And she eats a great deal, though she says that is because the nurse desires it. And when she has had all the nurse desires her to have, she asks for more. She is getting along very well indeed.
My aunt Susie Crane has been here some ten days or two weeks, but goes home today, and Granny Fairbanks of Cleveland arrives to take her place. --[Mrs. Fairbanks, of the Quaker City excursion.] Very lovingly, LANGDON CLEMENS.
P. S. Father said I had better write because you would be more interested in me, just now, than in the rest of the family.
Clemens had made the acquaintance of the Rev. Joseph Hopkins Twichell and his wife during his several sojourns in Hartford, in connection with his book publication, and the two men had immediately become firm friends. Twichell had come to Elmira in February to the wedding to assist Rev. Thos. K. Beecher in the marriage ceremony. Joseph Twichell was a devout Christian, while Mark Twain was a doubter, even a scoffer, where orthodoxy was concerned, yet the sincerity and humanity of the two men drew them together; their friendship was lifelong.
A second letter to Twichell, something more than a month later, shows a somewhat improved condition in the Clemens household.
To Rev. Twichell, in Hartford:
BUF. Dec. 19th, 1870. DEAR J. H.,--All is well with us, I believe--though for some days the baby was quite ill. We consider him nearly restored to health now, however. Ask my brother about us--you will find him at Bliss's publishing office, where he is gone to edit Bliss's new paper--left here last Monday. Make his and his wife's acquaintance. Take Mrs. T. to see them as soon as they are fixed.
Livy is up, and the prince keeps her busy and anxious these latter days and nights, but I am a bachelor up stairs and don't have to jump up and get the soothing syrup--though I would as soon do it as not, I assure you. (Livy will be certain to read this letter.)
Tell Harmony (Mrs. T.) that I do hold the baby, and do it pretty handily, too, although with occasional apprehensions that his loose head will fall off. I don't have to quiet him--he hardly ever utters a cry. He is always thinking about something. He is a patient, good little baby.
Smoke? I always smoke from 3 till 5 Sunday afternoons--and in New York the other day I smoked a week, day and night. But when Livy is well I smoke only those two hours on Sunday. I'm "boss" of the habit, now, and shall never let it boss me any more. Originally, I quit solely on Livy's account, (not that I believed there was the faintest reason in the matter, but just as I would deprive myself of sugar in my coffee if she wished it, or quit wearing socks if she thought them immoral,) and I stick to it yet on Livy's account, and shall always continue to do so, without a pang. But somehow it seems a pity that you quit, for Mrs. T. didn't mind it if I remember rightly. Ah, it is turning one's back upon a kindly Providence to spurn away from us the good creature he sent to make the breath of life a luxury as well as a necessity, enjoyable as well as useful, to go and quit smoking when then ain't any sufficient excuse for it! Why, my old boy, when they use to tell me I would shorten my life ten years by smoking, they little knew the devotee they were wasting their puerile word upon--they little knew how trivial and valueless I would regard a decade that had no smoking in it! But I won't persuade you, Twichell--I won't until I see you again--but then we'll smoke for a week together, and then shut off again.
I would have gone to Hartford from New York last Saturday, but I got so homesick I couldn't. But maybe I'll come soon.
No, Sir, catch me in the metropolis again, to get homesick.
I didn't know Warner had a book out.
We send oceans and continents of love--I have worked myself down, today. Yrs always MARK.