August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


TC TO JOHN STERLING ; 21 December 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421221-TC-JOST-01; CL 15: 243-244


Chelsea, 21 decr, 1842—

Dear Sterling,

The man of the gig1 never heard of me or of my interest in Verran; nor have I, nor did I seek to have, the slightest inkling of knowledge about that matter save what you vouchsafed me. Nor do I venture to suggest, or hope or expect, in the least degree, what you are to do farther or to forbear doing with respect to the mining Hero. Pray proceed in it as if I had ceased to exist; as if I had died entirely, bequeathing you my thanks.

The truth is, having the daily firmer conviction that Hero-worship is not an ornamental flourish of rhetoric but an eternal fact, as old as the Almighty Founder himself, and destined to be the one salvation of the world in these coming times, I said to myself: “is not this perhaps a hero? Thou hitherto art the only hero-worshipper yet living;—why not proceed to worship,—to the extent of twenty shillings and some inquiries from Sterling?” This I said, and this I have done; and so end.

My Wife has your Letter this morning.— The Preadamite Powers of Chaos are in me; and my soul with excess of Stupidity, Pusillanimity, Tailor-melancholy2 and approaches of mere Desperation and Dog-madness, is as if blotted out. Strange to reflect, during a three-days rain, when all is mud and misery here below, that half a mile up, there is everlasting azure and a Sun shining as formerly!

No Cromwell will ever come out of me in this world. I dare not even try Cromwell!

Yours ever (in violent haste)

T. Carlyle