. . I'm not expecting anything but kicks for scoffing, and am
expecting a diminution of my bread and butter by it, but if Livy
will let me I will have my say. This nation is like all the others
that have been spewed upon the earth -- ready to shout for any
cause that will tickle its vanity or fill its pocket. What a hell
of a heaven it will be, when they get all these hypocrites assembled
can't understand it! You are a public guide and teacher, Joe,
and are under a heavy responsibility to men, young and old; if
you teach your people -- as you teach me -- to hide their opinions
when they believe the flag is being abused and dishonored, lest
the utterance do them and a publisher a damage, how do you answer
for it to your conscience? You are sorry for me; in the fair way
of give and take, I am willing to be a little sorry for you.
I seem to be going counter to my own Private Philosophy -- which
Livy won't allow me to publish -- because it would destroy me.
But I hope to see it in print before I die. I planned it 15 years
ago, and wrote it in '98. I've often tried to read it to Livy,
but she won't have it; it makes her melancholy. The truth always
has that effect on people. Would have, anyway, if they ever got
hold of a rag of it -- Which they don't.
are supposing that I am supposing that I am moved by a Large Patriotism,
and that I am distressed because our President has blundered up
to his neck in the Philippine mess; and that I am grieved because
this great big ignorant nation, which doesn't know even the A
B C facts of the Philippine episode, is in disgrace before the
sarcastic world -- drop that idea! I care nothing for the rest
-- I am only distressed and troubled because I am befouled by
these things. That is all. When I search myself away down deep,
I find this out. Whatever a man feels or thinks or does, there
is never any but one reason for it -- and that is a selfish one.
great inconvenience, and expense of precious time I went to the
chief synagogue the other night and talked in the interest of
a charity school of poor Jew girls. I know -- to the finest shades
-- the selfish ends that moved me; but no one else suspects. I
could give you the details if I had time. You would perceive how
true they are.
written another article; you better hurry down and help Livy squelch
out pottering around somewhere, poor house-keeping slave; and
Clara is in the hands of the osteopath, getting the bronchitis
pulled and hauled out of her. It was a bad attack, and a little
disquieting. It came day before yesterday, and she hasn't sat
up till this afternoon. She is getting along satisfactorily, now.
of love to you all.
Mark Twain's Letters (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1917)