My little mother is very bright and cheery, and I guess she is pretty happy, but I don't know what about. She laughs a great deal, notwithstanding she is sick abed. And she eats a great deal, though she says that is because the nurse desires it. And when she has had all the nurse desires her to have, she asks for more. She is getting along very well indeed.
My aunt Susie Crane has been here some ten days or two weeks, but goes home today, and Granny Fairbanks of Cleveland arrives to take her place. --[Mrs. Fairbanks, of the Quaker City excursion.] Very lovingly, LANGDON CLEMENS.
P. S. Father said I had better write because you would be more interested in me, just now, than in the rest of the family.
Clemens had made the acquaintance of the Rev. Joseph Hopkins Twichell and his wife during his several sojourns in Hartford, in connection with his book publication, and the two men had immediately become firm friends. Twichell had come to Elmira in February to the wedding to assist Rev. Thos. K. Beecher in the marriage ceremony. Joseph Twichell was a devout Christian, while Mark Twain was a doubter, even a scoffer, where orthodoxy was concerned, yet the sincerity and humanity of the two men drew them together; their friendship was lifelong.
A second letter to Twichell, something more than a month later, shows a somewhat improved condition in the Clemens household.
BUF. Dec. 19th, 1870. DEAR J. H.,--All is well with us, I believe--though for some days the baby was quite ill. We consider him nearly restored to health now, however. Ask my brother about us--you will find him at Bliss's publishing office, where he is gone to edit Bliss's new paper--left here last Monday. Make his and his wife's acquaintance. Take Mrs. T. to see them as soon as they are fixed.
Livy is up, and the prince keeps her busy and anxious these latter days and nights, but I am a bachelor up stairs and don't have to jump up and get the soothing syrup -though I would as soon do it as not, I assure you. (Livy will be certain to read this letter.)
Tell Harmony (Mrs. T.) that I do hold the baby, and do it pretty handily, too, although with occasional apprehensions that his loose head will fall off. I don't have to quiet him--he hardly ever utters a cry. He is always thinking about something. He is a patient, good little baby.