July 18 Saturday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y.: Sam’s notebook: “Sent cable / ROZIER, Florence,
Italy. Please take Papiniano a year—put business in lawyers hands. / Clemens” [NB 46 TS 21]. Note: cable not extant.
Sam wrote to Edward W. Bok.
Please strike out the words about John T. Lewis which state that before the war he was a slave. Merely
strike OUT—nothing need be inserted. I always supposed he had been a slave, but it turns out that this was a
If comments are to accompany the pictures, it will be best to send me proofs, so that Mrs. Clemens can edit them. I know you said there would be little or no text; still, it can save bloodshed to let Mrs. Clemens have a whack at it before it sees print [MTP]. Note: Thomas E. Marr, Boston photographer had recently taken several pictures of Sam and John T. Lewis. See July 17; also Nov. 1903.
Sam also wrote to Harriet E. Whitmore (Mrs. Franklin G. Whitmore).
If I wished to confer a delight upon an intellectual person to whom I was under obligations & wanted to “make good,” I should give him “Life’s Common Way.” And I should tell him not to devour it hastily & heedlessly, but watchfully & word by word, & let its fine felicities of fancy & form & phrasing melt upon his tongue & sink into all the pores of his appreciation. And the book is broad & deep, Mrs. Whitmore, & goes to the marrow of things; & the subtle analyses of character & motive—isn’t it masterly literary chemistry! & don’t the several people stand up alive, & keep their own shapes & never wobble! Annie Trumbull’s fine & dear & charming self is all through the book, pervading its gravities & philosophies & pathos, & lighting them up step by step as she goes, with the flash & glow & sparkle of her inexhaustible & delicious wit & humor.
I am grateful, & was longing to say these things to Annie Trumbull, but I couldn’t, for it would embarrass both of us—I’ve been there myself. It makes me curse when a person praises my book to me—& then puts his dam name & his dam address to it. I have to sit down & thank him for his compliment—that is to say, buy it & pay for it; & that takes all the value out of it, & makes me his enemy for good & all. Then it occurred to me that I could say my say to you, & thus shut Annie Trumbull off from saying with her pen “Thanks,” & with her heart the other thing.
This morning I rented a furnished villa near Fiesole for a year, by cable; we sail in the autumn. The madam progresses, little by little, shade by shade. She sends you her love, & so do I [MTP]. Note: See June 16 for more on Annie’s book.
July 19 Sunday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam wrote to Daniel Willard Fiske with the results of his “Long-distance house-hunting ”and sailing plans.
Dear Professor Fiske: / You did us a great kindness when you furnished us Mr. Gregory Smith to lean on. He has stood the strain handsomely, & we look forward to thanking both of you in person in November.
We were waiting for Mrs. Ross’s letter before deciding as to a house. It came night before last; the villa she had been looking at had some very attractive features indeed, but we felt that the Papiniano would be better for us; so I cabled yesterday morning & asked Mr. Smith to secure it for me. I have been carrying Florentine villas around on my back for three months, but already I begin to feel rested, now. Long-distance house-hunting is entertaining, but there’s considerable solicitude and anxiety & uneasiness & uncertainty mixed up with it, & a noble sense of rest & peace descends upon a body when the curtain is rung down.
We have shifted to a big modern ship, the Princess Irene, & shall put in at Genoa November 6, if nothing breaks.
With the kindest regards and thanks of both of us [MTP].
July 20 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “I think Tabitha Greening’s pension ($10 a month) is paid, up to Sept. 1. Today sent $100 to Molly Clemens to pay it with, from Oct 1, to July 31, 1904” [NB 46 TS 22]. Note: Sam’s childhood friend, “Puss” Quarles (Tabitha Greening).
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.