I wish I never had to stop anywhere a month. I do more mean things, the moment I get a chance to fold my hands and sit down than ever I can get forgiveness for.

Yes, we are to meet at Mr. Beach's next Thursday night, and I suppose we shall have to be gotten up regardless of expense, in swallow-tails, white kids and everything en regle.

I am resigned to Rev. Mr. Hutchinson's or anybody else's supervision. I don't mind it. I am fixed. I have got a splendid, immoral, tobacco- smoking, wine-drinking, godless room-mate who is as good and true and right-minded a man as ever lived--a man whose blameless conduct and example will always be an eloquent sermon to all who shall come within their influence. But send on the professional preachers--there are none I like better to converse with. If they're not narrow minded and bigoted they make good companions.

I asked them to send the N. Y. Weekly to you--no charge. I am not going to write for it. Like all other, papers that pay one splendidly it circulates among stupid people and the 'canaille.' I have made no arrangement with any New York paper--I will see about that Monday or Tuesday. Love to all Good bye, Yrs affy SAM.

The "immoral" room-mate whose conduct was to be an "eloquent example" was Dan Slote, immortalized in the Innocents as "Dan" --a favorite on the ship, and later beloved by countless readers.

There is one more letter, written the night before the Quaker City sailed-a letter which in a sense marks the close of the first great period of his life--the period of aimless wandering--adventure --youth.

Perhaps a paragraph of explanation should precede this letter. Political changes had eliminated Orion in Nevada, and he was now undertaking the practice of law. "Bill Stewart" was Senator Stewart, of Nevada, of whom we shall hear again. The "Sandwich Island book," as may be imagined, was made up of his letters to the Sacramento Union. Nothing came of the venture, except some chapters in 'Roughing It', rewritten from the material. "Zeb and John Leavenworth" were pilots whom he had known on the river.

To Mrs. Jane Clemens and family in St. Louis:

NEW YORK, June 7th, 1867. DEAR FOLKS, I suppose we shall be many a league at sea tomorrow night, and goodness knows I shall be unspeakably glad of it.

I haven't got anything to write, else I would write it. I have just written myself clear out in letters to the Alta, and I think they are the stupidest letters that were ever written from New York. Corresponding has been a perfect drag ever since I got to the states. If it continues abroad, I don't know what the Tribune and Alta folks will think. I have withdrawn the Sandwich Island book--it would be useless to publish it in these dull publishing times. As for the Frog book, I don't believe that will ever pay anything worth a cent. I published it simply to advertise myself--not with the hope of making anything out of it.

Well, I haven't anything to write, except that I am tired of staying in one place--that I am in a fever to get away. Read my Alta letters--they contain everything I could possibly write to you. Tell Zeb and John Leavenworth to write me. They can get plenty of gossip from the pilots.

An importing house sent two cases of exquisite champagne aboard the ship for me today--Veuve Clicquot and Lac d'Or. I and my room-mate have set apart every Saturday as a solemn fast day, wherein we will entertain no light matters of frivolous conversation, but only get drunk. (That is a joke.) His mother and sisters are the best and most homelike people I have yet found in a brown stone front. There is no style about them, except in house and furniture.

I wish Orion were going on this voyage, for I believe he could not help but be cheerful and jolly.

Mark Twain's Letters 1867-1875 Page 03

Mark Twain

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
Mark Twain Biography
Mark Twain's Letters 1867-1875
Mark Twain's Letters 1876-1885
Mark Twain's Letters 1886-1900
Mark Twain's Letters 1901-1906
Mark Twain's Letters 1907-1910
Mark Twain's Letters, Complete