Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, August 26, 1889

     7.50 P.M. W. at parlor window, in darkness. Had not been out. "I don't get out much nowadays"—nor— "am I much better, if any. I have been the same today—am the same still." I left with him the second proof of his autobiographic note. He will examine it tomorrow. The matter, by squeezing, went in entire. W.: "I am glad—generally, I like a regular page—but in a case of this kind, rather than run a line or two over or cut it out, I would run a little into the margin." Took up a couple of big fat envelopes from the table. "These," he said, "are for you to take—one for you, one for Harrison Morris—Harrison is his name, didn't you say? I was looking through some of my scraps today—these were some of the results—I thought you would perhaps like them—like to see them, anyhow: if you do not—if they are nothing—you are not far

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from the fire!"
Remarked: "I have not got far in the DeKay piece—you knew I sent Ed for the magazine yesterday? I have skimmed over it—but heavy, heavy! DeKay is always of the heavy sort—never attracts—never holds. He is a man of quite ordinary capacity." He spoke of having read in the papers this morning Ingersoll's oration on Horace Seaver. "Who is Horace Seaver—or was he?" W. asked, "at least, what were his special traits?—for in a way I have known him. He was not a marked man especially, was he? This address of the Colonel's is very beautiful—I was going to say also, ornate—and perhaps ornate is the word, or a word—and I do not know but he intends it to be so. Or is this the natural man, the man just as he inwardly is—the fine personality outgiven?" seeming to be debating his judgment with himself. I ordered 200 copies of the steel plate on cards uniform with the process pictures today. Should have all the heads so far ordered this week. We commented on the beautiful evening— "the cold just come up—a good idea of it within an hour"—the wind blowing high from the northwest. He had wrapped his gown about him closely. "I feel secure—quite secure—though it is a sudden turn of cold."

     Letter to me from Mrs. O'Connor today:
North Perry, Maine
August 23d 1889

Dear Mr. Traubel—

I have long wanted to thank you for your very kind letter of July 15, but I became so ill that I have been obliged to curtail every note & letter that was not a necessity, & so now at this late day I have again read your touching and good letter. I am glad of all the words I get from Walt by means of the newspapers, & new & then a postal.

With very sincere regards to you, my friend,

Yours cordially,

Ellen M. O'Connor




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W. said: "I am sure I sent the Poet-Lore either to her or to Doctor with instructions to forward to her—whichever." "And as to the Critic, I sent that to Washington at the time—it must be there now. I study to send her all such things I have here which I think will be of particular interest—all—all. Am sending papers every few days." Then: "You write to her and tell her this—tell it just as I say it here—to this effect."

     Read him also a letter from Clifford, acknowledging receipt of book and interestingly saying of Dr. True:
Farmington, Me., Aug. 24, 1889.

My dear Traubel:

Here is postal note for the doctor's book—$4.00. Book came all right by Walt's own complete and legible directing. The old doctor is delighted. He did not know Walt but had long meant to, as he was so well abused. Yesterday he [illegible] me and showed that he already entered in and supposed with the great soul. "None ever like him!" he said.

Did the photo. come all right? I hope Uncle Sam brings it safely back, as 'tis borrowed from a valuer.

Another week & my days here will be about [illegible] again. Shall probably start back Sept. 1, calling by the way, & be at Gtn. on the 8th. Hope soon to see you. I see Barrows has that poor sermon. But one care for it have I, to let publishing show that 'twas not necessarily (& offensively) "personal"—my absolution for the rest must be granted by you & other good ones.

All well—Charlotte better. Hilda the whole town's delight, so it seems.

And I am ever yours

J. H. Clifford

Love to Walt

Thank him for liberal terms to my doctor.


W. exclaimed: "Good! Good! So we are to understand that he took some hold at once?" Clifford's little passage drew from him as I read the exclamation: "Ah! fine!"


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     Had written Morris' and my own names on the big envelopes, on the former's giving "respects and thanks," with the Sarrazin labor in view. My envelope contained such matter as this and Morris' much the same, including however, Future of Poetry from old North American Review sheets. Morris tells me the Sarrazin piece is after all an introduction and four parts—one part, however, mainly extracts. Has this done and is wrestling with the last. Wants proofs for revise in case W. decides to publish.


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