Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 269] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wednesday, November 12, 1890

     5:20 P.M. Having just finished dinner, W. was in his then usual exhilaration. Bright and disposed to talk. Asked after "the news," saying he "had none" of his own. I ordered an Arena for us tomorrow. W. satisfied. Handed me a letter from Kennedy. "It is just here." It had made W. read 'Old Poets' again, as I found him doing on my entrance. My laughing question, "Do you never get tired reading your own articles," seemed vastly to excite him, he laughing the longest time. Said to me, "I have a new idea about the portraits—have changed my mind: will get several envelopes made, using one for Mrs. Ingersoll, sending instead of one portrait, several: the Gutekunst, Cox, perhaps others. How does that strike you?" He had cut a piece of heavy wrapping paper the size he wished and pasted a memorandum on it. "I think that may please her better than a frame, even: giving the pictures some slight dedication," etc.

     Gave him letter of 9th received from Bucke to read. It touches the Ingersoll lecture. I shall bind it in my volume with the

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 270] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
lecture. W. read it with great care, several pages twice, then declared: "It is solid as a cube! and is free, ringing and right. I can easily allow, it speaks for me as well as for Doctor—and for Bob, too, of course—the great Bob! These events are signs in our heavens!" I told him I had met Farson last night, who said to me that Baker had sent several Academy men into the hall the night of the lecture, expecting some searing from Bob—but not a word! I remarked, "Bob was too keen to drag such an ass to immortality!" W. jocularly assenting, "And more than that, Bob really cared nothing about it; I am sure he did not. It was one only out of many equally insignificant straws. But then, do you know, Horace—our fellows—you and I for instance, must not let the fact be wiped out. Must insist upon it—let it be remembered: that the great hall was refused Bob—that the Young Men's Christian Association refused me. They are part of a story which should be faithfully preserved."

     Left Harper's Weekly with him. Much attracted and exclamatory over the beauty of engravings. Looked over [Harper's] Young People.

     W. had written me my "dedication" as follows. Would it do? etc.


Camden New Jersey Nov: 12 1890

My dear friend Horace Traubel:

I can only congratulate you—& as far as may be endorse (the authenticity of) the bold & eloquent address a copy of wh. R. G. I. has himself given you.

Walt Whitman


     Speaking of the lecture, "There seems to have been a sprinkling of everybody. I meet some new person every day." And this somehow constrained him to speak of the Reisser dinner and his own speech there: "That was rather chat than speech. I did go on at a great rate." And when I said, "You remember, Talcott Williams says he has that speech and has promised me

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 271] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
a copy."
W. replied, "Yes, and that reminds me, you ought to urge him to keep his promise: I would like to see myself what I said, and more, too—I might claim the parliamentary privilege—to revise, set straight, for every reporter makes some slip—even the best," etc.


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.