Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, December 11, 1890

     7:35 P.M. Spent 15 minutes with W. Warren admitted me. Left with him while I went upstairs letter I had from Mitchell this morning, as follows:


John K. Mitchell, M.D.
211 South 17th St.

Dear Mr. Traubel;

It appears to me that I asked W. W.'s attendant to send me some of his urine—but I will not be sure. If I did, I forgot to write again about it, in the press of business. Tell him to send me a thoroughly clean 6 ounce bottle full of it.

Ask him also, will you, if he understands passing a catheter. I think the trouble is due to an incomplete emptying of the bladder

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and the consequent fermentation of urine therein. This could only be remedied by using the catheter two or three times daily to remove all the water.


I have never heard whether the condition was improved by the pills I sent him.

Yours very truly

J K Mitchell

Kindly see that the bottle is marked with the name & that it reaches me on the day it is voided.


     W. in rather better shape than I thought. Warren notes more natural hue of urine. I showed W. at once (having so brief a time to stay) letter I had from Johnston today—this:


New York, Dec 10 1890

Dear Traubel:

On the cars going over to Philadelphia the day of the lecture, Mr. Buck handed me $10, which he said was for Walt. I explained to him the work of the committee & that I expected we would realize a thousand dollars or more, and I told him I thought $10 too much for a seat. And he said: "Well it's for Walt's benefit, let it go." I never thought of Buck's $10 again till three or four days later, when I opened my long memorandum book and found his two $5 bills.

Perhaps I should at once have forwarded the $10 to you, but you know how I urged that the committee who have received our contributions for 2½ years should have rec'd the money, but when Ingersoll said "Let Walt have it" and it was done, I knew we would still have to pay for the nurse and keep up our subscriptions. So I carried Buck's $10 in my memo book till Nov. 28, when your call came and, putting $5 more with it, I sent it on.

I will see Buck in a few days and tell him about it. Meantime he has told you or written Walt & Walt writes me this morning asking for an explanation.

You alone can explain to Walt the whole thing, and relieve me from what seems a mean thing.

I am not ashamed of my record with Walt. I have done my duty and been liberal as I could possibly afford to be. But in this little

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matter, while I acknowledge that I should have sent you the money at once & let you turn it in to Walt at that time—I felt that I had a right to let it relieve me personally as long as I felt the pressure.


I see no way that you can make me clear with Walt unless you let him know just what I have done in 2½ years. And let him know that it was to relieve the committee that I first went to Ingersoll.

I should of course like it if you would write Buck that I have sent you his $10—but if you think I have done a mean and a cursed thing don't do it. In the eyes of the All-seeing I am as clear as crystal and am not worried even if I am annoyed and wish I had stated in my letter of 28th that $10 was from Buck. Had I it to do over again, I would of course do it differently, but none of the lucre sticks to my fingers, and I want you to know it and Walt to know it, even if you have to tell him about the work of the committee for 2½ years past. This I think is due to me.

Yours very sincerely

J. H. Johnston

P.S. I have just been to Buck and read this letter to him. Am too busy to write Walt today, but will as soon as I hear from you. I enclose $1 due Walt on the book.


     W. stumbled over the first words. "You had better read it," he said, "read it aloud." And before I commenced he asked: "What does it amount to? Tell me that?" But instead I started to read—he seeming to hear with surprise and emitting occasional ejaculations. From time to time asked questions. "Yes, I have been aware of the fund—you need not tell me that—nor need he." And yet, when I was all done: "The best to do with it, Horace, is bury it—let the whole thing sink into oblivion from this day on. Don't you think?" And again: "Write Johnston—write him naturally—write him as you feel, but let us not pursue the matter beyond this day." And as to the lecture money: "My own idea was just yours—that it was a thing direct from Bob to me, having no conditions—no further incidents." He got up—went painfully round the table, reached underneath to his memorandum book, from which, opening,

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he took forth a sheet—a memorandum as to the celluloid prints. I had not had time to inquire about them today. Said he was glad I had not—he could now give me a fuller idea of what he wanted. Wished 100 copies.

     I chanced to refer to Bucke's "Man's Moral Nature." W. said, "That book has peculiar value. Bucke makes the emotional nature very embracing—includes the moral. Yes—and subordinates the intellectual—the moral is so infinitely beyond, victor! And this is all the reflex of 'Leaves of Grass'—the germ of its significance, if it have any. And it was wholly this, I think, which attracted Bucke—which made him what he is—which brought us into togetherness. For in Doctor himself these elements—emotions—join to vital effect."


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