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Add to My Citations To Joseph H. Twichell
28 November 1868 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: ViU, UCCL 02769)
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daniel slote.em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceslote, woodman & co., blank book manufacturers,
webster woodman.em spaceem spaceem spaceem spacenos. 119 & 121 william street,
wm. a. mauterstock.
frank bowman.

p. o. box 21.em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spacenew york, Nov. 28 1868.

My Dear J. H.

Sound the loud timbrel!1—& let yourself out [to your ]most prodigious capacity,—for I have fought the good fight2 & lo! I have won! Refused three times—warned to quit, once—accepted at last!—& beloved!—Great Caesar’s ghost, if there were a church in town with a steeple high enough to make it an object, I would go out & jump over it! And I persecuted her parents for 48 hours & at last they couldn’t stand the siege any longer & so they made a conditional surrender:—which is to say, if she don’t makes up her mind thoroughly & eternally, & I prove that I have done nothing criminal or particularly shameful in the past, & establish a good character in the future & settle down, I may take the sun out of their e domestic firmament, the angel out of their fireside heaven. {Thunders of applause.} She felt the first symptoms last Sunday—my lecture, Monday night, brought the disease to the surface—Tuesday & Tuesday night she [avoided ]me & c would not do more than be simply polite to me because her parents said [ NO ]absolutely (almost,)—Wednesday they capitulated & marched out with their side-arms—Wednesday night—she said over & over & over again that she loved me but was sorry she did & hoped it would yet [passes away]—Thursday I was telling her what a splendid, magnificent fellows you & your wife were, & when my enthusiasm got the best of me & the tears sprang to my eyes, she just jumped up & said she was glad & [proud she ]loved me!—& Friday night I left, (to save her sacred name frome the tongues of the gossips[)]—& the last thing she said was: “Write immediately & just as often as you can!” Hurrai! {Hurricanes of applause.} [ There’s the history of it. ]

Oh, no—there isn’t any persistence about me—certainly not. But I am so happy I want to scalp somebody.

My fervent love to you both. Write me, now—address [121 ]William street.

I walk in the clouds again. I bow my reverent head—thy blessing!


Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 Thomas Moore’s “Sound the Loud Timbrel. Miriam’s Song,” in Sacred Songs (1816): “Sound the loud Timbrel o’er Egypt’s dark sea!/Jehovah has triumph’d—his people are free” (Moore, 244).

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2 1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.”

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphMS, Clifton Waller Barrett Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (ViU).

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L2, 293–294; MFMT, 15–16; LLMT, 23, excerpt.

glyphglyphProvenance:glyphdeposited at ViU on 17 December 1963. Twichell himself evidently returned to the Clemenses this and his 12 December 1868 letter, perhaps for sentimental reasons. Clara Clemens published it in 1931 (MFMT, 15–16); sometime between 1947 and 1949 she allowed Dixon Wecter to make a typescript of it (see Samossoud Collection, pp. 515–16); it was subsequently listed as “Mark Twain, letter to his friend regarding his love” in the notorious “Mark Twain Library Auction” in April 1951 at Los Angeles, from which it was presumably purchased by Caroline Thomas Harnsberger. Harnsberger deposited a typed transcript of the letter in the Mark Twain Papers in 1954, at about the time she sold her several Mark Twain manuscripts.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

to your • to your to your

avoided • [possibly ‘avodided’]

NO[‘NO’ underscored twice]

passes away • [passe◇ white diamondway] [blotted]

proud she • proud she she [corrected miswriting]

There’s . . . it.[possibly added, rather than inserted]

121 • 12 121 [corrected miswriting]