November 29 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “At the Library—8 p.m. politician / a May engagement—see May 29”
[NB 44 TS 19]. Note: May 29 only mentions Mrs. Urban H. Broughton.
In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam signed a typewritten note to Mrs. Sol Baerlein, (Lottie Kohner Baerlein, d.1920) declining an invitation [MTP: Scott J. Winslow Assoc. catalog, June 16, 1999, Item 80]. Note: Sol Baerlein published poetry in the yearbook of the Celibates Club.
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam raving about his story, “The Death Disk” in the new Harper’s. Joe also informed him that Harmony would leave on Dec. 4 and be in New York at 1:58 p.m. “We have some things to do in New York, and shall probably not get away for Riverdale till 3.40 or 4.05, or 4.30—but will telegraph you when. How good it seems to think we are going to see you all!” [MTP]. Note: on the top of the letter Sam wrote, “No, Joe, telephone from Grand Central—150 Kingsbridge.”
November 30 Saturday – Sam’s 66th Birthday. Sam’s notebook: “St. Andrews—Delmonico’s, 7. Carnegie— ‘& speak on what is supposed not to exist—Scotch Humor’ See Nov. 15. Shall arrive there 9.30 prompt” [NB 44 TS 19].
Sam inscribed in an unknown work to Livy: “To Olivia L. Clemens, in passing notice of this day, which lands another year upon the already overburdened back of her loving husband. S.L. Clemens. Riverdale-on-Hudson. Nov. 30, 1901” [MTP].
Sam spoke on “Scotch Humor” at Delmonico’s for the Sons of Scotland (St. Andrew’s Society) banquet (see Nov. 21 to Carnegie). The N.Y. Times, p.3 reported on the festivities, Andrew Carnegie, President:
SONS OF SCOTLAND FEAST AND MAKE MERRY
Haggis, Whisky, and the Pibroch Features of the Occasion.
A TOKEN FOR MR. CARNEGIE
He Tells the St. Andrew’s Society King
Edward is America’s Friend—Mark Twain Discusses Scotch Humor.
Sons of Scotland who claim America as their adopted country gathered to the number of 500 in Delmonico’s banquet hall last night, to celebrate the one hundred and forty-fifth annual dinner of the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York.
The festive evening was made the occasion of the presentation to Andrew Carnegie, who occupied the
President’s chair for the last time, having served three terms, of an elaborately embossed set of resolutions, in
recognition of his generosity in bestowing $100,000 upon the St. Andrew’s Society for the purpose of carrying
on its work among the aged and helpless Scotch poor of the city. John S. Kennedy presented the resolutions,
a costly piece of color work, finely executed.
… [cut all but Sam’s speech from here]
MARK TWAIN ON SCOTCH HUMOR
Mark Twain was next introduced to respond to the toast “Scotch Humor.” Mr. Clemens said:
“The President of St. Andrew’s, the Lord Rector of Dublin, [laughter] no, Glasgow, isn’t it? No. Well, he is higher up than I thought he was—told me that Scotch humor is non-existent. How is he a Lord Rector, anyway? What does he know about ecclesiastics? I suppose he don’t care so long as the salary is satisfactory.
“I have never examined the subject of humor until now. I am surprised to find how much ground it covers. I have got its divisions and frontiers down on a piece of paper. I find it defined as a production of the brain, as the power of the brain to produce some thing humorous, and the capacity of perceiving humor. The third subdivision is possessed by all English speaking people, even the Scotch. Even the Lord Rector is humorous. He has offered of his own motion to send me a fine lot of whiskey. That is certainly humor.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.