Fourth Trip to Bermuda: Saturday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 19, 1907
March 16 Saturday – Sam, Isabel Lyon, and the “pretty young girl” Paddy Madden left on the Bermudian. The trip would be a five-day getaway for Sam, who was suffering from gout, but all but one day would be on board the ship. Also on the outward voyage Charles W. Eliot (1834-1926), president of Harvard, and Thomas D. Peck, woolen manufacturer from Pittsfield, Mass., were on board. Sam and Peck conducted a lottery on the ship to benefit the Cottage Hospital in Bermuda, the only civilian one there [D. Hoffman 78-9].
In continuing his autobiography on March 26, 1907, soon after he returned, Clemens struggled to explain his one-day stay in Bermuda.
26 March 1907: Paragraph 2," in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3. 2015
I have been taking another vacation—a vacation for which there was no excuse that I can think of except that I wanted to get away from work for a while to appease a restlessness which invades my system, now and then, and is perhaps induced by the fact that for thirty-five years I have spent all my winters in idleness, and have not learned to feel natural and at home in winter-work. I seem to have been silent about a month. Many things have happened in the meantime, and as I recall them I perceive that each incident was important in its hour, and alive with interest; then quickly lost color and life, and is now of no consequence. And this is what our life consists of—a procession of episodes and experiences which seem large when they happen, but which diminish to trivialities as soon as we get a perspective upon them. Upon these terms a diary ought to be a curious record, for in it all the events ought to be large, and all of the same size—with the result that by and by the recorded events should still be nearly all of one size, and that size lamentably shrunken in bulk.
This is a sordid and commercialized age, and few can live in such an atmosphere and remain unaffected by it; but I find that even the stock market is like the other interests—it cannot hold my attention long at a time. [I have eighty thousand dollars in a [10 per cent] stock], and I was not thinking of selling it, although I bought it to sell. While I was not noticing, it crept up, point by point, each point representing a profit of fifteen hundred dollars, and in the course of two or three weeks it climbed [twenty-six] points, each point, as I have said, standing for a profit of fifteen hundred dollars. If I had been awake I would have sold out and captured that thirty-nine thousand dollars to build the house with—for [John Howells has been architecting a house for us, to be built upon the farm near Redding, Connecticut, which we bought a year and a half ago]—but I was asleep, and did not wake up again until yesterday: meantime that stock had been sliding down, and in its descent it had sponged out the entire twenty-six points [by] yesterday afternoon. Then I bought some more of it, and made an order for a further purchase this morning if it should fall two or three points lower. I was hoping it would, but it didn’t. It has started up [again] and I have recorded one more mistake. I hoped it would go [’way down,] but since it has concluded to go up, I will try to get a sort of satisfaction out of watching its flight. Each ascending point now represents a profit of seventeen hundred and fifty dollars and it has accomplished two points since yesterday afternoon.
The next incident of importance was [another [trip] to Bermuda a week or two ago]. We went and came in the same ship, as before. The passages to and fro, and the twenty-four hours’ sojourn in those delightful islands, were matters of high importance and enchanting interest for the time being, but already they have shriveled to nothing, and taken their place among the rest of the trivialities of life.