Skip to main content

Sunday, February 28, 1892

Sunday, February 28, 1892

10:15 A.M. My early round not so early as through the week. Ed Stafford in parlor chatting with Warrie. We suggested to him to go up and look at W., even if he happened to be asleep. Warrie rapidly preceded, returning to us and counselling, "He is asleep, but go quietly in and look at him." S. following the advice and I following him. He went up to the bed (tip-toeing) looking at W., who neither woke nor winked nor gave any sign of intelligence. Lay with his face towards window, showing pinched temples and nose and jaws. When Stafford came out I asked, "How does he seem to you?" "Like a dying man—like a man dying by inches," and further, "I was prepared to see that he had lost a good deal, but I did not expect to find him so near gone." Stafford and I went to Philadelphia together. He asked after J.W.W. and said they all liked him at Glendale, "all but his voice," he remarked. Told me of W.'s habits at Glendale. "He would make a great mess of the papers and mother would fix them up after her own notions, and he would say, when he got back and saw it—Susan, you have set things to rights—that is, have mixed them all up for me." (W. calls his room now, to me, "a damned wreck." I for a long time wondered how much of the room-cleaning he had noticed.) Stafford more circumstantially discussed the death of his father—his unexpected paralysis and the short ten days between that and death.

10:10 P.M. Back from Philadelphia and of course to W.'s. His day a fair one only, with almost constant sleep, and "only a scarce look at the papers." McAlister here but did not leave bulletins for Bucke. No other strangers. Mrs. Keller had been rummaging among things on his round table and he referred to it to Warrie. "The women always think they should put things in what they think or call order." The night promised to be a restless one. Several times in my stay of half an hour he called Warrie by ringing the bell. One pull was quite imperative. As Warrie entered in response to it, W. said, "I'll get you to turn me," which Warrie proceeded to do—finding it, of course, heavy enough. When he was done, he remarked, "Dr. McAlister should have lifted you then. He would know more about your weight." (McAlister guessed W.'s weight 100.) W. now responded, "Yes, he must be mistaken." Then Warrie asked, "How is the pain in the side?" "Not very sharp—only a suspicion—not enough to swear by." After a pause, "I'd like a cup of cold water, Warrie." "We can't get any of that brandy till tomorrow night." "Oh, that is bad!" "In the meantime I suppose the whiskey will do?" "Yes." "We ain't got any snow yet." "Oh!" "The wind is north-east." "Cold?" "Cool." "Oh! Nice, I guess—just healthy." Warrie meantime working about, then asking, "Anything else, Mr. Whitman?" "Nothing." Eyes closed most of the time. Made no remark, except in replies—never volunteering a word. That feature has characterized him for days.

Bucke writes on 26th—again back in London.

Back to top