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With Walt Whitman in Camden (vol. 7)

July 7, 1890-February 10, 1891 

Portrait of Walt Whitman dated September 1887

July 7, 1890-February 10, 1891 
 Edited by Jeanne Chapman 
 Robert MacIsaac 
With a Foreword by Justin Kaplan 

 China's foremost translator of Walt Whitman


Justin Kaplan xi
July 7-31, 1890 1
August 1-31, 1890 31
September 1-30, 1890 96
October 1-31, 1890 163
November 1-30, 1890 239
December 1-31, 1890 316
January 1-31, 1891 389
February 1-10, 1891 444




[Facing page 1]


[Following page 250]









(Including Other Manuscripts of Walt Whitman)

Baker, Isaac Newton, 178-79, 185-86, 192-94, 195, 196-97, 206-7, 240-41, 247, 255-56, 285-86, 299, 318-20, 344-45, 453
Baxter, Sylvester, 34-35, 90
Brinton, Daniel Garrison, 35, 242, 272
Bucke, Dr. Richard Maurice, 94-95, 158-59, 161, 190, 199-200, 203, 204-05, 239, 279-80, 296-97, 299-300, 302, 312, 323-25, 329, 336, 362, 375-76, 382, 386, 395-96, 423, 450
Burroughs, John, 97
Bush, Harry D., 259-60, 285, 369-70
Carnegie, Andrew, 13
Coit, Stanton, 310
Crim, Matt, 205-6
Fairchild, Elisabeth, 190-91, 357, 374-75, 454
Forman, Harry Buxton, 146, 211
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 129, 137, 140-41, 161-62, 202, 209, 262-63, 332, 344
Johnston, Dr. John, 423-24
Johnston, John H., 121, 128, 133, 138, 138-39, 151-52, 182-83, 209, 214, 216-17, 217, 306, 347-48, 351
Kennedy, William Sloane, 43, 397-98, 412, 426
Law, James D., 12, 183-84, 202
Mitchell, Dr. John K., 313, 346-47
Mitchell, Dr. Silas Weir, 312-13
Noell, S., 189
O'Connor, Ellen M., 261-62, 301
Porter, Charlotte, 429
Rideing, William H., 175-76
Somerby, C. P., 322
Stedman, Arthur, 406-7, 456
Stoddart, Joseph M., 259, 305, 364, 455
Swinton, John, 48
Symonds, John Addington, 458-59
West, James F., 289
Whitman, Walt, 171, 224, 270
Williams, Francis H., 309-10


Horace Traubel began his Boswellian record of Walt Whitman's conversation and day-to-day concerns in March 1888, two months before the poet turned seventy. A writer with powerful idealizing tendencies, Traubel was nonetheless faithful to Whitman's frequently earthy and fleering idiom and to Whitman's injunction as well, "Be sure to write about me honest: whatever you do do not prettify me." Reading Traubel's transcriptions John Burroughs, who had known Whitman since 1863, said that in some passages he could almost hear his old friend breathe. Many readers since Burroughs have felt that they were reliving Whitman's daily life in real time, watching him as he opened his mail and shuffled through his papers, and listening to the conversations of a remarkably radiant survivor who described himself in a valedictory poem as "O so loth to depart!"

Garrulous to the very last.

Volume 7, the latest (but not last) installment of With Walt Whitman in Camden to be transcribed from Traubel's notes (often taken in the semidarkness of the poet's bedroom at Mickle Street), covers seven months in 1890 and 1891. During this time Whitman, ill and partially paralyzed after a recent stroke, ordered his tomb at Harleigh Cemetery and planned the so-called deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass.

From the start of their joint venture in oral history, Whitman had tantalized Traubel with a promise to tell "about one period of my life of which my friends know nothing ... a secret." This new volume doesn't go much beyond its predecessors in bringing Whitman's cat-and-mouse game to a satisfactory conclusion, and in some respects it even thickens the mystery with which Whitman liked to cloak himself and the origins of Leaves of Grass. We see, for example (8/18/90), Whitman turning pale after reading an exigent letter from the British esthete John Addington Symonds probing the sexual significance of the "Calamus" poems. The next day Whitman drafted the calculatedly casual reply to Symonds that has sent two generations of literal-minded biographers off on a futile search for traces of the "six children" he claims to have fathered.

Volume 7 also shows Whitman responding fervently to his discovery of Leo Tolstoy, "greater than all the Longfellows, all the Tennysons of this age, any age ... a master as great as any" (9/13/90). In the hostile reception America gave Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata because of its candor about female sexuality, Whitman could find parallels to the vexed career of his own work. For all his unremitting concerns with episodic indigestion and fragile health, with publicity, reputation, his circle of disciples and allies (including the celebrated free-thinking orator Robert G. Ingersoll), it is finally and always Whitman's sacred book, Leaves of Grass--his sole heart's companion, both wife and daughter to him--that stands behind all the conversation. It is difficult to think of another major author quite so single-mindedly, heroically, and--bluster and vaunt aside--selflessly dedicated to his art and vision in the face of buffetings and reverses. Leaves of Grass had "not gain'd the acceptance" of his own time, as Whitman wrote in "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads," but he never ceased to believe it was "a candidate for the future."



Whitman scholars are of course familiar with the preceding six volumes of With Walt Whitman in Camden. But these books are not, we hope, reserved only for the academic world. This faithful record of daily conversations between Whitman and his friend Horace Traubel--recorded by Traubel during the last four years of Whitman's life--offers us the privilege of spending time with one of America's great souls. Those who have read the previous volumes can testify that the effect is cumulative. At first the reader seeks what Whitman called "gems"--flashes of wit, or reminiscences of famous men and events--but later he surrenders to the unfathomable charm of dailiness: the texture of an ordinary life as it is lived and transformed, minute by minute, by an extraordinary man. It can truly be said of With Walt Whitman in Camden: "Reader, this is no book. Who touches this, touches a man."

In keeping with the practice established in the preceding six volumes, we have made only slight alterations to the original text--simplifying the punctuation, correcting obvious errors, and so on. Our aim has been, as far as possible, to prepare the text as Horace Traubel would have prepared it were he still living. We have occasionally supplied a missing or illegible word or provided a brief explanation within brackets.

The Fellowship of Friends, Inc., provided the initial impetus and has generously funded the publication of volume 7. Without the support of the Fellowship and its founder and director, Robert Burton, this book would not exist. Among the many people who have been of great help in compiling this volume are Kevin Kelleher, Leigh Morfit, Peter and Paula Ingle, and Peter Bishop. We are grateful to William White, the editor of volume 6, who, regretting that he was unable to complete the series, willingly turned over to us the materials he had collected for volume 7. We would also like to thank Justin Kaplan, author of the foreword; the staff of the Manuscript Room at the Library of Congress; Eleanor Ray, curator of the Whitman House in Camden, New Jersey; Ed Folsom, editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; and the editors of Southern Illinois University Press.

Horace Traubel's manuscript page of With Walt Whitman in Camden for July 7, 1890.

Note (): Courtesy Library of Congress, Feinberg Collection Return to text.

Photograph of two-column Traubel manuscript


Monday, July 7, 1890

5:25 P.M. Found W. reading the afternoon papers. Keeps in excellent condition, though complaining of heat and flies.

Warren came in and kissed him good-bye, W. explaining to me, "He is going over to Mr. Watson to get his violin lesson: he goes every Monday."

I showed W. proof of Kennedy's piece, "The Quaker Traits of Walt Whitman." Proposed leaving it for him to look over tomorrow, but he was so interested he put on his glasses and read it at once. The printer had spelled "attar" with one t, W. pointing out, then saying, "I hesitated for a minute, was going to say, perhaps better out. But I suppose in that case it ought to be inserted. I am in favor of short spelling whenever that will do. I like the modern tendency that way, and in punctuation, too. I have followed it right along, myself—often to the horror of my friends. Of course there may be an extreme, but a wise economy is becoming necessary." Then read on and on, quickly. "It is very fine, a choice bit. I think Kennedy has done it wonderfully well: the great simplicity of it, too! It is striking, direct. I hope you will give me plenty of copies of the paper when it is out. The cutest thing of all is, what the damned fellow knows! He has a thousand pigeon-holes, each one with some unsuspected testimony. I don't know if this point, the Quaker point, ever has been made before. I have not seen it. Now there ought to be someone to write up about my Dutch forebears. I may say I revel, even gloat, over my Dutch ancestry. Burroughs? Yes, perhaps, or some other. I was trying to think of Brooklyn, someone there. Yet I don't know why Kennedy himself shouldn't do it. I want you to tell him when you write that I am pleased with the article, that it hits us off at a point where we are susceptible, sensitive."

He asked me, "What book have you under your arm?" and when I said Gosse's "Northern Studies," W. laughed and remarked, "Oh! Gosse! I don't take any stock in him!"

Said he expected Harry to wheel him out in Warren's absence.

Tuesday, July 8, 1890

5:20 P.M. Found W. writing a postal to Dr. Bucke. He had a letter from Bucke today (dated the 6th) in which B. told him of Kennedy's coming and departure. W. then said, "I suppose we may expect to have Kennedy step in on us any day now."

Day fearfully hot—temperature nearing 100—W. using his fan constantly. "There is a man hawking goods along the street here. I heard him at the top of his lungs asking at least a dozen people in this square, 'Is it hot enough for you, and you, and you today?' I was prepared to have him bawl it out to me," yet confessed that the heat "tried" him. Would go to the river at sundown.

We spoke somewhat of the "Annex to Annex" of "Leaves of Grass," but he is not yet prepared to go on with it. Thinks of it "before long." Talked of Ferguson. I asked if I had ever informed him of Brown's apology to me in a car one day for his printing of the birthday book? No, I had not, and now W. said, "After our disappointment, after the things we meant to do with the book and on his account could not do—his apologies find a very poor market with us," adding, "So far as his part of it was concerned it was a wretched botch—no credit to him, an obstacle to us."

Laughed over Kennedy's phrase in the article: "leather breeched Cobbler Fox.""It is very funny; very good, too. The whole piece just that direct, just that rich phraseologically."

Wednesday, July 9, 1890

5:25 P.M. "Not the least of my blessings," said W. on my entrance to his bedroom, where he sat reading, "is this northwest breeze, which has been blowing in my window all the day long," and he added, "Last night we went down to the river, and found all your prophecies fulfilled: a fine breeze, southwest, sometimes warm, but pleasant and sweet. We stayed quite an hour. The river was rich in boats—I have rarely seen it more so."

Left with him Harper's Weekly in which a large oblong supplement, displaying comparative views: London 200 years ago and now. W. said, "It is altogether interesting. Perhaps not the least interesting portion the shipping here in the harbor."

I had a letter from Morse today in which he stated Samuel Johnson as once saying laughing to him, he'd as lief invite a man to cut his throat as to cut his articles down. W. much amused and then saying, "I suppose it is hard for writers to put themselves in editors' shoes, or publishers'. Probably in nine cases out of ten, cutting down betters a piece. 'Razeed' they would call it in naval parlance. The New York Herald seems to have very set principles of the sort, particularly on its editorial page; some of them very curious, I should say." This led to some reference to Hartmann, as having been last heard from in the famous Herald column. W. thought "he has dropped out of sight, poor boy! I wonder where to?"

Gave me mail for the Post Office: papers for Ed Wilkins, Mrs. Costelloe, Ingram (in Oregon), postals for Dr. Bucke and for his sister in New England.

Thursday, July 10, 1890

5:25 P.M. Again in by the way, ere going home. W. reading afternoon papers. Stayed full half an hour. It struck six, the whistles lively out of doors, as I left. Gave me letters to mail to Ed Wilkins. Also three copies of the "Memorandum at a Venture" sheets, one of which I promised Mrs. Baldwin for use with a Whitman doubter. W. thought, "It's easy, I don't know but the proper thing, to be on the fence about Walt Whitman."

Asked me to give Warren a letter from Harned about an affair the two of them have together.

Morris asked me today about a paragraph in a recent Athenaeum sent him by Gilchrist. This probably Buxton Forman's. Will bring it in for me. W. knew nothing about it.

Quietly told me Hartmann had been here today. Expressed no distaste—no indignation: accepted it as a matter of course. "He told me of some new book, published in Florence, I think, written by a professor or something there—Enrico Nencione, he called him," spelled it out. "I have written Bucke about it. It appears to contain a chapter on us." Perhaps Morris could hit upon it in the libraries in Philadelphia? "No, I hardly think so. I don't think it likely the book can be found in Philadelphia. It is on 'American Poets,' I think he said." Then further, "Hartmann appears to be journalizing in New York. He is very Japanese in his looks; otherwise as thoroughly anglicized as you or I, his speech perfectly in conformity. He was for a time back in Japan, but it seemed inexpressibly dull, flat, stale, there, after his life here, so he returned. That seems to be the usual experience. I have met a number who have passed through it. First, the yearning to go back, then the dissatisfaction with the old things, the absolute necessity of returning." Said he had asked Hartmann who edited the Tribune now but H. did not know.

Reference to emigration. I described Cooper's early influence over my father: that Cooper's books had much to do with my father's coming to America. W.: "That is very significant. I take that to be very valuable. Yet I can easily see how it is. Cooper at his best is always the best: very inspiriting, vitalizing. In some of his later works he is more prosaic, dull, flat. 'The Deerslayer,' for instance. It is inexpressibly dry to me; full of dialogue, full of long impossible speeches—at the end leaving you nowhere. It was as much so with Scott, I suppose. Take 'Robert of Paris,' where the scene of the action is laid in Constantinople—flat, flat, flat—flatulent, flatulent, flatulent—dull, dull, dull—tedious past all a fellow's patience. Scott was, I know, open to this charge from the start, but in his later days, old, sick, moping—going off for his health—grinding this out somehow, because he felt he had to—the result is not astonishing." Yet was not Cooper a better influence than Hawthorne? "I should answer that decidedly, yes! Cooper was always an outdoor influence: he is perennial fresh air, pure seas; a living accuser of our civilization. Our civilization is anyhow a morbid one—introspective, consciously sinful. But Cooper maintained his independence, manhood, from the very first. 'The Spy,' all the sea tales, Long Tom Coffin—what a creation that! Cooper was fiery, I suppose from a very young man, up to the last, yet generous, large, free, exciting respect everywhere. Used to servants, rich, served. Yes, a truly vigorous physiog, too: a sea-dog's face—yet more than that. You know Sam Grey? Well, Sam Grey with something added: say, 20 years, more physiognomy—rather more port." I said that Susan Fenimore Cooper once wrote me that the New England writers of the second class never liked her father. "No doubt that is true," said W. "How could they? They never could have taken the measure of such a man." Then, "Bryant was an outdoor man. We must not forget him." But if some failed Cooper, he failed others, too: "Cooper probably was not able to take in the peculiar gifts, strong points, of New England—the best New England. In intellectuality, New England leads America. Emerson, I feel, would be called an outdoor man, too. Everything he says, every sentence, has anyhow an artificial outdoors, if no more." Used Gosse as illustrating the other extreme: "He is to me the perfect example of what culture may do for a man. In the technical sense he is without a flaw; yet in vital quality empty to the very bottom." With a laugh, "But these men are used for their emptiness, if nothing else. They are part of the scheme. Gosse utterly lacks oil, blood, pulse," but "Scott, taken in his strength, is one of the resistless forces of the century: so, too, Cooper. I should give both the full benefit of this belief. These days have not brought their superiors."

Friday, July 11, 1890

5:35 P.M. Stopped at W.'s on my way home, and found him in his bedroom, making up some papers etc. for Bernard O'Dowd, Victoria: among them, Burroughs' Galaxy review of "Drum Taps." Spoke very brightly—"the delicious inspiring weather," etc., moving him. "By and by we shall go to the river." When I left he gave me the package to mail. Not damaged by overbalancing of chair last night. Warren described how this occurred: that it was while W. was alone, sitting in the chair, in front of the step. W. much shaken up by it, inclined to give up his trip. Proposed going indoors again, but persuaded otherwise by Warren and coming around all right in a little while.

Had he yet thought of anyone to write the "Dutch" article? He said at once, "Let Kennedy do it: he is the man." Was he willing I should tell K. he wished it of him? "Yes, perfectly—do your own judgment in that." Then he added, "Kennedy will find something to help him in one of the early pages of Bucke's book." I put in, "Yes, but he'll get along best by that instinct which takes the bee to his flower." W. at this radiant: "I know no better way to say it than that: that is just what it is—inexplicable—yet certain as suns and stars." And when I continued, "All great work flows from that same stream, which cannot be measured or named," he still assented: "I believe nothing more than I believe that." And then, "I had a letter from Bucke today: he says he has heard from Kennedy at St. Paul. So I should suppose Kennedy will be along this way in three or four days."

I read him passages from Gosse—essay on Runeberg (Camelot edition, p. 143), speaking of Longfellow:

Longfellow, who is an anomaly in American literature but who has the folk character of a Swedish poet, and who, had he been born in Sweden, would have completed exactly enough the chain of style that ought to unite the idealism of Tegnér to the realism of Runeberg. The poem of "Evangeline" has really no place in Anglo-Saxon poetry; in Swedish it would accurately express a stage in the progress of literature which is now unfilled. It is known that Mr. Longfellow has cultivated the language of Sweden with much assiduity, and has contemplated literary life in that country with all the unconscious affection of a changeling.

W. listened intently. "So much for Gosse!" he exclaimed. "So that is what he says? It is good for all you can get from it—for nothing more. I get nothing from Gosse!"

I told him the post-officers saying recently to me that they never examined or weighed any mail matter that Walt Whitman sent them. W. smiled and said, "That is a compliment. Then it is something more, and that something more is to me the most valuable."

Warren out front oiling up the chair.

Discussed the object of culture, W. using O'Connor as the "greatest instance" he knew of a man as I put it "equal to the best in books, yet up with nature's each new flush, withal." W. fervently: Yes indeed, all who knew William as I knew him will echo you on that."

Writing today some verse, headed on the draft I saw: "The Soul Takes Flight for Good and All."

Saturday, July 12, 1890

7:50 P.M. W. in parlor. Not out today. Clouded this evening. Slight hints of rain; chill. W. sat with windows down.

Remarked no word from Kennedy, yet was "hopeful" he would "turn up now in a very few days."

I had been told of a discussion: did Walt Whitman not think the male human body a superior development to the female? He laughed. "It is like asking one which he prefers—East or West."

And some things in life were to be seen, not convinced of or logically stated. "You cannot convince a man of the sweetness of honey: if he cannot see it, taste it, nothing added will make it plainer."

We talked frankly about sex as reflected in "Leaves of Grass." He very free, yet making no emphatic statements either way, except now and then to express some assent to my views. In the main, thought things must be seen intuitively: "No process of argument can clear the atmosphere." Women and "Leaves of Grass" had a peculiar interest for him. "Whether I am a 'sensualist'—the question often seems brought up. I have no reply to make to it to others, but to you I would say, all I should need to explain on that subject has been said by another. You remember the Kennedy paragraphs there in the back of Bucke's book? Take them—down to the end, where is the Haweis extract from the book 'Music and Morals.' I think that the whole story—the whole." As to marriage or not marriage, what in the deepest sense has either to do with that "pure spiritual sexship, if one may so speak of it" that gives security and honor to the universal harmony? He was intensely earnest. Was well—good voice—hopeful.

Sunday, July 13, 1890

Down to W.'s at 9:45. Not up yet. Left some word for him from Morse—then to town. Did not return till mdinight—therefore did not see him at all.

Monday, July 14, 1890

5:30 P.M. Quite a good talk with W. upstairs in his own room. Weather warmer; seemed to me to have immediate effect on him.

Expressed disappointment with message on a postal he handed me. "Kennedy won't be here after all," he said, "and we won't have any of the talks we planned. He writes from St. Paul—says he must go direct home." This was about the substance of the note.

Spoke of death of Frémont, announced in papers today. "It was quite sudden—not, however, startling. He was a noble man. I knew him—a little: not intimately—but I often saw him, have talked with him. He was a romantic figure. Yes, in his intercourse with Lincoln, his service under Lincoln, he had his failings. He was too devious in some things. Lincoln had to tell him, I am running this machine—those were his very words. Ah, yes! Frémont was like many of the fellows—most of them, at that time—it was not till late, late, late, very late, that they sized Lincoln for what he was: saw the eminent fitness of the man to cope with all the circumstances of the time; Lincoln equal to all situations. Lincoln substantially said to Frémont: 'I love you, but you cannot serve under me.'" W. laughed, "Yes, that was actually Lincoln's attitude."

Gave me Critic to mail to Bucke, and said, "There is a pretty malicious spot on the front page—the first review," of William Henry Hurlbert's book, "France and the Republic," and further, "It was vinegary—oh! sour and malicious!"

Showed him extract from Athenaeum that Morris had brought in for me today. W. put on glasses and read.

A correspondent sends us what is probably the latest news of Walt Whitman, who, writing from Camden, New Jersey, on the 22nd of May, says:

"I am feeling pretty well at present, but have had a bad winter— have had the grip and a second attack—was out yesterday four or five miles, to the bay shore and linger'd some time by the water side—eat and sleep middling well—in good spirits...shall probably get out this fine afternoon in wheel chair—have kind attention."

The veteran "poet of democracy" sends through our correspondent a characteristic message to those in this country who are interested in his welfare: "Love to you, and best wishes and remembrances to British friends."

"That is stupid—'bay shore'—I never could have written that. It is absurd." But suddenly: "Hold on! Perhaps I am too quick. I may have written it 'Pea Shore'—it may have been one of the days I rode out to Pea Shore and the printer thought that wrong, would make it right. It is characteristic of the fraternity to have things look well: a man's parlor chair, handsome to look upon, but not to be used—O no! on any account!" And then, "There are touches here which I do not recognize as mine, yet I guess we should thank God it is as good as it is, after going through copying in the first place, then printing." He thought he may have written it to Rhys, but I thought it probably the message he had sent Forman, which F. said he would send to the Athenaeum. But W. appeared to have no certainty. "It is surprising, what a damned conceit and bore the literary clan is anyhow. I never meet with it but to fight it."

Speaking of printing he expressed anew his disappointment over pocket edition. "We hoped to do extra well there, yet failed utterly. The Englishmen have a way of printing their books, handsome, up to the last point of excellence, yet so naturally and easily, a cursory observer would not know how really noble it was."

W. said, going back to Lincoln, "He was like Hicks, who said, 'As you grow tough, as you can more surely master it, I'll give you tough meat: there is no degree I cannot respond to, but I will not give it all at once.'"

He avoided "Leaves of Grass" commentators—commended me when I said I hoped to be asked to expound it. "It is a new wonder to me, day by day," he said, "how much is put into 'Leaves of Grass' that I never intended to be there. I am discovered in all sorts of impossible guises. We must submit, there is no defense against that!"

Tuesday, July 15, 1890

6 P.M. The factory-whistles just noisily sounding as I reached W.'s. W. just transcribing Morse's address in note-book as I entered the room, explaining, "I have had a long letter from Sidney today," giving it to me.

Visit from Dr. Johnston (England) today. Writing of it, he said, to J.W. Wallace, Anderton near Chorley, England. Johnston would "be in again for an hour tomorrow."

W. looked well, said, "On the whole I get along better than is generally believed. Though, to be sure, I am old, which is against me, and through this paralysis pretty sadly disabled," but he always tells me (which he hardly needs to), "My spirits are at their old height: I detect no fall there."

I showed him the final proof of Kennedy's piece, which he (putting on his glasses) read through. "It is very fine," he said. "Oh! very!" And when I said, "Yes, with the sledge-hammer qualities, not for ornament but to do a certain plain honest job," he laughed and said, "That's it exactly, and sledge-hammer it is." I told him I had shown it to Morris today, who at first sight (of the italics, probably), was repulsed. Then he relented, though saying there was not much love lost between him and Kennedy, etc. W. said, "Morris will be one of us yet," and to my, "Yes, don't you remember the walk I told you of only a couple of years ago and our hot talk, Morris refusing you poet then, though willing enough to give it now?" "Yes, I remember: and if he has grown so far since then, he will grow still farther in years to come. Morris has power to exfoliate: it is marked in him, and that is his hope."

He spoke of the charge so often made—"We are not respectable—but what have we to do with respectability? We do not plume ourselves on that. When Kennedy wanted Morris to take a drink of lemonade with him on the street that was not respectable, but how natural it was! The fellow was dying for a drink—nothing would do but to have the drink—so to have the drink was the thing; the means to it not consequential." I had thought Morris' criticism of Kennedy originated in misconception, some act of discourtesy on Kennedy's part. W. then: "Morris will learn to see through apparent discourtesies. There are ways and ways, and Kennedy's, his own, not any other's, to be weighed with reference to him, not to the discourse, manners, of the parlor"—but—"I hold to my original faith that Morris is throwing off that coat, little by little, and at last will be wholly free. It is in him, in his makeup."

Showed him James Law's letter with note of Carnegie appended.

2020 Broadway, Camden, N.J. July 13th, 1890. Dear Mr. Traubel:

I am very glad I have met you, and I hope we may soon get to know each other better. I think I can now say truly, 'I have found a man after mine own heart.' I know enough at least to appreciate worth in others, and you may rest assured what I saw and heard last evening was fully noted. Mr. Callingham has my everlasting thanks for this happy introduction.

Below please find a copy of Mr. Carnegie's letter on my new Year's Greeting to Whitman.

Yours sincerely, James D. Law
Camden, N.J., To—Jas. D. Law,

Thanks for sending me the enclosed to read. It is well done, true Scotch, and Whitman deserves it all.

The article you refer to was one of the very finest tributes ever paid to Burns.

I was very ill in bed, recovering from Typhoid, and when the reader came to one passage,—the passage where he (Whitman) sums up Burns: "The kindest flesh and blood chield", etc.,—I called to my friend to stop and shed copious tears.

It takes a genius to know and feel a genius,—and Whitman knew Burns to the core.

Yours very truly, Andrew Carnegie.

W. read with interest, said he had not seen it before. I spoke of Law's visit to me Saturday, that "I liked him: he has good democratic instincts," to which W. said, "I can second that—I liked him myself well, very well." L. had told me Carnegie was very friendly to Ingersoll. (He knew Carnegie personally.) W. said, "I am not surprised. I should be surprised to hear he was not. It seems to me any American, anyhow, would value in Ingersoll his apparent genius—his vital, manly gigantesque powers. They cannot be passed by." He had been reading Ingersoll today—the handsome book open before him. I said, "But there are Liberals even who shrug their shoulders at him, as if he lacked in respectability—in respectable methods," to which W.: "I did not know that: I took my case as a matter of course. I still think it ought to be if it is not." Then, "We must not bother about respectability. There is something more and greater than that. One of the grand things Mrs. Gilchrist said—the grandest—came to me as this: she said, 'Noblesse oblige is for democrats, not the monopoly of nobles, of aristocracy; indeed, properly belongs to democracy, and you in America are to prove it.' Hasn't that a big, grand air? I know nothing better—little as good—it fits in with all my theories of democracy. Mrs. Gilchrist was one of the women who defy theory—had the graspingness—mental horizon—which is denied her—which I, however, always conceded."

Gave me some mail to take up to Post Office for him.

Wednesday, July 16, 1890

5:40 P.M. W. writing in note-book. Looked very well, flushed. Spoke brightly; fanned himself. "Isn't this the hottest ever was?" he asked smilingly, adding that he stood it very well. Had opened entire shirt front; sleeves were rolled up.

I did not stay but for a little while: say, 10 to 15 minutes. When I left, he gave me paper to mail to Jeff.

Showed him Harper's Weekly and [Harper's] Young People; pictures of which, and "Personals" of former, he examined intently. Asked me about Thulstrup, who had drawing in former of Joseph H. Choate, saying, "If he can do such work as that there is hope for him. He is not to be sneezed away." Spoke of "the wonderful beauty of the pictures—all of them: they raise my wonder and admiration. What progress the fellows make in that direction! Sometimes I think more than in any other!" And said of some delicate drawings of W. H. Gibson, "They are delicate to the vanishing point—they cast a spell over me."

Thursday, July 17, 1890

5:35 P.M. W. in his room fanning himself. I on my way home. With him half an hour, having a delightful talk, he fanning himself all the time of my stay.

Dr. Johnston here again today for the last time—photographed the room. He goes to New York, will see Gilchrist—then to Bucke, and to Europe from Canada. W. "very much enjoyed his whole visit. He is such a human creature, so presenting himself that to refuse him would be impossible. We all like him here: Mrs. Davis, Warren. He is Scotch, one of a group of Lancashire admirers of 'Leaves of Grass.' The least happy part of his visit was the fearful heat." As to the picture of the room, "If it comes to anything and he sends me a copy, I shall let you have it at once, though that may not be for a long time. But I doubt much of it—it probably will not sum up much. It is with this room as with Emerson's bird, or something else: you may take it home with you, cage it—but for its atmosphere, the sea, mountains, the infinite associations, histories—what can be supplied? We lose all these. I do not know but in your own piece, when you come to it, a few lines of description would do best of all—just to hint it. So far the best thing of the sort I have known was in the Springfield Republican. It was years ago. Jim Scovel's? Yes, his." And he would give me a copy, as I had never had one.

Spoke of a letter from Dr. Bucke yesterday describing the sudden death of Dr. Reilly (that is the name he gave me), inspector, etc., under the government. Also of Beemer, Bucke's assistant and friend of W.

Gave me a bag containing three apricots to give to my mother. "Tell her they are from me—I sent them." We also discussed the flowers in a glass on the table. "They are trumpet-flowers," he said, "out of our own yard. A famous flower, once-a-day, but now nearly extinct, like the American buffalo." And again, "I have seen it clamber and climb about brick walls in the most beautiful way—in Brooklyn, years and years ago—little two-story and garret houses. It was a picture to remember. They give forth flower copiously—have no odor, the color, as you see, not enough subdued for some people—but for me, honest and strong." And then, back to the buffalo: "It is a great beast. The good fellow's big at the front—always with a rich growth of hair out of which pierces the most beautiful eye ever was. A rarely beautiful eye, large, round, bulging, but earnest with great animal purpose, more than I know in any other. In the finest specimens the hair coming down over the eyes, not unlike the hair worn by some of the nearly barbarous Irish women we see."

W. sent a twig of the flowers to my father—"I want him to see them. It was a most beautiful vision in the old days, those copious rich flowers, set off in green, clambering long stretches of brick wall. But that, no doubt, is altogether a thing past now. Every once in a while I have heard of another and another of the old houses torn down, to give way to larger financial requirements—till probably now not one is left. Yet the flowers and that peculiar style house will to me forever remain associated."

Friday, July 18, 1890

5:40 P.M. W. just fixing himself up to go out. We talked together briefly. He trying for a while to stand up and dress, then sitting heavily in the chair. Sent me hunting about the room for his hat. Had not been out last evening, the sudden and terrific storm preventing. "When Johnston was here he set about to get a picture of the room, and arranged things for it. Since then I have not seen my hat," which I found after some search downstairs in the parlor.

Left with him copy of Harper's Bazar, also folded him nearly 50 copies of Conservator. Said he was sure he could "use them all or nearly all."

Spoke warmly of the beautiful day. Would start out early, "to make up for days lost," especially as now there was no marked heat.

Has been enjoying the two volumes sent him from Symonds: critical essays, etc., first cutting that on his own work, then dipping further. Beautiful volumes, he thinks. Has, he says, "a penchant for English printing." Is enthusiastic over these volumes, certainly.

"As Kennedy doesn't appear to be coming this way," he said, "you'll have to go his—at least to this extent, to deliver your message by mail," referring to notes on his Dutch ancestry he wishes Kennedy to write.

Saturday, July 19, 1890

5:15 P.M. Reached W. today at his dinner hour. He continued to eat, talking meanwhile of various things. "I suppose Johnston is this moment with Herbert." Fine picture of Annan he called attention to on the table, left by Johnston.

Wind blowing a gale—W. nothing heeding, however. Manuscripts and notes blown everywhere about room. I joked about the mantle photos, parted company to various spots about the floor. But he said he enjoyed the breeze, and I had no argument against that.

Had made up 25 to 30 copies of the Conservator, giving them to me to mail. He had them tied up in a bundle. Had also written letter to Bucke.

The Critic takes revenge on W.'s refusal to vote on the "Immortals" list by saying this week, "The only members who have failed to vote are Mr. Bancroft, the Nestor of the Academy; Mr. Whitman, who is a disbeliever in 'close corporations,'" etc.—Henry James the third. W. laughingly retorts, "Well, they ought to be glad I didn't vote. Had I voted they wouldn't have had such a nice little item."

Sunday, July 20, 1890

10:05 A.M. Just in to see if things were all right. W. questioned me about the little book I had with me: Aeschylus. "It is a happy scheme, to get the good books out in that shape. I have, or have had, most of the old books in that shape, fit for carrying about: some of them in better covers."

Wished to make certain that I had sent copies of Conservator to Bucke, Burroughs and Kennedy.

Fine day. Looked "forward to the going-out." Sun clear, temperature mild, if not cool.

Monday, July 21, 1890

5:45 P.M. Temperature very cool; turned so last night, partly to W.'s "joy," as he said, "partly to my risk." Sat now by open window, looking north into the coppery sky. I did not think [him] very well in appearance, yet seems in speech and spirits of the best turn.

Reference having been made by me to Whittier's Haverhill poem, published in this week's Critic, W. said, "You are right in all you say: it is very fine, almost strong—but whatever not, certainly sure-of-foot, the sentiment of it, how high, generous! It is almost Greek in its astral sweetness." He had "enjoyed this new glimpse of the old man."

Who was Jonathan Trumbull who had written the Poet-Lore paper, "Walt Whitman's View of Shakespeare"? He did not know. "It sounds to me like a pseudonym. Has a Revolutionary tone, even," with a laugh, "or pre-Revolutionary!" Then asked me, "Does it amount to much? Do you count much from it?" And when I said, "Mainly for its good feeling; not that it sounds the deeps," he assented, "Yes"—adding after a slight pause—"It seems to me he has lost the most necessary parts, clues, hints, of the case; the glints by which its significance is plain; has missed in me, in what I said about Shakespeare, the most pregnant passage. You will find it in 'November Boughs': 'A Thought on Shakespeare,' where I say, that Shakespeare fails us, as moderns, on the points of our spirituality, our democracy, that he cannot therefore be considered with reference to our particular conditions as to conditions past." Then he repeated with great accuracy (as I found afterward, so far as memory left me to know) the passage on page 55, "Specimen Days," third paragraph, substanced as above. "It is necessary to have that in mind as the first fact, thought, coming before all else. I cannot be judged with that passage passed or forgotten."

Tuesday, July 22, 1890

5:05 P.M. Warren had put the chair in front of the door. I found W. getting ready to go out. In his own room. We talked full half an hour.

Wished me to look at photo of Annan left there by Dr. Johnston. "It is his own work," says W. "He has a camera—is what would be called an outsider in that sort of work. Does it for his own pleasure. That picture is very pretty—very effective. Would, I think, rank high for non-professional." Subsequently W. was aroused by the thought of the Mayor's prohibition upon the boys of bathing along shores: "It is one of the outrages of our civilization. This damnable Mayor seems to set all his plumes to doing this one miserable contemptible thing. It is interesting to know, that the high official type, in this wealthy town with its 65,000 people, plays itself out in fighting the whiskey saloons, taking care of the Sunday laws, stopping the boys from taking a swim—a high type that, indeed! I was much pleased the last day Dr. Johnston was here. He hunted me out down by the river, where we sat a long time. The heat was intense. It was a joy to see and hear the water. There was a whole group of boys had clustered near us. I took the opportunity to say to the Doctor, these are typical—these are all out of what you would call our lower orders, vagabonds, the rift of our population: yet never a foul word, not one of them swore. I heard no oath, though in vivacity, activity, all that, they displayed an intense measure. I expatiated for some time—it was my element—it bore upon my theories, illustrated 'Leaves of Grass.' I admitted, after a while they will probably lose all that—will go into politics, trickery—float out into our average life, grow conventional; but here they are now, for what you can make of them, typical of our population. They were boys for whom water, air, sun had for several years done their best. It was a happy illustration for me, and I made the most of it with the Doctor, who, anyhow, in himself, is full of fine intentions, with a clear fine eye for events."

Asked me, "Well, did you write to Kennedy last night?" and to my "yes," added, "I can't account for his failure to get down this way. He must have known, a man of his knowledge, when he set out, that an excursion ticket would command his return by the route he went. No—no—it is not clear. I wrote him a postal, saying, 'but I suppose you put it off, the better to get down in the fall or winter,' or to that effect, which was a mere grope in the dark, but seeming to me called for."

W. gave me a letter from Bucke, dated the 20th, about the bibliography (W. W.) started by Bucke. W. laughed, "I will help him all I can, but he can hardly at the best expect much help from me in that," adding that bibliographies were "anyhow not according to my ambitions," that he could not "enter into them," and that though others were welcome to all their profit from the task, "they enter upon it at their peril." Laughing over it all.

Wednesday, July 23, 1890

5:25 P.M. W. looking over written notes kept with newspaper clippings and miscellanies in some book-covers. Looked bright and cheerful, spoke to the same effect. Yet he complains that what he calls his "head and nerve powers" seem "lately half-sane, worn," that these factors are "poor and backward," yet smilingly makes his boast, "I have taken no drugs or medicine of any kind, I should say now, for most a year." I can realize what all this means. But its evidence must be an inward one: it is hardly palpable to an observer. All I notice are more marked recurrences of weakness, mental weariness. Yet there are days when he will talk with me a full hour, and Mrs. Davis says he grows garrulous often at night and will talk for a long while with Warren, perhaps to the detriment of his sleep. He thoroughly appreciates let-up in the weather.

O'Connor preface not yet made up. Whenever I urge it upon him, he says, "I will start it soon: it will not be a long task, once begun," but he doesn't begin it.

Left Harper's Weekly for him. Portrait of Frémont therein. "Noble, noble fellow!" he exclaimed. Yet said also, "This portrait cannot be a late one." I think it is. "It does not carry conviction to me." Would like to read the article on Frémont. Frederic Bancroft, its writer, is unknown to both of us.

Said to me, "Kennedy is back. I had a note from him today. He says the papers had just come, but makes no remark upon them yet. You will no doubt hear from him." Spoke of "gladness" that "the silence had been broken."

Warren brought in pamphlet, proving to be Bucke's on "Sanity." He chucked it across the room to me. "Are you done with it already?" I asked, knowing how rarely he read such discussions. He replied that he was not, that he would "look over it" and would give it to me when done.

Has been writing prose "memoranda" today; several sheets of it. Does it "when moved to: not by compulsion, either from without or within."

Opened big note-book. Unpinned a sheet proving to be the page extract I had written from the note about Tennyson that Frank Williams had got us to read. Had forgotten if it had been printed in full anywhere. I thought if he used no names he would be privileged to print it. He then, "I think so myself, that there could be no objection. Perhaps we might so use it: we will see."

W. referred again to Kennedy's Conservator piece: "It is a proud example of style,"he said, "a new dress, a distinct development. I like to look at it from that side, also." I had said, "It struck the heart of the subject." W. assenting, "Yes, it did," then adding as above.

Thursday, July 24, 1890

7:40 P.M. W. in parlor, by the open window, hat on. Out of doors a mild drizzle. Had been raining. Prevented W. from getting out. Had been talking with Mrs. Davis.

I had postal from Kennedy today on which he says, "As to the books he speaks of sending, I hope Walt will not feel impelled to deprive me of the pleasure of sending him the Transcript. My occasional contributions more than pay for it. Glad he likes it. I should get no pay anyway for my contributions."

When I read this to W. he asked first, "Does he write that?" and on my assent, "I see then, how it is. I was inclined to send something to the Transcript people for the paper, which so regularly comes along. Now I can see, it is Kennedy I am indebted to, not them; that he is sending me his copy." Spoke of Kennedy's getting back to work on 28th.

Friday, July 25, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. in his room. Took him up the two local papers, thrown in hallway by newsman. "The Post seems to be doing some good printing for itself nowadays." Was reading Kennedy's piece in Conservator again as I entered. Asked me about city life—curious for incidents. I told him of a man with torn foot, thrown under a wagon. When I saw him, bleeding, reclining, waiting for patrol wagon, which had been signalled for. W. questioned me—the wound, how the man seemed to take it—was he pale? did he tremble? conscious? and all that, and "the curious, inquiring, yet hurrying crowd" took him "back into war times, to hospital scenes."

Returned me Harper's Weekly, which he had laid out on the bed. I left Bazar with him. "We ought to know what is being done, even when we find it not done our way."

While we sat talking the bell rang and shortly Warren came in, handing W. a letter and paper left by the mail-man. W. laid the paper aside and opened the letter. He had put on his glasses. I noticed the change in his color. Noticed, too, the familiar hand (his brother-in-law, Heyde's) as he held the letter up. As if oblivious to my presence, W. suddenly shook the letter fiercely with clenched right hand, exclaiming passionately, "Goddamn your soul to hell! Damn you! Damn you!" looking at the letter for a long space—breaking forth again: "Yes! damn you, I say!" Then seeming to wake to my presence, driving at me half a dozen vehement questions without stop: "Have you ever had one near you who was a persecution, a perpetual filch, a damned lazy scoundrel—full of pretense, hypocrisy, lies, sneakiness? A hog, a poison, a snake, a dog, a beast? A person who defies honor? A man (can I call him a man?)—a man who never comes with a direct question but always with an innuendo? A man who trades on your anxieties, preys upon your good nature, whose presence is a loitering, whose whole life is hollow to all high and excellent purpose? There's such a one here," clapping the letter passionately. "He writes and writes and writes: begs, begs, begs: does not threaten, but would if he dared: something comes every two or three days, and I send something—always from two to ten dollars—and send willingly, sure enough. God knows it's not the money that vexes, worries, storms me! But that such a dog has a hold upon me. The misfortune of the case is, that he happens to be married to my sister. You know the Mrs. Heyde, at Burlington, Vermont. Do you know what it is to stand in such a relationship?" I knew about Heyde: he is a perpetual worry and pain to W. Often I come to W. at night and he tells me, "Dismal news by letter today," which, when I probe, I find to be another letter from this scoundrel, full of poverty and despair and devilish indirections. W. thinks, "If I send nothing, then what of the sister? Perhaps suffering—what-not." And he sends to her, as I understand him; in sending can sense that this fellow reaps benefit, which W. is helpless to prevent. That was the burden of his talk now. I mentioned Samuel Johnson's brother as an allied case, but W. passionately shook his head. "But that is a brother! I can see how it should be with a brother: a brother has big claims. Claims? God! I think all have their claims! But here is a man, arch in hypocrisy, double-dealing, a scaramouch of the worst sort, nowise related to me, who is a constant spear in my side, who commerces my anxieties, troubles, trials—my brotherly affections—and my sister there, she is not a well woman. And he makes arguments of everything—a man who almost shames me and my gospel of the divinity of evil. I send money cheerfuly when I can, but to send it to such purpose! Drink? Yes, I suppose that with other things, but that would be to draw his offense mild, to give only the smallest item!" And so for some time. I never saw him in such a storm of indignation. He looked at me all the time over his spectacles—the letter in his hand—his voice raised; I having little to say. "No," he shook his head, "I suppose they are very rare, cases like this. Thank God they are rare. Humanity is way way way above all that, even in its average." And suddenly he folded the letter, put in envelope, said to me quietly, as if restored, "But no, Horace: I must not let this work on me. I have not been feeling extra well today anyhow, and this will not better me."

I turned conversation to the paper (Bazar) he had in his lap. He crossed the line by easy transition and soon was in the friendliest mood of reminiscence. "I want to predict about the Illustrated American—it cannot last at 25 cents a week—25 cents is too much. I think I surround all the arguments for keeping prices up—realize them all—then I say, it is no use, it is a fatal position. There is no use resisting the tendency to cheapen things, to democratize literature. It will be democratized." He laughed with the critic who had said, "Ruskin wrote for the people at a guinea a volume." "That is an exquisite satire. I know nothing better. It reaches the heart of the matter. Why," he added, "I always went in my early days to the 25-cent place in the theatre, and it was my breath of life, what I got there, however cheaply secured. What opportunities were tallied! What gates opened! I suppose you did so—do so—too. Yes, and all you say about that"—I had spoken of abandon, ease—"is true. I, too, used to meet and make new friends in the galleries. Often we would go in parties. We heard the best plays, operas, in that way. My early life especially was full of it. I suppose the average man doesn't object to high prices because he only wants to go to the theatre about twice a year. I suppose that satisfies him, but for the wanderers, for the Bohemians we are—many, many times are not too many. The time came when I was on the papers, when I had a pass, by which means I fell literally from my high estate—from gallery to parquet, and it was a fall—I felt it to be such. It was comfortable to have the seat reserved, I admit that, but something was lost—the greatest something. Besides, it was at the top I heard best—got the greatest distance, effect—ensemble most impressive." I told him stories of my own experience and I evidenced his interest by his questions, which were many.

Some new man has been doubting W.'s humor. He laughed, "He has good backing, however, for full 50 per cent, even of my friends, have their doubts in the same matter." I told him of people who had asked me if W. ever laughed himself—could appreciate a joke. Had they heard his laugh at this they would have been convinced. "That is very funny. My intimate friends would have their best fun with a man who brought them such a doubt!"

Gave me several things to take in to Mr. Button next door: an envelope inscribed, "perhaps Mr. Button would care to examine this," or words to that end; copy of Conservator, etc.

Saturday, July 26, 1890

5:40 P.M. W. in his room—very cordial, but seeming to be depressed about something. Developed that another letter came today from Heyde.

Warren away, up at Doylestown, visiting grandfather. W. may not get out on that account. Told me of Warren's absence, but glad he had paid the visit.

Spoke of Mellen Chamberlain's retirement from Boston Public Library, of Kennedy, of "the unmitigated, often unmitigable, dullness of the Critic." Asked me about temperature—the river.

I spoke of an old-form check I handled in the Bank, using the phrase, "Pray pay." He laughed, called it "old school phrasing," but "I rather like it—anything to break the monotony of the formal everyday check."

Sunday, July 27, 1890

9:40 A.M. W. eating breakfast. Eats all his meals in his own room. But was bright. Attributes a good deal to his massage. Says the "vigorous drubbing" of night before often leaves his blood tingling even up to morn's waking hour.

I was there but a few minutes.

W. spoke of American humor, "that damnable idea of humor which thinks that to misspell or be idiotic or vulgar is to be funny."

Ate and talked freely. Had already looked over morning papers.

Monday, July 28, 1890

5:45 P.M. Had a good half-hour's talk with W. in his own room, the day being very hot, and he fanning himself the while. Appeared to be very well, though the slight rain just started would prevent his getting out.

Having copy of Atlantic with me, W. was arrested by this paragraph in "The Contributor's Club":

It is said, on the vague authority of a newspaper item, that a British tourist, who was refreshing himself at the lunch counter of an American railway station, had his attention directed by an amiable native to "the great Mr. Ingersoll," who was also refreshing himself nearby; and that when he inquired as to Mr. Ingersoll's claim to greatness, the native, albeit of sound orthodox belief, said, with a scarcely concealed pride, "I guess, sir, he's the biggest infidel that ever was."

W. quite antagonistic. "I don't wish to read any more in that strain. It is quite Atlanticish—has an old, familiar sound. It is easy enough to build up stuffed men, then knock them down, then hurrah for a big victory. But what does it all amount to in the end?"

Spontaneity disscussed, W. saying, "Yes, there's that in Kennedy. I should say, there is Ingersoll's immense power, his genius in the simple, the direct, the uncalculated out-gushing—or appearance of it, which is the same thing. It is the throb, the life, of art." Again, "Let us not be hasty in judgment of men. It is well enough to hold off, to weigh, to know." I had advised Morris, now at Nantucket, to stop in on Kennedy at Boston, liking him or not, Morris not liking him greatly. W. now saying, "If Morris doesn't like him, then he has another reason why he should go and pay the visit." And as to Kennedy's indignation that someone or other had absorbed his "The Poet as a Craftsman" without credit, W. said, "I should say, that ought to be taken as an honor."

What had he known of Horace Greeley? I said, "In my boyhood, knowing him almost altogether from cartoons—he was then running for President—I could not dissociate them now," and W. then: "He deserved all the cartoons then, and more, too. I knew Greeley, and I ought to like him—and do—for he was very sweet and kind to me. He was a sweet, kind, [firm?] nature anyhow. I always felt drawn. He was a tremendously stubborn man—had what some thought a damnable perversity—especially, he would dress as he chose, caring nothing whatever for others' opinion of his appearance. His obstinacy was a great hurt, but he was a great power, too: it would not do to lose sight of that."

"To be spontaneous," he said, "that is the greatest art—art of arts—the only art that excites respect."

He asked me to look up Frank Leslie's Monthly for July or August, containing "some article—I think on 'The Older Writers' or something of the sort. I have lost track of it."

Would probably have some printing to have me secure at Billstein's soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 1890

5:20 P.M. W's chair out of doors when I came, but he did not start off till I left. In his room—complained of "an infernal inertia" which "binds me to my chair."

The Morning Journal (N.Y.) wrote him this morning for a piece, which he sent off. Described it as "a little six-dollar bit."

W. gave me letter received from Bucke in which Bucke asks about the Symonds letter again (the last). I remembered quite well, after reading and returning it to him, that his first intention of sending it at once to Bucke was changed because he had the thought to get it printed for his own use. He now said, "I remember it clearly enough, too, but days passed. I made no use of it, and it got lost here in affairs at large," looking with amused glances at the mass on the floor. Then spoke of Symonds' new volumes: "I find that the books—that what he says in these later essays, is very much colder than his letters—damnably cold. They do not display the force and acumen which we would seem to have a right to expect from such a man, knowing his resources, the day in which he lives, this 19th century, with its matchless discoveries in science. 'Democratic Art'! I do not like the title itself—there is no such thing—and as for making a thing and calling it that—no, it will scarcely pass. No! No! Mr. Symonds! None of your 'democratic art' for me! Perhaps after a few hundred years, with trial and trial, addition and addition, something may be said of this—I to be then counted in among other influences. But in the meanwhile we must be utterly at sea. Who can account for all the currents, counter-currents, failures, now, as they pass? Or bring them to a union and call them 'democratic art'?" And he further said as to its "coldness": "I suppose we may account for this by saying that the essay is on democratic art, not on me—has not my name as end and aim. But there must be many things that enter. I have noticed in some of my friends that after a period of enthusiasm they are like to retrace their steps—to think the enthusiasm not quite the thing. There was Robert Louis Stevenson for one. But I think the truth with Symonds to be that these are chestnuts raked out of the fire—not new matters. There seems to me all along—I have looked through many of the essays—to be the fingermarks of age. They do not seem to reflect the Symonds of this present day, but of a day past. Not the Symonds with his greatest resources, but his lesser. Even his letter seemed to hint of new matter—which cannot have been put into these volumes." He thought I ought to take and read it. As to purchasing, "They are costly—are not his best work. Are hardly worth such effort."

He referred to the Leslie's Monthly matter again: "The reason I wanted you to look it up was that I have thought of writing—am writing, in fact; have already begun—an article seeming to be upon the same subject. I want to see how far, if at all, I touch the same tones."

I wrote somewhat on New England Magazine matter last night. Wrote Mead this morning about it. I asked W. about his paragraphs promised upon religion. "I am afraid that my response to that would be as with the Diplomatic Secret—that there is no secret!" I told him I hesitated to urge, but he asserted, "It might be best to urge—to drive me out of this insensibly growing inertia. I find my habits growing lazier and lazier."

Wednesday, July 30, 1890

5:10 P.M. Had a fine talk with W., covering full three-quarters of an hour. Was in best trim, despite intense heat.

Brought him Leslie's (popular monthly)—after some search in Philadelphia having found article in July number by Towle, "Three Octogenarian Poets." I said to W., "I don't think there's much danger of your crossing his limits. You are not likely to get off on his strain." W. then, "I can easily believe you are right. I am not expecting much of the article myself. Still, working on something akin to it, I thought well of the notion to see what Towle had done."

Second volume of Symonds' essays turned face down on a pile of papers. I said, "You seem to have been reading them today." "Yes, some: it has more or less to attract me. But the more I see of this book, the more I am convinced of the 'chestnut' theory. This is not new work. There are occasional, perhaps many, references to me, but as to getting hold of me, I don't think he does. The book has a certain value—I would not question that: is full of meat, too, I may add."

Returned to me the Bazar I had left last week. I had Harper's and Current Literature along, both of which, at his desire, I left with him. "I ought to keep on the run of things. These help me to do so."

Said, "I send Symonds copies of nearly everything I come across here in the way of discussions of us."

Said of the Australian fellows, "I like them very much, they attract me," and added, "I sent a copy of Bucke's book about me. Warren asked about the postage and put on what they said was required; but by and by it comes back, comes after 12 days marked 'not sufficient postage.'" He "doubted whether the Post Office fellows have any rule about this thing—whether they don't just charge by whim."

Thought Symonds' "Democratic Art" was "somewhat like the play 'Our American Cousin'—in which the only American participating is an invented American, whose like you would wander America from shore to shore and never find."

W. referred to Harrison's message anti the Louisiana lotteries. Did not believe in "ever saving the mails, even against lotteries," and therefore, "Let those fellows go on believing there's no hell. They'll wake up there some morning!"

Mrs. Davis had been telling him of some necessitous couple who had applied for money, as I came in; she stood with tray in hand, W.'s dinner done. After she had gone, W. turned to me and said, "It sounds like a very fishy tale. Whether in my first moody, demoniac criticality I do them injustice, that remains to be seen. But I am suspicious of the story."

I asked him for a couple of autographs for Agnes and Mrs. Fels to frame as unique tail-pieces to the big pictures. He wrote two names for me—but, as I found, on a soiled sheet of paper and not in the shape that would do for framing. Will have to try him again. The matter on obverse of sheet curious. Unusual for me to ask such a thing. He laughed at my excuses. "We will do it for them: as Carlyle would say, it will do us no harm and may do them some good—at least, they think it will." And he said, "If they won't do we will try again, as we must."

Gave me letter to mail to Mrs. Heyde.

Thursday, July 31, 1890

5:20 P.M. Did not get to Camden this evening early enough to see W. Day fearfully hot.

Friday, August 1, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. down in the parlor. Had come there to escape intense heat. Raining—and rain had somewhat cooled things. He fanned himself. No coat or vest on, shirt very freely open.

Speaking of orators: "No—I never heard Rufus Choate, but I heard Webster—more than once. Ingersoll is greater than Webster as a rose you would go out in your garden or the woods and pick is greater than your artificial rose. All that and more—though even the artificial rose may have its part to perform, too."

Thought he would "possibly send the article on the poets to the Critic folks—if they wanted it"—of which he was "very doubtful."

Not out today—speaks of "all being well" with Dr. Bucke.

Saturday, August 2, 1890

5:30 P.M. Fanning himself in his room, W. manages to keep "decently comfortable," he says—but the heat is intense. "I have had my second bath today," he explained, "and that may in part account for my good condition." I spoke of a cold bath before going to bed. "Yes, I used to have that, too—that was a great medicant." But he had "what people would call odd views" on that matter, anyhow. "It is not so much for the sense of cleanliness I would advise bathing—it is for other things, mainly; though to be clean, all that, is a great and necessary consideration, too." I laughingly reminded him of some visitors to whom he had said, "The American people wash too much anyhow." He laughingly responded, "Well—I should be inclined to repeat that now—to let it even go deliberately on record as my opinion, today. I remember Colonel Forney—how he told with great unction that Forrest would take the Turkish bath—express his sense of cleanliness when it was over: say, I never knew how dirty I was till I had that bath! And Forney did, and the world would, applaud that. But somehow I did not applaud it—never could. See how we wash, wash, wash; perfume, perfume, perfume! The very neighbors I meet with, anywhere, illustrate it for me. Take the folks across the street—I often watch them. After the great rain—'the sweet fragrant rain,' as O'Connor always delighted to call it—they will come out with their stinking buckets and dishwater and wash away every vestige—the great, loving, sweet-breathed rain—the rain that leaves its odor on every treetop, the bricks of pavements, the houses we live in!—the purging, laughing, translucent, honest rain!" There was infinite music in this touch. "But then I can well see about these Turkish baths, how they touch a point not in my argument."

Returned me Harper's Weekly, Current Literature. Spoke of Leslie's Monthly: "I have read Towle's piece—it is poor, poor—may be said to be just worth reading and no more. About the fellows I most want to be written up—about Whittier, Tennyson—he says very little. There is something of general interest about the magazine."

Inquired particularly about title of Trumbull's piece in Poet-Lore—"Walt Whitman's View of Shakespeare." "I think of writing something about it—a letter, brief article. Either to send to Poet-Lore or to the Critic, it does not matter. The fellow writes in a very friendly way—I recognize that—but he ignores the main stream in my geography—ignores my trump card—the abiding thing of all, and it is that I wish to point out. I have not fully determined—only, that is the way I see it now. If the recognition comes, well and good—if not, I will drop it."

He "felt the influence of the weather" but "all in all, master it well."

"A copy—several copies—of Wednesday's Transcript have come. I intended one for you, one for Bucke: now yours is mixed here with the great confusion. That is one of the fruits of my receiving you downstairs instead of here yesterday afternoon. Kennedy has some notes there—he calls them 'Spray from Niagara.' There is a reference to Walt Whitman—he speaks of the water as reckless, maintaining its course, caring nothing for criticism, questioning, anything, bearing on and on, and makes the application. I can see that it may be happy."

Gave me letter to mail to Currie, superintendent of the asylum at Blackwoodtown. "It's for Eddy's keep," he said. "You know all about Eddy, my brother there. We put him there at the start because of Mrs. Nichols, who had charge, and then she was removed and Currie came in, but Currie has proved good, too." Had he ever lost money in mail? "Very little—I could not say, nothing, but then my memory is such a devilish queer factor in my economy, I couldn't swear to it—couldn't swear to circumstances."

Sunday, August 3, 1890

9:50 A.M. W. had just finished breakfast, Mrs. Davis in room conveying dishes out—Press in his hand. Weather perseveringly hot. But had gone out last evening. He thought it had become "very hot in the night"—though that had not impressed me; I rather thought it much moderated.

He discussed the Postmaster General's (Wanamaker's) declaration against Tolstoi's "Kreutzer Sonata"—not now privileged to be conveyed in the mails. W. said: "It is of a piece with the lottery pronunciamento—as for me, I am in favor of lotteries, Sunday baseball, boats, cars, theatres, gin-mills even: not that I am friendly to gin-swilling, but for liberty's sake. As the old lady would say and say—Let them go on thinking there is no hell! It is gaping for them all the while!" And then he commended an editorial in yesterday's Press, criticizing the department's attitude. "It was quite good—it hit the right place. I am sure that was Talcott Williams'—Talcott can say such things when he wants to." And as to Tucker's defiant sale of the book—"Yes, he is brave, broad, devoted: I have always counted him on our side—have a warm spot for him." And then with an amused smile, "He thought I had gone back, beat a retreat: the Emperor poemet made him mad. But that was all right, too."

"By the way," he cried later on, "I had a letter from Baxter yesterday and he tells me he has in his possession a manuscript made up by Hartmann, describing his visit here—says it is still more absurd, venemous, than the New York Herald column—all lies, I am sure—all, all: invention, tittle-tattle." Yet admitted he had not it in him, when Hartmann came, to refuse to see him: went down to parlor, talked 30 to 45 minutes. "There is quite a brood of men whose sole occupation seems to be to say small things—to make small points—but I am sure that is not in me, Hartmann could not get such stuff here. The damndest lie is anyhow the lie which has a grain of truth. Hartmann's vice is common enough among literary men." Here he handed me Sylvester Baxter's letter, reading thus:

Boston, July 30, 1890. My dear friend:

That young pup, Hartmann, has sent me an article for Herald called "A Lunch with Walt Whitman," worse than the N.Y. Herald yarn of two years ago, or so, in its mischief-making potency. It consists of cheap tattle, with malicious and ill-natured flings at prominent men. It would be well to "serve an injunction" on the young man, for the publication of any of his untruthful gossip about you would grieve all your friends.

Yours sincerely Sylvester Baxter

Then went on: "I think there was in earlier years some of this, some trace of it in Stedman—more 20 years ago than now—but in Stedman it was always straightforward, truthful, as this fellow is not. And, then Stedman himself is always so generous, warm, sound, it is lost in great qualities." And so he talked, saying finally, "But I don't know—I hardly think I shall write anything to Baxter about it." I did not ask any question, I rarely do, but I put in—"I wish it was my privilege"—something in my manner made W. laugh and he broke out at once, vehemently—"Well, you do it. It is a danger—I have no doubt odds and ends of that New York Herald piece still go floating, echoing, about. Such a thing in such a paper does not pass with the day. No doubt some of those things about Stedman, others, are treasured up against us, by those not anyhow disposed to be friendly." So I was to keep letter and write Baxter.

Showed W. a letter from Brinton about Bucke's pamphlet:

July 31, '90 My dear Mr. Traubel,

It would give me pleasure to accede to your request, but I am going to attend a scientific congress in Paris in October and shall be absent all that month.

I thank you very much for Dr. Bucke's pamphlet. It is one of the most suggestive and remarkable papers I have read for a long time, full of hints of explanations for multifarious strange facts in history and in society. I am going to make a careful study of it.

Truly yours D.G. Brinton

W. greatly pleased. He said, "I have no doubt it is all deserved—and from such a representative character, too!"

Indignant that the Sunday hour for opening the Post Office had been changed from afternoon to morning. "It is done purely for their convenience, not for the public. But it is typical of the Camden politician to be the dirtiest of his species—I mean that from the Mayor down."

Monday, August 4, 1890

5:30 P.M. Had 20 minutes' talk with W.—who had just been having a bath. Very ruddy and clear-complexioned. Heat continues and he feels it somewhat, but doesn't complain.

I told him I had written Baxter today "in hot indignation"—to which he said, laughing—"Well, you can't put it too strong for me in what you say of Hartmann—what cowardly and lying impertinence all this is! I suppose that N.Y. Herald piece still goes echoing about, making mischief." He feared if Hartmann lied about Stedman again and W. did not contradict—"he would certainly believe there was something in it." Then urged that I go over to New York someday, "see some of the fellows—Johnston, Stedman: yes, Stedman. Meeting Stedman face to face you would realize many things—would see what my own words about him have in the last analysis meant. Given a man who is typical of anything, a face-to-face meeting by anyone of clear perception is convincing and revealing; no word can convey this: it is not substance, it is impression, breath. Like seeing a great city, a crowded street; like a glimpse of Athens: who, what word, can convey any sign of the wonders—any hint, even? As with those clouds up there, bathed in color and perfume—one glimpse, our simple look here, tells the story, takes us into the glory, into recognition. No multiplying of words ad infinitum could begin to rival this simple glance. And so with persons—as with Stedman. And you could tell him many things he would like to hear." And he thought further—"A look in at Ingersoll, with some word there, belongs with such a trip."

Fanned himself as he talked. "It would be a souvenir," he said reflectively. "Why should we not give each one of the fund people something?" I had reminded him that the "Complete Whitman" we had promised Bush had not been sent yet. No cause but forgetfulness—as he called it.

Telling him that the Poet-Lore piece was "Walt Whitman's View of Shakespeare"—and adding—"spelled out full," he smiled. "But that is not the best authority: the best authority gives it short. I notice the Critic folks do—and Symonds."

Said again, "I am afraid Dr. Johnston has had to go home without seeing Bucke. Bucke says he has not been there yet. He was to have sailed last Thursday."

Said he had had a letter from Bucke—"All well there." But nothing from Kennedy, "though I have written him."

Tuesday, August 5, 1890

4:50 P.M. With W. full half an hour. He had just finished his dinner. Warren, pipe in mouth, came in for the tray. He asked, "Are you done with it, Mr. Whitman?" to which W. in laughter said—"Don't it look so?"—the food, indeed, literally all gone.

A picture by Barnard and Graham, an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains, attracted him for a long space. It was of full dramatic execution. "Dr. Bucke should see it," W. said. "He has been there—perhaps even in such situations. I know, in desparate ones." Also copy of Day-Star (N.Y.) with article by [Da Harnel?] in which was mention of W.

Someone had said Donn Piatt kindly towards W. Now W. said to me: "I do not know him—or know about that—only this much, that the newspaper boys always had a more or less friendly feeling towards me—perhaps it was an expression of their clannishness, for they are clannish for their own men— and in Washington I got along well with all. Perhaps one exception might be mentioned—Uriah Painter: he did not like me."

Asked me how to pronounce "Kreutzer" in Tolstoi's headline—"The Kreutzer Sonata"—then wondered if I had the book. "I should not be surprised but Tucker had made a big stroke with that in America." Then: "Has the order of the Postmaster General—the prohibition—absolutely gone forth? Or was that only the feeler?" And further—"If you have occasion to write anywhere in this matter, keep space to ask why it was Comstock dropped out of the prosecution of 'Leaves of Grass.' Oh yes! he was at the back of it all—Kennedy at one time set out to collect data about it, did get a good deal together, but I advised withholding it: the time was not ripe—nothing seemed particularly to call for it—the public was not interested. I suppose things came to bear which Comstock could not resist. I had friends in Philadelphia: there was on the one side bitter enmity—then also strong friendliness—among the friends near here a preacher." I gave W. his name: Morrow. He said, "Yes, that's it. I liked the little man—he was a nice little fellow—plucky—had his turn: I met him."

Showed W. a few paragraphs on Savonarola from Castelar. "Yes—I shall read it with interest—anything from Castelar has a flavor to my taste. Often think, too, that after all our mental force—all the power of Northern peoples, in philosophy, science, the arts—at last it becomes us, it inspires us, to see the other side of the shield—to invite the Southerns—listen to them—their passion, warmth." But as to Castelar's life of Jesus, announced: "Poor Jesus!—to have come down these eighteen hundred years, to be biographized by us moderns! He hardly deserved it!" And then: "I often enough take into my mouth again and chew on Elias Hicks' saying that as for him, he had times when he wondered whether Jesus had not done full as much harm—perhaps more harm than good in the world; it is a pregnant reminder."

This paragraph seemed to excite his amusement in certain respects:

The clever critic of the Boston Budget declares that Mr. William D. Howells is striking a new note in fiction, and is giving to American literature its most marvellous presentation of the Comédie Humaine. Delicately fine in method and art as are those searching studies of every-day life of which April Hopes was the last and one of the subtlest, the critic believes that in Annie Kilburn a nobler success was gained, for in this book as in that brilliant story, A Hazard of New Fortunes, there is felt a profound sympathy with humanity, and the novelist shows himself to have the soul of the poet, the heart of the philanthropist, and the knowledge of a critical student and polished man of the world.

"This element of 'profound sympathy with humanity' arouses my suspicions. But I must remember the story of the Judge, who, having heard one witness who was certain he had not seen a thing, and a dozen who were certain they had, decided it was 12 to 1 and ruled the single man out. I must let the dozen have their way. This paragraph has the look of Garland: Garland writes so. What do you know of the Budget? I think well enough of Howells, too. He is very much like our friend Dr. Johnston, whom you did not meet—looks like him, though fatter: Howells is really fat. He is inclined to be suave, kind, courteous—has his parts and holds them well." Tolstoi would say, it had been better if Aldrich had continued bankclerk and Howells printer, so to keep close to humanity. W. said however—"I don't think that necessary. A man might be human literary and still human. We know the artist has plenty of sins and this with them—but must it be? I doubt."

Had read of Lafcadio Hearn's assault on Stoddard. "Stoddard is not without talent—but he is a snarling, soured cur, too."

Was so "tickled," as he said, with the "ingenuity of it—a sponge-headed mucilage bottle" I had brought him a while ago—that he wished another.

Wednesday, August 6, 1890

5:30 P.M. Only in for a brief space—W. in first-rate condition—getting ready to take his outing. Asked for "news." Left Harper's Weekly with him.

We talk somewhat of the new "Annex" to "Leaves of Grass"—but it is not ready yet for printer. Bucke urges new, even if unfinished, matter. W. is writing day by day—though as he says—"All is now in a nebulous condition," etc.—for what in the end he will include and what reject he "has not yet fully determined." But he preses it, that the new copyright this will give him on "Leaves of Grass" "will cover 40 years to come."

Called attention to page clipped from Critic August 2nd.

Had secured his mucilage bottle.

Kennedy sent me back dinner article with word that it was "too late"—saying, however—"I took the liberty to take a few sentences from it for my book." W. laughed—"That was all right, wasn't it?"

He thought Morse's doctor friend whose portrait Morse had sent, "glum"—the "great seriosity" of the man's face seeming to affect him antagonistically.

As to why Donn Piatt should "like" him: "I suppose he sees that I stand for free thought and it is that attracts him—I seem to have an attraction for many upon that same ground."

Thursday, August 7, 1890

5:10 P.M. W. just finishing meal. Have a piece of cake?" he asked—handing me a rather doughy cut, which I struggled with and finally laid quietly aside. "You know how it is with the cooks," he remarked, laughing, "they hate to have things returned: it is a slight they do not forgive." Then, reminiscently— "I remember the struggle I used to have at Washington to get the things I wanted: it was life or death. At one time it was tea: it was hard to get it, hard to have landladies do it your will, and there was the rub.""I remember Sumner—Sumner had tea with him, would go about with it under his arm, sometimes in his pocket here"—indicating the vest—"I have often seen him with a bag tucked under his arm." This led to some talk of Sumner, of whom W. had, as I caught it, this to say: "Yes—Sumner was a big man—a noble-looking one, too: large—imposing. All Sumner's bases were right, sound, secure, but there was elegance, artificiality about him in unmistakable quantity—parts for which you and I, for instance, would criticize him, would differ. I should say, that things original—any real hospitality for inherencies—no, they were not for him, he shrank from them. Yet that is to state it strongly, too, for there was that to be said, then more: then something of the native pluck, strength, faith of the man. But Sumner had that damnable Yankee accessory—the shudder, for a word misspelled, misused, a false intonation. Even Emerson had it."

Returned me Harper's Weekly. "I have been reading Theodore Child's piece about the Argentine Republic. It was quite interesting—especially the first part—thevoyaging part, though on the whole Child probably does not carry great weight." But who was Child? As to Lydia Maria, "I know of her—a little—and that is about all"—but—"there was another Child—I don't know—I suppose lives still—a man, somewhat in the line of Ellis, who flourished in the early part of this century, in England. You have heard of Ellis? Ellis was a great man of his kind—learned in curios. Child is such a man: rich in lore of that sort, important enough itself, however little important to me."

Spoke of Ingersoll—the piece on "Nature" in "Prose Poems." "It only covers three of four pages—but away the best in the book. I should think we could all enjoy Ingersoll for his tremendous vitality. There is not a dull line in the book: I doubt if he could write a dull line. We can all go with him, though not always the whole length, often the whole length, too. He has a tremendous way of saying tremendous things—singing them: is full of light. I don't know but his highest quality is receptiveness, sweetness, sympathy: he receives everyone, everything: is gentle, sweet, caressing, mellifluous, at all times. I often think these things are his forte—his power, his master-genius."

Then back to Sumner again, his "elegance—scholarliness.""I think I see such things in Symonds too. Oh! I expect the day to come, with it some equal man, when all these things will be scattered to the winds—literariness, polish, grammaticalism, all that—routed, damned, by some daring spirit, some bold, bold personality, full of defiance, straight in communication with the elemental forces." Had not "Leaves of Grass" done much such work? He hesitated a moment, then continued, "I don't know: it is not for me to say. The new man will have a flavor all his own, like a new climate, a fresh breath of northern air."

Speaking again of this "new voice" he said, "I am at a loss to know at what point he will arrive—probably in literature."

How soon would he be ready with copy for "Annex"? In fall? He smiled, "It probably will be a be—but just how big a be would be hard to tell." Writes day by day. I see new discarded notes littering the floor every time I come. If he gives me an apple for my mother, a cake for my sister, or anything for myself, he will perhaps wrap in some such slip from the mass about. These I usually preserve.

Leaned over table—hunted—gave me an envelope with a Canadian stamp. "I am sure this will amuse you: here is a woman who is afraid I am to be damned—bless her! There's nothing in the letter: it's of the same parcel with others I get from day to day. But this is the latest."

Friday, August 8, 1890

5:05 P.M. A rather chill and stormy day, W. therefore confined. Had just finished dinner: sat by window in his own room. Had a delightful talk—nearly three-quarters of an hour. W. apparently very vigorous.

Asked me what the time was. Proved his watch to be exact. He said, "I had no idea I could guess so near the point." Reference to Bucke's gift for time, Gurd's absolute opacity—W. then laughing—"That is one of Burroughs' peculiarities. He would disdain to carry a watch. He goes without it as a matter of course."

Morning Journal paper here today. Acknowledged them and payment (six dollars).

Said he had a letter from Kennedy. Gave to me. "I have already written an answer," he said—pointing to a bulky envelope on table, addressed, which he afterwards gave to me to mail.

Office Transcript Boston, Boston, Aug 6, '90 Dear WW,

It seems so pleasant that dear Walt Whitman is so (comparatively) well & getting out into the open. Thank you for remembering me in so good a letter. I shall see Symonds' book as soon as possible. Shall watch for it in Athenaeum. Having given up general literary contributions myself, too, I have ordered the Critic, Open Court, Camb. Tribune etc. stopped. Must look up Critic every week, though. Dr. B. & I will bring out my book on you sometime, perhaps sooner than we any of us know. I wrote from London Canada to Frederick Wilson peremptorily ordering him to return my ms to me.

Do write as often as you can. I have myself absolutely no leisure to speak of & have acquired a curious distaste for writing—at present.

Affec'y W.S. Kennedy

"Did you know anything about that project?" he asked. "It is news to me. As to the bibliography, which is the point Kennedy deems most important—I can see no unmitigated—yes, I may use that word—no unmitigated necessity. After I have kicked the bucket there may be more decisive reason for the thing, but while I am about and kicking myself"—he laughed heartily—"I can see no call." And then—"I see more value in the matter you are piling together in your little article—personal memorabilia, traits of character, incidents, habits—the pulse and throb of the critter himself. Oh! how I have looked for just that matter in connection with great men, some of whom I have met, some not, yet it is the thing we get least of—is really a desideratum." I told him, "The real life of a man can often be written on the scraps the formal biographer refuses." W. then: "That is striking—it is what I am trying to say—why Kennedy's book fails to excite my enthusiasms."

Working again today on "Annex."

"A thing Sarrazin takes up boldly is the egotism: and as I grow older, I dare more in that respect myself—am less afraid of accusation—am less afraid to be egotist—to let the horses go, so to speak. It arises out of more positive if not new convictions. I know no one who has so heroically accepted that phase."

Exclaimed at one moment: "O the grand old fellow! Thomas Carlyle! I wonder how his proof-sheets looked—what his methods were—it would curiously interest me! Could George Childs have any of his manuscript, do you think?" To him, "the fingermarks of proof-sheets, manuscripts, are conclusive evidences—are final exhibitions: I always measure by them." I told him Morris was back from the country. Expressed gladness, asked after him: "Give him my love. Then tell him for me I am not far off from that point of printing the Sarrazin piece. Tell him I have it at heart day by day—the grandeur of the man—tell him his own kindness is not forgotten." I asked, "Then you do not beat retreat as you come into closer contact with the essay?""Not a bit—on the contrary, the closer contact enlarges my appreciation. I know no such other eminent estimation of us—it stands at the top: it is the highest peak yet. It is true, O'Connor is a power—vast—too vast to know except by degrees—and Bucke too—and both are all that affection, faith, brotherliness, fraternity, love, courage, acceptivity could make of them. Oh! there's that I know to make eternal rock of these—but beyond all that, one thing in Sarrazin is the grandeur—the sweep—think of it!—try to measure it—then you will see how large it is. I was out here yesterday—in the evening—for a long time—out by the city hall—and I watched the clouds drifting there—the vast, trailing tresses—sweeping, surging, sighing—I could almost hear the song, the sigh—across the sky"—he threw his head back—cast out his arms—was a picture himself of fire, power, grand human personality. "It was a sublime spectacle—a summons to elemental dramas. And this man has that in him. And the damned daring of the man is a property! He takes up that clearest fact to me—the evil of the world—the cosmic circle—and see the courage—how he grapples it, throws it! with damndest assurance, too, putting it in a background of the religious—god-intoxication!" I interposed—"The best thing in Sarrazin is, that he takes that point up as any other, and just as naturally considers it, as if not doing anything extraordinary." W.: "That is just the point—that is a splendid statement—where the best of the others is shy, he is perfectly frank, natural, flowing." At another moment he said, "There is a certain light airy touch—oh! delicate beyond description—belonging to the French: no nation has it but the French." We discussed getting the essay in print. W.'s idea was even to get it into electros. As to Morris' version—"I like it—its literalness pleases me: there may be something lost by it—on the other hand it has a side of distinct gain—and this gain a great deal more than offsets the loss. Tell Morris I will let him have proof.""So much is in the lay of a thing—how matter shows in the types. Think of Symonds' books here—the new ones: what a grand page they present!" Will probably have Ferguson print.

Saturday, August 9, 1890

4:50 P.M. W. just through with dinner. Day finely clear and not markedly hot. W. comfortable—ready to go out for evening stroll.

I had Critic with me. W. examined with great curiosity—stumbling upon paragraph in which "The Lounger" endorsed Wanamaker's action in regard to Tolstoi's book. W. laid the paper down and said, "I wonder if it ever occurs to these fellows—to Wanamaker, to 'The Lounger'—to ask the question, who made them the judges of what was to print and what not? It is the same old story—the old, old story: every doxy but mine is the seed of harm! Of course Wanamaker would say, the people, perhaps the law, empowered him, but that is the mere legal sense of it—the question is moral." Then he took up paper again and read the sentence—"To my notion 'The Kreutzer Sonata,' without for a moment 'making vice attractive,' is calculated to do no end of harm"—commenting contemptuously—"Of course, that is the way of it: harm, but with me, it seems that more harm will be done in its suppression than by the free sale of the book. I remember Col. Noah, in New York—it was long ago—I knew him well, intimately, even. He was a Jew—oh!—a Jew of the Israelites! possessing the grand virtues we read of in Old Testament characters—fraternal feeling, kindness, generosity, love of domestic life. He was a marked man in all these features—a character indeed. I remember at a meeting, he got up and said—'Ah! my friends, we must not forget that a little license is the very salt of liberty!'—it was a profound thing, and he was capable of it and more like it!" But of this objection to Tolstoi as to those to "Leaves of Grass"—"They are points of view—they cannot help it: they are made for a pint—you cannot get more in them."

Talked over W.'s methods of punctuation. He asked me, "You like the chary punctuation of 'Leaves of Grass'?" I mentioned a letter in which George Sand had taken much such ground as his and he seemed pleased, saying, "That is new to me, but good."

Would he object to my making public statement of the new addition to "Leaves of Grass"? "No—so you set no time—so I am not in any way bound by it."

Sunday, August 10, 1890

9:50 A.M. W. eating breakfast but explained—"I have been up two hours." Had read paper and was bright in appearance and mood. Was out last evening after I had been there—gone to river.

Read him paragraph I had written for the Conservator about Tolstoi matter. Expressed pleasure, adding—"Then the further question comes up, how are they going to do it? Will they inspect every package that is put into the mails?"

Knowing I was to see Morris at Mt. Airy today, he asked (eating his rice pudding meanwhile)—"What shall I send him? I ought to send a token." Looked with comical eyes of hopelessness about the room. "It is a confusion sure enough: a mountain and not a shrub to send." I put in—"Why not send him a picture—you have never given him one." To which—"Why yes, that would do: he is welcome to any one I have." Then as his eyes fell on a package on the table, "There is one of Morse's medallions: would that do?"—and so we finally settled upon that and I went off for the boat, he saying—"Bless you both, boys!"—as I went out the door. When he knows I am going out for a genuine country stroll, he always amusedly says—"I enviges you—yes I do."

Monday, August 11, 1890

5:45 P.M. The day very cool. W. had closed the doors of his room, though sitting by the open window. Asked me at once if I had got to Morris' yesterday. I gave him note of thanks Morris had sent. Read and called him "a good fellow."

Spoke of postal he received from John Swinton, as follows:

Edinburgh, Scotland, July 31, 1890

My dear Walt—Again I salute you. I wish I had been at the birthday fest, and heard the beauteous words of my friend Bob Ingersoll about you.

We shall leave here soon for New York.

Ever yours, John Swinton

Said—"If you've any curiosity, keep it."

Then spoke of John Boyle O'Reilly's tragic taking-off. W. said, "I have not got over it yet—it was a startling story! And such a fellow! What the handsome light and shadow of the man! He had the fine port, the dark hair and eyes—of the Irish-Spanish mixture he was. When I looked at him I never wondered again why it was said to the credit of Ireland that it had come of Spain, or a thick Spanish mixture." Insomnia "a strange freak."


The Poet-Journalist Killed by an Overdose of Chloral.

Boston, Aug. 10 (Special).—John Boyle O'Reilly, editor of the Pilot, died at an early hour this morning at his summer cottage, at Hall, from an overdose of chloral. He was suffering from insomnia and took the dose to produce sleep. His wife for years has been a victim of nervous prostration and was compelled to use a preparation of chloral, and always had a bottle of the mixture at her bedside. Her husband was a vigorous opponent of all such artificial soporifics, contenting in a recent work that healthy diet and exercise were ever sufficient to cure just what affected him. Last night, after vainly endeavoring to slumber, he determined to violate his own principles, and stealing into his wife's chamber he took her bottle and drank the fatal dose. This was at 11 o'clock.

At 3 o'clock this morning, Mrs. O'Reilly awakening, found him absent from her side and for the first time in days left her bed in search of him. In the sitting room, at the open window, head on hand, as if looking over the eastern sea he reclined, sleeping heavily. Failing to arouse him, she summoned help. Physicians hurriedly detected his condition, but could only arouse him sufficiently to get him to mumble "wife's medicine." He died an hour later....

Spoke of Burroughs: "But in Burroughs sickness is the reushering of the Burroughs of 30 years ago. When he first came to Washington in the early years of the war, we did not think he would have a long lease—he was so frail, a blow would have knocked him down. Then he has domestic comlications which do him no good." As to the idea Bucke had that Burroughs avoided him: "I had never heard of that—had no idea of the sort from John himself. But then John has his caprices—I was going to say kinks, but caprice will probably give my meaning better. I find in all characters that live close to nature, capriciousness, variability—they seem to pattern after nature's higher rules. The children are that way, and dogs, cats—not but that their perceptions, intuitions, are keen enough, but with the capricious, too." Speaking of "the intuitive perception of children, knowing who look them well—are their friends," as he put it, he said—"Whatever of others, I don't think any child could long mistake the grandmotherliness of Mrs. Traubel." And further of O'Reilly: "He was a handsome man—chivalrous—noble—everybody liked him—there was spice of heroics, aromas of escapade, bravery, hairbreadth daring, moral heroism. He went everywhere—lived fast: ate, drank—was a merry man." I asked, "Wouldn't you like to give me something—some few lines—about him for the Conservator?""Yes—glad—if I can: if they come to me. I wish I could. The noble O'Reilly! I will see what I can do."

Read the following in Press yesterday:


An Interesting Volume of Memories of the Concord Seer.


A Faithful Record of the Poet's Opinions Freely Expressed in Familiar Chats on Literature, Philosophy and Criticism.

To worship Emerson in one's youth—that is common enough. Not to have outgrown the pure and purifying enthusiasm of middle age—that, we assume, is rather rare, and a sign of strength. There is one such, we are thankful to say. Mr. Charles J. Woodbury, who is an undergraduate of Williams College, came under the benign personal influence of the Concord Seer in the Autumn of 1865, and thereafter enjoying the most enviable privilege of familiar intercourse with him, happily fell into the habit of recording the precious monologues of the greatest of Americans; monologues now embodied in a volume before us, "Talks with Emerson" (New York: The Baker & Taylor Company). This book bears on every page sufficient proof of the authenticity of its report. It is the best of Emersoniana, the essential complement of Cabot's splendid memoir, and Edward Emerson's more intimate glimpse. The only possible way of reviewing it is by quotation, and for our generous use of striking passages we are sure we shall have the thanks of all thoughtful readers of The Press.

...Anything that excited remark in dress and demeanor [Emerson] avoided by instinct. "I remember he returned from New York, and told me that Mr. Walt Whitman, by invitation dining with him at the Astor House, had come without his coat." The extremes met then, though undoubtedly he enjoyed the unrestrained man and democratic poet, despite the odor his verses perspire. Long enough after the occurence to divert any suspicion of a connection, Mr. Emerson said: "Dress should reveal the spirit. There are men so brutally wilful and indifferent to civilization that they remind one of the veldt, the dhow and the kraal. They ought to go about, their faces smeared with woad, in skins of wild animals, with a bone club on their shoulders and a sword of shark tooth, beating drums of fish skin."...

I said to W., "I see you went to dine with Emerson in your shirtsleeves." He laughed, "So I see—so I learn, for the first time! I kept a copy of the Press here—marked it—supposing you might not hear. It is all a lie—an entire lie—and it is not the first edition of the same lie, either. I have got the character, and this only repeats and repeats. He gives it as though it was from Emerson himself, but if Emerson remembered, he would not have said it. The worst lies, as I have said, are those with just a shred of truth—enough truth simply to get the ear. This paragraph has an Edward-Emersonish flavor." Especially "his verses perspire"—excited W.'s risibility. "They must rub it in, or they would not be happy." And then, "You see—the story of the shirt is quite circumstantial—it has been told before—it is long put upon me and will stick—but they are all lies—all stories of the kind. It is like Lincoln and the smutty stories—time was, when a fellow got a particularly dirty story, he would say, I've heard a good one on Lincoln—listen—and all would crop up ears and Lincoln would be pilloried again. And so these shirt stories are put back to me." And further, "It shows what books may be worth."

Sent paper to Morse among others today—asked if it was rightly addressed. "Here," he said—opening a paper starch box on table—"these are sugared calamus bits—sent by Kennedy long ago—buried there in the mixture of things—I turned them up in looking for something else today. Won't you take some up to the folks?" Asked me, "Would you like me to jot down some memoranda for your article?" And at my assent, said he would write out what occurred to him.

Gave me papers for Morse and Rayner and letter for Harry Bonsall, for mailing.

Spoke of having given Buckwalter a copy of the Conservator containing Kennedy's piece.

Tuesday, August 12, 1890

5:10 P.M. Found W. making up a lot of Posts for mailing—giving a copy to me. It contained editorial unsigned paragraph herewith, all marked and corrected by W. I had mailed matter for him to Bonsall yesterday.

A person named Woodberry says in a just published book that R. W. Emerson told him how Walt Whitman appeared at a dinner party, in New York, coatless, in his shirt sleeves. Of course and certainly Walt Whitman did not so appear, and quite as certainly, of course, Emerson never said anything of the sort. The extreme friendliness of a few critics toward Walt Whitman is met by the extremer malignance and made-up falsehoods of other critics. One of the latter printed in a New York weekly that Whitman always wore an open red flannel shirt. Another story was that Washington, D.C., police "run him out" from that town for shamelessly living with an improper female. In a book of Edward Emerson's, a full account of his father's opinion of Walt Whitman is sneaked in by a footnote. The true fact is, R. W. Emerson had a firm and deep attachment to Whitman from first to last, as person and poet, which Emerson's family and several of his conventional literary friends tried their best in vain to dislodge. As Frank Sanborn relates, Emerson was fond of looking at matters from different sides, but he early put on record, that to his mind, "Leaves of Grass" was "the greatest show of wit and poetry that America had yet contributed," and to this mind he steadily adhered throughout.

Had "not been able to write anything about O'Reilly," he said. "Today I got a telegram from the Pilot, asking if I had anything to say. I have not answered it—probably shall not. I could hardly explain why. For today, for one thing, I have been unwell—that may have had something to do with it. I see the papers are full of him, and all they say is bright and affectionate. He seems to have been a famous friend, comrade, lover—liked by all who could recognize a true emotional, sympathetic man. When all say so much why need I say anything?—though I hardly know why I should take that ground. The plain matter is, I have not so far been moved to write. Magnetism? Yes, I think he had magnetism, as it is called—must have had it—indeed, I know he had it—markedly, grandly. Magnetism is the popular word, and has the advantage of direct meaning," though he doubted if for him "it fully answers its end." I said I could myself write something about O'Reilly and told him what, to which he said, "That is fine—that ought to be said—you ought to say it." And as to the letter I had from O'Reilly May 22nd and would include, "I had no remembrance of it in that strain. It is a great note—characteristic—the breath of the man."

Called my attention to last volume of Stedman's book. "Did you know that Morris was mentioned there? It is a feather for him. And there is a poem too—I have not read it yet, but laid it aside to read." Then would have that I look at a masterpiece—a steel engraving of F. Marian Crawford. He thought "very fine of its sort." Book just come today—still mostly uncut.

Had written notes for my New England Magazine article today. "I give it to you, to do with what you like: to use of its substance or not—what you choose or think best. It is hastily jotted down, but correct as to fact and date."

Referred to death of Cardinal Newman with, as he said, "wonder at his great age—his 90 years," asking me then after the brother Francis Newman—what he had done—his "main current of work," admitting that he "knows little about either."

It would be an easy matter to spin out a two-column review of The New Spirit, a volume of critical essays by Mr. Havelock Ellis. But the length of the review would be due to the thoughts suggested by the title, and not to any inherent importance in Mrs. Ellis's treatment of his theme. Is there a "new spirit," which differentiates later literature from earlier, and threatens, like the "theory of moulds" in Burnand's Happy Thoughts, to "upset everything," and modify or possibly reconstruct art, ethics, and society itself? Mr. Ellis thinks that there is, and accordingly groups together, as chief representative subjects for his essays in exposition of the general theme, Diderot, Heine, Whitman, Ibsen, and Tolstoi.... As far as the author turns our thoughts—wittingly or unwittingly on his own part—to Diderot and the encyclopædists, to Heine's lyrical expressions of sorrow, to Whitman's imperfect humanism and neglect of the spiritual and the ideal, to Ibsen's or Tolstoi's arraignments of marriage without love, he does well; but he is too much the special pleader to be reckoned a sage or helpful critic. To mention but a single point: Why is it that Whitman's vociferous English public fails to see that the "representative American mind" is not recognized as their own leader by any class in his native land? Longfellow, Emerson, Poe, Hawthorne, Whittier, Webster, Calhoun, John Brown, Jefferson Davis, even William Miller and Joseph Smith, were allowed to prophesy and gather their bands of devoted followers; must there not be something amiss in his claims if Whitman, alone among our great company of reformers, is regarded as an interesting curiosity rather than a pioneer, and finds his public in English club-rooms rather than on our own wharves, factories, and prairies?

Read W. the above from Sunday School Times, Philadelphia. He laughed—thought it "a bit of the old plank" and "a view to be taken," however it "might prove error or stupid."

Wednesday, August 13, 1890

5:20 P.M. With W. till six—whistles just screaming as I left the door. Was tying up "Annex" manuscripts in their covers as I entered. I alluded to his busy habits—to which he said with a smile, "I am not busy—I do very little indeed—very little but dawdle, drowse, sleep: now and then fingering a book, writing a little—but doing no more. Anyone happening in and finding me doing something may think I am much occupied, but that would be a mistake." I asked after the "Annex" and he said it was "going on"—he having worked some on it today.

Had not written anything about O'Reilly, he said, either for me or for the Pilot.

Had no mail to send up: not a letter written yet, though he hoped to get at a postal or so before going out.

Tore portrait of Edward Everett Hale from book announcements of Webster & Co.—asked me to show to my father. The engraving had impressed him. Said of Hale: "He is a thread of a man"—adding after a slight laugh—"He has his place—has done good work, but he is a very respectable Unitarian, too timid to be all a man—afraid to let himself be entangled with things that are not eminently respectable."

Under the stove—an edge suspicioning itself out—was one of the Fredericks (N.Y.) portraits of which—W. seeing it in my hand—he said, "You had better take it along with you if you want it—you can make your claim to it—if you had not found it, it probably would have been lost anyhow." And he explained, "The picture must be 12 or 15 years old—yes, taken after my sickness, on one of my trips to New York." Signed picture for me. Led to talk as to whether he had lost weight. Told him I thought he had. But he averred—"I am not convinced. I do not think there is sign of it. I think I have kept a pretty uniform weight these later years; of course I was much fatter 30 years ago, for instance, as shown in the portrait Johnston has, which shows me at my best. You will like it. I think Bucke looks on it as the best of all—or among the best, surely, though some of my friends complain of the rosiness of the complexion—its floridity: which, however, is no objection to me. I think you must go to New York and to Johnston—you ought to see him, the picture, the family."

W. spoke again of Newman's great age and of the living Dr. Furness as another example (88 years) "of fullness of life. It is a marvel to contemplate—a lesson—a gospel in itself!"

Again, of his own habits: "I suppose I do nothing practically but dawdle—wait—let things happen. But that is as much as the rock does to fulfill its part—growing best in keeping to its place!" And so "I sit here, let the elements play about me—see what they will bring about."

Asked him about sentence in the notes he had given me yesterday, quoting Drinkard as to the naturalness of his habits. He said: "Yes—they are his actual written words: not words out of memory, but written down. I have the document here somewhere." I said, "It would be a curious and interesting one to keep." He then: "You may keep it, it will turn up someday again and I will put it aside for you—it is here—everything is here," laughing and throwing his hands out towards the mass of paper at his feet. "Yes, everything is here, to come up from time to time—at wrong times, mostly!" Went detailedly then into description of Drinkard. "He was not a young man, yet a youngish one, too. He started out as an oculist—spent a dozen years or so in Paris—then determined to widen his scope, to take up a larger field. I suppose it was in '72 he first attended me in Washington—he had been there then several years. He was of Southern education and proclivities—a free, generous, broad fellow, grand in those things which measure largest for a man." W. dwelt upon surgeons and doctors in general. I had spoken of two classes—the professional and the scientific. W. said, "I agree that the scientific is the best—the only in true sense—but whether I have been fortunate in my men or the class is itself big, I don't know—but I can say those I have known, approached, affiliated with, have been men of superior stamp. The young surgeons of the army—such a power!—and so philosophic, too!—with minds so open and free—with hands fit for any emergency! They would not resent advice, even from me. They would be apt to say—well, that is new, and it will not hurt to try. I think of one case—I probably have told it you before—a young fellow down with a bad case of diptheria—we all liked him—his case very serious; critical, too. I suggested one day a copious mixture of chloroform and sweet oil—to form a plaster, and this to be set close on the swollen neck. I remember the young surgeon who had him in charge (I can see the surgeon's face now—remember it well—though his name is forgotten), he looked at me, seemed to think it over—finally said, 'I never heard of that before—but it can do no harm, if it does no good—and has the sound of being radical, to say the least,' so it was tried—and saved the fellow's life." Very specifically described the treatment: "It has its danger to the skin—will create severe blisters—but is drastic, the necessity of critical decision." I said, "Yes, like Bucke's treatment that Sunday in '88 when we thought you would die." He smiled, "Yes, that was radical, too!"—adding—"I have heard! I have heard!"

Looked at copies of Harper's Weekly and [Harper's] Young People I had with me. So attracted to Harper's that he said, "For certain reasons, I want to keep this copy." I said, "You are welcome," and to his offer to pay—refused—saying, "You have just given me a picture: suppose I offered to pay for it?" He laughed. "Your logic is severe, but I would prefer to pay," and when he saw I would not touch the coin—laughed, "My father used to say to me in his funny way, 'Always pay your small debts, whatever you do with your large!" Then of the papers themselves: "They seem to be going higher and higher—they acknowledge no end!" Dissenting to Linton's fear that engraving was retrograde: "I think it has never been as fine as just today." Enjoyed process engravings of some of Gibson's delicate work—but mainly Baude's engraving of Danty's picture "The Winner of the Prize." "It is a marvellous piece of work." Another page struck him—a "Street Scene in Paris—The Liquorice-Water Seller," drawn by Jean Geoffroy. "I like the daring of the man—by that I mean his lights—how he has dared to set them in." Regarded it long. "It is the best yet. It is striking, the amount of good story, put together in such a sheet." He thought the Weekly "answered some of our necessities," the other—"profoundly affects us"; the first was "to have," the last, "to look at."

Thursday, August 14, 1890

5:40 P.M. W. just finishing a postal to Kennedy and gettng ready to go out.

Day rather warmer. Spoke of his fortunate condition—the best summer he had known for several years.

Thought "Boston is having a gay time nowadays, with the soldiers, the President—the great music and shows."

Spoke of copy of big book ordered by McKay. "They go—slowly: in time will all be gone: but it is a job for a patient man!"

What could Baxter do with Hartmann? "I am at a loss—nothing, probably: will probably return his manuscript. It would do no good to destroy the manuscript—Hartmann would only make another, perhaps worse."

Showed him my column in Conservator about Newman and O'Reilly. Learning I could not leave it with him, he read it all, quite deliberately, saying at the end: "It is quite good—very strong and good. But O'Reilly was no Catholic!—it was not in him. I know he was in the formal sense—it was the thing to be, he was born to it—was in fact a Catholic as he was a Democrat, for reasons that did not run to the deep."

He has labelled the calamus sugars as "Home-made," and as from Kennedy, and stands them on the table.

The last few days has worn his black hat when out of the doors. Met him at the Post Office the other night, alone, on pavement, so hatted—Warren inside for letters.

Expects a piece in Saturday's Critic.

Friday, August 15, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. getting ready to go out. In his own room. We talked 20 minutes or so. Looked in fine trim and said he felt so.

Lent part of Kennedy's letter yesterday—about O'Reilly and the G.A.R.—to Morning News—young Patterson—and it appeared duly. W. today sending away a number of copies. Has also been sending out sheets of "An Old Man's Rejoinder," to appear in Critic tomorrow—and struck off by the Critic folks for him.

W. said that in the writing in the Post the other day, "a person named Woodberry," etc., he "hardly thought Woodberry was of such position—I have since found out that he is essayist, professor, poet, writer—quite an authority." I laughed and put in, "You don't think him such an authority!" at which he laughed—"I think him a great liar: if he says that Emerson told him such a thing, he lied outright: that I know." He spoke of Sunday's Press, that it spelled Woodberry's name with bury, "which was wrong: I looked it up." I said, "The worst liar, though, is the liar who is constitutionally a liar—who can't help but lie." W. assented, "That is true—I have had my experience of them." I hinted, "Hartmann, for example"—he adding and assenting—"Yes, Hartmann, and then Jim Scovel—even Conway—there's that in them presses them forward to lie. It is one of the sorrows of literature in our time—the tendency to create excitement, interest at whatever, whosever, expense, sacrifice. However they start out, the incentive of the message, the fear things may not make a hit, the public may not listen, the publisher not bite—urges, urges, the lie: and there it is! Oh! it is the danger of all us fellows who play with pens: we must all have a care—it is an easy trap to fall into." And further: "As you say, it is the unconscious lying that is the most dangerous—and unconscious lying is possible any way we turn. This story of Woodberry's, however, is an old one—I have had it from many quarters, in many dresses, and he has got it in some indirect way. Woodberry got it from an original liar: there are two sorts of liars—original liars"—I laughingly said, "and reflected liars." W. very merrily: "I intended to say that, though I hadn't the word—yes, reflected liars—as the moon with its reflected light. My phrases would have been, original liars and intending liars—which is not so good." He felt he "could not help" for Woodberry's reputation, anyway—these things were what they were, however grown to.

Gave me a copy of Post to give to Morris.

Says Warren has been "persuading" him to take a trip, "as all take trips these summer days," but he is "disinclined" because the signs of strength he hopes for are not yet evident. If he went anywhere, thought he would go to New York—and besides "should have gone in the cooler days."

Gave me whole package of papers and postals for J. W. Wallace, England, to mail.

Examined Magazine of Art—September—I had with me—Munkácsy's picture "Milton Dictating 'Paradise Lost' to His Daughters." Was much "possessed by the picture itself—the engraving is certainly of the purest order—exquisite." Yet: "The fabulous fablers! The point is, it is not true: I don't suppose Milton ever did anything of the kind. It is one of the stories, grown out of long assertion—not a word of truth in it, yet necessary to be asserted again and again—like the 'give-em-some-more-shot, Captain Bragg!' and the like." Also much charmed by a picture of Orchidaon—asked me about "process" engraving.

I found Warren at the door, greasing the wheels of the chair. While we stood there talking W. came down, his coat over his arm, his sleeves rolled up. Saw what was doing—leaned up against the door sill. "There's no hurry," he said—still, soon was tired, and so sat down on the step, in the position of a small boy, eyeing us curiously and remarking several things. He thought the chair had been "a great blessing and success" and exclaimed, "Oh, if only our joints could be oiled again into smooth running order!"

I had had discussion with Warren on the point of W.'s weight, I contending for loss, Warren that he probably still weighed 195 pounds. Said he would try sometime to put him on a scale, chair and all.

Saturday, August 16, 1890

4:30 P.M. W. not yet out, nor arranging to go, but had eaten a hearty meal and was in good trim. He said, "I have eaten copiously of beans, tomatoes, potatoes, rice pudding—too copiously, probably. I often think I eat too much, anyhow. My appetite keeps at a high grade, probably three-quarters of the time, for about one-quarter it flunks." He thought "a good appetite is a good sign, but a great one may have its evil."

Told him I had read "An Old Man's Rejoinder" in Critic on my way over. We at once entered into discussion of the piece. He asked me if it was "clear-sailing," and "if clear, easy?" When I asked, "I wonder how Symonds will take it?" he responded, "I wonder! How does it seem to you?" I felt that if I did not know W.'s opinion by other means, this perhaps getting mixed with the printed matter, I should think he and Symonds were good friends and that W. was saying in as gentle a way as he could that Symonds had not hit the nail on the head—had even missed badly. W. remarked: "It is not so much negative as not affirmative—it has its reserve." But he said afterwards, "I am anxious about what you have told me. Perhaps your feeling is a little mixed with what you know of my criticism from the talks here." But he pulled himself instantly and continued, "I cannot say I think that—quite the contrary—I know your habits are all cautious, judicial: that you are careful not to go astray—are not tinged by outside influences." As to Symonds' extreme placidity of statement—"so differentiated from his notes"—W. said, "The high fellows in art, like Symonds, Gilder, would justify that in theories their own." I reminded him of his one-time remark, discussing Greek life, that "one of its features was that when they were moved to cry they cried like hell, and when to laugh, laughed like hell." He now laughed heartily enough. "Did I say that? It would be my argument still. With me it would be the Quaker spirit—the spirit which says, obey the spirit—speak when moved to, what. And this may account for my article; having these things in me, they were bound to come out." He asked, "Didn't the opening sentence from Symonds impress you? It has a grand sound—'the kingdom of the father has passed; the kingdom of the son is passing; the kingdom of the spirit begins.' Oh! that is profoundly moving! Symonds has it in him to say such things. The severest thing I could say of the book would be, that it is chestnutty—they open no new field—no fresh vista." Of the sentence—"for I have been and am rejected of all the great magazines"—he felt it was "in all respects true, however unpalatable." Gave me one of the Critic slips, and promised on my urging to send a copy to Burroughs: "I shall send him the Woodberry piece, too—though I don't know how he will take that." His own Critic not yet come. I asked if he thought Sanborn would object to his quoting piratically what he did (as from letter to me). "No—I guess not: I am sure he will understand. Besides he has said just such things to me direct. I can easily understand his position, however. He feels under some obligation, if for no more than for neighborliness." Did he really think Edward Emerson had any slight scrap written by [R. W.] Emerson derogatory to W.? "No, I do not, I think you are right. If he had had it he would have produced it." So that, when I said, "I still think of writing to him," W. put in with a laugh—"Remember my prophecy, then: you won't bring down the game. He will have nothing to say."

Again—"What we need in art, in literature, are more fellows like O'Reilly—spontaneity innate—the absolute frank contact with life on all its sides." He said Burroughs had never written him about Kennedy's piece, "though I heard emphatically enough from Bucke."

Sunday, August 17, 1890

9:45 A.M. W. In his room, reading paper. Had just finished breakfast. Fanning himself. Day started extremely hot.

Charged me not to forget his love for all those who wished to have it. I said, "I take that charge to be perpetual." To which—"Yes, I mean it so."

Reverts to "An Old Man's Rejoinder," to say, "I more and more feel how little mere art could have done for me—how much something else—a something not to be enclosed in words. And that is a feature of 'Leaves of Grass' even some of our friends do not understand."

Warren tells me I was right about W.'s weight: it has fallen to 175 pounds, Warren having weighed him yesterday. W. has said nothing to me about it. Warren admits he can notice a difference in the body, that now he can span W.'s thigh with two hands—yet a few months ago could not nearly accomplish it—also speaks of some falling away of stomach.

Monday, August 18, 1890

5:15 P.M. Talked with W. till after six—W. in a most animated way. Yet he did not appear to me over-well. He spoke of one of his visitors today—Prof. Cattell, of the University. There had been several—his sister and niece among them. I thought they had somewhat wearied him. Said he was "rather favorably impressed with Cattell—he seems to be a man of intelligence. He said he was professor of metaphysics, or something of the sort, out there. I asked him a question—Oh! I asked him a number of questions, I suppose, among them this: if Hegel still held his high place among metaphysicians? He said that in America and in England he thought he did, but that in Germany he had been superseded. This was intensely interesting to me, arousing the wonder what and who had superseded him. I have never been able to tell how Hegel and Kant, for instance, are differentiated." I told him we expected Prof. Harris to speak on Hegel at our first fall club meeting (November). He said, "If you can get a word with Harris, ask him (I would if I could be there) what he would define as the difference between the two men—between Hegel, Kant." As to Harris' vocabulary—"He will plead that the themes impose it—that for what he is saying, other words would not fit. I have asked him myself—what's it all about?—what are you all after? And once, years ago, he sent me a lot of matter, which I picked up from time to time and tried to read, but it would not do—I could not touch bottom, if bottom there was. I have held Hegel the top of the heap so far because of his acceptivity: it seems to me he fit better than any other to America, to its democracy, its aspiration, its future. And that was a big key for a big door. I know Harris. Met him in St. Louis, years ago. And he was very kind, gentle to me. I saw him again after he went to Concord. He took Hawthorne's house there—whether buying or renting—which—I do not know. He showed me things—though I did not dismount, not feeling well. In one portion of the grounds is the little building for the School of Philosophy, where the big-wigs in that line pow-wow together. I must say for myself, I never have been able to cipher much out of the metaphysical wrangles. They no doubt have their place, only I can't specify it."

Alexander Smith, in "Dreamthorp," says, "Emerson's writing has a cold, cheerless glitter, like the new furniture in a warehouse, which will come of use by and by." W. read this in a paper—pushed it aside—exclaiming—"Well that is one view, only one!" And would say no more of it.

In speaking at Ethical Society meeting yesterday I had said, on the subject of intellectual integrity, [the subject being] discussed, that the bane of our current average literature was in its lapse from such honor—that it forgot its debt to man, to great ends, in love for verbal dress, etc., and sustained that excess of intellect had made Napoleon, excess of feeling emotional piety, the noble mien of both Buddha, Jesus, Socrates among ancient and Carlyle, Ruskin, Emerson and Whitman among modern teachers. After the meeting a man accosted me and said he had it in his mind to take me up on Whitman, but deferred till he got me in a corner, as now—wishing to say that he had intended to expose W. in some one of the papers for his treatment of a young poet (whom he did not name) who went to Camden for an interview. I laughed somewhat and explained I had no doubt W. had treated the man kindly and justly, even if he had refused to talk, etc. W. took the matter more seriously than I thought he would. "I make every effort to do justice to everyone who comes," he said. "If I go downstairs to see them, or see them in the room, I am sure that in 99 cases out of 100 I am kind, courteous. It is true I do not always consent to hear all that people may want to say—I could not: but when they come—young men, girls, whoever, I give the best welcome I can. There's one thing about me, however, which I don't think my best friends know—not you, not Bucke: inherently I have a bad temper—I have always known it—but"—raising his arm and clenching his fist—"I am just as sure that I have nearly perfect control of it—that it never runs away with me—that I am its master, not it mine. My dear mother knew it well—warned me of it, counselled me. And it was not without effect. Yet if that visitor had been a poet," he said laughingly, "I have no doubt he wanted to argue, and I would not argue with him—that is generally the condition." I said I had never seen W. treat anyone harshly but had seen him go within doors and close himself in, etc. To which he laughed: "Yes—I see—I have no doubt I did that." And again—"But probably the story is a lie—our planet seems now in the orbit of lies. And they say of the meteoric showers, sometimes we fall within their orbit and they are copious, so with these liars, who copiously shower us from day to day."

While we sat talking Mrs. Davis came in with a couple of letters. He seemed pleased with the superscription of one, saying to me after regarding it fixedly, "It is from Symonds," and after he had opened it: "A long letter, too—and in the same plain hand—if not a plainer!" And after a pause, with a quiet smile, "He calls me master—opens the letter 'My dear Master'"—and then went on to read it. He started off with an acknowledgment of a postal, and regret that he had not sent thanks for "Whitman's letter" before etc., forgetting that he had. At one place W. stumbled in the reading, at the last; downbreaking—"Oh! It is Latin! 'As Horace says,' but all worse than nothing to me, for I can't tell a word of it." And further on Symonds spoke of some misquotation of his from "Specimen Days," or quotation in "Democratic Art" from early edition changed in later—in "The Future of Poetry"—and said that as the edition of essays now out was small, less than a thousand, in the new one contemplated he would set the quote right, if not recast the whole drift of the essay. W. stopped here curiously, took off his glasses, and looked at me. "Don't that sound curious to you?—change the whole drift of the essay? and that reminds me"—and he laid the letter down, to go into the new subject. Just then Mrs. Davis came into the room to say that the census-taker was downstairs and wished to talk with him a minute. W. directed him sent up, and after he had come, entered into quite a streak of questions and comments as to census in general. The stranger said he had come to get more specific information about W.'s paralysis. W. said he was "perfectly willing to tell all" he knew about it, yet had no idea that they wanted much more than he had given. "There were so many foolish and stupid objections made to the census, we determined to tell all that was asked, to show we could appreciate its value." Asked to see the letter from Washington, asking the further facts. Said: "I was paralyzed in February, '72, first—and was about to recover from it, when domestic troubles, very sad and serious to me, set me back, so that I never fully got on my feet again. Walk? Bless you, I can't walk from where I am to you without assistance, cannot stand without leaning against something. It is paralysis—at the time—the immediate trouble—was called left hemiplegia. It affected all this left side—though in about four days I recovered the use of the left arm, though never in great strength. My legs are completely gone—but the paralysis hardly touched my speech, and, as far as I know, did not affect the brain. I will write all this down definitely if you wish it, though I think you will understand enough to satisfy them." Asked then about methods, how they went to work, the questions asked, etc. "For instance, that about mortgages. How many correct answers out of a hundred do you suppose you got? Would anybody confess the extent to which their house was mortgaged? Not that I am opposed to it—on the contrary, I would want it known—want mortgage, mortgage, mortgage posted everywhere, to show how Americans grow, pretend, over-live, luxuriate on nothing. Though I don't know that the sin is American alone—it is human nature, probably, a parade of possession which is detrimental to the whole race." Then he suddenly asked, "How large would you say was the proportion of honest answers?" The visitor was sure there were not more than a dozen who failed him out of the 400 and more houses he visited. W. asked, "Do you say that?" And to the assent—"Good! That is the best report yet." Finally, the man appearing to get off into garrulity, W. picked up Symonds' letter, at which the other excused himself and went out. W. then said, "I was about to say—as the man came in—that Symonds' hint that he may change the drift of his essay reminded me of something Cattell said. Cattell said that Symonds was not a rich man—that he had something—but not much—had mainly to depend upon his literary handlings for a living. This was new to me—throws some light—even on the books there," pointing to the red books at his feet. "I asked Cattell, are you sure of that? and he said—substantially—yes, I do not guess it. I know it."

Then W. started to read the letter again, and suddenly his face paled in the strangest way and he laid the letter down and said, "I talked with him too long: it has tired me out." I stayed till he had recovered himself somewhat—told him he could speak of it again—then left.

He was most cordial in all his ways, but overworked. Said that some days "the visitors fairly swarm."

He spoke while I was there of his postal to Wallace in England the other day. "I am anxious about Johnston! He went away from here, expecting to stop with my friends—the Romes—to see them—in Brooklyn—then set a time distinctly, due at Doctor's—but he (Johnston) not only has not been there, but has not written a word explaining it. I have not heard of him since his departure. I shall not feel easy till I have heard from him or about him. When he was here he made his headquarters at the West Jersey Hotel. Wallace has been very kind to me— and I sent him by Johnston one of the last Gutekunst photos. Warren was with Johnston the last day—went with him to the Haddonfield station, when he took the train for New York. He was to have sailed for Europe from Quebec, I think. I have no idea what has happened, if anything."

Gave me mail to take to Post Office—one bundle of papers for his brother Tom—letters for Bucke, Kennedy, T.J. Whitman—addresses of all fearfully blotted, yet readable.

Tuesday, August 19, 1890

4:45 P.M. W. eating his dinner. Weather warm. Was fanning himself as he ate. Enjoyed the peaches.

"A letter is just here from Bucke," he said. "But there's no news. Ingram is there yet."

He was still anxious for Johnston, no word having come.

I spoke of certain Catholic objections to my article on O'Reilly and he laughingly said, "They see only the other fellows' kinks—they have to exist: you must not mind them."

Had written some today on the "Annex."

Asked after the news, etc. I had no time to stay. Found copy of the Open Court, containing a paper by Conway on Carlyle's religion, sent last year by Kennedy and marked to be "returned without fail." I called W.'s attention to it and he smiled and joked about "the hide-and-seek" of his room. "It is not too late even now to return it," he remarked.

The wind had blown one of the pictures from the mantel and shattered the glass. I picked it up. W. said he had heard it fall, he did not know when, but one night while he was in bed.

Wednesday, August 20, 1890

4:50 P.M. Found W. in his room, busily engaged with Mr. and Mrs. Ingram, just on their way to Telford from the trip to Bucke's and elsewhere north. Ingram was giving an account of his travels, and W. was questioning him in his quiet but keen way. W. introduced me to the wife, whom I had never met before. He always gives our name as if it was "trouble." W. got all he could about Bucke—the condition of things there. Ingram described the trip—covering six weeks. Had been with Johnston of N.Y. W. particularly interested in the week Ingram spent in the Shaker settlement. Inquired of their industries—very specifically—"What do they cultivate on their land?" And—"Are they a good-looking people—do they attract you?" Turned to me at one point—"Oh! you ought by all means to go up to Bucke in the fall, Horace. After you have been there—have taken the jaunt—you will know what would have been missed." And again, in an amused tone, "You must see everything there—particularly the hog-pen; it is a great feature: there are several hundred fat fellows kept there. I quickly made friends with them." He responded to Ingram's description of the flower beds with the exclamation, "They must set out a grand scene! Bucke often writes of them." Much amused by Ingram's remark that "there are 900 lunies there, but you wouldn't know there was one!" W. turning to me and ejaculating, "That's just it!" And again, "You must go there, mix with everything—the land, the lunatics, the goodness—they are all necessary parts of the trip." Farther along, when Ingram attempted a picture of Bucke's methods (all methods of freedom), W. put in with a vivid touch: "Yes, I saw it when I was there. A poor devil would be brought in, his arms pinioned, strapped behind him. Doctor would sit there and ask, so it is decided for him to stay with us a while? And then he would make some motion to a couple of attendants—oh! do it with far greater gravity than I am doing it now—indicating that the man should be freed. And at this the friends of the man would throw up their hands—Release him? Release him?—no—no: why, he will hurt you, hurt us, hurt everybody"—W. gesticulated in ludicrous mimicry. "But Doctor would motion to have his way and the poor dazed creature was free. Doctor's whole treatment seemed to be in that—to treat him not as exceptional, but as one of the rest—familiarly—easily. Would ask him, for instance, 'Do you wish for something to eat?' or such questions. It is a revelation to people who only know the harsher methods of treating lunacy." And so on. Ingram spoke of the difficulty he had in getting his wife to take the trip. She now said, "I am ever so glad I went," and W. acquiesced. "Yes—you must be: these trips help to teach us that there's a big world outside of each fellow's little personal world which he must not forget." W. spoke of Johnston (the English doctor) and repeated his "anxiety"—taking up his note-book to give Ingram his [illeg.] Lancashire address. "He may be—probably is—at home there now: but I shall not be satisfied till I hear he is."

Ingram had passed through the valley of yesterday's cyclone out in Pennsylvania and W. inquired carefully after that.

After the two visitors were gone, I reminded W. that I had after all been right about Woodbury—that Woodberry was not the man he was after. I had told him this the day he wrote of the book for the Post but he thought he was right then.

He now said, "I am glad I know that—to stand corrected. I don't know but it's important to know, also." I said, "Woodberry deserves to be acquitted anyhow," and he smilingly allowed it. Gave me envelope to mail to Poet-Lore. "It is something in reply to Jonathan Trumbull," he said. "At least, something on his subject, whether a reply or not." Did not know address exactly, and curiously marked it for "Lippincott's, publisher Philadelphia." Knowing exact address, I put it on at the Post Office.

I left Harper's Weekly with him. Its picture of the Cardinal excited his "wonder" as he said, "for its evident beauty."

An echo of the dinner is in his remark: "What wouldn't we give for Ingersoll's speech!" And when I put in—"It was the great feature"—he emphasized, "The feature! His speech was the dinner—the whole thing!"

Thursday, August 21, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. had just finished dinner. Day very warm. Sat by window and fanned himself. Complains of nothing except bladder trouble—says he cannot feel relief there.

I told him I had set address to Poet-Lore letter right, and he thanked me, saying he thought it was Lippincott's. As to the piece he sent them, "It is very small—it don't amount to much. I only wanted to get myself right on a point about Shakespeare which he did not seem to understand. They may even not be willing to use it." But when I laughed as to that, he laughed too, knowing it was more their care than his to print it.

Had been sending books to Logan Smith and Edward Carpenter. He calls "bookselling" his principal present occupation.

Clifford said in note to me: "What is this new Emerson of Woodbury? Tells of Walt going to dine in N.Y. with E.—W. without his coat. How many other hypocritic garbs he has left off!"

W. laughed exceedingly over this. "I don't know about that!" As to the last clause—"But the thing ought to be true for the sake of that wit!"

Donaldson over to see W. today.

Friday, August 22, 1890

4:40 P.M. W. had just finished his dinner, and talked well during the 20 minutes of my stay. "Yes," he said to my inquiries, "I woke well this morning—pass along reasonably well. There's that in the weft of me smoothes off the pain of this solitariness I am condemned to. Yes, the summer has been a severe one—but the profuse sweatingness, so to call it, has been in my case favorable."

Told him of a discussion as to the "patriotism" of "Leaves of Grass." I had concluded that it was more than patriotic in that it was human—taught solidarity. W. said, "'Leaves of Grass' has its patriotism too, but patriotism of the common kind is a narrow principle at the best—a sort of boost me and I'll boost you; take care of me, I'll take care of you; our interests, our purses, to hell with the rest of the world! 'Leaves of Grass' has nothing to give to that principle—nothing. I think patriotism—our patriotism—has never been better defined than by Paine—he hit it off in several places. For instance, where he says—the world is my country, to do good is my religion. That is the whole gospel of politics, life. Then he had another saying too, which I cannot recall now." And he quoted, "For Justice, all places temples, all seasons summer"—and asked—"That was Paine, too, wasn't it? Or was it Shakespeare? I am not clear. However, 'Leaves of Grass' includes all this, is based on no less than the world, man in ensemble—not his parts, not special races, religions." And he asked very specifically in his usual way, "What did the others say to you especially? What could they say?"

Called my attention to brief editorial in the Boston Herald. "It is about the last piece—the Critic piece: I guess is something Baxter has taken it on hiimself to say." As to Poet-Lore—"I have not heard from them yet. Oh! it was not much—a mere word or two—a few words. Trumbull failed to nail me at the most significant point in my judgment of Shakespeare, and I wished to say so. I had no other motive."

Every once in a while he reached over, put his fingers into the box of calamus sugar-plums, took one and put it in his mouth. When Ingram was about to go yesterday, he gave him some.

Attracted to this in Liberty, from Tucker:

One of the world's greatest hearts is gone in the death of John Boyle O'Reilly. He had the stuff in him, too, for one of the world's greatest heroes. And that is what he would have been if Success and Superstition had not had their fatal grip upon him. He always commanded my admiration, but I could never thoroughly understand his character and shall not attempt to judge it. The chief lesson of his life to me is the disastrous effect of religion upon one who by nature and training was unable to cast it off and yet was conscious that it terribly impeded him in his efforts to further that cause which every drop of blood in his veins was burning to serve,—the cause of human liberty.

"No, that is a mistake—I am not worried at all about Boyle's Catholicism—it was not a vital, so much as a technical thing with him—one of the technicalities. Along with the bottom frankness, candor, spontaneity of the man—his saving special, grander forces—was a Jesuitism, too—a mild conservatism. Then it is impossible to know him except as shown in the background of his penal servitude—imprisonment—the horrible cruelty of that year's injustice—the manner of his treatment—the incident, for one, of his respectful protest to the commandant, who slapped him passionately in the mouth forthwith." W. indicated with the back of his hand. "Out of that blossomed in Boyle his hate of tyranny in all its forms—perhaps exaggerated hate, if such a thing can be, which I doubt—hate of overbearingness, ill treatment, hate of formal superiority, sympathy for the masses. Oh! it was a noble composition! That picture in Harper's Weekly is a caricature. To get Boyle, is to take our Harry downstairs, his round, strong, often flashing eye—mellow him, broaden him—and you have your man. Boyle had no gimlet, wall-piercing eye. He was a fine sample of mature youth—that is the way he always impressed me. That vivid flash of experience—the mouth-slap—resentment—lights the whole pathway: it made him forever free—a friend of freedom."

W. said again, "The people who debate whether the Cardinal—a Catholic—should be buried at Westminster seem to forget all about origins, formations—how many Catholics already repose there."

Saturday, August 23, 1890

5:00 P.M. W. later with dinner than usual, in the midst of it when I came into his room. But he was in great good humor, and talked with me, as he ate, for half an hour, with more than common vehemence.

He always questions me about any packages I may have, or papers. Today I had Scribner's July and August numbers—both with something in from Grace Ellery Channing, of whom he spoke in a fine affectionate way. And asking me about Critic, and having me tell him, "It's a dry enough number," he seemed well satisfied—"Very like"—saying this with a smile. But I mentioned Whittier's poem therein, for Mrs. John A. Logan, which caused him to say, "I like both Tennyson and Whittier these days—what they write. It is very fine—and sweet—exquisitely tender, sweet."

On table a card photo of a young military man, marked on reverse by W. as having been sent him in 1880 by one Richardson, Citadel Quebec. Seeing me pick it up inquisitively, he remarked: "It was a young fellow I met up there at the time I paid my visit to Bucke—we favored each other and he sent me that after I had got home. I was in Quebec—I think Bucke had gone somewhere for a day or two—I don't know where or for what. The English soldier, true to his Englishhood, would show me some of his courtesies. When I went to the fortress—oh! it is a great one—I can hardly think Gibraltar can be so imposing, covering such a sheer and magnificent height, such a wall of stone—as I was saying, when I went to the fortress, this young man was given to convey me around, which he did. He was very illiterate, could hardly read or write, but was bright—very. A sergeant, I think. He had gone into the army young, was out of a big family, poor, needing to be helped—had been there about two years. He showed me every kindness, all those sweet graceful generosities of youth." And afterwards W. went on—"I often think, what a vast fund of English reticence is packed up there in Canada. The English character has its reserves—the Irish and French are more possessed of the genial human traits—can have a good time, whatever the nation or individual it treats with. The Englishman broods, muses, reserves himself for a group, a few friends, his family. The French and Irish certainly have the advantage here. And no one can overvalue the importance inhering to this eligibility to comradeship."

Talked of the remarkable old age of literary men of our time—and scientists—Whittier, Tennyson, Emerson, Ruskin, Bryant and others—Darwin. W. said, "I read in a paper here this morning of a group of men, friends, eight of them, living within a stone's throw of each other—whose united years were 700. It is a vast stretch—a vast one. Dr. Bucke assures me there's nothing in the charge that average age decreases—nothing at all. It confirms my own observation. And there is Kossuth, too—living still—nearly 90! I knew Kossuth—talked with him on several occasions. He still lives, as bright intellectually—the same fine noble soul as ever. When I saw him he was a small man, eloquent to a great height—vivacious. Kossuth made a great mistake after his coming here. He had been almost importuned to come here by officials, by Congress, was brought in an American man-of-war. At that time any one of the nations—Germany, Austria, France, Russia—would have killed him—hung him—if they could have got him in their hands. But Kossuth's great mistake after he got here was to make an effort to have America range herself in his cause. We all recognized it at once as deplorable. We could not have done it then, could not do it now, ought never to do it. Yet he went up and down through our states, pleading for it. I am even opposed to Congress petitioning the Czar to investigate Siberia—even that is out of our province. We can never be in a position to arbitrate—enforce our arbitrament—in European contests." This had not affected his love for Kossuth, "but we could not feel it for anything but what it was—a sad mistake." He talked of Kossuth's power of speech. "It was great—but it was not the power we know; it was elegant, strong, full of Southern properties—of the French, Italian—but without that absolute freedom which we look for in oratory at its summit of excellence. For instance, as in Ingersoll. I understand that English speakers all stammer, hesitate, at the start—that they lack abandon. And I doubt if even Castelar and men of his stamp can reach Bob's magnificent ease, suavity." W. threw his right arm out as if to address me. "See Bob in that—absolute mastery from the first word—and not a break: a simple majesty, a divine composure—as if it was a stream flowing along its natural course: breaks, curves, but nothing that lessened its force or grace." And again, "And Bob is so elegant, with all that: his words always fit—they throb, vibrate, inspire—they have a simple beauty, seem the necessary accompaniment of the big royal body and soul—the strong great voice. And the thought has come to me, how could all have been impromptu that night? I do not mean the idea: he must know about me—he knew O'Connor—they were intimate friends: but even with the thought all ready, long ready, how could such words take such tones and work in us all such response? But as you say—using my old story—I suppose the whole secret is that there is no secret—that he is natural—that he is an element, a primal force—working as these must work, for big ends, grand results—and that is all!"

There's a whistling buoy at Kaighn's Point which is often heard over this entire neighborhood. It sent forth its cry today—W. listening intently—then smiling, "It has a sound as if from Ulyssean seas."

Sunday, August 24, 1890

9:45 A.M. In a few minutes to see W., who was still in his room and eating breakfast.

Had been reading Press. Also said had enjoyed copies of Scribner's I left with him yesterday.

W. spoke of death of Hedge—of his advanced age—his long friendship with Dr. Furness. "I am personally greatly indebted to Hedge—have been for 40 years. He was the man opened German literature to me. You have seen this book." Stopped eating—turned in his chair—shoved about several books, etc., on floor—and drew out "Prose Writers of Germany," edition 1848. "It was a great book for me—I shall not forget its influence. It was a necessity, nobly answered." He could never have got at the German writers in the original—so that "this book became indispensable."

W. well—I did not linger.

Monday, August 25, 1890

7:55 P.M. Found W. in his room, light turned on full, reading Scribner's. Had just returned from river. Said, "I think I have had—have—a return of the grip." Had caught cold, staying out too long Saturday evening and on return sitting at front open window. Said it affected his head.

Jim Scovel was in to see W. "a few minutes" yesterday, and the result appears in a mangled and distorted attempt to picture the interview in Times. W. said, "It is enough to know that Jim Scovel wrote it: I do not think any further explanation is needed." But he afterwards continued, "It makes me the utterer of extravaganzas, stupidities, and worse."




Unbounded Admiration for Blaine, But Only Contempt for Harrison and His  

Walt Whitman, who was 71 years old on May 31, was found yesterday sitting at the window of his two-story cottage in Camden, 328 Mickle Street, in a comfortable old arm chair presented him by the son and daughter of Tom Donaldson, of the Smithsonian Institute.

When the good gray poet was asked about his health he cheerily replied: "I feel these sudden changes in the weather, but God be praised I am feeling bright and cheerful, and am blessed with a good appetite and a reasonably good digestion, and what more can an old man ask who, as the Methodists say, is still on 'praying ground and pleading terms.'"

"Every fine day I have my stalwart attendant wheel me out, often to the Federal Street ferry, where, sitting on the long wharf, I enjoy the mellow light of the sinking sun and the pleasant light of the eager crowd hurrying off and on the ferry-boats."

Mr. Whitman was asked what foundation there was for the statement contained in Woodbury's recent "Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson" that the Concord philosopher had described an interview with the old poet at the Astor House in New York, at which Mr. Whitman appeared without any coat. He said: "I think it was Sam Bowles, the father of the present editor of the Springfield Republican, who said when offered an astounding piece of pretended news, 'Thanks, but we employ an able-bodied liar of our own.' I would not for an instant say that Mr. Woodbury was a falsifier, but do say that in that statement he makes with so much verisimilitude that this biographer of the great sage of Concord is conspicuously inexact and the author has been imposed upon.

"To be plain and explicit, which is the thing you newspaper men demand, I never called on Mr. Emerson without a coat, which would certainly have been, at least, seemingly disrespectful to the sweet-tempered and gracious old man. We were always on the best of terms, and I will remember his kindly but earnest invitation to come to his home at Concord, and how I enjoyed every moment of the two days I spent there; how, sitting before a fire of hickory logs in his well-appointed study, surrounded by countless books, he told me many interesting incidents in his life, many of them disclosing his inner life and too sacred to put into cold type." ...

I sent copy of "Camden's Compliment" to Buxton Forman today. W. "pleased" and remarked—"I suppose he has all my books."

I have not found him in months past reading by the drop lamp. He seems to prefer the jet to the west end of the room.

W. asked me—anent the Wanamaker interview in papers yesterday—"And what has he been saying of Tolstoi?" And when I answered, "That the book is not a fit one for boys and girls to read," he retorted—"And now they ought to read it!"

Tuesday, August 26, 1890

4:40 P.M. I sat with W. for half an hour. He finished his dinner while I stayed, but talked freely, both before and after Warren had gone off with the tray.

Feels "relieved" he says, from having had the cable from Wallace acquainting him with "Johnston's safety." Has so written Wallace.

Expressed some curiosity about just published volume from Conway on Hawthorne. "I read a notice of it in one of the papers today." Had also read New York Herald reported interview with Zola on Tolstoi "from beginning to end."

This reminded him of a sheet he picked up from the table. "I have started here a list of a few of the books I have here about me—say a dozen or 20 of them—my entourage. You may want to mention them in your article."

He laughed over statement now running about over papers—that Swinburne's last poem (in some way touching Russia: I have not seen it) had "destroyed his prospects for the laureateship.""I do not think it needed much to destroy that chance—in fact, I don't think the Queen, Prince of Wales—anybody having any power there—ever gave him even a distant chance." And as to the notion he had seen broached, that the U.S. should pension literary and scientific men—"I would say to that—to use perhaps a severe word—it is despicable. I don't even know that the word is too severe, especially if we consider (as we might have considered, speaking of Swinburne)—that England itself has now probably come to the time to drop her laureateship and all that—probably will drop it after Tennyson."

Spoke of the Times "farrago or worse" yesterday. "I suppose it may be said nine-tenths of that is simply and entirely Jim Scovel—one tenth not mine, but some hodge-podge, perhaps suggested by things I said. All my talk was low key—all of it: for instance, take that passage he gives about Blaine. I said only that Blaine's recent actions had placed him in better light than ever before in my mind—or something of that tone—and out of such moderation he makes all this extravagance." But he added, "I suppose it is essentially harmless, anyhow. Hartmann's sin was in his making me voluminous in flings at the literary fellows—even by name, with a distant unrecognizable connection in fact, if at all."

Long article in Press yesterday, "Russia and the United States." W. talked of it with some fullness. "Do you think it was written by Smith?" he asked, moved by something I said. "That did not occur to me. But I liked the piece—liked it because it rebelled against the English sources of information about Russia, which are the only ones we know." And after some seconds of quiet, "Do you know Horace, it is a curious thing: all the men we send to Russia soon grow into and come away by and by with the same notions? See Cash [Cassius] Clay"—(always pronounces it so)—"yes, he is living yet. He sent me the first volume of his autobiography—you have seen it downstairs—sent a letter along with it, too. I have read the book nearly through: it is scrappy, but interesting—goes over ground I have travelled and know well. Clay has vehement defense for Russia." And he still continued—"Have you ever met any Nihilists? I have met a number of them—bright, brilliant fellows—women sometimes. Mrs. Gilchrist had many inclinations that way. When she was here I met several in her house in Philadelphia. One of them a naval officer—handsome, intellectual, brave—that way disposed, despite his position. Then there was a couple—man and wife: she is clear to me to this day, in all her vivacity, energy, absorption."

Discussed then German and French reserve physical force in war. "I can see how it should be that the German military boards have a scientific tinge, if not more. And that must have had its effect in the last war with France. When the war broke out, there were some of us in Washington—O'Connor, Burroughs (I think), others—all vehemently and at once on the side of the German: looked for every sign of news to show German progress, victory. But when the German army, after Sedan, got into France, moved towards Paris—then we all as suddenly changed—our sympathies turned to France—it was a curious revolution." He thought this had come, "even if unconsciously," from the new color given to French affairs by Republican ascendancy. Then he took Smith up specifically as "not fully just" to the English feeling in our struggle, which "was not all hostile.""Things were badly against us then in Europe—Napoleon in particular hated us—made no secret of his attitude—damn him!" I laughed and exclaimed, "What use?—Germany damned him!" To which he replied, "True, he is already damned, in history and conscience: no need for me to add anything." Then pursued his reflections: "But it has seemed to me very few realize, will admit, the debt we owe to Albert and Victoria for that time—there seems to be very little recognition anyhow of the stand they took—for it was heroic. But for it, even England might have been actively arrayed against us. All the Tories, aristocrats, snobs, cockneys, were against us then—the group of our friends was very small—a few—Bright, I think Cobden, John Stuart Mill, Frederick Harrison, and so on—a minor group. You know, Dudley was there then—I think he did his duty there well in those difficulties—and they were many and sharp—it is the most interesting phase of his talk nowadays—away from his protectionism—damn it!—this gives him a tinge of heroics. This English complication I shall never forget—it has not had justice done it." Then W. turned to another aspect. "I know that what Russia did is open to the construction that it was done out of self-interest—that her interests imposed it—which has its measure of truth, too. I remember vividly several talks with Boyle O'Reilly on this subject, and how wonderfully we agreed in all I have been saying."

The next drift was to an entire new quarter. His facile temper today struck me forcibly. Now he said, "Warrie was down to Atlantic City on Sunday—came up yesterday morning. The accounts he gave me of things he saw there moved me more than you would suppose. Perhaps I took it all too seriously. The new thought—the fear, I was going to say—has vexed, followed me since. The rush, din, delirium, passion of life there—the visitors—all of them with lots of money—the whole bent of things towards fun—simply fun—the American idea of having a good time. Warrie described the shore, bathers, not hundreds of them, but thousands—perhaps ten thousand—and the costly liquors drank, clothes worn, food eaten—the whole thing impressing me as pandemonium—a horrible medley—with conceptions of life rather vulgar than true or profound. But there was more than cloud, too—light, as well as shadow: for instance, Warrie said that with all the thousands—the passion of fun—the freedom—there seemed no drunkenness. And there was a prevalence—a general prevalence—of suavity, good humor—everybody prepared to think, say, do, the best-natured thing. I confess when he told me this many of my first impressions were sent flying or at least thrown into doubt. Perhaps here was a new solvent—the very good nature itself the major stroke for freedom, progress—its guarantee. I have sometimes thought, put this nature into general play; as here on this special field—and by and by—perhaps not long—we would have French Revolutions here." To him, the serious phase in all this was "the frivolity—the shallow impress put upon character, personality"—that, in fact—"the American ideal of pleasure, joy, seems set so low."

Happening to make some allusion to Denver—a subject that always inspires him—W. asked me, "Did I ever speak to you of Mrs. Farnum? She was a power here years ago—was matron or what-not at Sing-Sing. She told me it was much the same in California. You put a blanket on the ground—another about you: can then sleep with impunity. She said a week's experience of that sort did not hurt her—and she was not a powerful woman, though not a frail one either. I have always considered her one of our big women—a woman of force, intellect—and she was finally displaced: this very power the cause. She was too radical for the Board of Managers—much as Bob would be too radical—that is to say, would not believe in Presbyterianism. The chaplain there was against her. She was a woman of many commissions—sent here and there, to that duty, to this, because full of the ability that could do any task justice."

I urged that he put the Post paragraphs on Ingersoll in book. "Do you think I should? I am not averse. Do you think them important enough?"

Said Frank Williams had been in today. "For a few minutes—en route to Atlantic City."

W. thought his mail came to him "well in hand"—that little estrayed. "They may not come direct here—I find some of them taking curious voyages: but finally they land at our doors, even if from the Dead Letter Office."

Wednesday, August 27, 1890

5:10 P.M. Had a happy half-hour's talk with W., he being in very best humor.

Morris has a notice of Woodbury's book in Bulletin in which he prints entire W.'s Post paragraph. W. examined the paper with some relish, exclaiming of Woodbury, "The lying whelp! I hope a copy of the paper in some way gets to him." Adding, "He probably had some slight foundation for his book: a few pages, perhaps, which, first, he attempted to enlarge to an article, then to a book. I have no doubt something of that sort is involved with the story. One of the curious features is, that it is very interesting—that a book written au fait—full of lies, glamour, has a taking quality which operates everywhere—where a book detailing the truth might be dull enough—nobody read it. But the whole thing is very fishy—Emerson himself was little apt to talk to a stranger. He was not given to talking 'views' even to his friends—certainly not making confidences." As to what Morris wrote about a life of Emerson, W. had to say, "There can be no life—there is no eventfulness to portray—all that is necessary has appeared in the articles—his diary. And we have the printed essays themselves—nothing finer in all history. The wonder is, that Emerson—so delicate—so simple—so fine—should have been heard at all. The significant things are quickly told—that he lived at all—that he worked, wrote—and the world listened. And I always feel of Emerson as I do of Christianity: the acceptance of Christianity was not a credit to Jesus, but to the human race, that it could see, and seeing, welcome; as now with Emerson, the tribute, testimony, not to him but to the modern man, that he can compass so much. I have always felt this of Christianity—from the very start: here it gets all its significance."

Further, informed me he had had a note from Jim Scovel "last night or this morning"—explaining—"Jim said he had been dining or something or other with four or five literary fellows and (which is probably another lie) that they had agreed that, although they had seen 500 different interviews with me at different times, this one in Monday's paper had been the best—bore more nearly my stamp." He smiled—"Which we know it does, of course!"

I asked W. if he had any curiosity to see Woodbury's book? I could get it from Morris. "No I can hardly say I have. But I might say with the woman who had a hemorrhage and to whom I offered whiskey—an answer I did not like—think graceful—do not repeat—'Well, it may do me no harm.' So if you choose you might get the book someday, and I will take a look at it over night."

Frank Williams in to see me today—gratified to learn W. had an idea of new volume. Said, speaking of Century refusal of W., that he had never liked W.'s willingness to contribute to the magazines, etc. W. said now with a laugh, "I don't like it myself—what's more, don't do it: for now I am literally closed out of all. O yes! I think it's the publishers: whatever the editors, I don't think the publishers like me. I don't know why I persisted so with Harper's Monthly: I sent full eight or ten pieces and had eight or ten pieces returned me."

Said McKay had sent word over for 50 copies big book in sheets, and W. had sent 50 first folds (autographed) by Warren to Oldach, forgetting they had yet to be numbered. When I reminded him he thought I had best see to the matter at once tomorrow.

Frank Williams much pleased with W.'s condition, of which W. said himself, "I certainly feel better than summer two years ago, which was sad and disastrous to me."

Looking at a picture of Niagara Falls in Harper's Young People, he said, "It is finely done—vivid: yet we could say of it as of the eyes in a portrait—the form is there—almost expression—but where is life, movement?" I left Harper's Weekly with him. He returned me copies of Scribner's. Also gave me to mail letter for Kennedy, papers for Bucke and others.

As to Frank Williams' joy that W. would print a new volume, W. said, "Well, it is not done—not promised—only in preparation."

I had with me copy of Carus' "The Ethical Problem." He admired flexible back, type, print, etc., but as to the contents—"No, I never touch them—they do not interest me."

Thursday, August 28, 1890

5:10 P.M. Another good talk with W. Have this week had the best talks in months. He had finished dinner and was reading Symonds. He said, "I hit upon an essay here this afternoon, the best so far, to me, in the book—a comparison between the poetry of the Elizabethan period and the age of Victoria. It is noble—written by the latest light—in that respect differing from some other of the essays." And he said further, "Symonds is calm, here, judicial—poised—the whole manner attractive to me. He has come upon distinct conceptions. In qualities of adoration, veneration there are past examples great beyond equal by this modern age—Isaiah, Job—and for rapture, the Psalms. I doubt if there has been anything better—am sure can no longer be anything better. Our time is not remarked as critics are wont to remark it—our new men are not more glorious than others, perhaps long dead—but only more responsive to the time, the new conditions. We could not have Job, Isaiah, the Psalms, over again, because we could not have the conditions out of which they resulted—the childlike awe, wonder, not-knowingness. And I am sure that even to have them, the first-raters would not give up the acquisition of ages, the peculiar fruitages of the 19th century, say science, for example. I should very much doubt if Symonds could be called a first-rater, but this essay I am reading now entitles him to be called a great critic, which is a great work even in itself. I have a great charity for Symonds, who is a product of the schools—rich in all that schools can give, cognizant of all that art, letters, has contributed. Symonds is au fait with the literature of Southern Europe—Italy, Spain, Portugal. He has known what few of us do, about the great men there, the giants—has haunted the libraries, fallen in touch with books, scholarship. In this age which has no scholars, is a scholar of the first order. 'Leaves of Grass' is a buffer to all that—draws off, as it were, a very strong arm and gives it a blow between the eyes—though not with malice, but in deference to our time, its needs." This talk brought on Holmes' reference to W. in last Atlantic, extract from which I pointed out in Bulletin. I left paper with W., who said among other things of Holmes: "He could not be expected to accept us. He would rather have 'Walter' than 'Walt' for the same reason which moved Arthur Stedman to print me in his biographical index as 'Walt' and the 'er' in parenthesis. It is a parlor logic, yet characteristic of the literary man of our time. Oh! you can have no idea of the intensity of this feeling unless you come into direct contact, conflict, with it! It is the spirit which wants marble busts on ebony niches in corners—fine porcelains—the assumed necessities of luxuries, enervations—elegance. But of course, all our dissent must not make us forget they have an importance, too. Holmes has written some superb verses—yes, 'The Chambered Nautilus,' for one thing. They put him high: I should not be inclined to belittle that work—but the general principles of literariness are not for us. They are the same principles, for instance, as obtain in the Episcopal church—a communion service of silver—vast sound and beauty—but little of that finer symbolism which gave Chritianity its early value and lives in its best samples yet." And again—"It was always curious how the old man Emerson—the man of years—reached out for contact with the human—the mass of humanity. But that by rights belonged to Emerson. But I doubt if Holmes could ever touch even the rim of this aspiration. I am to him 'Walter,' not 'Walt,' because he does not recognize the primary color of character. Holmes knows me—would know me—as little as he would an old woman making her tea, a big Injun, a brawny stalwart nigger—say, one of those magnificent niggers I have seen on Mississippi steamboats—with a body of tremendous proportions, majesty like that of a born king or emperor of African dynasty. It opens a vast thought—marks the chasm between some of us."

W. much amused over someone who said to me, "You talk of Walt Whitman as a democratic poet—a friend of the masses: but God damn him, the masses do not read or understand him: what can you say to that?" And laughingly remarked, "That sounds like a squelcher, but it is about as if we said—this sculptor or painter has made us a counterpart of so and so—a nigger, maybe, or an Injun—and there's not a nigger or an Injun in America can appreciate it. But what of that? How does that settle the question?"

Morse had said to me that Holmes' life of Emerson was a better life of Holmes than of Emerson. W. took it up: "Did Sidney say that? It is beautiful—keen, yet gentle—a sweet, just criticism, its best point being, that it could be said to Holmes himself without insult." And when I added, "I think it important to know a big man from all points of view—the view of the literary man, business man, and any other—how he looks to these"—W. joined me to say—"I quite assent to that: it is a profound truth—and in that sense Holmes has given us a valuable book." I thought the best thing in the book was Holmes' remark that Emerson "took our idols from their shelves so gently it seemed like an act of worship." He asked me, "That is in the book? It seems new to me: yet I, too, should say it was very fine—very. O, the gentle Emerson!"

W. returned me the Harper's Weekly I left with him yesterday. Left with him this trip Current Literature. He said, "I want to read this from Holmes at my leisure." I put in—"You probably won't think so much of yourself after you have read it." To which, "Probably not"—with a laugh—"but Holmes has plenty to help him bring me down from my conceit!"

I wrote McKay last night to send sheets W. had sent over yesterday to Bank and I would number them tonight and return Friday morning. He did it. W. pleased. After these are done, I shall take all the sheets W. has and finish the numbering, once for all. It is more secure. Should any chance lose me my memorandum book, and the books not numbered, the case would be hopeless. He quite agreed on this.

At last I got him to the point of giving me the book for Bush, and he inscribed it with B.'s name, with the "from the author" and date.

Recurring to Symonds W. said, "These books are ready for you any time you want to take them. Since striking this last essay I am more anxious to have you read them—for this essay is no doubt Symonds' ripest thought—the supreme message of his acumen—the large statement of his voyage into the vast literary seas." I joked with W.—"If you keep on reading day to day, you will be literary yet," but he shook his head. "No, there are primary obstacles to it"—and he looked about the room—at his uncovered arms and open shirt—and laughed.

He said, "I have not only been cabled about Dr. Johnston (J. Johnston), but today there is a letter. And so he is neither murdered nor wrecked. He missed Dr. Bucke by having to make time—by a trip, in fact, to my old home at West Hills. He says he saw Andrew Rome, stayed over one night in the house in which I was born, met some old ferrymen I had known—who remembered me—and do you know he also met Sandford Brown. He says he also stayed with Herbert—then with John Burroughs—just a touch." Hereupon W. leaned forward towards the table. "But I don't know but you'd better take the letter itself and read it"—after some search handing me several letters, saying—"Here is Johnston's—also the last from Wallace, take that, too: you will enjoy to read them. I value them very highly. And here is Dr. Bucke's today's letter: you can take 'em along and return 'em all together. I want to have a further look at them myself. They are a group of good fellows—those Lancashire men: they put sweet hooks in on me."

Friday, August 29, 1890

5:10 P.M. W. in his room reading the Long Islander. Dinner just done: had eaten rather sparingly.

I returned him the three letters of yesterday. When I spoke of Wallace's as "fraternal" he said, "That is just the word for it: it is fraternal throughout. I am sure I respond to it—I even hope it is all true." And he added, "The chirography of the letter would itself be a charm, if there was nothing else to it, as there is."

Gave me a letter for Kennedy to mail on my way home. I said, "It is fat"—and he responded—"That is one of the results of being permitted to send an oeuvre for two cents! No, I never write on the reverse of a sheet: I have no good reason, except that the old printer instinct rules me—will not be shaken off. Kennedy tells me he is quite inclined to write you the Dutch piece, only that for the moment he does not feel inspired. He asked me quite vehemently to nudge him on, so I do it in that note. Give him a few points. I do not think Kennedy needs much prodding. He has a sensitive cuticle, which is quick to respond to the right irritations."

Returned me Current Literature. Could not remember to whom he had written about the "Annex" that it would have six or eight pages. "I suppose I have told forty people I was going to print an annex, but that six-page 'aside' rather astonishes me: it would not describe our intentions."

Said he had not "particularly" read Grace Channing's poem in Scribner's. It is a characteristic comment on the poetry of magazines.

I gave W. the letter I received last evening from Baxter, as follows:

Boston, Aug. 27, 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel:

Pardon my long delay. How the time flies! I hardly know what to suggest as to the best means to squelch Hartmann. Perhaps to write him a brief and gentle note and tell him that Whitman, having been informed of the character of his interview strongly disapproves its publication. I think the New York press must have "got onto him" by this time and not look kindly on his efforts.

Love to Walt. Enclosed would apply well to him, too.

Most sincerely yours, Sylvester Baxter
DESCRIPTION FOR A MEMORIAL BUST OF FIELDING He looked on naked Nature unashamed, And saw the Sphinx, now bestial, now Divine, In change and rechange; he nor praised nor blamed, But drew her as he saw with fearless line. Did he good service? God must judge, not we; Manly he was, and generous, and sincere, English in all, of genius blithely free: Who loves a Man may see his image here.

He read it through—gave the poem even a second reading—before he spoke. "That is a noble poem, to be sure—good for Lowell, good for men and women, good for us all. But what has it to do with Fielding? How does it apply to him? Perhaps I ask this—have this doubt—because I know nothing about Fielding. If I knew more, I might not ask so many questions. Certainly this is not the man I have known as Fielding. He is not worthy of it. I do not consider him at all as nearly to be ranked with Walter Scott, for instance. I read all his stories, of course, long ago—and they have their value. I am sure that the 'Vicar of Wakefield' is vastly greater—stronger, saner—than anything Fielding ever wrote."

Then on another bent: "As to what he says of Hartmann, I am very well disposed to having you write—I heard from Hartmann today—he sent me this sheet," handing me an envelope in which was a sheet, printed on one side only—"Poems by C. Sadakichi Hartmann"—seven of them. W. laughingly said, "They are prose-poems"—and again—"But he is not a fool—the trouble with it, the devil of it all is—that he is not. These fellows with a piece of genius are often the most dangerous—capable of the greatest mischief." I asked, "Then you are willing for me to write and say you find it unpleasant to be so misrepresented, or reported at all." He replied, "Yes, that and more—you may make it much more emphatic than that—may say your strongest say, so he may understand—it is more than unpleasant to me: that the mischief-making flings he puts in my mouth are not mine—are wrongs done me, done the fellows they hit. Tell him that the merest trifles spoken en passant—elaborated to such length and falsity—which are about all he would ever have had from me—could do no man justice, least of all me. For if there's anything I pride myself on, it's my toleration, hospitality. Bob puts it well, 'intellectual hospitality.' I take in all the fellows—omit no one—as I take in all religions—seeing that they are all necessary to the scheme—all 'divine facts' as Frederic would have called them—not to be sneezed away. That is perhaps the only difference there is between Bob and me. I am quite as radical as he is, quite as set against the conventional, quite as determined to oppose the horrible phantasmagoria of creeds, religions (so-called)—yet not to quarrel with them—rake them too hard—from always having in mind their necessity." But was Bob not active and W. passive agent of evolution, both with the same end in view? "Oh! I must not be mistaken—I shall always contend for the necessity of Bob's work—that no work done in our time arose more out of conditions irresistible, or will issue in higher results—no! I fully recognize that—only, I am here noting the difference of individuality, where one may be as necessary and valuable as the other. It is mainly to indicate my attitude towards the literary clan—that I see how it is grown, how to continue, what are its necessities. My feelings never hard, though frank and clear, I hope, at all times. Hartmann ought to be told this; but do it gently boy—do not draw a sword to it, Horace: make it positive, full, but with spare weapons. I suppose it eight or ten years now since I first knew Hartmann. When I first knew him he was in school—I liked him—but the past three years have made all the change—made him the reprobate he is—lowered his sense of responsibility. I could almost say, I like him still—though that may be too strong a word—I guess it is." He said Hartmann's poems might be sent to Bucke when I was done with them. "Bucke would keep them—he collects everything—the rascal he is!"

To an expression of mine, that Shakespeare was great, but that half his greatness was in the play of writer and reader—take the reader away and where was Shakespeare?—W. assented. "That has a profound significance: it is a thought one should never lose from sight."

W. thought Carlyle had never been able to do justice to Voltaire. "I think he never understood him. That has always been my impression."

He referred to the Holmes' Atlantic Monthly piece. Had read it. "As a nigger would say in the South, it ain't worth shucks! I can see easily, however, why Holmes should take the position he does. There is quite a determination that the 'Mr.' this and that—or Lord or Esq.—or what-not, has social reasons, and reasons of formal dignity, for being retained: that we ought to stickle, insist upon, them, as a part of our civilization. And I fully recognize that there are things to be said for that view. In Emerson himself there would be some base for it. They do not seem necessary to us, however the world may determine it." Further: "I know some of our own men who would make a plea for this case."

I wrote Bush last night that I would mail his book today, which I did. W. "pleased.""Perhaps you might have expressed it," he said, "though it makes no difference except in cost. I always mail books when they go any distance: that is cheaper. But when books are ordered, I mainly express them, allowing payment at the other end, which I notice the express companies prefer—whether because it gives them opportunity to add to the charges I do not know."

I also numbered McKay sheets last night and took them to Philadelphia this morning. I noticed W. put in two extra sheets, for copies possibly bad, but it was not business-like, and McKay's man did not wish them—so I returned them to W. It appears the copies are to go abroad. W. said, "I am curious to know who gets them." And he asked: "I sent over my leather book as a model for the binder: the chief thing being for the plates to get into the right place. If you will, you may get that book. It is important to me—contains many marginal notes."

Saturday, August 30, 1890

Did not see W. today. But last night, as I found copy of Unity at home after I had left him, and it contained the dinner notes, I took down and gave to him. He sat in his room (it was eight-thirty), returned from his trip in chair and was reading papers. He was to write on margin how many copies he wished if any, and have paper downstairs, so I could get in morning on my way to Philadelphia. So now I got paper, and found he had messaged me—"Should take 25." I left five copies I had with me.

Sunday, August 31, 1890

9:50 A.M. W. had just finished breakfast. Did not look extra well—spoke hoarsely—admitting, "I have caught a bad cold somehow." But was in very good humor, nevertheless.

Bucke wrote me in letter I received today—written the 29th—about Scovel:

London, Ont., 29 Aug 1890 My Dear Horace

I have yours of 27th. No, I never had a letter from you speaking of an incident on occasion of a letter received by W. W. from his brother-in-law—the letter if written was lost.

To come here you take cars from Green & 9th Phila and run directly through to London past the Falls where you could (of course) stay over. Fare both ways would be about $29. I should of course meet you at London Station and I trust would make your stay here enjoyable—I hope you will manage to come. I hear often from W. W., and he seems to be better lately than for a year or two—that "Rejoinder" was a strong piece of prose—there must be some vim left yet where that came from (?). Scovel's piece was horrible, how could he do it? Does he mean to make (in as far as he can) W. W. contemptible? or does he not know any better?

The manufacture of the meter is somewhat delayed by a machine of ours being caught (I guess) in the strike and delayed some weeks—not here yet and of course we do not know when it will be. Been delays in getting other machinery set up. The shop is however getting into shape slowly, and we shall make some meters within the next few weeks. Nothing has occurred so far to make us doubt the success of the meter when launched. Yes, by all means try to write a line from time to time—I will keep up my end!

Your friend RM Bucke

W. said when he read this (I gave him note)—"Scovel? Yes, damn him! But I don't see that there's anything to do, Horace. I remember how Mrs. Gilchrist regarded all such quips. She would say—do not say a word—do not even try to set yourself right—take no part in these contests over your personality—do not deny even the lies: they are but dust-storms, stirred by the winds—soon and always to settle back into their places. And I more and more see how cute that was—the wise woman! For to me, after all, the final security is, if anywhere, in my atmosphere, in the ridiculous impossibility of things reputed of me, in my work, in authorized pronouncements. It gives me peace to think this, when I might otherwise be disturbed."

I left with him 20 further copies Unity. He expressed his liking for the piece, and said he would keep a list of those he would send to—"then if there are others, and you write, you can extend the list."

He genially offered me some of "Kennedy's calamus sugar-plums"—and took a few himself. "They are an offering," he remarked, looking at me.

Looked over a Christian Register I had with me in which was copied in full my O'Reilly-Newman article. Thought the article and re-publication "equally good strokes."

Anent Holmes criticism, said, "In spite of it, 'Walt' grows: I am 'Old Man,' 'Kris Krinkle,' now even 'Walt' to the boys in the street. I think of one boy in particular—he always calls me 'Walt'—'How are you, Walt?'—always with feeling and respect, I am not deceived—and he is a handsome boy—one of the handsomest I ever did see!"—quaintly ending so—"He is a boy for Dr. Johnston to see."

Monday, September 1, 1890

This is Labor Day; did not see W. Started off in early morning for Mt. Airy, meeting Morris there and taking with him a long walk into the country to the north, covering nearly 25 miles before our return, taking dinner at the village of Fort Washington and half an hour's prospecting in the shadow of the flagstaff on the hill. A great cloudless day; temperature mild.

Tuesday, September 2, 1890

5:45 P.M. W.'s chair on the sidewalk—he in parlor—hatted—with blue gown buttoned, all ready to go out. Sat reading letter from Wallace (England) to Mrs. Davis—which he gave to me to take and read. Mrs. Davis asked if W. knew who Wallace was? "Oh yes! I guess he is the center of that cluster of Lancashire friends from whom our Dr. Johnston came as emissary. You remember in the Hebrew canticles—stories—records—histories—how they recite that something may have happened, or someone lived, at such and such a place of which, or of whom, they wished to learn more. Then they would send an emissary—to be on the ground—to observe for himself. Dr. Johnston seemed to me such a man—valuable in himself of course: then more valuable for his mission, background."

W. spoke hoarsely—his cold not gone yet. "It is scarcely moved even," he reported. I hardly liked seeing him go out, it was so clouded, and grown damp; but offered no protest, knowing he was not like to heed it, except to urge him to button up closely, which he stood on his feet and did. "I have a subscriber for the Conservator," he said. "Ingram was here today and left the money for it. And he bought these pears, too," pointing to a dish on the table. "Take a couple: they are worth while." Having to hurry off, I did not wait, linger, he proceeding to hobble slowly out to the chair.

7:55 P.M. W. back from his trip, in room reading papers. Had slipped shoes and stockings off, but on my entrance put latter on, asking me to a seat. Gave me a card with Ingram's address. Consumed nearly the whole time of my stay questioning me on our yesterday's walk. Said he had sent out a number of copies of Unity but forgot to keep list. "I shall try to recall all the names and write them down." W. interested in what he called an "ambrotype" of Morris and me—taken yesterday "by the way."

Read him postal received today from Burroughs:

West Park NY Aug. 31 Dear H:

Thanks for your letter. I hope to come down to C. by middle of Sept, will spend a couple of days & hope to see you. Shall send Walt some fruit this week.


W. nodded—"Yes, there was a basket came full of grapes, and good ones, too. The noble John, to remember us in our afflictions!" And further, "So he will come? That is good news—best news!"

His windowsill one line of flowers—brought today—some by Ingram.

He looked at Northingham's life of his father (I had with me)—admired "the makeup of the book. I often think that pica is, after all, my type: it is so ample, so satisfies the eye; and then I am inclined for quite narrow margins, plenty of ink, good genuine paper—the best stock. This goes a great ways in all particulars." Yet not for all its type etc. would he "care to read a history of Boston Unitarianism"—smiling with his good-natured comment. W. much amused over a quotation I made from the Darwin life (one of D.'s letters)—"It is what my grandfather called Unitarianism, 'a feather bed to catch a falling Christian.'"—W.'s laughter so hearty he could hardly put in his inevitable "Did he say that?"—and refer me to his own conception of Unitarianism, that it was "bloodless" and had created comment—as in the letter I recently had for him from England—adverse often.

Wednesday, September 3, 1890

5:20 P.M. Had a good half-hour's talk with W., who was in cheerful mood, better of his cold. Left Harper's Weekly with him. He was much interested in Professor Daniel Greenberg Thompson's statement (in New Ideal for September): "The reader of Walt Whitman's poems will find there described the type of man filled with expansiveness, initiativeness, creativeness, self-development in whom the spirit of individualism is dominant and aggressive." He thought that "very good" and "certainly in good feeling," and inquired more specifically after Thompson, of whom he knew little. Did not know if he had ever met Thompson, though he had met Cortland Palmer. I said I had received remittance this morning from Mark Twain. W. much touched, "O the good fellows!" And further, "I have met Clemens, met him many years ago, before he was rich and famous. Like all humorists he was very sober: inclined to talk of the latest things in politics, men, books, a man after old-fashioned models, slow to move, liking to stop and chat—the sort of fellow one is quietly drawn to. Yes, my experience with humorists is, that they are all of the more serious color. Clemens was in New York when I knew him."

Some chance remark of mine started W. to very frank confessions of how he felt about Scovel, Col. Johnson and their defamations. "It is shocking enough—damnable: I can easily get myself excited, if reason would excite me, for there's plenty of it. But I have the hide of the rhinocerous, morally and in other ways—can stand almost anything. Having clearly known from the very start that if one would be—or had to be—a public man—defamations, lying, were things, among other things, which he had to expect." But as to the frequent Johnson-Scovel reports and sneers of W.'s drunkenness: "There are some things which exceed the ordinary run of patience. I remember O'Connor told me once of one in Washington he met with. You know these stories are rife, or were, even then in those old days; it seemed the necessity with some to make me so—to make me what I was not, the better to defeat my work—but here I am. I was to say of O'Connor—that this man had much to report of me—as O'Connor grandly said—such things as would make innocence itself blush and be silent. O'Connor would say there were such accusations. And perhaps the thought fits here in this new case. Oh! I know Johnson—know, too, that I have laid myself open to their defamations. But Johnson is a venomous man—he has the snake in him—the adder: he is that peculiar nature which knows to sneak, to be mean, to use then abuse you. He traded for years on my name—on his resemblance to me—got drinks by the use of this resemblance. Finally, when it was said to him, not by me, but in a paper, without names, that this was unpleasant and worse—he got mad—there was a break. It is the old story of the man who dislikes to have the sauce he has so often passed around served up to him. How he can go on with no motive but to defame, lie, belittle—I hardly know just the term that will fit a man of his character." Then: "It is everything to meet the event, the man, face to face: this is where we may hope to be strong. I can understand poor Kennedy, meeting Jim Scovel that time he came here to Camden, having all Scovel's vile slanders poured into him. But he must long ago have got over all that." And W. said further: "We must not forget that there is another way to look at this, too. It is the Socrates story over again: there's the eligibility for all that in me. I am not beyond the danger, even the fact, of it. Yet these particular things savor of the venom, the snake-like quality, that some men possess. They explain to me some of the bitterness Tom Harned always shows when he speaks of Scovel. It is a villainous trait of mind to slander, to defame. I can think how William O'Connor would penetrate the fellows—by subtle questions—not too direct—suggestion, manner, speech—till the whole story was out. He had a marvellous capacity for that."

I got the eleventh volume of Stedman's book for Morris to review in the American.

W. has been eating some of Burroughs' grapes—speaking of them in high terms.

Had laid out an envelope for me marked "scraps for Horace, for the N.E. Magazine article if wanted or usable."

Thursday, September 4, 1890

5:10 P.M. W. reading in his room, having finished dinner. Still thinks he has la grippe—cold in head, sore throat—but he looks very well.

Said to me, "I got my proof from Poet-Lore today—returned it. I guess their printer was on the right track. I have had no other word from the editors."

Warren brought in some mail while we sat there—one an envelope. "It is from Jim Scovel," W. said, containing a Scottish letter from John Swinton, printed in the Sun.

W. returned me Harper's Weekly. Looked interestedly at the [Harper's] Young People I had with me, especially an engraving of a picture from Alice Barber called "Summer Days." "If she keeps on working that way," W. said, "she'll go ahead of all the fellows. What attracts me in the engraving is the simplicity of the means: there is no complication here—they spare all the lines, intricacies, they can, yet see what a result they achieve!"

I expressed my pleasure over the notes he gave me yesterday. "Yes," he returned, "they are yours by right—I would work them in as nearly as possible in those words. You need not quote much: if you give them as my words, they will be taken as mine without that guarantee, and then they will look better. A good thing to mention, too, should be the dinner—the last one—for I see in that a distinct quality I have nowhere else known. I am thinking of its repartee: not smartness, but give and take by men and women who think, know, believe, have faith, and speak from that background." And he asked me, "Do you remember just the point of Ingersoll's debate with Bucke over Shakespeare?" And again, "What was Ingersoll's notion of Shakespeare's women? The whole matter of it is completely lost to me." And as to Ingersoll's contention that Shakespeare's plays were impersonal—non-personal—more absolutely than is generally thought, W. assented, "That is so—Bob is right there. I am sure anyone of any account, who knows Shakespeare through his own senses, would take the same ground. Oh, that dinner—it is such parts of it, all should be done to preserve: it was sui generis. If I were you I would do all I could to perpetuate it. The meal itself, the eating, was good, but crowning all that was something other."

I told him Mrs. M. G. Van Rensselaer had some notion of coming here, perhaps with Harry Walsh. What did W. know of her personally? "I think I have met her. I think she came to the reception in New York, but I remember nothing more, except that she was very cordial. Yes, let her come, now—and Walsh with her if he choose."

I received acknowledgment from Bush today. Book reached him safely.

Left Woodbury book with W., who said he would look at it this evening.

W. gave me postal from Kennedy. "I advised him—perhaps he might make up a Dutch piece—about my ancestry—in a shape the Critic would take—and now he says he has done it."

Asked me yesterday again to get his model copy of the complete works from Oldach, to whom he sent it last week with sheets. I brought it to him today.

Gave me postal for Burroughs, paper for Harry Stafford and letter for Mrs. Heyde to mail. Said he had much enjoyed John's grapes—"tasting of them from time to time." Had a plate spread out on the stove.

Friday, September 5, 1890

5:20 P.M. W. in his room writing what I found to be some more notes for my use in magazine article.

He returned the Woodbury book. "I have looked through it sufficiently. Oh! He is a great liar! I should hesitate to credit anything to be found there. The trouble is, there's just about enough truth in it to give him something to start on, but that's about all—the whole of it. He no doubt fell into some contact with Emerson—met him—talked with him. As for the rest, I should hesitate to answer. The book startles me into my old fear that someday perhaps the whole country will groan to Emersonism. I think Emerson himself realized the danger. He struggled against it for a long time—for years, years. Then in old age, when adored, worshipped, resolved to let things go. I say that warily. I can see that such a statement should be fuller, not to give its negative side alone. I scarcely dare say a word adverse to one undoubtedly with the greatest heroes, men. I am almost ashamed, as when I draw blade against Shakespeare, in however slight a passion, for however small a fault. But this man Woodbury constrains me. His book is undoubtedly a typographical pleasure; I have enjoyed that without break."

W. had letter from Sarrazin today—also held one addressed to me in his care. The former brief, mine longer, but in French, which I could not read. W. said, "I am happy for him: he has a colonial office—speaks of its relief, what-not—which is good." I read this note, Sarrazin telling W. he had written to me and to Harrison Morris—also saying the income of his position releases him from anxiety, as W. had said to me. He spoke in one place of W.'s "genial intuition." I liked that vastly and W. said, "It is fine, to be sure." W. said again, "I have already answered him; see, here is the letter," handing me an envelope. I smiled to see the address, part of which he had got wrong, wiped out with his finger and written over.

Said again of the Woodbury book, "It is milk from mothers' breasts. It is not strong in great strength—an accurate and consistent story. It may be called condiment: it has that for which too many Americans crave. He has read Emerson—has in some ways caught the trick of his style. But condiment, spice—what vital connection has it with our terrestrial necessities? We may have them with our bread, butter, fruit, meat, beer, but while we could get along without the condiment, we could not get along without the beer, bread, butter, meat, fruit. That is to be remembered, but it is that the literary tribe are most apt to forget."

Remarked that Bucke had written him that there was much more of the Holmes matter in the Atlantic than the Bulletin quoted. Was "curious to see it all."

Morris went over to New York today to see Gilchrist. Said he would probably see Stedman on the way home if he was in town. I told Morris to tell S. if he saw him as much of various talks he had had with me about Whitman-Stedman affairs as he could remember. W. said to me, "That was a happy thought. I hope he will remember much!"

Chair out on the sidewalk, but W. in doubt about getting out on account of the rain.

Saturday, September 6, 1890

5:10 P.M. W. looks first-rate. The fearful heat of last night and today does not appear to affect him. Says he slept well and feels well.

Had laid some more notes and scraps aside for me in an envelope marked simply "Horace." "Of course," he explained, "you are to use your supreme prerogative with all that I give you—to use, reject, just as you choose."

My father translated me Sarrazin's letter, which I now read to W., who was much charmed with it, asked to have parts read a second time, and advised me "soon" to send an answer. "He will like to hear from you—off at such a distance, letters must be welcome visitors. And where is New Caledonia, anyhow? I wish you would look in some gazetteer—bring me some specific notions of its latitude and longitude, its people, what-not."

Bucke sends me article for the Conservator reinforcing remarkable parallels in lives of Millet and Whitman. Left manuscript with W. to read.

He looked over the Critic I had with me. Interested, he said, in Gosse's allusion to him in the Speaker—there reported—but did not say much about it.

Asked me to mail a paper on the table addressed to Mary Costelloe. "That is a paper which should have been sent a week ago—it turned up by mere accident today while I looked for something else." I said, "It can be excused: we sometimes say, we should have had that rain weeks ago, but after all there was the best reason for its postponement. So with the paper." W. laughed. "That is a curious way to explain it—I don't know but a good."

Instructed me to take one of Ingram's pears, from the plate on the stove, which I did.

W. rather staggered by Woodbury's assertion of Emerson: "He was a pilgrim of the invisible, and, both by heritage and growth, without the capacity for sin." Then he asked me, "What can you learn of Woodbury? What is his story—origins? He is an unknown."

Sunday, September 7, 1890

9:50 A.M. Had only a short talk with W. He returned me Bucke's article, commenting on its interest but confessing that he did not remember Julia Ady's paper on Millet which was the basis of the Doctor's argument.

Ingersoll's North American Review paper on "The Kreutzer Sonata" was in the Press this morning. W. gave it to me, saying, "I guess you'd better have it: I was going to send it to Sarrazin but something else will do for that." He had "enjoyed" it.

Said he had been "interested" in George Horton's poem in the Chicago Herald on Walt Whitman (reprinted in yesterday's Press), but who was George Horton? "It is very good, too, of its kind, I thought: obviously printed there with several typographical errors."

Told him of Bush's acknowledgment of the book, to which he was "much attracted" and he added, "to the man himself."

Walt Whitman George Horton in the Chicago Herald An old man I once saw, Bowed low was he with time, Heart-frosted, white with rime, Ready and ripe to die. Upon a cliff he stood Above the sea's unrest; His beard broke on his breast In venerable flood. And suddenly there came From far, with airy tread, A maiden round whose head There burned a wreath of flame. Ah God! But she was fair! To look were to disdain All other joy and pain, And love her to despair. "I come," she cried, in tone Like sweetest siren song, "Though I have tarried long, I come, my own, my own!" "See love, 'tis love compels, Those kisses, priceless rare; Come, let me crown thy hair With wreathed immortelles." The old man answered her; His voice was like the sea: "Comest to mock at me? Mine eyes are all ablur. "Thou art too late; in sooth Naught earthly makes me glad; Where wert thou in my mad, My eager, fiery youth?" "Nay, grieve not thine," she said, "For I have loved full oft, And at my lovers scoffed, Alive to woo them dead." "Oh, fiend!" I cried, "for shame!" Yielding to wrath's surprise. She turned, I knew the eyes And siren face of Fame.

Monday, September 8, 1890

5:15 P.M. W. just getting ready to go out. In excellent condition.

Had written me out another note.

Sent volume—pocket edition—to George Horton, who wrote the poem reprinted by the Press.

Also gave me to take and examine, four pictures sent by Johnston from England: a photo (reduced), of the Gutekunst picture of 1889; an excellent picture of Warren, taken on the wharf; and two pictures of the house, one taking in the street in perspective, an ice wagon in the foreground, the other a front view, Warren and Mrs. Davis and the dog on the step. W. liked them very much—thought the Gutekunst reduction might be used in the new volume. I think the house might well be used with my article.

W. said, "I am still curious about the Atlantic, Horace. Holmes must have said more there than the papers gave us. Several have written me—spoken to me about it." And then: "If you should get a hold of a copy and I could keep it overnight, I think I could be satisfied."

W. again as to Woodbury: "Emerson was not inclined to talk to strangers—not that he was without grace—indeed, he had irresistible grace—but that he would not unbosom himself easily. That was his characteristic: I noted it in him in his intercourse with others. With me he was always quite free, easy, liquid—his own free self, it appeared to me at all times."

Tuesday, September 9, 1890

5:10 P.M. Found W. reading papers. Talked with him for half an hour. He is in excellent condition—dubious about going out, on account of cloudiness.

I had with me a picture of Lucretia Mott made by Broadbent & Phillips. Did he remember her? "Not very clearly, except by general impressions," but when I put the picture in his hands, "Oh! Now I do! This reminds me—this revives the whole story!" But further, "I do not consider it a good version. It is too glum, too severe: she had a large mouth, just as this, but I never saw it as set. Oh! It was sweet, winsome, attractive. It drew a fellow nearer and nearer, and all that you miss in this. A great grand woman, of great, grand stock." Morse had asked a profile (perhaps to make a medallion) which I could not get. W. urged, "I would not send him this." I spoke of the picture in "Life and Letters of L. and J. Mott" as being a better picture, but this might be complemental. "I am sure," W. said, "I remember pictures having her smile, her majestic sweet sanity—the better compass of her character."

We spoke of Johnston's four pictures, which I returned to him. I thought I might use three of them with the article, and explained how—which pleased him. "Well, use them or use any others I have." Johnston had caught Mickle Street in its handsomest aspect. W smiled. "I never thought I lived on so fine a spot," while the iceman at the curb-stone struck him as a happy adjunct. He thought Johnston's reproduction in reduced size of the good Gutekunst picture "very successful, for it does not appear to have lost any essential features of expression or light or shade."

Gave me quite a bundle of papers to take to Post Office, mostly papers with Horton's poem—sending to Sarrazin, Baxter, etc. He still says he "likes" the poem, though using no stronger word.

Had made out a curious memorandum for me [about buying mucilage for him]. "I use a good deal of it—ought to get it in the large." I promised to look into it tomorrow.

Morris in to see me today. Not ready yet to give us translation of the letter Sarrazin sent him. Just back from Centerport, where he had seen Gilchrist. Disappointed that he could not induce Gilchrist to make a trip to West Hills, seven miles distant. Gilchrist has not yet been there himself. W. much interested and talked to me for some time about it. "The best way to jaunt it is in a carriage. A day ought to be devoted to West Hills. One of the things to remember is that our old house is on a flat—that the Hills proper are a little distance off—where my father and his and his and his were born and lived. Though this, too, is geographically and municipally included in West Hills. The old house is kept by a family named Jarvis—and very nice folks they are, too. A grandson, I think, of the man who bought it from my father, so you see it has direct descent. I was there several years ago—they were very kind to me—I was in a carriage—went with Dr. Bucke—did not alight, but their invitation was very cordial. If you should go over there, you and Clifford and Morris as you say, I will give you some memoranda—yes, memorabilia, too. There are ways to get there by boat, by rail—it would make you a nice trip. I would advise you to so arrange it if you go as to take in New York—see some of the fellows there. I suppose if Herbert did not care to go, that settled it. But there are easy ways to get there. The picture in Bucke's book is a good one—pretty good: Bucke had one of the Century artists go down and do it. But that figure in the foreground—the girl with the long skirts—that spoils it all: it does not belong to the place, never was seen there, is abominable anyway, and I said so at the time—Doctor saying no more than, 'The poor girl—what harm does she do by being there!' But the girl was not for the place—neither for 'Leaves of Grass'—I hope never will be!"

Wednesday, September 10, 1890

4:55 P.M. W. in his own room, reading local papers. Had finished dinner, remains of which still on the table. Asked me, "Is there anything in particular you would wish me to give you notes of still? I may have missed here and there." And again, "Well, that will do—if anything strikes me I'll jot it down, then after your article is copied I'll suggest any additions that may occur to me." After a pause he went on in the same line: "I was rooting in some old things today and came across an old phrenological chart from L. N. Fowler—the old professor—you know there were several of them. It is an early chart, I should say, given before 'Leaves of Grass' had taken printed shape—or about that time—when I was in fact in the formative stage—the book there, too. Fowler was a sweet wise man, not sensational but cautious, quiet, learned—scientist, not dogmatist—knowing many things, knowing them well, sanely, to great ends. The science, or what-not, called by many names—was always funny to me—using the word funny in the sense that includes power, mystery—but I recognized its value." Had Fowler struck the a-b-c of Walt Whitman? W. smiled at the question. "Well, you will see. I am not so much interested in its result with me as with its general aims and ends, which seem to me remarkable." Symmetry, or proportion, "or any single quality" would not "tell the entire story. Fowler had a great range, and he was mathematical." Adding with a smile, "Yes, Jim Scovel: he was born with an aptitude for lying—to cover large areas of falsehood."

When I entered I had handed him first his quart of mucilage, then September Atlantic—he smiling meanwhile and saying, "You come loaded down with good deeds!" And when he offered to pay for mucilage, I interposed: "No, your friends will give you that, with the advice to stick and come out with victory, as you must, at the end." He responded, "Good! Well, we'll stick—and as to victory?" ending it so with a smiling interrogation. Would read the Atlantic this evening—also the Harper's Weekly. I left, as usual, another of Jean Geoffroy's pictures in [Harper's] Young People. "He is the best yet!" W. exclaimed. "He certainly reaches great results by simple means: which is the secret of the best things, anyway, whatever they say."

Would have it that I take some of Mrs. Davis' cookies. "I have an embarrassment of riches here. You must share with me," and so made up half a dozen in a discarded newspaper wrapper that lay on the chair nearby.

W. wondered why Gilchrist did not stop here on his recent visit to the Staffords.

W. said, "Talcott Williams was over yesterday—paid me quite a visit. I had it fully [in mind?] to ask him about New Caledonia but after all it slipped me. You must go a-search for me. Tell me all you can find about it. For somehow, I must know."

Thursday, September 11, 1890

5:10 P.M. Excellent long talk with W. in his own room. Thought he would go out shortly though it drizzled somewhat. In very good mood.

Returned me the Harper's Weekly with a remark expressing his wittiest word and conviction "that it now was sure the tip-top thing in its line."

On table, in an old envelope addressed to him by Bucke, W. had inserted the note spoken of yesterday—took the Walt Whitman, etc. off of envelope and writing with blue pencil—"Horace, the phrenological items."

I told him I was writing a column about Frederick Hedge for the paper, and he said, "I am glad, he deserves it." And again: "His 'Prose Writers of Germany' has been one of my longest treasures. I can never be shaken from my love of it. I can hardly tell how many years it has been inspiration, aid, sunlight. The great feature in Hedge was his kindly spirit—his gentle disposition: he did not start out to criticize these men but to present them; and all down the line, starting with Luther, then with Lessing, through the Goethe-Schiller period, all that. I was going to say Freiligrath, though he didn't include Freiligrath. He is the sure man, hospitable, generous, his receptivity the most marked quality of all. Yes indeed, the world needed him. He is a type. I wish there were more of his order. But the fellows who get known, who get into prominence, the magazines, are lesser men, vagrant in powers, gifts, with absolutely no future." I said, "The more I see of literary men the more I feel they have no convictions." To which: "And I could say, as you go on you will be more and more confirmed in that opinion. They have none. I know the fellows in New York: New York is a dampener to everything like enthusiasm. It tones everybody down, insists that art is cold, is judicial to the point of extinction. The demand is for smart men—for good writers. There seem to be periods in the world harmonies when our native forces are cropped very close—where convention curbs all down—and this is one of them."

I told him of a talk I had with Miss Porter the other evening. She said Trumbull was a veritable personage, living in New England (Connecticut, I think)—well known in circles of Shakespearean scholarship. She had felt that Trumbull missed W. in his piece and had herself been prepared to quote "November Boughs" when W.'s note opportunely arrived. W. said, "Then I'm almost sorry I did not let her alone. Those two pieces on Shakespeare in 'November Boughs' are my best statement of the case, of my case. I had prepared to send more to the Poet-Lore people—had in fact written more, but parts of what I had written got lost in the heap of things here. I looked all about, but could not find a trace of them, so simply sent what I had and what they will print."

I remarked, "I judge from what Miss Porter said that Poet-Lore itself takes ground against mere art-form in literature." To which: "If it does, then it is with us. It is their victory as well as our own." I told him the keynote of the piece they would print for me in October was this: that a literary journal that did not recognize as its first duty the defense of the liberation of literature had forfeited its truest foundation. W. at once replied, "That touches the very heart of the matter. Oh, it is splendidly told." And to Miss Porter's view that the Critic had lost spiritual grasp these last few years, W. at once responded, "I can easily see what she means—sees literature, literary things, from the standpoint of the publisher, the market, books, useless things from its human, abstract relationship. It might be hard to tell why this should be so of the Critic, too. It is how the mass stands, though I know there comes a period in the life of many men and women when they say, 'Now enough of this damned enthusiasm! I've played enthusiastic long enough—sacrificed enough, for that principle—and the world no better or worse for it. Now for taking care of enthusiastic me!' I have met many persons who held to that conviction, giving up their whole past. It is a frightful surrender, but not the only surrender men of insight learn to know."

W. referred to the Holmes piece in the Atlantic. "I read it today and found it at first very dull, unsatisfactory." Then after a pause: "I find anyhow that I cannot read in any humor. My mind will not stick by me for consecutive work." Did his eyes fail him? "No, my eyes are pretty good, though dimming." And, further: "As I was saying, at first I thought to read Holmes' piece in the simple points, but found it was necessary to read all to get his point. He speaks of Emerson, too. His argument appears to be that neither Ralph Waldo Emerson nor Walt Whitman are in themselves originals, Americanos. I think that was an idea years ago put out by Longfellow into the speech of some character in 'Hyperion'—that there is no such thing as originality. Holmes would say if it is originality that is looked for, there is Sir Timothy Dexter who lived maybe several hundred years ago. My first impression of the book would be of its superficiality, but you get over that conviction as you get further along, see the quite serious purpose that animates all: and that redeems it, of course. I find I am sprinkled all through the article. It sticks in his craw to have anyone Billed, Jacked, Walted; I am Mr. Whitman throughout. I was interested in it as I am always interested in what is said by the opposition. I have always craved to hear the damndest that could be said of me, and the damndest has been said, I do believe. I have welcomed all that could be advanced, as much can well be, I know. Once or twice things have been said with such insight, I have ordered my course accordingly. I well remember the famous talk with Emerson. It was so full of the things I most welcome. Holmes is at the very top peak in such criticism. It is well to know how our small concerns look from his height." I said,"Morris had rather felt that the piece was written under pressure." W. responding to my mention of it: "I must confess, there is a suspicion of two, three, four times water in the tea, but I let that pass. Holmes is no fool—is a man of marked intellect—but nearly always too palpably witty—deliberately so. I think that of all else, deliberate wit is best calculated for failure. Deliberate anything, in fact, the determined starting out to do a thing. Ingersoll's strength in his best work is great for his spontaneousness: the feeling it gives out, that the wit, the satire, however bitter it may have seemed, flowed freely forth, was not pored over and figured out. And in his later work—that which is making him truly superb—I think I can detect certain intimations of receptivity towards motives—what-not—in the church he previously would not hear." He thought he would like to give the piece another reading, and he did. "There was another piece with it which struck me—something on the study of history by Justin Winsor—who is he?—written rather cynically, but with some effect."

W. had heard things which made him "wish to see more of Ingersoll's article on Tolstoi. You say Tom has this magazine? I will stop up there someday to get it."

On the chair pictures of Harleigh Cemetery. "You ought to go out," said W. with a smile, "and see Walt Whitman's grave!"

Friday, September 12, 1890

5:40 P.M. Had a 15-minute talk with W. in his room. Stormed in severe showers today, and as it still looked very dark, W. was in doubt about going out. Yet ventured forth last night, dubious as the outlook was.

"I had a note from Kennedy today," he said, "he tells me that he is inclined to print his Dutch piece in the Transcript for one reason, that he has the proof right at hand, under his own control. I guess I am not sorry at this decision." Wondered if K. would get him slip copies—would like some to distribute.

"Tom was here last night. We had quite a talk: for one thing about Ingersoll's article. I half expected to send up for it today but have not done so. Tom tells me Clifford will be there to take dinner with him Sunday at five—wants me there too. I don't know but I may go. We will do what we can to pay our proper respects." Spoke of Tom's mother, that she was "very sick, probably dying."

Told me Mrs. Davis was away in Kansas: "She has gone for a week or so."

Read him the following, which Morris gave me as "the only part" of his letter from Sarrazin not contained in my own: "In closing, let me say how much I have felt the honor you have done me in your article. It has greatly encouraged and fortified me for future work. But I fear I must hold equally true the charge of 'superfluous rhetoric'; the wish to do well is sincere enough, but there always remains something still to perfect."

Saturday, September 13, 1890

5:10 P.M. W. kept entirely indoors by the rain. But in very cheery mood. Said he hoped to get up to Harned's tomorrow, "but I shall not be certain till the hour strikes and I am there." Further: "Warrie and I have been debating whether it would be wise for us to attempt to go out."

Said he had looked through Holmes' Atlantic piece several times—shall want still to see it—to make sure of its "positions."

The Critic (dated today 13th), in the "Lounger," has an extract from letter of O'Reilly to Waitman Barbe, Parkersburg, W. Va. W. read—called it "sweet" and said some kind things of "Boyle." On the next page a letter: "Walt Whitman Interpreted."

W. read this with, as he said, "grave attention and interest." Did I know the writer? "No." "Nor do I," said he. "It is an entire new name," but added, "I think she is mainly right in her interpretations. That is about what I aimed to say, and yet the Tribune is right, too. I do not think my writing in that article would be called remarkable for clearness, especially that passage: it did not satisfy me when I wrote it, does not now. It does not appear to have difficulties for our immediate fellows. They have such knowledge, such aids, as easily shift them to the truth. I am not sure but I shall try the substance of that passage again—hitting out more direct—sweeping the decks utterly of anything that will interfere with clear sailing."

Remarked dubiously, "I see that the Critic is getting into the habit of printing its headlines without periods. I don't know," shaking his head.

Had got from Harned "The Kreutzer Sonata" and North American Review—they both lay at his feet. He said enthusiastically (I have not for long known him so possessed by a book), "I have read 'The Kreutzer Sonata'—read it today—and it's a masterpiece—as great a masterpiece as 'Othello,' by as great a master. I don't know but greater than 'Othello'—certainly more fitted to the intricacies of modern life—to our special problems." He gave me a sketch of the story: "It is a story of jealousy, of passion, not attended by quite horrible circumstances as 'Othello.' I think Tolstoi goes over the strong part very easily—does not make much of it, but it is probable enough—more probable than Shakespeare's often are. Oh! It is a great book—a work of art—filed down—thought out—greater than all the Longfellows, all the Tennysons of this age, any age. I confess the book has taken a strong hold of me—it has opened my eyes, made me feel that we have a master with us—a master as great as any. I know of no one who writes in English as he writes, or has ever so written: with such power, such nature, such absence of calculations. I feel that it is a picture of high life—a touch at the heart of so-called society—true in vein, in throb, in all colors and scenes. I am quite disposed to endorse it, too, for often it has come to me, the brutishness of the Orientalism, that gives man any monopoly he chooses with woman—that excites in him such a passion, frenzy, of monopoly, as breaks and wrecks her best sympathies and hopes. As to the indecency, I am astonished that even the blatherskites who attempted to suppress it should see it in that light: it is incredible, it is stupid, foolish to the last degree. If the book is as I read it in a translation where something certainly is lost, what must it not be in its original tongue?" I asked him if he remembered "Sebastopol." "Yes, that was great, but this is greater. This is more complete, more intense, more rich." And again: "I do not see that Tolstoi goes much into assertions of his own doctrines. Here and there comes a paragraph in which he vehemently says something, but in the main the story is is like a medical treatise: it is physiological, philosophical. It presents a picture faithfully, majestically, masterfully—and he does not spare the picture: he has his surgeon's knife—he cuts where cutting should be—he binds, he does his work. It is not a parlor—not a titillation of the senses: it is the great gorge, the canyon, the pass, we meet in the Rockies: it is the sea in its play: it is element and element. Those who go to it expecting sweets will be shocked, will fear, will shrink back to their luxuries. I read Ingersoll's piece about the book, and I do not agree with it on the whole, though some of the flights are as true, profound, superb, as at his best. His indirections—most all of them—very great, very rich, full of color. But he does not do Tolstoi justice on the whole. If I found it in my line, I should write out all I have been telling you—put it in print somewhere. But in the first place it is not in my line. Then, I am too lazy. But if there should be any occasion when it may seem in point, I give you permission to use it all—to put the emphasis you know I feel. If I were in easy hail of him I should write it all down anyhow and let him know it from me, but I cannot—it is out of the question." Further: "I must read the book again—see if all this enthusiasm is repeated—confirmed—as Emerson always did." Referring to the attempted suppression, "It is but another breath of 'protection.' It is in accord with the fact that our globe is now circling in a region where every rod of air or sea or land demands or is given 'protection.' Yes, this despite Blaine's 'reciprocity.' Reciprocity has some little hope—some promise—perhaps may still be the egg from which all is hatched." And still again, "All the masters are not in the past: here is one as great as any. A man whom even Tennyson can't approach. Whose vigor, like the rock, has vast elemental bases, yet has freedom, too—as the flowing together of streams. It has been a revalation to me and an explanation, too, of the world's scorn of him. O, if only William O'Connor were alive! How he would take up a lance for him! And he would say that Tolstoi's picture was true, too, for William knew all those things well—had as keen an eye as ever opened for just such revelations, such frank, bare, sublimely faithful revelations!"

Sunday, September 14, 1890

Down to see W. at 9:45 A.M. He sat eating his breakfast; Warren working about the room fixing bed, etc. Day quite showery—equinoctial. W. however in very good trim. Said, "Yes, I expect to get up to Tom's this afternoon: I have half-promised him." And then as to Bucke's warnings about taking cold, "I have thought myself that was my worst danger: I take all you say of that—echo it." I asked, "Did you wake up to cooler thoughts of Tolstoi?" He laughed and said, "I am unchanged about him: my impression lasts." And when I said, "The world still is capable of its giants," he said fervently, "Indeed it is. I am sure of it, if sure of anything." And to my expression, "Each spring all think must be the last, but the next surpasses it," he assented fervently.

Had been reading the Press.

Told W. where New Caledonia was and we talked of Sarrazin pleasantly for some time, W. urging me to write.

Later, Harned's children, who were at my house, said W. had come despite the rain, expecting to meet Clifford there.

Monday, September 15, 1890

5:00 P.M. Happening in at W.'s, talked for half an hour with him, he in very bright mood. Had I anything new? No. Nor had he: "We pass through days—like eras—of the commonplace. But the commonplace is grand, too!" How had he got through with his dissipation at Harned's? "Very well. I had my champagne and oysters—a favorite mixture. Clifford was there and a Dr. Gould. Do you know him? A genial, easy-spoken man. I took away a very pleasant impression of him."

W. spoke of longevity, W. saying, "I was just reading in the paper here of Mrs. Polk, the wife of the President, living still at 87 (I think that is the age), and with all her faculties. It is a grand total of years! Eighty-seven! And so often, too, maintaining as they do—these old stayers—a marvellous, astonishing vivacity." I referred to Dr. Edward Buchanan, brother of James Buchanan, with whom I had spoken today at the Bank. W. much questioning me as to his appearance: clothes, manner, voice, etc. "I can see him—he is the type—your description recalls the whole picture. When I was young I met many just like him. One of the traits which you have not spoken of is benevolence; that seems to prevail with all, and a stateliness, a certain fixed courteous manner and modulation of tone. Aaron Burr was just that man: though he is only a boyish memory to me, he is a vivid one. I had access to him through a printer named Hawthorne—a very double to Burr himself," and then described Hawthorne in quick, strong terms. "James Buchanan was only a middle-aged man, evidently different from his brother in that respect, but for all things cast in that old model. It has its attractions." I said, "I delight to meet them. They are reminders to the new generation." W. assented, "I can realize your pleasure. I have the same pleasure myself." I asked him then, "If a young fellow were put in a room full of such men, would their stateliness and courtesy overawe him?" W. said quickly with a laugh, "No, I don't think so. I think his impulse would be to call them a lot of old fogies leftover!"

Question had been asked if Lowell had ever printed any reference, critical or other, to Walt Whitman? W. said, "That I do not know: I would like to be told." And then he said, "Lowell threatens to be another of the old men—he is about my age."

Morris came to tell me today that the Literary World had printed an adverse review of Woodbury's book. W. asked me, "I wonder what was their point of objection?" Adding, "The prime fault of the book is that it does not contain a page which can be relied upon. It bears the stamp of unveracity, and without that, what rudder has a man? It is a dull book, too. It has no movement, no throb." Then referred to Emerson: "He was one of those affable, sweet, magnetic men, whose atmosphere— which was his greatest gift—utterly charmed, captured, compassed anyone, I was going to say, who came near. He was not a man to waste himself on desert beholders, on empty witnesses. He had his great reserves—as who has not who has anything that is worth while?" Emerson was "cold in exterior," he thought, only to those who "interrupted his access." He was not a talker, "yet his voice was a good one—it was neither too high nor too low—pitched nobly for noble ends."

W. handed me what he said were "some more notes for the article," the printed portion cut outright from a portion of John Burroughs' book.

Tuesday, September 16, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. not yet gone out. The weather continues more or less stormy. Still, says he "will brave it."

Said he had "just been reading a notice of the Woodbury book in the Transcript. It is quite generous in length. I think rather inclined to be favorable. They do not quote any passages which name me."

Complained that the Critic had not yet come. "This is the latest yet." I asked if I should write a postal acquainting them with the fact? At first he expressed his assent, but after a pause added: "Perhaps we'd better not. They owe me ten dollars yet for 'An Old Man's Rejoinder' and this might jostle them up, which I don't want them to suppose I would do, for I think them very reliable. If I don't get the paper tomorrow, it might then be well enough to write."

But he had got Poet-Lore. "And did you?" he inquired. I had thought a curious value in the last sentence of W.'s note there: "Then science, the final critic of all, has the casting vote for future poetry." W. smiling and saying, "Well, I suppose I have often enough given utterance to that—written it: in fact, it is probably mingled with all I have written. It is not new, particularly to you, to my friends. But it is one of my choice notes. In music, in the tunes I hear, I like melodies I have heard before—brief strains: the old story—the old song. It moves me whatever else fails. So if this thought on Shakespeare is not new, neither, I hope, is it without vibration." He grew humorous over the spelling of Shakespeare: "Miss Porter wrote asking if I had any objection to spelling Shakespeare their way, that is, the orthodox way, with all the e's and a's. I answered on the proof in effect that I did not stickle for it. Nevertheless 'Shakspere'"—spelling it—"is the latest authoritative way, with all the advantages of directness."

Warren came in with letter from Bucke—which W. read aloud to me. Bucke describes New Caledonia to W., expressing fears that it may be malarious and hope that Sarrazin has a house on a hill. W. remarked, "That is something for us to take note of: if we ever got more into a malarious district to get a house on a hill. If you write to Sarrazin—or I do—something should be said on this point."

7:20 P.M. On reaching home from W.'s this afternoon, found the following note from Johnston, N.Y.:

Sept 13/90 Dear Mr. Traubel,

This morning I got Robert G. Ingersoll's promise to deliver a lecture in Phil or N.Y. for the benefit of Walt Whitman. I believe we can clear $2000—if it is managed right. Please see Harned and let me hear your views whether Phil. or N.Y. We ought to bill it in Academy of Music in either city. I will explain in full when I see you and will come over if necessary.

Sincerely yrs JH Johnston 17 Union Sq. N.Y.

At once wrote J., promising to consult with W. and Harned, suggesting the occasion be in honor of W. instead of benefit—saying my first impression was for Philadelphia, asking him to find out Ingersoll's date, promising to write more definitely tomorrow. Then to W.'s, where I found W. in the parlor, hat on, by open window. "Oh yes!" he said, "I have been out. We slipped home just from under the tail of the storm," looking out upon the rain. Explained Johnston's letter to him, he "much marvelling" and putting one question to me after another. I had my answer with me, but room was dark; I could not read it, so W. said, "Well, let me have its substance," and on my explanation: "Yes, that is good." Then pursuing the question, "The first question to put would be, the use of it all—what was its bottom reason. Is it necessary? I am at first blush decidedly in favor of New York. No, I do not see that my presence is necessary, indispensable. Whether I am there or not might depend upon the humor, condition of the last moment. I do not wince even at the benefit. I do not know but that it could be best to have it understood all is to go in my pocket." As to Ingersoll and the oration: "I should consider that a great plume. Our own claims for ourselves have been toploftical enough, but this would beat them. It would be an honor not to be forgotten. If it would appear that a cluster of fellows had demanded certain things should be said, done, for Walt Whitman—that would please me, relieve the situation." I joked about a delegation of us going over in a special car, perhaps to come back the same night. "Of course all this is problem and problem. I shall need some time to think it all over." He promised some definite word tomorrow.

Gave me three postals: two from Kennedy, one from a New York fanatic. "They will give you notions of how I pass my life."

Wednesday, September 17, 1890

7:25 P.M. To W.'s after I had been at Post Office. W. in parlor, windows closed, he with hat and coat on. Remarked the great fall in temperature. Was in very hearty mood, inclined to be strangely demonstrative of his cordiality.

I gave W. the following extract from letter from Stedman to Morris: "Do give my reverential love to Whitman when you see him. America is proud of him, though he won't believe it!" (September 15, 1890.) W. saying, "With all deference to Stedman, I must be allowed to say I do not think what he says is true—true for him of course, but not true for America. Stedman's primary quality is warmth." I put in, "His whole nature sits at this fire." W. then: "Good! and it tells Ned's story, too. His disposition towards me is true and noble. But America's? I cannot see it. That I am read, received, accepted, in the sense for instance of the acceptance of Whittier—no, that is not to be credited. I remember Standish O'Grady's piece—it turned up for me today again: 'Walt Whitman the Poet of Joy,' I think. I want you to read it. It is worth while if you have not done so. O'Grady is foreign—Irish—though he writes under the name of Arthur Clive. One of his great points is that Walt Whitman, though the poet of democracy, is received, can be received, only by the cultured few, an inner circle: that the masses can never be expected to compass him. But I know, I see better than that the measure, capacity (if it has any at all) of 'Leaves of Grass.' O'Grady brings back to me Stedman's great point years ago, that I had snubbed the collegiate, the universitarian, the cultured influences, whatever, in profession for the etat major: had put him—it—them—into unjust background. But he has not urged that now for some years. It occurs to me, to ask if he has abandoned it?" Did he think a literary man, say of the distinctive character of Stedman, could see the fullness of "Leaves of Grass"? "No, I do not. Stedman is himself the college man—by his post, his surroundings, we might almost say his tendencies. But Stedman is one of the beautiful happy specimens, too: an open, enthusiastic, responsive nature first and last. But Stedman is like all the rest: he pounces upon a trope—a line, some measure, the method and habit of a verse—makes too much of that as, indeed, do nearly all the fellows. Perhaps Bucke is the only one of the whole body who does not give the least deference to that. It is a significant fact in all that clusters about our attitude." And he further said, "No, Stedman is wrong about America, though there are Americans whose affection and loyalty are vehement, fiery, almost savage. And that will be a truth to know with other truths." I quoted to W. Bucke's remark that he had suspected sometimes that Gilchrist's admiration of W. was "only skin deep." W. said, "I don't agree with the Doctor. I would not place the matter in that shape at all. So far as appears to me, Herbert's affection, sympathy, adherence, is a quality that lasts out of honest genuineness." Then after a pause, "And that brings me again to the danger existing in misunderstood words, thoughts, persons: the infinite stretch of misjudgment—often falsehood—the wide reach and distance between people who ought to know, to love, one another." I went over and sat on a chair near him; he put his hand on the edge of his chair, indexing me. "I can illustrate it. There is an engineer in Camden here named Pine. Warrie knows him; met him the other night, again. It seems Pine knows me—I do not know him. Warrie said something to him about me, whereat Pine laughed, by and by saying, that now Warrie had said what he had and he (Pine) had laughed, the laugh ought perhaps to be explained. He explained, 'I suppose you think it queer that I laughed?' And Warrie replied, 'Yes, damned queer!' Pine going afterward into particulars, to say that whenever anyone spoke of Walt Whitman and his conveyance it made him laugh to remember what his dear mother"—oh! the tenderness W. put into that phrase, as he repeated it—"Yes! What his dear mother had told him: that every time she saw Walt Whitman wheeled past in his chair she had an almost irresistible impulse to rush out of the house and pitch him, chair, man and nurse, into the street, as a humbug—one of the greatest humbugs on earth. Now Horace, what do you think was at the bottom of all this? Nothing but a lie, a damned lying lie, but a damned uncomfortable lie, too, a lie like this: that I had said to someone Mrs. Pine knew, 'Women? What are women anyway? Are they anything more than a lot of old cows?' Think of it: think of that as a reflection of my work, of my life, of my own dear, dear mother! Yet this good woman hears it, has the proud womanly motherly resentfulness of its hate, its injustice! I loved it in the dear woman, but hated the damned irresponsible lie! And that shows the imminence of this spirit of lies: how, often, we seem surrounded by it, made its victims, how, often, we seem beyond having protection in our innocence." There was Scovel and Col. Johnson. "I dare not think of them. I must not give way to the excitement of it." And still in the same line: "There are liars by inclination—born liars—and I seem to have had my share of them." I put in, "Yes, and the liar if he happens to be a preacher will lie you into his church, or to keep a brothel into that." W.: "Yes, that is very good. There's no better way to say it."

I had met McKay today and said to him among much else, "Hartmann was recently in here and instead of kicking him out, as some of us would, I have every reason to suppose that Walt in his charity received him affably." McKay replying, "If I had him by the nape of the neck for a minute or two in my office, there wouldn't be much affability wasted," etc. W. laughed at this most enjoyably. "That sounds like Dave—and good, too. He took Dave in, as he no doubt took in others, too. God knows how many." And W. said further, "In spite of all I do feel a little implicated, too. Hartmann is another one of the liars, if no worse, who disturb our path." Referred then kindly to Dave—"I think Dave square. I am glad if he took our apology about the dinner as you tell me: with good humor, comprehension. We owed it to him. I was saying, I thought him square: he seems to grow, is to me as good as any, as honest—if that is to say much. I have grown more and more to believe this of Dave." McKay told me the 50 books went to London. W. "wondered," he said, "who to," etc.—admitted he was curious about it. Did not "think" himself "in such demand."

As explanation of the slander and lies current about him, I said, "You have been so frank and hospitable to all, you laid yourself open to it." He concurring sufficiently to say, "I have no doubt, I have laid myself open to it." I told him I always thought he had kept admirably clear of the Rhys-Kennedy antipathies. "Yes, why not? I had no reason to share them on either side. I never took Rhys up with any warmth, to be sure, but always trusted, respected him. For Kennedy I have gradually realized an affection, a real, deep, enduring affection, as I have never felt for Rhys."

I asked about the dinner. W. said, "I still think New York is the place, though I am not disposed to take an obstinate stand for that." He admitted that if it was "indispensible" for him to be present, the chances were better with the address in Philadelphia than with it in New York. "I can do as politicians do: when asked for my views, simply say, 'I have none: the views of the party are mine.'" I put in, "Yes, to say: I am in the hands of my friends." He laughed with merriment and nodded: "That's a good other way to put it. I shall trust you fellows to do it, my part being, as before, to stand off, to let things in your hands take their course. I can easily see that my presence might not be necessary, but if you think it is, I will do what I can to enter into the scheme." I asked him, "You do not fear the association with Ingersoll?" He laughed, "No indeed; on the contrary I am proud of it." I explained, "There are some of your friends who shrink from him." W. then, "Yes, I know, but I do not sympathize with them: I stand free enough of all that. In the points wherein we differ I think my work makes our difference plain and sets me up in my own individuality: while I feel that in the main, in most all things, we are in essential agreement. We accept Ingersoll for his genius, his vitality, his contact with natural sources. The little differences we have are almost not worth mentioning—certainly not to draw a line between us." I gave W. substance of the note I had written Johnston and he expressed himself satisfied.

I had talk with Harned this day, for this plan: to hold meeting in the Academy, W. and a group of friends on platform with Ingersoll; dinner with Intersoll at a later hour, etc. This I wrote to Johnston. The fellows agree that Philadelphia is the place when the necessity of having W. with them is considered.

W. said tonight, "I find I must not think too much of these liars who surround me: it excites and worries my head."

Of Tolstoi and the book: "I am a little sorry I have been so enthusiastic. It may take some of the edge off the book for you." Then remarked, "I think the dialogues superb: crisp, to great end, always holding well together."

He told me, "I expected you this afternoon: Warren and I have just been discussing you."

Thursday, September 18, 1890

7:25 P. M. I talked with W. for half an hour in his parlor, where he sat with window closed and hat on, to spare himself the chill change of the evening.

Morris today returned me Stedman book. W. said of it, "It is not perfect. I am glad to see he did not forget to include Ingersoll, but there's Aaron Burr, for instance: not a word about him or from him—whether by deliberation or forgetfulness I am curious to know." Adding, "Burr certainly wrote—wrote much. And some things he wrote, connected with our early political history, ought to have been sampled." Referred in this connection to Agnes Repplier, also I believe, not mentioned: "I have word that she is or has been with the Smiths in London. She is no doubt a smart woman, capable of bright sparkles and toss, but as for anything more, I don't know: I see nothing."

Discussed the Ingersoll address again. As to the "fear" W. said, "I never had the notion of it, not even to ask myself the question—it is the kind of question I never anyhow put to myself." I read him Johnston's letter, received today as follows:

Sept. 17, 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel,

I just saw Gilder—and he weakens on Ingersoll! G. says it is because he didn't like the Star Route business, but I think he's afraid Jesus will hurt the Century magazine circulation if his name and Ingersoll's should be printed on the same paper. Why there's more of the spirit of Christ in one day of Ingersoll's life than there is in a year of a shilly-shallying weakling who is afraid that the truth can be harnessed, hindered or repressed.

Sincerely yours, J. H. Johnston

"I am not surprised. I could have told Johnston in the first place not to go to Gilder. That is a very witty, cute letter, characteristic of Johnston." And then to me about Ingersoll again: "I authorize you, Horace, if the occasion seems made for it, to set me right with Ingersoll, or about him. I don't want it to go forth that my feelings towards him are one whit less than they are. Ingersoll is an orb: and if there are perturbations, they are a part of the orb-life. His genius, vitality, are great facts for us to consider, consider and consider again, for he is one of few men whom our time cannot pass. I am not afraid to be identified with him, to have it said for me that I am proud of the association—glad that we can know and meet, live in contemporaneous decades, know life side by side." Someone had said to me once, "Walt Whitman and Ingersoll have nothing whatever in common." W. shaking his head over it, to say, "Oh! that is a great mistake, a great mistake—we have about everything in common." And further: "If Ingersoll comes, it will make the fur fly. Not that I hanker to see fur fly, but that I face the truth. Such a man, a man so strong, so virile, so himself, so poised, sublimed in his own individuality—of necessity is an agitation: to many a dread, fear, horror." And he counselled me, "I would not have you invite a quarrel, in any way commence discussions, but in case such things need to be said, things like I have just said, you will feel authorized to speak for me. There's no use deliberately to stroke the fur the wrong way."

Read W. at this point letter just from Ingersoll as follows:

New York, Sept. 17th 1890. My dear friend,

My idea was, when you wrote me about the Club, that I might deliver some lecture in Philadelphia—maybe under the auspices of that Club,—for the benefit of Whitman. Of course, I have no particular interest in any Club—but I do feel great interest in our old friend, and think that a lecture, properly managed, would be of great assistance to him. Personally, I would like to plant at least one flower in his path.

If not thought best to do this under the auspices of the Club, why, I could do it independently, on my own hook. Probably that is the better way. I think we would have no trouble in filling the house, on some good subject.

Give my best regards to Mr. Whitman.

Your friend, Very truly, R. G. Ingersoll

He heard with a great interest—exclaimed—"The good Colonel!" several times. Told me if I wrote to send his love. "I had a letter from Bucke today in which he says he has just heard from Johnston about the Ingersoll matter. Johnston asked if Bucke would serve on the committee. Bucke said he would, of course. From the way Bucke wrote me I got an idea Johnston solicited this of Ingersoll and that Ingersoll consented. I want you to see the letter. It is upstairs."

Matters will be pushed without delay as to the night. W. said, "I like your outline well, so far as appears. I should prefer to have it in New York, but if I must be present perhaps your choice is best."

Friday, September 19, 1890

4:40 P. M. Good half hour's talk with W. Just finished dinner, Warren coming in for the tray—had not been out yet—Warren just setting chair out before the door. Looks well, talks well.

Much interested in Harper's Weekly and Bazar I had with me. I left former with him as he enjoys the pictures. Says of them, "Each week they seem to overpass the week previous."

Asked me if anything new had transpired in the Ingersoll matter. No. Nor new with him. He thought he still felt New York to be the place, though "satisfied" to have us "proceed in Philadelphia if that might seem advisable." He speaks of Ingersoll as prepared "with an address, lecture, essay, oration, whatnot"—is enjoying the prospect, I think, and all that comes in its train.

Spoke about questioners: "They are my abomination: I'd as lief be buffeted so and so and so—right in the mouth—as be constantly submitted to catechism. It is always: what do you think of Blaine? or, what do you think about religion? or, what are your opinions about politics? or, do you believe in immortality? and so on, with a list that sets me sick, offered by nearly everyone who comes. And they will ask about the latest book, the latest picture, the latest everything—of none of which could I know anything at all. Some people are born lawyers: are born to question, to get on the track of the last fact with the last question, to let no man escape their inquisition." Was this not Yankee? "Yes, in part, but not in its abuse." Or the habit of science, in its search? "I should not so place it to the scientific men: some of it, it may be, but not in its cheaper phase."

I had "The Kreutzer Sonata" with me. He noticed and said, "It is a mighty book, a vast book: it has property from the highest sources." And further, "And it is true, too, yes: its sketch of marriage in high life, of everyday formal marriages, hits to the life. It's throbbing, vital with fidelity."

How far was "Leaves of Grass" teaching a higher lesson? Did W.'s affirmative attitude—simply declaring the sacredness of body and soul—emphasizing it everywhere, yet not denunciating—produce results of greater compass? W. looked at me. "What do you think? Does it? I had not thought. But affirmation! It is a great spirit: we have a right to look to it for highest effects."

How much had W. in common with Buddhism? For instance, in his insistence upon the holiness of all life, all material—taking in particularly the sphere of lower life, so tenderly regarded in the East. W. replied, "I can see union, agreement at some points, perhaps many, but one point of differentiation seems to be here: that whereas, the Buddhist puts stress—primary stress—upon absorptive, final loss of individuality, I put the contrary emphasis, upon, if so to say it, an extreme individuality, identity—that the individual is crown, master, god of all. It is not the Buddhist alone who has that instinct, but the Christian, too. And too often I find it in men of science. But the mission of 'Leaves of Grass' is to stand against all that—to take the extreme stand in opposition."

He laid the Atlantic out for me. "Holmes is a cute fellow. He sees a point sometimes with unexpected capacity. I have read that piece carefully again, and think more of it, too, after a second reading. You will see that whatever happens, I am determined to take compliments out of it. The point that flatters me"—this with a laugh—"is where he classes Emerson and Walt Whitman together as men determined upon the freedom of literature, with their declaration of independence, and then says that after all we are not the original Jacobs in that cause, but that honors all belong to Lord Timothy Dexter, born and died long ago." W. spoke, as so often before, of "the gentle Emerson," and that Holmes after all had struck a truth when he perceived, even in the passing view of a joke, that Emerson and W. W. had made some stroke for liberty: "However, Walt Whitman, for his part, may have failed in what he undertook." And then, "I ought to say all this to Dr. Bucke, but I suppose I never shall. If I could remember it till he came on, it might be repeated, or perhaps you will carry some of it to him if you go up there in October."

W. in trying to remember something to tell me, suddenly exclaimed, "My memory is very bad and becoming worse! The most tantalizing habit it has is of remembering just enough of a thing to remind me of how much is forgotten." I gave him what I thought were peculiar features of his memory. He admitted, "Yes, they may be true, but my memory is bad, always has been bad. I have no such memory as you have." Adding, "My memory is more a memory of impressions than of facts. I could always hold well in hand memorable events, memorable days—but everthing else was like to go." I asked, "But how about the vast accumulation of fact, detail out of active life, in 'Leaves of Grass'?" "Yes, I have quite a volume of them: but it is more from early habit than good memory," and as to remembering his own poems, "I don't suppose I can repeat one of them. They go utterly, utterly—in fact, do not even do that, for I never have them in the sense we are speaking of."

Saturday, September 20, 1890

7:50 P.M. After having got back from his trip in the chair, W. sat in parlor, as he said, "for several hours." Kept his hat on and the window by which he sat closed. Sometimes complains of his sight, but I note how readily he knows me however dark the room, and tonight that the reflection on the house opposite, caused by the glare of a bonfire on 4th Street, caused him to ask me, "What is that unusual light?"—not satisfied until I had leaned out the window and told him.

W. asked me, "What do you know new?" and without waiting for an answer said, "I hear nothing, but wrote a short note to Johnston today." I told him we had not yet succeeded in arranging about Academy, finding it hard to get the proper custodians, but expected to Monday. I had the following letter from Johnston, of which I told W.:

New York, Sept 19, 1890 My Dear Traubel:

Fire away. You are on the right track and need no lessons from me.

The stage idea is splendid. I hope to see Ingersoll tomorrow and will get all I can from him as to what he thinks best to do and how to do it.

Hastily yours, J. H. J.

W. did "not know about Gilder" but was "not inclined to take a severe view of his position," adding, "As I said before, Philadelphia seems to me Ingersoll's field—I could say, his bailiwick—and whatever his subject, whatever he takes up, I think he will treat it grandly, easily, magnificently, eloquently: it is in him and he simply must do it. That kind of a man is under just such influence. There has been something in the air of Philadelphia—I must say it though I am thought stupid for saying it—from the days of Penn even, to which he is response and inspiration." I told him Frank Williams was in to see me. "And he was opposed to Ingersoll, wasn't he?" I said, "On the contrary he heartily concurs: thinks it was a generous, noble thing in Ingersoll, and even that our private supper after is a necessary feature of the event." W. exclaimed, "That's a surprise. A victory, even: and good for Frank, too. I had expected you to say something quite different." And he continued after a pause, in which I said nothing, "I have been feeling myself that Ingersoll's area, scope, influence—the circle of his accepters, understanders—has been growing, perceptibly growing, even here of late. I am heartily in favor of the supper, too. It would pass well, for you boys, for me—for Ingersoll, most of all—as it should."

He spoke (he has done it before) of Justin Winsor's "The Perils of Historical Narrative" in the Atlantic. "It has a true ring. I enjoyed it very much. There's a flavor of the genuine wine, and pithy, to the point. A man, I should say, not precise, not literal." And then, "I don't know anything about him; yet the name is not altogether strange, either."

Then we touched again upon Holmes' piece. I said of it, "I don't like it even on the recommendation of your second reading. It is too prolonged; sounds as if Holmes got out of wind and begged again and again of the pumps for a new supply." W. laughed. "That was pretty near my first thought, though I went it even worse than that. But along later I softened a little, till now I am even prepared to give it virtue, if not point." I remarked, "Holmes is smart enough not to commit himself: he does not seem to take an absolute stand; plays around the subject, as if possibly with an idea the future will disprove him, or may." W. responded, "That is quite just. I saw that plainly myself. I think anyone would admit your point, for it is allowed by every sign we see. I think most of all, Holmes is unjust to Emerson, for Emerson was modest if ever man was modest, or is. And even the Phi Beta Kappa oration, or essay, or whatever, was no denunciation, no pronunciamento, in any offensive sense, but a quiet statement of primary things, quite in Emerson's inimitable and beautiful attitude, which was never one to aggress. A quiet statment of this: that if any man would be anything, he must be himself—write, speak, think freely, out of his own spirit. And on the literary side Emerson never deliberately outraged tradition, broke the traces, though in reading this of Holmes we might be persuaded to believe he did." I put in, "But Holmes evidently feels Emerson's insistence everywhere for freedom, that men should plant themselves on their instincts, abiding there, etc., that no literary tradition or any other should imprison the soul—and he probably finds in this a correspondence with your own declarations in 'Leaves of Grass.'" W. assented, "Yes, I guess that's what caused his criticism. Still, I think, he should have acquitted Emerson of even the suspicion of a charge. One of the most interesting things in the paper to me, is the passage from which we may learn the most that men like Holmes can say against 'Bill,' 'Jack,' 'Walt,' and so on, which is practically nothing at all." And still again, "Not even in my good humor can I altogether get rid of the notion that Holmes felt: 'I'm in for a 50 or 100 dollar piece here: what shall it be about? Oh! I see! So here goes,' and that will account for some things I can in no other way account for." And further: "Timothy Dexter was not an utter myth. There was such a book. And I don't know but that punctuation business was very funny, after all. It was issued at a time when all the schoolmasters discussed punctuation marks, phraseology, formal technique; so Dexter printed a page, or several pages, of punctuation marks of all sorts, as if, and meaning to say, 'It's impossible for me to punctuate to suit everybody, so just each man for himself take these marks and put them into what he may think their proper places in the book!'" W. laughed heartily, "It was not bad. I don't know but it even had some positive value."

I asked him if he agreed with Morris, who said to me today that he thought Whittier had no future? He replied, "No, I do not agree. I think that Whittier's paper will pass," and he added that he felt he could "thoroughly reciprocate" my feeling that Whittier had never sacrificed his convictions to simply art aspirations. "It will stand to his great honor."

Speaking of "slanders" of which he is a victim, W. said tonight, "I could say, 'if you knew the truth, you would know worse than that," as Socrates said. Only, it happens that these fellows mainly hit upon the very evils that do not exist." He said Holmes' piece had "the one virtue that it was not written, so far as could be seen, in ill-nature."

"Progress," he says, "is by great strides now, where once it was a matter for long years and patience," so that "the world will come up with Ingersoll, or his protest, in a near end."

I used an expression, "Making of character a sea, upon which to invite spiritual commerce," and he said, "That is very fine; that says a great deal."

Sunday, September 21, 1890

Did not see W. today. Wrote Johnston further on Ingersoll matter. All so far well. We may have some difficulty in getting a hall. Some years ago it was understood that Ingersoll would find it hard to secure here the privilege of any platform. But W. says, "He is growing. The people are more ready to receive him."

Monday, September 22, 1890

5:15 P.M. Talked good half hour with W., and when I left, though the clouds seemed to threaten darkly, he thought, he said, that he would "at least try" his "outing."

As I feared there is to be trouble about a hall. The Academy managers refuse to have Ingersoll, say that was decided upon long ago: that neither Ingersoll nor any other atheistic speaker could control the platform there. They put it on the ground of complaints served. We find that the Union League Annex cannot be controlled for the same reason. Will try next for Musical Fund Hall. W. said, smiling, "The event proves interesting. Well, we must remember what has been said—truly said—that the blood of the martryrs is the seed of the church. And so it is, in more senses than could be easily named. You will persevere? Yes? I thought so—now is just the time to push on. I had not expected any trouble of this sort, to be sure." He usually asks me for "the news" and did so today; and now said, "That's interesting enough news for one day."

Invited me to take some sickle pears out of a bag on the floor.

Asked him about a description of his "study" for my article. Would like a sort of inventory of goods from him. He laughed, "It is not 'study'—rather 'shack.' You know what a 'shack' is? It is a dug-out—in a way, a den. It is a word used in the West mostly, for the holes cut in the hillsides, once the resort of exploring parties, and now that exploring is over, for the railroad gangs. This is my 'shack.' I remembered a newspaper description the other day—a pretty good one—and I looked for it, thinking I knew where it was, but it did not turn up, being, like everything else in this room, of a mind of its own, secretive enough till the day I don't want it—then making a smiling appearance. But I will take ten minutes tomorrow and scratch a few things together for you."

Tuesday, September 23, 1890

7:15 P.M. W. in his room: reading, he said, and as I could see, a letter just received from Dr. Bucke of which he gave me some particulars. Just in from trip in chair. Alluded to the "autumnal beauty" of the evening, "the inspiration of the wind," and how exhilarated the outing had left him.

Asked me for "news" again (his usual question after salutations), at which I exhibited the following letter from Ingersoll, received today.

New York, Sept. 21st 1890. My dear friend:

Your letter expresses the scope of what I wish to say, and the subject or subjects upon which I think it will be well for me to speak. The details, of course, I leave to you. You can let me know at any time the day you can have, so that I can accommodate myself to it. If in November, let it be a little time after the election.

Give my very best regards to Whitman. You can tell him that I read, for about the twentieth time, on yesterday, his "Sprig of Lilac" that he placed on Lincoln's coffin, and every time I read, the poem seems greater and more pathetic.

Very truly your friend, R.G. Ingersoll

He read deliberately, exclaiming as to the last passage, which he read a second time, and aloud. "Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is Bob: his voice, gesture, tone, vitality, is in it all, and it corresponds with what Johnston tells me in a letter today." Later he persisted in getting up and hunting me this letter, saying, "You should keep it in your collection, if you have one, and with the others, too, for it is worth while."

New York, Sept. 22 1890 Dear Walt:

It is very nice to know that you are well enough to write two such nice letters. It is wonderful—the rallying power that dear Nature gives us.

I am glad you are pleased with my idea of Ingersoll lecturing.

It will be a great event. One that us Whitmanites will rejoice over as long as we live.

I got Ingersoll interested two yrs ago in Saratoga.

Since then he has dipped into L. of G. very often (I can tell) and now—what do you think!! The other day he said to me, "Johnston do you know that I think there is nothing greater in poetry in our language than Walt's tribute to Lincoln."

Ingersoll has a great soul, and it did me good to hear him say it. And it was then I suggested the lecture, I want an address by him in permanent shape. That dinner speech ought to have been saved for posterity—now we will perhaps have something as great or greater.

Excuse great haste. Regards to Mrs. Davis.

Yrs sincerely, JH Johnston

I also had a letter from Johnston today, which W. read with interest. It reports this of the talk with Ingersoll:

New York, Sept. 22 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel:

I saw Ingersoll this morning. He thinks if Nov. is chosen it better be after election—but if it should be the last of Oct. it will be the same to him. He will come any night that you can secure the Academy or other big place.

He will fix on a name for his theme, but it will be Walt Whitman whatever else it is, in the way of frills to sound nice. Excuse great haste.

Sincerely yrs JH Johnston

W. afterward said to me, "When the proper time comes, when things are fully arranged for, we might give out a little item of news, which I have not given, must not now give, to the reporters, this: the Young Men's Christian Association refused me their hall for Elias Hicks, the Academy people refused Ingersoll their hall for Walt Whitman. There needs no more be said than that, all in two lines, which tell their own tale—measures, metes its own significance." I told him of Edward Sharples, as I understood a leader among Friends, to whom we sent a couple of copies of the Conservator, which he tore into pieces and returned. W. exclaimed, "Oh, shame! shame! shame!"

Told him of postal from Clifford, saying he would probably be over with Neidlinger on Thursday. W. said, "Let them come. I am not afraid. Clifford always belongs with us."

I reminded him of the notes he had promised me for my article. "There!" he exclaimed. "It is my memory again! I have not written a word of it, not a word." And after I had described to him somewhat the scheme of the article, he remarked, "I like it very much: it has great attractions for me. I know how, after a man disappears, the mists begin to gather, then fallacy of one degree or another, then utter myth, irresistibly mystifying everything. It is a lamentable twist in history." I asked, "Isn't an honest diary first-class history? Pepys, for instance?" He assented, "I was just going to mention Pepys. I should say, the thing to have is the truth, not to be satisfied even with the spirit of truth, but to demand the fact itself— the divine, unaided, uncircumlocuted, unmanipulated fact, however bare, however it forbids—only in an adherence to this is the safety of history. I am much attracted by a story that comes to us from the Greek, either in its literature or by some tradition. It tells that a hero, after he has gained one or two great victories, is celebrated by a colossal sculptural counterfeit in some public place; that after he has added to these victories, made them four or five more, and very very very very great—great beyond dispute—then this is taken down and a simple statue of life-size substituted. Oh! it is a sublime, a profound story! Kept for us moderns by the Elizabethan writers but very little dwelt upon by modern writers because too profound, too full of significances and rebuke, for them." He had noticed, he said, that Ingersoll never indulged in personalities; he always discussed classes. "I think that is very wise and the secret of much. The explanation of things gone and things to come. I am more and more impressed and attracted by his work, his method of work, if so to be called."

Wednesday, September 24, 1890

5:10 P.M. Had a fine strong talk with W., covering half an hour. He had just had his dinner. Was very bright. Showed him the letter received from Ingersoll today.

New York, Sept. 23d 1890. My dear friend:

I think that Mr. Baker, who has been with me for many years, had better go over to Philadelphia and consult with you. He can tell you what to do, as he knows all about the lecture business—advertising, tickets, contracts, etc.—which, by the way, is of itself a profession.

Of course, I care nothing about the action of the directors of the Academy of Music, or the Annex. I presume that some good place can be obtained. If not, we can have the lecture in this city, and Whitman can come over here. Still, I think some place can be found in Philadelphia. Horticultural Hall would do—and Mr. Baker tells me that he thinks there is a new opera house or hall uptown that might be secured if thought advisable.

However, do not allow yourself to be annoyed, or worried. It will all come out right enough. I have been through the same mill a great many times.

On second thought, I think that towards the last of October would be the best time.

Of course, you know that my real object is to raise some money for Whitman. I want every dollar to go to him, and consequently, everything should be done for the purpose of achieving a financial success. If we fail once—why, we can try again.

Considerable money will have to be advanced in advertising, and this I am perfectly willing to do myself.

With best regards to Whitman, I remain as ever,

Truly your friend, R. G. Ingersoll

He read it deliberately, some of it aloud. "The noble fellow!" he exclaimed. "So much more than any of us would have a right to expect!" And again, "Oh! What a splendid letter this is, so full of generosity and truth!" Adding, "I do not think my friends understand the extent of my advocacy and approval of Ingersoll, of his work. It don't matter about the few diversities, I make nothing of them, and they are slight anyhow. The main thing is, Ingersoll is a free man, free to his individuality, as all first-class men have been from the start. Fearless, frank, eloquent, with tongue of fire. These are things which stir him with genius. In all essential ways, Ingersoll's work and mine converge: I think even my intimate friends are disposed not to see this."

Our hope of getting Horticultural Hall is very good. Request will be referred to Board tomorrow. The man in charge is enthusiastic for the "yea," saying, "The people next door rent their building to promiscuous balls and performances, yet hesitate about giving it to a man who denies dogmas few of which they themselves believe in their hearts." W. "pleased," he said, with the idea of keeping up the fight here. "It is a phase to be accepted with all that it implies."

As I sat there the woman who is serving in Mrs. Davis' absence came in to say that a couple of children were below with flowers and asked to see him. But he neither went down nor invited them up. "I guess I must not see them this time," he said, explaining to me, "They have been here several times: are always interested to see the rat, the lion, the elephant, or whatever you choose. The dear children! But I cannot always humor them!"

He has forgotten my notes again, putting the blame as before on his "worse and worse memory"—would certainly do tomorrow.

Asked what had been heard of Harned's mother? I knew no change at all in her condition.

Judge Thayer today rendered decision in Philadephia favorable to Tolstoi's "Kreutzer Sonata." "I have just been reading it here," W. said, at my reference, pointing to the Camden Post, "but it is simply a sentence. Have you it in full? I had intended looking it up further." I read him last paragraph (I had the Call with me). He laughed. "That is certainly rich; that is full of hope: it is just the thing you would expect from a judge of the first class." And after I had handed him paper, he read the paragraph aloud, "Oh! how rich it is! How like the old decisions: and what a thrust! What could cut more keenly into the very vitals?" And then, "You will leave the paper with me? I want it! You can get another on your way up." Afterward speaking of "The Kreutzer Sonata" itself again, "My opinion of it continues, gives hue to all my recent thought. It is not a book for children, not a book to be easily understood. Nor a book for delicate palates—for elegant polite circles—for men who crave literary sweetmeats. It is like a magnificent nigger—superb, powerful, true to the first shred of nature—not to be admired because of his beauty, but because of his truth. Tolstoi's picture is the grandest I know of marriage as it exists today—of the institution, so called, as such. Marriage as we know it, in Europe, here in Philadelphia, New York, everywhere, lays itself open to all that Tolstoi says. Tolstoi does not make for marriages per se, but for marriage which is no marriage—the formal institution of marriage. Oh! the force of the blow is tremendous, tremendous. And the art of it too, how great! An art which is entirely hidden, which is not suspected, which leaves you the impression that here is brutal, crude, unstudied nakedness. And yet art set the whole feast, saw to every detail. The power to do that is the distinction of genius."

I referred to the Globe—last number—in which W. H. Thorne, discussing the "The Kreutzer Sonata," devotes a foul paragraph to denunciation of "Leaves of Grass" as bestial beyond excuse and relief, etc. W. said, "Yes, I knew of it; my attention has been called to it." Did he know Thorne? "Yes, I have met him. He is a foul shameless man. No, it is not worth while getting the magazine: I am not curious to see it and it has no value for you, as you say. I think Thorne lived in Camden several years. I met him at the Scovels'. He is worse than Hartmann, which is saying a good deal. The Scovels with their womanly instincts—and I joined them, too—always revolted to think of this man leaving his wife to suffer, living himself in something like ease, or the best he could get. He would eat up the best food, wear the best clothes, and she would be without both—be in rags, without good stockings to put on her feet. The fellow was rather good-looking, too—not without brains. When rebuked for his selfishness, would say that he was expected to face the world and had a certain respectability to keep up. Yes, respectability, damn him! He travelled as a sort of Unitarian minister. I would warn you and Clifford to beware of him, to steer a passage away from him. He is a plausible, not repulsive man to meet. Piety? Yes, all the piety he had was of a formal cut. As for real piety: he never had a suspicion of it. At one time he professed to be very friendly to 'Leaves of Grass,' even put his friendliness into print. I remember he once wrote asking me for a copy—indeed, several copies—of 'Leaves of Grass.' He already had one: I did not answer his letter, though I probably would have given him the books had he come for them, but ever since that time he has pursued me with his insolence. I should not care to add anything to this. He was not, is not, a man of high instincts, and his religion is only a matter of words." W. referred several times again to the brutality of this man, to "the poor wife, and my heart always went out to her" and his "hypocrisy."

After I had left W.'s I went and had a talk with Harned on the Ingersoll matter. Then home. Somewhat disquieted. Would the New York fellows think I arbitrarily intervened or insisted upon Philadelphia? Or would they see the several reasons I had in mind? I do not favor W.'s going to New York because it may be a danger to him. He might go through the ordeal safely. But if he did not? Better not risk anything that might shorten his life. Then there were other reasons. If W. were in sound health or even somewhat stronger than he is, I would say, New York was the place. But Philadelphia should have it now because it is pretty clear W. will be with us there—not so clear about New York—and his presence is necessary to make the meeting a grand oration rather than a lecture gathering only. Then we have the Philadelphia issue injected by the Academy managers. But with all this, what was my right on the premises? The right to suggest. No more. My mood was this. Could not quiet myself till I had written notes to Ingersoll and Johnston, asking Ingersoll to answer me two questions: whether he would prefer New York and whether he did not think we ought to insist upon having it in Philadelphia; telling Johnston that I would put the matter point blank to W. whether it should be in New York—would then go to W.'s tonight in quest.

7:20 P.M. To W.'s again for reason as indicated above. I told him what I had just written Johnston. He remarked, with a smile, "I don't think I want to put myself on record in that at all. If it is New York I shall make every effort to get there—very likely be there; if it is in Philadelphia, I shall be satisfied, too. The chief thing is, the event. The chiefest, perhaps, Ingersoll himself. What a great splendid nature he has! Doing the natural generous things—in this thing probably simply transacting himself—no more. The letter you showed me has been my surprise, my rejoicing." Then he added, "I think our jeweler Johnston should be considered, too: he is true blue, devoted, warm-hearted." But, after all, Ingersoll might be the man to defer to if he greatly desired it in New York. "I don't know but that is best of all: to wait and hear from him," adding, "I like your spirit in this thing: each to defer to the other. I think the world has never paid enough deference to that principle of Quakers, which, in their meetings, prevents a mere majority from deciding policies, actions. One vote or several not being sufficient to make a rule operative. Always suggesting to me a silent sweet deference to minorities, to the spirit; not doing all out of awe of numbers. I am sure it is a rebuking contrast to all that is accepted in the methods of legislation. Let us keep it in mind."

As to Johnston's idea that if W. came to New York, the literary people there would call on him almost en masse, W. said laughingly, "But suppose Walt Whitman would not receive—would not be recepted? And no doubt he would not. The times for that are gone, if it ever was, which I doubt."

Inquired how I was writing the New England Magazine article: whether in a way he could read. "I shall want to remind you of things," he said. "It is impossible to go through such an article without appreciating the importance of forgotten, perhaps minor but important points. The instinct to have you add will no doubt move me again and again."

I picked a piece of paper out of wastebasket. He laughed as he always does. "What to do with it?" he asked.

Thursday, September 25, 1890

7:10 P.M. W. sitting at parlor window. Said to me as I came in, "You arrive just at the right minute: I am just returned from my trip." Spoke further of "the beauty of these days" and of how they "took possession" of his "physical, physiological self."

Reported that Clifford had come in with Neidlinger. "They were here just before I went out." He said he had got Neidlinger mixed with Nibelungen, and could "hardly separate the words." Remarked of Neidlinger, "He appears to be quite a fellow," words which might mean anything but which in tone he now assumed meant something definitely applausive.

I received today the following letter from Buxton Forman:

46 Marlborough Hill St. John's Wood, London SW 16 Sept. 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel,

Many thanks for your letter of the 2nd of September and the copy of "Camden's Compliment" which I have received on returning to London after a short absence. It is a very interesting little volume, without which my "W. W." collection would be sadly defective. It is quite certain this is the first copy I have received. I am glad my letter was in time for the Postscript of the volume.

Thanks for your article on last Birthday. Is it possible there is no verbatim report of what passed—even of Ingersoll's speech? W. W.'s "acknowledgment" of 1889 is said to be reprinted from his slip: is that a printed slip separate from the book? If so, can I get a copy?

I envy your daily communion with Whitman. If you survive him a thousand years, friend Traubel, you will have a beautiful memory to last you all your life.

Yours very sincerely H. Buxton Forman

Read it to W. He said, "No, I have no slips: I don't suppose one of them could be found anywhere here." Touched by the closing passage of the note. Added too, "I too have mourned and mourn for the loss of that speech. It was the outburst, the magnificence, of a master."

Johnston telegraphs me to this effect: "You are right Phila. the place go right ahead." W. expressed himself as "fully satisfied."

Had my notes in his breast pocket, marked "Horace," descriptive of room, etc. "Of course," he remarked, "you must continue to assert your prerogative: to use what comes within your boundaries, to reject what may not seem pertinent."

Reference to chirography. He felt of his own: "It is clear, it is direct, whatever it may lack." Adding then, "It seems to me Wallace's man there in England, and Ingersoll's man here, are the models for us all: direct, legible, with none of the crawling eccentricities of genius or stupidity."

He said Neidlinger's coming had reminded him "that our fellows are mostly of the radical sort: musicians, free-thinkers, actors, writers of an individual turn." I said, "Don't forget doctors," and he: "That's so—doctors perhaps the chief of all—I have found a great response in doctors."

Did he suppose he had more friends in Philadelphia than New York? "No, I would doubt it." Or many in New York itself? "No, nor that either. Many nowhere, so far as I can see." Then further, "We do not please ourselves on the number of our fellows but on their quality."

Spoke again of Thayer's decision: "It is all that is necessary. It drives direct to the point at issue. It gives us great hope of ourselves!" And definitely again, "It is not to be doubted the book is the book of a master: an 'Othello,' picked out of our modern life, to make a great issue clear."

Friday, September 26, 1890

5:10 P.M. Half hour's good talk with W. in his own room. Rained out of doors: he would not be able to go "chairing." Yet was content, saying, "After a fortnight of as beautiful days as ever I knew, this is no sacrifice, this is our due; and right and proper in its place anyway." And again, "We are getting near October, soon to have some of the irreproachable days—not warm, not cold—the month of subduedness and pensive memories." And "then later on, the Indian summer. Oh! the Indian summer! it stirs up the flying embers—all the dead days of the year—into momentary new life!"

Returned me Harper's Weekly. Spoke of picture of Boucicault therein. "I never met him, but am impressed that that is a very good picture. He was quite a fellow—in his range, strong and effective." Representation also of Ward's statue of Horace Greeley. W. said, "I don't know whether I should like that or not: it is not conclusive with me at all. If I got to New York I should no doubt look at it a long while. It would interest me, I have no doubt. I have seen most of the statues in Central Park and off through the city there, and must say of them, as I would of those in our Fairmont Park, that they are nearly all pretty bad. I don't think the American genius has so far run into effective scuptural work."

Left him the Bazar, in which a picture by Wordsworth Thompson attracted him. "It has many good points, I should say: its plot, its atmosphere, its faithfulness, all seem marked." It was a picture of Virginia colonial life, of which W. said, "It reminds me of the French, and this of a chateau," pointing to the structure included in the sketch.

Gave me a slip copy of "Shakespeare for America," from Poet-Lore, also one for Stedman, to whom he knew I was to write. "I had a letter today from Joe Gilder, enclosing the ten dollars, also saying that this little piece is to be reprinted in the Critic. Do you suppose it is in Rolfe's column? I have never had any personal contact with Rolfe. It appears to me, or was my impression, that he belongs or belonged to New England, was a Bostonese." But what was R.'s opinion of him he did not know, remarking that "perhaps Rolfe had none at all."

Also had laid out for me a Curtz print of the Preface he had written for O'Connor's book, writing on the margin, "Sent on to Mrs. O'C (Sept. 25, '90) to serve as prefatory note to the 'Brazen Android' tales by Wm. O'C"—no punctuation except as indicated. "I shall use it in the 'Annex' to 'November Boughs,'" he said. "Bucke has written to me for the manuscript (which I did not send to Mrs. O'Connor), but I suspect it is burned up—all gone to utter dissipation. It was the greatest piece of shock you ever saw, even from me. Written in horrible disorder, on all sorts of odds and ends of paper." But he added to this after a pause, "Although my copy would not satisfy the dilettante writer or reader, I am proud to think it is usually plain sailing to the printer, and that is enough. In fact, all my study is to put and keep the printer on his feet. The new habit of writing in any way on any side and all sides of a sheet utterly bewilders me. Even Mrs. Davis, writing from the West the other day, confused and worried me by the infinitude of her turns from page to page—on and on one side of the sheet, then back on the other. I could hardly manage her letter at all." Then of the O'Connor piece again: "O'Connor would have made a great speaker before juries, here his great power would have been told: in criminal cases, in appeals, in beating down opposition of sentiment by sentiment more powerful." Bucke had said to me, "O'Connor would have made a great romancist." W. added, "Yes, and a great several other things: for instance, as I have said, as advocate, as essayist, as orator in unpopular causes." O'Connor was in respects different from Symonds. I had said, "Symonds' published matter would not at all disappoint me if I did not see his private letters." W. admitted the difference in temperature, then added, "O'Connor was always the same—he had nothing to tone down, to hide—as he was in letters, in talk, so was he in what he wrote—and as he was in what he wrote, so was he in what he published. He was always willing to impart or reveal the fervor he felt."

Referred again to Rolfe—then to H.H. Furness: "I wonder if Furness has ever gone much into Shakespearean exegesis, as Dowden has," then applauding Dowden's book on Shakespeare.

Said he had started up fire today and swung the wolf's skin over the book of the chair. "It is the beginning of the winter campaign."

W. is expecting Burroughs. "He may come any day now: I suppose he will come in unannounced."

Had sent O'Connor slip to Ingersoll. "He was a friend of William's; I thought he might be interested. And they are remarkable men both: both alike, too, in readiness and eloquence of speech."

Morris had a letter today notifying him that the Horticultural Hall was open to our engagement. W. said upon the point, "I think that on the whole Philadelphia is the best place and we had best settle on it at once. It is always a part of the race won to have settled on the locale." Gave me in this connection letter from Johnston remarking how Ingersoll had come to volunteer the lecture. W. also asked me to keep him informed of preparations.

I wrote Ingersoll and Johnston notifying them of the availability of the Hall.

W. asked me for "several copies" of the Conservator containing Bucke's piece, saying, "I have lost or sent away all the copies I had. I am not decided yet whether to include this in my 'Annex.' I want to see it again, to find how it impresses me for that." And, "Yes, I may use Kennedy's, too: both in the way of autobiography."

Saturday, September 27, 1890

5:10 P.M. At W.'s till about six. Found John Burroughs sitting there. Talk pretty free, especially between Burroughs and me. W., however, participating from time to time. W. took from me and examined the Critic—noteworthily his own piece, wondering if they had quoted all and finding they had. Made several remarks about contents of paper. Gave Burroughs a copy of the O'Connor piece saying, "I mailed one to you yesterday, together with the Shakespeare piece, which you could not have got yet." Explaining then, "That is in no sense a preface to the stories: simply a reminiscence, so to speak. A hint of my own private affection, of indebtedness to O'Connor." He did "not know just what would be included in the book," whether "more than the stories" or not. Remembered at Burroughs' reminder "The Bull Whipping," in which O'C. had done some of his notable work. Burroughs remarked that he had been glad to come in and find W. eating a hearty meal. Had brought along a basket of grapes, of which before I left W. insisted I should take several bunches.

I left W. Current Literature. Not done with Scribner's yet. Showed him proof of my matter for Poet-Lore. "You will leave it till morning? Yes, do. I can then read it at my ease." Also gave him copies of the Conservator he asked for yesterday.

W. explained somewhat the drift of O'Connor's "Brazen Android." Much talk of O'Connor himself, Burroughs asking many questions as to his last sickness, etc.

W. asked if I had "any news," and I handed him this note received from Johnston today, he reading and returning to me.

New York, Sept. 26 1890 Dear Traubel;

I have not seen Ingersoll for a week but am sure to see him tomorrow morning and will write you of our talk.

I am more and more satisfied that it is right to have the lecture in Phil.—and if it turns out a good success we will be prepared with a nice memento of some kind to give Ingersoll—Album with a dozen of Walt's photos and one of each of us few admirers and lovers—or something of that kind—and after the lecture, the night we will make of it will be memorable.

On the quiet we must have a couple of good short hand writers who will make a note of our whole night on the quiet.

Yesterday I came into posession of something you would like to see.

The only painting of Thomas Paine from life, by the elder Jarvis while they were boarding with Mrs. Bonneville.

It is a life size bust—and the quality of work as a painting is superb.

If it was a stranger and a pilgrim unknown I should be glad to own it.

Very sincerely yours JH Johnston

Burroughs came away and took tea with me, intending to put up with Harned during his stay. But he was with me till 10:30. Is in very good trim: presents a marked contrast to the Burroughs of two years ago. His eye is better, his color fine, and he says he sleeps well, "every night from nine to five." His whole manner easier, more towards abandon. He has delightful ways with children. At our table he and my father (from off the Rhine) discussed grape-farming—both out of a tremendous interest.

B. says this is his seventeenth trip to Camden to see W. He always comes in the fall. There were years in which he came twice, but of late he has had his fall trip and no other. Expresses joy in W.'s condition. Notices only two changes, he says, in W. in the past year: an added lameness and an evident increased difficulty in hearing. But color and voice satisfy him. He feels that W. retains all his faculties, can see in mental fields as clearly as ever, and is as good a critic. He greatly enjoyed my father's big crayon of W., saying of W.'s head, "It is the grandest that has so far appeared in America. It is so simple, too—Greek!" Burroughs himself looks wonderfully like Sidney Morse and even has his manners. Enjoyed Morse's Emerson, which he felt was "good and true."

We talked of many things, mainly things that clustered about W. and his work. B. had not read "The Kreutzer Sonata," but now that W. was in such a mood about it, would do so. I think his feelings towards Ingersoll have softened, though he still says he holds the Star Route defense against him. But he thinks Ingersoll "generous and warm-hearted" and had no adverse word to say. Discussed somewhat W.'s strength—whether "Leaves of Grass" had in that respect declined. B. thought the earlier poems most abundantly gifted—that especially the later poems of marked lesser calibre. "I do not mean, however, to say they are weak; he could not be weak; but they lack in poetic possession," and so on. We talked over Emerson too, Burroughs having known him and being ready with reminiscences. Emerson "had a divine face, the most serene I have ever known in a living man." His whole being "most full of peace."

Burroughs thinks "O'Connor will appear again," that "really great quality is never lost and buried, and O'Connor was great." And he said, "I wish I had the time, or some good man, who knew O'Connor and his work, to collect all the pieces together, even the poems, and make a volume of them. In fact, I would like to get all his letters, too." Spoke of O'Connor's enthusiasms. B. said his own view of Hugo "is undoubtedly in great part a reaction from O'Connor's attempt to ram Hugo down my throat whether or no." Yet, "Hugo is a giant, too—a genius: I should not deny it."

Burroughs has a copy of Cox's picture, the one W. calls "The Laughing Philosopher" and says he "tires" of it a little now. Had seen the Gutekunst (August '89) picture, the copy Johnston was taking to Wallace, and had taken to it, observing no defect but in one of the shoulders, which he ascribed to the curvature of the glass in the camera. He "wondered" if W. had more and would give him one? I told him I would mention it to W.

Harned came in while we sat about the table and talked. Had just arranged to have W. to dinner at five tomorrow (Burroughs of course attending), and would telegraph Clifford of B.'s arrival and to come over.

Burroughs has not seen Stedman recently. Says after he was here last year he explained the Hartmann matter to Stedman who was quite satisfied, saying it made no difference, evidently from having outgrown the immediate feeling which undoubtedly existed.

Burroughs said O'Connor's "Bull" piece was written at one sitting, one night, O'C. sitting up all night, at a time Mrs. O'C. was away from Washington and O'Connor was boarding with B.

Our talk went into politics. Also touched upon O'Connor's lack of ambition. Burroughs tells of the time O'C. went before a Congressional committee with a fiery speech and had the salaries of clerks raised. B. decidedly thought O'C. lacked ambition.

Burroughs was curious to know about author's copies sent to W., whether the "poets" sent their work, etc.

Late in the evening I went up to Harned's with B.

W. told Burroughs to come down between half past ten and eleven in the forenoon.

Sunday, September 28, 1890

9:40 A.M. Down to W.'s on the way to city. Had already seen Burroughs for a few minutes at Harned's. W. eating something—late breakfast. Returned me proofs. "I have read it, every word, several times," he said, and added, "If I wrote on the subject at all, that would be about my position." Said he was tempted to write about the "Kreutzer Sonata" book itself but as yet his humor had not taken decisive tone. Told him Burroughs hankered after one of the Gutekunst pictures, and W. said, "He shall have one, too, if he wishes." I left with W. the Tucker translation of "The Kreutzer Sonata." Said he would read it. The morning papers spread out on the chair. Was fully determined to go to Harned's.

Went up to Harned's in the afternoon, about 4:20, with Anne Montgomerie. W. already there and Burroughs with him. Sitting by parlor wood fire, Anna serving Harned's mixed toddy, of which both men partook, and Harned finally with them. W. joked with Tom about the excellence of the mixture: "If the law ever goes back on you, Tom," he said with a laugh, "you can hire out for a barkeeper!" and saying after he was composed again, "Warrie has asked me what we would do if poetry failed. I said, 'Why, hire out to a show'—and Warrie took it very philosophically, too, saying, 'Well, I'm not so sure but that's a good idea!'" This led him to say something of Warren's fitness for the work: "He is nonchalant, doesn't care what people say of us." Wilkins had been more sensitive, even to the comments of children. "But Warrie pushes right on. There are boys and girls who follow and deride us, out of a pure deviltry of soul to follow a mite and more," and with a laugh, "I think the girls are most brazen, too, if that could be." After a little my mother came in. He was cordial—took her hand and held it—started to introduce her to Burroughs, not knowing they had met last night. Then spoke to her of the boyish greetings in the street—that he "liked the 'Walt' even from the youth—it seems so an expression of his chivalry, though for this very thing that I like so much, I have heard mothers rebuke their boys." Anne had gone upstairs on our arrival, then came into the parlor. W. took her hand, held it very long, gazed at her fixedly. "I know you, my dear, don't I? Haven't I known you somewhere?" and several times again took her hand, as if self-provoked that he could not remember the precise circumstances of an earlier meeting. She sat there at his side until time for dinner. A little later Clifford came in, but declined the drink Harned had saved for him, saying for this time he had been determined to see how it would go not to take anything at all. In the meantime W. had talked of many things: freely, spontaneously, abundantly, but for now, as for the rest of the evening, most copiously of "The Kreutzer Sonata." He said he had "read again in the last several hours—looked over—the Tucker translation of the book." I thought it "must be much better than the other"—Lyster's. "Oh! he beats us all—all!" W. exclaimed. "I should think all the realists—Zola—all the others—must feel to pause, to listen, to applaud: for he tops and crowns them all. Obscenity? Obscene? Oh! Is the surgeon's knife obscene? It might just as well be said of the one as the other. This is a picture to the life, a cut to the bone. It is not a pleasant book: it is horrible, horrible, in its truth, its graphic power." Did he think it would be more than ephemeral in its influence? "Yes, I think its influence will be a long one, and profound: that this noise over it today is but the beginning. I cannot conceive that such a giant personality should appear but with the result to affect in some way the whole history of society."

Later on Harned spoke of divorce, that it meant "chaos," etc. W. interrupting, "Say, rather, Tom, freedom." Harned objected to Ingersoll's lax views on the subject. But W. still protested, "I myself am in favor of the free view: it will open a thousand things for the good of society." And then he said to Harned with a laugh: "I have often noticed in you, Tom, a combination of extreme conservatism with extreme radicalism," etc.

At the table W. said, "I think champagne and oysters were made for me: that they are prima facie in my domain." He drank easily but not much—though I joked with him that he never protested to Tom (as he refilled W.'s glass), "Stop, Tom, that's enough," till the glass was full.

At one point in the dinner, he sat with a piece of chicken suspended on his fork and entered into quite a talk about the "meanings" of "Leaves of Grass," that "it can never be understood but by an indirection," and adding, "It stands first of all for that something back of phenomena, in phenomena, which gives it all its significance, yet cannot be described—which eludes definition, yet is the most real thing of all." Then finishing his bite and passing to another subject.

Burroughs referred to the absurdity of the sizes of the American Army and Navy, and W. endorsed him: would rather "let them bombard our coast" than have America "make any stand for military tradition," adding explanatorily, "It is my Quaker blood that says all that."

We sat at table, Harned at head, his wife at other end. To Harned's right Whitman, H.L.T., Anne Montgomerie, Clifford; to the left, Burroughs, Thomas, Anna. W. always tucks napkin in at the neck. He ate quite freely, though, as he said, "with caution." We asked if Bucke's ears burned that W. was here at Harned's table again, Bucke always fearing that the rich food may injure Walt. W. said, "Bucke is a typical scientist: he knows all about the things that are knowable, and then he forgets that some other things exist which defeat his principles: these special features, making the special laws for each individual. And often the most important, too."

Spoke again of O'Connor's "catholicity": "If I were to write the piece over again, I should dwell upon that, make it the keynote of all." But why not do it anyhow? The book is not yet out. But he added, "I shall not recall it now. But in O'Connor that trait was so large, no account of him can leave it out and be a living portrayal."

He spoke of Ingersoll in this way: "My version of him is, that he is coming on—he is in constant movement—today reaching new things, tomorrow new other things." Burroughs thought Ingersoll "always" successful in his tiff with the clergy.

W. said, "There is one thing which it seems to me someone will someday come to write up: an account of, say, half a dozen of the radical fellows of our revolution epoch, and of the French time contemporaneous—Paine, Voltaire, Rousseau—examining the times by a statement of certain of its typical lives." When we questioned him we found that he knew nothing about Morley, yet was curious to know, questioning greatly, knowing Morley only from the political side.

I quoted a note in the Critic, quoted again for the London Times, to the effect that the laureateship seemed narrowed down to Swinburne or nobody, and as it could not be Swinburne, it had better be nobody. W. said with a laugh, "That's very good, one of the wittiest things I have met in a long while."

Discussed Watterson's Boston speech, in which, in the Negro question, he took the ground that the Negro franchise would never be truly granted till the Negro vote was a divided, not a class one. W. said, "I know enough of Southern affairs, have associated enough with Southern people to feel convinced that if I lived South I should side with the Southern whites." But how did that consist with his democracy? "I should be forced not to explain that: I would have to evade the issue. And yet I feel with Watterson strongly." Burroughs endorsed this view.

The whole day was characterized by this freedom. A little after seven Warren came in for W. and he went off promptly, Burroughs attending. Full of cheer to the last. These are memorable days.

Monday, September 29, 1890

Went to see Burroughs a few minutes this morning at Harned's. Would go off about nine. Gave him letter from Bucke to read—letter just here, reading in this way:

26 Sept. '90 My dear Horace

I have yours of 24th. When I wrote in favor of N.Y. I did not contemplate that Walt would be present at the Lecture even if given in Phila. But if he will be so much the better and in that case certainly we ought to stick to Phila.

If I were running this thing I would get the biggest theatre or hall that could be had in Phila. and I would see that it was announced (in one shape or another) in all the papers that such and such halls etc. had been refused for the purpose of an address by Col. Ingersoll upon Walt Whitman and Freedom—I would see whether the American people (even in Phila.) were such slaves to theological superstition as this action of the "Academy" and "Union League" would lead one to suppose. "Whitman & Freedom" is a fine text and I guess the Col. will make a memorable address upon it. In the meantime I would make it the text for some advertisements calculated to rouse up Philadelphians if they have any manhood left in them.

Johnston says: "Thank God Walt & Traubel and Harned are in Camden!!" (i.e not in Phila.) and I say AMEN!

Yes, my intention is to be present and I shall be unless something "unforseen and unprovided for" occurs, meanwhile, to prevent.

We have not got to manufacturing the meter yet. Hope to start in about two weeks.

Your friend RM Bucke

He said, "It is very interesting; a good letter." Asked me too, "You continue your notes? Yes? Well, don't neglect them!" Saying reflectively, "I can see no reason why Walt should not live to be 80."

Burroughs would probably go to see Kennedy in Boston. No word from Ingersoll by morning's mail, so I telegraphed him: we ought to have date—will Mr. Baker come on?

7:20 P.M. With W. about 15 minutes. He had been out: sat now at parlor window. I remarked the heat of the room. A big fire in a big stove in a small room. Yet he seemed unconscious of it. At my remark W. asked to have the door opened. "I know the fire can start up into a great heat—am inclined in fact to let it do so."

What news? W.'s usual question. I told him of the letter from Bucke. As we sat in the dark he could not read, but had me repeat its substance to him. "Well, if he comes we'll give him a royal welcome!" As to Philadelphia as the proper place, "I can now see it myself; I quite resign in its favor."

He asked me if I thought Burroughs had gone home. "He told me he would stop on the way to see Herbert, but there may have remained some doubt of it. I think John looks wonderfully well: so much escaped from that burden of a year or two ago. And he has changed, too. His hair has become markedly grey ever since he was here last—it adds something, or rather puts another crown on him." He knew Burroughs held the Star Route business against Ingersoll, but said for himself, "Oh! I don't put the least importance in that: it is much as if we should say to a surgeon, we object that he cures this man or that of disease—this man or that happens to be a criminal and ought to die—whereas to the surgeon, the point is, his utmost skill, his work, patience, his vision, science—then triumph! It is much so in this case of the law, of lawyers in general. Then besides we have to remember that the first-class fellows always bring unruly elements with them: are not of the curbed and bitten average. That is to say, they violate our rules, deviate from accustomed lines. Of course there are rules and rules: over-reaching all ordinary provisions, conditions, are supreme rules not realized, not seen by the average scansion. I am sure I not only feel grateful for Ingersoll's magnificent generosity, but proud of his cooperation: it seems to me a great plume, something that cannot be too much studied, credited." As to whether Ingersoll had no real understanding of "Leaves of Grass," W. remarked, "I think Oscar Wilde hit upon a splendid thought, or expressed it, while in America: that no first-class fellow wishes to be flattered, aureoled, set upon a throne—but craves to be understood, to be appreciated for his immediate active present power. I felt of the speech at Reiser's that Ingersoll grasped the situation, that he drove straight home to meanings, intentions—perhaps not to all (who ever does take in the whole of anything?), but to the large measure of essential things."

Garland sends me copy of his new play "Under the Wheel"; W. says he has had no copy.

Tuesday, September 30, 1890

7:50 P.M. W. sitting in his room reading. Not long in from his trip. Weather so cool, it drives him indoors and upstairs earlier than in the summer. We talked briefly together. He gave me the following letter from Bucke:

28 Sept. '90

Yours of 24 and 25 with O'C. sketch came to hand last evening. I think our dear friend Mrs. O'C. will be more than pleased with the good honest Whitmanesque preface—it is right, could not be excelled, is just what we wanted—now for the Vol. of Tales—it ought to be out for Xmas since several of them are Xmas stories.

I have all along been in favor of N.Y. for the speech, more especially if you could get there, but now am in favor of Phila. for the sake of the dear Pharisees there. If I were down East and assisting to run the thing, I would give them (at least try to give them) a dose that they would remember and that would do them good. I would go in for the biggest hall or theatre to be had and would take care that the people knew what was being done to check freedom of speech in the city—I do not doubt that the occasion properly handled could be converted into a splendid triumph for the Good Cause—I hope & trust our friends are awake to the importance of the crisis—tell Traubel if money is wanted to put me down for $50. And that I will send it any moment.

Lovely bright cool day here—we are all well—meter goes on quietly and well—it is wonderful however what time it takes to get started manufacturing—the making of the patterns and the tools is what is delaying us now—these should be ready or about ready by the end of this week—we have been quite a few weeks at them—when the tools and patterns are once done there will be no more delay. The next thing will be to get orders for meters—if we can get these we can make money about as fast as we like.

Your friend RM Bucke

W. asked me, "What news have you?" Taking real interest then in a letter I received from Ingersoll, reading thus:

New York, Sept. 29 1890. My dear friend:

Your letters and telegram received. Mr. Baker will go over on Wednesday, and bring you my idea as to date and subject, etc.

I care nothing about making any issue with Philadelphia. It is utterly immaterial to me whether that city hears or not—as the loss would not, in any event, be mine. If that city is willing to throw away the means of grace—one of the opportunities to become civilized—of course it is no matter of mine. I think that the lecture had better be delivered in Philadelphia, and I think Horticultural Hall will be as good as any place you can get. Mr. Baker thinks that it is central and large, and while of course not as good as the Academy of Music, yet that it will be the best place, probably, that we could secure. But he will see you Wednesday, and make final arrangements. He thinks that Oct. 23rd (Thursday) would be the best date, and I am inclined to think so too. So do not let Wednesday or Thursday slip.

But Mr. Baker will talk all these matters over with you on Wednesday and he will also agree with you as to the date.

Telegraph him—I.N. Baker, 45 Wall Street, where he can see you on Wednesday, as he does not know your address.

Yours very truly R. G. Ingersoll

W. had been cleaning up papers in the room somewhat. He laughed when I remarked it.

We telegraphed Baker to meet us (Morris and H.L.T.) at Horticultural Hall tomorrow about five. He responded that he would, between four and five. We can get night of the 22nd. W. expressed his pleasure that all seemed going right.

I told W. what Burroughs had said of Hugo. "Yes," he said, "that is his opinion. But I don't know about O'Connor, except that he was very Hugoish. He held to Hugo as to everything else, with a great relish. Catholicity is the word for O'Connor: I never knew a man so receptive, so willing to listen to all claims. I remember how it was with Poe, for whom I had no ardent admiration: O'Connor always saw high things in him. I confess that after hearing O'Connor speak on that subject I was reduced to quiet—felt no wish to combat him." I repeated to W. some of Burroughs' amusing descriptions of the breakfasts had with W. in Washington—or rather, W. with them. W. said, "I am not like to forget that time, or Mrs. Burroughs and the good coffee. Griddle cakes, too. They were my special favorites. I have every cause to remember Mrs. Burroughs: she was full of wonderful kindness for me throughout."

Asked to be kept informed of things as they transpired, "I am glad you have your locale at last: it is important to get rid of that difficulty."

Brought him the ink he had asked for Sunday. "I use a great deal of ink," he said,"and this brand suits me better than any I have so far known. I pile ink in everything," etc. Now, as I brought him David's, "I see the old label again: it is years and years since I first met with it."

Returned me Scribner's and Current Literature.

W. spoke of Byron and Carlyle's defense of him as reminding him "inevitably and always of O'Connor's defense of Poe."

Frank Williams was in to see me today. Morris opposes making such use of Academy matter, and Bucke supports—and Ingersoll's note would itself seem of similar indisposition. W. says he is "anxious" to hear the result of our talk tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 1, 1890

Morris and I met Baker at Horticultural Hall at about five o'clock. Found he was to stay in Philadelphia till Friday morning—in the meantime to look about, see what would seem the best obtainable hall, come to some agreement with us, and then telegraph Ingersoll. We discussed prices, subject of address, etc.

Baker is a small, wiry man—looks Western—with a light beard, a strong chin and forehead, rather a weak voice; in manner very courteous and deferential—but frank and happy, it would seem, by temperament. He said Ingersoll would "bring over a memorable" oration—that he "loved" the old man and desired to reach the best possible for him. Baker would not listen to a cheap house. Seventy-five cents or a dollar was in his mind and was adhered to. We went into the hall accordingly and blocked it out. They had an idea of the Grand Opera House uptown as a good place. Baker will see it tomorrow, before decisive action is taken.

Asked why Ingersoll did not lecture nowadays, Baker gave several reasons, finally saying with a laugh that when Ingersoll himself was asked about it, he would say he was "waiting for God to catch up." Baker said again, "No one knows that great boy as I do: I have been with him, travelled with him these ten years, slept with him, ate with him, lived with him, worked with him—the great generous-souled boy! None are greater, and he is too good for them—that's the truth, if it must be told," etc.

We are to see Baker again tomorrow after he has made his inquiries. We discussed ads, etc. He wished to know what W. thought of a hall and I said, "He will not take part in that phase of the work—he stands aside." Wonderful his affection for Ingersoll and wonderful Ingersoll's affection for W., as reported by Baker. Baker thinks Ingersoll's long absence from the city and greater fame will if anything tend to increase the lines of the audience.

7:20 P.M. Went in to see W. for 15 minutes or so. He was full of inquiry after he learned Baker had appeared. His first question was, "And how did Baker impress you?"—being as he said—after I had responded—"much struck with the favorableness of the report." In the Ingersoll witticism he took great humor: "That is awful fine—subtle—a true sample." And as to Baker's testimony to Ingersoll—"That is a marvel of testimony indeed: full of significance—full of direct flavor." He commended my statement to Baker that W. took no part in the details. Wished me to ask Baker, "How the Colonel stands withColonel: does he like to beColoneled or would he prefer to have that dropped? Every man has his whims or his desires or idiosyncrasy with regard to that, and I like to know it. I like, for instance, 'Walt Whitman' in full—not 'Whitman,' not 'Mr. Whitman'—and as you say I am most generally alluded to as 'Walt Whitman,' probably from the long insistence of my friends who print this and speak me always as I most desire. I am not a little curious to know how this appears to the Colonel."

I suggested W.'s sending Ingersoll copies of the complete works, Bucke's "Life" and Burroughs' "The Poet and the Pen" and he assented. "Yes, I have thought of that myself. You might ask Baker if Ingersoll has them. I will gladly send them off at once."

Declared he was very willing now to leave matters in our hands. "I see all is going well." Ingersoll has told Baker that whatever Baker and the several of us here agreed upon he would defer to.

Thursday, October 2, 1890

Baker came in at Bank to see me about noon, to say he had looked about for hall and found in the end that Horticultural was the only available. Would telegraph Ingersoll to that effect, asking him to direct reply at once to me at Bank. In about an hour such an answer came, and shortly Baker came in again. Ingersoll merely messaged—would decide tomorrow morning on seeing Baker. Baker's look fell when he read this—"What can have occurred to cause this?" he asked. Said he had expected a simple affirmative. However had no idea but it would be all right. Later in the afternoon we met Morris at the Coal and Iron office—there talked plans over generally: methods of advirtising, how to work it up in the papers, Ingersoll's subject, etc. As to the last, possibly "Art and Morality," or something akin, would be chosen. It would not be biographical. Baker would telegraph me in the morning on result of talk with Ingersoll, if result were reached. Morris would in meantime see that Horticultural Hall was reserved for us. Baker felt that on a conservative effort we would be able to clear $1000 to $1200. Debated the form of a poster; would it be something like this:

Testimonial to WALT WHITMAN Address by Robert G. Ingersoll etc., etc.

This seemed to hit the common notion and probably the same for the newspapers. Baker will come over again later on. Gave us an account of his own life. Seems he edited the Sunday School Times here, had a striggle with himself on the doctrine of torment; gave up paper and went with Wanamaker at Grand Depot. Wanamaker violating contract (verbal) eventually and Baker going to Washington where he met Ingersoll.

B. thought Ingersoll "not rich"—that though he made a good deal of money, it cost him much to live, and he gave everything away—"He has no idea or care what money is: hands it out right and left." Ingersoll paying $6500 rent for his house, $2500 for his office, etc. Baker indefatigable in his work. All he says of Ingersoll is of a markedly affectionate nature, which impresses W. as of "supreme significance." Said Ingersoll as a rule is averse to dinners and might object even to the informal one we proposed here after the address. But advised us to say nothing of that now—to let him spring it on Ingersoll in a week or so. Baker goes off by an early train in the morning. Told me that several times in the summer, Ingersoll tried to dictate the dinner remarks to Baker, then gave it up. "It was undoubtedly impromptu," Baker said. "He may have arranged the heads, but the rest came of itself. I know it well. There are times when I take down his speeches—when he arranges his lectures in that way." Baker said he participated in all Ingersoll's work of a literary kind of late years. Described Ingersoll's wife, the daughters.

7:20 P.M. W. would have me explain all above to him, and more—interested and frank. He was lying on bed when I came in. Said, "I am not feeling anyways well these days. These are poor days with me." His cold evidently somewhat worse and affects particularly his hearing. I remarked this. "Yes," he said. "It is very bad and growing worse—whether only temporarily or not I could not say, but it is sufficiently uncomfortable as it stands."

He said, "I am on the qui vive to learn how Ingersoll will treat the subject. I know he will do it magnificently—that it will all be fine, strong—but my curiosity is for this: what direction will he take? It is a great thing to look forward to." I had asked Baker today, "Why does Ingersoll no longer take part in politics?," etc. "Because politics is now only a scramble for spoils: if any big issue comes up, you would find him on the platform again. But just now he prefers to keep his silence." W. said to me, "And I do not wonder. I could hardly imagine Ingersoll taking any interest whatever in Harrisonian issues—in anything that it stands for." He exclaimed at hearing that Ingersoll paid $6500 a year house rent. "Why that ought to buy mansions, enough for any man." Then asked, "Did you find out about the 'Colonel'? Does Baker address him as 'Colonel'?" And to my affirmative he responded, "I have wished to know: it is always a curious point to me. There was 'General' Jackson—we never speak of him as anything else—and 'General' Grant, and often the men themselves have decided preferences. My own preference is for the 'Walt Whitman' in full." When he met the "M. Whitman," as he had in the French, he was disposed to laugh "at its simple odd appearance."

Referring to the matter spoken of yesterday, he said he would send the Colonel three books: the complete Whitman, Bucke and Burroughs. Baker had told me he did not know of any copy now in Ingersoll's possession except the morocco book.

I asked him which was the old table referred to in the memorandum given me the other day. He pointed to the square table on the east side. "That's the table, and I should guess that it is fully 100 years old and more, and solid, too: would seem to be like some of the old Roman roads—as strong apparently today as the day they were constructed." This caused mention of Carlyle's reproach that our generation was too restive—even in domestic relations, the restless movings to and fro, the short occupancies of homes, where in olden times they lived from generation to generation on the same spot. "The reply to that," said W., "is, that we are a nomadic generation, and that here in America we have that tendency multiplied by three."

Gilchrist may possibly be in this week with his brother. W. did not know of it, but Morris has word. But W. said he had "read of the great pow-wow of engineers in New York" and knew Gilchrist 's brother was an engineer and "could very naturally have been there." He "would much enjoy them both," he had no doubt.

Gave me extract as furnishing further hints of his personality.

Friday, October 3, 1890

7:50 P.M. W. in his room reading papers. Had been out. The day stormy but evening clear. W. apparently in good condition. Complains of deafness. Indeed, I do not require to be told: he requests me to repeat nearly every other remark I make. Warren thinks some part of this change permanent.

W. showed me inkstand brought him by Mrs. Davis from the West, composed of crystalline formations—various specimens, out of the Rockies—as he said. I asked if it was not rather too ornamental for him. "No, I shall use it—it has its place. I shall use it for ink—or as paperweight, anyhow."

I remarked the odor of varnish, he saying to it, "Yes, they have been using it; it does not affect me, does it you? I am happy to say it is an odor that does not displease me. It is a curious problem, this of odors: the odd ways in which odors affect different people. I remember when I went into the hospitals, first, there was a smell that I took for cadavers—it was a terrific odor, extremely disagreeable to me—made me sick in fact. But by and by it developed that the smell was not cadaver at all but a solution of carbolic acid—used as a disinfectant—of which the doctors brought great quantities—reasonably. After that, there was no more 'cadaver'. So that the imagination has a good deal to do with our actions and belief." I instanced the story of Mulberry's settlers—not heat, but the appearance of heat was the necessity, etc. W. laughed out an answer to this heartily, "The hospitals, with their festering sores, putrid wounds, were enough to fix certain odors forever."

Showed him the following telegram which I received from Baker this afternoon: "Colonel not in town can not see him til tomorrow hold the hall and date as long as you can. Will wire you decision tomorrow." He read and said, "You will probably hear from him tomorrow." Then, as to the $1000 or $1200 clear profit house, "I have learned to abate on all sanguine expectations. That seems very much like predicting what kind of weather we will have week after next. But still, I may say, 'God, prosper them in all their good intents.'" And added, "I sent the books off today—the big book, Bucke's and Burroughs'—and by express, so the Colonel will probably get them tomorrow."

Then reported, "I have had word from Mrs. O'Connor—she has moved"—insisting, when I asked, where to, in getting up and writing it off from his memo book for me. "She has moved to 112 M Street NW—still in Washington. It seems she has a two months' appointment in the pension bureau—a temporary position—and she goes to work at once." Then when I said she seemed to have a piety not known to William, W. said, "Yes, she has it—it is a bite of the New England poison. William had nothing of it—was free, great, expansive in all deeps, paths. As I always say he was catholic; catholicity was his feature, and he gave all his life to literature—literature absorbed him. What a memory it is to know, as I know, his great impartiality, his defense of literature, of the fellows, at all hazards, how he would not hear to aspersion—no, aspersion not of me—but would brush all argument aside, driving to his main point, defending the whole guild. He loved books in that way which saved him all his personality—enriched it, if anything. Mrs. O'Connor has a not so copious intelligence." Burroughs had said, "O'Connor lacked ambition," but W. shook his head. "No, I should not say that—could not grant it." Burroughs thought Mrs. O'Connor "inclined towards spiritualism," W. assenting when I explained. "Yes, I think so too, but she must not on that account be counted a spiritualist: there is a distinction. Too many fellows are falsely dragged under labels in this way. I do not think there are by far as many spiritualists as we suppose." Burroughs remarked Sunday that the only thing about W.'s "Preface" for O'Connor that he regretted was its brevity. W. heard this now and smiled. "That's good to hear: good! But it could not have been exhaustive. I could not make it so. My main impulse was to authoritatively clap it down forever that this was my love for William and by this record of it I hoped to be held and be known. It was not a criticism of the stories, nor was it, properly speaking, a preface for the book. For in fact I do not know what is to go into the book—and a great part of it, probably, is entire new matter to me. I remember 'The Carpenter' and several others. 'The Brazen Android' I have never seen, though William made the notes for it before he knew me." To Burroughs' notion that O'Connor would yet be the great figure he was built to be—that no such genius as his was ever lost—W. said, "That is significant: coming from John it has weight, has a singular force, and no one could enter into the spirit of it more than Walt Whitman." But to my impression that Burroughs seemed to shrink from both Ingersoll's and O'Connor's "violence" of statement, W. said, "There I do not agree with him: it seems to me that that is the glory of both, as it is the glory of Tolstoi, in that great book—a huge boulder, a vast, formidable fact, struck direct from the universal treasury."

Then suddenly: "There's another thing I want to tell you— I had a note from the North American Review fellows today, inviting me to write them something. The letter is signed W. H. Rideing." Burroughs had spoken of Rideing Sunday but W. forgot. W. continued: "I was glad—because I have something to say—shall send them something. I think the recent pieces in the Critic and Poet-Lore have had something to do with this new currency."

Rescued another piece from the waste-basket today. He always jokes about that. A manuscript early draft of "The Unexpress'd"—so far, I think, unprinted.

The Unexpress'd How dare one say it? yet After the cycles, poems, singers, plays, Vaunted Ionia's, India's—Homer, Shaks- pere—all times, dotted roads, areas, The retrospective clusters and the Milky Ways of Stars Rhythm—rhythm's Nature's pulses, reap'd, All retrospective passions, heros, war, love, adoration All the age's plummets sent down dropt down to their utmost depths, All human lives, throats, brains, hopes—all experiences ?risen rising to utterance But something yet unsung, not never yet told put out unexpress'd And yet ye yet left? Perhaps print Maybe the best yet now unsung left undone and lacking unexpress'd? All the good songs, or long or short, all tongues all lands But something yet unsung,—not put yet in voice or print—something lacking?

"Kennedy," he said again, "or somebody in the Transcript office—oh! no doubt Kennedy is responsible for it—has printed a little paragraph about the O'Connor piece, with extracts. It is kindly done."

Would make me list of newspaper men with whom it might be well for me to correspond about the Ingersoll address.

As to Burroughs remark about O'Connor's "extreme" manner, W. said again, "That's the New York of it—very characteristic—but we do not follow such a lead."

Gould lectures on "Trees" at Unity Church. I would go there on leaving W. He laughingly asked, "And is there to be nothing to drink?" Referring afterwards to the "felicity" of some of the vulgar phrases—for instance, the one "a long time between drinks." Another, used now often to break up serious discussions, to infuse good nature, "And the Governor of North Carolina said to the Governor of South Carolina, now boys, let's all go and take a drink," excited W.'s laughter. "But it is nobly good," he said, "nobly—has a direct force for its own average end." He believed in such expressions, not because of their innate beauty, but because of their strength. Our civilization would seem to need strength even at the risk of having some coarseness attendant—"anything to rescue it from its hum-drum of elegance." Said he loved Ingersoll's aversion to clubs—and when I told him a story where on a late-night streetcar a young fellow had invited the car out to take a drink and 15 or more followed him in ridiculous procession, he enjoyed it, declaring "That is an incident right out of life—I can feel it—of a kind I can share and appreciate."

Saturday, October 4, 1890

7:20 P.M. In to see W., staying only about 15 minutes or so. He was in parlor. Told him substance of the following telegram from Baker I had received this afternoon: "Colonel says all right close contract Horticultural Hall on terms stated for Tuesday Oct twenty-first make general announcement in tomorrow's paper."

He said, "Then that claps our sign without a doubt—that settles our place and date. It is good to have that arranged beyond a doubt. That is to say, it is October 21st and at Horticulture Hall? I can see it clear. And now to tell the fellows." I told him I would write to Bucke and Kennedy, at which he said, "If you will do it without fail, then I shall not trouble myself to see that it is done." Then added, "I have a letter from Bucke: he tells me of an accident that has happened to him. He has been thrown from his carriage. I don't know that any severe damage is done. He is at least whole enough to write—which is something. But he says it has interrupted the writing of his annual report—unfortunately. I suppose, however, only for a day or two. Doctor is served after the Biblical style—has plenty of helpers. He says to one, come and he cometh and to another, go—and he goeth; so he will be able to get on."

Referred again to what he calls "the Reisser speech" from Ingersoll. "It was about me—about my affairs. There was something in its tone so valorous, so penetrating, so to the marrow of what I am, what I stand for—its loss will be my regret till I die. This time we must not let the speech escape us. I am always certain about the manner of Ingersoll's address—that is something which could not be other than it is: free, spontaneous, immense in force." He said he could "hardly believe" that "Ingersoll ever dictated any speech—his style is so spontaneous—seems so utterly to defeat designs."

Instantly after receiving telegram from Baker, I went to Press, saw its City Editor, imparted our story. He took notes minutely, saying, "There's enough material for an interesting story." I said, "Well, put it your own way: only, adhere to the facts, for they are authoritative." When I told W., he thought I should likewise go to the Times—which I did later in the day—they proving, as they said, "mighty glad to get it." But at the Record the City Editor rebuffed me—wanted to know if Walt Whitman was "an object of charity" and if I had "advertised"—in such a tone as showed he was not amenable to its claim as "news." I met Bacon (of Record reportorial staff) later—after twelve—on his way home and he said, "Chambers was a damned fool."

Sunday, October 5, 1890

9:50 A.M. In to see W., who had just got up, and washed himself while I stayed. He did not look very well, though not complaining. Talked brightly with me about our affairs. Glad, he said, to hear that I had written this morning to Bucke, Johnston and Kennedy.

Press came out this morning under big headlines with more than a quarter of a column, on the first page, giving the substance of what I had left with their "staff officer" yesterday, with less mixture of error than I could have believed possible. Also Times, smaller; the Press headed thus:


Walt Whitman's Testimonial Benefit Cannot be held in the Academy.


Directors will not allow the famous atheist to lecture on "Art and Morality." What

President Baker says.

Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll has ascertained that he will not be allowed to address a Philadelphia audience in Philadelphia's principal hall, even when he speaks for the benefit of an aged poet, and his subject is not the "Mistakes of Moses," but "Art and Morality."

The lecture is designed to be a testimonial benefit to Walt Whitman, with the above title and the poet's works as text. But when application was made to the authorities of the Academy of Music, Secretary Bonnaffon, after communicating with Alfred G. Baker, president of the company, refused to let the Academy for this use, on the ground that Colonel Ingersoll could not be allowed to speak there.

After learning that he could not secure the Academy, I. N. Baker, Colonel Ingersoll's secretary, applied for the Union League Club Annex, which Colonel Wiedersheim declined to place at his disposal, when, finally, Horticultural Hall was engaged and the lecture arranged for October 21. Mr. Baker was at one time editor of the Sunday School Times, at Philadelphia.

Alfred G. Baker said last night to a Press reporter that in the course of the last few years Colonel Ingersoll's agents had made a number of applications similar to this and that they had all been declined. He added that it had been a principle of the Academy company, throughout his presidency, that no person should use their property for the purpose of advocating infidelity and atheism.

On inquiry at the Union League Club it was learned that the hall in the annex was not commonly let to other than club members, and that the refusal referred to might have been on that ground. Captain Williams, assistant secretary, said that he had not heard anything about such an application.

Several years ago Walt Whitman wanted to deliver a lecture on Elias Hicks, and tried to secure Association Hall, Fifteenth and Chestnut Streets, but the Association refused to allow the author of "Leaves of Grass" to use their hall.

W. had not Times, but took up Press. "Why, it is a great send-off," he said, "it must prove to help us a good deal," and so read it through. "I suppose it will be understood by this that Association Hall was not refused me but refused for a lecture on Hicks? For once I was there, with my Lincoln lecture." And further: "I suppose you ought to send a paper to Ingersoll, though he takes no particular interest in that part of the thing himself." And as to the Record man—"It is unaccountable—for certainly that was a good item, worth having, which no thorough-going newspaper man could afford to despise."

Spoke of the weather: "It ought to shame a fellow to get up so late on a day like this, when every invitation is out of doors, when the very air halos the worst of us! By and by, I shall have to prove that I appreciate all it offers."

Gave me following letter to read, as showing the spirit of the North American Review people:

October 3, 1890 The North American Review 3 East Fourteenth Street, New York Dear Sir:

Can you write a brief article for the North American Review on Recent Aspects of American Literature as you have observed them? It need not be more than 4000 words in length—about ten pages of the Review—and in return for it we should be glad to place at your disposal the sum of two hundred dollars. Or possibly there is some other subject on which you would be more willing to write. In that case we trust you will allow us an opportunity to consider it.

I am, dear Sir,

Faithfully Yours, William H. Rideing.  
 Assistant Editor, the Review.

"Yes, I think I shall try my hand at it." Then asked me to get him some envelopes to take in a sheet that size laying flat.

Spoke of picture in Camelot "Leaves of Grass" as "wretched past precedent—horrible."

Gilchrist has not yet turned up, nor Percy with him. The latter's picture with others in yesterday's Press. W. commented upon their excellence—then of Percy Gilchrist: "He has some of the family signs—I recognized them at once."

Monday, October 6, 1890

After refusing the Ingersoll matter I offered them Saturday, the Record today, when it is stale, prints a paragraph touching the matter.

The Times came out this morning with another of Jim Scovel's interviews with W. W.—which it needed no expert to divine to be utterly and shamelessly false.


The Aged Poet Enjoys Champagne at a Lawyer's Table


Greetings From the English Litterateur and Philosopher All the Way From Japan.

T. B. Harned, one of the leading lawyers of Camden, yesterday gave a dinner to the old poet, Walt Whitman, at Mr. Harned's elegant residence, Federal and Sixth streets, in the city across the Delaware.

Besides the poet John Burroughs, author of sketches for Forest and Stream, called "Wake, Robin," and Editor Harry L. Bonsall, of the Camden Post, were present.

Mr. Whitman seems slowly to be regaining some of his old strength and thoroughly enjoyed his champagne at dinner.

During the repast he said: "I have just finished two or three new poems and Lippincott will soon print my latest poem in the magazine."


"I will then gather all my work of the last three years in verse and make my farewell literary brochure, with my 'farewell engagement,' as Charlotte Cushman used to say, before the literary footlights in this world.

"I publish my own books and have done so ever since my first little volume entitled, 'Leaves of Grass' was returned to me unnoticed by every leading newspaper in the country save one.

"Things have changed since then and scarcely a day passes in which I do not receive a request with satisfactory honorarium to write for some leading newspaper or magazine.

"But I have to go slow, and only work on days when the spirit moves me; for you know I am half Quaker and go a little on the light within."


The old poet then read the following letter from Matthew Arnold, which he has recently received from Japan:

Tokio, Japan, September 4, 1890 Walt Whitman,

Dear Mr. Whitman: I have changed my mind, merely as to the time when I will visit you in America.

My book will keep me busy during the winter and when I see it safely launched in England I shall feel like taking a rest, and travel rests me and, like Ulysses, I suppose it is my fate to "seek, to strive and not to yield."

My stay in Japan has been wonderfully pleasant to me by reason of the unbounded hospitality, not only on the part of the English residents here, but the native-born Japanese citizens and savants have vied with each other in extending to me their kind offices, from the peer to the peasant. I am a good deal of a recluse, as you know, and have had little time to return the many, many acts of munificence and courtesy showered upon me here. These people are little understood abroad, and when I am done with the work in hand, which now occupies every faculty of my mind, I may write a book about Japan. But we will talk that over when I meet you under your own rooftree in Camden, where as we sit by your own vine and fig tree, I expect to spend some pleasant hours during the summer of 1891.

I have been hoping since your last kind and most welcome letter to hear something of your last literary venture, of which we talked in America.

You will hear from me again when I reach London.

I am done with editorial duty, but I trust you may live to delight your many friends and write half a dozen books.

Yours sincerely, Matthew Arnold

Tom Donaldson, interviewed by Press reporter, gave a very significant talk—I liked it better than anything I have seen from Donaldson. Later in day came this telegram from Baker: "Notice gives date thirty-first instead of twenty-first I understand that same mistake occurs in Philada. announcements of course this error must be corrected immedy."

Baker writes me a long letter, giving new details in an interesting way.

New York, Oct. 4 1890 My dear Traubel:

I wired you this afternoon that Oct. 21st. was all right.

Now put your machinery in motion. I enclose your outline sketch for a three-sheet poster. I showed it to the Colonel. He approves it. Get as many printed as the bill poster can post to good advantage. I should think 300 would cover the city pretty well. But if 500 could be used profitably, get 500. The Ledger Job Office used to be the best printers—but you may find as good, or better, bill printers elsewhere. You can be judge of this.

I wired you to announce in Sunday's papers, as news, (not an advertisement) the fact of the lecture, and the occasion. Keep this up as much as you can, by short squibs, on Monday—in as many papers as will accept the information. You might say, if you think well, that the Directors of the Academy shut their doors against us. The Colonel don't want this to come from him, but you and Whitman's friends could use the fact. I do not think it would be well to make too great an outcry on this point—or to be ugly about it, in print—but the simple, dignified, quiet statement of the fact, without angry comment, would do good with the public, and at any rate inform them of the situation.

Write me fully and often. Any suggestions I can make are at command. When you want me to come over, I will come. Get the benefit of Mr. D. D. Farson's experience and advice about the tickets. Write out the form of a ticket—ie. the wording, and send it to me before printing—and then Farson will tell you how many you will want—the general style, etc.

If you need an advance of money for preliminary expenses—let me know and how much. Whenever you think I can help you send for me & I will come on. Give my love to Mr. Morris. The pkg. of Whitman books came today.

Yours, I N Baker Before printing bill poster, see Farson as to whether the box office will be open and how long—what hours, etc. B.

No deliberating could have excited the talk the Academy refusal has raised in town—all in our favor. There needs be no stir from our side: the others have done it all for us. Everybody talks the affair. Men meet me on the street—some come to see me—to inquire after particulars. I wrote Morris last night—telling him of the telegram—and to Farson, informing him that we were about ready to sign contract. This afternoon we went to see Farson—talking various matters over, about posters, tickets, etc.—finally making contract in my name, Morris witnessing. Discussed as to how much of hall to reserve, finally deciding—if possible—all floor and part gallery. Examined stage. Got estimate on posters. Wrote Baker of these and many other details on my return home.

7:48 P.M. W. in his room reading. As it had rained pretty much all day, though abated now, W. had not been able to get out. Complains of his hearing still. Told me had been up to Harned's yesterday. "Nobody was there but Mr. Walsh—no strangers." Had not heard of Scovel matter in Times. Laughed heartily when finding Jim had signed that forged letter Matthew Arnold. Would he wish the thing contradicted? "No—not in print: I fully authorize you to tell the truth of things to any who may desire it, but I would not go beyond that. Of course, this is my advice only."

Morris took dinner with Gilchrist last evening—Percy with them. Herbert explained that his brother had no time to go over to see W. and that if he (Herbert) went alone, W. might think it showed disregard on Percy's part—so neither probably would get over. W. thought that "a peculiar explanation," and added, "There are fears of me yet. Every now and then I have reason to remember Mrs. Pine—her impulse—that so astonished Warren (she is a large, good woman, too) to rush out and pitch me, chair and nurse, into the street. And why? Because I had said of women, 'Women? What are women, anyhow? Nothing but a set of old cows!' And how had she known I said such a thing? Oh, she had been told! It is a good specimen brick of the work some people are doing for me, industriously, indefatigably—I suppose to be accounted for by that same magnetism, as they call it, which on the other hand secures me such frank, whole-hearted friendship as Bucke's and Kennedy's." But surely this had no explanation of Percy Gilchrist's absence? "No, I do not intend to say that: I can only say about their coming that if they have no impulse to come they certainly should not come." But he "admitted" there were "things in Herbert's recent course" which "mystified" him.

He thought Tom Donaldson's interview "very good" and "calculated to help the cause."

Took from his pocket a square envelope addressed to "Editor Post Newspaper," Camden—and asked me to mail it on my way up. "It is about the Ingersoll matter," he said. I asked, "Is it signed?" "No. I do not wish to appear, but my friends, who know my ways, will readily see who it is from." And he laughed over the other Post piece (on Ingersoll), the style of which had "strangely defeated Bucke and been penetrated by Ingersoll." We spoke of people to invite over—should one of them be Gilder? "No, not Gilder; it would not do to invite Gilder for Ingersoll." Expressed a gladness that the books had reached Ingersoll. I said at one point, "These Philadelphia business men can be very sympathetic with Siberian exiles—5000 miles away—and with Ben Franklin, 100 years old—but for the laborers whom they crowd down in our struggle for life, and for Ingersoll, who calls at their doors today, they have neither eye nor ear." W. exclaimed, "Oh! how good! And how like O'Connor that sounds!" And he asked, "Did you see the good notes from Harry Bonsall in the Post? They hit home—especially that about Franklin. I think Harry has done us a keen turn."

I told him a story of a Quaker who, hit on his one cheek, turned the other and was hit there also; then ripped off his coat, swore a great oath and said, "Now I have obeyed the scriptural injunction, I'm going to lick you like hell!" W. laughed a long while over this—said it was "as good a story as he had heard in a long while." Then added, "It reminds me of a Quaker story William O'Connor told often—enjoyed telling—of a merchantman boarded by pirates. The captain—foreseeing the scrimmage—armed his men—with guns, pistols, knives. But an old imperturbable Quaker passenger could not be induced to have the most modest weapon; simply looked on as they prepared. But by and by, in the mêlée—the Quaker was seen to pick up an axe that lay near him and as the pirates made shift to board the merchantman, he would swing his axe, chop off the hands as they set on the rail, and cry out, 'Go way from here, my friend: what right has thee anyhow to board our boat!' O'Connor's way of telling this was irresistible—especially in his delicate emphasis of the courtesy of the Quaker."

Tuesday, October 7, 1890

7:10 P.M. An easy talk with W., who took matters calmly though pleasedly. I noted a bundle of Posts in basket. Had sent a number away—among others, to Ingersoll and Johnston. Listened to all I had to recite him. I left paragraph with Post this morning. It appears with W.'s own. "Ingersoll, Walt Whitman, the Academy of Music." Bonsall also quotes an energetic passage and more from the New York Star. Yesterday's Telegraph, under "Baker on Atheism," publishes a considerable interview with the Academy officer. This the Times takes in substance for a four-inch note this morning. Times and Press both review editorially—the latter apologetically enough—the former, though not all satisfactory, yet with a manly note. Both very good for advertisements, whatever else they may fail in. So far have nowhere seen anything like a solid, sound, generous protest.

The following telegram from Baker today: "You are doing splendidly make it lecture not address subject Liberty and Literature put title on posters get posters out immedy let Colonel know when you want money. I write tonight."

Letter also from Johnston, as follows:

Oct. 6th 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel,

I was glad to receive your letter this morning. I spent last evening at Ingersoll's, and I think you had better write a special line inviting him to bring his wife and daughters and son in law over. Mrs. I. told him last night that she wanted to go. They must of course have their expenses all paid. As to how many I can bring, that is hard to say. I will try & get some reporters to interview me tomorrow and get some notices in the papers here.

Sam Levvy [?] sent me a clipping today from one of your papers.

Do you know I think the Millennium is settling down on Phil.!

If you & I cannot get in by doing anything specially religious, let's take up a collection!

I will soon see how many are coming over.

Hastily yrs, J H Johnston

As to stage at Horticultural Hall, W. said, "I had wished to take a front seat below," but assented readily as to stage. "I am ready to be part of the show: well you know."

Read him letter I had from Law. He laughed exceedingly at last paragraph:

2020 Broadway, Camden, N.J. Octr. 6, 1890. Dear Sir:

What about the Ingersoll Whitman testimonial lecture in Horticultural Hall? It seems almost too good news to be true. Ever since I came to this country I have been on the outlook for a chance to hear the gallant Colonel, and this is the first opportunity that has offered. What is to be the night? 21st., as stated by the "Press" of yesterday? or the 26th., as given by the "Record" to-day? Of course on an ordinary occasion it would be time enough to think of tickets when the entertainment is advertised, but this is no commonplace event, and a big run on seats may be predicted. Who has tickets for sale—you? Will you kindly secure two for us at a dollar each, and advise me about the chance of getting more, as I might be able to sell a few for you.

Thanks for your kindness in sending the "Conservator" regularly. I'll settle for that when I see you next.

How did you like "La Teste"? Some genius there, I think, tho' clouded by want of taste.

According to the "Times" this morning your friend the Poet is lately much improved in health; but by what occult art is he enabled to hold correspondence with Matthew Arnold in Japan?

Herewith I send you a Scot.-American monthly which you need not return.

Very truly, James D. Law

"Very true, Matthew. What right have we to be corresponding anyhow?" And then, "I saw the letter today: Jim sends me a note—with it a clipping from the Tribune, which copied the letter. The forgery is not a bad one—quite plausible, in fact. Yet it is forged, forged—shows forgery from top to toe." He then had had no letter at all? "You know as much as I do about that." Expressed "enjoyment and gratitude" that it had "turned out no worse," and counselled me, "Wherever you go, contradict the letter. Tell the truth about it: say you know it is a double-dyed perpetration." And so he went on. "And shall I say this in print?""No, I would not go into print. It has been a principle with me so far, not to make public explanations—to get into any sort of personal controversy." Expressed great pleasure with Ingersoll's title: "That seems a great headline."

W. suggested that I put advertisement in the Post; thought Camden "might have a contingent," etc.

McKay in high good humor over Ingersoll matter: "Certainly expect to be there." His father had said to me in his wise slow way, "And they call this a land of freedom!" W. said, "Free? Are we not free? What have they to do for us now? Us fellows are free: it is the others who are not. I would not admit it in that way. We are a free people in spite of all—our fellows are free anyhow—whatever may come with the others. Ain't we saying, doing, cutting up all the capers we choose? Ain't we non-respectable—healthfully under public ban?" And then, "Yes, the morals—the religious! They would not let Jesus Christ himself speak in their Academy. To them he would be tramp, intruder, perhaps with stained and ragged clothes. Oh! it is an old story fitting a new instance!"

Would have me take Lippincott's. "I have just been reading Clark Russell's story there—'A Marriage at Sea.' It is not powerful—but is good—a cheerful piece to take up when you do not wish to be drawn into tiresome, laborious thinking.""A good thing not to be exercised about," he called it again.

Got him half a dozen big envelopes, which he said were just what he wanted.

Wednesday, October 8, 1890

7:45 P.M. W. in best of moods, talking freely for full half an hour. I found him writing—as he said—"matter to fill up the envelope you brought me yesterday." On "just such size sheets." "Pot-boiling?" I asked. And he said, "Yes—these articles, I'm afraid, will be much of that order. I am writing two—one on 'Old Poets'—then another on the theme Rideing set. I don't know how they will go: they do not come easily." He would have it to know "the news" of today. I showed him letter from Baker, which he much enjoyed, at one moment calling it "model"—then exclaiming, "So, too, it is the Colonel's show," and so on. And he still would smilingly tell me, "Well, I give you Richard's words again and again—'May God prosper you in all your good intents!'"

New York, Oct. 7th 1890. My dear Mr. Traubel:

Yours received. I have just telegraphed you. Make it Lecture and not Address. A lecture means more. An address may simply be a short talk of 20 to 30 minutes. This will not draw the crowd to hear the Colonel. Of course, with all your unabated love and admiration for Walt Whitman, you know that this is the Colonel's show, for and on behalf of Whitman, truly, but the head and front of the occasion is Robt. G. Ingersoll—and not for him, but purely and generously disinterested—for Whitman, that we may pull a purse out of it for the dear old meritorious philosopher-poet Whitman. You know. I need not write to you about this. Therefore, in the advertisement, let the Ingersoll lecture be the thing to put most prominently forward. The topic, as I wired you, is "Liberty and Literature"—a splendid title, don't you think.

Now, whenever you can, correct the misstatement as to the date. Write the N.Y. Sun, particularly that the date that the date is Oct. 21st and not 31st, as they announced it—and send them the title, which will be an add'l reason for their making the correction. Numerous inquiries have already been made by New Yorkers as to the date, and subject, and when and where tickets can be procured.

As soon as tickets are ready, we will let the N.Y. public know how and where they can get them. I approve the suggestion of Farson that we reserve the whole floor at $1.00 and part of the gallery.

I did not want you to publish the fact that I was formerly Editor of The Sunday School Times—but it is all right, if it will help along the good cause and this occasion.

The suggestion that Campbell, on Chestnut Street, sell the tickets, is a good one. It was because I did not know the hours box office could be opened at the Hall, that I wished you to see Farson before stating the place and hours of sale of tickets on the 3-sheet poster.

I am this minute called away—can't conclude—write me fully.

Yours always, I. N. Baker.

I wrote Baker this evening, sending proof of ticket. Have also passed on proof of poster, which is to be printed tomorrow.

Bulletin yesterday contained editorial headed "A Foolish Board of Directors."

The action of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Music, in refusing to grant to Robert G. Ingersoll the use of that building for the delivering of a lecture on "Art and Morality," is not a creditable performance. The reason assigned for the refusal is that the board passed a rule in 1884 forbidding the dissemination on their stage of atheism or infidelity. But as Ingersoll had not announced an intention to express opinions on religion, and as his discourse was for the benefit of an aged poet, who, whatever we may think of his literary work, possesses the general respect of the people of this community, without regard to religion, the application which the board has made of this rule will be construed as a narrow and illiberal act.

There was no reason for assuming from the title of Ingersoll's discourse or from the character of the occasion that he would spout blasphemy or make himself or his lecture obnoxious to people of religious convictions. It is well known that in the treatment of subjects other than those concerning speculations on Christianity, he can acquit himself creditably and instructively as an orator and thinker. We say this without any abatement of the contempt which we feel for that wretched twaddle that he passes off as "liberal thought" when he attacks the accepted religious beliefs of mankind. Moreover, President Baker could hardly have chosen a more effective way of calling attention to the man and his charlatanism on religion and to excite sympathy for the one and a curiosity in the other than to shut him out from a building in which he had already proclaimed his views, without a thought on the part of anybody, so far as we know, that he ought not to have had a hearing.

We are sure that on this particular occasion, which Mr. Baker and his associates seem to regard as a highly immoral and mischievous one, because of Ingersoll's presence, there would have been present far more people who regard his religious views with scorn than those who have any liking for them. They would have gone to hear him precisely as they have gone before to the Academy to listen to Huxley or Tyndall or Minot J. Savage. The results of the ill-advised action of Mr. Baker will only be to arouse more interest in Ingersoll than he really deserves and to open Philadelphia to the charge of intolerance.

The Times this morning had a brief note from Westbrook—"Is Ingersoll an Atheist," and the Post a paragraph, which I left with them: "Liberty and Literature." W. interested and querying. Told him after I got Morris' article in type, Morris wished me to print anonymously—that I would not do that. W. said, "That's quite New Yorkish—rather—not New Yorkish, for New York is itself big enough—but literaryish. It has an unmistakable habit, flavor of that bad, unheroic spirit, to spoil all its best promise. I know it so well! New York is ahead in engravings, in printing, in certain of the fine arts—in enterprise, business—in venture, hazarding for trifles: but in all big things, in the heroics, it is left without a sign. I can see no future for literature in New York. All seems so hedged in—closed, closed. It is the characteristic of the Gilder crowd—the magazines—without faith—without real belief." What was his feeling about Ingersoll. They had told me at Harned's he (W.) seemed Sunday to show some fear. He looked at me as if astonished. "Well, you did not believe that? You must have understood my position better. I cannot remember just what I did say, but it could not have been in that direction. I have nowhere put myself on record as I should like about Ingersoll—but I think it should be understood once for all that though I have not been demonstrative about it—am not now demonstrative—am not to anyone—I have been thoroughly aware what it all signifies. Nor is it only the generosity, the vitality of Ingersoll—it is his genius, as well: I am proud to have him associated with us. I think that Colonel Bob is much a vaster force in this, our time, land, than we are today willing to allow. Someday it will be acknowledged. Not for a moment have I dreamed of objecting to him—it never entered my head." And as to Ingersoll's subject: "As Baker says, it is a splendid one. I know none other that could so appear inviting." Again, "It would appear from Baker's letter as though you were all preparing for a big event. Look out, lest the pitcher may break! Just in the time of of your certainty, then you drop it! There's that in me always to keep me from admitting a success till I see it right before my eyes. And I confess I have the same feeling today. We seem to be way up on the crest of the wave today—this Academy of Music business, a hundred other things, have swept us up—but where will we be tomorrow?" He laughed and to my confidence that things would come out all right, only nodded his "hope." Commented on the "cowardly literate."

And of Bucke, "Did you ever notice how he mounts in discussion? And then, in each cheek, a little color comes. Bucke has beliefs." I referred to William O'Connor: "If we had him today, he would rush in the thick of this fight!" W. then: "Yes, and enjoy it. O'Connor enjoyed a mêlée—liked to take up causes—the more unpopular the better—and whip down opposition. He was a born swordsman. Yes, we had the hardest discussions in old days—brutal ones, I should call them. We went on the principle of frankness; and I am sure I was if anything cruelly frank at all times. The tone might have been clipped off." I said, "Yes, at the risk of clipping off all but the tender shades." W. assenting, "That is a big thought: there is that risk, and what can compensate for the loss? O'Connor was more catholic than I was—would include them all—all the literary fellows: indeed, not only admit them, but fight for them—give them positive adherence. I could never do that quite—at least, never did it, in William's way—though my philosophy—if I have that—would include the literary with all the other fellows. But William had a sort of natural chivalry and acceptivity, and never gave a scholar to neglect." At this he got up and went to the round table. "I have an indistinct remembrance of a note sent you by Mrs. O'Connor through me—in the last week sometime. I am sure I have not given it to you"—as he had not. Then gave me a letter from S. Noell of the "British Prince"—written today—Philadelphia:

I have been honored with a small commission by Mr. Wallace and Dr. Johnston of Bolton, England for you—a blanket of Bolton manufacture. I shall take the opportunity of calling with it at my earliest leisure about noon of one day this week, unless inconvenient to you, when I will send it.

Trusting you are in good health and hoping to renew my acquaintance with you

I am yours faithfully—

Noell did not get in today.

W. also gave me letter received from Bucke. I myself had received letter from Bucke saying he would be down and bring his wife.

7 Oct. 90

Yours of 3d and 4th just to hand—also letter from Horace to say that the I. address is fixed for 21st (two weeks today). I have written to Horace to say definitely that I shall be there unless something turns up to make it impossible—in fact I would not miss the occasion for any conceivable consideration. Mrs. Bucke will come East with me—will no doubt be at address and she will stay East (at Ingram's I guess) for a few weeks. I do not believe that Mrs. O'C. is not satisfied with the "Preface"—I believe it is exactly what she wanted and I shall believe so until I hear from herself to the contrary—so far I have not heard from her and fear she may be sick.

Thanks for your promise of the M.S. of the preface—I want it particularly.

It is good news that you have been asked and will write for N.A. If you could only get strong, and stay so for a few years (as you may yet—nothing is impossible to such a constitution as yours) you might yet see the dawn of the splendid fame which surely waits for you in the near future. It is smoldering (as I have said before) and may any day burst out into a flame which will light and warm the world. There is no nonsense or doubt about this—the only question is—how long?

"How long, O Lord, how long"?

Your friend and lover RM Bucke

Read W. following note received the other day from Mrs. Fairchild:

Dublin, N.H. Oct 4 Dear Mr. Traubel,

I have left the sea and come inland for the autumnal splendors, and I cannot say how many times W. W. has come to my mind here. For how many people has not he filled Nature with a fuller life!

I hope the dear old poet is able to take some out door pleasure in the season. I wish I might sit silent on this hill-top beside him for an hour this morning. But in truth I do spend many hours in his company!

Very sincerely yrs, Elisabeth Fairchild

Much touched. "The noble woman. And she is a handsome noble woman in appearance, too." Admired her handwriting, "especially the signature"—considered the letter "flavored all through with a rare personality." Told him I hoped to have strong words from Clifford and Bucke in Conservator about Ingersoll, now Morris had retreated. "Yes," he said, "either one ought to be able to do it—or both."

W. said, "Burroughs was wrong when he discovered signs of ill-nature in O'Connor. O'Connor was sweet by that essential nature which gave welcome to all heroes, all men—which was first of all hospitable and chivalrous."

He wonders about Mrs. O'Connor's reception of Preface—was it cold, or disappointed, or what? He says little about it.

I picked up a Tribune clipping from the Table. "Ah!" he exclaimed. "That is the Edwin Arnold letter—that is the great message: and the Boston Transcript has printed it, too. How surprised Sir Edwin would be to see how well his letters read when they reach me! But I guess he don't see them—and blessed the man who does not!" And then, "Everybody has read them. I met Ben Starr when I was out today. He said, 'I am glad Mr. Whitman you hear from Sir Edwin Arnold'—and I said 'Ah!' and then relapsed. What else could I do?"

W. said, "The only apology—or make for it—for the Academy men I have seen so far is that piece in the Record—the little squib. And it amounted to nothing at all." I met Record reporter today—the big-hearted handsome man who came to interview me about Weston weeks ago. Told him—"Your Record editor refused Saturday to take that item, which he had after all to print Monday when it was stale." He admitted and explained—"There's no accounting for that. I have known him to get mad if people take news there, and get mad if they do not: so you see how it is." W. remarked on my recital of this—"And a bright newspaper man he must be."

Explained his O'Connor heat by saying—"I was younger then: I am much less likely to make that breach today."

Thursday, October 9, 1890

7:20 P.M. Not with W. for any length of time. In his room. Reading. But he said he had passed a bad day. "I did not sleep last night: this 'grip' has fast hold of me." But, "Still I worked some today—sent off the 'Old Poets' piece to North American Review. The other I have not really commenced to put into shape yet. It will come in its own time." Asked after "news." I gave him letter from Baker to read:

New York, Oct. 8, 1890. My dear Traubel:

To begin where I left off yesterday: the excitement you have raised is phenomenal. Keep it up! It shows that Col. I. is still in the public thought, and that his long abstinence from speaking has only whetted the public appetite—in fact that there is something of a famine on! We may expect a voracious crowd to the feast! I shouldn't wonder if seats were at a premium. There is a good deal of inquiry here for seats. Please give me the No. on Chestnut St. of Mr. Campbell's office, so that I may advise inquirers to write. I believe it is above 11th or 12th Sts.—but let me know definitely.

Also please send over to me all slips from all the papers. You did not enclose clipping as stated from the Camden Post. We want very much to see A. G. Baker's defence in the Evening Telegraph. Also "all and every" allusion.

As to the posters—use as many as you can. 200 seems a small supply for so big a place as Philada. Then you ought to have some for Camden—Germantown, Frankford, etc. Don't let feeling between Nagle and his rivals prevent you from the fullest possible posting. Posters are very effective, if put in proper places.

As to reserved seats—the whole lower floor at $1.00 is the right scheme—and as much of the side galleries as possible—and it may be the two front rows in the end gallery. Consult with Farson about that—remembering that we expect an overflowing house. I have an idea that we may have to reserve the whole house at $1.00 and simply issue standing seats at 45 cents—ie. general admission.

As to advertising for pay. We must not depend too much on the commotion already created by the press announcements. We must pay the papers. Of course next Sunday must be used strongly. Every other day next week, in most of the papers up to Friday and every day—from Saturday till Tuesday incl. for all the papers. See, however, about how much it is going to cost before spreading out too diffusely. Have tickets on sale just as soon as possible—and thus bear out the reports of a rush for seats. But do not overdue the rush announcements. Sometimes people say, "Well; if all the seats are secured so early there will be no chance for me and I'll not go." Sabe?

Arrange with Farson about extra seats on the stage. They will probably be in big demand. Or, it may be you will want to reserve most if not all of the stage for invited guests with complimentaries.

Be careful about an over issue of complimentaries. The press of course must have some. They will likely bother you a good deal. You must satisfy reasonable demands, but not sacrifice space and dollars. You must be the judge of the complimentary business. A form of complimentary invitation tickets should be gotten out. We may want a very few sent here, for the Colonel.

In the ads please let it be distinctly stated that the entire proceeds are to go to W.W.—that the whole testimonial is for his sole benefit—etc. etc.

Now give my best regards to your own good self as to good Mr. Morris. I hope to see you both some time next week—when the pot begins to boil—as I may be able to put in my spoon with a little sugar or spice—I don't know. Just write me or telegraph when you want me to come.

I am yours to command, I. N. Baker

May be—if not too late—the poster better say:

Testimonial to 
  (and for the sole benefit of) 
  etc etc 

W. seemed in rather poor condition. I recited to him good shape in which we were getting lecture affair. Would not promise to be with us at after-tea for Ingersoll; still, would try. Always get such an air of uncertainty when suffering from spells like today. He laughed, "You fellows are going ahead as if there could be no slip—as if all that you start to do is as good as done. I can never do that: I am always held back till the fact is right in my fist—till a slip is no longer possible." Still, he "admired it." I advised him to sleep all day 21st so he could be with us a long while that night. But he objected, "I can do little real sleeping in daytime." Still, I notice that on every such occassion—as Camden dinner, Cont. Club, Reisser's—if I happen in during the day, I find him in his bed—perhaps not sleeping, but resting.

We secured a little notice in the Press today—statement of Ingersoll's subject. W. had missed seeing it. He said also, "I have not seen the Academy Baker's answer: I ought to see it."

Friday, October 10, 1890

7:20 P.M. W. in parlor. Had been out. Talked freely. Said, "Yes, I am better today. I breathe more freely. Night before last I was awake all night with inability to breathe. It is this catarrhal trouble—this cold. I call it, grip." Was very particular asking as to "news" of "the event," and of course I told him what I knew. "I suppose I'll see some of the posters in my wanderings," he said. "Yes, and in your dreams afterward, they so stare one in the face!" He laughed, "I hope not that: as a rule I am a pretty solid sleeper—have little active dreaming, anyway." Then he asked me to get him a copy of big poster for Bucke. "You know Doctor keeps anything about us—has a perfect collection of Whitman curios—and this belongs with 'em."

I received following letter from Baker today:

New York, Oct. 9, 1890 My dear Traubel:

Enclosed find proof of the ticket. It is all right.

About advertising I shall have to write you tomorrow—have been in Court all day with the Colonel, on a jury case—and drop this line late in the evening as I go up town with the Colonel.

You ought to advertise in some of the Saturday evening papers—then begin earnest advertising on Sunday and keep it up pretty well all next week. But will write tomorrow.

A brief ad, in some of the best Sat. morning dailies wd. be well.

Yours hastily I. N. Baker.

W. listened as I recited it to him—much interested: also in New York Press item—curiously full of errors, etc.

Josephine Lazarus writes that she cannot come.

Clifford sends word that he is working on "Academy" piece for Conservator. Bad retreat for Morris.

Letter from Law. I had told him the Arnold letter was a forgery. He answers, "Why not call a spade a spade and Jim a shovel?" W.'s laughter at this was very sizeable. "A bright word! And why not a shovel, to be sure!"

Has written note to Ingersoll. Speaks of his "greater cheer" since feeling better. Says of Ingersoll, "It certainly must look to the world as if he were going over to the enemy."

Saturday, October 11, 1890

7:45 P.M. W. in his parlor. Expressed pleasure in trip out of doors. Was he better? "Yes, I think I am, but this thing causes me a good deal of discomfort." I said, "So you wrote Ingersoll?" And he, "Yes, as you know." I told him Baker referred to it in letter I received today. W. asked, "What did he say?" Here is Baker's letter, which I read to W.:

New York, Oct. 10th 1890 My dear Traubel:

Still excessively busy. I enclose draft for Ad. Modify if if you think best—but it is substantially what ought to be said. Put Ingersoll in biggest, boldest letter that a line measure will receive. Liberty & Literature might be in smaller type than I have indicated. Put this ad. in the Dailies that publish a Sunday Edition—also in two or three of the widest read distinctively Sunday papers—as the Mercury, Transcript, Despatch etc—if those papers are still published. I think that we might omit the ad. in Monday's and Tuesday's dailies excepting the Afternoon Bulletin and Telegraph and perhaps Star and Item. You judge of that. Wednesday's dailies ought to repeat the Ad. Thursday, omit again. Then put all the pressure we can on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. But we can judge better whether it is necessary to put on full steam so long before the date. Of that, the course of the advanced sale must guide us a little—or rather a good deal. We can uselessly spend a good deal on adv'g. We want to be cautious on that point. I don't know the prices of adv'g in the Philada. papers—but I know it counts up like smoke, even with the utmost caution and economy. We want to pull the biggest possible receipts for W.W. I will be over Wednesday or Thursday and we can then put in our best and final licks. I may stay with you a couple of days.

As to feeling of preference or precedence in prominence, or any other feeling, desire, or purpose, don't imagine it exists, or a dream of it! We here are heart and soul with you—to do, be, have and keep the whole occasion in W. W.'s honor and behalf. All the Colonel wants is his name and reputation so as to redound to W. W.'s honor and profit.

As to stage complimentaries: Do as you think best. We, at our end, don't want and won't take, a single ticket. If Ingersoll's friends want to run over, they will all pay their way. If W. W.'s friends want to come, you decide whether they should be complimented or not. His real friends, we think, would be willing to plank their dollar down. But you know best to what extent to carry free list. Don't give away an unnecessary dollar is my best judgement and advice on this.

I think it well however for you to reserve half a dozen of the best seats for Col. I.'s family, on the floor. For these he insists on paying the full price. You will please mark off and retain such seats.

You seem to have a pull on some of the New York papers. Would they publish a little squib of information to their readers, that such of Whitman & Ingersoll's friends in New York who wish to attend can secure advance seats on application by mail or telegraph to Campbell, 1119 Chestnut, Philada? If they would, it would be a help. I doubt if enough would go from New York to pay for an advertisement—but an announcement costing nothing would be a good thing to secure.

Now, a business point, Mr. R.H. Griffin, of our office here, wants to go over with some friends. He wants six tickets. He insists on paying $2.00 apiece for them. Now won't you see Campbell, first chance, and pick out six of the best seats, and send the tickets to me? Then make a little account—we do not want to send the cash ($12.00). I will be responsible for the money. Please do this.

Also, send me three more good tickets for a different part of the Hall, and charge $1.00 apiece for them. These are for three of our young office clerks. I will collect the money from them—and account to you.

So much for so much. The Camden Post did come, after I had written you—addressed in WW's own hand. W. wrote a lovely letter to the Colonel recd. today. The Col. is overflowing on the subject. He will pay a grand tribute to W. W. on the 21st you may be sure.

My time is up. Thanks for the clippings. All looks lovely. My best to Mr. Morris. You say nothing about cash advance to pay expenses. Don't you want any? Don't hesitate to say. The Colonel will meet you, cheerfully, gladly. Name the amount.

Yours always Baker.

W. said, "All that seems to show that the Colonel intends to make a 'go' of it. Who knows?" Then: "But I wrote no letter— it was a mere squib—came into my mind to write the other day—and I wrote—after the Quaker fashion—not to disobey the daemon. Indeed, I sent another item today. Perhaps from eight to a dozen lines—and for the same reason." I asked if he had sent Sarrazin piece to Ingersoll? "No, but I will send it if you say so. I wish I had the whole thing in some shape I could send in that way. A week or two ago I read the piece from beginning to end again. I am convinced that Morris has given us quite a good rendering—had done it essential justice. I feel this as I feel the accuracy—the power of some portraits. I may have never seen the original, yet there's a quality in the printing which convinces me it is of the first order." He said of the Baker letter, when I read it to him, "It is imperial—it is great. There is no mistaking all that dignity—generosity." Further: "Do you know, Horace, I am in serious doubt about the stage: my idea was, to sit in one of the front seats. Then at some point, rise, let them see—perhaps say a few words." This "say a few words" attracted me. Baker had put in draft "Walt Whitman will be present and say a few words." Not having time to refer this to W. before leaving it with printers for tomorrow's paper, I had cut off closing clause, leaving it "Walt Whitman will be present." W. said, "You did quite right—but I am willing to say a few words—indeed think a few words might be fittingly said." He laughed at idea of going on stage. "I have no wish for conspicuousness: it puts some qualms into my dish—but I leave it with you and Baker to settle as you choose. No amount of argument could of course remove my feeling. It is like a distaste for sugar—it cannot be argued into a man. And if he is set against sugar it is by all odds wise not to use it." Yet he could "see the other reasons, too" and would "bow to them." He felt sure Ingersoll "would do us all justice—himself most of all." I said, "And in his own way—not as others would have him." W. putting in, "Yes, of course—that's understood. Like the elements, like the forces of nature, no rule can account for them. Genius and the forces of nature are one—they balk explanations—but we know what they are and glory in their existence—the highways they throw open."

I had a copy of show-bill, which I spread out on the floor. He examined with care, making humorous comments on its "immensity"—yet appearing in every way to enjoy it. Asked me to send this copy to Bucke.

W. had note from Stoddart of Lippincott's—asking in a footnote where tickets could be obtained. "He says he wants to hear Ingersoll." Thought if I had a complimentary to spare "Stoddard might be a good man to have it."

At the point where Baker said Ingersoll would pay for seats for his family W. exclaimed, "No, no, you must not let him do it!"

Clifford has furnished me with noble protest anent Academy. W. "glad to hear of it." Goes in next number. Calls it "Self-Bilking Bigotry." Sharply to the point.

Letter from Bucke throwing some doubt upon his getting here. Read to W.

10 Oct. 1890 My dear Horace

I entirely forgot my quarterly payment which I now enclose.

I am over my eyes in work and my right arm is very helpless and painfull—it keeps me from getting good rest at night so that I am not in the best of trim by day. This would not much signify if there was not so much to do. Annual report not more than half written, lectures to students should begin tomorrow but impossible—good deal of work in connection with meter co., meeting of stockholders on 17th, week today, the ordinary asylum work rather more than usual, etc. etc.—Altogether it looks very much as if I should not get to Phila. to the address—I shall be greatly disappointed if I do not—we shall see—if my arm gets better within the next few days I shall make a desperate attempt to get there.

I hope you will come here after the address in any case (?). I will write again in a few days.

Faithfully yours RM Bucke

W. said, "I don't know—I should say Bucke had better look out—if he feels that way he had better take the obvious resource and stay at home. Bucke is just at the point of danger: he has a superb body, life, vitality, hope—then he has many tasks, labors, interests—and they draw him tight. The risk is, that he may break. It is a critical time. At the best his coming would be an irritation. But after all it remains with him—that 'desperate effort' will finally carry the day—or decide the issue, anyway." Harry Fritzinger came in. W. spoke with him affectionately, calling his attention to the poster on the floor.

These posters are all out now—300 of them. Morris and I went to Inquirer, Press, and Times for advertisement tomorrow. W. interested, too, in all that, questioning as to the minutest detail, etc.

Sunday, October 12, 1890

8:10 P.M. W. in his bedroom. Overcoat on, collar up. Not cold, yet damp and raw. Had not been able to get out. Anne Montgomerie went there with me. W. wished to go downstairs, but I advised him not. "I have just come up, it is true," he said. Reading paper, on bed a "syndicate" advertisement—English—a beautiful four-page sheet probably 20 X 10 inches or 12—printed in red and black on paper that had the feel of parchment almost. W. much admired it. "If I had not known it otherwise I should have guessed that was English printing."

Had seen advertisements in paper today—Press. Also in Times and Inquirer. Expressed himself as satisfied. Advertisement in yesterday's Post, too. All the posters I have so far seen are misjoined—the "testimonial," etc. appearing in middle instead of top.

W. spoke again of his "content with the way things are going." As to his appearing on stage, "I feel as if I must say a few words—I don't know what about or how—but the spirit moves me to the idea that something belongs from me. But I am loth to appear on the stage. But no matter: I rest it in your hands and Baker's. Let it suffice for me that you, hearing my protest, are at liberty to use it however you choose, here or hereafter."

"More and more," he said, "I am drawn to the Colonel's magnificent spirit: it is unprecedented. Oh! for O'Connor to see it all!"

Chubb spoke today before the Ethical Society—on matters of "Decay in Life and Thought"—both quoting W. and referring to him warmly. Quoted some recent outpouring of Coventry Patmore, that it was an ill sign of the encroachments and vulgarity of democracy that men themselves current on art and literature should rank Walt Whitman as a man of high genius. This is as I understood Chubb. Chubb on the other hand argued it as one of our hopes that this love was entertained, etc. I recited all this to W., who said he had not heard of Patmore's deliverance, but was greatly interested to know of it and of Chubb's exceptions. Chubb could not come over, but possibly will next Sunday. I tried to persuade him that he should stay over the Ingersoll address next week. Had never heard Ingersoll. Would like to.

Monday, October 13, 1890

7:00 P.M. Found W. in his room "just fixing himself to read." Did not look cheery and said he was not. "I have had a dull weary day," he explained, "and a good many visitors. Have seen three or four and denied some. And do you think the room too warm?" Probably saying this last from something he saw in my face. In the stove a bright wood fire, crackling briskly—the door half open—the light rising and falling from the spasmodic flame. "I had Warrie build it for me. He takes his fiddle lesson tonight. Before he went I complained of feeling very chill, so he at once set that going for me. Now I'm afraid it's going too much!" He told me further, "There were two came this morning—I did not see them—a man and a woman. I was tired—tired. You know, Horace, at times my brain simply will not stand that. These folks seemed only to wish to know for certain whether I was to be present at the Hall next week. I don't know what the folks told them." W. continued, telling me that Miss Emily Ingram had been here "yeseterday or day before"—had "brought a young man who went off in the Saratoga." Also that "Mrs. Johnston will be over Saturday, with one other woman." I had a postal from Ingram inquiring about lecture. Answered this evening. No word from Baker today.

Showed W. the following from Law:

(copy) Law Office, Robert G. Ingersoll, 45 Wall Street, New York, Oct. 10th, 1890. James D. Law, Esq., 2020 Broadway, Camden, N.J., My dear friend:

Much obliged to you for the copy of your excellent poem on Walt Whitman. It shows that you have "a spark of Nature's fire."

I hope to see you in Philadelphia on the 21st.

Thanking you again and again, I remain ever,

Your friend, R. G. INGERSOLL.

I feel very proud over this you may be sure, and hope to shake the Colonel by the hand. My Whitman epistle is really about the best I ever did, and I am only sorry it is written in a language practically dead.


He read and remarked, "He is a plain good fellow: I have liked him." But I have never heard W. say anything about that poem.

I received also a couple of notes from Bucke—much more cheerful—one of them enclosing Whitman piece for Conservator, entitled "The Case of Walt Whitman and Col. Ingersoll Summed Up By the Former's Biographer." I shall probably cut off all headline after "Ingersoll." Here are Bucke's notes:

Re Ingersoll address London, Ont.,10 Oct 1890

I have yours of 8th. I wrote you a pretty doleful letter this morning re arm etc. I feel however that if I cannot go to Phila. it will be one of the great calamities of my life and I will "brace up" if there is any brace up to me. Will write you tomorrow and enclose you a line for publication if there is anything left in me after the work and the worry of the last few weeks. You ought to make the papers fairly crackle over this business—Oh heavens! Wouldn't O'C. have come out grand had he been spared us.

Patience, Patience—the Lord is alive still—let us wait and see the deliverance decreed.

Re W. W. & Ingersoll London, Ont., 11 Oct 1890

I enclose a hasty scrawl, leave it with you to use it as you think best—as a letter or what not. It is not polished but it has some sap in it.

I must be down, dead or alive, that is settled—I think I will leave here Sunday, 19, reach Phila. Monday morning. I could not leave here before Friday evening at earliest on account of an engagement—write me—what could I do if I reached you say Saturday instead of Monday?

Would there be any object in the earlier date?

RMB I have not a minute—sat up last evening to write enclosed.

W. read Bucke's piece in proof entire, exclaiming several times, "Good! Good!" then, "Strong! It is strong!" and when he handed it back to me, "Oh! The hot eloquent Doctor!" Said he had heard of something in Boston Herald about a lecture—"and there was a squib in the Transcript."

W. has had a letter of acknowledgment from Colonel.

Campbell says he has great demand for tickets today: but tickets did not appear from printers, whom we saw this evening and who promised to deliver in morning.

Morris at Bulletin where they ran him off some slips of advertisement—McCulley (?) there congratulated Morris that we'd got a lot of gratuitous advertising. Peacock (proprietor) who was near, exclaiming, "Yes! Damn Baker!"

Williamson from New York writes for further particulars about lecture.

I wrote Baker this evening.

Tuesday, October 14, 1890

7:15 P.M. Found W. in his room with coat and hat on, reading. Looked picturesque. Complained of feeling chilled. Talked vigorously the short time I stayed. Spoke of "the many strangers" who have been at the house asking for tickets. He said, "It certainly looks as if it would be a be."

We have been anxious to have Brinton here on 21st, but despair of it, from note Mrs. Brinton writes me. W. remarked that "it looks very dubious about the Doctor, too," which was not justified by spirit of note I had from Bucke today—I so told him. When I came to read him his own letter from B., found there was a page he had not read:

12 Oct '90

Your card of 9th to hand yesterday. Long letter from Horace. Seems to be some excitement down your way about some man named Walt Whitman and another man named Ingersoll. What is it all about anyhow? Sorry to hear that grip and bladder troubles still stick to you—they seem to have come to stay—worse luck. It is good news however that you have sent off the "Old Poets" piece to N.A. Review—I look forward with most pleasant anticipations to seeing it—I think if anything your prose gets better lately—though the best piece you (or almost anyone) ever wrote was the '55 Preface.

Yes "Liberty and Literature" is good—no title could be better, and won't Ingersoll make a splendid address on such a subject. I guess it will be the biggest thing yet.

I hope to see you a week tomorrow at the latest—i.e. Monday 20th—I think if I was sick a bed and no money I would find a way to attend this circus. Keep writing meanwhile until say Thursday evening (and tell Horace same), I want to be kept posted.

My animal report is most done, hope to finish it tomorrow—all well here.

Love to you RM Bucke

It made his face roseate. "That puts quite another face on it!" he exclaimed, and then, "Bucke is a radical out and out: he sees everything with vehemence, takes and keeps hold." W. told me: "Take it along—put it with your batch of lecture notes."

I received also today following letter from Stedman, by his secretary—"Matt Crim." I paused before reading the last paragraph to say, "And now comes the innocentest, most naive proving of Ingersoll for Whitman that you ever saw." Then read:

Kelp Rock, New Castle, N.H. Oct. 12, '90 Dear Sir:

Mr. Stedman is up here writing his Johns Hopkins lectures, after a long illness, and I attend to all his correspondence. It will be quite impossible for him to attend the Ingersoll Testimonial. He will have to decline all such invitations until next year, his time is so limited by his lectures. Sends his love to Mr. Whitman and desires me to say that he quotes a good deal from him in his lectures.

He thinks that the refusal of the Academy of Music manager is on account of Mr. Ingersoll, that Whitman is much beloved in Philadelphia.

Very Respectfully Yours, (Miss) Matt Crim

W. breaking into a hearty laugh: "That certainly is extraordinary: funny—funny—funny!"

W. said Captain Noell had been in with the blanket.

Read him the several additional notes I had received today, from Bucke, Johnston, Baker, and Mrs. Fairchild. Much attracted to all. Constantly refers to Baker as "the model secretary" and then to Mrs. F. as "a woman as big as her writing—nor big only, but handsome, of noble carriage—all to tell of gifts, which are many." Always refers to the "heartiness" of Johnston's letters. Regrets "the girls may not come." Bucke's "recovery—or betterment: that is the best news of all, to be sure." Then W. said, "We seem to be in for a great affair: I can hardly guess what, exactly—only that it is great. The Colonel will undoubtedly surprise us all that night."

I have written Baker new developments. Trouble with tickets. Campbell did not get them till late this afternoon. Sent to Baker tickets for Griffin and the clerks. Works me like a beaver. Will leave final stage arrangements till Baker comes.

Wednesday, October 15, 1890

Received note as follows from Baker this morning just before leaving for the city:

Oct. 14. 90 Tuesday Eveg. 5 P.M. (on the way home) The Windsor Fifth Avenue, New York. My dear Horace:

I have dropped in here to read yours of yesterday and to drop you a line. Have not been at the office today—but had my mail & the Col's sent to the Col's house, where I have been with him since leaving Court at noon—& we have spent the whole aftn collaborating the Col's address.

I want you to do me a personal favor. Send me by Express, at once, a copy of "Leaves of Grass"—full edition—I want it to refer to in helping get up the Col's lecture. He is using his and will want it while I will need it at home, evenings. If the Col. quotes copiously from it, which I think he will, I want to see that every word and line is correct. So please do this, at once. Express to me to my home address: 19 E. 80th St.

I will not cut, or ill use it, and will return it when I come on. I only want to borrow it.

I expect now to come over Thursday and see you Thursday aftn. If I am too busy here on the lecture to do so will telegraph you.

As you say, we have had a great deal of free advtg. This is lovely. Still, we must not be mean about it! We must pay for some. I wd., however, be prudent and economical, under the circumstances, and not be lavish in advg. expenditure.

We must save all the dollars we can for W. W.

I do not think the Col. will oboject—indeed I know he won't—to a crowded stage. You put on as many complimentaries as you think best, for W. W. & his friends. There will of course be room to spare on the stage after you have done this, and after the press deadheads are included (for I presume some of the press comps. will be stage tickets) then reserve the rest for paying seats. I should think the stage would seat 300 or so. How many will it? What does Farson say about this?

You do not say so, in terms, but presume you got the $100 check.

Au revoir Yours Baker.

Went down to W.'s (it was 8:10). W. not yet up. Had Warren go to bedroom, get me copy of big book, which I took to Philadelphia and expressed to Baker, mailing postal at the same time. Wrote in book: "To I. N. Baker with regards of Walt Whitman and Horace Traubel." These fellows in New York so noble, one is almost ashamed of his meagre contributions to the cause. Just before leaving Bank received this telegram from Baker: "I will be over tomorrow Thursday about six o'clock and stop at Green's Eighth and Chestnut. Hope you expressed the book today."

Bucke writes me definitely. Will undoubtedly be here. And now is word even from Bush—good hearty "Yes, if possible, etc."

Bonsall does us up again in Post today.

Went to see Campbell. About a third of the floor marked off. Things look well. This the first day's sale. Have written several letters.

7:50 P.M. Now down to W.'s. He was in room talking to Mrs. Davis. Then as I entered, greeted me. "We were just telling each other about you." I asked, "Telling what?" but he only laughed—in a way to say, I guess I won't tell. And so we drifted into the work of the day. He still has complaint to make of "grip" and of "the troublesome kidneys."

I showed him third page of Conservator in proof, with Clifford's and Bucke's articles. He looked—"And Clifford, too! And he is not afraid to sign his name! How all this will interest our English fellows!" W. asked me to leave paper but I could not. Asked me about posters. Had not seen one in Camden yet. I named him several—he laughed. "Well, that is the first authentic word I have been able to get on the subject: that is surely the best start. They must be about then." I told him of Record, shabbiness of men there, and he advised me, "I would have nothing to do with the Record or the Camden Courier." I do not know what caused him thus to mention the last: did not ask him. I read him all the letters I had received. In Baker's, where B. spoke of saving the dollars for W. W., he exclaimed, "Hear! Hear!" Was "happy to know Bucke is absolutely to be here." Thought "we are certainly drifting to something. Perhaps to something great. Indeed, as far as the Colonel is concerned, I am sure to something great." Said he had had no word himself. "This is a dull day with me—an off-day. Not a letter. I do generally get a budget, but two or three out of every five are for autographs." I said, "And that is one of the penalties of being famous. Who wants my autograph.""It is a heavy penalty sometimes." Like me, he thought he "liked letters—the most ordinary," even though not liking the duty to answer them.

On the floor near the stove a manuscript copy of "A Christmas Greeting." I picked up and showed to him. "Are you going to burn it?" "Let me see." "Here it is." "Was it near the fire?" "Yes." "Then I think I was." "But you don't have to burn it?" He laughed and looked at me. "No, you can have it if you wish." So he wrote my name on the face of it with pencil.

Spoke of his happiness that I would go home with Bucke. "It will be a trip you will never want to forget."

Thursday, October 16, 1890

Received the following letter and enclosure from Johnston in this morning's mail:

New York, Oct 15 1890 Dear Mr. Traubel:

In reply to the enclosed. I have written Ingersoll that I will meet him at the 12:20 train—due in Phil at 2:47—Think I had better buy their tickets and you settle with me. What say you,

Hastily yrs. JHJ
New York, Oct. 15th 1890. J. H. Johnston, Esq 17 Union Square, City. My dear friend:

I think I will have to go to Philada. before 4 P.M. on Tuesday next. Ought to start, I think, about 1 P.M. You see it is three hours, about, over and I would like a little time between arriving and the lecture.

Hope you can go with me

Your friend R. G. Ingersoll.

To Philadelphia and the printers'—arranged finally for papers. At dinner at Reisser's, with Morris and Frank Williams. Discussed Tuesday. Frank willing to have Ingersoll and wife at his home. But concluding Ingersoll would hardly care for that (though we would offer it to him) would arrange to be his hosts at the Lafayette and to give him dinner at Hotel. Made out list of those we thought would like to participate—probably 10 or 12 in all.

5:10 P.M. Down to 328. W. eating his dinner. Said, "I have been out this afternoon. Took time by the forelock. Went out before it rained. I stopped up at Tom's—had a talk with him. It is all politics—all politics. I found him encircled by a lot of fellows. I confess it was a pain to me, that Tom had anything at all to do with the dirty business—for dirty it is, say what you choose." Showed him Johnston's letter, which he said, "That's your province, not mine." Is very particular about stenographer. I was "first thing" to talk with Baker about that tonight. "We missed the other speech: must not miss this."

We had debated at dinner: would Ingersoll treat religious questions? Is it possible to discuss Whitman and leave that out? I thought not. Now W. said to me, "You were right. But I do not expect Ingersoll to branch off especially against dogmas. I do not look forward to it. I shall go over expecting to say 'amen' to all he says. They make a mistake: he has power, genius, vitality, virility—is more than they know or will allow." Ingersoll spoke against the church? "So do I. I am sure I am vagabond enough in the eyes of churchmen. I do not see that Ingersoll is any more radical than I am: I am vagabond enough in the eyes of all true churchmen—to preachers. For instance, to that Catholic priest who threw the book aside and exclaimed, 'Damn him!'" And further, "They are afraid he will speak Tom-Paine-ism? Well, that is so. It would be no such great offense now as once. The world's grip on Paine is loosened. The disrespect is vanishing—slowly, but going!" He advised me, "Go to anybody on the Press—go to the City Editor— anybody—not to Williams particularly. The staff has been very friendly. I do not know if Williams would be favorably disposed to this."

Expressed his liking for our dinner talk. The arrangement seemed to him "very amiable and true."

As to Stedman's note—to which he referred again—"I should say to Stedman, don't be too sure about that! Perhaps there's no such beloved individual in Philadelphia."

Said he wished many copies of the Conservator. "We are fortunate to have the means to get at the public in our way."

Forman's letter to W. is intensely interesting:

46, Marlborough Hill, St. John's Wood, N.W., London 24 Sept. 1890 Dear Walt Whitman,

Accept my thanks for your "rejoinder" and the newspaper that reached me in the same wrapper bearing your handwriting strongly in evidence on the outside. These occasional packets with which you indulge me give me great pleasure. The hint that you are there, exercising the old vigorous unmistakable pen-craft, and throwing a thought across the sea to this little house, always sends me out-of-doors feeling better affected than usual towards the dingy humanity and depressing conditions associated with London business life; and as I pass Gilchrist's "good gray" portrait of you sitting in the sun, where it hangs in the passage to be passed 20 times a day, you are vivified for the moment with an extra vitality. Is this nonsense? I think not.

Yours ever H. Buxton Forman

This is the first day of my vacation.

I referred to yesterday's paragraph in Post as "skimpy." W. said, "I was going to say something of that myself. That it was 'I dare not wait upon I would.' I am not sure that Harry could have written that."

Had Poet-Lore. Spoke of reading my piece, also editorial note on "The Kreutzer Sonata" in which he was mentioned.

At seven or shortly after, met Baker and Morris at Green's. Talked over matters in detail. Baker in good humor. Judged from our reports that seats were selling well, but not enthusiastically. Must therefore now "put all steam on." Discussed ways and means. Said the Colonel had three-quarters of his address written. It might occupy one and three-quarters to two hours. He would not write all. Would write out extracts, heads, fill in important passages. The rest would come. B. felt we would have "a grand tribute." Ingersoll very busy. But if asked how he does so much, takes no credit. "It is a matter of temperament," he says. Baker full of enthusiasm about the Colonel. Book had not reached B. before he left home. Morris left us at 8:15 or so. B. and I sat a long while after talking philosophy, Ingersoll and Whitman, life, immortality, etc. B. very noble and modest in all. Told us the Colonel would not accept our hospitality. "He never will—always pays his own expenses." Doing all this in a more than kindly way. Baker smoked his cigars and I listened to his interesting recounter of experiences. The message he brought over was tender and deep. He said W. was new to him, "but the Colonel has known him and loved him for a long while." B. spoke of the Colonel's generosity—of his determined independence under all circumstances. B. thought Ingersoll would be a power if he first set out for exhorting W., presenting his ideas. Did not think Ingersoll the same optimist to be found in W., etc.

Friday, October 17, 1890

7:15 P.M. Saw W., but briefly. He was in good trim. Was quick to ask me about affairs. I told him all I could squeeze between his own remarks in the 15 minutes I stayed. He thought, "We appear to be on the go." Baker had told me that W. wrote Ingersoll telling him what he (W.) would say on the night. "Yes," now said W., "I did, but what I shall say will be short enough: it will not make much of a break in the play." Was not out today.

I told him I was going to get some dodgers printed. First he asked what dodgers were—then asked to have some left with him: wished to send them "right and left""some even abroad." I left Conservators with him. He would distribute them. Asked me about part of house so far sold. Said he waited "expectantly," yet was without anything like positive knowledge. "In fact, do not believe things till they become a be."

Met Baker at Green's in morning. He stayed over till 5:15 train. We busied about the city with great vehemence. Several times at Campbell's, at the Hall, at newspaper offices. We did all we could to work our case up. Saw McLaughlin of the Times. While Baker sat in Ledger office writing ads, I went around to side door and in and asked for Childs. The boy there said this was not visitors day with Mr. Childs. I told him, "I must see Mr. Childs—if only for a minute." So I wrote on one of their cards and sent in word that I was from Walt Whitman and desired to say a word. So in a few minutes he came out and was supremely affable. He said he "had heard of" me and certainly would do something to help us—going forthwith to direct that the five little ads we had made up should be inserted. "I will also give you a reading notice," he said, and would accept no consideration whatever. Baker much tickled—as I was. Then walked back up to Press together. Found Williams was not yet back, so we had a little chat with Merrill, Managing Editor, who told us he intended giving a good report.

McLaughlin of the Times gave us an equal good promise. Inquirer's Managing Editor not in. We went from office to office this way, placing new advertisements and seeing editors. A tiresome iteration of detail. Baker displayed throughout tact, deftness, integrity. He telegraphed the Colonel during the afternoon. Thought this night would demonstrate whether Ingersoll had lost hold. Could not tell yet—date not far enough advanced. Baker is a lover of beauty, honest, affectionate. He seems to be depressed at times. We took dinner with Morris in Bullitt Building—from that look-out dining room which reveals New Jersey in all its lowland beauty. Baker had mind to pause and comment. Our final work was to meet (the three of us) at Green's and arrange for finishing details, Baker leaving all in my hands.

Saturday, October 18, 1890

Received following letter from Johnston today:

New York, Oct 17 1890 Dear Traubel:

My wife leaves at 3 P.M. today for Phil. and I will leave with Ingersoll at 12:20 Tuesday.

Say—my wife wonders if I ought to have my dress suit in.

I guess not. What do you guess?

Yrs truly JH Johnston

At once answered him regarding dress suit that it was "funny" to me but he should pursue his pleasure.

Busy all day—with printers, posters, editors. Saw Fitzgerald, Editor of Item, also saw Managing Editor of Star. Gave out tickets to the papers—21 in all. When I gave the two to McClure, he was very affable, saying, "Yes, I am only too glad to be able to give Walt Whitman a lift. The Colonel has written me direct." Managing Editor of Inquirer, Dr. Cox, a rather good looking but sickly man—just as affable. In Record saw Managing Editor—who wished to "know why" I "was not around before," with news or advertisements, at which I told him frankly, in a way that made him flush and the editors scattered about the room titter. "I had not heard that before," he said—but promised a notice. Tickets brightened some, but not hot. Got 15,000 dodgers printed and prepared to distribute them Monday. Tramping the town from nine to five-thirty—a long, after a while wearisome job. But when the light brightens ahead, as I expect it Monday—then for revival and faith. I am a little blue about tickets, but theatrical people think our showing "fine" and they should know. We met Mrs. Gillespie at Blasius' and she thought we had a happy chart. She, too, has had trouble with the Academy Baker—his attempt to violate Thomas concert contract.

7:20 P.M. In to see W. who was very bright and cordial, welcoming me with hand and eye. Hand very warm and I remarked it. He laughed and said he did not know but it was part of the fire had struck in. Wood burning lustily in stove. Yet the day was mild. Room astonishingly heated.

W. remarked, "I got the North American Review proof and returned it. Do you know, Horace, it is very gossipy: I am astonished myself at its character. There was something of the gossipy sort in 'An Old Man's Rejoinder,' but there is more of it here. I seem to be developing into a garrulous old man—a talker—a teller of stories." And when I made some protest he insisted merrily, "But I know what I mean: it is thoroughly gossipy." Said, "It was in the contract that I should have a number of the slips. You must have one of them." And again, "They evidently are going to print it at once."

He told me at another instant, "Mrs. Johnston has been here, and a friend, a Mrs. Ober." I asked, "And who is Mrs. Ober?" which made him laugh and say, "That's so—who? And Ingram too—he has been around: the good old man!" And still more, "Tom has been in to see me—was here tonight. He wants to see you, too: you ought to have some talk together. It is getting near the time."

I gave W. some of the dodgers, and their yellow, blue and pink attracted him. "How pretty and positive they are!"

Sunday, October 19, 1890

Bucke arrived in early train. I met him at Dooner's and took breakfast with him at nine. Arranged to go to Clifford's to dinner. I went to hear Chubb speak and Bucke went over to see W. Then we came together again on 12:40 Germantown train. B. had had a good talk with W. Found him very well—but his deafness much increased since May. Said W. was averse to going on stage Tuesday but that he had debated with W. the folly of being anywhere else. W. would of course yield. Good time at Clifford's, where we stayed to dinner and tea. We prepared for stage seats—where to place the Whitman guests. Some little difficulty but no serious obstacles. Bucke and I will probably go away together Thursday next. Bucke to go to New York tomorrow. He left to go to W.'s early from Clifford's but was tired—went straight to hotel. B. looks well—the arm about right again.

W. says, "I like the number of the Conservator a great deal: it is a good number throughout." Had sent "a considerable number away."

Monday, October 20, 1890

This telegram, from Baker, went to care of Morris Saturday, so I did not get it till today: "Book received a thousand thanks push things I will try to come over Monday afternoon will wire you."

Johnston wrote Saturday as follows:

Oct 18, 1890 Dear Traubel:

Yours just rec'd. I expect to bring with me 4 gentlemen friends as stage guests and the aftermath whatever it is. You will like them all. Some of them may not be able to come, but better count on them. No one else from my family but wife and Mrs. Ober—who are now in Phil. at Ingram's.

I want you to come over and spend next Sunday with us—

Yrs sincerely JHJ

Letter just coming this morning. I grieve to hear that Bush cannot come. He is a fine, large nature. The note he writes is sweet. Williamson I have never met—so his coming will be happy, no doubt, for us all. He, too, is heard from definitely.

After my first mail I received postal from Johnston dated yesterday:

Sunday night, Oct. 19

Just left Ingersoll's—We come by 12:20 train. But—say, he says he will not attend any dinner after the lecture, that he will be tired out. So you can act and govern yourself accordingly—Hastily Yrs


And in same second mail with Johnston was this from Baker:

New York, Oct. 19. 1890. My dear Traubel:

I expect to be over tomorrow, and to be at Green's by 4:30 P.M. Please see me there—will wait till you come.

I do not doubt but you & Morris have done all in your power to whoop her up! I hope Monday's showing at Campbell's will enhearten us. At any rate, we will put on all the steam we can for the one day left. If you printed the dodgers, we can let them fly thick on Tuesday.

I wired you about the book. I shall prize it more than most books. It is a library in itself—full of meat, honey and flowers—and all delicious odors of the sweet brown soil of a large land. I am complimented and grateful. Let W. W. know that a little sparrow greets the eagle.

Yours always, Baker.

How sweet that final touch! Certainly the Colonel has touched him with some of his own fire!

Very busy sending out and delivering tickets. Talcott Williams and wife still away in Adirondacks. Lincoln Eyre refused stage ticket, said it would "injure" his "influence with the public." That "the public would say—see how he takes up with every rot: now with the atheist Ingersoll." Eyre appealed to me, "What do think I'd better do?" I replied, "That is for you to decide. I cannot advise you." And when he said he did not wish to be thought timid or cowardly—as if appealing to know if I thought him either, I said, "That is not the question. I am not suffered to know all the conditions—and what I think anyway should not affect your attitude." Finally he handed me the ticket back—saying he would be in the audience—that the papers were so hounding him politically, he dared not add this fuel to the fire, etc. Afterward we gave his ticket to Thomas Earle White. Law was very happy when I took him in tickets for self and wife. Had gone eagerly and bought floor tickets the first day they were on sale. Would give them away, utilizing those I transferred. Seemingly a frank, noble, quiet fellow. Saw McKay also, and others. Got statement of accounts from all parties not yet paid. Advertising makes a big streak. Garrison returned ticket. Met him on street. He did "not want to face an audience." As he is always facing audiences, his not wanting to do so in this case is significant of a why. We narrow down to the few—"to pluck and muscle." How many fear and fear! I left tickets at Lippincott's for Stoddart. Met Harry Walsh on the street after and gave him one. Saw Harned in early morning. He will have a stenographer present.

Down to W.'s. Rained hard. W. not out today. I stopped in this morning at 9:10, and had a few words with him. He counselled me not to forget to leave ticket for Stoddart. Said he had sent the autographed "Specimen Days" to McKay. Called my attention to the photos sent by Johnston from England: of Burroughs, Gilchrist, character-work, etc. Referred to picture on Wallace's wall, as indicated in Johnston's photo. "I do not like it: have written Wallace that I do not. It is the picture they used in the London News."

McClure had a good notice in Times editorial page. The Times has all along done us fairest in this affair.

Now W. talks to me of several things. "I expect to hear and endorse every word the Colonel says. I should not be surprised but he'll not touch upon religion at all—at least, upon theology. My own say will be a short one." Would he speak first? "No, I wrote him that he should manage so that a pause somewhere in his speech would give me the chance to rise—to show myself—to say my word: then he to go on. I feel that to be the best way to manage it. I have written the Colonel several times the last few days, as the spirit has moved me." When I told him of Eyre and Garrison, "Well, then, they'd better stay off, but never mind: by and by it will have been distinction to have been there—ten years from now the people who took the places will come upon their own." And then, though heretofore feeling averse to the stage for himself, "Well, we'll go there if no one else does." Said, "I want Warren near me." Asked how things looked. Thought Baker, whose letter I read him, had "especially in that last paragraph""a divine spark."

Told me of Ingersoll's lecture on Shakespeare before the Ethical Society New York—when Adler "spoke beautifully about ten minutes introducing the Colonel." Gave me outline of Ingersoll's address—his welcome to Whitman, etc. Explained how they had worked over it.

W. had postal from Kennedy with message for me. I picked up from floor some manuscript introduction to the Sarrazin piece. He "regretted" it had got there. Also found badly crushed first sheet big book. "You should not let these lie about the floor." "No, it must have fallen there."

Bucke had been in this forenoon, "then probably gone to New York."

He had said on my morning call: "I feel bad—had a bad night—did not sleep at all." But now, "I feel rather recovered: it is a more prosperous outlook."

Gave me letter to mail to Post. "Is it something I am to look for tomorrow?" "No, only a change in the ad—that tickets are tonight at box office!" He had thought of that?

W. asked me for copy of Times. We also reworked Post note.

Went over to Philadelphia again after tea. Met Baker at Green's. Talked over the situation. He seemed satisfied with things. Arrived at five—had time to look in at Campbell's. About 800 seats sold. Liked McClure's notice, which he cut out to mail in a note to Ingersoll. Said Ingersoll had finished address. Had 100 copies printed for the papers, etc. They would be over to Baker in the morning. B. said, "It is a grand tribute to Whitman: it ought rather to be called 'Walt Whitman' than 'Liberty and Literature.'" B. thought Ingersoll spoke very little about religion per se. Would take 90 minutes in delivery. We arranged to finish campaign tomorrow. B. liked the dodger. Sent one to Ingersoll. If the day is clear, would advise printing more. Compared notes on costs, etc. B. thought all within bounds. Childs inserted all our advertisements again today. "It is handsome," said B. Thought the Colonel would not object to seeing particular people tomorrow. Did not seem to interfere with address, etc. Had known him to go straight to the stage from a collection of callers: not at all disturbed.

Tuesday, October 21, 1890

Received letters today about lecture from H. H. Furness, Mrs. Donaldson, J. K. Mitchell, Clifford, and the Ledger. Went to Philadelphia early. Met Baker at nine at Green's. We thenceforward walked the town, seeing editors—watching the sale of tickets—spending some time at the Hall. Baker very pleasant and communicative throughout. Told me Ingersoll's great reply to Black years ago was dictated to him between the shots of a game of billiards at Ingersoll's house in Washington. Tickets steadily crawled up—one line after another. We took dinner with Morris and Frank Williams at Reisser's—debating there vehemently Whitman's philosophy of sex. I drew checks to pay all lecture bills. We arranged many things in Hall: seats on stage, etc. Morris put a little notice in Bulletin, Fitzgerald in Item and McConnell in Star. Farson seems to be a good deal of an ass, and lazy in addition. Campbell maintained confidence. Baker much encouraged, telegraphing the Colonel to that effect. The New York party were expected over at 2:55 or thereabouts. We went to Lafayette about three—met there the Ingersoll party: upstairs in corridor. Morris and Williams had met us. When finding Ingersoll was upstairs, they were for going away. Baker said, "You must come up anyway, Traubel: the Colonel asked for you." So we all went up, meeting the people just as they were coming out of the room. I lagged somewhat—I heard the Colonel's magnificent voice in the dark hallway as he said: "Where is Traubel?" and greeting Morris, who was ahead, "Is this Traubel?" I put in, "No, here he is!" at which he came forward, I starting up two or three steps, grasped my hand and turned around to introduce me to the family—wife, Maud, Eva, and Mr. Brown. We went downstairs together—they to dine, I to go to Camden.

I saw W. at about 4:20, in his own room, when Mrs. Davis brought him supper. He was calm, inviting—inquisitive about seats—"May God forfend us!" he exclaimed. Bucke not over yet, nor Johnston. Was expected about six. Said he had had his speech printed on slips and would let me have enough for self and printer. We advised him to bring over his chair—and he acquiesced so far as to say that if it could be got on the carriage, he would do so. It would enable us to manipulate him more easily on stage. Baker told me he thought Ingersoll would prefer not to be interrupted while in his speech—that Whitman should come before or after—"undoubtedly before." W. said, "I have little to say—am willing to say it any time it may be thought best." Was so left open. I went home—having many things to do. Then was back at W.'s at 6:15, Bucke meeting me there. Said he had come in afternoon just five minutes after I left. We sat there talking, Bucke telling me of the trip over. Said he talked with Mrs. Ingersoll nearly the whole way. Bucke sat in parlor. Had met someone on train—a New York publisher—who gave Johnston ten dollars for a ticket and said he would be willing to publish the speech and illuminate it. Bucke suggested that H.L.T. should be conferred with to that end. While we sat there talking, W. came downstairs, hat and coat on. As it was only six-thirty, I made some remark of surprise. What—going already? And then he laughed, "Why not? Isn't it time?" And to my negative, sat down and we talked there for 10 or 15 minutes. Soon the carriage drove up. W. found the chair could be nicely accommodated. So it should go. I left W. and Bucke talking there, I having to be at the Hall early.

So to Philadelphia—reaching Hall at about 7:15. Some people already in seats. Baker and Morris flitting about—as, indeed, I was at once. By and by Williamson was pointed out as waiting for me—a good face, sandy-bearded, rather pale. Very cordial. We talked freely together. We had retained seats for Ingersoll's family in the fourth row. The audience came—quite a large number of admissions. The stage people came. Here were some of them: Bucke, Harned, Johnston, Mrs. Johnston, Mrs. Harned, Anne Montgomerie, J. K. Mitchell, Agnes V. Traubel, Mrs. K. G. Traubel, Horace L. Traubel, Morris Lychenheim, Jacob Lychenheim, J. H. Clifford, wife and Charlotte, David McKay and wife, J. D. Law and wife, Geoffrey Buckwalter, H. L. Bonsall, Carl Edelheim and daughter, Frank Williams, Harrison S. Morris, William Ingram, William Ingram, Jr. Most of these and others assembled in the wings. W. was driven up to the front door about 7:45, was taken in by his chair through the banqueting room, helped up the three flights of stairs to stage by Warren. Ingersoll came along shortly after. Interesting little colloquies in groups—congratulations to W. W., to Ingersoll, to W. by Ingersoll, to Ingersoll by W. We had many peculiar and happy greetings. Finally came the going on the stage. Bucke was urged to start—went on alone—was clapped and cheered, as I know, for Walt Whitman. After others had followed and we were pretty well settled, W. was wheeled on by Warren and set at the center of the stage. In a few minutes more Ingersoll stepped forth—put his matter on the reading desk, picked it up again, stepped free of obstruction and launched to his speech, without preliminary.* Baker had given me one of the Ingersoll printed copies—"the first copy" he told me—in the forenoon: and in finding that Ingersoll had forgotten to bring one over for himself asked it back. Ingersoll had taken this—cut the margin close to the printed line—now held it in his hand and read. Whitman seemed very pale. I was surprised at his loss of color. Ingersoll spoke upwards of an hour and three-quarters. I have known him to speak with more dash—never with more absolute force and eloquence. His superb rendering of some of the poems captivated heart and mind. "The interrogating thumb" episode, the Paumanok picture, the Lincoln poem, whether in rendering or epitome, were gorgeous in integrity and color. The peroration was a masterpiece of language, feeling, sense and utterance. I noticed as he went on W. appeared moved in extraordinary ways—his paleness increasing. Ingersoll evidently considered the gravity of the occasion. He had written as he spoke, for the world which could not share this hour as well as for the fortunate individuals who could. The melody of his voice, his noble mien, his pathos and reserve—impressed and inspired. W. interpreted it all into its consistent heart-speech. By and by he concluded—a master-touch on an instrument of grand and delicate compass—retiring to a seat next Whitman—but as the audience rose as if to go, he rose quickly again—threw his voice ringingly out—saying that W. had something to say and they should wait to hear it. W. was

*For the text of Ingersoll's speech see the Appendix.

then pushed a couple of feet forward and spoke. For an instant—for more than an instant—I feared he would utterly collapse. The little speech he had printed—the eight short lines—were played with, stumbled over—not lamentably (because he gave utterance to their sense in the end) but to our trepidation. Then all was done. His voice was not strong, but had a noble pathos, vibrant and penetrating. Then the audience dispersed, slowly—such of it as did not come on the stage, to congratulate him or Ingersoll—or both. Ingersoll had listened and looked with grave solicitude as W.'s difficulty was evident, but had kindness and grace in every word and act. W. gave me slips containing his speech—thus:

After all, my friends, the main factors being the curious testimony called personal presence and face to face meeting, I have come here to be among you and show myself, and thank you with my living voice for coming, and Robert Ingersoll for speaking. And so with such brief testimony of showing myself, and such good will and gratitude, I bid you "Hail and Farewell."

W. had said to me this afternoon, "I had a letter from the Colonel today: he closed by saying, 'And now, may the Lord love you—but not too soon.' It was sweet, loving—took me back irresistibly to my dear father. It was so like him." Now as Ingersoll stood by W. he said, "As I told you in the letter—may the Lord love you, but not too soon." W. smiling—receiving congratulations on all hands. Ingersoll introduced his wife and daughters—W. saying, "Ah! girls! I have heard so much about you, I have long wished this chance to take you by the hand!" The "boys" were loth to adjourn abruptly. Arrangements were made to go up to the Lafayette—a few of us—for a talk. I whispered to W., "Don't you think you could take a little to set you up?" He laughed and responded, "Yes—anything! anything!" He consented to go with us. Ingersoll would be there and share the improvised hour. W. was helped out of the Hall and into his carriage—was driven up the street. Though laboriously, he went valiantly. The walking troubled him somewhat, but he persevered. He stayed with us at the Lafayette till 11:40—sat at table (Ingersoll by and by coming downstairs from his people)—debated, told stories. He at one point took Murger's poem from his pocket—reciting it with gusto—was much applauded. He and Ingersoll had a good deal of discussion—about Christianity, Deity, immortality, etc. At one point W. said, "Oh, Robert! Robert! sometimes I think there is a great gap between us—between our thought, then again I wonder if there is any at all!" Bucke exclaimed, "Not an inch's difference! not an inch!" Then at another point W., after his emphatic "No! No!" to Ingersoll's vehement talk—W. suddenly seized his hand in both of his own and cried, "But Robert, in your fight against that—in all the main lines of your great work—I am with you, I second you, I endorse you, I wish to thank you!" Ingersoll was of course strong, but W. several times aptly and sufficiently answered him. But as a rule Ingersoll cannot—could not then—be coped with. When Ingersoll thanked W. for the human trend of his work, W. expostulated, "But I, too, Robert, go among the clouds!" Quick as lightning Ingersoll retorted, "Yes, but you take a devil of a lot of dirt with you!" It was a brilliant play of wit and eloquence. The fellows gradually drew up to the head of the table—the waiters (they looked Irish: probably Catholic) looked as aghast at Ingersoll's daring speeches. Ingersoll said at one point that Robert Burns was a thousand times more to him than any founder of religions, etc. It is not possible to reproduce this great hour. Among those present were Harned and wife, Clifford, Bucke, Morris, Williams, Williamson, Johnston and wife, Buckwalter, Baker, Ingram, Warren, Mrs. Davis. W. was very cordial when I introduced Baker, who came in late after a settlement with Campbell. Baker gave me the "pot"—a bundle of bills—a giant fist. Johnston rose and congratulated the party: here was a thousand dollars, etc.! The party hurrahed. Baker wished to go off with me to settle finally. Arranged to do so after the party dispersed. W. cried out to me at one point, as he saw me strutting about the room with the bundle under my arm, "Hadn't you better give me that, Horace?" I laughed, refused, "Not yet—not till we know just how much of it is yours!" At which he laughed himself. After further talk, Ingersoll himself arose—offered to go—which was a signal for all hands. W. was helped out to his carriage—I stayed to work with Baker. Baker wished to ask some questions of Ingersoll, who had already gone upstairs—we therefore following. Ingersoll already partly undressed, but he came to his room door—talked. Would not let us take out for any of his own expenses—not a penny—saying, "I'm sorry it's no more"—Baker had told him about what it was—"but as it is it's a little purse for the old man!" Then he very cordially gave us good night. We going thence to Green's and to Baker's room—making final settlements—finding a surplus (net) for W. of $869.45. Baker and Ingersoll acted notably—with heart and brain—conferring all "on the old man." I felt the depression of the hour as I sat there to count the money after the eloquence, the wit, the presences, of those earlier three or four hours. But there was compensatory elevation in the noble demeanor of this great man's great clerk. Later—on towards one o'clock—I bade Baker good-bye: it was with emotion! I had gathered a real love for this good man. If spirituality had voice and gesture through the whole transaction of this fortnight—these were the exhibitors. That night I had their gift under my pillow—that gift, freighted with comradeship, humanity, high moral impulse and possession.

Ingersoll (while at the Lafayette) broke a cracker on the table with his forefinger—"The chick is born—walks off with a bit of shell on its back. I believe in the God that inhabits the egg." And yet they would call him atheist—with a belief altogether Emersonian except for its terminology!

Wednesday, October 22, 1890

McKay has sold 50 more copies of the big book. Approached me last evening to have them numbered. Promised I would have it done in the morning. W. had already given him orders for the sheets from Oldach. I went down to W.'s about nine-thirty but he was not up yet. Sent Warren to his bedroom for sheets, W. directing him where to find them. Harned had invited me to dine with him and Bucke at the Bellevue at eleven—so I hastened to Philadelphia—numbered the sheets in red ink at McKay's and reached the Bellevue just after they started to eat. Everybody exuberant about last night—McKay much worked up. Loag was at table with the two others. I had exchanged last night's cash with Harned for a check.

The papers about all reported the lecture to more or less extent—Press best, then Times, then Inquirer. Record also in line. Ledger rather slightingly spoke of the lecture as successful so far as numbers were concerned. Camden papers—the Post and Telegram—reported, Bonsall also giving it editorial allusion.


A Glowing Tribute Paid to the Aged Poet and Philosopher.


More than a Thousand People Gather in Horticultural Hall at the Venerable Writer's Testimonial.

His Characteristic Thanks.

Of all the placid hours in his peaceful life, those that Walt Whitman spent on the stage of Horticultural Hall last night must have been among the most gratifying. To a testimonial, intended to cheer his declining years, not only in a complimentary sense, came a thousand or more people to listen to a tribute to the aged poet by Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, such as seldom falls to the lot of living man to hear about himself.

On the stage sat many admirers of the venerable torch-bearer of modern poetic thought, as Colonel Ingersoll described him, young and old, men and women. There were white beards, but none were so white as that of the author of "Leaves of Grass." He sat calm and sedate in his easy wheeled chair, with his usual garb of gray, with his cloudy white hair falling over his white, turned-down collar that must have been three inches wide. No burst of eloquence from the orator's lips disturbed that equanimity; no tribute of applause moved him from his habitual calm.

And when the lecturer, having concluded, said "We have met to-night to honor ourselves, by honoring the author of 'Leaves of Grass,'" and the audience started to leave the hall the man they had honored reached forward with his cane and attracted Colonel Ingersoll's attention.

"Do not leave yet," said Colonel Ingersoll, "Mr. Whitman has a word to say."

This is what he said, and no more characteristic thing ever fell from the poet's lips or flowed from his pen.

"Only a word, my friends, only a word. After all, the main factor, my friends, is in meeting, being face to face and meeting like this. I thought I would like to come forward with my living voice and thank you for coming and thank Robert Ingersoll for speaking, and that is about all. With such brief thanks to you and him and showing myself to bear testimony—I think that is the Quaker term—face to face, I bid you all hail and farewell." . . .

(Philadelphia Press, October 22, 1890.)

I met Peirce, President of the Ethical Society, who said it was the greatest lecture he had ever heard—for power, both of utterance and statement. Peirce has known Parker and all the anti-slavery men.

Bucke and I are to go away tomorrow. After breakfast we went together to W.'s. He was in his room. Bucke downstairs. I gave W. check. Greatly pleased and gratified. Spoke of the "nobility and grandeur of the Colonel's conduct and attitude throughout." Gave me an interesting receipt for the money. Then took up a copy "Leaves of Grass"—McKay edition—inscribed it "in memory Ingersoll lecture," etc.—and handed to me. Said he had already sent a number of papers away—was using the Press as having the best report and thought as he "dwelt upon the address""let it soak in more and more"—how "probably it is in many ways the best statement yet." Wished me to "write to the Colonel" when opportunity came. He felt well—was "tired, somewhat, still: the edge a little worn off" but in the main held his own. I went home, having much to do ere going away. Back again about four-thirty. Bucke still there. We went to Philadelphia to inquire about trains, etc. I hurrying to Camden once more and to W.'s to bid him good-bye—kissing him farewell—getting his promise that he would write. Had been out to cemetery this afternoon with Bucke (carriage)—shown him the tomb and described its scheme. Bucke says W. told him he would reserve him one crypt—subject to his use if he desired, etc. W. holds up surprisingly. We hardly imagined that he would go through last night in such excellent fashion.

Thursday, October 23, 1890

Left home at about 7:25 to join Bucke at Broad Street. Met Law on the cable, en route. He much elevated by Tuesday's event—thinking it the greatest he had ever shared. Took 8:12 train. Day very gloomy and dark. Travelled all day, arriving about 10:20 at Clifton House, Niagara Falls, where we put up and had supper. Went to bed in sound if not sight of the great panorama of waters. It had rained—poured—persistently. Bucke had "Leaves of Grass," which we read intermittently. Just before I left I had received autograph copy of Ingersoll's address. This with us and enjoyed, too. Baker had promised to send. Discussed Whitman affairs. Bucke described tomb—thought W. would probably spend $2000 upon it before through. Bucke dwelt upon W.'s good condition, though the really poor chances of his long life. The chances of a strong man of his years not high—in W.'s condition the chances lessened. The end not unlikely to come from heart failure. Two things which puzzled us two years ago when W. seemed like to die—then much debated by his friends—where he should be buried and whether Ingersoll could decently be invited to speak with others, at his funeral—now settled by W.'s own action. We felt the relief of this. Many such things interchanged.

Friday, October 24, 1890

All the morning at the Falls—day brightening almost to the time of our departure at three, when it clouded and rained slightly again. Saw American Falls, Goat Island, Three Sister Islands—went in the Maid of the Mist on her round on the face of the Falls—saw the Whirlpool Rapids—went, rubber-suited, under the Canadian Falls (through the tunnel). Everything great—joyous. I was up first in the morning. First sight of the water disappointing. All my boyhood dreams seemed to rise in reproach to the fact. But long dwelling upon them gradually bore the impression of their majesty and beauty: the Canadian Falls especially seeming to testify to the elemental play. I delighted to watch the waters in their mad rush above the cliff. It seemed less the suggestion of a river than of a country flooded—except that the stream came down without debris. All the waters hereabout—even of minor streams—are impetuous—crowd wave by wave on each other's heels—an endless procession—a constant closing-up of ranks. All the trees, all the hills—even the spreading skies—seem dwarfed castaways before this vast volume—this consuming flood. It leaps and breaks, worries and storms, makes mad leaps over into the abyss, foams, melodies, dies away—rises again and sets—hews its age into the unstable rock—dips chasmically at its will to new bottoms—-shames mortal pretense—belittles everything in man but his soul. Here came for the first time full conviction of life. I had no awe—no sorrow—no fear—no timidity—only absolute faith—only satisfying intelligence—as if messaged from final deliverers. The day was so changing—so shifting—that hue and outline seemed in constant new revelations. Bucke indicated to me the point at which W. had viewed the display under the Canadian Falls. The water "falling like a veil before my (his) face," etc.

I wrote W. in early morning, but no time or convenience for saying much.

We reached London about seven—taking supper in B.'s home.

Shall long know this day, for its play upon the sense of the sublime.

No letter for either of us from W.

Saturday, October 25, 1890

Wrote W. and wrote Ingersoll today—also Anne Montgomerie. Received letter from the last this afternoon. Bucke drove me to London this morning. We stopped in at Gurd's shop—found him working at models for meters: same quiet, self-contained man who came down to Philadelphia a year or two ago. Bucke has great faith in this meter. Hopes by it to put W. shortly in the way of a cottage, say, in West Philadelphia. W. talks of such a final home. In afternoon spent some hours with Bucke in his office looking over Whitman collection. Keeps the matter all together in office at Asylum—on shelves, in drawers, in closets. Has book for photos—scrap-book—is working up an elaborate bibliography. His Whitman collection—manuscripts and letters—binds what is mentioned very large. His room contains the two Morse busts—the Gutekunst picture with a noble superscription.

No word yet from W. Bucke described Kennedy's visit. Bucke has Peter Doyle and Harry Stafford letters from W.

Sunday, October 26, 1890

Spent the day roaming about—went to chapel in morning with Bucke—Methodist minister on duty—the congregation probably 200 to 300. All conducted in best order. One woman inclined to be noisy, but quieted. The dress everywhere being neat, though at times grotesque. Perception of music not ill— the attention to sermon obviously direct for some—many absent in mind, abstracted—some apparently sleeping. The attendants—girls and male, in first rows—seeming to lead in the singing, etc. I sat with Bucke facing the audience, his brother coming in late to join us. The faces before us all of a lower type—as Bucke thought, averaged insanity—B. believes that culture and civilization are protectives. Pathetic the whole scene—a glimpse of wander-land, a sight of tragic pasts, personal or clannish of race. In the afternoon Bucke went to a Catholic service, held in the same chapel. I spent rest of the day working on my New England Magazine piece. In evening we went to B.'s office where I read him what I had written. His suggestions were very few—mostly in connection with W.'s medical condition. He thought the paper "fine"—adding that "I don't know but it'll prove the best thing yet." Afterward he read me from manuscript the funeral address he had written in '88 at the time we feared W. was about to die.

Monday, October 27, 1890

Still at London. Spent the day in various work. In town with Bucke in the forenoon. In afternoon at two he lectured some students, coming out from the city, with a number of his own girls: nurses, etc. Doing it I thought in a memorable way. B. very lucid. This was the first lecture in his course—after preliminary sketch of insanity—its genera, etc.—we went into one of the wards where B. gave practical illustrations of the melancholic phases of insanity. B. sat in the middle of the floor—the patient was brought in to face him—sitting also—the students gathered around. I suppose every case of insanity has its curious phases, but the most curious of the several examples he adduced was a fellow—a man of middle life, short, bearded, about 28 years of age, with a smirking countenance, a continually appearing and receding smile—who gave us with greatest confidence account of the fact that he was without either lungs or kidneys or brain, that his chest was burdened with a dirty red shirt, which he could taste—that his heart was in his head. He gave us this information with utmost volubility and confidence, only ceasing when finally B. said "that will do" and had him removed. At night this man was present at the dance in amusement hall, participating in every step, even to the jig. B. says for himself that he enjoys these lectures. They are not difficult, he has the material well at and in hand, etc.

After the lecture we went in town. I got my ticket for Philadelphia. Back to tea and to the dance. Of course interspersed between all these occupations were talks of W., plans, etc.—for disposal of precious souvenirs, etc. Bucke will send a lot of his Whitman books down with me for W.'s autograph, I to express back. Postal and two letters from W. today—written to us in common. B. kept postal and one letter, I the second letter.

Tuesday, October 28, 1890

Still in London. Postal from W. today to us in common. Left this with Bucke. Autograph copy of Ingersoll's address came to Bucke. Went off on a long drive—B., his brother "Duke," and Dr. Sippi of the Asylum. Off as far as Delaware, a matter of 15 to 20 miles—where we took dinner. Then to call on a farmer named Gibson, with lands, dogs, sheep, together, of the most noble character. The drive altogether happy. B.'s brother not B.'s counterpart intellectually, but a man nevertheless of parts and of hopeful demeanor—one of the cleanest men, to appearances, I have ever known—I so spoke of him to Doctor, who admitted the word applied fitly. Our trip throughout bristling with anecdote—a good deal of it about W., whom they all knew. Mrs. Bucke described to me today W.'s beautiful manner with the children while with them. Weather continued doubtful—in the morning it snowed somewhat—then as the day drew out cleared and gave us best profit of our faith and trip. Are getting things ready for my trip down. Country hereabout rich—B. enthusiastic as to its future. Most of the brighter—more believing—people I met accept the necessity of union eventually with the U.S.—but I find now that there is much feeling on the subject of the McKinley bill—which it is thought deters union.

Wednesday, October 29, 1890

Final talk with Bucke this morning till about ten-thirty, when we went into London together, the brother along. B. sent down by me, for W. to autograph, Whitman books as follows: "L. of G." editions '84, '71-2, Century, '67, '56, '82, '71, '60-61, '55, "Specimen Days," "Two Rivulets." We met the Asylum mail wagon on the road. B. stopped it and opened the bag—finding therein a postal from W., written to us in common, and a copy of the American. I kept postal. All the signs of love and integrity everywhere with these people. Mrs. B. followed us to the porch—was long and affectionate in her leave-taking—sending finest tokens to W. Perhaps she would be in N.Y. in the winter. If so she would be with us, too, etc. Clare goes to N.Y. to take course in art. We were driven in town. Further talk at station. Bucke passed my baggage (including books) through customs without investigation. Then away. I did some writing on the trip down but neither the environment nor my mood encouraged me much. Travelled all day, reaching the Falls about four—changing cars there—from that point to Buffalo, by train to Philadelphia by the Lehigh Valley.

Thursday, October 30, 1890

7:15 P.M. Mrs. Davis gave me cordial greeting at the door. W. in bathroom—coming out shortly—seeing me in hallway—an exclamation—I suppose of joy—"Oh! boy! Oh Horace! Here at last—here again. How good it is to see you again!" and he urged I come right in—holding my hand warmly and firmly. I went downstairs a space to have Mrs. Davis sign receipt—then up again—W. taking both my hands in his own then—reaching forward to kiss me. The warmest demonstration I ever knew from him. He exclaimed, "Oh boy! I could hardly have believed it myself. How we have missed you—your evening visits. Evening after evening going and no sign, no familiar figure! And now you are back with us again! Tell me about it all—about them all. It must be a bright good story." I had no great space to stay, but the 20 minutes or so I lingered were used with good effect. I asked him if he had yet written Ingersoll. "No," he replied, "and yet I have intended to do it. But I have not been nearly so well since you went away. This 'grip' possesses me—is a trouble and casualty. Therefore all the good words I had designed to send remain unwritten." And he added, "I received the copy of the address the day you left and I have read it, read it, read it again. It seems to be written for permanent place, which it will have." I suggested, "Before all else Ingersoll is poet." "Yes, I have thought that myself—have believed that might, ought to, be said. It is full of beauty—is a poem in itself." I asked, "What is this Morris has been at in the American?" W. replied, "Oh! it seems to be a statement from some of my friends—a protest—which asks the world that they may not be misunderstood as in any way responsible for the atheisticalness of Ingersoll." I said, "I told Doctor the other day that I thought it both superfluous and impudent for anybody to apologize for your friendship." W. smiled, "I see it, too—but it is done with good intention—they mean it well." "No doubt," I admitted, "but God knows the world isn't going to worry itself much either way to find out if Morris or any other of our littlenesses are mixed or mingled with Bob's ideas of the universe!" W. smiling, assented, "To be sure—to be sure. But we understand—that is enough." I showed him a couple of Niagara pictures I had with me—noble counterfeits of that majestic flow of water—and as he looked at it, "It increases my awe, bolsters my conviction, lifts me. They certainly are the best watery effects I have ever seen—have, in fact, the power, the certainty, of new creations."

I referred to Ingersoll's lecture as "majestic" and W.: "It is indeed majestic—it is a good word, compassing its grandeur." And then, "I have a copy of the American with Morris in it—a copy here away somewhere."

Told him I was about ready to have manuscript copied—of the New England Magazine piece. He said, "Doctor has written me about it," and he assured me he would lay out for me the five photos—the house, Mickle Street, the room, Whitman, the birthplace.

Then into rapid questionings as to London. I told him I wished him to send Warren up for Doctor's books in the morning and he said he would do so. He asked about my trip both ways—when I got in—how all the folks were—"Pardee and Ina? Ah yes! I know—they must be just what you say!" and on to the freedom of the whole Bucke establishment—sane and insane, children and adults. "I can conceive it: it is the Doctor's best card—carries everywhere its own justification." I had soon to go—but could hardly escape from the questions he fired at me, one after another. "You see," he said, "it is just as I have said—you are not sorry you went. I knew it would be so." And as to B.'s brother, "I knew him too—he was a fine presentable man." He could "never miss the remembrances of the young ones—particularly of Pardee. He was even then a beautiful child," and "I remember Dr. Sippi, too—manly, stout, cheerful." And as I went, he called after me, "Come again—come again: I am anxious for all the story!"

Friday, October 31, 1890

7:50 P.M. W. sent Warren up for Doctor's books in the morning, wrote variously in them, added an extra copy of "Specimen Days," a big envelope of portraits, and left them at the house as they passed in the chair in the afternoon. He had bundled them up firmly and addressed them, forgetting that we had the trunk in which to dispatch. When I got into his room he at once spoke of them. "I put my name in all," he explained, "yet in one or two it already appears several times. I confess I did not like to do it—it looks bad, is bad. But as long as he sent them, I asked no questions, stretching the principle to its limit." And when I tried to explain B.'s idea W. said, "No matter—that does not help me—I still have the feeling. It makes me think of the old story," he laughed. "The master says to his footman or what-not, 'John, have you gathered all our things together?' 'Oh yes master—at least, at least!'—their own and no doubt somebody else's! The Doctor must have worked in a mood like that. But if it does him good, all right!" And he then further questioned me about London affairs. When I expressed some regret at the prospect that B. might leave the institution if the meter panned out well, W. assented, "All you say about that is true. Its freedom, its individual genius, are exhaustless, are both in Doctor's eternal honor. I too look upon anything like his going away as almost tragedy—perhaps to him, to the place, equally. And I wonder, if he is away, by the meter or anything else (no doubt, if at all, by the meter)—whether he will not wish to be back again? It is a serious question, not even by him to be settled offhand!"

I left with him a copy of New Ideal containing my paper on Parker and Johnson. Said he would read it and send copy to Kennedy when he was done. Looked at the print admiringly. "It does my eyes good—is handsome."

Had laid out American for me. "There is Morris' piece," and added, "Perhaps that had better be sent to Doctor when you are done with it." Then of the article itself, "I accept it for what it seems to indicate. It is cute, too. I can see what they are up to. I say they for I look upon the piece as composite—made up—for Morris, Frank Williams, perhaps several others. It is not unskillfully constructed either—has a certain architectonic ability. And for what it means to say, I give it every credit." Here he laughed and gestured circularly. "You know—I pride myself on my inclusiveness—that I embrace everybody—and that must stand." Then he followed the subject up in this way: "But after all—I know it is just as you have put it—that no one has any right to possess me—to hold 'Leaves of Grass' for himself only—to put up bars, inhibiting anyone. And I can say for myself, about Ingersoll, that I take him to the full, that his testimony, in its grand generosity and genius—claims, has from me, what it could claim or have from anyone. I could not but be susceptible to its subtle charm, its power, majesty—yes, your word majesty. I think that if I was a Methodist or a Presbyterian—as God forbid!—I should yield to it. Now I can say to you, authorize you to say for me, the first time Ingersoll or Walt Whitman are in question—to say, that 'Leaves of Grass' has its own eligibilities—has no narrow tendencies—at least, that I hope it has not. Shall we be less than the sun—shall we pause to inquire all the love out of life? The sun shines, shines, shines: it has no question to ask of whore, of murderer, of anyone. It gives what it has, yielding to each after its necessity. I have been anxious to do Morris justice, but I think your idea the true one. My friendships are my own—for Ingersoll or another. And besides I am too much agreed with the main body of the Colonel's work to wish to worry over his weak points, or my own either."

Said he had written a postal to Bucke.

When I opened Bucke's bag of books found only 11. It alarmed me. I was sure we laid out 15 for me to bring down. Wrote B. instantly inquiring. Will hold till I hear.

W. asked me about the men at the Asylum. When I spoke of Dr. Beemer he said in astonishment, "I can hardly think of him as growed up!" When I told him of some of the patients, "How pathetic!" he exclaimed, "I had just such thoughts as you tell me of when I was there." Took the red shirt story more seriously than I thought—as well as that of the woman who makes the strange passes in the air. Gave me pictures for New England Magazine. Suggests that I use Warrie's picture, along with the others. Says he is "anxious to see the piece."

Referred to Ingersoll again: "That was wonderfully cute—and true, too—of Ingersoll—when he said of Burns—he was the child of nature, of whom his mother was ashamed and proud. And so true of Bob, too—the lesson, the grand true throb of his life!"

Questioned me about my trip till I had to drag myself away. Is "reasonably well," he says.

Saturday, November 1, 1890

8:05 P.M. I went to W.'s in good spirits, finding him in as good. North American Review piece out today: he gave me slips—one set for Morris, one for myself. Had laid them out for us. Appeared to have been reading it; spoke of it immediately upon my entrance after our shaking hands. In his own room. Now that the days are colder he stays more closely there, keeping a wood fire burning lustily. I showed him this letter from Bucke received today:

30 Oct. 1890 My dear Horace

Four small W. W. books were missed when I packed the trunk—they had been laid aside under some other books and escaped being seen—I am sending them by mail—they are: "As a Strong Bird," "Drum-taps," "Passage to India" and "Democratic Vistas"—I hope you will not have shipped back the trunk before you get this letter—if not get these four (which I send by mail) autographed and return with the rest. Should the trunk be gone get the four autographed and return by mail.—You will probably have to pay duty on the four now being sent—let me know the amount of this and all other expenses connected with this autographing business so that I may square up—you will have to pay expressage, probably more than once, and will have doubtless other expenses—but I want to make it all good.

We all keep well—My brother left us at 5 this P.M. I feel pretty dull now that you are both gone.

No letter from Walt today.

Good luck to you RM Bucke

W. said, after I had expressed my rejoicing to have the news of the safety of the four missing books, "I wrote Doctor today. Told him about the books, that you held them, for reasons." I laughed, "That is 'Leaves of Grass'!" and he assented, smiling too, "Yes, that's so, but you see I read it, too!" Referred to photos he had given me yesterday. I found another view of birthplace on floor. He examined: "This is the back view—not so good," he explained. "It is from the high road, the highway. I don't know why, but it does not seem happy, lacks I don't know what. The one I gave you is by all odds the best—best to use if any is used." As to the room view (the "study"), which he had not given me: "I do not think I know of any view that is sufficiently characteristic to use, do you?"

W. very angry about Courier. "Do you see it?" he asked. "It is blackguarding Tom at a great rate." Harned is running for state senator as an independent. "It is throwing all the muddy mud it can. Oh! It is a vile sheet—full of distortion, of smut—a nasty, back-biting, slanderous, back-house, sewery sheet. The lowest, I think, I have known anywhere, which is to say a good deal." I asked him why the Courier had ignored him all through the lecture business. He swiftly answered, "I wonder. I cannot conceive." And further, "You know, I read these sheets in spite of myself: Post, Courier, though to be sure Harry is not doing any dirty work against Tom."

Asked me about weather—weather it had not "taken on a snap," etc.

I showed him letter I had today from Baker—this:

New York, Oct. 31st 1890. My dear Traubel:

Your very kind and very welcome letter from London, Ontario, came duly to hand. I need hardly say to you that I fully appreciate and warmly reciprocate every personal sentiment in it—only you do me far too much favor and honor. The obligation of friendship is to say the least even between us but I am inclined to think the greater is on my side and that I am and shall remain your debtor on that score. Anyhow, I am sincerely glad to have met you, and hope that increasing years and labors will only polish the true gold of both of us brighter. Whenever in New York, do me the favor to call to see me, not only at the office here, but at my cosy rooms—No. 19 East 80th St., where with my dear wife, we can have an evening of reciprocal intellectual pleasure.

I have already written to Editor Flower, of The Arena, in reference to both yourself and W. W. becoming correspondents of that Review. Of course I do not know how it will strike him, but you may be sure that I urged the case strongly in his own interest.

The Colonel has been away all the week. On his return I will speak with him in reference to the biographical sketch. I am sure beforehand, however, that he will not consent to furnish a line about himself, for publication anywhere. It may be that he will make you the single exception—but it will be a great concession if he does.

As to the W. W. lecture, the Col. has only three or four of them left. I am afraid that he will not distribute any more of them. The Truth-Seeker, of 28 Lafayette Place, this city, published it entire in this week's issue.

Hoping you are well and happy and wishing you the very best of everything I am,

Sincerely your friend, I N Baker Should you not be able to get another copy of the W. W. lecture from the Colonel, I have one extra copy of my own that I will with pleasure assign, transfer and set over to you! Remember me very kindly to friend Morris when you see him. B.

"Very good! Noble fellow!" he exclaimed as he read. And when he came to the end, "See what this says: in the Truth Seeker," laying note on his lap and looking over at me, "If the lecture is there, we will want a good many of them—a good many." I had tried to get copies today, but not succeeded. Would probably catch them Monday. W. satisfied. I urged to wait to see if it really was full. Heard the Investigator (Boston) has also printed liberal extracts.

Bucke's Morse medallion broke while I was at London. I promised to secure him another—now bringing matter up to W., who immediately acquiesced, giving me copy from the table, which I will send in trunk with books.

Brinton just back from Europe. Writes me, among other things, about W.:

Oct. 30 '90 My dear Mr. Traubel:

I have just returned from Europe this week—have been wrestling with a large accumulation of letters and business matters, as well as preparations to move in town.

Mrs. Brinton told me you wrote to inquire about me and that you would like to know when I returned; so I drop you a line. Contemporary Club matters I learn are progressing, and I have asked for a meeting of the Ex. Com. to be called for Monday next 4:30 P.M. at 1833 Spruce. Try to come as we want to know about finance.

Walt I hope is well, though I have heard nothing for 3 months as to his condition. I am pretty busy packing up, etc. out here, but after this week shall have some leisure and I want to visit Camden.

Truly yours D. G. Brinton

W. glad to have this read to him. "It honors us." He placing always high estimate on things said by Brinton; feels they come from "a typical man of science—than whom there's none higher!"

W. has received official notice of the change in number of his house to 332. Have not had a chance to talk with him about it yet.

W. called my attention to Century frontispiece: a Brady picture of Lincoln and "Tad," saying, "How good that is! It is one of the very few good pictures of Lincoln I know. Brady himself made about 40 or so, which come to little. Lincoln is worn, tired, dragged out. It is the true phase, as shown in those late years of the first presidency. He was always spare—came East first, looking the athletic timberman, lithe, not graceful, serene, calm—and then the burdens and that etch and etch of time! It carries me back: I see the figure, all its significance, its majesty, its summons!"

Sunday, November 2, 1890

7:20 P.M. W. at Harned's for supper at five. Just reached home before I came. In his bedroom. Did not look bright. Said, "I am not bright. There's some devil at work in me: I guess it is that grip: I can explain it no other way—give it no other name." And then, "Yes, I enjoyed myself at Tom's, but I am not well."

Adler speaks in Philadelphia this evening, "Agnosticism not a Finality," W. saying about it, "It ought to be worth hearing: it must have great points," and this led him to refer to William T. Harris' approaching address before the Contemporary Club on Hegel. "He ought to know what he is talking about—is undoubtedly the great Hegelian of our land, our time."

Has been paid $75 for "Old Poets." Has also some difference with McKay about payment of large orders for big books. He thinks "troubles multiply."

His neighbor, Button, is notified by city authorities that the number of his house has been changed to 332. This would make W. 330, which he does not like. It makes him indignant.

I mailed "Old Poets" to Morris, along with matter of my own. Have progressed on Whitman paper.

W. sent his "love" to Adler, and Adler was happy to receive it. Eloquent address. W. interested in Blaine's coming to Philadelphia to speak. Regrets Tom's entrance to this political fight in Camden.

Hunted but could not find Truth Seeker today.

"In this autographing business" W. thought I might as well get Burroughs to autograph one of the "Poet and the Pen" books for me. Would give me a copy to send on.

Attention called to old note from Gleeson White (abroad).

Monday, November 3, 1890

Received books from Bucke this morning: "Democratic Vistas," "Passage to India," "Drum Taps," "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free." Also a letter from Mead, saying he will be glad to have my article and illustrations. Looked up a copy of Truth Seeker today, finding it really had published Ingersoll's address in full. A rather crude sheet in many ways. May hinder the circulation of Ingersoll's message.

7:50 P.M. Had some talk with W., mainly about the Ingersoll lecture, which I showed him in Truth Seeker. He said, "It looks well; is evidently all here—large type, clear," and advised me, "I shall probably want, say, 30 copies." So I arranged to send for 50 or so, to satisfy both. Left the copy with him. I told him someone had asked me, "You certainly don't pretend that you believe Ingersoll to be as big a man as Whitman?" I admitted, "No, I do not—nor that Burns is as big as Shakespeare: but Burns was genius, nevertheless, if not as comprehensive as Shakespeare, ample anyhow." And W. now said to me, "Good! But for my own part I would put it in quite another way. I would not have Bob anything else but just what he is. He is as he is because he has to do what he has to do. For his grand, noble, necessary work, he is rightly armed, equipped. He is constituted as he should be. He could not be something else and do it—which is sufficient answer." I related what Baker had told me: that he has known Ingersoll to offer big sums of money to be left out of encyclopedias, etc., W. saying, "I can hardly conceive it: how odd it is!" And to the fact that Ingersoll's funeral addresses broke him (Ingersoll) up, "That, too, is hard to understand. Just the emotion of it? It must be, and surely has a weight of significance, too."

I left with him the four Bucke books, which he will autograph for me tomorrow. Also letter from Stockley, written from Paris, about the Sarrazin book, detailing his so far ill success in securing the American right to translate.

Referred to the Melbourne Argus' adverse view of Symonds' book—with side-shots (several) at Walt Whitman—sneers at W.'s demonstration of democratic art.

Had forgotten about my Burroughs book today. "Forget everything," he says.

Has as yet had no notification of change in number of his house. Referred to the Button advisement.

Letter from Mead today in which he said, "The Whitman paper I shall look forward to with interest whenever you can prepare it—and shall be glad of all the help in the way of illustration which you suggested."

W. said, "That should incite you to hurry it out." I would have copy this week or early next. He thought he would "not need it for any length of time." I explained, "I want you to go through it with a pen: then I can make a final copy." He assented, "Yes, I shall do it: suggest what I may think omissions. Shall only want it a day or so."

Tuesday, November 4, 1890

8:00 P.M. Spent about half an hour with W., finding him looking and feeling (he says) better than yesterday. The night rather cool. A hot wood fire burning in the stove. W. sat with his shoes off, saying that the shoes hurt his feet, but shodding himself after I came, making half apology for his condition. He spoke about the election: "Yes, we were out and voted. It went very easy." First occasion in New Jersey of the Australian ballot. "I expected some trouble but everything went as easy as rolling off a log. Warrie piloted me, seeming to know all the ropes," and with a smile, "as a sailor should!" Had he voted right? Yes; that was his "right"—voted for Harned. Inquired after the appearance of things in Philadelphia. Would, he said, if not so lamed, "delight to be with the crowd today, tonight."

Had he read the Truth Seeker? "Yes, several times: I was just reading it as you came in. It is all there, all. My surprise is, that they should have been willing to devote so much space to it. Did you send for the papers? Yes? Well, you are right. But do you know, Horace, that publisher—that Somerby, C. P. Somerby—is a real scamp. I knew him: he owes me full $150 today. He got one book from me, then another, and another, and heaped up a debt which he has never paid. He is like our friend here in Camden who builds the still houses; soft and fair and sweet of specch, in externals, but full of nooks, snakes, poisons within." I had never known this of Somerby, so after expressing surprise, said, "If Somerby really owes you this money and has a conscience, will he charge for papers I ordered from him?" I had sent for 50, asking for bill. W. laughed. "You need not wonder about that, Horace. You will get the bill. I have no doubts myself." And further, "You know, boy, the radical atheistical ranks have their scoundrels, thieves, also. There's no doubt about it. There was the fellow in London—I have forgotten his name now: it is about somewhere—he got it in on me bad, and more than these, too. There have been enough others." As to the Truth Seeker: "I am not drawn to it: but our point is that they publish the address, which makes it useful to us." Adding, "I wish to send fully 20 abroad."

Gave him letter I had received from Bucke; he putting on glasses and reading.

Had autographed the four books for Bucke, and tied them together with a string for me. But had forgot the Burroughs book again, which made him lament his "failing memory." I must send Bucke's trunk back to Canada. W. will notify him.

I saw Talcott and Mrs. Williams today; they had asked after W. and now he asked after them. Had been in Adirondacks.

Had W. yet read "Crimes Against Criminals"? "Yes indeed, and read it closely, too—and accepted it. It encloses the whole truth on that subject, is the best thing yet. Beautiful, eloquent, fine, expansive, and is a way out, as well. It is quite in the nature of my own ideas on that subject. It ought to have the greatest circulation. Has all the rich quality of permanent work: will last."

Read him extract from Baker's letter received today:

New York, Nov. 3d 1890. My dear Traubel:

Flower, of The Arena, writes me, in reply to mine, that he will gladly welcome Walt Whitman into his pages. He will give him $150 for from 3000 to 5000 words, at WW's pleasure. He says to me: "Let me know about the subject, and when I can expect it." So I leave it with you and W. W.

As to yourself—Flower says that at present he cannot promise me. He is awfully choked with mss. So we will let that rest a while. I told him that no one on earth knew WW and his philosophy as intimately as you, and no one could be a mouth-piece of it equal to you—etc. and so on. Something will come of it—but in the future.

Hope you are well. I see WW's article in this month's N. A. Review. Good! Let us keep it up. With best wishes and warm regards,

Your friend I. N. Baker

W. said smilingly, "That sounds good—has a true ring. And so you think there's something in that $150?" He had never seen the Arena. "Is it heavy? For heavy subjects? Yes, I see." And on the money matter again, "It reminds me of a story I used to hear and tell with a great deal of enjoyment of some old woman with her whiskey jug and a purchaser not the best for pay. When he would ask for a drink, she would ask, 'Got the money?' and if he answered yes would trot out the jug and descant upon its virtues, how it 'glowed,' 'should be taken at once,' 'none better,' and all that. But if her inquirer had said, 'No, I have no money,' then she closed all bargaining instantly—would rebuke him for his bad habits, and so forth." And so, if Flower (Arena) hadn't the money, the connection was obvious. But W. said, "I will write for them. You may say so, and I will give you a subject—of course, having some little time to make up my mind." Spoke with high appreciation of Baker's generosity and sympathy, adding, "I am just putting the finishing touches on my second North American Review piece. 'Our National Literature,' I call it. Ain't that a tremenjous subject? It is a handful." I laughed and told him, "I met one man after Bob's lecture who declared, 'I went to hear the Colonel talk of Liberty and Literature. Instead of doing that he spoke the whole evening about Walt Whitman.' I interposed, 'But ain't Walt Whitman Liberty and Literature?'" Both my friend then and Whitman now (particularly the latter) laughing at this sally. W. also added, "We may hope so: but I am sorry for the poor man, too."

Wednesday, November 5, 1890

8:20 P.M. With W. nearly an hour, in such active talk as we have not had together for many a day. His condition evidently vigorous and happy.

Talked of elections. He was "happy in it all: for the slap at Quayism in Pennsylvania, for the general onslaught on the McKinley bill." Thought "things looked about to right themselves." He had voted for Harned, "but Tom has not been here for some days." It was "sign of good for America" that turns of this sort could occur. "And even the farmers in the West seem aroused." What about? And as I detailed some points in the Farmer's Alliance, he thought, "It is significant—and a wheel within a wheel?"

Had sent Kennedy the New Ideal today. "He liked the Ingersoll lecture, of course: from the Times bit I sent him, made up a quarter-column piece for Sunday's Transcript. We must send him a Truth Seeker as soon as circumstances will allow."

Gave me letter from Bucke. Also showed me an old envelope worded "Horace" containing a slip (as he said, "for your piece").

I then showed him something from S. P. Putnam, "The Eloquence of Ingersoll," which he read and called "fine," adding, "He deserves it, too: it is not a word too much or out of place." Asked me about Putnam: "I had an impression that he was, or is, an expert stenographer, that he held some eminence in that work." He then asked me somewhat about him. Law had sent me this piece from Putnam. W. said of Law: "I liked the fellow the times he was here; his atmosphere attracts me." Law had sent also the New York World matter of 26th about W. and Ingersoll. Left copy with W. He had "particular desire to see if it was parent to the Press piece," as undoubtedly it was. Commented on writer's evident pressure to prove W. in a dangerous condition of senility, etc., and W. said, "I can see that intention myself. But how could he know?" The writer's confusions were manifold—this evidently the inspiration of the Press article. No one about here knows who did it, but I suspect it was the young fellow I had the fight with at the entrance to dining room that night. W. said, "I have had the reputation of being grizzled past belief. So I am judged accordingly." Then W. said, "We will send our papers abroad liberally." I hinted, "I have just written Baker to that effect." "Good! To Symonds and many others." I had also written Baker definitely assenting to the proposition to write for the Arena. W. promised, "I will give you an idea of a subject within a very few days." Then, "If I go into the North American Review, then into Lippincott's next month, then again into the North American Review, then in the Arena, the world will think I am lively enough for something. Kennedy must have seen this World piece, for he wrote me the other day, about 'Old Poets,' that it was a pretty lively word from a dead man." How would it do for me to write Gilder and question why W. appeared tabooed in Century dictionary? W. demurred, "I don't think it well to follow the idea out. Even at Doctor's instance, for the world knows how intimate we are and would think I had inspired you. Besides, they are not to blame. They cannot help it. They go as far as they see, then stop. To some of these people, I am what Bob Ingersoll is to others: we are feared, inspire horror, and I am not surprised: we could not be for such people. Just the last few days I have received a couple of letters—characteristic letters—bearing upon these things. One of them roundly abuses me, calls me 'accursed,' is evidently written by a woman who for some reason or other thinks my existence a threat. And the other is a man's—seems to have come from something offensive I said in the 'Old Poets' piece. What could it have been?" "The Whittier reference?" "No, hardly that. I think that what I said of Whittier could almost have been endorsed by a Whittierite. It was simple, direct. If anything, my Longfellow paragraph; and yet I did not suspect I had anywhere said anything ill-natured, narrow, indicating either jealousy or knowing injustice." Nor had he. I mentioned his naming Lanier as felicitous, as Lanier had always so ingraciously estimated W., and he said, "I am glad you like that: it was meant just as it stands." I told him of my saying to narrow alignments: "However you have a platform that shuts me off, my platform includes you," and I illustrated, "'Leaves of Grass' is such a big platform, or nothing." W. assenting, "I hope so! and that is so good, so good!" He developed the magazine question: "I have a piece in the coming Lippincott's, 'To the Sunset Breeze.' Stoddart wrote me about it some time ago, sending proof, which I returned at once, nothing at all being the matter with it. Stoddart said to me that Scovel told him I had spoken of him, Stoddart, as worldly, or wordly. And he asked, 'What do you mean by that?' His letter was in a pleasant enough vein, rather towards the humorous. I do not remember that I ever said such a thing to Jim: it is nearly certain I did not. Stoddart told me he would come over in a few days to consult with me about the arrangement of the poems, but he has not yet been here. I think he is a free, good, democratic fellow, beyond airs and snobbiness. He would receive you well if you Dr. John Johnston, April 22, 1891. Courtesy Library of Congress, Traubel Collection  
  David McKay, June 1, 1883. Courtesy Library of Congress, Traubel Collection
William Sloane Kennedy, 1924. Courtesy Library of Congress, Traubel Collection Nellie O'Connor, c. 1890-95. Courtesy Library of Congress, Traubel Collection Walt Whitman's bedroom, 1890. Photo by Dr. John Johnston. Courtesy Whitman House, Camden, New Jersey Manuscript of Walt Whitman's "speech" given at the Ingersoll testimonial lecture, October 21, 1890. Courtesy Library of Congress, Feinberg Collection Draft manuscript of the poem "The Unexpress'd," 1890. Published in Good-Bye My Fancy, 1891. Courtesy Library of Congress went there. My first idea was to have the poems together, making a page, but he wished to use them each by itself, which I can see to be the true business issue of it."
Then he called my attention to the fact that "Scovel is evidently urging some of his (Scovel's) Whitman matters upon Stoddart, and Stoddart, though not perhaps smitten of Jim, is a good deal with him perhaps—certainly drinks with him. But it is not pleasant to me to think of Scovel writing anything at all about Walt Whitman." And so he pressed me that I write to Stoddart, volunteer a piece, to head Scovel off. "You could do it best of all. Jim is an unpleasant fact. You would not need to write severely to Stoddart. I am quite willing you should use my name—should say that I desire it—that I object to having Scovel proceed further about me. Do it all kindly; I know you can. I have a peculiar liking for the women of Jim's family—appreciate what they have done for me, and would not like it to seem that I am ungrateful or treacherous. Of course I know that whatever you write to Stoddart will get to Jim sooner or later, but if written mildly it will do no harm. It is an embarrassment, however, that must be met. And there is no reason either for mentioning the New England piece. Let your word be spontaneous—either to say or not, as the mood urges. It is a great thing to let life play to such measure—spontaneity." He pressed me to present this matter to Stoddart immediately.

W. thought that though Kennedy's judgment on the Critic might seem severe, it was "sound" for "the paper has gone down in the vortex—that dreadful press and pull of New York professional literary life."

Said he had not heard from Burroughs since his trip to Camden.

W. explained that while I was away he "got a very raspy note from Oldach practically asking that I take my sheets away, saying there was nothing to him in their being there," etc. W. now would have Oldach bind up 150 copies more, then fold all rest of the sheets and arrange them for binding, etc., subject to order. Gave me memorandum letter to that effect. Said, "And tensions multiply: I have also had word from Dave, not in kindest measure. When I sent him the first 50 copy order of the big book, I told him I would give them to him for three dollars per copy spot cash. And as with this, so with the second order of 50. A while ago (I think while you were away) he sent over for a copy, which I forwarded at once, reminding him in a note of what he owed me. And this seems to have provoked him, for he wrote back to the effect that there was nothing in the books to him—that if he had known what I now told him he would not have handled them—that he had thought to wait till his own 90 day collections were made, etc. Which of course surprised me, both as to tone and understanding—for I had been explicit enough. But never mind. I know Dave is straight. But so far these big books have not given me back my money. Will not do so till I make this big collection from Dave for the foreign copies. I remember that Doctor urged me at the time we produced the books to make the price ten dollars, and sometimes I regret I did not. Doctor believed the world would come around to us—might resist for a while but was bound to yield in the end."

Thursday, November 6, 1890

5:40 P.M. W. reading in his room. I did not think him cheerful in mood, though we talked freely enough. Said to me very quickly after I came, as if it was on his mind to say, "I had a letter from Doctor today, as usual, and he shakes his head over the 'Old Poets' piece—thinks it will not do—says I must not do any more like it." I remarked, "That is extraordinary, considering how receptive the Doctor usually is." "Yes, so I thought. And Kennedy, as you know, took exactly the opposite view." He asked my opinion, which, as I told him, had not been the Doctor's. I held the piece strong in parts—especially in those prophetic—but not on the whole in his surest vein. "Yes," said W., "I see: you do not like it as well as the 'An Old Man's Rejoinder'?" I told him also the fellows in town had thought it "scrappy," etc. And he assented, "I can yield the justice of that: can see that I am amenable to it in that piece—yet, who knows if more there than anything else I have written? Isn't it all scrappy—pieced—broken?" And finally, "I like your freedom—both in what you give, in what you bring. And I like to hear what all the fellows have to say—all. It is a part of the scheme, to be heard, weighed, perhaps accepted. I like it all. Then at last I stand to my own stubborn guns, for somewhere in me is the last unbendingness which must have its way." And when I laughed and said I had written something of this sort in my paper, and spoke of Grant as of similar habit, he assented, "Yes, I have heard it of Grant, too—and how much it explains which would otherwise be inexplicable!" On the bed "National Literature" (said he had dropped the 'Our' from headline spoken of yesterday.) Was it done? "Yes, nearly. I ought to be able to send it off in a day or two."

I expressed Bucke's trunk today, sending the key by mail.

Saw Oldach, making arrangements about the books. W. expressing himself as well pleased.

Spoke of the World piece I had left yesterday. "Yes," he remarked, "it is wholly unsatisfactory and not very gracious, either: sets me down for my worst. Of course I have no idea who wrote it, and I don't know that I care, either."

I said I thought one of the best features of his "Old Poets" piece was this: that at a time when all the reporters seemed bent upon making him say foolish or malicious things of his contemporaries, here was something authoritative, over his own signature, etc. He recognized this. "It is a good point: I don't know but the point, after all. At any rate, I am out for the campaign, in better and worse!"

Higginson has been saying something about Walt Whitman in the Independent. I promised W. he should see the reprint of it in Current Literature. "Higginson," he explained, "has always been mere sugar and water. He lacks all else." I referred to him as "degenerate," but W. laughed as I continued, "but O'Connor would object to even that—could say he never had any tendency except to sink."

Ingram in to see W. today. Also to see me at Bank. Is about to go to New York, where he will see Johnston.

I told him my sister Agnes would be married on the 20th. He took this very seriously—exclaimed, "Dreadful! Dreadful!" and murmured again, "All the young fellows are to get married." I put in, "She is going to marry a Whitmanite, at any rate." He laughed, "Well, that takes the edge off it, to be sure!" And then he questioned me closely after its nearest details.

No Truth Seekers arrived yet.

Looked interestedly at an autograph of John Sartain, now about 82, remarking, "his virility, ruggedness. It has a far background of superb health," etc.

Gave me his two Contemporary Club cards. Wishes me to hear "Hegel, if the hour will permit," etc. Says with a laugh, "I am interested in Hegel, yet know nothing at all about him!"

Friday, November 7, 1890

5:45 P.M. Spent about half an hour with W. on my way home. He said he had had a "long voyage today." Gone down to the south of Camden "into the shipyards" and "enjoyed there the industry, the sky, the city opposite, the flowing river." It had been for him "a rare day" and he had been "in best health, too—which was another first."

Remarked, "I got my piece off to the North American Review today, and portentous it was, too, at least by title: 'National Literature.' That is immense—might promise much!" I wondered if it would strike some of the critics better than "Old Poets"? W. laughed and shook his head. "I guess not: in spite of Dr. Bucke I went right in and made this piece much like the others. Did it for several reasons: because it was easier; then because anything like elaborate effort, any strain to reach solidity, would knock me into smithereens. I am not up to it. Then, as you know, I like advice, comment, criticism from all sides: like to hear what is being said, for I see that everything that is said has reason with it—the reason at least to be heard. But after hearing all that is told me, then I like to demonstrate that I hold the reins, that I know the journey's end and drive accordingly. There's that resistance in me under the simplest circumstance. It perhaps has a value, too." Did he think Doctor could change his idea of "Old Poets" piece after other readings? "I don't know. Perhaps not, but that is a thing for him, not for me. I must keep on my course, whatever turns up."

Baker had written me (date, yesterday) about Arena piece:

New York, Nov. 6th 1890. My dear Traubel:

Your kind & welcome letter rec'd. I cannot resist your appeal for the only left copy I have of the Col.'s. W. W. so I send it to you by this mail. Take it my friend and use it as you propose. The only other copy I have is one with the Col.'s special souvenir auto. But I have no other or better use for the one I reserved, than to hand it over to you "for the uses and purposes mentioned."

Now as to the autographic page you want the Col. to write for you—I would suggest that you ask the Col. for it, personally. It will be a compliment, coming directly from you, first-hand, and he will be more apt to give it attention than if presented second-hand, through me. So you write R.G.I., and send him the size of the sheet, and ask him for just what you want. That I think the better way—don't you? Let him know about what you want for your title-page, and what sort of a sentiment you want—i.e., suggest the sentiment that would be in keeping with the aim of your little souvenir.

As to W. W.'s writing for The Arena—let him take his own time and choose his own theme. The Arena wants not more than 4000 words or so. When the matter is decided by W. W.—that is, the subject, it might be well for you to advise me and I will write to The Arena, & then on getting reply will forward to you.

I hope your Canada trip did you a world of good. Keep well and hearty. I am excessively busy—hence my scratches and scrawlses—and also my briefness.

Heartily yours Baker.

"He is a kind fellow. Yes, I will let you know and you can send on word. Tell him now I have not made up my mind what to write about—that it will require some days yet. You know, if he does not, how much deliberation becomes a part of my life."

Had laid out the Burroughs book for me.

Had I written to Stoddart, proposing the Lippincott's article? Yes. He was satisfied.

Morris sent over by me five manuscript translations of stories from Murger by W. E. Fox. Also a letter containing a translation by M. himself, "The Chanson of Musette." W. thought, "I will enjoy them: ought to enjoy them anyhow."

I had bill for 50 copies of Truth Seeker with word they had been mailed. But they have not yet arrived.

Baker seemed to think Colonel would write me title-page for "Curio" lecture volume if I write direct. I asked W. for some dedication (in manuscript) in his own hand to add to it, and he promised he would give it to me. "It is likely to be pretty short, but you may have it, such as it may prove."

W. still speaks the terms of happiness over the overwhelming character of the election. "It throws some new, good light on (from) our democracy."

His child-question was inevitable: "What have you got there?" pointing to some papers that protruded from my pocket. And after making some comment upon "the blessing of pockets in general," he examined the Bazar I produced. The paper had one picture which had vastly attracted me. I turned to it at once. "It looks like a Millet," I said ("The Missing Boat" by Souza-Pinto). "It is a Millet?" he half-asked, half-asserted. When I pointed to the name of the painter, "A Spaniard? Yet French character, too." And he dwelt upon it as if entranced for the longest time. "See," he says, "it has dash, vehemence—it is simple, grand, effective—and see the quiet sky, the strip of water, there, the rough silent shore, and best of all the figures—no beauty borrowed for them, just the measureless gift of truth—truth. Do you see, Horace, how American the faces are, too? How curiously ours they seem?" I interjected Emerson's portrayal of the universality of Plato (How French! How German! etc.), and he said, "I see, and it applies here, too," adding, "The picture certainly has a Milletan power. And the engraving itself is full of virtue." I said, "It is 'Leaves of Grass' to be universal, to excite the Anarchists to exclaim, How Anarchist! The Archists, How Archist!, etc." And he responded, "That is profound criticism: if it is true, it would be for 'Leaves of Grass' its final touch." And when I went back to the picture saying, "This fellow was satisfied to have things just as they might appear," he assented, "That's true; that is its greatness." We turned the sheet over to another picture: "All Saints' Day in France," by Friant. W. expressing a fondness for it, too, though in less degree. Liked its "breadth," dwelt upon the setting for the background—the engraving. Then turned still again to another, "Evening at Balmoral—Bringing Home the Stags" by Carl Haag, which he thought artistic, strong, "but with a touch of that melodrama which the great masters seem to dread. All the figures elegant, made-up, set there—not in natural but art groups." Afterwards turning back to our first picture with great enthusiasm, "But this, this is element, first cause, beginning: this is nature itself, telling its story." Saying still further: "Artists would not like it because it lacks 'art,' but so does nature always lack art."

Had I brought Higginson's Independent piece? No, but he had not forgotten it. "Bring it, I am a little curious to know if he has had any new revelations."

7:20 P.M. To W.'s for a brief space again. Truth Seekers not yet arrived, nor at Post Office. W. disappointed, but "can wait," and of course he must. He had been reading Hedge's "Prose Writers and Poets of Germany" again, as, indeed, "a good deal these later days."

Speaking of his freedom said, "I go my own way—not because I think it the only way, or even the right way, but because it is my way." I spoke of "the freedom to go wrong, or liberty, the invitation to go right," to which: "Yes, and then it might be said again in another way. For instance, that a bit of ground that is hell for weeds is nothing or even richer for something else. That in fact, the weed may not be the best output of the soil: the weed testimony in reality the testimony of ill," etc.

Saturday, November 8, 1890

5:45 P.M. Spent a good half hour with W. Truth Seekers had come this forenoon, and I had left W. his copies, seven of which he had sent off: as he said, to Bucke, Kennedy, "Symonds in Switzerland" and several others. Was in a good frame of mind. Said he had read somewhat in the Murger manuscripts, "but not greatly" yet. Thought Morris "very kind, very thoughtful," etc. Murger's one piece had always possessed him, but whether Murger as a whole would so appeal to him was a question, or at least to be seen.

We spoke somewhat of the election. W. very much enjoyed the great change in the political face. "As I told someone in writing—I don't know whether Dr. Bucke, Kennedy or some other: did these fellows think the people were all blocks of wood or boulders of stone? That was an expression of Ernestine Rose. You have heard of her? Oh! She was a splendid woman: big, richly gifted, brave, expansive—in body a poor sickly thing, a strong breath would blow her away—but with a head full of brains—the amplitude of a Webster. And this expression came out once when we were discussing the French Revolution, at some question, probably, that was thrown out—I don't know by whom—perhaps by me, though I can hardly think that, either, for I do not know the time when I did not endorse the French Revolution—see its majestic meaning, feel it justified. And I can see the flash of her eye now—the noble containing eye! Were the people mere playthings? blocks of wood or boulders of stone? And today it applies, as then—has the most positive applications. The McKinley bill seems to me to contain the signature of the worst tendencies of our time, country: tendencies always horrible, forbidding trespass of us, having such hope, belief, as we have. I have great faith in the masses—beneath all the froth, illiteracy, worse, there is something latent—now and then to break forth—which cannot be defied, which saves us at last. The McKinley bill, all the McKinley influence, ran counter to that—must go down."

Showed W. the following letter I received from Stoddart today:

Lippincott's Monthly Magazine Philadelphia, Nov. 7th, 1890 Dear Sir:—

I would be glad to see you at any time in reference to the subject matter of your note of the 5th, inst and am almost always here until half past four or five o'clock. At any event am almost sure to be here in the morning at 10 o'clock. It will be safer, however, to leave the matter until the middle of next week as I expect to go to Washington on the first part.

Yours truly, J M Stoddart

W. pleased; thought our plan would work.

Also had letter from Bush, which led me to think he might be in Philadelphia today:

Dear Mr. Traubel:

Did you not get my letter saying I must be in Cleveland night of Ingersoll—I was there and thought of you—I find it is more than time to send check and will do so next week. I have not prospered here quite as I could wish.

I shall be at Pencoyd Iron Works c/a of Robt. B. Davis, Manager all day tomorrow inspecting some bridge work. It is not probable that I shall stay over Sunday unless I could spend some time with you and Mr. Whitman by so doing. What time do you leave in the P.M. Would there be any chance to see you in the evening, taking train from N.Y. at 8:12. Or I could stay at Pencoyd over night and meet you Sun. except that I should undoubtedly break into many of your arrangements for that day.

I wish I had as complete as possible reports of Ingersoll's address as I requested in letter. Are you going to have it printed.

Possibly a letter would catch me at Pencoyd tomorrow P.M. Do you ever get Sat. evening dinner in the city? You will know whether I can see you—what time trains reach 9th & Green from Wissahickon or the other depot from Pencoyd and whether you will want to wire me or not—

Sincerely H. D. Bush

I telegraphed him at Pencoyd about ten-thirty, whether he could meet me at the Bank at four, but no reply appeared. W. "regretted"; would like to have seen him.

Old letter from Garland turned up today. Message to me which W. "had never delivered, though written in the Spring." Laughter over the "tricks" his "memory plays" him.

W. said, "I have a letter from a Mrs. Putnam. I do not know her: she says she is indebted to you for copy of 'Leaves of Grass,' for knowing, enjoying Walt Whitman, his life. Who is she? Do you know her?"

Sent matter over to Oldach today by express.

Spoke again of note for my lecture book. "I will do it—you may feel sure."

Sunday, November 9, 1890

Met W. at Post Office in the afternoon, towards five. Warren had gone inside for letters. On their way to Harned's. He explained, "Tom, the wife, their minister, were in to see me about noon—asked me to come up. The preacher is a friend of Sloane Kennedy's: he excites my interest." I told him Harned had had telegram from Philadelphia that his mother was worse. That he had gone over with Frank and John to see her. W. was for turning back. "I guess I had better go home, don't you think?" But I urged him on and he went, I walking up the street with him. He spoke of the beauty of the day, that he had had a good "tote," etc. I noticed that both his hat and his overcoat were black. "Yes," he said, "there was the grey hat—the fellow would not do it up—said it could not be done up again. And it is always difficult to get such a hat as I want. They always say, 'But they are not worn anymore—are not made.' And when you say, 'Well God damn you! I wear them!' they look at you with astonishment." He smiled upon any face that approached him, looked friendly, and spoke some word: to children, to men, to girls, and the friendliness was always returned. I left him at Harned's doorway. Tom just back from Philadelphia; says his mother can hardly live 48 hours. W. expressed feeling and sympathy.

7:10 P.M. Bush did not turn up. W. disappointed. Fancies him greatly. I found an unopened letter on his table: put it in his lap. He picked it up: it was from Vermont. "Yes, that must have come yesterday. No matter, the whelp!" I interposed, "But as you tell us, the sun shines upon the just and the unjust!" He smiled, "True—I know it, a man is not always explicable. But he's a whelp!" And he took no trouble while I stayed to open the envelope. But the happiest "find" was another envelope, under my feet on the floor. I discovered not only that it was unopened but that it belonged to me: a letter from Mrs. O'Connor, dated September 28th:

112 M St. N.W. Sept. 28 1890. Dear Mr. Traubel,

I send only a line to give you my new address, having just moved from the house where I lived 22 years. I had taken deep root, and the wrench was great. The place was full of, to me, holy associations of the dear and loved ones gone before.

I have just written to Walt thanking him for the Preface to William's stories. I like it much.

Thank you for your many kindnesses.

Can you give me a hint, as to a good, and just the right title to William's book of stories?

I want a real inspiration in that way.

Yours cordially Ellen M. O'Connor.

W.'s expression of regret was funny. He had several times, I remember, some weeks back, told me he thought he had some word from Mrs. O'Connor for me, but was not certain. "My memory is always in such condition, it goes back on me in the very things in which it ought to most buttress me." He grieved that Mrs. O'Connor's "solicitations of counsel about William's book," had "by the accident been so postponed, perhaps now made unavailing." Thought I should "write at once and explain all."

W. looked so well I remarked it. He explained, "I had a first-class dinner: plenty to eat, a bottle of champagne; and the preacher who was there—Wande—he talked like a house on fire—was full of gossip, reminiscence."

Left Current Literature with him. He wished to read the Higginson piece, which I marked for him.

He read letter as follows I had from R. G. Ingersoll today:

New York, Nov. 8th, 1890 My dear friend:

I fail to gather from your letter exactly what you desire. Is it a little volume to be printed, or is it for yourself that you are going to bind the pamphlets together? Just let me know which, and of course I will comply with your request.

Do not imagine that I am sensitive in the least to the criticism of anybody, or that I expect everybody to agree with me.

Let me know at once just what you want, and I will endeavor to do as you wish.

Very truly your friend, R. G. Ingersoll

"It is just like him," he said. "I can see his hand, eye—hear his voice: freedom, affection in all." Then he said again, "And I will write you a something, too. But what I write will be impromptu: will be personal, free—the word of the moment—though, I hope, not for the moment alone!"

Asked me to go to Oldach and see that all was understood there. "As I told you yesterday, I changed my order: made it 100 instead of 150 copies."

We spoke about Stoddart and Lippincott's. He counselled me, "I would not say anything involving Jim Scovel unless you must. For myself, I do not wish to get into any raspy attitude. I am determined, however, to protect myself, to make my position clear. All that is needed [is] for that to be said, by you or by me, and no more. We have to remember about Jim that he almost thinks himself my friend; does nothing out of malice, I think. He is less dangerous than Hartmann—says less venomous things—puts me in less straits. Hartmann is a bad egg, growing worse." And further, "Urge upon Stoddart that you are in the field—our intimacy—that no other could speak with such authority. That is your advantage. That may bring you in first. Then tell him if you find the place for it about the New England Magazine piece. He will see that that will in no way interfere, for, as I understand it, Lippincott's demesne is West and South, this other North on the whole—or wholly."

Monday, November 10, 1890

5:50 P.M. A most pleasant half hour with W., who seemed in best condition and spoke in the most hopeful way of his outings. Says he looks forward now to "bad days" which will keep him indoors.

Returned me Current Literature. Had read Higginson's piece. "It is thin—not giving much. For indeed, he hasn't much to give, being so unsteady himself."

Had sent away some further copies of Ingersoll's address. Alluded to Ingersoll's description of the "Angelus" as "exquisite—going straight to the marrow of the subject."

Informed me among first things, "Mrs. Harned is dead. She died this morning. Little Anne came down to tell me." And then, "And I have had news of the old man Stafford: that he, too, has been very ill—some stroke of paralysis. Poor old fellow! But they say he is better. I have known them all so well, especially Harry. I take a great interest in them still. I was most intimate with Harry, but I love all—all."

I wrote Mrs. O'Connor today explaining how her letter was found. Also saw Oldach for W. At my advice W. will probably pile the folded sheets up in his own room. Thinks, "It will be a long while before they are needed."

Showed him letter I had from Bucke today. He read carefully. Was "impressed" with idea of "some good edition" of Ingersoll lecture, "illuminated or other"; advised me to pursue it.

W. said, "We met Judge Garrison at the corner here. How fat and hearty he gets! How good his color!" And then, by and by, "But I don't know if that fat and color signify all or much. It may not: I know that the recruiting officers in the army pass by just such men—have an instinctive suspicion of them. And hospital life tells the story against mere flesh and rose-color. There is yet so much to be discovered on this point. Look at Aleck Stephens: a mere show of body. Why, I could have lifted my hand and flung him over his bed"—motioning with great energy—"and yet he was sound at the top, not a trace in brain, reason of the bodily deterioration, decay. And Thad Stevens, too: he was long, tall, slim, sickly, yet game to the core." Was not health symmetry rather than mere strength? "Yes, and that is a wise way to put it. I accept it. And yet, under, beyond, all we know, is the secret yet to be wrung—the final explication of the knot."

Picture of W. and Peter Doyle: the two sitting gazing into each other's eyes, a picture which O'Connor described to me as "silly—idiotic." I found it on the floor. W. asked, "What do you think of it: is it a likeness?" And when I said it was he went on, "I know it is good of Pete—it is first-rate: the best I have," etc., and he exclaimed, "Dear Pete! Many's the good day (night) we have known together!"

Tuesday, November 11, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. in the best of humor and condition, and we had the happiest chat. He said he had had a note from Tom about his mother: that she was to be buried from Tom's house, etc. Expressed tenderest sympathy.

What was the news? We talked of many things. W. still felicitates himself and us on the political situation. He asked me about the Arena: wished to see a copy; had never seen one. "What is its character? Is it radical, generous, receptive? Is it a free trade or is it a protection paper? The North American is hospitable to new, strange views; invites, accepts, and that is a gift these days." I assured him of the nature of the Arena and he appeared satisfied. I had previously urged him to write something about free trade—freedom in trade in its truest sense: from moral standpoints, solidarity, America as a summons to the world—and we now discussed it. "I wondered if the editor would like it, or was rather a man such as was on the North American Review years ago and refused my articles—Metcalf—he is on the Forum now." And then he spoke of free trade itself: "I should of course largely discuss it from the standpoint you suggest—solidarity, America to lead the way and all that. I would, however, much rather write two articles than one—two short ones. It is easier for me, but we shall see how I am led on. Ingersoll is a protectionist, isn't he? It is hard to explain in him. But however, my view will be extreme. I shall take the ground that it is a false ideal from the start—that it is never good. Infant industry? Why, it is to take the infant, put it in a warm room, curtain it, carpet it, sickly it—and then you have—what do you have? Everything but virility, self-dependence, the show of men and women. And that is protection—that only; and wrong from the start. I had a friend, who had a sickly son: a poor, pale, frail, useless creature, who even threatened not to live at all; coddled, having every wish gratified, cared for wherever he went, whatever he did. That is protection. But then along came another, a wiser, who said, 'If that boy is to live, he must be set free: must be sent into the fresh fields.' Before, they had hardly dared let him breathe the air of heaven. And the good advice was taken. They bought him an ass—a donkey—the queerest, shabbiest, dirtiest devil of a creature you ever saw, and set the boy free with him—and straightaway the youngster prospered; got strong, robust, almost lived with the animal. That was free trade, and free trade in the natural state. We must say that—our fellows—though we die!" And finally, "I have not finally decided on a subject, but I may take this, treating it as I now do with you."

While we sat talking Mrs. Davis brought in some mail: a letter from Bucke (written Sunday) among other things. As soon as he opened it he said, "Well, the trunk has arrived: that is good!" And then read the whole letter aloud. Bucke was warm in thanks for W.'s autographing, etc. Towards close, reminded W. of his (Bucke's) old suggestion that he should write autobiographical notes, etc. I thought "it would be almost farcical to write autobiography deliberately, when all 'Leaves of Grass' and the prose was autobiography if anything." W. laughed and said, "You are right about it—right: and I suppose, as you suppose." Merrily: "That after all is said by the others, I will pursue my own way; that the worm, the tortoise, the snake, the whatever, will leave its trail wherever it goes. The show of autobiography everywhere in my work." Then proceeded: "I read 'Old Poets' last night again, after passing it by several days, and I can see now why it should be an offense to some people. It's egotism—egotism: that is the trouble. It is somewhat scrappy, very gossipy and terribly egotistical—and that is its trouble with some. But it is my vein, and I must flow in it. All my work is set on the same plane—no other. I do not think even the Doctor sees that though he must feel it—all of you must feel it—and I know as no other how dead-set I am in that purpose." We talked prices. He thought both North American Review and Arena "very liberal and good. I can accept them for the generosity they indicate."

I urged W. to send a portrait to Bob. "The Gutekunst," I said. He was at once favorable. Took up "The Laughing Philosopher" from table. "What do think of that? That is the picture I sent to Tennyson. I think often the best, and I heard he liked it." I said, "Doctor told me in London he was getting rather tired of it." W. laughed, "Well, no doubt, but I think it very good—with the best, though I acknowledge the Gutekunst picture is great, too." But after all "the Washington, Gardner, picture is the best—the one you have—no doubt has elements found in no other." But I continued to urge the Gutekunst picture as the picture of the now, and he acquiesced. "I am sure you are right. That is the picture to send. But, Horace, I must frame it. How would it do to take one to Neumeyer—have him put a handsome frame on it? And then, I should rather send it to the wife, to Mrs. Ingersoll—somehow that might please both best." I thought Ingersoll would feel complimented; that he was sensitive to such love and act, as all poets were—to which W. in a sweet tender tone, "You think that, boy? Well, so do I: so do I know it. I have always been sure Tennyson was open to it, liked the word of comrade, the light touch of friendship, the sign of companionship. The tribe welcome—are seized by—it. A true and necessary passport!" And so he promised me, if he could not take the picture for framing, he would let me do so.

Half expect Bush over tomorrow.

W. commenting upon Higginson, said, "He is poor water enough, but a handsome fellow to look at: erect, on his own feet!"

Somehow turned back to night of the lecture. W. said, "The papers seem particularly to make me out weak, old, senile (almost)—trembling, supported." I rallied him on that, but told him what Bucke and I thought that night: that he would collapse. "It was the only time," I said, "that to my knowledge you ever seemed knocked out," etc. He laughed over that for quite a space, then pursued the thread of our talk: "I was dazzled, but not confused. For instance, it was with me as at this moment: I do not feel at all confused, troubled—I do feel as if there was a bushel basket of lead pressing, pressing on my brain, and I felt that the lecture night. And everything tended to produce it: the glare, the light, the people around before—the speech itself—the rapid life of those two hours—seized, penetrated me. I had certain things to say—indeed, had prepared to say two or three sentences—as on the printed slip, but the event itself partly frustrated me, but only part. Then there was some uncertainty about the place for my remarks. I had hoped to have them come in somewhere among Ingersoll's lecture, with some pause. But when I spoke to him about it, he seemed to prefer to have it come in last." Baker had told me this would undoubtedly be Bob's decision. W. now said, "And I respect it in him—you know how I do. It is part of the man!"

The Higginson piece of which I have several times spoken in my notes is called "Literary High-Water Marks" (from the Independent) and his comment upon W. was this:

In some cases, as in Whitman's O Captain, My Captain, the high-water mark may have been attained precisely at the moment when the poet departed from his theory and confined himself most nearly to the laws he was wont to spurn—in this case, by coming nearest to a regularity of rhythm. The praise generally bestowed on the admirable selection in the Library of American Literature by Mr. Stedman and Mrs. Hutchinson is a proof that there is a certain consensus of opinion on this subject," etc.

Does this apply to W. W. or to the selections in general?

W. said, "If you should get a chance tonight to say a word to Harris, give him my greeting. Tell him I am still holding the fort, sorta, as I say. He was very kind to me when I was in St. Louis, and I shall not forget it. Came several times to see me, generally with a carriage, always with true consideration. He is so simple, natural a man, you would wonder where is the connection between him and his philosophy." Nearby a couple of copies of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy. W. thought I might take them, "If there's anything at all in them to interest you, you are welcome: I have not and shall not read them. They are not in my line—my habit, anyway."

Wednesday, November 12, 1890

5:20 P.M. Having just finished dinner, W. was in his then usual exhilaration. Bright and disposed to talk. Asked after "the news," saying he "had none" of his own. I ordered an Arena for us tomorrow. W. satisfied. Handed me a letter from Kennedy. "It is just here." It had made W. read 'Old Poets' again, as I found him doing on my entrance. My laughing question, "Do you never get tired reading your own articles," seemed vastly to excite him, he laughing the longest time. Said to me, "I have a new idea about the portraits—have changed my mind: will get several envelopes made, using one for Mrs. Ingersoll, sending instead of one portrait, several: the Gutekunst, Cox, perhaps others. How does that strike you?" He had cut a piece of heavy wrapping paper the size he wished and pasted a memorandum on it. "I think that may please her better than a frame, even: giving the pictures some slight dedication," etc.

Gave him letter of 9th received from Bucke to read. It touches the Ingersoll lecture. I shall bind it in my volume with the lecture. W. read it with great care, several pages twice, then declared: "It is solid as a cube! and is free, ringing and right. I can easily allow, it speaks for me as well as for Doctor—and for Bob, too, of course—the great Bob! These events are signs in our heavens!" I told him I had met Farson last night, who said to me that Baker had sent several Academy men into the hall the night of the lecture, expecting some searing from Bob—but not a word! I remarked, "Bob was too keen to drag such an ass to immortality!" W. jocularly assenting, "And more than that, Bob really cared nothing about it; I am sure he did not. It was one only out of many equally insignificant straws. But then, do you know, Horace—our fellows—you and I for instance, must not let the fact be wiped out. Must insist upon it—let it be remembered: that the great hall was refused Bob—that the Young Men's Christian Association refused me. They are part of a story which should be faithfully preserved."

Left Harper's Weekly with him. Much attracted and exclamatory over the beauty of engravings. Looked over [Harper's] Young People.

W. had written me my "dedication" as follows. Would it do? etc.

Camden New Jersey Nov: 12 1890 My dear friend Horace Traubel:

I can only congratulate you—& as far as may be endorse (the authenticity of) the bold & eloquent address a copy of wh. R. G. I. has himself given you.

Walt Whitman

Speaking of the lecture, "There seems to have been a sprinkling of everybody. I meet some new person every day." And this somehow constrained him to speak of the Reisser dinner and his own speech there: "That was rather chat than speech. I did go on at a great rate." And when I said, "You remember, Talcott Williams says he has that speech and has promised me a copy." W. replied, "Yes, and that reminds me, you ought to urge him to keep his promise: I would like to see myself what I said, and more, too—I might claim the parliamentary privilege—to revise, set straight, for every reporter makes some slip—even the best," etc.

Thursday, November 13, 1890

Saw Stoddart today. He had no time for the talk he said he wished to have with me: "the long talk," as he explained it. So we made our engagement for next Monday afternoon. I also saw Cohen about the envelopes, having a long and pleasant talk with him, in which I found that he was an admirer both of Ingersoll and W. and that his wife had attended the lecture. Stopped in at W.'s on my way home and left the Arena with him.

7:15 P.M. Some talk with W. He had been out today, at Harned's house, and heard Furness speak. Harned's mother buried today. W. said he did "not feel well at all." Said this to my sister in the forenoon, now again to me. "I was amazed at the old Doctor, at his wonderful preservation. We had some words, but no chance to talk."

I found on the floor an envelope addressed to him and signed "Parker Pillsbury" containing a pamphlet, "Ecclesiastical vs. Civil Authority." I asked him if he had read it, knowing he had not, and he admitted he had not, adding, "Take it along, you may make something out of it." Said he had never met Pillsbury.

"Talcott Williams has just been here," he reported, "and we had a good talk—about his trip, his return." I asked, "Did he say anything about the election?" W. laughed, "He admitted they were terribly licked!" Then Williams was a radical Republican? He laughed again. "Well, he edits a Republican newspaper, and one of the worst at that!"

Read Brinton's letter which I had received yesterday:

Nov. 12/90 Dear Traubel,

I should say you had better send twenty doll[ar]s to Dr. Harris.

I thought the audience was good in size and first rate in quality. Of course the subject might deter some. The newspaper has not yet come (I mean the one referred to in yrs. of date), but no doubt it will soon. I shall read it carefully, & try to give you an opinion.

It is very gratifying to me to read what you write about Walt Whitman. His instinctive insight into human nature, backed as it is by a long experience of it in all sorts of shapes, makes his opinion about a man singularly worthy of respect;—and his good opinion, better than the decoration of the Legion of Honor.

Morris sent me a copy of Ingersoll's lecture, which I have read (not W.'s remarks). Ing. appreciates as few men else the salient features of W.—but there is something in his nature which obscures to him certain delicate, certain essentially poetic traits, certain fine shadings in W.'s writings, which to me are the best of all. What is best in any man, is not his opinions, but his sympathies, his instinctive intelligence & perception of traits and tendencies.

Truly D. G. Brinton

Read the last sentence to me, pronounced it "profound, profound," then recurred to what went before, as to Ingersoll's lack on poetic side, etc., and shook his head. "No, no, that is a mistake! If there's a place he does not lack it's that. Ingersoll lacks nowhere but in his faith that there's two sides to things—to the universe—that we may be one thing or the other. To me that seems a great mistake, a great mistake; and he shares that with about all the world—with all the poets, too, before me—who would parcel things into good and bad and prefer the good. Emerson himself, who chose gold and silver, would have nothing to do with iron. Our great point of agreement, Ingersoll's and mine, is in spontaneity—he has it aboundingly. I know no man more free, more nobly careless, more lifted and lifting, and in our world, in the world of ideals that prevail today, this alone would be genius if he had nothing else, as, certainly, he has."

Cut the pages of the Arena as I talked with him and was "impressed with its appearance."

I left with him an autograph copy programme of Scottish concert, from Law. Looked it through and would look it through again. Liked "its generous print," and its "Scotch-ness." Was curious about the concert, questioning me, "Did they overdo the Scotch of it? I have gone to several so-called Scotch concerts in my time, but they turned out farcical from gross exaggeration."

I told him of the postal I had from Mrs. O'Connor saying she had not yet heard from the publishers concerning William's book. I said I thought Mrs. O'Connor was "somewhat disappointed" and W. assented, "I am disappointed myself."

Referred to Bucke's "Man's Moral Nature" as "a stupendous grapple with a more than stupendous problem."

Friday, November 14, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. continues in his rather ill condition. Does not complain, but says he feels "under a great weight of oppression." Anne Montgomerie described to me W. as he sat in Harned's hallway yesterday morning while Furness spoke. "It was the most beautiful face I ever saw," she said, "an expression I have never seen in any other human being. I wished then we might sit there just in silence—that nothing at all might be said," etc. A description fine in itself, which I could well appreciate.

I had word from Truth Seeker folks today that they would print Ingersoll address in a little pamphlet. W. advised me: "You might write to them; tell them if they are going to print an introductory, they had better let us furnish them with something more accurate than they published before." Spoke of some people "who still fear the Ingersoll contagion," then with a hearty laugh, "But there's no harm done or to be done," adding, "Ingersoll is a fact, I am a fact—we all are facts—set in our own courses: that is enough."

Returned me Harper's Weekly.

Said he had been reading the Arena. "I find it all that it need be for a magazine of its kind. And look," turning over some of its pages, "it prints verses, too—poems. Do you suppose that would be another market for us?"—laughing, however; the idea seeming to have some amusing features for him.

He joked about "the temporary suspension of the mails," that he had received no letters today. Wished Conservators when they came out tomorrow. Would "send some here or there." Had read Law's Prologue for Scotch concert the other night: "It is very good—I like the fellow."

James R. Gilmore has been writing him about the "Encyclopedia of American Biography," sending specimen page [requesting W. to contribute an autobiographical sketch].

And W. called attention to Manchester Guardian extract:

Fifty Poems of Meleager. With a translation by Walter Headlam. London: Macmillan and Co. Pp. xx. 101.

In the "Studies of the Greek Poets" there are some pages of fervid enthusiasm for the poet, who flourished half a century before the Christian era, was born at Gadara, lived at Tyre, and grew old in the island of Cos. Walt Whitman has informed us that the future reputation of New York will rest on the fact that he did that city the honour of being born there. The fame of Meleager's birthplace has been dimmed by other associations. Mr. Headlam plainly shares Mr. Symonds's admiration for the "noblest of all the amatory poets" and "the most mellifluous of erotic singers." . . .

(Manchester Guardian, England Oct. 28/90)

Saturday, November 15, 1890

8:05 P.M. W. in his own room; light all up, but dozing. Said Tom and a "Mr. Leighton, a minister, have just been in," and talking a good deal. It had disturbed and tired him "after a long day's sitting," etc.

Said he had been reading Cleveland and Thurman's speeches in the West, "and liked them: they seemed to have the true ring."

Left Conservators with him, half a dozen, and he returned me Harper's Bazar.

Said he had read paragraphs in last issue of Liberty.

"I have sent the paper to Doctor. The Saturday Review? It is a cad—has a caddish manner in all it does; is of the order of self-glorified, self-satisfied—thinks its one way to dispose of certain men whom it does not like is to sneer at them. Oh! It does no harm—and Tucker handles 'em well!"

W. still complains somewhat of health. Asked me about envelopes. When would they be done? In about a week. "I am satisfied—I can wait."

Sunday, November 16, 1890

6:30 P.M. W. continues to say he does not "prosper" in the way of health. But to all apparent outward appearance there is no change. Spoke of Harned: "Tom seems sobered; the presence of death has subdued him."

Informed me, "I am arranging a cluster of poems for two pages in the Arena. I know they may send them all back, unceremoniously, but it is worth while to try them. But I shall write the essay, too."

Discussed the peril of the failure of Bering Brothers, the great bankers, tided over by interposition of Bank of England and other powers. W. regarded it as teaching a lesson of solidarity, that the whole world trembled lest "the house should go up," which fact indicated how closely we were being woven together.

W. said he was "curious" to know what Burroughs would think of the Ingersoll lecture. I had sent him a copy.

When I told W. I thought more of Bucke after seeing him in his own home, he asked, "How's that?" I replied, "We think more of the sun when we see how many worlds it lights." And he exclaimed, "Good! good! the Doctor ought to hear that. And you are right; it is a great thing to see the institution there—to see him as not part but fountain of it all."

Referring again to Brinton's criticism of Ingersoll's lecture: "That is a false standard. The question is, what did Bob start out to prove? Did he prove it? That would be the Heinean method, the true method."

I described a sunset—Friday night—off towards south-west: the big refineries against the burnt and burning sky, the smoke curling lazily from high slender chimneys, the silver-rimmed moon, the one lustrous star, the river beneath, the island mid-way interposing, and all the silence and inspiration. He moved forward on his seat: "I can see it—see it all!" he exclaimed. And then, "I have had a great outing, too: down to the river; the day had such an irresistible quality, I wanted to follow it over the West!"

I wrote to Ingersoll in brief, giving some lines W. had written about the lecture.

Monday, November 17, 1890

Saw Stoddart this afternoon. Said he proposed to get out a Whitman number of the magazine, to contain a portrait, a page of poems and a sketch of W.'s life. It was about this last he wished to see me. Talked in an easy frank way, smoking his cigar between sentences. Asked me if W. would write him five autobiographical pages? I told him I thought not. Well, how far would W. assist me? On this point I could answer more confidently and affirmatively. Thought he would co-operate to the best effect. This appeared to satisfy Stoddart. One of the batch of poems W. sent him sometime ago he will use in next issue—the rest for the page mentioned. Portrait not good—but he had got it cheap somewhere and seemed determined to use it even when I said I could furnish him a better. I promised to see W. at once and he thought he might himself get over towards the end of the week. Wished to have the Whitman matter in shape without delay. I shall see Stoddart within a couple of days with more definite intelligence. Met Harry Walsh there. Stoddart declared he had never given Scovel any encouragement—wished me to make it plain to W. that if Scovel indicated, "as he undoubtedly" did, "that I wished him to do it, there was no bottom to that idea at all."

5:30 P.M. In at W.'s—had just finished dinner—in consequent good humor and bright and ready to talk. "Talcott Williams has been here," he said, "bringing over a man named Aide" (or 'Adie': W. spelling it but I forgetting). "He was, is, Stanley's secretary: a man, not young anymore, and very English—very. He says he was really too old—felt he was—to come to America, but Stanley wanted him along and here he is. He speaks of knowing America, but he don't know anything about it—nothing at all. He has been to Boston, New York, Philadelphia—but how much can a man learn from that? However, he is a very nice fellow. I told him I thought the old typical John Bull—the opinionated, dogmatic, assertive, over-nativized John Bull—threatened to go utterly out, but he shook his head and said there were enough of them still. The man made a good impression on me, but left me that amusement: to know America! as if a glimpse, a casual coming and going, gave him, anybody, the first trace!"

I detailed to him talk I had with Stoddart. He at once said about the autobiography, "You were right. I would not undertake it." But as to co-operating with me, "That I will of course do; and that would be the best method anyhow. You would want bits here and there in outline of my aims, purposes, whatever?" W. continued, "I am glad of what you tell me about Scovel. I felt quite sure Stoddart could not have seriously approached Jim on the subject. Stoddart is too keen—is a man of the world in the best sense. And the magazine? It is a hard one to steer— the Lippincott's establishment is so filtered through and through with Mrs. Grundyism. Stoddart seems frank, non-literary, inviting. I am sure the plan he has outlined is a good one, though what you tell me of the picture he will use excites my fear." And he said further, "I am surprised at what you tell me of the poems—that they will make a page even after using this one in the next issue. Are you quite sure about that? Yes—one of them was in print type: I will tell you how. You know, they were the poems that went to the Harper's Bazar—were refused there. They seem to have had them already in type—accepted them; then, after a new reading, some qualms appeared and conquered, and the poems came back, rejected as improvisations. It was one of my peculiar experiences." Had been working on some poems today. "I called the Lippincott's poems 'Old Age Echoes' or something like that, I think. A broad enough title—will cover anything, everything, almost." Wondered how "that would do for the title of our new volume?"

Speaking of Mrs. Grundy again, "To say shirt or leg—and she hearing it—is enough: a man is damned forever!"

I spoke of reading "Leaves of Grass" last night to Anne Montgomerie; that I hit passages the world outlaws—never winced—nor did she, and W. exclaimed, "Admirable! Admirable! And for us fellows, what claim short of that can we ever dare to make?"

Tuesday, November 18, 1890

5:20 P.M. W. in his room, having just finished dinner. Sitting in dark there, looking forth from the window. Lusty fire in stove; the flickering flame playing on objects all over the room. After shaking hands with me he observed I had watched the light, saying, "It is a cheery glow, isn't it? An inspiration, when a fellow grows cold with other things!" Complained of his condition. Not out today. When Warren asked whether he would go, he shook his head. "No, I guess not: not today." Had read some—written. This morning's mail had brought me proof of introduction from Truth Seeker, which I mailed to W. on my way to Philadelphia. He handed it to me now in envelope marked "preparatory pages Ingersoll's Lecture." Changed phrase "a thousand or more people" to "some 1800 or more" and instead of his own speech as used in Truth Seeker had said "substitute this" on the margin, and pasted slip of words he had intended to say and did, in purport, say. After getting these sheets from New York I wrote this morning instantly to Baker asking if the Colonel and he were conceiving of this pamphlet and saying that I thought the "Leaves of Grass" quotations should be verified. Now W. spoke of the identical thing: "I wonder if the Colonel has to do with this? If so I think we might ask to have proofs and set these lapses straight—or have them anyhow. What do you think?" When I told him I had already written to Baker he assented, "That is good—prompt: I am glad you did." Now I even proposed me returning this sheet to suggest to the Truth Seeker people direct to see such proofs. W. thoroughly pleased. "It is owing to us: you could do it—do it well. And then we would feel secure. Yes—write." One of the proof pages read "Liberty in Literature." Was this right? I would ask, etc.

We discussed the Stoddart matter again. I would go to Stoddart tomorrow and give him the purport of our yesterday's talk? "Yes, do that: I am agreed, indeed, I would like you to. I want you to do the work. It is the best thing for us that we have got rid of Scovel."

Had read Poet-Lore today. Piece there from Hartmann about "Recent Italian Poets." W. "thanked God" it was not about him!

I received the following letter from Bucke today:

16 Nov. 1890 My dear Horace:

The last few letters from W. especially the last one of all (dated 13th) alarm me quite a little. W. has had what he calls "belly-ache" for about two weeks and in the early morning he has sharp spasms (instantaneous) of pain from time to time—I do not like it and I think it is necessary that he should be seen by a good doctor. I do not know who would be the best doctor to get but perhaps you or Harned would know—or if you do not you could ask Dr. Weir Mitchell or Dr. Thomas to name a man (the case is rather out of the line of either of these men)—You should attend to the matter at once and you and Harned should simply insist that W. see the D.—Of course you may say to W. that I have a strong desire he should see the Dr.—you may even say that I have written you to insist upon it—but do not say to Walt that I said I was alarmed as that would be going I think too far. I will write him (same mail as this) saying that I do not like his condition and begging him to have some good doctor see him.

All well here, lovely weather, first meter still 6 weeks in the future! As it has been for about 4 months now—I really think however that we should begin to turn out meters early in 1891.

Affectionately yours RM Bucke

Wednesday, November 19, 1890

5:20 P.M. Spent well towards 45 minutes with W., who was brisk for talk and said he felt "reaonably well." Room dark. He sat in a small chair in front of the bright wood fire. "I have just been stirring it up," he explained. "That is why you see me in this chair." And he asked after the evening, which had become blustery, noisy. "I had a very good outing today, and was for having another, but this colder wind set in will keep me indoors. You see, I am mindful of the Doctor's injunctions: to get out as much as possible, though I don't know why I need to say that, either, for I know the importance, the necessity, of my getting out clearly enough of my own notion!" And here he laughed. I gave him an idea of the letter I had received from Bucke about his condition and told him I had written to Weir Mitchell, for M. or some other to come over to see W. He expressed no distaste (I feared he would), but admitted, "Bucke is mainly right in his prognostics," etc. I did not pursue it, nor did he.

We developed somehow into talk of Ingersoll again, W. saying among much else, "I often wonder if the Colonel would be improved by caution? Whether that wonderful vital spontaneous flow of his life to his lips would not go with caution, too?" I objected that we might as well ask for caution of a tempest, which must do its work. W. then, "Yes, I see: and admit it, too. I only had it in mind in the shape of a question. He has that undefinable thing called magnetism to such an extent, I question if I ever saw its like in a man before. And his voice? I think for music, for change, freedom, ease, it is the best organ ever known—so flexible, so surpassing in its range, and flowing in, over, through you, without stop, without leave or hindrance." And further: "My question anyhow has no application to his platform addresses, his public work, writing, speaking. I have heard him speak several times, and he always justifies himself: what he does sets in its place—asserts its own place. His spontaneity, simple as a child—no reserves—light in him and out answering to light, a brave big presence." "Something in him ripples out over an audience," I put in, "with first words; and his satire has a peculiar crackle. And what is presence when he speaks unconsciously takes hold of his readers as well, though they have never seen him." W. to this, "It is a splendid touch: I know it for its best truth. Bob is like Burns. If Burns does not directly teach that all ends, culminates, rounds, in ideality—he leads inevitably to it, which is about the same thing. I know no grander light that shines out of such spontaneity as Ingersoll's: it is rare in any age—I think particularly rare in ours. And in such a time, when everything is toned down, veneered, hidden, lied about, pruded away"—note that word!—"it is well to have the giants make free with life. And so we ought to welcome Bob—those of us who know, who see, who believe."

W. now turned to his chair nearby, took some loose sheets from it—I could not see what in the dark—folded them, handed them to me. "I was in the mood this morning—prepared some autobiographical notes for you—which you may father if you choose. I intended reading them to you, but now you are here and it is dark you might as well take them along—read them for yourself. You may perhaps want to use them just as they stand, with your own changes—such as come up as you go along." I had been in to see Stoddart and given him the result of our talk and agreement; and Stoddart was ready to have me go on—even mentioned two weeks for time, which, however, I did not assent to. W. liked the idea. I told him I could not say what I would do with his own matter till I saw what it was. Urged him to make it over his own name. But he dissented. "No. That would not do. I do not object to saying it—to having it known to come from me—but it would not seem to me in good taste to print it over my name. There are things in it which I wish said, and if you can use them—say them for me—well and good. Between you and me here, or with any others here, or anywhere, I would not mind frankly saying these things. And yet the other way excites my distaste. I can hardly tell you why. Perhaps this would make a little article in itself. It is anyhow rather a sketch of this room here than anything else. And it is something in the way of an answer to the many inquiries that are all going nowadays: who is Walt Whitman? what sort of bear, hyena—what-not? so that you might find demand somewhere for several articles bearing on the same animal. And besides, the little money that is in it, though not to be worried about, is not to be sneezed at, either." He thought Ingersoll's lecture could do us "immense good." "I met young Hall today—Tom's clerk—and he told me about his own joy in Bob's speech, but told me, too, that the man he went with, who was neither an Ingersollite nor a Whitmanite, had all his ideas of the critter revolutionized by Bob's power, eloquence, vehemence. Such testimony will bear to be thought over; it carries us along the way."

W. made no reference to any letter from Bucke, though he must have had the one Bucke told me he intended to write.

Thursday, November 20, 1890

5:10 P.M. Sat with W. in his dark room, with the flickering light of the fire playing through the half-open stove door with W.'s beard and face—the picturesqueness of the dim objects and the form of the old man accentuated and tantalized. A good half hour's talk. Warren came in with me and handed W. a package which proved to be his old hat. Warren told him "they say they cannot dye it." W. interrupting, "Oh! they be damned!" then laughing merrily, "I tell Warrie the hatters have a boycott on me. I sent this over to be cleaned and they said they could not clean it but could dye it. I sent it over to be dyed and they say they cannot even dye it! It is a notion," etc. Warren was amused by it, "They said, it was part felt and part wool; if it was all felt or all wool, they could dye it." W. laughed again, "Smart logic! part felt and part wool. As if they knew that better than any other of us!"

We proceeded into a miscellaneous talk. W. asked, "Did you read the manuscript? How did it come up to you?" My idea was, that it would do to go in with an article, but was not enough, and not just what I thought Stoddart wished, standing alone. Then I feared it might in part conflict with my other piece now nearly done. Had we not better hold over till he had seen the last? He readily acquiesced: "I can see the point in what you say—it is an important one. We can't be too careful about such a thing—it is so much a part of duty and honesty." I was very frank to tell him I would not use the piece as it stood and he as frankly said, "You must do as you think: there is no other course; I would do that myself—do nothing else."

Asked me, "What about my envelopes?" I had seen Cohen. They would not be done till Monday. I started to give him Cohen's explanation, whereat he said, laughing heartily, "There's no need to do that. You should have told him the story of our army colonel. His men came to him to tell why they had failed to take a certain position. And he said, 'Damn you! I don't care for reasons why; it is enough for me to know you did not take it!'"

Had had another letter from McKay. "He says he has heard from Washington again that the two copies of 'November Boughs' never came, that I am liable to forfeiture of copyright if I do not send copies at once. Yet I did send the books—say, six or eight months ago, and they must have been pilfered or lost. But of course there's nothing for me to do but send again. It puzzles me a little how they can have gone astray, if they did. For I am specific enough in all packages I send away, even at the risk of overloading the directions. My brothers and their folks complain of overcrowding—that I put too much on. They laugh at me: it seems to give them some amusement, but I insist on it—do it anyway." Then he spoke again of "the angry letter" he had had from McKay about payment for the large orders for complete Whitman. "He ought to have understood—I made it plain enough for anybody to comprehend: three dollars per copy, cash down. But now he says he is subject to the methods or whims of the party who took the book—when they pay, he will pay. That is canny enough, to say no more. I am sure that especially in all money transactions I am cautious enough for everybody to realize the terms."

W. referred to a postal he had written Bucke—its substance. Then of Bucke himself, "He is the thorough man of science—the inquirer: wants to get the concrete details of every case—if you understand what I mean by that. Wants to know if I drink whiskey at all, what kind, how much, when; what I eat at breakfast—how my bowels are—whether my head's clear—a whole army of points and points—rank and file." I told him how Bucke and his brother had played vociferous games of backgammon in the library, and I would sit and read or write—they sipping their whiskey and water, etc. W. was much interested, saying, "If Doctor took whiskey it was from a base of logic, practicality—from knowing what it meant for his whole body, mind."

Letter from Bush today explaining why he had not called on me last week. Is now in New Hampshire, building a bridge:

Peterboro, N.H. Nov. 18 1890. Dear Traubel:

I wrote you I would see you in Phil. last week.

I went to Pencoyd as expected but the gentleman I wished to see in the city office P. Iron Works was out of town. I had a big day's work at Pencoyd and could not leave for pleasure.

Am here putting up a bridge for Mr. Morison, as a favor to him (he having no one else to send) it being work of a kind I thought I was through with some years ago.

Shall be here till early next and returning shall send you check which I am sorry I again forgot. I have been 3 times busy lately, this job and the Pencoyd inspection being extra and causing me to neglect work I must make up on my return.

I must either go to Phil. soon and see the man who was out of town last week, or he will come to N.Y. to see me.

Let us hope the former. Am sorry you were engaged for evening of Sat. the 8th as I assumed from your message. I tried to get through by 3:20—only way I could meet you at 4—but it was impossible. You see rising at 6 skipping any formal breakfast and starting for Phil. at 7:20 A.M. from N.Y. doesn't get me to Pencoyd until 10:30 and after that one must work until late in the P.M. to do a day's work.

Sincerely, H. D. Bush Mrs. Bush and I are now enjoying Felix Adler's lectures on Sundays in New York.

This from Baker this forenoon attracted me greatly:

New York, Nov. 19th 1890. My dear Traubel:

I only have time, fully and ab imo pectore, to respond to all your kind and loving words in yours of yesterday—and to say:

The Col. has received your request about the souvenir pamphlet. I called his attention to it again today. He will do what you wish only, he is so busy, and goes away tonight to Washington, for the rest of the week. You must forgive and understand all his delays, etc. They are inevitable.

Yes, I have rec'd & read—& so has the Col. to whom I showed them—your eloquent little expressions about him and the W. W. tribute, in "The Conservator." Thanks for your loving kindness and praise for your discriminating genius.

Now for the Truth Seeker's re-publication of the Col.'s Lecture. They wrote me yesterday that proof-plates wd. be ready in a few days & they would submit them for any corrections. The Col. does not care to make any material alterations. I suggest this, however, that if you will go over the Lecture as you have it, and note the misquotations that you speak of, by page and line, and send them to me as soon as you can, when I get the Truth Seeker's plate-proofs, I will make the corrections you note, so that the thing may be in best final possible shape.

The Truth Seeker is publishing the lecture by permission of the Colonel, for their own uses and purposes. We are interested only to see that it is in right shape.

Please send me the corrected annotations, as soon as you can.

Au revoir my dear Traubel.

Yours & yours, I. N. Baker I have not noticed anything about Morris's piece in The American. If you can, without trouble, sometime send it to me. B.

I imparted its gist to W. as it was too dark to read the lines, even by the darting flame of the fire. W. said, "That is good—that satisfies me. Then you will get it into thorough shape." And as to the fact that Bob would not revise his own text, "I did not expect he would; it seems to have a thorough reason for being as it is. Such direct manly speech is so rare, we get mad to have it touched once it is down. Oh yes! It will do a world of good for us—is a power. It has a vigor, a masterliness, its own: drives straight to its work. One of the valuable features to me is its indirection—how much ground it covers that is not set in the letter of it—is not suspected by casual, careless readers. We must accentuate our own adhesion by getting quite a big bundle of the pamphlets—I shall want many myself. The testimony has such a valuable reach. I have been thankful enough for the Truth Seeker—though I will like this better. I was in such a tremble, horror, before the lecture, that something would happen to make us lose it—that no one can understand my relief when I knew he had put it in type himself. Think of the birthday speech! That great great great utterance! That wonderfulest word, look, voice, ever was! and ease of it—his port, fire—and the poetry!—and all lost, lost! I shall mourn, mourn after that till I die. Nowadays when I look at this speech, I congratulate myself—so much is saved whatever is gone!"

I have no word from Weir Mitchell today. Wrote to this effect to Bucke. W. glad I "wrote often and long" to Bucke because he "could not."

Advised me, "After all about the Lippincott's piece—pitch in—see what you make of independent matter—only using mine if it comes in on the way—if not, not."

Failure in town today of a great banking firm, Barker Brothers. W. inquired after it. Then very specifically to know "bottom reasons for all these catastrophes that are now startling the world." I entered into some details, so far as they were familiar—he questioning like a lawyer in court. I exclaimed after the long bout: "This explained 'Leaves of Grass'!" And he laughed—I could catch the assent, a half-assenting laugh, as if to admit, "You are on the track of it now."

Asked after certain features of my New England Magazine paper again. "I think I will be gratified—know I will—from what you tell me."

W. called attention to some Garnier illustrations of Rabelais—an exhibition of them, he thought suppressed in London. "It is the police-judgment against judgment—the brutal power of force. And it reminds me of a piece I read in the Post today—that down Federal Street is an unoccupied store, and that the youngsters of the neighborhood have been amusing themselves by stoning and breaking all the windows. And never a policeman near to know the fact or catch the little devils—while, if it should happen that one of these same little devils went a-swimming off the shore—the wharves—some big burly brute would come along—march them off in great grandeur. I am against police-judgment; it always goes wrong—it's always brutal, always to be despised."

"Walt Whitman," he said again, "is undoubtedly taboo in the bookstores as in other places." I had said no sign of "Leaves of Grass" on Lippincott's or Porter & Coates' counters.

Friday, November 21, 1890

7:00 P.M. W. was in his room, wrapped in his coat. The evening had turned rather chill out of doors and he complained of it. "It penetrates me; I cannot resist it." Had a rosy fire in the stove. Asked after "news." "I see that the world is collapsing—the financial world. What does it mean? I sit in my room here—my den, my little corner—and wonder—wonder." I asked after his health. He was frank enough to say, "It is nothing to brag of—I come along—exist. That is all. The depression hangs heavy." I had a note from Weir Mitchell's secretary this morning: "Dr. Mitchell desires me to ask you if you will kindly call upon him on Saturday between 9-1 o'clock." Doubt about tomorrow but shall try to see him Sunday.

W. alluded affectionately to "Doctor Bucke's faithfulness." "I hear almost every day, and always with such cheer!" I described Bucke's impatience over the meter project: how when I was at London we went into town almost daily to see how things got on—Bucke sometimes storming, sometimes laughing, over the tantalizing delays. I spoke in this connection of Bucke's "perfect health, which saved him from being absorbed," W. exclaiming, "That is so—Doctor's of that type—I value him for that almost most of all!"

I exhibited to him proof-sheet I just received from West (New Ideal) of a "Walt Whitman/Robert Ingersoll" page I had sent up Sunday night. W. asked first if I would not leave it over night, but finding I could not, read it at once—saying at end, "Good! and I can echo every word of it: I can see the justice of it all." It was not in ill taste or effusive? "Not a bit: it is thoroughly symmetrical as it stands—neither overdoing or underdoing." West had also replied thus about Doctor's article which I had forwarded him:

THE NEW IDEAL, Boston, Mass. Nov. 20, 1890. Dear Mr. Traubel;—

Unless you hack this proof up beyond recognition, I think it can go in the December magazine. I am glad you sent it.

By the time it can get back the forms will be waiting for the press.

I think the similitude between Whitman's and Millet's life-experience, etc., as presented by Dr. Bucke, not only interesting but novel. You sent it for The New Ideal? If the magazine goes on I will use it in January number. The parallel is certainly striking, and the article ought to do good—be helpful—in one or two ways. It would be one more public word bringing Walt forward into sight, where he belongs,—and it would give such a taste of his biography that "more" would be wanted.* Such a piece of work as this—the parallel, the comparison, the similitude—is usually read quite eagerly by all.

Truly, James F. West *And I am not forgetting Millet. But Walt is more especially our charge and our love.

I read to W., who liked it and hoped Bucke's "message" would "get into the types."

On the bed printed slips: "An Old Man's Recitative." He asked, "What should I do with them? This is the Arena mat- ter—two pages, I should say—new poetic drift, for them to use if they will or not if they are opposed. I used to like the Nineteenth Century way of adopting poems—giving the first two pages to me as a series: they have done it for Tennyson, for Swinburne, for others to my knowledge. I was going to suggest this to the Arena. What do you think?" And again he asked me, "What am I to do with the copy? Send it direct to Boston, hand it to you to send to Baker, or send to Baker myself?" And that we discussed fully, coming to no conclusion; I finally saying to W., "Follow your own notions purely," and he responding, "I guess I'll do one of these two things: give it to you or to Baker. That would probably be the more effective scheme." Very anxious to know if I had "heard further from either Baker or Bob."

W. had much to say of a note I exhibited from Dr. Furness. "His 89 years are a marvel to me—excite my wonder. I don't know what picture in life makes a man more tend to believe."

Asked him for a piece of manuscript for Williamson and he expressed himself as "very glad to please him with it—if it please him."

Saturday, November 22, 1890

7:50 P.M. Just as I got to W.'s door met Harned with a Rev. Mr. Buckley, who is to preach in Unity Church tomorrow: another one of the weekly candidates for the empty pulpit there. We all went upstairs together, Tom introducing Buckley as such a man and W. remarking with a smile, "If there's fun in variety, your folks down there must be having a good time nowadays!" But W. was not in good condition; said he had not been out today. Would scarcely talk at all—only in monosyllables. The stranger asked some silly questions—as, "What are you occupying your mind with just this moment?" and "At what hour of the day do you find your muse to best operate?" and the like, to which W.'s answers were less than non-committal. "I am all of a jumble today—my stomach, my head." And to the questions addressed him, "Only middling all day—a short middling." Tom picked up and read some manuscript poems from the table—remarking their power, etc. but eliciting no comment from W. except the aboriginal "Eh?" or "Oh," or "What?" which I know are his dismissals if they are rightly read. Said to me at one instant, "I sent Baker today the note we spoke of last night," and to Tom's queries about the new volume to appear, he had thought to get a copy of the big book bound in true calf—but had he better wait for this "Annex"? "Yes, wait. That would be best." Tom also asked, "How many pages in the new book?" W. laughing, "That remains—that remains." Saying in reply to another remark, "I am like the actors—my farewells are numerous, each crowded by another." I spoke with him somewhat about proofs I received from New York this morning. He asked if "the financial wave had yet subsided," and appeared to be interested in some details of the talk that arose between Harned and me. Harned asked for a copy of Truth Seeker to give to Buckley. Of course granted. Some compliments for Bob, W. participating. Tom finally left with Buckley. I remained to add a few words with W. alone. Queer how instantly we got on our closer themes, he woke up! "I have written to Doctor today," he said. I remarked the beauty of "To the Sunset Breeze." Read it in Lippincott's: stopping at a stand to do so. W. asked, "Do you do that: catch a bit or two, lounging at newsstands?" "Yes, often." He merrily said, "Gone again! I thought I was the only fellow ever did that. And you enjoy it? It is a great help—lift. Something in getting en rapport with the circulation of things—the rush of life, people, vehicles. I always found it stimulating." And then more specifically of the poem itself: "Was it clear sailing? Did you travel it at ease? Good! good! I like to hear that!" I liked its power—its beauty. "Do you think them there?" And laughingly told him my discussion with Burroughs, Burroughs contending that W.'s later poems lacked the poetic. W. throwing in quickly with a laugh, "And the earlier, too! Ask anybody!" Then informed me, "I have had a letter from Stoddart. He says he will be over to see me next week, bringing the picture; that he will talk with me about the picture and the page of poems." I advised, "I wish you could put a veto on the picture!" "I shall, but he'll likely not heed it." Then with joking tone, "Perhaps we can buy him off. If, as you say, he bought the cut cheap somewhere, can buy it—present him with a better." I informed him, "My idea now is, to start my piece with the autobiographic page and close it with your description of this room—filling in my own matter for the rest." He acquiesced very readily, saying, "Yes, do it: then let me see how it stands out. That is probably the best scheme." Further: "I am having some of the poems on slips—will also have copies of the magazines: you shall have both if you like."

I asked him directly about the stomach. He said, "It is very bad. Very bad." And when I pursued the matter to ask, "Would you object to a doctor?" he said, "I think I would: I do not think that had better be followed up." Yet I shall do so, for from outward evidence he is worse than he has been.

He still urges me about my "much-lingering—I hope not superfluous" piece. "Glad," he says, "I am to see it in a few days."

W. never ceases to laugh over McKay's self-introduction to Ingersoll as the publisher of a book which did have, on the rest of the pages, something.

Sunday, November 23, 1890

5:20 P.M. W. just finished eating dinner. Reading paper in the dim twilight. Looked well in color (as always post-dinner) but said of his condition, "It is only so-so: I pull through—that's about all." I put in, "You are the best man I know for 'pulling through' things," which excited his laughter. "I keep my troubles on a field I can control," he said, jokingly, "remembering the doctor who, called in to see a patient, said, 'Madam, if only I could shift this thing to fever, I'd cure you. I don't know what's the matter with you now, but I'm hell on fever!'" And then, "As long as I can keep it fever, Horace, I'll be all right!" Referred to papers he had read today: "They appear to be full of the Parnell matter, which of course I did not read. There are two things in the papers nowadays which I skip every time: the Parnell and Stanley columns. I take little interest in either. But I see the venom with which the papers pressure Parnell. The Record had an editorial this morning saying he should go—must go. I read enough of it to see that conclusion."

Said again, commenting on Burroughs' idea that W.'s late work lacked in the poetic, "So does it all, that was one of the hardest jobs in my early life—to get the poetry out: but I did it," laughing.

Wished me to get him some envelopes printed.

Showed him letter I had just received at Post Office from Ingersoll. Thought it "characteristic" as in fact, "what does he do that is not?"

Monday, November 24, 1890

7:48 P.M. I entered the room with the big envelopes under my arm. W. laid down the book he was reading (the Catlin Indian book from Donaldson), took off his glasses, exclaimed, "And here is Horace! And with my big envelopes along, too!" I assented, "Yes, and I want a picture of Walt Whitman or one of Walt Whitman's books for this man Cohen—for he would not take a cent for this work and we ought to recognize it!" I commencing to untie the package and W. acquiescing at once, "You are right—we must—it was a handsome gift." When I exhibited the envelopes W. took one and turned it over and over like a child, making all sorts of admiring comments: "Oh! the beauty! and look at this board, too!" tapping it with his knuckle. "And a perfect piece of work throughout!" Cohen had said to me he could not charge. He was proud of Walt Whitman; wished this to go as his mite, etc. "He is a Philadelphian with the rest of us: we owe a good deal to him." All touched W., for it was a faithful job, exactly fulfilling W.'s desires. And so he directed me to a bundle on the floor marked as containing six copies '82 edition "Leaves of Grass"—author's edition—from which he took one (I re-wrapping and tying the rest), inscribing it as I looked over his shoulder, "C. J. Cohen from the author Nov. 1890." Asked me then in his usual way about Cohen's business, his looks as a man, etc. Oh! that thirst to absorb, to penetrate, life, individualities! It is the secret of the temple!

I told W. of a letter from Johnston today inviting me to stay with them if I attended Ethical Society convention in New York next week. This would give me a chance to carry the parcel over for Mrs. Ingersoll. "Yes," said W., "that relieves me. I wondered how to get it over. And no one so good as you to take it, either. It will come from you with a great grace. I intend it for a Christmas present, but it won't hurt to go over before, of course." I swung my hand across the big face of the envelope, "There is a chance for you to spread out a big Walt Whitman!" And with a hearty laugh, "You have divined me! That is what I had in mind to do!"

We spoke of Lippincott's poem. W. got up from chair and toiled across the room. "I have a letter here from Doctor about it. He sets it high. I put the letter aside, thinking you would like to have it. I sent Doctor a slip. Yes, I saw it was in the Press today—mean to get a lot of papers, to use for mailing. But you shall have a copy of the magazine—when they come, as they have not yet."

W. quoted earlier passages in a general way, then said, "It is a part of our history to say that this poem was refused by Harper's as an 'improvisation,' refused by the Nineteenth Century for general reasons, accepted and paid for by Stoddart, of Lippincott's. Improvisation! I wonder if they ever heard of the other things I have written? I should not know what else to do but 'improvise'!" And he questioned me frankly for the bases of my high estimate. Why did I think it had music, power, spirituality, subtlety? And appeared pleased at my direct replies.

I am going to see Booth and Barrett transact "Richelieu" tomorrow evening. W. asked, "Booth is the Richelieu?" and then, "I have seen the play often; have even seen Booth in it. Certainly he is grand there; the part fits him well." Diverted then more rapidly upon the powers of the elder Booth. "He was a man of remarkable range and passion. I liked him in many things, but most of all, I often think, in Richard 3rd. I think of what they call the dream scene—his vivid color there—his ability to pass through the fire of the original. When he was in a passion, face, neck, hands, would be suffused, his eye would be frightful—his whole mien enough to scare audience, actors; often the actors were afraid of him. I can see his contortions as he lay on the bed, then as he dragged himself towards the footlights, trembling, gasping, ratting his armor. A mighty triumph of art—or nature, which in meaner hands would be burlesque—sufficient to thrill the house, give it one of the delicious horrors which all audiences enjoy. I think Booth did not insist upon that scene—it is not imperative—he did not always play it—probably did not always feel up to it." And further, "I think—in such passages, such transports of nature—no actor I ever saw was the same—had, at least, anything like his grandeur."

Said he had been rooting out old manuscripts—a lot of yellowed crumpled sheets on bed. Had Mrs. O'Connor told him to whom she had submitted William's book? "No, she did not tell me." I had quite full letter from Bucke, discussing affairs. Has been off to Detroit. W. saying, "He did not tell me that."

21 Nov. 1890 My dear Horace

Yesterday and the day before I was absent in Detroit and returned in middle of last night—this morning I find three letters from you and this moment another arrives—I must answer them all in a lump! I am glad you propose writing me oftener but hope you will not have such serious matters to write about (for a while, at least) as two years ago—this leads me to remark that in a letter written 18th W. W. says "belly-ache seems to have about fizzled out" trust it has, but shall not be quite easy until I find it does not return—if it stays away for a week we should consider it transient and of no special moment. Thanks for the bundle of "Truth Seekers"—I shall give Dr. Beemer one from you as requested. Thanks for the "Unity" with the good verses by our friend H.L.T.—I have never had an answer from Johnston or a line from the N.Y. printer—guess their enthusiasm has petered out. I note what you say abt. Millet piece and hope West will print.

Am glad you like the letter for your "book"—the likenesses and differences of two such men as B. & W. are to the last degree interesting but of course could never be put in any one (or dozen) short statement (or statements).

I think you are right abt. using the picture—it is sufficiently true and would give an "outsider" quite an idea of the old man's "den"—I should use it.

All quiet with meter—we hope to begin turning them out early in the year. All looks bright ahead as heretofore—nothing more about libel suit! the thing is absurd, there was nothing the least libelous in the editorial. Yes I will, with great pleasure, send your love to my brother at Ottawa.

I am glad you have written Mitchell and hope he will go to Camden himself—Whoever goes I want his name and address and I will write him myself for his opinion and will let you know what he says—there is no harm (meanwhile) in your asking him what he thinks of W.

I like Stoddart's idea of a Whitman no. and hope he will carry it out—Would he care for my piece (revised and shortened) which you heard me read at Phila. a year & a half ago—do you think? You know they had that (in a half written state) and I had some trouble getting it out of them—I thought then they wanted to keep it in case of W.'s death and then print—did not want that then & do not now—but if they fix a date for a W. W. no. and want the piece I will fix it up for them.

We have had (and are having) some of the most delightful Indian Summer weather I ever saw—today has been charming—if you had been here we would have gone for a long drive. As things are I have worked (and hard) all day.

Love to you RM Bucke

W. laughed over the fashion: "The fad now is to wear the high hat with the nearest to no rim at all: a damnable practice at the best."

Tuesday, November 25, 1890

5:30 P.M. W. in his room reading. On the bed already a couple of big portraits inscribed for Mrs. Ingersoll. He asked me, "You still persist that you may go over? Good! I will have things ready for you." I thought he looked very much better than for days. Talked with equipoise. "I had a copy of Lippincott's by mail today—then sent over for some others. Stoddart has promised to send them to me. One of them, then, to be yours." And he listened intently to all I had to say about the poem. "I did not expect such result," he said. "It surprises me." Told him I wrote Bucke about it this morning in warm terms. Said to me, then, by digression, "I sent a note to the Critic today for their holiday number—about four lines, telling about William's book. Of course I don't know who is to publish it or what it is to be called, but I quite fully realize its importance and won't have it passed by if I can prevent. Yes, I wrote to Nellie—she asked me for suggestions. I told her I had none—that perhaps to call it by the name of one of the unprinted pieces, 'The Brazen Android and Other Stories' would hit the nail where it needed. There is something of mystery in such a line; mystery catches the public. Yet it is more than that, too. So, all in all, I don't know that a better could be found—not by me, I'm sure!"

"I have a card from Aggie" (my sister) "on which she announces her marriage." "So, she is married. May it bring about the best—the best—for her!" Then I said, "Do you remember the Mrs. Hamilton and that affair on the shore? I see by the papers that the Governor pardoned her today." W. at once: "Good! I would have done it long ago—I have been in favor of it. Yes, she's a bad mess, no doubt, but they are all a bad mess—all. It is the story of all incomes (nearly) say, from three thousand a year to ten. Going a long way to justify Tolstoi."

Then questioned me: "Have you read Macaulay's essay—it went into one of the big English magazines—on Lord Byron? I am not much of an admirer of Macaulay, but that struck me as the best work he ever did," etc. I replying, "Yes, I read it, years ago, and I don't remember a thing in it but a sentence somewhere in which he says that English society about once a generation demands a scapegoat." W. interrupted me quickly, "And that's just it: if you've read that you've read all—all—that is the whole point of it. And it is true—true. It is quite remarkable how we hit on the same idea. Better than Macaulay, too, was William O'Connor. I need not tell you how O'Connor fought for them all—how his hospitality was boundless—how catholic he was, beyond all else, persons else. How he would defend Byron—not as you tell me Carlyle did—but absolutely defend him—not even himself discuss the evil, error. And Shelley, too: he thought Shelley a great, great man—one of the greatest—and Poe he would defend. But then O'Connor had discrimination, too: it will not do to think him a mere panegyrist; he was more—higher—broader. To make a bull, he had the most wonderful natural artificiality which ever possessed a man in literature. Yes, I think I make no exceptions whatever. He had the greatest receptivity, freedom—with knowledge of sources, forms."

I took book and copy of Ingersoll's address to Cohen. He was not in store, but I met him afterwards on the street. Was highly gratified. Said he would "appreciate and read both," etc. W. asked, "Is he a man to be interested in such things?" Would get me to secure envelopes, printed, from Cohen. "Two sizes: I will get them ready for you." And again: "As a usual thing I would give such a thing to Curtz—poor devil! I throw as much in his way as I can."

Still inquires after my progress with manuscript. Interested to know of my going to "Richelieu" tonight. I should tell him "all about it," etc.

Letter from Baker acquainted me with receipt of pieces from W., etc.:

New York, Novemb. 24 1890. My dear Traubel:

Today, I received from W. W. some poems on Old Age, for The Arena. I forwarded them immediately to the Editor. He will doubtless send you word, very soon, whether he will accept. If he knows anything he won't hesitate a minute! Please inform W. W. that I have received and sent, as requested.

Now in re the proof of the Lecture. I have written the Truth Seeker folk to send you proof and let you correct it. The Col. did use an old Edition. Of course in correcting you will not insert anything—only see that what he does quote is rightly quoted.

I put this work on you 1st, because you are the one to do it, and 2ly because I am so busy that I even haven't time to say anything about your own beautiful little Atom Chorus to the Soul—but only, with love to say, I'm yours,

I. N. Baker

Also, serious letter from Bucke:

London, 23 Nov 1890 My dear Horace

I have yours of 20 & 21 inst. Am real glad to hear that you are to revive the "Truth Seeker" pamphlet and I do not know but that this is after all the best way for the Ingersoll address to come out. It will, in this way, go to the right people—the Ingersoll folk, those who are likeliest to be influenced by it—you know we don't want to call the righteous only but sinners to repentance! A card from W. yesterday written 20th he says "the worst of belly-ache over but just a reminder sometimes." I trust there will be no serious return—if there is I shall be very anxious. Yes, Bush is a good fellow—I like him much. When you see him give him my remembrance & love—tell him I do not and shall not forget him.

Glad to hear your W. W. piece progresses—it will give me the greatest gratification to see it and read it in print—be sure you sent me a copy in the journal the earliest possible moment—then I shall send to my N.Y. bookseller for a supply.

Yes, you must be making some grand notes these days—I can fancy myself an old, old man and you a middle aged one, W. gone from us years ago, living on these notes then printed—reading them and discussing them—never tiring of them and how many hundreds, thousands, millions after you & I are dead and gone and but for our connection with W. W. forgotten! I really think, Horace, that you are today doing perhaps the most important work of any man now living.

I am gratified to hear of you and your friends reading "Man's Moral Nature"—I have never gone back on that book—think as well of it as I ever did and I know that there is a true inspiration at the heart of it.

Shall hope to hear early in the week that Mitchell or some other good man has seen W. and trust the opinion formed will be favorable—but, Horace, we are standing on a narrow ledge above a precipice—don't forget it.

Love to you RM Bucke I want you to see the letter I wrote W. about "To the Sun-Set Breeze." Want to know if you see the under meaning of that to me most wonderful poem— RMB

Pathetic word from Washington, too, from Mrs. O'Connor:

112 M St. N.W. Nov. 24. 1890. Dear Mr. Traubel,

Yours of the 22d awaited me when I got home from the office at 5 to-day & I will send you a line at once. I sent the seven stories, six printed, and the Brazen Android with Walt's preface, to Houghton & Mifflin. Because, 1st they published "Hamlet's Note Book" by him & also his "Ghost" in the Little Classics; & they published the little book which I edited; & The Brazen Android was sent to the Atlantic Monthly, & partly in type when recalled by William, so I was told that the courtesy of the profession demanded them to have the first offer. I hope it will be the only one, for I hope they will accept.

I am glad you spoke of the picture of William; I mean to have some printed & then you shall have one, also a piece of his handwriting. I am glad you asked, else how should I know.

I am sorry to hear that Walt is not as well, but thank you for telling me. Give him great love from me. I find after using my eyes all day in writing at the office that it is nearly impossible to touch a pen at night; & some days, as to-day, I come home so tired that I am ready to give up; but I am, I think, getting more used to it.

Thank you for the papers, they do reach me, & I glance, & more, when I can; & always thank you. Will you tell Walt how much I thank him for papers & all. I think of him so much, and wish I could go on to see him.

I am very glad that he got such a lift from Ingersoll's lecture. It was good.

Good by, & love to you. I am tired to-night.

How I wish I could see you.

Thank you for your kind offer. I may yet accept, at any rate, a part of it. And I always feel that in you I have a warm friend.

Yours cordially— Ellen M. O'Connor I hope that the little lady is well, whom you brought to see me.

An invitation (W. by letter and I a card) to meet Miss Gale, at Talcott Williams'.

Wednesday, November 26, 1890

7:50 P.M. W. reading copy of "Leaves of Grass"—not looking well. How was his stomach? "Poorly! poorly!" This bore out despondent letter from Bucke today:

25 Nov 1890 My dear Horace

Yours of 21st came yesterday. I lectured on "Mania" all the afternoon and had no time to answer it.

Let me know (send copy if convenient) when the "Millet" piece comes out and don't forget about your own W. W. piece when it appears.

Letter from W. this moment, he says "Am beleaguered with belly ache quite bad is apt to begin at day break, is on me now diaphragm region and upper breast at times, sore and aching." I much fear Horace that this means something serious. Have W. seen by best man you can find in Phila. and have the thing thoroughly looked into.

Your friend RM Bucke

Had been out but briefly. Pretty cold tonight. Note from Oldach, he said, with sample paper for cover of books. "I made my choice and sent it back." Received his copies of Lippincott's. Mine laid on bed and he quickly called my attention to it. Alluded to novel in the magazine. "It seems to take up about the whole thing. I suppose that is cute—suppose that makes it go, which is their point. But the printing—it is handsome—indeed, that is characteristic of all their printing, to look the best form, the best face," etc. But "Stoddart has not yet been over." Had been scribbling notes: "What shall I write on the big Ingersoll envelope?" And this was one of his suggestions:

Portraits of Walt Whitman from life  
  sent to Mrs. Ingersoll  
  by WW as a Christmas Present 1890-'91 

I quoted letter from Adler speaking of Ingersoll's "brilliant panegyric on Walt Whitman," W. exclaiming, "Brilliant, indeed! indeed!" adding, "Bob is very cute. The best part of the address is, that you like it better the second reading than the first, and better the tenth reading than the second. Your liking ascends: it is so rich in indirection, no penetrating eye can fail to catch a part of the treasure." Gave him Baker's letter dated yesterday to read. And he said he was "fully satisfied," adding, "You must tell him, not to be afraid: we will not add anything to the quotations." Then, "That pamphlet ought to be of great value to us: we will need a lot ourselves." Then read Mrs. O'Connor's letter, too, and "sorry," he said, "that all the publishing of William's book seems yet in doubt," etc. Then quite fully spoke of O'Connor. "He undoubtedly was the born orator—born to be a great orator. He was full of a subject, once it had thoroughly nipped him. And then such fire, enthusiasm—what blows! Certainly he was greater than any of the men who were famous in older times—our old times—Phillips and the rest. He was orator in the best antique sense—any sense, in fact—all times, lands. Was gifted to speak, exult, appeal, full of bestnesses—potent for victories, glowing successes. And the best of it was, he knew so much, as none of these other fellows did: was at home in the knowledge of his subject, whatever it happened to be. His great drawback was—and in him it was a damnable one—got complete possession—a sort of feeling of 'What's the good of it, anyhow?' which palsied his adherence to plans, ends. A damnable serious exposé of Scots-ism. Poor William! Great William!" He knew people would often ask why, if O'Connor was so great a man, had not the world heard of him. "But the reply to that is, that many forces are at work about us (many of the greatest forces) and the world knows nothing about them—nothing: would rather deny than admit them." And further, "Take some of the old women, the mothers: no one ever hears of them! But they are the salt of the earth: noble, courageous, disinterested—not to be forgotten in any count of the great national, great world, forces."

Thursday, November 27, 1890

Thanksgiving Day. First thing that struck my eye in Press were these notices:


Thomas J. Whitman, mechanical engineer, St. Louis, 57 years. He was a brother of Walt Whitman.



Thomas J. Whitman, a Brother of Walt Whitman, the Poet.

St. Louis, Nov. 26 (Special).—Thomas J. Whitman died last night at his home in this city, after a brief illness, of typhoid pneumonia. The deceased was 57 years of age and was an expert mechanical engineer, devoting himself almost entirely to water works engineering.

He was a brother of Walt Whitman, the poet. He was born in Brooklyn and spent his boyhood days there. He came to St. Louis in the sixties. Mr. Whitman's last big piece of work was the building of water works at Memphis.

Went on with my Whitman piece and finished. Then took down to him. Suggested to him to make as many marginal notes as he chose. "I shall be quite free about it," he said. "I am obedient." Was aware of the death of Jeff. "I had a telegram here," he said, and relapsed into a great quiet—not for five full minutes disturbed. Then he spoke of the beauty of the day: "How good it must be to be free to live out of doors"— the weather cold but serene—of his doubt if he would get his "daily trip," etc. "If I could," he said, "I would give the pictures to Mrs. Ingersoll today. But they'll wait till you can take them—they'll wait. But they're all ready—right on the sofa there." How had he woke up this morning? "Poorly—poorly. I am in a bad way today—these days—a very bad way. I set it down as catarrh of the stomach—that this catarrh of the head—this grip—has gone down and settled in my stomach. If you write the Doctor today," here he laughed merriment, "tell him this, that I call it catarrh. Of course he will laugh, but that is my way of describing it." Had not seen the Press paragraphs about his brother, but read when I called attention to them. He had not said a word to me about it, yet I learned on going downstairs that Weir Mitchell had been over the day before or Tuesday, and had said to Mrs. Davis that it was probably some indigestion that was troubling W.—recommending several things in way of diet—so far as she knew putting no serious face at all on the matter.

Letter from Stoddart this morning as follows:

LIPPINCOTT'S Monthly Magazine Philadelphia, Nov. 25, 1890. Dear Sir:—

We are in no very great hurry for the article on Mr. Whitman and as I told you before I will try to see Mr. Whitman in a few days and talk it over with him.

Yours truly, J. M. Stoddart

I gave to W. to read with the remark, "That means to me, don't go on with it." W. looking it over, "It's rather the cold shoulder, true enough." And then: "Well, if he comes over we'll see," etc.

W. spoke in a feeling way of the death of B. P. Shillaber.

Has postal from Morse calling his attention to Burnell's Century piece on Rodin and Dalou (sculptors). Has not read.

W. says again, "I think I am in a bad way—this is a bad disturbance, now, whatever you call it," etc.

Letter from Johnston as follows this morning:

November 25, 1890 Dear Traubel,

When I went into Ingersoll's office and asked him to give me a check for Walt, my plan was to let the amount go into the joint purse; and when he volunteered to give the lecture, what I expected was that the amount would be placed in the hands of the committee and thus save us all for the next year at least.

Now, I hardly know what to say.

Who are the subscribers and what amounts are they giving? Let's get down into it and see if you and I cannot devise some plan to make it easy all around.

Would it do to have Dr. Bucke let Walt know just what has been done and suggest to him that the Ingersoll fund should be used by the committee and when it is used up we can get up another testimonial.

I know it's a delicate subject, and I only hint it—I hope you will come over next week.

Sincerely yours, J. H. Johnston As long as it's necessary of course I will help.

Johnston evidently thinks W. does not know about the fund: he knows all about it. This lecture matter was between Ingersoll and W.—I had no right to step in—nor anyone. I so told Johnston the night of the lecture, Bucke, when I acquainted him with it, approving. Shall so write Johnston today. Fund is not run on score of W.'s poverty but as a graceful final act from a group of his friends. I told W. frankly my view and he said, "I so understand it, too—so from the Colonel. What do you think?" I shall insist upon this interpretation. If Johnston is inclined to withdraw from the fund I cannot help it. Bucke told me of an incident that occurred on the trip from New York the day of the lecture: a man named Beers, a New York printer, giving Johnston ten dollars for a seat. Bucke asked me, "Did Johnston give you that money?" No. Had he passed it in at ticket office? No. What then had become of it? Johnston must have forgotten. I had it in mind to speak to Johnston about it. But perhaps he had given it direct to W.? I asked W. today. "No, not a cent. This is the first I have heard of it." Then with a smile, "Perhaps one of us had better jog John's memory: it must be a lapsus; could not be anything more." I wrote Bucke about all this.

5:10 P.M. Down to W.'s again. Spent 15 to 20 minutes with him. Keeps in his own room. I took current Scribner's—first article of Sir Edwin Arnold's "Japonica." He wished to read. Was looking over one of Scott's novels. Had not taken any meal of account—"almost refused dinner." Was depressed. Room merging towards the dark. Would not go out. Clouded overhead and much colder. Did not say a word about my manuscript nor did I ask him. I told him of a visitor I had this afternoon: Ackland, in charge West Philadelphia branch mercantile. He told me that since Ingersoll lecture there had been a demand for "Leaves of Grass," both in his branch and the main library. W. said, "It is as I should have expected. Bob is a mighty power—his lecture a bugle call, which will be heard all over this continent, perhaps across the globe." And then: "I hope the New York people will not produce it too cheap—it should be ten cents anyway—I should say, a quarter—bound. A cheap stiff cover should be put upon it." And as to our seeing the proofs, "Oh! We must: it is indispensable that the thing should be right: it will have such circulation, not a word should go astray."

I told him I had sent his message to Bucke. He laughed, "Well, it has a queer sound—it may be—yet it is our way of putting it. My head seems a very eligible evil for this thing they call cold in the head, grip. I seem to invite it, welcome it, hold it fast—and now it is the stomach—the belly: it seems to offer me to the sacrifice." Had Mitchell seen the gravity of the thing, if it was grave? "No, I do not think he did. He thought I would be benefitted by taking to eat and drink just before going to bed, and sent some medicine over. Oh! where is it now?"—looking about on the floor—"I don't know—did not even read his directions for taking it. The other night Mary went to a wedding—bringing me from it some wine and cake which, being hungry and thirsty, I took." And it had done him good? "No, it did not—harm, rather—I spent a bad night, a bad next day. It is the devil with general rules. Doctors, priests, may make a rule for the whole world, but when it comes to apply them to individuals, it won't work. There are so many exceptional circumstances in every life—so many, I say—we are at sea at once." And of himself personally, "It is so with me: they may make an undoubted course for me. Yet I see more and see why I should not take it. Now and then I may be wrong—in the main I must be right, for I make up my own case from a consensus of which they know nothing. Three or four doctors used to agree that I needed quinine—so as I was ever anxious to do something for myself I took quinine. But it set my head whirling round like the worlds. I could not stand it—stopped. Then when Doctor sent his tonic later on I took that—but I knew at once that it had quinine as one of its parts—my head again went spinning—so again I stopped. That is the kind of evidence that is unmistakable—which no outside authority can foresee."

Expressed his dislike for Johnston's wharf picture, taken when he was here and a copy of which has arrived with others. Bucke rather affects. But W. says, "It is a damnable photographic utterance—damnable. No, I don't like it at all: yet it might be just one of the things to be popular, for the popular thing nowadays is not the honest thing—but the peculiar, the phantasmic, the curio-ish, the distortion, the worldly—and this might come under all these heads." I was rather surprised at the strong dislike this betrayed.

Had he read the Murger translations from Fox? "No—only glanced at them—I will give them to you to take back. I took them up—somehow the tone, mood, what-not, was against. I did not get far." In fact the manuscripts were bad, and I think stories somewhat disappointed him.

Friday, November 28, 1890

7:15 P.M. Our talk very full and frank. I found it was John K.—not Weir—Mitchell who had been over. W. spoke of his condition as "bad in every way," told me there "had not" been any "word from the West," etc. Warren talked with me about W.'s ways—his evident depression—change in the color of urine, etc.

W. told me his report on the manuscript was "altogether favorable," adding, with a twinkle, "But you have been very eulogistic." I returned, "How could any of your friends be other. You are not to notice it." And he laughed: "I see—for me it is not to be there! Well, you will leave the manuscript with me a while still? I noticed several of your blanks: have filled them in."

Bucke writes me quite alarmedly. But I do not quite see the seriousness of affairs. Do what we can. But W. is determined to have his own way. "I doubt if in the end any doctor can tell me myself what I myself know."

Frank Williams writes me thus:

Drexel Building, Room 333, Philadelphia Nov 28/90 My dear Traubel:

I am much obliged for the copy of "Unity" containing the "Chorus of Atoms". It is a fine, thoughtful poem & has some beauties which seem to me of a high order.

I have also read the copy of "The Conservator" with interest. There is plenty of meat there, though I do not follow you in your admiration for Ingersoll, and I cannot understand how you can link so shallow an individuality with one so majestic as Walt Whitman's.

However, this is merely a difference of opinion and I think you and I are both tolerant. As to Ingersoll's generous treatment of W. W. I think it was noble. What I criticise relates to his public position as a man who merely poses, and who lacks all conviction,—even that of atheism.

Yours sincerely, F. H. Williams

Gave to W. to read. He returned to me after reading without a word. But by and by said, "Ingersoll has had enough of that kind to know to expect it, to know what it means, to care nothing whatever about it."

Showed letter from Coit, now ethical lecturer in South Place Chapel, London (Conway's old place):

405 N. 33rd St. Phila. My dear Traubel,

I hear that you are an intimate friend of Walt Whitman's. Do you suppose it would be possible for me to meet him, either tomorrow morning or Sunday afternoon? Could you go with me, to introduce me? I should count it a very great favour.

If you telegraph me today, I will come to Camden early tomorrow morning, if he is to be seen then. Or if he can be seen this evening, I could come at any hour you set.

Yours very sincerely, Stanton Coit

"That is pleasant. Bring him over, of course only for my usual few minutes—but I will be glad to see him."

Asked me what I "made out of the Parnell case. Did he really have to do with that woman? I suppose so, but what is all that society in England, anyway, but rotten, rotten. Talcott Williams was over today. He spoke of Parnell, but I in fact take so little interest it all went by my ear. It is one of the things I do not care to read."

"I wrote to Baker today the substance of our talks together in the matter of that proof—that it is necessary we should have it, that it should be sent to you so that I too may have an incidental look at it."

Saturday, November 29, 1890

8:00 P.M. W. rooting in one of the several baskets of his room, dislodging some papers, examining and re-tying others. Seemed to me to be improved. Color higher and eye brighter. But he said himself, "I am only indifferent good—have spent lazy, stupid days, now, for time past. No mind, no heart, for anything. I was out today—but depressed, depressed. No—not a word from St. Louis yet by letter."

Returned me Scribner's. "How elegant, perfect, it is from a technical point of view! I know nothing better: the craft of it moved me, oh! I can't tell you how much. But Sir Edwin: what is he doing there? It is only a so-so piece—has but little, to me no real importance. There is a long piece on Amy Robart Kenilworth, what-not" (by Rideing). "I waded along a good ways, but it is insufferably stupid: not a word of life, not a suspicion of it. And so with the whole number: lots of dishes, silver, elegant china, glass, but not a thing to eat. I don't believe there's a line in the whole issue worth pausing over, remembering. Yet to the polite publishers, the literati, the hangers-on, the frippiness, it ought to be the very thing of things—would be—is, no doubt."

"I suppose you have not yet heard from the New York men? any of them? Well, I guess they'll let us have what we want—certainly ought to." And advised me further: "Push it till you get it. It is our right."

Told him of confusion Bucke got into about piece:

27 Nov '90 My dear Horace

I have yours of 25th. What is this about "W.'s Lippincott poem." I have not seen it and you do not even say what L. it is in so I could send for it.

If it is as good as "The Evening Breeze" piece I shall begin to think my old notion about W. writing his best pieces in middle age will have to be revised. To my mind "The E.B." piece is one of the most wonderful he has ever produced—its inner spiritual meaning is one of the most marvellous things in literature.

W. tells me young Mitchell was over—what does he say about W.?

I mailed you a paper today re meter.

Your friend RM Bucke

I spoke of the Lippincott's piece: he evidently only knows it as coming in a slip from W. The same poem in mind. W. said, "You fellows seem to have taken to that poem as a duck to water. It must belong to you. I had no idea myself that you'd find so much in it." I joked with him, that he figured in Lippincott's together with Dan Dawson, who had got off that famous standard in Clifford's presence, "If Walt Whitman is a poet, then I'm no poet." Clifford retorting to someone that he was not inclined to question it. W. laughed heartily again and again over this, "It was a very keen happy thrust: no better anywhere."

Not yet done with my manuscript. "I want to give it still another reading," he said. "I have been over it a couple of times."

Had just been enjoying some grapes. Room full of odor of grape and of the burnt wood.

Word (to me) today from both Weir and J. K. Mitchell:

1524 Walnut Street Dear Mr. Traubel

Yr. note said 9 to 10. I waited until 10:35 & am grieved to miss you. I think the old man would see me or my son who saw him before. I can get over this week & will do so, but tell me his address—I have it not. Send it at once.

Yrs. truly, Weir Mitchell


John K. Mitchell, M.D. 211 South 17th St. My dear Mr. Traubel—

I saw Whitman because my father could not go, but he will go when he can. I did not think there was anything new or very serious—if, that is, the old man told me all his symptoms.

The worst is the bladder difficulty and probably the cause of that is, that owing either to weakness in the bladder or to interference with the passage by an enlarged prostate gland, the urine is not all passed. What is retained ferments & irritates the bladder.

To use a catheter would be the only thorough going remedy, say, twice daily.

But I tried a temporary measure and sent him some Salol capsules, which if taken regularly should make the urine bland and unirritating. He promised to take 4 or 5 a day—but I don't know that he will.

I thought the stomach pain at night might be helped by taking some food the last thing & so ordered.

Yours sincerely, JK Mitchell

"How do the pills act?" I asked him. He replied, "I don't know—I have not touched them: they are under the heap there," pointing to his work-corner.

Coit's other letter came to me at the Bank today. W. said, "You will be over tomorrow? Do come—come, say, at eleven or at three. I go out—earlier than used to be—but not by rule."

"Harned has not been here yet with his minister. I suppose they'll all drop in tomorrow," alluding to fact that Tom B. Harned has been regularly stopping in Saturday evenings with the Sunday's pulpit supply—W. saying, "I'm not a handy man with these preachers anyway."

As I sat there, talking, fingering the Scribner's, W. said suddenly, "There's one fine thing in the magazine—the portrait of Morelli, which is very grand—vivid. You ought to take it in—great draughts of it," adding that "any such bit of portraiture" attracted him "altogether beyond a 'no.'"

I spoke of advertisers as being perhaps the most original writers of the period. This made W. laugh, but he said, "You are right, anyhow. I always look into the ads. That magazine in your hands I examined from top to toe."

Book is back from Burroughs duly inscribed.

Sunday, November 30, 1890

3:10 P.M. Met Coit at Broad Street Station—with him across river and to Whitman's this hour. W. at first seemed disposed to say nothing or very, very little, but by and by a well-turned question from Coit drew him out into fine communication. He had just been out in his chair, he said, but spoke of his lameness—that he was "much broken-up" and "whacked away splinter by splinter," etc. Coit alluded to John Burns. Had W. met him? "No—but I have had letters from him—several." Coit knew him well, going into some particulars and W. listening and questioning intently. Did W. take interest in the labor question? "Yes, some: but it is not intense, not absorbing. I might say, I have not time for it." Had he ever been to Europe? "No—I am quite a fresh-water fish—quite. Time was, when I was young—years, years ago—that I aspired to go to Europe—indeed, to go round the whole world. But that desire—its expectation—is all past now." Coit admitted that when he went to Europe a few years ago he knew (cared) nothing of Whitman—that his associations with radical enthusiasts there had won him over. This I could see pleased W. Coit also spoke of the frequent pictures of W. in Townbee Hall. This was new to us both. Talk, however, lapsed sadly till Coit struck upon America—what it was as a unity: whether its states did not foster division—destroy national idealism. There was Westminster Abbey—he had seen the funeral of Browning there, surely worthy: and for America, why not an Abbey or Pantheon, too? But W. shook his head. "No, I do not believe in them. I do not think we want Abbeys or Pantheons. That is the idea of concentration." He spoke very deliberately. "America ought to be diffusion—ought to scatter. Nature's method is always the method of diffusion—in her winds, skies, streams, all. I can see how the Abbeys might be all right—necessary—for England, for Europe, but ours is a different necessity." But was not a central idea, a purpose, better enforced in such a unity as England, which knew no states? etc. But W. demurred: "America—her clouds, her rivers, her woods—all her origin, purpose, ideals; let it be reflected in the majesty of each individual. Nature exhales; let man exhale—let our America exhale—to do this is her work." But Coit missed the sense of fatherland here, etc.; felt the lack of a grand national ideal. W. assenting, "I can see all that: I am duly taking account of all you urge—yes, acknowledge it. Yet I know it is a thing we will overcome—that our future is ahead of all that." He felt that "the majesty of life, being—let it be reflected in every mechanic, laborer, lawyer, statesman, artist, everyone." Coit asked about W.'s feeling for Browning and he said, "I feel he is a great light—yet I really know little about him—not enough to speak upon." This was the drift of the talk. The simple naturalness of W. never more beautifully set forth. Coit remarked it instantly on our exit. Told W. frankly he had been the first to give him the sense of America as a unit, etc.

I told W. what J. K. Mitchell had written me about the pills. "Oh yes! but I am taking them—and taking four or five a day. I think that is what he directed—and that reminds me I will take one now: it is about time," looking for the box on table and simply and naturally opening and providing himself.

Monday, December 1, 1890

5:50 P.M. W. in his room—the local papers in his lap. Not seeming to read, rather to be reflecting. The fire cosily burning—the smell of fresh and flaming wood intermingling. W.'s brother George here today. They had talked a couple of hours together. George had just come from St. Louis. W. pleased to hear more of details of Jeff's death. Jeff's daughter Jessie very sick, too. Jeff had started to rally—then was stricken in heart and died. W. quite specific in all these things. After George had gone, W. complained of reaction, etc.—and looked it now.

Tells me of "some California friend—I have a number of them out there—who is sending me great bundles of California papers. I don't know who sends them. They are marked all over with bright red ink-lines." Admitted they had "a considerable interest" for him.

I received this morning pages 25-30 inclusive from Somerby (Ingersoll pamphlet), which I mailed at once to W. asking him to have them ready for me this evening. Now he hands to me—a slip under the string: "For Horace—where are the preceding 24 pages?" I supposed they had not been sent because they contained no "quotes." But W. insisted: "They should have sent all—all. I want to see if our other corrections were alluded to—if my speech is now in right order." I promised to mention this to Somerby. Letter had come with proofs. W.'s changes in punctuation and spacing merely.

W. referred to our visit yesterday—asked me about Coit more specifically. Had been "much impressed." "I know I have friends in Townbee Hall, or among interested parties. I have had letters from several there—from one in particular: I think the president or such. Is he a minister? The place seems to be a center—a rallying-point—of philanthropics. Is that your idea? And for the young mainly. Why—even the snobs seem interested in it." That, as Coit said, pictures of W. were "in almost every room" was to W. "astonishing—yet not the less pleasing for that."

Returned me my manuscript. "It seems to need no corrections whatever: is surprisingly accurate, sure, to the point. I have done but little upon it"—as was indeed the case, as I find on examining it—his changes only of words here and there—not more than 15 in all, the better, he thought, to state his own environment and thought. Now he thought I ought to "put it right out."

Not out today. Snowed now—cold (severely). W. was inquisitive: "I felt the winter in my bones as I sat here. And my fire feels it, too—and hurries up its burning."

Tuesday, December 2, 1890

5:20 P.M. W. of course in his room—the wood crackling in the stove—the temperature comfortable after the damp and cold of the out-of-doors. A paper on bed—Great Thoughts (English)—the Sarony picture of W. which the Illustrated News had used gracing (W. thought "disfiguring") the opening page. As I remarked it in this rapid way, W. exclaimed: "You are lynx-eyed, if man ever was! I do not wonder you are at home in the Bank—that is where you belong. Certainly you are gifted with observation of a superior kind." I brushed all this aside by talking of the picture itself (duplicated as it was inside)—W. admitting: "It looks better as you see it there than as it appeared in the News. Johnston sent the paper to me"—it containing Mercer's long paper on W.—"and he sent some of his own pamphlets, too. Look at this," leaning forward to the table and taking one light brown-covered pamphlet out of a number and handing to me. Johnston's title-page relates that here are "notes of visit to Walt Whitman" etc.—and that it is only "printed for private circulation." They just came today. He had given one to Warren, who was reading it downstairs aloud to one member of the family.

I had received further proofs from Somerby this morning and sent to W. as before. He had them ready for me—changes few—and only this in margin: "proof-reader and maker-up: look out for proper spaces between the paragraphs and passages." He complained that Somerby "persists in sending the galley-proofs," yet that these "under necessity" will do—at any rate "are better than the jumbled mass sent before."

Hereupon showed W. the following note from Baker (received early evening):

New York, Nov. 30. 1890. My dear Traubel:

First, business. I received from W. W. the necklace of poems for The Arena, and immediately mailed it to Mr. B. O. Flower, the Editor. I have not had a line from him in response—which makes me think that he must have replied, as I requested him, to W. W. personally and directly. I wish you wd. let me know whether W. W. has heard from it—if not, I will at once take steps to find out.

As to the Ingersoll Lecture and the proof. I have repeatedly written to C. P. Somerby, Publisher of The Truth Seeker, requesting him to send galley proofs to you, saying that you and W. W. wd. make only the needed corrections, and that you wd. not delay the matter but return it at once. I have also written him, for the Colonel, and repeated the request on the Colonel's behalf, for the Col. said: Certainly, he not only had no objections, but wished it done, as it was W. W.'s right not only to have his work correctly quoted, but it was his, the Col.'s, desire, of course, and he is thankful to know that you will see that it is accurately done. I presume, in the absence of any positive assurance from Somerby, that he has acceded to our and your joint & repeated requests.

As to the little personal souvenir you are getting up, I don't know what to say or to do. I have called the Col.'s attention to it, and he has promised both yourself & me that he wd. do as you wish—but he doesn't seem to get at it. I hate to keep prodding him—but he is really very peculiar off & on,—has the oddness of genius, takes his own time & way—despises business limitations, the necessity of doing anything but just that thing he has in mind & that the mood of the moment spurs him to do. Let it rest awhile. He will do it, means to do it, wants to do it—but time never seems to him important, either for himself or others—unless it is a positive engagement made and a time absolutely set.

I have read our friend Morris's critique. I must say that it is a surprise to me. At the same time, I do not know why it shd. be, as I have had little opportunity of entering intimately into his arcana, & therefore could not know more than I have guessed from surface indications. Of course our friend—or your friend—for we only met as you know and touched lightly on the edges here & there in our brief acquaintance—has written sincerely what he believed to be facts. But he is sadly mistaken in his facts, and therefore in the use he makes of them. His deductions are wrong—unwholesomely wrong—all the way through. He coarsely misjudges the Colonel. He cannot speak from his own knowledge of what the Colonel is. He must therefore be simply the echo of prejudices & mistakes with which the Col.'s flippant and mentally dishonest enemies have filled the air. At the same time, if he is convinced he is right & has a call to put his views in print, it is his liberty to do so. "The Freedom to Write & Print," as you so earnestly and philosophically put it in your "Poet-Lore" essay—for which thanks—must not be abridged, and it is perhaps better said than unsaid, if it is an honest expression. That is, so far as Morris's attitude is concerned. But who is he, that to express his causticisms, he should trifle with the reputation of a man of great character and noble characteristics? Must every youngling who can find a platform yawp his say about others? Must every apprentice in ink-slinging bedirt with printer's ink the moral or mental garments of his superiors or inferiors? I despise and pity those speakers and those writers who in the paucity of argument resort to personal detraction. Anyhow, I think the writing of the day has gone mad, in tagging after persons—after egos—and failing to follow thoughts, ideas, arguments. Only when, and if, individualism is so inwrought in expression to be inseparable from the emanations, have we a right to analyze it and insist on its being inseparable. What I am, what you are, what he is—are not the exalted themes to which the world's eye must be directed. What I say to the world, what you do for the world, what he gives to the world are the factors of power. These are to be cognized, to be criticised, to be accepted or rejected.

Friend Morris, too—to touch upon the other and weightier—the only part of his writing worthy to be considered—is strangely awry as to the Col.'s views. He does not comprehend them—fails utterly to grasp them—consequently, as I said above, misrepresents them more and further far than the parrot misgives the human voice in his thin and acrid squeaks.

I thank you, dear Traubel, for all your kind words and literary attentions. I wish I could command more time to follow you fully, and enter more deeply into your rich mentality—but I fear I shall only in my busy, practical life, nowadays, have the pleasure of catching the glimpse and glow. My literary and thought delving days are more a memory than a possession kept bright by use. I do not write for the press now. Circumstances have put both knees upon my former aspirations and hold me down to the necessary choice of mending my many times broken fortunes. I am doing this thing—in the fond hope, however, of an evening time of leisure when I may write and think for others.

Yours always, I. N. Baker I want you to call in on me, and want you to arrange to spend a social evening with me and my good wife at our home No. 19 E. 80th St. B.

When W. opened he exclaimed: "God bless him for his handwriting! It's as clear as light itself!" At the second paragraph he cried out vehemently: "So it is really Somerby in that Truth Seeker!—the damned sanctified sleek scoundrel! Yes—I know him: long, long ago, he was one who had no shame about swindling me. And out of several hundred dollars at a time when ten cents was a boon! No—I shall not forget it. And the paper is the Truth Seeker, too!" And later he said: "I should like to put some lawyer on his track—not a big fellow—but some hound, who'll scent him up—drive him to his hole—make him game at last. I do not mind if you tell Baker this— or the Colonel. It belongs to them to know as to me to suffer it." And then he went on with the letter, saying, finally, as he folded it up: "Not the least of the many merits of this letter, however, is the writing itself. It is a joy to read—to look at merely. And Baker is right, too—only, he should remember what stuff critics are made of—should remember the Heinesque theory of criticism. When did critics do anything else than growl at, belittle, decry, curse, hound, denounce, the fellows—the bigger the fellows, the worse—not so much for what they have done as for what they have not done? The critic is yet to come who penetrates to the purpose of a book, what-not—is content with that, content to know what the writer started out to prove and whether he did prove that."

Several Whitman notes in current Critic (29th). The one under general head—"Of Making Many Books"—messages from various walkers on literary fields—"is all from" his "hand," he says, "and on its way it would give William's" (O'Connor's) "book a boost." "I liked the whole farrago, so to call it—John's (Burroughs') with the rest." And, "I think the public like this sort of thing—are eligible to be impressed with it."

Showed him letter from Bush, which he liked. "A noble fellow—we ought to love him: do, too." Remarked that he had not made many changes in my manuscript. "There were not many to make—hardly any. Only a word to add in several places." Had he word yet from Arena? "No—not the first sign—tell Baker that: he wants to know." Asked: "And the financial storm? Does it still blow?" For the present a lull. Said he was glad. We then dicussed Parnell. He "certainly will be deposed." "Yet," continued W., "I can't get out of my mind what Carlyle said cynically of Gladstone—that he was a man not so much concerned about men in themselves as about the clothes they wore. Oh! how subtle searching! and how cynical, too—and so Carlylean! And, to make it more effective—how true! I have no doubt Gladstone always has at least one eye on Mrs. Grundy."

Not out today—too cold, snow on the ground, etc. But looked better and admitted he was more comfortable. Somerby had sent notes to me and to Baker about dilatoriness in proofs:

Truth Seeker Company Booksellers and Publishers 28 Lafayette Place, New York, Nov. 29 1890 My dear Baker,

Both of your communications regarding the proof of "Liberty in Literature" being sent to Whitman—or Traubel—were rec'd. We are willing to do this but they are very dilatory about returning proofs we have sent. In fact none of them have been returned at all. In order to facilitate matters I have instructed our proof-reader to read it from the latest edition of "Leaves of Grass" carefully and then send these corrected proofs to them in pages. They surely could not find much if any changes to make after a careful revision. If they have sent any of these proofs to you, will you please forward them at once to me.

And oblige Yours always, C. P. Somerby

This quite angered W.: "He is a damned scamp! We have been prompt enough with him, but how was he with me? That is on another leg! Let him beware!" W. asked, "What have you decided? Will you go to New York Friday?" And to my "probably""Well, I shall be glad: your package is ready." "The specifications of locale" in Bush's note, he said, "moved" his "memory." And he went over some old corners he had "favored in the great town."

Had he ever read Ingersoll's essay on Burns? "No—I have never even heard he delivered on that subject: how does it rank?" And when he heard that it was in my scrap-book (some newspaper report of it) he asked that I "bring the book down—anytime soon you can."

He heard, he said, "that Edward Everett Hale is to withdraw—has withdrawn—from the New England Magazine"—and characterized Hale as "a man like Disraeli's Gladstone—respectable to the last degree, timid, excellent, refined—valuing, judging men by the clothes they wear, the front they present." And, "It is more than likely he was an ornament in the magazine anyhow. I cannot conceive that he could be useful in any other capacity: Mead probably has done all the work." There was always "a great noise""splurge"—about Hale's connection with this or that—but he thought it was the connection of his respectability—no more.

Law had sent me copy of Scottish World with some kindly paragraphs (probably his own) about Ingersoll lecture. W. had me promise to bring down.

Told him Bucke had sent me Johnston's picture of W.'s bedroom—"study"—thinking though it was not first-rate, it was sufficiently good to convey an idea of the "den." W. said, "Do as you choose: I do not like it."

Long letter from Bucke discussing W.'s condition:

30 Nov. 1890 My dear Horace,

I have your letters of 25th, 26th and three of 27th. The latter three came in a lump last evening and rather frightened me at first—thought there might be some serious changes which you felt called upon to report. Do not be afraid of worrying me with the number of your letters, I am always glad to hear from you and nothing you write about is without interest to me. I lectured 2 hours yesterday and have to do the same tomorrow so that my time for writing is somewhat limited, but a couple more weeks will finish the course and then I shall have more time. I will now look through your five unanswered letters and reply seriatim to them as well as I can. I have not yet seen the Lippincott poem which you think so much of—have sent to N.Y. for Dec. L. I suppose that is right? but it is strange that neither W. nor you sent me the poem or directions where to get it. W. mentioned to me that Dr. Mitchell (Jr.) had been over, but nothing more. I am still quite unsatisfied and anxious about W.'s condition—hope to hear something more definite from you about it very soon—hope you will see Mitchell, but I doubt very much whether Mitchell made much of an examination—doubt if W. gave him the chance to do so. It would have been much better if an older man had gone.

I knew nothing about J[eff] W[hitman]'s death until I received yours of 27th. Have not heard from W. since he heard of the death. J. was his favorite brother and he will feel this death terribly—he may (and probably will) try to hide it, but it will cut deep. I knew (from W.) that J. had not been in first-rate health for the last few years but I had no idea of anything serious being the matter. Neither, I am pretty sure, had W. Horace, I fear we are coming to deep waters—I have a most gloomy foreboding—but I will not give way to it nor show it to anyone but you and you must keep a steady front. I do not by any means laugh at W.'s notion of "catarrh of the stomach" (I could easier cry). I think it not all unlikely, but if he has C. of S. he has something else with it most likely much more serious even than that (though C. of S. at his age would be serious enough itself). W. has no ordinary dyspepsia from an improper diet. He has been far more careful of his diet this last summer than before, and if his diet a year ago did not upset him that of today can not. I believe that lately W. has been as careful of his diet as need be and that no change in this respect will relieve him because no change is really needed. I note Mitchell's address but will not write him at present. Will wait for your report of what he tells you. The fact that W. thinks he is "in a bad way" is a most serious one—he is almost sure to know (by his feelings) if anything serious is going on. I greatly fear that the death of J. too will favor and hasten the morbid processes which we so much dread. As you say "it is hard to know what to do," but I would lay down this rule absolutely "do not try to force W." Watch him, attend him, advise him, comfort him in every way but do not go beyond gently urging when he does not do what we want. You may be about certain that his life will not be shortened by his carrying out his own ideas—he is very wise at bottom and is as likely to act (or not act) for the best of his own head as if he followed the advice of any of us.

I do not think W. is the least likely to condemn your piece on W. W. (if he does it will be a great surprise to me), but if he does, do not you do anything rash and foolish—keep it in any case (if not printed) it will be wanted—no fear of that. Yes, get me a proof like a good fellow if you can—I shall be very anxious to read it. Do not be down-hearted about your work, I am as sure of the exceeding great importance of it as I am about the fact of my actual life—you will see by & by. You are too close to W. to see now.

Now about Johnston and the Ingersoll money and the fund, I think I have told you already what I think, but for fear of mistake I say it again. The Ingersoll money has nothing to do with the fund or with any of us. It is between I. and W. entirely—we will keep up the fund (please God) as long as W. lives. Let anyone who will step out, & if you need more from me than $3 a month, I will send it. About the $10 given to J[ohnston] for W. by Beers—J. showed the $10 to Ingersoll (I being close to I. talking to him and Mrs. I. at the time) and said to him "see what Beers has given me for his ticket tonight." I. said "that is good" or something to that effect. Johnston put the $10 bill in his pocket (as I supposed meaning to give it to the treasurer in Phila.). I think Johnston should be written to about it, because he may have given it to someone for W. and we may be blaming him wrongly. No, it is not cold here—we have had a lovely November and it is still pleasant, cool (not cold) weather. No frost of any account yet.

Yes, I will tell you what W. says to me about the death of J. (no doubt he will mention it when he writes me next). There is no fear about the receipt of a telegram by me—it would come instanter. If what you have to send is very important insist on an immediate answer from me and make the Phila. operator get it—or if not from me from Dr. Beemer (in case I should be away). I will go down at once if needed, but recollect I am not free to go as often as I might like so do not bring me down unless necessary. I want to see W. alive if possible (in case of the worse happening), but do not have me go down unless you have the very best advice that W. cannot get better.

I think this is all at present. Keep me advised,

Love to you, RM Bucke

Wednesday, December 3, 1890

6 P.M. Whistles making their to do as I entered W.'s room. He took his watch out—adjusted—"I am slow—my watch like me." Shook hands. Reading local papers. Also on bed the New Century open—elaborate illustrated advertisement of "Southern Lands." It interested him more than the regular matter of the magazine. Showed him Boston Herald editorial—read:


Walt Whitman gives a review of his contemporaries in a brief paper in the North American. It is characteristically rambling, but acutely perceived. He has a good word for them all, but he is inclined to put Bryant's name at the head of the list, though years ago he thought Emerson pre-eminent, and in certain respects holds that opinion still. Whitman's tribute to Tennyson is that of a poet: "Nobody (not even Shakespeare) goes deeper in those exquisitely touched and half-hidden hints and indirections left like faint perfumes in the crevices of his lines." Of Browning he confesses that he does not know enough to say much, and although he quite certainly repays the trouble of the deep study required—"but I am old and indolent," says the good, gray poet, "and cannot study (and never did)."

"It must be from Sylvester Baxter: is kindly, favorable—like Sylvester. Yes, we like the simple sweet touch—the friendly hand."

Left Scottish World with him. "You will leave it over a day?" Asked me about the intense fog on the river: "How the pilots dread the fog! The fog worse than the storm, and a fog with ice the worst of all!" Many a day he had spent in pilot houses "through such experiences!"

We discussed Parnell: "I do not agree to it—would not depose him. Yet it looks as if his time had come—as if, too, the Irish cause had been set back many years, if not staggered for good—though I guess not that."

Passed then to another topic: "I have my poems back from the Arena—the editor—Flower—says poems are a drag on his hands—or indicates it—and wants my prose." He got up and gave me the note—taking it from table: "It amounts to nothing at all—is inconsequential enough. Well, that settles another chapter of the story."

I spoke of the Johnston pamphlet—how naive it seemed. W. assenting: "Yes—and that is its charm—that is why we ought to like it." Took an orange he had laid out on the bed—gave into my hands: "Give this to your mother—tell her I send it—an early (flush) Christmas greeting!"

I inquired quite specifically—had his stomach eased? And he shook his head. "Eased—but not gone. Oh! I am only so-so—that and no more: by no means in a good way these days. But there are lights, too, cheering lights: I take account of all."

Gave me mail to take to Post Office as he had yesterday. I did not stay for my long talk. Warren informs me of the marked darkening of urine last ten days—also, that he is less disposed to be rubbed than formerly. Warren read assiduously the book on massage sent over by Johnston from England. W. had formerly urged him to rub most severely the (dead) left arm. Warren read that the tendency would be to perhaps wither it. Advised W., who asked: "Where did you get that?" Warren telling him—marking passage and showing it. W. said nothing at the time, but, when Warrie at a future rubbing started in vigorously on the left arm, W. quietly advised: "You had better ease up a little on that, Warrie." Characteristic surrender. I never knew him to cave outright or to apologize. Have advised Warrie to watch any change so I can report to Bucke.

Thursday, December 4, 1890

7:30 P.M. W. reading papers—not appearing bright. I was there only for hasty few minutes. On my way to Phila. Shall be able despite doubts to go to N.Y. tomorrow. W. gave me package for Mrs. Ingersoll. Had boldly marked big envelope thus: "Portraits of Walt Whitman from life sent to Mrs. Ingersoll by W. W. as a Christmas present 1890-91."

Sent his love to "all the New York fellows and girls"—the Johnstons, etc. Said Stoddart had been over: "Just briefly—I should say for five minutes or so—no more. He brought a young woman with him. I thought her very bright—full of noble sweet woman's spirit. She attracted me. I judged from the briefness of the stay that they only came to see the bear—the lion—to dare a look into his den—no more." And then: "Horace, will you bring me down the manuscript I gave you for the Lippincott's piece? I want to read it." Does he intend giving it to Stoddart as it is? "No, that does not occur to me now." I told him I felt sure from the first that Stoddart did not wish anything from me, etc. But W. shook his head: "That is not so sure—you should not say that." Still, he was not talkative on the subject, and I did not press it to discover what Stoddart said to him. I am not sure that his singular weakness for money will persuade him to yield the point he so decidedly negatived with me—to autobiographize for Lippincott's. Still, I would not be surprised. He does not need money nearly so much as I do, yet he deludes himself to think he constantly suffers for it. I know no other radical weakness in his personality, and this is only a very recent development. He was nettled that I would not send the piece to Stoddart as it was, simply adopting and signing it. But that shows a misconception of my mission on this earth, which is not to be catspaw under whatever issues of time, or to claim that which is not my own, or to play fool—as would be palpably the case for me to print under my own name an article which any astute man would at once see was his by fingermarks of indubitable incisiveness. So on the whole I did not regretfully run up home (having only a few minutes in which to do it), get the manuscript, go down again to Mickle Street, return to him. I had left on my first trip the old scrap-book containing Ingersoll's "Burns." When I came back he was already deep in it.

I had another positive and not cheerful note about W.'s condition:

2 Dec 1890 My dear Horace

Yours of 28th to hand last evening but have had the Inspector here since noon yesterday and have not had time to breathe—he has just gone but has left me with a devil of a stack of work as he often does. Yes, I knew it was young Dr. M[itchell] who had seen W. but will not write him at present—am very anxious to hear what he says to you about W.

Have got the Lippincott—I thought the poem in it was another—it is "The Evening Breeze." It is a wonderful poem, one of the greatest of these later poems of W.'s.

I fear the change noticed in Walt's urine means no good. Still, it does not necessarily mean any great harm. But the case should be thoroughly looked into—the urine properly tested etc. etc. I do wish this could be done and soon. I do not consider that W.'s aptitude for work lately means anything from the point of view of the seriousness of his complaint.

All quiet here—have an appointment with W. J. Gurd in the city in 30 minutes—must be off!

Love to you RM Bucke

I said something to W. descriptive of the well-dressed mechanic—that his Sunday clothes took all the grace out of him—that in the labor of the street, on a train, at a loom, workingmen had inimitable grace which the stiff rigs destroyed. W. laughed and assented: "That is all true—how often have I remarked it! It is the old story of clothes, trimmings, embroidery, china"—and perhaps did not more rob workingmen of absolute natural grace than others.

Press today—in quoting N.Y. Herald—a chronicle about bachelors—touched Whitman.

Friday, December 5, 1890

Left Philadelphia in 5 P.M. train—no baggage but my umbrella, a comb, a toothbrush, a collar and W.'s package for Mrs. Ingersoll. Good ride over—reading "Leaves of Grass"—copy of Twentieth Century—dozing part of the time—no companions. Bush at Jersey City side of ferry—introducing me to a Mr. Goldmark (brother-in-law of Adler). At once across the river—up to Bush's in 6th Avenue elevated—to 18th. He lives 17th in old Jerome house there—from which Lady Randolph Churchill was married. Introduced to his wife—left package there—out and up 6th Avenue to "The Studio," a unique drinking and dining room frequented I am told by artists and professional people—the wall full of pictures—surroundings plain but in true touch. Pleasant time—talk—our table—for an hour: then back to his rooms—further chat there, Mrs. Bush sharing. A small, bright, earnest woman—not, as I interpreted Bush, over strong. They were very curious about Whitman—questioning me happily—in ways to which I enjoyed responding. Left package of photos with Bush. He would take to his office—35 Wall St. (near Bob's). I would call about noon—we would have dinner and deliver portraits in company. After the good night to the wife, Bush and I sauntered out and east to Johnston's (305 E. 17th)—Bush leaving me at door. No one up there but girl who directed me to my room. Did not see Johnston at once. But by and by, as I sat in the room reading, he appeared in undress at the door between my room and another—coming forward—putting some immediate queries to me about myself and W. Everything comfortable and easy—unmistakable to me. Sat up till I had finished "Victor Hugo: En Voyage"—North American Review. Signs of intellect and body the room about—and in front, glistened with electric light, Stuyvesant Square—yielding a sense of freedom and repose and hush apart from the busier thoroughfares adjacent on every side. Good night!

Saturday, December 6, 1890

Still in New York—day altogether busy. Breakfasted with Johnston—meeting all the family except May, who I heard was already down at the Union Square store. Then with Johnston to store itself. A great portrait there—Jarvis portrait—of Paine: beautiful—surely the fairest presentment of Paine I have ever seen—rather the more happy for its evident freedom from elaboration—its tones all low—its treatment hard and effective. Johnston is very proud of it. May here at the store—a bright sweet girl.

Towards ten I took a Broadway car up to 54th Street, where I found school building and attended convention. Adler, Salter, Coit, Sheldon, Weston present—all speaking but the last. At noon I hastened away—took elevated (6th Avenue) cars down to Rector Station—looking up there at the Mills building and Bush at the top of it—about the eleventh story. Though it had not rained in early morning it now rained hard. With my bundle and Bush (Bush having brought bundle to office) we hastened the several doors to Ingersoll's, finding him on ninth floor in a series—I think four—of busy offices—a number of men or clerks employed. The young fellow stationed near the door was quite brusque. I asked first for Baker. Not in: out to lunch. Was the Colonel in? Yes, but he was busy. I wished to see him. The devil! you cannot! I must. The Colonel is busy with clients—can see no one today. My ire was stirred. Give him my name! He will see nobody! Give him my name—Traubel! He is busy. Here I was quick and sharp. Take my name to him—yes—you must—he will see me. He went out mad and evidently in anticipation of a negative return. But in about a minute came back, crest-fallen, to say, "The Colonel will see you: he says you should step in." And to complete the fall, Baker at this instant entered from the hall, came eagerly forward, grasped my hand, and asked me all the quick questions which hurry out on the surprise of unexpected meetings. Introduced Baker and Bush—then passed in—Bush not along—thinking to be away but a moment. Ingersoll in the back office—several clerks at work upon books spread about the floor—Ingersoll rapidly picking up one after another of these—citing, etc. He came forward, seeing me—extended his hand: "Well, Traubel—how are you? How is the old man? What's the news?" And when I told him the reason of my coming—that I was there but for a minute—that he was busy and should not be disturbed—he heartily demurred. "I'll see that Mrs. Ingersoll gets the package: don't worry about that! And now—sit down. Busy? Bosh! We can talk anyhow." And swung a chair near his own at the desk. "Now you are here, Traubel, you can tell me what you want for your book—I can write it—understand it," etc., and so after some talk, he wrote letter of dedication—then title-page as follows—reading letter from time to time aloud to see if that was what I wanted—his beautiful round voice full of its melody and power.

Oct 22. 1890. New York Horace L. Traubel Esq. My dear friend;

It gave me the greatest pleasure on yesterday evening to be of a little use to our mutual friend Walt Whitman. It was something to hand him a flower—a little one—in the December of his life. It seemed to me that we owed it to ourselves to pay a tribute to a great and venerable man who had added so much to the literature of the English-speaking people.

I send you a substantial copy of what I said.

Thanking you for the great interest you took in the testimonial without which it would not have been a success

I am yours always R. G. Ingersoll

Oct 21st 1890. 
  Horticultural Hall 
  Walt Whitman 
  Poet and Philosopher 
  and Man.  
  R. G. Ingersoll 

On the title-page—when he had written "Poet and Philosopher" he turned and said, "Traubel, there ought to be something else there"—the instant after wheeling to his desk and adding, "and Man," indicating the "man" with a splendid dash of the pen. Baker leaned over his shoulders—observantly—and said: "Colonel, you haven't dotted your i's." Ingersoll laughing to say: "I never do." I putting in: "You are too busy dotting other people's!" At which Baker exclaimed, "Good!" and laughed heartily.

Bob disposed to talk. I offered to go. He resisted. Literature, theology, Parnell, free-will, the Ethical Society convention—all up. "What is the convention for?" he asked. "I think a good deal of Adler." Seeing I was in for a stay of some time, I asked Baker to invite Bush in—and Bush came and was duly introduced. While we sat there, Griffin, partner (young, well-dressed), appeared in doorway. Bob called out, "Come in, Griffin: here is Traubel." And to me: "This is the smiling Griffin," which made Griffin smile all the more—referring to him several times with like pleasantry. All seemed easy—business suspended for the nonce. Bob said, "I differ from Whitman about Shakespeare. He thinks Shakespeare the poet of feudalism, which he was, of course. But Shakespeare was also the poet of democracy—listen"—quoting, etc. One of his own remarks was this: "Love is born of death—it is a flower that will only grow on the edge of a grave." Speaking of Parnell—brought up the Christian legend—Jesus and the fallen woman: "The mob were after her—wanted to stone her—the master said, Let him who is without sin cast the first stone—and when he looked up he found nobody was a-throwin' stones—and he said to her—neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more. Who is perfect? Did Jesus refrain for the same reason which deterred the mob?" This would seem a startling question. Had he ever asked it of the public? He shook his head. "No, never: the public would not understand it."

But of course it would be foolish for me to go on to recite what appeared in our talk there. Ingersoll was, as always, bright. Said he had a cold in his throat, but I did not notice that it affected his speech. Spoke to Griffin of some case yesterday—thought he had won it. I asked, "You always win them?" He laughed, "Damn it! no! You see how it is, Traubel: the evidence that is put in, the argument, everything, goes through the brains of a dozen jurymen, of a judge, of another judge, of another. No one can tell what will appear as the result. It is like a dozen refracting lenses set to intercept the same ray: God knows which way the ray will get through!" And he bantered several clients who came in and the clerks that were anxious for every word. Was there full an hour and a half. Finally he said, "Now Traubel—you know where I live: come up—come up: 400 Fifth Avenue." I told him I had some design to get up with Johnston tomorrow evening if I stayed over. He said, "Do—do come: I shall expect you." And the good-bye was hearty enough. "Give my love to the old man. But never mind—I shall see you again!" Baker urged me strongly to run up his way likewise tomorrow afternoon—would wait home with his wife. A vital sufficing glimpse of Ingersoll at his work—which I had always desired. Off then with Bush to our lunch, sorry that Baker could not go along. Then to further session of convention—to Johnston's for supper—Bush and wife coming around—and Mr. and Mrs. Bush, Bertha and May going with me to evening meeting (54th Street) at which Andrews (of Brown University), Heber Newton, Brinton, Lyman Abbott and Adler spoke. Reception to delegates following. Then home alone—the girls had preceded me, giving me their night key.

Sunday, December 7, 1890

Still in New York. Went with Johnstons to Chickering Hall—they in audience, I on stage. Adler, Coit, Salter, Sheldon spoke. Great audience—the air of everything fine. Met Josephine Lazarus again—she had some few things to say of W. In much doubt whether to stay over, finally deciding no: Salter having expressed wish to talk with me en route to Philadelphia—where he spoke for us in evening. This prevented my getting round to see either Ingersoll, Adler or Baker. Bush came in at Johnston's immediately after dinner—the three of us sauntering off together towards ferry—Johnston returning after a few blocks but Bush persevering for some distance, after which I took elevated cars to Cortland Street. Day fine—much cooler. Left with some sad regret. My heart would have taken me to Ingersoll's in evening. Johnston strongly persuaded—all of them—but I felt the homeward impulse and duty too strong. But promised them I would make every attempt to get over again next month. Johnston has several copies of "The Carpenter" and thinks he will be able to get me one. I wonder if he will forget? Ketler appeared at meeting—sent up his card to stage. We had some talk—he inviting me to dinner. His wife and her sister along. Mrs. Adler urged me to come to their house in afternoon, but that had to go with other joys.

Much talk with the Johnstons about Whitman's visits and their intercourse. Mrs. Johnston seems to hold it good-naturedly against W. still that he so vigorously touched up Collyer years ago in her home, etc. (He has told me the story himself.) She described interestingly visit paid to W. at time Musgrove was nurse—how Musgrove interfered—tried to keep her from seeing W.—how W. rang out command to send her up in a voice she heard downstairs—how when she was ushered W. expressed passionately to her his distaste for Musgrove. It is instructive that he never said this to me, who had the power to remove! Mrs. Johnston very attractive—sweet and reasonable—able—with a dip in many waters—though not strong—seeming to fear to go out with us last night when it slightly rained. All sent most loving greetings—messages varied and true—to W. So did Bush, too, and the wife (the noble little fervent woman!). Johnston made serious proposition to me to come over to N.Y.—be his financial man.

Found a couple of letters awaiting me from Bucke, gloomy in texture throughout:

3 Dec 1890 My dear Horace

Yours of 30th this moment to hand—do not see what made it so long on the way—it is too late now to send messages to N.Y. as you will be gone (if you go) before this reaches Camden.

I am not satisfied with Dr. J. Mitchell's report. I believe there is more wrong with Walt than he knows of. I am sure, at least, of one thing that W. should be thoroughly examined and evidently that has not been done. I wish W. was living at Johns Hopkins hospital. He would have a good time compared with what he has now. But I guess it is no use talking—if he would regularly employ a good doctor, have him come daily and see him and do what was necessary—wash out bladder, instruct W.'s nurse etc. etc. But what's the use—I know W. will do nothing of the kind—I doubt if W. wants to live anyway.

Is the tomb finished, ready for occupation? Dr. J. Mitchell has not written me nor I him. I am glad to hear that W. seems better—that is at least so much against my gloomy foreboding.

All quiet here—winter today. Snowed last night and now sleighing.

Always RM Bucke

Mail heavy. No more proofs from New York and had no time to call in at Lafayette Place.

Monday, December 8, 1890

Further favors from Somerby, which, as before, I mailed instantly to W. with request to hand to me in evening. Wrote Bucke a positive note, the better to dispel the gloom of his two letters found at home last night. Yet in my heart I do feel some fear that his forebodings are not unreasonable. Morris came to tell me he had been up to Lippincott's to see Harry Walsh. Stoddart saw him there, called him, showed him the manuscript "Walt Whitman the Poet," which I had returned to W. and he had forwarded to Stoddart. Stoddart wished W.'s signature to it—W. indisposed to give. Morris advised him to print it in brackets, unsigned, arguing that W.'s fingermarks were everywhere. Asked Stoddart, "Does this cut off Traubel's article?" Stoddart replying—no—he wanted both. I told Morris Stoddart's last note had discouraged me, and I did not intend to proceed unless by more definite understanding—Morris saying, "You are right," and going away. My determination invincible. I care nothing for the result except in so far as it may help the cause.

5:55 P.M. In at W.'s—the weather strong—snow falling—the earth white. W.'s room warmed by a busy fire. All very happy there. He grasped my hand and held it, saying, "I am glad to have it again: it carries me into my right humor once more." And then: "Sit right down—draw up a chair—tell me all about New York—the people—who you saw there—what—how it all impressed you." And so for more than half an hour I entered with him into a lively stream of questions and answers. How did I like the Johnstons? "And the girls—you saw them? May, Bertha—the young one, Kitty? And the mother, too—Alma: did you talk with her? She is the brightest of all—a rare woman—one of the rarest—I associate her with Mrs. Gilchrist—which is to say a good deal—for me to say the most. I know no other woman living who so attracts me. And she is a frail delicate creature, too—though, like so many of these, full of grit, work, efficiency, accomplishment. And she was a literary woman, long ago—has written books, I think. Went through in earlier life just such seeings—investigations—as have made Adler what he is. Down in the raggedness of society—the shadows, horrors—in marsh, swamp—full of teachableness—from which no man can come the same person as before. All the girls are good girls—the top of the Johnston heap, of course. Indeed, I think the best women are always the best of all: the flower—the justification of the race—the summit, crown—aureoling the shadows which make up the rest." And when I spoke of running to New York again, he said, "Yes—do so—and if you do, cultivate Alma. She is your woman—most of all yours—for I know what you most enjoy: take her into some corner—ply her—you will find that all I say is true—that she is a most rare person."

Then I told him detailedly how I had found Bob and of our delightful hour and more together—displaying the written sheets which he read again and again—and admired. "The noble hand!" he exclaimed—swinging his arm to indicate its freedom. "It is as liberal, generous, big as the man!" Questioned me till I believed I had told him everything I remembered of our talk. "It ought to be put down—recorded! How always we must regret that these rarest talks—the best things of all—pass absolutely away with the men who shared them!" Laughed vociferously over the story of the dotting of the i's. Asked me to repeat description of Bob at his work. "And so it is high up in the big building? And has it vista? There must be a joy even about that." Wished to know about Johnston's business. Asked me, too, "And the convention—what did it do?" And to my descriptions (especially of discussing Saturday night our summer school of Ethics—R. H. Newton, Lyman Abbott, Brinton, Adler participating)—he put in, "I should like to have been there. Had I, this is what I would have said: that the grandest phenomena of these times pass their way almost unperceived—the grand intestinal agitation, moving the American masses, bringing a new promise day by day—hastening us on, unconsciously even to the masses which it agitates. And with this the unmistakable levelling of things up—the disinclination of our people to accept giants, to crown individuality, however imposing. Undoubtedly a powerful tendency, whatever of the old adoration of heroes remains. And it is moral: no school of Ethics so real as this, once it is comprehended."

Such was the drift of our talk, and I had almost violently to break away into other things. One remark of Andrews (President of Brown University) moved W.'s laughter—that our century was absolutely without any high or real poetic evidences etc.—Brinton saying to me of it afterwards: "With Browning and Whitman that seems an extraordinary statement." W. only laughed: "He evidently has not heard of us. But why should he?"

Letter from Law. He said he did not write though he did inspire the Scottish World, Ingersoll notes. W. gave me copy I had left with him. Shall send to Bucke. My New Ideal piece out. Had no copy with me. Have sent copies to Ingersoll and Baker. W. said, "I should like to see it: it touched me—I am drawn to it. And endorse it—which I do not mind to have you tell the Colonel."

Asked him pointedly about health. Ache gone? "No, but it is not so vehement today as some days. I am in a bad way these days—stomach, head, worried troubles, achey, sticky—shadowed all. I don't know if it's the weather—or what: I know it is—which is enough—enough." Had not of course been out. I had taken a cracker from a full plate on the table. He leaned over, took up a handful: "Take 'em—Mary brings 'em up—I can't eat 'em, they don't agree with me."

He was happy with the sundry reports I made on Bush, and said: "He must be a rare quiet fellow—truly our man—generous, free, true. And the wife?—he has a good wife?—that most of all belongs to him!"

Thought my souvenir would be "thoroughly unique: I almost enviges you!"

Had heard from Bucke "almost every day." I explained to W. the snarl Bucke had got in over the Lippincott's poem and he laughed—"I guess we keep him pretty well up with the times. Between us he must get everything—duplicates of some." And then: "Of course I always enjoy his letters—and all is going well there." I talked of the big houses—the more striking luxuries in New York—W. saying to it: "Yes—it is well for a man to see such things once in a while—to see what damned common foolishness it all is!"

Tuesday, December 9, 1890

7:55 P.M. Had a good 40-minute talk with W. At first not very vivacious but brightened up as our matter grew into interest. Seemed better than yesterday. I did not say a word about health. Will however do as Bucke suggests—have talked with Warren about it. Shall write to J. K. Mitchell for instructions. Sent Bucke today Scottish World and New Ideal. W. said, "I had a letter from Bucke—cheery as usual. And there was a letter from Johnston, too. Johnston wrote that your visit was a delight to him—that its only sorrow was in how it was cut short. He also sent me an order for a book for some lady—a five-dollar book—which I at once sent off. I wrote a letter telling him I had done so. And do you know, Horace, what I did? I asked him about that ten dollars. I am not at all certain he did not give it to me and I forgot it. It would be like me. The last two or three years I have had the worst memory ever made. It is just like this: if you, for instance, would pay me some money tonight, I would be apt as not to ask you tomorrow or next day, 'Why do you not pay me that money?' Johnston is honest—is determined to be honest." At this point in our talk W. showed signs—the first since 1888—of mental confusion, getting the lecture (Ingersoll), the April Lincoln affair, the dinner May 31st woefully mixed—and there were traces left of this through the whole rest of his talk, which, however, was upon high themes. "I always remember the money you gave me from Ingersoll—the $25—but so much absolutely flies!" And then: "I have been reading today—more deliberately than before—that department of Ingersoll's lecture—'What is Poetry?' It has extraordinary significance—is scientific, philosophical—handling the subject—always so elusive—with wonderful power. The best thing about it is, that we have to go back to it again and again to get the best points. More and more I see the value of such special features." Ingersoll had said to me, "You must alter circumstances: in that way only could you elevate men." And W. cried when I told him this, "Just like O'Connor—just the same. Oh! the vehement debates we have had on that point! Choked with heat." He should debate it with Bob! Laughed and explained, "I am not so hot: I would be interested rather in finding out to the full his own opinion—that is more like what I am after now—to get the best evidence, impressions, of other men." I told him laughingly that I believed Mrs. Johnston held nothing against him except his severe arraignment of Collyer in her house, etc.—W. joining the laugh and adding—"I told him the day of ministers was gone, that they were superfluous. And no doubt Alma is right—it might have been omitted sure enough." Had he read Ingersoll's Burns piece I had left with him last week? "Yes—and I find I have read some portions of it before somewhere." Expressed "greatest pleasure" to have a chance "to read it again."

We spoke of yesterday's proofs. W. remarked, "It would be a miracle if they set all our changes right." Had he read by the books? "No—only by my good sense." I reminded him that in several cases he had made minor changes. "Then I am wrong—for the book is right." At this he picked up a piece of paper from the floor—took big pen and wrote. "This is another error—I just hit it there in the book—there"—pointing to the bed where the book lay open. "The best time to make such a change is the immediate moment. I don't follow this rule always, but I know it is best." What had Baker said to me of the Arena? That on receipt of my note informing him of Flower's negative, he had written (not yet mailed) a decisive note. W. smiled. "It will do no good—is better as it is. He has acted up to as much as he saw: he does not see us. And that is reason sufficient for what he has done."

Back again then to "What is Poetry?"—W. declaring, "What Ingersoll says of rhyme is very subtle, bold, daring. I would not have dared say as much myself—nor in such terms. But he sets it forth with the utmost courage, certitude." And further: "Yes—rhyme is the gilt, embroideration, show, of the poetic. And often comes the question: is it all past—can it be? Ingersoll's subtle unhesitating touch—it is a refreshment in these days when every man is apologizing for his thought—for what he sees."

Gave me a cake for my mother. Had done it up in envelope and laid out on the bed for me. "Give it to her—or if you should come across a hungry youngster on your wanderings tonight, give it to him: tell her, tell him, it is for love's sake—from Walt Whitman."

Learning I was to go to Club where Julia Ward Howe would speak, he counselled: "If you come within her radius, tell her, for me, I wish her well of all her years. I do not know much about her, but she has been a brave woman—I honor her. Don't go out of your road—but if a place occurs for the right word, put it in—put it in. Everything consists in the use of the right word. I shall have something to say about that in 'Good-Bye My Fancy.'" I asked, "Is the book ready?" "No—not quite—I am pegging away at it the best I can."

Bush wished a piece of manuscript for remembrance, and W. very quickly said, "I certainly shall give it to him" and "will look it up the first time it occurs to me." I referred to Kurtz portrait of W. in Johnston's hallway—W. first inquiring, "Where is it kept?"—and assenting to my verdict that though a good piece of work it did not satisfy me as a just impression of Whitman. "That was my own opinion: I have seen it." And as to the Waters portrait: "It has virtues—some," adding, "But best of all is the Hine portrait: you saw that? There? He still hangs it up? My old opinion of it lasts—lasts." Johnston a "good man" to W.—"perfectly honest—upright—our good friend," but, "The women—I stick to the women: they are essence—purest essence—eligible for best things."

Wednesday, December 10, 1890

7:20 P.M. Mrs. Davis greeted me and said, "No—he is not better—rather poorly—much as he has been for the last four or five days." I had written Mitchell today. Who would examine (analyze) W.'s urine? No reply yet. Mrs. Davis thinks W. undoubtedly changed. Letter from Bucke—of rather dark temper still. Upstairs in his room W. reading—looking not over well—yet cheerful in mien and speech—though in reply to my question saying, "I still stay at my low ebb—these are dark days." Asked, "Where are you going from here?" And when I said, "To Germantown," replied, "Take this to the girl there—this"—reaching into a big bag on the lounge and finally drawing forth a handsome orange. Inquired after weather. "Is it not much milder?"—and wondered if the fire was not "too lusty." Snow melting out of doors. I leaned over to smell the flowers on the round table. He remarked, "Pinks! And so beautiful! So full, free, suggestive, these snowy days! Double pinks! And they were brought by a visitor today—curious to tell, a niece or cousin or what-not of Margaret Fuller. She lives now in New York—has been abroad. It was bright sunshine in my room here as long as she stayed."

Saying to W. that I thought the Johnston women understood him better than Johnston himself, W. said, "I know it—should have expected it anyway: all other things equal, the women always do."

Showed him the two letters I had today from the Colonel and from Baker:

Dec 8th 90 My dear Traubel,

I just read your article in the New Ideal on "Whitman-Ingersoll," and I wish simply to thank you for your splendid praise and approval.

To know that a man like yourself understands me is enough and with all my heart I thank you for your generous words.

Why did you fail to come and see me last evening? The next time you visit New York come and see us. If you do not I may become your enemy.

Thanking you again for your beautiful article, I remain

Yours always RG Ingersoll Give my love to Walt Whitman—he who seems to be one of the elemental forces.
New York, Dec. 9th 1890. My dear Traubel:

My heart reciprocates all your kindliness, and shares equally with you the regret that we did not meet on Sunday. Mrs. Baker and I went to the Hall Sunday morning, and kept our eye on you constantly. After the meeting, we found it physically impossible to stem the tide in order to reach you—besides the likelihood that you, not knowing our wish, wd. have filed out.

Never mind. The hope you hold out of a better fortune next month, shall feed our desire and keep it in robust life.

Since I had a word with you about W. W.'s returned poem from The Arena, I suppressed the letter I had written you. I also withheld my letter to the Arena's Editor—since its tone may have been regarded as bordering on the supererogatory.

The words you wrote for the New Ideal, about the Colonel, in re the Whitman Tribute, were amongst the most eloquent, truthful, generous in praise and just in characterization of any that have ever been written or spoken. The Colonel was delighted with it, and immediately wrote you the hearty little recognition that goes by mail today.

I want to explain, when I see you, the Colonel's apparent delay in acceding to your request to write the dedicatory page. It is only a way the Colonel has with almost everything and everybody. He acts in so many cases just as and only when he has to—i.e. when the mood is on him—etc. etc.

Make my regards to good W. W. and accept my love.

Heartily yours, I. N. Baker.

W. glad as I was that Baker withheld Arena letter. Said as to Ingersoll's note, "It is the man over again—free, throbbing, vital"—and to the footnote—"God bless him for that and all things!" And, "You must go again: these things are not to be slighted."

"I had a couple of letters in the mail—the only ones I had. They looked very promising, somehow. I expected a half hour's pleasure in them. But they were autograph letters—nothing more. And without stamps, too! Forthwith consigned to the fire." The Colonel's letter, he said, made him "curious to see the New Ideal piece again." I had forgotten to bring a copy down.

Had been reading papers closely today, he said, "International copyright about to come—and it is about time, too—full time. I know it will not affect me—it will not be ex post facto. But the general results will be good."

W. laughingly tells me again, "I think you are the lynxest-eyed man I ever knew."

Thanked him for orange he sent mother last week. Told him I had given cake to her this morning and that it was pieced out for supper. He seemed to enjoy the idea: "So it got there after the long trip! In my hands it would not have been so certain of delivery." I said, "I think I am pretty faithful about other people's commissions, though not so certain with my own." He queried, "Who was it I knew used to say that? Oh! William! William O'Connor. He was faithful to death for other people, but carelessness itself for his personal needs. Brave man!"

"How did last night go off?"—and—"Who were the guns?"—already apparently forgetting Mrs. Howe. But when I reminded him, he said quickly, "Yes—I see: and it must have had its value." What was substance of essays? Mrs. Sherwood's historical—Mrs. Howe's treating the philosophy of the subject—probabilities of an American Salon. Mrs. Howe contended that the formal salon was almost bound to be an aristocracy; that in democratic America we needed indigenous institutions or none—that her one experience with Radical Club had convinced her that no equal results were to be obtained by less free conditions, etc.—a human plea throughout. W. said, "The line of her argument would seem to put her straight on our side. Even the club seems to me an institution in the interest of aristocracy, pride—though there may be exceptions."

Thursday, December 11, 1890

7:35 P.M. Spent 15 minutes with W. Warren admitted me. Left with him while I went upstairs letter I had from Mitchell this morning, as follows:

John K. Mitchell, M.D. 211 South 17th St. Dear Mr. Traubel;

It appears to me that I asked W. W.'s attendant to send me some of his urine—but I will not be sure. If I did, I forgot to write again about it, in the press of business. Tell him to send me a thoroughly clean 6 ounce bottle full of it.

Ask him also, will you, if he understands passing a catheter. I think the trouble is due to an incomplete emptying of the bladder and the consequent fermentation of urine therein. This could only be remedied by using the catheter two or three times daily to remove all the water.

I have never heard whether the condition was improved by the pills I sent him.

Yours very truly J K Mitchell Kindly see that the bottle is marked with the name & that it reaches me on the day it is voided.

W. in rather better shape than I thought. Warren notes more natural hue of urine. I showed W. at once (having so brief a time to stay) letter I had from Johnston today—this:

New York, Dec 10 1890 Dear Traubel:

On the cars going over to Philadelphia the day of the lecture, Mr. Buck handed me $10, which he said was for Walt. I explained to him the work of the committee & that I expected we would realize a thousand dollars or more, and I told him I thought $10 too much for a seat. And he said: "Well it's for Walt's benefit, let it go." I never thought of Buck's $10 again till three or four days later, when I opened my long memorandum book and found his two $5 bills.

Perhaps I should at once have forwarded the $10 to you, but you know how I urged that the committee who have received our contributions for 2½ years should have rec'd the money, but when Ingersoll said "Let Walt have it" and it was done, I knew we would still have to pay for the nurse and keep up our subscriptions. So I carried Buck's $10 in my memo book till Nov. 28, when your call came and, putting $5 more with it, I sent it on.

I will see Buck in a few days and tell him about it. Meantime he has told you or written Walt & Walt writes me this morning asking for an explanation.

You alone can explain to Walt the whole thing, and relieve me from what seems a mean thing.

I am not ashamed of my record with Walt. I have done my duty and been liberal as I could possibly afford to be. But in this little matter, while I acknowledge that I should have sent you the money at once & let you turn it in to Walt at that time—I felt that I had a right to let it relieve me personally as long as I felt the pressure.

I see no way that you can make me clear with Walt unless you let him know just what I have done in 2½ years. And let him know that it was to relieve the committee that I first went to Ingersoll.

I should of course like it if you would write Buck that I have sent you his $10—but if you think I have done a mean and a cursed thing don't do it. In the eyes of the All-seeing I am as clear as crystal and am not worried even if I am annoyed and wish I had stated in my letter of 28th that $10 was from Buck. Had I it to do over again, I would of course do it differently, but none of the lucre sticks to my fingers, and I want you to know it and Walt to know it, even if you have to tell him about the work of the committee for 2½ years past. This I think is due to me.

Yours very sincerely J. H. Johnston P.S. I have just been to Buck and read this letter to him. Am too busy to write Walt today, but will as soon as I hear from you. I enclose $1 due Walt on the book.

W. stumbled over the first words. "You had better read it," he said, "read it aloud." And before I commenced he asked: "What does it amount to? Tell me that?" But instead I started to read—he seeming to hear with surprise and emitting occasional ejaculations. From time to time asked questions. "Yes, I have been aware of the fund—you need not tell me that—nor need he." And yet, when I was all done: "The best to do with it, Horace, is bury it—let the whole thing sink into oblivion from this day on. Don't you think?" And again: "Write Johnston—write him naturally—write him as you feel, but let us not pursue the matter beyond this day." And as to the lecture money: "My own idea was just yours—that it was a thing direct from Bob to me, having no conditions—no further incidents." He got up—went painfully round the table, reached underneath to his memorandum book, from which, opening, he took forth a sheet—a memorandum as to the celluloid prints. I had not had time to inquire about them today. Said he was glad I had not—he could now give me a fuller idea of what he wanted. Wished 100 copies.

I chanced to refer to Bucke's "Man's Moral Nature." W. said, "That book has peculiar value. Bucke makes the emotional nature very embracing—includes the moral. Yes—and subordinates the intellectual—the moral is so infinitely beyond, victor! And this is all the reflex of 'Leaves of Grass'—the germ of its significance, if it have any. And it was wholly this, I think, which attracted Bucke—which made him what he is—which brought us into togetherness. For in Doctor himself these elements—emotions—join to vital effect."

Friday, December 12, 1890

5:50 P.M. A good talk with W. in his cosy room. The weather good—sky nobly fair—but crisp, cold. W. had not been out since Sunday a week past—ventured today. But before they had gone far was willing to turn back. Sat now with collar up. Warren was over to see Mitchell—taking urine—Mitchell will write me. Mitchell questioned Warren about W.'s use of the pills, etc.—thinks Warren should persuade him to take them regularly—also urged the use of a catheter to relieve W.—that a doctor, a friend, should come in a couple of days to ease him—seeming to think the bladder the seat of all the pain. Warren tells me he can see changes in W.—"I am sure he is going downhill now: he is not as he was."

But W. was cheerful this night. Had lost a letter—which I ferreted out for him from a pile of papers on the floor. Laughed at my "lynx-eyes," etc. Commented on great Parnell excitement in Ireland: "It is another item in the long list of evidences that the Irish are calculated to ruin all their own best prospects by division. The graceful manly thing for Parnell to do would be to step down—retire—erase himself. What is he?—only a person—one person: he is by no means the cause; the cause is bigger than any individual—separated from individuals. For my part I didn't think either Parnell or Gladstone in themselves important—that they stood for anything moral as persons—that they center much permanent influence. The question now is made a question between Parnell and Gladstone. How foolish! I don't think either have done great things. It is much as if a fellow should make a million dollars. It is true, he has made the million—but what then? It may even be his misfortune—no witness whatever of great moral possessions."

Saw McCollin people about celluloid plate. They will give us proof Monday.

W. gave me $22 check for Oldach—books just bound and sheets folded for foreign sale. Referring to books spread out on the other side of the room: "It seems to me the print of these is better than on the earlier sheets. Does that seem so to you?" But I think this uncertain.

Current Literature contains "The Midnight Visitor"—quoted from Murger—and as if translated by W. This raised our laughter. Many papers have copied it in like error. W. said, however, "After all—though I do not know a word of French—I am to be credited with something in that poem. I had a miserable translation—got it from someone I met through John Forney—and so I had to put it in some shape myself—polished it, so to speak—though I don't know that 'polished' is just the word—the idea really being, to connect—make clear. It is a difficult trial—to get all the quoted phrases right—the inverted commas. But the papers now seem to follow it very well—for papers!" Then, "So you see, I participate in its authorship—if not in the translation."

Today's Inquirer copied his Critic paragraph. Wished five copies—insisted I should take five cents for them. "My copy of the Critic did not come this week. Was there anything in it I should see?" Nothing about him. "But I mean anything at all I should see?" I laughed, "It would be hard to tell.""So it would!" with a laugh. I then promised to bring him my copy. "Although I care little about it—neither do I like to miss it."

Saturday, December 13, 1890

7:50 P.M. With W. nearly an hour—though on my first coming he spoke of "the bad day" he had had, "a weary congregation of shadows all along," etc. But I brought him several things—copy of New Ideal, Current Literature, receipt form Oldach, and ten-dollar bill from Johnston as per letter received from Johnston today:

New York, Dec. 12, 1890 Dear Traubel:

Yes I will stand by Walt to the day of Judgment. Will send you $5 the first of every month.

Inclosed find $10, which please hand to Walt with my love, and some day I will talk with you and him of the peculiar processes of the human mind.

I am very very busy and cannot say more tonight.

Sincerely yours J H Johnston Will you destroy my letter and this, and oblige. J.H.J.

W. touched by this last, as I had been. "It is like Johnston—I know him." And asked me: "You did not say anything about me when you wrote him?" "Only that I had showed you his letter and you had nothing to say." He smiled. "That was right—perfectly right." And when I said further, "I told him I could not be honest and not say I thought he had done wrong," and added that I had always found such candor best, W. assented: "I have no doubt—so have I." I wrote Johnston an immediate acknowledgment, W. now expressing himself as "much pleased" I had done so. W. said, "That Bible saying— let not your left hand know what the right doeth: oh! it is profound, profound—inspiring!" I quoted Confucius—that men should not aspire to hold but to be worthy to hold office—and thought this a good portal for what we call "public life." W. exclaimed, "How like Washington!" and then added, "There's a lot of such subtle streams wandering through Oriental literature, life. And now and then we catch one." When Ingersoll had quoted an Eastern saying—that the lute is sweet to him who has not heard the laugh of a child, Jerry Black seemed to think it evidence of insipid taste. W. thought, "That is an extraordinary opinion from Black: he was a cute lawyer—ought to have known better than to make a fool of himself."

Curious to know if weather was milder. But it was not. The fire warmed his room excellently. Not out today. "I tried it yesterday—a short while—but was licked—came home licked: it was too cold."

I gave him Inquirer containing the Whitman passage (his own throughout, sent at Gilder's request)—printed with a lot defining from authors themselves [their] prospective work:

What Walt Whitman Is Doing

From the New York Critic.

Walt Whitman is putting the later touches to a volume called "Good-Bye, My Fancy," containing his old age songlets, and intended as a "second annex and completion" to "Leaves of Grass." The publication will contain his prose essays and shorter bits and speeches of the last two years; also, in an appendix (partly to fill out, as the book is a small one) translations from the French of Gabriel Sarrazin's Paris review of "Leaves of Grass," besides another from the Dresden (German) address by Rolleston, and also Colonel Ingersoll's late lecture in Philadelphia. Walt Whitman is now well along in his seventy-second year, quite completely paralyzed in body (a legacy of the Secession war), but with normal mentality and good right-arm power. He yet lives in his cottage, with housekeeper and nurse, in Mickle street, Camden, New Jersey, retains buoyant sprits, sells his own books to purchasers, and gets outdoors in good weather, propelled down to the Delaware River shores in a wheel chair. Mr. Whitman is to furnish a brief prefatory note to a volume containing "The Brazen Android," an unpublished tale by the late William D. O'Connor, of Washington, together with "The Carpenter" and other stories, some of them still in manuscript.

"I think the Inquirer is distinctly friendly to me. I must have at least one friend there. Who is their editor?—their managing man?" A Doctor somebody—I could not remember name—had met him while arranging Ingersoll lecture. W. said, "Find out for me some time: not directly, but at some club—or some way from the fellows you meet: you can do it." And then, "The Inquirer is worth having on your side: it has a clientele—has of late years improved—forsaken its antiquarianism."

Signed for me a couple of copies "Leaves of Grass" preface (Trübner's)—"Horace L. Traubel Dec: 1890." Had a letter from Bucke, he thought yesterday. None today. Wore his new glasses. How did they go? "Very well—very well!" Referred to doctors who had been over—Thomas and Schneiderman—the latter young, a man I know. W. said, "I sent them copies of my leather-covered book: did they get them?" I happened to know they had. Warren describes humorously how W. at first disregarded the new glasses—would not wear them—that accidently one day he got them on thinking they were the old—was then converted—has since adopted them. I cautioned him not to give out any of the just-bound books till they were numbered, and he promised to regard this. "I have been reading your scrapbook a good deal. How much solid invaluable stuff you have there! I read the Voltaire, Hugo, Ingersoll—all. And all superb. What it is to grasp these things—attach to them before they are away. So much that is precious gets into the newspapers—is no more heard of: often, I think, the best." Copy of Egoism nearby—a marked poem in it from J. William Lloyd. W. thought, "I must have some friends there: I have all sorts of reminders of a personal-literary kind, day by day." Said he had been "writing some today" but "the infernal aches and pains were against me—wearing, throbbing away without break." What was the trouble? "No particular trouble—a general discomfort." Had heard again from Bucke. "All is well with him: he says he has three lectures to write yet." Proved a little impatient about proof of photo which I am to get Monday.

Spoke of towers on the big buildings. "How are they calculated as against the storms—lightning—the winds? Will they stand it? That has often been on my mind." And when I said, "They never—or but rarely—are struck," he laughed and said, "They never—or but rarely—are!—practically amounts to a new untried thing." Then of the N.Y. World housewarming—"The big tower: under it boodle, elegance, luxury, chicanery, respectability—they must all be considered. But above below beyond these—oh! the world that throbs and controls!"

I called it a "moral advance" that in the public squares about which there was framed a fence and "rules" printed and posted—now all fences down and the simple legend, "These grounds are under the protection of the public"—which had proved the Mayor more after all. W. exclaimed, "It is a moral advance—is a decisive step taken."

Sunday, December 14, 1890

4:40 P.M. On way to W.'s stopped at Post Office—where I found final proofs from Somerby of Ingersoll lecture. Left them with W., who will send them up to the house sometime this evening by Warren. Caused him to speak of the lecture again. "How noble—how superb it all is! There in Current Literature is a good block of it right on the second page: the opening and closing passages. And can you think what they call it? 'The Achievements of Walt Whitman'! That made me laugh—it seemed to have a distinct ironical tone—some part of it. Yet I don't know that I should say that, either—for I have no reason to suppose them inimical. It looks well there." I said, "The closing passage will be classic"—to which W. added his assent. "Indeed it will: it is superb—superb: full and full of meat, picture, throb." By and by when he said, "And that is one of the things we flatter ourselves for," laughing with the "we," he added, "And Bob has subtly fathomed all that—has summoned it up as perhaps nobody else—nobody." I referred to "the book, or the person, called 'Leaves of Grass,'" Bob's notable line, W. exclaiming: "How penetrating—how subtle—all, you might say, in a word! Catholicity—receptiveness—welcome: that is 'Leaves of Grass.'"

Had he been well today? "Very much eased anyhow—certainly that." Thought he had had a chill yesterday. Mentioned our Post Office in Camden. "I think there is no office in America where everything is so ordered for the convenience of the men who work it—or pretend to. Under the Postmaster worse than ever. The policy of the men is to profess ignorance—to know nothing."

Had not been out. Curiously—day beautiful—yet had remained voluntarily indoors. The other day—very cold—went out. Goes out, not with reference to the weather but to how he feels. Had been reading Current Literature. "There are several articles in it which I want yet to read—several." Laughed again over his translation of Murger. Would he advise me to send copies of New Ideal to Johnston and Wallace (England)? "Yes—they would like it a good deal. I have had a couple of letters from Johnston: he speaks of you very warmly—you should be happy in it." Gave me letters to take. "Wallace is near him. I think Wallace is a sick man—not vigorous, anyway—has to lay by a good deal. He is a natural reader—one of the men born to it—to whom it is not second but first nature."

Told him of debate in class this morning—as to the bond of veracity: whether it was owed even to the peril of the sick. Whitman much discussed. I quoted him as saying he did lie and would have lied to the soldiers if they were in danger and the lie or the simulated cheer would help them. Hotly contested. Now W. said to me, "You were right, Horace: I found cases without number. Any Doctor will tell you how necessary it is—a species of mind cure. I could not count the times I did it—not deliberately—for its own sake—not because I would not have preferred to tell the truth. I did not seek to have to say anything—but said what I felt to say to fit the gravity of the cases. Oh! You've no idea how the poor fellows would cling to the last—crave hope, cheer, sunlight; and all I could free—all that could flow out of me—was theirs, theirs."

Mrs. Davis tells me of a minute's passion in W. yesterday because a letter he had thought mailed had been neglected; unusual.

Refers to (English) Johnston as "a noble receptive fellow, who belongs to us by natural affinity." I said, "The real value of these fellows is in the way they have come—as of the Ingersoll lecture in the way Bob did it all.""Never anything better said!" exclaimed W. "Noble all—no one more than I—perhaps no one as much—can acknowledge, appreciate, accept it."

Monday, December 15, 1890

W. sent proofs up to me by Mrs. Davis between seven and eight last evening. I read later on and mailed at once. Told Somerby to send me sample copies as soon as out. Secured proof of celluloid picture today. Very good indeed—every tone sustained—and undoubted decision of line. I called it "better than the original." And later on—at 6:10—in W.'s room, he looked at it and confirmed my opinion, "I am inclined to repeat what you say—that it is better than the original. Now if they can only keep all the copies up to this standard!" Indeed, it so pleased him he now said, "I think I will have 200 instead of 100 copies—100 on cards and 100 in paper, like this." And then we discussed weight of card and size of paper. W. had been in bathroom when I came. I sat down in his chair—read. And when he came in he instantly said, "That's right—that's just the thing you should do." And further, "I had another order for a book today—sold another book, rather. It was in this way: someone sends me five dollars—a gift—and Johnston writes on his own hook to say that it might be well for me to send the man a book, which I did—one of the leather books." He has "no word from the North American Review yet—yet I see that my piece on National Literature is coming out in the next number. It is not paid for yet. Yes, a tremendous theme. Of which we might say, that we can't have a great national literature till we have a great nation. And have we that?"

Showed W. the following note received from Mrs. Fairchild:

191 Commonwealth Avenue Dec 13 Dear Mr. Traubel—

I have a couple of W. W.'s photographs (from Cox) which I want to give at Christmas time to two of his lovers here. I know how much it would be to them were the photographs signed with his familiar blue pencil. If you think this request not indiscreet, and if he is in his usual health, I will send them to you—that you may have more trouble than he!—And I shall be most grateful to you as well as to our poet.

Hastily, truly yrs L. N. Fairchild

"Certainly," he said, "and only glad—glad—to do this much for her: the noble soul!" When he came in I was reading the Engineering Record—his own word there on his brother Jeff. "And how does it read? Is it good writing?" he asked. I replied, "It might be good writing and not amount to much," he smiling and saying, "That is true—I should not have asked in that way." And then: "But does it hit the right spot?" My warm response to this causing his pathetic reference to Jeff: "The good boy! The dearest of them all! Brave Jeff! God bless him!" Several other copies there. "I had one out here for you—it is yours." Gave me the letter he had from Bucke today—I also had letter more pointedly about W. Do not usually mention my letters because W. is curious to see them and there's always something in them he should not see. Asked after weather. Milder. But he was not out. "Tempting as it is, I have forborne—have stuck by my room." Commented on criticisms of Jefferson's autobiogrpahy—all favorable. "I do not agree with them: it seems to me it is altogether negative—not powerful, not lasting—except, perhaps, for this: that he is genial—that he receives all the fellows of his profession in a fair spirit. But, Horace, actors are much misunderstood on this point, anyhow. They have their jealousies, it is true, but not nearly to the extent declared—with, on the other hand, generosities, comradeships, affections, aids, known as no other class in so abundant a measure." Told him he had inserted commas in proofs where they should not have been—that I had wiped them out. "You did right: I want to stand by the punctuation of the book—but I did not compare these galleys with the book—simply read and made the changes as my common sense commanded."

Tuesday, December 16, 1890

7:15 P.M. Happy this night's 20 minutes with W.! He sat in his own room—warmed by his own rosy fire—though the cold out-of-doors was crisp and severe. He kept my cold hand—said: "Its cold is no offense—refreshing, rather." Laughingly referred again to matter of last proofs of Ingersoll lecture. I had read from the book—he, as he insisted, from his "good sense"—and he had frequently changed the text! Was it Philip drunk and Philip sober? He called it "a problem—who is right—or which"—yet commended me for "leading" him "back to the text." The proof had read—"Cool-entwining death" on the carol. I changed to "enwinding." Had he seen it? "Yes, but did not think it worth while to set aright""one" was "as good as the other." Had seen McCollin today about photos. Brought W. specimen of cards and estimate. Was satisfied with last, made his choice among the others. Surprised me by taking half of them gilt-edged. Laughingly explained: "The nice ones will not be for me. I want to use them as Christmas cards. So if you could get me some by Friday, if possible, it would be a lift." Had he a copy of the Courier of 6th, with account of tomb? Would look—I should have it.

I imparted this: "I have had some qualms today. Should you use the Reisser chat without submitting to Ingersoll?" He raised his eyebrows—looked straight at me: "Should I? The question never came up—yet I can see why you ask—why you should ask." And after a pause, during which I remarked the imperfection of reporters and the justice due Ingersoll, he continued, "And especially with the Colonel—who has been so regal, royal—so like an emperor: whose word, look, espousal—so manly, vital—cannot be over-placed." And further: "The point with Talcott seems to be, rather to set me in a great light, as he sees it. The fellows there are apprehensive that I may become involved. You know—Doctor knows—all who best know me know—that I have no such fear—that I in fact care nothing about it—such a question never presents itself to me. Yet on the other hand I am always determined—have been, whether when I wrote or spoke, to present my own case, be myself, let my own position be understood. They seem too much concerned about me—I suppose thinking they have often enough set the Colonel forth, in articles, speeches, what-not. It is this only that appeals to me now—to have this rightly seen, said, set down, if held at all." He had revised notes, he said, sent them to T. Williams. "Now I am a little apprehensive of a miscarriage—it has been ten days." Explained more fully: "I have no plans about the notes except to possess them. No—Williams will not print—at least with my consent: I should, as I see it now, be positively opposed." "Ingersoll," he still adds, "is not there in full—did not, in fact, at that point, say much. What is there impresses me as decently faithful." I exclaimed, "Oh! that we had the whole evening!—the debate with Bucke—the speech, and all!" W. fervently: "To be sure! to be sure! But that is lost forever—except to the few of us who were there—the speech, perhaps unparalleled—certainly grand—to me more impressive than any utterance I have heard—in many respects more satisfying than Sarrazin." I put in: "And to me, too—not perhaps so much for its spiritual import as for its smack of our soil—its indescribable something which no democrat elsewhere can possess." This caused W. to say: "I see what you mean—indeed, I endorse it—it has its profound reach—a high lift. I think that all the foreign fellows come to their democracy mainly through the intellect—not, of course, wholly that way, but mainly." I explained my idea—"Their democracy is born of something other than democracy—ours from democracy itself." W. then: "Precisely—and that is the very best statement of it, too. John Burroughs has the idea, too—insists upon it—that something of our soil clings to us—a flavor virgin to America." And, "There is all that in the Colonel—an amplitude, vitality, freedom, higher than school, art: the breath of our woods and heavens."

"Do you know, Horace," he said as I got up and was about to leave, holding my hand in his own, "the public has no notion of me as a spiritualistic being. Apart from a few—a very few—of you fellows—my entourage, household—you, Doctor, perhaps several others—no one understands that I have my connections—that they are deep-rooted—that they penetrate shows, phenomena, do not pause with these."

Wednesday, December 17, 1890

7:20 P.M. W. in his own room—had untied manuscript "Good-Bye My Fancy"—had it spread out in his lap, the table, the bed. Arranging—as, he said, he would probably arrange a dozen times more before he was satisfied. Some of the copy in print, some in manuscript. Had spent one of his "usual days"—with, perhaps, more ease than before. Not out, of course, the day having been pouring rain and driving tempest. No word from Mitchell yet about the urine. Letter from Bucke—dated 15th.

W. referred to great Parnell excitement in Ireland. "It has turned into a regular Irish scrimmage—a riot. And I feared it would. All seems forgot now but the wish, determination, to be on top." Had he heard from Talcott Williams? "No—not a word—but I am not worried. My only apprehension was, that the thing was sent and miscarried someway in the mails. I am in no hurry otherwise—I have no immediate use for it." Advised me to send New Ideal to Sarrazin. Returned Current Literature, again expressing some amusement over the headline to the extract from Ingersoll's speech—"Walt Whitman's Achievements."

Said—as often before—of Emerson: "The glory of Emerson is that he provides the antidote for Emerson—himself destroys his following." To W. there was no "witness" in modern life "so inane" as "the typical Emersonian" who has far "out-mastered his master." Discussed death of Sitting Bull—the sad wild Western affray—W. realizing "its pathos, tragedy"—and saying—"I have seen the great fellow," etc.

Morris in to protest to me against W. printing his Sarrazin translation without his (ms.) revision. I promised to look out—let him know. No present danger. McCollin would not promise any copies of the picture till Monday. W. satisfied—though he "had hoped for some Friday." I said: "It is like a string of customers in a bank—they have to keep in line, to wait their turn." W. then, "Yes—I believe there is such an unwritten law." After a pause, "And on the whole I endorse it: it is one of our democratic sign-boards." I described to him how laborer and millionaire had to take such turns, and he acquiesced: "It is a good sign, whatever its inconvenience now and then." And then—"I will manage to get along."

Thursday, December 18, 1890

Wrote to hurry up J. K. Mitchell today. In the meantime a letter from him seems to have crossed mine. He gives diagnosis. After going into the matter technically, Mitchell says: "If he continues to urinate too frequently he must have his water drawn, twice daily—which his attendant is not capable of doing"—and closes: "Will you kindly send this letter to Dr. Bucke? I hope it will relieve his mind of W.'s being in danger from kidney trouble." I wrote Bucke enclosing this. Had meanwhile today received the following from Bucke himself:

16 Dec. 1890 My dear Horace

I have your (ev'g) note of 13th and have a note from W. of 12th & 13th and a card of 14th. Here is part of the note of 13th but do not say to any one that I reported it to you: "bad day—neglected here badly—cold—probably chill'd (badly) from sitting here in cold room—am feeling sick & cross & unattended to here & probably feel ugly enough."

How do you interpret this? is it simply a spirit of irritation? or is W. being neglected by those in the house who ought to look after him? My brother leaves me this afternoon—have just been having a fine game of backgammon with him—all well and quiet here—splendid sleighing.

Aff'tely RM Bucke

This was grievous, if true—but, I think Bucke's guess probably the correct one. So wrote him. I constantly question W. as to his comfort. He always answers affirmatively. I tell him Warren is there for his sake and his only—and if failing in attention it is his fault, not another's. And he admits it. Room is usually warm to excess. Still, I must watch, the more truly to see if there is any default whatever.

7:20 P.M. Rather sad short glimpse of W. Warren admitted me, said W. had spent a bad day. Warren accounted for it mainly by the fact that another one of the Vermont letters was here. But when I saw and talked with W. I felt sure that this was not the explanation. Room seemed very cosy—fire sending out a strong beat—and W. said he was "very comfrtable for heat," etc. But as I asked him about health he explained, "I have spent a horrible day—full of discomfort—sticky—sluggish—baddish more ways than I can tell: one of my worst." This led me to talk to him frankly about Warren (without mention of what Bucke had written me). He responded, "They give me every attention: I understand it, boy. And Mary is here, too: I consider myself fortunate in her, surely. And Warrie is faithful. No—I have no doubt all is well with me—well as condition, age, everything, will allow. And I always finally come back to that." Asked me about the night—I describing the half-moon. "So you saw the full indistinct round of the moon? There is a line in an old poem—in one of the border ballads—a grand line—'For last night I saw the old mooon in the new moon's arms'—something that way. There was disaster in the wind, portent, what-not. And in describing it the fellow says, for I saw, etc. It was always grand—grand."

I gave him substance of what Mitchell had written me. He questioned specifically. Did not seem as averse as I supposed. Shall wait to hear from Bucke.

We spoke of youth and age—enthusiasm and wisdom—which caused him at one point to say, "I hold to that for America: she is in the position between to do and not to do—she must be individualistic, yet not individualistic—strange as that may seem—paradoxical as it appears. Oh! she needs to go on with caution—wise forethought—to be strong, decisive—yet calm—circumspect. It is a key-position: but key to what?"

W. coughed several times while I sat with him—after the violence of which his mind seemed for a few minutes confused.

Somewhat impatient about the portraits.

Friday, December 19, 1890

My birthday!—born 1858. Received letter from Stoddart as follows:

Dec. 18, 1890 Dear Sir:—

Will you kindly call here tomorrow or next day in reference to Mr. Whitman's autobiography. I will not be here on Saturday, however, after one o'clock.

Yours truly, J M Stoddart

In to see him between four and five. Much talk, showed me W.'s manuscript—which W. desired him to print without a name. Stoddart opposed—told me positively he would not. Had a type-written copy of the whole article—broad spaces between lines—with suggestions of changes—"he" to "I"—from third to first person, throughout. Stoddart first thought he would take over—now suggested I do it. About three-quarters page "Old Age Echoes" in type—gave one proof for W. Another poem needed, which he would pay for certainly. Designed Whitman number for (say) March—to contain the portrait—which Stoddart had shown W., who expressed himself as satisfied—this page of poems—my article (which Stoddart said he had by no means abandoned)—W.'s autobiography. W. had suggested $20 for the manuscript he had sent Stoddart—but Stoddart would pay more than that—wished to throw as much in the old man's way as he could. Asked me to use what influence I could with W. Wished my own article in about ten days, if possible. Is going to New York tomorrow—will be over to see W. next week. Stoddart remarked that he noticed money was a bait to W. unaccountably at times.

5:45 P.M. Straight over from Stoddart's to W.'s. Warren said W. had spent a very poor day but seemed better now. I went upstairs. W. certainly both looked and talked better than last night. Explained: "I have been miserable—misoble—as the darkey says—all the day up to this afternoon, when Mary made and brought me a cup of hot tea—at my suggestion. It helped me—helped me." Was the room kept warm enough for him? "If it is not, it is my fault—there is plenty of wood here and I have all the time there is. No, no—it is the critter himself's the trouble." Told him Morris was in to say to me he had met Mitchell last night who assured him W.'s trouble was altogether of the bladder—nothing serious—only the old man trouble—that if W. would take the pills regularly, the bladder would be eased, etc. W. said, "I take the pills, some—have not taken any today—but take them, generally. O well! the Doctor only knows the kidney!—but there's the whole critter to be considered. What does he know of him?" Said he had a letter from Bucke. "It was short—but sweet, good—was mainly—all—about brother Jeff. He had received my Engineering Record. I wrote on the blank side and mailed the letter out to my niece, Jessie—at St. Louis." As to the Doctor, laughingly said, "If this, that, the other—then!" And further: "It minds me of a story—of the boy who was stuffed full at the dinner—was advised to eat more—said first he could not—then that he could if he stood up! If I stand up I might bite off more—but could I stand up?" Discussed his own condition frankly—spoke of bladder. "It seems to be a natural old-age broadening of the aperture." I said, "As with woman and child when the child comes first late in life." W. then, "A very good analogy—probably for allied reasons."

Gave him the package from Stoddart. Looked at proof of poems. "I am glad to get that anyway. Yes, I will send him another to complete the page." Then showed him the auobiography manuscript—telling him in brief Stoddart's idea, but he shook his head at once—positively, "Nope—nope—nope—I will not do it—no—no." I laughed, "I think you ought to—Stoddart means you well, has the true idea on the subject. Listen," and I went more fully into Stoddart's arguments. But still he persisted: "Nope—nope. I was sure it was for you to say, or some other—so fixed it."

I frankly told him I did not care to father it. It would make me look ridiculous. What did I mean? "Why—your style is there—everywhere: no Whitman man but would penetrate it at once. How would that be for me? Besides—I would not parent it anyhow: it is not mine," etc. He finally admitted all this—had "rather expected" I would "incorporate it in something else" than put it out just as it was. I suggested that if there were things he would rather have me say than say himself he give to me to put into my five pages. This appealed to him. Still—he would not yield. Finally I went across the room, sat on the bed near his chair and said, "Stoddart says you suggested $20 for this manuscript?" He nodded assent. "Well," I went on, "he told me he wished to do the best thing by you—if you would touch this up, add to it, he would pay you well for it." W. at once said: "That is an argument, to be sure. Now it sounds to be listened to." And from that moment he was acquiescent—laying sheets on bed and saying he would turn it over tomorrow. This led to talk of Stoddart himself—my comment that he was "plain and frank" causing W. to explain, "You are right—I like that of him—he is both—and in fact my opinion was favorable from the jump—from our first meeting years ago. There is no airisfines about him—no hauteur. Years back he came over with Oscar Wilde, when Wilde was here in America and the noise over him was at its height. They came in great style—with a flunky and all that. And what struck me then, instantly, in Stoddart, was his eminent tact. He said to me, 'If you are willing—will excuse me—I will go off for an hour or so—come back again—leaving you together,' etc. I told him, 'We would be glad to have you stay—but do not feel to come back in an hour. Don't come for two or three'—and he did not—I think did not come till nightfall. And all I have had to do with him since is equally to his credit. That is why I felt sure about Jim Scovel—that we were safe from him—that Stoddart understood. He has tact, in an eminent degree." I told him of Stoddart's repeated professions of good will and W. nodded assent. "I am disposed to believe it—have every reason to believe it—of him."