The note says:

At the Emperor's dinner black cravats were ordered. Tonight I went in a black cravat and everybody else wore white ones. Just my luck.

The Berlin activities came to an end then. He was still physically far from robust, and his doctors peremptorily ordered him to stay indoors or to go to a warmer climate. This was March 1st. Clemens and his wife took Joseph Very, and, leaving the others for the time in Berlin, set out for Mentone, in the south of France.



Mentone was warm and quiet, and Clemens worked when his arm permitted. He was alone there with Mrs. Clemens, and they wandered about a good deal, idling and picture-making, enjoying a sort of belated honeymoon. Clemens wrote to Susy:

Joseph is gone to Nice to educate himself in kodaking--and to get the pictures mounted which mama thinks she took here; but I noticed she didn't take the plug out, as a rule. When she did she took nine pictures on top of each other--composites.

They remained a month in Mentone, then went over to Pisa, and sent Joseph to bring the rest of the party to Rome. In Rome they spent another month--a period of sight-seeing, enjoyable, but to Clemens pretty profitless.

"I do not expect to be able to write any literature this year," he said in a letter to Hall near the end of April. "The moment I take up my pen my rheumatism returns."

Still he struggled along and managed to pile up a good deal of copy in the course of weeks. From Rome to Florence, at the end of April, and so pleasing was the prospect, and so salubrious the air of that ancient city, that they resolved to engage residence there for the next winter. They inspected accommodations of various kinds, and finally, through Prof. Willard Fiske, were directed to the Villa Viviani, near Settignano, on a hill to the eastward of Florence, with vineyard and olive-grove sloping away to the city lying in a haze-a vision of beauty and peace. They closed the arrangement for Viviani, and about the middle of May went up to Venice for a fortnight of sight-seeing--a break in the travel back to Germany. William Gedney Bunce, the Hartford artist, was in Venice, and Sarah Orne Jewett and other home friends.

From Venice, by way of Lake Como and "a tangled route" (his note-book says) to Lucerne, and so northward to Berlin and on to Bad Nauheim, where they had planned to spend the summer. Clemens for some weeks had contemplated a trip to America, for matters there seemed to demand his personal attention. Summer arrangements for the family being now concluded, he left within the week and set sail on the Havel for New York. To Jean he wrote a cheerful good-by letter, more cheerful, we may believe, than he felt.

BREMEN, 7.45 A.M., June 14, 1892.

DEAR JEAN CLEMENS,--I am up & shaved & got my clean shirt on & feel mighty fine, & am going down to show off before I put on the rest of my clothes.

Perhaps mama & Mrs. Hague can persuade the Hauswirth to do right; but if he don't you go down & kill his dog.

I wish you would invite the Consul-General and his ladies down to take one of those slim dinners with mama, then he would complain to the Government.

Clemens felt that his presence in America, was demanded by two things. Hall's reports continued, as ever, optimistic; but the semi-annual statements were less encouraging. The Library of Literature and some of the other books were selling well enough; but the continuous increase of capital required by a business conducted on the instalment plan had steadily added to the firm's liabilities, while the prospect of a general tightening in the money-market made the outlook not a particularly happy one. Clemens thought he might be able to dispose of the Library or an interest in it, or even of his share of the business itself, to some one with means sufficient to put it on an easier financial footing. The uncertainties of trade and the burden of increased debt had become a nightmare which interfered with his sleep.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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