April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO LOUIS BLANC; 28 March 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490328-TC-LB-01; CL 23: 260-261


Chelsea, 28 March 1849.

My dear Sir,

Many thanks for your interesting little Book;1 which I was sorry not to be at home to receive. I have read the Pamphlet carefully from beginning to end; and can readily accept this Narrative as the actual history, in every particular, of your movements in those unlucky days. A conclusion in which, I think, all persons of candour will agree with me; for there is a tone of perfect good faith, of probity, veracity, and pure simplicity of heart, which powerfully appeals to such. This I can believe you to have gained by writing at present; and this, if nothing else were gained, is a thing to be prized.

I will say further, that, in reading all your Books, I have found myself agree completely in your denunciation, or were it even execration and excommunication, of the actual figure of Society; which cannot seem beautiful or true to any noble-minded man, but must find in every such man a loud or silent enemy, and adversary to the death. I agree too that in what you call “association,”—which I should prefer to call just government, without which human beings never lived, nor I believe can live,—there will be immense advantages, improvements literally without limit.

But alas, to judge by the abyss of corruptions in which the universal populations of the world are steeped, and sunk beyond consciousness or reminiscence or anticipation, at present,—one might fear, such a result must lie long centuries away from us; and little in the meanwhile but new insurrections followed by new charlatanisms be possible for us! However, it is always beneficial that anarchies do, by street barricades or otherwise, declare themselves anarchic;—and on the whole, there is no good in any of us but will one day be added, very exactly, to the general sum. Courage, therefore!

I doubt you will never read so much English in the manuscript state; and unluckily I have quite lost the habit of writing or speaking even bad French, for these last seven years or more. Come down again, however, and I will try again. There are some men one can speak a little with, almost without language.— We are here on Sunday evening, for example, and probably nobody with us.

With many kind regards, / Yours very sincerely,

T. Carlyle.