A while ago you asked me about matter as yet not in books, & I gave you a list of magazine articles now appearing or about to appear.
But don’t use any of these things, of course, until after they shall have appeared in book form, lest it clash with my understanding with Harpers [MTP].
Note: Howells wrote on Oct. 23 (MTHL 2: 679-80) that he asked Bliss for $1,500 to write the biographical sketch, which
Howells wished to be “a sort of biographical and critical essay” about Mark Twain and the Uniform Edition, but that
Bliss “had not the courage” to pay it. Brander Matthews would write the material.
Sam also began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he finished on Aug. 29:
A dozen days ago we went traveling for heat (I suppose.) At any rate that is what we got. We reach home & coolness again last night, & find yours of Aug. 12 [not extant].
Put “Is He Dead” in the fire. God will bless you. I too. I started it to convince myself that I could write a play or couldn’t. I’m convinced. Nothing can disturb that conviction.
Harry Harper is right: Mrs. Clemens would indeed be glad to have his house as her exclusive publishers. Is Mr. Rives the Harper lawyer; & is it he that is going to examine the 3 contracts & your correspondence
with Bliss & determine when the forfeiture-clause works as against Bliss? If so, I’m on the anxious bench!…Colby—even Colby—could have read the contracts better than that. Colby drunk—Colby insane— Colby dead, would have a more competent brain than Rives [MTHHR 358-9].
Note: George Lockhart Rives was the lawyer for Harper & Bros. He was working on an a supplement to the contracts of Dec. 31, 1896 between the Harpers, Am. Publishing Co., and Livy. It would be signed on Nov. 11, by J. Henry Harper, Walter Bliss, and Rives. See n.4 of source, as well as Appendix “D” p.688-90.
Sam noted they’d arranged their quarters at the Krantz Hotel while passing through Vienna the day before; he related the dickering and bidding between the Krantz and the Metropole Hotel, and described the Krantz as “richly furnished like the Waldorf—there is nothing approaching it in France, Germany or Austria.” The family had three bathrooms attached to the four bedrooms with a cost but $60 higher than the Metropole.
“I used to be a little ashamed when Ambassadors & dukes & such called on us in that rusty & rather shabby Metropole, but they’ll mistake us for millionaires next fall & will probably lend us money” [MTHHR 358].
August 29 Monday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, Sam finished his Aug. 28 to H.H. Rogers.
P.S. Next Day. / Yours of the 19th has arrived [not extant], enclosing letter of Mr. Harper and opinion of Mr. Rives.
Good, I am glad a settlement is close at hand, though I wish Rives wouldn’t always keep on interfering with people’s arrangements.
I believe Bliss would gladly name a date, this time, for the Uniform edition, as a condition upon which the Harpers yield to his desires about new plates: a condition giving him still another year yet,—or more.
Evidently “a reasonable time” (with him) is too indefinite.
I reckon you are off for California now. Good times to you! / SLC [MTHHR 358]. Note: Rogers had interests in the Union Pacific Railroad, which was likely the basis for the trip to California.
Sam also wrote to J. Henry Harper. Only a draft with the heading survives, but he wrote a full letter the next day [MTP].
Aug. 29. ’98. Siveking’s [sic Sieveking’s] adventure has gone about Europe by telegraph—people call him a “made man.” No—this is merely notoriety; it won’t last; it is but a temporary advertisement. From what I can
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.