Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, October 1, 1891

     5:40 P.M. W. resting on his bed—the night dark—seemed to be quite well. Queer, his inconsistent feelings—some days leading him to close his room to suffocation (hot days) and now, when it is cool, lying there, with two windows thrown open and the air really chill. When I spoke of this, he replied, "It is no doubt as you say, and yet I do not feel any danger in it. You see, I am well wrapped, and there is no draft here." Felt disturbed—I could see it in his manner—and found that it was because Reinhalter had been in with his bill. W. "not prepared" to pay: argued they had promised to wait a year if he paid them a thousand dollars, as he had done. No definite outcome except discovery on part of the strangers that W. can be driven to do nothing. W. said, "I will write you later on." Rarely speaks of the tomb nowadays. Is conscious, I think in a way, that his friends suspect its consistency and wisdom. Boulanger's suicide in Switzerland stirs things. W. however declares, "What had that man for us? He never seemed to me to have a reason for being: was a rallying head for discontent, wild opposition: did not seem to stand for, represent, anything. France, the world, will not miss him. Of course, the thing is tragic, dark—has its sad side—is invested with an air we cannot escape—must count. But the man is well done his days: he struck no indispensable, even valuable, note." W. again speaks of his "writing days" as

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over— "the sun of all that is set"—though his after-light, the math of things been, may last him "a while yet"—though "from day to day" he faces the august shadows, fearing nothing— "prepared, ready, to break the last tie." Rather moved me to find him in such a mood, though his dominating cheer soon broke through, to show that he was sound as ever at core. "Not a letter today: hardly a glimpse of the outside world, even from the papers." Had written no letter, "perhaps" would "in the evening."


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