<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letter from Mark Twain to William Dean Howells - Jun. 15, 1872
Mark Twain Letters

Letter from Mark Twain to William Dean Howells

HARTFORD, June 15, 1872.

Mark Twain William Dean Howells

FRIEND HOWELLS,—Could you tell me how I could get a copy of your portrait as published in Hearth and Home? I hear so much talk about it as being among the finest works of art which have yet appeared in that journal, that I feel a strong desire to see it. Is it suitable for framing? I have written the publishers of H & H time and again, but they say that the demand for the portrait immediately exhausted the edition and now a copy cannot be had, even for the European demand, which has now begun. Bret Harte has been here, and says his family would not be without that portrait for any consideration. He says his children get up in the night and yell for it. I would give anything for a copy of that portrait to put up in my parlor. I have Oliver Wendell Holmes and Bret Harte's, as published in Every Saturday, and of all the swarms that come every day to gaze upon them none go away that are not softened and humbled and made more resigned to the will of God. If I had yours to put up alongside of them, I believe the combination would bring more souls to earnest reflection and ultimate conviction of their lost condition, than any other kind of warning would. Where in the nation can I get that portrait? Here are heaps of people that want it,—that need it. There is my uncle. He wants a copy. He is lying at the point of death. He has been lying at the point of death for two years. He wants a copy—and I want him to have a copy. And I want you to send a copy to the man that shot my dog. I want to see if he is dead to every human instinct.

Now you send me that portrait. I am sending you mine, in this letter; and am glad to do it, for it has been greatly admired. People who are judges of art, find in the execution a grandeur which has not been equalled in this country, and an expression which has not been approached in any.

Yrs truly,
S. L. CLEMENS.

P. S. 62,000 copies of "Roughing It" sold and delivered in 4 months.

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