The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL ; 30 September 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390930-TC-JSM-01; CL 11: 195


Chelsea, Monday Night [30 September 1839]

My dear Mill,

If that place were freely offered to me, with the duty, we will say, of teaching some reasonable useful thing which a man in the year 1839 could name Moral Philosophy, with expressed or implied liberty to do it as he conscienciously, having regard to all the circumstances of the thing, best could; in that case, I should require four-and-twenty hours, I think, to deliberate earnestly with myself whether I ought to accept it or not. Perhaps I might accept it; perhaps too I might repent accepting it: it would not be very easy for me to decide. But the contingency of the whole matter, the necessity of making application, solicitation &c &c form an altogether conclusive weight in the negative scale; and I decide at once that I will not become a candidate in that sense.

Pray answer Professor Nichol that this as near as I can describe it is my position towards the thing; and give him many thanks for me.1

Sterling's is a splendid Article; in spite of its enormous extravagance some will like it; many are sure to talk of it and on the whole to be instructed by it. No man in England has been better reviewed than I,—if also no one worse.2

When are you coming to see me again?

Ever faithfully Yours, /

T. Carlyle