Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Herbert Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, 15 January 1882

Date: January 15, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02204

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

Contributors to digital file: Vince Moran, Eder Jaramillo, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein

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Keats Corner
Hampstead 12 Well Road
London England.
Sunday morn. January 15th

My dear dear Walt

Your altogether good letter came to hand yesterdy morn: old, new, and genial. Nothing like a ducking—apropos of your journey to Kirkwood amid the pouring rain—nothing like a ducking I say to make a fellow appreciate sunshine, the old story light and shade—: By jove though we havent seen the sun here for one, two, three, four days: a solid impenetrable white mist shutting that divine element away from our view: we are like blind men for the time and turn our eyes inward & trust to an inward mental something as a substitute for the sun.

You say Glendale woods are wintry & bare, but there is no such colour as is to be met with as in winter landscape so full and varied where the hungry eye rests upon a dash of emerald green with startled pleasure and is amazed at the depth of hue in the leafless twigs & branches of myriads of trees.

The chiming of church bells float musically up Haverstock Hill greeting my ears pleasantly as I sit here in our pretty drawing-room writing this. I shall be sorry when nations no longer go to church & church bells cease chiming, but I needn't worry for it wont be in my time any how.

I wish too that you could send me some cedar branches thick with the china-blue little plums strange, I have no recollection of such things in America. Yes, I have glanced at the Guiteau trial curious isn't it?

The surroundings at Glendale suit you when you are there I am glad, you are in relation with that which is in harmony with you.

Mother is ill in bed to day but will be better by and bye—Giddy is only pretty well—a Miss Beely Giddie's friend is staying with us, Carpenter introduced her to us.

Carpenter stayed a few days with us a week or two ago, & was looking very flourishing has grown a beard which becomes him, he has given up lecturing, for little gardening and a little literature and a little democratic sociableness etc: Friday evening Henry Holmes—one on the first violinists here in London very good-naturedly volunteered to stand to me for a picture of Consuelo & Hayden playing at the canons window; so that I am painting I shall get the proper professional twist in the handling of the violin besides he has explained the good points wch a violin should possess: as a musician he praises the conception of my picture and seems interested

The women think that Carpenter is not looking well.


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