Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, June 24, 1891

     5:55 P.M. W. on bed—not asleep—cane at his side—some papers and a letter from Bucke. I had brought him his dummy from Oldach—at once pleased. Cost only 50 cents. "Cheap! Cheap! And wonderful good, too! You mind the story of the boarder: 'Yes, Madam, it is good butter.' 'Do you know I pay 50 cents a pound for it?' 'Yes, Madam'—and he takes another hunk—'And it is worth it, too!' And so I think the job is worth Oldach's price." As I thought, all yesterday's petulance gone. Sometimes he is a little impatient at slowness of tradesmen, and when I urge, "But they can't drop all other work to take up ours," he will retort, laughing, "Damn it, don't tell me why the battle is lost—it is enough to know it is lost!" Yet will lapse and conclude, "I know, I know: Oldach's cat has as long a tail as ours."

     The day had been cool. "It set me way up!" Windows closed—room I thought hot. Yet he is not sensitive. "My hot-blood days are all gone, now, all gone—it is the evening chill!" Morris had sent him Literary World: "It had the initial passage of my speech—or the substance of it—the best possible under the circumstances. But of course the authoritative account is yours, in Lippincott's. And that will stand by us and we by it. But Morris has done well—as well as I could have expected—gives me in effect." And, "I sent the paper off to Doctor at once—he will like to see it." And again, "I wrote Doctor again—not to

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any length. We will get a few more letters in before he sails."
Asked, "Did you see the Post today? Bonsall sails into the Murger fellows without gloves—disclaims for Walt Whitman all authorship, etc. etc. Does it well—I like its spirit." And advised me, "Send a little note to Gilder, as you proposed. You can put it in a light to stop the reports."

     Wondered what my notion was about Moore: "Why do you suppose he wrote you? My guess would be that they want to arrange for a jamboree—to celebrate the opening of the tomb. The tomb must be about finished now. Of course, I don't know any more about it than you do, but I give you my guess. And I tell you my guess for this reason: that I want you to speak for me—to say (if the subject come again the way I suspect) that I disapprove of it—that it seems to me inappropriate—out of place—out of keeping. I know I have no negative—that Moore and Reinhalter may go on, do as they please—nor would I interfere. But I want them to know just where I stand in the matter—that's all. And another thing, Horace, I want you to see, too, if anything at all is done, that it is done in the right taste. For instance, that no orthodox or anti-orthodox twist is given to the affair—any prayer, preachment, what-not. It is quite the custom to give such a turn to events of that character and we must be protected. For anyhow, if I make a choice, the orthodox would be the last to be called. But there are some of our radical fellows, too, who might rashly make a demonstration—our fellows being mainly radical (noble boys!) anyway. But this time keep all the coast clear—clear especially of the preachers. (My own position on these theological disputes ought to be understood—to have no part in them. Yet you know me for a radical, too. And thank God I have room for all—I take up my skirts for no one!) I go into all this, Horace, to prepare you for any proposition, scheme, which may be in Ralph's mind. And I may say as at the beginning—I haven't the least notion for what he wants to see you." Had found Arthur Clive's "Joy" essay and laid out for me.


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