Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, November 3, 1890

     Received books from Bucke this morning: "Democratic Vistas," "Passage to India," "Drum Taps," "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free." Also a letter from Mead, saying he will be glad to have my article and illustrations. Looked up a copy of Truth Seeker today, finding it really had published Ingersoll's address in full. A rather crude sheet in many ways. May hinder the circulation of Ingersoll's message.

     7:50 P.M. Had some talk with W., mainly about the Ingersoll lecture, which I showed him in Truth Seeker. He said, "It looks well; is evidently all here—large type, clear," and advised me, "I shall probably want, say, 30 copies." So I arranged to send for 50 or so, to satisfy both. Left the copy with him. I told him someone had asked me, "You certainly don't pretend that you believe Ingersoll to be as big a man as Whitman?" I admitted, "No, I do not—nor that Burns is as big as Shakespeare: but Burns was genius, nevertheless, if not as comprehensive as Shakespeare, ample anyhow." And W. now said to me, "Good! But for my own part I would put it in quite another way. I would not have Bob anything else but just what he is. He is as he is because he has to do what he has to do. For his grand, noble, necessary work, he is rightly armed, equipped. He is constituted as he should be. He could not be something else and do it—which is sufficient answer." I related what Baker had told me: that he has known Ingersoll to offer big sums of money to be left out of encyclopedias, etc., W. saying, "I can hardly conceive it: how odd it is!" And to the fact that Ingersoll's funeral addresses broke him (Ingersoll) up, "That, too, is hard to understand. Just the emotion of it? It must be, and surely has a weight of significance, too."


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     I left with him the four Bucke books, which he will autograph for me tomorrow. Also letter from Stockley, written from Paris, about the Sarrazin book, detailing his so far ill success in securing the American right to translate.

     Referred to the Melbourne Argus' adverse view of Symonds' book—with side-shots (several) at Walt Whitman—sneers at W.'s demonstration of democratic art.

     Had forgotten about my Burroughs book today. "Forget everything," he says.

     Has as yet had no notification of change in number of his house. Referred to the Button advisement.

     Letter from Mead today in which he said, "The Whitman paper I shall look forward to with interest whenever you can prepare it—and shall be glad of all the help in the way of illustration which you suggested."

     W. said, "That should incite you to hurry it out." I would have copy this week or early next. He thought he would "not need it for any length of time." I explained, "I want you to go through it with a pen: then I can make a final copy." He assented, "Yes, I shall do it: suggest what I may think omissions. Shall only want it a day or so."


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