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Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Apr 2008 23:48:08 +0000
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 I've read the recent postings with great interest, but I want to thank you, Hal, for posting this letter from Joe Twitchell.  It was reading Twain's "yearning throbbing songs of Grief" that first made me realize why his apparently lighter moments had always hit so truly, had made me laugh so long and hard--and it seems especially apt to read this today, as I just returned from burying a dear, dear Aunt who stood by me in some of life's darkest moments.  Thanks for posting such a beautiful letter.

Sharon McCoy
  -------------- Original message from Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>: --------------

> On 4/15/08 10:18 AM, "Steve Courtney"  wrote:
> > 
> > And after Susie died in 1896, Clemens wrote that Twichell was the only one he
> > wanted to correspond with because he had "the touch that heals, not
> > lacerates."
> Hartford. Nov.2.1897
> Dear old Mark;
>        We have been reading, and re-reading, and again reading your ³In
> Memoriam² with the accompaniment of a gray autumn sky and the falling leaves
> to blend with its unspeakable heart=breaking sadness; its aching, choking
> pathos.  It sets all chords of memory and of love a tremble.  It renews the
> pain of the sense of Lifeıs inscrutable mystery, and of the mystery of human
> experience.  It renews, also, (may I say?) the deep and solemn gladness of
> the faith that God in whose awful Hand we all are held, is, when you get to
> the end of things, Love.  But I will not talk about it: in fact it seems to
> impose hush and silence upon me.  This, however, I would say: if there be
> those who are thinking ³Can this be Mark Twain?² I am not one of them.  I
> have long known that it was in you to chant the music of the hidden soul
> conversing with the Fathomless Elements, and as I followed your yearning
> throbbing song of Grief and inextinguishable Regret, my inward comment was
> ³It is he: none other than my Mark Twain.²  Mark: it made me love you so
> that it hurt; and, of course, I felt Livy and the girls behind you; the
> whole dear group was there; with the beloved Shadow in the midst; and
> bending over all, the angel of Tears and Sorrow.  ³Weeping may endure for a
> night, but joy cometh in the morning², says the Old book.  God send you the
> dawn of that fulfillment soon.  But I trust He is already sending it.
> . . . . 
>        Yours everlastingly
> Oh, Iıve got lots to tell you!
> Joe
> Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
> Associate Professor
> Dept. of English, Saint Louis University
> St. Louis, MO  63108
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
> Quote of the moment:
> "Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above
> morality. Be not simply good; be good for something."
>         --Henry David Thoreau