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Wednesday, July 24, 1889

Wednesday, July 24, 1889

8 P.M. As usual, W. was not at home at the moment of my arrival, though coming soon after. I sat on the step and waited for him. Upon reaching home he hurried Ed off to the P.O. rapidly with a letter and some papers, but the hour was too late for receipt of mail, and he seemed a little disappointed that it was so. But Ed reminded him—"You know, we're always late now," and W. resigned himself, saying like a child, bound to comfort himself with something—"It was very fine down at the river, anyhow—we had a long, happy, inspiring stay!" I did not stay long this evening. W. "wondered," among other things, "if the man, Edward Bertz, there in Potsdam," had "yet received his book?"—though when I inquired, W. himself did "not know whether" he had "sent him the big book or the pocket edition"—excusing himself with the explanation, "That's the treacherous sort of a memory I have to deal with nowadays."

I received Gilder's proof-sheets back today, with a letter from Marion, Mass., dated 23d July—in which he said— Horace L. Traubel Camden N. J. My dear Mr. Traubel, You will be alarmed at my corrections. But they are absolutely necessary & you must let me pay for the proof changes—My "involved style!" evidently isn't adapted to the report's uses—The changes are to make clear what I said & not to add new ideas. I saw by some of the papers that I was reported as saying that W. W. surpassed all modern poets—including Tennyson—in form—a manifest absurdity. What I thought I was saying was that his style is unique & beautiful in itself; that it is admirable & that no one—not even Tennyson can successfully imitate it. In the proof I have omitted Tennyson because although it has been said that it was W. he was imitating in some recent experiments, it is by no means sure that this is so. I send on another page the passage written out in case the printer is stuck. I must see a revise of this. Please send it to me here. Surely accuracy is better than speed, is it not, in a case like this. You can direct to Julian Hawthorne care of Mr. Wm Carey Century Magazine 
 33 East 17th St. N. Y
Yours sincerely R W Gilder
W was much interested, but said little, though remarking, when I told him that Gilder had cut out his little colloquy with W. W. about "form"—"Did you say so?" etc. W. said: "I regret such a cut: that struck me as one of the best passages in the book; anyhow, there was no reason—at least, none to me—why it should be sliced out. Besides, I should have maintained the integrity of the speech—kept it mainly as it was: it seemed to me all right—or nearly right—as it is. Gilder has so blackened that with corrections, I think myself it might just as well be set up anew!" He did not object to G.'s cut of his reference to Tennyson, though admitting it was not "necessary" to excise it, as was "undoubtedly the case with Bonsall's."

W. spoke of Gilchrist: "He was over last night but only for a little while: he always comes so late!" I had letter from Bush (Lachine Locks) today in which he inquired where he could get a good photo of W. W. thereupon—"Why—we must give him one—he deserves it: he must have one and a good one!" Gets home from shore later nights now than of old. Lingers by the shore.

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