Vol 3 Section 0827
manuscript and read it, and am consoled, perceiving that the outbreak was in obedience to the law of man’s make, and was not preventable. My wife does not allow this manuscript to be published, and as 99 parts of me forbid me to make myself comprehensively and uncompromisingly odious, it has not been difficult to persuade me to restrict the reading of it to myself. But you shall read it when you come to see me; then perhaps you will believe with me that civilizations are not realities, but only dreams; dreams of the mind, not of the heart, and therefore fictitious, and perishable; that they have never affected the heart and therefore have made no valuable progress; that the heart remains today what it always was, as intimacy with any existing savage tribe will show. Indeed the average of the human brain is not a shade higher today than it was in Egyptian times ten thousand years ago.
All this elaborate explanation of why I am not likely to write that book which you speak of amounts to this, when boiled down: 99 parts of me are afraid, and my wife, who is the bulk of the remaining fraction, forbids it [MTP].
In N.Y.C. William Dean Howells replied to Sam’s draft to Frederick C. Harriott.
“I am afraid ‘robbing’ is rather too bumpsome, and I have suggested another version of our demand, less accusing and less threatening, but not less mandatory. I don’t think it well to talk of proceeding, but we can proceed at once, apparently through Harvey and his lawyer if we get no answer” [MTHL 2: 752].
Ell E. Sea wrote to Sam offering an “obituary” for his Harper’s Weekly contest [MTP].
A.H. Tyson wrote from Glenridge, N.J. to Sam to call his attention to a case of coincidence to his story, “Was it Heaven? or Hell?” [MTP]. Note: Tyson wrote on letterhead of Charles T. Wills, builder, NYC.
November 27 Thursday – Livy’s 57th birthday.
Harry Freeman wrote from NY to Sam offering an “obituary” for his Harper’s Weekly contest [MTP].
Georg Becker wrote from Berlin, Germany (in German) offering an “obituary” for his Harper’s Weekly contest [MTP].
W.T. Leslie wrote from NY to Sam offering an “obituary” for his Harper’s Weekly contest [MTP].
H.J. Murtogh wrote from Dublin, Ireland to Sam, thanking for the many many hours happier spent for his books, and offering an “obituary” for his Harper’s Weekly contest [MTP].
November 28 Friday – Sam’s notebook: “Train at 7.07. / 7.07 / Birth-day, dinner (not the 29th or 30th) Train leaves here at 7.07. / Wounds our conventions rather than our convictions. The convictions of one age are the conventions of the next” [NB 45 TS 34]. Note: evidently there had been some changes of the birthday dinner date; Sam entered a few things to say at the event in his Nov. 30 NB entry, and specified there it was to be the 29th; it wound up being this day. The 29th he was in Elmira at his niece’s wedding. The Nov. 30 entry:
“Col. Harvey, birth-day banquet. A Mo. native’s estimate of my modesty: ‘Well, he is this kind of a man,
you know: he would step in ahead of God in a procession.’
The old broken Mugwump, the iron-clad M. the moss-covered M that’s pointed for—”
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.