Writing to Howells somewhat later, he calls the conflict in South Africa, a “sordid and criminal war,” and says that every day he is writing (in his head) bitter magazine articles against it.
But I have to stop with that. Even if wrong—& she is wrong England must be upheld. He is an enemy of the human race who shall speak against her now. Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn’t something creditable created in place of it? . . . I talk the war with both sides—always waiting until the other man introduces the topic. Then I say, “My head is with the Briton, but my heart & such rags of morals as I have are with the Boer—now we will talk, unembarrassed and without prejudice.” And so we discuss & have no trouble.
I notice that God is on both sides in this war; thus history repeats itself. But I am the only person who has noticed this; everybody here thinks He is playing the game for this side, & for this side only.
Clemens wrote one article for anonymous publication in the Times. But when the manuscript was ready to mail in an envelope stamped and addressed to Moberly Bell—he reconsidered and withheld it. It still lies in the envelope with the accompanying letter, which says:
Don’t give me away, whether you print it or not. But I think you ought to print it and get up a squabble, for the weather is just suitable.
PLASMON, AND A NEW MAGAZINE
Clemens was not wholly wedded to osteopathy. The financial interest which he had taken in the new milk albumen, “a food for invalids,” tended to divide his faith and make him uncertain as to which was to be the chief panacea for all ills—osteopathy or plasmon.
MacAlister, who was deeply interested in the plasmon fortunes, was anxious to get the product adopted by the army. He believed, if he could get an interview with the Medical Director-General, he could convince him of its merits. Discussing the matter with Clemens, the latter said:
“MacAlister, you are going at it from the wrong end. You can’t go direct to that man, a perfect stranger, and convince him of anything. Who is his nearest friend?”
MacAlister knew a man on terms of social intimacy with the official.
Clemens said, “That is the man to speak to the Director-General.”
“But I don’t know him, either,” said MacAlister.
“Very good. Do you know any one who does know him?”
“Yes, I know his most intimate friend.”
“Then he is the man for you to approach. Convince him that plasmon is what the army needs, that the military hospitals are suffering for it. Let him understand that what you want is to get this to the Director-General, and in due time it will get to him in the proper way. You’ll see.”