considered not the start but close to the end of old age. Neither would add anything of major significance to what he had already accomplished, and neither thought much of the other’s work. James was alienated by Twain’s commercial success; Twain by James’s stylistic obscurity. The more James stayed away, the less he missed America; the more Twain was absent, the more he wanted to return. There was, thought, not the slightest personal animosity between them. “The weather, the air, the light etc. are delicious, and poor dear old Mark Twain,” James wrote, “beguiles the session on the deep piazza.” Twain would have called it a “porch” .
Harper’s Weekly published a full-page portrait of Mark Twain by Italian artist Edoardo Gelli, which was to be exhibited at the St. Louis World’s Fair. No further comment was given [Tenney 39].
September 4 Sunday – In Deal, N.J. Sam wrote to daughter Clara (only the envelope survives) [MTP]. Note:
Postmarked from Deal Beach, N.J Sept.4, 4 p.m., which shows he spent the night of Sept. 3 there, probably at Harvey’s home.
Sam returned early to N.Y.C. where he rode in the park with Clara [Sept. 4 to Crane].
Later he wrote from the Hotel Wolcott to Susan Crane.
Susy dear, will you arrange to have some one keep flowers on those precious graves for me, & send me the account every little while? I shall be very grateful.
How such thoughts reproach me, how they sting me! I seldom thought to bring flowers to Livy when they could have given her a pleasure—now I think of it when they are nothing to her & she does not care for them. I have so many negligences to grieve about—I wish it were not so.
Clara is doing fairly well, nothing more. We drove in the Park this morning [MTP].
Ralph W. Ashcroft wrote from NYC to Sam.
I closed the Plasmon office on Friday morning…after having sent [Harold] Wheeler’s personal belongings to Hammond’s office. I put a sign on the door stating it wouldn’t be opened until Tuesday, the 6th.
Wheeler tried to get in on Friday, but couldn’t do so peaceably. The landlord wouldn’t let him. On Saturday afternoon, he broke into the place, and installed a special policeman with club and revolver to hold possession, and, I presume, to smash my skull….
He is guilty of a criminal act,—if the election of directors last Thursday was legal, as Lauterbach, Baldwin and a well-know corporation lawyer (whom Baldwin consulted on Saturday) say it was beyond a doubt [MTP].
September 5 Monday – Odoardo Luchini wrote to Sam, letter not extant but referred to in Sam’s Sept. 22 reply.
September 6 Tuesday – Sam wrote an aphorism to an unidentified person: “We ought not to use our morals week-days, it gets them out of repair for Sunday / Truly Yours / Mark Twain.” Underneath this Clara Clemens offered her own aphorism: “He who finds the serpent loses himself” [MTP: Lion Hart Autographs 2007
September 7 Wednesday – Clara Clemens left N.Y.C. to spend a month or so resting in Connecticut.
Sam described this in his Sept. 9 to Susan Crane:
I saw Clara off, day before yesterday, to a rest-cure in Connecticut. She is to shut up 4 or 5 weeks, in bed, without books, without companionship, writing no letters, reading no letters, seeing no one but physician & nurse—a horrid solitude, with grief and memory for company [MTP].
September 8 Thursday
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.