Unidentified wrote compliments and a valentine for Twain’s “pluck and good judgment in “Sitting in Darkness” article [MTP].
The Minneapolis Tribune, p.1 ran the cartoon (insert), bottom caption: “Better quit your foolin’, Mark, and go back and work at your trade.”
February 15 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “Doubleday, 7 pm 111 E.
16th” [NB 44 TS 6].
Sam was unable to attend the Feb. 14 annual Sheriff’s Jury dinner at the Hotel Savoy, and so wrote a letter declining shortly before. The New York Tribune ran Twain’s letter on p.6:
SHERIFF’S JURORS DINE.
MARK TWAIN’S LETTER OF DECLINATION
Mark Twain declined to attend the annual dinner of the third panel of the Sheriff’s Jury at the Hotel Savoy, but his letter giving his reasons for not attending was read to the diners, and caused much laughter. The humorist said, among other things:
I will not go where any Sheriff’s Jury is ambushed. I would rather flee to Porto Rico, where alone a suspected person is safe. For there he is a citizen or a foreigner, or both, or neither, in the eye of the law, and can shift around under those various disguises faster than any Sheriff can follow him.
The New York Tribune published Mark Twain’s piece, “Mark Twain Says Not I. / The Humorist Insists that the Rev. Dr. Ament Arraigned Himself.”
Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote to Sam, advising he’d sent a telegram “to brace you up.” Aldrich had written “six beautiful paragraphs” but found no market for them in the Boston papers except the Evening Herald, which took one. “Howells’s obituary paper on you is one of the finest and most delightful essays I ever read. He gets better and better. What a writer he will be at 100!” His wife was laid up with the grippe [MTP].
Annie A. Fields (widow of James T. Fields) wrote to Livy that they owed Sam “ a large debt…for his paper
in the North American” [MTP].
February 16 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Dine—7.30 Leigh Hunt, Holland House” [NB 44 TS 6]. Note: Leigh S.J. Hunt. See Jan. 1.
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam replied to Paschal H. Coggins (Sidney Marlow), who wrote on Feb. 13.
But I thank you for writing me the letter nevertheless, for approval of one’s acts never comes amiss. You bring back to me a vision of those old days most pleasantly. I can see it all, I recognize the men as if they stood before me in the flesh. They were fine, and good, and straight; I reverence their memory, and I wish we had a whole nation like them [MTP]. Note: Coggins’ father worked at the Sacramento Union when Coggins was a boy.
Sam also wrote an aphorism to Frederick B. Merkle: “Always do right. This will gratify some people, & astonish the rest. / Truly Yours / Mark Twain / New York, Feb. 16, 1901” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.