Commentary

Disciples


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Tuesday, May 5, 1891

     7:50 P.M. Only at W.'s for a brief talk. Left with him contents and title-page proofs. Myrick set up at my insistence alternative title-pages. As soon as I saw them I exclaimed to Myrick, "Whitman will want this," indicating one. Sure enough now W. said very quickly, "This is our page—this is decidedly better than the other"—pointing out the page I had selected. We are both to cover the contents proof. I kept duplicate. He will give to me tomorrow. Mrs. Fairchild writes me as follows:
May 4

My dear Mr. Traubel,

It has been suddenly decided to go abroad for the summer, so I send you my little contribution till September beforehand. I shall then return, and shall hope to hear that everything has gone well with our noble friend in the interval.

I have been reading your account of him in the "New England" mag. again with a great delight. You have done a fine thing in showing that life, so dignified, so true, so noble to the world, particularly for the younger generation who cannot gaze enough on such a model.

I wish you a pleasant and helpful summer. Pray give my love and a goodby to W. W.—the years only increase my debt of gratitude and affection to him.

Very cordially yrs

Elisabeth Fairchild


W. read. "My benison attend her! How always nobly good she is to us! A rare woman, every way." Wallace sends me his portrait, which I showed to W., who to my remark— "It is an easy powerful gentle face!"—responded, "It is all that, and we know him for a brave true fellow anyway."

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Anderton, nr. Chorley
Lancashire, England
24 April 1891

My dear Traubel,

Last Wednesday, (22nd) Johnston met me at the Bolton Station as I took train for home, & handed me your letter of the 12th which he had received. I read it as I came along in the train, & afterwards sent you a cable message—wiring to Johnston that I had done so.

I will enclose a photo. (the only one I can lay my hands on at present) taken some time ago by Johnston in my little room in Eagle St, Bolton, where the friends used to meet. (The book in my hands was L. of G.)

It certainly isn't worth a place "on your walls," but it may serve as a provisional memento of one who is glad to have your friendship & who wishes you well.

And I do so especially at this time, dear friend, as you enter upon the joys & sanctities of married life. I wish that your union may be blessed to you both in long years of ever deepening love & happiness, mutual helpfulness & spiritual growth.

And I cannot doubt it will be so;—knowing what I do of your loyalty & devotion, your warm affection, your high & pure aims & your busy activity. May God bless you richly.

Johnston & I are very grateful to you for your cordial friendliness & kindness,—and if you do exaggerate our trivial services to Walt, that surely is an amiable trait. You cannot exaggerate our personal love & reverence towards him, & that may be, perhaps, the main point.

And because of that we are grateful to you for all your daily & loyal devotion to him. Love & gratitude to you for it always from all his friends & lovers.

And we owe you a more direct & intimate affection & gratitude for all your kindness & friendliness to us.

Will you convey our greetings & good wishes to your wife?—as from unknown friends across the sea. For in all the good will we bear to you, she, too, must henceforth have her share.

May all good attend you—without & within—ever more & more.

Yours affectionately

J. W. Wallace


W. still urges me to write more "Whitmania" for "you have the knack—you are here—there are many reasons now why you should do it. And it can be done now—and by and by? Well,

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then it will be impossible."
Would he examine anything of that sort I chose to write? "Yes, I can promise it—I see its importance. By and by people may want such things—and it may be too late." He freely confesses "the jeopardy" of his position and that he "may end up any day now" with this "weakness spread over" him "like a pall." We had each got one copy of the New England Magazine at last. I found W. reading his. "It all seems well," he remarked, "will have a weight, I have no doubt." I was disappointed with the frontispiece, and he said of it, "So am I: the trouble is the old one—they have titivated it out of character." And again, "Well, we have one copy apiece—little enough—but we might thank God for that."


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