Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, April 22, 1890

     5.10 P.M. W. in his room, making copies of the Post to send right and left to friends. "At my instance they published the Transcript piece: I shall send out a number—some at home, some abroad—Sarrazin, Dowden, Symonds—others. I take it for granted they like to hear." He thought copies should go to Clifford, Brinton, Frank Williams and Morris—and I engaged to take them. Health still very poor: continues weak. "It is a continuation of the old story: chapter after chapter the same: no variation in the monotony."

      "It is singular," he said by and bye, "how I seem to grow in demand: I am myself astonished. Today I had an application from the American Press Association. What for? A specialty? Oh no!—anything, I suppose—prose or verse. O the mutations

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of years! Only a few years ago—five only—I waited for just such orders—wondered, and was willing, able, still with a modicum of strength: but no message came—the world did not want me. Now—hardly half a decade after, comes a multitude: comes cry and cry—after my power to respond is gone: after I am wrecked, stranded, left but to look for the end—or near end! And yet there is a sense of satisfaction even in this—though how much of such satisfaction is legitimate, justified—who knows? Can it be a passing fashion?"
O the music and solemnity of utterance, as now he looked out upon the bronzing Western sky, then at me—then closed his eyes as if in self-communion! Subsequently he followed with words of sweet cheer: "You will see Frank Williams tonight? Tell him I am waiting to have the Tennyson extract authenticated. It is not yet published? No? Well we must have patience: and who should have it more than I?—for I have waited, worked, even through long years of hesitating faith." And again: "Tell Frank I have thought a good deal over it—that it has touched a chord—that it has a prime significance, once authenticated, that no man can impeach."

     Left with him a copy of the American containing Frank Williams' comment on the Contemporary Club meeting. Would send it to Bucke. Spoke of word from Bucke and Kennedy today—with gift-box from K. not yet opened.

     Visitors today, Colonel Forney's daughter and a friend, but he was too ill to see them. Referring to pictures again—Tennyson's in the Illustrated American— "After all, your father's—the two—are the best I know: they seem to summarize all that art can say of me."


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