WHITMAN WALT (1819-1892).

Lot 194
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WHITMAN WALT (1819-1892).
Autograph MANUSCRIPT, Democracy, [circa 1867-1870]; 1 page small in-8 (repairs to folds on the verso); in a green cloth folder and green morocco slipcase
Insightful and rare autograph text on American democracy, paying tribute to Tocqueville.
Fragment of 17 lines, likely a rough draft for Whitman’s essay Democratic Vistas published in Washington in 1871
“Democracy – that it is so rare to find it understood, to find the great height & beauty, & practical fibre of American democracy understood (while it exists unconscious in the people), that I can almost say that I have not met three men in all my life that I have felt they understood it. And though it is humiliating to say so it is perhaps true that one noble Frenchman has ascended higher & understood the span better than any theoretical American we yet know”.
The « noble Frenchman » is of course Alexis de TOCQUEVILLE author of De la démocratie en Amérique. His tribute however is bittersweet: none of Whitman’s compatriots has risen to the true understanding of Democracy

Dominique de Villepin (born 1953), diplomat and former French minister, his sale. Feux & flammes. Un itinéraire politique. I Les Voleurs de feu (28 November 2013, n° 62).
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