March 13 Saturday – In London Sam wrote to an unidentified man who had suggested a lecture for him. Sam replied that literary work would fill his schedule with no time for lecturing [MTP].
March 14 Sunday
March 15 Monday
March 16 Tuesday
March 17 Wednesday
March 18 Thursday – Julian Ralph (1853-1903) inscribed a copy of his book, Alone in China, and Other Stories, London (1897): “To S.L. Clemens, Esq / With the warm regards of / Julian Ralph / 35 Courtfield Road S.W. / March 18 ‘97” [Gribben 568].
March. 18/97. I dreamed I caught a beautiful, slender silver-white fish 14 inches long, & thought what a fine meal it would make—I was very hungry. Then came a feeling of disappointment & sorrow: it was Sunday, & I could not take the fish home, for it would deeply grieve Livy to know that I had been fishing on the Sabbath. Then it occurred to me to catch a fish for her and that would disarm her.
The dream is a perfect reflection of my character & hers, down to that last detail,—there it suddenly breaks down. But in the dream it seemed quite natural that her religious loyalty should be bought for a fish [NB 41 TS 16].
March 19 Friday – In London Sam wrote to Frank E. Bliss.
I enclose renewal-application & letter about it. Please attend to the matter for me.
I finished the book (in the rough) March 1st, then spent a week gutting it. I gutted a third of it out, & then began a careful revising & editing of the remaining two-thirds. I shall complete this revision in two or three days. I set the type-writer to work on the first 10,000 words a couple of days ago.
When she finishes the first 100,000 words I will carefully revise that & it will then be ready for you.
Sam expected to complete the book by June. Once he got the book (FE) good enough to suit him, he felt he’d know what the title should be. He suggested A.B. Frost as the illustrator, admitting he was,
…an expensive artist; but if he is not too expensive it might be well to get him to make 3 or 4 full-page humorous pictures. He is the best humorous artist that I know of, & he might not be difficult to deal with for the reason that he told me 3 years ago that he had long had an ambition to make some illustrations for me [MTP; also MTHHR 268n1]. Note: Sam did not trust Bliss with his address, using c/o Chatto & Windus; Frost was one of eleven illustrators used for FE.
Sam then wrote to H.H. Rogers:
I have just written Bliss, and told him I should finish the book about June 1, and that now pretty soon I shall send over the first part of it to select canvassing-matter from.
I didn’t say to whom I should send it. I shall send it to you, of course. If I sent it to him it might not be wise. ….
[an afterthought, written sideways in the margin besides his signature:]
I shall consider Mr. Warner pretty shabby if he doesn’t cease from any further claim upon the Gilded Age [MTHHR 267-8].
March 20 Saturday
March 21 Sunday
March 22 Monday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.