whole-day thing, too; for the girls are busy as bees, & far away in their corners of this barrack, & so we are not likely to meet, except at dinner—for we all breakfast in bed, & I take no luncheon. I go to bed as soon as dinner is over, for my back remains about as bad as it was in Fairhaven, & I get horrible tired. Now then, don’t you give up the European trip, but keep it in mind & come along; let Dan’l take care of the shop—it will develop him. / With benedictions on you all [MTHHR 565-6].
Sam’s notebook: “I have to keep Kirch. We dare not change doctors—Livy is too frail to risk a change & new experiments” [NB 47 TS 10].
Senator Odoardo Luchini wrote from Florence to Sam.
“After having called on the ufficio del Catasto, I could know the date of the deed concerning the sale of Villa di Quarto, made by the Dr Massari to the Countess.” He told of examining the deed and of looking into her ownership of the villa, the price paid and expenses she had undertaken for it [MTP]. Sam wrote on the env. “Important. Concerns price paid for Villa di Quarto”
May 10 Tuesday – Henry Morton Stanley, the great explorer and one of Sam’s oldest friends, died in London. They first met on Mar. 26, 1867 in St. Louis (see entry), with Stanley, then a reporter, taking in one of Mark Twain’s lectures. See May 11 for Sam’s note to the widow Stanley. As with any news that might disturb Livy, Sam withheld it from her.
Possibly on this day, Sam also wrote to George G. Smith. “It is a stunning portrait, the best I have ever had, & will be finished at noon to-morrow. I hope Prof. Gelli will let me exhibit it in the drawing-room Thursday” [MTP]. Note: Sam last sat for the Gelli portrait on Apr. 27.
Sam’s notebook: “Lady Paget 5 to 7” [NB 47 TS 10].
A note in the DV245 file, MTP: “May 10th Water lacking in 2 closets—2 bath tubs—scanty supply in kitchen.” Sam also wrote several pages now in the file about suing over the lack of water.
May 11 Wednesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to Dorothy T. Stanley, widow of Henry M. Stanley.
I have lost a dear & honored friend—how fast they fall about me now in my age! The world has lost a tried & proved hero. And you—what have you lost? It is beyond estimate—we who know you, & what he was to you, know that. How far he stretches across my life! I knew him when his work was all before him— six years before the great day he wrote his name far-away up on the blue of the sky for the world to see & applaud & remember; I have known him as friend & intimate ever since. It is 37 years. I have known no other friend & intimate so long, except John Hay—a friendship which dates from the same year & the same half of it, the first half of 1867. I grieve with you, & with your family, dear Lady Stanley, it is all I can do; but that I do out of my heart. It would be we, instead of I, if Mrs. Clemens knew, but in all these 20 months that she has lain a prisoner in her bed we have hidden from her all things that could sadden her. Many a friend is gone whom she still asks about & still thinks is living.
In deepest sympathy I beg the privilege of signing myself your friend [MTP].
Sam also replied to Joe Twichell’s Apr. 26:
VILLA DI QUARTO, May 11, ’04.
DEAR JOE,—Yours has this moment arrived—just as I was finished a note to poor Lady Stanley. I
believe the last country-house visit we paid in England was to Stanley’s. Lord, how my friends and
acquaintances fall about me now, in my gray-headed days! Vereschagin, Mommsen, Dvorak, Lenbach, Jokai—
all so recently, and now Stanley. I had known Stanley 37 years. Goodness, who is it I haven’t known? As a rule
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.