Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, July 16, 1891

     5:40 P.M. W. on his bed. (When is he not on his bed nowadays?) Yet talked well—not asleep. Johnston sent him Magazine of Art. Much interested in a series of Thackeray pictures therein. "I sent the copy to Herbert Gilchrist, feeling sure it would serve best in his hands."

     Stoddart sent me this note the other day: "Can you call in here on Thursday in reference to the pay for the article

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'Whitman's Birthday'."
Went there accordingly—delivering big books. (They are not yet moved downstairs—will not be.) Both pleased, but wished after all that W. had inscribed them. W. announces, "Well, let them come over. I'll write what they think best." Walsh says Egan has been again in town—gone, too—but will be back again in a fortnight—they proposing then to get over to see W. Walt tells me, "They will be welcome. I am willing to see Egan. How now and then good fellows escape our best vigilance. I have often thought I might meet Egan—have looked for him here and there in literary crowds—but no fortune, no fortune! Once or twice—more than that—he has struck a very high note, very—showing the genuine fire." Stoddart paid me $50 and sent to W. by me $20 for his page. W. protests, "The good fellow! It is too much—I hate to take it!" Stoddart deducted $10 from my payment ($60) to pay for our copies of magazine. W. had made out a list with 25 names. In the patchwork of paper was this, evidently a dismissed alternate for "Good-Bye" title-page: "GoodBye My Fancy
and other songlets
To taper off Leaves of Grass"


"I wrote a postal to Doctor—that is the third since his departure." Garrison (Judge) has ordered a dozen copies each of W.'s book. Sends him one copy of "Good-Bye" to Cape May. "It is a handsome order—for me—but a help, too." As to the list, "I made another, but it got lost. I hunted it yesterday till I was tired—only at the end to make out another." Had missed a number of important names. "Bucke tells me he keeps a book—budgets the names—alphabetizes them—finding them then very ready to the hand. Why! I sometimes look for an hour for an address, with no success—closing the book at last wearied but without object won." When I suggested, "I will get you an address book," he was much pleased, "Yes, do it—that would be a good act—the best." Here was Bucke's letter, written shipboard, on departure. Turned up at last "out of the debris of the floor."

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H.M.S. "Britannic."
7 A.M. Wednesday 8th July

We are off, dear Walt, in a few minutes. I was glad to see Warry yesterday. Many thanks for the L. of G. tho' of course I had a copy with me. Would not think of going so far without one. I have this moment received a cablegram from Johnston & Wallace to say that they will write me [at] Queenstown—they are wonderful fellows, I shall enjoy seeing them immensely.

Love to you always

R. M. Bucke


I had told Stoddart I had commenced another piece on W. "Let me see it first, once you are done with it," he said. W. argued, "That shows he wants it—it is daring—it is a brave sign—a frontlet." Stoddart had further said, "Some of them about here think we go on too much about Whitman, but Harry and I understand that perfectly well. We think he will be a great man by and by."

     Each hot day he asks me (it is invariable), "This is the hottest day yet, eh?" But today was really modified.

     W. read with old-time fervor a couple of letters from Mrs. O'Connor. "They give out more cheer—as if she was getting her poise again! And you will go?"


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