who had done articles for the NY Sun, and written a book on the cult in 1900; see prior listing for Purrington [MTP].
April 16 Thursday – Frederick A. Duneka of Harper & Brothers wrote asking Sam if there was “any hope for a story or an article for the Christmas” issue; he suggested a couple of possible topics, and apologized for doing so, but was “striking in the air in the hope of firing your imagination” [MTP].
Muriel M. Pears began a letter to Sam that she finished on Apr. 20. It had been “difficult” for her to answer his last letter and she’d allowed four days to pass since receiving it. Like her other letters, it is long, and filled with her activities, thoughts, books read, and plans [MTP].
April 17 Friday – In Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote to John Livingston Wright.
The MS., with your letter of yesterday, arrived in my bedroom, with my breakfast, 2 hours ago, & I have already read the MS. through. I wonder why you have kept it two years without publishing it, for I find it exceedingly interesting & valuable, & with only one weak place in it that I can discover—the same one that is in Mr. Peabody’s pamphlet: The presenting (on your page 28), of that grotesque irruption of Mrs. Eddy’s in print-form instead of (at least partly) in fac simile reproduction of her hand. With that defect cured your essay would gain great strength. But it is convincingly strong, anyway—strong enough, in my belief, to prove to any intelligent non-Scientist that Mrs. Eddy & god did not write Science & Health. All the world & God added could not convince a Scientist (intelligent or otherwise) that Mrs. Eddy’s claim to the authorship is a lie & a swindle.
The first paragraph of your letter requires me to make instant decision or return your MS; therefore, (I am in bed these five days with bronchitis & barred from work), I will make the return per to-day’s next mail, as in honor bound.
I am puzzled. In the new part of my book I take up a great deal of space with an elaborated argument, reinforced by extracts from Mrs. Eddy’s literature to prove that she couldn’t write Science & Health, & must have stolen it—circumstantial evidence, the whole of it—& now comes your essay & proves the same points by what the world would consider much better evidence. It’s like a man trying to prove by labored & fine-spun logic that there has been a murder; & then, when he gets through, remarking to the stage-manager, “Ask Mr. Wright to fetch in that corpse!” A reader might properly say, “Why did you make me read all that stuff when you could have introduced Mr. Wright & the corpse in the first place, & save my time?”
Either process would do in a book, but doubtless to use one would bar the other from the book [MTP]. Note: the MS Sam read of Wright’s became How Reverend Wiggin Rewrote Mrs. Eddy’s Book (1906 or 7). Gribben: “Wright argued that the Reverend James Henry Wiggin shaped Mrs. Eddy’s work [Science and Health] more than was supposed . See Nov. 5, 1906 NY Times entry, which followed by one day the publication of Wright’s MS.
Sam also wrote to Poultney Bigelow.
I am in bed these 5 days because the madam will not let me get up. I caught a heavy cold, which went to my bronchial tubes, and the plumber—I mean the osteopath—came out and set me straight with 15 minutes manipulation at night and the same the next day; but still I have to stay in bed until the madam takes off the blockade. She herself is making some progress, these days—sits up a few minuts every day, now. If by October she is strong enough to travel we shall go to Italy for a year—if she isn’t, we remain in this house.
I shall be very glad to read the book, and that is no lie. Yes, I don’t mind being a member of a Club where nothing in the world is required of me. That’s the case at the Lotos, where I am an honorary member—the only Club I am a member of.
I can’t engage for that dinner, though—I expect to be in Italy, then. Go on having a good time—I’m glad you can [MTP].
April 18 Saturday – In Riverdale, N.Y., Sam was still in bed with bronchitis.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.