Vol 3 Section 0462

410                                                                        1900

Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister, referring to the letter he wrote on the ship (which is put to Oct. 12). Sam’s idea was to allow the American Plasmon Co. to “go right along & make its fortune” without establishing a “big company.”

“Can it be done? Could the Exploration veto it? Wouldn’t they like it? Wouldn’t they prefer it? …

This American Plasmon is in first-rate hands. Give yourself no uneasiness about Dr. Cook. He is quite sane, & awfully capable & wide awake. …”

Sam asked for reports on the London and Berlin Plasmon companies, and said he was “laying wires” daily with “prominent & useful people.” He then claimed to have rescued H.H. Rogers from a sickbed with Plasmon and that he now was “a convert.” He added “The first time I see Mr. Rockefeller, I will tell him how to beat his indigestion.”

Sam announced they thought they had found a furnished house at $2,500 a year; as soon as the papers were signed he would send the address [MTP].

Note: Of the house, 14 W. 10th Street, N.Y.C., which the Clemenses evidently took possession of Nov. 1, Dias writes:

Clemens, who had resolved never to return to his Hartford home because of its acutely painful memories of the beloved Susy, requested that his friends find for him a house in New York. Obligingly, Frank N. Doubleday began a search and discovered a lavishly furnished residence at 14 West 10th Street, a house of which Clemens at once approved.

In fact, much to Doubleday’s surprise and discomfort, Clemens moved into the house before he had actually signed a lease, and, in typical Clemens fashion, at once began to find defects in his newly-acquired residence. He seemed to hold Doubleday responsible for these domestic flaws, bombarding him on a daily basis with postcards filled with complaints about the furnace, the water, the windows, the oven—“whatever,” Albert Bigelow Paine tells us “he thought might lend interest to Doubleday’s life” [MT & HHR, Odd Couple 89-90; MTB 1112-13]. (Editorial emphasis.) Note: the change on the status of looking for a house between Sam’s letter to Aldrich and the one to MacAlister, suggests either a period of hours between the two letters or a decision made before the latter.

Sam spoke on “perfect grammar” at the Women’s Press Club Tea in Carnegie Hall. The hostess was

Mrs. Ernest Seton-Thompson; Rev. Phebe Hanaford presided. Some of his remarks as in Fatout:

I was recently asked what I had found striking in this country since my return. I didn’t like to say, but what I have really observed is that this is the ungrammatical nation. I am speaking of educated persons. There is no such thing as perfect grammar and I don’t always speak good grammar myself. But I have been foregathering for the past few days with professors of American universities and I’ve heard them all say things like this: “He don’t like to do it.” Oh, you’ll hear that tonight if you listen, or “He would have liked to have done it.” You’ll catch some educated Americans saying that. When these men take pen in hand they write with as good grammar as any. But the moment they throw the pen aside they throw grammatical morals aside with it.

…[He said that various pictures had arisen in his mind, suggested by Mrs. Gaffney and several musical numbers.]

I don’t know why, I don’t see the connection, but there the pictures are. The first of them is at home in the nursery, when my children were little. The second is of a jail where I once was—by request—not for any crime that I had committed—that they had found out, at least—but to see other people who had committed crimes, and the third picture is the one that I saw years ago in a house in New York.

Perhaps I am recalled to the first picture by the precosity of your sex in entering the field of literature— you will see it in the family—even in the cradle. On the occasion of which I speak, my daughter, just then out of the cradle, displayed this precosity. Her governess had given her a lesson on the reindeer, which took

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.