Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, May 25, 1890

     10 A.M. On our coming I went upstairs (I had taken Morris Fels with me) and found that W. had stayed up late last night talking with Warren—therefore later in rising than usual, only now washing, and no breakfast yet. So I went down and we waited in the parlor. Shortly he sent word down for us both to come up. We were there with him for 15 minutes.

     Showed him the George Eliot [a bas-relief clay medallion]—which he held at full length of his arms and commented upon admiringly. "That certainly must be very fine. How clean cut! It is a beautiful piece of work. Morse is surely improving and improving. How Dantesque the features! It is clean, pure, strong, through and through." Laughed about "Professor" Morse. "It is a strange sign in Sidney's career, to be sure!" The other day he had exclaimed laughingly— "The simple Morse, dubbed 'Professor' at last! It is a spectacle to be cherished!" Asked about the weather—does not expect the carriage today. Gave us slips of yesterday's Queen poem.

     Today's Press contains paper of Gladstone on "Labor." I

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asked W. if he should read it—knowing he would not. He said: "That is one of the questions I carefully avoid—rarely any more read anything about it. There are ten thousand solutions, but I don't know of one solution out of them all that in any way meets the hour, shows the way out. This question is like the Irish question—there are two interests conflicting—strings pulling two ways—the one all Ireland, all for Irishman, who know nothing but Ireland—the other for the British Empire—that compact of vaster interests touching all parts of the globe. Indeed, it is our Indian question repeated—which has interests purely for the Indian, interests then of the whole body of states, leading to the largest results. In the meantime the poor aboriginals, so to call them, suffer, go down, are wiped out."

     I remember this further of what W. said to me of Ellis' book last night: "What is the significance of descanting of Emerson and Thoreau under the head 'Whitman'? Why not with heads of their own?" And again— "He speaks of some Burroughs piece on Thoreau: I wonder if I have ever read it?"

     We left shortly: his breakfast ready. Mrs. Davis just preparing to bring it up—she had come into the room as we sat there. He at once asked her about some headache she had suffered last night, adding to her smiling rejoinder— "Well Mary—I'm glad it is gone."


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