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Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist, 1 January 1881

Was sorry—extremely sorry—to hear of your illness—trust you are well again by this time, (as fore-indicated by H[erbert]'s last)2—all H's books for Mrs S[tafford] came safely3—also letters & p.o. order—rec'd the good, long, fine letter from B[eatrice]4—The S's are all well as usual—I am getting along capitally for me this winter so far—have been & am writing quite a deal to order (astonishing, isn't it?)5—will surely send you when in print—I wish you would send the Cedar-Plums like6 to Rossetti—(I suppose you rec'd it)—what silly fictitious items appear about me in some of the English papers—(about as bad as here)—trust you all had merry Christmas & New Year's—Cold & deep snow here—



  • 1. This letter bears the address: Mrs Gilchrist | Keats corner 12 Well Road | Hampstead | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden | Jan | 2 | N.J.; (?) N.W. | E | Paid 20 Ja 81. [back]
  • 2. Herbert Gilchrist informed Whitman about his mother's health on December 13, 1880. On February 16, Anne Gilchrist wrote about her "bronchitis & cardiac asthma" (University of Pennsylvania). [back]
  • 3. See the letter from Whitman to Susan Stafford of January 30, 1881. [back]
  • 4. Apparently this letter is lost. [back]
  • 5. A reference to the articles for The Critic (see the letter from Whitman to Jeannette L. Gilder of December 31, 1880). [back]
  • 6. "Cedar-Plums Like" probably appeared late in 1880 in the Philadelphia Press. It was included in Specimen Days (ed. Floyd Stovall [New York: New York University Press, 1963], 245–248). On February 16, Mrs. Gilchrist referred to the notes in The Critic and "Cedar-Plums Like": they "are especially precious to me & I doubt not will be so to all friends & lovers of yours." [back]
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