man almost cried when he called his verses “doggerel.” It’s not clear whether the forgeries were published. Sam wrote on the env. “Mentions that the man who sent verses signed M.T. has been discovered and has written his apology” [MTP]. Note: See Sam’s Jan. 4 reply.
January 4 Monday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam replied to the early-January letter of Edward B. Caulfield of The Italian Gazette in Firenze, Italy.
I hope you will publish in full the name of the young man; and I should like to have his name and also a copy of his verses. I should like to know if he is over here to escape the penalties of theft, or of any crime. If you know anything of his history, I should like to hear it, because it may by & by come handy (for autobiographical purposes) for me to be equipped with such knowledge. I may some day need it [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Muriel M. Pears.
I cannot say “Happy New Year,” for the Chicago disaster makes felicitations sound irreverent & profane. That is the most pathetic calamity of its kind that has yet been put upon record, because its harvest was women & children. All the particulars are touching—even down to that moving detail, the soundless hush that followed the striking of midnight, the birth of the new year. Not in that impressive way has any New Year ever been ushered in before, in any land, since time began.
We have been in residence now nearly two months, & are beginning to feel in some sort at home. The location suits me better than it suits the daughters, for it is a long journey to town & they have to make it everyday to take lessons & return visits, whereas about once a fortnight is as often as I have to stir beyond the gate. They do my return-visiting for me. You are required & commanded to let me know, when you arrive, or to come out & tell me. If the latter, you must come at noon & be appetited for one-o’clock luncheon; if the former, I shall travel in, to your hotel, for I shall be wanting to see you & welcome you. We got the madam so far along, a month ago, that she spent an hour on several consecutive days excursioning in the grounds & taking the sun; but she caught cold & had a bad attack of tonsilitis, & has not left her bed since. However, a week or two hence she will be excursioning again, we think, & this time she will not be allowed to overdo it.
This is a sour day, & Florence & the valley are half obliterated in a blue gloom, & I have grown moody with looking at it, & dull with writing magazine-stuff in bed all day; but now I will get up—it seems to be time.Therefore—avanti!
I do not quite know what it means, but they all say it, & it seems to be a good word & friendly [After his signature:]
Apology for tardiness in writing. Since we have been in this villa I have written 37,000 words for the Harpers & couldn’t get any time [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “for 1 yr or 2 or 3. / Rent £3100 / 250 added. ” [NB 47 TS 3]. Note: following these three lines Sam listed down the page, features of the prospective Villa Guicciardina; given here separated by commas: “Music-room & B for C, Parlor for Mme. & B, Work-r for Jean & B. Work-r for me. & B, Drawing-room, Reception – r’s, Cellar for fuel, Kitchen, Pantry, Linen closets, Store-rooms, Other closets, Who pays gardener? Tram near? Place for Lyons, Condition of furniture, No of servant’s rooms, What arrangement with gardener for flowers / [Horiz. Line separator] / Small house for Lyons.”
January 5 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Frederick A. Duneka.
I have finished the “Italian With Grammar,” & have cut it down a good deal. I believe it will now split in two in the middle conveniently & go into 2 numbers of the Weekly without taking up too much room. Jean will typewrite it soon, & send it along.
A day or two ago I wrote an article entitled “Sold to Satan,” & have revised it & re-revised it to-day. I will forward it soon. It ought to get into the April Monthly, perhaps—thus early because the basis of it is hell & radium, & these interests are not permanent. I think it will bear illustrating with about one colored picture.
Jean has not typed the Midsummer story & the Xmas story yet, but I’m in hopes.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.