We are gradually quieting down after our delightful dissipations under your happy roof [Nov. 3-5]. We keep the picture of that beautiful house without any difficulty—I know its details better than I know those of any other home except ours in Hartford. We had a good time there—yes, that is an unassailable fact. I’m coming again on the 16th, but I’ll be coming alone, no doubt.—it looks as if that cannot be helped. And I’ll have to return on Sunday if there’s a train. Clara’s days are loaded up with her music-practice, Jean has to attend to her osteopathic treatments, the madam will have to stay & mother the pair, & lose the ball-game & the other good times [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Edmund Clarence Stedman to decline an invitation to respond to “a regular toast” at the New England dinner, feeling it would put “too heavy a responsibility upon an old person.” Sam wrote that he was “coming as my own guest, at my own expense, & shall be a good listener” [MTP]. Note: The 95th New England Society Banquet was held on Dec. 22, 1900. Sam wrote Stedman again on Dec. 12, declining to attend: “I am dead, dead tired of talking & feeding.”
In the evening Sam and Livy took a horse-drawn coupe to Harlem to attend a theatre [Nov. 10 to Walker].
November 8 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Victor Mapes play—Empire Theatre—2 p.m. / 2 p.m. Mr. Rogers & Chester Lord” [NB 43 TS 28]. Note: The matinee four-act play, “The Tory’s Guest,” which, according to the NY Times, p.7, Nov. 9, “was performed by pupils in Mr. Sargent’s American Academy of the Dramatic Arts” [Gribben 450]. Gribben mentions two other plays by Mapes, but the one above played on the same date as Sam’s entry and at the same theater.
Chatto & Windus published 2,000 additional copies of the 6s.0d. English edition of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, for a total of 10,000 [Welland 238; 1904 Financials file MTP]. Note: see May 30, Sept. 13.
November 9 Friday
November 10 Saturday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to John Brisben Walker, that Livy and the girls had hired a motor car (“mobile”). He then faced the modern problem of how to get a taxi in New York City when one was needed:
The world does move! Mrs. Clemens & the girls have gone off in a hired mobile to the theatre in Harlem. She & I went to Harlem in a coupe three days ago, with a poor tired horse who made less than 4 miles an hour, & it is a pity for the horse that has converted the woman.
Now then, please tell me where in New York we can send & get a mobile at peace-rates when we need
Note: In 1900 there were only 8,000 autos registered in the entire U.S. and only about ten miles of paved roads. Only 4,000 autos were manufactured in 1900. Ten years later there were 187,000 rolling out of factories. The Automobile Club of America first met on Oct. 16, 1900, and sponsored the first auto show in Madison Square Garden Nov. 3 to10. Still, there was much skepticism about the “devil-wagon.”
In the evening Sam went to a banquet in his honor at the Lotos Club. Powers writes that William Dean Howells introduced Mark Twain at the dinner [MT A Life 604], though the following newspaper account by the N.Y. Tribune, Nov. 11, 1900 p.4 did not report this. Macnaughton observes that Sam, in a speech “abundantly quoted by the press,” that “several of his remarks pertained to American foreign policy.” Thus Mark Twain was using the newspapers to become more influential in matters political .
MARK TWAIN AT THE LOTOS
HUMORIST LATE FOR THE FEAST IN HIS HONOR.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.