July 22 Thursday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote two letters to Chatto & Windus, the second not finished till July 24. In the first:
Let us drop this impossible thing. Cable Bliss for sheets.
It will not answer to try to produce the book from the original MS. It cannot be done. It is perfectly lousy with errors and foolishnesses which are not in Bliss’s copy. I can’t endure to read another chapter of it. I must go straight & telegraph you.
After his signature Sam listed thirteen items (probably corrections) for C&W to make [MTP].
Sam began a second letter, which he added to on July 23 and 24. He complained that the printers didn’t pay “strict enough attention” to his punctuation. “Their commas are too handy; I hate commas” [MTP].
Sam’s plans were to occupy the writing-room rented in the Villa Tannen the day before; see July 21.
July 23 Friday – In Weggis, Switzerland added a PS to his second July 22 to Chatto & Windus: “Send
sheets to Bliss up to the MIDDLE of the book—then don’t send any more without first writing me about it” [MTP].
Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers. In case persuasion should fail to make Bliss drop his intention of publishing a deluxe set of Mark Twain’s unified edition, Sam enclosed a public notice of him disassociating himself, if necessary, to be “an advertisement prominently in Harper’s Monthly.” Sam discussed he and Katharine I. Harrison easily selling 1,000 sets by sending out circulars. He then described their spot in Weggis, his possible future lectures and commented on something Rogers was writing, perhaps his autobiography:
We are about a hundred feet above the Lake surface—out in the leafy solitudes & stillnesses—with the big mountains all around, & I believe it is the most darling place in the world to spend a summer. If we live, we mean to come here again. I wish you were here with all the kids & their progenitors. Harry & his yacht could have good times here. Start him over.
I am building a couple of lectures. I may never….have a chance to deliver them, but I shall build them,
anyway, during these two reposeful months here. But for that Herald business I should have lectured in America next fall & winter.
I shall be intolerably glad to hear of that Receiver’s advent. I want to pay all the other creditors in full, but I wish to make an exception tin the case of the Mount Morries [Mt. Morris bankers]. Keep me posted—do.
How far are you along in the Testament? You are getting pretty old—don’t you think you would better glance through my book first? You wouldn’t like to appear before Satan in an ignorant & discreditable condition—familiar with a work which he does not allow on the premises, & ignorant of the book of his nearest friend.
Sam closed with a note that Livy was “in pretty fair health again” [MTHHR 294].
Sam also wrote a one-page letter to Captain Richard Edgcumbe, his old neighbor on Tedworth Square, forwarding his new address in Weggis, Switzerland [Sotheby’s catalog, June 19, 2003, Item 86].
Rogers wrote to Sam, the letter not extant but was “to hand” on Aug. 6 when Sam then replied. Sam’s reply illuminates at least part of this Rogers letter—he discussed the uniform edition and argued for a one-year limit on its production. He also informed Sam, that with Bliss’ payment of $10,000, Rogers now held $27,000 of Sam and Livy’s money. Rogers also conveyed what Sam would take as a “great shock” about Mrs. Rogers (Emilie R. Rogers), evidently a sudden illness [Aug. 6 to Rogers].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.