On April 13, 1828, Thomas Carlyle wrote to Walter Scott to inform him that German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (left) had sent a gift for Scott, through Carlyle (below).
Edinburgh, 21. Comley Bank Row, / 13th April, 1828.
In February last, I had the honour to receive a Letter from von Goethe, announcing the speedy departure, from Weimar, of a Packet for me; in which, among other valuables, should be found “two Medals,” to be delivered, “mit verbindlichsten Grüssen” [“with most courteous greetings”], to Sir Walter Scott. By a slow enough conveyance, this Kästchen [little box], with its medals in perfect safety, has at length yesterday come to hand; and now lays on me the enviable duty of addressing you…
With regard to the Medals, which are as I expected the two well-known likenesses of Goethe himself, it could be no hard matter to dispose of them safely here, or transmit them to you, if you required it, without delay: but being in this curious fashion appointed as it were Ambassador between two Kings of Poetry, I would willingly discharge my mission with the solemnity that beseems such a business; and naturally it must flatter my vanity and love of the marvellous to think that by means of a Foreigner whom I have never seen, I might now have access to my native Sovereign whom I have so often seen in public, and so often wished that I had claim to see and know in private and near at hand. Till Whitsunday I continue to reside here; and shall hope that some time before that period I may have opportunity to wait on you, and as my commission bore, to hand you these memorials in person.
Meanwhile I abide your farther orders in this matter; and so with all the regard which belongs to one whom I in common with other millions owe so much, I have the honour to be,
Sir, / Most respectfully your servant, /