all kinds job printingterms.—daily, $10; tri-weekly, $5;
weekly, $2 per year;
and book binding.fractions of a year in the same proportion.
geo. a. benedict,office cleveland daily herald130 & 132 bank street.
geo. s. benedict,fairbanks, benedict & co., proprietors
a. w. fairbanks.
cleveland, o. Feb. 13, 186 9.
Livy, darling, (10 AM.) I have been here two hours in a splendid state of [exasperation. I ] went to bed in the cars at half past nine, last night & slept like a log until 7 this morning, & woke up thoroughly refreshed. The first thing Mrs. Fairbanks said was, [ “where were you last night?—a telegram came from Alliance at 8 o’clock, saying “Splendid audience assembled—where is Mark Twain?—somebody will be responsible for this.”]
I said “Alliance?—never heard of it!”
And she said Mr. Fairbanks made the appointment for me, & would have telegraphed me but didn’t know where to telegraph—didn’t know but that I had left Elmira—& as my letter from there (received last Monday), said I would reach here on the 12th, he didn’t think it necessary to telegraph me anyhow. What abominable absurdity! I said, “Will you never learn anything? Are you going to be the same astonishing old aggregation of nonsense all the days of your life? Didn’t you know I would stay in Elmira to the very last moment?—& didn’t you know that Livy would be certain to know where I was, & that a telegram to Charley1 would find me?”—& so on, till she threatened to take the broomstick to me. So you see, I must foot those Alliance bills—it would be dishonorable to do otherwise—& I must make a long trip west in the Spring & deliver that lecture free of charge—as nearly as I can come at it the failure to expend a dollar on a telegram will result in costing me two hundred dollars, four days lost time & five hundred miles of travel—& yet Fairbanks’ letter to me, which should have gone to Jacksonville or Galena by telegraph, is still chasing around the country somewhere. I have begged him, & those hated execrable agents of mine [ all always ] to use the telegraph, but I can’t get them to do it. The U.S. Mail has cost me some fifteen hundred dollars this season, & I would heartily wish it sunk to the bottom of the sea, only that it is so useful to me in hearing from you, Livy. So we will let the U.S. Mail still live, my darling—I can’t possibly do without it.
Now I am in a good humor again, & all the Alliances in the world can’t get me out of it again. I have given Mrs. Fairbanks the little ring, & she will have the engagement ring made. It seems unnatural not to see you this morning, you precious girl—& it seems odd not to find Mrs Langdon’s face among the faces about me, or hear [ that the ] pleasant cackle of that absurd cousin of yours2—I send her my very kindest regards. Give Mr. [Langdon ] my love, please—he is at home by this time.3
With a fervent blessing, & a prayer for you, & many & many a kiss, my dear Livy,
Sam. ℓ L. C.4
Miss Olivia L. Langdon
Politeness of the Reformed Pirate.[return address:] fairbanks, benedict & co. publishers of the herald, book and job printers, bank st., cleveland, o. p. m. if not called for within ten days return. [docketed by OLL:] 38th
CU-MARK). A photographic facsimile of the letter is on pp. 523–29. The MS consists of three leaves of blue-lined off-white wove paper, approximately 5 9/16 by 8½ inches, inscribed on all six sides in black ink, now faded to brown.
Provenance:see Samossoud Collection, p. 586.
Emendations and textual notes:
exasperation. I • exasperation.—ǀI
”where ... “Splendid ... this.” • [sic]
all always • allways [underscored after revision]
that the • thate
Langdon • [doubtful ‘Langdons’; ‘s’ partly formed]