A few weeks ago Chatto had marketed the most of his [Uniform Edition de luxe] sets, but I don’t believe he will need another 250 in these war times. Things have been very dead here this long time [MTP]. Note: on Jan. 16 Sam wrote Bliss to assume the asphalt debt; he later recalled telling Whitmore to get the asphalt money from Bliss—see Mar. 21 to Bliss.
February 23 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “To the pure all things are impure” [NB 43 TS 6].
At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to Alfred E. Ann, having second thoughts about another letter [not extant] he had sent.
Not because I
said anything in it which is not true, for I didn’t; but because when I allow
my name to be used in forwarding a
mining flotation stock-scheme I am
assuming a certain degree of responsibility as toward the investor, & I am
not willing to do that. I have another objection, a purely selfish one: trading
upon my name…would damage me. I can’t afford that; even the Archbishop of Canterbury
couldn’t afford it, & he has more character to spare than I have (Ah, a
happy thought! If he would sign the
letter with me, that would change the whole complexion of the thing, of course.
I do not know him, yet I would sign any
commercial scheme that he would sign. As he does not know me, it follows that
he would sign anything that I would
sign. This is unassailable logic—but really that is all that can be said for
Note: The strike-through is included
to further show Mr. Ann connected to mining interests—see Feb. 20 entry.
Alfred E. Ann answered Sam’s above the same day. He was in Finsbury, a borough of London. “Your letter just reached me. Of course I will not publish the letter if you object. I am just leaving for Eastbourne shall write you more fully in 2 or 3 days” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in Kirksville, Mo. to express frustration with the doctor’s response to Sue Crane’s letter for Sam, and another by Livy:
By argument of two experiences of mine I suspect that your secretary is afflicted with the several infirmities usual to his guild: indifference, unfaithfulness, incapacity, discourtesy, & chronic fatigue. To one letter which was written to you by my desire [from Sue Crane] he returned an answer whose curtness, vapidity
inadequacy would have discredited the house-cat. To another, which was signed by my wife (Mrs. Olivia L. Clemens) he has furnished no answer at all.
When does your school-year begin?
What are the tuition-expenses?
What is about the usual cost of living in the town—for a young man?
The young man is a Swede; is of fine character & capacities; has studied & worked four years with Kellgren and (under Kellgren) is now head of the establishment. While the principles underlying your system & Kellgren’s are the same, there are differences in the application of them: Wherefore this gentleman wishes to take your course & acquire your diploma as his purpose is to practice in America [MTP]. Note: Sam added the need for “a speedy reply” after his signature. See Dec. 22, 1899. The young man is not named; possibly Sam wished to help him set up in New York for the family’s disposal.
February 24 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Unposted Letters. The letter as finally sent” [NB 43 TS 6].
February 25 Sunday
February 26 Monday – In London Sam wrote to Francis Henry Skrine, thanking him for the opportunity to meet Sir William Wilson Hunter on Jan. 24 (see entry). Letter not extant but quoted by Skrine “he was grateful for the opportunity to shake the hand and look into the kind eyes of that great and gifted and noble man” [Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter, etc. by Francis Henry Skrine (1901) p. 477].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.