VII. EMERSON TO THOREAU.
CONCORD, Sunday Eve, 21 May, 1843.
MY DEAR FRIEND, — Our Dial is already printing, and you must, if you can, send me something good by the 10th of June, certainly, if not before. If William E. can send by a private opportunity, you shall address it to “Care of Miss Peabody, 13 West Street,” or, to be left at Concord Stage Office. Otherwise send by Harnden, — W. E. paying to Boston and charging to me. Let the pacquet bring letters also from you, and from [Giles] Waldo and Tappan, I entreat.
You will not doubt that you are well remembered here, by young, older, and old people; and your letter to your mother was borrowed and read with great interest, pending the arrival of direct accounts and of later experiences, especially in the city. I am sure that you are under sacred protection, if I should not hear from you for years. Yet I shall wish to know what befalls you on your way.
Ellery Channing is well settled in his house, and works very steadily thus far, and our intercourse is very agreeable to me. Young [B. W.] Ball has been to see me, and is a prodigious reader and a youth of great promise, — born, too, in the good town. Mr. Hawthorne is well, and Mr. Alcott and Mr. Lane are revolving a purchase in Harvard of ninety acres.
Yours affectionately, R. W. EMERSON.
This letter is addressed to “Henry D. Thoreau, care of Mr. Emerson, Esq., 64 Wall Street, New York;” but Thoreau himself was living on Staten Island, at a town called Castleton, whence he made excursions across the bay to the city, and up and down the two islands, Staten and Manhattan. The sea greatly attracted him, for he had seen little, till then, of the great ocean; but the city was an affliction to him.
VIII. THOREAU TO EMERSON.
CASTLETON, STATEN ISLAND, May 23.
MY DEAR FRIEND, — I was just going to write to you when I received your letter. I was waiting till I had got away from Concord. I should have sent you something for the Dial before, but I have been sick ever since I came here, rather unaccountably, — what with a cold, bronchitis, acclimation, etc., still unaccountably. I send you some verses from my journal which will help make a packet. I have not time to correct them, if this goes by Rockwood Hoar. If I can finish an account of a winter’s walk in Concord, in the midst of a Staten Island summer, — not so wise as true, I trust, — I will send it to you soon.
I have had no later experiences yet. You must not count much upon what I can do or learn in New York. I feel a good way off here; and it is not to be visited, but seen and dwelt in. I have been there but once, and have been confined to the house since. Everything there disappoints me but the crowd; rather, I was disappointed with the rest before I came. I have no eyes for their churches, and what else they find to brag of. Though I know but little about Boston, yet what attracts me, in a quiet way, seems much meaner and more pretending than there, — libraries, pictures, and faces in the street. You don’t know where any respectability inhabits. It is in the crowd in Chatham Street. The crowd is something new, and to be attended to. It is worth a thousand Trinity Churches and Exchanges while it is looking at them, and will run over them and trample them under foot one day.