1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


TC TO JOHN TAYLOR; 29 July 1824; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18240729-TC-JTA-01; CL 3:117-118.


Birmingham, 29th July 1824—

Dear Sir,

I am daily expecting a letter from you on the subject of the Life of Schiller. I have got a copy of his Works beside me, which I have been glancing over; and I feel anxious to commence the business of remoulding and enlarging, in due form. As you already know the qualities and probable size of the Book, I need not recur to those topics. With a handsome portrait of Schiller, the whole would form a pretty enough volume, a thousand copies of which I should think might sell with tolerable rapidity, at some price between 7 / and 10. These points, however, would be left entirely to your own arrangement, as the bargain I wish to make would refer only to the net value (if any) of a single edition. Some friends have mentioned sixty pounds as a fair price from you for a thousand copies: but in this matter I cannot dictate, and feel reluctant even to propose. I wish only to have your own voice in regard to it as speedily as possible. Will you be kind enough to let me hear from you in a day or two?

This morning I recieved a copy of Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre (Travels), a sort of sequel to Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, which is at present stealing into what notice it can attain among you. The Travels was written two years ago by Goethe, and promises so far as I can yet judge to be a very special work. I am not without some serious thoughts of putting it into an English dress to follow its elder brother. I expect very shortly to hear of a second edition of the Apprenticeship, and the Edinburgh Bookseller offers me terms for the Travels; but for several reasons I had rather publish in London. Does this sort of ware suit you at all? I wish you would consider of it, and let me know. Meantime you will not, of course, speak of it beyond what may be necessary.

On this subject I shall be glad to hear from you at any time: on the subject of Schiller I hope to hear from you very soon.

Believe me always,

My dear Sir, / Most sincerely your's, /

Thomas Carlyle—

The address is / Care of John Badams Esqr Birmingham—