Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, April 13, 1891

     6:00 P.M. Quite a good chat with W., though he was not in good condition. Longaker had been over. "He reports himself satisfied with our progress—I believe he is." How were W.'s own feelings? "Not good—yet I know I am improved. But somehow it comes to me that I ought to be better." I smiled, and this caused a little ripple with him. "That does sound funny! But I might have said, the body is willing but the flesh is weak," adding that now it was a mental depression which had weighed upon him. Spoke of the dullness of the Critic, current issue. Explained to him substance of my letter to Truth—that they should let me write about new book—review to appear contemporaneously with book or just before—perhaps with facsimile reproduction of preface or "Good-Bye" poem. I said this was proposed with W.'s consent. W. now said, "You are right—it was well done." Then, "I suppose my article should be in Thursday's issue. I wish you would look out for it. I sent them word not to fail to send me copies—but it is hard to tell what these newspaper critters will do. They will have their own way—that much is certain but no more."


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     I was in to see Talcott Williams. He will send us the colloquy. Said he had not understood it was for the book. But I found what was more truly the reason he had not returned to W. "I wanted to keep it as an autograph." That let the cat out of the bag. W. said, "He is welcome to it, as for that." Talcott Williams likewise told me he cared nothing for anything Ingersoll said—did not care to preserve that. W. remarked, "I don't know whether to accept that as a compliment or not." Williams had intended printing and circulating among W.'s friends. He thought many people did not understand W.'s belief in immortality and that this would make it plain. Was it not all in "Leaves of Grass"? "Yes I think so, but they do not see it."

     W. asked me as to T. Williams' "popularity" among "the boys" in town, and seemed surprised when I said he said he seemed disliked. "I thought he was a great favorite!"—and asked, "Is that a new or an old phase?"

     No new proofs. One of our printers off on a drunk. W. exclaimed, "The rascal! To desert us!" Tried to get his final copy but he was "not quite ready to resign that yet." No letter to either of us from Bucke today.

     W. returned me Unitarian Review, which I had left with him yesterday. As to Cavazza, he knew nothing, but "the article is one of the stupid average arguments which literature passes out in countless numbers." Referring again to T. Williams, W. said, "I hardly remember what it all amounts to. My changes were very few—and anyhow, the real speech is the speech we entirely lost." Of course referring to Ingersoll's.

     Williams so afraid he would lose his autograph if he sent it back to W., that I promised to have it copied myself and return original at once. This excited W. to some merriment.


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