Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, September 13, 1889

     7.35 P.M. Storm clearing, though not entirely abated. W. not out this evening. In parlor when I came. Ed came in shortly and sat with us. W. had sent Ed over last evening to see "The Bohemian Girl." Wished very much for him "to know what it is"—paid his way. Said to me very quickly after my coming: "I have had visitors today—several. I suppose you can't guess who one of them would be?" And to my doubting— "It was the man Arnold, from England—Edward Arnold, author of 'Light of Asia'—you know of him?" He explained: "He was a hearty, jovial, fine sample of a middle-aged man. He stayed with me from three quarters of an hour to an hour. We talked quite a good deal. Oh yes! he was very flattering—said a great many eulogistic things—like most all of 'em nowadays. I liked the style of the man very much. He came in a carriage. Ed—who was the man with him in the carriage?" Ed said: "Only the driver. He told me he had a daughter 18 years old." W. asked Ed to repeat the sentence, then asked me: "You have read his book? I don't know whether I have or not—but I have it here, I am sure—someone gave

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it to me. His visit was only in transit—he goes back to New York at once—then across to San Francisco—then to Japan and the East Indies."
"At least, that is as I understood him," he added. And then he told me of his other visitor: "An actor—and a hearty fellow, too—Hanson, I think was his name. Their company is now in the city—have 'A Possible Case'—a play of some sort, of which I know nothing."

     There was a reference to Ouida. "I have never read any of her novels." I recounted a group I had heard, in indecent language, debating her indecency, so-called, and arguing for her suppression. W. said: "I can understand all that—I have encountered the like of it from the start. In our New York boarding house—a house in which I boarded many years ago—there was an old darkey who had a child—quite a comely, pretty child, too. The darkey was very pious—a Methodist, I suppose, or whatever—I overheard her screaming one morning to the youngster— 'You won't, won't you? You won't go to prayers! Well—I'll learn you, Goddamn you! I'll show you, you Goddamned little bitch, if you won't mind me!' That is an incident in kind, don't you think? The world has much to be forgiven it!—and me, too!" Spoke somewhat of Gilder's speech again. "I thought it well enough as it was at the start, but he thought not apparently." Called my attention (though it was not needed, the room so fragrant) to a cluster of

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woodbine on the table. "What a flavor it brings in of the woods!" Keeps up well, in spite of weather.


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