When you want anything more, let me know, & I will take hold & furnish it if I can. There is one thing I could do a chapter on—“English With a Foreign Grammar”—but I think of nothing else in the way of short literature at present.
Meantime I believe I will dig out one of my unfinished novels & finish it—a couple of them. Not for issue as single books, & not serially, but only to be added to the Complete Subscription Set [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Hélène Elisabeth Picard.
Dear France: / 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 every day 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.
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 [MTP:
“Mark Twain’s Private Girls’ Club,” Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb. 1912, p.54].
Meille & Meille wrote from The Literary Office, Florence, to Sam, that a stenographer could not be found, but they recommended “a good and rapid typist,” Miss Newman, who could bring her own machine [MTP].
January 6 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Villa di Quarto / Calamity House would be a better name” [NB 47 TS 4].
Edward B. Caulfield of the Italian Gazette wrote to Sam, enclosing his card, and revealing the name of
the “young idiot” who had sent verses signed “M.T.”—it was H. Langan Stuart. “He is a disgusting young brute who when faced with the affair gave me his ‘word of honour’ twice that he knew nothing of it” [MTP].
Note: Henry Langan Stuart (1875-1928) became a novelist, critic and translator of French novels into English. He would review regularly for the New York Times Book Review. Interestingly, a novel by Stuart was published by Chatto & Windus in 1911, titled Fenella.
January 7 Thursday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Frederick A.
I have letters from England asking that the Dog’s Tale be issued in swell form & price & kept on view all the time & used as a present in holiday-time & out of it. One man (of manifestly fine judgement) says “It is already a classic, & will remain so. It stands at the head of the literature of its kind.”
How would it do to issue it now before its little stir has evaporated? In number of words it falls short of our contract-limit for one-dollar books, but I would be willing to suspend that law in this case if there is any
way to put it in a dress that would justify charging a dollar for it [MTP]. Note: at the top of the letter Sam asked if a copy of P&P could be sent to Dr. David Cushman Twichell, Adirondack Sanitarium, Saranac Lake, N.Y. (Joe Twichell’s son).
Sam also wrote to Louis Freeland Post (1849-1928), lawyer, editor, advocate of Henry George’s Single
Tax. “I thank you very much for the book, which I prize for its lucidity, its sanity & its moderation, & because I believe its gospel” [MTP: The Public, Sept. 10, 1904, p.367]. Note: Post was Asst. Sec. of Labor under Wilson (1913-21). Sam’s above words from “I prize…” were used in reviews advertising for Ethics of Democracy (1903). Post’s earlier pamphlet was Documentary Outline of the Phillipine Case, which appeared as in article in the May 19, 1900 The Public, “a weekly Chicago review of current events” [Gribben 556].
Sam also began a letter to Joe Twichell that he finished on Jan. 10.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.