Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, October 15, 1890

     Received note as follows from Baker this morning just before leaving for the city:


Oct. 14. 90
Tuesday Eveg. 5 P.M.
(on the way home)
The Windsor
Fifth Avenue, New York.

My dear Horace:

I have dropped in here to read yours of yesterday and to drop you a line. Have not been at the office today—but had my mail & the

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Col's sent to the Col's house, where I have been with him since leaving Court at noon—& we have spent the whole aftn collaborating the Col's address.


I want you to do me a personal favor. Send me by Express, at once, a copy of "Leaves of Grass"—full edition—I want it to refer to in helping get up the Col's lecture. He is using his and will want it while I will need it at home, evenings. If the Col. quotes copiously from it, which I think he will, I want to see that every word and line is correct. So please do this, at once. Express to me to my home address: 19 E. 80th St.

I will not cut, or ill use it, and will return it when I come on. I only want to borrow it.

I expect now to come over Thursday and see you Thursday aftn. If I am too busy here on the lecture to do so will telegraph you.

As you say, we have had a great deal of free advtg. This is lovely. Still, we must not be mean about it! We must pay for some. I wd., however, be prudent and economical, under the circumstances, and not be lavish in advg. expenditure.

We must save all the dollars we can for W. W.

I do not think the Col. will oboject—indeed I know he won't—to a crowded stage. You put on as many complimentaries as you think best, for W. W. & his friends. There will of course be room to spare on the stage after you have done this, and after the press deadheads are included (for I presume some of the press comps. will be stage tickets) then reserve the rest for paying seats. I should think the stage would seat 300 or so. How many will it? What does Farson say about this?

You do not say so, in terms, but presume you got the $100 check.

Au revoir

Yours

Baker.


     Went down to W.'s (it was 8:10). W. not yet up. Had Warren go to bedroom, get me copy of big book, which I took to Philadelphia and expressed to Baker, mailing postal at the same time. Wrote in book: "To I. N. Baker with regards of Walt Whitman and Horace Traubel." These fellows in New

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York so noble, one is almost ashamed of his meagre contributions to the cause. Just before leaving Bank received this telegram from Baker: "I will be over tomorrow Thursday about six o'clock and stop at Green's Eighth and Chestnut. Hope you expressed the book today."

     Bucke writes me definitely. Will undoubtedly be here. And now is word even from Bush—good hearty "Yes, if possible, etc."

     Bonsall does us up again in Post today.

     Went to see Campbell. About a third of the floor marked off. Things look well. This the first day's sale. Have written several letters.

     7:50 P.M. Now down to W.'s. He was in room talking to Mrs. Davis. Then as I entered, greeted me. "We were just telling each other about you." I asked, "Telling what?" but he only laughed—in a way to say, I guess I won't tell. And so we drifted into the work of the day. He still has complaint to make of "grip" and of "the troublesome kidneys."

     I showed him third page of Conservator in proof, with Clifford's and Bucke's articles. He looked— "And Clifford, too! And he is not afraid to sign his name! How all this will interest our English fellows!" W. asked me to leave paper but I could not. Asked me about posters. Had not seen one in Camden yet. I named him several—he laughed. "Well, that is the first authentic word I have been able to get on the subject: that is surely the best start. They must be about then." I told him of Record, shabbiness of men there, and he advised me, "I would have nothing to do with the Record or the Camden Courier." I do not know what caused him thus to mention the last: did not ask him. I read him all the letters I had received. In Baker's, where B. spoke of saving the dollars for W. W., he exclaimed, "Hear! Hear!" Was "happy to know Bucke is absolutely to be here." Thought "we are certainly drifting to something. Perhaps to something great. Indeed, as far as the Colonel is concerned, I am sure to something great." Said he had had no word himself. "This is a dull day with me—an off-day.

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Not a letter. I do generally get a budget, but two or three out of every five are for autographs."
I said, "And that is one of the penalties of being famous. Who wants my autograph." "It is a heavy penalty sometimes." Like me, he thought he "liked letters—the most ordinary," even though not liking the duty to answer them.

     On the floor near the stove a manuscript copy of "A Christmas Greeting." I picked up and showed to him. "Are you going to burn it?" "Let me see." "Here it is." "Was it near the fire?" "Yes." "Then I think I was." "But you don't have to burn it?" He laughed and looked at me. "No, you can have it if you wish." So he wrote my name on the face of it with pencil.

     Spoke of his happiness that I would go home with Bucke. "It will be a trip you will never want to forget."


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