In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: far. Amongst this

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1844 and 1846

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07421

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript appears to be a partial draft of a piece of fiction about a character named Ganguernet. The January 1844 issue of The Knickerbocker magazine featured a story called "Ganguernet: Or, 'A Capital Joke,'" which was "Translated from the French by John Hunter." The story includes a scene with a nearly identical plot to the one described in this portion of Whitman's manuscript, although the wording is, for the most part, quite different. It is unclear whether Whitman was simply paraphrasing Hunter's translation, or whether both stories were derived separately from the same source text. On the back of the leaf is a draft of Whitman's early poem "The Play-Ground," which was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on June 1, 1846. As the prose draft is crossed out and the poetry draft is not, it is likely that the poetry draft was written later. Thus, the date of composition for the prose manuscript is probably between 1844 and 1846. The title "The Play-Ground" is written vertically along the left side of this leaf, presumably labeling the material on the reverse.

Related item: On the reverse of this leaf is a draft of Whitman's poem "The Play-Ground." See loc.00264.

Contributors to digital file: Kirby Little, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Stephanie Blalock, and Kenneth M. Price

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[cut away] far. Amongst this latter class, I shall merely recount one, which may give some idea of the extent to which Mr Ganguernet carried his passion for frolic, as well as the serious consequences sometimes attendant on these passtimes.

It is about three weeks since Mr Ernest de B..... invited several of his friends on a hunting party; Ganguernet was among the invited. Just as the guests arrived Ernest was sealing a letter which he had [ju?] been writing; he placed it in the chimney piece whilst he greeted his friends with a welcome.

Ganguernet, with his usual curiosity took up the letter, and having looked at the direction—Ah, said he, you have been writing to your sister in law.

—Yes replied Ernest, in an indifferent tone; I have been giving her notice that she may expect us all to at dinner this evening at seven oclock; As our party is rather large (fifteen, I believe) I thought it prudent to give her notice, lest [by?] taking her by surprize, we might run the risk of finding but a poor dinner.

Ernest rang the bell, and gave the note to the servant with directions to take it to the chateau of his sister in law. No one however perceived that Ganguernet left the room at the same moment.

In the course of half an hour all the party had started for the field, each choosing th[eir?] different directions. Ganguernet and another ^young [man?] of the [par?]ty took the same direction.

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