August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 25 October 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461025-TC-JAC-01; CL 21:80-81.


Chelsea, Monday, 25 Octr, 1846—

My dear Brother,

The Bookseller's Offer1 turns out to be but a small matter! I had begun to dread in secret that it might result in some such issue: and here we see it is. No money in it at all; that is the real meaning; for as to the “second edition” &c, there is nothing but uncertain moonshine in that. I believe however, it is the real answer you will get from “the Trade” as to this enterprise which has hung before you so long: you have now the materials for deciding what you will do with it; and that is something to have. I wish from my heart I had means of advising you at all towards what would be your real good in the matter! But I have not: perhaps I could know what I myself would do in your situation (perhaps also not, very clearly); but what you yourself are to do is a question still wide of that! May you resolve wisely, and what will be for your real advantage: my power is limited to that poor prayer. I have the Piece of the Translation; but do not send it till next Letter: I have not yet got it well examined.— This enclosed Letter came for you a few hours ago.

Your friend at Keswick seems to be in a very sad way, poor fellow.2 You do not mention whether you have any thought of profiting by his advice and interest, and taking up the vacancy at Leamington? The “three Physicians” already come thither are an element that will never fail in such a case: but I suppose you might elbow them aside to a reasonable extent without any miracle in your favour.

I was at Sir Jas Clark's, dining, the other night; he had been so very civil about Christie &c I could not refuse:3 the indigestion consequent thereon still hangs about me. He was very civil, asked about you and so forth; indeed I find him a very simple-hearted humane man, with far more inarticulate wisdom about him than any that comes out in the shape of speech. Forbes was there too; Dr Arnot and another; and the hero of the night was one Baron Stockman (?) a shrivelled shrewd little German, once a kind of Doctor I believe, who resides at Coburg, and hangs about Prince Albert and that clan, it would seem.4 We did well enough together; and I came home with my indigestion and the feeling of “duty done.”— Christie is in sad straits just now, his Wife dangerously ill &c: but it is hoped a kind of Clerkship in the Albemarle-Street Institution may, by a dead-lift effort on all hands, be procured for him:5 I wish to Heaven it were! For I am tired writing and soliciting about the poor man.

We have to go off, on Wednesday, to The Grange (Alresford, Hants, Lord Ashburton's); are to stay for a week: one of the joyfullest things would be my landing safe home again; that is my real humour at present on it! I will send my Mother a Letter from that; a Parcel for her is already on the way towards Dumfries. Affection to her and to them all. Ever Yours.

T. Carlyle