April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO J. P. ECKERMANN ; 29 May 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480529-TC-JPE-01; CL 23: 37-38


Chelsea, London, 29 May 1848—

Dear Eckermann,

Having a sure opportunity today, I write you a small word which I have long been anxious to send, had I known distinctly whither to address it. My understanding still is that Weimar is your headquarters; but a notion, gathered probably from Mr Marshall,1 possesses me that you are sometimes absent for considerable periods from Weimar: so on the whole, this little Note, concerning the Faust Ms. entrusted to me last year,2 is not written till now.

Mr Marshall, I doubt not, informed you of my endeavours in regard to that; and how, at last, as the likeliest thing feasible, I had put it into the hands of the Ritter Bunsen,3 the Prussian Ambassador here, who cheerfully undertook to offer it to the King of Prussia, and advise his acceptance of it and his making you a present equal to £50 in return. You yourself, I remember, stated some Bedenklichkeiten [doubtfulness] as to Humboldt at the Prussian Court;4 which also were duly submitted by me to Bunsen: but, in spite of these (which seemed to him very easy to guard against), he decided to persevere; and did persevere, and do as he had promised, it would appear, before or shortly after Mr Marshall's departure from England. This was the fact I should have communicated to you long ago,—but have, in my idle uncertainties, neglected till now. It is still all the fact I have on the subject. Some four or five months ago I inquired of Bn whether he had heard any news of the matter? To which he answered, None whatever. The Ms., and the advice what to do with it, had been sent to his Prussian Majesty, and as no answer in contradiction had come, he, Ritter Bunsen, had no doubt, the Ms. was now lying in the Royal Library at Berlin, and the expected return in your hands at Weimar.— So stands it on my side: since that I have heard nothing.

Pray have the kindness to write me directly whether Bunsen's theory of the business is the correct fact! I hope it is; but if not, it ought not to rest there.

I long for your Third Volume of Gespräche which already sends a good rumour of itself into these far regions.5 Will you give our kind regards, our sincere hopes and wishes, to Mr Marshall; who has left a very lively remembrance of himself in this house.

Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle