speaks_regrets_letter_picI regret that I cannot be “in clover” with you on the 28th instant.

A wonderful thing is clover! It means honey and cream,—that is to say, industry and contentment,—that is to say, the happy bees in perfumed fields, and at the cottage gate “bos” the bountiful serenely chewing satisfaction’s cud, in that blessed twilight pause that like a benediction falls between all toil and sleep.

This clover makes me dream of happy hours; of childhood’s rosy cheeks; of dimpled babes; of wholesome, loving wives; of honest men; of springs and brooks and violets and all there is of stainless joy in peaceful human life.

A wonderful word is “clover”! Drop the “c,” and you have the happiest of mankind.

Drop the “r,” and “c,” and you have left the only thing that makes a heaven of this dull and barren earth. Drop the “r,” and there remains a warm, deceitful bud that sweetens breath and keeps the peace in countless homes whose masters frequent clubs.

After all, Bottom was right: “Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.”

Yours sincerely and regretfully,


Washington, D. C., January 16, 1883.

A letter written to Col. Thomas Donaldson, of Philadelphia, declining an invitation to be a guest of the Clover Club of that city.