Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, May 10, 1890

     7.50 P.M. W. on his bed—not asleep, however. Talked well and freely. Harned came in after I had been there about 15 minutes. We stayed till 8.15. The gaslight being low when Harned came in, W. invited him to turn it up. W. had forgotten the check. He advised me that he would have it for me tomorrow. "I cannot find my loose checks." Gave him memoranda about Queen Victoria's birthday. "Curtz," he said, "was here today, and he told me: the 24th. He is one of the curious characters, full of the odds and ends of knowledge."


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     I had a letter from Bucke this evening. Starts Monday: will reach Cape May Tuesday, stay there Wednesday, for rest: will come to Camden Thursday. Wishes to meet me then. W. said: "I have not written him for several days, from knowing how near he was to the day a coming."

     Father Huntington speaks in Camden tonight. W. knew somewhat of him, then of his interest in the Single Tax—adding— "and that to this day goes beyond my understanding." W. when questioned said: "I feel very well for me—though not out yet, to be sure. But then one can never tell; night before last I spent a good evening—easy, bright—yet suffered the night through—could not sleep—was as wakeful as I am now, talking to you and Tom. It is a dreadful sensation, to be awake and in any such condition."

     Urged Harned not to work so hard. "Do not smash the golden egg," he put it, "take good care: now is the time to do it. I used to think it was a grand thing in old Brougham that though born sickly, or made so, he accomplished much because he dared to allot a part of his time absolutely to rest—to say, I'll work like hell for 9 months in the year, but for 3 I'll lay low—do nothing. And how his sleep was (even the night of [Queen] Caroline's crisis), a blessed sleep—the dream of life to weariness!" I asked, had W. himself some such power? "Yes—some—but no such remarkable development of it as Brougham."

     Gilchrist in to see W. last evening. "He told me of a move—today I think—to Long Island. He has found a place there—he calls it Paradise: in reality it is called Center Point, I think. He has got hold of some farmhouse there—in an orchard—and rare sights I understand—and" with a laugh— "he has invited me up there for the summer. Yes, he evidently will stay longer in America than he intended: must in some way have come into a heap of money—perhaps from his brother. I think that after the publication of his book on his mother, his brother must have realized that the identity of the Gilchrist name rested with the mother and with Herbert—and he may

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have been constrained to more generosity. Mind you, this is only surmise. I have not had anything told me: it is plain however, that Herbert has come into money—perhaps he has sold his picture, in part or whole. He even speaks of keeping this home for two years. Five thousand pounds from a man like his brother (it would seem mountainous to us) would not seem particularly much."
"Perhaps the sister would come over too."

     Had had a visitor today—a man he had known well when young on Long Island. "Yes: I have seen him off and on—but now, poor fellow, he is all wrecked from drink." Spoke of women and intuition: "Yes, by that faculty—that divination, which in the best women makes them superior to all philosophies."

     Learned that Clifford would be at Harned's for tea tomorrow. If a good day W. would try to get up. "Is Clifford sure to be there? Well—I won't promise—I'll hold it open: in advisement. You remember the story I tell—the mistress and her hired man, to whom she offered a drink. His refusal was very diplomatic—'No, mistress, I'll not take any now.' . . . Leaving it to be well understood that he held it open for any future choice. So with me: I'll look upon the hour as eligible—upon Clifford as eligible—if no more." And to Tom's description of the larder—laughed— "That alone almost makes the argument conclusive."

     Several visitors today. Said to me at one point: "The litterateurs of our time are after the artificial—mix everything: fear elements—the air, the wild storms, the sea. Even I often take a drink of wine in preference to cold water. It all indicates a deflection from the line of truth."


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