I do not wish to write on the subject of articles any [more. Leave] me out of the paper except once in 3 6 months., & don’t write me anything more about it—either you or Bliss. I know that you both mean the very best for me, but you are wrong.
You both wrote me discouraging [letters. Yours] stopped my pen for two days—Bliss’s stopped it for three. Hereafter my wife will read my Hartford letters & if they are of the the same nature, keep them out of my hands. The idea of a newspaper editor & a publisher plying with dismal letters a man who is under contract to write humorous books for them!1
I sent Bliss MSS yesterday, up to about 100 pages2 of MSd.
Don’t be in a great hurry getting out the specimen chapters for canvassers, for I want the chapter I am writing now in it—& it is away up to page 750 of the MS.3 I would like to select the “specimen” chapters myself (along with Joe Goodman, who writes by my side every day up at the farm).4 Joe & I have a 600-page book in contemplation which will wake up the nation. It is a thing which David Gray & I have talked over with David Gray a good deal, & he wanted me to do it right & just & well—which I couldn’t without a [ re ] man to do the accurate drudgery and some little other writing. But Joe is the party. This present book will be a tolerable success—possibly an excellent success if the chief newspapers start it off well—but the other book will be an awful success.5 The only trouble is, how I am to hang on to Joe till I publish this present book & another before I begin on the joint one.6
When is the selection to be made for the specimen chapters?
In remarking on the diminished public “desire” for a book by Mark Twain, Bliss alluded to the
damage done by the (Burlesque) Autobiography, a work he had opposed (27 Jan 71 to Sheldon, n. 1; 26 Apr 71 to Fairbanks, n. 1).
In remarking on the diminished public “desire” for a book by Mark Twain, Bliss alluded to the damage done by the (Burlesque) Autobiography, a work he had opposed (27 Jan 71 to Sheldon, n. 1; 26 Apr 71 to Fairbanks, n. 1).
Provenance:see McKinney Family Papers in Description of Provenance.
Emendations and textual notes:
more. Leave • more.—ǀLeave
letters. Yours • letters.—ǀYours
re • [doubtful]