financial file MTP].
October 1-3 Wednesday – Sometime during this period at Brown’s Hotel in London, England, Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister.
I meant to sail earlier but waited to finish some studies of what are called family hotels. They are a London specialty; God has not permitted them to exist elsewhere. They are ramshackle cribs which were dwellings in the time of the Heptarchy. Dover street & Albemarle streets are filled with them. The once spacious rooms are split up into narrow coops which afford as much discomfort as can be had anywhere out of jail for any money. All the modern inconveniences are furnished & some that have been obsolete for a century. The prices are astonishingly high for what you get. The bedrooms of the upper floors are hospitals for incurable furniture. I find it so in this one. They exist upon a tradition; they represent the vanished homelike inn of fifty years ago & are mistaked by foreigners for it. Some quite respectable Englishmen still frequent them through inherited habit & arrested development; many Americans also, through ignorance & superstition. Brown’s is as interesting as the Tower of London & older I think. Older & dearer. The lift was a gift of William the Conqueror, some of the beds are pre-historic. They represent geological periods. Mine is the oldest. It is formed in strata of Old Red Sandstone, volcanic tufa, ignis fatuus & bicarbonate of hornblend super imposed upon argillaceous shale, & contains the print of pre-historic man. It is in [room #] 149. Thousands of scientists come to see it. They consider it holy. They want to blast out the print but cannot. Dynamite rebounds from it.
Finish studies & sail Saturday in Minnehaha [William Reese Co., Bookseller, New Haven, CT. ABE Books Inventory # WRCLIT 63515, Sept. 16, 2010]. Note: Letter not signed and without a heading or salutation, so perhaps was a draft. Thanks to the bookseller for a copy of this 3 page undated letter (date estimated by MTP); it is quite instructive to view Paine’s modified version, in his 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters, p.700, and to note the many liberties he took in transcribing Twain’s letters.
October 2 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “Plasmon 11.30 Cornhill” [NB 43 TS 26].
At Brown’s Hotel in London, England Sam inscribed a copy of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Sketches to Elise de Bouchere: “To Miss Elise de Bouchere with the kindest regards of
the Author. Oct 2, 1900,” [MTP: Anderson Galleries catalog, Apr. 29, 1931, No. 3911, Item 106].
October 3 Wednesday
October 4 Thursday – At Brown’s Hotel in London, England Sam wrote to James B. Pond about
Samuel Moffett’s editing of Pond’s proposed book:
“I don’t doubt that between you & Sam Moffett you will get the matter arranged all right & satisfactorily.
You always mean right, you old criminal. I am bound to concede that, anyway” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.