Letter 19


[Postmark 12 Dec 1825]

LIEBER KELSALL,–Pardon the evident selfishness of this second letter, wh, I hope, will meet you in town; I should be infinitely obliged to you if you could find time to visit Devereux Court & obtain from the landlady Mrs. Landers, a portmanteau wh I left there, intending to have returned to England soon. As in all probability this will not happen for years, (and if it does I shall be very much annoyed,) it will be better to take these things; to wit, a portmanteau, hat & box, & writing-desk out of the lodgings, where most likely they would be forgotten, and Mrs. Landers will give them to you on seeing this letter. If you will then take the trouble to break open the portmanteau, you will find a miscellany of shirts, stockings, coats, & manuscripts; the latter I leave entirely, at your disposal, recommending them, however, to the dispensation of fire & sword; now take a great stout box of deal or so & stuff all the shirts & coats & trousers & stockings in, but none of the books, unless there should happen to be a Prom: Unbound among them: & if you could, add two or three copies of the brides’ trag: Mr. Rivington will I dare say allow me a few, for I fear that now they can be little better than waste paper to him; & add the Prometheus if not there. Then direct to


Bey Keil Juden Strasse Göttingen


and send it off by the Harwich mail, viâ Hamburg, I shall repeat my thanks upon receiving it: & in return hope to be able to send something that may entertain you at all events bye & bye. At present Anatomy, anatomy, anatomy, of man, dog, & bird occupy so much of my time that you must pardon me for being very dull, my head is full of the origin and insertion of muscles & such names as trachelo-mastoideces, Cerato-chondroglossus & Bucco pterygo-mylo-genio-cerato: chondro-cricco-thyreo-syndesmo-pharyngeus. But this beginning is the worst part of the science, which after all is a most important and most interesting one; I am determined never to listen to any meta-physician who is not both anatomist & physiologist of the first rank.

You will not expect much literary intelligence; in Germany as in England the greatest writers of the century are either corporeally or spiritually dead. The theatre is a much duller affair than I imagined, tho’ it is much better than the English: of wh one must altogether despair. Fuimus Troes. But here in the almost innumerable universities you are sure to meet with little galaxies of Hofraths & professors; all men of more or less talent and information. The best here in their several ways are Benecke, the English professor, a man who understands more English than most natives; Langenbeck & Hempel, Anatomists, & Surgeons; Krauss, Conradi, and Himly medical professors; Heeren & Saalfeld, historical; & Krause philosophical–besides the Eichhorns & Hugo celebrated jurists & divines: & the clever old humourous Blumenbach.

One of the most interesting of the idler lectures given here, is by Saalfeld on the history of the French Revolution. This man is a real historian, & no bad orator; but the government people do not much patronize him, as he is extremely free, and if he does not hesitate to condemn Napoleon, has still less remorse in laying bare the infamy of the Polish transaction: he is indeed one of those people, who are dreadful [torn by seal] ld continental discipline for his talent [torn] moderation; if he had less of the one, he would no longer be [tole]rated at the university; if less of the other he would be removed from his catheder by the power of police; & if the latter had effected a total eclipse of the former, he might now be Hofrath & Knight of the Guelphic order.

How does your winter get on? We rise very damp & foggy & the students have been in vain praying for snow that sledging may come in. I wish you a Xmas enriched with the most delightful plum-pudding & pantomime; these are luxuries the names of wh have scarce yet penetrated this unfashionable region of Germany. There is a shop in the Strand, und zwar at the corner of Bedford Street where you may get shirt-collars at 1s. 3d. a piece, get me eight I beseech thee, & for all things you shall really be paid almost immediately, Once more send me not the portmanteau, hatbox or desk, no boots & no books save as aforesaid. I leave all but coats & trousers, stockings, shirts, neck-cloths, great coat, shirtcollar, drawers & so weit to the mercy and compassion of yourself & him of Southton Row. Visit me with a German commission in return.

Present my compliments to Mrs. Procter; and I will venture to complain to her of the conduct of a certain literary character; I have given up verse, or I wd write a satire on B.C. & call it Bradypus tridactylos–Leben Sie wohl. Fears not B.C. a second attack from L.E.L.? I enclose a 1£ payable in London if the Harwich Bank has not broke. I should like to have a few Br. tragedies, but hope they can be procured without paying for them, to me they wd be dear at 3/4.

Addressed to
care of B.W. Procter Esqre
14 Southampton Row
Russell Square

[Gosse, 1894]