In Whitman's Hand

Manuscripts

About this Item

Title: Lofty Sirs!

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1840 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00387

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Edward Grier concludes that this manuscript was likely written before 1855 because of its similarity to several of the notebooks that Whitman wrote from that period (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 6:2110). The tone of the statements is also consistent with Whitman's early journalistic and editorial persona, and it's possible that this was a draft of a piece of journalism. An image of the reverse of this manuscript is currently unavailable.

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth M. Price



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Lofty sirs! you are very select and very [or?][cut away] and will have reserved seats in the ninetieth heaven no doubt, [a?] and move among ^recognize only the best dressed and most polite angels, well dressed, [illegible] and with real spirits and whose names are on silver door plates,—and folding sliding doors between gas at night in the parlors.—(As for me I am a born loafer.— democrat.—I assume this day, the whole debt of all I take my place by right among the sudorous or sweaty men classes, who feel know not whether among the boys men in their shirt sleeves,—the sunburnt, the unshaved, the huge paws.—) Ay dost th You You are proud of your books, your style, your bland and speech and possessed ease in society.—You put your ^scorch with words of pert scorn upon all intruders the and all vagaries of reformers and innovaters.—How those niggers smell! How dare that pPaddy ride in the same omnibus with me?—What are we coming to, that an ostler driver or the common dock wo workman of a scow, is a handsomer man with be has better finer health and cleaner shaped limbs than I, who do business in my own office or store?—And these radicals and wild ^new fangled new crazy loafers with their 'ologies and their 'isms—who can tell what the poor devils mean? Likely they do not know themselves!—




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