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THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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Clemens, Samuel L.
Autograph letter signed ("S.L. Clemens"), 4 pages (8 7/8 x 5 1/2 in.; 225 x 140 mm), "Rest & Be Thankful," 20 August 1886, to Clara Spalding, providing marital advice on the occasion of her marriage.
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Clemens on marriage. "Out of the accumulated riches of my seventeen years' married experience, I tender to you folks one offering—but it's a nugget. ... 'No member shall be called to account for words spoken in debate.'

"The secret of eternal peace in the family lies concealed in that golden commandment! All conversations are but debates, whether they get utterance in a capitol or a cabin; & in them one is always apt to say more than he meant to say. And whenever he does that just let him alone; don't call him to account—he will do that himself, everytime. ... The apology in words should never be required—nor proffered, except in rare & extreme cases. Words may start the fire again." Clara Spalding was a close friend of Livy Clemens. She married John Barry Stanchfield, Sr., a lawyer and the mayor of Elmira, in 1886.

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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