Elmira, Sept. 17.
My Dear Insect:
With more than the solicitude of a mother I have watched your little ambitions develop, one by one, & with more than the grief of such a parent have seen them, one by one take their places among the world’s unnoticed failures.
When you started out to make a literary notoriety for yourself, & chose a nom de plume (“Ishmai el,”) playfully at variance with your g disposition, which is rather that of the pretty, gambolling lamb than the [bloodthirsty ]man of war, 1
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Provenance:see Mark Twain Papers, pp. 585–86.
Emendations and textual notes:
bloodthirsty • blood-ǀthirsty