Selection copyright © 1997 by Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. This edition may not be reproduced or redistributed to third parties without permission of the editor.

To Walt Whitman

7 October 1871

My dear sir.

When a man has ventured to dedicate his work to another without authority or permission, I think that he is bound to make confession of the liberty he has taken. This must be my excuse for sending to you the crude poem ["Love and Death"] in wh[ich] you may perchance detect some echo, faint & feeble, of your Calamus. — As I have put pen to paper I cannot refrain from saying that since the time when I first took up Leaves of Grass in a friend's rooms at Trinity College Cambridge six years ago till now, your poems have been my constant companions. I have read them in Italy by the shores of the Mediterranean, under pine trees or caverns washed by the sea — and in Switzerland among the alpine pastures and beside the glaciers. At home I have found in them pure air and health — the free breath of the world — when often cramped by illness and the cares of life. What one man can do by communicating to those he loves the treasure he has found, I have done among my friends.

I say this in order that I may, as simply as may be, tell you how much I owe to you. He who makes the words of a man his spiritual food for years is greatly that man's debtor.

* * *

7 February 1872

Dear Mr Whitman

Your letter found me today. This is my permanent address [i.e. Clifton Hill House]. I live here in a large old house which belonged to my father — a house on a hill among trees looking down upon Bristol with its docks & churches — a picturesque labyrinth of masts and spires and houseroofs.

Your letter gave me the keenest pleasure I have felt for a long time. I had not exactly expected to hear from you. Yet I felt that if you liked my poem you would write. So I was beginning to dread that I had struck some quite wrong chord — that perhaps I had seemed to you to have arrogantly confounded your own fine thought & pure feeling with the baser metal of my own nature. What you say has reassured me and has solaced me nearly as much as if I had seen the face and touched the hand of you — my Master!

For many years I have been attempting to express in verse some of the forms of what in a note to Democratic Vistas (as also in a blade of Calamus) you call "adhesiveness". I have traced passionate friendship through Greece, Rome, the medieval & the modern world, & I have now a large body of poems written but not published. In these I trust the spirit of the Past is faithfully set forth as far as my abilities allow.

It was while engaged upon this work (years ago now) that I first read Leaves of Grass. The man who spoke to me from that Book impressed me in every way most profoundly and unalterably; but especially did I then learn confidently to believe that the Comradeship, which I conceived as on a par with the Sexual feeling for depth & strength & purity & capability of all good, was real — not a delusion of distorted passions, a dream of the Past, a scholar's fancy — but a strong & vital bond of man to man.

Yet even then how hard I found it — brought up in English feudalism, educated at an aristocratic public School (Harrow) and an over refined University (Oxford) — to winnow from my own emotions and from my conception of the ideal friend, all husks of affectations and aberrations and to be a simple human being. You cannot tell quite how hard this was, & how you helped me.

I have pored for continuous hours over the pages of Calamus (as I used to pore over the pages of Plato), longing to hear you speak, burning for a revelation of your more developed meaning, panting to ask — is this what you would indicate? — Are then the free men of your lands really so pure & loving & noble & generous & sincere? Most of all did I desire to hear from your own lips — or from your pen — some story of athletic friendship from which to learn the truth. Yet I dared not to address you or dreamed that the thoughts of a student could abide the inevitable shafts of your searching intuition.

Shall I ever be permitted to question you & learn from you?

What the love of man for man has been in the Past I think I know. What it is here now, I know also — alas! What you say it can & shall be I dimly discern in your Poems. But this hardly satisfies me — so desirous am I of learning what you teach. Some day, perhaps — in some form, I know not what, but in your own chosen form — you will tell me more about the Love of Friends! Till then I wait. Meanwhile you have told me more than anyone beside.

* * *

9 December 1889

Dear and honoured Friend and Master

I thank you from my heart for the gift of your great book — that beautiful complete book of your poems and your prose, which I call "Whitman's Bible".

But my heart has not the power to make my brain and hands tell you how much I thank you.

None of your eleves, your disciples, will be able to tell the world what they have gained from you, what they owe to you, what you are for them.

I cannot even attempt to tell yourself (upon this page of paper with this pen in my hand), what it is that makes me ask you now to bless me.

If my health, riven to the bottom like a tree in me, twelve years ago, — and the cares of a family, complicated with this affair of health — had not prevented, I should long ago have come to see you in the flesh, to ask counsel of you, and to assure you of my inviolable fidelity.

We are both growing old, and nearly half a hemisphere divides us. Yet nothing can divide souls, or separate that which is inseparable in the divine nature of the world.

Perhaps we shall yet meet: and then, beyond the death of this life, I shall ask you about things which have perplexed me here — to which I think you alone could have given me an acceptable answer. All such matters will probably sink into their proper place in the infinite perspective; and when we meet, a comrade's hand-touch and a kiss will satisfy me, and a look into your eyes.

But, if we come to be judged, I shall go to the judgment- seat and say: "Call out Walt Whitman. Let him pronounce upon the doings of this man, this me; and let me be confronted with him; before you judges pass your sentence".

I cannot find words better fitted to express the penetrative force with which you have entered into me, my reliance on you, and my hope that you will not disapprove of my conduct in the last resort.

As I cannot talk to you, I feel the need to say this; because you have exercised a controlling influence over me for half a century. It is not often, I take it, that one man can say so much as I am saying to a man whom he has never seen. ...

When I read your bible, I miss — and I have missed for many years in new editions — the poem which first thrilled me like a trumpet-call to you. It was called: "Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me". Why have you so consistently omitted this in the canon of your works?

Upon me, your disciple, it made a decisive impact. "I put down the book, filled with the bitterest envy". And I rose up, to follow you. I miss the words now.

I am old now, and you are older in years, though everlastingly young, in ways not given to all men to be so. So perhaps I ought not ask why you omitted that poem from "Calamus", and what you meant by it. It means for me so infinitely much. I cannot say how much.

Well: the disciple weighs his Master's words, too scrupulously — and thinks perhaps too much of his omissions or dark sayings. He must not ask for answers to his questions, but express the total of the teaching in his works and ways.

That I shall do ever, so far as I am your man — marked with your seal and superscription; and what my addiction to you will later bring forth, is a matter for the literary historians of England to decide — if only I have life and time for future working.

More and more of you will be found in me, the longer I live and the firmer I become in manhood.

* * *

3 August 1890

My dear Master

. . . I want next to ask you a question about a very important portion of your teaching, which has puzzled a great many of your disciples and admirers. To tell the truth, I have always felt unable to deal, as I wish to do, comprehensively with your philosophy of life, because I do not even yet understand the whole drift of "Calamus". If you have read Mr Havelock Ellis' "New Spirit", which contains a study of your work in thought and speculation, you may have noticed on p: 108 that he expresses some perplexity about the doctrine of "manly love", and again on p: 121 he uses this phrase "the intimate and physical love of comrades and lovers".

This reference to Havelock Ellis helps me to explain what it is I want to ask you. In your conception of Comradeship, do you contemplate the possible intrusion of those semi-sexual emotions and actions which no doubt do occur between men? I do not ask, whether you approve of them, or regard them as a necessary part of the relation? But I should much like to know whether you are prepared to leave them to the inclinations and the conscience of the individuals concerned?

For my own part, after mature deliberation, I hold that the present laws of France and Italy are right upon this topic of morality. They place the personal relations of adults of both sexes upon the same foundation: that is to say, they protect minors, punish violence, and guard against outrages of public decency. Within these limitations, they leave individuals to do what they think fit. But, as you know, these principles are in open contradiction with the principles of English (and I believe American) legislation.

It has not infrequently occurred to me among my English friends to hear your "Calamus" objected to, as praising and propagating a passionate affection between men, which (in the language of the objectors) has "a very dangerous side", and might "bring people into criminality".

Now: it is of the utmost importance to me as your disciple, and as one who wants sooner or later to diffuse a further knowledge of your life-philosophy by criticism; it is most important to me to know what you really think about all this.

I agree with the objectors I have mentioned that, human nature being what it is, and some men having a strong natural bias toward persons of their own sex, the enthusiasm of "Calamus" is calculated to encourage ardent and physical intimacies.

But I do not agree with them in thinking that such a result would be absolutely prejudicial to Social interests, while I am certain that you are right in expecting a new Chivalry (if I may so speak) from one of the main and hitherto imperfectly developed factors of the human emotional nature. This, I take it, is the spiritual outcome of your doctrine in Calamus.

And, as I have said, I prefer the line adopted by French and Italian legislature[s] to that of the English penal code.

Finally, what I earnestly desire to know is whether you are content to leave the ethical problems regarding the private behaviour of comrades toward each other, to the persons' own sense of what is right and fit — or whether, on the other hand, you have never contemplated while uttering the Gospel of Comradeship, the possibility of any such delicate difficulties occurring.

Will you enlighten me on this? If I am not allowed to hear from yourself or from some one who will communicate your views, I fear I shall never be able to utter what I want to tell the world about your teaching, with the confidence and the thorough sense of not misinterpreting you in one way or the other which are inseparable from truly sympathetic and powerful exposition.

The precise drift of "Whoever you are" — what the one indispensable thing is — I cannot get at; and I am not sure what the drift of "Earth my likeness" is. — Ah, if I could only once have spoken to you, you would certainly have let me know — Lieber Mann, geehrter Meister, das fehlt mir doch! —

It is perhaps strange that a man within 2 months of completing his 50th year should care at all about this ethical bearing of Calamus. Of course I do not care much about it, except that ignorance on the subject prevents me from forming a complete view of your life-philosophy.

* * *

5 September 1890

My dear Master

I am sincerely obliged to you for your letter of August 19. It is a great relief to me to know so clearly and precisely what you feel about the question I raised. Your phrases "gratuitous and quite at the time undreamed and unrecked possibility of morbid inferences — which are disavowed by me and seem damnable", set the matter as straight as can be, base the doctrine of calamus upon a foundation of granite.

I am not surprised; for this indeed is what I understood to be your meaning, since I have studied Leaves of Grass in the right way — interpreting each part by reference to the whole and in the spirit of the whole. The result of this study was that the "adhesiveness" of comradeship had no interblending with the "amativeness" of sexual love.

Yet you must not think that the "morbid inferences", which to you "seem damnable", are quite "gratuitous" or outside the range of possibility. Frankly speaking, the emotional language of Calamus is such as hitherto has not been used in the modern world about the relation between friends. For a student of ancient literature it presents a singular analogue to the early Greek enthusiasm of comradeship in arms — as that appeared among the Dorian tribes, and made a chivalry for prehistoric Hellas. And you know what singular anomalies were connected with this lofty sentiment in the historic period of Greek development.

Again, you cannot be ignorant that a certain percentage (small but appreciable) of male beings are always born into the world, whose sexual instincts are what the Germans call "inverted". During the last 25 years much attention, in France, Germany, Austria and Italy, has been directed to the psychology and pathology of these abnormal persons. In 1889 the Penal Code of Italy was altered by the erasion of their eccentricities from the list of crimes.

Looking then to the lessons of the past in ancient Greece, where a heroic chivalry of comradeship grew intertwined with moral abominations (I speak as a modern man), and also to the Contemporary problem offered by the class of persons I have mentioned — who will certainly have somehow to be dealt with in the light of science, since the eyes of science have been drawn towards them: looking, I say, to both these things, it became of the utmost importance to know for certain what you thought about those "morbid inferences". For you have announced clearly that a great spiritual factor lies latent in Comradeship, ready to leap forth and to take a prominent part in the energy of the human race. It is, I repeat, essential that the interpreters of your prophecy should be able to speak authoritatively and decisively about their Master's Stimmung, his radical instinct with regard to the emotional and moral quality of the comradeship he announces.

I am sorry to have annoyed you with this discussion. But you will see, I hope now, that it was not wholly unnecessary or unprofitable.

With the explanation you have placed in my hands, and which you give me liberty to use, I can speak with no uncertain voice, and with no dread lest the enemy should blaspheme.

The conclusion reached is, to my mind, in every way satisfactory. I am so profoundly convinced that you are right in all you say about the great good which is to be expected from Comradeship as you conceive it, and as alone it can be a salutary human bond, that the power of repudiating those "morbid inferences" authoritatively — should they ever be made seriously or uttered openly, either by your detractors or by the partizans of some vicious crankiness — sets me quite at ease as to my own course.

I will tell my bookseller in London to send you a copy of the "Contemporary" in which there is an essay by me on the "Dantesque and Platonic Ideals of Love". You will see something there about the Dorian Chivalry of Comradeship to wh[ich] I have alluded in this letter. It seems to me, I confess, still doubtful whether (human nature being what it is) we can expect wholly to eliminate some sensual alloy from any emotions which are raised to a very high pitch of passionate intensity. But the moralizing of the emotions must be left to social feeling and opinion in general, and ultimately to the individual conscience.

I am greatly interested in your "Rejoinder" (wh[ich] by the way has been reprinted in the PMG [Pall Mall Gazette]). Anything you say about the inception and performance of your great life-work has value. — I have been ill; six days in bed with high fever, a lung-inflammation serious to me; only just up again for a few hours. Ever yours with deep gratitude and true affection.

John Addington Symonds

To Edward Carpenter

20 March 1892

My dear Carpenter

I duly received the gift of your book "Towards Democracy" in its third edition, & have been reading it with sustained interest ever since it came into my hands. It is certainly the most important contribution which has as yet been made to the diffusion of Whitman's philosophy of life, & what I think we may now call the new religion.

You must not mind my saying that I somewhat regret the doubtless inevitable circumstance of the form of your work suggesting an echo or imitation of Whitman. It has so much that is original, individual to yourself in it, that this seems to me a pity and as likely to make careless or hostile readers lay it aside as a mere sub-species of "Leaves of Grass".

And yet I do not know in what better way an extended commentary or exposition of the principles involved in the "incommensurable" production could have been given to the English public. Mere criticism I feel to be helpless face to face with Whitman. As I have said in print, I feel that talking about him is much the same as talking about the Universe.

What you have done has been to give a thoroughly personal, a specifically English, & if I may so put it, a feminine (as implying other strains of sensitiveness, humours, ways of regarding particular modes of social life), interpretation upon the leading ideas.

Insofar, then, as "Towards Democracy" is read & appreciated, it will do more than any amount of analysis or criticism to diffuse the teaching wh[ich] inspires you.

You know how deeply I sympathize with all that is involved in the new religion. The circumstances of my own existence & having been early married, & then reduced to a state of comparative physical inefficiency, has rendered it not only a necessity, but a duty also, & what is more, the best practical form left forme of service — to carry on my own work as a scholar, a writer, a student of history, an analyst. I have been unable to do what I should have preferred, had I been vigorous & unentangled, namely to join the people in their lives. Still I have endeavoured more & more to approach them, & have learned more & more from them. A large portion of my happiness in later years has come to me from frank companionship, wholesome comradeship, & mutual fellow-service with these Swiss mountaineers among whom my lot has been cast.

* * *

21 January 1893

My dear Carpenter

. . . I will copy out for you Whitman's very singular letter to me about Calamus, when I have time. I feel sure he would not have written it, when he first published Calamus. I think he was afraid of being used to lend his influence to"Sods". Did not quite trust me perhaps. In his Symposium Speeches, he called me "terribly suspicious", you may remember.

. . . The blending of Social Strata in masculine love seems to me one of its most pronounced, & socially hopeful, features. Where it appears, it abolishes class distinctions, & opens by a single operation the cataract-blinded eye to their futilities. In removing the film of prejudice & education, it acts like the oculist & knife. If it could be acknowledged & extended, it would do very much to further the advent of the right sort of Socialism.

I find a great deal of the emotion, in a wholly manly & admirable form, abroad among the people here [i.e. Davos Platz]. It does not interfere with marriage, when that is sought as a domestic institution, as it always is among men who want children for helpers in their work & women to keep their households.

* * *

7 February 1893

My dear Carpenter

I am sending off my "Problem of Modern Ethics" registered. It does not represent my views completely, since I have read & thought a great deal during the last two years. And on the Continent the subject has rapidly been gaining in completeness.

Did you ever come across any of Ulrich's works? They are very curious. He must be regarded as the real originator of a scientific handling of the phenomenon. I went to visit him in Nov: 1891. He lives exiled & in great poverty at Aquila in the Abruzzi, under the snowy crests of "Il gran passo d'Italia". There is a singular charm about the old man, great sweetness, the remains of refined beauty. His squalor was appalling. I drove to his house in a carriage, & then persuaded him to take a drive with me, which he did. He had no shirt & no stockings on. My magnificent Venetian gondolier & manservant was appalled at the sight of this poor beggar sitting next his padrone. However, I told Angelo that the old man was one of the men I prized & respected most in Europe. And Angelo got to like him in spite of his rage. (You saw Angelo on the top of the Brighton omnibus).

I do so much wish that we could meet & exchange thoughts in quiet somewhere, before this book on Sexual Inversion is begun. Could you not come out & stay with me in May? I have a little house at Venice, wh[ich] is delightful for 2 people. If my wife & a daughter are in it, I would take apartments for us near. But as yet I know not what the family will do. In April I want to be in Rome.

Yours affectionately
J. A. S.

[PS] Do you know Plüschow's photographic studies from the nude in open air?

To Benjamin Jowett

1 February 1889 My dear Master,

I am glad to hear from the last letter you wrote me that you have abandoned the idea of an essay on Greek love. Little good could come of such a treatise in your book.

It surprises me to find you, with your knowledge of Greek history, speaking of this in Plato as "mainly a figure of speech". — It surprises me as much as I seem to surprise you when I repeat that the study of Plato is injurious to a certain number of predisposed young men. —

Many forms of passion between males are matters of fact in English schools, colleges, cities, rural districts. Such passion is innate in some persons no less than the ordinary sexual appetite is innate in the majority. With the nobler of such predetermined temperaments the passion seeks a spiritual or ideal transfiguration. When, therefore, individuals of the indicated species come into contact with the reveries of Plato, (clothed in graceful diction, immersed in the peculiar emotion, presented with considerable dramatic force, gilt with a mystical philosophy, throbbing with the realism of actual Greek life), the effect upon them has the force of a revelation. They discover that what they had been blindly groping after was once an admitted possibility — not in a mean hole or corner — but that the race whose literature forms the basis of their higher culture, lived in that way, aspired in that way. For such students of Plato there is no question of "figures of speech", but of concrete facts, facts in the social experience of Athens, from which men derived courage, drew intellectual illumination, took their first step in the path which led to great achievements and the arduous pursuit of truth.

Greek history confirms, by a multitude of legends and of actual episodes, what Plato puts forth as a splendid vision, and subordinates to the higher philosophic life.

It is futile by any evasion of the central difficulty, by any dexterity in the use of words, to escape from the stubborn fact that natures so exceptionally predisposed find in Plato the encouragement of their furtively cherished dreams. The Lysis, the Charmides, the Phaedrus, the Symposium — how many varied and unimaginative pictures these dialogues contain of what is only a sweet poison to such minds!

Meanwhile the temptations of the actual world surround them: friends of like temper, boys who respond to kindness, reckless creatures abroad upon the common ways of life. Eros Pandemos is everywhere. Plato lends the light, the gleam, that never was on sea or shore.

Thus Plato delays the damnation of these souls by ensnaring the noblest part of them — their intellectual imagination. And strong as custom may be, strong as piety, strong as the sense of duty, these restraints have always been found frail against the impulse of powerful inborn natural passion and the allurements of inspired art.

The contest of the Soul is terrible, and victory, if gained, is only won at the cost of a struggle which thwarts and embitters.

We do not know how many English youths have been injured in this way. More, I firmly believe, than is suspected. Educators, when they diagnose the disease, denounce it. That is easy enough, because low and social taste are with them, and because the person incriminated feels too terribly the weight of law and custom. He has nothing to urge in self-defence — except his inborn instinct, and the fact that those very men who condemn him, have placed the most electrical literature of the world in his hands, pregnant with the stuff than damns him. Convention rules us so strangely that the educators do all this only because it always has been done — in a blind dull confidence — fancying that the lads in question are as impervious as they themselves are to the magnetism of the books they bid them study and digest.

Put yourself in the place of someone to whom the aspect of Greek life which you ignore is personally and intensely interesting, who reads his Plato as you would wish him to read his Bible — i.e. with a vivid conviction that what he reads is the life-record of a masterful creative man — determining race, and the monument of a world-important epoch.

Can you pretend that a sympathetically constituted nature of the sort in question will desire nothing from the panegyric of paederastic love in the Phaedrus, from the personal grace of Charmides, from the mingled realism and rapture of the Symposium? What you call a figure of speech, is heaven in hell to him — maddening, because it is stimulating to the imagination; wholly out of accord with the world he has to live in; too deeply in accord with his own impossible desires.

Greek love was for Plato no "figure of speech", but a present poignant reality. Greek love is for modern students of Plato no "figure of speech" and no anachronism, but a present poignant reality. The facts of Greek history and the facts of contemporary life demonstrate these propositions only too conclusively.

I will not trouble you again upon this topic. I could not, however, allow the following passage in your letter — "I do not understand how, what is in the main a figure of speech should have so great power over them" — to go unnoticed without throwing what light I can upon what you do not understand.

I feel strongly on the subject, and where there is strong feeling, there is usually the risk of over-statement. But I hope I have not spoken rudely. It is indeed impossible to exaggerate the anomaly of making Plato a text-book for students, and a household-book for readers, in a nation which repudiates Greek love, while the baser forms of Greek love have grown to serious proportions in the seminaries of youth and in great centres of social life belonging to that nation.

Ever most sincerely yours
J. A. Symonds

To Edmund Gosse

23 February 1891

My dear Gosse

. . . As you observe, the great thing, with regard to "The Problem", is to reach the opinion of sensible people who have no sympathy with the peculiar bias. I have sent the essay to two such men: T. S. Perry of Boston, quite one of the most learned & clearest-headed men in the USA; & to my old friend John Beddoe, MD FRS, eminent as an ethnologist. Both reply emphatically that they agree with my conclusions & suggestions on the legal point, but that they do not think it possible for the vulgar to accept them. I had an interesting conversation with Lord Hannen, a discussion on the subject in Venice last May. He also agreed with me in the main, & told me some very remarkable things about the way in which a judge evades the law, while charging Grand Juries. I talked the other night here about it with a young German nobleman of the highest rank & very large estates, who most decidedly took the same view, & communicated curious facts about the manners of the peasants on his property. Henry Sidgwick again, in his own cautious hedging way, after reading my essay, told me he thought that I had removed all the utilitarian objections to an erasure of those statutes from our Code. One of the P & O officers at Venice, during a state dinner to which I was invited, began upon the subject of Cleveland Street, & volunteered the opinion that it was absurd to disqualify by law passions which seemed so harmless & so instinctive, although he added that his own (I suspect very free) self-indulgences were in the opposite direction. The way of thinking among the proletariate, honest citizens, peasants, etc, in Italy & Switzerland — where alone I have fraternized with the people — is all in favour of free trade.

Gradually, then, I collect from various sources the impression that if our penal code could be freed from those laws without discussion, the majority of unprejudiced people would accept the change with perfect equanimity. It is also curious how much the persons I have interrogated knew about it, & how much they accept it as a fact of human nature. What everybody dreads is a public raking up of the question; & as the vast numerical majority has no personal interest in it, things remain as they are. Hannen said he should like the English laws altered, but added "there is no one who cares to take the matter up".

I am very ill, & have lost my power of living like an invalid. The constant effort of a life-time to control my health & create the best conditions for repelling disease, has worn my faculties of endurance out. So I do things now, which are not prudent. I drove yesterday to a village two hours away from here [i.e. Davos Platz], attended a peasant theatre, (wh[ich] was tremendous fun), dined with three topers & good companions, Swiss, & drove home at midnight in an open sledge under the most glorious moon & icy wind from the glaciers. This is not a cure for bronchitis. And again today, I started with my girls & our toboggans, & ran a course of four miles, crashing at lightning speed over the snow & ice. We did the journey in about 11 minutes, & I came in breathless, dead-beat, almost fainting. Then home in the railway with open windows & a mad crew of young men & maidens excited by this thrilling exercise.

To Horatio Forbes Brown

2 July 1891

Dear Horatio

There are some things in your last letter (June 30) which make me want to respond at once; and I hope this will follow you to England, and that you will think over a friend's word there. It is about the relation of passion to intellectual energy. You know how little I seek after fame, and how little I value the fame of famous men. You also know how much I value self- effectuation: how I deeply feel it to be the duty of a man to make the best of himself, to use his talents, to make his very defects serve as talents, and to be something for God's sake who made him. In other words, to play his own note in the universal symphony. We have not to ask whether other people will be affected by our written views of this or that. Though, for my part, I find now, with every day I live, that my written views have had a wide and penetrating influence where often least expected. That is no affair of mine, any more than of a sunflower to be yellow, or a butterfly to flutter. The point for us is to bring all parts of ourselves into vital correlation, so that we shall think nothing, write nothing, love nothing, but in relation to the central personality — the bringing of which into prominence is what is our destiny and duty in this short life. And my conclusion is that, in this one life, given to him on earth, it is the man's duty, as recompense to God who placed him here, or Nature, Mother of us all — and the man's highest pleasure, as a potent individuality — to bring all factors of his being into correspondence for the presentation of himself in something. Whether the world regards that final self- presentation of the man or not, seems to me just no matter. As Jenny Lind once said to me, "I sing to God", so, I say, let us sing to God. and for this end let us not allow ourselves to be submerged in passion, or our love to lapse in grubbery; but let us be human beings, horribly imperfect certainly, living for the best effectuation of themselves which they find possible. If all men and women lived like this, the symphony of humanity would be a splendid thing to listen to.

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