To Miss Joy Agnew, in London:
TUXEDO PARK, NEW YORK. Unto you greetings and salutation and worship, you dear, sweet little rightly-named Joy! I can see you now almost as vividly as I saw you that night when you sat flashing and beaming upon those sombre swallow-tails.
"Fair as a star when only one Is shining in the sky."
Oh, you were indeed the only one--there wasn't even the remotest chance of competition with you, dear! Ah, you are a decoration, you little witch!
The idea of your house going to the wanton expense of a flower garden!-- aren't you enough? And what do you want to go and discourage the other flowers for? Is that the right spirit? is it considerate? is it kind? How do you suppose they feel when you come around--looking the way you look? And you so pink and sweet and dainty and lovely and supernatural? Why, it makes them feel embarrassed and artificial, of course; and in my opinion it is just as pathetic as it can be. Now then you want to reform--dear--and do right.
Well certainly you are well off, Joy:
3 bantams; 3 goldfish; 3 doves; 6 canaries; 2 dogs; 1 cat;
All you need, now, to be permanently beyond the reach of want, is one more dog--just one more good, gentle, high principled, affectionate, loyal dog who wouldn't want any nobler service than the golden privilege of lying at your door, nights, and biting everything that came along--and I am that very one, and ready to come at the dropping of a hat.
Do you think you could convey my love and thanks to your "daddy" and Owen Seaman and those other oppressed and down-trodden subjects of yours, you darling small tyrant?
On my knees! These--with the kiss of fealty from your other subject--
Elinor Glyn, author of Three Weeks and other erotic tales, was in America that winter and asked permission to call on Mark Twain. An appointment was made and Clemens discussed with her, for an hour or more, those crucial phases of life which have made living a complex problem since the days of Eve in Eden. Mrs. Glyn had never before heard anything like Mark Twain's wonderful talk, and she was anxious to print their interview. She wrote what she could remember of it and sent it to him for approval. If his conversation had been frank, his refusal was hardly less so.
To Mrs. Elinor Glyn, in New York:
Jan. 22, '08. DEAR MRS. GLYN, It reads pretty poorly--I get the sense of it, but it is a poor literary job; however, it would have to be that because nobody can be reported even approximately, except by a stenographer. Approximations, synopsized speeches, translated poems, artificial flowers and chromos all have a sort of value, but it is small. If you had put upon paper what I really said it would have wrecked your type-machine. I said some fetid, over-vigorous things, but that was because it was a confidential conversation. I said nothing for print. My own report of the same conversation reads like Satan roasting a Sunday school. It, and certain other readable chapters of my autobiography will not be published until all the Clemens family are dead--dead and correspondingly indifferent. They were written to entertain me, not the rest of the world. I am not here to do good--at least not to do it intentionally. You must pardon me for dictating this letter; I am sick a-bed and not feeling as well as I might. Sincerely Yours, S. L. CLEMENS.
Among the cultured men of England Mark Twain had no greater admirer, or warmer friend, than Andrew Lang. They were at one on most literary subjects, and especially so in their admiration of the life and character of Joan of Arc. Both had written of her, and both held her to be something almost more than mortal.