me so; and then the chariots, the jewels, the sumptuous raiment, the carvings, metal work, suggestions of advanced architecture, and all that when they hadn’t experienced a Roman occupation (I suppose), and the like had perished form the neighbouring island for centuries and been forgotten. But never mind about those things—I can’t guess them out. But we’ve got the stories, & that is the important thing, & we are grateful to you for that. And we should be always grateful, even if you had given us the Fate of the Children of Usnach alone, that moving & beautiful tale, that masterpiece!
There’s great imagery in those stories! after all these centuries we can’t surpass it—nor fling it on the canvas with an easier grace nor a surer hand, either. It is indeed a wonderful book.
I recognize that I have said the like of this before, last year, but no matter, I wanted to say it again & thank you again—& Mrs. Clemens said go on & do it “& give my kindest regards and cherished remembrances to Lady Gregory & Mr. Yeats.”
It is from her sick-bed, where she has been lying 7 months. It is nervous prostration. I see her twice a day, 20 minutes each time; one of the daughters stands the afternoon watch with her; no one else is ever allowed in the room except the doctor & the trained nurse. We think she makes a little progress. We can’t exactly see it, but we do believe it. With my kindest regards & best wishes to you & to Mr. Yeats, I am / Sincerely Yours [MTP: Colin Smythe, Seventy Years: Being the Autobiography of Lady Gregory, 1974, p.400-1]. Note: Fate of the Children of Usnach (1898). See Gribben p.278.
Sam also wrote to Paul Kester in Accotink, Va. Kester had send the MS to his Tom Sawyer play.
I shall express the play to Virginia to-day or to-morrow. Mrs. Clemens has read it, & is as greatly pleased with it as I am.
P.S. There are 3 instances of spitting in it. They mar it. They are truths; but Truth maintains most of her credit in the world by getting crushed to earth every now & then by a friendly hand. Do her this service in this case. And if you won’t mind changing the name Susy to another?—for that name has associations with us [MTP].
Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Franklin G. Whitmore: “Mr. Clemens wishes you to see the enclosed letter at once” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Leave card at Mrs. Draper’s. Safety Dep. 400 shs, $40,000? Ask Mr. R. [Rogers] about steel bonds. / [Horiz. Line separator] / Charles Kingsley: ‘That’s not the end we put it in at’ —(Greek.)” [NB 46 TS 11].
Lizzie B. Fee wrote from St. Paul, Minn. to share “a little account of personal experience” with mental telegraphy. She introduced herself as the daughter of James W. Brady of Hannibal—her mother was Miss Martha Gayle, who she thought Sam would recall [MTP]. Note: an older brother of Norvall L. (“Gull”) Brady , the last survivor of Sam’s boyhood “gang” was mentioned but not named in the 1935 Hannibal Courier-Post, p. 6C. James may have been Gull Brady’s sibling.
Robert Mackay for Success Co. wrote to Sam, asking his views on the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson on American civilization, for an issue being prepared in their May issue of Success. The self-adressed stamped envelope was not used [MTP].
March 10 Tuesday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Isabel V. Lyon wrote for Sam to Franklin G. Whitmore: “Mr.
Clemens bids me send at once the check for $16000 that you ask for” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook : “Jordan L. Mott 6 p.m. dinner at 7. nigger show. 17 E 47th” [NB 46 TS 11]. Note: Jordan Lawrence Mott, Jr.; see Dec. 9, 1900 entry for more on Mott. See Mar. 11 for note to Livy about this engagement with the Motts.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.