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With Walt Whitman in Camden (vol. 9)

October 1, 1891 - April 3, 1892 

Horace Traubel, 1919. Portrait of Horace Traubel

WITH WALT WHITMAN IN CAMDEN October 1, 1891 - April 3, 1892 9 By HORACE TRAUBEL 
 Edited by Jeanne Chapman 
 Robert MacIsaac 
Foreword by 
 Ed Folsom

 (1858 - 1919)


Horace Traubel (1858-1919) xiii
October 1-31 1891 1
November 1-30, 1891 102
December 1-31, 1891 192
January 1-31, 1892 289
February 1-29, 1892 409
March 1-31, 1892 496
April 1-3, 1892 627



HORACE TRAUBEL, 1919. Courtesy Library of Congress, Horace L. Traubel Collection.

[Following page 240]

FACSIMILE OF LETTER - WALT WHITMAN TO DR. JOHN JOHNSTON, BOLTON, ENGLAND, FEBRUARY 6 AND 7, 1892. Courtesy Library of Congress, Feinberg Collection.

WALT WHITMAN, MAY 1891. Four photographs by Thomas Eakins, Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.


[Facing page 630]

ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT OF THE POEM "A THOUGHT OF COLUMBUS", 1892. Courtesy Library of Congress, Feinberg Collection.


(Including Other Manuscripts of Walt Whitman)

Baker, Isaac Newton, 261-62, 441-42, 475, 503-4
Bucke, Richard Maurice, 21, 66-67, 101, 155-56, 184, 205, 216, 234, 252-53, 304-5, 312, 325, 326-27, 346-47, 372-73, 396-97, 398-99, 415-16, 421-22, 429-30, 457, 462, 473-75, 522, 528-29, 563, 579-81, 584, 610, 610-11
Burroughs, John, 254, 323-24, 377-78, 401-2, 422-23, 464, 471-72, 548
Bush, Harry D., 336
Calder, Ellen M. (Mrs. O'Connor), 136-37, 624-25
Carpenter, Edward, 207, 416-17, 452-53, 486-87
Clarke, William, 569-70
Clifford, John Herbert, 628
Creelman, James, 460-61
Dowden, Edward, 449
Dwight, Harry L., 186
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 64
Evans, Leo C., 476
Fairchild, Elisabeth N., 244-45, 304, 345-46, 428, 608-9
Forman, Henry Buxton, 5-6, 171-72
Garland, Hamlin, 264, 340
Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden, 536-37
Gilder, Jeannette L., 612
Gilder, Richard Watson, 508
Gould, Elizabeth Porter, 616
Greenhalgh, R. K., 567-68
Hawkins, Walter T., 513-14
Holdworth, J. E., 417
Howells, William Dean, 355
Hyatt, Thaddeus, 139
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 160, 245-46, 311, 330, 335-36, 353, 400, 444-45, 486, 549, 595
Johnston, Dr. John, 100, 170-71, 386, 512-13, 568-69, 587-89
Johnston, John H., 383, 558-59, 607, 629
Kennedy, William Sloane, 159, 245, 357, 615-16
Law, James D., 195-96
Lazarus, Josephine, 336
Longaker, Dr. Daniel, 627
McDowell, William O., 231
Morse, Sidney H., 233-34, 623-24
Porter, Charlotte, 222-23
Roberts, Charles H., 205
Rolleston, Thomas William Hazen, 434-435
Rossetti, William Michael, 565-66
Salter, William M., 525
Stedman, Arthur, 356
Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 284-85, 558, 613
Symonds, John Addington, 533-34, 534-36
Tennyson, Hallam, Baron, 457-58, 495
Volkhovsky, Felix, 13
Wallace, James William, 179-81, 235-36, 376-77, 436-37, 515-16, 571-74, 628-29
Webling, Ethel, 185
Webster, Charles L. (& Co.), 453-54
Whitman, Walt, 630
Williams, Talcott, 607


The publication of this book completes the series, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ninety years after its author, Horace Traubel, published the first volume. Traubel began his records of daily conversations with the poet in 1888, and continued until Whitman's death four years later. In his foreword to Volume 1, he wrote:

Did Whitman know I was keeping such a record? No. Yet he knew I would write of our experiences together. Now and then he charged me with immortal commissions. He would say: "I want you to speak for me when I am dead." On several occasions I read him my reports. They were very satisfactory. "You do the thing just as I should wish it to be done." He always imposed it upon me to tell the truth about him. The worst truth no less than the best truth.... So I have let Whitman alone. I have let him remain the chief figure in his own story. This book is more his book than my book. It talks his words. It reflects his manner. It is the utterance of his faith. That is why I have not fooled with its text.... It occurs here in the rude dress natural to the incidents that produced it. I had no time then to polish. I have had no disposition since to do what I had no time to do then.... Whitman was not afraid of the man who would make too little of him. He was afraid of the man who would make too much of him.... I have never lost sight of his command of commands: "Whatever you do do not prettify me."

Like the editors of the previous volumes--Anne Traubel, Gertrude Traubel, Sculley Bradley, and William White--we have presented Traubel's manuscript as it was written. In a few cases, a word or phrase has been inserted in brackets to complete an otherwise unintelligible sentence, and the punctuation has sometimes been adjusted to assist readability.

The completion of this series has been a collaborative effort on the part of many people over the course of many years. We are deeply indebted to Robert Burton, director of the Fellowship of Friends; to William Bentley, the publisher; to Charles Feinberg, whose splendid collection of Whitman materials, now in the Library of Congress, includes Traubel's manuscript; and to Professor Ed Folsom, who wrote the foreword to this volume. The staff of the Manuscript Room at the Library of Congress were unfailingly helpful. Significant contributions were also made by Peter Bishop, Abraham and Susan Goldman, Judith Grace, Cynthia Hill, Kevin Kelleher, Leigh Morfit, Peter and Paula Ingle, Rosalind Mearns, and Alla Waite.




IN HIS MARCH 26, 1892, ENTRY in this final volume of With Walt Whitman in Camden, Horace Traubel wrote that at the moment of Walt Whitman's death "something in my heart seemed to snap and that moment commenced my new life--a luminous conviction lifting me with him into the eternal." His words were prophetic: a new life did start for him, and his name would forever be bound to that of his departed master. Traubel described himself as Whitman's "spirit child" and for the next twenty-seven years he served the poet faithfully. He was the most active of Whitman's three literary executors (the others were Traubel's brother-in-law Thomas Harned and the Canadian psychiatrist Richard Maurice Bucke); he founded, edited, and published The Conservator, a journal dedicated to keeping Whitman's works alive; he issued his own Whitman-inspired poetry and prose in three large volumes; and he carried on a tireless correspondence with Whitman enthusiasts around the world, weaving together an international fellowship of disciples who worked to ensure Whitman's immortality.

He also began transcribing his notes of daily conversations with Whitman compiled during the final four years of the poet's life, publishing three large volumes of them (in 1906, 1908 and 1914, respectively) before his own death and leaving behind manuscript for six more. His dream of having all of his notes in print--a dream deferred for eighty years--is finally realized with the publication of Volumes 8 and 9, appearing more than a century after they were written.

Only thirty-three years old at the time of Whitman's death, Traubel had already known the poet for nearly twenty years. "Walt Whitman came to Camden in 1873," Traubel recalled, "and I have known him ever since." Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, Traubel first met Whitman soon after the poet--recovering from a severe stroke and depression over the death of his mother--came to live in his brother George's home. The Traubel family had known George Whitman for some time before Walt arrived, so it is not surprising that neither Traubel nor Whitman could recall their actual first meeting, which remained for Horace "one of the pleasant mysteries." Traubel was then only fourteen years old, but he quickly became a comfort to the half-paralyzed writer. Whitman once reminded Traubel:

Horace, you were a mere boy then: we met--don't you remember? Not so often as now--not so intimately: but I remember you so well: you were so slim, so upright, so sort of electrically buoyant. You were like medicine to me--better than medicine: don't you recall those days? down on Steven's Street, out front there, under the trees? You would come along, you were reading like a fiend: you were always telling me about your endless books, books: I would have warned you, look out for books! had I not seen that you were going straight not crooked--that you were safe among books.

Traubel's own recollections of those early meetings were similar: "My earliest memory of Whitman leads me back to boyhood, when, sitting together on his doorstep, we spent many a late afternoon or evening in review of books we had read."

In those first talks, Whitman rarely spoke of his own work; he and young Horace discussed instead Byron and Emerson and what Traubel would later call "the details of the lore of the streets." Like the poet, Traubel had stopped going to school by the age of twelve, and thus received much of his advanced education at Whitman's hands. He began to work as a newsboy and errand boy, and on his travels around town he would often meet the poet "strolling along the street, or on the boat," or, frequently, under the shade of the trees in front of George Whitman's house, where the poet occupied a room on the third floor. At first, the boy's relationship with Whitman caused something of a scandal; Traubel recalled that neighbors went to his mother and "protested against my association with the Ôlecherous old man' " and "wondered if it was safe to invite him into their houses." Such sentiments simply drew the young boy even more strongly to the old poet: "I got accustomed to thinking of him as an outlaw." Whitman, in return, admired what he called Horace's "rebel independence."

Following in the footsteps of Whitman, Horace spent his teenage years learning the printing trade and newspaper business. He became a typesetter, and employed his compositor's skills throughout his life, often setting the type himself for his various publications. By the time he was sixteen, he had become foreman of the Camden Evening Visitor printing office. After that, he worked in his father's Philadelphia lithographic shop, was a paymaster in a factory, and became the Philadelphia correspondent for the Boston Commonwealth. None of these jobs brought him much money, but they gave him a wealth of experience, confidence in his writing skills, and an intimate understanding of how words could be made public and effective through the labor of printing.

Whitman's "outlaw" character--his ability to think outside the boundaries of law, convention, and habit--continued to attract the intense young Traubel, who became increasingly involved with radical reformist thought and who persistently urged a reluctant Whitman to admit that Leaves of Grass endorsed a socialist agenda. Traubel was aware that many literary people thought of him as little more than "Walt Whitman's errand boy" and dismissed his writing as simply warmed-over Whitman, but he was no epigone. It is largely because of Traubel's insistence on interpreting Leaves of Grass as politically revolutionary literature that we have inherited Whitman as a radical democratic poet; Traubel was indefatigable in his support of Whitman's work, and he made sure that all the radical leaders of his day read and discussed it. But he also knew that politically he was to the left of Whitman, and by the 1890s he had begun to carve out a distinctive identity as a writer and thinker. "I would rather be a first Traubel than a second Whitman," he said, as he began straddling the difficult line between reverence for his master and literary independence. "Emerson and Whitman made one big mistake," Traubel once said. "They seemed to think that a man could not be at the same time an optimist and a propagandist, a passive philosopher and an active revolutionary. I believe it is possible for a man to be both."

While his own books can be read as socialist refigurings of Whitman's work, Traubel never became an "active revolutionary"; his socialism tended more toward the religious and philosophical than the political. But his journal, The Conservator, which he began two years before Whitman's death and continued until his own death in 1919, was nevertheless an influential organ of radical ideas about everything from women's rights to animal rights. Traubel saw The Conservator as a place where the various liberal societies and clubs could be brought together in active dialogue, and he requested support from everyone "to whom Liberal thought and life are sacred, and sympathy and comradeship supreme factors in religion." Eugene V. Debs, the socialist labor leader and presidential candidate whose supportive statements often appeared in The Conservator, was one of the strongest endorsers of Traubel's work:

Horace Traubel is one of the supreme liberators and humanitarians of this age. . . . Traubel is not only the pupil of old Walt Whitman but the master democrat of his time and the genius incarnate of human love and world-wide brotherhood.

Every issue of The Conservator began with one of Traubel's idiosyncratic "Collect" essays. The journal frequently contained one of his Optimos poems, and in virtually every issue there would be essays on Whitman, reviews of books about Whitman, digests of comments relating to Whitman, advertisements for books by and about Whitman. Often, Whitman would be presented as a kind of proto-Ethical Culture thinker, an exponent of vegetarianism or a prophet of modern science. The space devoted to Whitman increased over the years, and by 1902 Isaac Hull Platt, in a blurb printed on the back cover of the June issue, professed to admire The Conservator "because it is the continual exponent of the latest, greatest, most beautiful and sanest gospel and philosophy that the world has known--that of Walt Whitman." The Whitman who appears in The Conservator, however, had been led posthumously by his disciple down a far more radical political road than any he had traveled when he was alive.

Traubel traced his tough-minded liberalism and egalitarian beliefs not only to Whitman but to his hybrid heritage, especially to his Jewish background:

I am myself racially the result of fusion. My father came of Jewish and my mother came of Christian stock. When I have been about where Jews were outlawed I have been sorry I was not all Jew. . . . Where persecution is, there you should be, there I should be. I love being a Jew in the face of your prejudices and your insults.

But what he most liked about what he called his "half-breed" status was that it allowed him easily to transcend narrow systems of belief and affirm an expansive democracy: "I guess I'm neither all Christian nor all Jew. I guess I'm simply all human." He always retained his democratic identification with the persecuted and remained a dedicated political and intellectual radical. He kept up correspondence with countless leftist and reformist political and artistic figures, including Felix Adler, Debs, Ella Bloor, Hamlin Garland, Emma Goldman, Jack London, and Upton Sinclair. He was involved with the Arts and Craft movement and helped publish The Artsman from 1903 to 1907, espousing the belief that radical reform in art, design, and production was essential to social reform. His Chants Communal were originally printed in the Socialist newspaper The Worker, and in 1913, the Soviet newspaper Pravda devoted an entire issue to him. Three books about Traubel appeared between 1913 and 1919, all emphasizing his socialist beliefs, and all written by fellow radicals: Mildred Bain's Horace Traubel (1913), William E. Walling's Whitman and Traubel (1916), and David Karsner's Horace Traubel (1919). All three predicted lasting fame for Traubel, but no books about him have appeared since, with one significant exception: Alla M. Liubarskaia's Horace Traubel, written in Russian and published in Moscow in 1980. This book examines Traubel from a Marxist perspective, demonstrates that Lenin read and admired him, and celebrates him as a writer whose views are in accord with those of Lenin and Maxim Gorky.

Traubel's radicalism did not come without cost. His one stable, salaried position was as a clerk in the Philadelphia Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank, a job he began during the last years of Whitman's life and held until 1902. In that year he published an attack on George Frederick Baer, J. P. Morgan's agent and the president of Philadelphia-area railroad and coal companies, who had become a symbol of business arrogance because of his refusal to negotiate with labor unions. Traubel's employers, embarrassed by their employee's attack on the powerful Baer, threatened to dismiss him unless he gave up his writing and editing of The Conservator. Horace resigned and began a life of self-imposed poverty. He had learned from Whitman that the freedom to express unconventional and revolutionary views entailed material sacrifice; as Horace put it, "I have no right to do unpopular things and expect the popular returns." So, like Whitman during the years Traubel knew him, Horace began living on the meager proceeds from his writings and gifts from his supporters.

Since he had his own family to sustain, his reduced means affected them as well. His small family was a contrast to the large one he grew up in (he was the fifth of seven children). Traubel had married Anne Montgomerie in Whitman's home on May 28, 1891, and their daughter Gertrude was born the following year; her birth in the same year as Whitman's death signalled the remarkable co-joining of commencement and conclusion, birth and death, that Whitman had taught Traubel to expect throughout life. The next year brought the birth of a son, named Wallace in honor of J. W. Wallace, a Whitmanite from Bolton, England, who had visited Camden in 1891 and stayed with the Traubels. Anne was so taken with their English visitor that she insisted on naming the baby after him, and Horace concurred. The Bolton group that Wallace represented became the first link in the international organization of Whitman followers that Traubel was forming.

But the next decade brought harsh trials. In January of 1894 a fire severely damaged the Traubel's house, and Horace was momentarily seized by the fear that all of his Whitman materials, including his notes of his conversations with the poet, had been lost. On February 27, 1898, young Wallace Traubel died of scarlet fever soon after Gertrude had recovered from it; on the front page of that month's Conservator appeared a quotation from Whitman's "Song of Myself": "The little child that peep'd in at the door, and then drew back and was never seen again." Horace's and Anne's heart-rending letters to J. W. Wallace about their son's illness and death (now housed at the Bolton Metropolitan Library) reveal that, even when facing the horror of their child's death, they sought to learn and to grow from the experience. "Is it only through such agony that consciousness is perfected?" wrote Anne to her English friend, trying to harvest hope from her grief even while admitting, "I am a mother, dear Wallace, and no stoic." The pain continued to mount: three months after Wallace's death, Horace's beloved father Maurice committed suicide. Then, in 1902, just before relinquishing his job at the bank, Traubel received word that his friend and co-executor Dr. Bucke, with whom he had just completed editing the ten-volume Complete Writings of Walt Whitman, had died after suffering a fall on the icy veranda of his home in London, Ontario.

Horace refused, however, to allow personal tragedy to drain his optimism and energy. He enlisted his wife and remaining child in his causes. If they were going to be poor, they would at least be poor together. Anne recalled that when she had first read Whitman's works in 1889, they "meant nothing" to her, but at Horace's urging she tried again and in 1896 she became enraptured by the "pulsating, illumined life" she found there; she was converted. Anne became associate editor of The Conservator in 1899, and Gertrude, whom Horace and Anne educated at home, joined the staff of the journal as an "Associate Worker" in 1906, when she was fourteen. A remarkably talented young woman who became an active suffragist, accomplished vocalist, and respected voice teacher at the prestigious Germantown Academy in Philadelphia, Gertrude eventually joined with her mother in preparing Volume 4 of With Walt Whitman in Camden (edited by Sculley Bradley) for publication. After Anne's death in 1954, Gertrude transcribed and edited Volume 5 on her own and worked on Volume 6 until she was too ill to continue. She died in 1983 at the age of 91.

Traubel founded the Walt Whitman Fellowship International and served as its secretary/treasurer from 1894 until a year before his death. He was instrumental in founding Whitman Fellowships in other cities, and the chapter in Boston became particularly important to him, for there he met Gustave Percival Wiksell, a dentist who was president of the Boston Fellowship.

Traubel's life was filled with intense friendships, but his relationship with Wiksell, five years his junior, was the most passionate of them all. In a heated correspondence spanning five years (1899-1905), Traubel and Wiksell poured out their love for each other, often expressing themselves in Whitman's "Calamus" terminology: "Percival, darling, my sweet camerado," wrote Traubel in 1902, recalling a recent meeting with his friend:

We walked together as in a dream--a dream. God in hell! The dream is the real & the real is the dream. Definitely sweet was one hour & the next while we remained there in love's carouse--That day will go with me into all eternities. Send me your words, dear love--your words live. They go into my veins. I do not put you away with a kiss. I hold you close, close, close!

Wiksell and Traubel often met Peter Doyle in Boston and Philadelphia, reconnecting the poet's closest comrade to the Whitman circle, and, upon learning of Doyle's death in 1907, they wrote consoling letters to each other. Horace posed with Wiksell for photographs that imitated the photos of Doyle and Whitman. The final article in the final issue of The Conservator (June 1919) was written by Wiksell, and Wiksell presided at Traubel's funeral.

For the decade after Traubel quit his bank job, he lived an energetic life. He would read most nights until 4 or 5 a.m., then sleep for four or five hours. Each morning he would take the ferry to Philadelphia and work in his garret office on Chestnut Street, where he would write letters, edit The Conservator, and set type. He met regularly with a group of fellow radicals at a Market Street restaurant, his own version of Pfaff's, Whitman's bohemian beer hall. Like Whitman, he loved crowds, and could often be found at baseball games or concerts or on the ferry, absorbing the energy of the masses. It was while riding the Camden ferry in 1909 that Horace faced his first major physical trauma: he was trampled by a horse and suffered severe rib injuries. By 1914 his health had become a major concern, as rheumatic fever had left him with a weakened heart. The outbreak of the Great War was particularly wrenching for this pacifist and believer in universal brotherhood, and over the next few years he declined steadily, suffering his first heart attack in June of 1917, the night before Gertrude's wedding in New York. He suffered additional heart attacks during the next year, and in the summer of 1918, he had a cerebral hemorrhage and was confined to his home. At this point few of his friends expected him to live more than a few weeks.

But with the centenary celebration of Whitman's birth on the horizon, Traubel's notorious stubbornness came into play: he refused to die on any but his own terms. He and Anne moved to New York in the spring of 1919 to be close to Gertrude and their new grandson. They stayed in the home of their good friends David and Rose Karsner, whose five-year-old daughter, Walta Whitman Karsner, brightened Traubel's last months. Horace sat at a window looking out on the East River and over to Whitman's Brooklyn. He ate at the very table that his old friend Eugene Debs had used while in prison--Karsner, who wrote Deb's biography, had procured it and made it available to Traubel. On Whitman's birthday he attended the celebration at the Hotel Brevoort on Fifth Avenue and was given a standing ovation by the two hundred Whitmanites in attendance, after which Helen Keller, meeting Traubel for the first time and touching his lips to understand his words, spoke movingly of this "great Optimist" and "his scheme of a better world." He was pleased to hear speeches that night celebrating Debs and Emma Goldman; his many efforts to bring Whitman and the radicals together seemed at this moment to have succeeded.

There was yet one more centenary event that Traubel was determined to attend--the August dedication of a mighty three-hundred-foot granite cliff at the Bon Echo estate in Canada, to be named "Old Walt" and inscribed with Whitman's words in giant letters. The dedication had been arranged by the Canadian branch of the Walt Whitman Fellowship, and Traubel saw it as a sign of the growing international reverence for Whitman. The frail Horace sat in a specially constructed chair on a rowboat that took him across a lake to the base of the giant rock, where he and Flora MacDonald Denison, the owner of Bon Echo, placed their hands on the spot where the inscription was to be and intoned the words "Old Walt."

For the next few days Traubel struggled through dinners, receptions, speeches, and meetings at Bon Echo. He wrote David Karsner in New York: "Here safe. Tired. Hopeful. . . . Tired still. Damned tired. God damned tired." Flora MacDonald Denison wrote that on August 28th Horace, while sitting in a tower room where he could look out on Old Walt, rapped his cane and shouted that Whitman had just appeared above the granite cliff "head and shoulders and hat on, in a golden glory--brilliant and splendid. He reassured me, beckoned to me, and spoke to me. I heard his voice but did not understand all he said, only 'Come on.' " Following this Traubel began to fail quickly, suffering yet another cerebral hemorrhage, and took to his deathbed, nursed continually by Anne. On September 3rd Flora was sitting next to his bed when Traubel claimed he heard Walt's voice again: "Walt says come on, come on." Anne stayed by his bedside, held his hand, smiled, and repeated, "No regrets, Horace." In her account of her husband's death, written to J. W. Wallace, she does not mention visitations from Walt. She recalls only that, on September 8th, "he didn't drift, he went":

Afterwards, he had a very tender and beautiful expression, not as if he had less spirit but as if he had more. There was in fact very little flesh left--but he did not look shrunken, or wasted. He looked exceedingly young. Even then as he laid on the bed unmoving he drew love from my heart. Even then he made the great affirmation. He devoted himself to the art that is life--and to the life that is love--and he has made love as common as bread.

Once again, beginnings and endings fused: Traubel's death one hundred years after Whitman's birth emphatically closed the first Whitman century. But before he departed, Horace left behind a final poem, written for the dedication of Old Walt. In this poem he did what he had done so well for so long, what he had recorded in nine large volumes. He sat down and talked, one last time, with Walt Whitman: Well, Walt, here I am again, wanting to say something to you: In a strange place, at the considerable north, talking again: . . . I just feel like as if I was having another chat with you 
  as you sit in the big chair and with me in the bed opposite:
Oh! those blessed times, Walt! they're sacreder to me than 
  the scriptures of races:
They're the scriptures of our two personal souls made one in a single supreme vision: That's all for this moment, Walt: but it's the whole 
  world of appearance and illumination, for all that.

Ed Folsom

"As to 'Leaves of Grass' I can say--with all its spirit and naturalness, and as the thing blows--the wind blows--that is not the whole story. Spontaneity--spontaneity: that's the word, yet even that word needing to be used after a new sense. I am quite clear that I have broken a way--that I have indicated a path--a new, superiorally new, travel-road heretofore not trod by man. Some one of the German philosophers had said, life is not an achieved fact, but a becoming. And 'Leaves of Grass' is much like life in that respect."

W.W. to H.T., November 23, 1891

Thursday, October 1, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. resting on his bed—the night dark—seemed to be quite well. Queer, his inconsistent feelings—some days leading him to close his room to suffocation (hot days) and now, when it is cool, lying there, with two windows thrown open and the air really chill. When I spoke of this, he replied, "It is no doubt as you say, and yet I do not feel any danger in it. You see, I am well wrapped, and there is no draft here." Felt disturbed—I could see it in his manner—and found that it was because Reinhalter had been in with his bill. W. "not prepared" to pay: argued they had promised to wait a year if he paid them a thousand dollars, as he had done. No definite outcome except discovery on part of the strangers that W. can be driven to do nothing. W. said, "I will write you later on." Rarely speaks of the tomb nowadays. Is conscious, I think in a way, that his friends suspect its consistency and wisdom. Boulanger's suicide in Switzerland stirs things. W. however declares, "What had that man for us? He never seemed to me to have a reason for being: was a rallying head for discontent, wild opposition: did not seem to stand for, represent, anything. France, the world, will not miss him. Of course, the thing is tragic, dark—has its sad side—is invested with an air we cannot escape—must count. But the man is well done his days: he struck no indispensable, even valuable, note." W. again speaks of his "writing days" as over—"the sun of all that is set"—though his after-light, the math of things been, may last him "a while yet"—though "from day to day" he faces the august shadows, fearing nothing—"prepared, ready, to break the last tie." Rather moved me to find him in such a mood, though his dominating cheer soon broke through, to show that he was sound as ever at core. "Not a letter today: hardly a glimpse of the outside world, even from the papers." Had written no letter, "perhaps" would "in the evening."

Friday, October 2, 1891

To W.'s on my way home—5:45—but found he had just closed his blinds and meant to lie down. I did not wait—had no mail. Not a letter written. "I doubt if I have written a word for two days." Seemed for some reason not so bright.

7:55 P.M. To W.'s again. In his room, reading Hedge's "Prose Writers and Poets of Germany." "It is one of my resources." Harned had been in last night. They had talked considerably about Symonds' essays. W. disposed more and more to give them value. Yet Miss Porter asks me, as I read her Symonds' letters, why this difference in temperature, the published as against the private judgment? Was it the consciousness of the critic? W. believes, "Yes, there seems no other way out. For sincerity lurks in both—is present everywhere."

W. says still, "I hear from Wallace, no less than two letters today. And a letter from Dr. Johnston, too, written from Annan, Carlyle's old place. Oh! There must be a charm in it all! Johnston has gone there to see his parents—was born there. The parents seem quite well-ado—solid, of some local consequence. I enjoy the Doctor's letters, especially some of them. He has at times an objective touch—a daring objectivity—gives description, detail. I am greatly moved by it." Was this letter one of the sort? "No, I can hardly say it is. The letters from the fellows there—from Johnston, Wallace—are mainly made up of thankfulness to me, to my work. Yet Wallace, too, now and then, tells me what he sees, leaving the thought of what he sees mathunsaid. This shows power—too latent, too little exercised, perhaps." Reference to Emerson, Carlyle—some of the old fellows. "They evidently made drafts of their letters (does Wallace? you think so?), and I don't know but that has something to be said for it." I argued, however, "Letters, journals, should be free: float along, word by word, as it comes, like the toss, the rhythm, of a song." W.: "Beautiful! I like that. I guess it is so! I live it—our fellows would, naturally. But I often look at the letters of the old fellows—say, a hundred years ago—they have a certain stateliness, measure—preparedness—yet a charm, too." I asked, "What of Bob's letter the other day?" "It is perfect; it is the curve and sweep of a wave up the shore!" Adding, "But every one to his kind. And we must see to it, every fellow is acknowledged for what he brings, not what we think he should bring." And again, "A letter is very subtle! Oh! The destiny of a letter should be well-marked from the first. We should know, make, every letter to fit its purpose—to go to the doctor, to the intimate friend, to the admirer, and so on and on, each having a quality its own, and for a specific end. It may seem queer for me to have a philosophy of correspondence, but I have. And of course, freedom is the charm of a letter—it before all other qualities. And a letter without freedom certainly has nothing left to it."

I had a note from J.W.W. marked Lindsay, Canada. W. said, "I am not surprised that the expansiveness, bigness, of things here should storm him. It gives him a copious draught. But what of his return—not a word of date?" I expected him any time next week. W. asked, "But you know nothing about his dates?" Speculated about Bucke. Is the lecture over? Was it a success? I was to go to Unity Church to hear a lecture on Hamlet. W.: "Yes, go and tell me about it." But there might be nothing to tell. W. then, laughing, "Well, tell me there is nothing: it is something to know that." Explicators of poets? I felt to say to them, Diogenean-like, "All I ask is, that you keep out of my light." W.: "A fine application, Horace, and true as truth! It is my own feeling exactly. And it is one of my dreads, that there may come a time, and people, to exposit, explicate, 'Leaves of Grass.'"

Left him a dozen Conservators. "Will send them away." Asked, "And what of the gentle, great Sidney? Is there anything further? No? What a child of nature! How could we but love him! The piece? O yes! I like that—more than like it: it is few but mighty," playing on a current phrase. "But 'Song of the Open Road' for Sidney? I can't find it anywhere. Very likely we will send him a complete book—that might be best." Salter wrote of his "pleasure" in Morse's "Leaves of Grass" article. W.: "I do not wonder—it is as simple, sweet, as a tale told across the table." W. "doubts" if he can go out tomorrow. Seems able, yet disinclined. More and more withdraws. But we will try. I leave it in Warrie's hands—I to be at 328 a little after five—to go out, if W. is agreeable; not, if not.

Wallace's letter of 23rd in a grateful strain, no objective eye evident. In letter of 28th, writes of plans of his departure on the morrow.

Bucke writes (27th), about to go to Montreal. Speaks of J.W.W.'s departure, will miss him, etc. Had no copy of address to send us.

W. gives me Wallace's letter of 17th to illustrate "the, so-to-speak, inner tones of the man."

Saturday, October 3, 1891

5:10 P.M. W. could not go out. Says at once to me, "I feel blue—bad." I protested, "I thought you never felt blue." To which, "It is as well not to be too sure of that." Going on, "I have been depressed. I don't know for what: for several days, now, in a cloud. Yet the days themselves have been fair and beautiful! But prisoned here—cabined up—it would be hard to see only cheer and light—only the rosy side of things." Spoke of Mrs. Davis as "still under the weather." Again a word of Harned's visit the other night. "I was glad to see him. He is a rush of vigor: stirs me." Then, "Another letter from Wallace, this from Fenelon Falls. He goes on at length about Fred Wild—some tragedy in his life, maybe. And part of him left in this place, or there once, and now memoried. The good Wallace! In this letter rather more than in others he gets out of himself: a quite important thing, especially for a strong man." Then, "Here is the note. You might as well take it"—slinging clear over the table to me.

I too have note from Wallace, but 'tis merely general—very short—and to about the same effect. W. likewise gave me Forman's letter at last: 46 Marlborough Hill St. John's Wood London N.W. 8 September, 1891 That birthday bit in Lippincott is a capital thing and most satisfactory for friends overseas who wanted some direct words, and evidence as to health, etc. Friend Traubel has done his photographing well and deserves our thanks. Conway's is the only bit that reads just a little stilted and as if written with one eye turned inwards and the other one half on you and half on the public. Well, well! now this is not very charitable, and after all it's a jolly, hearty, manly crowd that we see through Traubel's pages gathering around your revered form, dear Walt Whitman. Last time I wrote I was going to the Vienna Postal Congress. Since I came back I have had Bucke staying with me and giving me all the last news of you and renewing old memories (grand times!); and while I was there at Vienna I met "An Americano (not) one of the roughs," but one who knows you. This was William Potter of Philadelphia, who was one of Wanamaker's delegates to the Congress—one of the United States' delegates, to speak strictly. He is a real good fellow: he was the best friend I made at the Congress this time. The money I'm sending in this letter (about 15 dollars) is chiefly for "Good-Bye, My Fancy!" which I am without, though I have seen Bucke's copy. I want a copy in cloth as issued, with your name and mine in it if the old indulgent mood holds, and two copies of the untrimmed sheets not bound. Then I want, if it is to be had, six copies of "A Backward Glance" as printed on thin paper to be annexed to "Leaves of Grass" (pocket book edition). They need not be stitched or done up any way, but on one I should like your name and mine on the title leaf. There are several minor works, or rather separate works, which I fancy you still have, and of which one copy each similarly inscribed would be very welcome: these are "Passage to India," "Democratic Vistas," "After All," and "As a Strong Bird." Lastly, my youngest son, Maurice Buxton Forman, is likely to go out into the world soon—most probably to Egypt. He is now nearly 20. When he goes I want him to have the big book—Complete Poems and Prose; and if it were attached to him by your own hand in the same way the effect on his mind would be good. He is studiously disposed, and it is about time he began on the "Leaves": indeed he has begun. So I want to buy him his copy, for a part of his essential outfit, whether you write on it or not. Now if it chances that you do all I am asking, and the money does not run to it, as well might be, the mention of the figure minus will bring the rest by first post. Ever in affectionate respect H. Buxton Forman Repeated his notion that its characterization of Conway's letter was not just, yet that the letter (Forman's) was "genuine, noble." And, "You ought to have it for what it says of you—words to remember, keep." To him, "Forman must be a grand companion—a grand fellow to know."

We spoke of Young (J. R.), W. remarking, "John is a fine make-up: one of the best journalistic samples—German, strong, with a vivid style. He has always made me near his heart—held me close for good words, demonstrations. What I like about his references—well-sampled in that in the piece on Conkling—is his confidence. He makes no apologies—mentions, states, is free and full, says his say, lets there be no doubt about what he means—then stops. Does not appeal, does not argue for, best of all, does not apologize. Which shows not only the true artist-eye, but nature's." And further, "Shows a true appreciation of the situation," for we are "to be received or rejected and the devil take the rest!"

Had W. sent the Star to Bucke? I had left copy. "Yes, I sent it. Does he say it never came? Yes? Why, I am sure I have somewhere his acknowledgment of it. And yesterday I sent him the other paper." What other? I knew no other. "Oh! Did I not tell you? I meant to. The Transcript. And I want to say, too, I don't quite get at Kennedy: he is a queer fellow—turns odd corners. Here in the Transcript is a paragraph—undoubtedly written by him—in which he says that the writer has seen a letter written by an American gentleman visiting Europe who had seen Tennyson, etc., and then goes on to give the awful story. Wrong! Yes, wrong! Kennedy is guilty of trespass. It ought to have been clearly understood by my letter and by Doctor's itself that there was to be no publicity given anything which the Doctor had sent us. And yet Kennedy quotes it. It is hard to explain. Not a serious harm, I suppose, but harm—and harm if simply to give a word of it under the circumstances. Probably nothing will come of it—no evil—it may even be buried there. On the other hand we find often enough that some insane little item which never should have been written, travels the world around, into every hamlet, is denied nothing, makes ruin everywhere." And W. reflected, "Kennedy is not a fellow I can understand. At least, not this time. I don't know what Doctor will think of the breach—for breach, trespass, it was. It makes us a caution for the future. In the first flush I was a little angry about it, but I am inclined to let it go now, without a word. It is enough to know the bird is out—escaped—the damage done." Further, "And there was something else in the Transcript—a comment made upon an elegant new edition of Bartlett's quotations—and the question is asked: What is the matter, that Walt Whitman does not appear by a word, a line? I suppose Kennedy wrote that—it shows his mind, if not his hand. You think the journalists favorable to me? A good many, yes. As to magazine editors, they have a dignity to preserve—a professional something or other—and will not unbend to unusual or unpopular events. But the boys in the newspaper clans are of a natural tone, more or less able and willing to say a good word as occasion, freedom, persuades."

Did he know Barry, actor? Miss Aiken tells me her father and Barry old close friends. W.: "Yes, I remember him. Not thoroughly, not in detail, but as a person, those times. He was a man fitting well in minor parts—one of the walking gentlemen—indispensable, yet not important. There were hosts, the like of him. And sitting here these later days, inactive, having no outlet, memory panoramas the whole past, finding me a character here and there, to live again, whom I had thought gone forever even from the thought of men. The stage? I suppose there's a sense in which it has gone down—lost caste—position. But stars differ in their glory. And all we can say is, that changes have come—perhaps not all of them for the better."

Had he ever taken any extensive out-doorings with Burroughs? "None at all." Yet was it "a good experience for anyone who could companion John," who was "like a bit out of nature herself, a wild hare, the flower that grows in the wood, the bird in mid-heaven."

What had I heard last night about "Hamlet"? And then some talk thereon. Long had curiously said, "One of my doubts of Shakespeare is in the fact that no two men seem to agree as to what he meant by the plays." W. put in now, "Well, that would knock out his Bible, too." I then, "That's what I said, and all literature." And I said further, "Shakespeare did not intend to make Hamlet sane or insane, or to make his characters anything: he simply intended to make them, represent them, cutting them vividly out of life, with all their contradictions. For instance, in Hamlet: to show the conflicting conditions that warred about and in him and his resistance," etc. W. exclaimed, "That is fine, and it is 'Leaves of Grass': it is our doctrine—the doctrine we swear by," and more to the same end.

Sunday, October 4, 1891

1:30 P.M. Very hot day—I spent forenoon in Philadelphia. But W.'s condition day before, and for several days, had worried me, so made a special trip over to see how he was. Gilbert with me. Left him on step, with Warrie, while I went up to W. We talked 10 or 15 minutes together. W. reading Philadelphia Press, spoke of its "dullness." Yet that "all days here grow dull—lose their pulse, life." Indisposition to see strangers. "I am gradually closing all the avenues of escape: life narrows, narrows." Yet finds his mind still craving to know the world—to follow its winding experiences. I am to see McKay tomorrow. W. said, "Let Dave see everything is open except the simple fact that the additional pages are determined upon—that they are to go in, whatever he thinks about it. Yes, even in with the copies he has printed and in sheets. As for the rest—talk the matter over. You represent me. Tell Dave if he thinks to continue the book at two dollars, can manage to do it: well, very well. Yet that it is my notion something will have to be added. All I have to say is, feel him for the points we have talked over—then come to me. We want to be just to Dave and are determined to be just to ourselves, too. It is a closing act—the last on the bill: soon the curtain will be down."

Monday, October 5, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. reading papers. But was not well. Spoke of himself as "the same as yesterday—no change," but added, "But for the past ten days I have felt thoroughly bad, have had a bad run." Had he seen Kipling's portrait in Century? "Yes, and it seemed to me the face not of an Englishman. Oh! Did it impress you the same way? It is undoubtedly a strange face—a stranger face. Do you know, Horace, I think this fellow must amount to something. There is every indication of power—of a something there—though what I don't know. But he is very young, will probably break up. The precocious, early fellows can't, as a rule, stand the racket. True, there was Keats—poor Keats—went under, as so many thousands we do not even hear of—fragile as delicate-spun glass. I think Sidney hits the nail on the head in his little piece, what he says amounting to this, that polish is pushed to such extreme, it makes me mad. And that, you may say, is Keats. Noble Keats, too—the splendid sweet youth!"

A couple of packages for Post Office, one for niece, St. Louis, and one for Humphreys, Bolton. I laughed about the fullness of W.'s addresses, he remarking, "My friends always used to do that—do it still. But I think it a measure of safety. Once, many years ago, I sent a package to a fellow in New York, and it came back. I found on examining it that it came back because I had neglected to put 'third story' on it. Which taught me a lesson. You remember my friend in Washington with his stacks of trunks—the Adam Express man? He assured me that a little more care in addresses would have taken fully nine-tenths of the trunks to the proper persons. Now and then I get a foreign letter simply addressed 'Walt Whitman, America,' and it gets here sharply. Some knowing man in New York sends it right on."

Clifford in to see me. Has taken a reportership in Times. W. asked, "Has he anything in him for that?" I took the new sheets to McKay—had a long talk with him. He started by saying he thought the idea of the addition "foolish." I put in, "That's not a part of the discussion. They are to go in whether or not that is settled. I am here to discuss how they are to go in—on what terms." We got along amicably enough—a good deal of fencing. He opposed utterly to cheap edition, suggesting two editions: the one for two dollars, present price (autograph facsimile), the other at some larger price, with actual autograph. McKay not averse to green cover—rather favors it. Speaking of the present cover he said, "Walt insisted upon it—wanted it every way just as the Boston edition." "But you know why he wanted it so?" "Yes, I do." "And you know the reason is long since passed?" "Yes, I know that, too. I have no quarrel with the case, either as it is or as it is proposed to change it." McKay goes away tomorrow to New York and Boston and will not return till Monday. Will then be over to see Walt. W. asks, "That means the delay of another week?" "Yes." "It is our luck! But we can only smile." Then, "On first impressions, I would decide in favor of the two-dollar book. I do not insist upon actual autograph: perhaps the facsimile would serve for all." And again, "Our point is of course to add the pages. Whether we make any gain beyond that is not so important. I still adhere to the idea of the cheap paper edition. Sometime that must be. I am so happy to have lived out the work, to have touched the last mile-point (actually, I have rounded 'Leaves of Grass'), that I am willing to sacrifice most else. Though that is not sense either. But anyway, Horace, negotiations are mainly in your hands to make. We'll discuss it more or less thoroughly, day to day, before Dave is back."

Has been reading some of the Shakespeare plays. Not a word to either of us today from Wallace. "But Doctor writes me from Montreal—says the lecture affair was a great success—but not a word about Wallace." Johnston's postal from Annan moved us both. W. says, "I guess it is so. Carlyle always stirs me to the deeps. He was a giant-man, none more so, our time." McKay had called my attention to what was a defect in copyright page—W.'s assertion that in 1919 he might renew. But McKay argued he can't do it because he has no direct family—wife or child. W. however insists, "I think Dave is wrong. I have the copyright laws here and will look it up. But I am sure Dave is essentially wrong." After a pause however, "I don't see that it makes much difference either way. We'll all be dead, some of us long before that. So that it all comes to a point over which we needn't break any bones." Dave said to me, "If Walt insists on these pages, I suppose Mack'll have to take the dose!" To which I, "I'm afraid Mack will." W. said, "That seems rough, but that's about the amount of it." I found we could produce a paper-covered Walt Whitman for less than 20 cents per copy.

Tuesday, October 6, 1891

7:50 P.M. W. reading. Good color—warm hand. "It is almost winter's chill—eh?" he asked. Yet, "I stand it pretty well, supported last night by a good sleep." Then, "Now tell me the news!" I laugh at that question always, say to him, "You bring me news from the eternities: report for that today!" But he shakes his head, "No, it's time we want—the news of our own daily life—the history that is being made day by day about us." Told him then of my letter from Johnston today. Did he wish to read? "No, I guess not. Tell me about it." As to George Humphreys' book, "You were right in your guess. I sent the book yesterday." (I had "guessed" this in a letter to Johnston today.) "I held back, hoping to send him a copy of the final and complete edition. But as things hang fire, and threaten to go on doing so, I thought it better to send what I had." Then, "I have written Johnston, too, today. But no word comes from Wallace. Have you heard? He will be along before many days, no doubt, linger a few days—then, exit. And for me the last of him!" W. said this solemnly enough.

Book sale, at Thomas' today (Philadelphia). Copy of Bucke's "Whitman," presented by O'Connor to Appleton Morgan, on list. W. said, "I know nothing of Appleton Morgan, except what I gather from O'Connor. But he may have been some shakes among scholars of his kind." What of Winter's new book on Shakespeare? W. said, "I am reminded by it of what Carlyle said of modern poetry. He called it a raking over of old embers. Describes the poets—these times—poking at the old dead or dying fires—inviting them to burn—turning over and over the old ashes, for the spark of life left—finding little, perhaps nothing—chill, north-wind. That was Carlyle, and not to be too severe I would apply it to studies of Shakespeare—to Winter and his degree in particular. The critics of the great dramas all occupied to prove unprovable things—to stir up passions, fires, long gone out—the deceptive embers instinct with nothing. Oh! it is a lifeless sort of business! Yet a fellow hates to be too general, to make the mistake of being unjust. For often life comes, where we had thought of nothing but death."

W. afterward, "I have laid a letter and a paper out for you. I felt you would be interested. The letter is from the nihilist over there in London—the editor of Free Russia—and the paper will show you what sort of work he is doing. And anyway, keep both. They have an interest and value—show which way the wind blows." Henhurst Cross Beare Green, N. Dorking England. Sept. 26 1891. Revered Comrade You will be puzzled at the strangeness of the name subscribed to this letter, but you know well that democracy includes all nationalities and therefore though foreign, no name will be alien to you. Since I have been a political refugee in England, after going through America, I have met with many young people of your race, whom I admire & esteem, & who have told me the same thing—that Walt Whitman is the man who has done for them what no one else has done, has formed their character in accord with democratic ideals. And I understood this better when I became better acquainted with your writings. I also understood that the cause of justice & freedom in any country whatever could not be alien to you; and therefore I have decided to write you this letter & to send you the paper, intended to plead among English speaking nations the cause of freedom in Russia. I hope that you will find a moment to look through it & to kindly send in some lines from your mighty pen to be inserted in it. If you can aid this cause by introducing the subject among your friends & admirers & the general American public, you will do a good deed. Yours fraternally, Felix Volkhovsky Spoke of Stepniak's reputed friendship. "It is the rugged first-handers we are after." Would read "Underground Russia" if I brought it.

Left him—went downstairs—loitered with Mrs. Davis. While there a ring at the bell—Longaker admitted. After greetings we went upstairs together. W. seemed very glad to see Longaker, even said he was. And when asked how he had been said, "I have had the devil's own time with neuralgia, Doctor, for ten days past. All down this side of the head and face," indicating the left. "The night before last was a very bad night: it hardly let me sleep at all. But last night I slept well—enjoyed the peace of the just. Indeed, had an unusual sound long sleep. And stomachically I'm nothing to brag of either." Thence to questions and answers about digestion, "evacuations," as W. calls them. W. showed bad memory. Longaker tripped him several times (said to me when we got out on the street, "His memory is perceptibly failing"). Had not been downstairs today, "nor disposed to move anywhere." Longaker felt his pulse. "Is it about right, Doctor?" "Yes, just about, just." Longaker said, "I like to see you here nights. It is the time you show to best advantage." "Do you think so, Doctor? These days, to show to advantage any time is victory." Longaker said he had intended bringing copy of New York World (Sunday's) over to show Walt. A story of Kipling's there, started with quite a quote from W. Longaker "had not known Kipling was disposed our way." And W. laughed out his words, "Anyway, it's another straw on the winds: gives us a hint we won't dismiss, ignore." Longaker picked up from floor Johnston's photo of the Isle of Man, W. too much admiring. "Doctor seems to follow up the trail of beauty—gets his subjects always at the right moment."

Wednesday, October 7, 1891

5:10 P.M. To W.'s and a good talk. Neither of us have word from Wallace, but W. says, "He is no doubt all right—prospering somewhere. And though no word came, I expect him here any day now in propria persona. And of course he will be welcome. The English fellows have eminent good heart. There is nothing better." We had been startled by news of Parnell's death. W. much moved, "Now there are three: Balmaceda, Boulanger, Parnell. And all three from excitement, worry—what is called failure. Death and defeat! It is tragic. It brings up many questions."

We have news that Donnelly will speak in Philadelphia some late day the present month. W. asks, "Do you know what about? No? I often wonder about Donnelly, if he hasn't his career yet to make, or if all has been said that is to be said—can be said? His book? I have known it passably well. To me the first third or half of it is a wonderful statement—a rare, rich mass of learning, acute and conclusive. But the last, the cipher business, I have never read. Has Donnelly helped or hurt this controversy? The Baconists? I can never answer my own question—never make up my mind. Indeed, feel that only the future can settle the point. And Donnelly himself puzzles me. It is a question in my mind, whether the dash of insanity which Plato permits—even insists upon—for the poet is valuable to, does not damn, the lawyer, the critic, the advocate, the man whose bent and necessity is cold logic—close resistless indefatigable reasoning. And sometimes Donnelly figures to me possessed of that tendency—that dark shade—that taint, to put it severely."

As to his condition, W. answers, "It is only so-so." Asked me, "Is the general closed-inness of things I see out my window here prevailing in Philadelphia—on the river—as well? I suppose so. It has its curious atmospheric turns. I have been watching, absorbing, tallying it." I put in, "For much of it is mood as well as weather," to which he, "That is just what I meant in another way—with other words—to say: but you say it for me." Remarks himself the increasing distaste for work, writing. Is "glad" for "Mary's change for the better." W. said with rather a laugh, "Wallace sends me a copy of the Bobcaygeon Independent—a queer sheet—nothing being in it. Yet it comes, fragrant with the boy's good will." Gave to me. "I have no use for it," he said. "I wonder if anyone has?"

Thursday, October 8, 1891

5:40 P.M. To W.—in his room—reading local papers. Very cordial. I had but a few minutes to stay. Was all well? "Very, for me. Yet abstractly pretty bad. But we are not here to complain." Letter from Bucke? "Yes, a lively one, too. He is back, and busy. And he seems to regard his Montreal trip as a great success. Certainly, he enjoyed it, whatever of the others. No doubt it had important meanings." He thought Bucke's "opinions"—yes, "even his notions"—on these special lines "must carry great weight." I had two letters from Wallace. He is now on his way South— expects to be in New York tomorrow. W. saying, "We are then almost at meeting-point again. Well, let him come, to be"—with a laugh—"disillusioned."

The room full of smoke from the fire, yet he seemed oblivious. Even his smarting eye hardly told him. Yet on my reminder he said, "I did notice something, yet did not know what. Of course, it's bad." Yet would not let me open door or window. Chafes under McKay's delay. "Why the devil couldn't Dave have gone on. We can come to terms anytime, but the book itself ought to be out." Pan-American Congress in Philadelphia next week. "Have you your poem finished?" I asked. "What poem?" "Oh! the one announced last week or week before in the papers." "The papers? Oh! the papers be damned! A big lie in a little paper—or in a few words—will girth the world—go everywhere: the meaner the lie, too, the more perverse will people be to swear to it! But, however, tell me about the Congress, Horace. Is it all fallen through about the Colonel? Will he fail them?" But I insisted, "I am for the present interested in the poem." He then, "But I tell you there's to be no poem—from me. I am interested in the Colonel," laughing, exclaiming. For, he said, "The Colonel would set them on fire, if he were there—were to let himself out." But the Colonel is not likely to be there.

Friday, October 9, 1891

7:58 P.M. W. very cordial in his greeting. "Glad to see you again! So it is, day to day! Meet—part—meet again!" News? Who had news? His old question. Told me at once, "I have a letter from Wallace. Yes, written from Albany. He is probably in New York now, has the note you mailed him yesterday." I too had a note from Albany, 8th. W. went on, "He seems journeying back leisurely enough, which is the best way, no doubt. You don't think the Colonel will speak in Philadelphia?" "No more than that you will give a poem!" "Well, it's certain enough I shall not give a poem. In the first place, I doubt if I have been asked (I get so many requests, I forget most of them), then again, I couldn't give the poem if I could. All that is past for me." And again, "Wallace will probably be along Tuesday. He will finish on Long Island, unless you break in on him with a summons to hear the Colonel, which is unlikely."

W. then asked, "Did you get one of the printed copies of Doctor's Montreal address? Yes? It is a handsome document, don't you think? I started to read it today—did not get very far—yet far enough to see that this is probably Doctor's crowning work, probably the best writing he has ever done. But I could not go straight through it. It is a thing not to be passed lightly over, not to be dashed through with, but must be studied, page by page." And still again, "It displays considerable esprit—is quite professional. But good, apparently, every way."

I had a note from Garland. Said W., "Good! Good!" as to the first part, then, "I don't know about the book. Sure enough, did he send the money? There's a doubt in my mind! Indeed I had forgot the book—it is not sent. I remember his letter quite well, but remember nothing about the enclosure. But anyhow, I shall send the book—he shall have it." Is this W.'s memory again? It is likely. I had written Garland I would refer his note to Walt.

W. asked about Clifford, "How does he like his place? Does he fit to it? Make something of it?" Somehow we got talking of O'Connor—I don't know how. W. saying, "I tell you what, Horace, you ought to make out at some length a magazine piece about William. Any magazine ought to be glad to take it—Lippincott's, such. Though, of course, I don't know. To tell the story of William's life—what he seemed here for—what he stood for—the aim, accomplishment: that would be a great pleasure. You would thoroughly enjoy it, once started. And one point, Horace—if you write, caution yourself: do not make much this time of William's connection with me—touch it lightly—pass on. Then again, later, in other ways, have a special article dealing with nothing but that—our meeting—the eternal friendship (yes, eternal—it will, can, have no end—here, elsewhere). Your point would be to tell of that life—go into any details you chose." Someone had spoken of O'Connor as W.'s St. Paul, but W. shook his head, "Anyway, we will insist that William must be recognized by force of his own genius—does not need us, anybody, to lift, assist him—will anywhere account for himself, on his own terms." Would he help me in such a paper? "Yes, give you letters—dates—facts—add to, help you in any way." Burroughs thought there would be an O'Connor revival—a demand someday to know more of him. W. asked, "Did John say that deliberately? It is significant. I am sure it will be the case. Such superb personalities cannot be wrecked, lost, swept away, forgotten. And I think you could do a good deal even now to bring about that shift in the current. Just put the idea in your pipe—smoke it." And more, "You would want to set out the strong features of O'Connor's life just as simply as possible—to go underneath exteriors—to get the world to understand really what manner of man he was. And after that much is done the rest will easily follow. The noble William!"

In course of our talk, I said, "I often wonder if 'Leaves of Grass' does not after all and most of all mean good health." W. quickly, "How is that? Tell me how you come to ask that." "Why, it always fills me with such entire satisfaction, abandon, as a fine day. After I go from it, I find I always feel well. I find that I am large—that all my meannesses and doubts have dropped off." "Oh! that is noble! Oh! You give it a noble credit! I wish it could be so! Yes, I do!" "But it is so for me: that I am positive enough of." "But what of others? Develop it for me, Horace." "My judgment of a book is not by its ideas, or its sections or chapters, or its ornateness, but by the condition in which it leaves me. And 'Leaves of Grass' always leaves me whole, aspiring, full of courage." "A splendid criterion: I know none better! Tell me more of it, Horace." "There is no more—isn't that enough?" W. with a smile, "Sure enough—enough: if only it were justified." I adding, "Some books make me feel mean, small—the worm that never dies—make me ask why the devil I came and am alive anyway. But 'Leaves of Grass' expands me—makes me feel limitless. Yes, it fills, crowds, me, like a great grand day!" W. exclaimed, "O proud fame! If this should ever come to the 'Leaves'! And anyhow, Horace, you have touched a deep chord. I feel in it the throbbing life of a great thought. I hardly think you know yourself how deep you have sounded. Who knows? I guess there is no longer line." I mentioned Hawthorne, "He leaves me oppressed; 'Leaves of Grass,' glorified." "Does Hawthorne have that effect?" And several times he declared, "You have opened my eyes to the best future I can see for the 'Leaves.' To leave men healthy, to fill them with a new atmosphere." Then hauls himself up suddenly, with a laugh to me, "But what proof have you of it anyway?" And shakes his finger at me, "Be careful of your claims—guard your retreat well. For after all"—relapsing to quiet, thus abruptly—then resuming—"Yet William and I used to claim everything (like the politicians), at least set our claims way towards the top!" This reminded him of something, "If you write about William, write a good deal about his Lincolnianism. Tell how he came upon the significance of Lincoln at the jump. Yes, penetrated to his marrow—made no mistakes—was staunch, irresistible. Indeed, I think my own Lincolnism was a good deal the result of William's pressure—Gurowski's. I was borne down, the very momentum of the men sweeping all before it. A negative? He would not hear it—no, not a word of it—there was no question! And armed that way, nobody could resist O'Connor." I asked, "A tale might be told of his life among the clerks—his heroisms there." "Yes, a bright glorious tale. Nobody knows so well as I do what wealth of life O'Connor threw into his work at the department." I mentioned a notebook about children, left with me by Mrs. O'Connor, showing that O'Connor was planning to write on the subject. W. thought, "It must have a rare value. O'Connor's love of children, demonstrations towards them, were exquisite." I said, "I am scheming to write something about Walt Whitman and the children." His whole face lighted up, "What a chapter you might make of that! I had an inroad of the children just today—little Harvey (you know little Harvey, my friend, darling?)—and with him half a dozen others. It was a flash of light—a bit out of dawn."

We spoke of the marked friendliness of newspaper men to Walt Whitman. I quoted a talk I had with McClure last fall, anent the lecture, McClure saying, "I will do anything for either Walt Whitman or the Colonel." W. asked, "Did he say that? Were they his words?" Adding, "I always felt somehow that I could count on Aleck. And you think the newspaper men generally accept, or credit, me, and the literary fellows not? That has been my own experience. The high-jinks shrink from the issue, but the newspaper boys have no qualms." Miss Porter told me this afternoon that she and Miss Clarke were amusing themselves writing an imaginary conversation between Sidney Lanier and Walt Whitman. W. said, "It ought to amuse them, taken rightly. They might give it a great turn." The two men both patriots, yet with different ideals for America. There the subject at issue. Find the two women strangely and more markedly warm towards Walt. W. says he has sent a postal to Wallace at New York. What of the Rome brothers? "They are both alive—splendid average fellows of their class."

I have been speaking in notes recently about Pan-American Congress. I should have called it Pan-Republic Congress—a different tribunal from the P.A.C. which met in Washington.

Saturday, October 10, 1891

5:55 P.M. W. in his dark room, on the bed—a fire burning in the stove (two lighted logs). Smoke plentiful, yet he did not seem conscious of it. "Is it so? I did not notice." Every window closed. Says he had "felt the chill of out-of-doors." How was he? "Bad—bad." An ill night again to account for it? "I suppose so—I did not sleep at all last night." Continuing, "It was the neuralgia again. It kept me awake the whole night. Yes, Horace, we are entered upon evil days again." Had written a letter to Bucke today and made up a paper for Miss Whitman (Jessie). (These I later took to Post Office.) "I have a letter from Wallace—coming from Brooklyn—written at the Romes'. And as he is fully determined upon the Long Island trip, he can hardly be expected here for two or three or four days yet. He speaks of the ride down the Hudson—its wonder—its fortunate good weather. Indeed, he has been mighty lucky in weather. Almost uninterrupted clear pure days—more of 'em maybe than he ever had in his life before." I too had a note from Wallace.

And Bucke writes me, too, under date of the 8th: 8 Oct 1891 My dear Horace All well here. Weather continues wonderful—clear and warm. I have not written to you lately as much as I ought. Being away etc. etc. I have letter from you of 27 ult. and 5 inst. Do not forget me—write from time to time—I will write whenever I have a word to say. The "Star" came—W. seems uncertain but is apt to "get there" in the end. My Montreal venture was a decided success. Mrs. B. & I had a big time—lecture went well—was far more praised than it seemed to me to deserve. It was distinctly wrong of W.S.K. to allude in print to my T. letter—just shows that you can not trust these newspaper men—they are so hungry for anything that will make an item. I have often been loaded down with work but never anything like at present before. Annual report not begun—should go in a week, lectures to students ought to begin at once, no end of meter work which must be done, some pressing family affairs requiring a lot of my time, amusement season just about to open and arrangements to be made for lectures etc. etc., regular asylum work way behind, etc. etc. etc. But I feel well—better than for some years and I shall come out of it all O.K. by and by. I do not hear from W., nor from you much, see that I am kept posted like a good fellow. Love to Anne. Your friend R. M. Bucke W. says as to Kennedy, "It was a violation of confidence, no doubt. Kennedy would unquestionably protect himself behind the anonymity of the paragraph, saying that no names were anyway mentioned. But that would not satisfy me—no, would not. And yet I brought it on myself. I should have known better, though his promises to say nothing about it—to faithfully maintain quiet—were warm enough. I had told him we had the letters. I suppose I should not have done even that much. Well, well, Sloane is a queer make-up—baffles me—I am defeated." W. expresses wish to read the manuscripts Bucke left with me—translations—Knortz, Schmidt, Rolleston, Benzon. "They are all in a sense new to me. I should like to mine them—see what I can dig out. And if you will leave them with me for a day or two, I will grapple with the problem." Then again, "They tantalize me, now you tell me of them, for I have never really known any one of them except in snatches."

Sunday, October 11, 1891

Did not see W. Yet found all reputed well there. Has past fortnight been getting up very late—not till towards noon (twelve). So my seeing him on way to Philadelphia is out of question. Nothing definite yet as to Wallace.

Monday, October 12, 1891

5:20 P.M. W. on his bed—had closed shutters—but not asleep. Thermometer down to 63 today—markedly and suddenly cold. W. extended his hand from the bed at once. Spoke rather brightly, yet complained of his condition. "The last two nights have been bad ones—little for sleep—disturbed—the neuralgia pushing me hard. It is a beginning of the end—the disabilities multiplying—life becoming every way more difficult. Longaker has not been over"—since Tuesday—"I was hoping for him. Yet I don't know what he could do. There is nothing, in fact, to be done, but to be cautious—keep the eyes open—lay low. I have no other physical doctrine for a sick man." Had been downstairs last night for an hour, "yet only on Warrie's reminder and urging." They had set the parlor stove up. His own fire now burned brightly—the room comfortable (an unusual case, for if not too warm it is generally too cold). W. said he had received no letter from Wallace today, "Yet I conclude all is well." But had received slips, reprint of my third Post piece, from Johnston. "The matter is even better than ever," he averred. "I like it a good deal."

Wallace in Brooklyn. I heard from him today. W. remarking, "He intended going off to West Hills—may be there this minute. No, the railroads do not go to West Hills. What is called West Hills station is a barren desolate spot. It will not cheer him. The place is quite inaccessible. Wallace will find it rather difficult moving about. He should have gone to see Gilchrist. He will find this West Hills excursion harder than is supposed." And again, "I understood from him, too, that Rome would come along. It has been years since we met—many years."

He got up from bed by and by—went toilsomely to chair. "You see what a labor it is getting to be: worse and worse—yes, worse! After a while—well, never mind. But I'm not like to get better!" His mail—a letter to Mrs. Heyde, a postal to Johnston. Had been looking over a copy of Once a Week. But, "I am not much interested." I had been in to see McKay, who disappoints us again. Will not see W. till Saturday or Monday. Says W., "It is enough to turn the stomach: delay, delay, delay, then delay again! Postponements—postponements!" W.'s postal to Johnston was American, with a penny stamp plumped on. He said, "Some of our postal habits or laws are better than theirs in England—in any foreign country: more in the hands of the people. And by the way, Horace, the Post Office in Philadelphia issues a sheet of instructions. Will you see to get me one some day soon? I am curious to see it."

W. asked me about Mr. Hunter. "What do you hear from him? Does Dave hear? Oh! He has been in Philadelphia? And what of him: is he well, and himself? I have been thinking of him today." While he lay on the bed, for some ten minutes he was quiet and I threw out not a word. It was a holy peace—a quiet passing understanding—my memory meanwhile drowsily playing with all the events transpired in this room the past three years. I can say I never elsewhere realized so sudden, so sweet, so entire an abandon to the holiest impulses of reverie.

Tuesday, October 13, 1891

5:30 P.M. Spent half an hour with W., who seemed greatly better. Had just lighted the gas and sat reading. "Longaker has been over and left a good deal of cheer, if nothing else." Yet still thinks or says he is "blue." Is it the echo of the discussion over the payment of the tomb? Fire burning in stove—room pleasant. "Though I slept better last night, 'twas nothing to brag of." Not downstairs again. "I often feel to go down, yet can't bring myself together to do it." Then, "I have a letter from Wallace—written from West Hills. He went there—filled his fill of things thereabout. Says the country is beautiful—only regrets he can't stay, locate, settle there for a while. His letter is very cheery—the best, on the whole, he has written me. The good weather is gone, otherwise he is in good fortune. He tells me about the people he met—how everybody was hospitable—how he went from this thing to that—peering, absorbing, cherishing. It is a long letter—pages of it—and thoroughly in good temper. Now he says he won't be on here till Thursday—that he will go to New York—back there—spend a couple of days there—then come on with Rome—which in a sense will be to end up his pilgrimage." As to Wallace's books, "They are still in the box there, untouched. I am a great dawdler, these days."

I quoted Methodist in Ecumenical Council at Washington, speaking of scientists who make the conflict with religion as men who do not know the a-b-c of evidence and are incapable of drawing conclusions. W. remarking, "Whereas the scientists are different from the damned Methodistic snifflers, who know everything, and set down in articles and creeds all the ways of God—all the twists and turns of divine life, labor. Perhaps if these infernal Tom-fools knew more they would be less certain, would know how little is certain, and that the scientific men who are staggered by 'conclusions' give us the wisest conclusion after all. But it is always—has always been—just as we see it with these men: the least knowing, intuitional, pretending to know and see most. It is a lesson, if a fellow can take it." After a pause, continuing in the same strain, emphatic in tone and word, "What an infernal cabbage-head that man Talmage is! I look over his sermons in the papers. They are the vilest nonsense, as stupid rags, dishwater, as any man would dare to get off. Yet he has a following, a big one. It is a mystery, and sad, too. I find myself to get worse and worse disgusted, almost to hate him. How queer that is! Infernal arrogance—the most horrible assurance—and knows nothing. Once at least every day steps into the shoes of God almighty, dispenses the almighty decrees, says to me, this is the way, to another, that—sends one left, one right—delivers himself of his damned insanities and loads them on the Lord! It is a spectacle, a horror, to me. Yes, I heard he had spoken of George Eliot as an adulteress. It is horrible, horrible—and I say, to hell with his lies, filth, arrogance! What was George Eliot if not clean? And this man, unclean—yes, full of poison, venom, hate. Yet this man has conclusions—maybe to suit the Methodist priest we have spoken of. As for myself, I get farther away from conclusions the longer I live. I don't know why I ever read Talmage at all; perhaps to try to find some change for the better, some chance to revise my contempt. But instead of bettering, it worsens me. I find I fully endorse the Colonel in all he has had to say of Talmage."

I asked Longaker, meeting him last night, to see W. today and make a special examination—reporting to me. Hope he has done so. Letter from Bucke (11th) who seems busy about his own affairs and anxious about ours, especially from not hearing from us. But best of all a fine new letter from Baker (11th), which it will delight W.'s heart to see. Intended running in to see W. and show him this but had not time. But did go to see Harned, advising him to consult W. about tomb and discover if everything was straight. Harned consented. I told him all I knew. The contractors push Walt, W. thinks unjustly. But as W. has taken no confidant in this matter, no one knows just what led up to the contract, not even Harned or Bucke. Yet Harned was the natural person to have advised W. from the start. It troubles me to see W. troubled. Harned remarks, "We can't assume any loss of grip in Walt. We know he's as clear and sane as ever he was."

Wednesday, October 14, 1891

5:30 P.M. Another good half hour with W., who seems himself again. "I hear from Wallace again. He comes on tomorrow with Rome. What a thing it will be to see Rome again, after so many years. He is an old man now, I think older than I am." I said, "The world will have cause to remember him." "For what?" "Why, for 1855." W. smiled and answered, "That will be seen. I wonder, I wonder?" Then went on, "Wallace's letter is very cheery. He seems to have the faculty for pleasure—to see through difficulties to underlying favors—seems to turn a good face to everything—to the people he meets, things that happen—all that. He has seen Gilchrist, spent part of a day there. Says Herbert is well and hearty and was very cordial—indeed, wanted Wallace to stay over for a time, which he could not do. Wallace is now back in New York, determined today to go to see Bush. Has already seen Johnston, Williamson, to more or less satisfaction. He will probably be here towards or a little after noon tomorrow, and Rome with him. He says he intended to see you first. As I understand, Rome is to go home in the evening. This is in effect a wind-up: the last step of the pilgrimage. He says he has seen something of America—is satisfied in a way. And for my part I think he has gone about under fortunate conditions. The weather itself almost unvaryingly fortunate—clear, sunny—though, somehow, bent as Wallace is on being pleased, even foul weather would now be to him fair. What a quality that is, to be pleased, to go about with satisfied temper, not disturbed, immovably in touch with contentment! It ought to do a good deal with him—for his good health, for instance."

I, too, heard from J.W.W., W. saying, "So he's better than for three years? America has done that for him, anyway—which is something to count for. Good, good—for after all, that is the chief thing—to set him on his physiological feet again." I said to W., "Bucke asks if we've collapsed? He gets so few letters." W. laughed, "Oh! the impatient Doctor! I have just written him a postal—and you write him, don't you? From time to time? He must be patient! Probably some of our mail got in an hour after his growl—on its very heels." And then, "When we collapse, he will know."

W. calls attention to "an English offer to publish my works abroad—for all England and for English readers everywhere on that side." Did not mention names, nor did I yet ask—but wonders if Forman could not be called on for help in case of need. Which, of course.

Handed W. first a card sent by Aggie for Marion. "Oh! It is from Agnes! And this is the darling new one! How do the little girls come—a whole cluster of them! We will wax fat in the sweet gifts!" Then I gave him Baker's letter to read, and as he took it, "The brave Baker! It is good to hear from him again!" And as he read, "The fellow is a poet, sure enough! Oh! I like all this—it is a word fresh from the mountains!" And as he finished (the sentiment to W. near the end), W. exclaimed, "Thanks! Dear Baker! Thanks! And your friends are all happy to have such an announcement! So he is about cured—about free! It is almost more than could have been hoped for. Yet not more than we can be glad over!"

Billstein—in New York last week—visited DeKinney, the great Century printer. W. greatly interested in result, and questioned me till I had told him all I could remember of what Billstein had told me. W. thought of some mechanical appliances, "That seems to be the very soul of mechanism!"

Asked me, afterwards, "What of the Pan-Republic Congress? Tell me." But I knew no more than appears in papers, which he equally sees. "It is a noble object, a splendid purpose. It ought to send out infinite radiant gleams, for the betterment of affairs." I said, "It enlists a lot of men out of business and politics—is good because it shows them there is something beyond and superior to the details of their trade." W.: "That is very strong, vital—that is something, probably, to justify the whole proceeding. Sometimes the thing has struck me as a convention called to declare that two and two are four. Yet I thoroughly endorse its objects. Solidarity—human solidarity—is not that 'Leaves of Grass'?"

Had W. ever been in any communication with Dante Rossetti? "No, I do not think so. I would have remembered. Dante Rossetti took up—examined—'Leaves of Grass' from too high ground—from a region of ecstasy, so to speak. Was ecstatic himself—regarded everything with that eye. But I do not think 'Leaves of Grass' ever meant much or anything at all to him. I have a cool malignant enemy over there in England—Watts, Theodore Watts—of the Athenaeum. He has no room, patience, for me—no desire to acknowledge me. And Rossetti knew him; they were under more or less easy terms—friendly. And I think came under his influence. Nor Rossetti alone—Swinburne for another. I could not expect anything, against such odds, nor did—nor do. It is a fact—to be acknowledged a fact—then passed. But of William Rossetti I feel certain: he is as warm today as in the long ago—shows no diminution of interest in—loving applause for—'Leaves of Grass.' They say Swinburne spoiled his laureateship by the Russian poem. I don't think so—I don't think he had any chance anyway. And no one else now living there in England, for that matter. Which suggests that the present is a good time to let the fuglery lapse—at least for a while." As to American art, "It wants nothing—asks to be let alone."

W. gets many letters of curious inquiry, including one from Canada, about an early piece of writing. Bucke writes under date of 13th, of his busy occupations in London—the minutiæ of Asylum life.

Thursday, October 15, 1891

Harned wrote me the other day that Dr. Johnston had sent him a copy of his "notes" and wishing J.W.W. to accept his hospitalities. Postal (Oct. 7th) from Johnston this forenoon. Also, note from Buxton Forman (Oct. 5th). Forman's requests as to portraits hardly possible to fill up—the diners not available. We expect J.W.W. today. No further word.

Day opened clouded but cleared beautifully by and by—temperature all mild. Salter writes me, date 11th: "I have just read Havelock Ellis on Whitman in the 'New Spirit.' Do you know the book? Ellis is a friend of Chubb's and wrote me warmly about my own book." Referred this to W. yesterday, who said, "It is a pleasant glimpse of the man. I wish he would tell you more. You might ask him sometime." I have a large mail waiting at home for Wallace—17 letters in all, and papers in addition.

To W.'s—reached house about 5:45. Found all hands in parlor: W. at east window, Rome next to him on a chair, Wallace facing, over towards the door, Mrs. Davis on sofa. Warren had admitted me. Greetings very warm all around. Rome said, "I did not always know you, but since Dr. Johnston's visit I have learned about you very well." Rome seemed to wish to run off—was to go back to New York by 6:50 train. But W. insisted, "Sit down, Andrew, you have plenty of time—can stay full 20 minutes yet." The room was dark, only a few gleams of light from gas in hallway. Seemed that the two men had been to 537, had lunch with Anne, and now W. had spent time from a little after four with the two visitors. In midst of talk W. said, "Sit still, I want to go upstairs a minute"—rising, calling Warrie to help him—turning to me as he went, "Entertain them, Horace, till I come back. Yes, do." And so out, returning from the upstairs trip in about ten minutes. He insisted that Warrie should go to Philadelphia with Rome, to show him the way. Wallace offered to go also, but W. remarked, "I thought you would stay here a little while longer and go up with Horace." Which deterred J.W.W. and induced him to say good-bye to Rome then and there. They were astonished at W.'s frank free talk and endurance. Rome remarked, "I had no expectations of finding Mr. Whitman in any such condition. I have known Walt for forty years, but never knew him more willing to talk or to talk better." But perhaps there would be reaction from all this? I hoped not—thought probably not—but knew instances in which there had been. When Rome was about to leave, W. said, "It has done me good to see you again, Andrew, after all these years. You must come this way often." Rome a shortish, well-built man—gray beard—wore glasses—good voice—somewhat of the English verbalism left, and enunciation peculiarities. I think W. had given him a big book, though I am not certain. W. congratulated Wallace on the weather he had had in America—"especially wonderful to an Englishman"—Wallace admitting. Wallace does not say a great deal except as questioned. I told W. of my letter from Forman and of its substance, he laughing at imposts and "damning" them, exclaiming, "One way would be, for him not to send the books at all!" I laughed, "That would be poor revenge, from my standpoint!" W. heartily joining the laugh, "Sure enough! But that tariff business knocks the devil out of our patience!" W. told me, when we were alone with Wallace, "I have had an offer from England, from someone, to handle my books there. Didn't I tell you about it last night, Horace?" Only in a few words—indefinitely. "Well, I meant to—I thought I had. It is from someone, a new publisher, a new firm going into the publishing business, who well can be an opposition to the Tauchnitz." He had great difficulty getting this word out, first asking me, "How do you say it? To the great firm of Tauchnitz publications. I don't know much about it. The offer came in through Joe Gilder." I put in, "I hope you will let someone else manage for you—will not worry about it." "No, I will not worry—will not let it worry me. I will call in Henry Forman to manage for me. Of course there's no more than the proposition now." We talked over the dollar edition, I saying, "I am sorry Dave opposes it," and Wallace expressing his personal pleasure in the idea. W. himself declaring, "I think we are about ready for it. I can see the argument all clearly enough—it convinces me. As to Dave, well, we must look to him." But McKay not yet consulted with W. When the visitors "wondered" with W. if they had not overstayed the limits of time, W. urged, "No, it is all right. I am enjoying it." Wallace himself mainly silent, seeming rather to absorb than give out. W. certainly assuming a very rugged outside, as if unbroken on his old front. But when I finally got up and said I was going, and Wallace thought he would go with me, W. was quick to say, "Well, perhaps that's the best. I had been thinking of soon excusing myself—going upstairs." Arranged with J.W.W. for him to call about noon tomorrow. We went off together, after shaking hands with W.

Wallace happy to have had the long talk. "After what you wrote me of his condition, this seemed a great surprise—benefaction, even." He spoke of W.'s giving then the very long audience—doubted if he had not stayed too persistently—dwelt upon W.'s grace, voice, gesture—every turn of the head expressive. Wallace's reverential attitude marked—now greatly, deeply, impressed. At home we talked the whole evening of Whitmanic affairs—indeed, up to one o'clock. Wallace gave us some account of his travels. He had seen Bush, Williamson, Johnston. Bush had asked to lunch with him but they could not arrange. Spent Wednesday evening at Johnston's. Much engaged there with the Hine and Waters portraits. Found Johnston busy (sent a souvenir spoon over to W.). Williamson lives out of town (in Brooklyn somewhere). Remarks that since he has seen W. he thinks more and more of the Morse bust. He had secured a dozen copies or so of one of the Edy pictures in London, Canada. Exhibited—offered to leave a copy. He is every way simple, generous. His baggage has not come yet. Showed him the two Whitmans sent up from Washington by Mrs. O'Connor. Liked both—a copy of one of them he having seen in Johnston's collection. Morse's Carlyle photo he does not like. As to Morse's piece in Conservator, "I confess I was not taken with it." Bought a copy of Burroughs' "Indoor Studies" in New York. Had wanted it. "The last week I have felt distinctly better. But at London, though my general health was good, I did not sleep well—felt so stupid, lethargic, all the time."

We discussed many things with respect to W. I found myself pretty communicative—perhaps Wallace will set it down to gossip. In course of evening went upstairs among my papers, treasures, and were there till the wee sma' hour. Wallace particularly interested in the manuscripts: "Good-Bye," "Passage to India," etc. Protests, "I only hold a pint." Yet had been all day in leash to new wonderful things. Thought himself "stupid." I gave him a loose copy of "Death's Valley," cautioning against its use, and he took notes of this thing and that as we went along. "You know I am here in a representative capacity. The boys will expect me to tell them all about everything when I get back." He had had the long talk with W., "yet I hardly remember any part of it—certainly not his words. He spoke beautifully of Mrs. Gilchrist—gave me a sort of sketch of her life—yet not details or figures only. I wish I could have remembered what he said of Knickerbocker history, too—Mannahatta—that justice had not been done the old settlers there and that he always reproached himself—felt to kick himself—that he had not done something towards this act of justice." And Wallace said further, "I guess it was Rome's coming which inspired the old man." Yet Wallace very considerately asked my counsel how often and how long to see W.

J.W.W. much enjoyed his big mail. "I am getting entirely past the sense of novelty with which I saw everything on my arrival. I am getting to be a Wandering Jew, moving here and there constantly, without rest. I am glad to have you say 'home' of this place, for curiously, when I got here that was my first feeling—that after going for so long among strangers, I am home at last!" Wallace wants to go to see Pete Doyle. "I read all and copied some of the letters to Doyle, which Bucke has, and I am interested to meet a man for whom Walt demonstrated such an affection." But if Doyle is on the road, he is hard to catch. I think lives at Baltimore now. Wallace desires to see Ingram, too, and Brinton, if he gets back in time. I find he has more pleasure in the concrete actual America now than when he first came and when he protested that he had come to America to see Walt Whitman and nothing else. He will be more apt really to see W. in this mood than the other, for some knowledge of things outside W. is necessary for any real fair grasp of W. himself. W. himself said to me when I remarked this the other day, "You are undoubtedly right—America and 'Leaves of Grass' are indistinguishably complicated." Wallace is inclined to admit this more markedly and readily now than before. He has given me new meanings about my health. "Bucke and I discussed it. We think you must take care, for Walt's sake, if no other."

"I have not had time to read all my letters, but was impatient to look through them hastily, and did. There are many kind loving messages to you both—Mrs. Traubel and you. I did not think I was neglected, but naturally, when not having letters at all for a couple of weeks, when before you had them every day, you would wonder, some, and wonder if things might not happen." He had designed to sit down tonight and write some account of his talk with W., but was too tired—will defer till morning. "I must take some report of my talks back to the boys. They will expect it. You, who are with Walt every day, a son—in fact, we might say, an only son—ought to take the world in your confidence." Did he suspect I had notes? Had Bucke said anything to him? I think not. Yet I say nothing myself. Displayed all my treasures but these—the greatest treasure of all. Johnston (N.Y.) had a duplicate copy of "Leaves of Grass," first edition, which he gave Wallace (I think for Dr. Johnston—Wallace has a copy bought in Liverpool). Wallace looks much better than when he left—the air is on his face—no longer sea-brown but heart-red, which is a good omen. I have not yet dared to ask how long he proposes to stay, for fear he will mention a date this side of my hope. So I rest in pleasant ignorance.

Friday, October 16, 1891

5:40 P.M. To W.'s. Another order for complete works from McKay. W. says, "Yes, we are getting rid of 'em. Lord knows what wind hikes 'em away, but we pray they may fall on good soil!" When I entered W.'s room, he was sitting in dusky shadows—faint light from the evening skies. I could just make him out. A slight fire burned in the stove. He had gathered his gown about him in a way to indicate he thought it cold. Was gazing out to the north. "Ah! It is you, boy! Welcome! Welcome!" How had the day been? "Quite a good one! I am in a way to enjoy a few better days, maybe. But the morning was bad, too—after a sense. Somehow, however, we seem to survive all the knocks." Then he told me, "Wallace was here—spent well on to an hour with me. Good fellow! What a tenacious rascal he is, too! You would not think it, to look at the little fellow. Yet he takes hold, sticks, sticks, sticks like the devil—yes, sticks like a true Briton!" Laughing at the turn, and proceeding, "I got along better with him, with his voice. He was welcome—yes, welcome, welcome. And I am sure he must know it. And the fact of the manner of his coming—of the boys he represents—that alone would settle all scores with me. I suppose he is up at your house waiting for you, now. I have been looking out—up—the north there: oh! and soon, the sweet moon! It must be a great evening out in the fresh air! We ought to be happy, for Wallace's sake, that the days come and go, come and go, sunny, bright, hopeful—all of them. And before it passes out of my mind, Horace, let me ask you: Wallace says you report Pete Doyle in Baltimore. How did you get that?" It had been from Mrs. O'Connor. "Oh! Well, it was entirely new to me. I did not know of the change! The noble Pete! I hear but little from him. Yet that is not wonderful, either—I never did hear much." Doyle's letters not frequent? "Oh no! Never! He is a mechanic—an instance out of the many mechanics I have known who don't write, won't write—are apt to get mad as the devil if you ask them to write. But of course I always humored Pete in that. It was enough for me to know him (I suppose, too, for him to know me). And I did most of the writing. He is a train-hand: like all the transportation men, necessary wanderers. Wallace wants to see him. You must put your heads together and see if it can't be arranged."

I went to corner—took a copy of big book from a pile (for McKay). W. remarking, "They go, one by one! I suppose if all our friends were gathered together they'd make quite a cluster." I told W. of a talk I had had with a man who asked me, as if it carried a conclusive negative with it: "Had ever a writer such bitter enemies?" I had retorted, "Or such bitter friends?" W. laughed heartily, "It was a retort, the best part of which is, that it is steeped deep—oh! so deep! —in truth. The friends! —oh! they deserve to be immortal, whatever becomes of 'Leaves of Grass'!" I asked W. again, "Are you still in favor of the cheap edition? It is a hungry issue with me." "Oh yes! I still believe in it—in fact, believe in it with increased conviction." Dave back in town. Might be over any day. Would W. present a determined front? He laughed, "We will see about that. Don't I generally?" Then followed, "I am getting riled about 'Leaves of Grass.' Dave is delaying us inexcusably."

I read him Forman's letter. It was too dark—he said he could not see it. But by going close to the window and utilizing the faint rays from a street lamp, I was able to get along very well. But he was concerned. "Take a match, Horace—light the gas. Spare yourself!" At the reference to imposts, W. exclaimed, "I can say amen! amen! to that with a couple of damns added. That tariff is one of the devils by which civilization, so called, may worry freedom." And as I went on, "I wish you could get Harry the pictures, but I'm afraid you can't. Let me see—oh! yes! he might use a copy of the profile picture as mine. That was recent—just before the dinner—the nearest I know. But as for the others? It will be a puzzle, and you may prove a deft untier." And as to autographing books for Forman, "Yes indeed! Anything he could ask and I could give would be sent. We owe Forman many things, which the world—even Forman himself—wots not of." I spoke to Wallace of the Edy picture, said, "I do not like it: it has a tough look." Whereupon W.: "If it is the picture I think it is, it is poor enough. I do not like it any better than you do. Did Wallace get any number of them? I don't think it would be best to make much of them. If he wishes to take pictures to the boys, I will autograph a lot of the Gutekunst pictures for him—the one used in Bucke's life. I have them here—they are pretty good." And again, "As I have always said, there's an element, margin, play, of uncertainty in every photo: it may be a bit out of heaven or a breath from hell—is likely to be very good or very bad. The best of them come by hazard—the casting of a die." W. proposes to get some new reproduction of the butterfly picture. "I wonder if the process men can reverse the picture? Set it looking right where now it looks left? I want to have it done, for my own purposes. And if you will inquire, why, do so! I like the process pictures, at their best. They seem to utter a new thing in art."

I spoke in warm tones of Rome. W. saying, "It is all just as you say—he centers the best brawn, virtue, of the Scottish race. There's no discount to Andrew—he's true blue, however regarded. I hope you will have other chances to see him. It is a good thing to know these simple, intuitional fellows, for whom life expresses best things—and I know no one of Andrew's sort in whom so much is strained, distilled."

At home I found Wallace busily engaged upon his notes. He still complained of the inadequacy of his memory to serve him as he could wish. But read me some pages of specimen notes, which I consider fine in perception but not quite in touch with W. in the verbal constructive side. Curiously—at tea—Wallace said, "I read some of my notes to Mrs. Traubel and she thinks they are quite like Walt, I believe. But she tells me also, that you are doing this same sort of work, and have been for a long time." I instantly perceived that Anne had left the cat out, so owned up—afterward giving Wallace some specimen pages—reading to him. He was glad it was a fact. Johnston had advised Warrie to do this thing (not of course knowing of my labor). Wallace seemed rather aghast by the extent of my accumulations. He would keep it all shady, however, though I consented to have Johnston. He takes it very easy here—doing little, absorbing a good deal. Speaks of improved mental state. Anne is anxious lest he be overdone. He did not write to Johnston today, though I did not. We went together to Unity Church, where we met Harned and had a good talk, much of it, of course, about W. Wallace speaks of returning Wednesday of next week—on which issue I fought him.

Saturday, October 17, 1891

5:40 P.M. Spent nearly an hour with W., whom I found just about to close his blinds, preparatory to lying down. I protested, "Go on—I will not stay now." But he desisted from his determination. "No, I was making for the bed rather because I had nothing else to do than for any other reason. No, no, Horace—sit down—let us have a talk." But I still resisted, whereat he said, "You are welcome, I tell you. Indeed, I am glad you come. You spark up my native fires, which burn low enough these days, and need fresh air, youth, to rekindle them." Told me, "I have letters from Bucke and Johnston today—nice letters—but no news—none of account." I supposed Wallace had been here? "Yes, for an hour or so, about noon. He is a cheery body—swept away by the sunniness of his humor. He has now been about America some—has seen a couple of our big cities, a few of our smart fellows—but of America, essential America, 'Leaves of Grass' America, he knows nothing. Indeed, could not know, till here, absorbed in, absorbing, its rivers, skies, men, for a long period. Of course, he believes in everything he sees—is optimist to the core. And such a bright look brings to each day! And is capable of thoroughly wise accumulations! We talked—rather, I talked—for I grow garrulous, talk away at a great rate when once I get started. And by the way, Horace, Wallace wants to go to the tomb. I told him to go—perhaps tomorrow—but he was in doubt, knowing you had some engagements for him, how far he would be free. But whether he goes tomorrow or another day, it will be an easy trip. Tell him for me—go alone—go alone. And go more than once: go first time to find where it is—then go again. He will easily find it: out the road, out, just past the toll-gate. I had a notion to send Warrie with him, but then, I argued, Warrie might not care to go, and again, Wallace would probably be more content to go alone. And ought to go alone—he has the time, and it will touch him in better mood." I said, "He has promised to take back some calamus, too." "Well, that is easily done—there is plenty of it here." "So I told him." "But you must be careful how you look it up. There's a counterfeit calamus, which is only a rush—has no root. But calamus itself, the real thing, has a thick bulby root—stretches out—this way—like the fingers spread. And it is a medicinal root—you know, of course—is often brought in town by the niggers—some people boiling it even, some chewing it. It always grows in damp places, along runs of water—lowlands. You can easily get it—it pulls up. Oh! yes! You will know it by the root, which is really the only way to know it. Wallace can undoubtedly have some to take home with him."

I asked, "Did you know he had proposed to go home next Wednesday?" "No! Had he? The Wednesday coming?" "Yes, but I fought him—told him we would not let him go so soon!" "Good! Why should he? Though I can see how in a sense, his mission accomplished, he should now think to return. So many travellers coming to America have no definite ideas what they are after—come, loaf about big cities, see this or that superficial thing—often only the froth of our life—then go back and write books about us! Knowing nothing, absolutely nothing. But Wallace is different—came for a definite purpose—possessed that advantage—knew exactly what he had started out to do." But I remarked, "I tell him, however, that to see Walt Whitman, he must see America—can only see Walt Whitman by seeing America." "Which is undoubtedly true. 'Leaves of Grass' gives out its best to Americans—by whom I don't necessarily mean American-born, but American spirit. You are right, he ought to see more. He ought to see more of our concrete, living life—the daily tasks—work." Then further, "About Harleigh, Horace—tell Wallace what I have told you—tell him—he will understand. I do not doubt but he will like to hear my view. And tell him to walk, not to ride. That it is only a short distance anyway. And there are points by the way to be taken in. And another thing, Horace—about the dinner you proposed to have for J.W.W. Why not? Of course, follow your own notion—do it your own way. But I think a quiet affair, a dozen or so of you, would not hurt. No, not the least. And I would advise you, make it democratic—yes, democratic. Do not be afraid to grapple with simplicity. Our fellows are too much bent upon display—big set-outs, dishes, waiters, curtains, luxurious surroundings. But with us that ought all to be taboo. We ought to face the first facts—a little Rhine wine, cider, pork and beans, brown bread, such. And why not that and enough?" I described my plan to W.: "A very plain meal—no arrangements, in fact." "Good! Good so far!" "And to take Wallace there, simply without a word what is intended—simply to go in, and he not to know what it is for, or that anything is arranged, till he gets there." W.: "I like that—that is a first-rate idea, scheme. I would advise you to follow it up. I don't think it will hurt the fellow! He seemed rosy with health, humor, today. If I could, I would like to be present—testify myself to his visit—join you—enjoy you. But that is hardly possible—certainly not probable. For nowadays I am hardly able to move out of my room with anything like comfort." And again, "How could we expect Wallace to know anything about America when our own people—we ourselves—do not!"

W. called my attention to a box on the floor. "It is a book sent me by Harrison Morris—the book of selections, poems—sea-poems—you know it." Yes, and Morris had wished me today to see that W. knew it had come from him. "O yes! I knew how it came! Indeed, have written a postal there for him, acknowledging. It is a beautiful book, and I ought to feel flattered. For my name, work, appears many times. The whole thing is elegantly produced—pictures, letter press. And the selections are well made. Harrison has done his work well. But do you know, Horace—there are mistakes—several—and they have stirred my ire. I always had an idea Lippincott's proofreading was very near perfect—but there are several trips here. The fact is, I should have insisted on seeing the proofs of my own pieces. Yes, yes, the damned misplaced commas, but that is not the worst: words, even, omitted—serious words, too—necessary. I am rather surprised. But no matter—it is ungracious to growl in the face of so good a compliment." W. had written on the blue box: "'Where Meadows Meet the Sea' Harrison Morris' book of sea-poems (tho'ts and incidents) W. W. largely quoted Oct. 17 1891." "I want you to take the book along. It is even like to be more interesting to you than to me. It is a question, how much such a book is needed. But it is made, and that is enough; we might say, is in itself conclusive."

I had just read in the paper accounts of the death of James Parton. W. said of that, "I have read it, too. Poor James! Yes, I knew him—knew him many years ago. He married Fanny Fern—then married her daughter—who, now, I suppose, survives him. James did a good deal of work in his day—a good deal. And it was of a varied kind. His Voltaire? Oh! Have you read it? I suppose it must have been a good bit of work. Sidney liked it? Quite probable—and Parton was a great Voltairean anyhow—ranked him very high—held him up, oh! way on mountains of esteem! There were some people in the old days—in my youth—early years (some of the freethinkers, some scholars) who looked upon Voltaire, well, I suppose as about the best salt of the earth—the greatest man so far, beyond all odds. And not fools either—wise men—noble fellows—big, devoted, clear-eyed. But whether or no, Voltaire is a vital breathing force in all our modern life—a majestic great figure, set up in the eyes of history—yes, in man's heart, even. And who could measure what he has meant for America, even—freedom? One of the subtlest men, too, in all time, any land—wise not only in what he did do, but wisest in what he did not do. Able in all the difficulties of that period to steer a safe path—to keep power, protection, on his side—to baffle enemies—oh! the worst enemies!—to meet dagger with more than dagger: science, art, the buttress of philosophy. Oh! Cute as a modern Yankee! Great for France—great for the world! Able to cope with the damnablest foes—to damn them all. I can see no more necessary figure in all history. He brought gifts, courage, insight, the like—and won a new world by them—remade Europe, made America. Did you ever read accounts of his triumphant entry into Paris that last year or so of his life? It is one of the most instructive recitals possible. I never forget it. Power several times got him—seized him. He had been in the Bastille, suffered banishment, all that, but was never without friends—heroic, influential friends. And in that last year went back to Paris. Oh! What a triumph! The very elite of the then world—fashionable, intellectual, brilliant Paris, all at his feet—nobility, populace—the proudest bending low to this old man. The throne—the king at that time (who was he?)—turned the thing over—determined not to recognize Voltaire. So it was understood there was to be no reception at court, which was enough to fire the pile—to bring out every latent factor of adoration—noble, people, savant, all. Indeed, so wild the demonstration that in spite of the old man—half mad, half happy—frowns, smile mixing—his horses were unharnessed from the carriage—he dragged in more than state (what state was ever like that?)—king, malcontents stupefied. The old man was very old then—yet master of the situation. But a few months after, died. Curiously, Rousseau died about that same time—a little later, I think—without reception—poor, in poverty, neglected—taken care of by the charity of some pitying noblemen. Rousseau—that other giant! And, Horace, did you ever think deeply, determinedly, of the significance of these two lives? Oh! The stream runs very deep! There is a wise man somewhere who sums up this way: Voltaire, says he, moved kings, priests—toppled over false honors, thrones—brought men back to external realities; Rousseau moved their hearts and minds—souls. And God knows who greatest! Which matters little. Voltaire is not yet reckoned at his true worth, except perhaps in France. What he did for freedom, Europe—our own republic, life—has so far evaded, eluded, historic statement." Very impressive, adding, "I see by the papers that the pope has been giving out a speech, to this effect—that Rome is too small for both him and the king—which is to say that one of them had better step out." "That won't be the king," I said. W. seriously, "God save us—save Italy!" Then, "The pope is a past tense! The world drifts on, on—no more to be held by makeshifts!"

As I was about to go, "Horace, if Dave comes Tuesday, as you say, I hope to have a conclusive talk with him. This question of the books ought to be about settled!" And as I left, he came downstairs.

Evening. Supper at home—Wallace there when I arrived from W.'s making up his own notes. "I have had a grand talk with Walt." Read me some hits out of what he had written. Very satisfactory—true, too. Anne had liked them. Gilbert and wife in shortly and all to tea together. Mrs. G. had brought over some luscious selections of fruit, and a basket—these to be arranged to go to W. I had promised to take them. But we were very late going. By some grace of the girls, the fruit was given to J.W.W. to carry—Gilbert himself along (thus three of us).

9:15 P.M. Time of starting I felt doubtful about catching W. up—yet we went on and down, reaching the house a trifle after nine and being admitted by Mrs. Davis—from whom we gladly learned that W. was still reading. (Warrie in kitchen, asleep on lounge.) We went upstairs—I ahead—Wallace next, then Gilbert. In the room W. extended hand, "Ah! Welcome again, welcome! And you Wallace—oh! and Mr. Gilbert, too: how do you do?" I plunged at once into the reason of our coming, Wallace putting the heaped basket on his lap—he entering into proud mention of its "beauty"—for it was flowered, the fruits colored more than rainbow's colors. He looked very well—in good flush. Was reading Scott—"Robert of Paris." Though intending to stay but a minute or two, W. let out such a continuous stream of talk that we had no chance to break away (even if we had wished it)—though I stood most of the time, and the other two stood the entire time, of the stay. (I sat on bed next him for a while.) I found a bill of the '89 reception on the floor and gave to W. with remark that Wallace would probably like to have it. W. then, "Then he shall take it, of course." He asked from whom the flowers had come—by whom they had been made up—spoke of them as his "prize"—the "best bequest of days." After he had held it for some time, I offered to take it over to the table, he consenting—even specifying where it should be set down. The group fantastic—the hot room (a leaping light fire in the stove)—W. facing the two attentive faces—straight in front of him (strong in lineament, both). I standing nearer W., looking down over his right shoulder. I never knew his voice more mellow, or the ease and grace of the often-ascending hand more marked—and as he became animated, opportunity for observation was liberal. He spoke again of Wolcott Balestier's London offer. The sheet given to J.W.W. (Lincoln portraited thereon) brought out talk of Lincoln—W. full of fire to tell us how Gurowski had "from the first taken in the Lincolnian spirit"—known Lincoln for his genius and soul and fitness for the great grapple. "Things looked dark then, as if everything was going to ruin," but Gurowski was faithful. "And though disappointed in many of our public men, he knew Grant—yes, from the first: went down to the White House—a reception given then by the President to Grant. We met Gurowski afterwards, as he came out—met him on Pennsylvania Avenue. O'Connor was with me. Gurowski threw up his arms—he had a way, this way"—indicating—"cried out, 'I have seen him! I have seen him! I have seen him!' 'What do you mean, Count?' asked O'Connor—O'Connor always called him 'Count.' 'What is the matter? Who do you mean?' And it turned out that he meant Grant. 'He will save you! He will save you! He's the man!' the Count went on. And never once after that lost faith in Grant. And it was just in that way he had percepted Lincoln. The very first look, touch." W. dwelt upon the Count's peculiarities—for Wallace's and Gilbert's benefit. I asked W. (anent some remark about Wallace's knowledge of Lincoln) if he had read Herndon's life of Lincoln. He said, "Yes, I have read it." "Is it of any value?" "Yes, I should say it was—of distinct value." After a pause however, saying, "But you know Lincoln is a vast subject: he is not to be discovered, revealed, in books. He is like the opening of a new world. It is not easier to tell of him than of any other big bit out of natural phenomena. And the element of mystery! It opens a great field—is a comprehensive subject." And then said, "Gurowski, O'Connor—yes, they accepted Lincoln from the first. And so did I. And for some time we stood alone. That is to say, among our immediate friends. Though, of course, there were others, but Washington, the North, at that time, was full of growlers, critics, traitors, shaking-heads. Chase himself, for one—yes, damn him! A bad, bad egg! Handsome, smart, but a bad egg! And bad eggs were plenty!" Along with this, said, "I was in a very depleted condition, that Washington trip. When I first went, my pocket was picked on the way. I was without a dollar. And then was the report that George was fatally wounded, which, however, was not true. Curiously a spent slug struck him in, went clean through, the cheek—went through, and he took it out of his mouth with his fingers. Though it caused him discomfort, the doctors would not think it serious in the midst of so much more solemn business. He came through all right."

Much else went on—word after word—and theme playing with theme. We were astonished to see him so stirred—so shaken up and shaking us. But in the midst of it all happened an extraordinary and unlooked for thing. Kicking about the floor—as often—I turned over a couple of yellowed letters fastened by a gum band and, picking them up, found my heart to stand still at the inscription that met my eye! The Emerson 1855 letter at last! And by strangest accident, which no one could have foreseen. Often had he promised me this letter—never knew where it was. "When it turns up, it shall be yours." Was always confident he had it, and I doubting. Now to have its thousand eyes look at me from this heap of debris! At the first pause in the talk I extended letter to W. "I have made a great find, Walt." "What's that, Horace?" "Look!" He took it while I said, "A letter you have often promised to give me but which I did not believe you would ever find!" Without for an instant opening it, "What is that?" "Emerson's 1855 letter!" Then he took it out of its yellowed Fowler & Wells envelope (it had been sent in their care). "Sure enough, this is the letter. Did I promise to give it to you?" As if half hoping he had not. "Yes, often." "Well, then I'll keep my promise. But it seems almost too precious to part with." And with a smile, "It must not be written of us that we did not keep our promises!" However, "I will keep it for a day or so—look it over. Do not forget to remind me of it when you come tomorrow!" Then he asked me further, "How did you happen to find it?" "Oh! kicking about on the floor here!" This made W. laugh lightly, "Just like!" "I found it along with the other, Walt—in a gum band," handing him the companion envelope. "What an interlacing of names!" he exclaimed, pointing out the envelope's inscription: "Letter from Ralph Waldo Emerson introducing Walt Whitman to William H. Seward," adding—melodiously, "There's a whole history in that, Horace! Well, well—leave them with me together. You shall have both—they shall be yours." And so carefully thrust them in a safe place under papers on the table. My heart was strangely moved by this incident. We have talked the letter over so many times, I had so feared that it was destroyed (I think W. half feared it, too) that the happy accident of our visit with the fruit bore better fruit than we took!

W.'s eyes appear strained by the light. I suggested a drop-light—said I would provide one. Wallace gave us an idea of a white light (carbon?) used by him. Would not that serve for W.? Anyhow, the glare ought to be avoided. W. said of the ramshackle burner on the east table, "I used it till it was no longer usable. I found the pipe leaked, so I changed quarters to this side of the room." W. finally said—after hearing us debate—that he referred us to his committee in such matters, quoting an anecdote by the way—some politician's—intimating that he would use whatever we provided. Wallace asked W. twice, "Is Horace your committee?" But W. did not hear him.

As we were about to go, W. (with the true grace which belongs to him) thought himself that he had given Wallace something, and promised me—and that Gilbert stood neglected. So he got up from his chair, saying to Gilbert, "If I can put my hands on a picture, I want you to have one. Our friend"—turning to me—"has never had anything from us." So went over to his chair at the middle window—toilsomely—picked a bundle from the floor—untied it—and took out and autographed a processed copy of "The Laughing Philosopher." Gilbert grateful, and we then departed—not, however, before he had replied to our protestations that we did not wish to worry him. "You do not worry me—it is in fact a relief from the tedium of sitting here alone." Then all up, first stopping in to see my father and to look at his pictures.

Wallace says he is getting quite contented with America—is surprised at himself. Will stay over Wednesday. I have had a serious talk with him. He owned up that he had wished to run off on Bucke's advice—that three or four days would be enough for W. I said, "I can see Bucke's reason for saying that. If you went down there a good deal, to worry the old man, I would say—yes, go home—the sooner you sail the better. But if you take my advice—go for half an hour a day—a week more than Wednesday will benefit you a good deal and not hurt him." Wallace replied, "I confess I should like to stay, that there's nothing to hurry me home except Bucke's advice. The personal affairs that I at first thought made it imperative are smoothed out and no longer exist as an argument." A good deal of talk: of W., of affairs of many orders. Wallace, however, too tired to wax fat on them. I wished to hurry him off to bed but he would not go before the rest of us. I find he tells some stories inimitably. Says he has no sense of humor, but contradicts himself by his laugh, and this story-telling faculty.

Showed W. while with him this evening (as he spoke on Chase), Mrs. Fairchild's letter, and its "delicious sweet message" as W. called it. I had said, "I have a letter from the wife of another secretary of the Treasury."

W. further said, "I have great friends in the women. My best friends have been women. Put that in your pipe and smoke it." I asked, "What is there better than the friendship of a woman?" W. fervently, "Nothing at all, Horace, nothing—nothing in this whole world!"

I quoted for W. this afternoon a review of "Good-Bye" from Times. Told him, "The writer says for one thing, you display a very creditable faith in God!" W. blazed out, "I do, do I? Thank him, too, for that. Our friend, oh! Walt Whitman, yes! he is a very good man: he does not put his hand in his neighbor's pocket!" I could not but laugh at this outburst, whereat W. joined his laugh with mine, "Well, Horace, it is very funny with these fellows without a doubt—it always makes me mad and makes me laugh!" Had not the critique with me but would bring it down.

Sunday, October 18, 1891

Up at seven, Wallace about eight, he going to work on his notes at once, I occupying myself about various affairs. Gilbert rather dilatory. But a hearty breakfast all together. Then to Philadelphia. Wallace and Gilbert with me, the girls later—St. George's Hall. Clifford to speak there—did speak. Small audience. Afterward Longaker approached and introduced himself to J.W.W., as did Clifford—talking on both sides (greetings) pleasant. Wallace admitted he was at once attracted towards Longaker. After the meeting, to Camden—G., J.W.W., and H.L.T.—the girls going ahead to Gilbert's to prepare dinner. At W.'s we all went upstairs—about 1:50—and were there the greater part of an hour. Gilbert and Wallace sat at W.'s left, I in front of him. W. in great good trim—doing the most of the talking himself—led on by questions, mainly mine. We had no intention to stay beyond briefest five or ten minutes, but his ready and consuming flood of talk (eloquent, a great deal of it) made us forget time. Wallace seemed astonished and Gilbert pleased and happy. But the room was warm—very warm (a big log burning in the stove), and we all felt its effects. It was four o'clock and after before we got back to Philadelphia and up to French Street, where the Gilberts live.

What of W.'s talk? It spread over a great field. We had met Ed Lindell at the ferry. I introduced Wallace to him, and we found Ed to be chewing on a bit of calamus root. He had bought it of some negroes crossing the ferry. Broke off a bit for Wallace, who had discovered it was their English sweet-scented flag. Bucke had mystified them in England when they had asked him what calamus was, they supposing it indigenous here—not there at all. But J.W.W. says, "I find Doctor Bucke does not know much about trees and such things." W. himself now spoke of it as "sweet flag," saying, "We used to call it sweet flag—I suppose our old people do call it that now." (Asked me to secure roots and leaves through Ed for J.W.W.) Then of Ed Lindell, "He's a queer 'un—a curious fellow—but we can say of Ed as of the singed cat—he's not as bad as he looks!" W.'s reference to Lindell induced Wallace's question, "Are there not a good many folks like that?" W. then specifying, "Some famous, wise, profound man, a cute critic, said we can't know anyone thoroughly, spinally, exhaustively, from all sides, long, without liking him or her—seeing they deserved pity or compassion—affection—or tolerating, accepting her or him. Which I suppose is true—which is probable—because after all we condemn people for the least significant of their errors, giving too much to shows, appearances."

In speaking of buckwheat cakes (he had had 'em for breakfast) he said, "There are buckwheat cakes and buckwheat cakes," which Wallace was "glad to hear" as some he had had in Albany disappointed him. Speaking of Lindell and calamus and the darkies who bring it into town, W. quite indulged himself, talked on a long time about "the darkey population" as he had known it in South Jersey and Washington. "There are queer interesting old figures in South Jersey—I have met many—but the queerest, interestingest in Washington, in the markets there, with their odd ramshackle rigs—the gearing of the barges, old arms, metal, anything—a curious spectacle. Burroughs would delight in nothing better than to get one of these old gray-haired darkeys on market days—talk with him, question him, get at his queer notions—and they were very queer." To W. the darkeys were "a superstitious, ignorant, thievish race," yet "full of good nature, good heart," too. "Yet O'Connor would not have it this way—found excuses, palliatives, illuminations—had his defense." "The best real Southern samples" were "rare birds here but a plenty at Washington" and these were best worth seeing. But when at the Staffords he had had negro experiences worth noting—talked of them at some length—laughed that the darkey settlement nearby should be called Snow Hill. Described the darkies: walking great distances to save their few cents, a darkey returning from town with a couple of quarters or a half, the magnate of his neighborhood.

Talk wandered to Canada and Canadians, too—inimitably of French Canada and his experiences there—the Saguenay, the French there, "their patois," ignorance of English, "removed from sophistications of civilized life." The priests, many—he had met them, they treated him well—trained in France—their suavity. W. said then too, "I was never more tickled then when one of the old priests told me that my politeness was different from theirs—that it was better, which I of course knew was nonsense but which nonetheless tickled me."

Spoke in midst of his other talk of his headache, "Yet I like you to come—it lifts me out of this lethargy and discomfort." Giving me letter for Forman and postal for Bucke to mail, said of Forman he had given him power to treat with Balestier, "to act as my ambassador, representative," to illustrate quoting inimitably and in speech and gesture, Richelieu, as he exacts power from the king from the midst of the king's troubles. W. in voice and power striking and beautiful at this. To Wallace, "Have you never seen the play? I should advise you to take the first chance." Then, "Bulwer has made his title clear by several of his plays, if no way else: by this, by 'The Maid of Lyons,' by 'Money'—'Richelieu' the best without a doubt—though all of them vital, triumphant. 'Richelieu' not a work of genius but of first-rate talent—with dashes of genius—with great situations." He had given Forman such power—such "absolute authority" as depicted in Richelieu, "Yet I hope he will not abuse it in exerting it!" Referred to Fanny Kemble as supreme among the artists he had seen. Spoke of Alboni, the Italian opera—no being more than Alboni had moved and possessed him. "She roused whirlwinds of feeling within me." And to him, "After all the Italian opera has gone deepest, probably because I was trained in, for, it. My friends tell me—no, no, that is not for you, Wagner is for you. But somehow the old music lasts—perhaps because, for one thing, the only one or two Wagner performances I have seen were not good ones. Indeed, I have been told that is the explanation." Alboni a woman, to him, beautiful, though others ("none about me or people generally or wholly at that time") would not admit it—her "low brow, fat body, black hair and eyes." And whether Italian opera possessed the greatness of which he was conscious when she sung it, "she, at least, must have had it—bestowed it. If it was not in the opera then it was in her. She shed tears, real tears. I have been near—often within a seat or two—and seen her." About Alboni and her two children in Italy greatly moving: her evident thought of them as she played Lucia.

It was all in this strain—an atmosphere thrown out, crimsoned with good blood and sympathy.

After we had retired I went back an instant to ask about the Emerson letters. He said, "I have forgotten—let it be till tomorrow."

Afternoon and evening then at Gilbert's.

Monday, October 19, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. on his bed—room pretty dark—but he called my name instantly on entrance. "Sit down, Horace—sit down! I have only been dozing." And talked thenceforth a perfect flood. Expects McKay tomorrow. Would he defend our one-dollar edition? "Yes indeed—I will sound Dave." Morris suggests a supper together Saturday, approving my plan of saying nothing in an anticipatory way to Wallace. W. declares, "I like your scheme a good deal." And when I added, "We will take him to the Penn Club reception after," W. exclaimed, "Good! Good! And he might find some of the fellows there! Perhaps Brinton, Horace Howard Furness. And by the way, Horace, is Brinton back? I seem to feel myself as if I ought to see him." But I had written Brinton at Media to let me know instantly of his return, thinking I might hear before Wallace goes home, that he may meet B. Longaker writes for us to dine with him Tuesday or Wednesday or any other day we may set. W. remarked, "Wallace was here again—came along with Ralph Moore. Yes, he went out—walked—your instructions quite clear to him. Seems to have had a good time—to have seen his see, then dined with Moore, then come in town (Moore with him)." I supposed they had driven in? "No, I think not—they walked." But I found after that they had driven. And then, "Wallace seems to have enjoyment large among his possibilities—aches with it, so to speak. And now, Horace, while we are on this topic let me say something to you. I would dare say it to you, if not to him. Wallace seems almost agonistically possessed with the notion of doing something for me—of giving actual concrete service—all that. I want you to talk with him about it—tell him your idea—which will no doubt be mine. I have everything I want, everything—he can do nothing for me. I have friends, enough money, comfort—as good things as my age, my condition, will permit. There is nothing he could add to that to assuage." I put in, "So I tell him—I say, do not worry about the thing at all. Whitman is glad to have you—read 'Leaves of Grass' and bring yourself. That is gift enough!" W.: "Fine! Fine! And just the point—insist on that, Horace, till he understands it. Let him come in the spirit of 'Leaves of Grass,' which spares a man all worrisome mental questionings. What would a few dollars more do for me? I cannot see that it would add a cubit to my stature, do you? I could easily spend a hundred dollars, or fifty, but I cannot see that it would leave me in any better condition than I now enjoy and might leave me in worse." I remarked, "Walt, you know—or should know—and he should know, that if you were wiped out of every penny you have today, I know just where to go to make you secure for all the future." "God bless you, boy! Yes, I know. And what you have just told me, Horace—oh! it is the rock of my old age. I am built upon it—I rest myself upon its strong foundation. But I say, in face of that—do not urge the call. Almost the main sweetness of the fact you impart me is this—that it may be a reserve, may not, must not, be called up—that it stands there, my guard, my promise, yet past all possibility of demand. I almost think if I had to ask fulfillment, the rock, now my saviour, my peace, would be my wreck, my ruin, my night! But you cannot know how these days of my waiting, this night-coming time of my life, are confident, happy, secure, in you, in your right arm, in these friends you seem to have clustered, sworn. Good to me—necessary to me. Oh! the pathetic pathos of it! the deep of feeling below the deep! Wallace will know this, will comprehend—will see it all, plain, clear, lustrous—for it is lustrous to me. And tell him, Horace, the days ahead of me are few—there cannot be many—the most that can be done for me would be, must be, little. I do not want, I would not take, anything from him. He is here—we enjoy him, his good heart—that is enough. And tell all the fellows, tell yourself chiefly—Walt Whitman, saying little, few in words, is all heart, love for them, for you, for what has been done—is being daily, hourly, done—to alleviate the passage. I don't know why, Horace, but as we sit here now—or I on the bed, you there—I feel full of this thing, and to say much of the much I feel within—to make confession. We have travelled a long distance together—long, long—and soon the night—the sweet night, too, if we go forth in the true spirit." Had I ever such a talk as this—such voice-heart, such melody of private speech? The shadow had gathered closer—the room was quite darkened. I said to W., "I have beaten Wallace down on his desire to go home Wednesday. I have made preparations for another week, anyway. I would like for one thing to take him to one of our great political meetings." "Yes, that would be a good experience! A representative meeting. The old meetings, common when I was a boy, have all gone out. Oh yes! The man meetings, out of doors—farmers—the whole country, what-not, holidaying. They were great events those days." But the campaign in Ohio this fall must be the same—the two candidates debating, as Lincoln and Douglas. "True, and true Western style. There is a freedom got that way and in no other. In New York City? Oh! Of course meetings there had mainly to be indoors. There was the old tabernacle—I suppose the greatest American arena, those times—certainly giantesque! Great figures, every way, contending for reforms—the anti-slavery men greatest, more momentous—temperance, too—and the woman rightsers. Real giant fights. Those temperance fellows who thought rum was accountable for all the woes of man—who even dignified this by thinking it a principle. Think of the great fellows I heard off in Long Island: Daniel Webster, Silas Wright, N. P. Banks. Banks has spoken in Wall Street, I think—was just the fellow for Wall Street, anyhow. A deft handler of figures—full, overflowing—proving everything by fives and eights, for fellows who like that kind of thing, as brokers do. I suppose my early life would be considered very rich in such experiences: somehow, I seemed to see everything—to hear everybody—all singers, actors, speakers. But on the whole the anti-slavery men took off the honors. They were so deadly in earnest—so many of them such grand speakers!"

I had a couple of peaches with me—fine samples—which I told W. I wished to leave. He advised me, "Put them right at the foot of the bed. I will be getting up shortly, then will put them in a safe place—eat them, it may be, which would provide safe place enough!" I doing it. Then W. said, "I had a curious experience yesterday: suffered all day from a bad belly-ache (which made my head ache also). It was bad, bad! But when evening came, feeling no better, I took a mix of Tom's whiskey—just a nip, a couple of spoonfuls. And then something unaccountable happened, namely, that the headache stopped instantly, just as if I had cut a string—just that sharp. And from that time to this I have been exempt. I don't know whether the time had come for it to stop, or the whiskey was charmed, or what—but the immediate cessation of all pain, all discomfort whatever, was curious, undoubted. And the reason I tell you this, Horace, is that the whiskey is well right out—gone. No, no! Bucke need have no fear—I am cautious. Besides, you must remember I really take little. I am surrounded by sick neighbors—to the right, to the left. And often Mary downstairs, with her awful damnable neuralgic torture. And then I remember—all of them—mix them a drink now and then just to ease the pressure. Oh! Perhaps you have no idea, Horace, how such a privilege—how the privilege, too, to send a two-dollar bill, a five-dollar bill, here, there, to poor devils I know who need it worse than I do, means for me—how my heart leaps, is glad, to do it—how it enriches the interests of my old years! And this whiskey has helped a-many a time. No, no: Doctor is wrong and Tom is right. Is it so? Is he glad to have me send? The noble fellow! And do you know, Horace, this again raises a feeling in my heart which perhaps I am to be blamed for not long ago having expressed: no one can fully realize, measure, my gratitude for all they have done for me. It is one of the brightest of my memories as I lie here, now at last far up on the strand—how much the meals there at Tom's, at your sister's, contributed to the sunniness of my life. The eat, the drink! Oh! The good drink! The champagne itself superb—the whiskey, well, the best, if not divine!" With a laugh, "But I want you to tell them for me, sometime (not to lug it in), what I feel for it all—as I look back—as I survey that sweet past! oh! so sweet! For I know I should have said this many, many times—while the time was on. But we depend on one's knowing—yes, perhaps too much on that! Tom is a too-generous man—generous to excess—plain, blunt, often mistaken, but thoroughly hearty, manly—one of our 'Leaves of Grassers.' The dinners there, the teas, the talk, the friends, the face of Lincoln over against the wall. Then the dear children—oh! the darling children—and after the warm evenings, in wintertime, in the fireplace, as we talked! These are visions, memories, to last forever. I want to thank them both: Tom, your sister—yes, perhaps her more than him, if that is possible. Want you to do it for me. Doctor is wrong to think Tom bent on anything but the best for me. And I can see Tom is sensitive, with all his hard-hitting. Yes, Horace, all the friends—the noble comrades about me, determined that my old years should be made glad—they are in my heart—I live in their good—yes, grand—good will." I had said of the peaches, "They are good to look at, if you don't care to eat them." He thereupon, "How wonderful that in the great fruit, anyway: the eye feeds on it—sucks it of its exquisite life."

W. said, "I wonder if our park here is ever to come? Camden is in a sad hole, by her own insane stupidity. I see that Judge Garrison has appointed Park Commissioners." I said, "That is a good sign! It shows they are thinking about it!" But W., "Yes, but the danger is, that it may end in thought! I don't suppose there's a town in America in a worse plight than ours—ruled by a worse crew. This damned Mayor Pratt! What could be lower—meaner. All our mayors have been low, but this one beats every previous chapter in the story. A temperance man, so-called—that is, a bigot. And one out of the low end of the temperance procession. A man who knows nothing of life, nothing of experience, nothing (of real account) of decency, even, yet hobnobs with churches and prudes—sets down all our evil, horror, to the charge of the corner saloon." We need to rescue Camden from such a dominion. "We will never get our park—well, till we get, I suppose they'll potter, potter, potter—then in the end pay twice as much for their whistle as they would be called on to pay now."

Had W. yet examined the Emerson letters? "No, I have forgot, sure enough. But you shall have them, Horace—they will be yours." I asked, "You often speak of your own, O'Connor's and Gurowski's immediate espousal of Lincoln—but how about Burroughs?" W.: "John was not there immediately. When he came he was in a miserable sickly condition. And he debated with himself what he should do: it seemed a life or death. And he stood between two temptations: should he go into the army or take a clerkship?—his friends telling him at once—if you go to the front, that surely will mean death. So he stayed, and we came to have our association with him. But then John never was as warm as the rest of us—never as hot for Abe, never—the grand Abe! I suppose, partly because he was sickly, partly for other reasons, though he was friendly and determined enough, too. As for opposition to Lincoln—no! we would not allow that—it was not to be tolerated. We simply drove the enemy without compunction to the wall—Gurowski, O'Connor, I—enough to parry, defend, assault—especially those two." Then further, "But the world—Washington world—of that time, moment, was full of rumors—clouds hung everywhere—enemies, oh! malignant!—many of them typified in Chase. I call Chase the witch of that awful tragedy—the three witches of Macbeth, yes, packed in one: handsome, intellectual—head, face, complexion—well-dressed—not gaudily, but richly—malignant—a bad, bad egg." And further as to Burroughs, "John has had some runs of bad luck—bad health—even lately, with that infernal insomnia, for one thing." But the atmosphere now much cleared, "happily for him—for our love for him."

H.L.T.: "Wallace protests that he has no sense of humor, yet tells a splendid story." "Is that so? Isn't it queer to hear the fellows with the best humor spoken of as having none at all! William O'Connor ought to be here to hear that! Wouldn't he storm, rage! To think of the great times we have had together—the almost boundless fun, wit, humor, by-play, what-not!"

I left him Saturday a large Gutekunst photo for autograph. Brought me by Falkenan, from his mother. One of F.'s brothers dramatic and musical critic on Chicago Herald. His Cornell graduating thesis on Walt Whitman. W. now asks, "He must be close to George Horton. It would appear we have good friends there on that paper."

I find Morris takes W.'s regret for the errors in book kindly. Came in Bank yesterday, jubilant, to show me W.'s post card—not knowing I had already seen it.

As I was leaving and after W. had shaken hands and said "good-bye" to me, he counselled, "You will go right home? And Anne and Wallace will be there? Well, give them my love—tell them you left me here on the bed, in as good condition as the law will allow. Tell them they are remembered and must remember!"

I leaned over the bed—kissed him good-bye. "God be with you, boy! Yes, God is with you!"

Tuesday, October 20, 1891

Wallace met me by engagement at 4:15 at McKay's. He had been to Gutekunst's and purchased a photo and at McKay's had got some books. I gave McKay an order on Ferguson for plates. McKay had been over to see W.—result of which is, that book is to remain as it is in price and binding (binding by and by to be changed) and the new pages duly added. At 9th and Market somebody clapped me on the shoulder, I looking about and finding Morris at my elbow. Introductions. Together to Billstein's, then to Eakins'. But E. not in—Murray, however, greeting us. Had come to see the Eakins picture. Queerly, he said, "I don't know whether it is here." But on my insistence found it and brought out, Wallace inspecting for some time. Here happened an odd thing. O'Donovan was in front room on lounge, but never came out, though he saw us (once strode across the room). Got a paper and seemed to wish to shield himself. Knowing Morris and me well, this was mystifying. Nor during all our stay did he come out. Morris very angry, though quiet, wishing instantly to go, which we did after J.W.W. was satisfied with his seeing. I asked Murray, "How about the bust?" And he smiled and said, "It is not done yet," its tin box case still is covering its secret. After leaving Morris at Broad Street, we went to Union League, where Littlefield had this morning registered us but where we found no one to take us around. Wallace meanwhile said to me, "I don't mind saying, frankly, I don't like the picture at all. It is no way a representative picture of Walt." But I argued for its growth, that it would undoubtedly add to itself, as more deeply regarded. But he would hardly admit it gave even one phase of W. To Portuondo's next to meet or see Law. While we waited for him (he was off in the factory) we both wrote short notes to Dr. Johnston (I had an unsealed envelope, containing my day's letter, along, not yet mailed). Soon, however, Law, and fresh introductions and talk, he meeting us later on at 10th and Market and going to Camden with us. Law made immediate impression on Wallace. Thence home. We want to arrange to have an evening together. Wallace wrote a number of letters to England today, the first, I think, since coming to Camden. Said he had today seen little of W., who seemed sick, said he was having a bad time, etc. J.W.W. says, "I read the 'Good-Bye' poems with a new feeling, now I have seen Walt." We have arranged, a few of us—three or four—to dine Wallace at Reisser's Friday, at six—same room as our dinner 1890, which will interest him. But I am not to prepare him for it.

8:35 To W.'s, late. But I felt I must see him. He was writing on the flyleaf of a book. Quite bright, too. We had full half an hour's talk. "Wallace was here—could not have made much out of me today. But I have felt almost submerged—almost gone under—most of the day. But here I am tonight, feeling better, better. And when you go home (you are going straight up?), give my love to both the others and tell them what I tell you now. This bladder business troubles me." Was the catheter not able to attend to that? "It seems not—no, it does not. And my head gets such queer whirlings, like chestnuts in a pot—jumping, turning. So that it is no circus, no very pleasant procession of sensation." Then, "And Dave was here, too, having a long talk with me. The upshot of it all being, that the book will take in the new pages and remain in its present shape, for its present price—a facsimile autograph to go on the title-page. Dave fought me like the devil on that dollar edition—would not have it on any terms. And what do you think he suggests? Why, that if we have the dollar edition, then let's set the other at four dollars. Which I would not hear to at all—no, no!" I had seen Dave. W. asked with a laugh, "He was satisfied? I suppose! It all went his way today. But about the actual and facsimile autographs, I don't care much or anything." Again, "Dave did not come alone. He had his preacher with him—a Presbyterian— up tonight. And do you know, Horace"—laughing merrily—"I believe the old man came to me with a set purpose to deliver a speech—to question me about the 'Leaves,' about my philosophy, politics, what I thought of Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Burns. But when he got into the room, the debrisity"—what a word!—"of things—the confusion, the air of don't care, the unusual look and atmosphere—must have struck him, abashed him, staggered him. For he hardly said a word beyond greetings!" W. made merry with this, to an extent which showed that the old man must have thrown out some inarticulate hint of the purpose W. detected. As W. fingered the book he was writing on on my entrance, he explained, laughing, "This is my old Virgil—you have seen it? It is the book I had in my carpet bag and burst a bottle of wine over in one of my trips to the army in Virginia. I am writing that in the margin here." I said, "It makes a history." "I suppose it does: it is badly soiled—the wine was good!" Was Virgil any way a favorite? "No, but I often read him. I never could make him out, probably because I only had the translation. But somehow he did not seem for me. Not only did I read the 'Aeneid' but the 'Georgics.' This is a little rendering, too, which ought to help it." He turned to title-page. "Davidson's. Who was Davidson? Do you know? I often had this book with me—it has done a good deal of travelling, sometimes as my only companion."

W. had put a noble autograph on the Falkenan picture. (I took it along.) Someone had given me an announcement of a book which starts to prove Lincoln a spiritualist. W. greatly amused, "Lincoln is like the Bible—you can read anything in him. One man will say, 'Here, here, Uncle Abe was so and so—I have the text for it,' and another with an opposite notion will say, 'See, he was with us: I have the text for it.'" "And good books, good men, the universe, prove too much for specialists!" "You are right, Horace. Lincoln was boundless—his character would furnish arguments for any good thing under the sun!"

W. mentioned a thing to me which had escaped my own observation—that the last Critic quotes me anent "The Midnight Visitor" thus:

Mr. Horace L. Traubel thinks we have not made Walt Whitman's connection with the translation of Murger's "Midnight Visitor" sufficiently clear. He writes: "Whitman knows nothing of French. The English of the poem is impressional. Translated for him off-hand, he (perhaps with assistance or counsel from others) put it into shape as now found and made current. It is curious to find the Observer quoting the poem in citation of the fact that Whitman compares unfavorably with Young and others in cheerful and serene faith—in welcome—of death. This is so out of line with what is the plainest testimony of 'Leaves of Grass' as to indicate his critic's ignorance of that work." We reproduced the poem partly to show that Mr. Whitman can make rhymes and conventional rhythms, if only in translating. [Then follows the poem.]
W.: "It is detailedly and satisfiedly correct as you put it there, Horace. But somehow they seem determined to nail me to it, too. Your name is there, full swing: Horace L. Traubel. And they seem to think the matter has some importance. I had only thought to say to you, I liked, endorsed, the way you put the protest: it hit the case exactly." W. has reminded me of the duplicate title to "Leaves of Grass." I should get from Ferguson's. He wanted it in Camden. As to Wallace's distaste for the Eakins picture, "Tell him to wait, to not be too quick, to let it filter into him. As Bacon somewhere says, the world, confronted with anything elemental, always kicks, cuffs, outlaws—is shocked, starts back in horror: here is too much blood, power—it is brutal, coarse. But there comes time, or men, when nothing but such fury of force could, can, save us, our race—and people then wake up." Still, it might be that Eakins had caught one phase?—which J.W.W. not inclined to grant. I said, "Wallace told me Sunday that Bucke told him he was too subjective." W. asked, "Well, what did he say to that?" "Oh! admitted it." "Well, is it true? Do you think it is?" "Yes, I do." W. then, "So do I—I see it all. But he is wonderfully cute, too. He grows on me, as I see him day after day. It would probably be hard to fool him." I explained, "I think he is not inclined to realize the concrete physical side of you—that you make much of that—that you are an animal, with passions, as well as a philosopher with thought." "Good—splendid, Horace. How could it be better said than by that? Let me tell you—you have the heft of it. Do not spare the rod now. Drive the weapon in, in, in—turn it!"—with a laughing vigorous lunge and turn of the arm—"I make no claims for what is called the spiritual by churches, formal penalistic arguers. Indeed, I am quite staggered, shocked, to have it attached to me. I dislike it, even—will not have it. There is no delicatesse, no aestheticism, about the 'Leaves': they are bits out of life, words, hints, coarse, direct, unmistakable. They must be, can only be, understood as the states must be, can only be, understood—with the traces of their material origin clinging everywhere on them. They emerge out of, with, the material—tally all the great shows of our civilization—stand for them—yet for these, not only as they exist, in pride of material splendor—but in their heroic entanglements. The heroic animality of the 'Leaves'—it is before all necessary to grapple with, absorb, that quality—for it comes before all the rest. I think Bucke perceives this. There's nothing more to please me, Horace, than for you to take Wallace in hand—to drive him, drive at him, till this is understood, thoroughly understood." "How does Wallace eat?" he asked. "Fairly, but not well." "How does he sleep?" "Fairly, but not well." W. then, "Sleep and food, then, for Wallace!" And to me, "Your reports about yourself always almost intoxicate. What a fortune you carry about with you in your good health." I laughingly said, "I horrified a pious man a while ago when I said, I eat because I love to eat." W. asked, "What does he eat for?" "For the love of the lord—because he must!" This made W. almost uproarious, "How these damned saints affect a carriage of anti-animality! Well, our 'Leaves' stand against all that: we are solidly for healthy appetite!"

I told W. about our wanderings today. He was pleased—and especially pleased to find I had set myself in Wallace's way and against his home-going. As to O'Donovan, "There is a mystery about all that. O'Donovan has not been here for weeks. I have suspected he was disgruntled about something—but what can it be?" Bust evidently so far fiasco. "Yes, it must be. Do I like him as a man? Yes and no—I don't like him, I don't dislike him—if inclined any way I was inclined to like him. But I was moved to give him the opportunities he asked to make the bust—to put nothing in his way."

I left with him postal from Mrs. Fels ordering two copies of the complete Whitman and giving names for inscription: Mila F. Tupper, a Unitarian woman preacher in the West, and a Miss Wilson, New York I took a blue pencil from my pocket and underscored the names. He asked quickly, "What's that? Is that a blue pencil?" "Yes." "Why don't you get me a pencil like that?" "I will—a dozen of them if you say so." "Well, I do say so. Let me try it." And try it he did. "Just the thing I am after! You know where to get them?" And from pure delight he scribbled and wrote all about the edge of a newspaper which he picked up. "Splendid—splendid! It is the very thing we were in search for and never could deliberately find. Now it comes by accident—if we can call it that!"

He apologized, his way, for not giving me the Emerson letter. "You shall surely have it tomorrow. And I'll strike a bargain with you, Horace: you bring me the plate and the pencils tomorrow and I'll give you the Emerson letter! Fair? Eh?" and laughed. "I'll try to bring the plate." "Well, try! I guess we won't quarrel about the rest." Touching again upon war times, "That peculiar phase of life down there—the struggle over Lincoln—the doubt, espousal, the murk, smirk, hypocrisy (courage, too, holy heroism), those early years—have never been told. I often think to take up pencil and tell it—or hint, suggest it—my own, William's, part in it. For it has intense meaning, interest, and belongs with the history of the time, yet may never have a hand to write it!" And again referring to Wallace's "unnecessary gratitude" for the hospitality shown him here, "He should remember it is but turn about: we felt that we participated in their welcome to Bucke—could do no less than do as well, if that be possible—even that."

Spent rest of evening at home with J.W.W. We read proofs of Conservator together. Wallace's eyes easily gave out. Anne likes him greatly. Modest, quiet. As yet, no signs of creative powers. But they may come. Splendid faculty, absorption—to appreciate, accept, take in.

W. said, "I do not forget the old man who came with Dave. He seemed disillusioned."

Wednesday, October 21, 1891

4:40 P.M. To Camden early—yet first procured plate from Ferguson, and pencils. W. in his room, autographing a lot of Gutekunst photographs for Wallace. After we had shaken hands, I said immediately, handing them out, "I have kept my part of the bargain: here is the plate and here are the pencils." "And I have kept mine—here are the letters"—reaching forward to table. Had enclosed the letters in an envelope inscribed, "Letters from R. W. Emerson to Walt Whitman 1855 etc: for Horace Traubel." With them the S. S. Times criticism, of which he said, "It is weak dilution—useless talk—damned patronizing—amounts to little. The fellow was evidently told to write two inches and did so. It is all right—it has blown over!"—thus to dismiss its triviality. On the old yellow envelope on which was written in his more delicate hand of long ago, "Letter from Ralph Waldo Emerson to William H. Seward introducing Walt Whitman" he had today written in blue pencil, "(Never delivered)." The letter in splendid condition, still in its own envelope, addressed to "Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C." So far as I know, this letter has never been published: Concord, Masstts. Jan. 10, 1863 Dear Sir, Mr. Walt Whitman, of New York, writes me, that he wishes to obtain employment in the public service in Washington, & has made, or is about making some application to yourself. Permit me to say that he is known to me as a man of strong original genius, combining, with marked eccentricities, great powers & valuable traits of character: a self-relying, large-hearted man, much beloved by his friends; entirely patriotic & benevolent in his theory, tastes, & practice. If his writings are in certain points open to criticism, they yet show extraordinary power, & are more deeply American, democratic, & in the interest of political liberty, than those of any other poet. He is indeed a child of the people, & their champion. A man of his talents & dispositions will quickly make himself useful, and, if the Government has work that he can do, I think it may easily find that it has called to its side more valuable aid than it bargained for. With great respect, Your obedient servant, R. W. Emerson Hon. William H. Seward Secretary of State Is it not vibrant—spontaneous—corroborant of the earlier, 1855, letter? As to this, it is still in its original red-stamped envelope, addressed to "Walter Whitman Esq. Care of Fowlers and Wells 308 Broadway New York" (envelope all crushed, torn, discolored) and forwarded from them to "Walt Whitman 91 1/2 Classon St. Brooklyn." W. had at some time written on this in large hand, pencil: "Emerson's Letter" and again, in ink, and more delicately, the same thing. W. says of these, "They establish an epoch for me. The good Emerson! It is beyond computation a man's salute!"

Now W. continued his autographing till done. Then proceeded to wrap up deliberately and tie. This seemed to labor him and I offered to relieve, but he said, "Let me do it: let me continue to do all I can!" Then he said, "Wallace was here most of the afternoon." (I found from Wallace that he was only there an hour.) "He is very bright—very optimistic. He did not bring down the Canadian picture which I want to see. You bring yours, won't you? I am quite sure it is the one I don't like. I have fixed these pictures up, thinking they were better to go over. One of Wallace's dead-sets is to go down to Timber Creek. I encourage it—yes, have told him he ought to go. I find he is much disposed to see the concrete of 'Leaves of Grass'—I mean its geographical concrete. I told him today how to go—gave him some points (for which he questioned me). He is not satisfied to go there for an hour or two: he says he wants to absorb its air, as much as may be—to come into touch—that is, remembrance. And so he plans to spend a couple of days there, which I think well enough. I doubt if he'll find a hotel nearby the Stafford's. I suggested—or perhaps he did—that he stay with the Staffords. Yet I told him they are quite poor, and it would be well to pay them if they accommodate him. He is much disposed to pay his way—morbidly disposed to it. And this is one of the cases in which it is right for him to gratify his inclinations. But he'll have to be careful—the Staffords—the old man, Mrs. Stafford—are very spunky—though poor, very remarkably independent—distinctly so. So he'll have to work in the money, pay, without their suspicion, even. And he must do it." Further, "I think he has a notion to walk—he may do it: the whole distance is not more than nine miles. And through a nice bit of country, too." When W. said, however, "He will go Friday," I put in, "No he will not—we have our supper with him Friday." "Well then, Saturday." But how about the Penn Club reception Saturday evening, for which Morris has had tickets sent us? "To be sure, I think he ought to see that, be there, too. I feel, Horace, that you'd best pilot him about the most you can. I want him to meet life on as many sides as he can here. For his sake, you, he, ought to go there, too." I said, "Then you favor delay?" He quickly, "You won't discourage his trip to Timber Creek?" "No, I am in favor of it—it is what I have been telling him all along to do—to see Walt Whitman through America!" W.: "Good, good—that would be my gospel, too, and this will help him to see America. I want him to get a glimpse of a New Jersey farmer's life—of its mixed light and shadow—its simple, homely beauty, strength." I suggested then, "Let him go Sunday and stay over till next day." "Or Tuesday, if he cares to? Why not? Let him loaf, loiter, absorb: it is as good as he can do." Then again, "Wallace seems bit mad with that hunger to do something for us—it is morbid, almost, a sickness. Bless his good intent!"

At Ferguson's today. F. told me of a recent evening at League, several, with John Russell Young present, Young having warm things to say of Walt Whitman. W. now remarks, "I knew Young—knew him pretty well—though we were never intimate. True blue, John! and full of spirit, life—saw him often. So he lives in Philadelphia?" "Yes, and I propose to look him up." "Do so, do so—I will give you a copy of my book to take him. It will help you to open up." Referred to Jeff and George as "both fine specimens of men—inclined to the grand in port." Wondered what had become of "a bundle of Tennyson letters I had about me somewhere—now gone, gone for years—where to, God knows!" He had autographed the two big books for me—at my suggestion put copy of autographed Gutekunst phototype with each. Bucke writes me rather doubtfully about Morse's piece in Conservator: 17 Oct 1891 My dear Horace Yours of 14th came yesterday. My Annual Report is finished and sent off. I begin lectures to students Monday. I was not greatly impressed with Morse's article, think he has a good deal better stuff than that in him if he would only take pains to squeeze it out—express it. Yes, if you could spend a week out of each month here that would be fine. We could do no end of work together—the devil of it is the world seems made on such a poor plan that nothing is fixed as it ought to be! Are you doing anything at all about our book? I will take a whack at a circular pretty soon now. Love to Anne. Affectionately, R. M. Bucke But W. declares, "Doctor is extreme—is mistaken. On the contrary, I liked it very much. We go to a good meal—we eat all the dishes set out (and they are good enough, thoroughly good enough)—yet dream of dishes, the thousand and one things—not there, as if they had anything at all to do with the job in hand!" We still discuss the drop-light. W. gave me his whiskey bottle for Tom. "Tom will think it all right? How much I drift into his debt." Again of Morse: "We know where Sidney stands—we don't ask him to declare his love every time he opens his mouth," I said, and W. with a laugh, "Well said, Sidney has gone through too many fires for us to be doubted now." Alluded to the peaches I left the other day: "They took me out in the orchards." They were good to look at? "Yes, and not less good to eat. I have one left."

Wallace says, "I feel that my mission is about done. I might go home now, as well as later." Yet he will stay for a week yet, anyhow. W. says, "We are glad in him—glad in him. Let him feel at rest on that point." Wallace has several times said, "I am sure Walt is glad I came, that he appreciates the feeling with which I came, and my agency, exercised for the group there in Bolton."

A question I feel about the Seward letter: was not W. cute enough not to deliver it, because he knew it would stand in confirmation of the 1855 letter—ought to be retained—yet, once in official hands, would probably be filed and lost? I shall ask him. Its non-delivery seems as if all eyes for future necessities.

Thursday, October 22, 1891

8:10 P.M. W. reading Scott. What of the day? "Bad, bad. Wallace was here, but only for a little while. En route, I think, for somewhere. Do you know where?" Some one-time Bolton neighbor now living in Creamer's Hill. W. then, "Anyway, he was here—I was glad to see him. But I have had a head inhabited by a hundred devils all the day, so I guess he did not find me very bright. He brought down the Canadian picture. It is not the one I thought it was, and not so bad, either—in fact, good in one particular or two, which on the whole is about all that can be expected for a photo—often a child of speculation, chance, so far as human agency is concerned." He had given J.W.W. the bundle of phototype prints. "I think we may reasonably regard them as good—with distinct virtues." As to the Gutekunst card photo Wallace had brought yesterday, "I don't like that, at all. I admit it is elegant—all Gutekunst's work has a title to be called that. But this is in fact too elegant, that's what spoils it. They have touched it into vacuity, almost—touched all sense, even sight, out of the eyes. The eyes would be my main criticism."

Then W., "Wallace has decided to go to Timber Creek Sunday—proposes to walk down. Yes, says it is your wish to have him go then—that you have him engaged for Friday and Saturday nights." I reminding W. of our plans—his tone seeming a little doubtful—whereat, "No, it is all right, you are right—I am sure of it. I want him to see all of our fellows he can. And once he is back home, he will not be sorry, however it may seem unimportant to him now."

I asked W. indirectly, "I wondered about the Seward letter, why it was never delivered?" Very frankly W. said, "For a number of reasons, probably—for one, I did not altogether like it." What was there astray? "I don't remember, I only remember my impression: there seemed something awry, not just as I felt for the best." No idea at all what that point was? "None, not the least. Probably it was an impression, not to set down and point out reasons. I kept it, therefore, from that feeling, for one thing—though mainly, on the whole, I suppose because there was no call to deliver it." Then, "I give them to you, put them in your hands, but advise you not to print them—or, rather, it, for one is long in print. Do not print for the present: that would be my counsel." I said, "The letter has an importance running easily and far beyond its immediate occasion." "Tell me how you get at that." "Oh! I mean as reinforcement—yes, reassertion—of the 1855 letter." "Two years after?" "No, eight: 1863." W. quickly, "Sure enough—how did I get that impression of only two years! Eight. Probably you are right." Then after a pause, "You think it has weight—is significant testimony?" And he had me, led by his questions, go on at length, he carefully avoiding any further expression of his own ideas, until I said, "It was struck out in a heat—I am sure of it. Now that I see the handwriting, it is like the script on the wall." "How's that?" "A judgment on all who in what they think Emerson's defense deny that Emerson adhered to his salutation." "You mean it came from the heart, and the heart gives truth? Yes? So it did: I am sure of it. The book was just out—could not have been long in his hands—only out in May or June. And the letter? Oh! It was struck off at a heat! Must have sprung out of his spontaneous feeling. It carries that weight, if no more: cannot have been careless, unthought of (Emerson free from that—no one accuses him of that). And so we regarded it at the time."

Then W. spoke of Seward, "I saw him—saw him often. Met him, yes, and talked with him. He was a good speaker, a splendid speaker: luminous, good presenter of 'logical conclusions,' as they were called. Cool, knew how to say his say in the strongest terms. I heard him first out on Long Island, years before he came to Washington. Knew him, of him, thoroughly well." A man for his place, evidently. "So we thought, though he had enemies, not all of them unreasonable. At the time of the Trent affair he was for war with England—almost warm for it—though borne down by, passed over by, not receiving the endorsement of Lincoln! Oh! the sage, sagacious, far-seeing Lincoln! How much he did and undid, but for which!"—stopping then in the very rush of his grateful sensations, resuming again, "But Seward had his idea on the matter, too, which was this: that a war now, at that time, with England, would be a big factor by which to cement the States—the loyal States, anyway—the copperheadism, rabid Democratism, of the North—cement it, attract it, cohere it, by presenting an interest greater, if that could be, than the interest of our sectional war. It was probably a mistake—not admissible—Lincoln was undoubtedly farther-seeing, but Seward was by no means without ardent endorsement." Further as to Seward, "Yes, he came near being President. When minister abroad, before the war, they were so sure he was to be President, they paid him special attention, honors. But things were otherwise ordered, thank God! Though Seward, in his place, was a man of moment—as Lincoln well knew!"

I told W., "We stopped in front of Parry's the other evening. I said to Wallace, 'This is where Walt and Bucke get their good gray hats!'" Wallace exclaimed, "Ah! Is it so?" and looked with a curious eye, saying to me with a smile afterwards, "If I should go back to England with a suit of gray and a gray hat, would they then think I was a thorough-going Whitmanite?" I laughed—he had such a tone—whereat he continued, "But I am more concerned to be a Whitmanite inside than out." Which I told to W. as "good doctrine," and which he said was that, "if Whitmanism itself was a part of good doctrine, which a few people seem to doubt!" placing an amusing emphasis on the "few." I find by various indications that Wallace bears this notion out—accepts W. not as a conclusion but as forerunner, as beginning a line, perhaps, certainly not ending one—averse to having comrades die as disciples, or Whitmanism expressed in clothes. (Why are not Whitmanic articles of faith as foreign to "Leaves of Grass" as any other? I ask, and Wallace grants. To write verses, or wear coats, merely to shape like W.—it is poor tribute—runs the stream dry almost at its source.)

After leaving W.'s went to Harned's, where I met Wallace. We were there till eleven, Wallace and Tom talking, Anna and I playing euchre at a little table nearby. Before we left, W.'s places and nooks, chairs, etc., were all pointed out to Wallace, who absorbed with evident relish. Tom uncovered the Lincoln picture to show him—displayed the tea-kettle (the famous punch brew). Wallace sat down at W.'s place at the table, said something about its power to make him realize the situation more nearly. Oh's me! That form will never take the place again, the noble, gray-summited man! I think this must in some form have crossed Wallace's mind, for his face seemed to go for an instant into memory and shade. But we were aroused. Into the parlor: there the old fireplace. (The toasted toes, the stories told, the cane, the quiet dwelling lingering eyes! It all broke upon me, like lost or lapsing music on distant shores.) And still there on the wall the "Dismantled Ship"—"That's me! Yes, Tom, that's me!" And the big soft chair, which stood against the window, and over the arms of which the children would climb and roll to his lap. Here I felt Burroughs' hand again—and Kennedy, observant, waiting, critical. Will Walsh, for another, comes in (sent by Mary from 328, where he had first called) to ask W. a question: Is the Elias Hicks yet ready? And devil-haunted Dan Dawson, not to climb to W.'s world, by hook or crook of intellect or expedient of art, "Who is this Elias Hicks, Mr. Whitman?" Tom Dudley, Harry Bonsall, Adler (aglow with his manhood's brave belief and enthusiasm); Clifford—deliberate, seeing transcendent things—voice and brain nearly thrones of gods; Bucke, quick, loud, vehement, clean, pugnacious, gentle, loving; my father and mother, at times and to W.'s expressed delight; always of course the children, free to come and go as they chose. I could see the phantomed comrades—the chasing, quickening memories—all by a flash, as together we looked about the room. These and others untold, untellable! What could it have meant for Wallace? For me it meant a dip into old seas—a brush with ancient waters again—all the old days, companions, back again! No more to be—the waters receding, the tide gone out, the sun fallen below western hills. This room, these rooms, with old voices haunted, and old discussions, and best things—incomparable and incomparably said, to adapt Emerson—are to me perpetual, exhaustless suggestions. The recurrence this night sent something of a pang to my heart, yet gladness too. Sorrow for the things past, gladness they had ever been! (Among other things shown to Wallace by Gussie and Tom—a dozen notes, curious, pathetic, noble.)

Then up and hence and some further talk and preparations for the morrow. Wallace had seen W. was not in good shape and had not tarried today. He meets me at Press office 4:15 tomorrow. I wish him to see Talcott Williams. Then will come our supper together. As to this, I have written Clifford, Law and Buckwalter and sent word to Bonsall. Harned goes to Washington forenoon but hopes to get back to join us. Wallace speaks of returning 28th. Will make inquiry tomorrow. But I made him promise not to engage passage without my knowledge. Is embarrassed by Bucke's counsel. Wallace continues his notes. I shall sorrow when he turns his face east again. And he says to me, "It is heartache, almost, for me to think to go," yet probably heartache to stay, too. Impulses conflict—but duty? Alas!

Friday, October 23, 1891

Morning: Clifford writes—will join us if his Times work will allow. Law cannot come. I announced to W. yesterday, "Morris says the omissions in the book are his fault—he read the proofs!" W. raised his finger admonitorily, "Oh Harrison! Harrison! The devil's in you, too!" Then his odd sentence died in the affectionate question, "And how does Harrison keep these days? Is he pretty much always well?" I said, "He is cautious—is tied to the necessities of a family!" "Good for him! And he braces up to it?" "Yes, nobly." "Good again for him! How much it means for a young girl or fellow to tie up with a purpose!"

Met J. W.W. at 4:15 and with him first to see Talcott Williams, at Press, who was fortunately in and with whom we talked for some time—first about W.'s condition, then about American municipal and social development. Williams much at home here—Wallace little to say in way of dispute—nothing at all, in fact—and yet listened well, and enjoyed as he said. We wandered about street afterwards. We went into the little alley to the simple, cloistered Carpenters Hall—historic, heroic—set with such modest still air in midst of the great buildings on all sides in that neighborhood. To Independence Square also—and reflections sundry thereby around. Wallace every way acceptive, moved. And after the six o'clock, to Reisser's. Of course it was a surprise to Wallace to go into the room with me to find Clifford, Longaker and Morris there to greet him, and when I introduced Buckwalter, who sat with him, it flashed out that something had been prepared. Afterward came in Frank Williams, and still later Harned—and these made the party. We retired to the back room, where a table was set (here, 31st May, '90, we had sat with Ingersoll till one o'clock: great memories!). Wallace next me, opposite us Morris and Clifford, to the right Frank Williams and Buckwalter, to the left Harned and Longaker. Two hours together—things not uproarious. No speaking. Before we left Morris suggested that Wallace tell us about the Bolton group, which he did—giving tender thanks, informally, and not as gratitude, for the comradeship which seemed to enshroud the Whitmanic name and circle, as manifested in a deepening of their Bolton life to each other and in such significant reception as had been accorded him in America and as seemed to grow and fasten us together here. His first contact with Walt Whitman was from Rossetti's collection of American poetry, and the first copy of "Leaves of Grass" he possessed was the '83 edition. He said, when asked if the book had in any way repulsed him at the start, "There were parts that did repel me, but the attraction at the very first was much more than the repulsion." He would not venture now to say what was his estimate of "Leaves of Grass." It was too big a subject to tackle in this way. But nothing so much as the comradeship induced through it had impressed or convinced him. W. seemed everywhere to attract opposites—to bring opposites into contact—yes, even to weld them. The Emerson letters were brought out (I had them in my pocket) and read aloud—Frank Williams the 1855, I the 1863, letter. Had Emerson changed? The feeling of Morris, Williams, Buckwalter and Clifford seemed to be that he did, though how much, or where the record of it could be, if anywhere, is not known—the record being vague, at the best. But Harned had a more favorable opinion of Emerson's deliberation—thought there had been no substantial shift of his regard and admiration. Lowell, Stedman and Arnold up—Clifford told his story of Arnold at Mrs. Coates', Arnold having asked, "Can you tell me what was Longfellow's opinion of Whitman?" Arnold evidently had never read Walt Whitman at all. No one present knew anything of any reference whatever to W. in any of Arnold's books. Stedman affectionately discussed (will speak in University extension course at Georgetown this winter, giving all his Johns Hopkins lectures). A good many stories told—frank, easy, quiet talk. Williams recalls "the night Ingersoll sat here with us, spouting Shakespeare." Wallace said, "Our 'college' as we call it came about quite naturally. It is not a Whitman society, though they are all friends of Walt. Some years ago I gave out that I would be at home thereafter always on Monday evenings and that any of my friends, coming that evening, would meet me, if they chose, and probably one or two others. We have not even a name. We are strictly informal. But I believe we have some influence in the town, indirect though it may be. For we are known there, and our 'college' is known, and we have heard things to convince us of an influence." It was of course to Johnston and to Wallace that the rise of Whitman among the collegians was due. About the birthday, about 1887, they had sent W. a present (each had conceived the idea independently), but not till after Johnston had been here had anything like intimacy sprung up with W., "if it can be called that even now." Readers of "Leaves of Grass" scarce or none in Bolton. Such words and more to same effect interested us greatly—paved the way for further questions and answers and divers good interrelated talkings. At eight or a little after we adjourned. Clifford had first to slip off to his paper. Frank Williams had to go for his train, Longaker to a patient, Morris to his work (he is editing books). Harned complained of being tired. On my way to Camden we debated whether to go to W.'s at all. I announced, "I shall go, anyway, if only for a moment and a look." Finally, would all go together.

At W.'s—Wallace, Buckwalter, Harned and I. I preceded them upstairs, found his door locked, W. cried, "Come in!" and so I hurried round through Warrie's room. W. extended hand (he was reading Scott), "Ah! here you are! And where from? I am here with most of my duds off—have been taking a wash, bath. Now must take care myself." I told him who were with me. "Bring them up for a minute: yes, all welcome, welcome!" The others were soon there. Hearing them outside W. exclaimed, "Come in!" Tom first. W.: "You had a good splurge?" "Yes, a great time." Tom immediately turning a question on W., "Did you get the whiskey, Walt?" "No, Tom, where on earth is it?" "Why, home if not here, I suppose. Why ain't it here? I filled the bottle two nights ago." W. then looking at me, "How is it you didn't bring the bottle, Horace?" I had expected the children would bring it. Tom remarked, "Anyway, it ought to be here." W. then, "That's the most important news I've heard in a month." I had said, "I was at Tom's last night but it was too late to bring the whiskey." "No, it wasn't—late or early, that's always welcome: there's no late for whiskey!" And again, "I had the threaten of a bellyache even tonight, but it passed off—otherwise I would really have had practical use for the whiskey—the missing whiskey!" After which he questioned Tom, "So you had a supper? A good time—a thorough good time? Who was there? No champagne, did you say?" Harned laughed and called it "a beer crowd." Then, "I have been to Washington." "Been to Washington? What office are you after?" Turning to Buckwalter, who sat on the other side of the bed, near the door, "I guess I'll get you to push that to." Thus explaining to all, "I've had—been in—a catarrhal condition today—have had a bad, ugly day. As I sit now, have only a few duds on (after a wash) with the gown thrown hastily around me." Then spoke direct to Wallace, "I've put your names in the little books. I feel as if I ought to do a good deal more for you." Wallace reminded W. that he had still another for autograph, purchased today. "Yes, and I'll do it in another—do it with pleasure. I really ought not to take the money you left, anyhow—but I've already spent a part of it."

Wherefrom he developed into general talk. "I'm reading Carlyle's trip to Paris—here in a magazine (it came from Johnston, Wallace!). What a growler he is! He turns to the right and growls, turns to the left and growls, looks himself forward and growls—yes, growls at whatever he sees, country or city. No, I wouldn't apply the word unhappy. Yet he was always perturbed—everything seemed to be wrong, against him. It minds me of someone who had been to see him—Conway, I think (at least, Conway told me about it—Moncure Conway). They walked out, two of them—the stars were shining, they stopped, the stranger looked up, 'A glorious sight! glorious sight!' he cried. But Carlyle—oh! Carlyle—he would not have it so. 'Ah! Ah! It's a sad sight! A sad sight!'" W. told this with great gusto and feeling, but J.W.W. said, "That's a story told of Leigh Hunt—Hunt and Carlyle," and gave it as he had heard it. W. then, "It seems Carlyley. Such a fellow, with all his views, and what he says, is very valuable to make up the banquet—variegation. I don't think, would not say, he makes a type. Integrity—oh! integrity, honesty—it is his from top to toe. He don't wield a lance but a club. Without him there would be a great blank in Britishism. I think the fellows who rouse us and taunt us—perhaps even torment us—are the most valuable in some respects." More concretely again, without anymore transition than I show, "But what did you do tonight? Radiate?" Tom said J.W.W. had for one thing given us some account of his chums. "Oh! That I would gladly have heard: we ought to know more about them." Tom then that the supper was tame compared with the Bolton reception to Bucke. W. then, "There was a good deal of the hip hoorah for Bucke—if it comes, well enough; if it does not come, well enough, too—don't force it!" Then suddenly looking over my way (I was hid by the round table, piled full, that was between us, and scribbling all this away on the wrapping of a box I had and edges of newspaper), "What are you doing over there, Horace, that keeps you so quiet—anything's up? You've hardly said a word." Whereat I did say some words, anent Wallace and his smoking at Reisser's. But the minute after I looked over at Buckwalter who indicated by and answering my look—we had better go—and up I got, the others as immediately. First however over to W. to show him front page picture in Bazar: "Portrait of a Dutch Lady" from a painting by Bartholomew van der Helst 1613-1670. Of which paper he said, "Hadn't you better leave this? I would like to look at it at my leisure and long." After which our good-byes. Wallace and I to Harned's for a little while. (As we left W. asked me to "look up Warrie downstairs—have him run up for the whiskey," for "that is the most important item of today's news! Or for a month!" with a laugh.) Warrie came in at Harned's while we waited. Harned took Wallace into his library. Later, to 537 York—where a little talk further and Wallace early to bed.

Saturday, October 24, 1891

Wallace stopped in at W.'s with me on the way to Penn Club reception. I went upstairs first, Wallace staying in parlor. W.'s hall door locked, I going then through Warrie's room. "I've been washing—that was the reason, and I forgot to unlock things after. I feel better for my brush with the water." Not "a good day on the whole," however. Wallace downstairs? "Bring him up—tell him he might as well come up." I going out to head of stairs and calling, Wallace then appearing and W. greeting him again. Sturdy fire in stove. W. asked Wallace, "Is it too warm here?" Then to me, "Is it for you?" I smiled and he asked further, "Is it?" "It is too warm for me but probably not for you." "Well, leave the door open." As we left (some time after) asked me to close it again (after I assured him we did not need its light, there being a faint light in the hall below).

"If you go down to Timber Creek, Wallace," W. said, at one moment, thrusting his fingers in his vest pocket and drawing forth a silver dollar, "you will see the children: Amy has two children—a little boy, a little girl. Take this dollar—give it to Amy—tell her half is for the boy, half for the girl. And you must see Harry Stafford. They are poor—yes, poor—but" and this ended, as if word died in reflection. And again, "Let me give you some advice, Wallace: if you go to Timber Creek, go like a wise man—make no plans, indulge no speculations, expect nothing—go prepared for whatever may turn up, for good, bad. That may spare you a good deal." While Wallace was downstairs W. had remarked, "Jeannette Gilder—Jennie—was here today, with some beautiful girls. She is large, splendid, frank, manly—yes, she should have been a man." And after, "I was glad to see her. She refreshed me—and the girls, they too. The Gilders have stood by me now through the better part of 20 years, which is something to say—both Joe and Jennie—though Jennie, I think, with more warmth, with nearest to fervor. A cousin of Watson's? No, I thought Jennie was a sister—that was always my impression—but I may mistake the truth." I remarked, "Harry Bonsall is one of your old journalistic friends—he stuck by you even in the days of the New Republic." W. thereupon, "Yes, I know. There is Harry—he has always been loyal, loyal with fervid loyalty, too. Long ago, there was George B. Corse—General Corse—you met him?" To J.W.W., "He was an army officer with a lot of toploftical ideas—ideas such as military men are apt to get: glory, spreadeagle, show, gilt, bluster—a splurgey sort of fellow, George, but with good points, too. He and Bonsall were partners. I happened in the office often at that time, mostly by his invitation, suggestion. There I would meet Harry. They were good days." Then suddenly, "But you fellows are awful late. What's up? I thought you were already over the river." And after some explanations, "You ought to meet Horace Howard Furness. Yes, he will be there—is a great attender of such affairs. His deafness? It don't abash him—he goes anyhow—there is so much of that side to him. I seem to get along with him very well—we hear, are heard."

I had told W. the other day that Miss Anne Wharton had somewhere written of W. that he was after all distinctly a man's poet, not for women, at the best. W. asked, "Where did she say that?" But I did not know. Now, however, having found it was in Brains (Boston), I told W., who made merry over the article and the paper. I had suggested that Guts rather than the other thing distinguished the paper. W. then, "That is Herbert! His word—though he puts it to other meanings—'What do you think of this picture, poem, what-not, Mr. Gilchrist,' and perhaps it has line, color, beauty, and Herbert may say so—and may add, 'It has all these but it has no guts!' which is a word open to a world of significance!" Inquired then, "Will you take the Bazar now?" But I thought not—would leave till tomorrow. W. then, in comment on the Dutch picture, "We have a good deal to learn from this—oh! a good deal. It is refreshing, after the old tiresome emphasis placed upon Greek ideals of beauty—certain this, that, the other, a tradition—to strike upon such as this, to find such breadth of treatment. And the face itself, heroically made, accepted—touched with such mass (by master's hand)—such a face handled in such decision (some people would call it coarse, bloody)—the singular, latent power suggested, the character—and such work, such a personage, such momentum—as if with a solid bottom. And I tell you, bottoms are not in the world to be dispeged, as—who was it?—one of Dickens' characters—oh yes! Sary Gamp—would say."

After our good-bye to W. we went across to Philadelphia to the Penn Club. Frank Williams there—later Jastrow—later still Morris. Met there Esling, local poet and writer, who had traveled much and was replete with story or fable. Williams told me this. Lincoln Eyre's mother, Mrs. Wilson Eyre, though to that time ignorant of or opposed to "Leaves of Grass," in the summer took the book up and more carefully read it than before (if ever read before) and imbibed a certain sort of enthusiasm for parts of it—the other evening surprising a whole company of people by saying she would "recite something from Walt Whitman," whereto plying at "The Mystic Trumpeter" with great ardor and understanding. Williams astonished and pleased. Asks me now—can I get for him a copy of "As a Strong Bird" (the little volume), which contained "The Mystic Trumpeter"—along with Mrs. Eyre's name and W.'s autograph. I promise, knowing W. has copies and would do it, and that Frank Williams could nowhere else get them. "Do this for me, Horace—I'll be everlastingly indebted." "It will help me," he said again, "and help the cause."

Exhibited Emerson letters to Jastrow. Much pleased and studious over them.

Leaving Penn Club late it was one o'clock before we got home. Wallace's impression of Jastrow: "He is an odd little fellow," confessing that he felt disturbed to find that Jastrow knew so little about Walt Whitman. Liked Williams immensely. On way to Philadelphia we made notes on boat. But Wallace complains that he cannot collect himself.

Sunday, October 25, 1891

1:20 P.M. To meeting, forenoon, to hear Royce (of Harvard) speak—after which to Camden with Gilbert, reaching W.'s without delay and spending half an hour, or a little less, with him, and then going back to Philadelphia to dine with the Gilberts and to take a long afternoon walk.

W. in very good condition. Gilbert would not go up. Day superb—cloudless sky—air pure, bracing—quiet, peace, everywhere. Wallace started for Timber Creek towards eleven, intending to and I suppose did walk. W. at once spoke to me of "the beauty of the day" and Wallace's "good luck in it." I said, "He took 'Specimen Days' along with him, but what specimen days like these he is living through?" W. to that, "You are right—they are better than a fortune. And when he gets back to England, he, too, will believe what I say." He had been on the bed but insisted on rising by and by. Meanwhile, however, he talked recumbent. Gave him message from Frank Williams. He was intensely interested, at once saying, "He shall have the book—anything, anyhow, for Frank's sake—I am glad anytime to do him what small pleasures I can." Then, "You may have the book today or tomorrow or anytime you wish." After a pause, "Why not today—at once?" I objected to his getting up. "Oh! It's no matter. It's about time for me to get up anyhow. I get so sleepy and stupid—come over to the bed, then go back again—and that is about all my day's story." I proposed then myself to bring him a copy of the little book. "Do you know where to find it?" I went straight in and put my hands on the book immediately. When I returned W. exclaimed, "So you knew where they were? You seem to be all eyes!" Now I proposed leaving inscription till tomorrow, but he would not have it. "No, I will go over to my chair—write it immediately. That will get it off our minds." So he did get up and labored across to the middle window, where he put Mrs. Eyre's name in the book. He was much interested in all that Williams had told me and had considerable curiosity about Mrs. Eyre. After I had the book and was almost about to go, he cried, "Wait a minute, wait—I'll put a picture with it," reaching forward and getting one of the profiles from a bundle under the table. Endorsed it as usual "Sculptor's Profile," etc.), saying as he held it out to me, "Jennie Gilder likes that very much—had a good deal to say of it yesterday. She said for one thing, it impressed her as from marble, in the moonlight, with just a shimmer down the edges—fine beyond calculation. Certainly it has been a hit." Then he remarked, "So you had a good time last night? Tell me about it—who was there?" After I was done, "It was a good experience. I am glad you took Wallace there: it is one thing to go with the many other things he will take home with him in his picture."

Reference to the Drexel Institute, W. said, "It wonderfully appeals to me. The great word of our future is solidarity, mutual understanding—solidarity, reciprocity in international relations, manual training for the development of trade. Through these, what may not, must not, come?" And then, "That Drexel Institute affair enlists me. Accommodation for 2500! Grand! Grand! And, Horace, I am willing to have it go on record—to have it told Drexel himself: in that work Walt Whitman is with him—gives him heart, everything. It is oasis in a desert—a great fountain, a marvel, in the midst of inchoate things—oh! lifts business itself a thousand leagues above its ordinary modes." Then, "I have felt that in England, too, as here, there are scattered men, noble, instinctively free (men who love their land, love man)—men in trade, industry, factories, on 'change—to whom what I say of Drexel, here, now, would apply. And it is the foundation of a great hope." "Do you really wish me to see Drexel and tell him this?" "Yes, I do. I feel it almost a duty to send some word. I have just this morning been reading a fresh account of it in the Press. And the picture that went along seemed to unscroll the whole good deed."

Quoted from Young in yesterday's Star. Discussing Geneva tribunal Young says: "The most striking figure was Jacob Stæmpfli, the Swiss arbitrator, our strenuous friend, more American if perhaps less judicious than Mr. Adams—dominant, brusque, something of the Bismarck about him, a Demo who would have bewitched Whitman into another stanza on Democracy." Then, farewell and the trip across the Delaware. "Give my love to Frank when you see him"—this the parting shot as I passed out the door.

Monday, October 26, 1891

5:10 P.M. W. just finished making up a dozen or twenty copies of today's Record. Later I found out what caused this. For the moment, extended his hand, very cordially, "You are welcome, Horace—sit down, sit down." Then remarked at once, "Wallace has had good days—couldn't have been more fortunate. You haven't heard from him? He hasn't got back?" But I had not been home, he ruminatingly, "I suppose he won't be back now—the last train must be up"—which I questioned. How did he come to get that notion? "I gave him plenty of good advice about the Staffords—plenty—too much, I suppose. But he no doubt has found a way to accomplish his purposes." Wallace has seen the picture of W. at Mt. Pleasant—likes it: "It and the picture by Hine in New York are the only two that satisfy me." W.: "I do not wonder that he likes it."

Jastrow asked me Saturday night, "Do you know Strong, of London?" "Who is he?" "A great admirer of Whitman." "Did you meet him?" "Yes, in the summer." "What is he?" "If I tell you, you will not think more of him"—with a laugh. "Well, tell me." "He is a Sanscrit scholar—one of the greatest." At first Jastrow said, "He spoke of Whitman as the greatest poet of the century: oh! he was very hot. I was ice beside him." But when we questioned Jastrow further he remarked, "I would not like to be too certain about that 'greatest poet of the century'—perhaps he said greatest American poet. Indeed, I think it likely he did." But from Jastrow's further narrative judge Strong to be a man of power and future. W. says today, "I do not know the man—the name." Then questioned me very closely about him. "If it were true, it would set our heads very high." I said, "But it is true." He then, "You do not quite catch—I mean the judgment, not its authenticity." "Oh! There's no doubt Strong said it, but you ask, does Strong know?" W. laughed, "That's the main point of course. Yet there's probably a bit of weight belonging to it, coming from the man as you describe him, or have heard him described." I added, "But all is not golden. Clifford was in and said to me today that Fenno, managing or city editor at the Times, assured him with an air absolute that 'Walt Whitman is not only a great chestnut but a great fraud!'" This moved W. to great laughter. "Fenno—is that his name? Fenno has chased me down!" Adding however after a pause, "Yet some of the papers are after me, too. Yesterday the Record, today the New York Herald. The Record sent a young fellow named Patterson—not our Camden Pattersons—I know all them. Today the stuff appears. And it may be counted rather gloomy, unfavorable, on the whole—though true, too—essentially true. And, what is the chief thing, friendly—manifesting entire good will. Young Kerswell came from the Herald—he is their Camden (or Philadelphia) man. And now I wish you would look out for the Herald tomorrow and next day, to see what turns up there, if anything."

Conveyed to W. Frank Williams' grateful words for the book, which he will send to Mrs. Eyre, who is now in New York. W. responding, "Never mind, Frank—that's but a part of the evidence of my good will. I believe in doing all I can to brighten the planet, and Frank has done me well—oh! handsomely—many's the time!" I had this again to say to W., "Frank said to me Saturday night that he had since the spring been making a close study of Hawthorne and that especially in reading the notebooks he was constantly reminded of you, by some indefinable touch, spirit." W. looked, "Did Frank say that?" "Yes, but I contested it—at least said, a man is known by the atmosphere he keeps and that Hawthorne and Walt Whitman certainly occupied entirely distinct spheres." W. then, "I guess Frank—often think Frank (yes, and many of the other good fellows over the river there)—can hardly realize the 'Leaves'—do not reach the tapstone—face its physiological, concrete—might almost call it, its brutal, bloody—background, base. And what fact, factor, more important to know, to bargain for?" Again, "There are parts, features, faculties, detached bits, beauties, perhaps—these the fellows got—but the unitariness, the uncompromising physiology, backing, upholding, all—that they do not see, do not catch the first glimpse of."

Tuesday, October 27, 1891

Wallace met me, 4:55, as by appointment at Drexel Building, and here we looked up Frank Williams, with whom we went to the roof for a bird's-eye view of the city. This delighted us all. Wallace seemed thoroughly to absorb and luxuriate in it. To the east, looking up or down, was the winding, solemn, inevitable river, confused northward among the hills and westward in the flats. All over the city from thousands of stacks jets or puffs of steam, pure against the gray background (it blew briskly and temperature fallen far down). And far at the upper tier of houses, miles from where we stood, the departing sun had lit with its glory and gold a row of brick houses and frame—the stretching panorama showed by a million signs the busy mingling life that surged and swept on every side. Williams and I pointed out to Wallace the main places, buildings, landmarks—and we wandered across the big cemented roof, engaged by the chasing phenomena. The atmosphere not heavy but mists hung lightly, lacily, upon the horizon—the sun setting in cold color and the flowing river dusky dark (blacky) gray. Williams said, "I am glad you fellows came in to see me. Long as I have been in this building, I have never yet been up here." Leaving Williams and the building we went out on Chestnut Street again, I piloting, Wallace absorbent—stopping at Ledger for me to write and leave an advertisement; at Record to get a couple of copies of yesterday's paper. Wallace had joked with Williams, "I find I have got to Timber Creek before some of your people here." Williams then, "Yes, and I never would have got to this roof but for you"—things easy of access postponed.

Rapidly to Poet-Lore office—Miss Porter luckily in, Miss Clarke unluckily not. Some talk—a good deal of it about the tomb, Miss Porter averse and Wallace remarking, "I seem to be the only one who thinks it all right." Talked of Lowell, I mentioning the article I had on stocks, Miss Porter saying, "You may let us see it? We would like to have it." And further, after I had stated the main lines of my argument, "That would be just what we wished. I do not think as much of Lowell as the world elsewhere seems." Then, objecting to the exclusive praise usually bestowed upon Lowell's "Ode," "I think Whitman's poem, the one in 'Drum Taps'"—she seemed in a good deal of doubt about its name—"I think, as I was about to say, that this poem is at least to be mentioned with if not mentioned as better than Lowell's ode." She meant "The Banner at Daybreak." Wallace much pleased with the talk. Miss Porter asked us out to their West Philadelphia rooms. She is quite strong in her distaste for the dilettantism of the Critic and of all its sympathizers, planting herself on the human, as contra to the artistic (where artisticism is death)—and determinedly brave in her assertion of all this. Wallace rather quiet, yet now and then freely taking part. Likes her ways—her voice, etc. W. had given him a message to deliver her (he had just come from W.'s to meet me)—intelligence that he had had an extra bad day (bad sleep last night)—yet was cheerful, and as Wallace said, "He smiled as he wound it up," Miss Porter replying graciously, "That is characteristic of Walt Whitman! Thank him—yes indeed. Have you been to see him? Ah! Tell me how you left him today." Debated the propriety and consistency of the tomb, Miss Porter referring to a talk she had had with Brinton about it in which Brinton seemed, or tended, to approve—she, however, dissenting. Wallace said when we had left, "The talk threatened to confine itself to the tomb affair."

After leaving Miss Porter we went down Broad Street—I taking Wallace to show him the Art Club (where W. spoke April 1890)—to Academy (reminding him of the history of our refusal)—to Horticultural Hall. Wallace thoroughly attentive, liking to see and to have his store of practical Whitmaniana increased. On the river remarked the beauty of the night. Stars ascendant, a bit of mist and cloud—everything warmed and enlivened by the lights from the city. Remarked this as characteristic of our climate. "Nothing so much impressed me when I first got in America as the absence of smoke—to travel hundreds of miles, here and in Canada, and to see no smoke. Of course I have made up my ideas of towns mainly from Bolton, which is the only one I really know, and is very dirty. What most made me marvel just now from the top of that building was the clear air hanging over the whole place—the whole big city. There was hardly a sign of smoke."

We went straight home and had supper, after the meal I going off to see W. and do some other errands by the way, and Wallace to stay home and work over and fix his camera. I reached home from W.'s about 9:50. Wallace and Anne in dining room, Wallace writing on his notes, Anne laughing over Puck. Talk and discussion of various orders—mainly, with this question: should J.W.W. sail Saturday. We objected—set Wednesday next, and I think Wallace finally yielded to that. We have things to do together—to finish the vignettes, to look through my papers, and as I shall be engaged off and on a departure from Camden on Friday would break up the visit, and our work, abruptly. Impression is he will stay. (Read me his today's notes on the boat—interesting and well done.) Wallace wants to go back on a slow boat. Sea voyage will do him good.

8:25 P.M. Now at last to W.'s—in to his peaceful areas. Found him looking through a book of old scraps—taped, old, yellow—as if through seasons wet and dry, cold and warm. Had a lot of chopped wood piled in the room. The odor very perceptible, the instant I opened the door, and my eyes lighted on it. "Oh! You notice the odor? It has an odor—a pure sweet odor." I called it "better than the odor of flowers." "In senses," said W., "that is true. At any rate, it's a bit out of the fields for us—the odor of woods. And I conceit that it is medicinal, though as for that I am not knowing enough to swear. The smell is no longer apparent to me. At first it was very perceptible—I enjoyed it famously." W. asked me, "Where's Wallace?" I had left him home engaged with his photographic apparatus. W. inquiring, "But no harm done? Is well?" Then, "I saw by the papers that William's 'Three Tales' are to be out today. And I told Wallace he could probably get or order copies of Dave, which I suppose he will do. I am anxious enough myself to see the little volume." Then he asked, "You met Wallace? Did you see Miss Porter?" And to my "yes" said, "I am glad he could meet her—she is one of our American women, the image of whom will follow him a long time. I want him to see every side—or all the sides he can see—of our life, people, here." I gave him quite a circumstantial account of our several visits today. "Wallace has seen the Staffords. Of course you know that. Did he tell you about them? He was here today—very full in his descriptions. I think the trip to Timber Creek was a victory every way." H.L.T.: "I think I got the names of the women—the Stafford women—mixed. Who was the Amy you spoke of the other night?" "Did I speak of Amy? I don't remember. Harry's wife is Eva, his mother Susan, the two children to whom I sent the money are Harry's. There is an Amy—a young girl—daughter of one of Harry's sisters. The little girl was here—I think, born here. And they told me I should name her, which I did, giving Amy. Amy's the name of my grandmother. Amy is now out in Oklahoma or some such place West."

Williams came in to see me yesterday, after I had taken him the books, to ask if the autograph on the portrait was genuine. It was beautifully turned and the ink as black as the print above it, and Frank was in doubt. When I assured him of its genuineness he exclaimed, "It is a marvellous autograph. I could not be certain about it. How it will all please Mrs. Eyre!" W. asks now, "Did I give it any such touch? I could not have thought it myself." I picked up a picture off the floor—a copy of the same plate, autographed very much in the same way—saying to W., "See! Here is one—it is remarkably like the other." And the thing seemed rather to impress him. "That is a fortunate head all through—is mystic—a touch of shadow, of indefinability." Was touched to have me repeat some things said by Miss Porter. "It lifts us way up—it makes us feel our rights!" Nothing found in Herald yet. W. "satisfied either way." Record paltry and not amounting to anything definite. Yet W. insists, "It is substantially true—though it has a bit of black."

We were speaking of the use of foreign words. "They seem to give a music we do not always or mainly get in the English. Amy—that is from a French name—A-M-I-E"—spelling—"and fine, that way, with the e syllabled." I hit upon Marie, and W. continued, "Yes, that too! The Germans use that, and not them alone—in Russia they speak of Roos-see-a, which I think full of music. Italia? Certainly, that also, and the Italian, anyway, top to bottom." Then again, "I believe in adopting all we can—music and all. If I have the trick of music—verbal music—at all, I owe it to the great singers, actors: they were my teachers—I sat under their influence. Have I adopted many? Am I accused of many? I don't think many. There is camerado, and my great word, Presidentiad"—with a laugh—"which some don't think so great. Those two—they are our pride. John Quincy Adams—a high-jinks in that, an authority—declared that whether or no, when a nation took alien words into its language, it had the right, or assumed it, to fix its new music as it may—to adjust it to the new connections. And I suppose that will stand."

We spoke of impressive hours at theater and opera. W. saying, "You know 'Lucia' well—I am sure you do. You remember Edgardo (isn't it Edgardo?)—how, when he has the scene with her over the letter, the promise of marriage—and he grasps her by the wrist, holds her at arm's length—asks her if she wrote the letter. It is thrilling. And she is so frightened by his display of passion, she hesitates—and he then the more stirred, continuing his hold with one hand and exhibiting the letter in the other." Here W. leaned way out of his chair—his gray hair shaken, his eye bright with fire, his voice deep and full of music. "And then he says to her several times—only the one word: 'Respondez! Respondez!' And she thereupon admits, 'I wrote it! Yes! I wrote it!' Then the bag bursts—he turns about and sings the very devil's rage, sorrow." W. ending in a laugh, resuming thus, "But it is so, in a word often, that the whole act is vibrant!" I had been saying that Italian was music even where a word was not understood and W. asseverated, "It is! It is! And no one with more memory and conviction of it than Walt Whitman!" Then I described to him the opening scene of Salvini's "Gladiator," W. exclaiming, as if moved by my recital, "Vital, throbbing, with the very rush, flow, flood—yes, blood of life! Oh! I see it—see it all!"

Wednesday, October 28, 1891

5:40 P.M. Arriving at W.'s found Wallace was there waiting for me, taking a cup of tea in the kitchen. Without seeing him I went up and was with W. about 20 minutes. He recumbent—yet cheery. Hands warm (sometimes very cold). "This has been a sort of reception day," W. reported. "Frank Williams, for one, and Wallace, and Dr. Longaker. Besides these, several others. I was glad to see Frank again. And as for Doctor, he always cheers me up. The others I did not see (by 'others' I don't mean Wallace, whom I did see—twice)." Had he good talk with Frank? "Well, I don't know if it would be called that: he said something, so did I—I suppose my part of little enough weight, importance." I rallied him, "You must have felt unusually well to have passed unscathed such a run of talk." "On the contrary, I have felt unusually bad—yes, unusually bad. But then it won't do for me to spike our guns."

Bucke forwards me letters from Ingersoll and Baker. W. says of the first, "How strong, manly, direct, that is! Like a sweep of wind: straight to its mission! The Colonel dashes off his work as if mines and mines backed it up—as indeed they must. And health abounds in him—not a word but that is vital and to its aim. That may be called model letter-writing, if model comes in anywhere." And pleased to hear the Colonel's praise of Bucke's address because he had himself flattered and told Bucke that this was Bucke's best piece of work so far. And as to Baker's letter, "That is a beauty, too. And brings us the best news. I am glad to have seen them—both of them." And W. remarks, "It is wonderful how these fellows preserve their nature, individuality, in the very swim and surge of conventionality and affairs." W.'s fire throwing out flames and odor (the flame playing its game of hide-and-seek on the western wall), and the pile of wood reduced some already. "I feel the medicine of the wood. It is the next best thing to being in the forest." W. asked, "You have not seen Wallace this afternoon?" "No, but Warrie tells me he is in the kitchen, sipping his tea, waiting for me." W.: "Is he? Why, that's natural and pretty of him! The good Wallace!" Then, "You will go up together? Yes? And I have given him his books for the boys—all autographed, endorsed." A few words about tariff again, "I endorse all that anybody can say against it"—provoked by feeling that Wallace may have to pay some duty in England on his books. And in a laughing protesting way, "Wallace says you have driven your stakes around him, so he can't sail till Wednesday of next week. He will find plenty to do here, his few extra days."

Monday evening I dictated to Wallace a number of notes about W.'s friends whose names (and names alone) the Bolton fellows mainly know. Wallace pleased—I shall continue them. W. himself expresses his "gratification"—advises me to "go on, pack him full—when he gets home, not a line but he'll cherish!" Edwin Arnold lectures in Philadelphia next week. Did W. expect him over? "I wonder? I wonder?" he reflected (as if not to me, particularly), but would not say more, except in the way of inquiry as to his subject, etc. He complained a good deal of his "bad day" and of the fact that somehow he felt "a growing lethargy, deathiness." As I left, W. gave me a brief postal to mail to Bucke.

I did not stay to worry him. Off with J.W.W. to 537. He is in very happy mood. The sunset and its after-glow (after-gold, and the cloudless blue sky) moved him to admiration—yes, adoration. They did not have such nights in England. "We have our own sunsets, but they are not like these. I watched the sky from the boat while coming over this afternoon." After tea I had to go to Philadelphia to Ethical Culture Society meeting, and left Wallace to do his work and will about home as he chose. He will absolutely go on Wednesday.

When I returned, towards midnight, I heard J.W.W. snoring lustily.

Thursday, October 29, 1891

4:40 P.M. W. yesterday said to me, "Yes, go to the Ledger building—take Wallace—meet Childs if you can. I won't give you a letter, but you can say you are from me—and you may give him my good word and tell him he is often in my thoughts as I sit here in my den."

Today as I entered (his dinner finished) he was reading local papers. In very good mood. Wallace had taken lunch with Morris, Anne and me at the Bullitt Building—there telling me he had been in to see W. in the morning and found him not very well. Enjoyed dinner every way—Anne and J.W.W. leaving Morris and me to go out to Tioga, where the Fels will drive them out.

But now no trace of W.'s evil appearing, I felt willing to stay and listen to the flow of talk he let loose. I had brought him a pear, a sample the like of which would serve to defy augury or comparison. It had a blush on one cheek and down the neck. W. took it and dwelt upon its beauty—turning it over and over—putting it to his nose, "What a wonder that is—a ravishment of beauty—a revelation! What if you were to send a load of these to England—would they not be a marvel, a gift out of the heavens? Oh! the beautiful, beautiful pear! A light to the eye. 'If you have two loaves of bread, take one, sell it, and get you flowers in its stead—for while the bread will nourish the body the flowers will stay the soul.' So, or like that, Jean Paul—and I add to it, fruit. Oh! the fruit and flowers—they bless, they re-create, the old earth! Look at the blush of this little effervescent red, and"—turning the stem down—"the balloon-shaped pear! What it means to me!" I said, "Mrs. O'Connor told us that William Henry Channing had said to her, or to William, that he was rejoiced to find that the American threatened to become a fruit-eating nation." W.: "And when they do become a fruit-eating, wine-drinking, music-loving nation, then they will produce things worth talking about! And they are on the way, no doubt. But one of the dangers is in the damnable law-making tendencies of the time, democracy: the malice to throw everything into the legal scales. It would ruin us, if continued. But it won't continue—something will break the strain. Take this Tilden case. Yes, I read the papers—the will is broken. You think the niece will yield the money or a part of it? We shall see—the reports are reports—they may be no more. We speak of jurists, the law—but if law could do no more for us than this, it can't begin to pay its debts. I say, damn the law, juristry—it is a sham. Warrie finds that Wallace wants a box in which to pack the books he will take home with him. Wallace would go to a carpenter, but Warrie steps in—volunteers. Now today Warrie takes one of my boxes here. I was willing enough, did not need it—and asks me—if I do so and so, would it not suit Wallace? And I tell him—ask me no questions—take the box—obey your own instincts—you have handled boxes—you know what Wallace wants: and so I leave the rest with him. In most affairs we have to invest individuals with discretionary powers—should, too—their work is like to be better done for it. Apply this to the Tilden case. The ruling of the court seems to have been that too much was left to the discretion of the executors, yes, too much, damn 'em! as if Tilden—wise in his day—didn't mean, intend his after-workers to use their judgment in the particulars which the big job would include. Now, if that's what law can do, then law won't do much, though it is good at undoing. What I said to Warrie about the box is what Tilden substantially said about the will—the principal thing is that a certain this or that is to be done, there is no doubt of the intention—a thing to be done! Gads it! But the court steps in and says, you shan't dispose of your goods that way, there's only one way—my way—and if you won't travel that, the devil's in you." I put in, "Why shouldn't Tilden have vested faith in his executors?" W. quickly, "True, why shouldn't he? Nor has the court answered that, though it has answered a hundred other useless questions. It was the wonder with Queen Elizabeth—always established, proved her—that she knew enough to select great ministers, to know how and who to fit—man, place. So that great events, trials, found a great hand ready to meet them. In government, trade, anything, that is a first quality. And these judges—these laws, anyway—seem wholly lost to the most important facts of their case. It is one of the discouragements—this legal fiddle-de-dee. But we will get by, and yes, live through, triumphantly issue at last." He had set much heart on this Tilden bequest: it was "a great hope for New York," he says—and threatened to give it needed things. "Now all shattered, spent, lost." W. asked further, "Wallace seems quite determined to go next Wednesday. I suppose you have sounded him for that thoroughly?"

Had I yet seen Dave about the new pages for "Leaves of Grass"? "I am very anxious to see them—to have a look—to know, at last, that they are in practical effect!" Miss Porter regrets (so she tells me) that Miss Gilder was in town and they could not meet (have never met). W. says, "They may meet. The Gilders (or Jennie, anyhow) will stay at Bordentown this winter." We spoke of Wallace—I mentioning his extreme modesty—indisposition even to order a dinner on his own part. "No dogmatism." W. then, "I suppose it is all right—right for him to be as he is—right for Colonel Bob to be as he is: they may do their own work, each according to his nature." Gave me letters to mail—H. B. Forman and Funk & Wagnalls.

Brinton back in town. In to see me this morning. Hearty and happy. Came on La Gascoigne—hard voyage, storms, etc. Arrived two days ago. Says he has the pamphlet from Johnston and at once acknowledged. Very concerned about W. Had not yet seen the August Lippincott's. As to his own speech, "I could not give it to you. I had no note, no preparation—nothing; and I could not have written it up, even, perhaps, as to substance. And I do not like the notion of giving out speeches I do not make—though to some people that is no great matter." Wishes to get over to see W. Arranged with him for us (J.W.W. and H.L.T.) to call Monday night—eight to nine—at which last hour he goes to the reception for Arnold. Is now at home in city again—2041 Chestnut. W. greatly interested in all this. Brinton had asked, "Would W. wish me to call? Would he see me?" W. when I told him responding, "See him? Yes indeed, and only too glad! He belongs to the tribe, 'Leaves of Grass'—is one of its best lights. You will tell him to come?" Some further words of Arnold, but W. seems less curious than on some other occasions. Had he seen curious laughable ridiculous article in today's Press: "Walt Whitman's Tomb"? "What was that?" he asked. And when I restated, "It could not have been in my copy—must have come in a later edition." Just then I spied the Press among a pile of papers at his feet and picked it up, finding the big piece (more than half a column) under its big display head without trouble, he exclaiming, "How odd that is! I look into every chink and corner of the papers—pride myself that nothing escapes me: yet this is new to me this very minute—eluded me altogether this morning." I spoke of "the lugubrious birthday present" and he echoed me, "It's that, of course—or would have been, if there was any present about, as there was not." However, "But if there's that missed, I have a note in another direction. The French periodical, the Nouvelle Revue—published in Paris (I think Madame Adam edits it, has charge)—printed a piece in its August issue which it headed, as I understand it, 'Poe-Whitman-Browning.' It is by a man named Sheppard: J. H. or J. B. Sheppard—I forget which—but Sheppard. I have not seen the magazine—Oh no! only heard of it—otherwise I would not ask you to hunt it up. I remember, months ago, the man Sheppard wrote to me—some application, and I sent him a copy of the big book—sending it to his Parisian address. But I never heard anything from him or of it from that time to this. This article may be one of its effects—though it would be hard to know." Desired me to look up a copy of the magazine. I referred to place at Third and Walnut—an old store (kept for many many years)—where such odds and ends or infrequent literary bits could be secured. W. said at once, "I remember that place—it has a kind of fame. Forney told me he went there for all his special purchases in the periodical line."

Then away—later on to Tioga (the Fels) where I found Wallace and Anne—who, with Mrs. Fels and Mrs. Gilbert had quite a drive from which Wallace was much exhilarated. Home and to bed midnight. Wallace showed me yesterday's notes. Very interesting. We talked matters over—for instance, this: whether we would say anything to Johnston about my notes—thought he would, yet having some doubt still. I gave him caution. Wallace wants to have W. drive out but considers it doubtful. Desires to see Pea Shore. I shall try to take him.

Friday, October 30, 1891

4:50 P.M. W. on his bed. Day balmy, beautiful. "A king among days," W. called it. "Sorrowed" he could not go out—"Everything tempted" except his "own inclination"—that had lost all its old back and bone. "But Wallace wishes to go to Pea Shore," I said. W. to that, "He ought to go—ought to." What if I ordered a carriage for tomorrow? W. said, "Chances are against my going," but I was "to order" if I thought best, and Wallace could go with us anyway. Indeed W. wants him to go. I subsequently ordered carriage for 4:45. Little expectation that W. will be able to join us. Keeps fire burning. Still the pile of wood and its aroma. Why was W. on bed? Worse? "No, not worse—though bad enough. But I have had visitors today—am now some worn out. But," he said inquiringly, with a lift of his voice, "Wallace has not been here—where is Wallace?" On which I could give no word explaining.

I told W. a curious story given me by Brinton. B. said, "I know Knortz—the Rev. Karl Knortz, of Brooklyn—know him well. Yes, he is an admirer of Mr. Whitman—has written about Whitman. And Knortz has written about Longfellow, too." We drifted into some talk about W.'s dislike of personal worship and incense-burning. Brinton remarked, "I understand that. It is a great trait. Mr. Whitman stands supreme in that. That is one reason why 'Leaves of Grass' is for me." When I gave this to W. I put it, "Brinton understands, as I said to him, that you don't like to be incensed!" W. laughed with great heartiness, rolling his head round on the pillow my way, "That's so—Whitman don't! Bright and true! And so Brinton caught on to that? And he spoke of 'Leaves of Grass' as for him? I count that as a distinct cast our way." And I went on, "Brinton said further, when I dwelt upon this trait: 'Mr. Whitman is there—as in many or most other respects—entirely unlike Longfellow. Longfellow liked incense, flattery and praise. Knortz told me that he knew Longfellow, I think intimately—or, anyway, often saw him. And that Longfellow accepted him, or allowed him, so to speak, as long as the praise and applause lasted. But one day, somehow Knortz ventured to criticize or to take exception to something Longfellow had written, and from that time forth the gentle Longfellow had little or nothing to do with Knortz.'" W. exclaimed, "The gentle Longfellow—sure enough. Is Brinton's story possible?" Then, "I have never met Knortz, so of course I had no way of learning that—a thing he probably would not care to write out or have occasion for in a letter." I said, "I never knew before that Knortz was a minister." W. at that, "He is not! He has thrown all that aside." "Yet Brinton spoke of him as Reverend." "Probably—the title has held over, I suppose. I hardly think he has embarked on that sea again. Long ago he was a preacher, off here in some mid-Pennsylvania town. But he threw aside his husks, went to New York, and has since made his money, his living, in literature. He has written about 'Leaves of Grass'—seems to be a solid, sober, learned man, quite of the best German type. We always took to him, and he is to be grateful for, anyway—he has so truly espoused, stood up for, our cause."

Morris came in at Bank about 2:30—said to me, "Say, I have just been over to see Walt—took Miss Repplier with me. It was very funny, almost ridiculous. There was no particular reason for going except that she wanted to go and I had promised to take her." How had it come about? What was the result? "It came about in a very ludicrous way. I'll tell you." And he recited this: that John Bigelow's daughter, a Mrs. Lawrence, "living in Baronial style here beyond Philadelphia," had recently met a Mrs. or Miss Whitman, leader of a social set or more, in Boston, and heard her read with some warmth and ardor "The Mystic Trumpeter"—thereupon having her own eyes opened to possible power and greatness of Whitman and resolving to examine and know more of his work and character. All which came to Miss Repplier through the Lawrence woman and moved her to wish—yes, Morris says, even to determine—to visit him, or see him, if a formal visit might be out of the question. Says Morris, "Whitman's books have been possible to her all her life, and she knows him and can quote him; yet nothing that she has read, and nothing others have said, has so stirred her as this favorable judgment from a great society woman. It is characteristic of her." So had they gone over, "And Walt received us, kindly, courteously, and in his upstairs room. I guess we were there half an hour. He was just as frank and easy as at other times, and showed no sign of wonder, why we had come. But the whole thing is singular enough—was hardly a base for a visit." Yet they had had a satisfactory talk. Morris says that W. told Miss Repplier that it must have been Miss Whitman's voice that impressed Mrs. Lawrence, and this led to some discourse on vocal gifts, power, what the voice could do—its reach and range. With a good laugh Morris narrated W.'s reference to "the damnable intellectuality of the time"—aimed, or applicable, direct to Miss Repplier, "but I don't know whether she took it." Now that I sit with W. he refers to this visit. "Morris brought Miss Repplier here. We had quite a talk. But I have had in mind to ask: What the devil did she come for? She did not seem to have any errand at all." A bright stroke of intuitional feeling—for what Morris recites to me at length, something in her manner had betrayed to W.'s deliberate but unerring senses. I repeated Morris's story, W. thereupon: "I thought there was a bee in it. And yet it's a small bee—hardly much to count for. But I am glad they came. Morris is always welcome. She is very cute, very intellectual. Yes, with a sharp, sheer tongue—evidently au fait with smart things—of late certainly 'up' in the formal literary world—in the magazines, papers—writing essays, what-not, of the better sort. I suppose I was a curio to her—had such an interest."

We had some talk of Arnold, "I have a letter from May Johnston. By the way, her note, short as it was, seemed to indicate that John was still in bed—still sick. I wonder if it's anything bad? But I was going to say, she writes to tell me that Arnold came in there the other day—or yesterday—with Major Pond, inquiring about me and seeming to be glad to have such intelligence as May could give him." But whether W. would see anything of him here "another thing," he remarked. Yet, "You will see him next Monday, I suppose, you and Wallace. Morris said he had had a ticket sent Wallace." But I had none (finding one at home later). "Well, you will have to go with him—he can hardly go alone—will feel in a strange garret."

After leaving W. I took haste to Harned's. W. had said, "Give them all my love there—the baby and all. Yes, my dearest love. And tell Tom, anyhow, to come and see me."

Harned not home to tea. I to Philadelphia at 7:30 and back by 10:45—and from this hour till 12 sat with Wallace going on with the Whitman vignettes.

Morris took W. peaches today.

W. said, "Yes, I knew John Bigelow—met and talked with him quite often—a big fellow."

Saturday, October 31, 1891

Last night Miss Porter asked me for some address to the study class of the Browning Club (Philadelphia) on the naturalism of Walt Whitman. I left the matter open—would not absolutely reject, neither say the "yes" she wished. But I am tempted to try my hand on the question. Miss Porter has been solicitous to use my Whitman-Lowell paper. Wrote me about it—date 27th. But I have it in rough notes and could not meet her ideas of time. She is willing to let it lay over.

Law wrote me (16th) [re a letter from James W. R. Collins requesting all the editions of Whitman's Burns articles, to be sent to W. C. Angus, the "great Burns man in Glasgow"]. But as there are no varied or complex editions of the Burns, Law, advising with me, later, one day where I met him, made up his mind to so report. Johnston writes me very lovingly (14th)—announces sending me copies of Great Thoughts for Wallace, W. and H.L.T. Gave them about as advised. W.: "Glad to see it, if for no more than to know what it offers. One does not, must not, take all offerings." I also have a letter from Johnston dated 21st—much of it about Wallace—and seemingly bright with hope and love for him and gladness that he prolonged his stay: 54 Manchester Road, Bolton, England Oct 21/91 My Dear Traubel, I have just finished short letters to Walt & Wallace & now for an equally brief one to you. Again comes a sweetly precious missive from you & again have I to thank you for your good words of loving cheer & sympathy every one of which I reciprocate & echo across the sea. I fear that Wallace may have sailed before any letter reaches him. If so you may read it if you like tho there is nothing in it & send it to his home address. Ditto with the paper. His stay in the North has been longer than you anticipated & we hope to hear of his health being the better for it permanently. He is very enthusiastic about the Canadian climate, & scenery & people. His letters have been a great joy to us all. Our only fear has been that the writing of them has been a tax upon him & an intellectual strain wh. he would have been better without. We dearly love his letters but we are too fond of him to encourage the self sacrifice of his health, or at least of his nerve energy wh. we know the writing of his dear good letters implies. Fred Wild the other day when speaking of him said—"Why didn't he stay longer (at Fenelon Falls & Bobcaygeon) & write less?"—and Wallace himself will thoroughly understand Fred's feelings. Pardon this brief & hurried note. I must off to my duties wh. await me. Sometimes there seems to be no rest for a Dr. but with all its drawbacks I love my profession dearly. Good day to you & God bless you & your dear wife. Ever yours, Johnston Wallace says Johnston sometimes "blue" about Bolton—will probably eventually take up stakes and go elsewhere. Loves the country, the freer air every way.

Bucke letter, 25th, dwells upon W.'s condition and my silence (have not written for days—too busy with J.W.W.), but all is well, and Bucke so divines from my few missives. Bucke's letter 29th very hearty and specially recognizing my occupations and excusing my silence, even to himself. Noble good fellow! 29 Oct 1891 My dear Horace I was glad to get today yours of 17th. Received, also, today card from W. written 17th he says—"I am down with a bad spell sort of general congestion." Perhaps I shall hear something of this in your next (or it may be a passing feeling). I know you have been busy with Wallace etc. etc. and think nothing of you not writing—only too glad that there was nothing especial to write about. What you say about the Emerson letters is very interesting. Yes, if you & I could live 50 years (you may) our collections would make us the envy of the world. Love to Anne R. M. Bucke At 4:45 sharp I was at W.'s, and almost the same minute Warrie drove up with the carriage—a double team—quite lively animals. I went up to W., who greeted me cordially and asked, "Is the wagon here?" "Yes." "And you are ready to go?" And after a pause, "But as for me—I am to stay here. I think it best for me not to venture out." Warrie came in, "Well, Mr. Whitman, will you go?" "No Warrie, my chains are too heavy—I am chained. You must manage without me." As we did. Had his big gown on, buttoned—local papers on his lap—evidently engaged to read. Looked out at the north. "A perfect day to go, perfect. And if you take my advice you will go at once—it will soon be dark, soon nightfall. Warrie, have you got a good horse?" "Two of 'em, Mr. Whitman." "Two of 'em? That is style: well, it will help you on and out, which is the chief thing at so late a start." And so we said our good-bye. He gave me postal to mail to Postmaster at Wilmington—on which he asked if a money order for him, sent from England in April, and mistakenly drawn on Wilmington, was on file there. "It is a curious thing," W. remarked, "a case in which my name don't count for much in an address."

Out, rapidly stopping by the way at Harned's. Thomas not home. He had expected to go with us. Some talk with T.B.H. with whom we engaged to dine Monday afternoon. Then to the country—arriving at Pea Shore about nightfall—the sun casting its last red light. The waters still—licking up the sand—the light receding—the day about done. We gazed out on the broad waters with silent lips. I recalled a long past—then broke into some reminiscence concerning W. We gathered some grasses standing at the shore-side. Solemn thought—the shadows thickened. Wallace said by and by, "The red is all gone out." We turned with moved hearts from the scene and drove home through the arriving night. Wallace wrapt in the hour, the occasion. Wallace and Warren took a drive down for the packing-box. When Wallace was back we went on for an hour with the vignettes.

Sunday, November 1, 1891

Wallace went with us to hear Salter. Mrs. Gilbert and Joe over all night. Salter late—audience dismissed. So finally reading his beautiful lecture to about fifty people. Wallace much attracted—thought the address eloquent, noble. As a postscript I introduced J.W.W. and Salter and they had some pleasant chat together—Wallace remarking his interest in Salter through the Conservator and Salter his in Wallace through the Lippincott's report. It was a very happy meeting—the two such good faces. Were to have a walk in the afternoon. Went to Dooner's for dinner—Wallace, Gilbert and H.L.T. Talk of the trip—of the plans. I advised Wallace to go Tuesday early and try to get a glimpse of Ingersoll. I would give him a note of introduction. From Dooner's to Camden and W.'s.

2:15 P.M. Reached W.'s. Warrie not home. Upstairs immediately. Mrs. Davis had admitted us. I had these words on my lips as I entered, "Here are all the pilgrims!" W. looked up from his paper, "Welcome pilgrims! Welcome Horace! And you, Wallace, too. Ah! and you, sir," to Gilbert, whom he then saw and whose name he had evidently forgotten—hands extended to each in turn. Quite soon to Wallace, "Your time is short, Wallace. You go tomorrow?" "Yes, that is the arrangement." "I have just been writing to Bucke—a bit of a letter." Wallace wondered if it was too late to have his love sent in it? "Yes, I'm afraid so. I have sealed it. But there'll be another!" Then he inquired, looking at J.W.W., "You got your jaunt to Pea Shore. Tell me about it. What did it amount to?" The sunset, the waters, the coming of night—all moved him. Said he, "Yes, I remember the water there: it is very gentle—a swish, a purr, like a cat's—just a soft touch—not a murmur, ever. And always sweetest at nightfall." And again, "I am glad you got that—there is nothing more to the purpose, more to convey the right impression. Things are flat there, but beautiful beyond word." Wallace said it was the weather which had most moved and astonished him, the succession of fine days, W. saying, "Well, in this district—up along Long Island—we are like to have such days, such skies. I have known so much and more than our recent experience. Though all has lately been fine enough." Referred to five weeks spent in New York (Wallace speaking back to his trip)—"in May and June"—and knew the lay of the city pretty well, and had known hardly a day of bad weather that whole term. Wallace quoted Burroughs that Englishmen more freely venture out in bad days, W. remarking, "I suppose some of our bad days are worse than your worst." And again, "Your climate must make a great boom in wet-weather things—umbrellas, coats." And as to "my own tramps," as he said, "I went with hardly a thought of the weather, in rain or sunshine." W. asked us anxiously, "Have you had to eat? Shall I have Mary make something for you?" I said with a laugh, in which all immediately joined, "Wallace wanted to eat a whole porterhouse steak himself at dinner." W.—mockery of wonder, "Why, Wallace, that's the best news yet!" And now, "Where have you been this morning? Tell me." H.L.T.: "To hear Salter—Wallace enjoyed him." "Salter? Is Salter in town?" Then towards Wallace, "I guess there's a great field for preachers and churches, but in my area there's little to stake on 'em—precious little—nothing at all in fact: I took no stock in the business, any time—it had no call for me—never had!" Further, "You're thinking of going tomorrow? That leaves you little time. Warrie will come up—help you pack. It seems to me I would put a pretty stout rope on that box. It will be more secure. I would not swear to it as it is now. How will you get it in England, when you get it there? Oh! You will send it from Camden to New York by express? That's better still: it will save you a lot of trouble." Showed W. a leaflet I had from G. W. Cooke listing his lectures, among them finding "Some Leaders of Modern Thought" with Whitman enumerated (George Eliot, Darwin, Browning, Emerson, Whitman, Ibsen). W. remembers Cooke's Camden visit a couple of years ago. "I remember the man, too: the man was the chief part of him."

Through the talk here and all that followed W. wore as benign and grand a look as ever man could or ever he had; so much this, indeed, that it seemed almost transfiguration to me—and Wallace afterwards mentioned it, with words of sorrow, that so splendid an hour could not be arrested and his face, as then radiant, caught in some picture for the future that will revere him. But to go on. W. asked, "Have you heard anything from Garland? Nothing at all? I am all at sea about that book." Was it not yet sent? "No, I lost the address: he gave me the name of somebody to whom to send it." "Why, I picked up the letter from the floor the other day and read it." "Is it so? Did you do that? But where is the letter now?" Which sent me searching about among the confused papers. Nor did I abandon my quest—from time to time, while we talked, poking about—W. at one moment saying with a laugh, "It is the search for a needle in a haystack." Yet I finally found the letter, much to his surprise. I had said, "Garland speaks in the letter of enclosing the money." W.: "I don't think he said that. There was no money in it, anyway." And now, however, he could see I was right. "It is curious how I have been defeated in this thing. Now I shall send the book." Then again, "I have had a devil of a time over this whole thing. Garland has himself left his old address—gone to Roxbury, I think. Once I sent his letters to Jamaica Plains. So I was in doubt even how to write him for the other address. A curious mix-up, tie-up—the whole affair a little smoky—not plain to me."

I told W. I wished Wallace to step in and meet Ingersoll—that I would give him a letter. W. thereupon, "Yes, do so." Then turning to Wallace to say, "You ought to see him in one of his great splurges—in his speechifying, on the platform. It is a sight—yes, a hearing—to remember!" Then with a warmth and fire of convicting speech went on to this effect, "Ingersoll? Oh! He's a great growth—a superb, natural specimen—in humanity, in literature, in criticism, in speculation, in outright expression, mobility (yes, in the use of English itself—the pure stream!), in thought, in progress, in all that go with, belong to, these, his the top of the heap, the top of all heaps. His ideals and ideas of civilization are magnificent beyond comparison. I know no other anywhere to even come in sight of it. Magnificence—yes, with here and there a horrible whim, fancy, humor, the devil's own! His spirit is vast, expansive, expanding. It lifts you, it is like a mighty stream, like a geyser at Yosemite, giving everything, in a great flood—good, bad, everything—a wealth of vision, music, in him, too, and freedom—freedom to say all he thinks, sees, believes. In these directions, in his manhood—his port, personality—probably, undoubtedly, incomparable. Most of our fellows give of what they imbibe from libraries, books—what men have written, said. Ingersoll? No, never that—nothing of the kind. Ingersoll is vast, big—as a tree, a great plant. Probably there nowhere exists a rounder, saner sample, a more vehement spirit, than Bob Ingersoll—full of faults, mistakes—full of splendor, justice, truth—sweet to me, to us, by the rich out-throw of his manhood—his superb, all-breathing health—physiological, spiritual—a delver not in books, fancies, but in natural processes, elements."

We were greatly moved by this outburst. Wallace remarked that he had never read anything of Ingersoll's except the Whitman lecture. W. as to that (with a laughing merry musical tone), "That's largely a pouring out of his emotional nature— not so much a tribute to what I am as to what he has heard I am or ought to be. That's the origin of what I called out when you first came here—that you should, yes, come to be disillusioned." But was not sympathy at the base of all real criticism? Was it to be made to appear less? W. then warmly, "No, not at all—I did not mean that. Bacon—some cute fellow, I think Bacon—has said that no man can criticize another, do him justice, anyway compass, measure, him—except out of an enthusiasm, or the fire that lights up, moves, enthusiasm—from affection, from such a point of view. That of course is the justification of the Colonel: his point of view—his radiant lovingness—his capacity to receive, accept, keep—with none of the damned pessimisms or inquisitionals, or all that, to interrupt, becloud—for which, through which, all criticism, anywhere, is made null and void."

Wallace spoke to W. about a possible ride tomorrow. W. said, "We will have to wait till tomorrow comes—to wait to see what it will bring with it. Sometimes it is the worst." Then turning to me, "The New York papers have me dead—or substantially so. They have been driving hot and fast in each other with dark stories: the worst of which is, that the prospects ahead are not cheery." I announced, "I am already preparing for your next birthday." W. seriously, "I would not do so. By next birthday I shall occupy the house out there"—throwing his hand east, as if to welcome Harleigh and its asylum. Still we laughed down his fears and said we would go on. "The college is to send a representative," I remarked, Wallace then protesting mildly and W. saying, "We will not be complete without them." Still inquiring about O'Connor's book. Not out at date.

W. offered to mix us some porter sang, which he did skillfully. Put some water in jug—washed it—had me pour contents into the bowl. Mixed the drink with a pencil—tasted it twice right out of the jug. Finally it was passed around, a loving cup: Whitman, Wallace, Gilbert, H.L.T. I was going to leave a bit for J.W.W. but W. exclaimed, "No, you finish it, Horace." Laughed a good deal when reminded of the drink he had mixed for Morris. Talked of Longaker. "I have great respect for him—he is a simple healthy nature—and professionally, I suppose has the weightiest forces back of him. So I hear—so Horace tells me, too. And his cheer is always sunny, always refreshing. Longaker, like Bucke, attributes all my ills, everything, in one subtle way or another, to brain degeneration, the paralysis, the gradual extension of the paralysis. I have a notion that I have a good deal of catarrh, probably all through me—but however, I am in a pretty bad way, that much is certain." I spoke of Longaker's confidence in his future—barring cold and extra-excitement. "I have long seen that, Horace—yes, long. And try to guard against colds. The excitement business I am not likely to fall into. And of one thing I am convinced: my heart is sound, thoroughly. I know Osler used to speak of the heart, and Brinton has said things to Horace, but on that score, there's no danger. Though, when the end comes, God knows just what form it will take." All this calm—as science-like as if in some objective deliverance.

He held the mug up. "See this? Isn't it nice? Warrie gave this to me—it was a present from Warrie," and he lifted and dropped the hinged cover to show us its manipulation. "Many a good brew in this," he said. "It was Egg Harbor I just gave you." I told him that in Reisser's Rathskellar were hundreds such mugs spread up the wall. My description as I went on moved him. "What a good place to go to! You ought to take Wallace there." "I would if he had time." "Well," with a twinkle, looking towards Wallace, "well, there are good boats next Saturday!" Wallace, however, "I have my passage engaged, Mr. Whitman—I have put it off long enough." Yet was amused and laughing himself. Finally we had to say our good-bye. We were out for a long walk, W. saying, "I enviges you!" This reminded me to say, "Wallace tells me you used enviges on a postal or in a letter and they took it for a French word!" This excited W. to great merriment, "To think of that! Don't you know your own authors? You have been neglected, sure enough!" We wished he could go along. "So do I—if I did go, I would be the wildest, gayest of you all!"

Out and away. Reached Morris' at 3:45. Longaker already there. Off at once—into the Park—up to the Falls bridge east—across and down the western side—fine talk by the way and brisk walk. Wallace along with the liveliest—taking supper at Gilbert's (Mrs. G., Anne, Wallace, Gilbert, H.L.T.). A merry time. Wallace increasedly good at story-telling. Not to bed, Camden, till midnight. Wallace says, "I have given up hope of full rest till I get off to sea."

Note: W. spoke of Rome to Wallace. "He is one of the best Scotch samples—rugged, true, temperate, sane, simple—every way." Circumstantially spoke, too, of one of his old companions, "Hop John—a good fellow, out of German stock."

Monday, November 2, 1891

4:50 P.M. To W.'s expecting to meet Wallace, but they told me he had been there and gone up for Anne, the two intending to go to Harned's together—we having all to dine there. W. in very good humor. This morning's Press contained an interview with Arnold and at its close: "Today Sir Edwin will go over to Camden and call upon Walt Whitman." And I saw by the Post, which I read on the boat, that Arnold had really been there. W. talked of it quite freely. "They came three together: Arnold, Young and Pond. Arnold looks very good, very well—as if the Japan trip had done him good. He is very hearty, frank—had a good deal to say—was flattering—too much that—seemed every way in the best spirits. Yes, has a good voice—plenty of expression. Certainly a good voice for a parlor, whatever it might turn out to be, or not to be, on a platform. But Young, Horace—oh! he is handsome—seems to me to get handsomer every time I see him—strong, round, solid. And Young was very bright—had, has, true, solid sense. And, Horace, John brought me a message—a good one, too—it was from the Colonel. He told me he dined with Ingersoll the other day—told me of their jolly time together (how jolly it must have been). Ingersoll, knowing John was to come here, sent the noblest message." I asked W. if he remembered it? "Not its exact words, but its spirit: it was characteristic, affectionate, a welling-out of his marvellous emotionality—just such a word as you know he feels and can say." I could see by W.'s manner that it had touched him—gone below any spot penetrated by Arnold and Young. I said, "Ingersoll loves freedom—he seems to find his introductory contact with persons, causes, on the side of liberty." W. to that, "You are right—I have always felt that to be latent, active—yes, perhaps the best thing—part—of him. Though it is hard to discuss such a man in parts. But his message—well, it was good as a lover's. And indeed, who a better lover than the Colonel or who could wish another?" Had Arnold stayed long? "No, not very. But long enough. I was glad to see him—yes, to see John, too. John has not met me in a long while. Yet we used to meet often. And emotionally, at least, he accepts me—accepts my book." Wallace, though here, had not seen the visitors. W. then inquired about Gilbert. "Who is he? What does he do? Tell me—give me his measure. I am sort o' interested in him." So I stepped into that road and travelled it some time for him. When I referred to Gilbert's designing skill, W. exclaimed, "Good! Good!" And when I said, "When he first came to America he had not intended staying, but now declares, though his worldly prospects might be better there, he would on no account go back," W. exclaimed again, this time, "Splendid! Splendid! What a thing it is to hear. And I am often finding myself anyway wondering why the best fellows in England all seem curiously American. Take the Bolton group—how American! How American skies seem to float into them. And our rivers, spirit, life."

I asked W. if he had seen this in the Record:

Sir Edwin Arnold, in his address at the Lotos Club, of New York, on Saturday night, touched on the debt which the English language owes to the poets of America, mentioning among others, "the glorious, large tempered dithyrambics of Walt Whitman." Whitman's muse has truly been dithyrambic and unconventional to the close—the "wood notes wild" which first rang in his verses have never given place to a keynote of formality. It is fitting that the closing days of America's most unique bard should be brightened by this tributary glow from the "Light of Asia." 
It seems he had. He said of it, "The note is better than Arnold's own phrase. Do you know who could have written it? No? I had a mind to—even commenced to write a postal, asking who was responsible for it—for somehow I felt as if I owed him my thanks—at least, to show I appreciated his good will. And I felt the paragraph deeply—yes, deeply—for it has a ring of true feeling, a comrade touch, a bit of human lovingness and cheer, a lifting emotionality. What is more precious than that? The beat of the heart itself not more so." I thought I might learn who had written it. Said W., "Do so—for me."

W. remarks now, "Horace, I am opposed to Warrie's going over with Wallace. Wallace ought to go alone—ought to be free of all that—anything like encumbrances. With Warrie with him, he would feel tied, if only out of simple courtesy—both would in fact feel this. Wallace will go to the Colonel—will want to be alone. Yes! I am in favor of his seeing Colonel Bob—only, he must not expect too much of it. It will glimpse him something, no more. To see a man like that first, once, is like getting a first look at the sea: it may fill you, but you barely take it in. Nevertheless Wallace will wake to some new things if he has a chance at the Colonel—even a few minutes." Adding that "of course the Colonel, with his luminous speech, is more apt to reveal a part of himself, first lick, than an inarticulate fellow."

At one moment he had great difficulty in hearing me and said, "My deafness increases—I seem to get worse and worse—almost a daily change perceptible."

Told W. I hoped to gather some of the fellows at Penn Club reception and take them away to give J.W.W. a good-bye. "A splendid idea! If only I could be with you! I'd be the wildest one of the lot!" And after a slight pause, "Good will! That is the word. If I were with you I should toast: 'Our friend Wallace here is here in demonstration first of all of good will: international good will. Good will between nations, good will between religions, good will between individuals: good will! It is the passport to solidarity!'" W. said to me, "Wallace has bade me good bye. Sweet fellow, he thought to hold back, linger, knew not whether to go or to stay. But go he must—yes, the tide will out!" I suggested, "We may all three stop in on the way to Philadelphia this evening." "Yes, do—you are always and anyhow welcome." And as I passed out the door, "Tell them all, Walt Whitman responds to their good feeling. Do not forget: love to all—to Mrs. Harned, Tommy, the baby—to Tom himself."

7:40 P.M. Evening. Supper at Harned's—a good time. Anne and Wallace coming in rather late—delayed in their packing. Wallace said his farewell to W.—had kissed him and rushed out, as he said, crying so that "people on the streets must have thought I was an idiot." From this time on, blue—or a streak bluish—yet full of his grateful cheer, for all things said and done for him. I gave him the Record—read them the passage, which they thought rather remarkable, certainly happy. Wallace much amused at the Post's mention of him as an English literary light. "That is the best thing yet—I should like to take that home as a curiosity." He had been in to see Bonsall and "had a good talk, though not a long one." Wallace much liking Harned. "He is a frank, manly man," and his straightforward ways a charm. We left for Philadelphia about 7:30—stopping in by the way at W.'s—going straight to Brinton's (2041 Chestnut—now his townhouse) where we spent a full hour, talking about Russia—the Russian treatment of the Jews—questions of freedom in Europe. Brinton full of ideas—loaded with information. Had things to say about Col. Eglitz's book of which he had written me from Berlin. Will give us ideas of that before Ethical Society. Afterward to Penn Club together—along with us Captain Nelson, I was told one of Stanley's lieutenants in Africa (staying with Brinton for a season).

At Club introduced Wallace to Eakins, O'Donovan, Stoddart, Stoddart's son, Eyre. Arnold escaped before we could get forward for a word—a great jam. The Mayor (Stuart) there— lawyers, judges, artists, writers, men of trade. The dining table after a while besieged. Wallace smoked a cigar. We met and chatted with Morris, Jastrow and others. Wallace seemed delighted. For a while we sat together by one of the windows and chatted about the result of his trip, now about done. Stoddart (in fact all) heartily full of greetings for J.W.W. Later on, towards twelve, at my suggestion, we went to Zeiss', a restaurant on Walnut Street opposite the theatre, to give Wallace a send-off: Brinton, Stoddart, Stoddart Jr., Prof. Smyth, Jastrow, Harned, Morris, Wallace, H.L.T., and spent a jolly hour there. Toasts given and accorded. Wallace toasted Walt Whitman, "the cause of our being here together." Walt's toast—which I conveyed to Brinton and some about me—Brinton granted to be "the best, most appropriate word yet." Our fellows discussed evolution—the future of the negro. Stoddart was greatly amused, pointing out to us that at the table opposite things were hot in plug-ugly, slugging directions, and here were our fellows, mazed in science. Striking, indeed: "Look at the difference in facial signs." No drink after twelve (election tomorrow: laws strict). Rather hopeless views about the negro, in Brinton's case. And Nelson quite determined in his idea that the negro should be sent back to Africa. No chance of amalgamation. Brinton thinks inter-marriage would deteriorate the white race. There was a toast to Wallace who said again as so often before, "I can only say I appreciate your kindness every way." Did not talk thoroughly much yet seemed at ease: no sign of embarrassment. Wallace expresses affection for the fellows—with a particular word for Brinton and Morris—and concern for Frank Williams' absence. Talcott Williams present at Penn Club. The main thing—the cordiality mixed with entire freedom. Rare elements.

At 12:45 we left Zeiss'—Wallace, Harned and I to go to Camden—the others west. Thus midnight and farewell! Did not get to bed till 2:10. And were to get up at 6:30—in order to get train 8:20. Wallace not broken up but wearied. Yet happy, too—happy to be so greeted, feted—and under such sweet skies. (The night purity itself—stars out in glory.) Wallace saying, "I am at a loss which is greater among your people—the wonderful skies or the wonderful hospitality and good humor." He seemed greatly moved at the near departure. "I am sorrowful for it, I admit—yet want to go, too. It is a peculiar condition of mind." All our fellows seemed interested in Wallace and he interested in them: indeed the whole night carried an air of success.

Stoddart wishes to get over to see W. I told Stoddart I would soon have a manuscript ready for him. He responded, "Bring it along." Find him not abandoning the idea of the new magazine. Discussed Julian Hawthorne, Stoddart thinking as I did that Julian was handicapped by Nathaniel's fame. All these fellows strangely loyal to Walt Whitman, but, I notice, none of them rating Sir Edwin very high. Sir E. very busy with reporters: looks as if he liked to talk himself into notice.

Wallace is packing goods. We discussed the details of his trip. Are trying to arrange a cipher for cable. He will take my O'Connor picture, reproduce it there. Sunday used four plates on us as a group in the backyard—Anne, Mrs. Gilbert, Joe, H.L.T. Has photo of the house and of W.'s two Steven Street houses. Has accumulated a lot of books. Warrie's "sailor" box sturdy enough, with hinges, lid and key. Warrie had brought a thick rope which will not be needed. Wallace tells me how his notes have failed him, day by day, their necessary completeness.

A few words here about our run in on W. on the way to Philadelphia (evening). I upstairs first. Wallace rather averse, having said his good-bye, but I called it his "annex" farewell, which excited W.'s hearty laughter. W. himself called out, "Come up, Tom! Come up, Wallace!" Wallace waited in the hallway a minute to talk with Warrie about tomorrow's trip and found W. had already settled it with Warrie that he had better stay at home. Supreme delicacy! Wallace relieved. It saved him from having anything on his own part to say to Warren. Meantime Tom was in the room and W. questioning him about business, etc. Tom had given the boy up there a set of Cooper. W. exclaimed, "Good, Tom! It will do him good! Cooper is an influence, like a breath off the sea, like a fresh wind, like the scent of grass, leaves." And discussed about his own old earlier pleasure in Cooper—"a world in himself"—and he had seen Cooper, "the sturdy noble irascible old man." His best books were three—"The Pilot," "The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish" among them—"the last in some ways the best," and sketched this for Wallace, to whom it was strange. "It makes a good play. Did you know that, Horace? A capital play—with fire and feeling—oh! a wonder of feeling." And so pursued his subject, giving us "situations" that lent power to its dramatization. "Yes, even the regicider—the splendid, courageous giant—he is a character." Had said to Tom, who had asked, "Yes, Arnold was here—we had a talk—I don't know that it came to much, but I was glad to see him—to speak with him again. And he looks very well. But Young is the handsome one of the party, Tom—he is a feast to see!" And as we were about to go, "You will have a good time. I wish I could go with you. If I could—well, I'd be the merriest of the lot. But good luck to you, Wallace—and you, Tom—and you, Horace—yes, Horace, of course you. And it will all be right. And, Horace, you must be my tale-bearer, to bring me an account of it all tomorrow. My love to Brinton—give him my love—and tell him to come over."

We all shook hands and went out in the hallway. I turned quickly to J.W.W. "Go back—kiss him." "I said good-bye this afternoon." "Go again—go kiss him." He looked at me a flash, then darted back in the room, I closing the door and leaving him alone with W. Harned and I started off at once and before we reached the third street corner, Wallace came running after. He whispered to me—his voice full of feeling, "I did it. But I did it this afternoon, too!"

Tuesday, November 3, 1891

8:15 P.M. Found W. in good condition—reading Hedge's book. Much touched when I told him of the death of Frank Williams' mother. "I am trying to remember her. I wonder if we ever met? It would seem as if we must have met." And quickly, "It is a loss—a sad loss—loss irreparable. What do I not remember of my own dear, dear mother!" Then he asked, "And Wallace is gone? I suppose you saw him off? Tell me about it"—which I did. (We had hurried to Philadelphia at seven—getting breakfast in depot. Wished Anne to go along but she had to keep "open house" for the expressmen expected for J.W.W.'s baggage. So they said their farewells at home.) Wallace left on the 8:20 train. I told W. I had said in my letter to Ingersoll that Wallace had come from us both. "That was right—quite right," and when I recurred to other things said in the same note, he responded, "You have done quite right—they are just the things I could have wished said."

W. "wondered" if J.W.W. would be "breaking out into speech" over there in England. "If he had a voice," said W., "he might be able to do some good work over there. He has gone back with substantial fruits. But he has no voice, no voice at all: his voice is always husky, hollow." But he could tell a good story, I insisted. "No doubt—his quickness, perception, is all right, very cute. And his language is unexceptionable. All that would be in his favor, if he had a way of benefitting by it, but the voice—oh! it is against him, every way." Told W. the name of the paper I am asked to read at one of the Browning Club meetings: "The Naturalism of Walt Whitman." W. exclaimed, "I would like to hear about that myself! That is one of the mysteries." And asked me, "You will do it for them?" "Perhaps." "I should say—do it." "But it is rather out of my line." "What, to speak?" "Yes." "Oh! jump overboard. I notice you always do swim."

World reporter in to see W. today, W. thinking, "I am reported over in New York about at my last gasp—yes, about at the last. But here I am. But Julius Chambers has sent their Philadelphia man (I think it is the Philadelphia man) to inquire." Then with a twinkle of the eye, "I suppose when the time does come for me to slip cable, it will be to surprise them all." An account in Press this morning of the visit of Arnold almost idiotic—certainly foolish:

A POET'S GREETING TO A POET. Sir Edwin Arnold's Happy Visit to the Home of Walt Whitman. RECITING EACH OTHER'S VERSE. A Pleasant Hour Spent in Discussing English and American Poetry. Sir Edwin Arnold perpetrated a surprise upon Walt Whitman at the home of the latter in Camden yesterday, and the venerable American bard said it made him feel many years younger and took away many ills of his old age. In company with John Russell Young and Major James B. Pond, Sir Edwin left the Lafayette Hotel in a cab at noon and took the ferry to Camden. The visit was planned Sunday night to be a surprise and Walt Whitman did not receive the slightest intimation of the coming of the trio. The aged poet sat in his bed room. He was wrapped in a big blanket upon which his gray beard, that of a typical sage, flowed. The floor was littered with books and papers, almost blocking the approach to the great American singer. Sir Edwin Arnold managed to wade through the literary debris and stood in the full light of the window before his host. An inexpressible flood of delight passed over the face of the American poet as he beheld his great English confrere. Sir Edwin rushed toward him and exclaimed, "My dear friend, I am delighted to see you." "Arnold, I did not expect you, how kind and considerate," was the surprised exclamation of the aged poet as he held forth his hand. But there was more than the usual hand shaking. The greeting was a literal embrace for the two poets love each other in the strictest literary sense. Sir Edwin has always been infatuated with Walt Whitman's poetry and the American bard finds equal delight in the production of the former. It was the second time that the two had met. Sir Edwin Arnold's visit to this country two years ago was made expressly to see Walt Whitman. When the two poets had disembraced Walt Whitman received John Russell Young and Major Pond with an effusive greeting. Some Pleasantries. For the next hour and a half the talk ran fast and without intermission. The American maker of verse had lots to tell and so did Sir Edwin and the two indulged in a literary feast. Sir Edwin was very sorry that his friend was not in the best of health. "If I had hold of you," said Sir Edwin pointing his finger affectionately, "I'd soon get you well. You are not sick, why if I could only have you I wager that I could make you young again. Seventy-three years—that's not much. You're certainly good for fifteen years more and during that time you can keep me delighted with books of new verse." "Oh what beautiful things you say of me," responded the aged poet, "and Arnold how can I repay you for that splendid little tribute to me at the Lotus Club. You don't know how it pleased me. It stirs the cockle of my blood to read the nice things you say of me." The happy two nestled along side of each other and began talking about American and English poetry.... Each quoted many selections. Sir Edwin then asked his "dear friend Whitman" if he could not recite from memory some of the latter's gems. "Have you some of my poetry in your memory?" exclaimed the aged poet. "Well, I will guarantee to be able to recite at least half of what you have written," replied Sir Edwin playfully. Sir Edwin Recites. "Now let me try you." Sir Edwin then stood when he was asked to recite a portion of Walt Whitman's verse on the death of Lincoln. The famous English bard's eyes twinkled and he began: "Come early and soothing Death Undulate round the world serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate death." Sir Edwin kept on reciting until tears filled the eyes of the American poet and he reached forth his hand thankfully. Sir Edwin recited several more selections and then his host repeated many lines from Sir Edwin's works.... 
W. said, "I think it all about as silly as could be—utterly, of course, without truth. And besides tending to put our affairs here in a beastly light. But it is one of the misfortunes we must suffer." Then recurred to the reception. "Tell us about it, Horace. What did it come to?" And the recital pleased him. As to Wallace's toast to him, W. said, "God bless 'em all!" And asked, "How about my toast? Was it given?" adding, "I knew no better message to send."

Telling W. that O'Donovan had asked Stoddart up to see the bust, I told him also of a little talk I had with Stoddart about it. Stoddart remarked, "How would it do for us to chip in and buy it?" "You haven't seen it?" "No." "Don't you think it would be wise to see it before you buy it?" He laughed, "Then you don't like it?" "I didn't like it a month ago. I haven't seen it since." W. laughed heartily, "That was very bright—a splendid reply, conclusive, I should say, Horace—and the right word, too, in the right place. Yes, I think Joe had better see it before he buys it!" And as to all our transactions with Wallace, "It was a good send-off: he will remember it more than a few days. It is a good deal merely to have met Brinton."

Harned tells us of reporters—two of them—who rung him up out of his bed Saturday to ask about the rumor of a dark turn in Walt Whitman's condition. They remarked that a carriage had driven madly to the door and away again—for doctors, etc., it was presumed. Harned had replied, "I know all about that carriage, for I was invited to take a ride in it—and besides, it was here at my door for some time. As for Whitman, why, he even intended going with us, but at the last moment decided not." This all excited W.'s laughter—the heartiest. "You see, they will have me dead or dying, whatever I may do."

Stoddart has another girl to bring over to see W., who says, "Let them come, I am here to receive them—it is about all I can do these days."

Wednesday, November 4, 1891

7:15 P.M. To W.'s after a day of hard work. Found him in very good condition, with the best of cheer to dispense—so much this, that my toil and its resultant weariness were easily and at once wiped out of memory. He was reading a letter he had from J.W.W. I, too, had such a note. Said W., "I am just looking over this again—it is full of feeling. His trip has been a triumph: he has had the best of weather, the best of friends, good luck every way. Such a series of successes as few travellers can expect to get or are likely ever to lay claim to. He will go back to England in a thousand ways enlarged by his experiences. He will have his tale to tell and listeners to listen." I informed W., "He has a goodly mass of notes." "Will they be printed?" "I think they will." "They are ardent, I suppose? Too ardent?" Then, "I suppose they will be printed?" "Wallace says not." "Good!" "But I told him the college would probably insist on it." "That is, take it out of his hands?" "I shouldn't wonder, and I suppose they can do no harm." W.: "Even now the dear fellow must be some hundreds of miles out at sea. Bless him for a good trip. Yes, Horace, a good fellow—a good, heart-rich fellow." I put in, "And sad to go." "I thought as much, but we must go, all of us, some time!" Then, "I had visitors today—Stoddart, with a girl. Oh! A fine girl, a girl out of the West—from San Francisco, I think—a quick, chipper girl—a delight to me. I was glad to see Joe—he is so hearty. He brought no news—none whatever."

I told W. I had the idea to make my new piece—"Walt Whitman and Some of His Comrades." He then, "A good idea, very good. And a good lick for William in it? William O'Connor?" Did he think the New England Magazine article too personal, revelative? "Oh! No! I felt no trespass whatever. Go on in that strain and I shall not object—may even help you." And now, "Wallace did not see the Colonel. I regret it, for his sake. But it cannot be helped. Election day knocked it all out." I wondered if W. had carefully read today's papers (election, etc.) and found he had. "I did not vote"—with a twinkle. "My time is completely over. I am too much of age."

Had he seen this in the Post?

Walt Whitman doesn't run to rhyme, yet Sir Edwin Arnold in his visit here told his brother bard that he had translated and printed the poem on the death of Lincoln, (one of the few rhyming productions of Whitman) in eleven languages. The popularity of this piece is a hint of the possibilities of our poet had he followed in the soft path of dalliance with the Muse of mechanical versification instead of deserting her for more rugged heights and flights. Still, the number of those who believe the latter to be the better way is continually increasing, although it may require the death of the singer to place him among "the immortal few who were not born to die." 
"Yes. Harry stands by our guns." And this led out to my quotation from a New York Times interview with Edwin Arnold, in which Arnold had said, "Style is everything—the way in which a man speaks conviction." W. to this, shaking his head, "No, no, no! That is a serious mistake they make. None so blind as a real stylist. I do not cater to that. Millet has the right idea: anything done according to its own nature is beautiful." I touched upon Tennyson's humorous references to the Epictetus quote on the note sheet sent introducing Bucke. W. remarking, "I guess Tennyson was riding his hypercritical high horse: I understand rather, that he likes to do it, at times. So that it is the part of a wise man to allow for his idiosyncrasies." And after a pause, "But I am opposed anyway to the hair-splittings. I have no sympathy with this horrible turning over of a word in a thousand ways—a picking after phraseology: twenty, thirty, forty writings, elaborated, perfected, to the last degree." And further, "Style? Buffon applied style to species, genera and so forth—yes, the animal, what-not, has this or that characteristic—that is, his style." But I objected, "Style as used this way is not style as mentioned by Arnold." "I suppose not: Arnold's is the literary style of a usual order. And what you tell me of Tennyson is Agnes-Repplierish—bad enough." And still to continue it, "'Leaves of Grass' is against all that as a staple—must finally rest on other things." I had spoken of reception—that many a man there seemed better looking than Edwin Arnold. W. then, "Very likely—the most likely thing I know." But as for Young, "It would be hard to beat him." Laughed to hear of the discussion between Jastrow and Morris and some others: should we call him Sir Edwin?

Called my attention to a letter from Kennedy. "Sloane complains I do not write. I suppose I do not. But he deserves my best good will." And on another tack, "I intended sending Bucke the Record but have lost it. But I sent one applausive San Francisco paper. Oh! This was warm as any—from an unknown hand." I promised to get W. copy of Record and send to Doctor. Reference to Emerson, "He was wonderful in his many-sided vision: would see everything, every person, in a complete series of experience, from all points of view."

Thursday, November 5, 1891

8:00 P.M. Light up full—W. on bed. Talked with usual voice—seemed interested—yet remained in bed while I stayed. Fire nearly out—room comfortable enough, however. W. asked me to "stir up the embers," which I did, and soon secured a roaring flame and excess of heat. But he had no idea there was any extreme in this, nor can he have felt it. Warrie in and to and fro as we talked. I got copy of big book for McKay, whom I saw and who ordered same; and took it home and numbered it. No numbered copies remaining with W. I am keeping accounts of these books now. W. reminded that a copy sent for a week ago had been sent and no item of it given me. Took now. W. greatly interested in Stoddart's proposed magazine—new one. "I should like to get a fly at it at the new prices." I had a letter from Henry George. W. admired "the simple plain hand," it showing "a direct mind"—bursting then into a laugh, "I would not like to assert that connection always."

Wallace leagues off. "A good start," says W., "a great lift of sea already passed." Woodhullclaften [?] people have been sending him more pamphlets. "I did no more than open them. I am like to be drowned down by literary odds and ends. Everybody unloads on me." Some news of disturbance in Brazil, but W. says, "I am not afraid it is serious, though to be sure I wince at anything which seems to set us back. For, Horace, Brazil has now become our cause, and reaction there is our reaction. The people at the South are hot, impetuous—may do many things which we, cooler, Northern, would avoid." Yet confessed, "I am sensitive to every turn in affairs there—bad turn—having had such hope when Brazil made her change." I talked with Lincoln Eyre Monday at reception. He said some good authority had related in Telegraph how a good deal of the Chilean difficulty was owing to Minister Egan's interest in domestic politics. W. now, "I suspected as much, had a vague notion that there was something to be said on the other side—there generally is. More than that, I never could have trusted anything to Egan. And I am about given Harrison up. I had been wondering if perhaps there was not something in him after all—but much that has lately been happening has disappointed my hope—showed that it had no foundation. I don't think it necessary for a great nation—or any nation, anyway—to make every brawl, fight, mob, difference of opinion, a matter for diplomatic negotiations—fuss, fume, splutter. And it is in this respect Harrison has been lately playing a constant part—a devilish, picayune part—worthy of him—worthy of my original idea of him, unworthy of my hope. O no! Mr. Harrison—I guess we'll have to let you go!"

W. tells me, "I have read but little of Balzac—practically nothing." I had a volume of short stories. "I should like to see—read it." Told W. in particular of Brinton's view of the Russo-Jewish question—that with Russian ideas of national destiny, the Jews (aloof, not sharing) were not unnaturally subjected to persecution. Russia to be judged from her own situation, not from our ideals. The persecution of the Jews rather political than religious. W. shook his head at all this. "Damnable, horrible doctrine!" exclaimed he. "It is, every word of it, low, mean, inhuman, cruel, poisonous, viperous! I hate it—yes, hate it! Expatriation is never a solution—never was, never can be—neither for Jew nor Negro." I put in, "Why shouldn't the Jew expatriate the Russian or the negro the white?" "Exactly, exactly. It is a poor thing for a people when it has no destiny but must be carved out of wrong—written in blood. I, too, know, acknowledge the difficulties. I see man, his beastliness hanging to him—see the murderer, why people will steal, the onanist, the weary sorrowful whore—but I do not feel that this explains all. There is yet more to be said—not to condemn persons yet to condemn an event. Poor Russia, poor America, if either must travel the principle (they would call it that) of expatriation."

Jastrow tells me more about Strong (London)—a co-worker with Müller and Renan—an enthusiastic Orientalist and Whitmanite. W. asks, "And he said Strong cottoned to us?" Clifford remarks the tendency in exchanges got at Times to joke over W.'s tomb. W. says, "It has a grim background. But before long it will justify its builder." What did he mean? I wanted to hear more. He only said, "It is a thing not to be disputed about, of course," and left it.

McKay tells me Brinton was surprised (upon asking) to find how small was the sale of Walt Whitman's book. McKay wishes to bring his children over to see W., saying W. always asks, "Well, how about the babies, Dave? You have never brought them to see me yet." As to Scott's visit long ago Dave explained, "The reason for his silence was in something I said." What was that? "Oh! When we got there we found that Walt had been in bad condition. Scott at first protested that he would not go up at all, but finally went, on my assurance that he might as well go up and sit there and see the old man while we did our business together." It shows the force and aim of W.'s intuition that he knew something was up with the visitor. Wished me to get an order from Dave and go to Bennerman for a set of sheets of new pages. "I have met both the Bennermans—the father and son. Like the son better than the father—he is more obliging, more apt to look after your comfort. Would give a fellow greater freedom. But both are good: I must not complain." Of Dave and their several troubles over the book, "Dave deleted a couple of copies from our last settlement—declared he knew nothing about them, and I guess he did not. But I am as sure I gave them to him, that he owed me for them, as that we are here together now. But I feel that we are on the best plan now—for you to keep track of them."

W. wrote postal to Johnston today. Bonsall writes this in Post:

James Wallace, an English gentleman who has just returned home after visiting Walt Whitman, expresses the utmost enthusiasm over our exhilarating fall weather. It was a revelation to him, and to use his own exclamation, filled him with a sense of lightness and brightness he will recall whenever he remembers America. We don't know what good things we have here until strangers acquaint and impress us with our physical advantages. 
W. said, "Harry is steadfast—gives evidence of it, day by day."

Friday, November 6, 1891

8:45 P.M. Rather late for me to get to W.'s, but Warren opened door and W. was still up. Reading Stedman's "American Literature"—spoke of it as "an everlasting resource." I was on my way to Unity Church to hear Wande speak about King Lear. W. remarked, "I should like to go—I should like to have something to say about that myself." Wande would read some. I went for the reading, mainly. Don't like explications. W. at this, "I see—nor do I. And yet they have an interest, too, perhaps a value—if not for us, then for others." And then, "Arnold is a good reader—quite good." "Did he read here, in this room?" "Yes, he read here—at great length, too. Indeed, threatened to become tedious. But luckily, someone pulled him up short. I think it was Young. It was a good deed." "Then you did not read or recite any poems yourself—yours or his?" "You know I never read my own poems." "Or recite?" "I don't recite because I don't know them. Could not recite." "And of course you did not recite any of his poems?" W. laughed outright, "No, no, no indeed. Oh! Horace, all that account you find in the Press is fabricated: a few outline facts, the filling-in thorough falsehood." "I have heard it said Arnold himself must have had something to do with the making of that report." W. smiled, "I think Stoddart would say that. Joe don't seem to care for the Sir—says some raspy things about him. Dramatic? I suppose would call him melodramatic—thinking of melodrama." And after a pause, I saying nothing between, "You are well enough aware that I don't sing my own songs." "No, you don't. But I have heard Murger often from you." "Well, I like that poem, in the first place. Then again it is often a good escape for me, when I am pestered for recitations."

I told W. that no one at McKay's remembered the book last week. First he asked, "Is that so?" After which he remarked, "Then it must have been a dream," adding, "But if it was a dream it was a real one." Said he had sent the book to Prof. Hale (the Garland book) "care of Garland."

Wallace up, W. "hoping" he is safe. Counted on his fingers, "Let's see, he's been out one, two—oh! nearly three days—it means a great deal." He had a letter from Johnston, "but it did not seem to give us any new points." I asked him more specifically about the Cooper novels he had touched upon Monday. "Yes, I meant 'The Prairie,' 'The Pilot,' 'The Spy,' 'The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish,' yes, with 'The Last of the Mohicans' added to make a fifth. 'The Pathfinder'—do you remember that? It is descriptive enough, but devilish dull. Did you find it so? But Cooper is always a stirring breath of fresh air, full of buoyant worth, genius." Spoke of George Sand as "a wonderful woman, cute beyond her time."

Saturday, November 7, 1891

8:25 P.M. To W.'s with Gilbert. Splendid talk, full half hour of it. Nine o'clock when we left. W. disappointed that I had not got sheets from Sherman or McKay. Will not be ready till Thursday next. But pleased with copy of "Three Tales" I brought with me (had bought volume for T.B.H.). I said, "They don't seem to think your name on the title-page would help matters. They did not put 'with preface by Walt Whitman.'" He laughed, "I don't suppose they have any such feeling. Probably the feeling of convention is a good deal stronger than any feeling in favor of 'Leaves of Grass.' And then, who knows but the old Osgood affair—Oliver Stevens—has laid something over, something subtle, of which they are not conscious, but which is real?" But of the book itself, "It is very handsome of its kind—good type, paper, cover—leaded, too. And everything in taste, handsome. I notice a peculiar order to the stories—how is that? 'The Ghost,' 'The Brazen Android,' 'The Carpenter.' Oh! Chronological? And 'The Ghost' first? Well, it ought to be first: it is the best of the stories, I guess." And so on with further endearing words of O'Connor. "And what has become of Nellie O'Connor, Horace? I haven't had a word in a long while." Nor had I. He asked cost of book, and when I said, "A dollar twenty-five—35 cents discount," he seemed surprised. And when I further said all books were nowadays discounted at published prices, he seemed to regard it as a seriously-merry subject of jest, and said, "That is another exhibition of protectionism, Harrisonism. Fictitious statements, prices. A show of something, and all unnatural. Protectionism is as if one fellow in a crowd mounted on a chair, and then another, and then a third, and then a fourth and a fifth. And so on and on, till at last all are mounted on chairs—all are on artificial heights. As long as one stood there alone, or even two or three, he, they, enjoyed a sort of eminence. But when all were up, the novelty was gone, even appearance gone, and all could realize what a sham fame they enjoy. That is protectionism. And of course you know I am against all that. You know me, 'Leaves of Grass,' bitter fighters to the end of the fight. We do not stop short of the world, of absolute human solidarity—no false elevations, depressions—the grand, great average, rather, and all it brings with it, good and evil." That was George's idea: George had said something greatly like that to me yesterday. W. then, "Good for George, then! A noble idea! The workingmen all brothers—world brothers! It leads forth to a great triumph!"

I picked up a book from the bed—calf, elegant—W. explaining, "That's Young's book: he sent it to me after he was here last week. I have been reading it—it has many a curious touch, description, which interests me. John can tell a good story—is in the main faithful, close to fact; and of course by temperament genial, affectionate, inclined every way to human good will." Then after a pause, "I gave him a copy of my big book—gave away three copies, in fact—one to each of them. Arnold one, with the others." This recalled: Mail and Express, New York, publishes the substance of the Press account of the visit of Sir Edwin to W. with varied additions. W. half-laughed, half-teased, over it. "With expansions, you say? Yes, I suppose so—likely, devilish expansions. And that whole lie will travel its circle. But, Horace, I want you sometime to face that whole thing—face it down. The curious characteristic of all that stuff is, that so far as it touches Arnold it is comparatively correct, and only when it comes near me, Walt Whitman, does it go wrong, indulges its silliness. And that is in fact the worst about these reports: they are so damned silly. I am made to appear a fool by them." Some of the fellows thought Arnold opened himself too freely to the reporters, but W.: "I do not charge Arnold with complicity, even unconscious complicity. But somehow everything is shaped wrong when they are ground out of the mill. Some occasion will probably arise soon, some chance for you to set it all straight, and I authorize you to set it straight—not only authorize but urge you. I would not lug it in—would not make a great deal of it—but put a good deal of emphasis in what you may say. I did not read a word from Arnold—do not know a word (and would not have read if I did know). And as for my own? No, never! I need not say, for you know, that I was pleased to have them come, that it was a gratification to have three good fellows come in that way. Young himself a handsome, honest, loving character. And the others—well, all welcome, and I happy to have them. But as for Sir Edwin, as for weeping over, weeping with him—as for any excess of gesture, feeling (at least on my part): it was impossible. I was no more to them, then, than I am to you, now—you two as you sit here. Not as much, in fact, for you, Horace, and I have relations together impossible to any other. And feelings, too." Here he stopped, was quiet a minute, then went on, "But we will not talk of that. Only, I was about to say, I was impassive enough—engaged them quietly—demonstrated no unusual emotion. In fact, I am not a demonstrable being, even to my intimate friends. I think well enough of Sir Edwin—yes, well enough: realize the importance of his work, his attitude—am grateful for his good words of me, spoken everywhere (from the Lotos Club a week ago down)—respond to it, too. But I do not make more of him than that implies. It is not a part of me: demonstration." I put in, "I have often said of you, that while you felt emotion and all that, even your intimate friends (or mostly your intimate friends) knew the expression of it was always in other than usual channels, by evidences hardly of the senses." W. asked, "Do you say that? Have you said it?" And to my "yes" he added, "Then you have said truth. God forbid I should be sans it—have lost it, fail it! But somehow, as you say, it goes forth its own way. But enough! I am getting devilish garrulous. Only, it is necessary to the contradiction of that story that this feature should be taken in. Edwin himself is demonstrative enough. It has interested me—instructed me—in the English character, to find that it is undergoing radical changes—that on the old immobility, impassivity, stolidity, is being super-imposed demonstrability, a warm effusiveness (in some individuals almost an effervescence). In Sir Edwin, this becomes Oriental—it is a part of him (I think as natural a part of him, as other things of other people). And his drift towards the Orient, his liking for its peoples (its salaams, infinite courtesies, amenities) is quite plain, explained, to me. I am not surprised. Of course this accounts for the peculiarities which some of our fellows here don't like or think artificial. I know they say he likes adulation—likes to be flattered—attentions, lionizing, all that, but"—with a laugh—"so do we all, if it comes from the right people!" And with a warmer word, "I often find myself, when I scratch beneath the surface, under the skin, guilty—oh! guilty! —of unsuspected crimes. And this may be one of them." And as parting admonition W. urged, "I leave that thing in your hands, Horace. But I think it ought to be done, somehow. These false notions are getting pretty common."

Longaker over today. W. asked when we got up to leave, "Are you going right home? Ah! I wish I had something here to send to Anne!" Looked about—brushed his hand on the papers on the table. "I guess I'll have to pass her this time, darling girl! All the fruitses and candies are gone, and everything else! Give her my love, anyway."

Sunday, November 8, 1891

Did not see W. today. Several notes left out yesterday. Spoke tenderly of Wallace and of his trip and some hope that "things would all go right." Curiously always addresses Gilbert as "Sir." Room fearfully hot, and when I remarked it, W. said, "I am not in the least conscious of it." No doubt was not. Warrie said last night, "He had his room so hot, and it made me so drowsy, that I almost fell asleep while I was rubbing him."

W. said to me of Young, "I would get to know him. He is a healthy influence—a fine specimen, every way, with instincts of a man. I find myself having a warm pull for such men." He described Major Pond to me as "large, of a more or less impressive look," but demonstrated no warmth. Remarked Arnold's description of the Japanese, "Perhaps the most important fact in that connection is Young's agreement: John has fully as warm an admiration of the Japanese as Arnold."

Monday, November 9, 1891

5:45 P.M. W. on bed, in a dark room. Soon, however, Warrie, dimly, at the door, "Mr. Whitman, shall I light the glim?" Which, "yes," and we had a faint glimpse thereafter of each other. But W. did not get up while I stayed, though talking freely enough. "I hear from Bucke, but mainly with the old story. He is busy, vigorously at work—well, too." And word from Johnston also. "Wallace is far towards home," says W., "far! The good fellow!" Morris had brought me in the Mail and Express. I left with W. who said, "It is all fudge and fluff—all! That embrace is like to get sick—or make me sick, anyway. Nothing like it happened at all—nothing, nothing. Arnold did start to read—he got the book here. But he did not go on at the length he evidently started out for. Whether because he saw my protest—inarticulate—whether I looked objection (which I hardly intended to) or whether for some other reason, I am puzzled to say. But, at any rate, he desisted." Then again, "I don't know about the reports. Young could not do it that devilish bad—no, he did not do it. Perhaps Major Pond had a bit to do with its divulgement. Though Pond is quiet, reserved, almost a silent man. I have met him several times, and that was my impression. So that on the whole, I would hardly suspect him of friendship for reporters—except, perhaps, on the business side, and what could that way be brought to the net. I have been thinking of what you have several times said to me, and I am inclined to agree with you the more I turn it over: that is, that Arnold himself must have had a finger in it. It must have got out, some way, from someone present. Arnold is a journalist—a journalist of a somewhat ardent type. And God knows what else! His own books? I never had them, never read them, never saw them, even, that I remember—certainly never had a word to say about them to Sir Edwin. It is a strange thing, altogether. And so infernal silly, one wonders how anyone could have made it or anyone been deceived by it."

Returned me the O'Connor book. (Did I say Saturday he asked me to have it? Well, he did so ask.) Now he reports, "I am wholly satisfied: it has everything in its favor. And I hope it will have some sale, for Nellie's sake. And that reminds me to say, Horace, that there's one break in my piece—at least, one mistake—or not even that, for it was deliberately done. One place there you remember I spoke of my return to Washington and reception by O'Connor and his noble New England wife. Now the noble has been deleted. I should not have permitted it—should have put my foot down on that. Why should it have been interfered with, even by Nellie? At that particular time it was fully as much Nellie as William to whom credit belonged—though then and always, to both, for superbest generosity, sympathy, adherence, affection. What could have been done by mortal man, I think they did for me—both together. And noble it was, and should have been written noble, of her as of him, in that report, and she should not have disturbed it. And a thousand things, too, possible only to a woman came from her then—deepest things. Oh! I live in a perpetual gratitude for it."

Speaking about the beauty of the days, W. added, "Isn't it a touch of Indian summer? And yet I haven't seen the haze—that beautifullest accompaniment!" And so he talked of that in a poetic, almost pathetic, strain for a little while. After which, as I was about to go, he called out, "Wait a minute, Horace—I have written Dave to say, if it is not too late, I should like him to wipe out 1891-2 from the title-page and put in its stead 1892 simply. The thing as I had it did well enough three months ago but now has a queer look, the whole thing having lally-gagged so horribly, for no apparent reason, and bringing us, anyhow, practically right upon the new year. And if you can get the sheets tomorrow, get them (the new sheets). In my prison here"—W. laughed merrily—"every message brought me these days has an interest—even the letters of the autographers. And these sheets will particularly gratify me, for they will finally, at the last, make me feel secure in my last plans. But I need not get garrulous with you, and about this—you who have travelled all these ways with me and know them as well as I do." But as I closed the doors I heard his voice, "Get the sheets, if you can!"

Tuesday, November 10, 1891

5:30 P.M. With W. half an hour. He on bed. Room dark. A bright busy fire in stove. Excessive heat. I asked him, after we had shaken hands, "Is it to be a roast or a boil?" He laughed, "Neither—if for me! Do you find the room hot? Perhaps you'd better open the door into Warrie's room." Which I did. George in to see me (at Bank) again today. "Do you think Whitman would like to have a book from me? I thought to send him a copy of my last book." I replied, "Send it—he will be glad to have it, if for no more than to have your salutation. I won't guarantee that he will read it, but that he will like it—and you for sending it—I am sure." W. now responds, "I think a good deal of him—he has a good deal of the new American in him." And again, "I will be glad, of course, to have the book: I try to keep in touch with everything. But of course I can't read all the books that are sent me." George wondered if W. could see him sometime?—"I have always understood him to be a man of remarkable presence." W. now says, "He would be welcome anytime."

W. diverted the talk. "I have read the Mail and Express you left me yesterday. That stuff seems worse and worse. I sent several copies of the paper away today." "What, the Mail and Express?" "No, our Press here. I got some of them, and up in the margin of the paper I wrote 'fishy—fishy—fishy.' Yes, I sent a copy to Johnston and wrote that on it, 'fishy—fishy—fishy.' And fishy it is, too. All that stuff which represents me as overwhelmed by the visit is bosh, ridiculous bosh—yes, even worse. Its tendency, drift, being to show me (as your friend said the other day) in a dotage. How could I have demonstrated anything towards a man to whom I felt demonstration impossible—for whom I had all natural human feeling, but no more—of whom I knew nothing, except that he had everywhere, on occasion, spoken favorably of us, our cause (and this puts a claim upon us, to be sure). And that hit about embracing—oh! it is all stupid—hardly a choice between parts. I could not have produced a line of his poems—not a line: I know nothing about them—never had them—never read them (no more than to get glimpses, bits). Now, I care for Arnold all that I should care out of regard for his human warming eligibilities. But beyond that, nothing, nothing. I want you somehow to take a hand in the contradiction of these stories, Horace. They are doing us damned bad service. Of course everybody reads them: if they were wise to read, nobody would think to see them—but being what they are, not a newspaperee but will take it up, dwell upon it." Then after a pause, "I should like to get at the truth of the authorship of this particular affair. Are you on good enough terms with Talcott Williams to get it from him? Even to speak to him about it? I doubt if I should like to ask, but perhaps you can." Did he still suspect that Arnold had a hand in it? "I am afraid it's something like—something entirely possible." Seemed to lose his first faith in Arnold. "But I should like to know who furnished the thread of the story: if you can get that from Talcott without seeming to push good will too far, do so."

Bush writes me of some long Whitman matter in Sunday's Herald. W. knew nothing of this, but "Joe Howard has sent me a big batch of stuff from the Recorder—his own: taking up three jolly men, or good-natured men (I think that's it!), Walt Whitman being one of them. I am getting into all sorts of masquerades, you see. And not always in the way of the imbecilities." I can see that he is annoyed by the Press story more and more. "It is one of the misfortunes I have learned to bear, but I hate it like the devil." But "life is not all bad, not all good—is bundled close, a mass of passions, lights, shades." Here, for example, was "an old Brooklynite—an anti-slavery man, I think—Thaddeus Hyatt," who had sent him today $25. "I have written him an acknowledgment. Noble, noble man! These are flowers—tender, appealing salutations, as we go along—aromas of true hearts." And again, "It touched me, the sweet unsolicited remembrance."

Warrie came in while I sat there, took up the mail from the table—but at W.'s suggestion gave it to me. "Horace will as well take it—is going up that way." Two letters (one for Mrs. Heyde, the other Hyatt's)—two papers. I went over to the washstand—groped about for a match—but just as I did so, the fire in the stove shot out increased light. I laid down the match—went to the middle of the room. "I have a letter to read you, Walt!" "Eh! Who from?" "From the Colonel—from him to Bucke. Bucke sends it to me." I dropped my open sheet so that the springing and lapsing light from the stove shone full upon it—then read.

Suggestions picturesque. Several times W. interrupted, asked me to re-read lines (I could see him on the bed—his eyes open). When I was done exclaiming, "How magnificent that is! How the Colonel is coming out in his old days. I need not say, I do not agree with it, but it is splendid, yes, splendid. Full of heart—vibrant. And conclusive, too, starting from his individuality. I can see how necessary that view is—how infinitely it carried weight and meaning with it. I am more and more impressed with the enrichening of the Colonel's nature, with the conviction that he grows—grows—grows with every day, sending feelers out into richer soils, under deeper seas. I want you to send him my love for that letter when you write." And he said something about "Ingersoll's splendid affirmations." I laughed slightly. He asked, "What do you laugh at?" "Why, everybody else, all the pious bodies and even broad-clothed liberals declare there's no affirmation in Ingersoll." W. took the thread up with vigor, "Bosh! All bosh, I can assure 'em. I remember that man Richardson, at London. We sat one day on Doctor's porch there. Richardson vehemently condemning Ingersoll. What! Would I apologize for Ingersoll, for his heresies, for his rough hand—the hand which would rob the world of its best comforts, its shrines, all it had to yield left any value—and give no substitutes, nothing but emptiness, vacancy—would I, Walt Whitman, enter the lists for this? Which he seemed to think conclusive—and perhaps new—unanswerable, anyway. But after thrust and parry and play and a good deal of real fire, my own wind up was positive enough. Namely this: But, Mr. Richardson, after all we can say—you or I, or anyone—isn't the real question whether your doctrines are true, not whether they are comfortable? And isn't our friend, the Colonel—'Bob' Ingersoll—isn't he after truth, with the rest of us: what else is his question but my question and yours?"

Johnston's World question had been to ask whether it was true that W. could not even rise without the assistance of a nurse? "Shall I tell Johnston that when we can no more rise, we will announce that fact?" W. laughed, "Yes, tell him we will issue a proclamation."

I read W. a letter from Mrs. Fairchild. "What a noble cheery woman—she always lifts me way up, sort 'o in loving arms—what a birth is the care of woman!"

Of Bush's Sunday note W. had many pleasant words to say—of Bush's "simple ways," again and of "the reminder of brother Jeff—dear Jeff."

Was to see "The Rivals" tonight—Jefferson, Florence, Mrs. Drew in cast. W. exclaimed, "That will be glad, that takes me back in my past—into the New York days—the Park (old Park) Theatre!" And, "I wish I could go with you: it would stretch my old legs!" I had sheets of new pages for him, and left them. He was pleased. Asked me if I thought Ingersoll would deliver his Shakespeare lecture here? I hoped he would. Would W. go? He was bright instantly, "If I could! If I could! Do you know, Horace, I feel somehow as if I must get out of this room: I sleep in it, wake in it. I live my days through here—get nowhere (to the washroom, nowhere else). Here is light and darkness—no sunshine but the little that creeps in here in spite of the walls. And it is a curious question, problem. I am between two fires. I don't feel inclined to go out yet want to go—if you can understand such a contradiction." He laughed, "Anyway, it is a puzzle: I don't give it up, neither do I settle it."

Is inquiring again about William Swinton, "I wish I could hear a little about him, and about John, too. William is a complex fellow—has swayed over to the side of worldliness long and long—is confirmed there (dropt there). But a healthy, solid sort of nature, too. And lovable, however you put it." "William suffers from insomnia," I said to W. "That English horror!" exclaimed W. "I think it is more persistent there than here, even." And when I spoke of dreamless nights my own, W. exclaimed, "How grand! It is a report, the best! None nowhere, nohow, better!"

Among papers to mail, stamp came from one—blew off on street. I picked it up. Clerk at Post Office said, "I'll put it on gladly. Do that and more for Walt Whitman. Great old man—I am afraid he won't have so long with us!"

Wednesday, November 11, 1891

5:40 P.M. I received note today from Mrs. O'Connor as follows: 34 Benefit St. Providence, R. I. Nov. 10. 1891. My dear Horace, I think you could not have received a letter that I sent you before leaving Washington, giving you my new address, as yesterday came the Conservator, with the 112 M St. on it. Yes I am here, & have been more than a month, & very busy getting used to the new abode, & the new duties, & the new life. I am sure you must have wondered at the non-appearance of the chair, if you did not get my letter. I found that the house was to be so stripped of chairs which I had promised, before I knew that Miss Howland wanted me to leave all that I could in the house, that I decided to leave the one that I have given you, until I have a final clearing out. I left furniture & carpets & various things for Miss Howland & her friend to use this winter. The last time that I heard from you the two pictures of Walt had arrived, but had not been unpacked. I hope that they were all right. And I no doubt should apologise to Annie for sending those old books, but they were the only copies of Consuelo & the Sequel that I had, & William & Walt had so often discussed Consuelo that I thought she might care for even that old one. I could write a small volume of the things that Walt & William used to say of Consuelo. And how is Annie? & how is Walt? I don't know one thing about any of you! The book is out! & I am going to send you & Walt a copy today, if I can get down to the Post Office; & will you tell me how you like it? I am very much displeased at the binding, & did not know that it was to be out so soon, or should have written to H. & M. & Co. I hate that ugly green for this book; it is all right for some books—was for Hamlet's Note Book, but is not for this. Tell me, & will you ask Walt & tell me what he says about the binding. How should it be? & in what colors? & how does that die strike you? The name & title? To me it looks confused & cheap, & I don't like it, & think I shall have it changed, when these are bound. Give me your & Walt's ideas about it in full. What has Mr. Harned done about the Miss Rice business? I gave him full authority to act in the matter, & have hoped to hear. I will send her last address as I found it in the Baltimore Directory. And how soon do you want the article? When will your book come out? My love to Annie, & to you. I hope that you are both well. And very much love to Walt. Yours cordially, Ellen M. O'Connor I found W. on bed, but before I was there long, he got up, went across to chair, I reaching about him and touching the light. Room had been very dark. He talked freely. Read Mrs. O'Connor's letter with relish, then said, "I am not moved to any criticism on the cover of the book. My impression at the time was, that it gave us about all that could be wished—satisfied me, in a way. And the stamping, too." And again, "So she is gone from Washington? And what is her address in Providence?" I had already taken the letter back. He took a slip and his blue pencil and wrote at my dictation. Where was the address book? He laughed, "Somewhere about here. I can't put my hands on it this minute." And again he asked, "What are the pictures she speaks of? Are they new to you? Yes, bring them down sometime. I should like to refresh on them—to follow them up, anyway." And still further, "What 'Consuelo' is it she speaks of?" and so on. And was moved by what was said of Miss Rice. (Harned has written at least once; no reply.)

Dave will not immediately bind up any full copies of "Leaves of Grass." Has 80 of the old, bound. W. now says, "I liked the sheets you brought me. They demonstrated the book." And as W. was "impatient"—his own word—he would have me "go in and see Dave and have him stitch up six copies of complete 'Leaves of Grass,' with all its annex pages." Only six? Finally at my urging said, "Well, a dozen, then." I laughingly, "Dave declares the book's getting too big, and worse still, that you will add more pages before you are through." But, "No, not a page. I am done—the last seed is set out."

Still speculating who could have written the Arnold Press interview. Asks himself, "Could it have been Talcott Williams?" And answers himself also, "Impossible! Impossible!" Times this morning contained account of dinner to Jefferson and Florence and of Young's little speech and reading of a letter from W. W. The "calfskin" over the chair moved W. to say, "I could not have written it that way. That must have been Young's mistake in copying, or the reporter's. It becomes absurd, given such a turn." I read to him. "Kindly, of John, and the letter, I suppose, about right. But what of that last sentence? Read it again!" Which I did; he then, "I guess it's all right. It sounds genuine." And as to the Tennyson messages referred to by Young, "Yes, they were very warm, very—full of good feeling, good will."

I left my copy of Star in which Times matter was reprinted with W., who would send to Bucke. Thought the Star "a decent little paper, with a circulation." He had known all three of the Young brothers. "They were all good fellows—seemed good stock!" Reminded me of Record of Monday week—a copy for Bucke. "I forgot my copy—lost it here—fully intended to send it." On table a clipping from one of the San Francisco papers warmly advocating W. as poet for the Columbian Exposition. W.: "I am sure I sent a copy of that paper to Bucke. How genuinely, radically, unflinchingly some of these fellows write!" I picked up a dilapidated red-covered book from floor. W. exclaimed, "That's a good book—I've handled it these many years. A valuable book—at least to me; though not interesting, it has great value. It is thumbed, handled." I looked at title-page: "German Literature. Jos. Godlick. 1854." W. remarked, "He was about in this country. I never met him, but I knew he was here." Before I left, W. said again, "Get the sheets right away, if it is any way possible."

Here is Hyatt's manly letter to W., spoken of yesterday: 73 Henry Street Brooklyn New York 8th. November 1891 Dear Mr. Whitman If I have been tardy in seeming rembrance of you & your deserts it is because during the past decade of years I have been myself among the breakers: and clouds, tempests, & darkness have been about me: but now I once more see the sun. I beg your acceptance of the enclosed & though but trifling, it will nevertheless show what my feelings are & what more I would like to do. You remember Wells—of Fowler & Wells Phrenologists. Through him & others of your friends, in Boston, (though never having had the pleasure to meet you personally) I have always felt that I knew you. Your good deeds to our country were during the war & under circumstances more trying and perilous than mine; which were before; & because of which, war came; for had Kansas been made a Slave State, there would never have been war: the Country would have become all slave! I was in the struggle to prevent Kansas being made a Slave State & my name must have been known to you in those days & familiar. I am, dear friend, very sincerely yours, Thaddeus Hyatt

And now a sweet surprise: further word from Baker, this time in his own hand, unchanged, noble as before: Ashbourne, Pa. Nov. 10th 1891. My dear Traubel: Can't you and your dear mate come out next Sunday afternoon and take tea with us? We long to see you—wd have appointed last Sunday, but did not know our plans, as we were away from here a few days. Love from both of us. We are pretty well. Let us know the train you will take. Yours Ever, I. N. Baker It will stir W.'s heart, when I show him this, as it stirred mine.

W. seemed a little pained by this—I don't know why or how:

This is naturally the thought of a poetic mind, and I have yet to understand why one of our greatest Poets should be preparing himself a great tomb, but he may think as he asked mankind for bread, they shall not give him a stone. But what strange ideas men have in such matters is seen by any one who walks among such tombs—what a senseless waste of money—words and marble we find there. "Can storied urn, or animated bust Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?" ("The Friend," Post today) 
I said, "I suppose there are quite a number of things under the heavens which this man don't yet quite understand!" W. laughed, "A few, I would bet odds!" "The Friend" probably the young man who came on the Sunday Mrs. Bush was here. W. remarked, "He had the child with him? Yes, I remember."

"Mrs. Drew," he said, "must be a character—a splendid old-schooler. I would like her, I know." Told W. about the play last night, "The Rivals," and he went warmly into discussion of the old Park Theatre days. "That was my university. I got Lord knows how much from those years!"

Thursday, November 12, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. up this time, reading Camden Post. Seemed bright, and talked for three-quarters of an hour. He had read Star but not yet sent to Bucke. "Mary has it downstairs. But it will go—probably tomorrow." Meantime I had found the right Herald (Sunday week) and gave him copy—1855 portrait, birthplace, etc.—illustrations. Bush guesses it was written by a Harvard graduate. W. laughed, "That is an engineer's guess. We will see." Said to me, "I have been looking for a lost letter. I wrote to Mrs. O'Connor: I had a letter, a paper, a book for the mail. The letter is gone. Where is it?" So we searched and finally found between the bedclothes and the sideboard of the bed. W. laughingly, "It was tucked safely enough away!" Then, "I got the book from Nellie today and have written her about it." Book laid on floor, open at "The Brazen Android." The actor's dinner "evidently relishable." (Star account "stirred me up.")

I had a letter from Johnston (4th). W. read. "I hear from him too. He burns a good deal of incense. Bless 'em, but," and he merrily turned the talk. "I must not read this all. I see it is not a giver of news. But what about this debt?" looking at close of letter, finally remarking, "The world has its sample gougers everywhere." A little disturbed because Dave had said it would take several days to give us the 12 stitched copies. "It is a 15-minute job." A mistake, to be sure. Still, I don't think Dave puts himself out to please W. in this. Showed W. Baker's letter. "That runs deep. A proud triumph! Of course you will go? And when you go you will take my love!" And again, "Good for Baker! Good for the Colonel!"

The book he was sending away had been sent to him for autograph—a young Englishwoman (Josephine Wembling or Webling). Letter therewith interesting and very deferential. "Someone has sent me another Carlyle book," W. announced. I found it on the floor, that it was Flügel's. W. had "not read." Miss Webling's hand back: I found it "plain." W. did not. Then he spoke of "its peculiar left-handed inclination." And of someone in the war, "Major Bourne, I think," who had "collected three or four hundred left-hand writings of wounded soldiers—all of them with the same inclination." The paper I took off with mail was for Mrs. O'Connor.

The Jewish Exponent people wish some Whitman article from me. Would W. give me a text? "I will think about it—probably something will appear." We have discussed whether a pamphlet edition of O'Connor's "Good Grey Poet" and 1883 letter would not be advisable. Inquiries many. W. "favorably disposed," he said, "but not prepared to give an immediate absolute opinion."

Thence to talk on a theme which enlisted his energy and plainspokenness. "Tom was in last night—we had quite a talk together. What do you think? (Or I suppose you know.) Tom talks to me about the tomb, about its cost. Seems impressed with the idea that there is to be, or has been, an attempt to gouge me. How does all that strike you? Does it seem to have any reason?" As I was the one to suggest to Tom to see W. on this subject and push it, of course I had plenty of answers to this question. I told him about the contract I had examined. This aroused his ire. "There is no such contract." "But I have seen it." "Then it's a forgery." "But your name is there—full, round, complete!" He still, "Some way, it is a fraud: I never signed such a contract." "I never supposed you did, wittingly—but I was sure they had advantaged you somehow." "They did—yes, they did, if they exhibit any such document. I never, never, never would have signed it." The contract mainly typewritten, with a few written lines below from W. W. (autograph), reposing decision, as to detail, in Ralph Moore. W. declared, "There's fraud in it somehow. I can tell you the whole story. I have already paid the Reinhalters $1500—am willing to pay them $1200 more—making $2700. But not a cent beyond that." I put in, "I always said to Harned and Bucke and others that you expected to spend a couple of thousand dollars on it, but no more. Boyle told me at a Contemporary Club meeting that you had said to him, you were willing to spend from $1000 to $2000." "Exactly, that was always my idea. The Reinhalters said to me, 'We are not after profits in this thing, we are after advertisement—or want to go for a market. We will charge you simply the cost of quarrying and transporting the stone—not a penny for profit.' I cannot conceive of this gouge. It seems impossible. Five or six or seven thousand dollars! It is preposterous! I am willing to be fair, to give them their due, but can't be expected to get down on my knees for them. The tomb was built for a specific purpose—a purpose clear in my own mind, however it may have been mysterious to other people. And I was urged to it, in spite of the weightiest, seriousest objections (some my own, some others, all duly considered). I had no view but this: that a few of us—my father, mother, some very dear friends—should be put there together. A plan persisted in, whatever the hesitations, doubts. Now it would appear that I am to be gouged for it all! But I am sure they will not dare push the contract—it would be bad for them to push it. But you haven't told me all: tell me all." From which point I resumed and told W. of my experience with Moore, difficulty in persuading him to let me see the contract. As to Moore's proposition that I should raise the money and my refusal, W. exclaimed, "Good! Good! You did right!" And as to Moore's idea to have some other take it up, perhaps even a stranger (he mentioned one) if I failed to do it, W. cried out, "I call that gratuitous, at the least—I forbid it, would sit down on it, stamp it out. And I don't know what Moore, least of all, would have to do with it—with me! This is entirely my affair—no other's. And I will not be interfered with by a lot of interloping strangers. The whole transaction begins to assume an ugly look to me. I don't like it. And the worst of it is, that it looks as if Moore himself had a finger in it—was in for some sort of a divide. Yet I cannot believe that, either. It is coloring deep and deep! Oh! Horace! The contract, the signature—everything of that sort—must be impossible, impossible! I remember that when we came to discuss it, somebody—I think one of the Reinhalters—said that something ought to be put in writing. Something by which to know enough to go on and who would attend to details. And that I wrote—willingly—for I believed myself that they were entitled to something of that character. But as to price—not a word was said, on either side—not a word. And any assertion that there was, or any document that there was, is a fraud on the fact—a damned foul fraud." I was glad he had talked freely with Harned about it. W. asked, "Is Tom quick in such affairs? I find him very determined to think there's fraud." "Not too quick—but quick as sure lightning!" W. then, "I suppose I did not need to ask that: I know Tom well, well. And he is, I know, strong, the lion itself, when once at the game. But I should say, guard against a mistake!" And over and often again he denied the contract. His mistake, I said, had been that Harned had not been called in at the time the contract was made. Now the damage seemed hard to undo. W.: "I suppose I should acknowledge that. And the whole thing beats me out of conscience. And particularly for what it may show up for Ralph Moore. I trusted Ralph." And again, "They were always very plausible and velveted when they came here: had this and that to say, to make things easy, pleasant. I knew there was labor and trouble attached to the matter—a part of it. But they always protested it was not to trouble me."

I used Tom Davidson's word "philanthroposis." W. promptly took it up. "Was that Davidson's? I often feel myself tempted to say the same thing—find myself impatient with present tendencies. But pull myself short—will not let the dogs loose. Because, after all, the philanthropic in man has yet important functions to perform."

Friday, November 13, 1891

6:15 P.M. W. reading Young's book. On lap, closing as I came in. "I am not making much headway in it. It is a curio, and interesting for what it gives us of Grant. Grant looms up wonderfully well here—wonderfully. He cavorted the whole earth around, yet was as simple on his return as when he started. He must have taught those who met him, away from America, a lesson—a lesson of our life here. Perhaps of all there have been, Grant most expresses the modern simple—is thoroughly unadorned. I have told you of the old folks, the old couple, I knew him to visit in Washington. It was a profound lesson to me, to others. And he never forgot them, however high his place. I have seen him three or four times, leaning at the doorsill, or into the window, talking—seeming to enter into their life."

Told him of a letter I had written Johnston today. "That is right," he said, "they will welcome and make lots of 'em!" He had sent Star and Herald to Bucke, as promised. When, yesterday, he first looked at the column in the Herald, he said, "So Bush calls it a Harvard graduate's? I should guess it was Jenny Gilder: she's a man anyway!" Today he says, "It sounds very perfunctory, as if someone ordered to fill up two columns had obeyed orders. But it is kindly, affectionate almost, admiring—which is something. I feel quite sure there's a good deal said of us which never comes within eye-shot: as is said somewhere in Macbeth: 'I feel the tickle of it.'" Then by an easy transition, "There are contrasts. Here is the nasty, biting, barking, snarling little Courier. I sent a copy of it to Doctor—day before yesterday's. In a little paragraph like this"—measuring about two inches—"they concentrate their utmost venom. It makes me think of a dog, nothing less: a dog half-hidden, hiding, waiting to spring out at travellers, to bite, to annoy." I explained, "I shouldn't wonder but it's because of the favoritism we show the Post." W. then, "I shouldn't wonder but there's something in that—yes, I believe there must be." But whose care was it? "Not mine, I suffer nothing—but do they?"

Wallace still out. Storms in England and about the coast reported. W. remarks, "Our mild beautiful Indian summer and that stormy season in England are strong contrasts." We expect a cable from Wallace. He said of his letter yesterday to Mrs. O'Connor, "I wrote her in a general way about the book—not specially about the cover—though I said of that, too, that I liked it. I think I referred to type, paper, print as generally good, even fine." Said he had heard there was to be a supper at Unity Church. And when I laughingly replied, "Yes, a supper of Boston beans!" he laughed too and cried, "Well, you will enjoy it: it is a great tipple!"

McKay objects to, or advises W. against, Lovell as English publisher. W. saying, "Lovell and Balestier and Heineman are all one—one business." I had said to McKay, "Walt has left arrangements with Forman, who is used to getting out elegant books and will not let this be cheated or be made mean." To which W. now said, "That was a poser: good—and true, of course." Then W. asked me, "Have you seen Tom yet?" No, but I expected to see him at the church. "Well, tell him for me that I have thought the matter over further—that I will pay the Reinhalters $1500 additional to close the bargain. That is, $300 more than I named to you yesterday and him the day before." And again, "That 'contract' puzzles me. I do not understand it. And Moore—it is Moore troubles me more than anything else. Tom is quite determined to push it—to protect me, as he describes it. And certainly if such a contract is in existence I need to be protected. And you haven't been to Eyre's yet?" This with reference to my promise yesterday (my suggestion, too) to see Wilson Eyre—have him go to Camden, see the tomb, estimate its cost for us. "For not a cent above cost"—that was Reinhalter's promise. W. again commended me for refusing to get subscriptions for the tomb. "It would be unfit, unwise, horrible—almost disgusting to me. Worse than the worse taste."

I informed W. of my idea to buy the 328 house, to preserve and guard. He laughed and asked, "How will you hold it together?" He afterward (I saying, "We would make no doubt of that"), "There's one thing about it—the posts"—pointing to the four corners—"are oak, solid noble oak, and they will help you along some." We discussed droplight again.

Afterwards out and to the church, where I met and had a long talk with Harned. W. very specific with Tom about his affairs—told him mainly what he told me, with additions to this effect (what he had written Bucke vaguely in letter I have seen): that he had two dead children whom he wished to put into the tomb; further, that he had had five children, presumably from the one woman, of which woman, and these affairs generally, he wished to make some statement to Tom (Harned thinks deliberately for signature) to be held as history, authentic, and for emergencies. Says he has grandchildren, one of whom, a young man, wishes to come here. (Evidently the young man of whom he told me several years ago.) And this the "long story" which he then said he wished to tell me but to which he never had recurred. Harned says, "He offers no apologies for it. I shall go down there—take pencil notes—go home and draw up a perfect statement, and have him sign it—probably with you present, for a witness would be best." He has sent for Moore to come see him with all papers pertaining to the tomb. Will make an offer of immediate settlement for $1500 and full receipt. If they demur will some way force an issue. Feels as I do that some way they have badly advantaged W. Harned much stirred up about the children. W.'s first intention was to have them in tomb—then he seemed to change his mind. Now, according to Harned, he is quite determined.

W. says to Harned that he promised his mother on her dying bed to care for Eddy, that the tomb contract is irrational in face of that, as I have known and contended straight along.

Saturday, November 14, 1891

8:05 P.M. W. on bed. "I am getting lame and halt," he said. We shook hands. How had the day passed? "Dully, dully—it has been a dull day. Yet all days are dull days here." And then he asked, "Have you come to tell me the news? What have you seen today?" At that, "For one thing, I just had a cablegram from Wallace. He arrived about noon today." This pleased W. "The best news you could bring! And now for the new life! For his life henceforth will be a new one: he will enter new places, realize new meanings. His trip was a brilliant scheme, beginning and end and middle. Every way a triumph. It will bring with it to him a glimmering of the unexpected—open up fields untouched. The whole affair has been marked and significant—will so appear to him, more and more, as time goes, as scenes shift, when I am gone, no more here with you to speak, be heard." "That time will never come, Walt!" "You think not! Ah! Horace! It will come—and soon! Even before the spring!" I still insisted, "That time will never come, Walt!" Then his whole face lighted up, "Well, I see. I hope it will not come!" And we talked away from that mournful theme.

By this time he had got up, sat on the south side of the bed, his back towards me. I said to him, "I wrote to the Colonel today!" "Ah! and what did you say?" "I gave him your love—told him your love and admiration always attended him!" "Good! Good! They do! They do!" "And I told him more." "What more?" "I told him that while you often found yourself differing with his ideas you never differed from his heart!" "Bless him! Bless you! It is so—I do not! But, Horace, I differ a good deal less with his ideas even than you suppose—anyway, than is generally supposed. In fact, I almost wholly accept him. And at the most I would not dare to say our differences were serious. He is so vital, so near the heart of things, I would not dare look up differences anyway. In the Shakespeare matter, my sympathies are with the fellows who are disturbed, chaotic, off rudderless at sea—who question, don't see enough to believe—the men who riot with accepted notions. Every week I read Shakespeareana in the Critic—Rolfe's admirable page. It is superbly done. I can conceive nothing better of its kind—nothing, nothing! To the literary critter it would be perfect—a gem (that would be their word), and carry conclusion everywhere. But for my part I go with the sinners who are not so damned sure—who do not feel willing to swear we know all's to be known."

Tomorrow I go to see Baker. W. gave me a card to take him, the "Laughing Philosopher," above it writing "To I. N. Baker" and below "Walt Whitman." And as for a message, "Give him my dearest love. Tell him we think he has scored a great triumph. Noble Baker!" I picked up a copy of a stenographic monthly—made some comment (I forget what), W. then resuming, "Yes, they send me everything, but this happens to have been pretty interesting. Take a copy—see what you can make out of it. They sent me two."

The disturbances in Brazil and Chile watched by W., as he says, "with the greatest anxiety." Was republicanism for Southern peoples? "It is all experimental—all in air, all wait, wait, wait—till finally we must know results. I am not sure myself either way."

In Bazar big double-page picture from Frans Hals, "Portrait of a Young Man." Very powerful—broad. W. always delights in these pictures. Today, now, enjoyed this "after a huge amount" as he laughingly put it. I said, "We speak of breadth, but which one of our fellows beats these Dutch painters?" "Which one to be sure! Not one of 'em—not one—not one even to touch the edge of 'em!" And again, "No, they wouldn't paint that way now. In the first place, they couldn't do it—wouldn't do it; then, society don't want such. Art now is all made with reference to social conventions—the notions, instincts, of parlors, gentlemen, ladies. It does not come direct from nature, but through media: receptions, carpets, elegant, showy outsideness. And Hals, none of these old fellows (broad as breadth) could have worked, done, what they did, from such inspiration, background." He turned the Bazar over. On the next page a fashion plate. "One surprise is that a paper which would print this would care to print Hals at all. I suppose that is something in the direction of good." And in a tone exclamatory and musical, back at Hals again, "What careless power! How this breathes! How the blood pulses in this fellow: I can see the man, see him walk, sit, joke, drink, live his natural daily life."

I had been in to see Wilson Eyre about estimate. He referred me to William Gray, special granite expert. W. satisfied. But I must refer it first to Harned. W. remarks, "I now have the key of the tomb. Anyone you have to go out can come here and get it." Quoted to W. remark of a Unitarian preacher West who says: Take from man personal immortality and the universe is imbecile. W. exclaimed, "Shame on him! Shame on him!" Schiller mentioned as holding "grander ideas than any such." W. speaks warmly of Bucke, wishes "we could oftener see him," but as "there is an inevitable about affairs which it is folly to protest against," any rebellion would in this matter, as in others, be "stupid and childish." Has been "looking still further into Young's two big volumes," but finding it "generally not very bright work."

"Would like to see Baker over here, but I suppose that is impossible." Spoke of modern scientific men—how cheerfully they accepted the universe, good and bad. "That is 'Leaves of Grass'—that is what we mean."

W. recently gave me a note of Oct. 27th from Bucke, which he thought had "universal interest," and wished or thought ought to be "noted and preserved." Likewise a letter from Johnston (N.Y.), "quite a long one for John," which he felt should go among my "archives" and be "produced by and by when the proper day arrived."

Johnston's English letter (28th) very interesting. I showed to W. who thought it contained points "of significant moment." Postmaster Delaware, Ohio, writes W. No money order there. Sends back W.'s own postal. Evidently did not appreciate the value of the autograph.

Sunday, November 15, 1891

To Ashbourne in afternoon, without seeing W. Baker came towards the station to meet us. Was full of glee, affection, and looking stouter than I had ever known him: a red good flush in his face. But said his right arm was pretty lame (thinks will not wear its old power till spring, if then). Immediately to house on the hill, where we stayed till after eight, having tea and constant conversation. Mrs. Baker with us, and Mrs. Meyers, and with the latter a daughter (an odd mincing girl, I think somewhat unbalanced). Everything plain and informal. Anxious inquiries from the Bakers after W. Full recitative of shooting episode, Baker and wife together giving us a pretty good idea of things not previously so clear to us. Sets Baker's case up immensely. "Not one of our friends but were willing to wait," said Baker. "That's one of our happiest points." It was a painful story, the Andersons throughout and from the beginning aggressors. Ingersoll has not seen Baker. His first telegram from Helena was: "Dear Baker. Hold on with both hands. My purse and my heart are yours!" or to that effect. (W. exclaims to me of this, "That is human, emotional—like the big fellow he is! His intentions are the remarkablest I know in any man!") But Baker has an idea Ingersoll may be in to see him here, though B. contemplates getting back to New York within a week or fortnight. Baker very proud of the picture W. sent him—called it "characteristic—grand." Said he took greater joy in "Leaves of Grass" as he more closely looked into it. Spoke of the Colonel's love for W., and gave us a number of good stories about Ingersoll. Baker says he has no doubt Ingersoll would be as unsystematic or disorderly about his rooms as W. if he (B.) or some other did not day by day set things to straights again. "He takes a book off the shelf and leaves it where he last uses. He piles his desk up with letters, important and unimportant—valuable papers, too—and then he will grumble, his way, good naturedly, if anyone disturbs them—that is, gives them orderliness and sobriety!"

Ingersoll supremely generous every way. Baker shot, Mrs. Ingersoll was there at Croton day after day—nursing, inspiring, a very mother of mercy and good will. They would hardly have known what to do without her peculiar aid, rich both in tact and calm. Baker says he has already become one of "the medical marvels," his case having been written about in journals and discussed at conventions. The peculiar and rapid healing of the serious wound through the lungs—entering left above heart, and through and out right at back—amazing and inexplicable. A few days seemed to fix it up. Now and then a little pain appears, but does not continue; the doctors, however, urging great care for the coming winter. No pneumonia, no poisoning. They did not read the papers at all during the excitement. Baker not able to write yet, easily or much. Expressed great joy in message he had from Bucke. "It did our hearts good to have friends everywhere steadfast." This spot the birthplace of Mrs. Baker, or near here (just north, on the road, a bit). This was like coming home. They seemed like two children again, back in childhood's scenes, bright and blithe as spring's new birds. Rare to see people whom sentiment has so possessed.

Baker declares, "Genius is moody," and fortifies it by example. The Colonel? Oh, he too at times. As when, in San Francisco, engaged to meet and meeting a table of guests selected by a friend with especial reference to him, he spoke nothing but commonplaces, and few of these, the whole meal. (W. remarks, "I can see that. Can you blame him? A fellow—a good, natural fellow—hates to be a circus-performer, a curio.") One of the great days, a trip through the Sierras on stage, the Colonel in his best mood, speaking of and reciting Burns. ("A great stream, no doubt!" exclaims W. "I should have loved to sail it! What a commerce it must have carried!")

Found Baker thus, every way natural, able, skillful (both of them with radical ideas on the labor problem)—healthy every way and every way inclined to bodily as well as spiritual convictions. He will get well! Many loving messages sent to W.

Monday, November 16, 1891

7:55 P.M. W. again at Young's book. Thought its "typographical beauty" a great temptation. How had he been the day through? "Up to my usual standard, which isn't high at all." Then to me, "I thought you might be off to the city, to hear Donnelly. He is to speak there, in the Academy, I think." On Shakespeare? "My impression is, yes, but I don't really —. I looked in the papers this morning for some advertisement—but not a word. It seems to be managed by some Catholic institution for some Catholic purpose. Donnelly appears Catholic! I am rather surprised." Harned had proposed going over. Had he gone? W. still continued, "It might be worth while to hear. If I were get-about-able, I should probably go—see what sort of a fellow he is, anyway."

Salter went West today. Inquired after Walt. W. pleased with all inquiries. "They are my angels, to deliver me out of these walls!" Promptly now, "Sit right down, Horace—tell me of Baker!" After which, and as I went on, his "ah's" and "oh's" being frequent. "You saw the wife, too, and all—the wife must be reported, too!" And then further, "Did Baker give you any news of the Colonel? Any new points?" As to the Colonel's being a grandfather (through Mrs. Brown) and Mrs. B.'s trouble, W. said, "It is sad—yet good, too, now she is about well. But we have had a bad week down here. Three or four babies born the last week—one of them day before yesterday across the street. O sad! Sad! And the mother there now at death's door! The little one extracted piece-meal: too large for exit—too large! Oh! The tender tearful mystery of it all! I can see the lights over there in the window now." (The curtains opposite drawn—light within). Baker's account of Mrs. Ingersoll's loving service moved W. mightily. "A true magnificent mother! It always excites my respect—always stirs me!" And then, "That reminds me: Ralph Moore was here today. He did not come for his money—came to see me about the removal of the bodies of my mother and father." "Do you mean to have them moved at once?" "Yes, immediately. It will cost little. In my father's case I'm afraid they'll find a little difficulty in identifying the body." "Isn't the grave marked?" He did not answer this question direct. I then, "But I suppose they have a way to get their point." "Yes, I think they must have. Ralph says there will be no difficulty." And as to his mother's: "That is easy—her place, here, is well-defined." Again, "We are much separated: father at Brooklyn, mother here." Said he had a letter from Johnston (England). "It is not new. I suppose news is scarce, anyway."

McKay in to see me and to order 50 copies complete Whitman in sheets—to go abroad again; also, with question how many more copies we hold bound or in sheets. I went to Oldach's and numbered the fifty. Also left word for a count of remaining sheets. W. "surprised" at the new sale. I asking, "Do you remember the time you wondered if ever they would be sold?" "Yes, I do, I do—and it was not so very long ago, neither. Somebody is buying the books—Lord knows for what good!" Would he sell all he had? "Every one of them—every one. I have no wish to keep one!" Then, "It is now nearly time Dave had made me the payment on 'Good-Bye.' That was to have been December 1st or thereabouts, wasn't it?" After a pause, "Ingram was over today. He went up to see you, Warrie with him." (But we were both out, and he did not leave a card.) "What a noble good man Ingram is! Brings to me a thousand reminiscent memories of old days, way back in youth, and the old giants: Tom Paine, Jefferson, Cobbett, Voltaire, Volney—yes, and Franklin, too. Franklin was a rare sweet master of many things—mainly, of how truly to live. Elias Hicks was that time, too, or near it. Sometimes I have wondered by what caution, determination, he kept clear of all those men, influences. Yet he did steer another way. I guess I know why, and how advisably. For the men of that time, Paine and all—half-free thinker, half-philanthropic (Ingram's type)—I think the salt of the planet. How it was Elias kept his own influence, was never penetrated, he only knows or knew. They were very positive fellows, very—would have no compromise, would enter the lists for whole victories or none—superb, honest, integrity to the bone—but fanatical at times, too. It would be a mistake to suppose that fanaticism inheres only to the conventional: it may come to act a part anywhere, in most radical atmospheres even."

The wheel chair still in at Button's.

Tuesday, November 17, 1891

8:00 P.M. Thirty-five minutes with W., and through that time animated and even eloquent talk. Laid out for me a couple of Johnston's letters. "They are full of his cheer—written while Wallace was still with us. Warm, loving, concerned for us, our reputation, health!" Again on Ingersoll, "He has vast range, is boundless in natural expressiveness—absorbs elements, expels them." His first telegraphed salutation to Baker (from Helena) after the shooting: "Hold on with both hands. My purse and my heart are yours!" W. exclaimed, "How grand! How quick! No, how American—emotional from the jump!" Baker related some stories of Ingersoll's absolute nature—of their travels West—of long talks about Burns, etc. ("Oh!" exclaimed W., "that Burns talk! I should have been there! What it must have been—yes, what it must have been!") One trip through the Sierras and Ingersoll's stage coach eloquence. W. believed "that must have been a day for history to calendar! Yet history can never know a thing about it!" Further, W. remarked, "I can see how the Colonel works. What you tell me, from Baker, only confirms my convictions. Ingersoll's intuitions are magnificent. They beat anything I know. He travels more than winged!" And as to Ingersoll's immense audiences West (6000, Chicago; 4000, Cleveland) W. remarked, "They are all to be congratulated. I doubt if anyone of them all will ever hear the like again—unless they hear Ingersoll!"

Received letter from Bucke (this evening at Post Office, on way to W.'s) written yesterday forenoon. Wonderful carriage. W. remarked, "I, too, have a letter, same date, just as prompt. The postal fellows are shaming their own record! Yes, Doctor told me about Clare's ball. Oh! Miss Clare! I remember her! But it was years ago—six, probably—at the Smith's. And she was then small. Pardee and I were mutual favorites. And I had great faith in him. A reticent boy—is he so still? Clare was not like mother or father—not in look, in ways." 16 Nov 1891 My dear Horace I received today yours of 13th & 14th—it was like old times to see them in the mail and it did me good. I have not been at all uneasy about you except that the last few days I began to think whether it could be possible that you were sick. But I did not much fear that—you are not one of the getting sick kind. I shall certainly treasure and preserve the Ingersoll letters—I am very proud of them. Walt sent the papers on—a big bundle—those you mentioned and others. Will you please tell me the date of "N. Y. Recorder" con'g "Howard's Letter". I cannot enter it without the date. I note all you say re Tomb and trust H. will be able to straighten it all up. I like your notion much of "W.W. & Some of His Comrades" and hope you will carry it out. No I have not touched the circular. I have not had a minute. On top of all my other troubles and labors my daughter Clare considered it "de rigueur" to give a ball and accordingly we had over 200 people on our hands all night (13-14 inst.) of course this made a devil of a lot of work and simply stopped everything else until it was over. I have not done the "Cosmic Consciousness" piece either and fear I shall not until my lectures are over (as they will be by Xmas). Let me know when you see the arrival of Wallace's boat (City of Berlin) as I may not see it here—am a bad newspaper reader. I have sent for the O'Connor book but not got it yet. Am deep into Bacon-Shakespeare studies every available minute. Bacon wrote the plays you may put that down as certain and in a few more years it will be proved. That "Press" stuff was shameful—must have been written by a sentimental schoolgirl. Yes, send me the complete L. of G. stitched by all means but then another with cover on as soon as convenient. Don't forget this. And send me my '72 L. of G. as soon as you are done with it—and none of your tricks with it! (I see City Berlin reached L'pool 14th inst.) All well here—all goes quietly at Asylum. Re meter, cannot go into details but all looks well in fact more hopeful than ever before. I think '92 will show important developments. Love to Anne Affectionately R. M. Bucke And as to this ball of which Bucke speaks, "That is the penalty he has to pay, that is the penalty!"—said seriously, without a smile. What did he mean? Penalty for family, married life? Warrie has counted books—finds 67 copies. W. will "sell them all," every one, he says, in fact "I want to—want to get rid of them." I had sold one privately today for five dollars. W. thought that "nearer home for price." Then, "I sent quite a bundle of papers to Bucke today, quite a bundle. The Inquirer, the Press, the Record, the Times. Did you see the Donnelly reports?" "No, I did not." W. then, "Well, there was something in all the papers except that Record. And the Record," W. laughed, "probably would not notice it because Donnelly did not advertise. But they did not advertise at all, probably. The Inquirer had a piece, about a column all together—half of it given to the lecture, the other half to some talk with Donnelly about Western affairs: yes, farmers' alliance, politics, mortgagism in the West. Oh! That mortgagism! It is eating the vitals out of the farmers! I found this talk very interesting, I don't know but more interesting than the lecture. But the papers on the whole gave no satisfactory reports. But such as I had, I sent to Doctor, thinking he would be about the most interested in them. And I sent along a bit from the London Lancet—some discussion of the old point (I guess everybody knows it) that Shakespeare died at home, three or four days after a drinking bout of some sort with others: he had gone home sick, took to bed, and then an end! It is not new. This writer seems to have some authority. The Lancet itself stands high among medical men. This discussion being, whether he really died of pneumonia, or what-not, as generally believed." Did these questions interest him greatly? "No, not greatly, but a little bit—but Doctor is hot for 'em!" Thought it about time for Dave to have his "Leaves of Grass" volumes stitched. We discussed whether to get all the sheets folded ("November Boughs," "Good-Bye," etc.) and bring to Camden, perhaps store in my upper rooms. W.: "I am rather in favor of it. I guess Oldach will want to horse-whip us for giving him so much trouble—yes, worse than trouble. Only a couple of months ago he counted—now he must count again!"

Day beautifully clear. Moon full. W. pointed with his finger, "I can see it out the window there, from my chair, now. It is getting far north. A wonderful night!" I saw Gray (one of William Gray & Sons) today. He is expert in granite and will go out for us. I tell W. and he is agreed. Morris has several notes on us in Literary World.

We discussed advisability of issuing new special small edition of "Leaves of Grass." W. has been working on a new title-page. As for additions, "No, not a word. My work is done. Nothing remains now but to ring the curtain down." Gives me special message for Brinton (Contemporary Club this evening). I said to W., "I promised to let Miss Porter see the Lowell-Whitman notes by Monday if possible." This moved him to say, "I think I could easily state the difference myself: Lowell an elegant mansion, equipped with all that is luxurious, rich—not to be despised, after its own kind and degree; Walt Whitman, emulous of the seashore, the forest, even the prairie—or the surging manifold streets of the cities—quite impossible to delineate, but each of his poems attempts to suggest and to his opportunity succeeding in expressing, those." I cried out, "Hold on a minute—I am getting all that down." Had grabbed up an old envelope from the table, continuing, "I should like to use all that—quote it." W. then, "I have no objection at all to tell, but I don't want to be quoted as the author." I admitting, "I won't quote you, but set this down in the way of statement of your significance." "Good! I don't know whether it's very creditable for me to say that, but it's true!" And then after a pause, "I should say in addition that the irrepressible and in every way creditable authority of heredity, tradition, is upon Lowell. I think about 'Leaves of Grass' and me, that heredity, tradition and authority reside, as in a fellow's respect for his ancestry—father and mother: living with it in great tenderness, love, but thinking most—always most—of his own soul. What I think of authority and tradition is great—reverential, perhaps—couched in emotional tenderness and respect. But, feeling whatever, is very little of it imitative. It is a contrast, the force of which you may easily appreciate."

My good-bye and his rather more than usually affectionate. "My best love for all the boys at the club."

Wednesday, November 18, 1891

6:05 P.M. Half hour with W., during which easiest talk, and he in a seeming cheery mood. Yet he says his "days seem to get duller," that a "completer lethargy" seems to possess him, and Warrie tells me the rubbings amount to less, that W. asks him to let up in vigor and time.

Was in and had a long talk with McKay. His affection for W. a good deal more than publisherial. Glad to know it. Yet we have always known it, or suspected it. The 12 stitched copies not ready for me yet. Oldach busy on Christmas work.

W. hears from Kennedy less than of old, and writes him less. Here is the last note (K.'s): Belmont Oct. 30. 91 Dear Walt Whitman's paper rec'd with its saddening news of yr increased weakness. I am whirled on in such a melee of work (exhausting driving work) that I have no time to write or say anything agreeable I fear. I look back with feelings of pleasure of the deepest nature those divine days I spent in companionship of the noblest of books L. of G. & those happy letters back & forth between you & me. Recently someone in Transcript noticed that jackass Bartlett w. his "Familiar Quotations" had not a line of Walt W. I went over yr books espec. Song of Myself & culled a list of phrases & lines that I offered to prove the classic & current coin already. However, Clement still holds it in reserve. Will let you know when it appears, wh. may be in a year. After all that your sublime & haughty songs are not lozenge poetry for silly boys & girls is something to be proud of. It is a book separate "the words of my book nothing, the (trend) of it everything." Sadikichi seems to be in St. Louis writing. O'Connor's book is out I see—"Brazen Android." Write dear Walt—as of old when spirit moves you and so will I. [William Sloane Kennedy] But W. in nowise cooled, "The fires still burn for him." Then W., "I have been reading what Dicky Vaux said at your club last night, speaking about the criminal classes. He seems to think a good deal that goes by the name philanthropy now is damned sentiment—stupid, mawkish sentiment. But I don't know, Dick—I don't know. There are other sides to this question." Referred to Ingersoll's "Crimes Against Criminals" as "pivoting" the subject and Bucke's McGill address as "a touch near it," adding as to this, "It is the best thing, I say again, that our Doctor has ever done." I remarking, "Perhaps because tempered!" Which induced W. to say, "That is good: yes, tempered. It was a genuine scientific piece of work." As to criminals and the evil-minded, "They are only partial—need a brush-up this side or that," and life is so complex—every individuality so complex, "it is hard to determine how or why any man pulls up just where he does." Brinton and Russia adduced. "You tell me, Horace, that Doctor Brinton has a defence of Russia. Well, I suppose there is a defence, but to me the question seems very simple. Yes, have Brinton come—I should like to have him any time. But"—with a laugh—"I guess we won't agree!"

I had a letter from Ingersoll, written yesterday: Nov 17th 91 My dear Traubel, I have been away in Chicago & Cleveland—returning yesterday. Found your good letter. I will send you the Shakespeare with the understanding that it be kept private as it is not finished. I had it put in page form and have not yet corrected the proof. I expect to add greatly to it before publication. I do hope that Whitman is better than usual. I want him to live many years to enjoy the harvest of the seeds he has sown. I hope he will sit long by this cheerful fireside of old age, by the blazing hearth surrounded by friends and admirers. Good luck to the brave old poet. I may be over in Philadelphia shortly & then I shall call and pay my respects to Whitman and yourself. I am sorry that Dr. Bucke has the Bacon bee in his bonnet. Yours always R. G. Ingersoll W. remarked, "It's as bold as a lion. That handwriting alone ought to make the world stop and read! The Colonel is easy, flowing—dashes away at a letter—throws his whole moment's life in it—then lets it go! It's a rare faculty—no man seeming to have more of it these new days than Colonel Bob. All that you tell me of him through Baker is interesting—is rich, significant—increases the light!" And at the more personal part of the letter W. exclaimed, "Good Colonel! Sure enough, I am rich!" And laughed at the wind-up, "That bee is in Doctor." And as he returned me the letter, "That reminds me of my letter to Bucke today. I spoke in it of the Bacon business, said in substance this: that I had read all that Donnelly has to say on the question—that I felt the staggeringness of much of the evidence he brings against Shakespeare as an individual, but as for the Bacon claims—no, no, they are too thin. The attempt to trace identity between Bacon and the plays is too thin. Would not excite respect—deserve it. That in fact 'it is probable,' 'it is likely'—such—would not pass muster in science—in the real trial that the appeal must undergo. I am quite conscious of the embarrassments of the situation. It is no new thing to me—indeed, is a very old thing—it came to me, almost, in my youth. But of late it has grown upon me—grown more into pressure that I can't shake off—that there's a great grave mystery lurking in the plays—unseen (I don't know if unseeable)—a something not casually apparent—a suspicion, a breath—indefinable, as some hovering, lingering presence. As for that cipher, cryptogram, I think it all humbug. I have no faith in it at all—none. I advised the Doctor to go slow about the Baconian whirlpool, to not dare it imperiously—it is the Doctor's danger."

We spoke of poets and prophets as human, not partisan: but W. after saying, "I guess you are right on the whole—yes, indubitably right." Asked, "But how about Wordsworth?" I responding, "He was great—had great traits, but was one-half Puritan as well." He thereupon, "Admirable! That probably hits his whole case off." Brotherhood of man: "Leaves of Grass" its supreme modern exponent. W. asks me, "Do you say that?" "Yes." "Do you preach that?" "Yes." "Oh! Proud day! I hope it is deserved!"

Soon out and home. Met Harned on street, just on his way to W.'s. Tells me Moore not yet in to see him.

Thursday, November 19, 1891

8:05 P.M. Rarely find W. on his bed this hour, yet now he was there, with light half-turned down. Not asleep. "Nor in fact sleepy," he said, "only wearied—tired of this everlasting confinement." And then, "I think I am getting to forget what out-of-doors is like. It is a fine night? And milder? I thought so. I have been out but little this year, and get out less and less. It is the inevitable trend." Says he can't stand Warrie's rubbings as of old. Harry Stafford in to see W. the other day and rather puzzled and offended because W. seemed "changed"—that is, reticent. I find from Oldach that there are 81 copies big book left in sheets. That makes 148 all together here and in Philadelphia. W. pleased to have his figures. McKay speculates whether, these sold, W. will wish to add to edition. But W. shakes his head, "Not a book—no, not one!" Florence worse. W. says, "Poor fellow! I am afraid for him. Those fevers—typhoid—are worse in what they leave than in what they are. I have seen that with the soldiers, taking a thousand odd forms. Poor Florence!"

Visitors today? "A woman came but they could not let her up. And Reinhalter—one of the Reinhalters—was here. I saw him. He wanted money. I referred him to Tom—told him Tom had charge of that and other business mine. Yes, Tom was here last night. We had a good talk. I surrendered everything to him—gave him complete authority. Reinhalter was pleasant—has, like the others, kindly, considerate manners—not pushy, not offensive, any way. I advised Reinhalter to go to see Tom—further, to get Ralph Moore and take him along. I am anxious to be rid of the whole thing. These burdens sit more and more heavily."

Told W. I had written at length to Ingersoll. "You did! And what did you say?" I had delivered his several messages. "That is right: I want him to have all that. And there ought to be more. The noble Colonel! He is Sir Modern Knight, shield of every good cause!" I said, "I told him you had written Bucke to go slow on Bacon." He then, "You might have told him more—indeed, I should have been satisfied for you to have repeated me liberally to him, our whole talk. I do advise Doctor to hold his horses: he is going at a devil of a pace, to land up—where?" I quoted Bucke again: I am head and ears in Bacon—Bacon wrote the plays—in a few years it will be proved. "Bucke really said that?" asked W. "Yes." "Were they his words?" "All of them." "O Doctor! Doctor! Your horses do need to be held!" Then, "Preachers settle everything—but the 'Leaves of Grass'-ers? No, no, no, Doctor— it is a mistake, a mistake!" And now, "I shall hope the Colonel will come. It will stir our old heart! And if he comes, Horace, I must try to get out—I should want to take a drink with him. We could go to some plain place (no elegancies, no show), some restaurant somewhere, and have a couple of hours together. Or we might go to Tom's, if Tom wished it. But without show or fuss wherever we go. Probably Bob would be like me—prefer some little room, somewhere, plain, to ourselves, with a snifter handy!" But after a pause, "We could in fact have it right here—right downstairs, in our little parlor. Just a few of us, three or four, that would be enough. No splurge—no nothing but good will, a good right hand, an hour together (who knows but the last? yes, the very last?)."

Professor MacAlister had had a good deal to do with Arnold while he was here, especially the day of the lecture, when they dined together at MacAlister's house. M. urged Arnold to go to Academy—try his voice for the evening, for pitch, etc. But Arnold was stubborn—would not. Yet had never read in such a hall before. Risked everything. Now MacAlister reports, "The evening was a failure—a dreary flat failure. He read over two hours; few heard him; his matter was didactic. Before nine people began to go. After nine they went in squads. But he kept drearily on." W. interested. "That rather surprises me, and yet I can understand it, too. The Sir was very like to take such a posish. But it was a bad one—any after-dinner talker, even, in America, could have told him so."

After Stafford had been here the other day W. said to Mrs. Davis, "Mary, why do you let everybody come upstairs? I don't know but I'll have to close all my friends out." But that whole day had been a bad one for him. Next morning he got something for breakfast, not what he expected, whereat he quite frankly said, "Mary, I thought I'd have buckwheat cakes!"—of which there were none. His dinner that day was generous and he ate it all.

Progress in removal of the islands in the river slow but perceptible. Today they burned a lot of the refuse and material. It made a great spectacle after nightfall—the long lowering flame, along the island-top. W. says, "It must have been very impressive—sublime, even. I sorrow for the islands, or for us. They were a brave foreground!"

Friday, November 20, 1891

8:10 P.M. W. just getting up from bed as I entered, going laboriously around to his chair. He seemed bright, and I found out its reason before we talked of anything else. "Have you seen Tom?" he asked, and as I had not, "then you don't know. I have good news—he has done it—it has been a perfect success." What was that? "I mean the tomb affair: he has settled or is about to settle it. Reinhalter was in to see him today—came with Moore. And Tom has got the whole thing in his hands!" How was it brought about? "I never realized Tom to the full till an hour ago. He was then here—told me the story. It is interesting—almost dramatic. The amount of it is, that he made them confess they had inserted that paragraph about the price—actually drove them to the wall, and made Reinhalter own up to that. What a pretty fraud it was meant to be! They had the contract with them. I am glad for one thing—Tom says he don't think Moore was in it, at least for a divide. Which relieves me a little, though it does look bad for Ralph, too, when we know he held the contract and must have known the tricks it was up to. Tom has managed it all nobly—in a masterly manner—has shown his penetration, courage, decision. Yes, went straight to the heart of the trouble, diagnosed, delivered himself." Harned had said to me, "They shan't collect that money except over my body." I told W., who asked as if much moved, "Did he say that, Horace? I had no idea he felt it so strongly. Good Tom! Though I did know it was an element of deep personal feeling that in some part steadied him in his fight with these fellows, I had no idea the feeling ran so deep. I feel very much relieved tonight, as if a cloud was lifted. And I agree with you, with Tom, that now is the time to settle. I gave my check for $1500 to Tom just now. Reinhalter went off, saying he would see his brothers and again meet Tom in the morning. I am mystified—almost startled—certainly astonished—to have this plot unearthed—for it has the show of a plot of some sort. Tom says that when they left and offered to take their papers—contract, etc.—with them, he dropped his fist on them—on the papers, 'No, these papers will remain here!' He must have mastered them like a major-general—completely dominated, possessed, the situation. It is a new revelation of Tom's character to me: the subtle lay till everything was ready, then the jump. You see now that my memory served me well this time: I did not sign that document—not, at least, as it stands. It was against reason, against practice, against everything. Poor Eddy! He was like to go down in a general wreck of our fortunes!" All which was happily uttered, out of a happier heart. "When you leave here, where will you go?" "To the church. I want to see Tom." "What's going on there tonight?" "A lecture from Doctor Gould, who says you have done more to degrade literature and Bob more to degrade religion than any men the globe over." W. exclaimed, "Literature as he understands it! Religion as he understands it!" Then W. asked, "Do you know what Tom thinks of the Colonel?" "Variably. Sometimes Tom imagines he is a Unitarian—then he don't like Ingersoll as much as when he is a Spencerite or 'Leaves of Grass'-er—which is his more natural mood!" W. said, as he laughed merrily, "The good Harned! And good Emerson, too! There were times when the good Emerson shrunk back from brawn, from the brutes, from realistic fellows—the gentle, splendid Emerson—when he feared to have the winds blow too hard!" Then, however, "Tom tells me he has his portrait home—Eakins'. And he is very happy with it, says it is a great, strong event! And I guess it is! Brutally true, as Eakins' work is apt to be—not generally liked." I saw the O'Donovan photo of bust on table. Picked it up. "This comes out of the immane again?" W. with a laugh, "Isn't that Theodore Parker? Parker to the bone? There never was a better—of Parker. And by the way, I hear O'Donovan is still in town. What is he doing there? The bust was given up long ago, eh? No? I almost hoped it was." Then W., "I suppose our friend Gould does not go much for 'Leaves of Grass'! Does not see it, perhaps—or maybe we set too high a figure. Well, well—it is well enough to have things just as they are!"

W. had remarked that the dog howled as I came in. "He never gets to know me," I explained. "Nor anybody else," said W. "He's as dumb as the devil! Don't seem to have any dog intuitions. Why, bawls the life out of us if Warren pulls the bell or opens the door: hasn't yet inner life enough to know Warren. I don't believe he realizes anybody at all but Mary." Clifford in to see me. Sent love to Walt. W. asks, "How does the Times go?" And to my, "Well, and Clifford likes it!" W. exclaimed, "That's best news! And the best of it, that he likes it! That liking it will sail him on—make him a good ship." Turning to me again, "You said you were writing last night. What were you busy on?" "An article in reply to a recent sermon from Long. What do you think Long says?" "What?" "He says that take God and immortality from man, for Long, what impulse has he to do right—why should he keep morally straight?" W. in a tone of astonishment, "Did Long dare to say that?" "Yes, he did!" "Shame! Shame! And he preaches down at the church! Shame for him!" Then after a slight pause, "Yes, shame for him! Schiller's idea is the only one for modern science—that if it is right, immortality will come; if not right, not. No other idea can answer for science—satisfy it—be its inner voice. And that is 'Leaves of Grass,' too! That idea, too, is the basis of all the old philosophies—it is in Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius—it is the backbone of every brave thinker—our own heroes. Yes, it's the Colonel's note, too. He has sounded it with a deep call!" I said, "Frothingham set it down that Ingersoll is no bigot—that he will not deny evidence, what to him is evidence." "Nor is he—nor will he! But we can hardly expect the priests to take us at our intention. Poor Long! Why should I not pick his pocket and he mine? Sure enough!" I put in, "If there is no law why should I not rob my brother's house?" W. fervently, "That's the whole case—the much in a nutshell!"

We had speculated how to get enough copies of full "Leaves of Grass" for friends. Now W. decides to get a hundred stitched on paper covers. "I want a deep brown cover, and this label on the edge." Produced an envelope containing a package—yellow labels like accompanying—printed on paper he had furnished Curtz and with the old queer type. "He made a devil of a spread with 'Leaves' here, but it will do." I was to see McKay and then Oldach. McKay had told me today Oldach's Christmas orders swamped him—hence delay in our work. W. is eager to have the books: "I thought the matter over a good deal and concluded this as good a way as any to settle it." McKay has sent out word of the number of copies complete book inquired after. It is foreign. W. queries, "I wonder who's taking them all?" I told him of a Bible publisher for whom my father made plates—by lithography—rushing in one day to cry out, "I must have more pictures, Traubel—all I can get, all you can rush out. I don't know where the hell all these Bibles go!" "Well!" said W. between questions, "We may laugh out the same wonder."

Left W. and went to church. Harned there. We had a thorough talk after Gould's lecture was over. Harned told me in substance the same story W. had about Reinhalter, but more specifically. He had confused them utterly. Moore had a bill for four or five hundred dollars from the cemetery. At one point he asked Harned, "What can I do to help along a settlement?" "You can receipt that bill!" exclaimed Harned. And Moore did it. Harned's determined posture had shaken Reinhalter, who admitted the price paragraph had been inserted in contract. Harned displayed great feeling to me as he went on with recital. "The damned buggers! I said to them—'You ought to be ashamed of yourself, to drive this old man to the wall, to worry him. And you can't collect a damned cent from him—not a cent. This has already gone beyond patience: you never had any right to go there at all. You wormed a contract out of him—plagued him—got him to hurry out an agreement, knowing he had never consulted a word with Bucke or Horace Traubel or me, with whom he talks everything. I was the one to come to in the first place. I might have seen then if something could not have been done to help along. Now? No, not a step! Help now to raise the money? If I helped now to raise any money, it would be to reimburse the old man for the money you have got out of him. No, I want to settle with you—want your receipts clear and for everything and for all time. And if you refuse it now, we'll see—we'll see!' I believe I had 'em thoroughly frightened. Reinhalter said he had to consult with his brothers. I am pretty sure he will come over on the money, ready to settle up. I told Moore Whitman's mother and father would not go into the tomb till this thing was fixed straight. Moore said, 'You don't really mean that, Mr. Harned?' And I told him I meant every word of it—told him we did not propose to go another step, with this damned fraud hanging over us! I told Reinhalter, too, 'You'd better get this thing off your hands now while you can! By and by you'll get nothing—not even your tomb—for the law will not allow you to touch a brick or a stone of that!' By God! With their admission of the fraud, I had them right in my fist and I made 'em squirm. And when I get their receipt, it'll be a pretty complete one—telling all the facts—or my word ain't worth its weight!" And Harned said again, "I am not sure of Moore's participation. I think he meant to be straight. Yes, he certainly had a knowledge of it, which was bad for him. He was eager to have the tomb in Harleigh—would have done almost anything to have it there. But they made a mistake when they started out to bleed the old man. They even had the gall to suggest that I should go over to see Childs and Drexel! When they get through with us, they'll know enough to know we are not to be fooled with."

W. counsels me about the Whitman-Lowell piece, "Don't attempt to make it long—don't make it a big paper. Say your say—dash it off—let the word go out."

Saturday, November 21, 1891

8:35 P.M. To W.'s, finding him reading—a volume of Stedman's big work on his lap. Cordially greeted me. (Warrie had told me downstairs, "Mr. Harned was here. He left word for you that Reinhalter was not over today. He is to come Monday. He sent word.") W. now reported, "Reinhalter was not over. But I have had a talk with Tom, who has been in again." W. seemed a little disturbed. "I had been hoping it would all be cleared out today. But now we have struck a delay." I remarked my confidence that the thing would all be done Monday. W. not so confident. "I am not sure of that for myself—not at all sure. He may consult his lawyer and that would at least cause the lawyer to come over to see Tom, which would perhaps serve a good purpose. For knowing the real facts of the case, that there was fraud in it, the lawyer would be likely to withdraw. It is all a mystery to me. I don't know how much of it to believe and how much to doubt. Tom's whole transaction is superb—his management as bright a thing as I know." I read W. the notes from yesterday about Harned's talk with me. W. greatly interested—had me re-read a part of it. "How grandly Tom was aroused. How William O'Connor would have delighted to be present! Yes, he would have liked Tom—would have understood him. William was always a lion himself when any wrong was afoot." Yet W. "does not like" the delay: "it looks a little like a fight." "They would not dare fight." "Do you think so? I rather incline myself to believe that they won't want to press the thing; I agree with Tom that that admission of the fraud carries everything against them." And further still, "I am sure now is the time to settle up. Horace, this world, with its frauds, its mysteries, oh! it is a trial-spot, leading to what? There was poor Florence—dead now—a week ago here with his big soul strong and hopeful. Gone down, lost, in a tragedy deep as night."

An immense apple on the table. Has been there for some days. "My neighbor, the grocer at the corner, sends it in. He says, it is for my old friend, Walt Whitman. I don't know about the old—I don't suppose I really know him. It is beautiful—a rare fruit. And, as you say, seems to aroma the whole neighborhood—this room certainly." David Wasson had a great penchant for the raising of special fruits. W. said, "I am interested to hear that. Wasson was one of the big men up there in New England. Quite many of the fellows nowadays get out on their farms, for one purpose or another. Perhaps it is a healthy tendency!"

Reeder brings me a couple of pictures of his new house to show to W., who says, "Yes, bring them down. I am interested in all I can hear about Reeder!" Longaker over Friday. I referred to Brinton's idea that public opinion, not laws or states or gods, most powerfully affect and stay men in their moral standards. "That is really the heart of the question. Tell that to Long—he ought to be able to take some hint from it."

I have a letter from Johnston (England—11th). Wallace not then arrived: 54 Manchester Road, Bolton, England Nov 11. 91 My Dear Traubel What a generous hearted correspondent you are! Two letters from you since last Saturday! I simply can't keep up with you so must give it up. Yes I am sure Wallace's departure wd be a heartwrench for you but the memory of his stay will be sweet for many a day both for you & for him. Your loss is our gain for we are hourly expecting to hear of his ship's arrival at Queenstown & a good many of us have sent him letters of welcome. I enclose a copy of mine. I am sending him yr last 2 letters. I fear he has had a rough time of it today & yesterday as we have had a severe storm of wind & rain. It is now howling & pouring against my window as I write. My heart's best gratitude & love to you for your frequent letters & for their tenderly sweet words about our dear comrade—doubly dear for his long absence from us. Also to your dear wife for her message. I echo your wish that you could come over & shake hands with us all. Perhaps we shall meet someday! Who knows! Since I wrote the last line I have recd an urgent message to go & see a lady in distress. I know you will pardon my hurrying off. My love to you & yours. I gave R. K. G[reenhalgh] your message. He will write to you when he "feels to." So long Johnston PS Will send R. K. G. your kind note. 
Johnston's song to Wallace and the Literary World's kind poem, "To Walt Whitman." This last W. read and said, "Good for Tomkins! He seems to be warm, friendly. That ought to be sent to the Doctor—it would brighten him up." I promised to make a copy. "Good! Good! It will be a good act!" After which W. disclosed, "I have a new scheme, Horace—this, namely: to take up the 81 copies of the complete book still with Oldach and have the Annex pages put in with them—that would round, complete, the volume." Would that be fair to the early purchasers of the complete book? "I haven't debated that question. As I look at it now, that question would not enter. For one thing, I should have to get a new label."

Then he called my attention to a letter from Forman, which he gave me to take along: 46 Marlborough Hill St. John's Wood, London N. W. 8 Nov. 1891—8 P.M. Your letters of the 18th and 19th of October reached me together as you intended. You may be sure, dear Walt Whitman, that the moment I had them I wrote to Mr. Balestier to make an appointment. He replied promptly that what he was really after was the American copyright—only in a minor degree the Continental, and not the English at all, which in his opinion does not exist. He said he would appoint a meeting very shortly: & I am daily expecting to hear again. My own impression is that if you revised your works finally in few or many details, and the revision was first published here, the new readings would have English copyright—which a publisher could defend, and so maintain the position of publishing the only finally correct edition. Anything that I can do to forward your views will be a pleasure to me, be sure, but I expect to get no further with Mr. Balestier than to ascertain just what is the scope and end of his present approach to you. The moment I can see what he is driving at I will write to you again. About American copyright, of course, I have absolutely no instructions from you. The above I have written 24 hours after receipt of your letter on the 29th of October, with the enclosure which is too precious to name. Could I have caught the Cunarder mail of this morning from Queenstown, I should have written yesterday, if only to send my love and thanks for the delicate kindness you have done me. Your intuitive knowledge of men is wonderful: I do not know anything you could have sent that would have touched me as your latest gift has done. But how did you know that, dear Walt Whitman? H. Buxton Forman "Forman says Balestier is mainly after the American copyright—rather that and the Continental than the English. Which is not exactly the thing I looked for. If they write to me, or he more definitely (or even now, with his question before me), I shall have to say the American copyright is not for sale. I suppose things remain to be developed: they may take other forms than either of us suppose."

Soon, good night! But W. still felt his uneasiness that the tomb business was not yet closed out. W. remarks, "This tomb story will be a great one to tell the Doctor." And, "If there's a fight, how about us, Horace?" "It will be more than Reinhalter's business is worth in Philadelphia for him to press the contract." "Do you think so?" "Yes, it would startle public opinion!" "Can there be such a friendship—public—for me?"

Sunday, November 22, 1891

Did not see W. today. Weather fair—very mild—light misty murky clouds across sky all day. One part of last night's talk should be added here. I said to W., "'Leaves of Grass' does a good deal to make one feel as Schiller felt about immortality." "Indeed? Makes you to feel not too sure of it—yet not to doubt it, either?" "Exactly." "Well, I don't know a better lesson than that—don't know what I could wish of 'Leaves of Grass' that could be superior. It is the best out of science—that spirit of rest, of a sure something-or-other breathing through the universe." Then, "Do you really mean, Horace, that 'Leaves of Grass' has been a positive help to you? That it has any way lifted you?" And to my fervent, "Yes! It has become a part of me, bone and marrow, and has been the sun of many dark days, making me sure of light anyhow and where," he cried out, "Oh! That is grand! It is its immortality—its future!"

Brentano's writes: "We regret to say that we have not the copy of Nouvelle Revue in stock containing the article by Sheppard on Walt Whitman, but can import you a copy for 78 cts. We think you could receive same in about three weeks after your order reaches us." I send word back: "All right, let us have the magazine. We can wait three weeks, or four, if necessary." W. remarked, "I suppose it is well to get it—well. Though when we get it we may find it comes to little." "Well, if we find that, we will at least have got rid of an unsatisfied curiosity." He laughed, "I don't know but that effect's as good as the other! Anyhow, use your own judgment. I find you usually go right!"

Monday, November 23, 1891

7:55 P.M. When I went into W.'s room, I found him sitting in front of the fire in a small chair. Evidently nursing the rather diminutive flame, which soon, however, blazed up and induced him to go back to the rocker. He took my hand and went across the room toilsomely. He will often sit thus by the fire, a poker handy, when the room seems cold and the stove seems to shirk its duties. Said to me right quickly, "Tom was here—here half an hour or an hour ago. He said I should tell you the Reinhalters—two of them—were over, but that they did not settle: in effect, in substance, that they would settle tomorrow. He entered into no particulars, nor did I ask them, but seems confident things will all be satisfactorily wound up."

W. quite readily entered into talk from that time on, but he did not look well, and said, "I have spent a couple of dreary depressed days. Dismally blue straight along. This confinement is horrible, but nothing else is within range. I quite cheerfully resign myself to the discomforts." Bright enough in his manner, however, whatever appearance.

I had letters. I mentioned a postal from Johnston and a letter from Wallace, both this morning. Very brief—merely notice of Wallace's arrival. W. says, "I have a letter to the same effect—just as short, I suppose. But I suppose they have since had a great pow-wow." I had written Brentano's ordering Nouvelle Revue and had told them I could probably put them in the way of a first edition of "Leaves of Grass" (meaning Harned). But W. says, "I can't imagine why anyone should want that book. Yes, there seem to be more of them afloat in England than here. For one thing there are more gatherers of curios there than here—more people collect first or limited editions of books. We have them here, too, but they are here by reflection: the original breed is English. I can see why such folks should look up our first edition, but I can't see why we should."

Now he suddenly asked me, "What of the Poet-Lore piece. Has it gone yet?" "No, I am to go home and work on it tonight." "Ah! Then I am in time. Which is good, after my trouble." "Time for what? Have you suggestions to make? I hope so." Then he leaned forward to the bed, handing me from it a copy of my August Lippincott's and Bucke's "Whitman," with passages marked in each (in magazine from his own piece, in the book from Kennedy and Mrs. Gilchrist), and with manuscript slips thrust in the pages. "I am quite ready in my own work when I find a good thing I want to say said by another, to use him—quote him. It is wise for many ways. Perhaps you will like to do so in this. Anyway, I offer this to you. As to the August note, I should advise, use it last."

Then he went on earnestly, "As to 'Leaves of Grass' I can say—with all its spirit and naturalness, and as the thing blows—the wind blows—that is not the whole story. Spontaneity— spontaneity: that's the word, yet even that word needing to be used after a new sense. I am quite clear that I have broken a way—that I have indicated a path—a new, superiorally new, travel-road heretofore not trod by man. Some one of the German philosophers had said, life is not an achieved fact, but a becoming. And 'Leaves of Grass' is much like life in that respect. And indeed, old earth herself is still becoming and always will be the same. The old poets had spontaneity, too, but it was a spontaneity not of the sort we are after. 'Leaves of Grass' attempts the unattempted. Other poets have written and written with unmistakable power, grandeur, but my mark has been a distinct one—must be so recognized. I have no doubt but I have done what I say I have done, whatever else is uncertain and insecure. But you need not put this down. It is better said in those extracts than I am saying it now. O yes! The Nibelungen! They are grand poems, thrown out in utter disregard for traditions. Those fellows felt they might be as bloody as they chose." I remarked, "In a dispute the other night I said: the main question is not, what you are or have achieved, but which way are you tending?" W. at once, "That is another statement—a splendid one—to the same effect. Which way are we tending? That is the kernel of many a hard nut." W. read letter I showed him from Bucke. "So he thinks he will be here after Christmas! Will we? I wonder!" A rather dreary prognostic. But he said also, "Bucke is of a quick, exuberant nature: he seems to invite labor and excitement."

Up to Harned's later on, but he was not at home.

Tuesday, November 24, 1891

7:50 P.M. W. sitting up but not appearing well. Still eager to have the books from Oldach, of which no sign. Of Oldach himself, "I remember him—yes I do: it was long ago. He is an honest, straightforward German, determined to do the best thing." I had stayed up late but not finished the Poet-Lore article. Wrote Miss Porter asking an extra day. Will send off tonight.

W. remarks, as if to follow up yesterday's talk, "I have known science—it is reflected in 'Leaves of Grass.' I am not a scientist, but I have skimmed the sciences—taken the cream, here and there—realized in the full what science indicates, stands for, will lead out to. Then, starting with this, I go beyond—find another world. As I have said, 'Leaves of Grass' is not spontaneous only—it aims to be, or ought to be, spontaneity itself. Other poets before me have been spontaneous—others nobly spontaneous, simple. But I think the 'Leaves' have all that spontaneity—then something deeper still. I don't know that I can set this out in a way to have it understood—indeed, I suspect it is not to be so set out. Must be comprehended, if at all, intuitively—must be felt, visioned. Anyway, made palpable, self-evident, without word or process of logic."

Showed W. pictures of Reeder's country house. "They are very good photos: Reeder is quite an artist. The house itself—the barn back there—both—oh! they are fresh air itself! And simple, too, like Reeder himself. I enjoy that—tell him so." W. then, "Bucke says the Bacon theory is interesting because of its uncertainty, which uncertainty I hope he will adhere to." He had a postal "from someone in the Illustrated American office" to this effect: "The current number of the weekly Illustrated American contains an article of interest to you." W. directed me to table to find this postal, then saying, "Perhaps you'd do well to take a look at the magazine. I would not get it unless it contains some specially valuable item. I am not so curious myself. But if you can, get a glimpse at the paper at your newstand," which I promised to do.

No sign of Tom yet today. W. says "the pressure of confinement" is "wearing me out." Room almost unbearably hot. Yet he did not think so. He referred to the stars, barely to be seen between the slats of the shutters. "The day has been beautiful, but to me time wears the same face, pretty much, one day to another."

"An inundation of letters from autographers!" W. laughingly reports. "With a request, generally, from the female applicants—no less, in fact, than that I should add a sentiment to my name."

Out to the street. Met Harned up at Post Office. He asked, "Have you been to Walt's?" "Yes." "Well, come down again for a minute. I want you to hear what I tell him of Reinhalter." So we went south together. Mrs. Davis admitted us and we went straight up to W.'s room. W. already gone to rest on the bed, light turned down. Then ensued this colloquy:

W.: "Oh! It is Tom! And Horace back, too! Welcome both! Sit down! Sit down!"

Horace: "No, we didn't come to stay, Walt. Tom has something to say to you about Reinhalter."

W.: "Is that so, Tom? Well, say it, Tom. I will like to hear."

Harned: "Maybe you won't, Walt. It isn't altogether pleasant."

W.: "Eh? Nothing gone wrong?"

Harned: "O no! But we haven't made our settlement yet."

W.: "That's bad, but not wrong. But tell me how that is, Tom."

Harned: "Reinhalter was in today—came to my office. Then he went out to see Moore. After a bit he returned. What do you think he proposed to do then?"

W.: "What?"

Harned: "He wanted to know if it wouldn't be all right for him to take our check for $1500 and give a receipt on account."

W.: "On account?"

Harned: "Yes, on account. Moore had put that flea in his ear. Before he went to Harleigh, he was disposed to settle. Now he kicked."

W.: "We won't yield an inch."

Harned: "So I told him. I said, 'It is that or nothing: $1500 or not a cent.'"

W.: "Stick to that, Tom: $1500 or not a cent! That is our ultimatum. Anything beyond that—even that—would be a gouge!"

Harned: "That was my position. I won't budge—I won't compromise—I won't do a damn thing but settle—settle on these terms."

W. (raising himself on his elbow a minute): "You made that quite plain, Tom? Just as you do now, here, to me?"

Harned (smiling): "I guess they understand."

W. (going back on pillow): "Well, Tom, go ahead, treat with them your own way. You know the case—you have your own weapons."

A little general talk—then exit.

Wednesday, November 25, 1891

6:30 P.M. W. up and reading. In good mood. No sign of Harned today. W. again alluded to "that infernal forgery" and wondered "what the scoundrels proposed to do about it?" for "Surely it is a point they would not like to push to an issue." I had looked up Illustrated American. Nothing there but a paragraph. W. remarking, "I would not get the paper for that. It is hardly worth while. I suppose it contained nothing?" And after I had described it, "I am not at all curious. My days will get me over the bridge if I never see it!" The dog had barked when I came in and he had noticed it. "He is the dumbest dog that ever set foot in America! He never seems to learn to know anything!"

Reeder in to see me today to say he had sent some of his farm products over to W. and me. W. now, "Yes, a barrel of potatoes and some cider. They were timely enough—welcome every way. I want to thank Reeder for it all—warmly. You can do it for me."

I told W. I had gone home to work on the Poet-Lore piece the night before—had just got to work when Gilbert came in, keeping me chatting for an hour and a half or more, he not knowing the work I had laid out to do. Did not consequently get to bed till three o'clock, walking about a mile at 2:30 to mail the manuscript (I promised Miss Porter tomorrow, first mail). Called it "Lowell-Whitman: A Contrast." Will they take it? I doubt a little, but they may feel more warmly than I anticipate. It was vigorously written, without stint of word or thought. But W. was delighted when I went over its ground with him. "That is good—good. How Doctor will take to that! You have your hand on the right spot—you have the trowel by the handle. You have 'Leaves of Grass'—yes, I am sure of it. Sure enough, if they don't take it, some other will! That is a good spirit!"

The Reinhalter business is undoubtedly worrying W. though he will not allow it. "Was it a pit set for me?" he asks.

W. wishes to give Harned's two children (Thomas and Anna) complete books before all are gone.

Thursday, November 26, 1891

Did not get to W.'s today. Weather rainy, stormy. Letter from Wallace, quite of length, but without detail of reception, which must have been hot: Anderton, nr. Chorley Lancashire, England 17. Nov 1891 My dear Friends, Your letters of the 4th inst. with letters returned from Jersey City enclosed just to hand. Thanks to you both. I had planned to have some leisure at my command to write you a fairly long letter by this mail. But, alas!, business interposes unescapable laws, & I am shut up to a few hurried minutes. Since I arrived here I have stayed quietly at home till yesterday, Fred Wild & his little boy coming out to see me on Sunday. But last night (Monday) I had tea at Johnston's & later took a car to Ferguson's where the College met to welcome me. I must leave it to Johnston to tell you all that passed. But he cannot tell you—nor can I—how glad I was to meet my old friends, dearer now than ever, by an English hearth—not philosophers, nor literary men, nor refined, nor clever—but warm loyalhearted friends & true men. Glad indeed was I to see them again. The inevitable songs were sung—chaff, raillery, fun & warm kindness, good will & affection—& deeper feelings still of gratitude to the kind Heavens, & responding affection to the good friends in America who gave me—& the College through me—so noble a welcome & such constant & unwearied service & hospitable kindness. We came away at 11.30—took railway train at 11.35 to Bolton, where I spent the night at Johnston's—sitting up with him till after 1, both loathe to separate. I read the College some of my notes which were of course deeply interesting to them. I got a little cold in the gale last Thursday & have felt tired since I came home. Otherwise I am well & expect to become acclimatized & settled down with returning vigour very soon. All well here. Weather gloomy with occasional showers but fairly good for an English November. Do not measure my appreciation of & gratitude for all your kindness by my cold, undemonstrative passiveness—"the cold silent manner of me without charm"—but believe that I treasure in my heart, undying memories of it all, & that I send you both love & blessing. All the time I was in Camden I felt it all too deeply—beyond my capacity to adequately realize, much less express—but as I gradually settle down once more in my old place & work—it wil gradually take its due place & proportion & perspective in my mind. Then I trust the chief good to me—an ever present memory, encouragement, stimulus, joy & hope. Love to our dear old hero for ever! Love to you & to your wife (more more than I can say). Love to the friends one and all. Joy to you—growing & advancing life to you, body, heart & mind—& the divine blessing on you & all your affairs. J. W. Wallace P. S. I had to go back to Bolton tonight on business after writing the foregoing. Business done I called on Deardens, Greenhalghs, & Dixons & handed over the presents I brought. They were all delighted with what I brought & are indebted (as I am myself) to Mrs. Traubel for her kind & tasteful aid & cooperation. It would have done her good to see the delight of Dixon's children & their affectionate response. Mrs. Greenhalgh seemed very much pleased with her glass dish—Mrs. Dixon with her purse. Mrs. Jones, too, was unaffectedly pleased with the aprons I brought. In each case I think we scored a complete success & I have to thank Mrs. Traubel anew for all her kindness. I came home by the last train & scribble this hastily. It grieves me that I cannot now write to Walt more than the briefest line. I have to leave home early on business & shall probably be away 2 weeks, coming home only at week ends. Love to you both J. W. Wallace 
Miss Porter promptly accepts essay. That seems to have a significance. Anyway, we will let it go out upon the waters, to return or not, as it may.

Friday, November 27, 1891

8:05 P.M. W. on his bed but not asleep. Shook hands with me. I went across to his chair and sat down. After a bit he rose, sat on the edge of the bed, his back my way. Talked a little while in that position: his back bent, his voice clear, the situation wholly strange and bathed in pathetic charm. Says, "I feel very bad—these are evil days: I seem to live in a cloud. Yet the outward days are beautiful enough! I have been looking over to the north, into the great skies. It is a great treat, to be able to do only that!" Complains of weakness, however. Warrie has almost suspended the rubbings. But W. says, "We'll have to go through the motions—keep up the form!" But says his body seems sore—all his body from the hips up. Warrie reports, "I can see a great change in the last two months. And lately he has taken to eating less." But this tomb business is to some extent worrying him. He said of that tonight, "I have entire confidence in Tom. I know he will drive 'em to the wall. Tom is wonderfully cute, and with great power. And of course he must not budge an inch from his original position—must keep all the advantage of that. We must not yield: it is a gouge, yes, an attempt at forgery and its benefits. We must defeat it!"

How had I passed Thanksgiving? His own "so-so." "What could a fellow do, jailed and bound?" Asked me, "I'll get you, if you will, Horace, to untie this handkerchief about my neck. I can't get at it." I had to reach under the beard, and easily did it. Then after I had re-taken my seat he called me up again. "One good turn deserves another. I'll ask you now to tie the new one on!" Laughing merrily. I had him hold up his beard as I did it. "I don't know as I ought to ask it, but it's asked and done, and I suppose we both are agreed that it is well done and done quickly!" Then, "These are several of the handkerchiefs I have left. Oh! I have lots and lots given me—silk, linen, every kind—and yet when I want a handkerchief, it seems the hardest thing in the world to turn up. They are stolen, stolen—not so much as they used to be, however, when I was downstairs. These things come from all directions, but they do not tarry long." It seemed greatly to amuse him, and he went on, "I spent a day at Mt. Vernon—a whole day, many years ago—and an old fellow I met there (I went about with him some) told me the relic-hunters were there in abundance and without their consciences—any of 'em! They would hack away at everything. He told me of a patch of ground they at one time cultivated: said that the more they worked, the worse the ravage—till finally the job was given up."

I alluded to Theodore Stanton's papers on Lincoln in some English review and his remark that Lincoln was never known to endorse Christian orthodoxy even in its mildest expression. W.: "No, nor endorse anything else. What did they ever know him to endorse in that line? Nothing at all—simply nothing." The original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation had contained no reference to God—no use of the word—till a cabinet minister suggested it and Lincoln waived the issue. W. says, "Now—In God we trust! When I think of this story, Horace, and many like it, and think of the filthy, vile, low, vulgar rot of that man Talmage, sent out every week, almost every day, from Brooklyn, I am quite determinedly willing to say to Ingersoll, 'Go on, Colonel! Whack away: the hardest blow you can strike will be none too hard for that damned crew!' No, Horace, no! There's nothing so vulgar, so alien to this time, age—to science—as what nowadays whistles about as religion. It is mere pretense—masquerade."

I had just got a letter from Bucke (26th) at Post Office. W. read. As he did so, "He is severe on Reinhalter. No, Doctor, not quite as bad as that!" And yet "bad enough," W. added. "A letter written with Doctor's careless dash, anyhow." "As all letters should be written!" I put in. He then, "Yes, all letters. I agree to that." "I'll send him one—yes, probably two—copies, when the book is out." What about books anyway? "Can you report progress on 'em?" Then we discussed means and ways—I shall run up to and urge Oldach tomorrow. W.: "I am anxious to see the book—have its concrete evidence that all is right. Everything set in its true angle."

The Poet-Lore people wrote me prompt acceptance of my article, as follows: "We hereby acknowledge receipt of your favor of to-day enclosing ms. We are sorry it is too late for Dec. We have, however, announced it for Jan. and will send you proof." I hardly expected it. They must have been moved. I said to W., "It was extreme—it was positive—it missed no emphasis." "Good for the girls then!" I entered into some talk of it. "You have got it into the right strain, Horace, I have no doubt. You got all the extracts in? Good—good! I always feel warmly towards a good extract, if it proves a good weapon, but extracts for the sake of extracts? That is lame—that carries us nowhere."

Johnston's English postal (7th) alluded to Bolton Chronicle extract from Record. W. had dictated the main part of that to a reporter here. Some points exaggerated afterwards. Puts his condition in rather bad color. The Brentano people not very well informed. They say they have an 1860-61 edition for five dollars, and call it first. Perhaps even this is a fraudulent Worthington book. W. again asserts, "I don't see what the fellows hunger after the fleshpots for—the old editions. Why don't they leave that for collectors?" Bucke's letter of 23rd answered my question: how had W. recently been writing him (in what spirit and with what frequency? ): 23 Nov 1891 My dear Horace I have yours of 19th. It has rained here steady since 7 P.M. friday last past and looks just now as if it might rain 3 more days. I send you with this Wallace's paper—if he told me to send it you (as probably he did) I have entirely forgotten—I have another copy so that which I send is for you to keep. If you would send me those Tennyson notes I would have them type-written and send you a copy in that shape corrected (for no doubt I should recall in going over them additional material). I have the MS. of the Montreal address and will give it you next time you are here or I go to Camden. I don't understand what you say about the impossibility of getting up a green L. of G. What are you doing about the cover of the New Edition? Will the cover not be changed? Yours of 20th this moment to hand. W. does not write so often as he used. Wrote 31st Oct and 4 letters & a postcard since—letters fairly cheerful—not nearly so down as I have know them other times. Last letter I had from him was dated 18th. No I do not want copies of big book—money is pretty tight with me at present—everything goes into the meter. We are finishing it we hope to have something with money in its belly before long. How is Anne? Give her my love—best wishes to you—wish I could spend a couple of weeks in your neighborhood. So long! R. M. Bucke W. remarks, "I wonder myself if that meter business will ever bring the Doctor anything. There are suspicions, not."

I received "college" songs today from Johnston, three of them. Duplicates, too, but no word what to do with these. Find however that W. has none. Presume they are for him. "I, too," he said, "only got a vague brief letter from Wallace: he leaves the details of their jamboree for a future letter, or for Doctor Johnston."

W. has been reading "The Wandering Jew," some prose piece (vol.) sent him by a Western lawyer (I am not sure about lawyer, but think that). It "did not interest" him, but "proved a curio." Told W. now for first time title of Poet-Lore piece: "Lowell-Whitman: A Contrast." "I like that. That sounds almost handsome." "I put Lowell's name first, for obvious reasons." "Yes, that was right. The reasons are obvious to me, too. All reasons I know point the same way." When in type could I get him slips of it? "I should want 10 or 20." Harned has gone to Washington and Virginia, taking young Thomas with him. W. thinks, "That will be a great trip for the boy, a great one. But I am anxious to have Tom get back, too." Among letters he gives me is "a simple complimentary one" from a woman named Webling: 2 Camden Gardens Shepherds Bush Green, London, England 26. Oct:1891 To Walt Whitman. Dear Sir It is my birthday and I am so grateful to you for the comradeship of Leaves of Grass that I must write today. I am an artist & paint portraits sometimes miniatures. My mother and sisters have just reached New York. The girls are quite young and going to give Recitations in the States and Canada. I hope to come sometimes but as I am a worker I must wait until bye and bye. Thanking you again and again and with greeting I remain, most sincerely Ethel Webling And another from Dwight (Friendship, New York) offering him asylum there, hearing W. was in distress. W. asked me, "Do you know what an apiary is?" "No." "Not a suspicion of it?" I laughed. W. thereupon, "You are as bad as Warrie, who made all sorts of wild guesses. The fact is"—bursting into laughter himself—"the fact is, I didn't know it any better than you. It seems to apply to bee supplies—such things. You have found the letter on the table? Oh! Let me see." I handed to him. He examined. "Yes, that's it! What a noble impulse in that man, to write such a letter. It ought to go on record some way." Harry L. Dwight, Manufacturer and Jobber of Bee-Keepers' Supplies Friendship, New York 11-24 1891. My Dear Sir: I read in the papers that you are sick and in want in your old age. Now Mr. Whitman, I am not wealthy, but will be proud to have you come here and live with us. I own a small home and will be only too happy to assist you. Kindly let me know by return mail if the statement in the papers is true. I sincerely hope it is not. I have a copy of your "Leaves of Grass." You have always been my favorite poet, and I think it a shame that you should be left in need. If circumstances are such that you need not come here or do not want assistance, I trust you will pardon this letter. It is written in all sincerity and truth. Your humble Admirer, Harry L. Dwight Then, pathetically, "The world is full of kindness, too. With all else—all the poison, worse—kindness, too! Our philosophies all need to be revised!"

Saturday, November 28, 1891

6:00 P.M. W. sitting up, reading Camden papers. Had just been resting. I saw Oldach—got from him specimen of paper (color) for book. W. approved. Sends "Wandering Jew" (spoken of yesterday) to Miss Whitman, St. Louis. Gave me ten-dollar bill to get changed in twos to send to Burlington. Exhibited the key to the tomb. Has it in his pocket book. Was it big? Only a minor key, in sooth. He laughed. Had I thought it a giant? "No, I think it will move a mountain." "That door is a mountain." Then again, "They have left that with me, as portent for all good," seeming inclined to be merry about it. Expressed some pleasure over pictures in daily papers. "They carry a good deal with 'em. I think this can be particularly said of the Times pictures." Now the question, "Have you seen Tom? No? I am anxious to have that affair settled. O yes! I will back Tom up—he can go on—I am here at his command." Harned back from Virginia today. Says, "Something decisive will probably appear in a day or two—either a move against Walt or acquiescence in my terms." W. "quite resigned" to let things "take their course." Gave me a couple of complimentary tickets for Annie Besant's lecture on "Theosophy and Occultism" next Friday. "They came with a complimentary letter which I confess I have not yet taken the trouble carefully to read. But you can take the tickets—of course I can't use them."

Left Current Literature with him. Notes there—taken from a speech of Edwin Arnold—saying Walt Whitman's poverty was a "disgrace" to America. W. doubtful about that "disgrace," but Arnold was "given to hasty magnanimity." Also left with him copies of songs from Bolton and the manuscript of Wallace's "Experience" (spiritual illumination or what-not—came from Bucke—I have not yet read it). "He means it for a secret, but not for a secret from you." W.: "I suppose not. Anyway, leave it. I must see what it is like."

Morris had told me about Simon Stein (Philadelphia, Vice-President Finance Co.), who had exclaimed over "Where Meadows Meet the Sea." "I was strongly moved by your extracts from Walt Whitman. Are they all from his book?" Yes, and many more like them! Stein thereupon allowing he would have to go back to the book. W. remarking on this point as I recite to him, "Yes, the best thing for him to do is to go back to the book—yes, that's essential! Stein? Simon Stein? Somehow I know that name but don't know how I know it."

Some more of W.'s comments on "the damned dog" downstairs who had "howled and went on at a great rate."

Sunday, November 29, 1891

7:40 P.M. Anne along when I went to W.'s, but did not go upstairs with me immediately. W. sitting up, a shawl pinned about his shoulders. Lusty fire in stove. Night cold. He remarked it. "It must be blowing a pretty cool gale out-of-doors." Thermometer pretty far down. Had he yet read Wallace's "Experience"? "Yes. It is not new—what it promulges not new, so to speak. For I have always contended—'Leaves of Grass' touches it in a thousand ways—that the universe, the earth, all the orbs—all they contain, night and day, of what is called ugliness and beauty—is just what the individual regarding it may be—not more, not less. Wallace is a curious mixture of the emotional—the affectionate, the faithful—and the intellectual. His intuitions grasp a good deal, a wonderful lot—past the toil of the understanding—a sort of inner sagacity. How much Wallace would have got from William O'Connor! To have seen William at his best was a world not to be forgotten, ever."

Had read in Times McClure's paper on Lincoln and Chase. Left with W., who said, "Tell me the amount of it, will you?" And after doing so he still insisted, "Chase was a bad egg: handsome, smart, but there a stop. This"—pointing to a little portrait—"this is a very good picture of Chase, very good. I have seen him often. What does McClure's judgment amount to? Does he seem to hit the nail on the head?" Again, "Chase did some indispensable things, I suppose, but along with them much evil. Elias Hicks used to ask, or say he often wondered, whether Christianity had done more good than bad in the world. I do not feel in doubt on that point, but I do about Chase. Much was made of the fact that he got us out of our need for money. How did he get us out? He printed the money. That strikes me strangely. And there were a few deep heads at that time shaking, shaking. He started the presses and the future had to foot the bill. We are still footing it. Chase had his good traits, no doubt—he meant, some ways, to do right. But he had a horrible way of stumbling over his good purposes, so that however we explain him, he don't rank first-rate. They were stormy times: he helped the storm. Noble Lincoln! Not a cloud left on him now!"

I said to W., "Anne is downstairs." "Eh! Downstairs did you say? You'd better go down and bring her up!" Which I did. They kissed each other heartily. W. very tender and loving—demonstrating it. W.'s welcome warm. Anne spoke of it as "comfortable here," W. saying, "Is it so? Well, we mean it to be!" At the idea that he should go out he said, "If only I could! Yes, I would enjoy it—would like to trip, run, with the rest. But there's no use attempting to break jail. Here I am!"

Left Conservator with W. Our dispute there with Long. Harned just tells me Long took the ground that if it had not been for Christianity, the world would likely have gone to smash. W. thereupon, "O Mr. Long! Mr. Long! And you preach down in the church, too! It is strange how people, when they get a good thing, declare it is the only good thing. The man who likes roast beef is not willing to allow that mutton is good, or that a chop may have enticements, virtues. But so it is nevertheless. These individual Christians, as you say, Horace, know only their little circle—do not seem to be equal to any brave considerations or to see much—report much." And again, "One man says, 'The apple is good.' What have you to say of pears, grapes? 'Oysters are good.' Why do you condemn roast lamb? That is a question we have a right to ask." I quoted Brooks to the effect that Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus were noble exemplary men, crowned with genius, but that they lived without light—that final last light, the Christ, the Christian. That they had in a sense walked in darkness. W. exclaimed, "That is very odd—very superficial. For men without light themselves, they managed to give a good deal of light to the world. These fellows all seem to forget that 99 one-hundredths of the time that has been—that a big, dominating majority out of all the people who exist—oh! whole majorities, not to be counted—never knew a word about Christianity—did not even know its name—yet managed to exist—to live well—to die nobly—to flower the earth. It is altogether a ragged, worthless interpretation." I put in, "But science has passed all that." He then, "Yes, it has—thoroughly." "And studies of comparative religions have knocked the old notions all out." "Yes, or tend to—have, in fact, with the best fellows." I spoke of Long, "He lives in a narrow circle—sees only a segment—a few things here and there." "True enough—yes, I am sure you are right. I am surprised at the currency of some of these ideas."

We had something to say of Reinhalter again and Moore. W. feels, "It puts on a bad promise for Ralph: I don't like the look of things." When we left he kissed Anne good-bye, saying to her, "Come often, darling, come often." She alluded to "the delightful odor of wood," and he asked, "You notice it, do you? I guess it's a good thing to have about." And then, "Good night, my dear! Good night, Horace!" And he called after her, "Take care, dear—is there a light below?" (When she had started up obedient to my summons, he had called from his seat, "Come up, Anne! Come up! We are home!")

Monday, November 30, 1891

8:05 P.M. W. on bed—room darkened—but insisted on getting up and going to his chair. Said to me, "Tom has not been in. But the Reinhalters were here today—two of them. They said they were not satisfied to settle on the basis proposed by Tom. But I referred them back to Tom, saying he had those matters in charge and I could not interfere. They were very mannerly. They did not seem to wish to pick a quarrel—nothing of that sort. They expressed some special solicitude about Moore's bill." The receipted bill? "Yes, that—as if wishing him to have it. But of course I had nothing to give them, either by way of information or money. They even proposed a privilege from me that Moore should go among my friends and collect the money! As gratuitous an assumption as I know. No, no, I sent them to Tom. If they don't choose—well, it will be well for them to choose!" Then, "I stand by the issue we have made. I propose to back Tom up—propose to fight the forgery!" Reinhalter, it seems, now endeavors to thrust all on W. Said to him, "Mr. Whitman, we did not propose, insert that figure. That was done by Mr. Moore. You left details in his charge and he it was who insisted that the price should go in before he proceeded with the work." W. thinks this "a pretty bad hole for Moore to have crawled into."

Returned me Current Literature. He had marked items, one referring to "the glorious large-tempered dithyrambics of Walt Whitman." Another, "Sir Edwin wishes to see America strike out on a literature of her own, paint her own pictures and carve her own statues. He esteems Walt Whitman the most genuine American living writer, is proud that he personally knows him, and thinks that the good gray poet's poverty is a disgrace to the country." W. saying, "I enjoyed the magazine. It has something for every taste." Gave him the five two-dollar bills I had procured. He enjoyed looking at them, especially McPherson's picture. "I have been reading the Critic," he stated. "Jennie Gilder has been going on at some length there about her visit to me. It is very dull, very—quite formal and perfunctory. Jennie is a big girl, but she, too, lets I dare not wait upon I would." Would he send that paper to Doctor? "Yes, but if you wish it, I will let you have it instead." But I would get my copy. "Better let that go to Bucke," which he said he would.

I had letters from Wallace and Johnston. But mainly referring me to some fuller letter written W., who now remarks, "Yes, I supposed you were to have the letters. I will get them for you." And would get up, despite my protests, and go to the table. "It will do me good. I ought to get up—move about a little." Giving me after a few minutes letters from Johnston and Wallace. "I thoroughly enjoyed Johnston's account of the spree: but it was too short."

Times yesterday published "personal" to effect that Walt Whitman was denying himself pretty nearly all visitors. "I know—I have seen the same thing in several papers—came across it in the Boston Transcript last week." Curious about J. William Lloyd who sends W. sheet of some paper (no name attached) containing a poem "To Walt" written in Whitmanic line. With it a letter, which W. says he has "today been looking in vain for." Lloyd lives at Westfield, N. J. Seems to be a professional nurse. Wrote on the back of his card, also sent, that if W. needed a nurse he ventured to offer himself. "Westfield is at the fork of the road. Where the Atlantic and Cape May roads part, the one train going one way, the other the other. There, that is Westfield. Lloyd is practically our neighbor. What do you know of him? Oh! He is one of the Tucker Anarchists! They all seem friendly—yes, all seem friendly. And they tell me the same thing about the Young Socialists in England—why is it? Why is it?" Anyway, "We keep a warm side for 'em all."

W. remarks of the Bolton letters, "They are valuable, not so much for what they say as for what they indicate." Did he not feel more and more a confidence in the ultimate acceptance of "Leaves of Grass"? "I don't know as to that: no, I should hardly say that. I am confident, however, that I have opened a way—that something has been done through us." I put in, "That you will be an open way to a great future." "Yes," smiling, "rather that. But," laughing heartily, "this is all self. Ain't the rest of the world damning us meanwhile?"

Have not seen Harned, but think the Reinhalters went straight home without seeing him.

Tuesday, December 1, 1891

6:05 P.M. W. just going across the room to chair. Greeted me on the way with extended hand (holding on foot of bed with the left hand), "Here you are, Horace! Well, sit down! Sit down! We can talk at our ease." Adding however, "But little ease for me these days!" As I picked my way to the chair over by window, "I tread onto this dust which Miss Gilder could not forget—this dust, which made her forget that you were here." W. thereupon, "Jennie is a queer girl: large, ample, all right in the timber, originally, but so overgrown, soaked, with conventionalisms, she witnesses little of her old self. And that social pressure, the life of the big cities, threatens everyone with the same fate."

Visited Longaker last night. Found him lying down sick with a bad cold—scarcely able to talk for huskiness. Which explains his absence. W. had remarked and now said, "I can understand —I can see. Poor Longaker! But I suppose it's noway serious?" Longaker had said, "Whitman came near meeting with a serious accident. I found his catheter the other day about ready to break off. Had it done so while he was using it, the damage might have been fatal—certainly would have been serious." Longaker seems to find things amiss with the bladder and talks of some examination and cleansing.

No books yet from Oldach. But they promise them absolutely by Saturday. W. wishes to send some out for Christmas presents. "There are several I particularly wish to send—to my folks and one or two others." We spoke of Drexel Institute. "I delivered or sent your message to Drexel through MacAlister," I said. W. now, "I am much struck with the Institute. It seems to fill a great bill. Who knows but Philadelphia will in such things go ahead of all the rest?" Warrie reports some trouble with one of W.'s ribs, but says W. declares there is no pain from it—though seeming displacement. But "the body is sore," W. complains, and, "Don't know what it all means: probably the start of the end!"

Somehow reference was made to McKean of the Ledger, W. saying, "I always knew he was inimical to me—was so from the jump. Thought my book a fraud, thought me a fraud—as, no doubt, I am." City editor of Times speaks to Clifford of W. as "a chestnut and a humbug." W. laughs and says, "That is another way of putting the same truth," laughing greatly. "We have a miscellaneous fire to go through—some of it ridiculous, some dangerous—but, anyway, or either way, we seem to outlast it, alive!" Had he read the McClure piece on Lincoln and Chase? "Yes, read it carefully: it interested me. It came close to my own way of thinking. If you get a chance to see McClure, I wish you would say to him for me that I endorse that article thoroughly—that, indeed, he might have said a great deal more and not overstepped reason. I think Chase was the rottenest man in high place at that time—doing a vast deal of good, too, but capable of damnable meannesses, past the ability of most even mean men. The timber in him was rotten, or gone. He was easily, early, stung with that respectability bee which made such havoc of Harlan and his fame—which made both of them big in the conceit of numbers—made them imagine they were upholders of holy hosts, set up by God specially and in manifold ways. Lincoln! Lincoln! He was leagues beyond all that—magnanimous, superb—with a gracious air, like summer breezes, to soothe, compose. And above all personalities, all bitter struggles for selfish ends—led on, on, ever, by the one blazing light ahead: nationality, the Union—losing sight of all in that." "Figuring himself little that that might be great!" I exclaimed. "Nobly said! Yes, that. Out to save the ship, to pass the storm, to heed no criticism, croak—only to labor and triumph! No one can really comprehend what Lincoln did unless he understands the great fund of slavery feeling then here at the North as well as that at the South. Indeed, this Northern sympathy was hardest to bear, beset Lincoln with the knottiest problems. This feeling extended not only in a great city like New York, but beyond—for instance, out through the cities of the state (I saw lots of it!)—in Albany, Rochester, Buffalo—in places like Syracuse—so on. And not only among the low and the vile—no, not there—but in Methodistical, Presbyterianistic circles (yes, often with men essentially sound and good). Circles then bad enough, yet with good samples—splendid samples—left, but growing nowadays damnably worse and more vulgar. Lincoln watched, bore with, curbed, all that—never missed the right word, act—led us, in the end, victors! I don't know how there could be anywhere a more conclusive argument in favor of men as they average up than the life of Lincoln: a life right out of the popular heart—a hero august and simple as nature—supreme for his own ends, eligibilities. A man like Chase could not be expected to penetrate Lincoln—to know the first letter of his alphabet. Chase always constituted himself schoolmaster—as Harlan did—yes, as many men do, in official as in other history. He was fair to look at, serene, but in the deeper moral intentions, in the fundamentals, in bottom principles—he was vacant—did not grasp the situation—America."

I picked up from the floor a book, "Modern Authors: A Review and a Forecast" by Arthur Lynch, into which the author had thrust this note: London October 1891 Dear Walt Whitman May it be permitted to offer, as a tribute of admiration and affection, this little book of a young Australian to the great Poet of America. Arthur Lynch I called W.'s attention to the book. Had he looked into it? "Yes, it came yesterday. And by the way, you had better take it along and read it. It is singular, chaotic. Full, too, of touches about Walt Whitman—which might give it integrity!" Laughing, "I told Bucke about it today. As I say, it is chaotic—a jumble, many ways—but fairly sound—written with swing and vigor. You will find I have marked many places there. I have hardly made up my mind how to take it. But, whatever, do you take it, report on it."

Law sends me this note: Camden, N. J. Nov. 30/91 (St. Andrew's Day) Dear Traubel: I'm sick wi' the caul' hence this pencil scrawl, but I could hardly postpone writing you. Maybe you remember my last letter to you regarding the Burns Exhibition at Glasgow, Scotland, Jany 1892? My friend Collins has had another letter from Mr. W. C. Angus, the great Burnso-maniac, and it seems he is considerable of a Whitman enthusiast as well. The first intimation we have is when he writes on the back of the envelope containing his last communication: "L. of G. will be the first American Book to go into £100.00"pounds, mark you, not dollars. On perusing the epistle: (Date is Nov. 9/91) "I have a strong admiration of Walt Whitman (a line to itself). I would like to have Whitman's copy of Burns. I wish you could get the Poet to write his name on the title-page of any good edition of Burns, if he won't part with (loan) his own copy. Whitman's Burns should be in such a collection as I am forming. I have some very distinguished books—five at least from America—and I should value none greater than Whitman's. I cannot afford to buy mss., but I would not grudge a good fee for a Whitman Burns. It would give distinction to my gathering. Is this too big an order?" Then again by way of Postscript: "It may interest you to know that a Pack-Merchant—one of the old school (By the way his book has gone over $600.00, like Wilson-Law) fetched several copies of the first edition of 'Leaves of Grass' from America to Sunderland (Yorkshire, Eng.). The late Wm. Thos. Dixon (a cork-cutter to trade) to whom Ruskin addressed 'Time and Tide by Wear and Tyne' purchased several copies and gave one to W. B. Scott, who gave it to Rossetti, who republished the book. This was the introduction Whitman got to the old country." Now, do you think there is any encouragement for such a man? Can we hope for anything Whitmanesque at the forthcoming exhibition? Robert Louis Stevenson is to write the preface to the Book of the Exhibition, and a host of other literary lights will contribute. I should be pleased to hear from you at your leisure—having come direct to you as I consider you without any question or cavil the nearest to the Poet of all men of our time. Future ages will envy you the privilege you now enjoy. Wallace I guess has gone home some time ago. Wish I had seen more of him, but I'll have to bury myself for a long time yet. And while I regret it, as far as I see it cannot be helped much. My "Dream's Home" has been well received in America—nothing from home so far, hardly time yet. Autograph—or rather holograph letters from Whittier, Holmes, J. W. Riley, Wheeler Wilcox, H. H. Furness (the finest of all perhaps), Dr. Bolles, Gen. Wilson, and many others—the Scotch Americans responding in noble style. Am driven almost to death at the factory, business increasing daily—doubled since last year! Remember me to Mrs. Traubel, and with kind regards to yourself, hoping to hear from you at your early convenience, believe me, Yours very truly, James D. Law. P. S. Half the time I pencill'd this I had the baby on my knee! Five months old—and one tooth!! Your time is coming!!! Have not yet referred to W.

Met Harned this evening. The Reinhalters did not get to him yesterday. Still confident they will appear and wish to settle.

Hear from Bucke (date 29th).

Wednesday, December 2, 1891

5:30 P.M. Warrie admitted me—I thought seemed a little disturbed. When I asked him how W. had been, he replied, "Just about so-so. But say," with a note of annoyance, "he fell down today. His left leg gave way. But it did not hurt him. I was out for a while this afternoon. I had to go uptown. Walt said to me, Why don't you go to see the launch while you are out. It was the New York, at Cramp's. So I went. While I was out he got up to go across the room. He did not call Mom [Mary Davis]. That was the time he fell." Warrie rather disturbed to have it happen. I went up—found W. in his chair. Seemed to be none the worse for his shaking up, or down, of which he remarked, "Yes, I tumbled: at least, my left leg gave way. It was rather that than a fall. I went down quite easily—in fact, let myself go—and when down, rested there till Mary Davis came up and helped me to my feet. It is extraordinary, what good luck we have. My legs are hardly able to hold me up anymore: the steel is given out—all out." Did he feel any shock from it? "Not the least, now—no, nothing. Oh! I went down quite easily—merely in a heap."

Gave him Law's letter to read. He put on his glasses. Never looked up till the reading was done, then saying, "I don't see what good my Burns would do them. It is a cheap edition, only three or four years old, with few marks, very few. Nothing, in fact, that would in any way associate the book with me. Sheets of my Burns might be sent, if I could fish them out. But even that is doubtful."

Century on floor. I picked it up, commenting on its Christmas cover. It had been laid open at Stockton's story. W. remarked, "It's a dull, stupid number—full of virgins, angels, cherubs— all infernal rot! I can't think of anything so alien to our time—so past, so overdone! The whole stuff, that issue, is cheap enough. Even the cover is horrible: I don't like the ordinary cover—this is worse! No, I do not pay for it—they deadhead me." Returned me Wallace's manuscript, or the copy of it Bucke had sent me. "It is a curious document, to be read as such."

H. L. T.: "I think Bucke regards it as conclusive."

W.: "Conclusive of what?"

H. L. T.: "Of immortality."

W.: "It is conclusive of nothing: conclusive only of Wallace himself. It passes us some things about Wallace—then is silent. I didn't see it the way Doctor seems to. Nature keeps the secret well-enveloped—hides every glimpse. Wallace undoes his own envelope—lets himself out. As for Nature, immortality—not a word! And somehow it is a silence we must respect."

H. L. T.: "Do you think much searching after it will avail?"

W.: "Not a bit: there is background and background."

H. L. T.: "And what is hid there—well, what is it?"

W.: "True—what is it? Can Dr. Bucke tell? Can anyone tell?"

H. L. T.: "Nature seems to keep her palm closed."

W.: "She does. As I have said, her envelope is sealed—no soul, no human (no divine) can open it."

H. L. T.: "Then Wallace is only conclusive for himself?"

W.: "Only conclusive in so far as he is conclusive—that is, in self-revelation—in telling us what his eyes see—in personal experience. But after that, as to general conclusions—this, yes; that, no—he, like all the rest of us, leaves everything in mystery, silence, cipher!"

H. L. T.: "I have not yet read the piece. I have only heard of it, from Bucke, enthusiastically, and from Wallace, deprecatingly."

W.: "Well, read it. It is worth while. It is well-written, clear, decipherable (being written by a machine), and more than interesting to know, for Wallace's sake. But if you look in it for proof of anything—no, no: I would say, you will find it a blank page!"

H. L. T. : "I shall read it, of course; and probably find it marrowed. But I say, Walt, in spite of what you say about evidences and uncertainties, you believe in immortality?"

W.: "Do I? Anyway, that is another thing."

H. L. T.: "And do you hold to it that worry about it either way is a disease? As introspecting for a fellow's sins is disease?"

W.: "The two are parallel. I rest in this: Nature holds her secret well-enveloped—as you put it, her palm is closed—probability, belief, guess, is not evidence. So far, the Colonel is right—I go with him—he has made a brave fight for that. Now, is there something more? After all, let us keep close to this: affairs are right, and if immortality is right, we will have it—indeed, have it not alone but along with many other things undreamed of in our fighting philosophies; if not right, then no immortality."

H. L. T.: "A sort of agnosticism, in spite."

W.: "I don't know about that. But, whatever, to go named or unnamed, there's the nut."

H. L. T.: "Not so hard to crack, either."

W. (laughing): "We won't debate that; but there it is!"

W. reminds me as I leave, "Get me a couple of stitched copies of the 'Leaves' from Oldach. Get them without the cover if you can't get them with." Almost worries to see them.

Harned has not yet got from W. the statement regarding his children. When I broached it the other day, W. returned, "I am not in good condition today. Let it go for another time. It is a nasty story anyway."

Thursday, December 3, 1891

8:05 P.M. Light down—W. resting on bed. Extended hand with warmth (tonight really a warm hand), greeting me with, "Bless your coming. It is like bread—for everyday!" Immediately thereafter, "Sit down! Sit down! And now—what is the news? Tell me that!" He has himself been stirred by the tragic position of Cyrus Field in New York—the wife recently dead, a daughter fearfully if not fatally sick, the son failed and gone insane. "It is too much for one to bear, all brought together!" [Showed him] paragraph I had put editorially in today's Post:

It should be said that the dubious stories promiscuously fathered and circulated, and from which the world might suppose Walt Whitman at death's door, by no means represent the facts of his condition, or sketch that aspect of his case which decency and sobriety of report would compel. Whitman's trans-Atlantic and other friends are writing almost daily inquiries prompted by the evil tidings thus grown current. The old man continues in his usual calm. He has but little strength, but he has a big fund of faith and confidence. He knows the dangers that beset him. But to friends at home and abroad he sends forth through us a loving salutation, with a benediction added, and to say that he still enjoys a life to which their love adds zest. 
W. said, "I did not see it. What does it say?" And at my statement—"That is right, I am glad you said it that way," adding, "There are stories nowadays invented out of the whole cloth. The reporters seem to lurk, or to make it appear they lurk everywhere—that the world hardly speaks a word but someone hears, or reports he hears. These stories about us have the sound of invention, wholly and unmistakably."

Nobody has heard from the Reinhalters. W. thinks, "Perhaps they mean to fight. If they do, I suppose I will have a writ served on me. But that hardly presents itself to me as a possibility. The thing that knocks me clean out is Moore's bill—his anxiety, too, to have it paid. Moore, anyhow, puzzles me. I do not understand him. Well, we have no more to do now than not to do. We must wait." Then, "But what's the news from Oldach?" "He will give me some books tomorrow." "Did he say so?" "Yes." "Thank God for the return of the hat!" After a pause, "But you really think you will get some of the books?" "Yes." "On what ground? How did he promise you?" "The bookkeeper, who is also a sort of manager, went upstairs to see and on his return said, 'We can't give you copies stitched today, but can give you some copies all done tomorrow.'" "Is that absolute?" "I think so." "That last looks like authority, to be sure."

He sank back on his pillow, closed his eyes. I said nothing till he spoke up again. The quiet strange, almost. I heard nothing but a slight crackle in the fire and his measured breathing. Five minutes fully so consumed. Then he asked, "You hear from Bucke?" "Yes." "What is he telling you nowadays?" "He talks a good deal about the complete 'Leaves.' I told him in my last letter that he would undoubtedly get a copy next week." "So he will! I shall send him one of the first—the very first, in fact."

Referred again to Jennie Gilder's Critic "Lounger" notes on the visit here. I then asked him if he had read Molly Elliot Seawell's piece in Critic, "On the Absence of the Creative Faculty in Women." He replied, "No, what does she say?" "She argues that woman is without creative genius—without genius, in fact, which is necessarily creative." "Does she seriously argue that?" "So it appears." "But what is her base-ground—on what does she build?" "History, or thinks she does." "Probably thinks." "She says women do not create character, write the great poems, construct the great stories." "How does she account for Sappho?" "She contends that Sappho is an imagined quantity—that her fame is unwarranted." "How about Homer's fame, then? They came to us together, a pair, equally revered by the Greek." "She discounts George Eliot and George Sand." "Indeed? By comparison?" "Yes. Asks if they are anyway to be rated with Thackeray or the great creators of character." "But who says they are not?" "She does—she mightily says, no, and asks what about Madame de Staël and others? Admitting that women have contemporary fame, but add nothing to immortality. And she goes on to argue the same way as to musicians—all creative workers, in fact. They are all men!" "Damn the woman! But stick to George Sand! That would be dangerous doctrine for her to pronounce in Europe. It would be hard lines for anyone to pretend that Dickens and Thackeray and that class can anyway approach the best women: it would show there was no sense in talk."

Friday, December 4, 1891

6:10 P.M. When I entered W.'s room, I exclaimed, "No books, Walt! He has broken his promise!" He looked across at me—laughed. "I supposed something! Does he say tomorrow?" "Yes." "Well, then we have another day for hope!" Then asked me, "How about Lynch's book? Have you read it?" "Only in part—some pages." "All right, there is no hurry. But what about Lynch: what do you know of him?" "Nothing—never heard of him before." "Nor I. Who knows but O'Dowd could tell us about him. He is Australian." I asked W., "Do you think he has something to say?" "I do not see that. He seems determined to unload—to be full of something or other: seems bursting with the momentum of parturition. But the book seems like a thorough chaos—chaos, yes, that, with all it means." "He is hot for you." "Yes, hot for me, and hot for others, too—hot anyhow—stirred up, by I guess he don't know what. What will come of it? I am doubtful—I have no opinion."

I was to go to hear Besant—this the evening. W. saying, "I have no message to send. I do not know what she stands for—what exactly is her ground—and she probably knows nothing of me—of 'Leaves of Grass'; so that messages hardly belong between us. Yet she is heroic—a good woman, no doubt—and we always have some heart for good women."

Longaker still sick. W. notes to me, "He writes me about it. I had the letter today. It is a very bad cold. I miss him." Told him I had written Law about the Burns. W. thinks his (rather new) copy of no value, but I would propose to send slips of his Burns piece, he to autograph. W. now, "That was circumspect—I approve of that. My Burns is not of particular value. As I have said, it is not an old copy. I don't think I care to part with it. It contains a number of Burns clippings pinned in by me—a few such notes—but nothing beyond. And by the way, if you will get me a couple of copies of 'November Boughs' stitched I can send one of them. You remember the Burns piece is in 'November Boughs.' For the present that must serve."

Morris showed me clip from Nation about his book in which reference to W. was gingerly and grudging though tending to favorable. I described it to W. as the paragraph of a man who felt to say more but had to show some respect to his past record. W. laughingly, "That is good! I suppose their past record is the enemy's. But I do not know. I hardly know where Godkin stands. Godwin? He, too, is in the fog: whether for or against us I do not happen to know." A little word further of George Sand, W. dwelling upon her "palpable genius."

Met MacAlister, of Drexel Institute, this afternoon. He will send opening cards to W. and to me. Is enthusiastic about "After All, Not to Create Only." Will probably take texts from it for the Institute. Amusedly said, "I tried to make my daughters see it the other night—read it to them—but no, they would not have it. The girls think that poetry is a matter of rhyme and elegance—of merely verbal beauty." "But you think they will see more truly of that by and by?" "Yes, I do—as all other people will." W. greatly pleased with this. The Institute is a joy to him, anyhow. "Manual training is the future of America," he has said to me time and again. MacAlister says, "It is manifest from that poem that he thinks so."

We are much startled by attempt today to assassinate Russell Sage—the poor daft fellow with the bomb, himself blown to pieces. W. sadly shakes his head, "O the poor human critters we are! And the mystery of it past all philosophy, definition!"

On boat later on in evening met Harned. Had he yet talked with W. about children? "No, but I shall probably go down tomorrow afternoon." Harned extremely busy. "But I have good news," he said. "What is that?" "I have heard from the Rice woman." "What does she say?" "She asks if a copy of the manuscript would not do. She says she can't put her hands on the original." "A pretense." "So I believe, and I act on that supposition. I wrote to her at once to say: 'I must have the manuscript immediately. The offer of a copy is out of the question. The manuscript is the property of Mrs. O'Connor. I hope you will not delay the settlement of this matter.' If she evades me, I shall go to Baltimore to see her. She is a bad woman—an insincere woman. I realized that in the other letters Mrs. O'Connor left with me. An insincere woman is hard to handle." Harned's original letters to the woman had been disregarded. She no doubt got them, they never returned to him. But she evidently intended to take advantage of the fact of the change of address—to act the lie that the letters did not find her, or she did not exist. I devised a plan to find out if she still lived in Baltimore. Billstein (just gone there to take charge of a big printing house) offered to help me. I knew she was a teacher. Billstein wrote to know her terms for French lessons. She replied that she had no terms for French—that she did not in fact give French lessons—her specialty being elocution. On the letter was of course her address. (He had addressed her as in Baltimore directory. ) Now we knew our ground. Billstein forwarded her letter to me and I gave to Tom, who instantly wrote to her at her new address. She must have known Harned had somehow knowledge that she was in Baltimore. No use to hide! Hence her note to him. He was decidedly happy about it. It is almost exciting to wait the result.

In letter of 21st Bucke speaks of the chances of his trip this way after the holidays and also of W.'s plain touch at the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy. W. still says, "Bucke seems too fast in his inference. If this and that and the other, then Shakespeare did not write the plays! But it stands pretty clear to me that logic won't work—not at all. It leaves too much out." Yet "we will be happy enough to see the Doctor here. But I scarcely accept it. It is only one of his many big hopes." Bucke writes on 24th in connection with sale of copyright. But W. remarks, "Doctor is very vehement, but he don't see all sides of this thing, as we do."

Roberts had written this with his book, some time ago: Law Office of Charles H. Roberts No. 180 South Clark Street, Chicago Nov. 25 1891 Dear Sir: Years ago, centennial year, I spoke with you on Camden Ferry about sunset, Celia Thaxter, the man o' war bird, John Burroughs, etc. I was then, or had been, mechanic and with Star & Sons, although a western man. Now, at Chicago, I have just bought "Good-Bye My Fancy" and renew the acquaintance. I shall send you, tomorrow, a little book of mine, which some people read; and which I think myself has green in it, though it may not be worth the browsing. I doubt if I send it to be read, or even looked at, but rather as a tribute to courage, it is all I have. Look at its bill of fare; and—hand it to someone else or—heave it away. Yours very sincerely, Charles H. Roberts W. wonders "if any man ever got more stuff of a certain kind than comes here?" Bucke is very vehement about the tomb embroilment—Dec. 2nd: 2 Dec 1891 My dear Horace I have your notes of 27th & 30th ult. I am too infernally busy to write more than a line. I feel much worried about the "tomb" matter—it begins to look serious—if W. gets into a lawsuit it will about kill him. I do not think any other thing wd. harass him so much—it is a damned muddle for such a man to get into just at the end of his life. Keep me posted—all well here— Love to Anne Yours always R. M. Bucke We feel all that here to the full and more. It hurts W.

Saturday, December 5, 1891

6:10 P.M. Entered W.'s room with a big bundle under my arm. Ten of the books ready—had got them from Oldach. Would not cover the rest till knowing if the paper on these would suit. W. exclaimed, seeing me enter loaded, "Here is my book at last! Into harbor at the end of day! Welcome, Horace: drop the bundle—sit down—rest!" I stepped forward, shook hands with him, and put the bundle on the bed, proceeding then to open it. He took the first book eagerly—turned it over and over—looked at it, at me—murmuring, "After hard labor and long waiting, here it is, yes, here it is!" "Since 1855," I put in, "labor and waiting of 36 years!" He smiled and looked at me, "It is a long story, isn't it? And here we are, at its end, heads above water!" Had he seen McKay's miserable misplacement of the autograph on title-page? "Yes, I did—it is very bad, very. Though whether put there out of bad taste or for publisherial reasons I can't say. Either way, it is horribly mal."

Having things to say further of George Eliot and George Sand, W. remarked, "If it did not seem like treason to my old reverence for Walter Scott, I should call 'Consuelo' the greatest novel ever written."

W. has intermitted the rubbings for four days now, on the ground that his body is too sore to bear them. A bad sign: we may hope, only indicative of temporary derangements. Has been reading the Critic this afternoon. Denunciates it "duller even than itself!" Wondered if "even a rougher paper" would not do for the book. I am to write his instructions to Oldach: so promised. Would W. send a copy to Bucke? "Yes, immediately." I ordered a drop-light for him at Shaw's today—to be delivered Monday. W. advises, "Make it Monday afternoon. I am often in bed till noon." Which I did by immediately writing a postal. We have talked a good deal this week about Ingersoll's Tuesday's speech. The Star correspondent warms up about it. W. exclaimed, on hearing me read this matter, "It must have been a magnificent outburst! A flow straight from the heart—a sample piece of oratory, probably, in the true sense, the richest possible, in our time, any land." Was I to get papers, try to see some report? "I wish you would. It might give us a glimpse indoors—show us indirectly what was said, heard." Remarking again, "We all of us watch the Colonel—rejoice in him—in his superb abandon, naturalness." Had a couple of letters laid out on bed for me. "I have heard from Dr. Johnston again, and from Carpenter: fresh, handsome letters, with a bit of genuine sunshine." London, 20 Nov. '91 Dear Walt Just a few lines of greeting and remembrance. Was glad to get yr. card a few weeks ago. This is one of those warm spring like days wh. we not infrequently have in wintertime when the buds & the birds seem almost ready to make a start again. I am in London for a week or two, partly to arrange about a third and enlarged edition of Towards Democracy, wh. I expect to get out by next March. That will about finish the book, and there will not be much added to it I believe afterwards. I had some good talks with Bucke when he was over, and he told me a bit about you, and about his book wh. he is bringing out. I guess, dear Walt, you have a tedious time of it on the whole—all those infirmities nagging don't leave the mind free for long. I got your Goodbye book,—and like the poem from wh. it takes its name about the best of any in it. "Goodbye—and hail!" After all the mind, the special local consciousness, is only a smallish part of oneself. It with all its troubles & pains one may decently fold up in due time and put away in its appointed locker! I am glad you have such good friends with you—Mrs. Davis and Warry. Kind greetings also to them. I am still living at Millthorpe (near Sheffield) and having good times, with many dear friends. We all read yr. Leaves of Grass—or most of us—and it keeps just the same as ever or improves, like good wine. Give my love to Harry Stafford if you ever write or see him. I don't hear from Herbert Gilchrist—tho' I sometimes get tidings of him. Should like to come over to U.S.A. but no prospect at present. With much love to you as ever Ed. Carpenter I had likewise a postal from Johnston (dated 25th). W. thinks "the Bolton church is founded on a rock," laughing, "on 'Leaves of Grass,' which some people think insecure enough!"

Clifford has delivered W.'s message to Col. McClure and writes this simple line about it: "I personally gave W.W.'s message to Col. McC. who received it with much interest and returned thanks. J. H. C." W. reiterates, "I could not make my approval too strong: the subject is one on which I always had intense feeling. And William, too, with his lips of fire! Many's the hot word of all that, back in Washington!"

Then with rather a serious tone, "Look here! The Reinhalters are determined to hetchel me as much as they can. Read this letter, and look at their bill!" An impudent enough note, after all that had gone before. W. remarks, "Give it to Tom. I wish something could be done to keep them away from me. I have entire confidence in Tom—he has a long arm. No, you are right, Horace, I should not have gone on with this a day had I known the figures they hid, deceived, away from me: not a day. It would have proved me a fool—a fool in my old age, after the war and the toil and the saving. Poor Eddy then! But we will see if affairs are to be trifled away by forgery and bluff. It is a sad game to play." Then asked, "You know what hetchel is? The origin or practical application of the word?" Going explicitly into its genealogy and industrial application, then concluding, "These fellows are set out, to draw me over these wires, to plague, worry, hetchel me." Yet Moore had said to Harned, "You surely don't think, Mr. Harned, that we intend to trouble the old man about this money?"

Sunday, December 6, 1891

No chance to see W. today, but went in forenoon to Harned's with Reinhalter letter. Harned quite easy about it. "They'll come up and settle. As to their worrying Walt, we can't prevent their writing to him. On the other hand they can't make him read or answer their letters or receive them if they call. If they are ignored by Walt they must come to me. I will see Walt today and tell him not to worry—we hold the trump cards. If they enter suit I will ruin them. Moore? He's a sneak—he has been at the bottom of the whole trouble. He has been so devilish anxious to get the tomb in Harleigh he has gone any length to secure it. I want to deal with gentlemen, with the cemetery owners. I did in fact deal with them first. Ed Read was one of them. I will see if they aid and abet the schemes of Moore. It is a pretty record, that they undertook to deceive the old man and almost succeeded. But we have come into action: now it is our turn. One thing we can do: we can desert the tomb—let it stand there unused—even bury Walt somewhere else. In fact, if anything should happen now, that would be the only thing for us to do. It is an ugly thing to happen at this time. But I do not mind saying that letter of Reinhalter's is dirty and small, after all their admissions and declarations."

Afterwards went to Reeder's and took a walk with him and Gilbert across the country (from Broad Axe) to Plymouth—the curious old Quaker settlement and meeting house: wandering into the old graveyard and feeling a profound interest in the old stones and inscriptions (one recorded death as far back as 1722).

Back to Camden late at night—towards eleven.

Monday, December 7, 1891

7:55 P.M. I find W. looking quite well, yet complaining of "horrible phantasmic tiresome days" and "a body that won't work out any comfortable end longer," informing me moreover that the rubbings continue suspended and he don't know when if ever he will renew them. "Tom was in yesterday, with the Reverend Mr. Long: they stayed a bit, and we talked. Yes, he spoke of Reinhalter and advised me not to notice their communication. He is confident they will come round to us." Yet W. does think and worry about it, as witness what Bucke says in letter today received by me: "I have yours of 1st and trust the Tomb matter may be settled. W. constantly mentions it to me and evidently worries about it."

I said to W., "[R. W.] Gilder writes me today—wishes to know if he does not owe something to the Whitman fund." W., merrily, "Does he? Is that his exact phrase?" I quoted his phrase: "Do I not owe something to the Whitman fund?" W. then, "That sounds brief and friendly. I have been curious about Gilder, but he seems not to withdraw." And again, "That reminds me: what do you think of my new portrait?" Reaching back to the sofa, bringing forth an etching—T. Johnson's—a copy of the "Laughing Philosopher." "Carey sent me this—sent me a number for my name. This one I shall keep: the others are in the package there." Across the room on the floor a package addressed to Carey, to go to New York tomorrow. I rather discounted the portrait. "It is a variation from the original, and not to advantage," I argued. "It has a pinched expression, certainly with some of the lines of the nose and mouth out of place." W. had himself "suspicioned" some "bad lines there," but "hesitated—rather, waited" to pass on them. I spoke of the work itself as "unexceptionable" and he repeated, "I guess there's no doubt about that." He signed his own (did he sign the others?) "Walt Whitman in 1891," which is not strictly fortunate. He looks and has looked rather different this year. Very explicit in address of package, even noting the date it is sent.

I had brought in "Where Meadows Meet the Sea" and the Bucke volume he had marked for my use in the Poet-Lore article. Showed him sample of new, rougher paper I had got from Oldach. He was satisfied. I am to write back (later on, I did). W. remarked, "Let him give this all the bottom he with decency can," meaning to have the cover strengthened. Had got him copies of Wednesday's Herald and World in hope they would contain some report of Ingersoll's speech. Nothing but vague, dull lines. Both of us disappointed. Have ordered Tribune. W. "laments" that the newspapers "lacked in perceptive" and "virtually missed so important a gathering, event, and Bob's great splurge." I received today Wallace's letter 28th. "He is sick, confined to the house," I said to W., who remarked, "Bring him over in our atmosphere—we will cure him: give him light, freedom!" Wallace after all did not get the O'Connor books in New York before starting. Now wishes a dozen. I ordered of McKay today. W. received a note and "Thanatos" (a poem—in manuscript—New York). But he evades expressing any opinion (his usual mode). "An unusual influx of pamphlets and so forth, here, on me, lately," adding, "I take a look: in most cases that is the most I can do." Then, "I have had visitors today: Harry Stafford's wife and the little children. You have not seen the children? We love them—we do: Oh yes! tenderly!"

I received a copy of Academy from Johnston, this extract from Arnold's therein:

A visit to Walt Whitman in New Jersey deserves quotation, as a specimen of Sir Edwin's more sober style: "Soon he descended the stairs, clad in a light holland coat, with open shirt ruffled in the neck, walking very lamely with the help of a stick, but certainly one of the most beautiful old men ever beheld; with his clear, keen eyes, sculptured profile, flowing silver hair and beard, and mein of lofty content and independence.... I told him how he was honoured and comprehended by many and many an Englishman, who knew how to distinguish great work from little, in ancient and modern tongues. The handsome youth fetched down the Leaves of Grass from upstairs, and we read together some of the lines most in mind, the book lying upon the old poet's knee, his large and shapely hand resting in mine. The sweet-voiced woman dropped her darning needle to join in the lyrical and amicable chat; a big setter laid his soft muzzle on the master's arm, and the afternoon grew to evening in pleasant interchange of thoughts and feelings." A pretty picture, the Poet of Buddha and the Poet of Drum Taps meeting under an American roof-tree to foregather in sympathetic talk. 
W. shakes his head vigorously, "It is all false, all false—hardly a word of it true. Ridiculous, indeed: the dog, the woman, the hand! It beats all I know, considering its source." And further, "Such things are not only a matter for indignation, they are a matter for wonder." Was not this enough like the Press report to suspicion the same hand? "I think it probable, Horace, you are too nearly right." And yet he insisted, "I do not understand—it baffles me," and, "It is imagination, pure fancy, even invention." I showed Academy to Morris in Bank. He took over to Frank Williams and they had a laugh over it together. Morris asks, "May I write about that in the Literary World?"

Law sends me up a copy of his Whitman poem for Wallace. I shall send tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 1891

6:05 P.M. W. on bed. A dim light in the room. Drop-light had arrived (not delivered yesterday). W. greatly pleased with it. "It appears to work well: certainly the light seems just what I want—nor more, nor less. The man came, put it up himself, seemed to try it a good deal before he was satisfied." I had been in Shaw's and found that the storm yesterday had prevented delivery. (A hard storm, for some hours, in the afternoon.) I took W. several copies of "Leaves of Grass" in grey. He expressed a wish to send a copy to Ingersoll. I would be back later in evening, perhaps to get it: certainly, ought to write to the Colonel to say to him that W. sends it from a full heart, without apology or supplication. W. remarked, "The Colonel ought to have that and much more—no one can express what he means for, to, me." What of Dave? I had sent to Bolton 12 copies O'Connor's book. W. called that "wholesale" and "wondered" what would become of all the books in Bolton. "Fall in loyal hands, for one thing, I suppose," he said. Adding, "I have written a letter to Dave" (I afterwards mailed it). "It seems to me now is a good time to experiment with the change of binding. 'Leaves of Grass' has become a big book—yet not too big, either." Had I discovered any trace of gas from the new light? And what of the heat of the room? "I seem to be getting numbed on all fine points of temperature—of the body." Harned not in. Yet W. anxious. "We would all like to get that ugly affair out of the way," he thought. I did not linger.

8:05 P.M. To W.'s again. Had discovered in Illustrated American, December, a reproduction of portrait of W. used in one of the weekly issues a year or more ago. Fills a page. Text very kindly to W. but doleful.

W. on bed on my entrance. Extended his hand. "Here again? I thought you were over to the Club." I was on the way now. Read him Illustrated American. "That," he said, "must have been written by William Walsh—perhaps Harry. I guess William, however. It is distinctly a generous notice—is warm, prompt. The papers certainly are having a run of bad news about me." I left paper with him. He wishes a couple more. Not yet resumed rubbings. "I am fuddled and oppressed: these days are, some ways, the worst I have ever known. O this confinement! It is horrible! Yet I know that it is impossible to get out." I had written Ingersoll I would send the book. W.: "I will get it ready for you tomorrow." And to me, "You take a copy, too, Horace, for yourself." "Without your autograph?" "O no! Leave it—I will inscribe it." Reeder has given me a piece of parchment, hoping to have W. write upon it the first stanza of "Song of the Broad Axe." (Reeder proposes framing it in the wall of his house, under glass, at Broad Axe.) W. seemed restless on the bed, throwing his arms about, shifting his position, etc. Finally he got up—sat on the edge of the bed—fully five minutes—talking with me meanwhile. Then reached for his cane, got up, would not accept any aid, threw open the door and glided out to the steps in the hall, where he sat down. "My God!" he exclaimed. "I feel as if to burst!" I shook hands with him. "Is there anything you want?" "Not a thing." "You will not take cold?" "I will only stay a minute, Horace. Good night! God bless you, boy! Am I in the way? Can't you get by?" And as I left, "I shall call Warrie when I want to go back."

I hurried downstairs—told Mrs. Davis—who tried vainly by shaking and calling to wake Warrie, who was asleep on the sofa in the parlor. We heard W. struggle to his feet. Mrs. Davis gave Warrie up and rushed to the head of the stairs herself, helping W. back to his room and chair. She shortly down again and to say to me, "He wants a cup of tea. He seems tired—to need refreshment."

To Philadelphia and Club. "Literary Symposia" up: Professor Parkhurst, Miss Repplier, Owen Wister, Frank Williams and Lincoln Eyre. Miss R. confessed at one point her dislike for poetry that read like prose. Eyre took this up with other points, saying words in applause of Walt Whitman—he really being the only one to hit near the heart of the question by an appeal for the human. But the good lost in fustian and singular bombast. I noticed Misses Clarke and Porter applaud, and they afterwards spoke to me about it.

Wednesday, December 9, 1891

5:50 P.M. Not more than half an hour with W., but in that time a good talk—he evidently feeling a great bit better than yesterday. Learned that Longaker had been over and relieved W. of pressure on bladder and left instructions for Warrie tomorrow. Always brighter after L.'s visits. He examined parchment from Reeder and said, "I shall be glad to do what he asks, if I can. He must want this in a pretty big hand." As he did. Had been reading Post by drop-light. (The green shade makes it almost impossible to distinguish from the street whether W. is up or not.) Gave him account of my talk with McKay. W.'s note to McKay had gone over the substance of what W. told me yesterday, adding a drawing of the stamp for cover. But McKay will not tackle it till after the holidays, when we will get out our green book. W. remarked, "I am satisfied: in fact, must be. Meantime, these will do us. I like this cover—this paper cover."

Copy of Illustrated American I sent last evening he will send to Bucke. Stuck his fingers in vest pocket and drew out half a dollar. "I guess you might get me four or five copies of the paper—say, five. If you send one to Dr. Johnston, I will keep mine for my own immediate people. Mary has that one copy downstairs now." Had he read much about the discharge of Bogy at Washington?

The dismissal of Mr. Bogy from the Pension Office on account of his novel recalled the fact that Walt Whitman was also discharged from a Federal position in Washington because of his "Leaves of Grass." (St. Louis Globe, Nov. 17, 1891.) 
"Yes, I know about it in a general way. I always thought Harlan and Chase had horrible traits in common: now there appears to be some other at Washington. Who is it? We will keep up the old fight—keep to the path!"

Our two books lay on bed, inscribed. W. said, "I always feel as if more belonged to the Colonel than I can give him." Here are inscriptions:

Robt G. Ingersoll 
  from the author with admiration, 
  thanks and love 
Horace L. Traubel 
  from the author with 
  best wishes, remembrances 
  and love 
Asking me, "What of his whereabouts now? What do you know of it?" "He is a fresh breeze, wandering much—leaving health everywhere." "That is as good a hit at him, Horace, as we could hope for. It is my idea: I won't let you have it for yourself alone."

I quoted W. the following from Bazar: "Walt Whitman is said to have refused of late to receive many of the visitors who called to see him. His own friends he is always glad to welcome, but he wearies of the importunities of mere curiosity-mongers." "Ah!" he exclaimed, "perhaps that will have the one good effect of keeping the curiosity-mongers away." "I doubt it." "So do I, but it is worth while to give the thing a hope!" He has sent copy of new 'Leaves of Grass' to Post Office and had it weighed. "It gives us 30 ounces, that is, 15 cents. It is getting, or has got, to be a big book. It is our history—with the last chapter and the finis!"

Bucke seems a little exercised about the green book. In letter of 6th he says: 6 Dec 1891 My dear Horace I have your letters of 1st & 2d inst. also "Conservator" for Nov. and I thank you most heartily for your good words. I have from you 2 copies of "Con." I hope you mean to (perhaps have sent) send me a few more. W. did not send me "Critic" yet but we take it now and I have filed away the No. of Nov. 27—but as you say it amounts to nothing. I hope to have a stitched copy of the new L. of G. this week—what is settled about cover for it? And will you use my '72 L. of G. as sample? If not wd. you please send the '72 to me? All very quiet here and jogging along slowly. I gave 7th (double) lecture yesterday—hope to finish the course 19th inst. So long— R. M. Bucke W. says, "The always-impatient Doctor! But I guess he will have to wait. I am sure all are baffled and frustrated often enough!"

W.: "How did the meeting go last night?"

H. L. T. : "Well. There were about 400 persons in the room."

W.: "A great array! And what did they do?"

H.L.T.: "Discussed 'Literary Symposia.' "

W.: "I suppose I guess what that means. But what does it mean?"

H.L.T.: "They were mainly after the magazines—the symposia of magazines; and they seemed to wonder if it was not all a mistake—a financial ambition backing it—whether, in fact, the people were benefitted in the least."

W.: "But who said a word for the people?"

H.L.T.: "Eyre, for one, and he spoke of you as well."

W.: "Am I one of the people?"

H.L.T.: "You are their poet."

W.: "Did Eyre say that?"

H.L.T.: "Yes, he did. He mentioned you. Miss Repplier had said something to the effect that among other things she disliked, she disliked the prose that masquerades as poetry."

W.: "Meaning 'Leaves of Grass' and the like?" (Laughing.)

H.L.T.: "I suppose so, and so Eyre thought. Eyre took it up."

W.: "In what way?"

H.L.T.: "Oh! He argued that those of us handsomely assembled there to discuss the question of reading and readers were hardly the fringe of the reading public: that for the first time in history the masses of men were beginning to read; that if they read less things now, less would lead to greater; that whether we liked it or not, whether our conceit was patient of it or not, the surging modern democracies were assuming their own—were reading, thinking, doing; that only one man in all the world, in all history, and he our neighbor, grey-bearded, across the river, tonight, had voiced that new power and asserted its potency and right."

W.: "Was that just the way he said it?"

H.L.T.: "That is its substance. It came along after a lot of fustian and brag and inane witticism."

W.: "As you put it—noble, noble! It was a bold challenge—a bold challenge."

H.L.T.: "Eyre is a mixture—fool and wise man."

W.: "So he seemed here at the dinner."

H.L.T.: "Yes. And always seems. But with good will and heart."

W.: "With what is he particularly associated over there? What speciality has he? Or none?"

H.L.T.: "None. Potters about everywhere. But has a good practice, I am told."

W.: "Bless him, anyhow, for this good word! He touched the human of it! If I had him here now, I should tell him I appreciated what he said. I am afraid such things are not said enough. And we must welcome them, whoever the tale-bearer."

Thursday, December 10, 1891

5:48 P.M. No light in W.'s room when I approached. Loag with me—I had met him on the boat. Would not go in nor did I press or even present an invitation. "I appreciate both his position and his condition and must not worry him. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, Warrie came up to say a couple of visitors were downstairs. 'Excuse me to them,' says Walt, 'tell them I am a very sick man,' and turned to me to explain: 'What could I say if I did admit them?' I have entire respect for his feeling in that—think it should be regarded religiously." Deserved to see W. greatly more than many who do see him! Mrs. Davis saw me from a window. Came delicately and stood the door ajar for me. On Loag's departure I went in the house and upstairs alone. W. on bed—the room only lighted from the blaze in the stove. W. said, "Come in, Mary—is it you?" "No, not Mary—me—Horace." "Horace? Welcome, Horace, too." "Walt, you don't seem often to mistake my step, even in the dark." "No, I do not, but my senses seem to get duller." I took a chair and moved it up towards the bed. (We had shaken hands: his hand warm.)

W. remarked at once, "I have a letter from Bucke. The book had arrived (the 8th—that was the date): an early trip—it went right through. He says he likes it—that it satisfies him. And it satisfies me, too. Why should it not? It is a very happy job. Oldach, the fellows over there, are to be congratulated. I have sent copies to Johnston and Wallace. They were to go by Saturday's steamer." I too hear from Bucke to effect mentioned by W. Bucke mystified by the Rice note. He forgets Mrs. O'Connor's story. But W. is alive to it. "I hope Tom will seize and clench her." Again of "Leaves of Grass," "An ideal soft cover would be this we have and a paper folded about it, simply, with effect."

I had with me the five copies of Illustrated American. He has not sent Bucke's copy off yet. "This picture is good as any in the papers—as good as any. I rather affect it." Not yet worked at Reeder's parchment. Loag had just told me a good story of Ingersoll, whom he knows well, and on whom he often calls when in New York. A couple of Saturdays ago Loag happened in towards noon and had a good talk. They were on the point of starting off together when Ingersoll seemed suddenly to bethink himself of something. "Say, Loag—I forgot. There are two things I love: whiskey and music. This is my music day. I have only about an hour and a half to get home, get lunch, gather the women together and hunt up the opera. Hadn't we better have our lunch some other day?" Laughing merrily, and Loag too, and Loag of course not minding. W. seemed to think this a great story. "It was very manly, frank, spontaneous—which, of course, was no more than to say it was Ingersoll!"

Warren came in, stirred up the fire a little, lighted the gas. W. directed him to a letter for mailing, then turned to me with some comment about "the satisfactoriness of the drop-light."

I had a number of scraps sent me over from New York by Ketler, which I, sitting down by the light, read to W., who listened and seemed much amused. He remarked, "I think that one fellow is about right: I must be 'a venerable fraud'"—laughing a good deal about it. Said, too, "It moves me to see how Ingersoll's speech travels about—has its effects everywhere! We owe him a great debt: there are senses in which he has handed our cause out to the people."

Then he asks me, "How does the air in this room seem? Pretty pure?" He has asked me this lately every day or two. "Does it smell sick-roomy?" I assured him it did not, that it was full of woodsy odors, from the pile over towards the stove, and now and then of the burning timber, but of nothing more. "That sort o' reassures me," he responded. "I was afraid it might have been worse."

Friday, December 11, 1891

5:50 P.M. A low light in W.'s room. He on bed. A good fire in the stove. Very hearty and cheery. We talked of a number of things. He is alive to a good deal which persons more busily in the world do not note. Details of government, labor, science, literature. I left Bazar with him. It contains a Velasquez, which he says he wishes to "dwell upon." Is disappointed that Oldach has not sent the books over yet. Had Longaker not relieved him? "I shouldn't wonder. I am in a way to feel his influence: he has such hearty hope always." Yet "these are all weak feeble days." Several copies "Leaves of Grass" off. "Two to England, to Wallace and Johnston." "I wrote to Wallace saying you had sent him a copy." "Good! That is a fortunate consideration. I wrote to Johnston: so they will both know." Remarked, "How much the drop-light does for my eyes!" It was "an eye-saver, sure enough." Young makes another pleasant allusion to W. in Star. W. asks, "Does John really live in Philadelphia? His loyalty is unmistakable." The reception at Brinton's home this evening. W. counsels me, "Give all of my friends there best remembrances, and give Brinton my special affection and regard." (Brinton very happy in this when I told him. "It does me honor—great honor.")

Had no time to stay. W. however let out some political reflections, strongly against the present regime at Washington. Later, after supper, met Harned, who had a piece of news, this, namely: that a lawyer had come over to see him, representing the Reinhalters (Jones his name), and that they had had a stormy interview. Harned not confident but a suit will issue. Anyway, no conclusion. We are all disturbed. Any excitement might kill W. Harned also said to me, "I went down the other evening and broached that subject of the personal history to him, but he declared, 'I am too sick to give it to you today, Tom: it is a long story.' But I drew from him this much: that there were two women; that they are Southern born and bred; that the families hold their heads very high. He has grandchildren, and they seem to want to come and take care of him. He hears regularly from one young man." Suppose W. would die before it was divulged. That would be bad! Tom continued, "He also said to me: 'I want to give you everything, Tom, without reserve—every fact—all the data. I want you to have them in your hands.' I said something in a general way to Brinton the other night and he advised me, 'Harned, don't unnecessarily conceal anything.'" Much talk about the Reinhalter affair.

At Brinton's a rather brilliant company of men—varied talk with varied fellows. Stoddart among them. Always testifies to Walt Whitman. Tells me, "I have been at the old man to give me a couple of poems." "Walt has not written for months." "But hasn't he unprinted pieces—some of them—over there?" Will probably go over this week to see W.—wishing, too, to have a young lady working with him, a Miss North, see him and hear W.'s voice. Gave Stoddart the history of the O'Connor "Poe" manuscript, and I think if we recover it he will print it. Gave me a funny story of his last visit to W. "I had a young California lady with me. I said to her: you must give him the impression, let him know, you came all the way from California to see him. We tried to get some fruit on this side of the river but couldn't get anything nice enough to satisfy us. But in Camden we got some flowers—a chrysanthemum stalk. When we got to Whitman's, the girl overdid it all—told Whitman that she had brought the flower all the way from California for him!"

Saturday, December 12, 1891

8:05 P.M. Though W. was on the bed I found he was in very happy spirit, full of fire and thought. We talked three-quarters of an hour—he mainly, I only incidentally. Books over from Oldach at last. I wrote an imperative note this morning. "They came this evening, an hour or so ago. That job is every way satisfactory to me: I want Oldach congratulated." Asked, "Has anything been heard from Reinhalter?" Tom had counselled, "Don't tell Walt, it may worry him," but W.'s question and his condition and the fact that he will have eventually to know anyway constrained me to tell him about the lawyer's visit. He quietly said, "I am glad it has taken that turn. I wanted a good lawyer to get hold of it—to see Tom and hear Tom's statement. A lawyer ought to understand. Ralph Moore, the Reinhalters, do not seem to have the least conception of the enormity of that forgery—not the least: it is astonishing how they brush it off, as if it was a casual innocent act not to be mentioned or thought of. It is a revelation of pretty odd standards of right—of the square. No, do not be afraid: I have entire faith in Tom—in Tom's equipment—lawyerally and otherwise. And then the feeling of it. What surprises, astonishes me is the idea those fellows have that when I constituted Ralph Moore with power to watch the constructive details, he assumed the power to set me my financial bounds, too. Which is outrageous—of course not for a moment to be thought true. It don't need the dead to rise from their graves to convince us that I never measured out any such idiocy."

Then he inquired, "What is news with you?" I read him Miss Porter's letter, received this morning: Office of POET-LORE CO., 1602 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 12/10/91. Dear Mr. Traubel: Your notice of Poet-lore in The Conservator is one we thoroughly appreciate, and we thank you most heartily for it. We hope we may more and more deserve your commendation. How is it about the final meeting of the committee you proposed? In my postal card reply to you I suggested the following Friday at this office, and not hearing from you, scarcely knew whether it was so arranged or not, but I went back to the office that Friday Evening after dinner and waited there till half past nine. I meant to have written about it before now, but the days have been particularly full. I enclose our Circulars for 1892 in which you will notice that the Whitman-Lowell Contrast is announced for January. It is one in which, as I expected, we would agree, in the main. The Dec. 15th number will have a little thoughtful paper, by Mr. Trumbull again, on the Whitman-Shakespeare Question, that has been waiting space for some time. I think you may be interested in it. But you will be certainly, I think, in our motto for the year's title-page which we have taken from Whitman's "Goodbye" etc. It is so exactly true, and large & sound. We thought of it as almost our poetic creed. Yrs cordially, Charlotte Porter I send you a programme of the Br[ownin]g Soc. by same post with this & will you notice meeting for Feb. 11/92 marked? I wish you would feel like saying something apropos of point marked. 
He listened, pleased (his deafness palpable: I had to read much of it the second time). Then he said, "I am a little surprised at that. Your paper must be pretty strong—even defiant: I hardly expected them to accept it, even to take any positive respect to it. And yet here they are, almost acquiescing." I said, "Even Wallace thought it rather stiff. Advised me when he was here to tone it down." "Did he? My own counsel would be, don't tone down or up: let go—give way to the spirit—it must come up right in the end. That passage from Kennedy which you have used is itself a challenge, a charge—a profoundly significant, vital utterance, not to be easily brushed aside or made light of." And still again, "I think I realize from what you told me that the import of your piece is deep as any—goes about to the root. That motto business, too, surprises me. You do not know the passage she proposes to use?" He has not seen my manuscript. Wonders if I can let him have a glimpse of the proof? "And we will want some extra proofs. Can we get them?"

Mrs. Coates protested to Frank Williams at last Club meeting, "Why don't you say something in defense of the magazines?" instancing Century and saying but for Gilder there would be no poetry in America. W. remarked on this, "I have heard many a damned stupidity, but I think nothing more damnably stupid than that. My question would be, where is the poetry anyway? I do not see it—not a glimpse of it. Whittier, they would say, but was Whittier made by a magazine or did he have any lift from magazines? Besides, Whittier is but a snivel: not a line he ever wrote or writes but is propped—leans up against something. Though I admit he has the divine afflatus, too—has genuine gifts—a true voice." As to the Browning Club's discussion of W.'s "Hermit Thrush," "I doubt if any one of 'em knows a damn thing about it. It is a shy bird, living its life through Long Island—all through the North, in Canada. Burroughs? O yes! He knows—he knows all—he tracks 'em right home! But these literary folk? No, they don't go close enough to the forests. Don't like Burroughs? I thought they did! I thought they looked on him—up to him, even—expectantly, with respect. If they do not, all the worse for them. John is fresher than all their scribblings put together. For that very reason, after all, probably, not liked—rather distressing them."

Card from MacAlister and program about dedication of Drexel Institute next Thursday. Read to W., who questioned me about the program. The participation of Bishops Potter and Whitaker excited his remark, "The priests get in everywhere—everywhere—though I suppose if they are left in on such occasions no one should kick. It is about all that is left for them—a few gesticulations, ceremonies, rites." This led to another point of related interest. "It reminds me again of the last Century which I think a horribly stupid number, the angel business overdone. I thought, hoped, that was finished long ago, but they keep it up. And who cares for that stuff. What connection has it with the cares, the throbbing life of today? Important in its time, its time is unalterably past. Ministers, angels, virgins may well depart together."

Reference to Miss Rice caused him to say, "How shameless she is! How shameless people are, at times, some of them, anyhow! The Reinhalters—this woman—and I do not know but Talcott Williams, too—our friend Talcott" (reflecting about Williams' retention of that manuscript). I told W. what I learned from Stoddart about the Rice manuscript. This pleased him. "Did you think you discovered in Stoddart new signs of friendliness? Poems? I will see: not, of course, for the January number—it is too late for that. Though I have substantially gone out of business."

When I referred to the wines at Brinton's reception, W. remarked, "And Brinton himself don't drink at all!" I wondered and laughed, W. asking, "Why do you laugh?" "Because you are all astray." "Am I? Does he drink? I thought I noticed at the dinner that he did not drink at all." A mistake over which W. had his quiet laugh. "Oh! There's the greatest difference in the world in drinks! That champagne at the dinner—it was divine! How did you manage to get it? I believe it was the best I ever tasted. And but for it I could not have passed through that excitement. It took me back to Pfaff's. What a judge of wines that fellow was! He made no misses."

Returned me Bazar. "I enjoyed that picture more than I could tell you. It is very fine—very powerful. Alexander, the artist, who was here making sketches of me, would have it that Velasquez was the top of the heap. Anyway, this picture is very grand. Yes indeed, Guzman must himself have been a wonderful character. Look at that face—its daring—its strength! In our English American life we do not half enough appreciate the Spanish dons—the old heroic Spaniards. They were a wonderful race, not without their virtue. We are too much complicated with the Mysteries of Udolpho business to enter into the rugged directness of such men." Had Garland sent W. his new book? "Not yet, nor a word about it. What is it to come to?" Then referred me to a copy of Century which he had been reading today in which one of Garland's stories appeared. W. remarked, "I read it. It is a potboiler, but genuinely artistic, too—in good literary form. The magazines now think that they must in each number have two or three short stories, no matter how utterly futile and stupid they may prove to be, and most of them do prove that."

Brinton lectures for Ethical Society tomorrow. Suggests coming over to see W. after lecture. W. himself, "Let him come—you come with him—he is always welcome." Then, "What does he lecture about?" "Recent religious movements in Europe." This moved W. into some energetic utterances. "Carry me a message to Brinton. Say to him: it is my opinion that the great affairs of our time (perhaps of any time—certainly of ours) go their way, revolutionize things, re-make, re-form, away, apart from, all churches, societies, liberalizations of any sort; that beneath all the surface-shows are influences—great undertows—through which the world is pressed on and on. Not by cries of priests or tabernacles, but in the human heart. I should say that even to Adler, though Adler knows it as well as I do. We misplace our confidence—see to the wrong place—get hold of the wrong string—admit mistaken credits. It is not in forms, institutions, railroads, telegraphs, factories, stores—all our parades—no, no: these are but fleeting ephemera—these alone are nothing, absolutely nothing; only the absorbent spirit enveloping, penetrating, going beneath, above, all—only this is something. And a ferment on the surface—how little it may mean! And observations—how short the road they lead us!"

Sunday, December 13, 1891

1:10 P.M. After Brinton's lecture we went to Camden and to W.'s together, being admitted by Warrie and going straight upstairs to find the room rather confused—the bed all laid off and W. eating his breakfast. "I am just up," he said, "having spent a horrible night." Brinton congratulated him that he was "even that well." W. to that, "Which is not much well, the best you put it. For about three years past I have been little by little deleted—robbed of one thing after another—till now I am in a low tide indeed." He looked very bad—strangely and ominously feeble—and for ten minutes or so appeared to find it a wrench to emit a word. But finally he warmed up and spoke with both pathos and fire about several of the topics introduced. (Brinton remarked a greater deafness, after, to me, and added, "I can see how enfeebled he is. I should say he would not weather the winter.")

Conversation passed from one topic to another. I picked up a copy of Illustrated American from the floor and handed to Brinton, who "liked" the portrait, W. however saying, "Though I like it, Mary Davis don't." I also showed Brinton Johnson's etching—which he, too, thought askew. W. himself admitting, "There's a bad twist to it someway." Gave Brinton a copy of "Leaves of Grass"—the paper-covered—autographing it—handing it to him with the remark, "Here is the book, with all its sins upon its head." Then suddenly said to Brinton, "I see Doctor how wide is the ravine between you and me—how very wide. It is a subject of never-ending wonder to me how you, how Ingersoll, should so stalwartly find recognitions in 'Leaves of Grass'—should hold to, cleave to, me as you do." Brinton protesting, "It's because we find in you hooks to climb by!" W. fervently, "Which I hope you do! Yes, I hope 'Leaves of Grass' gives you hooks to climb by, as you say. There are two things in 'Leaves of Grass' which dominate everything else—which give it meaning and coherency—two things, found, I hope, in every page—I was going to say, every word. The first is atmosphere: that what we call phenomena, facts, reason, intellect, are not the explications of life—that that lies deeper, is a more penetrating factor—is deep, deep, deep below all casual eyesight or insight either." (Brinton afterwards said to me he could not understand this point.) "The other principle, to call it that, is that man is in process of being—that his justification is not in himself, today, but in something yet to come—something ahead." And so proceeded for some length, at one point saying, "Under what we see is something else, and under that something again, and under that something, and something, something!" And again spoke of "the Almighty, if there be such a being."

Brinton dined with Conway and Dixon (the lawyer) last evening. Dixon asked Conway, "Has the time yet come for a truthful history of the American Revolution?" Conway reflected a minute and said, "No, it has not. Even if anyone existed competent to write such a history, he would not dare do it. Perhaps a century from today it might be done—but now? Impossible!" Brinton told this to W., who remarked, "Could a truthful history of anything, of any individual, be told? A truthful history of an individual means to bring out folly, mistake, error, crime, devilishness, poison. Who can do that? Who could even write a history of our own rebellion—a truthful history, even if he dared? I was in Washington for three years behind the scenes, practically—having access to men, events. In all the crowds of actors how many could have been picked out for even a reasonable degree of sacrifice? Except Lincoln, Grant, Stanton, I hardly know one whose every act was not a calculation—done with reference to private interests, advancement. These three alone standing free. And any one of these, I am sure, willing at any time to lay down his life for a great victory. I don't know but I might add Burnside to this cluster—Burnside—yes, him—for though Burnside was a pretty dull fellow for the occasion, he was heroic, modest, patriotic. But apart from these, I saw plot, scheme, scandal—God knows what not. Poor Lincoln! Poor Lincoln! Poor Lincoln! What a seething world about him—trouble, misunderstanding, slander, finally murder! Poor Lincoln! Yet he to stem all—to keep at the helm—to control the ship!" And so again with eloquence about the war.

He himself introduced the Russian question by asking Brinton, "Doctor, I have intended to ask you: What are your views—have you any views? What are your observations on the Russian question, the cruel barbarous treatment of the Jews in Russia?" Brinton then covered a pretty ample descriptive ground, W. listening. Brinton more or less accepting the argument of Russian loyalists that the Jew himself, by his unpatriotic attitude, is mainly responsible. But to W. this was "no excuse for expatriation," and he said to Brinton at one point, "I am glad, Doctor, to hear all that you have to say, but nothing you have told me moves me an inch from my old convictions." Brinton educed our own treatment of the Chinese but W. shook his head, "That will not convince me." But was it not the custom all along the line of our national policy? "No matter—if it is a custom, it is a damned bad custom. The exclusion of the Chinese, the tariff, prohibition, all that is of one piece, and I for one not only despise it but always denounce it—lose no occasion. The policy which allows some fellow who wishes to make buttons or some fellow who wishes to make tin to go to Washington and set matters up there so that the foreign fellows with their tin and buttons are barred out is no policy of mine. And it is besides a damnable horrible mistake, to be some day discovered. If the Jews in Russia are unpatriotic, who can wonder? How could they be otherwise, treating with such a government? All our own laws, which tell us that workmen who choose to come here under contract, or fiddlers to fiddle, or professors to teach must be warned off, are bad in themselves, bad in everything they suggest." Brinton suggested the analogy of our war, "It is a complete one. It parallels the Russian case perfectly." Still W. shook his head, "I do not admit that—do not admit it for a moment. On the contrary it is not analogous at all. We came here in this country to the point where nothing was left to us but to give up the Union all together or cement it by fire and sword. There is no such issue in Russia: all the facts, conditions, are different." Then again W. said, "It is not rules, policies, that control the fate of nations. The emotional critter settles many things ahead of elaborate policies."

Monday, December 14, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. in by no means better condition, though he admits he passed a better night last than Saturday. "Tom was here yesterday. O yes! I guess after you had been in. He seemed very well. He did not say a word about the Reinhalter matter, nor did I. Today your sister, Mrs. Harned, sent me down some broth. Oh! It was very good! I want you to thank her for it! My appetite is nearly all gone. I seem to have no wish to eat." Asked him if our visit yesterday had been too long? "O no! What a fine red Brinton has in the cheeks! It is a symptom of high conditions. I enjoyed it, if possible, more than anything else about him, or his talk, yesterday!" Quoted to W. Brinton's mention of Bucke to Wallace in which he described Bucke as a man of "remarkable intellectual acumen," W. saying, "I can hardly say Bucke impresses me that way. I find in him one of the best specimens of the physiological concrete—not this of the low but the high type—having this feature; then a profound sensitiveness—the spiritual-physical—especially physical—dominating. I find people so misunderstanding this I am convinced it is hard to convey. But Brinton himself is in much a specimen of the same order—more than he would allow (Bucke would probably rebel at the description, too). The animal, the purely physical, are common enough, but these combinations, of the physical with what in right senses can be called refinement (something brought by long evolution), is rare—very rare." And he said again, "I am always surprised (though I should not be surprised) to hear of Brinton's ample tastes—how he seems to take grip of everything." Brinton much pleased with the gift-book. "Is it so? It is little enough to do for his pleasure. I think Brinton is a man who likes to respond and likes to be responded to."

W. reading Poet-Lore. It was open on his lap. Much in it about him. Trumbull with a second article on "The Whitman-Shakespeare Question," notes on "Good-Bye" from Miss Porter, announcement of my article, title-page for 1891 volume with the Whitman motto written to me the other day. If they keep on at this rate, the magazine will have to add Whitman to Shakespeare and Browning as an object of particular devotion.

Brinton narrates a curious story, namely: In the summer or before he proposed to the Program Committee of the Browning Club, of which he is a member, that one evening be given to a discussion of the immoral poems of Robert Browning. This caused excited interest and difference, and he was ruled against. He immediately resigned from the Committee. But while in Europe he heard from the Committee to effect that they had reconsidered their verdict and would consent to the topic, provided first, the announcement should be phrased "The Unconventional Poems of Robert Browning," and second, that he should write the paper. "I immediately wrote and said yes to both conditions." "They thought you would not do it? That they would corner you?" "Yes." "And got cornered themselves?" To which Brinton laughingly assented. Brinton disgusted with pretense of Browning's sainthood—thinks poems (doubtless) of unmistakable immorality, Browning leading a free life at one time—the poems evidence enough. Some members left the club on account of the discussion, Miss Louise Stockton among them. W. intensely interested in my detail of it all and expressing "entire concurrence with Brinton's attitude."

Warrie recites dolefully the fact that W. seems almost to have ceased eating. Sometimes will eat only a bit of toast and half a cup of coffee for breakfast, then nothing till four to five again. Has not yet resumed rubbings. I have not heard from the Bolton fellows for a week or ten days, but W. reports, "It has not been many days since I have had something." Spoke of a letter from Bucke and tenderly of B., "his superb health and spirit and sound, solid heart." Bucke's letter of 11th to me pathetic in its sorrow for W.

Here, recovered at last, is the Pan-Republic invitation for the poem: Pan-Republic Congress Committee. 20 Spruce Street, Newark, N. J. Aug. 21st 1891. My dear Sir On Oct 12th (Discovery day falls this year on Sunday) our Pan Republic Congress Organizing Comt. meet in Independence Hall Phil to adopt an address to all peoples and to organize the Human Freedom League. In the evening we have a public meeting in the Academy of Music. The times, the place, the work are all suggestive and is it to be wondered at that our Comt. turn to you for the poem of the occasion. Hoping that you will favor us I am Very truly yours Wm. O. McDowell Also gave me tickets and circular anent the great banquet to [Frank] Carpenter.

Tuesday, December 15, 1891

5:40 P.M. W. sat reading Century—a couple of the local papers in his lap. The light up full—the green shade put away on the bed. "I do that only a little while, for the change!" On the bed several letters, one from Bucke. "And one of them, you will see, is from Ingersoll. Read it—read it first, then read mine to him. I had that sealed then opened it again, thinking you would perhaps like to see it." W. then, "It is very inspiring. I was greatly stirred by it. How tonic, bracing, he always is! I have enjoyed it all the day long." And he rather pathetically mentioned "the thrill with which" he "opened—read—it." Said, "You can have the letter, but not tonight. It has done me a good deal of good—it will do me more. I think I shall want to read it several times yet. What a treat it would have been to hear him read the poems!" Ingersoll mentions reading aloud "The Mystic Trumpeter," "Sea Drift," "Two Guests from Alabama," and "When Lilacs." "It is high praise, what he says there. If one had any right to be vain, such things would accentuate his disposition. But I won't talk of that. Though I will say the letter has warmed me up almost to a glow for a bit." One of Ingersoll's phrases was, "In you, while there is life there will be song." And he protests that W. must not speak of his work as "finished" till it is done. W. saying in return that "finished" must have been Horace's word, not his, and declares "Leaves of Grass" imperfect enough (which of course enters another phase of the subject).

I had Poet-Lore in my pocket, and we spoke of it, W. examining. In Miss Clarke's review of "Good-Bye" she speaks of the poems as, many of them, "gems which will flash their laugh at time." W. asks me, "Who does that come from? I don't remember it in Shakespeare." And when I confessed ignorance, he counselled, "Let's find out," I saying I would inquire. "The printing of this magazine is superb—the best; and the tinted, rough paper—that, too, is a great success. You think it an evolution with these women? I suppose it is—they certainly are warmer than of old." I laughed and said, "I shall remind Miss Porter that if the magazine continues its discussion of you, there will have to be a revision of the title so as to make it 'Shakespeare, Browning, Whitman and the Comparative Study of Literature.'" W. laughed, "That would be preposterous. They would laugh you out." "Well, that's the worst they could do." He read Trumbull's article while I sat there. "He wields a heavy-timbered pen." And again said, "If we were in the way of feeling flattered, this magazine would spoil us."

W. is in great conviction of his precarious tenure. "With no eating of account, and no exercise, no out-of-doors, what can we have ahead of us? Only wreck—only wreck!" Gave me a letter to mail to his sister (Mrs. Heyde). I held it up, "Two dollars?" "No, five!" "For the good of the philanthropist?" This made him laugh, "No, I hope not!"

A good letter to me from Morse, now in St. Louis: 1748 Waverley Place Dec. 12, 1891 Dear Traubel, Your note of Nov 18. followed me all about into Kansas, Neb, and now returns to this city, where I find it on getting back here from my Lecture trip. I hope to have a Lowell out by the 20th. If that will serve Mrs. Fels I shall be glad to send her a copy. If I do not hear to the contrary I will do so. It is a bust. I have ordered copies of my Lincoln & Columbus (2 each) to be forwarded by freight to your address. You can show Walt the Lincoln. If it impresses him favorably, leave a copy with him. Please accept the other Lincoln & one of the Columbus for yourself & wife with my kind regards & best wishes. The other Columbus give to Harned's boy for Xmas. I had a successful trip into Kansas & Neb. Fine audiences at Lincoln & Omaha. My "Lowell, Holmes & Whitman" was well received. There was much interest in what I had to say of Whitman. At the Unitarian Ch. they are discussing the 12 authors who have helped make the English language. I don't know who the others are, but Walt is one of the number, & by request of the minister (who doesn't like L. of G.) his books were ordered for the Public Library. My lecture is with my sketches, about 2 hours long—1/2 hour to each part, & about 1/2 hour to the sketches as I go along. Dividing it into 3 parts with a little music between each part, it does not seem long—so they tell me. My sculptor's art begins at 8. and gets done at 10. or 10 1/2—just as the people feel. At Lincoln & Omaha they stayed on after I dismissed them till I was tired, quite tired out. Todd of Topeka is a strong man. He has written to Germantown. But may not please that Society. I send you a few circulars you can give out. Kind regards to all your people. Sincerely, Morse W. read with great interest and remarking "evidences multiply" to the 12 masters of English. "That new work from Sidney ought to be new light. He always sheds light. The noble Sidney!" I have a letter from Bucke, dated 13th. He speaks thus of W.: 13 Dec 1891 My dear Horace I have your notes of 10 & 11 inst. and am relieved to hear that W. is easier but fear it is only for the moment and that the clouds will soon gather about him again—perhaps darker & heavier than ever—it is a heartbreaking business, the only thing to which we can look for relief (W.'s death) being such a dreadful alternative. I sometimes feel as if I shd. break down myself before we get through with it all. Of course you will keep the '72 L. of G. until you have settled upon & made the new cover. I lectured all yesterday morning and one more forenoon (next Saturday, I guess) will finish the course. My lecture then (last lecture) will be largely original speculations on the origin, course, meaning, of insanity—showing how it proceeds inevitably from the evolution of the race. Love to Anne. So long! R. M. Bucke

After leaving W. and going home, I found delightful letters from Wallace and Johnston: Anderton, nr. Chorley. Lancashire, England. 5. Dec. 1891 My dear Traubel, I have to thank you for your letters, one dated Nov. 20th being the last received. I have neglected my own duties in that respect (& in others) but am not unmindful or indifferent. I have been at home for 10 days (confined to the house for over a week) with a cold which, though not serious or very severe, has kept persistent hold. And I have felt in little tune for writing or exertion. I have been out a little in the immediate neighbourhood during the last 2 days, & am beginning to feel more like myself again. I wrote a letter to Mrs. Traubel last night giving her some of the particulars she asked for of my voyage. Of course they are meant for you as well. I would have written more, but that I got too tired. I have done very little while I have been at home, except a good deal of idle reading, mainly Shakespeare. I find the change from the weather I met with in America to our English November weather a very great one. Dull dark days, more or less damp & raw, with frequent rains. But occasionally—as yesterday afternoon for instance—we get a few hours of perfect loveliness, with cloudforms & atmospheric effects all our own. I have seen nothing of the College fellows for 2 weeks, though I get letters from some of them. But they are busily engaged just now, & find it difficult to get out here. Johnston & Greenhalgh especially have tried often to manage it, but without success. Greenhalgh reports an extra pressure of work at the Bank (some special business, I don't know what) & has been busy till late every night. And Johnston is very busy too. I hope that Ingersoll succeeded in getting over to Camden. Doubtless you will give me full particulars if he did. I was extremely sorry to leave America without having seen him. Has Burroughs not been to see Walt yet? I am glad to hear of Baker's "wonderfully good condition" & hope that his arm will soon be all right again. What about your article on Lowell? When is it to appear? Johnston will probably manage to get out here today (Sat) or tomorrow. I have one or two things to give him yet, & others to shew him. I have not told him yet about your "Notes"—simply because I have had no private talk with him since our College Meeting. I am sure that in the interests of W's work & influence, he will rejoice greatly to hear of them—especially when I tell him of the marvellous photographic accuracy with which you reproduce his talk. My own feeling is that his talk is as great as his written work—though of course less studied & condensed. And his comments on current events will be intensely interesting & valuable. He never speaks idly & his lightest words have weight & value. My visit to Camden has only confirmed & deepened my previous reverence for him, with a more intimate affection & knowledge. I often think of you & always with affection & good will. "If thou follow thy star thou shalt not fail of a glorious haven"—& in daily duty & industry, & loyalty, in open eyed reverence to truth & wisdom & good, in warm hearted affection & comradeship & love, you are advancing to that true success which is success in life itself. May all prayers & blessing attend you, & the love of an ever increasing band of comrades & lovers. Amongst whom count always J. W. Wallace

P. S. Please to give my kind regards to all friends—Harneds, Gilberts, Morris, Longaker, Clifford, your own people & the rest.

Law spent the evening with me. The Scotch fellows wish something badly from W. for the Burns celebration Jan. 26th. Where can the manuscript of W.'s Burns piece be?

W. has cards for Drexel Institute dedication Thursday. It appeals to him and he says that if in health he would go.

Wednesday, December 16, 1891

5:15 P.M. La Grippe very prevalent again. We are seriously troubled for W., who seems weak and for physical purposes "worthless," as he puts it. Found him on his bed—head full of voice and hope—cheery to the last degree—and affectionate in mention of friends. Mrs. Davis said he had not got up again till one or after. He remarks when I say, "It is comfortable in this room," "Yes, so far as heat is concerned. But I don't enjoy much comfort, as these days run." Had he not slept well? "No! And the belly and head perturbations crowd thicker and thicker. Longaker not over today—no, though I almost hoped he had come." Tomorrow is the Drexel dedication. W. says, "Oh! that I could get out, that I could practically demonstrate my admiration, my applause! I am tied here by cords of fate. No more to break loose." Had any city two such institutions as Gerard College and the Drexel Institute? "Has any one? And I don't know but the Drexel is better than Gerard College—more near our time, necessities." Childs very sick with grip, W. lamenting, "I almost feel to send him a message." But he remarks his own "growing lethargy and incompetence" and "can only wish Childs well." I think Morris also sick and his mother steadily worse—W.'s pity all excited for this old woman whom he has never seen. Again "curious" to know if there were "odors of a sickroom" here. "Of all things we must battle off that."

Drifted now to other themes. "Tom was here yesterday. And by the way, he borrowed the Ingersoll letter—wished to show it to Mrs. Harned. I wish you would get the letter for me. I told Tom I wanted it back. Oh! It was a rich letter—a big, broad letter—free as air—free as the Colonel! I was thinking perhaps there should be some way to have the two letters published together—his, mine: though we should have to write to him first to know if he felt willing." I suggested, "How would it do to use them in 'Walt Whitman and Some of His Friends'?" "Just the thing, if it could be done. And it could be done, if not in the body, then in a note somewhere."

Where was Warrie? "Oh! I have sent him to Blackwood to see Eddy. Eddy? O yes! He keeps quite well, I believe!" Had provided a carriage for Warrie, who drove out. We developed an interesting chat about Shakespeare. Said W., "I have read Trumbull's article today with some care." "Could you make anything of it? I could hardly tell what he started out to tell." "That was my own feeling: I wondered if he had anything to say. But there are fingermarks of something." "Was it evolution?" "Perhaps. I am at a loss. What was he getting at? The article is well put together, and it treats us kindly: these are virtues—especially the last," with a laugh. But after a pause, "I should not like to go on record as picking flaws in Shakespeare—as standing in the attitude of critic, questioner—for that would be unjust to me. And not, besides, be square with my known principles, for, as with Emerson, I claim Shakespeare for the top—as the justification of many things but for them questioned. Nor do I know but Shakespeare after all levelled his lances—some of his lances—low enough—against many things we are against. Nor should science be given too much—I allow it a great deal, no one more—but not all: there is a limit to its scope. There is something above that, even. As to William O'Connor's idea of Shakespeare, I don't know. How often I have heard him argue that the plays were no defense of feudalism—that no man who meant to bolster, to applaud, feudalism, would have pictured it as faithfully as Shakespeare did. That the picture itself was exposure, allurement to the modern, invitation to democracy, all that. Yes, that the writer of the plays, whoever, could have been no friend of the great figures even of feudal epochs—since all the grace, beauty of the picture was away from feudalistic ideals. I don't know how far I was prepared to follow William in this, but it always seemed to me a profound statement. What I have written of Shakespeare has been written in the face of that—of all our long talks. It was the idea of Machiavelli: I will expose you by telling the truth about you! I will expose you by the exactness of my portrait! To William O'Connor that was the spirit which moved the writer of the plays."

W. expressed curiosity over Conway's life of Paine. It is said to reveal new and creditable traits—noble means and purposes—sufficient to give shame to all old pictures of Paine. W. saying, "I supposed as much. I have always been looking for such a life—knew it was possible and necessary. I shall look forward to this with a good deal of curiosity." I reminded him of George's remark to me in front of Independence Hall, "If Paine had not written that one unfortunate book, he would probably have been with the first of the list there!" W. exclaimed, "He would! He would! Then it would have been Washington, Franklin, Paine."

Thursday, December 17, 1891

6:10 P.M. First thing I heard at W.'s was from Warrie, who admitted me. "Mr. Whitman had a chill today—this afternoon." "A real chill—or chilliness?" "A real chill—it lasted two hours." This rather alarmed me. I went upstairs. W. on bed—extended hand instantly. "Ah! Horace! Well, how do you do?" I responding, "How do you do?" He then, "Very bad, Horace, very bad. I had a bad chill for two hours this afternoon. Warrie and Mary have been with me nearly all day, piling me full of blankets—doing all they could. Now I feel more towards myself again, but very feeble—very feeble!" His whole talk full, however, of cheer and brightness. "It was a severe chill—an incipient rigor, I call it. These things are always very serious for me." Should I not look up Longaker? "Perhaps it would be best. Could you do it?" "I will do it!" "Well, I guess you know. And if you get anywhere near the Associated Press, Horace, tell them: Walt Whitman had a severe chill this afternoon—that it lasted two hours and passed off leaving him in a very draggled, enfeebled condition—that it was what I call incipient rigor. But say, I am here tonight, in my bed, cheerful if not comfortable, with hope up again, though with entire recognition of the gravity of my condition." Had he seen Press note this morning?: "Walt Whitman, the 'Good Gray Poet,' yesterday longed to jot down on paper a few lines of verse in honor of Mr. Whittier's birthday today, but the hand that was to have penned the cheery poetry of congratulation, refused to do its work...." "Yes, and found as often before that one has to go to others and to a distance to find out about his intentions and his good deeds." Then back to message, "I would not urge you to go out of your way. But if we don't give 'em something, they'll do much worse. Say, too, if you see any of the press people, that the book is done, that it will be out early in '92, that I am about finished with all deliberate tasks." Then again, "These struggles seem to increase with us. I own up to it, that I am more and more mystified as to the future." Moreover, "Mary and Warrie were very kind to me. They watched and brought me round." As to the report of a poem for Whittier, he laughed, "A reporter was here at the door. Mary saw him. He built up his little tale from a little she told him. Of course," laughingly, "we wish Whittier well, but we can hardly do more as circumstances now are." Asked me about temperature, also if Drexel Institute proceedings were all well passed off. I spoke of Depew's oration as "stuff" and he said, "I supposed it would be."

Tenderly said, "Morris must suffer about his mother. Give him—give her—my love, sympathy. Poor woman, too—she particularly: my heart goes out to her." Reminded me, "My copy of Poet-Lore came today. Shall I send it to Bucke?" I tried to find it but could not. W. then, "It is still in its wrapper somewhere. I had no disposition even to open it today."

Warrie came in several times. W. asked him to prepare some hot water. I started off, to go first to Harned's, then home for supper, then to Longaker's. Harned not home, but got the Ingersoll letter from Gussie. Anne just back from the Drexel dedication (has a poor opinion of Depew). A few minutes for tea, then rapidly to Philadelphia and to Longaker's. He gone to theatre. Left a note on slate for him. Downtown again—talk with city editor Press, then with Albright of the Ledger—giving W.'s message to both. To Camden again, back towards W.'s house. Mrs. Davis at door (brisk north-west wind), her apron wrapped about her head. "Mr. Whitman rested well this evening," she said. Then good night! (This about 10:10.) Home and to work till 12:30 on profit-sharing notes for Unity Church tomorrow evening.

See by Bucke's letter of 14th he is determined to keep up hope.

Facsimile of letter, Walt Whitman to Dr. John Johnston, Bolton, England, February 6 and 7, 1892.

Note (): letter, dated Return to text.

Facsimile of Walt Whitman letter
Walt Whitman, May 1891. Four photographs by Thomas Eakins.

Note (): photographs, dated Return to text.

Photograph of Walt Whitman in chair, indoors
Walt Whitman, May 1891. Four photographs by Thomas Eakins.

Note (): photographs, dated Return to text.

Photograph of Walt Whitman in chair, indoors
Walt Whitman, May 1891. Four photographs by Thomas Eakins.

Note (): photographs, dated Return to text.

Photograph of Walt Whitman in chair, indoors
Walt Whitman, May 1891. Four photographs by Thomas Eakins.

Note (): photographs, dated Return to text.

Photograph of Walt Whitman in chair, indoors
Walt Whitman's tomb, Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.

Note (): photograph, undated Return to text.

Photograph of Walt Whitman's tomb

Friday, December 18, 1891

Reached W.'s towards six in evening and found he had not been able to get up at all through the day. I was surprised to hear that Longaker had not been over. Upstairs a few minutes to see W. "Here I am—fast in bed—driven at bay." At my suggestion that Longaker should have been over, he declared, "We do not need him. What I need is rest and composure." "But you had rest and composure and still got sick." "That's true enough. Anyway, pursue your own pleasure." And again, "What I need is some sleep—some few hours of unbroken sleep." And still further, "Things seem badly given out. I do not know what it promises, but whatever, let it come." Had had no curiosity to examine papers or mail today. I referred to "good digestion" and "good sleep" as "the best guarantees of good health." W. fervently then, "True to the bone! Yes, I always insist on that!" W. lay in bed, the light far down, a cheery fire in the stove. Looked very pale, feeble, worn out. Too weak to hold his head above the counterpane.

I looked about the old room, had some rapid solemn thoughts (sitting on side of the bed), then left. Instructed Warrie to go over and get Longaker without delay. Several reporters over but not as many as flying rumors generally bring. Day fair—even beautiful.

The Press note might have been worse—or better! But it observed my warning: "Don't become alarmist." And so did Ledger. The Camden Post man had been equally careful, as witness this in this afternoon's paper:

WALT WHITMAN'S ILLNESS. The Aged Poet Unconcerned as to its Outcome.  
  Walt Whitman is a very sick man. For two months he has not left his bedroom. Now the dreadful grip claims the poet as a victim. Mickle street, on the south side below Fourth, looked cold and bleak this afternoon when a Post reporter walked up the steps of the venerable bard's frame home, but within, how warm and cosy. The welcome by the lady at the door was hearty and hospitable. Presently Mr. Whitman's faithful and courteous attendant pattered down the stairway with this message from his charge: "I am holding the fort 'sorter.' I may get over it and I may not. It doesn't make any difference which."  
I have written Bucke briefly about the turn in W.'s condition. Harned came in while I was talking with Mrs. Davis and Warrie. Is a good deal worried, knowing the several important matters hanging in suspense today. Warrie tells me W. eats little, yet took a mutton chop today and beef tea. He said of the former, "It is the best I have ever eaten." He seems to get a good deal of sleep in small doses. Woke Warrie up in the night, wishing to get up to relieve his bladder, but nothing seemed to develop. No sign of break-up digestively as yet.

After the meeting in Unity Church was over I went round to W.'s with Anne. Longaker had been over. Warrie only had an indefinite notion what was the matter—called it bronchial pneumonia! But said Longaker had left word he wished to see me tomorrow morning if possible. W. had protested to Warrie against his going over for L., but of course overruled. Milk punches and medicine! That is W.'s immediate regimen. Longaker had said to Warrie, "Mr. Whitman is a very sick man." A remarkable admission for L. to make, having the cheer and reserves he has. Will of course be over tomorrow again.

W. not yet asleep (eleven o'clock), says, "I hate to go under the harrow." Saying, too, "My mind is too active: I wish it would rest. It is as active as 40 years ago." Warren thinks he has something on his mind. He has—more than Warren knows! The future dubious enough. W. is coughing up an ugly green mucus, but Longaker says it is good to have it out. Cough easy.

Saturday, December 19, 1891

Matters grow gloomier. W. is worse. This morning the following letter from Longaker: Saturday P.M. Dear Traubel, As far as I know I shall be at home this evening. W. W. is no better. I expect to be over to-morrow morning; but should I be detained then in the afteroon early. As ever D. Longaker Could not get up there in the course of day but wrote him. At W.'s he had left me a little note to call on him. As he had left a like word last night, I felt the gravity of its atmosphere. He had pronounced W. worse to Warrie and with "chances" against him. Premonitory note from Bucke, too. W. very weak—the cough increased, though yet mild—the mucus however coughed up copious and disheartening. Shows a disinclination to be aroused—this even to Warrie and Mrs. Davis when they attend him. Longaker advising Warrie however to keep him moving. Somnolent—asks for sleep, rest. Endeavors today to use the catheter unavailing, Warrie having to operate it for him. Darkness thickens—my heart trembles on its throne—the end not unprobably near.

To my mother's house a few minutes (this my birthday—a solemn birthday—my mother giving me with tender hand an old cherished copy of Tasso). Then home and after supper to Longaker's, who frankly said to me, "The prospects are all against us. I do not expect a sudden demise. His heart works well—there is not likely to be heart failure. But I expect that within four or five days, or in about that time, this mucus will so thicken as to quietly drown, suffocate him." While we sat there, reporter came in from Press. Longaker reserved with him, I not so much so—"as I preferred," said L. on the reporter's retirement. L. thought it well to divulge but not for him to do it. What should I do with Bucke: summon him or still wait? Longaker seemed not to know what to say, nor I. Yet L. was sure of the end—sure the chances of a mistake are reduced to the infinitesimal. I told L. enough of the Harned-Walt episode to show him its importance. He advised that Harned get it at once. How could it be done? We arranged for a meeting at W.'s at 9:45 tomorrow—Harned to be with us. L. will see W. and will urge the business with Harned. "I can tell him his danger very frankly. It makes no difference to Mr. Whitman. I noticed yesterday that he cared little, which side the blow fell. He is beyond all such fear. A little more stimulant of whiskey will aid him. A bad sign with him is his somnolency—his disinclination to be woke up." Longaker would be better prepared in the morning, too, to crystallize his opinion. Solemn talk—an hour or more. Then away again—downtown—stopping in at Press office, seeing city editor and one of the reporters.

To Camden—a cab at ferry—driving up to W.'s. Warrie and Mrs. Davis still up. Went into parlor and we had some talk, I submitting the substance of the bad news, they hearing full of feeling, expression. Stoddart and Gilchrist in at different times today, neither knowing W. was sick. Warrie says W. took his medicine last night at ten, twelve, two, then at four kicked—spoke of its bad taste. Today more willing—tonight markedly so—even proposing more whiskey in one of the punches.

Warrie wrote Johnston today. I have sent serious word to Bucke by letter, which he will get Monday morning.

Weather perfect—cool, mild—clear skies. The Press men getting ready for W.'s death.

Buckwalter also called to see W.

No chance to show W. Mrs. Fairchild's tender note and its Christmas remembrance: 191 Commonwealth Avenue. December 15 My dear Mr. Traubel, Christmas draws near once more; I remember that last year you were good enough to charge yourself with a commission for me. May I ask you to repeat your good offices?—and to buy something for our friend that he wants or needs with the enclosed five dollars? I wish it were more! but misery cries with a louder voice than love in this modern world—and with so many sick and sad I cannot think of my own selfish pleasure in giving first. May Christ be born again indeed in the hearts of us all. These are my warm Christmas wishes for Walt and you and me and all people. Very cordially yrs Elisabeth Fairchild Acknowledged to her today.

When I showed W. Gilder's note the other day, he exclaimed, "Just enough! And the practical right word!"

W. at last turned up Kennedy's Tennyson postal; which, now Kennedy divulged, has a curious significance: Sat. Morn. 6 A.M. Dear W. W. I shall count it a distinguished favor to get the loan of that Bucke letter anent T. Tenn. was the bright particular star of my youth and early manhood—is a man who makes this dull earth godlike, & immortality not at all strange. I will sacredly respect yr wish as to mention & will be extremely careful not even to mention it to any dangerous person whatever. W. S. Kennedy

The fellows all greatly admire Ingersoll's letter of 12th to W.: 400 5th Ave. Dec 12. 91 My dear Mr. Whitman, A thousand thanks for the "Leaves of Grass" and many many more for the inscription. As soon as the book came I read to a party of friends the "Mystic Trumpeter" and we were all stirred to the very depths as though by the blast of a trumpet. What a beautiful, hopeful, imaginative, tender, prophetic and superb poem it is! Then I read Sea Drift—The Guests from Alabama, and then "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed"—and we all agreed that there could not be found in our literature three poems to equal these in intensity, tenderness, philosophy and dramatic form. The only objection I have to the book is that it purports to be finished—with you, while there is life there will be song. You have not reached the journey's end, and, while a grain of sand remains within the glass of time, there's something left unsaid that we, your friends, would gladly hear. You must not say Goodbye!—wait and let that be the last. Thanking you again for the book and especially for the loving words I am as ever your friend and admirer R. G. Ingersoll Mrs. Ingersoll writes with me in thanks, congratulations and regards.

Sunday, December 20, 1891

First to Harned's. I found him reading the Press—in no way other than pleased with the report. Together to W.'s. Longaker did not get in till 10:20. Warrie reports W. "better"—that is, stronger—that he sat on the edge of the bed and ate the reedbird Stoddart left yesterday—had in fact asked for it himself, nor seemed longer to resent the punches but rather to ask for them. Told Mrs. Davis he had no wish to see anybody today. Not even his brother George? "No, not even George. I do not feel to." And gave such indications of his disposition towards reserve and quiet. Warrie had said something about the papers, that the Press had "done him up" this morning. "Have they got me dead?" asked W.

Harned and I went upstairs and into the room to look at him. He did not notice our entrance—was in a deep doze—lay on his left side, his face to the light—mouth and eyes blue—the left hand holding a folded handkerchief (beautiful, now slender, hand). Breathing regular but greatly choked, head and throat. We went downstairs again, Longaker almost instantly coming. Harned, L., Warrie and I up thereupon to W.'s room together. L. took his place north of the bed and took W.'s hand, at which he woke up. "Ah! Doctor! It is you!" And then questions and answers. His answers easy and ready. "I am a little confused about the days, Doctor. I had to ask Warrie this morning what day it was. I felt better this morning, but this afternoon I felt just as weak again—just as weak, Doctor!" Even now confused about the hour. Telling of the whiskey he had taken, W. also said, "I ask Warrie for a good deal of water—cold water, but he thinks I ought not to have it." Here W. laughed audibly and cracked his little joke. "Warrie is a very faithful nurse, Doctor. He is very insistent. He quotes against me the old Scotchman, 'Ye ken have yer whack, Johnny, but nae ma! nae ma!'" And then, "I must have got a good deal of sleep last night, Doctor—a good deal. I seem to be holding my own." W. coughed a good deal, working up much mucus.

After retiring Longaker consulted in the little back room with us a minute. While there Warrie came out to ask if W. could have a few peaches—he had asked them. L. said of them as of the water—let him have what he wishes. L. went back in the room, said something to W. which led W. to ask, "How am I, Doctor?" "You are a very sick man, Mr. Whitman." "Yes, Doctor, I suppose I must be." Longaker then spoke of our presence and asked if he had particular things to say to us. "I cannot stand it, Doctor. I am more nervous than my friends understand." And so Longaker did not press it, saying "good-bye" and rejoining us. L. not registered as doctor in Camden. We decided to call in McAlister as committee. Longaker wrote him a note which Harned will deliver. L. says of W.'s condition, "He is no better, which is in fact to say he is worse. The apparent improvement is no more—it is the result of the great stimulation. I still hold to what I said last night. I see four or five days ahead of us—perhaps a week, but a reduction of the life—a fall in the pulse—an increased inability to throw off that mucus—finally substantial suffocation." We are all to meet at five this afternoon at W.'s—perhaps to make a new attempt to get W. and Harned in contact. Gave five dollars to Warrie for his extras. Is faithful—up night and day.

To Camden again in afternoon, reaching W.'s about five. Harned in at 5:05, McAlister a couple of minutes later and Longaker at 5:18. L. and McA. upstairs together at once. I followed them and lingered in the room and in Warrie's room next. They entered into a close consultation and examination. W. remembered McAlister. "And you have a sister Nellie? I have met her often up at Tom Harned's, and I want to be remembered to her, too." He got into an oddly humorous banter with Longaker about the bitterness of the medicine. "Don't you like it?" "Doctor, you are joking." "No, I am not." "What! You will mix salt, vinegar, aloes, assafetida, with a few other damndest things, and say you like them?" "Liking is a matter of taste." "Of damned bad taste often." Longaker quoted him a German story or proverb.

When they commenced this examination W. assisted them every way he could. They sat him up at one time—sounding him lustily. After they were finished, he remarked, "I feel none the worse for the ordeal except for my left leg: that is the side of my paralysis. Whenever I get that in such a position, it soon gets to pain horribly. Otherwise I feel no pain."

Said W. at one moment, "Dr. McAlister, do I look like a dying man? None of your doctor stories, but the truth—the naked, sheer truth. In the morning? Then I was very far down—very low. I was depressed—I had not vim enough to lift my hand. I have eaten solids. I have drinked a little beef tea. You think the punch has done me good? Anyhow, here I am. It is hard to say how. Now much that was dim seems swept away." Doctors proposed to go out to consult. Said W., "Yes, go out, and tell the result to Warrie or Mary Davis and let them tell me—but tell them the result. I want to know it—no doctorial hidings and seekings."

Left Longaker and McAlister in the little room together where they spent well upon half an hour alone. In meanwhile to parlor. The Press reporter, there when I had come, still there. Warrie told me Ingram had been over with a bottle of wine which W. had enjoyed. Warrie thought W. greatly improved. He had sat up in chair while Warrie changed bed and had been able to submit to re-clothing.

Longaker and McAlister now downstairs. McAlister at once said to our inquiries, "He is a dangerously sick man." "How sick—fatally?" "Yes, I think fatally." "How long can he live?" "I should say, about four days." "Then you give up?" "Not absolutely, but the chances are only one in a million." "Then the improvement indicates what?" "It is mainly the result of the stimulants." "And will not continue?" "No." The reporter was all open ears. It seems the right lung is all collapsed—that he now practically does all breathing by the one lung. I walked up the street with Longaker, who really says, "I see no cause to revise my morning's judgment." Should I telegraph Bucke? He rather thought not, if I meant to do so positively—wait till tomorrow. They had ordered a flax-seed poultice. McAlister will come at nine in the morning unless called before. Longaker will meet him at four at 328 for further consultation. I went up to Harned's, where we had lunch together. And then we sat down and made up the following telegram for Bucke, whom we considered we should notify:

Walt very sick. Doctors say fatally, giving him not over five days. Bronchitis. Right lung collapsed. He is cheerful, and we are not without some hope. Use your judgment about coming. May die any moment. 
After the meal, going out together, we found no telegraph office in the town open. Then to 328 again—finding Tom Donaldson there with a big blow about a long talk with W. "More than half an hour, and he wouldn't let me go." Which I found out from Warrie was impossible. "I was only out 15 minutes, and when I came back, he was already in the parlor, while when I went he had not come." Some talk about Bernhardt and other persons and matters. Afterwards upstairs with Warrie, who busied himself about W.'s room, with fire, medicine, etc. He asked W. if the throat was "freer" and he said, "I do not know, Warrie. I could hardly say." And when Warrie bantered about the unpleasant medicine, he seemed oblivious to the remarks. Seemed filled up again—distinctly worse in the last two hours. I should not be surprised if the end came tonight. His mail and daily papers remain untouched in the parlor. While I was upstairs I watched his face, which was large and impassive and seemed not to be stirred from a noble faith and pleasure even.

McAlister had gone back with Longaker this afternoon. W. asked, "Well, what's the verdict?' "A bad one—you are a very sick man." Was it fatal? They said they thought it was. He never winced. Afterward W. remarked to Warrie, "They give me up. We will beat the doctors yet!"

Sent Bucke's telegram off from Broad and Montgomery Avenue, also the following cable to Wallace: "Walt critical. Small hope. Traubel."

Back still again to W.'s 11:30. Warrie and Mrs. Davis both in parlor—both with colds (Mrs. Davis a bad headache superinduced). Offered to stay but found I could do nothing. W. still as he was. Mrs. Davis went up and asked him how he was and he reported "so-so." The lights evidently going out. Warrie seems to fear the night. Is to have Tom and I instant anything occurs. The outlook without relief. I scarcely slept last night. This day has been full of work and unrest. Poor Bucke—with that telegram for breakfast! And poor Bolton—with the chill few words!

Monday, December 21, 1891

To Philadelphia usual time but stopped on way at W.'s, finding his night reported decently good, with no increase of discomfort but with an undoubted heavier pressure of sleep. Warrie had just woke him and he had protested, as he always does. "O Warrie! Why did you wake me? Don't you know that every minute's sleep is golden?" Later in the day he said again, "Warrie, it was such a sweet sleep! I was in Paradise. Why did you wake me? You startled me." His whole disposition towards the somnolent. I did not linger long in the morning. McKay had sent over for a couple of books, which they could not deliver at the time and which I now took.

At the Bank a whole string of visitors and inquirers, among them Brinton, Frank Williams, H. S. Morris, Edelheim, Morris Lychenheim. My whole day full of business and anxiety. Brinton startled at the knowledge I gave him. "I am afraid it signifies an end." Questioned me like a surgeon. Morris asks, "Do you really give up hope?" "No, but I cannot give up my fears and convictions either." The morning papers quite moved by the occurrence: Press to greatest length, Inquirer not at all. Found something in the New York Tribune, but not in Herald or World. The Post in afternoon brightly conservative—a fine solid item:

WHITMAN'S CONDITION. He is Believed to be Rapidly Nearing His End.  
  The physicians in attendance upon Walt Whitman have practically given up all hope of his recovery. His friends still have some faint hope, but expect the worst. He is suffering from bronchial pneumonia. His right lung is in a state of collapse, and his left lung is partially affected. All remedies have thus far failed to produce favorable results. His condition this morning is "no better" and in fact somewhat worse. He takes some little nourishment. He is cheerful, but has a desire to sleep all the time. No one is permitted to see him. He may pass into a comatose condition at any time. His physicians have told him of his exact condition, but he pleasantly said to his nurse, "We may beat them yet." He faces death with great calmness and courage and awaits the final summons as if nothing extraordinary was going to happen. This perfect calmness may tide him over, but no one expects a favorable turn. At 3 o'clock there was no change in Mr. Whitman's condition. [Post, Dec. 21, 1891]

Letters from Johnston and Wallace (one of Wallace's containing the cipher, providentially!):

12 Dec 91 Telegraphic Cypher—re Walt Whitman  
  Very ill, no alarm at present.......................Paumanok 
  D[itt]o alarming..................................Ontario 
  Do doctor fears immediately fatal results..........Navesink 
  Do no hope—have sent for Dr. Bucke...........Osceola 
  Remains the same, neither better nor worse............Average 
  A little better.......................................Pioneers 
  Steadily improving....................................Road 
  Much better...........................................Joys 
  Out of danger.........................................Song 
  A little worse........................................Time 
  Much worse............................................Prelude 
  Worse alarming..................................Whispers 
  Do likely to be fatal..............................Starry 
  Do expect death in a few days....................Parting 
  Do do in a day or two.....................Sunset 
  Funeral in 3 days...................................Memories 
  Do day after tomorrow..............................Lilacs 
  Do tomorrow........................................Captain 

Also from Bucke: 18 Dec 1891 My dear Horace I have yours of 16th and am a little relieved to hear that W. is some easier. You say that nearly every one has the grip there. Should W. get it as he is very likely to do, it would probably quite or nearly end him. You will no doubt have a chance to see the speculations on the cause & meaning of insanity later as it is almost sure to grow into a paper or book eventually and get itself published—but so far I have written nothing down but a few notes. The ground is white but not enough snow to make decent sleighing which is aggravating. I feel constantly very anxious about Walt. Write me a line often. I look for a complete collapse before spring. Afftely R. M. Bucke Bucke's seeming to fore-fear something, and even Johnston giving a solemn quotation from one of W.'s recent postals to him.

McKay sent to Bank for the books. (I should have said yesterday I had a short talk with Mrs. George Whitman, who was just going at the time of my entrance.) W. had told Mrs. Davis, "Don't let anybody in to see me today, Mary: let me sleep." Not even George? "No, not even George: some other time, Mary." After hours at Bank (how hard and horrible—how long—the day!). I took a run to McKay's, where I had some talk with him (his busy holiday season on). It appears his own father had been sick. For several days at the point of death but had now rallied. McKay wishes to name a big edition of "Leaves of Grass" instantly on a fatal termination of W.'s illness—should things really turn the bad way. He had received still another order for big book. (How these orders used to stir up W.'s old heart!)

After leaving him and taking a very brief run in on Billstein, I hurried towards Camden, meeting Frank Williams coming off the boat. "I have just been there. There seems to be no change in Walt. Harned, whom I met on the step as I came away said he was worse, though I don't know on what he based it." Some further talk with Frank, who mentioned the weariness of Warrie and Mrs. Davis and offered to help relieve them. But what could he do? "They seem to look on it as only a matter of a few days," says Frank, "which, if so, they seem to think they can manage without assistance." Then good-bye to Frank and to Camden. (Frank had further remarked, "The doctors were there while I was there—consulting.")

At W.'s found Longaker had left a note for me, as follows: "Dear T., W. W. no better. If any change at all slightly weaker. No change otherwise. Longaker. 12. 21. 91." This was rather discouraging and confirmed by all that Warrie told me. W. never wakes except when waked—is somnolent—resents all breaks up of his repose—takes medicine (says less about it than formerly) then relapses. George here in course of day but W. had not seen him. "Give my love to George: tell him I am glad he came, but say I will see him when I am stronger." To Longaker he had said, "Doctor, you always have the bad luck to catch me at my worst. I was better this morning, wasn't I Doctor?" Appealing to McAlister, who assented. But did not indicate same inclination to press a joke or any casual talk as yesterday. Reporters here—plenty of them. Harned had been in and had said Bucke telegraphed this morning to know if any change in W.? And on Harned's "no" had again telegraphed that he would come at once, and was probably now on the way. Letter from Burroughs in this afternoon: West Park New York Dec 20, 1891 Dear Walt, I was reading in your Nov. Boughs the other night & was for a long time thinking of you intently. I seemed to realize you very vividly & of all you had been to me, & of all you still are. I have had no word directly from you in a long time. I thought I should see you before this, but here I am in the old ruts. I must get down your way this winter. I keep pretty well & lead an eventless life: read a few books, write a little now & then, & work on my place. I saw by the paper you were not as well as usual which made me grieve. I hope you are able to send me a card: if you are not, have Horace do it. I long to have some word from you. Not much winter here yet—no snow at all, Julian has just had his first skate. He grows finely & is getting to be an omnivorous reader. Wife is well except rheumatism. I go to Roxbury to-morrow on business. Hoping you will be able to eat your Christmas turkey with relish I am with much love John Burroughs I took the privilege of opening it, and it proved well I did. And then sat down and wrote on W.'s pad, which Warrie brought me down from W.'s room, letters to Burroughs and Ingersoll. Thence to my mother's, where I found a cable message from Bolton: "Wire again. Love to Walt. Wallace, Johnston."

To 537 York. Anne not extra well—a sweet supper and talk—she aiding me every way in the work and having written letters today to Johnston and Wallace, to Mrs. O'Connor, Johnston (N.Y.) and the Bushes. Now again downtown to mail these and other papers and letters and to Western Union to send Wallace and Johnston the cable, which I put into these words: "Sunset-Osceola," translated: "Worse—expect death in a day or two. No hope. Have sent for Dr. Bucke." When at 328 again I found Warrie much exhausted and Mrs. Davis wishing to go out for a few minutes or more, so offered to stay on watch—which I did while I engaged on these notes. I wrote in the parlor on one sofa, Warrie on another sofa soon falling into a deep sleep. I would go up to W. every ten minutes—turn the light up in back room—go in—watch him—listen to his breathing—then to retire. He lay on his right side—never seemed to stir hand outside the cover—drawn up into small compass. Once Warrie went up to give him some of the flax-seed tea (Mrs. Davis had been up—thought his throat full—had aroused him by touching his hand)—I went with Warrie. W. remarked, "It tastes good, Warrie." Then, "Lift me up to the side of the bed, Warrie," which was done. And in this position he took the tea. Warrie, after replacing him in the bed, remarked, "Now I'll leave you for a little while." W. then, "Before you go, Warrie, give me a little more to drink." And as he took it, "It does me good, Warrie. I feel much better tonight—much brighter—than last night. I have no fever—I almost burned up last night. My mouth, jaw, tongue are sore from the amount of medicine I have taken." Yet seems never to say a word save when stimulated. Warrie said to me, "That's the most he has said all day." When Warrie told him of McKay's father, he first exclaimed "Oh!" and then, "Poor old man!" And from that point collapsed. Expresses no curiosity in anything going on around him. Would sleep on forever if not shaken up. One of our trips upstairs he says, "O Warrie, give me the water! It is so good!" Again he says, "Warrie, get some fresh water—that seems better." And once when asked how he was he speaks, "Fairly—fairly—considering!" Warrie made some remark about the fog out of doors and he did not notice it. Before he got into the deep of this stupor, he once asked Warrie about Morris' mother, "There's another poor devil who has a heap of trouble!" He seems now to take the medicine without a murmur, and without opening his eyes. Often when I would go into the room and to the bed and gaze at him—listen to his breathing—my own heart would throb wildly, almost with hope. He seemed so peaceful. Once he lay in such a way as let the light fall on his face. The face was peaceful—the two hands together—the body pulled together—all childlike and beautiful, and the breathing stately and steady, like the long lines of his poems. To touch his head—to touch his hand (the head warm—the hand cool)! He would never wake. I would never say a word—out on tip-toe as I had come in.

We watched even more closely at midnight, but not the least change appeared. A couple of reporters pulled the bell. I went to the door and talked with them (one from Ledger). One asked me, "Is it worth while for us to sit on the doorstep all night?" A damp foggy night—sultry. It seemed almost ludicrous. "No, I don't think there's any danger of his dying tonight. I am so sure of it, I'm going away home myself in a few minutes." Just before it struck I went upstairs for a last look at W.—close to the bed—leaned over him. He was on left side, one hand under his cheek and holding handkerchief—the other out of coverlet and hanging down. A moment's prayer of love and gazing—a silent, solemn prayer—then good night to all and home.

Tuesday, December 22, 1891

Early to W.'s—at eight—after a slight breakfast. The morning clear but still soggy and warm. Mrs. Davis admitted me and Warrie soon came downstairs. W. had been asking him, "What day is it, Warrie? Is it the 23rd?"—which shows that he keeps a pretty close account. Warrie had said to him, "Dr. Bucke will be here pretty shortly, I guess." W. opened his eyes wide, "What?"—crying as if in astonishment. Looking and continuing to look at Warrie and keeping eyes open full ten minutes. I wonder if the thought did not flash on him then: "They give me up! Why should Bucke come but for that?" I have no doubt of it. I went up with Warrie and lingered about the room for five to ten minutes. Warrie gave him some medicine, which he took unquestioningly and without opening his eyes. Then asked for water. Did not like taste of water in mug, saying, "It is bitter—bring some fresh," which, when brought, he took without criticism—instantly relapsing to his wonted sleep without word or sign. His voice seems changed since midnight—fuller. Yet the breathing is still wonderfully steady.

Warrie reports head warm, hands cold, feet clammy. In complexion W. not frightfully pale, though there are dark spots in face, on the left side, Longaker ascribing it to "deficient aeration of the blood." Opened a letter from New York—marked immediate—written by some stranger to tell W. of his own recovery from a like trouble. Bucke not arrived yet. Will stay at Harned's. I have anxious letters from Gilder and Rome.

Morris and Williams again anxiously in Bank this forenoon. Law in later. At the least sign of an end in W. I am to be telephoned for. Answered Gilder and Rome by special letters. Also wrote at some length to Johnston and Wallace.

To Camden a bit after five. Mrs. Davis almost encouraged about W. He said to her this morning once, "Mary, I am here yet!" And again, when she suggested to sit on the lounge near the bed and rest, "Yes, do so—sit a long while—take a good rest!" At the same time hearing Warrie shake the medicine to his right, looking about archly, "I hear you, Warrie—yes, I hear you!" But Longaker gives no encouragement. "I see no reason to change my Sunday's opinion." Bucke not arrived yet. Harned expects him towards six.

W. keeps up his cheer. The Bulletin appears this afternoon with a long biography, as if fearing he might slip them in the night. W. unquestioningly lighted up mentally for a brief space, or in flashes, today. I sat down to write further to Bolton and Warrie happening to go upstairs told W. Had he word to send? "No, I guess not. Three or four days will tell the story." They started to clean the bed and he urged them to "hurry," saying at one moment, "Look out, Warrie, you'll knock over my mug of water" on the commode nearby, and when Mrs. Davis added, "And the medicine, too," W. said facetiously, "We won't mind that." Again and again says, "We'll beat the doctors yet." Warrie came down to remark, "He is certainly weaker. I noticed it this time. He has become a dead weight—don't help the moving anyway." W. knocked on the floor with the cane at one time and Warrie hurried up, I with him, to find W. complaining of sudden pain which Warrie proceeded to relieve by the catheter.

I wrote to Stedman briefly, too. Frank Williams heard from Stedman briefly today but with no mention of W., from which Williams concludes S. had not observed the papers. Letters from Bucke today, to both of us (W. and me). I opened W.'s. Both to same effect. Johnston (N.Y.) telegraphed yesterday. Today Neidlinger. Here is N.'s telegram:

Dear Walt, Your great loving teaching has lightened many burdens & thousands so helped by you send now their grateful love hoping that it may make the burden of your illness lighter. Whitman can "never die yet," we need your personal presence, God spare you. W. H. Neidlinger. 
George Whitman's wife here wishing to see W. today, but W. said, "Tell her if she has nothing particular to say, I ought not to see her now." Doctors here between four and five, Longaker leaving word he could not revise Sunday's judgment. Once while Warrie was holding W. up in bed, he remarked, "Hold on to me, Mr. Whitman." W. feebly laughed and said, "Why Warrie—ain't I pinching you like the devil?" When Warrie said, "You must be better today, Mr. Whitman," W. assented, "I suppose I am—I guess it's with thinking of Dr. Bucke."

I sent cable to Johnston, "Time," translated, "a little worse." Found cables for me from Johnston and Wallace separately: "Love to Walt and to you all. Wallace." "Thanks sympathy Love. Johnston." Harned had also left Bucke's yesterday's cable for me.

To W.'s, arriving 9:10. Found Bucke there. He had not been up to Harned's—came direct to 328—sent a note up for McAlister, who came over for a consultation. They are up in W.'s room together as I write. When Bucke entered room, W. exclaimed, "Maurice Bucke—welcome—welcome—welcome—wel—" as long as his feeble body would allow and asked, "How came you here?" Bucke saying, "Slack work—slack work." But wasn't he "busy"? Bucke insisting, "Didn't I write that I delivered my last lecture Saturday and was likely to drop down here any day?" Bucke suggests an additional nurse to relieve Warrie but Warrie resists. I think several of us might relieve Warrie. Soon Doctor downstairs and greetings. I readily found that Bucke had no more hope than his confreres. "Nothing but a miracle can save him." Yet Bucke was in doubt whether W. could not live days yet. He had examined and sounded him every way. His version of W.'s exclamation on seeing him was, "Maurice Bucke—Maurice Bucke—Maurice Bucke—welcome—welcome—welcome"—extending a feeble hand at the same time. Bucke had sent McAlister up to say he was here, and should he come up? W. had instantly and urgently sent word down, "Come up right away!" Bucke says, "He talked quite a good deal—enough to surprise me, I can tell you that. No, he did not allude directly to his condition, but he seems to know its gravity and indirectly touched it pretty sharply. For instance, he talked of Emerson and Lowell, referring to Lowell as 'poor old man' and telling me the story of his last moments when he pleaded to know if the doctors could not let an old man die in peace!" W. talked freely enough further about his general state and finally admitted he had better rest and let Bucke go.

Bucke and I went up to Harned's together, McAlister going to his own home. At Harned's some conference till nearly midnight, deciding several things, among them: to let the tomb matter rest—that fight can't be continued; to have no funeral ceremonies but a few words from three or four of W.'s friends—deciding upon Ingersoll, Brinton, Bucke and Harned—with Frank Williams to read from old scriptures and "Leaves of Grass." I sat down at once to write Brinton to call in to see me in the morning. We will have plaster casts of W.'s face and hands taken. Deeply moved—all of us—the saddest hour of life so far for me. As to disposition of W.'s literary effects we urge caution, which is about all that can be done now.

After leaving Harned's I hurried to 328 again, where I remained till nearly one—seeing W. several times—finding him much exercised in general ways and specially by his bladder, on which he kept Warrie busy for a long time. I had gone up one moment to see how he was, and there I found him sitting on the edge of the bed. I rushed downstairs and called Warrie, who was asleep, and who was up the stairs like a deer. Once when Warrie gave him some water he smacked his lips and said, "How good it is! I could drink a barrel of it." Warrie replying, "You have drunk that much, Mr. Whitman," at which W. very feebly laughed, "I suppose! It is very good!" And he heard Warrie working at the fire. "Hadn't you better let the fire go out, Warrie?" Has practically taken nothing but water all day. The greater number of Warrie's remarks he passed by unnoticed. His temperature seems to have been up. His desire for water constant. Good night! Home at 1:15—confident he would breast the night.

Wednesday, December 23, 1891

At W.'s by 8:15, to find Warrie and Mrs. Davis impressed with the fact that W. was "much worse." Mrs. Davis had essayed to lie down on lounge near the bed, and he detecting her had suggested he would prefer to be alone. I went up into the bedroom with Warrie and found W. looking worse than at any time since he had been sick. Nose, lips and eyes blue—mouth wide open, as if to get over severe difficulties of breathing—the breath itself seeming thick and portentous. He slept—we did not disturb him, but I regarded him "long and long." The cheeks are much sunken. He was on his left side. In left hand clasped a handkerchief. First joints of fingers dark underneath and milky white on top. The stray light from the window threw a strange sadness into the face—seemed to give it no relief. His whole appearance more labored and shattered than last night. Still takes no nourishment—cries every now and then for water—and always says it is "good." For full ten minutes I stood and gazed at him, wondering to myself if anywhere could be spur to bring this wreck back to life. Bucke not expected down till nine, when McAlister is to be here. Bucke anxious to have Longaker give him details of the case from the first. The outlook gloomy for today. I go to Philadelphia and to my desk with a heavy heart. Cheered by a beautiful note from Baker and solicitous words from Wilkinson: Law Office, Robert G. Ingersoll 45 Wall Street New York, Decm. 22d 1891. My dear Traubel: I am more pained than I can express to see, by the morning papers, that dear, good, great Walt Whitman is lying at the mouth of death. My hope is that the reports are exaggerated, but I fear the worst. After my own tussle with the Angel, however, I am constrained to send a message of Life and Hope. If not for the dear Life's sake—for I know he can and does calmly, even wooingly, embrace the "cool, delicious" messenger—yet for the sake of those myriads whose loving admiration and devotion demand that he live still further to illumine and electrify them by his living words and presence, he must not die now, he must not leave us solitary, he must live. I yearn for his life, with a yearning that all the pleadings of right, propriety, necessity,—backed by a million voices—urge and insist with. He must not leave us now—cannot, shall not. His light, though presently dim, must not yet go out. Tell him to hold high the torch, and countless hands that he has held up will now pour in the oil of life. This will be. This must be. Tell him this from me, if he can, or when he can, receive the message—from one who thought to precede him in the precedence and preferment of Fate. With a loving and strengthening word to you, also, my dear friend, in these hours of watching, I am, as always, Your friend and comrade, I. N. Baker I telegraphed Ingersoll as follows: "Whitman sinking. All hope gone. May die today or tomorrow. Believe you long ago acquiesced in Johnston's proposition to speak. We can depend upon you? Wire me 427 Chestnut Phila. at once. Walt's friends grouped here send love. Traubel."

Baker shortly replying: "Ingersoll in Toledo have repeated your telegram to him. I send Love and Hope. I. N. Baker."

And I then telegraphing Baker: "Telegraph instantly Ingersoll replies. Will be at 427 till 3.30. Send then to 328 Mickle, Camden. Letter here. Grateful. Urge Colonel for us. When is he due home? Indispensable. Traubel."

To which Baker a second time answering says: "I repeated your telegram to Toledo. Expect Ingersoll home tonight or tomorrow better wire him again tonight 400 5th ave. I. N. Baker."

Brinton in to see me—consenting to speak—showing in every way tender consideration and desire. And Frank Williams will read, at once and easily comprehending the situation and acquiescing with noble and faithful air. Edelheim in, too, and Morris half a dozen times—all hoping against hope, as I do, and all anxious to do something. Late in afternoon in to see Frank Williams, then to look up Murray, at Eakins', for taking cast, in case of emergency—failing, however, to find him.

Hastened then to Camden and to 328. Met there Bucke. I was late but Bucke was patient. On the chair a telegram for me, which I opened and found was from Ingersoll: "Give the great good man my love. I shall reach home tomorrow." And here, too, had come one direct for W.: "After the day the night and after the night the dawn. Yours with words of love and hope. R. G. Ingersoll." Bucke said, "Wonderful! Wonderful!" as he repeated it and added, "I gave it to the old man: he was deeply moved."

Harned dropped in and the three of us went off immediately to his house, Bucke meanwhile telling us the story of the day. "I had quite a talk with the old man just a while ago, in the dark. Better? No, not better: not worse, either. When I got there this afternoon, the old man was up in a chair and I said at once to the doctors, 'Now would be a good time to sound him,' which we did, very thoroughly. There was a suspicion of action in the right lung. To show how weak he was, he sat up only about two minutes before we came and about five after and was completely tuckered out. The doctors finally decided he was a shade better, though they even hesitated to grant that. I am much in doubt myself. The old man may peg out any day, may float along this way for many days. His vitality is remarkable—remarkable. But his weakness—that, too, is remarkable and not to be denied. No, I don't see a ghost of a chance for him, and yet"—and so Bucke ended. As to their talk together Bucke said, "I brought up that matter of the children—told him, Mr. Harned, what you said. But he seemed to question whether they would ever assert themselves. He said to me what he said to you, that the women were high-born—proud. And he said further that he did not think there was the least probability that they would ever come forward—ever make any claims—that on the contrary their inclination was to keep quiet, to stay away. Walt don't seem at all averse to telling it, but I don't think he wants to tell part—he feels that a part would put him in a wrong light—while he is not able to tell the whole story, which is a long one." Did Bucke think W. would ever tell it? "No, I don't think he will. I don't believe he will ever be able to tell it." And after a silence, "There was another thing he said to me: he wants to see the will—wants to make some changes in it." Harned said quickly, "That would be dangerous business. He'll have to be careful what he does." Bucke thereupon, "When I promised him to bring it down tomorrow, I felt for myself that I would bring you with it." Harned, "He could draw a codicil." "That is about what he wants, I judge. I think he wants to leave that house to Mrs. Davis." And further, "He said the will answered for its time but that it did not completely satisfy him now. God knows what changes he'll want to make on it—maybe many." Harned rather serious over the thing.

Mrs. Davis said to W. once today, "These doctors will get you up," but he shook his head, "No more getting up for me, Mary." And Bucke informs me he said something to the same effect to the doctors. Bucke hardly encouraged by W.'s condition but attentive to the rally. Will it last? "I can't see how it can. Suppose, too, we did patch him up for a few weeks: he would have to go through this whole business again before long. Is it worth while?"

Bucke did not go down again to W.'s. We took supper at Harned's and Bucke went early to bed. I went up home a while, then at ten to W.'s, where I spent a couple of hours—seeing him a number of times—going into the room—never waking him. Certainly much less restless than last night. I found at 509 Arch a cable from Wallace: "Have wired English friends. Carpenter Johnston join love to Walt. Wallace."

And at home had received a letter from Garland: Dear Traubel: I read with alarm that our poet is suffering with the grip. Please convey to him my love and sympathy and tell him that the Arena has a fine study of him in the Jan. number doubtless you've seen it already. Written by D. G. Watts. I see Kennedy occasionally and he keeps me informed of all the main happenings down there at Camden. There is coming a vast change over the world concerning Whitman. It does not wait for his death—it is here. Yours as ever, Hamlin Garland

I expect to pass through Phil. about Jan. 4. I may stop.
Cabled Bolton tonight, "Average," which leaves them to know W. as neither better nor worse. Bucke counselled me, "For God's sake don't say anything to encourage them." I telegraphed to Morris, Frank Williams and others: "Holds his own." And wrote letters to that effect—one of these being to Ingersoll. Several times today W. said to Mrs. Davis, "I prefer to be alone, Mary." Will talk freely with no one but the doctors. I spent time from ten to twelve at the house. Warrie went up to nap it a while. I in room to see W. I looked at him a long while—he not waking. Certainly appeared better than this morning—almost encouraging, could that be—but Bucke several times has said, "Don't build up false hopes. Prepare for the worst." McAlister there at ten and when he came downstairs, and in reply to my question, said, "I see no change in him—nothing on which to build any hope."

Bucke and Harned will go down in the morning with the will. We regard Bob's telegram as an acceptance—a response to my morning's telegraphic message. We retire with grave doubt of everything, as if the earth was slipping away from under our feet. Jessie Whitman here today. W. saw her—only, however, for a few words of greeting, a kiss and good-bye.

Thursday, December 24, 1891

This morning at nine Harned and I came to W.'s together. The old will was read by Harned and directions given by W. for the new. Harned then went home to draw it. An hour after Harned went away W. gave me some supplementary directions. Then Harned came down at 10:30 just as I was sending a note to him. Embodied the new provisions and took the will upstairs to W. to be executed. Harned had brought with him Thomas B. Hall and Henry Hollishead—his clerks—as witnesses. About eleven we were all in W.'s bedroom, viz., the above two witnesses, Warren, Harned, W. and self. Harned read the will. W. wanted one clause of it struck out—that namely in which his gold watch is left to Harry Stafford—but when he found that to do this the will would need to be rewritten, he said, "Never mind, let it go," and Harned finished the reading. W. was then lifted up—sitting position—on edge of bed, by Warrie. Harned handed him the pen and with some difficulty he signed his name. He immediately fell back upon the pillow exhausted: closed his eyes and lay for a time pale and almost collapsed. After a little Harned said to him, "It is necessary Walt for you to declare that this is your last will and testament and to request these two persons, Mr. Hollishead and Mr. Hall, to sign their names as witnesses," to which he said, "I do." Harned then, "Walt, it's necessary for you to say that in so many words: you must say, I declare this to be my last will and testament," and then with a very strong, clear voice he said, "I declare this to be my last will and testament." Then casting his eyes towards Hall and Hollishead, who were at the foot of the bed, he said, "I request you to sign as witnesses," which they immediately did, in his presence and the presences of each other. Then Harned turned around to say, "Now, Walt, you've got nothing to worry about. This is entirely according to law and everything is all right." W. noticed the two witnesses were about to leave the room and he attempted to raise his hand and wave a good-bye and exclaimed, "Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!" After which Harned and Bucke left the room.

Have seen Eakins, who will superintend cast should we send word. O'Donovan and Murray also will come over. Eakins showed me a hand (W.'s) already done, "but not first-rate: he trembled so when it was done." Variously about—writing letters, sending telegrams. To Camden towards seven, taking tea first then hurrying to Harned's, where Bucke was—hastening thence to W.'s.

Found from Bucke and Harned that they had succeeded in getting the will through. Harned first got the material for W.—the substance of the changes—went back to his office, wrote them up, then returned to 328 with his two clerks, Hollishead and Hall, as witnesses. Harned says scene intensely dramatic when W. signed. Hesitated, exhausted, between signatures—finally, however, achieving it. Leaves Mrs. Davis $1000 instead of $250, and use of 328 for a year; leaves Warren $200; fastens the literary executorship more closely. Harned kept the old will, which is entirely superseded. W. much relieved when this work all done—instantly relapsed into worst shape from absolute overexhaustion. Sat up on bed to write. Burroughs thought the signature "as good as ever." Harned and Bucke did not. W. broke it off in the middle, then restarted.

9 P.M. W. won't take any more medicine (had refused it twice before).

Friday, December 25, 1891

12:10 A.M. Bucke says, "It is doubtful if he ever sees daylight."

12:15 A.M. McAlister came and went upstairs, reporting him then a trifle worse.

Talcott Williams came in, and reporters of Ledger and Press, whom Harned had telegraphed.

3 A.M. Called, "Warrie," and when Warrie went in, "I wish you would turn me over, Warrie—yes, that way." "You don't care about a drink of water?" "No, I believe not."

3:10 A.M. "Warrie, give me my handkerchief. It is back here." Much coughing.

"This is Christmas morning."

"Oh! is it? Well, a merry Christmas to you, boy."

"I wish I could say the same to you, but it's not a merry Christmas in bed."

"True! True!"

3:15 A.M. Press reporter knocked at door. Says will issue a special up to six.

6:40 A.M. "Warrie."

"Try it again?"

"Yes, try it again."

"Suppose we go for one of the doctors and pass the catheter?"

"No, no, let us try."

"I think we did a little."

"Yes, I think we did."

"You don't want any water?"

"Yes, Warrie." (Drank.)

6:50 A.M. Great spell of coughing—choking even. Warrie asks, "Did you get it up that time?"

"A little, Warrie."

7:10 A.M. Warrie put out light and opened blinds. W. struggles a good deal with the mucus, which thickens. Rattle disappeared from throat—moans incessantly.

7:20 A.M. "Have a drink, Mr. Whitman?"


(The Press struggled hard to get the bulge in on the other papers by keeping open till six—but it did not work.)

7:30 A.M. W. on his back—his head high up on the pillows—pale—mouth open—breath short and fast—great struggling with phlegm. Again Warrie asked, "Water, Mr. Whitman?" And he, "No, Warrie boy. Thank you!"

Observant—said to Warrie, "Open the door!" quick, and then, "Is the window down?" "No." "Then put it down—a little." "Feel like having a drink, Walt?" "No, I believe not. Not anything."

Mrs. Davis went in and said, "Good morning, Mr. Whitman, how is thee." He opened his eyes and said, "Poorly."

While I was home to breakfast, Burroughs to 328.

9:20 A.M. Went up with Bucke, who examined pulse. W. never awoke.

Jessie Whitman came in.

Bucke says at this hour he may live through the day. "Breath very shallow."

10:35 A.M. "Well, Walt," said Bucke, "I was in a while ago, but you did not see me."

"Were you?"

10:40 A.M. Went in to look up etching. Heard W. murmur, "That'll do—I told you that would do."

Longaker tells me:

W. "Pretty well gone, Doctor?"



"What kind of night?"

"Well, dreary, restless."

"The early part a nice sleep."

W. "What shall I probably fall into next, Doctor? A sort of comatose condition, state? You don't hardly think it? This horrible, sharp mentality—these thoughts—keeps its power to the last—determined not to stop. Nothing like resting slumber comes—the opposition to anything like that. I found by drinking coffee or tea or even milk punch it stirred up my brain, so I stopped. Well, it kept me stirred up more or less all the while. I feel pretty easy just this minute." Coughed some little.

Longaker said, "You always felt better when I came."

"Yes, I do, Doctor. I sweat a little?"

"Yes, your skin is moist now. Think you could take a cup of warm milk?"

"Yes, I could, but I don't want it. I would rather have a cup of cold water."

"You are not taking so much?"

"No, but enough. I've skipped the medicine. The drinking of the water always stirs the flame better than anything else."

"It might be well for you to take it during today"—to which no reply.

Warrie to W.: "Doctor says I ain't a good nurse."

"In what respect?"

"In letting you go without the medicine."

"It's my fault altogether."

3:40 P.M. Burroughs went up and into the room. Bucke said to W., "Walt, you are certainly better today than you were yesterday."

"Is it so?"

"Yes, undoubtedly."

Bucke downstairs said, "All the symptoms are better. I don't believe he is to die of this attack." Bucke almost thinking of going home tomorrow night. Burroughs came down and said, "I can certainly see he is better." (I noted that when Burroughs came in, W. advised Warrie to get him a chair.) Burroughs up there 15 or 20 minutes.

Bucke: "Walt, you will be up to see me next summer yet."

W.: "Doctor—no, no, that is a wild shot."

McAlister says at this hour, "I still adhere to my opinion. The rally is only temporary."

7:50 P.M. To W.'s again. I went upstairs, in directly to W., saying, "I have a message from the Colonel, Walt."

"Oh, Horace, boy!" raising and shaking my hand.

"He is concerned about you—wishing to know how you are."

"God bless him!"

How did he feel? Better this evening?

"Oh! Poor! Poor! Dr. Bucke thinks I am better, but I don't think I am."

I reached over and kissed him. I could feel his responding lips. "Bless you, Horace, bless you. God bless you! Good-bye! Good-bye!" He reached up his right hand, which I held warmly an instant—then passed out.

Mrs. Davis tells me, "Whitman said a funny thing today. He saw me flitting about with my black dress on and said to me, 'O Mary! I wish you would not wear that dreary dress.'" I had found her rather gaily dressed. Warrie has had some sleep and been relieved. He does not agree with Bucke's exuberant view. Longaker still says he insists upon his judgment of last Sunday—admits improvements.

George Whitman and Jessie in and sat there a great part of the morning and some part of the afternoon. George went up into W.'s room and burst into a great cry of pain, saying to me, "I want to be with him a while." When I went out I closed the door. He sat down on the box by W.'s side, saying little. Yet Bucke going in later on remarked, "They seemed much affected—both," Bucke saying he thought W. also had been crying. W. had told both Bucke and Burroughs yesterday that for the first time he had been unnerved, George's visit its prompting cause. Jessie said W. had spoken cheerily to her today and kissed her.

W. yesterday gave Burroughs two copies of "Leaves of Grass"—the paper edition.

Evening at Harned's. Donaldson coming in, also Loag.

10:30 P.M. Met McAlister and Longaker at W.'s. "You're not feeling as comfortable as this afternoon?"

"No, Doctor."

As to catheter: "Does that hurt you any?"

"Only a little." No more medicine. "This liquid medicine I've stopped."

The catheter discovered no urine of moment, not more than a little spoonful, yet he had fretted the whole evening about it. Told the doctors, "It burned and stung like the very old devil." Voice struggling.

"Do you feel comfy now?"

"About as usual."

"Do you feel like sleeping?"

"Yes, always."

"Did the nourishment do you much good?"

"Not much."

"Didn't you feel mentally better and more active this afternoon?"

"Yes, but that burning, stinging sense of choking is on me all the time."

Longaker, after a consultation with McAlister, said to me, "He is at lower ebb than at any time I have examined him since he was taken sick. His pulse is now 90." I walked up the street with the doctors. They neither of them shared Bucke's confidence, looking upon it as rather the feeling of lover and friend than the cool judgment of a doctor.

Ingersoll's telegram was this: "How is our friend—is there any hope? R. G. Ingersoll."

And my reply as follows: "Very much worse last night. Has rallied some today. Doubt what to expect. Will telegraph tonight or tomorrow. Some hope still. Will you write? Traubel."

Letter came from Johnston this morning. (Some Bolton and other letters for W. All his unopened.)

Sent telegrams to Brinton, Morris and Frank Williams: "Has rallied some," and to Bolton: "Pioneers," meaning "a little better."

W. suggested to Mrs. Davis and Warrie tonight to put the lights out and go to bed!

Wallace yesterday cabled again: "Love to Walt."

Saturday, December 26, 1891

Breakfast towards eight, after which Burroughs and I started down for 328. Burroughs meaning to go home if W. proved much better.

Warren opened door to us and said, "Oh! He is much worse this morning—much: at four o'clock I thought he was in danger of dying and went up for Dr. Bucke and Dr. McAlister. They came down. Bucke said he was worse than at any time since he had come down." Burroughs and I went upstairs and into W.'s room. He lay there, breathing with difficulty. Did not appear to observe us—at least, did not remark us. Eyes closed. Called out, "Warrie!" "Well, Mr. Whitman—here." "Bring me some water." Warrie picked up the mug. W. asked, "Is it cold?" "No." "Get some cold." And as Warrie dashed out the room, "Hurry, Warrie, hurry!" Eyes still unopened. When Warrie came in, W. took mug—or part of it (Warrie directing it)—and eagerly drank. And when Warrie had put it down said, "More, Warrie!" and took a second swig. He had asked Warrie, "Lift me up on the pillow." And when it was done said gratefully, though feebly, "Thank you, boy!"

Burroughs and I left—went downstairs—and I to Philadelphia. Sent Ingersoll telegram to this effect: "Whitman much worse and Doctor says may last two days. Mind clear and calm. Is grateful and loving for your concern. 'God bless him!' he exclaimed last night. Gives up all hope. Will wire later in day." Received proof of Poet-Lore article this morning. Burroughs telephoned me from Harned's office towards twelve to say, "Walt a bit better. Doctor Longaker says he may last two days. I go off from Broad Street on ten o'clock train." Morris, Frank Williams and Brinton solicitous and tender. Brinton's mother (84 years) suddenly ill with grip. Morris quotes from a note from Arthur Stedman. Arthur went to see Stoddard the other day and reference was made to W.'s condition. Stoddard only exclaimed, "Fraud!"—which is very significant.

Bucke reports a scene with Mrs. Davis (the 24th). She cried and went on at some rate about the unfairness of W.'s treatment of her, seeming to know the terms of the will. How could she? Did she listen at the keyhole, or did W. tell her his intentions? She really knew all about her own part in the will. Says that $3000 would no more than pay her. (One of W.'s grants was for her to live in the 328 house for a year after he died.) Bucke says, "I confess my opinion of Mrs. Davis is entirely changed in the last 48 hours." Harned remarked, "I understood from Walt that their agreement was: to let her have the use of the house and she to board him in return. If this be so, we none of us see how Walt owes her. Warrie's services have all been paid for, and gifts without count have come to the house for W. and gone into general use. I likewise have for four years furnished half of the coal." Burroughs out of patience with her and with the disorder of the house. "I am free to say I do not like the woman. I think her a good deal of a humbug." When Mrs. Davis yesterday told W. the old hen had laid another egg, he jovially remarked, "Good for the old hen!"

To W.'s about five. The door was opened by Bucke, who had a rather dismal story to tell. "The old man is practically dying now—has been sinking since one o'clock. His heart is giving out. Pulse is now 95 and going up. He is near the end—very near. I doubt if he will live the night through—if he can live till daybreak. He has said nothing today—literally nothing. Once or twice when I spoke to him, he answered me—but he has volunteered nothing. He wants to die—oh! wants, is eager, to die—to have an end of all this. No, he don't say so directly, but notice: when McAlister went in the room this afternoon, he asked Walt, 'Well, Mr. Whitman, how are you passing the day? How are you?' And Walt answered him, 'Slow—slow—slow.' Which no doubt had a double meaning." Harned came in upon us and we all started off together, I not going up to see W. but appointing to be down after tea.

Telegram from Edwin Arnold today, dated St. Paul: "Our hearts are with you, great and noble friend." Joseph B. Gilder telegraphed: "You are making splendid fight. Don't give up the ship." Also a telegram from Richard and Helena Gilder. I telegraphed "Time" to Bolton ("a little worse"), and to Ingersoll: "Today's telegram holds good in the main. We fear the night." At 9:30 when McAlister and Bucke met at 328 and examined W., they reported pulse fallen to 88. At 2 A.M. (Sunday) Warrie tried pulse and found it 90 and at 7:40 pulse was 88. The slight improvement induced Bucke to go to Harned's and to bed. He had originally determined to stay down all the night. Jessie and George Whitman there, intending to watch—to stay over. I there until 7:45 Sunday morning. Reporters frequent and I gave them such "aid and comfort" as good sense and caution allowed. Talcott Williams glided silently in towards 12 and stayed till 12:20.

At 12:40 W. called Warrie, who was fast asleep in the chair in the next room. I had great difficulty getting him awake. Mrs. Davis asleep on the bed nearby. "Some water, Warrie!" said W. "Not much—but water." And after he had sipped, "I am troubled so with the dreadful hiccoughs." He complained of this all night—I could hear him—the short breath and these hiccoughings between. Voice seemed to me clearer and stronger. When the doctors were here, it was thick and choked, but it cleared in the night. Longaker telegraphed his inability to come till 10:30 in the morning. W. called Warrie quite often for the water, at one time saying, "Lift my head a little higher, boy," and again, "Put my leg in the bed, Warrie"—the leg hanging out and he unable to withdraw it. He kept a keen eye about for details. He would advise Warrie, "Keep the light low!" And again, "Rake up the fire a little." A strong wind rose in the night and the temperature fell roundly. I believe it benefitted him. The whole night easy, without perturbations. We all got some sleep, except Jessie, who sat and rocked her parlor chair the whole night through. George went to sleep in a rocker. I slept on the bed upstairs next W.'s, relieving Warrie part of the time. Frank Williams over and had talk with Bucke anent funeral, and will be over again Sunday morning.

Cables yesterday and today from Bolton.

Last night (Saturday) W. expressed wish for a peach. "And don't forget the sugar, Warrie!" he said. Half expected Johnston from New York, but he did not come. Mrs. O'Connor writes a loving letter from Providence. Johnston in letter to Bucke said he would come over if he had any notion he would be permitted to see W. Bucke telegraphed diplomatically that W. had no inclination to interest himself in persons or things and indicating that J. might take his chances. But J. did not appear.

Sunday, December 27, 1891

8 A.M. Pulse 76—respiration 28. Warrie said to W., "I think you're better this morning," but he made no reply.

Bucke in shortly. Much elevated by W.'s changed condition. Talks of going home tonight. McAlister and Longaker soon came, and then the fresh examination and conference. W. undoubtedly improved. Bucke intemperately jubilant. Longaker would not admit more than "a little rally," but is inclined to allow that W. is now in such shape as might continue for some days, even weeks. "If I were called in now as I was last Sunday, I should be apt to give a much less dismal judgment."

W. says to Warrie, "Bring me a bit of toast—a bit as big as three or four fingers—and half an egg; for the egg, not forgetting the salt." Sent downstairs for Miss Jessie and spoke to her cheeringly—and even volunteered remarks to Bucke. Warrie asked him, "Do you feel much better, Mr. Whitman?" And he answered, "I don't know that I do, Warrie. I guess not." His hiccoughings quite frequent and positive.

To Philadelphia in the day. Heard Chubb speak on Ibsen, afterwards dining with him at Fels'. Has a proposition to write life of Whitman for "Great Writer" series. Mourned that he could not see W. Looks well—is in good hope. To Camden later on, reaching 328 with Anne about 4:35, Bucke awaiting me. Frank Williams had been over (we met him round the corner from W.'s) and Bucke and he had conferred about the funeral. Bucke reports condition of W. continued good. "He talked with me some—even volunteered some talk. He is a good bit better—a good bit. I shall probably go home tomorrow if nothing in the meantime turns up." Bucke broached the idea of a second nurse to W., who at first resisted then yielded. Bucke said at one juncture, "You may go on two or three weeks this way, Walt," to which he replied, "I could wish for anything but that." And he afterwards said to Warrie, "It's the worst news they could have told me."

We arranged at Harned's for the care and pay of the new nurse. Would it be made a Camden fund? Harned will raise it. Frank Williams to make a search. Bucke, instead of going tonight, will hold over till tomorrow. Is concerned about W.'s hiccoughs, says, "They are a seriously bad sign."

Mrs. Davis tells us a good story. A little box came for W. She was present. As he untied the string, he lifts up the box and says to her quizzically, "What do you guess is in this, Mary?" "In the shape of the box I should say some pills, Mr. Whitman." He laughingly responded, "No, wedding cake: but it amounts to the same thing."

At nine o'clock McAlister: pulse 78—respiration 24. He told McAlister he did not enjoy the toast and egg this morning. Said too, "Bucke was here about an hour ago," which indeed was sharply accurate.

7:45 P.M. Bucke upstairs. "How are you feeling this evening?"

"Middling. I raise a good deal of phlegm. Hiccoughs trouble me a good deal."

Bucke tried pulse: 80—respiration 28. Suddenly W. said, "Warrie, you get a couple of the complete—so to call it—copies of 'Leaves of Grass.' I meant to send by mail, but never did." (Said with memory of Bucke's intention to go home tomorrow.)

Bucke reports irregularity in heart action: every sixth beat falling in with seventh. Things otherwise favorable for a good night—perhaps many good nights.

Mrs. Davis to W. about 7:30. It was dark in the room. He knew her and said, "Well, Mary?"

"How goes it, Mr. Whitman?"

"I'm having a tough pull, Mary."

"I hope you'll pull through all right."

"It will be all right either way."

"I'm going now."

"It's just as well."

"But I'm just in the next room, close at hand, if you want me for anything."

"All right, Mary. Dear girl."

Monday, December 28, 1891

To W.'s at eight—the first thing after starting. Found he has passed a pretty good night. Upstairs and into the room, though not waking him up. He seemed comparatively easy. Afterwards Warrie came in and said, "How are things now, Mr. Whitman?" "Pretty bad, Warrie, pretty bad." "Do you wish any water now, Mr. Whitman?" "No, I guess not. It is as well as it is." "Do you feel any stronger?" "None at all." Voice rather weak and bad. Troubled all night with hiccoughs. Still, too, no nourishment.

Left, and to Philadelphia. Letter from Brinton. His mother worse. Bucke in about ten. How did he find W.? "About the same. Almost bright, cheerful. He spoke readily to me. I went into the room and asked him what kind of a night he had spent, and he said poor, poor! I told him he ought to give McAlister a copy of the book, and he immediately replied, 'Certainly, I will. Warrie, go over there and get him a copy. Yes, get him two.'" Bucke still determined to go tonight. Now in search of a professional nurse (wants a woman).

The Johnston-Wallace cable yesterday was simply "Love." I sent them "Pioneers," translated: "a little better." My yesterday's telegram to Ingersoll was: "Slightly favorable change. Will write." And did write this morning and sent off special. After consulting (Bucke and I) I gave Ingersoll's telegram away to the papers last evening.

Met Bucke at 328 at 5:10. We immediately went off to Harned's. Bucke quite determined to go. Says of W., "He is not better nor worse than yesterday. But I can't wait—it would not be right: would not be right to the government, nor right to the Asylum, nor right to my family. I will simply have to go, and come back on your call." What were W.'s prospects? "He may die any day, or may go on this way for two or three weeks. It is all confusion and mystery. I can't possibly see how he can live through January. My opinion now is that January will put an end to all this business." He thought W. was "rather talky" today: his heart keeping to a uniform figure—about 80. He ate a couple of fingers of mutton-chop and drank a cup of mixed milk and hot water. He was rather disappointed that the nurse was a woman, but told Doctor after introduction, "I feel I shall like her. But the main question is, will she say the same thing for me? But I guess doctors and nurses learn to bear with the poor sick human critter." The woman's name is Keller. Bucke believed she was eager to come. Would start this evening. We are to pay her $20 per week. Bucke explained the situation and she seemed instantly to take it in, viz., that she was first under the direction of the doctors, then of Harned and me, and to no way turn to those in the house—though to live amicably with them. As to W.'s room: "You are mistress of it," Bucke said. We may put in some new furniture if it may seem required—certainly some bedding. W. gave Bucke a couple of copies of the Johnson etching and insisted on sitting up in bed (Warrie assisting) and autographing them. Keeps constantly in mind Bucke's departure. Harned will attempt to raise money for the new nurse in Camden—as Camden's gift—not to touch on my fund.

At 509 Arch my mother handed me a couple of telegrams that had just shortly before arrived. Both from Ingersoll, to this effect: "How is the brave pioneer today. Give him the love of the whole family. R. G. Ingersoll." "Of course I will keep my promise and speak at the funeral. If Whitman asks you can give him the assurance. R. G. Ingersoll."

Later in evening I replied to Ingersoll, by wire. Also sent to Bolton cable, "Average," translated, that W. is neither worse nor better. Took supper at home then hurried down to 328 again to meet Bucke, with whom I was to go to station. Mrs. Keller had arrived and I was introduced to her. Bucke writing a letter down in parlor (it was 7:10). Had not yet been up. I went to see Warrie, who said W. had spoken to him to effect that he had rather the new nurse had been a man, but no further criticism. Nurse was to start this evening to relieve Warrie.

Bucke now came up, and he and I went into W.'s room together—Bucke first. W. caught us on the approach (was hiccoughing horribly and it interfered with and broke all his talk). "Ah! Maurice! It is you! And Horace, too! Welcome both." Bucke took a chair up to the bed, and I one out on the floor—both of us sitting down—he taking W.'s pulse. (We had shaken hands with him. ) Asking W. how he felt, he replied, "Poorly! Poorly!" And when Bucke asked, "Have you been eating anything this evening?" he responded, "O yes! some: part of a mutton chop and some milk and water." Warrie said, "But that was long ago, Mr. Whitman." "No, Warrie, not more than an hour," but it was, nevertheless. As Warrie glided about the room, W. asked Bucke, "Who's that—who's here?" seeming not to recognize him. The light burned decently high. When Bucke was done, I approached the bed again, took W.'s hand as before and gave him Ingersoll's message. He responded, "How good that is! God bless 'em all! How good! Good! It cheers a fellow up to get such things—to hear them. Give my love to all—my love to all—all," and seemed exhausted, adding after a slight cough, "The great fellow! The great fellow! Yes, it does us good!" I resumed my seat, and Bucke, removing his chair, sat on the edge of the box near the head of the bed, regarding W. intently. For a few minutes utter silence, except for W.'s hiccoughing. Then Bucke arose and took W.'s hands, bending over him with intent gaze and emotion, which for an instant checked any attempt at speech. Then he broke forth, "Well, good-bye Walt! I must go!" "I suppose! I suppose!" "Well, I ought to go, Walt. I don't want to go. But you know I am not my own master—that I have duties." "Yes, Maurice, I know." "But if I go now, I can no doubt get back soon to see you again." "No, Maurice, you will never see me again!" And after a pause, "I ought to be gone now—it were best all over now—I would be more than satisfied." The voice—the desire! Bucke could hardly speak—the tears sprang to my eyes. "This is an end of all, Maurice. This is the end—you will never see me again!" "Well, Walt, these things are not in our own hands. We have to submit. I hate to go." "Yes, and it tears me up to have you leave." Bucke stooped over and kissed him—and kissed him again—withdrew from the bed a minute, "Oh! so loth to depart!" then back and took W.'s hand again, and stooped over and once more kissed him. "Good-bye! Good-bye! You are in good hands, Walt!"—holding his hands, gazing at him (he, too, at Bucke), turning towards the door, then back for another look (oh! the pain—the solemn sad secret thought and heart-throb!)—finally to break away rapidly, stride from the room and downstairs—stirred, overwhelmed, speech lost in passion and feeling. I still kept my place in the chair—heard W. breathe heavily, cough some—not a word being spoken. Then I went over to W., leaned down and kissed him. He took my hand—squeezed and held it. I said, "Well, good night, Walt, good night!" And he replied faintly, "Don't go! Don't go!" at the same time increasing his grip on my hand (I was surprised at its strength). And I lingered for a minute or more so, saying nothing. But again I urged, "I must say good night, Walt. Doctor expects me to go to Philadelphia with him." I felt the hand tighten about mine again. Leaning over I kissed him. He responded—his lips closed with mine, "Good night, then, boy. God bless you—God bless you." He opened his eyes a brief instant. "This is the finish of the tale, Horace—this is the wind-up!" Overcome I rushed from the room. I stopped for an instant at the head of the stairs to recover myself—then joined Bucke in the parlor, where he sat with Mrs. Keller, Mrs. Davis and Warrie—silent, full of sacred unutterable thoughts, emotions. "By God! I don't want to go!" cried Bucke, and then to those around, "But when a fellow has an institution with 1200 people on his hands, what can he do?"

Soon the cab, farewells and departure. We crossed the river without event and to 9th and Green. Ingram there at station with a bottle of wine and lunch for Bucke. Had come out of his bed (he has been sick) to bring it. I arranged with Bucke to write twice a day—morning and evening, after seeing W.—and wiring instead of writing if any disasters threaten. Bucke has "no doubt but it'll be a very short time only" between today and the next call. Will reach London tomorrow evening.

To Camden again and to 328 by the way. McAlister there. W.'s pulse 84—respiration 32. No fears for the night, so we both went home. Mrs. Keller on watch and Warrie to sleep till midnight.

Bucke left these memoranda with me:

Notes for Horace  
  To write me each day. To have Dr. McA. keep notes of case for me—taking pulse, resp. etc. morning & evening. Mrs. Keller is to have $20. 00 a week—if not satisfactory may be sent away or changed. If wanted I will at any time send $25.00 toward pay of nurse. Circular for our book cannot be written till after W. dies. About notifying friends when W. dies? Will not notices in papers be best?

Tuesday, December 29, 1891

Saw W. at 8:20 in his room. He slept. I did not disturb him. He looked much as before. Breathed shortly and with labor. Mrs. Keller had kept watch till two, then had slept from two till seven. She had kept some notes for me. Showed a quiet night. To Philadelphia then. Brinton in inquiringly and to say his mother was worse and he could not go to Washington at all. McKay's father died last night. Was taken sick same day as W.—grip, then pneumonia. We are all startled, too, by the death of Ralph Moore—yesterday: a giant, rosy with health. Bucke exclaims, "Some recklessness in it, I'd swear." I have written Bucke twice today. Have also written Wallace and Ingersoll. Sent no cable tonight. Bolton salutation to W. today: "Love from all." Wallace writes, date 19th. On the 20th I sent them the first cable.

Again at 328 at 6:10. W. resting easily enough. Longaker and McAlister had met and consulted again. They reported "no change." I was down again at eight and stayed till 10:15, talking a while with Mrs. Keller—who shortly went to bed—and then with Warrie. Several times W. called Warrie in his sleep, and when Warrie went in he found W. did not wish him. The hiccoughing and moaning constant. The hiccoughing suspended the greater part of the day, but now returned with vigor. It fills W.'s mouth and makes talking difficult. Here are the notes Mrs. Keller handed me:

Dec. 29th 1891 8 o'clock am Respiration 17 Pulse 74  
  8.30 Awoke. Washed hands in warm water, which he apparently enjoyed. Holding his hands in the water of his own choice. Sponged face, and washed back after turning him on his right side. Bathed back with lotion. Asked if Horace had been here. On being told he had, and that Dr. B. had gotten off in safety, said, "That was what I wished to enquire about." 9 Hiccough—not severe. Note: Has taken nothing but water in nearly 24 hours. 9.45 Ate one egg—also piece of toast 2 inches square. Wished to sit up on edge of bed to eat, but let me feed him lying down, in which position he had no difficulty in taking his food. When I said, "Mr. W. don't think because I am a nurse you must eat when you do not wish to"—he replied, "You will find me very self-willed when you come to know me." 10 Quiet—slight hiccough—occasionally cough with raising of mucus. 10.30 Respiration 30—taken while sleeping. 10.45 Movement of bowels, large. Was lifted on commode. Did not seem much exhausted by it. Warren lifted him. 11 Quiet—breathing easily. 12 Has been sleeping for some time. 12.20 Hiccough, awoke. 1 Sleeping on back. 1.15 Awoke for a short time. Asked to sit up on edge of bed for a moment. Helped him up. After sitting one minute requested to be laid down saying, "I am very very weak." 1.30 Quiet—excepting a slight hiccough. 3.15 Pulse 71—Respiration 23. 4 Sleeping or quiet. 5 & 6 Condition unchanged.
Morris asks for a copy of "Good-Bye" in sheets for Arthur Stedman, who has written for it.

W. ate soft-boiled egg—toast two inches square—this morning. Refused clam juice—says he does not like it. This recommended by Burroughs.

Afternoon. McAlister: "How are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling so-so. Rather worried over Dr. Bucke. He went last night." Then to Warrie, "Did Dr. Bucke get off all right?" And added, "I was rather afraid he might come to harm, as he was five minutes late and is of a reckless disposition anyhow."

Warrie told him he got off all right—that I had duly so reported. W. had also spoken to Mrs. Keller about this.

Last night Warrie heard W. several times murmur "Mother." Last week I, too, heard this same word, as I watched, alone, in the next room—once stepping in to W.'s bed and listening intently to catch what he said in connection with it. But though other words seemed spoken, I could not rescue one.

8:30 P.M. Asked Warrie, "Give me another pillow." "Hadn't I better lift you up higher?" "Maybe that would do."

9 P.M. Warrie offered to turn him and he said, "I am sick, sick and tired and don't know which way to turn." Took some orange juice, called it "first rate." Would he have more? "Yes, but not till morning."

4 A.M. Warrie heard him moan and asked him if he was in any pain. He said, "No, not particularly. Do not let me worry you, Warrie."

Wednesday, December 30, 1891

Stopped in at W.'s at 8:20 and spent 20 minutes there, the most part in his bedroom. But I did not approach or speak to him, and he gave no indication that he knew anybody was in the room. Though the ease with which he awakes when spoken to and catches the thread of what is said convinces us that his sleep is mainly very light. He had not spent a good night, yet was about as I left him at ten. Breathed more easily, if anything—murmuring constantly.

I had received a letter at Post Office from Stedman—tender and loyal: 137 West 78th Street. Dec. 29th. 1891 Dear Mr. Traubel, Of course I am greatly indebted to you for remembering me at this time, and for judging so rightly that I & mine would be profoundly interested in direct news of our old bard's condition. I see from the newspapers that he is making a characteristically strenuous and heroic fight of it. The whole country is with him at this moment, & somehow I feel as if you will enable him to beat off the "grim conqueror" yet once more. I want him to live through the Columbian year—yes, & to write the Columbian ode. He will leave none behind him, if he departs, who can so justly claim that song as his own. At the worst, or best, give him the assurance of my warmest love, comradeship, honor. He will live in his book, from generation to generation. I have been counting more upon visiting him, & upon reading to him some of my lecture-work, than upon any other feature of my trip to Phila. next month. If I don't find him there, it will be winter indeed. But, if he must go, there will be a new force added to some other world. Thinking of your group at Camden to-night, and depressed by illness myself, Tennyson's refrain rings in my brain—"Tred softly, & speak low,/For the Old Year lies a-dying!" Sincerely yours, Edmund C. Stedman Found with W.'s mail a letter from Ingersoll, which I opened and meant to read him, but seeing him at rest I postponed it. Then to Philadelphia. No word through the day. I am in momentary fear of a call over the telephone from Harned, day after day. At 6:10 I was back at 328 again, just in time to meet McAlister, with whom I went upstairs. In the room McAlister said to W., "Well, here I am again," W. murmuring, "How are you, Doctor?" McAlister at that adding, "And Horace is here with me." "Ah! Horace—so, you are here?"—and lifted his hand, which I pushed forward and took. McAlister sat down and held W.'s pulse. "You are in a different position again," he remarked. W. responding, "Yes, yes, any change is comfort—any change. This dreadful bedriddenness—the helpless, weary hours." And when McAlister asked him how he was, "Not for much, Doctor—all gone, weak—the old hulk with its 160 feet (pounds?) up high and dry—useless, helpless, weary, sick, sore—its voyages done, done"—and appeared to stop from sheer feebleness. Suddenly he lighted up a brief instant—opened his eyes—turned to me, "Well, Horace, what is the news? Is there news?" I went up to the bed, took his hand, sat down. "No great news, Walt, but letters today from Ingersoll and Stedman." I put my disengaged hand in my pocket and drew them forth. "Could you hear them?" He half shook his head, "No, you keep the letters. Tell me the amount of 'em." "The amount of them, Walt, is sympathy and love!" He murmured, eyes closed again, "How good that sounds! God bless 'em both—both." Still holding his hand I asked, "They told you the Doctor got off safe the other night?" He feebly responded, "Yes, glad." And I briefly told him of Ingram's thoughtfulness, at which he slowly said, "Good—old—man." I made no further motion to say anything, nor did he. The doctor meanwhile had gone out. I found he was inclined to think some change in W. imminent or already come. At any rate he pronounced him "weaker" and with the sinus condition more marked and moisture bad. Mrs. Keller gave me some notes, as follows:

Wednesday Dec. 30th 1891  
  8 am Light sleep with occasional cough & hiccough 9 Quiet 10 Sponged face and washed out eyes. Gave the hands a good warm bath which Mr. W. enjoyed. Made no objections to having his nails cleaned and trimmed. Told me with his eyes closed where to find pocket knife and scissors. 10.15 Ate very little canned peach. Took a drink of water from Warren. Asked Warren for it. 11.30 Drs. came. Was bright during the call. Consented to take medicine again. To take it once every three hours. After Drs. left said, "I am to take medicine every three hours. I will take the first dose at 12 o'clock." Took it at 12. Said it was disagreeable. That the next dose was to be given at 3 o'clock. 1.45 Has drank more water today. Has just eaten a little toast & small quantity of egg. Has drank a half cup—3 oz. milk & water hot. Said, "The peach was a little too sweet this morning." Very quiet. A little hiccough at times. Had it louder while Drs. were here. 3 Took medicine. Has drank water frequently. 4 Juice of orange. Said it was good. Pulse 84. Resp. 30. 5.30 Dr. McAlister and Horace came in. Had just been turned on left side. Said, "You have a way of beating up the pillow that makes it very comfortable." Asked, "Shall I beat it up now?" "Yes, please." Hiccough came on at dark. 6 Hiccough bad—constant and in quick succession. 7 Asked, "Don't I hear the 6 o'clock whistles?" Mrs. D. said yes. "Then it is time for my medicine." Took it. Hiccough continues. 7.45 Turned on right side. Took the juice of two oranges. 8 Awoke. Slight cough. Very little raising from lungs today. Has had his back and hips rubbed and bathed. Skin moist. Has talked very little all day.
Returning to the house at 7:30, I found Warrie on watch and W.'s hiccoughings and general agitations positive and painful. Harned just there—had been up in room but not addressed W. Depressed. Paid Warrie his month's salary. Watched W. a while again, then to Philadelphia with Harned. Met Anne at Ethical [Society] room and returned with her.

Again at W.'s, towards twelve. Anne went into the room and saw W.—the first time since the new sickness. Much affected by the change. Mrs. Keller asleep. Home. Harry Fritzinger's boy, born December 25, has been named Walt Whitman Fritzinger. W. says, "It quite sets me up." Started to take medicine noon today again. I doubt if he will continue it. A stranger came today—an English Doctor—and made a scene. Strenuous in determination to see W. and not brooking the denial. Have written Bucke twice today. Longaker writes me that he thought W. a "little" better yesterday. Among other greetings, today one from William Winter as follows: "Kindness, sympathy, hope and every other good word and wish. William Winter." Unlike Stoddard, he seems, today, to hold old enmities at bay.

Thursday, December 31, 1891

To W.'s first thing after eight and to his room. Had passed a restless night—the hiccoughings never letting up. Nurse was fixing bed. W. awake. She saw me in the doorway and said to W., "Here is Mr. Traubel." He turned the head just a trifle and ejaculated, "Oh! Horace!" But we had no talk. Mrs. Keller was endeavoring to turn him from left to right. It was a heavy burden for her and she had to ask me to assist. I lifted W.'s head higher on the pillow. He tried to help throw the body over but could not. Then he told her, "Don't be afraid. You won't hurt me," and shortly he was in position, murmuring, "Any change is an improvement—any change." And immediately dozed off again.

To Philadelphia and to work. Busy day in Bank. All on duty till midnight. About eight Warren telephoned me that there was no change in W. except that McAlister had thought him possibly a bit weaker. Towards one o'clock I myself stopped at 328 and stayed half an hour, with Warren, part of the time in W.'s room. He seemed peaceful and easy—slept and looked more like himself—for the time the hiccoughs not ascendant. Impressed me profoundly—one hand out on the coverlet—laying on his back—the beard and hair spread out over the pillow. I only touched his hand. He did not wake. Then away. Mrs. Keller in bed but she had left some memoranda for me:

Dec. 31st 1891  
  8 Awake. 8.15 Had position changed. Said he was going to take no more medicine. Did not [take] the 8 A.M. dose nor the 6 A.M. 9 Had position changed. Asked for 1/3 cup of coffee. Drank it, holding the cup. 10 Asked for more coffee, egg and toast. Ate very little. Drank coffee and requested the remainder left to drink cold. 10.30 Partial bath. Warren helped make and change bed at 9.30. 11 Mrs. D. came into the room—was just finishing washing his hands. Mrs. D. said, "Your brother is here." Answered, "Tell him I am much the same, fairly comfortable just at this time." Enquired if Jessie was with him. 11.15 Dr. came. Said, "I took my medicine at 12, 3, 6, 9, 12. I am not going to continue it." 11.30 His brother came into the room. Only said good morning. 12 Took orange juice. Hiccough for some time, continuous. 2 Slept but little today. Took cold coffee, and orange juice occasionally. 5.30 Dr. came. Mr. W. talked with Dr. Complained of being so wide awake. Still hiccoughing. 6 Sleeping and waking. 8.30 Turned him over. Said, "I wish we could make you more comfortable." "Well you cannot; the trouble is it is the critter itself." Has talked more today.

Friday, January 1, 1892

To W.'s as before, first thing, before going to Philadelphia. Night not bad but hiccoughs persistent. Saw W. without speaking to him. Then to Philadelphia, and Bank, till about eleven—after which back to Camden, and again to 328. W. still silent, speaking little or nothing beyond the staples of request when he needed help. Nurse speaks of his extreme and growing weakness. "I can notice a change in two days." Otherwise no indication. Just as clear, and certainly as calm, as any time in the past. Faces the worst with cheer—even gladness. While I sat in the little back room writing Mrs. Davis came up to tell me John Johnston was here from New York. Went down to greet him. Friendliest talk and inquiries. I went up and talked with the nurse and she advised me to bring J. up immediately—which I did. We went into W.'s room unannounced and quietly. J. greatly disturbed—stood at the foot of the bed—saw W.'s condition—heard him moan—shook his head sadly again and again. Turning to me after about two minutes and inquiring whether we had better go. I noticed a quiver in W.'s eyes—the lids several times opened and shut—he looked our way—then suddenly he seemed to recognize Johnston. I could see the hand struggle to get out from under the bedclothes, and heard W. cry out, "Oh! John! Here you are!" J. rushed forward, took W.'s hand—kissed him, kissed him several times, meanwhile saying, "O Walt! Walt! I am glad for even this glimpse of you—even this—if it's only for a minute!" And W. returning (the hiccoughs interfering with talk), "And I am glad to see you John—glad, glad. And how have you been, John? Tell me how?" And J. replied quickly—his voice thick—and turned to me inquiringly, and then back to W., "I ought to go, Walt—yes, I ought." But W. protested, "Not yet, John—don't go yet—stay, stay a minute—sit down," and as John moved to the other side and sat on the edge of the bed, "A minute, anyhow, John"—and pausing and closing his eyes and opening them again. "How is Alma, John? Well? Ah! Good! And Albert? And the girls, John—all of them: and the boys? All well? Give them all my love—all my love!" And almost as J. held his hand feebly dropped into a doze. There was only a word or two further as I rose to go. (He passed again to right of bed—leaned down and kissed W.—who responded.) J. said, "They will all be happy to know you remembered them as you lay here." And W., "I remember many things, John. My love to the wife, to all the children—bless 'em all—bless—bless!" And again J. kissed him, turned, then looked back, took another step, another look over the shoulder—a murmured "good-bye"—with W.'s "good-bye" interplayed—and out of the room. I went up to W.—kissed him. "What's the news, Horace? Is there anything to tell?" I mentioned Ingersoll's letter. Could he hear it read? "I would like to hear it, but can't, boy." "It is rarely beautiful." "Is it so? I am sure—sure." Closed his eyes. I felt his warm grasp of my hand. I had got just outside the door when I heard him call Mrs. Keller—she hurrying in. "You know Mr. Johnston has just left." I passed into the room to hear him continue, "I want to give him a couple of books before he is gone—'Leaves of Grass'—you get them." At that instant he saw me, "Or you, Horace: two copies—one for him, one for Albert—with my best love. I only wish I could write in 'em." I took the books out of the package, then W. called me, "Horace, Horace: one word!" I going over to the bed. "When they have gone, Horace, come up again a minute or two: I want to ask you something." From something J. had dropped W. supposed Albert was with him but was of course mistaken. I went downstairs—gave J. his books—which delighted him and moved him profoundly. After which upstairs again to W.'s bedside. "You said you wished to see me a minute, Walt."

W.: "Yes I do. Tell me honestly, Horace: are the doctors paid anything for this?"

H.L.T.: "You must not worry about that, Walt. That is being attended to. We have set all that straight."

W.: "Probably. But I ought to set it straight, too."

H.L.T.: "No, it is rightly adjusted: they are quite easy about it."

W.: "They have worked hard for me: hard, hard. Longaker has worked long: and Morse, too, has done well."

H.L.T.: "You mean McAlister, not Morse?"

W.: "Yes, the other doctor—that's McAlister. But it appears to me, Horace, my will is not yet right: it does too much in some directions, too little or nothing in some others."

H.L.T.: "Which means that you want Tom and the will down here?"

W.: "Yes, that's the point—as soon as Tom can, too—this afternoon, now—or if too busy, then tomorrow towards twelve."

H.L.T.: "I shall go up to see him at once."

W.: "Yes, tell him there are some changes to make—that I am determined upon them."

Kissing him I left—going downstairs and to Johnston and taking J. to lunch with me. Much good talk. Happy that J. came over and J. happy to see W. Fears end any time. J. tells me of a dinner the other day with Lyman Abbott, who wishes J. interviewed for the purposes of some obituary of W. for the Christian Union. Showed him the Emerson letters, with which he was much engaged. After lunch to Harned's, and after some talk at Harned's, to 328 (the three of us)—Johnston only staying a few minutes, having an engagement in Philadelphia at five. W. asleep when I first went upstairs but shortly awake and Harned and I went into the room. Harned opened talk by referring to my message from W. and W. said, "Yes, that was right. I want to make some changes in the will. It fails to satisfy me as it is. How can the changes be made? Will you have to rewrite the whole document?" "No, only add a codicil, which you will have to sign. Do you think you can sign it?" "Oh yes, I can—I must." I passed into the next room and got H. a writing pad. He sat on edge of bed, pencil in hand. W. dictated several items, starting always, "I wish to leave"—$200 to Mrs. Van Nostrand instead of $1000, $200 to Walt Whitman Fritzinger, "to be invested for him," he added, even stopping to spell this name, "a new baby—a dear little one—born a week ago, and named after me—yes, Harry's boy." Further changed the gold watch from Harry Stafford to H.L.T. and the silver watch from Pete Doyle to Harry Stafford and reduced Mrs. Stafford to $200, from $250 (though he contended it was $450), and then he asked, "And Mrs. George Whitman my executrix—eh? That is all fastened?" And after Harned's "Yes," "And Dr. Bucke, you Tom, and Horace, to have my papers—literary belongings of whatever character." "That, too, is all down already, Walt." "Well then you have the substance of my changes."

Several times H. had to say to W., "No hurry, Walt, take your time." W. remarked, "I have such a poor memory—I seem to forget things, but that is certainly all I remember now." H. rose to go but W. said, "Don't go, Tom—stay a few minutes." Tom however, "We had better go, Walt, and we will be right back. In the meantime you will husband all the strength you can; you will need it." Once he asked H. , "You have the will with you?" (time: 4:50). Immediately to T.B.H.'s office and after brief tea back again by a little after six. W. awake. Warrie said, "He is expecting you!" and Mrs. Keller remarked, "He is determined to do something for that baby: he even says he wants to see it—wants to hold it here, on his breast." He had spoken with them about it. Gussie with us as witness. Harned and I going into the room, W. said, "I am ready—yes." I explained to him that Gussie had come to sign and he looked about, "Oh! is she here?" Mrs. K. was called in and Warrie came. We lighted a candle (the gas shed no such light as we needed on the bed); brought the pen and inkstand. Warrie started to fix W. so he could sit on the edge of the bed, but W. protested, "No, Warrie, I will sit up right here and sign it." Harned stood near and read the codicil aloud. Twice W. said, "Read that again"—in regard to special items. Finally, when the last word was out, W. exclaimed, "It is all right, Tom."

Now the scene. I dipped the pen in the ink and held it suspended. In my left hand the candle. Warrie leaned over and lifted W. into a sitting posture. Harned thrust the paper forward (it rested on a pad) and held it. Warrie slipped W.'s glasses on and W. adjusted them. I slipped the pen between his fingers. He had it upside down—I turned it to a proper angle. "Sign here, Walt," said Tom. "Yes, here, Tom," and his head and body trembling but his hand firm. W. after asking again, "In this space?" —signed. The hand stopped with "Whitm" and the "an" occurs after a separation. Immediately with signing fell back on the pillow. Warrie took away the glasses. Tom gave out the formula, "Do you declare," etc. and he repeated it three words at a time with a strong voice. And then further at Tom's dictation requested Gussie and Mrs. Keller to sign, curiously stopping at Mrs. Keller's name to ask how she spelled it—repeating the letters to himself. The two women went off to the table and signed. When they came back Gussie (she had not seen W. for weeks) went up to the bed to bid him good-bye. She leaned over and kissed him and gave him messages from the children. W. listened and said, "Bless the darlings! Give them all my love—Annie, Tom, Herbert. O the children—the children!" He had responded to Gussie's kiss warmly. Now, after a moment's faint and rest, he spoke out to Harned, "I am—I am a good deal of trouble to you." "Oh, none at all, Walt, don't think of that." "Thanks, oh! Thanks!" And murmured after a moment's pause, "Tom—I—promised—you—copies—of the big—book for the children—one—for—each: why not—take them—now?" And away from Tom, "You, Warren, or Horace maybe you—get the books for Tom." I went to the big box and did so. "There they are," he said, as he saw me hand them out, "One for each—and sorry me that I can't write in them." All of which was spoken with great difficulty, between painful hiccoughings and chokings and other signs of feebleness—but proof of good memory and faithful affection, through all the sorrows and sufferings.

All then departed—his "God bless you!" following us—the light lowered—he left to solemn silence—we to our grief. A sacred impressive scene—as he sat in the bed—held and stayed—some red still in the cheeks—the hand fine though shrunken. I went off with them to Harned's. While we talked there McAlister came in. He had just come from W.'s, Warrie with him. I had spoken to Mrs. Keller in forenoon about champagne. She thought it might please if not benefit W. It seems W. had asked the Doctor, "Is there anything better than orange for me to eat?" "How would you like to have some champagne?" "Much—that is always good." "Would you like to have it now?" "Yes." For which reason Warrie had come to H.'s thinking he had some which he could furnish. But as H. had kept champagne in the past mainly for W.'s use, and W. had recently had no use for it, he was now out. We had to go to a drug store to get it.

McA. said, "Mr. Whitman was quite talkative. He said he had added a codicil to his will today. There don't seem the least sign of change in him except for the weakness, which perceptibly grows." McA. thought this weakness would increase day by day and that heart failure might finally ensue. Mrs. K. had written me down one remark of W.'s to the doctor, "I thought a week ago the old brig would break up without much trouble. But it is gnarled, knotted, snarled—and I guess it will last—take some time yet." He had also asked McA., "Doctor, do you know Sheriff West?" "No." "He was at the dinner at Morgan's Hall." "Was he? Were you there?" "O yes! I sat about the middle of the table." And he was very frankly descriptive of the day to McA.

While at Harned's before the will was executed I wrote to Bucke, Johnston and Wallace. At a later hour again (towards eight) I returned to 328 and stayed till after ten, lounging in room next W.'s. Mrs. K. again gave me her day's notes:

8 a.m. Constant hiccough. 9:30 Ate a trifle of mutton chop and one mouthful of brown bread. Drank a little coffee. 10 Asked to be left alone a while. Pulse 70. Hiccough harder. 11 Quiet—changed position. 11:20 Drs. came. Brightened up during their call. 1 p.m. Mr. Johnston called. After he left the room, called to have a book given to him and his brother. 2 Had hands and face bathed—took a little canned pear. 2:30 Mrs. D. came into the room. Inquired for "Becky and the baby." Said, "When it can be taken out I want it brought here, and laid right here," patting his own breast, "for a moment. Dear little thing." Was pleased to hear the mother and child were doing well. Seems brighter this afternoon than he did this morning. Hiccoughs not as frequent as in forenoon. 3:15 Has just taken a small quantity of orange juice. Hiccoughs recommenced—quite severe. 4 Quiet with occasional cough. 5 Mr. Harned and Mr. Traubel came. 5:30 Had his position changed. Hiccough again. 6 Mr. Harned and his wife came with Mr. Traubel to add codicil to his will. Warren held him up in bed to fix his signature. Mrs. Harned and Mrs. Elizabeth Keller witnesses to same. 6:15 Dr. came. Was quite bright and talked. 8 Took some champagne.
W. took champagne. Said, "It is very good." The hiccoughings still constant—with moments of increased violence and frequency. Now and then he would be relieved, and we would hear him breathe easily and see him sleep as if undisturbed and serene.

Saturday, January 2, 1892

About ten minutes in W.'s bedroom. Lay on his back, asleep, and not appearing to know I was there. To Philadelphia, a busy day. (The champagne had very positively acted upon him.) On my return from Philadelphia in evening—6:30—I stopped in for a few minutes. The day uneventful. McA. pronounced no change visible. Longaker not over at all. I have two letters from Bucke.

To W.'s again in evening—9:15 P.M. Warren had just been paying W. some attention. I went in and spoke with him. We had quite a long talk—the longest for several weeks. He said, "I am glad to see you, Horace—glad, boy."

H.L.T. : "I have letters from Bucke—two of them. They came today."

W.: "Then he got home safely?"

H.L.T.: "Yes, no mishaps. And he speaks of getting down here again before long."

W.: "Does he? Good!" After a pause, "What are the papers saying about me, Horace?"

H.L.T.: "The papers hereabout are just now saying practically nothing at all. A week ago they were full of you."

W.: "Full of me? And I wonder if the folks in New York know anything about this?"

H.L.T.: "More than we do, almost. The papers over there have outdone ours in sensations."

W.: "So? Can it be?"

H.L.T.: "And it was all of a dismal order, too."

W.: "Well, a week ago there were reasons for it. A week ago I was much nearer death than I am today. But an old, well-knit, strong-timbered keel takes a long time to break up." After a pause, "What did, does, the Critic say?"

H.L.T.: "Shall we hope to have you many days yet?"

W.: "Wish for me anything than that, Horace, boy—anything. I can tell you, it is no triumph to get where I am now from where I was a week ago—no triumph—no victory—I do not glory in it. You ought to wish—all our friends ought to wish—as I wish—that this was all over now—all. What does the ship come to, Horace—the old hulk—the useless, clinging old hulk—its last voyage over—its tasks all done?"

H.L.T.: "The nurse thinks you have had an easier day."

W.: "I don't know—I don't know. Restless, uneasy—and the awful chokings. In a wine-cellar I knew in New York—a curious cork—it worked automatically—in and out, out and in. Somehow, something in my throat—some obstreperation—it brings back that cork: a dozen times a day it rises up, stifles me, threatens. And then I have the hiccoughs very bad—they interrupt everything—sometimes I can hardly talk for them. And then this weakness—and the long hours! No, boy, no, no—it is not triumph, not victory: it is defeat—defeat."

H.L.T.: "Morris was in New York the other night, to attend the author's reception. He met Stoddard, who is nearly blind."

W.: "Poor Stoddard! Poor fellow!"

H.L.T.: "Another item, Walt. A telegram has come here from William Winter."

This made him open his eyes.

W.: "From Winter? Oh!" He held my hand all this time and pressed it again and again. "If you write to Doctor, give him my love: and to Ingersoll, too—yes, and to Ned Stedman."

H.L.T.: "When Doctor Bucke was here a week ago he gave you up."

W.: "I knew he did: I knew why he was here."

H.L.T.: "Well, you are tired, Walt, I won't worry you more now."

W.: "You don't worry me—it is not worry."

H.L.T.: "Anyway, I will go—I will say good night."

W.: "Good night, then! We will meet again."

Twice within the next half hour he called Warrie and had him rub some life into the unfortunate left leg. Then he called to have his position eased. "I expect I shall soon get tired of this, too." Warrie called me to help him in the latter operation. (How sadly the body has lost its old shape and strength!)

Just as I was leaving, about eleven, he again called Warrie. "Throw a cloth or quilt over my whole bed. It is getting chilly here."

Mrs. Keller left me her memo running up to 7:00 P.M.

Sunday, January 3, 1892

At W.'s towards ten. He seemed to be resting—night generally restless but about five had dropped off into something like sleep, which had with more or less steadiness continued. Inclined against talk. Thence to Philadelphia—not returning till after six, when Chubb was with me. McAlister had left some notes for me to send to Bucke. Went upstairs (both of us) into Warren's room. W. had just called Warrie and when I went in, I saw it was for a change of position. Back again for a few minutes with Chubb till Warrie was done, then in for a talk with W. He lifted his hand out from under the covers and grasped mine warmly as I did his.

H.L.T.: "I am told you have been getting some sleep today."

W.: "Yes, some."

H.L.T.: "Which you appreciated?"

W.: "I suppose—anything—any change to a man in my condition is comfort." After a pause. "What is new, Horace? Tell me—what is new?"

H.L.T.: "Nothing you would care at all to hear. But the stars are out tonight—it is cold, and the heavens are fine and clear."

W.: "Beautiful! beautiful!"

H.L.T.: "Do you feel any way stronger?"

W.: "No, weak—weak—weak: I guess weaker." He held my hand warmly, and I could feel its grasp loosen and fasten from time to time.

H.L.T.: "I sent your message to Bucke—and also wrote to Stedman and Ingersoll."

W.: "Good! Bless them all—bless the Colonel."

H.L.T.: "And if there's more to say to anyone, let me say it for you."

W.: "I will—yes, I will, boy." (Stopped a brief space, seeming to be effecting remembrance. ) "To whom should we send books, Horace?" And not waiting for a reply, "I want a copy sent to Ned Stedman—yes, and one to Morris—and I will leave them in your hands to send. You can take them now."

I went over to the bundle to extract two. Suddenly, he called me.

W.: "Take three, Horace, three: one for Julius, Julius—oh! that man on the World."

H.L.T.: "Chambers?"

W.: "Yes, Chambers: take three."

I laid the books out on the chair and went over to W. again. (Chubb was all this time standing inside the door: I had not noticed him.)

W.: "Are there any others? Any at all?"

All this time he had been choking and hiccoughing—so that I urged, "Perhaps the three are enough for tonight, Walt. You are tired. Suppose I make a list of the others and bring it to you some other time." "Well, that will do—that will do. If you want to write a word or two in the books, do so—using your own taste." I had mentioned Symonds' name. "Yes, we must not forget him: he must have one." I stood by his bedside some minutes. He held my hands tightly—twice saying almost in a whisper, "God bless you, boy: God bless you—bless you!" And again, "I feel a great dependence—but it is nearly all over." I whispering, "It is a glad service, Walt," and he, "I know! I know!" This passed as I leaned over, twice, to kiss him. Chubb could not have heard, and it shook my heart. Then the final good night and kiss and escape. "Keep yourself well!" was his parting and my own was silence.

Now again to Philadelphia and not back to 328 till ten. I sat more than an hour in Warrie's room, reading proof of Poet-Lore piece—hearing W.'s calls to Warrie (he was so restless)—once for water—twice to be turned—three times to have his left leg rubbed. "It is a bad pain, Warrie: it chases me close." It would seem impossible to sleep. Harned had been in and talked with W. while I was across the river. W.'s voice strong when not disturbed by the chokings—but his cough, which demonstrated itself now and then, was weak and broken. He seems to have more pleasure than a week ago in brief greetings from all of us. But prefers in the main to be left alone, and in utter silence. A little more cleaning of room today but not enough seemingly to excite his remark. I have no doubt he has noticed it: there is little he does not notice. Warrie looks another man, now the watches are paired off.

Monday, January 4, 1892

First look in at W.'s at 8:25. He slept—the hiccoughs, however, constant. Restless through the night till early morning, then fell into sleep from which only after considerable intervals aroused. Evidently has noticed that they are dusting things in his room. This morning said to Mrs. Davis, "Well, Mary, we are here yet," then asked her to take his new hat, which lay on the table, and put it in the bandbox "and tie it up with a good strong stout cord." Made no direct remarks, however, upon the efforts to clean the room. Mrs. Keller on watch and Warrie out. She says, "He seems peaceful enough now, except for the hiccoughs, which are dreadful. He says little or nothing—seems to be very drowsy." Not a letter for W. this morning and curiously no word from Lancashire to any of us yet. A few papers. I received copy of "The War-Atah" from Sarrazin (a copy had come for W. last week), written by L. Henry and sent with his and S.'s compliments. Took Morris' book with me to Philadelphia. Around the corner beyond the railroad saw Warrie sitting up with the owner of a cab. He called me and said, "I'm going down for it now!" "For what?" "Oh! for the baby!"

Morris exceedingly moved and grateful for the book—even astonished. Longaker tells Anne that W. has baffled him from the first—that he is a mystery—and especially a mystery in these later developments and the strenuousness with which life clings to him.

To Camden a bit after six and at 328 for half an hour. W. had spent a day of varied indications—part of it restless, part peaceful. Complains of pains in the leg and hip—asks very frequently to be changed in position. The hiccoughs on all day, except for brief spells. Doctors here today but seem to know no more about W.'s condition than we do. No visitors. The Whitmans do not come every day. I have been answering some of W.'s letters. After supper down to 328 again and there till 11:30. I was in and about W.'s room a good deal—and up to the bed—but without addressing him. It goes against my heart to add anything to his unrest. He called Warrie often, for one thing or another. He seems to find it hard to get into a satisfying position. Tonight I heard him say, "Anything that is not the last thing is a comfort—anything: any shift, turn." And again, "Turn me, Warrie—any way—any way."

Mrs. Keller's notes this day:

Was restless until nearly morning. 6 a.m. Sleeping—hiccough. 7 No change—hiccough quite hard at times. 8 Asked Mrs. Davis to take his hat off the table, to brush all the dust off and put it into the band box. Also to put an old silk handkerchief with it. Said at 8:30 he would have brown bread well-buttered with hot milk over it and a cup of coffee. 9 Sleeping lightly—breathing easily—very quiet. 9:30 Mrs. Murrey brought the baby, Walt Whitman Fritzinger, into the room. He was sleeping, but awake with a word. The baby was laid upon his breast. He was pleased and called, "Dear dear little thing." Kissed it. Said, "We ought to have our pictures taken now." Also said, "Oh! the dear dear boy! I hope he may have good luck and grow into a good man!" 9:45 Drank one-half cup coffee, ate three mouthfuls toast. Said it tasted good—fully as well as he expected. Remarked, "I have made a pretty good meal." Hiccoughs very troublesome while eating and drinking. Said, "The hiccough is the greatest affliction I have to bear. They were with me all night. Sometimes they stop for a while, and then I get a little rest." They come on at the least exertion, or on waking up. Very hard at this time. Wished to be left a while. 10 Still hiccoughing. 10:45 Warren lifted him up in bed. Said, "It may be with my head higher I will not have the hiccoughs so badly." The position makes no change in that, however. So much more wakeful than for the two previous forenoons. Almost constant hiccoughs. Wanted some coffee left by bedside. Has taken a few sips. 11 Hiccoughs continuously. 11:45 Dr. McAlister came. Mr. Whitman consented to resume a medicine. Dr. said it might act against the hiccough. Dr. mentioned baby's being here. Said, "Yes, it is a dear little fellow." Disinclined to say much. 12 p.m. Took medicine—hiccoughs still very troublesome. 1 p.m. Has fallen into a quiet sleep without hiccough. 2:30 Asked to have his grey English undershirt put on instead of the new white one. Had face and hands bathed. Had undershirt changed and clean nightshirt put on. Stood it well but hiccough returned. 3 Hiccough—while having his shirt changed. Said to himself, "The baby—the dear little baby." Inquired of Becky of Mrs. Davis. Said, "I want to send them some money but cannot get at it just now." When Dr. McAlister said this morning the baby is quite young to take out, he said, "Yes, yes—only nine or ten days." 4 More quiet. Hiccough gone. 5 Sleeping quietly. 5:20 Drs. came. Complained some of feeling cold across the shoulders. Talked a little. Said he would take the dose at 6 and 9 but not at 12 and 3. 6 Remarked that he had had a peaceful sleep of 15 minutes. 
W. asks Mrs. K., "What day is this?" And when told day and date replied, "The gas bill is due tomorrow. I want it paid." And even gave hour, "before half past two," which shows how keenly conscious he is of all that goes on about him and still is cannily bent on the discount granted on payments before that hour.

Ten o'clock, pulse 77.

Wrote Forman, who sends word from Rome of the death of Balestier, that we had perhaps better wait the issue of W.'s sickness before proceeding in negotiations.

We hear again from Mrs. O'Connor.

Tuesday, January 5, 1892

My usual call at 328 on way to Philadelphia. W. dozing peacefully, on his left side. Color good, but hiccoughs heavy. Scarcely any mail for him at all. It seems to have dropped off vastly. No word for any of us yet from Bolton. Warrie said to W. this morning at eight when he woke, "You have had three hours good sleep, Mr. Whitman." "Have I? Good! Good!" W. had taken the medicine at regular intervals all night. Now, when Warrie said, "I did not wake you at six for it," he replied, "It is just as well. Perhaps we won't take any more anyhow." A little more brushing up the room, which begins to assume a new look and shape.

5:40 P.M. To W.'s again. McAlister just over with W., and we had a talk. W. has taken rather more nourishment today than for days, but has shown a marked disposition not to talk. McA. saying to me, "At my last call, just now, he hardly noticed me at all." Did McA. anticipate any real rally in W.'s case? "No, none whatever. This is his high-water mark. He is more likely to collapse than to go on this way." Longaker over today. What did he see? "No change, except that Whitman is weaker." To take medicine or not, whether to persist with certain foods, are problems which W. settles for himself by a weary positive yes or no. The doctors grant that he baffles their best experience and foresight. They wish to prevail upon him to take the punch again.

11 P.M. Warren went in to rub him (at W.'s call) and said to W., "I don't wonder you ache. You lay on your bones."

W.: "Yes, I must be pretty thin."

Warrie: "You have fell away considerable. I don't suppose you weigh more than 150 to 155 pounds."

W.: "I am pretty heavy at that to move. Mrs. Keller can't lift me though she does very well." W. had used a bedpan today and now said to Warren, "I would rather be dead than use that bedpan." "But you couldn't stand it to get out of bed." "No, I suppose not—I suppose I would collapse." And then again, "I am very weak—pretty nearly all gone."

Hiccoughs eased in early evening but now returned with great vigor. Has talked less today than for many days. I intended conferring about the books and some other things, but when down at eight had no heart to disturb him from his sleep.

Four times there today—8 A.M.—5:30 P.M.—8 P.M. and again on return from Philadelphia at midnight. No word with him now for two days. Mrs. Fairchild writes me beautifully of W.: 191 Commonwealth Avenue. Jan 3. 1892 My dear Mr. Traubel, I have scanned the papers for the past week, with the most mingled feelings of hope and dread. How long is this agony to last! Your few lines took away every desire of mine that W.W.'s life should be prolonged:—yet how can we wish his large, calm, benign personality to leave us, even though it is shorn of much that the world has learned to admire. How well I remember when our Emerson died! The intellect, the memory, the humor that we knew were gone: everything extrinsic had dropped away, but the Man remained sweeter and greater than ever before. Stripped of everything character appeared, the one great fact in the shifting sands of earth. Walt has known the flavor of his immortality, and the reward he most cared for, "the faithful love of comrades," has always been his. Why should earth detain him? Let the great soul pass. One cannot feel anything but exaltation—& yet, I enclose the usual check with a longing that it might go once more to its old purpose. May the end of your New Year be brighter than its beginning! Very truly yrs Elisabeth Fairchild And Chubb sends me check for a book. Badly wishes Burroughs' book, now out of print. W. still has some copies.

Bucke's letter of 2nd deals with some of his own apprehensions: 2 Jan 1892 My dear Horace There was a mail yesterday morning but nothing came from you—no mail yesterday afternoon—in this morning's mail were three letters (m[orning] & e[vening] of 30th and m[orning] of 31st). It looks as tho' the dear old man would sink silently into death—but do not feel too sure of this—watch him as closely as you can—it might be that he will brighten up and speak towards the last. You ought to be in his room when he dies if possible. I wish I could be—if he lives over next week I shall make a strong effort to be there and do keep the doctors on the alert and keep your own eyes open so that I may get such notice of the end as will enable me to be there if possible. If you speak to Walt tell him he is never out of my mind a moment. All good wishes to you R. M. Bucke We of course guard all that well.

Johnston sends from New York Saturday's Telegram containing a horrible picture—"Last Days of Walt Whitman"—representing the old man sitting in a big chair surrounded by visions of life and experience.

Mrs. Keller's notes:

8 a.m. Sleeping with continuous hiccough. 9 Took medicine. 10 Has fallen into a quiet sleep, without hiccough. 11 Dr. McA. came. Not much inclined to talk. Said he had had a middling good night. Dr. L. came. Was pleased to see him and asked him to be seated. Said he would have egg and brown bread toast. Consented to drink milk punch, or to try and drink it. 11:30 Ate the whole egg and a little toast. Drank 1 oz. cold milk. 12 p.m. Wishes to be left without change for a little while. Said he would skip medicine for a time and take another drink of milk. Drank 1 oz. 1 Has slept a little. Taken a sip of milk a number of times. Had copious bowel movement—dark yellow-brown. Used the bedpan without difficulty. Was washed. 2 Has slept. Hiccough some during sleep. A short sleep without it. 3 Would not take medicine. Took a little milk. 4 Sleeping quietly. But little hiccough. 5 Took two sips milk punch. Hiccough on awaking. 6 Very quiet. Sleeping without hiccough. 7:30 Still sleeping quietly. 8 Awake. Hiccough.

Wednesday, January 6, 1892

A glimpse of W. in the forenoon (8:20). He was sleeping in some peace. Lay on his back. Color rather good. Hiccoughs prevailing but not severe as at other times. I did not approach or disturb him. Then to Philadelphia. Frank Williams has been sick since Saturday but expects to be down to business again tomorrow. Morris in inquiringly—and towards noon Brinton, who seemed depressed, and who informed me that his mother was hopelessly ill and he saw her irretrievably sinking day by day.

After Bank hours to McKay's and some talk with him about W.'s affairs and his own. He gave me quite a specific account of the sickness and death of his father. Then offered to make a settlement with me of all due from him to W.—which I declined to take, advising that he let that rest for a week or two till we knew more thoroughly the issue of W.'s sickness. He showed me bound copies of the new "Leaves of Grass." Is having stamps made for the new green cover. Then to Camden.

Reached W.'s at 5:30. After a few preliminary words with Mrs. Keller immediately in W.'s room and to his bed. Mrs. Keller lighted a candle and stood it on a box near the door. Gas not yet lighted. W. heard me approach. Without opening his eyes said, "How are you, Doctor?"

H.L.T.: "It is not the doctor!"

W.: (The hand instantly drawn forth from bed clothing. ) "Oh! Horace! I am glad to see you. Sit down on the bed." (Which I did—having first kissed him—then for the rest of the time of my stay held his hand in my own and felt its frequent warm pressure.)

H.L.T.: "You seem to be resting more or less today."

W.: "A little—perhaps—some sleep: not to brag of."

H.L.T.: "We must be grateful."

W.: "Yes, even for that, I know. Tell me the news, Horace."

H.L.T.: "I am getting letters every day."

W.: "Yes, I suppose."

H.L.T.: "Doctor writes me that you are never for a minute out of his mind."

W.: "Dear, dear Doctor."

H.L.T.: "And Ingersoll—"

W. (interrupting): "Dear, dear Ingersoll, too!"

H.L.T.: "And Brinton came along today, anxious for you, and Mrs. Fairchild has written me a noble letter."

W.: "I love them all—dearly, dearly."

H.L.T.: "And I saw Dave McKay today."

W.: "Dave? What of him?"

H.L.T.: "He showed me a bound copy of the complete 'Leaves of Grass.'"

W.: "Of the green book?"

H.L.T.: "No, that is not out yet. That will come in a couple of weeks."

W.: "Why so long?"

H.L.T.: "The stamps are yet to make."

W.: "I thought they were made! But that's not a great matter—to make the stamp: a day or two."

H.L.T.: "Dave has had a good deal of trouble at home. For more than a week he was away from business."

W.: "Has it all blown over? Is it all right now?"

H.L.T.: "Yes, it has all blown over: it is all right now."

W.: "Good! Good for Dave!"


H.L.T.: "I sent away the three books we spoke about the other night."

W.: "Oh! To Chambers, to Stedman, to—to—"

H.L.T.: "Morris."

W.: "Yes, Morris."

H.L.T.: "Now I want to speak about the others."

W.: "Tell me—have you opened any of the mail?"

H.L.T.: "Some of it—letters that seemed to need answering."

W.: "That was quite right: I am glad. Do you know if the books got to Bolton? I sent two copies—one for Johnston, one for Wallace—just before I was taken sick."

H.L.T.: "I haven't heard anything about it from them."

W.: "I think you'd better open the mail."

H.L.T.: "One of the letters was from Forman—and in it he confirms what you heard before you were sick. Balestier is really dead—aged 26."

W.: "Only 26! Sorrow! Sorrow!"

H.L.T.: "And Forman thinks his death may deter you from wishing him to go on with the negotiations."

W.: "Let him go on."

H.L.T.: "I wrote him the other day to wait. Shall I now write to him to continue?"

W.: "Yes, that is my wish."

H.L.T.: "Then I should open the mail?"

W.: "Yes, boy—if you will. I am in your hands."

H.L.T.: "And shall I send the rest of the books?"

W.: "Yes, send them. Symonds first of all, particularly—the good Symonds!"

H.L.T.: "And Dowden and Mrs. Fairchild—"

W. (interrupting): "You know as well as I do—all, all. You will find plenty of books over there in the corner. A few have been taken out, but enough are left."

H.L.T.: "Chubb was here the other day. He wishes a copy of Burroughs' book."

W.: "Let him have it—yes, have it—send it, along with my regards: you will find a bundle of the books somewhere in the next room."

H.L.T.: "I should have told you of a note from Mrs. O'Connor, too."

W.: "Nellie? Yes, I might have known. Dear, dear Nellie—dear William!"

H.L.T.: "You seem to enjoy something like peace just now."

W.: "Little of peace, Horace—little of joy."

H.L.T.: "Anyway, Walt, I am here. If there's anything you want done."

W.: "Oh, boy—it is all right as it is! All are kind to me—everything seems done."

H.L.T.: "But I don't refer to attendance, or things of that sort."

W.: "I know." (I felt his grasp tighten.) "I understood, Horace—and whether I would or not—I know I must. And if things cross my mind any time, I will say something to somebody here, so they are not forgotten. I know—I know: our affairs here belong, after me, to you." (He seemed about to pursue the matter—yet was so feeble the words only struggled forth. I interrupted him.)

H.L.T.: "No more now, Walt. We can take this up tomorrow." (Again the pressure of his hand increased.)

W.: "Perhaps it is best—best—"

I leaned over and kissed him—and I felt his lips reach for mine. "God bless you, boy—God bless your blessings!" And then I kissed his hand and he said again, "Tomorrow, then—tomorrow—"

All this talk on his part was feeble past description. The words, always connected, seemed only to beat a way out. His eyes were shut most of the time, though now and then they partly opened as if to catch my face as well as voice. His own voice strong and clear in moments—then almost panting—he lay half on his left side—his head straight on the pilloW. Many times he threw his left arm about, as if for rest, shifting it this way, then that. When I withdrew I took the light with me.

While I talked with Mrs. Keller in the next room, W. called her (he keeps good reckoning who is on watch) and asked to be moved. Mrs. Davis passed in to help and he noticed her, "Oh! Mary it is you!"—but said nothing further during the shifting, afterwards falling into a doze quite promptly. Once in the late afternoon he had asked, hearing Mrs. Keller in the room, "Who is that?" And when she gave an answer, "Oh! I thought it was Horace Traubel!"

Longaker not over today—McAlister came twice. But W. took no notice of him. He has given the two doctors copies of the etching (day before yesterday), but admitted he was "too weak to sign them." Would perhaps be able to do that some other time. Certainly added weakness, but he seems better able to sleep.

After supper, down again from 7:30 to 7:50—still sleeping. And when back at 11:30 he continued in his doze, with some hiccoughing and choking. Warrie said he had passed a restless evening, calling frequently to have his leg rubbed. Complains of base of spine—of a great pain there. A minute after I had left his room after the talk a letter came from Johnston, answering the question he had asked. The books safely arrived. A couple of letters from Wallace, too—one to Warrie, one to me.

Mrs. Keller's notes:

9 A.M. Has had a quiet sleep for some time. Breathing lightly. Respiration 20. 9:30 Had position changed. Said, "In one hour I will have something—an oyster—rare as Mary cooks them. I shan't be ready for it under one hour." No hiccough this time on changing about. Took only a little water. Said, "I feel very comfortable just now." Pulse 66—respiration 20. 10 Sleeping on right side without hiccough. Very quiet. 11 Dr. came—did not awaken patient. 11:30 Woke up. Was turned to left side. Said left hip and leg were painful. Hiccough on turning. 11:45 Had face sponged and hands washed. Said he would have oysters and toast. 12:15 P.M. Ate the soft portion of two large oysters and a small quantity of toast. Said it was good. Would drink only a little water. Hiccough commenced but did not last long. None at this time. 1 Sleeping very quietly. No hiccough. 2 Had position changed. Hiccough for a few minutes after. 2:20 Sleeping quietly. 3 Sleeping. Little hiccough. 4 Had position changed—back rubbed. Hiccough. Will take only water. Complains of pains in hips, knees and ankles. 5 Dr. McAlister came. Did not talk. 5:30 Mr. Traubel came. Talked to him. 6 Had position changed. 7 Has taken cold water frequently, small quantity at a time. 8 Sleeping some, but more wakeful than before today. 9 Changed position to left side. Took two tablespoons of punch.

Thursday, January 7, 1892

First to W.'s on my way to Philadelphia (8:20). He was sleeping—I did not disturb him. Remarkably good color and no hiccoughs. Warrie said first part of night very restless (which I knew, having been there) and early morning easier. I have note from Ingersoll this morning, which I answered by special delivery: Law Office, Robert G. Ingersoll, 45 Wall Street, New York Jany 6 1892 Dear Traubel Thanks for your good letters. I will come & see the grand man if possible. The other day I sent him by express a few bottles of champagne—the dryest—& hope he will enjoy every drop. Give him my love. He grows dearer every day. Love to you & Mrs. Traubel Yours always, R. G. Ingersoll The champagne came yesterday—W.'s attention not called to it at the time. Indeed, those in house not knowing from whence it had come. I urged Ingersoll again to come—that it would do W. some cheer. Morse also writes from the West.

I write Bucke twice a day—morning and evening. Frank Williams not yet about—nor further word from Brinton. To W.'s again about 6:10—and considerable talk with Warrie and Mrs. Keller. W. had passed a pretty easy day and even the doctors had felt encouragement. W. talked more than usual with them. Longaker the more hopeful one of the two always. Ate rather beyond his recent usual fare and the women even concerted that when they changed the bed he somewhat assisted them, which had not been the case for a week. In W.'s room and finding him evidently in an easy doze did not arouse him.

Bucke writes as follows from Toronto—5th: Inspector of Asylums, Prisons, Etc. Toronto 5 Jan 1892 My dear Horace I came to this town yesterday on some government business—left directions that any telegrams were to be forwarded and would go from here to Camden if any sudden change took place. Hearing nothing from you I shall probably return home tomorroW. The last letter I had from you was dated 1 Jan. and I was much disappointed that I did not get later news before leaving home last evening. I thought of something on the train last ev'g—what about the use to which the tomb is to be put over and above W., his father & mother? Has he ever expressed a wish on this subject or given any directions? There are eight crypts—are a number of them to stand empty? Or will the executive powers given Mrs. Geo. Whitman enable her to deal with this matter? I wish you would speak to Harned about this and let me know what you & he think. Would it be well to speak to Walt? Always affectionately yours R. M. Bucke W. told L. again today he was done with the medicine—is averse to it.

8:50 P.M. At W.'s again. Warrie and Mr. Bannan in Warrie's room playing cribbage. I tarried for a moment—took my coat and hat off and put on bed—then slipped through the part-open door, on tiptoe, into W.'s room—standing then in a listening attitude for a minute or two. Did he know I was there? No light—the fire faintly burning—the whole room black. Suddenly he called out, "Is it you, Horace?" —and I knew I was recognized. I went over to the bed—kissed him—sat down on bed. Our hands were clasped during the whole of the talk, and I knew it was with genuine love he pressed mine time and again as we sat there together. Certainly he was better. I was there nearly half an hour. His voice easier and fuller—breathing not oppressed. Hiccoughing slightly—no more. His loving warmth almost astonished me. Often in pauses he murmured, "Dear dear boy!" and pressed my hand—and once with almost a passion he cried, in his whisper, "Dear, dear, dear, dear boy—we all love you!"—in such a tone as drew all my life together into one sense of recognition and response. How was he? "I am here still—here still—broken up, maimed, useless—but here still." But I had learned he had spent an easier day. "I don't know. But everybody is kind to me. Mrs. Keller is kind to me—Warrie is kind to me. Everything I need—more than I need—seems anticipated." Had the bed become his throne? "I do not even need to ask. Everything happens. Yet this imprisonment in the bed is torture—is horrible. I shall try tomorrow to sit up in the big chair for five minutes if I can." But after a pause, "I must confess I don't feel much like sitting up now—so weak I doubt if I could easily turn my head on the pillow. But we will see—see." Referring to his nourishment, said, "It is little enough after all."

Told him of Johnston's acknowledgment of the books. "Then it is clearly definitely conclusively settled that the books are arrived and in the right hands?" I was to go on sending the books. "Be very liberal with them—let them go to the right fellows: you know who—know as well as, better than, I do." What had he to say to Bucke's question as to disposition of the tomb? "I have no particular wish, except that father and mother be put there, I between them—you will clearly stick to that for me." I quoted Ingersoll's letter of the morning. "Good fellow! princely—royal"—and as to the "He is dearer every day""Not me to him more than he to me." But as to proposed visit, "Perhaps he had better not come." Then a question, "Have you got the letter from him yet?" For a minute I missed him, "What letter?" "Oh! the letter sent last, there, before I was sick." I did remember, of course—yet not better than he—but I had not yet asked for its return. "I would do so, Horace, or a copy of it. You will need to use it." But he did forget I had read it. "Is it so? There my memory is treacherous." How alive he seemed! The very extent and general nature of his questions showed re-awakening. "Is there anything notably new, Horace?" "Someone wrote about you in the Arena." "Ah! Is it heavy or light? Is it a plume?" I had not yet seen or read—only heard of it. "You will get a copy?" "Yes." "Good! Then tell me how much of the tumbler it fills up." "Suppose it leaves it empty?" "It won't be the first experience of that kind." And yet more of his questions, "Have you heard any more about Poet-Lore?" I related the story of the proofs. "That sounds like progress. Was it well set up?" "Splendidly." "That is a good start in itself." I mentioned their suggestion that I should cut Kennedy's slap at Methodism and my acquiescence. W. then, "I am glad you allowed it—glad. It is out of place: far better without. Not that I would defend Methodism." Also told him the story of "Walt Whitman as a lawyer" now going the rounds of the papers:

WALT WHITMAN AS A LAWYER The Verdict He Obtained Before He Became Famous.  
  How the Good Grey Poet Administered a Drubbing to a Tormentor and the Verdict by Which He Was Acquitted of Assault.  
  The serious illness of the "good grey poet," Walt Whitman, has made him more talked about lately than he has been for years, and has brought to mind through some of the older people many stories of his early life and experiences. There is one especially good told of an adventure he had when he lived with his father in Babylon, New York. The old gentleman occupied the Minturn Place, west of the village about a mile and a half. It was in 1840. The budding poet, then about eighteen years of age, had just returned home after his venture in journalism in Huntington. His success had been marked; in fact, it is questioned whether it should not be put down as a miserable failure.... He was a popular favorite among both sexes in the village, and many jolly yarns are told of those days which, no doubt, the now aged and suffering poet can recall with pleasure. One of the stories called to mind is the arrest of the poet for an assault upon a young man named Benjamin Carman. The Carman farm joined the farm occupied by the Whitmans. A trout pond formed the boundary. In this pond Walt delighted to fish. On a certain day while Whitman was sitting in his boat angling Young Carman conceived the idea of annoying him. He first threw stones so as to disturb the water near the fisherman. Seeing no effect upon the stolid fisherman, he got in his own boat and commenced leisurely rowing around in the vicinity of the poet, to the total destruction of fishing. Even this annoyance failed to call forth any reproof or remonstrance, and Whitman fished on as though nothing was annoying him. At first the lad was careful to keep beyond the reach of the fishing pole, but finally, his suspicions being quieted by the manner of the fisherman, who in a casual sort of way plied him with various questions, asking if he were not a namesake of Benjamin Franklin, and engaging him in cheerful conversation, the boy edged nearer and nearer, until, coming within the swing of Whitman's fishpole, the poet caught him unawares and thrashed him unmercifully, breaking his pole and inflicting quite severe injuries upon the boy, dismissing him with the admonition that, next time he refrain from interfering with his fishing. But this was not destined to be the last of the matter. The elder Carman, in rage at the castigation of his son, swore out a warrant for Whitman's arrest before Justice Joel Jarvis, of Huntington.... General Richard Udall, afterwards a member of Assembly from Suffolk, appeared as attorney for Carman, while Whitman pleaded his own case. The jury was made up of men who thought more of common sense than of law. The foreman was John Edwards, an Englishman, full of stubborn persistence, prepared to insist upon having his own way.... General Udall made a clear case. The evidence was not disputed. Whitman, when he summed up his defense, told the jury the facts in the case. He admitted he had trounced the boy, but pled in justification that Carman had interfered with his vested rights and had made himself a nuisance, and the nuisance had simply been abated. The jury filed out. They were out but a few moments and returned into court. The justice resettled his steel-bowed spectacles so that he could more readily look over them and asked: "Gentlemen of the jury, have you agreed upon your verdict?" "We 'ave," said Edwards. "What is it?" asked His Honor. "We find 'e did not 'it him 'ard enough," said the foreman. The uproarious laughter which greeted this verdict the justice was unable to quell, and in his righteous indignation broke his spectacles in his endeavor to sufficiently express his disapproval. When quiet was restored he explained to the jury that they must find a verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty," when the spectators were again convulsed by the answer of the sturdy Yorkshire gentleman, who stubbornly insisted that the only verdict of the jury was that "Whitman 'ad not 'it 'im 'ard enough," and after repeated attempts to get matters right, the prisoner was discharged and the verdict stands today that "the plaintiff was not hit hard enough."  
"Give me the sharp lines of it." Then, "Yes, it is substantially true, substantially true. He had me arrested, but the sympathies of the community were all on my side." When I quoted the verdict of the jury, W. laughed—the first I had heard from him—and the effort choked and made him cough. When he had recovered he said, "It was rich—rich. The foreman was a William Cobbett sort of a fellow. But they make the story too long—a stick and a half or two sticks would be enough for it." Afterward in speaking of his "defeat" of the doctors and their confession that they were puzzled, he laughed again, and again choked and coughed, and found himself hiccoughing. Mentioned that Stedman's lectures had begun. He called Stedman "generous," and then asked if I had heard of the safe arrival of the book. Advised me, too, "Watch the mail—keep a sharp eye for our affairs." Had he no sense of greater strength? "None at all." Did he expect to get out of it? "Not by wishing." Asked likewise, "How is Anne?" and murmured, "Darling girl!" Further, "Have you heard from Bolton?" "While you were low I cabled every day and they cabled back their love." "Good boys, all!" "And when at last I cabled that you were better, they responded, 'Joy!'" "Noble fellows! But the joy? Alas!" When I said my letter from Doctor was postmarked "Toronto" he asked, "What is he doing there?" and I had to explain. When at last I told him I must go, he remarked, "I suppose—I suppose! Well, good night! Best night! Good night, dear boy!"

I returned to the other room then to make up "Leaves of Grass," inscribing copies for Warren and for Symonds, Mrs. Fairchild, Forman, Dowden, Bush, Gilder, Williamson, S. Weir Mitchell, J. K. Mitchell, Howells, T. Williams, Edelheim, Josephine Lazarus, Adler, Baker, Poet-Lore.

Cable from Wallace today: "Thanks for letters. Love to Walt and all. Wallace."

I added a couple [of lines] to Mrs. Keller's notes today:

8 a.m. Had a quiet time after 1 A.M. Sleeping at this time. 9 Awake. Position changed. Wished only water. 11 Dr. McAlister came. Also Dr. Longaker. Mr. W. not inclined to talk. 11:30 Ate one egg, small piece of toast. Drank one cup tea. 12 p.m. Quiet. 1 Small bowel movement—involuntary. Had bed changed, was washed and rubbed. Was not much exhausted. The hiccough did not come through it. 2 Sleeping. 3 Awake. Took three mouthfuls toast. Drank small quantity milk punch. 3:20 Said to Mrs. Davis, "Mary, you did not make the toast as I told you this morning—wet with tea." Said he would eat a little in that way. Asked about the champagne Mr. Ingersoll sent. Said, "Mary, I want you, Mrs. Keller and Warren to have a swig of it. The doctors too. Horace don't drink it, I believe. If he does, give him a glass." Asked how old Mr. Button was. Said, "I want to send him a bottle." The first day he has taken solid food twice.
[H.L.T.'s notes:]  
  9:20 Called Warrie. "I think I'll have to be laid on the other side." 10:50 "Warren, get a little ice and put it into that milk punch. Bring it up in a glass if you wish or take this down." And when Warrie came back, "Shall we have a drink of it?" "Yes." Warren said to W., "We are looking for a ball of twine." "Yes, I think you will find it over on the table." W. was shifted again.

Friday, January 8, 1892

W. sleeping very happily when I went into his bedroom, 8:20. Flush on his cheeks and his right hand, out on coverlet, showing a certain sort of pink. To Philadelphia and a busy day. Loag in to inquire. I wrote a postal to Edelheim to say he would find his book at the Bank. Wrote to Bucke, too. Delivered book for T. Williams at Press. He was not in. McKay sent for a copy of the big book, which his boy went to Camden and got and I numbered and billed. Late in afternoon saw McKay. We talked green book. He had lost W.'s written instructions, but we made arrangements in lieu of them. Expect future events to create a demand. In Camden found letter from Bucke.

6 P.M. In Camden again and at 328. Shortly W. called Warrie and he went in, Mrs. K. with him and I following and lingering in background. He wished position changed and Warrie to rub his right knee. Seeing me, said, "Horace, too!" but until Warrie was done I said nothing. Then W. sought me, "Set down a while, Horace—don't go now." Whereupon I did sit down on edge of bed. When Warrie shifted him he had dropped the flowers from his hand. Warrie remarked, "You are losing your flowers, Mr. Whitman!" "Oh! Am I?" and he held his hand up to take the flowers. Afterward simply dropping the hand on the bed as if totally exhausted, opening his eyes to explain to me, "Horace, they are carnations: a lady admirer sent them in this morning. They are exquisite—I hate to part with them." His memory is markedly active. "There ought to be a letter from Edward Carpenter." "There is!" "Oh! And you have attended to it?" "I have even shipped the books." "Good! Good! I must depend upon you for it all!" Asking again, "What is new out in the world—anything especially for me to know? Anything about the Colonel? And our affairs—what of them?" I went into nothing but this last. "I have the Arena." "Ah! And who is the writer?" Again, "D. G. Watts, did you say? No, I do not know him. And a portrait? Which one of the portraits? And is it all combed and dressed up? That is the eternal danger in which we live." And after I had gone on with my description, "How much does it come to? Is there anything novel in it for us? Ah! He says we stand for democracy and America? That is not new but it is good." And further, "Read more of it—read it carefully—and tell me about it." And still again, "You count it a favorable article—friendly—on the right side? I suppose Doctor will know about it, but you had better remind him." I likewise described to W. the column about W. from "The Listener" in the Transcript. He was very inquisitive to know the drift of this. "It is Chamberlain," he said.

Told him the Poet-Lore folks had sent 30 sets of the "[Lowell-Whitman] Contrast." "That is generous—generous. You will send some of them out at once?" Yes, to Bolton tonight—two. "What day is this, Horace?" "Friday." "And what date in the month?" "The 8th." "Oh! I had lost the reckon of it!" Then, "Send two to the Doctor—two copies of the slip." I laughed. "Why do you laugh?" "You speak of it as a slip—you don't seem to know how big it is." "Big?" "Yes, it fills three galleys." "Is it so? All for the Poet-Lore?" "How much did you think it was?" W. answering by a question, "How many pages will that make?" "Nearly ten!" "Ten! I had five in mind—no more." How had he got that notion? He had never seen it. "I don't know: it was only a notion, I know." And after a pause, "I should like a dozen." "Can I send them out for you? Give me names and I will do it." He thought for a minute. "I don't know any special names, to be sure. I should like one to go to Karl Knortz." And for fear I might go wrong he stopped to spell the name and to think out the address, which I wrote down. "Of course you will remember the rest of the fellows—I do not need to name them." And questioned, "How does it appear?" Good. "And are you satisfied with it?" "No, but it will do. The Poet-Lore people appear to like it." "That is a good sign. It is strong, uncompromising, I know, and I'm not sure but there you are impregnable."

He was interested to learn that a copy of etching was displayed in Earle's window, Philadelphia. "How does it look?" And then, "They told me if I wanted more, they would send them—and I shall send for half a dozen. Then there will be to spare and you are to have one. They gave me four, two of which I signed for Bucke, the other two being bespoken by the doctors. The other copy here—still here—belongs to Carey, who has written me about it. It should in fact be sent to him." Advised me, "Keep the run of things—sample 'em all." Has not said a word about getting up. Indeed reports to me, "I seem to sleep some—but what does it mean? For 24 hours now I have lived through, in, a deathly weakness—a deathly, deathly impoverishment. Is that rest? rest?" Yet, "I have everything I need, want—I seem provided for, up to every desire." Should I send for the extra etchings? He considered for a moment. "No, not yet." He still expected to get up? "Do I?" quickly, "That is all in the clouds!" (To show his awakening senses, I can add to above. He had asked Mrs. Davis, "How is Mr. Mansfield opposite?" She told him the old man was dead. "That is news"—calmly. Then asked for Mansfield's wife. She was dead, too. "Why, how sorrowful!" Further, "What of Mrs. Haberstroh?" whom somebody had vitrioled just before he was taken down. "She is still alive," said Mrs. Davis, "but they have not discovered who did it." W. then, "It is just as well. Jessie could tell about that." Jessie, the pretty daughter for whom it is supposed the liquid was intended. These indicate how alive he is to events and that memory resumes its throne.) Alluding once more to his weakness, "This is melancholy business—melancholy: it leaves us bare." After further minor talk I left—kissing him, "Good night!" and he saying, "Dear boy! dear boy!"

9:10 P.M. To W.'s again, with only some five minutes' talk with him. Warrie now on watch. W. rather restless, calling often for punch, for Warrie to rub him, etc. Once asking for cold coffee. I went into the room to ask Dowden's address of him and he was quite ready and clear about it, even spelling name and place. Complained of great pain in legs and spine and often had Warrie rub him. I worked again in next room over W.'s correspondence and with the books—this time, of the latter, writing up copies for Knortz, Mrs. O'Connor, F. Williams, Garland, Harned, Tennyson—once or twice passing in to W. to ask him some question, which he readily heard and answered—showing he enjoyed no profound sleep. Several times he reminded me of Poet-Lore slips—of parties he wished them sent to. (His mind evidently always active.) The flowers still in his right hand. The room in less crowded aspect—most of his papers and books have been piled up in the corners. He is drowsy all the time, yet sleeps little. Mrs. Keller predicts, "It bodes some positive change, either for good or bad." And she adds, "I don't think he will ever get out of that bed." Pathetic to see him, with the old sleeve of a flannel shirt thrust over his right arm and those flowers in his hand. The other day he complained of cold in that arm and asked for a sleeve from an old shirt which he remembered but had not used for seven years. One sleeve had been made into a chest protector when he was very sick.

Mrs. Keller's notes:

7:30 a.m. Sleeping—occasional hiccough. 8 Sleeping—looking calm in the face. 8:30 Restless but not awake. Hiccough more persistent. 9 Hiccough continuous, and quite strong. 10 Asked for water; would have nothing else. Drank twice. Took three swallows each time, pausing a moment between each. Looks flushed in the face. 11 Has slept over one half-hour quietly, and without hiccough. 11:15 Had position changed from left side to right—was rubbed. When asked is the left shoulder cold (something he occasionally mentions and asks extra clothing), he said, "No, I feel better and comfortable in every way." Very drowsy and not inclined to be disturbed. 11:30 Dropped asleep at once on being changed about. Hiccough only occasional. Have commenced within a minute or so. 11:45 Dr. McAlister came. Did not feel like talking. Said his night had been "so-so." 1 p.m. Ate small cake scrapped beef, broiled, and very little toast. Drank one cup coffee. Said he felt weak. Would not take anything else. Had eyes, face and right hand washed. Said, "I will have my right hand put into the water; no matter about my left." Said, "This is one of my weakest times." Fell asleep and sleeps very quietly. 2 Sleeping very quietly. Breathing lightly. Respiration 17. 4 Has slept since 1:30. Slept without moving or speaking. Now looks pale and haggard in the face. 4:15 Awake. Was turned to left side. Took 1 oz. milk punch. Talked to Mrs. Davis. Inquired for Mr. Button and said, when Mrs. D. told him Mr. Button would like the champagne, "Give it to him with my best love." Inquired for the baby, "Becky," and Harry. When some carnations that came by mail, from Mrs. Gould, were handed to him, he took them and was much pleased with them. Talked with his eyes closed. 4:30 When the cold coffee was given to him, he took the cup, holding the flowers in one hand. Said, "I am like a child attempting to grasp too many things at a time." Wishes a cup of cold coffee always at his side. 5 Talked some to Warren. 6 Talked to Mr. Traubel. 7 Had position changed. Took small quantity milk punch. 10:50 Mrs. Davis went in. He instantly called her by name. Asked for a sip of cold coffee.

Saturday, January 9, 1892

Saw W. as usual in the forenoon, between eight and nine. He slept peaceably and looked well—his color fine and pure—no hiccoughs. Wrote Bucke and others, and postals to those to whom books had been sent.

7 P.M. Again to W.'s. He was in good turn. Both doctors had been over. There are vague, slight signs of rally. More appetite if no more strength—and that may lead to strength. Only went in to see—not to speak to—W., and he did not arouse. Mrs. Keller paying some attention to the bed. Then home—quite a mail there—from Burroughs, Garland, Miss Porter and Miss Clarke.

9:10 P.M. To W.'s alone—and promptly in his room. He had asked Warrie in the evening, "Has Horace been here yet?" "Yes, but said he would be back again." "When he comes send him right in." Affectionate greetings. He lay on his right side. I sat on the bed and held his hand. He was bright enough to talk a good deal—yet laboredly. Had he not more strength? "I don't know—I am very weak. But I have taken more nourishment." The hiccoughs were mainly gone? "No, that is a mistake: I have had quite enough." Then asked me, "What is this Warrie tells me about the Inquirer?" "They have a piece about the tomb." "About the row?" "No, descriptive." "Was it good?" "More good than usual, certainly." "Who do you suppose did it?" "Upton Jefferys." "He's as good as the best."

Brinton had written to say his mother was improved. W. exclaimed, "Happy Brinton!" I told him of the death of Emile de Levelage, at which he said, "A great man!" And of the madness of Guy de Maupassant, "That is tragic: we live in a day of tragedy!" Was quiet for a few minutes, then advised me, "I wish you would send the Poet-Lore slips to Tennyson—yes, write Tennyson—say I asked that they be sent." I inquired, "A book should go to Kennedy?" "Yes, Kennedy, at once—we have neglected him too long. And send Poet-Lore to him, too." And was "happy" to know I "had thought to send a copy of the '92 'Leaves of Grass' " to Tennyson. How about Scudder, of Atlantic? "No, hardly him—I would not send one to him." I presented the joint message from Miss Porter and Miss Clarke. "It is very good of them: say, I respond to it—give them my love." And then, "I much wonder that they printed your piece. It is a good sign—for them." Bucke safely returned from Toronto. W.: "Tell him I am relieved." He thinks B. "reckless" and is "always glad when he is safely back from a journey." Asked me to send Stead copy of "Leaves of Grass." Described portrait and article in Frank Leslie's. Who was Keasbey? W. replied, "He was a lawyer—I know something of him. Is the article favorable?" And to my "yes" he inquired, "What line does he write on?" And after my reply and my saying that "they all seem to be coming round," he faintly laughed (and choked) and exclaimed, "Johnny comes marching home!" A little spell of hiccoughing waned, at which he remarked, "I suffer more from this than anything else: it shakes, shatters, me." I delivered Burroughs' message: West Park, New York Jany 8. 92 Dear Horace I thank you much for your letter, I know your labors have been many, too many I fear. But it never does any good to caution any man who has a genius for work. When one overdraws his account in the bank he can make it good again, but when he overdraws his account in nature's bank he forever impairs the bank, so beware. I am looking every day for the fatal telegram. How slowly he sinks, like a great orb into the sea. I do not know as I shall come to the funeral. Give him my heart's love, if he still speaks and knows. Sincerely your friend John Burroughs And he cried with great feeling, "Noble John! My love goes out to him!" And Garland's tender inquiry: "Please convey again my greetings to our poet & let me know how he is feeling as often as you can find time. Fraternally, Hamlin Garland." He answered with, "Bless him, too!" and a remark, "How good everybody seems, is!"

Rather "disgusted," he said, to learn that Leslie's had used "the foxy Sarony picture." At some reference to Bolton, "They are loyal—loyal: they have no fears. It would be our shame if we returned them less love than they give!" He dwelt again upon "the almost sacred—yes, quite sacred" feeling and consideration which everybody showed him. Advised me, "Get the books out—let them go." I had written postals to all to whom books were sent. "That is right: that is my habit." As to his "improvement," he asks the doctors, "Is it enough to swear by?" Asked me, regarding Howells' change to the Cosmopolitan, "Is he editor?" Also, "When will Ned Stedman be here in Philadelphia? His lecture must be about to begin?" The talk was throughout significant for what it showed of his mental clearness and interest—the latter now again apparently aroused. When I got up, leaned over and kissed him, he murmured, "Dear boy!" and called out to me, "Don't forget Kennedy's book—we have forgotten him too long."

Mrs. Keller's notes:

Had a night like the two or three last. Hiccough at intervals. Slept most of the time. 8 a.m. Quiet—slight hiccoughs. 9:30 Had position changed from right to left side. Took water. 11 Awake. Ate one small cake beef scrapped and broiled—1 oz.—a little toast. Drank cup coffee. Much more wide awake today. Drs. came. Mr. Whitman told what nourishment he had taken. Said he had passed a fair night, that he felt comfortable. Dr. McAlister said, "You are a little better, I think." Answered, "Enough to swear by?" 11:30 Still but not asleep. Only hiccoughing a little at times. 12 p.m. Changed his position. Drank milk punch—2 ozs. milk, whiskey zi., rum zi. 1 Still; had his position changed. 2 Still quiet. Occasionally waking and asking for something. 3 Quiet and sleeping. No hiccough. 4 Awake. Had his position changed. Took two teaspoons of Proterial. Dr. McAlister brought a sample bottle, hoping he might take some. A friend sent him some oysters. When Mrs. Davis told him, said he would have some in one half hour. Ate three raw—wished them so with lemon juice. 5 Quiet. 
Bucke's fears for W. are warm and sad: 7 Jan. 1892 My dear Horace Since writing last I have your two notes of 4th and that of 5th A.M. I feel deeply indebted to you for writing so often & sticking to it so faithfully. How this terrible fight of W.'s is to end or when I cannot imagine. It looks now as if he had got into a position in which there is nothing to end him so that he cannot die and no possibility of anything like recovery—so that to me it appears as if he might go on as at present (a fearful outlook!) indefinitely. I want you to keep sending me Dr. McA's notes and please have L. send me the notes of the early part of the attack. If he cannot make them complete let him do the best he can. R. M. Bucke

Sunday, January 10, 1892

To 328 as usual between ten and and eleven. Mrs. Keller was just rearranging W. and the bed. He complained (hiccoughing greatly), "I am very weak: these hiccoughs tire me all out." Looked rather worse than last night. (Warrie wants to get him to sign the doctors' pictures.) W. said to Mrs. Keller, "I will take a little bread—not just now but in a little while." And as she fixed his head and stroked the hair back, "I am better now: it is a bit better." Some reaction evident. Will it last? I went to Philadelphia and to various duties there with trepidation.

10:10 P.M. Again at 328. No sign of change in W., except of relief from the morning's pressure. The hiccoughs had passed off. Anne with me—I went into the room several times, tip-toeing—and it did not seem to arouse or disturb him. Anne also in. Promise of an easy night. It made my heart glad. McAlister had left his weekly report for me to forward to Bucke. The nurse had left her daily notes for me. The air tranquil. W. rallied from the morning's depression.

I spoke at a labor meeting up at Kensington this afternoon and was astonished to have a mere mention of W.'s name produce a storm of applause. What does this mean? How much is information of W. filtering into the paths and lives of those men?

Monday, January 11, 1892

Bad, cloudy, dampish cold day. Letters from Sarrazin and Johnston (26th-30th-2nd) and Wallace (Dec. 26th and Jan. 2nd) and Bucke (8th). A great comfort to me. 8 Jan. 1892 My dear Horace I have yours of midnight 5th & forenoon 6th. Your letters at present possess for me an almost terrible interest. I had a note from Harned today giving me substance of the "codicil" and telling me also that Mrs. Keller said last Sunday that W. would hardly live to next Sunday (i.e. tomorrow) but I guess she will be out same as the doctors were. Splendid sleighing here now. I get out (as usual) every afternoon between 4.15 & 6 for a drive and enjoy it. I am through my visit to Toronto (as you know) and am now much freer than I was when I first came home to go away. I would gladly now go to Camden at any time if I was sure W. would not live more than 3 or 4 days at the outside. But I could not go on the chance of his dying—it would never do. Were I a free man I should go now and stay with him until the end if it were a year. Beautiful clear crisp breezy air these times—does me lots of good and I need it with this constant anxiety prowling around my path like a wild beast preparing to spring. Love to you & Anne R. M. Bucke To W.'s between eight and nine. He slept—had passed a fairly good night—neither very fine nor positively bad. To Bonsall's, where I left him copy of "Leaves of Grass." (W. had said, "Don't forget Harry—take him one.")

5:20 P.M. To 328 on my way home. Happened in a little earlier than normal—and when W. shortly called Mrs. Keller in to give him some water, I followed and stood in the middle of the room. He drank slowly—without eagerness—and even that small effort excited some hiccoughing. Shortly he perceived me, and as Mrs. Keller took the mug back he called, "It is you, Horace? Come up here and sit down." And when I neared the bed, his hand was already in the act of being extended. It was on his part a feeble but a loving grasp—while I found the hand very cold, as if it had been exposed to the cold open air. "How are you, boy? What have you been doing since the last?" I reminded him, "It is now two days since we talked together last." He, "Yes, I know: this is Monday, the 11th." (Voice very feeble—distinctly worse, weaker, tonight. But it will pass off?) How was his own condition? "I am here—that is about all. Weak—weak—weak." But no hiccoughs? "Not so much—often—but plenty." After a pause, "Have you letters?" I went over my mail categorically. "What does Sarrazin say? He is still sick? Poor fellow! Give him my sympathy. And, Horace, send him a book—a copy of the '92 edition—we must not fail in that." I likewise mentioned Symonds' return to Wallace for the repetition of my messages. "Noble fellow! We love him much. I wonder if he has his copy of the book?" I recalled that it had been sent only three days ago. W. then, "That is true—I forgot." All his talking seemed done with great effort. He asked me, "Did you not say there was a message from Winter? What did he say?" I repeated the substance. "That was the point of it, eh?" Then was silent. "But, Walt, I know from Morris that Stoddard does not relent—that he still thinks you a fraud." "I am afraid there is a venomous strain in Stoddard." Requested me to send books to Rolleston and Schmidt. "How is Anne?" he asked, and to my, "Well," exclaimed, "Dear girl!" I adding, "She was here last night." "So I believe." I told him the story of yesterday's meeting and the applause at the mention of his name. He was very emphatic in designation of the value of this story. "It is significant—sweet, singular, welcome—oh! very welcome!—nothing more welcome, more triumphant! They applauded? And it was quite spontaneous, you think? Welcome—welcome!" Told him Ingram had been sick and he cried, "Poor man!" Had he any letters he wished written? Pondered an instant—then, "No, I think not: not now. O yes, Horace—when the time comes you may do it—I must rely upon you. You will think me a great botheration." "Well, I am here to be 'bothered'!" He half smiled and remarked, "I understand it all—respond to it all." If I wrote to Ingersoll and Bucke, I was to send his love. "It is all I can do for them now. But I bless them—bless—bless."

Mrs. Keller busied herself with the fire: the wood crackled in the stove. A lighted candle was placed near the door, and as from time to time my head shifted it exposed his full face on the pillow (I was between him and the door). He was pale and his eyes heavy—only opened now and then. Finally I got up for the good-bye. He reached forth his hand again, "You must, I suppose: good night, boy! Good night!" And as I leaned over and kissed him, first on the lips, then on the forehead, he murmured, "Always a blessing, boy. These are long, long days—but they might be longer." His ever-present gratitude for what he calls the "the superb good care." I left the room. Some stranger had brought some roses for him. They were on the mantlepiece. I urged Mrs. Keller to show them to W. Just then he called, "Mrs. Keller," and she rapidly went in and up to his bed, he wishing to be shifted again. Warrie also now there, ready to go on duty again, W. saying, "Well, Warrie—once more!" Then told him how and where to turn him. Could not assist—was turned as if limp and lifeless. Warrie lifted him higher on the pillow. Several times he said, "Thanks! Thanks! That is good—right!" He got to his left side and they bolstered him front and back with pillows and sheets. Then Mrs. K. produced the roses and handed them to Warrie who was on that side of the bed—a moment's explanation—W. saying, "The beautiful roses! The generous giver! Beautiful—beautiful—beautiful!" and seemed to drink in their fragrance. Shortly, however, having to turn even from them in feeble surrender and to say, "I would like to take them in my hand—hold them." Now? "No, morning will do—in the morning." Warrie sat down by the bed and asked him how the day had been. His feeble answer was very short, "Long—weary—sad." Then we left him alone—the lights being put down and the door mainly closed. Mrs. K. said to me, "Your talk is the only one that he has had today. He seems wholly disinclined." We all noticed the added feebleness—the increased inabilities. Will tomorrow brighten the prospect? I had opened his day's mail before seeing W. Several letters each from Johnston and Wallace which needed no answers, and letter and proof from Photographic Times, whose publishers propose an article on W. (proof enclosed for correction) and a portrait (Gutekunst's phototype). (I alluded to this in talking with W. who, after asking about it in special detail, remarked, "I must leave it in your hands. Give them all the good advice you think necessary." They wished an autograph to go under the portrait, but a new autograph is now impossible. Says W., "I guess I'd better not try to write one now.")

Spent the evening in Philadelphia—part of it with Longaker—who is very dubious about any long continuance of W.'s condition, but is cautiously conservative in his statements.

It was midnight by the time I got back to W.'s. Warrie admitted me. Into and out of W.'s room freely. Wrote Bucke. W.'s hiccoughs marked and weakening. Just before I left he said to Warrie, "Tell Mary that if in the morning I feel like eating anything, she should have ready some mutton broth and rice—the kind she used to make; having it ready by or before ten."

Received considerable mail this evening at Post Office—in it letter from Bucke (9th), and letter from Ingersoll, same date: 400 Fifth Avenue. Jany 9—92 Dear Traubel— I just retd. from Toledo. I hope that the dear man is better—hope that he can recover enough at least to enjoy many years of pleasant life. How is he? Keep me posted. I am coming over if possible to see him just for a few minutes. At the same time I am afraid that it would make us both unhappy. You need not be surprised to receive a dispatch warning you of my approach. I have been reading Whitman for several days and I am astonished more and more at his greatness of soul, his amplitude, his vastness. Give him my love again & again. Yours always R. G. Ingersoll Will write latter in morning, special. His letters always drive a way to the heart. Hoped to have a chance to deliver this, but would not disturb him to do so.

Mrs. Keller's notes:

Had a night much like others. Had a bowel movement. Took more food yesterday than in any previous 24 hours. Drank over one pint of milk, ate nearly a slice (large) of bread and butter and a cake of beef (1 1/2 ozs.). 8 a.m. Sleeping quietly, without hiccough. 9 Still asleep, also no hiccoughing. 10 Was turned to left side. Back rubbed. Wished to be left quiet. No hiccoughs at this time. 11 Dr. McAlister came. Told the doctor he had signed his picture. Was hungry—asked for his nourishment as soon as possible. This is the first time he has seemed in any haste to eat. He said yesterday when asked if he was going to have some champagne, "Not now. Wait until the spirit moves." Said at ten o'clock this morning, when turned to his left side, "I will have an egg, some bread and butter, and champagne for my dinner." 11:30 Ate the egg, one half slice bread and butter. Drank small glass of champagne. Seems weak. Not inclined to be spoken to or moved. 12 p.m. No hiccough at all today. Resting quietly. Had position changed. Complained some of pain in right leg. 1:45 p.m. Not wishing to be disturbed. Took one tablespoon full of Proterial. Requested to be left quiet for a while. 2 Still quiet and partly asleep. 3 Had position changed from left to right side. Said, "I am feeling badly, very badly, just now." Drank water a number of times today. 4 Took a drink of ice water and juice of one orange. Hiccough commenced after turning over. Only continued two or three minutes. 5 Quiet. 
6:30 Mr. Traubel came in. Mr. W. talked with him a while. 7 Still quiet. Hiccough seems more persistent. 9 Was turned over. Hiccoughing quite hard. Not inclined to talk or eat. 12 a.m. Asked for "milk punch middling strong of rum."

Tuesday, January 12, 1892

I have acknowledgments of books from Williamson, Gilder, Miss Porter, Karl Knortz: 540 East 55th St., New York Dear Sir, Many thanks for a copy of L. of G. I am very glad that W. has not forgotten me. I shall bring out a new selection from L. of G. in German within a month or so. A copy of it will be sent to you. Yours truly, Karl Knortz (W. interested in my accounts of them all—particularly in Knortz's announcement of new translations.)

Morse's letter of 16th December still unanswered. But once when I spoke to W. of it he remarked, "Sidney is faithful and loving to the last."

A glimpse in at W.'s as usual in transit (after 8 A.M.). He looked haggard and pale, but slept peacefully, without hiccoughs. Once in Philadelphia wrote Bucke and sent off a special to Ingersoll.

5:55 P.M. Reached W.'s—and shortly went into the room and had some 20 minutes' talk with him. Although he seems to have spent an easier day than yesterday, he did not now appear stronger or more restful. He hailed me with his, "Well, Horace," and when I had come nearer invited me to "sit down on the bed," which I did. How was his own case today? "I do not see any change—perhaps a suspicion if easier, but no more." We drifted into talk of literary topics, mostly by his own numerous questions. "How is Dave moving with the book?" I told him of the death of McKay's father. "O dear dear—I did not know he was dead. Poor Dave!" Had he known General Meigs, just dead? "No, but of him a good deal: was an eminent engineer, one time, down at the capital." Asked, "What of our book, Horace, the green book?" And to my explanation, "Oh! It is slow—slow!" Then suddenly, "Was it A. Q. Keasbey who wrote the piece in Frank Leslie's? He is a bright fellow—full of stuff." Again reminded me, "Do not forget Sarrazin's book. I suppose about half of them are gone now—fully half. There were three bundles." Asked again, "How is Anne? How is the dear girl?"

He was "not sure or not even suspecting" that he would "pull through this ordeal," and if he did "in a sense," he asked, "what would it amount to?" Reported him Ingersoll's letter. He listened and was "glad to hear so good a word again." Who gave him "such cheer as this man"? Was I to respond? "Yes! Yes! Respond with my love—memories—admiration." And he curiously, "You hear from Bucke every day? Dear Doctor! Always give him my choice good prayers." When I imparted the substance of Gilder's letter, he inquired, "Has it any significance? How does it seem to you?"

He had asked Mrs. Davis to prop him up by sitting back on his pillow (a way of giving him brief respite). She now came in to inquire if he was ready and he replied, "Wait five minutes more, Mary." Then to me again, "Is there any news out in the world for me to hear? Anything, abroad? Of Tennyson? Anything of any of our fellows?" He considered "the '92 book" his "final offering," his "last word." "The future of the book will have a curious history, no doubt: you will see it—a part of it—I will be gone—a good deal is still left in your hands to do." Did he feel any sign of spring—any breath of fresh life? He confessed, "No, I seem slipping away, if anything—a sense of insecureness." Inquired, "You tell me of Ingersoll and what of the man who was shot?" He had forgotten the name. "Baker?" "Yes, Baker." And learning he was well remarked, "Blessings for him, too: tell him we remember him here." I asked as I left, "What message for Bolton?" And he responded, "Tell them, I am low—very—very: that I still have one chance in four or five—but only one, if that: tell them I am well seen-to—that I am encircled by sweet attentions: tell them I send my best affection and regard—my best: tell them"—and here he broke off of sheer feebleness, and I cried, "That is enough—don't try more: they will know it all from that"—and he murmured almost in a whisper, "Right!" I went into the next room and instantly threw this into written words and mailed the letter to Wallace.

Again at W.'s at 8:45. The ice cream had not helped hiccoughings, which now were returned in thorough vigor. Seemed very restless—called Warrie six times within half an hour for some service or other. At 9:05 a ring at the bell, which Mrs. Davis answered—confronted then by a messenger boy who brought a box of flowers with the following inscription: "To Walt Whitman, Camden, N. J. with Edwin Arnold's love. Hotel Lafayette, Philadelphia. Please let special messenger bring Sir Edwin Arnold news how Mr. Walt Whitman is tonight."

I sat down at once and answered as follows: "In reply to Sir Edwin's question, it may be said that Walt Whitman continues tonight in a condition of unrest and weakness, which his physicians and friends look upon and define as critical."

The flowers were put away for tomorrow.

The fourth time at W.'s at 12:40, returning from Contemporary Club. Only an instant upstairs. W. extremely restless. Had called Warrie as many as 17 times in a certain 25 minutes. Hiccoughs continued. Voice weak—seems to become a greater effort to speak.

Mrs. Keller's notes:

Not a very good night. Hiccough much of the time. Took small quantity of milk punch during the night. 8 a.m. Quiet and sleeping. No hiccough. 9 Position changed. Still quiet. 9:30 Said, "I have had some good, comfortable sleep. Some good rest." 10 Ate mutton broth with rice in it. Had requested it the night before. Ate a piece of bread and butter. Said both were good. 10:20 Had a large bowel movement. 11 Had bed changed, was bathed and rubbed. Stood it well. Still no hiccough. Miss Jessie called a minute. 11:20 Dr. McAlister came. Mr. W. talked to him. Said he had felt his disabled condition keenly, especially for the last three years. That he had been "staving everything off." Said, "I have kept up with a pretty good will. I told you doctors, when I was down so very bad, to let me go—to let me die. I felt you would not listen to me. I know all your medical professors forbid it, and you would not think of it for a minute. And here I am, one chance to four I may pull through it, and have it all to go through again. It looks more so today than for the last fortnight. I know and feel you are all making a strong pull for me. I can see that." Dr. McAlister said, "It is only our duty." Mr. W. spoke kindly of the nurses and Mary Davis. Said all were "oh so good." That his ideal for a nurse was a man. They—Dr. McAlister and Mr. W.—had some conversations on nurses, nursing and the care of the sick. Mr. W. is grateful for attentions that the sick must have. 12 p.m. Turned to left side. Wished to be left quietly and alone for a while. 1 Wishing nothing but water. 
2 No hiccough—a little cough. Has not slept much today. 
2:30 Some roses were given to him yesterday by Mr. Dutch. They were shown him in the evening. Today after his bath one was given him to hold in his hand. Said, "O how beautiful." Has just had his eyes bathed again. Asked, "Where are the other roses?" Was answered, "In the other room. Shall I get them?" "No. I think they cause a huskiness in my throat, a peculiar huskiness." Wished the rose in his hand taken away. 3 Was changed from left to right side. Would not take anything. Said he would have more broth at half-past four or five. 4 Quiet. 4:30 Ate broth and rice, meat small quantity. Dr. Longaker came. Told doctor his condition correctly. 5:30 Was turned over. Took milk punch, small quantity. 6 Hiccough on again. Dr. McAlister told him he had received a letter from a lady saying hiccoughs could be cured by eating ice cream. 6:30 Ate ice cream, feeding himself. No hiccough.