Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 527] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sunday, September 20, 1891

     8:20 P.M. W. giving himself a footbath. Would it better his cold? "Where have you been today? In the woods? Ah! Good! I enviges you your good legs!" Then immediately, "More letters from Wallace and Doctor. Wallace seems to have entered fully into the life there—indeed is hustling too much for my taste. I wonder if he'll stand it as he should?" And further, "Yes, I hear from Johnston: he is mourning for his mate. Otherwise all must be well there." Returned me proofs of title and other pages, approved. "Who is the particular man I am indebted to for these? Could you get at him? I feel as if to send something, testifying to my gratitude for the extra sheets." And when I said, "It is hardly necessary to send more—you have sent a number of things already," he responded, "Then just because it is not necessary, I should insist on sending it." Still for the present he gave me nothing. Had he read Young in the Star? "Yes, and how

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 528] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
interestingly he writes! We easily find that we like that gossip: it is the cream of its kind. 'Gath' has something of the same sort in today's Press—not exactly like (I suppose not as good)—but a piece in the reminiscence line."

     Captain Noell (British Prince) has written W. his regrets, that he could not get over to say his farewell. He has sailed back to Europe—leaves the sea now (this his last trip). Papers report he was removed because of discourtesy to Americans in refusing to fly the American flag on the 4th of July—on the boat anyway (foolish though that were). He is a big manly interesting fellow. W. has seen him—always loved his "mere appearance."

     Tunnel opened yesterday between Sarnia and Port Huron. Had W. read it? "Yes, and with profound pleasure." Adding, "I doubt if many people realize its significance. It is important beyond all ordinary speculation." How with Wiman? His speech betrayed some appreciation. "So it did—but from the material side. But there is a greater than that (though that is great, too)—the spiritualistic. Who sees the length and breadth of that? It is something to be counted on most of all. Oh! That is a beautiful country, both sides—Port Huron, Sarnia—the river between. The noble river! Not as big as the Delaware, but much like it. True, there is little difference between us—if any, perhaps it is in their favor—taking the average Canadian and the average Camden workman, for instance. It seems to me there is a difference—a striking difference. Perhaps they are not so smart as we are—not so quick—yet they have a solid grip of things, many things. The young men are such fine samples. We have classes north in Camden—above Cooper, above here. With some of the affectation of culture, veneer—and some hardier traits, faculties, too. But would they compare with the Canadian average?" And still again, "Yes, we will come together in the natural course of things—sometimes, I think, it will be without a jar, a stir even—that we will hardly realize it. We certainly seem more like each other than they like England."

     Told him of Bucke's message to me: should his Bolton piece go into the book? Should Doctor's speech be used alone or the rest

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 529] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
be set to follow it—the Post pieces wound in perhaps. But W. said, "I did not read the account with that point of view." W. quite attracted to the idea of Frederic Harrison's high notion of Scott's poetic value to the modern. "It is all as he says it, all. And more than that, too. Scott was the great troubadour—the singer—tremendous in fire (almost fury). I can see him—see the castle—the processions of ladies—the grand dames—robes—color—gaiety—Scott ahead—the minstrel. O yes! I can hear his songs—voice—the cadence—the stir— listeners. All fresh, a new day. Scott will always be that for me. And for the world? Well, the world will never lose sight of him."


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.