Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William D. O'Connor to Walt Whitman, 26 October 1882

Date: October 26, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03066

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: Stefan Schoeberlein, Kirsten Clawson, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

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October 26, 1882.

Dear Walt:

I have just received your postal card of the 25th, and am sorry to think of you as ill. I have it in mind to write you soon—as soon as I can get a little release from the mass of office work which at this season crowds me to the wall, and compels me to forego everything—and only dash off a word to you now in view of your illness, which, as you tell me it is from the liver, malarial, etc., suggests to me to tell you of a simple remedy, which I have tried myself for such a disorder, and found strangely effectual. It is simply to squeeze into a tumbler the juice of two or three lemons (say three) and fill up with ice waterreal ice water. The coldness of the water prevents the extreme acidity of the draught from being tasted. Half of this may be drunk at night upon going to bed, and the other half in the morning. I will bet four dollars that it will make you feel better. You will be surprised at the good effect.

The doctors don't know much of anything, and all good remedies, outside of regimen (air, food, exercise, etc.) are easily resolved into a few old-wives' simples—like this. For a surcharged liver, billiousness, etc., you will find it excellent.

—More anon. The infernal report jams me just now.

I received one Sunday Herald, but not two. A splendid article. I have not yet had time to read your book. But soon I shall be freer, and my first act shall be to collect the Oliver Stevens letters into a pamphlet and send it flying.

Goodbye. In haste
W. Whitman.


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