Commentary

Disciples


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 14] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wednesday, October 7, 1891

     5:10 P.M. To W.'s and a good talk. Neither of us have word from Wallace, but W. says, "He is no doubt all right—prospering somewhere. And though no word came, I expect him here any day now in propria persona. And of course he will be welcome. The English fellows have eminent good heart. There is nothing better." We had been startled by news of Parnell's death. W. much moved, "Now there are three: Balmaceda, Boulanger, Parnell. And all three from excitement, worry—what is called failure. Death and defeat! It is tragic. It brings up many questions."

     We have news that Donnelly will speak in Philadelphia some late day the present month. W. asks, "Do you know what about? No? I often wonder about Donnelly, if he hasn't his career yet to make, or if all has been said that is to be said—can be said? His book? I have known it passably well. To me the first third or half of it is a wonderful statement—a rare, rich mass of

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 15] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
learning, acute and conclusive. But the last, the cipher business, I have never read. Has Donnelly helped or hurt this controversy? The Baconists? I can never answer my own question—never make up my mind. Indeed, feel that only the future can settle the point. And Donnelly himself puzzles me. It is a question in my mind, whether the dash of insanity which Plato permits—even insists upon—for the poet is valuable to, does not damn, the lawyer, the critic, the advocate, the man whose bent and necessity is cold logic—close resistless indefatigable reasoning. And sometimes Donnelly figures to me possessed of that tendency—that dark shade—that taint, to put it severely."

     As to his condition, W. answers, "It is only so-so." Asked me, "Is the general closed-inness of things I see out my window here prevailing in Philadelphia—on the river—as well? I suppose so. It has its curious atmospheric turns. I have been watching, absorbing, tallying it." I put in, "For much of it is mood as well as weather," to which he, "That is just what I meant in another way—with other words—to say: but you say it for me." Remarks himself the increasing distaste for work, writing. Is "glad" for "Mary's change for the better." W. said with rather a laugh, "Wallace sends me a copy of the Bobcaygeon Independent—a queer sheet—nothing being in it. Yet it comes, fragrant with the boy's good will." Gave to me. "I have no use for it," he said. "I wonder if anyone has?"


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.