To Hon. J. Sterling Morton, in Washington, D. C.: Editorial Department Century Magazine, Union Square,
NEW YORK, April 6, 1893. TO THE HON. J. STERLING MORTON,--Dear Sir: Your petitioner, Mark Twain, a poor farmer of Connecticut--indeed, the poorest one there, in the opinion of many-desires a few choice breeds of seed corn (maize), and in return will zealously support the Administration in all ways honorable and otherwise.
To speak by the card, I want these things to hurry to Italy to an English lady. She is a neighbor of mine outside of Florence, and has a great garden and thinks she could raise corn for her table if she had the right ammunition. I myself feel a warm interest in this enterprise, both on patriotic grounds and because I have a key to that garden, which I got made from a wax impression. It is not very good soil, still I think she can grow enough for one table and I am in a position to select the table. If you are willing to aid and abet a countryman (and Gilder thinks you are,) please find the signature and address of your petitioner below.
Respectfully and truly yours. MARK TWAIN,
P. S.--A handful of choice (Southern) watermelon seeds would pleasantly add to that lady's employments and give my table a corresponding lift.
His idea of business values had moderated considerably by the time he had returned to Florence. He was not hopeless yet, but he was clearly a good deal disheartened--anxious for freedom.
FLORENCE May 30, '93 DEAR MR. HALL,--You were to cable me if you sold any machine royalties-- so I judge you have not succeeded.
This has depressed me. I have been looking over the past year's letters and statements and am depressed still more.