The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 6 December 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411206-TC-RWE-01; CL 13: 314-316


Chelsea, 6 Decr, 1841—

Dear Emerson,

Tho' I wrote to you very lately, and am in great haste today, I must lose no time in announcing that the Letter1 with the £40 draught came to hand some mornings ago; and now, this same morning, a second Letter round by Dumfriesshire, which had been sent as a duplicate, or substitute in case of accident, for the former. It is all right, my friend: Samuel Ward's2 paper has got itself changed into forty gold sovereigns, and lies here waiting use; thanks, many thanks! Sums of that kind come always upon me like manna out of the sky; surely they, more emphatically than any others, are the gift of Heaven. Let us receive, use, and be thankful. I am not so poor now at all, Heaven be praised: indeed I do not know, now and then when I reflect on it, whether being rich were not a considerably harder problem. With the wealth of Rothschild3 what farther good thing could one get,—if not perhaps some but to live in, under free skies, in the country, with a horse to ride and have a little less pain on! Angulus ille ridet!4——— I will add, for practical purposes in the future, that it is in general of little or no moment whether an American Bill be at sight or after a great many days; that the paper can wait as conveniently here as the cash can,—if your New-england House and Baring of Old England will forbear bankruptcy in the meanwhile. By the bye, will you tell me some time or other in what American funds it is that your funded money, you once gave me note of, now lies? I too am a creditor to America,—state of Illinois or some such State: 1000 dollars of mine, which some years ago I had no use for, now lies there, paying I suppose for canals, in a very obstructed condition!5 My Brother here is continually telling me that I shall lose it all,—which is not so bad; but lose it all by my own unreason,—which is very bad.6 It struck me I would ask where Emerson's money lies, and lay mine there too, let it live or perish as it likes!

Your Adelphi7 went straightway off to Miss Martineau with a message. Richard Milnes has another; John Sterling is to have a third,—had certain other parties seen it first. For the man Emerson is become a person to be seen in these times. I also gave a Morning-Chronicle Editor your brave eulogy on Landor, with instructions that it were well worth publishing there, for Landor's and others' sake.8 Landor deserves more praise than he gets at present; the world too, what is far more, should hear of him oftener than it does. A brave man after his kind,—tho' considerably “flamed on from the Hell beneath.”9 He speaks notable things; and at lowest and worst has the faculty too of holding his peace.

The “Lectures on the Times,”10 are even now in progress? Good speed to the Speaker, to the Speech. Your Country is luckier than most at this time; it has still real Preaching; the tongue of man is not, wheresoever it begins wagging, entirely sure to emit babblement, twaddlement, sincere-cant, and other noises which awaken the passionate wish for silence! That must alter everywhere: the human tongue is no wooden watchman's-rattle or other obsolete implement; it continues forever new and useful, nay indispensable.

As for me and my doings—Ay de mi!

[Signature cut away]