Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, February 27, 1890

     7.20 P.M. W. lying on the bed. I do not like the new tendency—which is in fact a relapse to an old. He complains of some weariness, oftener recurring.

     I asked him about the birthday. Whatever is decided upon, would he prefer Philadelphia or Camden? He would express no preference. "If you can get a light carriage—an easy one—do that: with that I can go almost anywhere. I am in your hands. Whatever you do, you will find me consentaneous—willing to connive. All I would urge is—no high-falutin!

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Whatever comes, let it be your spontaneous product."
Last evening in West Philadelphia, I came upon a personal in a Flint, Michigan, paper: "Walt Whitman has at last come down to a wheel chair." When I told W. he laughed with great heartiness.

     He remarked again: "What a hornet's nest President Eliot seems to have pulled about his ears in going for newspaper unveracity—the reporters. Yet the truth of the matter is all with Eliot—all he said is true—every word—and the wonder is, why everybody don't admit it. It is well enough known to us, so to say it, on the inside, that the average reporter (of course there are exceptions)—the average reporter has no more notion—no more intention—towards veracity than if veracity was never called for. The lyingness of the news is most astonishing—brazen: I should think no one would for a minute take up cudgels against the Professor for his frankness." Another moment he said: "I see Thayer is to write a paper on Bruno for the Atlantic. Thayer is a very likable young man—has been here. He is in one sense a Whitman man: that is to say, a Whitman man under conditions. He won't accept the critter just as he stands—yet has a kindly disposition our way."


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