The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO STEWART KER ; 26 December 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411226-TC-SK-01; CL 13: 328-329


Chelsea, 26 Decr, 1841—

My dear Sir,

Your Letter reached me duly; and then, last sunday, the Swedish Book1 you announced was lying here, when I came in from walking: my Wife had seen the Bringer of it,—the Brother of the Gentleman you mentioned, not the Gentleman himself,2 who, it seems, is unwell at present: I give you, and him, and the Translator, many thanks. The latter especially you must take the trouble of making my acknowledgements to, as I know not where or who he is.

Tho' somewhat busy at present, I have managed to read Geijer's Book. The name of the Author, which till now was but a name with me, excited expectations; and I am very glad to say they have not been disappointed. This is a man that can think; a man with a heart and an eye; one of the rare men of our generation! I have found many deep ideas that I could agree with, more or less, in this Book. I am now about sending it off to Dr Arnold of Rugby, who also meditates on those matters. Unfortunately there does not seem the smallest chance that it can ever be extensively or almost at all read in this country, the translation is so unwieldy; what with frightful broken-backed sentences, exotic phraseology, and printing and punctuation full of errors, the reading of it is really a tough business; almost as if it had still been offered us in Norse! Genuine Swedish silver is there; but in far too rough a state for general recognisability.———— I wish somebody would translate Geijer's History,3 and do it well.

The Scotts4 were here that very evening your first Letter came; I have also seen the good teetotaller Dunlop,5—really an interesting, tounge-tied,6 true-hearted man; with so much talent in him, almost genius in him, which he cannot utter!

I wish I had been with you at Upsala; so near the Arctic Circle, amid so many things one would like to question in a thousand ways. But I have no Fortunatus' Hat, or Wishing Carpet, and cannot travel otherwise.

My Wife unites with me in kind salutations to you and yours. A blithe new-year and many of them to you all!

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle