Title: The regular old followers
Creator: Walt Whitman
Date: Between 1853 and 1855
Editorial note: Whitman likely wrote the building specifications on what is presented here as the last page of this notebook first, and then flipped the notebook over and wrote notes from the other direction. References to the San Francisco can be dated to sometime after January 1854. The cover of the notebook is labeled "Note Book Walt Whitman" in a hand that is not Whitman's. Selections from this notebook were used in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass. See Edward Grier, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:113–117.
Source: Notebook LC #83 | The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original item.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00024
Contributors to digital file: Eric Conrad, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, Matt Cohen, and Brett Barney
The regular old followers of the law and traditions as plainly first expounded among the Mahometans are called Loonees
^[cut away] [cut away] wonders
What is it to own any thing?—It is to incorporate it into yourself, as the primal god swallowed the twelve five immortal offspring of Gaea Rhea, and added accumulated to his life and stren knowledge and strength all that would have grown in them.—
lifting hauling and hoisting lowering and hoisting of them, and so goes on for a lifetime, and they never serve to his sinews and blood and senses ^for food or for warmth.—The more of these he has, the more books to keep, the more he must stays indoors, the more he demeans and wilts himself and shins it, and deforms himself into the crooked. Will it pay?—if he merely have all the care and
Just as much as the care-taker of beef and apples who never eats thereof and coal which never warm him nor enrich
into the soul and is [cut away] strength and life and knowledge they evoke there.—
I will not envy a man who possesses [a?] sides of beef and barrels of apples or cubic rods of good coal
Faith.—Becalmed at sea, a man refreshes himself by swimming round the ship.—A little child seeing him deaf and dumb boy is looking over the his younger brother and the swimmer, lazily floating lazily on his back, smiles and beckons with his head for the babe to come.—
Without [illegible] waiting a moment the young child, laughing and clucking springs into the
Joy Joy! O full of Joy
On the sea-shore Away becalmed at sea one day
I saw a babe, laughing kicking, &c &c
And as a swimmer passed floated idly in the waves, he called the child.—Laughing it sprang, and there
Black Bob and the young girl
When the passengers ship strikes, who thinks of a gold watch or earrings?—
When the San Francisco was wrecked, the most valuable gjewelry lay about the cabin unnoticed on the floor
sea, and as he rises to the surface feels no fear but laughs and though he sink and drown he feels it not for the man is with him there
The Death, Disaster, and temptation, are the examiners and measurers of ^a man.—They take his weight and density; and thenceforward he can be labeled or stamped at so much value.
Agitation is the test of the goodness and solidness of all politics and laws and institutions [illegible] and religions.—If they cannot stand it, there is no life genuine life in them, and shall die.
Where others see some a dolt, a clown, in rags ^slave a pariah an emptier of privies.... the Poet beholds what shall one day be, when the days of the soul are accomplished ^shall be be a mate for the greatest gods the peer of god.
Where others are scornfully silent at some one steerage passenger from a foreign land, or black ^or emptier of privies the poet says, "Good day, mMy brother! good day!"
And to the great king "How are you friend?"
Hav You have timidly waded close to the shore, wading holding a board
Come with me, I [and?] that I learn teach you that you be a bold swimmer, and leap from the into the open ^[plain sou?] unsounded sea, and come up, and laugh shout, and laughingly shake the water from your hair.—
The poet is a recruiter
He goes forth beating the drum.—O, who will not join his troop?
The boat starts out from her ship, and finds a vast cake of ice reaching from one shore to the other. Five times she drives into it, and five times recoils and has to put back.—The sixth time she plunges far desperately on, the ice opens a crack as she advances, and so makes a chance for her just the very way she most wants to go.—
When a grand and melodious thought is taken told to men for the first time, in ^down and within their hearts ^they each one says in it down and within, That music! those large and exquisite passages! where have I heard them before?
a noble soul shows off often illustrates itself in what the world rates as trivial; the grandeur and beauty of the spirit making the commonest action more luminous than the sun.—I knew of a poor woman, in a little farm house in the country, who took a pair of ^her home-knit stockings and exchanged them at the store for tea.—Coming home she stopped at her nearest neighbor's gate, and called to her that she had tea, ^something good; and the neighbor [illegible] must fetch out a cup and go
half halves; for both loved tea, and had no money, and were without for a some days, and had no money.—
Front windows on first floor,—lights 13 x 17—Window five lights high—
A sash of two lights across top—The other eight lights made in two door-sides, hung each with hinges