Jan. 1’03. The doctor did not stay last night. Just as I was beginning to dress for dinner Livy’s nurse came for me, & I saw the patient 4 minutes. She was in great spirits—like 25 years ago.
She has sent me a New-Year greeting this morning, & has had a good night.
Jean has had a good night, & does not look to me so blasted & blighted as on the previous days. She sleeps all the time. Temperature down to within a shade of normal, this morning. Everything looking well here (unberufen!) [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William Denison McCrackan. “I wish you a happy New Year. / Meantime that book has not arrived. Won’t you inquire why?” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Howard Pyle (1853-1911), American writer and illustrator, principally of books for young people.
It was a great idea, a fortunate idea, to re-write the Round Table Tales, & I am your grateful servant. You are giving them a new charm & grace & beauty; they have gained, not lost, under your hand. They were never so finely told in prose before. And then the pictures—one can never tire of examining them & studying them. Long ago you made the best Robin Hood that was ever written, & your Morté d’Arthur is going to be another masterpiece. It was a great idea; I am glad it was born to you [MTP].
Note: Sam addressed the letter to “Mr. Howard Pyle / Author of the charming new renderings / of the Round Table Tales now running / in St. Nicholas / c/o The Century Company.” After 1900 Pyle founded a school for illustrators; this work was a 4-volume creation that made his reputation. His 1883 The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print today. He spent his last years in Florence, Italy.
Sam also wrote on George B. Harvey’s Dec. 31, 1902 and sent it on to H.H. Rogers: “Here is what he says.
/ Happy New Year to you all! (Jean improves)” [MTHHR 514].
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Franklin G. Whitmore.
Your note came this morning and Mr. Clemens thanks you for the enclosure. He had an idea it would be some foolish worthless package. Jean is much better; the doctor says she will probably recover rapidly, and Mr. Clemens saw Mrs. Clemens Tuesday for four minutes, the first time since September; and again last evening at half past seven for a few minutes. She is better. and Mr. Clemens says she looks better than she did before she was taken ill.
I write Mother every day, and if there is anything you ever want specially to know about their conditions she can tell you; but I will drop you a line again early in the week to let you know. I thank you for your kind wishes, and in return believe that my heart is full of the best of wishes for the New Year for you and yours. Jean’s illness has put a stop to my work for Mr. Clemens. This morning he said “Give Whitmore our love” [MTP]. Note: Lyon previously was the Whitmore’s governess.
Sam’s notebook: “Saw Livy again. Am to see her 5 minutes every day if she continues to improve” [NB 46 TS 4].
Chatto & Windus wrote to Sam. “In reply to your kind letter of December 15th, we have written to Messrs. Harper Bros., asking them to send us early proofs of your new volume on Christian Science, in which is to be included a Rejoinder by the chief writer of the cult. Messrs. Harpers inform us that they have neither word nor proofs of the book from their New York house; they will, however, make inquiries, and get proofs and all particulars.” They also asked after Livy’s health and included a statement of books sold for the six months ending Dec. 31, 1902 with a check for £351:5:5 plus a £10.1.5 check for one Edition de Luxe sold since last July [MTP].
Susan Crane wrote to Sam about John T. Lewis and how he paid his debts and appreciated financial support from Sam, which in fact had been given anonymously by H.H. Rogers. “We talked by the dining
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.