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Add to My Citations To Thomas Bailey Aldrich
25 March 1874 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS: MH-H, UCCL 01069)
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Dear Aldrich—

You see (page 109) you’ve got that ancient river-bed in your head, & you’ve got the modern river-bed in your head too, & [you’ve ] gone & mixed the two together. But they won’t mix., any more than oil & water. Nevins could see the stream down in the cañon, & that is what I allow him to see; & he could judge there was gold there, by (in that stream,) by the look of things—& I allow him to do that; but he couldn’t see one of those “ancient” river-beds, because it is buried in the very heart of the mountain; & if one little end of it did stick out of the mountain side that man couldn’t see it a hundred yards, & if he could he wouldn’t know what it was. That paragraph has been an awful strain on my intellect, but I believe I am in a measure rational yet. As there would be a little gold all through the sand, I suggest “the rich spots,” to justify the “tons” & the “confound her!”1

Ys Ever


Aldrich you better send another profof if you use language different from what I have suggested. [Merely ] to keep technicalities straight, you know.2

Mrs. C. getting along tolerably well. We send our warmest regards.


Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 An amplification of Clemens’s earlier advice (see 15 and 16 Mar 74 to Aldrich, n. 2). Aldrich seems to have fully followed his advice, by amending page 109 of the book proofs (presumably enclosed here with Clemens’s revisions, although now lost), only after receiving this letter.

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2 See 8 July 74 to Aldrich, n. 1.

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Houghton Library, Harvard University (MH-H, shelf mark bMS Am 1429 [1151–1191]).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L6, 94–95.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphdeposited by Talbot Aldrich in June 1942, and donated in 1949.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

you’ve • [‘uv’ conflated]

Merely • M | Merely [rewritten for clarity]