The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO [JOHN EADIE] ; 28 June 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500628-TC-JEA-01; CL 25: 105


Chelsea, 28 june, 1850

Dear Sir,

I have looked over your Pamphlet,1 with a pleasant interest in the Author, if not in the subject; and have to give you thanks for your friendly attention to me. The subject is by no means interesting to me; in fact is afflictive rather, when I reflect how very far it is from being the subject calling first for discussion and exertion in these years now passing! I feel also that, in questions connected with “Marriage,” we of this poor hebetated corrupt and thoroughly unchaste and soulless generation have, beyond most generations I have heard of, small chance to be right in settling new rules for ourselves or posterity! My chief individual wish therefore is that this question wd get itself settled, in whichever way it likes, and so cease.

For the rest, I heartily give you leave to laugh at the Scotch D. D.s and their gaunt pharisaical appeals to “Moses” &c &c on this and other questions;2 and wish only you could get them to understand that a much greater than Moses, namely that God Almighty's Fact is now here again, and that Moses cannot at all carry us to a solution of it! Poor Scotland, so far as I can read it, is now in the saddest spiritual crisis of any part of her Majesty's dominions. Nowhere that I know of is a more dismal tragedy enacting itself than there; nowhere a nobler National Character bleeding hourly to death,—and the D. D.s all standing over it, with their eyes and nose-spectacles fixed on Moses and the old Presbytery-Book, quite unconscious that anything particular is happening!—

This house makes no pretension to equal a Model Prison; but there is a chair in it for you, and a friendly word, if you chanced to call, anytime, in passing.

Believe me / Yours with thanks & regards

T. Carlyle