Monday, June 08, 2009

work that may be spoiled by rapid casting

On this date Emerson wrote his wife Lydian a letter about his return from Paris to London:
London, June 8, 1848.        

I came from Paris last Saturday hither, after spending twenty-five days there, and seeing little of the inside of the houses. I had one very pleasant hour with Madame d'Agout. . . . An artist of the name of Lehmann offered me also good introductions, and I was to see Quinet, Lamennais, and others, but I turned my back and came to London. Still, Paris is much the more attractive to me of the two; in great part, no doubt, because it yields itself up entirely to serve us. I wholly forget what I have already written you concerning Paris, and must not venture on repeating my opinions, which are stereo-typed as usual, and will surely come in the same words. Besides, I have no right to be writing you at all, dear wife, as I have been writing all day, have read my second lecture to-day, and must write all to-morrow on my third for Saturday. We have a very moderate audience, and I was right, of course, in not wishing to undertake it; for I spoil my work by giving it this too rapid casting. . . . It is a regret to me to lose this summer; for in London all days and all seasons are alike, and I have not realized one natural day. . . . Carlyle talks of editing a newspaper, he has so much to say about the evil times. You have probably already seen his articles. I send you two of them in the Spectator. ... It grieves me that I cannot write to the children: to Edie for her printed letter, which is a treasure; to Ellen, who must be my own secretary directly. I cannot hear that the railroad bridge is built, and you would not have me come home till I can go clean from Boston to Concord? Will this idle scrawling tell you the sad secret that I cannot with heavy head make the smallest way in my inevitable morrow's work?

Madame d'Agoult admired and wrote favorable appraisals of Emerson's writings in the early 1840s. Of her, one of Emerson's biographers wrote:
The clever Comtesse d'Agoult was thus, as it turned out, the only Emersonian with whom Emerson had any satisfactory meeting in Paris. He recorded with restrained enthusiasm his "one very pleasant hour" with her. She recorded her meeting with "the moralist" with no more emotion but felt at least enough of her earlier admiration to have a crayon sketch made of him by Charles Lehrnann, who rediscovered the Indian type in Emerson's head.
Henri Lehmann (1814–1882) was a French historical and portrait painter, born in Kiel, Schleswig. He was a pupil of his father, Leo Lehmann, and of Ingres in Paris, where he opened a studio in 1847. (wikipedia)

Edgar Quinet (February 17, 1803–March 27, 1875) was a French historian and intellectual. (wikipedia)

{Lemannais; source: wikipedia}

Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais also known as Frédéric de La Mennais (June 19, 1782 - February 27, 1854), was a French priest, and philosophical and political writer. (wikipedia)

{Edith and Ellen Emerson; source:}

Boston and Lowell Railroad

Some sources:

A memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson, by James Elliot Cabot (Cambridge, Printed at the Riverside Press, 1887)

A Memoir Of Ralph Waldo Emerson, by James Elliot Cabot (Cambridge, 1887)

The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson, by Ralph L. Rusk (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949)

History of the railroads and canals of the United States by Henry Varnum Poor (J.H. Schultz & co., 1860)

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