Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, February 26, 1892

     8:10 A.M. A few words with W. Left him Telegram. "I am glad to have that," he said. "Will try to take a bit of it today." Looked pale and gone and explained to me, "I have spent a bad night—everything against me—awake most of the time." Yesterday's gain (if gain at all) evidently not maintained. Warrie gave him some "grog" and turned him, and I left.

     6:20 P.M. Again at W.'s and some 15 minutes' talk with him, but he had passed "an evil day" and was "discouraged," as he said, having "no faith that any real betterment" was "anyway possible." He had "looked over" the Telegram and spoke of Ingersoll's "wonderful soul, vitality, nerve," and yet he said, "I often wonder

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if it's worth while to spend anything over these fellows,"
concluding, "however, that in the long run it is," as it "would not do to let the devil think he was to have things all his own way." He had looked at Lowell's poem on Grant, but expressed no interest in it. Yet Ingersoll's "I agree more than you do," when I quoted it again, excited his merriment. He advised me to take both Telegram and Scribner's. Still inquires, "No facsimiles yet? It is a long story!" I read him Webster's advertisement: Selected Poems from Walt Whitman.

Edited by Arthur Stedman. Mr. Whitman for the first time consents to the publication of a selection from "Leaves of Grass," embracing his most popular short poems, and representative passages from his longer lyrical efforts. Arranged for popular use, and as an introduction to the study of his poetry.


I dissented from and laughed at "efforts" and he seemed a little "set about" to hear the word. "Arthur should have done better," I suggested, and W., "Easily, easily." The postponement of the paper book to August disappointed him. In contract it was set for "four months" and with it the $100. W. advised, "Stick to that!" and shook his head at the idea of his being about still in August. "But yours are safe hands, Horace—only watch, watch! You have more chapters than me to write still: my last chapter is done." I expressed my own protest, but he insisted, "Have it your own way, anyhow!" I queried, "You think nothing remains but to write finis?" to which he quickly responded, "Exactly, exactly!" Before I left he asked, "What do we hear from Nellie O'Connor?" And to my reply, "We have heard nothing for six weeks," he exclaimed, "You must write her up—find out what's the matter." Then my good-bye!

     To Harned's later in evening and discovered that a settlement had finally been arranged with Reinhalter, after a stiff fight—on terms which included a surrender of W.'s check, held since the fall, for $1500 and a note in Harned's name for three months

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for $1000, and the waiving on R.'s part of all claims above $4000 and a complete transfer to Harned of all rights now held by the others. Harned will put his note in against the estate when W. dies. He has fought out a practical discount of $800 and more, which, added to the $500-$600 forced by Moore by his receipt of bill for extras, saves the estate about $1400. Under the circumstances this is happy. It proves what I guessed, that the Reinhalters had a big note to meet and had to beg a settlement. Harned was clear that the whole amount could have been legally collected on W.'s death anyhow—that if the forgery was urged they would appeal to the value of the tomb, which one of the Grays assured me was fully $6000. Mrs. Whitman had told H. that she as executor would pay the claim in full without demur. So, altogether, this is a fortunate circumstance. Harned had asked me if I thought it necessary or advisable to refer the matter to W., but I assured him I did not. I told W. that one of the Reinhalters had been in to see Tom. "What was the conclusion of it all? Or was there no conclusion?" I simply answered, "I must let Tom tell you, for he knows the whole story and I do not." "Well, that will do—perhaps that will be best." Reinhalter had called at 328 yesterday and been admitted, W. recognizing him and shaking hands, but not volunteering or encouraging any talk on business. Reinhalter much struck with W.'s appearance. "He must be a dying man, Mr. Harned." A good business to wash our hands of. W. was drawn into it, but the "marplots" really [sentence left incomplete.]


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