The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO THOMAS BALLANTYNE ; 31 December 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411231-TC-TB-01; CL 13: 332-333


Chelsea, 31 December, 1841.

My dear Sir— … Emerson's people publish quarterly a kind of Magazine or Review called the Dial (about the size of our monthly Magazines), at Boston; in almost every Number of which there is something of Emerson's, tho' without his express signature: he does not write anywhere else; nor has he yet published much of moment there. The whole Periodical, however, is in some sort an emanation of him. It is edited, I believe, by a Miss Margaret Fuller,1 a disciple of his and of others, who goes into very high flights about Art, Self-sacrifice, Progress, etc., etc.: it is all of a very ghostly (not ghastly) character, and cannot one would think have many readers,—though some it has and ought to have. The London Publisher of it is, “John Green, 121 Newgate Street”; with whom I daresay any of your Manchester Booksellers could communicate.

You will surely do well to throw some light on that obscure and important question, The condition of the working-man in past epochs; not only what money-salary he got, and what he could buy with that, but (so far as possible) how he stood related to his employer, what constancy of occupation there was for him, etc., etc. I often say, Till the Employer and the Employed get some new humane relation, different from a mere Mammonish fatal relation, established between them, nothing but confused misery can await both; and all this of “Supply and Demand,” and so much else, is true only for the time being and in a very limited sense. …