The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO [CHARLES ELIOT NORTON?] ; 8 February 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520208-TC-CEN-01; CL 27: 35


Chelsea, 8 feby, 1852—

My dear Sir,

I have received your mournful Poetical Epistle. Surely that is a sad scene that you describe: and, alas, there are many such, known to us and unknown;—to which I, of all men, may declare myself among the least likely to be indifferent or insensible. If there were but any remedy possible at present; if there were but any sure hope of remedy!—

To the Guild of Literature1 I have all along, what was but a small merit, wished the best success; regretting that my power to help it ended even there. Surely if, in this or another generation, it save one man of merit from a fate such as you describe, it will have done some good to all men! But effectual remedy, I take it, in this as in other cases, must come from the heart of the thing itself, and cannot be got by acting on the diseased outskirts of it from without;—and of that I see few symptoms in these sad times. For the rest, my knowledge of your Guild and its intentions and procedures is so entirely vague, any judgement I have formed about it is, so far as others are concerned, equal to no judgement, and ought not to discourage anybody in his good endeavours that way.

Very glad to hear of you again, I remain

Yours always truly

T. Carlyle