Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,890 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.
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.



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

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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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