The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 2 March 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400302-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 67-68


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / 2 March, 1840—

My dear Brother,

Expect no straps! On going up to Fraser, I found that his Parcel was off; that there was nothing more to be said! You will get a bit of leather somewhere, and have four holes slit in it: there is no riding without straps.

Just now your new Letter1 has come, thanks for it. I send the Examiner to our Mother, as directed; and write this,—which at any rate I meant to do. You are fixed at any rate till the 20th, it seems: probably no better arrangement could be made. The case will then be entirely before you, to decide upon as you shall then see best.

My subject for Lecturing on ought hardly yet to be named; lest evil befal it. I am to talk about gods, prophets, priests, kings, poets, teachers (six sorts of them); and may probably call it “On the Heroic.”2 Odin, Mahomet, Cromwell are three of my figures; I mean to shew that “Hero-worship never ceases,” that it is at bottom the main or only kind of worship. But all as yet hangs in posse; perhaps it will all evaporate yet; tho' it is daily in my head more or less.— Silence—till we see!

Lord Morpeth refuses to preside over our Library Meeting; at bottom I cannot afford to care much about that, just at present. I am sending off my Cambridge Books today.

No whisper of settling yet with Fraser; I saw him on Saturday, but afar off, and without speech of that. We shall probably have a small tussle for it. We shall see.— Thackeray's Article is well enough.3 I am glad I did not write any farther on the subject.

A Letter this morning from Mrs Welsh: she had seen Jean lately, a day or two before; well and hearty, tho' thin-looking, her husband and she had both had colds.— That poor Boy of Jamie's rather vexes me: could you not write Isabella any word of advice? I have an apprehension that the poor infant runs a great [risk] of growing up lame; poor thing!

On Saturday night I declined the “Royal Society Soiree”;4 last night I refused the Elliots5 & Sterlings; here is another 8 o'clock business from the Stanleys, which I am studying how best to refuse.6 Had I but a thicker skin!— Jane is still on foot. I need not scribble away here. I am deep in perusal of the Koran; a strange crowdie [thick gruel] of a thing.——— Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle