April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO CECILIA LUCY BRIGHTWELL; 24 April 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490424-TC-CLB-01; CL 24: 36-37


Chelsea, 24 April / 1849—

My dear Madam,

Many thanks for your beautiful Etchings: a perfect resemblance of an object well worth having its likeness taken!1 I am much gratified and obliged.—

Your offer of the Plates is abundantly kind and generous: certainly they would be of real use to my Bookseller;2 but unluckily, so far as I can measure, the size will not suit that of the Book; unfortunately you have forgotten that there must be a margin to the Plate! How much margin (whether the same as the Letter-press has), I do not know, I suppose any Printer knows; but some margin there must evidently be, or the Print can never be bound among these Leaves.— However, that, as it happens, is of no consequence; the second edition of C's Letters and Speeches being quite sold off some months ago;—and the Book being now at press again, under another form (4 volumes, with pages rather smaller), which it is likely to retain henceforth.

I suppose there is no possibility of reducing this Print so as to suit the 3d edition (which is of the size of my other Books,—I think, this here inclosed is a page of it)? What a pity!— I did speak to the Bookseller about it; and probably he wd have joyfully closed with such an offer as yours, the “expence” being his only objection.

Meanwhile please to keep carefully these Plates till we see what farther comes of them. And if you would be so kind as send, by any opportunity you have, a Copy of these Prints to Mr Childs of Bungay (“John Childs Esq. Bungay”), you will do a great favour to him,—and a new one to me, who have (in a Note today) promised him that you wd send them.

Were you ever at Naseby? I could wish very much, a delicate firm hand and clear veracious mind like yours would try what really faithful Art could do towards representing such an object as that. Old Hollar3 has many Prints which bring home such objects and render them to us to the very life. That seems to me the real mission of “Art,”—if it could find that it had any mission!—Of course before going thither (if the place ever lay in your way in this world), you wd take care to inform yourself indisputably about the facts of it,—and in particular to omit that huge blockhead of a Pillar, whh is near two miles from the real scene.4 Yours gratefully T. Carlyle