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and I would like to see the effect my book has on them. I do so hope that I shall write. I am going to try very hard.
I have at least been a little consoled by seeing you. I saw you when you were coming down from reading; maybe you saw me but I doubt it. I was sitting in the corridor "under the clock", just across from the stairs and near the elevator.
I hope with all my heart that I shall meet you some day.
Monday, May 18th, 19-, Number 941 Linden Street, Oakland, California.
I am Mr. Jordan, Will Jordan. I am the same one that you used to see at Mrs. Blake's House, in San Francisco. I would like to remind you of some things, and also, ask some favors of you, and also, of all of your lady, and girl friends, through you, and when I say all of your friends, I mean all of them, and everywhere. Will you, and your friends, please dress for the halloweens and for all of them, & as follows? While you are in the house, wear standing collars, and turn back cuffs, or, turn down collars, and inside cuffs, but, if you go out on the street, wear also, either thread gloves, or dressed kid gloves, either outside, or inside, of the sleeves. Also, this same style of dress, would be equally suitable, for seeing, or doing, any of the following things. For any circus, or any real fire, or any race, or any tournament, or any disaster, or any sham fight, or any killing contest, or to see
anything killed, or any melodrama, or to see any animals trained, or broken, or for any hunting, or fishing excursion, or for any Wild West Show, or for any horses show. This is what I call, the 1st Style of Dress.
Also, if you, or your friends, should ever do, or see, any real fights, or tragedies, please dress for that, and as follows. Wear veils, if it is possible, turn down collars, turn back cuffs, and undressed kid gloves, either outside, or inside, of the sleeves. This also, is what I call, the 2nd Style of Dress.
Mrs. Wiggin, if you, and your friends, would do all this for me, it would oblige me very much. I have asked you, and your friends, to do this for me, because, I think so much of having ladies, and girls, thoroughly dressed, at such times, either to do such things themselves, or to see them done. Mrs. Wiggin, you know me, you remember me, and Your Mother and Sister, and I and My Mother, used to meet you at Mrs. Blake's House in San Francisco?
I will say again, that if you, & your friends, would all do this for me, it would oblige me, very much, for the reason I have given. When a woman, or a girl, is dressed in either of these ways, she is to me, at least as well dressed, and as thoroughly dressed for such things, as she would be if she was dressed in the usual way. I enclose a stamp for reply.
W. H. JORDAN.
Mrs. Wiggin, please don't return this letter, or please don't write and tell me that you don't wish to do all this, because I want you to do it. You know me, and remember me, therefore, I want to ask these favors of you, and your friends.
(Signed) W. H. JORDAN.
Those who have read your moving little tales (and who has not?) know you to be entirely above the use of cosmetics, but it would be both laudable and legitimate if you should use some simple emollient and thereby preserve those charms with which Nature has endowed you so lavishly.
We send you herewith 6 bots of the W. R. B. If you should feel you could give us a testimonial we should be deeply grateful but in any event dear Madam we shall be glad to have served you.
Yours respec'y & admiringly,
February 8th, 1910.
MESSERS. HOUGHTON, MIFLIN AND CO.,
I would like to write a sequel to "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" published by you; Provided of course no other has written one, and also provided I could arrange with you to publish it for me.
Will you kindly tell me if you would undertake this if in your Judgement the sequel was every whit as good as Rebecca and it was about the same sized body and binding? Could you tell me if Rebecca, met with a good
slightest temptation to me to part with my place, neglected as it is. I consider it worth $1,000, (One Thousand Dollars) to breathe the same air as Mrs. Riggs one month in the year. With regards to all,
Oakland, California, Feb. 21st, 1887.
Dear "Miss Kate":
I send you a jewel for your collection, in the shape of a romance, written by my ten year old niece. As ever,
A FINE YOUNG CUPLE WERE WALKING UP THE SHORE ONE DAY TALKING OF POLETICKS. MISS CRANE SED I THINK BLANE WILL BE ELEKTED. MR. WHITE SAID I THINK HE WILL TOO. I THINK WHEN TOO PEOPLE LIKE BLANE THEY OUGHT TO GET MARRIED.
SHE SAID I DO TO. HE SAID SHALL WE? I LOVE YOU SO! SHE SAID DO YOU LOVE ME REALLY? THEN HE SAID WILL YOU BE MINE? SHE STUDERED AND THEN REPLYED I DONT KNOW. WELL YES. THE CUPLE WALKED UP TO THE HOTEL AND IMBRASED.
THEN HE GLIDED DOWN THE WINDING STARES AND SENT A TELEGRAM TO HIS MAMA AND PAPA TO COME TO THEIR WEDDING.
THEN HE WENT UP STARES AND THEY IMBRASED AND SAID THEY LOVED EACH OTHER AND WOULD ALWAYS VOTE FOR BLANE BECAUSE HE GOT THEM MARRIED. Winnie Warner.
Mrs. Wiggin's charming wit often took the form of verse which, though not known to the public, was a source of great delight to her friends and associates.
TO H. G. WELLS
(With a Shilling)
(Mr. H. G. Wells was my neighbour at the Author's dinner, London 1909. He took me for the author of "Mrs. Wiggs", but redeemed himself by lending me a shilling for carbonic water. I wrote these lines in a copy of "Rebecca" and sent him next morning. — K. D. R.)
My dear Mr. Wells, do I owe you a shilling?
It may be yet more, but I vow I'm unwilling
To pay you your debt, since the slight obligation
Produces between us a closer relation.
I send you this book, with the hope small and faint,
That you will respond to my passionate plaint
For a copy of "Kipps", with your name on the leaf.
(My love for that creature is quite past belief!)
Some hours have passed and perhaps you're unable
To call up the name of your neighbour at table.
She rhymes with but is not the famed "Mrs. Wiggs",
She is Kate Douglas Wiggin who married a Riggs.
TO MR. S. L. CLEMENS (With Masks of Comedy and Tragedy) The most of us can manage just In scrambling through this vale of tears To make what others call our “mark”, And salt it down with hopes and fears. Then comes along a chap who does With ease, what we have done in pain; He makes, at first, one shining mark, And then, by George! he makes "Mark Twain".
TO MRS. CLEMENS (With a Cross and a Crown)
The wife of a genius knows all about crosses,
Her life's full of gains, but it also has losses;
To act her part well is worth while, when she learns it,
And as for her crown, Well, I'm
sure that she earns it!
GOOD-BYE TO WOLCOTT BALESTIER
It might be written on his bier,
HE time has come for some of us fellers to speak out in meetin' and I'm going to do it. Somebody's got to be the goat. I've been one most all my life, so that's perhaps why the others are hanging back modestly now and kind of expecting me to start something. The trouble is us authors are terribly misunderstood and I know who's to blame.
What do people think of authors today? Gosh! It makes my blood boil to think of what is thought. It isn't true. You take it from me, it isn't true, no matter what it is. But one thing is being insidiously poked into folks' minds that I want to rise up and repudiate loud enough so that maybe somebody will believe me, and that is that us authors have turned worldly like other people, and won't stand for that garret stuff any more, and want to know what price divine afflatus before they set the afflatuses whanging with whatever an afflatus whangs with on a typewriter. It's rank defamation. The idea! It shows on the face of it. What would an author do with Palm Beach suits, and automobiles, and ringside seats? I ask you! The straight goods is that no author gives a hoot whether his books are sold or not from the crass and sordid standpoint of mere money. Certainly not! His aim in writing is purely altruistic, a sort of life offering on the altar of the common weal his own included especially so, in some instances. I make that statement without any reservation what
ever. And I can prove it. I know authors who read and reread their own stuff by the hour - and get more real, solid enjoyment and uplift out of it than anybody else!
But that ain't the worst of it. Authors are not only grossly misunderstood, but even their books are criticized. There are actually people who are employed to do this. are called -I mean the people who are paid for this nefarious work book reviewers; generally they are known simply as critics. And it's these critic critturs that I'm going to say something about. I guess I've got a right to, whether I'm the leading goat or not. They've been saying things about me for twenty years.
I suppose I ought to begin at the beginning and say just what a critic is, though of course you could find it out for yourselves in your dictionaries just as I did; but maybe you haven't got your dictionaries handy, so I'll tell you. The dictionary says, among a whole lot of other things, that a critic is "a person skilled in the judging of the merit of literary works". But having established that fact, I'm going to be perfectly honest and admit right here that, though I want to be helpful, I'm a little hazy on some of the salient points about critics, and I want to confess that I don't know of any night school, or that sort of thing, where you have to go to get a diploma to skill yourself with and hang on the wall so's to become a critic. To the best of my knowledge there isn't any nonsense