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Friday, November 13, 1891

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.

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