and feature writer for magazines. Her first publication was a poem in Scribner’s Magazine in 1893, but she did not become well known until some years later, after publishing in1901 (with Bessie Van Vorst) Bagsby’s Daughter , an independent effort in 1902 called Philip Longstreth, and in the following year a serial report on the working girl, “The Woman Who Toils,” which ran in Everybody’s Magazine before appearing as a book. Whatever Mark’s quarrel with her, it probably boiled up quickly and spent itself with the catharsis of self-expression, as was his temperamental habit. And Livy’s message mirroring her distress over the incident could not but have been a powerful deterrent.
Youth, darling, have you forgotten your promise to me? You said that I was constantly in your mind and that you knew what I would like & you would not publish what I would disapprove. Did you think I would approve the letter to Marie van Vorst?
I am absolutely wretched today on account of your state of mind—your state of intellect. Why don’t you let the better side of you work? Your present attitude will do more harm than good. You go too far, much too far in all you say, & if you write in the same way as you have in this letter people forget the cause for it & remember only the hateful manner in which it was said. Do darling change your mental attitude, try to change it. The trouble is you don’t want to. When you asked me to try mental science I tried it & I keep trying it. Where is the mind that wrote the Prince & P, Jeanne d’Arc, The Yankee &c &c &c. Bring it back! You can if you will—if you wish to. Think of the side I know, the sweet dear, tender side—that I love so. Why not show this more to the world? Does it help the world to always rail at it? There is great & noble work being done, why not sometimes recognize that? Why always dwell on the evil until those who live beside you are crushed to the earth
you seem almost like a monomaniac. Oh! I love you so & wish you would listen & take heed. Yours / Livy [Note: Marie Van Vorst’s letter is not extant; the only prior is her sending two poems on Jan. 1, 1902; See Gribben p.724]
Letters from a Son to His Self-Made Father by Charles Eustace Merriman was issued by New Hampshire Publishing Co., Boston. The dedication page reads “To / Mark Twain / A Ready-Made Wit.” No example of a presentation copy to Clemens has been found.
Sam’s essay, “Was the World Made for Man?” was written in reponse to articles in Literary Digest from Feb., Mar., and Apr. of 1903. Alfred Russell Wallace’s book Man’s Place in the Universe, was, according to Budd, recommended to Twain by Howells in Dec., 1903, “but he may have already been aware of the work by that time” [Collected 2: 1008-9]. Note: Gribben also lists an article of Wallace by the same name, and notes Howells’ Dec. 20 to Sam .
Sometime during 1903 George Elliott Fleming, NY attorney, wrote to compliment Sam on “the best short story that was ever written, ‘Was it Heaven? Or Hell?’” [MTP].
Carlo Paladini in Florence, Italy, also sent best wishes from “our best and most popular daily newspapers” [MTP].
Paul (not further identified but speculated to be Paul Tyler) sent Sam a printed article from the Apr. 22,
1902 Boston Transcript, “That Ransomed Missionary” which told of Miss Ellen M. Stone. Paul wrote:
“You being an honorary Sunday School scholar—naturally take to Miss Ellen & her cause. Read this paragraph. / Paul / Ellen is really a great woman—there is no better” [MTP].
Janet D. Ross wrote from Settignano, Florence, Italy to Sam, saying she should have written sooner expressing concern for Livy’s illness, but she too had been ill, and her husband died in July [19th], so she did nothing. She recommended a book, Letters from the East, a book by her late husband, Henry James Ross and edited by Janet Ross (1902). Sam’s copy of the book was inscribed: “SL. Clemens / 1902 / from
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.