Vol 3 Section 0299

May 11 Thursday

1899                                                                            249


my morals from stinking, for these highwaymen charge a dollar & ten cents a bottle for it; & as for cigars, they are 3½ cents a piece, & there is no way for a really conscientious economist to do but steal them. It shames me to do this, & it makes a good deal of talk; but I feel as Rice [Dr. Clarence C. Rice] does about such matters: that it is better to be economical than honest, as a general thing. I have learned many useful things from Rice [MTHHR 395-6].


Sam also aphorism-inscribed a copy of TA to an unidentified person: “We should not tell the truth / too


much, it makes us / conspicuous. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / May 10, 1899” [MTP].


Sam’s notebook:


“May 10. Letter from Goerz. He has invested for me in 200 Geduld Proprietary shares at £3.3/4. I sent him £ 200 on May 5. (£ 3 3/4.)” [NB 40 TS 55]. Note: Geduld Proprietary Gold Mines, East Rand, S. Africa. Ad. Goerz & Co. stock brokers. Sam identified Adolf Goerz as “a good friend, S. African Millionaire” in Oct. 23, 1897 NB entry.


Sam’s notebook: “He [Adolf Goerz] hs received my cheque (£ 200) & put £172.10 of it into


60 shs Roodepoort Central Deep at £ 2-7/8” [NB 40 TS 55]. Note: Sam sent the check on May 5.


In his May 13 to William Dean Howells, Sam wrote of this evening:


Day before yesterday [May 13] the Harper came [May issue with another installment of Their Silver Wedding Journey by Howells], & in the evening I hunted it up & was lying on the sofa, & kept interrupting the family’s repose with laughter & chuckles. Finally Mrs. Clemens (very late, I thought) asked “What is it?”


“Portraits of you.”


“In Carlsbad. Whether Mrs. March was there or not, you were.”

Then she let it out that she had already been through the chapter, & had recognised herself. That seems good evidence to me that Mrs. March is a type, going around disguised with a special name; & she is probably being recognised by lots of Mrs. Marches named Jones & Smith & so-on. I reckon you had good times writing that number; it is persistently & devilishly happy & comfortable & easy & flowing; & exact to the facts in every detail… [MTHL 2: 695-6].


May 12 Friday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam began a letter to William Dean Howells that he finished on May 13. In his first paragraph at 11 a.m. he apologized for Howells not being selected to write the Introduction for Sam’s Uniform Edition and castigated Frank Bliss for his “stupid uneconomical economy” in refusing to pay Howells’ price ($1,500).


“Damn these human beings; if I had invented them I would go hide my head in a bag.”


Sam’s second paragraph was headed, “Mid-afternoon”:


Meantime I have answered a part of the accumulation of letters; for we are removing to England and Mrs. Clemens is thrashing around among the milliners & cannot attend to her household duties; & as for the children concerned they never seem to have time to answer anybody’s letters but their own, & what they are in the world for I don’t know, for they are of no practical value as far as I can see. If I could beget a typewriter—but no, our fertile days are over. —However, I mustn’t stop to play now, or I shall never get those helfiard letters answered. (That is not my spelling, but Mrs. Clemens’s: I have told her the right way a thousand times, but it does no good, she cannot remember; a person who is not born to spell cannot learn— & in time, association with that kind of people rots one’s own spelling.)


4 p.m. I have done 6 letters since; & I did a raft of them yesterday [MTHL 2: 694-9]. Note: no raft of letters from this date extant.


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