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Sunday Esopus N.Y. Sept 29, 1878 Dear Walt: I return your English papers, I was much interested in the Times article. How well those fellows write. I see the great Dr Holland has disposed of you again in the October Scribner, - you & Poe & Thoreau - in a paragraph. I think you might let Dr Holland alone You seem to worry him a good deal. The picture you sent
Smith fills my eye completely. It is one of the few successful pictures of you that I have seen - the best of the hat photos, I wish you would send me one. Smith was away when the picture came attending his sick brother, who has since died - an event that has saddened me much. He was younger than Smith & a most attractive young fellow. He worked at my fathers & had done so for two years. He was about the best specimen of a young Country farm hand I ever knew. You would have loved him
He was like one of your poems, with his great strength, his robust health, his blond hair, his cheerfulness & contentment, his universal good will & his silent manly ways he was a youth hard to match & to know him was to love him; He was murdered by an old doctor. He had the typhoid fever & the old fool bled him twice. He lived to wear out the fever, but had not strength to rally. He was out of his head nearly all the time. In the morning as he died in the afternoon Smith was standing over him when Charlie put up his arm around Smith's neck & pulled his face down to him & kissed him. Smith said he
knew then the end was near. Smith stuck to him day & night til the last. When I was home in August he was [cradling ?] on the hill, & it was a picture to see him walk through the grain. All work seemed play to him. He had no vices any more than nature has & was beloved by all who knew him. I have written thus to you about him, for such young men belong to you; he was of your kind. I wish you could have known him. He had the sweetness of a child & the strength & courage & readiness of a young viking. His mother & father are poor: they have a rough hard farm. His mother works in the field with her husband when the work presses. She has had 12 children, & lost 6 of them. But I must stop. We are well. The baby grows finely. Send me a picture if you have one John Burroughs
[n side of page:] Where are the Gilchrists?