Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, September 28, 1891

     5:00 P.M. Spent 20 minutes with W., having a good talk. Mrs. Davis improved. "She is now suffering only the reaction of the strain of last week." Brought him last proofs due. Expressed his "gladness" to have them in his "fist." Said, "I still hear from Wallace, but in the last two or three letters he says nothing about the program for coming east, which leaves me in the dark." Bucke goes today to Montreal, Wallace leaving London at same time. W. says, "It will be a fine trip for Mrs. Bucke. She will like the jaunt." As to Wallace, "We probably can't expect

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him till next week, even if he sticks to his program."
I notice W. uses the old glasses rather than the new. Why? "Oh! I don't know! Because they are here, because I am used to them. But the new seem to work very well." Told me a story, "Swinton—William Swinton—dined with me once at Washington. It was at Willard's. We were just returned from a long walk—miles and miles. I was ravenous, hungry past all ordinary satisfactions. We ordered some meat. The waiter brought a piece for me not larger than a big thumb. I could have eaten a dozen its size. Swinton was in high indignation, asked the waiter, 'Is that all you have?' The fellow answering, 'Oh no! We have plenty outside.' Swinton instantly spoke up, 'Bring us in all you have!' The waiter's big eyes (yes, he was a darkey) opened wide—opened larger—and for some time the poor fellow seemed dazed at the demand."

     Referring to the cricket visitors again, "They seem splendid fellows, thoroughly good natured, thoroughly up to the best spirit of the occasion. And that spirit is the occasion, anyhow. The significance of the visit is in the good nature of it all—its solidification of the nations, or tendency. It brings in solidarity again. Not the game, not who wins or loses, but the salutation, the comrade-touch." This led to talk of America, he declaring, "In the most—many—points of her civilization, the power, place, of America is incontestable. I don't forget that, even where I may seem to. But latterly I have occupied myself more with the dangers—and dangers we have."

     W. had Review of Reviews on his lap. "It is very tantalizing: it is like a pretentious dinner, with only small samples set out—a bit this, a bit that, nothing in plenty or satisfyingly. We commence to read, get interested, then the gates are closed down."

     W. spoke of an exorbitant bill. "I pay it, as I pay my plumber—under protest. Yes, the laborer is worthy of his hire. I would not fight against his charges, especially as they've the margin of doubt anyway. I have always believed that a good round sum paid down is better than half a sum and a fight!"


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