Vol 3 Section 0277

1899                                                                            227

The “Forum” will print that little article. I’ve just finished a very short one (2,000 words) for the swell new London political periodical (“Lords & Commons.”) They pay $500 for it, which is double “Century” rates, & twice-&-a-half Harper’s best.

Sam then mused about living in Washington or New York, preferring the latter so he could be near Rogers who would benefit by having Sam’s “character as a model to shape-up” by.

Laffan must be prospering greatly, now, & will need a large house, & will want to rent his present one to a capitalist of high character; & so I am going to write him & let him know that I am approachable. It is right on the horse-car line to your desirable billiard-room & cigar box, & in easy reach of Rice’s house & portmonnaie [MTHHR 389-90].

Note: Source gives the Forum article as “Diplomatic Pay and Clothes,” and the London political as “The ‘Austrian Parliamentary System’? Government by Article 14.” Which ran in the Feb. 25 issue of Lords and Commons. See entry. References to Dr. Clarence C. Rice and William Mackay Laffan.

February 20 Monday

February 21 Tuesday

February 22 Wednesday

February 23 Thursday

February 24 Friday – Douglas M. Gane inscribed his book New South Wales and Victoria in 1885: “To Samuel L. Clemens, Esq., with compliments, from Douglas M. Gane, 24, 2, 99” [MTP]. See Gribben p. 251.

February 25 Saturday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Sam wrote to Richard Watson Gilder.

I have abandoned my Autobiography, & am not going to finish it; but I took a reminiscent chapter out of it some time ago & had it copyrighted & had it type-written, thinking it would make a readable magazine article; & sent it to my friend

H.H. Rogers, 26 Broadway.

If you would like to look at it, send there & get it. It is about the burning of the clipper “Hornet” on the Equator thirty-three years ago. The survivors made 4,000 miles in an open boat on 10 days’ provisions, & I was in Honolulu when those scarecrows arrived. One of them lives in Hartford, now, & is a professor in Trinity College there. I think it’s a stunning shipwreck, & beats Captain Bligh’s & the other famous ones.

Sam closed with a note they were impatient to return home, hoping to be there by October, and asking if there was a house for rent in Gilder’s neighborhood “at an endurable figure” [MTP]. Note: the lined-out phrase is interesting in the light of “My Debut as a Literary Person” being treated as autobiography and now collected in AMT 1: 127-144].

Note: Sam’s piece on the Hornet would be renamed, “My Debut as a Literary Person,” and would run in the Nov. 1899 Century. Brothers Samuel and Henry Ferguson (1848-1917) of Stamford, Conn. were passengers on the Hornet and supported Captain Josiah A. Mitchell during the ordeal; Samuel died Oct. 1, 1866 in Santa Clara, Calif. of tuberculosis and the long exposure; Henry graduated from Trinity College in 1868 and became professor of history and politics there. In 1906 he returned to the Headmaster post at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. where he had graduated so many years before. Sam’s “Debut” included passages from Henry and Mitchell’s diaries. Their story and photograph are online at StamfordHistory.org. See also MTL 1: 354n2.

Sam also wrote to an unidentified man (from some “Society”) to decline an invitation [MTP].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.