Vol 3 Section 0331

1899                                                                            281

Sam also wrote to Poultney Bigelow.

I’ve lost your address. Why the nation don’t you head your letters with it—sane people always do.

We are improving. I think it’s a good thing. Tomorrow Clara will arrive to go into training. It seems quite manifest that the patients that stick, glorify God and Kellgren; (pronounced Chellgren) those that don’t, go away and say it’s no good.

And there’s another thing: nobody comes till ten or fifteen competent physicians have signed his death-warrant, after loading him up with poison which nothing but a patient, long siege of the “Movement” can rid him of [MTP]. Note: Clara Clemens would have left London this day in order for her to arrive the next.

Sam also wrote to Elizabeth Robins (1862-1952), whose book, The Open Question: A Tale of Two Temperaments (NY Harper & Brothers, 1899) he had just read. Paine describes the book as “a fine study of life’s sterner aspects.” Paine then includes Sam’s complimentary letter:

A relative of Matthew Arnold lent us your “Open Question” the other day, & Mrs. Clemens & I are in your debt. I am not able to put in words my feeling about the book—my admiration of its depth & truth & wisdom, and courage; & the fine & great literary art & grace of the setting. At your age you cannot have lived half of the things that are in the book, nor personally penetrated to the deeps it deals in, nor covered its wide horizons with your very own vision—& so, what is your secret? how have you written this miracle? Perhaps one must concede that genius has no youth, but starts with the ripenesses of age & old experience [MTP; MTB 1089; Gribben 584]. Note: Gribben notes Robins also wrote under a pseudonym, “C.E. Raimond.”

Sam also wrote to John Brisben Walker, asking if he wanted the Christian Science article; if not, would he please send it to H.H. Rogers. Sam related the three weeks they’d been there taking Kellgren’s “Movement Cure”—he was still high on it, claiming it had “no guesswork,” which he claimed was common to all other approaches to healing disease.

No medicines are used, in any case. In the beginning this prejudiced me against the system (some weeks ago when I experimented with it a fortnight at the London headquarters before venturing to trust my family to the thing), for it smacked of Christian Science pretentiousness, but really they seem to have no need of medicines; they do certainly cure the disease without them.

Sam then related the beneficial effects of the treatment on several of his chronic physical problems: bronchial cough, dysentery, and itching piles. He told of a man who had not walked for six years, but “he hobbles around…without a cane, & has been doing it a week. He thought he would stay on “daily contact with this system for 6 months yet—here & in London together,” and intended to write an article about it should it continue to turn out well. As with others, Sam invited Walker to join the family in Sanna [MTP].

An anonymous article ran in the Springfield, Mass. Sunday Republican: “Mark Twain’s Posthumous Book. It Is Not His Authobiography. But What He Has Observed in His Lifetime, to be Published and Read a Century Hence,” p.12. This includes an interview with Clemens datelined London, July 20, just as the family left for Sweden (though the family left on July 8). Tenney: “He tells the reporter that he is writing for posthumous publication in order to be free and objective in what he says; commercial considerations are important because he is done with writing for publication” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Seventh Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1983 p. 168]. Interview not in MTCI.

About this day Kate S. Littlewood wrote a Mark Twain fan letter from a School for the Blind in Liverpool, England. She copied Robert Blatchford’s “Essay on Humour” [MTP]. Note: previously undated.

July 31 MondayIn Sanna, Sweden Sam and Livy wrote condolences to Charles M. and Mary P.

Fairbanks on the death of their mother, Mary Mason Fairbanks (died Dec. 8, 1898 in Providence R.I.).

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