February 27 Tuesday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam replied to John M. Hay’s Feb. 14. Hay had been concerned he’d been mischaracterized as resenting Sam’s allusion to him in the McClure’s article, “My Boyhood Dreams.”
No, if I had seen the paragraphs they would not have deceived me into the superstition that your large mould had shrunken with age & a wide experience of life. I should have known much better than that. You would easily see that I was trying to pay well-intended compliments to the distinguished careers of old old friends of mine, & that the feeling back of it was pride & affection, not envy & malice. No, I should not have been deceived. ….
I watch your onward & upward career with the interest & pride of one with a personal stake in it, & when you say you value my friendship you give me a pleasure which is complete, & which you could add nothing to [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added to on Mar. 4. He felt they would not be kept in England later than May or June. He’d been inquiring about osteopathy in America and hoped they would be able to return and allow Jean to try it there. Sam still believed in Kellgren’s ability to cure disease, and related recommending Kellgren to Lady Stanley (Dorothy T. Stanley) for her husband, the famous explorer, Henry M. Stanley, who suffered from recurrent gastralgia (stomach pains) the doctors had been unable to treat. Sam confided all that Mrs. Stanley wrote in her Feb. 15 letter and added this about Stanley’s progress on that day after Kellgren treated him and showed Mrs. Stanley how to treat him if he had recurrences of :
Stanley had a comfortable night, she removing the pains whenever they came. I kept track of his progress, & called on him two days later [Feb. 17]. (Privately I will remark that Lady Stanley kissed me on both cheeks & made me feel a good deal like a benefactor.) Stanley sat up & ate bacon & eggs & smoked a pipe & talked an hour & a half. Two days afterward he drove out, & also walked a few minutes in the park. To-day he resumes his seat in the House of Commons a well man. If he had had a doctor he would be under a slab in Westminster Abbey now.
Sam appreciated Rogers’ help in evaluating Samuel McClure and his offer of a magazine editorship for Clemens; Sam did not accept the offer by the agreed upon deadline of Mar. 1 [MTHHR 433-5].
February 28 Wednesday – Samuel S. McClure wrote to Sam, having reconsidered his Jan. 11 offer to Sam to be editor-in-absentia for his new magazine.
When I came to think the matter over, there is practically no instance where the editors-in-chief of a magazine are out of practically physical contact with the business. We would therefore in this business have to leave that degree of freedom that would enable us to meet all of these conditions in the get-up of a magazine [MTP]. Note: See Jan. 13 to Rogers. McClure’s letter of over two pages of single-spaced type is a marked retrenchment from the liberties he’d discussed before. Undoubtedly this letter led to Sam’s declining the offer.
March – The March issue of The Critic ran a full -length, double -page color portrait frontispiece of Mark Twain, from a pastel drawing by Everett Shinn (1876-1953). It was so noted by the New York Times, Mar. 3, p. BR9, which included a two-sentence squib that the caricature gave the impression that Twain was a very tall man. Perlman writes:
Shinn sketched the author’s distinguished head, then created an illusory body to go with it. Longer and longer the figure stretched until Mark Twain’s facial likeness was dwarfed by a body of gigantic proportions. The diminutive head assumed the appearance of a carved handle atop an umbrella. Yet apparently no one on The Critic staff had ever seen the great Twain, for there was no criticism of this inaccurate representation. The finished pastel drawing was accepted, and a fully seven-foot-tall literary
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.