Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, August 6, 1889

     5 P.M. W. had not yet had dinner. Sat in bedroom, reading paper. Ed brought in meal just as I was leaving after staying 10 to 15 minutes. Said that he had been out. "I was over to

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Gutekunst's today—Buckwalter came here for me—so I went. I suppose I was 2 hours or so—probably a little more than that—in the voyage. An hour and a half, I should say, at Gutekunst's. We had a swell carriage—a fine strong affair. And I saw all the ferry boys at last—they came to me. But the ride was wearisome—it tried my head severely—though in a little while after I got there I had recovered. But I guess it would not do for me to go in at the city on high tide—in the full swim—no! I am past that. Everything looked familiar, everything full of power—even poise—the buildings all so wholesome and handsome. But they did not ride me about much,—we went direct—came back direct."
In reply to various questions from me, he said: "Yes—I suppose the pictures were a success—I inferred as much from what he said—one he took very big. I told him to prepare to give me a liberal number of copies, I thought to get a couple for Dr. Bucke and one for Tom and one for Buckwalter and one for you—if not others—but he said he didn't know that he could allow me many—as they were very hard and costly to produce—as I suppose they are. But he promised me that of the smaller ones he would not raise the same objection. I wanted the big ones badly—especially for you fellows—but it probably won't be a go. Anyhow, we must submit. Since getting back I have been alarmed for one thing. Gutekunst took a picture of Buckwalter awhile ago—I saw it—and I suppose it is regarded as a superlative piece of work, as it is,—but all smoothed off. What do you think—is there danger he will smooth me off that way? I am just on the point of telling him to give me the result just as occurs, not as fixed and patched up. What do you think—shall I write? I suppose Backwater's picture would be considered ideal—indeed, it is good—but to my taste, it falls short of the natural—or goes beyond it, if a man could say it that way."

     Had made his selection of card, putting with samples this memoranda:

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I prefer the white card
(thickest of all "samples")
marked * in the little book


"Of course," he said to me, "I wish the white: I am going to get up a whole packet of pictures." But he was doubtful about the November Boughs picture— "I noticed it looked rubbed—different. So Brown thought it had been spoiled, did he? I shouldn't wonder." Had laid out a phototype Gutekunst picture for Mrs. Fels, and signed with his blue pencil. Gave me a copy of Hobby Horse Guild (July) containing a paragraph about banquet with his speech in full. He said: "I never look at it but its old-fashionedness strikes me: its noble old-fashionedness: for that is a noble piece of work—of printing—of paper—types—all that. Take it and see what you can make of it."

      "The day started off grandly," he said, "cool—inspiring—dilating: but now it grows hot again." I asked him if he thought he would go to the river this night—the first absolutely clear afternoon for a week. But he shook his head. "It is doubtful—I have already had a trip today which quite tried me." He added, "There was no preconcerted plan for going over todayd—Buckwalter came early, inquired, I was pretty well, we went." W. looked pretty well—his color good—in spite of weariness. I stayed but briefly. But he inquired of various things. Had I heard of the Liberty piece? And he rather raised his eyes at Gilder's explanation that he had not "room" for a couple of pages on O'Connor. "The best of these fellows are not distinctively our men." Lamented in his resigned, good-natured way that he could not go with me into the country—I being on my way to Logan. Asked— "Have you more proof for me?" Was "very happy" that I had found space in which to add letters (or parts of letters) from Brinton and Forman.


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