November 24 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Daniel Willard Fiske.
It was fine to hear by your own hand that you had turned the corner. Let us soon see you back, & see you here. Mr. Clemens does hereby officially invite you to tea, said invitation to have force & effect on all days, be they wet or be they dry.
Yes indeed, the Gregory Smith’s & their Thomas have been everything to us—without their ever-ready & efficient help we we should have had a difficult time, sure.
We are getting settled, & Mrs. Clemens is going to make good progress here. She is out in the sun, now, taking a walk in her wheel-chair. She sends love—& so do all of us [MTP].
R.G. Busaceal wrote to either Clara or Jean: “I dare not write to your father, but I hope you will be so kind as to speak to him for me. I am a great admirer of Mark Twain and should like very much to translate something of his in Italian. But I am afraid American humour is very difficult, if not impossible to translate. Will you be so kind as to ask your father which of his works he thinks I might try without being too sure of a failure?” [MTP].
November 25 Wednesday – Sam wrote to Joe Twichell [MTP]. UCCL 12876 letter is not currently available.
Sam’s notebook: “Lady Paget / Torre di Ballasguardo / (per Porta Romano)” [NB 46 TS 30]. Note: Walburga Ehrengarde Helena von Hohenthal Paget (Lady Paget hereafter; 1839-1929), diarist and writer, Lady Paget was an intimate friend of Queen Victoria. Her husband, Sir Agustus Berkeley Paget (1823-1896) had been British ambassador to several countries, including Italy. The Torre di Bellosguardo is a hotel still doing business in Florence.
November 26 Thursday – Thanksgiving. Sam and daughter Jean shared Thanksgiving dinner with the
George Gregory Smith’s. Clara stayed behind to help care for Livy. Smith wrote to his mother on Nov. 29:
Thanksgiving day we had a most delightful time indeed. The table was exquisitely decorated with chrysanthemums white & yellow similax. Our guests were Mark Twain & Miss Jean Clemens, Judge & Mrs. Birch, Mrs. McCalmont, Miss Lizzie Sherman, Miss Wallace & her sister, daughters of Commodore Wallace of the U.S. Navy, Gus & Ella St. Gem & little Mary. There were fourteen at the table. We had a delightful dinner including turkey & mince & squash pies, & sat at it for over two hours. Mark Twain was in great form & kept his end of the table in a roar [Orth 31].
At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam dictated to Isabel V. Lyon to George B. Harvey.
Will you or Mr. Duneka appoint somebody to waste-basket my mail for me; to read it first for possibly once in three months there may be a letter worth forwarding to me.
In the case of printed matter, don’t forward it, let it wait till I return [MTP]. Note: Lyon and her mother had recently arrived from the US; they sailed on Nov. 7 and would have arrived around Nov. 22 or 23.
Sam also wrote to Florence attorney Paola de Plaisant, the letter not extant but referred to in Paola’s Nov. 27 reply.
Frances R. Masseglia wrote to Sam. “Ginori has just sent today the plates that were missing when the inventory was taken. Sent to your daughter same days ago the other missing article, which I suppose was received, although I have had no acknowledgment from her to that effect—may I trouble you to let me know.” She relayed that a ¾ bed had been delivered, and she would make 3 keys, one to the entrance gate and one for each garden gate for the carriage. She wished “Thanksgiving greetings” [MTP].
November 27 Friday – Livy’s 58th birthday.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.