• A Tramp Abroad

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/13/2021 - 00:27

    One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Europe on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878.

    I looked about me for the right sort of person to accompany me in the capacity of agent, and finally hired a Mr. Harris for this service.

  • September 16, 1878 Monday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The Clemens family left Chambéry for Turin by the fast express train, which Sam noted “makes  4 miles an hour—the other trains make only 3 1/4 . By 11 we were out of sight  of Chambery.” Three hours from Turin, the train barely won a race with a  team of oxen, Sam wrote [MTNJ  2:185]. It took  eight more hours to arrive in Turin, at about 7 PM. They took rooms in the Hotel  d’Europe,
    which Sam noted  had “wonderful rooms” [186].  They went to supper and drank Barolo wine.

  • September 18, 1878 Wednesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The family left Turin at 9:15 AM and arrived at Milan at 1:30 PM [MTNJ 2: 188]. Sam’s  notebook is full of things they saw in Milan, and observations on a host of  items and situations.

    Some favorites:

    I think the arcade  system is borrowed from Turin.

    Saw a starchy suit of  clothes marked $9—doorway full of dummies dressed—stepped in to order one like the $9—nothing inside! The old man hauled in the dummy, stripped him & I  ordered the clothes sent to the hotel.

    Omnibuses have a sign  “Completo” when they are full.—I wish we had such laws.

  • September 20, 1878 Friday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam (and probably the ladies) went to see Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” in  the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. “If there is  anything worse than the original, it is the 15 or 20 copies in oil & water”  [MTNJ 2: 190]. They also  visited the “great picture gallery” (Brera).

    “There are artists in  Arkansas to-day who would not have had to paint signs for a living if they had  had the luck to live in the time of the old masters” [191].
     

  • September 21, 1878 Saturday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam’s notebook:

    The Italians all seem  to go to work before daylight—& all in couples, singing tenor & bass or  alto duet—all got strong voices & many good ones—don’t sing simple airs but  starchy opera stuff—they wake you up and keep you awake.

    The Milan clocks are not useful. This morning one struck  2, another 3, another 1, another 2, two others 3—all this occupied 10  minutes—so I got up & looked at my watch—correct time 4.15. 15 minutes  later, the procession of striking began again.
     

  • September 24, 1878 Tuesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The Clemens party left Milan and traveled north to Bellagio on Lake Como [MTNJ 2: 156]. They  stayed at the Grand Bretagne Hotel. Sam’s notebook:

    “Rainy, sour, cold,  dreary. Removed a screen in our room & discovered a regular fire-place—for  wood.  Right away we had the first wood fire we had seen since we left our own  house. This made the day cheery” [2: 193].

    Also noted was praise for Karl  Baedeker’s (1801-1859) Italy,  Handbook for Travellers: “curious & useful details” about Lake Como [2: 193]

  • September 25, 1878 Wednesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The Clemens party left Bellagio at 10 AM. They met G.K. Mayer and wife [MTNJ 2:  159n6] who helped them take the lake boat down to Lecco, Italy, where they boarded the  train.  They suffered another ten-hour trip and arrived at Venice at 7:30  PM. [Rodney 112; MTNJ 2: 194]. The family had looked  forward to Venice as a “relaxing interlude in their long  journey.” Livy’s itinerary called for a  three-week stay [Rodney  112].

    Joe Twichell arrived home from England on Cunard’s S.S.  Bothnia. From his journal for the period July 17 to Sept. 25:

  • September 26, 1878 Thursday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam’s notebook this day in Venice.

    These Italian thieves  have charged me $8 duty on $4 worth (100) of cigars & $1 worth of tobacco–

    I must stop smoking,  for no right Christian can smoke an Italian cigar. Only the wrappers are  grown—the
    insides are of stubs collected on the pavements by the younger sons  of the nobility—stubs from Switzerland
    —bad enough.

    The charming singing of  the men at night in Venice.

  • September 27, 1878 Friday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam wrote from Venice,  Italy to William Dean Howells.  Since his tirade letter
    about Bret Harte, Sam had not heard from  Howells, who had recommended to President Hayes that Harte
    be given a chance. Wisely, Howells  had not told Sam of his recommendation or answered Sam’s venom,
    and Sam had  noticed.

  • September 29, 1878 Sunday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Livy wrote from Venice to her mother about the city:

    “It is so fascinating,  so thoroughly charming—I sit now before a window that opens on to a little  piazza;
    where I can look right on to the Grand Canal…We have the morning sun in  our rooms and the weather for
    three days has been perfect” [MTNJ 2:  157].

  • October 1878

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    October – A  notation in Sam’s notebook listed The Bible for Young People, translated by Wicksteed  in six volumes [MTNJ  2: 209]. Evidently  this was a reminder to send these books to Orion upon returning home, as Orion was writing a  biblical refutation. Orion had recently been excommunicated from the First Westminster Presbyterian Church of Keokuk [209n95].

    Sam read William Wetmore Story’s  (1819-1895) 2  volume Roba di Roma (1863) and entered in his notebook:

  • October 1, 1878 Tuesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    In his letter of Nov. 20 to Twichell,  Sam wrote that he had “discharged George
    [Burk]  at Venice—the worthless idiot—& have developed into a pretty fair sort of  courier myself since
    then” [MTLE 3:  101]. Sam fired Burk on Oct. 1 [MTNJ 2: 197] Note: George Burk had been the portier at
    the Schloss Hotel in Heidelberg   when Sam hired him. Sam gave Burk 100 franks extra and let him go.

  • October 4, 1878 Friday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam’s notebook:
    Great Council Chamber,  Ducal Palace. Immediately at right of the door as you enter, in the big picture  over
    the book shelves, is a fisherman in the foreground in a green dress  holding one basket of fish against his
    body & resting another basket of  fish on a woman’s head. This Fisherman has but one leg—but that is not
    the  singularity, but the fact that it is the port leg, attached to the starboard  side of his body [MTNJ 2:  199-
    200]. Note: Sam evaluated several  other paintings in like manner.
     

  • October 8, 1878 Tuesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam’s notebook: “Began with Dittura [Agostino]  Oct 8 by the day at 5 f a day & 50
    pour-boir—we have to have  him day & evening both” [MTNJ 2: 205] Agostino was the second  gondolier
    employed by the Clemens family [205n89].

    George Burk wrote from Venice, Italy asking for  additional severance pay of 175 francs and sending his
    address [MTP;  MTNJ 2: 208].
     

  • October 10, 1878 Thursday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    From Sam’s notebook:
    Today received an  impudent letter from George Burk asking for 175 francs more—but it furnishes me  with his address, which I want.

    Afternoon—3 of the very  worst & most dismal solo singers in the world have been on the masonry platform ½ hour apart—never heard anything worse in the opera [MTNJ 2:  208].
     

  • October 12, 1878 Saturday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    D. & C. Mac Iver wrote from Liverpool to advise “by  the request of Mr. George
    C. Wild we write to say that we shall be glad to  receive any articles, personal effects or otherwise & store &
    ship them  as you may instruct us” [MTP].
     

  • October 13, 1878 Sunday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    From Sam’s notebook:

    Took Dittura &  Graham’s gondolier & started for the mainland at a point (Fusina) 2 hours  away. A steady, heavy rain. Had the casa on & the windows closed. Lit my  best cigar, put on my slippers, propped my feet on the little starboard bench  which brought them within a foot of the ½ glass door—wonderfully snug & cosy. Looked out on the ruffled & rainy seas a while after I was beyond the  shipping & fairly away from Venice—then  recognizing that I could never be so cosy again, got out Marryatt’s Pacha of  Many Tales & read.

  • October 14, 1878 Monday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    Sam wrote from Venice,  Italy to Chatto & Windus,  asking them to send copies of Innocents Abroad and The Adventures of  Tom Sawyer to William Mayer,  care of G.K. Mayer, Vienna Austria [MTLE 3: 94]. Following the establishment of a Linotype factory in 1890 in England,  the publisher William Mayer and his son Jacques traveled to Germany in 1894 to  find business partners there. 

    In his notebook Sam wrote a  glowing testimonial for Dittura Agostino, his gondolier [2: 220]. Sam discovered “Venetian  oysters the size of beans—half dollar a dozen—tasted 4 dozen” [220].
     

  • October 15, 1878 Tuesday

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 09:52

    The Clemenses visited Padre  Giacomo Issaverdenz, a friend of Howells,  on the island of San Lazzaro,  two miles southeast of Venice.  At the Armenian monastery the Padre gave them preserved rose-leaves to eat,  showed them photographs and talked about the Howellses [MTHL 1: 241].

    Sam’s notebook:

    “Very magnificent sunset & lamp effects (Piazza) coming  from San Lazzaro… Dittura—Boom! (finger to temple.) –Morte—Signor  Bismark—to-day–(laying head in palm of hand)” [MTNJ 2: 222-3]. (See Oct.  16 entry for explanation.)