plan as to where she would leave it. One of the landing-places seemed quiet and inviting, and there she went ashore, and taking a quiet room at a small inn spent the day reading Susy’s letters. It was evening when she returned, and her husband, lonely and anxious, was waiting for her at the landing. He had put in the day writing the beautiful poem, “In Memoriam,” a strain lofty, tender, and dirge-like—liquidly musical, though irregular in form [MTB 1047]. Note: the poem would be published in the Nov. 1897 Harper’s Monthly.
Sam also wrote “In My Bitterness,” a short piece written on the same paper as “In Memoriam”; it may have been written this day or nearly so [MTFM 129-32]. Note: see also NB 42 TS 25-7.
Villa Buhlegg, Weggis, Lake Lucerne, Aug. 18/97.
One year to-day since the great disaster fell. Livy went away to be alone. She took the steamer & spent the day solitary in an inn in an unknown town up the lake—a village. I spent the day alone under the trees on the mountain side writing some lines–a lament for Susy in the form of an allegory.
Powers notes that it was the first known time Livy ever chose seclusion in an emotional time over Sam’s company [MT A Life 585].
August 19 Thursday
August 20 Friday
August 21 Saturday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, enclosing “all the proof I have” for FE. He asked what date Bliss had settled on for Chatto to issue the book. Would Chatto coordinate terms with translators and Continental publishers? Sam also requested “2 dozen strong big envelops—of a size big enough to hold 3 quires of my paper comfortably.” He wanted them for unfinished articles. After his signature he added a request for Julia Langdon, who was “anxious to get the enclosed to the right address. Please look in the Directory—Mrs. Bell is not a new resident, but an old one—& gets her living by translating for the publishers” [MTP].
Sam read the last chapter of proofs for the English edition of FE [Aug. 22 to MacVeagh].
August 22 Sunday – In Weggis, Switzerland Sam wrote to Wayne MacVeagh, having delayed in thanking him for “providing me a friend in Vienna.” Sam had just finished with the last proofs of his book the day before, and pronounced it “the only book I have ever confined myself to from title-page to Finis without the relief of shifting to other work meantime.” He had:
…mapped out four books this morning, & will begin an emancipated life this afternoon, & shift back & forth among them & make them furnish me recreation & entertainment for three or four years to come, if I last so long.
We live in a cottage on the grassy & woodsy Rhigi-side, over-looking the lake, a half-hour by boat from Lucerne. Julia Langdon is staying with us, & she & our two girls bike 20 & 30 miles a day & row us old people about the lake in the evenings, & are tanned like a meerschaum, & wholesome to look at…
Sam then told of the “black shadow” of the anniversary of Susy’s death on Aug. 18 [MTP]. See entry.
Sam also wrote to Francis H. Skrine, now on the Isle of Man, apologizing for mislaying Skrine’s letter (not extant). He received another letter from Skrine on Aug. 21 (not extant either), and so was writing a reply.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.