James Whitcomb Riley inscribed a copy of his new book, Home-Folks (1900): “For—Samuel L. Clemens,
Esq. with hale Hoosier greetings of his old friend James Whitcomb Riley. Indianapolis, Nov. 12: 1900 / Mostly, poets is all star-gazin’ / And moanin’ and groanin’ and paraphrasin’!” [Gribben 580].
Ossip Gabrilowitsch made his American debut at Carnegie Hall. He was favorably but qualifyingly reviewed in New York papers, including a long column in the Tribune , p. 9. that called him “a most admirable pianist” but as to the concert of this evening, “not a great one.” Since Sam was making speeches at the Press Club at 9 p.m., it is doubtful he also took in the concert.
The New York World ran a short, humorous “interview” with Mark Twain, titled “Sure Mark Twain’s in a Crooked Game,” p. 12. Evidently people were calling at No. 14 East 10th Street instead of West 10th
November 13 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “3.30 Col Harvey at 26 B’way” [NB 43 TS 28]. Note: George B.
Harvey at H.H. Roger’s office.
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, thanking him for sending a copy of Aldrich’s speech for the Nov. 11 Lotos Banquet in Mark Twain’s honor.
The passage beginning “However, it is not his unique & brilliant humor” is unsurpassable; I believe it has not its match outside the Gettysburg Speech. It was perfectly led-up to, & would have fallen with electric effect upon the house. It is an exquisite piece of work.
But you were right—your place was with Howells, & it would not have become you to take a lower one. Mrs. Clemens & I are looking forward to a good time with you & Mrs. Aldrich after Dec. 12 [MTP].
Sam also replied to James B. Pond.
The pamphlet is received. I don’t call to mind any after-dinner speech of mine worth preserving, unless it might be “The Babies” and “New England Weather.”
Be sure you get Depew’s Lotos speech. Howells & I agree that that was an all-round masterpiece [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Emilie R. Rogers (Mrs. H.H. Rogers), advising her that he was coming alone to dine with the Rogers and the Rice’s the following evening (Nov. 14). Livy sent regrets as she was booked to see Henry V (see insert ad) with their daughters. “I suppose women have a good deal of trouble rectifying their
husbands. It is what they are for” [MTHHR 454-5].
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.
I cannot persuade you to name the sum you need
want. How do you suppose I can guess? Do please reform.
I’d like to have 2 dozen of those engraved lecture-declinations, if you’ve got them by you
William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.
California has nearly swept the Ohio wines out of town, but I think I am on the track of the Put-in-Bay claret, which is very like a Burgundy—no? It is made from the Norton grape. I tasted it just once—in 1866; and I still remember it.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.