The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN STERLING ; 2 March 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410302-TC-JOST-01; CL 13: 47-48


Chelsea, 2 March, 1841—

Dear Sterling,

The secret of the Authorship of your Election shall not be disclosed by either of us. A nominal incognito, I suppose indeed, is all you aim it; and indeed is all that could be attained now: but as for us we will let it be as real as it can.

This week past I have been living under the frightfullest despotism of Influenza;—in bone, muscle, head, heart, soul body and spirit, one of the most perfect wrecks anywhere extant! Neither does the thing seem in any haste to go away: indeed it is the outcome and culmination of a very extensive set of things which I have painfully had my eye upon for a long while.——— You too have been suffering: alas, it is far the saddest fruit of the Fall of Man this of having a sick body to live in! There is no remedy in Art that I can hear of: but Nature herself brings one before long.

I have serious thoughts of getting out of London altogether this season, to witness one other Summer before I die. No words can do justice to the abhorrence I feel of this place sometimes. We shall see.

Sartor and the Hero-Lectures are both printed, and away from me. With great pleasure I bequeath them both to the Prince of the Power of the Air1 to work his good pleasure with them: it is not probable that he dislikes them much worse than I do,—under many points of view. He is a very useful fellow that Prince; he tramps you off the husks, in his rough way, and then you see whether there was any kernel and what.

Your Puritan Sermons,2 many thanks for them, are here. I am at present reading Cleaveland, Grey's Hudibras &c.3 By no way can I as yet get any access into the real heart of that thing. Perhaps it hardly any more has any heart for us?

Adieu, dear Sterling! Get well quam primum [as soon as possible]; as will I.———Yours ever / T. Carlyle