Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, May 11, 1891

     5:50 P.M. W. had just within an hour finished his dinner. Looked refreshed, yet insisted, "I have spent a mean day—things have been very poorly with me." On the table a letter

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from Bok. "I am followed up daily by the most curious questioners. I get four letters and three are for autographs or with some silly question. So I am pursued. Sometimes I enjoy it—sometimes it infuriates me—though"—with a laugh— "the infuriation is not very violent." Letter from Bucke— "All well." I had passed cast pages today—they will be printed either tomorrow or Wednesday. W. liked the title-page as I showed it to him in duplicate. "Things prosper us." As to the printing Wednesday, "I can hardly believe we are so near port."

     I received letter from Wallace this morning. He asks me to get him 12 and Johnston asks for a like number of copies of New England Magazine. I secured 22 copies and mailed them this afternoon. W. "glad they wanted them"—and then— "You remember, I sent them single copies last week. More and more I see that the piece is bound to prove satisfactory and take a place its own. It will become a part of our history—touches a spot right at the heart and gives curious tinctures, glints, indirections, valuable in themselves, necessary, vital." And then, "I agree with Bucke's verdict. I think it will be the general verdict."

     By and by he said, "So I see Harrison is about to finish his trip—will return." And then, "He has not done so bad this time. His best strokes have been in making no strokes—in what he has left unsaid. He seems to have sailed along very happily—all till the other day. I allude to what he said at Salt Lake the other day—about one wife and all that. I consider it uncalled for, unnecessary, ungracious, a scar on the journey—perhaps the only real scar. Yes, somehow a man made president is at once dignified—rises to his best-average height." I mentioned that Dole had a poem to him in last number of Literary World. W. asked, "Do you know Dole?" And to my negative, "He is a good fellow—very friendly to me—I have met him—talked, walked with him—an erudite, collegey, Edmund Gosse-ish sort of a man. But he will never set the river afire." "You mean that in essential things he does not carry a big pack?" I asked. "That is just the point, but I always feel kindly towards him, and he is a

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man to like anyway—frank, a hustler, but even, easy—conventional, of course."

     W. desires 50 copies of the book in sheets "for distribution among the fellows." I am to see Oldach about this.

     W. was "very much attracted by the idea of the golden wedding" of his neighbors, and sent in a book—with this response from them:
326 Mickle St. Camden

Mr. and Mrs. Abner Huston wish to express to the venerable and distinguished Poet, whose just fame is known to the civilized world, Walt Whitman, their sincere appreciation of his gift to them upon the fiftieth Anniversary of their wedding of his books of poems, accompanied with the photograph and autograph of the author a token that will always be esteemed and highly prized.


April 25th. 1891


"Any such many-yeared faithfulness—good health, good life—lifts, raises me up."


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