Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, October 20, 1889

     In forenoon, 9.20. W. had just been dressed. Sat in chair opening The Press. His breakfast—egg, bread, potatoes, etc.—on the table before him. Asked me if I had learned any news. He was "just looking to see what was up, if anything." I had gone in, simply by the way, ere going to Germantown, where I was to tarry most of the day. W. spoke of the day— "how beautiful—how auspiciously started!" Inquired if I had yet read the Arnold letter? And on my "no," "Well—it is not much—not a positive quality—a sort of after-dinner letter, for reading when a fellow don't feel intense." I read aloud to him this paragraph from The Press about Gilchrist:

     "The quiet, artistic-looking man with a quick, swinging walk, dressed in a cape coat and wearing a turban hat, who is frequently seen on Chestnut Street, is Mr. Herbert Gilchrist, of England, whose portrait of Walt Whitman was so highly commended at the London Exhibition.


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     Mr. Gilchrist is a profound admirer of Mr. Whitman and he comes by his admiration honestly, for his mother, Mrs. Anne Gilchrist, was one of the few women who dared to say that she liked the Gray Poet's songs, and, indeed, she once made a pilgrimage from England to visit him."

     He exclaimed— "That's Talcott Williams!" Thought he would "make an effort to get out today." I did not continue talk—went down stairs—saw Ed a while—then off to town. W. said he "woke up in very good condition—started the day well."

     Referring to the matter of the nurse, W. said laughingly: "It is with that as with the getting a husband or wife: our proper mate no doubt exists some-where, but the grave point with us is to find that place, that person."


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