If you've got that paragraph by you yet, and if in your judgment it would be good to publish it, and if you absolutely would not mind doing it, then I think I'd like to have you do it--or else put some other words in my mouth that will be properer, and publish them. But mind, don't think of it for a moment if it is distasteful--and doubtless it is. I value your judgment more than my own, as to the wisdom of saying anything at all in this matter. To say nothing leaves me in an injurious position-- and yet maybe I might do better to speak to the men themselves when I go to New York. This was my latest idea, and it looked wise.
We expect to leave here for home Sept. 4, reaching there the 8th--but we may be delayed a week.
Curious thing. I read passages from my play, and a full synopsis, to Boucicault, who was re-writing a play, which he wrote and laid aside 3 or 4 years ago. (My detective is about that age, you know.) Then he read a passage from his play, where a real detective does some things that are as idiotic as some of my old Wheeler's performances. Showed me the passages, and behold, his man's name is Wheeler! However, his Wheeler is not a prominent character, so we'll not alter the names. My Wheeler's name is taken from the old jumping Frog sketch.
I am re-reading Ticknor's diary, and am charmed with it, though I still say he refers to too many good things when he could just as well have told them. Think of the man traveling 8 days in convoy and familiar intercourse with a band of outlaws through the mountain fastnesses of Spain--he the fourth stranger they had encountered in thirty years--and compressing this priceless experience into a single colorless paragraph of his diary! They spun yarns to this unworthy devil, too.
I wrote you a very long letter a day or two ago, but Susy Crane wanted to make a copy of it to keep, so it has not gone yet. It may go today, possibly.
We unite in warm regards to you and yours. Yrs ever, MARK.
The Ticknor referred to in a former letter was Professor George Ticknor, of Harvard College, a history-writer of distinction. On the margin of the "Diary" Mark Twain once wrote, "Ticknor is a Millet, who makes all men fall in love with him." And adds: "Millet was the cause of lovable qualities in people, and then he admired and loved those persons for the very qualities which he (without knowing it) had created in them. Perhaps it would be strictly truer of these two men to say that they bore within them the divine something in whose presence the evil in people fled away and hid itself, while all that was good in them came spontaneously forward out of the forgotten walls and comers in their systems where it was accustomed to hide."
It is Frank Millet, the artist, he is speaking of--a knightly soul whom all the Clemens household loved, and who would one day meet his knightly end with those other brave men that found death together when the Titanic went down.