January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO SAMUEL LAURENCE ; 17 May 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430517-TC-SL-01; CL 16: 170


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / 17 May, 1843—

Dear Lawrence,

I know not if I have a right to say that anybody in America specially “wants my Picture.” Gambardella meant to give his work to Emerson, I believe, had he succeeded: “R. Waldo Emerson, Concord, near Boston.”1 But Emerson is not a rich man; not a picture-buying man, I should think. On the other hand, there was once an American,2 whose name I have forgotten, that did send, by a Scotch friend whose name also has now escaped me, some request that I should sit for a Likeness: but the whole matter, as you see, has gone into the vague; and I can recall nothing more than the impression that my American was a Bostonean. On the whole, your friend's best way will be to inquire of the Boston Booksellers (Little & Brown is the title of one House, Munroe and Co of another), who will probably be able to set him on the track of discovering who is the suitable man, if suitable man there be. I cannot in the least estimate the probabilities: but perhaps the adventure of inquiring into them by this opportunity will not be very heavy. Your Portrait of me, sublimely ugly as it may be, is the only decent attempt at a likeness I have yet fallen in with; and indeed seems to me to contain in it, very visibly, the elements of an excellent Picture.3 Sterling, I think I have told you, prizes the chalk Sketch at an enormous rate.4

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