the concern of your friends? I think it must be this that has put me under this happy charm; but, oh dear! I tremble for the other man! / Sincerely yours, / S.L. Clemens [MTB 1085].
Note: Wilberforce, son of Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873), was appointed Canon of Westminster Abbey in 1894, chaplain of the House of Commons in 1896, and Arch-deacon of Westminster in 1900; he published several volumes of sermons. See Gribben p.768 for an 1880-2 bio of Samuel Wilberforce by the eldest of his three sons, Reginald Garton Wilberforce (1838-1914) that Clara Clemens listed in her commonplace book between 1888 and 1904.
Before receiving Sam’s note, Basil Wilberforce answered; Sam received it at 8:30 p.m.:
Dear Mr. Clemens,—I have been conscious of a vivacity and facility of expression this afternoon beyond the normal and I have just discovered the reason!! I have seen the historic signature “Mark Twain” in my hat!! Doubtless you have been suffering from a corresponding dullness & have wondered why. I departed precipitately, the hat stood on my umbrella and was a new Lincoln & Bennett—it fitted me exactly and I did not discover the mistake till I got in this afternoon. Please forgive me. If you should be passing this way to-morrow will you look in and change hats? or shall I send it to the hotel? / I am, very sincerely yrs., / Basil Wilberforce [MTB 1086; July 3 to Howells]. Note: considering the two letters crossed [July 3 to Howells] neither reading the other’s first, it is somewhat remarkable that the humor between them was of the same flavor. This is one more clergyman that Sam felt akin with in some way.
Sam also replied to William Dean Howells’ June 11:
Of course go lecturing, if you can stand the travel. If Pond paid MacLaren only two-thirds of the profits—all right. MacLaren is a Scotchman & a Christian—a combination hard to beat in business. As to Pond’s word, he will pay you your share honestly—that I believe. But I draw the line there. I cannot imagine Pond’s making a statement of any kind upon any subject that I would dream of believing. He is as good a soul as lives, & one cannot help being fond of him, but he hasn’t G.W.’s [George Washington’s] infirmity. Pond is not an interesting liar; it is the only fault he has. If his parents had taken the least little pains with his training, it could have been so different. He is destitute of the sense of proportion, & he has no imagination. These are fatal defects in a liar.
Pond is also a fool. I have seldom seen so complete & compact a one. But he is a most kindly & pleasant one, & I would not trade his society for that of the average wise man.
Sam informed Howells that he was ordering Frank Bliss to send along FE and also the volumes of the Uniform Edition as they appeared. He praised the quality of the Uniform books. He closed with the story about his hat being switched with Basil Wilberforce, Canon of Westminster Abbey, earlier in the day at a luncheon, and that their letters on the subject had crossed [MTHL 2: 703-5].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers, first about his son, H.H. Rogers, Jr. (“Harry”), and then about his daughter Mai Huttleston Rogers (Mrs. William R. Coe):
I have been getting up my muscle all these past five days, and when I get hold of that young Eleck T. Rickspark I mean to make him think Sandow has arrived. He left your letter of introduction at Chatto’s, but not his address; Miss May [Mai] called yesterday and named her own hotel and also the one he is stopping at, but Mrs. Clemens entrusted the matter to her memory and that hotel has slipped out of it. I am hoping he will turn up to-morrow, for Miss May said he would. If he doesn’t, I will start the police on his track. Why, his conduct is just scandalous—this comes of associating with [Clarence C.] Rice, you see.
Sam liked the news Mai brought of H.H. Rogers building a yacht, and asked him to save him a berth.
Mai was leaving this morning. The Clemenses were leaving for Sweden on July 7 [MTHHR 401].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.