July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON ; 15 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471015-TC-RWE-01; CL 22: 130-131


Chelsea, 15 Octr, 1847—

My dear Emerson,

Your Letter from Concord, of the 31st of July, had arrived duly in London; been duly forwarded to my transient address at Buxton in Derbyshire,—and there, by the faithless Postmaster, retained among his lumber, instead of given to me when I called on him! We staid in Buxton only one day and night; two Newspapers, as I recollect, the Postmaster did deliver to me on my demand; but your Letter he, with scandalous carelessness, kept back, and left me to travel forwards without: there accordingly it lay, week after week, for a month or more; and only by half accident, and the extraordinary diligence and accuracy of our Chelsea Postman, was it recovered at all, not many days ago, after my Wife's return hither. Consider what kind of fact this was and has been for us! For now, if all have gone right, you are approaching the coast of England;1 Chelsea and your fraternal House hidden under a disastrous cloud to you; and I know not so much as whitherward to write, and send you a word of solution. It is one of the most unpleasant mistakes that ever befel me. I have no resource but to inclose this Note to Mr Ireland, and charge him by the strongest adjurations to have it ready for you, the first thing, when you set foot upon our shores.

Know then, my Friend, that in verity your Home while in England is here; and all other places, whither work or amusement may call you, are but inns and temporary lodgings. I have returned hither a day or two ago, am free from any urgent calls or businesses of any kind; my Wife has your room all ready;—and here surely, if anywhere in the wide Earth, there ought to be a brother's welcome and kind home waiting you! Yes, by Allah!— An “Express Train” leaves Liverpool every afternoon; and in some six hours, will set you down here: I know not what your engagements are; but I say to myself, Why not come at once, and rest a little from your sea-changes,2 before going farther? In six hours you can be out of the unstable waters, and sitting in your own room here: you shall not be bothered with talk till you repose; and you shall have plenty of it, hot and hot, when the appetite does arise in you. “No 5. Great Cheyne Row, Chelsea”: come to the “London Terminus,” from any side; say these magic words to any Cabman, and by night or by day you are a welcome apparition here,—foul befal us otherwise! This is the fact: what more can I say? I make my affidavit of the same; and require you, in the name of Lares and Penates, and Household Gods ancient and modern which are sacred to men, to consider it and take brotherly account of it!—

Shall we hear of you, then, in a day or two; shall we not perhaps see you in a day or two! That depends on the winds and the chances; but our affection is independent of such. Adieu; au revoir, it now is! Come soon; come at once. Ever yours

T. Carlyle