Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, September 9, 1890

     5:10 P.M. Found W. reading papers. Talked with him for half an hour. He is in excellent condition—dubious about going out, on account of cloudiness.

     I had with me a picture of Lucretia Mott made by Broadbent & Phillips. Did he remember her? "Not very clearly, except by general impressions," but when I put the picture in his hands, "Oh! Now I do! This reminds me—this revives the whole story!" But further, "I do not consider it a good version. It is too glum, too severe: she had a large mouth, just as this, but I never saw it as set. Oh! It was sweet, winsome, attractive. It drew a fellow nearer and nearer, and all that you miss in this. A great grand woman, of great, grand stock." Morse had asked a profile (perhaps to make a medallion) which I could not get. W. urged, "I would not send him this." I spoke of the picture in "Life and Letters of L. and J. Mott" as being a better picture, but this might be complemental. "I am sure," W. said, "I remember pictures having her smile, her majestic sweet sanity—the better compass of her character."

     We spoke of Johnston's four pictures, which I returned to him. I thought I might use three of them with the article, and explained how—which pleased him. "Well, use them or use any others I have." Johnston had caught Mickle Street in its

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handsomest aspect. W smiled. "I never thought I lived on so fine a spot," while the iceman at the curb-stone struck him as a happy adjunct. He thought Johnston's reproduction in reduced size of the good Gutekunst picture "very successful, for it does not appear to have lost any essential features of expression or light or shade."

     Gave me quite a bundle of papers to take to Post Office, mostly papers with Horton's poem—sending to Sarrazin, Baxter, etc. He still says he "likes" the poem, though using no stronger word.

     Had made out a curious memorandum for me [about buying mucilage for him]. "I use a good deal of it—ought to get it in the large." I promised to look into it tomorrow.

     Morris in to see me today. Not ready yet to give us translation of the letter Sarrazin sent him. Just back from Centerport, where he had seen Gilchrist. Disappointed that he could not induce Gilchrist to make a trip to West Hills, seven miles distant. Gilchrist has not yet been there himself. W. much interested and talked to me for some time about it. "The best way to jaunt it is in a carriage. A day ought to be devoted to West Hills. One of the things to remember is that our old house is on a flat—that the Hills proper are a little distance off—where my father and his and his and his were born and lived. Though this, too, is geographically and municipally included in West Hills. The old house is kept by a family named Jarvis—and very nice folks they are, too. A grandson, I think, of the man who bought it from my father, so you see it has direct descent. I was there several years ago—they were very kind to me—I was in a carriage—went with Dr. Bucke—did not alight, but their invitation was very cordial. If you should go over there, you and Clifford and Morris as you say, I will give you some memoranda—yes, memorabilia, too. There are ways to get there by boat, by rail—it would make you a nice trip. I would advise you to so arrange it if you go as to take in New York—see some of the fellows there. I suppose if Herbert did not care to go, that

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settled it. But there are easy ways to get there. The picture in Bucke's book is a good one—pretty good: Bucke had one of the Century artists go down and do it. But that figure in the foreground—the girl with the long skirts—that spoils it all: it does not belong to the place, never was seen there, is abominable anyway, and I said so at the time—Doctor saying no more than, 'The poor girl—what harm does she do by being there!' But the girl was not for the place—neither for 'Leaves of Grass'—I hope never will be!"


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