London to help her son, who had taken up art with charcoal and pencil. She mentioned that her new book, “Gods and Fighting Men, etc. was meeting a favorable reception, for which she was thankful” [MTP: Gribben 278].
George Gregory Smith wrote to Sam, enclosing three letters.
I had an interview with Senator Luchini yesterday afternoon, and we got everything in train. [Ubaldo] Traverso the Solicitor is out of town, but will return to-morrow Monday when we are to have another conference. The Senator displayed some temper when I showed him the letter you had received from that squirt gun in Sesto. He answered it somewhat as follows: ‘Sir I have received a letter addressed by you to Mr. Clemens instead of to the owner of Quarto’. That was all.
I enclose a letter from Proctor, and also one to him from Mrs. Tharpe. I will go with you to see Camarata anytime you feel inclined except to-morrow Monday afternoon [MTP]. Note: Smith’s wife sent regards.
February 22 Monday –Sam’s notebook: “At midnight Livy’s pulse went to 192, & there was a collapse. Great alarm. Subcutaneous injection of brandy saved her” [NB 47 TS 7].
February 23 Tuesday – George Gregory Smith wrote to Isabel V. Lyon, thanking her for her “very clear letter with enclosures of Express receipts, &c.” He had written the American Express agent in Paris and enclosed copies “of the whole matter” [MTP].
February 24 Wednesday – Miss Clara Anderson wrote from Moline, Ill. to Sam, having been given his name by an inventor of hearing-aid devices, Mr. M.R. Hutchison. She noted so much deception in the field and wanted to confirm Sam’s endorsement. On the back of the letter Clemens wrote” Answered Mar 13, 1904” [MTP].
Raffaele Simboli, editor for Il Nuova Antologia (a prestigious Italian quarterly) wrote to Sam, offering to send him a copy of Antologia [The Critic Vol. 44 (June 1904) p. 484]. Note: Clemens replied on Feb. 26.
February 25 Thursday – Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence: Sam began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he finished on Feb. 26.
I wish you could get through with that wearisome Boston matter & have a rest. If you were not such a fighter—but you are, & you cannot be changed. It wouldn’t be best anyway, I reckon. I was glad to gather from the Sun that you were getting the best of the Montana crowd at last, but I did not see what you said. I would like to—we have been in such a sweat here for a month that I have sometimes been obliged to let the papers go unread. First I cabled Stanchfield to decline Butter’s offer, but then I began to think maybe you might not approve—so I called him to do as you should direct. It is one of those investments of mine that I am ashamed of, & would like to forget. Damn!
Well, we have been in a sweat for a month! The Countess Massiglia (the American bitch who owns this Villa) found that she could afflict me with all sorts of trivial & exasperating annoyances because I couldn’t raise a row lest it get to Mrs. Clemens & give her a fatal backset; & couldn’t leave the place because Mrs. Clemens cannot be moved from her bed—but at last when the Countess ordered the telephone company to remove my telephone (I had just got it in & needed it to send hurry-calls to doctors with), it was one feather more than I could stand. I got the weightiest lawyer in Italy, & game was called.
The Countess is doing the sweating, now. She “hollered” yesterday—but it is too late. She has made my life a burden to me for 3 months.
Meantime, on top of this we have several times been extremely uneasy about Mrs. Clemens. The past week has been awful—she has had bad nights, & been obliged to sit up in bed for hours, in order to get her breath—& she is only a shadow. Three nights ago her pulse went up to 192 , & nothing but a subcutaneous injection of brandy brought her back to life life. Her pulse usually oscillates between 115 & 140. But she is doing fairly well yesterday & to-day.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.