Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, December 17, 1890

     7:20 P.M. W. in his own room—had untied manuscript "Good-Bye My Fancy"—had it spread out in his lap, the table, the bed. Arranging—as, he said, he would probably arrange a dozen times more before he was satisfied. Some of the copy in print, some in manuscript. Had spent one of his "usual days"—with, perhaps, more ease than before. Not out, of course, the day

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having been pouring rain and driving tempest. No word from Mitchell yet about the urine. Letter from Bucke—dated 15th.

     W. referred to great Parnell excitement in Ireland. "It has turned into a regular Irish scrimmage—a riot. And I feared it would. All seems forgot now but the wish, determination, to be on top." Had he heard from Talcott Williams? "No—not a word—but I am not worried. My only apprehension was, that the thing was sent and miscarried someway in the mails. I am in no hurry otherwise—I have no immediate use for it." Advised me to send New Ideal to Sarrazin. Returned Current Literature, again expressing some amusement over the headline to the extract from Ingersoll's speech—"Walt Whitman's Achievements."

     Said—as often before—of Emerson: "The glory of Emerson is that he provides the antidote for Emerson—himself destroys his following." To W. there was no "witness" in modern life "so inane" as "the typical Emersonian" who has far "out-mastered his master." Discussed death of Sitting Bull—the sad wild Western affray—W. realizing "its pathos, tragedy"—and saying— "I have seen the great fellow," etc.

     Morris in to protest to me against W. printing his Sarrazin translation without his (ms.) revision. I promised to look out—let him know. No present danger. McCollin would not promise any copies of the picture till Monday. W. satisfied—though he "had hoped for some Friday." I said: "It is like a string of customers in a bank—they have to keep in line, to wait their turn." W. then, "Yes—I believe there is such an unwritten law." After a pause, "And on the whole I endorse it: it is one of our democratic sign-boards." I described to him how laborer and millionaire had to take such turns, and he acquiesced: "It is a good sign, whatever its inconvenience now and then." And then— "I will manage to get along."


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