Fifth Paragraph. Thus far I regard this as your masterpiece! You are really perfect in the great art of reducing simple and dignified speech to clumsy and vapid commonplace. …
….You must really get your mind out and have it repaired; you see yourself that it is all caked together. …
“Breaking a lance” is a knightly and sumptuous phrase, and I honor it for its hoary age and for the faithful service it has done in the prize-composition of the school-girl, but I have ceased from employing it since I got my puberty, and must solemnly object to fathering it here. And, besides, it makes me hint that I have broken one of those things before in honor of the Maid, an intimation not justified by the facts. I did not break any lances or other furniture; I only wrote a book about her. / Truly yours [MTB 1090; AMT 1: 164-180, 518-520]. Note: T. Douglas Murray was editing this proposed book. See latter source for the full letter and particulars. Previously cited by Paine as to “an unidentified editor,” or “Mr. X.” The two versions differ slightly, with the latter replacing Sam’s & signs with “and”s.
October first half – Sam also wrote to John Tatlock.
“We were very glad to hear from you & glad to hear such good accounts of Mrs. Tatlock’s health. We are house-hunting, & haven’t any regular hours for being at home…” [MTP]. Note: MTP has this as “after 23 March 1900” but the Clemens family was entrenched at 30 Wellington Court, London at that time until late May, and not house-hunting. Since the Clemens family found housing by Oct. 14, this note is put to the first half of Oct.
October 1 Sunday – At the Queen Anne Residential Mansions & hotel, London, Sam wrote to Frank Bliss.
We reached England last night. May remain here till spring, to let Jean continue the treatment which is restoring her health.
I have signed the application for copyright & will send it.
What have the Harpers to do with my English editions?
Mrs. Clemens hereby acknowledges receipt of your check for $2246.34.
Sam did not anticipate any objection by the Harpers should Bliss use his article, “Concerning the Jews” in a new volume of the Uniform Edition [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Harper & Brothers, and sent Bliss a copy of this letter.
Yes, I think too it is nearly time for a new book but if I place it with you you mustn’t give me a lot more trouble with Bliss. He wanted to put the Jew article in his last Uniform volume and why shouldn’t he? Why should he be afraid you will object? The other magazines will not object. They will not object to my using in a new volume of short things the various articles you mention knowing as they do that they will go from that into the Uniform edition of my books.
I am answering your London house about the Christian Science stuff so that they will be able to cable you to-morrow (Monday). It isn’t a “book”—it’s 3 articles. I wanted to publish one of them, & as you prefer stories I sent it to the Cosmopolitan. I reserve the others [MTP]. Note: This letter appears to be in response to Harpers’ objections to Bliss including articles for the last volume in the Uniform edition. Harpers’ incoming letter is not extant.
Sam also wrote to H.F. Gordon Forbes.
I am to be a lonely bachelor Wednesday evening [Oct. 4], & if you could drop in about 8.30 or thereabouts we could have that talk & settle those doubtful matters in a comfortable & undisturbed way, & I would be very glad.
We arrived from Sweden last night, & I have been writing letters all day & up till now—& just the weather for it, too. I have a dull unpleasant instinct that by the time I finish & get to bed there’ll be thunder of guns & stench of gunpowder up from South Africa… [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.