Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, November 10, 1890

     5:50 P.M. A most pleasant half hour with W., who seemed in best condition and spoke in the most hopeful way of his outings.

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Says he looks forward now to "bad days" which will keep him indoors.

     Returned me Current Literature. Had read Higginson's piece. "It is thin—not giving much. For indeed, he hasn't much to give, being so unsteady himself."

     Had sent away some further copies of Ingersoll's address. Alluded to Ingersoll's description of the "Angelus" as "exquisite—going straight to the marrow of the subject."

     Informed me among first things, "Mrs. Harned is dead. She died this morning. Little Anne came down to tell me." And then, "And I have had news of the old man Stafford: that he, too, has been very ill—some stroke of paralysis. Poor old fellow! But they say he is better. I have known them all so well, especially Harry. I take a great interest in them still. I was most intimate with Harry, but I love all—all."

     I wrote Mrs. O'Connor today explaining how her letter was found. Also saw Oldach for W. At my advice W. will probably pile the folded sheets up in his own room. Thinks, "It will be a long while before they are needed."

     Showed him letter I had from Bucke today. He read carefully. Was "impressed" with idea of "some good edition" of Ingersoll lecture, "illuminated or other"; advised me to pursue it.

     W. said, "We met Judge Garrison at the corner here. How fat and hearty he gets! How good his color!" And then, by and by, "But I don't know if that fat and color signify all or much. It may not: I know that the recruiting officers in the army pass by just such men—have an instinctive suspicion of them. And hospital life tells the story against mere flesh and rose-color. There is yet so much to be discovered on this point. Look at Aleck Stephens: a mere show of body. Why, I could have lifted my hand and flung him over his bed"—motioning with great energy— "and yet he was sound at the top, not a trace in brain, reason of the bodily deterioration, decay. And Thad Stevens, too: he was long, tall, slim, sickly, yet game to the core." Was not health symmetry rather than mere strength? "Yes, and that

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is a wise way to put it. I accept it. And yet, under, beyond, all we know, is the secret yet to be wrung—the final explication of the knot."

     Picture of W. and Peter Doyle: the two sitting gazing into each other's eyes, a picture which O'Connor described to me as "silly—idiotic." I found it on the floor. W. asked, "What do you think of it: is it a likeness?" And when I said it was he went on, "I know it is good of Pete—it is first-rate: the best I have," etc., and he exclaimed, "Dear Pete! Many's the good day (night) we have known together!"


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