Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 207] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, May 16, 1891

     5:45 P.M. A happy few minutes with W., who, these days, though not appearing stronger, is undoubtedly more comfortable. All that he says is of a more assured color. "Still, I am weak." Longaker over: "I don't know but the best thing about Longaker's visits is the tonic voice, hope. He spreads a new heaven over us—always takes a bright view—is confident—has a firm step, touch. And anyhow, don't you think, Horace, that that is the best medicine a doctor may bring?" I brought him 25 stitched copies of "Good-Bye," which he had me put on the floor at his feet. He handled the pages affectionately—having picked up a copy. "We have made a good road with this—cloven straight through doubt, difficulty, to success. And do not forget, Horace, to go to Brown, tell him for me that I am more than pleased with this job—that it exhilarates me, in fact. He deserves it. As we were so ready to damn him for the other, so we must be at least as ready to applaud him for this. Yes, yes—I have gone over it critically—have not a word to say." We discussed the dinner, 31st. My inquiries in Philadelphia had developed that it would be impossible for me to go to any public place there of a Sunday and by any arrangement have drink supplied. W. said, "That is part of the disease of our time. If we are helpless, let us anyway protest." Had therefore pretty well

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 208] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
concluded to have it in the two parlors below. W. then, "I am satisfied, and I will appear with you for half an hour, at least, and say something—that is, if I am as I am now. I might make a suggestion that we get a couple of big fine hams, some good bread—have sandwiches, first class—and plenty to drink—plenty." I urged a little more of a meal, but plain and he then, "I only suggested—I don't know but you are right—at any rate, it is well enough to have several views." Speaking of "Leaves of Grass" he said, "My 'Leaves' mean, that in the end reason, the individual, should have control—hold the reins—not necessarily to use them—but to possess the power: reason, the individual—through these solidarity (the whole race, all times, all lands)—this is the main purport, the spinal creative fact, by which we stand or fall." A while after he remarked, "I shall send a copy of the book off to Addington Symonds tonight—the first. I want him to have an early copy." He questioned me about the very cool turn in the weather. Did it affect him? "No, I think not—I am about the same—neither better nor worse." It necessitated some fire, which he had himself kindled.


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.