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Wednesday, February 24, 1892

Wednesday, February 24, 1892

8:10 A.M. Reached W.'s and spent 20 minutes there. He slept or dozed peaceably. I sat some five minutes in his room and he appeared to take no notice. Lingered a while and read my mail. Burroughs writes a postal, 22nd. Letter, dated 16th, from Wallace, in by same mail. Wallace had also sent a note to W., which has arrived and will greet him when he wakes. Arthur Stedman acknowledges contract and encloses sheet of reading notices. I receive many letters applying for W.'s autograph and one thing or another. There is one from New York expressing a wish to help. Bucke in letter of 21st dwells upon W.'s condition and goes into some detail as to probabilities of death. His "cosmic consciousness" threatens to be a book.

In a later mail came a letter dated 22nd in which he describes critique of Stedman which W. said he had never known or had forgotten and would like to know again. (I had no chance to refer this to W. tonight.) McKay ordered copy of big book today, which I numbered duly.

6:20 P.M. At W.'s, but so late and in such a hurry, I could not stay for any talk. Had spent a fair day only. Mrs. Stafford up, and he saw her, and George Whitman's wife. He wrote a note to Mrs. Heyde and sent her five dollars. Had Mrs. Davis go to Post Office and have orders I left with him cashed. First signed them with his blue pencil, which signature was not satisfactory. Read paper a bit. Very loving and cordial, as always: held my warm hand in his cold palm and remarked its warmth. Day chill but not cold. W. urges, "Brush up the fire." Warrie glided in and out of the room. "How do we feel tonight, Mr. Whitman?" (Just coming on duty, and usually asks such a question.) "Oh, bad enough, Warrie, ruinable enough—though just this minute a bit more comfortable." Told me Longaker had been in today and I afterwards found his note on the mantlepiece in the next room.

W. is still inclined to think we should use Young's second piece in our book. The first he does not regard as so valuable. He gives me proof-sheets (those left by Ingersoll) in which he has written with blue pencil: "This is one of the best reviews and criticisms of L[eaves] of G[rass] yet—the int: with Sir E. A. is correct—piece might go in Dr.'s and H.'s book."

But W. while counselling its use, still grants, "Young may use it himself—in that case I would not advise you fellows to make any use of it. There are reasons for and against."

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