Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, October 17, 1889

     7.55 P.M. W. in his room, reading Scott. Appeared quite well—talked with some energy. "A letter from Bucke," he said, "but no word about the book. It probably had not come yet, though has now." Fire in the stove—kept stirring it occasionally. On the chair a new poem he had carefully transcribed in ink— "For Remembrance." Said he had "received Poet-Lore. Indefatigable for Browning and Shakespeare" but had not read much in it. We discussed judgment by impression—whether reliable, and W. contended: "It is part of the long search of the soul after adjustment—adjustimenta—not necessarily a conscious search, but a going-towards. We do because we do—believe because we believe—and though not explained by any thought of the moment, something that has gone before does explain it." His own judgment came much in this way and he never attempted to disregard it, because "in the main" it was "justified."

     Mills delivered a tariff reform speech in Philadelphia last evening. W. asked where a report of it was to be found. Had

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passed it in the Press. Then laughed: "Anyhow, the Press is not to be trusted. Has the Record reported it at all? I did not read it—did not see it, in fact." And as to cheers at every mention of Cleveland's name— "Yes—it proves what I have always said—that he is yet afloat." Had also read Cleveland's speech at Sunset Cox's funeral, and liked it. "I noted another fact—or called fact—in the paper this morning—did you see it?—The story that Boulanger has been invited to take up his abode in Canada?"

     Renan has delivered himself thus as to Papal temporal power:

     (Dated, Paris, Oct. 16)—"He said that he considers that the ultimate departure of the Pope from Rome is inevitable, but that the status quo will be maintained as long as possible. The reason he gives for the delay of the abandonment of the Eternal City is that the cardinals are conscious that such a step would be the signal for the breaking up of the hold which the Papacy has upon the Roman Catholic world, and that the certain result would be springing up of schisms in the Church.

      "Italy," says M. Renan, "would not indorse the idea of receiving directions from a Pope dwelling abroad, and the fealty of the Italians would soon weaken and die out when the Supreme Pontiff is no longer one of themselves and the old traditions of the Vatican have ceased to be a present fact. The Italian Catholics would, in this predicament, sooner or later elect an Italian Pope, resident in Italy and one of their own people" [quoted here only in part].

     W. had "read it with curious and minute attention." "It seems to have some curious meaning. What is the bottom significance of the position—attitude, of the Pope, of Rome, baffles me to say—I could not say. It has a meaning but I cannot get at it. The poor Pope and his nest of cardinals—how they must live in suspense! The horoscope of the future, of the stars, is altogether adverse. I wonder if they realize it? They are men of sense—no fools—must see a thing or two—see that the modern world is all against them."


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     I left shortly, having to say something to Ed and then go to Phila. Down stairs found Ed talking wtih Gilchrist. We started mutual questions—in the midst of which there was a ring at the bell. Ed went to the door and ushered in two men—evidently Hibernians: one tall, wearing glasses—the other short and with sandy head. Both strong—the tall man quite voluble, the other markedly reticent. Ed introduced the latter as the man Gould had secured as his successor—the other his friend, a professional nurse. I questioned considerable. Gilchrist went up stairs. My impression not strongly favorable. I advised Ed to take them to Walt and let him question. He did so—Ed and I then going out together, he explaining to me the result of his quest for Gould etc.—leaving me at the Ferry with promise to take the men up to Harned's before they went back to Philadelphia. I find myself very anxious on this point of the nurse. This man may do as a makeshift, Ed insisting on going at once. General Hartranft died today. W. said: "I find it so stated in the evening papers. I never knew much about Hartranft—did you? Tell me for what he is mostly famous." "Knowledge," he said— "that true basic knowledge—comes of long reaches, waitings, not by a push or a tumble." Had not seen the personal paragraph in the Press about Gilchrist, to which I referred.


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