I think it was a perfectly darling time I had in your delightful house. There’s a notable difference between the unholy cheer of that abandoned place & the stillness & solitude of this. Clara being one of the nurses, I get hardly a glimpse of her, some days. Of Jean also I get glimpses only: she stays up on the third floor & works at wood-carving, or outside prowling in the fresh air—a kind of air which I can’t stand because it costs so much exertion to turn out & get it.
Mrs. Clemens remains as she has been these many weeks—feeble, bedridden, bone-weary, but in the main cheerful; for she has plenty of fortitude & staying-power—it is a large part of her character. They still don’t let me see her [MTP].
Sam also wrote to James H. Hyde per Isabel V. Lyon.
I shall be ashamed to arrive late. I shall be there early if I can.
If you have to put me in a printed program, please let me follow the others.
If I am not in a printed program I shall prefer to get up after the man that needs the most correcting [MTP]. Note: MTHL 2 : 749n2 reveals “Mr. Hyde” to be the above, and an arranger with Chauncey M. Depew of a dinner on Nov. 15 for Jules M. Cambon, French ambassador to the U.S., who was leaving for a post in Madrid. Sam was reported as speaker but did not attend due to Livy’s condition.
November 7 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Mr. Griswold. “I shall be very glad indeed to do it. You forgot to enclose the piece of paper. You will best know the size & kind of paper you desire, so I will wait, if I may, until I hear from you again” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Huck. Rehearsals. Dill[ingham] will write / [Horiz. Line separator] /Ask Col. Harvey if I shall let Doubleday have the Library of Humor. / [Horiz. Line separator] / Copyright all articles in my name, & state it. / Clause—books to go to Bliss in 3 months. / Get transfers from Forum ” [NB 45 TS 33].
November 8 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “New York / ‘Huck Finn’ / Mark Twain League man 5 p.m. here. / WEDDING 3 / Books should bear all the copyrights—Webster Dic. / Can Mrs. C. or heirs renew?” [NB 45 TS 33]. Note: neither the MT League man nor the wedding notation (3 p.m.?) are identified, though the latter may refer to Julia Langdon’s pleading letter for him to come to her wedding on Nov. 29 in Elmira..
November 9 Sunday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Charles Bancroft Dillingham, whom he had planned to accompany to Hartford to see the first performance of Lee Arthur’s HF play.
Toward bedtime last night I found out what Clara had been keeping from me because I was to go away Monday—that Mrs.Clemens had lost ground the day & the night before. I overheard a telephone-conversation with the doctor which made me uneasy, & I asked about it. I have not been allowed to see Mrs. Clemens for several weeks, & I had not realized the gravity of her situation these latter days. I had thought she was gaining, but it is not true & I cannot go to Hartford. My place is here.
I greatly wish I could go, for by the letters now coming, I get the impression that those people think I wrote the play‘, & I should want to remove that idea if they have really got it. But if you find it is so, say a word to Charley Clark, & he will set it straight in the Courant. Not elaborately—a couple of lines will answer.
I believe it will improve the performance for Huck to study his character from my book. He will see that it is sharply differentiated from Tom’s, & gains a good deal, with its unconscious depth & long-headedness & sobriety, as contrasted with Tom’s rattle-brained vivacities. However, it may be that he can’t see the deeps & the dignity of Huck’s character; in which case it will perhaps be better to let him play it his own way. We greatly liked Jim, & wished there was more of him. I hope you will have every success in Hartford.
Inasmuch as I was awake all night, I spent to-day in bed, but I sent down stairs at noon & had your office called on the telephone & my message delivered there, so as to give you the most time I could, & cost you the least inconvenience [MTP]. See July 1, 1897 for more on Dillingham.
Sam also wrote to Franklin G. Whitmore.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.