At Dollis Hill House in London, England Sam wrote to C.F. Moberly Bell, editor of the London Times, and enclosed, “The Missionary in World-Politics,” which he wanted printed anonymously. He did not send the note nor the essay, however.
Dear Mr. Bell:
Don’t give me away, whether you print it or not.
But I think you ought to print it & try to get up a squabble, for the weather is just suitable.
Maybe you are not in town; then I’ll mark it “private.”
If you are in town, do drive out here with the family & take a cup of tea & fan yourselves under the tree & roll in the grass. / Ys sincerely…[MTP; MTB 1097 in part]. Note: The MTP has recently changed this date from July 9? to July 16. [MTP; Who Is Mark Twain? xxvi; 103-9]. See also xvii, xx-xxi where Robert H. Hirst provides helpful facts. At the end of the letter, in pencil, Sam wrote, “Not sent.”
Sam wrote to Joe Twichell
Oh, the human race!—what a ridiculous invention it is. The duty-inspired sheriff, working that poor devil to death to keep him alive until he could be hanged. It is funny enough to make a person cry.
The ghostly news has come to-day, at last, & the Peking legations are a shambles; this news was long ago foreseen, but it did not postpone the Queen’s garden party. It’s the human-race—that explains everything; & to my mind excuses everything a man may do, too. And look to South Africa—that black blot upon England. Let us hope there is no hereafter; I don’t want to train with any angels made out of human material. Europe is going to sup in hell, there in China, I think—& will richly deserve it. …I believe the human race is filthier today than it ever was before; & that is saying much. [Sam described Dollis Hill as] “the loveliest place I have ever lived in” [and didn’t know how Livy would be able to leave it.] Jean drives into town every day to Kellgren’s, sometimes with Livy, sometimes with the maid, but I stay at home. Visitors drive out to tea, or come by rail, as suits their taste [MTP].
T. Douglas Murray wrote to Sam that he’d asked his friend William Crookes about Plasmon; Murray wasn’t sure what scientists thought of the product. He would like Crookes, an analytical chemist, to “analyse & swear to Plasmon as the best thing out.” What did Sam think? “His name would rank with Virchow” [MTP]. Note: see Crooke’s of July 12 to Murray and Sam.
July 17 Tuesday – Richard Watson Gilder of Century wrote to Sam (who enclosed this letter to H.H.
Rogers on Aug. 17):
Before leaving London I had your telegram [July 6] about the impossibility of “promising.” While that, of course, disappointed me a good deal, still the very word “promise” leaves a little hope that perhaps a promise might be made later; that is, within a certain time when it would still be available for us.
On arriving back in the U.S., Gilder reconsidered and wrote that the publishers were willing to pay Sam “very high rates” for a submission, as much as $3,000 for 15,000 words. He asked Sam to cable his answer collect [MTP].
July 18 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Write George Standring, 7 & 9 Finsbury st. E.1 Printer” [NB 43 TS 22].
Note: George Standring (b.1855), author of The People’s History of the English Aristocracy (1891) [Gribben 657]. Standring visited Sam some time during the Dollis Hill stay, enjoying a smoke with him. See Jan. 1, 1903.
At Dollis Hill House in London, England Sam wrote to James R. Clemens, having received a bill for cigars he requested on July 12, but not the cigars. What was the name of the cigars, he asked; he could get them “through Whiteley or some other grown-up concern” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.