Skip to main content

Tuesday, August 20, 1889

Tuesday, August 20, 1889

4.50 P.M. W. in his bedroom, by the window, reading. Took him the second part of the Sarrazin translation from Morris. He said: "I had an idea it was in four parts, not three"—as it was in fact—a preface, then three parts. Said as to his health—"I am still poorly: these are hard days for me." Gave me back proofs, and sheets of book—saying of the latter: "I am entirely done with them: they greatly satisfy me—though I don't know that I am the one they were made to satisfy!" I referred to the gentleman in charge of Maine Historical Society—his request a long time ago for a piece of W.'s manuscript for the Maine Collection. W. said: "I shall give you something for him—it seems to me I should: it is not the usual autographic request—not one that should be slighted." Then as to paragraph in current Critic, describing autographs held by Aldrich, of Iowa—among them one from W. to Wm. Rossetti, W. said: "Yes—a newspaper wrapper—something or other like that. That is a very hungry man—Aldrich. He has been here—has had autograph, what-not. But is never satisfied—is always crying for more and more."

The lounger in The Critic for Aug. 17, 1889, writes:

Mr. W. M. Rossetti, the distinguished literary critic, distinguished also as the brother of Dante Gabriel and Christian G. Rossetti, has sent to Mr. Charles Aldrich of Webster City, Iowa, many letters and scraps of letters, postcards, etc., bearing the signatures of more or less well-known English writers and artists of today........the rather abrupt chirography of John Morley appears in a one-page note, and Walt Whitman's clearly outlined letters on a newspaper wrapper addressed to W. M. Rossetti at "5 Endsleigh Gardens, Euston Road, London, N.W."

"I am glad to see you spell Shakspere the short way," he remarked—spelling it—"it is always my way—has something in the look of it I like." Spoke of Bartlett's poem on the circular of Deerfield School—laughed heartily: "He seems to say, 'have nothing to do with this critter—monster—he is a dangerous one—it's safer not to touch him.'"

Back to top