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Add to My Citations To Olivia L. Langdon
with a note to Charles J. Langdon
21 and 23 December 1868 • Detroit, Mich.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCCL 00207)
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Detroit, Dec. 21.

My Dearest Livy—

I am almost tired out. It has been 22 hours since I wrote you, & ever since that time I have been drifting along over the slowest railways. I have just arrived here, & it is almost midnight. I can’t get any supper—too late—but I don’t mind that—

I am so inexpressibly tired & drowsy!—not tired, either, but worn, you know, & dreary. I wish I never had to travel any more. And I [ won’t ], after we come to anchor, my dear—I won’t for any light cause. How I long to have a home & never leave [it! You ]don’t thoroughly appreciate the luxury of having a home, Livy—but you could before long, if you had to go, go, go, all the time, from one of these hated hotels to another, as I do. Now this room is large & well furnished, & the open fire looks cheerful—but it is stupid & lonesome,—& there is that indescribable something or other about the disposal of the curtains & the bureau ornaments which tells that the place does not caretseldomcaret [knows ]the gentle presence of a woman. I wish you—but you can’t be here, of course—& so there isn’t any use in wishing it. I——but I am falling [asleep. I ] do love you, Livy. Good-night. Our Father have you in [ his His ]holy keeping. , my blameless one.

[22d ]—Midnight.—I have just this moment parted with my newspaper friends—I don’t get a moment’s time to myself. [ I ]The whole day long I have been driving or visiting, with first one & then another—& I found an old friend or two here, as usual—I find them everywhere—how they do wander! It was move, move, move—all the day long—& so I got no time to write finish my letter—I barely got time to shave before time for the lecture (1,000 or 1,100 people there—they seemed to like it.) I called on Miss Nye and Mrs. Sill1 at 4 P.M., & staid to tea at 6, because the place looked homelike & I wanted to get away from the dreariness of the hotel. I am not going to tell you what Miss Nye said about you, Livy, because you would simply say she was blinded by love, & you would believe it, too. Why won’t you let us praise you all we want to?—it is ever so pleasant to us, & it don’t do you any harm, you dear little woman. But one thing she said which I will tell you, anyhow—it supports what Mrs. Fairbanks says, & what I say: She said your English composition was wonderful for the charm there was about it—& I say its simplicity, its naturalness & its unconsciousness are just matchless. Now ruffle your feathers!—but it isn’t of any use, Livy—I am not on the sofa & you can’t stop my mouth. {If I were I would stop yours with a kiss precious soon, I can tell you.} I was very stupid, at Mr. Sill’s, [but I ]think it was mostly because I was ashamed of being there unshaven.—though of course I was drowsy from driving two hours & a half in the cold & snow. Mr. Sill was not at home, & the ladies could not attend the lecture, but Miss Nye sent a note inviting me [ to fo ](for [Mrs. ]Sill) to come there Christmas Day to attend some sort of Santa Claus fandango—but you know I can’t be here [then. Please ]won’t you write Miss Nye so, in your next letter?—there’s a dear good girl. You see the note does not require an answer, & even if it did, when shall I get a chance to answer it?

No letter from you, Livy—but I know it will come in the morning, [ be ]unless circumstances have interfered to prevent your writing it—for I know you meant to do it.

Don’t write to Dayton, at all—the date has been changed—but please write so that one letter to Cleveland (care Herald) to hit that date (Dec. 31.) I shall be there.

Livy, I ought to be ashamed to send you such a shabby, incoherent, yea, trifling & trivial a letter as this—but dear, it has been written in fatigue & drowsiness at such odd moments as I could catch late [& night]—& you will forgive. It is 1 o’clock A.M. now, & I must get up this morning (23d) & go & lecture at Lansing [to-night]. I am very sleepy. My fire has gone out & I am catching cold. Give my loving duty to Mr. & Mrs. Langdon, please.

Good night. I shall remember you in my prayers, five minutes hence, my life, my hope, my darling!

Always your
em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceLoving subject
em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem space& Obedient—

Sam. L. C.

caretThe picture, the pic-
em spaceem space ture, Livy! caret

[in margin of page 1:] Now, Livy please don’t answer this with a short letter just because this is short, but consider the circumstances, dear, & write a good long one.

section break

altalt

caretCharley, please give a world of my respect & esteem to Miss Ida,2 & a homeopathic dose of my [love.

Do ], you new-fashioned nail-grab,3

& Oblige [

em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceSam.caret ]

{graphic group: 1 diagonal squiggle inline overlay}

caretCharlie, if you will send me a keg of nails for a Christmas present, I will send you one of my old second-hand lectures section break caret

[on the back:] Please give letters 4 days in which to reach any point in the list, Livy—the mails are so unreliable that this seems necessary.


[docketed in ink by OLL:] 14th

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Emma Nye’s hosts in Detroit, Mr. and Mrs. Sill, have not been further identified.

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2 Ida B. Clark.

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3 Charles Langdon had recently entered the hardware business in Elmira. In his mother’s 1 December letter to Mrs. Fairbanks, she noted that “Charlie has now installed himself quite thoroughly in his ‘Hardware business’ & seems quite happy” (26 and 27 Nov 68 to Fairbanks, n. 3). According to the Elmira Advertiser, Charles had formed a partnership with Miles Ayrault, Stephen Rose, and Irving D. Booth (Boyd and Boyd, 61, 70, 185):

The new year brings to the Hardware House of Ayrault, Rose & Co., on Lake street, a new partner in the person of Mr. Charles J. Langdon, who enters upon the practical business of a merchant with the same characteristic energy which he has heretofore exhibited in the pursuit of knowledge or pleasure. (“Our Business Men,” Elmira Advertiser, 4 Jan 69, 4)



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L2, 339–342.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphsee Samossoud Collection, pp. 515–16.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph


won’tw[o]n’t [torn]

it! You • it!—ǀYou

knows • [‘s’ possibly inserted]

asleep. I • asleep.—ǀI

his His • h His

22D[numerals underscored twice]

I[partly formed]

but I • [‘I’ possibly over partly formed ‘t’]

to fot fo

Mrs. • Mrs Mrs. [corrected miswriting]

then. Please • then.—ǀPlease

bebe ǀ [doubtful]

& night • [sic]

to-night • to-ǀnight

love. [] Do • love.—ǀ [] Do

Sam.caret • Sam[white diamond]caret [torn]