unless I decided to-night to take it. / I think we don’t wish to be hurled into it” [NB 47 TS 7]. Note: Sam was still trying to lease another villa.
March 5 Saturday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam began a letter to George B.
Harvey that he added a few lines to on Mar. 6.
Won’t you run over here & give us a glimpse of you? And can’t you pull Howells along, too? Would God I could put you up, but in this majestic barrack with its inumerable rooms there is not a spare chamber which one self-respecting American would offer to another. But we’ll feed you, & drink you thereto, & be glad of the chance.
I am in bed—this is the 14th or 15th day (bronchitis) but shall be out of it in a week hence, I think. The madam has not been out of hers for more than 2 months, & will probably not be out of it for a good while to come. For the first time in many weeks she is now showing some (faint) signs of progress, but we nearly lost her ten days ago, when there was a collapse & her pulse went to 192. We have had many scares, but that one was the worst.
We are very glad Howells is to take a rest, & is going to get himself radiumized at Bath. With love to you both …. [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Higgs came to get my decision. If he meant to keep faith with that lady he was no longer in a position to offer it to me. I was angry & refused to discuss the proposition. It is a fictitious lady, I think” [NB 47 TS 7]. Note: see Mar. 4 about the Villa Aurora.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote to Sam of the near-death condition of his son, Charles Aldrich, on this day at a tuberculosis sanitarium in the Adirondacks, where he’d been treated since Dec. 1902. He enclosed a clipping of a long poem of his, “Babie Bell”, “The Poem of a Little Life that was but three Aprils long” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s May 11 to Twichell revealed that Charles Aldrich did die on this day, March 5.
Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis, Ind. wrote to Sam. “The advance sheets of a novel entitled ‘The Yoke’ are sent to you today by prepaid express. … we are extremely anxious to have your candid judgment on ‘The Yoke.’” [MTP]. Note: Elizabeth Miller (b.1878; after 1908 Mrs. Oren S. Hack) wrote The Yoke: A Romance of the Days When the Lord Redeemed the Children of Israel (1904) [Gribben 467].
A. Brignole wrote to Sam. “I know everything about your question with Mrs Bimm’s laundry….I, their parish
priest, entreat you for a peaceful settlement, that would be satisfactory to both parties” Sam wrote on the env. “From Parish Priest / Concerning laundress—N” [MTP].
March 6 Sunday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam finished his Mar. 5 to George B. Harvey. “March 6. All night I had flittings through my head of the thought ‘the idea of that old rake fetching up in Bath, that place so full of ghosts of other Beaux—& now we add Beau Howells’” [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “I was out of bed 2 hours to-day, the first time in 12 or 15 days. Bronchitis” [NB 47 TS 7].
March 7 Monday – E.Y. Elliot wrote from San Francisco to ask for Sam’s autograph [MTP].
Dorothy Williams, “an earnest student of astrology,” wrote from Phila. Pa. to ask Sam if she might do his horoscope—what was the hour and day of his birth? “Answer to wit: Date, Nov. 30,/35 hour not known /Ans. Mar. 21, 1904” [MTP].
Ida White wrote from Brighton, England to thank Sam for his autograph received [MTP].
March 8 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.