Vol 3 Section 0282
If I could get a similar word engraved upon my tombstone I should sleep beneath it in peace.
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam, including a clipping from the Christian Science Sentinel of Mar. 2, p.15.
“Dear Mark: / I have found it difficult to get your Christian Science questions answered; and in the case of some of them impossible.” He wrote of his wife questioning a practitioner of the faith who could not answer all, but who referred them to a clerk in the C.S. church in Boston. On Mar. 6 he then wrote to the C.S. publishing Society and rec’d back a typed note (he enclosed to Sam) that they had “no publication with the information you desire.” He then referred to a male C.S. practitioner in Hartford and was told that the course of instruction at the Metaphysical College in Boston was two weeks at the cost of $100. The Twichells had traveled to S. Carolina to see their son David, who was in the Army. Their daughter Harmony was doing well as a nurse [MTP]. Note: Joe’s letter is obviously a reply to one not extant from Clemens, who had asked several questions about Christian Science.
March 11 Saturday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam added to his Mar. 1 letter to John Kendrick Bangs that he finished on Mar. 12.
March 11. I got interrupted there; & have since prepared & delivered a lecture for a charity—it cost me a raft of time.
The book came, & I started to review it. No use—none in the world,—I had to give it up; I hadn’t the heart to go on. Besant is a friend of mine, & there was no way of doing a review that wouldn’t cut into his feelings & wound his enthusiastic pride in his insane performance. Besant has a fine mind; we know that; but what became of it when he sat down to do this book no one will ever know. The book is not reviewable by any but a sworn enemy of his; for so far as I can see, there isn’t a rational page in it. Why, a person might as well undertake to review a lunatic asylum [MTP].
Note: this may have been Walter Besant (1836-1901): Orange Girl (1899); The Pen and the Book (1899). Gribben p.63
offers a misdated source for this as Mar. 2 but includes other useful notes.
Sam also replied with a letter and a short note of afterthought to John M. Hay, whose incoming letter is not extant. Hay was Secretary of State at this time.
I thank you ever so much for those pleasant words. We are edging along toward that funeral which you refer to; it is not disguisable.
Now then—listen! For a year, off & on, I have been thinking out a simple scheme for the betterment of the Post Office revenues, & now it is finished & for sale. If it were a new & particularly comprehensive way of killing Christians I know the War Department would buy the idea, but I know that governments have sometimes bought ideas of purely commercial value—like the £20,000 paid by the British government for an improved Chronometer, for instance. So there’s a chance!
Sam wanted the Post Office to guarantee him a royalty on the idea of selling a “postal-cheque”, after which he would reveal it in detail. Later in the day Sam sent a follow up paragraph asking Hay not to mention the idea to any one [MTP].Note: see also Sam’s May 4 to Hay.
March 12 Sunday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam added a P.S. to his Mar. 1 and Mar.
11 letter to John Kendrick Bangs:
Please suppress “The Great Republic’s Peanut Stand” till you hear from me again.
The brief chapter which I have kept back in [sic is] the nuts of the whole thing—without it the article is a eunich. But I must get some lacking statistics & make those testicles perfectly sound before I print; & this may take me two or three months. I want the nuts to follow immediately after the preceding chapters, with no more than a week’s interval between—otherwise they must greatly lose in value [MTP]. Note: the essay remained unpublished.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.