[MTP]. Note: postmarked June 7; misdated May 6.
neither were we. She had been chatting cheerfully a moment before, & in an instant she was gone from us & we did not know it. We were not alarmed, we did not know anything had happened. It was a blessed death— she passed away without knowing it. She was all our riches, & she is gone; she was our breath, she was our life, & now we are nothing.
We send you our love—& with it the love of you that was in her heart when she died [MTP].
FUNERAL OF MRS. CLEMENS
Mark Twain is Coming to America with
His Wife’s Body.
FLORENCE, June 7.—A funeral service of the simplest character took place over the body of Mrs. Samuel L. Clemens in the Villa Quarto to-day after a vexatious visit from sanitary officers and compliance with annoying regulations. Only members of the family were present.
The coffin was taken to a temporary vault, from which it will be sent to Genoa and placed aboard a German steamer sailing for New York on June 25.
Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) will go to the United States with the body [New York Times, June 8, 1904, p.9] Note: the family sailed from Naples on June 28.
In London William Dean Howells wrote to Sam.
The news has just reached us. I will not try to say anything in the stupid notion of trying to help you. But I must, as if it had never occurred to me before, realize in words, that the character which now remains a memory, was one of the most perfect ever formed on the earth. How often John and I have spoken of that wonderful goodness, that soul of exquisite kindness, which was so strong and so gentle! Poor old fellow; I am so sorry for you and for your girls. But they will have the comfort of taking up her place in your life. What nonsense! Even they cannot do that. Well! Here are my love and pity. / Yours ever. … [MTHL 2: 786].
Sam’s notebook: “Under Jan 15, we kept Mrs. Orion Clemens’s death, there recorded, from Livy. She never learned of it. / Later, we kept Sir Henry M. Stanley’s death from her. / She died without ever finding out that a year & a half ago Jean & afterwards Clara passed through serious illnesses under the same roof with her” [NB 47 TS 12].
Mr. Anderson in Chicago wrote a letter of condolence
Guido Biagi wrote a letter of condolence to Sam [MTP].
Andrew Chatto wrote a letter of condolence to Sam. “Your great sorrow echoes sympathetically through my heart—Oh the pity of it” [MTP].
Moncure D. Conway wrote a letter of condolence to Sam. “Old comrade of happy years, comrade now in bereavement…” [MTP].
Louise H. Dimmick wrote a letter of condolence to Sam, from Scranton, Pa.. [MTP].
Frederick A. Duneka wrote: “I am sorry, so sorry for you” [MTP].
John M. Hay in Washington, D.C. wrote to Sam. “…all we can say is that thousands of people are sorrowing with you…” [MTP].
Dr. Donald MacAlister wrote a line of condolence to Sam [MTP].
Theodore Weld Stanton wrote a letter of condolence to Sam [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.