Sam’s notebook: “Artist dinner about 7” [NB 47 TS 11]. Note: the above gathering; Keene’s letter of Apr. 28 mentions Mr. Rolshoven in connection with the club.
Harper’s Weekly ran an anonymous interview reprinted in James McArthur’s “Books and Bookmen,” p.
Tenney: “Describes MT’s appearance and quotes his views on copyright and Christian Science; photograph: ‘Mark Twain in the Garden of the Villa de Quarto, near Florence.’ Followed by James McArthur’s brief, uncritical description of Adam’s Diary .
May 15 Sunday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto Sam wrote to Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin.
I hope that you will come with your mind & conscience all prepared to commit a lofty & righteous deception—if need be—to save Mrs. Clemens’s life. Tell her you want to make a more thorough examination by the light, of the past few days’ regime, & then tell her there is nothing the matter with her heart that need alarm her.
I was born with an incurable disease, so was everybody—the same one that every machine has—& the knowledge of the fact frightens nobody, damages nobody; but the moment a name is given the disease, the whole thing is changed: fright ensues, & horrible depression, & the life that has learned its sentence is not worth the living. Medicine has its office, it does its share & does it well; but without hope back of it, its forces are crippled & only the physician’s verdict can create that hope when the facts refuse to create it. You can lift the patient up again to where she was before, & I was to see you when you come, & conspire with you to drive her fatal imaginings out of her head [Cyril Clemens 1932 Mark Twain the Letter Writer, p. 102].
“Sunday May 15 / No water in my closet this morning / SLC. / Water closed in Clara’s closet this morning / Preserve this” [MTP: DV245].
May 16 Monday
May 17 Tuesday – Frederick A. Duneka wrote to Sam, letting him know that Mark Twain day at the St. Louis Fair had been postponed until some time in September. The Fair wasn’t yet “an overwhelming success” but it was early. He asked Sam to send his portrait (the Gelli painting) so they might display it “in a splendid window in Fifth Avenue just below the Holland House” [MTP].
Father Nicholas Miale wrote from Spoleto, Italy to Sam, asking after Livy’s health and referring him to a newspaper which he had sent. Sam replied on May 18 [MTP].
May 18 Wednesday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto, Sam replied to Father Nicholas Miale.
Your kind letter of yesterday has reached me, & its friendly spirit & the compliments you pay me in it have greatly gratified me. The newspaper which you have mentioned has not arrived yet, but it will come along presently.
Although I am not a Catholic, I know I can get a fine character from Father Stiattesi, who is my valued friend & nearest neighbor—& I stand ready to give him one whenever he wants it. There is no collusion about this. Each of us uses the other as a model and both of us are improving.
Yes, our stay in Italy is not likely to be short. We are here in the hope that the mildness of the climate will restore my wife’s health which broke down completely 20 months ago. & which must remain frail for many months to come.
With many thanks for your kind wishes dear Father Miale. I am / Sincerely yours …..
The newspaper has come—Delicious [MTP].
Giovanni Bonini of Ascina, Florence, wrote what appears to be an advertisement or a bill, all in Italian, to Sam [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.