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Walt Whitman to George and Susan Stafford, 16 January [1881]

 loc_jc.00493_large.jpg My dear friends

You havn't sent for the two big books Herbert sent you, so as I have been snowed in a good deal lately, I have opened them & read quite a good deal in them—they are queer books, the very finest of printing & paper & some odd pictures1—I got a postal from Mrs Gilchrist yesterday—she is improving—the rest all well—

—We have had a rough hard winter, all around—Keeps me in mostly, but I make a dash out now & then—I still keep pretty well this winter—if it hadn't been so cold I should have been down to see you—Ed how do you like being home again? But I think you are contented most any where—how is the nag? I was out once or twice sleighing—my brother took me—his mare Nelly is in fine condition—pretty lively—makes things fly sometimes


I have been in all day reading & writing—I have put up two sets of my books, to send off this evening's mail, to purchasers2—a very quiet day, but I have enjoyed it—outside it is cold and half-cloudy, not an inviting day out—

—Well Mont have you found any chance yet at telegraphing? I think the best thing a fellow can do this weather, is to stay home & keep warm,—but when the spring opens then make a dash somewhere—Van I suppose will make a farmer—well if he is satisfied, it is about as good as anything, I don't know but better—

There comes my call to dinner, & I shall go for it without delay & finish my helter-skelter letter afterwards.

Dinner all right, baked beef pie—I am now going out to see one of the ferry men a friend, very sick,—I have provided a bottle of brandy to take him, as I understand the doctor orders milk punch—there is a good deal of sickness around here, much diphtheria—Well I must stop—Good bye & Good bless you friends Susan, George, & Harry dear—



  • 1. See the letter from Whitman to Susan Stafford of January 30, 1881. Anne Gilchrist's "postal" has not been located. [back]
  • 2. In his Commonplace Book Whitman noted sending two volumes to John A. Scott in London; on the following day he forwarded a set to Miss Harriet W. Robinson in Brooklyn (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
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