Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, February 7, 1892

     My morning's trip—10:10—met with W. in his forenoon sleep—probably the best he gets. Face rather pale and wearied, but quiet. The room kept fearfully hot. He had again complained towards morning of the cold. Nothing about his condition now in the papers for some days. Today's papers awaiting him. I stood alone in the room for some time—then sat down for a few brief minutes, regarding him. Breathing regular and easy, where sometimes it is labored and short—and now and then a low strange murmur would issue reflexly from him. The light fell full on his face and disclosed its lack of color and its sunken contour. The blazing fire—the peace—the remembrance of old days—the darker prospects for days to come—

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threw me into a conflict of pleasing and sorrowful emotion. I could have wept. I went over to the bed—up close—close—right to its side—looked down into his face—yet he never stirred. Then I turned and noiselessly rejoined Mrs. Keller in the next room. She shook her head, "He gets no strength. I expect something will turn up now before many days—perhaps something quick and fatal. Poor man! It would be a blessing if he were to slip away, quietly, quietly, some night as he rested." Then to Philadelphia. Busy day. Salter inaugurated as lecturer of Ethical Society. Afternoon I spoke at a labor meeting. (Anne too ill to go about with me.)

     10:05 P.M. At 328 on my homeward way. W. passed an average day. Continued his letter for Johnston, and had Mrs. Davis put it in the mail. McAlister had left weekly notes for me to forward to Bucke. I went in W.'s room a little while and sat down. The heat almost suffocating, and yet a few minutes after he was urging Warrie, "Don't let the fire go out—it's cold here." But I sat there, at foot of bed, alone. He slept—did not see, or seem to see, me—and breathed thickly and heavily. Twice signs of hiccoughs. The very dim light made it impossible to see more than his outline. Face to the south—one hand out of cover, grasping the cane—his wand. On the table some bottles, the beer mug, a few stray papers and letters. On the box nearby miscellaneous papers and letters, etc. The door into the entry has been locked ever since his sickness—a couple of chairs now stood against it. He received letter from Ingersoll, which he had left for me. "Give this to Horace when he comes," he had said to Mrs. Keller. Warrie went to the door with me, and while we were there talking we heard W.'s tap-tap, and Warrie hurried back upstairs.


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