Joel Britton has failed and gone into chancery, but the woods continue to fall before the axes of other men. Neighbor Coombs (b) was lately found dead in the woods near Goose Pond, with his half-empty jug, after he had been rioting a week. Hugh, by the last accounts, was still in Worcester County. Mr. Hosmer, who is himself again, and living in Concord, has just hauled the rest of your wood, amounting to about ten and a half cords.
The newspapers say that they have printed a pirated edition of your Essays in England. Is it as bad as they say, and undisguised and unmitigated piracy? I thought that the printed scrap would entertain Carlyle, notwithstanding its history. If this generation will see out of its hind-head, wily then you may turn your back on its forehead. Will you forward it to him for me?
This stands written in your day-book: “September 3d. Received of Boston Savings Bank, on account of Charles Lane, his deposit with interest, $131.33. 16th. Received of Joseph Palmer, on account of Charles Lane, three hundred twenty-three 36/100 dollars, being the balance of a note on demand for four hundred dollars, with interest, $323.36.”
If you have any directions to give about the trees, you must not forget that spring will soon be upon us.
Farewell. From your friend,
Before a reply came to this letter Thoreau had occasion to write to Mr. Elliot Cabot, who has since been Emerson’s biographer, and a part of the letter may be cited. The allusions to the Week and to the Walden house are interesting.
IX.THOREAU CONCERNING EMERSON IN ENGLAND.
CONCORD, March 8, 1848.
DEAR SIR, — Mr. Emerson’s address is as yet, “R. W. Emerson, care of Alexander Ireland, Esq., Examiner Office, Manchester, England.” We had a letter from him on Monday, dated at Manchester, February 10, and he was then preparing to go to Edinburgh the next day, where he was to lecture. He thought that he should get through his northern journeying by the 25th of February, and go to London to spend March and April, and if he did not go to Paris in May, then come home. He has been eminently successful, though the papers this side of the water have been so silent about his adventures.
My book, fortunately, did not find a publisher ready to undertake it, and you can imagine the effect of delay on an author’s estimate of his own work. However, I like it well enough to mend it, and shall look at it again directly when I have dispatched some other things. I have been writing lectures for our own Lyceum this winter, mainly for my own pleasure and advantage. I esteem it a rare happiness to be able to write anything, but there (if I ever get there) my concern for it is apt to end. Time & Co. are, after all, the only quite honest and trustworthy publishers that we know. I can sympathize, perhaps, with the barberry bush, whose business it is solely to ripen its fruit (though that may not be to sweeten it) and to protect it with thorns, so that it holds on all winter, even, unless some hungry crows come to pluck it. But I see that I must get a few dollars together presently to manure my roots. Is your journal able to pay anything, provided it likes an article well enough? I do hot promise one. At any rate, I mean always to spend only words enough to purchase silence with; and I have found that this, which is so valuable, though many writers do not prize it, does not cost much, after all.