January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO C. K. J. BUNSEN ; 7 July 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430707-TC-CKJB-01; CL 16: 237-238


Llandough, Cowbridge, S. Wales 7 july, 1843—

My dear Sir,

There is or lately was a Thomas Carlyle, once an Advocate in Edinburgh, but who quitted that profession for some form of religious Fanaticism (“Irvingism” is the name of it); who preaches accordingly, as an “Angel” so-called, at Albury in Surrey, under the wing of Henry Drummond the rich Banker, a Patron of that sect, and perhaps an “Archangel” in it. This Thomas Carlyle, besides his Angel-work at Albury, goes now and then to Germany, as I have understood, and specially to Berlin, for the purpose of converting your benighted people to his Doctrine; with what success I cannot conjecture. He is the man, I imagine, who must have written this Book on the German Nobility; and thought it so profound as to deserve the King of Prussia's perusal!1 Another friend2 was already inquiring of me on the same subject; to whom I made answer that I never wrote, or designed to write, or had heard even in dreams of the writing of such a Book;—and this, all except the last clause of it, may stand for a response in the present case too.

T. Carlyle the Angel has more than once got me into scrapes of a similar kind. He is, I believe, a zealous, very well-intentioned man; but narrow, headlong, dim, and probably not without a dash of the [word illegible]—he is an “Angel” at Albury, in short; and I am no Angel anywhere! There is in fact nothing common to us but the Name, and general descent from Adam. Me, I have heard, he considers to be a man of some ability, but “possessed with a Devil”: I shall very specially request of you to assure all persons high and low who may inquire of you, that we have “no concern with the other house”.3

It was yesterday that I arrived here: a most solitary green region, very rainy too at present;—in which I feel hitherto very much like a man fallen out of the Moon. The people speak inarticulate Welsh or Kauderwälsch [gibberish], and they, and the whole world, except the rain-clouds, seems to be asleep or nearly so. I have Tieck's Vittoria Accorombona, and care for no weather today!

With many kind regards and wishes / Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle