Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, October 27, 1890

     Still at London. Spent the day in various work. In town with Bucke in the forenoon. In afternoon at two he lectured some students, coming out from the city, with a number of his own girls: nurses, etc. Doing it I thought in a memorable way. B. very lucid. This was the first lecture in his course—after preliminary sketch of insanity—its genera, etc.—we went into one of the wards where B. gave practical illustrations of the melancholic phases of insanity. B. sat in the middle of the floor—the patient was brought in to face him—sitting also—the students gathered around. I suppose every case of insanity has its curious phases, but the most curious of the several examples he adduced was a fellow—a man of middle life, short, bearded, about 28 years of age, with a smirking countenance, a continually appearing and receding smile—who gave us with greatest confidence account of the fact that he was without either lungs or kidneys or brain,

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that his chest was burdened with a dirty red shirt, which he could taste—that his heart was in his head. He gave us this information with utmost volubility and confidence, only ceasing when finally B. said "that will do" and had him removed. At night this man was present at the dance in amusement hall, participating in every step, even to the jig. B. says for himself that he enjoys these lectures. They are not difficult, he has the material well at and in hand, etc.

     After the lecture we went in town. I got my ticket for Philadelphia. Back to tea and to the dance. Of course interspersed between all these occupations were talks of W., plans, etc.—for disposal of precious souvenirs, etc. Bucke will send a lot of his Whitman books down with me for W.'s autograph, I to express back. Postal and two letters from W. today—written to us in common. B. kept postal and one letter, I the second letter.


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