The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO W. H. BROOKFIELD; 4 November 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511104-TC-WHB-01; CL 26: 224-225


Chelsea, 4 Novr, 1851—

Dear Brookfield,

Thanks for your cordial little Testimony on my behalf; which is a real pleasure to me; and was a glad surprise withal, for I thought you had already sailed.1 That small Sterling affair,—a poor little job incumbent on me in this world, and now hustled off me and finished,—will do very well; in spite of the roaring of the Bulls of Bashan,2 who, in various regions as I understand, are busy enough,—more power to their elbow! I adopt, in late years, a simple precaution, not to read any of that balderdash how loud soever: sense is worth reading, even tho' abusive of you; but nonsense is not, nor should one read it when there is a remedy,—not if it were proclaimed with a “10,000 jackass power,” would I read it, for one!—

We heard of you lately thro' The Grange from two hands: H. Taylor says you shew ample “spirit and vivacity”; the Lady A. winds up an equally kind account with this brief sentence, citable against Mrs B., “I like her very much.”3 My own hopes of you from this voyage are strong May all good attend you in it, dear B. Continue, as you do, to make manful front against a world of confusions and obstructions, such as is allotted to us all,—to each of us his own kind of it, burden enough for every back however strong;—and, with your eye on the eternal polestars (which do still shine to those that have eyes), step quietly along, quietly and manfully as heretofore, bating no jot of heart or hope.4 And know always, if that is some comfort which it is, that there are friendly souls here which look lovingly across to you, with clear sympathy, with clear recognition, and will loyally welcome you back again when the black weather has abated a little. With many true regards, I wish you a good voyage, and bid God bless your Household and you. And so adieu for this time.— Yours ever sincerely

T. Carlyle