The home-voyage lasted 28 days; their was abundance of time for the editing of the diaries; that you did not edit them, & did not put upon me any restrictions or limitations of any kind, was your fault, not mine. If you were surprised, afterward, that you neglected to edit them, that was your affair—& remains so.
The whole first page of your letter is made up of pure imaginings, with not a supporting fact behind them. They make against me, by innuendo, a charge of discreditable conduct, & I will ask you to withdraw it.
Can I not (in case of republication in book form) “suppress all names that are mentioned in any unfavorable or doubtful way?”—Certainly. It would have been done 33 years ago if you had thought of it. You can send me the names which you wish suppressed, & they will be suppressed.
And can I mention that you & your brother had hoped that these suppressions would be made before the original publication? Why should I say that, when it is not true? If there had been such hopes, they would have been mentioned. Was I to guess out those names?—unknown people to me. By what divine insight was I to select them from the others?
With the recent article [“My Debut as a Literary Person”], I sent a letter suggesting that you be asked for a photograph. I judge that this was not attended to; it would have given you an opportunity to speak, & I am sorry you lost it.
If the publisher of the book (Harper) is willing to leave the article out altogether I shall not object. If you desire it, I will write & ask him. / Truly Yours…[MTP]. Note: Ferguson replied on Dec. 8. See also MTL 1: 351, 354n2. The Ferguson brothers were from Stamford. Samuel Ferguson died shortly after returning to America; the above Henry Ferguson became an Episcopal minister.
November 21 Tuesday – In London, England Sam wrote to Joe Twichell.
The enclosed is from a very beautiful American woman 34 years old, who was never out of Chicago until she was 16. She knows no language under the sun, but can chatter glibly & fascinatingly in six; & when she is talking she is obliged to draw upon her whole battery, & does it; & even then she can seldom pull herself past the middle of a sentence, but finishes it with the cunningest gestures, shrugs, smirks & grimaces, (borrowed from 5 of those nationalities) which sometimes convey her meaning but as a rule they don’t…. After an hour
of her fireworks you feel dazed, & impotent, & all whirly, & you haven’t an idea in the world of what she has been talking about [MTP]. Note: the enclosed from an unidentified beauty is not extant, but may exist in Twichell’s papers at Yale. The two men often enclosed clippings and articles and letters which they felt would interest the other.
November 22 Wednesday
November 23 Thursday
November 24 Friday – In London, England Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister to ask if a reference in the newly issued Life and Letters of Sir John Millais denoted Kellgren’s system. Could he find out?
[MTP]. See also Nov. 10 entry and Gribben p. 467 under Millais.
November 25 Saturday
November 26 Sunday
November 27 Monday – Livy’s 54th birthday.
November 28 Tuesday – In London, England Sam inscribed a copy of The Mississippi Pilot:To J.
Prince Sheldon: “Hoping this will not be the last time I shall have the pleasure of meeting Professor Sheldon.
Mark Twain Nov. 28, 1899” [MTP: John Windle catalogs, 1991, Item 100].
November 29 Wednesday – Thomas Wardle Swainsley inscribed identically 2 volumes of Izaak Walton’s (1593-1683) Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Richd Hooker, George Herbert, &c. Ed. by H.A. Dobson (facsimile editon 1898): “To Mr. and Mrs. Clemens / A little souvenir of a short visit to Izaak Walton
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.