Vol 3 Section 0068

28                                                                           1897

April 14 Wednesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus: “Thank you ever so much. The madam wants another one—also a Huckleberry Finn. Will you send them?” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister, that he’d finished his book the day before and that “The Madam edited this stuff out of it—on the ground that the first part is not delicate & that the last part is indelicate.” Would “the boys accept of condemned literature?” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers that he’d finished the book. He enclosed a note of introduction for Frank N. Doubleday and offered a backup plan involving Doubleday should Frank Bliss not perform as agreed:

Four days ago came Bliss’s quarterly statement. On a 3-months’ sale of 7 books (2 of them on ½ profit) he enriches Mrs. Clemens to the extent of 260 dollars!

It is ghastly. Mr. Doubleday came in to-day when I had just finished the first page of this. He wants to make a deal with Bliss or me or somebody, for my new book & the uniform edition. I told him I thought Bliss would be willing. I think Laffan knows D. At any rate he knows his partner, McClure of McClure’s Magazine & the syndicates. I have given D. a note of introduction to you [enclosed].

I have not received a line from Bliss, either about the renewal of the Innocents, copyright or anything else. I judge he wishes he hadn’t signed the contract. Moreover I don’t think he can raise the $10,000. If he can’t, will that release me & all my books & set me free?

Also, Sam was going to ship some of the typewritten manuscript “in a few days, & follow it as fast as my typewriter will let me.” Should Bliss fail to come through Sam wanted to arrange a new deal [MTHHR 270-1].

Note: Doubleday and McClure planned to form a new company in the fall of 1897 called Doubleday & McClure Co. combining magazines with books. See note MTHHR p.272.

April 14- May 17Sam’s notebook between April 13 and May 18 entries provides some good and well known aphorisms or maxims:

         Never put in maxims where you can get along without them.

         There are no such vulgar people as the over-refined ones.

         Universal brotherhood is the most precious thing we have, what there is of it.

         There is no such thing as the Queen’s English. The property has gone into the hands of a joint-stock Co & we own the bulk of the shares.

         The successful book is not made by what is put in it but what is left out of it.

         Every one is a moon, & has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

         None of us can ever have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try.

         I have traveled more than any one else, & I have noticed that even the angels speak English with an accent [NB 41 TS 21-3].

April 15 Thursday

April 16 Friday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, curiously heading it PS but with it’s own dateline, salutation and signoff. Was it intended as part of the Apr. 14 letter to Rogers and mailed at the same time? The source puts this question, so envelopes are likely not extant to answer the question. Sam still had not heard back from Frank Bliss on the copyright renewal for IA, and was nervous that Webster & Co. creditors would “capture” the renewal. Sam pressed the issue with Rogers, whom he felt might know by this time if Bliss had performed. The issue of renewals had been somewhat complex:

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