Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, December 7, 1890

     Still in New York. Went with Johnstons to Chickering Hall—they in audience, I on stage. Adler, Coit, Salter, Sheldon spoke. Great audience—the air of everything fine. Met Josephine Lazarus again—she had some few things to say of W. In much doubt whether to stay over, finally deciding no: Salter having expressed wish to talk with me en route to Philadelphia—where he spoke for us in evening. This prevented my getting round to see either Ingersoll, Adler or Baker. Bush came in at Johnston's immediately after dinner—the three of us sauntering off together towards ferry—Johnston returning after a few blocks but Bush persevering for some distance, after which I took elevated cars to Cortland Street. Day fine—much cooler. Left with some sad regret. My heart would have taken me to Ingersoll's in evening. Johnston strongly persuaded—all of them—but I felt the homeward impulse and duty too strong. But promised them I would make every attempt to get over again next month. Johnston has several copies of "The Carpenter" and thinks he will be able to get me one. I wonder if he will forget? Ketler appeared at meeting—sent up his card to stage. We had some talk—he inviting me to dinner. His wife and her sister along. Mrs. Adler urged me to come to their house in afternoon, but that had to go with other joys.

     Much talk with the Johnstons about Whitman's visits and their intercourse. Mrs. Johnston seems to hold it good-naturedly against W. still that he so vigorously touched up Collyer years ago in her home, etc. (He has told me the story himself.) She

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described interestingly visit paid to W. at time Musgrove was nurse—how Musgrove interfered—tried to keep her from seeing W.—how W. rang out command to send her up in a voice she heard downstairs—how when she was ushered W. expressed passionately to her his distaste for Musgrove. It is instructive that he never said this to me, who had the power to remove! Mrs. Johnston very attractive—sweet and reasonable—able—with a dip in many waters—though not strong—seeming to fear to go out with us last night when it slightly rained. All sent most loving greetings—messages varied and true—to W. So did Bush, too, and the wife (the noble little fervent woman!). Johnston made serious proposition to me to come over to N.Y.—be his financial man.

     Found a couple of letters awaiting me from Bucke, gloomy in texture throughout:


3 Dec 1890

My dear Horace

Yours of 30th this moment to hand—do not see what made it so long on the way—it is too late now to send messages to N.Y. as you will be gone (if you go) before this reaches Camden.

I am not satisfied with Dr. J. Mitchell's report. I believe there is more wrong with Walt than he knows of. I am sure, at least, of one thing that W. should be thoroughly examined and evidently that has not been done. I wish W. was living at Johns Hopkins hospital. He would have a good time compared with what he has now. But I guess it is no use talking—if he would regularly employ a good doctor, have him come daily and see him and do what was necessary—wash out bladder, instruct W.'s nurse etc. etc. But what's the use—I know W. will do nothing of the kind—I doubt if W. wants to live anyway.

Is the tomb finished, ready for occupation? Dr. J. Mitchell has not written me nor I him. I am glad to hear that W. seems better—that is at least so much against my gloomy foreboding.

All quiet here—winter today. Snowed last night and now sleighing.

Always

RM Bucke



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     Mail heavy. No more proofs from New York and had no time to call in at Lafayette Place.


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