Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, February 5, 1891

     7:55 P.M. W. in his room—writing. Has been making up some manuscript on actors and the old New York stage as he knew it. I went to Chestnut Street Opera House to inquire as to stage doors for him. Manager not in. Judged from what his assistant said that the doors had no profesional name. W. said now, "I would not go to any trouble about the thing: if you can find it out easily, do so—if not, let it drop. I can manage without it. In what I am writing, it can easily be escaped, though I never like to be baffled in a question of that kind—like to have paraphernalia—words—at my tongue's, finger's, end." Had he noticed Critic's note about postponement of "Our National Literature"? "Yes—I caught it. I am not surprised—the explanation is plausible enough." Referred to William O. Stoddard. "He was at one time an admirer of 'Leaves of Grass'—was then on the Pacific Coast—wrote me often—warm, friendly letters: afterwards I think he took a trip to the South Sea Islands—yes, just as Stevenson has done. Stevenson is a sickish, frail fellow—yet of meteoric talents, too—hardly our man," etc. He remembered Stevenson's Whitman essay, but "not as a thing to have a long life." Had I seen Stoddart today? Stoddart out of town—saw Walsh—who read note and said he had no doubt it would be all

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right. "Mr. and Mrs. Ingram were here about an hour ago: a nice call—a fine old woman." Returned me Meissonier. "A grand picture—Whitmanesque: I looked at it long and long—it filled me. And I read the article on Meissonier, too—from first word to last." Any further word from Bucke? "No—but no news is best news. He has undoubtedly come around all right." Gave him second proof of Kennedy piece; will return to me tomorrow. Told him of a letter I had from Baker today—aroused his curiosity.

     Note from Bucke today—the 2nd inst.


2 Feb 1891

My dear Horace

I finished 3 days and nights of pain (bad cold "profusely illustrated" with facial neuralgia) yesterday morning and am again over at my office feeling very little the worse. But do not ask me for a long letter today. I have yours of 28th & 29th, the former containing Kennedy's splendid "Dutch" piece—a thousand thanks for it. I have the little "Ingersoll" book too—thanks. Shall send at once for a batch for self & friends—the little vol. is tastily got up. Finished reading today Dumas' "Marie Antoinette Romances" 12 vols—Little, Brown & Co. Boston. They constitute the best hist. of the French Rev. I have read so far. You make me laugh "going to write on religious beauty of L[eaves] of G[rass]." Why not write on "r[eligious] b[eauty] of New Testament"? Is there anything else but "r[eligious] b[eauty]" in L. of G.? if there is I have failed to find it. However, go ahead and write—can't do any harm!

The meter is really coming out! We shall have the first doz. made by say tomorrow or Wednesday evening.—Look out then for a boom!

The finished m[eter] will be far ahead of the handmade m[eter]s we had in Phila. Fancy it is nearly two years ago! Good heavens how time goes!

Always affectionately

RM Bucke



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