Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, December 23, 1889

     7.40 P.M. W. reading a little red book, which I found to be "The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk"—property of Warren.

     Left with him a copy of The American containing Browning Symposium—Morris, Williams, Wayland, Thompson, Appleton, Miss Bennett and others concerned. "I was going to use rather a harsh word—to say, we can learn almost as much from promiscuous babblings about a man as from the sympathetic careful statements of critics—but that is hardly just. I have no doubt of Morris and Frank Williams at any time—they are both in the right drift—particularly Morris—Morris is going there without question. Mrs. Gilchrist's favorite saying about humanity was, "I don't know where we are going—what port bound for—but that we are going somewhere I no more doubt than that we exist at all.' And Morris is going somewhere—it is in him to go—and Frank too: Frank's trend is superb. We must give them all room and time to grow, expand."

     Alluded to his outing today. "We took quite a trip. In a shop-window up town there were a couple of pictures of Goethe and Schiller—fine—they possessed me—evidently

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by your father—lithographs."
He was no doubt right in this. Spoke of enjoyment, the release of these days—we now passing through a season of propitious weather.

     The Critic this week—in The Lounger—discusses W. briefly—W. asking me: "Who is the Lounger? I wish you would try to find out definitely who the Lounger is—I never really knew. Sometimes I have thought it Joe Gilder—sometimes De Kay—then again—as now—neither—some other. The notions would come and vanish." Perhaps it was no "intended secret" and I could inquire. He would rather not personally. As to The Critic: "It is never vehemently interesting—yet a paper we all feel rather as if we could not go on without." Gave me Lippincott's, advising me to read Stoddard's paper on Willis. "I know it has no weight, yet we seem to need to know what clever fellows have to say." This paper had some unwonted virtues, considering it had "none of Stoddard's usual sourness," etc.

     I read him a letter which I had received today from Stuttgart, from our friend Bush, now wandered far off.


Blumenstrasse 27¹
Stuttgart, Germany, Dec. 8th 89
Horace L. Traubel, Esq.
Camden, New Jersey U.S.A.

Dear Mr. Traubel:

I had already decided to write you to day, for, during the past week, I have been making a list of letters that must be written, and this morning I rec'd yours of the 18th ult. again enforcing my obligation.

I remember that I hoped to get to Philadelphia and to see you, but I could not do so.

I have been working very hard in the past year and, in addition to my work in Lachine, have had 2 patents (in which I am only part inventor) on my mind, with much writing and drawing to do in all my spare moments. I had much to see to in Springfield & New York before leaving, and left with some things undone and without going to Philadelphia, as I had hoped to do


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We sailed Sept. 25th. on the Germanic of the White Star Line. If you are not rich, and ever come over, this and her sister ships have some inside cabins, forward, which are perfectly ventilated, and, unless it is so calm that port holes can be opened, just as pleasant as outer and as cheap as accommodations on much inferior lines.

We had a rather rough passage, but with favorable winds, and the quickest one this ship ever made coming this way. We saw only a little of Liverpool and then went direct to Glasgow where a friend showed me steel-works &c, and where we saw the Cathedral—not well known, but having the finest crypt in Gt. Britain. We could give only 2 days to romantic Edinboro town and 1 of these I gave to the Forth bridge, most stupendous and hideously ugly of bridges, having 2 spans each of 1600 ft (same as Brooklyn) and many smaller spans and probably costing nearly $50.000.000. We were fortified by the Century articles on Cathedrals and saw Durham of Norman and York of Gothic architecture. At London we also saw the old Norman church—St Bartholomew's the Great. We spent 8 days in London and then went to Paris—arriving as we had planned before the close of the Exposition. As a fellow Eng'r. I had been able to show a little courtesy to M. Eiffel's son, lately in U.S.A. and Canada and the card he gave me to his father was enough for the latter to take us to the top of "La Tour Eiffel," not only to his private room—above the highest point tourists reach, but also up the small tube until we stood just under the electric light, which, every night flashes the tri-color over the surrounding country. The Exposition grounds and buildings are beautiful. The show itself is like all others very wearisome. The wonderful exhibition of French art interested us much, for we had not seen much of it before.

Coming on to Stuttgart, we came to live in this house where we found a young Canadian musician to whom we had letters. He had just had a hemorrhage, but everyone thought he would soon be up. However after 5 weeks (since we came) he has died and is buried to-day. This, as much as any one thing, is why my time has been broken into and why I have not written sooner.

I am studying German daily and wish I could stay long enough to master it. Mrs. Bush is studying harmony and musical composition with a Prof. Goetschius from Paterson N.J. He has been here 15 years, written two books and done such remarkable work as to

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earn the king's apppointment as "professor." This title means something here and can not be assumed by any 3d. rate musician as in America. In fact our own government might learn much here. The German gov't is working not only for this generation but the next, and the land and the forests and all the natural resources are sacredly guarded. Mrs. Bush (I see I have digressed) is studying piano with a very talented woman here, Frau Hauptmann Hoerner. She is a friend of Rubinstein and Leschetizky and was of Liszt and Kullak. She takes only those pupils who give her pleasure and she says Mrs. Bush does. However, though Mrs. Bush has so much talent, she had not the best instruction early enough to make her a great public player, and she has little taste for much of such a life.


Yes, I remembered that my payments were only up to Nov. 1st (through Oct.) and as I had expected to start for home before this I thought I should not be much behind-hand, and so made no provision for same. However, as I shall not now start, until after New Years I will ask a friend in New York to send you the am't for 2 or 3 months and shall then be able to attend to it myself.

I am sorry I have delayed writing you so long—but I have been having such a good rest, you will, I know, forgive me. We both send a great deal of affection and Christmas greetings and best wishes for the New Year to Mr. Whitman and yourself.

Please keep the little book for me.

Sincerely yrs.

H. D. Bush

You did not answer about the Leaves of Grass. Shall hope to get them of you.

     He was extremely interested: "His resume is extremely taking—it sounds as if given intimately—as if from one chum to another—stating the most definite particulars. After all, our men—men of men—are the scientific men—men having a basis in sublime common sense—an exalting common sense. I know of nothing developed in history to exceed the value of this." And he wished me to "message" his love to Mr. and Mrs. Bush "at the first writing."

     Today had brought me likewise from Rudolf Schmidt—5 pp. notice of the banquet book from the periodical (Copenhagen)

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"Literatur og Kritic.." Much to W.'s curiosity (as mine, since neither of us could read it). "We are always curious to know what is being said of us—particularly by the man who views us from the outside. Even if we realize that he don't grasp us, we see an importance in his statement. We must certainly get some translation of this."


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