Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, December 14, 1889

     7.35 P.M. W. lying on the bed—the first time in weeks I have found him so. But getting up and slowly making his way to the chair he explained: "I laid down, rather because I had nothing else to do than because I wanted to sleep." Returned me the N. A. Review. Had "looked through" most of the articles, though "Gladstone's on divorce, was one I skipped altogether—did not read at all."

     While we sat there talking, Hicks came in. W. asked the question at one moment: "What did Jesus mean when he said a rich man could no more enter Heaven than a camel go through the eye of a needle?" Hicks volunteered to give his view, viz.—that Jesus meant that riches could only be accumulated on the misery of our fellow-men, W. then saying: "Yes, that is one explanation, but that does not satisfy me—it seems to me necessary to say more if you say that much." But he did not follow the question up. W. not especially talkative, though cordial. Referred to St. Gaudens, whom "Watson Gilder and some other bulked high up"—but who to W. was "not a man of greatest calibre, though Morse thinks something of him, and Sidney's judgment in sculpt work was always very cute—very much to be relied upon."


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     Commenting upon The Critic's applause for Dr. Brinton's pamphlet on a world-language, W. said: "I doubt the world-language very much—yet if it must be, the English will be that language. Oh! I thought that was all settled! There are profound reasons for it: the English is more naturally the world-language because of its composite character—its absorption—gathering from all quarters, elements that give it strength, variety, vitality" etc.


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