LAST GLIMPSE HERE OF MARK TWAIN
They Opened the Coffin in the Brick Church and 3,000 Persons Saw His Dead Face.
A TRAMP IN THE THRONG
Dr. Van Dyke Pays His Tribute and the Rev. Joseph Twichell Chokes Down His Tears to Pray.
A short pause was made in the journey of Samuel Langhorne Clemens to his final resting place in Elmira yesterday, and he was brought to the Brick Church, at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-Seventy Street, that those who knew him might not be deprived of opportunity to see his face for the last time. A reading from the Scripture, a short address, and a prayer constituted the simple service. Then, for an hour and a half, a stream of people from all walks of life passed in front of the bier.
The same spirit which had led to the unbarring of Stormfield to breezes and sunshine on the day after the death pervaded the church yesterday. There was no gloom; only the peace that Mark Twain would have desired. The people who passed by the coffin saw not so much the man Samuel L. Clemens, a philosopher through the necessity for bearing misfortune, as Mark Twain, who was everything from Huckleberry Finn and Colonel Mulberry Sellers.
Mr. and Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the latter heavily veiled, sat in the front pew on the left side of the church. With them were Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Loomis and William Dean Howells. Behind these sat the Albert Bigelow Paines and Jarvis Langdon. In another pew were the widow and children of Samuel Moffett, a favorite nephew of Mr. Clemens, who died in California several years ago.
The funeral party from Redding arrived in New York at noon, Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch going first to friends. The male members of the party accompanied the body to the Brick Church. At the Grand Central Station a few who knew the train on which the party was to arrive had gathered, and when the body was taken out a crowd collected and all heads were bared as the coffin was lifted into the hearse.
Throng at the Church.
It was originally intended to open the church to the public at 3 o'clock, after the holders of the 400 tickets which had been distributed had taken their seats. But the crowd at Thirty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue threatened to block traffic on the avenue, and at 2:30 it was decided to let them in. the church was almost immediately filled. In fact, several hundred persons who could not be accommodated remained on the streets during the service until it was time to view the body.
Inside the church complete quiet was maintained, even while the people were taking their seats. The effect was enhanced by the soft tones of the organ when Clarence Dickinson began playing Chopin's Funeral March. As he changed to the Death's Chariot music of Grieg's "Death of Asa" the Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke and Dr. Joseph H. Twichell, both old friends of the author, came through the curtains into the pulpit.
Dr. Van Dyke stepped forward and began to read the Scriptural part of the Presbyterian funeral service.
When he had finished he entered without a break on his address. It was a simple and dignified estimate of the worth of the work that Mark Twain's life had produced. Throughout it was evident that the speaker was making a strong effort to keep down his emotion and control his voice. There was a noticeable break in his voice when he said: "Now he is gone."
Dr. Van Dyke's Address
In part Dr. Van Dyke said:
"Those who know the story of Mark Twain's career know how bravely he faced hardships and misfortune, how loyally he toiled for years to meet a debt of conscience, following the injunction of the New Testament to provide not only things honest, but things 'honorable in the sight of all men.'
"Those who know the story of his friendships and his family life know that he was one who 'loved much' and faithfully, even unto the end. Those who know his work as a whole know that under the lambent and irrepressible humor which was his gift there was a foundation of serious thoughts and noble affections and desires.
"Nothing could be more false than to suppose that the presence of humor means the absence of depth and earnestness. There are elements of the unreal, the absurd, the ridiculous in this strange, incongruous world which must seem humorous even tot he highest Mind. Of these the Bible says, 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Almighty shall hold them in derision.' But the mark of this higher humor is that it does not laugh at the weak, the helpless, the true, the innocent; only at the false, the pretentious, the vain, the hypocritical.
"Mark Twain himself would be the first to smile at the claim that his humor was infallible. But we may say without doubt that he used his gift, not for evil, but for good. The atmosphere of his work is clean and wholesome. He made fun without hatred. He laughed many of the world's false claimants out of court, and entangled many of the world's false witnesses in the net of ridicule. In his best books and stories, colored with his own experience, he touched the absurdities of life with penetrating but not unkindly mockery, and made us feel somehow the infinite pathos of life's realities. No one can say that he ever failed to reverence the purity, the frank, joyful, genuine nature of the little children, of whom Christ said, 'Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.'
"Now he is gone, and our thoughts of him are tender, grateful, proud. We are glad of his friendship; glad that he has expressed so richly one of the great elements in the temperament of America; glad that he has left such an honorable record as a man of letters, and glad, also for his sake, that after many and deep sorrows, he is at peace, and we trust happy in the fuller light.
"Rest after toil, port after stormy seas,
Death after life doth greatly please."
Bad News to Dr. Twichell.
Then the Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twichell of Hartford came forward to deliver the prayer. Associated with the dead author from the middle and happiest part of his life, the minister who performed the marriage that brought so much happiness into Mr. Clemens's life and lived to hold the funeral services of not only the wife, but of three of the children born of the marriage, it was no wonder that when he came to deliver a prayer at the death of his friend his voice should fail him. Throughout the short service he had sat with bowed head to conceal the fact that tears had found their way to the surface. Now he made a determined effort to control himself, and finally was able to say what he had to say.
Although fully as old as Mark Twain, Mr. Twichell carries his age well. He is a big, vigorous-looking man. With his mass of heavy white hair he does not look unlike Mark Twain himself. His prayer, except for the benediction by Dr. Van Dyke, ended the service. When he left the pulpit and retired into the robing room, he received a blow that was particularly sad owing to the circumstances under which it came - a telegram saying that his wife was seriously ill in Hartford and that he must return there at once. He left the church immediately and took the first train for his home. It was arranged that in his stead the Rev. Samuel E. Eastman, pastor of the Park Church, should officiate at the services in Elmira.
3,000 Passed the Coffin.
The service in the Brick Church lasted only twenty minutes. It is estimated fifteen hundred persons crowded to hear it. At its conclusion it was announced that the coffin would be opened. The lines of those within the church began to pass around it, and the crowd from the street pushed in. This was at half past three. there was no abatement in the stream for the next hour and a half. Finally at 5 o'clock it was found necessary to close the doors, as the body had to be taken to Hoboken and put aboard the special train for Elmira. More than three thousands persons meantime had passed in front of the coffin.
Every walk of life was represented in the line, which filed slowly past the coffin. Before the doors were opened a score of brightly dressed little girls appeared in front of the church, each with flowers in her hand. They were disappointed at not being allowed to enter, but the ushers appeased them by taking their flowers and setting them near the bier.
When the people had been filing past only a few minutes it could be seen that almost every nationality was represented. There were several negroes. Jervis Langdon, who was standing near the head of the coffin, was much interested in one of the persons who passed him. He said that the man looked the very picture of tramphood, but his bearing was easy, and he seemed to be unconscious of his tattered clothes, stopping for along look at he face of Mark Twain. Mr. Paine also saw him, and said he was probably some one who had seen better days, in which he had read Mark Twain and conceived a liking for his work.
All religions were represented. Some of those who passed crossed themselves as they did so.
Bay Wreath on the Coffin.
The idea of simplicity was carried out in all the arrangements. There were no pall bearers. Although surrounded by flowers, there was nothing on the coffin except a wreath which Dan Beard had made of bay leaves gathered the night before, at the request of the family, on the hill behind the house where Mark Twain spent a good deal of his time. This was put on the coffin when it was taken out of Stormfield, and will not be removed. A copper plate on the lid bore the inscription:
SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS,
All the persons of literary prominence who are in this part of the country were present yesterday, besides delegations from the better-known clubs. Albert Bigelow Paine, biographer-to-be of the dead humorist, and Major Frederick Leigh and Frederick A. Duneka of Harper's were in the vestibule of the church to receive. Other than these the ushers were the undertaker's men.
Some of the Mourners.
Here are some of the prominent persons who were present:
William Dean Howells, Miss Mildred Howells, Andrew and Mrs. Carnegie, Prof. and Mrs. Brander Matthews, W. W. Ellsworth, and C. C. Buel of the Century Company; Davis Bispham, Will N. Harben, Peter Finley Dunne, Sydney Porter, (O. Henry,) James Lane Allen, Will Carleton, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Collier, John B. Stanchfield, Philip V. Mighels, Robert Underwood Johnson, Joseph H. Choate, J. Henry Harper, Miss Elizabeth Jordan, Robert Bridges, Dan Beard, Henry Holt, Don Seitz, E. S. Martin, President John Finley, Col. Daniel Appleton, Mrs. George Harvey, Joseph W. Harper, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Alden, ex-Gov. Joseph W. Folk of Missouri, Julian Hawthorne, and Emma Thurston.
There were also delegations from the Pilgrims, both American and English; the Authors' Club, the Lotos Club, the Century Association, and the Players. Flowers came from the Aldine Association, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Booth Tarkington, Mrs. H. H. Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Rogers, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. William R. Coe, son-in-law and daughter of the late H. H. Rogers; Robertson Coe, Mr. and Mrs. Urban H. Broughton, Robert J. Collier, the Robert Fulton Memorial Association, Mr. and Mrs. Philip James McCook, Col. and Mrs. George Harvey, Emily M. Burbank, the Pilgrims, (of both countries,) and Harper Brothers.
Last night the coffin was taken across the ferry and put aboard the private car Lake Forest, owned by E. E. Loomis, whose wife is a niece of Mr. Clemens. Immediately after the service Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch went to the apartment of the Loomises, which they left late last night for Hoboken. The party accompanying the body to Elmira consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, Mr. and Mrs. Loomis, Albert Bigelow Paine, Frederick Duneka, and Major Leigh.
ELMIRA, N. Y., April 23. - When the body of Mark Twain arrives in this city tomorrow morning at 3:21 o'clock it will be taken to the home of Gen. Charles J. Langdon, his friend and brother-in-law. There a brief service will be held at 3:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.
The last rites will be simple. There will be no music at the service. The Rev. Samuel E. Eastman, pastor of the Park Church and a close personal friend, will have charge.
Mark Twain's body will be laid at rest beside that of his wife and daughters on the hill in Woodlawn Cemetery.
LAST SCENE AT THE OLD HOME.
Mark Twain, When Ill, Wouldn't Be Carried in There - Stood for a Greeting.
Special to The New York Times.
REDDING, Conn., April 23. - Less than two weeks ago Mark Twain arrived at Stormfield, having been brought back from Bermuda by Albert Bigelow Paine when he was told that his friend was dangerously ill.
Mr. Clemens had to be carried from the steamer to his carriage, and in all the intermediate steps of the journey. But when he arrived at his hilltop home and the carriage drew up at the doorway, he insisted on getting out himself. This was because Katie Leary, his housekeeper for twenty-nine years, and his butler Claude, stood at the door to welcome him.
It did not suit Mark Twain's notion of courtesy, Mr. Paine said, to be carried in and not be able to greet them properly. He weakly alighted and then drew himself up to his full height. Off came his big hat with a full sweep, and then he made one of his old-fashioned low bows and spoke to them. Not until then would he allow himself to be helped. It was the last time he walked unaided.
Today before his body was carried to New York, he lay in the beautifully furnished living room on the lower floor, among his books. He had been dressed in one of his white cashmere suits and brought down there the night before. The unshuttered windows let in a stream of sunlight, and the breeze fluttered the light curtains. It was a perfect day.
At 9 o'clock it was announced that Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, his only surviving daughter, Clara, was coming downstairs. The other members of the household withdrew and she went into the living room alone. The doors were locked. In about half an hour she came out, drawing her veil about her face. The coffin was placed in the village hearse, drawn by a team of white horses, and the little procession started for the four-mile drive to the Redding station.
Mr. and Mrs. Paine and Jervis Langdon were in one carriage with the butler, Claude, and Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch followed in a carriage which had been presented to Mr. and Mrs. Clemens at the time of their marriage. On the front seat sat Katie Leary.
As they went over the hills to the railroad station many of the townsfolks were seen in front of their houses. The men uncovered as the hearse passed. On the way Dan Beard, his wife, and children joined the procession. Another group of country folk was gathered at the railroad station. Most of them were members of the Redding Library Club, in which Mark Twain was deeply interested, and to which, besides giving it all his superfluous books, he had drawn a check for $6,000 the day before his death. They stood in silence during the short wait for the train, and the men again uncovered as the coffin was lifted on the train.
Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch retired into the stateroom compartment of the parlor car. The remainder of the party was made up of Jervis Langdon, Albert Bigelow Paine, Dan Beard, and Harry Lounsbury, the Stormfield Superintendent.
The conductor of the train, which was the Pittsfield Express was M. H.
Lyons. He had become well acquainted with Mark Twain owing to the fact that
the author always waited for his train in going to and from the city. The
dead author used to say that he enjoyed talking with Lyons.
FRENCH SNEER AT MARK TWAIN.
Ernest Charles Calls Him "the Most Laborious Humorist."
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
PARIS, April 23. - Almost all of the French journals have published appreciative notices of the value of Mark Twain's literary work. One must suppose in reading these notices an extraordinarily widespread knowledge of the subtleties of the English language among Frenchmen.
A surprising exception is found in Ernest Charles, a critic much in the public view, who in a short article on Mark Twain seems determined to convince every reader possessing any degree of penetration that the views which he expresses are the product of ignorance and anti-Americanism combined. This article is published in Gil Blas, which has also been conspicuously unique in its sneering comments, not by any means witty, upon Theodore Roosevelt since his arrival in Paris.
Mr. Charles says in effect that Mark Twain did well to die, and that it was not his fault if while he was all his life the most laborious humorist, he was totally lacking in wit.
"Mark Twain's humor," M. Charles adds, "was painful, his fantasies dense and difficult to follow. By them, one may estimate the exact distance which separates the Yankee country from the civilized world; but anyhow, hurrah for Roosevelt!"
MRS. TWICHELL SERIOUSLY ILL.
In a Critical Condition last Night, with Her Husband Beside Her.
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
HARTFORD, Conn., April 23. - The Rev. Joseph H. Twichell of this city, who, while taking part in the funeral exercises of his lifelong friend, Mark Twain, was summoned home from New York this afternoon by a telegram announcing the serious illness of his wife, is with her tonight. Mrs. Twichell is critically ill. She recently had a severe attack of grip and her condition is attributed to complications arising from that malady.
[Harmony Twichell, wife of Joseph Twichell, died on April 25, 1910. Elinor Howells, wife of William Dean Howells died on May 7, 1910.]
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