Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, March 9, 1891

     6:10 P.M. W. seemed to me to be better, if appearance could be counted on confidently. Yet I found him about to send Warren to Brown's for more powders. He told Warren last night that if he got no better he would send for a doctor—mentioning Benjamin—Warren, however, protesting, as I had advised, and W. finally saying, "Let it be Walsh, then. But don't go till I tell you." I took W. the last two galleys for his make-up. He "receives them gladly"—that his word. Was ready with prose. "I will not promise you the pages tomorrow—let me say Wednesday: that will make it sure." Radiant flowers on the table. "They are from a cousin of mine. I have had a visitor today—her name is or was Clift. She is newly married. She brought her new husband along. She was from Brooklyn. Her mother was my mother's cousin. Never met her before." Had been reading Century today, "here and there," he said. Asked me in detail about the Colonel's lecture—what it is for, etc. And then, "It will be a grand night! Well—go, if you can, it will be your everlasting memory. And so all this is for the Press Club? Do you know, Horace, I feel as if I ought to do something for the Club myself. I have never forsworn my allegiance to the printers—never. And today I respond to them as in the best days I have known. O, the noble army! And let me tell you: if you go over there, go for me as well as yourself. See the fellows—tell them Walt Whitman will give them something—anything—if there's

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a place for him. What could it be? Perhaps I could send one of Sidney's busts, or autographed books. At any rate,"
looking directly at me, "take my authorization with you: I authorize you to promise just the thing you think they ought to have and they will take." I said, "I find reporters and printers uniformly favorable towards you." W. quickly, "Well, I consider that a plume," for it was "better the friendship of such men than of literary changelings." Called my attention to the fact that the Long Islander reprinted my Lippincott's piece in full, giving me paper. Johnston had sent him over from England a photographic reproduction of one of his own postals. It was vivid enough to deceive and much amused W.

     I met the J.C.T. Jr. (Trautwine: West Philadelphia) of W.'s footnote yesterday. He was surprised W. had quoted him. W. said, "If you are right, and the letter is from, not to, Trautwine, then I need to alter my footnote before I get the piece in my book." W. now uses the to.

     Gave me: Scovel's postal, which he said he "endorsed" and thought Jim meant it; an old letter of Doctor's (Nov. 23) speaking of Wallace and of "Sunset Breeze" poem (says as to this, "I do not understand why it is you fellows are so struck with it"); also a little slip on which he had written "Average American Personality"—and with it some notes about our Union armies, which, he wonders, "would—wouldn't it? —make a good article?" Finally an autographed copy "Sunset Breeze" poem.
Tuesday

Dear Walt

I have been long wanting (longing) to write just such an article as Horace Traubel's about you in Mch Lippincott. It is round and perfect as a star—the best brochure about Whitman ever produced—

Yours

JMS[covel]


     Bucke writes me (date the 6th) of W.'s condition.


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