Chronic Bronchitis – Touch of Livy’s Hand – Orchestrelle – Czar’s Soliloquy
War Prayer – Bambino Lost & Found – Muriel Pears’ Visit – Dublin, N.H Idyll
Dr. Kirch’s Lawsuit – Gout Again – Clara Recovers – Bile for Roosevelt
Philanthropical Ruse – Save Lincoln’s House – Editorial Wild Oats – King Leopold
A Horse’s Tale – Lyon Serves ‘The King’ – Plasmon Wars – Laid up in Norfolk
Boston & Ponkapog – Gala 70th Celebration – Lunching with the President
Bernhardt Charity – Joan of Arc Appears
1905 – Editor’s note: 1905 proves to have the most pages in these volumes of any year to date; it is rich with activities, letters, writings, opinions, and Twain’s new status as American commentator, without the influence of his late wife, Olivia. Yet, if one surveys the major biographies, the singular event covered was the seventieth birthday gala. Paine does not include much for this year; nor does Kaplan. Powers seems to lose his enthusiasm for much of the last few years. Shelden begins his work in 1906. Only Trombley offers much on 1905, and her study focuses on Isabel Lyon. Lystra writes a half-dozen or so pages with a similar focus. It is hoped that this treatment fills in many of the blanks ignored by biographers.
Sam wrote a sketch, “Jane Austen” that remained unpublished until 1999 [Who Is Mark Twain? xxvi, 47-50; Auerback 109-20].
Sam also wrote “A.B.C. Lesson,” a question-and-answer dialogue defending Standard Oil at the expense of the Republican party (not part of Clemens’s Autobiography) [Camfield’s Bibliog.]. Note: unpublished in Twain’s lifetime, the piece appeared first in Mark Twain in Eruption, 1940.
Budd puts as “probable,” Sam’s short allegory, “In the Animal’s Court” to this year [Collected 2: 1010]. Note: unpublished during Twain’s lifetime, it was collected in Letters From The Earth 1962.
Camfield’s Bibliography puts 1905 as the year Sam wrote “Eve Speaks.” Budd lists it with other 1905 items and writes “the date of composition has not been determined. It first appeared in 1923 in Europe and Elsewhere¸ Albert Bigelow Paine, ed.” [Collected 2: 1011].
Baender dates the composition, “The Intelligence of God,” to 1905. The essay restates ideas that appear in Twain’s later writings, some of which are collected in Letters From the Earth (1962) [What Is Man? and Other Philosophical Writings (1973) ].
Sam’s essay, titled by Paine as “The Ten Commandments” was written in 1905 or 1906. The idea here is that man requires commandments in order to “have the pleasure of breaking them” [Fables of Man 121].
“Zola’s La Terre” was written in 1905 and is one of five brief essays that Bernard DeVoto grouped and titled “The Damned Human Race” (1962). Victor Doyno writes: “Twain’s book report proceeds in a concrete, sequential mental style, leading to a generalization that Americans can be despised as much as the French. Twain pretends a grudging respect for Emile Zola’s realistic talents, believing that Zola’s ability to awaken a sleeping disgust should merit a grudge. In this involuted way, Twain comments on human nature” [MT Encyc. 202].
Listed by the MTP as “after 1904” is a one-sentence note from Sam to C. & Co.: “I have no doubt that Mr. Bliss’s bill is all right and should be paid and his receipt taken [MTP].
Also listed as possible for this year is a poem written to Andrew Carnegie:
I saw Esau kissing Kate
In fact we all 3 saw—
I saw Esau, he saw Kate,
And she saw I saw Esau.
(not in the book.) [MTP]. Note: see also Sam’s Dec. 2, 1905 to Carnegie, in which he makes a similar remark about this phone number not being in the book.
Another listed as possible for 1905 is a short note (likely a telegram) to Harper & Brothers: “Please Correct bad errors in the last two paragraphs and go ahead. Collect / Clemens” [MTP].
Another possible 1905 (until July 1) is a letter by Sam (sent anonymously) to John M. Hay.
Sent to John Hay anonymously./ Dear & Honored Sir: / I never hear any one speak of you & your long role of illustrious services in other than terms of pride & praise—& out of the heart. I think I am right in believing you to be the only man in the civil service of the country the cleanness of whose motives is never questioned by any citizen, & whose acts proceed always upon a broad & high plane, never by accident or pressure of circumstance upon a narrow or low one. There are majorities that are proud of more than one of the nation’s great servants; but I believe, & I think I know, that you are the only one of whom the entire nation is proud. Proud & thankful.
Name & address are lacking here, & for a purpose: to leave you no chance to make my words a burden to you and a reproach to me, who would lighten your burdens if I could, not add to them [MTP].
Note: John Hay had the good fortune to be personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln, and to serve as Secretary of State under Roosevelt. After a long disease, he died on July 1, 1905 with a high legacy of government service and influence. In 1904 he was voted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Sam was undoubtedly aware of Hay’s illness and also his legacy, and this note was his tribute.
Another possible 1905: In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Mary B. Rogers (Mrs. Harry Rogers); only the envelope survives [MTP].
Isabel Lyon also wrote from Dublin, N.H. for Sam to Mrs. Sag:
Mr. Clemens wishes me to write for him explaining that he is so very very busy during these weeks that he does not write any letters himself. He wishes me to say that he will be very glad to see Dr. Henderson and Mr. Montgomery if they will call here. He is always at liberty by five o’clock, but if they come at half past four, he will see them with pleasure then. And will you kindly ask them to say that Mr. Clemens will see them, when they give their names to the maid. Sometimes if Mr. Clemens is tired he will say that he cannot see people—but he will see your friends—& if the maid says that Mr. Clemens is busy, then they are to say—“But he will see us.”
Mr. Clemens wishes me to tell you that he does not go anywhere where there is jollity; he has no heart for it—and he is living very quietly here. You will be glad to know that Jean is very well, and enjoying this beautiful Dublin. And we have good news of Miss Clemens’s continually improving condition [MTP]. Note: Professor Archibald Henderson (1877-1963) at this time studying at Cambridge; in 1908 became Professor of mathematics at the University of N. Carolina. Stuart Montgomery, Harvard student, cousin of Maria C. Gay (Mrs. Julius Gay), and traveling companion to Henderson; see ca. June 29, 1905 entry.
Sam also wrote to Sebastiano V. Cecchi, his business advisor in Florence.
In the bearer of this note I introduce to you my friend and legal advisor Mr. John Larkin. I know he will find my law-squabbles over there very interesting, & I hope you will tell him about them; & if it comes handy I would like him to know Senator Luchini & Signor Traverso. I am still waiting for Dr. Kirch to sue. He seems a mighty slow man,—except when he is committing depredations on customers [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Harper & Brothers [MTP].
Sam wrote to George B. Harvey: “If you & Howells cable Sir Henry’s friends, please include me” [MTP].
George B. Harvey wrote to Sam no date except “Thursday”:
Dear old Man: / I’ve got two rooms and a bath for you and me at the Laurel House Lakewood for a week, leaving here at 3.30 Saturday—It’s only an hour and a half and we can be as quiet and peaceful-like as we please. The change will do you good. Do go if you possibly can. You only need a bag or small trunk & I will pick you up on my way to the station. / Faithfully … [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Miss Emma C. Thursby.
“Of course you meant us a courtesy—of that there is no room for doubt—& for that impulse we sincerely thank you. We have nothing against Count Massiglia, whom we have never met; but a meeting with the Countess would be unpleasant to us & not gratifying to her” [MTP].
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to an unidentified person seeking autographs.
Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him and say that he has received some sheets for auto-graphing from you. Mr. Clemens has been so often the victim of those who use other people’s letter heads that he has been obliged to ask for identification in the shape of a letter of introduction, when requests come to him from those who are unknown to him [MTP].
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to an unidentified “Dear Madam” who sought “assistance…in the publication of Frau Hempel’s grammar…” Sam declined to write a word of appreciation [MTP].
Sam also inscribed his photograph to Joseph E. Hinds: “Sincerely Yours / Mark Twain / Mr. Jos. E. Hinds.” [MTP].
In late 1904 or 1905 Sam wrote, “The Fable of the Yellow Terror,” which was not published in his lifetime but included in Fables of Man p.426-9. Also in Fables is “Flies and Russians,” p. 421-4, written on the same type of paper as the former sketch and thought to have been written about the same time.
In 1905 or 1906 Alice Minnie Herts of The Educational Alliance wrote to Clemens. The letter is missing the first page. The second page: “…because I feel that Providence has given us your assistance and your interest, which we prize so highly” [MTP].
In 1905 or 1906 Miss Margaret Heller wrote asking help in her wager that Mark Twain was “the wittiest person of the age” [MTP].
Joseph Lindon Smith for the Dublin Lake Club wrote from “Loon Point,” Dublin, N.H. to invite Clemens to a 4 o’clock address by Mr. Morinoto of Boston, tea afterwards. He apologized for not sending the invite sooner [MTP].
Joseph Lindon Smith also sent Sam another invitation, dated only “Wednesday afternoon,” this to a play, Ceatro Bambino for Friday at 4:30. “If the players (mostly children) can tempt you to their little play house, you, and your daughter, they will be as pleased as we Smiths” [MTP].
Albert Bushnell Hart wrote for the Emanuel Church of Dublin to inform Sam that Henry Copley Greene (who rented Sam his Dublin house in 1905) was an “originator” of the church [MTP].
After Dinner Stories by E.C. Lewis was published. Tenney: “In some of the stories MT’s name is used, but this collection is quite worthless as a source. Equal weight is given old chestnuts, possibly correct, and the apocryphal, such as MT’s giving a neighbor permission to use his lawnmower so long as he didn’t take it out of the yard” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) 9].
Sigmund Freud’s Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, p.230-1. Tenney: “cites ‘an economy of piety’ as a familiar humorous mechanism in MT’s works, as when characters [in RI] are blown up or have a cow fall through the canvas roof of a cabin; furthermore, there is ‘an economy of the feelings of piety’ when we begin reading Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and the fictional ancestors turn out to be scoundrels” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide First Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 333-4].
Mary Ellen Wood, compiled Laurence and Eleanor Hutton / Their Books of Association (1905) privately printed, included on p. 66-7 Sam’s letter to Hutton from Vienna for May 13, 1898; Twain related materials will also be found on p. 29, and 129 [Tenney: “A Reference Guide First Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 334]. See Gribben p.342.
Talks in a Library with Laurence Hutton by Laurence Hutton: Tenney: “Contains silhouette of MT by Alice I. Bunner (facing p.6); MT a dinner guest (pp.22, 326); MT and Helen Keller’s first meeting: ‘He was peculiarly tender and lovely with her—even for Mr. Clemens—and she kissed him when he said good-by’ (pp.390-91). On the night when the death of Bret Harte became known, ‘he was discussed in a most feeling way in a monologue talk of an hour or two by Mark Twain,’ who referred to him as ‘Frank’ Harte, thereby losing his audience, who did not realize he was talking about Bret Harte (p.470; also, tells of Harte’s hearing about the “Jumping Frog” story and urging MT to publish it (p. 409). MT’s introduction of Cable to a Hartford audience, anecdotes about Jean Clemens and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and two MT notes (pp. 419-21)” [Tenney 41].
January – In N.Y.C. Sam spent the last part of December and all of January in bed, recovering from another case of bronchitis, followed by attacks of gout in his feet [Jan. 8 Lyon to Whitmore; Jan. 25 to Crane].
Sam wrote to the International Plasmon Co., London
The only needful thing is to get Plasmon into the stomach—dissolved, or in clods, or petrified or any way, so it gets there. I had an eight years’ dispute with dyspepsia, but when visiting England years since my Doctor ordered Plasmon to be added to my other food, and the enemy has not troubled me since [MTP].
Sam’s essay “Concerning Copyright” first ran in the North American Review, p. 1-8 [Budd, Collected 2: 1009].
The only Mark Twain notebook still in private hands was auctioned by Sotheby’s from Nick Karanovich’s collection on June 19, 2003. The description:
A pocket-size notebook for 1905 with Clemens’s autograph manuscript notes, memos, appointments, addresses, etc., written in ink on some 14 pages; with many other pages containing notes and other items by Albert Bigelow Paine, the whole notebook (“The Excelsior Diary 1905”) containing about 61 leaves (2 x 4? in.; 51 x 105 mm), original maroon leather, neatly rebacked, wear to covers, one leaf (for March 26-31) torn out. The only Mark Twain notebook still in private hands. On the first page (for January 1-2) Clemens has listed thoughts and things to do. All are crossed through except for a one-line memo and the thought “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” On the third page (for January 7-9) Clemens has written: “60 years ago, optimist & fool were not synonymous terms. This is a greater change than that wrought by science & invention. It is the mightiest change that was ever wrought in the world in any 60 years since creation.” [Note: MTP now refers to this “excelsior” NB from the Karanovich sale, as NB47A; See entries, Jan. 1, 2, and 7 to 9].
Sometime during January Joe and Harmony Twichell visited for one night [Feb. 6 Lyon to Whitmore].
Outing Magazine published Clifton Johnson’s article, “Mark Twain’s Country,” p. 433-40. Tenney: “On a visit to Hannibal and Florida, Missouri; illustrated with several photographs, including one of the front of the home of Tom Blankenship (‘when he left home, it was to go to the penitentiary’). One old acquaintance called MT ‘the most overrated man in America…. As a boy, Sam was just like other boys, except he might have been a little slower. He was considered blamed dull, to tell you the truth.’ Another acquaintance remembered him as solitary, not interested in hunting and fishing with the other boys, although fond of exploring the cave. Both remembered his slow, drawling speech” .
Laurence Hutton’s “The Literary Life,” part V ran in The Critic for January. Beginning on p. 43, and on p. 53 Hutton’s ill-gotten story about “an especially bound copy of ‘The Prince and the Pauper,’ with a peculiarly affectionate Twain inscription. See also picture of Helen Keller and her dog, “Phiz” on p. 44 [Google books online]. See insert.
Clemens inscribed his photograph to Dr. Edward Quintard: “To Edward Quintard, greeting & all good wishes./ One of the most striking differences between a cat & a lie is, that a cat has only nine lives.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar / Truly yours, Mark Twain. Jan. 1905” [MTP; Frogtown Books # 43101, AbeBooks Oct. 11, 2008].
January 1905-December 1909 – Sam wrote two drafts to be used to unidentified persons, thanking for a letter rec’d. In the first draft he saw no objection to the translation of Sam’s article on JA “for private circulation,” but that permission would have to come from Chatto & Windus; in the second draft he did not mention a specific work of his but referred the writer to Harper & Brothers [MTP]. Note: these two notes were likely boiler-plate to be used to many requests for use of Sam’s work.
January 1 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: contains a list of things to do lined through as if completed:
Ask about Congo. And X nS book. And Howells article—give it to Century Lacks loud humor [NB 47A TS 1].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: At midnight the wonderful tones of the river ocean steamer and factory whistles sent their great sound through the air and I leaned out to welcome the new year with oh a grateful heart. This morning Mr. Clemens was nervous after a wretched night and his crying out against “God Almighty and every member of the Ferin” was tragic. He has no patience with doctors, nor with nurses—all, all are quacks. He said “We’ll invent ways, offensive ways to break the sabbath.” –and we played cards. But first I read him a letter from Don Raffaello—a letter full of messages. And then after the reading of the letter Mr. Clemens talked of the Swindle of life. He has not been able to smoke much and that is too great a trial for any degree of comfort. Mrs. Rogers sent him 2 boxes of cigars; and Mr. Robert J. Collier sent him a lavish supply of most costly cigars—“Fuel” he called them, “for the new year.”
In the afternoon mother and I went up to see some mediocre pictures, but they were pictures, and after tea Mr. Gilder came in with his sweet greetings—and after dinner we (Mr. C. and I) played cards until 11 o’clock [MTP: TS 34]. Note: There are two “journals” or “daily reminders” TS for 1905. The “reminder” was on a preprinted date form, like a diary; the TS does not carry page #s as does the “journal” but are herein added for clarity—the “reminder” TS is referred to henceforth as Isabel Lyon’s journal #2, first entry for Jan. 11, 1905. No further distinction is made between “reminders” and journal entries. Examination was limited to TS’s. The originals were not studied.
January 2 Monday Sam’s notebook: contains an aphorism circled, followed by a list of things to do lined through as if completed:
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
Satan article. Change now to Dublin Speak of FLYNT [NB 47A TS 1].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Much of today has been spent in trying to find places for the books that are scattered—piled—on the library floor. Mr. Rogers came in this afternoon; and after he left I played cards with Mr. Clemens. It was restful. Mr. Clemens is better; coughs less and his gout pains are diminishing. I flew over to see mother for a few moments this evening and on my return we played cards until 11.
When Jean is in Mr. Clemens’s room and we play cards—or don’t—he gives a freer vent to his words and is therefore a dear delight. Tonight he had nothing but little “spot” cards, and he called them a “perfect puke of spot cards”—Ah, his bubbling is of a strength—Jean remonstrated and in a chuckle of joy he told about a man—a good man—who many years ago was stranded somewhere in Mexico without a cent. He hunted everywhere for work, and finally they offered him a chance to personate Christ in one of the religious processionals depicting Christ on his way to Calvary. The street was lined with godless folk who pelted him with rotten eggs, bad bananas and hideous other things. The man stood it with great dignity until the storm was too hot, then putting down his cross he said, “If I wasn’t personating God Almighty, I’d show yer a thing or two.” I think it was apropos of the fact that a “perfect puke of spot cards” was nothing to what Mr. Clemens could say if he were not upholding his dignity as Jean’s father. That’s what I think [MTP: TS 34-35].
January 3 Tuesday – Charles Langdon wrote to Sam, enclosing a check for $120, payment of coupons on bonds (Park Co. Montana, and General Electric Co.) which had been owned by Susie Clemens [MTP].
Reduce p.c. on Congo. Do you want Jean ’s new article? Man born with fal[s]e teeth
Palmistry article [with hand pointing up to next page] [NB 47A TS 1].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Busy a good part of the day with the books in the library, and with a foray at Wanamaker’s to find house and desk supplies. The morning paper brought the news that Gen. Stoessel has sent in a flag of truce and will abandon Port Arthur to the Japanese. The weather has changed from mild to severe with sleet that has made 5th Avenue terrible for the horses. Mr. Clemens sat up by the window this afternoon and after commenting on the bad climate, he said he “could make a better climate if he was drunk.” He seems quite helpless from the gout and nearly fell in reaching his arm chair. I caught him as his ankles gave way–and it alarmed me [MTP: TS 36].
A.W. Shaw wrote from Chicago to Sam to ask where he might obtain an original blue cloth copy of TS, as he had lost his copy [MTP].
January 4 Wednesday – The Aberdeen (S.D.) Daily News, p. 2, “Mark Twain’s Pranks” reported reminiscences by Captain H. Lacy, who was born in Hannibal in 1839. Lacy claims it was not Jim Wolfe who was the victim of the famous skeleton-in-bed prank (sometime in the 1840s), but “a tramp printer named Snell,” who “blew into Hannibal one day and was given work on the paper.” Lacy claimed to be along on the prank; his account offers not only a different victim than has been imagined (see MTL 1: 18n4; also Ch. 23 TA) but a different outcome:
He was an uncommunicative sort of fellow, but a good worker and obedient. Sam decided to bring him out of his reserve and to do it borrowed a skeleton from a doctor’s office and slipped it into the printer’s bed. Then we got around to a window about bedtime to see what was going to happen. The print pulled off his shoes, piled his clothes over on the floor and blew out the light. The next thing we supposed would be a yell and a printer shooting out of the window in his nightshirt. But there wasn’t anything of the sort. There was a sleepy yawn and:
“Get over on your own side, darn you.”
We heard the ghastly bedmate of Snell fall to the floor, and then everything was quiet except for the snoring of the sleeping printer. The joke had failed, and we went up to our rooms in disgust.
Next day Snell didn’t show up, and we began to feel a little hopeful that maybe the trick had worked after all. But we were again disappointed. Snell was in a gin mill, boiling drunk and having the time of his life.
“Killed er man deader’n a red Injun,” he yelled, “an’ shell corpsus fer dollar an’ sheventy-five! Wow!”
“He had rolled the skeleton up in a sheet and sold it to another doctor!”
Mr. C. Lewinhaupt
35 W. 64th st
1390 Columbus (tel) [NB 47A TS 2]. Note: Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments beginning Mar. 25, 1905 for $2 per treatment. Lewenhaupt had been Henrick Kellgren’s assistant in Sanna, Sweden, and likely met Clemens while the two men were in Vienna [C. Anderson 85]. See Lyon’s journal for that date. See also a letter Clemens wrote to Count Claes Lewenhaupt for a dinner invite on Oct. 21, 1887 (vol. II).
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Mr. Clemens has not felt so well. His wretched nights full of gout, make his days full of a dull misery. The weather has been very cold. Much snow has fallen and I have spent many hours among the books collected from many quarters of the world” [MTP: TS 36].
Frank David Woollen wrote from Dayton, Ohio to Sam, offering “a friendly word in passing from a stranger,” after losing his wife at a young age. He enclosed a verse he’d written, “Day’s End” [MTP].
January 5 Thursday – Literally thousands of articles, reprints, and mentions of Mark Twain appeared in American newspapers from coast to coast during this period. This tidbit, from the Dallas Morning News, p. 6, borrowed from an unspecified issue of Harper’s Weekly:
What Is In a Name.
Mark Twain once went into a restaurant and sat down at a table near a solitary man who had just arrived and was giving his order to the waiter.
“Bring me some of the best broiled lobster you have in the house,” said the man. “Er—just mention my name to the cook—Mr. Sobble.”
The waiter bowed obsequiously, and turned to Mark Twain’s order. The incident had not been lost on Mr. Clemens.
“Bring me half a dozen oysters,” he said. “Oh—just mention my name to each one of them—Mark Twain.” — Harper’s Weekly.
[Note: A similar anecdote was found in Current Literature (Magazine) for June 1904].
Mrs. J.S. Copley Greene
354 Marlboro st [NB 47A TS 2].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Another drowsing lifeless day for Mr. Clemens. He has no interest in life or things and his day sleeping does not refresh him. Mr. Dunne (Mr. Dooley) came in today and greeted me cordially from among the dusty books. He wanted to see Mr. Clemens and ask him to go to a banquet down in Washington; but since that is quite impossible he will some day come for a talk with Mr. Cl;emens. He is agreeable [MTP: TS 36].
January 6 Friday – In San Remo, Italy, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.
I have always been afraid you didn’t get a letter I wrote you at Florence last June trying to say the things it is never any use to say. Ever since I had hoped you would let me hear from you. I have heard about you and your family from John [Howells] and others, and I know how in a general way you are getting more than your share of sorrow still. But I wish I could have some word from you, and I know it would help you to unpack your heart to me as you used to do.
It seems a poor joke of fate that I should be in Italy the year after you, and only twelve hours from Florence. We came down from London early in October and have been here ever since, threatening to go home by every boat from Genoa, but now probably meaning to stay till spring. I dread the New York [winter] for my wife, if we were plunged back into it, and Pilla would simply have to sail for Bermuda as soon as she arrived…. San Remo is a pretty good place to work for there isn’t anything else to do, and I’m working away at the English material I stored up in the summer, turning it mostly into beeswax, I’m afraid. I wish I could see you, and about three other people in America, where I hope to stay if I ever get back. We’ve laid the ghost of ever living in Italy; New York is bad enough for me. — Do let me hear from you. Elinor and Pilla join me in love to you all. I hope you have encouraging reports of Clara [MTHL 2: 795]. Note: Howells was writing two travel books, London Films and Certain Delightful English Towns, etc. which would be published in 1906.
Kate Rogers Nowell wrote from NYC to Sam, sorry to hear of his illness, and asking him not to “trouble to sign these accompanying proofs, until you feel quite like it.” Nowell discussed his portrait in the Outlook. She told a tale of a co-worker lady who had been introduced to Clemens, “and she told him how much he looked like ‘Mark Twain’!” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mrs. Whitmore has sent me Richard Le Gallienne’s last book [Painted Shadows (1904)]. This morning I took it in to Mr. Clemens and he was glad to see it, saying “an able cuss and writes deliciously.” Busy all morning over the check book—and hunting for 2 books that Mr. Clemens wants—“Letters of Robert E. Lee”—and a book by Mr. Prior. I haven’t seen either of them. Mr. Rogers came in this afternoon and later I played cards with Mr. Clemens. Also I have another book, “The Queen’s Qhair”. I am fond of Hewlett’s books. I ran in to see mother who was surreptitiously ironing in her tiny room and very gleeful too [MTP: TS 36]. Note: Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee, by His Son, Captain Robert E. Lee (1904). Since the move to 21 Fifth Ave. Lyon noted she had not seen this book. Also: “ [Gribben 404]. See Gribben’s entry on Le Gallienne for An Old Country House, which he inscribed “S.L. Clemens, 1905, to I.V. Lyon, 1908” . See also 1908 year entry for this inscription and gift to Isabel Lyon. The Queen’s Quair or the Six Years’ Tragedy (1904) by Maurice Henry Hewlett (not in Gribben).
January 7 Saturday – Sam’s notebook:
“60 years ago, optimist & fool were not synonymous terms. This is a greater change than that wrought by science & invention. It is the mightiest change that was ever wrought in the world in any 60 years since creation” [NB 47A TS 3].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Even though the days are full to over flowing, and perhaps because they are—life is so beautiful. Today Katie and I managed to get a temporary carpet into Mr. Clemens’s new study with its gold life-giving paper. The room is at the front of the house and looks up 5th Avenue, having a charming view of the Church of the Ascension, and the Presbyterian Church beyond. Mr. Clemens gains a little each day—but his ankles are still swelled and quite painful. Quite an interesting man, Mr. Holland [Ellman written in margin, Holland lined out] came to see if Mr. Clemens had any manuscripts to sell. He has bought nearly all of Mr. John Fiske’s, and others too of value. Some of Lowell’s and N. Hawthorne [MTP: TS 36]. Note: John Fiske (1842-1901) American philosopher and historian. Ellman is unidentified.
January 8 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote to Harriet E. Whitmore (Mrs. Franklin G. Whitmore). Excerpted here only the passages dealing with the Clemens family:
Your sweet and most unexpected gift delights me much. I have not had a chance to read a word in it, for after cutting its pages, I took it in to Mr. Clemens who has been wretchedly ill for 3 weeks—He took the book from me—Saying of its author—“An able cuss who writes deliciously—” and today he remarked that the book is “ever so charming.” In the January number of the American Review of Reviews, there is an interesting portrait of le Fallienne, and if you haven’t seen it, it is quite worth seeing—An exquisite face—the face of an artist—
Perhaps you may be interested to know how very entirely Mr. Clemens absorbs all my time—every minute of it—even my evenings. I attend to an infinite number of things for him, and when he is lonely and restless we play cards. Play cards? Why I play with him all day Sunday even. He is delicious; this morning he had a run of very bad luck and biting his cigar hard he said “Christ couldn’t take tricks with the kind of cards you give me.”
He is still in bed, and we make a card table of a down pillow—He calls the King of Clubs—“that damned orphan.” because it is always appearing as a singleton in his hand. Oh darling Mrs. Whitmore you have given me all this joy, and truly I am the wealthiest woman ever. There is a side to the life here that is most exquisite and hallowed; and Mr. Clemens lives much in the past,—There are days when he restlessly paces the “lonely house,” and he has not yet begun any real work—beyond a short article on “Copyright” that appeared in N. American Review for January. The house is not yet entirely settled. Some of the wall papering must be done over, because the decorator employed is a woman of execrable taste,—and a great deal of the paper is an “offense” to Mr. Clemens‘, But the house is really charming—and living here with mother so close to me is a great delight to me. I have very little to do with Jean—never go out with her anymore; you see Mr. Clemens wants his secretary on deck—and where he can have her services when he needs them. Jean is pretty well, not entirely so; and we have encouraging news from Clara, if the nurses can be believed. Mr. Clemens has been ill enough to have a nurse who is still here. He had serious bronchitis with congestion—slight—of one lung—and then the worst of all finishing touches, the gout—that has inflamed and swollen his feet, and he has suffered very much [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Clemens walked lamely into the next room, his study, but he could not stay long. First he shaved away his 3 weeks beard that made him look like Thomas Carlyle. We played cards later—and his hands were so bad that he remarked “Christ couldn’t take tricks with the kind of cards I hold.” He is delicious. Mother came in and we had a dish of tea in my room, and Mother—saint Mother—mended a pair of stockings for me—on Sunday [MTP: TS 36]. Note: Lyon repeated things put in her above letter.
January 9 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
The days fly busily along. There seems no chance of ever settling the house. Mr. Clemens is still in his bed—and the best things in the day are the games of 500 beside his bed. We play on a big square cigar box. Today a long gaunt reporter from “The World” came to have Mr. Clemens comment upon an account of himself. He tried to extract information from me, but I am solemnly non-committal [MTP: TS 36-37].
Houghton Mifflin & Co. wrote to Sam, to set straight certain facts regarding royalties to Harriet Beecher Stowe on Uncle Tom’s Cabin in her later years. They disputed Twain’s article in the Jan. issue of the NAR, which claimed the publishers rec’d profits on the book starting from 7 years before her death. They corrected that to 3 years and wrote that Stowe’s daughters had “elected to sell us the copyrights of all their mother’s writings outright” [MTP].
January 10 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today busy with check book and uninteresting mail during the morning. Mr. Clemens is still in his bed, but looks very much better than he did, and today Dr. Quintard pronounced him nearly normal. I played over the Tschaikowsky Finale of the Sonata Pathetique today. It is very beautiful.
Today a reporter from “The Journal” came to say that he’d heard that Mr. Clemens had been ill and he wanted me to put Mr. Clemen’s [sic] opinion of his illness into suitable words, and say that it came from Mr. Clemens [MTP: TS 37].
January 11 Wednesday – On or just after this day at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam responded to a questionnaire (“Questions Pertaining to Medical Legislation”) sent by Andrew C. Biggs, a “non-Medical physician” sent this day, from Greensboro, N.C. To all but two of the questions Sam either answered “no” or left unanswered. To the other two:
4. In your opinion, are the medical practice laws now in force in some of the states, drawn solely in behalf of the general public? If not, what other purpose do they serve?
Clemens: “They serve to curtail the citizen’s liberties: they serve to abolish the citizen’s fair & legitimate right to do with his body as he does with his soul: choose healer & creed to suit himself.”
7. Please express any other views you may hold on the subject of medical legislation.
Clemens: “The allopaths have elected themselves a public-health monopoly so long that they have come at last to believe it their actual right to say who may kill & who may not. The bravos of Venice took the same attitude in the thirteenth century: they held that a person was not properly killed unless the killer possessed an assassin’s certificate” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Mr. & Mrs. Twichell came to spend a night. It is a blessing for Mr. Clemens has been too much alone” [MTP: TS 37].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Letter & statement received from Mr. Cecchi. Today, wrote Miss Harrison asking her to place $800, in the Manhattan Bank for Mr. Clemens’s credit with Haskard & Co.
Answered Mr. Cecchi’s letter & enclosed Bill to be paid.
Mr. Stanchfield called [MTP TS 1].
January 12 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Mr. Twichell has been very interesting in his description of the way that General Sickles lost his leg in the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Twichell was chaplain in Gen. Sickles’ regiment. / Today Mr. & Mrs. Twichell left” [MTP: TS 37]. Note: Daniel Edgar Sickles (1823-1914), General, NY Congressman, attorney. See AMT 1: 565-6 for more on Sickles.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Miss Harrison deposited $800 in the Manhattan bank credit of Haskard & Co. Horace
Mr. Mrs Twichell / Came today to stay over night.
Mr. Clemens is still in bed.
Miss Everett the nurse left today.
Ugo came back into Mr. Clemens service today [MTP TS 1]. Note: Ugo Piemontini, servant
Margaret Jenkins wrote from England to Sam, apologizing for being “a long time answering your letter of Dec. 16th” (not extant) and hoping he would write for the C.R.A. She hoped he would “help the cause by ‘some occasional scribblings in the magazines.’” She had sent his letter on to Mr. Morel. She was posting him a copy of the East African Mail and articles related to “efforts to enlighten the public as to King Leopold’s rule in the Congo” [MTP].
January 13 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “I have lost 2 days of real living owing to my strange headache. Mr. Clemens is still in bed. Gout again. We play cards every evening. Today Mother went to the Customs Office and found there Don Raffaello’s gift to me. A book in a bottle, very realistic” [MTP: TS 37].
Josephine Daskam Bacon (Mrs. Selden Bacon) wrote from 110 Riverside Drive to Sam. “Many thanks for your autograph in the ‘Jumping Frog’; when my daughter is six months old, I shall begin to read it to her.” She sympathized with his illness as she also suffered from bronchitis [MTP].
January 14 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Trying to catch up the threads lost by that headache. It is David’s [her nephew] birthday” [MTP: TS 37].
John Larkin, NYC attorney wrote to Sam and also wrote to Sam through Isabel Lyon. In the first letter he enclosed “a certified copy of an order fixing the transfer tax…on Mrs. Clemens’ Estate at $841.21.” In the letter to Lyon, Larkin confirmed he had her letter of Jan. 13 “enclosing notice of personal tax upon Mr. Clemens as Executor” of Livy’s estate. “When Mr. Clemens is able, if he will call some day at this office” (44 Wall St.) “I will attend with him before the tax commissioners and have the assessment reduced” [MTP].
January 15 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today has been very full of the joy of living. I wrote letters and read some in the morning. Looked out of my window just in time to see dear Mother look up at me on her way home from Church and in the afternoon she came over. Later I played cards with my chief. Some day the penalty for having such perfect living will come [MTP: TS 37]. Note: on Jan. 3, 1933 she added a note to this entry that “No penalty attaches itself to perfect living. No penalties ever attach themselves to joys.”
Theo Mead wrote from 55 Duane St., NYC, to Sam, inquiring about an episode where Clemens reportedly was sued by a Christian Science “charlatan” for $400. Was this correct? Mead wished to use the case to “warn possible victims” [MTP].
The National Institute of Arts and Letters chose eight more members to the Academy of Arts and Letters: Henry James, Charles Follen McKim, Henry Adams, Charles Eliot Norton, John Quincy Adams Ward, Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Bailey Aldrich [MTP enclosed in 30 May 1905 to MT].
January 16 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Very busy with much writing to do. Mother came in the afternoon. I went this evening to a Beethoven concert with Francesca and Rosamond—such sweet children. There was a stupid lecture on Beethoven and then 3 beautiful numbers. I met Mrs. Nowell, the one who sketched Mr. Clemens for The Outlook—and some Tuesday I am going up for a dish of tea with her. I had a late game of cards with Mr. Clemens, on my return from the concert [MTP: TS 37]. Note: Kate Rogers Nowell.
Isabel Lyon’s journal 2: “Mr. Stanchfield had a long talk with Mr. Clemens” [MTP TS 2].
Margaret Lee wrote from Brooklyn to Sam, to “congratulate you and thank you for opening the Perpetual Copyright Campaign of 1905 in your own masterly manner” [MTP].
January 16? Monday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Harper’s Weekly, concerning the loss of copyright and royalties for Harriet Beecher Stowe before her death. In its Jan. 7 issue, the magazine had reprinted Sam’s quote from the Jan. issue of the North American Review. The quotation was printed within a Jan. 10 letter by Houghton Mifflin & Co. Sam argued he was not after publishers on the copyright issue, but was “hunting lawmakers, & lawmakers alone” [MTP].
January 17 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Busy every moment. / (Dublin note—July 7, 1905) Mr. Clemens takes up a novel and begins in the middle and swings along to the finish” [MTP: TS 38]. Note: just why she added this to Jan. 17 is not known. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Today Mr. Clemens sat for several hours in the study. Gout Continues. Miss Harrison sent a check to Mr. Larkin for $841.21 for transfer tax to be paid on Mrs.Clemens’s estate” [MTP TS 2].
January 18 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Santissima’s beautiful black cat Bambino arrived. Katie brought it down in a cab. A patient in Santissima’s sanitarium cannot stand cats and she is to be there for a fortnight. It is Mr. Dana’s birthday” [MTP: TS 38]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens took more cold when he sat in the Study yesterday, and today he is not so well” [MTP TS 2].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to John B. Stanchfield, with copy to Sam. Mr. Howard E. Wright was out of town until Monday and preferred an evening meeting. “I enclose carbon copy of a statement which I prepared last October for Mr. Clemens, about the Butters matter, which may be of some use to you” [MTP]. Note: Henry Butters.
Harveian Co., Samuel G. Tracy, M.D. medical director, wrote from NYC, wishing Clemens to become familiar with the NYC Nauheim Bath; he claimed success in treating many ailments [MTP].
John Larkin, attorney wrote to Sam, acknowledging receipt of Lyon’s letter and check by Clemens for $841.21 (Livy’s estate tax), also the certified order [MTP].
January 19 Thursday – At 21 Fifth Ave. Jean Clemens wrote for her father to Anne Sullivan.
My dear Miss Sullivan; / As Father is still ill in bed with gout he cannot write you himself and
has therefor asked me to do so for him.
He was of course very much pleased to hear of your happy engagement, especially so as he once met Mr. Macy, at Mrs. Hutton’s, I believe.
He sends you his most cordial congratulations and sincerest regards, together with the hope that your health is good. / Very truly yours / Jean L. Clemens [MTP]. Note: Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher, would marry John Albert Macy (1877-1932), Harvard instructor and literary critic, on May 2.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “To even up things a little—for one cannot have too much of beauty in life—there is Santissima away—and my eye continues its strange pains. But that would have to be to even up things a little. The solemn joy of living in the same house with Mr. Clemens who grows ever sweeter with the white, white years, is beyond all words of mine” [MTP: TS 38].
January 20 Friday – Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam, concerning ongoing disputes with Howard E. Wright and the American Plasmon Co. “The other day, I came across the card of admission issued by Hammond to Butters in connection with the ‘freeze-out’ game. I enclose it” [MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson wrote for the National Institute of Arts and Letters to Sam. Thomas Bailey Aldrich had consented to be retained on the list of members, and therefore should be selected as the 15th member of the Academy. Johnson enclosed William Dean Howells’ preferences for new membership, of which the following were designated as elected Jan. 7: Charles Eliot Norton, Henry James, Thomas R. Lounsbury, J.Q.A Ward. Also listed were Thomas Bailey Aldrich, William M. Sloane, Joseph Jefferson, and Carl Schurz [MTP].
January 21 Saturday
January 22 Sunday – “Bloody Sunday” (or “Red Sunday”) in St. Petersburg, Russia was the impetus for Mark Twain’s “The Czar’s Soliloquy,” written shortly after this day. (See Jan. 30, and Feb. entries.) Peaceful demonstrators petitioning Czar Nicholas II were gunned down by the Imperial guard. Budd writes:
“To Twain the riots…were both enraging and heartening. He rushed into print with ‘The Czar’s Soliloquy,’ the vehement logic of which went back to 1889-1891 when he was listening raptly to [George] Kennan and Stepniak” [New England Quarterly 32.3 (Sept 1959) p.366].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mr. Carnegie and Mr. Gilder came in as I was playing 500 with Mr. Clemens—later Mr. Clemens said he “did not like to be such an expense to a guest—there Carnegie sat with a stream of dollars pouring down his back”—and no one to collect them [MTP: TS 38].
January 23 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Sent card to Mrs Clander, for Mr. Clemens” [MTP TS 2].
George B. Harvey wrote to Sam, soliciting him to attend the “little dinner to the Archbishop Thursday evening,” urged by Mr. O’Day [MTP]. Note: this may be Daniel O’Day.
Charles Langdon wrote to Samuel L.Clemens, Executor, requesting one-third of the Erie County taxes on the Genessee property, Buffalo, or $46.20. “I may be in New York within a day or two with important papers in connection with the closing up of the affairs of J. Langdon & Company, Incorporated, to which I must have your signature” [MTP].
David A. Munro wrote to Sam: “I have been talking to Colonel Harvey about ‘A Postscript,’ and he seems to think that since the Review could not publish it for more than a month, it might lose some of its pertinence”—could Sam agree to have it published in Harper’s Weekly? [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the top left corner, “Told him to publish it in the Weekly”; See Feb. 11, date first published in the Weekly.
John B. Stanchfield wrote to Sam, having received a “box of celluloid hairpins from Mr. Ashcroft.” Mrs. Stanchfield and the maid-servants were “pronounced” in their opinions “that they are not practicable.” He recommended it “might be well for us to dispose of a portion of our holdings” in the Koy-Lo Co. He would take up the Plasmon matter when he returned to NYC, “in a week or ten days” [MTP].
January 24 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, casting his vote for the election of Thomas Bailey Aldrich as the fifteenth member of that select group. On Dec. 2, 1904 Sam had been one of the original seven elected [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today mother and I did some shopping together. It was blustery, but fine. Ugo is going away tomorrow. / Mr. Clemens is still in his bed, though better” [MTP: TS 38]. Note: Ugo Piemontini, the Italian servant brought back from Florence.
Arthur Newall wrote from Wiltshire, England to Sam seeking a copy of 1601. Newall wrote that he had written to Sam in April 1901 (not extant) but had had no luck in obtaining a copy of the tale from Lords Wolseley and Houghton. After reading in the London Times that Sam had found a copy, Newall inquired again [MTP]. Note: the MTP puts Sam’s response as “on or after 24 January 1905,” but this is not a telegram, but a letter, which would have taken at least seven or eight days to arrive in N.Y. Therefore, Sam’s response is here assigned a ca. Feb. 2 date. See entry.
Charles Langdon wrote to Sam, acknowledging receipt of Miss Lyon’s letter and check for $66.80. He was delighted that Sam was better. He hoped to see him Thursday or Friday. He enclosed papers for Sam to sign and for Lyon to witness, having to do with Livy’s estate [MTP].
January 25 Wednesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
This is the first day in five & a half weeks that I have not spent in bed. I bundled myself up, this morning & hobbled downstairs. The sitting room & dining room looked just like the Hartford home, with the folding doors spread open. It broke my heart, for there was not a thing visible anywhere that had not been made holy by the touch of Livy’s hand. Thousands of times her dear eyes had looked upon those things, & each & all of them spoke to me, & bore testimony to her unchallengeable taste & her love for the exquisite & the beautiful.
I sat & looked out at the storm & listened four hours while Miss Lyon played on the orchestrelle, I choosing the pieces—dirges, funeral marches, and—saddest of all—wedding marches. The wedding is never otherwise than a tragic event, and all present should be clothed in black, & upon the wedding-bell should be written “A day is coming when one of these hearts shall break.”
I came up at mid-afternoon, & have been in bed ever since. I expect to be up a while to-morrow again.
Clara’s splendid cat [Bambino] is on the bed by me. He has been telephoned for, & Katy will take him in a coupè to-morrow for an hour’s visit with Clara. After this he is to go to her once a week for an indefinite period. He is the liveliest company & the best that ever was. Katy detests cats, but she is the bond slave of this one.
It was a pathetic tale—that one about God using a minister & a church as instruments to rob that poor old lady. But I am done wondering at the things He does.
Love & good night dear Sue. / Samuel /(Called by many The Holy.) / I hope Charley is not out in this storm, but I fear he is [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This morning as I was telephoning to Santissima’s nurse, Mr. Clemens appeared in the lower hall, and when we went into the library I played for him on the Aeolian—played 15 numbers. After lunch I played again. I was playing Bach when I turned to find him sitting near me. I had supposed he was in the dining room watching the fierce storm that is raging—but he wasn’t. He sat there with a most beautiful look in his face. Rapt, satisfied, peaceful and beautiful. Today is the first day that I haven’t seen Mother [MTP: TS 38]. Journal #2: “Blizzard. / Today Mr. Clemens came down stairs for first time in 5½ weeks. / Ugo left Mr. Clemens’s service today [MTP TS 2-3]. Note: Ugo Piemontini
Sebastiano V. Cecchi wrote to Sam, having rec’d Miss Lyon’s letter the day before. “The Manhattan people have also notified our payment of $800 which I have placed to your credit.” He hoped Sam was not ailing any longer, and passed along some local happenings, including Sam’s old landlady: “I suppose the Contessa [Countess Massiglia] never thought that she was riding for a fall, at the time: she seems now to realize her position fully, and fear has knocked her nervous system to pieces. / I haven’t seen Luchini for some time but I expect he keeps you informed of how the case is going on” [MTP].
January 26 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “French butler Leon arrived today. / Sale of Tarry Town property closed today. Mr. Benjamin has had charge of the sale” [MTP TS 3]. Note: Leon not further identified.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote to John B. Stanchfield, copy to Sam. “Mr. Clemens’ story of the Plasmon matter will be ready for you on your arrival.” He went on with details of the pin manufacturing and sent “a perfected blued wire pin; also one of the hat pins” for the “criticisms of your people,” and sought “specific objections” to the celluloid pins as “General objections do not help” [MTP].
January 27 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Langdon arrived this evening at 9:45” [MTP TS 3].
William Evarts Benjamin wrote to Sam concerning papers he’d handed him the day before on the Tarrytown property. Complexities regarding a Trolley Co. encroachment, ownership of half the adjoining streets and “other papers relating to the matter are in charge of” Mr. Andrew M. Clute, Sam’s attorney on the matters [MTP].
January 28 Saturday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to William L. Alden.
I thank you heartily for giving me a chance to read it. Your article has given me great pleasure, special pleasure. It requires courage to say what you have said; few can run counter to an accepted & established popular notion & not lose nerve in the transit. We have all seen it, many times.
It is the end of the sixth week that I have passed in bed with gout and bronchitis. I should have written you a fortnight ago if I had been physically competent [MTP]. Note: possibly Alden’s article, “Mark Twain; Samuel L. Clemens,” which ran in the Nov. 1904 issue of English Illustrated Magazine, p. 182-4; see Vol. III for Nov. 1904. See also Gribben 14-15 for other books listed by Alden.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Today proposition came thro Mr. Larkin to purchase Texas property for $950.00 Mr Clemens accepts
Letter came from Mr. Norman Hapgood describing a nice house at Cornish, Vt.” [MTP TS 3].
Note: Hapgood (1868-1937) had known the Clemenses since 1889 when he was on Thanksgiving vacation from Harvard, where he graduated the next year. When faced with making “a violent declaration of love to Susie” (Clemens) in a play at the Clemens’ home, The Love Chase, Hapgood froze. It was his one stage “performance.” [MFMT 57; The Changing Years – Reminiscences of Normal Hapgood (1930) p.205]. Before this Hapgood was the drama critic of the NY Commercial Advertiser and of the Bookman (1897-1902).
John Larkin, N.Y. attorney, wrote a short note enclosing a letter from Mr. W.E. Forgy, Texas lawyer, about the Texas property. Larkin wanted Sam “to kindly read & advise” as to what reply he should make.
On or just after Larkin’s note with letter arrived, Isabel V. Lyon responded for Sam: “Mr. Clemens would like Mr. Larkin to accept the proposition” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Michael Monahan.
It is strong & eloquent & beautiful & I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to read it. The inspiration which tipped your pen with fire is from the Maid. After all these centuries that force still lives—lives & grows. And it will never cease to live & grow, I think.
I was struck by a remark of yours (& I agree with it) that from the day of the martyrdom the Maid has been “the glory of the faith & the shame of the Church.”
I was hoping she would never be canonized. One doesn’t build monuments to Adam: he is a monument himself [MTP]. Note: Monahan’s article, “Saint Mark” in the Dec. 1904 issue of The Papyrus was the target of Sam’s praise. Monahan would later publish My Jeanne d’Arc: Her Wonderful Story in the Light of Recent Researches [Gribben 479, 525]. Note: The Society of the Papyrites (vol. 4, no. 3) published this letter in their March issue.
January 29 Sunday – Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam.
We have an inquiry for the following sketches: “The Grateful Poodle,” “The Benevolent Author,” “The Grateful Husband,” which we are unable to indentify. Our correspondent states that all appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. It occurs to us that possibly these are not independent sketches or that the sketches were reproduced in book form under another title. Can you give us any information? [MTP].
On this day or just after Harper’s above letter arrived, Sam answered:
Read proofs of the above on board ship, in N.Y. Harbor. Sailing for Germany April 10, 1878. Broke with Blisses in 1881. So the above sketch was published in the Atlantic Monthly probably during summer of 1878 [MTP]. Note: These are three parts to the sketch, “About Magnanimous-Incident Literature,” each followed by a “sequel,” first published in the May  issue of Atlantic Monthly [Budd, Collected I: 703-09]. Sam actually sailed on Apr. 11, 1878.
Lucy McDowell Millburn wrote to Sam, complimenting him on JA and recalling she met him at Onteora when she was a guest of Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge. At the time Millburn was so frightened that she did not speak [MTP].
January 30 Monday – Robert Galbraith wrote from Tarrytown, NY to Sam, having rec’d his letter (not extant) and check on Monday. He’d been kept busy shoveling snow that blew back at night [MTP]. Note: Sam’s letter had likely been sent on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mr. Clemens went down to the library where I was writing and asked for music. The Aeolian seems to satisfy him. I had noticed a roll of MS. in his hand—and at tea time he read to us his latest article—the one on the Russians. I had never heard him read any of his writings before, and he is at his best then. Today he was wonderful. Thrilled with the tremendous interest of the naked Czar’s soliloquy. His voice shook with emotion. It is the strongest thing he has ever written, and you reach the power of him only when you can hear him read into his mighty words the soul of the thing as it stands to him. He is too tremendous in soul and in intellect. He is tremendous in his simplicity. Tremendous in the way he can be touched by the tribute of a servant, and every servant worships him [MTP: TS 39; Hill 99 in part MTOW p. 47 includes a crossed out section that doesn’t appear in the TS]. Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Today Mr. Clemens gave us a rare treat for he read the MS of the article he has just finished: A Soliloquy of the Czar. / Jean began the typing of it today [MTP TS 3].
January 31 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Pay Rent, / Check for Mrs. Greening – 25.00” [MTP TS 3]. Note: Tabitha Quarles Greening (“Puss”).
February – Clemens inscribed a copy of TS (1903 ed.) to an unidentified person: “One of the most striking and convincing differences between a lie & a cat is, that the cat has only nine lives. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Feb. 1905” [MTP: listed in Profiles in History, Oct. 2005, no. 40, item 130].
Munsey’s Magazine published Richard Le Gallienne’s article, “American Authors of Today,” p. 641-50. Tenney: “Passing mention of MT as one of the major writers, along with discussion of some whose fame has faded; MT photograph, p. 644 [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 190].
Review of Reviews (NY) ran “Mark Twain on Copyright,” p. 213-14. A summary of the January article in the North American Review [Tenney 40]. Note: the same publication in London also ran the summary on p. 165.
February 1 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2:
Mr. Clemen’s preferences for new members to the national Institute of Arts and Letters.
Charles Francis Adams
Horace Howard Furness
Edward Everett Hale
Joel Chandler Harris
Henry Carey Lee
Silas Weir Mitchell
Ernest Thompson Seton [MTP TS 3-4].
Thorvald Solberg for the Library of Congress wrote to Sam and/or Samuel E. Moffett c/o Collier’s Weekly, acknowledging Moffett’s letter of Jan. 25, that the number of copyright entries between July 10, 1870 and Dec. 31, 1904 was 1,569,800 [MTP]. Note: Moffett was securing statistics for his uncle Sam.
February 2 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s Journal: “Colonel Harvey is here. Mr. Clemens creeps about the house a little, but mostly he stays in bed. Mother comes over every day to sit in my little warm room. Bambino Bronchitis Clemens grows ever better as a cat” [MTP: TS 39]. Note: “Bambino” for short.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Miss Clemens is now well enough to read. I sent down for Plato and the Iliad & Byron. She has gained 5 ½ pounds, and is allowed to sit up a little while each day” [MTP TS 4].
William Evarts Benjamin wrote to Sam recommending that $75 be sent to H.C. Griffin of Tarrytown, the attorney who assisted in the encroachment matter of the Trolley Co. on Sam’s property there [MTP].
Kate C. Lampton wrote to Clemens.
Dear Cousin Sam / I am so sorry to annoy you with another letter, but in the one I wrote New Years I enclosed my references. As they are all I have to help me get any kind of work I have to trouble you to return them. / Don’t think I am too many kinds of a nuisance bothering you again. With best wishes for you and yours / Your Affectionate Cousin …[MTP]. Note: Ella Lampton’s daughter; see Vol I for a few entries.
Samuel E. Moffett wrote on Collier’s Weekly letterhead to report a “snag” in his attempts for “information about copyrights,” as “no entries of any kind were made in his office before July 10 1870, and no statistics of original entries and renewals before June 1901.” He supposed the earlier ones were “scattered among the various district courts, and probably none of them are classified” [MTP]. Note: also see Feb. 1 from Solberg.
February 2, ca. – Isabel V. Lyon wrote responding for Sam to Arthur Newall’s Jan. 24 inquiry about obtaining a copy of 1601, writing on the bottom of Newall’s letter: “Mr. Clemens still has no copy & in every case where he thought he was on the track of one it failed—” [MTP].
February 3 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today we have the news that Santissima can sit up a little and she is beginning to read a little too. She sends down for Plato and Byon and the Iliad and dry essays. All the morning Mr. Clemens has been revising the Russian article and this afternoon he read me the revision. I was glad to hear that Col. Harvey said it was the strongest thing he had ever written. It is wonderful [MTP: TS 39]. Notes: The Czar’s Soliloquy ran in the Mar. issue of the NAR. Gribben (549) mistakes this journal entry for Feb. 2.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Col Harvey called this evening and Mr. Clemens read the “Czar’s Soliloquy” to him. Col. Harvey thinks it is the strongest thing Mr. Clmeens has ever written” [MTP TS 4].
February 4 Saturday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel Lyon Sam replied for to Elizabeth (Ann Chase) Akers Allen (Elizabeth C. Akers), whose incoming question about the source of the verse on Susy’s headstone is not extant.
Mrs. Clemens and I found the lines in a book of poems which we came across somewhere in our voyage around the world; either in Australasia or in India in the last quarter of ’95 or the first quarter of ’96. There is one detail which makes me think that the little poem must have been Australian, and that is that when Mrs. Clemens and I were preparing the lines for the gravestone we had to change a word to make the verses harmonize with the weather conditions north of the Equator—to wit—we had to change “warm northern wind” to “warm summer wind”.
I think the poem consisted of the one stanza, but of this I cannot be quite sure. I have the impression that the volume of poems was new, and that the poet was a young man.
Your own poem is very very beautiful, and I thank you for sending me a copy [MTP].
Note: the reference to “Southern wind” is the change in the verse engraved in Susy’s headstone, a verse at first attributed to Clemens. When Sam learned of this he ordered the poet’s name (Robert Richardson) be cut beneath the verse. “In the original the word southern read northern since in the poet’s native Australia the warm wind is from the north” [Jerome and Wisbey, MT in Elmira 165].
Sam also replied to Michael Monahan (incoming not extant), who evidently had asked about 1601, to which Clemens answered “That Elizabethan sketch was (very privately—as was best) printed …yet every copy has disappeared” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Mr. Clemens says that Bambino is religious but not moral” [MTP: TS 39]. Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Today sent MS of ‘Czar’s Soliloquy to Mr. Munro. Mr. Clemens dressed entirely today for the first time in 7 weeks. / Mr. Gilder called” [MTP TS 4].
According to Lyon’s journal # 2 entry above, Sam wrote to David A. Munro about editing “The Czar’s Soliloquy” which would run in the March issue of North American Review:
This is for the March number of the N.A.R.…The Colonel was here the other night and inspected it. He has not seen pages 8 & 9; I have added them since. They discharge an impertinence at God. Are you a friend of His? Is the Colonel? I prize that impertinence. I hope it can get by the blue pencil. I thought of changing ‘approval’ to ‘indulgence,’ but I think that would be a shade too impertinent…[MTP: Anderson Auction Co. catalog, 23 Feb. 1928, No. 2236, Item 22]. Note: the piece was in reaction to “Bloody Sunday” massacre in St. Petersburg, Russia on Jan. 22. Lyon also recorded Harvey’s visit on Feb. 2. See entry.
February 5 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Johnson called this afternoon” [MTP TS 4]. Note: likely Robert Underwood Johnson.
February 6 Monday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote to Harriet E. Whitmore (Mrs. Franklin G. Whitmore).
This is just a hasty little note to tell you that Katie is planning to run up to Hartford on Thursday of this week to look after and bring away the boxes in the Safety Deposit vaults. If you have the keys will you kindly give them to Mr. Whitmore so that Katie can get them from his office?
Saturday Mr. Clemens had on all his clothes—& a necktie—for the first time in 7 weeks. He has been busy—been writing a wonderfully strong article on the Russian Crisis. He is so much the most interesting man ever.
Jean is well—she is studying three languages—just ripping. We are a very peaceful household—Katie is good & valuable beyond words. It was a fearful wrench and re-adjustment for every one—and it is quite lovely to see how Katie does everything—“as Mrs. Clemens used to.”
Last month Mr. and Mrs. Twichell were here for a night, and it did Mr. Clemens a great deal of good for he had been depressed. He lives much in the past, speaking constantly of those who are gone.
Every moment I am busy—even all day Sunday—and life is grandly interesting [MTP].
Andrew M. Clute, Tarrytown attorney, sent Sam a bill for $75 for legal services in connection with the encroachment matter on Sam’s Tarrytown property (enclosed in Benjamin’s Feb. 7) [MTP].
John Y. MacAlister wrote to Sam. After asking after his health, Mac related telling Ashcroft all he could remember of his connection with the Henry Butters episode. He warned Sam not to sue unless he had a good attorney and was sure of winning, “Put him [atty] to the test by asking him to try the case on the ‘no-cure-no-pay’ principle.” He vilified Butters, being now convinced there was a hell and that Butters would be going there: “so leave Butters to go to hell, and save your money, unless…your chances of success are about ten to one” [MTP].
Raffaello Stiattesi wrote to advise Sam in his “action of this moment against the countess Massiglia,” pointing out that “no one can be happier or greater than when he pardons and forgets injuries” [MTP]. ].
February 7 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Reeves was here this morning to talk over the renting of the house in Vermont” [MTP TS 4].
William Evarts Benjamin wrote to Sam, enclosing a check for $1,000 from Title, Guarantee & Trust Co., on the Tarrytown property matters, and thought the prospects bright for getting back another $500 [MTP]. Note: monies were held in escrow to insure clear title; notably, removal of the Trolley Co.’s encroachment.
John H. Grafton wrote from Winona, Minn. to Sam, asking for the name of the first mate on the Hornet, when she was lost in 1866 [MTP]. Note: Grafton does not give the purpose of his interest.
John Y. MacAlister wrote Ralph W. Ashcroft, copy to Sam.
My recollection of the Butters episode is that he brought, or sent to me a letter of introduction from Mr. Clemens, and that thereafter I saw Butters either once or twice at his office, and went into the matter very carefully with him, that is to say I endeavored to get as much information from him as I could. Butters urged me to try to find a purchaser for Clemens’ English shares in order to invest the money in the American company. I told him I would see what could be done, with a mental reservation that I would see him damned before I would help in what I considered a bad business for my friend [MTP].
February 8 Wednesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam replied to a not extant from David A. Munro, possibly the galley sheets mentioned below in Lyons journal #2 entry.
Thank you ever so much for your suggestions. I have never read Sartor Resartus, & so I did not know he had been handling the subject. I was minded to suppress my article; but reflected that in my unacquaintanceship with Carlyle’s book I represent 299 out of every 300 readers—therefore I might as well go ahead & have my say. Particularly as all ideas are old & worn, yet are always legitimately usable because the phrasing will be new every time & may dress the old harlot up fine & smart & make her almost unrecognizably young & fresh to the near-sighted.
Please carefully examine my changes, & if they are not fortunate tell me so & let me try again [MTP]. Note: see Gribben p.130, which shows Sam had read Carlyle’s Sartor Restartus. F. Kaplan points out Sam had added the book to his library and signed it in 1888 .
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Mr. Munro sent the Galley sheets of the “Czar’s Soliloquy”—Mr. Clemens revised & returned it.
isss Loomis lunched with Jean.
Bambino spent last night in the cellar [MTP TS 4].
February 9 Thursday – Lucy Page Whitehead wrote to Sam on a small black-bordered card. “Don’t you think it would do you good to come to Washington for the Inauguration?” [MTP].
On or after this day at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C., Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to Lucy Page Whitehead. Sam declined to go to Washington for the inauguration, pleading slow recovery to his two-month long illness [MTP].
Isabel also wrote to Harriet E. Whitmore.
Thank you so much for your letter of explanation. Katie has had to change her plans about going to Hartford—and as Mrs. Crane is expected next week for a visit, it may now be some time before she will go. Katie did not speak to Mr. Clemens about the keys, and perhaps he has them. If they cannot be found, then I will let you know some days in advance of Katie’s trip to Hartford.
Mr. Clemens wished me to thank you for your lovely messages [MTP].
Eva C. Dix, Secretary for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, wrote to Sam, informing him that on their annual meeting Sam had been “unanimously elected one of several Honorary Vice-Presidents.” This meant no active participation on Clemens’ part but only the assistance of his name [MTP]. Note: it was quite common for luminaries to be “elected” as figureheads for social movements.
February 10 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s Journal: “…Mr. Clemens is writing another soliloquy, King Leopold’s—who is gloating over and excusing to himself the Congo atrocities” [MTP: TS 39; Hill 100] Note: See Feb. 21 Lyon entry.
February 11 Saturday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Charles D. Burrage.
You wrote me a very kind letter eleven years ago (to Hartford.) It arrived here safe & sound last night. I have not been in Hartford for 14 years, but almost all the time in Europe. Your letter was inside a parcel of beautiful pictures; if it had been outside it would have been forwarded to Paris; but by my order all parcels were stopped in Hartford, & stored there. Yours was mislaid, along with a present of tea from India—I do not know how it happened—but both reached me last night. I thank you very much for the beautiful pictures, & I greatly regret my (enforced) tardiness in saying so [MTP].
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam. “I enclose herewith letter received from Mr. Forgy in reference to the Texas property. I wrote him that you would accept the proposition of purchase, but I stated that you should not be under any expense connected therewith except the payment of commission…” [MTP]. Note: Archer County, Texas property owned by Livy; see entries Vol. I, II, III. Sanford Wilson was the purchaser [IVL journal #2 July 11, 1905].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight at dinner Mr. Clemens told us of how when he was 17 he ran away from home—came to New York, went to Philadelphia and Washington and was away a year. He came to New York to see the exposition that was at 42nd St. and 5th Ave, where the new library is now going up. He is a marvellous talker. Holding one spellbound by the flow of his narrative [MTP: TS 39-40].
Harper’s Weekly ran an article, “Mark Twain on Copyright” p.214. Tenney: “A letter to the editor, supporting MT’s article on copyright in the current North American Review” . Also in this issue was Twain’s “A Postscript by Mark Twain,” p. 220-1. See 16? Jan. 1905 entry.
Sam contemplated a work to be called “Adam’s Soliloquy,” and would read parts of it (What Is Man?) to Isabel Lyon on Mar. 5 [Hill 100].
February 12 Sunday – Samuel E. Belt wrote from Greenwood B.C. to Sam.
“I am collecting facts about the blowing up of the ‘Saluda’ at Lexington, Mo, being a nephew of the ill-fated Captain,” Francis Thomas Belt. He didn’t simply want an autograph but asked Sam for anything he might be able to tell him about the case [MTP].
Note: the Saluda, a side-wheel, wooden hull packet, 223 tons, christened in 1846, it sank in 1850 but was raised and restored. On Apr. 9, 1852, Good Friday, with Mormon emigrants aboard, the boat was headed for Council Bluffs, Iowa. Upon arriving at Lexington, the current was swift. Pilot Charles S. LaBarge pushed her too hard and her boilers blew. Pilot and Master Belt and about 75 others died. It was the worst disaster to that time on the Missouri River. At that time, Sam was still in Hannibal, working on Orion’s newspaper, the Journal.
Sam’s notebook (NB 48) bears this date on page one, his address at 21 Fifth Ave, and list the following names: Charles Frederick Moberly Bell, Andrew Lang, Marjorie Bowen, Francis H. Skrine. The list, all persons in England, continues but a date of “June 19 or 20” is boxed to the left [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Jean and I went to the Church of the Ascension. It is a beautiful church, and the service was so lovely. The music was as beautiful as the church, and it was good to be there. In the afternoon we had cards and again in the evening as usual” [MTP: TS 40].
Elias Cornelius Benedict wrote to Sam after searching for an article read years before he thought was titled “The Twins” [MTP].
Frances F. Cleveland (Mrs. Grover Cleveland) added a note to Benedict’s above letter to Sam: “Mr Benedict has opened letter & let me add a line of …good wishes. / Sincerely”.. [MTP].
February 12 ca. – On or just after this day at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C., Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to the Feb. 12 of Samuel E. Belt.
“Mr. Clemens wishes me to say that if he ever knew anything about the Saluda disaster it long ago went out of his memory” [MTP]. See notes after Belt’s inquiry.
Isabel also replied for Sam to Elias Cornelius Benedict’s Feb. 12 question. The sketch asked about “The Twins” was in the Century early in 1895 and was now collected in the Hillcrest Edition, in the PW volume [MTP].
February 13 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: This morning came a letter from Raffaello. He has been ill, he has lost money, and just now there is dearth of happiness in his life. / Every evening we have music. Jean plays her simple sweet music, and I play the wonderful Beethoven and Schubert. Mr. Clemens spends nearly all his day in bed, getting up only in time for dinner. Every afternoon he calls me for a game of cards [MTP: TS 40].
February 14 Tuesday – Harold J. Howland for The Outlook wrote to Sam, asking him to autograph one of the proofs of his photo [MTP]. Note: see also entries for Dec. 3, 1904, Feb. 21, and Feb. 26, 1905.
George H. Daniels for the Lotos Club sent a form letter invite to Sam for a club dinner on Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m. for Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke, “who has recently been elected Director General of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The dinner was a pricey $4.50 (without wine) [MTP]. Note: Lyon’s journal of Feb. 26 disclosed that Clemens went to Mr. De Forest’s house to meet Clarke on Feb. 26, so evidently he did not attend this Lotos Club dinner of the 25th.
Odoardo Luchini wrote to Sam, reporting that “the trial goes on very well,” but was delayed due to the judge being able to give audience more than once a week. All of the witnesses for Countess Massiglia had been heard. He gave more details and put a PS that his daughter wanted Sam’s exact address to return his copy of Maeterlinck’s book Monna Vanna [MTP]. See Gribben 446.
J.H. Tobin for Austin Book & Publishing Co., Austin, Tex. wrote to Sam asking how to procure copies of his stories, “Nevada Funeral,” and “Jim Baker’s Jay Bird Story.” Sam wrote in pencil that the first was in RI, the second was “Beginning of a” TA [MTP].
February 15 Wednesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Madeleine Sinsheimer.
Dear Miss Madeleine: / Your good & admiring & affectionate brother has told me of your sorrowful share in the trolley disaster which brought unaccustomed tears to millions of eyes & fierce resentment against those whose criminal indifference to their responsibilities caused it; & the reminder has brought back to me a pang out of that bygone time. I wish I could take you sound & whole out of your bed & break the legs of those officials & put them in it—to stay there. For in my spirit I am merciful & would not break their necks & backs also, as some would who have no feeling.
It is your brother who permits me to write you this line—& so it is not an intrusion, you see.
May you get well—& soon! [MTP].
Note: the New York Times published this letter three months later, on May 15, 1905 (p.9 “Merciful Mark Twain Writes to Maimed Girl”) with a dateline of May 14. Miss Sinsheimer of Newark, N.J. had become an invalid as a result of a trolley accident in 1903. The article notes Sam also sent one of his books (unspecified) inscribed with his aphorism: “One of the most remarkable differences between a lie and a cat is that the cat has only nine lives.” See Jerome Sinsheimer’s Nov. 7, 1908 to Sam. Also on or after Nov. 30, 1905: Madelaine reported she had recovered.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon a Mrs. Judd came to read the story of Joseph to Mr. Clemens. She plans to use it for public presentation. She has very intense admiration for Mr. Clemens, so intense that she bubbles with it. The reading was a failure, for she filled the simple Bible speech with elocutionary effects and blasted it. But she kissed Mr. Clemens’s hand at leaving and while I was showing her the Spiridon portrait she showered very sweet speech upon me and kissed my forehead in homage for the man who stands as my complete master. She said that I will not need a heaven when I die for I have it here. She doesn’t half suspect the truth of her words. She wondered how I “managed it” to become his secretary. Those things aren’t managed they just come to one and you mustn’t try to “manage” them into existence. / Tonight mother and I went to an organ recital over at the Ascension. The music was superb, satisfying and filling [MTP: TS 40]. Note: Mrs. Ida Benfey Judd, noted monologist, founder and president of the Mark Twain Association (1926), now called the Mark Twain Association of New York. Judd studied drama under Alexander Bell, inventor of the telephone. WNYC’s website claims her association with Twain was “brief but influential,” though it doesn’t explain which was influenced, presumably Judd “After seeking his advice on elocution she spent a half-hour in discussion with the great author. See also Feb. 10, 1906 entry. Hal Holbrook credits the Association as giving him his 1958 start in portraying Twain.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “About this date we hear that Miss Clemens is well enough to go out to walk for a little while each day”[MTP TS 5]. Note: Clara Clemens was recovering.
Sydney J. Roy for the Hannibal Merchants Assoc. wrote to Sam, announcing the formation of a company to build a new hotel in Hannibal, to be named “The Mark Twain Hotel.” Would he approve, and could he be there about September 1905? [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the top in pencil, “No objection to the hotel but shall not be able to go there”
February 16 Thursday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Joe Twichell.
Dear Joe— / I knew I had in me somewhere a definite feeling about the President if I could only find the words to define it with. / Here they are, to a hair—from Leonard Jerome: “For twenty years I have loved Roosevelt the man & hated Roosevelt the statesman & politician.”
It’s mighty good. Every time, in 25 years, that I have met Roosevelt the man, a wave of welcome has streaked through me with the hand-grip; but whenever (as a rule) I meet Roosevelt the statesman & politician I find him destitute of morals & not respectworthy. It is plain that where his political self & his party self are concerned he has nothing resembling a conscience; that under those inspirations he is naievely indifferent to the restraints of duty & even unaware of them; ready to kick the Constitution into the back yard whenever it gets in the way; & whenever he smells a vote, not only willing but eager to buy it, give extravagant rates for it & pay the bill—not out of his own pocket or the party’s, but out of the nation’s, by cold pillage. As per Order 78 & the stealing of the Indian trust funds. A man who will filch trust-money from a pauper Indian to buy votes with is pretty low down.
But Roosevelt is excusable—I recognize it & (ought to) concede it. We are all insane, each in his own way, & with insanity goes irresponsibility. Theodore the man is sane; in fairness one ought to keep in mind that Theodore, as statesman & politician, is insane & not responsible.
[portion of manuscript cut off]
Do not throw these enlightenments aside, but study them, let them raise you to higher planes & make you better. You taught me in my callow days, let me pay back the debt now in my old age out of a thesaurus plethoric with wisdom smelted from the golden ores of experience.
Ever yours for sweetness & light, / Mark.
Love to Harmony, & don’t forget us when you come down. I am still in bed, but having good times writing diligently / Say, Joe—I am the first that noticed the parallel [MTP]. Note: see Jan 15, 1907 entry, Order 78.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “This afternoon Mr. Clemens took such grave offense at the cards that wishing the same was in hell he vowed he’d never play again. I’m sorry. / Tonight Mrs. Crane, sweet Mrs. Crane arrived from Elmira. / Today Santissima had hats rrive from Aitkins. To think of Santissima and hats” [MTP: TS 40].
C.H. Mooney for the New Dixie Lyceum Bureau wrote from Louisville, KY to Sam, asking if he could fill “about five dates for us in the South sometime during next season?” with pay of $500 to $750 each [MTP].
John B. Stanchfield wrote from Elmira, N.Y. to Sam. “I have your note at the hand of Miss Lyon, under the date of February 13, enclosing clipping in reference to the bankruptcy of the Plasmon Company of America.” He doubted the assets of the co. would even pay the expenses of the bankruptcy proceedings. Also, he was gathering “information by degrees, in reference to our claim against Mr. Butters. I will be in New York in the near future, and call and talk over matters with you” [MTP].
February 17 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal recorded a visit from Muriel Pears of Scotland:
For several years Mr. Clemens has been in correspondence with a young Scotch woman. Miss Muriel Pears—I think he never expected to see her but yesterday came a local word from her saying that she arrived here in America last Sunday [Feb. 12], and is staying at the Brevoort House. From Mr. Clemens I went to see her and tonight she dined here. I found her very attractive and refreshing and her regard for Mr. Clemens is very beautiful. Mr. Clemens enjoyed her. He enjoyed her so much that he wants her to come again. She has a fine (-mind the word, I’ve-) [Lyon was searching for the right word here] memory, remembering the things best worth remembering. She dwelt charmingly on things written by Mr. Clemens, and she drew him out so that he was a glory, and she’ll never forget that evening. Her eyes grew in beauty (those lovely English eyes) and she gave continued little murmurs of assent to his words—his anecdotes—to himself. She wore a very pretty black lace gown, very becoming and her neck was most lovely to look upon with a string of pearls about it. Oh, the comfort for even a woman to look at a pretty woman [MTP: TS 40].
Lucy J.M Taylor (Mrs. Knox Taylor) for Quarter Club (for consumptives) wrote from Plainfield, N.J. to Sam. She had written in the fall of 1904 asking for signatures on his books and could she “beg again for the ten minutes” it took for him to send more? They would buy the books [MTP].
It was delightful to have you here; even the idiot butler wasn’t able to spoil it. (Wait—this doesn’t mean that I am entirely placated yet, but only partly, only largely; I am not forgetting that you did not let me know at once when you arrived.) A week lost. I wouldn’t have served you like that.
If I could venture out I would bring you this book. And the MS (if you want it.) I would bring the MS. very privately, because it will not appear in print (North American Review) until March 1. It has a new interest for me now, because the general public—who do not know that magazine articles are always several weeks old before they appear in print—will think that certain passages in it were suggested by yesterday’s tragedy.
I was very glad to see the photographs, & I want to see them again.
There is something I wish to add, but Bronchitis [Bambino Bronchitis Clemens, Cat in residence] is romping over me & my bed & has driven it out of my head. It will come again, no doubt, then I will keep hold of it.
With cordialest welcome & greetings [MTP]. Note: the MS referred to that ran in the Mar. issue of the N.A.R was “The Czar’s Soliloquy.” Muriel’s stayed one night at the Brevoort House. Sam may have handed her the book before she left or sent it, though if the latter it certainly would have gained a mention in his letter. Even if she had been given the book and she left on this day, it was usual for Clemens to write guests or hosts very soon after the visits.
Sam also inscribed a copy of JA: “To / Miss Muriel Pears / with the warm regards / & best wishes of / her friend / The Author. / 21 Fifth avenue, Feb. 18/05. / P.S. Welcome to America!” [MTP].
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Annie Moffett Webster.
Mr. Clemens has been ill for a long time and though he is now much better he has not yet resumed letter writing and so wishes me to write for him and thank you for the brooch which came to-day and which he is very glad to have.
He wishes me to tell you that he is very greatly pleased with what Gov. Falk [sic Folk] said, and that he has greater admiration for him than for any other statesman of our time.
Mr. Clemens also wishes me to say that he is so glad that Mr. Sam Moffett is on the staff of Colliers; he thinks that Mr. Moffett has the choicest berth under a salary in the literary world in America.
Mr. Clemens has not been out of the house for many weeks, and stays quietly in his own room the greater part of the time. We have good news from Miss Clemens who is really improving, and Jean is well [MTP]. Note: Governor of Missouri Joseph Wingate Folk (“Holy Joe”) elected in 1904 as a reformer; (1869-1923).
February 18 ca. – On or just after this day at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C., Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to Hannibal Merchants Assoc.: “no objection to the honor but shall not be able to go there” [MTP]. Note: date changed from MTP’s Feb.15 ca. to allow time for mails.
February 19 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Father Raffaello Stiattesi.
Dear Padre: / It was most kind of you to remember me, & I thank you very much. From what you say I comprehend that the fragrant countess [Massiglia] from the divorce-courts of Philadelphia has been destroying my character. It is all right (as we say), it does not disturb me. The character that she could destroy is not worth saving.
Forgive her? Yes, I am quite able to do that, but it would do no good, she would not understand it. The insane seldom understand words or acts that proceed from a moral basis. Especially when they are old. Earlier she would have understood. At 45 she would have understood. But it is too late now.
We keep you in warm remembrance, dear Padre, we shall not forget you [MTP]. Note: Hill explains the last aspect of conflict with the Countess Massiglia: “The countess, on taking back the villa in 1904, had found eight hundred francs’ damages, which, according to Cecchi, had outraged her; and Stiattesi wrote Clemens that the countess was slandering him all over Florence…” .
Victor H. Ross for Toronto Press Club wrote to invite Sam to lecture there [MTP].
Lucy Page Whitehead wrote from Wash. D.C. to Sam, disappointed he would be unable to attend the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt [MTP].
February 20 Monday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister.
I wish I could see my way to allowing my Plasmon-testimony to be used & circulated by the English Co., but I cannot conscientiously do it. When I contributed it here, I limited its use to America where I had no pecuniary interest in the experimenting syndicate. When the American Co. was afterward formed & I became a stockholder, & the Co began to use my testimony, I stopped it. I am a stockholder in the English Co. To print that fact along with the testimony would neutralize the latter & make me feel uncomfortable besides, & to print the testimony without that addition would not be fair.
I am glad to have your Butters-remembrances. My lawyer is making his arrangements. We think we have a pretty strong case.
I’ll write on those fly-sheets now, & my secretary will post them to you to-day.
I am still in bed, but could turn out if I wanted to. In bed, I can work; out of it I should be a prey to interruptions [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s Journal #2: “Mr. Clemens read King Leopold’s Soliloquy to Mrs. Crane, Jean & me. / This evening Mr. Clemens began the reading of a Joan of Arc play by Mr. Geo. Porter,” The Maid, A Drama in Five Acts (1904) [MTP TS 5; Gribben 554].
February 21 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam inscribed a portrait drawing of himself to Susan Crane: “Feb. 21/05 / To Susy Crane / the dearly beloved—from / ‘The Holy Samuel.’” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s Journal (for Feb. 22): “It was yesterday that Mr. Clemens read King Leopold’s Soliloquy to Mrs. Crane & me. Breathless we sat & were weak with emotion when he finished the bald, truthful statements that rolled from Leopold’s vicious lips. Horribly, too horribly picturesque it is, and Mr. Clemens will cut out some of it. It’s a pity too, but I suppose it would be too strong a diet for people & governments” [MTP: TS 41; Hawkins 155 with slight differences]. Note: the North American Review rejected the piece. See Apr. 11, 1905 to Morel.
Clemens signed a portrait print of himself by illustrator Kate Rogers Nowell to an unidentified person: “Sincerely yours, / Mark Twain / Feb. 21/’05” [MTP: Fraser’s Autographs; printed in The Outlook # 78, 1904, p. 843]. See Dec. 3, 1904 entry. Insert Nowell’s illustration.
Erving Winslow for the Anti-Imperialist League wrote to Sam, enclosing a flyer. “Will you permit us to use your name among our list of vice-presidents? [MTP]. Sam replied about Feb. 23.
Alice Hooker Day wrote from 28 Fifth Ave., N.Y. to Sam, asking him to come to luncheon with his family on the following day [MTP].
Ernest C. Hales wrote on The Portland (England) Pottery Co. letterhead to compliment Sam on the “many years” of enjoyment received through Mark Twain’s books [MTP]. Note: Sam answered on Mar. 6.
February 22 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Dr. Quintard called & talked with Mr. Clemens. Mrs. Crane & Jean lunched with Mrs. Day / After Mr. Clemens came home he finished reading the Joan of Arc play” [MTP TS 5-6]. Note: George Porter’s play, The Maid, A Drama in Five Acts (1904) [Gribben 554].
Frances E. Skinner wrote from New Haven, Conn. to Sam. “Knowing that while you were in Berlin you had some acquaintances with the late Frau Dr. Hempel, I am taking the liberty of writing to you in regard to a German Grammar which she had nearly completed before her sudden death which occurred last year. / Her intention was to publish the book in this country for the use of American students…” Would Sam write a “few words of appreciation of Frau Dr. Hempel” for use in the book? Ex-Ambassador White had sent a letter for such use [MTP]. Note: Skinner translated several books for G.P. Putnam’s.
An unidentified man wrote from Martinsville, KY to Sam, complimenting him on TA, which he and his wife were then reading. Only the first page of this note survives [MTP].
February 23 Thursday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Abbott Handerson Thayer:
“Dear Mr. Thayer— / If this should ever reach you, please let me know, for I want to ask about summer-house chances, in Dublin. / Sincerely Yours / SL. Clemens / It is Alice Day who tells me she thinks this may find you” [Archives of American Art, Thayer family papers online image 35456, accessed Mar. 2, 2010]. Note: Dublin, N.H.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. And Mrs. Loomis dined here. Mr. Clemens was delightful, of course. While we were at dinner Mrs. Mott called me up to ask Mr. Clemens and Jean to dine there tomorrow evening. She to read some of her Harvard son’s stories to him. Jean remonstrated when Mr. C. bade me tell Mrs. Mott he wasn’t going out for months, saying “If you’re going to lie, tell a good one”—“Little ones are no ‘count.”
Mr. Clemens said he was now on “Adam’s Soliloquy”. He can make those old frauds say about themselves what no one would dare say of them [MTP: TS 41]. Note: Edward Loomis and Julia Langdon Loomis.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Tonight Mr. & Mrs Loomis dined here. Sent a check for $25 to Mrs. Tabitha Greening Palmyra, mo. / Mr. Edward Browning who attended to transferring Mr. Clemens’s pension to Mrs. Greening is dead ‘ [MTP TS 6]. Note: she meant Edward F. Brownell.
An unidentified person wrote on American Building & Engineering Reports stationery (Chicago and N.Y.) to ask if Sam planned to build a hotel in Hannibal, and enclosing a card for him to fill out. On or just after this date Isabel answered for Sam (draft in pencil): “Still in bed & hope to remain there for a few years yet. Read & smoke & write all he wants to & is having a good time” [MTP]. Note: on Feb. 15 Sydney J. Roy wrote announcing a company to build a hotel in Hannibal. This unidentified person likely saw such announcements by Roy.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote to Sam on the bottom of Stanchfield’s Feb. 16 letter: “Wright is to meet Mr. Stanchfield at the Hoffman House to-morrow evening. / Yours …” [MTP].
Sam’s essay, “Adam’s Soliloquy” was written before Feb. 23, 1905 and remained unpublished during his lifetime. It was collected in Europe and Elsewhere (1923), edited by Albert Bigelow Paine [Budd, Collected 2: 1009].
February 23? – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C., Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to Erving Winslow’s Feb. 21 that he was recovering from a long illness and had no objection to being named as vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League if it wouldn’t “entail active support on his part” [MTP].
February 24 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
This morning Mrs. Crane went home, leaving behind her a blank. Someone spoke of her sweet inward peace, and she radiates it. Mr. Clemens calls her “the well beloved”, and she is all of that.
Pity it is that Mr. Clemens cannot look down a flight of stairs and see the beauty of his head as he stands in a red hall with a searching incandescent light revealing and caressing the wondrous glow of his hair [MTP: TS 41].
February 25 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Abbott H. Thayer sent a telegram to Sam: “This very great joy to us plenty houses visit us immediately and choose one / A H Thayer.” On the backside of the telegram Sam wrote in pencil what appears to be a response telegram, “Too ill to travel will send representative Shall you be there to see her—Please wire” [MTP]. Note: Henry Copley Greene’s Dublin house, “Lone Tree Hill” on the slope of Mt. Monadnock was chosen. Greene (1871-1951) was an author from an old New England family.
Charles E. Dana wrote to Miss Lyon that he had heard Henry Copley Greene had a house in Dublin, N.H. to lease for the summer. He gave George W. Gleason as the agent for houses there—“he runs the town so your standing with him means life or death” [MTP].
February 26 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Kate Rogers Nowell.
“Dear Mrs Nowell: / Indeed the portrait is fine. I have said it before but the thought is brought up in my mind again by the Outlook’s reproductions—just received the other day—that they are fine also, one can see at a glance” [MTP]. Note: An artist from Mass. was employed, Kate Roger Nowell for The Outlook. No bio. information was found.
Sam also wrote a long letter to Dr. Moses Allen Starr on Dr. G.W. Kirch’s controversies, which included bill items and amounts, services not billed for but claimed later, and certificates needed for Livy’s transport. Sam closed the list of complaints with:
It is my belief, my conviction, that Dr. Kirch deliberately withheld the certificates, and that it was his intention to stop us in Naples by this means and add to our sorrows a deep humiliation. He is aware that through his conduct we came very near to being stopped there; and as he has never apologised nor offered to explain, I infer that his act was intentional.
This long chapter is my answer, Dr. Starr. I have not written it carelessly, but very carefully.
Of course I do not know that Dr. Kirch’s bills were gouges, but I do suspect it. N. B. He made out his first bill not in Lire but in dollars—$900. It made me suspicious. Why should he make it out in dollars? No one keeps his Florentine bank account in dollars. I told my secretary to ask him to make it out again, and put it in Lire. He did it; and made it 4,500 Lire. $900 isn’t 4,500 Lire, it is $25 or $30 more than that.
is as I have said: I do not know that the repudiated bill of 2,200 Lire was a
propsed gouge, I only think it. Only a court can settle my
doubts. I am so anxious to have them settled that I make this offer: if Kirch
will sue me I will pay the 2200 Lire whether he wins the suit or loses it.
I do not see how he can object to this. Within the past 7 months he has twice,
of his own motion, tacitly threatened a suit. This present offer of mine is to
encourage him to go on and carry out the threat [MTP]. Note: two strikeouts for how many weeks he’d been
down in bed (
6, 8, 10) reflect the likelihood that Sam worked on this
letter for some time, probably a belated reply to Starr’s of Dec. 21, 1904. See
also Starr’s reply of Mar. 9.
Sam also updated his prior inscription of Sketches New and Old (Hillcrest Ed.) to Clara Clemens: “Feb. 26, 1905. It was written a quarter of a century ago, but it sounds as if the excitement of today over the (alleged) newly-discovered Aphrodite by Praxiteles (as the ‘experts’ claim) had inspired it. M.T.” [Sotheby’s, Apr 13, 2004, lot 27] Note: Sotheby’s added this note: “About half of the volumes are sparingly marked with Clemens’s characteristic pencil and pen underlinings and marginal rules, and the conclusion of “The Capitoline Venus” in Sketches New and Old bears a 36-word autograph note.” See also Sam’s inscriptions to the Hillcrest Edition books for Clara and Jean of Nov. 27, 1904.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today I photoed John Joran and Drummond—2 policemen in Washington Square.
Today after Mr. Stanchfield left I went down to find Mr. Clemens lying in a youthful position over the big saddle bags in the drawing room, playing with Bambino. Then he went to lunch with Mrs. Laffan, and in the evening he and Jean went around to Mr. de Forest’s lovely house, to meet Sir Purdon Clarke [MTP: TS 41]. Note: Lockwood De Forest (1850-1932), architect, painter, designer, and importer of furnishings—a friend of Clarke’s—his house at 7 East 10th Street, was one of the most unusual in NYC. See insert, where Clemens met Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Tonight Mr. Clemens & Jean dined with Mr & Mrs De Jones” [MTP TS 6]. Note: Lyon mistook De Forest here for de Jones. See above journal entry.
February 27 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
“Mr. Clemens was very, very interesting for during and after dinner he discussed the famous Beecher trial. Mr. Clemens had said at the time, and he still says that guilty or not, Beecher should have publicly denied the charge the day after it appeared in the press, for the honor of the woman, he should have done it” [MTP: TS 41].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Telegraphed Mr. Thayer. Wrote to Mr. H.C. Greene about Dublin house mentioned by Mr. Dana” [MTP TS 6]. Note: Henry Copley Greene: Abbott H. Thayer.
At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Henry Copley Greene of Boston:
Mr. S. L. Clemens wishes me to say for him that through Mr. Charles G Dune of Philadelphia he learns that you have a house to let for the summer in Dublin. Mr. C. send[s] a representative to Dublin this week to look for a house for him, and he therefore wishes me to ask if you will kindly send an authorization to Mr. Abbot [sic] H. Thayer in Dublin, which will enable his representative to see your house [MTP].
Abbott H. Thayer sent a telegram from Dublin, N.H. to Sam. “Of course send her straight to us see our letter” [MTP]. Note: Katy Leary was investigating rental houses for Sam and family.
Isabel V. Lyon then replied for Sam to Abbott H. Thayer, referring to his telegram and correspondence with Greene:
Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him and thank you for your telegram with its most kind invitation; he is not well enough to accept it, and so expects to send his house keeper to Dublin this week to look for a house for him.
Mr. Clemens wishes me to say that he has heard that Mr. Henry Copley Greene of Boston has a house to let in Dublin, and that he has sent word to Mr. Greene asking him to send to you an authorization for his house-keeper to look at the house [MTP]. Note: Thayer’s telegram: Feb. 25.
Emma Beach Thayer wrote from Dublin, N.H. to Sam, telling him to get well and that they would be “most pleased to receive your deputy.” She advised that the “easier, though longer, way here is by way of Boston” and gave train times and directions [MTP]. Note: “deputy” would be Katy Leary. Evidently the Thayers had not been informed that Jean Clemens would accompany Katy.
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam conveying an advertising scheme by an advertising agent for Sam to promote typewriters and get a free Remington if he had need of one. The agent sent Duneka “an old, faded, circular of thirty years ago, in which you talk about the typewriter” [MTP].
Alice Hegan Rice wrote to Sam, sending “a recent copy of my favorite newspaper, which contains a review of remarkable quality” [MTP]. Note: Newpaper or review not specified and not in file.
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam.
Dear Mark: / It is highly probable that I (and maybe Harmony) shall go to New York next Monday (March 6th) for a day and possibly two days. In which case; of all the hotels public and private there to make choice of we prefer yours—for sentimental reasons chiefly.
Of course there may be, and are not unlikely to be, circumstances of one sort or another, to bar you from letting us in at that time. If it be so, it will not in the least embarrass you—we trust—to tell us of it. The hour of our arrival will be the latter part of the afternoon. Should we stay over Tuesday, we shall be off your hands from morning till evening. With care to Jean / Affectionately yours …. [MTP]. Note: evidently Joe’s plans to be in New York on March 6 for a few days changed, as no notes were made of such a visit and Sam wrote to Joe on Mar. 7.
February 28 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon replied to Odoardo Luchini ‘s Feb. 14.
Dear Senator Luchini: / Mr. Clemens wishes me to write for him and thank you for your very interesting letter. He is much pleased with it.
He wishes me to tell you that he is still in his bed and hopes to remain there for a few years yet; for, undisturbed, he can read and smoke and write all he wants to, and so he is having a good time.
Mr. Clemens has very good news from Miss Clara who is improving constantly under the rigid rules of the sanitarium. She can now walk out each fine day—and although she cannot see either family or friends we hear from her nurse by telephone every day and the reports are comforting.
Mr. Clemens wishes me to say that he hopes you will not trouble to return the “Monna Vanna”, for there are no associations connected with the book.
He wishes me to convey to Signora Luchini, your family, and to yourself his very warm regards.
With great respect … [MTP]. See Gribben 446.
Sam also wrote to Abbott Handerson Thayer.
I shall no doubt receive your letter before I put this in an envelop. Thank you ever so much for your telegrams.
The bearer of this, Miss Katy Leary, our housekeeper knows by old & seasoned experience just what we want in the way of a house; & so, if you will send her to Mr. [George W.] Gleason I shall be very greatly obliged … [MTP].
On the above letter to Thayer Sam wrote to Emma Beach Thayer:
“Dear Mrs. Emma: / The letter has arrived & my daughter Jean is prodigiously delighted to go with Katy. Many thousands of thanks! / Yours, now, as long ago, / SL. Clemens” [MTP].
Note: See Volume I entries for Emeline (Emma) Beach, who had briefly been a love interest for Sam. In 1891 she became the second wife of Abbott Handerson Thayer, the distinguished artist. The Thayers moved in 1901 to Dublin, N.H. at the foot of Mt. Monadnock, where Thayer did his best work. Hearing from Alice Day that the Thayers lived near Dublin, he enlisted them in his search for a summer place.
Sam also wrote to the NYC Postmaster, his letter not extant, but referred to in the Mar. 2 reply [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Herr Heinick called to see Jean. He was ever so interesting telling about the corpse that he’s at work on—medical student. That corpse has been on the ice for 1½ years, and he is going to work on it until May when it will be so soft that he can pick up the muscles and nerves, without cutting for them.
This morning, looking for a MS. for McClure’s among Mr. Clemens’ papers I found the notebook that he used on the Quaker City in 1867 [MTP: TS 41-42].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Rent. Mr. Brownell—Check for Mrs. Greening, 25.00.
“Today I counted the words of the ‘Czar’s Soliloquy’—there are 1900” [MTP TS 6].
George W. Reeves wrote that he’d written to Mr. Thayer about a place at Dublin and expected to hear from him in a few days. He enclosed a Feb. 26 from Mrs. Amelia Edith Huttleston Barr (1813-1919) about a “very pretty cottage” in Dublin for rent; Sam could write Mrs. Dr. Sass, Cornwall-on-Hudson about it. Reeves wrote that Barr was an authoress who seemed to know Clemens [MTP]. Note: this is not Mrs. Robert Barr, known by Twain, but another Mrs. Robert Barr whose husband and children died in 1876.
March – Sam’s essay, “The Czar’s Soliloquy” first ran in the Mar. issue of North American Review. It was not collected in any publication during his lifetime [Budd, Collected 2: 1009].
Katy Leary and Jean Clemens set out to inspect the Henry Copley Greene house in Dublin N.H., still “in the dead of winter.” With no hotel in Dublin the pair froze for a “nine or ten miles” to reach the Thayer’s home, where they were thawed by a huge fire. The next day they discovered the only way to see the Copley house was to use skis over ten-foot snowdrifts. Jean, ever active, thought it no problem, while Katy accomplished the “terrible task.” The house was suitable for summer [Lawton 248-50; Lystra 45-6].
Sam’s Jan. 28, 1905 letter to Michael Monahan was published by The Society of Papyrites (vol. 4, no. 3) [Gribben 525].
Sometime in the first half of March, Sam wrote from 21 Fifth Ave., in N.Y.C. to Louise W. Carnegie.
Dear Mrs. Carnegie: / This which I enclose is from my Highland lassie (aged about 30 & highly educated & accomplished) who is the best letter-writer now alive, I think. I have corresponded with her for 3 years, but I never saw her till she arrived on her first visit to America 2 or 3 weeks ago. She was not a disappointment—just the reverse. She returns home soon—but it ought not to be allowed. She is not merely a lady by birth & breeding, she is a lady inside. Capable stock; the male part of her family are civil & military officers in India & South Africa. Two & a half years ago she wanted to be companion to Mrs. Clemens or governess to my daughters, or both. But we hadn’t an extra room, nor a vacancy, except in the purse.
When she dined with us & spent the evening she said nothing about governessing, but I hope you need her, therefore I am writing this note privately on my own motion. There’s no harm if nothing comes of it.
I am still in bed, & expect to stay there till the whisky runs out, for I read, smoke, write, & am very comfortable & seldom sober.
As soon as I get out I am coming up to call [MTP]. Note: the “lassie” was Muriel M. Pears who came to New York and stayed at the Brevoort House next door on Feb. 17 (see Lyon’s journal that date); the enclosure is missing; this letter to Louise Carnegie, which refers to the Feb. 17 visit as “two or three weeks ago” places this letter to the first half of March, 1905.
March 1 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. Clemens talked about Mr. Howells. He doesn’t know why he is so loyal to Howells (literarily) and he told me how only recently Mr. Howells has been free from financial worry. He has managed in the long years to tuck away $60,000 in good investments, but that’s all. Then he talked about Bayard Taylor’s wonderful memory. It was brought up by the sense of the words “remember” and “recollect”. Mr. Clemens said that once many years ago he and Bayard Taylor were walking the deck of a steamer when Taylor said he had made a point of each day making a test of his memory. That many years before that time as a boy, he had taken a prize for reciting accurately a list of words which he had been allowed to read only once or twice. They were disconnected words, nothing in them to carry meaning from one to the other. Then Mr. Taylor said “let me walk the deck alone for 10 to 15 minutes and I’ll remember them”—and he did it. “That is recollecting,” Mr. Clemens said and he dropped his napkin and rose with his lovely strong sway from the dinner table to go into the living room and talk to Bambino.
Tonight as I was playing the Andante of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony a reporter from the Journal came to say that Maxim Gorky had said that he’d heard that Mark Twain had signed a petition for his release. I carried the message to Mr. Clemens and his answer was “That he’d been too ill for weeks to sign petitions, if there had been petitions to sign. Although if one had come for Gorky’s release he’d have signed it if he’d had to get out of his coffin to do it.” The reporter scratched down the words on a piece of yellow paper and he was glad in his heart and with his tongue to have so strong a message [MTP: TS 42].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: English Butler came today, George Buckridge.
Today Jean left for Dublin to stay overnight with Mrs Abbott Thayer, and look at houses for next summer. Katie is with her.
Mr. Duneka came to talk with Mr. Clemens about Remington Type-writer advertising [MTP TS 6]. Note: the advertising found its way into the Mar. 18 issue of Harper’s Weekly, p. 378 and 391.
March 2 Thursday – Jean Clemens and Katy Leary were in Dublin, N.H. where they previewed Henry Copley Greene’s house, approving it for the summer rental. Jean stayed one night with Mr. & Mrs. Abbott Thayer, likely this evening or the next, as Isabel Lyon met Jean on Mar. 4 in Hartford. See her journal entries for Mar. 2, 3 & 4.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: I’m on the train now going up to Hartford. I thought I was late coming through the subway tunnel with Mother, so we roared goodbye at each other savagely, but kept right on the same direction and I turned around just in time to see Saint Mother fall up the subway stairs in her dear haste to keep up with savage horrid me. Then we laughed. The country is snowy and beautiful. It’s so nice of the oaks to keep their pretty brown leaves on all winter. Jean is up at Dublin with Katie. Man behind me suggests to girl with him that she tie a string around her ankle to remind her of him. She giggles [MTP: TS 42].
The N.Y. City Post Office wrote to Sam. “Your kind letter of 28th ultimo [not extant], duly received and I have given special instructions that all mail matter directed to you at New York City without definite or local address shall hereafter be delivered at No. 21 Fifth Avenue, as you request” [MTP]. Note: signed “W.R.W” was William R. Willcox (b. 1863), appointed as NYC Postmaster (1905-1907). He was later Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Insert: NY Main P.O. ca. 1905; built in 1880 demolished in 1939; known as “Mullet’s Monstrosity.”
Sam’s essay “Dr. Loeb’s Incredible Discovery” was given this date. Budd writes it was written “sometime after the epigraph date of March 2, 1905, but was not published during Twain’s life. It first appeared in 1923 in Europe and Elsewhere, edited by Albert Bigelow Paine” [Budd, Collected 2: 1009].
March 3 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: I met her [Jean] today on the 12.19 train when Katie left it. But yesterday was high holiday of the year for me. David and Lou were out at the Whitings to meet me there. I saw dear Mr. Whiting as he lay in his sick bed, a noble wonderful face, 81 years. I went to Hattie’s reception and saw friends and friends and friends. I went to the Moores and saw Jesse there. I stayed the night with Leila and we sat in our wrappers in her room and talked over biscuit and beer until nearly 2 o’clock [MTP: TS 42]. Note: Miss Lyon was in Hartford.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Met Jean at 12.19. Katie got off the train & stayed over to attend to some business for Mr. Clemens. Got some boxes from the Trust Company.
Jean’s trip to Dublin was successful. She found a house that Mr. Clemens will take. In fact he telegraphed so today [not extant]—to the local agent—Henry D. Allison [MTP TS 7].
Sebastiano V. Cecchi wrote on Haskard &Co. Bankers, Florence, Italy to Sam. “I wrote you on the 25 January Awocato Traverso has asked me to send you the enclosed document,” which had to do with terms of the examination of witnesses in the trial of Countess Massigila. The document would have to be signed by Clemens before the Italian Consul in New York [MTP].
March 4 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: I saw Dr. John in the morning and he does not say that the eye will ever be much better, and then I met Jean who has had an equally successful trip in Dublin and found a very good house owned by Mr. Henry Copley Greene of Boston. She found a house too owned by a French Canadian. She stayed one night with Mr. and Mrs. Abbott A. Thayer. Today Herr Heinick came [MTP: TS 42].
John B. Stanchfield attorney in Elmira wrote to Sam that he had,
“this day forwarded to Messrs. Lane, Lederman, & Lane, of San Francisco, Cal., a letter of which the enclosed is a copy. It does not go into the detail of a settlement, because I wish first to find out what proposition if any will be made. I think it covers the ground from our point of view.” Note: see Feb. 16 from Stanchfield, Sam’s attorney on the Butters matter and the disposition of assets from the bankruptcy of Plasmon Co. of America.
Mail from Elmira to N.Y.C. would have taken at least a day or two, so that Sam’s response, written for him by Lyon should be catalogued as on or after March 6 [MTP].
Henry Darracott Allison sent a telegram from Keene, N.H. to Sam: “Your acceptance received leases will be forwarded you without delay” [MTP].
William Webster Ellsworth of the Century Co. wrote to Sam, enclosing a clipping from the NY Evening Post praising Charles David Stewart’s (1868-1960) first book, The Fugitive Blacksmith (1905). Ellsworth asked if Sam had read the book that they’d sent him a copy of “some time ago,” and noted the Post likened it to Sam’s work [MTP]. Note: see Gribben 665.
Emma Beach Thayer wrote from Dublin, N.H. to Sam. “Dear Mr. Clemens, / You were very good to spare your daughter [Jean] to us. / We wanted to keep her much longer. / It is a delightful thought that you will be so near us, and will perhaps often drop in on us. You are very much worshipped by this family—the young people have grown up looking up to you with utmost reverence” [MTP].
March 5 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Late this afternoon Mr. Clemens slipped away up to the Grosvenor and telephoned to say he was going to dine with the Misses McMahon. Francesca and Rosamond Gilder were here and stayed to supper. Today Mr. Clemens read me some bits of manuscript that he has been working on. He is so wonderful, so ennobling [MTP: TS 43] Hill adds a line not in the TS: “[Jean] hated it and refused to type any of it” . Note: see Trombley p. 63.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Telephoned asking Col. Harvey about his part of the “Hand” article, but Col. Harvey is in Wshington. / Mr. Clemens read some MS. to me. / The Poet & his friend & the Admiral [MTP TS 7]. Note: this article became “Refuge of the Derelicts.”
John F. Weir wrote from Yale University School of the Fine Arts to praise Sam’s JA and “especially the article in the Dec. ‘Harper’s’” [MTP].
March 6 Monday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam replied to Ernest C. Hales’ Feb. 21:
I thank you very much for what you say. Just as I was about to comply with your request in the formal and customary fashion, this old letter fell out of an old book, and I thought you might prefer it.
It is the original—a typewritten copy went to the man on the other end—Dr. Sill (I think that is the name) inventor of Osteopathy, Kirksville, Missouri [MTP: Cyril Clemens’ Mark Twain: The Letter Writer, 1932, p.104].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Mother went up to see Poppy for a week. I took her up to the station” [MTP: TS 43]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Telephoned to Dr. Shaw’s Secretary asking if Dr. Shaw can call in to see Mr. Clemens” [MTP TS 7].
Dear Patrick; / I hadn’t the faintest idea of your recent loss when I saw you, but although it is rather late Father & I wish to express our warm sympathy with all of you.
Katie, I believe, told you that I am going to buy a riding horse. Father wants me to ask you if you would be willing to come with us to Dublin, N.H. from May 1st to Nov. 1st at $6000 a month & your board & lodging. There is a single room in the stable & you would eat with the other servants in their dining-room. There would, of course, be no room for Mary or any of the other members of the family, but if you would come we should be most glad. The work would consist of the care of my horse, managing the electric water-motor which supplies the house with water, he care of the furnace in case we use it, and the care of the garden. There is a small kitchen & flower garden.
Father wants you to go to the Hartford Hospital & get yourself in good condition. Either call on Dr. Root or Dr. Porter & have yourself examined and taken care of either at the hospital, or told how to care yourself at home. Father also says that he will be glad to pay you part of your wages in advance, say $3000—beginning now (March) each month, between now & May 1st—
The list of the things to be done sounds rather large, but I do not believe that any of it will be very taxing, unless filling the refrigerator is. (I forgot to mention that[)]—and that the ice-house is on the place near at hand. Please think this proposition over carefully, at the same time realizing how very glad we shall be to have you with us once more, if you decide to come. / Yours affect. / Jean L. Clemens [MTP]. Note: Patrick would die from cancer of the liver nearly a year later, Feb. 26, 1906. It’s likely his hospital check up referred to here revealed the disease.
An unidentified man (W. Vernon?) wrote on W.F. McLaughlin & Co. (importers & roasters of coffee) letterhead to Sam.
“Unless you hear to the contrary I will call upon you at your residence at 9 o’clock on Friday morning, the 17th, as I wish to have a conversation with you before leaving for England. I should be glad if you would get your typewriter to write me a letter telling me what has transpired as the result of Mr. Ashcroft’s visit to England. I concluded it better not to do anything in the matter till my return there, because, as Mr. Ashcroft has seen the other directors during my absence, a correspondence on the matter might have complicated things. The business [Plasmon] is going better daily in England” [MTP]. Note: Signature is not clear, but evidently the man was a director of the American Plasmon Co. W. In her Mar. 17 journal entry, Lyon noted that Mr. Vernon called to see Mr. Clemens this morning,” the same 17th date as in the above letter. Ashcroft also wrote on Nov. 1 that he had “drafted a plan of reorganization of Plasmon that Vernon is ‘fathering’ and which will be satisfactory to all parties.” W. Vernon wrote to Sam on Feb. 23, 1906. Taken together it seems probable that this letter was from W. Vernon. MTP advised of same.
March 6 ca. – On or just after this day, Isabel V. Lyon responded for Sam to John Stanchfield’s Mar. 4 note: “Mr. Clemens does immensely approve the letter. It talks straight business without any mincing” [MTP]. Note: There was no mail delivery on Sunday, though letter carriers in N.Y.C. during 1905 made as many as nine trips a day from the main post office. Sam could not have received Stanchfield’s note before March 6.
March 7 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Beatrice M. Benjamin.
Thank you for remembering to send me the questions. At first glance they look formidable, for young girls (& their elders); but upon examination one finds them to be simple, direct, distinctly outlined, & not formidable—in a word, well devised, a difficult job competently performed. A definite question is a suggestive & stimulating text to talk to, a vague & indefinite one is an invitation to you to make snowballs out of fog—an industry which has its embarrassments.
Do you know, I trained the Young Girls’ Club, of Hartford (that is, the Monday Morning Club), in this very business 25 years ago—& I was a member, too. To this day I am the only young girl of my sex that has the privilege of belonging to that Club. You write & ask anybody there if it isn’t so.
Your parents are well. I saw them at your granther’s the other night. Good-bye, dear, it is time I was getting to work [MTP]. Note: Beatrice was the daughter of William Evarts Benjamin and Anne Engle Rogers Benjamin, H.H. Rogers’ oldest daughter.
By George! But Mr. Wheaton does shovel the sackcloth & ashes onto your head in a most gentle & blistering way! I have not seen it better done in my life-days, as the Germans say. I think I divine how you feel, & about how much boot you would give to change places with almost anybody who has been caught in a disreputable performance—for instance, with that young friend of yours, courting his girl in her log home, & excused himself to go outside & “look after his horse.”
You must bring Mr. Wheaton here, some time when you are down, so that we can find out why he wants to stop war, which, to my mind, is one of the very best methods known to us of diminishing the human race. (What a life it is?? this one! Everything we do, somebody intrudes & obstructs it. After years of thought & labor, I have arrived within one little bit of a step of perfecting my invention for exhausting the oxygen in the globe’s air during a stretch of 22 minutes, & of course along comes an obstructor who is inventing something to protect life. Damn such a world, anyway.)
Send Dave bach!—that breeder of disappointments. / Lovingly, Mark [MTP: Cushman file]. Note: the Dave reference may be to Joe’s son, David.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today Mrs. [Clara] Stanchfield dined here. She is ever so charming. We had interesting talk after dinner when it switched onto eternity, a thing that has been in my mind so much of late” [MTP: TS 43].
Philip Cabot (1872-1941) wrote for Henry Copley Greene to Sam. “As instructed by my clients, Mr. Henry Copley Greene and Miss Belle Greene, I enclose you herewith in duplicate leases of their house on Lone Tree Hill in the Town of Dublin, New Hampshire” Cabot invited Sam’s response if the leases were not drawn to his understanding [MTP].
March 8 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today Mr. Coburn called and brought some very wonderful photographs. George Meredith, Andrew Lang, Mrs. Ward, Edmund Gosse and many others. He brought some landscapes too, and when I showed one of some mighty trees to Mr. Clemens, at first he couldn’t make out the subject and when I told him what it was he said, “I thought it was the dinosaurus coming down town.”
Friday he will come to photograph the Signior Padrone [MTP: TS 43]. Note: Alvin Langdon Coburn, photographer, did come on Mar. 10 [ibid.] and would also take pictures on Mar. 11 [#2 TS 7] and also at Stormfield. Dec. 21-22, 1908. No connection with the Langdon family was found.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens signed lease for Dublin house” [MTP TS 7].
March 9 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. Gilder and Dorothea dined here. Dorothea looked very sweet in a little marquise bodice, brilliantly charmingly flowered. She left early to go to a concert but Mr. Gilder stayed on and was very interesting in his talk about Roosevelt as a reader, and as a man with a phenominal [sic] memory. Only as a politician is he not admirable [MTP: TS 43].
Philip Cabot wrote for Henry Copley Greene to Miss Lyon, acknowledging the signed leases from Clemens, and returning one signed copy for Sam’s files [MTP].
Margaret T. Chanler and Mrs. John Elliott sent an engraved invitation to a Shakespearean Recital by Mr. Samuel Arthur King on Thursday morning, March 11, at 11:30 [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote “ansd” on card.
Moses Allen Starr, M.D. wrote from NYC to Sam, responding to Sam’s questions about Dr. Kirch’s supposed overcharges. “I have received your letter and am only sorry that you have had the trouble of writing it.” Starr explained that prevalent fees should proscribe what a “professional man of honesty” should charge. Starr had recommended Kirch, so felt some responsibility—he had done so from the word of Mr. W. D. Barbour of NYC, whose wife had been under Kirch’s care for four months in 1902-3 [MTP]. Note: Clemens wrote on the env. “Dr. Starr’s verdict against Kirch.” See Sam’s of Feb. 26.
March 10 Friday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Elizabeth Garver Jordan (1867-1947) editor of Harper’s Bazar.
Dear Miss Jordan: / Once I could have written about the special faults of women—playfully, flippantly, possibly even seriously; but that time has gone by, not to come again I believe. My model would have been my wife, who was the only woman I have ever thoroughly known; she would have edited my article when it was finished, for she edited all my manuscripts, beginning this labor of love a year before we were married, continuing it 36 years, & only relinquishing it on her death-bed, when her strength was all gone & she laid down a story of mine—the first chapter of it—knowing that her dear work was ended & that she should not help me any more. I think she had no faults; if she had, I do not now remember what they were. I cannot write upon that subject, the memory of what she was has disqualified me.
I will hope that another theme will suggest itself to you or to me & that it will turn out to be workable for the Bazar.
With my kindest regards & best wishes… [MTP]. Note: Miss Jordan would repeatedly try to get Sam to take part in a serial story to appear in Bazaar, at the urging of W.D. Howells. See Lyon’s journal relating to this letter below; also see May 29, 1906.
Sam also wrote again to Joe Twichell enclosing an article not in the file:
Joe dear, read it! Isn’t it a pathetic human race? And can there be anything more pathetic than the New England vote-peddling citizen’s guileless admiration of his Puritan forefathers & Revolution-ancestors, & his conviction that they averaged higher, in virtue, than he does? Well—I believed as he does until Charley Clark & John Fiske debauched me with the truth. About ’85 Charley Clark astounded me by saying that the farmer-vote of Connecticut was as purchasable as his potatoes, & at about the same price. I was an innocent person (then) & I was horrified. I had my opinion of the man who would buy a vote, or sell one, or would contribute money to be used in so degraded a commerce. Why, dang it, Joe, my own white soul surrendered, with hardly a pang, at the very first temptation! Yes sir, in our library one morning Charley Warner asked me for $25 to buy votes with, in Hawley’s interest, & I fell, there & then, never to rise again.
Do you notice the last sentence of the printed slip? Isn’t it good & sarcastic! They are going to lay Bulkeley’s matter (no doubt without a smile) before the U.S. Senate, a body which has been helping to buy the Grand Army & bounty-jumper & Revolution-great-grandchild vote every year for a generation! / Love from / …[MTP: Cushman file]. Note: Morgan Gardner Bulkeley (1837-1922), Republican Mayor of Hartford (1880-1888), Governor (1889-1893), US Senator 1905-1911. “Bulkeley’s matter,” seems here to have had some connection with the purchasing of votes, in prior days, a common occurrence in Connecticut.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Clemens wrote a very beautiful letter in answer to Miss Elizabeth Jordan who wanted him to write on the “foibles of women”—to be answered by Henry James—but he said he couldn’t do that now, once he might have, but the one who would have helped him to do it is gone.
Mr. Coburn came and photographed Mr. Clemens. He came down stairs in his old gray slippers and words can never say how charming he is. Mr. Coburn was made most happy by the interview and by the chance remarks that the Signior Padrone threw in.
Tonight Mr. Clemens read his “War Prayer” after dinner. It is wonderful and strong, finishing with his eternal slap at the human race—“all machines” we are—not responsible for any action of ours [MTP: TS 43]. Note: Alvin Langdon Coburn, photographer.
Mrs. C. Griswold Bourne sent Sam an engraved invitation for tea at the Exhibition of the NewYork School of Applied Design for Women at 576 Fifth Ave. on Friday, March 10 at four o’clock [MTP]. Note: either the date sent is off, or Mrs. Bourne expected Sam to come on very short notice.
Sam wrote “The War Prayer” on or before this day. Budd: “Isabel Lyon recorded in her diary that Twain had read it to some friends. Hill also gives this date (p. 100). It was not published during Twain’s life, and it first appeared in 1923 in Europe and Elsewhere” [Collected 2: 1009-10]. Note: Rasmussen conjectures: “the story’s single incident may go back [to] a moment described in Life on the Mississippi, in which an apparently deranged man (Henry Clay Dean 1822-1887) delivers a speech that leaves his audience thinking that he is an archangel (chapter 57)” [A to Z 503]. Shelden writes that the piece was rejected by Harper’s Bazaar as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine” [MTMW 60]. Perhaps Sam felt that it might only be published in such a magazine.
Jean Clemens wrote to the Harper’s Weekly editor, and her letter was published in the Apr. 1 issue:
A WORD FOR THE HORSES
New York, March 10,1005.
To the Editor of Harper’s Weekly:
Sir,—Have you ever stood perfectly still for ten or fifteen minutes with your head held a little farther back than it is your custom to hold it? If not, try it once and see how you like it. Stand stiffly in one position, or walk up and down a long flight of stairs, with your head a trifle higher and farther back than you usually carry it, for, say, fifteen minutes, and I believe you will realize some of the torture most carriage-horses have to endure. The going up and down stairs will convey partially what they feel when they have to pull a vehicle up a hill, and in order to do so can only use their muscles and none of their weight, and their sensation in descending an incline with their heads held so that they haven’t the faintest idea where they are going to step next. It is no wonder horses with high check-reins frequently misstep. They are expected to depend entirely on their drivers’ guiding, but the best of coachmen cannot see all the stones and ruts, whereas both the horses’ and the coachmen’s eyes being used, many stones would be stepped over and strained ankles thereby avoided.
I was surprised not long ago to find an intelligent gentleman who hadn’t ever noticed that such a thing as a check-rein existed. When I showed him several horses with them he realized the pain that the unnatural position a check-rein enforces must cause. He is doubtless unused to horses, but I feel certain that many ladies enter their carriages with no more than a glance at the horses to see if they are in proper trim. They do not realize the torture caused by the high check-reins, they do not understand that the constant throwing of the heads means that the horses’ necks arc aching intolerably from the strained position their heads are held in; they probably also do not know that very frequently when they are in a shop or paying a call their coachmen do not allow their slaves to bend their heads to one side occasionally to relieve a little of the pain,—they often give the wholly unoffending horse another pain by hitting him a sharp cut with the whip.
About the worst instrument of torture, aside from burred bits, is the combination of check-rein and martingale. The check obliges the horse to hold his head above a natural angle, and the martingale prevents his throwing it higher in order to relieve the horrible tension a little. If a person having horses harnessed in the above way had the patience to hold his head in a strained position until his neck ached and then continue to hold it there, moving it neither up nor down. I think that unless he were wilfully brutal and entirely without feeling, he would order at least the martingale to be removed, and possibly the check also.
Many well-bred horses hold their heads higher than their checkreins require when they are travelling, but as soon as they stand still they would naturally hold them lower, and then the pain and the restlessness caused by the check and possibly the sharp curb begin and do not end until the stable is reached and the check removed, because when once that kind of pain has started it cannot possibly stop until the horse has had the opportunity of putting his head away down as well as away up.
The chances are ten to one that when the owners of beautiful turnouts speak to their coachmen about the cruelty of checkreins, the coachmen laugh, believing that hostility to the checkreins is merely a fad, and that they do not at all strain or fatigue a horse. The coachmen are often more anxious to have the horses look as stylish as possible than the owners are, and as it is considered stylish to have horses’ heads reined up they will do their best to preserve the custom; but let the style change, and we shall see with what alacrity they will consider the employment of a cheek or a check and a martingale a useless cruelty.
I am, sir, Jean L. Clemens.
March 11 Saturday – Sam wrote the following concerning his birthday. This piece was later found in an autograph album. Note Sam’s comparison of himself to George Washington:
Nov 30, 1835.
St. Andrew set, once for all, the standard of character proper to persons electing to be born on the 30th of November. None but the vain & self-complacent have taken the risk since. I chose the 31st, myself, not knowing there was no such day. I was so young, & so troubled with embarrassment on account of having to go among ladies the way I was—a trying ordeal I have always refused to do it again. The 30th of November is perhaps the most difficult & exacting of all the birth-days, except February 22, but I have done what I could to keep it up to standard; many think, with success.
March 11, 1905 [Sotheby’s sale # NO 8698 June 17, 2010, Lot 538, from the James S. Copley Library].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. and Mrs. Stanchfield dined here. It was a very pretty dinner and a good one and the talk was principally about the great Russian-Japanese War, for at this time the Russians are suffering tremendous losses and the Japanese are lashing them with victory upon victory. They are capturing Mukden. Mr. Stanchfield is a very handsome man, and clever too.
Mr. Dan Beard called this afternoon, I didn’t see him [MTP: TS 43].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Coburn photographed Mr. Clemens. / Mr Dan Beard called” [MTP TS 7].
Muriel M. Pears wrote to Sam.
My Dear and Greatest Mr. Clemens, / Only this week and by special order have I been able to get a North American for this month, for as indeed I heard in Philadelphia before I left the demand for the copy with the Soliloquy was so great that every one was speaking of it and of the extraordinary interest it aroused.” Pears praised JA again. She guessed that Sam’s cat Bambino had by now forgotten her, but she hoped to see him again [MTP]. Note: Muriel visited Sam on Feb. 17.
March 12 Sunday – Sam inscribed in Clara Clemens’ copy of JA (volume 17, Hillcrest ed.): Every one is a moon, & has / a dark side which he / never shows to any body. / Mark Twain / March 12, 1905.” [Sotheby’s, Sept. 1962].
March 13 Monday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Susan Crane. Only the bottom of the page survives: “Sue dear, beg for me with St. Peter if you get there first. He will remember me as the young fellow who tried for his place & couldn’t pass the examinations—at that time” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Muriel M. Pears, now in Washington, D.C.
This is indeed a joy! bless you I was beginning to believe you had gotten mislaid & maybe lost. I see it has not happened, for your letter is your own—the heart in it, & the talent, have to come from the one source, they could not be imitated by a counterfeiter. I am very glad you & are made at home & happy by our people. It cost me a pang to decline to spend Inauguration week in Washington with a family of friends, but it would have cost me a thousand pangs to go, for the welcome in every familiar face would be a reminder of other days, when so much more than half of it was for one who was at my side—& never elsewhere for half a lifetime. If Mrs. Clemens had been physically strong enough to live the social life she would have established our home there, she was so attached to the Washington people. She liked Southerners—partly because I was one, maybe.
I am grateful to the Forakers for taking care of you.
Be sure & tell me when you are coming. If you act as you did before I will expose you to your mother.
Jean is up town at the language-school but I will let her see your confirmations of her judgment when she returns. Bambino [Clara’s cat] will welcome you when you come. He has not sworn an oath since you left, even when his breakfast is 3 minutes late. No one else has had such an effect upon him as this. He thinks a great deal of you—like / SLC [MTP]. Note: Joseph Benson Foraker (1846-1917), Senator Ohio (1897-1909).
Sam also wrote to Clara Henderson (Mrs. J.M. Henderson) in Chicago:
It has greatly interested me. It is a good guess at an answer to the questions involved—a better one could not be evolved, I think. But we have to infer the seven or eight incarnations, we cannot trace them back & identify them & prove them: & so we have only the terminating link, not of a known chain but of a guessed one [MTP: Cushman file]. “See attached” not in file.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “The greater part of the day I spent with Flo and Uncle Sam up at Macy’s” [MTP: TS 44].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam.
Dear Mark; / Here is the same thing done in slang. [MT wrote “Newspaper clipping”; not extant.]
Still I am so happy as not to be convinced. What Charley Clark told you twenty years ago of the Coo-farmers may have been, I fear was, true of a good many of them, but I don’t believe it was true of the bulk of them, or is true now. Nor do I believe that the majority of the votes that elected Bulkeley were purchased, or a half, or a quarter, or a tenth of that majority. Nor, again, for all you and Charley Warner were drawn into the league of corruption in Hawley’s interest, do I believe that the General himself was a party to it; Nor, once more, do I believe that more than a small fraction in numbers in the U.S. Senate is venal, but that, on the contrary, as a body, it is honest. Hence I do not despair of the Republic, or of the Human Race, for that matter. Dig down in history anywhere you like five hundred years, and take a look around you there, and then go down on your knees and ask forgiveness for being such a dog-goned pessimist at the opening of the Twentieth Century. …
Oh! There’s an eddy now and then, here and there, but the stream flows in that [positive] direction. Climb out of your hole, Mark; get up where you can see a distance drop your cussing and shout Glory—not, of course, without stopping once in a while to cry over the bloody fight the beaten and retreating Kuropatkin keeps up against the victor Oyama. The war isn’t ended yet… [MTP]. Note: Joe then sent family doings and a meeting upcoming that night of the Monday Evening Club.
March 14 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam replied to Joe Twichell’s Mar. 13.
Dear Joe,—I have a Puddn’head maxim:
“When a man is a pessimist before 48 he knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.”
It is with contentment, therefore, that I reflect that I am better & wiser than you. Joe, you seem to be dealing in “bulks,” now; the “bulk” of the farmers & U. S. Senators are “honest.” As regards purchase & sale with money? Who doubts it? Is that the only measure of honesty? Aren’t there a dozen kinds of honesty which can’t be measured by the money-standard? Treason is treason—& there’s more than one form of it; the money-form is but one of them. When a person is disloyal to any confessed duty, he is plainly & simply dishonest, & knows it; knows it, & is privately troubled by it & not proud of himself. Judged by this standard—& who will challenge the validity of it?—there is’t an honest man in Connecticut, nor in the Senate, nor anywhere else. I do not even except myself this time.
An I finding fault with you & the rest of the populace? No—I assure you I am not. For I know the human race’s limitations, & this makes it my duty—my pleasant duty—to be fair to it. Each person in it is honest in one or several ways, but no member of it is honest in all the ways required by—by what? By his own standard. Outside of that, as I look at it, there is no obligation upon him.
Am I honest? I give you my word of honor (private) I am not. For seven years I have suppressed a book which my conscience tells me I ought to publish. I hold it a duty to publish it. There are other difficult duties which I am equal too, but I am not equal to that one. Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is. We are certainly all honest in one or several ways—every man in the world—though I have reason to think I am the only one whose black-list runs so light. Sometimes I feel lonely enough in this lofty solitude.
Yes, oh, yes, I am not overlooking the “steady progress from age to age of the coming of the kingdom of God & righteousness.” “From age to age”—yes, it describes that giddy gait. I (& the rocks) will not live to see it arrive, but that is all right—it will arrive, it surely will. But you ought not to be always ironically apologizing for the Deity. If that thing is going to arrive, it is inferable that He wants it to arrive; & so it is not quite kind of you, & it hurts me, to see you flinging sarcasms at the gait of it. And yet it would not be fair in me not to admit that the sarcasms are deserved. When the Deity wants a thing, & after working at it for “ages & ages” can’t show even a shade of progress toward its accomplishment, we—well we don’t laugh, but it is only because we dasn’t. The source of the “righteousness”—is in the heart? Yes. And engineered & directed by the brain? Yes. Well, history & tradition testify that the heart is just about what it was in the beginning; it has undergone no shade of change. Its good & evil impulses & their consequences are the same to-day that they were in Old Bible times, in Egyptian times, in Greek times, in Middle Age times, in Twentieth Century times. There has been no change.
Meantime, the brain has undergone no change. It is what it always was. There are a few good brains in a multitude of poor ones. It was so in Old Bible times & in all other times—Greek, Roman, Middle Ages & Twentieth Century. Among the savages—the average brain is as competent as the average brain here or elsewhere. I will prove it to you, some time, if you like. And there are great brains among them, too. I will prove that also, if you like.
Well, the 19th century made progress—the first progress after “ages & ages”—colossal progress. In what? Materialities. Prodigious acquisitions were made in things which add to the comfort of many & make life harder for as many more. But the addition to righteousness? Is that discoverable? I think not. The materialities were not invented in the interest of righteousness; that there is more righteousness in the world because of them than there was before, is hardly demonstrable, I think. In Europe & America there is a vast change (due to them) in ideals—do you admire it? All Europe & all America are feverishly scrambling for money. Money is the supreme ideal—all others take tenth place with the great bulk of the nations named. Money-lust has always existed, but not in the history of the world was it ever a craze, a madness, until your time & mine. This lust has rotted these nations; it has made them hard, sordid, ungentle, dishonest, oppressive.
Did England rise against the infamy of the Boer war? No—rose in favor of it. Did America rise against the infamy of the Phillipine war? No—rose in favor of it. Did Russia rise against the infamy of the present war? No—sat still & said nothing. Has the Kingdom of God advanced in Russia since the beginning of time?
Or in Europe & America, considering the vast backward step of the money-lust? Or anywhere else? If there has been any progress toward righteousness since the early days of Creation—which, in my ineradicable honesty, I am obliged to doubt—I think we must confine it to ten percent of the population of Christendom, (but leaving Russia, Spain & South America entirely out.) This gives us 320,000,000 to draw the ten per cent from. That is to say, 32,000,000 have advanced toward righteousness & the Kingdom of God since the “ages & ages” have been flying along, the Deity sitting up there admiring. Well, you see it leaves 1,200,000,000 out of the race. They stand just where they have always stood; there had been no change.
N. B. No charge for these informations. Do come down soon, Joe. / With love, / Mark
Oh, I would like to hear Charley Perkins uncork his tar-keg.
[MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain Letters, p.767-70 in part: MTP: Cummings file]. Note: Sam’s “&” signs replaced; Paine did not like these. Charles E. Perkins was Sam’s attorney in the 1870s. See Vol. I entries.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Never, never on sea or shore of spiritual or terrestrial being could there be a man to equal Mr. Clemens. The subtlty [sic] of his magic and he doesn’t know it. He can’t half enjoy himself and oh the pity of it, for he would so appreciate himself. It is cruel.
After dinner Jean and finally I gave him music until a late hour. I am stupified [sic] [MTP: TS 44].
Grace Gallatin Seton for Pen & Brush wrote to Sam, reminding him of two years before when he declined an invitation but promised a future date—had that date arrived? Could he manage Sunday, Apr. 2 from 4:30 to 6? [MTP]. Note: no further documentation for Seton and Apr. 2 was found; perhaps he couldn’t “manage.”
March 15 Wednesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to an unidentified woman (possibly Lucy J. Taylor, who wrote for the Quarter Club on Feb. 17 asking for signatures on Twain’s books) explaining Sam was not well enough to autograph “so many books,” but he would be glad to “autograph the ten extra volumes if that will do” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Coburn came and photoed Jean and then he took six more of Mr. Clemens. Mr. Clemens was tired then and went wearily back to bed. This afternoon I went up to Mr. Coburn’s studio. All in exquisite green it is, and the dear man sat near my feet talking, talking of my wondrous master, and his own art, and he drifted back and forth between the two subjects, showing me a great deal of his beautiful work, his wondrous photographs, and glowing with the love of the beautiful. He wore a charming green silk Chinaman’s blouse, and there was no spear of white in the room, save some dull candles.
Tonight as I sat playing Mr. and Mrs. Loomis walked in. After a little sporadic talk we gathered around Mr. Clemens who brought in a letter that he had written to Mr. Twichell—he hasn’t quite dared send it yet—to read to the guests. It is apropos of President Roosevelt and the man’s characteristics—it is such a remarkable letter that it ought to be scattered abroad—though the clergy would not stand it, and lots of their followers could not. It compares Roosevelt to God, for “God must be a Republican.”
Then Mr. Clemens, after the shouts of appreciation of all of us, warmed to the task of it and told us a story or two about Mr. Twichell as chaplain [MTP: TS 44-45]. Note: Lyon likely refers to Sam’s Mar. 14 to Twichell, though no direct reference is made to Roosevelt in that letter as there is in the Feb. 16 to Twichell. Alvin Langdon Coburn was the photographer.
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to thank Sam for “the beautiful picture with the more beautiful autograph,” which he would give to his baby boy to enjoy as a man some day [MTP].
March 15 ca. – In San Remo, Italy, William Dean Howells wrote to Sam on a letter from Edward Everett Hale to Howells dated Washington D.C., Mar. 1.
“Dear Clemens: I’ve offered to pay $100 in this cause. Wont you join? If yes, write to Hale. The publishers ought to be milked, too” [MTHL 2: 796].
Note: n2 of source: “Hale, with the cooperation of several literary men and lawyers, was seeking to establish ‘a common law title in copyright existing wholly apart from the statute law.’ The plan was to make the end of Hale’s statutory copyright on The Man Without a Country the occasion for taking this issue to the courts. Hale believed that Wayne MacVeagh, former Attorney General of the United States and ambassador to Italy, would prepare and argue the case.” See Mar. 28 to Hale. With this note, Howells enclosed a clipping without place or date headed, “Un Crapaud Géant/Le Plus Grand Crapaud du Monde.” The clipping concerned an enormous frog which “M. Coleman…à Fredericton” had trained to respond to his name, Snag, and to leap a barrier while carrying an American flag in his mouth. Howells wrote on the edge of the clipping: “Digne Rivale du Frogue Jompeur. Ho! for home, April 5th! W. D. H.” [MTP]. Note: Howells was headed for home.
March 16 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today Mr. [Moncure] D. Conway called to see Mr. Clemens. I was peeping for a sight of him through a crack in the big drawing room doors as he came down stairs to leave, when I heard his voice behind me in the dining room where he had gone for a glimpse of the Millet portrait of Mr. Clemens. He is 73, he looks all of it, and has a noble head, white hair and the wealth of years in his face. Tonight at dinner Mr. Clemens talked of him and told how Mr. Conway had gone to see Roosevelt in Washington, and he spoke of the beautiful Watt painting “Life and Love” which Watt gave to the United States. The President liked it and had it taken from the Corcoran Gallery to the White House. Some elderly women (“old hens”, Mr. Clemens called them) saw it and condemned the picture from their moral point, upon which the political Roosevelt removed it and had it taken to a garret room in the White House, and there the beautiful gift to a nation lies. A moral coward [MTP: TS 44]. Note: in her Mar. 17 entry, Lyon wrote “Mrs. Day came in last evening.”
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Moncure D. Conway called. He thought Prof Gelli’s portrait of Mr. Clemens ‘very strong’” [MTP TS 8]. Note: Edoardo Gelli (1852-1933 ), Italian genre and portrait painter, who did a portrait of Clemens in Florence in the spring of 1904.
Annie McAleer wrote from Hartford to Clemens. “Your letter inclosing check received and Papa wishes to thank you for same. / He feels very certain that he can manage the mater [sic] you spoke of having had quite a little experience with electric motors, when working at the Auditorium, the method of working the two kinds are some different, he realizes…. / Respectfully yours [MTP]. Note: Patrick McAleer’s daughter.
March 17 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Vernon called to see Mr. Clemens this morning” [MTP TS 8].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight after dinner Mr. Clemens read us a new story that he is writing. Two chapters he read. I don’t know what he calls it, but “The Admiral’s Cat” will do here. It is a story of the poet who had a marvelous idea of erecting a statue to Adam, and he tells a friend of his project. He had no money and so would have to interest other people in the idea. The first person he goes to is an old Admiral whose weak point in his beautiful black cat—and Mr. Clemens’s description of the cat through the old Admiral’s comments upon it is a master stroke. He calls it Bagheera and draws upon a word or more of Kipling’s when he describes that glorious black panther of his. It is a beautiful story. The old Admiral is drawn from two old whaling captains—Capt. Ed Wakeman and Commodore Smith. The former was born on a whaler, and when he retired after 70 years of sea life he used to cruise as a passenger up and down the Pacific coast from San Francisco to Panama.
Mr. Clemens paced up and down the living room as he described the two old sailors—and he grew more and more interesting every moment. Then he missed Bambino and after a search through the house, even to the cellar—I found him shut out on the roof outside of Mr. Clemens’s sleeping room. He really is the most beautiful creature ever—that cat [MTP: TS 44; also Gribbern 378 in part]. Note: the story became “The Refuge of the Derelicts,” long unpublished, which borrows from Kipling to praise Kipling.
March 18 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Herr Heinick came for dinner tonight. The table talk wasn’t very brilliant for Mr. Clemens was tired (?) or didn’t like the man—(since, I’ve found that he didn’t like the man, for he had expected to find an old and wise professor.)
Life in this way is so vitally interesting. The hours are like pearls in a string and I hope that the cord that holds them is a strong one [MTP: TS 46].
Harper’s Weekly published Mark Twain’s “The First Writing-Machines” (alternate title for “From My Unpublished Autobiography.”) It was later collected in The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906). See the inside cover ad.
March 19 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Tonight Mr. Clemens and Jean went to dine with the Norman Hapgoods. Jean was really beautiful. The day was quiet. In the morning I played to Mr. Clemens—he paced the long rooms in his dressing gown, but he didn’t hear anything I was playing for genius was pushing him hard and he had to go up to bed to write, write, write the thoughts that drowned all sound. Mother went to hear the Stabot Mater in the afternoon and she said it was lovely [MTP: TS 46]. Note: “Stabat Mater” is a 13th Century Roman Catholic hymn to Mary.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Clemens & Jean dined with Mr. Hapgood, at 8” [MTP TS 8].
March 20 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today Jean and I went up to the little Carnegie Theatre to see Mary Lawton in a rehearsal of Magda. It was harrowing enough, for the director’s criticism of the young actors was scathing and heart searching in sarcasms. It’s the only way though to bring them into perfection, and when we came home after 4½ hours of it we were too exhausted to eat our dinner, too exhausted to hear intelligently Mr. Clemens reading of the Bagheera Story.
Mr. Clemens went down to the Italian Consul [MTP: TS 46].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Clemens went to the Italian Consul & signed for a request to extend the time for the examination of witnesses in the Massiglia Case. Sig. Traverso will present it to the Law Courts of Florence” [MTP TS 8].
March 21 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Tonight Mr. Clemens read a very interesting unpublishable sketch. Unpublishable because it is what an old darkey says of the universal brotherhood of man—and how it couldn’t ever be, not even in heaven—for there are only white angels there and in the old darkey’s vision the niggers were all sent around to the back door. It’s a wonderful little sketch but it wouldn’t do for the clergy. They couldn’t stand it. It’s too true.
Mrs. Crane has given me some wonderful headache tablets—they stop the headaches!! [MTP: TS 46]. Note: see Tuckey’s Fables of Man p. 8-10 regarding this missing manuscript.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Sent 2 Miss. To Harpers Bazar. (Miss Jordan)
“The War Prayer,” and
“A Hapless Situation.” [MTP TS 8].
March 22 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Tonight we didn’t have any MS. reading for Mr. Clemens had interruptions during the day—Andrew Carnegie came in and the nice young attorney, Mr. Hull. So he didn’t write so much as he might have. But we had music—and Bambino—and at dinner Mr. Clemens talked among other things of poor John Hay’s ill condition. He’s gone to Italy. His diplomatic career has been very fine. He’s a great statesman, and now this Santo Dominican blunder has made him all heart-ill and brain-ill. He never did the blundering. “It was probably Roosevelt, and Hay has to stand behind him.” M.T. [MTP: TS 46]. Note: see the 1905 opening section regarding John Hay.
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: Today Mr. Clemens wrote [not extant] to Dr. Oppenheimer suggesting that he add to his advertisement which professes to cure alcoholism—the words—“We do not profess to cure Dipsomania which we regard as an incurable disease—” The treatment was a failure with Mr. Clemens’s butler, Fletcher.
Miss Jordan retained “A helpless Situation”—“The War Prayer” she liked but didn’t think it would do for a women magazine [MTP TS 8-9]. Note: Dr. Isaac Oppenheimer
Dodd, Mead & Co. wrote to Sam that since he had used the New International Encyclopedia he might be willing to express his opinion of it [MTP; Gribben 501].
J.R. Dominick sent a telegram from Kansas City, Mo. to Sam.
Will you favor the Missouri Bankers Association with an address may twenty third or twenty fourth at their annual convention in Kansas city the invitation is most cordially urgently extended by the assertions & your many friends in your native state please wire [MTP].
Elizabeth Jordan wrote for Harper’s Bazar to Sam.
Dear Mr. Clemens / I accept with great pleasure your manuscript, “A Helpless Situation.” You have taken up a subject I have always desired to see discussed; its publication should greatly relieve the pressure on writers and publishers, made by our ambitious friends.
I return with regret “The War-Prayer”. It is admirable, but not quite suited to a woman’s magazine, in my opinion…[MTP].
March 23 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
This afternoon Mr. Clemens went for a walk in the lovely March sunshine. He went up to see the Doubledays—and when he was walking down 4th avenue a man came up to greet him. Mr. Clemens “let on” to know him, and when the man said he was “so glad to see that Mr. Clemens was well enough to be out”—Mr. Clemens replied—“Oh yes, I’ve been well enough for 6 weeks”—The man was Mr. Mott, and we have been hedging off his tiresome wife and her invitations for weeks and weeks saying that Mr. Clemens wasn’t well enough to see people. The telephone groaned over the lies I’ve told it about Mr. Clemens’s ill condition. I’ve told such a lot of them too to Mrs. Mott. Poor telephone [MTP: TS 46-47]. Note: likely Mr. and Mrs. Jordan L. Mott of NYC.
Isabel Lyon’s Journal # 2: “Mr Clemens sent to Signor Cecche [sic Cecchi] a copy of Dr. Kirch’s letter & his reply to Dr. K’s letter which was written to Dr. Starr—Dr. K’s letter or statement was written to some one here in the city” [MTP TS 9]. Note: Dr. Moses Allen Starr; Dr. G.W. Kirch.
Frank N. Doubleday for Doubleday, Page & Co. wrote to Sam asking for a character sketch of H.H. Rogers. The World’s Work, published by Doubleday, wanted to publish the proposed sketch. Would Sam help? Isaac Frederick Marcosson (pen name John S. Gregory), longtime journalist, had been in Kansas early in 1905 to write an account of the lawsuit between Standard Oil Co. and the State of Kansas. Rogers was nearly impossible to interview, being well aware that he could hardly get an objective view by the press. Marcossin applied to Doubleday for his assistance in gaining the interview and Doubleday then wrote Twain, who took on the role of middleman between Rogers and Marcossin. Boewe writes this letter of Doubleday’s was likely hand delivered (to support this quick response, see Lyon’s above entry that Sam took a stroll and called on the Doubledays). Lyon wrote on the bottom of the note, “Mr. D. things that Mr. R. does not understand the point they [World’s Work] wish to make” [MTP]. For the full story see M. Boewe’s excellent article, “Mark Twain Anonymous,” The Kentucky Review (Spring 1989), p. 42-55. Also see Marcossin’s article in the Mark Twain Quarterly (Winter 1937-38), p. 7, 24.
March 24 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today I telephoned to Mr. Bowen (he’s Col. Harvey’s secretary and has such a nice rich voice over the telephone), for Mr. Clemens. After Mr. C. had been closed with Mr. …….. for some time and he’d gone, Mr. C. “gonged” for me and said “Telephone to Mr. Bowen and ask him to step into the Colonel’s office and ask what has become of the Colonel’s automobile. Just say I’ve been dressed and waiting for more than a week. If anything’s the matter with the ’mobile I’d like to know so that I can undress and go to bed and have some sleep” [MTP: TS 47]. Note: the name omitted in the second line was likely because she wasn’t sure if he’d been talking to Mr. Herbert E. Bowen.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Sent a little Satan MS. to Col. Harvey. / ‘A Humane Word from Satan.’ It’s about the Rockefeller gift to the American Board” [of Missions] [MTP TS 9]. Note: “A Humane Word from Satan” ran in Harper’s Weekly for Apr. 8, p. 496. The piece was signed “Satan.”
Daniel Carter Beard wrote on Recreation Magazine (NY) letterhead to Sam.
I fear that in my visit to you I stayed too long and tried you; but when I get with a man of your stamp it is very difficult to decide upon the time to get away. My interest is so aroused and you have a way of so stirring up my feelings that if it were not for decency’s sake, I would have stayed all day.
However, what I want to say is that I appreciate the compliment which you paid me by reading to me that delightful prayer…
I have in hand a letter from the secretary of the Society of Illustrators asking me if I can prevail upon you to accept a dinner given by them. I told them that you were ill and in mourning and I did not think that it would even be proper for me to ask you…[MTP]. Note: Beard’s visit was on Mar. 11; also see Sam’s reply of Mar. 30.
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam. “Mr. H.H. Lewis who was one time editor of Ainslee’s wants an interview with you for the Woman’s Home Companion, a periodical with a circulation of 400,000 among the ordinary women of America. What do you think?” Duneka had just read Sam’s “letter from Hell,” and thought it great [MTP].
March 25 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Duneka says of the Satan letter ‘That it is great[’]. Boy come today with proof. / Count Lewenhaupt began treatment today for Mr. Clemens—$2.00 a treatment. / Mr. Clemens dined with Mr & Mrs. Rogers” [MTP TS 9]
Poultney Bigelow wrote on Boston University Law School letterhead to Sam. “This top line gives you a notion of where I am and what I am doing and that I’m thinking of you and wondering if you’re happy and well and if the KELGREN magic still works in your blood.” Bigelow planned to pass through NYC on Mar. 25 on his way to speak at West Point and if Sam would be in he would stop by. He wrote of his work in Boston and invited Sam there any time [MTP].
Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote from Cambridge, Mass. to Clemens, happy at the news that Sam would be their neighbor in Dublin, N.H., and hoping to see a lot of him [MTP].
Robert Underwood Johnson for the National Institute of Arts wrote to Sam, announcing a meeting of the fifteen members for Saturday, April 22 at the Aldine Assoc. 111 Fifth Ave at 1:15 p.m. to elect the next five members [MTP].
Charles Macllevy for the Plasmon Company of America wrote to Sam, announcing a stockholder meeting Room 63, 111 Broad St., NYC at 2:30 p.m. on Apr. 27, 1905, the purpose to elect five directors and two Inspectors of Election [MTP].
Roland Phillips for Harper’s Weekly wrote to Sam, enclosing the proof of “A Humane Word from Satan”—could he look it over and return it with the messenger boy? [MTP].
March 26 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Dear Col. Higginson,—I early learned that you would be my neighbor in the Summer & I rejoiced, recognizing in you & your family a large asset. I hope for frequent intercourse between the two households. I shall have my youngest daughter with me. The other one will go from the rest-cure in this city to the rest-cure in Norfolk Conn. & we shall not see her before autumn. We have not seen her since the middle of October.
Jean (the youngest daughter) went to Dublin & saw the house & came back charmed with it. I know the Thayers of old—manifestly there is no lack of attractions up there. Mrs. Thayer & I were shipmates in a wild excursion perilously near 40 years ago.
You say you “send with this” the story. Then it should be here but it isn’t, when I send a thing with another thing, the one thing goes but the thing doesn’t, I find it later—still on the premises. Will you look it up now & send it?
Aldrich was here half an hour ago, like a breeze from over the fields, with the fragrance still upon his spirit. I am tired of waiting for that man to get old [MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters, p.771]. Note: of course, Mrs. Thayer was once Emiline Beach and shipmate on the Quaker City / Sincerely yours …
Isabel Lyon’s journal: As I walked along the hall just now I heard Mr. Clemens’s dear voice call “Come up Aldrich!” and then I had a glimpse of Mr. Aldrich’s baldish head and stalwart shoulders as he came up the stairs. (He’d been waiting for Count Lewenhaupt the osteopath to go.) The good splendid laughing of the two men comes up to me here. If human beings could be “machines” what rarely fine machines they’d be—some. In today’s Sun there is an interview with Col. Harvey and he said a lot of worthwhile things—best to me was of course what he said about Mr. Clemens in his bed—“the biggest bed he ever saw.”
This morning when I went into Mr. Clemens’s room he asked me something about Moses and the 10 Commandments, and that led up to making Mr. Clemens say “If those ten Commandments had never been written, man would be making some for himself. He has to have a code—he’d be saying, Thou shalt not sit up all night. Thou shalt not drink coffee at midnight. Thou shalt not eat cabbage & beans. They would all be commandments that he is in need of and he wouldn’t be happy if he wasn’t making them to break”
A couple of nights ago Mr. Clemens was speaking of the way in which certain words always elude him. One of the words is “stimulate”—he said that he has not used that word 3 times in all his wirtings. Another word is the equivalent for reimburse i.e. “indemnify”. The word never reaches him when he is most in need of it and he cannot always have a thesaurus at his elbow [MTP: TS 47-48]. Also in part, Gribben 562, Fables of Man 121.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Today Mr. Clemens saw Mr. Aldrich, Mr. Poultney Bigelow, Mr. Moncure D. Conway, Mr. Gilder, & Prof. Sloane. / Mr. Clemens is writing an appreciation of Mr. Howells” [MTP TS 9].
March 26 – early April – In a supplement to a June, 1913 American Post review, the tale is told of Sam attending a performance of Benjamin Chapin playing Lincoln on stage. NY Times (Mar. 25, p. X1) gives the first week’s performance began on Mar. 26. The article and a letter (uncollected) Sam sent to Chapin’s secretary.
MARK TWAIN AND PARTY
By One of the Party
August Belmont, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Clarence H. Mackay, Robert Collier and other members of the Executive Committee of the Lincoln Farm Association, were holding a session when the proposal was made that they attend Benjamin Chapin’s four act character play, “Lincoln,” then running for the first time in New York, at the Liberty Theatre.
This group of men dined together before the play. When it came time to attend the performance, Mark Twain refused to go. His friends urged, but he was obdurate. General Horace Porter, formerly ambassador to France, and a friend of Mr. Lincoln’s, and Mr. William Dean Howells, the novelist joined the party, and Mark Twain finally went with the others, but went reluctantly, declaring that he did not want some young buck in stage costume and makeup to muss up his own mental picture and memory of Lincoln. When the curtain went up on the first act he sat far back in the box but in a few minutes he came forward and was soon lost in the play.
After the third act he asked to be taken back upon the stage that he might meet Mr. Chapin, and, behind the scenes, as if he could not shake off the illusion that it was the real living Lincoln, he addressed Mr. Chapin as Lincoln: “I am very glad to meet you again, Mr. President. You haven’t changed much in all these years.”
On leaving the theatre that evening he walked down the aisle (with the writer of this account, who had dined with the party and heard Mark Twain’s opposition to going), and he made this comment: “I wanted to keep my memory and thought of Lincoln unmarred by any disappointment in seeing a make-up imitation. But I am glad that I came, very glad. I feel as though I had spent an evening with Lincoln at the White House. I think I know Lincoln a little more intimately now. Mr. Chapin certainly gave a remarkable performance—he got me over the footlights.”
The next morning Mr. Chapin’s secretary received the following letter from Mr. Clemens:
“In the beginning of the first act, while Mr. Chapin did seem to me to be a very close and happy imitation of Mr. Lincoln, it was only an imitation. But at that point the miracle began. Little by little, step by step, by an imperceptible evolution the artificial Lincoln dissolved away and the living and real Lincoln was before my eyes and remained real until the end. I apply to it, that strong word ‘miracle’ because I think it justified. I think that I have not before seen so interesting a spectacle as this steady growth and transformation of an unreality into a reality.”
March 27 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
My head is full of obstetrical hooks and slants and jabs for today I began to study shorthand. I don’t see how anyone can ever put soul into that sort of writing. It would seem wrong to put down Mr. Clemens’s thoughts like that—but it’s for Mr. Clemens’s thoughts that I’m trying to learn it.
It is very lonely without Saint Mother, but who am I that I should be lonely in the presence of a loveliness like Mr. Clemens’s [MTP: TS 47].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Telephoned asking Mr. Doubleday to call. He called [visited] & talked about Mr. Rogers. / Dr. Oppenheimer answered Mr. Clemens’s note of Mar. 22 [not extant]. He is irritated” [MTP TS 9]
In Rochester, N.Y., a high school girl, Hilda Farrar, wrote to Sam asking his advice on what to read before writing an essay on Joan of Arc. She had read his article in Harper’s “with great pleasure” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s answer is catalogued “on or after Mar. 27,” but it is highly unlikely a letter from Rochester would have reached N.Y.C the same day; Mar. 28 ca. is estimated.
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam.
I have thought the matter over very carefully, and conclude that I do not want anything published. I don’t see how I can get around to it. There does not seem to be any occasion for it in the first place, and then I don’t see how I could quite talk to you as freely as you would want [MTHHR 582-3]. Note: Frank N. Doubleday had sought a biographical article on Rogers for the World’s Work (see Doubleday to Sam, Mar. 23).
John Larkin wrote to Sam, enclosing his “bill for services rendered to you as Executor of this Estate” [Livy’s] [MTP].
W. Robson for the Plasmon Company of America sent another stockholder meeting announcement for Apr. 27 at 2:30 p.m. [MTP].
March 28 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Seymour Eaton.
Dear Sir: May I ask you to tell me if there is any sale for my family’s stock? I am advised to offer it at auction here, but would it not be better to auction it in Philadelphia where it is no doubt best known? Or, will the Company make me an offer? I think there is seven or eight thousand dollars’ worth of the stock; I do not know the exact figure, because all of it but the first two hundred shares was bought by the family & servants & a visiting relative without consulting me, a thing which I regarded as most unfortunate.
May I ask the courtesy of a reply by an early mail? / Sincerely yours … [MTP]. Note: Sam owned shares in Tabard Inn Co. See Apr. 1 for Eaton’s reply.
Sam also wrote to Edward Everett Hale.
Dear Dr. Hale: / Howells has sent me your letter to him in which it is proposed that Wayne MacVeagh go into court & test common-law possibilities on The Man Without a Country. Howells offers me what I regard as a privilege: an opportunity to contribute to the expenses. I will send you a hundred dollars whenever—now, or when you give me notice.
It seems odd—but not surprising—that we must go back to the comparatively dark ages to get a breath of fresh morals. Twentieth Century Civilization—when we consider the innocent pride which we take in it—is surely the most sarcastic sarcasm which our race has put on the market for many centuries—perhaps a million.
If anybody can make that case succeed, it is Wayne MacVeagh—a straight man, & gifted. It is a grand idea, in any case, & we must go ahead with it, win or lose. I am older than you are, as I know by tallying-off my perished interests & counting up the several that are left alive, but I am not destitute of interest in this scheme—far from it. No, I am as young as you, in this matter.
I am going to hope that we can land a success, and empty all the puerile & mephitic copyright-laws down Congress’s throat, or some other sewer. / Sincerely … [MTP].
Notes: See Gribben p. 285 under Hale for MT’s various references to The Man Without a Country, which Sam used as a phrase several times, including LM, FE, and to describe himself after Livy’s death. Hale was third on Sam’s nomination list for nominees to the American Academy of Arts and Letters ( Apr. 28 to Johnson). Hale published the story in 1863. See also Mar. 15 ca. entry and then MTHL 2: 797n2: Wayne MacVeagh would refuse to argue the copyright issues on Hale’s story because he was not persuaded there was a common-law right in literary ownership.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: I came across the drawings by Dan Beard for “The Yankee at the Court of King Arthur”—and they are great.
Alfred F. Kreymborg, that’s the name of the young man steeped in music and high ideals. He played through 15 rolls of music for me up at Aeolion Hall and he said that Beethoven and Emerson had been his greatest teachers. Beethoven he put first.
On top of a bus I rode up to 85th Street with Wallis. Oh, it was beautiful [MTP: TS 47].
Note: Alfred F. Kreymborg (1883-1966), noted American poet, playwright and novelist. He wrote a short piece “Chess Reclaims a Devotee,” a memoir of time spent in 1910 and 1911 trying to make it as a chess professinal in NYC. In chess literature he is most famous for two games that he lost: a classic rook and pawn endgame against Jose Raul Capablanca (1888-1942), world champion (1921-1927) and a horrendous loss to Oscar Chajes (1873-1928), Austrian chess player and the last person to defeat Capablanca.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens received a letter from Mr. Howells which Dr. Hale wrote to Mr. Howells, on a copy right subject, & Mr. Clemens replied to Dr. Hale. / Mr. Clemens & Jean dined with Dr & Mrs. Rice” [MTP TS 9-10] Note: in this journal #2 (Daily Reminder) Lyon often uses the “&” instead of “and,” leading this editor to suspect that in the original MS of journal #1 she also observed that abbreviation, much as Clemens did in his letter writing. Also, she varied the convention for periods and commas to fall inside of quotation marks, following what today is the British convention. No “correction” of such inconsistency has been made in this volume.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam.
Dear Mr. Clemens:
I managed to find [Charles S.] Fairchild in yesterday, after many calls. He said he had seen you on Sunday, and that there was nothing new about the cashier. He continues to expect an amicable settlement.
Please sign enclosed proxy covering the forthcoming annual meeting of the Plasmon Company [MTP].
F.W. Stone for Review of Reviews wrote on The American Monthly Review of Reviews letterhead, soliciting Sam to apply for a specimen copy of The Historians’ History of the World, as the introductory offer “must be withdrawn immediately” [MTP].
March 28 ca. – On or just after this date Sam wrote an answer on the bottom of Farrar’s Mar. 27: “Look at the bottom of the article entitled Joan of Arc in any Cyclopedia & you will find all the books that have been written about her” [MTP; amended date estimate].
March 29 Wednesday – Sam read his essay “William Dean Howells” to the household. In April he would send this piece and the final MS of Christian Science to Frederick A. Duneka at Harper’s [Hill 101].
Sam wrote to William H. Pearson for the N.Y. Produce Exchange, Safe Deposit and Storage Co. His letter is not extant but is referred to in Pearson’s reply of the following day, Mar. 30. See entry.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Tonight Mr. Clemens read us an appreciation that he has written of Mr. Howells. It is beautiful, the strength of his pen is marvelous” [MTP: TS 47].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Mr. Twichell has grippe…
Today Mr. Clemens replied to Dr. Oppenheimer [not extant].
Mr. Clemens signed a paper making Mr. Ashcroft his proxy in the forth coming Plasmon Co. meeting.
Notice came today that various “Tabard Inn” Business houses have gone into the hands of a receiver.
Mr. Clemens read the MS. of his appreciation of Mr. Howells [MTP TS 10]. Note: see also Mar. 22, 27, 29 and November, 1905 for items related to Oppenheimer.
March 30 Thursday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Daniel Carter Beard.
Dear Dan Beard: / You did not stay too long. That is settled.
2. I don’t think the [War] prayer will be published in
my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth. (I am offering a
very small laugh at the Rockefeller-American-Board comedy. Now, slight as it is, I would not
blame Harvey if he should say it isn’t good policy to print it; for he is
responsible to his Co & should not permit laughs which could injure its
I am grateful to the Illustrators for that thought, & to you for explaining my situation. Yonder in the future somewhere I hope the thought will occur again [MTP]. Note: Beard had called on Clemens on Mar. 11. See also his Mar. 24 to Clemens.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: A little change has taken place in the routine of my life, and it has unbalanced me. I cannot yet arrange my forces. Oh, Santissima [Clara], you who make a shrine of any house you inhabit, you who are a gift to every one who falls under your sweet thrall. Oh, Santissima—
I bend my head in silent worship of your flower soul, and of the white, white soul—the rainbow soul backed by the black clouds of experience—of your father [MTP: TS 49]. Note: the change is not specified.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Doubleday said by telephone—in answer to inquiring from Mr. Clemens—that he had talked with Mr. Rogers by telephone, & that Mr. Rogers is going to make an appointment to talk with Mr. Doubleday for an article in the work[s]” [MTP TS 10].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam, having rec’d the proxy, and giving details for Plasmon Co. machinations, including Hammond reportedly willing to bid up to $25,000 for the company assets at auction. He also said “Pin affairs are all right,” and had arranged with Stanchfield that the three of them would each have one-third interest in an option on the new “locking” safety pin patents [MTP]. Note: Spiral Pin Co., another of Ashcroft’s interests.
Edward Everett Hale wrote to Sam, thanking him for his promise of help on his copyright battle [MTP].
Elizabeth Jordan for Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam. “Your manuscript, ‘A Helpless Situation’ contains about 2,000 words. As it is not a story, I am a little at a loss to know what sum you have in mind as proper payment. Kindly write me…”[MTP].
John Larkin wrote to Sam. “I have your letter and check in payment of bill rendered in this Estate. / The bill will be receipted and filed in the Surrogate’s office as a voucher / Yours truly” …[MTP].
William H. Pearson for the N.Y. Produce Exchange, Safe Deposit and Storage Co. wrote to Sam. “In reply to your favor of the 29th inst [not extant] would say that we do not recognize an order, but that Miss Lyon can be admitted with Miss K.I. Harrison, who is a joint tenant with you, if they come together” [MTP].
Joseph J. Roche wrote on “CONSULAR SERVICE, U.S.A” note pad to Sam. “I trust the enclosed may be of sufficient interest to you to excuse this intrustion” [MTP]. Note: enclosed not in file.
Mrs. Frederick W. Russell sent Sam an engraved invitation to the marriage of her daughter Mary Wilcox to Mr. John Davenport Cheney at 4 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford [MTP].
March 31 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tomorrow Mother is coming up.
The pot hooks do not stay in my brain for the brain is deranged.
“Passed Michael Kelly with a load of shlabs.” That’s what the Irishman passed after he took a pill. It must be so for Katie said it [MTP: TS 49].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Lewenhaupt [likely designating an osteopathic treatment for Clemens]
Mr. Clemens received a reply to his letter to Dr. Hale, & he sent the reply with a letter note to Col. Harvey to interest him as a publisher—perhaps—
Mr. Clemens signed a paper as a patron for a benefit to be given for madame Modieska [sic Modjeska]—Mrs. Gilder and Paderewski are planning it [MTP TS 10]. Note: Helena Modjeska (1840-1909), famous actress who specialized in Shakespearean roles. Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) Polish pianist, composer, diplomat, who became Prime Minister of Poland in 1919.
Florence J. Lewis wrote to Sam, enclosing a sheet of four questions from the Boston Herald. “Please don’t deprive me of your reply….for without it I shall feel dreadfully lopsided!”[MTP].
April – Review of Reviews (London) published an anonymous article, “If Emperors Were All Stripped Naked” p. 375. Tenney: “Summary of ‘The Czar’s Soliloquy,’ which appeared in North American Review in March .
Connecticut Magazine published “Mark Twain’s Autobiography, 1872” [Tenney 40]. Note: The actual title was “Mark Twain—His Autobiography” which ran in the magazine for April-May-June, 1905. It is a reprinting of “Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography” (1871), later in The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906).
April 1 Saturday – Bambino, the cat which owned Mark Twain (no one owns a cat) was lost but later in the day came back. Sam had written an ad offering a reward, but canceled before it went into the paper. Still, the NY Herald ran this article on p.9 the following day, Apr. 2:
MARK TWAIN’S CAT CAME BACK.
Black Pet Mourned by the Humorist Again
Brightens his Home.
Mark Twain lost his cat yesterday [Apr. 1]—a peculiar cat, which had to be seen in certain lights to have its beauties properly displayed. It was a cat even more to be admired than the jumping frog of Calaveras, for it was intensely black—Stygian, Egyptian, sable, even—but with a faint white line across its breast, discernible only under the most favorable conditions. Late last night the cat came back, and the advertisements sent to the morning papers offering alluring rewards for the return of Tom were hastily cancelled. This was the “ad”— from the pen of the great humorist himself:
A CAT LOST — FIVE DOLLARS REWARD for his restoration to Mark Twain, No. 21 Fifth avenue.: large and intensely black; thick, velvety fur; has a faint fringe of white hair across his chest; not easy to find in ordinary lights.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Bambino is gone.
Mr. and Mrs. Twichell came for over Sunday.
Mr. Clemens advertised Bambino in the Journal and The Tribune.
I went to the station to meet Mother. We had supper together and we found Bambino. We chased him back and forth across 9th street and finally I caught him in the yard of 25 5th Avenue. When I brought Bambino in this evening I gave him to Mr. Clemens’s care. He was pacing the library, smoking with his head held high. (He never paces the length of the room with his eyes on the floor—but always with his head thrown back, and usually with a clipping or sheaf of ms. or an open book in his hand). He took Bambino and held him on outstretched hands (cats like that position when Mr. Clemens holds them) and as he paced he talked to him in a low voice, guessing at his adventures and telling him he was quite right to take advantage of all his privileges and he wondered how many harlots he had enjoyed. It must have been more than one for he had been away a long time and seemed tired. Bambino blinked up at him with his great yellow eyes and replied in his tender purry notes.
Tonight Mr. Clemens read the Postman chapter of the Admiral story. Down into the deeps of the human heart he goes and he touches the tragedies of each one that he probes, with an unerring hand [MTP: TS 49].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Bambino wandered away at midnight.
Bambino advertised in “American” & “Tribune”.
Bambino found after a chase on 9th St. & Fifth Ave. 9:30 PM.
Mr. & Mrs. Twichell arrived for a day or so.
Mr. Clemens read the Postman chapter in the Admiral Story [MTP TS 10-11].
Seymour Eaton wrote on The Tabard Inn Corp. letterhead (Phila.) to Sam.
“I do not believe that under existing conditions it is either possible or wise to sell your shares but at the same time I wish to say that the circumstances of the last few days have cleared the air very much and I am sure that the outcome will be largely in the best interest of shareholders…” [MTP]. Note: this Company owned the Booklovers Magazine, in which Sam had invested. This may be the letter that Lyon refers to in her Apr. 3 journal #2 entry.
Luis Jackson wrote a fan letter on Hotel Carlton letterhead (NYC) to Sam, complimenting him on his NAR article on the Russian Czar, “The Czar’s Soliloquy.” Jackson recalled a conversation on the Boston train with Sam, “just before you left for Australia” [MTP].
Miss Marion Thurston Tibbits a high school girl in Denver, Colo. wrote an adoring fan letter [MTP].
Jean Clemens’ letter dated Mar. 10 to Harper’s Weekly editor ran in this day’s edition. See Mar. 10 entry.
Saturday Review ran an anonymous review of A Dog’s Tale p. 525. Tenney: “The ‘very tedious and pointless jocularity at the outset’ damages the book, and ‘we get very tired of the canine autobiographer.’ The ‘illustrations show more understanding of dogs than is to be found in the text, which will appeal only to confirmed sentimentalists.’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 173].
April 2 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: This morning when I was searching through the multitudious letters in the study, for the one that gives me the true history of “The Postman Who Stole from the Mails”, and so furnish the material for the chapter in the Admiral’s Story, the gong gonged and I went out in the hall to find Mr. Poultney Bigelow saying “Mr. Clemens is clamoring for Miss Lyon.” I went in to answer the simple question “Had Count Lewenhaupt [the osteopath] a settled telephone address? Mr. Bigelow wants a treatment.” “No Count Lewenhaupt is a bird of passage even yet, No telephone number.” I have often wanted to see Mr. Bigelow—his breezy post cards with their big breezy signature from all quarters of the globe have interested me. His face doesn’t make you see all the life he’s lived [MTP: TS 49]. Note: “The Admiral’s Cat” became “The Refuge of the Derelicts.”
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Poultney Bigelow called this morning. / General Sickles called this afternoon, but Mr. Clemens & Mr. Twichell were out” [MTP TS 11].
April 3 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mother and I went to a delicious little restaurant, Italian—around in 10th Street. There we met Lilian Griffin. We had a friendly chat and enjoyed the Chianti and the macaroni. The Griffins’s have a studio here on 25th St. and Walter is painting portraits. Lilian is quite stout and looks matronly.
The Aphrodite is going to be placed on exhibition again. I must manage a view of it, and the exhibition of pictures too, up on 57th Street [MTP TS 49-50]. Note: see also Sam’s of Feb. 26.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Lewenhaupt / Mr. Clemens received a note from Slymond Galone [sic] saying that there is hope for the Tabard June [sic Tabard Inn] Corporation” [MTP TS 11]. Note: Seymour Eaton wrote Sam on Apr. 1 from Phila. on Tabard Inn Corp. Letterhead; this name likely was transcribed incorrectly. Clemens owned stock in the enterprise.
George B. Harvey wrote to Sam. “I have your note with the enclosure from Dr. Hale, but although I have read it through twice I cannot tell what it is about. Possibly you can inform me.” Harvey reported that his auto was “running like a bird,” and was at Sam’s “disposal any day except” weekends, if he would let him know a day or two ahead [MTP].
April 4 Tuesday – Richard Watson Gilder for Century Magazine wrote to Sam.
I have read with great interest the offer of Leroy Bowman to you. It seems to me that this is the opportunity of your life—but why divide the profits with any one except Bowman? If he will appear on any platform in New York dressed as per, you introducing him, and in the course of fifteen or twenty minutes coming back to the stage in order to carry his remains into the wings, you will both of you reap a rich reward [MTP]. Note: Gilder may have referred to Leroy Edward Bowman (1887-1971), active in New York’s Liberal Party and author of several books, but he would have been 18 at this time. Bowman’s “offer” is not specified. A search of NY newspapers for 1905 did not turn up Bowman’s name.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Dentist appointment, 12. M. / Mr. Rogers called this morning” [MTP TS 11].
April 5 Wednesday – Sam read the MS of an article by Isaac Frederick Marcosson about H.H. Rogers for the World’s Work [Gribben 479: Lyon’s Journal, no TS given; Bowe 42]. Note: Sam “conferred” with Rogers on the article the next day, Apr. 6. He had acted as a go between for Frank N. Doubleday, publisher of World’s Work, and Rogers.
At 21 Fifth Ave. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Robbins Battell Stoeckel.
Dear Sir: / According to Dr. Quintards advice Mr. Clemens directs me to send herewith his check for 20000 as first payment for rent of Cottage in Norfolk, Conn.
Mr Clemens wishes me to ask you to have the lease drawn from May 1st to Nov 1st if this is possible—
Dr. Quintard has said that you will take charge of Miss Clemens’s accounts, therefore Mr. Clemens directs me to say that it will be best to have you ask Mrs Braten Geier to send all bills to you direct [marked: “Approved by Mr. Clemens” with this date] [MTP].
Note: Dr. Edward Quintard (aka Ward Quintard) of N.Y.C. was a summer resident in Norfolk. Jean Clemens described Quintard as “having a woman’s complexion; he is small, round, with laughing blue eyes and light auburn hair” [Hill 249].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment at 10.15, paid [Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments]
Mr. Ashcroft called at 11 –
Dr. Quintard came in to make arrangements for the first payment to be made to Judge Robbins Battel Staetel [sic Robbins Battell Stoeckel] of Norfolk—for rent of Cottage for Miss Clemens [Clara] to use during the coming summer. Rent $500—
First payment $200
Mr. Clemens read more of the Poorman MS. this evening.
This afternoon Mr. Clemens received MS of an article about Mr. Rogers, written by Mr. Mocasson for the World’s Work [MTP TS 11].
Note: World’s Work published the article in the May issue; see May entry. Robbins Battell Stoeckel (1872-1951), Yale graduate of 1889; NY Law School 1895; served as Judge of Probate, Norfolk District, until his retirement in 1942. He was active in community service. This from Yale’s site on the family papers: “The Stoeckel and Battell families both played crucial roles in the development of music at Yale University. Gustave Jacob Stoeckel (1819-1907) [Robbins’ father] was the first professor of music at Yale. Robbins Battell (1819-1895) was a generous Yale philanthropist as well as an amateur composer.”
Sebastiano V. Cecchi wrote to Sam, enclosing a document that Senator Luchini wished Sam to sign before the Italian consul in NYC. Also, he added, “I received your telegram concerning the previous power of attorney” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s telegram is not extant, but likely a day or two before this.
April 6 Thursday – Sam conferred with H.H. Rogers about the MS of an article by journalist Isaac Frederick Marcosson about Rogers [Gribben 479: Lyon’s Journal, no TS given]. Note: Sam had read the MS on Apr. 5. He would discuss the article with Mocasson on Apr. 7. See Boewe.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Bambino spends the nights in my room. Saunters in, sits for an hour or so in the open window and jumps with his honey sweet speech upon my bed, nestles for a few minutes or for a longer time, and he’s a sweet companion. So beautiful too. You can look at him and say, “You are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,” and it destroys nothing. But you can’t look at a human being with the light of appreciation in your eyes, for they resent it, and you’ve been insolent, and it’s none of your damn business if they are a feast for the eye [MTP: TS 50].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Dentist 11. oclock / Mr. Rogers called this morning to see MS. of article about himself. / Mr. Clemens saw Mr Macasson [sic] about the above article [MTP TS 11]. Note: World’s Work ran the article “Henry H. Rogers—Monopolist” in the May issue, by John S. Gregory, which included anecdotes involving Mark Twain. Just who “Moccason” was is not clear, perhaps an editor for the publication or a pseudonym for Gregory. See May entry.
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to advise Sam that $1,000 had been transferred from Guaranty Trust to the Lincoln National Bank, and also deposited Harpers’ check for $583.33 [MTHHR 583].
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam. “I have communicated with Mr. Benjamin in reference to the trolley contract, and he advises me to hold the contract temporarily…as there are one or two matters yet to be adjusted in reference to the Casey place at Tarrytown” [MTP]. Note: a trolley company had placed tracks on part of Sam’s Tarrytown property, thus creating a cloud on the title.
C.L. Stebbins for American Unitarian Assoc. (Boston) wrote to Sam, sending him the first volume in a series, “True American Types.” Each volume was to be about 10,000 words, and he quoted from their catalog, reassuring these were not to be religious or denominational: “short sketches, of the sterling American manhood which travels along the by-paths of life rather than in the highways of fame.” Of course he wanted Sam to contribute or send remarks [MTP].
J.L. Stern for Manhattan Single Tax Club wrote to Sam asking for “a few lines” to be read at a dinner honoring the 19th annual celebration of Jefferson’s birthday [MTP].
April 6, ca. – On or after Apr. 6 at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to C.L. Stebbins: “Impossible for Mr. Clemens to get away from his work at his time of life—” [MTP].
April 7 Friday – Sam discussed the MS of an article by journalist Isaac Frederick Marcosson about H.H. Rogers [IVL #2 TS 12; Gribben 479]. Note: Sam read the article on Apr. 5 and spoke with Rogers on Apr. 6. The article ran in the May issue of World’s Work.
At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Robert Underwood Johnson.
“Mr. Clemens wishes me to say that he intends to be present at the conference which is called for Saturday April 22nd at the Aldine Association. Mr. Clemens has delayed notifying you of his intention, owing to necessity” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Mr. Clemens went down town with Mr. Rogers. Took Ins. Policy to Safety Deposit Co. cut coupons—went to Harper, saw Mr. Duneka about Josiah Flyent [sic Flint]—& other things.
Mr. Smith—heating expert from Mr. John Howells’s office looked over the house this morning, to make estimate for new furnace.
Mr. Mocasson [sic Marcosson] called with MS.—
Mr. Day & the Misses Day dined here.
Mr. Clemens sent MSS of C.S. Book, & Howells article to Mr. Duneka [MTP TS 12].
Note: “C.S. Book” was “Christian Science” MS, not published until 1907. Josiah Flynt (properly Josiah Flint Willard) (1869-1907) sociologist and author of several books, including Tramping with Tramps: Studies and Sketches of Vagabond Life (1901) which was inscribed by Flynt to Mark Twain [Gribben 777]. See Josiah Flint Willard to Sam Apr. 12, 1906; Sam to Willard Apr. 13, 1906.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote to John T. Lewis, sending insoles. Ashcroft was trying to gain control of the rights to manufacture these [MTP]. Note: this is cataloged in error to Clemens.
Sidney C. Davidge wrote from NYC to Sam, announcing entertainment for the benefit of the families of Japanese soldiers and sailors killed in the present war. The meeting was to be at the house of Mrs. Mason C. Davidge, 62 South Washington Sq. at 11 a.m. on Apr. 14. Julia Ward Howe would preside. Clemens was urgently invited but not asked to speak [MTP].
Frederick A. Duneka wrote two letters to Sam. The first note, hand-written: “just a memorandum to call to mind your promise to let me have the ‘Christian Science Book’ and the article on Howells. He added a PS “It seemed mighty good to see you out again today.” The second note, typed: “This is just to acknowledge the receipt of the MS. Of the Christian Science Book,—of the article on William Dean Howells, and of the Italian book which is to be bound for Miss Jean” [MTP].
E.P. Rosenthal wrote on E.P. Rosenthal and Co., Publishers (Chicago) letterhead to Sam.
“Today I am sending you another volume and as I am anxious for you to get it as quickly as possible we will run the risk of sending it in the ordinary manner. So if we are lucky, you will get ‘Thoughts of a Fool’ by some mail.” Rosenthal wanted Sam’s thoughts—was this work funny? [MTP]. Note: Thoughts of a Fool (1905) by Herman Kuehn (1853-1918; pseud. Evelyn Gladys) [Gribben 389].
April 8 Saturday – Sam’s letter (unsigned) to the editor (as from Satan), “A Humane Word from Satan” first appeared in Harper’s Weekly for Apr. 8, 1905. It was collected in The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906) [Budd, Collected 2: 1010]. Note: the letter poked again at the American Board of Foreign Missions for not accepting donations from John D. Rockefeller.
Sam inscribed in TS (Vol. 20 of the Hillcrest ed., daughter Clara’s copy), a maxim and a dated sketch about the cat Bambino. From Sotheby’s write up:
Tom Sawyer Abroad (volume 20) is perhaps the crowning item in this most desirable of sets of Mark Twain’s works. Not only is there an autograph literary marginal comment identifying in the postmaster Nat Parsons the “quality of Snagsby in Bleak House,” but the blank leaf facing the maxim [the maxim in vol. 20 reads: “Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the truth”—jd] has an autograph sketch by Clemens of a large cat sleeping in an easy chair, captioned “Resply yrs Bambino, Apl. 8/05.” [Sotheby’s sale Apr. 13, 2004, Lot 27]. Note: Sam gifted Hillcrest sets to Clara and Jean on Nov. 27, 1904, and more than once added new comments in Clara’s set.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Mr. Clemens was talking of Jews this morning. He spoke of their high regard for the family. There is little or no divorce among them and their reverence for the aged is commendable” [MTP: TS 50]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens will dine with Mr. & Mrs. Rogers” [MTP TS 12].
Edward Everett Hale wrote to Sam, thanking him for his “cordial assent” to his “proposal to Howells.” Wayne MacVeagh had decided against trying the case, as he did not believe in a perpetual right of copyright [MTP].
William Dean Howells wrote to Sam on Hale’s above letter: “Have you any ideas on the subject?” [MTP; not in MTHL].
Clesson S. Kinney, House of Representatives, Salt Lake City, Utah sent Sam a notice from Alfred Farlow titled “A Friendly Word” upon which Kinney wrote, “What do you think of this? I am in sympathy with your view of the subject. Are they getting so strong that they can dictate what an author may write?” The Farlow article stated that Christian Scientists should “assist publishers in determining the accuracy of matter relating to Christian Science” [MTP].
April 9 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam replied to Clesson S. Kenney’s Apr. 8.
I thank you very much for the Farlow circular.
The question you ask me is, “Are they getting so strong that they can dictate what an author may write?”
Change the word “write” to publish, and the proper answer is—Yes—However, this has been the case for two or three years. / Very Truly Yours [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mother and I went again to Cecchina’s [Italian restaurant on 10th Street]—it was crowded. In the afternoon we went to see some modern pictures, and then we went into the Griffin’s Studio and had some good talk there. As I entered 21 5th Avenue, I saw William Gillette’s beautiful face. He’d been dining here [MTP: TS 50].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Mr. Coburn will come about 5 o’clock with some photographs
Mr. Hapgood called
Mr Elliot “
Mr. Gilett[e] dined here [MTP TS 12]. Note: Alvin Langdon Coburn.
The New York Times, p. SM5 ran a feature article, “A Talk with Mark Twain’s Cat, the Owner Being Invisible.” Bambino, Clara’s (eventually the family’s) cat, was the subject of this humorous article, told by a lady journalist who, unable to speak to Twain, resorted to interviewing his cat. Schmidt credits this unsigned article to Zoe Anderson Norris. Insert: Jean Clemen’s photo of Bambino.
April 10 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Clemens reads to Jean and me in the evenings his ms. of the “Admiral Story.” It is interesting beyond words. Mr. Clemens does probe so into understandings of humanity. He appreciates the beauty of many lives, the fearful tragedies of them—but he won’t admit that they’re anything but machines.
I went down to see Miss Harrison this morning for Mr. Clemens. She is tall, severe, business-like and well worth the ten thousand that Mr. Rogers pays her [MTP: TS 50].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment. [Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments]
Mr. Clemens sent down 8[?] Miss Harrison the following coupons.
1 Brooklyn Gas $30.
10 U.S. Steel. 25.
due May 1—
20 Internation Navigation 25.
due in Aug.
Mr. Clemens read more of the Admiral MS. The admiral explains Adams inexperience in punishment [MTP TS 12-13].
Olga Woodruff Campbell wrote from Kansas City, Mo. to thank Sam for his picture sent [MTP].
April 10 ca. – Now back in N.Y.C., William Dean Howells wrote a sentence to Sam on Edward Everett Hale’s note dated Hampton Institute, Va., Apr. 8: “Have you any ideas on this subject?” [MTHL 2: 797]. Note: see n1&2 of the source for more on the campaign for amendment to existing copyright law.
April 11 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Joseph J. Roche.
I am very much obliged to you for sending the Italian clipping to me.
We are all glad to know, by the cablegrams, that Genoa treated Mr. Hay well, and that he is improving in the mild climate of Italy. (It is a large ‘we’, there being eighty million of us.) [MTP]. Note: John Hay would die July 1, 1905. See also Roche’s Mar. 30.
Sam also wrote to Edmund Dene Morel of the English Congo Reform Assoc. about the rejection of “King Leopold’s Soliloquy” by Harpers for the North American Review. Hawins describes: “Twain wrote Morel that ‘the corporation’ was ‘doubtful about the commercial wisdom of dipping into Leopold’s stinkpot.’ He noted with disgust, ‘They are so situated, by the contract between us, that I cannot make them do right’” [155-6]. Note: Harpers would release the “Soliloquy” to the American Congo Reform Assoc. at Twain’s request. See June 16 to Duneka.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “I bought a red collar for Bambino today. Frantic Bambino who runs away over fences to find his feline kind and exchange confidences [MTP: TS 50]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Representative of a Furnace maker came to examine & make estimate of cost of new furnacing” [MTP TS 13].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo letterhead to Sam, not having heard back from John T. Lewis. “Wouldn’t it be a good plan to get Susie Crane to go and see him and ‘take his measure’?…PS if we could get his ‘shoes’ we could fit him exactly” [MTP]. Note: with insoles.
April 12 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Wednesday 1/2 treatment Paid / Representative of another Furnace house came to make more estimates” [MTP TS 13]. Note: Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments.
April 13 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2:
Mr. Clemens went to meeting of Council of American copyright league, at 4:30.
33 East 17th St.
Mr. R.U. Johnson’s Office—see Page 104
Dentist 11 A.M.
Proof of Mr. Howells appreciation came today. [The article would be published in July’s Harper’s].
Mr. Clemens called at Mr. Coe’s house—
Called also at Miss Clemens’s sanitarium.
Mr. Rogers dined here—Mrs. Rogers is ill [MTP TS 13].
Frank Beardsley wrote from Nottingham, England to thank Sam. He had recently been laid up when a friend brought him a copy of IA, which made him forget about his illness [MTP].
William Evarts Benjamin wrote to Sam, enclosing $250 returned by the Title Guarantee & Trust Co., relating to the Tarrytown sale [MTP]. Note: some $1,500 was held in escrow, likely for clearing the cloud presented by the trolley company’s offending tracks. These were released in segments.
April 14 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “At the meeting of the Copyright League yesterday [Apr. 13], Mr. Clemens stayed long enough to hear Mr. Solberg’s suggestion for a mixed Copyright Commission of authors[,] artists, publishers etc. discussed & accepted. The Commission will recommend extension of Copyright limit” [MTP TS 13].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “The Publisher’s League was to[o] much today”[ibid.].
At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Edward Everett Hale.
Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him thanking you for Mr. Spofford’s letter, and returning it herewith.
He wishes me to say that the copyright matter is moving here; that yesterday he went to a meeting of the American Copyright League and stayed long enough to hear Mr. Solberg’s suggestion for a mixed copyright commission of authors, artists, publishers etc discussed & accepted. The Commission will recommend extension of copyright-limits. The Publishers’ League was to meet to-day, (to pass upon the same matter Mr. Clemens thinks)—he has no news yet. Mr. Clemens & his family leave for Dublin N.H. the first of May to remain until Nov., but he expects to keep in touch with the movement [MTP].
Notes: Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1825-1908), American journalist and publisher, sixth Librarian of Congress (1864-1897); Thorvald Solberg (1852-1949), first Register of Copyrights (1897-1930) in the US Copyright office. An authority on copyright, he played an instrumental role in the formulation of the Copyright Act of 1909. Based on Lyon’s journal entries for Apr. 13 and 14, the Copyright League meeting was held on Apr. 13. Thus, this letter, which had been catalogued as “ca. Apr. 11” is now placed to Apr. 14.
John S. Phillips for American Magazine wrote to Sam: “We sent you a little while ago a copy of ‘The Troll Garden’ by Miss Willa Sibert Cather….We are venturing to call it to the attention of a few people, like yourself, of discernment and appreciation of the better sort of thing” [Gribben 133]. Note: Willa Cather (1873-1947) wrote of frontier life on the Great Plains. The Troll Garden (1905) was a collection of short stories.
April 15 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Mother and I saw Lilian Griffin for a moment in at Cecchina’s at 6:30. Walter has lost his position as instructor at the Art School in Hartford. Mother and I couldn’t get seats at Cecchina’s so we went around to the “Griffoni” and had such a bad dinner. Then we went up to Proctor’s show house to see Henry Lee impersonate Mark Twain. Very bad it was [MTP: TS 51]. See insert for Henry Lee
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens wrote all day without interruptions. / Mr. & Mrs. Gilder & Miss Dorothea dined here” [MTP TS 13].
E.B. Prondfit for Aeolian Co. wrote to Sam, sending, as requested, costs for shipping the Orchestrelle to Keene Station, N.H., totaling $35.50 for boxing, shipping, sending a man to set it up, etc. [MTP]. Note: sometimes misspelled as “Proudfit.”
April 16 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Miss Mary Foote lunched here” [MTP: TS 51]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Sent word to Postman in Dublin N.H. to keep mail for Mr. Clemens. / Mr. Clemens read 40 pages of the Admiral Story MS. this evening—”[MTP TS 14].
April 17 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Col. Harvey dined here. To look at Col. Harvey you’d never think that he was a man with a literary appreciation or that he could talk—but he can and he gave us a very nice dinner party. Then Jean and I left Mr. Clemens and him while we came up to our rooms [MTP: TS 51].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2:
Treatment. Paid. [Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments.]
Dental Appointment 11.30 A.M.
Mr. Clemens went to the Italian Consul to sign a paper enabling Ingegnere Zannoni to act as his representative in the Villa di Quarto case.
Col. Harvey dined here.
Mr. Howells arrived today from Italy [MTP TS 14]. Note: Howells had announced his departure date as Apr. 5—see ca. Mar. 15.
Norm G. Cooper, Insurance wrote from Brooklyn to Sam. “I send you a National Tribune—It may take your mind back to old times in Hannibal—I was there in 57-58-59 working for Mitchell the Jeweler. I remember the Helms, Dr. Duffield, Susan Norton, Theo Eddy—and Sister Eunice, and other[s].” Cooper wanted to “swap old time memories” and asked if Sam recalled a “Soldier paper Cooper’s Coffee Cooler, now defunct” [MTP]. Note: Sam had already left Hannibal by 1857. See Vol. I.
April 18 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Santissima [Clara] is allowed to see her letters—I’ve sent them up to her” [MTP: TS 51]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens lunched with Col. Harvey, and Mr. Howells, and others too. (4 ladies) / Miss Pears came up from Washington to dine with Mr. Clemens” [MTP TS 14].
Edward M.J. Laurence wrote from Perkasie, Penn. to Sam. He was too poor to buy his work on vivisection, but needing it in his work he asked for a gift of it. He informed Sam that he’d seen a recent article in the Churchman “shamefully critizing your work” [MTP].
April 19 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Loomis / Col Harvey took the Palmistry Article—[MTP TS 14]. Note: see Twain’s “Palm Readings” (1905) and the A.D. of Jan. 29, 1907. Playboy Magazine, Dec. 2010 issue gives a peek at Vol. 2 of Autobiography of Mark Twain, to be released in 2012 by the MTP. In this excerpt Twain responds to fortune tellers who were asked to read his handprints without knowing his identity.
William Dean Howells in NYC wrote a sentence to Sam: “At least 3 of us will come to dinner Sunday at 7. (or 7.30?)” [MTHL 2: 798].
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to Sam asking for a check payable to Chase & Barstow for $43,125 for the purchase of “Utah” stock, and please direct it to Miss A. Watson as she might not be in [MTHHR 583n1; MTP].
John S. Phillips for McClure, Phillips & Co. wrote to Sam: “If you don’t get your book won’t you please let me know, and I shall be glad to send you another copy” [MTP]. Note: Phillips had written on Apr. 14 in regards to sending a copy of The Troll Garden (1905) by Willa Cather; here he was following up to see if the book was rec’d. See Gribben 133.
April 20 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. John Howells sent result of the estimates the furnace men made—$2000.00 for the lowest price. / Sent check to Miss Watson for Miss Harrison for $43,125.00 to pay for 1000 shares Utah” [MTP TS 14-15].
Jean Clemens wrote to the Editor of Harper’s Weekly; her letter was published on May 6, 1905 as “The Passing of the Egret,” available online via Google Books.
F.H. Hooper for Encyclopedia Britannica wrote to Sam seeking his testimony in lawsuits they had commenced against pirated “garbled Reprints of the Encyclopedia.” [MTP]. Note: see Hooper’s of Apr. 22, stating that Lyon had “telephoned in” a response on that day.
April 21 Friday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Dear H. H. / I was going to wait, that day, but the sky, up the river, began to loom so black that I rushed away to escape the storm. It wasn’t much of a success. I got 40% of it.
Baker beats the band!—Thus far. Each of the band has inspected the case—& decided it—from one or another of 13 points of view, but Baker’s battery works the whole 13. It is my opinion that there is nothing quite so delightful elsewhere in all the literature of dialectics as his naïve picture of the repentant harlot cleansing the American Board’s unsanitary feet with Standard Oil & tears, & wiping them with the hair which he hasn’t got.
I believe it would not be improper for Mr. Rockefeller to kill Baker—certainly not immoral. In fact this is a corrective which ought always to be applied to one’s over-zealous friends, wherever caught. I think it is St. Paul who says, “Oh, damn the over-zealous friend.”
Presently I will send the Baker clipping to Joe, but not yet—I want to study it.
I am making note of the fact that the yacht goes into commission May 1. Also, that you will drop in, when well & strong, & assault 451. Good—then I will arrange so that you can get a box for $4—(a bottle of champagne goes with every box.)
I’m getting well & strong in my crippled back—my man can best all the osteopaths & all the masseurs, & give them odds in the game. Yours (not much tainted but not wholly disinfected) / SLC [MTHHR 584-5].
Note: Source notes add several important facts: “Evidence in MTP indicates that it is extremely unlikely the ‘over-zealous friend’ Clemens mentions was W.H. Baker of Fairhaven, but no relevant comment by anyone named Baker has been found in contemporary periodicals.” A stronger contender was Ray Stannard Baker (1870-1946; pseud. David Grayson), muckraking journalist with Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens at McClure’s (from 1898) and in 1906 formed The American Magazine with the pair. Some Congregational Church ministers had denounced the American Board of Foreign Missions for taking a donation of $100,000 from John D. Rockefeller. Rogers had defended Rockefeller and how he had accumulated his wealth.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Treatment Paid. / Mr. Clemens worked all day— / Miss Nesmith arrived” [MTP TS 15]. Note: Miss Mabel Nesmith, a friend of Jean’s. Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam.
I enclose a literal copy of letter received this morning from [John T.] Lewis. He is evidently wearing the insoles upside down, If he cannot change the plates back again, I will have to get a new pair.
Mr. Stanchfield was in on Wednesday, and I will find out to-morrow on what terms, if any, we can get control of this insole. …[he wrote an anecdote of a rheumatism sufferer helped by the insoles]
Mr. Stanchfield remarked that Butters was willing to make some sort of a settlement, but that Wheeler was preventing him from doing so until his (Wheeler’s) return to New York. I suppose Wheeler has told Butters he can settle with you and Stanchfield much more cheaply than Butters can settle with a California law firm. I may be able to find out what is the maximum amount that Butters is willing to pay…then when Wheeler comes along and offers about half the amount, we will know how to handle him [MTP]. Note: John T. Lewis of Elmira suffered from arthritis; the insoles were sent to test their efficacy; Ashcroft was attempting to gain the rights to manufacture them, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Harold Wheeler.
April 22 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: The darling days go flying by and do no proper chronicling. Mr. Howells is down stairs—he dined here tonight and I had the pleasure of sitting opposite him and of hearing him and Mr. Clemens talk. How fine the appreciation of those two men—the one for the other—and the best of it is that they lay their homage at each others’ feet—a noble gift—and are the more lovely for the giving. They look into each others eyes and their speech is, “Oh noble you”—and it is enough.
Miss Nesmith sailed today in the Vaderland.
This morning I was hunting for some ms. in the study and Mr. Clemens came in to pace and give his instructions. Apropos of something, I don’t remember what, he said that a few days ago Mr. Howells made the remark that Mr. Clemens possessed a great advantage over him, because he never had to put any love scenes in his book. Mr. Clemens said that he couldn’t do it anyway—if he ever put a girl in a book he soon found that he had to make an excuse to drop her overboard. While poor Mr. Howells has to have love scenes and the task of having them to suit him is a terrible one. Tonight while Mr. Howells was here at dinner his talk was so charming, for he told of a dear old woman they had had at San Remo during the past winter who did their house work for them in their little apartment. Every evening she would appear at their salon door at about nine o’clock to say, “Buona Sera, Buona Notte, Buona Riposo, Gooda Naat”—and that would be the beginning of a long “discourso.” She was very dramatic without being aware of it, of course, and gave them very delightful accounts of her home life away up in a mountain region near there. ….
Mr. Clemens told how when he went down to Mentone from Berlin in ’92 after a very serious illness, he used to get up in the night and with a swift little fire he’d warm up and brew a little hot toddy for himself. It was living. George MacDonald was in Bordighera that same winter.
Today Miss Mabel Nesmith sailed away to England. She came from Florence two months ago—she and her tawny eyes, and she has been visiting around in Washington, Boston and Philadelphia, and she stayed a night with Jean [MTP: TS 51-53]. Note: see June relating to Sam’s offer to Howells to take on his biography.
On Apr. 7, Miss Lyon notified Robert Underwood Johnson that Sam intended to attend the National Institute, American Academy of Arts & Letters conference at the Aldine Association on this day. Her journal # 2 confirms:
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2:
National Institute of Arts & Letters—Sand—at Aldine Association 1.15.
111 Fifth Ave. further examination matters to be discussed.
Encyclopedia Britannica people sent depositions of Pres. Hodly [sic Hadley] D. Can Dyke [sic. Van Dyke] Henry van Dyke?] etc. & asked Mr. Clemens to furnish his for suit of the above Co against publishers here of a garbled edition of the E.B.
Mr. Howells dined here [MTP TS 15]. Note: Arthur Twining Hadley (1856-1930), President of Yale (1899-1921); Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933), author, educator, clergyman. Britannica was involved with lawsuits over piracy. See Hooper’s letter below:
F.H. Hooper for Encyclopedia Britannica wrote to Sam.
Your secretary telephoned us this morning stating that you would like to see a few of the depositions that have already been taken in our suit against the ‘Pirates’ …. We accordingly enclose herewith the depositions of Dr. Van Dyke, President Hadley, Mr. George Haven Putnam, and Dr. John P. Peters….We are very much pleased to learn that you are interested in this suit… [MTP].
The National Institute chose five more members to the Academy of Arts and Letters: Joseph Jefferson, John Singer Sargent, Richard Watson Gilder, Horace Howard Furness, and John Bigelow [MTP enclosed in 30 May 1905 to MT].
April 23 Sunday – Easter – Midnight at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Joe Twichell.
Dear Joe— / I have just finished reading the history of Joe Hawley—a noble man, truly. I see that he was not the man to allow votes to be bought for him, & I do not believe he ever knew it. I thank you for sending me that paper.
I suppose the “Henry E. Burton” is the one who married Alice Day’s sister. I did not know he was dead [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Now this has been a day all full of glories. I went to Church of Ascension with Mother, but we didn’t sit together. The music was very beautiful…and the sermon, Mr. Percy Grant is quite unafraid, and speaks his thought. When we walked up 5th Avenue we saw Mr. Clemens on his way up to lunch with Mrs. Burden. He stepped like a dear spirit for lightness across the Avenue, and then was lost in the shifting crowd. In the afternoon Mother and I took bus and went up the surging Avenue as far as 59th Street. It was never so gay—never so full of lovely carriages and autos and sweet women in the most enchanting hats. And Oh, the frocks. I saw John Kendrick [Bangs] with his wife in a victoria. How I kept on a strange sympathy with that man when he lost his wife just before we went to Florence—but it didn’t find a footing, he didn’t need the sympathetic wave for he married his type-writer ever so soon. But that’s no harm. I’ve known of several men who have married several times—they couldn’t live without the companionship and sympathy of a woman, and I like the thought of it.
There’s a comfort in sitting beside a man sometimes, for instance this morning in Church I sat beside a quiet man, he scarcely moved, and he had no silken [MTP: TS 51-52].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2:
Lunched with Mrs. Burden—
7 East 91st Street.
Mr. Clemens read more of the Adam Monument Story. $1000.00 for saving horse & buggy— [MTP TS 15].
Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905), famous American actor, died from pneumonia in Palm Beach, Fla. Isabel Lyon mentioned him in her Apr. 30 journal entry.
William Dean Howells and two others (likely Elinor and daughter Pilla) were invited to Sam’s for dinner [Apr. 19 from Howells].
April 24 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens went to see Mr. John Howells & Mr. Larkin about the furnace. Telephoned Mr. Renwick, making an appointment with him for Friday morning so that he can talk the matter over with Katie” [MTP TS 15].
Helena Gilder (Mrs. Richard Watson Gilder) wrote to Sam. “Mrs. Dunham asked me whether she might send you the invitation that goes with this. I said yes, indeed & that it would be a great pleasure to James if you would present at his lecture” [MTP].
April 25 Tuesday – Sam inscribed a copy of A Dog’s Tale to Mrs. Bellows: “To / Mrs. Bellows / with greetings & salutations of / The Author. / Apl. 25/05.” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Oh Bambino lying here on my desk—crooning away your song of comfort, you are a sweet little friend. I’ve been playing much music tonight Bambino—playing until I am saddened by the beauty of the strains.
Mr. Percy Grant came in for a moment. Jean went up to Tyringham. Mother came in for all the afternoon. Oh sweet mother. And Mr. Clemens was away all day, coming home very tired. He lunched with Professor Sloane’s wife—Oh—[MTP: TS 54]. Note: Percy Stickney Grant (1860-1927) Episcopalian rector of New York’s Church of the Ascension (1893-1924).
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment [Swedish Count C. Lewenhaupt gave Sam osteopathic treatments.]
Mr. C. invited Mr & Mrs Hapgood to dine on Saturday
Jean left for Tyringham this morning with Katie.
Mr. C. had me telephone Mr. Rogers that he wanted to make the trip to Dublin N.H. in the yacht—Mr. Rogers says the roads are rough, the yacht goes into commission next week.
Mr. Clemens sent a little MS. a Conclusion to the C.S. article, to Mr. Duneka for his approval
Mr. Clemens lunched with Mrs Sloane [MTP TS 15-16].
Jean Clemens in Lee, Mass. sent a telegram to Sam. “Arrived well. Have Lyon send seigel [sp?] package at once / J.L Clements” [sic] [MTP].
April 26 Wednesday – Clemens had a discussion with Louis E. Van Norman concerning his ideas for Postal Checks (money orders) [Apr. 27 from Van Norman].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “The chronicling isn’t gay. Bambino’s doom in sealed. He must go—yesterday he was sweeter than usual, but that was only the beginning of his dear older ways. Oh, little cat—it’s so very dreadful” [MTP TS 54].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Sent Mrs. Tabitha Greening’s check.
Mr van Norman came from Review of Reviews to talk about Postal check matter.
Mr. Ashcroft came to talk about Plasmon matter
Jean returned this Evening [MTP TS 16].
April 27 Thursday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to William Dean Howells.
Ask Mr. H. to write Hale & suggest that he choose another l. There may be l. that do think that a common low case might be carried through—Choate might do it if they didnt pay him too much. He will be here in a few days. Mr. H can see him & talk with him I will be gone—ask him what he’ll charge if he thinks well of the project [MTP; Not in MTHL; only a draft of instructions on the back of an envelope by Lyon survives]. Note: See Mar. 15 ca., Mar. 28 to Hale, Apr. 10 ca, Apr. 11 ca. entries.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Tonight Mr. Clemens read more of the Admiral Story” [MTP: TS 54].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment
A Sunday mag Editor sent a little Adam Statue anecdote of Mr. Clemens & Mr. Beecher.
This Evening Mr. Clemens sent to Harper’s weekly a little article that he has written today about the Adam Monument [MTP TS 16]. Note: “A Monument to Adam” was published in the July 15 Harper’s Weekly.
Miss Helen Dunham sent an engraved form invitation to Sam, with date and place written in. “Lecture on Balzac. Mr. Henry James” at the St. Regis Hotel Apr. 27 at 9 p.m. for the Thursday Evening Club [MTP].
James Muirhead wrote from Cambridge, Mass. to Sam asking for a NY doctor who practiced the Kellgren method of osteopathy [MTP].
Louis E. Van Norman for Review of Reviews wrote to Sam, having enjoyed their conversation of the previous day. “I have to-day written to Mr. Post, giving him the details of your idea concerning the Post Check matter. I have also sent him the manuscripts, and when anything further is heard from him I will communicate it to you” [MTP].
April 28 Friday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Andrew Carnegie.
Dear St. Andrew: / For thirty-eight years I have striven for the position of world’s benefactor, but you have gotten the start of me, I am too old to struggle longer—take the place, you’ve won it fair! If you had told me of this great thing when you were at my bedside the other day I would have resigned without waiting till now; & you could have had my halo, too. It may be tin, but no matter, it’s good tin, & paid the duty when it came down.
In a fine & appreciative editorial the Times of this morning speaks of you as the “insatiable benefactor.” Isn’t it good? If that doesn’t please you you are a hard saint to satisfy. / Ys Ever / St. Mark II., (retired) [MTP].
Note: The N.Y. Times article, p.8 “Carnegie’s Latest,” dealing with his donations to educational pensions, begins with “Mr. Carnegies’s latest discovery of an unoccupied field for his insatiable benevolence…”, nearly the same as “insatiable benefactor.” Sam’s reference to being “retired” seems like a poke at Carnegie with a spoof request for his own pension.
Sam also wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson with his picks for nomination to the American Academy of Arts & Letters (Johnson was a secretary for the Academy at this time):
I shall be in New Hampshire for the summer, by the 6th of May.
[Francis] Marion Crawford / William Gillette / Edward Everett Hale / Joel Chandler Harris / Bronson Howard / Thos. Nelson Page / CARL SCHURZ / Augustus Thomas / and / A. T. [Alfred Thayer] MAHAN (if he is the naval historian.) // I will leave Art & Music to the gentlemen of those guilds to nominate—but I would like to vote Abbey & John W. Alexander. / Ys sincerely SL Clemens
Carl Schurz should have been elected at the recent meeting—& should not fail this time [MTP]. Note: John White Alexander, artist.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Copyright meeting at Century Office, 4.30.
Mr Renwick called to talk with Katie about new heating—He wasn’t very obliging—will give answer in ten days—
At the Copyright meeting, Mr. Clemens made the suggestion that authorship be separated from photography copy right [MTP TS 16].
James D. Campbell for the Plasmon Company of America wrote to Sam, notifiying that the adjourned stockholders meeting of April 27 would reconvene on May 29 at 2:30 p.m. to elect five directors [MTP].
April 29 before – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Emily B. Hapgood : “Dear Mrs. Hapgood: / Mr. Clemens wishes me to write for him—and say that he will be very happy if you and Mr. Hapgood can dine with him and Miss Jean on Saturday evening Apr. 29th at half past seven” [MTP].
April 29 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Bambino must be keeping a heart-rending journal. He sat close to Katie when she telephoned to the tumbrel man to come carry him to a death—but he didn’t sit by me when I countermanded that order, and so he ran away. How big and terrible and impossible Prosper [Jean’s dog] must have seemed to him. What a change has come into his darling life loving life. Love lavished and then Oh so suddenly withdrawn, of course he couldn’t quite comprehend. Still he knew there must be a good reason, and so in his pride he ran away. Oh, fine fine Bambino.
But Bambino came back, because Katie captured him. Hungry, tired, dusty, streety, but still Bambino. I came in about 7:20 after dinner at Cecchina’s with Mother, and Mr. Clemens hearing my latch key, put his head out the library door saying “That black cat has come back and gone upstairs” and there he was waiting for me up a flight. I had him to love and love for a while and then put him and some milk down the cellar. Oh, he is so lovable, poor little cat.
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hapgood dined here tonight. I could hear their voices in happy laughter in echo to a remark of Mr. Clemens [MTP: TS 54]. Note: tumbrels were carts used to carry victims to the guillotine in the French revolution.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment
Mr. & Mrs. Norman Hapgood will dine here at 7:30
Mr. Clemens talked with Mr. Larkin about the furnace matter. Mr. Larkin will take charge of it—
Harper sent the proof of the little Adam Monument article—[MTP TS 17].
April 30 Sunday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to St. Clair McKelway.
Dear McKelway,—Your innumerable friends are grateful, most grateful.
As I understand the telegrams, the engineer of your train had never seen a locomotive before. Very well, then I am once more glad that there is an Ever-watchful Providence to foresee possible results and send Ogdens and McIntyres along to save our friends.
The Government’s Official report, showing that our railways killed twelve hundred persons last year and injured sixty thousand convinces me that under present conditions one Providence is not enough to properly and efficiently take care of our railroad business. But it is characteristically American—always trying to get along short-handed and save wages.
I am helping your family congratulate themselves, and am your friend as always. / S. L. Clemens [MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters, p.771].
Note: Paine added: “St. Clair McKelway, of The Brooklyn Eagle, narrowly escaped injuries in a railway accident…” The New York Times, Apr. 30, p.1 reported on the high speed rail accident which claimed four dead and about sixteen injured, including McKelway, who suffered a bruised back and shoulder:
Greenville, S.C., Apr. 29.—The Robert C. Ogden special train, bearing Mr. Ogden and 100 members of the Southern Conference for Education on their return to New York, was wrecked at 7:55 o’clock this morning in the yard of the Southern Railroad here, by dashing at great speed into the rear end of a freight train. Four train hands were killed and several passengers and employes injured. …
St. Clair McKelway was seated at breakfast with R.M. Ogden, secretary to Robert C. Ogden. Dr. McKelway was caught under a heavy beam. Mr. Ogden, who was badly cut about the face and hands, saw the flames curling toward the Brooklyn editor. Aided by a colored porter [John M. McIntyre], he managed after desperate struggles to release Mr. McKelway, the two men escaping through the broken flooring of the car.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Clemens stayed out at the Benjamins’ all night, at Ardsley and Katie forgot to pack his night things, his such necessary night things, so I went with them and I did an exhausting thing. I did 20 minutes running in 12 in order to get a train home, and it was bad. I saw Mr. Rogers in the station at Ardsley and as I got out the train he gave me his magnetic hand. The magnetism is so strong that you want to hold it to feel its beautiful strength. I came back to find Miss Mary Foote having tea with Jean. All my thoughts are dulled by my terrible run. I’ll charge it to experience. Mother went to the Joseph Jefferson memorial service in the Church Around the Corner. David Bispham sang, and she said it was beautiful [MTP: TS 54].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Lunch & over night with Mrs. Benjamin at Ardsley on Hudson. Train leaves 10:45 and 12:10 / I will go by the 12.10 / 1,000 shares Utah, par $100,000, pays 4%, cost $43,000. In Miss Harrison’s hands [MTP TS 17].
May – Sam gave his autograph to an unidentified person: “Very Truly Yours / SL. Clemens / (Mark Twain) / May/05.” [MTP].
The World’s Work published an article by John S. Gregory (pseud. Isaac Frederick Marcossin), “Henry H. Rogers—Monopolist: An Intimate Study of the Vice-President and Acting Executive of the Standard Oil Company,” p. 6127-30. Tenney: “On p. 6129, tells of Rogers taking MT, Thomas B. Reed, and other friends to the West Indies on his yacht, the Kanawha. Returning Reed left at a port stop to catch a train, and the yacht hit a storm. In his thank-you note (New York, 17 Apr. 1902) Reed told Rogers he should carry ‘on board persons of such weight with the community that they can keep the boat level. The Colonel, Hilton, Foote, Dr. Rice and Mr. Twain are all well enough in their way—quite interesting people, but—they lack gravity.’ MT added a footnote: ‘This is well meant, but not well reasoned, for a yacht needs virtue as well as ballast. MARK.’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Sixth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Spring 1982 p. 8].
Nineteenth Century published Daniel Crilly’s article, “The After-Dinner Oratory of America,” p. 853-68. Tenney: “References to MT, passim, but purely derivative” .
Mary Moss’ article in the Atlantic Monthly, p. 691, “Significant Tendencies in Current Fiction,” mentions Huck Finn as an example of “elemental boy, a universal creation” [Wells 26].
May 1 Monday – Katy Leary and Jean Clemens left for Dublin, N.H. to get the Greene house ready for Sam. Isabel Lyon would leave on May 5 to join the pair. The nearest railway station was an hour’s drive; from that point it was three hours to Boston or six hours to New York [Lystra 46].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Jean taking Katie and Katie Laundress left today for Dublin. Mr. Clemens went out today and bought a pair of glasses for a dollar and a soft felt hat for $1.50. He loves a soft felt, but oh they aren’t stylish hats and at dinner he was sweet and gay and went at once to bed after dinner and to sleep.
Rodman Gilder came in this evening and we had a nice talk about Santissima [Clara]. Then he told me a dear little [Joseph] Jefferson anecdote. … Rodman talked about the Kipling-Putnam lawsuit and how he told too how several years ago Will M. Clemens tried to publish a book on Mr. Clemens, a book something like the Ken of Kipling—all made of clippings and things, but Mrs. Clemens didn’t wish it and so Rodman said that that book with its correspondence between Mrs. Clemens and Will M. Clemens’s wife was probably lying festering waiting to be printed.
Teresa found a home for Bambino today, with an Italian woman on 11th St. [MTP: TS 55]. Note: the maid, Teresa Cherubini, who had returned from Florence with the Clemens family. Ken of Kipling (1899).
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Jean, Katie, the Launderers & Prosper left for Dublin. / Mr. Clemens called on Mrs. Hapgood at the Garlington Hotel” [MTP TS 17]. Note: Prosper was Jean’s very large dog.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote John B. Stanchfield, with possibly a copy to Sam. He had been unable to secure world rights to the insole due to “Lee’s inflated idea as to the value of his four foreign patents.” The three-page typed letter covers details of various propositions, royalties and paments to Lee [MTP]. Note: Frank B. Lee of Buffalo became assignor to the Lee Electric Insole Co., NY. [Google books]. The insoles were made from aluminum with a plate of copper in one and a zinc plate in the other, designed to produce an electric current that would immediately begin to relive rheumatism.
New York Telephone Co. wrote to Sam, enclosing a memorandum showing rate changes in his contract for telephone service—for 1,000 local calls the rate would be lowered from $90 to $72 [MTP].
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to advise Sam that Mr. Chase, the stock broker in Boston (Chase & Barstow), had had to carry the $43,125 needed to purchase stock for a few days and requested $8.75 interest on that amount. (See Apr. 19 from Harrison). Would Sam send a check or should she draw it from his “book” there? [MTHHR 583n1].
May 2 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Duneka, Maj. Leigh and Mr. Larkin dined here with Mr. Clemens. Mr. Clemens had a splendid working day. Mother and I dined at Cecchina’s and it was pleasant. The people were quite interesting.
Just before dinner this evening when I followed Mr. Clemens down the stairs, his head was more beautiful than ever, in its living luminous golden silver. It is a golden silver, for there is such a wondrous light in it, a light that white hair never has [MTP: TS 55].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Treatment. Paid
Mr. Duneka, major Leigh, & Mr Larkin for dinner with Mr. Clemens
Mr. Clemens worked all day without interruption—
The orchestral [orchestrelle] was take[n] today [MTP TS 17].
Frank Bliss came to 21 Fifth Ave. to invite Sam to dine with him and Mr. Modjeska, William Dean Howells, and Richard Watson Gilder, but Sam intended to leave for Fairhaven on May 5 and so could not oblige [IVL Journal May 6]. Note: Modjeska, husband of famed actress Helena Modjeska was born Gustaw Zimajer; he adopted a stage name of Gustaw Modrzejewski, but died in 1868. She then married Count Karol Chlapowski, who may be the “Mr. Modjeska” referred to here.
Margaret Jenkins wrote from Cottingham, England to Sam—was there any hope he might be in England early in June? [MTP]. Note: Lyon answered for Sam on May 19.
May 3 Wednesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Robert Underwood Johnson about his nominee picks for the Academy of Arts and Letters.
No, I’ve named enough—I’ll stand pat on those.
It ought to be a rule, & a rigid one, that whenever a man offers a name, he must get up & state his reasons for his choice. Without it, men vote their affections instead of their cold judgment. I wish you would propose it; if I were going to be there I would do it. Without this rule the Academy milk is bound to be watered. We all know this, by experience. Judas & Peter & some of the others would not have gotten in, if the Disciples had had the same ordinance [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Win and Amy Cattelle came in to see Mother and me yesterday. Mr. Collier and Mr. Moffett dined with Mr. Clemens and so Mother and I dined at Cecchina’s [Italian restaurant]; such a rare time we had.
I was too tired to do anything but watch a long table full of dentist-like folk, and to be carried away by a party of 3 at the little round table. A tall beautiful young man, one who sat with his back to me, a charmingly voiced creature, and a woman with lovely grey hair, youngish face and a self contained manner. She ordered an omelette because she couldn’t eat the Cecchina productions. Hopelessly they had me enthralled, soon a woman in a low cut gown entered and sat behind me. Mother didn’t like her looks, I turned to look at her, when she put out her finger at me, saying “I know you”—but she didn’t, though I knew her for the very disagreeable and malicious woman [reporter] who came to write up Bambino and Mr. Clemens. I hedged her off tantalizingly, and then the man who sat with his back to me turned and said, “Please tell us who you are, my friend opposite is longing to know too.” I hesitated and when the woman finally left the room I told him, and he said my vis à vis was Mr. Binney of S.S. McClure and then Mr. Binney said “You wrote to me about 2 weeks ago” —“I?” and then came out about a book that the McClure Co. sent to Mr. Clemens to Elmira—but Mr. Clemens said that he didn’t know Elmira—never heard of it—his address was Indianapolis—so of course he couldn’t get the book, etc, etc., Mr. Binney looked his charming appreciation and they said (one of them), that the moment they looked at me they knew that I was “near some throne.” The man with his back to me was Mr. Faulkner and he knows the Thayers of Dublin and visits them. How very lovely—and how good to be alive [MTP: TS 55]. Note: Mr. Binney was actually Witter Bynner (1881-1968), later became a famous poet, editor for McClure’s Magazine; Mr. Faulkner was Barry Faulkner (1881-1966), artist and former classmate of Bynner’s at Harvard, was a cousin and student of Abbott Thayer’s. See AMT 1: 392, 606.
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to advise Sam that she had deposited to his account, $583.33 from Harper & Brothers and $500 from Guaranty Trust (as per tel. Message) [MTHHR 584n1].
May 4 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
This morning (May 4) I went into Mr. Clemens room and almost the first thing he said to me was “Have we ever received that McClure book?” Then in a burst of delight I told him the little story of last night and he liked it all too. Perfect man that he is. Oh, the misery of not seeing in print now the beautiful things that will be said of him when he’s dead. Mr. Binney [sic Bynner] and Mr. Faulkner bowed their heads in sweet reverence when I told them who I was—after protesting that I was not professional. Oh, there is so much to say—so much to breathe, that wonderful man, so magnetic, so wonderful.
Teresa and I are on the train nearing Hartford—on our way up to Dublin [MTP: TS 55-56]. Note: it seems that the ladies spent the night in Hartford, then continued on May 5 to Dublin. “That McClure book” was Willa Cather’s The Troll Garden (1905) , as found in John S. Phillips’ Apr. 14 and 19.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Treatment. Paid / … Mr. Clemens went up to see Dr. Quintard who is too ill to come see Mr. Clemens [MTP TS 17-18].
May 5 Friday – Sam left NYC with H.H. Rogers on the yacht Kanawha for Fairhaven, Mass. [Lyon’s journal #2 TS 17; Lyon’s journal May 7]. Note: Due to learning of Clara’s impending appendectomy, Sam may have stayed in NYC. Lyon wrote that he was in Fairhaven. If he did not go with Rogers, it is then evident that Lyon did not know this.
Isabel Lyon and Teresa Cherubini the maid continued on their way to Dublin, N.H.
Isabel Lyon’s Journal: …we reached first Keene. Then after a queer supper we trolleyed to Marlboro and then took a nice carriage and drove 9 miles over surrounding fine earth roads to Dublin. The drive was beautiful. Theresa and I chatted Italian, and she called the lovely singing tree toads.
There was a lovely strange moonlight light in the sky, but there wasn’t any moon to make it—so the luminous white birch tree trunks were lovely in their mystery. We found the Dublin house perfectly lovely perched away up on a high hill and cozy fires blazing. Jean in spectacles sat reading Cooper.
The view is wonderful, wonderful. Far, far distant hills—hoary Monadnock to the South East—and forever the singing sighing breathing pines and hemlocks close to the very windows. And so silent—except for the songs of the pines and the birds. You see a glint of the Lake too. The restfulness of it is beautiful. The house is charming. I find it all in exquisite taste, because it has the lovely plasters and casts and books and colorings and pewters and things that I love.
Jean has been reading aloud to me. Heine’s inimitable verse. Herr Heinick [sic] certainly has made many lovely blossoms bloom for that dear girl [MTP TS 56, 57; Hill 105, in part]. Note: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856); See Gribben 305.
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to Sam [MTP]. Note: not found at MTP; this may be a duplicate of May 3.
May 6 Saturday – Sam was enjoying the company of the H.H. Rogers family in Fairhaven, Mass.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Resting, resting these wonderful days. On Tuesday last Mr. Bliss came to the house to ask Mr. Clemens to dine with and to meet again Mr. Modjeska, Mr. Howells, and Mr. Gilder—but Mr. Clemens was going up to Fairhaven in the yacht with Mr. Rogers and so couldn’t go—but I had a chance to look at Mr. Bliss, a tall man about 60—a very beautiful creature. Smooth faced, with a most lovely voice, and an exquisite manner. Mr. Clemens said that he had seen him at the Copyright meeting last week and found him beautiful indeed to look at [MTP TS 56].
Jean Clemens’ Apr. 20 letter to the Editor of Harper’s Weekly, “The Passing of the Egret” ran in the May 6, 1905 issue, p. 658.
May 7 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Clemens left last Friday with Mr. Rogers and now he’s in Fair Haven. Jean had a telegram that Mr. Clemens will not arrive as soon as expected. The house needs him so dreadfully. He is so much the master of us all.
Jean is reading now Wolf von Hierbrandt’s [sic] book on the Kaiser, and we find it very interesting. I’ve began my pincushion work.
Such a beautiful place for peaceful resting [MTP TS 56]. Note: Due to Clara’s impending appendectomy, Sam returned to NY sometime this day or the next—it is also possible that he did not go to Fairhaven at all. The Kaiser’s Speeches, Forming a Character Portrait of Emperor William II (1903). Translated and edited by Wolf von Schierbrand (1851-1920) [Gribben 771].
May 8 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “The resting is so sweet. Perhaps the long flights of stairs at #21 [Fifth Ave.] began to shred my nerves and physical condition” [MTP TS 56]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens returned to town—is detained by business” [MTP TS 18].
George H. Warner wrote from Tryon, N.C. to Sam, enclosing a newspaper clipping about Canadian fishing, “Angling for Big Gray Trout.”
Dear Mark Twain / I thought of you when I read the enclosed as the only one capable of doing it justice.
My vocabulary is limited and I was barely brought up—as to cusses.
What a lovely religion they have had in Europe. I have been re reading the Cloister and the Hearth—Europe had many cloisters and few hearths [MTP].
May 9 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Susy dear, there has not been a single week of the past 48 which has not brought me reason to say “how grateful I am that Livy is out of it!”
How did she ever live in this execrable world? & why did she love it & wish to stay in it?
Jean does not know why I do not go to Dublin, & I do not want her to find out. I am staying here because Clara is to be operated on for appendicitis to-morrow afternoon & 4 o’clock.
I was to leave for Dublin via Boston last Friday, but on Thursday I learned that Clara was threatened (I was out there) & that she wanted the operation. So did I. I talked with the doctor & the surgeon, & they decided to take 5 days to prepare her physically; since then they have added a day, and appointed to-morrow (Wednesday.) If poor Livy were here, & couldn’t see Clara these 6 days of waiting, nor be present to-morrow! But she isn’t here, she is at peace & knows nothing of these things, & is not troubled about anything, & will never be troubled any more forever. / With abundant love / SLC
Of course I can’t make a guess as to how long I shall be here. It isn’t worth while to guess.
Jean is delighted where she is. Patrick is there; & Miss Lyon, & Theresa & the laundress & Katy. I have the maid (Katherine) & the cook with me, & Katy will join my household to-day I suppose.
I will write or telegraph you to-morrow evening or next day [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens is writing his signature a thousand times for a new edition de Suite [MTP TS 18].
May 10 Wednesday – The New York Times, May 11, p. 1 ran a squib that Clara Clemens was operated on in the afternoon by Dr. Hartley (likely Dr. Frank Hartley 1856-1913).
At 8 p.m. at 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Susy dear, it’s over, & Clara is doing well. She had a famous surgeon—Dr. Hartley. It was a bad appendix—long & slim & with crooks in it; it was getting ready to be a dangerous case.
Good-night dear Sue—I am very tired, on account of the solicitude. / Holy Saml [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Today at 4 o’clock Santissima was operated upon for appendicitis. / Mother writes me every day—noble beautiful home letters, so full of her sweet saint self without knowing it at all [MTP TS 56]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “…Mr. Clemens stayed there for 2 hours—& at 8 o’clock Miss Clemens was still under the influence of the ether. Mr. Clemens has seen & talked with C.C. & found her plump & Oh so pretty [MTP TS 18].
May 11 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today after a long walk Jean received the telegrams telling of Santissima’s illness, then she telephoned to N.Y. and Katie said that she is doing well. We took a four hour tramp finishing up at Mrs. Abbot [sic] Thayer’s place. She was in the garden and she greeted us very sweetly and then took us into the studio where we saw some of Mr. Thayer’s unfinished and also finished work. In the outer studio we saw some very charming flower studies done by Gladys Thayer, really they are very charming. They are such genuine folk like the Mr. Binney and the Mr. Faulkner kind. The people who do things and are so superior to trifles [MTP TS 57]. Note: Binney was Witter Bynner.
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam.
I saw Mr. Mirant yesterday who referred me to Mr. Renwick. I saw the latter today & he explained his delay in the premises as being due to ill health. He has promised to take the matter up with experts & get a report to learn whether the uncomfortable condition of the house was due to insufficient heating arrangements or to unskillful handling of the furnaces [MTP].
May 12 Friday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote to Isabel V. Lyon in Dublin N.H. (only the envelope survives) [MTP]. Note: judging from Lyon’s journal entry below, this likely was a telegram with news of Clara’s condition, and news that he was not ready to come to Dublin quite yet.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Santissima’s temperature is normal. There are no complications, but Mr. Clemens won’t come yet” [MTP TS 57]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Telegram this morning. / Pulse 80. Temperature 99. / Everything satisfactory [MTP TS 18].
Robert L. Fulton wrote from Reno, Nev. to Sam. Fulton wanted Sam to “deliver the oration” during a weeklong program to “celebrate the glorious Fourth of July” and the building of the Overland railroad.
“I have a delicate yet pleasing task; the attempt to do honor to one of American’s foremost citizens, whom I have never seen and who had never heard of me.
“Your recollections doubtless turn to Nevada…” [MTP]. Note: see Sam’s fascinating reply of May 24.
May 13 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: We walked around the Lake, Jean and I—a beautiful walk. The native people are so gentle and sweet-eyed, with soft lazy speech. We met a couple of men who had a setter with them. The owner eyed Prosper and said “I reckon my dawg won’t hurt him.” We found a glorious bank of violets, painted trillium, and trailing “Hobble bush.” You don’t always find it trailing. “Nature’s Garden” makes the country so enjoyable and it is so interesting to hear from Mr. Clemens and Jean how sweet and lovely Neltje Blanchan is [MTP TS 57]. Note: Neltje Doubleday’s pseudonym. She was a writer of nature books, three of which are in Gribben, p. 200; Lyon adds (1865-1918) for Neltje. Editorial emphasis.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “C.C. progressing finely” [MTP TS 18].
May 14 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Evening now, and the voices of Jean and Italian Teresa come to me as Jean is having her usual confab with Teresa. How their voices rise and fall in the sweet Italian cadences.
The summer, the months and weeks and days and hours must count for many things done when they are ended. I mustn’t write down what I want to do for then they won’t be done. Only everyday I must think toward their completion [MTP TS 57].
Louise Brownell Saunders (Susy Clemens’ old heart throb) wrote from Clinton, NY to ask a favor of Sam for her invalid friend, Miss Annie Wood of Utica. Wood was collecting books autographed by authors [MTP].
May 15 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “I’m anxious about the Aeolion. It doesn’t come and there is no word from it. Every day Mr. Clemens sends telegrams telling of C.C’s condition. Every day it has improved” [MTP TS 57]. Note: the referred to telegrams are not extant, but when Lyon gives specifics of Clara’s condition it is clear she has rec’d word from Clemens.
The New York Times, p. 9, “Merciful Mark Twain Writes to Maimed Girl” article printed Sam’s Feb. 15 letter to Miss Madeline Sinsheimer, invalid as a result of a 1903 Clifton grade crossing accident. “Miss Sinsheimer will never fully recover from the effects of her injuries, and was removed Thursday from her home…to the Orthopedic Hospital in Philadelphia.” Note: the MTP/O seems to prefer the spelling “Madeleine.”
May 16 Tuesday – At 21 Fifth Ave. in N.Y.C. Sam wrote an introductory letter for his nephew Samuel Moffett to Bellamy Storer, American ambassador to Vienna, Austria.
I beg that you will allow me the privilege of introducing to your favor my nephew S. E. Moffett, one of the editors of “Collier’s Weekly” who is sent to Europe to gather some facts from governmental sources, & if you can send him to the officials he needs to see, I shall be very grateful. I vouch for his honorable character, his discretion & his honesty. He will do your kindness no discredit.
With great respect I am … [MTP].
In Dublin, N.H., Isabel Lyon wrote in her journal:
Clouds and Mist and Rain. Every evening Jean reads aloud to me. Now it is a book by Madame Laschovska, a Viennese friend of the Clemenses, on Transylvania—and now it will be a little French History—and now it is Heine—Dear Child that she is—Such a complex nature and yet so entirely simple—Consistent—yet so inconsistent. There is a power in that young nature [MTP TS 58]. Note: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856); see Gribben p. 305. Emily Laszowska-Gerard (1849-1905) inscribed a copy of The Land Beyond the Forest: Facts, Figures, and Fancies from Transylvania (1888) on 19 Dec. 1897. The spelling of Eastern European names is often varied. Also seen as Emily Gerard, Mrs de Laszowska, Emily Laszowska, or Emily de Laszowska Gerard.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens sees Miss Clemens [Clara] everyday” [MTP TS 18-19].
Dr. Frederick Gaertner wrote from Pittsburg, Pa. to Sam,
Hoping you can remember me from Vienna, Wien, & Italy. The enclosed letter self explanatory. I don’t intend to answer it. I am an editor of several scientific & surgical journals & could do you a lot of good as my testimonial knowing you personally, etc. would be worth a great deal to read all over the World [MTP]. Note: The enclosed letter was May 16 from Harper’s to Gaertner, declining his offer of a testimonial of Mark Twain in exchange for a discount from the published price of his works.
Harold Milbank wrote from Vanderbilt Hall, Yale University inquiring after the author of the poem, “Jim Bludsol” which appeared last spring in the NY Times [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the letter “Mr. John Hay wrote it.”
John L. RoBards, Sam’s old friend from Hannibal, Mo., wrote and enclosed a leaflet about lecturing (not in file). “Neither money nor endorsement is herein solicited, but an earnest friendly consideration of each excerpt…” If Sam didn’t care to comment that would be fine with RoBards [MTP]. Note: no reply from Clemens.
Philip Sawyer of York & Sawyer Architects, NYC wrote to Sam, sending a bill for $250 he considered late, for “professional services rendered,” in regard to 21 Fifth Ave [MTP]. Note: on May 23, Sawyer wrote he had rec’d Miss Lyon’s note and check dated May 20.
May 17 Wednesday – With Clara Clemens out of danger from her appendectomy, Sam left N.Y.C. and traveled to Boston, Mass., where he took rooms at the Hotel Touraine. There he wrote on hotel stationery to Thomas Bailey Aldrich and Lilian W. Aldrich.
I came from New York, arriving in time to dine with you, but I couldn’t raise you on the telephone, so I am turning in, disappointed. You are out dissipating, I suppose.
I am leaving early in the morning for Dublin, N. H., for the summer. Jean is already there keeping house these 2 weeks & more. I was to follow her the 2d of May, but Clara caught an appendicitis in her rest-cure in New York & I was detained. The operation (8 days ago) was successful & she is flourishing, now. Great love to you both … [MTP].
In Dublin, N.H. Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Rain and Clouds and Mist to shut out the peaceful view. Only the shrouded evergreens are mysteriously mistily pictured against the fog, but oh the peace of it. It comes from Heaven or from the depths of our hearts, but perhaps they are the same” [MTP TS 58].
Robert Underwood Johnson for the National Institute of Arts wrote to Sam, notifying him of ten more gentlemen elected to the Academy of Arts and Letters. These were: Winslow Homer, Carl Schurz, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Joel Chandler Harris, William James, Daniel Chester French, John Burroughs, James Ford Rhodes, Edwin Austin Abbey, and Horatio William Parker. The typed notice bore Johnson’s signature and “(Confidential)” at the top [MTP].
May 18 Thursday – Sam left Boston early in the morning and traveled 64 miles to Dublin, N.H., where Katy Leary, Patrick McAleer, daughter Jean and Isabel Lyon were waiting to spend the summer with him [May 17 to Aldriches].
Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Today Mr. Clemens arrived.
Today the sun burst through the clouds just after the telegram came saying that he would arrive in Harrisville at 11:35.
Today the Aeolion came. Seven New England men unpacked it—such nice soft speeched gentle New England men. Something sweet about them. I like them. It was dear to see Mr. Clemens arrive today with a furtive, searching glance at things and people as he drove up to the house [MTP TS 57].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Today Mr. Clemens arrived. Jean & Patrick rode over to Harrisville to meet him. The orchestrelle came too” [MTP TS 19].
A form letter was sent from the Simplified Spelling group, Brander Matthews (Chairman) asking support for twelve simplifications suggested by Andrew Carnegie at their N.Y. conference on May 3, 1905. Though not listed in the MTP’s catalog, Sam surely received this letter. The word changes proposed: program, catalog, decalog, prolog, demagog, pedagog, tho, altho, thoro, thorofare, thru, thruout. See Brander Matthews letter of May 21.
May 19 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to the May 2 from Lady Margaret Jenkins in England.
Dear Madam: / Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him explaining that he is not feeling well enough to do so himself, owing to the results of his great anxiety caused by the recent critical illness of his eldest daughter.
Mr. Clemens is not going to England this year; but he wishes me to thank you very much for your kind letter, and to convey to you his sincere regards [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Chiefs can read everybody—but who can rightly read chiefs. … Elsewhere I’ve said something of the treat Mr. Clemens gave us in commenting upon the dinner given to Whitelaw Reid and then commenting upon Reid. Reid wouldn’t be quite so self-satisfied if he knew that a man like Mark Twain had been stripping him and his actions bare, with caustic slash and precision [MTP TS 59]. Note: the Lotos Club gave Reid a dinner the night before, May 18; Sam did not go but left for Boston early on May 18.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote to Sam.
It was like my luck to move into the country just in time to miss having you come and spend the night with me at 59 Mt. Vernon street. I haven’t recently wanted anything more than to have a smoke and a night-long talk with you. I am glad that I did not hear of Clara’s trouble until it was over. What takes you—excepting the train—to Dublin? I hear good accounts of the place, but why didn’t it manage to call itself by some good old Anglo-Saxon name, like Coss Cobb or Ponkapog? [MTP]. Note: Aldrich wrote of his plans for the summer on a steam yacht with his son Talbot and wished Dublin was a port. He asked after Howells, did he enjoy England?
Sheldon S. Cline, manager of The Washington News Assoc. wrote to Sam. “Will you consider a proposition to write a series of letters from Washington this winter, for publication in the leading newspapers of the country, dealing humorously with public men and measures?”[MTP].
A.I. Hall wrote from Rochester, N.H. to Sam, promoting a country residence for sale with 200 acres of “fine farm land” there for $125,000 [MTP].
Abbott Handerson Thayer wrote to Sam.
“I trust what Emma answered to Miss Jean satisfied you about her going alone with that terrible dog! / Dublin has as yet no first record of any highway rudeness to ladies. But we certainly have a plenty of foreign layovers about and a poor enough kind of [illegible word] trash…” [MTP]. Note: Jean’s dog, Prosper le Gai., a Saint Bernard, is pictured in MTOW p. 212.
May 20 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to daughter Clara, still in N.Y.C. recovering from an appendectomy.
Clarchen dear, to get a letter from you was a happy surprise; I was not expecting so dear & rich a benefaction.
I recognize with the deepest satisfaction that you are safe in the spiritual shelter & refuge which all women & most men need, & I hope I shall be spared the crime of violating its sanctities & impairing its solaces & comforts as I did in your mother’s case—almost the only crime of my life which causes me bitterness now. (I must not dwell upon this subject.)
There is a letter from the lovely countess. There is only one. She opens the gates of her heart & lets her affection & her sympathies come flooding out in her same old quaint & charming & eloquent German English. I must not venture to quote the most moving things, but there are two or three messages that you are entitled to hear:
“Miss [Ethel] Newcomb told me that my sweet beloved Clara is ill & that she is not staying with you! It really is too dreadful! x x x Please, dear Mr. Clemens, be so very, very kind as to let me have soon some news about yourself & about your daughters, especially about my beloved Clara. I long with all my soul to have news from you. If it is possible, please tell Clara that I love her as I ever did before, & that mein ganzes, ganzes Herz voll Theilnahme bei ihr ist! x x x God bless you, dear, dear Mr. Clemens and believe me x x x
I shall write her to-day.
This house & this view—well, dear, I am as bewitched with them as Jean is.
And Patrick! [McAleer] He is a vision out of a time when your mother was a girl & I a lad! And what a pleasure he is to my eye, & how the view of him fits in with the rest of the scenery! The same, same Patrick—trim, shapely, alert, competent for all things, taking two steps to any other man’s one, not a gray hair nor any other sign of age about him, & his voice that same old pleasant sound! He served us twenty-two years & is a youth yet.
Dr. Quintard’s idea is an excellent one, & we have discussed it pretty thoroughly & mapped out the scheme cleverly & intelligently. It is to be a club, & yet not a club. It will gather together at intervals, men of capacity, known or unknown, & of any trade—artist, doctor, blacksmith, author, scientist, merchant—& we shall feed economically & unostentatiously, & talk & smoke, & get acquainted & intimate. We shall carry out this scheme. It is better & more flexible & more catholic than the one I proposed to Howells before we left for Italy. For particulars see Quintard.
You are to sit up Saturday—that is, to-day. That is good news. Yes, you will miss Miss Gordon when you go away—I can understand that. She has ministered to your heart; it is not given to many to do that for us. To none, almost, beyond the frontiers of the family hearthstone. (And sometimes not even within those frontiers.) I wish she were going to Norfolk.
Jean will be very glad indeed to write you—she has been wanting to, these many ages.
Good-bye, dear, we are all loving you & thinking about you in this house—including him whom Jean calls
“a contrary cuss & difficult to keep out of deadly indiscretions” [MTP].
Note: Sam wrote on the envelope: “This can be read first by your physician there being no secrets in it.” Miss Ethel Newcomb (1877-1959), pupil and and assistant (1904-1908) of Theordor Leschetizky. Patrick McAleer, the family’s coachman in Hartford for two decades, had been hired in March to be groom for Jean’s horses.
Lystra writes of McAleer:
A skilled rider and her [Jean’s] constant companion on horseback, Patrick had one drawback—he spit constantly. “It is too unpleasant to put up with,” Jean confessed to her diary, “& yet he is such a dear that I hate to say anything which could hurt his feelings.” Early that summer Patrick helped her buy a horse, a Kentucky bay she named Scott—“sweet and friendly in the stable, so obedient & willing on the road & such a beauty” [Lystra 47].
Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Yesterday when the sunset was glorious and my love of it made me say a word about its beauty, Mr. Clemens said “Yes that sore spot was fine” (pointing to an angry streak) “There was a lot of inflamation up there.” He watched Patrick (aged 60) stepping briskly toward the stable and said, “If Patrick were going to his own funeral, he’d step lively—” [MTP TS 59].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “An expert came up from Worcester to set up the orchestrelle” [MTP TS 19].
Sam also wrote to Countess Misa Wydenbruck–Esterházy, letter not extant but referred to in the above to Clara. The Countess was the Clemens family’s cicerone in Viennese society and their closest friend outside musical and literary circles. See Nov. 29, 1897 entry.
Sam also wrote to Hamlin Garland.
“The book has come, & I thank you & am glad. For I can now start over again. I know the first chapters—by grace of the [‘]Weekly’—then the interruptions came, & broke up the march. I thank you again for remembering me” [MTP]. Note: See June 30 to Garland: The Tyranny of the Dark (1905) [Gribben 252].
Starrett gives this as the day Sam began “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes,” which would be 40,000 words and unpublished in his lifetime. It first appeared in Which Was the Dream, etc. Ed. Tuckey (1967). Starrett writes that Sam undertook the story “as a kind of therapeutic distraction from the sorrow and loneliness that followed the death of his wife in Florence, Italy, the previous spring. The long but unfinished fantasy, based on an idea for a satire Twain had been pondering for more than twenty years…. [was] admired by Paine as superb Swiftian satire” [MT Encyc. 735-6].
May 21 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Mr. Clemens spends too much time over his work. Hours & hours & hours he sits writing with a wonderful light in his eyes. The flush of a girl in his cheeks and oh the lustre of his hair. It is too terribly perishably beautiful. It is no wonder that his tread is light as a spirit’s, for the great power of his brain seems to draw him up and to give him his delicacy of step [MTP TS 59].
Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918), historian and ethnologist, (Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley was named in his honor) wrote from San Francisco to Sam, having seen his name in connection with the Fourth of July celebration at Elko, Nevada. If Sam planned to be in attendance there would it be possible for him to come to S.F. as his guest at St. Dunstan’s? He told of the place and mentioned that Henry James had spent a week with him [MTP].
Brander Matthews wrote from NY to Sam on the back of a flyer dated May 18, 1905 in the cause of Carnegie’s Simplified Spelling. Matthews was named at the top as chairman of the group. Matthews related sickness and death in his family with the recent burial of his sister. “…and if I haven’t seen you this winter, I’ve the same feeling for you. / The letter on the other side explains itself. Howells and Garland have adhered. Will you take my pledge I enclose?” [MTP].
St. Clair McKelway wrote from Brooklyn Heights to Sam. He hadn’t answered Sam’s letter due to being under a doctor’s care in Boston, and only returned the night before.
“I found great comfort in your letter and heartily agree with its remarks about railway officials to whose criminal ignorance and recklessness so-called accidents are due. I have the worst shake up and jar and the least external injury of any one of the passengers in the car. Four Negro wailers were killed.” He learned of Clara’s operation and hoped she recovered fully [MTP].
May 22 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
We’re up in the hills now. All of us but Santissima. A little note this morning from Miss Gordon says that she [Clara Clemens] is improving wonderfully after her operation.
Fighting a headache, I am too dull to write what was in my mind.
This evening after dinner Mr. Clemens read the ms. he worked on all day. A cholera microbe’s own story of microbe life in a human being. It is a marvellous imaginative scientific little story. With his acute eye that little microbe sees undreamed of wonders and kingdoms in the body of the dirty Russian Tramp that he inhabits. I asked Mr. Clemens how long he’d been turning those marvellous imaginings over in his mind, and he said that the idea had been there for many years—he tried to work it up from a drop of water and a scientist with a powerful microscope; but it wasn’t right. He had to become the microbe, and see and think and act and appreciate as a microbe. He truly said to Jean that it isn’t a story for babes. But it will delight physicians and bacteriologists. Oh he is such a marvel, such a marvel [MTP TS 59-60].
William Evarts Benjamin wrote to Sam, enclosing another $250 check released by the Title, Guarantee & Trust Co. relating to the quitclaim deed on the Tarrytown property. The trolley co. was to have removed the offending tracks by May 1 [MTP].
Miss Edith Hulbert wrote from NYC to Sam, requesting an interview for the purpose of arranging a play for his JA. She was writing at the request of Mrs. Dunlap Hopkins [MTP].
C. Brereton Sharpe wrote to Sam for the Plasmon Syndicate, Ltd., London, sending the latest report issued by the Company as Ashcroft had requested. Divendends were to be reinvested in the operation [MTP].
Roy W. Van Hoesen wrote on The Office letterhead (Franklinville, N.Y.) to Sam. “We have a half-tone engraving of a little hut in which it is reputed you wrote ‘Roughing It,’ at Aurora, Nevada. / Should you favor us with a little comment in reference to it I am sure it would be appreciated by the readers…” [MTP]. Note: the magazine advertised, “Published to the advantage of progressive office men.” Also seen as Van Haesen.
May 23 Tuesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Brander Matthews. “You have my deepest sympathy. These are black days. There are now but 13 days between me & the anniversary of anniversaries” [MTP]. Note: Matthews’ loss was not determined.
Isabel Lyon’s journal:
We’ve been shifting. Sunday we did most of it. Mr. Clemens went up to our quarters and liking them so much better than his own he has taken Jeans room for his study and my room for his bedroom, while Jean and I have come down to the lower bed rooms. These rooms are not plastered and the little searching drafts troubled Mr. Clemens. Then up stairs he had a wonderfuller view. I have the room I wanted, close to the pines, the singing, sighing pines. Tonight Mr. Clemens did not read any. Jean and Patrick rode around Monadnock and were out very late. Jean is beginning to ride astride [MTP TS 60].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens revised his MS. & worked until 6:30” [MTP TS 19].
May 24 Wednesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam replied to Robert L. Fulton’s May 12 invitation.
Dear Mr. Fulton— / I remember, as if it were yesterday, that when I disembarked from the overland stage in front of the Ormsby in Carson City in August, 1861, I was not expecting to be asked to come again. I was tired, discouraged, white with alkali dust, & did not know anybody; & if you had said, “Cheer up, desolate stranger, don’t be down-hearted—pass on, & come again in 1905,” you cannot think how grateful I would have been & how gladly I would have closed the contract. Although I was not expecting to be invited, I was watching out for it, & was hurt & disappointed when you started to ask me & changed it to “How soon—are you going away?” for I was an orphan at that time, & had been one so many years that I was getting sensitive about it.
But you have made it all right, now, & the wound is closed. And so I thank you sincerely for the invitation; & with you, all Reno, & if I were a few years younger I would accept it, & promptly. I would go. I would let somebody else do the oration, but as for me, I would talk—just talk. I would renew my youth; & talk—& talk—& talk—& have the time of my life! I would march the unforgotten & unforgetable antiques by, & name their names, & give them reverent Hail-&-farewell as they passed: Goodman, McCarthy, Sillis, Curry, Baldwin, Winters, Howard, Nye, Stewart, Neely Johnson, Hal Clayton, Jones, North, Rost, &—& my brother, upon whom be peace!—& then the desperadoes, who made life a joy & the “slaughter-house” a precious possession: Sam Brown, Farmer Pete, Bill Mayfield Six-fingered-Jake, Jack Williams, & the rest of the crimson discipleship—& so on & so on. Believe me, I would start a resurrection it would do you more good to look at than the next one will, if you go on the way you are doing now.
Those were the days!—Those old ones. They will come no more. Youth will come no more. They were full to the brim with the wine of life; there have been no others like them. It chokes me up to think of them. Would you like me to come out there & cry? It would not beseem my white head.
Good-bye. I drink to you all. Have a good time—& take an old man’s blessing [MTP]. Note: many of those mentioned from Sam’s Nevada days may be identified in Vol. 1, MTL 1, Mack or others.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: That microbe story grows and grows in depth and wonder. It has grown into the thought that perhaps we too are microbes chasing around in a globule that is only a molecule of the universe. Every morning I play to Mr. Clemens until he is ready to go to work. It gives him his inspiration for the day—takes the fog out of his brain and then he goes up to his “dissipation”. Then we have music again, and after dinner when he has read his ms., then we play Hearts [MTP TS 60].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens worked all day without interruption, and read the continuation of the Microbe autobiography after dinner. It is tremendous” [MTP TS 19].
Charles Henry Webb (1834-1905) died in N.Y.C. Webb was Sam’s first publisher (The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches), founded The Californian in 1864, and wrote under the pen name “John Paul.” See Vol. I entries. The New York Times, May 25, p. 9 reviewed Webb’s publications and accomplishments.
May 25 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: The microbe has fixed it—we won’t ever die, but live forever and ever as disintegrated oxygen and hydrogen and gases and acids and things. It’s quite dreadful and very fascinating. The mystery and workings of that brain. I’m reading away back in his first book and just loving that “Innocents Abroad”, with its choice way of looking at places and things and people and events centuries old. Today the music was very beautiful. Like a sweet spirit [MTP TS 60].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “The wonderful microbe MS. grows. Mr. Clemens read more of it tonight” [MTP TS 19].
H. Roswell Bates wrote on Spring Street Presbyterian Church letterhead to Sam, enclosed in Ebenezer Hayes’ note below. Bates had met Sam at tea at William E. Dodge’s house in Riverdale and since had wished Sam might speak “before one of our clubs here,” then mentioned the Philia Club of “ambitious young men” which met every Thursday at 8 p.m.[MTP].
Ebenezer Hayes for the Philia Club wrote to Sam that he’d been instructed to write and invite Sam to speak to the Club of “young men for intellectual and social benefit.” He enclosed the above note from H. Roswell Bates [MTP].
May 26 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mr. Thayer called, after he left Mr. Clemens said nice things about him, and then said he had seen him a quarter of a century ago when he went up to Hartford to make a black and white sketch of Mr. Clemens for the Century. Mr. Clemens was fighting the beginning of a cold so he took his whiskey bottle, and he said that in an hour he was very happily and comfortably drunk, but the black and white sketch wasn’t an entire success.
Tonight Mr. Clemens read more of the microbe story. What an imagination! [MTP TS 61]. Note: see Feb. 24, 1882 for Thayer’s sketch which was to go with an article in the Century by William Dean Howells.
Harper & Brothers replied to Sam’s request, handed to them by Major Leigh, for books “in popular language on microbes, bacilli, etc., one that brings all science up to date and that can be understood by ordinary people.” They referred him to William Wood & Co., NYC medical book publishers, or Lea Brothers, Phila. [MTP].
May 27 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam replied to Hubert H. Bancroft of San Francisco, who had written on May 21 inviting Sam to visit.
I thank you sincerely for the tempting hospitalities which you offer me, but I have to deny myself, for my wandering days are over, & it is my desire & purpose to sit by the fire the rest of my remnant of life & indulge myself with the pleasure & repose of work—work uninterrupted and unmarred by duties or excursions.
A man who like me is going to strike 70 on the 30th, of next November has no business to be flitting around the way Howells does—that shameless old fictitious butterfly. (But if he comes, don’t tell him I said it, for it would hurt him & I wouldn’t brush a flake of powder from his wing for anything. I only say it in envy of his indestructable youth, anyway. Howells will be 88 in October.) [MTP]. Note: boxed in the left corner of the letter: “In ans. to an invitation from Mr. H.H. Bancroft to visit him in San Francisco. Mr. Henry James had just been there for a week.” Howells was born in 1837, two years after Sam.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Mr. Clemens doesn’t like June bugs. When one was butting and banging around the card table tonight he wanted “to butter and swallow it” [MTP TS 61].
Dr. John Allen Wyeth, NYC wrote to Sam. “In writing a sketch which deals in a measure with my native section, Northern Alabama, in speaking of the Hon. Jeremiah Clemens, am I correct in referring to him as your uncle?” [MTP]. Note: Someone, likely Miss Lyon, wrote on the note, “Cousin of Mr. Clemens’s father.” There were several Jeremiah Clemenses, including Jeremiah Clemens (1732-1811) Sam’s great grandfather. None found could be traced to Ala.
The New York Times, p. BR 347 ran a squib announcing Harpers would reissue Mark Twain’s Sketches, New and Old in the middle of June.
May 28 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: All day Mr. Clemens has been working too hard revising his microbe manuscript. This afternoon he was limp—exhausted—and tonight he went early to bed. Jean read aloud to me in Madame Laschovska’s book on Transylvania and I did not play the Beethoven today that I had planned to. / Mollie Ingalls writes many things among them that Walter Griffin has gone to Holland [MTP TS 61]. Emily Laszowska-Gerard. See May 16 entry.
Manning & Brown Co., NYC, manufacturers of “The Celebrated Red Cross Cigars,” wrote to Sam. Planning to make a cigar by the name of “Mark Twain,” the company discovered that another firm in Milwaukee was already making one by that name and claimed the exclusive right to do so. Did Sam have any control over the issue? [MTP].
May 29 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: There is tremendous news from the Japanese Russian War. Togo has beaten Rojesvesky, and taken ships and many prisoners, among them poor Rojesvesky—yes “poor”—for his joy is gone—he has failed utterly. 7,000 Russians gone. Oh, the terror of it, a rough sea and tremendous shelling, and sinking vessels. Oh, terrible beyond words [MTP TS 61].
Isabel Lyon’s journal #2: “Mr. Clemens has been working too hard, he is tired” [MTP: TS 20].
Charles C. Bombaugh, M.D. wrote from Baltimore to Sam. The Lippincott Co. was to publish a former compilation of his, “Gleanings for the Curious,” and he requested permission to include Sam’s “delightful after-dinner joke at the Weather Bureau” [MTP].
Renee Inbraly wrote from Brunn, Austria to Sam. Only the small envelope survives [MTP]. Note: MTP notes “name is doubtful.”
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam that he’d phoned and written to James A. Renwick trying to make an appointment about the heating of 21 Fifth Ave. and would write again this day. He suggested holding up the check for next month’s rent to “get him to notice” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the top of the letter, “The check was withheld / May 30. SLC”; this having to do with repairs to the heating system at 21 Fifth.
May 30 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Ah, it was splendid to see Mr. Clemens stand with his back to the open fire, and hear him sum up the way in which the Almighty has been personally conducting this Russian campaign against the Japanese. As many as 8 terrible defeats, but the Russian Church say that it is ordained of God and they rushed into battle headed by the cross. Yes, you find yourself thinking, thinking—after Mr. Clemens gets through a talk of that kind [MTP TS 61].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2:
“Mr. Clemens received a letter from Mr. Larkin suggesting that the Renwick check for the June rent be withheld—that might be a way of bringing Mr. Renwick around to attending to the furnace. The check was stopped” [MTP TS 20].
Hamilton Wright Mabie for the National Institute of Arts sent Sam a form stating his dues for $5 were “now payable” [MTP].
May 31 Wednesday – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to John Larkin.
Mr. Clemens directs me to say that he has stopped the check that is due Mr. Renwick on June 1st, as you suggest in your letter of May 29th
In his note of August 17th Mr. Renwick speaks of putting the house in repair; and as he did not fulfil his promise, Mr Clemens directs me to ask if it would not be well to declare war by suing for damages incurred by the severe bronchitis that Mr. Clemens had in the last winter, and by his being obliged to stay in his bed for many weeks owing to that illness.
In a note of Dec. 7th Mr. Renwick writes—“The work delayed your occupation of the house, but you must remember you were kind enough to tell me to take my time & your reward, if any, has been in having the house thoroughly done—I hope & believe. My only wish now is that you will enjoy residing there and will do so for many years to come with health & happiness to you & your family.”
Mr. Clemens directs me to say that he must have no heating in the house less perfect than Mr. John Howells’s best system, for he is expecting to have Miss Clemens at home during the coming winter, and that there is no room heated so that it would be safe for her to occupy it.
If testimony is needed Mr. Clemens can bring into court the testimony of a great surgeon‘—Dr. Hartley, a great physician‘—Dr. Quintard, another physician, Miss Gordon, and a trained nurse, that it would be entirely unsafe to take Miss Clemens into the house.
Mr. Clemens directs me to suggest suit could be brought for failure to keep this contract, if that would be better than to sue for damages [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: In their reports the Russians have lied so dreadfully, so baldly, so stupidly, that commenting upon it Mr. Clemens said it was “a pity, for it brings the art into disrepute”—ah, he is so interesting and so full of the power to make you long to do and be things just to satisfy his mighty intellect.
The music is wonderful. The Largo is like a caress [MTP TS 62].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “This evening Mr. Clemens read more of the wonderful microbe satire. Tonight it was the scientific investigation of the Fossil Flea” [MTP TS 20].
June – Century Magazine published Willis Gibson’s article, “Arkansas Fashion,” p. 276-92. Tenney: “A work of fiction which pleased MT with its many favorable references to him. The hero enjoys reading HF and has a cat named Tom Sawyer. For details see Gribben (1980), I, 257” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Fourth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1980 p. 174].
Sam wrote an essay, “As Concerns Interpreting the Deity,” which was not published in his lifetime. It was later collected in What Is Man? And Other Essays (1917) [Camfield’s Bibliog.]. Gribbens notes: “Mark Twain repeatedly quoted from Lives of the Twelve Caesars [by Suetonius]” in this essay.
June ca. – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to an unidentified man.
Thank Mr. Ashcroft— / Mr. Clemens says Oh please dont get the impression that C. C. knew that I was speaking of him in this matter. C. C. being rich & lazy & a very large gun, would not thank me for interesting myself in his affairs if he knew it—& possibly it might not even win his grace to know that I wasn’t thinking of his interests at all but only of the public’s & my own. We are very sorry to hear that Mrs. H is ill—& I am sorry for Conish, which must lose the family’s society for the summer. We are well here, & comfortable & satisfied. Clara is in Norfolk Ct. & comf. & satisfied—her natural sleep is restored to her after being absent & mislaid for more than a year. She drives about with the horse she got from Italy. She has her piano & is allowed to work a little, & her voice is stronger than it was before she was stricken down. With love to you both [MTP].
June 1 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to William Evarts Benjamin.
I am very glad indeed that the Gardiner spirit is laid to rest at last; & largely because you can get a rest yourself, now; you deserve it, for you have heroically earned it, & may you get it in full measure & enjoy it. Miss Lyon brought your letter to me yesterday afternoon, & was so bursting with laughter that she couldn’t control her jaws long enough to get out an explanation. I joined in, when I struck your next-to-last sentence.
I owe you many many thanks for pulling me out of the Tarrytown hole—I wish I may get out of my Fifth avenue tangle half as successfully.
We are prodigiously enjoying this place! I have written a third of a book here in 10 or 12 days.
With my kindest regards to you all, I am [MTP]. Note: Hill notes that Charles A. Gardiner, who had exercised his option to purchase the Tarrytown house “complained about some adjacent trolley tracks, and Clemens was required to put up $1,500 with a title company to clear the obstruction and to guarantee several quit claims” .
Sam also began a letter to Joe Twichell that he finished on June 2.
Dear Old Joe: / Certainly, give Osborn a letter. It will compromise me, but that is nothing, I don’t write any other kind except to strangers. I had a long talk with Wood when I was in Portland in ’95. He was a lawyer for a railroad—salary, $35,000 a year. He has written some poetry, and it is good and on a high plane.
I have read a little of his article which you sent. If I have not misunderstood him, he stands for morals without any qualifying adjective in front of the word. Just morals, I like it. It makes me cuss to see people talking about “public” morals and “private” morals and “legal” ones. There aren’t any. There’s merely just morals.
The legalizing of an immorality doesn’t purify it, it only whitewashes it. I could mention a few existing samples—but never mind. Joe, I don’t know how I would vote on the Rockefeller donation as a congregational minister but speaking for my own unsanctified self I would say like this, if it is tainted money take it, by all means and ship it to China—no other kind can legitimately be used in the missionary business there, when the Aments are sent to dance to the Golden Rule and bully better man into adopting a civilization which is inferior to our own. We do enjoy having Patrick with us again—the best man that ever wore clothes. And our old Katy is his match. Livy raised that pair.
Good bye and love to you all. / Mark.
Togo forever! I wish somebody would assassinate the Russian Family. So does every sane person in the world—but who has the grit to say so? Nobody. Try for Clara when you get to Norfolk. Jean and I are to see her before—before—well, we haven’t any idea when, yet [MTP]. Note: Sam’s old friend from West Point days, now an attorney and poet in Portland, Ore. was Charles Erskine Scott Wood. Gribben misidentifies this Wood as unidentified .
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Richard Watson Gilder.
Mr. Clemens wishes me to ask you if you will be good enough to send him the address of the author of the delightful story “Arkansas Fashion,” if you have it.
Mr. Clemens is well, and very busy these days; and Jean is very well and enjoying this beautiful wild country.
Mr. Clemens wishes me to convey to you and to Mrs. Gilder his very warm regards [MTP].
Note: Willis Gibson wrote the story that ran in the June 1905 Century Magazine. Gribben writes: “Clemens’ pleasure in the short story is easily explained: not only does it employ regional dialects and feature a hero from the state of Arkansas, familiar to Clemens from his years as a river pilot, but Gibson repeatedly alludes to the works of Mark Twain in the most flattering manner possible” .
Isabel Lyon’s journal: All day Mr. Clemens has been in his bed for this morning at 5 he slipped downstairs to get his ms. My instinct had been to take it up last evening, but I shut off the impulse and so he became chilled and fearing that he had taken cold Jean bade him stay in his bed—but at 5:20 he started to join Mr. Thayer on the path, and together they walked a bit and came back to the house to sit on the porch. There was no reading tonight for all day Mr. Clemens revised. It is a pity for us that as it drops from his pen it isn’t put right into print for there is so much of it that you want to dwell on and reread [MTP TS 62].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Wrote for some little books on Microbes” [MTP TS 20].
Harper & Brothers wrote to Lyon c/o Sam that Baker & Taylor Co. had answered their request for a book on microbes with Story of Germ Life, by H.W. Conn, and The Story of Bacteria, by Prudden. Both were elementary books on the subject, and they assumed these would meet Sam’s needs [MTP].
Elmer B. Harris wrote from the Hotel Brevoort, NYC to Sam, sending a play The Love of Life, which had been given to him in Germany. “The translator says that you once admired it.” Lyon wrote for him to see Elisabeth Marbury, dramatic agent. She added had he phoned the Harpers instead of mailingthe package, he would have learned first that her house adjoined the hotel and second “that she was far away from the city for the summer” [MTP].
June 1 after – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Elmer B. Harris.
Dear Sir: / It was very kind & thoughtful. I beg to recommend Miss Marbury, dramatic agent, Paris, & New York (Empire Theatre). / Very Truly Yours. / per / L.
If you had telephoned the Harpers instead of sending your pkg by mail to them to them you would have learned first that my house adjoins your hotel, & 2nd that I am far away from the city for the summer [MTP]. Note: the Brevoort Hotel adjoined Sam’s house at 21 Fifth Ave.
June 2 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam finished his June 1 to Joe Twichell.
P.S. / June 2/05
Joe, although you are a congregational minister, you know there are proprieties that must be observed. You know quite well that if the chair of Applied Chastity at Vassar should accept a donation from a reputed whore house, just that notorious repute, unconfirmed by any court, would settle it. Don’t you know that? Withdraw your mind from the wordy confusion and hair splitting “reasonings” of the day, and rest it and tranquillize it with contemplation of a simple and easy object-lesson, like this.
Let us imagine that the American Board is the trustee of Vassar, and responsible: that Granny Judson occupies the chair of Applied Chastity, a chair supported wholly by the donations of kindly people who, having been brought to practice a little chastity now and then and enjoy it, desire to extend its sweet restraints to the gentle Vasserlings sitting in innocent darkness and unaware. Now then let Granny take that money: those contributions are not public: for all Granny knows, they are pure: So far as she knows, their money is clean. Let her take it, and boom chastity with it: she is justified. But when America’s boss whore—by rumor mind you, mere universal and unchallenged rumor, and nothing more—sends a contribution wherewith to stimulate the spread of practical chastity in the college right at that point Granny must call a halt. Common propriety, elementary propriety requires it, Joe. / Mark [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Tonight Mr. Clemens read 20 pages of the microbe story” [MTP TS 62].
Elizabeth Nolde wrote from Florence, Italy to Sam. She had met him in Florence and he had advised her to publish the letters from Miss de Hail to Benjamin Constant in America first. She had found a translator but was afraid the American public would not be interested in the letters. Would Sam “give one superficial glance” and offer “words of introduction”? [MTP]. Note: Miss Lyon wrote on the letter that Sam was not allowed to write for anyone save his publisher.
E.B. Prondfit for Aeolian Co. wrote to Lyon c/o Sam with a notice that they had made a credit in their account of $8.25 [MTP].
June 3 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: These days I am carried away by Margaret Oglevie [sic Ogilvy]. Barrie will never approach that book again. Late evenings after Mr. Clemens and Jean have gone to their rooms I sit before the open fire and read in the room steeped in tobacco smoke, such good contenting smoke. You want to cry in pain over the beauty of this living [MTP TS 62]. Note: Margaret Ogilvy (1896) by Sir James M. Barrie, was a rather maudlin tribute to his mother, Margaret Ogilvy.
Inez H. Gillmore wrote from Scituate Mass. to Sam. She had just rec’d a letter from Samuel S. McClure quoting Sam about one of her first attempts at fiction, “The Story that Took” in June’s issue of McClure’s. “He did not send me the letter [Sam’s] (the pig!) and so I must forego the joy of seeing such words in our very hand-writing.” Sam had made her “very happy” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon wrote for Sam to Norman Hapgood of Collier’s.
Mr. Clemens has recd a letter from Twichell in which he says that Charley Clarke [sic] of Courant is going with Taft to the Phillippines [sic]. Makes this suggestion to you that you get Mr. Clarke to do your Phillippine writing for Collier’s. It would be a pity to enter it in the Courant—that he is an abandoned & incurable administration Republican & Jingo—but no matter, he’ll sparkle & whatever he says will be worth reading [MTP: Cushman file].
Elisabeth Marbury sent a statement to Sam with a balance due him of $18.40 [MTP].
June 4 Sunday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Jean and I drove along a lot of lovely highways and byways. Patrick’s horse is so nice to drive behind, and gives you only pleasurable emotions, doesn’t drive your heart into your throat by shying at nothing. We found lots of flowers and saw many birds too, and when we came home at 5 we found Mr. Clemens lying on the long couch, all cuddled up in his dressing gown for there wasn’t any fire in the room. Then after tea we had music. It is so good to be alive, and so alive [MTP TS 63].
June 5 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today is the anniversary of the great tragedy of this family. Sunday evening after that long day with Mother in Florence and after a sweet chat with Santissima [Clara], Mrs. Clemens’s light went out—now I can see Mr. Clemens’s face when I flew into his room and told him to go to Mrs. Clemens’s room. “Is it an alarm?” he said—but I didn’t know, they only told me to run and get him [MTP TS 63].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam, enclosing the letter from London about the Plasmon dividend being reinvested in the Company. He also quoted three paragraphs from John Simeon Bergheim, written after his brother’s death, about Plasmon operations there. Bergheim regretted the conflicts on the American side and added they were now getting Plasmon from France as well as from Germany at a “price much lower than it used to be” [MTP].
Norman Hapgood for Collier’s Weekly replied to Sam’s June 3. “There ought to be something for us in what Mr. Clark writes about the Phillipines, although we could not go into it in a series of articles. If Mr. Clark would let us see something that he thinks specially fitted for our paper we could in all probability get together.” He sent regards to Jean. Sam wrote from the word “article” above up to the right, “as a daily paper like the Courant can” [MTP].
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to advise Sam that $1,000 had been deposited in the Lincoln National Bank and also Harpers’ check for $583.33. She added “I hope you keep well these days” [MTHHR 584n1].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam enclosing his check for $25 in payment of coupons of the Atlanta Gas Co. due June 1, belonging to Livy’s estate; He also sent a similar note with $50 check to Clara Clemens for the same co. coupons [MTP].
Kate McGillicuddy wrote from Bradford, Pa. to Sam. She had sold many copies and sets of his books over the years, though she was not acquainted by him any closer than he was to Queen Victoria. Would he assist her in publishing a book of anecdotes of his? [MTP]. Note: on the back of page 3, IVL wrote, “Much too busy—but that is not the main reason—/ Shrink from assisting in any thing of so public a nature”
June 6 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Wrote Mr. Duneka not to trouble Mr. Howells about the book or Mark Twain letters. C.C. & J.L.C. want to collect & compile the letters” [MTP TS 20].
Trombley writes of Clemens’ attempt to persuade Howells to take on his biography:
…Howells ultimately declined the biography project. In early June [June 6], after discussing the matter with his daughters, Twain had Isabel write to Duneka, asking him not to bother Howells about editing his letters as now Clara and Jean had expressed interest in the project (even though in January he had suggested that Isabel should edit them). Two weeks later, he wrote Clara at her Norfolk, Connecticut, sanitarium saying he had appointed “you and Jean to arrange and publish my ‘Letters’ some day—I don’t want it done by any outsider. Miss Lyon can do the work, and do it well…and take a tenth of the royalty resulting.” Just three months later Twain changed his mind again, telling Isabel that Clara would be the principal editor and she could assist in the project. Jean was out. Visions of royalties danced in Isabel’s head…[MTOW 59]. Note: we cannot know for sure what danced in the head of Miss Lyon, but such assumptions may make for good book selling.
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to apologize to Sam for “an oversight of one of our staff,” who was to send Sam’s Congo article to Dr. Parke. They could not find an address for Parke, but only the Liverpool address of The Congo Newspaper; but there was no Parke there. This matter had not been reported to Clemens, so Duneka apologized, then added he hoped Sam liked his country place [MTP]. Note: Dr. Robert E. Park, not Parke.
Sam answered Duneka’s of this day:
Don’t trouble Howells about the matter of preparing a book of Mark Twain letters. My daughters want to undertake it. This pleases me more than I can tell. It would have been their mother’s work; they recognize that it is theirs now for her sake.
Shall be more than glad to have those little microbe books. The book I am writing has to have a large display of scientific learning in it in order to compel the gratitude of common schools and the public, and the burden of manufacturing it is beginning to tell on me. Help from other competent sources will be a relief to me, and I shall get it out of those little books. / Sincerely yours, …[MTP: Cushman file].
John R. Gow for the Congo Reform Assoc., Tremont Temple, wrote to Sam, quoting an Apr. 25 letter from Edmund Dene Morel of the English Congo Reform Assoc. to Dr. Park: “Mr. Clemens tells me that he has sent on to the American Congo Reform Association an article of about 10000 words entitled “King Leopold’s Soliloquy”, for you to use as you see fit.” Gow had not rec’d the article, and would appreciate having use of it [MTP]. Note: Miss Lyon answered for Sam on June 9.
John Larkin wrote to Sam enclosing a deed from Sam to Sandford Wilson for the Texas property that Sam needed to sign and swear before a notary, then return [MTP]. Note: Archer Co. Texas land of Livy’s.
June 7 Wednesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper: “Please hand to bearer & charge to me, paper copy of your ‘Rudiments of Manners,’ also paper copy of your ‘How to Conceal Mental Vacancy & Seem Intelligent’” [MTP]. Note: Hill points out this sarcasm as one of Sam’s “savage moods” and “disbelief in the Harper integrity” .
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today came a letter to me from Santissima [Clara]. A letter clamouring for news and talking of the concert tours she wants to make next winter. A great faith has come to Santissima. She had to reach out to something in her grief—a woman has to. She can comfort others perhaps, but she cannot comfort herself and she has to reach out for the help that is in the eternal. Perhaps a man doesn’t need it—I don’t know—be can shield and comfort and protect a woman, he’s shelter and comforter and protector by his right and instinct—the woman who hasn’t that human protector has got to turn to the spiritual one—and Santissima turned. She has such a pure beautiful flame burning out of her soul, and so much soul and intellect. I am allowed now to write to her.
This afternoon at five o’clock as I sat in front of the fire with a big book, Mr. Thayer arrived and I flew to let him in through the big window and then when he had commented quasi apologetically, and utterly lovingly upon his queer Canadian boots—I went to tell Mr. Clemens that he was here and soon the talk began. Mr. Clemens truly says of him that “he is a gem and included in the rent”. He is a delight, full of soul, intellect, great humanness, magnetism and great lovableness too. Jean started him on his bird subject, and he talked about birds and skunks and deer, etc. Saying a heap of rememberable things, and then regretting that he’d been started, for he really came to hear Mr. Clemens talk. But do we ever do what we think we’ve come to do? [MTP TS 63-64].
Ralph P. Buell wrote from NYC to thank Sam for “the many pleasant hours” spent reading his books. His query had to do with Sam’s remark of the brothers and sisters of Christ—what was his source? [MTP].
June 8 Thursday – Clara Clemens’ 31st birthday. Clara was in Norfolk, Conn. In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to her in care of Mrs. Bratenglier.
Ah, you dear little dear Clärchen! it is a lovely letter, and has made us all clamorously happy. I am going to send it to Aunt Sue.
You have gotten back your sleep. It is great—there’s nothing greater I reckon, among the blessings. It is a pity you must do some of your faithfully-done work over anew, but I hope it will turn out as it does with half-forgotten languages—come back easier than one is expecting. That your voice is stronger than it was, is most gratifying news. It means what the natural sleep does—that you are climbing handsomely health-ward. I’ll claim The Grenadiers for sure, dear heart! Thank you for remembering.
I think a very great deal of Miss Lyon.
Good place to work? this? I should say so! My! to think that I’ve written 30,000 words here! That used to take a kind of a forever. “Adventures of a Microbe.” I read a chapter aloud every night. It’s like Paris in Joan-of-Arc days.
Oh, lots and lots of love, dear little Blackspider blatherskite. /Father [MTP]. Note: “The Two Grenadiers,” German song; see Gribben p. 305.
Sam also wrote to Mr. Gibson.
If you should see the admirable Mr. Harbin soon, won’t you please praise, for me, his literary taste? I cannot very well do it myself, it might seem an intrusion, because although I know him I have not had the pleasure of meeting him [MTP]. Note: this was possibly to Willis Gibson, who wrote the story “Arkansas Fashion” in the June Century that Sam had inquired of Gilder about, asking for the address of the author.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: After I sent off only a postal to mother this morning I had my inspiration for the day. It had been a most busy 90-minutes, between breakfast and the coming and going of the mail man and after he went, Mr. Clemens sauntered downstairs with a little half smile that was a treasure. Speaking of the microbe book he is writing, he said “Well this morning I’ve given it its title and written the introduction and that’s always a hard thing to do.” That led me to say something about something he had written yesterday, and it started the flood of his wondrous speech. Up and down he paced, flinging his thoughts out of him, and I gave one of them a little bat, and he caught it and tossed it higher, with a voice deeply moved by the power of what was born within his brain, and finding life in speech of liquid gold. Do you wonder if I find myself, sitting and gazing off at the distant mountains, or into the near-at-hand woods—just steeped with the magnetism of his brain? Do you wonder? But suddenly, he stopped and said—“By gosh, I’ll go to work” and off he flew [MTP TS 64].
Samuel S. McClure wrote a short note to Sam, “glad to have taken a story told so as to give you a good time, and grateful to you for having taken time to tell us it was good story. I have proudly told the author that you liked it” [MTP]. Note: Story not specified.
June 9 Friday – Isabel Lyon wrote for Sam to Robert E. Park, Secretary of the Congo Reform Association of America, in reference to John R. Gow’s June 6 inquiry. Some time ago Sam had instructed Harpers to forward “King Leopold’s Soliloquy” to them; he inquired on June 8 about the matter and they apologized that they’d been unable to find their address.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This was the swamp day—Jean and I drove over to it and even our rubber boots didn’t keep us dry. I went over mine getting wild callas and Jean went over hers trying to find a red-winged black bird’s nest. It was so enchanting. When we came home we found Mr. Clemens curled up in the long wicker couch, with newspapers scattered over him and around him on the floor. Later we had music. It comes by inspiration, some days ever so much better than others. This evening more of the microbe story [MTP TS 64].
F.M. McIntire wrote from Vandergrift, Pa. to Sam, asking to use his name in selling a quilt for the purpose of raising $2,000 to finish and furnish the basement of the First Presbyterian Church there [MTP].
June 10 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Clemens has introduced a delightful character into the microbe book—“Katherine of Arragon”—She is so sweet and so foolish and so innocent, and so profane and so sympathetic that she’s exactly right. Mr. Clemens is enjoying the writing of the book so much too. He doesn’t know that Katherine is anywhere around when in she pipes with a remark that staggers that dear cholera germ. Oh, it is so interesting, and its positively holy to hear Mr. Clemens read it [MTP TS 64-65].
June 11 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to daughter Clara in Norfolk, Conn. in care of Mrs. Bratenglier.
Clärchen dear, I’ve written 16 pages—12 is a day’s work—& it’s only 2.45 p.m. Yesterday I stopped at 3.15, with 14 pages scored—no, it was 15. On all previous days I have had myself called from work at 5 o’clock, but you see I’m getting through long before 5 now. I know when the day’s work is done, by the feel—then I stop, let the product be big or little. I am at page 240, now—all written here (since May 20, I suppose.) It beats the record. The best record before was in Florence—5 weeks, ending about the end of January—31,000 words. This is the same output (31,500 words) but the time is considerably shorter.
Dear heart, I am gladder of the spiritual peace which has come to you than I can ever tell you. I was a criminal towards your mother in that matter, & can never forgive myself, but for her sake—& yours & mine—I shall try to my very best never to treat you so.
Maybe we would go to bed with the chickens, too, if there were any; but there is not a domestic animal near this perfectly still place. There’s not a sound of any kind after the wild birds go to bed—oh, it is the divinest place!
Now I’ll go below.
Goodbye, you dear rascal, & be happy! / Father [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s Journal: “Mr. Clemens is reading Suetonius on the Caesars, finding it very interesting too. Today he said that he’d just been reading how Caesar’s mother came into possession of a serpent-like scar at the time of Caesar’s birth—“and after that she wouldn’t bathe in public—she was so darmn particular.” Oh, his comments! The poverty of me—not to remember them all [MTP TS 65; also Gribben 252 in part]. Note: Suetonius Tranquillus C. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Trans. In 1796 by Alexander Thomson; 1876 ed.
June 12 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: After dinner tonight I spoke of one or two things mentioned in his brother’s manuscript, about how he, Mr. C., had shocked his mother by dancing the Schottisch until a late hour on board the boat of which he was pilot. He was taking his mother on a trip down to New Orleans. Then Mr. Clemens paced up and down the porch and told us how he had slept at the wheel that night, and waking suddenly he found himself in a part of the river that he didn’t know—and he was in a shute that was full of snags and he’d have a struggle to pull that boat out and not kill her. But he did it, and didn’t ring a bell, either [MTP TS 65]. Note: see Mar. 18, 1861 entry; Sam took his mother and sister Pamela on the Alonzo Child to St. Louis and then on to New Orleans on Mar. 26, leaving there on Mar. 28, 1861.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens is revising the microbe MS” [MTP TS 21].
Samuel J. Elder of Elder & Whitman, Attorneys, Boston, wrote to Sam. “I have taken the liberty to have the publishers send you a copy of the Yale Law Journal containing my article on ‘Duration of Copyright’” [MTP].
Robert L. Fulton wrote to Sam, disappointed he wouldn’t be coming to Nevada but Sam’s letter had given his people pleasure. “I have taken the liberty of sending you a small book in which I spoke of the Nevada Pioneers and pioneer conditions” [MTP]. Note: the book is not specified; not in Gribben.
Willis F. Johnson for Men of Mark wrote to Sam, enclosing an eight-page questionnaire from which they wished to publish an article in Men of Mark in New York. The material was not used [MTP].
June 13 Tuesday – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Katharine I. Harrison, asking her to transfer $2,000 from the Guaranty Trust to the Lincoln National Bank. She added, “Mr. Clemens is well” [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Jean wasn’t well today. She went down to her study, but came back so weary and dazed. Today the Thayers lunched here and Mr. Clemens and Mrs. Thayer talked of the “Quaker City” for a long time. Did Mrs. Thayer know anything about Mrs. Fairbanks?” [MTP TS 65].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam,enclosing a check for $11.01 “being half of a payment by John K. Ford on account of the sale of some land in Steuben County owned jointly by aunt Livy and myself” [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote from Hartford to Sam, announcing he was “going to Seattle in September to preach the sermon at the Anniversary Meeting there of the American Board” of Foreign Missions. He might mention the Rockefeller gift and would cite Sam’s views on it. He related having a dog nose him during a sermon, which prompted laughter by the children and then by himself. He was to perform a wedding in Norfolk on June 22 and could he stop and see Clara? And where? He also told of Col. Cheney undergoing an operation in San Francisco, and closed with: “I love you, old fellow, in spite of all your bad behavior, very, very dearly” [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env: “Can he call & see Clara? This question must be answered. / This letter to be preserved & put on [illegible word] with Auto.”
June 14 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “The microbe revision goes on and Mr. Clemens gives the sapient results to us” [MTP TS 65].
F.P. Keppel for Columbia University sent Sam a printed invitation to be a guest at the 151st Commencement, Wednesday June 14, 11 a.m. A place would be reserved for him in the Academic Procession [MTP].
June 15 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Headache (?) not sure.
It is summer, supreme summer with heat that glows and glorifies.
Today Mr. Clemens couldn’t write. He’s been tiring himself, and indigestion follows with a brain fog—so he spent most of the day loafing on the porch, reading and smoking [MTP TS 65-66].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Today Mr. Clemens began to read the Revision of the microbe Story” [MTP TS 21].
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam, having rec’d a letter from Thomas S. Barbour of the Congo Reform Assoc., Boston, about their receipt of “King Leopold’s Soliloquy.” Could they use it without restriction? Was it to be published in any magazine? [MTP].
Esther Singleton wrote from NYC to Sam. She was collecting short stories for a book to be published by Collier & Son. Would he allow her to use “Tom Quartz” and the story of the Old Ram? [MTP].
June 16 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam replied to the June 15 from Frederick A. Duneka.
I think your briefest & compactest reply to the Congo Reform Assn. will be something like this—“Harper and Brothers have no property in ‘King Leopold’s Soliloquy.’ Mr. Clemens asked us to give it back to him because he wished to give it to you, and we did so. However, to be strict to the letter it is necessary for us to go through with the formality of granting you the right to use the article in a magazine, publish it as a pamphlet & sell it at a price, and this we do with all good will. By this you will understand that we relinquish our right to ever use it in print in any way without your free & unembarassed consent.”
They are evidently afraid of future trouble, Duneka, but if my suggestion as above is satisfactory to you, no doubt it will be to them. If it isn’t please amend it. I hope they will get it out soon and force it to a wide circulation. I shall feel sweeter inside after I have spewed out my opinion of Leopold.
I am deep in a new book which I enjoy more than I have enjoyed any other for twenty years and I hope it will take me the entire summer to write it; in which case it will be a giant for size judging by the stack of manuscript I have ground out on it since I arrived here. / Sincerely Yours [MTP]. Note: Harpers had rejected King Leopold’s Soliloquy, but agreed to release rights to it for the American Congo Reform Assoc. See Apr. 11, 1905 to Morel.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Quite sure—medicine helps.
Today Dr. Stowele and Mrs. Dr. Stowele [sic Stowell] called but Mr. Clemens didn’t see them, and then Mr. Thayer came and they had a long chat, Mr. Clemens and he, on the porch.
I am slowly reading the “Innocents Abroad,” and it is so delightful [MTP TS 66].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam with a number of miscellaneous thoughts and happenings. He couldn’t understand why Sam had not answered his May 26 letter. He was going to Fairhaven this night “for a few days”; he didn’t feel the time was right to sell Amalgamated stock and so was putting it off; Urban H. Broughton was recovering from an operation; Clarence C. Rice “comes around and sees us occasionally”; he hoped to hear from Sam soon [MTHHR 586].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam. “If you have any stock in any telephone company, sell it—quick! The German Baptist Conference in Indianapolis has formally denounced the telephone as an invention of the devil” [MTP].
Louis S. Beckwith wrote on The Sessions Clock Co., letterhead, Forestville, Conn. to ask Sam for a copy of the epitaph he’d placed on Livy’s headstone, as his wife had died a few weeks earlier and he wanted to use the sentiment [MTP].
June 17 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to his attorney, John Larkin.
Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him and say that if this month ends without any permission from Mr. Renwick for work to be begun on the furnaces, why shouldn’t John Howells be put to work on July first on the $225000 hot water heating equipment.
Mr. Clemens suggests that Mr H. should take reputable experts with him to the house, to first examine & set down the condition of things there, so that he will have proof when the work is finished, that the home has not been damaged.
Mr. Clemens directs me to ask if it would be a good idea to bring suit against Mr. Renwick at the same time for from ten to twenty thousand dollars damages for last winter.
Mr. Weinant & clerk—& Mr. Renwick were present at the time that Mr. Renwick promised to do all that was necessary to make the house so comfortable that Mr. Clemens would wish to occupy it indefinitely. The understanding was that Mr. Weinant’s clerk was to put down in writing all the various improvements that Mr. Renwick had promised to make in the house. When Mr. Clemens went for the written statement, he found only the little slip of paper that he showed to you. Mr. Weinant’s clerk was an intelligent looking young man, & would be a good witness [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Oh, the purity of these days. Mr. Clemens read a long time this afternoon in the microbe revision. He has cleared away one or two little fogs and it reads very smoothly and connectedly and with ever growing interest. Tonight Mrs. Thayer and Gerald dined here. Mr. Thayer wasn’t well enough to come. We had a nice little dinner and afterward they told anecdotes, but mostly Mr. Clemens did. I had a letter from Santissima too.
Mr. Clemens talked to me this afternoon about the way to train people, men in colleges, to think. Citing the for-and-against the reconstructing of Rome into an empire by Caesar. It is so delightful to hear and to watch him talk [MTP TS 66].
June 18 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to daughter Clara in Norfolk, Conn.
It’s raining, dearheart, been raining several hours. The horse is at the door, so I judge Jean is going out driving. Patrick is standing by, superintending. It’s good to look at him—he’s just a dear!
Shoves back his cap & scratches his head, just as he used to do ages ago—his way of acknowledging the presence of his superiors.
Those are very cunning portraits in “Life.” It is hard to say which is best, Petrarch, Dante, Emerson or Shakespeare. I’m not quoted, dear—beyond the mute portrait—only the departed supremacies speak there. but didn’t catch her at home.
Milly Cheney Larned is a neighbor of ours. We drove over, yesterday, but didn’t catch her at home.
Ben dear, I don’t like that bronchial weakness; you must get rid of it. Mine is permanent, you mustn’t let yours get so.
I’m appointing you & Jean to arrange & publish my “Letters” some day—I don’t want it done by any outsider. Miss Lyon can do the work, & do it well. There’s plenty Letters here & there & yonder to select from; Twichell has 250, Howells used to have a bushel, Mr. Rogers has some, & so on. Miss Lyon can do the actual work, & take a tenth of the royalty resulting.
I’m reading Suetonius again, oh, good land! This country is not Rome-in-the-days-of-the-early Caesars, but—there are resemblances. And they are increasing. In a hundred years there’ll be a king roosting here. His grandfather is among us now; I’d like to know his name. I already know the monarchy’s ancestor, the same being the Republican Party; after which comes the Labor Party, & after it the Monarchy.
Good-bye you dear ashcat, & love & kisses from / Father [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Splendid heat, but rheumatism for me. Teresa rubbed the skin off my back. Mr. Clemens is reading the revision to us as we sit on the piazza. It is so very delightful. This afternoon Mr. Clemens went with Jean to call on Mrs. Learned, but she wasn’t at home.
This is mother’s birthday, 67, and she doesn’t look it, she doesn’t feel it, she doesn’t act it. She said 68, but she’s 67, born in 1838.
This afternoon, late, we had music. I wasn’t feeling very well, but the music was a benediction [MTP TS 66].
June 19 Monday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam replied to H.H. Rogers’ June 16:
Why, I must have answered it. [Rogers’ May 26 letter] It may be that I merely worded the answer in my mind & then thought I had written & sent it, I am aware that that does happen to me sometimes. It’s like intending to wind a watch; the intention gets registered as an act, & the watch runs down.
No, indeedy, I’m not sick—I’m trying to work myself to death—& not succeeding, but I keep up the rush just the same. I am enjoying it.
We were fortunate to find this place. It is perfectly satisfactory. Jean is outdoors all the time; I am indoors all the time, & both of us are content. Clara has lost some of her voice again—thinks the cause is bronchial. But she says she is having delightful times, & drives out every day, over very pretty country roads.
We are hoping & expecting that before very long we shall be allowed to go to Norfolk & see Clara. Twichell is to see her soon. His duties will carry him to Norfolk to disseminate some of his trade-superstitions.
I am exceedingly glad to hear that Broughton is all right again, & this time I hope it is a permanency.
If you can make Rice believe he owes me money, collect it & we will divide. Don’t strike him high—it would start his suspicions—hit him moderate, & get what you can.
You might try it with Mrs. Rogers, too. You can hit her harder, she has confidence in good people & is not suspicious [MTHHR 586-7].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Oceans of rain and fog and penetrating dampness. Mr. Clemens writes busily, busily all the day. If by chance you ever have to go into his room where he is working he never sees you, and his face is wonderful to look upon. His life within is a tremendous one. It is no wonder that he can read through and through the fool tricks of the human race. The things that are so real to them are flimsy nothings to him.
My strength is returning and the music was a delight [MTP TS 66-7].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote to Sam unable to get any information from Col. Fairchild about the Cashier investment, but he had learned from Fairchild’s lawyer, who was also the Spiral Pin Co.’s lawyer “that things are much brighter.” A conflict between the Cashier Co. and the Pope Co. was to be resolved shortly [MTP].
John Larkin wrote to Sam that unless Renwick “undertook the heating” of 21 Fifth Ave., that Larkin would “be compelled to have the work done and the expense” charged against rent [MTP].
Edmund Dene Morel wrote to Sam, sending the address of Dr. Robert E. Park as Tremont Temple, Boston [MTP].
Charles T. Scott wrote from Litchfield, Maine to Sam, asking for “a few words” for his article “Are a Man’s Chances of Winning Success Better Before or After Forty,” for the Boston Sunday Herald [MTP].
June 20 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight after dinner as Jean and I sat in the glow of the fire burning on the good big hearth in the living room, Mr. Clemens paced the room and told Jean the story of Japan and her change of government, about the Daimios and the Shogun and the almost spiritual power of the Mikado. The talk was brought about by Mr. Clemens speaking of the Chinese and Japanese working for such low wages that they cannot be admitted to this country for they would underwork and starve out Americans. It’s powerfully good talk. He described the daimios and their princely retinues and the big “swells” of Japan [MTP TS 67]. Note: daimios were feudal lords who owned large amounts of land.
Ralph P. Buell wrote on Graham & L’Amoreaux Law Offices letterhead, NYC, to Sam. Upon his return to the city, Buell found Sam’s “very courteous note & enclosure” and thanked him “most earnestly for our kindness & to crave your pardon again for putting you to so much trouble” [MTP].
John Larkin wrote to report a meeting with Renwick. The work had been delayed due to Renwick’s need to consult with other parties who owned an interest and secure estimates. Renwick presented specifications for the work which were satisfactory [MTP].
Walter Pulitzer wrote to Sam [MTP]. Note: not found at MTP.
June 21 Wednesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Samuel J. Elder.
I have read your article with great interest—& also with great profit. I am glad to have it, & I thank you.
I was at the meeting you speak of, & offered & explained the two motions I went there to make—then hurried away. But they passed. One of them was the “life & 50 years” proposition.
Your letter has put a motion into my head: have some of the literary guild go to Washington in the fall, get the help of the President & John Hay, & ask Congress to pass a special act extending Mr. Hale’s copyrights to life & 50 years after?
The thing once done & concreted—with the sure applause of press & nation—it would come easy to Congress (finding the water not so cold as expected) to go ahead & make the plunge for all American authorship.
The log-rolling for Mr. Hale’s bill would be unlaborious. I stayed on the floor of the House (without having received the thanks of Congress), 3 hours once & polled both parties for the existing international law, and even that was no very hard work.
And then I got the thanks of Congress, besides—for going away. / Very Truly Yours [MTP]. Note: boxed in the right corner of the letter: “The above alludes to an article on copyright pub. In the Yale Law Mag.”
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. Clemens read on in the microbe satire. It is strong, fearfully strong, touching on all the great events of the day and telling the truth about them too. It is so clever—and so scathing. After the reading when Mr. Clemens explained to Jean what a “Tiger” is in a cheer he went on to tell how 40 years ago the Chinamen in San Francisco (perhaps they do it now too) applauded by imitating a sky rocket and Mr. Clemens did it, he imitated with voice and upward sweep of his arm, the soaring flight—the vanishing and the bursting of the rocket. Because there is so much soul in him, perhaps, he puts it into what he does [MTP TS 67].
Poultney Bigelow wrote from Munich, Germany to Sam, “back at my Munich workshop pegging away at some more lectures for the winter of 1905/06.” He sent a picture of the Thistle “having had a most delightful spattering of salt water on board.” He gave travel plans for Panama, Porto Rico, and Boston by January for his lectures. He asked for Sam’s acceptance “on paper for the next ANNUAL DINNER of the ENDS of the EARTH on February 2 in New York” [MTP]. I: next to this last item, Sam wrote “as my guest” in pencil.
June 22 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Jean and I drove over to Marlboro and then trolleyed to Keene in the rain today. It was a nice trip—moist.
Mr. Clemens read more of that satire dwelling on the currency and he made a beautiful allusion to Katherine of Aragon. Dear, foolish, gentle, loving Katherine. Today Mr. Clemens talked about the Japanese battle front being 400 miles long. Grant’s was 1200 miles and Grant was the only General ever, who didn’t hold councils of war.
Mr. Clemens found a little notice in the English Review of Reviews that said Togo was graduated from Indianapolis. He sent the cutting to Norman Hapgood asking him if he had over looked that fact. Mention had been made of it at the St. Louis Exposition, in a speech, but the speech didn’t weigh so much then for Togo wasn’t the victor of the Battle of the Sea of Japan [MTP TS 67-68].
Henry J. Shields wrote on City of New York Law Dept. letterhead to ask Sam the date of his article in the NY Times, which exposed “the scandal connected with the office of The Seaman’s Exchange in New York City. Wm. R. Duncan was Shipping Commissioner at the time” [MTP].
June 22 ca. (on or after) – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote a short note for Sam to Henry J. Shields: “article was written after moving into the Home in Hfd in 1874—but how long after Mr. Clemens cannot remember” [MTP].
June 23 Friday – Tuckey puts this day as the last work Sam did on “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes” . Note: also, Starrett, MT Encyc. 736.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mrs. Dwight called, we were having tea on the porch. Mr. Clemens had just joined us, so Jean told him he mustn’t escape, he must stay and be good. Prosper [Jean’s dog] appeared just then, and that threw the talk into the lovely story of Mr. Clemens’s trip to New York to keep an appointment with Mr. Daly, and how Mr. Daly’s big Irishman wouldn’t admit Mr. Clemens. He hadn’t admitted anyone to that sanctum for 25 years without instructions from Mr. Daly to do so. This day there hadn’t been any instructions. Mr. Clemens had been told how to find the sanctum, go into a court, from a street and go to the first door that you see. There was the door but behind it was the big Irishman. No, Mr. Clemens couldn’t see Mr. Daly, and no one was allowed to smoke there either. So Mr. Clemens put his cigar down. But that morning the New Haven news dealer who boarded the train had only New Haven papers, they were better than nothing, so Mr. Clemens bought one and read it all, advertisements even,—one whole page was given up to a Bench Show, and the only illustration was that of a big prize $10,000 St. Bernard. Mr. Clemens read it all, read the dimensions and weight and name of that dog, go the name of the head man of the Bench Show too. As he stood trying to convince the big Irishman that Mr. Daly wanted to see him, that his business was of interest to Mr. Daly, the Irishman blandly said, “Yes, they all say that”—a big St. Bernard entered the little room. The Irishman’s face changed as the splendid creature walked in. He had just asked Mr. Clemens the nature of that business and Mr. Clemens told us that he couldn’t say he was a lecturer, he wouldn’t stand any show with the Irishman—but he did say he was the bench show man from New Haven. The Irishman flew around, pulled off his vest, hadn’t any coat on, and dusted the only chair for Mr. Clemens, and Mr. Clemens did it all for us, he dusted off the chair, he was the happy worshipful Irishman to a dot, and he told us how he guessed the length and weight of that dog so captivating the Irishman that he showed Mr. Clemens the way up to Mr. Daly’s sanctum to the utter amazement of Mr. Daly [MTP TS 68-69]. Note: Sam shared this same story in a dinner speech on Apr. 13, 1887; see entry, Vol II.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam, enclosing a letter from John T. Lewis, of Elmira. “Shall I tell him to apply direct to the Insole Company for his next pair of Insoles?” [MTP]. Note: written by Miss Lyon on the bottom: “Send bill to Mr. Clemens”
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam, having sent the letter Sam suggested to the Congo Reform Assoc. in Boston. He considered it “good news about the pile of [Sam’s] manuscript growing so rapidly.” He advised that Col. Harvey would sail for home on July 5 [MTP].
Edward Lauterbach wrote a short thank-you note to Sam for his congratulations upon Lauterbach’s elevation to Doctor of Laws [MTP].
June 24 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Joe Twichell. After several pages of bile dumped about Theodore Roosevelt, though he believed “praise & blame” were “unwarrantable terms when applied to coffee-mills”—in other words, man has no more control over his acts than a coffee-mill—Sam wrote of his work and daughters:
I began a new book here in this enchanting solitude 35 days ago. I have done 33 full days’ work on it. To-day I have not worked. There was another day in this present month wherein I did not work—you will know that date without my telling you.
I have written you to-day, not to do you a service, but to do myself one. There was bile in me. I had to empty it, or lose my day to-morrow. If I tried to empty it into the North American Review—oh, well, I couldn’t afford the risk. No, the certainty! The certainty that I wouldn’t be satisfied with the result; so I would burn it, & try again to-morrow; burn that, & try again next day. It happens so, nearly every time. I have a family to support, & I can’t afford this kind of dissipation. Last winter when I was sick I wrote a magazine article three times before I got it to suit me. I put $500 worth of work on it every day for ten days; & at last, when I got it to suit me it contained but 3,000 words—$900. I burned it, & said I would reform.
And I have reformed. I have to work my bile off, whenever it gets to where I can’t stand it, but I can work it off on you economically, because I don’t have to make it suit me. It may not suit you, but that isn’t any matter, I’m not writing it for that. I have used you as an equilibrium-restorer more than once in my time, & shall continue, I guess. I would like to use Mr. Rogers, & he is plenty good-natured enough, but it wouldn’t be fair to keep him busy rescuing me from my leather-headed business-snarls & make him read interminable bile-irruptions besides; I can’t use Howells, he is busy & old & lazy, & won’t stand it; I dasn’t use Clara, there’s things I have to say which she wouldn’t put up with—a very dear little ashcat, but has claws.
And so—you’re It.
I suppose you saw Clara day before yesterday. She wrote that she was going to ask you to stay over night in her house. I judge by that that Dr. Quintard is beginning to be less exacting with her, less strenuous. It’s a happy sign. Jean is in fine strength, & does a deal of wholesome driving & horsebacking. There is nothing like the open air; I often look out of the window myself. Love to you all. / Mark [MTP]. Note: the book Sam began 35 days prior (May 20) and abandoned on June 23 was the unfinished “3,000 Years Among the Microbes,” as told from the point of view of a cholera microbe. In Isabel’s journal for June 26, she states this letter had been “sent on Saturday and stopped,” indicating he may have delayed it or not sent it.
Isabel Lyon’s Journal: This afternoon Jean went off on Scott [horse] for the first time in a long, long time. His back has been so sore. Mr. Clemens came down saying that he was going to see Mr. Thayer, and he started with a step as light as a boy’s. As Jean and I sat discussing Scott’s rather frolicsome behavior, Mr. Clemens returned uttlerly exhausted. It had been a steep scramble, he had slipped and fallen, for he wore his thin house shoes and the soles are as smooth as satin. He didn’t get any farther than the Pembertons, just below here, and after he had rested a bit down stairs, he took his Suetonius and went up stairs to sleep a little. Mr. Clemens told us that some of the Pemberton’s were coming to call—so we frocked us, and they came.
After dinner we hadn’t any ms. reading, for Mr. Clemens had put all his morning into a long letter to Mr. Twichell, but he talked. Oh, how he talked—until nearly ten o’clock. We were talking of mistakes people make. Ugo in particular, this time—and Teresa said “Ah, who is there that does not make mistakes—only in Paradise, Signorina, are those who make no mistakes.” When I told Mr. Clemens he said, “She hasn’t got the latest returns from there, or she’d know differently.” Teresa is desperate because she does not learn English rapidly. She knows that what Mr. Clemens writes is diverting and when I told her encouragingly that some day she would read his books, she said, “Ah, Signorina, when I can read English I shall have been dead twenty years.” [MTP TS 69]. Note: Suetonius Tranquillus C. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Trans. In 1796 by Alexander Thomson; 1876 ed. Ugo and Teresa Cherubini were servants who returned with the Clemens family from Florence.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Miss Clemens [Clara] was in N.Y. on this date & the throat specialist that she consulted has said that she must not sing a note for four months. The vocal chords are affected by the appendical operation” MTP TS 21].
Frank J. Firth wrote from Phila. to Sam, sending blank sheets for Sam’s autograph and “a few lines” to be used in Twain books for the benefit of the Germantown Hospital [MTP]. Note: Miss Lyon wrote on the bottom: “Mr. Clemens prepared / the sheets & ‘then got afraid’—/ and wrote for his indentification”
Norman Hapgood for Collier’s Weekly wrote to thank Sam “for helping to keep me up with all the work the Creator of our blessings is doing for his unworthy subjects.” He hoped to see Sam soon and sent regards to Jean Clemens [MTP].
June 25 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Frederick A. Duneka.
I hear & comply. The easiest way for me to furnish the details you ask for, was to answer your letter with another one, & I have done that. It is handy for you, too; for you can at your pleasure talk the details to any journalists that come to you, or print my letter on slips & hand them to as many of the boys as will accept, informing them that you asked me about my summer & my industries & if I have acquired a house here for next summer, & so on, & this letter is my reply—& as it covers everything it will save both you & them time & labor if they will take it & print part of it or the whole of it, just as they please. Maybe Melville Stone might get something out of it for the A.P.
If I can further help the boom in any way, command me freely.
Sincerely Yours / SLC
I tell you, a jury to read to is a good scheme. In two places I felt a wince—I didn’t see it, I wasn’t looking. I struck those two places out. But for the wince I should not have discovered that the emendations were needed [MTP]. Note: MTP dates “ca. June 25” but the letter is headed “Sunday”.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Half my life ago, I read the Cenci. I wonder who reads it now? And how terrible, how very terrible it is.
Jean goes up stairs here at 7:20 and finds her father lying on the bed with his shoes and stockings off and a jager blanket over his stomach. She scolds, and he chuckles. Oh, his chuckles. Tonight he talked again, for he had started Jean at dinner when he said Patriotism is a Passion, not a Principle. Religion is a Principle—(but I’ve made notes elsewhere). He went up stairs at 9:30. But he had lost his pen, so I flew up with a full one; he sat up in his bed like the white, white king that he always looks, he hadn’t any idea of his beauty, for he cannot see himself—and if he could, I wonder if he’d suspect the beauty [MTP TS 69-70]. Note: The Cenci, A Tragedy in Five Acts (1819) a verse drama by Percy Bysshe Shelley, inspired by an Italian family
June 26 Monday – Sam wrote the poem “Apostrophe to Death,” not published in his lifetime:
O Death, O sweet & gracious friend,
I bare my smitten head to Thee, & at thy sacred feet
I set my life’s extinguished lamp & lay my bruised heart
[Tuckey, “The ‘Me’ and the Machine” 135; Scott, Poetry MT 126-7]. Note: Hill gives the title as “An Invocation to Death” (as does Miss Lyon in the entry below) and notes that Sam read the poem to the “cozy group around the fire, and the next day Miss Lyon was ‘weak with the wonder of that poem’ all day long” .
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. Clemens read his poem “An Invocation to Death”, and oh the terrible strength of it. Today the barber came from Peterboro to cut Mr. Clemens’s hair. Today Mr. Faulkner called. Tonight Mr. Clemens read the 13 page letter to Mr. Twichell that had been sent on Saturday and stopped. Full of politics and splendid things. He lays Roosevelt bare. Yes, I am near a throne [MTP TS 70]. Note: This is likely Barry Faulkner (mentioned in the June 28 entry), the same gentleman Miss Lyons met with Witter Bynner (and called him Binny) at Cecchina’s Restaurant in NYC on May 3, as that Mr. Faulkner knew the Thayers in Dublin.
Frederick B. Bess wrote from Peoria, Ill. to Sam, asking if he might use pictures on p. 24, 34 & 36 from LM in his popular history of Peoria [MTP]. Note: Sam’s answer, which Lyon wrote, is cataloged as “On or after June 26”— “on” is not possible due to mail time. Sam’s answer is therefore estimated as ca. July 1.
M. Worth Colwell wrote from N.Y.C. to Sam, proposing “the possibilities of constructing a splendid Comic Opera,” using part of CY, the score being written by Walter Pulitzer who had done two operas which would run next season in New York. He then recalled a meeting with Twain “about seventeen years ago” when he was a little boy, at O.W. Palmer’s house and at Mr. Schumacher’s house in Elmira. He recalled Sam calling him “fillybuster” [MTP]. Note: the 1877 Elmira City Directory lists Peter Schumacher, but no O.W. Palmer. Within a day or two Sam responded (likely an instruction to Isabel Lyon) on the bottom left corner of Cowell’s letter: “refer to Miss Marbury—any arrangement she makes will be satisfactory to Mr. Clemens.”
Louis S. Beckwith wrote to Isabel Lyon. “Your favor of june 22nd with the epitaph…has been received. May I trouble you to extend to Mr. Clemens the assurance of my profound appreciation” [MTP]. Note: see June 16.
M. Worth Colwell wrote to Sam enclosing a letter of introduction from Mr. Walter Pulitzer. Colwell inquired about staging a comic opera from CY [MTP]. Note: he was referred to Marbury.
June 27 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: All day I’ve been weak with the wonder of that poem [See June 26 journal]. Mr. Clemens made some corrections in it and then let me take it—to read and read this morning. Later he came down stairs and talked about the kind of woman Mrs. Howells is. I’d just been saying that according to the way that Mr. Howells has depicted womankind in “Miss Billard’s Inspiration” [sic] he must have either an enchanting wife, or an utterly inconsequential one, and I think it is probably the latter, but there is that inconsequential side to every woman anyway. It wouldn’t be at all worth while for one woman to try to conceal anything from Mr. Howells anyway—for he knows everything about every woman [MTP TS 70]. Note: Miss Bellard’s Inspiration; A Novel (1905) by Howells.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Today word came from Mr. Stoeckel that Miss Clemens’s horse ran away. She was not driving it” MTP TS 21-22]. Note: Robbins Battell Stoeckel.
June 28 Wednesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
This is a line to say there’s a report in Norfolk, Conn. (which we are doing what we can to keep out of the papers) that Clara’s horse has been running away with her. It isn’t so. It was her horse, but she wasn’t in the carriage.
Jean & I expect to go see Clara in a few days—as soon as we get a permit from the doctor, which may come any day now. It is pretty cold weather here, but we don’t mind it.
With warm regards to both of you [MTHHR 587-8].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Jean and I lunched with Mrs. Thayer and Mary and Gladys and Barry Faulkner. It was a delight, especially as Mr. Faulkner and I taked a monstrous much, there was ever so much to say about Mr. Binner [sic Bynner]. Some enemy has called him “Two yards of Ribbon” and Mrs. Zoe Norris—I cannot find the literary flavor that she thinks she has, in what she writes. Mary Thayer and I walked around to the Monadnock P.O. and she told me a little of her life and also of her enthusiasm for Tolstoi and Turgenieff’s. Again I saw Gladys’s lovely flower studies, Oh, they are such a rare family—splendid! [MTP TS 70].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens sent word. Today that he would await Mr. Larkin’s decision about sending the rent check to Mr. Renwick” [MTP TS 22].
J.W.P. Bunning of Hewes & Potter Co., mfgrs. Of suspenders, belts and novelties in Men’s wear, Boston wrote to Sam, thanking him for his recent order, and advising that the two pair of Bull Dog suspenders were sent under separate cover [MTP].
June 29 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to daughter Clara in Norfolk, Conn.
Ah dear heart, I am very sorry you are not going to be able to sing the Two Grenadiers BUT I shan’t be sorry if you are with us instead of out on the concert stage singing for strangers.
Yes, my bronchial affection is in a sense permanent: my port lung got a permanent damage in Berlin, & if I should catch 500 colds they would all be followed by bronchitis.
I shall be glad to see Togo & Bro. & the sorrowful hound when I come. We have no live stock here except Jean’s blind brontosaurus & her beautiful horse.
I have been in bed all day, because I got back my back last night. I thought it was going to be bad, but it seems to have disappeared. I have spent the day reading the book I wrote in Florence. I destroyed 125 pages of it, & expect to go over it again to-morrow & destroy 25 more. Then I think I will take hold of it & finish it, dropping the microbe book meantime.
Col. Higginson sat by my bed an hour to-day, looking like the grandfather of himself as I used to know him 25 or 30 years ago. He is a sterling man, & I am glad he’s a neighbor. We’ve got a number of very choice neighbors. Col. H. said it was Mr. Darwin who first introduced him to the Jumping Frog & made him read it.
Jean has just paid me a visit, & has ordered me to eat some breakfast in the morning, but I probably shant. I have been fasting 26 hours now. It is good for me. No, it isn’t fasting—I take a little plasmon every 3 hours. That is very different from fasting.
With best love, dear Ashcat [MTP]. Note: Clara was in seclusion for her health. She stayed at Mrs. Bratenglier’s in Norfolk, Connn.; As Hill points out, in the fourth paragraph Sam discusses his switch from Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes to The Mysterious Stranger . “The Two Grenadiers,” German song; see Gribben p. 305. Togo & Bro. & the sorrowful hound was likely noted in a not-exant letter from Clara. Jean carved wooden creatures and the “blind brontosaurus” was likely one; her horse was “Scott.”
Sam also wrote to Samuel J. Elder of Elder & Whitman Attorneys, the letter not extant but referred to in Elder’s July 3 reply.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: All day Mr. Clemens has been in his bed, and fasting—a wretched indigestion has been troubling him for several days now. This afternoon as Jean and I were having tea on the porch, Col Higginson came. He joined us out there and had some tea and things and then went up to see Mr. Clemens. He is older than I expected to find him and fondly full of his daughter who is to be married in September. He said that this morning he received a notice from some Italian that the Barberini palace in Rome is for sale at a million dollars. He spoke of Moncure D. Conway’s wife as being a most remarkably fine woman, her great gift of common sense never deserting her. When he came down from Mr. Clemens’s room I led him out to the path through the woods—but first we stopped to talk of the very charming little story that his daughter wrote some time since. I had to tell him how lovely it is, and he said that there was no surer way to reach his heart than in a word of praise of his daughter [MTP TS 71].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “John Lewis’s pension is and now. / This afternoon Col. Higginson called” [MTP TS 22].
Dr. Thomas S. Barbour for the Congo Reform Assoc. wrote to Sam. “We are in consultation with Harper & Brothers and the American News Company as to plans of publication. Our debt to you is very great” [MTP].
Maria C. Gay (Mrs. Julius Gay) wrote from Farmington, Conn. to Sam, asking for an introduction to her cousin and his professor friend, who were nearby Dublin:
I have been asked to give Dr Henderson and Stuart Montgomery a card of introduction to you, which of course I do not wish to do without first explaining them to you and asking your permission—Dr Henderson has written several delightful books; one a story, and two volumes of essays, all published by Houghton and Mifflin—He is a Harvard graduate, has lived abroad, and travelled much—Last year Stuart Montgomery (my cousin) went around the world with him, in fact has been much of the time with him during the last four years—New he is a student at Harvard, but is with Dr Henderson this summer at a camp near Dublin that the Dr. has had five or six years for boys, mostly Philadelphia boys, and some Harvard students— ….
My cousin and the doctor have just learned that you and your family are lodged for the summer at Dublin, hence their letter of request to me, knowing that I had the pleasure of an acquaintance with you—It really delighted my heart last spring at Mrs Day’s to see you and Jean looking and seeming so well; I had a lovely talk too and visit with Mrs Crane— … [MTP]. Notes: See Isabel V. Lyon’s answer for Sam ca. July 1. See Vol. II for entries on Gay. Charles Hanford Henderson (1861-1941), educator and writer, had been headmaster at the private school for boys, Chestnut Hill Academy near Philadelphia.
Robert W. Jones for Housekeeper Magazine wrote apologies to Sam for including a “little story” related by Dr. C.W. Brown of Wash. D.C., formerly of Elmira. The story proved false. “The wisdom of Mr. Boswell, who reserved his anecdotes until after his victim’s death, is now apparent to me. I promise never again to indulge in biography” [MTP].
June 29 ca. – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon responded for Sam to M. Worth Colwell’s June 26 letter from New York [MTP]. Note: MTP has this as “on or after June 26.” Here time is allowed for Colwell’s letter to travel from N.Y. to N.H. and be answered.
June 30 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Hamlin Garland.
Yesterday I took a day off from work—the first in 39 consecutive days—& burned 30,000 words, & am now taking a fresh start for another long siege (with 4,000 words to my credit to-day); but I put in yesterday’s holiday & up to 2 this morning reading your book—criminal dissipation for a laboring man & slow reader, & I knew I ought to follow my rule & go to sleep at 11, but I was caught with the last third unread, & had to go on to the end, it was so enthralling. I like that book exceedingly, & some day when I get another holiday I will write another word about it, but not now. I must save fuel for to morrow [MTP]. Note: Sam was working on the unfinished “3,000 Years Among the Microbes.” Gribben identifies Garland’s book as The Tyranny of the Dark (1905) .
Sam also wrote to Frank J. Firth, the letter not extant but referred to in Firth’s reply to Isabel Lyon of July 6.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Oh, I have been steeped and steeped and steeped with joy over a manuscript that Mr. Clemens brought down stairs for me to read, “when I had leisure.” Leisure? You’d boil it out of midnight if you couldn’t find it anywhere else. It’s “The Mysterious Stranger,” and oh the mystery and charm of him, and the beauty and humor and impossibility, and English of the rest of it. All unequalled. Too much delight for one week. The Apostrophe to Death. Seeing Mr. Faulkner. Mr. Howell’s last book. Seeing Colonel Higginson. And now this crown of crowns, this wonderful unfinished story [MTP TS 71].
Tuckey notes Clemens put this date on the margin of the “Print Shop” holograph, and writes:
…June 30, 1905, he had reread his unfinished “Print Shop” story, for which he had already written the chapter that would immortalize the conscious ‘I’ of the narrator, and was carrying it forward toward that planned conclusion. He did not quite bring the story through to that point, however, for he put it aside about July 12, after Frederick A. Duneka of Harper & Brothers had visited him to see whether he could provide something for next winter’s book trade [“The ‘Me’ and the Machine” 136]. Note: Hill gives Duneka’s arrival as July 10 .
Hill gives this date for Isabel Lyon (who was becoming his testing reader) reading what Sam had completed on The Mysterious Stranger. He would continue working on it as No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger into July .
July – Harper’s Monthly published Sam’s article “William Dean Howells” p. 803-6. Clemens chose an excerpt from Howells’ “Easy Chair” column, a paragraph concerned with Louis Dyer’s Machiavelli and the Modern State (1904) to show “how clear, how limpid, how understandable” is Howells’ prose [Gribben 331]. Note: see Lyon’s journal entries for Mar. 26, 29, Apr. 5 on the writing of this article.
July 1 Saturday – John Milton Hay (1838-1905) died this day. In Dublin, N.H. Sam sent a telegram to the N.Y. American:
I am deeply grieved & I mourn with the nation—this loss is irreparable. My friendship with Mr. Hay & my admiration of him endured 38 years without impairment. / Mark Twain [MTP: Cummings file]. Note: See Sam’s note sent anonymously under 1905 entries.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This evening a telegram came from the N.Y. American asking Mr. Clemens to telegraph them something on the death of Mr. Hay.
Mr. Clemens is going on with “The Mysterious Stranger”, and it is magic. He wrote it in Florence, and when Jean asked him how he could drop one story and work on another, he said it had always been his habit to write that way. While he was working on one story the “tank is filling up for the one just stopped”. And he told of 2 days work he did on “Joan of Arc” in Florence—Villa Viviani—he wrote 13 hours for 2 days running and the work stood. It was true inspiration, for he got up at 2 in the morning and worked until 8, then he breakfasted and then began again at 11 [MTP TS 71-72].
Augustus P. Chamberlaine wrote to Sam [MTP]. Note: This may be 1906, as it was not found at MTP.
July 1 ca. – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to Frederick B. Bess’s June 26 from Peoria, Ill.: “If Mr. Clemens were in authority you would be quite welcome to the use of the sketches—but he is not—and so must defer you to his publishers who can give all information” [MTP].
Lyon also replied for Sam to the ca. June 29 from Maria C. Gay in Farmington, Conn., that Clemens would be glad to see Dr. Henderson and her cousin if they would call at 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. and give their names, but he “had no heart for going where there is jollity—& has lived very quietly” [MTP].
July 2 Sunday – Emilie R. Rogers (Mrs. H.H. Rogers) wrote from New Bedford, MASS. to Sam, having rec’d his note on July 1. They had just come from Boston the day before and would return this afternoon, as Mr. Rogers had to take the stand in a lawsuit; they might have to stay all week, and were at the Hotel Lorraine if Sam stopped on his way to Norfolk, Conn. to see Clara [MTHHR 588].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Reading Hamlin Garland’s “Tyranny of the Dark”. Mr. Clemens has just finished it. Yesterday he said it was “good done”. This afternoon a batch of folks came in and when Mr. Clemens came down he sat in a low black wicker chair and talked, you don’t have to say anything but that.
Jean went off with Miss Dwight for dinner, and at dinner Mr. Clemens talked of the spirit things, brought up by Hamlin Garland’s book, and by his own wonderful “44” story. He talked about John Hay’s characteristics and told how one day, long ago, they and David Gray, they two were 33, and he S.L.C. were 35, were talking together in the broadest of free thinking terms, and later when calamity came to Gray, he changed from his free thinking and became a staunch, narrow, scorching Presbyterian, and he wouldn’t vote for Cleveland because many, many years before, he had been guilty of a peccadillo, a social one, the sort of thing we’d all do if we had the chance. He told me about Mrs. Hay, how narrow she was, how terribly Presbyterian, and in the afternoon he said that he felt quite sure that she was instrumental in Mr. Hay’s withdrawal from publication of the Pike Co. verses, after he became Lincoln’s biographer.
Something started him into saying that things or ideas begin as principles, but end as policies. “Once Honesty was a principle, but now it is the best policy”. Or Dishonesty is the best policy—or Decency is the best policy—or Freetrade is the best policy—or Protection is the best policy—[MTP TS 72; also in part Gribben 252].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “This morning at 10:15 Mr. Clemens had a telepathic message—It was a conversation held with Mrs. Hay. Mr. & Mrs. Learned came in for Tea” [MTP TS 22].
July 3 Monday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Jean and Teresa started for Norfolk early this morning. Dear Col. Higginson has sent me a copy of the beautiful little sketch that his daughter wrote—“The Drum Beat”. I cannot read it without a gush of grieving tears. Mr. Clemens came down at 3:00 o’clock today with the day’s work finished. In 3 days he has done the work of 5 days—and it is so delicious. He read it to me as we sat in the living room. The appeal of the “duplicate” to be freed from his coating of flesh, so that his spirit can roam, is so beautiful and so moving, and fills you crashing full of the drive to go and go just as that spirit wishes to do. Mr. Clemens has given me the manuscript of the whole story again—to read and love again and again. He’s going to make that book with just flavoring enough to suit the palate of the ordinary family, and when I said the ordinary family ought to have seasoning, he said they’d got to have it to make things really go. He’s got some kittens in the manuscript that I was afraid he’d allow to be edited out [MTP TS 72-73].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Jean & Teresa left this morning at seven o’clock for Norfolk, going by way of Hartford. / Wrote the British Pharmacy in Florence for the address to the Sir Thomas Wardle / Whiskey” [MTP TS 22].
Samuel J. Elder of Elder & Whitman Attorneys wrote to Sam about extension of copyright matters. “Your favor of the 29 instant came duly to hand. / I am very hopeful that before long , certainly before the ‘fatal forty-second year’ of your copyright, that the copyright term will be much increased.” He then quoted from a couple of letters from Edward Everett Hale, who had been fighting for extensions of his copyrights [MTP]. Note: Elder meant June 29, not “29 inst.” Sam’s of June 29 to Elder is not extant.
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam, with Jervis Langdon II adding a handwritten note. Charles enclosed a check for $120 for payment of two coupons each from the Park Co. Montana bonds and the Minneapolis General Electric Co. Jervis added: “The letter for Clara sent today in your care contains a similar check for coupons from bonds of hers…” [MTP].
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam with the news that Gillis & Geoghegan contractors would “commence work immediately” on 21 Fifth Ave “and finish by August 1st”. He had not heard from Katy Leary but assumed they’d already begun work [MTP].
John G. North, attorney, wrote from Riverside, Calif. to Sam. He noticed Sam’s letter to J.M. Fulton about not being able to visit Reno for July 4, and that Sam had mentioned “unforgotten and unforgettable antiques” which included North’s father, John W. North, “whom you first knew as United States Surveyor General, and afterward as Judge of the Territorial Court.” North noted that his father retained a “most agreeable” memory of Clemens, up until his death in 1890 [MTP]. John W. North (1815-1890), appointed Surveyor General of Nevada Territory by Lincoln in June 1861. From 1862 to 1864 was an assoc. justice of the territorial supreme court [MTL 1: 189n12].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam. He related an account of a woman with a huge stomach tumor that the surgeons first had to drain, then related that to Sam’s letters: “All right, Mark; go ahead. I give you free leave to syphon out to me all such recreations whenever they accumulate to the pitch of discomfort,” and Joe thought it better that he caught them in “his pail” than in the NAR or at Rogers or Howells. Joe was, however, quite of Sam’s mind in opinion about Grover Cleveland. “As to Theodore – he has yet three years left in which to get a smile on your face, and I guess he will do it.” He had seen Clara last week and she looked and felt well. He declined to stay the night but said he would return sometime [MTP].
July 4 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Painted Shadows”, I’m reading. Mr. Binner [sic Bynner] sat in front of me on the porch this afternoon. Mr. Binner— ……..and………. He came with Mr. Faulkner. The same lovely eyes that I had been remembering. His talk is very, very good, and he called me “The Lion of St. Mark”. I told Mr. Clemens of it when he came in from a Fourth of July punch with Mr. Pearmain, down the trail, and he laughed with a beautiful joy. You remember that singing laugh for days. Mr. Clemens had a pleasant time, and found Col. Higginson’s daughter beautiful. He chatted during dinner and then afterward read more of that lovely story. The fading away of the Duplicate is beautiful. He walked the room, smoking his pipe and remembering back to his early literary days. It was brought up by his saying that Mr. Binner is living in such a good time, for the world is full now of young writers who admire each other just as the young writers admired each other in those early days, when they used to meet in Pfaff’s cellar and have such good fun. Dr. Holmes and Emerson and those fine Boston men were a generation ahead of Mr. Clemens and he didn’t see more of them than just to go up to Boston for their “seventy” birthdays. For himself there are only Mr. Howells and Mr. Aldrich, and he surprised me into recognizing the truth by telling me that he hasn’t had much of a literary friendship with men, and he hasn’t. Hartford is presumably between New York and Boston, but it isn’t. After dinner we stood on the porch and looked off at the glowing west with such a slender girlish slip of a moon hung in it, and suddenly you remembered it was the Fourth of July, for a beautiful, graceful rocket soared with Monadnock for a background toward a heaven it couldn’t reach—and burst in piteous despair to fall to earth again.
Today down at Mr. Pearmain’s Mr. Clemens was talking with a Harvard Professor who said that not long since a Yale graduate asked him what a “fortnight” was—and he knew of another graduate who didn’t know who Jehovah was—knew he was mentioned in the Bible but didn’t know what prophet he was.
[MTP TS 73-74]. Note: Sumner Bass Pearmain (1859-1946), stock broker.
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam and enclosed a July 1 statement of sales, together with their check for £106.18.4 [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam, that in writing his letter of July 3 he’d forgotten to tell about his visit to Pittsburg, where he lunched at the Dusquene Club with a “party of gentlemen,” one of whom was the Hon. Judge Shiras of the US Supreme Court. The judge swore Joe had a striking resemblance to Twain, especially his profile. “Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.” Joe thought that “blackwashing” should be a word, and the opposite of whitewashing, and that it could be applied to Twain’s “discourse on Theodore” Roosevelt. He closed with the news he’d been trying a bit of Plasmon lately—“Is that a fact of any interest to you now?” [MTP]. Note: Judge George Shiras, Jr. (1832-1924); at press time for this volume, Shiras is the only Supreme Ct. Justice (1892-1903) to have no record of public service.
July 5 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Mr. Clemens read the work of the day. It is strong, I wonder if it is too strong? But oh the interest of it. He could satisfy those who must be satisfied by only the most highly seasoned, stinging, racy, delicious, unforbidden literature. He could do it. When I think of what must be the thoughts boiling in that marvel of a brain, I’m sick to think that he cannot feed them out to strong men of the earth. The most remarkable things issue from the innocent lips of characters that he draws, and your eyes are opened. The world doesn’t know what he is. It doesn’t even suspect it [MTP TS 74].
Eugen Isolani wrote (in German) from Berlin,Germany to Clemens:
Berlin, d. 8. Juli 1905
W 30 Elssholzstr 22
Sehr geehrter Herr!
Ihr siebzigster Geburtstag soll von mir
in verschiedenen deutschen Blättern durch einige
Artikel gefeiert werden. Der Verleger
der deutschen Ausgabe Ihrer Schriften, Herr
Robert Lutz in Stuttgart, hat mich mit
mancherlei biographischem Material über
Sie ausgestattet, doch reicht das etwa bis
zu Ihrem 60. Lebensjahr nur. Sollten Sie
über das letzte Jahrzehnt Ihres Lebens [Erfreu?]-
liches zu berichten haben, so würden Sie mich
durch Mitteilung [?]erbind[ung?].
Ebenso bitte ich Sie höflichst, mir zwei
Porträts möglichst neueren Datums mit
Namenszug für Illustrierte Zeitschriften
zugehen zu lassen.
Vielleicht erinnern Sie sich noch flüchtig
meiner, als eines Schriftstellers, und dem
Sie nach einem Vortrage in Dresden, –
es war wohl im Jahre 1892, – den Sie daselbst
im Gewerbehause hielten, eine kurze Unter-
redung hatten. Wir sprachen damals über
das von Ihnen gewählte Thema über die deutsche
Sprache , das leider bei den [???] Chau-
vinisten Mißfallen erregte.
Ich habe mir erlaubt, Ihnen in deutscher
Sprache zu schreiben, da mein Englisch Ihnen
vielleicht unverständlich sein würde. Sollte
es Ihnen Mühe machen, in deutscher Sprache zu
antworten, so bitte ich sich ungeniert des Englischen zu bedienen, da ich das Englische besser lese + verstehe als schreibe.
Recht baldiger Antwort entgegensehend
zeichne [?] mit [Hochachtung?]
Berlin, July 8, 1905
W 30 Elssholzstr 22
Very esteemed Sir!
I intend to celebrate your seventieth birthday in a number of articles to be published in various German newspapers. The editor of the German edition of your writings, Herr Robert Lutz from Stuttgart, has made available to me a certain amount of biographical material which, however, ends with your sixtieth birthday. If you have anything [pleasant ?] to report about the final decade of your life, [I would be grateful if you would] communicate it to me.
Similarly, I ask you most politely to send me two portraits, preferably of a recent date, with your autograph, to be used in illustrated magazines.
Perhaps you remember me vaguely as a writer with whom you had a brief conversation after your lecture in the “Gewerbehaus” in Dresden – it was probably in 1892. At the time, we spoke about the topic you had chosen, the German language, which, unfortunately, caused displeasure to the [???] chauvinists.
I have taken the liberty to write to you in German because my English would be incomprehensible to you. If you find it difficult to respond in German, please do not hesitate to use English since I read + understand English better than I write it.
I look forward to hear from you soon and sign with respect
[MTP; Translation and the following notes by Holger Kersten, 2012]: Eugen Isolani [born Isaacsohn] (1860-1932), journalist and writer, author of several books. In 1900 he moved from Dresden to Berlin 
A sidenote: His daughter was Gertrud Isolani (1899-1988). She emigrated to Paris in 1933 where she continued to work as a journalist.  She translated an article which the French journalist Michel Georges-Michel had written about an interview he had supposedly conducted with Mark Twain ( the text appeared twice in Pariser Tageblatt: “Der Mann, der ungern antwortete . . . Wie ich Mark Twain interviewte – ‘Aber nur durch einen Wandschirm getrennt’,” Pariser Tageblatt No. 504 (30 April 1935), p. 4; and “Interview mit Mark Twain. Zum 1. Geburtstag des Dichters (30. November 1935). Von Michel Georges-Michel,” Pariser Tageblatt No. 719 (December 1, 1935), p.4.
 Dirk Hempe, Literarische Vereine in Dresden: Kulturelle Praxis und politische politische Orientierung des Bürgertums im 19. Jahrhundert (2008), p. 193.
 Wilhelm Kühlmann et al., eds, Killy Literaturlexikon (Huh-Kräf), 2nd ed. 2009, p. 62
July 6 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Adair Wilson, an old Virginia City acquaintance now in Durango, Colo. Adair had been on the staff of the Va. City Nevada Union.
Forty-two years—why, so it is! A long time, indeed. You & I have no business lingering here, the others are moving on, we are belated. My wife died 13 months ago, after a most dear comradeship of more than a generation; two very very old friends have followed her, & now John Hay, whom I had known longest of my eastern friends; of the early eastern comradeship he leaves behind only Howells & Aldrich. It is time for us to go, Adair, lest we have to travel that long road with strangers.
Last summer I was in a Fifth avenue bus, & opposite me sat a stately & most beautiful young woman, & she said we might quite properly chat together, as her father had known me very well a good many years ago. She was the daughter of the “Unreliable!” Think of it! It made me feel pretty old, you may be sure. / Goodby, & much love [MTP]. Note: See Aug. 11, 1863, Mar. 21, 1888 entries for more on Adair (1841-1912), whom Sam dubbed “The Unimportant.” Clement T. Rice, reporter for the Virginia Daily Union, was “The Unreliable.” See Vol. I entries.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: There wasn’t any manuscript to read this evening, for Mr. Clemens took a novel to bed with him last night. It was “The Accomplice by Frederic Trevor Hill, and he didn’t go to sleep until past 2 o’clock. This morning he came down in a fine mood, and after looking at the pictures in the Boston Journal, out on the porch, he came into the dining room where I sat at the writing table, and as he swung up and down the room right under a plaster medallion of the Virgin, he let out what you ought to call a blasphemous blast that I mustn’t write here. You’d call it a blasphemy, but it isn’t, and it just shows that we’re just the same as the old Greeks who believed in Jupiter and the schemes he invented to accomplish his ends. We’re nothing more. Mrs. Thayer came in about half past five. Mr. Clemens was in Jean’s room and I was playing “Oh du mein holder abendstern”. After dinner, I played for a long time [MTP TS 74; Gribben 314 in part]. Note: she played this from Wagner’s Tannhauser. Frederic Trevor Hill (1866-1930).
Frank J. Firth, president of the Erie & Western Transportation Co., Philadelphia, replied to Isabel Lyon:
I find your note of June 30th awaiting me on returning to my office this morning after several days absence.
I will be very glad, of course, to furnish Mr. Clemens with any identification satisfactory to himself and appreciate what you say about the trouble he has. I thought perhaps he might recall the fact that I addressed a similar communication to him in London several years ago, accompanied I think by a line of introduction from his friend and mine, the late Mr. Lawrence [sic Laurence] Hutton, and Mr. Clemens then kindly sent me a number of book plates with some of his autograph work that were useful in disposing of the books we subsequently offered at our Hospital sale.
If any further identification is needed after you communicate these facts to Mr. Clemens please let me know in what form you would like to have it [MTP]. See July 9 ca. for Sam’s response.
July 7 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to William Winter.
We are too old, now, dear Winter, to rise out of our griefs; we must live with them the little time that is left us; the time when we could live separately from them is gone by; we laid our dead in tombs then, in the common graveyard, & lamented, & came away; but we bury them in our hearts, now, & remain & worship. / Have patience—it is not long, now [MTP]. Note: this seems a reply, but no recent from Winter is extant. Winter had lost a daughter and would dedicate a library to her, much as did H.H. Rogers to his daughter, Millicent.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Telegram [not extant] from Jean saying that she will stay in Norfolk until next week. Mr. Clemens had me telegraph [also not extant] Maj. Leigh to come up on Monday with Mr. Duneka. Mr. Clemens came down at 3 o’clock today, glad, and through with the day’s work. He rested, smoking and reading until 4:30 when he went out to make calls. Called on Col. Higginson, Dr. Stowell, Mr. Dwight, Mrs. Learned and the Catlins. After dinner Mr. Clemens read. It was a good day’s work, a noble day’s work, and then somehow in the course of the talk that followed when Mr. Clemens spoke of Mr. Duneka being a Catholic, he mentioned that as a possible reason for the Harpers not wanting King Leopold’s Soliloquy, but he went on to say that it is much more likely that Leopold has bought up the Harper silence, along with that of hundreds of other papers. It seems incredible. While Mr. Clemens was at Col. Higginson’s this afternoon, Col. Higginson told him a delightful little tale about a burglary here in Dublin some time since. The two men who made the raid selected a good many valuable things but among the things were a book and a pipe. Mr. [George W.] Gleason went on their track and traced their wagon wheels to away over the other side of the village, 3 miles beyond. There the tracks stopped and breaking through the woods they found and seized the thieves in the cellar of an old house, that had burned some time ago. Their booty was hidden there and the two chaps were having a good time just then. One was smoking the pipe, the other reading the stolen book, and the book was “Innocents Abroad.”
Today Col. Higginson told Mr. Clemens that a cultured woman here asked him if the “Recollections of Joan of Arc” was really intended as a burlesque [MTP TS 74-75].
Hamlin Garland wrote from West Salem, Wisc. to Sam, thanking him for his letter and praise on his recent book [MTP].
Henry Pemberton wrote from Dublin, N.H. wrote to Sam. “After my conversation with you about ‘Simplissimus’, I wrote to Schaefer & Koradi enquiring about it…Today I have received the accompanying letter from them, and a lot of sample copies…” Schaeffer & Koradi, Publishers & Booksellers, Phila. had written to Pemberton: “In answer to your favor of yesterday we send you to-day by mail a Catalogue of German Periodicals and sample numbers.” [MTP].
July 8 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to an unidentified person in which he requested the addressee to contradict the report that Clemens was getting up an organization bearing the name “The American League of Honest Men.” He wrote: “was trying to get it up, but circumstances interfered. It was my ambition to have it consist of two members, but was obliged to give it up” [MTP: Am. Art Assoc. catalog, Feb. 28, 1927, Item 110].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Headache. Mr. Clemens didn’t do any writing today. Nearly all his time he spent on the porch, reading and smoking. Later he went down to call on Mr. Pemberton, and Mr. Thayer came back with him bearing a little wooden snipe so colored that he proved to a certain extent—something—the protective coloration theory. (Headache makes you not care about theories, and also makes you forget the things you want to remember.) Mr. Clemens is wearing the white suit that I sent to Katie for and it is very, very becoming to him. I had a letter from Jean today, and a note from C.C. [MTP TS 75].
Ellgen Fsolani wrote from Berlin, Germany to Sam—all in German [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env., “See Biographical Study / Photo”
An unidentified person wrote from Elmira, NY to Sam c/o Sue Crane, Quarry Farm. Only the env. survives, and it’s in bad shape. Sam wrote on one end (part of the corner torn off): “Miss Louise Pratt [illegible/missing] / 30/Robinson Bldg / Her Co’s “Benevolence” [MTP].
July 9 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
If the news is correct, things have turned the other way in Kansas, by direction of Providence, & I wish to congratulate upon this evidence of your continued popularity in that quarter. I wish I had your secret. It isn’t righteousness, for I’ve tried that myself, & there’s nothing in it.
It is warm weather at last, & it weakens me. I lose no day, but my output grows smaller daily. It has dwindled from high-water mark—32 pages a fortnight ago, one day—to 12 day before yesterday, 10 yesterday, & 8 to-day.
Clara & Jean are having delightful times in Norfolk, & I’ve told Jean to take her time & not hurry [MTHHR 588-9]. Note: Kansas had passed laws to restrict Standard Oil operations there, including construction of a state-owned refinery. On July 8, 1905 the state supreme court struck down the idea as unconstitutional [n1]. Among other things, Sam was working on the unfinished “3,000 Years Among the Microbes.”
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Heavy, weary brain. Mr. Clemens worked all the morning but he didn’t read the ms. for he went down to Mr. Pearmain’s house and they induced him to stay to supper with them. The young Robert Pearmain came home with him, lighting his way up the steep little trail with a lantern, and Mr. Clemens came in limp from the climb. I read ms., reread “The Mysterious Stranger.” It is delightful. And this morning I sat in the beautiful heat reading to its finish that enchanting book, “Painted Shadows.” It is exquisite.
The Saint so truly said of Le Gallienne as he lay in his bed in New York and I carried my new “Painted Shadows” in to him—“an able cuss who writes deliciously” [MTP TS 76]. Note: Painted Shadows (1904), by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947) [MTP TS 77; Gribben 405].
July 9 ca. – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon responded for Sam to Frank J. Firth’s July 6 letter.
Mr. Clemens directs me to say that no further identification is necessary now that he remembers you—& that your letter head seemed respectable enough but he didn’t know but you had borrowed it from somebody else, prepared them first & then got afraid—and now he sends them with great pleasure [MTP]. Note: MTP puts this “on or after July 6,” this estimate allows time for the letter to arrive in N.H. from Philadelphia.
July 10 Monday – Sam wrote to G.E. Stechert & Co., New York, ordering a subscription to the German periodical, Simplicissimus; Illustrierte Wochenschrift. Sam’s letter is not extant but referred to in the company’s reply of July 12.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mr. Clemens came down with the day’s ms. –“44” turns time backward in order to accommodate the ghosts who’ve been invited to the ghost dance.—He was so handsome as he sat reading with lovely color in his cheeks, and his eyes flashing. Such a delight.
Mr. Duneka arrive at 8:30. He is very, very nice, a Southerner. Mr. Clemens called me from my room after a while and I played until the electric lights went out—midnight—and I had to scurry for candles. At dinner Mr. Duneka said that Mr. Howells, Col. Higginson and Mr. Clemens had stood for such strength to him in his early days. Mr. Howells as the finality of fiction, Mr. Clemens as literature, and Col. Higginson as a great moral force [MTP TS 76].
Frederick A. Duneka visited Clemens to see if he had anything for the next winter’s book trade. At this point Sam had once again put aside work on The Mysterious Stranger (he had taken it up again only on June 29) and turned to “Eve’s Diary” [Tuckey, “The ‘Me’ and the Machine” 136; Hill 111]. Note: on July 16 to Clara, Sam referred to Duneka’s visit of “the other day” Duneka, a devout Catholic, “shriveled up over the first part of Fourty-Four because there is that evil priest Father Adolph in it” .
John Larkin wrote to Sam. “I enclose herewith my check to your order for $50. sent to me by Mr. Forgy as per his enclosed letter which kindly read and return. I also enclose herewith eight notes for $100. each, payable $100 per annum” [MTP]. Note: Sanford Wilson was the purchaser of the Archer Co. Texas property acquired by Livy.
John A. Scott wrote from Tyringham, Mass. on New Public Library letterhead, urging Clemens to return for “Old Home Week,” Aug. 7-13 [MTP].
July 11 Tuesday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote a squib to Harper’s Weekly Editor, which ran in the Aug. 12 issue.
“DIOGENES AND HIS LANTERN”
NEW YORK, July 11 1905.
To the Editor of Harper’s Weekly:
SIR,—I was not surprised to observe in your last issue an advertisement from old man Diogenes, offering his lantern for sale, cheap. Don’t imagine he has given up the hunt he has prosecuted for so many years. Not on your life, as boys say. He has merely waked up to the fact that the times are more strenuous, and his lantern is behind the times, and it takes more than a mere light of that sort to find the kind of man he wants nowadays. I happen to know that he placed an order with a certain large firm last week for a search-light of a good many horse-power, to be operated by the latest electrical devices.
I am, sir, OBSERVING PHILOSOPHER [Harper’s Weekly Aug. 12, 1905].
H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam from N.Y.C. acknowledging his letter of July 9. He encouraged Sam to “sail down to Fairhaven and build yourself up.”
I am very sorry that you are not able to do more work than you state, but the truth is you are like Lawson, —you are played out; he has lost his voice because he has nothing further to say. You need inspiration. Come down to the factory and get it.
I send you herewith a check for $4731.25. I think you ought to give about a quarter of it to the man whom I am reminded of when I think of that old Negro song: “Ole Joe kickin up ahind and afore; Yaller Gal kickin’ up ahind Ole Joe,” etc., etc.
Rice was with us last night, as cheerful and as disagreeable as ever. He has an opinion of you which I would not dare to express in a letter. …[MTHHR 589-90].
Notes: Thomas W. Lawson (1857-1924), muckraker journalist, wrote articles running serially in Everybody’s Magazine since July 1904 denouncing Rogers. Lawson followed the articles with a speaking tour, but lost his voice after two stops. See n1 source. The check was profit from Wall Street investments, sent so that Sam could take credit for a $1,500 contribution to Joe Twichell, who was having financial problems. See July 13 to Twichell.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: “All day Mr. Clemens and Mr. Duneka have talked. After lunch Mr. Clemens spoke of the nice example of protective coloration that came into his own experience this morning” [MTP TS 76].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Clemens received notes for $100 each sent by W.E. Forgy, Texas lawyer, for Sanford Wilson who has bought the Texas property” [MTP TS 23].
John Larkin, attorney, wrote to Sam, enclosing a letter from Howells & Stokes about the heating system at 21 Fifth Ave. [MTP].
Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1859-1915) wrote a small card to Sam that does not appear to have been mailed, perhaps delivered: “I am just mailing you my book. I know just how busy you are but you have always been such a good friend to me I wanted you to know I did not forget you” [Gribben 770; MTP]. Note: Gribben identifies the book as The Sunny Side of the Street (1905).
July 12 Wednesday – Clemens began Eve’s Diary for the Christmas issue of Harper’s [Hill 112; also IVL Journal entry below].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Clemens began “Eve’s Diary.” He read what he wrote this morning, and it is so darling. Mr. Duneka suggested that he write it to be published at Christmas time with the “Adam’s Diary.” Mr. Clemens has tried the Eve’s Diary several times, but it never went right and now Mr. Clemens says he’s got the right swing—Mr. Duneka shriveled up over the first part of “Forty Four” because there is that evil priest Father Adolph in it [MTP TS 76]. Note: Trombley claims he wrote Eve’s Diary in just six days, July 12-18 [MTOW 69].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Mr. Dunek left today at 6:15 A.M. Mr. Clemens returns the Texas notes to Mr. Larkin…” [MTP TS 23].
In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Katharine I. Harrison, requesting she transfer $1,500 from the Guaranty Trust Co. to Lincoln National Bank, and adding a PS that he was well [MTP].
G.E. Stechert & Co., New York importer and book dealer, wrote to Sam acknowledging his July 10 order for subscription to Simplicissimus; Illustrierte Wochenschrift, a Munich, Germany periodical [MTP].
July 13 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
That check comes mighty handy, & I am exceedingly obliged, I do assure you. I am communicating with that ole Joe who is given to kickin’ up behine & befo.’
you tempt me! You make me want to come to
Fairhaven,“the factory,” in
spite of the fact that I am very busy writing two books & a booklet—“Eve’s
Diary.” When the weather gets cooler, I’m coming. Jean is with
Clara at Norfolk; her account of the best of the journey fairly exhausts me. I
was to have gone with her, but the thermometer appalled me & I dropped out
of the game at the last moment. This is an easy summer for me but a tough one
for you, & I haven’t a doubt that you are “but a shadow” of what you were.
Well, we must go to Nantucket—maybe that would help Mrs. Rogers as much as
Jesus! but I had a narrow escape. Suppose you had gone into humor instead of oil—where would I be? [MTHHR 591].
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell.
I want you to accept this $1500 conscience-money if you will, as it marks the turning of a reform-corner for me: I’ve been into Wall street again in a small way & am out again with a profit of $4,700 & am not going in any more. This profit is tainted money; & lies heavy on my conscience; but I remember with a spiritual uplift that other new convert who found that her jewelry was dragging her down to hell, so she gave it to her sister Mary [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: The “Eve’s Diary” is beautiful. Mr. Clemens has made her such a lovable creature and so innocent and so human. “The same old sex” he said, when I said “Oh, but she’s a woman.”
Tonight as I finished playing the Cavatina Roff Mr. Clemens said “Patrick must take one or more of the girls to church every Sunday. He must see to it or this house will be damned or struck by lightning, and we haven’t any insurance on it.”
Tonight Mr. Clemens was talking of Mr. Rockefeller, and said that at a meeting of a board of Directors, Mr. Rockefeller would sit stolidly when the other directors would talk and shout themselves hoarse, and pull hairs out of his beard and lay them along on his knee. When the men had stopped their haranging, Mr. Rockefeller would brush the bristles off his knee and in a few words, a very few, settle the whole affair [MTP TS 77-79].
July 14 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “After the Fall”—Mr. Clemens read tonight and Eve sums up all the reasons why she could love Adam, but doesn’t. It’s something else. It’s because he’s hers, dear little Eve.
Tonight at dinner Mr. Clemens talked about Mahommed [sic] and the wonder of him [MTP TS 78].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Wrote Mr. Duneka, suggesting that the word ‘Damn’ be struck from the title of You’re a Damnfool Mary, you always was” [MTP TS 23].
Harmony Twichell (Mrs. Joseph H. Twichell) wrote to Sam. “Dear Mark—/ My deepest thought or desire is to be silent, for what can I say! / From being under a burden—which we could carry—we are free!” [MTP].
July 15 Saturday – In Dublin, N.H. Clemens heard a “bright little Japanese gentleman” give a talk in the nearby club house, among 50 or 60 ladies. Sam was asked to give a talk [July 16 to Clara; IVL Journal entry below].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Tonight Jean came home. I drove over to Harrisville for her. Tired and big eyed and pale and hungry and full of C.C. and doings. Ugo is back again in the employ of Casa Clemens.
This afternoon Mr. Clemens went down to a little Japanese lecture given at the Club house, and afterward he held a reception and had such a beautiful time. He came back radiant and enthusiastic and beautiful. Just the kind of audience that he loves and he did wish that Jap lecturer would be suddenly a little ill so that he could get up and talk, and he promised Mrs. McKittrick that he would get up and talk another time, but he cancelled it when he got him, for he’d have to consult the children first [MTP TS 78]. Note: Mrs. Margaret McKittrick.
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: Letter from Gen [Geo] Grantham Bain, 15 Park Row, Asking for a recent portrait & a picture of Mr. Clemens at Various Ages to be sent to the Strand Magazine—Sent him a Rockwood photo, and referred him to Harper for the others. Sent his letter & Mr Duneka
Jean arrived today [MTP TS 23]. Note: George Grantham Bain (1865-1944), NY photographer, known as “the father of foreign photographic news,” founded the first news photography service Bain News Service in 1898.
Joe Twichell wrote from Hartford to Sam, still stunned by the check and acknowledging Sam’s benefaction. Harmony was even more joyous as Joe confessed financial pressures affected her more [MTP].
July 16 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Virginia Frazer Boyle in Memphis, Tenn.
We are here for 6 months, & shall go home when the cold drives us. I shall find your book there if it doesn’t come here—& there is the right place, for I do not read anything that is interesting when I am at work, because it breaks my thread, & summer is my work-time. I have lost only one day of the 60-odd that I have had here. The resulting stack of manuscript is pretty high.
When shall I arrive down there? I am very close to 70, now, & I don’t suppose I shall ever make another journey. I beg you to give my cordial regards to your husband, & thank him for thinking so well of my work. Sometimes I don’t admire it myself after it gets into print, but I like others to admire it.
Jean is here with me, but Clara is spending a year & a half in a rest-cure in Connecticut. Jean came yesterday from a visit there, & brings a good report from specialist & nurse.
Jean & I wish to remember ourselves most kindly to you [MTP]. Note: Boyle’s 1905 book, Serena, A Novel is the likely book referred to [Gribben 80].
Sam also wrote to daughter Clara.
Clärchen dear, Jean arrived yesterday afternoon per a succession of belated trains & was tired out and famished. But she is up & entirely restored & satisfactory to-day. She doesn’t bring as good a report of you as I would like, but she thinks you will improve—so mote it be!
At the nice little club house in the woods by the lake they had a talk yesterday afternoon by a bright Japanese gentleman & I went & heard it. It was an exceedingly nice & attractive audience of 50 or 60—chiefly ladies—& I held the usual reception. They asked me if I wouldn’t do a talk presently, & I said I would if all mention of it could be kept out of print—but I took that back & said I must have your consent & Jean’s first.
My idea is a talk, from a page of skeleton notes, upon the construction of the human mind & its methods of procedure—a subject that is full of meat, & surpassingly interesting. What do you think of the project, dear?
When Duneka was here the other day [July 12] he wanted me to write Eve’s Diary for the Xmas Harper, & I said I would think about it & let him know. I wrote upon it 3 days—6,500 or 7,000 words, (Adam’s is only 4,500.)
I like it. But it makes Adam’s Diary seem coarse & poor. Eve has no unrefinements, either of conduct or speech, & I think she’s charming. Miss Lyon says she reminds her of you all the time. I suppose certain qualities of her nature & character, she means—& what you would be in Eve’s place: immature, & very ignorant.
I think the Diary is finished, Miss Lyon thinks not. I will wait a day or two or a week or two & see. Meantime I will go back to “The Mysterious Stranger” or to the “Adventures of a Microbe”—the former, I think.
I made the notes for that (possible) talk to-day, but I did no work yesterday, for I waited for Eve to speak & she didn’t; I thought she might speak to-day, but she didn’t. If she doesn’t speak tomorrow I will go at those other books.
Jean & I are going calling, now. / Love to you, dear ashcat. / Father [MTP].
Note: Sam did give a talk, likely for this group. A. Hoffman writes of it but gives no date nor citation for the quote used, though he contends it was Sam’s first public comments in a year. It would have been sometime after this letter and before his trip to Norfolk, Conn. Aug. 9.
“Agreeing to speak at a benefit for a cause that interested his Monadnock neighbors, Mark Twain’s first public appearance in over a year, he rolled halfway through an anecdote until the clicking of knitting needles arrested Sam mid-thought. He declared, ‘I have never had the pleasure of playing second fiddle to a sock, so I’ll stop speaking! I suggest that you all knit more socks and sell them for your charity.’” . Hill also cites this event but gives it as 1906, which would negate Hoffman’s contention that it was his first appearance in a year; Hill also fingers the knitter as the daughter of Thomas Wentworth Higginson .
Sam also wrote to Frederick A. Duneka.
Dear Mr. Duneka,—I wrote Eve’s Diary, she using Adam’s Diary as her (unwitting and unconscious) text, of course, since to use any other text would have been an imbecility—then I took Adam’s Diary and read it. It turned my stomach. It was not literature; yet it had been literature once—before I sold it to be degraded to an advertisement of the Buffalo Fair. I was going to write and ask you to melt the plates and put it out of print.
But this morning I examined it without temper, and saw that if I abolished the advertisement it would be literature again.
So I have done it. I have struck out 700 words and inserted 5 MS pages of new matter (650 words), and now Adam’s Diary is dam good—sixty times as good as it ever was before.
I believe it is as good as Eve’s Diary now—no, it’s not quite that good, I guess, but it is good enough to go in the same cover with Eve’s. I’m sure of that.
I hate to have the old Adam go out any more—don’t put it on the presses again, let’s put the new one in place of it; and next Xmas, let us bind Adam and Eve in one cover. They score points against each other—so, if not bound together, some of the points would not be perceived. . . .
P. S. Please send another Adam’s Diary , so that I can make 2 revised copies. Eve’s Diary is Eve’s love-Story, but we will not name it that. / Yrs ever, … [MTP]. Note: Sam took up Eve’s Diary on July 12.
Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister in London. He began by expressing sympathy for both Mr. and Mrs. MacAlister’s health. Then reflected on their tough year:
So it has been a long year for us, & not without anxiety. Clara’s horse ran away the other day, & that gave me a scare, but it turned out that Clara was not along at the time—it was only strangers that were endangered, & I don’t so much mind strangers.
We like it here in the mountains in the shadow of Monadnock. It is a woodsy solitude. We have no near neighbors. I arrived May 20, & have turned out considerably more than 100,000 words & the mill is still grinding cheerfully.
We have neighbors, & I can see their houses scattered in the far distance, for we live /on a hill. I am astonished to find that I have known 8 of these 14 neighbors a long long time—10 years, is the shortest; then seven beginning with 25 years & running up to 37 years’ friendship. It is the most remarkable thing I ever heard of.
With great love to you & to Mrs. Mac Alister— [MTP]. Note: Paine mistook the second and third paragraphs above as to Twichell [MTB 1238].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Jean told me much about C.C. [Clara]. There seems to be a tragic something hanging near. Some fate that is coursing along in their blood, and waiting to drop with a clutch at their hearts.
Today Mr. Clemens wrote Mr. Duneka about correcting on Adam’s Diary and the eventual joint publication of Adam’s & Eve’s Diaries [MTP TS 78].
From 5 to 8 p.m. Sam and daughter Jean called on neighbors [July 17 to Clara].
July 17 Monday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to daughter Clara.
You dear, read these & return them.
No, there is no need of “private”—no one will open your letter. Do not write about the letters—it is a secret of mine—just return them without comment.
Jean & I were out from 5 yesterday until 8, calling, & had a good time. We sup with Raphael Pumpelly this evening.
This morning I gutted the old “Adam’s Diary ” & removed every blemish from it, & now it is clean & refined & good, & will offend no one. Miss Lyon voted against the revision, but she wouldn’t vote against it now. I’ve read it to her. / I love you, dear! [MTP].
Note: Raphael Pumpelly (1837-1923), American geologist, anthropoligist and explorer, was influenced by Louis Agassiz. He was Professor of Mining Science at Harvard, and resident of Newport, R.I. for 44 years; he spent his summers in the Dublin area near Mt. Monadnock (3,165 ft), which Jean Clemens climbed. Pumpelly blazed a trail from his house to the summit that still bears his name.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon Mr. Clemens came downstairs with the news that the has revised the “Adam’s Diary.” He read it to me as we sat on the porch, and it is very lovely. He has eliminated the harshnesses. He told me that when he wrote it in Florence years ago that it was literature then, but he was requested to change it, and so he put in things about Niagara Falls and Buffalo to make it an advertisement, and satisfy some man. Adam’s recognition of Eve’s beauty is very lovely. I think Mr. Clemens grows fuller of poetry all the time, certainly there is no greater man than he. He says terrible, terrible things of the human race—but in the next breath, he melts with sweetness over some human deed. He makes your heart stand still with terror, over the things he can say [MTP TS 78-80].
S. Smallwood wrote a postcard from Moss Fields, England to ask Sam about his description of the Sphinx in IA, where he had described it as having “the tail of a fish in the lower part, the body with wings, & a human head.” No other description she’d found painted it this way, but with the figure of a lion and a human head. Did he still feel he was correct? [MTP].
Sam and daughter Jean dined with Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Pumpelly [Gribben 562: IVL Journal entry July 18]. See Oct. 9 for info. on Pumpelly.
July 18 Tuesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Yesterday Mr. Pumpelly called because Mr. Clemens and Jean dined there last night, and he paid such interesting respects to “Casa Clemens,” and I was the only one to hear them. He is tall and white bearded with a fine blue eye, and he’s handsome to look upon. He has been every where too. Mr. Clemens says that Mr. P. is two years younger than he.
Today Mr. Clemens walked up and down the porch—looking off at those hills and all that wondrous sky—such a glory of a sky, and he said, “Eve’s Diary is finished. I’ve been waiting for her to speak, but she doesn’t say anything more.” How beautiful, beautiful that is, and oh, the harmony of it [MTP TS 80].
July 19 before – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to George Porter. “Mr. Clemens has read the play & is greatly interested. He would like to talk with you. Name your day & hour” [MTP]. See July 23 entry.
July 19 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: I left at 6:40 this morning to drive to Marlboro, and go thence by trolley and train to New York, to buy clothes for Jean. Mother got on the train at Hartford and went as far as New Haven with me, and we had such a dear good talk.
The heat is terrible. It was 94 in the shade when I reached N.Y. and the heat of the pavements blistered my feet.
I went down to the house to find Katie and her niece, Marguerite. The house all torn up, they’re putting in furnaces [MTP TS 80].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam. “Mr. Baldwin told me yesterday that the Plasmon case will come up before Judge Holt, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, next week, and will be finally decided…some time this month either for or against us.” Ashcroft wrote that Baldwin wanted to appeal if it went against them. Ashcroft also enclosed a statement of his expenditures re; the Plasmon controversy, totaling $1,269.18 [MTP]. Note: William Woodward Baldwin, Plasmon attorney.
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam, thinking it “great news and splendid” that Eve would tell her story in the fashion of Adam’s Diary. The Niagara Falls references would be “melted away” as Sam suggested. He hoped to see it soon to arrange an artist for the magazine and book pictures [MTP].
George Murray for The Standard, a Montreal paper, wrote to Sam. He was going to make the paper a weekly and asked for “a few lines, in prose or verse, over your own name or for anonymous publication, on any subject,” etc. He left payment amount up to Sam [MTP].
George Porter wrote to Sam asking to call next Saturday a.m. to see him about his play on JA [MTP]. Sam wrote on the note, “Told him to come Sunday or after, & give me notice”
J.R. Van Wormer for Lincoln Safe Deposit Co. sent a receipt certificate to Sam for depositing for Jean Clemens, “One chest and two tin boxes of valuables” valued at “Two thousand dollars,” for the rent of $2.50 per month [MTP].
July 20 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Ralph W. Ashcroft.
Appeal the case, as Mr. Baldwin advises, if it goes against us. I suggest that you do write Mr. Broughton & ask him to keep fresh in his memory the substance of Wheeler & Hammond’s remarks about your capacity as a liar, etc., that day at the luncheon at the Midday Club. It was most unfair treatment of an absent man before strangers; Broughton is a gentleman by birth, breeding, & nature & cannot have sympathy with that kind of conduct. You are free to say I strongly advised you to write him, if you like… [MTP: Christie’s East catalogs, Nov. 12, 1997 Item 24]. Note: See entries: Dec. 1901, Mar. 17, 1902, May 1903, Aug. 1904 regarding warring factions within the American side of the Plasmon Co.
Sam also wrote two letters to Frederick A. Duneka. The first:
Good. Adam’s Diary , revised, corrected and improved, is ready to go to you & the artist. Miss Lyon will start it along when she returns. I have been waiting several days to see if Eve wishes to add anything to her Diary, but thus far she is silent. If she doesn’t speak between now & Sunday, I shall consider that she isn’t going to say anything more—then Miss Lyon will mail her Diary to you along with Adam revised.
Ever so many thanks for the razors, which are fine [MTP].
Miss Lyon sent the enclosed crossed-out plagiarism to you, I think or to the Weekly, —but she is out of reach, in New York & won’t be back before to-morrow night.
But never mind, all I want is, that you shall burn it & print the enclosed “Lantern for Sale” in the Weekly instead.
I mean to STOP rushing things off before they’ve had a chance to get to the wastebasket where they belong …. [MTP]. Note: See July 11 and Aug 5 entries.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Last evening Wallis and I dined at Cecchina’s in her nice little garden restaurant, and Wallis made some faces at the sour wine. Then we had our usual stroll up 5th Avenue.
I just had to have a hansom to do all the shopping that was on my list, and all day I went steadily. The heat is exhausting [MTP TS 81]. Note: Wallis is unidentified.
George B. Harvey, just back from England wrote to Sam that the Harpers shop was “somewhat of a hospital,” with Leigh down with fever and Duneka “pretty well fagged out.” He was happy about the forthcoming Eve’s Diary [MTP].
July 21 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today I set out for Dublin again, achieving all I planned to do. I reached the house at 8:30 to find Mr. Clemens and Jean having supper with Mr. and Mrs. Learned. Oh, the peace of the hills, the purity of the air, only I am too exhausted to know [MTP TS 81].
July 22 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon [4 p.m.] Mr. Clemens spoke before the members of the Dublin Lake Club. It was all a surprise to them. They had imagined Mr. Thayer would speak. He was such a delight. I had never heard him before in public—so didn’t know that side of the magic of him. He touched on “Eve’s Diary,” and Eve’s characteristics, and then he spoke of the caprices of memory, introducing one delightful anecdote after another. I didn’t want to know what subject he was going to speak on, so I didn’t ask. He is so wonderful. I turned and looked toward the back of the house when we first went in, and he stood with Mr. Pumpelly. They were wonderful to look at—both of them. The embodiment of white—pure, strong, masterful years. Both of them wore pure soft white to enhance their physical whiteness. All these days Mr. Clemens is wearing white, and it’s the best ever. Both of them pure, but one of them purest—because the flame of life burns so strongly in men with their brain force, and their magnetism, and so I was uplifted and borne away up over all the others and just didn’t care about anything—only to see how people appreciated him, and a lot of them did. Col. Higginson made a charming and graceful introductory speech. A speech full of the homage that Mr. Clemens so justly deserves [MTP TS 81].
George B. Harvey wrote to Sam, concerned about a squib Sam wrote for publication called “The American League of Honest Men,” and forwarding a proof of same. The scrap was to be used in a forthcoming Harper’s Weekly “Correspondence” column, but Sam withdrew it before publication, substituting for it his burlesque advertisement “Lantern for Sale” (published anonymously in the “Correspondence” column for 5 August 1905) [MTP]. Note: withdrawn squib, under the first aforementioned title:
Sir,—It will be a great favor to me if you will contradict the report that I am getting up an organization to bear the above title. It is true that until recently I was trying to get it up, but circumstances interfered. It was my ambition to have it consist of two members, but was obliged to give it up. / Very truly yours, MARK TWAIN.
July 23 Sunday – George Porter, playwright who had written a play on Joan of Arc, The Maid, A Drama in Five Acts (1904), visited Sam in Dublin, N.H. [Gribben 554: Note on July 19 from Porter]. On the inside of Porter’s July 19 letter Miss Lyon wrote, “He came—Sunday-July 23rd and brought the play of Joan of Arc—and some sweet peas. He was chilled to the bones & shivering, so Mr. Clemens put his own cape about his shoulders, & gave him whiskey… / But oh dear— / He didn’t come to any point. He wanted to produce the play in Paris, and kept on saying that he wanted it—However [her note ends here] then on another page, “man walked with a movement like a Te Deum.”
Isabel Lyon’s journal (from July 24): “Last night Mr. Clemens had supper down with Mr. and Mrs. Pearmain, I had music. It was good, too” [MTP TS 81]
July 24 Monday – On or after this day in Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon wrote a short note for Sam to reply to George B. Harvey’s July 22 (below). “Mr. Clemens has already stopped this & has sent something. Very sorry to hear that Maj. Leigh is ill, & that Col H is well If Mr. Duneka cannot stand the Hell—then compromise on Sheol” [MTP]. Note: MTP places this as “on or after July 22” the date of Harvey’s incoming. Same day delivery from NYC to Dublin, N.H. was unlikely, so it is estimated on or after this day.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Clemens hasn’t worked at all. He came down stairs, and talked with me for a long time about the wonders of Darwin, and he strikes so into the heart of things. He went off to call on Col. Higginson this afternoon and came back to find the Misses Hardy here. It has been a memorable day because he has talked so much and he makes you to see visions. Oh such visions when the silver flow of his speech starts. Oh, but he lives a strong inner life [MTP TS 82].
July 25 Tuesday –Isabel Lyon’s journal: He spoke yesterday morning of the gradual shifting of portions of the earth’s surface. The infinitesimal disintegration of a mountain heavy as the Himalayas, and he made you see the thousands and thousands of years it would take, and the time—Oh, you didn’t see years, you just saw the solemn embodiment of time. Oh, so majesting, and you were down on your spirit knees worshipping. Oh, the divine flame, that blows here now—-now there. It isn’t a spark, it’s a flame of wondrous beauty and you are warmed into worship by it [MTP TS 82].
July 26 Wednesday – Jean Clemens’ 25th birthday.
In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Muriel M. Pears.
With great pleasure I inclose letter to Mr. Carnegie, & shall hope it will accomplish my desire.
I was very glad to see your hand, for I was afraid you had got lost on your way home.
We like it here beyond measure, & shall be sorry to go back to New York in November. That home there is all torn up again, from roof to cellar & from front to rear, to put in new heating-arrangements, & poor old Katy is staying there superintending—& roasting. Miss Lyon went down last week to drive her up here, but she wouldn’t come. You won’t freeze, next time, when you come—which we hope will be soon.
It is not so well with Clara. We get no letters any more, except from the trained nurse. It is one of those intervals that come in nervous prostration when a whole year’s progress vanishes in a week & the patient work must all be done over again.
Jean is prospering & sends you her best love. She spends half of her day in the saddle, the other half at my type-writing, & drives me about the country to suppers in the evenings—there are no dinners, & I don’t go to lunches, because I don’t eat in the daytime.
Come back soon! [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added a PS to on July 27.
I ought to be clear our of patience with Clara, but I’m not, for I find she is sick & cannot attend to things. I sent her the letters which came from Joe & Harmony Twichell, telling her to return them immediately—oh, many days ago! I wanted her to see what a generous father she’s got, & what grateful praises people whom he has saved from dire distress can pour out on him. I didn’t tell her it was you, but by & by I want to tell her, when I have your consent, then I shall want her to remember the letters. I want a record there, as she is to prepare my Life & Letters when I am dead, & must be able to furnish the facts about the Relief-of-Lucknow-Twichell, in case I fall suddenly, before I get those facts with your consent before the Twichells themselves.
I read those letters with immense pride! I recognized that I had scored one good deed for sure on my halo-account. I hope the letters will come very soon, for I want to send them to you. I haven’t had anything that tasted so good, since stolen water melon [MTHHR 591-2]. Note: Sam had sent Clara the thank you letters from the Twichells for the $1,500 contribution that Rogers made secretly through Sam.
Paine writes of the “philanthropical ruse on Twichell”:
Twichell, through his own prodigal charities, had fallen into debt, a fact which Rogers knew. Rogers was a man who concealed his philanthropies when he could, and he performed many of them of which the world will never know. In this case he said:
“Clemens, I want to help Twichell out of his financial difficulty. I will supply the money and you will do the giving. Twichell must think it comes from you.
Clemens agreed to this on the condition that he be permitted to leave a record of the matter for his children, so that he would not appear in a false light to them, and that Twichell should learn the truth of the gift, sooner or later. So the deed was done, and Twichell and his wife lavished their thanks upon Clemens, who, with his wife, had more than once been their benefactors, making the deception easy enough now. Clemens writhed under these letters of gratitude, and forwarded them to Clara in Norfolk, and later to Rogers himself [MTB 1241].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Mr. Clemens isn’t working these days. He’s tired. He’s lying fallow. He has found the secret upon which to hang a lecture, and make everything he wants to say bear a relation to the anecdote just given—and that is the memory caprice, all the kinds of memory that there are—memory of touch, sight, sound, taste or smell and it makes a fine theme upon which to work [MTP TS 82].
Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Sent check today to Mrs. J.S. Coply Green, for rent of Dublin house for May, June, & July—$600” [MTP TS 24].
Thomas Nelson Page wrote from York Harbor, Maine to Sam that an old friend of his, Jeffrey Parsons, was one of Sam’s Dublin neighbors and “naturally he and I want him to know you.” Parson’s “foible” was prints and old books [MTP].
July 27 Thursday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam added a PS to his July 26 to H.H. Rogers.
P. S. July 27’05
Here the letters are, at last! Clara thought she had sent them to me. I am hurrying them off to you, because I dasn’t read them again, I would blush to my heels to fill up with this unearned gratitude again, pouring out of the thankful hearts of these poor swindled people, who do not suspect you, but
honestly believe I gave that money! [MTHHR 592]. Note: see July 26 to Rogers note.
In N.Y.C. H.H. Rogers replied to Sam’s July 13 (with “Jessus! but I had a narrow escape”).
I wish you would improve your spelling or get other people to. Either you are right and everybody else wrong, or everybody else is right in the present case and you are wrong.
The offensive remarks about being in the oil business and my changing places with you will be kept in mind until we meet.
If you do not want to come to Fairhaven, why don’t you say so? Why this indefinite talk? Why this feigned sickness? Rice has been to Fairhaven with Calomel and leeches for two weeks, hoping to get relief himself by experimenting on you.
…. You need not waste any sympathy on Rice any more. He has graduated as a professional at poker.
The weather is hot and everybody is cross and I think that if you were here your amiability would be drawn on.
I cannot imagine what you are writing unless it is that you are apologizing for what you have done all these years. I knew your conscience would be touched up some time but hardly felt that you would do yourself justice. When the watermelons are ripe send us some. We are saving some cantaloups for you… [MTHHR 593-4].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Santissima has given me a creed. No—a watchword, “Never take anything for granted.” Kipling has given me another in his story “An Habitation Enforced”, or rather he has forcibly put into two words what I say often to myself in many words—“Wayte A. Whyle”. It’s the only true way to live. When you’re lying at night with weary wakeful eyes waiting for the dawn, just say “Wayte A. Whyle” [MTP TS 82]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “ Little Play in Mr. J.L. Smith’s Little Playhouse” [MTP TS 24].
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to thank Sam for his corrections of “Adam’s Diary,” and for the new MS of “Eve’s Diary,” which he felt was “fresh as the dawn, a very sweet and beautiful idyl.” He thought Harvey might be in Sam’s neighborhood in about ten days [MTP].
July 28 Friday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote to Helena Gilder (Mrs. Richard Watson Gilder).
Dear Mrs. Gilder—I can see by Clara’s letter that she was standing in deep need of mothering, & that in the nick of time you fulfilled that gracious & beautiful office & tided her over the hard place—& by her words I see that she is very grateful, & I hope that you will see by mine that I am, also. She feels the weight of an anniversary just as her mother did before her, & she “had been really ill with depression for some time, & was reaching a point of desperation” when you called her.
That was a good thought, & I am glad it came to you.
I have been here 59 days, & can show 70 full days’ work for it—which shows that I have hardly been outside the house [That is, in working hours.] I do really go out feeding, very often, evenings, & once I came near going to church. I think it was in May, but it might have been June. They took up a collection [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: This afternoon we went down to a delightful little play, given in Mr. Joe Smith’s “Teatro Bambino”. It was just Mr. Smith and children—3 pairs of dear boy twins and little Margaret Pearmain. After the pretty little play the guests wandered to the garden, such a pretty garden with real Italian trimmings. Lucca Della Robbia copies, and a font and a shrine to the virgin. All very lovely. At the play Mr. Clemens sat in a tiny box next to Mrs. Jack Gardiner. Later I talked with Col. Higginson and Prof. Albert Bushnell Hart. Col. Higginson is a stately figure—with the calmness of memory you have of Emerson. He’s of that school, and 83 years old [MTP TS 82-83]. Note: Lucca della Robbia (1399/1400- 1482), Italian sculptor from Florence. Albert Bushnell Hart (1854-1943), historian, prolific writer, educator. He became known as the “Grand Old Man” of American History, and a devoted friend of Theodore Roosevelt. See one book listed in Gribben, p. 297.
Henry Copley Greene wrote from Sanderstown, R.I. to Miss Lyon, thanking for the $600 check for rent of his Dublin house for May through July. Did she know if Sam wanted to return to the house for the next summer? [MTP].
On or after this date in Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon responded for Sam to Greene, on his July 28 letter.
Mr. Clemens wishes me to thank you for your very kind note, & to tell you how glad he is to know that there is a possibility of his having your house another summer.
Of course he cannot tell what his plans may have to be by that time, but he hopes that you will give him the refusal of the house if you decide not to come here yourselves [MTP].
July 29 Saturday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “Tonight Mr. Clemens and Jean dined at the Leightons” [MTP TS 83].
July 30 Sunday – In Dublin, N.H. Sam wrote a note to George B. Harvey and attached it to a typed Installment of Mark Twain’s Autobiography.
Dear Harvey: I have corrected this September instalment. Please transfer the corrections to your duplicate, then send this one to “Miss Clara Clemens, Norfolk, Conn.” I think she will add no corrections, but it is best to send it anyway; for she is naturally violent, & if you ever print one of these without letting her give it the seal of her final supervision & authority, somebody’s scalp will disappear—probably yours. Do this, & oblige / Your uncle [MTP]. Note: that Sam would allow Clara to edit any of his writing for publication bespeaks of his estimate of her improvement.
Isabel Lyon’s journal: Today Mr. Clemens and Jean lunched with Mrs. P.[aul] L. Ford and tonight they dined with the Franklin MacVeaghs. Mr. Clemens is exhausted by these social functions. He came home from Mrs. Ford’s weak and almost discouraged, and went right up to bed to rest for the evening. It was raining hard, and in the midst of the pour Mr. Thayer came tiptoeing in with a book for Mr. Clemens. At the MacVeagh’s tonight they trapped Mr. Clemens into telling stories. It wasn’t a kind thing to do.
Later—Aug. 6. We have since heard that whoever has a song and dance must perform it for the MacVeaghs, and that explains [MTP TS 83]. Franklin MacVeagh (1837-1934), banker; brother to Wayne MacVeagh, became Secretary of Treasury in 1909 under Taft.
Augustus P. Chamberlaine wrote to Sam. The Chamberlaines had been using the Dublin area for their summer home for 25 years—“We are glad that you have chosen this good, solitary, old mountain for your summer rest”[MTP].
On or after this date in Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to Augustus P. Chamberlaine.
“Perhaps Jean will ride over with Patrick within a day or so, & ask them to drive over for luncheon here. Any day Mr. Chamberlaine may suggest. Mr. Clemens would go to Fitzwilliam, but he is not equal to a long drive, and he wants to see the Chamberlaine’s” [MTP].
Frank H. Mason wrote from Berlin, Germany to Sam. Samuel Moffett had been there “a few days before” with a letter of introduction from Clemens—“a most interesting and valuable jar” to him. Though Mason had not seen Clemens for a long time he had heard of his triumphs and sorrows and they’d kept him in a warm corner of their hearts. He told of sharing “two priceless weeks” with John Hay before he “sailed away on his last voyage home” [MTP].
July 31 Monday – In Dublin, N.H. Isabel V. Lyon replied for Sam to M.H. Crandall.
“Mr. Clemens directs me to write for him and say that he has so many calls upon his purse, for one cause or another, that he must decline your invitation to endow a scholarship in your university” [MTP]. Note: the university in question was Alfred University. See below entry from Crandall.
M.H. Crandall wrote on Alfred University, Alfred, NY to ask Sam to endown a “Mark Twain Scholarship” for $1,000 [MTP].
Isabel Lyon’s journal: ”Mr. Clemens is writing maxims. / Mr. Clemens and Jean dined with Mrs. And the Misses Stickney and came home early” [MTP TS 83]. Isabel Lyon’s journal # 2: “Wrote Mr. Greene that Mr. Clemens will be glad to have the refusal of this house for another Summer” [MTP TS 25].
Charles J. Langdon wrote to Sam, having just paid taxes on the Genesee Street property, Buffalo; Sam’s third owing was $271.06. He had just returned from a trip up the Great Lakes [MTP].
R.W. Mastick, of Mastick-Morrison Co. Leather, San Francisco, wrote to ask Sam if he could send the “Christmas Greeting” given to the press during the war with Spain. He’d been unable to find it [MTP].
Cuyler Reynolds wrote on The Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society letterhead to Sam, seeking another copy of TS, as his dog had taken “a decided fancy” to his old copy and “did his best to ‘read, Mark, learn and inwardly digest’ it.” Reynolds wrote after his signature, “Author of Rosamond Tales, which never overtook Tom Sawyer in its sale” [MTP]. Note:, Rosamond Tales (1901) bedtime stories for children by Cuyler Reynolds (1866-1934) is not in Gribben. Reynolds was a journalist and historian for Albany, NY.
August 1 Tuesday – H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam about the thankful letters from Joe and Harmony Twichell: “The letters are lovely. Don’t breathe. They are so happy! It would be a crime to let them think that you have in any-way deceived them. I can keep still. You must” [MTHHR 594-5].
Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Mr. Clemens is writing more maxims. Some of them are strong—almost too strong. This one: (I only quote—) “You can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect me, but they would assassinate you.” Shows the strength and depth of his character. His rocklike rectitude.
Mrs. Learned dined here. She was pretty in a black evening gown [MTP TS 83].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam.
“Your letter of July 29 [not extant] reached me yesterday.
The Koy-lo Company has not yet started in a large way, as we are still waiting for those hair pin manufacturers, Smith & Son’s Company, to finish all the machinery….We have a demonstration on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City, and are selling goods there every day….The enclosed advertisements [not in file] are to appear in the September and October “Designer.” He was sending Sam some more samples [MTP].
August 2 Wednesday – Isabel Lyon’s journal: “I walked with Miss Greene up to the top of Oak Hill” [MTP TS 83].
Helena Gilder wrote from “Four Brooks Farm,” Tyringham, Mass. to Sam, expressing it “a great pleasure to have Clara and find her like her old sweet self.” She was glad Sam and Jean liked Dublin. Her handwriting is somewhat inscrutable [MTP].
August 3 Thursday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Hock! Hock! dear Abott H. Thayer! Jean asked him to dine here tomorrow night with Mr. and Mrs. Pumpelly, but he said he couldn’t! He said it was so lovely to see Mr. Clemens all alone, and to hear him talk when there weren’t others around, that—Oh, he couldn’t—And that is only the borderland of it all, for if it is better to hear Mr. Clemens without an audience, then how best it is to just be near him in his beautiful silences [MTP TS 84].
F.R. Hantz for the Contemporary Club, Indianapolis, Ind. wrote to invite Sam to visit their club “sometime during the winter of ’05 and ‘06.” Hantz listed recent guests, including Henry James, Edward Everett Hale, Owen Wister, Woodroe [sic] Wilson and Norman Hapgood [MTP].
In Dublin, N.H Isabel Lyon wrote for Sam to decline an invitation from F.R. Hantz; Mark Twain “has retired permanently from the platform” [MTP]. Note: Hantz’s note was dated Aug. 3. Sam’s response is cataloged as “on or after 3 August”—allowing mail to reach Dublin puts this at ca. Aug 7.
Sam also wrote to daughter Clara in Norfolk, Conn.
Ben dear, do not fail to carry out your project—even the healthiest of us cannot afford a depressing influence that is abolishable. Relieved of that; your food & drink restored; pleasant comradeship; & your voice on its way back: all this is first-rate, & is very good news to hear; & best of all: that you expect to be at 21 with us in the Fall, moccasined, feathered, & in your war paint. (But I have broken my bow & burned my arrows.)
Jean thinks I could pay you a visit of a day or two without harm to you or inconvenience, & so I am planning to go to Boston next Monday, (Hotel Touraine) to Hartford next morning, making close connection there with the Norfolk train—but I am giving you time to defeat this scheme if it would be best for me to wait a while. Telegraph yes or no, as soon as you get this letter.
It is clear again. From my window I can see our most distant mountain-range swelling along in purple billows under the horizon. I kiss you, dear ashcat. / Father
P.S. We can have this delightful house again next year, if you & your health approve. So I am securing the refusal of it against all comers. I am broken down with this past few-days’ explosion of social dissipation, & have retired. I shall go out, hereafter, on Tuesdays & Saturdays only—& on the following days I shall rest & attempt no work [MTP]. Note: the Hotel Touraine in Boston was where the Rogers family stayed during the lawsuit against Standard Oil there. Sam delayed going to Boston until the following Wed., Aug. 9.
Roi Cooper Megrue (assistant to Elisabeth Marbury, Sam’s dramatic agent) wrote to Sam from N.Y.C.
I have a letter from Miss Marbury asking me to take up with you the possibility of your giving Mr. Timmory an extension on his contracts with you,—one year if possible; also will you grant Mr. Timmory free choice of theatre, as, of course, he will only act in the best interest of the play. It is quite possible the pieces could be produced first in some other French theatres, and then afterwards in Paris [MTP]. Note: Sam answered on Aug. 5.
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote on Koy-Lo Co. letterhead to Sam.
“A week or two ago the Special Commissioner in our case against the Butters-Hammond crowd decided against us….To-day the Judge has handed down a decision completely reversing the decision of the Special Commissioner, and holding that the Board which we elected September 1st is the legal Board of the Plasmon Company….It is a great victory for us. I feel rather chesty” [MTP].
Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam. “That is a fine idea about the postal cards and ought to prove attractive to the public and profitable to author and publisher. I am taking it up with a big manufacturer and distributor of post-cards and will let you know, of course, of the progress of matters / Yours” [MTP].
August 4 Friday – Isabel Lyon’s journal:
Mr. & Mrs. Pumpelly dined here. It was a delight to hear Mr. Pumpelly talk, for his is a man of most gentle, strong birth, and has had experiences in many lands, and his reminiscences were charming. He and Mr. Clemens have known many of the same people, in this country and in Europe. Mr. Clemens was speaking of Canon Kingsley<