Vol 3 Section 0693
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, filling him in on what to take on the upcoming cruise: navy blue suit, white canvas shoes, evening dress for shore leave, summer clothes, any kind of trunk.
“It is all summer water till the last day or two of the return-trip; for we all go down to Charleston or Florida by rail & board the yacht there. This is to escape the storms of Hatteras & the cold weather” [MTP]. Note: Sam was still asking Hutton to be ready to “mount the train” on Mar. 10 or 11.
Sam also wrote to Miss Lillian Gertrude Kimball, English instructor at the State Normal School in Oshkosh, Wisc., and author of The Structure of the English Sentence (1900).
It is as I am always saying to myself, Life is only one long Accident, nothing more; it begins with the Accidents of birth-place, sex, social degree & the formidable & much-determining Accident of Environment—& these helplessly breed the rest of the Accidents, & the subject becomes the shack or the temple the Accidents construct, & the idiot thinks he had something to do with it. Poor old Climax, the shack! it was a villainous combination of Accidents that built him, & he probably believes that he helped, & feels sure that he is to blame—or partly to blame—& it is only Accident, again, that I am not by him to prove to him the grotesqueness of that attitude & comfort him a little while by persuading him to laugh at it with me. Oh, the delicious Human Race! always delightful, always funny, never otherwise than funny; & funniest of all when it is complimenting itself on having a share in ordering & its own doings & shaping its own career, good or bad [MTP].
Note: Clemens’ note seems to be a reply; if so, Kimball’s incoming is not extant.
Sam also began a letter to Franklin G. Whitmore that he finished Mar. 3. An offer had come in for the house on Farmington Ave., and Sam was glad for it because it meant “some sort of market for the house” existed. They were looking for a house on the Hudson, and as soon as they found one then Whitmore could advertise the Farmington house for sale, which would “probably invite the interviewers,” and Sam could tell them about the house [MTP]. Note: the next day he revealed he’d gone house hunting in the rain this day and came up empty.
Sam’s notebook contains a list for this day:
Go & look at house, afternoon.
Contains Grand-canal [?] Great Britain
Polk Miller [See Mar. 4 entry]
Carnegie Hall (or)
Ask if you can arrange with Collier
Why 25th Dec? Stop the book, & give Bliss immediate possession [NB 45 TS 4].
George T. Davidson wrote from St. Luke’s Hospital, N.Y. to Sam, enclosing a NY Times clipping of Mar. 2, 1902 about a man who fell into a vat of molten metal and disappeared. Without a corpse they buried a rail made from the iron in the vat. Davidson compared this story to Sam’s in RI about a man who fell into a vat of dye and was woven into a carpet. Davidson felt the Times story “vindicated” Sam [MTP].
In a letter to his daughter Mildred, William Dean Howells confided that the Clemenses had decided against going to Venice, Italy for the summer, and instead agreed to go to York Harbor, Maine, some 40 minutes away from Kittery Point, where Howells would be [MTHL 2: 741-2n].
March 3 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam finished his Mar. 2 to Franklin G. Whitmore.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.