Vol 3 Section 1010

946                                                                        1904

I remember that there was a photographer on board the ship, but his show has passed out of my recollection. If my book says he used “photographic” slides, I back it as being true; but if it does not make that specification the slides could have been the old-fashioned painted glass things. I do not know what my book says, but if you will look up the passage the above will tell you all I could tell you if the passage were under my eye now. Please remember me cordially to Mr. Archer.…” [MTP: David Schulson Autographs, No. 54, Item

34]. Note: William Archer (1856–1924), English author, critic and translator of Ibsen. Thanks to Charlotte Keenan, Asst. Curator, National Museums, Liverpool.

January 29 FridayAt the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to John B. Stanchfield.

Your letter [not extant] came yesterday, & I thought the Butters proposal over. As I understood it, it was


      He will restore to me the 250 shares which he stole from me—

      Provided I buy some more (at a price above its value.)

I thought it over, & decided against it; & have now (3. p.m) sent to town a cable [not extant] to that effect which should reach Elmira this morning by 10 or 11.

There is only one proper thing for Butters to do, & that is, to make restitution unconditionally; either of all he stole from me or enough of it to leave him a fair commission on his theft. But I am not going to add any cash to the $32,500 I have already sunk there.

As soon as I get back we will pull Butters into Court, & I guess we can jail him. We will try, anyhow. And I will add that libel, & see if he has grit enough to prosecute me—which he will do if he is as much of an ass as he is a thief. I think he is.

It may be that you will think me unwise in declining the Butters proposition, but I am sure I have good reasons for it—cash ones. He occupies space enough in my Autobiography to pay back all he & his pimp have robbed me of, & more By & by you will know them, then I think you will agree with me that while it would have been an advantage to me to settle with him some months ago, that is not the case now.

Mrs. Clemens has not been out of bed for 7 weeks; she has had a bad set-back. But she improves a little, latterly. With love to Clara, & regards to Mr. Wheeler when you see him, … [MTP]. Note: the lined out sentence reflects Sam had been dictating feelings about Henry A. Butters; a dication that does not survive [AMT 1: 23].

January 30 SaturdayThe New York Times, p. BR73 ran a squib, “A New Novel from Mark Twain”:

Mark Twain, now in Florence, Italy, is according to the announcement of his publishers, Messrs. Harper & Brothers, seriously engaged upon a novel begun some years ago. Nothing definite is said as to when the novel in question will be ready for the press, but presumably the date is not very remote. Meantime Mr. Clemens is writing a short story for the next number of Harper’s Magazine. According to the personal confession of the humorist, Mrs. Clemens “edits all his stories,” and to his daughter, who acts as typewriter, he pays “regular union rates.”

Sam’s notebook: “Began measures to bring suit for damages / Mr. Cobb, 9 Piazza San Felice” [NB 47 TS 5].

Note: see Jan. 29 to Stanchfield. Also, this may be Arthur M. Cobb; see index.

Sebastiano V. Cecchi wrote from Florence to Sam—more complications about having a telephone line installed, which case now was muddied by Sam’s attorney Plaisant [MTP].

January 31 Sunday

February – Fernando Fini wrote to Sam, sometime between Feb. and Apr. 1904. The letter is three pages of Italian [MTP].

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.