Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, January 10, 1891

     5:40 P.M. To. W.'s. There only briefly: say, for ten minutes or so. Yet we talked briskly in that time. Red comforter about his neck again. Appears to have adopted it. Lusty fire in stove. Yet pretty warm out of doors. He asked me about this: "Is it so?" And then said, "Well, that is good news: that may give us a chance again," meaning, to get out. How had he felt? "Pretty

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well."
How about the bladder? "I think that is just as bad—just as bad: I hardly expect it will ever be better." Had sent away several portraits today—the Gutekunst-Johnston picture, and gave me one addressed to Stead (England) of Review of Reviews. Speaking of humor W. said, "I remember—it was long ago—years, years—at Pfaff's, Bleecker Street—a number of us spent a good deal of time there—we were discussing humor. Artemus Ward was in town at the time: had he humor, then, for instance? The weight of opinion seemed to be against—when one of the fellows rose—it was at the end of the table—far along—in the room—he was sallow—wore glasses—I can see him, hear him, now. A fine round voice he had. He said he disagreed with us—gave a case—had been with Ward. Oh! What was Ward's real name? I knew it as well as I do my own. Anyhow, Ward was at church—in the pew front of him was a youngster bobbing about—restless—at a great rate—annoyed Ward—who, when he could stand it no longer, rose, dignifiedly—reached forward, put his open hand gently on the boy's head—'Young man,' said he, 'if you don't suspend operations now (this has gone far enough) there will be a funeral tomrrow and the victim will be present!'" W. laughed with merriment. "It was inimitable as told—inimitable anyhow. It converted me. Next day it was all in the papers—some rascally reporter being somewhere present."

     Received the following letter form Arthur Stedman today:


New York, Jan. 9th, 1891

Dear Mr. Traubel,

I am going to Philadelphia on business Monday, and as I never have visited Mr. Whitman at his home, I am going to see him. Now, I can do my business either in the morning or the afternoon, and if you could be at the house with me, it would be a great assistance, as I am pretty deaf. My call is merely social but as I might never see him again, I count on it greatly. Of course, I know you are a business man, and likely to be engaged, but I write on the chance.

I shall reach Philadelphia at 10:10 or 10:20 Monday morning. If

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you are there, and make an appointment for the afternoon, well & good. If not, I shall go straight to Camden.


I shall carry an alligator-skin satchel, with my initials in silver. Hoping at least to meet you,

Very sincerely yours,

Arthur Stedman



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