Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, July 23, 1890

     5:25 P.M. W. looking over written notes kept with newspaper clippings and miscellanies in some book-covers. Looked bright and cheerful, spoke to the same effect. Yet he complains that what he calls his "head and nerve powers" seem "lately half-sane, worn," that these factors are "poor and backward," yet smilingly makes his boast, "I have taken no drugs or medicine of any kind, I should say now, for most a year." I can realize what all this means. But its evidence must be an inward one: it is hardly palpable to an observer. All I notice are more marked recurrences of weakness, mental weariness. Yet there are days when he will talk with me a full hour, and Mrs. Davis says he grows garrulous often at night and will talk for a long while with Warren, perhaps to the detriment of his sleep. He thoroughly appreciates let-up in the weather.

     O'Connor preface not yet made up. Whenever I urge it upon him, he says, "I will start it soon: it will not be a long task, once begun," but he doesn't begin it.

     Left Harper's Weekly for him. Portrait of Frémont therein. "Noble, noble fellow!" he exclaimed. Yet said also, "This portrait cannot be a late one." I think it is. "It does not carry

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conviction to me."
Would like to read the article on Frémont. Frederic Bancroft, its writer, is unknown to both of us.

     Said to me, "Kennedy is back. I had a note from him today. He says the papers had just come, but makes no remark upon them yet. You will no doubt hear from him." Spoke of "gladness" that "the silence had been broken."

     Warren brought in pamphlet, proving to be Bucke's on "Sanity." He chucked it across the room to me. "Are you done with it already?" I asked, knowing how rarely he read such discussions. He replied that he was not, that he would "look over it" and would give it to me when done.

     Has been writing prose "memoranda" today; several sheets of it. Does it "when moved to: not by compulsion, either from without or within."

     Opened big note-book. Unpinned a sheet proving to be the page extract I had written from the note about Tennyson that Frank Williams had got us to read. Had forgotten if it had been printed in full anywhere. I thought if he used no names he would be privileged to print it. He then, "I think so myself, that there could be no objection. Perhaps we might so use it: we will see."

     W. referred again to Kennedy's Conservator piece: "It is a proud example of style,"he said, "a new dress, a distinct development. I like to look at it from that side, also." I had said, "It struck the heart of the subject." W. assenting, "Yes, it did," then adding as above.


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