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Sunday, August 31, 1890

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."

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