I believe that in the next chapter my notion of the Boer was rightly conceived. He is popularly called uncivilized, I do not know why. Happiness, food, shelter, clothing, wholesale labor, modest and rational ambitions, honesty, kindliness, hospitality, love of freedom and limitless courage to fight for it, composure and fortitude in time of disaster, patience in time of hardship and privation, absence of noise and brag in time of victory, contentment with a humble and peaceful life void of insane excitements—if there is a higher and better form of civilization than this, I am not aware of it and do not know where to look for it. I suppose we have the habit of imagining that a lot of artistic, intellectual and other artificialities must be added, or it isn’t complete. We and the English have these latter; but as we lack the great bulk of these others, I think the Boer civilization is the best of the two. My idea of our civilization is that it is a shabby poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogancies, meannesses, and hypocrisies. As for the word, I hate the sound of it, for it conveys a lie; and as for the thing itself, I wish it was in hell, where it belongs.
Provided we could get something better in the place of it. But that is not possible, perhaps. Poor as it is, it is better than real savagery, therefore we must stand by it, extend it, and (in public) praise it. And so we must not utter any hateful word about England in these days, nor fail to hope that she will win in this war, for her defeat and fall would be an irremediable disaster for the mangy human race….
Naturally, then, I am for England; but she is profoundly in the wrong, Joe, and no (instructed) Englishman doubts it. At least that is my belief.
Maybe I managed to make myself misunderstood, as to the Osteopathists. I wanted to know how the men impress you. As to their Art, I know fairly well about that, and should not value Hartford’s opinion of it; nor a physician’s; nor that of another who proposed to enlighten me out of his ignorance. Opinions based upon theory, superstition and ignorance are not very precious.
Livy and the others are off for the country for a day or two. / Love to you all / MARK.
January 28 Sunday
January 29 Monday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to Felix Volkhovsky (1846 -1914). Many opponents of the Russian Czar fled Russia for the refuge of Britain. Volkhovsky fled from Siberia and settled in west London, where his home became a meeting place for a community of Russian émigrés. Stults calls Volkhovsky “the most prominent Russian émigré after Stepniak’s death in 1896”, a contributor to Free Russia, the paper of the Friends of Russian Freedom in England [Russian Review, “George Kennan: Russian Specialist of the 1890s” July 1970 p. 275-85]. Evidently Sam was either invited to one of these gatherings, or to write in support of the Russian cause:
“It breaks my heart to say no, but I have to do it. I have to say it with great frequency & fortitude, & stand by it & stick to it; otherwise I should get further behind with my contracts than I already am—& I am dishearteningly far behind” [MTP].
January 30 Tuesday – Sam tried to visit T. Douglas Murray, but the family was not at home [Jan. 31 to Murray].
January 31 Wednesday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to T. Douglas Murray, enclosing the introduction he wrote for the Official Trial Record of Joan of Arc.
I enclose the Introduction, corrected & reduced. I have retained several of the emendations made, & have added some others.
In Sweden, before seeing the Trials & Rehabilitation as a complete & connected whole in their nakedness, I felt very complimentary toward them, & was sure they could need no robes nor ruffles nor jewelry to increase their attractions & fascinations. But it was a mistake. … They cannot stand alone. Alone, they mean but little to a reader unfamiliar with the story; their points would be lost upon him; the drama would pass in a vague dim twilight before him; he would come out at the end—if he reached there—puzzled, still inadequately instructed, & possibly fatigued. …
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.