August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL ; 9 November 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18431109-TC-JSM-01; CL 17: 166


Chelsea, 9 Novr, 1843—

Dear Mill,

I forgot to ask, the other night, If you had a Biographia Britannica in your possession,1 and could, without damage to yourself otherwise, gratify your benevolence by lending it to me? I believe I had better buy the Book; but at present I know not where to find it. Your Whitlocke, as well as Evelyn and probably others are all here safe.2 Surely I shall one day get out of these abysses of “dry rubbish,”—into which why did I ever enter!

In these weeks it has become manifest to me, after four years of the dreariest reading ever read, that I must actually write something on Cromwell and Puritanism, and get myself delivered from it. No more impossible task ever fell to my lot. I have already tried it successively on ten or twenty different tacks, and been everywhere repelled; and up to this hour I but write and burn, and then write again, very miserably. Were I once into it, the thing would go!— Pity me, and pray for me; and come to see me soon.3

Yours ever as of old

T. Carlyle