Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, July 16, 1889

     7.55 P.M. W. not at home when I arrived. Out at last—the first time in nearly 10 days. Soon returned. Did not sit out of doors, as sometimes. In immediately—though it was a painful job getting him in. His legs very palpably are losing power. Seemed cheerful. Expressed rejoicing at getting to the river. "It was a grand trip—a grand evening, too. And I am better, I believe—surely better." Said of the portrait I left last evening— "Yes indeed—it will do—it seems to me a success—I suppose 'tis as good as could be done with such means." And when I asked what he would do with it, he responded, "For the present, nothing—except perhaps to have a few printed for my friends." Would it be well to ask Cox's consent to use it in our book? The bust reproduction

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did not satisfy me. But W. said, "Let us stick to the bust: why not?" He said he probably enjoyed the engraving of the bust more than I did. "I must get my copy of 'Mr. Donnelly's Reviewers'," he remarked later on, "get it from Tom and sent it off to John Burroughs, who says he has not seen it: Mrs. O'Connor evidently not having sent him a copy."

     Further: "I had a paper—an Open Court, as it is called—from Kennedy today, in which is an article called, 'Carlyle's Religion' or 'The Religion of Carlyle' or something of that sort. I have read it: it contributes nothing essentially new—is not long—not weighty. I know Moncure is slippery—that one must have a care what to accept from him. But it seems to me that in this case there exist almost indubitable marks of authenticity: at least I have been so impressed in looking it over. He has had the sagacity here not to interpose any—or to interpose very few remarks of his own. He reports, simply: tells his story on others' lips—goes to work legitimately, so that the record means a record such as we read of great generals, public men—quick, wise, pat sayings, which, whether actually uttered—sworn to—or not, at least make interesting reading." He had received copies of Poet-Lore for June and July. "There was a paragraph there—towards the last—a sort of Critic note, though larger—describing the dinner. 'Tis not signed—makes no important additions. The magazine seems to be edited by two women: what do you know about them?"

     Had inscribed the two Lychenheim books, which he sent me upstairs for. Had authentically endorsed the package thus— Two Books ($6 each)
Two copies Complete
Works Walt Whitman
1889
per Horace Traubel
Camden




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and in corner had pasted one of the curious Curtz labels to indicate contents more fully. Always makes up packages in this explicit way. In the volumes had written the names of the purchasers and "from the author July 16 1889." Not a mark of punctuation either in inside or outside inscriptions.


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