Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, March 4, 1891

     5:30 P.M. Good half hour with W., finding him somewhat better than last night. But he describes the day to me as "full of

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disturbance, oppression."
When I asked more specifically, he replied that it was "all over—a general bodily devilishness." Yet he talked quite serenely about several things. The proofs, at last read, all tied up on bed. He was in better humor about them. "Evidently, they have listened to your complaint: they are better set, better read." Had "eaten a decent meal" and was "the better for it." How about last night's sleep? "Bad—bad. I was up many times." And had again dispensed with rubbings. "Could not stand it."

     Left Harper's Weekly with him. A picture of John Wesley excited his admiration. "A handsome picture—certainly, too, a more handsome man than I had expected to see." Portrait of Professor Winehell also attracted him. Very much amused when I called his attention to the fact that Stead's letter the other day had been addressed to Walt Whitman, "Connecticut, U.S.A." "I did not notice. Queer—don't you think? They don't seem to have much idea of our lay over there." Had been reading his own "National Literature" piece, North American Review, which had come today—a copy (only one) marked "complimentary." Offered me to take, but I told him tomorrow would do. "I have reminded them of the slips I had asked for: they seem to have forgotten." Gave me a letter to mail to Mrs. Heyde. It contained money. Cautioned me to "get it in the right box," laughing meanwhile. Would he be up at Harned's Friday? "If I could! But things are against me—not the weather only, all things." How did the Review piece suit him? "It is well set-up," diplomatically, "but wait," looking at me over his glasses, "you will see—you have a copy to meditate upon." Had read in papers that Edwin Booth had made a fizzle of Shylock the other night in New York. "It is odd about this Booth—he acts in humors. Today with power, tomorrow without. It was different with the father. I have seen him in all tempers, yet he was always powerful. I have seen him at the very top of his genius—have seen him at his least—yet even the least was very great, a lustrous star. And besides, he would never surrender to the moment. He would force himself to the edge, and when there once,

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all was right. I am convinced it is not in Edwin to do this. It only belongs to men of the first class."

     Gave me a $20 bill. Wishing it changed for two fives and five twos, these last to send from time to time to Mrs. Heyde. Said he had received Review check for $75, "which I think quite decent pay."

     Proofs: he returned me pages 7 to 25 inclusive. "Let the printer use it as necessary—then keep it, and welcome, too!"

     Wishes me to get him envelopes from Cohen. Will arrange samples tomorrow.


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