Letter 35



Zurich 1833 Decr 18th

MY DEAR PHILLIPS,–I beg you to present my best compliments to Mrs. R. Phillips for her kind message: I am afraid our friend Kelsall was guilty of putting me into the Athenæum. It is of as little consequence as possible, but curious enough that those lines of which I imagined that I had burnt the only copy some years ago in Gottingen, should nevertheless have gained the light of letter press in London. I wish they had been more worthy of it.

With all deference to the opinion of Mrs. R. Phillips and all thank’s for her kind partiality, I cannot help thinking that every able bodied person, capable of what’s called tuning the lyre to all manner of ballads &c who spares the much annoyed reading public his possible and impossible productions, is entitled to some sort of acknowledgment for his rare forbearance.

I believe that the London publishers are extremely unwilling to publish translations of foreign medical works: nevertheless I should wish much to know whether no one would undertake the printing of one which is destined to appear at Easter, Schoenlien’s Natural History of the diseases of Europeans–it will consist of about 6 vols of which 1 or 2 will come out in the Spring–Sch: is perhaps the most distinguished of German Physicians, (now professor here, banished by that ingenious Jack-a-napes of Bavaria) & his work is destined to attract the attention of the medical men of all nations.

I know both him and German, and should wish to render the literature of my country a service by translating the book–for the MSS of the first volume I would require nothing but cannot afford anything more than the trouble. I know that the book must be sooner or later Englished, I do not expect that any bookseller will take my offer and so in the end it will be done like most of the Anglo-German things of the kind by some one only half acquainted with the language as an exercise.

[Gosse, 1894]