Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, July 23, 1891

     6:00 P.M. Glad to see W. looking, as I thought, better. He was cordial—asked immediately after "the news" saying, "I have none myself"—adding, however, quickly after that, "Yes, I have too. I had a queer unusual visitor today. He came to buy a book. Can you guess who? Joseph Cook. Yes, the same! He is a healthy-looking fellow—healthy to the eye—and a big head. Easy in his talk. He had a good deal to say about Christian—but," with an odd glance at me, "we know all about that, don't we Horace?" I had O. B. Frothingham's "Recollections." W. expressed desire to read when I was done. Frothingham says Walt Whitman was in his library. W. remarks, "I have understood O. B. was always my friend—that his allusions were always kind—that he quoted 'Leaves of Grass' without doubt, fear."

     Expects "letter from Bucke by the end of the week or first part of next." But adds, "I guess there'll be nothing for him to tell us—nothing material. He would probably stay a couple of days with the boys at Bolton—then away, doubtless. I try to get from Warrie where Bolton must stand—probably below London—30 miles or so—a short ride up. That Lancashire

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country must be magnificent—a great stretch, part of it, anyway. So Wallace sent you the Rivington Lakes? He sent me some water-colors, too. Loyal—almost worshipful—but why that? It is not America! But big hearts without a doubt. I suppose Wallace and Johnston are the only real Whitmanites out of the 'college.' One or two others are warm—the rest probably only curious, if that."
Further, "A couple of letters from Doctor Johnston—coming together—one dated 10th, one 15th—but no news—no change of front in anything, so far as I see—as he indicates."

      "Johnston says to me, not to send him any copies of Lippincott's—he can get them there." The magazine out and on the stands today. W. had a copy—open—turned down on floor. "Everything seems in good shape. I have gone over it with great care. The Socraticality of the dialogue is striking—you did it well. And it is final, in a sense—gives the actual breath, fire, tone, of the critter. People may be attracted by it from that point of view." Informed me later, "I have sent to Stoddart for some extra copies. In the same mail starting a couple of copies of the tomb photo for Johnston and Wallace—sending both in Johnston's care. I am thoroughly pleased with that job, too: it came up well every way." Has written Reeder about a larger picture. R. did not understand—the message vague—came in to see me about it. But as W. had not mentioned to me I could not enlighten R.—will ask W.

     W. insists, "I never could get up any enthusiasm from the human side for Bacon, for that question—the question is a big one, I admit it, but it is literary. Yet to William it was a human question, too: it enlisted him first of all as a man, in the interests of justice."

     Still asks me, "What do you make of George Bacon? Do you notice how the cute fellow mixes up his admiration for the Colonel with his defense of Bacon? It is well done, for he is bound to sacrifice neither." Gave me following postal from Sarrazin:

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Hotel Caranne
153, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris
11 July, 1891

Reached Paris, exceedingly tired, but my health is becoming better each day. Send me papers and works: my permanent address is my uncle's, in the country, as follows: M. Gabriel Sarrazin, aux bons soins de M. Leon Sarrazin, a Saint-Front-la-riviere, par Saint-Pardoux, (Dordogne).

Believe me, dear Walt, always yours

Gabriel Sarrazin


"We are glad to hear this—I am. I wonder if Noumea was ever the place for him? You know we doubted at the time." Solicitous about McKay's father— "The young man who was over for the books the other day said Dave's father was in such a bad way, they were on the point of telegraphing Dave to come home. But they had not done it. Poor old man! Poor old man!" Mrs. O'Connor curious to know what W. had thought of Grace Channing's poem and story in Scribner's. W. now said, "Yes, she is a bright girl—a true 'Leaves of Grasser,' too. You never met her mother? Her mother was the best of the Channings—the fullest, bravest—a host for any cause."

     We expect to take another drive Saturday. W. had read Julian Hawthorne's "Poe" in Lippincott's.


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