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[272] not a climax of achievement, though it was a severe test of his patience and optimism, a test which, on the whole, he stood with unassuming courage. He sent forth occasional contributions to various American and British magazines and newspapers, besides new editions of his works. The most notable of these latter was the autographed Centennial or Author's Edition in two volumes of prose and verse (1876), designed to be sold in England, his best market, in order to relieve the straitened circumstances of the author, who was then ‘paralyzed . . . poor . . . expecting death,’ and who had been fleeced by his New York publishers; Specimen days and collect (1882-3), a ‘diary of an invalid,’ which contains some of Whitman's most characteristic prose and is a storehouse of autobiographical data; and November Boughs (1888), containing reprints of short poems that Whitman had been writing regularly for the New York Herald and of miscellaneous prose essays that had appeared elsewhere, the most significant of these being A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads.

New friends were made, as faithful as the old. One was Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, of Canada, who, like Burroughs, hailed the Leaves of Grass as ‘the bible of democracy’ and wrote (1883) the first comprehensive biography of its author, to set him forth as a mystical saviour of the modem world. Another was Thomas B. Harned, in whose hospitable home the poet met, during these later years, not a few American and foreign notables. A third was Horace Traubel, who until Whitman's death was his daily visitor, who, without pay, assisted him in his dealings with printers and publishers, and who has for some years been publishing a minute diary of his talks with the poet during 1888-92. These three friends became, by Whitman's will, his literary excutors. Space is wanting to mention even the most prominent of that host of other visitors, American and foreign, who made Camden the object of their pilgrimages, some with a selfish desire to secure the poet's bold autograph, others with a reverent wish to pay homage to a liberator of the soul. One of the most sincere and unreserved of these tributes was that proffered by Mrs. Anne Gilchrist, the English author (then a widow), who through his poetry came to love the man1 and who

1 The love-letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman are now being edited by Thomas B. Harned and will soon be published.

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