Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, March 13, 1890

     7.25 P.M. W. in the parlor. Raining heavily. Chadwick said in a recent sermon: "And it would be far less absurd to hold Chaucer responsible for Walt Whitman or vice versa than to hold the earliest writers of the Bible responsible for the latest or the other way, or the whole responsible for any special part." W. was interested in this—thought it "rather more to be respected as an opinion" than Savage's classification of him with Tupper as an example of the artificial in literature. "If that was delivered to a Boston audience, it must have brought a ripple to many a lip."

     Pepper had said at the Club the other evening that the only mistake the founder of Johns Hopkins had made was in not

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putting the college at the national capital. I told W. the thought struck me at the time that as the capital would no doubt before long be moved West, such an objection was nil. Said W.: "You are right: I can see nothing else but the removal. That it will come I no more doubt than that it is in Washington now. There will be a hot fight over it—someone will make the proposition—others will oppose: there will be much pressure each way—a surging of opinion, popular and official: finally the West will have its victory. That is one of our topographical questions which I consider settled."

     As to a stupid postal law: "I can see no suspicion of a reason for it; the fact probably being, that some fellow had a kink: some others were bound to abet him for the sake of being abetted in their own kink—and the law was made. That is the history of laws. I suppose if there was such an industry as that in glass eyes, and someone proposed to import a great assortment (or little) of glass eyes, a great howl would go up for a law to protect domestic makers of glass eyes: indeed, I don't know but there is one already. There is no limit to law when the argument is once granted."

     Says this weather leaves him only so-so.


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