Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, September 17, 1889

     8.10 P.M. W. in his room. It rained hard. Found him reading Stedman's "Literature." Did not look well—nor was he. "I am not having a good time of it these days—not at all." Asking: "It still storms? We do not get out this weather." Then further: "Where have you been? We have wondered what came of you." Referred to Press of Sunday: "It was a silly piece—absolutely silly—and lying, too. The Times article—did you see that?—was better. I have sent papers up to Bucke. That man Green was the most unwelcome reporter I ever had call on me. I told you so at the time. We might forgive a little knavishness, but silliness!—it is damnable! The

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Times man tells several brazen lies—yet gets more the truth than this other fellow."
Did he use that word "soft-sawdering?" "No indeed—did not even think it. It is utterly silly, the whole invention. The man's name in this case is very significant of the man himself—he is Green enough. I hope never to see him about here again. I shall tell Talcott Williams that if he ever has occasion to send a man over here, he should take care not to have it this one." He did "not wonder that people" thought the report a "burlesque." As to the darkness of his hallway and Arnold's stumbling: "That is the reporter's own version—he came up, perhaps stumbled: then he puts Arnold in his place."

     Afterwards he reminded me: "I have had a letter from Tom Donaldson. He writes of an accident—an accident to his arm—his right arm. The letter seems as if written under restraint—he says he writes with his left hand. I was glad Tom said he would soon be over and bring the Irving money along with him—not that I am in any way troubled about the money, but for my wish that it might be acknowledged to Irving—a point probably long due."

     I took a look through his old bulgy scrap-book to-night—full—choked—with magazine pages, newspaper extracts, written (the text everywhere scored, marked, commented on) pieces (copied, original)— "the origins, beginnings, if not whole of Leaves of Grass—just there," W. says. A precious volume, which he reads daily, almost. Speaking of the Modjeska-Booth combination, W. declared: "Of Modjeska personally I have nothing to say—she is a delightful true woman: but the Modjeska of the stage I do not fancy." W. received what he calls "one of my funny notes" a while ago. A young man in Richmond, "a Southern boy"—writes a novel—says publishers refuse it because it shocks" etc. Asks W. to read it—it is only 109 pp. legal cap! Of course W. never answered. "I left down on the table in the front room," he said— "a package

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for you—the pictures I wish mounted—photos—300 of them—and instructions inside."
I received at last the Liberty extras so wanted. McKay will include Symonds' letter provided we provide for composition—he to furnish other extras, paper, printing, etc. W. expressed astonishment at the charge—also at McKay's resolution to charge Gilder for alterations. "I think we might do that much for Gilder: it was kind enough of him to come on—to be here—to speak at all." Still Dave's was "purely the commercial view" and we had "to excuse it by that consideration." Returned me Forum containing Gosse's piece. The pictures in package totalled 300— 4 kinds—butterfly, Sarony, Centennial Edition photo and Lear pictures.


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