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 70 th 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Sam wrote a sketch, “Jane Austen” that remained unpublished until 1999 [Who Is Mark Twain?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 Note: unpublished in Twain’s lifetime, the piece appeared first in Mark Twain in
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 Note: unpublished during Twain’s lifetime, it was collected in Letters From The Earth
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
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
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:
M r . 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 D r . Henderson and M r . 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 M r . Clemens will see them, when they give their names to the maid.
Sometimes if M r . Clemens is tired he will say that he cannot see people—but he will see your
friends—& if the maid says that M r . Clemens is busy, then they are to say—“But he will see
M r . 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 M r . 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 D r . 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
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 …
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.
M r . Clemens directs me to write for him and say that he has received some sheets for auto-
graphing from you. M r . 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
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”
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
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].