Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, November 8, 1890

     5:45 P.M. Spent a good half hour with W. Truth Seekers had come this forenoon, and I had left W. his copies, seven of which he had sent off: as he said, to Bucke, Kennedy, "Symonds in Switzerland" and several others. Was in a good frame of mind. Said he had read somewhat in the Murger manuscripts, "but not greatly" yet. Thought Morris "very kind, very thoughtful," etc. Murger's one piece had always possessed him, but whether Murger as a whole would so appeal to him was a question, or at least to be seen.

     We spoke somewhat of the election. W. very much enjoyed the great change in the political face. "As I told someone in writing—I don't know whether Dr. Bucke, Kennedy or some other: did these fellows think the people were all blocks of wood or boulders of stone? That was an expression of Ernestine Rose. You have heard of her? Oh! She was a splendid woman: big, richly gifted, brave, expansive—in body a poor sickly thing, a strong breath would blow her away—but with a head full of brains—the amplitude of a Webster. And this expression came out once when we were discussing the French Revolution, at some question, probably, that was thrown out—I don't know by whom—perhaps by me, though I can hardly think that,

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either, for I do not know the time when I did not endorse the French Revolution—see its majestic meaning, feel it justified. And I can see the flash of her eye now—the noble containing eye! Were the people mere playthings? blocks of wood or boulders of stone? And today it applies, as then—has the most positive applications. The McKinley bill seems to me to contain the signature of the worst tendencies of our time, country: tendencies always horrible, forbidding trespass of us, having such hope, belief, as we have. I have great faith in the masses—beneath all the froth, illiteracy, worse, there is something latent—now and then to break forth—which cannot be defied, which saves us at last. The McKinley bill, all the McKinley influence, ran counter to that—must go down."

     Showed W. the following letter I received from Stoddart today:


Lippincott's Monthly Magazine
Philadelphia, Nov. 7th, 1890

Dear Sir:—

I would be glad to see you at any time in reference to the subject matter of your note of the 5th, inst and am almost always here until half past four or five o'clock. At any event am almost sure to be here in the morning at 10 o'clock. It will be safer, however, to leave the matter until the middle of next week as I expect to go to Washington on the first part.

Yours truly,

J M Stoddart


     W. pleased; thought our plan would work.

     Also had letter from Bush, which led me to think he might be in Philadelphia today:


Dear Mr. Traubel:

Did you not get my letter saying I must be in Cleveland night of Ingersoll—I was there and thought of you—I find it is more than time to send check and will do so next week. I have not prospered here quite as I could wish.

I shall be at Pencoyd Iron Works c/a of Robt. B. Davis, Manager

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all day tomorrow inspecting some bridge work. It is not probable that I shall stay over Sunday unless I could spend some time with you and Mr. Whitman by so doing. What time do you leave in the P.M. Would there be any chance to see you in the evening, taking train from N.Y. at 8:12. Or I could stay at Pencoyd over night and meet you Sun. except that I should undoubtedly break into many of your arrangements for that day.


I wish I had as complete as possible reports of Ingersoll's address as I requested in letter. Are you going to have it printed.

Possibly a letter would catch me at Pencoyd tomorrow P.M. Do you ever get Sat. evening dinner in the city? You will know whether I can see you—what time trains reach 9th & Green from Wissahickon or the other depot from Pencoyd and whether you will want to wire me or not—

Sincerely

H. D. Bush


     I telegraphed him at Pencoyd about ten-thirty, whether he could meet me at the Bank at four, but no reply appeared. W. "regretted"; would like to have seen him.

     Old letter from Garland turned up today. Message to me which W. "had never delivered, though written in the Spring." Laughter over the "tricks" his "memory plays" him.

     W. said, "I have a letter from a Mrs. Putnam. I do not know her: she says she is indebted to you for copy of 'Leaves of Grass,' for knowing, enjoying Walt Whitman, his life. Who is she? Do you know her?"

     Sent matter over to Oldach today by express.

     Spoke again of note for my lecture book. "I will do it—you may feel sure."


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