Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, January 17, 1892

     10:10 A.M. Reaching W.'s this time found him awake and Mrs. Keller attending to his toilet: combing his hair, washing his face and eyes, paring nails and cleaning, etc. He submitted with grave docility, now and then interspersing some pleasant or witty remark. But he looked bad and said he felt bad. Had already caused the magazines and papers to be put on his bed (Arena, Illustrated American, Star). "I shall make my best show to read them." Asked me about temperature—news, etc. "Anything about us in the paper today?" Mentioned the two columns in the Press (a medley of extracts from the birthday book, '89). He seemed surprised, as I had, that this matter had been thus recovered. I went downstairs (he asking to see) and got the paper. "What is its effect?" was his inquiry. Then with evident feeling, "And tell me about Tom—what is the news this morning?" And when I said I had not been up, then he disappointedly responded, "I wish you had." And with a further show of sympathy, "Tell him not to get the grip, Horace, tell him to take good care!" He gave Mrs. Keller some directions about his food. "I have had a fair night—a fair night. But I seem very weak, as if I had been sapped clean through." Warrie out. I looked over the papers some—then departed for Philadelphia.


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     10:05 P.M. Back to W.'s again—Anne with me. Warren out—Mrs. Keller on the watch. A pleasant talk with her. She reports an easier day for W. Buckwalter and Ingram called today—W. admitting both. Ingram left some of his wine. (All sorts of jellies and potent foods are sent W. now.) I passed into W.'s room and as I did so he cried out, "Warrie!" (it seems he was waiting to be turned, and Warrie the only one able to do it). I responding, "It is not Warrie!" He thereupon, "Oh! Horace! I am glad to see you!" And after we had shaken hands, "What time is it, Horace?" And again, "Tell me about Tom," which was what I could not do. (They put a pillow on a chair beside the bed and he threw his hand over and rested on it.) Then told me of his day's exploits, "I eat like a corporal—yes, and read the Arena and Walsh's paper—indeed, read the Star, too. They are all interesting, the pictures much better than I expected them to be. I read Russell Young, too, and liked him—liked him quite a good deal. His piece is mainly substantial—true and good to revive—especially some parts of it—some of its incidents." He asked, "Where is Anne?" And when I answered "in the next room," he urged, "Tell her to come in—tell her I want to see her." I going out to summon her and she coming back with me. They greeted each other lovingly and he said at once, "I am here still, dear, you see—and trying to eat my way to life again. I am come to be a great eater—a great eater." And they talked loving congratulations for a few minutes in that strain. He was quick, in turn, as to how she was, and quick to say, "Good! Good! Dear!" when she reported well. He remarked, "I succeed better with the reading than I thought I would—and when Warrie set me up in a chair last night, I stood it better than I had a right to expect. But there's no foundation for brag!" W. had said to me further—anent Poet-Lore, "Your piece furnishes itself the supreme justification: it gives the other side more than it deserves—even more than it asks!" I quoted something of Mill's as to honesty in controversial work. "Brave! Splendid!" said W. "Mill, I suppose, would be reckoned up with the highest types—among the stars. And poor Mill: he is long dead—long dead!"


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     W. evidently not sleeping much. Shortly we left him and lingered in the next room with Mrs. Keller, Warrie coming in and W. immediately calling him and asking to be turned.

     Wrote Bucke—and to Bolton—remarking a rally in W. Both doctors over today.


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