March 21 Saturday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Edward Day in Springfield, Mass., clarifying his stance against Christian Science’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy.
No, it would not be fair for me to let you think I am interested in that wing of the subject, for it would be a deception. To me, the respectability of a religion does not depend upon the religion’s authenticity but only upon the sincerity of the disciple’s belief in it. These people are sincere; & so, to me, who am not exacting, that is sufficient. I like several features of their religion, & dislike the rest; but I have no strong feeling about it, hostile or otherwise. My interest in the matter is confined substantially to its putative discoverer, Mrs. Eddy, the queen of frauds & hypocrites. She has a powerful interest for me, because I think that in one way or two ways she is the most extraordinary woman whom Accident & Circumstance have thus far vomited into the world. She is the monumental Sarcasm of the Ages; & it seems to me that when we contemplate her & what she has achieved, it is blasphemy to longer deny to the Supreme Being the possession of the sense of humor [MTP].
Henry C. Griffin, attorney, wrote to Sam. “In reply to your favor of the 20th, the check for taxes should be made payable either to myself, or to the tax receiver, Bertrand F. Tompkins.” Griffin also explained the various village, school and town taxes that made up the total due [MTP].
March 22 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Brisbin [sic] Walker—dinner. train 2.40 from River[side]” [NB 46 TS 12].
Note: John Brisben Walker.
Addie C. Irish wrote from Marietta, Ohio to Sam, complimenting him on his Christian Science articles in the NAR, and also on his other past works, JA, FE, and had urged her minister to read “Was it Heaven? Or Hell” [MTP].
March 23 Monday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to Charles Hopkins Clark, still editor of the Hartford Courant: “Do not trouble about me, I am prepared to go. I have laid in a long supply of heavy clothing. Also a fan” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified woman, who had sent him a MS. He thought well enough of it to have carried it to Harpers on Mar. 19.
I seldom go to New York, for my wife has been ill in bed 7 months, & I stay at home all the time; but I could not well explain to the Harpers without carrying your letter & post-card & MS & attending to it in person. Which I did, four days ago, but have been ill in bed myself since & could not write you till now. They promised that if they did not use your MS they would return it to you. I suppose you will get it again, for in truth it is not literature but only an unliterary statement of facts, & their periodicals are devoted exclusively to literature. I beg you, dear Madam, to excuse my brevity—I am still in bed, but I know I ought to send you a line without delay [MTP].
Mrs. W.J. Beattie wrote from Littleton, N.H. to Sam. “I think you are the funniest man living, so I write to ask you to contribute a letter to be put into the ‘Post Office Department’ at a church sale April eighth. We propose to sell these letters, all written by famous men, and get a lot of money” [MTP].
March 24 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook:
Every man is a slave & a slave-holder; every man is a king & a subject; no man knows any but a fictitious independence. The foreman of a squad of offal-carts possesses all the essentials of those insolent & squalid vanities, nobility & kingship. It is self-conceited man that has placed the reptile at the bottom of animated nature. It is like his presumption.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.