MacAlister’s letter on Dec. 4, referred to in a cable, and then cabled his approval.
When I said I could probably raise the money here, it was one of those unconsidered speeches that drop from a hurried man’s mouth, & would be stricken out if he had time to edit & consider—for they almost engage him to do what he half-says he could—but I’ve no time to edit & consider anything! I have now been bedridden with gout & toothache & bronchial cough 11 days, yet day before yesterday I answered 42 letters [only 5 are extant] & last night I crawled out in a close coupè & made a speech [Aldine Club]; & must crawl out to-morrow night & speak again [St. Nicholas Society]—but that is the last for this season, except that I introduce Churchill Dec. 12.
The rest of the letter involves Plasmon Co. details and plans; Sam closed by observing that “Those promised weekly reports of the London & Berlin companies have never come” [MTP].
Irving Bacheller (1859-1950) inscribed and sent Sam a copy of his latest book, Eben Holden; A Tale of the North Country (which would sell over 300,000 copies): “My dear Mark Twain: Let me introduce my old friend Uncle Eb and credit me what you will on the great debt I owe you. Irving Batcheller/ 320 St. Nicholas Ave N.Y./Dec. 5, 1900” [Gribben 36]. Note: See Sam’s reply on Dec. 14, some nine days after the inscription date. See Vol II for entries on Bacheller.
December 6 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “St. Nicholas Society, Dinner Delmonico’s.(?)7 p.m.” [NB 43 TS 30].
At 7 p.m. Sam responded to a given toast, “Our City,” at the Banquet of the St. Nicholas Society at Delmonico’s, N.Y.C. Fatout writes, “Mark Twain was so dilatory about getting there that a posse had to be dispatched in a cab to fetch him” [MT Speaking 363]. The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York was founded by Washington Irving and others in 1835 to commemorate the history and heritage of the city, and to promote good fellowship among the members through annual dinners.
BANQUET OF THE ST. NICHOLAS SOCIETY
Elaborate Decorations, Souvenirs, and Other Features
TWAIN’S VIEW OF NEW YORK
Speaks Humorously of its Appearance and Sarcastically of its Government—Dr. Mackay on the Gospel of the Smile.
A full representation of the membership of the St. Nicholas Society assembled for the sixty-sixth annual banquet, held last night at Delmonico’s. The function was attended by all the quaint Old World glitter and pomp that has characterized the banquets of the society in the past, and upward of 300 members and guests in song and oratory honored the traditions of their ancestry of Holland.
The decorations of the hall as well as the wealth of unique souvenirs distributed among the diners were suggestive of the Netherlands. Broad streamers of orange swung from the big central chandelier to the walls of the banquet hall. The table decorations were of the same color. The long guests’ table was spread with a cloth of orange hue and was draped with smilax.
Above the President’s chair were draped four immense American flags about the shield of the society. In addition to the regular corps of waiters were scattered about the dining hall ebon-hued servitors dressed in the uniform of a Court page of the House of Orange.
Chief among the dinner souvenirs were Holland beer mugs, upon which appeared the coat of arms of Holland and pictures of New Amsterdam in 1650, and of the present City of New York. The lids were of silver. The mugs were made in Holland for the occasion.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.