October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 3 February 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460203-TC-RWE-01; CL 20: 115-117


Chelsea, 3 feby, 1846—

Dear Emerson,

One word to you before the Packet sail;—on business of my own, once more; in such a state of haste as could hardly be greater. The Printers are upon me, and I have not a moment.

Contrary to all human expectation, this Book on Cromwell proves saleable to mankind here, and a Second Edition is now going forward with all speed. The publication of the First has brought out from their recesses a new heap of Cromwell Letters;—which have been a huge embarrassment to me; for they are highly unimportant for most part, and do not tend to alter or materially modify anything. Some Fifty or Sixty new Letters in all (many of them from Printed Books that had escaped me): the great majority, with others yet that may come in future time, I determine to print simply as an Appendix; but several too, I think about Twenty in all, are to be fitted into the Text, chiefly in the early part of the First volume, as tending to bring some matters into greater clearness there. I am busy with that even now; sunk deep into the Dust-abysses again!— Of course I have made what provision I could for printing a Supplement &c to the possessors of the First Edition: but I find this Second will be the Final standing Edition of the Book;1 decidedly preferable to the First; not to be touched by me again, except on very good cause indeed. New Letters, except they expressly contradict me, shall go at once into the back apartment, or Appendix, in future.

The Printers have sent me some five or six Sheets, they send me hitherto a sheet daily; but perhaps there are not above 3 or 2 in a perfect state: so I trouble you with none of them by this Packet. But by next Packet (3d of March), unless I hear to the contrary, I will send you all the Sheets that are ready; and so by the following Packets, till we are out of it;—that you, on the scene there, may do with them once for all whatsoever you like. If nothing can be done with them,—believe me I shall be very glad of that result. But if you can so much as oblige any honest Bookseller of your or my acquaintance by the gift of them, let it be done; let Pirates and ravenous Bipeds of Prey be excluded from participating: that of itself will [be]2 a comfortable and a proper thing!— You are hereby authorized to promulgate in any way you please. That the Second Edition will be augmented, corrected, as aforesaid; and that Mr (Any Son of Adam you please to name) is, so far as I have any voice in the matter, appointed by me, to the exclusion of all and sundry others on what pretext soever, to print and vend the same to my American Friends. And so it stands; and the Sheets (probably near 30 in number) will be out with the March Packet:— and if nothing can come of it, I for one shall be very glad! The Book is to be in Three Volumes now; the first ends at p. 403 vol I; the Third begins at p. 155 vol II, of the present edition.

What are you doing? Write to me: how the Lectures went,3 how all things went and go!— We are over head and ears in Anti-Corn-Law here; the Aristocracy struck almost with a kind of horror at sight of that terrible Millocracy,4 rising like a huge hideous Frankenstein5 up in Lancashire,— seemingly with boundless ready-money in its pocket, and a very fierce humour in its stomach! To me it is as yet almost uglier than the Aristocracy; and I will not fire guns when this small victory is gained; I will recommend a day of Fasting rather, that such a victory required such gaining.

Adieu my Friend. Is it likely we shall meet in “Oregon,” think you?6 That would be a beautiful affair, on the part of the most enlightened Nation! Yours ever T. Carlyle