Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, February 26, 1890

     7.30 P.M. With W. 15 minutes or so. He was reading The Long Islander. Talked very freely. Out today—the weather very mild. He said: "Jenkins appears to be orating up the street [at the trial] at a great rate. It is the usual confusion. One side is determined to prove certain things happened—then the other side gets up and shows that these things never could have happened. Out of all of which I question if much or any truth is extracted."

     I had a letter from Brinton today asking if the manuscript I sent him had really been in W.'s own hand. W. smiled. "Yes—

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that is the very hand—the critter's own,"
lifting his hand to suit the words. Brinton had also referred in the letter to W.'s "sonorous verse," W. thereupon: "That sounds good: I hope the verse is sonorous: I have my many many doubts."

     When he heard I was going out to see Peter Montgomerie tonight, he would have me take papers—putting into a package as I stood hat in hand, copies of the Inquirer, Woodstown Register, Pall Mall Gazette. "Take these—mere reminders—with my remembrance, my affection." He alluded to having sent "A Twilight Song" to the Century and added— "Today the check came. It was only a little piece—the 'Twilight Song'—and now, when will it appear? That is another matter. Gilder is very well disposed towards me—a great deal better disposed than we have any right to expect, considering him as the literary man he is—the magazine—all." And to my questions: "I should not object to appearing in Scribner's if they paid me for it. Still I am a little afraid to send anything—to approach a person I do not know at all. I have been so often cuffed—met not only incivility but downright and cowardly insult—I must pick my way. The Century folks are kind throughout. This piece is not formidable—it is merely a song in memory of dead soldiers—oh! the many! many! many!—unknown!"


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