Commentary

Disciples


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Monday, January 4, 1892

     First look in at W.'s at 8:25. He slept—the hiccoughs, however, constant. Restless through the night till early morning, then fell into sleep from which only after considerable intervals aroused. Evidently has noticed that they are dusting things in his room. This morning said to Mrs. Davis, "Well, Mary, we are here yet," then asked her to take his new hat, which lay on the table, and put it in the bandbox "and tie it up with a good strong stout cord." Made no direct remarks, however, upon the efforts to clean the room. Mrs. Keller on watch and Warrie out. She says, "He seems peaceful enough now, except for the hiccoughs, which are dreadful. He says little or nothing—seems to be very drowsy." Not a letter for W. this morning and curiously no word from Lancashire to any of us yet. A few papers. I received copy of "The War-Atah" from Sarrazin (a copy had come for W. last week), written by L. Henry and sent with his and S.'s compliments. Took Morris' book with me to Philadelphia. Around the corner beyond the railroad saw Warrie sitting up with the owner of a cab. He called me and said, "I'm going down for it now!" "For what?" "Oh! for the baby!"

     Morris exceedingly moved and grateful for the book—even astonished. Longaker tells Anne that W. has baffled him from the first—that he is a mystery—and especially a mystery in these later developments and the strenuousness with which life clings to him.

     To Camden a bit after six and at 328 for half an hour. W. had spent a day of varied indications—part of it restless, part peaceful. Complains of pains in the leg and hip—asks very frequently to be changed in position. The hiccoughs on all day, except for brief spells. Doctors here today but seem to know no more about W.'s condition than we do. No visitors. The Whitmans do not come every day. I have been answering some of W.'s letters. After supper down to 328 again and there till 11:30. I was in and about W.'s room a good deal—and up to the bed—but without addressing him. It goes against my heart to add

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anything to his unrest. He called Warrie often, for one thing or another. He seems to find it hard to get into a satisfying position. Tonight I heard him say, "Anything that is not the last thing is a comfort—anything: any shift, turn." And again, "Turn me, Warrie—any way—any way."

     Mrs. Keller's notes this day: Was restless until nearly morning.

6 a.m. Sleeping—hiccough.

7 No change—hiccough quite hard at times.

8 Asked Mrs. Davis to take his hat off the table, to brush all the dust off and put it into the band box. Also to put an old silk handkerchief with it. Said at 8:30 he would have brown bread well-buttered with hot milk over it and a cup of coffee.

9 Sleeping lightly—breathing easily—very quiet.

9:30 Mrs. Murrey brought the baby, Walt Whitman Fritzinger, into the room. He was sleeping, but awake with a word. The baby was laid upon his breast. He was pleased and called, "Dear dear little thing." Kissed it. Said, "We ought to have our pictures taken now." Also said, "Oh! the dear dear boy! I hope he may have good luck and grow into a good man!"

9:45 Drank one-half cup coffee, ate three mouthfuls toast. Said it tasted good—fully as well as he expected. Remarked, "I have made a pretty good meal." Hiccoughs very troublesome while eating and drinking. Said, "The hiccough is the greatest affliction I have to bear. They were with me all night. Sometimes they stop for a while, and then I get a little rest." They come on at the least exertion, or on waking up. Very hard at this time. Wished to be left a while.

10 Still hiccoughing.

10:45 Warren lifted him up in bed. Said, "It may be with my head higher I will not have the hiccoughs so badly." The position makes no change in that, however. So much more wakeful than for the two previous forenoons. Almost constant hiccoughs. Wanted some coffee left by bedside. Has taken a few sips.

11 Hiccoughs continuously.

11:45 Dr. McAlister came. Mr. Whitman consented to resume a medicine. Dr. said it might act against the hiccough. Dr. mentioned baby's being here. Said, "Yes, it is a dear little fellow." Disinclined to say much.


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12 p.m. Took medicine—hiccoughs still very troublesome.

1 p.m. Has fallen into a quiet sleep without hiccough.

2:30 Asked to have his grey English undershirt put on instead of the new white one. Had face and hands bathed. Had undershirt changed and clean nightshirt put on. Stood it well but hiccough returned.

3 Hiccough—while having his shirt changed. Said to himself, "The baby—the dear little baby." Inquired of Becky of Mrs. Davis. Said, "I want to send them some money but cannot get at it just now." When Dr. McAlister said this morning the baby is quite young to take out, he said, "Yes, yes—only nine or ten days."

4 More quiet. Hiccough gone.

5 Sleeping quietly.

5:20 Drs. came. Complained some of feeling cold across the shoulders. Talked a little. Said he would take the dose at 6 and 9 but not at 12 and 3.

6 Remarked that he had had a peaceful sleep of 15 minutes.


W. asks Mrs. K., "What day is this?" And when told day and date replied, "The gas bill is due tomorrow. I want it paid." And even gave hour, "before half past two," which shows how keenly conscious he is of all that goes on about him and still is cannily bent on the discount granted on payments before that hour.

     Ten o'clock, pulse 77.

     Wrote Forman, who sends word from Rome of the death of Balestier, that we had perhaps better wait the issue of W.'s sickness before proceeding in negotiations.

     We hear again from Mrs. O'Connor.


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