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W. Hale White to Walt Whitman, 23 October 1882

 loc_vm.02415_large.jpg Dear Sir,

Mrs. Gilchrist of Hampstead showed me yesterday a new book of yours which I have not got. You had just sent it to her. I must have a copy. Will you kindly send me one and tell me what the price is, or if you prefer it, tell me what the price is first and let me have the book when you get the order for the money. I obtained the Two Rivulets from you direct, and therefore apply to you directly now.

I have one additional favour to ask of you. It is twenty two  loc_vm.02416_large.jpg years ago since I first bought the "Leaves of Grass" and before that time I had most earnestly proclaimed to all my friends, on the strength of what I had read of yours that here was a new fact and that America through you had found an interpreter to its hitherto unrecognised meaning. Everybody was sceptical and many sneered. Some however have been since converted.

Therefore, may I beg of you to let me have in the copy which you are going to send to me all the portraits which are in the one Mrs. Gilchrist has and to write my name also in my copy. I make this request because  loc_vm.02417_large.jpg Mrs. Gilchrist told me that the edition for the public is not quite like hers.

I learn from her that your health is better and she showed me a card from you which to my great delight revealed the old satisfaction with the world and the old joy in the sunshine. I too have a long way turned the corner and hope that your peace and steadfast content may be mine to the end—

Ever yours W. Hale White Walt Whitman Esq:  loc_vm.02418_large.jpg


  • 1. On the letter, Whitman noted "book sent $3 due" and, with a different pen, "paid." [back]
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