Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, September 21, 1889

     8 P.M. W. in his room. Had not got out today. Started a fire,—the wood had a fine, memoried odor, as of the hazardous days last winter. The envelopes had come over as directed by me—made a big bundle, and stood on the floor there—I was amused by the line— "Don't crush." I gave him the receipt, which he put on the table, and will probably utterly lose in the litter. He had been writing in his note-book, which laid open on the table. On my entrance was reading a newspaper. Started a considerable hunt for a copy of the Transcript. "It contains something about Bruno which perhaps you will like to see. I don't think it interesting—not at all—dry, rather. Yet you may see more than I do. A column or so, letters—marked with a blue pencil." Then reflected: "It is a surprise, somewhat, that the Popes, Cardinals, bigots, don't know better than to slap Bruno in the face. I, for my part, rejoice in the opposition—in the whole turmoil—it evokes declarations from the other side—radical utterances. Here is one of the Transcript writers delivering tremendous blows. Would he, if the Pope hadn't come out with such a display? I do not know much about Bruno—not much in a definite, particular way—but the men who cluster about him—they're enough for me." I had heard a Catholic say today of Bruno: "Why! he's an infidel!" and this greatly amused W. "Yes—he

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was—and so were all the great men—they had to be. But 'infidel' don't hurt—we are all infidels enough to the Catholic Church—to other churches, too, for that matter. The Pope has issued a little document, I suppose, about two inches,—on Bruno—and the first disposition of every Catholic will be, to get up a great hurrah, enthusiasm, glow, over it—boost the Pope, his Cardinals. But psha! we don't care for the Catholics—undoubtedly things will come about entirely as is best in the long run."

     Had read the Millet piece in the Magazine of Art, which he returned to me. As to the portrait there of M., done "by himself" W. "liked it much." And "the whole article was of great interest" though not new in its treatment. Referred to Kennedy. "He has a vacation—will probably go off somewhere—I don't know where. I wonder if he'll get down this way?—perhaps—perhaps." And when I said: "He deserves a vacation—he works very hard." W. said: "Indeed he does—he does" (pronouncing as if spelled d-u-e-s). Adding after a pause: "I have known half a dozen fellows who in their time got married out of worldly considerations,—and in every case the marriage was a disappointment—a palpable failure—resulting in the way to put a man's nose—so the old expression was—nearer and harder upon the grindstone." I instanced— "for money?" And he shook his head. "I don't mean just that—have rather in mind, worldly position—ease—something in that line." And he then added: "Rhys, when he was here, stopped with them—did not like them at all"—hesitating— "perhaps I am hardly justified in that"—pausing still again— "but I am—I am—even dislike. Kennedy looks on Ernest as essentially—first of all—a selfish nature—that he is out to gather what may be to himself, let others what others may. But this is not my view—not at all. I can realize that Ernest has the English acquisitiveness—and Lord knows! our own is great enough—and I don't see how I can object to it either."

     Left with him proof of the last two pages—with which he

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expressed himself as well-pleased. "I hardly expected you would get the proofs tonight—and it looks all right, too—seems rightly done." I told him the dollar Gilder had sent to the proofmen had been placed to G.'s credit in the office, and W. said: "I hope my 50-centses and whatnot always go direct to the men? I don't want the office between us. But then I recognize that the cases are unlike." When I told W. that probably Tom would be bringing in some of the representatives at the Unitarian Conference in Phila. next month, he said: "Let 'em come." Would read proof tomorrow and if I did not get down would send it up to the house by Ed.


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