Vol 3 Section 0523
earth—ready to shout for any cause that will tickle its vanity or fill its pocket. What a hell of a heaven it will be, when they get all these hypocrites assembled there!
I can’t understand it! You are a public guide & teacher, Joe, & are under a heavy responsibility to men, young & old; if you teach your people—as you teach me—to hide their opinions when they believe the flag is being abused & dishonored, lest the utterance do them & a publisher a damage, how do you answer for it to your conscience? You are sorry for me; in the fair way of give & take, I am willing to be a little sorry for you.
However, I seem to be going counter to my own Private Philosophy—which Livy won’t allow me to publish—because it would destroy me. But I hope to see it in print before I die. I planned it 15 years ago, & wrote it in ‘98. I’ve often tried to read it to Livy, but she won’t have it; it makes her melancholy. The truth always has that effect on people. Would have, anyway, if they ever got hold of a rag of it—Which they don’t. You are supposing that I am supposing that I am moved by a Large Patriotism, & that I am distressed because our President has blundered up to his neck in the Philippine mess; & that I am grieved because this great big ignorant nation, which doesn’t know even the A B C facts of the Philippine episode, is in disgrace before the sarcastic world—drop that idea! I care nothing for the rest—I am only distressed & troubled because I am befouled by these things. That is all. When I search myself away down deep, I find this out. Whatever a man feels or thinks or does, there is never any but one reason for it—& that is a selfish one.
At great inconvenience, & expense of precious time I went to the chief synagogue the other night & talked in the interest of a charity school of poor Jew girls. I know—to the finest, shades—the selfish ends that moved me; but no one else suspects. I could give you the details if I had time. You would perceive how true they are.
I’ve written another article; you better hurry down & help Livy squelch it.
She’s out pottering around somewhere, poor housekeeping slave; & Clara is in the hands of the osteopath, getting the bronchitis pulled & hauled out of her. It was a bad attack, & a little disquieting. It came day before yesterday, & she hasn’t sat up till this afternoon. She is getting along satisfactorily, now.
Lots of love to you all.
[MTP: Paine’s 1917 Mark Twain’s Letters 704-6]. Note: Sam’s “&”’s restored that Paine yanked out.
Sam also wrote a postcard to the Plasmon Co., 41 Astor Court Bldg. asking them to send “some (quarter pound packets) to hand around.” Sam announced he was “coming soon” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Mrs. Custer, dinner?” [NB 44 TS 4].
January 30 Wednesday
January 31 Thursday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Irving S. Underhill. “Friday. Dear Mr. Underhill: will you call at my house at 10.30 a.m. to morrow or Sunday or Monday & talk about this” [MTP]. Note: Since Jan. 31 was a Thursday, either Sam had the day wrong or this is miscataloged.
Sam’s notebook: “Hoecake opinions
(bread-&-butter) on religion & politics” [NB 44 TS 5]. Note:
this entry and an annotated clipping
from the NY Herald of Feb. 19, 1901
refer to “Hoecake opinions” and “Cornpone,” respectively. Sometime during 1901
Sam wrote “Corn-Pone Opinions,” first published in Europe and Elsewhere (1923),
edited by Paine. It was later included in
What Is Man? and Other Philosophical Writings, ed. Paul Baender, p. 92-7, and included parts omitted from earlier
published versions [Budd
Collected 2: 1007]. Also, in the NB this day, a
lined-out entry: “
Aldine dinner for Churchill—to be only 10 persons, &
no reporters.” Did Sam attend such a dinner? Unknown.
Fatout lists another dinner with Winston Churchill for this date, Sam making a dinner speech, but does not provide any particulars [MT Speaking 668]. Note: Churchill’s last lecture in N. America at 8:15 p.m. at Carnegie Hall was reported by the NY Times, Jan. 31, p.2. “Winston S. Churchill’s Tour” Churchill’s relations with James B. Pond, which had been reported as strained, were on good terms. The article does not mention Twain. The dinner likely preceded the lecture.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.