Vol 3 Section 0180
(unspecified). Sam also asked them to continue his subscription to the Chronicle. Also, he agreed they were “quite right to object to my Zola book,” as he’d failed to “convey the idea I had in my mind” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Baroness Bertha von Suttner (full handle: Bertha Felicie Sophie von Suttner 1843-1914), head of a Vienna pacifist group, The Austrian Friends of Peace. Since Sam’s was a reply to an invitation, and since he spoke to her group on Feb. 22, it seems clear that Suttner had sent him an invitation (not extant) to attend. Sam had been outspoken in his defense of Dreyfus and Zola, so it was natural that such groups would wish to include his voice. He replied it would be difficult for him to take the day off from his work but he meant to go at least to meet her. But he wasn’t enthusiastic about the practical influence of such groups.
I am indeed in sympathy with the movement [pacifist], but my head is not with my heart in the matter. I cannot see how the movement can strongly appeal to the selfishness of governments…./ If you could
persuade the Powers to agree to settle their disputes by arbitration you would uncover their nakedness. You would never persuade them to reduce their vast armaments; & so, even the ignorant & the simple would then discover that the armaments were not created chiefly for the protection of the nations but for their enslavement [MTP]. Note: ironically the pacifist activist and editor of a peace journal, Baroness von Suttner, born Countess Kinskey in Prague, Czech. was daughter of a field marshall who died before her arrival, and the granddaughter on her mother’s side of a cavalry captain.
O.A. Wright sent a form letter from Detroit, Mich., which asked such inane questions as “What is the secret of success?” [MTP].
February 18 Friday
February 19 Saturday
February 20 Sunday – At the Hotel Metropole in Vienna, Austria, Sam wrote to Laurence Hutton referring to Hutton’s Dec. 14 letter which he started to answer then but didn’t send. He found Hutton’s letter “amidst the disorder of my table at this moment” and so answered. He thanked Hutton for his review of FE (Jan. issue of Harper’s), “a book which was written in blood & tears under the shadow of our irremediable disaster—a book whose outside aspect had to be cheerful, but who secret substance was made all of bitterness & rebellion.”
He also commented on “Mrs. Kellar’s conduct” (Likely Hellen Keller’s mother, Kate Adams Keller;
Helen wrote several letters to Mrs. Laurence Hutton) and gave news of family members:
Clara is working hard & faithfully under Leschetitzky; & between her work & her society-intercourse she gets some sleep now & then, but not much.
Jean has a couple of teachers & fills her time with study. She could be learning Russian, which has a large literature & is a beautiful language besides, but it is her caprice to learn Polish, so we make no objection, though it’s a pity. The Polish teacher does not know German or English or Italian, but teaches through the French tongue. If I had Jean’s fine gift for languages I wouldn’t fritter it away on Polish.
He closed with word that Livy was “in tolerable good health, & finds some trifle of relief from sorrow in taking care of the rest of us.” He kept himself “pretty well buried in literary work” and they all liked the city. He was sorry that Hutton was retiring from the column in Harper’s [MTP].
Note: See Beyond the Miracle Worker by Kim E. Nielsen (2009), especially p.148-155 for the full story on problems with Helen Keller’s preparations for Radcliffe College and her mother’s misguided interference. Sam sometimes spelled it “Kellar,” as did some newspapers.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.