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Add to My Citations To James Redpath
10 May 1870 • Elmira, N.Y.
(Will M. Clemens 1900, 27, and four others, UCCL 00463)
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[Elmira, ] [N. Y. ], [May 10, 1870. ]

[Friend Redpath,— ]

[I guess I am out of the field permanently ]. [I am sending off [these circulars ] to [all ] lecture [applicants ] now.1 If you want some more of them ] [I can send them to you ] [—for they are very convenient for you to mail to people & save penmanship. ]

[Have got a lovely wife, a lovely [house, ] bewitchingly [furnished ], a lovely [carriage, ] [& a ] coachman whose style & dignity are simply [awe-inspiring—]nothing [less; ] 2 [& ] I am making more money than [necessary, ] by [considerable, ] [& ] [therefore ] why crucify myself [nightly ] on the platform ]. [The subscriber will have to be excused from the present season at least. ]

[Remember me to Nasby, Billings ] [& ] [Fall. ] [Luck to you! ] [I am going to print your menagerie, Parton and all, and make comments.3

In next Galaxy I give Nasby’s friend and mine from Philadelphia (John Quill, a literary thief) a “hyste.” ] [I don’t consider that the Rev. Talmage has the weather gage of me yet. ] 4

[Yours always [& ] after, ]

[Mark. ]

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Doubtless copies of Clemens’s printed form letter for declining lecture invitations: see 8 Feb 70 to Fuller.

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2 Patrick McAleer.

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3 Petroleum V. Nasby (David Ross Locke), Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw), and James Parton (1822–91), the well-known biographer and contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, were among the lecturers managed by Redpath and Fall (Lyceum 1870, 2–3). Clemens had compared experiences with Locke and Shaw in November 1869 and Locke called on the Clemenses in February 1870 (L3, 387, 397 n. 3, 405, 406, 409, 411; 20 Feb 70 to Langdon). Clemens sent Shaw his wedding cards, in reply to which Shaw returned congratulations on 14 February, reporting that he had “agreed to let Redpath mould me for next season, if I am able to shout, and have gave him entire control of my “Milk” (CU-MARK). Clemens may also have written to Shaw shortly after the present letter, on or about 16 May, but all that survives of his draft is that date and a salutation on a page later used by Olivia for a household shopping list (CU-MARK). Clemens did not publish anything about Redpath’s “menagerie,” at least not in the Buffalo Express. The subject continued to tempt him, however, and in 1898 he wrote about Nasby and others for his autobiography (SLC 1898 [MT01388], 1898 [MT01385]).

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4 See 26 Apr 70 to Fuller, n. 4, and 30? Apr 70 to Converse, n. 1.



glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphNo copy-text. The letter is reconstructed from five partial transcripts, each of which derived independently from the MS:
P1 Will M. Clemens 1900, 27
P2 MTB, 1:409–10
P3 MTL, 1:172–73
P4 Anderson Galleries 1919, lot 176
P5 Parke-Bernet 1950, lot 241
Will Clemens evidently transcribed the P1 text from the MS before 1900. Albert Bigelow Paine must have seen and transcribed the MS before 1912 when he published the short excerpt in P2, and he may have used the same transcription or made a second one before 1917, when he published the longer excerpts in P3. Both catalog texts were transcribed directly from the MS when it was advertised for sale, P4 in 1919 and P5 in 1950. P4 describes it as ‘A. L. S., (signed “Mark”), 2 pages, 4to, Elmira, N. Y., May 10, 1870,’ and P5 includes a similar description.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 128–129; Horner, 165–66; “Letters to James Redpath,” Mark Twain Quarterly 5 (Winter–Spring 1942): 19, in addition to texts listed under Copy-text.

glyphglyphEmendations, adopted readings, and textual notes:glyph


Elmira, • [reported, not quoted] (P4, P5); Elmira, (P1, P3); [not in] (P2)

N. Y., (P1) • [reported, not quoted] (P4); N. Y.caret (P3); [not in] (P2, P5)

May 10, 1870. (P1) • [reported, not quoted] (P4, P5); May 10, 1870. (P3); [not in] (P2)

[no ¶] Friend Redpath,— • [no ¶] Friend Redpath: (P1); [¶] Friend Redpath,— (P3); [not in] (P2, P4, P5)

[] I . . . permanently. (P1, P2) • [no ¶] I . . . permanently. (P3, P5); [not in] (P4)

these circulars • those circulars (P1); these (P5)

all (P1) • [not in] (P5)

applicants (P1) • applicants, (P5)

I . . . them (P1, P5) • [not in] (P2, P3, P4)

I . . . you • I . . . you. (P1); [not in] (P2, P3, P4, P5)

—for . . . penmanship. (P5) • [not in] (P1, P2, P3, P4)

house, (P2, P3) • housecaret (P4)

furnished, (P2, P4) • furnished; (P3)

carriage, (P2, P3) • carriagecaret (P4)

& a (P4) • and a (P2 ,P3)

awe-inspiring— (P3) • awe-ǀin-spiring (P2); awe-ǀinspiring (P4)

less; (P2) • less— (P3); less. (P4)

& • and (P2, P3); And (P4)

necessary, (P2, P4) • necessary— (P3)

considerable, (P2, P3) • considerable— (P4)

& (P4) • and (P2, P3)

therefore (P2, P3) • therefore, (P4)

nightly (P2, P3) • nightly, (P4)

[¶] Have . . . platform. (P3, P4) • [no ¶] Have . . . platform? (P2); [not in] (P1, P5)

The . . . least. (P1, P2, P3) • [not in] (P4, P5)

[] Remember . . . Billings (P1, P3, P5) • [no ¶] Remember . . . Billings (P4, P5); [not in] (P2)

& (P4, P5) • and (P1, P3); [not in] (P2)

Fall. (P1, P3, P4) • Fallcaret (P5); [not in] (P2)

Luck to you!; (P1, P3) • [not in] (P2, P4, P5)

I . . . “hyste.” (P3) • [not in] (P1, P2, P4, P5)

I . . . yet. (P4) • [not in] (P1, P2, P3, P5)

& • and (P1, P3)

Yours . . . after, (P1) • Yours . . . after. (P3); [not in] (P2, P4, P5)

Mark. • Mark. (P1, P3); Mark (P4, P5); [not in] (P2)