Vol 3 Section 0783

1902                                                                            725

Your generous letter [not extant] of yesterday has just arrived—only 2 minutes after I had committed myself for the cigars; which is just some people’s luck, you see. I showed Mrs. Clemens your telegram & it broke her all up. It will happen again when I show her your letter. I think the telegram is the only piece of writing she has been allowed to see during this sickness. She wanted to keep it, so I left it with her. She is improving—very slowly, but actually, I think, the past day or two.

To-day she has sat up 10 minutes in a chair.

We shan’t be able to move her until she can sit up one or two hours in a day. We can’t tell when that will be, because she has had so many backsets that every prophecy we make scores a failure. But it will be days yet; then I will let you know as soon as we can safely guess a date.

I suppose this letter will not reach you before Sunday. I will put a hurry-stamp on it, so that the post-office will deliver it on the Sabbath.

With the kindest regards of us all to you all [MTHHR 501-2].

Sam also wrote to Katharine I. Harrison.

The check for $2,230.48 has just arrived. Many thanks.

Mrs. Clemens sat up 10 minutes in a chair to-day.

I’m writing Mr. Rogers, who goes to Fairhaven to-night [MTP].

Sam also wrote a rather sarcastic reply to an unidentified man about paying homage to Theodore Roosevelt.

Ordinarily I might be able to accept your kind invitation, & I would gladly go any distance to testify the homage I feel for our courageous & high-minded & right-headed President, but my wife’s health is too precarious these latter months to permit of my making engagements that require absence from home. [signature]

If you had not registered your letter it would have reached me 7 days ago. There is nothing absolutely grotesque & idiotic about our Postal System, I believe, except its drunken notions about the handling of registered letters. In America one should never register a letter—that is, anchor it [MTP].

Sam’s notebook “Promises: / 1. To limit my contracts to 5 years. / 2. To advertise much. / Let these go; but why stick to the prohibition: Bliss to sell no Harper book at less than so-much? For I want to issue a full set of Tauchnitz at $20 or $25” [NB 45 TS 24].

August 30 SaturdayIn York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.

I enclose $100.

I am not Brother Joseph—quite the reverse; & I don’t understand Sister Clement. Perhaps her letter was not intended for me.

I am quite willing to pray for her, if she will take all the risks. For this I will charge nothing; but when I insure with [a] fool I must have ecclesiastical rates.

Mrs. Clemens is better, to-day. It is up, one day, & down the next. She is cheerful, to-day—that is an improvement [MTP].

Sam’s notebook “Let Collier seek the Napoleon statute on the Rhone. / [Line separator] / Must be a guaranteed sales No copy to go to / NEW YORK TIMES. / Wrote Harvey Sept 6, reminding him that in London early part of 1900 he & I agreed to amend the Harper contract thus:

         All my books to be put on a 5-year limit.

         The dramatization clause to be annulled.

         Books issued after that conversation to bear 20 % royalty from the start” [NB 45 TS 24].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.