Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, August 10, 1889

     7.40 P.M. W. just returning from his evening's trip. Went in doors at once, and sat by the parlor window. Called my attention to the package he had laid out and addressed to my old man friend. Had name all right. "They are drifts of things," he said, "currents, cross-currents, eddies, out of the flow of affairs: probably will interest the old man—some of them, anyhow. Give them to him with my love." Package very liberal—magazines, etc. "The weather tonight," he said, "is uncertain—in the balance, rather. And affairs the world over are like the weather—murmurs, mutterings, suggestions, threatenings—but nothing more: of great events, shorn, unprovoked." I asked him if he had finished with Bellamy? He assented, "Yes—at least, enough. I do not think I shall look at it again. But I have been glad of the chance—if for nothing else, for Sylvester Baxter's sake: Sylvester was ardent about it when he was here—ardent and he is a noble fellow—and one wants"—as if, by his tone, to say he would please S. B. When I see Garland and Baxter and others—of differing schools—trying to engage W. W., and see how sweetly he listens, reads and yet waives all special teachings aside as of great importance

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but not chiefly his, I am prepared to see aright W.'s antagonism of some of my own notions which seem in line with his teachings and should, one would think, have his endorsement. I asked now, "But don't you think it well to know what all the world is agitated about?" And he responded, "Yes indeed—I do: and I pursue that plan myself: there are some drawbacks to it, but I think one very rarely goes far without finding out what it is—what particular point—the public finds of moment in such a volume. But I have by no means read this volume through—no—not at all."

     I left with him proof sheet which he promised to send up to the house tomorrow if I did not call. I am going out of town. I showed Harrison Morris, Gilder's letter today, and he called it cowardly. W. asked, "Did he say that? I hardly come to such an idea myself. It never impressed you that way, did it?" Morris thought W.'s question to G. in the midst of the speech "one of the keenest things on record—it nailed him"—and regretted that G. cut it out, as I had. But W. himself would say nothing on the point when I repeated it to him. The trouble with hearing continues. W. remarks also that "I shall not see you another year"—having reference to his sight, which he says is badly failing him, and which breaks sadly on his reading hours.


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