July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO WILLIAM TAIT ; 23 December 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471223-TC-WT-01; CL 22: 177-178


Chelsea, 23 decr, 1847—

My dear Sir,

This Third Edition of the Miscellanies does not differ, in any particular affecting German Romance, from the Second,—for which, as I think you will recal to mind, your permission, in the time of Fraser and of the reprinting of Wilhelm Meister, was sought and obtained.1

I have not yet been at the bottom of certain boxes of old dusty Papers, to fish up our original Agreement about German Romance: but you are aware of my fixed persuasion as to the Copyright of that work,—which I believe, in the absence of other evidence the Titlepage itself indicates, in the eye of Law;—you are aware too of the extremely insignificant nature of the property in question;2 and how I hitherto have been well content that it should lie as a poor barren undefined Common between us, each of us cutting “divots” from it at discretion, and peace and good-fellowship (to me, for one) being much more valuable than any “divots” to be got or lost there!

Allow me therefore to hope that, till you find your Copy of the Agreement or I find mine, and while my designation stands upon the Titlepage, and my recollection as to the terms of bargain are what they are,—you will not bring me into Chancery, or force me to bring you there, for such a cause! To which hope, if it be needful, I add my special request, and appeal in the name of old days, which are dear to me even because they are old.

And so, wishing you always well, and delivered from botherations, now that you are free of business,

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle