Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, February 14, 1890

     5.30 P.M. Buckwalter was on the step as I arrived. Mrs. Davis admitted us. I went right upstairs where W. was reading the local papers, B. staying in the parlor till W. told Mrs. D. to send him up. Buckwalter had brought along a basket of oranges which W. duly appreciated.

     On B. expressing his pleasure that W. got out of doors, W. said: "I got out yesterday—today it has not been possible. Yesterday's jaunt—and it was quite a jaunt—was a fine one. The sky, the river, the sun—they are my curatives." B. gave W. some account of the Bonsalls, saying that Bart's Colorado Springs trip, though doing him some good, was undertaken too late. W. thought: "A mere change of air is apt to do a fellow good—whether by excitation, what, I don't know—by something that cannot be put in a word"—and then that Western air was itself sanitary— "and I don't know but eventually the Pacific coast—a thousand miles of it—up and down—will be the choice out of all America for the properties of its sanitation." "Even up in Oregon." And "I have heard Puget Sound above all." For "many, many years ago, I knew an old sailor—broken down—in New York then—talked with him often. He had spent 50 years, sailing—gone to all parts of the world, all lands: and I asked him a question—of all the lands you have ever traveled to, out of all the ports you have entered, is there one that stands preferred about and beyond, all the rest? And it was to my surprise, too, he replied that

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there was—and when I asked its name, he gave me, Puget Sound. Then I questioned him about it closely—he saying they had been cast up there by some accident—the old brig, cutter he had gone off in met with some disaster—went down—needed repairs,—something."
And then W. spoke of sky and water &c. as given him by this narrator.

     Buckwalter left in a little while and we sat together talking some time longer. W. made some allusion to the elder James Gordon Bennett: "He was not at all prepossessing—had a decided squint, cross—to his eye." And as to the marriage debate Tucker is reprinting (Greeley one of the parties)— "That is very old—is certainly to be decided against as a chestnut. I read the letters many years ago—I should say 25 at least. Whenever anyone takes to talking of divorce or religion, I am reminded how little anyone can possibly say about either, and how the deep currents flow and flow and flow and flow—achieve their ends, in defiance of all that is often called good sense, good morals. Every new case is the continuation of a thousand—of tens of thousands, of streams that pulse on away from human sight or even human imagination. Why explain?—how?—or chain the sunset—the glow we see there to the westward now"—pointing. "People think an event consists of itself alone—but what event is there but involves a thousand elements scarcely dreamed of?"


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