Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, February 20, 1891

     7:50 P.M. Nice little talk—W. in very good condition—though he said, "I count nothing on it—whether it is any way permanent

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is yet to be seen."
Pointed me to table. "That whiskey, that is the whiskey sent over by Francis Wilson, the actor. I think it is the best I have ever tasted. Though I am not a great judge, I think I can detect the true article." Returned me Chadwick's manuscript. "It amounts to nothing—he has nothing to say, but I was glad to read it, anyway." No sign of Lippincott's, yet the Times and Camden Post printed all W.'s poems today. W. asked me to go in—see Stoddart—get a copy "if an advance one is possibly to be got." Anxious I should get our list from Stoddart, so to send copies of Conservator containing Dutch piece (out today). W. said, "I am looking forward to my friends—to have them read all these pieces: there's a new flavor to it all," etc. Told him I sent book and letter to Wallace. "That is good, good—the fellows like to hear." Gave me Sarrazin letter written way back in December—arrived today—thus:
Noumea,
December 18, 1890

Dear Walt,

Your kind letter of September 5 duly received. I received also the newspapers you sent, namely the Camden Post, February 13, and The Times, October 22, 1890. This last one I read with special interest, as it contained Col. Ingersoll's very eloquent speech about your achievements. This lecture (I mean the resume of it I read) I found at once brilliant and true, full of precision and width.

I was very glad to hear you are always in pretty good health and could enjoy the last sunny days of the present year. As to me, I was exceedingly ill for several months (an iliac phlegmon) and like to die. I hasten to add that this dangerous crisis went away as soon as a chirurgical operation took place; and I recovered entirely. These two months I am up and as strong as ever.

I am now quite used to my new situation, and my opinion, too, is that such a change of base will be something of a gain. I was poor, unfit for journalistic work and, nevertheless, wanted to free my intellectual life from pecuniary difficulties; I had an opportunity to be appointed here as a magistrate. In this way I secured my "bread and butter" and, now, can set to my intellectual task; I can read, write, and think without being constantly stopped by pecuniary difficulties.


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I wish you, dear Walt, a bright and happy new year; be assured of all my love.

Gabriel Sarrazin


"Nothing new in it—but it is nice to have. The question comes up in my mind whether they have the Ingersoll pamphlets yet—any of them."

     We discussed the new book. W. said again, "Oh yes boy! It will be my last—my last! I haven't the least doubt of it now." Spoke of his "relieved day," that it had put him "in the humor for work again."


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