I was to have preached again Saturday night, but I won't--I can't get along without a manager.
I have been in New York ever since Christmas, you know, and now I shall have to work like sin to catch up my correspondence.
And I have got to get up that book, too. Cut my letters out of the Alta's and send them to me in an envelop. Some, here, that are not mailed yet, I shall have to copy, I suppose.
I have got a thousand things to do, and am not doing any of them. I feel perfectly savage. Good bye Yrs aff SAM.
On the whole, matters were going well with him. His next letter is full of his success--overflowing with the boyish radiance which he never quite outgrew.
To Mrs. Jane Clemens and Mrs. Moffett, in St. Louis:
HARTFORD, CONN. Jan. 24-68. DEAR MOTHER AND SISTER,--This is a good week for me. I stopped in the Herald office as I came through New York, to see the boys on the staff, and young James Gordon Bennett asked me to write twice a week, impersonally, for the Herald, and said if I would I might have full swing, and (write) about anybody and everybody I wanted to. I said I must have the very fullest possible swing, and he said "all right." I said "It's a contract--" and that settled that matter.
I'll make it a point to write one letter a week, any-how.
But the best thing that has happened was here. This great American Publishing Company kept on trying to bargain with me for a book till I thought I would cut the matter short by coming up for a talk. I met Rev. Henry Ward Beecher in Brooklyn, and with his usual whole-souled way of dropping his own work to give other people a lift when he gets a chance, he said, "Now, here, you are one of the talented men of the age--nobody is going to deny that---but in matters of business, I don't suppose you know more than enough to came in when it rains. I'll tell you what to do, and how to do it." And he did.
And I listened well, and then came up here and made a splendid contract for a Quaker City book of 5 or 600 large pages, with illustrations, the manuscript to be placed in the publishers' hands by the middle of July. My percentage is to be a fifth more than they have ever paid any author, except Horace Greeley. Beecher will be surprised, I guess, when he hears this.
But I had my mind made up to one thing--I wasn't going to touch a book unless there was money in it, and a good deal of it. I told them so. I had the misfortune to "bust out" one author of standing. They had his manuscript, with the understanding that they would publish his book if they could not get a book from me, (they only publish two books at a time, and so my book and Richardson's Life of Grant will fill the bill for next fall and winter)--so that manuscript was sent back to its author today.
These publishers get off the most tremendous editions of their books you can imagine. I shall write to the Enterprise and Alta every week, as usual, I guess, and to the Herald twice a week--occasionally to the Tribune and the Magazines (I have a stupid article in the Galaxy, just issued) but I am not going to write to this, that and the other paper any more.
The Chicago Tribune wants letters, but I hope and pray I have charged them so much that they will not close the contract. I am gradually getting out of debt, but these trips to New York do cost like sin. I hope you have cut out and forwarded my printed letters to Washington --please continue to do so as they arrive.
I have had a tip-top time, here, for a few days (guest of Mr. Jno. Hooker's family--Beecher's relatives-in a general way of Mr. Bliss, also, who is head of the publishing firm.) Puritans are mighty straight-laced and they won't let me smoke in the parlor, but the Almighty don't make any better people.
Love to all-good-bye. I shall be in New York 3 days--then go on to the Capital. Yrs affly, especially Ma., Yr SAM.