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Tuesday, September 30, 1890

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.

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