The enthusiasm of the house was hair-lifting. They all stayed an hour after the close to shake hands and congratulate.
We had no dollar seats except in the library, but we accumulated $372 for the Building Fund. We had tea at half past six for a dozen--the Hawthornes, Jeannette Gilder, and her niece, etc.; and after 8-o'clock dinner we had a private concert and a ball in the bare-stripped library until 10; nobody present but the team and Mr. and Mrs. Paine and Jean and her dog. And me. Bispham did "Danny Deever" and the "Erlkonig" in his majestic, great organ-tones and artillery, and Gabrilowitsch played the accompaniments as they were never played before, I do suppose.
There is not much to add to that account. Clemens, introducing the performers, was the gay feature of the occasion. He spoke of the great reputation of Bispham and Gabrilowitsch; then he said:
"My daughter is not as famous as these gentlemen, but she is ever so much better-looking."
The music of the evening that followed, with Gabrilowitsch at the piano and David Bispham to sing, was something not likely ever to be repeated. Bispham sang the "Erlkonig" and "Killiecrankie" and the "Grenadiers" and several other songs. He spoke of having sung Wagner's arrangement of the "Grenadiers" at the composer's home following his death, and how none of the family had heard it before.
There followed dancing, and Jean Clemens, fine and handsome, apparently full of life and health, danced down that great living-room as care-free as if there was no shadow upon her life. And the evening was distinguished in another way, for before it ended Clara Clemens had promised Ossip Gabrilowitsch to become his wife.
A WEDDING AT STORMFIELD
The wedding of Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Clara Clemens was not delayed. Gabrilowitsch had signed for a concert tour in Europe, and unless the marriage took place forthwith it must be postponed many months. It followed, therefore, fifteen days after the engagement. They were busy days. Clemens, enormously excited and pleased over the prospect of the first wedding in his family, personally attended to the selection of those who were to have announcement-cards, employing a stenographer to make the list.
October 6th was a perfect wedding-day. It was one of those quiet, lovely fall days when the whole world seems at peace. Claude, the butler, with his usual skill in such matters, had decorated the great living-room with gay autumn foliage and flowers, brought in mainly from the woods and fields. They blended perfectly with the warm tones of the walls and furnishings, and I do not remember ever having seen a more beautiful room. Only relatives and a few of the nearest friends were invited to the ceremony. The Twichells came over a day ahead, for Twichell, who had assisted in the marriage rites between Samuel Clemens and Olivia Langdon, was to perform that ceremony for their daughter now. A fellow-student of the bride and groom when they had been pupils of Leschetizky, in Vienna-- Miss Ethel Newcomb--was at the piano and played softly the Wedding March from" Taunhauser." Jean Clemens was the only bridesmaid, and she was stately and classically beautiful, with a proud dignity in her office. Jervis Langdon, the bride's cousin and childhood playmate, acted as best man, and Clemens, of course, gave the bride away. By request he wore his scarlet Oxford gown over his snowy flannels, and was splendid beyond words. I do not write of the appearance of the bride and groom, for brides and grooms are always handsome and always happy, and certainly these were no exception. It was all so soon over, the feasting ended, and the principals whirling away into the future. I have a picture in my mind of them seated together in the automobile, with Richard Watson Gilder standing on the step for a last good-by, and before them a wide expanse of autumn foliage and distant hills. I remember Gilder's voice saying, when the car was on the turn, and they were waving back to us:
"Over the hills and far away, Beyond the utmost purple rim, Beyond the night, beyond the day, Through all the world she followed him."
The matter of the wedding had been kept from the newspapers until the eve of the wedding, when the Associated Press had been notified.