Menlo Park NJ, July 13 1885
(added a new tag for Edisonblog! so you can find the other entries)
Woke (is there such a word) at 6 oclock– slipped down the declivity of unconciousness again until 7. arose and tried to shave with a razor so dull that everytime I scraped my face it looked as if I was in the throes of cholera morbus. By shaving often I too a certain extent circumvent the diabolical malignity of these razors — if I could get my mind down to details perhaps I could learn to sharpen it, but on the otherhand I might cut myself- As I had to catch the 7.30 am train for New York I hurried breakfast, crowded meat potatoes, eggs, coffee, tandem down into the chemical room of my body I’ve now got dyspepsia in that diabolical thing that Carlyle calls the stomach, rushed and caught train– Bought a New York World at Elizabeth for my mental breakfast– Among the million of perfected mortals on Manhattan island two of them took it into their heads to cut their naval chord from mother earth and be born into a new world, while two other less developed citizens stopped two of the neighbors from living– The details of these two little incidents conveyed to my mind what beautiful creatures we live among, and how with the aid of the police, civilization so rapidly advances–
Went to New York via DeoGrosseo Street ferry- took cars across town- saw a woman get into car that was so tall and frightfully thin as well as dried up that my mechanical mind at once conceived the idea that it would be the proper thing to run a lancet into her arm and knew [ed: knee?] joints and insert automatic self feeding oil cups to diminish the creaking when she walked– Got off at Broadway- tried experiment of walking two miles to our office 65 5th Ave with idea it would alleviate my dyspeptic pains– It didn’t — Went into Scribner & Sons on way up and saw about a thousand books I wanted right off. Mind No 1 said why not buy a box of fluff and send to Boston now- Mind No 2 (acquired and worldly mind) gave a most withering mental glance and mind No 1 and said You fool, buy only two books, these you can carry without trouble and will last you until you get to Boston, Buying books in NYork to send to Boston is like “carrying coals to Newcastle” of course I took the advice of this Earthly adviser– Bought Aldrich’s Story of a Bad Boy which is a spongecake kind of literature, very witty and charming- and a work on Goethe Schiffer by Boynsen which is soggy literature a little wit + anecdote in this style of literature would have the same effect as baking soda on bread, give pleasing results.
Waited one hour for the appearance of a lawyer who is to cross-examine me on events that occurred 11 years ago– went on stand at 1130– He handed me a piece of paper with some figures on it, not another mark, asked in a childlike voice if these were my figures, what they were about and what day 11 years ago I made them– This implied compliment to the splendor of my memory was at first so pleasing to my vanity that I tried every means to trap my memory into stating just what he wanted– but then I thought what good is a compliment from a 10 cent lawyer, and I waived back my recollection. A lawsuit is the suicide of Time. — Got through at 3 30 PM– waded through a lot of accumulated correspondence mostly relating to other peoples business– Insull saw Wiman about getting car for Railroad Telegh experiment– will get costs in day or so. — Tomlinson made Sammy mad by saying he Insull was Valet to my intellect = Got $100 met Dot and skipped for the Argosy of the Puritan Sea; ie Sound Steamboat, — Dot is reading a novel– rather trashy. Love hash. — I completed reading Aldrich’s Bad Boy and advanced 50 pages in Goethe then retired to a “Sound” Sleep