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[273] later with her children spent two years (1876-1878) in Philadelphia in order to be near him. Assistance of a substantial nature from abroad, due in part to the efforts of Mrs. Gilchrist, who had been the first woman to defend the Children of Adam poems in print, together with similar if somewhat later help from a growing number of friends and readers in America, lightened the burdens of Whitman's last years, affording him comforts that would otherwise have been denied him and giving him hope that the tide of disapproval and misunderstanding which he had been breasting for half a lifetime was beginning at last to turn. When a complication of maladies finally resulted in his death, 26 March, 1892, he had ‘positively appeared,’ a prophet and a poet not without honour even in his own country. He was buried, with unique but impressive ceremony, beside a number of near relatives, in a massive and costly tomb which he had built for the purpose the preceding year. Most of his property, valued at a few thousand dollars, was left for the support of an imbecile brother, to care for whom Whitman had for many years saved money from his own small income.

The influence of Whitman has in the past taken three directions. Those of his readers who, like himself, attach most significance to the revolutionary and the religious elements in his writings have naturally been somewhat indifferent as to whether a place could be found for Whitman among the recognized literary coteries. To them he has been a seer profound enough and a lover sincere enough to render ordinary literary criticism an impertinence—unless such criticism would content itself with mere exegesis. On the other hand a growing number of readers have seen in Whitman—quite aside from a personality which, for all its philosophical breadth and its friendly sweetness, was hampered by an occasionally repellent sentimental egotism and a marked deficiency in taste—a genuine artist and a true poet. All manner of liberal political, sociological, and religious movements have been fathered on Whitman the seer and prophet; while Whitman the poet has become the legitimate founder of the various forms of modern free verse. Criticism that confounds this twofold claim and this twofold appeal of Whitman's writings is destined to make little progress, as is also that criticism which considers the two methods

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