Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, December 12, 1890

     5:50 P.M. A good talk with W. in his cosy room. The weather good—sky nobly fair—but crisp, cold. W. had not been out since Sunday a week past—ventured today. But before they had gone far was willing to turn back. Sat now with collar up. Warren was over to see Mitchell—taking urine—Mitchell will write me. Mitchell questioned Warren about W.'s use of the pills, etc.—thinks Warren should persuade him to take them regularly—also urged the use of a catheter to relieve W.—that a doctor, a friend, should come in a couple of days to ease him—seeming to think the bladder the seat of all the pain. Warren tells me he can see changes in W.— "I am sure he is going downhill now: he is not as he was."

     But W. was cheerful this night. Had lost a letter—which I ferreted out for him from a pile of papers on the floor. Laughed at my "lynx-eyes," etc. Commented on great Parnell excitement in Ireland: "It is another item in the long list of evidences that the Irish are calculated to ruin all their own best prospects by division. The graceful manly thing for Parnell to do would be to step down—retire—erase himself. What is he?—only a

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person—one person: he is by no means the cause; the cause is bigger than any individual—separated from individuals. For my part I didn't think either Parnell or Gladstone in themselves important—that they stood for anything moral as persons—that they center much permanent influence. The question now is made a question between Parnell and Gladstone. How foolish! I don't think either have done great things. It is much as if a fellow should make a million dollars. It is true, he has made the million—but what then? It may even be his misfortune—no witness whatever of great moral possessions."

     Saw McCollin people about celluloid plate. They will give us proof Monday.

     W. gave me $22 check for Oldach—books just bound and sheets folded for foreign sale. Referring to books spread out on the other side of the room: "It seems to me the print of these is better than on the earlier sheets. Does that seem so to you?" But I think this uncertain.

     Current Literature contains "The Midnight Visitor"—quoted from Murger—and as if translated by W. This raised our laughter. Many papers have copied it in like error. W. said, however, "After all—though I do not know a word of French—I am to be credited with something in that poem. I had a miserable translation—got it from someone I met through John Forney—and so I had to put it in some shape myself—polished it, so to speak—though I don't know that 'polished' is just the word—the idea really being, to connect—make clear. It is a difficult trial—to get all the quoted phrases right—the inverted commas. But the papers now seem to follow it very well—for papers!" Then, "So you see, I participate in its authorship—if not in the translation."

     Today's Inquirer copied his Critic paragraph. Wished five copies—insisted I should take five cents for them. "My copy of the Critic did not come this week. Was there anything in it I should see?" Nothing about him. "But I mean anything at all I should see?" I laughed, "It would be hard to tell." "So it

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would!"
with a laugh. I then promised to bring him my copy. "Although I care little about it—neither do I like to miss it."


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