The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO WILLIAM ALLINGHAM ; 21 April 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530421-TC-WA-01; CL 28: 116-117


Chelsea, 21 April, 1853—

Dear Sir,

I believe the usual Academic equipments, Latin, Greek &c, are practically attainable in Dublin, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow (in all of which places there are Professors of accredited repute);—attainable, that is, by a man sufficiently bent upon the enterprise; as indeed they are anywhere, by such a man, witness Warburton who continued an Attorneys Clerk till he became “learned” to that extent;1 while to the opposite kind of man, as we have examples enough, they continue everywhere unattainable. A far graver question were, Whether the road to Wisdom does really, in present centuries, lie thro' that turnpike at all; whether the game, in such a case as yours, is anything like worth the candle! But on that we do not enter at present.— — For the rest, London (tho' there is an excellent Classicist, Professor Newman,2 in employment there) would certainly seem to me a very unfit place for preparatory study, the interruptions to study of any sort being so enormous in a monstrous chaotic Capital like London: but I ought to say, my own available acquaintance with such Seminaries and their capabilities amounts, at present, to mere zero, my interest in them and their pursuits having been upon the decline this long while (indeed, ever since I myself got out of their distracted precincts, with life still in me); and, of course, you will consult your contemplated Professor himself, before entering on such a career in any place.

Believe me / Yours very sincerely

T. Carlyle

W. Allingham Esq