with a pen which we believe will suit Mr. Clemens’s hand. This pen is forwarded with the compliments of THE CONKLIN PEN CO. and we trust will be received in this manner. We shall be greatly interested to know whether or not the pen fits Mr. Clemen’s [sic] hand and await your further reply regarding the pen [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Not over bronchitis yet” [NB 47 TS 7].
Florence University wrote to ask Mark Twain if he would offer “a few words” prior to their Mar. 16 presentation of Shakespeare’s Tmon of Athens [MTP].
The New York Times, p. BR162 reported in a squib that Mark Twain was “always busy writing” when not “hunting for a new villa” and had “written six new stories, all published or to be published in Harper’s Magazine”
March 13 Sunday
March 14 Monday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto, Isabel Lyon wrote for Sam to Frederick A.
“Mr. Clemens wishes me to add a postscript to his letter saying that if there would better be a change in the title of ‘You’re a damfool Mary’—and he gathers that you desire one—the change which he would prefer is this; use the word Jackass instead of Damfool in both title & closing remark” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to William Dean Howells.
Yes, I set up the safeguards, in the first day’s dictating—taking this position: that an Autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth; partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author-cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell (though I didn’t use that figure)—the results being that the reader knows the author in spite of his wily diligences.
The summer in England! you can’t ask better luck than that. Then you will run over to Florence; we shall all be hungry to see you-all. We are hunting for another villa, (this one is plenty large enough but has no room in it) but even if we find it I am afraid it will be months before we can move Mrs. Clemens. Of course it will. But it comforts us to let on that we think otherwise, & these pretenses help to keep hope alive in her. Good-bye, with love. [sentence canceled; see Note]. AMEN [MTHL 2: 782]. Note: the source suggests the canceled sentence was lined out by Howells, not by Twain, and reads: “God damn the human race, & God damn the crimes of this old collective world.”
March 15 Tuesday – Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam, suggesting that the “Italian with Grammar” article could appear in Harper’s Weekly. As per Sam’s of Mar. 2, Duneka had not yet heard from Mr. Elliott of the Washington Magazine, “and—I don’t want to hear from him,” he wrote [MTP].
J. Perry Worden, school teacher from High School, St. Louis, Mo. wrote to Sam, hoping his photographs would reach Sam in good condition. Sam or Isabel Lyon wrote “A schoolteacher in StL. wants a variety of autographs in exchange for some pretty ordinary photographs” [MTP].
March 16 Wednesday
March 17 Thursday – Senator Odoardo Luchini wrote to Sam, glad to hear that he and Livy were better. “I am obliged to leave again for Rome, but in a few days you will receive my short request about every thing. Certainly in April we may made up our minds about what is to be done.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.