No doubt I shall be on the platform next Monday. A week later we shall reach Wellington; talk there 3 nights, then sail back to Australia. We sailed for New Zealand October 30.
Day before yesterday was Livy's birthday (under world time), and tomorrow will be mine. I shall be 60--no thanks for it.
I and the others send worlds and worlds of love to all you dear ones.
The article mentioned in the foregoing letter was one which Twichell had been engaged by Harper's Magazine to write concerning the home life and characteristics of Mark Twain. By the time the Clemens party had completed their tour of India--a splendid, triumphant tour, too full of work and recreation for letter-writing--and had reached South Africa, the article had appeared, a satisfactory one, if we may judge by Mark Twain's next.
This letter, however, has a special interest in the account it gives of Mark Twain's visit to the Jameson raiders, then imprisoned at Pretoria.
To Rev. Jos. H. Twichell, in Hartford:
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC, The Queen's Birthday, '96. (May 24) DEAR OLD JOE,--Harper for May was given to me yesterday in Johannesburg by an American lady who lives there, and I read your article on me while coming up in the train with her and an old friend and fellow-Missourian of mine, Mrs. John Hays Hammond, the handsome and spirited wife of the chief of the 4 Reformers, who lies in prison here under a 15-year sentence, along with 50 minor Reformers who are in for 1 and 5-year terms. Thank you a thousand times Joe, you have praised me away above my deserts, but I am not the man to quarrel with you for that; and as for Livy, she will take your very hardiest statements at par, and be grateful to you to the bottom of her heart. Between you and Punch and Brander Matthews, I am like to have my opinion of myself raised sufficiently high; and I guess the children will be after you, for it is the study of their lives to keep my self-appreciation down somewhere within bounds.
I had a note from Mrs. Rev. Gray (nee Tyler) yesterday, and called on her to-day. She is well.