Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, September 6, 1890

     5:10 P.M. W. looks first-rate. The fearful heat of last night and today does not appear to affect him. Says he slept well and feels well.

     Had laid some more notes and scraps aside for me in an envelope marked simply "Horace." "Of course," he explained, "you are to use your supreme prerogative with all that I give you—to use, reject, just as you choose."

     My father translated me Sarrazin's letter, which I now read to W., who was much charmed with it, asked to have parts read a second time, and advised me "soon" to send an answer. "He will like to hear from you—off at such a distance, letters must

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be welcome visitors. And where is New Caledonia, anyhow? I wish you would look in some gazetteer—bring me some specific notions of its latitude and longitude, its people, what-not."

     Bucke sends me article for the Conservator reinforcing remarkable parallels in lives of Millet and Whitman. Left manuscript with W. to read.

     He looked over the Critic I had with me. Interested, he said, in Gosse's allusion to him in the Speaker—there reported—but did not say much about it.

     Asked me to mail a paper on the table addressed to Mary Costelloe. "That is a paper which should have been sent a week ago—it turned up by mere accident today while I looked for something else." I said, "It can be excused: we sometimes say, we should have had that rain weeks ago, but after all there was the best reason for its postponement. So with the paper." W. laughed. "That is a curious way to explain it—I don't know but a good."

     Instructed me to take one of Ingram's pears, from the plate on the stove, which I did.

     W. rather staggered by Woodbury's assertion of Emerson: "He was a pilgrim of the invisible, and, both by heritage and growth, without the capacity for sin." Then he asked me, "What can you learn of Woodbury? What is his story—origins? He is an unknown."


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