October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO C. H. COOPER ; 1 January 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460101-TC-CHC-01; CL 20: 88-89


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea, 1 jany 1846—

Dear Sir,

Returning from the country a few days ago, I find your very courteous and obliging Communication lying for me here. I am much your debtor for what you have done, and for what you kindly promise to do. It will give me much pleasure, and be of real use to me at present, to possess a Copy of your Annals of Cambridge, if you will bestow one upon me. Thanks for the List of Cromwell Letters too. I have got another List, still longer, to which yours is partly supplemental; from various quarters various unexpected Letters shew themselves; as indeed by the nature of the case the Collection can never be complete: however I am naturally anxious to possess as many as I possibly can; and in some way or other, even at this stage of the business, must still try to deal with them all. It was stupid enough of me to forget Carey altogether!1 I had read the Book over, years ago; but finding it a mere torpid Darkness, had thrown it down again, and avoided it thenceforth. For which impatience I now pay my penalty.— What of Oliver's Letters, there or elsewhere omitted by me, have any meaning, I must try to work up in some shape of Appendixes or otherwise. Wherein all help from the helpful shall be very welcome to me;—and the sooner the better.

The Cambridge Portfolio is not very accessible to me here; the Baker Ms. of course not at all.2 If you could be so very kind as send me Copies of those Letters, from the two repositories in question,—especially in that excellent distinct hand that writes the List,—certainly it would be a great favour to me. And pray mention, as exactly as may be, the year of the edition, the particulars of the Address, date, signature &c—for example in what College the Baker Ms. lies, and any details about the nature of it you may reckon interesting.— All this trouble you as it were volunteer to take; and I, not without some grudge, venture to lay it upon you. With respect to t[he] Letters in the Portfolio, I ought to add this: some of them (one of them [at] least I noticed) seem to be copied from the Gentleman's Magazine and that Book is easily procurable here. Pray look in the Catalogue of it; and save yourself what trouble is avoidable.

In Forster's British Statesmen IV. 40, I have found a Copy of the Letter which I mention (Vol I. p. 81) as stolen from the Ashmole Museum.3 Forster says vaguely, He has taken it from some “Cambridge Papers lately published”; and he names the Oliver correspondent not Downhall but Down-tell. Can you specify for me what “Cambridge Papers lately (a dozen years ago) published” there are? The authenticity of the Letter is unquestionable; but there ought to be exactness in the editorial details. As Downhall or Downtell was a Cambridge Tutor, perhaps some particulars of him might still be ascertainable at Cambridge; at lowest what his real name was!4

With many thanks, with many apologies for all this trouble I remain, Yours very sincerely, / T. Carlyle