The interview exhibits Twain in a very jubilant mood, bantering freely with Paladini and engaging, at times, in self-consciously quotable utterance. ….
The interview is essentially an impromptu conversation; after spotting “the Prince of American Humorists” in a crowd, Paladini attaches himself to Twain, walks with him to the hotel, and sits down for a chat…. Twain is very tolerant of Paladini’s questions and responds well to his “one journalist to
another” candor and informal manner. Loosed from the confines of what Paladini calls “the customary interrogation,” Twain expands on a variety of topics: he jokes about his political aspirations, pokes fun at billionaire friends who gave him a farewell banquet, offers some ideas about art, and expresses his distaste for Machiavelli [216-17].
Note: Evidently Twain bore a striking resemblance to Professor Antonio Borzí, and so questioned
Paladini on the meaning of the word “borsi,” unaware that Italians were referring to the professor.
Luscher provides the full translated text of the interview p.218-21.
November 13 Friday – Jean Holden wrote from Chicago to Sam asking permission to make slides of
some of the pictures in JA [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Refer to Harper aout the pictures”
November 14 Saturday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam sent a telegram to Daniel
Willard Fiske: “WE HOPE YOU ARE DAILY IMPROVING AND WILL SOON BE WITH US. + CLEMENS” [MTP]. Note:
Fiske was in Copenhagen suffering from Gout .
James McArthur’s column, “Books and Bookmen” in Harper’s Weekly, p. 1841: Tenney: “‘I heard it contended the other day that the greatest American novel was TOM SAWYER and not THE SCARLET LETTER.’ ‘Present-day novelists are emulating Mark Twain’s democratic and simple ideals….Tom Sawyer is the natural forbear of “Jawn”
Meand in THE WHIRLWIND , of Billy Williams in THE VAGABOND, and of Chad in THE LITTLE SHEPHERD OF KINGDOM COME’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 189].
Sam’s notebook: “Suggested to Chatto that Harmsworth make an offer for a $12 set at 10 or 12% royalty,
C&W to take 1/3 & I 2/3—& ask Harper to bid” [NB 46 TS 30]. Note: Alfred Harmsworth (1865-1922), 1st
Viscount of Northcliffe, influential British publisher magnate.
November 15 Sunday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam finished his Nov. 11 and 12 to H.H.Rogers.
Nov. 15. Just in the edge of the evening of that day (the 12th) Mrs. Clemens got a bad & disabling burn, & is keeping her bed ever since. It was an accident, & not her fault. It will not be well soon.
She had one of those (breathless) bad turns day before yesterday—the first for 2 or 3 months—& was very despondent for a while, but she had cheered up & assumed hope again.
I hope Mr. Gardiner will buy the Tarrytown house. It he does, I shall want to apply some of the money to paying Bliss off in cash & ridding myself of that debt. He would probably knock off some of it for the sake of getting a lump sum to use in his business.
And I shall want to keep the rest of the money in bank & ready for use in case the Harpers should at any time fail to “put up” on their monthly instalment.
We hope you are all well & satisfied with life & Tammany, & I hope Harry is not over-working himself [MTHHR 541-2]. Note: Charles A. Gardiner leased the Tarrytown house and would purchase it.
Sam’s notebook: “Mr. Smith 4 p.m.” [NB 46 TS 30]. Note: George Gregory Smith.
Mary Elizabeth Phillips wrote to Sam, that Sue Crane had given her “countenance to further pursue” him for his “real name autograph on a special print I have made from your Rockwood negative” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.