XII. EMERSON TO THOREAU.
CONCORD, July 20, 1843.
DEAR HENRY, — Giles Waldo shall not go back without a line to you, if only to pay a part of my debt in that kind long due. I am sorry to say that when I called on Bradbury & Soden, nearly a month ago, their partner, in their absence, informed me that they could not pay you, at present, any part of their debt on account of the Boston Miscellany. After much talking, all the promise he could offer was “that within a year it would probably be paid,” — a probability which certainly looks very slender. The very worst thing he said was the proposition that you should take your payment in the form of Boston Miscellanies! I shall not fail to refresh their memory at intervals.
We were all very glad to have such cordial greetings from you as in your last letter, on the Dial’s and on all personal accounts. Hawthorne and Channing are both in good health and spirits, and the last always a good companion for me, who am hard to suit, I suppose. Giles Waldo has established himself with me by his good sense. I fancy from your notices that he is more than you have seen. I think that neither he nor W. A. Tappan will be exhausted in one interview. My wife is at Plymouth to recruit her wasted strength, but left word with me to acknowledge and heartily thank you for your last letter to her. Edith and Ellen are in high health; and, as pussy has this afternoon nearly killed a young oriole, Edie tells all corners, with great energy, her one story, “Birdy — sick.” Mrs. Brown, who just left the house, desires kindest remembrances to you, whom “she misses and whom “she thinks of.”
In this fine weather we look very bright and green in yard and garden, though this sun, without showers, will perchance spoil our potatoes. Our clover grew well on your patch between the dikes; and Reuben Brown adjudged that Cyrus Warren should pay fourteen dollars this year for my grass. Last year he paid eight dollars. All your grafts of this year have lived and done well. The apple-trees and plums speak of you in every wind.
You will have read and heard the sad news to the little village of Lincoln of Stearns Wheeler’s death. Such an overthrow to the hopes of his parents made me think more of them than of the loss the community will suffer in his kindness, diligence, and ingenuous mind. The papers have contained ample notices of his life and death. I saw Charles Newcomb the other day at Brook Farm, and he expressed his great gratification in your translations, and said that he had been minded to write you and ask of you to translate in like manner — Pindar. I advised him by all means to do so. But he seemed to think he had discharged his conscience. But it was a very good request. It would be a fine thing to be done, since Pindar has no adequate translation, — no English equal to his fame. Do look at the book with that in your mind, while Charles is mending his pen. I will soon send you word respecting the Winter Walk. Farewell.
R. W. EMERSON.
The reply to this letter, dated August 7, is printed in the volume of Letters and Poems edited by Emerson in 1855. To that letter of Thoreau’s Emerson responded, and enlarged upon its themes as follows.
XIII. EMERSON TO THOREAU.
CONCORD, September 8, 1843.
DEAR HENRY, — We were all surprised to hear, one day lately, from G.