Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, November 18, 1890

     5:20 P.M. W. in his room, having just finished dinner. Sitting in dark there, looking forth from the window. Lusty fire in stove; the flickering flame playing on objects all over the room. After shaking hands with me he observed I had watched the light, saying, "It is a cheery glow, isn't it? An inspiration, when a fellow grows cold with other things!" Complained of his condition. Not out today. When Warren asked whether he would go, he shook his head. "No, I guess not: not today." Had read

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some—written. This morning's mail had brought me proof of introduction from Truth Seeker, which I mailed to W. on my way to Philadelphia. He handed it to me now in envelope marked "preparatory pages Ingersoll's Lecture." Changed phrase "a thousand or more people" to "some 1800 or more" and instead of his own speech as used in Truth Seeker had said "substitute this" on the margin, and pasted slip of words he had intended to say and did, in purport, say. After getting these sheets from New York I wrote this morning instantly to Baker asking if the Colonel and he were conceiving of this pamphlet and saying that I thought the "Leaves of Grass" quotations should be verified. Now W. spoke of the identical thing: "I wonder if the Colonel has to do with this? If so I think we might ask to have proofs and set these lapses straight—or have them anyhow. What do you think?" When I told him I had already written to Baker he assented, "That is good—prompt: I am glad you did." Now I even proposed me returning this sheet to suggest to the Truth Seeker people direct to see such proofs. W. thoroughly pleased. "It is owing to us: you could do it—do it well. And then we would feel secure. Yes—write." One of the proof pages read "Liberty in Literature." Was this right? I would ask, etc.

     We discussed the Stoddart matter again. I would go to Stoddart tomorrow and give him the purport of our yesterday's talk? "Yes, do that: I am agreed, indeed, I would like you to. I want you to do the work. It is the best thing for us that we have got rid of Scovel."

     Had read Poet-Lore today. Piece there from Hartmann about "Recent Italian Poets." W. "thanked God" it was not about him!

     I received the following letter from Bucke today:


16 Nov. 1890

My dear Horace:

The last few letters from W. especially the last one of all (dated 13th) alarm me quite a little. W. has had what he calls "belly-ache"

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for about two weeks and in the early morning he has sharp spasms (instantaneous) of pain from time to time—I do not like it and I think it is necessary that he should be seen by a good doctor. I do not know who would be the best doctor to get but perhaps you or Harned would know—or if you do not you could ask Dr. Weir Mitchell or Dr. Thomas to name a man (the case is rather out of the line of either of these men)—You should attend to the matter at once and you and Harned should simply insist that W. see the D.—Of course you may say to W. that I have a strong desire he should see the Dr.—you may even say that I have written you to insist upon it—but do not say to Walt that I said I was alarmed as that would be going I think too far. I will write him (same mail as this) saying that I do not like his condition and begging him to have some good doctor see him.


All well here, lovely weather, first meter still 6 weeks in the future! As it has been for about 4 months now—I really think however that we should begin to turn out meters early in 1891.

Affectionately yours

RM Bucke



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