XI. EMERSON TO THOREAU FROM ENGLAND.
LONDON, March 25, 1848.
DEAR HENRY, — Your letter was very welcome, and its introduction heartily accepted. In this city and nation of pomps, where pomps, too, are solid, I fall back on my friends with wonderful refreshment. It is pity, however, that you should not see this England, with its indescribable material superiorities of every kind; the just confidence which immense successes of all pasts have generated in the Englishman that he can do everything, and which his manners, though he is bashful and reserved, betray; the abridgment of all expression which dense population and the roar of nations enforce; the solidity of science and merit which in any high place you are sure to find (the Church and some effects of primogeniture excepted). But I cannot tell my story now. I admire the English, I think, never more than when I meet Americans; as, for example, at Mr. Bancroft’s American soirée, which he holds every Sunday night. Great is the aplomb of Mr. Bull. He is very short-sighted, and, without his eyeglass, cannot see as far as your eyes to know how you like him, so that he quite neglects that point. The Americans see very well, — too well, — and the traveling portion are very light troops. But I must not vent my ill humor on my poor compatriots. They are welcome to their revenge, and I am sure I have no weapon to save me if they, too, are at this hour writing letters to their gossips.
I have not gone to Oxford yet, though I still correspond with my friend there, Mr. [A. H.] Clough. I meet many young men here, who come to me simply as one of their school of thought; but not often in this class any giants. A Mr. Morell, who has written a History of Philosophy, and [J. G.] Wilkinson, who is a socialist now and gone to France, I have seen with respect. I went last Sunday, for the first time, to see at Hampstead, and dined with him. He was full of friendliness and hospitality; has a school of sixteen children, one lady as matron, then Oldham. That is all the household. They looked just comfortable. Mr. Galpin, tell the Shakers, has married. I spent the most of that day in visiting Hampton Court and Richmond, and went also into Pope’s Grotto at Twickenham, and saw Horace Walpole’s villa of Strawberry Hill.
Ever your friend, WALDO E.
XII.EMERSON TO THOREAU.
CONCORD, March 11, 1850.
MR. HENRY D. THOREAU:
MY DEAR SIR, — I leave town tomorrow, and must beg you, if any question arises between Mr. Bartlett and me in regard to boundary lines, to act as my attorney, and I will be bound by any agreement you shall make. Will you also, if you have opportunity,. Warn Mr. Bartlett, on my part, against burning his wood-lot without having there present a sufficient number of hands to prevent the fire from spreading into my wood, which I think will be greatly endangered unless much care is used? Show him, too, if you can, where his cutting and his post-holes trench on our line, by plan, and, so doing, oblige, ever,
Yours faithfully, R. W. EMERSON.
XIII.THOREAU TO EMERSON.
FIRE ISLAND BEACH, Thursday Morning, July 25, 1850.
DEAR FRIEND, — I am writing this at the house of Smith Oakes, within one mile of the wreck. He is the one who rendered most assistance. William H. Channing came down with me, but I have not seen Arthur Fuller, nor Greeley, nor Marcus Spring.