Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, October 31, 1889

     7.45 P.M. W. reading papers—several on his lap. Not greatly well. "My head has been in a queer chaotic condition—as though in a whirl of phlegm." Said Clifford and DeLong had been in to see him today. "I am afraid I was very stupid—they must have felt it so. I was not in my best condition—this trouble was on me—and so we did not say much." Said Clifford had left a copy of The Germantown Independent containing his speech in full. "I have only so far looked at it—not read it. I have laid it by for a more propitious moment." Afterwards: "DeLong tells me there is a copy of the big book there at Medford, in the library." I exclaimed, "I wonder who put it there?" And he, "I wonder! That would be something worth inquiring about: some daring radical—some outrageous violator of the proprieties." Adding in his laughter: "I have been told that in the Boston Public Library they have a copy of Leaves of Grass, but keep it under lock and key, afraid that it may get out and be read!" But whatever his "dullness with the visitors" he took it "as an honor—as it is: a compliment for the fellows to come over—all this way." I was on the way tonight to the meeting at which Curtis was

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to speak. W. said: "The best thing I know of him is, that William O'Connor, who was a man not easily satisfied, thought there was something in him—that he stood for something."

     Gave me slip copies of the poems "Bravo, Paris Exposition!" and "My 71st Year." with his own written corrections.

      "I had another visitor today—a man, Hawley—from Syracuse or Rochester—a doctor, medical doctor. He bought 2 copies L. of G.: one for himself, one for a friend in the city—Kent, was his name, I think. He says he told Kent he was going to devote this afternoon to this visit, and then Kent, who knew nothing about me, gave him money for the book—probably from a curiosity to know how the wild beast looked at close quarters. O yes! Hawley was a medical doctor—a homeopathist. He even started to talk about me—discuss me physically—but I would have none of it—told him I was not open to discussion at that point."

     The tree in front of the house has been cut down. W. said: "It was an event—the old dead tree is gone: it seemed to me a public danger. Ed told me at one time he thought he could push it over—so I thought it my duty to get rid of it—remove it." Has been doing considerable repairing about the house, and papering the vestibule. Said a letter had "come at last from Ed to Warrie. Ed has an appointment with Bucke, to go tell him about us. It seems Ed went to work right off on his arrival—that accounts for his delay." W. said again— "There was a slight notice—a paragraph,—of the book in today's Post—but it comes to nothing. Probably Bonsall will follow it up with something more satisfactory." He took from me a list of names I knew Harned had sent books to. "It is to avoid sending duplicates," he explained. And he said later: "I should like one to go to Whittier." As to those to go abroad, I said I thought they should come from me, and he, "Yes—that would be most happy." And he mentioned copies for Rolleston, Carpenter, Symonds, Rhys— "and Tennyson—I should approve of that."


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