Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, March 2, 1891

     7:55 P.M. Night very cold—one of the now consecutive three or four coldest of the winter. W. in his room, coaxing up the fire. Sat there—fur wrapper very close about him—looking with steadfast eye into the flame. Said he had letters from Wallace and Johnston today. "Nothing new." Also some publications "from the same good fellows." Asked me with a smile, "Did you get my proof?" And to my yes, went on in a way to show he was nettled that things proceed so slow. "It is even slow for one man," he remarked, "and dull, too, at that—a bad man." Gave him letter I had from Baker today (dated Saturday)—was "greatly attracted" by "the record of the Colonel's movements" and "delighted with Baker's hand." Thought Ingersoll "can wipe out Chadwick with a breath."

     Left Current Literature with him. Brinton speaks on Burns at Unity Church Friday. Harned wishes us both to tea at five that day. Inquires, "Can we get Walt out?" I notice Wilson's whiskey is little by little disappearing. Frank Williams over to see me about J.C.T., Jr. footnote. Should it read from rather than to J.C.T., Jr.?, I asked. Frank thought possibly, but was pretty sure it was to Suplee. W. declared, "If it is wrong, it is your fault. I put your copy in my piece to save trouble." Must look it up. Want it accurate anyway.

     Laughed over this—thought it "an odd way to say the thing": "Old, poor, and paralyzed," is how Walt Whitman describes himself in Lippincott's. Old and paralyzed he is known to be, but no man can call himself poor who has the wealth of affectionate friendships that falls to the lot of the Good Gray Poet.

(Phila. Press, March 2, 1891.)


Had noticed also mention of the magazine in the Inquirer.

     I hear thus from Mrs. Fairchild:
March 1, 1891

Dear Mr. Traubel,

I am sure I owe a great pleasure to your intention in sending me a copy of "Lippincott" which came the other day. But I am sure of your

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intentions only! For this especial copy is mis-paged so cleverly that precisely your words and Whitman's are those which are missing! I shall get another copy as soon as I can get out—being for the moment housed—and shall then eat my cake, having already had it!


I enclose the little cheque, which is a fragment larger this month because I want to help, to a very small extent alas!—in the Conservator's good work. I do hope to hear that W. W. grows stronger as his sun comes westward. May the days be good to him—many, many more of them!

With regards to you both, I am very truly yours,

Elisabeth Fairchild


W. "touched" and "wondered" about the defective magazine. Bush had written to the same effect. Anxious, too, at the hint of sickness. "O, the noble, big woman!" And again, "When women are big, how big they are!" Bucke is still very anxious about W.'s condition—despondent. As in this, dated 26th, received today:
26 Feb 1891

My dear Horace

I have your two notes of 24th. I return the notes (Th. on W.) there is nothing new.

I am much disturbed by your accts. of W. I do not anticipate anything immediate (it is not that) but I know he is having a miserable bad time and I feel it.

But we must wait—and that is the worst of it—it is such wretched work waiting in such circumstances. Of course W. should have medical attendance—he might be made much more comfortable I am confident—but if he won't what can we do?

Keep me posted

RM Bucke



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