Vol 3 Section 0043

1897                                                                                3

Colonel Swinton Jacob

Now if I could only foregather with you again! There is no such good fortune for me; but neither I nor the rest will forget that we have had that privilege once. / Sincerely Yours / Mark Twain

London, January 1897 [MTP].

Sam’s notebook entries:

    Sam recalled that Susy “was fond of Browning” [NB 39 TS 48].

    Sam wrote lines from Thomas Haynes Bayly’s (1797-1839) song, “Long, long ago” [NB 39 TS 57].

   Sam “constructed a burlesque anatomy of the ant; though he does not mention [John] Lubbock[‘s Ants, Bees, and Wasps, etc. (1882)] this book is obviously the inspiration” [Gribben 428: NB 39 TS 40].

     Sam noted Thomas Moore’s song (1818) “Oft in the stilly night”. Gribben: “Susy Clemens’ death reminded Clemens in January 1897 of lines 5-10 from the first stanza of Moore’s song: ‘The smiles the tears of childhood [Moore wrote ‘boyhood’s’] years / The words of love then spoken, / The eyes that shone now dim’d & gone./ The happy [Moore wrote ‘cheerful’] hearts now broken” [483: NB 39 TS 58].

    Sam noted that what was said of Robert Louis Stevenson would apply to the late Susy Clemens: “A soul of flame in a body of gauze” [Gribben 663: NB 39 TS 60].

   English addresses for himself, Chatto & Windus, John Bartlett solicitor, Julian Ralph, Andrew Lang, and the Boltons. Also a Paris address for M. Emile Terquem for M. Levi [NB 41 TS 1].

The Book Buyer included an article by Brander Matthews, “Mark Twain—His Work,” p. 977-9. Tenney: “A general estimate of MT, whose true worth has yet to be recognized by a public that still thinks of his early humor—which, good though it is, has been far surpassed by his later work” [27].

January 1 Friday

January 2 SaturdayThe London Academy, p. 18 reviewed TS,D: “On the whole, this is a bright, readable book, with nothing of the detestable tendency to parody the wrong things which we have occasionally regretted in the author” [Tenney 26].

January 3 Sunday Sam’s notebook from Jan. 7 about this day:

London — / Last Sunday [Jan.3] I struck upon a new “solution” of a haunting mystery. Great many years ago (20?) I published in the Atlantic “The Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut.”

That was an attempt to account for our seeming duality —the presence in us of another person; not a slave of ours, but free & independent, & with a character distinctly its own.

I made my conscience that other person; & it came before me in the form of a malignant dwarf & told me plain things about myself, and shamed me & scoffed at me & derided me. This creature was so much its own master that it would leave the premises—leave its post—forsake its duties—& go off on sprees with other disreputable consciences—& discuss their masters (no—their slaves)

Presently Stevenson published Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. That was nearer the thing. J & H were the dual persons in one body—quite distinct in nature & character; & presumably each with a conscience of its own. Nearer, yes, but not near enough. Or, to put it differently, a truth & a falsity harnessed together: the falsity being the ability of the one person to step into the other person’s place at will.

I have underscored “conscience of its own.” When I made my Conscience my other person, & independent, with its own (original) character, it was a mistake. My conscience is a part of me. It is a mere machine, like my heart—but moral, not physical; & being moral, is teachable, its action modifiable. It is merely a thing; the creature of training; it is whatever one’s mother & Bible & comrades & laws & system of government & habitat & heredities have made it. It is not a separate person, it has no originality, no independence.

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.