Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 309] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Friday, November 28, 1890

     7:15 P.M. Our talk very full and frank. I found it was John K.—not Weir—Mitchell who had been over. W. spoke of his condition as "bad in every way," told me there "had not" been any "word from the West," etc. Warren talked with me about W.'s ways—his evident depression—change in the color of urine, etc.

     W. told me his report on the manuscript was "altogether favorable," adding, with a twinkle, "But you have been very eulogistic." I returned, "How could any of your friends be other. You are not to notice it." And he laughed: "I see—for me it is not to be there! Well, you will leave the manuscript with me a while still? I noticed several of your blanks: have filled them in."

     Bucke writes me quite alarmedly. But I do not quite see the seriousness of affairs. Do what we can. But W. is determined to have his own way. "I doubt if in the end any doctor can tell me myself what I myself know."

     Frank Williams writes me thus:


Drexel Building, Room 333,
Philadelphia
Nov 28/90

My dear Traubel:

I am much obliged for the copy of "Unity" containing the "Chorus of Atoms". It is a fine, thoughtful poem & has some beauties which seem to me of a high order.

I have also read the copy of "The Conservator" with interest.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 310] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There is plenty of meat there, though I do not follow you in your admiration for Ingersoll, and I cannot understand how you can link so shallow an individuality with one so majestic as Walt Whitman's.


However, this is merely a difference of opinion and I think you and I are both tolerant. As to Ingersoll's generous treatment of W. W. I think it was noble. What I criticise relates to his public position as a man who merely poses, and who lacks all conviction,—even that of atheism.

Yours sincerely,

F. H. Williams


     Gave to W. to read. He returned to me after reading without a word. But by and by said, "Ingersoll has had enough of that kind to know to expect it, to know what it means, to care nothing whatever about it."

     Showed letter from Coit, now ethical lecturer in South Place Chapel, London (Conway's old place):


405 N. 33rd St.
Phila.

My dear Traubel,

I hear that you are an intimate friend of Walt Whitman's. Do you suppose it would be possible for me to meet him, either tomorrow morning or Sunday afternoon? Could you go with me, to introduce me? I should count it a very great favour.

If you telegraph me today, I will come to Camden early tomorrow morning, if he is to be seen then. Or if he can be seen this evening, I could come at any hour you set.

Yours very sincerely,

Stanton Coit


      "That is pleasant. Bring him over, of course only for my usual few minutes—but I will be glad to see him."

     Asked me what I "made out of the Parnell case. Did he really have to do with that woman? I suppose so, but what is all that society in England, anyway, but rotten, rotten. Talcott

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 311] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Williams was over today. He spoke of Parnell, but I in fact take so little interest it all went by my ear. It is one of the things I do not care to read."

      "I wrote to Baker today the substance of our talks together in the matter of that proof—that it is necessary we should have it, that it should be sent to you so that I too may have an incidental look at it."


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.