April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO WILLIAM MACCALL; 17 December 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481217-TC-WM-01; CL 23: 180-181


Chelsea, 17 Decr, 1848—

Dear Sir,

A friend of mine in Nottingham, to whom I mentioned you and your Lecture speculation, answers me that he is considerably concerned with Mechanics Institutes in that district, and asks, Whether you aim at “permanent employment” in such things, or merely to “lecture” in the off-and-on way!1

I myself know not what your purposes now are,—nor perhaps will it be easy even for you to say, till the Macready business adjust itself,2 concerning the practical state of which I am much in the dark hitherto.

In any case, I think it will be worth your while to cultivate a little farther acquaintance with this Nottingham friend of mine, who is a man of rather conspicuous influence (I believe) in that region, among that class of people, and certainly is one of the best-conditioned and wisest men I know in any quarter among the mercantile ranks. A German by birth, but speaks and writes English perfectly; wealthy, I understand;—and well-affected, clearly, towards all that has worth in it. “Joseph Neuberg Esq, Nottingham,” that is the Address: mention me, if you have any definite proposal to make to him; and you will get it attended to, so far as the case admits.

I think it were good, at any rate, to send this gentleman a copy of some of your writings, which you think most descriptive of your present tendencies; three blue stamps, I suppose, will carry your chief Book even,3 if you like that;—and a brief Letter along with it would prepare him for farther communications. He, if there seem any feasibility in it, will be very ready to help you to a hearing; and after that, it will depend on yourself,—on the practical answer to this question, “Do these human creatures take in what I say, and find some nourishment from it; or do they actually not take it in?”4 In the latter case no Neuberg or other friend can help; but only yourself can, if you like!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle