Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, December 18, 1889

     7.05 P.M. W. in his room, the light down—ruminating. He raised his head, ensplendored in light at the tips of the fine grey hair. "Oh! Horace—is it you?" The night stormy—the day such as had kept him at home. "You look as if you had come in out of the mists," he said—as I had—the fog strong—my coat collar up—moistened on moustache and hair.

     Called my attention to Herbert Aldrich's book, turned—open—face down—on a pile of papers. "I am nearly half through it," he remarked. "It is singularly non-literary—very non-literary, indeed—I was going to say, happily non-literary—and why not? And yet, as is apt to be the case, it is—at least to me—wonderfully attractive, fascinating. I wonder if we are ever to get emancipated from the literary tyrannies—to get out to freedom, nature. We certainly are not emancipated now—are bound hand and foot—sugared, prettied!"

     Read him Morse's letter, in which he was deeply interested. Then in turn discussed his letter received from Burroughs today. The street address W. "gave up" laughingly. Burroughs now in Poughkeepsie. W. promised again to write a letter of introduction for Adler to Burroughs. "I had completely forgotten it." Questioned me, what had Chubb said of his meeting with Sanborn. Sanborn had assured Chubb much as he had me in the recent letter, in perhaps even more emphatic language—in the Emerson matter. W. said: "That is

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very significant—I don't know but the most significant."
But as to my proposed letter quizzing Edward Emerson he was still doubtful. "I predict that you will get nothing from him—or getting something, will find that something itself a mystery, ambiguous. In the courts they have a sort of witness who baffles all prediction—passes all off with an air of uncertainty—an I-do-not-know or am-not-sure attitude: and I think you will find Edward Emerson such a witness."


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