Sam also wrote to Hélène Elisabeth Picard, relating Livy’s collapse and struggle, and finally being up and about after his bronchitis. “On these terms life is not worth having—if it ever is,” he wrote [MTP].
Sam also began a letter to H.H. Rogers that he added a PS to on Mar. 22.
I have been waiting & waiting for that McClure—& yesterday I found it in one of the daughters’ rooms; it had been there a fortnight, I judge. They carry off anything that is addressed to me, if it looks interesting. Miss Tarbell always gives you a good character, as a man, & this time she does it again, but she gives you no rank as a conspirator—does not even let you say any dark things; does not even let you sit mute & awful in a Buffalo Court like John D., & lower the temperature of justice. Henry H., the woman has been bought! There are people who will do anything for distinction, & to rob another person of it—even a friend. I say nothing, I make no charge, but my thoughts are upon a person the principal letters of whose name spell Archbold. When you see him again, look at his eye. It is the eye that tells what a man is. It would be a mercy if some people had but one; it suppresses half the testimony for the prosecution. Do you know if Archbold has ever tried a green patch? It has been known to work.
Will you kindly hand the enclosed to Danl. Hanks? It is my latest, & is much admired. There is nothing like this climate to restore vanished youth.
To-day is the first time I have been cheerful for some weeks. Day before yesterday we took the madam out of her bed for the first time in 3 months & she sat in a chair 25 minutes. But she was up too long, & the results were bad, & for some hours she was threatened with one of those alarming turns. But she escaped it,
this morning we are feeling easy again. This has been an awful 3 months, with these periodic frights. I have worked all the time; it was the only way to get respite from the blues. I have not taken enough interest in business to remind Duneka that he has fallen back into his old habit of never paying for magazine matter until I stir him up. I guess I’ve sent him about $10,000 worth, maybe more—all I expect to furnish this year. By & by I will remind him; he mustn’t be allowed to get his habit so solidified that he can’t break it.
I was not able to take a sharp interest in the Plasmon matter. I think it wasn’t worth it. I had an instinct that you would consider an additional purchase an additional insanity. That is what it would have been, I think.
A month ago I was knocked down with bronchitis & remained in bed until 3 days ago.
I do hope your Boston troubles are over by now, & that you have come out on top; & that all your home patients are safely out of the doctor’s hands, & that your fearful winter is over & that you & Mrs. Rogers are perfectly well. / Avanti / SL. C [MTP]. Note: Ida Tarbell’s history of Standard Oil was running serially in McClure’s Magazine. She praised Rogers as one of the “ablest and frankest” of the “candid” officers of the company. See Sam’s P.S. Mar. 22.
Sam also wrote to Frau Alice von Versen (née Clemens) :
Dear Excellency: / Indeed it would be a great pleasure for us to return by way of Berlin, & we should be glad to make that trip in order to see you again; but I suppose we shall see no land but Italy any more. Mrs. Clemens has kept her bed a year & 7 months this, & will never again be strong enough to travel any considerable distance, I fear. We hope & even [the rest of the letter is lost] [Bloomsbury Auctions May 16, 2008 Lot 240D].
March 22 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam added a PS to his Mar. 21 to H.H. Rogers.
P. S. I have a third dividend (this one is an interim) from the English Plasmon Co. It is three 7% dividends in eleven months on the £5,000 I put in there. If I had kept out of American Plasmon I would now be a good business man; but as it is, I am only half a good business man. / SLC
[in left margin:] Mrs. Clemens sat up 15 minutes today without damage [MTHHR 559-61].
Isabel Lyon wrote for Sam to H.E. Fisher, Conklin Pen Co. “Thanks very much. Other had a habit of
delivering too much ink” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.