W. Irving Way – Jan. 30, 1895

(3pp., ALS)

January 30, 1895

My dear Mr. Way,

Your ms.* rec’d & | I am much pleased | with it. I shall | try to send you a | proof complete early | in the week.

I want to ask you | to be at pains to | verify your quota- | tions, as it is, as | you doubtless need | not be told, one | of the enduring laws | of literature that | the other fellow’s words | should never be | varied, or mis- | stated. Pardon me | for even mentioning | this, and when | you read proof make | such changes as | may seem best.

As you say, type | makes a vast dif- | ference in how | our words look. | That’s the wonder | and amaze [sic] of | language born to | be undying prose.

I mail copies | of The Bibelot | No.1 tonight. It | has been delayed, | but No 2 will | be out Feb 10, & | after that all will | go on smoothly.

I hope you’ll be | able to like it, | and notice it | sometime.

Yours hastily
but very timely
Thomas B. Mosher

My printer is out | of the city today, or I’d | have a specimen page | on your ms. tonight. | M

Transcriber’s Asterisk Notes:

* The manuscript to which Mosher is referring is the biographical sketch on Edward FitzGerald that Way wrote for the Rubaiyat in the Old World Series published in fall 1895. W. Irving Way’s sketch is dated April 1895 in the book. Between the time of this letter of January 15, and the sketch’s appearance in print (as first announced in the October 1895 Bibelot, and the October issued “List of Books”), the book was obviously in preparation. As of mid January Mosher was still looking over Way’s manuscript, and maybe a week or two later sent the sketch back to Way who made changes with the two of them coming to some conclusion by April when Way dated his final draft. Another reason why this must be the manuscript Mosher references is because Way’s 16 page printed sketch is filled with no fewer than 58 quotations. That’s an enormous number which necessitates Mosher’s cautionary insistence on verification of the quotes. Lastly, there is no other evidence that Way had written anything for Mosher, or at least that was published in the Bibelot or any of Mosher’s other publications up to that time. So the manuscript must have been the sketch of Edward FitzGerald.