Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, June 28, 1890

     5.30 P.M. W. in his room, with dinner just about done. Looked well—was well, in his way. Left Scribner's with him. "This modern printing excites my unceasing admiration," he said. Looked at pictures—took up his knife and cut pages. The Critic this week has a Harleigh Cemetery "Note," which excited W.'s laughter. The idea of a "precipice" near by his lot caused him to say: "It is a picturesque paragraph—just enough lie in it to make it travel fast." Gave me a letter received today from Bucke.

     Referred to Poet Lore—which he did not read "greatly," yet was "glad to receive"—adding, "I think someone there has several times written me about it. I ought to be slapped for never having acknowledged. I would not swear I had not acknowledged, for sometimes my poor memory plays me tricks in self-condemnation, too—though I do not think in this case it has." Gave me November Boughs for Helen Campbell, which I had him endorse. Said it was his last copy there. Also, at my reminder, gave me a copy of the Gutekunst photograph for Hicks, autographing it also. Remarked that he supposed he often "replied to letters that deserved no reply and left unanswered letters that deserved some notice"—yet that this was probably always incidental to a man much-questioned and not "a correspondent by nature."

     Discussed having some copies of the Elias Hicks picture struck off by Billstein. "The printing of that cut in the book was a failure." How easily men got the cut of their trade! "The undertaker: how soon he is as lugubrious as his business!" But a man must not be weighed and pressed down into a mould.


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