Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, November 16, 1890

     6:30 P.M. W. continues to say he does not "prosper" in the way of health. But to all apparent outward appearance there is no change. Spoke of Harned: "Tom seems sobered; the presence of death has subdued him."

     Informed me, "I am arranging a cluster of poems for two pages in the Arena. I know they may send them all back, unceremoniously, but it is worth while to try them. But I shall write the essay, too."

     Discussed the peril of the failure of Bering Brothers, the great bankers, tided over by interposition of Bank of England and other powers. W. regarded it as teaching a lesson of solidarity, that the whole world trembled lest "the house should go up," which fact indicated how closely we were being woven together.

     W. said he was "curious" to know what Burroughs would think of the Ingersoll lecture. I had sent him a copy.

     When I told W. I thought more of Bucke after seeing him in

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his own home, he asked, "How's that?" I replied, "We think more of the sun when we see how many worlds it lights." And he exclaimed, "Good! good! the Doctor ought to hear that. And you are right; it is a great thing to see the institution there—to see him as not part but fountain of it all."

     Referring again to Brinton's criticism of Ingersoll's lecture: "That is a false standard. The question is, what did Bob start out to prove? Did he prove it? That would be the Heinean method, the true method."

     I described a sunset—Friday night—off towards south-west: the big refineries against the burnt and burning sky, the smoke curling lazily from high slender chimneys, the silver-rimmed moon, the one lustrous star, the river beneath, the island mid-way interposing, and all the silence and inspiration. He moved forward on his seat: "I can see it—see it all!" he exclaimed. And then, "I have had a great outing, too: down to the river; the day had such an irresistible quality, I wanted to follow it over the West!"

     I wrote to Ingersoll in brief, giving some lines W. had written about the lecture.


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