It is very rough; for the machine does at last seem perfect, and just a bird to go! I think she's going to be good for 8,000 ems an hour in the hands of a good ordinary man after a solid year's practice. I may be in error, but I most solidly believe it.
There's an improved Mergenthaler in New York; Paige and Davis and I watched it two whole afternoons. With the love of us all, MARK.
Arnot wrote Clemens urging him to accept the check for five thousand dollars in this moment of need. Clemens was probably as sorely tempted to compromise with his conscience as he had ever been in his life, but his resolution field firm.
To M. H. Arnot, in Elmira, N. Y.:
DEAR SIR,--No--no, I could not think of taking it, with you unsatisfied; and you ought not to be satisfied until you have made personal examination of the machine and had a consensus of testimony of disinterested people, besides. My own perfect knowledge of what is required of such a machine, and my perfect knowledge of the fact that this is the only machine that can meet that requirement, make it difficult for me to realize that a doubt is possible to less well-posted men; and so I would have taken your money without thinking, and thus would have done a great wrong to you and a great one to myself. And now that I go back over the ground, I remember that where I said I could get along 3 months without drawing on you, that delay contemplated a visit from you to the machine in the interval, and your satisfaction with its character and prospects. I had forgotten all that. But I remember it now; and the fact that it was not "so nominated in the bond" does not alter the case or justify me in making my call so prematurely. I do not know that you regarded all that as a part of the bargain--for you were thoroughly and magnanimously unexacting--but I so regarded it, notwithstanding I have so easily managed to forget all about it.
You so gratified me, and did me so much honor in bonding yourself to me in a large sum, upon no evidence but my word and with no protection but my honor, that my pride in that is much stronger than my desire to reap a money advantage from it.
With the sincerest appreciation I am Truly yours S L. CLEMENS.
P. S. I have written a good many words and yet I seem to have failed to say the main thing in exact enough language--which is, that the transaction between us is not complete and binding until you shall have convinced yourself that the machine's character and prospects are satisfactory.