The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO J. W. SIMPSON; 2 March 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510302-TC-JWSI-01; CL 26: 39-40


Chelsea, 2 March, 1851—


Will you be so kind as express to the Gentn of your Committee my thanks, for the honour done me; and my regret to answer,—as I must now do,—that there is not the least possibility of my attending the Soiree you are about to hold.

You judge rightly that Annan has such a hold of my memory as few other places in the world have. There can nothing useful or notable go on there that does not peculiarly interest me; no attempt towards being useful but has my heartiest good-wishes,—as this Soiree1 among others. May it really prosper, and be of benefit to you all! May no unwise word be spoken in it; and, what is perhaps even more important, and still rarer in these times,—may the good words spoken begin straightway, silently on all hands, to get themselves prepared for being done into facts, and so the pleasant eloquence convert itself into valiant human practice: without which latter result the eloquence itself is worth little, nay nothing, or even (if we count well) a frightful minus quantity, fatally less than nothing!—

In great haste, with many wishes and regards, I have the honour to be

Your obedt Servt /

T. Carlyle

J. W. Simpson Esq. Secy &c