April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO WILLIAM HANNA; 17 December 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491217-TC-WH-01; CL 24: 312


Chelsea, 17 Decr, 1849—

My dear Sir,

Accept my thanks for your very kind and valuable Gift: I have duly received your First volume of that important Biography,1 and have gone over it with much pleasure and satisfaction.

The spirit is excellent: pious, gentle and discreet, yet frank, cheerful and genial. Your plan too is beyond question the best,—that of making Chalmers himself, for most part, tell his own story. His utterances have in them a veracity which is the highest merit of speech, and which is very rare indeed in these poor times,—or rather, we may say, is unexampled in them elsewhere. Such utterances, in whatever dialect of speech or of ideas they may come, bring their human credentials with them, and cannot be refused admittance with brotherly welcome, to the hearts of all men. From this First volume, with its multifarious details, I gather a fine, fresh, breezy view of poor old Scotland and poor old Fife again; and look into the soul of a most brave, robust, true-hearted, healthy man, such as it is a pleasure to look upon in whatever coat or vesture he appear;—and truly, in a Churchman's coat, I know not when there has appeared the like of him, or the second to him, in Scotland or out of it, for a great while back indeed! Be the memory of such preserved and promulgated to all lengths and breadths!—

I heartily wish you good speed in your pious task; and with many thanks on my own behalf and on the world's,

Remain always very sincerely yours

T. Carlyle

Revd Dr Hanna
&c &c