“There were several publications celebrating this festival, but only this volume [offered for sale sept. 21, 1010] contains the unrecorded first printing of a letter from Twain about the impact of the invention of printing (both good and bad). Twain’s letter on pages 13-4 to Adolph Goerz of April 7, 1900 is the only text in the entire volume that is in English, and is not otherwise known.”
April 8 Sunday – In London, England Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added a long PS to on April 9. Samuel S. McClure was trying to interest Sam in editing a new magazine; Sam referred the matter to Rogers.
McClure wrote, some weeks ago, that there was nothing lacking but an understanding in written detail of what my duties were to be—then he would lay the contract before you. I said go ahead, there’s no hurry, & when his contract was ready, carry it to you.
In truth there is not the least hurry, I am getting along comfortably enough.
Now as to this speculation of mine over here, I put £5,000 into it [$25,000] (half down, the rest in a month or two), & I am going to do my level best to save you from loss; but if I don’t succeed, you must bear it like a man. Then God will not punish you.
It is “Plasmon.” Plasmon is pure albumen, extracted at an expense of sixpence a pound, out of the waste milk of the dairies—the milk that is usually given to the pigs. The pound of powder contains the nutriment of 16 pounds of the best beef, & will do the same nourishing…besides being no trouble to digest. The pound of Plasmon retails at 62½ cents. It has neither taste nor smell.
It has not been advertised, & will not be until the English company has been formed & capitalized (two
or three months hence), but meantime it is making its way. … We get it from the Berlin Company but they
are crowded, & cannot furnish as much as we need ….
I tried to get a chance in Plasmon when it was invented in Vienna two years ago, but failed; but I have been keeping track of it since, & I got in here, through finding out that a special friend of mine was in it. He is secretary to the Royal Medical & Chirurgical Society & is an educated physician. There is a small syndicate, & he is a director.
Sam had purchased a sixth of the syndicate for the £5,000; the syndicate sold American rights ten days before to Henry A. Butters, an American capitalist. Sam thought it “well for the Standard Oil to keep an eye on Butters, & if he makes a success of it, buy control of the company.”
Sam also explained why Livy was finally getting dividends from coal stocks, and expressed a desire to go to California with Rogers: “Don’t you hurry to California—you wait. If I find I can’t come, then you can go” [MTHHR 438-42].
April 9 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Canon Wilberforce / both of us—1.30. / J. Ross Clemens, / Bath Club, 7.30, 24 Dover / Ward the artist—sit for portrait” [NB 43 TS 6b].
At 30 Wellington Court in London, England, Sam finished his Apr. 8 to H.H. Rogers:
P.S., April 9. Mrs. Clemens is greatly troubled about that Plasmon-cure, and wants me to write you and tell you to boil it before using….
Oh, hell, I says, he won’t ever take all that trouble, I says. But she said:
“Nobody ever takes it raw but yourself. The fact that it cured you in 2 months of a fiendish dyspepsia of 8 years’ standing 3 years ago and still keeps you sound, is no proof that another person can take it raw and have the same results. All of London physicians boil it—there’s 20,000 of them and only one of you. Ask him to follow them, in medical matters, and ask you for advice in matters of finance only.”
As the genii say in the Arabian Nights, “I hear and I obey.”
Rice says he is going to join you. Lucky rascal! / SLC [MTHHR 438-42].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.