Elmira, Aug. 31.
Damnation, (if you will allow the expression,) get up & take a turn around the block & let the sentiment blow off you. Sentiment is for girls—I mean the maudlin article, of course. Real sentiment is a very rare & godlike [thing. y You] do not know anybody that has it; neither do I.
You are petting & pitying & admiring yourself over your years of patient endeavor,
& sole individual unassisted achievements, & g
your good fight against
Have you a monopoly in of misfortune & possible
As to the past, there is but one good thing about it, & that is, that it is
the past—we don’t have to see it again. There is nothing in it worth pickling for present or future use. Each day
that is added to the past is but an old boot added to a pile of rubbish. I have no tears for my pile, no respect, no reverence, no
des pleasure in taking, a rag-picker’s [hook.
[&] exploring it. If you can
And by jings I think you & Orion ought to have my future pile, Will. Both of you are always climbing a rainbow that has
t a pot of coin buried at the other end. That is to say, your reckless imaginations are always eating feasts that are never
to be cooked. Your Evansville lawsuit was nothing but a dream; your richest widow in St Louis was
another.2 Come, now, don’t imagine that I am objecting to these gorgeous futures of yours & Orion’s. It
is not the case. I simply don’t
It is the strangest, the most incomprehensible thing to me, that you are still 16, while I have aged to 41. What
is the secret of your eternal youth?—not that I want to try it; far from it—I only ask out of
curiosity. I can see by your manner of speech, that for more than twenty years you have stood still dead still in the midst
of the dreaminess, the melancholy, the romance, the heroics, of sweet but sappy sixteen. Man, do you know that this is simply mental
& moral masturbation? It belongs
You try it—on the faith of
(who is a better friend to you
than you are to yourself,)
Samℓ. L. Clemens.
P. S. Do give my love to your mother, whom I still, as always, hold in the highest esteem & most loving remembrance.
We go hence, tomorrow, with a g vague general idea of trave visiting various friends for 5 or 6 weeks, & then home to Hartford.