I am getting heart-breakingly anxious to get home—to get home and never budge again. I am due to die this year, according to a trustworthy prophecy of thirty-five years’ standing, & I must not get caught out, on the wrong side of the water.
Clara is pretty fairly well; Jean is improving satisfactorily: both danced till 1 o’clock this morning, seeing the Old Year out & the New one in. Mrs. Clemens has been in bed a fortnight with a combination of influenza & bronchitis, but is now up & stirring about her room. Moi? I am as always—healthy as a rock.
As to the when of our coming home, we can’t tell, yet—we can only guess, and hope. We guessed spring, for a while; now we have to guess summer.
I have never minded the fogs before; but now, with everybody in mourning around us, I find them unendurably depressing [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell.
Dear Joe: Who is Miss Elizabeth Alden Curtis? I am afraid it is a relative of Mrs. Ned Bunce. Is it so? Have you read her Omar Khayam—with introduction by Dick Burton? I have not seen such another curiosity since I was born. It is the most detailed & minutely circumstantial plagiarism that has yet been perpetrated in any century. And the author is quite innocent of crime, for it is manifest that she is not aware that she is committing one. And that is strange, for she is not a fool, but intelligent & has poetry in her somewhere. Isn’t it an odd idea?—to sit down with a noble poem in front of her & proceed to recast it & degrade it line by line, stanza by stanza, straight through, & guilelessly taking credit to herself all the time for the sacrilege she is committing. … It took Dick [Burton] two hours to write that Introduction, & he was in a clean man’s hell all the while [MTP]. Note: Elizabeth Alden Curtis: One Hundred Quatrains from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: a Rendering in English Verse by Omar Khayyam (1899); 600 copies on Dutch hand-made paper, available in late Nov., 1898. See also Gribben 516-18.
Sam also wrote to Chatto & Windus. Text not available from [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “The 20th C is a stranger to me—I wish it well, but my heart is all for my own century. I took 65 yrs of it just on a risk, but if I had known as much about it as I know now, I would have taken the whole of it” [NB 43 TS 4].
January 2 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook: “San Remo—4 rooms & bath, $125 to 150 a month, ohne
Nahrung.[without food] / John Tablock,[sic Tatlock] jr 32 Nassau” [NB 43 TS 4]. Note: in his Apr. 20, 1900 to H.H.
Rogers, Sam wrote they might stay at the Hotel San Remo, N.Y.C. upon their return to America.
January 3 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Write Mr. Lawson about / Charles Stewart Walther Manager Estate
Department—Army & Navy Stores (Auxiliary)” [NB 43 TS 4]. Note: unknown reference.
January 4 Thursday
January 5 Friday
January 6 Saturday – Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam (this note was then forwarded by Sam on Jan.
18 to Poultney Bigelow:
We beg leave to enclose herewith a copy of a letter which we received from Mr. J. Boyd Douglass, in which he asks permission to use your story “The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg” as “an incentive for the construction of a “comedy drama.” We have advised Mr. Douglass that we have referred his request to you [MTP].
January 7 Sunday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.