July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO ALEXANDER IRELAND ; 15 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471015-TC-AI-01; CL 22: 129-130


CHELSEA, October 15 1847

MY DEAR SIR,—By a letter I had very lately from Emerson—which had lain, lost and never missed, for above a month in the treacherous post-office of Buxton, where it was called for and denied—I learn that Emerson intended to sail for this country ‘about the first of October,’ and infer therefore that probably even now he is near Liverpool or some other of our ports. Treadmill, or other as emphatic admonition, to that scandalous postmaster of Buxton! He has put me in extreme risk of doing one of the most unfriendly and every way unpardonable-looking things a man could do.

Not knowing in the least to what port Emerson is tending, where he is expected, of what his first engagements are, I find no way of making my word audible to him in time, except that of intrusting it, with solemn charges, to you, as here. Pray do me the favor to contrive in some sure way that Emerson may get hold of that note the instant he lands in England. I shall be permanently grieved otherwise; shall have failed in a clear duty (were it nothing more) which will never probably in my life offer itself again. Do not neglect, I beg very much of you; and, on the whole, if you can get Emerson put safe into the express train, and shot up hither, as the first road he goes! That is the result we aim at. But the note itself, at all events, I pray you get that delivered duly, and so do me a very great favor for which I depend on you.

It is yet only two days since I got home, through Keswick and the Lake country; nor has my head yet fairly settled from the whirl of so many objects, and such rapid whirls of locomotion, outward and inward, as the late weeks have exposed me to. Today, therefore, I restrict myself to the indispensable, and will add nothing more.

Kind regards to Ballantyne and Espinasse. Hope your School Society prospers.1 Glad shall I be to learn that your scheme, or any rational or even semi-rational scheme, for that most urgently needful object, promises to take effect among those dusty populations! Of your Program, as probably I mentioned, there remains with me no copy now.2

Yours very truly, T. CARLYLE.