Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, September 25, 1889

     7.30 P.M. Found W. in the kitchen, talking with Mrs. Davis. Asked me if the weather was "settled" yet—turning then laughingly to Mrs. Davis: "That is, if anything can ever be called settled—as they cannot, and best not!" Sat back in the corner, out of the draught. Ed came in with a postal shortly, which W., not having his glasses with him, found it impossible to read. I showed Morris today the Sarrazin extract in the book. He wished to know if W. had not altered it considerably. "I am sure I made it to read more smoothly than that." I now asked W.: "Did you make extensive alterations in the text?" He said at once: "No indeed—only enough to make it read smoothly!" I laughed outright. W. looked at me. "What is it?" he asked. And when I repeated to him Morris' remarks, he too laughed. "We differ about smoothness, it seems," he finally exclaimed, with another hearty laugh. Then he added— "There are a number of expressions along in the English

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of that piece which seem to me to be misleading—evidently too literal. Sarrazin is made in one place to say my father was a great lover of infants. John Burroughs always beautifully said my father was a lover of children—and that is right—children is the word. It is only in such ways I have undertaken to alter."

     I received a letter from Mrs. O'Connor today dated Nantucket. Read to W., who was much interested and questioning. She has been ill again, but is recovered, mainly. Speaks in warm terms of my Liberty piece on O'Connor. W. very susceptible to cold. Insisted on Ed's putting the sash down, though shutters were closed. "You may catch cold," he insisted—Ed smiling meanwhile. Of course does not get out at all. I had a postal from Brinton today saying, he would be over Friday evening, probably. W. said:— "I shall be glad—very glad—to have him come. But he knows I can't see him long, don't he?—only 15 minutes or so?"


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