July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO SAMUEL LAURENCE ; 16 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471016-TC-SL-01; CL 22: 132


Chelsea, 16 octr, 1847—

Dear Laurence,

A Copy of the Lithograph, done on fit paper and with due care, has arrived here, about half an hour ago;1 and, I am happy to say, gives great satisfaction to the female mind. Imprimatur is decidedly the word; “one of the best Portraits we have ever seen”: that, on the first blush of the business, is the decided verdict.

Secondary suggestions are these two. The extreme point of the nose a degree too sharp, and cocked-up;—to be remedied by some delicate scrape or stroke, if feasible? Item, the Body of the Figure, owing to what is drawn and to what is not drawn of it, does it not suggest to you a somewhat grosser man than the very lean original? These are the suggestions of the female mind; coupled with a decisive Imprimatur cum privilegio [Let it be printed as duly authorized].— I myself have nothing whatever to say on the matter, except perhaps that the “rottenness” under the chin and elsewhere still requires a last touch of healing;—and to wish you well through this momentous enterprise, and a serene frame of mind restored or continued to us all.

I got beautifully along, to Ambleside and Windermere, that day; most civil, adroit, communicative drivers, blessed sunshine, tobacco at will, and one of the beautifullest regions in all the world, quite free from people doing the Picturesque. After Windermere, it was one loud crash of tumults, hurries and confusions, which however did land me safe at Euston Square at the due hour. Tell the benevolent James Spedding that his fusees2 were a blessing to me; that indeed, all the way from Birmingham, I enjoyed, with heartfelt thanks to the gods, a carriage to myself; and, in an atmosphere at length quite free, smoked forth a mild undisturbed cigar into the ambrosial night! I was nevertheless driven half mad before I altogether got home; and am scarcely yet recovered.

Will you offer my very kind regards to every one at Mirehouse and Greta Bank,—mild humane hearts, blessings be on them all! Inclosed is a small business memorandum,3 which pray deliver. Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle