Joe Twichell wrote from Hartford to Sam, pasting a clipping at the top of the letter, which Joe claimed proved there were two Mark Twains. The clipping is a quote about determinism, the speaker unnamed but expressing in Twain-like sentiments that he had “ceased to believe in human responsibility.” Joe forgot who the fellow was—he think he got it from the Bookman. Also, Joe had injured his shoulder and could barely write. He was glad the news about Livy wasn’t worse, and wished it were better. Joe took it from what Sam wrote about Jean that her condition may have contributed to Livy’s problems. He’d heard about Sam’s appearance at Princeton from Harry Hopkins, President of Williams College [MTP]. Note: Henry Hopkins (1837-1908), President of Williams College (1902-1908). Hopkins shared Sam’s Nov. 30 birthday, and, like Twichell, served as a chaplain in the Civil War, then as a minister, first in Westfield, Mass. and then until becoming college president, in Kansas City.
November 4 Tuesday – An account told by Norman Hapgood in his 1930 The Changing Years, has been pinned to a period Nov. 4 to 10, 1902, by the NY Sun of Nov. 5, 1902, p.9, “Eleonora Duse Here Again,” and by other New York newspapers, including: See insert ad, Friday Nov. 9, 1902. Hapgood writes:
It happened that I had a box for one of the plays of Eleonora Duse, and Mr. Clemens had accepted an invitation for himself, though not for his wife, as her health did not permit her to make the trip from Riverdale…The worst snowstorm of the winter burst into the situation; it was hard enough even for New Yorkers to get to the theater; and it was only what I expected when the curtain went up without Mr. Clemens having appeared. During the intermission, however, after the first act, he did come in. “It was impossible to reach you,” he said, “by telephone, or in time by telegram, so I have come to explain that Mrs. Clemens is so unwell this evening that I ought not to be away.” He was an old man then; and he went out again into the storm and took the railway journey into the country, having remained true to the laws of courtesy, as his high standard conceived those laws [The Changing Years p.210]. Note: Eleonora Duse (1858-1924), Italian actress, opened at the Victoria Theatre on Nov. 4, 1902 in Gabriele D’Annunzio’s other play, La Gioconda, and played the last evening at the Victoria on Nov. 11, a day Sam had to cancel a trip to Hartford due to Livy’s worsening condition. Thus, the only period in question is Nov. 4 to 10, 1902. In January, 1903 before returning home she played the Metropolitan. Duse retired in 1909, made a stage comeback in 1921, and before that a film in 1916, Cenere (“Ashes”) which survives. On July 30, 1923, Duse became the first woman to be on the cover of the youthful Time magazine.
Julia Olivia Langdon wrote from NY to Sam about her wedding, and how important his presence was to her, especially with Livy’s absence. She “could not bear” the idea that she hadn’t consulted him about the wedding and that he might not be there [MTP]. Note: Julia Olivia Langdon married Edward Eugene Loomis on Nov. 29 in Elmira. Sam was in attendance.
November 5 Wednesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote two notes (one per Isabel Lyon) to Franklin G. Whitmore, both about plans to come and view the HF play by Lee Arthur at Parson’s Theatre in Hartford; and the guests he wished to be there [MTP]. Note: Livy’s worsening condition prevented him from making the trip—see Nov. 9 to Whitmore.
November 6 Thursday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Eleanor V. Hutton (Mrs. Laurence Hutton).
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.