how could she be? There are no sane people, but she came as near to it as any one I have known [Gallery of
History sale, document 31403 Historyforsale.com]
Note: Robert Hirst of the MTP provided the following letter to the source on Oct. 31, 1983:
Allow me to express my gratitude to you for letting me read your Mark Twain letter to “Dear Sir,” dated “Riverdale, Dec. 15/02” and signed “SL. Clemens.” In return for your kindness I am happy to provide you with the following information about it. The addressee is Frederick W. Peabody, a Boston attorney with whom Mark Twain had been corresponding since early December 1902 on the subject of Christian Science. Mark Twain was writing a series of articles critical of that religious movement and its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, for the North American Review. The first of these, entitled ‘Christian Science,’ was published in the December 1902 number of the magazine and is the article referred to in the present letter. Subsequent articles appeared in the North American Review for January, February, and April of 1903. Peabody, an outspoken opponent of Christian Science, had recently sent Mark Twain a copy of Mary Baker Eddy’s Manual of the Mother Church: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, 11th ed. (Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1899). On 13 December 1902 he had written, offering to lend Mark Twain “a collection of extracts” from Mrs. Eddy’s writings for use in his articles. He also enclosed a description of the “Mother’s Room” (the “Holy of Holies”) in the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and corrected a passage in “Christian Science” in which Mark Twain had mentioned a “lady informant’s” report that a “never-extinguished light” burned there before a picture of Mrs. Eddy (the Church “mother”). I enclose a copy of Peabody’s letter for your further information [copy is present]. I trust that these details will be if interest to you. I was greatly pleased to have a chance to see this letter. It is almost entirely new to me since previously I had seen only a brief excerpt from it printed in a dealer’s catalog. It is a very significant letter, providing valuable evidence about Mark Twain’s sources for his writings on Christian Science, and thus would be an outstanding acquisition for anyone interested in him.
Sam also wrote to Muriel M. Pears. In the body of the note Sam pasted his self-portrait given at his 67th birthday dinner. He addressed her as “Dear Scotland” [MTP]. Note: See next letter to Picard for same note.
Sam also wrote to Hélène Elisabeth Picard with the same self-portrait in the body of the letter.
Dear France: / There isn’t going to be any merry Christmas here, because Mrs. Clemens is still a prisoner in the bed she has occupied now more than four months, but I hope you will have one, anyway. / I kiss your hand [MTP: “Mark Twain’s Private Girls’ Club,” Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb. 1912, p.23].
Sam also wrote to Percy Spalding of Chatto & Windus, noting Livy’s progress at the end.
I am preparing a book which partly pokes fun at Christian Science & partly doesn’t. The chief writer of the cult wants to write a Rejoinder & have me put in the book & I have said all right, I’ll do it., & he can have half of the book to himself.
It will issue the end of March or mid-April. So you can tell the Harpers to send you early proofs [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Charles Warren Stoddard in Washington, D.C. that he’d rec’d his letter and sent a
“further project to Howells last night. I’m afraid he will think it too belligerent & libelous. If so he will suggest something wiser” [MTP].
In N.Y.C. William Dean Howells wrote a short note to Sam. “I don’t think it well to seem to threaten H., [Harriott] as the milde Macht seemed to work so well with him before. If he does not answer the enclosed letter promptly we can them bump him” [MTHL 2: 754-5]. Note: see n1 on source for more details.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.