October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO EDWARD FITZGERALD ; 8 April 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460408-TC-EF-01; CL 20: 162-163


Chelsea, 8 April 1846

Dear Fitzgerald,

I have now put the little Sketch of Naseby Fight, rough and ready, into its place in the Appendix:1 it really does pretty well, where it is fairly written out; had I had time for that, it might almost have gone into the Text,—and perhaps shall, if I ever live to see another Edition. Naseby Field will then have its due honour;—only you should actually raise a Stone over that Grave that you opened (I will give you the shin-bone back and keep the teeth):2 you really should,—with a simple Inscription, saying merely in business English: “Here, as proved by strict and not too impious examination, lie the Slain of the Battle of Naseby. Dig no farther. N.L.3 E. Fitzgerald,— —1843.”— — By the bye, was it 1843, or 2, when we did those Naseby feats? tell me, for I want to mark that in the Book. And so here is your Paper again, since at any rate you wish to keep that. I am serious about the Stone!

You sent me several Queries;4 of hardly above one of which could I at the moment say anything satisfactory: wherefore, being in huge haste, and known by you to be in such, I said nothing;—waiting till you came to Town, and we could at leisure discuss the several affairs, by word of mouth, and clean pipes and good tobacco! Several things may be explained then!5

I have had again a most distressing business with this Book of Cromwell, and the new Letters for it: but I must not grudge; Labour, I think, is well invested there, a very safe place. Those Letters will most probably survive all my other Books, and my contemporaries' other Books;—and do more good perhaps than anything I ever tried or could try in the “literary” way. That is no extravagant supposition. If they put poor mortals off that thrice accursed notion of theirs, That every clever man in this world's affairs must be a bit of a liar too, the consequence would be invaluable! A truly accursed Notion; all false too; and a “Doctrine of Devils,” if there ever was one! Witness Peel, poor fellow, this day,—to go no farther. I hope to do a little towards kicking that Notion into Chaos yet: we have had quite enough of it here in the terrestrial European regions, for a couple of centuries past!—

W. Browne,6 the most courteous and obliging of men, has sent me back my Horse: I was on the brute today for the first time;—thin and rough, but airy as a Kangeroo:7 too airy, and be hanged to it! I think of yoking it into some old shandrydan [rickety old vehicle], and setting my Wife to tame it by driving: I really do.— When are you coming up to Town? I expect to be well thro' with the weight of this Printing business in a week or two: in about a month, they ought to have the Book out.

Adieu dear Fitzgerald. Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle