16 March 1880 • Hartford, Conn.
(MS, inscription in A Tramp Abroad: CtY-BR, UCCL 01771)
No, I mean
My Dear Joe—Just imagine it, for a moment: I was in Eur collecting material in Europe during 14 months for a book, & now that the thing is printed, I find that you, who were with me only two a month & a half of the 14, are in actual presence (not imaginary) in 440 of the 531 pages the book contains! Hang it, if you had staid at home it would have taken me 14 years to get the material. You have saved me an intolerable whole world of hated labor, & I’ll not forget it, my boy.
You’ll find reminders of things, all along, that happened to us; & of others that didn’t happen, but you’ll remember the spot where they were invented. Somewhere in the book is mention of that bridge & that elephant (“keepsake”) & O, lots of such things. You will see how the imaginary perilous trip up the Riffelberg is preposterously expanded. That horse-student is on page 192. The “Fremersberg” is neighboring. to The Black-Forest Novel is on page 211—I remember when & where we projected that, in the leafy glades, with the mountain sublimities dozing in the blue haze beyond the gorge of Allerheiligen. There’s the “new member,” p. 213; the dentist yarn, 223; the true chamois, 242; at p. 248 is a pretty long yarn spun from a mighty brief text—meeting, for a moment, that pretty girl who knew me & whom I had forgotten; at 281 is yourself, “Harris,” & should have been so entitled, but Bliss has made a mistake & turned you into some other character; 305 brings back the whole Rhigi tramp to me at a glance; at 185 & 186 5 are specimens of my art; & the frontispiece is the combination which I made by pasting one familiar picture over the lower half of an equally familiar one—this fine work being worthy of Titian, I have shed the credit of it upon him. Well, you’ll find more reminders of things, scattered through here, than are printed, or could have been printed in many books. All the “legends of the Neckar” which I invented for that unstoried region, are here—one is in the Appendix. The steel portrait of me is just about perfect.
We had a mighty good time, Joe, & the 6 weeks I would dearly like to repeat, any time—but the rest of the 14 months, never.
Hartford, March 16, 1880
SLC 1880, CtY-BR.
Provenance:Twichell’s papers were passed on to his children. Although CtY received some items in 1951 from
Joseph H. Twichell and Mrs. Charles Ives, his son and daughter, the main
collection was donated in 1967 by Charles P. Twichell, his grandson.