Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, June 18, 1890

     5.15 P.M. W. just finishing dinner. Looks very well— "maintains" his "standard," he says— "in a way—which isn't much of a way after all."

     Showed me Ingersoll's handsome book, still in its box—but on the floor. "Almost incongruous with me," he smilingly remarked. Also gave me Ingersoll's letter on which he had inscribed "letter from R. G. Ingersoll June 16 1890." "Here is the Arnold book, too," he added— "it turned up today—and I want you to read him on Heine." "Essays in Criticism," 1865 edition, Bucke's name therein. W. then: "I don't know how or when I got that from Bucke, but here it is."

     As to loss of Ingersoll's speech he said again: "I could not make it a matter of unconcern—any more than I can say of Sarrazin's piece that we would have been just as rich if it had never been written." He has several times in the past week alluded to this paragraph out of Unity—done so with laughter, as a usual thing.

The greatest American poet, if he is such, Walt Whitman, stands in much higher regard in England than among his own countrymen,

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who are more perplexed than pleased over this high praise bestowed on the author of "Leaves of Grass." Tennyson is the latest authority quoted as assigning our good, grey poet the very highest rank among his kind.


     Later . . . In the evening, I met W. in his chair at the Post Office—Warren inside inquiring for mail, W. talking with a young man and woman. It was very warm—he had taken off his coat and thrown it over the back of the seat, and rolled up his shirt sleeves. No vest on. When I asked him if he was on his way home—he said laughing— "I am on my way to the river—which is as much home as any other place."


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