Yes, I really wanted to catch the measles, & I succeeded. Those were pleasant days; none since have been so pleasant, none so well worth living over again. For the romance of life is the only part of it that is overwhelmingly valuable, & romance dies with youth. After that, life is a drudge, & indeed a sham. A sham, & likewise a failure…. I should like to call back Will Bowen & John Garth & the others, & live the life, & be as we were, & make holiday until 15, then all drown together [MTP].
Sam also replied to William M. Clemens’ May 22 request to publish three articles about Mark Twain (Will was not a relative).
I am sorry to object, but I really must. Such books as you propose are not proper to publish during my lifetime. A man’s history is his own property until the grave extinguishes his ownership in it. I am strenuously opposed to having books of a biographical character published about me while I am alive….
You need not feel troubled about the contracts. I will forward a copy of this letter to your publisher, & when he recognizes that you made them while unaware that you could not carry them out, he will release you without prejudice.
I beg that you will not think that in estopping you I am entering upon this course of procedure for the first time, for it is not so. I have done the like before, & stopped a book which was already on sale [MTP].
Poultney Bigelow wrote from N.Y. another colorful travel postcard to Sam. “Just read your Pud’HdWilson over again—it is immense—reads better each time. This boat [pictured sail boat] just suits you—Love to you all” [MTP].
June 7 Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Murray, 11.40 to Victoria, Brighton. / Went to Woldingham, Surrey. Saw Robert Bar [sic Barr] & family” [NB 43 TS 15].
At 9 p.m., 30 Wellington Court in London, Sam wrote again to James Mark Baldwin, after sending a telegram.
I am sending you a telegram [not extant] to say I cannot come—you divine that the fates are re-arranging my plans for me, as they do for the rest of the race. The change was made this morning. We decided to remain in England, instead of going to Sweden. In London, almost, since we must find a furnished house within 45 minutes of town—so that my daughter may come to the doctor three times a week. We began the quest early this afternoon & got back to town at 6.30. Failure—& deadly fatigue. The house wouldn’t answer. There will be many failures, & more fatigue; I know, by an experience of three years ago. But our time is short, & we must not lose a day.
I am very sorry & you must forgive me. I am full of nerves, & they will all be raw until I get this gigantic job off my mind; I can’t enjoy a moment nor know any peace until I am anchored. If I have inconvenienced you I shan’t forgive myself, but you must forgive me [James M. Baldwin, Between Two Wars, 1926 p.111-12]. Note: Sam went to Oxford on June 10, probably at the professor’s suggestion.
Sam also sent a telegram and then wrote to Mrs. T. Douglas Murray in Brighton, England.
“Jean drifted into one of her bad times this morning, & so we were obliged to telegraph you & give up our visit, for we knew that Clara would not be back from her singing-lesson in time to take charge & let us go” [MTP].
June 8 Friday – Clara Clemens’ 26th birthday.
Sam’s notebook: “Duke st Plasmon (noon. [ )]” [NB 43 TS 15]. Note: 56 Duke Street for Plasmon meeting.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.