August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 23 November 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421123-TC-JAC-01; CL 15: 201-202


Chelsea, Wednesday 23 Novr / 1842—

My dear Brother,

Having only half a moment's time, I must be very brief;—but can at least mention that we are all well still, and going on in the old method. My writing today has gone awry, or I should not even have had this half-moment!

Last night Basil Montague sent me a foolish letter ‘for an autograph’ for some fool. Basil himself is ill of Influenza, has not power in his own hand to write. Poor old Basil! I answered, in some way, a fool according to his folly.

Bunsen, with others under him, seems to have set on foot some ‘universal Subscription’ for a due monument to the late Dr Arnold: to be a prize at Oxford, a marble sculpture,—or whatever they1 funds may turn out to cover.2 A Letter has come to me; I rather fear, with my limited funds, I shall not be able to contribute.

There was a paragraph in the Manchester Guardian,3 about me and about our Father and Mother, which I liked much: I sent it to Scotsbrig but it is to come back, and you shall see it.———

—Here has just come in a poor modest Cambridge youth, introduced to me by John Gordon from Edinr; poor fellow,4—“just going off to Germany” &c: I have sent him on his way, but only half-minute of time, and my ideas too are all gone!

The Manchester Editor (Ballantyne) sent the other day a Criticism of me by the vegetable Philosopher Alcott, Potatoe-Quixote Alcott: here it is.5— Emerson writes to me the other day a very sensible Letter about poor Alcott: “a man of egoism more than a prophet's!” E. seems to be doing very well; about to lecture again.

I cannot tell you what this thing I am writing is;6 I myself do not know. Some of it will stick to paper I think; and that is much for me at present.

Adieu dear Brother. Not a word more at present.

Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle