Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, January 21, 1890

     7.10 P.M. Sat in his room, with a package of the Curtz slips containing "Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's"—making minor corrections. Said he had been out, but, as before, "it was too cold for persisting: we made but a few minutes of it."

     Returned me the Bazaar, remarking of it: "My wonder more and more is, over the pictures—how much of this comes into the world's way for 10 cents—not indifferent good work, but absolute good work. It seems to me another thing in the march, the trend, of our democracy—of opportunity, freedom, gift, to the average—the average man." Gave me a copy of Stead's Review of Reviews. "It is a new thing—this

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just came today—I am not impressed with it. There was a letter came along with it from Stead asking for a contribution—but I do not know, I do not know!"
Then— "Take it along. I have seen all I want to see of it—when you bring it back I'll send it up to Doctor." Called my attention to some new doughnuts on the table. "They're a new batch Mary made up this forenoon—the best ever was." And he gave me two— "One for Tillie—one for Aggie—we must not forget the girls!"

     Again expressed his curiosity—who was "The Lounger" in The Critic? "I asked Melville Phillips when he was here the other day, but he did not appear to know, saying that he thought it was Jennie Gilder—but thinking is one thing and knowing another—though he says he will be going to New York shortly and will make it a point to find out." Hicks was over to see him today. W. called him "My young English socialist friend" and thought— "There is a mystery about him—he does not appear to be cockney, yet"—and abruptly switched off— "He is a socialist I know. It is a great point, how America is more and more the goal for these fellows—the young, socialist, anarchist"—I suggesting— "and curious, too, as the goal and end of the Pope as well." W. then: "Yes, that is grand—very grand—and on the principle that even the Pope has a right to exist, this is naturally a good way for him to look at it."

     He touched upon [J. Vila] Blake's book. "I have been looking at it the past few days: it is very strongly—directly—moral. More so even than Emerson—it is [?], extreme [?]. I mean to go on, at least a little more, with it." Touched upon Bacon's compactures. "How he must have filed away at every line, every word—laid, long and long over every sentence."

     Talking of Brinton's lecture before the Ethical Society on Sunday, which he would have me explain—W. said: "I suppose he will have all these things out eventually in a volume?"

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I said— "I don't suppose you would care to read B.'s book 'The Origin of the Religious Sentiment'?" He hesitated a minute— (I knew he would say no) then— "I hardly think I do—I do not dare get into abstract arguments these late days."


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