December 22 Tuesday –
Note: See 1903 entry for Wallace’s book, which Sam was already likely aware of. See source and notes for full letter and details.
George Gregory Smith wrote to his mother on Dec. 21 about Sunday’s lunch, which included some of the Clemenses:
We see a lot of Mark Twain & his family. The more we see of them the better we like them. Mark & his daughter Clara were up to lunch Sunday. So were Sig & Mrs. Cecchi, Lizzie Sherman & her friends the Misses Wallace & Gus & Ella St. Gem. Mark Twain simply let himself loose with his inimitable humor. Never before have I realized how very great a humorist he could be out of his books. He was in his happiest vein. It is almost impossible to quote his humor at the dinner table it is so evanescent but here are a few gems. Speaking of Dr. Brown, the Author of Rab & his friends—“While he went in to kill a patient” “He was a Presbyterian but didn’t know it but it wont be laid up against him hereafter” “He left his conscience done up in a rag at home” &c &c &c [Orth 31].
December 21 Monday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto Sam wrote to George Gregory Smith.
Thursday is our day, & I shall be unqualifiedly glad to welcome Mr. Ford, & thereto any other person ennobled by your accolade.
It was almost cruel that Mrs. Clemens should have been denied the sight of you & Mrs. Smith; she is not reconciled yet, altogether. )
With kindest regards to you both (which Mrs. Clemens will blame me for not elaborating & particularizing according to her directions), & with the pleasantest anticipations of your return [MTP]. Note: Mrs. Smith was Mary S. Smith.
Esther Brewington wrote from Hannibal, Mo. to Sam, announcing she was sending him a “Mark Twain Calendar,” published by the Ladies Aid Society of Park Methodist Church, Hannibal [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote instructions to Isabel Lyon on the env. “Wait & see about this.” A note from Isabel also on the env. “Wishes me to say that it will not do for him to be aware of this Calendar made of copyrighted material. Will not do for Harper to know that Mr. C. is aware.”
Louis Freeland Post (1849-1928), editor of the Public, Chicago wrote to Sam, having quoted from CY in his book, Ethics of Democracy, p.342, he then asked his publishers to send Sam a copy [MTP].
Joseph Blouin, builder, billed Sam $61.50 for additional repairs to the Tarrytown house; paid Jan. 15, 1904 [1903 Financials file MTP]. Note: Blouin had also billed for work on June 4, 1902.
Sam’s notebook: “ What is so rare as a day in June? That is this day, exactly. Brilliant sun, balmy air, heavy with the odor of roses” [: NB 46 TS 31; Gribben 427 in part]. Note: refers to a line from James Russell Lowell’s “Prelude” to The Vision of Sir Launfal (1861).
Joseph Blouin, builder, billed Sam $306.66 for additional repairs to the Tarrytown house; paid Jan. 15, 1904 [1903 Financials file MTP].
T.G. Ford wrote from Florence, Italy to Sam, enclosing a ticket of Membership in the Florence Section of the United States Navy League. The Journal was sent to each member and he hoped Sam’s copy had arrived. “The project is finding favor in Florence,” he wrote [MTP].
Joe Twichell wrote to Sam, cheered by the recent note of Livy’s progress. He also wrote:
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.