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Sour Weather in Florence – Roosevelt: “What he wants, he takes”– Butters a Fraud Mollie Clemens Dies – Dictating Autobio. – Pigs & Enunciator Wars – Donkey Attack Clara Hysterics – Livy, a Shadow – Charity Reading – Gelli’s Portrait

You’re a damfool, Mary” – Clara Performs, Stuns – Stanley Dies – Villa Hunting Livy Breathes Her Last – Sad Voyage Home, Elmira Funeral – Clara’s Breakdown Tyringham Hideaway – Jean Escapes Death by Trolley – A Dog’s Tale Remodeling 21 Fifth Ave. – Hillcrest Edition – American Academy of Arts & Letters Warring Factions at Plasmon Co.

1904 – Sam wrote a 36 page MS , titled “The Countess Massiglia,” which remained unpublished [AMT-1:7 07].

At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Louise W. Carnegie (Mrs. Andrew Carnegie). “Dear Mrs. Carnegie: We can’t call, because Mrs. Clemens is bedridden these 18 months, but if you will look in on us we will pay back as soon as we can” [MTP]. Note: the Carnegies were visiting Florence.

Sam also wrote to Harper & Brothers: “Please send me Castillian Days by John Hay” [MTP]. Note: See Gribben 302 for more on this 1899 book.

Sam also wrote a letter to George B. Harvey sometime during 1904 about Theodore Roosevelt.

The Government of the United States was born in the State of New York forty-six years ago, of an old and eminent Dutch family. In the common school, the academy and the university he acquired his civil education; he acquired his military education in the Rocky Mountains in conflicts with the bear; among the cowboys he got his training in the cautious arts of statesmanship and in the delicate etiquette of diplomacy.

In time he became Police Commissioner of New York City, and was a good one. Later he was Governor of his State, under Mr. Platt. After a while he was made Assistant Secretary of the Navy and chief promoter of a war with Spain. Then he resigned and went to his war, and took San Juan Hill, without concealment, but in the most public manner. Nothing in history resembles this engagement, except the recent tragedy of Lone Tree Hill, where the Russian and the Japanese ravished the summit from each other by storm sixteen times in two days with a loss of 30,000 men. These two hills will go down in history together.

Next he accepted the Vice-Presidency of the Republican Party, which is the United States. Presently he became President and Government . . . By and by he took fourteen million dollars out of the public till and gave it away, dividing it among all elderly voters who had had relatives in the Civil War. The gratuity is to be continued annually until those elderly people die. It is an impressive thought that no mere man has ever been able to confer immortality upon a company of human beings before.

. . .What he wants, he takes. It will be best for us again to elect him Government of the United States on the eighth of November next. Otherwise he will take it anyhow [MTP: Willis F. Johnson’s George Harvey, 1929, p.80]. Note: Thomas Collier Platt (1833-1910), three-term US Senator from NY, known as the Republican “boss” and “godfather” to Roosevelt. It should be noted that Clemens was not only against the expansionism of T.R. but the social programs of big government, which he saw as intrusive. Today Clemens would be a Conservative; perhaps a Libertarian.

Sam also inscribed a copy of Marjorie Fleming: The Story of Pet Marjorie to daughter Clara: “To Clara / 1904. / This enlargement will properly go with the first ‘Marjorie Fleming’ which Dr. John Brown gave your mother in Edinburg in 1873. / S.L.C.” [MTP]. Note: See Gribben 87; Marjorie Fleming by Dr. John Brown, 1853.

Daniel Moncure Conway’s Autobiography: Memories and Experiences p. 142-5. Tenney: “Describes an 1872 MT lecture in St. George’s Hall (London), MT at a Savage Club dinner, where he praised the Albert Memorial ‘which will stand in all its beauty when the name it bears has crumbled into dust.’ Describes a visit to the Hartford home in 1876, and MT as master of ceremonies in an entertainment for Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was Conway who took the MS of TS to England.

Also, describes MT and Olivia visiting Stratford-on- Avon, MT’s amusement to London when shown a mechanical “leaping frog,” which he followed around the room on hands and knees. Describes MT reading aloud from the MS of TA in Paris in 1879, ‘and the tact and insight displayed by his wife in her comments were admirable.’ Much of this is reprinted in Twainian, XII (September-October, November-December, 1953); XIII (January-February, 1954)” [Tenney 39].

Mrs. James T. Fields’ Charles Dudley Warner, a contemporary memoir of Warner by the wife of the pubisher of Atlantic Monthly contains several references to Mark Twain . Tenney: “On MT, pp. 38-40 calls GA ‘not a literary success,’ and quotes an MT note after Warner’s death, in which he says that because they were next-door neighbors there was little correspondence; however, MT describes ‘the sunshine shed by his personality. One day a young friend of ours came in with a fine light in his eye, and said: “I’ve just had a good morning from Mr. Warner, and I’m a happy girl for the day!”’” [Tenney 39; “A Reference Guide Seventh Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1983 p. 169].

Frederick Moy Thomas’ Fifty Years of Fleet Street. Being the Life and Recollections of Sir John R. Robinson, p. 157-8: Tenney: “Far from joking all the time, ‘As a matter of fact he is, or was some ten years ago, a sad, slow, somewhat ponderous man. He spoke with a deliberation that was almost irritating. He was greatly interested to labour questions, and would tell in a deliberate, matter-of-fact way the story of the Knights of Labour and similar organizations in the United States. Of humour there was none in his conversation….His hair some years ago was wild and bushy, his eyes had a kindly but plaintive expression.’ When MT dined at a London club, all the waiters found pretexts to come to his table and he recognized one of them and chatted with him” [Tenney 40].

William P. Trent’s A Brief History of American Literature contained a section, “Mark Twain” p.235-6. Tenney: “TS raised MT to a place ‘as one of the greatest living writers of the fiction of blended humour, adventure, and realistic description of characters and places….So thoroughly American a career and two such masterpieces as TS and HF seem to assure…an abiding reputation not surpassed by that of any of his fellow writers of the modern period’” [Tenney 40].

Alexander Nicholas DeMenil’s The Literature of the Louisiana Territory contained a section, “Samuel L. Clemens,” p. 197-202. Tenney: “MT’s literary career was ‘a puzzle to me. It had always seemed to me impossible that a writer who violated nearly all the canons of literary art, and whose themes were so thoroughly commonplace, should become so extensively known and so widely popular as Mr. Clemens has become. Of course, his fame is only to-day, but it is wonderful that it is so widespread and hearty, even if it is merely ephemeral.’ MT ‘deals of the everyday and commonplace— he is often coarse’ (as in HF); he is ‘irreverent, if not blasphemous’ (as in IA); and he is ‘unnatural and straining after effect’ (as in TS). ‘As a humorist, he paints no typical characters,’ and ‘as a novelist, what could possibly be more wretchedly untrue to history and human nature than his ,Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc—a twentieth century Joan, labeled fifteenth century? Mark Twain lacks th education absolutely necessary to a great writer; he lacks the refinement which would render it impossible for him to create such coarse characters as Huckleberry Finn’; but he is popular because he makes people laugh” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide First Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 333].

Harry Furniss’ book Harry Furniss At Home on p. 168 contained a caricature, “Mark Twain and Max O’Rell,” in front of Max O’Rell’s house in London [Tenney: “A Reference Guide First Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 333].

H.W. Boynton’s book Journalism and Literature, and Other Essays (Boston) included a section “American Humor,” p. 87-102. Tenney: “On MT, pp. 89-92, arguing that he is uneven, more a jester than a humorist, and that his later writing is notable for ‘ingenuity rather than power.’ Readers cannot always be sure whether he is in earnest, and when he tried to break away in JA, ‘the anonymity of his historical romance was rendered nominal by the frequency with which his French followers of Jeanne deliver themselves of excellent American jokes, and seem to feel better for it’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Seventh Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1983 p. 169].

Albert Bigelow Paine’s biography of Thomas Nast contained several Mark Twain references: Tenney: “Passim on MT (indexed), with several letters. On p. 263, two undated letters, the first praising Nast for helping in the second election of Grant as president. In the other MT tells Nast ‘I wish you could go to England with us in May,’ and adds: ‘I do hope my publishers can make it pay you to illustrate my English book. Then I should have good pictures. They’ve got to improve on “Roughing It.”’ On p. 264, Nast’s illustrations for MT’s ‘The Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper.’ There is an MT letter to Nast on pp. 511-513; to avoid having to catch an early morning train, MT stopped all the clocks in the house. MT’s bread and butter letter to Nast after the visit is on p. 513” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 173]. Note: several biographers cite Sam’s appreciation of this biography for Paine’s selection as the official biographer of Mark Twain.

Wendell Barrett’s A History of Literature in America contained a section “Mark Twain” p. 421-4. “For all its faults of superficial taste, and for all its extravagance of dialect, Huckleberry Finn proves, as one compares it to its rough material, carelessly collected in Life on the Mississippi, nothing short of a masterpiece. And it proves as well, when one has read it over and over again, to be among the few books in any literature which preserve something like a comprehensive picture of an entire state of society. His power of construction on a large scale, combined with profound human sympathy…made more han one competent critic recognize Mark Twain’s hand in the originally anonymous Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) 8]. ,

Prof. Pietro Grocco of Florence sent Sam his calling card, scribbling some illegible Italian on it [MTP].

Senator Odoardo Luchini wrote from Florence on a Saturday asking his excuse for his “long silence.” He wanted to see Sam soon, or when he thought necessary, and gave best regards to the family [MTP].

Mrs. Francis Squire Potter (1867-1914) wrote from Elmira asking him to read her novel, The Ballingtons (1904) and then comment on it so she might use it to advertise [MTP].

After 1903 An unidentified man wrote on stationery inscribed “1600 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minn.,” enclosing a clipping from the Critic of Sept. 1, which he wanted Sam to read. He asked “courteously” for “an inscription of your books” [MTP].


Links to Twain's Geography Entries

Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.