April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD; 23 December 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491223-TC-CR-01; CL 24: 313-314


Chelsea, 23 Decr 1849—

Dear Redwood,

Many thanks to you once more. Your never-failing memorial of this season reached us yesterday, in perfect safety: a welcome testimony of a true man's silent loyalty and love, which, testified or not, well deserves to be precious to me in this bad world. There is something almost affecting in those silent messages; their modest silence more impressive than any eloquence or profession! The words of this poor generation being mostly lies, men that have a meaning in them are reduced to express it, for most part, by silence. Again many thanks; and long may you live to be friendly to us in your still hermitage, and useful to yourself and to your fellow mortals in this world!

Often enough have you been present to my thoughts since you last specially heard of me. For I am overloaded with confusions, outward and inward; and I do believe, a man as solitary as you yourself are,—perhaps even more. In my bewilderments, I have often thought of flying to your Cottage for refuge from the intolerable tumult, when it threatens to get too bad upon me; I feel as if there lay in the world no safer retreat for me than there,—by the shore of the many-sounding Sea, far away from all articulate babblement, for a season! And really it is possible I may run over to you suddenly, and that before long. Once or twice I have been not far from that adventure; and other similar occasions lie before me not very distant. Do not take the trouble of writing to ask me: I know I am always welcome to you, which assurance is a true possession to me; and if the measure seem feasible at any time, I will come without asking, merely announcing myself and arriving.— When I went to Ireland last autumn, it was almost a toss-up whether it should not be to you. Ireland did not yield “pleasure”; it yielded pain, disgust and occasionally almost despair: but it was instructive, or might have been, and perhaps something will grow out of the visit for me yet.

A great question is now, in deep silence, agitating me, as to certain masses of Paper-rubbish accumulated here: Whether the fire shall have them, or the printer? And if the latter shall, whether it ought to be as a Book or as a Series of Pamphlets? Say nothing about it: a month hence, it will be decided, and you shall see

By post, along with this, comes a small thin Appendix to Cromwell 3d editn,—which, if you have not before seen the Squire Letters, may amuse you for a moment.1— We have frost now, after much mud. In health we are as well as usual; which is not at all a high figure of wellness. I think of a horse again, if I go on with these “Pamphlets.” God bless you always.

T. Carlyle