March 29 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Thomas Bailey Aldrich in Ponkapog, Mass. (only the envelope survives) [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Clara’s consert. (postponed)” [NB 47 TS 7].
March 30 Wednesday
March 31 Thursday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Elizabeth Robins.
“The passage quoted by me is from William Morris’s ‘Well at the End of the World.’ It occurs in the second volume, but I do not know just where, for the book is not now on the premises. / With kindest regards” [MTP].
Alice Von Versen (née Clemens) replied to Sam’s Mar. 21, glad to hear from him. Her letters to him evidently had been lost but she noted that if she sent them to his English publisher he nearly always got them. She was sorry to hear about Livy’s illness but was sure “the sunny climate of Italy will help.” Her oldest daughter Hulda was going to be in Florence about the middle of April, and she would visit him. She sent regards to the girls [MTP].
April – A text of Sam’s autobiographical dictation survives made from Isabel Lyon’s notes during this month, that Paine later titled, “Henry H. Rogers,” and joined with a later manuscript (MTA 1: 250-56) [AMT
192]. Note: the source gives a 1906 MS typed by Josephine Hobby (1862-1950) and points out that Hobby copied a now lost earlier TS created by Jean Clemens. This is the only of six known Florence A.D.’s that Sam did not include in his final Autobiography. See Jan. 8, 14 entries.
Sam inscribed a photo of himself to his longtime employee Katy Leary: “To Katy Leary / Florence, April
1904 / Truly Yours / Mark Twain” [MTP: Charles Hamilton catalogs, Dec. 9, 1971, Item 137].
Sometime during the month Sam wrote a note to Livy.
Dearheart, I hope you are getting along nicely. I want to send you a couple of reminders of that quaint darling, Marjorie Fleming, written when she was 6 years old. One, a poem on the cold indifference of a mother-turkey who had lost 2 chicks by a tragic death:
“A direful death indeed they had,
As wad put any parent mad;
But she was more than usual calm,
She did not give a single dam.”
From her diary:
“To-day I pronounced a word which should never come out of a lady’s lips it was that I called John a Impudent Bitch.”
Then explains how she came to do such a thing.
Sleep sound, dearest! / Y [MTP].
Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s article, “The Aristocracy of the Dollar,” ran on p. 510 in the April issue of Atlantic Monthly. Wells: “Higginson tries to debunk the notion that Americans in general and the wealthy in particular are narrowminded materialists. People pay little attention to a man known for wealth alone, he argues, but revere a young man who makes a brilliant political speech or a young lady who writes a clever story. Yet these economically poor, but intellectually noble achievers are like Mark Twain, who declared that he had “no parents to speak of, only a father and mother or so!” .
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.