January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 16 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560916-TC-RWE-01; CL 31: 227-228


Kinloch Luichart / Dingwall, N.B. 16 Septr 1856

Dear Emerson,

Your second Letter finds me up here, aloft among the Highland mountains (a Hunting seat of the Lord Ashburton's whither I have been tossed out of my snug Border solitude,—not1 in good hour. The mountains and lakes are very beautiful; but the storms, in the equinoctial time, are already very loud, and I can do nothing with Deer, not even eat them.— In a fortnight hence I hope to be back at Chelsea; but in the meantime will answer your magnanimous Bibliopolical Proposal2 (yours or Sampson's thro' you, is all one, in the haste I am in—just waiting for the “Skye Mail” which passes once in two days),—some word of answer or acknowledgement, not to lose more time than we can help.

I say then that the Project of Msr. Phillips Sampson & Co, so far as I in my ignorance can judge of it, seems very rational; and that, once in London, I will make farther investigation into the practical particulars, and prepare myself to say Yes or No when the time comes for that finality. Meanwhile let Msr. Phs & Sn do one thing as preliminary, Tell me how much, in current money, they will give for a Cast of those potential Stereotypes, to the extent of 2, 4, 6 or as many thousands as they wd like to purchase at once;—how much per thousand, in fact? For it would not be convenient to sell the Stereotypes otherwise, I think;—and I suppose there are ways of making certain that the user of them should be restricted to the Thousands covenanted for, & that the Plates could be put under lock and key till wanted again. Once knowing what the value per thousand from Messrs Sampson will be, and what the cost in London to myself as preliminary, I shall know the whole matter, and be able to pronounce some decision or other— — I am much ashamed to trouble you with this matter; but what can I do at the present stage of it.

Your Book is to be here tomorrow by post. You shall hear soon all the faults I have against it. An Irish Newspaper (the Nation) brought me some notice of it the other day, whh somewhat raises my interest.3 A medicinal intention, then, on the Author's part? God knows there was hardly ever such a Hospital of Lepers. More power to such a Doctor, if that is his hest!

Adieu, dear Friend; there is the Skye mail. Yours ever

T. Carlyle