candlestick

1851


The Collected Letters, Volume 26


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TC TO SYDNEY DOBELL; 17 October 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511017-TC-SD-01; CL 26: 209


TC TO SYDNEY DOBELL

Chelsea: October 17, 1851.

My dear Sir.—Thanks for those pamphlets you have now sent according to request;1 which are a very welcome arrival here. I have read your three articles, in the prescribed order, with real pleasure and interest; it is by no means every day one sees such a busy swift sharp-cutting brain, and such an ardent hoping heart, pouring themselves forth in the way of ‘literature,’ as are manifest here! Long life to you; and a clearer and clearer course through that terrific jungle! Beyond question you will cut your way, and do a good turn to your generation—if you are tough enough, and can endure; but that too, as I suppose you understand, is a necessary part of the problem. Happy he who can hold out till the sacred substances, and eternal fruits, disclose themselves, amid this mad multiplicity of worthless illusive husks and hulls! I see you are full of the idea of universal revolution; which, in fact, is not to be excluded from any open mind that looks upon these years of ours: but you do not yet know how frightful a state that is for a man of real earnestness; probably you will know by and by! At any rate, we cannot help it a whit, not we: and must, at all stages of our history, study to ‘abide in hope,’ a deeper and sterner Hope, or a softer and gladder one, according to the time of day with us, or the natural temper given us.2 I do not quarrel with you at all on that head; nor impugn your notions about Christianity, Currer Bell, &c., &c.; but find it all very beautiful in the given time and circumstances—as the light of the sun is, through whatever media it shine.3

I wish you many years, and plenty of strength, for the work that lies ahead of you; and, pray heartily you may prove victorious more and more, in the best sense that can be given to that word.

With many kind regards to Mrs. Dobell,4 whose recovery I am right glad to hear of, and whom (which is an important fact) I very well remember,

Yours always truly, /

T. CARLYLE.