January 3 Tuesday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria Sam added a PS to his Dec. 30, 1898 letter to William Dean Howells.
P.S. Jan. 3. I forgot to say, don’t reveal to any one that I have turned the corner & am prospering. It might get into the papers; & if there is one thing that is more fraught with annoyance than the repute of being in financial straits, it is the repute of being the other way.
It has been said that in matters of luck of one breed or the other it never rains but it pours. Yesterday a quite expected $10,000 tumbled in here & went to join the other cash in the bank. A bolt from the blue! Come—respect the capitalist! [MTHL 2: 674-8]. Note: the $10,000 was from H.H. Rogers.
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell.
Your letter [not extant] has just arrived.
A Hartford with no Susy Clemens in it—& no Ned Bunce—& no Libby Hamersley! It is not the city of Hartford, it is the city of Heartbreak. Poor Jean. Livy let fall an unguarded word at breakfast this morning, & Jean’s quick suspicions were up, at once, her eye & her tongue began the search; Livy soon saw there was no escape; she paused a moment to frame the news as softly as she might, then said in a low voice, “He is not living.” (Bunce.) Jean went away crying, her breakfast untasted, and has kept her room all day, mourning. …
My work does not go well, to-day. It failed yesterday—& the day before—& the day before that. And so I have concluded to put the MS in the wastebasket & meddle with some other subject. I was trying to write an article advocating the quadrupling of the salaries of our ministers & ambassadors, & the devising of an official dress for them to wear. It seems an easy theme, yet I couldn’t do the thing to my satisfaction. All I got out of it was an article on Monaco & Monte Carlo—matters not connected with the subject at all. Still that was something—it’s better than a total loss.
I hope Harmony jr. finds herself strong enough for the nursing, & that she likes it—but you have not told me. It is one of the high & splendid callings—nursing the sick [MTP]. Note: relative to Sam’s writing: “Diplomatic Pay and Clothes” datelined “Vienna, January 5,” first published in Forum of March 1899 (See Budd, Complete 2: 344); and “The New War Scare” (see MTHHR 385-6, 386n3, and Sam’s Jan.3, 1899 to Rogers).
Sam also cabled and wrote to H.H. Rogers, responding to his Dec. 23, 1898 letter. The cable: FOLLOW
YOUR JUDGEMENT WHATEVER IT IS, I TAKE THE RISK [MTHHR 385n1: NB 40 TS 53].
Yours of Dec. 23 [not extant] arrived yesterday afternoon. Federated Steel does certainly brisken up these holidays with handsome surprises! By grace of you, we have had a Christmas & a New Year this time which knocked the gloom out of a season which we have grown accustomed to anticipate with dread. There has been no dismalness—we have been gay. We went out to several late-hour suppers & private theatricals, & furnished return-festivities & dissipations ourselves. We are resembling the long-vanished Clemenses of 10 years ago. God knows what we should be resembling if it had not been for you.
Sam felt he would let the magazine articles alone for now as he’d been in print enough for awhile. He was a bit in wonder that the Harpers took his “Hadleyburg” story, as “it had a sort of profane touch in the tail of it.”
I have written a blamed sight profaner one, about Monaco & Monte Carlo—if Mrs. Clemens allows it to pass her frontier I think I can beguile the Cosmopolitan into printing it.
P.S. Do you believe Cheiro can come on me for commission?
Speaking of gaieties, the children & I are going to a fancy dress ball at a private house to-morrow night— the children in splendid costumes, with much jewelry; one of them as “Night,” the other as a Hindoo princess. These things are very expensive. Mrs. Clemens designed these costumes herself, and the maid constructed them, and they are striking and beautiful [MTHHR 384-5]. Notes: Rogers’ Dec. 23 letter brought the news of a $10,000 profit in one week on Federated Steel. The Monaco essay survives as “The New War
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.