Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, June 14, 1891

     10:00 A.M. Reached Camden 8:15, and after breakfast and a bath, and examining my mail, down to W.'s. Among various letters come since my going away was this:

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Elmwood, Cambridge
1st June, 1891

Dear Sir,

I very greatly regret that, owing to an accident, your letter, though it reached my house, did not reach me till too late for a reply in season. I should have been glad to add my felicitations & good wishes to yours had it been possible.

Faithfully yours

J. R. Lowell


When I showed this to W. later on he exclaimed, "That is a victory for you—how did you get it from him?" I shall put it in my report as a footnote. W. advised simply, "Do as you will." Greeted by Warrie and Mrs. Davis warmly. Their report of W. decently good, but not very, and said the weather had been warmer than W.'s letters seemed to convey. Into W.'s room—he sat reading papers—reached forth his hand—both hands—took mine—and kissed me twice. "The wanderer returned!" he said. "The wanderer returned! And Anne—how is Anne? Safe and well! The darling! Tell her I greet her, too!" And then, "I did not expect you till noon. How quicker and quicker the travel is between points!" And then a shower of questions and remarks from him. "I think even since I went to London, the time of the trip has more and more shortened—shortened." How was Doctor, the family, etc., etc. "And the queer insane! Oh! How they possessed me! I and they together!" And asked me about special fellows, some of whom I had met, some of whom were gone or I missed. "I remember one old man—I bought him tobacco—he liked it well." And I told him of several who had intelligently asked after him. I asked about his postal (anent Stoddart)—why should Stoddart be worried—I had not promised the manuscript but for Monday. W. then, "I suppose I overstated it—made it an extreme case when it was not that. I do not suppose he had even then the natural stewishness of editors—who no sooner order a thing than they want their hands on it—but Stoddart is all right—he will wait." I left the manuscript

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with W. He will go over it by evening and send it to 509 Arch if I do not appear. As to its exceeding the pages Stoddart allows me, "I do not mind your writing to Stoddart—or going to him—to say, that it is Doctor's opinion, yours, my own, that he ought to use it intact—that it might be endangered if cut."

     Longaker had said in his letter to Bucke that the new wine seemed to work well with W., but W. said to me now, "I do not like it—I don't know that it does good or harm—anyway, it don't go to the right spot." And as to the Monongahela whiskey, "It is too coarse—has a vulgar flow!" Speaking of the frauds in Philadelphia, "It is awful—awful! And the worst is it is indicative. Oh Horace!"—shaking his head— "it is indicative—a bad sign!" How had his health been? "A crowd of bads and goods—more bads—many more! Downstairs nearly every day, but not out." Reported, "Not a copy of 'Good-Bye' from Dave yet! Delay—delay—delay!" I promised to inquire. Talked various other matters—he cheery though looking wearied. The day beautiful—warm. To Philadelphia, to Germantown, seeing Clifford in his trouble (has just resigned from the church). Back in evening—W. had sent the manuscript to house, with changes in his own talk and suggestions what to leave out in case of necessity (among these the marriage discussion, etc.). But I made no great changes. Wrote Bucke and Stoddart—added the Lowell sentence in a footnote.


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