Vol 3 Section 0857

1903                                                                            795


[page 1]

To the blessed Invalid

Very private & confidential.

To be delivered when no one is watching.

[page 2]

Dearest & sweetest & loveliest, it is necessary that we use a code, for the suspicious child has his baleful eye upon us. Be wary, be surreptitous, be furtive, be deceptive, be discreet! Ever & ever & always passionately thine


Key will follow, conveyed by subsidized & trustworthy hands.

[page 3]

Anthropological, geneological, paleontological, it is astronomical that we use a seismograph, for the all-blighting sun has his binomial theorem upon U.S. Be recondite, be malechite, be troglodite, be stalagtite! Sozodont & sozodont & sal ammoniac synchronously pax vobiscum


Anthropological_______________________________________dearest Genealogical_________________________________________ sweetest Paleontological_______________________________________ loveliest Astronomical________________________________________ necessary Seismograph___________________________________________ code All-blighting_______________________________________ suspicious Sun_________________________________________________ child Binomial theorem________________________________________ eye U.S.___________________________________________________ us. Recondite____________________________________________ wary Malachite________________________________________ surreptitious Troglodite____________________________________________ furtive Stalagmite!__________________________________________ discreet . Sozodont_____________________________________________ ever Sal ammoniac_________________________________________ always Synchronously____________________________________ passionately Pax vobiscum_________________________________________ thine


I do love you so, my darling, and it so grieves me to remember that I am the cause of your being where you are. I wish—I wish—but it is too late. I drove you to sorrow and heart-break just to hear myself talk. If ever I do it again when you get well I hope the punishment will fall upon me the guilty, not upon you the innocent.

The summer is here. Cheer up, my best beloved. We shall be happy again, my own dear Sweetheart [MTP].

An undated note from Livy to Sam exists in the MTP and is described and given in LLMT p.332-3. This note is here put to 1903, but may have been earlier. The description followed by the note:

Letters from Livy in these last years are very few. Among the Mark Twain Papers is a single sheet, written on both sides in pencil as if in haste. It is exceedingly characteristic of what Livy’s critics call her exercise of censorship and her partisans regard as her loving solicitude that in all public relations he put his best foot forward. The date is lacking; it was probably left on his desk or work-table as a reminder more earnest than spoken words. The occasion also seems unknown to Mark Twain biography. About Marie Van Vorst (1867-1936) Mark seems to have written—and probably at Livy’s instance suppressed—an unkind letter to the newspapers. She was a prolific lightweight American poet, novelist,

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