Don't bother to write a letter--3 lines on a postal card is all that I can permit from a busy man. Yrs ever MARK.
P. S. Good! You'll not have to feel any call to mention that debut in the Atlantic--they've made me pay the grand cash for my box!--a thing which most managers would be too worldly-wise to do, with journalistic folks. But I'm most honestly glad, for I'd rather pay three prices, any time, than to have my tongue half paralyw4 with a dead-head ticket.
Hang that Anna Dickinson, a body can never depend upon her debuts! She has made five or six false starts already. If she fails to debut this time, I will never bet on her again.
In his book, My Mark Twain, Howells refers to the "tragedy" of Miss Dickinson's appearance. She was the author of numerous plays, some of which were successful, but her career as an actress was never brilliant.
At Elmira that summer the Clemenses heard from their good friend Doctor Brown, of Edinburgh, and sent eager replies.
To Dr. John Brown, in Edinburgh:
ELMIRA, NEW YORK, U. S. June 22, 1876. DEAR FRIEND THE DOCTOR,-- It was a perfect delight to see the well-known handwriting again! But we so grieve to know that you are feeling miserable. It must not last--it cannot last. The regal summer is come and it will smile you into high good cheer; it will charm away your pains, it will banish your distresses. I wish you were here, to spend the summer with us. We are perched on a hill-top that overlooks a little world of green valleys, shining rivers, sumptuous forests and billowy uplands veiled in the haze of distance. We have no neighbors. It is the quietest of all quiet places, and we are hermits that eschew caves and live in the sun. Doctor, if you'd only come!
I will carry your letter to Mrs. C. now, and there will be a glad woman, I tell you! And she shall find one of those pictures to put in this for Mrs. Barclays and if there isn't one here we'll send right away to Hartford and get one. Come over, Doctor John, and bring the Barclays, the Nicolsons and the Browns, one and all! Affectionately, SAML. L. CLEMENS.