story. Harper & Brothers are willing , provided we can obtain your permission [MTP]. Note: the story: “The Austrian Edison Keeping School Again.” Sam answered ca. Dec. 21
December 21 Saturday – Sam’s old friend and enemy, Edward H. House, died in Tokyo, Japan, where he had been living and writing since 1892. Days before his death the Japanese emperor bestowed upon House the Second Order of Merit of the Sacred Treasure. At his memorial service he was called “the most brilliant writer ever connected with journalism in the Far East” [Huffman 18]. Note: see entries on Edward (Ned) House in Volumes I & II.
In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich and Lilian W. Aldrich in Boston.
With affectionate greetings!—& not just of the season but of all seasons. I almost envy you your snow & ice, for those are beautiful & contenting things when one is snug & cosy & protected, & far & blessedly removed from hell & Civilization….Clara had buttons—both port & starboard—snaked off the other day by
a car & a mobile which rushed past her, one on each side. There is an adventurer coming here to-morrow with an idea of buying this house after next October. He will get shot.
I went down to Princeton the other day, to look after Hutton’s condition. He thought he was much improved, but he looked haggard & has been confined to the house for a month & had been pretty blue meantime. This is all the news I have for you, except that Jean is getting along fairly well; her mother’s heart & gout bad; Clara in pretty good shape; I healthy as granite; politics going nicely; Gilbert Parker looking fine & handsome; Abbey looking fine & fat; Howells looking—but I enclose his newest photo; it will tell you his condition. He thinks it a libel, I think it flatters. The thing that gravels him is, that the camera caught his private aspect, not giving him time to arrange his public one. I have never seen such a difference between the real man & the artificial. Compare this one with the imposter which he works into book-advertisements. They say, Notice this smile; observe this benignity; God be with you Dear People, come to your Howells when you are in trouble, Howells is your friend. This one says, Bile! Give me more bile; fry me an optimist for breakfast [MTP]. Note: Sam went to Princeton on Friday, Dec. 13 [NB 44 TS 19].
Sam also answered Frederick A. Duneka’s Dec. 20 letter, probably on this day. He answered yes, if the NY World had Harpers permission; he also wanted to give John Brisben Walker of Cosmopolitan permission to reprint his Christian Science article. He added: “I have some news, & am expecting to run down with it Monday” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
“Wally” Bliss was here yesterday, and I guess there are going to be some developments. I have kept out of the Harper-Newbegin fight up till now, but I believe the time has come to take a side in it. So I will drop in on you and get your advice before I do anything in the matter [MTHHR 477-8]. Note: Walter Bliss, brother of Frank Bliss. Harper objected to the “Popular Edition” of Mark Twain’s works that the American Publishing Co. shipped to R.G. Newbegin Co. for distribution, claming that it violated the Dec. 31, 1896 contract between the two companies.
Sam also wrote to an unidentified man.
But you are proceeding upon the superstition that Moral Courage and a Hankering to Learn the Truth are ingredients in the human being’s make-up. Your premises being wild & foolish, you naturally & properly get wild and foolish results. If you will not reform, & in future proceed upon the sane & un-challengeable hypothesis that those two ingredients are on vacation, in our race, & have been from the start, you will be able to account for some things which seem to puzzle you now [MTP: The Cheshire Cat, July 1916, p.13].
December 22 Sunday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.