Vol 3 Section 0318

268                                                                        1899

Sam also wrote a note of thanks to Dr. Henry Walker of Oklahoma City, who had argued that Mark Twain and not Rudyard Kipling was the greatest living writer; Sam’s thank you letter (with some variations) was published in the NY Times for Sept. 9, 1899.

Dear Doctor Walker: / I thank you ever so much for the impulse which moved you to write the article—& for the article, also, which is mighty good reading. And I am glad you praised Kipling—he deserves it; he deserves all the praise that is lavished upon him, & more. It is marvelous—the work which that boy has done: the more you read the Jungle Books the more wonderful they grow. But Kipling himself does not appreciate them as he ought, does not value them as he ought; he read Tom Sawyer a couple of times when he was coming up out of his illness & said he would rather be author of that book than any that has been published during its life-time. Now, I could have chosen better; I should have chosen Jungle Books. But I prize his compliment just the same, of course.

I thank you again & heartily. I haven’t the language to say it strongly enough [MTP].

Livy wrote to Katharine Boland Clemens, asking her and her husband, James Ross Clemens, to “drop in about half past nine and & have a little talk” [MTP].

Sam’s notebook: “Sat. 24th Savage Club 6.00” [NB 40 TS 56].

June 25 SundayAt the Prince of Wales Hotel in London, England, Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers, heading it “Prince of Wales Hell of a Hotel”:

I judge the Electric Spark [Harry Rogers], will be arriving tomorrow, & I hope he will come here & educate himself in the knowledge of what an English private hotel is. There isn’t a convenience known to civilization which it doesn’t lack; there isn’t a detail pertaining to its business which it isn’t ignorant of; there is no attainable incompetence in the art of running a hotel which it hasn’t acquired. It is always kept by a woman; there is no supervision, it takes care of itself & goes as you please. Its religion is, to skin whom it can catch. …

It was our purpose to remain in London till the end of July; but I want to turn the family base on the Swedish Movement Cure for a change; so passage is booked on a ship which leaves London for Gottenburg, Sweden, about 2 weeks hence (July 7.) The sanitarium is all alone by itself on a lake 4 hours from there. We expect to be there three or four months, then return to London, & finally leave for America in the winter or toward spring. It is a radical change of all the plans, you see, & cuts us out of our visit to Fairhaven, where you were going to foot all the bills, if I remember rightly. …

Kipling remained in town part of a day, & called, but I was out; then he went to his house. Doubleday came yesterday morning with a cable from Harper wanting to issue Tom Sawyer at 75 cents. I referred him to you.

Sam thought there would be no objections from Bliss or Harpers about a cheap TS edition. He closed by saying they could not leave before July 7 on account of many social engagements. He thought Rogers’ daughter Mai should join them in Sweden and “try that cure.” He claimed it rescued Poultney Bigelow “up out of the grave” [MTHHR 399-400]. Note: Bigelow made it to his 99th year in 1954.

Sam’s notebook: Willis’s Rooms, King st. St. James’s about 8.00. kinsmen. MacAllister, supper 25th” [NB

40 TS 57]. Note: Fatout lists a speech or story by Twain at the Kinsmen [MT Speaking 666].

June 26 Monday – Samuel E. Moffett for the N.Y. Journal wrote to Sam, enclosing a printed bio sketch of Mark Twain. Moffett apologized for the delay on revisions; some question had arisen as to the proper length. He discussed Twain’s ancestor research on Gregory Clement and on the Lambtons.

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