July 21 Tuesday – At Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y. Sam wrote a letter of introduction for George Daulton to the following gentlemen: Richard Watson Gilder, Henry M. Alden, George B. Harvey, Samuel S. McClure, John Brisben Walker, Walter Hines Page, Edward W. Bok, and Robert J. Collier.
Although I have no personal knowledge of the bearer of this, I have what is better: he comes recommended to me by this own father. A thing not likely to happen in any of your families I reckon. I ask you, as a favor to me, to waive prejudice & superstition for this once, & examine his work with an eye to its literary merit instead of to the chastity of its spelling. I wish to God you cared less for that particular.
I set (or sat) type longside of his father, in Hannibal, more than 50 years ago, when none but the pure in heart were in that business. A true man he was; & if I can be of any service to his son—& to you at the same time, let me hope—I am here heartily to try [MTP]. Note: the father was Frank M. Daulton.
Sam’s notebook: “The Italian Ambassador, of his own accord, has sent me a most welcome official document commanding the Customs Officers at Genoa to chalk the Clemens family through” [NB 46 TS 22].
Sam also replied to the Italian Ambassador (see note below) at his country home in Manchester, Mass.
(incoming not extant, but what the ambassador sent is given in Sam’s above NB entry).
I am most grateful to your Excellency for this voluntary vast kindness. It happily extinguishes some solicitudes of mine—solicitudes which were gradually augmenting—for there are six women in my household.
After much long-distance house-hunting we have secured a year’s lease of the Villa Papiniano. I am not acquainted with the house itself, but I know the region very well, & that it is a wholesome one for an invalid. Also within these few days I have found a large modern ship—the “Princess Irene”—advertised to sail for Genoa October 24th, & have changed from the venerable “Lahn” to her. All things come to him who waits— houses, privileges, ships, everything! Also, it is by grace of waiting that we are to sojourn in the body- and spirit-healing peace & charm & loveliness of Italy again.
For the praiseful & cordial words of your Excellency’s letter I cannot verbally express the full measure of my thanks & my gratification, I can only feel it [MTP]. Note: the Italian Ambassador (1901-1910) was Baron Edmondo Mayor des Planches (1851-1920).
Sam also wrote to Joe Twichell, enclosing the rough draft of the above note (with Livy’s edits) to Baron des Planches.
That love-letter delighted Livy beyond any like utterance received by her these thirty years & more. I was going to answer it for her right away, & said so; but she reserved the privilege to herself. I judge she is accumulating Hot Stuff—as George Ade would say.
That clipping is delicious. The form of it, too: President’s Message, Speech from the Throne, Survey of Our Relations with the Universe. Everything the old sow does, interests me.
By George it’s fine about Dave! It’s a handsome promotion; & he is in choice hands, too, for Trudeau is a good man, an able man, & a great physician. And I am so glad young Harmony is out of those Chicago slums. I was always cordially glad to have her ease the pains of those unnecessary people, but it distressed me to have her trying to delay their dissolution.
Livy is coming along; eats well, sleeps some, is mostly very gay, not very often depressed; spends all day on the porch, sleeps there a part of the night, makes excursions in carriage & in wheel-chair; &, in the matter of superintending everything & everybody, has resumed business at the old stand.
Did you ever go house-hunting 3,000 miles away? It costs three months of writing & telegraphing to pull off a success. We finished 3 or 4 days ago, & took the Villa Paniniano [Papiniano] (dam the name, I have to look at it 2 minutes after writing it, & then am always in doubt) for a year by cable. Three miles outside of Florence, under Fiesole—a darling location, & apparently a choice house. Near Fiske.
There’s 7 in our gang; all women but me. It means trunks & things. But thanks be! To-day (this is private) comes a most handsome voluntary regal document with seals & escutcheons on it from the Italian
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.