Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 404] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wednesday, May 14, 1890

     7.55 P.M. W. reading Scott: sitting with hat and coat on, the room very warm, a great rain out of doors pattering on the

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 405] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
roof: his red handkerchief at the throat: using the gas towards the west instead of the usual bad chimney jet on the table at the other side of the room. Very bright—said his feeling of comfort continued. Had a letter from Bucke (as I had), who would not be up till Friday.

     I had brought him the heavy paste-board for the photos. He inspected—was pleased. "That will take Elizabeth's picture to her, safe and sound. She seems to have some sort of collection of photos—a penchant that way. And this is one of the war photos—the hatted picture—1863: not the one you have, but the one Mrs. Gilchrist chose as the best she knew."

     Check-book not turned up yet. Will give me the check "without fail" for Oldach tomorrow— "if I have to write it out. I have no prejudice against writing it out, but it is more regular the other way." Further said: "I have been out today—four or five miles down the pike: my unknown friend, or stranger-friend, it seems, left an order in Philadelphia that I should be so provided: so over it comes today—and I was glad to avail myself of it. I went down to the Cemetery—Harleigh: I want you to go there, too—see my lot. Ask for Moore, the superintendent. He will treat you well: he is an Irishman of the better kind: I like him. And curiously, he is the first man of the kind, in such a position, whose views coincide with my own. He is eager to keep the trees—to keep nature out there in her own character—not to have her spoiled, deflected. I think they wanted me to go in the open, in some prominent place, conscpicuous—but I went deep in the woods. Moore is not bitten with the art-side of life: not sacrificed to that bane of all literary, artisitic ambition: elegance, system, convention, rule, canons. In that respect he is our man."

     Reference brought us back to Lezinsky. Said W.: "He has not appeared again: when he does, I intend putting him into Mrs. Davis' hands. I want in some way to fix it, too, that you and Dr. Bucke ply him in a long talk. No—no—I do not think he is anything but what he appears—my impression was a good one, favorable: the explanation of it all is, it is a bad case

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 406] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
of Leaves of Grass. He seemed to have astounding ideas, plans, propositions. Not only asked to buy my whole stock of books—but the copyright as well. I told him I could not see that the copyright was of any value to anybody—though it might, after a long while, in many, many years, come to something. That I would not care to sell it anyhow. I am willing to sell books and books—but my freedom?"
And yet he seemed to be in much self-questioning [as to] what the stranger was up to. Warren thought there was more to it than appeared, but W.— "No—I do not. He is perfectly sane—has a good clear straight eye."


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.