Riverside, Cambridge, Mass. 11 March 1870
My dear Friend
I have hoped to hear of your journey northward by this time, but as our winter here holds on unexpectedly, it may be that with you there is similar severity and you are still enjoying the milder climate of Nice. The date of the enclosed draft on S. Low, Son & Co. for [c2,] 18/4/6 is a reproach to me, but a reminder also that the last ten days have brought with them so much of immediate work that I deferred sending the draft until I could with it send a friendly letter and my best wishes for your happiness. The amount of the draft is to cover the author' s percentage due you on 636 copies of The Improvisatore and 648 copies of The Two Baronesses, sold prior to the first of January. These were the only books in the series of your writings then published by Hurd & Houghton, though Wonder Stories has since been added and In Spain & Portugal will be out about the time yon receive this letter. The agreement you remember was that a percentage of 5% should be paid yon on the retail price of all copies sold, accounts to be rendered semi-annually. [Underlined by H.C.A.] The price at which the two volumes were sold was $1.75 each making $55.65 due you on Improvisatore and $56.70 on Two Baronesses.
The Publishers hope for a continued sale of your books, but the last year has been a most depressing one in the book trade. They have sent a copy of each book & will continue so to send to Professor Longfellow and Mr. Spring. They also send you now a package containing 10 copies each of your three books, together with a single copy of each, bound, for your own library. They add as a slight expression of their esteem a copy of the famous Mother Goose Melodies which they brought out at the Christmas Holidays. You know the book is the great nursery song book of American little children. Most of the ditties are English in origin.
I have also begged the privilege for myself of adding to the parcel a little book Stories from my Attic, which is from my pen, and was brought out at Christmas. May my little book tell yon of the continued pleasure which your stories have given me!
I am looking daily now for a new story from you and trust it may not be long before I hear from you. The draft enclosed does not contain as I intended at first it should, payment for the "Vignette" for February, but that will be included in our next payment.
We have been very much put back in The Story of My Life by the ill-treatment we have received from the person appointed to translate the matter heretofore in print. It is now in other hands & rapidly approaching completion. I hope to give the first portion to the printer early in April.
Messrs. Hurd & Houghton desire to send their hearty greetings, and accept nothing less I beg of you from your attached friend
HORACE E. SCUDDER