Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, March 31, 1891

     7:55 P.M. W. sent me this note to house by Warren last night: "Can't find the sheets tonight—will find them to-morrow morning and send over (proof too) by noon to-morrow to you at the bank by Warry.

W. W."


The sheets he refers to are for McKay. Towards noon today, Warren came in Bank with further word:

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Horace,

I think the sheets (including the first ones, with auto) are all over in Oldach's made up, complete and inclusive. If you can, go there and see if that is not so—see how many big books in sheets he has there. Of course Mc's order will then get the six complete.

W.W.


I found it was really as he said. When Dave's man came in, I sent him to Oldach's for the sheets and went about 4:45 to Dave's and numbered them. W. says, "The remembrance of the thing flashed across my mind, while I was in bed last night." Oldach appears to have about 150 or 170 books—autographed sheets and all—ready to deliver (folded). I numbered the sheets at McKay's. Would it be safer to have all the sheets now shipped and kept here? But W. was doubtful, "We are at least as likely to burn out as they." No conclusion.

     W. not looking so well. Longaker over today. "He is a great aid to me," W. admitted. "I like his quiet ways, his effective sure counsel." No word from Truth yet. Brought him more proof. Had sent proof by Warren to Bank, but had forgotten one sheet. He could "not believe it," but it was so. In the prose discussing Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar," he added, at my suggestion, several new lines, beautiful. Hard to get the right disposition of all these things. W. does it best by having us first get it into type our way, then submitting to changes. So with envelopes Cohen is making for us—here are a couple of W.'s designs: 1000 white envelopes,
200 with this inscription:
WALT WHITMAN
CAMDEN New Jersey
U S AMERICA
—this line black or antique
800 with the "U S AMERICA" line out
no points at all—no thin spacing




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     Bucke (29th) writes me imperatively about Longaker:
29 March 1891

My dear Horace

Your notes of 25 & 26 to hand I am quite braced up about W. Do not see why he might not have a few good years before him yet. You must see that Dr. Longaker remains in attendance—W. cannot be trusted to send for him or to look after himself—he must be watched—I would like to see the letter of that Dr. who is not pleased at your friendship for W. It must be very funny. I am glad to know that you must have holidays in early June (since it is so)—I shall plan now to be with you 31 May and we will all (I trust) return here together—I shall probably go East about 10th May and stay (as last year) at seaside or somewhere till 31st. I guess we cannot do better than as you say—a dinner with Ingersoll—can you be sure to get him?

So you are having some experience of slow people too? But how would you like to wait 8 years for a man to finish an invention and have to float it afterwards? But the meter is beginning to move—the traveler takes the road tomorrow.

A magnificent day—the ground was covered with snow this morning but it is vanishing like a dream!

So long!

RM Bucke


Left with him the copious Inter-Ocean (Chicago) discussion of "National Literature" (W.'s).

     Today stormy, but yesterday and Sunday cloudless. W. said, "I had lots of temptation to go out, but was dissuaded. Was it too great a risk? There was a young man here Sunday, and he advised me to be cautious, which advice I hardly needed; though I am not prone to take cold—never have been—would not fear to go out."

     At one point he spoke of "Jesus—if he was not altogether a myth, a tradition," etc. W. complains that Munyon has not yet paid him for "The Commonplace," though he had sent copies of the magazine when requested.


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     Alluded to the withdrawal of the Italian minister on account of the New Orleans Mafia murders. W. said, "I anticipate no serious trouble—it is a bit of bluster, a noisy wind, which will quiet itself. There are plenty of these Italians here who make a heap of trouble, anyhow." Referring then to a man here in Camden jailed for murder, "A fellow like this ought to be crushed out like a bug. He is a creature for whom patience has passed the life-line."


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