that he had “exhausted the novelties of this world & was depending on the Resurrection for a fresh emotion” [MTP].
Sam also replied to Richard Watson Gilder’s Dec. 17 (not extant) which he disclosed he’d received “2 weeks ago.” Until Sam saw the Nov. issue of McClure’s magazine, he did not understand Gilder’s complaint that the Century couldn’t have a segment of FE, but that “monthlies & dailies could have it.”
Sam confessed that the American Publishing Co. had restrained him from publishing any part of the book in a periodical, but that their contract “put no restraint upon Bliss,” something Sam had not noticed.
I am sorry about this thing, and ashamed of it. Bliss has acted within his rights, but it is shabby, just the same.
I’ve an article for you, but I can’t find it. It was a chapter of my book—a study of ants. I imagined it while in Jeypore; crammed for it at sea, & wrote it in London. I think it’s derned cunning & good. It interrupted the flow of the book, & I took it out. I’ve been kind of hoping, all day, But Mrs. Clemens reports, now, that she has searched everywhere & found no trace of it. So—let it go; I can’t bear to cram for it again; it takes too blessed long.
Do you care for fables? I enclose some.
It’s all the miscellaneous MS I’ve got, & no time to write more. (I’ve got acres and acres of uncompleted M.-MSS., but they’ll never be completed. I like other work better) [MTP].
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to at the bottom of the Jan. 10 from Livy for Sam [MTP].
January 14 Friday – Sam’s notebook:
Jan. 14, 1898. Began to write comedy “Is He Dead?” (Francois Millet.)
Make Plays—with a German for Principal character (Dutchy) an Irishman, a Scotchman, a Chinaman[,] a Japanese, a negro (George) Uncle John Quarles who was very like the Yankee farmer in Old Homestead.
Write an Old Homestead of the South” [NB 42, TS 53]. Note: Denman Thompson and George W.
Ryder’s The Old Homestead (4-act play 1886) [Gribben 700].
January 15 Saturday – Charles De Kay (1848-1935), art and literary critic of the N.Y. Times for eighteen years, wrote a review of FE which was published this day in the Times, “Mark Twain’s Mixed Pickles,” p. BR 40:
Mark Twain’s new book will challenge comparisons with “Innocents Abroad,” because it is cast on similar lines, being a salmi of plain information spiced with wit and humor. With such works each reader must decide whether the mixture suits him or not. …
While in fact “Following the Equator” is in many respects like “Innocents Abroad,” the hand that wrote it is a much surer, more practiced hand. We find again, here and there, sandy tracts of moralizing, but as we traverse them the green glimmer of fun appears much sooner on the horizon and the moral is somehow inadvertently swallowed as we open our mouths to laugh. …
Great as is Mark Twain’s fame about the earth, there are readers who will not forgive him two things— the injection of serious topics into his humorous papers, and occasional lapses into what they call coarseness. It may be pointed out that one of Mark Twain’s chief points of originality is the way in which he uses the serious as a foil to the humorous. Charles Dickens often employed the pathetic in the same way….Compared with Dickens he is weak on the constructive and dramatic sides.
Notes: Charles De Kay was from an old, distinguished New York family. He published The Bohemian (1878); Hesperus (1880); Vision of Nimrod (1881); Vision of Esther (1882); and “Love Poems of Louis Barnaval” (1883). His best-known story is “Manmatha.” Charles De Kay was known as the “Charmer of New York” in the 1870s,
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.