Vol 3 Section 0159

1897                                                                            115

Clara & I had started into society, & were dining & lunching & going to operas, & were getting at times cheerful once more; but we are all once more under a cloud, through the death of my brother, & have resumed our former seclusion.

I am glad Rice is to have a new house, & glad he is to be near you. He will be handy when I drop in on you by & by when the debts are cleared off.

I am writing hard—writing for the creditors.

Has Miss Harrison received my new book? I think I wrote Bliss to send one to Harry & one to Miss Harrison & go down [to] sell one to you. …

Blame it, why didn’t Laffan tell me about that Monotype Machine? I could have helped to get up that Company in London, and now I should be out of debt.

The cable said a Czech hit me over the head in the Reichsrath, but it suppressed what I did to the Czech.

There are orphans in that family now. / Sincerely yours / SLC [MTHHR 307-9].

Note: William Mackay Laffan of the N.Y. Sun was president of the Lanston Monotype Machine Co. Sam was being playfully disingenuous about the hoax of the Czech knocking out his teeth, a false report which appeared in American newspapers.

December 17 Friday – H.H. Rogers wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s Dec. 29 reply.

Richard Watson Gilder wrote to Sam letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s Jan. 13, 1898 reply [MTP].

December 18 Saturday – In Vienna, Austria Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus, requesting that a book (FE) be sent to Frau von Versen (née Clemens) in Berlin [MTP].

Sam also wrote to Katharine I. Harrison, the letter not extant but referenced in Harrison’s Jan. 7, 1898 letter [MTHHR 314].

December 19 Sunday

December 20 Monday

December 21 Tuesday – In Vienna, Austria Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.

Sam agreed that the letters from many of the creditors made his “heart glad.” With the “hateful burden” of debt soon to be extinguished, made his “same heart as light as Colby’s brain or the soul of the Mount Morris.” He commented on Rogers’ praise of FE and of the struggle he’d made to write it:

I am very glad you like the book. The London papers & the Vienna papers like it, & so do my personal friends in England & here. I believe their testimony to be square. And I can add to it my own—I like the book myself. All of this shows—what? That the common notion that a book infallibly reveals the man & his condition is a mistake. This book has not exposed me. It pretends to an interest in its subject—which was mostly not the case. It pretends that it was freely spouted out of a contented heart—not the forced work of a rebellious prisoner fretting in chains. Well Gott sei Dank it is over & done with; I would rather be hanged, drawn & quartered than write it again. All the heart I had was in Susy’s grave & the Webster debts. And so, behold a miracle!—a book which does not give its writer away [MTHHR 309-10].

Sam also wrote to Katharine I. Harrison, the letter not extant but referenced in Harrison’s Jan. 7, 1898 letter [MTHHR 314].

December 22 WednesdayThe ledger books of Chatto & Windus show that 5,000 additional copies of More Tramps Abroad, (FE) were printed (totaling 18,000 to date). The official English publication date

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