Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 154] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, April 18, 1891

     5:50 P.M. W. in his bed again—insisted on rising. Looked quite better, but said, "I am still under a cloud—suffering radical depression—and I don't know what it means. I do not like to

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 155] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
appear to borrow trouble, but all the signs seem to me to point to some new stroke—extension of the paralysis—some crisis. The feeling may pass off in a day or two, but as it is now, I do not like it—it is ominous."
Going up to Harned's last evening had been "out of the question," and as for the parties denied admission, "I felt bad, could not talk, half-blind, deaf—and besides was three-quarters undressed. No, no—I did right by doing what I did. They must understand it." I left with him copies of Uber Land und Meer and Magazine of Art— "They will be a treat to me tomorrow," he said. Gave me a letter from Bucke, "He talks of going to England! Always the busy Doctor!"

     No proof for him tonight. "It is a little disappointing," he remarked, good-naturedly, "but they have their reasons, I know." Then, "Did you give the boy the 50 cents?" There were two boys. W. at that, "If I had only known, I should have sent two pieces. Well, it can hardly be helped now." Was much interested in a patriarchal picture of Meissonier in Magazine of Art, representing him painting in the open air. Remarked its "ease." After further talk about various matters he said suddenly, "Oh! I must not forget to tell you—I had a letter from Alexander, the artist, today—and he tells me someone has bought his Whitman—will place it in the Metropolitan Museum. Yes, even more than that—that it will be engraved for Harper's Magazine." I did not like the painting. Did W.? He had not seen it. "But, Alexander himself says he considers it one of his best pieces of work," adding then, "As for me—whether I am whimsical, fickle, whatever—I feel that I do not like any of the paintings—they all fall short. But that may be the notion you have. So far the Gutekunst picture beats the whole cluster—outdoes everything else." But Gilchrist says photography is not art! "I know—but I should like to know, what is art? I should like to know, what is life? Yes indeed—what is life?" This in rather a sad strain—with certain musical resonance. Asked me again as to word from Mead, but none had come. Returned me Ingersoll manuscript. "It is great, and cute. And full of a certain light, vigorous grace, belonging to a high type." And, "It is a sword-fish—plays the

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 156] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
devil with the enemy—cuts right and left. It is a masterly little note."


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.