Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister that he’d rec’d his telegram in time and that MacAlister’s brother (Dr. Donald MacAlister) came and consulted on Livy. “He knows the disease,” Sam wrote, “We shall not be scared to death again when last Sunday night’s experience [Livy’s attack] is repeated.” He confided that Livy sat up an hour this day “without damage.”
It was a good & happy thought of yours to telegraph me. (I enclose the telegram, so that you can see how your spelling decays under the electric treatment on the wire.)
Did you forget to send me a cake of that formaline soap? I want it. Let them prepay the duties & send me the bill [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Mrs. Jordan Lawrence Mott, Jr. at the Grand Hotel Vittoria, in Sorrento, declining an invitiation to visit the Motts, due to Livy’s health [MTP].
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Clara made a debut on the concert stage here last Friday evening, & astonished the house—including me—with the richness & volume of her voice, & with her trained ability to handle it. It was a lone hand quite triumphantly played. The congratulations have been abundant & cordial.
Two nights later, when I was just beginning to get over my fortnight’s preliminary nervous strain on Clara’s account, Mrs. Clemens had another of those frightful attacks of breathlessness & stranglings, & we believed she would not come out of it. I am not quite recovered from that, yet.
However, things are looking cheerfuller this afternoon. We have had a consultation of physicians, & they say there is no occasion for alarm, & that is going to be improvement, & that it is really beginning.
The Boston sketch has just arrived & I thank that ten-thousand-dollar secretary of yours for sending it: the one I have heard so much about, recently, as being as unpumpable as the Sphynx, & the only secretary of her sex that either earns that salary or gets it. That sketch is fine, superfine, gilt-edged; you will live one while before you see it bettered. It is a portrait to the life—in it I see you & I hear you, the same as if I were present; & by help of its vivid suggestiveness my fancy can fill in a lot of things the writer had to leave out for lack of room. Five days of fencing was a heavy strain on an ailing man, but if you didn’t enjoy it it is unlikely that anybody found it out—& now you’ve got a reputation that’s worth its cost: you can command your own terms as a witness after this. Well, I am glad you are free again & can take a rest, & I hope everything comes out to your satisfaction. Things seem to be going your way—I suppose Heinze thinks so, too, now that they have cut his comb at last
I am sorry to hear of Mrs. Randall’s illness, & that Mrs. Broughton must suffer another operation—I hope it will succeed perfectly this time; much of Mr. Broughton’s own illness is probably due to anxiety on her account. Now that you are hoping for an opportunity to see me “soon,” I’ll take that to mean that you are coming over. Do—& the quicker the better. Come, & bring the household—I’ll furnish the weather, & warrant it [MTHHR 561-3].
Notes: 1. Katharine Harrison was characterized as the “Sphinx” from her demeanor—at least to reporters. 2. Rogers had been sketched on the stand during his Boston lawsuit in the Addicks case. 3. Frederick A. Heinze, Montana copper magnate who lost rights over Butte copper mines to Rogers. See notes in source for more details on these three notes.
Henry W. Fisher (Fischer) wrote from N.Y.C. to Sam.
“Will you do me the honor to accept, with my best wishes, the set of ‘PRIVATE LIVES OF WILLIAM II’ coming herewith. You once told me of your great and lasting fondness for the Margravine of Bayreuth, well, here is a continuation of the story of Voltaire’s friend.” Fisher also said he’d learned that Sam was now “once more a well man” and hoped the story would make him laugh [Gribben 771; MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.