Skip to main content

Monday, November 30, 1891

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.

Back to top