Vol 3 Section 0532
Nation ran an anonymous article, “Mark Twain on M’Kinley” p. 104-5. Tenney: “Editorial on ‘To the Person
Sitting in Darkness’ in the February North American Review: ‘delicious though biting satire’” .
February 8 Friday – Sam’s notebook:
Subject: How to make things go, at a dinner. Dusting off list. Something to take place of candle-shade burnings developing into Great Fire of London.
Make talk general. How do you like Chicago? It’s a kindness to people who can’t talk—they can listen. Saharas of silence, with nothing visible from horizon—can’t think of a thing to say.
Give sample of the usual table talk. Soon as the women leave talk becomes general & easy, both in drawing room & dining room. White, blue & red cards [NB 44 TS 5].
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote a postcard to William Augustus Croffut (1835-1915), journalist, author, historian, native of Conn. and member of the New England Anti-Imperialist League. “Good! Make him read it to those clams, too. To unload it onto the solemn C.R. is a sacrilegious idea, but sound. I wish it may happen” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Kate Douglas Wiggin (Riggs):
Dear Mrs. Riggs: / You are just as bright as you can be, & you are just as fascinating as you can be; & also you don’t swear, in company; & in other ways are a model, &, I may say, a gem. But why in the nation you keep people’s arctics when they don’t fit you is more than I can make out [MTP: Sotheby Parke Bernet catalogs, June 5, 1996, Item 136]. See also Jan. 13 entry.
Andrew Carnegie wrote to Sam and Livy, replying to Sam’s Feb. 6 note:
Nothing less than a two-dollar & a half hymn-book gilt will do for you. Your place in the choir (celestial) demands that & you shall have it.
There’s a new Gospel of Saint Mark in the North American which I like better than anything I’ve read for many a day.
I am willing to borrow a thousand dollars to distribute that sacred message in proper form, & if the author don’t object may I send that sum, which I can raise it, to the Anti-Imperialist League, Boston, to which I am a contributor, the only missionary work I am responsible for.
Just tell me you are willing & many thousands of the holy little missals will go forth. This inimitable satire is to become a classic. I count among my privileges in life that I know you, the author [MTP]. Note: The New England Anti-Imperialist League did indeed print Sam’s “Salutation Speech from the Nineteenth Century” on small cards and distributed them nationally.
Mary B. Cheney wrote from South Manchester, Conn. pleading with Sam to stop his criticism of the
Army and the President:
My dear Mr. Clemens, / Please don’t!
We simply cannot stand it from you, –this talk of dishonored muskets and a polluted flag! And our good President too! O, Shame! I am not going to talk, but I could show you some letters which without one word of argument would make you feel everything so differently. Think of our army, so very far from home, honestly doing their duty as soldiers know it, enduring hardships and meeting disease and death, and hearing from the land they love and serve these strange words of rancor and distrust. They are facing the enemy and to that enemy you are giving aid and comfort. For God’s sake, No More! [MTP].
Harper & Brothers wrote to Sam (only the envelope survives) [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “Clippings about Philippine article,” indicating the contents; there may not have been a letter included.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.