February 7 Monday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote a formal letter of acceptance to H.H. Rogers for the Mt. Morris Bank’s Jan. 22 and Jan. 26 letter offers of settlement [MTHHR 320].
Alvora Miller wrote from Cheshire, Mass. praising Sam’s ability to make people laugh, and relating a story of finding a 20-year lost copy of IA, and of reading several of his shorter works as well. Sam wrote at the top of the letter “Brer: Read it—all through. / answered” [MTP].
Katharine I. Harrison wrote to Sam that she had his letters of Dec. 18 and 21, 1897 and had sent the “Calcutta letter” to John Brusnahan. She clarified items on the statement sent [MTHHR 314-5].
February 8 Tuesday – In Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote “Private ” to J. Henry Harper, bemoaning the fact that he had let the book about Dreyfus drop after Chatto told him there was no interest in the case in England; Sam didn’t think of asking Harper’s London office, and now the entire world was excited:
“My Goodness! & to-day I could sell a ship-load of that book in little Belgium alone—Belgium, which sent Zola 79,000 telegrams yesterday, the day his ‘trial’ begain before that court of chicken-livered French monkeys. / Please send a cheap person over here to kick me” [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Chatto & Windus about the lost opportunity of a Dreyfus book. He’d only finished the first chapter of such a book when Chatto discouraged it.
“I’m trying hard not to cry over the spilt milk, but I am crying over it just the same; for I knew, at the time, that we were wasting the opportunity of the century….Oh, dear, that book died that the tramps abroad [FE] might live—what irony it is!” [MTP].
February 9 Wednesday – H.H. Rogers wrote notice of receipt from Sam for $653.34 “which added to the $1,959.99 previously received makes the full amount of my claim against the late firm of C.L. Webster & Company at the time of its failure” [MTHHR 321].
Sam’s notebook: “Feb. 9. ’98. Frieherr v. Dutschka died” [NB 40 TS 12]. Note: Ritter von Dutschka; whom Sam & Clara had dined with on Nov. 29, 1897. Dolmetsch points out that Sam referred to Laszowski mistakenly as “Freiherr” rather than “Graf” (count) .
February 10 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
“Dinner at the Embassy. Present, the German Ambassador; Marquis Hoyos; Nigra, Italian Minister; Paraty, Portuguese Minister; Löwenhaupt, Swedish Minister; Ghika, Roumanian Minister; Secretaries &c from the various Embassies—& ladies. 30 guests” [NB 40 TS 12]. Note: Charlemagne Tower was the American ambassador and host for this evening. Dolmetsch (p.154) gives a good bio sketch of Tower.
February 11 Friday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Frank Bliss, replying to a letter (not extant) of several weeks before.
Considering all the circumstances a 20,000 sale is certainly a little disappointing, for it is a most attractive-looking book; however, maybe the times will improve. They have been bad about long enough.
I am expecting the book for the princess every day, now. An unornamented crushed Levant binding is all I want. It needn’t cost a fancy price, & I don’t want it to.
Sam also offered several ideas for the use of his maxims; he didn’t like calendars as they had a short sale period; postcards with the maxims might prove profitable, noting “There are post- card collectors now-a-days, you know.” He enclosed a postcard that had the postage printed on the card, a method preferred by
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.