April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO E. P. CLARK ; 29 April 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480429-TC-EPC-01; CL 23: 25-26


Chelsea, 29 April, 1848—

My dear Sir,

I have received your Letter; and beg to express again my thankfulness for the anxious attention you bestow on my American affairs. To what of new your Letter contains I can only give the old answer: That I trust entirely to you in these matters; and neither have had, nor desire to have, your judgement interfered with, in regard to them, at all; but request simply that you will manage them as you like,—and only report to me at rare intervals, or indeed only when some money-result is arrived at (if that should ever happen), for my confidence in you, I must say and repeat, is perfect, at once, and exclusive. Let this suffice.

With Messrs W. and Putnam I have had no correspondence whatever, except writing a receipt for their Draft when it came to hand (some £70 or so, if I rem[em]ber);1 to which acknowledgement I appended two or three words, expressing my surprise at the smallness of the sum, my decided notion that our Bargain ought to try and get itself literally fulfilled, if it could!—and for the rest, my one wish and resolution, to abide by whatever you should do or decide in regard to the affair. This and an insignificant “circular” received last night (to which I do not design any reply whatever) is all the correspondence I have had with W. and Putnam; nor do I desire or intend to have any more;—but do earnestly request you to have it in my stead, if you will be so good!

In short, with regard to those Bibliopolic Gentlemen, my opinion is altogether like your own; and I begin to regret very heartily that I ever bothered myself correcting my Books for them, or addressing Notices to their honest fellow citizens of the Union on their behalf,2—and did not rather leave them to their own questionable course as Privateers (we must not say Pirates); and so save myself an infinitude of negociation, and confused unpleasant trouble, to myself and my friends, on the subject.

I should of course like very ill to spend more money upon such a set of interests: but I do not much expect ever to get any real sum of money out of this affair; so that, except theoretically, it has become as good as indifferent to me. And now, my dear Sir, if you, within limits of the utmost funds thus at your disposal and as good as worth nothing to me, can see means of defraying the trouble it will take to bring these “Privateers” rigorously to book, I bid you, in the interests of Justice, Do it; I should be glad it were done, and the money-result for me nothing. But if the funds will not remunerate such a trouble, or if you disincline to prosecute so poor an affair farther, then pray let it go,—and let the Privateers (without Letter-of-Marque) go; and prosecute their voyage to the Devil, I, for one, heeding them no more!— — This really is my mind; and I once again bid you act on it, and consider yourself now and at all times as my plenipotentiary and second self in regard to that Putnam matter

Emerson is here; a great favourite with us all; and, I think, will certainly lecture before he quit London. We are all full of revolutions in this Europe; but have not yet got to street-barricades in England,—nor indeed think we shall!

Believe me, my Dear Sir, / Yours much obliged

T. Carlyle