"....Quite true - now that it is established as an improbability it becomes true! -
They tell me that December has been fixed upon by the fates for my arrival in
my New York - and if I escape the Atlantic I am to be wrecked by the reporter on the pier! -
I shall be in his hands even as is the sheep before the shearer - for I have learned nothing from those who have gone before - and been lost too -
What will you! - I know Mathew Arnold, and am told that he whispered truth exquisite, unheeded, in the haste of America -
And the others who have crossed the seas that they might fasten upon the the [sic] hurried ones at home, and gird at them with wisdom h
iysterically acquired, and administered with unblushingly with a suddeness [sic] of purpose that prevented their ever being listened to here! Shall I too Shall I follow in their wake to be met with suspiccoin [sic] by my compatriots and resented as the invading instructor? Heavens I hope not! -
Yet in the papers where naturally I read only of myself I gather an impression of general offensive aggressiveness that coupled with Chase's most lamentable lampoon has prepared me for the tomahawk on landing! -
Why did he do this wicked thing! and I who was charming and made him beautiful on canvas - the Masher of the Avenues!
But I may not again put off this visit hitherto deferred because as
I told you remember I told you found Art
I told you even as it is, I found Art so absolutely irritating in it's effect upon the People that I really hesitate before exasperating another Nation -
Written at the top of the page, in JW's hand.
4. the sheep before the shearer
JW is alluding to Isaiah 53:7 - 'He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.'
6. Shall I follow in their wake to
This passage is joined by a line to the relevant text.