August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JAMES MARSHALL; 3 June 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470603-TC-JMA-01; CL 21:222.


Chelsea, 3 june, 1847

Dear Sir,

A few minutes after your Book last night (for which, from my Wife, I have to return you many thanks), there arrived, along with the Goethe Autograph this Note from Lord Ellesmere. Containing, as I anticipated, a polite refusal to purchase.1 The £10 (or the £20? I am afraid only 10) which his Lordship offers on another score, I consider to be of a partly eleemosynary nature, and therefore inadmissable by Eckermann,—unless his necessities at any time render it advisable, for which purpose he may, if he find good, keep remembrance of it. I wish you to send him the Note itself, or give it him at your return.

As to what should next be done in this business, I am considerably at a loss. No other of the “Grossen [Great] of England” has the smallest chance to purchase; certain other parties might with less hope be applied to here: but I do not think there is the least likelihood of getting £100 for the Autograph from any party whatever at this date: £50, or even £25, I should consider to be a good price as times go. Mr. Forster's notion that by the method of raffle something like £50 might be got for it, seems to me not unplausible: but I have the least shadow of experience in such things; and I should suppose there would be, even in the case of success, some small deduction to be made for the expenses (advertising &c) attendant on that plan.

I will retain the Autograph for a few days still, and try with it in one or two quarters; and in the meanwhile I think it will very specially be requisite that you write to Eckermann, and get precise instruction from him as to what he now wishes to be done with the Article, whether to have it raffled for or what,—and above all things, what is the lowest sum of money which he would prefer seeing return with you to seeing the Autograph return.

We are at home, I think, on Sunday Evg

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle