Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, January 7, 1890

     7.45 P.M. W. very well, though the damp weather keeps him indoors. He has not been affected by "La Grippe," the prevalence of which is great. Warm days still prevailing, he expressing his regret. Wonderfully frank about his graveyard preparations. Is considering whether or not to put his mother and father there in the lot. The question raised by some of his

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friends that he should spend his last years in other cities—Washington, New York, Brooklyn—he has quietly settled by this act. "It is all nebulously conditioned," he says, "but we shall know, in time." And as to the poem he was to write in consideration, he laughed— "Oh that!"—and that was, "if anything," more "dubious than the rest."

     Said he had been reading Amelia Barr's Century story today. "It is called 'O'Hara' and is very well done, too—brilliantly, but well." And "I have been reading, also, Tennyson's little poem—I found it here in The Critic—'Across [Crossing?] the Bar'—and ever so good, too." He handed me a little volume—12mo—gilt stamping—rough edge— "See this—there is a new poet risen—this came today."—A Putnam volume—written by Wm. T. Washburn, of whom neither of us had ever heard. W. said: "He makes a big dash there—several hundreds of pages." The book had been sent without an inscription, and W. had cut none of the pages except a half-dozen at the end. But the typographical setting[?] of the book, and its cover, had "struck" him—and this he dwelt upon. I went about a good deal. "When do you get time to read and write?" I answered, "On cars, boats, &c." W. then— "I don't know but that's best of all. People think it distracting, but it is not: there's everything in getting used to it."

     Seeing something that glistened under the stove, I leaned over—found it was his mammoth pen-holder. He laughed. "Ah! the long-missing pen! My pens are very elusive, like my handkerchiefs—I have uncountable dozens of them somewhere about the house—but when I want one, it is not to be found." Gave me Contemporary Club tickets for Clifford and Mrs. Baldwin.


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