We get heaps of letters every day; it is a comfort to have somebody like you that will let us shirk and be patient over it. We got the book and I did think I wrote a line thanking you for it-but I suppose I neglected it.
We are getting along tolerably well. Mother [Mrs. Langdon] is here, and Miss Emma Nye. Livy cannot sleep since her father's death--but I give her a narcotic every night and make her. I am just as busy as I can be-- am still writing for the Galaxy and also writing a book like the "Innocents" in size and style. I have got my work ciphered down to days, and I haven't a single day to spare between this and the date which, by written contract I am to deliver the M.S. of the book to the publisher. ----In a hurry Affectionately SAM
To Orion Clemens, in St, Louis:
BUF. Sept. 9th, 1870. MY DEAR BRO,--O here! I don't want to be consulted at all about Tenn. I don't want it even mentioned to me. When I make a suggestion it is for you to act upon it or throw it aside, but I beseech you never to ask my advice, opinion or consent about that hated property. If it was because I felt the slightest personal interest in the infernal land that I ever made a suggestion, the suggestion would never be made.
Do exactly as you please with the land--always remember this--that so trivial a percentage as ten per cent will never sell it.
It is only a bid for a somnambulist.
I have no time to turn round, a young lady visitor (schoolmate of Livy's) is dying in the house of typhoid fever (parents are in South Carolina) and the premises are full of nurses and doctors and we are all fagged out. Yrs. SAM.
Miss Nye, who had come to cheer her old schoolmate, had been prostrated with the deadly fever soon after her arrival. Another period of anxiety and nursing followed. Mrs. Clemens, in spite of her frail health, devoted much time to her dying friend, until by the time the end came she was herself in a precarious condition. This was at the end of September. A little more than a month later, November 7th, her first child, Langdon Clemens, was prematurely born. To the Rev. Joseph H. Twichell and wife, of Hartford, Mark Twain characteristically announced the new arrival.
To Rev. Joseph H. Twichell and wife, in Hartford, Conn.:
BUFFALO, Nov 12, '70. DEAR UNCLE AND AUNT,--I came into the world on the 7th inst., and consequently am about five days old, now. I have had wretched health ever since I made my appearance. First one thing and then another has kept me under the weather, and as a general thing I have been chilly and uncomfortable.
I am not corpulent, nor am I robust in any way. At birth I only weighed 4 1/2 pounds with my clothes on--and the clothes were the chief feature of the weight, too, I am obliged to confess. But I am doing finely, all things considered. I was at a standstill for 3 days and a half, but during the last 24 hours I have gained nearly an ounce, avoirdupois.
They all say I look very old and venerable-and I am aware, myself, that I never smile. Life seems a serious thing, what I have seen of it--and my observation teaches me that it is made up mainly of hiccups, unnecessary washings, and colic. But no doubt you, who are old, have long since grown accustomed and reconciled to what seems to me such a disagreeable novelty.
My father said, this morning, when my face was in repose and thoughtful, that I looked precisely as young Edward Twichell of Hartford used to look some is months ago--chin, mouth, forehead, expression--everything.
My little mother is very bright and cheery, and I guess she is pretty happy, but I don't know what about. She laughs a great deal, notwithstanding she is sick abed.