Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, October 19, 1889

     7.55 P.M. W. in his room reading Scott. Fire burning. Rather sweaty. He asked, "How about the weather? It is too warm in here? I thought so myself." He had thrown the door wide open. Looked bright and spoke with considerable cheer. Asked after the news. I had brought him The Magazine of Art—called his attention to a wonderful piece of engraving—Lady Hamilton as Miranda. He regarded it with an affectionate eye. "It appears to be all in the way of power and beauty you could hope for." At another point a picture of Millet—the middle age picture by himself. "That is the best yet—that is

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the most satisfactory picture I have yet seen—and so quiet and simple the means!—the very antithesis of all that went to make up—was necessary to—a portrait of N. P. Willis, for instance—the other extreme. Willis, you know, was very particular about all his curls, linen, all—what not."
As Millet was here "So he was, I know. Oh! this is genuine of genuines!"

     I alluded to an enthusiastic notice in The Critic of Salvini's "Samson." He said: "It was not written by Billy Winter, then—that is sure. I suppose Billy has not much of a fling there anyhow." Adding— "However—he has his clientage—probably a pretty good one for size, too—there's no getting away from that: a clientage of the orthodox fellows—the regulation literary men—the men of the Richard Grant White stripe that used to be, as I say." Then he laughed over the literary formalists. Speaking again of Willis: "There is a picture of him in Stedman's book—one of the most approved of them, I suppose." This led to talk of the 11th volume of Stedman's book—W. describing it as "mainly biographical, indexical"—asking me— "Do you think it necessary to sum up what has gone before?" Adding that for his "own part" he would "prefer an interim now before the issue of such a volume—say, two years—or even 10 would be better—though I suppose that is impossible, or unlikely. It will be well as it is, but would be better if not hurried out: hurry is at a great discount in such a thing—at least, is to me."

     Called my attention to a postal from The Epoch office reading— "Your attention is called to an item in The Epoch of Oct. 18, '89, in which your name is mentioned." They seemingly had sent no paper. I said I thought they had or would but W.— "No, I don't think so." Asked me to look it up if I "had means to do so." Said also: "I had this letter today—Arnold has written of the visit here to the London Telegraph—someone sends me a copy, and writes a letter along with it. Take both—read them—then we'll send them to Bucke for him to get his look." The letter was as follows:


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"THE CHELSEA

"222 WEST 23 STREET

"NEW YORK


"Dear Mr. Whitman.

In case you have not seen it, I send you Sir Edwin Arnold's letter describing his recent visit to you. With it accept the tribute of one who supremely admires your poems' national spirit, and who regards your 'Bravest of All' as the grandest of war-lyrics.

"Very truly yours

"Laura Daintrey."

"England


October 8/89"



     This had been mailed in England little stamped, and W. had therefore to pay 10 cents on it. Said— "See what you can make of it, Horace—what, if anything."


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