The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG ; 1 March 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520301-TC-JN-01; CL 27: 55-58


Chelsea, 1 March, 1852—

Dear Neuberg,

Your Letter1 came to hand in good hour, just when I had begun to fret myself with some anxieties lest the very thrifty address, “Bonn,” without even a “Preussen” superadded, might not have quite sufficed to find you. Many thanks for all your good deeds, and good intentions; both of which I mean to turn diligently to profit on this occasion.

Your Stieler maps, since you have been so good as get them for me, will fit very well as supplement to the Reymanns (which have never yet arrived, but are promised now, not very credibly, for “tomorrow”): I have seen Stieler's map, and could easily discern it was far better than any other yet known to me. Büsching's Book, tho' I know not well what to expect from it, shall be welcome to me since you have it: I went to the Museum, and with difficulty dug out a copy of Büsching's Erdbeschreibung [geography], intending to see what was in it of possible value; but, alas, owing to mistakes and confusions, it was two hours before I actually got sight of the little brown monster, and before I had done admiring the outside of it (dumpy, dowdy, dirty, with its Bände [bindings] and sub-Bände and sub-sub ditto), the bell rang, and we had to march for home again!— My trust in Büsching, however, is so great that I wd gladly give three times your sum of 4/6 for a legible Copy of his Erdbeschreibung, if such could be met with. Meanwhile, your copy of the subdivision Deutschland will, with the maps, probably serve all my purposes. A Tour in Silesia by Adams the subsequent American President, done about 1800, a very sober, slight but not quite empty volume, is the best thing I have yet fallen in with on that subject.— — Büsching has a Book of Biographies, Count Lyner,2 &c, Frederic the Great, and Himself, which I glanced over at the Museum, and decided to buy:—this, however, you are not to interfere with; Wms & Norgate will do me this and various similar commissions, all in one, so soon as I have sacked them all together, and fairly reduced them into one. Marwitz is in the shops here:3 I mean to be in it about the end of this week, so soon as I have done with Zimmermann &c.

Now, as to send4 me these Stieler maps &c, I have consulted Wms & Nte; and find that the proper route will be by Rudolf Hartmann Bookseller in Leipzig (according to the enclosed Memorandum), who sends a Parcel hither “once a fortnight at least.” Any Bookseller in Bonn, they say, knows him, and is likely to be often sending parcels to him. Failing such, there is the route of such Pickfords as you have, by steam or otherwise: I think if you address the Parcel to me (a paper-strap round it with my address), then cover it with the address W. and N. care of Hartmann, and frank it to Leipzig,—that will be a sure and swift method for this or similar parcels. Our duty on Prussian Books, it seems, is quite trifling, and the Norgates are quite used to carry parcels of that nature, and get paid for these according to the trouble given.

I really ought to be ashamed for laying so much small bother at your door; nevertheless I am not, but will go on, nothing doubting. Farther, then, there is an Archenholz's Kleine Historische Schriften 2 Bde (Berlin, 1791–1803), which professes or appears to contain some “Gemälde der Preussischen Armee [paintings of the Prussian army]”: this, whh is likely to be at once attainable in your Public Libraries, I want you to glance at for me;—and if you find it to contain any such Gemälde, to buy it for me, if there is a copy attainable; or at least to report that it shd be bought. This, and other monies, beginning with the above-said franco to Leipzig, I must insist on having marked against me (otherwise I really cannot apply again): attend to that, please;—and send the Copy of Archenholz at once, if there is one. I know not what your resources in Bonn, for old Books, are; and Leipzig, as you see, is always accessible to me: but of course if you can reach out your hand and get me any of these Books I have to buy (Büsching's Biographies, “Beyträge” or whatever he calls it), of course I shall be very glad to receive them straightway along with my Stieler:—and you can easily keep an account of what you pay for me (till the day of meeting, which we will hope is not so very distant); as indeed you are hereby charged to do at any rate; beginning with that franco to Leipzig spoken of above. And this is all the immediate bother that I have to lay upon you: but nobody knows how much more will come!—

Can anybody tell you what is the “Anekdoten Sam̅lung” abt Frk the Great, published at Berlin directly after his death?5 Zimmermann in 1787 refers to it as worthy of credit; “done by a Lady of rank”; and cites, “Anekdoten VI” (Heft or volume)? I shd like to get this also, and any similar Anekdoten concern that had any authenticity and was by a contemporary.— Item, What say men of judgement to LANGE'S Soldaten Friedrichs (Heft I, 1850), and who is Lange?6 This however I can myself see, for it is in the Museum. Item,—But no, it is too bad, and I will not add another word at present! The rather as it remains quite unlikely that I shall ever write a word about Friedrich; and all this, to me and my friends, is likely to be a mere hunting of plovers, and to end in nothing but the exercise it gives us!— —

Well, we have got into Spring again, with its crowded streets, parliamentary babble,—changes of ministry, and changes of weather; not of a very summer character as yet, either of these! All men laugh hitherto at the new mistry,7 with Disraeli for chanchellor8 King of the Moneybags; but to me it gives no laughter, only gloomy thoughts (when I attend to it at all), as a Belshazzar Handwriting on the wall!9 When once the Stump-Orator is actually Sovereign of England, there will be strange sights here as elsewhere! But we cannot help it; and must not too much mind it. I think sometimes of running over to some nice Island on the Baltic (say Tycho Brahe's,10 with excursions to Silesia, to Berlin), and leaving this foul puddle to settle itself here a little! But this is a dead secret: say nothing of it!— Here has a fool come in, “from Brighton on purpose,” with a malison on him!—and I must break off witht another word. Chapman's Review11 is hitherto not burning the Thames, but we will wait. My wife salutes you all. Hoping to hear some good word soon. Yours ever

T. Carlyle