I often wonder if his law business is going satisfactorily to him, but knowing that the dull season is setting in now (it looked like it had already set in before) I have felt as if I could almost answer the question myself--which is to say in plain words, I was afraid to ask. I wish I had gone to Washington in the winter instead of going West. I could have gouged an office out of Bill Stewart for him, and that would atone for the loss of my home visit. But I am so worthless that it seems to me I never do anything or accomplish anything that lingers in my mind as a pleasant memory. My mind is stored full of unworthy conduct toward Orion and towards you all, and an accusing conscience gives me peace only in excitement and restless moving from place to place. If I could say I had done one thing for any of you that entitled me to your good opinion, (I say nothing of your love, for I am sure of that, no matter how unworthy of it I may make myself, from Orion down you have always given me that, all the days of my life, when God Almighty knows I seldom deserve it,) I believe I could go home and stay there and I know I would care little for the world's praise or blame. There is no satisfaction in the world's praise anyhow, and it has no worth to me save in the way of business. I tried to gather up its compliments to send to you, but the work was distasteful and I dropped it.
You observe that under a cheerful exterior I have got a spirit that is angry with me and gives me freely its contempt. I can get away from that at sea, and be tranquil and satisfied-and so, with my parting love and benediction for Orion and all of you, I say goodbye and God bless you all--and welcome the wind that wafts a weary soul to the sunny lands of the Mediterranean! Yrs. Forever, SAM.
LETTERS 1867. THE TRAVELER. THE VOYAGE OF THE "QUAKER CITY"
Mark Twain, now at sea, was writing many letters; not personal letters, but those unique descriptive relations of travel which would make him his first great fame--those fresh first impressions preserved to us now as chapters of The Innocents Abroad. Yet here and there in the midst of sight-seeing and reporting he found time to send a brief line to those at home, merely that they might have a word from his own hand, for he had ordered the papers to which he was to contribute--the Alta and the New York Tribune--sent to them, and these would give the story of his travels. The home letters read like notebook entries.
Letters to Mrs. Jane Clemens and family, in St. Louis:
FAYAL (Azores,) June 20th, 1867. DEAR FOLKS,--We are having a lively time here, after a stormy trip. We meant to go to San Miguel, but were driven here by stress of weather. Beautiful climate. Yrs. Affect. SAM.
GIBRALTAR, June 30th, 1867. DEAR FOLKS,--Arrived here this morning, and am clear worn out with riding and climbing in and over and around this monstrous rock and its fortifications. Summer climate and very pleasant. Yrs. SAM.
TANGIER, MOROCCO, (AFRICA), July 1, 1867. DEAR FOLKS, Half a dozen of us came here yesterday from Gibraltar and some of the company took the other direction; went up through Spain, to Paris by rail. We decided that Gibraltar and San Roque were all of Spain that we wanted to see at present and are glad we came here among the Africans, Moors, Arabs and Bedouins of the desert. I would not give this experience for all the balance of the trip combined. This is the infernalest hive of infernally costumed barbarians I have ever come across yet. Yrs. SAM.
AT SEA, July 2, 1867. DR.