Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, October 14, 1890

     7:15 P.M. Found W. in his room with coat and hat on, reading. Looked picturesque. Complained of feeling chilled. Talked vigorously the short time I stayed. Spoke of "the many strangers" who have been at the house asking for tickets. He said, "It certainly looks as if it would be a be."

     We have been anxious to have Brinton here on 21st, but despair of it, from note Mrs. Brinton writes me. W. remarked that "it looks very dubious about the Doctor, too," which was not justified by spirit of note I had from Bucke today—I so told him. When I came to read him his own letter from B., found there was a page he had not read:


12 Oct '90

Your card of 9th to hand yesterday. Long letter from Horace. Seems to be some excitement down your way about some man named Walt Whitman and another man named Ingersoll. What is it all about anyhow? Sorry to hear that grip and bladder troubles still stick to you—they seem to have come to stay—worse luck. It is good news however that you have sent off the "Old Poets" piece to N.A.

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Review—I look forward with most pleasant anticipations to seeing it—I think if anything your prose gets better lately—though the best piece you (or almost anyone) ever wrote was the '55 Preface.


Yes "Liberty and Literature" is good—no title could be better, and won't Ingersoll make a splendid address on such a subject. I guess it will be the biggest thing yet.

I hope to see you a week tomorrow at the latest—i.e. Monday 20th—I think if I was sick a bed and no money I would find a way to attend this circus. Keep writing meanwhile until say Thursday evening (and tell Horace same), I want to be kept posted.

My animal report is most done, hope to finish it tomorrow—all well here.

Love to you

RM Bucke


     It made his face roseate. "That puts quite another face on it!" he exclaimed, and then, "Bucke is a radical out and out: he sees everything with vehemence, takes and keeps hold." W. told me: "Take it along—put it with your batch of lecture notes."

     I received also today following letter from Stedman, by his secretary—"Matt Crim." I paused before reading the last paragraph to say, "And now comes the innocentest, most naive proving of Ingersoll for Whitman that you ever saw." Then read:


Kelp Rock, New Castle, N.H.
Oct. 12, '90

Dear Sir:

Mr. Stedman is up here writing his Johns Hopkins lectures, after a long illness, and I attend to all his correspondence. It will be quite impossible for him to attend the Ingersoll Testimonial. He will have to decline all such invitations until next year, his time is so limited by his lectures. Sends his love to Mr. Whitman and desires me to say that he quotes a good deal from him in his lectures.

He thinks that the refusal of the Academy of Music manager is on

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account of Mr. Ingersoll, that Whitman is much beloved in Philadelphia.


Very Respectfully Yours,

(Miss) Matt Crim


     W. breaking into a hearty laugh: "That certainly is extraordinary: funny—funny—funny!"

     W. said Captain Noell had been in with the blanket.

     Read him the several additional notes I had received today, from Bucke, Johnston, Baker, and Mrs. Fairchild. Much attracted to all. Constantly refers to Baker as "the model secretary" and then to Mrs. F. as "a woman as big as her writing—nor big only, but handsome, of noble carriage—all to tell of gifts, which are many." Always refers to the "heartiness" of Johnston's letters. Regrets "the girls may not come." Bucke's "recovery—or betterment: that is the best news of all, to be sure." Then W. said, "We seem to be in for a great affair: I can hardly guess what, exactly—only that it is great. The Colonel will undoubtedly surprise us all that night."

     I have written Baker new developments. Trouble with tickets. Campbell did not get them till late this afternoon. Sent to Baker tickets for Griffin and the clerks. Works me like a beaver. Will leave final stage arrangements till Baker comes.


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