The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 6 January 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400106-TC-RWE-01; CL 12: 8-10


Chelsea, London, 6 Jany, 1840—

My dear Emerson,

It is you, I surely think, that are in my debt now; nevertheless I must fling you another word: may it cross one from you coming hither—as near the Lizard Point1 as it likes!

Some four sheets making a Pamphlet called Chartism addressed to you at Concord are, I suppose, snorting along thro' the waters this morning, part of the Cargo of the British Queen.2 At least I gave them to Mr Brown (your unseen friend) about ten days ago, who promised to dispose of them; the British Queen, he said, was the earliest chance. The Pamphlet itself (or rather Booklet, for Fraser has gilt it &c, and asks five shillings for it as a Book) is out since then; radicals and others yelping considerably in a discordant manner about it: I have nothing other to say to you about it than what I said last time, That the sheets were yours to do with as you saw good,—to burn if you reckoned that fittest. It is not entirely a Political Pamphlet; nay there are one or two things in it which my American Friends specially may like: but the interests discussed are altogether English, and cannot be considered as likely to concern New-Englishmen very much. However, it will probably be itself in your hand, before this sheet, and you will have determined what is fit.

A copy of Wilhelm Meister, two copies, one for Stearns Wheeler, are probably in some of the “Line Ships” at this time too: good voyage to them! The F. Revolutions were all shipped, insured &c; they have I will suppose, arrived safe, as we shall hear by and by. What freightages, landings and embarkments! For only two days ago I sent you off, thro' Kennett, another Book: John Sterling's Poems, which he has collected into a Volume. Poor John has overworked himself again, or the climate without fault on his side has proved too hard for him: he sails for Madeira again next week! His Doctors tell me there is no intrinsic danger; but they judge the measure safe as one of precaution. It is very mortifying: he had nestled himself down at Clifton, thinking he might now hope to continue there; and lo he has to fly again.— Did you get his Letter? The address to him now will be, for three months to come, “Edward Sterling Esqr, South Place, Knightsbridge, London,” his Father's designation.

Farther I must not omit to say that Richard Monckton Mylnes purposes, thro' the strength of Heaven, to review you. In the next No of the London and Westminster the courageous youth will do this feat, if they let him. Nay he has already done it, the Paper being actually written: he employed me last week in negociating with the Editors about it; and their answer was, “Send us the Paper, it promises very well.” We shall see whether it comes out or not; keeping silence till then. Mylnes is a Tory Member of Parliament; think of that! For the rest, he describes his religion in these terms, “I profess to be a Crypto-Catholic.” Conceive the man! A most bland-smiling, semi-quizzical, affectionate, highbred, Italianized little man of 5 feet, who has long olive-blond hair, a dimple next to [no] chin, and flings his arm round your neck when he addresses you [in pub]lic society! Let us hear now what he will say of the American Vates [Prophet].

Fraser the Bookseller was here few minutes ago about those everlasting Miscellanies, which he has hardly got to Press yet; which he pleads amazingly to have made into six volumes by adding Chartism and things in German Romance. I have got all the Book read over; punctuation corrected &c &c, and mean to wash my hands of it as far as possible henceforth. I am doing little or nothing. When comes the Emerson Book? At all events, the Emerson Letter!— Good be ever with you, my friend!— Your affectionate,

T. Carlyle