The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO WILLIAM DOUGAL CHRISTIE ; 29 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400529-TC-WDC-01; CL 12: 155


Chelsea, 29 May, 1840

My dear Sir,

Here are two very premature Letters from a certain Mr Macray of Oxford,1 who wishes to become our Librarian. I answered his first Letter; promising to write again if there arose any likelihood of his being useful to us or our being useful to him. I now give up the Letters to your keeping, as safer than mine.

It seems to me we want greatly a man experienced in Public Meetings; as yet it all hangs very theoretic to me, very questionable. What is a Public Meeting?2 I now, for almost the first time, ask myself that,—and know not how to answer. The thing is scenic phantasmagoric, real-imaginary; a very curious thing!— My practical petition is, that you keep me very deep in the background; altogether invisible if it so might be: I am in no case for speaking at present, were the ground never so clear to me.

I have been quite unwell since I saw you. I will attempt Saturday; yet with no absolute certainty of making it out.

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle