Skip to main content

Thursday, February 18, 1892

Thursday, February 18, 1892

8:25 A.M. W. had slept four to five hours without a turn—an unprecedented record. Shows improvement. I received 40 to 50 copies Saturday's Telegram by mail. No mail of importance for W. He looked pale and forlorn as he slept, yet seemed to sleep a solid and significant sleep.

At McKay's, later in day, was disappointed as to green book again. Ordered copy of "Leaves of Grass" in sheets for A. Stedman. We hear nothing further from the Telegram fellows.

5:25 P.M. Sun still up, and a glimpse of W. by daylight. Went into his room. He had coughed violently the minute before—I went in on tiptoe. Lay with his eyes closed—face pale—one hand out on coverlet. Noted a few hiccoughs. Not inclined to arouse him. Then passed into next room and had some further questions with Mrs. Keller. She thought W. rallied somewhat today and felt that he seemed to help himself a trifle more when they turned him—seemed to have a touch of buoyancy. Both doctors here together today. Longaker, after examining his side, pronounced against Bucke's theory. Mrs. Keller so informed me. Some conversation of this nature, then back to W.'s room, Mrs. K. with me and this time intending to poke up the fire a trifle. Now we found W. with his eyes struggling open. He called to me, "Well, Horace, how is it?" And when I reached the bed, had disengaged his hand from the clothes and extended it towards me warmly. I sat down and said, "They tell me you are better today." "So? I believe they do say that. Meanwhile, the shoe pinches." "But perhaps it don't pinch as much?" He laughed, "Well!" and added, "So they say, Horace, but what news do you bring?" "No green book yet. Another disappointment." He responded, "We are used to disappointments." I had received a big bundle of the Telegram, Saturday's—who would he advise to send them to? "Mostly abroad—send them to the fellows there." Was he up to signing the contract today? "No, I think not: we will do it another time." Quoted him Kennedy's letter where it mentioned the 1885 portrait. W. remarked, "That runs very deep: Sloane thinks he has dived the stream." Again referring to his day's ease, "We must wait, wait—not anticipate. How will it all eventuate? It's all in that." And he mused, "Some day, it'll all pull up like that"—giving a fling in the air with his hand. Had been reading Poet-Lore: it was on the box at his side. But thought the papers "very dull, lifeless, uninteresting." Learning the probability that Webster would print the O'Connor book, he said, "That would be good luck, I think. I am glad to hear it, and it will please Nellie." Adding, "This ought to be done for William." And again remarking, "Very few thoroughly realize the wonder of that man—but I do." Then a kiss and good night.

Back to top