Letter from James Whitcomb Riley to Howard S. Taylor

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Reports a busy lecture season in New England. New lecture prepared, entitled, "Eli, and How He Got There." Has a regular engagement with Life magazine for verse and a prose series "Judkins' Boy."

This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

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Greenfield, Ind. April 24, '83 Dear Taylor: Your illustrated postal was a great delight to me - although it rather unjustly accused me of neglect in not writing to you. But if it seemed neglect to you, a hundred other duties suffered the same treatment, and as unavoidably:- I have been racing to keep up with the procession, and for a year have been too out-o-breath to even pant a letter to my now only brother in the world - so you see I have some claim not only on your forgiveness but your sympathy as well. How I want to see you, and how I want to talk and talk with you! On a flying visit to Greencastle some weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of meeting with your Mother for the

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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first time - a wonderful woman I thought her. She told me you were expected out this way again in a short time - but you never came - or - if you did - slipped like a gleam of vigilant evasiveness past me, as you did the visit to Terre Haute and Crawfordsville before. Later I saw your brother John, who said he'd tell me when you came, but I have heard no word from him since then. The closing lecture season has been good to me all through - far better than any season I have yet experienced. I had two months of it in New England states, and seemed to capture every audience. I have many new things written, but few committed. This summer I must devote largely to that very difficult and disagreeable duty. Will have for next season's business one bran-splinter new lecture entitled "Eli and How He Got There." It will have stuff in it you would like I am sure, and I'd like to fire it at you. I have a regular engagement with Soife, a new humorous illustrated publication at New York which pays me handsomely, and promises to broaden and advance my literary prospects - in that line, of course. Outside of contributions there in verse I have a prose series running, under title "Judkins' Boy", which will continue indefinately - having taken so well. I am first informed by Editor that a Boston artist will illustrate the continued numbers - sending me an illustrated letter from him over which I have laughed till I cried. And now God bless you! I think of you all the time, and must see you soon, your good wife and the children. Give all my heartiest regards

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and warmest wishes, and read aloud to them the very latest jingles the tardy-coming summer has wrung from the weeping pen of Young as ever, J.W. Riley

Last edit 12 months ago by shashathree
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