Oliver Herford wrote from NYC to Sam giving him a letter of introduction for Mr. & Mrs. Kirke La Shelle, who would be in Florence shortly. LaShelle was a stage manager who successfully dramatized Owen Wister’s Virginian [MTP].
Carlo Hermann wrote from Florence to Sam, inviting him to an exhibit of the famous Francois vase, now in the Florentine Archeology Museum and soon to be sent to the St. Louis Fair [MTP].
George Gregory Smith wrote to Sam, enclosing a letter from the artist Edoardo Gelli; “he wishes to give you a sitting on Sunday and Monday in the afternoon. Will you please let me know if this will suit you” [MTP].
April 9 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “About 10 to night, awful attack—for more than an hour Livy struggled for breath. Clara was in there, Jean & I listened at the door” [NB 47 TS 9]. Note: Hill confuses the “triumph” and midnight conversation Livy had with Clara on Apr. 8 with this 10 p.m. attack on Apr. 9, and suggests a connection between this near-fatal attack and Clara’s public triumph, similar to the time in 1902 when Clara returned to Bar Harbor on the very day of another near fatal attack .
E.A. Hoisington, Mailing Agency in Detroit, Mich. wrote to Sam, sharing his plans to build a library and asking Sam’s advice on what books to include. He also wanted to know when Sam would return to America “and if the little prayer in my heart to see and talk with you can be realized” [MTP].
April 10 Sunday – In Florence, Janet D. Ross wrote to advise Sam, that she was checking out villas for him but had not yet found a suitable one [MTP].
The New York Times article, “Mark Twain To Reform The Language of Italy,” ran this day on p.10, but was datelined March 18; see that entry for the entire article. Budd: “Unusually coherent; SLC discusses Italy and Italian, comments on Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, Henry James, and F. Marion Crawford; comments on Russo-Japanese war” [Budd, “Supplement” ALR 16.1 (Spring 1983) 72]. Budd’s no. 193a.
April 11 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “Mrs. Brocklebank—lunch—” [NB 47 TS 9].
Sam wrote to Harper & Brothers, London office, letter not extant but referred to in Harpers’ Apr. 14 reply; evidently, from the reply, Sam requested copies of “The Dictionary of Dates,” and Howells’ Stops of Various Quills (1895).
Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote from Ponkapog, Mass., saddened by the death of his son Charles after a
long siege of tuberculosis. “Our hearts are full of grief, but there is room in them for sadness over accounts you send us about Mrs. Clemens…tell her that our boy’s illness…not cause us anxiety any more! We all send you love…” [MTP].
Edward St. John Fairman sent several pages of poetry, written in a microscopic hand [MTP]. Note: Sam
wrote on the env. “Damned rubbish. No answer.”
April 12 Tuesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Margaret S. Graham.
It is a charming letter, & comes just in time to do a kind of miracle: that is, add a grace to this April morning, a thing difficult to the verge of impossibility; for the foliage & the flowers are looking their densest
richest & vividest in the flooding sunshine, & far-away Florence, glinting vaguely through her enchanted veil, is a dream!
The Obverse—5 minutes later. The physicians have come to hold a consultation: for our house is a hospital, these 5 months, & the sunshine is all outside of it, there is none within [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.