Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, April 14, 1891

     7:55 P.M. Taking W. five new pages proof and expect to have for him everything up to "Last Saved Items" tomorrow. This moved him a little, so that he gave me copy of this last this

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evening. He was rather indignant that still no word has come from Talcott Williams. "It is curious—does not at all satisfy me. His ostensible reason all along, that something had occurred to the type-writer, or that some baulk of that sort had occurred, does not seem to have been the real reason. Yet we want very little from him—very—simply a copy, in which my corrections are duly made. As for the original, he is welcome to it—was from the first."

     I found he had not after all sent in his Contemporary Club ballot—but now he signed a copy of the Brinton ticket I had with me, remarking, "I had two or three new documents today, but I care nothing for them. My idea is, to ballot for Brinton, science, liberty—against the minister."

     How did he feel? "Not very well—yet well, too. Oh! The day has been beautiful. I was on the very edge of a trip today. Warrie came up—he was vehement, urgent, almost objurgatory—but I didn't go. Yet I can hardly say why, except that I didn't feel moved to. O the horrible venom of this sloth! It pushes me down—down—down! I am reminded of the King, 'Pray, sire, give us but your wish—your least, greatest: it shall be granted.' And then the King, 'I wish—I wish—well, I wish for a wish—that I might have a wish!' And that is where I stand." Did he feel less strong than this time last year? "Well, it is all I can do to hold my head up. I am so faint, weak, merely to keep straight, to be on my feet at all, is a victory. Who knows how this will mend?"

     Alex Harrison expected to speak at Club tonight. W. said, "I have the feeling that I have somewhere met him—perhaps at Frank Williams'—coming to see the wife—years ago, years. But the man I have in mind was then rather a frail sickly fellow—but full of faith, hope, in his work, I should have said." Remarked that he had had no letter from Bucke. W. asked, "Do the personal items, there in 'Good-Bye,' seem too egotistical—too personal—such-like?" Adding to my "no" "Well, I suppose after all that is provided for in the nature of things. A certain amount of egotism is necessary—but for having it, we

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never could have endured the strain—passed unharmed through the fire—especially in the years when 'Leaves of Grass' stood alone, unfriended but by me."


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