Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, September 2, 1890

     5:45 P.M. W.'s chair on the sidewalk—he in parlor—hatted—with blue gown buttoned, all ready to go out. Sat reading letter from Wallace (England) to Mrs. Davis—which he gave to me to take and read. Mrs. Davis asked if W. knew who Wallace was? "Oh yes! I guess he is the center of that cluster of Lancashire friends from whom our Dr. Johnston came as emissary. You remember in the Hebrew canticles—stories—records—histories—how they recite that something may have happened, or someone lived, at such and such a place of which, or of whom, they wished to learn more. Then they would send an emissary—to be on the ground—to observe for himself. Dr. Johnston seemed to me such a man—valuable in himself of course: then more valuable for his mission, background."

     W. spoke hoarsely—his cold not gone yet. "It is scarcely moved even," he reported. I hardly liked seeing him go out, it was so clouded, and grown damp; but offered no protest, knowing he was not like to heed it, except to urge him to button up closely, which he stood on his feet and did. "I have a subscriber for the Conservator," he said. "Ingram was here today and left the money for it. And he bought these pears, too," pointing to a dish on the table. "Take a couple: they are worth while." Having to hurry off, I did not wait, linger, he proceeding to hobble slowly out to the chair.

     7:55 P.M. W. back from his trip, in room reading papers. Had

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slipped shoes and stockings off, but on my entrance put latter on, asking me to a seat. Gave me a card with Ingram's address. Consumed nearly the whole time of my stay questioning me on our yesterday's walk. Said he had sent out a number of copies of Unity but forgot to keep list. "I shall try to recall all the names and write them down." W. interested in what he called an "ambrotype" of Morris and me—taken yesterday "by the way."

     Read him postal received today from Burroughs:


West Park NY Aug. 31

Dear H:

Thanks for your letter. I hope to come down to C. by middle of Sept, will spend a couple of days & hope to see you. Shall send Walt some fruit this week.

J.B.


     W. nodded— "Yes, there was a basket came full of grapes, and good ones, too. The noble John, to remember us in our afflictions!" And further, "So he will come? That is good news—best news!"

     His windowsill one line of flowers—brought today—some by Ingram.

     He looked at Northingham's life of his father (I had with me)—admired "the makeup of the book. I often think that pica is, after all, my type: it is so ample, so satisfies the eye; and then I am inclined for quite narrow margins, plenty of ink, good genuine paper—the best stock. This goes a great ways in all particulars." Yet not for all its type etc. would he "care to read a history of Boston Unitarianism"—smiling with his good-natured comment. W. much amused over a quotation I made from the Darwin life (one of D.'s letters)— "It is what my grandfather called Unitarianism, 'a feather bed to catch a falling Christian.'"—W.'s laughter so hearty he could hardly put in his inevitable "Did he say that?"—and refer me to his own conception of Unitarianism, that it was "bloodless" and

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had created comment—as in the letter I recently had for him from England—adverse often.


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