I must jot down a story Parton told me. N.P. Willis
in his early days was engaged to be married to Benjamin�s
sister. Being in debt and dunned by a livery-stable
keeper N. P. mentioned this engagement as a plea for
postponement. He was going to marry the rich Miss B.
and then he�d be able to pay. The livery-stable keeper
tattled, the brother broke of the match and has hated Willis
ever since. To this hour N.P. doesn�t know why the
lady wouldn�t have him. They were a toppingly-rich family.
17. Friday. To�Constellation� Office, saw Roberts, the
publisher, had talk with him, left MS, and drawing �
come again on Monday. Reading Acton on Prostitution.
Out to Dixon�s for an hour at night, thinking to borrow
other books to read up for reviewing Sanger. Returned
by 10 1/2 . Writing to Hannah.
18. Saturday. In doors all day reading Sanger and
Acton. There�s no scope for a slashing review of the for-
mer as Mc Elrath suggested. Apart from a certain
amount of book-making and unnesscesarily diffusive comment,
his book�s well enough. I�m not going to pitch into it
against my conscience. All that could be honestly said
in objection might be put in two or three paragraphs.
The backbone of a strong literary criticism should be
truth � making out a case to order would produce a
wretched as well as an unfair article. Acton�s book
is the better and smaller of the two � terse, strong, honest,
and clear-thought. These men who deal with facts �
who look at life undraped � knock conventional notions
all to smash, when they speak, in the most edifying