And now that my arm is better, I have stolen a couple of days and finished up a couple of McClure letters that have been lying a long time.
I shall mail one of them to you next Tuesday--registered. Lookout for it.
I shall register and mail the other one (concerning the "Jungfrau") next Friday look out for it also, and drop me a line to let me know they have arrived.
I shall write the 6th and last letter by and by when I have studied Berlin sufficiently.
Yours in a most cheerful frame of mind, and with my and all the family's Thanksgiving greetings and best wishes, S. L. CLEMENS.
Postscript by Mrs. Clemens written on Mr. Clemens's letter:
DEAR MR. HALL,--This is my birthday and your letter this morning was a happy addition to the little gifts on the breakfast table. I thought of going out and spending money for something unnecessary after it came, but concluded perhaps I better wait a little longer. Sincerely yours O. L. CLEMENS.
"The German Chicago" was the last of the six McClure letters and was finished that winter in Berlin. It is now included in the Uniform Edition of Mark Twain's works, and is one of the best descriptive articles of the German capital ever written. He made no use of the Rhone notes further than to put them together in literary form. They did not seem to him to contain enough substance to warrant publication. A letter to Hall, written toward the end of December, we find rather gloomy in tone, though he is still able to extract comfort and even cheerfulness from one of Mr. Hall's reports.
Memorandum to Fred J. Hall, in New York:
Among the MSS I left with you are a few that have a recent look and are written on rather stiff pale green paper. If you will have those type- writered and keep the originals and send me the copies (one per mail, not two.) I'll see if I can use them.
But tell Howells and other inquirers that my hopes of writing anything are very slender--I seem to be disabled for life.
Drop McClure a line and tell him the same. I can't dare to make an engagement now for even a single letter.
I am glad Howells is on a magazine, but sorry he gave up the Study. I shall have to go on a magazine myself if this L. A. L. continues to hold my nose down to the grind-stone much longer.
I'm going to hold my breath, now, for 30 days--then the annual statement will arrive and I shall know how we feel! Merry Xmas to you from us all.
Sincerely, S. L. C.
P. S. Just finished the above and finished raging at the eternal German tax-gatherer, and so all the jubilant things which I was going to say about the past year's business got knocked out of me. After writing this present letter I was feeling blue about Huck Finn, but I sat down and overhauled your reports from now back to last April and compared them with the splendid Oct.-Nov. business, and went to bed feeling refreshed and fine, for certainly it has been a handsome year. Now rush me along the Annual Report and let's see how we feel! S. L. C.
LETTERS, 1892, CHIEFLY TO MR. HALL AND MRS. CRANE. IN BERLIN, MENTONE, BAD-NAUHEIM, FLORENCE
Mark Twain was the notable literary figure in Berlin that winter, the center of every great gathering. He was entertained by the Kaiser, and shown many special attentions by Germans of every rank. His books were as well known in Berlin as in New York, and at court assemblies and embassies he was always a chief center of interest.
He was too popular for his own good; the gaiety of the capital told on him. Finally, one night, after delivering a lecture in a hot room, he contracted a severe cold, driving to a ball at General von Versen's, and a few days later was confined to his bed with pneumonia. It was not a severe attack, but it was long continued.