April 28 Thursday –
to please you, hardened as you are to that species of confection—no, hardened isn’t the word but—what is it? I can’t at this moment think [MTP]. Note: Joe also asked “isn’t it time, dear old boy, that we had a word from you concerning her?” (Livy).
April 27 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “The Gelli portrait for the St. Louis Fair finished. It hasn’t a defect. /
[Horiz. Line separator] / Write Col. Harvey” [NB 47 TS 10]. Note: see insert of portrait under Mar. 11.
Elisabeth Marbury wrote to Sam, enclosing a financial statement for PW play for week ending mar 12, and check for $36.80 [MTP].
Sam’s notebook: “Livy likes the [Gelli] portrait. It spent the day in her room. It is mine for sitting for it, therefore it is hers. She requires that it be brought back here from St. Louis. It will be as she desires” [NB 47 TS 10].
Francis B. Keene of the US Consular Service, Florence, wrote to Sam.
I never associate you with a silk hat. When one knows a man with a three-decker brain, one never thinks of what covers it. Can it be possible that you wore one to the reception of Mrs Travers-Cox on Tuesday, and that you by mistake took mine when you left? The possibility makes me feel uneasy, for it would mean an annoying discovery to you, and for me it would mean that the honor done to my hat would make my head too large to fit it on its return. I wrote to Mr Venables for suggestions, and he wittily replies that it might be well to begin with Mr Neville, whose villa “Malatesta” is suspiciously named. The hat I took to cover my nakedness was bought in Florence. Mine is American, and was bought in Milwaukee, I think. The shapes are similar, and the sizes also, so that the mistake was a natural one.
A propos of losses, I recall a notice which I saw posted, a few years ago, in the Bear and Fox Inn, at Onteora Park, in the Katskills, one of your old haunts, I believe, for you are reported to have said that the partitions were so thin that you could hear Mrs Soandso next door changing her mind. The notice was written by a very bright man whose name I cannot recall. It was as follows:
A FAITHFUL CANE;
Companion of many years; crooked in shape, but not in character; gnarled in feature but not in disposition; hollow-headed in form but not in fact; hickory in antecedents, old-hickory in the qualities that go to make a good man or a good cane. To the restorer, as well as to the finder, a great reward—of thanks.
I shall telephone you later about that suggestion of mine that you attend one of the Saturday night dinners of the Ponte Vecchio Club, as the jolly crowd of American and English artists call themselves. I saw Mr Rolshoven to-day, and he is to let me know where they arrange to meet next. As soon as I hear, I shall telephone you. He and one or two others whom I have seen were charmed with the idea of having you join the circle. These dinners are altogether informal and Bohemian. Good grub, good wine, good talk, good company. What more does a man want than that for such an occasion? I did not mention good tobacco, for we who are temporarily italianized are apt to forget what that is. I have been carefully nursing some juicy Havanas that I brought over with me. You don’t know what you missed by declining one of them the other day. You are sapping away your young life by the use of Cavours, and the like. Take the blessings that God and the Consul offer you [MTP]. Keene also asked after Livy’s health. Note: Sam did attend the Ponte Vecchio Club on Sat., Mar. 14.
Father Raffaello Stiattesi sent flowers and a note addressed to Jean Clemens [MTP].
April 29 Friday – Thomas Wardle wrote to Sam.
After my very pleasant call on you I came away north and then by the Riviera I reached home. I have thought about that Whiskey cure of yours and it seems to me pure whiskey is a necessity in such a case, and I have hunted out three bottles of the best produced in Scotland which will be sent to you from that country by the Merchants, if not by parcel post, carriage paid [MTP]. Note: “The Whiskey Cure” relates to a 24-page MS
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.