year ago. If he declines, I’ll send you the “Jew” article, and let Harper’s take choice between it and the “Sweetheart” (at their own price) and let the Century have the unchosen one (at its own price.) They are thundering good—I don’t know which one I like the best. / Yours sincerely… [MTHHR 355].
Notes: Terms of the peace treaty between the US and Spain were being negotiated, and would be completed on Aug. 12. Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), the man who united Germany, died July 30.
August 4 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Aug. 4, ’98. Finished ‘My Platonic Sweetheart[’] a day or so ago” [NB 40 TS 27].
Poultney Bigelow wrote a postcard, bearing an illustration of the North German Lloyd liner Bremen to
Sam. “Greetings to you from the Indian Ocean nearing Ceylon. – on my way to Manila and so once more round the world. My love to your family. I hope we may spend next summer together. I shall anchor the family scow at any navigable point you designate so long as you are within reach. Goodbye. Faithfully” [MTP].
August 5 Friday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, Sam wrote a sappy poem to Charles J. Langdon, whom he addressed as “Dear Cholley” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Mrs. Kate S. Littlewood (Mrs. Walter Littlewood); (d.1927) in Liverpool [MTP].
Oh yes indeed, your young wards can freely have any book of mine they want—the whole set if they like.
I enclose an order.
Yes, I should very much like to have a “volume or two” of Blatchford’s, since you allow me to suggest it; & I hope your gift will include “Merrie England” & the essay on humorists.
That’s a darling expression, the “Jesus” books! It gives us a private view of whole London Vaults of bottled resentment. I shan’t forget it. What a small business it is—the persecution of the helpless. Religious people do know so many ways of being disagreeable. It makes me dread to go to hell; but I suppose there is no way to get around it.
Sam replied to Kate that he wasn’t “leaning toward Theosophy,” nor in any direction but “standing pretty straight in a petrified attitude.” He held stubborn belief in his own religion, which he hadn’t found anywhere else, and which he couldn’t put a label on.
“I have written it all out, but (between you & me) I dasn’t stay in the same room with it during a thunderstorm. I shan’t publish it—I’ve got better judgment. Yes, & more charity.”
Notes: Robert Blatchford (1851-1943). English socialist and nationalist. Author and journalist, Blatchford wrote for the Sunday Chronicle 1885-91, before co-founding the Clarion in 1891, a socialist weekly, which he edited for 20 years. Blatchford’s socialism generated many organizations, including the Clarion Scouts, the Clarion Field Clubs, and the National Clarion Cycling Club. Merrie England (1894) was his most important book, selling over 2 million copies; it was said to be the best recruiting document ever produced by socialists in Britain, which has always been more hospitable to socialism than America.
Kate Littlewood’s husband Walter Littlewood was for many years the head of the Liverpool Institute for the Blind, and together they made several improvements to the Braille system. Both were old members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society. They moved later to Point Loma, Calif. for Kate’s health, where they died [Theosophical Path Magazine, Jan-June 1927 p. 200].
Sam wrote out his religious beliefs sometime during this period. A copy from the MTP has been reviewed, and may be included in some future addenda for MTDBD Vol. 2.
August 6 Saturday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.