The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 23 July 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400723-TC-AC-01; CL 12: 203-204


Chelsea, 20 [23] july, 1840—

My dear Alick,

Considering the cheapness of Postage now, I think it seems a pity not to write, even a word were it no more, when one can snatch a moment! This morning I received the inclosed Letter from Oban; reporting all well there. I will send it forward to you: on the Sabbath morning, it may be a cheerful little message for our dear Mother when she comes over to the Sermon: or failing her, you may walk along to Scotsbrig with it yourself. I received my Mother's Letter; I am right glad to hear she is well; glad that she has a new “peat-shed put up in the garden”; that all is going on in some sort of tolerable way.— I do not write half as often to you as I could wish,—tho' I write very often too! I am very busy; I think daily of you, daily wish all good to all of you.

I am now busy at my Fourth Lecture; and shall have it done in about a week. By and by, I suppose, I shall get all the six put down and most probably have them printed, for the whole world's benefit, that of Annandale not forgotten! This Fourth is on Luther and Knox.1

My “rural ride,”2 prior to putting away my horse, is never taken yet. A certain French friend, named Cavaignac, a man whom I like well, had agreed to go with me, and we were actually to have set out “on Thursday” (that is, this day) for a week's riding over Cambridgeshire and that neighbourhood,—where Oliver Cromwell first came into being and action; which scene I wanted and still want to see with my eyes: it was all settled so; but some delay occurred on Cavaignac's side, wherefore I struck into work again; and now when Cavaignac is ready, I refuse to move till this Fourth Lecture be got done. I am like an old spavined horse,—“Gude guide us to, Sandy, rather stiff t' ye reise [get up in the morning]!”3—and once set in motion, I must keep moving. What will become of C's ride and mine I know not now. But I still mean to have a ride. I am also still of mind to part with my horse, as too expensive for any good it does me. Yet it does do me some good; I feel distinctly better at times (at present, for instance):—then I fall back into indigestion again, into pain and chagrin: I am a poor fluctuating soul!

The review by Macaulay which Jack speaks about has come out; and I read it with considerable satisfaction. The man does not like me; yet is forced to praise me. I too most heartily dislike his whole way of thought, or even I might say detest it: no wonder he dislike me. But the man is clever; and one of Her Majesty's Minister's [sic] at present. His notion of Freedom and Radicalism seems to be that starvation and misery among the poorer classes is perpetual and eternal; that all good Government consists in uniting of the monied classes to keep down that one miserable class, and make the pigs die without squealing. No wonder he and I are mutually abhorrent.4— But the review gratifies Fraser highly, and will quicken the Book's sale, he thinks. Be it so.

Here is a caller waiting for me again, down stairs! I must off, dear Brother. Commend me to one and all.— I never in the least give up my notion of Annandale this year yet: but I fancy the summer is pleasanter really where I am. We have cool grey weather; you I suppose very frequent rain. We shall see what comes of it when this Lecture is done.— I wish you would write me a long detail of yourself, your shop, interests and business. Welcome to poor “little Jamie!”— Your affectionate

T. Carlyle