The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO WILLIAM TAIT ; 27 December 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18391227-TC-WT-01; CL 11: 233-234


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea, / London 27 Der 1839.

My dear Sir,

In these days I am busy scheming out a new edition of a book of mine called “Miscellanies,”—four volumes of Review Essays &c, which probably you have not seen in the combined state. Some friends collected and published them in America; sent me over a portion of their stock with a new Titlepage, by way of British edition, which is now happily all sold. Fraser is to get out a new revised edition therefore, on the “Half-profits system”; and I am now planning how it is to be done.

Almost half of the whole Miscellanies, I find, is composed of Essays on German Literature. Now among a variety of plans for arranging the work, there is one in regard to which the question arises, Whether certain of those Notices in German Romance (“Hoffmann,” “Tieck” &c) might not with advantage be introduced among the rest?— and then secondly, or rather primarily, the question, Whether you would allow me to reprint them there? It is not very likely, after all, that I should at present make use of such a permission: but it would lay the matter more evenly before me, allow me to judge more unbiassedly of it, if I had such a permission. I therefore write to ask you, Whether you will not again be so good?1

The Meister is out; I know not how it sells. There are none of the other Translations I should care to see republished, except perhaps Tieck and Jean Paul; the rest are ephemeral rubbish in comparison; these themselves are not altogether of the immortal sort.2

I have been writing an Essay on the Condition of the Working Classes; which I will recommend to your tolerance when you see it. The thing is called “Chartism”; it is coming out—as fast as the Christmas gin of the Bookbinders will allow it.3

Mrs Johnstone's Tales of the Irish Peasantry bring her honourably to our mind.4 Pray offer the good brave-hearted lady my hearty remembrances, good-wishes and applauses.— Radicalism, I grieve to say, has but few such practical adherents! Radicalism, when one looks at it here, is—a thing one had rather not give a name to!

With good-wishes for this season, and for all seasons, / My dear Sir, / Yours always most truly

T. Carlyle.