year, now & was here yesterday. (All this to explain why John T. Lewis & I are so companionable, & make the picture pleasing to you instead of unpleasing.)
By compulsion of the doctors we go to Italy for a year, to find a mild climate for Mrs. Clemens, who is now able to walk several steps—about 6—without assistance. It has taken 7½ months of writing & cabling, to get the kind of house we want, & we got it only 4 days ago—by cable. We don’t know whether it is big enough, nor anything about it except that it is (apparently) between Fiesole & Sattiguano. But no matter, we sail for Genoa 7 days hence, all the same. We are 7—& none of us in heaven; nor likely to be, I guess, though such details do not interest me, but it is a 13,000-ton ship & there’ll be only 13 passengers besides ourselves, therefore there will be opportunity for much comfort.
Lest I forget—oh, listen! This from the letter of a friend uptown—it has just arrived:
‘I would be almost ashamed to read you Kipling’s letter, in which he refers to you, since he puts it so strongly—probably it is better to write it: “I love to think of the great & godlike Clemens. He is the biggest man you have on your side of the water by a damn sight, & don’t you forget it.Cervantes was a relation of his.”’
You will think that I manufactured that just & handsome testimony, but I give you my word I didn’t. And you will think K’s statement is not true, but I give you my word it is [MTP].
Note: the photographer referred to, Thomas E. Marr, was from Boston. Here Sam designates an unspecified “Philadelphia periodical” (Ladies’ Home Journal) as sending Marr; other sources name Harper’s (see Nov. 1903). Katy Leary and nurse Margaret Sherry accompanied the family to Italy. Isabel Lyon, the seventh member of the party, sailed later, accompanied by her mother, arriving in the Lahn about Nov. 22 or 23.
About this day Sam also forwarded Henry C. Griffin’s Oct. 15 letter to Katharine I. Harrison, adding a note at the bottom: “Here’s some more, Miss Harrison / SLC / I wrote him some days ago that Hoyt & Co were in charge” [MTP].
October 18 Sunday – Joseph T. Goodman wrote to Sam, wishing him “godspeed” on his “pilgrimage,” and his regret of not still being in NY to share a “schooner…at the Regal.” He sent prayers and hope that Livy would improve in the “balmy air and quiet of your Florentine home.” Joe predicted a “small boom” in JA as many he’d talked to were not aware that Mark Twain wrote such a book, but were now finding out [MTP]. Note: in this particular letter Joe praised JA; he had not always done so.
October 19 Monday – In Sam’s reply to Joe Twichell of Oct. 9, he agreed on a date for Joe to visit them at the Grosvenor Hotel on this day. Hill notes the visit by the Twichells to say goodbye . The date is
also noted in Sam’s following NB entry:
Sam’s notebook: “Joe Twichell—lunch. / 70 – 5th ave, cor 13th. / 4.30 p.m.—Can bring Joe— / Crawford Kenion / Lord Liveden / Gen. Hawkins” [NB 46 TS 27]. Note: Lord Liveden (Lyvden) was noted in the Mar. 30, 1903 New Zealand paper, Otago Witness, as organizing a group of the Lords and Commons to visit Canada and America. Lord Lyvden was a member of the Passive Resistance Committee of England and was headlined with Dr. Henry S. Lunn, Chairman of the Reform Club of London in a Nov. 17, 1903 NY Times article, “British Education Act.” This may be the same man, name spelled differently. General Hawkins may have been Rush Christopher Hawkins (1831-1920) who was colonel in the Civil War in charge of the 9th New York, “Hawkins Zouaves,” making Brig. General in 1866. After the war he studied law; he was a publisher of works on history, a rare book and art collector who feuded with James McNeill Whistler. Crawford Kenion was not identified.
George W. Reeves for Hoyt & Co. wrote to Sam. “Agreeable to …our mutual understanding, that in case Charles L. Gardiner [sic Charles A. Gardiner] avails himself of his option to purchase” the Tarrytown house, “between this date and Dec. 1st, 1904, the money already paid shall be deducted from the commission in case of sale, which would be due Wm. H. Hoyt & Co., …brokerage would be Eight Hundred (800) Dollars.” Sam wrote on the letter: “No doubt. Ah there! He started in to bilk me, & did it. I wrote him that I should ask Mr. Rogers’ opinion of the transaction & would decide by his verdict…& when he called at the hotel yesterday evening he was not carrying his tail up over his
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.