Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell on the bottom of Bowen’s Jan. 2 note, then adding more on the left margin on Jan. 4. Sam wrote to Joe of the proof:
Joe, this is the very worst piece of reporting I have ever seen in my life. Be glad you made no speech there.
A dead & damned stenographer could have done better. / Mark …[MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance, tyranny” [NB 46 TS 4; MTB 1194].
Frank L. Eaton wrote from Ypsilanti, Mich. to Sam in appreciation of LM, and the story “describing crossing that Island 66,” and the lesson of having confidence in one’s knowledge it offered [MTP]. Note: the episode referred to is in Ch. XIII, p. 160 of the original, or in the 1996 Oxford facsimile edition.
January 4 Sunday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam added to the Jan. 3 note to Joe Twichell: “Jean & Livy doing finely. Jean no longer in danger” [MTP].
Sam then wrote to Herbert E. Bowen of Harper & Brothers.
It seems to a curious thing—to send me an uncorrected proof.
This has cost me 4 hours’ work—a corrected proof would have saved 3 of them.
When you send me a revise, give me 4 inches margin on each side of the column. I will then try to doctor this astonishing report into—well, into something resembling English, anyway. I can’t make it resemble the speech, because I have now forgotten what the speech was like, & this report does not remind me [MTP].
Sam also wrote a long reply to Edward W. Ordway of the Anti-Imperialist League. Ordway’s letter is not extant, but from Clemens’ reply it is clear that Ordway solicited him to write a plea for funds; the League needed some $2,500 and that “Financial appeals have not paid the postage for sending them out.”
At some cost in public approval (& consequently in money), I contributed a Satanic magazine article which got the missionaries in my hair—also some politicians—& I was on the very point of repeating that sacrifice when your letter came, offering me another hod of bricks to carry. Would it not have been fairer to offer the hod to a group of members who do not write, yet are in duty bound to do their part in the work?
Yes, sir, I contributed that article, knowing quite well what I was going to catch. Must I pass that hat besides? Must I do two shares of the work, while some others do nothing? Dear Mr. Ordway, I hope to be deported to John Bunyan’s heaven if I do. This is not a flower of rhetoric—I mean it.
There is plenty of idle members. There is Carnegie: he has little or nothing to do, let him turn out & pass the hat.
We have 5,000 members? It is as many as that, I suppose. And can’t raise the $2,500 you need? What enthusiasm! They also serve who stand & wait. We seem to have skinned the country of all that breed of energy. Let us go out of Anti-Imperialist business & start a morgue; we have the material.
Now what is our League for? It has but one purpose; it has but one function; and that is, to stir up the nation in our holy cause. Why, by your own showing we can’t even stir ourselves up.
My idea is this. Our labors have been heavy, let us take a rest, let us recuperate; and before we start in again to pump zeal for political righteousness into hostiles, let us try to pump some into the League.
Do you know, “League” is too large a name for this corpse. With that imposing name we have long been accustomed to associate tremendous activity, determined aggression, inextinguishable devotion, priceless self-sacrifice, the splendid spirit of martyrdom—the very sound of the word stirs our blood.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.