Sam’s notebook: “Pay the Tuesday calls. Baroness & Spanish consul. /
Also Countess Montjoye? / No,
Saturday” [NB 47 TS 7]. Note: Marchesa Alli Macarani.
John Y. MacAlister wrote from Leysin Sanitarium, Switzerland, to Sam. He had received good news about his disease (tuberculosis) this day, learning that in facing such a disease in that place of death “one must try to laugh or go mad or die” [MTP].
Pietro Sbisa, photographer with offices in Rome and Florence wrote to Sam, offering to come to his villa “for take few pictures and your portrait,” and asked for his reply [MTP].
March 23 Wednesday – This day saw the formation of the English Congo Reform Association by Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness (1861-1915); Edmund Dene Morel (1873-1924), British journalist, author and socialist politician; and Roger Casement (1864 -1916), Irish patriot, poet and British consul. Casement’s 1904 report on the Congo led to demands for action and the formation of the Assoc. Ultimately, the investigations led to the 1908 formation of the Belgian Congo. Clemens was somewhat active in the American Congo Reform Assoc. for a sixteen month period, but bowed out of further responsibility in it on Jan. 8, 1906 and Feb. 10, 1906 resignation letters to Dr. Thomas S. Barbour, an officer in the American wing of the Association..
Sam’s notebook: “Countess Gristori (night—9 or 10)” [NB 47 TS 7].
Francis H. Skrine sent Sam a postcard picturing St. Petersburg, Russia: “Present aspect of St. Petersburg.
F.H. Skrine 23.3.04” [MTP].
March 24 Thursday – Miss Jennie Listenauer wrote from Superior, Wisc. to Sam, having been told a yarn of St. Ignace, Wisc., where Mark Twain was supposedly buried! [MTP].
March 25 Friday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister.
I had not the least idea you had been hit in that dreadful way. But thanks be, you are fetching out all right. A friend of 37 years’ standing (Thos. Bailey Aldrich) has just written me that his 2-years’ watch in the snows of the Adirondacks is ended—his son “went away” that night, as you express it. Two years—it is long. But eight! Yes, Miss Merian must let us see her, when she comes. I enclose cards, & she will have to return our visit, you see. There is a Villa Reale di Quarto; she must look out or the cabbie will take her there, a mile or two out of her way.
I wrote you a few days ago—to London. You will have received the letter by this time.
You have made a tremendous picture of that Sanatorium—it is vivid & realizable.
I am lying abed to-day, taking holiday & watching the driving rain through the windows. This is bad weather for Mrs. Clemens, but it will not last.
Health to you—the highest possible! [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Elizabeth Robins (pseudonym: “C.E. Raimond”):
I thank you ever so much. “The Magnetic North” is a great book, & heart-breakingly true. True in so many ways: in the wild strange life depicted; in the characters, feelings & ambitions of the people in the book; in the eternal & frank sordidness of the human race, as forced out of concealment in any get-rich-quick rush anywhere, in any country, in any community; in the tragic & unfulfilled ending of the story—for no life story has ever ended before death, & not many end happily or successfully. And certainly all life is but a quest—a
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.