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The Letters Of Mark Twain, Vol. 4 by Mark Twain

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tide large enough to satisfy the steady outflow of expense. A sale of
twenty-five sets a day meant prosperity on paper, but unless capital
could be raised from some other source to make and market those books
through a period of months, perhaps even years, to come, it meant
bankruptcy in reality. It was Hall's job, with Clemens to back him, to
keep their ship afloat on these steadily ebbing financial waters. It was
also Hall's affair to keep Mark Twain cheerful, to look pleasant himself,
and to show how they were steadily getting rich because orders were
pouring in, though a cloud that resembled bankruptcy loomed always a
little higher upon the horizon. If Hall had not been young and an
optimist, he would have been frightened out of his boots early in the
game. As it was, he made a brave steady fight, kept as cheerful and
stiff an upper lip as possible, always hoping that something would
happen--some grand sale of his other books, some unexpected inflow from
the type-setter interests--anything that would sustain his ship until the
L. A. L. tide should turn and float it into safety.

Clemens had faith in Hall and was fond of him. He never found fault with
him; he tried to accept his encouraging reports at their face value. He
lent the firm every dollar of his literary earnings not absolutely needed
for the family's support; he signed new notes; he allowed Mrs. Clemens to
put in such remnants of her patrimony as the type-setter had spared.

The situation in 1893 was about as here outlined. The letters to Hall of
that year are frequent and carry along the story. To any who had formed
the idea that Mark Twain was irascible, exacting, and faultfinding, they
will perhaps be a revelation.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

FLORENCE, Jan. 1, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--Yours of Dec. 19 is to hand, and Mrs. Clemens is deeply
distressed, for she thinks I have been blaming you or finding fault with
you about something. But most surely that cannot be. I tell her that
although I am prone to write hasty and regrettable things to other
people, I am not a bit likely to write such things to you. I can't
believe I have done anything so ungrateful. If I have, pile coals of
fire on my head, for I deserve it!

I wonder if my letter of credit isn't an encumbrance? Do you have to
deposit the whole amount it calls for? If that is so, it is an
encumbrance, and we must withdraw it and take the money out of soak.
I have never made drafts upon it except when compelled, because I thought
you deposited nothing against it, and only had to put up money that I
drew upon it; that therefore the less I drew the easier it would be for
you.

I am dreadfully sorry I didn't know it would be a help to you to let my
monthly check pass over a couple of months. I could have stood that by
drawing what is left of Mrs. Clemens's letter of credit, and we would
have done it cheerfully.

I will write Whitmore to send you the "Century" check for $1,000, and you
can collect Mrs. Dodge's $2,000 (Whitmore has power of attorney which I
think will enable him to endorse it over to you in my name.) If you need
that $3,000 put it in the business and use it, and send Whitmore the
Company's note for a year. If you don't need it, turn it over to Mr.
Halsey and let him invest it for me.

I've a mighty poor financial head, and I may be all wrong--but tell me if
I am wrong in supposing that in lending my own firm money at 6 per cent I
pay 4 of it myself and so really get only a per cent? Now don't laugh if
that is stupid.

Of course my friend declined to buy a quarter interest in the L. A. L.
for $200,000. I judged he would. I hoped he would offer $100,000, but
he didn't. If the cholera breaks out in America, a few months hence, we
can't borrow or sell; but if it doesn't we must try hard to raise
$100,000. I wish we could do it before there is a cholera scare.

I have been in bed two or three days with a cold, but I got up an hour
ago, and I believe I am all right again.

How I wish I had appreciated the need of $100,000 when I was in New York
last summer! I would have tried my best to raise it. It would make us
able to stand 1,000 sets of L. A. L. per month, but not any more, I
guess.

You have done magnificently with the business, and we must raise the
money somehow, to enable you to reap the reward of all that labor.
Sincerely Yours
S. L. CLEMENS.

"Whitmore," in this letter, was F. G. Whitmore, of Hartford, Mark Twain's
financial agent. The money due from Mrs. Dodge was a balance on Tom
Sawyer Abroad, which had been accepted by St. Nicholas. Mr. Halsey was a
down-town broker.

Clemens, who was growing weary of the constant demands of L. A. L., had
conceived the idea that it would be well to dispose of a portion of it
for enough cash to finance its manufacture.

We don't know who the friend was to whom he offered a quarter interest
for the modest sum of two hundred thousand dollars. But in the next
letter we discover designs on a certain very canny Scotchman of Skibo.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

FLORENCE, Jan. 28, '92.
DEAR MR. HALL,--I want to throw out a suggestion and see what you think
of it. We have a good start, and solid ground under us; we have a
valuable reputation; our business organization is practical, sound and
well-devised; our publications are of a respect-worthy character and of a
money-breeding species. Now then I think that the association with us of
some one of great name and with capital would give our business a
prodigious impetus--that phrase is not too strong.

As I look at it, it is not money merely that is needed; if that were all,
the firm has friends enough who would take an interest in a paying
venture; we need some one who has made his life a success not only from a
business standpoint, but with that achievement back of him, has been
great enough to make his power felt as a thinker and a literary man. It
is a pretty usual thing for publishers to have this sort of partners.
Now you see what a power Carnegie is, and how far his voice reaches in
the several lines I speak of. Do you know him? You do by correspondence
or purely business talks about his books--but personally, I mean? so that
it would not be an intrusion for you to speak to him about this desire of
mine--for I would like you to put it before him, and if you fail to
interest him in it, you will probably get at least some valuable
suggestions from him. I'll enclose a note of introduction--you needn't
use it if you don't need to.
Yours S. L. C.

P. S. Yes, I think I have already acknowledged the Dec. $1,000 and the
Jan. $500--and if another $500 was mailed 3 days ago there's no hiatus.

I think I also reminded you that the new letter of credit does not cover
the unexpended balance of the old one but falls considerably short of it.

Do your best with Carnegie, and don't wait to consider any of my
intermediate suggestions or talks about our raising half of the $200,000
ourselves. I mean, wait for nothing. To make my suggestion available I
should have to go over and see Arnot, and I don't want to until I can
mention Carnegie's name to him as going in with us.

My book is type-written and ready for print--"Pudd'nhead Wilson-a Tale."
(Or, "Those Extraordinary Twins," if preferable.)

It makes 82,500 words--12,000 more than Huck Finn. But I don't know what
to do with it. Mrs. Clemens thinks it wouldn't do to go to the Am. Pub.
Co. or anywhere outside of our own house; we have no subscription
machinery, and a book in the trade is a book thrown away, as far as
money-profit goes. I am in a quandary. Give me a lift out of it.

I will mail the book to you and get you to examine it and see if it is
good or if it is bad. I think it is good, and I thought the Claimant
bad, when I saw it in print; but as for real judgment, I think I am
destitute of it.

I am writing a companion to the Prince and Pauper, which is half done and
will make 200,000 words; and I have had the idea that if it were gotten
up in handsome style, with many illustrations and put at a high enough
price maybe the L. A. L. canvassers would take it and run it with that
book. Would they? It could be priced anywhere from $4 up to $10,
according to how it was gotten up, I suppose.

I don't want it to go into a magazine.
S. L. C.

I am having several short things type-"writered." I will send them to
you presently. I like the Century and Harper's, but I don't know that I
have any business to object to the Cosmopolitan if they pay as good
rates. I suppose a man ought to stick to one magazine, but that may be
only superstition. What do you think?
S. L. C.

"The companion to The Prince and the Pauper," mentioned in this
letter, was the story of Joan of Arc, perhaps the most finished of
Mark Twain's literary productions. His interest in Joan had been
first awakened when, as a printer's apprentice in Hannibal, he had
found blowing along the street a stray leaf from some printed story
of her life. That fragment of history had pictured Joan in prison,
insulted and mistreated by ruffians. It had aroused all the
sympathy and indignation in the boy, Sam Clemens; also, it had
awakened his interest in history, and, indeed, in all literature.

His love for the character of Joan had grown with the years, until
in time he had conceived the idea of writing her story. As far back
as the early eighties he had collected material for it, and had
begun to make the notes. One thing and another had interfered, and
he had found no opportunity for such a story. Now, however, in
Florence, in the ancient villa, and in the quiet garden, looking
across the vineyards and olive groves to the dream city along the
Arno, he felt moved to take up the tale of the shepherd girl of
France, the soldier maid, or, as he called her, "The noble child,
the most innocent, the most lovely, the most adorable the ages have
produced." His surroundings and background would seem to have been
perfect, and he must have written with considerable ease to have
completed a hundred thousand words in a period of not more than six
weeks.

Perhaps Hall did not even go to see Carnegie; at all events nothing
seems to have come of the idea. Once, at a later time, Mask Twain
himself mentioned the matter to Carnegie, and suggested to him that
it was poor financiering to put all of one's eggs into one basket,
meaning into iron. But Carnegie answered, "That's a mistake; put
all your eggs into one basket and watch that basket."

It was March when Clemens felt that once more his presence was
demanded in America. He must see if anything could be realized from
the type-setter or L. A. L.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

March 13, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--I am busy getting ready to sail the 22d, in the Kaiser
Wilhelm II.

I send herewith 2 magazine articles.

The Story contains 3,800 to 4,000 words.

The "Diary" contains 3,800 words.

Each would make about 4 pages of the Century.

The Diary is a gem, if I do say it myself that shouldn't.

If the Cosmopolitan wishes to pay $600 for either of them or $1,200 for
both, gather in the check, and I will use the money in America instead of
breaking into your treasury.

If they don't wish to trade for either, send the articles to the Century,
without naming a price, and if their check isn't large enough I will call
and abuse them when I come.

I signed and mailed the notes yesterday.
Yours
S. L. C.

Clemens reached New York on the 3d of April and made a trip to
Chicago, but accomplished nothing, except to visit the World's Fair
and be laid up with a severe cold. The machine situation had not
progressed. The financial stringency of 1893 had brought everything
to a standstill. The New York bank would advance Webster & Co. no
more money. So disturbed were his affairs, so disordered was
everything, that sometimes he felt himself as one walking amid
unrealities. A fragment of a letter to Mrs. Crane conveys this:

"I dreamed I was born and grew up and was a pilot on the Mississippi
and a miner and a journalist in Nevada and a pilgrim in the Quaker
City, and had a wife and children and went to live in a villa at
Florence--and this dream goes on and on and sometimes seems so real
that I almost believe it is real. I wonder if it is? But there is
no way to tell, for if one applies tests they would be part of the
dream, too, and so would simply aid the deceit. I wish I knew
whether it is a dream or real."

He saw Warner, briefly, in America; also Howells, now living in New
York, but he had little time for visiting. On May 13th he sailed
again for Europe on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. On the night before
sailing he sent Howells a good-by word.

To W. D. Howells, in New York City:

MURRAY HILL HOTEL, NEW YORE, May 12, 1893.
Midnight.
DEAR HOWELLS--I am so sorry I missed you.

I am very glad to have that book for sea entertainment, and I thank you
ever so much for it.

I've had a little visit with Warner at last; I was getting afraid I
wasn't going to have a chance to see him at all. I forgot to tell you
how thoroughly I enjoyed your account of the country printing office, and
how true it all was and how intimately recognizable in all its details.
But Warner was full of delight over it, and that reminded me, and I am
glad, for I wanted to speak of it.

You have given me a book; Annie Trumbull has sent me her book; I bought a
couple of books; Mr. Hall gave me a choice German book; Laflan gave me
two bottles of whisky and a box of cigars--I go to sea nobly equipped.

Good-bye and all good fortune attend you and yours--and upon you all I
leave my benediction.
MARK.

Mention has already been made of the Ross home being very near to
Viviani, and the association of the Ross and Clemens families.
There was a fine vegetable garden on the Ross estate, and it was in
the interest of it that the next letter was written to the Secretary
of Agriculture.

To Hon. J. Sterling Morton, in Washington, D. C.:
Editorial Department Century Magazine, Union Square,

NEW YORK, April 6, 1893.
TO THE HON. J. STERLING MORTON,--Dear Sir: Your petitioner, Mark Twain,
a poor farmer of Connecticut--indeed, the poorest one there, in the
opinion of many-desires a few choice breeds of seed corn (maize), and in
return will zealously support the Administration in all ways honorable
and otherwise.

To speak by the card, I want these things to hurry to Italy to an English
lady. She is a neighbor of mine outside of Florence, and has a great
garden and thinks she could raise corn for her table if she had the right
ammunition. I myself feel a warm interest in this enterprise, both on
patriotic grounds and because I have a key to that garden, which I got
made from a wax impression. It is not very good soil, still I think she
can grow enough for one table and I am in a position to select the table.
If you are willing to aid and abet a countryman (and Gilder thinks you
are,) please find the signature and address of your petitioner below.

Respectfully and truly yours.
MARK TWAIN,

67 Fifth Avenue, New York.

P. S.--A handful of choice (Southern) watermelon seeds would pleasantly
add to that lady's employments and give my table a corresponding lift.

His idea of business values had moderated considerably by the time
he had returned to Florence. He was not hopeless yet, but he was
clearly a good deal disheartened--anxious for freedom.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

FLORENCE May 30, '93
DEAR MR. HALL,--You were to cable me if you sold any machine royalties--
so I judge you have not succeeded.

This has depressed me. I have been looking over the past year's letters
and statements and am depressed still more.

I am terribly tired of business. I am by nature and disposition unfitted
for it and I want to get out of it. I am standing on the Mount Morris
volcano with help from the machine a long way off--doubtless a long way
further off than the Connecticut Co. imagines.

Now here is my idea for getting out.

The firm owes Mrs. Clemens and me--I do not know quite how much, but it
is about $170,000 or $175,000, 1 suppose (I make this guess from the
documents here, whose technicalities confuse me horribly.)

The firm owes other sums, but there is stock and cash assets to cover the
entire indebtedness and $116,679.20 over. Is that it? In addition we
have the L. A. L. plates and copyright, worth more than $130,000--is
that correct?

That is to say, we have property worth about $250,000 above indebtedness,
I suppose--or, by one of your estimates, $300,000? The greater part of
the first debts to me is in notes paying 6 percent. The rest (the old
$70,000 or whatever it is) pays no interest.

Now then, will Harper or Appleton, or Putnam give me $200,000 for those
debts and my two-thirds interest in the firm? (The firm of course taking
the Mount Morris and all such obligations off my hands and leaving me
clear of all responsibility.)

I don't want much money. I only want first class notes--$200,000 worth
of them at 6 per cent, payable monthly;--yearly notes, renewable annually
for 3 years, with $5,000 of the principal payable at the beginning and
middle of each year. After that, the notes renewable annually and
(perhaps) a larger part of the principal payable semi-annually.

Please advise me and suggest alterations and emendations of the above
scheme, for I need that sort of help, being ignorant of business and not
able to learn a single detail of it.

Such a deal would make it easy for a big firm to pour in a big cash
capital and jump L. A. L. up to enormous prosperity. Then your one-third
would be a fortune--and I hope to see that day!

I enclose an authority to use with Whitmore in case you have sold any
royalties. But if you can't make this deal don't make any. Wait a
little and see if you can't make the deal. Do make the deal if you
possibly can. And if any presence shall be necessary in order to
complete it I will come over, though I hope it can be done without that.

Get me out of business!

And I will be yours forever gratefully,
S. L. CLEMENS.

My idea is, that I am offering my 2/3 of L. A. L. and the business for
thirty or forty thousand dollars. Is that it?

P. S. S. The new firm could retain my books and reduce them to a
10 percent royalty. S. L. C.

To Rev. Jos. H. Twichell, in Hartford:

VILLA VIVIANI, SETTIGNANO (FLORENCE)
June 9, '93.
DEAR JOE,--The sea voyage set me up and I reached here May 27 in
tolerable condition--nothing left but weakness, cough all gone.

Old Sir Henry Layard was here the other day, visiting our neighbor Janet
Ross, daughter of Lady Duff Gordon, and since then I have been reading
his account of the adventures of his youth in the far East. In a
footnote he has something to say about a sailor which I thought might
interest you--viz:

"This same quartermaster was celebrated among the English in Mesopotamia
for an entry which he made in his log-book-after a perilous storm; 'The
windy and watery elements raged. Tears and prayers was had recourse to,
but was of no manner of use. So we hauled up the anchor and got round
the point.'"

There--it isn't Ned Wakeman; it was before his day.

With love,
MARK.

They closed Villa Viviani in June and near the end of the month
arrived in Munich in order that Mrs. Clemens might visit some of the
German baths. The next letter is written by her and shows her deep
sympathy with Hall in his desperate struggle. There have been few
more unselfish and courageous women in history than Mark Twain's
wife.

From Mrs. Clemens to Mr. Hall, in New York:

June 27th 1893
MUNICH.
DEAR MR. HALL,--Your letter to Mr. Clemens of June 16th has just reached
here; as he has gone to Berlin for Clara I am going to send you just a
line in answer to it.

Mr. Clemens did not realize what trouble you would be in when his letter
should reach you or he would not have sent it just then. I hope you will
not worry any more than you can help. Do not let our interests weigh on
you too heavily. We both know you will, as you always have, look in
every way to the best interests of all.

I think Mr. Clemens is right in feeling that he should get out of
business, that he is not fitted for it; it worries him too much.

But he need be in no haste about it, and of course, it would be the very
farthest from his desire to imperil, in the slightest degree, your
interests in order to save his own.

I am sure that I voice his wish as well as mine when I say that he would
simply like you to bear in mind the fact that he greatly desires to be
released from his present anxiety and worry, at a time when it shall not
endanger your interest or the safety of the business.

I am more sorry than I can express that this letter of Mr. Clemens'
should have reached you when you were struggling under such terrible
pressure. I hope now that the weight is not quite so heavy. He would
not have written you about the money if he had known that it was an
inconvenience for you to send it. He thought the book-keeper whose duty
it is to forward it had forgotten.

We can draw on Mr. Langdon for money for a few weeks until things are a
little easier with you. As Mr. Clemens wrote you we would say "do not
send us any more money at present" if we were not afraid to do so. I
will say, however, do not trouble yourself if for a few weeks you are not
able to send the usual amount.

Mr. Clemens and I have the greatest possible desire, not to increase in
any way your burdens, and sincerely wish we might aid you.

I trust my brother may be able, in his talk with you, to throw some
helpful light on the situation.

Hoping you will see a change for the better and begin to reap the fruit
of your long and hard labor.
Believe me
Very Cordially yours
OLIVIA L. CLEMENS.

Hall, naturally, did not wish to be left alone with the business. He
realized that his credit would suffer, both at the bank and with the
public, if his distinguished partner should retire. He wrote, therefore,
proposing as an alternate that they dispose of the big subscription set
that was swamping them. It was a good plan--if it would work--and we
find Clemens entering into it heartily.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

MUNICH, July 3, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--You make a suggestion which has once or twice flitted
dimly through my mind heretofore to wit, sell L. A. L.

I like that better than the other scheme, for it is no doubt feasible,
whereas the other is perhaps not.

The firm is in debt, but L. A. L. is free--and not only free but has
large money owing to it. A proposition to sell that by itself to a big
house could be made without embarrassment we merely confess that we
cannot spare capital from the rest of the business to run it on the huge
scale necessary to make it an opulent success.

It will be selling a good thing--for somebody; and it will be getting rid
of a load which we are clearly not able to carry. Whoever buys will have
a noble good opening--a complete equipment, a well organized business,
a capable and experienced manager, and enterprise not experimental but
under full sail, and immediately able to pay 50 per cent a year on every
dollar the publisher shall actually invest in it--I mean in making and
selling the books.

I am miserably sorry to be adding bothers and torments to the over-supply
which you already have in these hideous times, but I feel so troubled,
myself, considering the dreary fact that we are getting deeper and deeper
in debt and the L. A. L. getting to be a heavier and heavier burden all
the time, that I must bestir myself and seek a way of relief.

It did not occur to me that in selling out I would injure you--for that I
am not going to do. But to sell L. A. L. will not injure you it will put
you in better shape.
Sincerely Yours
S. L. CLEMENS.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

July 8, '92.
DEAR MR. HALL,--I am sincerely glad you are going to sell L. A. L. I am
glad you are shutting off the agents, and I hope the fatal book will be
out of our hands before it will be time to put them on again. With
nothing but our non-existent capital to work with the book has no value
for us, rich a prize as it will be to any competent house that gets it.

I hope you are making an effort to sell before you discharge too many
agents, for I suppose the agents are a valuable part of the property.

We have been stopping in Munich for awhile, but we shall make a break for
some country resort in a few days now.
Sincerely Yours
S. L. C.

July 8
P. S. No, I suppose I am wrong in suggesting that you wait a moment
before discharging your L. A. L. agents--in fact I didn't mean that.
I judge your only hope of salvation is in discharging them all at once,
since it is their commissions that threaten to swamp us. It is they who
have eaten up the $14,000 I left with you in such a brief time, no doubt.

I feel panicky.

I think the sale might be made with better advantage, however, now, than
later when the agents have got out of the purchaser's reach.
S. L. C.

P. S. No monthly report for many months.

Those who are old enough to remember the summer of 1893 may recall
it as a black financial season. Banks were denying credit,
businesses were forced to the wall. It was a poor time to float any
costly enterprise. The Chicago company who was trying to build the
machines made little progress. The book business everywhere was
bad. In a brief note following the foregoing letters Clemens wrote
Hall:

"It is now past the middle of July and no cablegram to say the
machine is finished. We are afraid you are having miserable days
and worried nights, and we sincerely wish we could relieve you, but
it is all black with us and we don't know any helpful thing to say
or do."

He inclosed some kind of manuscript proposition for John Brisben
Walker, of the Cosmopolitan, with the comment: "It is my ingenious
scheme to protect the family against the alms-house for one more
year--and after that--well, goodness knows! I have never felt so
desperate in my life--and good reason, for I haven't got a penny to
my name, and Mrs. Clemens hasn't enough laid up with Langdon to keep
us two months."

It was like Mark Twain, in the midst of all this turmoil, to project
an entirely new enterprise; his busy mind was always visioning
success in unusual undertakings, regardless of immediate conditions
and the steps necessary to achievement.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

July 26, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--..... I hope the machine will be finished this month;
but it took me four years and cost me $100,000 to finish the other
machine after it was apparently entirely complete and setting type like a
house-afire.

I wonder what they call "finished." After it is absolutely perfect it
can't go into a printing-office until it has had a month's wear, running
night and day, to get the bearings smooth, I judge.

I may be able to run over about mid-October. Then if I find you relieved
of L. A. L. we will start a magazine inexpensive, and of an entirely
unique sort. Arthur Stedman and his father editors of it. Arthur could
do all the work, merely submitting it to his father for approval.

The first number should pay--and all subsequent ones--25 cents a number.
Cost of first number (20,000 copies) $2,000. Give most of them away,
sell the rest. Advertising and other expenses--cost unknown. Send one
to all newspapers--it would get a notice--favorable, too.

But we cannot undertake it until L. A. L, is out of the way. With our
hands free and some capital to spare, we could make it hum.

Where is the Shelley article? If you have it on hand, keep it and I will
presently tell you what to do with it.

Don't forget to tell me.
Yours Sincerely
S. L. C.

The Shelley article mentioned in this letter was the "Defense of
Harriet Sheller," one of the very best of his essays. How he could
have written this splendid paper at a time of such distraction
passes comprehension. Furthermore, it is clear that he had revised,
indeed rewritten, the long story of Pudd'nhead Wilson.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

July 30, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--This time "Pudd'nhead Wilson" is a success! Even Mrs.
Clemens, the most difficult of critics, confesses it, and without
reserves or qualifications. Formerly she would not consent that it be
published either before or after my death. I have pulled the twins apart
and made two individuals of them; I have sunk them out of sight, they are
mere flitting shadows, now, and of no importance; their story has
disappeared from the book. Aunt Betsy Hale has vanished wholly, leaving
not a trace behind; aunt Patsy Cooper and her daughter Rowena have almost
disappeared--they scarcely walk across the stage. The whole story is
centered on the murder and the trial; from the first chapter the movement
is straight ahead without divergence or side-play to the murder and the
trial; everything that is done or said or that happens is a preparation
for those events. Therefore, 3 people stand up high, from beginning to
end, and only 3--Pudd'nhead, "Tom" Driscoll, and his nigger mother,
Roxana; none of the others are important, or get in the way of the story
or require the reader's attention. Consequently, the scenes and episodes
which were the strength of the book formerly are stronger than ever, now.

When I began this final reconstruction the story contained 81,500 words,
now it contains only 58,000. I have knocked out everything that delayed
the march of the story--even the description of a Mississippi steamboat.
There's no weather in, and no scenery--the story is stripped for flight!

Now, then what is she worth? The amount of matter is but 3,000 words
short of the American Claimant, for which the syndicate paid $12,500.
There was nothing new in that story, but the finger-prints in this one
is virgin ground--absolutely fresh, and mighty curious and interesting
to everybody.

I don't want any more syndicating--nothing short of $20,000, anyway, and
that I can't get--but won't you see how much the Cosmopolitan will stand?

Do your best for me, for I do not sleep these nights, for visions of the
poor-house.

This in spite of the hopeful tone of yours of 11th to Langdon (just
received) for in me hope is very nearly expiring. Everything does look
so blue, so dismally blue!

By and by I shall take up the Rhone open-boat voyage again, but not now-
we are going to be moving around too much. I have torn up some of it,
but still have 15,000 words that Mrs. Clemens approves of, and that I
like. I may go at it in Paris again next winter, but not unless I know I
can write it to suit me.

Otherwise I shall tackle Adam once more, and do him in a kind of a
friendly and respectful way that will commend him to the Sunday schools.
I've been thinking out his first life-days to-day and framing his
childish and ignorant impressions and opinions for him.

Will ship Pudd'nhead in a few days. When you get it cable

Mark Twain
Care Brownship, London
Received.

I mean to ship "Pudd'nhead Wilson" to you-say, tomorrow. It'll furnish
me hash for awhile I reckon. I am almost sorry it is finished; it was
good entertainment to work at it, and kept my mind away from things.

We leave here in about ten days, but the doctors have changed our plans
again. I think we shall be in Bohemia or thereabouts till near the end
of September, then go to Paris and take a rest.
Yours Sincerely
S. L. C.

P. S. Mrs. Clemens has come in since, and read your letter and is deeply
distressed. She thinks that in some letter of mine I must have
reproached you. She says it is wonderful that you have kept the ship
afloat in this storm that has seen fleets and fleets go down; that from
what she learns of the American business-situation from her home letters
you have accomplished a marvel in the circumstances, and that she cannot
bear to have a word said to you that shall voice anything but praise and
the heartiest appreciation--and not the shadow of a reproach will she
allow.

I tell her I didn't reproach you and never thought of such a thing. And
I said I would break open my letter and say so.

Mrs. Clemens says I must tell you not to send any money for a month or
two--so that you may be afforded what little relief is in our power.
All right--I'm willing; (this is honest) but I wish Brer Chatto would
send along his little yearly contribution. I dropped him a line about
another matter a week ago--asked him to subscribe for the Daily News for
me--you see I wanted to remind him in a covert way that it was pay-up
time--but doubtless I directed the letter to you or some one else, for I
don't hear from him and don't get any Daily News either.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

Aug. 6, '93.
DEAR MR. HALL,--I am very sorry--it was thoughtless in me. Let the
reports go. Send me once a month two items, and two only:

Cash liabilities--(so much)
Cash assets--(so much)

I can perceive the condition of the business at a glance, then, and that
will be sufficient.

Here we never see a newspaper, but even if we did I could not come
anywhere near appreciating or correctly estimating the tempest you have
been buffeting your way through--only the man who is in it can do that--
but I have tried not to burden you thoughtlessly or wantonly. I have
been wrought and unsettled in mind by apprehensions, and that is a thing
that is not helpable when one is in a strange land and sees his resources
melt down to a two months' supply and can't see any sure daylight beyond.
The bloody machine offered but a doubtful outlook--and will still offer
nothing much better for a long time to come; for when Davis's "three
weeks" is up there's three months' tinkering to follow I guess. That is
unquestionably the boss machine of the world, but is the toughest one on
prophets, when it is in an incomplete state, that has ever seen the
light. Neither Davis nor any other man can foretell with any
considerable approach to certainty when it will be ready to get down to
actual work in a printing office.

[No signature.]

Three days after the foregoing letter was written he wrote, briefly:

"Great Scott but it's a long year-for you and me! I never knew the
almanac to drag so. At least since I was finishing that other
machine.

"I watch for your letters hungrily--just as I used to watch for the
cablegram saying the machine's finished; but when 'next week
certainly' swelled into 'three weeks sure' I recognized the old
familiar tune I used to hear so much. Ward don't know what sick-
heartedness is--but he is in a way to find out."

Always the quaint form of his humor, no matter how dark the way.
We may picture him walking the floor, planning, scheming, and
smoking--always smoking--trying to find a way out. It was not the
kind of scheming that many men have done under the circumstances;
not scheming to avoid payment of debts, but to pay them.

To Fred J. Hall, in New York:

Aug. 14, '93
DEAR MR. HALL,--I am very glad indeed if you and Mr. Langdon are able to
see any daylight ahead. To me none is visible. I strongly advise that
every penny that comes in shall be applied to paying off debts. I may be
in error about this, but it seems to me that we have no other course
open. We can pay a part of the debts owing to outsiders--none to the
Clemenses. In very prosperous times we might regard our stock and
copyrights as assets sufficient, with the money owing to us, to square up
and quit even, but I suppose we may not hope for such luck in the present
condition of things.

What I am mainly hoping for, is to save my royalties. If they come into
danger I hope you will cable me, so that I can come over and try to save
them, for if they go I am a beggar.

I would sail to-day if I had anybody to take charge of my family and help
them through the difficult journeys commanded by the doctors. I may be
able to sail ten days hence; I hope so, and expect so.

We can never resurrect the L. A. L. I would not spend any more money on
that book. You spoke, a while back, of trying to start it up again as a
preparation to disposing of it, but we are not in shape to venture that,
I think. It would require more borrowing, and we must not do that.
Yours Sincerely
S. L. C.

Aug. 16. I have thought, and thought, but I don't seem to arrive in any
very definite place. Of course you will not have an instant's safety
until the bank debts are paid. There is nothing to be thought of but to
hand over every penny as fast as it comes in--and that will be slow
enough! Or could you secure them by pledging part of our cash assets
and--

I am coming over, just as soon as I can get the family moved and settled.
S. L. C.

Two weeks following this letter he could endure the suspense no
longer, and on August 29th sailed once more for America. In New
York, Clemens settled down at the Players Club, where he could live
cheaply, and undertook some literary work while he was casting about
for ways and means to relieve the financial situation. Nothing
promising occurred, until one night at the Murray Hill Hotel he was
introduced by Dr. Clarence C. Rice to Henry H. Rogers, of the
Standard Oil group of financiers. Rogers had a keen sense of humor
and had always been a great admirer of Mark Twain's work. It was a
mirthful evening, and certainly an eventful one in Mark Twain's
life. A day or two later Doctor Rice asked the millionaire to
interest himself a little in Clemens's business affairs, which he
thought a good deal confused. Just what happened is not remembered
now, but from the date of the next letter we realize that a
discussion of the matter by Clemens and Rogers must have followed
pretty promptly.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Europe:

Oct. 18, '93.
DEAR, DEAR SWEETHEART,--I don't seem to get even half a chance to write
you, these last two days, and yet there's lots to say.

Apparently everything is at last settled as to the giveaway of L. A. L.,
and the papers will be signed and the transfer made to-morrow morning.

Meantime I have got the best and wisest man in the whole Standard Oil
group of mufti-millionaires a good deal interested in looking into the
type-setter (this is private, don't mention it.) He has been searching
into that thing for three weeks, and yesterday he said to me, "I find the
machine to be all you represented it--I have here exhaustive reports from
my own experts, and I know every detail of its capacity, its immense
value, its construction, cost, history, and all about its inventor's
character. I know that the New York Co. and the Chicago Co. are both
stupid, and that they are unbusinesslike people, destitute of money and
in a hopeless boggle."

Then he told me the scheme he had planned, then said: "If I can arrange
with these people on this basis--it will take several weeks to find out--
I will see to it that they get the money they need. Then the thing will
move right along and your royalties will cease to be waste paper. I will
post you the minute my scheme fails or succeeds. In the meantime, you
stop walking the floor. Go off to the country and try to be gay. You
may have to go to walking again, but don't begin till I tell you my
scheme has failed." And he added: "Keep me posted always as to where you
are--for if I need you and can use you--I want to know where to put my
hand on you."

If I should even divulge the fact that the Standard Oil is merely talking
remotely about going into the type-setter, it would send my royalties up.

With worlds and worlds of love and kisses to you all,
SAML.

With so great a burden of care shifted to the broad financial shoulders
of H. H. Rogers, Mark Twain's spirits went ballooning, soaring toward the
stars. He awoke, too, to some of the social gaieties about him, and
found pleasure in the things that in the hour of his gloom had seemed
mainly mockery. We find him going to a Sunday evening at Howells's, to
John Mackay's, and elsewhere.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

Dec. 2, '93.
LIVY DARLING,--Last night at John Mackay's the dinner consisted of soup,
raw oysters, corned beef and cabbage, and something like a custard.
I ate without fear or stint, and yet have escaped all suggestion of
indigestion. The men present were old gray Pacific-coasters whom I knew
when I and they were young and not gray. The talk was of the days when
we went gypsying a long time ago--thirty years. Indeed it was a talk of
the dead. Mainly that. And of how they looked, and the harum-scarum
things they did and said. For there were no cares in that life, no aches
and pains, and not time enough in the day (and three-fourths of the
night) to work off one's surplus vigor and energy. Of the mid-night
highway robbery joke played upon me with revolvers at my head on the
windswept and desolate Gold Hill Divide, no witness is left but me, the
victim. All the friendly robbers are gone. These old fools last night
laughed till they cried over the particulars of that old forgotten crime.

John Mackay has no family here but a pet monkey--a most affectionate and
winning little devil. But he makes trouble for the servants, for he is
full of curiosity and likes to take everything out of the drawers and
examine it minutely; and he puts nothing back. The examinations of
yesterday count for nothing to-day--he makes a new examination every day.
But he injures nothing.

I went with Laffan to the Racquet Club the other night and played,
billiards two hours without starting up any rheumatism. I suppose it was
all really taken out of me in Berlin.

Richard Harding Davis spoke yesterday of Clara's impersonations at Mrs.
Van Rensselaer's here and said they were a wonderful piece of work.

Livy dear, I do hope you are comfortable, as to quarters and food at the
Hotel Brighton. But if you're not don't stay there. Make one more
effort--don't give it up. Dear heart, this is from one who loves you--
which is Saml.

It was decided that Rogers and Clemens should make a trip to Chicago
to investigate personally the type-setter situation there. Clemens
reports the details of the excursion to Mrs. Clemens in a long
subdivided letter, most of which has no general interest and is here
omitted. The trip, as a whole, would seem to have been
satisfactory. The personal portions of the long Christmas letter
may properly be preserved.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

THE PLAYERS, Xmas, 1893.
No. 1.
Merry Xmas, my darling, and all my darlings! I arrived from Chicago
close upon midnight last night, and wrote and sent down my Christmas
cablegram before undressing: "Merry Xmas! Promising progress made in
Chicago." It would get to the telegraph office toward 8 this morning and
reach you at luncheon.

I was vaguely hoping, all the past week, that my Xmas cablegram would be
definite, and make you all jump with jubilation; but the thought always
intruded itself, "You are not going out there to negotiate with a man,
but with a louse. This makes results uncertain."

I was asleep as Christmas struck upon the clock at mid night, and didn't
wake again till two hours ago. It is now half past 10 Xmas morning; I
have had my coffee and bread, and shan't get out of bed till it is time
to dress for Mrs. Laflan's Christmas dinner this evening--where I shall
meet Bram Stoker and must make sure about that photo with Irving's
autograph. I will get the picture and he will attend to the rest. In
order to remember and not forget--well, I will go there with my dress
coat wrong side out; it will cause remark and then I shall remember.

No. 2 and 3.
I tell you it was interesting! The Chicago campaign, I mean. On the way
out Mr. Rogers would plan out the campaign while I walked the floor and
smoked and assented. Then he would close it up with a snap and drop it
and we would totally change the subject and take up the scenery, etc.

(Here follows the long detailed report of the Chicago conference, of
interest only to the parties directly concerned.)

No. 4.
We had nice tripe, going and coming. Mr. Rogers had telegraphed the
Pennsylvania Railroad for a couple of sections for us in the fast train
leaving at 2 p. m. the 22nd. The Vice President telegraphed back that
every berth was engaged (which was not true--it goes without saying) but
that he was sending his own car for us. It was mighty nice and
comfortable. In its parlor it had two sofas, which could become beds at
night. It had four comfortably-cushioned cane arm-chairs. It had a very
nice bedroom with a wide bed in it; which I said I would take because I
believed I was a little wider than Mr. Rogers--which turned out to be
true; so I took it. It had a darling back-porch--railed, roofed and
roomy; and there we sat, most of the time, and viewed the scenery and
talked, for the weather was May weather, and the soft dream-pictures of
hill and river and mountain and sky were clear and away beyond anything I
have ever seen for exquisiteness and daintiness.

The colored waiter knew his business, and the colored cook was a finished
artist. Breakfasts: coffee with real cream; beefsteaks, sausage, bacon,
chops, eggs in various ways, potatoes in various--yes, and quite
wonderful baked potatoes, and hot as fire. Dinners--all manner of
things, including canvas-back duck, apollinaris, claret, champagne, etc.

We sat up chatting till midnight, going and coming; seldom read a line,
day or night, though we were well fixed with magazines, etc.; then I
finished off with a hot Scotch and we went to bed and slept till 9.30a.m.
I honestly tried to pay my share of hotel bills, fees, etc., but I was
not allowed--and I knew the reason why, and respected the motive. I will
explain when I see you, and then you will understand.

We were 25 hours going to Chicago; we were there 24 hours; we were 30
hours returning. Brisk work, but all of it enjoyable. We insisted on
leaving the car at Philadelphia so that our waiter and cook (to whom Mr.
R. gave $10 apiece,) could have their Christmas-eve at home.

Mr. Rogers's carriage was waiting for us in Jersey City and deposited me
at the Players. There--that's all. This letter is to make up for the
three letterless days. I love you, dear heart, I love you all.
SAML.

XXXIV

LETTERS 1894. A WINTER IN NEW YORK. BUSINESS FAILURE.
END OF THE MACHINE

The beginning of the new year found Mark Twain sailing buoyantly on a
tide of optimism. He believed that with H. H. Rogers as his financial
pilot he could weather safely any storm or stress. He could divert
himself, or rest, or work, and consider his business affairs with
interest and amusement, instead of with haggard anxiety. He ran over to
Hartford to see an amateur play; to Boston to give a charity reading; to
Fair Haven to open the library which Mr. Rogers had established there; he
attended gay dinners, receptions, and late studio parties, acquiring the
name of the "Belle of New York." In the letters that follow we get the
echo of some of these things. The Mrs. Rice mentioned in the next brief
letter was the wife of Dr. Clarence C. Rice, who had introduced
H. H. Rogers to Mark Twain.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

Jan. 12, '94
Livy darling, I came down from Hartford yesterday with Kipling, and he
and Hutton and I had the small smoking compartment to ourselves and found
him at last at his ease, and not shy. He was very pleasant company
indeed. He is to be in the city a week, and I wish I could invite him to
dinner, but it won't do. I should be interrupted by business, of course.
The construction of a contract that will suit Paige's lawyer (not Paige)
turns out to be very difficult. He is embarrassed by earlier advice to
Paige, and hates to retire from it and stultify himself. The
negotiations are being conducted, by means of tedious long telegrams and
by talks over the long-distance telephone. We keep the wires loaded.

Dear me, dinner is ready. So Mrs. Rice says.

With worlds of love,
SAML.

Clemens and Oliver Wendell Holmes had met and become friends soon after
the publication of Innocents Abroad, in 1869. Now, twenty-five years
later, we find a record of what without doubt was their last meeting.
It occurred at the home of Mrs. James T. Field.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

BOSTON, Jan. 25, '94.
Livy darling, I am caught out worse this time than ever before, in the
matter of letters. Tuesday morning I was smart enough to finish and mail
my long letter to you before breakfast--for I was suspecting that I would
not have another spare moment during the day. It turned out just so.

In a thoughtless moment I agreed to come up here and read for the poor.
I did not reflect that it would cost me three days. I could not get
released. Yesterday I had myself called at 8 and ran out to Mr. Rogers's
house at 9, and talked business until half past 10; then caught 11
o'clock train and arrived here at 6; was shaven and dressed by 7 and
ready for dinner here in Mrs. Field's charming house.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes never goes out now (he is in his 84th year,)
but he came out this time-said he wanted to "have a time" once more with
me.

Mrs. Fields said Aldrich begged to come and went away crying because she
wouldn't let him. She allowed only her family (Sarah Orne Jewett and
sister) to be present, because much company would overtax Dr. Holmes.

Well, he was just delightful! He did as brilliant and beautiful talking
(and listening) as ever he did in his life, I guess. Fields and Jewett
said he hadn't been in such splendid form in years. He had ordered his
carriage for 9.

The coachman sent in for him at 9; but he said, "Oh, nonsense!--leave
glories and grandeurs like these? Tell him to go away and come in an
hour!"

At 10 he was called for again, and Mrs. Fields, getting uneasy, rose, but
he wouldn't go--and so we rattled ahead the same as ever. Twice more
Mrs. Fields rose, but he wouldn't go--and he didn't go till half past 10
--an unwarrantable dissipation for him in these days. He was
prodigiously complimentary about some of my books, and is having
Pudd'nhead read to him. I told him you and I used the Autocrat as a
courting book and marked it all through, and that you keep it in the
sacred green box with the love letters, and it pleased him.

Good-bye, my dear darling, it is 15 minutes to dinner and I'm not dressed
yet. I have a reception to-night and will be out very late at that place
and at Irving's Theatre where I have a complimentary box. I wish you
were all here.
SAML.

In the next letter we meet James J. Corbett--"Gentleman Jim," as he
was sometimes called--the champion pugilist of that day.

The Howells incident so amusingly dramatized will perhaps be more
appreciated if the reader remembers that Mark Twain himself had at
intervals been a mind-healing enthusiast. Indeed, in spite of his
strictures on Mrs. Eddy, his interest in the subject of mind-cure
continued to the end of his life.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

Sunday, 9.30 a. m.
Livy dear, when we got out to the house last night, Mrs. Rogers, who is
up and around, now, didn't want to go down stairs to dinner, but Mr. R.
persuaded her and we had a very good time indeed. By 8 o'clock we were
down again and bought a fifteen-dollar box in the Madison Square Garden
(Rogers bought it, not I,) then he went and fetched Dr. Rice while I
(went) to the Players and picked up two artists--Reid and Simmons--and
thus we filled 5 of the 6 seats. There was a vast multitude of people in
the brilliant place. Stanford White came along presently and invited me
to go to the World-Champion's dressing room, which I was very glad to do.
Corbett has a fine face and is modest and diffident, besides being the
most perfectly and beautifully constructed human animal in the world.
I said:

"You have whipped Mitchell, and maybe you will whip Jackson in June--but
you are not done, then. You will have to tackle me."

He answered, so gravely that one might easily have thought him in
earnest:

"No--I am not going to meet you in the ring. It is not fair or right to
require it. You might chance to knock me out, by no merit of your own,
but by a purely accidental blow; and then my reputation would be gone and
you would have a double one. You have got fame enough and you ought not
to want to take mine away from me."

Corbett was for a long time a clerk in the Nevada Bank in San Francisco.

There were lots of little boxing matches, to entertain the crowd: then at
last Corbett appeared in the ring and the 8,000 people present went mad
with enthusiasm. My two artists went mad about his form. They said they
had never seen anything that came reasonably near equaling its perfection
except Greek statues, and they didn't surpass it.

Corbett boxed 3 rounds with the middle-weight Australian champion--oh,
beautiful to see!--then the show was over and we struggled out through a
perfect wash of humanity. When we reached the street I found I had left
my arctics in the box. I had to have them, so Simmons said he would go
back and get them, and I didn't dissuade him. I couldn't see how he was
going to make his way a single yard into that solid oncoming wave of
people--yet he must plow through it full 50 yards. He was back with the
shoes in 3 minutes!

How do you reckon he accomplished that miracle? By saying:

"Way, gentlemen, please--coming to fetch Mr. Corbett's overshoes."

The word flew from mouth to mouth, the Red Sea divided, and Simmons
walked comfortably through and back, dry shod. Simmons (this was
revealed to me under seal of secrecy by Reid) is the hero of "Gwen," and
he and Gwen's author were once engaged to marry. This is "fire-escape"
Simmons, the inveterate talker, you know: "Exit--in case of Simmons."

I had an engagement at a beautiful dwelling close to the Players for
10.30; I was there by 10.45. Thirty cultivated and very musical ladies
and gentlemen present--all of them acquaintances and many of them
personal friends of mine. That wonderful Hungarian Band was there (they
charge $500 for an evening.) Conversation and Band until midnight; then a
bite of supper; then the company was compactly grouped before me and I
told about Dr. B. E. Martin and the etchings, and followed it with the
Scotch-Irish Christening. My, but the Martin is a darling story! Next,
the head tenor from the Opera sang half a dozen great songs that set the
company wild, yes, mad with delight, that nobly handsome young Damrosch
accompanying on the piano.

Just a little pause--then the Band burst out into an explosion of weird
and tremendous dance music, a Hungarian celebrity and his wife took the
floor--I followed; I couldn't help it; the others drifted in, one by one,
and it was Onteora over again.

By half past 4 I had danced all those people down--and yet was not tired;
merely breathless. I was in bed at 5, and asleep in ten minutes. Up at
9 and presently at work on this letter to you. I think I wrote until 2
or half past. Then I walked leisurely out to Mr. Rogers's (it is called
3 miles but it is short of it) arriving at 3.30, but he was out--
to return at 5.30--(and a person was in, whom I don't particularly like)
--so I didn't stay, but dropped over and chatted with the Howellses until
6.

First, Howells and I had a chat together. I asked about Mrs. H. He said
she was fine, still steadily improving, and nearly back to her old best
health. I asked (as if I didn't know):

"What do you attribute this strange miracle to?"

"Mind-cure--simply mind-cure."

"Lord, what a conversion! You were a scoffer three months ago."

"I? I wasn't."

"You were. You made elaborate fun of me in this very room."

"I did not, Clemens."

"It's a lie, Howells, you did."

I detailed to him the conversation of that time--with the stately
argument furnished by Boyesen in the fact that a patient had actually
been killed by a mind-curist; and Howells's own smart remark that when
the mind-curist is done with you, you have to call in a "regular" at last
because the former can't procure you a burial permit.

At last he gave in--he said he remembered that talk, but had now been a
mind-curist so long it was difficult for him to realize that he had ever
been anything else.

Mrs. H. came skipping in, presently, the very person, to a dot, that she
used to be, so many years ago.

Mrs. H. said: "People may call it what they like, but it is just
hypnotism, and that's all it is--hypnotism pure and simple. Mind-cure!
--the idea! Why, this woman that cured me hasn't got any mind. She's a
good creature, but she's dull and dumb and illiterate and--"

"Now Eleanor!"

"I know what I'm talking about!--don't I go there twice a week? And Mr.
Clemens, if you could only see her wooden and satisfied face when she
snubs me for forgetting myself and showing by a thoughtless remark that
to me weather is still weather, instead of being just an abstraction and
a superstition--oh, it's the funniest thing you ever saw! A-n-d-when she
tilts up her nose-well, it's--it's--Well it's that kind of a nose that--"

"Now Eleanor!--the woman is not responsible for her nose--" and so-on and
so-on. It didn't seem to me that I had any right to be having this feast
and you not there.

She convinced me before she got through, that she and William James are
right--hypnotism and mind-cure are the same thing; no difference between
them. Very well; the very source, the very center of hypnotism is Paris.
Dr. Charcot's pupils and disciples are right there and ready to your hand
without fetching poor dear old Susy across the stormy sea. Let Mrs.
Mackay (to whom I send my best respects), tell you whom to go to to learn
all you need to learn and how to proceed. Do, do it, honey. Don't lose
a minute.

.....At 11 o'clock last night Mr. Rogers said:

"I am able to feel physical fatigue--and I feel it now. You never show
any, either in your eyes or your movements; do you ever feel any?"

I was able to say that I had forgotten what that feeling was like. Don't
you remember how almost impossible it was for me to tire myself at the
Villa? Well, it is just so in New York. I go to bed unfatigued at 3,
I get up fresh and fine six hours later. I believe I have taken only one
daylight nap since I have been here.

When the anchor is down, then I shall say:

"Farewell--a long farewell--to business! I will never touch it again!"

I will live in literature, I will wallow in it, revel in it, I will swim
in ink! Joan of Arc--but all this is premature; the anchor is not down
yet.

To-morrow (Tuesday) I will add a P. S. if I've any to add; but, whether
or no, I must mail this to morrow, for the mail steamer goes next day.

5.30 p. m. Great Scott, this is Tuesday! I must rush this letter into
the mail instantly.

Tell that sassy Ben I've got her welcome letter, and I'll write her as
soon as I get a daylight chance. I've most time at night, but I'd
druther write daytimes.
SAML.

The Reid and Simmons mentioned in the foregoing were Robert Reid and
Edward Simmons, distinguished painter--the latter a brilliant,
fluent, and industrious talker. The title; "Fire-escape Simmons,"
which Clemens gives him, originated when Oliver Herford, whose
quaint wit has so long delighted New-Yorkers, one day pinned up by
the back door of the Players the notice: "Exit in case of Simmons."
Gwen, a popular novel of that day, was written by Blanche Willis
Howard.

"Jamie" Dodge, in the next letter, was the son of Mrs. Mary Mapes
Dodge, editor of St. Nicholas.

To Clara Clemens, in Paris:

MR. ROGERS'S OFFICE, Feb. 5, '94.
Dear Benny--I was intending to answer your letter to-day, but I am away
down town, and will simply whirl together a sentence or two for good-
fellowship. I have bought photographs of Coquelin and Jane Hading and
will ask them to sign them. I shall meet Coquelin tomorrow night, and if
Hading is not present I will send her picture to her by somebody.

I am to breakfast with Madame Nordica in a few days, and meantime I hope
to get a good picture of her to sign. She was of the breakfast company
yesterday, but the picture of herself which she signed and gave me does
not do her majestic beauty justice.

I am too busy to attend to the photo-collecting right, because I have to
live up to the name which Jamie Dodge has given me--the "Belle of New
York"--and it just keeps me rushing. Yesterday I had engagements to
breakfast at noon, dine at 3, and dine again at 7. I got away from the
long breakfast at 2 p. m., went and excused myself from the 3 o'clock
dinner, then lunched with Mrs. Dodge in 58th street, returned to the
Players and dressed, dined out at 9, and was back at Mrs. Dodge's at
10 p. m. where we had magic-lantern views of a superb sort, and a lot of
yarns until an hour after midnight, and got to bed at 2 this morning
--a good deal of a gain on my recent hours. But I don't get tired; I
sleep as sound as a dead person, and always wake up fresh and strong--
usually at exactly 9.

I was at breakfast lately where people of seven separate nationalities
sat and the seven languages were going all the time. At my side sat
a charming gentleman who was a delightful and active talker, and
interesting. He talked glibly to those folks in all those seven
languages and still had a language to spare! I wanted to kill him, for
very envy.

I greet you with love and kisses.
PAPA.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

Feb.--.
Livy dear, last night I played billiards with Mr. Rogers until 11, then
went to Robert Reid's studio and had a most delightful time until 4 this
morning. No ladies were invited this time. Among the people present
were--

Coquelin;
Richard Harding Davis;
Harrison, the great out-door painter;
Wm. H. Chase, the artist;
Bettini, inventor of the new phonograph.
Nikola Tesla, the world-wide illustrious electrician; see article about
him in Jan. or Feb. Century.
John Drew, actor;
James Barnes, a marvelous mimic; my, you should see him!
Smedley the artist;
Zorn the artist;
Zogbaum the artist;
Reinhart the artist;
Metcalf the artist;
Ancona, head tenor at the Opera;

Oh, a great lot of others. Everybody there had done something and was in
his way famous.

Somebody welcomed Coquelin in a nice little French speech; John Drew did
the like for me in English, and then the fun began. Coquelin did some
excellent French monologues--one of them an ungrammatical Englishman
telling a colorless historiette in French. It nearly killed the fifteen
or twenty people who understood it.

I told a yarn, Ancona sang half a dozen songs, Barnes did his darling
imitations, Harding Davis sang the hanging of Danny Deever, which was of
course good, but he followed it with that most fascinating (for what
reason I don't know) of all Kipling's poems, "On the Road to Mandalay,"
sang it tenderly, and it searched me deeper and charmed me more than the
Deever.

Young Gerrit Smith played some ravishing dance music and we all danced
about an hour. There couldn't be a pleasanter night than that one was.
Some of those people complained of fatigue but I don't seem to know what
the sense of fatigue is.

Coquelin talks quite good English now. He said:

"I have a brother who has the fine mind--ah, a charming and delicate
fancy, and he knows your writings so well, and loves them--and that is
the same with me. It will stir him so when I write and tell him I have
seen you!"

Wasn't that nice? We talked a good deal together. He is as winning as
his own face. But he wouldn't sign that photograph for Clara. "That?
No! She shall have a better one. I will send it to you."

He is much driven, and will forget it, but Reid has promised to get the
picture for me, and I will try and keep him reminded.

Oh, dear, my time is all used up and your letters are not answered.

Mama, dear, I don't go everywhere--I decline most things. But there are
plenty that I can't well get out of.

I will remember what you say and not make my yarning too common.

I am so glad Susy has gone on that trip and that you are trying the
electric. May you both prosper. For you are mighty dear to me and in my
thoughts always.
SAML.

The affairs of the Webster Publishing Company were by this time
getting into a very serious condition indeed. The effects of the
panic of the year before could not be overcome. Creditors were
pressing their claims and profits were negligible. In the following
letter we get a Mark Twain estimate of the great financier who so
cheerfully was willing to undertake the solving of Mark Twain's
financial problems.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

THE PLAYERS, Feb. 15, '94. 11.30 p. m.
Livy darling, Yesterday I talked all my various matters over with Mr.
Rogers and we decided that it would be safe for me to leave here the 7th
of March, in the New York. So his private secretary, Miss Harrison,
wrote and ordered a berth for me and then I lost no time in cabling you
that I should reach Southampton March 14, and Paris the 15th. Land, but
it made my pulses leap, to think I was going to see you again!.....
One thing at a time. I never fully laid Webster's disastrous condition
before Mr. Rogers until to-night after billiards. I did hate to burden
his good heart and over-worked head with it, but he took hold with
avidity and said it was no burden to work for his friends, but a
pleasure. We discussed it from various standpoints, and found it a
sufficiently difficult problem to solve; but he thinks that after he has
slept upon it and thought it over he will know what to suggest.

You must not think I am ever rude with Mr. Rogers, I am not. He is not
common clay, but fine--fine and delicate--and that sort do not call out
the coarsenesses that are in my sort. I am never afraid of wounding him;
I do not need to watch myself in that matter. The sight of him is peace.

He wants to go to Japan--it is his dream; wants to go with me--which
means, the two families--and hear no more about business for awhile, and
have a rest. And he needs it. But it is like all the dreams of all busy
men--fated to remain dreams.

You perceive that he is a pleasant text for me. It is easy to write
about him. When I arrived in September, lord how black the prospect was
--how desperate, how incurably desperate! Webster and Co had to have a
small sum of money or go under at once. I flew to Hartford--to my
friends--but they were not moved, not strongly interested, and I was
ashamed that I went. It was from Mr. Rogers, a stranger, that I got the
money and was by it saved. And then--while still a stranger--he set
himself the task of saving my financial life without putting upon me (in
his native delicacy) any sense that I was the recipient of a charity,
a benevolence--and he has accomplished that task; accomplished it at a
cost of three months of wearing and difficult labor. He gave that time
to me--time which could not be bought by any man at a hundred thousand
dollars a month--no, nor for three times the money.

Well, in the midst of that great fight, that long and admirable fight,
George Warner came to me and said:

"There is a splendid chance open to you. I know a man--a prominent man--
who has written a book that will go like wildfire; a book that arraigns
the Standard Oil fiends, and gives them unmitigated hell, individual by
individual. It is the very book for you to publish; there is a fortune
in it, and I can put you in communication with the author."

I wanted to say:

"The only man I care for in the world; the only man I would give a damn
for; the only man who is lavishing his sweat and blood to save me and
mine from starvation and shame, is a Standard Oil fiend. If you know me,
you know whether I want the book or not."

But I didn't say that. I said I didn't want any book; I wanted to get
out of the publishing business and out of all business, and was here for
that purpose and would accomplish it if I could.

But there's enough. I shall be asleep by 3, and I don't need much sleep,
because I am never drowsy or tired these days. Dear, dear Susy my
strength reproaches me when I think of her and you, my darling.

SAML.

But even so able a man as Henry Rogers could not accomplish the
impossible. The affairs of the Webster Company were hopeless, the
business was not worth saving. By Mr. Rogers's advice an assignment
was made April, 18, 1894. After its early spectacular success less
than ten years had brought the business to failure. The publication
of the Grant memoirs had been its only great achievement.

Clemens would seem to have believed that the business would resume,
and for a time Rogers appears to have comforted him in his hope, but
we cannot believe that it long survived. Young Hall, who had made
such a struggle for its salvation, was eager to go on, but he must
presently have seen the futility of any effort in that direction.

Of course the failure of Mark Twain's firm made a great stir in the
country, and it is easy to understand that loyal friends would rally
in his behalf.

To Mrs. Clemens, in Paris:

April 22, '94.
Dear old darling, we all think the creditors are going to allow us to
resume business; and if they do we shall pull through and pay the debts.
I am prodigiously glad we made an assignment. And also glad that we did
not make it sooner. Earlier we should have made a poor showing; but now
we shall make a good one.

I meet flocks of people, and they all shake me cordially by the hand and
say "I was so sorry to hear of the assignment, but so glad you did it.
It was around, this long time, that the concern was tottering, and all
your friends were afraid you would delay the assignment too long."

John Mackay called yesterday, and said, "Don't let it disturb you, Sam--
we all have to do it, at one time or another; it's nothing to be ashamed
of."

One stranger out in New York State sent me a dollar bill and thought he
would like to get up a dollar-subscription for me. And Poultney
Bigelow's note came promptly, with his check for $1,000. I had been
meeting him every day at the Club and liking him better and better all
the time. I couldn't take his money, of course, but I thanked him
cordially for his good will.

Now and then a good and dear Joe Twichell or Susy Warner condoles with me
and says "Cheer up--don't be downhearted," and some other friend says,
"I am glad and surprised to see how cheerful you are and how bravely you
stand it"--and none of them suspect what a burden has been lifted from me
and how blithe I am inside. Except when I think of you, dear heart--then
I am not blithe; for I seem to see you grieving and ashamed, and dreading
to look people in the face. For in the thick of the fight there is
cheer, but you are far away and cannot hear the drums nor see the
wheeling squadrons. You only seem to see rout, retreat, and dishonored
colors dragging in the dirt--whereas none of these things exist. There
is temporary defeat, but no dishonor--and we will march again. Charley
Warner said to-day, "Sho, Livy isn't worrying. So long as she's got you
and the children she doesn't care what happens. She knows it isn't her
affair." Which didn't convince me.

Good bye my darling, I love you and all of the kids--and you can tell
Clara I am not a spitting gray kitten.
SAML.

Clemens sailed for Europe as soon as his affairs would permit him to
go. He must get settled where he could work comfortably. Type-
setter prospects seemed promising, but meantime there was need of
funds.

He began writing on the ship, as was his habit, and had completed
his article on Fenimore Cooper by the time he reached London. In
August we find him writing to Mr. Rogers from Etretat, a little
Norman watering-place.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York:

ETRETAT, (NORMANDIE)
CHALET DES ABRIS
Aug. 25, '94.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--I find the Madam ever so much better in health and
strength. The air is superb and soothing and wholesome, and the Chalet
is remote from noise and people, and just the place to write in. I shall
begin work this afternoon.

Mrs. Clemens is in great spirits on, account of the benefit which she has
received from the electrical treatment in Paris and is bound to take it
up again and continue it all the winter, and of course I am perfectly
willing. She requires me to drop the lecture platform out of my mind and
go straight ahead with Joan until the book is finished. If I should have
to go home for even a week she means to go with me--won't consent to be
separated again--but she hopes I won't need to go.

I tell her all right, "I won't go unless you send, and then I must."

She keeps the accounts; and as she ciphers it we can't get crowded for
money for eight months yet. I didn't know that. But I don't know much
anyway.
Sincerely yours,
S. L. CLEMENS.

The reader may remember that Clemens had written the first half of
his Joan of Arc book at the Villa Viviani, in Florence, nearly two
years before. He had closed the manuscript then with the taking of
Orleans, and was by no means sure that he would continue the story
beyond that point. Now, however, he was determined to reach the
tale's tragic conclusion.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York:

ETRETAT,
Sunday, Sept. 9, '94.
DEAR MR. ROGERS, I drove the quill too hard, and I broke down--in my
head. It has now been three days since I laid up. When I wrote you a
week ago I had added 10,000 words or thereabout to Joan. Next day I
added 1,500 which was a proper enough day's work though not a full one;
but during Tuesday and Wednesday I stacked up an aggregate of 6,000
words--and that was a very large mistake. My head hasn't been worth a
cent since.

However, there's a compensation; for in those two days I reached and
passed--successfully--a point which I was solicitous about before I ever
began the book: viz., the battle of Patay. Because that would naturally
be the next to the last chapter of a work consisting of either two books
or one. In the one case one goes right along from that point (as I shall
do now); in the other he would add a wind-up chapter and make the book
consist of Joan's childhood and military career alone.

I shall resume work to-day; and hereafter I will not go at such an
intemperate' rate. My head is pretty cobwebby yet.

I am hoping that along about this time I shall hear that the machine is
beginning its test in the Herald office. I shall be very glad indeed to
know the result of it. I wish I could be there.
Sincerely yours
S. L. CLEMENS.

Rouen, where Joan met her martyrdom, was only a short distance away,
and they halted there en route to Paris, where they had arranged to
spend the winter. The health of Susy Clemens was not good, and they
lingered in Rouen while Clemens explored the old city and
incidentally did some writing of another sort. In a note to Mr.
Rogers he said: "To put in my odd time I am writing some articles
about Paul Bourget and his Outre-Mer chapters--laughing at them and
at some of our oracular owls who find them important. What the hell
makes them important, I should like to know!"

He was still at Rouen two weeks later and had received encouraging
news from Rogers concerning the type-setter, which had been placed
for trial in the office of the Chicago Herald. Clemens wrote: "I
can hardly keep from sending a hurrah by cable. I would certainly
do it if I wasn't superstitious." His restraint, though wise, was
wasted the end was near.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE,
PARIS, Dec. 22; '94.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--I seemed to be entirely expecting your letter, and also
prepared and resigned; but Lord, it shows how little we know ourselves
and how easily we can deceive ourselves. It hit me like a thunder-clap.
It knocked every rag of sense out of my head, and I went flying here and
there and yonder, not knowing what I was doing, and only one clearly
defined thought standing up visible and substantial out of the crazy
storm-drift that my dream of ten years was in desperate peril, and out of
the 60,000 or 90,000 projects for its rescue that came floating through
my skull, not one would hold still long enough for me to examine it and
size it up. Have you ever been like that? Not so much so, I reckon.

There was another clearly defined idea--I must be there and see it die.
That is, if it must die; and maybe if I were there we might hatch up some
next-to-impossible way to make it take up its bed and take a walk.

So, at the end of four hours I started, still whirling and walked over to
the rue Scribe--4 P. M.--and asked a question or two and was told I
should be running a big risk if I took the 9 P. M. train for London and
Southampton; "better come right along at 6.52 per Havre special and step
aboard the New York all easy and comfortable." Very! and I about two
miles from home, with no packing done.

Then it occurred to me that none of these salvation-notions that were
whirl-winding through my head could be examined or made available unless
at least a month's time could be secured. So I cabled you, and said to
myself that I would take the French steamer tomorrow (which will be
Sunday).

By bedtime Mrs. Clemens had reasoned me into a fairly rational and
contented state of mind; but of course it didn't last long. So I went on
thinking--mixing it with a smoke in the dressing room once an hour--until
dawn this morning. Result--a sane resolution; no matter what your answer
to my cable might be, I would hold still and not sail until I should get
an answer to this present letter which I am now writing, or a cable
answer from you saying "Come" or "Remain."

I have slept 6 hours, my pond has clarified, and I find the sediment of
my 70,000 projects to be of this character:

[Several pages of suggestions for reconstructing the machine follow.]

Don't say I'm wild. For really I'm sane again this morning.

......................

I am going right along with Joan, now, and wait untroubled till I hear
from you. If you think I can be of the least use, cable me "Come."
I can write Joan on board ship and lose no time. Also I could discuss my
plan with the publisher for a deluxe Joan, time being an object, for some
of the pictures could be made over here cheaply and quickly, but would
cost much time and money in America.

......................

If the meeting should decide to quit business Jan. 4, I'd like to have
Stoker stopped from paying in any more money, if Miss Harrison doesn't
mind that disagreeable job. And I'll have to write them, too, of course.
With love,
S. L. CLEMENS.

The "Stoker" of this letter was Bram Stoker, long associated with
Sir Henry Irving. Irving himself had also taken stock in the
machine. The address, 169 Rue de l'Universite, whence these letters
are written, was the beautiful studio home of the artist Pomroy
which they had taken for the winter.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE,
PARIS, Dec. 27, '94.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--Notwithstanding your heart is "old and hard," you make
a body choke up. I know you "mean every word you say" and I do take it
"in the same spirit in which you tender it." I shall keep your regard
while we two live--that I know; for I shall always remember what you have
done for me, and that will insure me against ever doing anything that
could forfeit it or impair it. I am 59 years old; yet I never had a
friend before who put out a hand and tried to pull me ashore when he
found me in deep waters.

It is six days or seven days ago that I lived through that despairing
day, and then through a night without sleep; then settled down next day
into my right mind (or thereabouts,) and wrote you. I put in the rest of
that day till 7 P. M. plenty comfortably enough writing a long chapter
of my book; then went to a masked ball blacked up as Uncle Remus, taking
Clara along; and we had a good time. I have lost no day since and
suffered no discomfort to speak of, but drove my troubles out of my mind
and had good success in keeping them out--through watchfulness. I have
done a good week's work and put the book a good way ahead in the Great
Trial, which is the difficult part which requires the most thought and
carefulness. I cannot see the end of the Trial yet, but I am on the
road. I am creeping surely toward it.

"Why not leave them all to me." My business bothers? I take you by the
hand! I jump at the chance!

I ought to be ashamed and I am trying my best to be ashamed--and yet I do
jump at the chance in spite of it. I don't want to write Irving and I
don't want to write Stoker. It doesn't seem as if I could. But I can
suggest something for you to write them; and then if you see that I am
unwise, you can write them something quite different. Now this is my
idea:

1. To return Stoker's $100 to him and keep his stock.

2. And tell Irving that when luck turns with me I will make good to
him what the salvage from the dead Co. fails to pay him of his $500.

P. S. Madam says No, I must face the music. So I enclose my effort to
be used if you approve, but not otherwise.

There! Now if you will alter it to suit your judgment and bang away, I
shall be eternally obliged.

We shall try to find a tenant for our Hartford house; not an easy matter,
for it costs heavily to live in. We can never live in it again; though
it would break the family's hearts if they could believe it.

Nothing daunts Mrs. Clemens or makes the world look black to her--which
is the reason I haven't drowned myself.

We all send our deepest and warmest greetings to you and all of yours and
a Happy New Year!
S. L. CLEMENS.

Enclosure:

MY DEAR STOKER,--I am not dating this because it is not to be mailed at
present.

When it reaches you it will mean that there is a hitch in my machine-
enterprise--a hitch so serious as to make it take to itself the aspect of
a dissolved dream. This letter, then, will contain cheque for the $100
which you have paid. And will you tell Irving for me--I can't get up
courage enough to talk about this misfortune myself, except to you, whom
by good luck I haven't damaged yet that when the wreckage presently
floats ashore he will get a good deal of his $500 back; and a dab at a
time I will make up to him the rest.

I'm not feeling as fine as I was when I saw you there in your home.
Please remember me kindly to Mrs. Stoker. I gave up that London lecture-
project entirely. Had to--there's never been a chance since to find the
time.
Sincerely yours,
S. L. CLEMENS.

XXXV

LETTERS, 1895-96, TO H. H. ROGERS AND OTHERS. FINISHING "JOAN OF ARC."
THE TRIP AROUND THE WORLD. DEATH OF SUSY CLEMENS

To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:

[No date.]
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--Yours of Dec. 21 has arrived, containing the circular
to stockholders and I guess the Co. will really quit--there doesn't seem
to be any other wise course.

There's one thing which makes it difficult for me to soberly realize that
my ten year dream is actually dissolved; and that is, that it reveries my
horoscope. The proverb says, "Born lucky, always lucky," and I am very
superstitious. As a small boy I was notoriously lucky. It was usual for
one or two of our lads (per annum) to get drowned in the Mississippi or
in Bear Creek, but I was pulled out in a 2/3 drowned condition 9 times
before I learned to swim, and was considered to be a cat in disguise.
When the "Pennsylvania" blew up and the telegraph reported my brother as
fatally injured (with 60 others) but made no mention of me, my uncle said
to my mother "It means that Sam was somewhere else, after being on that
boat a year and a half--he was born lucky." Yes, I was somewhere else.
I am so superstitious that I have always been afraid to have business
dealings with certain relatives and friends of mine because they were
unlucky people. All my life I have stumbled upon lucky chances of large
size, and whenever they were wasted it was because of my own stupidity
and carelessness. And so I have felt entirely certain that that machine
would turn up trumps eventually. It disappointed me lots of times, but I
couldn't shake off the confidence of a life-time in my luck.

Well, whatever I get out of the wreckage will be due to good luck--the
good luck of getting you into the scheme--for, but for that, there
wouldn't be any wreckage; it would be total loss.

I wish you had been in at the beginning. Then we should have had the
good luck to step promptly ashore.

Miss Harrison has had a dream which promises me a large bank account,
and I want her to go ahead and dream it twice more, so as to make the
prediction sure to be fulfilled.

I've got a first rate subject for a book. It kept me awake all night,
and I began it and completed it in my mind. The minute I finish Joan
I will take it up.
Love and Happy New Year to you all.
Sincerely yours,
S. L. CLEMENS.

This was about the end of the machine interests so far as Clemens
was concerned. Paige succeeded in getting some new people
interested, but nothing important happened, or that in any way
affected Mark Twain. Characteristically he put the whole matter
behind him and plunged into his work, facing comparative poverty and
a burden of debts with a stout heart. The beginning of the new year
found him really poorer in purse than he had ever been in his life,
but certainly not crushed, or even discouraged--at least, not
permanently--and never more industrious or capable.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE,
PARIS, Jan. 23, '95.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--After I wrote you, two or three days ago I thought I
would make a holiday of the rest of the day--the second deliberate
holiday since I had the gout. On the first holiday I wrote a tale of
about 6,000 words, which was 3 days' work in one; and this time I did
8,000 before midnight. I got nothing out of that first holiday but the
recreation of it, for I condemned the work after careful reading and some
revision; but this time I fared better--I finished the Huck Finn tale
that lies in your safe, and am satisfied with it.

The Bacheller syndicate (117 Tribune Building) want a story of 5,000
words (lowest limit of their London agent) for $1,000 and offer to plank
the check on delivery, and it was partly to meet that demand that I took
that other holiday. So as I have no short story that suits me (and can't
and shan't make promises), the best I can do is to offer the longer one
which I finished on my second holiday--"Tom Sawyer, Detective."

It makes 27 or 28,000 words, and is really written for grown folks,
though I expect young folk to read it, too. It transfers to the banks of
the Mississippi the incidents of a strange murder which was committed in
Sweden in old times.

I'll refer applicants for a sight of the story to you or Miss Harrison.--
[Secretary to Mr. Rogers.]
Yours sincerely,
S. L. CLEMENS.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE,
Apr. 29, '95.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--Your felicitous delightful letter of the 15th arrived
three days ago, and brought great pleasure into the house.

There is one thing that weighs heavily on Mrs. Clemens and me. That is
Brusnahan's money. If he is satisfied to have it invested in the Chicago
enterprise, well and good; if not, we would like to have the money paid
back to him. I will give him as many months to decide in as he pleases--
let him name 6 or 10 or 12--and we will let the money stay where it is in
your hands till the time is up. Will Miss Harrison tell him so? I mean
if you approve. I would like him to have a good investment, but would
meantime prefer to protect him against loss.

At 6 minutes past 7, yesterday evening, Joan of Arc was burned at the
stake.

With the long strain gone, I am in a sort of physical collapse today, but
it will be gone tomorrow. I judged that this end of the book would be
hard work, and it turned out so. I have never done any work before that
cost so much thinking and weighing and measuring and planning and
cramming, or so much cautious and painstaking execution. For I wanted
the whole Rouen trial in, if it could be got in in such a way that the
reader's interest would not flag--in fact I wanted the reader's interest
to increase; and so I stuck to it with that determination in view--with
the result that I have left nothing out but unimportant repetitions.
Although it is mere history--history pure and simple--history stripped
naked of flowers, embroideries, colorings, exaggerations, invention--the
family agree that I have succeeded. It was a perilous thing to try in a
tale, but I never believed it a doubtful one--provided I stuck strictly
to business and didn't weaken and give up: or didn't get lazy and skimp
the work. The first two-thirds of the book were easy; for I only needed
to keep my historical road straight; therefore I used for reference only
one French history and one English one--and shoveled in as much fancy
work and invention on both sides of the historical road as I pleased.
But on this last third I have constantly used five French sources and
five English ones and I think no telling historical nugget in any of them
has escaped me.

Possibly the book may not sell, but that is nothing--it was written for
love.

There--I'm called to see company. The family seldom require this of me,
but they know I am not working today.
Yours sincerely,
S. L. CLEMENS.

"Brusnahan," of the foregoing letter, was an employee of the New
York Herald, superintendent of the press-room--who had invested some
of his savings in the type-setter.

In February Clemens returned to New York to look after matters
connected with his failure and to close arrangements for a reading-
tour around the world. He was nearly sixty years old, and time had
not lessened his loathing for the platform. More than once,
however, in earlier years, he had turned to it as a debt-payer, and
never yet had his burden been so great as now. He concluded
arrangements with Major Pond to take him as far as the Pacific
Coast, and with R. S. Smythe, of Australia, for the rest of the
tour. In April we find him once more back in Paris preparing to
bring the family to America, He had returned by way of London,
where he had visited Stanley the explorer--an old friend.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE,
Sunday, Apr.7,'95.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--..... Stanley is magnificently housed in London, in a
grand mansion in the midst of the official world, right off Downing
Street and Whitehall. He had an extraordinary assemblage of brains and
fame there to meet me--thirty or forty (both sexes) at dinner, and more
than a hundred came in, after dinner. Kept it up till after midnight.
There were cabinet ministers, ambassadors, admirals, generals, canons,
Oxford professors, novelists, playwrights, poets, and a number of people
equipped with rank and brains. I told some yarns and made some speeches.
I promised to call on all those people next time I come to London, and
show them the wife and the daughters. If I were younger and very strong
I would dearly love to spend a season in London--provided I had no work
on hand, or no work more exacting than lecturing. I think I will lecture
there a month or two when I return from Australia.

There were many delightful ladies in that company. One was the wife of
His Excellency Admiral Bridge, Commander-in Chief of the Australian
Station, and she said her husband was able to throw wide all doors to me
in that part of the world and would be glad to do it, and would yacht me
and my party around, and excursion us in his flag-ship and make us have a
great time; and she said she would write him we were coming, and we would
find him ready. I have a letter from her this morning enclosing a letter
of introduction to the Admiral. I already know the Admiral commanding in
the China Seas and have promised to look in on him out there. He sleeps
with my books under his pillow. P'raps it is the only way he can sleep.

According to Mrs. Clemens's present plans--subject to modification, of
course--we sail in May; stay one day, or two days in New York, spend
June, July and August in Elmira and prepare my lectures; then lecture in
San Francisco and thereabouts during September and sail for Australia
before the middle of October and open the show there about the middle of
November. We don't take the girls along; it would be too expensive and
they are quite willing to remain behind anyway.

Mrs. C. is feeling so well that she is not going to try the New York
doctor till we have gone around the world and robbed it and made the
finances a little easier.
With a power of love to you all,
S. L. CLEMENS.

There would come moments of depression, of course, and a week later
he wrote: "I am tired to death all the time:" To a man of less
vitality, less vigor of mind and body, it is easy to believe that
under such circumstances this condition would have remained
permanent. But perhaps, after all, it was his comic outlook on
things in general that was his chief life-saver.

To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:

169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE, Apr. 29, '95.
DEAR MR. ROGERS,--I have been hidden an hour or two, reading proof of
Joan and now I think I am a lost child. I can't find anybody on the
place. The baggage has all disappeared, including the family. I reckon
that in the hurry and bustle of moving to the hotel they forgot me. But
it is no matter. It is peacefuller now than I have known it for days and
days and days.

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