I can take those cigars to heart, don’t you doubt it; & it is just like your good spirit to offer me the chance. And in the matter of the Jäger underwear , either you or some other friend in London put me on that lay, & I am wearing it. I believe it is the most comfortable & serviceable underclothing I have tried yet. It comes in very handy here on the Righi-side where we have a raw day every little while.
I am submerged in work again—9 hours a day, 7 days per week—& am well content. I have begun four books….I don’t mean to finish more than one per twelvemonth. There are five of them, in fact, but two of them are not for publication in my lifetime.
We shall reach Vienna a month or more ahead of you, & you must be sure & let me know the date when you will arrive, so that we can foregather. I do not know what our address is going to be, yet, but that is no matter, Care Chatto & Windus, 111 St. Martin’s Lane will always find me. And Clara or I will give you the Vienna address when we get it [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Captain Richard Edgcumbe:
Hail, & thank you! I am glad it was the Ellis picture that was used; & glad, too, that it went wither it did; for it will be conveyable thence to the illustrated when you are ready, whereas the illustrated wouldn’t take it from a periodical which wasn’t a member of its own family. I am deep in play again—the usual 9 hours a day, 7 days in the week—& perfectly contented. And this is just the place for play in a peasant’s house, steeped in stillness by the lake’s edge, several hundred yards from our house & Clara’s piano & my visiting niece’s violin. In these last 4 days I have turned out an average of 2,800 words a day, which is 50 per cent above my custom. This is delicious recreation after the hard work I did in London. I never intend to do another stroke of work while I live; but make the remainder of my life one sumptuous & care-free holiday, playing with the pen 9 hours a day
continuing this abandoned orgy till I die. We’ve got to leave here sometime or other; it is fate, & cannot be helped; but I am to be chloroformed, & not know anything about it till we get to Vienna [Sotheby’s Karanovich auction catalog , 19 June 2003, p 74].
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell. He opened telling about Livy meeting George Williamson Smith, president of Hartford’s Trinity College, “and such intellectual refreshment as we have not tasted in many a month.” Sam then told about the six Fisk Jubilee Singers who entertained nearby (Dolmetsch gives Aug. 12; see entry), one of whom Sam had known in London 24 years before (1873).
“This is a paradise, here—but of course we have got to leave it by and by. The 18th of August has come and gone, Joe—and we still seem to live. / With love from us all” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Henry M. Alden:
This lament was written to beguile me through the heavy hours of the first anniversary of our Dark Day & not for print; but I have always meant to say some day a modest public word in memory of our lost Susy, & so I am now minded to offer this for the Monthly, if it may meet your approval. / Sincerely Yours / SL. Clemens [MTP: 3 Jan 1997 issue of Art & Literature, p. 135].
August 23 Monday – Samuel Rutherford Crockett (1860-1914) wrote to Sam.
“I’ve got some boys I’d like to send you, if I might. I think Tom and Huck would like to know them. One of them is called ‘Cleg Kelly.’ Hully Gee, what a scrap there’d a been if Tom and Cleg had met” [Gribben 165; MTP].
Note: He added that he would be in London “all the autumn after the 21st Sept, and I hang out at Morley’s Hotel.” Crockett was a Scottish minister who became a prolific novelist, though only one of Crockett’s works is listed in Gribben ( p.165). His 1914 obituary in the NY Times claimed 53 works from his pen for the 53 years of his life, including his successful story, The Stickit Minister, which was followed by his series of popular
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.