The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 21 March 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410321-TC-RMM-01; CL 13: 62-63


Chelsea, 21 March, 1841—

Dear Milnes,

About an hour before the time appointed for my going to Wight to visit a Brother of mine there, the Brother himself (perverse mortal) was found sitting on the ground floor here, waiting for breakfast! He has continued in Town ever since, my Portmanteau has stood packed ever since;—I am not returned yet, I am not yet gone, only waiting to go. My influenza, in spite of town uproar, slowly dissipates itself; I even feel as if by and by I should be somewhat better than before.

On Tuesday1 I will come to you, either during or after Breakfast,—if I can and dare. I have a real liking for your Bishop;2 and also for another man of the party.

It remains extremely credible to me, in my secret judgement, or rather it remains as if clear and undeniable, that the author of Cecil the Coxcomb is one Richard Monkton Milnes. What do you think? I have seen nothing yet but what was quoted in the Examiner; yet this is my inference.3

I know not whether I should counsel the said Milnes to be more austere and “serious”;—probably not. I will counsel him to be sincere and ever more sincere, in his own province, in his own fashion; and to consider that there is a gift in him, which may either be reported in Heaven's Treasury forevermore, or squandered in Mayfair in a few seasons,—with unspeakable difference of profit to the said Milnes!

Heaven guide you, and be good to you—

Yours very truly /

T. Carlyle