April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JOHN HARE ; 23 May 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440523-TC-JOHA-01; CL 18: 49-50


Chelsea, 23 May, 1844—

My dear Sir,

Many thanks for your two Cromwell Letters, a most welcome gift to me. I am assiduously collecting all Letters and authentic utterances that came from Oliver himself: these, entirely credible and true as I have everywhere found them, promise to form a kind of firm basis for me, in the Abyss of lies, stupidities and delirium which his “History” hitherto has been for us.

The Letter to Mrs Cromwell has already gone abroad and was known to me; but I am very happy to know accurately in whose hands the original now is.1 Does your Brother live at Clifton too; or what is his specific designation?2 The Letter to Hazelrig I never before saw, or knew of, and it is certainly very curious. The date is clear enough from the contents. It must have been written at Dunbar, on the night of the 2d Septr 1650,—a “wet night,” with the victorious enemy hanging all round on this hand, and the wild autumn sea beating against the rocks on that,—under as ominous circumstances as a man has often stood in; and it is a right brave Letter. Will you name to me who the actual proprietor of this is, and if he knows at all by what road it came into his hands.3 Your Brother, who is skilful in such things, pronounces it an undoubted Original? That it is genuine the style itself will testify. Oliver's handwriting, however, is very recognisable.

A Copy of the Letter from Monk, at any time when your leisure serves, will be another favour to me. I do not recollect to have elsewhere fallen in with this document. What the old close-mouthed Horse-dealer of a General saw good to write to Richard, in 1659 or 8, cannot but be curious to see!4

Mrs Strachey I was sorry to find suffering somewhat under our bitter east-wind; I myself have fallen under the same bad influence, or I should have called a second time.

With kind remembrances to Mrs Hare, with many thanks to yourself,

I remain always / Yours sincerely

T. Carlyle