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Friday, April 24, 1891

     7:55 P.M. W. reading. Not in a bright mood. Another evil day. "There seems no end to 'em." Talk, however, free and full. Brought him plate proof, all pages to 53. Pleased with them. "They look well—I am much impressed." And, "We are like to have a decently good book anyhow"—as he casually turned over the pages. "And there's nothing in the way of progress now—nothing? Let us push to the end." W. spoke of "the Puritanical character" of New England Magazine. Did "not like its methods." Yet, "The piece comes up sufficiently well—considering no proof—all that—we ought to felicitate ourselves we don't make an absolute flunk." As to "formalistic literariness," as W. terms it (in reply to my remark, "It has not all died out yet")— "No, and often I think it over and am convinced it never will." After further talk W. said, "The sculptor was here today—took a cast of my hand." Which one? "This," lifting up his left. And then, "His address is, 1330 Chestnut—I want you to go there if

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you can."
With a laugh, "Take a squint—see what they are making of the critter there."

     We discussed W.'s apostrophied past tenses, and when I asked, "Why not print the word without even the apostrophe—thus: expressd." W. said, "Why not? We will get there—that is the point we are after: just now people will only stand so much of the move!"

     I picked up one of his old war memo. books from the floor, and spoke of the handwriting as "more easy but less large and positive than his present hand," at which he asked, "Do you think so? Mary tells me that when she takes a letter to the Post Office, people often ask—Is that Walt Whitman's hand? What is it like? Let us see!—and so forth: that the big black scrawl arrests them."

     Wished to send books or pictures "or both" to Myrick and the proof-reader. "They are intuitive fellows—I value them. They very curiously apprehend me—often anticipate."

     No sign of his Truth piece. Asks, "I wonder what they are holding off for?"


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