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Rudolf Schmidt to Walt Whitman, 17 July 1875

 loc.01914.001_large.jpg My dear Walt Whitman,

I write you these lines from a little village two miles from Weimar, where I have visited the Tombs of Goethe1 and Schiller2 and felt all the great recollection awaken. I have had a great deal of toilsome labour this spring and now I am seeking refreshment between the pines of Thüringerwald, living among a very amiable and childlike population. The Germans dont​ understand their  loc.01914.002_large.jpg deeds after all. Preussen is the iron crest of this huge and soft German body; but the body is so soft indeed, that one should think, there were no bones in it.

If the language did not impact my fancy and ideas I should have a great deal to tell you. Let these lines shortly tell you, that you have been remembered in the metropole of German geniuses, and send some lines to the old [illegible] 16 with information of your state of health.

Hoping the best I am your Danish friend Rudolf Schmidt  loc.01914.003_large.jpg  loc.01914.004_large.jpg Rud. Schmidt July 17, '75 Ans. July 31.

The Danish writer Peter Carl Rudolf Schmidt (1836–1899) was the editor of the idealist journal For Idé og Virkelighed ("For Idea and Reality") and had translated Whitman's Democratic Vistas into Danish in 1874.


  • 1. The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) was famous for The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) and Faust (1808), in which Faust sells his soul to the devil. [back]
  • 2. Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) was a German philosopher, poet, and playwright. [back]
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