Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, May 22, 1890

     5 P.M. W. in his room, finishing his meal. Expressed his "comfort." Had not been out. "The carriage did not come today." Yet wished to know about the weather. "I am just now preparing to go—to take a trip in the chair."

     I supposed he felt pretty certain of holding up to the dinner? But he laughed mildly. "I expect to get there; but there are 9 days yet, and I am not prepared to say I may not get one of my worst set-backs in the time between." Adding however— "But we won't work with that in view—rather, with the other." Expects Bucke up tomorrow.

     Described to me a letter from Stedman—then gave me the letter itself. "You will like to read it! The good Stedman! What a revelation of depthless friendliness! He sends along with it a check for 25 dollars. I don't know whether he intends this for me or you—for me direct or for the fund; but I shall keep it this time. He says in there when we need more you should send him word—'nudge' him—but don't nudge him soon: I should not do so for some time. I have written him but did not say anything about the dinner." I read the letter—said the money was undoubtedly meant for the fund, but it produced

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no effect on W., who simply said— "You think so, eh? Well, I shall keep it"—to me another bit of evidence to that partial parsimony which I observe in him of late—for he knows as I know that he does not need the money for his own personal use—that all the real heavy expenses attached to his present life are paid out of the fund. Yet, curiously, this parsimony does not extend to things. He not only tells me to "keep the Thoreau book—it is yours," but, today—on my commenting upon a big 1871 portrait on the table, said— "I have not many but you must take that one," signing my name to it at the same time.

     I showed him plate-proofs of our Johnson book, which he looked at "with admiration," as he said—adding— "they threaten to make a handsome book." I read him an amusing passage from a letter from Morse over which he laughed with great heartiness.

      "Tell Sidney," he counselled, "that we are not that poor, and have not yet made up with the dog." Adding— "It is interesting, how reporters go wrong as if by the most studied deliberation."


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