Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, October 9, 1890

     7:20 P.M. Not with W. for any length of time. In his room. Reading. But he said he had passed a bad day. "I did not sleep last night: this 'grip' has fast hold of me." But, "Still I worked some today—sent off the 'Old Poets' piece to North American Review. The other I have not really commenced to put into shape yet. It will come in its own time." Asked after "news." I gave him letter from Baker to read:


New York, Oct. 8, 1890.

My dear Traubel:

To begin where I left off yesterday: the excitement you have raised is phenomenal. Keep it up! It shows that Col. I. is still in the public thought, and that his long abstinence from speaking has only whetted the public appetite—in fact that there is something of a famine on! We may expect a voracious crowd to the feast! I shouldn't wonder if seats were at a premium. There is a good deal of inquiry here for seats. Please give me the No. on Chestnut St. of Mr. Campbell's office, so that I may advise inquirers to write. I believe it is above 11th or 12th Sts.—but let me know definitely.

Also please send over to me all slips from all the papers. You did not enclose clipping as stated from the Camden Post. We want very much to see A. G. Baker's defence in the Evening Telegraph. Also "all and every" allusion.

As to the posters—use as many as you can. 200 seems a small supply for so big a place as Philada. Then you ought to have some for Camden—Germantown, Frankford, etc. Don't let feeling between Nagle and his rivals prevent you from the fullest possible posting. Posters are very effective, if put in proper places.


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As to reserved seats—the whole lower floor at $1.00 is the right scheme—and as much of the side galleries as possible—and it may be the two front rows in the end gallery. Consult with Farson about that—remembering that we expect an overflowing house. I have an idea that we may have to reserve the whole house at $1.00 and simply issue standing seats at 45 cents—ie. general admission.

As to advertising for pay. We must not depend too much on the commotion already created by the press announcements. We must pay the papers. Of course next Sunday must be used strongly. Every other day next week, in most of the papers up to Friday and every day—from Saturday till Tuesday incl. for all the papers. See, however, about how much it is going to cost before spreading out too diffusely. Have tickets on sale just as soon as possible—and thus bear out the reports of a rush for seats. But do not overdue the rush announcements. Sometimes people say, "Well; if all the seats are secured so early there will be no chance for me and I'll not go." Sabe?

Arrange with Farson about extra seats on the stage. They will probably be in big demand. Or, it may be you will want to reserve most if not all of the stage for invited guests with complimentaries.

Be careful about an over issue of complimentaries. The press of course must have some. They will likely bother you a good deal. You must satisfy reasonable demands, but not sacrifice space and dollars. You must be the judge of the complimentary business. A form of complimentary invitation tickets should be gotten out. We may want a very few sent here, for the Colonel.

In the ads please let it be distinctly stated that the entire proceeds are to go to W.W.—that the whole testimonial is for his sole benefit—etc. etc.

Now give my best regards to your own good self as to good Mr. Morris. I hope to see you both some time next week—when the pot begins to boil—as I may be able to put in my spoon with a little sugar or spice—I don't know. Just write me or telegraph when you want me to come.

I am yours to command,

I. N. Baker


      May be—if not too late—the poster better say:


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     Testimonial to
(and for the sole benefit of)
WALT WHITMAN
etc etc

     W. seemed in rather poor condition. I recited to him good shape in which we were getting lecture affair. Would not promise to be with us at after-tea for Ingersoll; still, would try. Always get such an air of uncertainty when suffering from spells like today. He laughed, "You fellows are going ahead as if there could be no slip—as if all that you start to do is as good as done. I can never do that: I am always held back till the fact is right in my fist—till a slip is no longer possible." Still, he "admired it." I advised him to sleep all day 21st so he could be with us a long while that night. But he objected, "I can do little real sleeping in daytime." Still, I notice that on every such occassion—as Camden dinner, Cont. Club, Reisser's—if I happen in during the day, I find him in his bed—perhaps not sleeping, but resting.

     We secured a little notice in the Press today—statement of Ingersoll's subject. W. had missed seeing it. He said also, "I have not seen the Academy Baker's answer: I ought to see it."


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