Commentary

Disciples


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Thursday, March 3, 1892

     8:15 A.M. W. awake after a rather easy night, but was not improved in appearance: eye dull and cheeks pale—hand cold. The right side so affects his breathing he can scarcely rest ten minutes at a time that way. Is turned and turned. Evinces little interest in anything. Lies there with his eyes closed, often, and submits without word or sign of life to the operations of attendants. The hastening signs of decrepitude worry us and he perceives them. Was detected the other day feeling his own pulse. We feel encouraged, however, by his quieter night to hope for a fairer day. I go to my work with lighter heart.

     6:08 P.M. A second look in at 328. News there bad. Despite good night and our hopes therefrom, today had been if anything worse than yesterday. Intensely quiet. Slept even now. Had asked for neither papers nor mail. Mrs. Keller said to him, "There is no mail today, not even an application for an autograph," he responding, "That is a rare report." (He said to me once, "It is some comfort not to get any mail—for, not to get

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any means no autographers, and it is worth almost any sacrifice to get rid of them."
) W.'s pulse high—80—but very weak. Impossible to get his hands warm. Today and yesterday the old remedy failed—the dips in hot water (he enjoying it). Side of head on which he lies assumes a purple color. Circulation not bettering, evidently. Is very sweet and patient in it all—serene and calm. Last night Warrie was out. Mrs. K. going in at one time, W. asked, "Where's Warrie?" She answered, "Out for a little while." "He ought to be at his post!" said W. with a minor trace of petulance. Warrie shortly came in but W. said nothing to him on the next ring and turn or at any time since. Continues the complaint of right side—coughs up much mucus—and this mucus chokes him when he lies to the south. McAlister remarks, "Whitman has lost more in the last three days then in the previous three weeks." I spent five or ten minutes in his room at this time, but he seemed peacefully resting and asleep. As I did not need to speak to him, I said nothing. But I stood quietly at the foot of the bed and to the left, in the light of the evening—the grayish glow out of the clear west.

     Two good letters in mail this evening—one from Baker, and another from Mrs. Fairchild.

     11:20 P.M. Returning from Philadelphia could not go home till I felt sure of W., so pulled the bell again, was admitted by Warrie and went upstairs and into W.'s room. After that lingered with Warrie about 15 minutes. W. had entered a more hopeful night—calling less—but suffering, too, from the pain of the left and the suffocation of the right side, and from a more or less frequent cough. His breathing was heavy, and his look in the very dim room not reassuring.


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