January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 15 March 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430315-TC-RWE-01; CL 16: 85-86


Chelsea, 15 March 1843—

My dear Emerson,

About four days ago I wrote to you about a new Book to be called Past and Present. I learn now that this letter, which I will make “No. 2,” can still go along with the former: and so, having made a variety of calculations and arrangements, I will now with all brevity (my haste being boundless) communicate to you the practical result of them.

Our next Steamer for Boston will sail on the 1st of April. I have secured a copyist for the second portion of Past and Present, who is to be ready with his work all done, in time for that conveyance; the Printer, a punctual man, undertakes on the other hand to be ready with his share of the operation: wherefore, in brief, you can instruct your Boston Bookseller to expect a Complete Copy of the work by that said Steamer, so that his Printers may fall upon it, tooth and nail,—and overtake ours if they can; at all events, completely distance the New-Yorker, it is to be hoped.

This is the essential of “No 2.” I will do what is in me to be punctual; and as my subordinates are steady people, I think we shall manage it.— Our Book, as I compute, may be still some four weeks, after the April Steamer goes, in a hidden nascent state. If a Letter of yours in answer to this arrived before Publication, as is possible, and informed us that another week or two of delay will be essential, that too can easily be granted.

I send no “Apologies”: for they would but occupy my time and yours. I am very busy. Among my other operations I have undertaken to hear Lyell lecture on Geology,—a somewhat superfluous enterprise, at once wearisome and ineffectual; our Geologist being dreadfully Neptunean in his qualities, I fear!—

John Sterling arrived yesterday, to see his Mother who is very poorly. I have not got eye on him yet, but shall attempt it today.1 Blessings and desert of blessings on you!

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle