Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William D. O'Connor to Walt Whitman, 19 March 1883

Date: March 19, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03279

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: Alex Kinnaman and Nicole Gray

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Providence, R.I
March 19, 1883

Dear Walt:

Wendell Phillips wrote long ago about the G.G.P. that Longinus-like, I was in the pamphlet all I described, or words to this effect. If the appendix is wholly composed of my compositions, and if Dr. Bucke agreed with W.P., Pope's lines in the Essay on Criticism about Longinus, would be no bad epigraph for the appendix. It is the height of modesty in me to make the suggestion, but we writing-fellows think no small beer of ourselves, and I don't propose to be singular among my tribe! The lines are as follows:


Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire,
And bless their critic with a poet's fire!
An ardent judge, who, zealous in his trust,
With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just;
Whose own example strengthens all his laws,
And is himself that great Sublime he draws.

Pope: Essay on Criticism.

How is this for high!!

I have not yet thought of anything better. How would the lines in Hamlet do?—

Francisco.—Stand ho! Who is there!
Horatio.—Friends to this ground.
Marcellus.—And liegemen to the Dane.

—Your card of the 18th just received.

W D O'Connor.


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